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"Tis hot, it smokes;
Who, man? speak.
It came even from the heart of
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.
Here comes Kent, sir.
Alb. O! it is he.
The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urges.
I am come
To bid my king and master aye good night;
Great thing of us forgot!
Speak, Edmund, where's the king; and where's
See'st thou this object, Kent?
[The Bodies of GONERIL and REGAN are brought in.
Kent. Alack, why thus?
Yet Edmund was belov'd:
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
And after slew herself.
Alb. Even so.-Cover their faces.
Edm. I pant for life:-Some good I mean to do, Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,
This judgment, &c.] If Shakspeare had studied Aristotle all his life, he would not perhaps have been able to mark with more precision the distinct operations of terror and pity. TYRWHITT.
Be brief in it,-to the castle; for my writ
Run, run, O, run—
Edg. To who, my lord?-Who has the office?
Thy token of reprieve.
Edm. Well thought on; take
Give it the captain.
Haste thee, for thy life. [Exit EDGAR. Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame upon her own despair,
That she fordid herself.2
Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence
[EDMUND is borne off.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his Arms;
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!-O, you are
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
Is this the promis'd end? Edg. Or image of that horror?3
• That she fordid herself.] To fordo, signifies to destroy.
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
Edg. Or image of that horror?] By the promised end Kent does not mean that conclusion which the state of their affairs seemed to promise, but the end of the world.
Fall, and cease!*
Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so, It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.
O my good master! [Kneeling.
'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Lear. Pr'ythee, away.
Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever!— Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
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.
Lear. Did I not, fellow? I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion I would have made them skip: I am old now, And these same crosses spoil me.-Who are you? Mine eyes are none o'the best :-I'll tell you straight. 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'll strike, and quickly too:-He's dead and rotten. Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man;
Fall, and cease!] Albany, is looking with attention on the pains employed by Lear to recover his child, and knows to what miseries he must survive, when he finds them to be ineffectual. Having these images present to his eyes and imagination, he cries out, Rather fall, and cease to be, at once, than continue in existence only to be wretched.
If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
One of them we behold.] i. e. If Fortune, to display the plenitude of her power, should brag of two persons, one of whom she had highly elevated, and the other she had wofully depressed, we now behold the latter.