Document: All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > King Lear > Act IV, scene V
[Enter REGAN and OSWALD]
REGAN: But are my brother's powers set forth?
OSWALD: Ay, madam.
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?
OSWALD: No, madam.
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' the 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 charged 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 oeillades and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
OSWALD: I, madam?
REGAN: I speak in understanding; you 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.
So, fare you well.
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.