King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter CORDELIA, KENT disguised, GENTLEMAN, and DOCTOR
CORDELIA enters with KENT in disguise, the GENTLEMAN, and the DOCTOR.

CORDELIA

O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
And every measure fail me.

CORDELIA

Oh, Kent, what could I ever do to become as good as you are? I won’t live long enough, and all my efforts will fail me.

KENT

To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.
5All my reports go with the modest truth,
Nor more, nor clipped, but so.

KENT

Just being thanked is more than enough for me, madam. I hope all reports about me simply tell the truth, no more or less.

CORDELIA

     Be better suited.
These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
I prithee, put them off.

CORDELIA

Change into better clothes. These rags will just remind us of those bad times when you had to wear a disguise. Please take them off.

KENT

   Pardon, dear madam.
Yet to be known shortens my made intent.
10My boon I make it that you know me not
Till time and I think meet.

KENT

I’m sorry, madam, but I can’t do that yet. If people recognize me now, I won’t be able to carry out my plans. I have to ask you, as a favor, not to let on that you recognize me until the time is right.

CORDELIA

   Then be ’t so, my good lord.—
How does the king?

CORDELIA

All right, my lord.—How’s the king doing?

DOCTOR

   Madam, sleeps still.

DOCTOR

He’s still sleeping, ma'am.

CORDELIA

     O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abusèd nature,
Th' untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up,
15Of this child-changèd father!

CORDELIA

Kind gods, heal the wounds that he’s wrongly suffered! Restore the sanity of this father whose children have driven him mad and changed him into a child again!

DOCTOR

     So please your majesty
That we may wake the king? He hath slept long.

DOCTOR

Would you mind if we woke up the king? He’s slept a long time.