Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
the King gone to night, subscrib'd his power, confined to ex-
360hibition, all this done vpon the gad; Edmund, how now, what
Bast. So please y[ou]r Lordship, none.
Glost.. Why so earnestly seeke you to put vp that letter?
Bast. I know no newes, my Lord.
365Glo. What paper were you reading?
Bast. Nothing my Lord.
Glost. No, what needs then that terrible dispatch of it into
your pocket, the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide
it selfe, lets see, come if it be nothing I shal not need spectacles.
Bast. I beseech you sir pardon me, it is a Letter from my bro-
ther that I haue not all ore read, for so much as I haue perused,
I finde it not fit for your liking.
375Glost. Giue me the letter sir.
Bast. I shall offend, either to detaine or giue it, the contents
as in part I vnderstand them, are too blame.
Glo. Lets see, Lets see.
380Bast. I hope for my brothers iustification, he wrote this but
as an essay, or taste of my vertue. A Letter.
Glost. This policy of age makes the world bitter to the best
of our times, keepes our fortunes from vs till our oldnesse can-
not relish them, I begin to finde an idle and fond bondage in
385the oppression of aged tyranny, who swaies not as it hath pow-
er, but as it is suffered, come to mee, that of this I may speake
more; if our Father would sleepe till I wakt him, you should
enioy halfe his reuenew for euer, and liue the beloued of your
brother Edgar.
390 Hum, conspiracy, slept till I wakt him, you should enioy halfe
his reuenew: my sonne Edgar, had he a hand to write this, a hart
and braine to breed it in? when came this to you, who brought
Bast. It was not brought me my Lord, there's the cunning
395of it, I found it throwne in at the casement of my Closet.
Glost. You know the carracter to be your brothers?
Bast. If the matter were good, my Lord, I durst sweare it
were his, but in respect of that, I would faine think it were not.