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Reg. Why is this reason'd ?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy :
For these domestic and particular broils
Are 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 tent.
Reg. Sister, you'll go with us ?
Gon. No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient ; pray you, go with us.
Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle : (Aside.) I will go.

As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised.
Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,
Hear me one word.
Alb. I'll overtake you.-Speak.
[Exeunt EDM. REG. Gon. Officers, Soldiers,

and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound 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.6 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.

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

Re-enter EDMUND. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Here is the guess of thcir true strength and forces 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 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 ; [6] All designs against your life will have an end. STEEVENS. (7) We will be ready to meet the occasion. JOHNSON.


And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle ; which 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.


SCENE II. A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with

drum and colours, LeAR, CORDELIA, 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 comfort. Glo. Grace go with you, sir ! [Exit EDGAR.

Alarums, afterwards a Retreat. Re-enter EDGAR. Edy. Away, old man, give me thy hand, away ; King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en : Give me thy hand, come on.

Gle. No further, 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.8 Come on. Glo. And that's true too.


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 guard ;
Until their greater pleasures first be known
That are to censure them.

Cor. 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-frown false fortune's frown.-

(8] To be ready, prepared, is all.


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 Who loses, and who wins ; who's in, who's out ;-and take upon us the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies :9 And we'll wear out, In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon.

Edm. Take them away.

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense.' Have Icaught chee: He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven, And fire us hence, like foxes.2 Wipe thine eyes ; The goujeers3 shall devour them, Hesh 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, 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.

Off. I'M 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.

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


[9] As if we were angels commissioned to survey and report the lives of men, and were consequently, endowed with the power of prying into the original motives of action and the mysteries of conduct. JOHNSON

[iThe thought is extremely noble, and expressed in a sublime of imagery that Seneca fell short of on the like occasion. " Ecce spectaculum dig. “ nom ad quod respiciat, intentus operi suo deus : ecce par deo dignum, vir « fortis cum mala fortuna compositus." WARBURTON.

(2) It is usua) to smoke foxes out of their holes. STEEVENS.

131 The goujeres is the morbus gallicus. Gouge, Fr. one of the common women attending a camp:

HANMER [4] Flesh and fell-flesh and skin. JOHNSON

Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Offe

cers, and Attendants. 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.

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 eyess
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 time,
We sweat, and bleed : the friend hath lost his friend ;
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.6

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 immediacy may well stand up,?
And call itself your brother,

Gon. Not so hot:
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your advancement.

Reg. In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Alb. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

Gon. Holla, holla !
That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.

[5] Turn the launce-men, whom we have hired by giving them pressmoney, against

us. (6) The determination of the question, what shall be done with Cordelia and her father, should be reserved for greater privacy:

(7) Immediacy, supremacy in opposition to subordination, which has quiddam medium between itself and power. JOHNSON



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 : 8
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master.

Gon. Mean you to enjoy him?
Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good-will.9
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.

Alb. Stay yet; hear reason :-Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason ; and, in thy arrest,
This giided 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 !

Alb. Thou art arm’d, Gloster:-Let the trumpet sound : If none appear to prove upon thy person, Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons, There is my pledge ; [Throwing down a glove.] I'II

prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim’d thee.

Reg. Sick, 0, sick!
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.

Aside. Edm. There's my exchange : [Throwing down a

glove.] What in the world he is,
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies :
Call by thy truinpet : he that dares approachi,
On him, on you, (who not :) I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.

Alb. A herald, ho !
Edı. A herald, ho, a herald !
Alb. Trust to thy single virtue ; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.

Reg. This sickness grows upon me. [8] A metaphorical phrase taken from the camp, and signifying, to supa tender at discretion.

[9] To obstruct their wion lies not in your good pleasure : your veto 'will avail nothing. 9*




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