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If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? 1 No: what I should deny,
(As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character) I'd turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs 3
To make thee seek it."

O strong and fasten'd villain ! 5 Would he deny his letter? I never got him

[Tucket within. Hark! the duke's trumpets. I know not why he comes. All ports I 'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape; The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture I will send far and near, that all the kingdom May have due note of him; and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I 'll work the means To make thee capable.“

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. Cornwall. How now, my noble friend! since I came hither, (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.

Regan. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue th' offender. How dost, my lord ?

Glos. O, Madam! my old heart is crack'd, it 's crack'd.

Reg. What! did my father's godson seek your life? He whom my father nam’d? your Edgar?

Glos. O, lady, lady! shame would have it hid.

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights That tend upon my father?

Glos. I know not, Madam: 't is too bad, too bad.
Edmund. Yes, Madam, he was of that consort.

Reg. No marvel, then, though he were ill affected:
”T is they have put him on the old man's death,
To have th’expense and waste of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform'd of them; and with such cautions,

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1. Faith’d, believed.
2. Character, hand-writing.
3. Spurs, incitements.

4. O determined and fixed villain!

5. ¿. e. capable of succeeding to my land.

That if they come to sojourn at my house,
I 'll not be there.

Cornwall. Nor I, assure thee. Regan.
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.

’T was my duty, Sir. Gloster. He did bewray his practice;' and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursued ?

Ay, my good lord.
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
How in my strength you please; 2 - For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours:
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on,

I shall serve you, Sir,
Truly, however else.

For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you.

Reg. Thus out of season, threading dark-ey'd night. Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize, Wherein we must have use of your advice. Our father he hath writ," so hath our sister, Of differences, which I best thought it fit To answer from our home: 4 the several messengers From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend, Lay comforts to your bosom, and bestow Your needful counsel to our business, Which craves the instant use. Glos.


I serve you, Madam. Your graces are right welcome.


1. i. e. betray, discover his practice. in the execution of them make what Practice is always used by Shakspeare use you please of my power. for insidious mischief. See note 4, 3. Poize, weight, moment.

4. i. e. away from home, elsewhere. 2. i. e. form your own plans, and

page 44.

King Lear.

SCENE II. Before GLOSTER's Castle.

Enter KENT and OSWALD, severally.
Oswald. Good dawning to thee, friend: art of this house?
Kent. Ay. .
Osw. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I the mire.
Osw. Pr’ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
Osw., Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold,' I would make thee care for me.

Osw. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
Osw. What dost thou know me for ?

Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, 2 filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave;4 a whoreson glass-gazing, 5 superserviceable, finical rogue; one trunk-inheriting slave; 6 one that wouldest be a bawd,' in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition. 7 Osw. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to

one, that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee. Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou to deny thou knowest me. It is two days since I tripped up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king? Draw, you rogue; for

rail on


ģ though it be night, yet the moon shines: I 'll make a sop

1. A pinfold, is a place in which 5. i. e. who employs his time bebeasts are confined.

fore the looking-glass. 2. This term hundred-pound, from 6. i. e. who possesses but one trunk various quotations cited by the com- in the world; whose whole worldly mentators, seems to have been used as effects are contained in one trunk. an epithet of reproach.

7. Addition, titles. 3. Lily-liver'd, white-livered, cow 8. We should now say, to rail at. ardly

9. A sop is anything steeped into liquor, 4. i. e. a fellow, who, if you beat commonly to be eaten; i. e. Kent will him, would bring an action for the beat him to such a jelly that he shall assault, because the courage fails him appear like a sop steeped in the moonto oppose himself like a man.


o' the moonshine of you: [Drawing his sword.] Draw, you whoreson cullionly 1 barbermonger, draw.

Oswald. Away! I have nothing to do with thee.

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 s your shanks: - draw, you rascal; come your ways.

Osw. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you slave: stand, rogue, stand; you neat® slave, strike.

[Beating him.
Osw. Help, ho! murder! murder!
Edmund. How now! What 's the matter?

Kent. With you,5 goodman boy, if you please: come I 'll flesh you; come on, young master.

Gloster. Weapons! arms! What 's the matter here?

Cornwall. Keep peace, upon your lives:
He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter?

Regan. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference? speak.
Osw. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee: à 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?

Osw. This ancient ruffian, Sir, whose life I have spar’d At suit of his grey beard,

1. A cullion is a scoundrel, a mean

Come, captain, wretch. Cullionly, scoundrelly, mean, We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, base.

captain; 2. Alluding to the old plays called And yet the steer, the heifer, and the Moralities, in which Vanity, Iniquity,

calf, and other vices were personified. Are all call'd neat."

3. To carbonado, to cut, or hack: 5. i. e. The matter is with you, I a carbonado signifying meat cut across will deal with you; goodman hoy is to be broiled upon the coals.

an ironical mode of address; I'll flesh 4. The meaning of this epithet neat you means, I 'll give you a first lesson may

gathered from a passage in in the use of the sword. See note 3, “Winter's Tale”, Act I., Sc. 2:

page 38.

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Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unboltedi villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes 2 with him. Spare my grey beard, you wagtail ?

Cornwall. Peace, sirrah!
You beastly knave, know you no reverence ?

Kent. Yes, Sir; but anger hath 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 passion
That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, 4 affirm, and turn their halcyon 5 beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.
A plague upon your epileptic visage! 6
Smile you my speeches," as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain, 8
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot. 9

Corn. What! art thou mad, old fellow?
Gloster. How fell you out? 10 say that.

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

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

Kent. His countenance likes me not. 11
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, nor his, nor hers,

1. Unbolted mortar is mortar made) that means show from which point it of unsifted lime, and therefore to blew. break the lumps it is necessary to 6. Meaning, the frighted countenance tread it by men in wooden shoes. of a man ready to fall into a fit. This unbolted villain, is therefore this 7. i. e. at my speeches. caarse rascal.

8. Salisbury was called New Sa2. Jakes, a back-house, or privy. rum in distinction from Old Sarum, an 3. Intrinse for intrinsecate, per- ancient borough two miles distant from plexed, entangled. Not in use. the new city. 4. Renege, to disown.

9. Camelot was the place where 5. The halcyon is the bird otherwise the romances say King Arthur kept called the king - fisher. The vulgar his court in the West. opinion was, that this bird, if hung 10. To fall out, to quarrel. up, would vary with the wind, and by 11. i. e. pleases me not, does not

please me.

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