Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

Enter Cornwall, and Regan, and Gonorill, and Bastard.
2060Corn. Post speedily to my Lord your husband shew him this(letter
The army of France is landed, seeke out the vilaine Gloster.
Regan. Hang him instantly.
Gon. Plucke out his eyes.
2065Corn. Leaue him to my displeasure, Edmũd keep you our sister (company.
The reuenge we are bound to take vpon your trayterous father,
Are not fit for your beholding, aduise the Duke where you are (going
To a most festuant preparatiõ we are bound to the like,
Our 2070post shall be swift and intelligence betwixt vs,
Farewell deere sister, farewell my Lord of Gloster,
How now whers the King? Enter Steward.
Stew. My Lord of Gloster hath conueyd him hence,
2075Some fiue or sixe and thirtie of his Knights hot questrits after
him, met him at gate, who with some other of the Lords depen-
dants are gone with him towards Douer, where they boast to
haue well armed friends.
2080Corn. Get horses for your mistris.
Gon. Farewell sweet Lord and sister. Exit Gon. and Bast..
Corn. Edmund farewell. goe seeke the traytor Gloster.
Pinion him like a theefe, bring him before vs,
Though we may not passe vpon his life
2085Without the forme of Iustice, yet our power
Shall doe a curtesie to our wrath, which men may blame
But not controule, whose there, the traytor?
Enter Gloster brought in by two or three,
2090Reg. Ingratfull Fox tis hee.
Corn. Bind fast his corkie armes.
Glost. What meanes your Graces, good my friends consider,
You are my gests, doe me no foule play friends.
2095Corn. Bind him I say,
Reg. Hard hard, O filthie traytor!
Glost. Vnmercifull Lady as you are, I am true.
Corn. To this chaire bind him, villaine thou shalt find---
2100Glost. By the kind Gods tis most ignobly done, to pluck me
by the beard. Reg. So white and such a Traytor.
Glost. Naughty Ladie, these haires which thou dost rauish from(my chin
2105Will quicken and accuse thee, I am your host.
With robbers hands, my hospitable fauours
You should not ruffell thus, what will you doe.
Corn. Come sir, what letters had you late from France?
2110Reg. Be simple answerer, for we know the truth.
Corn. And what confederacy haue you with the tratours late
footed in the king dome?
Reg. To whose hands you haue sent the lunatick King speake?
2115Glost. I haue a letter gessingly set downe
Which came from one, that's of a neutrall heart,
And not from one oppos'd.
Corn. Cunning. Reg. And false.
2120 Corn. Where hast thou sent the King? Glost. To Douer.
Reg. Wherefore to Douer? wast thou not charg'd at perill---
Corn. Wherefore to Douer? let him first answere that.
2125Glost. I am tide tot'h stake, and I must stand the course.
Reg. Wherefore to Douer sir?
Glost. Because I would not see thy cruell nayles
Pluck out his poore old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
2130In his annoynted flesh rash borish phangs,
The Sea with such a storme of his lou'd head
In hell blacke night indur'd, would haue layd vp
And quencht the steeled fires, yet poore old heart,
Hee holpt the heauens to rage,
2135If wolues had at thy gate heard that dearne time
Thou shouldst haue said, good Porter turne the key,
All cruels else subscrib'd but I shall see
The winged vengeance ouertake such children.
Corn. Seet shalt thou neuer, fellowes hold the chaire,
2140Vpon those eyes of thine, Ile set my foote.
Glost. He that will thinke to liue till he be old
Giue me some helpe, O cruell, O ye Gods!
Reg. One side will mocke another, tother to.
Corn. If you see vengeance---
2145Seruant. Hold your hand my Lord
I haue seru'd euer since I was a child
But better seruice haue I neuer done you, thẽ now to bid(you hold.
Reg. How now you dogge.
2150Seru. If you did weare a beard vpon your chin id'e shake it
on this quarrell, what doe you meane?
Corn. My villaine.
draw and fight.
Seru. Why then come on, and take the chance of anger.
Reg. Giue me thy sword, a pesant stand vp thus.
2155Shee takes a sword and runs at him behind.
Seruant. Oh I am slaine my Lord, yet haue you one eye left to
see some mischiefe on him, oh!
Corn, Least it see more preuent it, out vild Ielly.
Where is thy luster now?
2160Glost. All darke and comfortles, wher's my sonne Edmund?
Edmund vnbridle all the sparks of nature, to quit this horred act.
Reg. Out villaine, 2165thou calst on him that hates thee, it was he
that made the ouerture of thy treasons to vs, who is too good to
pittie thee.
Glost. O my follies, then Edgar was abus'd,
Kind Gods forgiue me that, and prosper him.
2170Reg. Goe thrust him out at gates, and let him smell his way to
Douer, how ist my Lord? how looke you?
Corn. I haue receiu'd a hurt, follow me Ladie,
Turne out that eyles villaine, throw this slaue 2175vpon
The dungell Regan, I bleed apace, vntimely
Comes this hurt, giue me your arme.
2176.1Seruant. Ile neuer care what wickednes I doe,
If this man come to good.
2 Seruant. If she liue long, & in the end meet the old course
of death, women will all turne monsters.
2177.51 Ser. Lets follow the old Earle, and get the bedlom
To lead him where he would, his madnes
Allows it selfe to any thing.
2 Ser. Goe thou, ile fetch some flaxe and whites of egges to
apply to his bleeding face, now heauen helpe him. Exit.