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Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel ?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have
At suit of his grey beard,—
Kent. Thou whorson zed 34! thou unnecessary letter!—My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted 35 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my grey beard, you wagtail ?
Corn. Peace, sirrah !
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Řent. 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 ķonesty. Such smiling rogues as
these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain 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, 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 36.
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow
· 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. Na more, perchance, does mine, or his, on
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.
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 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,-
What mean'st by this? Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discom
mend 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
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 37,
Fetch forth the stocks, ho!
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend braggart,
We'll teach you
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
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
Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog,
You should not use me so.
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 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.
I'll answer that.
Reg. My sister may receive it much more worse,
To have her gentleman abusd, assaulted,
For following her affairs.-Put in his legs.-
[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my good lord ; away.
[Ereunt Reg. and Corn. Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
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
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.
[Erit. ·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; sand 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
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 may scape,
I will preserve myself: and am bethought