Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Enough, enough,and die that thing you speake of,
    I tooke it for a man, often would it say
    The fiend the fiend, he led me to that place
    2525Edg. Bare free & patient thoughts, but who comes here
    The safer sence will neare accõmodate his maister thus.
    Enter Lear mad.
    2530Lear. No they cannot touch mee for coyning, I am the king (himselfe.
    Edg. O thou side pearcing sight.
    Lear. Nature is aboue Art in that respect, ther's your presse
    money, that fellow handles his bow like a crow-2535keeper, draw me
    a clothiers yard, looke, looke a mowse, peace, peace, this tosted
    cheese will do it, ther's my gauntlet, ile proue it on a gyant, bring
    vp the browne-billes, O well flowne bird in the ayre, hagh, giue
    the word ? 2540 Edg. Sweet Margerum.
    Lear. Passe. Glost. I know that voyce.
    Lear. Ha Gonorill, ha Regan, they flattered mee like a dogge,
    and tould me I had white haires in 2545my beard, ere the black ones
    were there, to say I and no, to euery thing I saide, I and no toe,
    was no good diuinitie, when the raine came to wet me once, and
    the winde to make mee chatter, when the thunder would not
    peace at my bidding, there I found them, there I smelt them 2550out,
    goe toe, they are not men of their words, they told mee I was
    euery thing, tis a lye, I am not argue-proofe.
    Glost. The tricke of that voyce I doe well remember, ist not
    the King?
    Lear. I euer inch a King 2555when I do stare, see how the subiect
    quakes, I pardon that mans life, what was thy cause, adultery?
    thou shalt not die for adulterie, no the wren goes toot, and the
    smal guilded flie doe letcher in my sight, let copulation thriue,
    2560for Glosters bastard son was kinder to his father then my daugh-
    ters got tweene the lawfull sheets, toot luxurie, pell, mell, for I
    lacke souldiers, behold yon simpring dame whose face between
    her forkes presageth snow, that minces vertue, and do shake 2565the
    head heare of pleasures name to fichew nor the soyled horse
    goes toot with a more riotous appetite, down frõ the wast tha're
    centaures, though women all aboue, but to the girdle doe the
    gods inherit, beneath is all the fiends, thers hell, thers dark2570nesse,
    ther's the sulphury pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumation,