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SCENE I. The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover. Enter, with Drums and Colours, EDMUND, REGAN,
Officers, Soldiers, and others. Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose hold;! Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught To change the course: He's full of alteration, And self-reproving ;-bring his constant pleasure.
[To an Officer, who
goes out. Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried. Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam. Reg.
Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you: Tell me,—but truly,—but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister? Edm.
In honour'd love. Reg. But have you never found my brother's way To the forefended place? Edm.
That thought abuses you.
Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunot And bosom'd with her, as far as we call bers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear, my lord,
Fear me not:
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.
[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.Sir, this I hear, --The king is come to his daughter, 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 toucheth us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I fear, Most just and heavy causes make oppose. Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.
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
Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised.
I'll overtake you.-Speak.
Soldiers, and Attendants.
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.
I was forbid it.
[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 their true strength and forces By diligent discovery ;-but your baste 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; And hardly shall I carry out my side, Her husband being alive. Now tben, 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.
[Erit. SCENE 11. 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,
Grace go with you, sir!
[Éxit Edgar. Alarums; 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 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: 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;
We are not the first,
Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison :
pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and bear 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 us 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. Come.
[Exeunt Lear and Cordeliu, guarded. Edm. Come hitlier, captain ; bark. Take thou this note; [Giving á Paper] go, follow them
to prison: One step I have advanc'd thee; if thiou 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'll do't, my lord. Edm. About it; and write happy, when thou hast done. Mark,-) 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. [Exit Officer. Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN,
Officers, 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 kiug To some retention, and appointed guard; Whose age has charms in it, whose title more, To pluck the common bosom on bis side, And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes Which do command them. With him I sent the queen;