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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Kent. With you goodman boy, and you please come, 1120ile
    fleash you, come on yong maister.
    Glost. Weapons, armes, whats the matter here?
    Duke. Keepe peace vpon your liues, hee dies that strikes a-
    gaine, what's the matter?
    Reg. The messengers from our sister, and the King.
    1125Duke. Whats your difference, speake?
    Stew. I am scarse in breath my Lord.
    Kent. No maruaile you haue so bestir'd your valour, you
    cowardly rascall, nature disclaimes in thee, a Tayler made thee.
    1130Duke. Thou art a strange fellow, a Taylor make a man.
    Kent. I, a Tayler sir; a Stone-cutter, or a Painter could not
    haue made him so ill, though hee had beene but two houres at
    the trade.
    Glost. Speake yet, how grew your quarrell?
    1135Stew. This ancient ruffen sir, whose life I haue spar'd at sute
    of his gray-beard.
    Kent. Thou whorson Zedd, thou vnnecessarie letter, my
    Lord if you'l giue mee leaue, I will tread this vnboulted villaine
    into morter, and daube the walles of a 1140iaques with him, spare
    my gray beard you wagtayle.
    Duke. Peace sir, you beastly Knaue you haue no reuerence.
    Kent. Yes sir, but anger has a priuiledge.
    Duke. Why art thou angry?
    1145Kent. That such a slaue as this should weare a sword,
    That weares no honesty, such smiling roges as these,
    Like Rats oft bite those cordes in twaine,
    Which are to intrench, to inloose smooth euery passion
    That in the natures of their Lords rebell,
    1150Bring oyle to stir, snow to their colder-moods,
    Reneag, affirme, and turne their halcion beakes
    With euery gale and varie of their maisters,
    Knowing nought like dayes but following, a plague vpon your (epeliptick
    Visage, 1155smoyle you my speeches, as I were a foole?
    Goose and I had you vpon Sarum plaine,
    Id'e send you cackling home to Camulet.,
    Duke. What art thou mad old fellow?
    Glost. How fell you out, say that?