Imatges de pÓgina
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Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father: Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks:-draw, you rascal: come your ways. Stew. Help ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike. [Beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!

Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.

Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part. Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please; come, I'll flesh you; come on, young master. Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here? Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives;

He dies, that strikes again: What is the matter? Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.

Corn. What is your difference? speak.

Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make

a man?

Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir; a stone-cutter, or a painter, could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade. Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel? Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar'd,

At suit of his gray beard,—

Kent. Thou whorson zed! thou unnecessary letter!-My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my gray beard, you wagtail?

Corn. Peace, sirrah!

You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Kent. Yes, sir; but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?

Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a

sword, [as these, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues

Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
Which are too intrinse t'unloose: smooth every
passion

That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.-
A plague upon your epileptick visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
Glo.
How fell you out?
Say that.

Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Than I and such a knave.

Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's his offence?

Kent. His countenance likes me not.

Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or hers.

Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;
I have seen better faces in my time,

Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.

Corn.
This is some fellow,
Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth
affect

A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature; He cannot flatter, he!-
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth:
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this
plainness

Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.

Kent. Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity, Under the allowance of your grand aspect, Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire On flickering Phoebus' front,

Corn.

What mean'st by this? Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer: he that beguiled you, in a plain accent,

was a plain knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to it.

Corn. What was the offence you gave him? Stew.

Never any:

It pleas'd the king his master, very late,

To strike at me, upon his misconstruction: When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,

Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd,
And put upon him such a deal of man,

That worthy'd him, got praises of the king
For him attempting who was self subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here.

Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards, But Ajax is their fool.

Corn.

Fetch forth the stocks, bo!

You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend

braggart,

We'll teach you

Kent.

Sir, I am too old to learn:

Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king;
On whose employment I was sent to you:
You shall do small respect, show too bold ma-

lice

Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.

Corn.

Fetch forth the stocks:

As I've life and honour, there shall he sit till

noon.

Reg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all

night too.

Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's

dog,

You should not use me so.

Reg.

Sir, being his knave, I will. [Stocks brought out.

Corn. This is a fellow of the selfsame colour Our sister speaks of:-Come, bring away the

stocks.

Glo. Let me beseech your grace not to do so: His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for't: your purpos'd low cor

rection

Is such, as basest and contemned'st wretches,

For pilferings and most common trespasses,
Are punish'd with the king must take it ill,
That be, so slightly valu'd in his messenger,
-Should have him thus restrain'd.
I'll answer that.

Corn.

Reg. My sister may receive it much more

worse, To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted, For following her affairs.-Put in his legs.[KENT is put in the Stocks.

Come, my good lord; away.

[Exeunt REGAN and CORNWALL. Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's pleasure,

Whose disposition, all the world well knows, Will not be rubb'd, nor stopp'd; I'll entreat for thee.

Kent. 'Pray, do not, sir: I have watch'd, and travell'd hard;

Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle. 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 com

mon saw!

Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
To the warm sun!

Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter!-Nothing almost sees mira-
cles,

But misery;-I know 'tis from Cordelia;
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
From this enormous state,-seeking,-to give
Losses their remedies :-All weary and o'er-
watch'd,

Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.

Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy wheel!

[He sleeps.

SCENE III. A Part of the Heath.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance, Does not attend my taking. While may

scape,

I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
That ever penury, in contempt of man,
Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with
filth;

Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots;
And with presented nakedness outface
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes and mills,
Sometime with lunatick bans, sometime with
prayers,

Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! poor

Tom!

That's something yet; Edgar I nothing am.

SCENE IV. Before Gloster's Castle.

Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.

[Exit.

Lear. "Tis strange, that they should so depart

from home,

[blocks in formation]

Lear. How!

Hail to thee, noble master!

Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?

Kent. No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men

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