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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    sooth I will hould my tongue, so your face bids mee, though
    you say nothing.
    710Mum, mum, he that keepes neither crust nor crum,
    Wearie of all, shall want some. That's a sheald pescod.
    Gon. Not onely sir this, your all-licenc'd foole, but other of
    your insolent retinue do hourely carpe and quarrell, breaking
    forth in ranke & (not to be indured riots,) Sir I had thought by
    making this well knowne vnto you, to haue found a safe redres,
    but now grow fearefull by what your selfe too late haue spoke
    and done, that you protect this course, and put on 720by your al-
    lowance, which if you should, the fault would not scape censure,
    nor the redresse, sleepe, which in the tender of a wholsome
    weale, might in their working doe you that offence, that else
    were shame, that then necessitie 725must call discreet proceedings.
    Foole. For you trow nuncle, the hedge sparrow fed the Coo-
    kow so long, that it had it head bit off beit young, so out went
    the candle, and we were left darkling.
    730Lear. Are you our daughter?
    Gon. Come sir, I would you would make vse of that good
    wisedome whereof I know you are fraught, and put away these
    dispositions, that of late transforme you from what you rightly
    735Foole. May not an Asse know when the cart drawes the horse,
    whoop Iug I loue thee.
    Lear. Doth any here know mee? why this is not Lear, 740doth
    Lear walke thus? speake thus? where are his eyes, either his no-
    tion, weaknes, or his discernings are lethergie, sleeping, or wake-
    ing; ha! sure tis not so, who is it that can tell me who I am? Lears
    shadow? I would learne that, for by the markes of soueraintie,
    744.1knowledge, and reason, I should bee false perswaded I had
    Foole. Which they, will make an obedient father.
    745Lear. Your name faire gentlewoman?
    Gon. Come sir, this admiration is much of the sauour of other
    your new prankes, I doe beseech you vnderstand my purposes
    aright, as you are old and reuerend, should be wise, 750here do you
    keepe a 100. Knights and Squires, men so disordred, so deboyst
    and bold, that this our court infected with their manners, showes