Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
Lear. First let me talke with this Philosopher,
What is the cause of thunder?
Kent. My good Lord take his offer, 1935goe into the house.
Lear. Ile talke a word with this most learned Theban, what is
your studie?
Edg. How to preuent the fiend, and to kill vermine.
Lear. Let me aske you one word in priuate.
1940Kent. Importune him to goe my Lord, his wits begin (to vnsettle.
Glost. Canst thou blame him,
His daughters seeke his death, O that good Kent,
He said it would be thus, poore banisht man,
1945Thou sayest the King growes mad, ile tell thee friend
I am almost mad my selfe, I had a sonne
Now out-lawed from my bloud, a sought my life
But lately, very late, I lou'd him friend
No father his sonne deerer, true to tell thee,
1950The greefe hath craz'd my wits,
What a nights this? I doe beseech your Grace.
Lear. O crie you mercie noble Philosopher, your com-(pany.
Edg. Toms a cold.
1955Glost. In fellow there, in't houell keepe thee warme.
Lear. Come lets in all.
Kent. This way my Lord.
Lear. With him I wil keep stil, with my Philosopher.
1960Ken. Good my Lord sooth him, let him take the fellow.
Glost. Take him you on.
Kent. Sirah come on, goe along with vs?
Lear. Come good Athenian.
1965Glost. No words, no words, hush.
Edg. Child Rowland, to the darke towne come,
His word was still fy fo and fum,
I smell the bloud of a British man.
1970Enter Cornewell and Bastard.
Corn. I will haue my reuenge ere I depart the house.
Bast. How my Lord I may be censured, that nature thus giues
way to loyaltie, some thing feares me to 1975thinke of.
Corn. I now perceiue it was not altogether your brothers e-
uill disposition made him seeke his death, but a prouoking merit,