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



	[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 danger, that his personal return was
	most required and necessary.

KENT: Who hath he left behind him general?

Gentleman: The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.

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
	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
	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,
	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?
	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;
	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;
	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
	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?

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
	Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
	Along with me.

	[Exeunt]



	KING LEAR






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