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King Lear: Act 4, Scene 2

King Lear
Act 4, Scene 2

Before the Duke of Albany’s palace.

  1. Enter Goneril, Bastard Edmund.

Goneril

2 - 5
  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

6 - 14
  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

15 - 29
  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

30
  1. Yours in the ranks of death.
  1. Exit.

Goneril

32 - 35
  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

36
  1.                       Madam, here comes my lord.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Albany.

Goneril

39
  1. I have been worth the whistling.

Albany

40 - 47
  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

48
  1. No more, the text is foolish.

Albany

49 - 61
  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

62 - 71
  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

72 - 74
  1.                          See thyself, devil!
  2. Proper deformity shows not in the fiend
  3. So horrid as in woman.

Goneril

75
  1.                        O vain fool!

Albany

76 - 81
  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

82
  1. Marry, your manhood mew!
  1. Enter First Messenger.

Albany

84
  1. What news?

First Messenger

85 - 87
  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

88
  1.                              Gloucester’s eyes?

First Messenger

89 - 94
  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

95 - 98
  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

99 - 101
  1.                        Both, both, my lord.
  2. This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
  3. ’Tis from your sister.

Goneril

102 - 107
  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

109
  1. Where was his son when they did take his eyes?

First Messenger

110
  1. Come with my lady hither.

Albany

111
  1.                           He is not here.

First Messenger

112
  1. No, my good lord, I met him back again.

Albany

113
  1. Knows he the wickedness?

First Messenger

114 - 116
  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

117 - 120
  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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