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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    3145.1 O that my heart would bur st. The bloody proclamation
    To escape that followed me so neere,
    (O our liues sweetne s s e, that with the paine of death
    VVould hourely dye, rather then dye at once)
    Taught me to shift into a mad-mans rags,
    3150 To a s s ume a semblance that very dogges disdain'd:
    And in this habit met I my father with his bleeding rings,
    The precious stones new lo st; Became his guide,
    Led him, begd for him, sau'd him from dispaire.
    3155 Neuer (O Father) reueald my selfe vnto him,
    Vntill some halfe houre pa st when I was arm'd,
    Not sure, though hoping of this good succe s s e,
    I askt his ble s sing, and from fir st to la st
    Told him my pilgrimage: but his flawd heart
    3160 Alacke too weake the conflict to support,
    Twixt two extremes of pa s sion, ioy and greefe,
    Bur st smilingly.
    Ba st . This speech of yours hath mooued me,
    And shall perchance do good, but speake you on,
    3165 You looke as you had something more to say.
    Alb. If there be any more more wofull, hold it in.
    For I am almo st readie to di s s olue.
    3168.1 Edg. This would haue seem'd a period to such
    As loue not sorrow, but another to amplifie too much,
    VVould make much more, and top extremity.
    VVhil st I was big in clamor, came there in a man,
    3168.5 VVho hauing seene me in my wor st e state,
    Shund my abhord society: but then finding
    Who twas that so indur'd, with his strong armes
    He fa stened on my necke, and bellowd out
    As hee'd bur st heauen, threw me on my father,
    3168.10 And told the pitteous tale of Lear and him,
    That euer eare receiued, which in recounting
    His greefe grew puisant, and the strings of life
    Began to cracke twice, then the trumpets sounded,
    And there I left him traun st.
    3168.15 Alb. But who was this?
    Edg.