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A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he !—
An honest mind and plain,—he must speak truth.
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.

These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbor more craft, and more corrupter ends,


Than twenty silly ducking observants,

That stretch their duties nicely.

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,


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?
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.'


You stubborn, ancient knave, you reverend braggart,

We'll teach you—


Fetch forth the stocks, ho!

Sir, I am too old to learn;

I serve the king;

Call not your stocks for me.

On whose employment I was sent to you.
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.


Fetch forth the stocks;

As I've life and honor, there shall he sit till noon.

Reg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night


Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You should not use me so.


Sir, being his knave, I will. [Stocks brought out.

Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same color Our sister speaks of.-Come, bring away the stocks. Glo. Let me beseech your grace not to do so. [His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for't: your purposed low correction Is such, as basest and contemned'st wretches

For pilferings and most common trespasses,


Are punished with ;] the king his master needs must take it ill,

That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,

Should have him thus restrained.


I'll answer that.

Reg. My sister may receive it much more worse, To have her gentleman abused, assaulted.

[KENT is put in the stocks.

Come, my good lord; away.


Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's


1 i. e. Ajax is a fool to them.

2 The sentence in brackets is not in the first folio.

Whose disposition, all the world well knows,

Will not be rubbed, nor stopped;1 I'll entreat for thee. Kent. 'Pray, do not, sir. I have watched, and travelled hard;

Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
A good man's fortune may grow out at heels;
Give you good morrow!

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
To the warm sun!

Approach, thou beacon to this under-globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may

Peruse this letter!-Nothing almost sees miracles,
But misery. I know 'tis from Cordelia;
Who hath most fortunately been informed
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
From this enormous state,-seeking,—to give

Losses their remedies.3-All weary and o'er-watched,
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.

Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy wheel! [He sleeps.

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

Out of God's blessing into the warme sunne."

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.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. I heard myself proclaimed ;
And, by the happy hollow of a tree,
Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place,
That guard, and most unusual vigilance,
Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape,
I will preserve myself; and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
That ever penury, in contempt of man,

Brought near to beast. My face I'll grime with filth;
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots;"


And with presented nakedness outface
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks,3 nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans,5 sometime with prayers,
Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! Poor Tom!
That's something yet; Edgar I nothing am.


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.

4 Paltry.

5 Curses.

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

SCENE IV. Before Gloster's Castle.1

Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.

Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from

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Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime ?

Kent. No, my lord.

Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel2 garters! Horses are tied by the head; dogs and bears by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs; when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.3

Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook, To set thee here?


It is both he and she,

Your son and daughter.

Lear. No!

Kent. Yes.

Lear. No, I say.

Kent. I say, yea.

Lear. No, no; they would not.

Kent. Yes, they have.

Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay.

Lear. They durst not do't;

They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than murder,

tions of lunacy and distraction; and their popular name, Turlupins, was probably derived from the wolfish howlings they made in their fits of religious raving. Cotgrave interprets "Mon Turelureau, My Pillicock, my pretty knave."

See note 2, Act i. Sc. 5. p. 39, ante. 2 A quibble on crewel, i. e. worsted. 3 The old word for stockings.

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