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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Corn. And what confederacy haue you with the tratours late
    footed in the king dome?
    Reg. To whose hands you haue sent the lunatick King speake?
    2115 Glo st . I haue a letter ge s singly set downe
    Which came from one, that's of a neutrall heart,
    And not from one oppos'd.
    Corn. Cunning. Reg. And false.
    2120 Corn. Where ha st thou sent the King ? Glo st . To Douer.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer? wa st thou not charg'd at perill---
    Corn. Wherefore to Douer? let him fir st answere that.
    2125 Glost . I am tide tot'h stake, and I mu st stand the course.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer sir?
    Glo st . Because I would not see thy cruell nayles
    Pluck out his poore old eyes, nor thy fierce si ster
    2130 In his annoynted fle sh ra sh bori sh phangs,
    The Sea with such a storme of his lou'd head
    In hell blacke night indur'd, would haue layd vp
    And quencht the steeled fires, yet poore old heart,
    Hee holpt the heauens to rage,
    2135 If wolues had at thy gate heard that dearne time
    Thou should st haue said, good Porter turne the key,
    All cruels else subscrib'd but I shall see
    The winged vengeance ouertake such children.
    Corn. Seet shalt thou neuer, fellowes hold the chaire,
    2140 Vpon those eyes of thine, Ile set my foote.
    Glo st . He that will thinke to liue till he be old
    Giue me some helpe, O cruell, O ye Gods!
    Reg. One side will mocke another, tother to.
    Corn. If you see vengeance---
    2145 Seruant. Hold your hand my Lord
    I haue seru'd euer since I was a child
    But better seruice haue I neuer done you, thẽ now to bid(you hold.
    Reg. How now you dogge.
    2150 Seru. If you did weare a beard vpon your chin id'e shake it
    on this quarrell, what doe you meane?
    Corn. My villaine.
    draw and fight.
    Seru. Why then come on, and take the chance of anger.
    Reg. Giue me thy sword, a pesant stand vp thus.