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King Lear: Act 2, Scene 1

King Lear
Act 2, Scene 1

Scene 1

The Earl of Gloucester’s castle.

  1. Enter Bastard Edmund and Curan severally.

Edmund

2
  1. ’Save thee, Curan.

Curan

3 - 5
  1. And you, sir. I have been with your father, and given him
  2. notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his duchess will
  3. be here with him this night.

Edmund

6
  1. How comes that?

Curan

7 - 9
  1. Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad, I mean
  2. the whisper’d ones, for they are yet but ear-bussing
  3. arguments?

Edmund

10
  1. Not I. Pray you, what are they?

Curan

11 - 12
  1. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, ’twixt the Dukes of
  2. Cornwall and Albany?

Edmund

13
  1. Not a word.

Curan

14
  1. You may do then in time. Fare you well, sir.
  1. Exit.

Edmund

16 - 30
  1. The Duke be here tonight? The better! Best!
  2. This weaves itself perforce into my business.
  3. My father hath set guard to take my brother,
  4. And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
  5. Which I must act. Briefness and fortune, work!
  6. Brother, a word! Descend. Brother, I say!
  7. Enter Edgar.
  8. My father watches: O sir, fly this place,
  9. Intelligence is given where you are hid;
  10. You have now the good advantage of the night.
  11. Have you not spoken ’gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
  12. He’s coming hither, now i’ th’ night, i’ th’ haste,
  13. And Regan with him. Have you nothing said
  14. Upon his party ’gainst the Duke of Albany?
  15. Advise yourself.

Edgar

31
  1. I am sure on’t, not a word.

Edmund

32 - 42
  1. I hear my father coming. Pardon me:
  2. In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
  3. Draw, seem to defend yourself; now quit you well.—
  4. Yield! Come before my father. Light ho, here!—
  5. Fly, brother.—Torches, torches!—So farewell.
  6. Exit Edgar.
  7. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
  8. Wounds his arm.
  9. Of my more fierce endeavor. I have seen drunkards
  10. Do more than this in sport.—Father, father!
  11. Stop, stop! No help?
  1. Enter Gloucester, and Servants with torches.

Gloucester

44
  1. Now, Edmund, where’s the villain?

Edmund

45 - 47
  1. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
  2. Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
  3. To stand ’s auspicious mistress.

Gloucester

48
  1.                                  But where is he?

Edmund

49
  1. Look, sir, I bleed.

Gloucester

50
  1.                     Where is the villain, Edmund?

Edmund

51
  1. Fled this way, sir, when by no means he could

Gloucester

52 - 54
  1. Pursue him, ho! Go after.
  2. Exeunt some Servants.
  3.                           By no means what?

Edmund

55 - 67
  1. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship,
  2. But that I told him, the revengive gods
  3. ’Gainst parricides did all the thunder bend,
  4. Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
  5. The child was bound to th’ father; sir, in fine,
  6. Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
  7. To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion
  8. With his prepared sword he charges home
  9. My unprovided body, latch’d mine arm;
  10. And when he saw my best alarum’d spirits,
  11. Bold in the quarrel’s right, rous’d to th’ encounter,
  12. Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
  13. Full suddenly he fled.

Gloucester

68 - 75
  1.                        Let him fly far.
  2. Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
  3. And founddispatch. The noble Duke my master,
  4. My worthy arch and patron, comes tonight.
  5. By his authority I will proclaim it,
  6. That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
  7. Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
  8. He that conceals him, death.

Edmund

76 - 89
  1. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
  2. And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
  3. I threaten’d to discover him; he replied,
  4. Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think,
  5. If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
  6. Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
  7. Make thy words faith’d? No. What I should deny
  8. (As this I would, ay, though thou didst produce
  9. My very character), I’ld turn it all
  10. To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice;
  11. And thou must make a dullard of the world
  12. If they not thought the profits of my death
  13. Were very pregnant and potential spirits
  14. To make thee seek it.”

Gloucester

90 - 99
  1.                        O strange and fast’ned villain!
  2. Would he deny his letter, said he? I never got him.
  3. Tucket within.
  4. Hark, the Duke’s trumpets! I know not why he comes.
  5. All ports I’ll bar, the villain shall not scape;
  6. The Duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture
  7. I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
  8. May have due note of him, and of my land,
  9. Loyal and natural boy, I’ll work the means
  10. To make thee capable.
  1. Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.

Cornwall

101 - 102
  1. How now, my noble friend? Since I came hither
  2. (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.

Regan

103 - 104
  1. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short
  2. Which can pursue th’ offender. How dost, my lord?

Gloucester

105
  1. O madam, my old heart is crack’d, it’s crack’d!

Regan

106 - 107
  1. What, did my father’s godson seek your life?
  2. He whom my father nam’d, your Edgar?

Gloucester

108
  1. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid!

Regan

109 - 110
  1. Was he not companion with the riotous knights
  2. That tended upon my father?

Gloucester

111
  1. I know not, madam. ’Tis too bad, too bad.

Edmund

112
  1. Yes, madam, he was of that consort.

Regan

113 - 119
  1. No marvel then, though he were ill affected:
  2. ’Tis they have put him on the old man’s death,
  3. To have th’ expense and waste of his revenues.
  4. I have this present evening from my sister
  5. Been well inform’d of them, and with such cautions,
  6. That if they come to sojourn at my house,
  7. I’ll not be there.

Cornwall

120 - 122
  1.                    Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
  2. Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
  3. A child-like office.

Edmund

123
  1.                      It was my duty, sir.

Gloucester

124 - 125
  1. He did bewray his practice, and receiv’d
  2. This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Cornwall

126
  1. Is he pursued?

Gloucester

127
  1.                Ay, my good lord.

Cornwall

128 - 134
  1. If he be taken, he shall never more
  2. Be fear’d of doing harm. Make your own purpose,
  3. How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
  4. Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
  5. So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
  6. Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
  7. You we first seize on.

Edmund

135 - 136
  1.                        I shall serve you, sir,
  2. Truly, however else.

Gloucester

137
  1.                      For him I thank your Grace.

Cornwall

138
  1. You know not why we came to visit you?

Regan

139 - 148
  1. Thus out of season, threading dark-ey’d night:
  2. Occasions, noble Gloucester, of some prize,
  3. Wherein we must have use of your advice.
  4. Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
  5. Of differences, which I best thought it fit
  6. To answer from our home; the several messengers
  7. From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
  8. Lay comforts to your bosom, and bestow
  9. Your needful counsel to our businesses,
  10. Which craves the instant use.

Gloucester

149 - 150
  1.                               I serve you, madam.
  2. Your Graces are right welcome.
  1. Flourish. Exeunt.
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