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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Corn. And what confederacy haue you with the tratours late
    footed in the king dome?
    Reg. To whose hands you haue sent the lunatick King speake?
    2115Glost. I haue a letter gessingly set downe
    Which came from one, that's of a neutrall heart,
    And not from one oppos'd.
    Corn. Cunning. Reg. And false.
    2120 Corn. Where hast thou sent the King? Glost. To Douer.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer? wast thou not charg'd at perill---
    Corn. Wherefore to Douer? let him first answere that.
    2125Glost. I am tide tot'h stake, and I must stand the course.
    Reg. Wherefore to Douer sir?
    Glost. Because I would not see thy cruell nayles
    Pluck out his poore old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
    2130In his annoynted flesh rash borish phangs,
    The Sea with such a storme of his lou'd head
    In hell blacke night indur'd, would haue layd vp
    And quencht the steeled fires, yet poore old heart,
    Hee holpt the heauens to rage,
    2135If wolues had at thy gate heard that dearne time
    Thou shouldst haue said, good Porter turne the key,
    All cruels else subscrib'd but I shall see
    The winged vengeance ouertake such children.
    Corn. Seet shalt thou neuer, fellowes hold the chaire,
    2140Vpon those eyes of thine, Ile set my foote.
    Glost. He that will thinke to liue till he be old
    Giue me some helpe, O cruell, O ye Gods!
    Reg. One side will mocke another, tother to.
    Corn. If you see vengeance---
    2145Seruant. Hold your hand my Lord
    I haue seru'd euer since I was a child
    But better seruice haue I neuer done you, thẽ now to bid(you hold.
    Reg. How now you dogge.
    2150Seru. If you did weare a beard vpon your chin id'e shake it
    on this quarrell, what doe you meane?
    Corn. My villaine.
    draw and fight.
    Seru. Why then come on, and take the chance of anger.
    Reg. Giue me thy sword, a pesant stand vp thus.