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If ever I return to you again,
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.
Glos. No farther, 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 1 is all.
Come on. Glos.
And that 's true too.
The British camp, near Dover. Enter, in conquest, with drum and colors, 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.?
1 i. e. to be ready, prepared. 2 Pass judgment on them.
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 outfrown 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 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
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. Edm.
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
[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 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: 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,--I say, instantly; and carry it so, As I have set it down.
Off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats : If it be man's work, I will do it. [Exit Officer.
Florish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, BEGAN, Officers,
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 ;
you shall hold your session. At this time We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his
Sir, by your patience,
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 1 may
well stand up, And call itself
your brother. Gon.
Not so hot: In his own grace he doth exalt himself, More than in
In my rights,
· Plenary delegation of authority.
By me invested, he compeers the best.
Holla, holla! That
that told you so look'd but asquint.1
Mean you to enjoy him?
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Re. 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. If you will
love to me;
In allusion to a proverb, Love, being jealous, makes a good eye look asquint.'
? i. e. I surrender at discretion.