Act 5, Scene 3
The British camp near Dover.
- Enter in conquest, with Drum and Colors, Edmund, Lear and
- Cordelia as prisoners, Soldiers, Captain.
Edmund3 - 5
- Some officers take them away. Good guard,
- Until their greater pleasures first be known
- That are to censure them.
Cordelia6 - 10
- We are not the first
- Who with best meaning have incurr’d the worst.
- For thee, oppressed king, I am cast down,
- Myself could else out-frown false Fortune’s frown.
- Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?
Lear11 - 22
- No, no, no, no! Come let’s away to prison:
- We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ 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 ’s 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 th’ moon.
- Take them away.
Lear24 - 30
- 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 good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
- Ere they shall make us weep! We’ll see ’em starv’d first.
- Exit with Cordelia, guarded.
Edmund32 - 42
- Come hither, captain; hark.
- Take thou this note
- Giving 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,
- Or thrive by other means.
- I’ll do’t, my lord.
Edmund44 - 46
- About it, and write happy when th’ hast done.
- Mark, I say instantly, and carry it so
- As I have set it down.
First Captain47 - 48
- I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats,
- If it be man’s work, I’ll do’t.
- Exit First Captain.
- Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan, another Captain,
Albany52 - 57
- Sir, you have show’d today your valiant strain,
- And fortune led you well. You have the captives
- Who were the opposites of this day’s strife;
- I do require them of you, so to use them
- As we shall find their merits and our safety
- May equally determine.
Edmund58 - 72
- Sir, I thought it fit
- To send the old and miserable King
- To some retention and appointed guard,
- Whose age had 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
- Tomorrow, or at further space, t’ 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
- Requires a fitter place.
Albany73 - 75
- Sir, by your patience,
- I hold you but a subject of this war,
- Not as a brother.
Regan76 - 81
- 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.
Goneril82 - 84
- Not so hot.
- In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
- More than in your addition.
Regan85 - 86
- In my rights,
- By me invested, he compeers the best.
- That were the most, if he should husband you.
- Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Goneril89 - 90
- Holla, holla!
- That eye that told you so look’d but a-squint.
Regan91 - 96
- 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 is thine.
- Witness the world, that I create thee here
- My lord and master.
- Mean you to enjoy him?
- The let-alone lies not in your good will.
- Nor in thine, lord.
- Half-blooded fellow, yes.
Regan101 - 102
- To Edmund.
- Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.
Albany103 - 112
- Stay yet, hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
- On capital treason, and in thy attaint,
- This gilded serpent
- Pointing to Goneril.
- 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 banes.
- If you will marry, make your loves to me,
- My lady is bespoke.
- An enterlude!
Albany114 - 121
- Thou art armed, Gloucester, 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 make it on thy heart,
- Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
- Than I have here proclaim’d thee.
- Sick, O, sick!
Goneril123 - 124
- If not, I’ll ne’er trust medicine.
Edmund125 - 131
- There’s my exchange.
- Throwing down a glove.
- What in the world he is
- That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
- Call by the trumpet; he that dares approach:
- On him, on you—who not?—I will maintain
- My truth and honor firmly.
- A herald, ho!
- A herald, ho, a herald!
Albany134 - 136
- Trust to thy single virtue, for thy soldiers,
- All levied in my name, have in my name
- Took their discharge.
- My sickness grows upon me.
Albany138 - 142
- She is not well, convey her to my tent.
- Exit Regan, led.
- Enter a Herald.
- Come hither, herald. Let the trumpet sound,
- And read out this.
- Sound, trumpet!
- A trumpet sounds.
Herald145 - 149
- “If any man of quality or degree within the lists of the
- army will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloucester,
- that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third
- sound of the trumpet. He is bold in his defense.”
- First trumpet.
- Second trumpet.
- Third trumpet.
- Trumpet answers within.
- Enter Edgar at the third sound, armed, a Trumpet before him.
Albany158 - 159
- Ask him his purposes, why he appears
- Upon this call o’ th’ trumpet.
Herald160 - 162
- What are you?
- Your name, your quality? And why you answer
- This present summons?
Edgar163 - 166
- Know, my name is lost,
- By treason’s tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit,
- Yet am I noble as the adversary
- I come to cope.
- Which is that adversary?
- What’s he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester?
- Himself; what say’st thou to him?
Edgar170 - 186
- Draw thy sword,
- That if my speech offend a noble heart,
- Thy arm may do thee justice; here is mine:
- Behold, it is my privilege,
- The privilege of mine honors,
- My oath, and my profession. I protest,
- Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
- Despite thy victor-sword and fire-new fortune,
- Thy valor, and thy heart, thou art a traitor;
- False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father,
- Conspirant ’gainst this high illustrious prince,
- And from th’ extremest upward of thy head
- To the descent and dust below thy foot,
- A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou “No,”
- This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
- To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
- Thou liest.
Edmund187 - 196
- In wisdom I should ask thy name,
- But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
- And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
- What safe and nicely I might well delay
- By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
- Back do I toss these treasons to thy head,
- With the hell-hated lie o’erwhelm thy heart,
- Which for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,
- This sword of mine shall give them instant way
- Where they shall rest forever. Trumpets, speak!
- Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls.
- Save him, save him!
Goneril199 - 202
- This is practice, Gloucester.
- By th’ law of war thou wast not bound to answer
- An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquish’d,
- But cozen’d and beguil’d.
Albany203 - 206
- Shut your mouth, dame,
- Or with this paper shall I stopple it. Hold, sir.—
- Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil.
- No tearing, lady, I perceive you know it.
Goneril207 - 208
- Say if I do, the laws are mine, not thine;
- Who can arraign me for’t?
Albany209 - 210
- Most monstrous! O!
- Know’st thou this paper?
- Ask me not what I know.
- Go after her; she’s desperate, govern her.
Edmund214 - 218
- What you have charg’d me with, that have I done,
- And more, much more, the time will bring it out.
- ’Tis past, and so am I. But what art thou
- That hast this fortune on me? If thou’rt noble,
- I do forgive thee.
Edgar219 - 226
- Let’s exchange charity.
- I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
- If more, the more th’ hast wrong’d me.
- My name is Edgar, and thy father’s son.
- The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
- Make instruments to plague us:
- The dark and vicious place where thee he got
- Cost him his eyes.
Edmund227 - 228
- th’ hast spoken right, ’tis true.
- The wheel is come full circle, I am here.
Albany229 - 232
- Methought thy very gait did prophesy
- A royal nobleness. I must embrace thee.
- Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
- Did hate thee or thy father.
- Worthy prince, I know’t.
Albany234 - 235
- Where have you hid yourself?
- How have you known the miseries of your father?
Edgar236 - 254
- By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale,
- And when ’tis told, O that my heart would burst!
- The bloody proclamation to escape,
- That follow’d me so near (O, our lives’ sweetness!
- That we the pain of death would hourly die
- Rather than die at once!), taught me to shift
- Into a madman’s rags, t’ assume a semblance
- That very dogs disdain’d; and in this habit
- Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
- Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
- Led him, begg’d for him, sav’d him from despair;
- Never (O fault!) reveal’d myself unto him,
- Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d.
- Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
- I ask’d his blessing, and from first to last
- Told him our pilgrimage. But his flaw’d heart
- (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
- ’Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
- Burst smilingly.
Edmund255 - 257
- This speech of yours hath mov’d me,
- And shall perchance do good: but speak you on,
- You look as you had something more to say.
Albany258 - 260
- If there be more, more woeful, hold it in,
- For I am almost ready to dissolve,
- Hearing of this.
Edgar261 - 275
- This would have seem’d a period
- To such as love not sorrow, but another,
- To amplify too much, would make much more,
- And top extremity. Whilst I
- Was big in clamor, came there in a man,
- Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
- Shunn’d my abhorr’d society, but then finding
- Who ’twas that so endur’d, with his strong arms
- He fastened on my neck and bellowed out
- As he’d burst heaven, threw him on my father,
- Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
- That ever ear received, which in recounting,
- His grief grew puissant and the strings of life
- Began to crack. Twice then the trumpets sounded,
- And there I left him tranc’d.
- But who was this?
Edgar277 - 279
- Kent, sir, the banish’d Kent, who in disguise
- Followed his enemy king, and did him service
- Improper for a slave.
- Enter Second Gentleman with a bloody knife.
- Help, help! O, help!
- What kind of help?
- Speak, man.
- What means this bloody knife?
Second Gentleman285 - 286
- ’Tis hot, it smokes,
- It came even from the heart of—O, she’s dead!
- Who dead? Speak, man.
Second Gentleman288 - 289
- Your lady, sir, your lady; and her sister
- By her is poison’d; she confesses it.
Edmund290 - 291
- I was contracted to them both; all three
- Now marry in an instant.
- Here comes Kent.
- Enter Kent.
Albany294 - 299
- Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead.
- Exit Second Gentleman.
- This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,
- Touches us not with pity.—O, is this he?
- The time will not allow the compliment
- Which very manners urges.
Kent300 - 302
- I am come
- To bid my king and master aye good night.
- Is he not here?
Albany303 - 306
- Great thing of us forgot!
- Speak, Edmund, where’s the King? And where’s Cordelia?
- Goneril and Regan’s bodies brought out.
- Seest thou this object, Kent?
- Alack, why thus?
Edmund308 - 310
- Yet Edmund was belov’d!
- The one the other poison’d for my sake,
- And after slew herself.
- Even so. Cover their faces.
Edmund312 - 316
- I pant for life. Some good I mean to do,
- Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send
- (Be brief in it) to th’ castle, for my writ
- Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
- Nay, send in time.
- Run, run, O, run!
Edgar318 - 319
- To who, my lord? Who has the office? Send
- Thy token of reprieve.
Edmund320 - 321
- Well thought on. Take my sword. The captain—
- Give it the captain.
- Haste thee, for thy life.
- Exit Edgar.
Edmund324 - 327
- He hath commission from thy wife and me
- To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
- To lay the blame upon her own despair,
- That she fordid herself.
- The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
- Edmund is borne off.
- Enter Lear with Cordelia in his arms, Edgar and Second
- Gentleman following.
Lear332 - 338
- Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones!
- Had I your tongues and eyes, I’ld use them so
- That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone forever!
- I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
- She’s dead as earth. Lend me a looking-glass,
- If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
- Why then she lives.
- Is this the promis’d end?
- Or image of that horror?
- Fall, and cease!
Lear342 - 344
- This feather stirs, she lives! If it be so,
- It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
- That ever I have felt.
Kent345 - 346
- O my good master!
- Prithee away.
- ’Tis noble Kent, your friend.
Lear349 - 354
- A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
- I might have sav’d her, now she’s gone forever!
- Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
- What is’t thou say’st? Her voice was ever soft,
- Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
- I kill’d the slave that was a-hanging thee.
- ’Tis true, my lords, he did.
Lear356 - 360
- Did I not, fellow?
- I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
- I would have made them skip. I am old now,
- And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
- Mine eyes are not o’ th’ best; I’ll tell you straight.
Kent361 - 362
- If Fortune brag of two she lov’d and hated,
- One of them we behold.
- This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent?
Kent364 - 365
- The same:
- Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?
Lear366 - 367
- He’s a good fellow, I can tell you that;
- He’ll strike, and quickly too. He’s dead and rotten.
- No, my good lord, I am the very man—
- I’ll see that straight.
Kent370 - 371
- That from your first of difference and decay,
- Have follow’d your sad steps—
- You are welcome hither.
Kent373 - 375
- Nor no man else. All’s cheerless, dark, and deadly.
- Your eldest daughters have foredone themselves,
- And desperately are dead.
- Ay, so I think.
Albany377 - 378
- He knows not what he says, and vain is it
- That we present us to him.
- Very bootless.
- Enter Second Messenger.
- Edmund is dead, my lord.
Albany382 - 393
- That’s but a trifle here.
- You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
- What comfort to this great decay may come
- Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
- During the life of this old majesty,
- To him our absolute power.
- To Edgar and Kent.
- You, to your rights,
- With boot, and such addition as your honors
- Have more than merited. All friends shall taste
- The wages of their virtue, and all foes
- The cup of their deservings. O, see, see!
Lear394 - 400
- And my poor fool is hang’d! No, no, no life!
- Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
- And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
- Never, never, never, never, never.
- Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
- Do you see this? Look on her! Look her lips,
- Look there, look there!
- He dies.
- He faints. My lord, my lord!
- Break, heart, I prithee break!
- Look up, my lord.
Kent405 - 407
- Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass, he hates him
- That would upon the rack of this tough world
- Stretch him out longer.
- He is gone indeed.
Kent409 - 410
- The wonder is he hath endur’d so long,
- He but usurp’d his life.
Albany411 - 415
- Bear them from hence. Our present business
- Is general woe.
- To Kent and Edgar.
- Friends of my soul, you twain
- Rule in this realm, and the gor’d state sustain.
Kent416 - 417
- I have a journey, sir, shortly to go:
- My master calls me, I must not say no.
Edgar418 - 421
- 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.
- Exeunt with a dead march.