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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    why Gloster, Gloster, id'e speake with the Duke of Cornewall, and
    his wife.
    Glost. I my good Lord.
    Lear. The King would speak with Cornewal, the deare father
    Would with his daughter speake, commands her seruice,
    1380Fierie Duke, tell the hot Duke that Lear,
    No but not yet may be he is not well,
    Infirmitie doth still neglect all office, where to our health
    Is boũd, we are not our selues, when nature being oprest
    Cõmand the mind 1385to suffer with the bodie, ile forbeare,
    And am fallen out with my more hedier will,
    To take the indispos'd and sickly fit, for the sound man,
    Death on my state, wherfore should he sit here?
    This act perswades me, 1390that this remotion of the Duke, (& her
    Is practise, only giue me my seruant forth,
    Tell the Duke and's wife, Ile speake with them
    Now presently, bid them come forth and heare me,
    Or at their chamber doore ile beat the drum,
    1395Till it cry sleepe to death.
    Glost. I would haue all well betwixt you.
    Lear. O my heart, my heart.
    Foole. Cry to it Nunckle, as the Cokney did to the eeles, when
    she put vm ith pâst aliue, she rapt vm 1400ath coxcombs with a stick,
    and cryed downe wantons downe, twas her brother, that in pure
    kindnes to his horse buttered his hay.
    Enter Duke and Regan.
    Lear. Good morrow to you both.
    1405Duke. Hayle to your Grace.
    Reg. I am glad to see your highnes.
    Lear. Regan I thinke you are, I know what reason
    I haue to thinke so, if thou shouldst not be glad,
    I would diuorse me from thy mothers tombe
    1410Sepulchring an adultresse, yea are you free?
    Some other time for that. Beloued Regan,
    Thy sister is naught, oh Regan she hath tyed,
    Sharpe tooth'd vnkindnes, like a vulture heare,
    I can scarce speake to thee, thout not beleeue,
    1415Of how depriued a qualitie, O Regan.