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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    1615Enter Kent and a Gentleman at seuerall doores.
    Kent. What's heere beside foule weather?
    Gent. One minded like the weather, most vnquietly.
    Kent. I know you, where's the King?
    Gent. Contending with the fretfull Element,
    1620Bids the winde blow the earth into the sea,
    Or swell the curled waters boue the maine,
    That things might change or cease, teares his white haire,
    1622.1Which the impetuous blasts with eielesse rage
    Catch in their fury, and make nothing of,
    Striues in his little world of man to out-scorne,
    The too and fro conflicting winde and raine,
    1622.5This night wherein the cub-drawne Beare would couch,
    The Lyon, and the belly pinched Wolfe
    Keepe their furre dry, vnbonneted he runnes,
    And bids what will take all.
    Kent. But who is with him?
    Gent. None but the foole, who labours to out-iest
    1625His heart strooke iniuries.
    Kent. Sir I do know you,
    And dare vpon the warrant of my Arte,
    Commend a deare thing to you, there is diuision,
    Although as yet the face of it be couer'd
    1630With mutuall cunning, twixt Albany and Cornwall.
    1638.1But true it is, from France there comes a power
    Into this scatterd kingdom, who already wise in our negligence
    Haue secret fee in some of our best Ports,
    And are at point to shew their open banner,
    1638.5Now to you, if on my credite you dare build so farre,
    To make your speed to Douer, you shall finde
    Some that will thanke you, making iust report
    Of how vnnaturall and bemadding sorrow
    The King hath cause to plaine;
    1638.10I am a Gentleman of blood and breeding,
    And from some knowledge and assurance,
    Offer this Office to you.
    Gent. I will talke farther with you.
    1640Kent. No do not,
    For confirmation that I much more
    Then my outwall, open this purse and take
    What it containes, if you shall see Cordelia,
    As doubt not but you shall, shew her this ring,
    1645And she will tell you who your fellow is,
    That yet you do not know, fie on this storme,
    I will goe seeke the King.
    Gent. Giue me your hand, haue you no more to say?
    1650Kent. Few words, but to effect more then all yet,
    That when we haue found the King,
    Ile this way, you that, he that first lights
    On him, hollow the other.