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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    1150Bring oile to stir, snow to their colder moods,
    Reneag, affirme, and turne their halcion beakes
    With euery gale and vary of their masters,
    Knowing nought like daies but following,
    A plague vpon your Epilipticke visage,
    1155Smoile you my speeches, as I were a foole?
    Goose, if I had you vpon Sarum Plaine,
    Ide send you cackling home to Camulet.
    Duke. What art thou mad olde fellow?
    Glost. How fell you out, say that?
    1160Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
    Then I and such a knaue.
    Duke. Why dost thou call him knaue, what's his offence?
    Kent. His countenance likes me not.
    1165Duke. No more perchance doth mine, or his, or hers.
    Kent. Sir, tis my occupation to be plaine,
    I haue seene better faces in my time,
    Than stands on any shoulder that I see
    Before me at this instant.
    1170Duke. This is a fellow, who hauing beene praisd
    For bluntnesse, doth affect a saucie ruffines,
    And constraines the garb quite from his nature,
    He cannot flatter he, he must be plaine,
    He must speake truth, and they will take it so,
    1175If not hee's plaine, these kinde of knaues I know,
    Which in this plainnesse harbour more craft,
    And more corrupter ends, then twenty silly ducking,
    Obseruants, that stretch their duties nicely.
    1180Kent. Sir in good sooth, or in sincere verity,
    Vnder the allowance of your grand aspect.
    Whose influence like the wreath of radient fire
    In flitkering Phœbus front.
    Duke. What meanst thou by this?
    1185Kent. To go out of my dialogue which you discommend so
    much; I know sir, I am no flatterer, he that beguild you in a plain
    accent, was a plaine knaue, which for my part I wil not be, thogh
    I should win your displeasure to entreate me to it.