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Speeches (Lines) for Oswald
in "King Lear"

Total: 38

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



Goneril. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?

Oswald. Ay, madam.



(stage directions). [Horns within.]

Oswald. He's coming, madam; I hear him.



Goneril. Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows. I'd have it come to question.
If he distaste it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine I know in that are one,
Not to be overrul'd. Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd
With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd.
Remember what I have said.

Oswald. Very well, madam.



Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me. If I like thee no worse after
dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner!
Where's my knave? my fool? Go you and call my fool hither.
[Exit an attendant.]
[Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?

Oswald. So please you- Exit.



Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you and tell my
daughter I would speak with her. [Exit Knight.] Go you, call
hither my fool.
[Exit an Attendant.]
[Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
O, you, sir, you! Come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir?

Oswald. My lady's father.



Lear. 'My lady's father'? My lord's knave! You whoreson dog! you
slave! you cur!

Oswald. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.



(stage directions). [Strikes him.]

Oswald. I'll not be strucken, my lord.



Goneril. Safer than trust too far.
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart.
What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister.
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have show'd th' unfitness- [Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
How now, Oswald?
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?

Oswald. Yes, madam.



(stage directions). Enter Kent and [Oswald the] Steward, severally.

Oswald. Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?



Earl of Kent. Ay.

Oswald. Where may we set our horses?



Earl of Kent. I' th' mire.

Oswald. Prithee, if thou lov'st me, tell me.



Earl of Kent. I love thee not.

Oswald. Why then, I care not for thee.



Earl of Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury Pinfold, I would make thee care for

Oswald. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.



Earl of Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Oswald. What dost thou know me for?



Earl of Kent. A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud,
shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy,
worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking, whoreson,
glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of
good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave,
beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch;
one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny the
least syllable of thy addition.

Oswald. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one
that's neither known of thee nor knows thee!



Earl of Kent. What a brazen-fac'd varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me!
Is it two days ago since I beat thee and tripp'd up thy heels
before the King? [Draws his sword.] Draw, you rogue! for, though
it be night, yet the moon shines. I'll make a sop o' th'
moonshine o' you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barbermonger!

Oswald. Away! I have nothing to do with thee.



Earl of Kent. Draw, you rascal! You come with letters against the King, and
take Vanity the puppet's part against the royalty of her father.
Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks! Draw, you
rascal! Come your ways!

Oswald. Help, ho! murther! help!



Earl of Kent. Strike, you slave! Stand, rogue! Stand, you neat slave!
Strike! [Beats him.]

Oswald. Help, ho! murther! murther!



Duke of Cornwall. What is your difference? Speak.

Oswald. I am scarce in breath, my lord.



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

Oswald. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar'd
At suit of his grey beard-



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

Oswald. I never gave him any.
It pleas'd the King his master very late
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd
And put upon him such a deal of man
That worthied him, got praises of the King
For him attempting who was self-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.



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.



Goneril. Welcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husband
Not met us on the way. [Enter Oswald the Steward.]
Now, where's your master?

Oswald. Madam, within, but never man so chang'd.
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 treachery
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 him;
What like, offensive.



Goneril. My most dear Gloucester!
O, the difference of man and man!
To thee a woman's services are due;
My fool usurps my body.

Oswald. Madam, here comes my lord. Exit.



Regan. But are my brother's pow'rs set forth?

Oswald. Ay, madam.



Regan. Himself in person there?

Oswald. Madam, with much ado.
Your sister is the better soldier.



Regan. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?

Oswald. No, madam.



Regan. What might import my sister's letter to him?

Oswald. I know not, lady.



Regan. Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
To let him live. Where he arrives he moves
All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone,
In pity of his misery, to dispatch
His nighted life; moreover, to descry
The strength o' th' enemy.

Oswald. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.



Regan. Our troops set forth to-morrow. Stay with us.
The ways are dangerous.

Oswald. I may not, madam.
My lady charg'd my duty in this business.



Regan. Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Something- I know not what- I'll love thee much-
Let me unseal the letter.

Oswald. Madam, I had rather-



Regan. I know your lady does not love her husband;
I am sure of that; and at her late being here
She gave strange eyeliads and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.

Oswald. I, madam?



Regan. I speak in understanding. Y'are! I know't.
Therefore I do advise you take this note.
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd,
And more convenient is he for my hand
Than for your lady's. You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you give him this;
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray desire her call her wisdom to her.
So farewell.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

Oswald. Would I could meet him, madam! I should show
What party I do follow.



(stage directions). Enter [Oswald the] Steward.

Oswald. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!
That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh
To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
Briefly thyself remember. The sword is out
That must destroy thee.



(stage directions). [Edgar interposes.]

Oswald. Wherefore, bold peasant,
Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence!
Lest that th' infection of his fortune take
Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.



Edgar. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'cagion.

Oswald. Let go, slave, or thou diest!



Edgar. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor voke pass. An chud
ha' bin zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' bin zo long as
'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man. Keep out,
che vore ye, or Ise try whether your costard or my ballow be the
harder. Chill be plain with you.

Oswald. Out, dunghill!



(stage directions). [Oswald falls.]

Oswald. Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
And give the letters which thou find'st about me
To Edmund Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out
Upon the British party. O, untimely death! Death!

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