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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    On him, hollow the other. Exeunt.
    1655Enter Lear and Foole.
    Lear. Blow wind & cracke your cheekes, rage, blow
    You caterickes, & Hircanios spout til you haue drencht,
    The steeples drown'd the cockes, you sulpherous and
    Thought executing fires, 1660vaunt-currers to
    Oke-cleauing thunderboults, singe my white head,
    And thou all shaking thunder, smite flat
    The thicke Rotunditie of the world, cracke natures
    Mold, all Germains spill at once that make
    Ingratefull man.
    1665Foole. O Nunckle, Court holy water in a drie house
    Is better then this raine water out a doore,
    Good Nunckle in, and aske thy daughters blessing,
    Heers a night pities nether wise man nor foole.
    Lear. Rumble thy belly full, spit fire, spout raine,
    1670Nor raine, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters,
    I taske not you you elements with vnkindnes,
    I neuer gaue you kingdome, cald you children,
    You owe me no subscription, why then let fall your horrible (plesure
    Here I stãd your slaue, 1675a poore infirme weak &
    Despis'd ould man, but yet I call you seruile
    Ministers, that haue with 2. pernitious daughters ioin'd
    Your high engẽdred battel gainst a head so old & white As this, O tis foule.
    1680Foole. Hee that has a house to put his head in, has a good
    headpeece, the Codpeece that will house before the head, has
    any the head and hee shall lowse, so beggers mary many, the
    man that makes his toe, what hee his heart should make, 1685shall
    haue a corne cry woe, and turne his sleepe to wake, for
    there was neuer yet faire woman but shee made mouthes in a
    Lear. No I will be the patterne of all patience En.ter Kent.
    1690I will say nothing.
    Kent. Whose there?
    Foole. Marry heers Grace, & a codpis, that's a wiseman anda foole.
    Kent. Alas sir, sit you here?