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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 4 Easiest-to-Read Edition

A tent at the French camp near Dover

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 4, Scene 4


 

King Lear Act 4 Scene 4

Enter, with drum and colors, CORDELIA, DOCTOR, and soldiers

Enter, with drum and colors, CORDELIA, DOCTOR, and soldiers

CORDELIA

Alack, ’tis he. Why, he was met even now

As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud,

Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,

fumiter=fumaria, a type of weed

With burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,

Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow

In our sustaining corn.—A century send forth.

century=100 men

Search every acre in the high-grown field,

And bring him to our eye.

 

CORDELIA

Alack, ’tis he. Why, he was met even now

As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud,

Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,

With burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,

Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow

In our sustaining corn.—A century send forth.

Search every acre in the high-grown field,

And bring him to our eye.

 

Exit some soldiers

Exit some soldiers

What can man’s wisdom

In the restoring his bereavèd sense?

in the restoring=do to restore

bereaved=stolen

He that helps him take all my outward worth.

all my outward worth=everything that I possess

 

What can man’s wisdom

In the restoring his bereavèd sense?

He that helps him take all my outward worth.

 

DOCTOR

There is means, madam.

Our foster nurse of nature is repose,

The which he lacks—that to provoke in him

Are many simples operative, whose power

simples operative=effective herbs

Will close the eye of anguish.

 

DOCTOR

There is means, madam.

Our foster nurse of nature is repose,

The which he lacks—that to provoke in him

Are many simples operative, whose power

Will close the eye of anguish.

 

CORDELIA

   All blessed secrets,

All you unpublished virtues of the earth,

Spring with my tears. Be aidant and remediate

aidant and remediate=helpful and curative

In the good man’s distress. Seek, seek for him,

Lest his ungoverned rage dissolve the life

That wants the means to lead it.

wants=lacks

 

CORDELIA

   All blessed secrets,

All you unpublished virtues of the earth,

Spring with my tears. Be aidant and remediate

In the good man’s distress. Seek, seek for him,

Lest his ungoverned rage dissolve the life

That wants the means to lead it.

 

Enter SECOND MESSENGER

Enter SECOND MESSENGER

SECOND MESSENGER

     News, madam.

The British powers are marching hitherward.

 

SECOND MESSENGER

     News, madam.

The British powers are marching hitherward.

 

CORDELIA

'Tis known before. Our preparation stands

In expectation of them. O dear father,

It is thy business that I go about.

Therefore great France

My mourning and importuned tears hath pitied.

(great France hath pitied my mourning . . .)

importuned=pleading

No blown ambition doth our arms incite,

(no blown ambition doth incite our arms)

arms=armaments

But love—dear love!—and our aged father’s right.

Soon may I hear and see him.

 

CORDELIA

'Tis known before. Our preparation stands

In expectation of them. O dear father,

It is thy business that I go about.

Therefore great France

My mourning and importuned tears hath pitied.

No blown ambition doth our arms incite,

But love—dear love!—and our aged father’s right.

Soon may I hear and see him.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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