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  Act 5 Scene 3

page Act 5 Scene 3 Page 3

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I do require them of you, so to use them
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.
tody of them so I can do what’s best out of concern for their honor and the safety of the kingdom.

EDMUND

   Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable king
50To some retention and appointed guard—
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more—
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
An turn our impressed lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the queen,
55My reason all the same, and they are ready
Tomorrow or at further space t' appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time
We sweat and bleed. The friend hath lost his friend,
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are cursed
60By those that feel their sharpness.
The question of Cordelia and her father
Requires a fitter place.

EDMUND

Sir, I decided it was appropriate to send the pathetic old king to a guarded prison cell. His old age and his title make him so popular among the commoners that I was worried our enlisted soldiers would turn against us on his behalf. I sent the French queen with him too, for the same reason. They’re ready to meet with you tomorrow, or whenever you like, wherever you’d like to hold your hearing. These are difficult times. Many have lost friends in battle, and soldiers will curse even a justified war if it causes them pain. We need a more appropriate place to discuss Cordelia and her father.

ALBANY

I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.

ALBANY

I’m sorry, sir, but in this war I consider you a subordinate, not my equal.

REGAN

   That’s as we list to grace him.
65Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers,
Bore the commission of my place and person—
The which immediacy may well stand up
And call itself your brother.

REGAN

That’s for to me to decide. You might have asked my opinion before saying something so rude. Edmund has led our forces well, and implemented my wishes—and his close connection with me gives him the right to be considered your equal.

GONERIL

     Not so hot.
70In his own grace he doth exalt himself
More than in your addition.

GONERIL

Not so fast. He has distinguished himself as a great soldier in his own right, deserving more than any honor your can bestow on him.

REGAN

     In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best.

REGAN

I’m the one who gave him his military commission, and it is as my proxy that he fought bravely.