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Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair ;
Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him,
Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d,
Not sure, tho' 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.
Edm. [Ruised by Officers.] I pant for life :-Some

good I mean to do,
Despite of my own nature. Quickly send-
Be brief in it-to the castle; for my writ
Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia.

Edg. Who has the office ? Send thy token of reprieve.
Edm. Take my sword-give it the captain.

Alb. Haste thee, for thy life! [Èxit EDGAR, R. The gods defend her !-Bear him hence awhile.

[Flourish.-EDMUND is led off 1.-Albany and

others exeunt R.

SCENE V.-A Prison.

Enter LEAR through opening in R. Flat, with Cor

Delia, dead, in his arms.- Officer enters L. U. E. as
on guard; he remains at back, L.
Lear. [Advancing to c.] Howl, howl, howl, howl !

0, ye are men of stones! Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so That heaven's vault should crack.-0, she is gone for

ever! ; [Lear kneels on right knee, and places CORDELIA

across his left, her feet towards R.
I know when one is dead, and when one lives ;
She's dead as earth :-Lend me a looking-glass ;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why then she lives.
Enter EDGAR, ALBANY, Kent, Officer, and Soldiers,

R.-Officer marches the Soldiers up R. and back.
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
Edg. Or image of that horror ?

[Crosses behind LEAR. Alb. Fall, and cease!

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Lear. This feather stirs ; she lives ! -If it be so,
It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.

Kent. (R. C.) [Kneeling.] O, my good master!
Lear. Pr’ythee, away!
Edg. (L. C.) 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.

Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors, all!
I might have sav'd 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 ; but I did kill the slave
That was a hanging thee!
Officer. (L.) [Advancing a little.] 'Tis true, my

lords, he did. Lear. Did I not, fellow? I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion, I would have made them skip: I am old now, And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you? My eyes are none o'the best :-I'll tell you straight. Kent. (R. c.) If fortune brag of two she lewd and

One of them we behold.

Lear. This is a dull sight.- Are you not Kent?
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 rotten.

Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man.
Lear. I'll see that straight.

Kent. That, from your first of difference and decay, Have follow'd your sad steps.

Lear. You are welcome hither.
Kent. Nor no man else ; all's cheerless, dark, and

Your eldest daughters have foredoom'd themselves,
And desperately

are dead.
Lear. Ay, so I think.
Kent. He knows not what he says; and vain it is
That we present us to him. O see! see !

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life :
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? [Laying CORDELTA On the

ground, and kneeling on both knees.] 0, thou

wilt come no more! Never, never, never, never !

Pray you, undo this button. [Placing his hand to his

throat, as if choaking.] Thank you, sir. Do you see this? Look on her-look-her lips

[Kisses her. Look there-look there! [Gives a convulsive gasp, and falls back. He is

supported on the R. by KENT, and on the L. by EDGAR.-Curtain falls to slow music.




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