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Home > King Lear > ACT IV - SCENE VII. A tent in the French camp. LEAR on a bed asleep, soft music playing; Gentleman, and others attending.

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ACT IV - SCENE VII. A tent in the French camp. LEAR on a bed asleep, soft music playing; Gentleman, and others attending.
Enter CORDELIA, KENT, and Doctor

CORDELIA
1    O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,
2    To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
3    And every measure fail me.
KENT
4    To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.
5    All my reports go with the modest truth;
6    Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.
CORDELIA
7    Be better suited:
8    These weeds are memories of those worser hours:
9    I prithee, put them off.
KENT
10   Pardon me, dear madam;
11   Yet to be known shortens my made intent:
12   My boon I make it, that you know me not
13   Till time and I think meet.
CORDELIA
14   Then be't so, my good lord.
To the Doctor
15   How does the king?
Doctor
16   Madam, sleeps still.
CORDELIA
17   O you kind gods,
18   Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
19   The untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up
20   Of this child-changed father!
Doctor
21   So please your majesty
22   That we may wake the king: he hath slept long.
CORDELIA
23   Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
24   I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
Gentleman
25   Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep
26   We put fresh garments on him.
Doctor
27   Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
28   I doubt not of his temperance.
CORDELIA
29   Very well.
Doctor
30   Please you, draw near. Louder the music there!
CORDELIA
31   O my dear father! Restoration hang
32   Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
33   Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
34   Have in thy reverence made!
KENT
35   Kind and dear princess!
CORDELIA
36   Had you not been their father, these white flakes
37   Had challenged pity of them. Was this a face
38   To be opposed against the warring winds?
39   To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
40   In the most terrible and nimble stroke
41   Of quick, cross lightning? to watch--poor perdu!--
42   With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
43   Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
44   Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
45   To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
46   In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
47   'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
48   Had not concluded all. He wakes; speak to him.
Doctor
49   Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
CORDELIA
50   How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?
KING LEAR
51   You do me wrong to take me out o' the grave:
52   Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
53   Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
54   Do scald like moulten lead.
CORDELIA
55   Sir, do you know me?
KING LEAR
56   You are a spirit, I know: when did you die?
CORDELIA
57   Still, still, far wide!
Doctor
58   He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.
KING LEAR
59   Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
60   I am mightily abused. I should e'en die with pity,
61   To see another thus. I know not what to say.
62   I will not swear these are my hands: let's see;
63   I feel this pin prick. Would I were assured
64   Of my condition!
CORDELIA
65   O, look upon me, sir,
66   And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:
67   No, sir, you must not kneel.
KING LEAR
68   Pray, do not mock me:
69   I am a very foolish fond old man,
70   Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
71   And, to deal plainly,
72   I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
73   Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
74   Yet I am doubtful for I am mainly ignorant
75   What place this is; and all the skill I have
76   Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
77   Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
78   For, as I am a man, I think this lady
79   To be my child Cordelia.
CORDELIA
80   And so I am, I am.
KING LEAR
81   Be your tears wet? yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not:
82   If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
83   I know you do not love me; for your sisters
84   Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
85   You have some cause, they have not.
CORDELIA
86   No cause, no cause.
KING LEAR
87   Am I in France?
KENT
88   In your own kingdom, sir.
KING LEAR
89   Do not abuse me.
Doctor
90   Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
91   You see, is kill'd in him: and yet it is danger
92   To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
93   Desire him to go in; trouble him no more
94   Till further settling.
CORDELIA
95   Will't please your highness walk?
KING LEAR
96   You must bear with me:
97   Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.
Exeunt all but KENT and Gentleman

Gentleman
98   Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was so slain?
KENT
99   Most certain, sir.
Gentleman
100  Who is conductor of his people?
KENT
101  As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
Gentleman
102  They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl
103  of Kent in Germany.
KENT
104  Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the
105  powers of the kingdom approach apace.
Gentleman
106  The arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you
107  well, sir.
Exit

KENT
108  My point and period will be throughly wrought,
109  Or well or ill, as this day's battle's fought.
Exit

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE VIACT V, SCENE I (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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