Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
and in the most exact regard, support the worshippes of their
name, O most small fault, how vgly didst thou in Cordelia shew,
that like an engine wrencht my frame of nature from the fixt
place, drew from my heart all loue, & added to the gall; ô Lear,
Lear beate at this gate that let thy folly in, and thy deare iudg-
785ment out, goe, goe, my people?
Duke. My Lord, I am guiltlesse as I am ignorant.
Lear. It may be so my Lord, harke Nature, heare deere God-
desse, suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend to make this cre-
ture fruitefull, into her wombe conuey sterility, dry vp in her the
Organs of encrease, and from her derogate body neuer spring a
795babe to honor her; if she must teem, create her childe of spleen,
that it may liue and be a thourt disuetur'd torment to her, let it
stampe wrinckles in her brow of youth, with accent teares, fret
channels in her cheek[e]s, turne all her mothers paines and bene-
800fits to laughter and contempt, that shee may feele, how sharper
then a serpents tooth it is, to haue a thanklesse childe, goe, goe,
802.1my people?
Duke. Now Gods that we adore, whereof comes this!
Gon. Neuer afflict your selfe to know the cause, but let his dis-
position haue that scope that dotage giues it.
810Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap, within a fortnight?
Duke. What is the matter sir?
Lear. Ile tell thee, life and death! I am sham'd that thou hast
815power to shake my man-hood thus, that these hot teares that
breake from me perforce, should make the worst blasts and fogs
vpon the vntender woundings of a fathers curse, peruse euery
820sence about the olde fond eies, be-weepe this cause againe, ile
plucke you out, and you can cast with the waters that you make to
temper clay, yea, is it come to this? yet haue I left a daughter,
825whom I am sure is kinde and comfortable, when she shall heare
this of thee, with her nailes shee'l fley thy woluish visage, thou
shalt finde that ile resume the shape, which thou doest thinke I
haue cast off for euer, thou shalt I warrant thee. Exit.
830Gon. Do you marke that my Lord?
Duke. I cannot be so partiall Gonorill to the great loue I beare