• Enter CORDELIA, KENT disguised, GENTLEMAN, and 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.

    KENT

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

    CORDELIA

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

    CORDELIA

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

    DOCTOR

       Madam, sleeps still.

    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!

    DOCTOR

         So please your majesty
    That we may wake the king? He hath slept long.
  • CORDELIA enters with KENT in disguise, the GENTLEMAN, and the DOCTOR.

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

    DOCTOR

    He’s still sleeping, ma'am.

    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

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