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Edg. But such a fall as this, I grant, was due
Cord. You had your pardon, nor can you challenge
more. Edg. What do I challenge more? Such vanity agrees not with these rags : When in my prosp’rous state, rich Gloster’s heir, You silenced my pretences, and enjoin'd me To trouble you upon that theme no more; Then what reception must love's language find From these bare limbs, and beggar's humble weeds? Cord. Such as a voice of pardon to a wretch condemn’d ; Such as the shouts Of succoring forces to a town besieged. Edg. Ah! what new method now of cruelty? Cord. Come to my arms, thou dearest, best of men, And take the kindest vows, that e'er were spoke By a protesting maid. Edg. Is’t possible P Cord. By the dear vital stream, that bathes my heart, These hallow'd rags of thine, and naked virtue, These abject tassels, these fantastic shreds, To me are dearer than the richest pomp Of purpled monarchs. Edg. Generous, charming maid! The gods alone, that made, can rate thy worth ! This most amazing excellence shall be Fame's triumph in succeeding ages, when Thy bright example shall adorn the scene, And teach the worki perfection. Cord. Cold and weary, We'll rest awhile, Aranthe, on that straw, Then forward to find out the poor old king.
Edg. Look, I have flint and steel, the implements,
. Of wand'ring lunatics; I'll strike a light, And make a fire beneath this shed, to dry
Thy storm-drench'd, garments, ere thou liest to rest - thee : Then, fierce and wakeful as th’ hesperian dragon, I'll watch beside thee to protect thy sleep: Meanwhile the stars shall dart their kindest beams, And angels visit my Cordelia's dreams. Leaeum;
END OF THE THIRD ACT.
A C T IV. scene 1–an apartment in the earl of Gloster's castle.
enter the duke of corts wai. L. REGAN, EDMUND, EDwARD and servants.
Corn. I will have my revenge ere I depart his
Regan, see here, a plot upon our state ; -
Reg. Then double be our vengeance; this confirms
Corn. Our eagle, quick to spy, and fierce to seize, Our trusty Edmund.
Reg. Twas a noble service:
Edm. Think, sir, how hard a fortune I sustain,
Corm. Edmund, thou shalt find
And that's to punish this discarded traitor ; * But lest thy tender nature should relent At his just sufferings, nor brook the sight, We wish thee to withdraw. 3. Reg. The grotto, sir, within the lower grove Has privacy, to suit a mourner’s thought. o: Edm. And there I may expect a comforter— Ha, madam? * Reg. What may happen, sir, I know not; But twas a friend's advice. [exit Edmund Corn. Bring in the traitor.
~ enter Glost ER, brought in by two servants.
Bind fast his arms. Glost. What mean your graces? * You are my guests; pray, do me no foul play. so Corn. Bind him, I say, hard, harder yet. Reg. Now, traitor, thou shalt find Corn. Speak, rebel, where hast thou sent the king? * Whom, spite of our decree, thou saved'st last night. Glost. I’m tied to th’ stake, and I must stand the course Reg. Say where, and why, thou hast conceal’d him? Glost. Because I would not see thy cruel hands *"Tear out his poor old eyes, northy fierce sister Carve his anointed flesh ; but I shall see The swift-wing'd vengeance overtake such children. Corn. See’t thou shalt never ; slaves, perform your so work ; (the servants take Gloster out) Out with those treacherous eyes; despatch, I say. Glost. (within) He, that will think to live till he be old, Give me some help. O, cruel! oh, ye gods! * Edw. Hold, hold, my lord. I bar your cruelty; I cannot love your safety, and give way To such inhuman practice. Corn. Ah, my villain Edw. I have been your servant from my infancy; But better service have 1 never done you, Than with this boldness.
Corn. Take thy death, slave. (stabs Edward) Edw. Nay, then revenge, whilst yet my blood is warm (draws his sword, runs Cornwall through the body, and is carried off, dying) Reg. Help here, are you not hurt, my lord? Glost. (within) Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature, To quit this horrid act. Reg. Out, treacherous villain, Thou call’st on him that hates thee; it was he That broach'd thy treason, show'd us thy despatches; There—read, and save the cambrian prince the Habor. (throws the letters out to him) Glost. (within) O my folly Then Edgar was abused; kind gods, forgive me that Reg. How is't, my lord? Corn. Turn out that eyeless villain, let him smell His way ow: throw this slave upon a dung. hill. Regan, I bleed apace; give me your arm. [exeunt Regan and Cornwall supported by his servants
scene 11—the open country.
Edg. The lowest and most abject thing of fortune 8tands still in hope, and is secure from fear. The lamentable change is from the best, The worst returns to better.—Who comes here P
enter Glost ER, led by an old MAN.
My father poorly led ! deprived of sight!
Old M. O, my good lord ' I have been your tenant And your father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Glost. Away, get thee away; good friend, begone: Thy comforts can de me no good at all.
Thee they may hurt.