King Lear : Act 5, Scene 1



colours battle flag
           Enter, with drum and colours,
           EDMUND, REGAN, GENTLEMEN,
           and SOLDIERS.

      EDMUND
Know of the duke if his last purpose hold Find out from the Duke [of Albany] if he is going to stick to the most recently announced decision
bring his constant pleasure bring me a report of his final decision.
  1   Know of the duke if his last purpose hold,
  2   Or whether since he is advised by aught
  3   To change the course: he's full of alteration
  4   And self-reproving: bring his constant pleasure.

           [Exit a Gentleman.]

      REGAN
Our sister's man is certainly miscarried i.e., I'm quite sure that my sister's servant [Oswald] has met with an accident and is not going to show up 'Tis to be doubted i.e., I suspect that you're right
  5   Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.

      EDMUND
  6   'Tis to be doubted, madam.

      REGAN
  6                                               Now, sweet lord,
  7   You know the goodness I intend upon you:
  8   Tell me—but truly—but then speak the truth,
my sister i.e., Goneril
  9   Do you not love my sister?

      EDMUND
honour'd honorable
  9                                               In honour'd love.

      REGAN
 10   But have you never found my brother's way
forfended place forbidden place; i.e., Goneril's bed
 11   To the forfended place?

      EDMUND
abuses wrongs
 11                                         That thought abuses you.

      REGAN
doubtful suspicious | conjunct joined together bosom'd i.e., been intimate | as far as we call hers i.e., to such an extent that I may call you hers (?)
 12   I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
 13   And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.

      EDMUND
 14   No, by mine honour, madam.

      REGAN
I never shall endure her I shall never endure (you being intimate with) her
 15   I never shall endure her: dear my lord,
 16   Be not familiar with her.

      EDMUND
Fear Doubt
 16                                             Fear me not:
 17   She and the duke her husband!

           Enter, with drum and colours, ALBANY,
           GONERIL, Soldiers.

      GONERIL [Aside.]
I had rather lose the battle than that sister / Should loosen him and me. I would rather lose the battle than have my sister loosen the bonds between Edmund and me.
 18   I had rather lose the battle than that sister
 19   Should loosen him and me.

      ALBANY
bemet met
 20   Our very loving sister, well bemet.
 21   Sir, this I hear; the king is come to his daughter,
rigor of our state harshness of our rule
cry out protest, rebel | honest honorable
 22   With others whom the rigor of our state
 23   Forced to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
for this business ... Most just and heavy cause make oppose i.e., as for the landing of French forces, it concerns me only because France is invading our land, not because it emboldens King Lear and his remaining supporters, who oppose the current regime for very good and serious causes
 24   I never yet was valiant: for this business,
 25   It toucheth us, as France invades our land,
 26   Not bolds the king, with others, whom, I fear,
 27   Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

      EDMUND
 28   Sir, you speak nobly.

      REGAN
Why is this reason'd? Why are we discussing reasons for fighting instead of fighting?
 28                                         Why is this reason'd?

      GONERIL
 29   Combine together 'gainst the enemy;
domestic and particular broils family and personal quarrels the question here the issue now
 30   For these domestic and particular broils
 31   Are not the question here.

      ALBANY
 31                                             Let's then determine
ancient of war experienced officers
 32   With the ancient of war on our proceedings.

      EDMUND
 33   I shall attend you presently at your tent.

      REGAN
Sister... us? (Regan is trying to keep Goneril and Edmund apart.)
 34   Sister, you'll go with us?

      GONERIL
 35   No.

      REGAN
convenient suitable; fitting
 36   'Tis most convenient; pray you, go with us.

      GONERIL [Aside.]
riddle disguised meaning (of Regan's request to accompany her)
 37   O, ho, I know the riddle.—I will go.

           Exeunt both the armies.
           [As they are going out,
           enter EDGAR disguised.]

      EDGAR
 38   If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,
 39   Hear me one word.

      ALBANY
overtake you catch up with you —Albany calls to the others who are leaving.
 39                               I'll overtake you,—Speak.

           [Exeunt all but ALBANY and EDGAR.]

      EDGAR
letter Goneril's letter to Edmund, which Edgar found on Oswald's body
 40   Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
 41   If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
 42   For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
prove defend
avouched maintained | miscarry perish

machination plotting (on your life)
 43   I can produce a champion that will prove
 44   What is avouched there. If you miscarry,
 45   Your business of the world hath so an end,
 46   And machination ceases. Fortune love you.

      ALBANY
 47   Stay till I have read the letter.

      EDGAR
it i.e., to stay while Albany reads the letter
 47                                                             I was forbid it.
 48   When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
 49   And I'll appear again.

      ALBANY
 50   Why, fare thee well: I will o'erlook thy paper.

           Exit EDGAR.

           Enter EDMUND.

      EDMUND
powers troops
guess estimate
discovery scouting
 51   The enemy's in view; draw up your powers.
 52   Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
 53   By diligent discovery; but your haste
 54   Is now urged on you.

      ALBANY
We will greet the time. We will be ready for the occasion
 54                                       We will greet the time.

           Exit [ALBANY].

      EDMUND
 55   To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
jealous suspicious
 56   Each jealous of the other, as the stung
 57   Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
 58   Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
 59   If both remain alive: to take the widow
 60   Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
hardly with difficulty | side plan
 61   And hardly shall I carry out my side,
 62   Her husband being alive. Now then we'll use
countenance authority or backing (to mask Edmund's ambition) him Albany
 63   His countenance for the battle; which being done,
 64   Let her who would be rid of him devise
 65   His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
 66   Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
 67   The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall (they) shall | state position; condition Stands on requires
 68   Shall never see his pardon; for my state
 69   Stands on me to defend, not to debate.

           Exit.