Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
Kent. Strike you slaue, stand rogue, stand you neate slaue,
Stew. Helpe, ho, murther, helpe.

Enter Edmund with his Rapier drawne, Glocester, the
Duke and Dutchesse.

Bast. How now, what's the matter?
Ken. With you goodman boy, and you please come, ile sleash
1120you, come on yong master.
Glost. Weapons, armes, what's the matter here?
Duke. Keepe peace vpon your liues, he dies that strikes againe,
what's the matter?
Reg. The messengers from our sister, and the King.
1125Duke. What's your difference, speake?
Stew. I am scarse in breath my Lord.
Kent. No maruaile you haue so bestir'd your valour, you co-
wardly rascall, nature disclaimes in thee, a Taylor made thee.
1130Duke. Thou art a strange fellow, a Taylour make a man.
Kent. I, a taylour sir, a Stone-cutter, or a Painter could not
haue made him so ill, though he had bene but two houres at the
Glost. Speake yet, how grew your quarrell?
1135Stew. This ancient ruffian sir, whose life I haue spar'd at sute
of his gray-beard.
Kent. Thou whoreson Zed, thou vnnecessary letter, my Lord
if you will giue me leaue, I will tread this vnboulted villaine in-
to morter, and daube the wals of a Iaques with him; spare my
1140gray-beard you wagtaile?
Duke. Peace sir, you beastly knaue you haue no reuerence.
Kent. Yes sir, but anger has a priuiledge.
Duke. Why are thou angry?
1145Kent. That such a slaue as this should weare a sword,
That weares no honesty, such smiling rogues as these,
Like Rats oft bite those cordes in twaine,
Which are to intrench, to inloose smooth euery passion
That in the natures of their Lords rebell,