Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear
Bast. No my Lord.
30Glost. My Lord of Kent, remember him hereafter as my ho-
norable friend.
Bast. My seruices to your Lordship.
Kent. I must loue you, and sue to know you better.
Bast. Sir I shall study deseruing.
35Glost. Hee hath beene out nine yeares, and away hee shall
againe, the King is comming.
Sound a Sennet, Enter one bearing a Coronet, then Lear, then the
Dukes of Albany, and Cornwell, next Gonorill, Regan, 38.1Cor-
delia, with followers.
Lear. Attend my Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster.
40Glost. I shall my Leige.
Lear. Meane time we will expresse our darker purposes,
The map there; know we haue diuided
In three, our kingdome; and tis our first intent,
To shake all cares and busines of our state,
45Confirming them on yonger yeares,
50The two great Princes France and Burgundy,
Great ryuals in our youngest daughters loue,
Long in our Court haue made their amorous soiourne,
And here are to be answerd, tell me my daughters,
Which of you shall we say doth loue vs most,
That we our largest bountie may extend,
Where merit doth most challenge it,
Gonorill our eldest borne, speake first?
60Gon. Sir I do loue you more then words can weild the
Dearer then eye-sight, space or libertie,
Beyond what can be valued rich or rare,
No lesse then life; with grace, health, beautie, honour,
As much a child ere loued, or father friend,
65A loue that makes breath poore, and speech vnable,
Beyond all manner of so much I loue you.
Cor. What shall Cordelia doe, loue and be silent.
Lear. Of al these bounds, euen from this line to this,
With shady forrests, and wide skirted meades,
We make thee Lady, to thine and Albaines issue,
Be this perpetuall, what saies our second daughter?
Our