King Lear


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Kent and a Gentleman


KENT

Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back

know you no reason?


GENTLEMAN

Something he left imperfect in the state,
imperfect (adj.) 1 unfinished, incomplete

which since his coming forth is thought of, which imports
import (v.) 2 be of importance to, concern, matter to

to the kingdom so much fear and danger that his

personal return was most required and necessary.
require (v.) 1 request, ask, beg


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 trilled down
trill (v.) roll, flow, stream

Her delicate cheek. It seemed 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
patience (n.) 2 endurance, fortitude, composure
rage (n.) 1 violent outburst, furious passion
strive (v.) compete, contend, vie

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
express (v.) show, reveal, display
goodly (adj.) 2 good-looking, handsome, attractive, comely

Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears

Were like a better way; those happy smilets
smilet (n.) slight smile

That played on her ripe lip seemed not to know
ripe (adj.) 6 red and full like ripe fruit

What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence

As pearls from diamonds dropped. In brief,

Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved

If all could so become it.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count
question (n.) 6 conversation, discourse, piece of talk


KENT

                         Made she no verbal question?


GENTLEMAN

Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of father

Pantingly forth, as if it pressed 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 moistened; then away she started
clamor, clamour (n.) protest, complaint, outcry
start (v.) 6 hurry, rush, hasten

To deal with grief alone.


KENT

                         It is the stars,

The stars above us govern our conditions.
condition (n.) 3 nature, state, circumstances

Else one self mate and make could not beget
mate and make husband and wife
self (adj.) same, selfsame, identical, exact

Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count


GENTLEMAN

No.


KENT

Was this before the King returned?


GENTLEMAN

                         No, since.


KENT

Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i'the town,

Who sometime in his better tune remembers
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then
tune (n.) 1 state of mind, mood

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
elbow (v.) jostle, thrust back, crowd in
sovereign (adj.) 3 overpowering, unmitigated, extreme

That stripped her from his benediction, turned her
benediction (n.) 2 blessing, happiness, prosperity

To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
casualty (n.) 1 chance occurrence, uncertainty, precariousness

To his dog-hearted daughters – these things sting
dog-hearted (adj.) cruel, callous, malevolent

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?
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count


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
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
cause (n.) 1 reason, motive, ground
dear (adj.) 2 important, major, significant

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

 
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