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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act III. Scene III.

King Lear

A Room in GLOUCESTER’S Castle.


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

Edm.Most savage, and unnatural!

Glo.Go to; say you nothing. There is division between the dukes, and a worse matter than that. I have received a letter this night; ’tis dangerous to be spoken; I have locked 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. If I die for it, as no less is threatened me, the king, my old master, must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.[Exit.

Edm.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.