• Enter KENT disguised and GENTLEMAN

    KENT

    Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back know you the reason?

    GENTLEMAN

    Something he left imperfect in the state which, since his coming forth, is thought of; which imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger that his personal return was most required and necessary.

    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
    Her delicate cheek. It seemed she was a queen
    Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
    15Sought to be king o'er her.

    KENT

       O, then it moved her?

    GENTLEMAN

    Not to a rage. Patience and sorrow strove
    Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
    Sunshine and rain at once—her smiles and tears
    Were like a better way. Those happy smilets
    20That played on her ripe lip seemed not to know
    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.
  • KENT enters in disguise, along with the GENTLEMAN.

    KENT

    Do you know why the King of France suddenly went back home?

    GENTLEMAN

    He’d left some unfinished business, which he remembered after arriving here. It was urgent and important enough to require his personal presence.

    KENT

    Whom did he leave in charge here?

    GENTLEMAN

    The marshal of France, Monsieur la Far.

    KENT

    Was Queen Cordelia aggrieved by the letters you delivered?

    GENTLEMAN

    Yes, sir. She took the letters and read them in front of me. Now and then a large tear trickled down her delicate cheek. She seemed to be trying to control her emotions, which were overwhelming her.

    KENT

    So she was moved by it?

    GENTLEMAN

    There were no outbursts. She was struggling between emotion and self-control. You’ve seen how it can rain while the sun shines? That’s how she was, smiling and crying at once, only more lovely. The little smile on her full lips didn’t seem aware of the tears that were dropping like diamonds from her pearly eyes. If everyone looked so lovely in their sorrow, then sorrow would be highly prized.