Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)

Enter Bastard, and Curan meetes him.
Bast. Saue thee Curan.
Curan. And you sir, I haue beene with your father, and giuen
930him notice, that the Duke of Cornwall and his Dutchesse will be
here with him to night.
Bast. How comes that?
Curan. Nay I know not, you haue heard of the newes abroad,
935I meane the whisperd ones, for there are yet but eare-bussing ar-
Bast. Not, I pray you what are they?
Curan. You may then in time, fare you well sir.
Bast. The Duke be here to night! the better best, this weaues
it selfe perforce into my businesse, my father hath set guard to
945take my brother, & I haue one thing of a quesie question, which
Enter Edgar.
must aske breefenesse and fortune helpe; brother a word, dis-
cend brorher I say, my father watches, O flie this place, inte[l]li-
gence is giuen where you are hid, you haue now the good ad-
uantage of the night, haue you not spoken against the Duke of
Cornwall ought, hee's coming hether now in the night , it'h haste,
955and Regan with him, haue you nothing saide vpon his party a-
gainst the Duke of Albaney, aduise your --------
Edg. I am sure on't not a word.
Bastard. I heare my father comming, pardon me in crauing, I
960must draw my sword vpon you, seeme to defend your selfe, now
quit you well, yeeld, come before my father, light heere heere,
flie brother flie, torches, torches, so farwell; some bloud drawne
on me would beget opinion of my more fierce endeuor, I haue
seene drunkards do more then this in sport; father, father, stop,
stop, no helpe?
970Enter Glocester.
Glost. Now Edmund, where's the villaine?
Bast. Heere stood he in the darke, his sharpe sword out, warb-
ling of wicked charmes, coniuring the Moone to stand his auspi-
cious Mistris.
975Glost. But where is he?
Bast. Looke sir, I bleed.
Glost. Where is the villaine, Edmund?
Bast. Fled this way sir, when by no meanes he could -------
Glost. Pursue him, go after, by no meanes, what?
980Bast. Perswade me to the murder of your Lordship, but that
I tolde him the reuengiue Gods, gainst Paracides did all their
thunders bend, spoke with how many fould and strong a bond
the child was bound to the father; sir, in a fine, seeing how loth-
985ly opposite I stood to his vnnaturall purpose, with fell motion
with his prepared sword, he charges home my vnprouided bo-
dy, launcht mine arme; but when he saw my best alarumd spirits
990bold in the quarrels right, rouzd to the encounter, or whether
gasted by the noise I made, but sodainly he fled.
Glost. Let him flie farre, not in this Land shall he remaine vn-
caught and found; dispatch, the Noble Duke my master, my
worthy Arch and Patron comes to night, by his authority I will
proclaime it, that he which findes him shall deserue our thankes,
bringing the murderous caytiffe to the stake, he that conceales
1000him, death.
Bast. When I disswaded him from his intent, and found him
pight to do it, with curst speech I threatned to discouer him; he
replied, Thou vnpossessing bastard, dost thou thinke, if I would
1005stand against thee, could the reposure of any trust, vertue, or
worth in thee make thy words faith'd? no: what I should deny,
as this I would, I, thogh thou didst produce my very character,
ide turne it all to thy suggestion, plot, and damned pretence, and
thou must make a dullard of the world, if they not thought the
profits of my death were very pregnant and potentiall spurres to
make thee seeke it.
1015Glost. Strong and fastened villaine, would he deny his letter?
I neuer got him: harke, the Dukes trumpets, I know not why he
comes; all Ports ile barre, the villaine shall not scape, the Duke
must grant me that: besides, his picture I wil send far and neere,
1020that all the kingdome may haue note of him, and of my land,
(loyall and naturall boy) ile worke the meanes to make thee ca-
Enter the Duke of Cornwall.
1025Corn. How now my noble friend, since I came hether, which
I can call but now, I haue heard strange newes.
Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short which can
pursue the offender; how dost my Lord?
Glost. Madam, my old heart is crakt, is crakt.
1030Reg. What, did my fathers godson seeke your life? he whom
my father named your Edgar
Glost. I Lady, Lady, shame would haue it hid.
Reg. Was he not companion with the ryotous Knights that
tends vpon my father?
1035Glost. I know not Madam, tis too bad, too bad.
Bast. Yes madam, he was.
Reg. No maruaile then though he were ill affected,
Tis they haue put him on the old mans death,
To haue these ------- and waste of this his reuenues:
1040I haue this present euening from my sister
Beene well inform'd of them, and with such cautions,
That if they come to soiourne at my house, ile not be there.
Duke. Nor I, assure thee Regan; Edmund, I heard that you haue
1045shewne your father a child-like office.
Bast. Twas my duty sir.
Glost. He did betray his practise, and receiued
This hurt you see, striuing to apprehend him.
1050Duke. Is he pursued?
Glost. I my good Lord.
Duke. If he be taken, he shall neuer more be feard of doing
harme, make your owne purpose how in my strength you please;
for you Edmund, whose vertue and obedience doth this instant
so much commend it selfe, you shall be ours, natures of such deep
trust, we shall much need, you we first seize on.
Bast. I shall serue you truely, how euer else.
1060Glost. For him I thanke your Grace.
Duke. You know not why we came to visite you?
Regan. Thus out of season, threatning darke eide night,
Occasions noble Glocester of some prize,
Wherein we must haue vse of your aduice,
1065Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of defences, which I best thought it fit,
To answer from our hand, the seuerall messengers
From hence attend dispatch, our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosome, & bestow your needfull counsell
1070To our businesse, which craues the instant vse.
Glo. I serue you Madam, your Graces are right welcome.