Page images


In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your addition.

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 should 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.

Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine”.

[T. EDMUND. 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.

An interlude!
Alb. Thou art arm’d, Gloster.—Let the trumpet

sound : 6 — THE WALLS are thine :] A metaphorical phrase, signifying, to surrender, like a town. This line is not in the quartos.

7 — my title THINE.] “My title good," quartos, where the line is given to Edmund. Two lines lower, for “thy arrest,” the quartos have "thine attaint."

& An interlude !) This exclamation is only in the folio. The necessary words, “ let the trumpet sound," are also from that impression. In the next line, for head of the quartos, the folio has “person.”

[ocr errors]

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.

Sick! O, sick!
Gon. [Aside.] If not, I'll ne'er trust poison'.
Edm. There's my exchange: [Throwing down a

Glore.] 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 my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.

My sickness grows upon me. Alb. She is not well ; convey her to my tent.

[Exit Regan, led.

Enter a Herald.
Come hither, herald.—Let the trumpet sound,
And read out this.
Capt. Sound, trumpet'.

[A trumpet sounds.

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.”

9 – I'll ne'er trust Poison.) So the quartos : the folio, medicine ; and three lines higher, “ make it on thy heart.”

10 A herald, ho! a herald !] Only in the quartos. i Sound, trumpet.] This command is not in the folio. 2 — within the lists of the army,] The quartos, “ within the host," &c.

Edm. Sound ! Her. Again. Her. Again.

[1 Trumpet. [2 Trumpet.

13 Trumpet. [Trumpet answers within.

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 my privilege , the privilege of mine

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;
And, from th' extremest upward of thy head,
3 Yet am I noble, as the adversary

I come to cope withal.] So the folio, but omitting “ withal :" one quarto (that with the stationer's address) reads,

6 Yet are I more 't, Where is the adversary I come to cope withal ?.” and the others leave out “Yet are I move't.”

4 — my privilege,] These words are only in the folio.
5 DESPITE thy victor sword,] The folio has Despise for “Despite."

I i

To the descent and dust below thy foot,
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.

Edm. 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 nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood®, I disdain and spurn.
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head ;
With the hell-hated 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 beguild'. Alb.

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.

[Gires the Letter to EDMUND. Gon. Say, if I do, the laws are mine, not thine: Who can arraign me for't??

6 – below thy foot,] The quartos, “ beneath thy fert;" and two lines earlier, “conspicuate 'gainst,” for “conspirant ’gainst.”

? And that thy TONGUE some 'sar-] The quartos read being for “tongue" of the folio. “ 'Say" is assay, i. e, sample or taste.

& By Rule of knighthood,] “ Right of knighthood” in the quartos.

9 But cozen`d and beguild.] In this speech the quartos and folio differ : the former have “ mere” (omitted in the folio) and “arms” for war.

I Hold, sir !] Only in the folio. In the next line it has “ name,” for thing of the quartos.

2 Who can arraign me for 't ?] The quartos, “ Who shall," &c. In the next line, one of the quartos (that without the address) has Monster, for * Most monstrous !” of the other quartos and folio.


Most monstrous !
Know'st thou this paper ?

Ask me not what I knows.

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

[Exit an Officer. Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that have

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 forgive thee.

Let's exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague us“:
The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.

Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true"; 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.

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

3 Ask me not what I know.] Albany again appeals to Goneril whether she knows the paper, and in all the quartos the answer is assigned to her, who then goes out. The folio, having erroneously fixed her exit earlier, transfers “ Ask me not what I know" to Edmund.

- and of our pleasant VICES Make instruments to Plague us :) The quartos read virtues for “ vices,” and scourge for “ plague.”

5 Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true ;] In the quartos, “ Thou hast spoken truth ;” and in the next line, for “full circle” of the folio, they have “full circled.” In all the old copies the scene is ill printed, and no one text can be followed at all implicitly.

« PreviousContinue »