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Alb. We will greet the time. (Exit.
Scene II.-A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear, Cordelia, and their Forces; and exeunt.
Enter Edgar and Gloster. Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree For your good host: pray that the right may thrive. If ever I return to you again, I'll bring you comfort.
Glo. Grace go with you, sir. [Exit Edgar. Alarums ; afterwards a Retreat. Re-enter Edgar.
Edg. Away, old man; give me thy hand, away: King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta’en. Give me thy hand; come on.
Glo. No further, sir: a man may rot even here.
endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither: Ripeness is all. Come on.
Glo. And that's true too. [Exeunt.
Myself could else out-frown false fortune's
frown.Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters? Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to
prison : We two alone will sing like birds i'the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I 'll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness. So we 'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we 'll talk with them
too,Who loses, and who wins; who's in, who 's out; And take upon us the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out, In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon. Edm. Take them away.
Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense. Have I
caught thee? He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven, And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes: The gougeres shall devour them, flesh and fell, Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them
starve first. Come. (Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, guarded.
Edm. Come hither, captain ; hark. Take thou this note (giving a paper]: go, follow
them to prison.
Offi. I 'H do 't, my lord.
Off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats: If it be man's work, I will do it. [Exit Officer. Flourish. Enter Albany, Gonerit, Regan,
Officers, and Attendants.
Edm. Sir, I thought it fit
Scene III.— The British Camp near Dover.
Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, Ed
MUND; Lear and CORDELIA, as prisoners ;
Cor. We are not the first Who, with best meaning, have incurred the worst. For thee, oppresséd king, am I cast down :
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more, If none appear to prove upon thy person
I'll prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Reg. Sick, 0, sick!
Gon. If not, I 'll ne'er trust poison. [ Aside. Wesweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend; Edm. There's my exchange. [Throwing down And the best quarrels, in the heat, are cursed
a glove.] What in the world he is By those that feel their sharpness :
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies. The question of Cordelia and her father
Call by thy trumpet: he, that dares approach, Requires a fitter place.
On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain Alb. Sir, by your patience,
My truth and honour firmly. I hold you but a subject of this war,
Alb. A berald, ho! Not as a brother.
Edm. A herald, ho, a herald ! Reg. That 's as we list to grace him. Alb. Trust to thy single virtue : for thy soldiers, Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded, | All levied in my name, have in my name Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers; Took their discharge. Bore the commission of my place and person :
Reg. This sickness grows upon me. The which immediacy may well stand up, And call itself your brother.
Enter a Herald Gon. Not so hot:
Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent. In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
[Exit Regan, led. More than in your advancement.
Come hither, herald :-let the trumpet sound, Reg. In my rights,
And read out this. By me invested, he compeers the best.
Offi. Sound, trumpet. [A trumpet sounds. Gon. That were the most, if he should husband
Herald reads. you. Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
“ If any man of quality, or degree, within the Gon. Holla, holla!
lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supThat eye that told you so looked but a-squint.
posed Earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor,
let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet:Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
he is bold in his defence." From a full-flowing stomach.—General, Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony:
[1st Trumpet. Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine.
Her. Again. . [2nd Trumpet. Witness the world, that I create thee here
[3rd Trumpet. My lord and master.
[Trumpet answers within. Gon. Mean you to enjoy him? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will.
Enter Edgar, armed, preceded by a trumpet. Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb. Ask him his purposes : why he appears Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Upon this call o' the trumpet, Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title Her. What are you? thine.
[To EDMUND. Your name, your quality: and why you answer Alb. Stay yet; hear reason :-Edmund, I ar This present summons ? rest thee
Edg. Know, my name is lost; On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit: This gilded serpent. [Pointing to GONERIL. Yet am I noble as the adversary For your claim, fair sister,
I come to cope withal. I bar it in the interest of my wife:
Alb. Which is tbat adversary ? "T is she is sub-contracted to this lord,
Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund And I, her husband, contradict your banns.
Earl of Gloster? If you will marry, make your love to me:
Edm. Himself:—what say'st thou to him? My lady is bespoke. .
Edg. Draw thy sword ; Gon. An interlude!
That, if my speech offend a noble heart, Alb. Thou art armed, Gloster :- let the trum Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine. pet sound:
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession; I protest,
Alb. Methought thy very gait did prophecy Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence, | A royal nobleness. I must embrace thee: Despite thy victor sword and fire-new fortune, Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I Thy valour, and thy heart,—thou art a traitor: Did hate thee, or thy father! False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father; Edg. Worthy prince, I know it. Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince; Alb. Where have you hid yourself? And, from the extremest upward of thy head, | How have you known the miseries of your father? To the descent and dust beneath thy feet.
Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou, “No,"
tale: This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent And when 't is told, that my heart would burst!To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak, The bloody proclamation t'escape Thou liest.
That followed me so near, (O our lives' sweetEdm. In wisdom I should ask thy name:
ness! But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, That with the pain of death we'd hourly die, And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift breathes,
Into a madman's rags; to assume a semblance What safe and nicely I might well delay
That very dogs disdained; and in this babit By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn. Met I my father with his bleeding rings, Back do I toss these treasons to thy head; Their precious stones new lost; became his guide, With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart; Led him, begged for him, saved him from despair; Which (for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise) Never (O fault!) revealed myself unto him, This sword of mine shall give them instant way, | Until some half hour past. When I was armed, Where they shall rest for ever.— Trumpets, speak. Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
[Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls. I asked his blessing, and from first to last Alb. O save him, save him!
| Told him my pilgrimage: but his flawed heart, Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster: (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!) By the law of arms thou wast not bound to answer "Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, An unknown opposite : thou art not vanquished, Burst smilingly. But cozened and beguiled.
Edm. This speech of yours hath moved me, Alb. Shut your mouth, dame,
And shall, perchance, do good. But speak you on: Or with this paper shall I stop it.—Hold, sir : You look as you had something more to say. Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil: Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in; No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it. For I am almost ready to dissolve,
[Gives the letter to Edmund. Hearing of this. Gon. Say if I do: the laws are mine, not thine: Edg. This would have seemed a period Who shall arraign me for 't?
To such as love not sorrow: but another Alb. Most monstrous!.
To ainplify too much, would make much more, Know'st thou this paper ?
And top extremity. Gon. Ask me not what I know. [Exit. | Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man · Alb. Go after her: she's desperate: govern her. Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
[To an Officer, who goes out. Shunned my abhorred society; but then, finding Edm. What you have charged me with, that have Who 't was that so endured, with his strong arms I done;
He fastened on my neck, and bellowed out And more, much more: the time will bring it out: As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father; 'T is past, and so am I. But what art thou Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble, That ever ear received: which in recounting I do forgive thee.
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life Edg. Let's exchange charity.
Began to crack: twice then the trumpet sounded, I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund : And there I left him tranced. If more, the more thou hast wronged me.
Alb. But who was this? My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
Edg. Kent, sir, the banished Kent; who in The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
disguise Make instruments to scourge us :
Followed his enemy king, and did him service The dark and vicious place where thee he got, Improper for a slave. Cost him his eyes. Edm. Thou hast spoken right; 't is true:
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife. The wheel is come full circle; I am here. Gent. Help, help! O help!
Edg. What kind of help?
That heaven's vault should crack.—0, she is Alb. Speak, man.
gone for ever! Edg. What means that bloody knife ?
I know when one is dead, and when one lives : Gent. 'Tis hot, it smokes :
She's dead as earth.—Lend me a looking-glass : It came even from the heart of
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, Alb. Who, man? speak.
Why, then she lives.
Edg. Or image of that horror ?
Lear. This feather stirs : she lives! If it be so, Alb. Produce their bodies, be they alive or It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows dead!
That ever I have felt. This judgment of the heavens, that makes us Kent. O my good master! [Kneeling. tremble,
Lear. Pr'y thee, away. Touches us not with pity. [Exit Gentleman. Edg. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Lear. A plague upon you, murderous traitors all! Enter Kent.
I might have saved her: now she's gone for Edg. Here comes, Kent, sir.
ever! Alb. O! 't is he.
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha! The time will not allow the compliment
What is 't thou say'st ?-Her voice was ever soft, Which very manners urges.
Gentle, and low : an excellent thing in woman :Kent. I am come
I killed the slave that was a hanging thee.
Lear. Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion Speak, Edmund, where's the King ? and where's I would have made them skip: I am old now, Cordelia ?
And these same crosses spoil me.- Who are you? Seest thou this object, Kent?
Mine eyes are none o'the best :-I'll tell you [The bodies of Goneril and Regan are brought in.
straight. Kent. Alack, why thus?
Kent. If fortune brag of two she loved and Edm. Yet Edmund was beloved :
hated, The one the other poisoned for my sake,
One of them we behold. And after slew herself.
Lear. This is a dull sight: are you not Kent? Alb. Even so.-Cover their faces.
Kent. The same : Edm. I pant for life :-some good I mean to do, | Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius? Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send, Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; Be brief in it to the castle ; for my writ He'll strike, and quickly too: he's dead and rotten. Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man;Nay, send in time.
Lear. I'll see that straight. Alh. Run, run; O run!
Kent. That, from your first of difference and Edg. To who, my lord? who has the office? send Thy token of reprieve,
I Have followed your sad steps. Edm. Well thought on : take my sword;
Lear. You are welcome hither. Give it the captain.
Kent. Nor no man else : all's cheerless, dark, Alb. Haste thee, for thy life. (Exit Edgar.
and deadly.Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me Your eldest daughters have foredoomed themTo hang Cordelia in the prison, and
selves, To lay the blame upon her own despair,
And desperately are dead. That she fordid herself,
Lear. Ay, so I think. Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is awhile. [EDMUND is borne off. That we present us to him.
Edg. Very bootless.
Enter an Officer. Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!—0, you are | Ofi. Edmund is dead, my lord. men of stone!
Alb. That's but a trifle here.Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so You lords and noble friends, know our intent:
What comfort to this great decay may come, Edg. Look up, my lord.
Kent. Vex not his ghost : O let him pass! he During the life of this old majesty,
hates him To him our absolute power:-You, to your rights; | That would upon the rack of this tough world
[To Edgar and Kent. Stretch him out longer. With boot, and such addition as your honours | Edg. O, he is gone, indeed. Have more then merited.- All friends shall taste Kent. The wonder is he hath endured so long: The wages of their virtue, and all foes
He but usurped his life. The cup of their deservings.—0, see, see!
Alb. Bear them from hence. — Our present Lear. And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no
Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
[ To Kent and EDGAR. And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain. more:
Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go: Never, never, never, never, never !
My master calls, and I must not say, no. Pray you, undo this button. Thank you, sir. Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey; Do you see this? Look on her,-look,-herlips, – Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. Look there, look there!
[He dies. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Edg. He faints!—My lord, my lord, Shall never see so much, nor live so long. Kent. Break, heart; I pr'y thee, break!
(Exeunt, with a dead march.