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Alb. O! it is he.
The time will not allow the compliment,
Here comes Kent, sir.
I am come
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 brought in.
Kent. Alack, why thus? Edm. Yet Edmund was beloved. The one the other poisoned for my sake, And after slew herself.
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.
Give it the captain.
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,
Haste thee, for thy life.
[Exit EDGAR. 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!-0, you are men of
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Fall, and cease!
O my good master! [Kneeling.
Kent. Lear. 'Pr'ythee, away. Edg. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend. Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! I might have saved 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 killed the slave that was a-hanging thee. Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did. Lear. 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 none o' the best.- I'll tell you straight. Kent. If Fortune brag of two she loved and hated, One of them we behold.
Lear. This is a dull sight: Are you not Kent? Kent. The same; 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.
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.
Lear. And my poor fool is hanged! No, no, no life;
'Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir.-
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; 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.
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.
SAMPSON, Servants to Capulet.
ABRAM, Servant to Montague.
Chorus. Boy, Page to Paris. PETER.
LADY MONTAGUE, Wife to Montague.
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.