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Enter Steward.

Stew. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy traitor, Brietly thyself remember:-The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo. Now let thy friendly hand l'ut strength enough to it. [EDGAR opposes. Stew. Wherefore, bold peasant, Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence; Lest that the infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

Elg. Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Stew. Let go, slave, or thou diest. Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been swagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been so long as 'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near the old man; keep out, che vor' ye, or ise try whether your costards or my bat be the harder; Ch'ill be plain with you. Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins.S

[They fight; and EDGAR knocks him down. Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me:-Villain, take my purse;

If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
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!


Edg. I know thee well: a serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of your mistress, As badness would desire.


What, is he dead? Eg. 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' minds, we'd rip their hearts; Their papers, is more lawful.

[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 dome, 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 labor.

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


O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!-
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life;
And the exchange, my brother!-Here, in the

Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murderous lechers; and, in the mature time,
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.
[Exit EDGAR, drugging out the Body.
Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile sense,
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 imagination, lose
The knowledge of themselves.

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.


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.

Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid. All my reports go with the modest truth; Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so.


These weeds are memories of those worser hours;
I pr'ythee, put them off.
Pardon me, dear madam;
Yet to be known, shortens my made intent:
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.

Be better suited:

Go your way. • Hear, 1 Club. • Thrusts. I'll cover thee (the dead steward) in the sands. Dressed.

Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,

Cure this great breach of his abused nature!
Th' untuned 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

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.


Very well.

Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the music 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!

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

Had challenged pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds!
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke

Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !2)
With this thin helm 13 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 abused.-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 assured
Of my condition.

Cor. O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.-
No, sir, you must not kneel.


Pray, do not mock me.

I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore, and upwards; 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.


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.


Lear. Am I in France?

No cause, no cause.

The allusion is to the forlorn hope in an army, callal in French, enfans perdus. • Thin sovering of bab

In your own kingdom, sir.

Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great

You see, is cured in him; and yet it is danger
To make him even 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?
You must bear with me:
Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.
[Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician,
and Attendants.

Gent. Holds it true, sir,

That the duke of Cornwall was so slain?


SCENE I-The Camp of the British Forces, near I can produce a champion, that will prove

Enter, with Drums and Colors, 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-approving: - Bring his constant plea-

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.
I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I'll appear again.
Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy

[To an Officer, who goes out.
Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam.
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?

In honor'd love.

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


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

Edm. No, by mine honor, madam.

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

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

Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, 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 rigor of our state
Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant: for this business,
It touches us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.9
Fim. Sir, you speak nobly.
Why is this reason'd?
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestic and particular broils
Are not to question here.

Let us then determine
With the ancient of war on our proceedings.
Elm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
Reg. Sister, you'll go with us?

Gon. No.

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Most certain, sir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people?

As 'tis said,

The bastard son of Gloster.

They say, Edgar,
His banish'd son, is with the earl of Kent
In Germany.

Report is changeable.
'Tis time to look about; the powers o' the kingdom
Approach apace.

Gent. The arbitrement' is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir. [Exit Kent. My point and period will be thoroughly wrought,

Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought. [Exit

• Forbidden.
i. e. Emboldens him.

Re-enter EDMUND.

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 urged on you.

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?
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,3
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.


SCENE II-A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with Drums and Colors, LEAR, CORDELIA, and their Forces; and exeunt


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.

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
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:


Ripeness is all: Come on.

And that's true, too.

SCENE III-The British Camp near Dover. Enter, in Conquest, with Drum and Colors, EDMUND; LEAR and CORDELIA, as Prisoners; Officers, Soldiers, &c.

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

1 Decision.
2 Be ready to meet the occasion.
3i.e. Make my part good. • Pass judgment on them

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

We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask my 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 it we were God's spies: And we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.


Take them away.
Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have
caught thee?

He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven,
And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
The goujeers shall devour them, flesh and fell,6
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them
starve first.

Come. [Exeunt LEAR and CORDELIA, guarded.
Elm. Come hither, captain; hark.
Take thou this note; [Giving a Paper.] go, follow
them to prison:

One step I have advanced thee; if thou dost
As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
To noble fortunes: Know thou this.-that men
Are as the time is: to be tender-minded
Does not become a sword:-Thy great employment
Will not bear question; either say, thou'it do't,
Or thrive by other means.


I'll do't, my lord. Edm. About it; and write happy, when thou hast done.

Mark. I say, instantly; and carry it so,
As I have set it down.

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, GONERIL, REGAN, Offi-
cers, and Attendants.

Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant


And fortune led you well: You have the captives,
Who were the opposites of this day's strife:
We do require them of you; so to use them,
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.


Not so hot: In his own grace he doth exalt himself, More than in your advancement.


My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, to appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time,
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his

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 immediacy may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.

The French disease.
Authority to act on his own judgment.

II bar it in the interest of my wife;

'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banns.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.

In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Gon. That were the most, if he should husband


• Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

• Skin.

Holloa, holloa!
That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
From a full-flowing stomach.-General,
Take thou thy soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine:
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.
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.


Half-blooded fellow, yes Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my utte [To EDMUND. Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:-Edmund, I arrest thee


On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,

This gilded serpent: [Pointing to Gos.]-for your claim, fair sister,


An interlude!

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

If none appear to prove upon thy person,
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.


Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable king
To some retention, and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the trumpet: He is bold in his defence.

Edm. Sound.


Sick, O, sick!
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Asi le.
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 honor firmly."

Alb. A herald, ho!
A herald, ho, a herald!
Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.


This sickness grows upon me. Enter a Herald.

Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.
[Exit REGAN, led.
Come hither, herald,-Let the trumpet sound,-
And read out this.

Off. Sound trumpet.

Her. Again.
Her. Again.

[A Trumpet sounds.

Herald reads.

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 if the

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Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name; But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes,

What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn:
Back do I toss these treasons to thy head;
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Which.(for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,)
This sword of mine shall give them instant way,
Where they shall rest forever.-Trumpets, speak.
Alurums. They fight. EDMUND falls.
Alb. O save him, save him!
This is mere practice,3 Gloster:
By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer
An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd,
But cozen'd and beguild.

Alb. Shut your mouth, dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it:--Hold, sir: Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil:No tearing, lady: I perceive you know it. [Gives the Letter to EDMUND. Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not thine: Who shall arraign me for't?

Most monstrous!

Alb. Know'st thou this paper? Gon.

Ask me not what I know. [Exit GONERIL. Alb. Go after her: she's desperate; govern her. [To an Officer, who goes out. Edm. What you have charged me with, that have I done;

And more, much more: the time will bring it out;
'Tis past, and so am I: But what art thou,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble,
I do forgive thee.


Let's exchange charity.

I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us:

The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.
Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true;
The wheel has come full circle; I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness:-I must embrace thee;
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I

Did hate thee, or thy father!

Edg. I know it well.

Worthy prince,


Where have you hid yourself? How have you known the miseries of your father? Edg. By nursing them, my lord.-List a brief tale;And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst!The bloody proclamation to escape, That follow'd me so near, (0, our lives' sweetness! That with the pain of death we'd hourly die, Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift Into a mad-man's rags; to assume a semblance That very dogs disdain'd; and in this habit Met I my father with his bleeding rings, Their precious stones new lost; became his guide, Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair; Never ( fault!) reveal'd myself unto him, Until some half hour past, when I was arm'd, Not sure, though hoping, of this good success, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last Told him my pilgrimage: but his flaw'd heart, (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!) Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly.

Alb. If there be more, more woeful hold it in; For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.

This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow; but another,
To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity.

Whilst I was big in clamor, came there a man,
Who having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endured, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father;
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear receiv'd: which in recounting,
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack Twice then the trumpet sounded,
And there I left him tranced.

Edm. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, And shall, perchance, do good: but speak you on; You look as you had something more to say.


* Stratagem.

• Hear.


But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in disguise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.

Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody Knife.
Gent. Help! help! O help!


What kind of help? Speak, man.

Edg. What means that bloody knife? Gent. 'Tis hot, it smokes;

It came even from the heart of


Who, man? speak. Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister By her is poison'd; she confesses it.

Edm. I was contracted to them both; all three Now marry in an instant.

Alb. Produce their bodies, be they alive or dead!

This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,

Touches us not with pity. [Exit Gentleman.

Enter KENT.

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f that her breath will mist or stain the stone, Why, then she lives.

Kent. Is this the promis'd end? Edg. Or image of that horror? Alb. Fall, and cease. Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so, It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows That ever I have felt.

O my good master! [Kneeling
Lear Pr'ythee, away.

"Tis noble Kent, your friend. Lear A plague upon you, murderers, traitors, all! I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever!Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!

What is't thou say'st?-Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman:-
I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thec.
Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.


Did I not, fellow? I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion I would have inade them skip: I am old now, And these same crosses spoil me.-Who are you? Mine eyes are none o' the best:-I'll tell you straight.

Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated, One of them we behold.

Lear. This is a dull sight: Are you not Kent?
The same;

Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius?
Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that;
He'll strike, and quickly too:-He's dead and

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Enter an Officer. Off. Edmund is dead, my lord. Alb. That's but a trifle here.You lords and noble friends, know our intent: What comfort to this great decay may come, Shall be applied: For us, we will resign, During the life of this old majesty, To him our absolute power:-You to your rights; [To EDGAR and KENT. With boot, and such addition as your honors Have more than merited.-All friends shall taste The wages of their virtue, and all foes The cup of their deservings.-O, see, see!

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life:


Ay, so I think.

Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is That we present us to him.


Very bootless,7

‹ Useless.

Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no

Never, never, never, never, never!—
Pray you, undo this button: Thank you, sir.-
Do you see this? Look on her,-look,-her hips.-
Look there, look there!--
[He dies.
He faints-My lord, my lord.-
Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break!
Look up, my lord.
Kent. Vex not his ghost: 0, let him pass! he
hates him,
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.

O, he is gone, indeed.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endured so

He but usurp'd his life.

Alb. Bear them from hence.-Our present business

Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain [TO KENT and EDGAR Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain. Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; My master calls, and I must not say, no. Alb. The weight of this sad time we mus obey;

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young,
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
[Exeunt, with a dead marts

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