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Kent. Sir, 't is 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.
Cornwall.

This is some fellow,
Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb,
Quite from his 1 nature: he cannot flatter, he;
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth:
An they will take it, so; 2 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 th' 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 't. 6

Corn. What was the offence you gave hira?

Oswald. I never gave him any:
It pleas'd the king, his master, very late,
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, compact, and flattering his displeasure,
Tripp'd me behind; 8 being down, insulted, rail'd,
And put upon him such a deal of man,

1. His is here used for the imper- 5. Sooth, truth. sonal its; i. e. forces his outside to 6. Though I should win you , disassume an appearance not its by na- pleased as you now are, to like me ture.

so well as to entreat me to be a 2. So, it is good.

knave.

7. Many modern editors read for 3. Observant, an attendant. Not in compact, (which stands for compacted ,

This word has the accent on i. e. leagued with) conjunct, i. e. con the first syllable in Shakspeare. To duck, to bow low, or obsequiously.

joined, or acting together.
8. ¿. e. tripped me

up from be4. i. e. that exceed their duties in hind; or, came behind me and threw their anxiety to observe them too me down. strictly.

use.

That worthied him,' got praises of the king
For him attempting? who was self-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment 3 of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.
Kent.

None of these rogues, and cowa
But Ajax is their fool. 4
Cornwall.

Fetch forth the stocks!
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 malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.
Corn.

Fetch forth the stocks !
As I have life and honour, there shall he sit till noon.

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

Kent. Why, Madam, if I were your father's dog,
You should not use me so.
Reg.

Sir, being his knave, I will.
Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour
Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks!

[Stocks brought out
Gloster. 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 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, 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,

1. And made pretence of, such bra 2. To attempt, to attack. very, that he was exalted in the esti

3. A young soldier is said to flesh mation of the king, who praised him &c. his sword the first time he draws blood Such a deal could not now be said with it. Fleshment means, therefore, with propriety, it being necessary to the zeal inspired by the success of his place good or great between the article first attack. See note 5, page 35. and the substantive: a great deal. 4. i. e. is a fool to them.

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To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted,
For following her affairs. - Put in his legs.

(KENT is put in the stocks. Come, my lord, away. (Exeunt REGAN and CORNWALL. Gloster. I am sorry for thee, friend; 't is the duke's

pleasure, Whose disposition, all the world well knows, Will not be rubb’d, 1 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 : 2 Give you good morrow! Glos. The duke 's to blame in this: 't will be ill taken.

Esit. Kent. Good king, that must approve the common saw: 3 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: 4 I know, 't is 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. 5 All weary and o'er-watch'd, Take vantage, 6 heavy eyes, not to behold This shameful lodging. Fortune, good night; Smile once more; turn thy wheel!

[He sleeps.

1. To rub, to obstruct.

the frying-pan into the fire. The ap2. To grow out at heels, alluding plication is to Lear's quitting one to the bad state of the shoes or boots, daughter only to meet more inhosis a metaphorical expression signifying, pitable treatment from another. to be in bad luck: The best of men 4. Now-a-days, misery alone is camay meet with misfortunes.

pable of perceiving miracles. 3. Common saw, common saying, or 5. There is evidently some mistake proverb. The saw alluded to is in here, but the commentators have not Heywood's “Dialogues on Proverbs”— been successful in rectifying it sa"in your running from him to me, ye tisfactorily. Mr. Staunton suggests to

read for, “and shall find time," "and Out of God's blessing into the warme she 'll find time,” which removes part

sunne.of the difficulty. Meaning, from good to worse, 6. i. e. Seize the opportunity. or, as the proverb now runs: Out of

runne

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Enter EDGAR. Edgar. 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 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, 2 And with presented nakedness out-face 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, 6 sometime with prayers, Enforce their charity. – Poor Turlygood ? poor Tom! That 's something yet: Edgar I nothing am. [Exit.

1. And am bethought, and after ma- peculiarities. Edgar borrows his dress ture reflection am decided.

of them, and the phrases of Poor Tom, 2. Hair thus knotted was vulgarly Poor Tom is a-cold, these lunatics supposed to be the work of elves and being also called Tom o'Bedlams. fairies in the night.

4. Wooden pricks, skewers. The 3. Bedlam, corrupted from Bethle- imitators of these unfortunates were in hem, the name of a religious house in the habit of sticking wooden skewers London, converted afterwards into a through vario parts of their flesh, hospital for the mad and lunatic. The especially of the arms, to make believe Bedlam beggars were such lunatics as that they were really out of their wits. had been confined in Bethlehem Hospital, 5. Pelting villages, paltry, or pedbut, owing to the want of funds to ling villages. support them there longer, or from 6. Bans, curses. their being partially restored to their 7. Turlygood, a corruption of Tursenses, were dismissed into the world lupin. The Turlupins were a fanatwith a licence to beg. The sympathy ical sect of naked beggars, that overran excited by these unfortunates, occasion- Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth ed many sturdy vagabonds to coun-centuries. terfeit- and exaggerate their dress and

!

SCENE IV.
Before GLOSTER's Castle.

Enter LEAR, Fool, and a Gentleman. Lear. ’T is strange that they should so depart from home, And not send back my messenger. Gentleman.

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

Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!

Lear. Ha!
Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime?
Kent.

No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha! look; he wears cruel garters.1 Horses are tied by the head; 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. 2

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.
Kent. Yes.
Lear. No, I say.
Kent. I say, yea.
Lear. No, no; they would not.
Kent. Yes, they have.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear no.
Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay.
Lear.

They durst not do 't;
They could not, would not do 't: 't is worse than murder,
To do upon respect such violent outrage.3
Resolve me with all modest haste which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage;
Coming from us.
Kent.

My lord, when at their home I did commend your highness' letters to them,

1. A quibble is probably intended stockings; breeches being called overhere, crewel signifying worsted of which stocks, or upper-stocks. stockings, garters, &c. are made. 3. To be so grossly deficient in 2. Nether-stocks is the old word for respect.

4. To resolve, to inform.

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