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Where you shall hold your session. [At this time,*
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
By those that feel their sharpness :—

The question of Cordelia, and her father,
Requires a fitter place."]


Sir, by your patience,

I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.


That's as we list to grace him.
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 immediacys may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.


Not so hot:

In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your advancement.1


In my rights,

By me invested, he compeers the best.

Gon. That were the most, if he should husband you.2


[At this time, &c.] This passage, well worthy of restora tion, is omitted in the folio. Johnson.

6 Requires a fitter place.] i. e. The determination of the question what shall be done with Cordelia and her father, should be reserved for greater privacy. Steevens.

7 Bore the commission of -] Commission, for authority.

Warburton. 8 The which immediacy-] Immediacy is supremacy in opposition to subordination, which has quiddam medium between itself and power. Johnson. Immediacy here implies proximity without intervention; in rank, or such a plenary delegation of authority, as to constitute the person on whom it is conferred, another SELF: alter et idem. Henley.

Immediacy is, I think, close and immediate connexion with me, and direct authority from me, without, to use Dr. Johnson's words, quiddam medium. So, in Hamlet:


let the world take note,

"You are the most immediate to our throne."


In his own grace-] Grace here means accomplishments, or hønours. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

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"With all good grace to grace a gentleman." Steevens.

in your advancement.] So the quartos. Folio-your addiMalone.

* Gon. That were the most, if he should husband you.] If he were

Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

Holla, holla!
That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.3

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 are thine :4
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master.


Mean you to enjoy him? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will.5 Edm. Nor in thine, lord.


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

[To EDM. Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:-Edmund, I arrest thee On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,7 This gilded serpent: [Pointing to GoN.]—for your claim, fair sister,

married to you, you could not say more than this, nor could he enjoy greater power. Thus the quartos. In the folio this line is given to Albany. Malone.

· 3 That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.] Alluding to the proverb: "Love being jealous makes a good eye look asquint." See Ray's Collection. Steevens.

So Milton:


"And gladly banish squint suspicion." Comus. H. White. the walls are thine:] A metaphorical phrase taken from the camp, and signifying, to surrender at discretion. Warburton. A similar allusion occurs in Cymbeline:

"The heavens hold firm the walls of thy dear honour."


5 The let-alone lies not in your good will.] Whether he shall not or shall, depends not on your choice. Johnson.

Albany means to tell his wife, that, however she might want the power, she evidently did not want the inclination to prevent the match. Ritson.

To obstruct their union lies not in your good pleasure: your veto will avail nothing.


6 Reg. Let the drum strike, &c.] So the folio. This line is given to the Bastard in the quartos, and they read

Let the drum strike, and prove my title good.

Regan, it appears from this speech, did not know that Albany had discharged her forces. Malone.


thy arrest,] The quartos read-thine attaint. Steevens.

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.


An interlude !8

Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster:-Let the trumpet sound:9

If none appear to prove upon thy person,1
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.


Sick, O, sick!


Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.2

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!


A herald, ho, a herald !3

Alh. Trust to thy single virtue 4 for thy soldiers, All levied in my name, have in my name

Took their discharge.


This sickness grows upon me.

Enter a Herald.

[Exit REG. led.

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

An interlude] This short exclamation of Goneril is added in the folio edition, I suppose, only to break the speech of Albany, that the exhibition on the stage might be more distinct and intelligible.


9 Let the trumpet sound:] These words are not in the quartos.




thy person,] The quartos read-thy head. Steevens.
poison.] The folio reads-medicine. Steevens.

3 A herald, &c.] This speech I have restored from the quartos.


4 thy single virtue ;] i. e. valour; a Roman sense of the word. Thus Raleigh: "The conquest of Palestine with singular virtue they performed." Steevens.

Come hither, herald,-Let the trumpet sound,

And read out this.

Off. Sound, trumpet.5

Herald reads.

[A Trumpet sounds.

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.7

Her. Again.

Her. Again.

[1 Trumpet.

2 Trumpet. [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.


What are you?

Your name, your quality? and why you answer
This present summons?

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.


Which is that adversary?

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


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


Draw thy sword;

That, if my speech offend a noble heart,

Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.9

5 Sound, trumpet.] I have added this from the quartos. Steevens.


within the lists of the army,] The quartos read :—within the host of the army, Steevens.

7 Edm. Sound.] Omitted in the folio. Malone.

8 Yet am I noble, &c.] One of the quartos reads:

- yet are I mou 't,

Where is the adversarie I come to cope withal?

-are I mou't, is, I suppose, a corruption of-ere I move it. Steevens. The other quarto also reads-Where is the adversary, &c. omitting the words-Yet am I noble, which are only found in the folio. The word withal is wanting in that copy. Malone.

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here is mine. &c.] Here I draw my sword. Behold, it is the privilege or right of my profession to draw it against a traitor. I protest therefore, &c.

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Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession: I protest,-
Maugre2 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 'gainst3 this high illustrious prince;
And, from the extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,4
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.


In wisdom, I should ask thy name ;5

It is not the charge itself (as Dr. Warburton has erroneously stated) but the right of bringing the charge and maintaining it with his sword, which Edgar calls the privilege of his profession. Malone.

1 Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,

My oath, and my profession:] The charge he is going to bring against the Bastard, he calls the privilege, &c. To understand which phraseology, we must consider that the old rights of knighthood are here alluded to; whose oath and profession required him to discover all treasons, and whose privilege it was to have his challenge accepted, or otherwise to have his charge taken pro confesso. For if one who was no knight accused another who was, that other was under no obligation to accept the challenge. On this account it was necessary, as Edgar came disguised, to tell the Bastard he was a knight. Warburton.

The privilege of this oath means the privilege gained by taking the oath administered in the regular initiation of a knight professed.


The quartos read-it is the privilege of my tongue. - Steevens.
The folio reads:

Behold, it is my privilege,

The privilege of mine honours,

My oath and my profession. Malone.

2 Maugre-] i. e. notwithstanding. So, in Twelfth Night:

I love thee so, that maugre

all thy pride.”

3 Conspirant 'gainst -] The quartos read : Conspicuate 'gainst.- Steevens.


4 beneath thy feet,] So the quartos. Folio: below thy foot. Malone.

5 In wisdom, I should ask thy name;] Because, if his adversary was not of equal rank, Edmund might have declined the combat. Hence the herald proclaimed-" If any man of quality or degree,” &c. So Goneril afterwards says

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