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Albany. He knows not what he says; and vain is it, That we present us to him.
Edgar. Very bootless.1
Enter an Officer.
Officer. Edmund is dead, my lord.
Alb. That 's but a trifle here. —
You lords, and noble friends, know our intent.
[To Edgar and Kent.
Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd!4 No, no, no life: Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all? Thou 'It come no more, Never, never, never, never, never! — Pray you, undo this button:5 thank you, Sir. — Do you see this? Look on her, — look, — her lips, — Look there, look there! — 'v \He dies.
Edg. He faints! — My lord, my lord! —
Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break!
Edg. Look up, my lord.
Kent. Vex not his ghost: O! let him pass: he hates him, That would upon the rack of this tough world Stretch him out longer.
Edg. He is gone, indeed.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long: He but usurp'd his life.
Alb. Bear them from hence. Our present business Is general woe. — Friends of my soul, you twain
[To Kent and Edgar. Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain.
1. Bootless, useless, unavailing.
2. See note 3, page 91.
3. Cup: as in Matthew, cap. xxvr. ver. 39: "0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."
4. Meaning Cordelia. Poor fool, in
the age of Shakspeare, was an expression of endearment.
5. It has been remarked that the swelling and heaving of the heart is described by this most expressive circumstance.
Kent. I have a journey, Sir, shortly to go; My master calls me, — I must not say no.
Albany. The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we' feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young, Shall never see so much, nor live so long.5
[Exeunt with a dead march.