Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Nahum Tate
Editor: Lynne Bradley
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Adapted by Nahum Tate) (Modern)

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.