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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 7 Easiest-to-Read Edition

A tent in the French camp

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 4, Scene 7


 

King Lear Act 4 Scene 7

Enter CORDELIA, KENT disguised, GENTLEMAN, and DOCTOR

Enter CORDELIA, KENT disguised, GENTLEMAN, and DOCTOR

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.

 

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.

All my reports go with the modest truth,

go with=are a part of

Nor more, nor clipped, but so.

 

KENT

To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.

All my reports go with the modest truth,

Nor more, nor clipped, but so.

 

CORDELIA

     Be better suited (dressed).

These weeds are memories of those worser hours.

weeds=clothes

I prithee, put them off.

 

CORDELIA

     Be better suited.

These weeds are memories of those worser hours.

I prithee, put them off.

 

KENT

   Pardon, dear madam.

Yet to be known shortens my made intent.

made intent=planned intention

My boon I make it that you know me not

boon=request

Till time and I think meet.

meet=appropriate

 

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.—

(to doctor) How does the king?

 

CORDELIA

   Then be ’t so, my good lord.—

How does the king?

 

DOCTOR

   Madam, sleeps still.

 

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,

wind up=repair

Of this child-changèd father!

child-changed=changed by the actions of his children

 

 

DOCTOR

     So please your majesty

That we may wake the king? He hath slept long.

 

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?

arrayed=clothed

 

CORDELIA

Be governed by your knowledge and proceed

I' th' sway of your own will. Is he arrayed?

 

Enter LEAR asleep in a chair carried by servants

Enter LEAR asleep in a chair carried by servants

GENTLEMAN

Ay, madam. In the heaviness of his sleep

We put fresh garments on him.

 

GENTLEMAN

Ay, madam. In the heaviness of his sleep

We put fresh garments on him.

 

DOCTOR

Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.

by=nearby

I doubt not of his temperance.

 

DOCTOR

Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.

I doubt not of his temperance.

 

CORDELIA

     Very well.

 

CORDELIA

     Very well.

 

DOCTOR

Please you, draw near.—Louder the music there!

 

DOCTOR

Please you, draw near.—Louder the music there!

 

CORDELIA

(kisses LEAR) O my dear father, restoration hang

restoration=recovery

Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss

Repair those violent harms that my two sisters

Have in thy reverence made!

thy reverence=your reverenced self

 

CORDELIA

(kisses 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!

 

KENT

     Kind and dear princess!

 

KENT

     Kind and dear princess!

 

CORDELIA

Had you not been their father, these white flakes

white flakes=tufts of hair

Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face

(even more pity would be expected from daughters)

To be opposed against the warring winds?

To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder

In the most terrible and nimble stroke

Of quick cross lightning? To watch—poor perdu!

to watch=to stay awake all night like a sentry

perdu=sentry exposed to danger

With this thin helm? Mine enemy’s meanest dog,

thin helm (helmet)=thin covering of hair

Though he had bit me, should have stood that night

Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,

against my fire=in front of the fireplace

fain=forced

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.

 

CORDELIA

Had you not been their father, these white flakes

Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face

To be opposed against the warring winds?

To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder

In the most terrible and nimble stroke

Of quick cross lightning? To watch—poor perdu!

With this thin helm? Mine enemy’s meanest dog,

Though he had bit me, should have stood that night

Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,

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.

 

DOCTOR

Madam, do you. 'Tis fittest.

 

CORDELIA

How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

 

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

that=so that

Do scald like molten lead.

 

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.

 

CORDELIA

   Sir, do you know me?

 

CORDELIA

   Sir, do you know me?

 

LEAR

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

 

LEAR

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

 

CORDELIA

(aside to DOCTOR) Still, still far wide!

 

CORDELIA

(aside to DOCTOR) Still, still far wide!

 

DOCTOR

He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.

 

DOCTOR

He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.

 

LEAR

Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?

I am mightily abused. I should ev'n 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.

 

LEAR

Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?

I am mightily abused. I should ev'n 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.

 

CORDELIA

(kneels)

   O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.

No, sir, you must not kneel.

 

CORDELIA

(kneels)

   O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.

No, sir, you must not kneel.

 

LEAR

     Pray, do not mock me.

I am a very foolish fond old man,

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

mainly=entirely

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.

 

LEAR

     Pray, do not mock me.

I am a very foolish fond old man,

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

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.

 

CORDELIA

   And so I am, I am.

 

CORDELIA

   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.

You have some cause; they have not.

 

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.

You have some cause; they have not.

 

CORDELIA

     No cause, no cause.

 

CORDELIA

     No cause, no cause.

 

LEAR

Am I in France?

 

LEAR

Am I in France?

 

KENT

In your own kingdom, sir.

 

KENT

In your own kingdom, sir.

 

LEAR

Do not abuse me.

 

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.

make him even=bring him up to date

Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more

Till further settling.

 

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

Till further settling.

 

CORDELIA

Will ’t please your highness walk?

 

CORDELIA

Will ’t please your highness walk?

 

LEAR

You must bear with me.

Pray you now, forget and forgive.

I am old and foolish.

 

LEAR

You must bear with me.

Pray you now, forget and forgive.

I am old and foolish.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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