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About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-463-9

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Sexta.
    Enter Kent, and Gloucester.
    Glou. Heere is better then the open ayre, take it thank-
    fully: I will peece out the comfort with what addition I
    2000can: I will not be long from you.
    Kent. All the powre of his wits, haue giuen way to his
    impatience: the Gods reward your kindnesse.
    Enter Lear, Edgar, and Foole.
    Edg. Fraterretto cals me, and tells me Nero is an Ang-
    2005ler in the Lake of Darknesse: pray Innocent, and beware
    the foule Fiend.
    Foole. Prythee Nunkle tell me, whether a madman be
    a Gentleman, or a Yeoman.
    Lear. A King, a King.
    2010Foole. No, he's a Yeoman, that ha's a Gentleman to
    his Sonne: for hee's a mad Yeoman that sees his Sonne a
    Gentleman before him.
    Lear. To haue a thousand with red burning spits
    Come hizzing in vpon 'em.
    2015Edg. Blesse thy fiue wits.
    Kent. O pitty: Sir, where is the patience now
    That you so oft haue boasted to retaine?
    Edg. My teares begin to take his part so much,
    They marre my counterfetting.
    2020Lear. The little dogges, and all;
    Trey, Blanch, and Sweet-heart: see, they barke at me.
    Edg. Tom, will throw his head at them: Auaunt you
    Curres, be thy mouth or blacke or white:
    Tooth that poysons if it bite:
    2025Mastiffe, Grey-hound, Mongrill, Grim,
    Hound or Spaniell, Brache, or Hym:
    Or Bobtaile tight, or Troudle taile,
    Tom will make him weepe and waile,
    For with throwing thus my head;
    2030Dogs leapt the hatch, and all are fled.
    Do, de, de, de: sese: Come, march to Wakes and Fayres,
    And Market Townes: poore Tom thy horne is dry,
    Lear. Then let them Anatomize Regan: See what
    breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in Nature that
    2035make these hard-hearts. You sir, I entertaine for one of
    my hundred; only, I do not like the fashion of your gar-
    ments. You will say they are Persian; but let them bee
    Enter Gloster.
    2040Kent. Now good my Lord, lye heere, and rest awhile.
    Lear. Make no noise, make no noise, draw the Cur-
    taines: so, so, wee'l go to Supper i'th'morning.
    Foole. And Ile go to bed at noone.
    Glou. Come hither Friend:
    2045Where is the King my Master?
    Kent. Here Sir, but trouble him not, his wits are gon.
    Glou. Good friend, I prythee take him in thy armes;
    I haue ore-heard a plot of death vpon him:
    There is a Litter ready, lay him in't,
    2050And driue toward Douer friend, where thou shalt meete
    Both welcome, and protection. Take vp thy Master,
    If thou should'st dally halfe an houre, his life
    With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
    Stand in assured losse. Take vp, take vp,
    2055And follow me, that will to some prouision
    Giue thee quicke conduct. Come, come, away.