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Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Of murtherous lechers; and, in the mature time, Stands on the hourly thought.
With this ungracious paper strike the sight Edg.
I thank you, sir; that's all. Of the death-practis a duke: For him 't is well, Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is here, That of thy death and business I can tell. Her army is mov'd on.
(Exit Edgar, dragging out the body Edg. I thank you, sir.
[Exit Gent. Glo. The king is mad : How stiff is my vile sens, Glo. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me ; That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract: To die before you please!
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs ; Edg.
Well pray you, father. And woes, by wrong imaginations lose Glo. Now, good sir, what are you?
The knowledge of themselves. Edg. A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows;
Re-enter Edgar. Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Give me your hand: Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand, Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. I 'll lead you to some biding.
Come, father, I 'll bestow you with a friend. (Ezeunt. Glo.
Hearty thanks : The bounty and the benizon of heaven
SCENE VII.- A Tent in the French Camp. LEAR To boot, and boot !
on a Bed, asleep; Physician, Gentlemen, and olkers Enter Steward.
attending. Stero. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!
Enter CORDELIA and KENT. That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh
Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work, To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy traitor, To match thy goodness? My life will be too short, Briefly thyself remember :—The sword is out
And every measure fail me. That must destroy thee.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid. Glo.
Now let thy friendly hand All my reports go with the modest truth;
Be better suited Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor ? Hence; These weeds are memories of those worser hours; Lest that infection of his fortune take
I prithee put them off. Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.
Pardun, dear madam: Edg. Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Yet to be known shortens my made intent: Stew. Let go, slave, or thou diest.
My boon I make it that you know me not, Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor Till time and I think meet. volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwagger'd out of my Cor. Then be it so, my good lord. How does the life, 't would not ha' been zo long as 't is by a vortnight.
[To the Physician Nay, come not near th' old man; keep out, che vor'ye, Phys. Madam, sleeps still. or ise try whether your costard or my ballow be the Cor. O you kind gods, harder : Ch'ill be plain with you.
Cure this great breach in his abused nature ! Stew, Out, dunghill !
The untun'd and jarring senses, 0, wind up, Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor Of this child-changed father ! your foins. [They fight; and Eng. knocks him down. Phys.
So please your majesty, Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me :-Villain, take my That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long. purse;
Cor. Be govern d by your knowledge, and proced If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
I'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd ? And give the letters, which thou find'st about me, Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of slep, To Edmund earl of Gloster; seek him out
We put fresh garments on him. Upon the English party :-0, untimely death. [Dies. Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake
Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress,
I doubt not of his temperance. As badness would desire.
Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the music Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you.-
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Kind and dear princess! Their papers, is more lawful.
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white tika [Reads.] “Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face have many opportunities to cut him off; if your will want not, To be oppos'd against the jarring winds ? time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder ; done, if he return the congueror; then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol ; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver
In the most terrible and nimble stroke me, and supply the place for your labour.
Of quick, cross-lightning ! to watch (poor perdu!) Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate servant, With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night O undistinguish'd space of woman's will !
Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father, A plot upon her virtuous husband's life;
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn, And the exchange, my brother ! —Here, in the sands, In short and musty straw? Alack, alack! Thee I 'll rake up, the post unsanctified
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded áll.—He wakes; speak to laiu. A Ballow. Grose, in his Provincial Glossary,' gives ballow as a north country word for pole. Edgar is speaking the Somer
Phys. Madam, do you ; 't is fittest. setshire dialect.
Cor. How does my royal lord ? How fares your ! Lear. Be your tears wet ? Yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not majesty ?
If you have poison for me I will drink it. Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o' the I know you do not love me; for your sisters grave :
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong : Thou art a soul in bliss ; but I am bound
You have some cause, they have not. Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
No cause, no cause Do scald like molten lead.
Lear. Am I in France ? Cor. dir, do you know me?
In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. You are a spirit, I know : When did you die? Lear. Do not abuse me. Cor. Still, still, far wide!
Phys. Be comforted, good madam : the great rage,
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Cor. Will 't please your highness walk?
You must bear with me. I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assurd
Pray you now, forget and forgive : I am old and foolish. Of my condition.
(Exeunt LEAR, Cor., Phys., and Attends. Cor. 0, look upon me, sir,
Gent. Holds it true, sir, And hold your hand in benediction o'er me :
That the duke of Cornwall was so slain ? No, sir, you must not kneel.
Most certain, sir. Lear.
Pray, do not mock me : Gent. Who is conductor of his people ? I am a very foolish fond old man,
As 't is sai!, Fourscore and upward; not an hour more nor less :* The bastard son of Gloster. And, to deal plainly,
They say, Edgar,
His banish'd son, is with the Earl of Kent
Kent. Report is changeable.
”T is time to look about; the powers o' the kingdom Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Approach
apace. Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me; Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody. For, as I am a man, I think this lady
Fare you well, sir.
[E.cit. To be my child Cordelia.
Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Cor.
And so I am,
Or well, or ill, as this day's battle 's fought. Erit.
SCENE I.—The Camp of the British Forces, near Edm.
Fear me not:
She, and the duke her husband,-
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers.
Gon. I had rather lose the battle than that sister Edm. Know of the duke if his last purpose hold :
Should loosen him and me.
(Aside. Or whether, since, he is advis'd by aught
Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.To change the course : He 's full of alteration, Sir, this I heard,—The king is come to his daughter, And self-reproving :-bring his constant pleasure. With others, whom the rigour of our state
[To an Officer, who goes out. Forc'd to cry out. Where I could not be honest, Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried. I never yet was valiant: for this business, Edm. 'T is to be doubted, madam.
It toucheth us as France invades our land, Reg.
Now, sweet lord, Not bolds the king ; with others, whom, I fear,
Most iust and heavy causes make oppose.
Why is this reason ?
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy :
Are not the question here.
Alb. Let 's then determine with the ancient of war
Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent. Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg Sister, you 'll go with us? Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Gon. No. Be not familiar with her.
Reg. 'T is most convenient; pray you go with us.
Gön. O, ho, I know the riddle: [Aside.] I will g). " That most Shaksperian touch of nature"Fourscore and upward; not an hour more nor less
As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised. has been mutilated by the modern editors. Malone says, “The Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor, folio absordly adds, not an hour more nor less,' i.e., not an hour
Hear me one word, more por less than an indeterminate number, for such is four.
I 'll overtake you.—Speak. score and upwards." Why, who is speaking? One who speaks logically and collectedly? Nol one who immediately after [Exeunt EDMUND, REGAN, Gonerin, Officers says, "I fear I am not in my perfect mind." It was the half
Soldiers, and Attendants. consciousness of the “ foolish, iond old man" which Shakspere Teant to express by the mixture of a determinate and an inde
Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. terminate idea.
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
Talk of court news; and we 'll talk with them too,I can produce a champion, that will prove
Who loses, and who wins: who 's in, who 's out, What is avouched there : if you miscarry,
And take upon us the mystery of things, Your business of the world hath so an end,
As if we were God's spies : and we'll wear out, And machination ceases. Fortune love you!
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones, Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.
That ebb and flow by the moon.
I was forbid it.
Take them away.
Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelis, And I 'll appear again.
[Exit. The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper.
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven
And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
first. Is now urg'd on you.
Come. (Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, guarded. Alb.
We will greet the time. [Erit. Edm. Come hither, captain; hark.
To noble fortunes : Know thou this,—that men
Are as the time is : to be tender-minded And hardly shall I carry out my side
Does not become a sword :-Thy great employment Her husband being alive. Now then, we 'll use Will not bear question ;—either say, thou 'It do t, His countenance for the battle; which being done, Or thrive by other means. Let her who would be rid of him devise
I 'll do it, my lord. His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Edm. About it; and write happy, wben thou hast Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
done. The battle done, and they within our power,
Mark,-I say, instantly; and carry it so
As I have set it down.
If it be man's work I will do it. (Erit Officer. SCENE II.--A Field between the two Camps.
Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GOneril, Regan, Oficers Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, LEAR,
and Attendants. CORDELIA, and their Forces; and exeunt. Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain, Enter Edgar and GLOSTER.
And fortune led you well: You have the captires
Who were the opposites of this day's strife : Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
I do require them of you, so to use them, For your good host; pray that the right may thrive: As we shall find their merits and our safety If ever I return to you again,
May equally determine. I 'll bring you comfort.
Sir, I thought it fit Glo.
you, sir! (Exit Eng. To send the old and miserable king Alarums ; afterwards a retreat. Re-enter EDGAR.
To some retention and appointed guard ;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more, Edg, Away, old man, give me thy hand, away; To pluck the common bosom on his side, King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en : And turn our impress d lances in our eyes Give me thy hand, come on.
Which do command them. With him I sent the queen; Glo. No further, sir ; a man may rot even here. My reason all the same; and they are ready
Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure To-morrow, or at further space, to appear Their going hence, even as their coming hither :
Where you shall hold your session. At this time Ripeness is all : Come on.
We sweat and bleed : the friend hath lost his friend; Glo. And that 's true too. [Exeunt. And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs d
By those that feel their sharpness : SCENE III.--The British Camp near Dover. The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.
Sir, by your patience, diers, &c.
Not as a brother.
Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded, That are to censure them.
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Bore the commission of my place and person ;
And call itself your brother. Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown.-- Gon.
Not so hot: Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters ? In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let 's away to prison; More than in your addition. We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
In my rights, When thou dost ask me blessing, I 'll kneel down, By me invested, he com peers he best. And ask of thee forgiveness : So we 'll live,
Gon. That were the most if he should bustani ya And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets. At gilded buttertlies, and hear poor rogues
Holla, holla! Edg. What 's be that speaks for Edmund earl of That eye that told you so look'd but a-squint.
Draw thy sword Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony ;
That, if my speech offend a noble heart, Disjaose of them, of me; the walls are thine :
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine. Witness the world, that I create thee here
Behold, it is my privilege,
The privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession; I protest,-
Despite thy victor sword and fire-new fortune,
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Thy valour, and thy heart,—thou art a traitor: Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine. False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father
[TO EDMUND. Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious princt, Alb. Stay yet; hear reason : Edmund, I arrest thee Aud, from the extremest upward of thy head, On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,
To the descent and dust below thy feet, This gilded serpent: [Pointing to Gon.)--for your A most toad-epotted traitor. Say thou, “No," claim, fair sister,
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent I bar it in the interest of my wife;
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak, *T is she is sub-contracted to this lord,
Thou liest. And I, her liusband, contradict your banns.
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name; If you will marry make your loves to me,
But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, My lady is bespoke.
And that thy tongue some saya of breeding breathes Gon. An interlude!
What safe and nicely I might well delay, Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster :- Let the trumpet sound: By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn : If none appear to prove upon thy person,
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head; Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
With the hell hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart; There is my pledge; ( Throwing down a glove.] I 'll Which, (for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,) make it on thy heart,
This sword of mine shall give them instant way, Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Where they shall rest for ever.—Trumpets, speak. Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
[Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls Reg.
Sick, O, sick!
Alb. Save him, save him! Gon. If not, I 'll ne'er trust medicine.
This is practice, Gloster : Edm. There's my exchange : [Throwing down a By the law of war, thou wast not bound to answer glove.] what in the world he is
An unknown opposite; thou art nut vanquish'd, That names me traitor, villain-like he lies;
But cozend and beguil'd. Call by the trumpet : he that dares approach,
Shut your mouth, dame, On him, on you, (who not ?) I will maintain
Or with this
paper shall I stop it :-hold, sir :My truth and honour firmly.
Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil :Alb. A herald, hoa !
No tearing, lady; I perceive you know it.
[Gives the letter to EDMUND Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers, Gon. Say, if I do: the laws are mine, not thine: All levied in my name, have in my name
Who can arraign me for 't?
[Exit Goneri. Took their discharge.
Most monstrous !
Know'st thou this paper ?
Ask me not what I know.
Alb. Go after her : she's desperate; govern her. Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.
[To an Officer, who goes out. [Exit Regan, led. Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that have I done Come hither, herald, -Let the trumpet sound,-- And more, much more : the time will bring it out; And read out this.
'T is past, and so am I : But what art thou
I do forgive thee.
Let's exchange charity.
If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me. trumpet: He is bold in his defence.
My nime is Edgar, and thy father's son. Edm. Sound!
[1 Trumpet. | Make iustruments to plague us :
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Her. Again.
[2 Trumpet. The slark and vicious place where thee he got ller. Again. [Trumpet answers within.
E im. Thou hast spoken right, 't is true; Enter Edgar armed, preceded by a trumpet.
The wheel is come full circle; I am here.
Alb. Methought thy very gait did prophesy Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
A royal nobleness :- I must embrace thee;
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!
Worthy prince, I know t. This present summons ?
Alb. Where have you hid yourselfi Edg.
Know, my name is lost : How have you known the miseries of your father? By treason's tooth bare guawn, and canker-bit:
Edg. By nursing them, my lord.—List a brief tale Yet am I noble, as the allversary
And when 't is told, O, that my heart would burst!: I come to cope withal.
The bloody proclamation to escape
War-the quartos, itres.
3 Trumpet. Cost him his eyes.
Tiliat follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness ! The one the other poison'd for my sake,
And after slew herself.
Alb. Even so.—Cover their faces. Into a mad-man's rags ; to assume a semblance
Edm. I pant for life: Some good I mean to do, That very dogs disdain'd : and in this habit
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly senil, -
Be brief in it-to the castle ; for my writ
Run, run, 0, runUntil some half-hour past, when I was arm’d;
Edg. To who, my lord ?- Who has the office I send Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
Thy token of reprieve.
Edm. Well thought on; take my sword,
Haste thee, for thy life. [Ez. EDGAR Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me Burst smilingly.
To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him bence awbile. Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in;
[EDMUND is borne off. For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms : Hearing of this. Edg. This would have seem'd a period
Edgar, Officer, and others. To such as love not sorrow; but another,
Lear. How], howl, howl 40, you are men of stones ; To amplify too much, would make much more, Had I your tongues and eyes I'd use them so And top extremity.
That heaven's vault shoull crack :-She's pure for Whilst I was big in clamour, came there in a man,
ever! Who, having seen me in my worse estate,
I know when one is dead, and when one lives; Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding She's dead as earth :- Lend me a looking-glass; Who it was that so endur'd, with his strong arms If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, lle fastend on my neck, and bellow'd out
Why then she lives. As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father ;
Is this the promis d end ! Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
Edg. Or image of that horror? That ever ear receiv'd: which in recounting
Fall and cease! His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Lear. This feather stirs; she lives; if it be so, Began to crack: Twice then the trumpet sounded, It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows And there I left him tranc'd.
That ever I have felt.
O my good master! (Kneeling.
friend Improper for a slave.
Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife.
I might bave sav'd her ; now she's gone for ever!
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha! Gent. Help! help! O help!
What is 't thou say'st?-Her voice was ever soft, Edg.
What kind of help? Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman :Alb.
Speak, man. I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee. Edg. What means this bloody knife?
Off. 'T is true, my lords, he did. Gent. 'T is hot, it smokes ; Lear.
Did I not, fellow ! It came even from the heart of-0 she's dead.
I have seen the day, with my good biting favichiun Alb. Who dead? speak, man.
I would have made them skip: I am old now, Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister And these same crosses spoil me.- Who are you? By her is poison'd; she confesses it.
Mine eyes are not o' the best :-I 'll tell you straight. Edm. I was contracted to them both ; all three Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated, Now marry in an instant.
One of them we behold.
Lear. This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent? Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead! Kent.
The same This judgment of the heavens that makes us tremble, Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius! Touches us not with pity.
[Exit Gentleman. Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that ; Enter KENT.
He'll strike, and quickly too: He's dead and cutter
Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man ;0, is this he ?
Lear. I 'll see that straight. The time will not allow the compliment,
Kent. That, from your first of difference and decay, Which very manners urges.
Have follow'd your sad steps.
You are welcome hither. To bid my king and master aye good night;
Kent. Nor no man else ; all's cheerless, dark, an! Is he not here?
deadly.Alb. Great thing of us forgot !
Your eldest daughters bave fore-doned themselves, Speak, Edmund, where 's the king; and where 's Cor- And desperately are dead. delia
Ay, so I think. See'st thou this object, Kent ?
[The bodies of Gon. and Regan are brought in. a The promis'd end-the end of the world foretold in the Kent. Alack, why thus ?
Scriptures. The “image of that horror" is the same as "the Edm. Yet Edmund was beloyd :
great doom's image" of Macbeth.'
b Fore-done. We have previously had fa-did used in the * The quartos, 01 it is he.
same sense of destroy.