King Lear : Act 4, Scene 7



           Enter CORDELIA, KENT [still dressed as
           Caius], and Doctor.

      CORDELIA
  1   O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,
  2   To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
measure attempt
  3   And every measure fail me.

      KENT
To  . . .  o'erpaid. To be acknowledged (as worthy by you) madam, is overpayment. All my reports ... but so. i.e., All my reports (about what happened to King Lear) align with observable truth, not exaggerated or understated, but just as the events happened. suited attired
weeds clothes
  4   To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.
  5   All my reports go with the modest truth;
  6   Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.

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

      KENT
  8                                         Pardon me, dear madam;
Yet ... intent revealing myself now would abort my plans My boon I make it The favor I beg is meet suitable
  9   Yet to be known shortens my made intent:
 10   My boon I make it, that you know me not
 11   Till time and I think meet.

      CORDELIA
 12   Then be't so, my good lord.

           [To the Doctor.]

 12                                                 How does the king?

wind up
child-changed father father changed by his children






knowledge medical expertise proceed  . . .   will i.e., do as you think fit array'd dressed
      Doctor
 13   Madam, sleeps still.

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

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

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

      Gentleman
 20   Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep
 21   We put fresh garments on him.

      Doctor
 22   Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
temperance calmness
 23   I doubt not of his temperance.

      CORDELIA
 23                                                     Very well.

           Enter LEAR in a chair carried by Servants.
           [Gentleman in attendance. Soft music.]

      Doctor
 24   Please you, draw near. Louder the music there!

      CORDELIA
 25   O my dear father! Restoration hang
 26   Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
 27   Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
reverence revered spirit
 28   Have in thy reverence made!

      KENT
 28                                                   Kind and dear princess!

      CORDELIA
Had you not Even if you had not | white flakes locks of hair Had  . . .   them i.e., should have made them pity you
deep deep-toned | dread-bolted thunder accompanied by the dread thunderbolt
cross zigzag | to watch—poor perdu! i.e., to stand watch, like a lone sentinel at a dangerous outpost this thin helm this light helmet (Lear's hair)
Against my fire i.e., warming himself at my hearth | wast thou fain did you enjoy
 29   Had you not been their father, these white flakes
 30   Had challenged pity of them. Was this a face
 31   To be opposed against the warring winds?
 32   To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
 33   In the most terrible and nimble stroke
 34   Of quick, cross lightning? to watch—poor perdu!—
 35   With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
 36   Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
 37   Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
 38   To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
 39   In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
 40   'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
concluded all ended all at once
 41   Had not concluded all. He wakes; speak to him.

      Doctor
'tis fittest it's appropriate (that you speak to him first)
 42   Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.

      CORDELIA
 43   How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

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

      CORDELIA
 47                                                 Sir, do you know me?

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

      CORDELIA
wide astray (from reason); unbalanced
 49   Still, still, far wide!

      Doctor
 50   He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.

      KING LEAR
 51   Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
abused deceived
 52   I am mightily abused. I should e'en die with pity,
 53   To see another thus. I know not what to say.
 54   I will not swear these are my hands: let's see;
 55   I feel this pin prick. Would I were assured
 56   Of my condition!

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

      KING LEAR
 58                                                 Pray, do not mock me:
fond silly
Fourscore and upward over eighty
 59   I am a very foolish fond old man,
 60   Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
 61   And, to deal plainly,
 62   I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
 63   Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
mainly entirely
 64   Yet I am doubtful for I am mainly ignorant
 65   What place this is; and all the skill I have
 66   Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
 67   Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
 68   For, as I am a man, I think this lady
 69   To be my child Cordelia.

      CORDELIA
 69                                               And so I am, I am.

      KING LEAR
Be your tears wet? i.e., Are your tears real? Is this really happening?
 70   Be your tears wet? yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not:
 71   If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
 72   I know you do not love me; for your sisters
 73   Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
 74   You have some cause, they have not.

      CORDELIA
No cause, no cause. —Cordelia repeats that she has no reason to be angry with her father.
 74                                               No cause, no cause.

      KING LEAR
 75   Am I in France?

      KENT
 75                                 In your own kingdom, sir.

      KING LEAR
abuse deceive; mock
 76   Do not abuse me.

      Doctor
rage frenzy
 77   Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
 78   You see, is kill'd in him: and yet it is danger
even o'er the time he has lost fill in the blank spaces in his memory
 79   To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
 80   Desire him to go in; trouble him no more
Till further settling until his mind eases
 81   Till further settling.

      CORDELIA
 82   Will't please your highness walk?

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

           Exeunt [all but KENT and Gentleman].

      Gentleman
 84   Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was so
 85   slain?

      KENT
 86   Most certain, sir.

      Gentleman
conductor leader
 87   Who is conductor of his people?

      KENT
 88   As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.

      Gentleman
 89   They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl
 90   of Kent in Germany.

      KENT
look about be on guard
 91   Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the
 92   powers of the kingdom approach apace.

      Gentleman
arbitrement decisive encounter
 93   The arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you
 94   well, sir.

           Exit [Gentleman].

      KENT
My point ... fought. The critical moment and outcome (of my plans) will be shaped for either better or worse according to how this day's battle is fought.
 95   My point and period will be throughly wrought,
 96   Or well or ill, as this day's battle's fought.

           Exit.