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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    2347.1Enter Kent and a Gentleman.
    Kent. Why the King of France is so suddenly gone backe,
    Know you the reason?
    Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, which since his
    2347.5comming foorth is thought of, which imports to the Kingdom,
    so much feare and danger that his personall returne was most re-
    quired and necessary.
    Kent. Who hath he left behinde him, Generall?
    Gent. The Marshall of France, Mounsieur la Far.
    2347.10Kent. Did your letters pierce the Queene to any demonstrati-
    on of griefe?
    Gent. I say she tooke them, read them in my presence,
    And now and then an ample teare trild downe
    Her delicate cheeke, it seemd she was a Queene ore her passion,
    Who most rebell-like, sought to be King ore her.
    2347.15Kent. O then it moued her.
    Gent. Not to a rage, patience and sorrow streme,
    Who should expresse her goodliest, you haue seene
    Sun-shine and raine at once, her smiles and teares,
    Were like a better way, those happy smilets
    2347.20That plaid on her ripe lip, seeme not to know
    What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence
    As pearles from Diamonds dropt; in briefe,
    Sorrow would be a rarity most beloued,
    If all could so become it.
    2347.25Kent. Made she no verball question?
    Gent. Faith once or twice she heau'd the name of father
    Pantingly foorth, as if it prest her heart,
    Cried sisters, sisters, shame of Ladies sisters;
    Kent. Father, sisters, what ith-storme ith night?
    2347.30Let pitty not be beleeu'd, there she shooke
    The holy water from her heauenly eyes,
    And clamour moistened her, then away she started,
    To deale with griefe alone.
    Kent, It is the stars, the stars aboue vs gouern our conditions,
    2347.35Else one selfe mate and mate could not beget
    Such different issues; you spoke not with her since?
    Gent. No.
    Kent. Was this before the King returnd?
    Gent. No, since.
    Kent. Well sir, the poore distressed Lear's ith Towne,
    2347.40Who sometime in his better tune remembers
    What we are come about, and by no meanes will yeeld to see his
    Gent. Why good sir?
    Kent. A soueraigne shame so elbowes him, his own vnkindnes
    That stript her from his benediction, turnd her
    2347.45To forraine casualties, gaue her deare rights
    To his dog-hearted daughters; these things sting his minde
    So venomously, that burning shame detaines him from Cordelia.
    Gent. Alacke poore Gentleman.
    Kent. Of Albanies and Cornwals powers you heard not?
    2347.50Gent. Tis so they are afoote.
    Kent. Well sir, ile bring you to our master Lear,
    And leaue you to attend him, some deare cause
    Will in concealement wrap me vp a while,
    When I am knowne aright you shall not greeue,
    2347.55Lending me this acquaintance, I pray you go along with me.