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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 2 shall devour them, flesh and fell,3 Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them starve

first. Come. [Exeunt Lear and CORDELIA, guarded.

Edm. Come hither, captain; hark. Take thou this note; [Giring a Paper.] go, follow

them to prison : One step I have advanc'd 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,

+

2 The French disease.

3 Skin.

4 Admit of debate.

1

011:

Or thrive by other means.

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.

Of. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work, I will do it.

[Exit Officer.

Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN,

Officers, and Attendants.
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;
Whose

age

has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the

queen ;
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, to appear
Where

you
shall hold

your

session. At this time, We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend; And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd By those that feel their sharpness :The question of Cordelia, and her father,

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Requires a fitter place,
Alb.

Sir, by your patience,
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.
Rog.
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“ may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.
Gon.

Not so hot:
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in

your

advancement. Reg.

In my rights, By me invested, he

compeers

the best.
Gon. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Gon.

Holloa, holloa ! That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint. 7

Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
From a full-flowing stomach.-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? Alb. The let-alone 8 lies not in your good will. Edm. Nor in thine, lord.

5 To be discoursed of in greater privacy.

6 Authority to act on his own judgment. 7 Alluding to the proverb : “ Love being jealous makes a good eye look a-squint."

8 'The hindrance.

love to me,

Alb.

Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. 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 Gon.)—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
marry,
make

your
My lady is bespoke.
Gon.

An interlude!
Alb. Thou art arm’d, Gloster :--Let the trumpet

sound :
If none appear to prove upon thy person,
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge; [Throwing down a Glove.] I'll

prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
Reg.

Sick, O, sick!
Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison. [Aside.
Edm. There's my exchange : [Throwing down a

Glore.] what in the world he is
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies :
Call by thy trumpet: he that dares approach,
On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.
Alb. A herald, ho!

A herald, ho, a herald!

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Edm.

Alb. Trust to thy single virtue;' for thy soldiers, All levied in my namne, have in my name Took their discharge. Reg.

This sickness grows upon me.

Enter a Herald.

Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.

[Erit REGAN, led. Come hither, herald, -Let the trumpet sound, And read out this,

Of. Sound, trumpet. [4 Trumpet sounds.

Herald 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 appear at the third sound of the trumpet: He is bold in his defence. Edm. Sound.

[1 Trumpet. Her. Again:

[2 Trumpet. Her. Again.

[3 Trumpet. [Trumpet answers within,

Enter Edgar, armed, preceded by a Trumpet.
Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
Upon this call o’the trumpet.
Her.

What are you?
Your name, your quality ? and why you answer
This present summons ?
Edg.

Know, my name is lost;

91. e. Valour.

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