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And the exchange my brother! In the mature time,
With this ungracious scroll, I'll strike the sight
Of the death-practis'd Duke. Give me your hand:
[Distant drum. Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum : Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exeunt.
SCENE 4.-The French Camp.
Enter Kent and a Gentleman.
HY the King of France is so suddenly gone
back know you the reason ? Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, which since his coming forth is thought
of. Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen to any
demonstration of grief? Gent. Ay, sir ; she took them, read them in my
And now and then an ample tear trillid down
Her delicate cheek; it seem'd she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel like,
Sought to be king o'er her.
O, then it mov'd her.
Gent. Not to a rage : patience and sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better way: those happy smilets,
That played on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes. In brief,
Sorrow would be a rarity most belov'd,
If all could so become it.
Made she no verbal question ?
Gent. Faith, once or twice she heay'd the name of
“father" Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart; Cried.“ Sisters ! sisters! What, i' the storm ? i' the
Let pity not be believ'd!” There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.
You spoke not with her since ?
Kent. Was this before the king return'd ?
No, since. Kent. Well, sir, the poor distress'd Lear's i' the
Who sometime in his better tune remembers
What we are come about, and by no means
Will yield to see his daughter.
Why, good sir ?
Kent. His own unkindness,
That stripp'd her from his benediction, stings
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.
Alack, poor gentleman! Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you
heard not? Gent. 'Tis so, they are afoot.
Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear, And leave you to attend him : When I am known aright, you shall not grieve Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, Go along with me.
SCENE 5.-A Tent in the French Camp.
LEAR on a bed asleep.
Soft music playing. CORDELIA and Kent. Physician, Gentleman, and
THOU good Kent, how shall I live and work,
To match thy goodness? My life will be
too short, And
every measure fail me.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid.
Cor. How does the king ?
Phy. Madam, sleeps well.
Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature !
Th' untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father !
So please your majesty
That we may wake the king: he hath slept long.
Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
of your own will. Is he array'd ? Phy. Ay, madam ; in the heaviness of sleep We put fresh garments on him.
Kent. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him ; I doubt not of his temperance. Cor.
Phy. Please you, draw near. Louder the music there!
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration hang
Thy med'cine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made !
Kind and dear princess ! Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
To be oppos'd against the warring winds ?
Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw ? Alack, alack!
'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.-He wakes ; speak to him.
Phy. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
Cor. How does my royal lord ? how fares your
Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o' the
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.
Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know : when did you
Cor. Still, still, far wide!
Phy. He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.
Lear. Where have I been? Where am I ?-Fair
I'm mightily abus’d.I should e'en die with pity,
To see another thus.-I know not what to say.-
I will not swear these are my hands :--let's see;
I feel this pin prick. Would I were assur'd
Of my condition!
0, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:-
No, sir, you must not kneel.
Pray do not mock me:
I am a very foolish, fond, old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more or less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks I should know you, and know this man ;
Yet I am doubtful : for I'm mainly ignorant
What place this is : and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.
And so I am, I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? yes, faith. I pray you
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know you do not love me;
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.
No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France ?
In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phy. Be comforted, good madam : the great rage, You see, is cur'd in him : desire him to go in. Cor.
Will't please your highness walk ? Lear. You must bear with me; Pray you now, forget and forgive : I'm old and