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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Hi story of King Lear.
    That are to censure them.
    Cor. We are not the fir st,
    Who with be st meaning haue incurr'd the wor st:
    2945 For thee oppre s s ed King am I ca st downe,
    My selfe could else out-frowne false fortunes frowne.
    Shall we not see these daughters, and these si sters?
    Lear. No, no, come let's away to prison,
    We two alone will sing like birds i'th cage:
    2950 When thou do st aske me ble s sing, Ile kneele downe
    And aske of thee forgiuene s s e: so weell liue,
    And pray, and tell old tales, and laugh
    At gilded Butterflies, and heare poore Rogues
    Talke of Court newes, and weel talke with them too,
    2955 Who looses, and who wins; whose in, whose out;
    And take vpon's the my stery of things,
    As if we were Gods spies: and weel weare out
    In a walld prison, packes and sects of great ones,
    That ebbe and flow by the Moone.
    2960 Ba st . Take them away.
    Lear. Vpon such sacrifices my Cordelia
    The gods themselues throw incense. Haue I caught thee?
    He that parts vs shall bring a brand from heauen,
    2965 And fire vs hence like Foxes, wipe thine eyes,
    The good shall deuoure em, fleach and fell,
    Ere they shall make vs weepe? Weele see em starue fir st. Exit
    Ba st . Come hither Captaine, hearke.
    Take thou this note, go follow them to prison,
    One step I haue aduanc st thee, if thou do st as this in structs thee,
    Thou do st make thy way to Noble fortunes:
    Know thou this, that men are as the time is;
    To be tender minded does not become a sword,
    2975 Thy great employment will not beare que stion,
    Either say thout do't, or thriue by other meanes.
    Cap. Ile doot my Lord.
    Ba st . About it, and write happy when thou ha st done,
    2980 Marke I say in stantly, and carry it so
    As I haue set it downe.