Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
As pearles from diamonds dropt in briefe,
Sorow would be a raritie most beloued,
If all could so become it.
.25Kent. Made she no verball question.
Gent. Faith once or twice she heau'd the name of father,
Pantingly forth as if it prest her heart,
Cried sisters, sisters, shame of Ladies sisters:
Kent, father, sisters, what ith storme ith night,
.30Let pitie not be beleeft there she shooke,
The holy water from her heauenly eyes,
And clamour moystened her, then away she started,
To deale with griefe alone.
Kent. It is the stars, the stars aboue vs gouerne our conditions,
.35Else one selfe mate and make could not beget,
Such different issues, you spoke not with her since.
Gent. No.Kent. Was this before the King returnd.
Gent. No, since.
Kent. Well sir, the poore distressed Lear's ith towne,
.40Who some time in his better tune remembers,
What we are come about, and by no meanes will yeeld to see his
Gent. Why good sir?
Kent. A soueraigne shame so elbows him his own vnkindnes
That stript her from his benediction turnd her,
.45To forraine casualties gaue her deare rights,
To his dog-harted daughters, these things sting his mind,
So venomously that burning shame detaines him from Cordelia.
Gent. Alack poore Gentleman.
Kent. Of Albanies and Cornewals powers you heard not.
.50Gent. Tis so they are a foote.
Kent. Well sir, ile bring you to our maister Lear,
And leaue you to attend him some deere cause,
Will in concealement wrap me vp awhile,
When I am knowne aright you shall not greeue,
.55Lending me this acquaintance, I pray you go along with me.
Enter Cordelia, Doctor and others.
Exit.
Cor. Alack tis he, why he was met euen now,
As mad as the vent sea singing aloud,
Crownd with ranke femiter and furrow weedes,
I
With