• Enter CORNWALL and EDMUND

    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.

    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 reprovable badness in himself.

    EDMUND

    How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! (giving CORNWALL a letter) This is the letter which 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!

    CORNWALL

    Go with me to the duchess.

    EDMUND

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

    CORNWALL

    15True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

    EDMUND

    (aside) If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.(to CORNWALL) I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.

    CORNWALL

    I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love.
    Exeunt
  • CORNWALL enters with EDMUND.

    CORNWALL

    I’ll get my revenge before I leave this house.

    EDMUND

    I’m afraid to think how I’ll be criticized for letting my natural affection for my father give way to my loyalty to you.

    CORNWALL

    Now I realize your brother tried to kill your father not just because your brother is an evil man, but because your father deserved it by being wicked himself.

    EDMUND

    How unlucky am I, having to apologize for doing the right thing! (giving CORNWALL a letter) This is the letter he was talking about, and it confirms he was a spy for France. Oh God, I wish he had never betrayed us, or that I hadn’t been the one to discover his treason.

    CORNWALL

    Come with me to see the duchess.

    EDMUND

    If this letter’s right, you’ve got a lot to deal with.

    CORNWALL

    Right or not, it’s made you the Earl of Gloucester. Go find your father and let him know we’re going to arrest him.

    EDMUND

    (to himself) If I catch my father helping the king, he’ll seem even more guily. (to CORNWALL) I’ll do what I must loyally, even though it pains me to take action against my father.

    CORNWALL

    I put my trust in you. You’ll see that I’m a better father to you than Gloucester.
    They exit.