Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
derly knowne himselfe.
320Gono. The best and soundest of his time hath bin but rash,
then must we looke to receiue from his age not alone the imper-
fection of long ingrafted condition, but therwithal vnruly way-
wardnes, that infirme and cholericke yeares bring with them.
325Rag. Such vnconstant starts are we like to haue from him, as
this of Kents banishment.
Gono. There is further complement of leaue taking betweene
France and him, pray lets hit together, if our Father cary autho-
rity with such dispositions as he beares, 330this last surrender of his,
will but offend vs,
Ragan. We shall further thinke on't.
Gon. We must doe something, and it'h heate. Exeunt.
Enter Bastard Solus.
335Bast. Thou Nature art my Goddesse, to thy law my seruices
are bound, wherefore should I stand in the plague of custome,
and permit the curiositie of nations to depriue me, for that I am
some twelue or 14. mooneshines 340lag of a brother, why bastard?
wherfore base, when my dementions are as well compact,
mind as generous, and my shape as true as honest madams issue,
why brand they vs with base, base bastardie? 345who in the lusty
stealth of nature, take more composition and feirce quality, then
doth within a stale dull lyed bed, goe to the creating of a whole
tribe of fops got tweene a sleepe and wake; well the 350legitimate
Edgar, I must haue your land, our Fathers loue is to the bastard
Edmund, as to the legitimate, well my legitimate, if this letter
speede, and my inuention thriue, Edmund the base
355shall tooth'le-
gitimate: I grow, I prosper, now Gods stand vp for Bastards.
Enter Gloster.
Glost. Kent banisht thus, and France in choller parted, and
the King gone to night, subscribd his power, 360confined to exhi-
bition, all this donne vpon the gadde; Edmund how now
what newes?
Bast. So please your Lordship, none:
Glost. Why so earnestly seeke you to put vp that letter?
Bast. I know no newes my Lord.
365Glost. What paper were you reading?
Bast. Nothing my Lord,