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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Edg. Worthy Prince I know't.
    Alb. Where haue you hid your selfe?
    How haue you knowne the miseries of your father ?
    Edg. By nur sing them my Lord,
    Li st a briefe tale, 3145and when tis told
    3145.1 O that my heart would bur st the bloudy proclamation
    To escape that followed me so neere,
    O our liues sweetnes, that with the paine of death,
    Would hourly die, rather then die at once.
    Taught me to shift 3150into a mad-mans rags
    To a s s ume a semblance that very dogges disdain'd
    And in this habit met I my father with his bleeding rings,
    The precious stones new lo st became his guide,
    Led him, beg'd for him, sau'd him from dispaire,
    3155 Neuer (O Father) reueald my selfe vnto him,
    Vntill some halfe houre pa st, when I was armed,
    Not sure, though, hoping of this good succe s s e,
    I askt his ble s sing, and from fir st to la st,
    Told him my pilgrimage, but his flawd heart,
    3160 Alacke too weake, the conflict to support,
    Twixt two extreames of pa s sion, ioy and griefe,
    Bur st smillingly.
    Ba st . This speech of yours hath moued me,
    And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
    3165 You looke as you had something more to say,
    Alb. If there be more, more wofull, hold it in,
    For I am almo st ready to di s s olue, hearing of this,
    3168.1 Edg. This would haue seemd a periode to such
    As loue not sorow, but another to amplifie too much,
    Would make much more, and top extreamitie
    Whil' st I was big in clamor, came there in a man,
    3168.5 Who hauing seene me in my wor st e state,
    Shund my abhord society, but then finding
    Who twas that so indur'd with his strong armes
    He fa stened on my necke and bellowed out,
    As hee'd bur st heauen, threw me on my father,
    3168.10 Told the mo st pitious tale of Lear and him,
    That euer eare receiued, which in recounting