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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!
Edg.

Worthy prince, I know 't.
Alb. Where have you hid yourself?
How have you known the miseries of your father?
Edg. 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, (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, Burst smilingly.

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.

Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in ;
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
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.
Whilst I was big in clamor, came there a man,
Who having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endured, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw me on my father ;
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear received; which in recounting,
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack: twice then the trumpet sounded,
And there I left him tranced.

But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in dis

guise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.

Alb.

Enter GENTLEMAN hastily, with a bloody knife.
Gen. Help! help! O, help!
Edg.

What kind of help? Alb.

Speak, man. Edg. What means that bloody knife ? Gen.

'Tis hot, it smokes ;

Alb.

.

It came even from the heart of

Who, man? speak. Gen. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister By her is poison’d; she hath confess'd 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.

[Exit Gen.

Enter KENT.

Edg.

Here comes Kent, sir.
Alb. O! it is he.
The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urges.
Kent.

I am come
To bid my king and master aye good night :
Is he not here?

Great thing of us forgot!-
Speak, Edmund, where's the king, and where 's

Cordelia ?-
Seest thou this object, Kent?

[the bodies of Goneril and Regan are brought in. Kent. Alack, why thus ? Edm.

Yet Edmund was beloved : The one the other poison'd for my sake,

Alb.

1 For ever.

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