Imatges de pàgina

the wall of a jakesl with him.-Spare my grey 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, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as

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

That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege,3 affirm, and turn their halcyon4 beaks

every gale and vary of their masters,
As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool ?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
l'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.5

Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?

How fell you out? Say that.

Kent. No contraries bold more antipathy, Than I and such a knave. Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's

his offence? Keni. His countenance likes me not.6 Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or

hers. Kent. Şir, 'tis my occupation to be plain ; (1) Privy. (2) Perplexed.

(3) Disown. (4) The bird called the king-fisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows.

(5) In Somersetshire, where are bredger quan. tities of

(6) i. e. Pleases me not.


I have seen better faces in my time,
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.

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 plain-
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty sillyl 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. 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 bere.

Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards, But Ajax is their fool.2

(1) Simple or rustic.
(2) i. e. Ajax is a fool to them.

Never any :


Fetch forth the stocks, ho ! You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend brag.

gart, 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 malice 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 self-same 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 fort: your purpos'd low correction 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 he's so slightly valued in his messenger, Should have him thus restrain'd. Corn.

I'll answer that. 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


saw !!

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 common 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 miracles, 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'erwatch'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 I nay '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 l'll grime with filth; Blanket my elf2 all


hair in knots;

loins ;

(1) Saying or proverb.

(2) Hair thus knotted, was supposed to be the work of ches and fairies in the night.

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 lunatic bans,2 sometime with pray.

Enforce their charity.—Poor Turlygood! poor Tom!
That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am. (Ex.
SCENE IV.-Before Gloster's castle. Enter

Lear, Fool, and Gentleman, Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart

from home, And not send back my messenger. Gent.

As I learn'd, The night before there was no purpose in them Of this

remove. Kent.

Hail to thee, noble master!
Lear. How!
Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime?

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 by the legs : when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he Wears wooden nether-stocks.4 Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place

mistook To set thee here? Kent.

It is both he and she, Your son and daughter.

Lear. No.

(1) Skewers,

(2) Curses. (3) A quibble on crewel, worsted. (4) The old word for stockings.

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