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King Lear: Act IV, Scene 2

King Lear
Act IV, Scene 2

Before the Duke of Albany’s palace.

  1. Enter Goneril, Bastard Edmund.

Goneril

1 - 3
  1. Welcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husband
  2. Not met us on the way.
  3. Enter Oswald, the Steward.
  4. Now, where’s your master?

Oswald

4 - 12
  1. Madam, within, but never man so chang’d.
  2. I told him of the army that was landed;
  3. He smil’d at it. I told him you were coming;
  4. His answer was, The worse.” Of Gloucester’s treachery,
  5. And of the loyal service of his son,
  6. When I inform’d him, then he call’d me sot,
  7. And told me I had turn’d the wrong side out.
  8. What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;
  9. What like, offensive.

Goneril

13 - 26
  1. To Edmund.
  2.                       Then shall you go no further.
  3. It is the cowish terror of his spirit
  4. That dares not undertake; he’ll not feel wrongs
  5. Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way
  6. May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother,
  7. Hasten his musters and conduct his pow’rs.
  8. I must change names at home, and give the distaff
  9. Into my husband’s hands. This trusty servant
  10. Shall pass between us. Ere long you are like to hear
  11. (If you dare venture in your own behalf)
  12. A mistress’s command. Wear this; spare speech.
  13. Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,
  14. Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
  15. Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edmund

27
  1. Yours in the ranks of death.
  1. Exit.

Goneril

28 - 31
  1.                              My most dear Gloucester!
  2. O, the difference of man and man!
  3. To thee a woman’s services are due,
  4. A fool usurps my bed.

Oswald

32
  1.                       Madam, here comes my lord.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Albany.

Goneril

33
  1. I have been worth the whistling.

Albany

34 - 41
  1.                                  O Goneril,
  2. You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
  3. Blows in your face. I fear your disposition;
  4. That nature which contemns it origin
  5. Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
  6. She that herself will sliver and disbranch
  7. From her material sap, perforce must wither,
  8. And come to deadly use.

Goneril

42
  1. No more, the text is foolish.

Albany

43 - 55
  1. Wisdom and goodness to the vild seem vild,
  2. Filths savor but themselves. What have you done?
  3. Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform’d?
  4. A father, and a gracious aged man,
  5. Whose reverence even the head-lugg’d bear would lick,
  6. Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you madded.
  7. Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
  8. A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
  9. If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
  10. Send quickly down to tame these vild offenses,
  11. It will come,
  12. Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
  13. Like monsters of the deep.

Goneril

56 - 65
  1.                            Milk-liver’d man,
  2. That bear’st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs,
  3. Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
  4. Thine honor from thy suffering, that not know’st
  5. Fools do those villains pity who are punish’d
  6. Ere they have done their mischief, where’s thy drum?
  7. France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
  8. With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
  9. Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries,
  10. Alack, why does he so?”

Albany

66 - 68
  1.                          See thyself, devil!
  2. Proper deformity shows not in the fiend
  3. So horrid as in woman.

Goneril

69
  1.                        O vain fool!

Albany

70 - 75
  1. Thou changed and self-cover’d thing, for shame
  2. Bemonster not thy feature. Were’t my fitness
  3. To let these hands obey my blood,
  4. They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
  5. Thy flesh and bones. Howe’er thou art a fiend,
  6. A woman’s shape doth shield thee.

Goneril

76
  1. Marry, your manhood mew!
  1. Enter First Messenger.

Albany

77
  1. What news?

First Messenger

78 - 80
  1. O my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall’s dead,
  2. Slain by his servant, going to put out
  3. The other eye of Gloucester.

Albany

81
  1.                              Gloucester’s eyes?

First Messenger

82 - 87
  1. A servant that he bred, thrill’d with remorse,
  2. Oppos’d against the act, bending his sword
  3. To his great master, who, thereat enraged,
  4. Flew on him, and amongst them fell’d him dead,
  5. But not without that harmful stroke which since
  6. Hath pluck’d him after.

Albany

88 - 91
  1.                         This shows you are above,
  2. You justicers, that these our nether crimes
  3. So speedily can venge! But, O poor Gloucester,
  4. Lost he his other eye?

First Messenger

92 - 94
  1.                        Both, both, my lord.
  2. This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
  3. ’Tis from your sister.

Goneril

95 - 99
  1. Aside.
  2.                        One way I like this well,
  3. But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
  4. May all the building in my fancy pluck
  5. Upon my hateful life. Another way,
  6. The news is not so tart.—I’ll read, and answer.
  1. Exit.

Albany

100
  1. Where was his son when they did take his eyes?

First Messenger

101
  1. Come with my lady hither.

Albany

102
  1.                           He is not here.

First Messenger

103
  1. No, my good lord, I met him back again.

Albany

104
  1. Knows he the wickedness?

First Messenger

105 - 107
  1. Ay, my good lord; ’twas he inform’d against him,
  2. And quit the house on purpose that their punishment
  3. Might have the freer course.

Albany

108 - 111
  1.                              Gloucester, I live
  2. To thank thee for the love thou show’dst the King,
  3. And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend,
  4. Tell me what more thou know’st.
  1. Exeunt.
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