Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
625Foole. Let me hire him too, heer's my coxcombe.
Lear. How now my prety knaue, how do'st thou?
Foole. Sirra, you were best take my coxcombe.
Kent. Why Foole?
Foole. Why for taking on's part, that's out of fauour, 630nay and
thou can'st not smile as the wind sits, thou't catch cold shortly,
there take my coxcombe; why this fellow hath banisht two
on's daughters, and done the third a blessing against his will, if
thou follow him, thou must needs weare my coxcombe, how
now nuncle, would 635I had two coxcombes, and two daughters.
Lear. Why my boy?
Foole. If I gaue them any liuing, id'e keepe my coxcombs
my selfe, ther's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
640Lear. Take heede sirra, the whip.
Foole. Truth is a dog that must to kenell, hee must bee whipt
out, when Ladie oth'e brach may stand by the fire and stincke.
Lear. A pestilent gull to mee.
645Foole. Sirra ile teach thee a speech. Lear. Doe.
Foole. Marke it vncle; haue more then thou shewest, speake
lesse then thou knowest, 650lend lesse then thou owest, ride more
then thou goest, learne more then thou trowest, set lesse then
thou throwest, leaue thy drinke and thy whore, 655and keepe in a
doore, and thou shalt haue more, then two tens to a score.
Lear. This is nothing foole.
Foole. Then like the breath of an vnfeed Lawyer, 660you gaue
me nothing for't, can you make no vse of nothing vncle?
Lear. Why no boy, nothing can be made out of nothing.
Foole. Preethe tell him so much the rent of his land 665comes to,
he will not beleeue a foole.
Lear. A bitter foole.
Foole. Doo'st know the difference my boy, betweene a bitter
foole, and a sweete foole.
Lear. No lad, teach mee.
Foole. That Lord that counsail'd thee to giue away thy land,
Come place him heere by mee, doe thou for him stand,
The sweet and bitter foole will presently appeare,
The one in motley here, the other found out there.
Lear. Do'st thou call mee foole boy?
Foole.