Imatges de pÓgina

Alb. The lett alone lyes 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.

Alb. Stay yet; hear reason : Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason; and, in thy arreft,
This gilded serpent: for your claim, fair fifter,
I bar it in the interest of my wife ;
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this Lord,
And I, her husband, contradi&t your banes.
If you will marry, make your loves to me,
My Lady is bespoke.

Gon. An enterlude! Alb. Thou art arm’d, Glofter; let the trumpet found; If none appear to prove upon thy person Thy heinous, manifeft, and many treasons, There is my pledge: I'll prove it on thy heart, Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less Than I have here proclaim'd thee. Reg. Sick, o fick Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.

Edm. There's my exchange; what in the world he is,
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 honour firmly.
Alb. A herald, ho!

Enter a Herald.
Truft to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.

Reg., This fickness grows upon me.
Alb. She is not well, convey her to my tent.

(Exit Reg, led Come hither, herald, let the trumpet found, And read out this.

[A trumpet sounds.


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Herald reads.
F any man of quality, or degree, within the lifts of 15

army, will maintain upon Edmund supposed Earl of Glo'ster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third found of the trumpet: he is bold in his de fence.

I trumpet. Her. Again.

2 trumpet. Her.. Again.

3 trumpet. [Trumpet answers, wibin.

Enter Edgar, armed.
Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Upon this call o'th' trumpet.

'Her. What are you?
Your name, your quality, and why you answer
This present fummons ?

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

Alb. Which is that adversary?
Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund Earlof Glofter?
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,
Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
Spite of 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 th’ extreamest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
A most toad-fpotted traitor. Say thou, no;
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Thou lieit.
Edm. In wisdom I should ak thy name;


But since thy out-side looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue fome 'say of breeding breathes;
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knight-hood, 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 inítant way,
Where thou shalt rest for ever. Trumpets, speak.

[ Alarum. Fight.
Gon.O, save him, save him; this is practice, Glo'fler:(60)
By th' law of war, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown oppofite; thou art not vanquilh’d,
But cozen's and beguil'd.

Alb. Shut your mouth, dame,
Or with this paper shall I stop it;
Thou worse than any thing, read thine own evil:
No tearing, Lady; I perceive, you know it.

Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not thine ;
Who can arraign me for't?

Alb, Monster, know'it thou this paper ??
Gon. Ask me not, what I know

[Exit Gon Alb. Go after her, she's desperate, govern her.

Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that I have done,
And more, much more; the time will bring it out.
'Tis past, and so am I: but what art thou,
That hart this fortune on me? If thou’rt 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'st wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us:

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(60) Alb. Save him, save him.

Gon. This is praćtice, Glo'ster:] Thus all the copies have diftinguish'd these speeches : but I have ventur’d to place the two hemistichs to Gonerill. 'Tis absurd, that Albany, who knew Edmund's treasons, and his own wife's paffion for him, should be follicitous to have his life fay'd,


The dark and vicious place, where thee he got,
Coft him his eyes.

Edm. Thou'st spoken right, 'tis true,
The wheel is come full circle; I am here.

Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness; I must embrace thee:
Ler forrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!

Edg. Worthy Prince, I know't.

Alb. Where have you hid yourself? How have you known the miseries of your father?

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 sweetness! That we the pain of death would hourly bear, Rather than die at once) taught me to shift Into a mad-man's rags; t'affume a semblance, The very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit Met I my father with his bleeding rings, Their precious gems new loft; became his guide, Led him, beg'd for him, fav'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 extreams of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly, Baft. This speech of


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 woeful, hold it in,
For I am almoft ready to diffolve,
Hearing of this.
Edg. This would have seemd a period, (61)

To (61) Edg. This would have seem'd a period, &c.] This fine and necessary description I have thought fit to restore from the old 4!0; as

To such as love not forrow: but another,
To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity!
Whilft I was big in clamour, came there a man,
Who having seen me in my worser state,
Shun'd my abhorr’d society; but now finding
Who 'twas, had fo endur'd, with his strong arms
He faften'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 puiffant, and the strings of life
Began to crack.-Twice then the trumpets founded,
And there I left him traunc'd.

Alb. 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 llave.

Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. Help, help!
Edg. What kind of help?
Alb. Speak, man.
Edg. What means this bloody knife i

Gent, 'Tis hot, it smoaks; it came even from the heart Of0! she's dead.

Alb. Who's dead ? speak, man,

Gent. Your Lady, Sir, your Lady; and her fifter By her is poison'd; she confesses it. it artfully opens to Albany the concealment of Kent at home, during his banishment; and gives a beautiful picture of the emotions that good old man felt for the death of his friend Glo'fer, and the piety of Edgar towards his distreft father. Edmund bad taken notice, that Edgar seem'd to have something more to say; but Abany was already so touch'd with compassion, that he was for hearing of no more sors now. From the different behaviour of thefe two different characters, with how exquisite a reflection, drawn from the very fountain of nature, has our poet furnish'd his introduction to Edgar's second narrative! As the passage first was left out by the players, in their edition; we are not to doubt, but it was one of their judicious retrenchments. However that be, fome readers, I am persuaded, will owe me their thanks for retrieving it to the author.


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