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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Sure her offence 240mu st be of such vnnaturall degree,
    That mon sters it, or you for voucht affections
    Falne into taint, which to beleeue of her
    Mu st be a faith that reason without miracle
    Could neuer plant in me.
    245 Cord. I yet beseech your Maie stie,
    If for I want that glib and oyly Art,
    To speake and purpose not, since what I well entend
    Ile do't before I speake, that you may know
    It is no vicious blot, murder or foulnes,
    250 No vncleane action or di shonord step
    That hath depriu'd me of your grace and fauour,
    But euen for want of that, for which I am rich,
    A still soliciting eye, and such a tongue,
    As I am glad I haue not, though not to haue it,
    255 Hath lo st me in your liking.
    Leir. Goe to, goe to, better thou had st not bin borne,
    Then not to haue pleas'd me better.
    Fran. Is it no more but this, a tardines in nature,
    That often leaues the hi storie vnspoke 260that it intends to (do,
    My Lord of Burgundie, what say you to the Lady?
    Loue is not loue when it is mingled with respects that ( stãds
    Aloofe from the intire point wil you haue her?
    She is her selfe and dowre.
    265 Burg. Royall Leir,
    giue but that portion
    Which your selfe proposd, and here I take Cordelia
    By the hand, Dutches of Burgundie,
    Leir. Nothing, I haue sworne.
    270 Burg. I am sory then you haue so lo st a father,
    That you mu st loose a husband.
    Cord. Peace be with Burgundie, since that respects
    Of fortune are his loue, I shall not be his wife.
    275 Fran. Faire st Cordelia that art mo st rich being poore,
    Mo st choise forsaken, and mo st loued despisd,
    Thee and thy vertues here I ceaze vpon,
    Be it lawfull I take vp whats ca st away,
    Gods, Gods! tis strãge, that from their could st neglect,
    280 My loue should kindle to inflam'd respect,