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For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
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.
I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I 'll appear again.
(Exit. Alb. Why, fare thee well: I will o'erlook thy paper.
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 urg'd on you.
We will greet the time.
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,
Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle; whichi 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.
A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with Drum and Colours, LEAR, COR
DELIA, and their Forces; and exeunt.
Enter EDGAR and GLOSTER.
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
Grace go with Sir! (Exit EDGAR. Alarum; 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 farther, Sir: a man may rot even here.
Edg. What! in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all. Come on.
And that's true too. [Exeunt.
The British Camp near Dover. Enter, in Conquest, with Drum and Colours, EDMUND; LEAR and CORDELIA, as Prisoners; Captain, Officers, Soldiers, dec.
Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard ,
Until their greater pleasures first be known,
That are to censure 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-frowo false fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters ?
Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let 's away to prison :
We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage :
When thou dost ask me 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's the mystery of things,
As if 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 I 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,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them starve first.
[Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, guarded.
Edm. Come hither, captain; hark.
Take thou this note; [Giving a Paper.] go, follow 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
Does not become a sword. Thy great employment
Will not bear question; either say, thou 'lt 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.
Capt. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats;
If it be man's work, I will do it.
Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Officers, and
Alb. : Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain,
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.
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 thc qucen;
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at farther space, l'appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time,
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his fricnd;
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 placc and person;
The which immediacy may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.
Not so hot:
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your addition.
In my rights,
By mc invested, he compcers the best.
Gon. Thal were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jesters do ust prove prophets.
Holla, holla! That cyc 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 my 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 lel-alone lies not in your good will.
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Half-blooded fellow, yes.
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 bespokc. Gon.
An interlude! Alb. Thou atan m'd,
Gloster. Let the trumpet sound:
If nonc appear to prove upon thy person,
Thy hcinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge. [Throwing down a Glove.] I'll prove it on
Fre I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
Sick! 0, sick!
Gon. [Aside.] If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.
Edm. There's my exchange: Throwing down a Glove.]
what in the world he is
That dames me traitor, villain-like he lies.
Call by thy trumpet: he that dares approach,
On him, on you, who not? I will maintain
My lruth and honour firmly.