Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Romeo and Juliet
 King Lear
 Timon of Athens
 The merchant of Venice
 The comedy of errors
 Hamlet, prince of Denmark
 The tempest
 As you like it
 Much ado about nothing
 A midsummer night’s dream
 Measure for measure
 The taming of the shrew
 Twelfth night, or what you...
 Pericles, prince of Tyre
 The winter’s tale
 All’s well that ends well
 Two gentlemen of Verona
 Life of Shakespeare
 Chronological order of Shakespeare’s...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Tales from Shakespeare
Title: Tales from Shakespeare /
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065431/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales from Shakespeare /
Alternate Title: Lamb's tales from Shakespeare
Physical Description: 400 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lamb, Charles, 1775-1834
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Lamb, Mary, 1764-1847 ( Author )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Caxton Press (New York) ( Printer )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher: George Routledge and Sons, Limited,
George Routledge and Sons, Limited
Place of Publication: New York ;
London ;
Manufacturer: Caxton Press
Publication Date: 1880
Copyright Date: 1880
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1885   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1885
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
England -- London
England -- Manchester
General Note: Date of publication based on binding indicating publication in the 1880's.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy 2 has variant plates.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles and Mary Lamb ; with illustrations.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065431
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ALG7628
alephbibnum - 002227331
oclc - 70919661

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Romeo and Juliet
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    King Lear
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Timon of Athens
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    The merchant of Venice
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    The comedy of errors
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    Hamlet, prince of Denmark
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 140a
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    The tempest
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    As you like it
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
    Much ado about nothing
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 214a
    A midsummer night’s dream
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
    Measure for measure
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    The taming of the shrew
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
    Twelfth night, or what you will
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
    Pericles, prince of Tyre
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
    The winter’s tale
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
    All’s well that ends well
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
    Two gentlemen of Verona
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
    Life of Shakespeare
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
    Chronological order of Shakespeare’s dramas
        Page 399
        Page 400
    Back Cover
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
Full Text

xK \L The Baldwin Libraxy
(b~~~.Cb Univez~ny








Printed in New York, U. S. A.

Coe taonr (press
171, 173 Macdougal Street, New York








ET, a 9

a a S 32

* 52

S, 69

S 87

)F VENICE, 102








a 120

. 139

S i6o

S a a 176

S 198

S . 215

* 232













THE two chief families in Verona were the rich
Capulets and the Mountagues. There had been
an old quarrel between tnese families, which was grown
to such a height, and so deadly was the enmity be-
tween them, that it extended to the remotest kindred,
to the followers and retainers of both sides, insomuch
that a servant of the house of Mountague could not
meet a servant of the house of Capulet, nor a Capulet
encounter with a Mountague by chance, but fierce
words and sometimes bloodshed ensued ; and frequent
were the brawls from such accidental meetings, which
disturbed the happy quiet of Verona's estate.
Old Lord Capulet made a great supper, to which
many fair ladies and many noble guests were invited.
All the admired beauties of Verona were present, and
all comers were made welcome if they were not of the
house of Mountague. At this feast of Capulets, Rosa,
line, beloved of Romeo, son to the old Lord Mounta.
gue, was present ; and though it was dangerous for a
Mountague to be seen in this assembly yet Benvolio, a
friend of Romeo, persuaded the young lord to go to
this assembly in the disguise of a mask, that he might
see his Rosaline, and seeing her compare her with


some choice beauties of Verona, who (he :-.aid would
make him think his swan a crow. Romeo had small
Taith in Benvolio's words; nevertheless, for the love
of Rosaline, he was j..'.".'.-. 1 to go. For Romeo was
a sincere and passionate lover, and one that lost his
sleep for love, and tl-,i society to be alone, tl-,il1.ni!g
on Rosaline, who disdained him, and never requited
his love with the least show of courtesy or if...:tn ;,
and Benvolio wished to cure his friend of this love by
lh.. r,... him diversity of ladies and company. To this
feast of Capulets then youi,, Romeo with Benvolio and
their friend ?MIercutio went masked. Old Capulet bid
them welcome, and told them that ladies who had
their toes unplagued with corns would dance with
them. And the old man was light-hearted and merry,
and said that he had worn a mask when he was yu'n ,.
and could have told a -.hii ., i,, tale in a fair lady's


ear. And they fell to dancing, and Romeo was sud-
denly struck with the exceeding beauty of a lady that
danced there, who seemed to him to teach the torches
to burn bright, and her beauty to show by night like a
rich jewel worn by a blackamoor : beauty too rich for
use, too dear for earth like a snowy dove trooping
with crows (he said), so richly did her beauty and per-
fections shine above the ladies her companions. While
he uttered these praises, he was overheard by Tybalt,
a nephew of Lord Capulet, who knew him by his voice
to be Romeo. And this Tybalt, being of a fiery and
passionate temper, could not endure that a Mountague
should come under cover of a mask, to fleer and scorn
(as he said) at their solemnities. And he stormed and
raged exceedingly, and would have struck young
Romeo dead. But his uncle, the old Lord Capulet,
would not suffer him to do any injury at that time,
both out of respect to his guests, and because Romeo
had borne himself like a gentleman, and all tongues in
Verona bragged of him to be a virtuous and well-gov-
erned youth. Tybalt, forced to be patient against his
will, restrained himself, but swore that this vile Moun-
tague should at another time dearly pay for his intru-
The dancing being done, Romeo watched the place
where the lady stood ; and under favor of his masking
habit, which might seem to excuse in part the liberty,
he presumed in the gentlest manner to take her by
the hand, calling it a shrine, which if he profaned by
touching it, he was a blushing pilgrim, and would kiss
it for atonement. "Good pilgrim," answered the
lady, your devotion shows by far too mannerly and
too courtly : saints have hands, which pilgrims may
touch, but kiss not." Have not saints lips, and pil-


grimns too?" said Romeo. Ay," said the lady,
" lips which they must use in prayer." O then, my
dear saint," said Romeo, hear my prayer and grant
it, lest I despair." In such like allusions and loving
conceits they were engaged, when the lady was called
away to her mother. And Romeo inquiring who her
mother was, discovered that the lady whose peerless
beauty he was so, much struck with, was young Juliet,
daughter and heir to the Lord Capulet, the great
enemy of the Mountagues ; and that he had unknow-
ingly engaged his heart to his foe. This troubled him,
but it could not dissuade him from loving. As little
rest had Juliet, when she found that the gentleman
that she had been talking with was Romeo and a Moun-
tague, for she had been suddenly smit with the same
hasty and inconsiderate passion for Romeo, which he
had conceived for her ; and a prodigious birth of love
it seemed to her, that she must love her enemy, and
that her affections should settle there, where family
considerations should induce her chiefly to hate.
It being midnight, Romeo with his companions de-
parted ; but they soon missed him, for unable to stay
away from the house where he had left his heart, he
leaped the wall of an orchard which was at the back of
Juliet's house. Here he had not remained long, rumi-
nating on his new love, when Juliet appeared above at
a window, through which her exceeding beauty seemed
to break like the light of the sun in the east ; and the
moon, which shone in the orchard with a faint light,
appeared to Romeo as if sick and pale with grief at the
superior luster of this new sun. And she leaning her
hand upon her cheek, he passionately wished himself
a glove upon that hand, that he might touch her
cheek. She all this while thinking herself alone,


fetched a deep sigh, and exclaimed, Ah me !" Ro-
meo was enraptured to hear her speak, and said softly,
unheard by her, 0 speak again, bright angel, for
such you appear, being over my head, like a winger'
messenger from heaven whom mortals fall back to gaz
upon." She, unconscious of being overheard, and full
of the new passion which that night's adventure had
given birth to, called upon her lover by name (whom
she supposed absent) : 0 Romeo, Romeo !" said
she, wherefore art thou Romeo ? Deny thy father,
and refuse thy name, for my sake ; or if thou wilt not,
be but my sworn love, and I no longer will be a Capu-
let." Romeo, having this encouragement, would fain
have spoken, but he was desirous of hearing more ;
and the lady continued her passionate discourse with
herself (as she thought), still chiding Romeo for being
Romeo and a Mountague, and wishing him some other
name, or that he would put away the hated name, and
for that name, which was no part of himself, he should
take all herself. At this loving word Romeo could no
longer refrain, but taking up the dialogue as if her
words had been addressed to him personally, and not
merely in fancy, he bade her call him Love, or by what-
ever other name she pleased, for he was no longer Ro.
meo, if that name was displeasing to her. Juliet,
alarmed to hear a man's voice in the garden, did not
at first know who it was, that by favor of the night and
darkness had thus stumbled upon the discovery of her
secret; but when he spoke again, though her ears had
not yet drunk a hundred words of that tongue's utter-
ing, yet so nice is a lover's hearing, that she immedi-
ately knew him to be young Romeo, and she expostu-
lated with him on the danger to which he had exposed
himself by climbing the orchard walls, for if any of her


kinsmen should find him there, it would be death
to him, being a Mountague. Alack," said Romeo,
" there is more peril in your eye, than in twenty of
their swords. Do you but look kind upon me, lady,
and I am proof against their enmity. Better my life
should be ended by their hate, than that hated life
should be prolonged, to live without your love."
" How came you into this place," said Juliet, and
by whose direction ?" Love directed me," answered
Romeo : I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far apart
from me, as that vast shore which is washed with the
farthest sea, I should adventure for such merchan-
dise." A crimson blush came over the face of Juliet,
yet unseen by Romeo by reason of the night, when
she reflected upon the discovery which she had made,
yet not meaning to make it, of her love to Romeo.
She would fain have recalled her words, but that was
impossible; fain would she have stood upon form, and
have kept her lover at a distance, as the custom of dis-
creet ladies is, to frown and be perverse, and give their
suitors harsh denials at first ; to stand off, and affect a
coyness or indifference, where they most love, that
their lovers may not think them too lightly or too
easily won : for the difficulty of attainment increases
the value of the object. But there was no room in her
case for denials, or putting off, or any of the custom-
ary arts of delay and protractive courtship. Romec
had heard from her own tongue, when she did not
dream that he was near her, a confession of her love.
So with an honest frankness, which the novelty of her
situation excused, she confirmed the truth of what he
had before heard, and addressing him by the name of
fair Mountague (love can sweeten a sour name), she
begged him not to impute her easy yielding to levity


or an unworthy mind, but that he must lay the fault of
it (if it were a fault) upon the accident of the night
which had so strangely discovered her thoughts. And
she added, that though her behavior to him might not
be sufficiently prudent, measured by the custom of
her sex, yet that she would prove more true than many
whose prudence was dissembling, and their modesty
artificial cunning.
Romeo was beginning to call the heavens to witness
that nothing was farther from his thoughts than to im-
pute a shadow of dishonor to such an honored lady,
when she stopped him, begged him not to swear : for
although she joyed in him, yet she had no joy of that
night's contract ; it was too rash, too unadvised, too
sudden. But he being urgent with her to exchange a
vow of love with her that night, she said that she
already had given him hers before he requested it ;
meaning, when he overheard her confession; but she
would retract what she then bestowed, for the pleasure
of giving it again, for her bounty was as infinite as the
sea, and her love as deep. From this loving confer-
ence she was called away by her nurse, who slept with
her, and thought it time for her to be in bed, for it
was near to daybreak ; but hastily returning, she said
three or four words more to Romeo, the purport of
which was, that if his love was indeed honorable, and
his purpose marriage, she would send a messenger to
him to-morrow, to appoint a time for their marriage,
when she would lay all her fortunes at his feet, and fol-
low him as her lord through the world. While they
were settling this point, Juliet was repeatedly called
for by her nurse, and went in and returned, and went
and returned again, for she seemed as jealous of Ro-
meo going from her, as a young girl of her bird, which


she will let hop a little from her hand, and pluck it
back with a silken thread ; and Romeo was as loath to
part as she : for the sweetest music to lovers is the
sound of each other's tongues at night. But at last
they parted, wishing mutually sweet sleep and rest for
that night.
The day was breaking when they parted, and Ro-
meo, who was too full of thoughts of his mistress anO
that blessed meeting to allow him to sleep, instead c.
going home, bent his course to a monastery hard by,
to find friar Lawrence. The good friar was already up
at his devotions, but seeing young Romeo abroad so
early, he conjectured rightly that he had not been
abed that night, but. that some distemper of youthful
affection had kept him waking. He was right in im-
puting the cause of Romeo's wakefulness to love, but
he made a wrong guess at the object, for he thought
that his love for Rosaline had kept him waking. But
when Romeo revealed his new passion for Juliet, and
requested the assistance of the friar to marry them that
day, the holy man lifted up his eyes and hands in a
sort of wonder at the sudden change in Romeo's affec-
tions, for he had been privy to all Romeo's love for
Rosaline, and his many complaints of her disdain; and
he said that young men's love lay not truly in their
hearts, but in their eyes. But Romeo replying that he
himself had often chidden him for doting on Rosaline,
who could not love him again, whereas Juliet both
loved and was beloved by him, the friar assented in
some measure to his reasons ; and thinking that a
matrimonial alliance between young Juliet and Romeo
might happily be the means of making up the long
breach between the Capulets and the Mountagues,
which no one more lamented than this good friar, who


was a friend to both the families, and had often inter-
posed his mediation to make up the quarrel without
effect, partly moved by policy, and partly by his
fondness for young Romeo, to whom he could deny
nothing, the old man consented to join their hands in
Now was Romeo blessed indeed, and Juliet, who
knew his intent from a messenger which she had de-
spatched according to promise, did not fail to be early
at the cell of friar Lawrence, where their hands were
joined in holy marriage; the good friar praying the
heavens to smile upon that act, and in the union of this
young Mountague and young Capulet to bury the old
strife and long dissensions of their families.
The ceremony being over, Juliet hastened home,
where she stayed impatient for the coming of night, at
which time Romeo promised to come and meet her in
the orchard, where they had met the night before; and
the time between seemed as tedious to her as the night
before some great festival seems to an impatient child
that has got new finery which it may not put on till
the morning.
That same day about noon, Romeo's friends, Ben-
volio and Mercutio, walking through the streets of
Verona, were met by a party of the Capulets with the
impetuous Tybalt at their head. This was the same
angry Tybalt who would have fought with Romeo at
old Lord Capulet's feast. He seeing Mercutio, ac-
cused him bluntly of associating with Romeo, a Moun-
tague. Mercutio, who had as much fire and youthful
blood in him as Tybalt, replied to this accusation with
some sharpness ; and in spite of all Benvolio could say
to moderate their wrath, a quarrel was beginning,
when Romeo himself passing that way, the fierce Tyb-


alt turned from Mercutio to Romeo, and gave him
the disgraceful appellation of villain. Romeo wished
to avoid a quarrel with Tybalt above all men, because
he was the kinsman of Juliet, and much beloved by
her ; besides, this young Mountague had never thor-
oughly entered into the family quarrel, being by nature
wise and gentle, and the name of a Capulet, which was
his dear lady's name, was now rather a charm to allay
resentment than a watchword to excite fury. So he
tried to reason with Tybalt, whom he saluted mildly by
the name of good Capulet, as if he, though a Mounta-
gue, had some secret pleasure in uttering that name :
but Tybalt, who hated all Mountagues as he hated
hell, would hear no reason, but drew his weapon ; and
Mercutio, who knew not of Romeo's secret motive for
desiring peace with Tybalt, but looked upon his pres-
ent forbearance as a sort of calm dishonorable submis-
sion, with many disdainful words provoked Tybalt to
the prosecution of his first quarrel with him ; and Tyb-
alt and Mercutio fought, till Mercutio fell, receiving
his death's wound while Romeo and Benvolio were
vainly endeavoring to part the combatants. Mercutio
being dead, Romeo kept his temper no longer, but re-
turned the scornful appellation of villain which Tyb-
alt had given him; and they fought till Tybalt was
slain by Romeo. This deadly broil falling out in the
midst of Verona at noonday, the news of it quickly
brought out a crowd of citizens to the spot, and among
them the old lords Capulet and Mountague, with their
wives ; and soon after arrived the prince himself, who
being related to Mercutio, whom Tybalt had slain, and
having had the peace of his government often dis-
turbed by these brawls of Mountagues and Capulets,
came determined to put the law in strictest force


against those who should be found to be offenders.
Benvolio, who had been eyewitness to the fray, was
commanded by the prince to relate the origin of it,
which he did, keeping as near to the truth as he could
without injury to Romeo, softening and excusing the
part which his friends took in it. Lady Capulet,
whose extreme grief for the loss of her kinsman Tybalt
made her keep no bounds in her revenge, exhorted the
prince to do strict justice upon his murderer, and to
pay no attention to Benvolio's representation, who
being Romeo's friend, and a Mountague, spoke par-
tially. Thus she pleaded against her new son-in-law,
but she knew not yet that he was her son-in-law,
and Juliet's husband. On the other hand was to be
seen Lady Mountague pleading for her child's life, and
arguing with some justice that Romeo had done noth-
ing worthy of punishment in taking the life of Tybalt,
which was already forfeited to the law by his having
slain Mercutio. The prince, unmoved by the passion-
ate exclamations of these women, on a careful exami-
nation of the facts, pronounced his sentence, and by
that sentence Romeo was banished from Verona.
Heavy news to young Juliet, who had been but a few
hours a bride, and now by this decree seemed everlast-
ingly divorced When the tidings reached her, she at
first gave way to rage against Romeo, who had slain
her dear cousin : she called him a beautiful tyrant, a
fiend angelical, a ravenous dove, a lamb with a wolf's
nature, a serpent-heart hid with a flowering face, and
other like contradictory names, which denoted the
struggles in her mind between her love and her resent-
ment : but in the end love got the mastery, and the
tears which she shed for grief that Romeo had slain
her cousin, turned to drops of joy that her husband


lived whom Tybalt would have slain. Then came
fresh tears, and they were -lt.-,.W.,.1..' of grief for
Romeo's banishment. That word was more :.-ii,,:
to her than the death of many Tybalts.
Romeo, ,i,: the fray, had taken refuge in friar
Lawrence's cell, where he was first made acquainted
vith the prince's sentence, which seemed to him far
more terrible than death. To him it appeared there
was no world out of Verona's walls, no '. Yn out of
the sight of Juliet. Heaven was there where Juliet
lived, and all beyond was }p.. ..d., torture, hell.
The : :..1 friar would have applied the consolation of
pl.,--.-. .,; to his griefs; but this frantic young man
would hear of none, but like a madman he tore his
hair, and threw himself all along upon the ground, as
he said, to take the measure of his grave. From this
unseemly state he was roused by a nii .: i .., his
dear lady, which a little revived him, and then the friar
took the :1i.,1. ift -i.: to .- ,..:t1il. ,: with him on the un-
manly weakness which he had shown. He had slain
-Tybalt, but would he also slay himself, slay his dear
lady who lived but in his life? The noble form of
man, he said, was but a shape of wax, when it -- .,,i'r,.d
the courage which should keep it firm. The law had
been lenient to him, that instead of r.!..: i,. which he
had incurred, had pronounced by the .. Pi :-'s mouth
only banishment. He had slain Tybalt, but Tybalt
would have slain him : there was a sort of happiness in
that. Juliet was alive, and (beyond all hope) had be-
come his dear wife, therein he was most happy. All
these '1'-. in-,.. as the friar made them out to be, did
Romeo put from him like a sullen misbehaved wench.
And the friar bade him beware, for such as despaired
(he -,id) died miserable. 1 hii when Romeo was a


little calmed, he counseled him that he should go that
night and secretly take his leave of Juliet, and thence -
proceed straightways to Mantua, at which place he
should sojourn, till the friar found a fit occasion to
publish his marriage, which might be a joyful means
of reconciling their families ; and then he did not
doubt but the prince would be moved to pardon him,
and he would return with twenty times more joy than
he went forth with grief. Romeo was convinced by
these wise counsels of the friar, and took his leave to
go and seek his lady, purposing to stay with her that
night, and by daybreak pursue his journey alone to
Mantua ; to which place the good friar promised to
send him letters from time to time, acquainting him
with the state of affairs at home.
That night Romeo passed with his dear wife, gain-
ing secret admission to her chamber from the orchard
in which he had heard her confession of love the night
before. That had been a night of unmixed joy and
rapture ; but the pleasures of this night, and the de-
light which these lovers took in each other's society,
were sadly allayed with the prospect of parting, and
the fatal adventures of the past day. The unwelcome
daybreak seemed to come too soon, and when Juliet
heard the morning song of the lark, she would fain
have persuaded herself that it was the nightingale,
which sings by night ; but it was too truly the lark
which sung, and a discordant and unpleasing note it
seemed to her ; and the streaks of day in the east too
certainly pointed out that it was time for these lovers
to part. Romeo took his leave of his dear wife with a
heavy heart, promising to write to her from Mantua
every hour in the day, and when he had descended
from her chamber-window, as he stood below her on


the ground, in that sad foreboding state of mind, in
which she was, he appeared to her eyes as one dead
in the bottom of a tomb. Romeo's mind T.i-. i. -:- him
in like manner; but now he was forced hastily to de-
part, for it was death for him to be found within the
walls of Verona after .l,.- :.i..
This was but the T,, in:;..- of the tragedy of this
pair of star-crossed lovers. Romeo had not been
gone many days, before the old Lord Capulet proposed
a match for Juliet. The husband he had chosen for
her, not dreaming that she was married already, was
Count Paris, a gallant, -.i,_.., and noble gentleman,
no unworthy suitor to the .,,.. Juliet if she had
never seen Romeo.
The t, !. .1 Juliet was in a sad perplexity at her
father's offer. -. pleaded her youth unsuitable to
r., ,: r :, the recent death of Tybalt, which had left
her spirits too weak to meet a husband with any face
of joy, and how indecorous it would show for the fam-
ily of the Capulets to be celebrating a nuptial-feast,
when his funeral solemnities were hardly over : she
pleaded every reason against the match but the true
one, namely, that she was married already. But Lord
Capulet was deaf to all her excuses, and in a peremp-
tory manner ordered her to .. ready, for by the fol-
l. .. i..' Tlir-.J.i.. she should be married to Paris : and
having found her a husband rich, .', and ".A'l,
such as the proudest maid in Verona r..-i ji'; 1'!*;
accept, he could not bear that out of an .-I:..t...: coy-
ness, as he construed her denial, she should oppose
obstacles to her own -...- I, fortune.
In this extremity Juliet applied to the friendly friar,
always her counselor in distress, and he .,- i r. her if
she had resolution to undertake a desperate remedy,


and she answering that she would go into the grave
alive, rather than marry Paris, her own dear husband
living ; he directed her to go home, and appear merry,
and give her consent to marry Paris, according to her
father's desire, and on the next night, which was the
night before the marriage, to drink off the contents of
a phial which he then gave her, the effect of whici'
would be, that for two-and-forty hours after drinking
it she should appear cold and lifeless ; that when the
bridegroom came to fetch her in the morning, he would
find her to appearance dead ; that then she would be
borne, as the manner in that country was, uncovered,
on a bier, to be buried in the family vault ; that if she
could put off womanish fear, and consent to this terri-
ble trial, in forty-two hours after swallowing the liquid
'(such was its certain operation) she would be sure to
awake, as from a dream ; and before she should awake,
he would let her husband know their drift, and he
should come in the night, and bear her thence to Man-
tua. Love, and the dread of marrying Paris, gave
young Juliet strength to undertake this horrible adven-
ture ; and she took the phial of the friar, promising to
observe his directions.
Going from the monastery, she met the young
Count Paris, and modestly dissembling, promised to
become his bride. This was joyful news to the Lord
Capulet and his wife. It seemed to put youth into the
old man ; and Juliet, who had displeased him exceed-
ingly by her refusal of the count, was his darling again,
now she promised to be obedient. All things in the
house were in a bustle against the approaching nup-
tials. No cost was spared to prepare such festival re-
joicings as Verona had never before witnessed.
On the Wednesday night Juliet drank off the


potion. She had many misgivings, lest the friar, to
avoid the blame which might be imputed to him for
marrying her to Romeo, had given her poison ; but
then he was always known for a holy man : then lest
she should awake before the time that Romeo was to
come for her ; whether the terror of the place, a vault
full of dead Capulets' bones, and where Tybalt, all
bloody, lay festering in his shroud, would not be
enough to drive her distracted : again she thought of
all the stories she had heard of spirits haunting the
places where their bodies were bestowed. But then
her love for Romeo, and her aversion for Paris, re-
turned, and she desperately swallowed the draught,
and became insensible.
When young Paris came early in the morning with
music, to awaken his bride, instead of a living Juliet,
her chamber presented the dreary spectacle of a lifeless
corpse. What death to his hopes What confusion
then reigned through the whole house Poor Paris
lamenting his bride, whom most detestable death had
beguiled him of, had divorced from him even before
their hands were joined. But still more piteous it was
to hear the mourning of the old lord and lady Capu-
let, who having but this one, one poor loving child to
rejoice and solace in, cruel death had snatched her
from their sight, just as these careful parents were on
the point of seeing her advanced (as they thought) by
a promising and advantageous match. Now all things
that were ordained for the festival were turned from
their properties to do the office of a black funeral.
The wedding cheer served for a sad burial feast, the
bridal hymns were changed to sullen dirges, the
sprightly instruments to melancholy bells, and the
flowers that should have been strewed in the bride's


path, now served but to strew her corpse. Now in-
stead of a priest to marry her, a priest was needed to
bury her ; and she was borne to church indeed not to
augment the cheerful hopes of the living, but to swell
the dreary numbers of the dead.
Bad news, which always travels faster than good,
now brought the dismal story of his Juliet's death to
Romeo at Mantua, before the messenger could arrive
who was sent from friar Lawrence to apprise him that
these were mock funerals only, and but the shadow and
representation of death, and that his dear lady lay in
the tomb but for a short while, expecting when
Romeo should come to release her from that dreary
mansion. Just before, Romeo had been unusually joy-
ful and light-hearted. He had dreamed in the night
that he was dead (a strange dream, that gave a dead
man leave to think), and that his lady came and found
him dead, and breathed such life with kisses in his lips,
that he revived, and was an emperor And now that
a messenger came from Verona, he thought surely it
was to confirm some good news which his dreams had
presaged. But when the contrary to this flattering
vision appeared, and that it was his lady who was
dead in truth, whom he could not revive by any
kisses, he ordered horses to be got ready, for he deter-
mined that night to visit Verona, and to see his lady
in her tomb. And as mischief is swift to enter into the
thoughts of desperate men, he called to mind a poor
apothecary, whose shop in Mantua he had lately
passed, and from the beggarly appearance of the man,
who seemed famished, and the .wretched show in his
shop of empty boxes ranged on dirty shelves, and
other tokens of extreme wretchedness, he had said at
the time (perhaps having some misgivings that his


own disastrous life might haply meet with a conclusion
so desperate), If a man were to need poison, which
by the law of Mantua it is death to sell, here lives a
poor wretch who would sell it him." These words of
his now came into his mind, and he sought out the
apothecary, who, after some pretended scruples, Ro-
meo offering him gold which his poverty could not
resist, sold him a poison, which, if he swallowed, he
told him, if he had the strength of twenty men, would
quickly despatch him.
With this poison he set out for Verona, to have a
sight of his dear lady in her tomb, meaning, when he
had satisfied his sight, to swallow the poison, and be
buried by her side. He reached Verona at midnight,
and found the churchyard, in the midst of which was
situated the ancient tomb of the Capulets. He had
provided a light, and a spade, and wrenching iron, and
was proceeding to break open the monument, when he
was interrupted by a voice, which by the name of vile
Mountague, bade him desist from his unlawful busi-
ness. It was the young Count Paris, who had come to
the tomb of Juliet at that unseasonable time of night,
to strew flowers, and to weep over the grave of her
that should have been his bride. He knew not what
an interest Romeo had in the dead, but knowing him
to be a Mountague, and (as he supposed) a sworn foe
to all the Capulets, he judged that he was come by
night to do some villainous shame to the dead bodies ;
therefore in angry tone he bade him desist ; and as a
criminal, condemned by the laws of Verona to die if he
were found within the walls of the city, he would have
apprehended him. Romeo urged Paris to leave him,
and warned him by the fate of Tybalt, who lay buried
there, not to provoke his anger, or draw down another


sin upon his head, by forcing him to kill him. But the
count in scorn refused his warning, and laid hands on
him as a felon, which Romeo resisting, they fought,
and Paris fell. When Romeo, by the help of a light,
came to see who it was that he had slain, that it was
Paris, who (he learned in his way from Mantua) should
have married Juliet, he took the dead youth by the
hand, as one whom misfortune had made a compan-
ion, and said that he would bury him in a triumphal
grave, meaning in Juliet's grave, which he now
opened ; and there lay his lady, as one whom death
had no power upon to change a featuree or complexion
in her matchless beauty, or as if death were amorous,
and the lean abhorred monster kept her there for his
delight ; for she lay yet fresh and blooming, as she had
fallen to sleep when she swallowed that benumbing
potion : and near her lay Tybalt in his bloody shroud,
whom Romeo seeing, begged pardon of his lifeless
corpse, and for Juliet's sake called him cousin, and said
that he was about to do him a favor by putting his
enemy to death. Here Romeo took his last leave of
his lady's lips, kissing them ; and here he shook the
burden of his cross stars from his weary body, swal-
lowing that poison which the apothecary had sold
him, whose operation was fatal and real, not like that
dissembling potion which Juliet had swallowed, the
effect of which was now nearly expiring, and she about
to awake to complain that Romeo had not kept his
time, or that he had come too soon.
For now the hour was arrived at which the friar had
promised that she should awake ; and he, having
learned that his letters which he had sent to Mantua,
by some unlucky detention of the messenger, had
never reached Romeo, came himself, provided with a


pickaxe and lantern, to deliver the lady from her con,
finement ; but he was surprised to find a light already
burning in the Capulets' monument, and to see swords
and blood near it, and Romeo and Paris lying breath-
less by the monument.
Before he could entertain a conjecture, to imagine
how these.fatal accidents had fallen out, Juliet awoke
out of her trance, and seeing the friar near her, she re-
membered the place where she was, and the occasion
of her being there, and asked for Romeo : but the
friar, hearing a noise, bade her come out of that place
of death, and of unnatural sleep, for a greater power
than they could contradict had thwarted their intents ;
and being frighted by the noise of people coming, he
fled ; but when Juliet saw the cup closed in her true
love's hands, she guessed that poison had been the
cause of his end, and she would have swallowed the
dregs if any had been left, and she kissed his still warm
lips to try if any poison yet did hang upon them : then
hearing a nearer noise of people coming, she quickly
unsheathed a dagger which she wore, and stabbing her-
self, died by her true Romeo's side.
The watch by this time had come up to the place.,
A page belonging to Count Paris, who had witnessed
the fight between his master and Romeo, had given
the alarm, which had spread among the citizens, who
went up and down the streets of Verona confusedly,
exclaiming, a Paris, a Romeo, a Juliet, as the rumor
had imperfectly reached them, till the uproar brought
Lord Mountague and Lord Capulet out of their beds,
with the prince, to inquire into the causes of the dis-
turbance. The friar had been apprehended by some
of the watch, coming from the churchyard, trembling,
sighing, and weeping in a suspicious manner. A great


multitude being assembled at the Capulets' monu-
ment, the friar was demanded by the prince to deliver
what he knew of these strange and disastrous accidents.
And there, in the presence of the old lords Moun-
tague and Capulet, he faithfully related the story of
their children's fatal love, the part he took in promot-
ing their marriage, in the hope in that union to end
the long quarrels between their families : how Romeo,
there dead, was husband to Juliet ; and Juliet, there
dead, was Romeo's faithful wife : how before he could


find a fit opportunity to divulge their marriage, an-
other match was projected for Juliet, who to avoid the
crime of a second marriage swallowed the sleeping
draught (as he advised), and all thought her dead : how
meantime he wrote to Romeo, to come and take her
thence when the force of the potion should cease, and
by what unfortunate miscarriage of the messenger the
letters never reached Romeo : further than this the friar
could not follow the story, nor knew more than that,
coming himself to deliver Juliet from that place of death,
he found the Count Paris and Romeo slain. The remain-
der of the transactions was supplied by the narration
of the page who had seen Paris and Romeo fight, and
by the servant who came with Romeo from Verona,
to whom this faithful lover had given letters to be
delivered to his father in the event of his death, which
made good the friar's words, confessing his marriage
with Juliet, imploring the forgiveness of his parents,
acknowledging the buying of the poison of the poor
apothecary, and his intent in coming to the monument,
to die, and lie with Juliet. All these circumstances
agreed together to clear the friar from any hand he
could be supposed to have had in these complicated
slaughters, further than as the unintended consequences
of his own well-meant, yet too artificial and subtle con-
And the prince, turning to these old lords, Mounta-
gue and Capulet, rebuked them for their brutal and
irrational enmities, and showed them what a scourge
heaven had laid upon such offences, that it had found
means even through the love of their children to
punish their unnatural hate. And these old rivals, no
longer enemies, agreed to bury their long strife in their
children's graves; and Lord Capulet requested Lord


Mountague to give him his hand, calling him by the
name of brother,-as if in acknowledgment of the union
of their families by the marriage of the young Capulet
and Mountague ; and saying that Lord Mountague's
hand (in token of reconcilement) was all he demanded
for his daughter's jointure : but Lord Mountague said
he would give him more, for he would raise her statue
of pure gold, that while Verona kept its name, no fig-
ure should be so esteemed for its richness and work-
manship as that of the true and faithful Juliet. And
Lord Capulet in return said,. that he would raise an-
other statue to Romeo. So did these poor old lords,
when it was too late, strive to outdo each other in
mutual courtesies : while so deadly had been their rage
and enmity in past times, that nothing but the fearful
overthrow of their children (poor sacrifices to their
quarrels and dissensions) could remove the rooted hates
and jealousies of the noble families.


L EAR, King of Britain, had three daughters ; Gon-
erill, wife to the Duke of Albany; Regan, wife
to the Duke of Cornwall ; and Cordelia, a young maid,
for whose love the King of France and Duke of Bur-
gundy were joint suitors, and were at this time making
stay for that purpose in the court of Lear.
The old king, worn out with age and the fatigues of.
government, he being more than fourscore years old,
determined to take no further part in state affairs, but
to leave the management to younger strengths, that he
might have time to prepare for death, which must at
no long period ensue. With this intent he called his
three daughters to him, to know from their own lips
which of them loved him best, that he might part his
kingdom among them in such proportions as their
affection for him should seem to deserve.
Gonerill, the eldest, declared that she loved her
father more than words could give out, that he was
dearer to her than the light of her own eyes, dearer
than life and liberty, with a deal of such professing
stuff, which is easy to counterfeit where there is no
real love, only a few fine words delivered with confi-
dence being wanted in that case. The king, delighted
to hear from her own mouth this assurance of her love,
and thinking that truly her heart went with it, in a fit
of fatherly fondness bestowed upon her and her hus-
band one-third of his ample kingdom.
Then calling to him his second daughter, he de-


manded what she had to say. Regan, who was made of
the same hallow metal as her sister, was not a whit be-
hind in her professions, but rather declared that what
her sister had spoken came short of the love which she
professed to bear for his highness : insomuch that she
found all othe- joys dead, in comparison with the
pleasure which she took in the love of her dear king
and father.
Lear blessed himself in having such loving children,
as he thought : and could do no less, after the hand-
some assurances which Regan had made, than bestow
a third of his kingdom upon her and her husband.,
equal in size to that which he had already given away
to Gonerill.
Then turning to his youngest daughter Cordelia,
whom he called his joy, he asked what she had to say;
thinking, no doubt, that she would glad his ears with
the same loving speeches which her sisters had ut-
tered, or rather that her expressions would be so much
stronger than theirs, as she had always been his dar-
ling, and favored by him above either of them. But
Cordelia, disgusted with the flattery of her sisters,
whose hearts she knew were far from their lips, and
seeing that all their coaxing speeches were only in.
tended to wheedle the old king out of his dominions,
that they and their husbands might reign in his life-
time, made no other reply but this, that she loved his
majesty according to her duty, neither more nor less.
The king, shocked with this appearance of ingrati-
tude in his favorite child, desired her to consider her
words, and to mend her speech, lest it should mar her
Cordelia then told her father, that he was her father,
that he had given her breeding, and loved her, that


she returned those duties back as was most fit, and did
obey him, love him, and most honor him. But that
she could not frame her mouth to such large speeches
as her sisters had done, or promise to love nothing else
in the world. Why had her sisters husbands, if (as
they said) they had no love for anything but their
father ? If she should ever wed, she was sure the lord
to whom she gave her hand would want half her love,
half of her care and duty ; she should never marry like
her sisters, to love her father all.
Cordelia, who in earnest loved her old father even
almost as extravagantly as her sisters pretended to do,
would have plainly told him so at any other time, in
more daughter-like and loving terms, and without
these qualifications, which did indeed sound a little un-
gracious : but after the crafty flattering speeches of her
sisters, which she had seen could draw such extravagant
rewards, she thought the handsomest thing she could
do was to love and be silent. This put her affection out
of suspicion of mercenary ends, and showed that she
loved, but not for gain ; and that her professions, the
less ostentatious they were, had so much the more of
truth and sincerity than her sisters'.
This plainness of speech, which Lear called pride, so
enraged the old monarch-who in his best of times
always showed much of spleen and rashness, and in
whom the dotage incident to old age had so clouded
over his reason that he could not discern truth from
flattery, nor a gay painted speech from words that
came from the heart-that in a fury of resentment he
retracted the third part of his kingdom which yet re-
mained, and which he had reserved for Cordelia, and
gave it away from her, sharing it equally between her
two sisters and their husbands, the Dukes of Albany


and Cornwall : whom he now called to him, and in
presence of all his courtiers, bestowing a coronet be-
tween them, invested them jointly with all the power,
revenue, and execution of government, only retaining
to himself the name of king ; all the rest of royalty he
resigned : with this reservation, that himself, with a
hundred knights for his attendants, was to be main-
tained by monthly course in each of his daughters' pal-
aces in turn.
So preposterous a disposal of his kingdom, so little
guided by reason, and so much by passion, filled all his
courtiers with astonishment and sorrow ; but none of
them had the courage to interpose between this in-
censed king and his wrath, except the Earl of Kent,
who was beginning to speak a good word for Cordelia,
when the passionate Lear on pain of death com-
manded him to desist : but the good Kent was not so
to be repelled. He had been ever loyal to Lear, whom
he had honored as a king, loved as a father, followed
as a master : and had never esteemed his life further
than as a pawn to wage against his royal master's ene-
mies, nor feared to lose it when Lear's safety was the
motive : nor now that Lear was most his own enemy,
did this faithful servant of the king forget his old prin-
ciples, but manfully opposed Lear, to do Lear good ;
and was unmannerly only because Lear was mad. He
had been a most faithful counselor, in times past, to
the king, and he besought him now, that he would see
with his eyes (as he had done in many weighty mat-
ters), and go by his advice still ; and in his best con-
sideration recall this hideous rashness ; for he would
answer with his life, his jugdment that Lear's youngest
daughter did not love him least, nor were those empty-
hearted whose low sound gave no token of hollowness.


When power bowed to flattery, honor was bound to
plainness. For Lear's threats, what could he do to
him, whose life was already at his service ? That
should not hinder duty from speaking.
The honest freedom of this good Earl of Kent only
stirred up the king's wrath the more, and like a frantic
patient who kills his physician, and loves his mortal
disease, he banished this true servant, and allotted
him but five days to make his preparations for depart-
ure ; but if on the sixth his hated person was found
within the realm of Britain, that moment was to be his
death. And Kent bade r..'..II to the king, and said,
that since he chose to show himself in such fashion, it
was but banishment to stay there ; and before he went,
he recommended Cordelia to the protection of the
gods, the maid who had so rightly thought, and so dis-
creetly spoken ; and only wished that her sisters' large
speeches might be answered with deeds of love : and
then he went, as he said, to shape his old course to a
new country.
The King of France and Duke of Burgundy were
now called in to hear the determination of Lear about
his youngest daughter, and to know whether they
would persist in their courtship to Cordelia, now that
she was under her father's displeasure, and had no for-
tune but her own person, to recommend her ; and the
Duke of Burgundy declined the match, and would not
take her to wife upon such conditions : but the King
of France, understanding what the nature of the fault
had been which had lost her the love of her father,
that it was only a tardiness of speech, and the not be-
ing able to frame her tongue to flattery like her sisters,
took this young maid by the hand, and saying that her
virtues were a dowry above a kingdom, bade CordeTra


to take farewell of her sisters, and of her father,
though he had been unkind, and she should go with
him, and be queen of him and of fair France, and
reign over fairer possessions than her sisters : and he
called the Duke of Burgundy in contempt a waterish
duke, because his love for this young maid had in a
moment run all away like water.
Then Cordelia with weeping eyes took leave of her
sisters, and besought them to love their father well,
and make good their professions ; and they sullenly told
her not to prescribe to them, for they knew their
duty ; but to strive to content her husband, who had
taken her (as they tauntingly expressed it) as For-
tune's alms. And Cordelia with a heavy heart de-
parted, for she knew the cunning of her sisters, and she
wished her father in better hands than she was about
to leave him in.
Cordelia was no sooner gone, than the devilish dis-
positions of her sisters began to show themselves in
their true colors. Even before the expiration of the
first month, which Lear was to spend by agreement
with his eldest daughter Gonerill, the old king began
to find out the difference between promises and per-
formances. This wretch having got from her father
all that he had to bestow, even to the giving away ol
the crown from off his head, began to grudge even
those small remnants of royalty which the old man
had reserved to himself, to please his fancy with the
idea of being still a king. She could not bear to see
him and his hundred knights. Every time she met
her father she put on a frowning countenance ; and
when the old man wanted to speak with her, she would
feign sickness, or anything, to be rid of the sight of
him for it was plain that she esteemed his old age a


useless burden, and his attendants an unnecessary ex-
pense : not only she herself slackened in her expres-
sions of duty to the king, but by her example, and (it
is to be feared) not without her private instructions,
her very servants affected to treat him with neglect,
and would either refuse to obey his orders, or still more
contemptuously pretend not to hear them. Lear
could not but perceive this alteration in the behavior
of his daughter, but he shut his eyes against it as long
as he could, as people commonly are unwilling to be-
lieve the unpleasant consequences which their own mis
takes and obstinacy have brought upon them.
True love and fidelity are no more to be estranged
by ill, than falsehood and hollow-heartedness can be
conciliated by good usage. This eminently appears in
the instance of the good Earl of Kent, who, though
banished by Lear, and his life made forfeit if he were
found in Britain, chose to stay, and abide all conse
quences, as long as there was a chance of his being use
ful to the king his master. See to what mean shifts
and disguises poor loyalty is forced to submit some-
times ; yet it counts nothing base or unworthy, so as
it can but do service where it owes an obligation In
the disguise of a serving-man, all his greatness and
pomp laid aside, this good earl proffered his services
to the king, who, not knowing him to be Kent in that
disguise, but pleased with a certain plainness, or rather
bluntness in his answers, which the earl put on (so
different from that smooth oily flattery which he had
so much reason to be sick of, having found the effects
not answerable in his daughter) a bargain was quickly
struck, and Lear took Kent into his service by the
name of Caius, as he called himself, never suspecting


him to be his once great favorite, the high and mighty
Earl of Kent.
This Caius quickly found means to show his fidelity
and love to his royal master; for Gonerill's steward
that same day behaving in a disrespectful manner to
Lear, and giving him saucy looks and language, as no
doubt he was secretly encouraged to do by his mis-
tress, Caius not enduring to hear so open an affront
put upon majesty, made no more ado but presently
tripped up his heels, and laid the unmannerly slave in
the kennel ; for which friendly service Lear became
more and more attached to him.
Nor was Kent the only friend Lear had. In his de-
gree, and as far as so insignificant a personage could
show his love, the poor fool, or jester, that had been
of his palace while Lear had a palace, as it was the
custom of kings and great personages at that time to
keep a fool (as he was called) to make them sport after
serious business : this poor fool clung to Lear after he
had given away his crown, and by his witty sayings
would keep up his good humor, though he could not
refrain sometimes from jeering at his master, for his
imprudence in uncrowning himself, and giving all
away to his daughters : at which time, as he rhymingly
expressed it, these daughters

For sudden joy did weep,
And he for sorrow sung,
That such a king should play bo-peep,
And go the fools among.

And in such wild sayings, and scraps of songs, ot
which he had plenty, this pleasant honest fool poured
out his heart even in the presence of Gonerill herself,
in many a bitter taunt and jest which cut to the quick:


such as comparing the king to the hedge-sparrow, who
feeds the young of the cuckoo till they grow old
enough, and then has its head bit off for its pains :and
saying, that an ass may know when the cart draws the
horse (meaning that Lear's daughters, that ought to
go behind, now ranked before their father) ; and that
Lear was no longer Lear, but the shadow of Lear : for
which free speeches he was once or twice threatened
to be whipped.
The coolness and falling off of respect which Lear
had begun to perceive, were not all which this foolish
fond father was to suffer from his unworthy daughter :
she now plainly told him that his staying in her palace
was inconvenient so long as he insisted upon keeping
up an establishment of a hundred knights : that this
establishment was useless and expensive, and only
served to fill her court with riot and feastings ; and she
prayed him that he would lessen their number, and
keep none but old men about him, such as himself, and
fitting his age.
Lear at first could not believe his eyes or ears, nor
that it was his daughter who spoke so unkindly. He
could not believe that she who had received a crown
from him could seek to cut off his train, and grudge
him the respect due to his old age. But she persist-
ing in her undutiful demand, the old man's rage was
so excited, that he called her a detested kite, and said
that she had spoke an untruth : and so indeed she
did, for the hundred knights were all men of choice
behavior and sobriety of manners, skilled in all partic-
ulars of duty, and not given to rioting and feasting as
she said. And he bid his horses to be prepared, for he
would go to his other daughter, Regan, he and his
hundred knights : and he spoke of ingratitude, and


said it was a marble-hearted devil, and showed more
hideous in a child than the sea-monster. And he
cursed his eldest daughter Gonerill so as was terrible
to hear : praying that she might never have a child, or
if she had, that it might live to return that scorn and
contempt upon her which she had shown to him : that
she might feel how sharper than a serpent's tooth it
was to have a thankless child. And Gonerill's hus-
band, the Duke of Albany, beginning to excuse himself
for any share which Lear might suppose he had in the
unkindness, Lear would not hear him out, but in a
rage ordered his horses to be saddled, and set out with
his followers for the abode of Regan, his other daugh-
ter. And Lear thought to himself how small the fault
of Cordelia (if it was a fault) now appeared, in com-
parison with her sister's, and he wept ; and then he
was ashamed that such a creature as Gonerill should
have so much power over his manhood as to make him
Regan and her husband were keeping their court in
great pomp and state at their palace : and Lear de-
spatched his servant Caius with letters to his daugh-
ter, that she might be prepared for his reception, while
he and his train followed after. But it seems that
Gonerill had been beforehand with him, sending let-
ters also to Regan, accusing her father of waywardness
and ill humors, and advising her not to receive so great
a train as he was bringing with him. This messenger
arrived at the same time with Caius, and Caius and he
met : and who should it be but Caius's old enemy the
steward, whom he had formerly tripped up by the
heels for his saucy behavior to Lear. Caius not liking
the fellow's look, and suspecting what he came for, be-
gan to revile him, and challenged him to fight, which


the fellow refusing, Caius, in a fit of honest passion
beat him soundly, as such a mischief-maker and car.
rier of wicked messages deserved : which coming to
the ears of Regan and her husband, they ordered Caius
to be put in the stocks, though he was a messenger
from the king her father, and in that character de.
manded the highest respect : so that the first thing the
king saw when he entered the castle was his faithful
servant Caius sitting in that disgraceful situation.
This was but a bad omen of the reception which he
was to expect ; but a worse followed, when, upon in.
quiry for his daughter and her husband, he was told
they were weary with traveling all night, and could
not see him : and when lastly, upon his insisting in a
positive and angry manner to see them, they came to
greet him, whom should he see in their company but
the hated Gonerill, who had come to tell her own
story, and set her sister against the king her father !
This sight much moved the old man, and still more
to see Regan take her by the hand : and he asked
Gonerill if she was not ashamed to look upon his old
white beard. And Regan advised him to go home
again with Gonerill and live with her peaceably, dis-
missing half of his attendants, and to ask her forgive-
ness ; for he was old and wanted discretion, and must
be ruled and led by persons that had more discretion
than himself. And Lear showed how preposterous
that would sound, if he were to down on his knees,
and beg of his own daughter for food and raiment, and
he argued against such an unnatural dependence, de-
claring his resolution never to return with her, but to
stay where he was with Regan, he and his hundred
knights : for he said that she had not forgot the half
of the kingdom which he had endowed her with, and


that her eyes were not fierce like Gonerill's but mild
and kind. And he said that rather than return to
Gonerill with half his train cut off, he would go over to

,~,, i'~ .'
4] '~
<7: t/



France, and get a wretched pension of the king there,
who had married his youngest daughter without a por-
But he was mistaken in expecting kinder treatment
of Regan than he had experienced from her sister Gon-
erill. As if willing to outdo her sister in unfilial be-
havior, she declared that she thought fifty knights too
many to wait upon him : that five-and-twenty were
enough. Then Lear, nigh heartbroken, turned to
Gonerill, and said that he would go back with her, for


her fifty doubled five-and-twenty, and so her love was
twice as much as Regan's. But Gonerill excused her-
self, and said, what need of so many as five-and-
twenty? or even ten? or five? when he might be
waited upon. by her servants, or her sister's servants?
So these two wicked daughters, as if they strove to ex-
ceed each other in cruelty to their old father who had
been so good to them, by little and little would have
abated him of all his train, all respect (little enough
for him that once commanded a kingdom), which was
left him to show that he had once been a king Not
that a soienaid train is essential to happiness, but from
a king to a beggar is a hard change, from commanding
millions to be without one attendant ; and it was the
ingratitude in his daughters denying it, more than
what he would suffer by the want of it, which pierced
this poor old king to the heart : insomuch, that with
this double ill usage, and vexation for having so fool-
ishly given away a kingdom, his wits began to be un-
settled, and while he said he knew not what, he vowed
revenge against those unnatural hags, and to make ex-
amples of them that should be a terror to the earth.
While he was thus idly threatening what his weak
arm could never execute, night came on, and a loud
storm of thunder and lightning with rain ; and his
daughters still persisting in their resolution not to ad-
mit his followers, he called for his horses, and chose
rather to encounter the utmost fury of the storm
abroad, than stay under the same roof with these un-
grateful daughters : and they, saying that the injuries
which wilful men procure to themselves are their just
.punishment, suffered him to go in that condition, and
shut their doors upon him.
The winds were high, and the rain and storm in-


creased, when the old man sallied forth to combat with
the elements, less sharp than his daughters' unkind-
ness. For many miles about there was scarce a bush


I (

and there upon a heath, exposed to the fury of the
storm in a dark night, did King Lear wander out, and
defy the winds and the thunder : and he bid the
winds to blow the earth into the sea, or swell the
waves of the sea, till they drowned the earth, that no
token might remain of any such ungrateful animal as
man. The old king was now left with no other com-
panion than the poor fool, who still abided with him,
with his merry conceits striving to outjest misfortune,
saying, it was but a naughty night to swim in, and


truly the king had better go in and ask his daughter's
blessing :
But he that has a little tiny wit,
With high ho, the wind and the rain !
Must make content with his fortunes fit
Though the rain it raineth every day :

and swearing it was a brave night to cool a lady's
Thus poorly accompanied, this once great monarch
was found by his ever-faithful servant the good Earl
of Kent, now transformed to Caius, who ever followed
close at his side, though the king did not know him to
be the earl; and he said, Alas sir, are you here?
creatures that love night, love not such nights as
these. This dreadful storm has driven the beasts to
their hiding-places. Man's nature cannot endure the
affliction or the fear." And Lear rebuked him and
said, these lesser evils were not felt, where a greater
malady was fixed. When the mind is at ease, the
body has leisure to be delicate ; but the tempest in his
mind did take all feeling else from his senses, but of
that which beat at his heart. And he spoke of filial
ingratitude, and said it was all one as if the mouth
should tear the hand for lifting food to it ; for parents
were hands and food and everything to children.
But the good Caius still persisting in his entreaties
that the king would not stay out in the open air, at last
persuaded him to enter a little wretched hovel which
stood upon the heath, where the fool first entering,
suddenly ran back terrified, saying that he had seen a
spirit. But upon examination this spirit proved to be
nothing more than a poor Bedlam beggar, who had
crept into this deserted hovel for shelter, and with his
talk about devils frighted the fool, one of those poor


lunatics who are either mad, or fcign to be so, the bet-
ter to extort charity from the compassionate country
people, who go about the country, calling themselves
poor Tom and poor Turlygood, saying, Who gives
anything to poor Tom ?" sticking pins and nails and
sprigs of rosemary into their arms to make them bleed ;
and with such horrible actions, partly by prayers, and
partly with lunatic curses, they move or terrify the ig-
norant country-folks into giving them alms. This
poor fellow was such a one ; and the king seeing him
in so wretcnea a light, with nothing but a blanket
about his loins to cover his nakedness, could not be
persuaded but that the fellow was some father who had
given all away to his daughters, and brought himself
to that pass; for nothing he thought could biing a
man to such wretchedness but the having unkind
And from this and many such wild speeches which
he uttered, the good Caius plainly perceived that he
was not in his perfect mind, but that his daughters'
ill-usage had really made him go mad. And now the
loyalty of this worthy Earl of Kent showed itself in
more essential services than he had hitherto found op-
portunity to perform. For with the assistance of some
of the king's attendants who remained loyal, he had
the person of his royal master removed at daybreak to
the castle of Dover, where his own friends and in.
fluence, as Earl of Kent, chiefly lay : and himself em-
barking for France, hastened to the court of Cordelia,
and did there in such moving terms represent the piti-
ful condition of her royal father, and set out in such
lively colors the inhumanity of her sisters, that this
good and loving child with many tears besought the
king her husband, that he would give her leave to em-


bark for England with a sufficient power to subdue
these daughters and their husbands, and restore the
king her father to his throne; which being granted,
she set forth, and with a royal army landed at Dover.
Lear, having by some chance escaped from the guar-
dians which the good Earl of Kent had put over him
to take care of him in his lunacy, was found by some
of Cordelia's train, wandering about the fields near
Dover, in a pitiable condition, stark mad and singing
aloud to himself, with a crown upon his head which he
had made of straw, and nettles, and other wild weeds
that he had picked up in the corn-fields. By the ad-
vice of the physicians, Cordelia, though earnestly de-
sirous of seeing her father, was prevailed upon to put
off the meeting, till by sleep and the operation of
herbs which they gave him, he should be restored to
greater composure. By the aid of these skilful phy-
sicians, to whom Cordelia promised all her gold and
jewels for the recovery of the old king, Lear was soon
in a condition to see his daughter.
A tender sight it was to see the meeting between this
father and daughter : to see the struggles between the
joy of this poor old king at beholding again his once
darling child, and the shame at receiving such filial
kindness from her whom he had cast off for so small a
fault in his displeasure ; both these passions struggling
with the remains of his malady, which in his half-
crazed brain sometimes made him that he scarce re-
membered where he was, or who it was that so kindly
kissed him and spoke to him : and then he would beg
the standers-by not to laugh at him, if he were mis-
taken in thinking this lady to be his daughter Corde.
lia And then to see him fall on his knees to beg par.
don of his child ; and she, good lady, kneeling all the


while to ask a blessing of him, and telling him that it
did not Decome him to kneel, but it was her duty, for
she was his child, his true and very child, Cordelia !
And she kissed him (as she said) to kiss away all her
sisters' unkindness, and said that they might be
ashamed of themselves, to turn their old kind father
with his white beard out into the cold air, when her
enemy's dog, though it had bit her (as she prettily ex-
pressed it), should have stayed by her fire such a night
as that, and warmed himself. And she told her father
how she nad come from France with purpose to bring
him assistance ; and he said, that she must forget and
forgive, for he was old and foolish, and did not know
what he did ; but that to be sure she had great cause
not to love him, but her sisters had none. And Cor-
delia said, that she had no cause, no more than they
So we will leave this old king in the protection of
this dutiful and loving child, where, by the help of
sleep and medicine, she and her physicians at length
succeeded in winding up the untuned and jarring
senses which the cruelty of his other daughters had so
violently shaken. Let us return to say a word or two
about those cruel daughters.
These monsters of ingratitude, who had been so
false to their own father, could not be expected to
prove more faithful to their own husbands. They
soon grew tired of paying even the appearance of duty
and affection, and in an open way showed they had
fixed their loves upon another. It happened that the
object of their guilty loves was the same. It was Ed-
mund, a natural son of the late Earl of Gloucester,
who by his treacheries had succeeded in disinheriting
his brother Edgar, tihe.lawful_heir, from his earldom.


and by his wicked practices was now earl himself : a
wicked man, and a fit object for the love of such wicked
creatures as Gonerill and Regan. It falling out about
this time that the Duke of Cornwall, Regan's husband,
died, Regan immediately declared her intention of
wedding this Earl of Gloucester, which rousing the jeal-
ousy of her sister, to whom as well as to Regan this
wicked earl had at sundry times professed love, Gon-
erill found means to make away with her sister by poi.
son : but being detected in her practices, and im-
prisoned by her husband the Duke of Albany for this
deed, and for her guilty passion for the earl which had
come to his ears, she in a fit of disappointed love and
rage, shortly put an end to her own life. Thus the jus-
tice of Heaven at last overtook these wicked daughters.
While the eyes of all men were upon this event, ad-
miring the justice displayed in their deserved deaths,
the same eyes were suddenly taken off from this sight
to admire at the mysterious ways of the same power in
the melancholy fate of the young and virtuous daugh-
ter, the Lady Cordelia, whose good deeds did seem to
deserve a more fortunate conclusion : but it is an aw-
ful truth, that innocence and piety are not always suc-
cessful in this world. The forces which Gonerill and
Regan had sent out under the command of the bad
Earl of Gloucester were victorious, and Cordelia, by
the practices of this wicked earl, who did not like that
any should stand between him and the throne, ended
her life in prison. Thus Heaven took this innocent
lady to itself in her young years, after showing her to
the world an illustrious example of filial duty. Lear
did not long survive this kind child.
Before he died, the good Earl of Kent, who had still
attended his old master's steps from the first of his


daughters' ill usage to this sad period of his decay,
tried to make him understand that it was he who had
followed him under the name of Caius; but Lear's
care-crazed brain at that time could not comprehend
how that could be, or how Kent and Caius could be
the same person : so Kent thought it needless to trou-
ble him with explanations at such a time ; and Lear
soon after expiring, this faithful servant to the king,
between age and grief for his old master's vexations,
How the judgment of heaven overtook the bad Earl
of Gloucester, whose reasons were discovered, and
himself slain in single combat with his brother the law-
ful earl; and how Gonerill's husband, the Duke of
Albany, who was innocent of the death of Cordelia,
and had never encouraged his lady in her wicked pro-
ceedings against her father, ascended the throne of
Britain after the death of Lear, is needless here to
narrate; Lear and his Three Daughters being dead,
whose adventures alone concern our story.


BRABANTIO, the rich senator of Venice, had a
fair daughter, the gentle Desdemona. She was
sought to by divers suitors, both on account of her
many virtuous qualities and for her rich expectations.
But among the suitors of her own clime and complex-
ion she saw none whom she could affect: for this
noble lady, who regarded the mind more than the fea.
tures of men, with a singularity rather to be admired
than imitated, had chosen for the object of her affec-
tions a Moor, a black whom her father loved, and often
invited to his house.
Neither is Desdemona to be altogether condemned
for the unsuitablenesss of the person whom she selected
for her lover. Bating that Othello was black the noble
Moor wanted nothing which might recommend him to
the affections of the greatest lady. He was a soldier,
and a brave one ; and by his conduct in bloody wars
against the Turks had risen to the rank of general in
the Venetian service, and was esteemed and trusted by
the State.
He had been a traveler, and Desdemona (as is the
manner of ladies) loved to hear him tell the story of
his adventures, which he would run through from his
earliest recollection; the battles, sieges, and encoun.
ters which he had passed through ; the perils he had
been exposed to by land and by water ; his hair-
breadth escapes when he had entered a breach, or
marched up to the mouth of a cannon and how he


had been taken prisoner by the insolent enemy, and
sold to slavery: how he demeaned himself in that
state, and how he escaped : all these accounts, added
to the narration of the strange things he had seen in
foreign countries, the vast wildernesses and romantic
caverns, the quarries, the rocks and mountains, whose
heads are in the clouds ; of the savage nations ; the
cannibals who are man-eaters, and a race of people in
Africa whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders :
these travelers' stories would so enchain the attention
of Desdemona, that if she were called off at any time
by household affairs, she would despatch with all haste
that business, and return, and with a greedy ear devour
Othello's discourse. And once he took advantage of
a pliant hour and drew from her a prayer, that he
would tell her the whole story of his life at large, of
which she had heard so much, but only by parts : to
which he consented, and beguiled her of many a tear,
when he spoke of some distressful stroke which his
youth suffered.
His story being done, she gave him for his pains a
world of -sighs ; she swore a pretty oath, that it was all
passing strange, and pitiful, wondrous pitiful : she
wished (she said) she had not heard it, yet she wished
that Heaven had made her such a man : and she
thanked him, and told him, if he had a friend who
loved her, he had only to teach him how to tell his
story, and that would woo her. Upon this hint, de-
livered not with more frankness than modesty, accom-
panied with a certain bewitching prettiness and blushes
which Othello could not but understand, he spoke
more openly of his love, and in this golden opportu-
nity gained the consent of the generous Lady Desde-
mena privately to marry him.


Neither Othello's color nor his fortune was such that
it could be hoped Brabantio would accept him for a
son-in-law. He had left his daughter free ; but he did
expect that, as the manner of noble Venetian ladies
was, she would choose ere long a husband of senato-
rial rank or expectations : but in this he was deceived ;
Desdemona loved the Moor, though he was black, and
devoted her heart and fortunes to his valiant parts and
qualities : so was her heart subdued to an implicit de-
votion to the man she had selected for a husband, that
his very color, which to all but this discerning lady
would have proved an insurmountable objection, was
by her esteemed above all the white skins and clear
complexions of the young Venetian nobility, her
Their marriage, which, though privately carried,
could not long be kept a secret, came to the ears ol
the old man, Brabantio, who appeared in a solemn
council of the Senate as an accuser of the Moor
Othello, who by spells and witchcraft (he maintained)
had seduced the affections of the fair Desdemona to
marry him, without the consent of her father, and
against the obligations of hospitality.
At this juncture of time it happened that the State
of Venice had immediate need of the services of Othel-
lo, news having arrived that the Turks with mighty
preparation had fitted out a fleet, which was bending
its course to the island of Cyprus, with intent to regain
that strong post from the Venetians, who then held
it : in this emergency the State turned its eyes upon
Othello, who alone was deemed adequate to conduct
the defence of Cyprus against the Turks. So that
Othello, now summoned before the Senate, stood in
their presence at once as a candidate for a great state


employment, and as a culprit charged with offenses
which by the laws of Venice were made capital.
The age and senatorial character of old Brabantio
commanded a most patient hearing from that grave as-
sembly ; but the incensed father conducted his accusa-
tion with so much intemperance, producing likelihood
and allegations for proofs that, when Othello was called
upon for his defence he had only to relate a plain tale
of the course of his love ; which he did with such an
artless eloquence, recounting the whole story of his
wooing, as we have related it above, and delivered his
speech with so noble a plainness (the evidence of
truth), that the duke, who sat as chief judge, could
not help confessing, that a tale so told would have won
his daughter too : and the spells and conjurations which
Othello had used in his courtship plainly appeared to
have been more than the honest arts of men in love;
and the only witchcraft which he had used, the faculty
of telling a soft tale to win a lady's ear.
This statement of Othello was confirmed by the tes-
timony of the Lady Desdemona herself, who appeared
in court, and professing a duty to her father for life
and education, challenged leave of him to profess a yet
higher duty to her lord and husband, even so much as
her mother had shown in preferring him (Brabantio)
above her father.
The old senator, unable to maintain his plea, called
the Moor to him with many expressions of sorrow,
and, as an act of necessity, bestowed upon him his
daughter, whom, if he had been free to withhold her
(he told him) he would with all his heart have kept
from him ; adding, that he was glad at soul that he
had no other .child, for this behavior of Desdemona


would have taught him to be a tyrant, and hang clogs
on them for her desertion.
This difficulty being got over, Othello, to whom cus-
tom had rendered the hardships of a military life as
natural as food and rest are to other men, readily un-
dertook the management of the wars in Cyprus : and
Desdemona, preferring the honor of her lord (though
with danger) before the indulgence of those idle de-
lights in which new-married people usually waste their
time, cheerfully consented to his going.
No sooner were Othello and his lady landed in Cy-
prus, than news arrived that a desperate tempest had
dispersed the Turkish fleet, and thus the island was
secure from any immediate apprehension of an attack.
But the war which Othello was to suffer was now be-
ginning; and the enemies which malice stirred up
against this innocent lady proved in their nature more
deadly than strangers or infidels.
Among all the general's friends, no one possessed the
confidence of Othello more entirely than Cassio.
Michael Cassio was a young soldier, a Florentine, gay,
amorous, and of pleasing address, favorite qualities
with women; he was handsome, and eloquent, and
exactly such a person as might alarm the jealousy of a
man advanced in years (as Othello in some measure
was), who had married a young and beautiful wife;
but Othello was as free from jealousy as he was noble,
and as incapable of suspecting, as of doing, a base
action. He had employed this Cassio in his love affair
with Desdemona, and Cassio had been a sort of go-
between in his suit : for Othello, fearing that himself
had not those soft parts of conversation which please
ladies, and finding these qualities in his friend, would
often depute Cassio to go (as he phrased it) a courting

07.'.:, .: .'.

for him : such innocent -iii:!i;i:,- being an honor
rather than a blemish to the character of the valiant
Moor. So that no wonder if next to Othello himself
(but at far distance, as beseems a virtuous wife) the
gentle Desdemona loved and trusted Cassio. Nor had
the : i I.-..: of this ci:!i- made any difference in their
behavior to I[i.i.. Cassio. He frequented their
house, and his free and rattling talk was no -'i-.l.:.i-ig
variety to Othello, who was himself of a more serious
temper : for such tempers are observed often to de-
light in their contraries, as a relief from the oppressive
excess of their own: and Desdemona and Cassio would
talk and :1;...h t-.. their as in the ..I 's when he went
a t..., t :,..: for his friend.
Othello had hdi':.;-promoted Cassio to be the lieu-
tenant, a place of trust, and nearest to the general's
person. This promotion ,;i.- great offence to lago,
an older ,..-,r. who thought he had a better claim
than Cassio, and would often ridicule Cassio, as a fel-
low fit ,.H1-- for the .-'in"in..- of ladies, and one that
knew no more of the art of war, or how to set an army
in array for battle, than a -;A1. lago hated Cassio,
and he hated Otl -,i.-, as well for f i .,, i Cassio as for
an unjust suspicion which he had ', .,ily taken up
against Othello, that the [ i.r was too fond of lago's
wife Emilia. From these iiiia;' r: ir .' t,. ..'.t..:, the
l,..tt ;i mind of LT.i,. conceived a horrid scheme of re-
venge, which should involve both Cassio, the Moor,
and Desdemona in one common ruin.
Ti _.Y was artful, and had studied human nature
deeply, and he knew that of all the torments which
afflict the mind of man (and far beyond bodily torture),
the pains of jealousy were the most intolerable, and
had the sorest st in-. If he could succeed in making


Othello jealous of Cassio, he thought it would be an
exquisite plot of revenge, and might end in the death
of Cassio or Othello, or both ; he cared not.
The arrival of the general and his lady in Cyprus,
meeting with the news of the disperiscn of the enemy's
fleet, made a sort of holiday in the island. Every body
gave themselves up to feasting and making merry.
Wine flowed in abundance, and cups went round to the
health of the black Othello, and his lady the fair Des-
Cassio had the direction of the guard that night,
with a charge from Othello to keep the soldiers from
excess in drinking, that no brawl might arise, to fright
the inhabitants, or disgust them with the new-landed
forces. That night lago began his-deep-laid plans of
mischief ; under color of loyalty and love to the gen-
eral, he enticed Cassio to make rather too free with the
bottle (a great fault in an officer upon guard). Cassio
for a time resisted, but he could not long hold out
against the honest freedom which lago knew how to
put on, but kept swallowing glass after glass (as lago
still plied him with drink and encouraging songs), and
Cassio's tongue ran over in praise of the lady Desde-
mona, who he again and again toasted, affirming that
she was a most exquisite lady : until at last the enemy
which he put into his mouth stole away brains ; and
upon some provocation given him by a fellow whom
Iago had -set on, swords were drawn, and Montano, a
worthy officer who interfered to appease the dispute,
was wounded in the scuffle. The riot now began to
be general, and lago, who had set on foot the mis-
chief, was foremost in spreading the alarm, causing the
castle-bell to be rung (as if some dangerous mutiny,
instead, 4f a slight drunken quarrel, had arisen) : the


alarm-bell rinv.in.., awakened Othello, who, dressing in
a hurry, and conmini-4 to the scene of action, questioned
Cassio of the cause. Cassio was now come to himself,
the ;tte-ct of the wine having a iMtt gone off, but was
too much ashamed to reply; and lago, ,r,'tlin:-; a
great reluctance to accuse Cassio, but as it were forced
into it by Othi.-ilI.., who insisted to know the truth, gave
an account of the whole matter (leaving out his own
share in it, which Cassio was too far n:..,- to remem-
ber) in such a manner, as '..'l-.: he seemed to make
Cassio's 'oti'ince less, did indeed make it appear .rcti r
than it was. The result was, that Othello, who was a
strict observer of diaclplin., was compelled to take
'., a:. Cassio's place of lieutenant from him.
Thus did lago's first artifice succeed c.,ricpl.2tel' : he
had now undermined his hated rival and thrust him
out of his place : but a further use was hereafter to be
made of the adventure of this disastrous night.
Cassio, whom this misfortune had entirely sobered,
now lamented to his :..iin_; friend lago, that he
should have been such a fool as to transform himself
into a beast. He was undone, for how could he ask
the general for his place i, -, he would tell him he
was a drunkard. He despised himself. I 4,.,, affect-
ing to make light of it, said that he, or any man liv-
ing, iigilit be drunk uinii occasion ; it remained now
to make the best of a bad b.ar.in ; the 5.ne.r.il's wife
was now the general, and could do anything. with
Othello ; that he were best to apply to the Lady Des-
demona to mediate for him with her lord ; that she
was of a frank, obl5ii.n dizp. itni.:, and would readily
undertake a good o!F',o-: of this sort, and set Cassio
right a7.in in the g:r,.l.d's favor ; and then this crack
in their love would be made stronger than ever. A


good advice of lago, if it had not been given for wicked
purposes, which will after appear.
Cassio did as lago advised him, and made applica-
tion to the Lady Desdemona, who was easy to be won
over in any honest suit ; and she promised Cassio that
she would be his solicitor with her lord, and rather die
than give up his cause. This she immediately set
about in so earnest and pretty a manner, that Othello,
who was mortally offended with Cassio, could not put
her off. When he pleaded delay, and that it was too
soon to pardon such an offender, she would not be
beat back, but insisted that it should be the next
night, or the morning after, or the next morning to
that at farthest. Then she showed how penitent and
humbled poor Cassio was, and that his offence did not
deserve so sharp a check. And when Othello still
hung back, What my lord," said she, "that I
should have so much to do to plead for Cassio, Michael
Cassio,. that came a courting for you, and oftentimes,
when I have spoken in dispraise of you, has taken
your part ? I count this but a little thing to ask of
you. When I mean to try your love indeed, I shall
ask a weighty matter." Othello could deny nothing
to such a pleader, and only requesting that Desdemona
would leave the time to him, promised to receive
Michael Cassio again into favor.
It happened that Othello and lago had entered into
the room where Desdemona was, just as Cassio, who
had been imploring her intercession, was departing at
the opposite door ; and lago, who was full of art, said
in a low voice, as if to himself, I like not that."
Othello took no great notice of what he said ; indeed
the conference which immediately took place with his
lady put it out of his head: but he renr nmbered it


afterwards. For when Desdemona was gone, lago, as
if for mere satisfaction of his thought, questioned
Othello whether Michael Cassio, when Othello was
courting his lady, knew of his love. To this the general
answering in the affirmative, and adding, that he had
gone between them very often during the courtship,
lago knitted his brow, as if he had got fresh light of
some terrible matter, and cried, Indeed !" This
brought into Othello's mind the words which lago had
let fall upon entering the room and seeing Cassio with
Desdemona; and he began to think there was some
meaning in all this : for he deemed lago to be a just
man, and full of love and honesty, and what in a false
knave would be tricks, in him seemed to be the natu-
ral workings of an honest mind, big with something
too great for utterance : and Othello prayed lago to
speak what he 'knew, and to give his worst thoughts
words. "And what," said lago, "if some thoughts
very vile should have intruded into my breast, as where
is the palace into which foul things do not enter?"
Then lago went on to say, what a pity it were if any
trouble should arise to Othello out of his imperfect ob-
servations ; that it would not be for Othello's peace to
know his thoughts; that people's good names were
not to be taken away for slight suspicions ; and wheri
Othello's curiosity was raised almost to distraction
with these hints and scattered words, lago, as if in ear-
nest care for Othello's peace of mind, besought him to
beware of jealousy : with such art did this villain raise
suspicions in the unguarded Othello, by the very cau-
tion which he pretended to give him against suspicion.
" I lnow," said Othello, that my wife is fair, loves
company and feasting, is free of speech, sings, plays,
and dances well: but where virtue is these qualities


are virtuous. I must have proof before I think her
dishonest." Then lago, as if glad that Othello was
slow to believe ill of his lady, frankly declared that he
had no proof, but begged Othello to observe her be-
havior well, when Cassio was by; not to be jealous
nor too secure neither, for that he (lago) knew the dis-
positions of the Italian ladies, his countrywomen, bet-
ter than Othello could do; and that in Venice the
wives let heaven see many pranks they dared not show
their husbands. Then he artfully insinuated, that
Desdemona deceived her father in marrying with
Othello, and carried it so closely, that the poor old man
thought that witchcraft had been used. Othello was
much moved with this argument, which brought the
matter home to him, for if she had deceived her
father, why might she not deceive her husband ?
lago begged pardon for having moved him; but
Othello, assuming an indifference, while he was really
shaken with inward grief at lago's words, begged him
to go on, which lago did with many apologies, as if
unwilling to produce anything against Cassio, whom
he called his friend : he then came strongly to the
point, and reminded Othello how Desdemona had re-
fused many suitable matches of her own clime and
complexion, and had married him, a Moor, which
showed unnatural in her, and proved her to have a
headstrong will : and when her better judgment re-
turned, how probable it was she should fall upon com-
paring Othello with the fine forms and clear white
complexions of the young Italians her countrymen.
He concluded with advising Othello to put off his re-
concilement with Cassio a little longer, and in the
meanwhile to note with what earnestness Desdemona
should intercede in his behalf; for that much would


be seen in that. So mischievously did this artful vil-
lain lay his plots to turn the gentle qualities of this in
nocent lady into her destruction, and make a net for
her out of her own .'-,-ln.::-, to entrap her : first set-
ting Cassio on to entreat her mediation, and then out
of that very mediation contriving stratagems for her
The conference ended with lago's bc'i.,inii Othello
to account his wife innocent until he had more decisive
proof ; and Othello promised to be patient; but from
that moment the deceived Othello never tasted con-
tent of mind. Poppy, nor the juice of mandragora,
nor all the .1..-pin; potions in the world, could ever
jgaii restore to him that sweet rest which he had
i1nio ye-d but yesterday. His occupation sickened
upon him. He no longer took delight in arms.
His heart, that used to be roused at the sight of
troops, and banners, and battle-array, and would
stir and leap at the sound of a drum, or a trumpet,
or a i.ighii, war-horse, -seemed to have lost all
that pride and ambition which are a soldier's virtue ;
and his military ardor and all his old joys forsook
him. Sometimes he thought his wife honest, and at
times he thought her not so ; sometimes he thought
lago just, and at times he tl.u.lt him not so ; then
he would wish that he had never known of it; he was
not the worse for her li, Cassio, so long as he knew
it not: torn in pieces with these .lL.stracting ti.rughti,
he once laid hold on TL-,:',r-'s throat, and demanded
proof of Desdemona's u ilt, or threatened instant death
for his having belied her. lago, fcLi:n,i indilinati.,n
that his h:n.-;ty should be taken for a vice, asked
Othello, if he had not sometimes seen a handkerchief
spotted with strawberries in his wife's hand. OthiIl-I.


answered, that he had given her such a one, and that it
was his first gift. That same handkerchief," said
lago, did I see Michael Cassio this day wipe his face
with." If it be as you say," said Othello, I will
not rest till a wide revenge swallow them up : and first,
for a token of your fidelity, I expect that Cassio shall
be put to death within three days ; and for that fair
devil [meaning his lady], I will withdraw and devise
some swift means of death for her."
Trifles light as air are to the jealous proofs as strong
as holy writ. A handkerchief of his wife's seen in
Cassio's hand was motive enough to the deluded
Othello to pass sentence of death upon them both, with.
out once inquiring how Cassio came by it. Desde,
mona had never given such a present to Cassio, nor'
would this constant lady have wronged her lord with
doing so naughty a thing as giving his presents to an-
other man; both Cassio and Desdemona were innocent
of any offense against Othello ; but the wicked lago,
whose spirits never slept in contrivance of villainy, had
made his wife (a good, but a meek woman) steal this
handkerchief from Desdemona, under pretense of get-
ting the work copied, but in reality, to drop it in Cas-
sio's way, where he might find it, and give a handle to
lago's suggestion that it was Desdemona's present.
Othello, soon after meeting his wife, pretended that
he had a headache (as he might indeed with truth), and
desired her to lend him her handkerchief to hold his
temples. She did so. Not this," said Othello,
" but that handkerchief I gave you." Desdemona
had it not about her (for indeed it was stolen as we
have related). How !" said Othello, "this is a
fault indeed. That handkerchief an Egyptian woman
gave to my mother; the woman was a witch, and could


read people's thoughts: she told my mother, while she
kept it, it would make her amiable, and my father
would love her; but, if she lost it, or gave it away, my
father's fancy would turn, and he would loathe her as
much as he had loved her. She dying gave it me, and
bade me, if I ever married, to give it to my wife. I
did so ; take heed of it. Make it a darling as precious
as your eye." Is it possible ?" said the frighted
lady. 'Tis true ;" continued Othello ; it is a mag-
ical handkerchief ; a sibyl that had lived in the world
two hundred years, in a fit of prophetic fury worked
it; the silkworms that furnished the silk were hal-
lowed, and it was dyed in mummy of maidens' hearts
conserved." Desdemona, hearing the wondrous vir-
tues of the handkerchief, was ready to die with fear,
for she plainly perceived she had lost it, and with it, she
feared, the affections of her husband. Then Othello
started, and looked as if he v ere going to do some rash
thing, and still he demanded the handkerchief, which
when she could not produce, she tried to divert her
husband from too serious thoughts, and cheerfully told
him, she saw all his talk about the handkerchief was
only to put her off from her suit about Michael Cassio,
whom she went on to praise (as lago had foretold), till
Othello in perfect distraction burst out of the room,
and then Desdemona, though unwillingly, began to
suspect her lord was jealous.
What cause she could have ministered to him she
knew not, and then she accused herself for accusing
the noble Othello, and thought to be sure that some
untoward news from Venice, or some state troubles,
had puddled his spirits, and made his temper not so
sweet as formerly. And she said, Men are not gods,
and we must not look for that observance from them


when they are married which they show us on the
bridal day." And she beshrewed herself for so un-
kindly judging of his unkindness.
Again Othello and Desdemona met, and he accused
her more plainly of being unfaithful, and of loving an-
other man, but he did not name whom : and Othello
wept, and Desdemona said, Alas the heavy day !
why do you weep ?" And Othello told her he could
have borne all sorts of evils with fortitude-poverty, and
disease, and disgrace; but her infidelity had broken
his heart : and he called her a weed, that looked so
fair, and smelled so sweet, that the sense ached at it ;
and wished she had never been born. And when he
had left her, this innocent lady was so stupefied with
wonder at her lord's untrue suspicion of her, that a
weight-like sleep came over her, and she only desired
her attendant to make her bed, and to lay her wed-
ding-sheets upon it, saying that when people teach
their babes, they do it by gentle means and easy tasks,
and Othello might have chid her so ; for in good faith
she was but a child when she was chidden. And this
was all the complaint which this gentle lady made.
Desdemona being retired to bed, expecting her lord
would follow her, soon fell into a slumber, the effect of
her troubled spirits, when Othello entered the cham-
ber, full of the black purpose which he had meditated
of putting his lady to death. But when he saw her
asleep, he thought he would not shed her blood, nor
scar that white skin of hers, more white than alabaster.
But he was resolved she should die, else (as he said)
she would live to betray more men, as she had done
him. Then he kissed her for the last time (as he said),
and that kiss was so sweet, he must needs kiss her
again; and he wept, but he said they were cruel tears.


Desdemona was awakened with his kisses, and she
looked upon Othello, and she saw him gnaw his under
lip, and roll his eyes, and she knew he was always
fatal when he looked so : and he bade her prepare fo,
death, and to say her prayers, for he would not kill her
soul. And this innocent wife, as she lay at his mercy,
begged for compassion, and to know her fault; and
then he named Cassio, and the handkerchief which (he
said) she had given him ; and as the guiltless lady was
proceeding to clear herself, he suddenly would hear no
more, but covering her up in the bedclothes, stifled
her till she died.
In this instant of time was brought into the house
Cassio, wounded and bleeding, whom lago had set one
of his creatures on to assassinate ; but the fellow not
succeeding in his attempt to kill Cassio (whom he
wounded, but not mortally), and being himself killed
by Iago to prevent discovery, in his pockets were found
certain letters, which made the guilt of lago, and the
innocence of Cassio, clear beyond all doubt ; and Cas-
sio now came to beg pardon of Othello, and to ask
wherein he had offended him, that he had employed
Iago to murder him.
This discovery was as a thunderstroke to Othello,
who now plainly saw that he was no better than a
murderer, and that his wife (poor innocent lady) had
been ever faithful to him; the extreme anguish of
which discovery making life insupportable, he fell
upon his sword, and throwing himself upon the body
of his dear injured lady, expired.
These rash acts raised much passion of horror and
amazement in the bystanders, for Othello had borne a
fair reputation, and till he was wrought upon by the
arts of a villain, which his own noble nature never


gave him leave to suspect, he was a loving and a dot-
ing husband. He had loved, not wisely, but too well;
and his manly eyes (when he learned his mistake),
though not used to weep on every small occasion,
dropped tears as fast as the Arabian trees their gum.
And when he was dead all his former merits and his
valiant acts were remembered. Nothing now remained
for his successor but to put the utmost censure of the
taw in force against lago, who was executed with
strict tortures; and to send word to the State of
Venice of the lamentable death of their renowned


TIMON, a lord of Athens, in the enjoyment of a
princely fortune, affected a humor of liberality
which knew no limits. His almost infinite wealth
could not flow in so fast, but he poured it out faster
upon all sorts and degrees of people. Not the poor
only tasted of his bounty, but great lords did not dis-
dain to rank themselves among his dependents and fol-
lowers. His table was resorted to by all the luxurious
feasters, and his house was open to all comers and
goers, at Athens. His large wealth combined with his
free and prodigal nature to subdue all hearts to his
love ; men of all minds and dispositions tendered their
services to Lord Timon, from the glass-faced flatterer,
whose face reflects as in a mirror the present humor of
his patron, to the rough and unbending cynic, who,
affecting a contempt of men's persons, and an indiffer-
ence to worldly things, yet could not stand out against
the gracious manners and munificent soul of Lord
Timon, but would come (against his nature) to partake
of his royal entertainments, and return most rich in his
own estimation if he had received a nod or a salutation
from Timon.
If a poet had composed a work which wanted a rec,
ommendatory introduction to the world, he had no
more to do but to dedicate it to Lord Timon, and the
poem was sure of a sale, besides a present purse from
the patron, and daily access to his house and table. If
a painter had a picture to dispose of, he only had to


take it to Lord Timon, and pretend to consult his taste
as to the merits of it ; nothing more was wanting to
persuade the liberal-hearted lord to buy it. If a jewel-
er had a stone of price, or a mercer rich costly stuffs,
which for their costliness lay upon his hands, Lord
Timon's house was a ready mart always open, where
they might get off their wares or their jewelry at any
price, and the good-natured lord would thank them
into .the bargain, as if they had done him a piece of
courtesy in letting him have the refusal of such pre-
cious commodities. So that by this means his house
was thronged with superfluous purchases, of no use but
to swell uneasy and ostentatious pomp ; and his per-
son was still more inconveniently beset with a crowd of
these idle visitors, lying poets, painters, sharking
tradesmen, lords, ladies, needy courtiers, and expec-
tants, who continually filled his lobbies, raining their
fulsome flatteries in whispers in his ears, sacrificing to
him with adulation as to a god, making sacred the
very stirrup by which he mounted his horse, and seem-
ing as though they drank the free air but through his
permission and bounty.
Some of these daily dependents were young men of
birth, who (their means not answering to their extrav-
agance) had been put in prison by creditors, and re-
deemed thence by Lord Timon ; these young prodi-
gals thenceforward fastened upon his lordship, as if by
common sympathy he were necessarily endeared to all
such spendthrifts and loose livers, who, not being able
to follow him in his wealth, found it easier to copy
him in prodigality and copious spending of what was
not their own. One of these flesh-flies was Ven-
tidius, for whose debts unjustly contracted Timon but
lately had paid down the sum of five talents.


But among this confluence, this great flood of visit-
ors, none were more conspicuous than the makers of
presents and givers of gifts. It was fortunate for
these men, if Timon took a fancy to a dog or a horse,
or any piece of cheap furniture which was theirs. The
thing so praised, whatever it was, was sure to be sent
the next morning with the compliments of the giver
for Lord Timon's acceptance, and apologies for the un-
worthiness of the gift; and this dog or horse, or what-
ever it might be, did not fail to produce, from Ti-
mon's bounty, who would not be outdone in gifts, per-
haps twenty dogs or horses, certainly presents of far
richer worth, as these pretended donors knew well
enough, and that their false presents were but the put-
ting out of so much money at large and speedy interest.
In this way Lord Lucius had lately sent to Timon a
present of four milk-white horses trapped in silver,
which this cunning lord had observed Timon upon
some occasion to commend ; and another lord, Lucul-
lus, had bestowed upon him in the same pretended
way of free gift a brace of greyhounds, whose make
and fleetness Timon had been heard to admire : these
presents the easy-hearted lord accepted without sus-
picion of the dishonest views of the presenters ; and
the givers of course were rewarded with some rich re-
turn, a diamond or some jewel of twenty times the
value of their false and mercenary donation.
Sometimes these creatures would go to work in a
more direct way, and with gross and palpable artifice,
which yet the credulous Timon was too blind to see,
would affect to admire and praise something that
Timon possessed, a bargain that he had bought, or
some late purchase which was sure to draw from this
yielding and soft-hearted lord a gift of the thing com-


mended, for no service in the world done for it but the
easy expense of a little cheap and obvious flattery. In
this way Timon but the other day had given to one of
these mean lords the bay courser which he himself
rode upon, because his lordship had been pleased to
say that it was a handsome beast and went well; and
Timon knew that no man ever justly praised what he
did not wish to possess. For Lord Timon weighed his
friends' affection with his own, and so fond was he of
bestowing, that he could have dealt kingdoms to thosc
supposed friends, and never have been weary.
Not that Timon's wealth all went to enrich these
wicked flatterers ; he could do noble and praiseworthy
actions ; and when a servant of his once loved the
daughter of a rich Athenian, but could not hope to
obtain her by reason that in wealth and rank the maid
was so far above him, Lord Timon freely bestowed
upon his servant three Athenian talents, to make his
fortune equal with the dowry which the father of the
young maid demanded of him who should be her hus-
band. But for the most part, knaves and parasites had
the command of his fortune, false friends whom he did
not know to be such, but, because they flocked around
his person, he thought they must needs love him ; and
because they smiled and flattered him, he thought
surely that his conduct was approved by all the wise
and good. And when he was feasting in the midst of
all these flatterers ana mock friends, when they were
eating him up, and draining his fortunes dry with large
draughts of richest wines drunk to his health and pros-
perity, he could not perceive the difference of a friend
from a flatterer, but to his deluded eyes (made proud
with the sight), it seemed a precious comfort to have so
many, like brothers commanding one another's fer-


tunes (though it was his own fortune which paid all the
costs), and with joy they would run over at the spec-
tacle of such, as it appeared to him, truly festive and
fraternal meeting.
But while he thus outwent the very heart of kind-
ness, and poured out his bounty, as if Plutus, the god
of gold, had been but his steward ; while thus he pro-
ceeded without care or stop, so senseless of expense
that he would neither inquire how he could maintain
it, nor cease his wild flow of riot ; his riches, which
were not infinite, must needs melt away before a prodi-
gality which knew no limits. But who should tell
him so ? his flatterers ? they had an interest in shutting
his eyes. In vain did his honest steward Flavius try
to represent to him his condition, laying his accounts'
before him, begging of him, praying of him, with an
importunity that on any other occasion would have
been unmannerly in a servant, beseeching him with
tears, to look into the state of his affairs. Tinion
would still put him off, and turn the discourse to some-
thing else ; for nothing is so deaf to remonstrance as
riches turned to poverty, nothing so unwilling to be-
lieve its situation, nothing is so incredulous to its own
true state, and hard to give credit to a reverse. Often
had this good steward, this honest creature, when all
the rooms of Timon's great house have been choked up|
with riotous feeders at his master's cost, when the)
floors have wept with drunken spilling of wine, and
every apartment has blazed with lights and resounded
with music anrrd feasting, often had he retired by him-
self to some solitary spot, and wept faster than the
wine ran from the wasteful casks within, to see the mad
bounty of his lord, and to think, when the means were
gone which brought him praises from all sorts of peo-


pie, how quickly the breath would be gone of which
the praise was made : praises won in feasting would be
lost in fasting, and at one cloud of winter-showers
these flies would disappear.
But now the time was come that Timon could shut
his ears no longer to the representations of this faith-
ful steward. Money must be had : and when he or-
dered Flavius to sell some of his land for that purpose,
Flavius informed him, what he had in vain endeavored
at several times before to make him listen to, that most
of his land was already sold or forfeited, and that all
he possessed at present was not enough to pay the one
half of what he owed. Struck with wonder at this
representation, Timon hastily replied, My lands ex-
tended from Athens to Lacedemon." 0 my good
lord," said Flavius, the world is but a world, and has
bounds; were it all yours to give it in a breath, how
quickly were it gone !"
Timon consoled himself that no villainous bounty
had yet come from him, that if he had given his wealth
away unwisely, it had not been bestowed to feed his
vices, but to cherish his friends; and he bade the kind-
hearted steward (who was weeping) to take comfort in
the assurance that his master could never lack means
while he had so many noble friends; and this infatu-
ated lord persuaded himself that he had nothing to do
but to send and borrow, to use every man's fortune
(that had ever tasted his bounty) in this extremity as
freely as his own. Then with a cheerful look, as if
confident of the trial, he severally despatched messen-
gers to Lord Lucius, to Lords Lucullus and Sempro-
nius, men upon whom he had lavished his, gifts in past
times without measure or moderation ; and to Venti-
dius, whom he had lately released out of prison by


paying his debts, and who by the death of his fathe'
was now come in to the possession of an ample for-
tune, and well enabled to requite Timon's courtesy,
to request of Ventidius the return of those five talents
which he had paid for him, and of each of these noble
lords the loan of fifty talents : nothing doubting that
their gratitude would supply his wants (if he needed it)
to the amount of five hundred times fifty talents.
Lucullus was the first applied to. This mean lord
had been dreaming overnight of a silver bason and cup,
and when Timon's servant was announced, his sordid,
mind suggested to him that this was surely a making
out of his dream, and that Timon had sent him such a
present : but when he understood the truth of the mat-
ter, and that Timon wanted money, the quality of his
faint and watery friendship showed itself, for with
many protestations he vowed to the servant that he
had long foreseen the ruin of his master's affairs, and
many a time had he come to dinner to tell him of it,
and had come again to supper to try to persuade him
to spend less, but he would take no counsel nor warn-
ing by his coming : and true it was that he had been a
constant attender (as he said) at Timon"s feasts, as he
had in greater things tasted his bounty, but that he
ever came with that intent, or gave good counsel or re-
proof to Timon, was a base unworthy lie, which he
suitably followed up with meanly offering the servant
a bribe, to go home to his master and tell him that he
had not found Lucullus at home.
As little success had the messenger who was sent to
Lord Lucius. This lying lord, who was full of Timon's
meat, and enriched almost to bursting with Timon's
costly presents, when he found the wind changed, and
the fountain of so much bounty suddenly stopped, at


first could hardly believe it ; but on its being con-
firmed, he affected great regret that he should not have
it in his power to serve Lord Timon, for unfortunately
(which was a base falsehood) he had made a great pur-
chase the day before, which had quite disfurnished
him of the means at present, the more beast he, he
called himself, to put it out of his power to serve so
good a friend ; and he counted it one of his greatest
afflictions that his ability should fail him to pleasure
such an honorable gentleman.
Who can call any man friend that dips in the same
dish with him ? just of this metal is every flatterer. In
the recollection of everybody Timon had been a father
to this Lucius, had kept up his credit with his purse ;
Timon's money had gone to pay the wages of his ser-
vants, to pay the hire of the laborers who had sweat to
build the fine houses which Lucius's pride had made
necessary to him : yet-oh the monster which man
makes himself when he proves ungrateful !-this Lucius
now denied to Timon a sum which, in respect of what
Timon had bestowed on him was less than charitable
men afford to beggars.
Sempronius and every one of those mercenary lords
to whom Timon applied in their turn, returned the
same evasive answer or direct denial ; even Ventidius,
the redeemed and now rich Ventidius, refused to assist
him with the loan of those five talents which Timon
had not lent, but generously given him in his distress.
Now was Timon as much avoided in his poverty as
he had been courted and resorted to in his riches.
Now the same tongues which had been loudest in his
praises, extolling him as bountiful, liberal, and open-
handed. were not ashamed to censure that very bounty
as folly. that liberality as profuseness, though it had

rzMoNv OF A PilE.JVS.

shown itself folly in nothing so truly as in the selection
of such unworthy creatures as themselves for its ob-
jects. Now was Timon's princely mansion forsaken,
and become a shunned and hated place, a place for
men to pass by, not a place as formerly where every
passenger must stop and taste of his wine and good
cheer; now, instead of being thronged with feasting
and tumultuous guests, it was beset with impatient and
clamorous creditors, usurers, extortioners, fierce and
intolerable in their demands, pleading bonds, interest,
mortgages, iron-hearted men that would take no denial
nor putting off, that Timon's house was now his jail,
which he could not pass, nor go in nor out for them ;
one demanding his due of fifty talents, another bring-
ing in a bill of five thousand crowns, which if he
would tell out his blood by drops, and pay them so,
he had not enough in his body to discharge, drop by
In this desperate and irremediable state (as it
seemed) of his affairs, the eyes of all men were sud-
denly surprised at a new and incredible luster, which
this setting sun put forth. Once more Lord Timon
proclaimed a feast, to which he invited his accustomed
guests, lords, ladies, all that was great or fashionable
in Athens. Lords Lucius and Lucullus came, Venti-
dius, Sempronius, and the rest. Who more sorry now
than these fawning wretches, when they found (as they
thought) that Lord Timon's poverty was all pretense,
and had been only put on to make trial of their loves,
to think that they should not have seen through the
artifice at the time, and have had the cheap credit of
obliging his lordship ? yet who more glad to find the
fountain of that noble bounty, which they had thought
dried up, still fresh and running ? They came dissem-


bling, protesting, expressing deepest sorrow and
shame, that when his lordship sent to them they
should have been so unfortunate as to want the pres-
ent means to oblige so honorable a friend. But Timon
begged them not to give such trifles a thought, for he
had altogether forgotten it. And these base fawning
lords, though they had denied him money in his adver-
sity, yet could not refuse their presence at this new
blaze of his returning prosperity. For the swallow fol-
lows not summer more willingly than men of these dis-
positions follow the good fortunes of the great, nor
more willingly leaves winter than these shrink from the
first appearance of a reverse : such summer birds are
men. But now with music and state the banquet of
smoking dishes was served up ; and when the guests
had a little done admiring whence the bankrupt Timon
could find means to furnish so costly a feast, some


doubting whether the scene they saw was real, as
scarce trusting their own eyes ; at a signal given, the
dishes were uncovered, and Timon's drift appeared :
instead of those varieties and far- fetched dainties
which they expected, that Timon's epicurean table in
past times had so liberally presented, now appeared
under the covers of these dishes a preparation more
suitable to Timon's poverty, nothing but a little smoke
and lukewarm water, fit feast for this knot of mouth-
friends, whose professions were indeed smoke, and
their hearts lukewarm and slippery as the water with
which Timon welcomed his astonished guests, bidding
them, Uncover dogs, and lap ;" and before they
could recover their surprise, sprinkling it in their faces
that they might have enough, and throwing dishes and
all after them, who now ran huddling out, lords,
ladies, with their caps snatched up in haste, a splendid
confusion, Timon pursuing them, still calling them
what they were, Smooth, smiling parasites, de-
stroyers under the mask of courtesy, affable wolves,
meek bears, fools of fortune, feast-friends, time-flies."
They, crowding out to avoid him, left the house more
willingly than they had entered it : some losing their
gowns and caps and some their jewels in the hurry, all
glad to escape out of the presence of such a mad lord,
and the ridicule of his mock banquet.
This was the last feast that ever Timon made, and
in it he took farewell of Athens and the society of men,
for after that he betook himself to the woods, turning
his back upon the hated city and upon all mankind,
wishing the walls of that detestable city might sink,
and their houses fall upon their owners, wishing all
plagues which infest humanity, war, outrage, poverty,
and diseases, might fasten upon its inhabitants, pray.


ing the just gods to confound all Athenians, both
young and old, high and low ; so wishing, he went to
the woods, where he said he should find the unkindest
beast much kinder than mankind. He stripped him-
self naked, that he might retain no fashion of a man,
and dug a cave to live in, and lived solitary in the man-
ner of a beast, eating the wild roots, and drinking
water, flying from the face of his kind, and choosing
rather to herd with wild beasts, as more harmless and
friendly than man.
What a change from Lord Timon the rich, Lord
Timon the delight of mankind, to Timon the naked,
Timon the man-hater Where were his flatterers now ?
Where were his attendants and retinue ? Would- the
bleak air,. that boisterous servitor, be his chamberlain,
to put his shirt on warm ? Would those stiff trees,
that had outlived the eagle, turn young and fairy pages
to him, to skip on his errands when he bade them ?
Would the cold brook, when it was iced with winter,
administer to him his warm broths and caudles when
sick of an overnight's surfeit ? Or would the creatures
that lived in those wild woods come and lick his hand
and flatter him ?
Here on a day, when he was digging for roots, his
poor sustenance, his spade struck against something
heavy, which proved to be gold, a great heap which
some miser had probably buried in a time of alarm,
thinking to have come again and taken it from its pri-
son, but died before the opportunity had arrived, with-
out making any man privy to the concealment : so it
lay, doing neither good nor harm, in the bowels of the
earth, its mother, as if it had never come from thence,
till the accidental striking of Timon's spade against it
once more brought it to light.


Here was a mass of treasure which if Timon had.re-
tained his old mind, was enough to have purchased
him friends and flatterers again ; but Timon was sick


of the false world, and the sight of gold was poisonous
to his eyes; and he would have restored it to the
earth, but that, thinking of the infinite calamities
which by means of gold happen to mankind, how the
lucre of it causes robberies, oppression, injustice,
briberies, violence, and murder among them, he had a
pleasure in imagining (such a rooted hatred did he bear
to his species) that out of this heap which in digging
he had discovered, might arise some mischief to plague
mankind. And some soldiers passing through the
woods near to his cave at that instant, which proved to
be a part of the troops of the Athenian Captain Alci-
biades, who upon some disgust taken against the senate


tors at Athens (the Athenians were ever noted to be a
thankless and ungrateful people, giving disgust to their
generals and best friends), was marching at the head


f W

I- ~


of the same triumphant army which he had formerly
headed in their defence, to war against them : Timon,
who liked their business well, bestowed upon their cap-
tain the gold to pay his soldiers, requiring no other
service from him than that he should with his conquer-
ing army lay Athens level with the ground, and burn,
slay, kill all her inhabitants ; not sparing the old men
for their white, beards, for (he said) they were usurers,
nor the young children for their seeming innocent
smiles, for those (he said) would live, if they grew up.
to be traitors ; but to steel his eyes and ears against
any sights or sounds that might awaken compassion


and not to let the cries of virgins, babes, or mothers,
hinder him from making one universal massacre of the
city, but to confound them all in his conquest; and
when he had conquered, he prayed that the gods would
confound him also, the conqueror : so thoroughly did
Timon hate Athens, Athenians, and all mankind.
While he lived in this forlorn state, leading a life
more brutal than human, he was suddenly surprised
one day with the appearance of a man standing in an
admiring posture at the door of his cave. It was
Flavius, the honest steward, whom love and zealous
affection to his master had led to seek him out at his
wretched dwelling, and to offer his services ; and the
first sight of his master, the once noble Timon, in that
abject condition, naked as he was born, living in the
manner of a beast among beasts, looking like his own
sad ruins and a monument of decay, so affected this
good servant, that he stood speechless, wrapped up in
horror and confounded. And when he found utterance
at last to his words, they were so choked with tears,
that Timon had much ado to know him again, or to
make out who it was that had come (so contrary to the
experience he had had of mankind) to offer him service
in extremity. And being in the form and shape of a
man, he suspected him for a traitor, and his tear for
false; but the good servant by so many tokens con-
firmed the truth of his fidelity, and made it clear that
nothing but love and zealous duty to his once dear
master had brought him there, that Timon was forced
to confess that the world contained one honest man ;
yet, being in the shape and form of a man, he could
not look upon his man's face without abhorrence, or
hear words uttered from his man's lips without loath-
ing ; and this singly honest man was forced to depart,


because he was a man, and because, with a heart more
gentle and compassionate than is usual to man, he
bore man's detested form and outward feature.
But greater visitants than a poor steward were about
to interrupt the savage quiet of Timon's solitude. For
now the day was come when the ungrateful lords of
Athens sorely repented the injustice which they had
done to the noble Timon. For Alcibiades, like an in-
censed wild boar, was raging at the walls of their city,
and with his hot siege threatened to lay fair Athens
in the dust. And now the memory of Lord Timon's
former prowess and military conduct came fresh into
their forgetful minds, for Timon had been their gen-
eral in past times, and was a valiant and expert sol-
dier, who alone of all the Athenians was deemed able
to cope with a besieging army such as then threatened
them, or to drive back the furious approaches of Alci-
A deputation of the senators was chosen in this
emergency to wait upon Timon. To him they come in
their extremity, to whom, when he was in extremity,
they had shown but small regard ; as if they presumed
upon his gratitude whom they had disobliged, and had
derived a claim to his courtesy from their own most
discourteous and unpiteous treatment.
Now they earnestly beseech him, implore him with
tears, to return and save that city, from which their
ingratitude had so lately driven him; now they offer
him riches, power, dignities, satisfaction for past in-
juries, and public honors and the public love; their
persons, lives, and fortunes, to be at his disposal, if he
will but come back and save them. But Timon the
naked, Timon the man-hater, was no longer Lord Ti.
mon, the lord of bounty, the flower of valor, their de.


fense in war, their ornament in peace. If Alcibiades
killed his countrymen, Timon cared not. If he sacked
fair Athens, and slew her old men and her infants,
Timon would rejoice. So he told them ; and that there
was not a knife in the unruly camp which he did not
prize above the reverendest throat in Athens.
This was all the answer he vouchsafed to the weep-
ing, disappointed senators; only at parting, he bade
them commend him to his countrymen, and tell them,
that to ease them of their griefs and anxieties, and to
prevent the consequences of fierce Alcibiades' wrath,
there was yet a way left, which he would teach them,
for he had yet so much affection left for his dear coun-
trymen as to be willing to do them a kindness before
his death. These words a little revived the senators,
who hoped that his kindness for their city was return-
ing. Then Timon told them that he had a tree, which
grew near his cave, which he should shortly have oc-
casion to cut down, and he invited all his friends in
Athens, high or low, of what degree soever, who wished
to shun affliction, to come and take a taste of his tree
before he cut it down; meaning that they might come
and hang themselves on it, and escape affliction that
And this was the last courtesy, of all his noble boun-
ties, which Timon showed to mankind, and this the lash
sight of him which his countrymen had : for not many
days after, a poor soldier, passing by the sea-beach,
which was at a little distance from the woods which
Timon frequented, found a tomb on the verge of the
sea, with an inscription upon it, purporting that it was
the grave of Timon the man-hater, who While he
lived, did hate all living men, and dying, wished a
plague might consume all caitiffs left !"


Whether he finished his life by violence, or whether
mere distaste of life and the loathing he had for man-
kind brought Timon to his conclusion, was not clear.

J- r
"-- .;:--I- -,., , --_= .: .,.. .
I-- l --; .- ,i Y ";-" --
-A;. -,,; ,.; -. ::

yet all men admired the fitness of his epitaph, and the
consistency of his end : dying, as he had lived, a hater
of mankind : and some there were who fancied a con-
ceit in the very choice which he made of the sea-
beach for his place of burial, where the vast sea might
weep for ever upon his grave, -as in contempt for the
transient and shallow tears of hypocritical and deceitful


WHEN Duncan the Meek reigned King of Scot-
land, there lived a great thane, or lord, called
Macbeth. This Macbeth was a near kinsman to the
king, and in great esteem at court for his valor and
conduct in the wars; an example of which he had
lately gi. -n, in defeating a rebel army assisted by the
troops of Norway in terrible numbers.
The two Scottish generals, Macbeth and Banquo,
returning victorious from this great' battle, their way
lay over a blasted heath, where they were stopped by
the strange appearance of three figures like women,
except that they had beards, and their withered skins
and wild attire made them look not like any earthly
creatures. Macbeth first addressed them, when they,
seemingly offended, laid each one her choppy finger
upon her skinny lips, in token of silence : and the first
of them saluted Macbeth with the title of Thane of
Glamis. The general was not a little startled to find
himself known by such creatures ; but how much more,
when the second of them followed up that salute by
giving him the title of Thane of Cawdor, to which honor
he had no pretensions; and again the third bid him,
" All hail! king that shall be hereafter !" Such a
prophetic greeting might well ,amaze him, who knew
that while the king's sons lived he could not hope to
succeed to the throne. Then turning to Banquo,
they pronounced him, in a sort of riddling terms, to
be lesser than Macbeth and greater not so happy, yet


much happier and prophesied that though he should
never reign, yet his sons after him should be kings in
Scotland. They then turned into air and vanished :
by which the generals knew them to be the weird sis-
ters, or witches.
While they stood pondering on the strangeness of
this adventure, there arrived certain messengers from


the king, who were empowered by him to confer upon
Macbeth the dignity of Thane of Cawdor. An event so
miraculously corresponding with the prediction of the
witches astonished Macbeth, and he stood wrapped in
amazement, unable to make reply to the messengers ;
and in that point of time swelling hopes arose in his
mind, that the prediction of the third witch might in
like manner have its accomplishment, and that he
should one day reign king in Scotland.
/Turning to Banquo, he said, Do you not hope that
'your children shall be kings, when what the witches
promised to me has so wonderfully come to pass ?"
That hope," answered the general, might enkindle
you to aim at the throne ; but oftentimes these minis-
ters of darkness tell us truths in little things to betray
us into deeds of greatest consequence." ,
But the wicked suggestions of the witches had sunk
too deep into the mind of Macbeth to allow him to at-
tend to the warnings of the good Banquo. From that
time he bent all his thoughts how to compass the
throne of Scotland.
Macbeth had a wife, to whom he communicated the
strange prediction of the weird sisters, and its partial
accomplishment. She was a bad, ambitious woman,
and so as her husband and herself could arrive at
greatness, she cared not much by what means. She
spurred on the reluctant purpose of Macbeth, who felt
compunction at the thought of blood, and did not
cease to represent the murder of the king as a step
absolutely necessary to the fulfillment of the flattering
It happened at this time that the king, who out of
his royal condescension would oftentimes visit his prin-
cipal nobility upon gracious terms, came to Macbeth's


house, attended by his two sons, Malcolm and Donal
bain, and a numerous train of thanes and attendants,
the more to honor Macbeth for the triumphal success
of his wars.
The castle of Macbeth was pleasantly situated, and
the air about it was sweet and wholesome, which ap-
peared by the nests which the martlet, or swallow, had
'built under all the jutting friezes and buttresses of the
building, wherever it found a place of advantage : for
where those birds most breed and haunt the air is ob-
served to be delicate. The king entered well pleased
with the place, and not less so with the attentions and
respect of his honored hostess, Lady Macbeth, who
had the art of covering treacherous purposes with
smiles : and could look like the innocent flower, while
she was indeed the serpent under it.
The king, being tired with his journey, went early to
bed, and in his state-room two grooms of his chamber
(as was, the custom) slept beside him. He had been
unusually pleased withhis reception, and had made
presents before he retired to his principal officers ; and
among the rest, had sent a rich diamond to Lady
Macbeth, greeting her by the name of his most kind
Now was the middle of night, when over half the
world nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
men's minds asleep, and none but the wolf and the
murderer is abroad. This was the time when Lady
Macbeth waked to plot the murder of the king. She
would not have undertaken a deed so abhorrent to her
sex, but that she feared her husband's nature, that it
was too full of the milk of human kindness to do a con-
trived murder.' She knew him to be ambitious, but
withal to be scrupulous, and not yet prepared for that


height of crime which commonly in the end accom-
panies inordinate ambition. She had won him to con-
sent to the murder, but she doubted his resolution :
and she feared that the natural tenderness of his dispo-
sition (more humane than her own) would come be-
tween, and defeat the purpose. So with her own
hands armed with a dagger, she approached the king's
bed ; having taken care to ply the grooms of his cham-
ber so with wine that they slept intoxicated and care-
less of their charge. There lay Duncan, in a sound
sleep after the fatigues of his journey, and as she
viewed him earnestly, there was something in his face,
as he slept, which resembled her own father ; and she
had not the courage to proceed.
She returned to confer with her husband. His reso-
lution had begun to stagger. He considered that there
were strong reasons against the deed. In the first
place, he was not only a subject, but a near kinsman to
the king; and he had been his host and entertainer that
day, whose duty, by the laws of hospitality, it was to
shut the door against his murderers, not bear the knife
himself. Then he considered how just and merciful a
king this Duncan had been, how clear of offense to his
subjects, how loving to his nobility, and in particular to
him ; that such kings are the peculiar care of Heaven,
and of their subjects doubly bound to revenge their
deaths. Besides, by the favors of the king, Macbeth
stood high in the opinion of all sorts of men, and how
would those honors be stained by the reputation of so
foul a murder !
In these conflicts of the mind Lady Macbeth found
her husband inclining to the better part, and resolving
to proceed no further. But she being a woman not
easily shaken from her evil purpose, began to pour in


at his ears words which infused a portion of her own
spirit into his mind, assigning reason upon reason why
he should not shrink from what he had undertaken ;
how easy the deed was ; how soon it would be over;
and how the action of one short night would give to all
their nights and days to come a sovereign sway and
royalty Then she threw contempt on his change ol
purpose, and accused him of fickleness and cowardice;
and declared that she had given suck, and knew how
tender it was to love the babe that milked her, but she
would, while it was smiling in her face, have plucked
it from her breast and dashed its brains out, if she had
so sworn to do it, as he had sworn to perform that mur-
der. Then she added, how practicable it was to lay
the guilt of the deed upon the drunken, sleepy
grooms. And with the valor of her tongue she so
chastised his sluggish resolutions, that he once more
summoned up courage to the bloody business.
So, taking the dagger in his hand, he softly stole in
the dark, to the room where Duncan lay; and as he
went, he thought he saw another dagger in the air,
with the handle toward him and on the blade and at
the point of it drops of blood : but when he tried to
grasp at it, it was nothing but air, a mere phantasm
proceeding from his own hot and oppressed brain and
the business he had in hand.
Getting rid of this fear, he entered the king's room,
whom he dispatched with one stroke of his dagger.
Just as he had done the murder, one of the grooms,
who slept in the chamber laughed in his sleep, and the
other cried, Murder," which woke them both ; but
they said a short prayer ; one of them said, God bless
us !" and the other answered, "Amen;" and ad-
dressed themselves to sleep again. Macbeth, who


stood listening to them, tried to say, Amen' when
the fellow said God bless us !" but, though he had
most need of a blessing, the word stuck in his throat,
and he could not pronounce it.
Again, he thought he heard a voice which cried,
" Sleep no more ; Macbeth doth murder sleep, the in-
nocent sleep, that nourishes life." Still it cried,
" Sleep no more," to all the house. Glamis hath
murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no
more,, Macbeth shall sleep no more."
With such horrible imaginations Macbeth returned
to his listening wife, who began to think he had failed
of his purpose, and that the deed was somehow frus-
trated. He came in so distracted a state, that she re-
proached him With his want of firmness, and.sent him
to wash his hands of the blood which stained them,
while she took his dagger, with purpose to stain the
cheeks of the grooms with blood, to make it seem their
Morning came, and with it the discovery of the
murder, which could not be concealed ; and though
Macbeth and his lady made great show of grief, and
the proofs against the grooms (the dagger being pro-
duced against them and their faces smeared with
blood) were sufficiently strong, yet the entire suspicion
fell upon Macbeth, whose inducements to such a deed
were so much more forcible than such poor silly
grooms could be supposed to have; and Duncan's two
sons fled. Malcolm, the eldest, sought for refuge in
the English court ; and the youngest, Donalbain,
made his escape to Ireland.
The king's sons, who should have succeeded him,
having thus vacated the throne, Macbeth as next h'ir


was crowned king, and thus the prediction of che
weird sisters was literally accomplished.
Though placed so high, Macbeth and his queen
could not forget the prophecy of the weird sisters,
that, though Macbeth should be king, yet not his chil-
dren, but the children of Banquo, should be kings after
him. The thought of this, and that they had defiled
their hands with blood, and done so great crimes, only
to place the posterity of Banquo upon the throne, so
rankled within them, that they determined to put to
death both Banquo and his son, to make void the pre-
dictions of the weird sisters, which in their own case
had been so remarkably brought to pass.
For this purpose they made a great supper, to
which they invited all the chief thanes ; and, among
the rest, with marks of particular respect, Banquo and
'his son Fleance were invited. The way by which
Banquo was to pass to the palace at night was
beset by murderers appointed by Macbeth, who
stabbed Banquo ; but in the scuffle Fleance escaped.
From that Fleance descended a race of monarchs who
afterward filled the Scottish throne, ending with
James the Sixth of Scotland and the First of England,
under whom the two crowns of England and Scotland
were united.
At supper the queen, whose manners were in the
highest degree affable and royal, played the hostess
with a gracefulness and attention which conciliated
every one present, and Macbeth discoursed freely with
his thanes and nobles, saying that all that was honor-
able in the country was under his roof, if he had but his
good friend Banquo present, whom yet he hoped he
should rather have to chide for neglect than to lament
for any mischance. Just at these words the ghost of


Banquo, whom he had caused to be murdered, entered
the room, and placed himself on the chair which Mac-
beth was about to occupy. Though Macbeth was a
bold man, and one that could have faced the devil
without trembling, at this horrible sight his cheeks
turned white with fear, and he stood quite unmanned
with his eyes fixed upon the ghost. His queen and
all the nobles, who saw nothing, but perceived him
gazing-(as they thought) upon an empty chair, took it
for a fit of distraction ; and she reproacned him, whis-
pering that it was but the same fancy which had made
him see the dagger in the air when he was about to
kill Duncan. But Macbeth continued to see the
ghost, and gave no heed to all they could say, while
he addressed it with distracted words, yet so signifi-
cant, that his queen, fearing the dreadful secret would
be disclosed, in great haste dismissed the guests, ex-
cusing the infirmity of Macbeth as a disorder he was
often troubled with.
To such dreadful fancies Macbeth was subject. His
queen and he had their sleeps afflicted with terrible
dreams, and the blood of Banquo troubled them not
more than the escape of Fleance, whom now they
looked upon as father to a line of kings, who should
keep their posterity out of the throne. With these
miserable thoughts they found no peace, and Macbeth
determined once more to seek out the weird sisters,
and know from them the worst.
He sought them in a cave upon the heath, where
they, who knew by foresight of his coming, were en-
gaged in preparing their dreadful charms, by which
they conjured up infernal spirits to reveal to them
futurity. Their horrid ingredients were toads, bats,
and serpents, the eye of a newt and the tongue of a


dog, the leg of a lizard and the wing of a night-owl,
the scale of a dragon, the tooth of a wolf, the maw of
the ravenous salt-sea shark, the mummy of a witch, the
root of the poisonous hemlock (this to have effect must
be digged in the dark), the gall of a goat, and the liver
of a Jew, with slips of the yew-tree that roots itself in
graves, and the finger of a dead child : all these were
set on to boil in a great kettle, or caldron, which, as
fast as it grew too hot, was cooled with a baboon's
blood : to these they poured in the blood of a sow that
had eaten her young, and they threw into the flame
the grease that had sweated from a murderer's gibbet.
By these charms they bound the infernal spirits to an-
swer their questions.
It was demanded of Macbeth, whether he would'
have his doubts resolved by them, or by their masters
the spirits. He, nothing daunted by the dreadful
ceremonies which he saw, boldly answered, Where
are they? let me see them." And they called the
spirits, Which were three. And the first arose in the
likeness of an armed head, and he called Macbeth by
name, and bid him beware of the Thane of Fife ; for
which caution Macbeth thanked him : for Macbeth had
entertained a jealousy of Macduff, the Thane of Fife.
And the second spirit arose in the likeness of a
bloody child, and he called Macbeth by name, and bid
him have no fear, but laugh to scorn the power of
man, for none of woman born should have power to
hurt him ; and he advised him to be bloody, bold, and
resolute. Then live, Macduff !" cried -the king;
" what need I fear of thee ? but yet I will make assur-
ance doubly sure. Thou shalt not live ; that I may
tell pale-hearted Fear it lies, and sleep in spite of


That spirit being dismissed, a third arose in the
form of a child crowned, with a tree in his hand. He
called Macbeth by name, and comforted him against
conspiracies, saying, that he should never be van-
quished, until the wood of. Birnam to Dunsinane Hill
should come against him. Sweet bodements !
good !" cried Macbeth; who can unfix the forest,
and move it from its earth-bound roots ? I see I shall
live the usual period of man's life, and not be cut off
by a violent death. But my heart throbs to know one
thing. Tell me, if your art can tell so much, if Ban-
quo's issue shall ever reign in this kingdom ?" Here the
caldron sunk into the ground, and a noise of music was
heard, and eight shadows, like kings, passed by Mac-
beth, and Banquo last, who bore a glass which showed
the figures of many more, and Banquo all bloody
smiled upon Macbeth, and pointed to them ; by which
Macbeth knew that these were the posterity of Ban-
quo, who should reign after him in Scotland : and the
witches, with a sound of soft music, and with dancing,
making a show of duty and welcome to Macbeth, van-
ished. And from this time the thoughts of Macbeth
were all bloody and dreadful.
The first thing he heard when he got out of the
witches' cave, was, that Macduff, Thane of Fife, had
fled to England, to join the army which was forming
against him under Malcolm, the eldest son of the late
king, with intent to displace Macbeth, and set Mal-
colm, the right heir, upon the throne. Macbeth, stung
with rage, set upon the castle-of Macduff, and put his
wife and children, whom the thane had left behind, to
the sword, and extended the slaughter to all who
claimed the least relationship to Macduff.
These and such-like deeds alienated the minds of all


his chief nobility from him. Such as could, fled to
join with Malcolm and Macduff, who were now ap-
proaching with a powerful army which they had raised
in England ; and the rest secretly wished success to
their arms, though for fear of Macbeth they could take
no active part. His recruits went on slowly. Every-
body hated the tyrant, nobody loved or honored him,
but all suspected him, and he began to envy the con-
dition of Duncan, whom he had murdered, who slept
soundly in his grave, against whom treason had done
its worst : steel nor poison, domestic malice nor for-
eign levies, could hurt him any longer.
While these things were acting, the queen, who had
been the sole partner in his wickedness, in whose
bosom he could sometimes seek a momentary repose
from those terrible dreams which afflicted them both
nightly, died, it is supposed by her own hand, unable
to bear the remorse of guilt, and public hate ; by
which event he was left alone, without a soul to love
or care for him, or a friend to whom he could confide
his wicked purposes.
He grew careless of life, and wished for death ; but
the near approach of Malcolm's army roused in him
what remained of his ancient courage, and he deter-
mined to die (as he expressed it) with armor on his
back." Besides this, the hollow promises of the
witches had filled him with false confidence, and he
remembered the sayings of the spirits, that none of
woman born was to hurt him, and that he was never to
be vanquished till Birnam Wood should come to Dunsi-
nane, which he thought could never be. So he shut
himself up in his castle, whose impregnable strength
was such as defied a siege : here he sullenly awaited
the approach of Malcolm. When, upon a day, there


came a messenger to him, pale and shaking with fear,
almost unable to report that which he had seen : for
he averred that as he stood upon his watch on the hill,
he looked toward Birnam, and to his thinking the
wood began to move Liar and slave," cried Mac-
beth, if thou speakest false thou shalt hang alive
upon the next tree, till famine end thee. If thy tale
be true, I care not if thou dost as much by me :" for
Macbeth now began to faint in resolution, and to doubt
the equivocal speeches of the spirits. He was not to
fear till Birnam Wood should come to Dunsinane : and
now a wood did move! However," said he, "if
this which he avouches be true, let us arm and out.
There is no flying hence, nor staying here. I begin to
be weary of the sun, and wish my life at an end."
With these desperate speeches he sallied forth upon
the besiegers, who had now come up to the castle.
The strange appearance, which had given the mes-
senger an idea of a wood moving, is easily solved.
When the besieging army marched through the
wood of Birnam, Malcolm, like a skillful general, in-
structed his soldiers to hew down every one a bough
and bear it before him, by way of concealing the true
numbers of his host. This marching of the soldiers
with boughs had at a distance the appearance which
had frightened the messenger. Thus were the words
of the spirit brought to pass in a sense different from
that in which Macbeth had understood them, and one
great hold of his confidence was gone.
And now a severe skirmishing took place, in which
Macbeth, though feebly supported by those who called
themselves his friends, but in reality hated the tyrant
and inclined to the party of Malcolm and Macduff, yet
fought with the extreme of rage and valor, cutting to

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