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The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover,

Enter, with drums and colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.

Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose hold; Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught To change the course: He's full of alteration, And self-reproving:—bring his constant pleasure.

[To an Officer, who goes out,

Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.

Edm. "Tis to be doubted, madam.

Reg. Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you: Tell me, but truly,–but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister?

Edm. In honour'd love.

[Reg. But have you never found my brother's way To the forefended place"?

Edm. That thought abuses you,

Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.

Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.]

Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord, Be not familiar with her.

Edm, Fear me not:She, and the duke her husband,

Enter ALBANY, Gon ERIL, and Soldiers.

Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me. [Aside.

Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.— Sir, this I hear, The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry out. [Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant: for this business, It toucheth us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I fear, Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.]

IReg. Why is this reason'd?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils
Are not to question here.

Alb. Let us then determine
With the ancient of war on our proceedings.

Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.

Reg. Sister, you'll go with us?

Gon. No.

Reg. "Tis most convenient; pray you, go with us.

Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle: [Aside.] I will


As they are going out, enter EDGAR disguised.

Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor, Hear me one word.

Alb. I'll overtake you.--Speak. [Ereunt Edm. Reg. Gon. Officers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
I can produce a champion, that will prove
What is avouched there: If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases. Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.

Edg. I was forbid it. When time shall serve, let but the herald cry, And I'll appear again. [Erit.

Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy

Re-enter EDM UN D.

Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery;-but your haste Is now urg'd on you.

Alb. We will greet the time. [Exit.

Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; Each jealous of the other, as the stung Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take 2 Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd, If both remain alive: To take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril; And hardly shall I carry out my side”,

Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle; which being done,
Let her, who would be rid of him, devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear, and to Cordelia,-
The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall never see his pardon: for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate. [Erit.

A Field between the two Camps.

Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, LEAR, CoRDELIA, and their forces; and ereunt.

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. Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure

Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all: Come on.
Glo. And that's true too.

The British Camp near Dover.

Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUND; LeAR and CoRDelia, as prisoners; Qificers, Soldiers, &c.

Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard; Until their greater pleasures first be known That are to censure them.

Cor. - We are not the first, Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down; 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 my blessing, I'll kneel down, An i 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


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,

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