Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
Who's here, my father poorely led, world, world, ô world!
But that thy strange mutations make vs hate thee,
Life would not yeeld to age.

Enter Gloster led by an olde man.
Old man. O my good Lord, I haue bene your tenant, & your
fathers tenant this fourescore -------
2195Glost. Away, get thee away, good friend be gone,
Thy comforts can do me no good at all,
Thee they may hurt.
Old man. Alacke sir, you cannot see your way.
Glost. I haue no way, and therefore want no eies,
2200I stumbled when I saw, full oft tis seene
Our meanes secure vs, and our meere defects
Prooue our commodities; ah deare sonne Edgar,
The food of thy abused fathers wrath,
Might I but liue to see thee in my tuch,
2205Ide say I had eyes againe.
Old man. How now, who's there?
Edg. O Gods, who ist can say I am at the worst,
I am worse then ere I was.
Old man. Tis poore mad Tom.
2210Edg. And worse I may be yet, the worst is not,
As long as we can say, this is the worst.
Old man. Fellow where goest?
Glost. Is it a begger man?
Old man. Mad man, and begger too.
2215Glost. He has some reason, else he could not beg,
In the last nights storme I such a fellow saw,
Which made me think a man a worme, my sonne
Came then into my minde, and yet my minde
Was then scarse friends with him, I haue heard more since,
As flyes are to'th wanton boyes, are we to'th Gods,
They bit vs for their sport.
Edg. How should this be? bad is the trade that must play the
foole to sorrow, angring it selfe and others; blesse thee master.
Glost. Is that the naked fellow?