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Edm. Come hither, captain; hark.

Take thou this note;' [giving a paper.] go, follow them to
One step I have advanc'd thee; if thou dost

As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
To noble fortunes: Know thou this,-that men
Are as the time is: to be tender-minded


Does not become a sword:-Thy great employment
Will not bear question;" either say, thou'lt do't,
Or thrive by other means.


I'll do't, my lord.

Edm. About it; and write happy, when thou hast done. Mark,-I say, instantly; and carry it so,

As I have set it down.

Off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats;

If it be man's work, I will do it.

[Exit Officer.

Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Officers, and Attendants.

Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain, 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.


Sir, I thought it fit

To send the old and miserable king

To some retention, and appointed guard;

Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,

To pluck the common bosom on his side,

And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes"

Which do command them. With him I sent the queen,
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, to appear

Where you shall hold your session. At this time,
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;

1 — this note—] The warrant signed by the bastard and Goneril, for the execution of Lear and Cordelia.-MALONE.

Will not bear question ;] i. e. The important business intrusted to him, will

not admit of any delay for question, i. e. debate, or consideration.

And turn our impress'd `lances in our eyes—] i. e. Turn the launcemen, whom we have hired by giving them press-money, against us.-STEEVENS.

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And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
By those that feel their sharpness:

The question of Cordelia, and her father,
Requires a fitter place."


Sir, by your patience,

I hold you but a subject of this war,

Not as a brother.



That's as we list to grace
Methinks, our pleasure might have been demanded,
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Bore the commission of my place and person;
The which immediacy" may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.


Not so hot:

In his own grace he doth exalt himself,

More than in your advancement.


In my rights,

By me invested, he compeers the best.

Gon. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

Holla, holla!
That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.

Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I would answer
From a full-flowing stomach.-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.


Mean you to enjoy him? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will.' Edm. Nor in thine, lord.


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Half-blooded fellow, yes.

Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.


• Requires a fitter place.] i. e. The determination of the question what shall be done with Cordelia and her father, should be reserved for greater privacy. -STEEVENS.


immediacy-] i. e. Close and immediate connexion with me, and direct authority from me.-MALONE.

the walls are thine:] i. e. I surrender myself up, a metaphorical phrase, taken from the camp.-WARBURTON.

The let-alone lies not in your good will.] Whether he shall not or shall, depends not on your choice.-JOHNSON.

Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:-Edmund, I arrest thee On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,

This gilded serpent: [pointing to GoN.]-for your claim, fair sister,

I bar it in the interest of my wife;

'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.

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Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster :-Let the trumpet sound: 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.


Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.

Sick, O, sick!


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 honour firmly.

Alb. A herald, ho!


A herald, ho, a herald!

Alb. Trust to thy single virtue;' for thy soldiers,

All levied in thy name, have in my name

Took their discharge.


This sickness grows upon me.

Enter a Herald.

Alb. She is not well; convey her to

Come hither, herald,-Let the trumpet sound,

And read out this.

Off. Sound, trumpet.

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[A Trumpet sounds.

- thy single virtue ;] i. e. Valour; a Roman sense of the word.-STEEVENS.

Herald 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.

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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 withal.


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 noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of my honours,
My oath, and my profession;" I protest,-
Maugre* thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Despite 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;
here is mine.] i. e. His sword.

u Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,

My oath and my profession:] The privilege of this oath means the privilege gained by taking the oath administered in the regular initiation of a knight professed-JoHNSON.

Maugre- i. e. Notwithstanding.

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,

Thou liest.


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 nicely2 I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn:
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head:
With the hell-bated 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, Gloster: By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd, But cozen'd and beguil❜d.

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?

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Alb. Go after her: she's desperate; govern her.

[To an Officer, who goes out.

Y say-] i. e. Taste or relish.-NARES.

What safe and nicely, &c.] That delay which by the law of knighthood I might make, I scorn to make. Nicely is punctiliously; if I stood on minute forms. -MALONE.

a Where they shall rest for ever.] To that place, where they shall rest for ever; i. e. thy heart.-MALONE.

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