Act IV, Scene 2
Before the Duke of Albany’s palace.
- Enter Goneril, Bastard Edmund.
Goneril1 - 3
- Welcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husband
- Not met us on the way.
- Enter Oswald, the Steward.
- Now, where’s your master?
Oswald4 - 12
- Madam, within, but never man so chang’d.
- I told him of the army that was landed;
- He smil’d at it. I told him you were coming;
- His answer was, “The worse.” Of Gloucester’s treachery,
- And of the loyal service of his son,
- When I inform’d him, then he call’d me sot,
- And told me I had turn’d the wrong side out.
- What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;
- What like, offensive.
Goneril13 - 26
- To Edmund.
- Then shall you go no further.
- It is the cowish terror of his spirit
- That dares not undertake; he’ll not feel wrongs
- Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way
- May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother,
- Hasten his musters and conduct his pow’rs.
- I must change names at home, and give the distaff
- Into my husband’s hands. This trusty servant
- Shall pass between us. Ere long you are like to hear
- (If you dare venture in your own behalf)
- A mistress’s command. Wear this; spare speech.
- Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,
- Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
- Conceive, and fare thee well.
- Yours in the ranks of death.
Goneril28 - 31
- My most dear Gloucester!
- O, the difference of man and man!
- To thee a woman’s services are due,
- A fool usurps my bed.
- Madam, here comes my lord.
- Enter Albany.
- I have been worth the whistling.
Albany34 - 41
- O Goneril,
- You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
- Blows in your face. I fear your disposition;
- That nature which contemns it origin
- Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
- She that herself will sliver and disbranch
- From her material sap, perforce must wither,
- And come to deadly use.
- No more, the text is foolish.
Albany43 - 55
- Wisdom and goodness to the vild seem vild,
- Filths savor but themselves. What have you done?
- Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform’d?
- A father, and a gracious aged man,
- Whose reverence even the head-lugg’d bear would lick,
- Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you madded.
- Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
- A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
- If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
- Send quickly down to tame these vild offenses,
- It will come,
- Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
- Like monsters of the deep.
Goneril56 - 65
- Milk-liver’d man,
- That bear’st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs,
- Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
- Thine honor from thy suffering, that not know’st
- Fools do those villains pity who are punish’d
- Ere they have done their mischief, where’s thy drum?
- France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
- With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
- Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries,
- “Alack, why does he so?”
Albany66 - 68
- See thyself, devil!
- Proper deformity shows not in the fiend
- So horrid as in woman.
- O vain fool!
Albany70 - 75
- Thou changed and self-cover’d thing, for shame
- Bemonster not thy feature. Were’t my fitness
- To let these hands obey my blood,
- They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
- Thy flesh and bones. Howe’er thou art a fiend,
- A woman’s shape doth shield thee.
- Marry, your manhood mew!
- Enter First Messenger.
- What news?
First Messenger78 - 80
- O my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall’s dead,
- Slain by his servant, going to put out
- The other eye of Gloucester.
- Gloucester’s eyes?
First Messenger82 - 87
- A servant that he bred, thrill’d with remorse,
- Oppos’d against the act, bending his sword
- To his great master, who, thereat enraged,
- Flew on him, and amongst them fell’d him dead,
- But not without that harmful stroke which since
- Hath pluck’d him after.
Albany88 - 91
- This shows you are above,
- You justicers, that these our nether crimes
- So speedily can venge! But, O poor Gloucester,
- Lost he his other eye?
First Messenger92 - 94
- Both, both, my lord.
- This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
- ’Tis from your sister.
Goneril95 - 99
- One way I like this well,
- But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
- May all the building in my fancy pluck
- Upon my hateful life. Another way,
- The news is not so tart.—I’ll read, and answer.
- Where was his son when they did take his eyes?
- Come with my lady hither.
- He is not here.
- No, my good lord, I met him back again.
- Knows he the wickedness?
First Messenger105 - 107
- Ay, my good lord; ’twas he inform’d against him,
- And quit the house on purpose that their punishment
- Might have the freer course.
Albany108 - 111
- Gloucester, I live
- To thank thee for the love thou show’dst the King,
- And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend,
- Tell me what more thou know’st.