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Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil:
[Gives the letter* to EDMUND. Goneril. Say, if I do, the laws are mine, not thine: Who can arraign me for 't?
Albany. Most monstrous!
Know'st ,thou this paper?
Gon.' Ask me not what I know.
[Exit Goneril. Alb. Go after her: she 's desperate; govern her.
[Exit an Officer.
Edmund. What you have charg'd me with, that have
And more, much more; the time will bring it out:
Edgar. Let 's exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
Edmund. Thou hast spoken right, 't is true;
The wheel is come full circle: I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
Edg. Worthy prince, I know 't.
Alb. Where have you bid yourself?
Edg. By nursing them, my lord. — List2 a brief tale';
1. i. e. Gooeril's letter found upon j 2. To list, to listen to, to hearken to. Oswald. J
Into a madman's rags, t' assume a semblance
Edmund. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
Albany. If there be more, more woful, hold it in,'
Edgar. This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow; but another,
Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man,
1. 0 fault! 0 misfortune!
2. Until about half-an-hour ago.
3. i. e. as if you had.
4. This would have seemed a period (i. e. conclusion) to such as love not sorrow; but I must add another period, to increase what was already too-much, which will make much, more (i. e. more than much) and surpass even the extremity of sorrow. Too-much and much have the power of substan
tives. •— The sense in plain language is therefore, — This would be enough for any one who does not love to hear of human sorrows, but I have still another sorrowful tale to add, such as will increase the horrors of what has been already told. — To top, see note 8, page 11.
5. i. e. As if he would. . 6. t. e. himself.
- - -
ACT V. SC. III. 109 Began to crack: twice, then, the trumpets sounded, * And there I left him tranc'd. Alany. But who was this?
Edlar. Kent, Sir, the banish’d Kent; who in disguise
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody Knife.
tleman. Help! help! O help!
Speak, man. ,
'g. What means that bloody knife? 7\t. - 'T is hot, it smokes; e even from the heart of – O! she ’s dead! lb. Who dead? speak, man. ent. Your lady, Sir, your lady: and her sister Byer is poison’d; she hath confess'd it. dm. I was contracted to them both: all three N] marry in an instant. 2dg. Here comes Kent. Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead! — judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble, hes us not with pity. [Exit Gentleman.
- O! is this he?
Kent. I am come bid my king and master aye” good night: he not here? • Alb. Great thing of us forgot! —
eak, Edmund, where's the king? and where 's Cordelia? — est thou this object, Kent?
[The bodies of GONERIL and REGAN are brought in. Kent. Alack! why thus?
1. Which even manners (i. e. po- ceived as one idea, and govern the l liteness) itself dictates. Manners, like verb in the singular. ews and some other words, although 2. i. e. for aye, for ever.
1. * "Eonstructed in the plural, may be con
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
Albany. Even so. — Cover their faces.
Edmund. I pant for life: some good I mean to do,
Alb. Kun, run! O, run!
Edgar. To whom, 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
Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
[edmund is borne off.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his Arms; EDGAR, Officer, and
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl! — O! you are men of
Had I your tongues and eyes, I 'd use them so
That heaven's vault should crack — She's gone for ever. —
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She 's dead as earth. — Lend me a looking-glass;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,3
Why, then she lives.
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?4
Edg. Or image of that horror?
Alb. Fall, and cease!5
Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so,
1. i. e. for my written order has gone forth touching the life of, Sec.
2. To fordo, or foredo, to destroy. Obsolete.
3. It must be recollected that mirrors of polished inetal were formerly used.
4. i. e. end of the world.
5. Albany is looking with attention at the pains employed by Lear
to recover his child, and knows to what miseries he must survive, when he finds them to be ineffectual. Having these images present to his eyes and imagination, he cries out, — Rather fall, and cease to he, at once, than continue in existence only to be wretched.
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
Kent. O, my good master! [Kneeling.
Lear. Pr'ythee, away.
Edgar. 'T is noble Kent, your friend.
Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
Officer. 'T is true, my, lords, he did.
Lear. Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion
Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
Lear. This is a dull sight. — Are you not Kent?
Kent. The same,
Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?3
Lear. He 's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He 'll strike, and quickly too.4 — He 's dead and rotten.
Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man —
Lear. I 1l see that straight.
Kent. That from your first of difference and decay,5 Have follow'd your sad steps. v
Lear. You are welcome hither.
Kent. Nor no man else.6 All's cheerless, dark, and deadly: Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves, And desperately are dead.
Lear. Ay, so I think.
1. And these distresses deprive me of niy wonted activity.
2. If Fortune, to display the plenitude of her power, should boast of two persons, one of whom she had highly elevated, and the other she had wofully depressed, we now behold the latter.
3. Kent seems to have borne this name when disguised as Lear's servant.
4. Alluding to Kent's offieiousness in his service.
5. i. e. from the first moment of your changed fortunes and sorrows.
6. Continuing his former speech.