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Edg. (R.) Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound For him that brought it: wretched tho' 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.

Edg, I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I'll appear again.

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

Re-enter EDMUND, Ļ. with folded Paper. 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 haste Is now urg'd on you. Alb. We will greet the time.

[Exit, L. 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? To take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril; 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 Cordelią The battle done, and they within our power, Shall never see his pardon: for my state Stands on me to defend, not to debate. [Exit, R.

SCENE III.-A Valley near the Field of Battle.

Enter EDGAR and GLOSTER, R. Ú. E. 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.

[Exit EDGAR, L. Glost. Grace go with you, sir.

[An alarum within, w The fight grows hot; the whole war's now at work, And the gor'd battle bleeds iņ every vein,

Whilst drums and trumpets drown loud slaughter's roar.
Where's Gloster now, that us'd to head the onset,
And scour the ranks where deadliest danger lay ?
Here, like a shepherd, in a lonely shade,
Idle, unarm'd, and list’ning to the fight.
No more of shelter, thou blind worm, but forth
To th’ open field ; the war may come this way,
And crush thee into rest.

[Advances a little. 0, dark despair! When, Edgar, wilt thou come To pardon, and dismiss me to the grave ?

[A retreat sounded, L. Hark! a retreat; the king, I fear, has lost.

Re-enter EDGAR, L.
Edg. Away, old man ; give me your hand ; away!

[Crosses to R. King Lear has lost; he and his daughter ta'en : Give me thy hand. Come on!

Glost. No farther, sir ; a man may rot even here.

Edg. What I in'ill thoughts again ? Men must endure Their going hence, ev'n as their coming hither. Ripeness is all.-Come on! Glost. And that's true too.

[Exeunt, R.

SCENE IV.-The British Camp near Dover. Enter, in conquest, with Banners, &c. EDMUND, L.;

Lear and CORDELIA as prisoners; an Officer and four Soldiers preceding them, and the same number following, L. S. E.-Flourish.

Edm. (R.) Some officers take them away: good guard; Until their greater pleasures first be known That are to censure them. Cord. (R. C.) [Coming forward a little.] 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 ?
Lear. (c.) No, no, no, no !-Come, let's away 10

prison :
We two alone will sing 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 sing, and tell old tales, and laugh

thine eyes ;

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;
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
Edm. [Crossing to l.] Take them away!

[LEAR and CORDELIA go forward, R. Lear. (R. C.) 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. [Officer on the R. advances

. a little, and motions them to follow.] Wipe The goujeers shall devour them, flesh and fell, Ere they shall make us weep; we'll see them starve first. Come. [Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, preceded by Oficer,

and followed by four Soldiers, r. Edm. (L.) Come hither, captain; hark

[Officer comes down r. Take thou this note ; [Giving a paper] go, follow them

to prison :
One step I've advanced 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; that great employment
Will not bear question : either say, thou'lt do't,
:Or thrive by other means.

Officer. I'll 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.
Officer. I will do it.

[Exit, R. Flourish.-Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Officers

and Guards, L.
Alb. (c.) 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 equalay determine.

Edm (B.) 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 lancers in our eyes,
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.

Alb. Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.

Reg. (L.) 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. (L. c.) 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. General,

[Crosses to EDMUND,
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine :
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master!:

Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will.
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb. Half-blooded Pellow, yes.
Reg. (R. C.) Let the drum strike, and prove my title
thine.

(To EDMUND.
Alb. Stay yet; hear reason: Edmund, I arrest thee ·
On capital treason; and in thy arrest,
This gilded serpent: [Pointing to GONERIL] 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. Thou art arm'd, Gloster : let the truinpet sound : If none appear to prove upon thy person, Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons, There is my pledge; (Throwing down a Gauntlet.] I'll

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

Reg. Sick, O sick !
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Exit, L.
Edm. There's my exchange: [Throwing down

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

Alb. A herald, ho !
Edm. 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!

Enter Herald, R.
Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.

[Regan is led off, L. Come hither, herald-Let the trumpet sound, And read out this. [Gives paper. ] Sound, trumpet.

[Trumpet sounds, R. Her. (R.) [Reads.] “ If any man of quality, or degree, within the lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet. He is bold in his defence." Edm. Sound !

[1st Trumpet. Her. Again ! [2d Trumpet.] Again ! [3d Trumpet.

[A Trumpet answers on L. three times. 'Enter EDGAR, L, at the end of the second sound.

Alb. (c.) Ask bim his purposes, why he appears
Upon this call o'the trumpet.

Her. What are you ?
Your name, your quality ? and why you answer
This present summons ?

Edg. (L.) Know, my name is lost;
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit:
Yet am I noble, as the adversary
I come to cope withal.

[Herald retires up. Alb. [A little up Stage in c.] Which is that adverEdg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund, Earl of

Gloster ?
Edm. Himself ! what say'st thou to him?
.Edg. Draw thy sword ;

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sary ?

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