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Enter Steward and Kent, with swords drawn. Gloc. Weapons ? arms? what's the matter here?
Cornw. Keep peace, upon your lives; he dies, that strikes again ; what's the matter?Regan. The mefsengers from our fifter and the
king! Cornw. What is your difference? speak. Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.
Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour; you cowardly rascal! nature disclaims all share in thee: A tailor made thee.
Cornw. Thou art a strange fellow; a tailor make
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 o'th' trade.
Cornw. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel ?
Stew. This antient ruffian, Sir, whofe life I have spar'd at suit of his grey beard
Kent. Thou whorson zed! thou unnecessary letter! my lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. Spare my grey beard? you wagtail !
Cornw. Peace, firrah! know you no reverence? Kent. Yes, Sir, but anger hath a privilege.
Cornw. Why art thou angry?
Kent. That fuch a llave as this fhould wear a . -
Cornw. What, art thou' mad, old fellow ?! >
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
his fault is best a Kent. His countenance likes me not. Cornw. No more, perchance, does miné, nor his,
nor hers. Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain ; I have seen better faces in my time,
Than stand on any shou'ders that I fee
Cornw. This is some fellow,
Kent. Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity, Under th' allowance of your grand aspect, Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire On flickering Phoebus' front
Cornw. What mean'st by this?
Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you difcommend so much: I know, Sir, I am no flatterer; he, that beguild you in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which for my part I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to intreat me to't. Cornw. What was th' offence you gave him?
Stew. I never gave him any i
When he, conjunct, and flatt'ring his displeasure,
Kent. None of these rogues and cowards,
Cornw. Fetch forth the stocks ! You stubborn ancient knave, you rev'rend 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, shew too bold malice Against the grace and person of my master, Stocking his messenger.
Cornw. Fetch forth the stocks; As I have life and honour, there shall he fit'till noon. Regan. 'Till noon ! 'till night, my lord, and all
night too. Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You could not use me so. Regan. Sir, being his knave, I will.
[Stocks brought out.
Cornw. This is a fellow of the self-fame nature Our fifter speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks.
Gloc. Let me beseech your grace not to do so; His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for it; but must take it ill To be thus slighted in his messenger.
Cornw. I'll answer that.
Regan. My sister may receive it worse, To have her gentleman abus'd, afsaulted.
[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my lord, away. [Exeunt Regan and Cornw. Gloc. I'm sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
pleasure, Whofe difpofition, all the world well knows, Will not be check'd nor stop'd. I'll intreat for thee. Kent. Pray, do not, Sir; I've watch'd and tra
vell’d hard ; Some time I shall fleep out, the rest I'll whistle: A good man's fortune may grow out at heels; Give you good morrow. Gloc. The duke's to blame in this, 'twill be ill taken.
[Exit. Kent. Approach, thou beacon to this under. globe,
[Looking up to the moon. That by thy comfortable beams I may Peruse this letter. I know, 'tis from Cordelia ;