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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Bast. Fled this way sir, when by no meanes he could---
    Glost. Pursue him, go after, by no meanes, what?
    980Bast. Perswade me to the murder of your Lordship, but that
    I told him the reuengiue Gods, gainst Paracides did all their
    thunders bend, spoke with how many fould and strong a bond
    the child was bound to the father, sir in a fine, 985seeing how loath-
    ly opposite I stood, to his vnnaturall purpose, with fell motion
    with his prepared sword, hee charges home my vnprouided bo-
    dy, lancht mine arme, but when he saw my best alarumd spirits,
    990bould in the quarrels, rights, rousd to the encounter, or whether
    gasted by the noyse I made, but sodainly he fled.
    Glost, Let him flie farre, not in this land shall hee remaine vn-
    caught 995and found, dispatch, the noble Duke my maister, my
    worthy Arch and Patron, comes to night, by his authoritie I will
    proclaime it, that he which finds him shall deserue our thankes,
    bringing the murderous caytife to the stake, 1000hee that conceals
    him, death.
    Bast. When I disswaded him from his intent, and found him
    pight to doe it, with curst speech I threatned to discouer him, he
    replyed, thou vnpossessing Bastard, dost thou thinke, 1005if I would
    stand against thee, could the reposure of any trust, vertue, or
    worth in thee make thy words fayth'd? no. what I should denie,
    as this I would, I, though thou didst produce my very character,
    id'e turne it all 1010to thy suggestion, plot, and damned pretence,
    and thou must make a dullard of the world, if they not thought
    the profits of my death, were very pregnant and potentiall
    spurres to make thee seeke it.
    1015Glost. Strong and fastned villaine, would he denie his letter,
    I neuer got him, harke the Dukes trumpets, I know not why he
    comes, all Ports ile barre, the villaine shall not scape, the Duke
    must grant mee that, besides, his picture 1020I will send farre and
    neere, that all the kingdome may haue note of him, and of my
    land loyall and naturall boy, ile worke the meanes to make thee
    Enter the Duke of Cornwall.
    1025Corn. How now my noble friend, since I came hether, which
    I can call but now, I haue heard strange newes.
    Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short which can