Internet Shakespeare Editions

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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.
    Storme still. Enter Kent, and a Gentleman, seuerally.
    Kent. Who's there besides foule weather?
    Gen. One minded like the weather, most vnquietly.
    Kent. I know you: Where's the King?
    Gent. Contending with the fretfull Elements;
    1620Bids the winde blow the Earth into the Sea,
    Or swell the curled Waters 'boue the Maine,
    That things might change, or cease.
    Kent. But who is with him?
    Gent. None but the Foole, who labours to out-iest
    1625His heart-strooke iniuries.
    Kent. Sir, I do know you,
    And dare vpon the warrant of my note
    Commend a deere thing to you. There is diuision
    (Although as yet the face of it is couer'd
    1630With mutuall cunning) 'twixt Albany , and Cornwall:
    Who haue, as who haue not, that their great Starres
    Thron'd and set high; Seruants, who seeme no lesse,
    Which are to France the Spies and Speculations
    Intelligent of our State. What hath bin seene,
    1635Either in snuffes, and packings of the Dukes,
    Or the hard Reine which both of them hath borne
    Against the old kinde King; or something deeper,
    Whereof (perchance) these are but furnishings.
    Gent. I will talke further with you.
    1640Kent. No, do not:
    For confirmation that I am much more
    Then my out-wall; open this Purse, and take
    What it containes. If you shall see Cordelia,
    (As feare not but you shall) shew her this Ring,
    1645And she will tell you who that Fellow is
    That yet you do not know. Fye on this Storme,
    I will go seeke the King.
    Gent. Giue me your hand,
    Haue you no more to say?
    1650Kent. Few words, but to effect more then all yet;
    That when we haue found the King, in which your pain
    That way, Ile this: He that first lights on him,
    Holla the other.