Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)
  • Editor: Pervez Rizvi
  • 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: Pervez Rizvi
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

    The History of King Lear.
    Thou maist deserue, or they purpose this vsage,
    Comming from vs.
    Kent. My Lord, when at their home
    I did commend your Highnesse Letters to them,
    1305Ere I was risen from the place that shewed
    My duty kneeling, came there a reeking Poste,
    Stewd in his haste, halfe breathlesse, panting forth
    From Gonorill his Mistris, salutations,
    Deliuered letters spite of intermission,
    1310Which presently they read; on whose contents
    They summoned vp their men, straight tooke horse,
    Commanded me to follow, and attend the leisure
    Of their answer, gaue me cold lookes,
    And meeting heere the other Messenger,
    1315Whose welcome I perceiu'd had poisoned mine,
    Being the very fellow that of late
    Displaid so sawcily against your Highnesse,
    Hauing more man then wit about me, drew;
    He raised the house with loud and coward cries,
    1320Your sonne and daughter found this trespasse worth
    This shame which here it suffers.
    Lear. O how this mother swels vp toward my heart,
    Historica passio downe thou climing sorrow,
    1330Thy element's below, where is this daughter?
    Kent. With the Earle sir within.
    Lear. Follow me not, stay there.
    Knight. Made you no more offence then what you speake of?
    1335Kent. No, how chance the King comes with so small a traine?
    Foole. If thou hadst beene set in the stockes for that question,
    thou hadst well deserued it.
    Kent. Why foole?
    1340Foole. Wee'l set thee to schoole to an Ant, to teach thee ther's
    no labouring in the winter, all that follow their noses, are led by
    their eyes, but blinde men, and there's not a nose among a hun-
    dred, but can smell him that's stincking; let goe thy hold when
    a great wheele runs downe a hill, least it breake thy necke with
    1345following it, but the great one that goes vp the hil, let him draw