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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Vnnaturall dealing when I desir'd their leaue
    That I might pitty him, 1755they tooke me from me
    The vse of mine owne house, charg'd me on paine
    Of their displeasure, neither to speake of him,
    Intreat for him, nor any way sustaine him.
    Bast. Most sauage and vnnaturall.
    Glost. Go toe say you nothing, ther's a diuisiõ be1760twixt (the Dukes,
    And a worse matter then that, I haue receiued
    A letter this night, tis dangerous to be spoken,
    I haue lockt the letter in my closet, these iniuries
    The King now beares, will be reuenged home
    Ther's part of a power already landed,
    We must incline to the King, I 1765will seeke him, and
    Priuily releeue him, goe you and maintaine talke
    With the Duke, that my charity be not of him
    Perceiued, if hee aske for me, I am ill, and gon
    To bed, though I die for't, as no lesse is threatned me,
    The King my old master must be releeued, there is
    Some strãge thing 1770toward, Edmund pray you be careful. Exit.
    Bast. This curtesie forbid thee, shal the Duke instãly (know
    And of that letter to, this seems a faire deseruing
    And must draw me that which my father looses, no lesse
    Then all, 1775then yonger rises when the old doe fall. Exit.
    Enter Lear, Kent, and foole.
    Kent. Here is the place my Lord, good my Lord enter, the
    tyrannie of the open nights too ruffe 1780for nature to indure.
    Lear. Let me alone. Kent. Good my Lord enter.
    Lear. Wilt breake my heart?
    Kent. I had rather breake mine owne, 1785good my Lord enter.
    Lear. Thou think'st tis much, that this tempestious storme
    Inuades vs to the skin, so tis to thee,
    But where the greater malady is fixt
    The lesser is scarce felt, thoud'st shun a Beare,
    1790But if thy flight lay toward the roring sea,
    Thoud'st meet the beare it'h mouth, whẽ the mind's free
    The bodies delicate, this tempest in my mind
    Doth from my sences take all feeling else
    Saue what beates their filiall ingratitude,