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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Duke. What is the matter sir?
    Lear. Ile tell thee, life and death! I am asham'd
    815that thou hast
    power to shake my manhood thus, that these hot teares that
    breake from me perforce. should make the worst blasts and fogs
    vpon the vntented woundings of a fathers cursse, 820pierce euery
    sence about the old fond eyes, beweepe this cause againe, ile
    pluck you out, & you cast with the waters that you make to tem-
    per clay, yea, i'st come to this? yet haue I left a daughter, 825whom
    I am sure is kind and comfortable, when shee shall heare this of
    thee, with her nailes shee'l flea thy woluish visage, thou shalt
    find that ile resume the shape, which thou dost thinke I haue cast
    off for euer, thou shalt I warrant thee.
    830Gon. Doe you marke that my Lord?
    Duke. I cannot bee so partiall Gonorill
    to the great loue I beare you,
    Gon. Come sir no more,
    you, more knaue then foole, after your master? 835
    Foole. Nunckle Lear, Nunckle Lear, tary and take the foole with a fox when one has caught her, and such a daughter should sure to the slaughter, 840if my cap would buy a halter, so the foole followes after.
    Gon. What Oswald, ho.Oswald. Here Madam,
    Gon. What haue you writ this letter to my sister?
    Osw. Yes Madam. 860
    Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse,
    informe her full of my particular feares, and thereto add such reasons of
    your owne, as may compact it more, get you gon, & hasten your
    returne now my Lord, 865this mildie gentlenes and course of yours
    though I dislike not, yet vnder pardon y'are much more attastk
    for want of wisedome, then praise for harmfull mildnes.
    Duke. How farre your eyes may pearce I cannot tell, 870striuingto better ought, we marre whats well.
    Gon. Nay then. Duke. Well, well, the euent, Exeunt
    Enter Lear.
    875Lear. Goe you before to
    Gloster with these letters, acquaint
    my daughter no further with any thing you know, then comes
    from her demand out of the letter, if your diligence be not spee-
    die, I shall be there before you.