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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    To the warme Sunne.
    1240 Approach thou beacon to this vnder gloabe,
    That by thy comfortable beames I may
    Peruse this letter, nothing almo st sees my wracke
    But miserie, I know tis from Cordelia,
    VVho hath mo st fortunately bin informed
    1245 Of my obscured course, and shall find time
    From this enormious state, seeking to giue
    Lo s s es their remedies, all wearie and ouerwatch
    Take vantage heauie eyes not to behold
    This shamefull lodging, Fortune goodnight,
    1250 Smile, once more turne thy wheele. sleepes.
    Enter Edgar.
    Edg. I heare my selfe proclaim'd,
    And by the happie hollow of a tree
    Escapt the hunt, no Port is free, no place
    1255 That guard, and mo st vnusuall vigilence
    Do st not attend my taking while I may scape,
    I will preserue my selfe, and am bethought
    To take the base st and mo st poore st shape,
    That euer penury in contempt of man,
    1260 Brought neare to bea st, my face ile grime with filth,
    Blanket my loynes, else all my haire with knots,
    And with presented nakednes outface,
    The wind, and persecution of the skie,
    The Countrie giues me proofe and pre sident
    1265 Of Bedlam beggers, who with roring voyces,
    Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare armes,
    Pins, wodden prickes, nayles, sprigs of rosemary,
    And with this horrible obiect from low seruice,
    Poore pelting villages, sheep-coates, and milles,
    1270 Sometime with lunaticke bans, sometime with prayers
    Enforce their charitie, poore Turlygod, poore Tom,
    That's something yet, Edgar I nothing am. Exit
    Enter King.
    Lear. Tis strange that they should so depart from (hence,
    1275 And not send backe my me s s enger.
    Knight. As I learn'd, the night before there was