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About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Septima.
    Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gonerill, Bastard,
    and Seruants.
    2060Corn. Poste speedily to my Lord your husband, shew
    him this Letter, the Army of France is landed: seeke out
    the Traitor Glouster.
    Reg. Hang him instantly.
    Gon. Plucke out his eyes.
    2065Corn. Leaue him to my displeasure. Edmond, keepe
    you our Sister company: the reuenges wee are bound to
    take vppon your Traitorous Father, are not fit for your
    beholding. Aduice the Duke where you are going, to a
    most festiuate preparation: we are bound to the like. Our
    2070Postes shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt vs. Fare-
    well deere Sister, farewell my Lord of Glouster.
    Enter Steward.
    How now? Where's the King?
    Stew. My Lord of Glouster hath conuey'd him hence
    2075Some fiue or six and thirty of his Knights
    Hot Questrists after him, met him at gate,
    Who, with some other of the Lords, dependants,
    Are gone with him toward Douer; where they boast
    To haue well armed Friends.
    2080Corn. Get horses for your Mistris.
    Gon. Farewell sweet Lord, and Sister. Exit
    Corn. Edmund farewell: go seek the Traitor Gloster,
    Pinnion him like a Theefe, bring him before vs:
    Though well we may not passe vpon his life
    2085Without the forme of Iustice: yet our power
    Shall do a curt'sie to our wrath, which men
    May blame, but not comptroll.
    Enter Gloucester, and Seruants.
    Who's there? the Traitor?
    2090Reg. Ingratefull Fox, 'tis he.
    Corn. Binde fast his corky armes.
    Glou. What meanes your Graces?
    Good my Friends consider you are my Ghests:
    Do me no foule play, Friends.
    2095Corn. Binde him I say.
    Reg. Hard, hard: O filthy Traitor.
    Glou. Vnmercifull Lady, as you are, I'me none.
    Corn. To this Chaire binde him,
    Villaine, thou shalt finde.
    2100Glou. By the kinde Gods, 'tis most ignobly done
    To plucke me by the Beard.
    Reg. So white, and such a Traitor?
    Glou. Naughty Ladie,
    These haires which thou dost rauish from my chin
    2105Will quicken and accuse thee. I am your Host,
    With Robbers hands, my hospitable fauours
    You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
    Corn. Come Sir.
    What Letters had you late from France?
    2110Reg. Be simple answer'd, for we know the truth.
    Corn. And what confederacie haue you with the Trai-
    tors, late footed in the Kingdome?
    Reg. To whose hands
    You haue sent the Lunaticke King: Speake.
    2115Glou. I haue a Letter guessingly set downe
    Which came from one that's of a newtrall heart,
    And not from one oppos'd.
    Corn. Cunning.
    Reg. And false.
    2120Corn. Where hast thou sent the King?
    Glou. To Douer.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer?
    Was't thou not charg'd at perill.
    Corn. Wherefore to Douer? Let him answer that.
    2125Glou. I am tyed to'th'Stake,
    And I must stand the Course.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer?
    Glou. Because I would not see thy cruell Nailes
    Plucke out his poore old eyes: nor thy fierce Sister,
    2130In his Annointed flesh, sticke boarish phangs.
    The Sea, with such a storme as his bare head,
    In Hell-blacke-night indur'd, would haue buoy'd vp
    And quench'd the Stelled fires:
    Yet poore old heart, he holpe the Heauens to raine.
    2135If Wolues had at thy Gate howl'd that sterne time,
    Thou should'st haue said, good Porter turne the Key:
    All Cruels else subscribe: but I shall see
    The winged Vengeance ouertake such Children.
    Corn. See't shalt thou neuer. Fellowes hold ye Chaire,
    2140Vpon these eyes of thine, Ile set my foote.
    Glou. He that will thinke to liue, till he be old,
    Giue me some helpe. ---- O cruell! O you Gods.
    Reg. One side will mocke another: Th'other too.
    Corn. If you see vengeance.
    2145Seru. Hold your hand, my Lord:
    I haue seru'd you euer since I was a Childe:
    But better seruice haue I neuer done you,
    Then now to bid you hold.
    Reg. How now, you dogge?
    2150Ser. If you did weare a beard vpon your chin,
    I'ld shake it on this quarrell. What do you meane?
    Corn. My Villaine?
    Seru. Nay then come on, and take the chance of anger.
    Reg. Giue me thy Sword. A pezant stand vp thus?
    2155Killes him.
    Ser. Oh I am slaine: my Lord,you haue one eye left
    To see some mischefe on him. Oh.
    Corn. Lest it see more, preuent it; Out vilde gelly:
    Where is thy luster now?
    2160Glou. All datke and comfortlesse?
    Where's my Sonne Edmund?
    Edmund, enkindle all the sparkes of Nature
    To quit this horrid acte.
    Reg. Out treacherous Villaine,
    2165Thou call'st on him, that hates thee. It was he
    That made the ouerture of thy Treasons to vs:
    Who is too good to pitty thee.
    Glou. O my Follies! then Edgar was abus'd,
    Kinde Gods, forgiue me that,and prosper him.
    2170Reg. Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
    His way to Douer. Exit with Glouster.
    How is't my Lord? How looke you?
    Corn. I haue receiu'd a hurt: Follow me Lady;
    Turne out that eyelesse Villaine: throw this Slaue
    2175Vpon the Dunghill: Regan, I bleed apace,
    Vntimely comes this hurt. Giue me your arme. Exeunt,