Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Necessities sharpe pinch, returne with her,
1505Why the hot bloud in France, that dowerles
Tooke our yongest borne, I could as well be brought
To knee his throne, and Squire-like pension bag,
To keepe base life afoot, returne with her,
Perswade me rather to be slaue and sumter
1510To this detested groome.
Gon. At your choise sir.
Lear. Now I prithee daughter do not make me mad,
I will not trouble thee my child, farewell,
Wee'le no more meete, no more see one another.
1515But yet thou art my flesh, my bloud, my daughter,
Or rather a disease that lies within my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine, thou art a bile,
A plague sore, an imbossed carbuncle in my
Corrupted bloud, but Ile not chide thee,
1520Let shame come when it will, I doe not call it,
I doe not bid the thunder bearer shoote,
Nor tell tailes of thee to high Iudging Ioue,
Mend when thou canst, be better at thy leasure,
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan,
1525I and my hundred Knights.
Reg. Not altogether so sir, I looke not for you yet,
Nor am prouided for your fit welcome,
Giue eare sir to my sister, for those
That mingle reason with your passion,
1530Must be content to thinke you are old, and so,
But she knowes what shee does.
Lear. Is this well spoken now?
Reg. I dare auouch it sir, what fiftie followers,
Is it not well what should you need of more,
1535Yea or so many, sith that both charge and danger
Speakes gainst so great a number, how in a house
Should many people vnder two commands
Hold amytie, tis hard, almost impossible.
Gon. Why might not you my Lord receiue attendãce
1540From those that she cals seruants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not my Lord? if then they chanc'st to slacke you,
We could controwle them, if you will come to me,
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