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I come to cope.
Which is that adversary?
Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester ?
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, 130 Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence, Despite 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 the extremest upward of thy head To the descent and dust below thy foot, A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou 'No,' This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak, 140 Thou liest.
Edm. In wisdom I should ask thy name; But since thy outside looks so fair and war-like, And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, 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 they shall rest for ever. Trumpets, speak. Alarums. They fight. EDMUND falls.
Alb. Save him! save him! Gon.
This is practice, Gloucester: 151 By the law of arms thou wast not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd, But cozen'd and beguil'd.
Alb. Shut your mouth, dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it. Hold, sir; Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil: No tearing, lady; I perceive you know it.
Gives the letter to EDMUND. Gon. Say, if I do, the laws are mine, not thine: Who can arraign me for 't? Exit. Alb.
Most monstrous! O!
Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale;
And when 'tis told, O! that my heart would burst,
The bloody proclamation to escape
That follow'd me so near,-O! our lives' sweet
That we the pain of death would hourly die
Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair;
Edm. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, And shall perchance do good; but speak you on; You look as you had something more to say. 201
Alb. If there be more, more woeful, hold it in; For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.
Edg. This would have seem'd a period
Whilst I was big in clamour came there a man,
And there I left him tranc'd.
But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in disguise
Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.
Enter a Gentleman, with a bloody knife.
Gent. Help, help! O, help!
What kind of help?
Edg. What means that bloody knife? Gent. 'Tis hot, it smokes ; It came even from the heart of-O! she's dead. Alb. Who 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.
Here comes Kent.
Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead: This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,
Touches us not with pity.
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl! O! you are men of stones :
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone for ever.
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
Kent. Kneeling. O my good master!
I might have sav'd her; now, she 's gone for ever!
Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little.
Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
One of them we behold.
Lear. This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent? Kent.
The same; Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius? Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He's dead and He'll strike, and quickly too.
Enter an Officer.
Off Edmund is dead, my lord.
Alb. That's but a trifle here. You lords and noble friends, know our intent; What comfort to this great decay may come Shall be applied for us, we will resign, During the life of this old majesty,
To him our absolute power: To EDGAR and KENT. You, to your rights,
300 With boot and such addition as your honours Have more than merited. All friends shall taste The wages of their virtue, and all foes The cup of their deservings. O! see, see!
Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all? Thou 'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never!
Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir. 309 Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips, Look there, look there!
That would upon the rack of this tough world Stretch him out longer.
Edg. He is gone, indeed. Kent. The wonder is he hath endur'd so long: He but usurp'd his life.
Alb. Bear them from hence. Our present business
Is general woe. To KENT and EDGAR. Friends of my soul, you twain
Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain. Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; 321 My master calls me, I must not say no.
Edg. The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
Exeunt, with a dead march.
Sailor, Messengers, Herald, Officers, Gentlemen, Musicians, and Attendants.
SCENE.-For the first Act, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, at a Sea-port in Cyprus.
Rod. Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
Iago. Despise me if I do not. Three great
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Nonsuits my mediators; for, Certes,' says he,
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster;
Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his
lago. But there's no remedy: 'tis the curse
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
Whether I in any just term am affin'd
I would not follow him then. 40
I follow him to serve my turn upon him;
Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty, 50 20 Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves, And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;
Do well thrive by them, and when they have lin'd their coats
Do themselves homage: these fellows have
And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I beseech you,
If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
If she be in her chamber or your house,
Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho! Give me a taper! call up all my people! This accident is not unlike my dream; Belief of it oppresses me already. Light, I say light! Exit from above. Iago. Farewell; for I must leave you : It seems not meet nor wholesome to my place To be produc'd, as if I stay I shall, Against the Moor; for I do know the state, However this may gall him with some check, Cannot with safety cast him; for he 's embark'd With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars, Which even now stand in act, that, for their souls, Another of his fathom they have none, To lead their business; in which regard, Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains, Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
How didst thou know 'twas she? O! she deceives me