Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)
  • Editor: Pervez Rizvi
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-463-9

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Pervez Rizvi
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

    The History of King Lear.
    I thinke our father will hence to night.
    Reg. That's most certaine, and with you, next month with vs.
    Gon. You see how full of changes his age is, the obseruation
    315we haue made of it hath not beene little; he alwaies loued our
    sister most, and with what poore iudgement hee hath now cast
    her off, appeares too grosse.
    Reg. Tis the infirmity of his age, yet he hath euer but slen-
    derly knowne himselfe.
    320Gono. The best and soundest of his time hath bin but rash,
    then must we looke to receiue frõ his age, not alone the imper-
    fection of long ingrafted condition, but therwithal vnruly wai-
    wardnes, that infirme and cholericke yeares bring with them.
    325Reg. Such vnconstant stars are we like to haue from him, as
    this of Kents banishment.
    Gono. There is further complement of leaue taking between
    France and him, pray lets hit together, if our Father cary autho-
    rity with such dispositions as he beares, this last surrender of
    330his will but offend vs.
    Regan. We shall further thinke on't.
    Gon. We must do something, and it'h heate.
    Enter Bastard solus.
    335Bast. Thou Nature art my Goddesse, to thy law my seruices
    are bound, wherefore should I stand in the plague of custome,
    and permit the curiosity of Nations to depriue me, for that I am
    some 12. or 14. moone-shines lag of a brother: why bastard?
    340wherefore base, when my dementions are as well compact, my
    minde as generous, & my shape as true as honest madams issue,
    why brand they vs with base, base bastardy? who in the lusty
    345stealth of nature, take more composition and fierce quality, then
    doth within a stale dull lie[d] bed, goe to the creating of a whole
    tribe of fops got tweene sleepe and wake; well the legitimate
    350Edgar, I must haue your land, our Fathers loue is to the bastard
    Edmund, as to the legitimate: well my legitimate. if this letter
    speed, and my inuention thriue, Edmund the base shall tooth'le-
    355gitimate: I grow, I prosper, now Gods stand vp for Bastards.
    Enter Glocester.
    Glost. Kent banisht thus, and France in choller parted, and