Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Adapted by Nahum Tate) (Modern)
  • Author: Nahum Tate
  • Editor: Lynne Bradley

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: Nahum Tate
    Editor: Lynne Bradley
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Adapted by Nahum Tate) (Modern)

    ACT IV
    A grotto.
    Edmund and Regan amorously seated,
    listening to music.
    Why were those beauties made another's right
    Which none can prize like me? Charming queen,
    Take all my blooming youth, forever fold me
    In those soft arms, lull me in endless sleep
    That I may dream of pleasures too transporting
    1505For life to bear.
    Live, live, my Gloster,
    And feel no death but that of swooning joy.
    I yield thee blisses on no harder terms
    Than that thou continue to be happy.
    This jealousy is yet more kind. Is it possible
    That I should wander from a paradise
    To feed on sickly weeds? Such sweets live here
    That constancy will be no virtue in me.
    And yet must I forthwith go meet her sister,
    To whom I must protest as much.
    Suppose it be the same; why, best of all,
    And I have then my lesson ready conned.
    Wear this remembrance of me. I dare now
    1520Gives him a ring.
    Absent myself no longer from the duke
    Whose wound grows dangerous -- I hope mortal.
    And let this happy image of your Gloster,
    Pulling out a picture drops a note.
    1525Lodge in that breast where all his treasure lies.
    To this brave youth a woman's blooming beauties
    Are due; my fool usurps my bed. What's here?
    Confusion on my eyes.
    "Where merit is so transparent, not to behold it were
    blindness, and not to reward it, ingratitude.
    Vexatious accident! Yet fortunate, too.
    1535My jealousy's confirmed, and I am taught
    To cast for my defense --
    Enter an Officer.
    Now, what mean those shouts? And what thy hasty entrance?
    A most surprising and a sudden change.
    1540The peasants are all up in mutiny,
    And only want a chief to lead them on
    To storm your palace.
    On what provocation?
    At last day's public festival, to which
    1545The yeomen from all quarters had repaired,
    Old Gloster, whom you late deprived of sight,
    (His veins yet streaming fresh) presents himself,
    Proclaims your cruelty and their oppression,
    With the king's injuries. Which so enraged them,
    1550That now that mutiny which long had crept,
    Takes wing and threatens your best powers.
    White-livered slave!
    Our forces raised and led by valiant Edmund
    Shall drive this monster of rebellion back
    1555To her dark cell. Young Gloster's arm allays
    The storm his father's feeble breath did raise.