Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
fie, fie, fie, pah, pah, Giue mee an ounce of Ciuet, good Apo-
thocarie,to sweeten my imagination, ther's money for thee.
Glost. O let me kisse that hand.
2575Lear. Here wipe it first, it smels of mortalitie.
Glost. O ruind peece of nature, this great world should so
weare out to naught, do you know me?
2580Lear. I remember thy eyes well inough, dost thou squiny on
me, no do thy worst blind Cupid, ile not loue, reade thou that
challenge, marke the penning oft.
Glost. Were all the letters sunnes I could not see one.
2585Edg. I would not take this from report, it is, and my heart
breakes at it.
Lear. Read. Glost. What! with the case of eyes
Lear. O ho, are you there with me, no eyes in your 2590head, nor
no mony in your purse, your eyes are in a heauie case, your purse
in a light, yet you see how this world goes.
Glost. I see it feelingly.
Lear. What art mad, a man may see how the world 2595goes with
no eyes, looke with thy eares, see how yon Iustice railes vpon
yon simple theefe, harke in thy eare handy, dandy, which is the
theefe, which is the Iustice, thou hast seene a farmers dogge barke
at a begger.
2600 Glost. I sir.
Lear. And the creature runne from the cur, there thou mightst
behold the great image of authoritie, a dogge, so bade in office,
thou rascall beadle hold thy bloudy hand, why dost thou lash
that whore, strip thine owne 2605backe, thy bloud hotly lusts to vse
her in that kind for which thou whipst her, the vsurer hangs the
cosioner, through tottered raggs, smal vices do appeare, robes &
furd-gownes hides all, get thee glasse eyes, and like a scuruy po-
lititian seeme to see the things thou doest not, no now pull off
my 2615bootes, harder, harder, so.
Edg. O matter and impertinencie mixt reason in madnesse.
Lear. If thou wilt weepe my fortune take my eyes, I knowe
thee well inough thy name is Gloster, 2620thou must be patient, we
came crying hither, thou knowest the first time that we smell the
aire, we wayl and cry, I will preach to thee marke me.
Gost. Alack alack the day.
Lear. VVhen we are borne, we crie that wee are come 2625to this
great stage of fooles, this a good blocke. It were a delicate stra-
gem,