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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Whose reuerence euen the head-lugd beare would lick.
    Mo st barbarous, mo st degenerate haue you madded,
    Could my good brother suffer you to doe it ?
    A man, a Prince, by him so benifited,
    2303.15 If that the heauens doe not their vi sible spirits
    Send quickly downe to tame the vild offences, it will(come
    Humanity mu st perforce pray on it self like mon sters of (the deepe.
    Gon. Milke liuerd man
    2305 That beare st a cheeke for bloes, a head for wrongs,
    Who ha st not in thy browes an eye deseruing thine honour,
    From thy suffering, that not know' st, fools do those vilains pitty
    2307.1 Who are puni sht ere they haue done their mischiefe,
    Wher's thy drum? France spreds his banners in our noyseles land,
    With plumed helme, thy state begin thereat
    Whil' st thou a morall foole sits still and cries
    2307.5 Alack why does he so?
    Alb. See thy selfe deuill, proper deformity shews not in the
    fiend, 2310 so horid as in woman.
    Gon. O vaine foole!
    2311.1 Alb. Thou changed, and selfe-couerd thing for shame
    Be-mon ster not thy feature, wer't my fitnes
    To let these hands obay my bloud,
    They are apt enough to di slecate and teare
    2311.5 Thy fle sh and bones, how ere thou art a fiend,
    A womans shape doth shield thee.
    Gon. Marry your manhood mew---
    Alb. What newes. Enter a Gentleman.
    Gent. O my good Lord the Duke of Cornwals dead, slaine by
    his seruant, going to put out 2315the other eye of Glo ster.
    Alb. Glo sters eyes?
    Gen. A seruant that he bred, thrald with remorse,
    Oppos'd again st the act, bending his sword
    To his great mai ster, who thereat inraged
    2320 Flew on him, and among st them, feld him dead,
    But not without that harmefull stroke, which since
    Hath pluckt him after.
    Alb. This shewes you are aboue you Iu stisers,
    That these our nether crimes 2325 so speedely can venge.