King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 6

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EDGAR

130How now, brother Edmund? What serious contemplation are you in?

EDGAR

Hello, brother Edmund. What are you thinking about so seriously?

EDMUND

I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.

EDMUND

I was thinking about what an astrologer predicted the other day. He wrote about what these eclipses mean.

EDGAR

Do you busy yourself about that?

EDGAR

Are you spending your valuable time on that?

EDMUND

135I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily — as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent, death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities, divisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles, needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.

EDMUND

Oh, I assure you the things he writes about are wretched —things like divisions between parents and children, death, famine, broken friendships, political rebellion, treason against the king and noblemen, exiled friends, dissolved armies, adultery, and I don’t know what else.

EDGAR

How long have you been a sectary astronomical?

EDGAR

How long have you believed in astrology?

EDMUND

Come, come. When saw you my father last?

EDMUND

Come on. When was the last time you saw my father?

EDGAR

Why, the night gone by.

EDGAR

Why, last night.

EDMUND

Spake you with him?

EDMUND

Did you speak to him?

EDGAR

145Ay, two hours together.

EDGAR

Yes, we talked for a couple of hours.

EDMUND

Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance?

EDMUND

Did you leave on good terms? Did he express any dissatisfaction with you, either in his words or his face?

EDGAR

None at all.

EDGAR

No, none at all.

EDMUND

Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him. And at my entreaty forbear his presence till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.

EDMUND

Try to remember how you might have offended him, and try to avoid spending time with him until his anger has cooled a little. Right now he’s so angry that even if he harmed you physically, he’d still be raging.