Scene VII.A Room in GLOUCESTER'S
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GONERIL,
EDMUND, and Servants.
Corn. Post speedily to my lord your husband;
allow him this letter; the army of France is
landed. Seek out the traitor Gloucester.
[Exeunt some of the Servants.
Reg. Hang him instantly.
Gon. Pluck out his eyes.
Corn. Leave him to my displeasure. Edmund,
keep you our sister company: the revenges we
are bound to take upon your traitorous father
are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke,
where you are going, to a most festinate prepa-
ration: we are bound to the like. Our posts
shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us. Fare-
well, dear sister: farewell, my Lord of Gloucester.
How now? Where's the king?
Osw. My Lord of Gloucester hath convey'd
Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,
Are gone with him toward Dover, where they
To have well-armed friends.
Corn. Get horses for your mistress.
Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
Corn. Edmund, farewell.
[Exeunt GONERIL, EDMUND, and
Go seek the traitor Gloucester,
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.
[Exeunt other Servants.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice, yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame but not control. Who's there? The
Re-enter Servants, with GLOUCESTER.
Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.
Glo. What mean your Graces? Good my
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends
Corn. Bind him, I say. [Servants bind him
Reg. Hard, hard. O filthy traitor
Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.
Corn. To this chair bind him. Villain, thou
shalt find [REGAN plucks his beard
Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.
Reg. So white, and such a traitor!
Glo. Naughty lady
These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host:
With robbers' hands my hospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late
Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the
Corn. And what confederacy have you with
Late footed in the kingdom?
Reg. To whose hands have you sent the
Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down,
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
And not from one oppos'd.
Reg. And false.
Corn. Where hast thou sent the king?
Glow. To Dover.
Reg. Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not
charg'd at peril
Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer
Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand
Reg. Wherefore to Dover?
Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails
Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
In his anointed flesh stick bearish fangs.
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
And quench'd the stelled fires;
Yet, poor old heart, he help the heavens to rain.
If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that dern time,
Thou shouldst have said, 'Good porter, turn the
All cruels else subscrib'd: but I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.
Corn. See't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
Glo. He that will think to live till he be old,
Give me some help! O cruel! O ye gods!
[GLOUCESTER'S eye put out.
Reg. One side will mock another; the other
Corn. If you see vengeance.
First Serv. Hold your hand, my lord:
I have served you ever since I was a child,
But better service have I never done you
Than now to bid you hold.
Reg. How now, you dog!
First Serv. If you did wear a beard upon
I'd shake it on this quarrel. What do you
Corn. My villain! [Draws.
First Serv. Nay then, come on, and take the
chance of anger. [Draws. They fight.
CORNWALL is wounded.
Reg. Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up
thus! [Takes a sword and runs
at him behind.
First Serv. O! I am slain. My lord, you
have one eye left
To see some mischief on him. O! [Dies.
Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile
Where is thy lustre now?
Glo. All dark and comfortless. Where's my
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
To quit this horrid act.
Reg. Out, treacherous villain!
Thou call'st on him that hates thee; it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us,
Who is too good to pity thee.
Glo. O my follies! Then Edgar was abus'd.
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
Reg. Go thrust him oat at gates, and let him
His way to Dover. [Exit one with GLOUCESTER.]
How is't, my lord? How look you?
Corn. I have receiv'd a hurt. Follow me,
Turn out that eyeless villain; throw this slave
Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace:
Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm.
[Exit CORNWALL led by REGAN.
Sec. Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do
If this man come to good.
Third Serv. If she live long,
And, in the end, meet the old course of death,
Women will all turn monsters.
Sec. Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get
To lead him where he would: his roguish mad-
Allows itself to any thing.
Third Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax,
and whites of eggs,
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help
him! [Exeunt severally