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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    odated man, is no more but such a poore bare forked Animall
    as thou art, off off you lendings, come on
    Foole. Prithe Nunckle be content, this is a naughty night to
    swim in, now a little fire in a wild field, were like an old leachers
    heart, a small sparke, all the rest in bodie cold, looke here comes
    a walking fire. Enter Gloster.
    1895Edg. This is the foule fiend fliberdegibek, hee begins at cur-
    phew, and walks till the first cocke, he giues the web, & the pin,
    squemes the eye, and makes the hare lip, mildewes the white
    wheate, and hurts the poore creature of earth, swithald 1900footed
    thrice the old, he met the night mare and her nine fold bid her, O
    light and her troth plight and arint thee, witch arint thee.
    Kent. How fares your Grace?
    1905Lear. Whats hee?
    Kent. Whose there, what i'st you seeke?
    Glost. What are you there? your names?
    Edg. Poore Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the tode, the
    tod pole, the wall-newt, and the water, that 1910in the furie of his
    heart, when the foule fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets, swal-
    lowes the old ratt, and the ditch dogge, drinkes the greene man-
    tle of the standing poole, who is whipt from tithing to tithing,
    and stock-punisht and imprisoned, who hath had three sutes 1915to
    his backe, sixe shirts to his bodie, horse to ride, and weapon
    to weare.
    But mise and rats, and such small Deere,
    Hath beene Toms foode for seuen long yeare-
    Beware my follower, peace snulbug, peace thou fiend.
    1920Glost. What hath your Grace no better company?
    Edg. The Prince of darkenes is a Gentleman, modo he's caled
    and ma hu---
    Glost. Our flesh and bloud is growne so vild my Lord, that it
    doth hate what gets it.
    1925Edg. Poore Toms a cold.
    Glost. Go in with me, my dutie cãnot suffer to obay in all your
    daughters hard commaunds, though their iniunction be to barre
    my doores, and let this tyranous night take hold vpon you, 1930yet
    haue I venter'd to come seeke you out, and bring you where
    both food and fire is readie.