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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 V
    A camp.
    Enter Gonerill and Attendants.
    Our sister's powers already are arrived,
    And she herself has promised to prevent
    The night with her approach. Have you provided
    The banquet I bespoke for her reception
    At my tent?
    So, please your grace, we have.
    But thou, my poisoner, must prepare the bowl
    That crowns this banquet. When our mirth is high,
    The trumpets sounding and the flutes replying,
    Then is the time to give this fatal draught
    2045To this imperious sister. If then our arms succeed,
    Edmund, more dear than victory, is mine.
    But if defeat or death itself attend me,
    'Twill charm my ghost to think I've left behind me
    2050No happy rival. Hark, she comes.
    Enter Bastard in his tent.
    To both these sisters have I sworn my love,
    Each jealous of the other as the stung
    2055Are of the adder. Neither can be held
    If both remain alive. Where shall I fix?
    Cornwall is dead, and Regan's empty bed
    Seems cast by fortune for me, but already
    I have enjoyed her, and bright Gonerill
    2060With equal charms brings dear variety,
    And yet untasted beauty. I will use
    Her husband's countenance for the battle, then
    Usurp at once his bed and throne.
    Enter Officers.
    2065My trusty scouts, you are well returned. Have ye descried
    The strength and posture of the enemy?
    We have, and were surprised to find
    The banished Kent returned, and at their head;
    Your brother Edgar on the rear; old Gloster
    2070(a moving spectacle) led through their ranks,
    Whose powerful tongue and more prevailing wrongs
    Have so enraged their rustic spirits that with
    The approaching dawn we must expect their battle.
    You bring a welcome hearing. Each to his charge.
    2075Line well your ranks and stand on your award.
    Tonight repose you, and in the morn we'll give
    The sun a sight that shall be worth his rising.