Speeches (Lines) for Edmund
in "King Lear"

Total: 79

---
# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,23

Earl of Gloucester. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than
this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Though this knave came
something saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was
his mother fair, there was good sport at his making, and the
whoreson must be acknowledged.- Do you know this noble gentleman,
Edmund?

Edmund. [comes forward] No, my lord.


2

I,1,26

Earl of Gloucester. My Lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honourable
friend.

Edmund. My services to your lordship.


3

I,1,28

Earl of Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.

Edmund. Sir, I shall study deserving.


4

I,2,334

(stage directions). Enter [Edmund the] Bastard solus, [with a letter].

Edmund. Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to th' legitimate. Fine word- 'legitimate'!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th' legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!


5

I,2,361

Earl of Gloucester. Kent banish'd thus? and France in choler parted?
And the King gone to-night? subscrib'd his pow'r?
Confin'd to exhibition? All this done
Upon the gad? Edmund, how now? What news?

Edmund. So please your lordship, none.


6

I,2,364

Earl of Gloucester. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?

Edmund. I know no news, my lord.


7

I,2,366

Earl of Gloucester. What paper were you reading?

Edmund. Nothing, my lord.


8

I,2,371

Earl of Gloucester. No? What needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your
pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide
itself. Let's see. Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need
spectacles.

Edmund. I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a letter from my brother
that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have
perus'd, I find it not fit for your o'erlooking.


9

I,2,375

Earl of Gloucester. Give me the letter, sir.

Edmund. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as
in part I understand them, are to blame.


10

I,2,378

Earl of Gloucester. Let's see, let's see!

Edmund. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as
an essay or taste of my virtue.


11

I,2,392

Earl of Gloucester. [reads] 'This policy and reverence of age makes the world
bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us
till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle
and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny, who sways,
not as it hath power, but as it is suffer'd. Come to me, that
of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I
wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live
the beloved of your brother,
'EDGAR.'
Hum! Conspiracy? 'Sleep till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half
his revenue.' My son Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart
and brain to breed it in? When came this to you? Who brought it?

Edmund. It was not brought me, my lord: there's the cunning of it. I
found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.


12

I,2,395

Earl of Gloucester. You know the character to be your brother's?

Edmund. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his;
but in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.


13

I,2,398

Earl of Gloucester. It is his.

Edmund. It is his hand, my lord; but I hope his heart is not in the
contents.


14

I,2,401

Earl of Gloucester. Hath he never before sounded you in this business?

Edmund. Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit
that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father
should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.


15

I,2,408

Earl of Gloucester. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred
villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than
brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable
villain! Where is he?

Edmund. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend
your indignation against my brother till you can derive from him
better testimony of his intent, you should run a certain course;
where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his
purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour and shake
in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life
for him that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your
honour, and to no other pretence of danger.


16

I,2,417

Earl of Gloucester. Think you so?

Edmund. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall
hear us confer of this and by an auricular assurance have your
satisfaction, and that without any further delay than this very
evening.


17

I,2,422

Earl of Gloucester. He cannot be such a monster.

Edmund. Nor is not, sure.


18

I,2,427

Earl of Gloucester. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.
Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray
you; frame the business after your own wisdom. I would unstate
myself to be in a due resolution.

Edmund. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I
shall find means, and acquaint you withal.


19

I,2,442

Earl of Gloucester. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to
us. Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet
nature finds itself scourg'd by the sequent effects. Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide. In cities, mutinies; in
countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd
'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the
prediction; there's son against father: the King falls from bias
of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best
of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all
ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out
this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing; do it
carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banish'd! his
offence, honesty! 'Tis strange. Exit.

Edmund. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are
sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make
guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if
we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion;
knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance;
drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine
thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay
his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father
compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my
nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and
lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the
maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
Edgar-
[Enter Edgar.]
and pat! he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My
cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.
O, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi.


20

I,2,462

Edgar. How now, brother Edmund? What serious contemplation are you
in?

Edmund. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day,
what should follow these eclipses.


21

I,2,465

Edgar. Do you busy yourself with that?

Edmund. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily: as
of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death,
dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state,
menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless
diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts,
nuptial breaches, and I know not what.


22

I,2,472

Edgar. How long have you been a sectary astronomical?

Edmund. Come, come! When saw you my father last?


23

I,2,474

Edgar. The night gone by.

Edmund. Spake you with him?


24

I,2,476

Edgar. Ay, two hours together.

Edmund. Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by
word or countenance


25

I,2,479

Edgar. None at all.

Edmund. Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him; and at my
entreaty forbear his presence until some little time hath
qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so
rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would
scarcely allay.


26

I,2,485

Edgar. Some villain hath done me wrong.

Edmund. That's my fear. I pray you have a continent forbearance till
the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me
to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my
lord speak. Pray ye, go! There's my key. If you do stir abroad,
go arm'd.


27

I,2,491

Edgar. Arm'd, brother?

Edmund. Brother, I advise you to the best. Go arm'd. I am no honest man
if there be any good meaning toward you. I have told you what I
have seen and heard; but faintly, nothing like the image and
horror of it. Pray you, away!


28

I,2,496

Edgar. Shall I hear from you anon?

Edmund. I do serve you in this business.
[Exit Edgar.]
A credulous father! and a brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms
That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
My practices ride easy! I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
All with me's meet that I can fashion fit. Exit.


29

II,1,927

(stage directions). Enter [Edmund the] Bastard and Curan, meeting.

Edmund. Save thee, Curan.


30

II,1,931

Curan. And you, sir. I have been with your father, and given him
notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his Duchess will be
here with him this night.

Edmund. How comes that?


31

II,1,934

Curan. Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad- I mean the
whisper'd ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?

Edmund. Not I. Pray you, what are they?


32

II,1,937

Curan. Have you heard of no likely wars toward 'twixt the two Dukes
of Cornwall and Albany?

Edmund. Not a word.


33

II,1,939

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

Edmund. The Duke be here to-night? The better! best!
This weaves itself perforce into my business.
My father hath set guard to take my brother;
And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
Which I must act. Briefness and fortune, work!
Brother, a word! Descend! Brother, I say!
[Enter Edgar.]
My father watches. O sir, fly this place!
Intelligence is given where you are hid.
You have now the good advantage of the night.
Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither; now, i' th' night, i' th' haste,
And Regan with him. Have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.


34

II,1,955

Edgar. I am sure on't, not a word.

Edmund. I hear my father coming. Pardon me!
In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
Draw, seem to defend yourself; now quit you well.-
Yield! Come before my father. Light, ho, here!
Fly, brother.- Torches, torches!- So farewell.
[Exit Edgar.]
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
Of my more fierce endeavour. [Stabs his arm.] I have seen
drunkards
Do more than this in sport.- Father, father!-
Stop, stop! No help?


35

II,1,968

Earl of Gloucester. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?

Edmund. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand 's auspicious mistress.


36

II,1,972

Earl of Gloucester. But where is he?

Edmund. Look, sir, I bleed.


37

II,1,974

Earl of Gloucester. Where is the villain, Edmund?

Edmund. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could-


38

II,1,977

Earl of Gloucester. Pursue him, ho! Go after. [Exeunt some Servants].
By no means what?

Edmund. Persuade me to the murther of your lordship;
But that I told him the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to th' father- sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion
With his prepared sword he charges home
My unprovided body, lanch'd mine arm;
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to th' encounter,
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.


39

II,1,998

Earl of Gloucester. Let him fly far.
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
And found- dispatch. The noble Duke my master,
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night.
By his authority I will proclaim it
That he which find, him shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous caitiff to the stake;
He that conceals him, death.

Edmund. When I dissuaded him from his intent
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him. He replied,
'Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No. What I should deny
(As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character), I'ld turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice;
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee seek it.'


40

II,1,1034

Earl of Gloucester. I know not, madam. 'Tis too bad, too bad!

Edmund. Yes, madam, he was of that consort.


41

II,1,1045

Duke of Cornwall. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A childlike office.

Edmund. 'Twas my duty, sir.


42

II,1,1057

Duke of Cornwall. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm. Make your own purpose,
How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on.

Edmund. I shall serve you, sir,
Truly, however else.


43

II,2,1114

(stage directions). Enter Edmund, with his rapier drawn, Gloucester, Cornwall, Regan, Servants.

Edmund. How now? What's the matter? Parts [them].


44

III,3,1783

Earl of Gloucester. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing! When
I desir'd their leave that I might pity him, they took from me
the use of mine own house, charg'd me on pain of perpetual
displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any
way sustain him.

Edmund. Most savage and unnatural!


45

III,3,1795

Earl of Gloucester. Go to; say you nothing. There is division betwixt the Dukes,
and a worse matter than that. I have received a letter this
night- 'tis dangerous to be spoken- I have lock'd the letter in
my closet. These injuries the King now bears will be revenged
home; there's part of a power already footed; we must incline to
the King. I will seek him and privily relieve him. Go you and
maintain talk with the Duke, that my charity be not of him
perceived. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. Though I
die for't, as no less is threat'ned me, the King my old master
must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund.
Pray you be careful. Exit.

Edmund. This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the Duke
Instantly know, and of that letter too.
This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
That which my father loses- no less than all.
The younger rises when the old doth fall. Exit.


46

III,5,1985

Duke of Cornwall. I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.

Edmund. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to
loyalty, something fears me to think of.


47

III,5,1990

Duke of Cornwall. I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil
disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set
awork by a reproveable badness in himself.

Edmund. How malicious is my fortune that I must repent to be just!
This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an
intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that
this treason were not- or not I the detector!


48

III,5,1995

Duke of Cornwall. Go with me to the Duchess.

Edmund. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty
business in hand.


49

III,5,2000

Duke of Cornwall. True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester.
Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our
apprehension.

Edmund. [aside] If I find him comforting the King, it will stuff his
suspicion more fully.- I will persever in my course of loyalty,
though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.


50

IV,2,2365

Goneril. [to Edmund] Then shall you go no further.
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 way
May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother.
Hasten his musters and conduct his pow'rs.
I must change arms at home and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us. Ere long you are like to hear
(If you dare venture in your own behalf)
A mistress's command. Wear this. [Gives a favour.]
Spare speech.
Decline your head. This kiss, if it durst speak,
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edmund. Yours in the ranks of death! Exit.


51

V,1,3022

(stage directions). Enter, with Drum and Colours, Edmund, Regan, Gentleman, and Soldiers.

Edmund. Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold,
Or whether since he is advis'd by aught
To change the course. He's full of alteration
And self-reproving. Bring his constant pleasure.


52

V,1,3028

Regan. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.

Edmund. Tis to be doubted, madam.


53

V,1,3033

Regan. Now, sweet lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you.
Tell me- but truly- but then speak the truth-
Do you not love my sister?

Edmund. In honour'd love.


54

V,1,3036

Regan. But have you never found my brother's way
To the forfended place?

Edmund. That thought abuses you.


55

V,1,3039

Regan. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.

Edmund. No, by mine honour, madam.


56

V,1,3042

Regan. I never shall endure her. Dear my lord,
Be not familiar with her.

Edmund. Fear me not.
She and the Duke her husband!
Enter, with Drum and Colours, Albany, Goneril, Soldiers.


57

V,1,3055

Duke of Albany. Our very loving sister, well bemet.
Sir, this I hear: the King is come to his daughter,
With others whom the rigour of our state
Forc'd to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant. For this business,
It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the King, with others whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

Edmund. Sir, you speak nobly.


58

V,1,3062

Duke of Albany. Let's then determine
With th' ancient of war on our proceeding.

Edmund. I shall attend you presently at your tent.


59

V,1,3086

(stage directions). Enter Edmund.

Edmund. The enemy 's in view; draw up your powers.
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
By diligent discovery; but your haste
Is now urg'd on you.


60

V,1,3091

Duke of Albany. We will greet the time. Exit.

Edmund. To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
If both remain alive. To take the widow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle, which being done,
Let her who would be rid of him devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia-
The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall never see his pardon; for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate. Exit.


61

V,3,3123

(stage directions). Enter, in conquest, with Drum and Colours, Edmund; Lear and Cordelia as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain.

Edmund. Some officers take them away. Good guard
Until their greater pleasures first be known
That are to censure them.


62

V,3,3143

Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness. So we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too-
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out-
And take upon 's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies; and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by th' moon.

Edmund. Take them away.


63

V,3,3151

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven
And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes.
The goodyears shall devour 'em, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep! We'll see 'em starv'd first.
Come. Exeunt [Lear and Cordelia, guarded].

Edmund. Come hither, Captain; hark.
Take thou this note [gives a paper]. Go follow them to prison.
One step I have advanc'd thee. If thou dost
As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
To noble fortunes. Know thou this, that men
Are as the time is. To be tender-minded
Does not become a sword. Thy great employment
Will not bear question. Either say thou'lt do't,
Or thrive by other means.


64

V,3,3161

Captain. I'll do't, my lord.

Edmund. About it! and write happy when th' hast done.
Mark- I say, instantly; and carry it so
As I have set it down.


65

V,3,3173

Duke of Albany. Sir, you have show'd to-day your valiant strain,
And fortune led you well. You have the captives
Who were the opposites of this day's strife.
We do require them of you, so to use them
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.

Edmund. Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable King
To some retention and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen,
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at further space, t' appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time
We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
By those that feel their sharpness.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.


66

V,3,3214

Duke of Albany. The let-alone lies not in your good will.

Edmund. Nor in thine, lord.


67

V,3,3236

Goneril. [aside] If not, I'll ne'er trust medicine.

Edmund. There's my exchange [throws down a glove]. What in the world
he is
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
Call by thy trumpet. He that dares approach,
On him, on you, who not? I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.


68

V,3,3243

Duke of Albany. A herald, ho!

Edmund. A herald, ho, a herald!


69

V,3,3257

Herald. [reads] 'If any man of quality or degree within the lists of
the army will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloucester,
that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third sound
of the trumpet. He is bold in his defence.'

Edmund. Sound! First trumpet.


70

V,3,3273

Edgar. What's he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester?

Edmund. Himself. What say'st thou to him?


71

V,3,3290

Edgar. Draw thy sword,
That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice. Here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession. I protest-
Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Despite thy victor sword and fire-new fortune,
Thy valour and thy heart- thou art a traitor;
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father;
Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince;
And from th' extremest upward of thy head
To the descent and dust beneath thy foot,
A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou 'no,'
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Thou liest.

Edmund. In wisdom I should ask thy name;
But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
Back do I toss those treasons to thy head;
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Which- for they yet glance by and scarcely bruise-
This sword of mine shall give them instant way
Where they shall rest for ever. Trumpets, speak!


72

V,3,3318

(stage directions). [Exit an Officer.]

Edmund. What, you have charg'd me with, that have I done,
And more, much more. The time will bring it out.
'Tis past, and so am I.- But what art thou
That hast this fortune on me? If thou'rt noble,
I do forgive thee.


73

V,3,3331

Edgar. Let's exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
If more, the more th' hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us.
The dark and vicious place where thee he got
Cost him his eyes.

Edmund. Th' hast spoken right; 'tis true.
The wheel is come full circle; I am here.


74

V,3,3359

Edgar. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale;
And when 'tis told, O that my heart would burst!
The bloody proclamation to escape
That follow'd me so near (O, our lives' sweetness!
That with the pain of death would hourly die
Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift
Into a madman's rags, t' assume a semblance
That very dogs disdain'd; and in this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair;
Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him
Until some half hour past, when I was arm'd,
Not sure, though hoping of this good success,
I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last
Told him my pilgrimage. But his flaw'd heart
(Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
Burst smilingly.

Edmund. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
And shall perchance do good; but speak you on;
You look as you had something more to say.


75

V,3,3394

Gentleman. Your lady, sir, your lady! and her sister
By her is poisoned; she hath confess'd it.

Edmund. I was contracted to them both. All three
Now marry in an instant.


76

V,3,3412

Earl of Kent. Alack, why thus?

Edmund. Yet Edmund was belov'd.
The one the other poisoned for my sake,
And after slew herself.


77

V,3,3416

Duke of Albany. Even so. Cover their faces.

Edmund. I pant for life. Some good I mean to do,
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send
(Be brief in't) to the castle; for my writ
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
Nay, send in time.


78

V,3,3424

Edgar. To who, my lord? Who has the office? Send
Thy token of reprieve.

Edmund. Well thought on. Take my sword;
Give it the Captain.


79

V,3,3427

Duke of Albany. Haste thee for thy life. [Exit Edgar.]

Edmund. He hath commission from thy wife and me
To hang Cordelia in the prison and
To lay the blame upon her own despair
That she fordid herself.


Return to the "King Lear" menu

Plays + Sonnets + Poems + Concordance + Character Search + Advanced Search + About OSS