Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
No purpose of his remoue.
Kent. Hayle to thee noble maister.
1280Lear. How, mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?
Foole. Ha ha, looke he weares crewell garters,
Horses are tide by the heeles, dogges and beares
Byt'h necke, munkies bit'h loynes, and men
Byt'h legges, when a mans 1285ouer lusty at legs,
Then he weares wooden neatherstockes.
Lear. Whats he, that hath so much thy place mistooke to set
thee here?
Kent. It is both he and shee, your sonne & daugter.
Lear. No. Kent. Yes.
Lear. No I say, Kent. I say yea.
Lear. No no, they would not.Kent. Yes they haue.
1295Lear. By Iupiter I sweare no, they durst not do't,
They would not, could not do't, tis worse then murder,
To doe vpon respect such violent outrage,
1300Resolue me with all modest hast, which way
Thou may'st deserue, or they purpose this vsage,
Coming from vs.
Kent. My Lord, when at their home
I did commend your highnes letters to them,
1305Ere I was risen from the place that shewed
My dutie kneeling, came there a reeking Post,
Stewd in his hast, halfe breathles, panting forth
From Gonerill his mistris, salutations,
Deliuered letters spite of intermission,
1310Which presently they read, on whose contents
They summond vp their men, straight tooke horse,
Commanded me to follow, and attend the leasure
Of their answere, gaue me cold lookes,
And meeting here the other messenger,
1315Whose welcome I perceau'd had poyson'd mine,
Being the very fellow that of late
Display'd so sawcily against your Highnes,
Hauing more man then wit, about me drew,
He raised the house with loud and coward cries,
1320Your sonne and daughter found this trespas worth