Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


The Historie of King Lear.
Glost. O villaine, villaine, his very opinion in the let410ter, ab-
horred villaine, vnnaturall detested brutish villaine, worse then
brutish, go sir seeke him, I apprehend him, abhominable villaine
where is he?
Bast. I doe not well know my Lord, if it shall please you to
suspend your indignation against my brother, til you can 415deriue
from him better testimony of this intent: you should run a cer-
taine course, where if you violently proceed against him, mi-
staking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your owne
honour, & shake in peeces the heart of his obediẽce, I dare pawn
downe my life for him, 420he hath wrote this to feele my affection
to your honour, and to no further pretence of danger.
Glost. Thinke you so?
Bast. If your honour iudge it meete, I will place you where
you shall heare vs conferre of this, and by an auri425gular assurance
haue your satisfaction, and that without any further delay then
this very euening.
Glost. He cannot be such a monster.
427.1Bast. Nor is not sure.
Glost. To his father, that so tenderly and intirely loues him,
heauen and earth! Edmund seeke him out, wind mee into him, I
pray you frame your busines after your own wisedome, I would
vnstate my 430selfe to be in a due resolution.
Bast. I shall seeke him sir presently, conuey the businesse as I
shall see meanes, and acquaint you withall.
Glost. These late eclipses in the Sunne and Moone portend
no good to vs, though the wisedome of nature can 435reason thus
and thus, yet nature finds it selfe scourg'd by the sequent effects,
loue cooles, friendship fals off, brothers diuide, in Citties mu-
tinies, in Countries discords, Pallaces treason, the bond crackt
betweene sonne and father; find out this villaine Edmund, it shal
loose 445thee nothing, doe it carefully, and the noble and true har-
ted Kent banisht, his offence honest, strange strange!
Bast. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when
we are sicke in Fortune, often the surfeit of our owne behauiour,
we make guiltie of our disasters, the Sunne, the 450Moone, and the
Starres, as if we were Villaines by necessitie, Fooles by heauen-
ly compulsion, Knaues, Theeues, and Trecherers by spirituall
C2
predomina-