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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    set a worke by a reproueable badnes in himselfe.
    Bast. How malicious is my fortune, that I must re1980pent to bee
    iust? this is the letter he spoke of, which approues him an intelli-
    gent partie to the aduantages of France, O heauens that his trea-
    son were, or not I the detecter.
    Corn. Goe with me to the Dutches.
    1985Bast. If the matter of this paper be certaine, you haue mighty
    busines in hand.
    Corn. True or false, it hath made thee Earle of Gloster, seeke
    out where thy father is, that hee may bee readie for our appre-
    1990Bast. If I find him comforting the King, it will stuffe his sus-
    pition more fully, I will perseuere in my course of loyaltie,
    though the conflict be sore betweene that and my bloud.
    Corn. I will lay trust vpon thee, and thou shalt find 1995a dearer
    father in my loue. Exit.
    Enter Gloster and Lear, Kent, Foole, and Tom.
    Glost. Here is better then the open ayre, take it thankfully, I
    will peece out the comfort with what addition I 2000can, I will not be
    long from you.
    Ken. All the power of his wits haue giuen way to impatience,
    the Gods deserue your kindnes.
    Edg. Fretereto cals me, and tels me Nero is an ang2005ler in the
    lake of darknes, pray innocent beware the foule fiend.
    Foole. Prithe Nunckle tell me, whether a mad man be a Gen-
    tleman or a Yeoman.
    Lear. A King, a King, to haue a thousand with red burning
    spits come hiszing in vpon them.
    2014.1Edg. The foule fiend bites my backe,
    Foole. He's mad, that trusts in the tamenes of a Wolfe, a hor-
    ses health, a boyes loue, or a whores oath.
    Lear. It shalbe done, I wil arraigne them straight,
    2014.5Come sit thou here most learned Iustice
    Thou sapient sir sit here, no you shee Foxes--
    Edg. Looke where he stands and glars, wanst thou eyes, at
    tral madam come ore the broome Bessy to mee.
    Foole. Her boat hath a leake, and she must not speake,
    2014.10Why she dares not come, ouer to thee.