Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


1655
Enter Lear and Foole.
Lear. Blow wind & cracke your cheekes, rage, blow
You caterickes, & Hircanios spout til you haue drencht,
The steeples drown'd the cockes, you sulpherous and
Thought executing fires, 1660vaunt-currers to
Oke-cleauing thunderboults, singe my white head,
And thou all shaking thunder, smite flat
The thicke Rotunditie of the world, cracke natures
Mold, all Germains spill at once that make
Ingratefull man.
1665Foole. O Nunckle, Court holy water in a drie house
Is better then this raine water out a doore,
Good Nunckle in, and aske thy daughters blessing,
Heers a night pities nether wise man nor foole.
Lear. Rumble thy belly full, spit fire, spout raine,
1670Nor raine, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters,
I taske not you you elements with vnkindnes,
I neuer gaue you kingdome, cald you children,
You owe me no subscription, why then let fall your horrible
Here I stãd your slaue, 1675a poore infirme weak &
Despis'd ould man, but yet I call you seruile
Ministers, that haue with 2. pernitious daughters ioin'd
Your high engẽdred battel gainst a head so old & white
As this, O tis foule.
1680Foole. Hee that has a house to put his head in, has a good
headpeece, the Codpeece that will house before the head, has
any the head and hee shall lowse, so beggers mary many, the
man that makes his toe, what hee his heart should make, 1685shall
haue a corne cry woe, and turne his sleepe to wake, for
there was neuer yet faire woman but shee made mouthes in a
glasse.
Lear. No I will be the patterne of all patience
Enter Kent.
1690I will say nothing.
Kent. Whose there?
Foole. Marry heers Grace, & a codpis, that's a wiseman and
a foole.
Kent. Alas sir, sit you here?
Things that loue night, 1695loue not such nights as these,
The wrathfull Skies gallow, the very wanderer of the
Darke, and makes them keepe their caues,
Since I was man, such sheets of fire,
Such bursts of horred thunder, such grones of
Roaring winde, and rayne, I ne're 1700remember
To haue heard, mans nature cannot cary
The affliction, nor the force.
Lear. Let the great Gods that keepe this dreadful
Powther ore our heades, find out their enemies now,
Tremble thou wretch 1705that hast within thee
Vndivulged crimes, vnwhipt of Iustice,
Hide thee thou bloudy hand, thou periur'd, and
Thou simular man of vertue that art incestious,
Caytife in peeces shake, that vnder couert
And conuenient seeming, 1710hast practised on mans life,
Close pent vp guilts, riue your concealed centers,
And cry these dreadfull summoners grace,
I am a man more sind against their sinning.
Kent. Alacke bare headed, 1715gracious my Lord, hard by here is
a houell, some friendship will it lend you gainst the tempest, re-
pose you there, whilst I to this hard house, more hard then is
the stone whereof tis rais'd, which euen but now demaunding
after me, 1720denide me to come in, returne and force their scanted
curtesie.
Lear. My wit begins to turne,
Come on my boy, how dost my boy, art cold?
I am cold my selfe, where is this straw my fellow,
1725The art of our necessities is strange that can,
Make vild things precious, come you houell poore,
Foole and knaue, I haue one part of my heart
That sorrowes yet for thee.
Foole. Hee that has a little tine witte, 1730with hey ho the wind
and the raine, must make content with his fortunes fit, for the
raine, it raineth euery day.
Lear. True my good boy, come bring vs to this houell?