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Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our impressed lances1 in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the queen;
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, to appear
Where you shall hold your session. [At this time
We sweat and bleed; the friend hath lost his friend;
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are cursed
By those that feel their sharpness.-
The question of Cordelia, and her father,
Requires a fitter place.2]

Alb.

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Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.

Reg.

That's as we list to grace him.
Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded,
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Bore the commission 3 of my place and person;
The which immediacy may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.

Gon.

Not so hot:

In his own grace 5 he doth exalt himself,
More than in your advancement.

Reg.

In my rights,

By me invested, he compeers the best.
Gon. That were the most, if he should husband

you.6

Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

Gon.
That eye that told you so looked but asquint."

Holla, holla!

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."

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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.

Gon.

Mean you to enjoy him?
Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will."
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb.

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,
And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.

Gon.

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
Then I have here proclaimed thee.

Reg.

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.
Call by thy trumpet; he that dares approach,
On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain
My truth and honor firmly.

1

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.

Reg.

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.

Edm. Sound.

Her. Again.
Her. Again.

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Herald reads.

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.

[1 trumpet.

[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.

Her.

What are you? Your name, your quality? And why you answer This present summons?

1 i. e. valor; a Roman sense of the word.

Edg.

Know, my name is lost;
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit.
Yet am I noble as the adversary
I come to cope withal.

Alb.

Which is that adversary? Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund, earl of Gloster?

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 honors,
My oath, and my profession; I protest,-
Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Despite thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune,
Thy valor, 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 beneath thy feet,
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,
Thou liest.

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2

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.

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 shall arraign me for't?

Most monstrous!

Alb.
Know'st thou this paper??
Gon.

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;
But what art thou,

'Tis past, and so am I.
That hast this fortune on me? If thou art 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 hast wronged 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,
Cost him his eyes.

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."

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