Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)


The History of King Lear.
tale in telling it, and deliuer a plaine message bluntly, that which
565ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified, and the best of me, is
diligence.
Lear. How old art thou?
Kent. Not so young to loue a woman for singing, nor so old to
dote on her for any thing, I haue yeares on my backe forty eight.
Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serue me, if I like thee no worse
after dinner, I will not part from thee yet; dinner ho, dinner,
where's my knaue my foole, goe you and call my foole hether,
you sirra, where's my daughter?
575
Enter Steward.
Steward. So please you -----
Lear. What saies the fellow there? call the clat-pole backe,
where's my foole? ho, I thinke the world's asleepe, how now,
where's that mungrell?
580Kent. He saies my Lord, your daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the slaue backe to me when I call'd him?
Seruant. Sir, he answered me in the roundest mannner, hee
585would not.
Lear. He would not?
Seruant. My Lord, I know not what the matter is, but to my
iudgement, your Highnesse is not entertain'd with that ceremo-
nious affection as you were wont, there's a great abatement ap-
peares as well in the generall dependants, as in the Duke himselfe
590also, and your daughter.
Lear. Ha, saist thou so?
Seruant. I beseech you pardon me my Lord, if I be mistaken,
for my duty cannot be silent, when I thinke your Highnesse is
595wrong'd.
Lear. Thou but remembrest me of mine owne conception, I
haue perceiued a most faint neglect of late, which I haue rather
blamed as mine owne iealous curiosity, then as a very pretence
and purport of vnkindnes; I will look further into it, but wher's
600this foole? I haue not seene him this two daies.
Seruant. Since my young Ladies going into France sir, the
foole hath much pined away.
Lear. No more of that, I haue noted it, goe you and tell my
C
daughter