Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Sure her offence 240must be of such vnnaturall degree,
That monsters it, or you for voucht affections
Falne into taint, which to beleeue of her
Must be a faith that reason without miracle
Could neuer plant in me.
245Cord. I yet beseech your Maiestie,
If for I want that glib and oyly Art,
To speake and purpose not, since what I well entend
Ile do't before I speake, that you may know
It is no vicious blot, murder or foulnes,
250No vncleane action or dishonord step
That hath depriu'd me of your grace and fauour,
But euen for want of that, for which I am rich,
A still soliciting eye, and such a tongue,
As I am glad I haue not, though not to haue it,
255Hath lost me in your liking.
Leir. Goe to, goe to, better thou hadst not bin borne,
Then not to haue pleas'd me better.
Fran. Is it no more but this, a tardines in nature,
That often leaues the historie vnspoke 260that it intends to
My Lord of Burgundie, what say you to the Lady?
Loue is not loue when it is mingled with respects that
Aloofe from the intire point wil you haue her?
She is her selfe and dowre.
265Burg. Royall Leir, giue but that portion
Which your selfe proposd, and here I take Cordelia
By the hand, Dutches of Burgundie,
Leir. Nothing, I haue sworne.
270Burg. I am sory then you haue so lost a father,
That you must loose a husband.
Cord. Peace be with Burgundie, since that respects
Of fortune are his loue, I shall not be his wife.
275Fran. Fairest Cordelia that art most rich being poore,
Most choise forsaken, and most loued despisd,
Thee and thy vertues here I ceaze vpon,
Be it lawfull I take vp whats cast away,
Gods, Gods! tis strãge, that from their couldst neglect,
280My loue should kindle to inflam'd respect,
Thy