King Lear Translation Act 3, Scene 3
Enter GLOUCESTER and EDMUND the bastard, with lights
Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing. When I desire their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house, charged me on pain of their perpetual displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
Alas, alas, Edmund, I don't like this horrible business. When I asked the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall if I could help the king and give him shelter, they took away my command of my own house and ordered me to never speak of him, lobby on his behalf, or help him in any way, or else I should suffer their permanent anger.
Most savage and unnatural!
How savage and unnatural!
Go to, say you nothing. There’s a division betwixt the dukes. And a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night. 'Tis dangerous to be spoken. I have locked the letter in my closet. These injuries the king now bears will be revenged home. There’s part of a poweralready 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 perceived. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. Though I die for it—as no less is threatened me—the kingmy old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund. Pray you, be careful.
Oh well, say nothing about this. There is a quarrel between the two dukes. And there's worse news than that: I received a letter tonight. It's dangerous to discuss. I've locked the letter in my bedroom. The injuries done to the king will be thoroughly avenged. Armed forces have already landed. We must side with the king. I will find him and secretly help him. You go and talk to the duke, so he won't notice that I'm helping the king. If he asks for me, say that I'm ill and have gone to bed. Even if I must die for it—as they've threatened—I must help the king, my old master. There is something strange coming, Edmund. Please, 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.
I'll tell the duke right now about this forbidden kindness to the king, and about that letter too. Betraying my father is something that will get me a reward: it will win me everything my father will lose—which is everything he has. The young will rise when the old fall.