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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor.
    2745Cor. O thou good Kent,
    How shall I liue and worke to match thy goodnesse,
    My life will be too short, and euery measure faile me.
    2750Kent. To be acknowledg'd Madam is ore-paid,
    All my reports go with the modest truth,
    Nor more, nor clipt, but so.
    Cor. Be better suited,
    These weeds are memories of those worser houres,
    2755I prethee put them off.
    Kent. Pardon me deere Madam,
    Yet to be knowne shortens my made intent,
    My boone I make it that you know me not,
    Till time and I thinke meet.
    2760Cor. Then be it so: my Lord how does the king.
    Doct. Madam sleepes still.
    Cor. O you kinde Gods,
    Cure this great breach in his abused nature,
    2765The vntun'd and hurrying senses, O winde vp,
    Of this childe-changed Father.
    Doct. So please your Maiesty, we may wake the King
    He hath slept long.
    Cor. Be gouern'd by your knowledge, and proceede
    2770Ith sway of your owne will: is he array'd?
    Doct. I Madam, in the heauinesse of his sleepe,
    We put fresh garments on him.
    Kent. Good Madam be by when we do awake him,
    2775I doubt not of his temperance.
    2775.1Cor. Very well.
    Doct. Please you draw neere: louder the musicke there.
    Cor. O my deere father,
    Restoration hang thy medicine on my lippes,
    And let this kisse repaire those violent harmes
    That my two sisters haue in thy reuerence made.
    2780Kent. Kinde and deere Princesse.
    Cor. Had you not bin their father, these white flakes
    Had challeng'd pitty of them. Was this a face
    To be exposd against the warring windes,
    2783.1To stand against the deepe dread bolted thunder,
    In the most terrible and nimble stroke
    Of quicke crosse lightning, to watch poore Per du,
    With this thin helme? Mine iniurious dogge,
    2785Though he had bit me, should haue stood that night
    Against my fire, and wast thou faine (poore father)
    To houill thee with swine and rogues forlorne,
    In short and musty straw? Alack, alacke,
    Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once,
    2790Had not concluded all. He wakes, speake to him.
    Doct, Madam do you, tis fittest.
    C. How does my royal lord? how fares your maiesty
    Lear. You do me wrong to take me out a'th graue,
    2795Thou art a soule in blisse, but I am bound
    Vpon a wheele of fire, that mine owne teares
    Do scald like molten Lead.
    Cor. Sir, know ye me?
    Lear. Y'are a spirit I know, when did you dye?
    2800Cor. Still, still, farre wide.
    Doct. He's scarse awake, let hlm alone awhile.
    Lea. Where haue I bin? where am I? faire day light!
    2805I am mightily abusd; I should ene dye with pity
    To see another thus. I know not what to say:
    I will not sweare these are my hands, let's see,
    I feele this pin pricke, would I were assur'd of my con-(dition.
    2810Cor. O looke vpon me sir,
    And hold your hands in benediction ore me,
    No sir, you must not kneele.
    Lear. Pray do not mocke me:
    I am a very foolish fond olde man,
    2815Fourescore and vpward, and to deale plainly,
    I feare I am not perfect in my minde.
    Me thinkes I should know you, and know this man,
    2820Yet I am doubtfull: for I am mainly ignorant
    What place this is, and all the skill I haue
    Remembers not these garments: nor I know not
    Where I did lodge last night. Do no laugh at me,
    For (as I am a man) I thinke this Lady
    2825To be my childe Cordelia.
    Cor. And so I am.
    Lear. Be your teares wet? Yes faith: I pray weepe not,
    If you haue poison for me I will drinke it:
    2830I know you do not loue me, for your sisters
    Haue (as I do remember) done me wrong.
    You haue some cause, they haue not.
    Cor. No cause, [u]o cause.
    Lear. Am I in France?
    2835Kent. In your owne kingdome sir.
    Lear. Do not abuse me.
    Doct. Be comforted good Madame, the great rage you see is
    cured in him, and yet it is danger to make him euen ore the time
    hee has lost; desire him to goe in, trouble him no more till fur-
    ther setling.
    2840Cor. Wilt please your Highnesse walke?
    Lear. You must beare with me:
    Pray now forget and forgiue,
    I am olde and foolish. Exeunt.
    2843.1Manet Kent and Gentleman.
    Gen. Holds it true sir that the Duke of Cornwall was so slaine?
    Kent. Most certaine sir.
    Gent. Who is conductor of his people?
    2843.5Kent. As tis said, the bastard sonne of Gloster.
    Gent. They say Edgar his banisht sonne, is with the Earle of
    Kent in Germany.
    Kent. Report is changeable, tis time to looke about,
    The powers of the kingdome approch apace.
    2843.10Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody, fare you well sir.
    Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought,
    Or well, or ill, as this dayes battels fought.