Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Enough, enough and die that thing you speake of,
I tooke it for a man, often would it say
The fiend the fiend, he led me to that place
2525Edg. Bare free & patient thoughts, but who comes here
The safer sence will neare accõmodate his maister thus.
Enter Lear mad.
2530Lear. No they cannot touch mee for coyning, I am the king
Edg. O thou side pearcing sight.
Lear. Nature is aboue Art in that respect, ther's your presse
money, that fellow handles his bow like a crow-2535keeper, draw me
a clothiers yard, looke, looke a mowse, peace, peace, this tosted
cheese will do it, ther's my gauntlet, ile proue it on a gyant, bring
vp the browne-billes, O well flowne bird in the ayre, hagh, giue
the word.?
2540 Edg. Sweet Margerum.
Lear. Passe. Glost. I know that voyce.
Lear. Ha Gonorill, ha Regan, they flattered mee like a dogge,
and tould me I had white haires in 2545my beard, ere the black ones
were there, to say I and no, to euery thing I saide, I and no toe,
was no good diuinitie, when the raine came to wet me once, and
the winde to make mee chatter, when the thunder would not
peace at my bidding, there I found them, there I smelt them 2550out,
goe toe, they are not men of their words, they told mee I was
euery thing, tis a lye, I am not argue-proofe.
Glost. The tricke of that voyce I doe well remember, ist not
the King?
Lear. I euer inch a King 2555when I do stare, see how the subiect
quakes, I pardon that mans life, what was thy cause, adultery?
thou shalt not die for adulterie, no the wren goes toot, and the
smal guilded flie doe letcher in my sight, let copulation thriue,
2560for Glosters bastard son was kinder to his father then my daugh-
ters got tweene the lawfull sheets, toot luxurie, pell, mell, for I
lacke souldiers, behold yon simpring dame whose face between
her forkes presageth snow, that minces vertue, and do shake 2565the
head heare of pleasures name to fichew nor the soyled horse
goes toot with a more riotous appetite, down frõ the wast tha're
centaures, though women all aboue, but to the girdle doe the
gods inherit, beneath is all the fiends, thers hell, thers dark2570nesse,
ther's the sulphury pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumation,
fie,