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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

O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,
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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

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;
Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.

Cordelia

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

Kent

Pardon me, 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 the Doctor

How does the king?

Doctor

Madam, sleeps still.

Cordelia

O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father!

Doctor

So please your majesty
That we may wake the king: he hath slept long.

Cordelia

Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

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;
I doubt not of his temperance.

Cordelia

Very well.

Doctor

Please you, draw near. Louder the music there!

Cordelia

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!

Cordelia

Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Had challenged 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 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.

Cordelia

How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

King Lear

You do me wrong to take me out o' the grave:
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like moulten lead.

Cordelia

Sir, do you know me?

King Lear

You are a spirit, I know: when did you die?

Cordelia

Still, still, far wide!

Doctor

He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.

King Lear

Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
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 pin prick. Would I were assured
Of my condition!

Cordelia

O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:
No, sir, you must not kneel.

King 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.

King 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.

King Lear

Am I in France?

Kent

In your own kingdom, sir.

King Lear

Do not abuse me.

Doctor

Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
You see, is kill'd 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?

King Lear

You must bear with me:
Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.

Exeunt all but Kent and Gentleman

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.

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 arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you well, sir.

Exit

Kent

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

Exit

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