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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Gon. O ho, I know the riddle, I will goe. 2880
    Enter Edgar
    Edg. If ere your Grace had speech with man so poore,
    Heare me one word.
    Alb. Ile ouertake you, speake.
    Edg. Before you fight the battell ope this letter,
    2885If you haue victory let the trumpet sound
    For him that brought it, wretched though I seeme,
    I can produce a champion that will proue
    What is auowched there, if you miscary,
    Your busines of the world hath so an end,
    2890Fortune loue you,
    Alb. Stay till I haue read the letter.
    Edg. I was forbid it, when time shall serue let but the Herald
    cry, and ile appeare againe.
    2895Alb. Why fare thee well, I will ore-looke the paper.
    Enter Edmund.
    Bast. The enemies in vew, draw vp your powers
    Hard is the quesse of their great strength and forces
    By diligent discouery, but your hast 2900is now vrg'd on you.
    Alb. Wee will greet the time. Exit.
    Bast. To both these sister haue I sworne my loue,
    Each iealous of the other as the sting are of the Adder,
    Which of them shall I take, 2905both one or neither, neither can bee
    If both remaine aliue, to take the widdow
    Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonorill,
    And hardly shall I cary out my side
    Her husband being aliue, now then we'le vse
    2910His countenadce for the battaile, which being done
    Let her that would be rid of him deuise
    His speedie taking off, as for his mercy
    Which he entends to Lear and to Cordelia:
    The battaile done, and they within our power
    2915Shall neuer see his pardon, for my state
    Stands on me to defend, not to debate.
    Alarum. Enter the powers of France ouer the stage, Cordelia with
    her father in her hand.
    Enter Edgar and Gloster.
    Edg. Here father, take the shaddow of this bush
    For your good hoast, pray that the right may thriue