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ACT V. SCENE 1.—The Camp of the British Forces, near
· EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and others.
He's full of alteration
[To an Officer, who goes out. Reg.
Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you : Tell me,-but truly,—but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister ?
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg. I never shall endure her: dear my lord,
Fear me not :-.
Enter, ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers.
Gon. [Aside.] I had rather lose the battle than
that sister Should loosen him and me.
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: for this business,
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy;
Let us, then, determine With the consent of all on our proceeding.
Edin. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
go. As they are going out, enter EDGAR disguised. Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so
poor, Hear me one word. Alb.
I'll overtake you.—Speak.
[Exeunt all except ALBANY and EDGAR,
Alb. Stay till I've read the letter.
I was forbid it.
Re-enter EDMUND. Edın. 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. Edın. 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 inad 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 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 2.—The Same. Enter, in conquest, EDMUND; LEAR and CORDELIA prisoners ; Officers, Soldiers, &c.
Until their greater pleasures first be known
We are not the first Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. For thee, oppressèd king, am I cast down; Myself could else out-frown 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; And take upon's the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies. Edm.
Take them away.
Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The God's 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; Ere they shall make us weep, w'ell see 'em starve. Come. (Exeunt LEAR and CORDELIA, guarded.
Edm. Come hither, captain; hark.
to prison :
I'll do't my lord. Edm. About it; and write happy when thou'st done.
Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Officers,
Alb. Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant
Sir, I thought it fit
Sir, by your patience,
Reg. That's as we list to grace him. [To Edmund] Witness the world, that I create thee
here My lord and master. Gon.
Mean you to possess him ? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will. Edm. Nor in thine, Lord, Alb.
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.
Sick, O, sick!
Edm. What in the world he is
My sickness grows upon me. Alb. Convey her to my tent.
[REGAN is led out.
Enter a Herald.
Come hither, herald, let the trumpet sound,
Her. Sound, trumpet! [Trumpet sounds. 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