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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Ile this way, you that, he that first lights
    On him, hollow the other.
    Enter Lear and Foole.
    Lear. Blow winde and cracke your cheekes, rage, blow
    You carterickes, and Hircanios spout till you haue drencht
    The steeples, drownd the cockes, you sulpherous and
    Thought executing fires, vaunt-currers to
    1660Oke-cleauing thunder-bolts, sing my white head,
    And thou all shaking thunder, smite flat
    The thicke rotundity of the world, cracke natures
    Mold, all Germains spill at once that make
    Ingratefull man.
    1665Foole. O Nunckle, Court holy water in a dry house
    Is better then this raine water out a doore,
    Good Nunckle in, and aske thy daughters blessing,
    Here's a night pitties neyther wise man nor foole.
    Lear. Rumble thy belly full, spit fire, spout raine,
    1670Nor raine, winde, thunder, fire, are my daughters,
    I taske not you, you Elements with vnkindnesse,
    I neuer gaue you kingdome, cald you children,
    You owe me no subscription; why then let fall your horrible
    Pleasure, here I stand your slaue, a poore, infirme, weake, and
    1675Despised old man, but yet I call you seruile
    Ministers, that haue with two pernitious daughters ioyn'd
    Your high engendered battell gainst a head so old and white
    As this, O tis foule.
    1680Foole. He that has a house to put his head in, has a good head-
    peece, the codpeece that will house before the head, has any the
    head and he shall lowse, so beggers marry many, the man that
    makes his toe, what he his heart should make, shall haue a corne
    1685cry woe, and turne his sleepe to wake, for there was neuer yet
    faire woman, but she made mouthes in a glasse.
    Lear. No, I will be the patterne of all patience,
    1690I will say nothing.
    Enter Kent.
    Kent. Who's there?