Abridged King Lear/#8/Quarrel/Act 2, Scene 2

The scene is Gloucester’s castle.  Kent and Oswald are both on stage, each
waiting for a response to the letters they separately delivered to Regan.  They quickly let each other know that they
don’t care for each other, hurling insults freely.  It gets to the point where Kent draws his
sword, saying “draw, you rogue, for though it be night, yet the moon
shines.”  Kent beats up Oswald.  Oswald cries “Help, ho! Murder! Help!”  Edmund, Regan, Cornwall and Gloucester
enter.  Gloucester cries “What’s the
matter here?”  Cornwall asks ‘What is
your difference? Speak.”  Oswald replies
“I am scarce in breath, my lord.”
Cornwall yells “Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?”  Oswald says “I have spared this ancient
ruffian, this gray beard.”  Kent comes
back with “Spare my gray beard, you wagtail.”
Cornwall cries “Peace, sirrah!”
He asks Kent “Why art thou angry?”
Kent replies “That such a slave as this should wear a sword, who wears
no honesty.”  Cornwall says to Oswald
“What was th’ offense you gave him?”
Oswald replies “I never gave him any.”
Directing his comments to Kent, Cornwall says “Fetch forth the
stocks.  There shall he sit till
noon.”  Regan snaps “Till noon?  Till night, my lord, and all night,
too.”  The stocks are brought in.  Gloucester says “Let me beseech your Grace
not to do so.  The King must take it ill
that he, so slightly valued in his messenger, should have him thus
restrained.”  Regan cries “Put in his
legs.”  Kent is put in the stocks.  All but Gloucester and Kent exit.  Gloucester says “I am sorry for thee,
friend.”  Kent says “Pray, do not, sir.
Some time I shall sleep out; the rest I’ll whistle.”  Gloucester says “’Twill be ill taken,” and
exits.  Kent takes out a letter, saying
“I know ‘tis from Cordelia, who hath most fortunately been informed of my
obscured course, and shall find time to give losses their remedies.  Fortune, good night.”

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