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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)
  • Editor: Pervez Rizvi
  • Coordinating 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: Pervez Rizvi
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

    The Hi story of King Lear.
    thou goe st, learne more then thou trowe st, set le s s e then thou
    throwe st, leaue thy drinke and thy whore, and keepe in a doore,
    and thou shalt haue more, then two tens to a score.
    Lear. This is nothing foole.
    Foole. Then like the breath of an vnfeed Lawyer, you gaue me
    660 nothing for it; can you make no vse of nothing Vncle?
    Lear. Why no boy, nothing can be made out of nothing.
    Foole. Prethee tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to,
    665 he will not beleeue a foole.
    Lear. A bitter foole.
    Foole. Do st thou know the difference my boy, betweene a bit-
    ter foole, and a sweete foole.
    Lear. No lad, teach me.
    669.1 Foole. That Lord that counsaild thee to giue away thy Land,
    Come place him heere by me, do thou for him stand,
    The sweete and bitter foole will presently appeare,
    The one in motley here, the other found out there.
    669.5 Lear. Do st thou call me foole boy?
    Foole. Al thy other Titles thou ha st giuen away, that thou wa st
    borne with.
    Kent. This is not altogether foole my Lord.
    Foole. No faith, Lords and great men will not let me, if I had
    669.10 a monopolie out, they would haue part on't, and lodes too, they
    will not let me haue all foole to my selfe, thei'l be snatching; giue
    670 me an egge Nunckle, and ile giue thee two crownes.
    Lear. What two crownes shall they be?
    Foole. Why after I haue cut the egge in the middle and eate vp
    the meate, the two crownes of the egge: when thou cloue st thy
    675 crowne in the middle, and gaue st away both parts, thou bore st
    thy a s s e on thy back ore the dirt, thou had st little wit in thy bald
    crowne, when thou gaue st thy golden one away; if I speak like
    my selfe in this, let him be whipt that fir st findes it so.
    680 Fooles had nere le s s e wit in a yeare,
    For wise men are growne foppi sh,
    They know not how their wits do weare,
    Their manners are so api sh.
    Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs sirra?
    Foole.
    C2