Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Edg. Worthy Prince I know't.
Alb. Where haue you hid your selfe?
How haue you knowne the miseries of your father?
Edg. By nursing them my Lord,
List a briefe tale, 3145and when tis told
3145.1O that my heart would burst the bloudy proclamation
To escape that followed me so neere,
O our liues sweetnes, that with the paine of death,
Would hourly die, rather then die at once.
Taught me to shift 3150into a mad-mans rags
To assume a semblance that very dogges disdain'd
And in this habit met I my father with his bleeding rings,
The precious stones new lost became his guide,
Led him, beg'd for him, sau'd him from dispaire,
3155Neuer (O Father) reueald my selfe vnto him,
Vntill some halfe houre past, when I was armed,
Not sure, though hoping of this good successe,
I askt his blessing, and from first to last,
Told him my pilgrimage, but his flawd heart,
3160Alacke too weake, the conflict to support,
Twixt two extreames of passion, ioy and griefe,
Burst smillingly.
Bast. This speech of yours hath moued me,
And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
3165You looke as you had something more to say,
Alb. If there be more, more wofull, hold it in,
For I am almost ready to dissolue, hearing of this,
3168.1Edg. This would haue seemd a periode to such
As loue not sorow, but another to amplifie too much,
Would make much more, and top extreamitie
Whil'st I was big in clamor, came there in a man,
.5Who hauing seene me in my worst estate,
Shund my abhord society, but then finding
Who twas that so indur'd with his strong armes
He fastened on my necke and bellowed out,
As hee'd burst heauen, threw me on my father,
.10Told the most pitious tale of Lear and him,
That euer eare receiued, which in recounting
His