Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.

Enter with Drumme and Colours, Edmund, Regan. Gentlemen, and Souldiers.

Bast. Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold, Or whether since he is aduis'd by ought To change the course, he's full of alteration, And selfereprouing, bring his constant pleasure

Reg. Our Sisters man is certainely miscarried

Bast. 'Tis to be doubted Madam

Reg. Now sweet Lord, You know the goodnesse I intend vpon you: Tell me but truly, but then speake the truth, Do you not loue my Sister? Bast. In honour'd Loue

Reg. But haue you neuer found my Brothers way, To the fore-fended place? Bast. No by mine honour, Madam

Reg. I neuer shall endure her, deere my Lord Be not familiar with her

Bast. Feare not, she and the Duke her husband. Enter with Drum and Colours, Albany, Gonerill, Soldiers.

Alb. Our very louing Sister, well be-met: Sir, this I heard, the King is come to his Daughter With others, whom the rigour of our State Forc'd to cry out

Regan. Why is this reasond? Gone. Combine together 'gainst the Enemie: For these domesticke and particular broiles, Are not the question heere

Alb. Let's then determine with th' ancient of warre On our proceeding

Reg. Sister you'le go with vs? Gon. No

Reg. 'Tis most conuenient, pray go with vs

Gon. Oh ho, I know the Riddle, I will goe.

Exeunt. both the Armies.

Enter Edgar.

Edg. If ere your Grace had speech with man so poore, Heare me one word

Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake

Edg. Before you fight the Battaile, ope this Letter: If you haue victory, let the Trumpet sound For him that brought it: wretched though I seeme, I can produce a Champion, that will proue What is auouched there. If you miscarry, Your businesse of the world hath so an end, And machination ceases. Fortune loues 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. Enter.

Alb. Why farethee well, I will o're-looke thy paper. Enter Edmund.

Bast. The Enemy's in view, draw vp your powers, Heere is the guesse of their true strength and Forces, By dilligent discouerie, but your hast Is now vrg'd on you

Alb. We will greet the time. Enter.

Bast. To both these Sisters haue I sworne my loue: Each iealous of the other, as the stung 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 Gonerill, And hardly shall I carry out my side, Her husband being aliue. Now then, wee'l vse His countenance for the Battaile, which being done, Let her who would be rid of him, deuise His speedy taking off. As for the mercie Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia, The Battaile done, and they within our power, Shall neuer see his pardon: for my state, Stands on me to defend, not to debate. Enter.

Scena Secunda.

Alarum within. Enter with Drumme and Colours, Lear, Cordelia, and Souldiers, ouer the Stage, and Exeunt. Enter Edgar, and Gloster.

Edg. Heere Father, take the shadow of this Tree For your good hoast: pray that the right may thriue: If euer I returne to you againe, Ile bring you comfort

Glo. Grace go with you Sir. Enter.

Alarum and Retreat within. Enter Edgar.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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