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The beaten, routed Edgar, brave his conqueror?
Edg. Half blooded man,
Edm. Thou bear'st thee on thy mother's piety,
[Trumpet sounds;—they fight;—Edmund falls. Tis past,—and so am I.
Edg. As thou art my father's son, Exchange we charity on thy repentance.
Edm. Thy sword has prov'd thy truth.—Forgive me, Edgar.— Oh! ere life leaves me, let me do some good, Despight of my own nature:—Quickly send, Be brief, into the castle; for my order Is on the life of Lear, and of Cordelia.
Edg. O, let us fly, my lord, to save their lives!
Jib. The heav'ns defend them!—Bear him hence a while. [Exeunt the Duke Of Albany and Edgar, with a Part of the Soldiers, and the other Part bear Edmund away.
King Lear asleep, with his Head on Cordelia's Lap.
Cord. What toils, thou wretched king, hast thou
O gods! a sudden gloom o'erwhelms me, and the
image Of death o'erspreads the place.—Ha! who are these?
Enter Captain Of The Guard, another Officer, and Soldiers, with Cords.
Capt. Now, sirs, despatch ; already you are paid In part, the best of your reward's to come.
Lear. Charge, charge upon their flank; their left wing halts; Push, push the battle, and the day's our own; Their ranks are broken; down, down with Albany.— Who holds my hands ?—O, thou deceiving sleep,
I was this very minute on the chase,
And now a pris'ner here!—What mean the slaves ? You will not murder me r
Cord. Help, earth and heaven!
Cord. You, sir, I'll seize,
Capt. Comply with her request; despatch her first.
[king Lear snatches a Sword from the OfFicer, and strikes down the Two Soldiers, who had seized Cordelia.
Enter Edgar, the Duke Of Albany, and King Lear's Knights.
Edg. Death! hell! ye vultures, hold your impious hands, Or take a speedier death than you would give.
Alb. Guards, seize those instruments of cruelty.
Cord. Oh, my Edgar!
Edg. My dear Cordelia! lucky was the minute Of our approach ; the gods have weigh'd our suff'rings; We've pass'd the fire, and now must shine to ages.
Knight. Look here, my lord; see, where the generous king Has slain two of them.
Lear. Did I not, fellow?
Alb. Bring in old Kent [Exit a Knight.] and, Edgar, guide you hither Your father, who, you said, was near. [Exit Edgar.
Enter Kent and the Knight.
Lear. Who are you?
Alb. Thou injur'd majesty,
Lear. Com'st thou, inhuman lord, to sooth us back
Alb. I have a tale t' unfold, so full of wonder,
Kent. What would your highness ?
Alb. Know, the noble Edgar Impeach'd Lord Edmund, since the fight, of treason, And dar'd him for the proof to single combat, In which the gods confirm'd his charge by conquest; I left e'en now the traitor wounded mortally.
Lear. And whither tends this story?
Alb. Ere they fought,
Of Goneril, the worst of daughters, but
Cord. Could there be yet addition to their guilt? What will not they, that wrong a father, do?
Alb. Since then my injuries, Lear, fall in with thine, I have resolved the same redress for both.
Kent. What says my lord?
Card. Speak; for methought I heard The charming voice of a descending god.
Alb. The troops, by Edmund rais'd, I have disbanded: Those, that remain, are under my command. What comfort may be brought to cheer your age, And heal your savage wrongs, shall be apply'd; For to your majesty we do resign Your kingdom, save what part yourself conferr'd On us in marriage.
Kent. Hear you that, my liege?
Cord. Then there are gods, and virtue is their care.
Lear. Is't possible? Let the spheres stop their course, the sun make halt, The winds be hush'd, the seas and fountains rest, All nature pause, and listen to the change! Where is my Kent, my Caius?
Kent. Here, my liege.
Lear. Why, I have news, that will recall thy youth; Ha! didst thou hear't?—or did th' inspiring gods Whisper to me alone—Old Lear shall be A king again?
Kent. The prince, that like a god has pow'r, has said it.
Lear. Cordelia then shall be a queen, mark that; Cordelia shall be queen; winds catch the sound, And bear it on your rosy wings to heav'n, Cordelia is a queen.
Enter Edgar, with Gloster. Alb. Look, sir, where pious Edgar comes,