Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
That rightly thinks, and hast most iustly said,
And your large speeches may your deedes approue,
That good effects may spring from wordes of loue:
200Thus Kent O Princes, bids you all adew,
Heele shape his old course in a countrie new.
Enter France and Burgundie with Gloster.
Glost. Heers France and Burgundie my noble Lord.
205Lear. My L. of Burgũdie, we first addres towards you,
Who with a King hath riuald for our daughter,
What in the least will you require in present
Dower with her, or cease your quest of loue?
210Burg. Royall maiesty, I craue no more then what
Your highnes offered, nor will you tender lesse?
Lear. Right noble Burgundie, when she was deere to
We did hold her so, 215but now her prise is fallen,
Sir there she stands, if ought within that little
Seeming substãce, or al of it with our displeasure peec'st,
And nothing else may fitly like your grace,
Shees there, and she is yours.
220Burg. I know no answer.
Lear. Sir will you with those infirmities she owes,
Vnfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Couered with our curse, and stranger'd with our oth,
Take her or leaue her.
225Burg. Pardon me royall sir, election makes not vp
On such conditions.
Lear. Then leaue her sir, for by the powre that made
I tell you all her wealth, for you great King,
I would not from your loue make such a stray,
230To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you,
To auert your liking a more worthier way,
Then on a wretch whome nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.
Fra. This is most strange, 235that she, that euen but now
Was your best obiect, the argument of your praise,
Balme of your age, most best, most deerest,
Should in this trice of time commit a thing,
So monstrous to dismantell so many foulds of fauour,
Sure