Act 3 Scene 7

Scene 7

[Enter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Edmund, the Bastard,
and Servants.]


CORNWALL , [to Goneril]  Post speedily to my lord your
 husband. Show him this letter.  [He gives her a
 paper.] 
The army of France is landed.—Seek out
 the traitor Gloucester. [Some Servants exit.]


[5]REGAN  Hang him instantly.

GONERIL  Pluck out his eyes.

CORNWALL  Leave him to my displeasure.—Edmund,
 keep you our sister company. The revenges we are
 bound to take upon your traitorous father are not
[10]  fit for your beholding. Advise the Duke, where you
 are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are
 bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and
 intelligent betwixt us.—Farewell, dear sister.—
 Farewell, my lord of Gloucester.


[Enter Oswald, the Steward.]


[15]  How now? Where’s the King?

OSWALD 
 My lord of Gloucester hath conveyed him hence.
 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 dependents,
[20]  Are gone with him toward Dover, where they boast
 To have well-armèd friends.

CORNWALL  Get horses for your mistress.
[Oswald exits.]

GONERIL  Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.

CORNWALL 
 Edmund, farewell. [Goneril and Edmund exit.]
[25]  Go seek the traitor Gloucester.
 Pinion him like a thief; bring him before us.
[Some Servants exit.]
 Though well we may not pass upon his life
 Without the form of justice, yet our power
 Shall do a court’sy to our wrath, which men
[30]  May blame but not control.


[Enter Gloucester and Servants.]


 Who’s there? The
 traitor?


REGAN  Ingrateful fox! ’Tis he.

CORNWALL  Bind fast his corky arms.

[35]GLOUCESTER 
 What means your Graces? Good my friends,
 consider
 You are my guests; do me no foul play, friends.

CORNWALL 
 Bind him, I say.

REGAN   Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!

[40]GLOUCESTER 
 Unmerciful lady as you are, I’m none.

CORNWALL 
 To this chair bind him. [Servants bind Gloucester.]
 Villain, thou shalt find—
[Regan plucks Gloucester’s beard.]

GLOUCESTER 
 By the kind gods, ’tis most ignobly done
 To pluck me by the beard.

[45]REGAN 
 So white, and such a traitor?

GLOUCESTER   Naughty lady,
 These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
 Will quicken and accuse thee. I am your host;
 With robber’s hands my hospitable favors
[50]  You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?

CORNWALL 
 Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?

REGAN 
 Be simple-answered, for we know the truth.

CORNWALL 
 And what confederacy have you with the traitors
 Late footed in the kingdom?

[55]REGAN   To whose hands
 You have sent the lunatic king. Speak.

GLOUCESTER 
 I have a letter guessingly set down


 Which came from one that’s of a neutral heart,
 And not from one opposed.

[60]CORNWALL  Cunning.

REGAN  And false.

CORNWALL  Where hast thou sent the King?

GLOUCESTER  To Dover.

REGAN 
 Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at
[65]  peril—

CORNWALL 
 Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer that.

GLOUCESTER 
 I am tied to th’ stake, and I must stand the course.

REGAN  Wherefore to Dover?

GLOUCESTER 
 Because I would not see thy cruel nails
[70]  Pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
 In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
 The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
 In hell-black night endured, would have buoyed up
 And quenched the stellèd fires;
[75]  Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
 If wolves had at thy gate howled that stern time,
 Thou shouldst have said “Good porter, turn the
 key.”
 All cruels else subscribe. But I shall see
[80]  The wingèd vengeance overtake such children.

CORNWALL 
 See ’t shalt thou never.—Fellows, hold the chair.—
 Upon these eyes of thine I’ll set my foot.

GLOUCESTER 
 He that will think to live till he be old,
 Give me some help!
[As Servants hold the chair, Cornwall forces out
one of Gloucester’s eyes.]
[85]  O cruel! O you gods!


REGAN 
 One side will mock another. Th’ other too.

CORNWALL 
 If you see vengeance—

FIRST SERVANT   Hold your hand,
 my lord.
[90]  I have served you ever since I was a child,
 But better service have I never done you
 Than now to bid you hold.

REGAN   How now, you dog?

FIRST SERVANT 
 If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
[95]  I’d shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?

CORNWALL  My villain? [Draw and fight.]

FIRST SERVANT 
 Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.

REGAN , [to an Attendant] 
 Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus?
[She takes a sword and runs
at him behind; kills him.]

FIRST SERVANT 
 O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
[100]  To see some mischief on him. O! [He dies.]

CORNWALL 
 Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
[Forcing out Gloucester’s other eye.]
 Where is thy luster now?

GLOUCESTER 
 All dark and comfortless! Where’s my son
 Edmund?—
[105]  Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
 To quit this horrid act.

REGAN   Out, treacherous villain!
 Thou call’st on him that hates thee. It was he
 That made the overture of thy treasons to us,
[110]  Who is too good to pity thee.


GLOUCESTER 
 O my follies! Then Edgar was abused.
 Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him.

REGAN 
 Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
 His way to Dover.
[Some Servants exit with Gloucester.]
[115]  How is ’t, my lord? How look you?

CORNWALL 
 I have received a hurt. Follow me, lady.—
 Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw this slave
 Upon the dunghill.—Regan, I bleed apace.
 Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm.
[Cornwall and Regan exit.]

[120]SECOND SERVANT 
 I’ll never care what wickedness I do
 If this man come to good.

THIRD SERVANT   If she live long
 And in the end meet the old course of death,
 Women will all turn monsters.

[125]SECOND SERVANT 
 Let’s follow the old earl and get the Bedlam
 To lead him where he would. His roguish madness
 Allows itself to anything.

THIRD SERVANT 
 Go thou. I’ll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
 To apply to his bleeding face. Now heaven help him!
[They exit.]



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