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Witnesse the world, that I create thee heere
My lord and master.
Con. Meane you to enioy him then ?
Alb. The let alone lies not in your good will.
Baft. Nor in thine lord.
Alb. Halfe blooded fellow, yes.
Baft. Let the drum strike, and proue my title good.
Alb. Stay yet, heare reason : Edmund, I arrest thee
On capitall treason; and in thine attaint,
This gilded serpent : for your claime faire sister,
I bare it in the interest of my wife,
Tis she is subcontracted to her lord,
And I her husband contradict the banes.
If you will marry, make your loue to me,
My lady is bespuke. Thou art arm'd Glofter,
If none appeare to proue vpon thy head,
Thy hainous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge, Ile proue it on thy heart
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing lesse
Then I haue hecre proclaim'd thee.
Reg. Sicke, ô ficke.
Gon. If not, Ile nere trust poyson.
Bat. Ther's my exchange, what in the world he is,
That names ine traitor, villain-like he lyes,
Call by thy trumpet, he that dares approach
On him, on you, who not, I will maintaine
My truth and honor firmeiy.
Alb. A herald ho.
Bat. A herald ho, a herald.
Alb. Trust to thy single vertue, for thy foldiers
All levied in my name, haue in my name tooke their discharge:
Reg. This ficknele growes vpon me.
Alb. She is not well, conuey her to my tent, Come hither herald, let the trumpet found, and read out this.
Cap. Sound trumpet.
Her. If any man of quality or degree, in the hoast of the army, will maintaine vpon Edmund, supposed earle of Glocester, that he's a manifold traitor, let him appeare at the thirde found of the trumpet : he is bold in his defence,
Baft. Sound. Againe.
Enter Edgar at the third found, with a trumpet before him.
Alb. Alke him his purposes, why he appeares Vpon this call o’th trumpet ?
Her. What are you ? your name and quality?
And why you answer this present summons ?
Edg. O know my name is lost by treasons tooth :
Bare-gnawne and canker-bit,
Where is the aduersary I come to cope with all ?
Alb. What is that aduersary ?
Edg. What’s he that speakes for Edmund earle of Glofter ?
Baft. Himselfe, what sayst thou to him ?
Edg. Draw thy sword,
That if my speech offend a noble heart, thy arme
May do thee iustice, heere is mine:
Behold it is the priuiledge of my tongue,
My oath and profession. I protest,
Maugre thy strength, youth, place and eminence,
Despight thy victor, sword, and fire new fortun'd,
Thy valor, and thy heart, thou art a traitor :
False to the gods, thy brother, and thy father,
Conspicuate gainst this high illustrious prince,
And from th'extrcmest vpward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
A most toad-spotted traitor : say thou no,
This sword, this arme, and my best spirits,
Is bent to proue vpon thy heart, whereto I speake thou lyest.
Baft. In wifedome I should alke thy name,
But since thy outside lookes so faire and warlike,
And that thy being some say of breeding breathes,
By right of knight-hood I disdaine and spurne,
With the hell hatedly ore-turn'd thy heart,
Which for they yet glance by, and scarsely bruise,
This sword of mine shall giue them inftant way.
Where they shall rest for euer, trumpets speake.
Alb. Saue him, faue him.
Gon. This is meere practise Glofter, by the law of armes
Thou art not bound to offer an vnknowne opposite,
Thou art not vanquisht, but cousned and beguild.'
Alb. Stop your mouth dame, or with this paper shall I stop it : thou worse then any thing, reade thine own euill. Nay, no tearing lady, I perceiue you know't,
Gon. Say if I do, the lawes are mine not thine, who shal araign me for it.
Alb. Monster, knowst thou this paper?
Gon. Alke me not what I know,
Exit Gonorill. Alb. Go after her, she's desperate, gouerne her.
Baft. What you haue charg'd me with, that haue I done, And more, much more, the time will bring it out. Tis past, and so am I: but what art thou that hast this for. tune on me? if thou beest noble, I do forgiue thee.
Edg. Let's exchange charity, I am no lesse in blood then thou art Edmund, If more, the more thou hast wrongd me. My name is Edgar, and thy fathers sonne, The gods are iuft, and of our pleasant vertues Make instruments to scourge vs : the darke and vitious place Where he thee got, cost him his eyes.
Baft. Thou hast spoken truth,
The wheele is come full circkled, I am heere.
Alb. Me thought the very gate did prophefie
A royall noblenesle, I must embrace thee,
Let sorow split my heart if I did euer hate thee or thy father.
Edg. Worthy prince I know it.
Alb. Where haue you hid your felfe?
How haue you knowne the miseries of your father?
Edg. By nursing them my lord,
List a breefe tale, and when tis told,
O that my heart would burst. The bloody proclamation
To escape that followed me so neere,
(0 our lives sweetnesse, that with the paine of death
Would hourely dye, rather then dye at once)
Taught me to shift into a mad-mans rags,
To assume a semblance that very dogges disdain'd:
And in this habit met I my father with his bleeding rings,
The precious stones new lost; became his guide,
Led him, begd for him, fau'd him from dispaire.
Neuer (O father) reueald my selfe vnto him,
Vntill some halfe houre past when I was arm'd,
Not sure, though hoping of this good succesle,
I askt his blessing, and from first to last
Told him my pilgrimage: but his Aawd heart
Alacke too weake the conflict to support,
Twixt two extremes of passion, ioy and greefe,
Baft. This speech of yours hath mooued me,
And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
You looke as you had something more to say.
Alb. If there be any more more wofull, hold it in. For I am almost readie to disolue.
Edg. This would haue seem'd a period to such
As loue not sorrow, but another to amplifie too much,
Would make much more, and top extremity.
Whilst I was big in clamor, came there in a man,
Who hauing seene me in my worst estate,
Shund my abhord society : but then finding
Who twas that so indur'd, with his strong armes
He fastened on my necke, and bellowd out
As hee'd burst heauen, threw me on my father,
And told the pitteous tale of Lear and him,
That euer eare receiued, which in recounting
His greefe grew puisant, and the strings of life
Began to cracke twice, then the trumpets founded,
And there I left him traunst.
Alb. But who was this?
Edg. Kent fir, the banisht Kent, who in disguise, Followed his enemy king, and did him feruice Improper for a flaue.
Enter one with a bloody Knife. Gent. Helpe, helpe. Alb. What kinde of helpe? what meanes that bloody knife? Gent. Its hot, it smokes, it came euen from the heart of Alb. Who man? speake.
Gent. Your lady sir, your lady; and her sister By her is poyson'd: she has confest it.
: Baft. I was contracted to them both, all three Now marry in an instant.
Alb. Produce their bodies be they alive or dead : This iustice of the heauens that makes vs tremble, Touches not with pity.
Enter Kent. Edg. Here comes Kent fir.