Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
With hor-docks, hemlocke, netles, cookow flowers,
2355Darnell and all the idle weedes that grow,
In our sustayning, corne, a centurie is sent forth,
Search euery acre in the hie growne field,
And bring him to our eye, what can mans wisdome
In the restoring his bereued sence, he that can helpe him
2360Take all my outward worth.
Doct. There is meanes Madame.
Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lackes that to prouoke in him,
Are many simples operatiue whose power,
2365Will close the eye of anguish.
Cord. All blest secrets all you vnpublisht vertues of the earth,
Spring with my teares be aydant and remediat,
In the good mans distresse, seeke, seeke, for him,
2370Lest his vngouernd rage dissolue the life.
That wants the meanes to lead it. Enter messenger.
Mes. News Madam, the Brittish powers are marching hither-(ward.
2375Cord. Tis knowne before, our preparation stands,
In expectation of them, ô deere father
It is thy busines that I go about, therfore great France
My mourning and important teares hath pitied,
No blowne ambition doth our armes in sight
2380But loue, deere loue, and our ag'd fathers right,
Soone may I heare and see him. Exit.
Enter Regan and Steward.
Reg. But are my brothers powers set forth?
2385Stew. I Madam. Reg. Himselfe in person?
Stew. Madam with much ado, your sister is the better soldier.
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your Lady at home.
2390Stew. No Madam.
Reg. What might import my sisters letters to him?
Stew. I know not Lady.
Reg. Faith he is posted hence on serious matter,
It was great ignorance, Glosters eyes being out
2395To let him liue, where he ariues he moues
All harts against vs, and now I thinke is gone
In pitie of his misery to dispatch his nighted life,