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ransom. Let me have surgeons; Oh! I am cut
to the brains.
2 Knight. You shall have any thing.
Lear. No seconds? All myself?
1 Knight. You are a royal one, and we obey you.
Lear. It were an excellent stratagem to shoe a troop of horse with felt; I'll put it in proof.—No noise, no noise.—Now will we steal upon these sons-in-law, and
then Kill, kill, kill, kill!
[Exeunt King Lear, and the Knights.
Edg. A sight most moving in the meanest wretch, Past speaking in a king!
Glost. Now, good sir, what are you?
Edg. A most poor man, made tame to fortune's strokes, And prone to pity by experienc'd sorrows. Give me your hand.
Glost. You gentle gods, take my breath from me, And let not my ill genius tempt me more To die before you please.
Osw. A proclaim'd prize! O most happily met! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes. Thou old, unhappy, traitor, The sword is out that must destroy thee.
Glost. Now let thy friendly hand put strength enough to't.
Osw. Wherefore, bold peasant,
Edg. Chill not let go, zir, without 'vurther 'casion.
Osw. Let go, slave; or thou diest.
Edg. Good gentleman, go your gate, and let poor volk pass; and chu'd ha' bin' zwagger'd out of my life, it would not have been zo long as 'tis by a vort
night. Nay, an' thou com'st near th' old man, I'st
try whether your costard or my ballow be th' harder.
Osw. Out, dunghill!
Edg. Chill pick your teeth, zir: come, no matter vor your foines, [edgar knocks him down.
Osw. Slave, thou hast slain me; oh! untimely
Edg. I know thee well, a serviceable villain.
Glost. What ? Is he dead?
Edg. This is a letter carrier, and may have Some papers of intelligence, that may stand
Our party in good stead to know. What's here?
[Takes a Letter out of his Pocket, and reads it.
To Edmund Earl of Gloster. Let our mutual loves be remembered: you have many opportunities to cut Albany off. If he return the con queror, then I am still a prisoner, and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth of which deliver me, and supply the place for your labour. Goneril,
A plot upon the duke her husband's life,
[A March at a Distance. Come, your hand;
Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum:
ACT THE FIFTH.
King Lear asleep on a Couch.
Cordelia, Physician, and Two Knights standing by him.
Cord. His sleep is sound, and may have good effect To cure his jarring senses, and repair This breach of nature.
Phys. We have employ'd the utmost pow'r of art, And this deep rest will perfect our design.
Cord. O Regan! Goneril! Inhuman sisters! Had he not been your father, these white hairs Had challenged sure some pity! Was this a face To be expos'd against the jarring winds? My enemy's dog, though he had bit me, should Have stood that night against my fire.—He wakes; speak to him.
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Cord. How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me outo'th' grave.
Cord. Speak to me, sir; who am I?
Lear. You are a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Cord. Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know; when did you die?
Cord. Still, still, far wide!
Phys. Madam, he's scarce awake; he'll soon grow more compos'd.
Lear. Where have I been? Where am I? Fair day-
Cord. O, look upon me, sir,
Lear. Pray, do not mock me;
Cord: Nay, then farewell to patience? witness for me, Ye mighty pow'rs, I ne'er complain'd till now !
Lear. Methinks, I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful; for I'm mainly ignorant What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor do I know Where I did sleep last night.—Pray, do not mock me; For, as I am a man, I think that lady To be my child Cordelia.
Cord. O, my dear, dear father!
Lear. Be your tears wet ? Yes, 'faith ; pray, do not weep. I know I have given thee cause, and am so humbled With crosses since, that I could ask Forgiveness of thee, were it possible That thou couldst grant it; If thou hast poison for me, I will drink it, Bless thee, and die.
Cord. O, pity, sir, a bleeding heart, and cease This killing language.
Lear. Tell me, friends, where am I? Phys. In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me. Phys. Be comforted, good madam; for the violence Of his distemper's past; we'll lead him in, Nor trouble him, till he is better settled. Will it please you, sir, walk into freer air? Lear. You must bear with me, I am old and foolish. Forget and forgive. t [The Physician leads #KING Lear, followed by the Two Knights. Cord. The gods restore you !— [A distant March. Hark, I hear afar The beaten drum. Old Kent's a man of's word. Oh! for an arm Like the fierce thunderer's, when the earth-bom sons Storm'd heav'n, to fight this injur'd father's battle! That I' could shift my sex, and dye me deep In his opposer's blood? But, as I may, With women's weapons, piety and pray'rs, I'll aid his cause.—You never-erring gods, Fight on his side, and thunder on his foes Such tempests, as his poor aged head sustain'd! Your image suffers when a monarch bleeds; ’Tis your own cause ; for that your succours bring; Revenge yourselves, and right an injur'd king. [Exit Connaua.
A Valley near the Field of Battle.
Enter Edgar and Gloster.
Edg. Here, sir, take you the shadow of this tree For your good host; pray that the right may thrive: