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The wheel is come full circle: I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
Worthy prince, I know 't.
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 pair 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;
Edg. This would have seem'd a period
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.
Enter GENTLEMAN hastily, with a bloody knife.
What kind of help? Alb.
Speak, man. Edg. What means that bloody knife? Gen.
'Tis hot, it smokes ;
It came even from the heart of-
Who, man? speak.
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
tremble, Touches us not with pity.
Here comes Kent, sir.
very manners urges. Kent.
I am come
Great thing of us forgot !-
(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,
1 For ever.
And after slew herself.
Alb. Even so.-Cover their faces.
Edm. I pant for life : some good I mean to do, Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send, Be brief in it,—to the castle ; for my writ Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia.Nay, send in time.
Run, run, 0, runEdg. To who, my lord ?-Who has the office ?
send Thy token of reprieve.
Edm. Well thought on : take my sword; Give it the captain.
Haste thee, for thy life. [Erit Edgar. Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
[Edmund is borne off.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms ;
EDGAR, OFFICER, and others. Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!-0, you are men
of stones : Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
That heaven's vault should crack.—0, she is gone
Is this the promised end ? 1
Fall, and cease ! %
O, my good master! (kneeling. Lear. Pr'ythee, away. Edg.
'Tis noble Kent,
friend. Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all ! I might have saved her; now she's gone for
Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Did I not, fellow?
1 i.e. the end of the world, foretold by our Saviour.
i. e. die. Albany here addresses Lear.