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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    For now I spie a danger, I intreat you,
    1545To bring but fiue and twentie, to no more
    Will I giue place or notice.
    Lear. I gaue you all.
    Reg. And in good time you gaue it.
    Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries,
    1550But kept a reseruation to be followed
    With such a number, what, must I come to you
    With fiue and twentie, Regan said you so?
    Reg. And speak't againe my Lord, no more with me.
    Lea. Those wicked creatures yet do seem wel fauor'd
    1555When others are more wicked, not being the worst
    Stands in some ranke of prayse, Ile goe with thee,
    Thy fifty yet doth double fiue and twentie,
    And thou art twice her loue.
    Gon. Heare me my Lord,
    1560What need you fiue and twentie, tenne, or fiue,
    To follow in a house, where twise so many
    Haue a commaund to tend you.
    Regan. What needes one?
    Lear. O reason not the deed, our basest beggers,
    1565Are in the poorest thing superfluous,
    Allow not nature more then nature needes,
    Mans life as cheape as beasts, thou art a Lady,
    If onely to goe warme were gorgeous,
    Why nature needes not, what thou gorgeous wearest
    1570Which scarcely keepes thee warme, but for true need,
    You heauens giue me that patience, patience I need,
    You see me here (you Gods) a poore old fellow,
    As full of greefe as age, wretched in both,
    If it be you that stirres these daughters hearts
    1575Against their Father, foole me not to much,
    To beare it lamely, touch me with noble anger,
    O let not womens weapons, water drops
    Stayne my mans cheekes, no you vnnaturall hags,
    I will haue such reuenges on you both,
    1580That all the world shall, I will doe such things,
    What they are yet I know not, but they shalbe