Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Modern, Quarto)

[Scene 18]
Enter Cordelia, Doctor, and others.
Alack, 'tis he. Why, he was met even now,
As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud;
Crowned with rank fumitor and furrow-weeds,
With burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flowers,
2355Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn. [To an attendant] A century send forth.
Search every acre in the high-grown field
And bring him to our eye.
[Exit attendant.]
What can man's wisdom
In the restoring his bereavèd sense?
He that can help him 2360take all my outward worth.
There is means, madam.
Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him
Are many simples operative, whose power
2365Will close the eye of anguish.
All blest secrets,
All you unpublished virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears; be aidant and remediate
In the good man's distress. Seek, seek for him,
2370Lest his ungoverned rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it.
Enter [a] messenger.
News, madam.
The British powers are marching hitherward.
'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
In expectation of them.--O dear father,
It is thy business that I go about. Therefore great France
My mourning and important tears hath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
2380But love, dear love, and our agèd father's right.
Soon may I hear and see him.