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My lady is bespoke.
An interlude !
Alb. Thou art arm’d, Gloster. Let the trumpet
If none appear to prove upon thy person,
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge : [throwing down a glove.] I'll
prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
Sick, O, sick!
Gon. If not, I 'll ne'er trust poison. [aside.
Edm. There's my exchange : [throwing down a
glove.] 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 honor firmly.
Alb. A herald, ho!
A herald, ho, a herald !
Alb. Trust to thy single virtue;? for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
This sickness grows upon me.
Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.
[Exit Regan, led.
Come hither, herald : let the trumpet sound;
And read out this.
Off. Sound, trumpet.
[a trumpet sounds. Her. [reads.) If any man of quality or degree, within the lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet: he is bold in his defence.'
[1 trumpet. [2 trumpet.
[3 trumpet. (trumpet answers within.
Enter EDGAR, armed, preceded by a trumpet.
Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Upon this call o' the trumpet.
What are you?
Your name, your quality; and why you answer
This present summons ?
Know, my name is lost,
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit :
Yet am I noble as the adversary
I come to cope
Which is that adversary ?
Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund earl of
Edm, Himself : what say'st thou to him ?
Draw thy sword; That, if my speech offend a Doble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice : here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honors,
My oath, and my profession: I protest,
Maugre 1 thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Despite thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune,
Thy valor, and thy heart;—thou art a traitor;
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father ;
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince;
And, from the extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
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,
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name ;
But, since thy outside 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 knighthood, 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 instant way,
Where they shall rest for ever.—Trumpets, speak.
[alarums. They fight. Edmund falls. Alb. O, save him, save him! Gon.
This is mere practice,3 Gloster :
By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite : thou art not vanquish’d,
But cozen’d and beguiled.
Shut your mouth, dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it.-Hold, sir.Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil :No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it.
[gives the letter to Edmund.
Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not thine.
Who shall arraign me for 't?
Most monstrous !
Know'st thou this paper ?
Ask me not what I know.
[Exit Goneril. Alb. Go after her : she's desperate; govern her.
[to an Officer, who goes out. Edm. What you have charged me with, that have
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 art 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 hast 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 :
The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.
Thou hast 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 sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee or thy father!
Worthy prince, I know 't. Alb. Where have
you hid yourself? How have
known the miseries of your father ? Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief
And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst !
The bloody proclamation to escape,
That follow'd me so near, (0, our lives' sweetness !
That with the pain of death we'd hourly die,
Rather than die at once !) taught me to shift
Into a madman's rags; to assume a semblance
That very dogs disdain’d: and in this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
Led him, begg'd for him, saved 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 extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Edm. This speech of yours hath moved me, And shall, perchance, do good; but speak you on : You look as you had something more to say.