William Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI (1590-91):
Car. What, art thou lame?
Simp. Ay, God Almighty help me!
Suf. How camest thou so?
Simp. A fall off of a tree….
[Glou.] My lords, Saint Alban here hath done a miracle;
And would ye not think his cunning to be great,
That could restore this cripple to his legs again?
Simp. O master, that you could!
Glou. My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not
Beadles in your town, and things call’d whips?
May. Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
Glou. Then send for one presently.
May. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight. Exit one.
Glou. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A stool brought.] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool and run away.
Simp. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone:
You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a Beadle with whips.
Glou. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
Bead. I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet quickly.
Simp. Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.
After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!'…
Card. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
Suf. True; made the lame to leap and fly away. (2.1.93-158)
William Shakespeare, Richard III (1592-93):
[Glou.] But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days. (1.1.12-31)
[Glou.] And will she yet debase her eyes on me…
On me, that halt and am unshapen thus? (1.2.246-50)
[Glou.] Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried. (2.1.90-91)
William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1593-94):
[Pet.] Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
O sland'rous world! Kate like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender, and as brown in hue
As hazel-nuts, and sweeter than the kernels.
O, let me see thee walk. Thou dost not halt. (2.1.252-56)
William Shakespeare, Sonnets (1593-1609):
As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee:
This wish I have; then ten times happy me! (37)
Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offence;
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons making no defence. (89.1-4)
William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece (1593-94):
The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee;
But they ne'er meet with Opportunity. (902-03)
William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1598):
[Fal.] A pox of this gout! or, a this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars for my and my pension shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit make use of anything. I will turn diseases to commodity. (1.2.243-48)
William Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV (1596-97):
[Hot.] Mincing poetry:
‘Tis like the forc’d gait of a shuffling nag. (3.1.133)
William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):
[Chorus] The cripple tardy-gaited night …
like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. (4.Ch.20-22)
William Shakespeare, The Passionate Pilgrim (1599):
A cripple soon can find a halt. (19.10)
William Shakespeare, King Lear (1605):
Glou. Now, good sir, what are you?
Edg. A most poor man, made lame by fortune’s blows,
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. (4.6.220-23 in Quarto)
Alb. Methought thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness. (5.3.176-77)
William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (1607-08):
[Tim.] Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners. (4.1.23-25)