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My unprovided body, lanced mine arm.
Glo. Let him fly far:
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent, And found him pight to do it, with curst speech I threatened to discover him: he replied, “Thou unpossessing bastard ! dost thou think, If I would stand against thee, would the reposal Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee, Make thy words faithed? No: what should I deny (As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce My very character), I'd turn it all To thy suggestion, plot, and damnéd 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 To make thee seek it."
Glo. Strong and fastened villain ! Would he deny his letter ?—I never got him.
[Trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets ! I know not why he
Glo. I know not, madam: 'tis too bad, too bad.
affected : 'T is they have put him on the old man's death, To have the waste and spoil of his revenues. I have this present evening from my sister Been well informed of them; and with such
cautions, That, if they come to sojourn at my house, I 'll not be there.
Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan. Edmund, I hear that you have shewn your father A childlike office.
Edm. It was my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray his practice; and received This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Corn. Is he pursued ?
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
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.
Edm. I shall serve you, sir,
Glo. For him I thank your grace.
Glo. I serve you, madam : Your graces are right welcome.
All ports I 'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape:
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants.
came hither (Which I can call but now), I have heard strange
Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too
short Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my
lord ? Glo. O, madam, my old heart is cracked; it's
cracked ! Reg. What, did
my father's godson seek your life! He, whom my father named ? your Edgar!
Gio. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid ! Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous
knights That tend upon my father?
Scene II.-Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter Kent and Steward, severally.
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.
Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir : a stone-cutter or a Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I painter could not have made him so ill, though Fould make thee care for me.
they had been but two hours at the trade. Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel? thee not.
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
have spared Stew. What dost thou know me for?
At suit of his grey beard, Kent. A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three- letter !—My lord, if you will give me leave, I suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a daub the wall of a jakes with him.—Spare may whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical grey beard, you wagtail ! rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that Corn. Peace, sirrah! Fouldst be a bawd, in way of good service; and You beastly knave, know you no reverence? art nothing but the composition of a knave, Kent. Yes, sir ; but anger has a privilege. beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of Corn. Why art thou angry? a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least
sword, syllable of thy addition.
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as Stet. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou,
these, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain Dor knows thee!
Which are too intrinse t' unloose: smooth every Aent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou,
passion deny thou know'st me! Is it two days ago since That in the natures of their lords rebels; I tripped up thy heels and beat thee, before the Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods ; king? Draw, you rogue; for, though it be night, Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks the moon shines : I'll make a sop o'the moon- With every gale and vary of their masters, shine of you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly As kuowing nought, like dogs, but following.-barber-monger; draw. [Drawing his sword. A plague upon your epileptie visage!
Stee. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool!
Kent. Draw, you rascal : you come with Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain, lettans against the king, and take vanity the I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot. puppet's part against the royalty of her father. Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your Glo. How fell out? shanks-draw, you rascal: come your ways. Stex. Help, ho! murder! help!
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy Kent. Strike, you slave: stand, rogue, stand: Than I and such a knave. you neat slave, strike!
[Beating him. Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's Stew. Help, ho! murder; murder!
his offence ?
Kent. His countenance likes me not. Eater EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER,
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his. and Servants. Eda. How now? What's the matter?-Part! Kent. Sir, 't is my occupation to be plain :
Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please : I have seen better faces in my time come, I'll flesh you; come on, young master. Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here! Before me at this instant.
Corn. This is some fellow
Quite from his nature.--He cannot flatter, he. Corn. What is your difference? speak. An honest mind and plain; he must speak truth: Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plainKent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your
These kind of knaves I know, which in this valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims
plainness in thee: a tailor made thee.
Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends Cora. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make That twenty silly ducking observants. a man?
i 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 Phæbus' 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. I never gave him any. It pleased the king his master, very late, To strike at me, upon his misconstruction; When he, conjunct and flattering his displeasure, Tripped me behind: being down, insulted, railed, And put upon him such a deal of man, That worthy'd him, got praises of the king For him attempting who was self-subdued : And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit, Drew on me here again.
Kent. None of these rogues and cowards But Ajax is their fool.
Corn. Fetch forth the stocks, ho! You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent
braggart, We 'll teach you
Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn. Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king; In whose employment I was sent to you: You shall do small respect, shew 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
To have her gentleman abused, assaulted,
[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my good lord; away.
[Exeunt Regan and Cornwall. Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend : 't is the
duke's pleasure, Whose disposition, all the world well knows, Will not be rubbed nor stopped. I 'll entreat
for thee. Kent. Pray, do not, sir. I have watched and
travelled 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 : 't will 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 miracles, But misery.--I know 't is from Cordelia ; Who hath most fortunately been informed Of my obscuréd course; and shall find time From this enormous state,-seeking to give Losses their remedies :-All weary and o'er
watched, Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold This shameful lodging. Fortune, good night: smile once more; turn thy wheel!
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 for 't :-your purposed low cor
Corn. I'll answer that.
Scene III.-A Part of the Heath.
Enter EDGAR. Edg. I heard myself proclaimed ; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escaped 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 ; 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 numbed and mortified bare arms, Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms
Poor pelting viliages, sheepcotes and mills, Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with
prayers, Enforce their charity.- Poor Turlygood! poor
Gent. As I learned, The night before there was no purpose in them Of this remove.
Kent. Hail to thee, noble master !
Lear. How !
No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters ! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs and bears by the neck; monkies by the loins, and ven by the legs : when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks. Lear. What's he that hath so much thy place
mistoo To set thee here?
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.
Rent. It is both he and she ;
Lear. They durst not do 't;
murder, To do upon respect such violent outrage. Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way Thou mightst deserve, or they impose, this usage, Coming from us.
Kent. My lord, when at their home I did commend your highness' letters to them, Ere I was risen from the place that shewed My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post, Stewed in his haste, half breathless, panting
forth, From Goneril his mistress, salutations: Delivered letters, spite of intermission, Which presently they read: on whose contents They summoned up their meiny, straight took
fly that way.
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.But for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours for thy daughters as thou carst tell in a year.
Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward
Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a train ?
Fool. An thou hadst been set i' the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty but can smell him that 's stinking. Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it: but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it. That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
Re-enter Lear, with GLOSTER. Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick;
they are weary;
Glo. My dear lord,
Lear.Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!Fiery! what quality ?—Why, Gloster, Gloster, I'd speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his
wife. Glo. Well, my good lord, I have informed
them so. Lear. Informed them! Dost thou understand
Hysterica passio!—Down, thou climbing sorrow, Thy element 's below !-Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not: Stay here.
[Exit. Gent. Made you no more offence than what
you speak of?
Glo. Ay, my good lord.
the dear father Would with his daughter speak; commands her
service: Are they informed of this ?–My breath and
blood! Fiery ! tne fiery duke !—Tell the hot duke, thatNo, but not yet :-may be he is not well: Infirmity doth still neglect all office Whereto our health is bound: we are not our