Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    That rightly thinks, and hast most iustly said,
    And your large speeches may your deedes approue,
    That good effects may spring from wordes of loue:
    200Thus Kent O Princes, bids you all adew,
    Heele shape his old course in a countrie new.
    Enter France and Burgundie with Gloster.
    Glost. Heers France and Burgundie my noble Lord.
    205Lear. My L. of Burgũdie, we first addres towards you,
    Who with a King hath riuald for our daughter,
    What in the least will you require in present
    Dower with her, or cease your quest of loue?
    210Burg. Royall maiesty,
    I craue no more then what
    Your highnes offered, nor will you tender lesse?
    Lear. Right noble Burgundie, when she was deere to
    We did hold her so, 215but now her prise is fallen,
    Sir there she stands, if ought within that little
    Seeming substãce, or al of it with our displeasure peec'st,
    And nothing else may fitly like your grace,
    Shees there, and she is yours.
    220Burg. I know no answer.
    Lear. Sir will you with those infirmities she owes,
    Vnfriended, new adopted to our hate,
    Couered with our curse, and stranger'd with our oth,
    Take her or leaue her.
    225Burg. Pardon me royall sir, election makes not vp
    On such conditions.
    Lear. Then leaue her sir, for by the powre that made
    I tell you all her wealth, for you great King,
    I would not from your loue make such a stray,
    230To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you,
    To auert your liking a more worthier way,
    Then on a wretch whome nature is ashamed
    Almost to acknowledge hers.
    Fra. This is most strange, 235that she, that euen but now
    Was your best obiect, the argument of your praise,
    Balme of your age, most best, most deerest,
    Should in this trice of time commit a thing,
    So monstrous to dismantell so many foulds of fauour,