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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    To the warme Sunne.
    1240Approach thou beacon to this vnder gloabe,
    That by thy comfortable beames I may
    Peruse this letter, nothing almost sees my wracke
    But miserie, I know tis from Cordelia,
    Who hath most fortunately bin informed
    1245Of my obscured course, and shall find time
    From this enormious state, seeking to giue
    Losses their remedies, all wearie and ouerwatch
    Take vantage heauie eyes not to behold
    This shamefull lodging, Fortune goodnight,
    1250Smile, once more turne thy wheele. sleepes.
    Enter Edgar.
    Edg. I heare my selfe proclaim'd,
    And by the happie hollow of a tree
    Escapt the hunt, no Port is free, no place
    1255That guard, and most vnusuall vigilence
    Dost not attend my taking while I may scape,
    I will preserue my selfe, and am bethought
    To take the basest and most poorest shape,
    That euer penury in contempt of man,
    1260Brought neare to beast, my face ile grime with filth,
    Blanket my loynes, else all my haire with knots,
    And with presented nakednes outface,
    The wind, and persecution of the skie,
    The Countrie giues me proofe and president
    1265Of Bedlam beggers, who with roring voyces,
    Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare armes,
    Pins, wodden prickes, nayles, sprigs of rosemary,
    And with this horrible obiect from low seruice,
    Poore pelting villages, sheep-coates, and milles,
    1270Sometime with lunaticke bans, sometime with prayers
    Enforce their charitie, poore Turlygod, poore Tom,
    That's something yet, Edgar I nothing am. Exit
    Enter King.
    Lear. Tis strange that they should so depart from (hence,
    1275And not send backe my messenger.
    Knight. As I learn'd, the night before there was