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  Act 4 Scene 5

page Act 4 Scene 5 Page 2

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OSWALD

   I may not, madam.
My lady charged my duty in this business.

OSWALD

I can’t, ma'am. My lady ordered me to deliver her letter.

REGAN

20Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
Transport her purposes by word? Belike
Some things—I know not what. I’ll love thee much.
Let me unseal the letter.

REGAN

Why would she write to Edmund? Couldn’t you just deliver the message orally? It probably has something to do with… I don’t know. I’ll be so grateful to you if you let me open that letter.

OSWALD

   Madam, I had rather—

OSWALD

Ma'am, I’d rather—

REGAN

I know your lady does not love her husband.
25I 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.

REGAN

I know your lady Goneril doesn’t love her husband. I’m sure of that. And when she was here recently she flirted with Edmund and gave him significant glances. I know she trusts you and tells you everything.

OSWALD

I, madam?

OSWALD

Me, ma'am?

REGAN

I speak in understanding. Y' are. I know ’t.
30Therefore I do advise you, take this note.
My lord is dead. Edmund and I have talked,
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.
35And 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.

REGAN

I know what I’m talking about. You’re close to her, I know it. So I recommend you take note of what I’m about to say. My husband is dead. Edmund and I have talked, and it makes more sense for him to marry me than Goneril. You can figure out the rest. If you find him, please

give

Regan probably hands something to Oswald here, such as a letter or a love token.

give
him this. And when your mistress hears about all this, please tell her to use her head next time. So goodbye. If you happen to hear anything about that blind traitor Gloucester, I’ll reward anyone who snuffs him out.

OSWALD

40Would I could meet him, madam, I should show
What party I do follow.

OSWALD

If I could run into him, ma'am, I’d prove which side I’m on.

REGAN

   Fare thee well.

REGAN

Goodbye.
Exeunt severally
They exit in opposite directions.