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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1608)

    The Historie of King Lear.
    What wilt thou doe ould man, think' st thou that dutie
    Shall haue dread to speake, when power to flatterie bowes,
    To plainnes honours bound when Maie sty stoops to folly,
    Reuerse thy doome, 160and in thy be st con sideration
    Checke this hideous ra shnes, answere my life
    My iudgement, thy yonge st daughter does not loue thee lea st,
    Nor are those empty harted whose low, sound
    Reuerbs no hollownes.
    165 Lear. Kent on thy life no more.
    Kent. My life I neuer held but as a pawne
    To wage again st thy enemies, nor feare to lose it
    Thy safty being the motiue.
    Lear. Out of my sight.
    170 Kent. See better Lear and let me still remaine,
    The true blanke of thine eye.
    Lear. Now by Appollo,
    Kent. Now by Appollo King thou sweare st thy Gods (in vaine.
    175 Lear. Va s s all, recreant.
    Kent. Doe, kill thy Phy sicion,
    And the fee be stow vpon the foule disease,
    Reuoke thy doome, or whil st I can vent clamour
    From my throat, 180ile tell thee thou do st euill.
    Lear. Heare me, on thy allegeance heare me?
    Since thou ha st sought to make vs breake our vow,
    Which we dur st neuer yet; and with straied pride,
    To come betweene our sentence and our powre,
    185 Which nor our nature nor our place can beare,
    Our potency made good, take thy reward,
    Foure dayes we doe allot thee for proui sion,
    To shield thee from diseases of the world,
    And on the fift to turne thy hated backe
    190 Vpon our kingdome, if on the tenth day following,
    Thy bani sht truncke be found in our dominions,
    The moment is thy death, away, by Iupiter
    This shall not be reuokt.
    Kent. Why fare thee well king, since thus thou wilt (appeare,
    195 Friend ship liues hence, and bani shment is here,
    The Gods to their protection take the maide,