Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
like a riotous Inne, epicurisme, and lust make more like a tauerne
or brothell, 755then a great pallace, the shame it selfe doth speake
for instant remedie, be thou desired by her, that else will take the
thing shee begs, a little to disquantitie your traine, and the re-
mainder that shall still depend, 760to bee such men as may besort
your age, that know themselues and you.
Lear. Darkenes, and Deuils! saddle my horses, call my traine
together, degenerate bastard, ile not trouble thee, 765yet haue I left
a daughter.
Gon. You strike my people, and your disordred rabble, make
seruants of their betters. Enter Duke.
Lear. We that too late repent's, O sir, are you come? 770is it your
will that wee prepare any horses, ingratitude! thou marble har-
ted fiend, more hideous when thou shewest thee in a child, then
the Sea-monster, 775detested kite, thou list my traine, and men of
choise and rarest parts, that all particulars of dutie knowe, and
in the most exact regard, support the worships of their name, O
most small fault, 780how vgly did'st thou in Cordelia shewe, that
like an engine wrencht my frame of nature from the fixt place,
drew from my heart all loue and added to the gall, O Lear. Lear!
beat at this gate that let thy folly in, 785and thy deere iudgement
out, goe goe, my people?
Duke, My Lord, I am giltles as I am ignorant.
Leir. It may be so my Lord, harke Nature, heare deere God-
desse, 790suspend thy purpose, if thou did'st intend to make this
creature fruitful into her wombe, conuey sterility, drie vp in hir
the organs of increase, and from her derogate body neuer spring
795a babe to honour her, if shee must teeme, create her childe of
spleene, that it may liue and bee a thourt disuetur'd torment to
her, let it stampe wrinckles in her brow of youth, with accent
teares, fret channels in her cheeks, 800turne all her mothers paines
and benefits to laughter and contempt, that shee may feele, that
she may feele, how sharper then a serpents tooth it is, to haue a
thanklesse child, goe, goe, my people?
Duke. Now Gods that we adore, 805whereof comes this!
Gon. Neuer afflict your selfe to know the cause, but let his
disposition haue that scope that dotage giues it.
810Lear. What, fiftie of my followers at a clap, within a fortnight?