Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

1615Enter Kent and a Gentleman at seuerall doores.
Kent. Whats here beside foule weather?
Gent. One minded like the weather most vnquietly.
Kent. I know you, whers the King?
Gent. Contending with the fretfull element,
1620Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
Or swell the curled waters boue the maine
That things might change or cease, teares his white(haire,
1622.1Which the impetuous blasts with eyles rage
Catch in their furie, and make nothing of,
Striues in his little world of man to outscorne,
The too and fro conflicting wind and raine,
1622.5This night wherin the cub-drawne Beare would couch,
The Lyon, and the belly pinched Wolfe
Keepe their furre dry, vnbonneted he runnes,
And bids what will take all.
Kent. But who is with him?
Gent. None but the foole, who labours to out-iest
1625His heart strooke iniuries.
Kent. Sir I doe know you,
And dare vpon the warrant of my Arte,
Commend a deare thing to you, there is diuision,
Although as yet the face of it be couer'd,
1630With mutuall cunning, twixt Albany and Cornwall
1638.1But true it is, from France there comes a power
Into this scattered kingdome, who alreadie wise in our(negligẽce,
Haue secret feet in some of our best Ports,
And are at point to shew their open banner,
1638.5Now to you, if on my credit you dare build so farre,
To make your speed to Douer, you shall find
Some that will thanke you, making iust report
Of how vnnaturall and bemadding sorrow
The King hath cause to plaine,
1638.10I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
And from some knowledge and assurance,
Offer this office to you.
Gent. I will talke farther with you.
1640Kent. No doe not,
For confirmation that I much more
Then my out-wall, open this purse and take
What it containes, if you shall see Cordelia,
As feare not but you shall, shew her this ring,
1645And she will tell you who your fellow is,
That yet you doe not know, fie on this storme,
I will goe seeke the King.
Gent. Giue me your hand, haue you no more to say?
1650Kent. Few words but to effect more then all yet:
That when we haue found the King,
Ile this way, you that, he that first lights
On him, hollow the other. Exeunt.