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That are to censure them.
Cor. We're not the first,
Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst :
For thee, oppressed King, am I cast down ;
My self could else out-frown false fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters and these fifters ?
Lear. No, no, no, no ; come, let's away to prison ;
We two alone will fing, like birds i'th' cage :
When thou dost ask me Blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee Forgiveness : so we'll live,
And pray, and fing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies ; and hear poor rogues
Talk of Court-news, and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins ; who's in, who's out:
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies. And we'll wear out,
In a walld prison, packs and sects of Great ones,
That ebb and flow by th' moon.
Edm. Take them away.
Lear. Upon such Sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The Gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee ?
He that parts us, fhall bring a brand from heav'n,
And fire us hence, like foxes ; wipe thine eye,
The good-jers shall devour them, Aesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep; we'll see them starv'd first.
[Exeunt Lear and Cordelia guarded.
Edm. Come hither, Captain, hark.
Take thou this note; go, follow them to prison.
One step I have advanc'd thee ; if thou doft
As this instructs thee, thou doft make thy way
To noble fortunes : know thou this, that men
Are as the time is ; to be tender-minded
Do's not become a sword; My great Employment (27)
thy great Employment Will not bear Question ;] All the Copies concur in reading thus; but, without doubt, erroneously. The Person, whom Edmund is here speaking to, was of no higher Degree than a Captain ; and therefore, certainly, accountable to his Superiours. Edmund, 'ris plain, must mean ; " I leading one of the Conquerors' VOL. VI,
Will not bear question ; either say, thou'lt do't;
Or thrive by other means.
Capt. I'll do't, my lord.
Edm. About it, and write happy, when thou'ft done. Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so, As I have set it down.
[Exit Captain. Flourish. Enter Albany, Gonerill, Regan, and Soldiers.
Alb. Sir, you have shew'd to day your valiant ftrain,
And fortune led you well : you have the Captives,
Who were the opposites of this day's strife :
We do require them of you, so to use them,
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.
Édm. Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable King
To fome retention, and appointed guard ;
has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosoms on his fide ;
And turn our impreft launces in our eyes,
Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen ;
My reason all the fame ; and they are ready
To morrow, or at further space, t'appear
Session. At this time, We sweat and bleed ; the Friend hath lost his Friend ; And the best Quarrels, in the Heat, are curft By those that feel their Sharpness. The Question of Cordelia, and her father, Requires a fitter Place.
116. Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a Subject of this war,
Not as a Brother.
Reg. That's as we list to grace him.
Methinks, our pleasure might have been demanded,
you had spoke so far. He led our Pow'rs ; Bore the Commission of my Place and Person ;
" Forces, and having employ'd thee in this Bulness, will be “ thy sufficient Warrant, and will secure Thee from being que« ftior'd about it."
The which immediacy may well stand up,
And call it self your brother.
Gon. Not so hot :
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your advancement.
Reg. In my Right,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Alb. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jesters do oft prove Prophets.
Gon. Holla, Holla!
That eye, that told you fo, look'd but a-squint.
Reg. Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
From a full-flowing ftomach. General,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony,
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine :
Witness the World, that I create thee here
My lord and master.
Gon. Mean you to enjoy him ?
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 Arrest,
This gilded Serpent ; for your Claim, fair filter,
I bar it in the interest of my wife ;
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banes.
will marry, make your My lady is bespoke.
Gon. An enterlude !
Alb. Thou art arm'd, Glo'fter ; let the trumpet found: If none appear to prove upon thy person Thy heinous, manifest, 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.
Rog.Sick, Ofick Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [ Aside. 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
[Exit Reg. led. Come hither, herald, let the trumpet found, And read out this.
[A trumpet founds.
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 bis defence.
i trumpet. Her. Again.
2 trumpet. Her. Again.
3 trumpet. [Trumpet ariswers, within.
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 Earl of
Edm. Himself; what fay'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 thextreamest 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,
Edm. In Wisdom I hould ask thy name ;
But since thy out-side looks so 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 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 fword of mine shall give them instant way,
Where thou shalt rest for ever. Trumpets, speak.
[Alarm. Fight. Gon. O, fave him, fave him ; This is Practice,
By th' law of war, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite ; thou art not vanquishid,
But cozen'd and beguil'd.
Alb. Shut your mouth, Dame, (28) Alb. Save him, Save him. Gon. This is Pradice, Glo'ster : ) Thus all the Copies have diftinguish'd these Speeches : but I have ventur'd to place the Iwo Hemiftichs to Gonerill. 'Tis absurd, that Albany, who knew Edmund's Treasons, and his own Wife's Passion for him, Dould be sollicitous to have his Life Say'd,