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Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these,
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's his
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;
Kent. His countenance likes me not.5
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or
1 The quartos read, to intrench; the folio, t' intrince. Perhaps intrinse, for so it should be written, was put by Shakspeare for intrinsicate, which he has used in Antony and Cleopatra. The word too in the text is substituted for to by Mr. Singer.
2 To renege is to deny.
3 The bird called the kingfisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows.
4 In Somersetshire, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geese.
5 i. e. pleases me not.
A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Kent. Sir, 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.1
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, Tripped me behind; being down, insulted, railed, And put upon him such a deal of man, That worthied 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.
1 "Forces his outside, or his appearance, to something totally different from his natural disposition."
2 Silly, or rather sely, is simple or rustic. Nicely here is with scrupulous nicety, punctilious observance.
3 This expressive word is now only applied to the motion and scintillation of flame. Dr. Johnson says, that it means to flutter, which is certainly one of its oldest meanings, it being used in that sense by Chaucer.
4 "Though I should win you, displeased as you now are, to like me so well as to entreat me to be a knave."
5 A young soldier is said to flesh his sword the first time he draws blood with it. Fleshment, therefore, is here metaphorically applied to the first act of service, which Kent, in his new capacity, had performed for his
None of these rogues, and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.1
Fetch forth the stocks, ho!
Fetch forth the stocks;
Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog,
Sir, being his knave, I will.
Are punished with ;] the king his master needs must take it ill,
That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
I'll answer that.
[KENT is put in the stocks.
Come, my good lord; away.
[Exeunt REGAN and CORNWALL. Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
Glo. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill
Kent. Good king, that must approve the common
saw ! 2
Thou out of Heaven's benediction com'st
Approach, thou beacon to this under-globe,
Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy wheel
1 A metaphor from bowling.
2 The saw, or proverb alluded to, is in Heywood's Dialogues on Proverbs, b. ii. c. v.:
"In your running from him to me, ye runne
i. e. from good to worse. Kent was thinking of the king being likely to receive a worse reception from Regan than that which he had already received from Goneril.
3 Kent addresses the sun, for whose rising he is impatient, that he may read Cordelia's letter. "Nothing (says he) almost sees miracles, but misery: I know this letter which I hold in my hand is from Cordelia; who hath most fortunately been informed of my disgrace and wandering in disguise; and who, seeking it, shall find time (i. e. opportunity), out of this enormous (i. e. disordered, unnatural) state of things, to give losses their remedies; to restore her father to his kingdom, herself to his ove, and me to his favor."
SCENE III. A Part of the Heath.
Edg. I heard myself proclaimed;
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
Brought near to beast. My face I'll grime with filth ;
1 Hair thus knotted was supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night.
2 In the Bell-Man of London, by Decker, 5th edit. 1640, is an account of one of these characters, under the title of Abraham Man: "He sweares he hath been in Bedlam, and will talke frantickely of purpose: you see pinnes stuck in sundry places of his naked flesh, especially in his armes, which paine he gladly puts himselfe to, only to make you believe he is out of his wits. He calls himselfe by the name of Poore Tom, and coming near any body, cries out Poor Tom is a-cold.”
3 i. e. skewers: the euonymus, or spindle-tree, of which the best skewers are made, is called prick-wood.
6 Turlygood, an English corruption of turluru (Ital.), or turelureau (Fr.); both, among other things, signifying a fool or madman. It would, perhaps, be difficult to decide with certainty whether those words are corruptions of turlupino and turlupin; but at least it seems probable. The Turlupins were a fanatical sect, which overran the continent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, calling themselves Beghards or Beghins. Their manners and appearance exhibited the strongest indica