ACT 4, SCENE 3: The French camp near Dover.

Enter KENT and a Gentleman.

KENT: Why the King of France is so suddenly gone
back know you the reason?

Gentleman: Something he left imperfect in the
state, which since his coming forth is thought of;
which imports to the kingdom so much fear and                              [5]
danger, that his personal return was most required and

KENT: Who hath he left behind him general?

Gentleman: The Marshal of France, Monsieur La
Far.                                                                                                                 [10]

KENT: Did your letters pierce the queen to any
demonstration of grief?

Gentleman: Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;
And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd she was a queen                                    [15]
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

KENT:                           O, then it moved her.

Gentleman: Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears                               [20]
Were like a better way: those happy smilets,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief,
Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved,                                               [25]
If all could so become it.

KENT:                           Made she no verbal question?

Gentleman: 'Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of 'father'
Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart:
Cried 'Sisters! sisters! Shame of ladies! sisters!
Kent! father! sisters! What, i' the storm? i' the night?                  [30]
Let pity not be believed!' There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

KENT:                           It is the stars,
The stars above us, govern our conditions;                                         [35]
Else one self mate and mate could not beget
Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?

Gentleman: No.

KENT: Was this before the king return'd?

Gentleman:                           No, since.

KENT: Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i' the town;                                [40]
Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers
What we are come about, and by no means
Will yield to see his daughter.

Gentleman:                           Why, good sir?

KENT: A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own unkindness,
That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her                            [45]
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.

Gentleman:                           Alack, poor gentleman!

KENT: Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?                        [50]

Gentleman: 'Tis so, they are afoot.

KENT: Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,
And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;
When I am known aright, you shall not grieve                                 [55]
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Along with me.


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