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Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.

[Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician, and

Gent. Holds it true, sir,
That the duke of Cornwall was so slain ?

Most certain, sir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people ?

As 'tis said,
The bastard son of Gloster.

They say, Edgar,
His banish'd son, is with the earl of Kent
In Germany.

Kent. Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the powers8 o'the kingdom Approach apace

Gent. The arbitrement' is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir.

[Erit. Kent. My point and period will be thoroughly

wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought. [Exit.


SCENEI. The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover. Exter, 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, 9 Decision

His settled resolution.

8 Forces.

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Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam.

Now, sweet lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you :
Tell me,--but truly,--but then speak the truth,

you not love my sister? Edm.

In honour'd love.
Reg. But have
you never found


way To the forefended 2 place ? · Edm.

That thought abuses you. Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.

Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.

Reg. I never shall endure her : Dear my lord,
Be not familiar with her.

Fear me not :-
She, and the duke her husband,

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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.5

2 Forbidden.

47. e. Emboldens him.

3 Imposes on you.

5 Opposition.




Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.

Why is this reason'd?
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils
Art not to question here.

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 EDMUND, REGAN, GONERIL, 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. 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.

[Erit. Alb.

6 i. 6. All designs against your life will have an end.

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 laste Is now urg'd on you.

We will greet the time.? [E.rit. 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, 8 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. [Erit.



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A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with Drum,and Colours, LEAR, CORDELIA, and their Forces; and ereunt.

Enter EDGAR and GLOSTER. Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree For your good host; pray that the right may thrive: 7 Be ready to meet the occasion.

81.e. Make my party good.

If ever I return to you again,
I'll bring you comfort.
Grace go with you,

sir !
[Exit 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

Their going hence, even as their coming hither :
Ripeness is all:9 Come on.

And that's true too.



The British Camp near Dover.

Entor, in Conquest, with Drum and Colours, EDMUND;

LEAR and CORDELIA, as Prisoners; Oljicers, 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.-Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters?

9 i.e. To be ready prepared, is all.

Pass judgment on them.

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