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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Scena Septima.
    Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gonerill, Ba stard,
    and Seruants.
    2060 Corn. Po ste speedily to my Lord your husband, shew
    him this Letter, the Army of France is landed: seeke out
    the Traitor Glou ster.
    Reg. Hang him in stantly.
    Gon. Plucke out his eyes.
    2065 Corn. Leaue him to my displeasure. Edmond, keepe
    you our Si ster company: the reuenges wee are bound to
    take vppon your Traitorous Father, are not fit for your
    beholding. Aduice the Duke where you are going, to a
    mo st fe stiuate preparation: we are bound to the like. Our
    2070Po stes shall be s wift, and intelligent betwixt vs. Fare-
    well deere Si ster, farewell my Lord of Glou ster.
    Enter Steward.
    How now? Where's the King?
    Stew. My Lord of Glou ster hath conuey'd him hence
    2075Some fiue or six and thirty of his Knights
    Hot Que stri sts after him, met him at gate,
    Who, with some other of the Lords, dependants,
    Are gone with him toward Douer; where they boa st
    To haue well armed Friends.
    2080 Corn. Get horses for your Mi stris.
    Gon. Farewell sweet Lord, and Si ster. Exit
    Corn. Edmund farewell: go seek the Traitor Glo ster,
    Pinnion him like a Theefe, bring him before vs:
    Though well we may not pa s s e vpon his life
    2085Without the forme of Iu stice: yet our power
    Shall do a curt' sie to our wrath, which men
    May blame, but not comptroll.
    Enter Glouce ster , and Seruants.
    Who's there? the Traitor?
    2090 Reg. Ingratefull Fox, 'tis he.
    Corn. Binde fa st his corky armes.
    Glou. What meanes your Graces?
    Good my Friends con sider you are my Ghe sts:
    Do me no foule play, Friends.
    2095 Corn. Binde him I say.
    Reg. Hard, hard: O filthy Traitor.
    Glou. Vnmercifull Lady, as you are, I'me none.
    Corn. To this Chaire binde him,
    Villaine, thou shalt finde.
    2100 Glou. By the kinde Gods, 'tis mo st ignobly done
    To plucke me by the Beard.
    Reg. So white, and such a Traitor?
    Glou. Naughty Ladie,
    These haires which thou do st raui sh from my chin
    2105Will quicken and accuse thee. I am your Ho st,
    With Robbers hands, my hospitable fauours
    You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
    Corn. Come Sir.
    What Letters had you late from France?
    2110 Reg. Be simple answer'd, for we know the truth.
    Corn. And what confederacie haue you with the Trai-
    tors, late footed in the Kingdome?
    Reg. To whose hands
    You haue sent the Lunaticke King: Speake.
    2115 Glou. I haue a Letter gue s singly set downe
    Which came from one that's of a newtrall heart,
    And not from one oppos'd.
    Corn. Cunning.
    Reg. And false.
    2120 Corn. Where ha st thou sent the King?
    Glou. To Douer.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer?
    Was't thou not charg'd at perill.
    Corn. Wherefore to Douer? Let him answer that.
    2125 Glou. I am tyed to'th'Stake,
    And I mu st stand the Course.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer?
    Glou. Because I would not see thy cruell Nailes
    Plucke out his poore old eyes: nor thy fierce Si ster,
    2130In his Annointed fle sh, sticke boari sh phangs.
    The Sea, with such a storme as his bare head,
    In Hell-blacke-night indur'd, would haue buoy'd vp
    And quench'd the Stelled fires:
    Yet poore old heart, he holpe the Heauens to raine.
    2135If Wolues had at thy Gate howl'd that sterne time,
    Thou should' st haue said, good Porter turne the Key:
    All Cruels else subscribe: but I shall see
    The winged Vengeance ouertake such Children.
    Corn. See't shalt thou neuer. Fellowes hold ye Chaire,
    2140Vpon these eyes of thine, Ile set my foote.
    Glou. He that will thinke to liue, till he be old,
    Giue me some helpe. ---- O cruell! O you Gods.
    Reg. One side will mocke another: Th'other too.
    Corn. If you see vengeance.
    2145 Seru. Hold your hand, my Lord:
    I haue seru'd you euer since I was a Childe:
    But better seruice haue I neuer done you,
    Then now to bid you hold.
    Reg. How now, you dogge?
    2150 Ser. If you did weare a beard vpon your chin,
    I'ld shake it on this quarrell. What do you meane?
    Corn. My Villaine?
    Seru. Nay then come on, and take the chance of anger.
    Reg. Giue me thy Sword. A pezant stand vp thus?
    2155 Killes him.
    Ser. Oh I am slaine: my Lord,you haue one eye left
    To see some mischefe on him. Oh.
    Corn. Le st it see more, preuent it; Out vilde gelly:
    Where is thy lu ster now?
    2160 Glou. All datke and comfortle s s e?
    Where's my Sonne Edmund ?
    Edmund, enkindle all the sparkes of Nature
    To quit this horrid acte.
    Reg. Out treacherous Villaine,
    2165Thou call' st on him, that hates thee. It was he
    That made the ouerture of thy Treasons to vs:
    Who is too good to pitty thee.
    Glou. O my Follies! then Edgar was abus'd,
    Kinde Gods, forgiue me that,and prosper him.
    2170 Reg. Go thru st him out at gates, and let him smell
    His way to Douer. Exit with Glou ster.
    How is't my Lord? How looke you?
    Corn. I haue receiu'd a hurt: Follow me Lady;
    Turne out that eyele s s e Villaine: throw this Slaue
    2175Vpon the Dunghill: Regan , I bleed apace,
    Vntimely comes this hurt. Giue me your arme. Exeunt,