Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
I thinke our father will hence to night.
Reg. That's most certaine, and with you, next month with vs.
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is, the obseruation
315we haue made of it hath not beene little; he alwaies loued our
sister most, and with what poore iudgement hee hath now cast
her off, appeares too grosse.
Reg. Tis the infirmity of his age, yet he hath euer but slen-
derly knowne himselfe.
320Gono. The best and soundest of his time hath bin but rash,
then must we looke to receiue frõ his age, not alone the imper-
fection of long ingrafted condition, but therwithal vnruly wai-
wardnes, that infirme and cholericke yeares bring with them.
325Reg. Such vnconstant stars are we like to haue from him, as
this of Kents banishment.
Gono. There is further complement of leaue taking between
France and him, pray lets hit together, if our Father cary autho-
rity with such dispositions as he beares, this last surrender of
330his will but offend vs.
Regan. We shall further thinke on't.
Gon. We must do something, and it'h heate.
Enter Bastard solus.
335Bast. Thou Nature art my Goddesse, to thy law my seruices
are bound, wherefore should I stand in the plague of custome,
and permit the curiosity of Nations to depriue me, for that I am
some 12. or 14. moone-shines lag of a brother: why bastard?
340wherefore base, when my dementions are as well compact, my
minde as generous, & my shape as true as honest madams issue,
why brand they vs with base, base bastardy? who in the lusty
345stealth of nature, take more composition and fierce quality, then
doth within a stale dull lie[d] bed, goe to the creating of a whole
tribe of fops got tweene sleepe and wake; well the legitimate
350Edgar, I must haue your land, our Fathers loue is to the bastard
Edmund, as to the legitimate: well my legitimate. if this letter
speed, and my inuention thriue, Edmund the base shall tooth'le-
355gitimate: I grow, I prosper, now Gods stand vp for Bastards.
Enter Glocester.
Glost. Kent banisht thus, and France in choller parted, and