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Speeches (Lines) for Duke of Cornwall
in "King Lear"

Total: 53

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.

Duke of Cornwall. How now, my noble friend? Since I came hither
(Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.



Regan. No marvel then though he were ill affected.
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have th' expense and waste of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform'd of them, and with such cautions
That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

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



Earl of Gloucester. He did bewray his practice, and receiv'd
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Duke of Cornwall. Is he pursued?



Earl of Gloucester. Ay, my good lord.

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.



Earl of Gloucester. For him I thank your Grace.

Duke of Cornwall. You know not why we came to visit you-



Earl of Gloucester. Weapons? arms? What's the matter here?

Duke of Cornwall. Keep peace, upon your lives!
He dies that strikes again. What is the matter?



Regan. The messengers from our sister and the King

Duke of Cornwall. What is your difference? Speak.



Earl of Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour. You cowardly
rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Duke of Cornwall. Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a man?



Earl of Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir. A stonecutter or a painter could not have
made him so ill, though he had been but two hours at the trade.

Duke of Cornwall. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?



Earl of Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if
you'll give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into
mortar and daub the walls of a jakes with him. 'Spare my grey
beard,' you wagtail?

Duke of Cornwall. Peace, sirrah!
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?



Earl of Kent. Yes, sir, but anger hath a privilege.

Duke of Cornwall. Why art thou angry?



Earl of Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these,
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
Which are too intrinse t' unloose; smooth every passion
That in the natures of their lords rebel,
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
Knowing naught (like dogs) but following.
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, an I had you upon Sarum Plain,
I'ld drive ye cackling home to Camelot.

Duke of Cornwall. What, art thou mad, old fellow?



Earl of Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and such a knave.

Duke of Cornwall. Why dost thou call him knave? What is his fault?



Earl of Kent. His countenance likes me not.

Duke of Cornwall. No more perchance does mine, or his, or hers.



Earl of Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain.
I have seen better faces in my time
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.

Duke of Cornwall. This is some fellow
Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb
Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he!
An honest mind and plain- he must speak truth!
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know which in this plainness
Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends
Than twenty silly-ducking observants
That stretch their duties nicely.



Earl of Kent. Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity,
Under th' allowance of your great aspect,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phoebus' front-

Duke of Cornwall. What mean'st by this?



Earl of Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I
know, sir, I am no flatterer. He that beguil'd you in a plain
accent was a plain knave, which, for my part, I will not be,
though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to't.

Duke of Cornwall. What was th' offence you gave him?



Earl of Kent. None of these rogues and cowards
But Ajax is their fool.

Duke of Cornwall. Fetch forth the stocks!
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent braggart,
We'll teach you-



Earl of Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn.
Call not your stocks for me. I serve the King;
On whose employment I was sent to you.
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.

Duke of Cornwall. Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honour,
There shall he sit till noon.



Regan. Sir, being his knave, I will.

Duke of Cornwall. This is a fellow of the selfsame colour
Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks!



Earl of Gloucester. Let me beseech your Grace not to do so.
His fault is much, and the good King his master
Will check him for't. Your purpos'd low correction
Is such as basest and contemn'dest wretches
For pilf'rings and most common trespasses
Are punish'd with. The King must take it ill
That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
Should have him thus restrain'd.

Duke of Cornwall. I'll answer that.



Lear. Good morrow to you both.

Duke of Cornwall. Hail to your Grace!



Lear. [rises] Never, Regan!
She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart.
All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!

Duke of Cornwall. Fie, sir, fie!



Lear. Who put my man i' th' stocks?

Duke of Cornwall. What trumpet's that?



Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrowed pride
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
Out, varlet, from my sight!

Duke of Cornwall. What means your Grace?



Lear. O sides, you are too tough!
Will you yet hold? How came my man i' th' stocks?

Duke of Cornwall. I set him there, sir; but his own disorders
Deserv'd much less advancement.



(stage directions). Exeunt Lear, Gloucester, Kent, and Fool. Storm and tempest.

Duke of Cornwall. Let us withdraw; 'twill be a storm.



Goneril. So am I purpos'd.
Where is my Lord of Gloucester?

Duke of Cornwall. Followed the old man forth.
[Enter Gloucester.]
He is return'd.



Earl of Gloucester. The King is in high rage.

Duke of Cornwall. Whither is he going?



Earl of Gloucester. He calls to horse, but will I know not whither.

Duke of Cornwall. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself.



Regan. O, sir, to wilful men
The injuries that they themselves procure
Must be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors.
He is attended with a desperate train,
And what they may incense him to, being apt
To have his ear abus'd, wisdom bids fear.

Duke of Cornwall. Shut up your doors, my lord: 'tis a wild night.
My Regan counsels well. Come out o' th' storm. [Exeunt.]



(stage directions). Enter Cornwall and Edmund.

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.

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!

Duke of Cornwall. Go with me to the Duchess.



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

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



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.

Duke of Cornwall. I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt find a dearer
father in my love.



(stage directions). Enter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, [Edmund the] Bastard, and Servants.

Duke of Cornwall. [to Goneril] Post speedily to my lord your husband, show him
this letter. The army of France is landed.- Seek out the traitor



Goneril. Pluck out his eyes.

Duke of 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 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.]
How now? Where's the King?



Oswald. My Lord of Gloucester hath convey'd 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 dependants,
Are gone with him towards Dover, where they boast
To have well-armed friends.

Duke of Cornwall. Get horses for your mistress.



Goneril. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.

Duke of Cornwall. Edmund, farewell. [Exeunt Goneril, Edmund, and Oswald.]
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 court'sy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. [Enter Gloucester, brought in by two or three.]
Who's there? the traitor?



Regan. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.

Duke of Cornwall. Bind fast his corky arms.



Earl of Gloucester. What mean, your Graces? Good my friends, consider
You are my guests. Do me no foul play, friends.

Duke of Cornwall. Bind him, I say.



Earl of Gloucester. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.

Duke of Cornwall. To this chair bind him. Villain, thou shalt find-



Earl of 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 favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?

Duke of Cornwall. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?



Regan. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth.

Duke of Cornwall. And what confederacy have you with the traitors
Late footed in the kingdom?



Earl of Gloucester. I have a letter guessingly set down,
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
And not from one oppos'd.

Duke of Cornwall. Cunning.



Regan. And false.

Duke of Cornwall. Where hast thou sent the King?



Regan. Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at peril-

Duke of Cornwall. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.



Earl of Gloucester. Because I would not see thy cruel nails
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 endur'd, would have buoy'd up
And quench'd the steeled fires.
Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
Thou shouldst have said, 'Good porter, turn the key.'
All cruels else subscrib'd. But I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.

Duke of Cornwall. See't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold the chair.
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.



Regan. One side will mock another. Th' other too!

Duke of Cornwall. If you see vengeance-



Regan. What do you mean?

Duke of Cornwall. My villain! Draw and fight.



Servant 1. O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
To see some mischief on him. O! He dies.

Duke of Cornwall. Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
Where is thy lustre now?



Regan. Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
His way to Dover. [Exit one with Gloucester.]
How is't, my lord? How look you?

Duke of Cornwall. I have receiv'd 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.

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