Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

Enter Edmund, Regan, and their powers.
Bast. Know of the Duke if his last purpose holde,
Or whether since he is aduisd by ought
To change the course , he is full of alteration
2850And selfe-reprouing, bring his constant pleasure.
Reg. Our sisters man is certainly miscarried.
Bast. Tis to be doubted Madam.
Reg. Now sweet Lord,
You know the goodnesse I intend vpon you:
2855Tell me truly, but then speake the truth,
Do you not loue my sister?
Bast. I honor'd loue.
Reg. But haue you neuer found my brothers way,
To the forefended place?
2859.1Bast. That thought abuses you.
Reg. I am doubtfull that you haue beene coniunct
And bosom'd with her, as farre as we call hers.
2860Bast. No by mine honor Madam.
Reg. I neuer shall endure her,
Deere my Lord be not familiar with her.
Bast. Feare me not, she and the Duke her husband.
Enter Albany and Gonorill with troopes.
2864.1Gon. I had rather loose the battell
Then that sister should loosen him and me.
2865Alb. Our very louing sister well be-met,
For this I heare the King is come to his daughter
With others, whom the rigour of our State
Forc'd to cry out. Where I could not be honest
2868.1I neuer yet was valiant: for this businesse
It toucheth vs, as France inuades our land
Not bolds the king, with others whom I feare,
Most iust and heauy causes make oppose.
Bast. Sir you speake nobly.
Reg. Why is this reason'd.
2870Gon. Combine together gainst the enemy,
For these domesticke doore particulars,
Are not to question heere.
Alb. Let vs then determine
With the Ancient of warre on our proceedings.
2874.1Bast. I shall attend you presently at your Tent.
2875Reg. Sister youle go with vs?
Gon. No.
Reg. Tis most conuenient, pray you go with vs.
Gon. O ho, I know the Riddle, I will go.
Enter Edgar.
Edg. If ere your Grace had speech with one so poore,
Heare me one word.
Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake.
Edg. Before you fight the battell, ope this Letter,
2885If you haue victory let the trumpet sounde
For him that brought it, wretched though I seeme,
I can produce a Champion, that will prooue
What is auouched there. If you miscarry,
Your businesse of the world hath so an end,
2890Fortune loue you.
Alb. Stay till I haue read the letter.
Edg. I was forbid it,
When time shall serue let but the Herald cry,
And Ile appeare againe.
2895Alb. Why fare thee well, I will looke ore the paper.
Enter Edmund.
Bast. The enemy's in view, draw vp your powers,
Hard is the guesse of their great strength and forces
By diligẽt discouery, but your hast is now vrgd on you
Alb. We will greet the time.
Bast. To both these sisters haue I sworne my loue,
Each iealous of the other, as the sting are of the Adder,
Which of them shall I take, both one
2905Or neither; neither can be enioy'd
If both remaine aliue: to take the Widdow,
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonorill,
And hardly shall I carry out my side
Her husband being aliue. Now then wee'l vse
2910His countenance for the battell, which being done
Let her that would be rid of him deuise
His speedy taking off: as for his mercie
Which he extends to Lear and to Cordelia,
The battell done, and they within our power,
2915Shall neuer see his pardon: for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.