Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
What wilt thou doe ould man, think'st thou that dutie
Shall haue dread to speake, when power to flatterie bowes,
To plainnes honours bound when Maiesty stoops to folly,
Reuerse thy doome, 160and in thy best consideration
Checke this hideous rashnes, answere my life
My iudgement, thy yongest daughter does not loue thee least,
Nor are those empty harted whose low, sound
Reuerbs no hollownes.
165Lear. Kent on thy life no more.
Kent. My life I neuer held but as a pawne
To wage against thy enemies, nor feare to lose it
Thy safty being the motiue.
Lear. Out of my sight.
170Kent. See better Lear and let me still remaine,
The true blanke of thine eye.
Lear. Now by Appollo,
Kent. Now by Appollo King thou swearest thy Gods (in vaine.
175Lear. Vassall, recreant.
Kent. Doe, kill thy Physicion,
And the fee bestow vpon the foule disease,
Reuoke thy doome, or whilst I can vent clamour
From my throat, 180ile tell thee thou dost euill.
Lear. Heare me, on thy allegeance heare me?
Since thou hast sought to make vs breake our vow,
Which we durst neuer yet; and with straied pride,
To come betweene our sentence and our powre,
185Which nor our nature nor our place can beare,
Our potency made good, take thy reward,
Foure dayes we doe allot thee for prouision,
To shield thee from diseases of the world,
And on the fift to turne thy hated backe
190Vpon our kingdome, if on the tenth day following,
Thy banisht truncke be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death, away, by Iupiter
This shall not be reuokt.
Kent. Why fare thee well king, since thus thou wilt (appeare,
195Friendship liues hence, and banishment is here,
The Gods to their protection take the maide,