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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Historie of King Lear.
    defuse, my good intent may carry through it selfe to that full is -
    sue for which I raz'd my likenes, now bani sht Kent, 535if thou can st
    serue where thou do st stand condem'd, thy mai ster whom thou
    loue st shall find the full of labour.
    Enter Lear.
    Lear. Let me not stay a iot for dinner, goe get it readie, 540how
    now, what art thou ?
    Kent. A man Sir.
    Lear. What do st thou profe s s e? what would' st thou with vs?
    Kent. I doe profe s s e to be no le s s e then I seeme, to serue 545him
    truly that will put me in tru st, to loue him that is hone st, to con-
    uerse with him that is wise, and sayes little, to feare iudgement,
    to fight when I cannot chuse, and to eate no fi she.
    Lear. What art thou ?
    550 Kent. A very hone st harted fellow, and as poore as the king.
    Lear. If thou be as poore for a subiect, as he is for a King, thar't
    poore enough, what would' st thou ?
    Kent. Seruice. Lear. 555Who would' st thou serue ?
    Kent. You. Lear. Do' st thou know me fellow?
    Kent. No sir, but you haue that in your countenance, which
    I would faine call Mai ster.
    560 Lear. Whats that? Kent. Authoritie.
    Lear. What seruices can st doe ?
    Kent. I can keepe hone st counsaile, ride, run, mar a curious
    tale in telling it, and deliuer a plaine me s s age 565bluntly, that
    which ordinarie men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the be st
    of me, is diligence.
    Lear, How old art thou ?
    Kent. Not so yong to loue a woman for singing, nor so old to
    dote on her for any thing, I haue yeares on 570my backe fortie
    eight.
    Lear. Follow mee, thou shalt serue mee, if I like thee no
    worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet, dinner, ho din-
    ner, wher's my knaue, my foole, goe you and call my foole he-
    ther, you sirra, whers my daughter?
    575 Enter Steward.
    Steward. So please you,
    Lear. What say's the fellow there, call the clat-pole backe,
    wher's