Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > King Lear > Act III, scene I

	[Storm still. Enter KENT and a Gentleman, meeting]

KENT: Who's there, besides foul weather?

Gentleman: One minded like the weather, most unquietly.

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

Gentleman: Contending with the fretful element:
	Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,
	Or swell the curled water 'bove the main,
	That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
	Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
	Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
	Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
	The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
	This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
	The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
	Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
	And bids what will take all.

KENT: But who is with him?

Gentleman: None but the fool; who labours to out-jest
	His heart-struck injuries.

KENT: Sir, I do know you;
	And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
	Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
	Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
	With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
	Who have--as who have not, that their great stars
	Throned and set high?--servants, who seem no less,
	Which are to France the spies and speculations
	Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
	Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
	Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
	Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
	Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;
	But, true it is, from France there comes a power
	Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
	Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
	In some of our best ports, and are at point
	To show their open banner. Now to you:
	If on my credit you dare build so far
	To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
	Some that will thank you, making just report
	Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
	The king hath cause to plain.
	I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
	And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
	This office to you.

Gentleman: I will talk further with you.

KENT: No, do not.
	For confirmation that I am much more
	Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take
	What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,--
	As fear not but you shall,--show her this ring;
	And she will tell you who your fellow is
	That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
	I will go seek the king.

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

KENT: Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet;
	That, when we have found the king,--in which your pain
	That way, I'll this,--he that first lights on him
	Holla the other.

	[Exeunt severally]


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