Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Gon. O ho, I know the riddle, I will goe. 2880
Enter Edgar
Edg. If ere your Grace had speech with man so poore,
Heare me one word.
Exeunt.
Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake.
Edg. Before you fight the battell ope this letter,
2885If you haue victory let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it, wretched though I seeme,
I can produce a champion that will proue
What is auowched there, if you miscary,
Your busines of the world hath so an end,
2890Fortune loue you,
Alb. Stay till I haue read the letter.
Edg. I was forbid it, when time shall serue let but the Herald
cry, and ile appeare againe.
Exit.
2895Alb. Why fare thee well, I will ore-looke the paper.
Enter E dmund.
Bast. The enemies in vew, draw vp your powers
Hard is the quesse of their great strength and forces
By diligent discouery, but your hast 2900is now vrg'd on you.
Alb. Wee will greet the time. Exit.
Bast. To both these sister haue I sworne my loue,
Each iealous of the other as the sting are of the Adder,
Which of them shall I take, 2905both one or neither, neither can bee
If both remaine aliue, to take the widdow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonorill,
And hardly shall I cary out my side
Her husband being aliue, now then we'le vse
2910His countenadce for the battaile, which being done
Let her that would be rid of him deuise
His speedie taking off, as for his mercy
Which he entends to Lear and to Cordelia:
The battaile done, and they within our power
2915Shall neuer see his pardon, for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.
Exit.
Alarum. Enter the powers of France ouer the stage, Cordelia with
her father in her hand.
2920Enter Edgar and Gloster.
Edg. Here father, take the shaddow of this bush
For your good hoast, pray that the right may thriue
If