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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

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 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.

Cornw. Why art thou angry?

Kent. That fuch a llave as this fhould wear a . -

fword,
Who wears no honesty: Such smiling rogues as these,
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain
Too intricate to unloose; footh every paffion,
That in the nature of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, Inow to their colder moods;
Forswear, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With ev'ry 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 ?
Goofe, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
På drive ye cackling home to Camelot.

Cornw. What, art thou' mad, old fellow ?! >
Gloc. How fell you out? say that.

Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Than I and such a knave.
Cornw. Why doft thou call him knave? what is

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

3

Than stand on any shou'ders that I fee
Before me at this inftant.

Cornw. This is some fellow,
Who having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A faucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature. He can't flatter, he,
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth;
An they will take it, fo; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbour more craft, and more corrupt design,
Than twenty filly ducking minions,
That stretch their duties nicely.

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
It pleas'd the king his master very lately
To strike at me upon his misconstruction;

When

When he, conjunct, and flatt'ring his displeasure,
Tript me behind; being down, insulted, raild,
And put upon him such a deal of man,
That he 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 again.

Kent. None of these rogues and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.

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.

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 ;

Who

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