King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

90There is a litter ready. Lay him in ’t
And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master.
If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
With thine and all that offer to defend him,
95Stand in assurèd loss. Take up, take up,
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.
him inside and take him to Dover, where you’ll find people who’ll welcome and protect him. Carry your master out. If you waste even half an hour, he’ll be killed, along with you and everyone else helping him. Bring him here, carry him and follow me. I’ll quickly take you to where you can find supplies.

KENT

   Oppressèd nature sleeps.—
This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
100Stand in hard cure.
(to FOOL)
    Come, help to bear thy master.
Thou must not stay behind.

KENT

Lear’s suffering has finally put him to sleep. (to the sleeping LEAR) This rest might have calmed your shattered nerves. It will be difficult for you to get better now that rest is impossible. (to FOOL) Come on, help me carry your master. You can’t stay here.

GLOUCESTER

     Come, come, away.

GLOUCESTER

Come on, come on.
Exeunt all but EDGAR
Everyone exits except EDGAR.

EDGAR

When we our betters see bearing our woes,
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
105Who alone suffers, suffers most i' th' mind,
Leaving free things and happy shows behind.
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip
When grief hath mates and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now
110When that which makes me bend makes the king bow.
He childed as I fathered. Tom, away!
Mark the high noises and thyself bewray
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.
115What will hap more tonight, safe ’scape the king!
Lurk, lurk.

EDGAR

When we see that our betters have the same problems we do, we can almost forget our own misery. The person who suffers alone suffers the most. Companions in sorrow alleviate our grief. My troubles seem so easy to bear now that I see the king collapsing under a similar sorrow. His children have done the same to him as my father has to me. Let’s go, Tom. We’ll pay attention to the political situation, and you’ll be able to reveal your true identity when you’re proven innocent. Whatever else happens tonight, I hope the king escapes safely! Lurk out of sight.
Exit
He exits.