Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)


The History of King Lear.
3215Alb. The Gods defend her, beare him hence a while.
Enter Lear with Cordelia in his armes.
Lear. Howle, howle, howle, howle: O you are men of stones,
Had I your tongues and eyes, I would vse them so,
That heauens vault should cracke: O, she is gone for euer.
3220I know when one is dead, and when one liues,
Shees dead as earth: Lend me a looking-glasse,
If that her breath will mist and staine the stone, she then liues.
Kent. Is this the promist end!
3225Edg. Or image of that horror?
Alb. Fall and cease.
Lear. This feather stirs, she liues, if it be so, it is a chance that
do's redeeme all sorrowes that euer I haue felt.
3230Kent. A my good master.
Lear. Prethee away.
Edg. Tis Noble Kent your friend.
Lear. A plague vpon you murdrous traitors all, I might haue
saued her, now shees gone for euer: Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a li-
3235tle. What ist thou sayst? her voice was euer soft, gentle & low,
an excellent thing in woman. I kild the slaue that was a hanging
thee.
Cap. Tis true my Lords hee did.
3240Lear. Did I not fellow? I ha seene the day, that with my bi-
ting Fauchion I would haue made them skip: I am old now, and
these same crosses spoile me. Who are you? Mine eyes are none
o'th best, Ile tell you straight.
3245Kent. If Fortune bragd of two she loued or hated,
One of them we behold.
Lear. Are not you Kent?
Kent. The same your seruant Kent, wher is your seruãt Caius?
3250Lear. Hees a good fellow, I can tell that,
Heel strike and quickly too, hees dead and rotten.
Kent. No my good Lord, I am the very man.
Lear. Ile see that straight.
Kent. That from your life of difference and decay,
3255Haue followed your sad steps.
Lear. You are welcome hether.
Kent. Nor no man else: All's cheerelesse, darke, and deadly,
Your eldest daughters haue fore-doom'd themselues,
And