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About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-463-9

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)

    305
    The Tragedie of King Lear .
    The knowledge of themselues.
    2740 Edg. Giue me your hand :
    Farre off methinkes I heare the beaten Drumme.
    Come Father, Ile be stow you with a Friend. Exeunt.



    Scaena Septima.



    Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Gentleman.

    2745 Cor. O thou good Kent ,
    How shall I liue and worke
    To match thy goodne s s e?
    My life will be too short,
    And euery measure faile me.
    2750 Kent. To be acknowledg'd Madam is ore-pai'd,
    All my reports go with the mode st truth,
    Nor more, nor clipt, but so.
    Cor. Be better suited,
    These weedes are memories of those worser houres:
    2755I prythee put them off.
    Kent. Pardon deere Madam,
    Yet to be knowne shortens my made intent,
    My boone I make it, that you know me not,
    Till time and I, thinke meet.
    2760 Cor. Then be't so my good Lord:
    How do's the King?
    Gent. Madam sleepes still.
    Cor. O you kind Gods!
    Cure this great breach in his abused Nature,
    2765Th'vntun'd and iarring senses, O winde vp,
    Of this childe-changed Father.
    Gent. So please your Maie sty,
    That we may wake the King, he hath slept long?
    Cor. Be gouern'd by your knowledge, and proceede
    2770I'th'sway of your owne will: is he array'd?

    Enter Lear in a chaire carried by Seruants

    Gent. I Madam: in the heauine s s e of sleepe,
    We put fre sh garments on him.
    Be by good Madam when we do awake him,
    2775I doubt of his Temperance.
    Cor. O my deere Father, re stauratian hang
    Thy medicine on my lippes, and let this ki s s e
    Repaire those violent harmes, that my two Si sters
    Haue in thy Reuerence made.
    2780 Kent. Kind and deere Prince s s e.
    Cor. Had you not bin their Father, these white flakes
    Did challenge pitty of them. Was this a face
    To be oppos'd again st the iarring windes?
    Mine Enemies dogge, though he had bit me,
    2785Should haue stood that night again st my fire,
    And was't thou faine (poore Father)
    To houell thee with Swine and Rogues forlorne,
    In short, and mu sty straw? Alacke, alacke,
    'Tis wonder that thy life and wits, at once
    2790Had not concluded all. He wakes, speake to him.
    Gen. Madam do you, 'tis fitte st.
    Cor. How does my Royall Lord?
    How fares your Maie sty?
    Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o'th'graue,
    2795Thou art a Soule in bli s s e, but I am bound
    Vpon a wheele of fire, that mine owne teares
    Do scal'd, like molten Lead.
    Cor. Sir, do you know me?
    Lear. You are a spirit I know, where did you dye?
    2800 Cor. Still, still, farre wide.
    Gen. He's scarse awake,
    Let him alone a while.
    Lear. Where haue I bin?
    Where am I? Faire day light?
    2805I am mightily abus'd; I should eu'n dye with pitty
    To see another thus. I know not what to say:
    I will not sweare these are my hands: let's see,
    I feele this pin pricke, would I were a s s ur'd
    Of my condition.
    2810 Cor. O looke vpon me Sir,
    And hold your hand in benediction o're me,
    You mu st not kneele.
    Lear. Pray do not mocke me:
    I am a very fooli sh fond old man,
    2815Fourescore and vpward,
    Not an houre more, nor le s s e:
    And to deale plainely,
    I feare I am not in my perfect mind.
    Me thinkes I should know you, and know this man,
    2820Yet I am doubtfull: For I am mainely ignorant
    What place this is: and all the skill I haue
    Remembers not these garments: nor I know not
    Where I did lodge la st night. Do not laugh at me,
    For (as I am a man) I thinke this Lady
    2825To be my childe Cordelia.
    Cor. And so I am: I am.
    Lear. Be your teares wet?
    Yes faith: I pray weepe not,
    If you haue poyson for me, I will drinke it:
    2830I know you do not loue me, for your Si sters
    Haue (as I do remember) done me wrong.
    You haue some cause, they haue not.
    Cor. No cause, no cause.
    Lear. Am I in France?
    2835 Kent. In your owne kingdome Sir.
    Lear. Do not abuse me.
    Gent. Be comforted good Madam, the great rage
    You see is kill'd in him: de sire him to go in,
    Trouble him no more till further setling.
    2840 Cor. Wilt please your Highne s s e walke?
    Lear. You mu st beare with me:
    Pray you now forget, and forgiue,
    I am old and fooli sh. Exeunt



    Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.



    2845 Enter with Drumme and Colours , Edmund, Regan.
    Gentlemen, and Souldiers.

    Ba st . Know of the Duke if his la st purpose hold,
    Or whether since he is aduis'd by ought
    To change the course, he's full of alteration,
    2850And selfe reprouing, bring his con stant pleasure.
    Reg. Our Si sters man is certainely miscarried.
    Ba st . 'Tis to be doubted Madam.
    Reg. Now sweet Lord,
    You