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Cor. How does my royal lord ? How fares your ! Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray, weep not majesty ?

If you have poisou 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 ?
Sir, 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, goo«l madam : the great rage, Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile.


see, is kill'd in him: and yet it is danger Lear. Where have I been? Where am I?- Fair To make him even o'er the time he has lost. day-light?

Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
I am mightily abus d. – I should e'en die with pity, Till further settling.
To see another thus.--I know not what to say.-

Cor. Will 't please your highness walk?
I will not swear these are my hands :-- let 's see;


You must bear with me. I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assurd

Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolisti. 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,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.

His banish'd son, is with the Earl of Kent
Methinks I should know you, and know this man; In Germany,
Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant

Kent. Report is changeable.
What place this is : and all the skill I have

'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.rit. To be my child Cordelia.

Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrougit, Cor. And so I am, 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, with drums and colours, EDMUND, REGAN,

Enter ALBANY, GONERI, and Soldiers.
Officers, Soldiers, and others.

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


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, You know the goodness I intend upon you :

Most iust and heavy causes make oppose. Tell me,--but truly,— but then speak the truth,

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly. Do you not love my sister ?


Why is this reasonu ?
In honour'd love.

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
Reg. But have you never found my brother's way For these domestic and particular broils
To the forefended place ?

Are not the question here.
That thought abuses you.

Alb. Let 's then determine with the ancient of war
Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct On our proceeding.
And bosom d with her, as far as we call hers.

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.

Gon. 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.l., not an hour Hear me one word. more por less than an indeterminate number, for stich is four.

Alb. score and upwards.” Why, who is speaking ? One who speaks

I 'll overtake you.Speak. logically and collectedly? Nol one who immediately after [Excunt Evmund, Regan, Goneri, Officers, rays, “I fear I am noi in my perfect mind." It was the half

Soldiers, and Attendants. consciousness of the " foolish, iod old man" which Shakspere meant 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,

1 I can produce a champion, that will prove

Who loses, and who wins: who's in, who is out, What is avouched there : if you miscarry,

And take upon us the mystery of things, Your business of the world bath 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 tlow by the moon.
I was forbid it. Edm.

Take them away. When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelie, 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 Re-enter EDMUND.

And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes; Edm. The enemy 's in view, draw up your powers. The good years shall devour them, flesh and fell,. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces Ere they shall make us weep; we'll see then starre By diligent discovery :—but your haste

first. Is now urg'd on you.

Come. [Ereunt Lear and CORDELIA, guarded, Alb.

We will greet the time. [Exit. Edm. Come hither, captain ; hark.
Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; Take thou this note; (giving a paper] go, follow them
Each jealous of the other, as the stung

to prison;
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take ? One step I have advancd thee: if thou dost
Both ? one? or neither ? Neither can be enjoy'u, As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
If both remain alive: To take the widow,

To noble fortunes: Know thou this, - that men Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;

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 't, 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 Shall never see his pardon : for my state

As I have set it down. Stands on me to defend, not to debate. (Exit. off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats ;

If it be man's work I will do it.

(Exit Officer SCENE II.-A Field between the two Camps.

Fiourish. Enter ALBANY, Goneril, REGAN, Officers, 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 captives

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 confort.


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 band, 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 queri; 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 tvo. (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 Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUND;

Requires a fitter place.

Lear and Cordelia, as prisoners ; Officers, Sol- 1 hold you but a subject of this war,

Sir, by your patience, diers, &c.

Not as a brother. Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard ; Reg. That 's as we list to grace him. Until their greater pleasures first be known

Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded, That are to censure them.

Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
We are not the first,

Bore the commission of my place and person;
Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. The which immediacy may well stand up,
For thee, oppressed king, I am cast down;

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 hijnsell,

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 compeers the best. And ask of thee forgiveness : So we 'll live,

Gon. That were the most if he should bustand you And pray,

and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets. At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues

a Fell- skin.

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Holla, holla! Edg. What's he that speaks for Edmund earl of
That eye that told you so look d but a-squint.

Gloster ?
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer Edm. Himself;—What say'st thou to him?
From a full-llowing stomach. ---General,


Draw thy sword Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;

That, if my speech oftend a noble heart, Diskuse 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,
Jy lord and master.

The privilege of mine honours,
Mean you to enjoy him?

My oath, and my profession ; I protest,
Alb. The let-alone lics not in your good-will. Vaugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.

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 ligh illustrious princt, Abb. Stay yet; hear reason : Edmund, I arrest thee And, 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
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, manitest, and many treasons,

With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Tiere 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. [Aside.


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 vanquishod,
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies;

But cozen`d and beguild.
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 :-
Aly 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.
A herald, hoa, a herald!

[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 Gonern... Tok their discharge.


Most monstrous !
My sickness grows upon me.

Know'st thou this paper ?

Ask me not what I know.
Enter a Herald.

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 dove Corne 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
Off. Sound, trumpet! [A trumpet sounds. That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble
Herald reads.

I do forgive thee.

Let 's exchange charity.
If any man of quality or degree, within the lists of the army, I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund :
will maintain upon Elmaud, supposed Earl of Gloster, that he If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third sound of the
trumpet: He is bold in his defence.

My nime is Edgar, and thy father's son.
Edm. Sound!

[1 Trumpet. Make instruments 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
Her. 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;
Upon this call o' the trumpet.

Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I

What are you?

Did hate thee, or thy father!
Your name, your quality ? and why you answer


Worthy prince, I know 't.
This present summons ?

Alb. Where have you hid yourself

Know, my name is lost: How have you known the miseries of your father?
Bs treason's tooth bare guawn, and canker-bit:

Edg. By nursing them, my lord.-List a brief tale. Yet am I noble, as the adversary

And when 't is told, O, that my heart would burst !.
I come to cope withal.

The bloovly proclamation to escape
Which is that adversary ?

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That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness ! - The one the other poison d for my sake,
That we the pain ot' death would hourly die,

And after slew herself.
Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift

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 senti, -
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,

Be brief in it,-10 the castle ; for
Their precious stones new lost ; became his guide, Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia :-
Led him, begy'd for him, say'd him from despair ; Nay, send in time.
Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him,


Run, run, 0, runUntil some half-hour past, when I was arm'd;

Edg. To who, my lord ?- Who has the office ? send Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,

Thy token of reprieve.
I ask d his blessing, and from first to last

Edm. Well thought on; take my sword,
Told him our pilgrimage : but his flaw'd heart, Give it the captain.
Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)


Haste thee, for thy life. (Ez. EDGAB. '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 Edm. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, To lay the blame upon her own despair, And shal!, perchance, do good : but speak you ou;

That she foredid herself. You look as you had something more to say.

Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him bence awhile. Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in;

(EDMUND is borrie off. For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.

Enter Lear, with Cordelia dead in his arms : Edg. This would have seem'd a period

Edgar, Officer, and others. To such as love not sorrow; but another,

Lear. Howl, howl, howl!-0, you are men of stone; 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 guie sur 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 wben one lives; Shunn’d my abhorr'd society; but then, finding She's dead as earth :- Lend me a looking-glass; Who 't was that so endur'd, with his strong arms

If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, He fasten'd 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.
But who was this?


O my good master! (Kneeling. Edg. Kent, sir, the banish d Kent; who in disguise Lear. Prithee, away. Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service


"T is noble Kent, your frieiido Improper for a slave. a

Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!

I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever! Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife.

Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha! Gent. Help! help! O belp!

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- she's dead.

I have seen the day, with my good biting favicliun Alb. Who dead? speak, man.

I would have made them ship: 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 lord and hated, Now marry in an instant.

One of them we behold.
Here comes Kent.

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 Caiust 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 rutiei

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.
I am come


You are welcome hitber. To bid my king and master aye good night;

Kent. Nor no man else; all 's cheerless, Jark, an! Is he not here?

deadly.Alb. Great thing of us forgot !

Your eldest daughters have fore-done 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. 4. The promis'd end-the end of the world foretold in the Kent. Alack, why thus ?

Scriptures. The “image of that horrorTM is the same as "the Edm, Yet Edmund was belov'd :

great doom's image" of Macbeth.'

Fore.dune. We have previously had for did ased the The quartos, () 1 it is he.

same sense of destroy.

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Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is And thou no breath at all? Thou 'lt come no muit.
That we present us to him.

Never, never, never, never, never !
Very bootless.

Pray you undo this button : Thank you, sir. -
Enter an Officer.

Do you see this? Look on her,—look,- her lips,-
Look there, look there!

[He dies. Off. Edmund is dead, my lord.


He faints! My lord, my lord, Alb. That is but a trifle here.

Kent. Break, heart; I prithee, break! You lords, and noble friends, know our intent.


Look up, my lori. What comfort to this great decay may come

Kent. Vex not his ghost: 0, let him pass! he hates Shall be applied : For us, we will resign,

him During the life of this old majesty,

That would upon the rack of this tough worid To him our absolute power :-You, to your rights ; Stretch him out longer. [To Edgar and KENT. Edg.

He is gone, indeed. With boot, and such addition as your honours

Kent. The wonder is he hath endur'd so long : llave more than merited.- All friends shall taste

He but usurp'd his life. The wages of their virtue, and all foes

Alb. Bear them from hence. Our present business The cup of their deservings.—0, see, see !

Is general woe. Frienus of my soul, you twain Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd!“ No, no, no life :

[To Kent and EDGAR, Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,

Rule in this realm, and the gord state sustain. * And my poor fool is hang'd. We cannot avoid thinking

Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go ; that Shakspere, in this place, meant to express a peculiar ten. My master calls me,- I must not say, no. derbess, derived from Lear's confused recollection of his regard

Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey; fur his poor follower, the Fool, whom we have lost after the third act. To the depth of his distress, during the storm, Lear Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. Bay" Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart that's

The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
And now, when the last and deepest cala- Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
Drity has fallen upon him, his expressions shape themselves out
O! the indistinctness with which he views the present and the

(Exeunt with a dead march." putt, lad Cordelia is his "

a This is the original stage direction.

sorry yet for thee."

poor fool."

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