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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Glost. Tis the times plague, 2235when madmen lead the(blind,
    Doe as I bid thee, or rather doe thy pleasure,
    Aboue the rest, be gon.
    Old man. Ile bring him the best parrell that I haue
    Come on't what will.
    2240Glost. Sirrah naked fellow.
    Edg. Poore Toms a cold, I cannot dance it farther.
    Glost. Come hither fellow.
    Edg. Blesse thy sweete eyes, they bleed.
    2245Glost. Knowst thou the way to Douer?
    Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and foot-path,
    Poore Tom hath beene scard out of his good wits,
    Blesse the good man from the foule fiend,
    2248.1Fiue fiends haue beene in poore Tom at once,
    Of lust, as Obidicut, Hobbididence Prince of dumbnes,
    Mahu of stealing, Modo of murder, Stiberdigebit of
    Mobing, & Mobing who since possesses chambermaids
    2248.5And waiting women, so, blesse thee maister.
    Glost. Here take this purse, thou whome the heauens(plagues.
    2250Haue humbled to all strokes, that I am wretched, makes(thee
    The happier, heauens deale so still,
    Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man
    That stands your ordinance, that will not see
    Because he does not feele, feele your power quickly,
    2255So distribution should vnder excesse,
    And each man haue enough, dost thou know Douer?
    Edg. I master.
    Glost. There is a cliffe whose high & bending head
    Lookes firmely in the confined deepe,
    2260Bring me but to the very brimme of it
    And ile repaire the misery thou dost beare
    With something rich about me,
    From that place I shal no leading need.
    Edg. Giue me thy arme, 2265poore Tom shall lead thee.
    Enter Gonorill and Bastard.
    Gon. Welcome my Lord, I maruaile our mild husband
    Not met vs on the way, now wher's your maister?
    2269.1Enter Steward.