Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed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