Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
Kent. That from your life of difference and decay,
3255Haue followed your sad steps. Lear. You'r welcome hither.
Kent. Nor no man else, als chearles, darke and deadly,
Your eldest daughters haue foredoome themselues,
3260And desperatly are dead. Lear. So thinke I to.
Duke. He knowes not what he sees, and vaine it is,
That we present vs to him. 3265 Edg. Very bootlesse. Enter Captaine.
Capt. Edmund is dead my Lord.
Duke. Thats but a trifle heere, you Lords and noble friends,
Know our intent, what comfort to this decay may come, 3270shall be
applied: for vs we wil resigne during the life of this old maiesty,
to him our absolute power, you to your rights with boote, and
such addition as your honor haue more then merited, all friends
shall 3275tast the wages of their vertue, and al foes the cup of their de-
seruings, O see, see.
Lear. And my poore foole is hangd, no, no life, why should a
dog, a horse, a rat of life and thou no breath at all, O thou wilt
come no more, 3280neuer, neuer, neuer, pray you vndo this button,
thanke you sir, O, o, o, o. Edg. He faints my Lord, my Lord.
3285Lear. Breake hart, I prethe breake. Edgar. Look vp my Lord.
Kent. Vex not his ghost, O let him passe,
He hates him that would vpon the wracke,
Of this tough world stretch him out longer.
3290Edg. O he is gone indeed.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endured so long,
He but vsurpt his life.
Duke. Beare them from hence, our present busines
Is to generall woe, friends of my soule, you twaine
3295Rule in this kingdome, and the goard state sustaine.
Kent. I haue a iourney sir, shortly to go,
My maister cals, and I must not say no.
Duke. The waight of this sad time we must obey,
Speake what we feele, not what we ought to say,
3300The oldest haue borne most, we that are yong,
Shall neuer see so much, nor liue so long.