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  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 3

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EDMUND

Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand ’s auspicious mistress—

EDMUND

He was standing here in the dark with his sword pointing at me. He was mumbling some black magic spells, appealing to the moon to help him in his evil plans—

GLOUCESTER

But where is he?

GLOUCESTER

But where is he?

EDMUND

45Look, sir, I bleed.

EDMUND

Look, sir, I’m bleeding.

GLOUCESTER

   Where is the villain, Edmund?

GLOUCESTER

Where is the villain, Edmund?

EDMUND

Fled this way, sir, when by no means he could—

EDMUND

He ran out that way, sir, when he couldn’t—

GLOUCESTER

Pursue him, ho! Go after.

GLOUCESTER

Follow him, now! Go.
Exeunt some servants
Some servants exit.
    “By no means” what?
When he couldn’t what?

EDMUND

Persuade me to the murder of your lordship,
But that I told him the revenging gods
50'Gainst parricides did all the thunder bend,
Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to th' father. Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
55With his preparèd sword he charges home
My unprovided body, latched mine arm.
And when he saw my best alarumed spirits,
Bold in the quarrel’s right, roused to the encounter,
Or whether ghasted by the noise I made,
60Full suddenly he fled.

EDMUND

When he couldn’t persuade me to kill you. I told him that the gods hate men who kill their fathers and unleash all their thunder on them, and that the bond between father and child was sacred. In short, when I told him how firmly opposed I was to his hideous plan, he pulled out his sword and lunged at my defenseless body, cutting my arm. Bolstered by righteousness, I prepared to fight, and when he saw my excitement—or perhaps because my shouting scared him—he ran away suddenly.

GLOUCESTER

   Let him fly far.
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught.
And found—dispatch. The noble duke my master,
My worthy arch and patron, comes tonight.

GLOUCESTER

Let him run far away. If he stays in this country he’ll be found. And if he’s caught, he’ll be executed. The Duke of Cornwall, my master and patron, is arriving tonight. On his authority I’ll proclaim that whoever finds Edgar and helps bring the murderous coward to