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Enter Albany ana Gonorill with troopes.
Gon. I had rather loose the battell
Then that sister should loosen him and me.
Alb. Our very louing sister well be-met,
For this I heare 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 neuer yet was valiant ; for this businesse
It toucheth vs, as France inuades our land
: Not bolds the king, with others whom I feare,
Most iuft and heauy causes make oppose.
Baft. Sir you speake nobly.
Regan. Why is this reason'd?
Gon. Combine together gainst the enemy,
For these domesticke doore particulars,
Are not to question heere.
Alb. Let ys then determine
With the ancient of warre on our proceedings.
Baft. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
Reg. Sister youle go with vs ?
Reg. Tis most conuenient, pray you go with vs.
Gon. O ho, I know the riddle, I will go.
Edg. If ere your grace had speech with one so poore,
Heare me one word.
Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake.
Edg. Before you fight the battell, ope this letter,
If you haue victory let the trumpet founde
For him that brought it, wretched though I seeme,
I can produce a champion, that will prooue
What is auouched there. If you miscarry,
Your businelle of the world hath so an end,
Fortune loue you.
Alb. Stay till I haue read the letter.
Edg. I was forbid it,
When time shall serue let but the herald cry;
And Ile appeare againe.
Exit. Alb. Why fare thee well, I will looke ore the paper.
Baft. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers,
Hard is the guesse of their great strength and forces
By diligit discouery, but your haft is now vrgd on you.
Alb. We will greet the time.
Baft. To both these sisters haue I sworne my loue,
Each iealous of che other, as the sting are of the adder,
Which of them shall I take, both one
Or neither; neither can be enioy'd
If both remaine aliue : to take the widdow,
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonorill,
And hardly shall I carry out my side
Her husband being aliue. Now then wee'l vse
His countenance for the battell, which being done
Let her that would be rid of him deuise
His speedy taking off: as for his mercie
Which he extends to Lear and to Cordelia,
The battell done, and they within our power,
Shall neuer sec his pardon : for
state Stands on me to defend, not to debate.
Alarum. 'Enter the powers of France ouer the stage, Cordelia
with her father in her hand,
Enter Edgar and Glofter.
Edg. Heere father take, the shadow of this bush
For your good hoaft: pray that the right may thriue.
If euer I returne to you againe,
Ile bring you comfort.
Glo. Grace go with you sir.
Alarum and retreat. Enter Edgar.
Edg. Away olde man, giue me thy hand, away,
King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter tane :
Giue me thy hand, come on.
Glo. No farther sir, a man may rot euen heere.
Edg. What in ill thoughts agen? men must endure,
Their going hence, euen as their comming hither,
Ripenesse is all come on.
Enter Edmund, with Lear and Cordelia prisoners.
Baft. Some officers take them away, good guard,
Vntill their greater pleasures best be knowne
That are to censure them.
Cor. We are not the first,
Who with best meaning haue incurr'd the worst :
For thee oppressed king am I cast downe,
My felfe could elfe out-frowne false fortunes frowne.
Shall we not see these daughters, and these filters ?
Lear. No, no, come let's away to prison,
We two alone will fing like birds i’th cage :
When thou dost alke me blessing, Ile kneele downe
And aske of thee forgiueneffe : fo weell live,
And pray, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and heare poore rogues
Talke of court newes, and weel taike with them too,
Who looses, and who wins; whose in, whose out;
And take vpon's the mystery of things,
As if we were Gods spies : and weel weare out
In a walld prison, packes and sects of great ones,
That ebbe and flow by the moone.
Baft. Take them away.
Lear. Vpon such facrifices my Cordelia
The gods themselues throw incense. Haue I caught thee?
He that parts vs shall bring a brand from heauen,
And fire vs hence like foxes, wipe thine eyes,
The good shall deuoure em, fleach and fell,
Ere they shall make vs weepe? weele see em ftarue first.
Baft. Come hither captaine, hearke.
Take thou this note, go follow them to prison, (thee,
One step I haue aduancft thee, if thou dost as this instructs
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 beare question,
Either say thout do't, or thriue by other meanes.
Cap. Ile doot my lord.
Bast. About it, and write happy when thou hast done,
Marke I say instantly, and carry it so
As I haue set it downe.
Cap. I cannot draw a cart, nor eate dryed oates,
If it be mans worke, Ile doo't.
Enter the Duke, the two Ladies, and others,
Alb. Sir you haue Thewne to day your valiant straine,
And fortune led you well : you haue the captiues
That were the opposites of this dayes strife :
We do require then of you so to vse them,
As we shall finde their merits, and our safety
May equally determine.
Baft. Sir I thought it fit,
To send the olde and miserable king
To some retention, and appointed guard,
Whose age has charmes in it, whose title more,
To plucke the common blossomes of his side,
And turne our imprest launces in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the queenç :
My reason all the same, and they are ready to morrow,
Or at a further space, to appeare where you shall hold
Your seffion at this time : we sweate and bleed,
The friend hath lost his friend, and the best quarrels
In the heate are curst by those that feele their sharpenesse.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.
Alb. Sir by your patience,
I hold you but a subiect of this warre, not as a brother,
Reg. That's as we list to grace him.
Methinkes our pleasure should haue been demanded
Ere you had spoke so farre. He led our powers,
Bore the commission of my place and person,
The which immediate may well stand vp,
And call it selfe your brother.
Gon. Not so hot : in his owne grace he doth exalt himselfe, More then in your aduancement.
Reg. In my right by me inuested, he compeers the best.
Gon. That were the most, if he should husband you.
Reg. Iesters do oft proue prophets.
Gon. Hola, hola, that eye that told you so, lookt but a
Reg. Lady I am not well, else I should answer
From a full flowing stomacke. Generall,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony,