Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
His griefe grew puissant and the strings of life,
Began to cracke twice, then the trumpets sounded.
And there I left him traunst.
3168.15Alb. But who was this.
Ed. Kent sir, the banisht Kent, who in diguise,
Followed his enemie king and did him seruice
Improper for a slaue.
Enter one with a bloudie knife,
3170Gent. Helpe, helpe,
Alb. What kind of helpe, what meanes that bloudy(knife?
Gent. Its hot it smokes, it came euen from the heart 3175of -
Alb. Who man, speake?
Gent. Your Lady sir, your Lady, and her sister
By her is poysoned, she hath confest it.
Bast. I was contracted to them both, all three
3180Now marie in an instant.
Alb. Produce their bodies, be they aliue or dead,
3185This Iustice of the heauens that makes vs tremble,
Touches vs not with pity. Edg. Here comes Kent sir.
Alb. O tis he, the time will not allow Enter Kent
The complement that very manners vrges.
Kent. I am come 3190to bid my King and maister ay good night,
Is he not here?
Duke. Great thing of vs forgot,
Speake Edmund, whers the king, and whers Cordelia
Seest thou this obiect Kent. The bodies of Gonorill and Regan are brought in.
3195Kent. Alack why thus.
Bast. Yet Edmund was beloued,
The one the other poysoned for my sake,
And after slue her selfe. Duke. Euen so, couer their faces.
3200Bast. I pant for life, some good I meane to do,
Despight of my owne nature, quickly send,
Be briefe, int toth' castle for my writ,
Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia,
Nay send in time.3205 Duke. Runne, runne, O runne.
Edg. To who my Lord, who hath the office, send
Thy token of repreeue.
Bast. Well thought on, take my sword the Captaine,