Act 3 Scene 1

ACT 3

Scene 1

[Storm still. Enter Kent in disguise, and a Gentleman,
severally.]


KENT  Who’s there, besides foul weather?

GENTLEMAN 
 One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

KENT  I know you. Where’s the King?

GENTLEMAN 
 Contending with the fretful elements;
[5]  Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea
 Or swell the curlèd waters ’bove the main,
 That things might change or cease; tears his white
 hair,
 Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage
[10]  Catch in their fury and make nothing of;
 Strives in his little world of man to outscorn
 The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain.
 This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would
 couch,
[15]  The lion and the belly-pinchèd wolf
 Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs
 And bids what will take all.

KENT   But who is with him?

GENTLEMAN 
 None but the Fool, who labors to outjest
[20]  His heart-struck injuries.


KENT   Sir, I do know you
 And dare upon the warrant of my note
 Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
 Although as yet the face of it is covered
[25]  With mutual cunning, ’twixt Albany and Cornwall,
 Who have—as who have not, that their great stars
 Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,
 Which are to France the spies and speculations
 Intelligent of our state. From France there comes
[30]  a power
 Into this scattered kingdom, who already,
 Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
 In some of our best ports and are at point
 To show their open banner. Now to you:
[35]  If on my credit you dare build so far
 To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
 Some that will thank you, making just report
 Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
 The King hath cause to plain: what hath been seen,
[40]  Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
 Or the hard rein which both of them hath borne
 Against the old kind king, or something deeper,
 Whereof perchance these are but furnishings.
 I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
[45]  And from some knowledge and assurance offer
 This office to you.

GENTLEMAN 
 I will talk further with you.

KENT   No, do not.
 For confirmation that I am much more
[50]  Than my outwall, open this purse and take
 What it contains.
[Kent hands him a purse and a ring.]
 If you shall see Cordelia
 (As fear not but you shall), show her this ring,
 And she will tell you who that fellow is


[55]  That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
 I will go seek the King.

GENTLEMAN 
 Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?

KENT 
 Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet:
 That when we have found the King—in which your
[60]  pain
 That way, I’ll this—he that first lights on him
 Holla the other.
[They exit separately.]



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