Edgar. Away old man, giue me thy hand, away: King Lear hath lost, he and his Daughter tane, Giue me thy hand: Come on

Glo. No further Sir, a man may rot euen heere

Edg. What in ill thoughts againe? Men must endure Their going hence, euen as their comming hither, Ripenesse is all come on

Glo. And that's true too.


Scena Tertia.

Enter in conquest with Drum and Colours, Edmund, Lear, and Cordelia, as prisoners, Souldiers, Captaine.

Bast. Some Officers take them away: good guard, Vntill their greater pleasures first 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 I am cast downe, My selfe could else out-frowne false Fortunes frowne. Shall we not see these Daughters, and these Sisters? Lear. No, no, no, no: come let's away to prison, We two alone will sing like Birds i'th' Cage: When thou dost aske me blessing, Ile kneele downe And aske of thee forgiuenesse: So wee'l liue, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded Butterflies: and heere (poore Rogues) Talke of Court newes, and wee'l talke with them too, Who looses, and who wins; who's in, who's out; And take vpon's the mystery of things, As if we were Gods spies: And wee'l weare out In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebbe and flow by th' Moone

Bast. Take them away

Lear. Vpon such sacrifices 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 yeares shall deuoure them, flesh and fell, Ere they shall make vs weepe? Weele see 'em staru'd first: come. Enter.

Bast. Come hither Captaine, hearke. Take thou this note, go follow them to prison, One step I haue aduanc'd thee, if thou do'st 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 Do's not become a Sword, thy great imployment Will not beare question: either say thou'lt do't, Or thriue by other meanes

Capt. Ile do't my Lord

Bast. About it, and write happy, when th'hast done, Marke I say instantly, and carry it so As I haue set it downe.

Exit Captaine.

Flourish. Enter Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Soldiers.

Alb. Sir, you haue shew'd to day your valiant straine And Fortune led you well: you haue the Captiues Who were the opposites of this dayes strife: I do require them of you so to vse them, As we shall find their merites, and our safety May equally determine

Bast. Sir, I thought it fit, To send the old and miserable King to some retention, Whose age had Charmes in it, whose Title more, To plucke the common bosome on his side, And turne our imprest Launces in our eies 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, t' appeare Where you shall hold your Session

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 might haue bin demanded Ere you had spoke so farre. He led our Powers, Bore the Commission of my place and person, The which immediacie 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 addition

Reg. In my rights, By me inuested, he compeeres the best

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book