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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: 'fore this business, (57)
It toucheth us, as France invades our land,
(Not holds the King, with others, whom, I fear,
Moft just and heavy causes make oppose,

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.
Reg. Why is this reason'd?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils
Are not the question here.

Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.

Alb. Let's then determine with th' ancient of war On our proceeding,

Reg. Sifter, you'll go with us?
Gon. No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient, pray you, go with us.
Gon. Oh ho, I know the riddle, I will go.

As they are going out, Enter Edgar disguis'd.
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 vict'ry, let the trumpet found For him that brought it: wretched though I seem, I can produce a champion, that will prove.

(57)

for this bufiness, It touches us, as France invades our land, Not holds the King, with others whom I fear Mot just and heavy causes make oppose,] I have made a light variation in these lines, which are added from the cld 4to. Albany's speech seems interrupted, before finishid: and this I take to be the purport of what he was going to say. 6. Before we fight this battle, Sir, it “ concerns me, (tho' not the King, and the discontented party;) to question about your interest

our fifter, and the event of the “ war.”---And Regan and Gonerill, in their replies, both seem apprehensive that this subject was coming into debate.

What

What is avouched 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 halte Is now urg'd on you. Alb. We will greet the time.

(Exito Edm. To both these fifters have I sworn my love: Each jealous of the other, as the ftung 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 fifter Gonerill; 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 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. [Exit.

SCENE, another open Field. Alarum within. Enter with drum and colours, Lear, Core delia, and soldiers over the stage, and exeunt.

Enter Edgar and Glo'ster.
Edg.

Ere, father, take the shadow of this tree
For your good hoft; pray, that the right may
thrive:

H

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

[Alarum, and retreat, within.

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, ev'n as their coming hither: Ripeness is all ; come on. Glo. And that's true too.

[ Exeunt. Enter in conqueft, with Drum and Colours, Edmund; Lear

and Cordelia, as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain.
Edm. Some Officers take them away; good guard,
Until their greater pleasures first be known,
That are to censure them.

Cor. We're not the first,
Who with best meaning have incarr'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 fifters ?

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 downl,
And ask of thee forgiveness: fo 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's 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 th' moon.

Edm. Take them away.

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?

He

He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heav'n,
And fire us hence, like foxes; wipe thine eye,
The good-jers shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep; we'll see 'em starv'd first.
Come.

(Ex. 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 doit
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; My great employment (58)
Will not bear question; either say, thou'lt do't ;
Or thrive by other means.

Capt. I'll do't, my Lord. Edm. About it, and write happy, when thou'st done. Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so, As I have set it down.

[Exit Captain. Flourish. Enter Albany, Gonerill, Regan, and Soldiers.

Alb. Sir, you have thew'd to day your valiant strain,
And fortune led you well: you have the captives,
Who were the opposites of this day's ftrife :
We do require them of you, fo to use thein,
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 fome retention, and appointed guard ;
Whose

age

has charms in it, whose title more, To pluck the common bosoms on his fide; And turn our impreit launces in our eyes, Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen ;

(58) - -thy great employment Will not bear question ;] All the copies concur in reading thus; but, without doubt, erroneously.- The person, whom Edmund is here speaking to, was of no higher degree than a captain; and therefore,.' certainly, accountable to his superiors. Edmund, 'tis plain, must mean; “ I leading one of the conquerors' forces, and having em* ploy'd'thee in this business, will be thy sufficient warrant, and “ will secure thee from being question’d about iti"

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My reason all the fame; and they are ready

To-morrow, or at further fpace, t'appear
Where

you
Thall hold

your

feffion. 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 Marpness.-
The question of Cordelia, and her father,
Requires a fitter place. (59)

Álb. Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a fabject of this war,
Nct 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 ftand up,
And call itself your brother.

Gon. Not fo 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.

Aib. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jefters 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:
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My Lord and master,

Gon. Mean you to enjoy him?

(59) at this time 17e [zveat and bleed; &c.] These very necessary lines I have restor'd from the old 4to. and they were, certainly, first left out by the indifcretion of the players, merely for the sake of shortning. But with. out them, as Edmund's speech is made to end, 'tis plain, he does not "Dietend to advise, but fubmits the whole process to Albany. How absurdly then does the other reply, that be bolds Edmund but a subject of the war

Alb.

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