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Kent. Strike, you slave! stand, rogue, stand! you neat slave, strike!

[beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!

Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and

Servants. Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.

Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please ; come, I 'll flesh you : come on, young master. Glos. Weapons! arms! What's the matter

here? Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives; He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter?

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

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valor. You cowardly rascal, Nature disclaims in thee; a 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 ?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have

spared,
At suit of his gray beard,-

Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter !-My lord, if you will give me leave, I will

tread this unbolted 1 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my gray 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; smoothe every

passion
That in the natures of their lords rebels ;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods ;
Renege, 3 affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,*
As knowing naught, 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,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.

Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
Glos.

How fell you out ? Say that.

1 Unrefined, unsifted. 2 Perplexed.

3 Deny. 4 The halcyon, or king-fisher, when dried, and hung up by a thread, was formerly supposed to turn his bill to the point whence the wind blew.

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. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or

hers.
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.
Corn.

This is some fellow,
Who, having been praised 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-

ness

Harbor more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.

Kent. Șir, 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.

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,
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-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.1 Corn.

Fetch forth the stocks, ho !
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've life and honor, there shall he sit till noon. Re. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night

too.

Ti. e. Ajax is a fool to them.

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

Sir, being his knave, I will.

[stocks brought out. Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same color Our sister speaks of.—Come, bring away the stocks.

Glos. 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 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. Re. My sister may receive it much more worse, To have her gentleman abused, assaulted, For following her affairs.- Put in his legs.

[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my good lord; away.

[Exeunt Regan and Cornwall. Glos. 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

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.
Give you good morrow!

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