Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Modern, Quarto)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • Textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-463-9

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Modern, Quarto)

    [Scene 19]
    Enter Regan and [Oswald, the] steward.
    But are my brother's powers set forth?
    Ay, madam.
    Himself in person?
    Madam, with much ado.
    Your sister is the better soldier.
    Lord Edmund spake not with your lady at home?
    No, madam.
    What might import my sister's letters to him?
    I know not, lady.
    Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
    It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
    2395To 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'army.
    I must needs after him with my letters.
    Our troop sets forth tomorrow; stay with us.
    The ways are dangerous.
    I may not, madam.
    My lady charged my duty in this business.
    Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
    Transport her purposes by word? Belike--
    Something--I know not what. I'll love thee much.
    Let me unseal the letter.
    Madam I'd rather--
    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.
    I, madam?
    I speak in understanding, for I know't.
    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 lady's. You may gather more.
    2420If 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 farewell.
    If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
    2425Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
    Would I could meet him, madam, I would show
    What lady I do follow.
    Fare thee well.
    Exeunt [separately].