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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1608)

    The Hi storie of King Lear.
    Glo st . No, what needes then that terribe dispatch of it into
    your pocket, the qualitie of nothing hath not such need to hide
    it selfe, lets see, come if it bee no370thing I shall not neede specta-
    cles.
    Ba. I beseech you Sir pardon me, it is a letter from my brother,
    that I haue not all ore read, for so much as I haue perused, I find it
    not fit for your liking.
    375 Glo st . Giue me the letter sir.
    Ba st , I shall offend either to detaine or giue it, the contents
    as in part I vnder stand them, are too blame.
    Glo st . Lets see, lets see?
    380 Ba st . I hope for my brothers iu stification, he wrot this but
    as an e s s ay, or ta st of my vertue. A Letter.
    Glo st . This policie of age makes the world bitter to the be st
    of our times, keepes our fortunes from vs till our oldnes cannot
    reli sh them, I begin to find an idle 385and fond bondage in the op-
    pre s sion of aged tyranny, who swaies not as it hath power, but as
    it is suffered, come to me, that of this I may speake more, if our
    father would sleepe till I wakt him, you should inioy halfe his
    reuenew for euer, and liue the beloued of your brother Ed -
    gar.
    390 Hum, conspiracie, slept till I wakt him, you should enioy halfe
    his reuenew, my sonne Edgar, had hee a hand to write this, a
    hart, and braine to breed it in, when came this to you, who
    brought it?
    Ba st . It was not brought me my Lord, ther's the 395cunning of
    it, I found it throwne in at the casement of my closet.
    Glo st . You know the Caractar to be your brothers?
    Ba st . If the matter were good, my Lord I dur st sweare it were
    his but in respect, of that I would faine thinke it 400were
    not,
    Glost . It is his?
    Ba st . It is his hand my Lord, but I hope his heart is not in
    the contents.
    Glo st . Hath he neuer heretofore soũded you in this bu sines?
    405 Ba st . Neuer my Lord, but I haue often heard him maintaine
    it to be fit, that sons at perfit age, & fathers declining, his father
    should be as ward to the sonne, and the sonne mannage the re-
    uenew.
    Glo st .