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My worthy arch1 and patron, comes to-night;
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice;
To make thee seek it.
Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
1 i. e. chief; now only used in composition.
2 "And found him pight to do it, with curst speech." Pight is pitched, fixed, settled; curst is vehemently angry, bitter.
3 i. e. would any opinion that men have reposed in thy trust, virtue, &c. The old quarto reads, " could the reposure.”
4 i. e. my hand-writing, my signature.
5 The folio reads, "potential spirits." And in the next line but one, "O strange and fastened villain."-Strong is determined, resolute. Our ancestors often used it in an ill sense; as strong thief, strong whore, &c. 6 i. e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the legal bar of thy illegitimacy.
Enter CORNWALL, Regan, and Attendants.
Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came
(Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.
Glo. O madam, my old heart is cracked, is cracked!
Glo. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
I know not, madam;
It is too bad, too bad.-
Yes, madam, he was.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well informed of them; and with such cautions,
'Twas my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray his practice,1 and received
Corn. Is he pursued?
Ay, my good lord, he is.
1 "Bewray his practice." That is, he did betray or reveal his treacherous devices. The quartos read betray.
Truly, however else.
I shall serve you, sir,
For him I thank your grace.
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I'the mire.
Stew. 'Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
I serve you, madam;
SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter KENT and Steward, severally.
Stew. Good dawning3 to thee, friend. Art of the house?
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.
Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.
Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee
Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
1 i. e. of some weight, or moment. The folio and quarto B. read prize.
2 That is, not at home, but at some other place.
3 The quartos read "good even." It is clear, from various passages in this scene, that the morning is just beginning to dawn.
4 i. e. Lipsbury_pound. "Lipsbury pinfold" may, perhaps, like Lob's pound, be a coined name; but with what allusion does not appear.
Stew. What dost thou know me for?
Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundredpound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good-service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.1
Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!
Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me! Is it two days ago, since I tripped up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king? Draw, you rogue; for, though it be night, the moon shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.
[Drawing his sword.
Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rascal! you against the king; and take Vanity against the royalty of her father. or I'll so carbonado your shanks.-Draw, you rascal; come your ways.
come with letters the puppet's part, Draw, you rogue,
Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!
Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave,5 strike.
Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder !
1 i. e. thy titles.
2 Probably alluding to some dish so called.
3 Barber-monger may mean dealer with the lower tradesmen.
4 Alluding to the moralities or allegorical shows, in which Vanity, Iniquity, and other vices, were personified.
5 You finical rascal, you assemblage of foppery and poverty.
Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and
Edm. How now? what's the matter? Part.
Kent. With you goodman boy, if you please; come,
Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?
He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter?
Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.
Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valor. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in 1 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.
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have
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 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.--Spare my gray beard, you wagtail?
Corn. Peace, sirrah!
1 To disclaim in, for to disclaim simply, was the phraseology of the Poet's age. See Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 264.
2 Zed is here used as a term of contempt, because it is the last letter in the English alphabet. Baret omits it in his Alvearie, affirming it to be rather a syllable than a letter. And Mulcaster says, "Z is much harder amongst us, and seldom seen. S is become its lieutenant-general.”
3 Coarse villain. Unbolted mortar is mortar made of unsifted lime; and therefore to break the lumps, it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.