The Tragedy of King Lear
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Act IV, Scene 5
Enter Regan and [Oswald the] Steward.
- Regan. But are my brother's pow'rs set forth?
- Regan. Himself in person there?
- Oswald. Madam, with much ado.
Your sister is the better soldier.
- Regan. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
- Regan. What might import my sister's letter to him?
- Oswald. I know not, lady.
- Regan. Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
To 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' enemy.
- Oswald. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
- Regan. Our troops set forth to-morrow. Stay with us.
The ways are dangerous.
- Oswald. I may not, madam.
My lady charg'd my duty in this business.
- Regan. 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.
- Oswald. Madam, I had rather-
- Regan. I know your lady does not love her husband;
I am sure of that; and at her late being here
She gave strange eyeliads and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
- Regan. I speak in understanding. Y'are! I know't.
Therefore I do advise you take this note.
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd,
And more convenient is he for my hand
Than for your lady's. You may gather more.
If 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.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
- Oswald. Would I could meet him, madam! I should show
What party I do follow.
- Regan. Fare thee well. Exeunt.