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Methinks, our pleasure might have been demanded,
Ere
you

had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Bore the commission of my place and person;
The which immediacy may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.
Gon.

Not so hot:
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in

your

advancement. Reg.

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. Gon.

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 94 are thine :
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master.
Gon.

Mean

you to enjoy him?
Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will,
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb.

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

[To Edmund. Alb. Stay yet; hear reason :-Edmund, I arrest

thee On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,

95

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.
Gon.

An interlude!
Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster: Let the trumpet

sound:
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.
Reg.

Sick, 0, sick! Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Aside. Edm. There's my exchange: [throwing down a

glove.] 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!
Edm.

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.
Reg.

This sickness grows upon me,

Enter a Herald.

Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.

[E.xit Regan, led. Come hither, herald, -Let the trumpet sound, And read out this. off. 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. Edm. Sound.

[1 trumpet. Her. Again.

[2 trumpet. Her. Again.

[3 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.
Her.

What are you?
Your name, your quality and why you answer
This present summons ?
Edg.

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.
Alb.

Which is that adversary?

Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund earl of

Gloster?
Edm. Himself;What say'st thou to him?
Edg.

Draw thy sword;
That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
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 the extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
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 thein instant way, Where they shall rest for ever.-Trumpets, speak.

[Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls.

Alb.

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 beguil'd.

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 shall arraign me for't?
Alb.

Most monstrous !
Know'st thou this paper?
Gon.

Ask me not what I know.

[Erit Goneril. Alb. Go after her: she's desperate; govern her.

[To an Officer, who goes out. 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 art noble, I do forgive thee. Edg.

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 scourge us :

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