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Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
Sir, by your patience,
That's as we list to grace him.
Not so hot:
In his own grace 5 he doth exalt himself,
In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
1 That is, the lancemen we have hired by giving them press-money. 2 i. e. the determination of what shall be done with Cordelia and her father should be reserved for greater privacy. This is not in the folio.
3 Commission for authority.
4 Immediacy, says Malone, is close and immediate connection with me, and direct authority from me. Immediate is the reading of the quartos.
5 Grace here means noble deportment. The folio has addition, instead of advancement, in the next line.
6 “If he were married to you, you could not say more than this, nor could he enjoy greater power." In the folio this line is given to Albany. 7 Alluding to the proverb, "Love, being jealous, makes a good eye look asquint."
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer From a full-flowing stomach.-General, Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony; Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine.1 Witness the world, that I create thee here My lord and master.
Mean you to enjoy him?
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.3 [To EDMUND.
Alb. Stay yet; hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee On capital treason; and, in thine, attaint1
This gilded serpent. [Pointing to GoN.]-For your claim, fair sister,
I bar it in the interest of my wife;
'Tis she is subcontracted to this lord,
An interlude !
Alb. Thou art armed, Gloster.-Let the trumpet sound;
If none appear to prove upon thy person,
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons, There is my pledge; [Throwing down a glove ;] I'll prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Sick, O, sick!
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Aside. Edm. There's my exchange. [Throwing down a glove.] What in the world he is
1 A metaphor taken from the camp, and signifying to surrender at discretion. This line is not in the quartos.
2 "To obstruct their union lies not in your good pleasure."
3 It appears, from this speech, that Regan did not know that Albany had discharged her forces. This line is given to Edmund in the quartos. 4 The folio reads "thy arrest.”
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
Alb. A herald, ho! Edm. A herald, ho, a herald! Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers, All levied in my name, have in my name Took their discharge.
This sickness grows upon me.
Enter a Herald.
Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.
[Exit REGAN, led. Come hither, herald.-Let the trumpet sound,And read out this.
Off. Sound, trumpet.
[A trumpet sounds.
If any man of quality, or degree, within the lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet. He is bold in his defence.
[2 trumpet. [3 trumpet. [Trumpet answers within.
Enter EDGAR, armed, preceded by a trumpet. Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears Upon this call o' the trumpet.
What are you? Your name, your quality? And why you answer This present summons?
1 i. e. valor; a Roman sense of the word.
Know, my name is lost;
Which is that adversary? Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund, earl of Gloster?
Edm. Himself;-what say'st thou to him?
Draw thy sword;
That if my speech offend a noble heart,
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name;1 But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes, What safe and nicely 3 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 forever.-Trumpets, speak. [Alarums. They fight; EDMUND falls.
1 Because, if his adversary was not of equal rank, Edmund might have declined the combat.
2 Say, or assay, is a sample, a taste.
3 This seems to mean "What I might safely well delay, if I acted punctiliously." This line is omitted in the quartos.
4 To that place where they shall rest forever, i. e. thy heart.
Alb. O, save him, save him!1
Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster. By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquished, But cozened and beguiled.
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 shall arraign me for't?
Ask me not what I know. [Exit GONERIL. Alb. Go after her; she's desperate; govern her. [To an Officer, who goes out. Edm. What you have charged me with, that have I done;
And more, much more.
The time will bring it out;
'Tis past, and so am I.
I do forgive thee.
Let's exchange charity.
The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Edm. Thou hast spoken right; 'tis true; The wheel is come full circle: I am here.
1 Albany desires that Edmund's life may be spared at present, only to obtain his confession, and to convict him openly by his own letter.
2 "Knowest thou these letters? ,, says Leir to Regan, in the old anonymous play, when he shows her both her own and her sister's letters, which were written to procure his death; upon which she snatches the letters and tears them.
3 The folio reads "to plague us."