Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)


2347.1
Enter Kent and a Gentleman.
Kent. Why the King of Fraunce is so suddenly gone backe,
know you no reason.
Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, which since his
.5comming forth is thought of, which imports to the Kingdome,
So much feare and danger that his personall returne was most re-
quired and necessarie.
Kent. Who hath he left behind him, General.
Gent. The Marshall of France Monsier la Far.
.10Kent. Did your letters pierce the queene to any demonstratiõ
Gent. I say she tooke them, read them in my presence,
And now and then an ample teare trild downe
Her delicate cheeke, it seemed she was a queene ouer her passion,
Who most rebell-like, sought to be King ore her.
.15Kent. O then it moued her.
Gent. Not to a rage, patience and sorow streme,
Who should expresse her goodliest you haue seene,
Sun shine and raine at once, her smiles and teares,
Were like a better way those happie smilets,
.20That playd on her ripe lip seeme not to know,
What guests were in her eyes which parted thence,
As pearles from diamonds dropt in briefe,
Sorow would be a raritie most beloued,
If all could so become it.
.25Kent. Made she no verball question.
Gent. Faith once or twice she heau'd the name of father,
Pantingly forth as if it prest her heart,
Cried sisters, sisters, shame of Ladies sisters:
Kent, father, sisters, what ith storme ith night,
.30Let pitie not be beleeft there she shooke,
The holy water from her heauenly eyes,
And clamour moystened her, then away she started,
To deale with griefe alone.
Kent. It is the stars, the stars aboue vs gouerne our conditions,
.35Else one selfe mate and make could not beget,
Such different issues, you spoke not with her since.
Gent. No.Kent. Was this before the King returnd.
Gent. No, since.
Kent. Well sir, the poore distressed Lear's ith towne,
.40Who some time in his better tune remembers,
What we are come about, and by no meanes will yeeld to see his
Gent. Why good sir?
Kent. A soueraigne shame so elbows him his own vnkindnes
That stript her from his benediction turnd her,
.45To forraine casualties gaue her deare rights,
To his dog-harted daughters, these things sting his mind,
So venomously that burning shame detaines him from Cordelia.
Gent. Alack poore Gentleman.
Kent. Of Albanies and Cornewals powers you heard not.
.50Gent. Tis so they are a foote.
Kent. Well sir, ile bring you to our maister Lear,
And leaue you to attend him some deere cause,
Will in concealement wrap me vp awhile,
When I am knowne aright you shall not greeue,
.55Lending me this acquaintance, I pray you go along with me.