Gent. So please your Maiesty, That we may wake the King, he hath slept long? Cor. Be gouern'd by your knowledge, and proceede I'th' sway of your owne will: is he array'd? Enter Lear in a chaire carried by Seruants] Gent. I Madam: in the heauinesse of sleepe, We put fresh garments on him. Be by good Madam when we do awake him, I doubt of his Temperance

Cor. O my deere Father, restauratian hang Thy medicine on my lippes, and let this kisse Repaire those violent harmes, that my two Sisters Haue in thy Reuerence made

Kent. Kind and deere Princesse

Cor. Had you not bin their Father, these white flakes Did challenge pitty of them. Was this a face To be oppos'd against the iarring windes? Mine Enemies dogge, though he had bit me, Should haue stood that night against my fire, And was't thou faine (poore Father) To houell thee with Swine and Rogues forlorne, In short, and musty straw? Alacke, alacke, 'Tis wonder that thy life and wits, at once Had not concluded all. He wakes, speake to him

Gen. Madam do you, 'tis fittest

Cor. How does my Royall Lord? How fares your Maiesty? Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o'th' graue, Thou art a Soule in blisse, but I am bound Vpon a wheele of fire, that mine owne teares Do scal'd, like molten Lead

Cor. Sir, do you know me? Lear. You are a spirit I know, where did you dye? Cor. Still, still, farre wide

Gen. He's scarse awake, Let him alone a while

Lear. Where haue I bin? Where am I? Faire day light? I am mightily abus'd; I should eu'n dye with pitty To see another thus. I know not what to say: I will not sweare these are my hands: let's see, I feele this pin pricke, would I were assur'd Of my condition

Cor. O looke vpon me Sir, And hold your hand in benediction o're me, You must not kneele

Lear. Pray do not mocke me: I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourescore and vpward, Not an houre more, nor lesse: And to deale plainely, I feare I am not in my perfect mind. Me thinkes I should know you, and know this man, Yet I am doubtfull: For I am mainely ignorant What place this is: and all the skill I haue Remembers not these garments: nor I know not Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me, For (as I am a man) I thinke this Lady To be my childe Cordelia

Cor. And so I am: I am

Lear. Be your teares wet? Yes faith: I pray weepe not, If you haue poyson for me, I will drinke it: I know you do not loue me, for your Sisters Haue (as I do remember) done me wrong. You haue some cause, they haue not

Cor. No cause, no cause

Lear. Am I in France? Kent. In your owne kingdome Sir

Lear. Do not abuse me

Gent. Be comforted good Madam, the great rage You see is kill'd in him: desire him to go in, Trouble him no more till further setling

Cor. Wilt please your Highnesse walke? Lear. You must beare with me: Pray you now forget, and forgiue, I am old and foolish.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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