Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
My truth and honour firmely.
Alb. A Herald ho. Bast. A Herald ho, a Herald.
Alb. Trust to thy single vertue, for thy souldiers
All leuied in my name, haue in my name tooke their
3055Reg. This sicknes growes vpon me.
Alb. She is not well, conuey her to my tent,
Come hether Herald, let the trumpet sound,
And read out this.
Cap. Sound trumpet?
3060Her. If any man of qualitie or degree, in the hoast of the
army, will maintaine vpon Edmund supposed Earle of Gloster,
that he's a manifold traitour, let him appeare at the third sound
of the trumpet, he is bold in his defence.
Bast. Sound? Againe?
Enter Edgar at the third sound, a trumpet before him.
Alb. Aske him his purposes why he appeares
Vpon this call oth' trumpet.
3070Her. What are you? your name and qualitie?
And why you answere this present summons.
Edg. O know my name is lost by treasons tooth.
Bare-gnawne and canker-bitte; 3075yet are I mou't
Where is the aduersarie I come to cope with all.
Alb. Which is that aduersarie?
Edg. What's he that speakes for Edmund Earle of
Bast. Him selfe, what saiest thou to him?
3080Edg. Draw thy sword.
That if my speech offend a noble hart, thy arme
May do thee Iustice, here is mine.
Behold it is the priuiledge of my tongue,
3085My oath and my profession, I protest,
Maugure thy strength, youth, place and eminence,
Despight thy victor, sword and fire new fortun'd,
Thy valor and thy heart thou art a traytor.
False to thy Gods thy brother and thy Father,
3090Conspicuate gainst this high illustrious prince,
And from the'xtreamest vpward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
A most toad-spotted traytor say thou no
This sword, this arme, and my best spirits,
As