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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 5 Easiest-to-Read Edition

Gloucester's castle

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 4, Scene 5


 

King Lear Act 4 Scene 5

Enter REGAN and the steward OSWALD

Enter REGAN and the steward OSWALD

REGAN

But are my brotherís powers set forth?

 

REGAN

But are my brotherís powers set forth?

 

OSWALD

     Ay, madam.

 

OSWALD

     Ay, madam.

 

REGAN

Himself in person there?

 

REGAN

Himself in person there?

 

OSWALD

Madam, with much ado.

Your sister is the better soldier.

 

OSWALD

Madam, with much ado.

Your sister is the better soldier.

 

REGAN

Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?

 

REGAN

Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?

 

OSWALD

No, madam.

 

OSWALD

No, madam.

 

REGAN

What might import my sisterís letter to him?

 

REGAN

What might import my sisterís letter to him?

 

OSWALD

I know not, lady.

 

OSWALD

I know not, lady.

 

REGAN

Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.

It was great ignorance, Gloucesterís eyes being out,

To let him live. Where he arrives he moves

All hearts against us. Edmund I think is gone

In pity of his misery to dispatch

His nighted life; moreover to descry

dispatch his nighted life=kill Gloucesterís darkened life

descry=discover

The strength o' th' enemy.

 

REGAN

Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.

It was great ignorance, Gloucesterís eyes being out,

To let him live. Where he arrives he moves

All hearts against us. Edmund I think is gone

In pity of his misery to dispatch

His nighted life; moreover to descry

The strength o' th' enemy.

 

OSWALD

I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.

 

OSWALD

I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.

 

REGAN

Our troops set forth tomorrow. Stay with us.

The ways are dangerous.

 

REGAN

Our troops set forth tomorrow. Stay with us.

The ways are dangerous.

 

OSWALD

   I may not, madam.

My lady charged my duty in this business.

 

OSWALD

   I may not, madam.

My lady charged my duty in this business.

 

REGAN

Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you

Transport her purposes by word? Belike

Some thingsóI know not what. Iíll love thee much.

Let me unseal the letter.

 

REGAN

Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you

Transport her purposes by word? Belike

Some thingsóI know not what. Iíll love thee much.

Let me unseal the letter.

 

OSWALD

   Madam, I had ratheró

 

OSWALD

   Madam, I had ratheró

 

REGAN

I know your lady does not love her husband.

I am sure of that. And at her late being here

She gave strange oeillades and most speaking looks

oeillades=amorous glances

To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.

of her bosom=in her confidence

 

REGAN

I know your lady does not love her husband.

I am sure of that. And at her late being here

She gave strange oeillades and most speaking looks

To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.

 

OSWALD

I, madam?

 

OSWALD

I, madam?

 

REGAN

I speak in understanding. Y' are. I know ít.

Therefore I do advise you, take this note.

note=Reganís own letter to Edmund

My lord is dead. Edmund and I have talked,

And more convenient is he for my hand

convenient=appropriate

for my hand=to marry me

Than for your ladyís. You may gather more.

your ladyís=Gonerilís

If you do find him, pray you give him this.

him=Edmund

And when your mistress hears thus much from you,

I pray desire her call her wisdom to her.

(think twice)

So fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,

Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

preferment=advancement

 

REGAN

I speak in understanding. Y' are. I know ít.

Therefore I do advise you, take this note.

My lord is dead. Edmund and I have talked,

And more convenient is he for my hand

Than for your ladyís. You may gather more.

If you do find him, pray you give him this.

And when your mistress hears thus much from you,

I pray desire her call her wisdom to her.

So fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,

Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

 

OSWALD

Would I could meet him, madam, I should show

What party I do follow.

(Oswald would not cut him off, since he is loyal to Goneril)

 

OSWALD

Would I could meet him, madam, I should show

What party I do follow.

 

REGAN

   Fare thee well.

 

REGAN

   Fare thee well.

 

Exeunt severally

Exeunt severally

 

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