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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Glocester, Lear, Kent, Foole, and Tom.
    Glost. Here is better then the open ayre, take it thankfully, I
    will peece out the comfort with what addition I can, I will not
    2000be long from you.
    Kent. All the power of his wits haue giuen way to impatience,
    the Gods deserue your kindnesse.
    Edg. Fretereto cals me, and tels me Nero is an angler in the lake
    2005of darknesse, pray innocent beware the foule fiend.
    Foole. Prethee Nunckle tell me, whether a mad man may bee a
    Gentleman or a Yeoman.
    Lear. A King, a King, to haue a thousand with red burning
    spits come hissing in vpon them.
    2014.1Edg. The foule fiend bites my backe.
    Foole. Hee's mad that trusts in the tamenesse of a Wolfe, a
    horses health, a boyes loue, or a whores oath.
    Lear. It shall be done, I will arraigne them straight,
    2014.5Come sit thou heere most learned Iustice,
    Thou sapient sir, sit heere now you shee Foxes ---------
    Edg. Looke where he stands and glars, wantst thou eies at tri-
    all madam, come ore the broome Bessy to me.
    Foole. Her boat hath a leake, and she must not speak,
    2014.10Why she dares not come ouer to thee.
    Edg. The foule fiend haunts poore Tom in the voyce of a night-
    ingale, Hoppedance cried in Toms belly for two white herring,
    Croke not blacke Angell, I haue no food for thee.
    Kent. How do you sir? stand you not so amaz'd, will you lie
    2014.15downe and rest vpon the Cushions?
    Lear. Ile see their triall first, bring in their euidence, thou rob-
    bed man of iustice take thy place, & thou his yoke-fellow of e-
    quity, bench by his side, you are o'th commission, sit you too.
    Ed. Let vs deale iustly, sleepest or wakest thou iolly shepheard,
    2014.20Thy sheepe bee in the corne, and for one blast of thy minikin
    mouth, thy sheepe shall take no harme, Pur the cat is gray.
    Lear. Arraignne her first, tis Gonorill, I here take my oath before
    this honourable assembly she kickt the poore King her father.
    Foole. Come hither Mistresse, is your name Gonorill.
    2014.25Lear. She cannot deny it.
    Foole. Cry you mercy, I tooke you for a ioynt stoole.
    Lear. And heres another whose warpt lookes proclaime
    What store her heart is made an, stop her there,
    Armes, armes, sword, fire, corruption in the place,
    2014.30False Iusticer, why hast thou let her scape?
    2015Edg. Blesse thy fiue wits.
    Kent. O pitty sir, where is the patience now,
    That you so oft haue boasted to retaine.
    Edg. My teares begin to take his part so much,
    They'l marre my counterfeting.
    2020Lear. The little dogs and all,
    Trey, Blanch, and Sweet-hart, see they barke at me.
    Edg. Tom will throw his head at them, auant you curs.
    Be thy mouth, or blacke or white, tooth that poisons if it bite,
    2025Mastiue, Gray-hound, Mungrel, Grim-hound, or Spaniell, Brach
    or Him, Bobtailetike, or Trundle-taile, Tom will make them
    weepe and waile. For with throwing thus my head, dogs leape
    2030the hatch, and all are fled, loudla doodla, come march to wakes,
    and faires, and market townes, poore Tom thy horne is dry.
    Lear. Then let them anotomize Regan, see what breeds about
    Hart is there any cause in nature that makes this hardnesse;
    2035You sir, I entertaine you for one of my hundred,
    Onely I do not like the fashion of your garment; you'l say
    They are Persian attire, but let them be changed.
    2040Kent. Now my good my Lord lie here a while.
    Lear. Make no noise, make no noise, draw the Curtaines, so,
    so, so, wee'l go to supper in the morning, so, so, so.
    Enter Glocester.
    Glost. Come hither friend, where is the King my master?
    Kent. Here sir, but trouble him not, his wits are gone.
    Glost. Good friend, I prethee take him in thy armes,
    I haue ore-heard a plot of death vpon him,
    There is a Litter ready, lay him in it, and driue towards Douer,
    2050 friend,
    Where thou shalt meete both welcome and protection; take vp
    thy master,
    If thou shouldst dally halfe an houre, his life with thine,
    And all that offer to defend him, stand in assured losse,
    Take vp to keepe, and follow me that will to some prouisio[n]
    Giue thee quicke conduct.
    2056.1Kent. Oppressed nature sleepes,
    This rest might yet haue balmed thy broken sinewes,
    Which if conuenience will not allow, stand in hard cure,
    Come helpe to beare thy Master, thou must not stay behinde.
    2056.5Glost. Come, come, away. Exit.
    Edg. When we our betters see bearing our woes,
    We scarsely thinke our miseries our foes.
    Who alone suffers, most i'th minde,
    Leauing free things and happy showes behinde,
    2056.10But then the minde much sufferance doth ore-skip,
    When griefe hath mates, and bearing fellowship:
    How light and portable my paine seemes now,
    When that which makes me bend, makes the King bow;
    He childed as I fatherd, Tom away,
    2056.15Marke the high noises, and thy selfe bewray,
    When false opinion, whose wrong thoughts defile thee,
    In thy iust proofe repeals and reconciles thee,
    What will hap more to night, safe scape the King,
    Lurke, lurke.