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

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 defence.

i trumpet. Her. Again.

2 trumpet. Her. Again.

3 trumpet.
[Trumpet answers, wibin.

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

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. Himfelf; 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 proteft,
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 thextreamest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust below thy foot,
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 lieft.
Edm. In wisdom I Tould ask thy name;

But

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But since thy out-fide looks fo fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes ;
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knight-hood, I disdain and fpurn:
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 thou shalt reft for ever. Trumpets, speak.

[Alaram. Fight,
Gon. O, fave him, fave him; this is practice, Glo'fter:(60)
By th’ law of war, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown oppofite; thou art not vanquish'd,
But cozen'd and beguild.

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'st 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 fo am I: but what art thou,
That hast 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 juft, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us:

(60) Alb. Save bim, save him.

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

The

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:
Let 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?

Eag. 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' assume 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, sav'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 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 woeful, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to diffolve,
Hearing of this.
Edg. This would have seem'd a period, (61)

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

To such as love not sorrow : 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 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 moft 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 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 flave.

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

Gent. 'Tis hot, it smoaks; it came even from the heart Of-O! 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 banilhment; and gives a beautiful picture of the emotions that good old man felt for the death of his friend Glo'ster, and the piety of Edgar towards his diftreft father. Edmund had 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 for

From the different behaviour of these 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.

Edm.

row.

Edm. I was contracted to them both; all three Now marry

in an instant. Edg. Here comes Kent.

Enter Kent.
Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead.

(Gonerill and Regan's bodies brought out,
This judgment of the heav'ns, that makes us tremble,
Touches us not with pity:-0! is this he?
The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urge.

Kent. I am come
To bid my King and master aye good night;
Is he not here?

Alb. Great thing of us forgot!
Speak, Edmund, where's the Kingi and where's Cordelia?
See'st thou this object, Kent?

Kent. Alack, why thus ?

Edm. Yet Edmund was belov'd:
The one the other poison'd for my fake,
And after flew herself.

Alb. Even so; cover their faces.

Edm. I pant for life; some good I mean to do,
Despight of mine own nature. Quickly fend,
(Be brief) into the castle; for my writ
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia:
Nay, send in time.

Alb. Run, run, O run

Edg. To whom, my Lord? who has the office? Send thy token of reprieve.

Edm. Well thought on, take my sword, Give it the CaptainEdg. Hafte thee for thy life. [Exit Mefinger.

Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me To hang Cordelia in the prison, and To lay the blame upon her own despair. Alb. The gods defend her! bear him hence awhile.

[Edmund is borne off

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Enter

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