Gloucester bemoans to Edmund that Cornwall and Regan took away his command over his own house for speaking pityingly of Lear, whom they strictly forbid him to help. He tells Edmund that there are rumors of a rift between Cornwall and Albany, as well as that the French have landed. Gloucester also mysteriously says that Lear will be revenged, as a letter he has hidden away proves. Edmund immediately resolves to tell Cornwall this. (8 lines)
Enter Gloucester and Edmund with lights. GLOU. EDM.
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, or any way sustain him.
Most savage and unnatural!
Go to; say you nothing. There is division between the Dukes, and a worse matter than that. I have receiv’d 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 reveng’d home; there is part of a power already footed: we must incline to the King. I will look him and privily relieve him. Go you and maintain talk with the Duke, that my charity be not of him perceiv’d. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. If I die for’t (as no less is threat’ned me), the King my old master must be reliev’d. There is strange things toward, Edmund, pray you be careful.
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.