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That follow'd me so near, (0, our lives' sweetness!
Edm. 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 To such as love not sorrow; but another, To amplify too-much, would make much more, And top extremity. Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man, Who having seen me in my worst estate, Shunn’d my abhorr'd society; but then, finding Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms He fasten’d on my neck, and bellow'd out As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father:
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in disguise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife.
What kind of help?
Speak, man. Edg. What means that bloody knife? Gent.
'Tis hot, it smokes; 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.
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 us
tremble, Touches us not with pity.
Here comes Kent, sir.
Which very manners urges.
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 belov’d: The one the other poison'd for 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. Alb.
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.
Alb. Haste thee, for thy life. [Exit Edgar.
Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me To hang Cordelia in the prison, and To lay the blame upon her own despair, That she fordid herself. Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence a-while.
[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 promis'd end?
Fall, and cease!
O my good master! [kneeling. Lear. Pr’ythee, away. Edg.
'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Did I not, fellow?
And these same crosses spoil me.—Who are you? Mine eyes are none o' the best:— I'll tell you
straight. Kent. If fortune brag of two she loy'd and hated, One of them we behold.
Lear. This is a dull sight: Are you not Kent?
Kent. Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius?
Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He'll strike, and quickly too :-He’s dead and
rotten. Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man ;Lear. I'll see that straight. Kent. That, from your first of difference and
decay, Have follow'd your sad steps. Lear.
You are welcome hither. Kent. Nor no man else; all's cheerless, dark,
and deadly:Your eldest daughters have fore-doom'd them.'
selves, And desperately are dead. Lear.
Ay, so I think Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is That we present us to him. Edg.
Enter an Officer. Off Edmund is dead, my lord. Alb.
That's but a trifle here. You lords, and noble friends, know our intent. What comfort to this great decay may come,