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My oath, and my professiona ; I protest,-
But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
[Alarums. They fight.
EDMUND falls. ALB. Save him, save him ! Gon.
This is practice, Gloster: By the law of ward, 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. [Gives the letter to EDMUND. Gon. Say, if I do: the laws are mine, not thine: Who cane arraign me for 't?
[Exit GONERIL. ALB.
Most monstrous! O! Know 'st thou this paper ?
a We print as in the folio. The quartos read,
“ Behold, it is the privilege of my tongue,
My oath and profession.” The modern reading is
“ Behold, it is the privilege of mine honoure,
My oath and my profession.” • Say—assay. (See note on Act I., Scene 2.) • Practice—the quartos, mere practice. d War-the quartos, arms.
Can—the quartos, shall.
Ask me not what I know a.
And more, much more: the time will bring it out;
I do forgive thee.
Let 's exchange charity.
Cost him his eyes.
Thou hast spoken right; 't is true;
A royal nobleness :-I must embrace thee;
Did hate thee, or thy father !
Worthy prince, I know 't. ALB. Where have
And when 't is told, O, that my heart would burst!-
a We place the exit of Goneril as in the folio. The exclamation of Albany—“Most monstrous!" is the natural result of her unyielding haughtiness. The question of Albany“ Know'st thou this paper ?” is, in the folio, answered by Edmund—“Ask me not what I know.” In the quartos, however, which have been followed by the modern editors, this reply is given to Goneril. But why should Albany address this question to Goneril, when he has previously said to her—" No tearing, lady; I perceive you know it ?”
Plague—the quartos, scourge.
“ That with the pain of death we'd hourly die.”
Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
This speech of yours hath mov'd 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;
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Hearing of this. [EDG.
This would have seem'd a period
And there I left him tranc'd.
But who was this?
Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife.
What kind of help?
'T is hot, it smokes;
a The lines in brackets, beginning—“ This would have seem'd a period,” are omitted in the folio. b We give the passage as in the folio. The quarto reads
“ It came even from the heart of ALB.
Who, man? speak!"
Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister
By her is poison'd; she confesses it.
Now marry in an instant.
Here comes Kent.
This judgment of the heavens that makes us tremble,
[Exit Gentleman. Enter KENT.
0, is this hea ? The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urges.
I am come
Is he not here?
Great thing of us forgot! -
[The bodies of GONERIL and REGAN are brought in. Kent. Alack, why thus ? EDM.
Yet Edmund was belov'd :
And after slew herself.
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,-
Nay, send in time.
Run, run, O run
Thy token of reprieve.
Give it the captain.
[Exit EDGAR. Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
That she fordid herself.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms: EDGAR, Officer, and others. LEAR. Howl, howl, howl !--0, you are men of stones;
a The quartos, 0! it is he.
I'd use them so
Why, then she lives.
Is this the promis'd end a ?
Fall, and cease!
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.
O my good master!
'T is noble Kent, your friend. LEAR. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
I might have sav'd her; now she 's gone for ever!
I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee.
Did I not, fellow?
Mine eyes are not o' the best :-I 'll tell you straight.
One of them we behold.
Have follow'd your sad steps.
You are welcome hither. Kent. Nor no man else; all 's cheerless, dark, and deadly.
Your eldest daughters have fore-done themselves,
* The promis'd end-the end of the world foretold in the Scriptures. The " image of that horror" is the same as “the great doom's image" of Macbeth.
Fore-done-the quartos, fore-doom'd. We have previously had for-did used in the same sense of destroy.