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And give the letters, which thou find'st about me,
To Edmund earl of Gloster; seek him out
Upon the British party :
-0, untimely death!

[Dies.
Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain;
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress,
As badness would desire.
Glo.

What is he dead? Edg. Sit you down, father ; rest you.Let's see his pockets: these letters, that he speaks of, May be my friends.--He's dead; I am only sorry He had no other death's-man.-Let us see : Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not: To know our enemies' we'd rip their hearts; Their papers, is more lawful.9

[Reads.] Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror : Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol ; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.

Your wife, (so I would say,) and your affectionate servant,

GONERIL. O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!-A plot upon her virtuous husband's life; And the exchange, my brother !-Here, in the sands, Thee I'll rake up,' the post unsanctified Of murderous lechers : and, in the mature time,

To rip their papers is more lawful.
! I'll cover thee (the dead steward) in the sands.

With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Of the death-practis'd duke: For him 'tis well,
That of thy death and business I can tell.

[Erit EDGAR, dragging out the body. Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is

my
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract:
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs;
And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose
The knowledge of themselves.

vile sense,

Re-enter. EDGAR.

Edg.

Give me your hand : Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exeunt.

SCENE VII.

A Tent in the French Camp. LEAR on a Bed, asleep:

Physician, Gentleman, and Others, attending : Enter CORDELIA and Kent,

Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and work, To match thy goodness? My life will be too short, And every measure fail me.

Kezt. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'er-paid. All my reports go with the modest truth; Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so. Cor.

Be better suited :2 These weeds are memories 3 of those worser hours; I pr’ythee, put them off. ·Kent.

Pardon me, dear madam;

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Yet to be known, shortens

my

made intent:4 My boon I make it, that you know me not, Till time and I think meet. Cor. Then be it so, my good lord.-How does the king?

[To the Physician. Phys. Madam, sleeps still.

Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father!
Phys.

So please your majesty, That we may wake the king? he hath slept long.

Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed I’ the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep, We

put fresh garments on him. Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him; I doubt not of his temperance. Cor.

Very well.
Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the musick

there.
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made !
Kent.

Kind and dear princess! Cor. Had you not been their father, these white

flakes
Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds ?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?

4 Intent formed.

In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quick, cross lightning ? to watch (poor perdu!)
With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw ? Alack, alack !
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.--He wakes; speak to him.

Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your

majesty ?
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the

grave:-
Thou art a soul in bliss ; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know; When did you die?
Cor. Still, still, far wide!
Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile.
Lear. Where have I been?-Where am I?- Fair

day-light? I am mightily abus'd. I should even die with pity, To see another thus.--I know not what to say:I will not swear, these are my hands :-let's see; I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd Of my condition. Cor.

0, look upon me, sir,

Cor.

5 The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, called in

French, enfans perdus.
6 Thin covering of hair.

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And hold

your

hands in benediction o'er me : No, sir, you must not kneel. Lear.

Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward ; and, to deal plainly,
I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks, I should know you, and know this man:
Yet I am doubtful : for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments ; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me;
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.
Cor.

And so I am, I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,

weep not :
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.
Cor.

No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France ?
Kent.

In your own kingdom, sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam : the great rage,
You see, is cur'd in him: and yet it is danger
To make him even7 o'er the time he has lost.
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.

Cor. Will't please your highness walk?
Lear.

You must bear with me :

7 To reconcile it to his apprehension.

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