Bast. In wisedome I should aske thy name, But since thy out-side lookes so faire and Warlike, And that thy tongue (some say) of breeding breathes, What safe, and nicely I might well delay, By rule of Knight-hood, I disdaine and spurne: Backe do I tosse these Treasons to thy head, With the hell-hated Lye, ore-whelme thy heart, Which for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise, This Sword of mine shall giue them instant way, Where they shall rest for euer. Trumpets speake

Alb. Saue him, saue him.

Alarums. Fights.

Gon. This is practise Gloster, By th' law of Warre, thou wast not bound to answer An vnknowne opposite: thou art not vanquish'd, But cozend, and beguild

Alb. Shut your mouth Dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it: hold Sir, Thou worse then any name, reade thine owne euill: No tearing Lady, I perceiue you know it

Gon. Say if I do, the Lawes are mine not thine, Who can araigne me for't? Enter.

Alb. Most monstrous! O, know'st thou this paper? Bast. Aske me not what I know

Alb. Go after her, she's desperate, gouerne her

Bast. What you haue charg'd me with, That haue 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'rt Noble, I do forgiue thee

Edg. Let's exchange charity: I am no lesse in blood then thou art Edmond, If more, the more th'hast wrong'd me. My name is Edgar and thy Fathers Sonne, The Gods are iust, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to plague vs: The darke and vitious place where thee he got, Cost him his eyes

Bast. Th'hast spoken right, 'tis true, The Wheele is come full circle, I am heere

Alb. Me thought thy very gate did prophesie A Royall Noblenesse: I must embrace thee, Let sorrow split my heart, if euer I Did hate thee, or thy Father

Edg. Worthy Prince I know't

Alb. Where haue you hid your selfe? How haue you knowne the miseries of your Father? Edg. By nursing them my Lord. List a breefe tale, And when 'tis told, O that my heart would burst. The bloody proclamation to escape That follow'd me so neere, (O our liues sweetnesse, That we the paine of death would hourely dye, Rather then die at once) taught me to shift Into a mad-mans rags, t' assume a semblance That very Dogges disdain'd: and in this habit Met I my Father with his bleeding Rings, Their precious Stones new lost: became his guide, Led him, begg'd for him, sau'd him from dispaire. Neuer (O fault) reueal'd my selfe vnto him, Vntill some halfe houre past when I was arm'd, Not sure, though hoping of this good successe, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last Told him our pilgrimage. But his flaw'd heart (Alacke too weake the conflict to support) Twixt two extremes of passion, ioy and greefe, Burst smilingly

Bast. This speech of yours hath mou'd me, And shall perchance do good, but speake you on, You looke as you had something more to say

Alb. If there be more, more wofull, hold it in, For I am almost ready to dissolue, Hearing of this. Enter a Gentleman.

Gen. Helpe, helpe: O helpe

Edg. What kinde of helpe? Alb. Speake man

Edg. What meanes this bloody Knife? Gen. 'Tis hot, it smoakes, it came euen from the heart of- O she's dead

Alb. Who dead? Speake man

Gen. Your Lady Sir, your Lady; and her Sister By her is poyson'd: she confesses it

Bast. I was contracted to them both, all three Now marry in an instant

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The Tragedie of King Lear Page 39

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