King Lear : Act 3, Scene 1



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


      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,
  6   Or swell the curled water 'bove the main,
main mainland.

  7   That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
things all things.

  8   Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
  9   Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
make nothing of blow about disdainfully.

 10   Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
little world of man microcosm.

 11   The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
 12   This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
This . . . couch this night, during which even the hungriest, cub-drawn, mother bear would stay in her den.

 13   The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
 14   Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
unbonneted bare-headed.

 15   And bids what will take all.
bids what will take all —This is a cry of desperate defiance; "take all" is the cry of a gambler staking his last.


      KENT
 15                                                   But who is with him?

      Gentleman
 16   None but the fool; who labours to out-jest
out-jest exorcise; relieve by jesting.

 17   His heart-struck injuries.

      KENT
 17                                             Sir, I do know you;
upon . . . note on the strength of what I know.
 18   And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
 19   Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Commend . . . you entrust a precious undertaking to you.

 20   Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
 21   With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
 22   Who have—as who have not, that their great stars
 23   Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,
as who . . . set high? i.e., as has everyone favored by destiny. who . . . less i.e., who appear to be loyal servants.

 24   Which are to France the spies and speculations
speculations scouts.

 25   Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
Intelligent of supplying intelligence.

 26   Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
snuffs and packings quarrels and intrigues.

 27   Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
rein treatment.

 28   Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
 29   Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;
furnishings outward shows or pretexts.

 30   But, true it is, from France there comes a power
a power an army.

 31   Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
scatter'd divided.

 32   Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
Wise in aware of. feet footholds.

 33   In some of our best ports, and are at point
 34   To show their open banner. Now to you:
at point . . . banner on the verge of declaring war.

 35   If on my credit you dare build so far
credit trustworthiness. so far so far as.

 36   To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
making just report i.e., for making an accurate report. bemadding maddening.
 37   Some that will thank you, making just report
 38   Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
 39   The king hath cause to plain.
plain complain.

 40   I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
 41   And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
 42   This office to you.
office role; assignment; duty.


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


      KENT
 43                                                   No, do not.
 44   For confirmation that I am much more
 45   Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take
out-wall outward appearance.

 46   What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,—
 47   As fear not but you shall,—show her this ring;
fear not but be assured that.

 48   And she will tell you who your fellow is
fellow companion —Kent, an Earl, is disguised as Caius, an ordinary servant.

 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
 52   Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet;
to effect in importance.

 53   That, when we have found the king,—in which your pain
 54   That way, I'll this,—he that first lights on him
in which your pain / That way i.e., in the course of your diligent search, go that way.

 55   Holla the other.

           Exeunt.