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Or with this paper shall I ftop 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 so am I: but what art thou,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou'rt noble,
I do forgive thee.

Edy. 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 :
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 gate did prophesie
A royal Nobleness : I must embrace thee:
Let Sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father !

Edg. Worthy Prince, I know't.
Alb. Where have

you
hid
your

self? How have

you known the miseries of your father? Edg. By nursing them, my lord. Lift 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, fav'd him from despair ;
Never (O fault!) reveal'd my self unto him,
Until some half hour past, when I was armid,
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 fupport,
'Twixt two extreams of passion, joy and grief,
Burst smilingly.

Baff. 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 diffolve,
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!
Whilft I was big in Clamour, came there a Man,
Who having seen me in my worfer 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 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 Trumpets founded,
And there I left him traune'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 Slave.

Enter

a Gentleman,
Gent. Help, help!
Edg. What kind of help?
Alb, Speak, man.

Edg.

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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; the confefses it.

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. - O! 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 King and where's Cordelia?
See'ft 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 few her self.

Alb. Even so; cover their faces.

Edm. I pant for life; some Good I mean to do,
Despight of mine own nature. Quickly send,
(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.

Édm. Well thought on, take my sword, Give it the Captain

Edg. Hafte thee for thy life. [Exit Mesenger. Edm. He hath Commislion from thy wife and me

То

To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame upon her own despair.
Alb. The Gods defend her! bear him hence a while,

[Edmund is berne off Enter Lear, with Cordelia dead in his arms.

Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl, O, you are men

of stone ; Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them fo, That heaven's vault should crack : fhe's gone for ever! I know, when one is dead, and when one lives ; She's dead as earth ! lend me a looking-glass, If that her Breath will mift or stain the stone, Why then she lives.

Kent. Is this the promis'd End ?

Lear. This feather stirs, she lives ; if it be so,
It is a Chance which do’s redeem all sorrows,
That ever I have felt.
Kent. O my good mafter !

[Kneeling. Lear. Pr’ythee, away Edg. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.

Lear. A plague upon you, murth’rous traitors all fi I might have fav'd her ; now she's gone for ever!: Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha! What is't thou fay'st? her voice was ever soft, Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman. I kill'd the slave, that was a hanging thee.

Gent. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.

Lear. Did I not, fellow ?
I've 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'th' best. I'll tell

you strait. Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov’d and hated, One of them we behold.

Lear. Are you not Kert ?

Kent. The same; your servant Kents. Where is your servant Caius ?

ES

Lear.

Lear. 'Twas a good fellow, I can tell you that, (29) He'd strike, and quickly too :- he's dead and rotten.

Kent. No, my good lord, I am the very man,
Lear. I'll see that strait.

Kent. That, from your first of difference and decay, Have follow'd your fad steps –

Lear. You're welcome hither. ·Kent. Nor no man else ; – all's cheerless, dark, and

dead :
Your eldest daughters have fore-done themselves,
And desp'rately are dead.

Lear. Ay, so I think.
Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain is it,
That we present us to him.
Edg. Very bootless.

Enter a Mesenger.
Mel. Edmund is dead, my lord.

Alb. That's but a trifle.
You lords and noble friends, know our intent ;
What Comfort to this great Decay may come,
Shall be apply'd. For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old Majesty,
To him our absolute Power : to you, your Rights,

[To Edgar
With boot, and such addition as your honours
Have more than merited. All friends shall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their deservings : O fee, see

Lear. And my poor Fool is hangd: no, no, no life. Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, And thou no breath at all I thou'lt come no more, Never, never; never, never, never

(29) He's a good Fellow, I can tell you that, He'll strike and quickly too:

he's dead and rotten. ] We have seen Lear mad; but, Qever, a ftark Fool till this Moment; to tell us, that a dead and rotten Man will strike quickly. But it was a Stupidity of the Editors, and not chargeable on the Poet.

Pray

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