Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

Enter Kent and a Gentleman.
Kent. Why the King of France is so suddenly gone backe,
Know you the reason?
Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, which since his
.5comming foorth is thought of, which imports to the Kingdom,
so much feare and danger that his personall returne was most re-
quired and necessary.
Kent. Who hath he left behinde him, Generall?
Gent. The Marshall of France, Mounsieur la Far.
.10Kent. Did your letters pierce the Queene to any demonstrati-
on of griefe?
Gent. I say she tooke them, read them in my presence,
And now and then an ample teare trild downe
Her delicate cheeke, it seemd she was a Queene ore her passion,
.15Who most rebell-like, sought to be King ore her.
Kent. O then it moued her.
Gent. Not to a rage, patience and sorrow streme,
Who should expresse her goodliest, you haue seene
Sun-shine and raine at once, her smiles and teares,
.20Were like a better way, those happy smilets
That plaid on her ripe lip, seeme not to know
What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence
As pearles from Diamonds dropt; in briefe,
Sorrow would be a rarity most beloued,
.25If all could so become it.
Kent. Made she no verball question?
Gent. Faith once or twice she heau'd the name of father
Pantingly foorth, as if it prest her heart,
Cried sisters, sisters, shame of Ladies sisters;
.30Kent. Father, sisters, what ith-storme ith night?
Let pitty not be beleeu'd, there she shooke
The holy water from her heauenly eyes,
And clamour moistened her, then away she started,
To deale with griefe alone.
.35Kent, It is the stars, the stars aboue vs gouern our conditions,
Else one selfe mate and mate could not beget
Such different issues; you spoke not with her since?
Gent. No.
Kent. Was this before the King returnd?
.40Gent. No, since.
Kent. Well sir, the poore distressed Lear's ith Towne,
Who sometime in his better tune remembers
What we are come about, and by no meanes will yeeld to see his
.45Gent. Why good sir?
Kent. A soueraigne shame so elbowes him, his own vnkindnes
That stript her from his benediction, turnd her
To forraine casualties, gaue her deare rights
To his dog-hearted daughters; these things sting his minde
.50So venomously, that burning shame detaines him from Cordelia.
Gent. Alacke poore Gentleman.
Kent. Of Albanies and Cornwals powers you heard not?
Gent. Tis so they are afoote.
Kent. Well sir, ile bring you to our master Lear,
.55And leaue you to attend him, some deare cause
VVill in concealement wrap me vp a while,
VVhen I am knowne aright you shall not greeue,
Lending me this acquaintance, I pray you go along with me.