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King Lear: Act 5, Scene 3

King Lear
Act 5, Scene 3

The British camp near Dover.

  1. Enter in conquest, with Drum and Colors, Edmund, Lear and
  2. Cordelia as prisoners, Soldiers, Captain.

Edmund

3 - 5
  1. Some officers take them away. Good guard,
  2. Until their greater pleasures first be known
  3. That are to censure them.

Cordelia

6 - 10
  1.                           We are not the first
  2. Who with best meaning have incurr’d the worst.
  3. For thee, oppressed king, I am cast down,
  4. Myself could else out-frown false Fortune’s frown.
  5. Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?

Lear

11 - 22
  1. No, no, no, no! Come let’s away to prison:
  2. We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ cage;
  3. When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down
  4. And ask of thee forgiveness. So we’ll live,
  5. And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
  6. At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
  7. Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too
  8. Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out
  9. And take upon ’s the mystery of things
  10. As if we were God’s spies; and we’ll wear out,
  11. In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
  12. That ebb and flow by th’ moon.

Edmund

23
  1.                                Take them away.

Lear

24 - 30
  1. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
  2. The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
  3. He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
  4. And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
  5. The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
  6. Ere they shall make us weep! We’ll see ’em starv’d first.
  7. Come.
  1. Exit with Cordelia, guarded.

Edmund

32 - 42
  1.       Come hither, captain; hark.
  2. Take thou this note
  3. Giving a paper.
  4.                     go follow them to prison.
  5. One step I have advanc’d thee; if thou dost
  6. As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
  7. To noble fortunes. Know thou this, that men
  8. Are as the time is: to be tender-minded
  9. Does not become a sword. Thy great employment
  10. Will not bear question; either say thou’lt do’t,
  11. Or thrive by other means.

First Captain

43
  1.                           I’ll do’t, my lord.

Edmund

44 - 46
  1. About it, and write happy when th’ hast done.
  2. Mark, I say instantly, and carry it so
  3. As I have set it down.

First Captain

47 - 48
  1. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats,
  2. If it be man’s work, I’ll do’t.
  1. Exit First Captain.
  1. Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan, another Captain,
  2. Soldiers.

Albany

52 - 57
  1. Sir, you have show’d today your valiant strain,
  2. And fortune led you well. You have the captives
  3. Who were the opposites of this day’s strife;
  4. I do require them of you, so to use them
  5. As we shall find their merits and our safety
  6. May equally determine.

Edmund

58 - 72
  1.                        Sir, I thought it fit
  2. To send the old and miserable King
  3. To some retention and appointed guard,
  4. Whose age had charms in it, whose title more,
  5. To pluck the common bosom on his side,
  6. And turn our impress’d lances in our eyes
  7. Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen,
  8. My reason all the same, and they are ready
  9. Tomorrow, or at further space, t’ appear
  10. Where you shall hold your session. At this time
  11. We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend,
  12. And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs’d
  13. By those that feel their sharpness.
  14. The question of Cordelia and her father
  15. Requires a fitter place.

Albany

73 - 75
  1.                          Sir, by your patience,
  2. I hold you but a subject of this war,
  3. Not as a brother.

Regan

76 - 81
  1.                   That’s as we list to grace him.
  2. Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded
  3. Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers,
  4. Bore the commission of my place and person,
  5. The which immediacy may well stand up,
  6. And call itself your brother.

Goneril

82 - 84
  1.                               Not so hot.
  2. In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
  3. More than in your addition.

Regan

85 - 86
  1.                             In my rights,
  2. By me invested, he compeers the best.

Goneril

87
  1. That were the most, if he should husband you.

Regan

88
  1. Jesters do oft prove prophets.

Goneril

89 - 90
  1.                                Holla, holla!
  2. That eye that told you so look’d but a-squint.

Regan

91 - 96
  1. Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
  2. From a full-flowing stomach. General,
  3. Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;
  4. Dispose of them, of me; the walls is thine.
  5. Witness the world, that I create thee here
  6. My lord and master.

Goneril

97
  1.                     Mean you to enjoy him?

Albany

98
  1. The let-alone lies not in your good will.

Edmund

99
  1. Nor in thine, lord.

Albany

100
  1.                     Half-blooded fellow, yes.

Regan

101 - 102
  1. To Edmund.
  2. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.

Albany

103 - 112
  1. Stay yet, hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
  2. On capital treason, and in thy attaint,
  3. This gilded serpent
  4. Pointing to Goneril.
  5.                     For your claim, fair sister,
  6. I bar it in the interest of my wife;
  7. ’Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
  8. And I, her husband, contradict your banes.
  9. If you will marry, make your loves to me,
  10. My lady is bespoke.

Goneril

113
  1.                     An enterlude!

Albany

114 - 121
  1. Thou art armed, Gloucester, let the trumpet sound.
  2. If none appear to prove upon thy person
  3. Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
  4. There is my pledge
  5. Throwing down a glove.
  6.                    I’ll make it on thy heart,
  7. Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
  8. Than I have here proclaim’d thee.

Regan

122
  1.                                   Sick, O, sick!

Goneril

123 - 124
  1. Aside.
  2. If not, I’ll ne’er trust medicine.

Edmund

125 - 131
  1. There’s my exchange.
  2. Throwing down a glove.
  3.                      What in the world he is
  4. That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
  5. Call by the trumpet; he that dares approach:
  6. On him, on youwho not?—I will maintain
  7. My truth and honor firmly.

Albany

132
  1. A herald, ho!

Edmund

133
  1.               A herald, ho, a herald!

Albany

134 - 136
  1. Trust to thy single virtue, for thy soldiers,
  2. All levied in my name, have in my name
  3. Took their discharge.

Regan

137
  1.                       My sickness grows upon me.

Albany

138 - 142
  1. She is not well, convey her to my tent.
  2. Exit Regan, led.
  3. Enter a Herald.
  4. Come hither, herald. Let the trumpet sound,
  5. And read out this.

Second Captain

143
  1. Sound, trumpet!
  1. A trumpet sounds.

Herald

145 - 149
  1. Reads.
  2. If any man of quality or degree within the lists of the
  3. army will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloucester,
  4. that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third
  5. sound of the trumpet. He is bold in his defense.”

Edmund

150
  1. Sound!
  1. First trumpet.

Herald

152
  1. Again!
  1. Second trumpet.

Herald

154
  1. Again!
  1. Third trumpet.
  1. Trumpet answers within.
  1. Enter Edgar at the third sound, armed, a Trumpet before him.

Albany

158 - 159
  1. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
  2. Upon this call o’ th’ trumpet.

Herald

160 - 162
  1.                                What are you?
  2. Your name, your quality? And why you answer
  3. This present summons?

Edgar

163 - 166
  1.                       Know, my name is lost,
  2. By treason’s tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit,
  3. Yet am I noble as the adversary
  4. I come to cope.

Albany

167
  1.                 Which is that adversary?

Edgar

168
  1. What’s he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester?

Edmund

169
  1. Himself; what say’st thou to him?

Edgar

170 - 186
  1.                                   Draw thy sword,
  2. That if my speech offend a noble heart,
  3. Thy arm may do thee justice; here is mine:
  4. Behold, it is my privilege,
  5. The privilege of mine honors,
  6. My oath, and my profession. I protest,
  7. Maugre thy strength, place, youth, and eminence,
  8. Despite thy victor-sword and fire-new fortune,
  9. Thy valor, and thy heart, thou art a traitor;
  10. False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father,
  11. Conspirant ’gainst this high illustrious prince,
  12. And from th’ extremest upward of thy head
  13. To the descent and dust below thy foot,
  14. A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou No,”
  15. This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
  16. To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
  17. Thou liest.

Edmund

187 - 196
  1.             In wisdom I should ask thy name,
  2. But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
  3. And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
  4. What safe and nicely I might well delay
  5. By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
  6. Back do I toss these treasons to thy head,
  7. With the hell-hated lie o’erwhelm thy heart,
  8. Which for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,
  9. This sword of mine shall give them instant way
  10. Where they shall rest forever. Trumpets, speak!
  1. Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls.

Albany

198
  1. Save him, save him!

Goneril

199 - 202
  1.                     This is practice, Gloucester.
  2. By th’ law of war thou wast not bound to answer
  3. An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquish’d,
  4. But cozen’d and beguil’d.

Albany

203 - 206
  1.                           Shut your mouth, dame,
  2. Or with this paper shall I stopple it. Hold, sir.—
  3. Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil.
  4. No tearing, lady, I perceive you know it.

Goneril

207 - 208
  1. Say if I do, the laws are mine, not thine;
  2. Who can arraign me for’t?

Albany

209 - 210
  1.                           Most monstrous! O!
  2. Know’st thou this paper?

Goneril

211
  1.                          Ask me not what I know.
  1. Exit.

Albany

213
  1. Go after her; she’s desperate, govern her.

Edmund

214 - 218
  1. What you have charg’d me with, that have I done,
  2. And more, much more, the time will bring it out.
  3. ’Tis past, and so am I. But what art thou
  4. That hast this fortune on me? If thou’rt noble,
  5. I do forgive thee.

Edgar

219 - 226
  1.                    Let’s exchange charity.
  2. I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
  3. If more, the more th’ hast wrong’d me.
  4. My name is Edgar, and thy father’s son.
  5. The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
  6. Make instruments to plague us:
  7. The dark and vicious place where thee he got
  8. Cost him his eyes.

Edmund

227 - 228
  1.                    th’ hast spoken right, ’tis true.
  2. The wheel is come full circle, I am here.

Albany

229 - 232
  1. Methought thy very gait did prophesy
  2. A royal nobleness. I must embrace thee.
  3. Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
  4. Did hate thee or thy father.

Edgar

233
  1.                              Worthy prince, I know’t.

Albany

234 - 235
  1. Where have you hid yourself?
  2. How have you known the miseries of your father?

Edgar

236 - 254
  1. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale,
  2. And when ’tis told, O that my heart would burst!
  3. The bloody proclamation to escape,
  4. That follow’d me so near (O, our lives’ sweetness!
  5. That we the pain of death would hourly die
  6. Rather than die at once!), taught me to shift
  7. Into a madman’s rags, t’ assume a semblance
  8. That very dogs disdain’d; and in this habit
  9. Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
  10. Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
  11. Led him, begg’d for him, sav’d him from despair;
  12. Never (O fault!) reveal’d myself unto him,
  13. Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d.
  14. Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
  15. I ask’d his blessing, and from first to last
  16. Told him our pilgrimage. But his flaw’d heart
  17. (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
  18. ’Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
  19. Burst smilingly.

Edmund

255 - 257
  1.                  This speech of yours hath mov’d me,
  2. And shall perchance do good: but speak you on,
  3. You look as you had something more to say.

Albany

258 - 260
  1. If there be more, more woeful, hold it in,
  2. For I am almost ready to dissolve,
  3. Hearing of this.

Edgar

261 - 275
  1.                  This would have seem’d a period
  2. To such as love not sorrow, but another,
  3. To amplify too much, would make much more,
  4. And top extremity. Whilst I
  5. Was big in clamor, came there in a man,
  6. Who, having seen me in my worst estate,
  7. Shunn’d my abhorr’d society, but then finding
  8. Who ’twas that so endur’d, with his strong arms
  9. He fastened on my neck and bellowed out
  10. As he’d burst heaven, threw him on my father,
  11. Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
  12. That ever ear received, which in recounting,
  13. His grief grew puissant and the strings of life
  14. Began to crack. Twice then the trumpets sounded,
  15. And there I left him tranc’d.

Albany

276
  1.                               But who was this?

Edgar

277 - 279
  1. Kent, sir, the banish’d Kent, who in disguise
  2. Followed his enemy king, and did him service
  3. Improper for a slave.
  1. Enter Second Gentleman with a bloody knife.

Second Gentleman

281
  1. Help, help! O, help!

Edgar

282
  1.                      What kind of help?

Albany

283
  1.                    Speak, man.

Edgar

284
  1. What means this bloody knife?

Second Gentleman

285 - 286
  1.                               ’Tis hot, it smokes,
  2. It came even from the heart ofO, she’s dead!

Albany

287
  1. Who dead? Speak, man.

Second Gentleman

288 - 289
  1. Your lady, sir, your lady; and her sister
  2. By her is poison’d; she confesses it.

Edmund

290 - 291
  1. I was contracted to them both; all three
  2. Now marry in an instant.

Edgar

292
  1.                          Here comes Kent.
  1. Enter Kent.

Albany

294 - 299
  1. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead.
  2. Exit Second Gentleman.
  3. This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,
  4. Touches us not with pity.—O, is this he?
  5. The time will not allow the compliment
  6. Which very manners urges.

Kent

300 - 302
  1.                           I am come
  2. To bid my king and master aye good night.
  3. Is he not here?

Albany

303 - 306
  1.                 Great thing of us forgot!
  2. Speak, Edmund, where’s the King? And where’s Cordelia?
  3. Goneril and Regan’s bodies brought out.
  4. Seest thou this object, Kent?

Kent

307
  1. Alack, why thus?

Edmund

308 - 310
  1.                  Yet Edmund was belov’d!
  2. The one the other poison’d for my sake,
  3. And after slew herself.

Albany

311
  1. Even so. Cover their faces.

Edmund

312 - 316
  1. I pant for life. Some good I mean to do,
  2. Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send
  3. (Be brief in it) to th’ castle, for my writ
  4. Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
  5. Nay, send in time.

Albany

317
  1.                    Run, run, O, run!

Edgar

318 - 319
  1. To who, my lord? Who has the office? Send
  2. Thy token of reprieve.

Edmund

320 - 321
  1. Well thought on. Take my sword. The captain
  2. Give it the captain.

Albany

322
  1.                      Haste thee, for thy life.
  1. Exit Edgar.

Edmund

324 - 327
  1. He hath commission from thy wife and me
  2. To hang Cordelia in the prison, and
  3. To lay the blame upon her own despair,
  4. That she fordid herself.

Albany

328
  1. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
  1. Edmund is borne off.
  1. Enter Lear with Cordelia in his arms, Edgar and Second
  2. Gentleman following.

Lear

332 - 338
  1. Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones!
  2. Had I your tongues and eyes, I’ld use them so
  3. That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone forever!
  4. I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
  5. She’s dead as earth. Lend me a looking-glass,
  6. If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
  7. Why then she lives.

Kent

339
  1.                     Is this the promis’d end?

Edgar

340
  1. Or image of that horror?

Albany

341
  1.                          Fall, and cease!

Lear

342 - 344
  1. This feather stirs, she lives! If it be so,
  2. It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
  3. That ever I have felt.

Kent

345 - 346
  1. Kneeling.
  2.                        O my good master!

Lear

347
  1. Prithee away.

Edgar

348
  1.               ’Tis noble Kent, your friend.

Lear

349 - 354
  1. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
  2. I might have sav’d her, now she’s gone forever!
  3. Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
  4. What is’t thou say’st? Her voice was ever soft,
  5. Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
  6. I kill’d the slave that was a-hanging thee.

Second Gentleman

355
  1. ’Tis true, my lords, he did.

Lear

356 - 360
  1.                              Did I not, fellow?
  2. I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
  3. I would have made them skip. I am old now,
  4. And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
  5. Mine eyes are not o’ th’ best; I’ll tell you straight.

Kent

361 - 362
  1. If Fortune brag of two she lov’d and hated,
  2. One of them we behold.

Lear

363
  1. This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent?

Kent

364 - 365
  1.                                         The same:
  2. Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?

Lear

366 - 367
  1. He’s a good fellow, I can tell you that;
  2. He’ll strike, and quickly too. He’s dead and rotten.

Kent

368
  1. No, my good lord, I am the very man

Lear

369
  1. I’ll see that straight.

Kent

370 - 371
  1. That from your first of difference and decay,
  2. Have follow’d your sad steps

Lear

372
  1.                               You are welcome hither.

Kent

373 - 375
  1. Nor no man else. All’s cheerless, dark, and deadly.
  2. Your eldest daughters have foredone themselves,
  3. And desperately are dead.

Lear

376
  1.                           Ay, so I think.

Albany

377 - 378
  1. He knows not what he says, and vain is it
  2. That we present us to him.

Edgar

379
  1.                            Very bootless.
  1. Enter Second Messenger.

Second Messenger

381
  1. Edmund is dead, my lord.

Albany

382 - 393
  1.                          That’s but a trifle here.
  2. You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
  3. What comfort to this great decay may come
  4. Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
  5. During the life of this old majesty,
  6. To him our absolute power.
  7. To Edgar and Kent.
  8.                            You, to your rights,
  9. With boot, and such addition as your honors
  10. Have more than merited. All friends shall taste
  11. The wages of their virtue, and all foes
  12. The cup of their deservings. O, see, see!

Lear

394 - 400
  1. And my poor fool is hang’d! No, no, no life!
  2. Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
  3. And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
  4. Never, never, never, never, never.
  5. Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
  6. Do you see this? Look on her! Look her lips,
  7. Look there, look there!
  1. He dies.

Edgar

402
  1.                         He faints. My lord, my lord!

Kent

403
  1. Break, heart, I prithee break!

Edgar

404
  1.                                Look up, my lord.

Kent

405 - 407
  1. Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass, he hates him
  2. That would upon the rack of this tough world
  3. Stretch him out longer.

Edgar

408
  1.                         He is gone indeed.

Kent

409 - 410
  1. The wonder is he hath endur’d so long,
  2. He but usurp’d his life.

Albany

411 - 415
  1. Bear them from hence. Our present business
  2. Is general woe.
  3. To Kent and Edgar.
  4.                 Friends of my soul, you twain
  5. Rule in this realm, and the gor’d state sustain.

Kent

416 - 417
  1. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go:
  2. My master calls me, I must not say no.

Edgar

418 - 421
  1. The weight of this sad time we must obey,
  2. Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say:
  3. The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
  4. Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
  1. Exeunt with a dead march.
finis
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