Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)


The History of King Lear.
Thou maist deserue, or they purpose this vsage,
Comming from vs.
Kent. My Lord, when at their home
I did commend your Highnesse Letters to them,
1305Ere I was risen from the place that shewed
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking Poste,
Stewd in his haste, halfe breathlesse, panting forth
From Gonorill his Mistris, salutations,
Deliuered letters spite of intermission,
1310Which presently they read; on whose contents
They summoned vp their men, straight tooke horse,
Commanded me to follow, and attend the leisure
Of their answer, gaue me cold lookes,
And meeting heere the other Messenger,
1315Whose welcome I perceiu'd had poisoned mine,
Being the very fellow that of late
Displaid so sawcily against your Highnesse,
Hauing more man then wit about me, drew;
He raised the house with loud and coward cries,
1320Your sonne and daughter found this trespasse worth
This shame which here it suffers.
Lear. O how this mother swels vp toward my heart,
Historica passio downe thou climing sorrow,
1330Thy element's below, where is this daughter?
Kent. With the Earle sir within.
Lear. Follow me not, stay there.
Knight. Made you no more offence then what you speake of?
1335Kent. No, how chance the King comes with so small a traine?
Foole. If thou hadst beene set in the stockes for that question,
thou hadst well deserued it.
Kent. Why foole?
1340Foole. Wee'l set thee to schoole to an Ant, to teach thee ther's
no labouring in the winter, all that follow their noses, are led by
their eyes, but blinde men, and there's not a nose among a hun-
dred, but can smell him that's stincking; let goe thy hold when
a great wheele runs downe a hill, least it breake thy necke with
1345following it, but the great one that goes vp the hil, let him draw
thee