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Edm.There's my exchange; what in the world he is, That names me Traitor, villain-like he lies; Call by thy trumpet : he that dares approach, On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain My truth and honour firmly.
Alb. A herald, ho!
Enter a Herald.
Trust to thy single virtue ; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my
name Took their discharge.
Reg. This sickness grows upon me.
Alb. She is not well, convey her to my Tent.
[Exit Regan, led.
Come hither, herald, let the trumpet found,
And read out this.
[A trumpet sounds.
Herald reads. |F any man of Quality, or Degree, within the lists
of the army, will maintain upon Edmund supposed Earl of Glo'ster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third found of the trumpet : he is bold in his defence.
i trumpet. Her. Again.
2 trumpet. Her, Again.
3 trumpet. [Trumpet answers, within.
Enter Edgar, armed.
Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Upon this Call o'th' trumpet.
Her. What are you?
Your name, your quality, and why you answer
This present summons ?
Edg. Know, my name is loft ;
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit;
Yet am I noble, as the Adversary
I come to cope.
Alb. Which is that Adversary ? [Glo'ster?
Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund Earl of
Edm. Himself; what say'st thou to him?
Edg. Draw thy sword,
That if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice ; here is mine:-
Behold, it is the privilege of mine Honours,
My Oath, and my Profession. I protest,
Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
Spite of thy victor-sword, and fire-new fortune,
Thy valour, and thy heart, thou art a traitor ;
False to thy Gods, thy brother, and thy father ;
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious Prince,
And from th' extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
A moft toad-spotted traitor. Say thou, no;
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Edm. In wisdom I should ask thy name ;
But since thy out-side looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue *some Say of Breeding breathes;
What safe and nicely. I might well delay
By rule of Knight-hood, I disdain and spurn:
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head,
With the hell hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Which (for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise)
This sword of mine shall give them instant way,
Where thou shalt rest for ever. Trumpets, speak.
Alarm. Fight. Gon. O, save him, save him ; This is Practice,
Glo'ster: By th' law of war, thou waft not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art.not vanquish'd, But cozen'd and beguild. * Some 'Say, &c.] 'Say, for Essay, some Shew or Probability. F 5
Alb. Shut your mouth, Dame,
Or with this paper shall I stop it;
Thou worse than any thing, read thine own evil:
No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it.
Gon. Say, if I do; the Laws are mine, not thine;
Who can arraign me for't?
Alb. Monster, know'lt thou this paper ?
Gon. Ask me not, what I know- [Exit Gon.
Alb. Go after her, she's desperate, govern her. .
S CE N E VIII.
Edm. THAT you have charg'd me with, That I
And more, much more; the time will bring it out.
'Tis past, and so am I: but what art thou,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou'rt noble,
I do forgive thee.
Edg. Let's exchange charity:
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund ;
If more, the more thou'st wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The Gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us :
The dark and vicious place, where thee he got,
Coft him his eyes.
Edın. Thou'ít spoken right, 'tis true,
The wheel is come full circle ; I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
A royal Nobleness: I must embrace thee:-
Let Sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!
Edg. Worthy Prince, I know't.
Alb. Where have you hid yourself?
How have you known the iniseries of your father?
Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale,
And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burft!--
The bloody Proclamation to escape
That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetnefs !
That we the pain of death would hourly bear,
Rather than die at once) taught me to shift
Into a mad-man's rags i t'assume a Semblance,
The very Dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious gems new loft; became his guide,
Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair ;
Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him,
Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d,
Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
I alk'd his blefling, and from first to last
Told him my pilgrimage. But his flaw'd heart,
Alack, too weak the Conflict to support,
'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Edm. This specch of yours hath mov'd me,
And shall, perchance, do good; but speak you on,
You look, as you had something more to say.
Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to diffolve,
Hearing of this.
Edg. This would have seem'd a Period. But such,
As love to amplify another's Sorrow,
To much, would make much more, and top extremity.
Whilft I was big in Clamour, came there a Man,
Who having seen me in my worser State,
my abhorr’d Society; but now finding Who was, had so endur'd, with his strong Arms He fasten'd on my Neck; and bellow'd out, As he'd burst Heaven"; threw him on my Father; Told the most piteous Tale of Lear and him, That ever Ear receiv'd; which in recounting His Grief grew puiffant, and the Strings of Life Began to crack.—Twice then the Trumpets sounded, And there I left him tranc'd.Alb. But who was this? F 6
Edg. Kent, Sir; the banishid Kent, who in disguise Follow'd his enemy King, and did him Service Improper for a Slave.
S CE N E IX.
Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. , help!
Edg. What kind of help?
Alb. Speak, man.
Edg. What means this bloody knife?
Gent. 'Tis hot, it smokes; it came even from the
Of-O! she's dead.-
Alb. Who's dead? speak, man.
Gent. Your lady, Sir, your lady; and her sister By her is poison'd; she confesses' it.
Edm. I was contracted to them both; all three Now marry
in an instant. Edg. Here comes Kent.
Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead.
[Gonerill and Regan's Bodies brought out.
This Judgment of the heav'ns, that, makes us tremble,
Touches us not with pity.-0! is this He ?
The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urge.
Kent. I am come
To bid my King and Master aye good night;
Is he not here?
Alb. Great thing of us forgot!
Speak, Edmund, where's the King ? and where's
See'st thou this Object, Kent?
Kent. Alack, why thus ?
Edm. Yet Edmund was belov'd :
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
And after flew herself.