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Gent. 'Tis hot, it smokes; it came even from the OfO! she's dead

Alb. Who's dead? speak, man.


Gent. Your Lady, Sir, your Lady, and her sister By her is poison'd; she confesses it.

Edm. I was contracted to them both; all three Now marry in an instant.

Edg. Here comes Kent.

Enter KENT.

Alb. Produce the bodies, be they alive or dead. [Goneril and Regan'sbodies brought out. This judgment of the heav'ns, that makes us tremble, Touches us not with pity,-O! is this he? The time will not allow the compliment [To Kent. Which very manners urge.

Kent. I am come

To bid my King and master aye good night.
Is he not here?

Alb. Great things of us forgot!

Speak, Edmund, where's the King? and where's


See'st thou this object, Kent?

[Pointing to the dead bodies.

Kent. Alack, why thus?

Edm. Yet Edmund was belov'd:

The one the other poison'd for my sake,

And after slew herself.

Alb. Even so cover their faces.

Edm. I pant for life: some good I mean to do, Despight of mine own nature. Quickly send (Be brief) into the castle; for my writ

Is on the life of Lear and Cordelia.

Nay, send in time.

Alb. Run, run, O run an int

Edg. To whom, my Lord? who has the office?

Thy token of reprieve.

Edm. Well thought on, take my sword,

Give it the Captain――


Edg. Haste thee for thy life. [Exit Messenger. Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me To hang Cordelia in the prison, and

To lay the blame upon her own despair.

Alb. The gods defend her! bear him hence a [Edmund is borne off.



Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms. Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl,—O, you are men of stone;

Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so,
That heaven's vault should crack: she's gone



I know when one is dead, and when one lives; She's dead as earth! lend me a looking-glass, (81)

(81) What was just now considered as the face of

If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why then she lives.

Kent. Is this the promis'd end?

Lear. This feather stirs, she lives; if it be so, It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows, That ever I have felt.

Kent. O my good master!

Lear. Pr'ythee, away―

Edg. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.


Lear. A plague upon you, murd'rous traitors all I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever! 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 kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee. (82) Kent. 'Tis true, my Lords, he did.

Lear. Did I not, fellow?

I've seen the day, with my good biting faulchion I would have made them skip: I am old now, And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?

Goneril may be conceived, from its shape and brightness, to be a looking-glass, placed before the face of Cordelia in the moon; and, as darkened by the pale shadows on it, to be marked by her breath.

(82) Cordelia's being hanged by the Captain will be intelligible, on observing the relative positions of their prototypes, in respect of each other, in the moon.

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Mine eyes are none o' th' best. I'll tell you


Kent. If fortune brag of two she loved and hated, One of them we behold.

Lear. Are you not Kent?

Kent. The same; your servant Kent.

Where is your servant Caius ?

Lear. 'Twas a good fellow, I can tell you that, He'd strike, and quickly too :-he's dead and


Kent. No, my good Lord, I am the very man-
Lear. I'll see that straight-
Kent. That, from your first of difference and

Have follow'd your sad steps

Lear. You're welcome hither.

Kent. 'Twas no man else.—All's cheerless, dark, and dead:

Your eldest daughters have foredone themselves, And desp'rately are dead.

Lear. Ay, so I think.

Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain is it That we present us to him.

Edg. Very bootless.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Edmund is dead, my Lord.

Alb. That's but a trifle,

You Lords and noble friends, know our intent;

What comfort to this great decay may come,

Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old Majesty,

To him our absolute power: to you, your rights.

[To Edgar. With boot, and such addition as your honours Have more than merited. All friends shall taste The wages of their virtues, and all foes The cup of their deservings. O see, see——

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd; no, no, no Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, [life. And thou no breath at all? thou'lt come no more, Never, never, never, never, never

Pray you, undo this button.

Thank you, Sir;

Do you see this? look on her, look on her lips,

Look there, look there—-—

[He dies.

Edg. He faints, my Lord!

Kent. Break, heart, I pr'ythee break!

Edg. Look up, my Lord.

[hates him

Kent. Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass! He

That would upon the rack (83) of this rough world Stretch him out longer.

Edg. He is gone indeed.

Kent. The wonder is he hath endur'd so long: He but usurp'd his life.


Alb. Bear them from hence; our present busi

(85) The rack, or wheel, is the circumference of the


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