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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    fie, fie, fie, pah, pah, Giue mee an ounce of Ciuet, good Apo-
    thocarie,to sweeten my imagination, ther's money for thee.
    Glost. O let me kisse that hand.
    2575Lear. Here wipe it first, it smels of mortalitie.
    Glost. O ruind peece of nature, this great world should so
    weare out to naught, do you know me?
    2580Lear. I remember thy eyes well inough, dost thou squiny on
    me, no do thy worst blind Cupid, ile not loue, reade thou that
    challenge, marke the penning oft.
    Glost. Were all the letters sunnes I could not see one.
    2585Edg. I would not take this from report, it is, and my heart
    breakes at it. Lear. Read. Glost. What! with the case of eyes
    Lear. O ho, are you there with me, no eyes in your 2590head, norno mony in your purse, your eyes are in a heauie case, your purse
    in a light, yet you see how this world goes.
    Glost. I see it feelingly.
    Lear. What art mad, a man may see how the world 2595goes with
    no eyes, looke with thy eares, see how yon Iustice railes vpon
    yon simple theefe, harke in thy eare handy, dandy, which is the
    theefe, which is the Iustice, thou hast seene a farmers dogge barke
    at a begger.2600 Glost. I sir.
    Lear. And the creature runne from the cur, there thou mightst
    behold the great image of authoritie, a dogge, so bade in office,
    thou rascall beadle hold thy bloudy hand, why dost thou lash
    that whore, strip thine owne 2605backe, thy bloud hotly lusts to vse
    her in that kind for which thou whipst her, the vsurer hangs the
    cosioner, through tottered raggs, smal vices do appeare, robes &
    furd-gownes hides all, get thee glasse eyes, and like a scuruy po-
    lititian seeme to see the things thou doest not, no now pull off
    my 2615bootes, harder, harder, so.
    Edg. O matter and impertinencie mixt reason in madnesse.
    Lear. If thou wilt weepe my fortune take my eyes, I knowe
    thee well inough thy name is Gloster, 2620thou must be patient, we
    came crying hither, thou knowest the first time that we smell the
    aire, we wayl and cry, I will preach to thee marke me.
    Gost. Alack alack the day.
    Lear. When we are borne, we crie that wee are come 2625to this
    great stage of fooles, this a good blocke. It were a delicate stra-