Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

The History of King Lear.
Stew. Slaue thou hast slaine me, Villaine take my purse:
2700If euer thou wilt thriue, bury my body,
And giue the Letters which thou findst about me
To Edmund Earle of Gloster, seeke him out, vpon
The British party: ô vntimely death! death.
2703.1He dyes.
Edg. I know thee well, a seruiceable villaine,
2705As dutious to the vices of thy Mistris,
As badnesse would desire.
Glo. What is he dead?
Edg, Sit you downe father, rest you, lets see his pockets,
These Letters that he speakes of may be my friends,
2710Hee's dead, I am onely sorry he had no other deathsman.
Let vs see, leaue gentle wax, and manners blame vs not,
To know our enemies minds wee'd rip their hearts,
Their papers is more lawfull.
2715A Letter.
Let your reciprocall vowes be remembred,
You haue many opportunities to cut him off.
If your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered.
There is nothing done: If he returne the Conqueror,
Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my Iayle,
2720From the loath'd warmth whereof deliuer me,
And supply the place for your labour.
Your wife (so I would say) & your affectionate seruant,

Edg. O vndistinguisht space of womans wit,
2725A plot vpon her vertuous husbands life,
And the exchange my Brother: heere in the sands
Thee Ile rake vp, the post vnsanctified
Of murtherous letchers, and in the mature time
With this vngracious paper strike the sight
2730Of the death practisd Duke, for him tis well,
That of his death and businesse I can tell.
Glo. The King is mad, how stiffe is my vilde sense,
That I stand vp, and haue ingenious feeling