Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
Our deerest Regan, wife to Cornwell, speake?
Reg. Sir I am made of the selfe same mettall that my sister is,
75And prize me at her worth in my true heart,
I find she names my very deed of loue, onely she came short,
That I professe my selfe an enemie to all other ioyes,
Which the most precious square of sence possesses,
80And find I am alone felicitate, in your deere highnes loue.
Cord. Then poore Cord. & yet not so, since I am sure
My loues more richer then my tongue.
85Lear. To thee and thine hereditarie euer
Remaine this ample third of our faire kingdome,
No lesse in space, validity, and pleasure,
Then that confirm'd on Gonorill, but now our ioy,
Although the last, not least in our deere loue,
What can you say to win a third, more opulent
Then your sisters.
Cord. Nothing my Lord.
Lear. How, nothing can come of nothing, speake (againe.
Cord. Vnhappie that I am, I cannot heaue my heart into my
mouth,--> I loue your Maiestie according to my bond, nor more nor
100Lear. Goe to, goe to, mend your speech a little,
Least it may mar your fortunes.
Cord. Good my Lord,
You haue begot me, bred me, loued me,
I returne those duties backe as are right fit,
105Obey you, loue you, and most honour you,
Why haue my sisters husbands if they say they loue you all,.
Happely when I shall wed, that Lord whose hand
Must take my plight, shall cary halfe my loue with him,
Halfe my care and duty, 110sure I shall neuer
Mary like my sisters, to loue my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Cord. I good my Lord.
Lear. So yong and so vntender.
Cord. So yong my Lord and true.
115Lear. Well let it be so, thy truth then be thy dower,
For by the sacred radience of the Sunne,