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Alb. O! it is he.
Here comes Kent, sir.
The time will not allow the compliment,
Which very manners urges.
I am come
To bid my king and master aye good-night;
Great thing of us forgot!
Speak, Edmund, where's the king? and where's Cordelia ? — Seest thou this object, Kent?
[The bodies of GONERIL and REGAN are
Kent. Alack, why thus?
Yet Edmund was beloved.
The one the other poisoned for my sake,
Alb. Even so.- Cover their faces.
Edm. I pant for life:-Some good I mean to do, Despite of mine own nature. Quickly sendBe brief in it-to the castle, for my writ Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia.Nay, send in time.
Run, run, O, run
Edg. To whom, my lord?-Who has the office? send
Thy token of reprieve.
Edm. Well thought on; take my sword,
Give it the captain.
Haste thee, for thy life.
Edm. 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.
Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.
[EDMUND is borne off.
Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms; EDGAR, Officer, and others.
Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!-O, you are men of
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
That heaven's vault should crack.-O, she is gone for
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Is this the promised end?
Edg. Or image of that horror?
Fall, and cease!
That ever I have felt.
O my good master! [Kneeling.
Lear. 'Pr'ythee, away.
What is't thou say'st?-Her voice was ever soft,
Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
Lear. This is a dull sight: Are you not Kent?
Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius? Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He'll strike, and quickly too. He's dead and rotten. Kent. No, my good lord, I am the very man; Lear. I'll see that straight.
Kent. That, from your first of difference and decay, Have followed your sad steps.
Lear. You are welcome hither. Kent. Nor no man else; all's cheerless, dark, and deadly.Your eldest daughters have fore-doomed themselves,
And desperately are dead.
Ay, so I think.
Alb. He knows not what he sees; and vain it is That we present us to him.
Enter an Officer.
Off. Edmund is dead, my lord.
That's but a trifle here.
You lords, and noble friends, know our intent.
To him our absolute power.-You, to your rights;
[To EDGAR and KENT.
With boot, and such addition as your honors
Have more than merited.-All friends shall taste
The cup of their deservings.-O, see, see!
Lear. And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no life; Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt 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,-
He faints! My lord, my lord,
Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break!
Look up, my lord.
Kent. Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him, That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.
O, he is gone indeed.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endured so long; He but usurped his life.
Alb. Bear them from hence.-Our present business Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain
[To KENT and EDGAR. Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go;
My master calls, and I must not say no.
Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey;
[Exeunt, with a dead march.
ESCALUS, Prince of Verona.
PARIS, a young Nobleman, Kinsman to the Prince.
MONTAGUE, Heads of Two Houses, at variance with each other.
An old Man, Uncle to Capulet.
ROMEO, Son to Montague.
MERCUTIO, Kinsman to the Prince, and Friend to Romeo.
BENVOLIO, Nephew to Montague, and Friend to Romeo.
TYBALT, Nephew to Lady Capulet.
Citizens of Verona; several Men and Women, Relations to both Houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE, during the greater part of the Play, in Verona; once, in the Fifth Act, at Mantua.