King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

You, you, sirrah, where’s my daughter?
You, sir, where’s my daughter?

OSWALD

So please you—

OSWALD

I beg your pardon, sir—
Exit OSWALD
OSWALD exits.

LEAR

What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.

LEAR

What did that guy say? Call the numbskull back in here.
Exit FIRST KNIGHT
The FIRST KNIGHT exits.
Where’s my fool, ho? I think the world’s asleep.
Where’s my fool? You’d think everyone was asleep.
Enter FIRST KNIGHT
The FIRST KNIGHT enters again.
45How now? Where’s that mongrel?
So what’s going on? Where’s that dog?

FIRST KNIGHT

He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.

FIRST KNIGHT

He says your daughter’s not feeling well, my lord.

LEAR

Why came not the slave back to me when I called him.

LEAR

Why didn’t the jerk come back to me when I called him?

FIRST KNIGHT

Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner he would not.

FIRST KNIGHT

Sir, he told me quite bluntly that he didn’t feel like it.

LEAR

He would not?

LEAR

Didn’t feel like it?

FIRST KNIGHT

50My lord, I know not what the matter is, but to my judgment your highness is not entertained with that ceremonious affection as you were wont. There’s a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general dependants as in the duke himself also, and your daughter.

FIRST KNIGHT

My lord, I don’t know what’s going on, but it seems to me that your highness isn’t being treated as politely as before. The servants, the duke, and your daughter all seem to be treating you less kindly.

LEAR

55Ha! Sayest thou so?

LEAR

Huh! Do you really mean that?

FIRST KNIGHT

I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken—for my duty cannot be silent when I think your highness wronged.

FIRST KNIGHT

Please forgive me if I’m mistaken, my lord—but I can’t keep quiet when I think you’re being insulted.