Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
3145.1O that my heart would burst. The bloody proclamation
To escape that followed me so neere,
(O our liues sweetnesse, that with the paine of death
VVould hourely dye, rather then dye at once)
Taught me to shift into a mad-mans rags,
3150To assume a semblance that very dogges disdain'd:
And in this habit met I my father with his bleeding rings,
The precious stones new lost; Became his guide,
Led him, begd for him, sau'd him from dispaire.
3155Neuer (O Father) reueald my selfe vnto him,
Vntill some halfe houre past when I was arm'd,
Not sure, though hoping of this good successe,
I askt his blessing, and from first to last
Told him my pilgrimage: but his flawd heart
3160Alacke too weake the conflict to support,
Twixt two extremes of passion, ioy and greefe,
Burst smilingly.
Bast. This speech of yours hath mooued me,
And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
3165You looke as you had something more to say.
Alb. If there be any more more wofull, hold it in.
For I am almost readie to dissolue.
3168.1Edg. This would haue seem'd a period to such
As loue not sorrow, but another to amplifie too much,
VVould make much more, and top extremity.
VVhilst I was big in clamor, came there in a man,
3168.5VVho hauing seene me in my worst estate,
Shund my abhord society: but then finding
Who twas that so indur'd, with his strong armes
He fastened on my necke, and bellowd out
As hee'd burst heauen, threw me on my father,
3168.10And told the pitteous tale of Lear and him,
That euer eare receiued, which in recounting
His greefe grew puisant, and the strings of life
Began to cracke twice, then the trumpets sounded,
And there I left him traunst.
3168.15Alb. But who was this?