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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • Textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • 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: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

    The Historie of King Lear.
    625Foole. Let me hire him too, heer's my coxcombe.
    Lear. How now my prety knaue, how do'st thou?
    Foole. Sirra, you were best take my coxcombe.
    Kent. Why Foole?
    Foole. Why for taking on's part, that's out of fauour, 630nay and
    thou can'st not smile as the wind sits, thou't catch cold shortly,
    there take my coxcombe; why this fellow hath banisht two
    on's daughters, and done the third a blessing against his will, if
    thou follow him, thou must needs weare my coxcombe, how
    now nuncle, would 635I had two coxcombes, and two daughters.
    Lear. Why my boy?
    Foole. If I gaue them any liuing, id'e keepe my coxcombs
    my selfe, ther's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
    640Lear. Take heede sirra, the whip.
    Foole. Truth is a dog that must to kenell, hee must bee whipt
    out, when Ladie oth'e brach may stand by the fire and stincke.
    Lear. A pestilent gull to mee.
    645Foole. Sirra ile teach thee a speech. Lear. Doe.
    Foole. Marke it vncle, haue more then thou shewest, speake
    lesse then thou knowest, 650lend lesse then thou owest, ride more
    then thou goest, learne more then thou trowest, set lesse then
    thou throwest, leaue thy drinke and thy whore, 655and 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, 660you gaue
    me nothing for't, can you make no vse of nothing vncle?
    Lear. Why no boy, nothing can be made out of nothing.
    Foole. Preethe tell him so much the rent of his land 665comes to,
    he will not beleeue a foole.
    Lear. A bitter foole.
    Foole. Doo'st know the difference my boy, betweene a bitter
    foole, and a sweete foole.
    Lear. No lad, teach mee.
    670Foole. 670.01That Lord that counsail'd thee to giue away thy land,
    Come place him heere by mee, doe thou for him stand,
    The sweet and bitter foole will presently appeare,
    The one in motley here, the other found out there.
    670.05Lear. Do'st thou call mee foole boy?