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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Hi storie of King Lear.
    That rightly thinks, and ha st mo st iu stly said,
    And your large speeches may your deedes approue,
    That good effects may spring from wordes of loue:
    200 Thus Kent O Princes, bids you all adew,
    Heele shape his old course in a countrie new.
    Enter France and Burgundie with Glo ster.
    Glo st . Heers France and Burgundie my noble Lord.
    205 Lear. My L. of Burgũdie, we fir st addres towards you,
    Who with a King hath riuald for our daughter,
    What in the lea st will you require in present
    Dower with her, or cease your que st of loue?
    210 Burg. Royall maie sty,
    I craue no more then what
    Your highnes offered, nor will you tender le s s e?
    Lear. Right noble Burgundie, when she was deere to (vs
    We did hold her so, 215but now her prise is fallen,
    Sir there she stands, if ought within that little
    Seeming sub stãce, or al of it with our displeasure peec' st,
    And nothing else may fitly like your grace,
    Shees there, and she is yours.
    220 Burg. 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.
    225 Burg. Pardon me royall sir, election makes not vp
    On such conditions.
    Lear. Then leaue her sir, for by the powre that made (me
    I tell you all her wealth, for you great King,
    I would not from your loue make such a stray,
    230 To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you,
    To auert your liking a more worthier way,
    Then on a wretch whome nature is a shamed
    Almo st to acknowledge hers.
    Fra. This is mo st strange, 235that she, that euen but now
    Was your be st obiect, the argument of your praise,
    Balme of your age, mo st be st, mo st deere st,
    Should in this trice of time commit a thing,
    So mon strous to dismantell so many foulds of fauour,