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Something might show you a favourer of
Edg. Nothing; why ask you?
Edm. Because he's coming here to-night in haste, And Regan with him.
Edg. Let them come on; I'll stay and clear myself.
Edm. Your innocence at leisure may be heard, But Gloster's storming rage as yet is deaf, And you may perish ere allow'd the hearing. I hear our father coming—Pardon me:— In cunning I must draw my sword upon you:— Draw: seem to defend yourself: now quit you well; Yield: come before my father;—help, ho, here !— Fly, brother;—help, here, help!—farewell, farewell.—
[Exit Edgar. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion Of our more fierce encounter—I have seen Drunkards do more than this in sport.
[Stabs himself in the Arm.
Enter Gloster and Servants.
Glost. Now, Edmund, where's the traitor?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out, Mumbling of wicked charms,—
Glost. But where is he?
Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
Glost. Where is the villain, Edmund?
Edm. Sir, he is fled. When by no means he could—
Glost. By no means, what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship; But that I told him the revenging gods 'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend; Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond The child was bound to the father;—sir, in fine, Seeing how loathly opposite I stood To his unnatural purpose, in full motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
Before the Earl Of Gloster's Castle.
Enter Kent, in Disguise, and Oswald.
Osw. Good morrow, friend; belong'st thou to this house?
Kent. Ask them will answer thee.
Osw. Where may we set our horses?
Osw. I am in haste; pr'ythee, an' thou lov'st me, tell me.
Kent, I love thee not.
Osw. Why, then, I care not for thee.
Kent. An' I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I'd make thee care for me.
Osw. What dost thou mean? I know thee not.
Kent. But, minion, I know thee.
Oslo. What dost thou know me for?
Kent. For a base, proud, beggarly, white-livered, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one that would be a pimp in way of good service, and art nothing but a composition of knave, beggar, coward, pander,
Ostv. What a monstrous fellow art thou, to rail at one that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!
Kent. Impudent slave! not know me, who but two days since tripped up thy heels before the king! Draw, miscreant, or I'll make the moon shine through thee.
[Drawing his Sword.
Osw. What means the fellow? I tell thee, I have nothing to do with thee.
Kent. Draw, you rascal. I know your rogueship's office; you come with letters against the king, taking my young lady Vanity's part against her royal father: Draw, rascal.
Osw. Murder! murder! help!
[Exit, Kent after him.
Flourish of Trumpets.
Enter Duke Of Cornwall, Regan, Captain Of The Guard, and Attendants; Gloster and Edmund.
Glost. All welcome to your graces; you do me honour.
Corn. Gloster, we have heard with sorrow, that your life Has been attempted by your impious son: But Edmund here has paid you strictest duty.
Glost. He did bewray his practice, and receiv'd The hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Corn. Is he pursued?
Glost. He is, my lord.
Reg. Use our authority to apprehend The traitor, and do justice on his head. For you, Edmund, that have signaliz'd Your virtue, you from henceforth shall be ours; Natures of such firm trust we much shall need. A charming youth, and worth my farther thought!
Corn. Lay comfort, noble Gloster, to your breast, As we to ours. This night be spent in revels. We chuse you, Gloster, for our host to-night, A troublesome expression of our love. On, to the sports before us. [Noise within.]—Who are these?
Enter Oswald, pursued by Kent.
Glost. Now, what's the matter?
Corn. Keep peace upon your lives; he dies that strikes. Whence, and what are ye?
Reg. The messengers from our sister, and the king.
Corn. Your difference? speak.
Osw. I'm scarce in breath, my lord.
Kent. No marvel, you have so bestir'd your valour. Nature disclaims the dastard; a tailor made him.
Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Osw. Sir, this old ruffian here, whose life I spar'd In pity to his beard,
Kent. Thou essence bottle!
Corn. Know'st thou our presence?
Kent. Yes, sir, but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?
Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a sword And have no courage; office, and no honesty; Not frost and fire hold more antipathy Than I and such a knave.
Glost. Why dost thou call him knave?
Kent. His countenance likes me not.
Corn. No more, perhaps, does mine, nor his, or hers.
Kent. Plain dealing is my trade; and, to be plain, sir, I have seen better faces in my time, Than stand on any shoulders now before me.
Reg. This is some fellow, that having once been prais'd For bluntness, since affects a saucy rudeness; But I have known one of these surly knaves, That in his plainness harbour'd more design Than twenty cringing complimenting minions.
Corn. What's the offence you gave him > x
Osw. Never any, sir; It pleas'd the king, his master, lately To strike me on a slender misconstruction; Whilst, watching his advantage, this old lurcher Tripp'd me behind, for which the king extoll'd him; And, flush'd with the honour of this bold exploit, Drew on me here again.
Corn. Bring forth the stocks; we'll teach you.
Kent. Sir, I'm too old to learn; Call not the stocks for me; I serve the king, On whose employment I was sent to you: You'll show too small respect, and too bold malice Against the person of my royal master, Stocking his messenger.
[attendants bring forth the Stocks.
Corn. Bring forth the stocks; as I have life and honour, There shall he sit till noon.
[attendants seize Kent.
Reg. Till noon, my lord! Till night, and all night too.
Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You would not use me so.
Reg. Sir, being his knave, I will.
[attendants put Kent into the Stocks.
Glost. Let me beseech your graces to forbear him;