Scene II.Before the DUKE OF ALBANY'S
Enter GONERIL and EDMUND.
Gon. Welcome, my lord; I marvel our mild
Not met us on the way. [Enter OSWALD.] Now,
where's your master?
Osw. Madam, within; but never man so
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
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
What like, offensive.
Gon. [To EDMUND.] Then, shall you go no
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
May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:
I must change arms at home, and give the dis-
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us; ere long you are like to
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
[Giving a favour.
Decline your head: this kiss, if it dare speak,
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
Conceive, and fare thee well.
Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
Gon. My most dear Gloucester!
O! the difference of man and man!
To thee a woman's services are due:
My fool usurps my bed.
Osw. Madam, here comes my lord. [Exit.
Gon. I have been worth the whistle.
Alb. O Goneril!
You are not worth the dust which the rude
Blows in your face. I fear your disposition:
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither
And come to deadly use.
Gon. No more; the text is foolish.
Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem
Filths savour but themselves. What have you
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you
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 vile offences,
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.
Gon. 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 honour from thy suffering; that not
Fools do those villains pity who are punish'd
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy
France spreads his banners in our noiseless
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats,
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sitt'st still, and criest
'Alack! why does he so?'
Alb. See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman.
Gon. O vain fool!
Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for
Be-monster 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.
Gon. Marry, your manhood.Mew!
Enter a Messenger.
Alb. What news?
Mess. O! my good lord, the Duke of Corn-
Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloucester.
Alb. Gloucester's eyes!
Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead;
But not without that harmful stroke, which
Hath pluck'd him after.
Alb. 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?
Mess. Both, both, my lord.
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
'Tis from your sister.
Gon. [Aside.] 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,
This news is not so tart. [To Messenger.] I'll
read and answer. [Exit.
Alb. Where was his son when they did take
Mess. Come with my lady hither.
Alb. He is not here.
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back
Alb. Knows he the wickedness?
Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd
And quit the house on purpose that their
Might have the freer course.
Alb. Gloucester, I live
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the
And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend:
Tell me what more thou knowest. [Exeunt.