Part 3 out of 3
sound of the Trumpet: he is bold in his defence.
Trumpet answers within.
Enter Edgar armed.
Alb. Aske him his purposes, why he appeares
Vpon this Call o'th' Trumpet
Her. What are you?
Your name, your quality, and why you answer
This present Summons?
Edg. Know my name is lost
By Treasons tooth: bare-gnawne, and Canker-bit,
Yet am I Noble as the Aduersary
I come to cope
Alb. Which is that Aduersary?
Edg. What's he that speakes for Edmund Earle of Gloster?
Bast. Himselfe, what saist 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 my priuiledge,
The priuiledge of mine Honours,
My oath, and my profession. I protest,
Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
Despise 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 th' extremest vpward of thy head,
To the discent and dust below thy foote,
A most Toad-spotted Traitor. Say thou no,
This Sword, this arme, and my best spirits are bent
To proue vpon thy heart, where to I speake,
Bast. In wisedome I should aske thy name,
But since thy out-side lookes so faire and Warlike,
And that thy tongue (some say) of breeding breathes,
What safe, and nicely I might well delay,
By rule of Knight-hood, I disdaine and spurne:
Backe do I tosse these Treasons to thy head,
With the hell-hated Lye, ore-whelme thy heart,
Which for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,
This Sword of mine shall giue them instant way,
Where they shall rest for euer. Trumpets speake
Alb. Saue him, saue him.
Gon. This is practise Gloster,
By th' law of Warre, thou wast not bound to answer
An vnknowne opposite: thou art not vanquish'd,
But cozend, and beguild
Alb. Shut your mouth Dame,
Or with this paper shall I stop it: hold Sir,
Thou worse then any name, reade thine owne euill:
No tearing Lady, I perceiue you know it
Gon. Say if I do, the Lawes are mine not thine,
Who can araigne me for't?
Alb. Most monstrous! O, know'st thou this paper?
Bast. Aske me not what I know
Alb. Go after her, she's desperate, gouerne her
Bast. 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 Fortune on me? If thou'rt Noble,
I do forgiue thee
Edg. Let's exchange charity:
I am no lesse in blood then thou art Edmond,
If more, the more th'hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar and thy Fathers Sonne,
The Gods are iust, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague vs:
The darke and vitious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes
Bast. Th'hast spoken right, 'tis true,
The Wheele is come full circle, I am heere
Alb. Me thought thy very gate did prophesie
A Royall Noblenesse: I must embrace thee,
Let sorrow split my heart, if euer I
Did hate thee, or thy Father
Edg. Worthy Prince I know't
Alb. Where haue you hid your selfe?
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 follow'd me so neere, (O our liues sweetnesse,
That we the paine of death would hourely dye,
Rather then die at once) taught me to shift
Into a mad-mans rags, t' assume a semblance
That very Dogges 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, sau'd him from dispaire.
Neuer (O fault) reueal'd my selfe vnto him,
Vntill some halfe houre past when I was arm'd,
Not sure, though hoping of this good successe,
I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last
Told him our pilgrimage. But his flaw'd heart
(Alacke too weake the conflict to support)
Twixt two extremes of passion, ioy and greefe,
Bast. This speech of yours hath mou'd me,
And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
You looke as you had something more to say
Alb. If there be more, more wofull, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to dissolue,
Hearing of this.
Enter a Gentleman.
Gen. Helpe, helpe: O helpe
Edg. What kinde of helpe?
Alb. Speake man
Edg. What meanes this bloody Knife?
Gen. 'Tis hot, it smoakes, it came euen from the heart
of- O she's dead
Alb. Who dead? Speake man
Gen. Your Lady Sir, your Lady; and her Sister
By her is poyson'd: she confesses it
Bast. I was contracted to them both, all three
Now marry in an instant
Edg. Here comes Kent.
Alb. Produce the bodies, be they aliue or dead;
Gonerill and Regans bodies brought out.
This iudgement of the Heauens that makes vs tremble.
Touches vs not with pitty: O, is this he?
The time will not allow the complement
Which very manners vrges
Kent. I am come
To bid my King and Master aye good night.
Is he not here?
Alb. Great thing of vs forgot,
Speake Edmund, where's the King? and where's Cordelia?
Seest thou this obiect Kent?
Kent. Alacke, why thus?
Bast. Yet Edmund was belou'd:
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
And after slew herselfe
Alb. Euen so: couer their faces
Bast. I pant for life: some good I meane to do
Despight of mine owne Nature. Quickly send,
(Be briefe in it) to'th' Castle, for my Writ
Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia:
Nay, send in time
Alb. Run, run, O run
Edg. To who my Lord? Who ha's the Office?
Send thy token of repreeue
Bast. Well thought on, take my Sword,
Giue it the Captaine
Edg. Hast thee for thy life
Bast. He hath Commission from thy Wife and me,
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame vpon her owne dispaire,
That she for-did her selfe
Alb. The Gods defend her, beare him hence awhile.
Enter Lear with Cordelia in his armes.
Lear. Howle, howle, howle: O you are men of stones,
Had I your tongues and eyes, Il'd vse them so,
That Heauens vault should crack: she's gone for euer.
I know when one is dead, and when one liues,
She's dead as earth: Lend me a Looking-glasse,
If that her breath will mist or staine the stone,
Why then she liues
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
Edg. Or image of that horror
Alb. Fall and cease
Lear. This feather stirs, she liues: if it be so,
It is a chance which do's redeeme all sorrowes
That euer I haue felt
Kent. O my good Master
Lear. Prythee away
Edg. 'Tis Noble Kent your Friend
Lear. A plague vpon you Murderors, Traitors all,
I might haue sau'd her, now she's gone for euer:
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha:
What is't thou saist? Her voice was euer soft,
Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
I kill'd the Slaue that was a hanging thee
Gent. 'Tis true (my Lords) he did
Lear. Did I not fellow?
I haue seene the day, with my good biting Faulchion
I would haue made him skip: I am old now,
And these same crosses spoile me. Who are you?
Mine eyes are not o'th' best, Ile tell you straight
Kent. If Fortune brag of two, she lou'd and hated,
One of them we behold
Lear. This is a dull sight, are you not Kent?
Kent. The same: your Seruant Kent,
Where is your Seruant Caius?
Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that,
He'le strike and quickly too, he's dead and rotten
Kent. No my good Lord, I am the very man
Lear. Ile see that straight
Kent. That from your first of difference and decay,
Haue follow'd your sad steps
Lear. You are welcome hither
Kent. Nor no man else:
All's cheerlesse, darke, and deadly,
Your eldest Daughters haue fore-done themselues,
And desperately are dead
Lear. I so I thinke
Alb. He knowes not what he saies, and vaine is it
That we present vs to him.
Enter a Messenger.
Edg. Very bootlesse
Mess. Edmund is dead my Lord
Alb. That's but a trifle heere:
You Lords and Noble Friends, know our intent,
What comfort to this great decay may come,
Shall be appli'd. For vs we will resigne,
During the life of this old Maiesty
To him our absolute power, you to your rights,
With boote, and such addition as your Honours
Haue more then merited. All Friends shall
Taste the wages of their vertue, and all Foes
The cup of their deseruings: O see, see
Lear. And my poore Foole is hang'd: no, no, no life?
Why should a Dog, a Horse, a Rat haue life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Neuer, neuer, neuer, neuer, neuer.
Pray you vndo this Button. Thanke you Sir,
Do you see this? Looke on her? Looke her lips,
Looke there, looke there.
Edg. He faints, my Lord, my Lord
Kent. Breake heart, I prythee breake
Edg. Looke vp my Lord
Kent. Vex not his ghost, O let him passe, he hates him,
That would vpon the wracke of this tough world
Stretch him out longer
Edg. He is gon indeed
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long,
He but vsurpt his life
Alb. Beare them from hence, our present businesse
Is generall woe: Friends of my soule, you twaine,
Rule in this Realme, and the gor'd state sustaine
Kent. I haue a iourney Sir, shortly to go,
My Master calls me, I must not say no
Edg. The waight of this sad time we must obey,
Speake what we feele, not what we ought to say:
The oldest hath borne most, we that are yong,
Shall neuer see so much, nor liue so long.
Exeunt. with a dead March.
FINIS. THE TRAGEDIE OF KING LEAR.