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Enter Edgar, armed, preceded by a Trumpet.
Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
What are you?
Know, my name is lost;
Which is that adversary ?
Draw thy sword;
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name;? But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
1 Notwithstanding, 2 Because if his adversary was not of equal rank, Ed
mund might have declined the combat.
And that thy tongue some 'says of breeding breathes,
[Alarums. They fight. EDMUND falls. Alb. O save him, save him ! Gon.
This is mere practice4, Gloster : By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd But cozen's 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 shall arraign me for't? Alb.
Most monstrous ! 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 charg’d me with, that
have I done; 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 art noble, I do forgive thee. Edg.
Let's exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
Edm. Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true; The wheel is come full circle; I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophecy
Where have you hid yourself? How have you known the miseries of your father?
Edg. By nursing them, my lord — Lists a brief And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst ! The bloody proclamation to escape, That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness ! That with the pain of death we'd hourly die, Rather than die at once !) taught me to shift Into a mad-man'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 guide, Led him, begg’d for him, sav’d him from despair ; Never (O fault !) reveald 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 !)
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.
Alb. If there be more, more woful, 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, Shupn'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 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 trumpet sounded, And there I left him tranc'd. Alb.
But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in dis
What kind of help?
'Tis hot, it smokes; It came even from the heart of Alb.
Who, man? speak. 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. Alb. Produce their bodies, be they alive or
dead! This judgment of the heavens, that makes us
tremble, Touches us not with pity. [Exit Gentleman.
Here comes Kent, sir.
I am come
Great thing of us forgot ! Speak, Edmund, where's the king ? and where's
[The Bodies of GONERIL and Regan are
brought in. Kent. Alack, why thus ? Edm.
Yet Edmund was belov'd. The one the other poison’d for my
sake, And after slew herself.
Alb. Even 80, - Cover their faces.
6 For ever.