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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    1795Is it not as this mouth should teare this hand
    For lifting food to't, but I will punish sure,
    No I will weepe no more, in such a night as this!
    O Regan, Gonorill, 1800your old kind father
    Whose franke heart gaue you all, O that way madnes (lies,
    Let me shun that, no more of that.
    Kent. Good my Lord enter.
    Lear. Prethe goe in thy selfe, seeke thy one ease
    1805This tempest will not giue me leaue to ponder
    On things would hurt me more, but ile goe in,
    Poore naked wretches, where so ere you are
    1810That bide the pelting of this pittiles night,
    How shall your house-lesse heads, and vnfed sides,
    Your loopt and windowed raggednes defend you
    From seasons such as these, O I haue tane
    Too little care of this, take physicke pompe,
    1815Expose thy selfe to feele what wretches feele,
    That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
    And shew the heauens more iust.
    1820Foole. Come not in here Nunckle, her's a spirit, helpe me, helpe
    Kent. Giue me thy hand, whose there.
    Foole. A spirit, he sayes, his nam's poore Tom.
    1825Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there in the straw,
    come forth?
    Edg. Away, the fowle fiend followes me, thorough the sharpe
    hathorne blowes the cold wind, goe to thy cold bed and warme
    1830Lear. Hast thou giuen all to thy two daughters, and art thou
    come to this?
    Edg. Who giues any thing to poore Tom, whome the foule
    Fiende hath led, through fire, and through foord, and
    whirli-poole, ore bog and quag1835mire, that has layd kniues vn-
    der his pillow, and halters in his pue, set ratsbane by his pottage,
    made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting horse ouer
    foure incht bridges, to course his owne shadow for a traytor,
    blesse thy fiue wits, Toms a cold, 1840blesse thee from whirle-winds,
    starre-blusting, and taking, doe poore Tom some charitie, whom