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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • Textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • Coordinating 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1608)

    The Historie of King Lear.
    The mistresse of Heccat, and the might,
    By all the operation of the orbs,
    From whome we doe exsist and cease to be
    120Heere I disclaime all my paternall care,
    Propinquitie and property of blood,
    And as a stranger to my heart and me
    Hould thee from this for euer, the barbarous Scythyan,
    Or he that makes his generation
    Messes 125to gorge his appetite
    Shall bee as well neighbour'd, pittyed and relieued
    As thou my sometime daughter.
    Kent. Good my Liege.
    Lear. Peace Kent, 130come not between the Dragon & (his wrath,
    I lou'd her most, and thought to set my rest
    On her kind nurcery, hence and auoide my sight?
    So be my graue my peace as here I giue,
    Her fathers heart from her, call France, who stirres?
    135Call Burgundy, Cornwell, and Albany,
    With my two daughters dower digest this third,
    Let pride, which she cals plainnes, marrie her:
    I doe inuest you iointly in my powre,
    Preheminence, and all the large effects
    140That troope with Maiestie, our selfe by monthly course
    With reseruation of an hundred knights,
    By you to be sustayn'd, shall our abode
    Make with you by due turnes, onely we still retaine
    The name and all the additions to a King,
    The sway, 145reuenue, execution of the rest,
    Beloued sonnes be yours, which to confirme,
    This Coronet part betwixt you.
    Kent. Royall Lear,
    Whom I haue euer honor'd as my King,
    150Loued as my Father, as my maister followed,
    As my great patron thought on in my prayers.
    Lear. The bow is bẽt & drawen make from the shafte.
    Kent. Let it fall rather,
    Though the forke inuade the region of my heart,
    Be Kent vnmannerly 155when Lear is man,