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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!

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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
Rather than die at once!-taught me to shift
Into a madman's rags, to assume a semblance
That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost; became his


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 ask'd his blessing, 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,
Burst smilingly.

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
To such as love not sorrow; but another,
To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity.

Whilst I was big in clamour came there a man,
Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out 212
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 puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack: twice then the trumpets

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?

Speak, man.

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.


Exit Gentleman.

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To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame upon her own despair,
That she fordid herself.

Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence
EDMUND is borne off.
Re-enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms;
EDGAR, Officer, and Others.

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;
She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking-glass;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives.
Is this the promis'd end?
Edg. Or image of that horror?
Fall and cease?
Lear. This feather stirs ; she lives! if it be so,
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.

Kent. Kneeling. O my good master!
Lear. Prithee, away.

"Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors

I might have sav'd her; now, she 's gone for ever!



Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little.
What is 't thou say'st? Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman.
I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thee.
Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
I would have made them skip: I am old now,
And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
Mine eyes are not o' the best: I'll tell you

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.

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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!


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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.

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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.

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Abhor me.

Rod. Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.

Iago. Despise me if I do not. Three great
ones of the city,

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capp'd to him; and, by the faith of man, 10
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place;
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circumstance
Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;
And, in conclusion,

Nonsuits my mediators; for, Certes,' says he,
'I have already chose my officer.'
And what was he?

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

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By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster;
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And I, God bless the mark! his Moorship's

Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his

lago. But there's no remedy: 'tis the curse
of service,

Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge your.

Whether I in any just term am affin'd
To love the Moor.


I would not follow him then. 40
Iago. O sir, content you;

I follow him to serve my turn upon him;
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender, and when he 's old,

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;
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,
Wherein the toged consuls can propose
As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice,
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election;
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds

Do well thrive by them, and when they have lin'd their coats

Do themselves homage: these fellows have
some soul;

And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago :

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Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I beseech you,

If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,
At this odd-even and dull watch o' the night,
Transported with no worse nor better guard
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,-
If this be known to you, and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;
But if you know not this, my manners tell me
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
That, from the sense of all civility,


I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
Of here and every where. Straight satisfy

If she be in her chamber or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.


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,
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely
find him,

Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
And there will I be with him. So, farewell. 180
Enter BRABANTIO and Servants with torches.
Bra. It is too true an evil; gone she is,
And what's to come of my despised time
Is nought but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,
Where didst thou see her? O unhappy girl!
With the Moor, say'st thou? Who would be a

How didst thou know 'twas she? O! she deceives me

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