Act II, Scene 1
The Earl of Gloucester’s castle.
- Enter Bastard Edmund and Curan severally.
- ’Save thee, Curan.
Curan2 - 4
- And you, sir. I have been with your father, and given him
- notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his duchess will
- be here with him this night.
- How comes that?
Curan6 - 8
- Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad, I mean
- the whisper’d ones, for they are yet but ear-bussing
- Not I. Pray you, what are they?
Curan10 - 11
- Have you heard of no likely wars toward, ’twixt the Dukes of
- Cornwall and Albany?
- Not a word.
- You may do then in time. Fare you well, sir.
Edmund14 - 27
- The Duke be here tonight? The better! Best!
- This weaves itself perforce into my business.
- My father hath set guard to take my brother,
- And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
- Which I must act. Briefness and fortune, work!
- Brother, a word! Descend. Brother, I say!
- Enter Edgar.
- My father watches: O sir, fly this place,
- Intelligence is given where you are hid;
- You have now the good advantage of the night.
- Have you not spoken ’gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
- He’s coming hither, now i’ th’ night, i’ th’ haste,
- And Regan with him. Have you nothing said
- Upon his party ’gainst the Duke of Albany?
- Advise yourself.
- I am sure on’t, not a word.
Edmund29 - 37
- I hear my father coming. Pardon me:
- In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
- Draw, seem to defend yourself; now quit you well.—
- Yield! Come before my father. Light ho, here!—
- Fly, brother.—Torches, torches!—So farewell.
- Exit Edgar.
- Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
- Wounds his arm.
- Of my more fierce endeavor. I have seen drunkards
- Do more than this in sport.—Father, father!
- Stop, stop! No help?
- Enter Gloucester, and Servants with torches.
- Now, Edmund, where’s the villain?
Edmund39 - 41
- Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
- Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
- To stand ’s auspicious mistress.
- But where is he?
- Look, sir, I bleed.
- Where is the villain, Edmund?
- Fled this way, sir, when by no means he could—
Gloucester46 - 47
- Pursue him, ho! Go after.
- Exeunt some Servants.
- By no means what?
Edmund48 - 60
- Persuade me to the murder of your lordship,
- But that I told him, the revengive gods
- ’Gainst parricides did all the thunder bend,
- Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
- The child was bound to th’ father; sir, in fine,
- Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
- To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion
- With his prepared sword he charges home
- My unprovided body, latch’d mine arm;
- And when he saw my best alarum’d spirits,
- Bold in the quarrel’s right, rous’d to th’ encounter,
- Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
- Full suddenly he fled.
Gloucester61 - 68
- Let him fly far.
- Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
- And found—dispatch. The noble Duke my master,
- My worthy arch and patron, comes tonight.
- By his authority I will proclaim it,
- That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
- Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
- He that conceals him, death.
Edmund69 - 82
- When I dissuaded him from his intent,
- And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
- I threaten’d to discover him; he replied,
- “Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think,
- If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
- Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
- Make thy words faith’d? No. What I should deny
- (As this I would, ay, though thou didst produce
- My very character), I’ld turn it all
- To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice;
- And thou must make a dullard of the world
- If they not thought the profits of my death
- Were very pregnant and potential spirits
- To make thee seek it.”
Gloucester83 - 91
- O strange and fast’ned villain!
- Would he deny his letter, said he? I never got him.
- Tucket within.
- Hark, the Duke’s trumpets! I know not why he comes.
- All ports I’ll bar, the villain shall not scape;
- The Duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture
- I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
- May have due note of him, and of my land,
- Loyal and natural boy, I’ll work the means
- To make thee capable.
- Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.
Cornwall92 - 93
- How now, my noble friend? Since I came hither
- (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.
Regan94 - 95
- If it be true, all vengeance comes too short
- Which can pursue th’ offender. How dost, my lord?
- O madam, my old heart is crack’d, it’s crack’d!
Regan97 - 98
- What, did my father’s godson seek your life?
- He whom my father nam’d, your Edgar?
- O lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Regan100 - 101
- Was he not companion with the riotous knights
- That tended upon my father?
- I know not, madam. ’Tis too bad, too bad.
- Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
Regan104 - 110
- No marvel then, though he were ill affected:
- ’Tis they have put him on the old man’s death,
- To have th’ expense and waste of his revenues.
- I have this present evening from my sister
- Been well inform’d of them, and with such cautions,
- That if they come to sojourn at my house,
- I’ll not be there.
Cornwall111 - 113
- Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
- Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
- A child-like office.
- It was my duty, sir.
Gloucester115 - 116
- He did bewray his practice, and receiv’d
- This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
- Is he pursued?
- Ay, my good lord.
Cornwall119 - 125
- If he be taken, he shall never more
- Be fear’d of doing harm. Make your own purpose,
- How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
- Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
- So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
- Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
- You we first seize on.
Edmund126 - 127
- I shall serve you, sir,
- Truly, however else.
- For him I thank your Grace.
- You know not why we came to visit you?
Regan130 - 139
- Thus out of season, threading dark-ey’d night:
- Occasions, noble Gloucester, of some prize,
- Wherein we must have use of your advice.
- Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
- Of differences, which I best thought it fit
- To answer from our home; the several messengers
- From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
- Lay comforts to your bosom, and bestow
- Your needful counsel to our businesses,
- Which craves the instant use.
Gloucester140 - 141
- I serve you, madam.
- Your Graces are right welcome.
- Flourish. Exeunt.