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As they are going out, Enter Edgar disguisd.

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, and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have vi&t ry, let the trumpet found For him ihat brought it: wretched though I seem, I can produce a Champion, that will prove What is a vouched there. If you miscarry, Your business of the world hath fo an end, And machination ceases. Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay 'till I've 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. Hard is the guess of their true strength and forces, By diligent discovery ; but your

hafte Is now urg'd on you. Alb. We will greet the time.


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Edm. T Each jealous of the other, as the


both these filters have I sworn

my love:

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 lifter Gonerill;



Edg: Hl For your good Host; pray, that the right

And hardly shall I carry out my fide,
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 fpeedy 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

ftate Stands on me to defend, not to debate.

[Exit. S CE N E

Another open Field.
Alarm within. Enter with drum and colours, Lear,
Cordelia, and foldiers over the page, and exeunt,

Enter Edgar and Glo'ster.
ERE, father, take the shadow of this tree


may thrive:

If ever I return to you again,
I'll bring you comfort.
Glo. Grace be with you, Sir! (Exit Edgar.

[ Alarm, and retreat, within.

Re-enter Edgar.
Edg. Away, old man; give me thy hand, away;
King Lear háth loft, 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 There going hence, ev'n as their coming hither: Ripeness is all; come on. Glo. And that's true too.

(Exeunt. S. CE N E V. Enter in Conquest, with Drum and Colours, Edmund;

Lear and Cordelia, as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain. Edm. OME Officers take them away; good guard,

Until their



That are to censure them.

Cor. We're 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.
Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters ?

Lear. No, no, no, no: come, let's away to prison ;
We two alone will fing, like birds i'th' cage:
When thou dost ask me Blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee Forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and fing, 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 fpies. And we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of Great ones,
That ebb and flow by th' moon.

Edm. Take them away.

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, (thee?
The Gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught
He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heav'n,
And fire us hence, like foxes ; wipe thine eye,
The * goujeres shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep; we'll see them starv'd first.

[Exeunt Lear and Cordelia guarded.
Edm. Come hither, Captain, hark.
Take thou this note ; 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
Do's not become a sword; thy great Employment
Will not bear question ; either say, thou'lt do't ;
Or thrive by other means.
Capt. I'll do't,


lord. Edn. About it, and write happy, when thou'st done. * Goujeres (French Pox.] Oxford Editor. Vulg. Good-jers.


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Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so,
As I have set it down.

[Exit Captain.
Flourish. Enter Albany, Gonerill, Regan, and Soldiers.
Alb. STR, you have shewd to day your valiane
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.

Édm. 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 bofoms on his Gide; And turn our impreft launces in our eyes. (Queen; Which do command them. With him I sent the My reason all the same; and they are ready To-morrow, or at further space, t'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 curft
By those that feel their Sharpness.----
The Question of Cordelia, and her Father,
Requires a fitter Place.

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 Pow'rs; Bore the Commission of my Place and Person ; * The which immediacy may well stand up, And call itself your brother. * The which immediacy-] Immediacy, for Represention.


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

Reg. In my Right,
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.

Reg. Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
From a full-flowing ftomach. General,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony,
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine :
Wiiness the World, that I create thee here
My lord and master.

Gon. Mean you to enjoy him?
Alb. The Leit alone lies not in your good Will.
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 thec
On capital treason; and, in thy Arreft,
This gilded Serpent; for your claim, fair fifter,
I bar it in the interest of

'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I her husband, contradict your banes.
If you will marry, make your loves to me,
My lady is bespoke.

Gon. An enterlude!
Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster; let the trumpet

found :
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifeft, and many treasons,
There is my Pledge : I'll prove it on thy heart,
Ere I tafte bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.

Reg. Sick, O fick-
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Aside.


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