King Lear : Act 3, Scene 1



           Storm still. Enter KENT [disguised as Caius]
severally at separate doors
           and a Gentleman, severally.

      KENT
  1   Who's there, besides foul weather?

      Gentleman
  2   One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

      KENT
  3   I know you. Where's the king?

      Gentleman
  4   Contending with the fretful element:
  5   Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,
main mainland
  6   Or swell the curled water 'bove the main,
things all things
  7   That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
  8   Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
make nothing of blow about disdainfully
  9   Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
little world of man microcosm
 10   Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
 11   The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
This ... couch this night, during which even the hungriest bear would stay in its den —A cub-drawn bear is a sow which has been sucked dry by her cubs. unbonneted bare-headed
bids what will take all —This is a cry of desperate defiance; "take all" is the cry of a gambler staking his last.
 12   This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
 13   The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
 14   Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
 15   And bids what will take all.

      KENT
 15                                                   But who is with him?

      Gentleman
out-jest exorcise; relieve by jesting
 16   None but the fool; who labours to out-jest
 17   His heart-struck injuries.

      KENT
 17                                             Sir, I do know you;
upon ... note on the strength of what I know
Commend ... you entrust a precious undertaking to you
 18   And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
 19   Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
 20   Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
 21   With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
as who ... set high? i.e., as has everyone who has been favored by destiny who seem no less i.e., who appear to be loyal servants
speculations scouts
Intelligent of supplying intelligence
snuffs and packings quarrels and intrigues
rein treatment



furnishings outward shows or pretexts | a power an army
scatter'd divided
Wise in aware of | feet footholds

at point ... banner on the verge of declaring war
 22   Who have—as who have not, that their great stars
 23   Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,
 24   Which are to France the spies and speculations
 25   Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
 26   Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
 27   Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
 28   Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
 29   Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;
 30   But, true it is, from France there comes a power
 31   Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
 32   Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
 33   In some of our best ports, and are at point
 34   To show their open banner. Now to you:
credit trustworthiness | so far so far as
 35   If on my credit you dare build so far
 36   To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
making just report i.e., for making an accurate report bemadding maddening
plain complain
 37   Some that will thank you, making just report
 38   Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
 39   The king hath cause to plain.
 40   I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
 41   And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
office role; assignment; duty
 42   This office to you.

      Gentleman
I will talk further with you i.e., I'll think it over and get back to you
 43   I will talk further with you.

      KENT
 43                                                   No, do not.
 44   For confirmation that I am much more
out-wall outward appearance
 45   Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take
 46   What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,—
fear not but be assured that
 47   As fear not but you shall,—show her this ring;
fellow companion —Kent, an Earl, is disguised as Caius, an ordinary servant.
 48   And she will tell you who your fellow is
 49   That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
 50   I will go seek the king.

      Gentleman
 51   Give me your hand: have you no more to say?

      KENT
to effect in importance
 52   Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet;
in which your pain / That way i.e., in the course of your diligent search, go that way
 53   That, when we have found the king,—in which your pain
 54   That way, I'll this,—he that first lights on him
 55   Holla the other.

           Exeunt.