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Sir, this I hear,-The king is come to his | SCENE 11.-A Field between the Two Camps.


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 touches us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I

Most just and heavy causes make oppose.t
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.

Reg. Why is this reason'd?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy: For these domestic and particular broils Art 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


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Hear me one word.

Alb. I'll overtake you.-Speak.


cers, Soldiers, and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.

If you have victory, let the trumpet sound

Alarum within.-Enter, with Drum and Colours, LEAR, CORDELIA, and their Forces; and Exeunt.


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

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

That are to censuret them.

Cor. We are not the first, [worst. Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;

For him that brought it: wretched though I Myself could else out-frown false fortune's


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

Re-enter EDMUND.

Edm. The enemy's in view; draw up your powers. (forces Here is the guess of their true strength and 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
Each jealous of the other, as the stung [love;
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,||
Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle; which being

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. [Exit.

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frown.[sisters? Shall we not see these daughters, and these Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to

We two alone will sing like birds i'the cage: prison: When thou dost ask my blessing, I'll kneel And ask of thee forgiveness: So we'll live, down, 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,[out;Who loses, and who wins; who's in, who's And take upon us the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: And we'll wear out, [ones,

In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great That ebb and flow by the moon.

Edm. Take them away.

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

He, that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven,


And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine
The goujeerst shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them
starve first.

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

One step I have advanc'd 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

* I. c. To be ready prepared, is all. + Pass judgement on them.

1 The French disease.

↑ Skin.

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Edm. About it; and write happy, when thou hast done.

Mark,-1 say, instantly; and carry it so,
As I have set it down.

Of. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work, I will do it.


OFFICERS, and Attendants.

Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain, [tives And fortune led you well: You have the capWho 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.

Edm. 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 queen;

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

[friend; 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.t

Alb. Sir, by your patience,

I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.

Reg. 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 immediacyt may well stand up, And call itself your brother.

Gon. Not so hot:

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Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine. [To EDMUND.

Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:-Edmund, I' arrest thee

On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,
This gilded serpent: [Pointing to GoN.]—for
your claim, fair sister,

I bar it in the interest of my wife;
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.

Gon. An interlude!

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[Trumpet answers within.

Enter EDGAR, armed, preceded by a Trumpet. Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears Upon this call o'the trumpet.

Her. What are you?

Your name, your quality? and why you answer This present summons?

Edg. Know, my name is lost; By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and cankerYet am I noble, as the adversary [bit: I come to cope withal.

Alb. Which is that adversary? Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund earl of Gloster?

Edm. Himself;-What say'st thou to him?
Edg. Draw thy sword;

That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath and my profession: I protest,-

1. e. Valour.


Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and emi- | And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would The bloody proclamation to escape, [burst!That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweet


Despite thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune,
Thy valour, and thy heart,-thou art a traitor:
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father;
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince;
And, from the extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou, No,
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are

To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak
Thou liest.

Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name;t But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, [breathes, And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding 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,) [way, This sword of mine shall give them instant Where they shall rest for ever.-Trumpets, speak.

[Alarums.-They fight.-EDMUND falls. save him, save him!

Alb. Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster: By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to


An unknown opposite; thou art not vanBut cozen'd and beguil'd. [quish'd,

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 Who shall arraign me for't? [thine:

Alb. Most monstrous! 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 charg'd me with, that have I done; [out; And more, much more: the time will bring it "Tis past, and so am I: But what art thou, That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble, I do forgive thee.

Edg. 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.

Edm. Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true; The wheel is 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. Worthy prince,

I know it well.

Alb. Where have you hid yourself? [ther?


That with the pain of death we'd hourly die,
Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift
Into a madman's rags; to assume a sem-

That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost; became his
Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from
Never (O 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

(Alack, too weak the conflict to support!) Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly.

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

Edg. 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. [man, Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a Who having seen me in my worst estate, Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong


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 tranc'd.

Alb. 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

Gent. Help! help! O help!
Edg. What kind of help?

Alb. Speak, man.

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

It came even from the heart of

Alb. Who, man? speak.

Gent. Your lady, Sir, your lady: and her

By her is poison'd; she confesses it.


Edm. I was contracted to them both; all

Now marry in an instant.


Alb. Produce their bodies, be they alive or


This judgement of the heavens, that makes us tremble,

How have you known the miseries of your fa-Touches us not with pity. [Exit GENTLEMAN.

Edg. By nursing them, my lord.-List|| a brief


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Enter KENT.

Edg. Here comes Kent, Sir.

Alb. O! it is he.

The time will not allow the compliment,

Which very manners urges.

Kent. I am come

To bid my king and master aye* good night;
Is he not here?

Alb. Great thing of us forgot!-
Speak, Edmund, where's the king? and where's

See'st thou this object, Kent?

[The Bodies of GONERIL and REGAN
are brought in.

Kent. Alack, why thus?

Edm. Yet Edmund was belov'd:
The one the other poison'd for my sake,
And after slew herself.

Alb. Even so.-Cover their faces.

Edm. I pant for life:-Some good I mean to

Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,-
Be brief in it,-to the castle; for my writ
Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia:-
Nay, send in time.

Alb. Run, run, O, run


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Lear. I'll see that straight.

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

Lear. You are welcome hither.


Kent. Nor no man else; all's cheerless, dark,
and deadly.-

Your eldest daughters have fore-doom'd them-
And desperately are dead.
Lear. Ay, so I think.

Edg. To who, my lord?-Who has the of- That we present us to him.

Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain

fice? send

Thy token of reprieve.

Edm. Well thought on; take my sword,
Give it the captain.

Alb. Haste thee, for thy life. [Exit EDGAR.
Edm. He hath commission from thy wife

and me

To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
To lay the blame upon her own despair,
That she fordid herself.t

Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence
[EDMUND is borne off.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his Arms;
EDGAR, OFFICER, and others.
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!—O, you are
men of stones;

Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so That heaven's vault should crack:-O, she is gone for ever!

I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She's dead as earth:-Lend me a looking-

If 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

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Edg. Very bootless."

Enter an OFFICER.

Off. Edmund is dead, my lord.

[it is

You lords, and noble friends, know our intent.
Alb. That's but a trifle here.-
What comfort to this great decayt 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
With boot, and such additions as your honours
Have more than merited.-All friends shall


The cup of their deservings.—O, see, see!
The wages of their virtue, and all foes

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? O, thou wilt come
Never, never, never, never, never!-

no more,

Do you see this? Look on her,-look,-her Pray you, undo this button: Thank you, Sir.lips,

Look there, look there!

[He dies.
Edg. He faints -My lord, my lord,-
Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break!
Edg. Look up, my lord.

Kent. Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass!¶

he hates him,

That would upon the rack of this tough world

Stretch him out longer.

Edg. O, he is gone, indeed.

He but usurp'd his life.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so


Alb. Bear them from hence.-Our present


Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you
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 must

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we, that are

Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
[Exeunt, with a dead March.
+ I. e. Lear. + Benefit. Titles.
Poor fool, in the time of Shakspeare was an expression
of endearment.

* Useless.

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A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could


Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

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Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid

of Montague's.

Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

Sam. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall:therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.

Sam. "Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

Gre. The heads of the maids?

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt. Gre. They must take it in sense, that feel


Sam. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand: and, 'tis known, I am a pretty piece of flesh.

Gre. 'Tis well, thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.t

Poor John is hake, dried and salted.
+ The disregard of concurd is in character.

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