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Home > King Lear > ACT IV - SCENE III. The French camp near Dover.

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ACT IV - SCENE III. The French camp near Dover.
Enter KENT and a Gentleman

KENT
1    Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back
2    know you the reason?
Gentleman
3    Something he left imperfect in the
4    state, which since his coming forth is thought
5    of; which imports to the kingdom so much
6    fear and danger, that his personal return was
7    most required and necessary.
KENT
8    Who hath he left behind him general?
Gentleman
9    The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.
KENT
10   Did your letters pierce the queen to any
11   demonstration of grief?
Gentleman
12   Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;
13   And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
14   Her delicate cheek: it seem'd she was a queen
15   Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
16   Sought to be king o'er her.
KENT
17   O, then it moved her.
Gentleman
18   Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove
19   Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
20   Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
21   Were like a better way: those happy smilets,
22   That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
23   What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
24   As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief,
25   Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved,
26   If all could so become it.
KENT
27   Made she no verbal question?
Gentleman
28   'Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of 'father'
29   Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart:
30   Cried 'Sisters! sisters! Shame of ladies! sisters!
31   Kent! father! sisters! What, i' the storm? i' the night?
32   Let pity not be believed!' There she shook
33   The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
34   And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
35   To deal with grief alone.
KENT
36   It is the stars,
37   The stars above us, govern our conditions;
38   Else one self mate and mate could not beget
39   Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
Gentleman
40   No.
KENT
41   Was this before the king return'd?
Gentleman
42   No, since.
KENT
43   Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i' the town;
44   Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers
45   What we are come about, and by no means
46   Will yield to see his daughter.
Gentleman
47   Why, good sir?
KENT
48   A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own unkindness,
49   That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
50   To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
51   To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting
52   His mind so venomously, that burning shame
53   Detains him from Cordelia.
Gentleman
54   Alack, poor gentleman!
KENT
55   Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?
Gentleman
56   'Tis so, they are afoot.
KENT
57   Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,
58   And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
59   Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;
60   When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
61   Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
62   Along with me.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IIACT IV, SCENE IV (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III

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