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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    fathers tenant this forescore---
    2195Glost. Away, get thee away, good friend be gon,
    Thy comforts can doe me no good at all,
    Thee they may hurt.
    Old man. Alack sir, you cannot see your way.
    Glost. I haue no way, and therefore want no eyes,
    2200I stumbled when I saw, full oft tis seene
    Our meanes secure vs, and our meare defects
    Proue our comodities, ah deere sonne Edgar,
    The food of thy abused fathers wrath,
    Might I but liue to see thee in my tuch,
    2205Id'e say I had eyes againe.
    Old man. How now whose there?
    Edg. O Gods, who ist can say I am at the worst,
    I am worse then ere I was.
    Old man. Tis poore mad Tom.
    2210Edg. And worse I may be yet, the worst is not.
    As long as we can say, this is the worst.
    Old man. Fellow where goest?
    Glost. Is it a begger man?
    Old man. Mad man, and begger to.
    2215Glost. A has some reason, else he could not beg,
    In the last nights storme I such a fellow saw,
    Which made me thinke a man a worme, my sonne
    Came then into my mind, and yet my mind
    Was then scarce friendes with him, 2220I haue heard more(since,
    As flies are toth' wanton boyes, are we toth' Gods,
    They bitt vs for their sport.
    Edg. How should this be, bad is the trade that must play the
    foole to sorrow 2225angring it selfe and others, blesse thee maister.
    Glost. Is that the naked fellow?
    Old man. I my Lord.
    Glost. Then prethee get thee gon, if for my sake
    Thou wilt oretake vs here a mile or twaine
    2230Ith' way toward Douer, doe it for ancient loue
    And bring some couering for this naked soule
    Who Ile intreate to leade me.
    Old man. Alack sir he is mad.