Act 4 Scene 7

Scene 7

[Enter Cordelia, Kent in disguise, Doctor, and
Gentleman.]


CORDELIA 
 O, 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 acknowledged, madam, is o’erpaid.


[5]  All my reports go with the modest truth,
 Nor more, nor clipped, but so.

CORDELIA   Be better suited.
 These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
 I prithee put them off.

[10]KENT   Pardon, dear madam.
 Yet to be known shortens my made intent.
 My boon I make it that you know me not
 Till time and I think meet.

CORDELIA 
 Then be ’t so, my good lord.—How does the King?

[15]DOCTOR  Madam, sleeps still.

CORDELIA  O, you kind gods,
 Cure this great breach in his abusèd nature!
 Th’ untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up,
 Of this child-changèd father!

[20]DOCTOR   So please your Majesty
 That we may wake the King? He hath slept
 long.

CORDELIA 
 Be governed by your knowledge, and proceed
 I’ th’ sway of your own will. Is he arrayed?


[Enter Lear in a chair carried by Servants.]


[25]GENTLEMAN 
 Ay, madam. In the heaviness of sleep,
 We put fresh garments on him.

DOCTOR 
 Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.
 I doubt not of his temperance.

CORDELIA   Very well.
[Music.]

[30]DOCTOR 
 Please you, draw near.—Louder the music there.

CORDELIA , [kissing Lear] 
 O, my dear father, restoration hang


 Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
 Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
 Have in thy reverence made.

[35]KENT   Kind and dear princess.

CORDELIA 
 Had you not been their father, these white flakes
 Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face
 To be opposed against the jarring winds?
 To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder,
[40]  In the most terrible and nimble stroke
 Of quick cross-lightning? To watch, poor perdu,
 With this thin helm? Mine enemy’s dog,
 Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
 Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,
[45]  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.

DOCTOR  Madam, do you; ’tis fittest.

[50]CORDELIA 
 How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?

LEAR 
 You do me wrong to take me out o’ th’ grave.
 Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
 Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
 Do scald like molten lead.

[55]CORDELIA   Sir, do you know me?

LEAR 
 You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die?

CORDELIA  Still, still, far wide.

DOCTOR 
 He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.

LEAR 
 Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
[60]  I am mightily abused; 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 pinprick. Would I were assured
 Of my condition!

[65]CORDELIA   O, look upon me, sir,
 And hold your hand in benediction o’er me.
 No, sir, you must not kneel.

LEAR   Pray do not mock:
 I am a very foolish fond old man,
[70]  Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor 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 am mainly ignorant
[75]  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.

[80]CORDELIA , [weeping]  And so I am; I am.

LEAR 
 Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray, weep not.
 If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
 I know you do not love me, for your sisters
 Have, as I do remember, done me wrong.
[85]  You have some cause; they have not.

CORDELIA   No cause, no
 cause.

LEAR  Am I in France?

KENT  In your own kingdom, sir.

[90]LEAR  Do not abuse me.

DOCTOR 
 Be comforted, good madam. The great rage,
 You see, is killed in him, and yet it is danger
 To make him even o’er the time he has lost.


 Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more
[95]  Till further settling.

CORDELIA  Will ’t please your Highness walk?

LEAR  You must bear with me.
 Pray you now, forget, and forgive. I am old and
 foolish. [They exit. Kent and Gentleman remain.]

[100]GENTLEMAN  Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall
 was so slain?

KENT  Most certain, sir.

GENTLEMAN  Who is conductor of his people?

KENT  As ’tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.

[105]GENTLEMAN  They say Edgar, his banished son, is with
 the Earl of Kent in Germany.

KENT  Report is changeable. ’Tis time to look about.
 The powers of the kingdom approach apace.

GENTLEMAN  The arbitrament is like to be bloody. Fare
[110]  you well, sir. [He exits.]

KENT 
 My point and period will be throughly wrought,
 Or well, or ill, as this day’s battle’s fought.
[He exits.]



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