Albany and the two daughters come in. Albany admires Edmund’s valor in battle, and asks for custody of Lear and Cordelia. Edmund says he has them under detention to avoid their appeal to the common people. As a delaying tactic, he asks for a day of recovery for the troops who suffer and bleed; the morrow will be a fitter time. Albany insists upon his superior station, but is interrupted by Regan, who equally insists that Edmund bore her commission in battle, hence deserves equal station. Goneril objects: “not so hot!” She attempts to appropriate him, and the two argue until Regan begins to feel ill.
Regan attempts to turn her troops and prisoners over to Edmund, but Albany arrests Edmund for treason, claiming he has already pledged himself to Goneril. Throwing down a gauntlet, he calls “let the trumpets sound.” Regan feels worse—“sick, O, sick”—and Goneril admits in an aside that she administered a poison to her sister. Edmund accepts the challenge. Regan must be supported out, and the trumpet sounds three times.
ACT V. SCENE III. SEGMENT B.
Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan, Soldiers
Sir, you have showed today your valiant strain,
And fortune led you well. You have the captives 
Who were the opposites of this day’s strife.
I do require them of you, so to use them
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.
EDMUND Sir, I thought it fit 
To send the old and miserable King
To some retention and appointed guard,
Whose age had charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side
And turn our impressed lances in our eyes 
Which do command them. With him I sent the queen,
My reason all the same. And they are ready
Tomorrow, or at further space, t’ appear
Where you shall hold your session. [At this time
We sweat and bleed—the friend hath lost his friend, 
And the best quarrels in the heat are cursed
By those that feel their sharpness.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.]
ALBANY Sir, by your patience, 
I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.
REGAN That’s as we list to grace him.
Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded,
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers, 
Bore the commission of my place and person,
The which immediacy may well stand up
And call itself your brother.
GONERIL Not so hot.
In his own grace he doth exalt himself 
More than in your addition.
REGAN In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.
GONERIL That were the most if he should husband you.
REGAN Jesters do oft prove prophets. 
GONERIL Holla, holla!
That eye that told you so looked but asquint.
Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
From a full-flowing stomach. General,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony. 
Dispose of them, of me. The walls are thine.
Witness the world that I create thee here
My lord and master.
GONERIL Mean you to enjoy him?
ALBANY The let-alone lies not in your good will. 
EDMUND Nor in thine, lord.
ALBANY Half-blooded fellow, yes.
REGAN Let the drum strike and prove my title thine.
Stay yet. Hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
On capital treason, and in thine attaint, 
This gilded serpent. For your claim, fair sister,
I bar it in the interest of my wife.
‘Tis she is subcontracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banns.
If you will marry, make your loves to me; 
My lady is bespoke.
GONERIL An interlude!
Thou art armed, Gloucester. Let the trumpet sound.
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons, 
There is my pledge. [throws a glove] I’ll prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaimed thee.
REGAN Sick, O sick!
GONERIL [Aside] If not, I’ll ne’er trust medicine. 
EDMUND [throws a glove]
There’s my exchange. What in the world he is
That names me traitor, villainlike he lies.
Call by thy trumpet. He that dares approach,
On him, on you—who not?—I will maintain
My truth and honor firmly. 
Enter a Herald
ALBANY A herald, ho!
Trust to thy single virtue, for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
REGAN My sickness grows upon me. 
ALBANY She is not well. Convey her to my tent. [Exit Regan]
Come hither, herald. Let the trumpet sound,
And read out this. A trumpet sounds
‘If any man of quality or degree within
the lists of the army will maintain upon Edmund, 
supposed Earl of Gloucester, that he is a manifold
traitor, let him appear by the third sound of the
trumpet. He is bold in his defence.’ 1 trumpet
Again! 2 trumpet
Again! 3 trumpet 
Trumpet answers within