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Download King Lear
Last updated: Thu, Apr 21, 2016
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Navigate this workKing Lear
Act 5, scene 1
Albany joins his forces with Regan’s (led by Edmund) to oppose the French invasion. Edgar, still in disguise, approaches Albany with the letter plotting Albany’s death, and promises to produce a champion to maintain the authenticity of the letter in a trial by combat. Edmund then enters and, when alone, reflects upon his possible marriage to either Goneril or Regan and upon his intention to have Cordelia and Lear killed if the British forces are victorious.Enter, with Drum and Colors, Edmund, Regan,
Gentlemen, and Soldiers.
EDMUND, ⌜to a Gentleman⌝
3161 Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold,
3162 Or whether since he is advised by aught
3163 To change the course. He’s full of alteration
3164 And self-reproving. Bring his constant pleasure.
⌜A Gentleman exits.⌝
3165 5 Our sister’s man is certainly miscarried.
3166 ’Tis to be doubted, madam.
REGAN 3167 Now, sweet lord,
3168 You know the goodness I intend upon you;
3169 Tell me but truly, but then speak the truth,
3170 10 Do you not love my sister?
EDMUND 3171 In honored love.
3172 But have you never found my brother’s way
3173 To the forfended place?
⟨EDMUND 3174 That thought abuses you.
3175 15 I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
3176 And bosomed with her as far as we call hers.⟩
EDMUND 3177 No, by mine honor, madam.
3178 I never shall endure her. Dear my lord,
3179 Be not familiar with her.
3180 20 Fear ⟨me⟩ not. She and the Duke, her husband.
Enter, with Drum and Colors, Albany, Goneril, Soldiers.
3181 I had rather lose the battle than that sister
3182 Should loosen him and me.⟩
3183 Our very loving sister, well bemet.—
3184 Sir, this I heard: the King is come to his daughter,
3185 25 With others whom the rigor of our state
3186 Forced to cry out. ⟨Where I could not be honest,
3187 I never yet was valiant. For this business,
3188 It touches us as France invades our land,
3189 Not bolds the King, with others whom, I fear,
3190 30 Most just and heavy causes make oppose.
3191 Sir, you speak nobly.⟩
REGAN 3192 Why is this reasoned?
3193 Combine together ’gainst the enemy,
3194 For these domestic and particular broils
3195 35 Are not the question here.
ALBANY 3196 Let’s then determine
3197 With th’ ancient of war on our proceeding.
3198 I shall attend you presently at your tent.⟩
REGAN 3199 Sister, you’ll go with us?
GONERIL 3200 40No.
3201 ’Tis most convenient. Pray, go with us.
3202 Oho, I know the riddle.—I will go.
⌜They begin to exit.⌝
p. 231Enter Edgar ⌜dressed as a peasant.⌝
EDGAR, ⌜to Albany⌝
3203 If e’er your Grace had speech with man so poor,
3204 Hear me one word.
ALBANY, ⌜to those exiting⌝
3205 45 I’ll overtake you.—Speak.
Both the armies exit.
EDGAR, ⌜giving him a paper⌝
3206 Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
3207 If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
3208 For him that brought it. Wretched though I seem,
3209 I can produce a champion that will prove
3210 50 What is avouchèd there. If you miscarry,
3211 Your business of the world hath so an end,
3212 And machination ceases. Fortune ⟨love⟩ you.
ALBANY 3213 Stay till I have read the letter.
EDGAR 3214 I was forbid it.
3215 55 When time shall serve, let but the herald cry
3216 And I’ll appear again.He exits.
3217 Why, fare thee well. I will o’erlook thy paper.
3218 The enemy’s in view. Draw up your powers.
⌜Giving him a paper.⌝
3219 Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
3220 60 By diligent discovery. But your haste
3221 Is now urged on you.
ALBANY 3222 We will greet the time.
3223 To both these sisters have I sworn my love,
3224 Each jealous of the other as the stung
3225 65 Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
p. 2333226 Both? One? Or neither? Neither can be enjoyed
3227 If both remain alive. To take the widow
3228 Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril,
3229 And hardly shall I carry out my side,
3230 70 Her husband being alive. Now, then, we’ll use
3231 His countenance for the battle, which, being done,
3232 Let her who would be rid of him devise
3233 His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
3234 Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
3235 75 The battle done and they within our power,
3236 Shall never see his pardon, for my state
3237 Stands on me to defend, not to debate.