Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

2845Enter Edmund, Regan, and their powers.
Bast. Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold,
Or whether since he is aduis'd by ought
To change the course, he's full of abdication
2850And selfe reprouing, bring his constant pleasure.
Reg. Our sisters man is certainly miscaried,
Bast. Tis to be doubted Madam,
Reg. Now sweet Lord,
You know the goodnes I intend vpon you,
2855Tell me but truly, but then speak the truth,
Doe you not loue my sister? Bast. I, honor'd loue.
Reg. But haue you neuer found my brothers way,
To the forfended place? Bast. That thought abuses you.
2859.1Reg. I am doubtfull that you haue beene coniunct and bo-
som'd with hir, as far as we call hirs.
2860Bast. No by mine honour Madam.
Reg. I neuer shall indure hir, deere my Lord bee not familiar(with her.
Bast. Feare me not, shee and the Duke her husband.
Enter Albany and Gonorill with troupes.
2864.1Gono. I had rather loose the battaile, then that sister should
loosen him nd mee.
2865Alb. Our very louing sister well be-met
For this I heare the King is come to his daughter
With others, whome the rigour of our state
Forst to crie out, where I could not be honest
2868.1I neuer yet was valiant, for this busines
It touches vs, as France inuades our land
Not bolds the King, with others whome I feare,
Most iust and heauy causes make oppose.
Bast. Sir you speake nobly. Reg. Why is this reason'd?
2870Gono. Combine togither gainst the enemy,
For these domestique dore particulars
Are not to question here.
Alb. Let vs then determine with the auntient of warre on our
proceedings. Bast. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
2875Reg. Sister you'l goe with vs? Gon. No.
Reg. Tis most conuenient, pray you goe with vs.
Gon. O ho, I know the riddle, I will goe. 2880 Enter Edgar
Edg. If ere your Grace had speech with man so poore,
Heare me one word. Exeunt.
Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake.
Edg. Before you fight the battell ope this letter,
2885If you haue victory let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it, wretched though I seeme,
I can produce a champion that will proue
What is auowched there, if you miscary,
Your busines 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. Exit.
2895Alb. Why fare thee well, I will ore-looke the paper.
Enter Edmund.
Bast. The enemies in vew, draw vp your powers
Hard is the quesse of their great strength and forces
By diligent discouery, but your hast 2900is now vrg'd on you.
Alb. Wee will greet the time. Exit.
Bast. To both these sister haue I sworne my loue,
Each iealous of the other as the sting are of the Adder,
Which of them shall I take, 2905both one or neither, neither can bee(inioy'd
If both remaine aliue, to take the widdow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonorill,
And hardly shall I cary out my side
Her husband being aliue, now then we'le vse
2910His countenadce for the battaile, which being done
Let her that would be rid of him deuise
His speedie taking off, as for his mercy
Which he entends to Lear and to Cordelia:
The battaile done, and they within our power
2915Shall neuer see his pardon, for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.