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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    3215 Alb. The Gods defend her, beare him hence a while.
    Enter Lear with Cordelia in his armes.
    Lear. Howle, howle, howle, howle: O you are men of stones,
    Had I your tongues and eyes, I would vse them so,
    That heauens vault should cracke: O, she is gone for euer.
    3220 I know when one is dead, and when one liues,
    Shees dead as earth: Lend me a looking-gla s s e,
    If that her breath will mi st and staine the stone, she then liues.
    Kent. Is this the promi st end!
    3225 Edg. Or image of that horror? Alb. Fall and cease.
    Lear. This feather stirs, she liues, if it be so, it is a chance that
    do's redeeme all sorrowes that euer I haue felt.
    3230 Kent. A my good ma ster.
    Lear. Prethee away.
    Edg. Tis Noble Kent your friend.
    Lear. A plague vpon you murdrous traitors all, I might haue
    saued her, now shees gone for euer: Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a li-
    3235 tle. What i st thou say st? her voice was euer soft, gentle & low,
    an excellent thing in woman. I kild the slaue that was a hanging
    thee. Cap. Tis true my Lords hee did.
    3240 Lear. Did I not fellow? I ha seene the day, that with my bi-
    ting Fauchion I would haue made them skip: I am old now, and
    these same cro s s es spoile me. Who are you? Mine eyes are none
    o'th be st, Ile tell you straight.
    3245 Kent. If Fortune bragd of two she loued or hated,
    One of them we behold.
    Lear. Are not you Kent?
    Kent. The same your seruant Kent, wher is your seruãt Caius?
    3250 Lear. Hees a good fellow, I can tell that,
    Heel strike and quickly too, hees dead and rotten.
    Kent. No my good Lord, I am the very man.
    Lear. Ile see that straight.
    Kent. That from your life of difference and decay,
    3255 Haue followed your sad steps.
    Lear. You are welcome hether.
    Kent. Nor no man else: All's cheerele s s e, darke, and deadly,
    Your elde st daughters haue fore-doom'd themselues,
    And