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King Lear

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ACT III SCENE VII Gloucester's castle. 
[Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GONERIL, EDMUND, and Servants]
CORNWALLPost speedily to my lord your husband; show him
this letter: the army of France is landed. Seek
out the villain Gloucester.
[Exeunt some of the Servants]
REGANHang him instantly.
GONERILPluck out his eyes.5
CORNWALLLeave 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 the10
like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent
betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister: farewell, my
lord of Gloucester.
[Enter OSWALD]
How now! where's the king?
OSWALDMy lord of Gloucester hath convey'd him hence:15
Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lords dependants,
Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast
To have well-armed friends.20
CORNWALLGet horses for your mistress.
GONERILFarewell, sweet lord, and sister.
CORNWALLEdmund, farewell.
[Exeunt GONERIL, EDMUND, and OSWALD]
Go seek the traitor Gloucester,
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.25
[Exeunt other Servants]
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice, yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. Who's there? the traitor?
[Enter GLOUCESTER, brought in by two or three]
REGANIngrateful fox! 'tis he.30
CORNWALLBind fast his corky arms.
GLOUCESTERWhat mean your graces? Good my friends, consider
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
CORNWALLBind him, I say.
[Servants bind him]
REGANHard, hard. O filthy traitor!35
GLOUCESTERUnmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.
CORNWALLTo this chair bind him. Villain, thou shalt find--
[REGAN plucks his beard]
GLOUCESTERBy the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.
REGANSo white, and such a traitor!40
GLOUCESTERNaughty lady,
These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host:
With robbers' hands my hospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?45
CORNWALLCome, sir, what letters had you late from France?
REGANBe simple answerer, for we know the truth.
CORNWALLAnd what confederacy have you with the traitors
Late footed in the kingdom?
REGANTo whose hands have you sent the lunatic king? Speak.50
GLOUCESTERI have a letter guessingly set down,
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
And not from one opposed.
CORNWALLCunning.
REGANAnd false.55
CORNWALLWhere hast thou sent the king?
GLOUCESTERTo Dover.
REGANWherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at peril--
CORNWALLWherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.
GLOUCESTERI am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course.60
REGANWherefore to Dover, sir?
GLOUCESTERBecause 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 head65
In hell-black night endured, would have buoy'd up,
And quench'd the stelled 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,'70
All cruels else subscribed: but I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.
CORNWALLSee't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold the chair.
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
GLOUCESTERHe that will think to live till he be old,75
Give me some help! O cruel! O you gods!
REGANOne side will mock another; the other too.
CORNWALLIf you see vengeance,--
First ServantHold your hand, my lord:
I have served you ever since I was a child;80
But better service have I never done you
Than now to bid you hold.
REGANHow now, you dog!
First ServantIf you did wear a beard upon your chin,
I'd shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?85
CORNWALLMy villain!
[They draw and fight]
First ServantNay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
REGANGive me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus!
[Takes a sword, and runs at him behind]
First ServantO, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
To see some mischief on him. O!90
[Dies]
CORNWALLLest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
Where is thy lustre now?
GLOUCESTERAll dark and comfortless. Where's my son Edmund?
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
To quit this horrid act.95
REGANOut, treacherous villain!
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.
GLOUCESTERO my follies! then Edgar was abused.100
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
REGANGo 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?
CORNWALLI have received a hurt: follow me, lady.105
Turn out that eyeless villain; throw this slave
Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace:
Untimely comes this hurt: give me your arm.
[Exit CORNWALL, led by REGAN]
Second ServantI'll never care what wickedness I do,
If this man come to good.110
Third ServantIf she live long,
And in the end meet the old course of death,
Women will all turn monsters.
Second ServantLet's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam
To lead him where he would: his roguish madness115
Allows itself to any thing.
Third ServantGo thou: I'll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!
[Exeunt severally]


King Lear, Act 4, Scene 1
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