Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Modern, Quarto)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • Textual editors: James D. Mardock, Eric Rasmussen
  • 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: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Modern, Quarto)

    [Scene 8]
    1615[Storm still] Enter Kent [disguised] and a Gentleman at separate doors.
    What's here beside foul weather?
    One minded like the weather, most unquietly.
    I know you. Where's the King?
    Contending with the fretful element;
    1620Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
    Or swell the curlèd waters 'bove the main
    That things might change or cease. Tears his white hair,
    1622.1Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage
    Catch in their fury and make nothing of;
    Strives in his little world of man to outscorn
    The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
    1622.5This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
    The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
    Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
    And bids what will take all.
    But who is with him?
    None but the Fool, who labors to out-jest
    1625His heart-struck injuries.
    Sir, I do know you,
    And dare upon the warrant of my art
    Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
    Although as yet the face of it be covered
    1630With mutual cunning, twixt Albany and Cornwall.
    1638.1But true it is. From France there comes a power
    Into this scattered kingdom, who already
    Wise in our negligence,
    Have secret feet in some of our best ports,
    And are at point to show their open banner.
    1638.5Now to you, if on my credit you dare build so far
    To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
    Some that will thank you, making just report
    Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
    The king hath cause to plain,
    1638.10I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
    And from some knowledge and assurance,
    Offer this office to you.
    I will talk further with you.
    No, do not.
    For confirmation that I am much more
    Than my out-wall, open this purse and take
    What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,
    As fear not but you shall, show her this ring,
    1645And she will tell you who your fellow is
    That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm.
    I will go seek the King.
    Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?
    Few words but to effect more than all yet,
    That when we have found the King--I'll this way, you that--
    He that first lights on him holla the other.
    Exeunt [separately].