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Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.
your valour'; you cowardly rascal! nature disclaims all thare in thee: a taylor made thee.
Corn. Thou art a strange fellow; a taylor make a man
Kent. I, a taylor, Sir; a stone-cutter, or a painter could not have made him so ill, tho' they had been but two hours o'th' trade,
Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Stew. This ancient 'ruffian, Sir, whose life I have spar'd at suit of his grey beard
Kent. Thou whorson zed! thou unnecessary letter! my lord, if yon will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. Spare my grey beard? you wagtail!
Corn. Peace, Sirrah!
Kent. Yes, Sir, but anger hath a privilege.
Kent. That such a flave as this shou'd wear a sword, Who wears no honesty: such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain (15)
Too (15) Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwaine, Which, are t'intrince, t' unloose 5 ] Thus the first editors blunder'd this passage into unintelligible nonsense. Mr. Pope so far has disengag'd them, as to give us plain sense; but by throwing out the epithet bolyg: 'tis evident, he was not aware of the poet's fine meaning. I'll fiiit establish and prove the reading; then explain the allufion. Thus the poet gave it;
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain,
Top ’intrinlicate to unloose This word again cccurs in our auther's Antony and Cleopatra, where . fe is speaking to the aspick;
- Come, mortal wretch;
Of life at once untie.
Yet there are certain purtilio's, or (as Í may more nakedly infia, nuate them) certain intrinsicate ftrokes and wards, to which your ace tivity is not yet amounted; &c. It means, inward, hidden; perplext; as a knot, hard to velld; it is deriv'd from the Latin adverb intrinsecus; from which
Too 'intrinsicate e unloose: footh every paffion,
Corn. What art thou mad, old fellow?
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Corn. Why dost thou call him knave: what is his fault?
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;
Corn. This is some fellow, Who having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect A faucy roughness; and constrains the garb, Quite from his nature. He can't flatter, he,the Italians have coin'd a very beautiful phrase, intrinsicarsi col uno, i, e, to grow intimate with, to wind one self into another. And now to our author's sense. Kent is rating the steward, as a parasite of Gonerill's; and fupposes very justly, that he has fomented the quarrel betwixt that princess and her father: in which office, he compares him to a facrilegious rat: and by a fine metaphor, as Mr. Warburton observed to me, ftiles the union between parents and children the boly cords.
(16) cackling bome to Camelot.] As Sarum, or Salisbury, plain is mention'd in the preceding verse, I presume this Camelot to be that mention'd by Holingsbead, and callid Camaletum, in the marshes of Somersetshire, where there was an old tradition of a very strong Caftle. Langbam in his account of queen Elizabeth's reception at Kenil. wortb, says, from king Artbur's acts, that that Prince kept his royal court at Camelot : but whether this be the place already mention'd, or some other of that name in Wales, or the Camelot in Sterling-County in Scotland, I am not able to say.
An honeft mind and plain, he must speak truth; ,
Kent. Sir, in good faith, in fincere verity,
Corn. What mean'st by this?
Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend fo much: I know, Sir, I am no Aatterer; he, that beguild you in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which for my part I will not be, though I should wia your displeasure to intreat me to't.
Corr. What was th’offence you gave him?
Stew. I never gave him any :
Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards,
Corn. Fetch forth the Stocks.
Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn :
Corn. Fetch forth the Stocks;
Reg. Reg. 'Till noon! 'till night, my lord, and all night too. ·Kent. Why, Madam, if I were your father's dog, You could not use me so.
Reg. Sir, being his knave, I will. [Stocks brought out.
Corn. This is a fellow of the self-fame nature
Glo. Let me beseech your Grace not to do so;
Corn. I'll answer that.
Reg. My Sifter may receive it much more worfe,
[Kent is put in the Stocks. Come, my lord, away. [Exeunt Regan and Cornwall.
Glo. I'm sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the Duke's pleasure, Whose difpofition, all the world well knows, Will not be rubb'd nor stop'd. I'll intreat for thee.
Kent. Pray, do not, Sir. I've watch'd and travell'd Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I’H whistle: [hard; A good man's fortune may grow out at heels; Give you good morrow. Glo. The Duke's to blame in this, 'twill be ill taken.
[Exit. Kent. Good King, that must approve the common Saw, Thou out of heaven's benediction com'ft To the warm fun! Approach, thou beacon to this under-globe,
(Looking up to the moon. That by thy comfortable beams I may Peruse this letter. Nothing almost fees miracles, But' misery. I know, 'tis from Cordelia ; Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
obscured course. '4 I shall find time From this enormous state and seek to give
x dinjector menbron of Cerastin letter, where Haut attempt trend by the moonlight, de
King LE AR.
my hair in knots;] This is a modern reading: All the old copies intended to read, and the first folio actually does ;
bair in knots.
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
-But if you light on the wrong end, you will pull all into a knot or elf-lock; which nothing but the theers, or a candle, will undo or separate.