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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)
  • Editor: Pervez Rizvi
  • 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: Pervez Rizvi
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

    The History of King Lear.
    thou goest, learne more then thou trowest, set lesse then thou
    throwest, leaue thy drinke and thy whore, and keepe in a doore,
    and thou shalt haue more, then two tens to a score.
    Lear. This is nothing foole.
    Foole. Then like the breath of an vnfeed Lawyer, you gaue me
    660nothing for it; can you make no vse of nothing Vncle?
    Lear. Why no boy, nothing can be made out of nothing.
    Foole. Prethee tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to,
    665he will not beleeue a foole.
    Lear. A bitter foole.
    Foole. Dost thou know the difference my boy, betweene a bit-
    ter foole, and a sweete foole.
    Lear. No lad, teach me.
    669.1Foole. That Lord that counsaild thee to giue away thy Land,
    Come place him heere by me, do thou for him stand,
    The sweete and bitter foole will presently appeare,
    The one in motley here, the other found out there.
    669.5Lear. Dost thou call me foole boy?
    Foole. Al thy other Titles thou hast giuen away, that thou wast
    borne with.
    Kent. This is not altogether foole my Lord.
    Foole. No faith, Lords and great men will not let me, if I had
    669.10a monopolie out, they would haue part on't, and lodes too, they
    will not let me haue all foole to my selfe, thei'l be snatching; giue
    670me an egge Nunckle, and ile giue thee two crownes.
    Lear. What two crownes shall they be?
    Foole. Why after I haue cut the egge in the middle and eate vp
    the meate, the two crownes of the egge: when thou clouest thy
    675crowne in the middle, and gauest away both parts, thou borest
    thy asse on thy back ore the dirt, thou hadst little wit in thy bald
    crowne, when thou gauest thy golden one away; if I speak like
    my selfe in this, let him be whipt that first findes it so.
    680Fooles had nere lesse wit in a yeare,
    For wise men are growne foppish,
    They know not how their wits do weare,
    Their manners are so apish.
    Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs sirra?