Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Secunda.
Enter Kent,aad Steward seuerally.
Stew. Good dawning to thee Friend,art of this house?
Kent. I.
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I'th'myre.
1080Stew. Prythee,if thou lou'st me,tell me.
Kent. I loue thee not.
Ste. Why then I care not for thee.
Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury Pinfold,I would make
thee care for me.
1085Ste. Why do'st thou vse me thus? I know thee not.
Kent. Fellow I know thee.
Ste. What do'st thou know me for?
Kent. A Knaue,a Rascall, an eater of broken meates,a
base, proud, shallow, beggerly, three-suited-hundred
1090pound, filthy woosted-stocking knaue,a Lilly-liuered,
action-taking,whoreson glasse-gazing super-seruiceable
finicall Rogue, one Trunke-inheriting slaue, one that
would'st be a Baud in way of good seruice, and art no-
thing but the composition of a Knaue, Begger, Coward,
1095Pandar, and the Sonne and Heire of a Mungrill Bitch,
one whom I will beate into clamours whining, if thou
deny'st the least sillable of thy addition.
Stew. Why,what a monstrous Fellow art thou, thus
to raile on one, that is neither knowne of thee, nor
1100knowes thee?
Kent. What a brazen-fac'd Varlet art thou, to deny
thou knowest me? Is it two dayes since I tript vp thy
heeles,and beate thee before the King?Draw you rogue,
for though it be night,yet the Moone shines,Ile make a
1105sop oth'Moonshine of you, you whoreson Cullyenly
Stew. Away,I haue nothing to do with thee.
Kent. Draw you Rascall, you come with Letters a-
gainst the King,and take Vanitie the puppets part, a-
1110gainst the Royaltie of her Father: draw you Rogue, or
Ile so carbonado your shanks, draw you Rascall, come
your waies.
Ste. Helpe,ho,murther,helpe.
Kent. Strike you slaue: stand rogue, stand you neat
Stew. Helpe hoa,murther,murther.
Enter Bastard,Cornewall, Regan, Gloster,Seruants.
Bast. How now,what's the matter?Part.
Kent. With you goodman Boy, if you please,come,
1120Ile flesh ye,come on yong Master.
Glo. Weapons? Armes? what's the matter here?
Cor. Keepe peace vpon your liues, he dies that strikes
againe,what is the matter?
Reg. The Messengers from our Sister, and the King?
1125Cor. What is your difference, speake?
Stew. I am scarce in breath my Lord.
Kent. No Maruell,you haue so bestir'd your valour,
you cowardly Rascall,nature disclaimes in thee:a Taylor
made thee.
1130Cor. Thou art a strange fellow,a Taylor make a man?
Kent. A Taylor Sir,a Stone-cutter, or a Painter,could
not haue made him so ill, though they had bin but two
yeares oth'trade.
Cor. Speake yet,how grew your quarrell?
1135Ste. This ancient Ruffian Sir, whose life I haue spar'd
at sute of his gray-beard.
Kent. Thou whoreson Zed, thou vnnecessary letter:
my Lord,if you will giue me leaue, I will tread this vn-
boulted villaine into morter, and daube the wall of a
1140Iakes with him. Spare my gray-beard,you wagtaile?
Cor. Peace sirrah,
You beastly knaue,know you no reuerence?
Kent. Yes Sir,but anger hath a priuiledge.
Cor. Why art thou angrie?
1145Kent. That such a slaue as this should weare a Sword,
Who weares no honesty: such smiling rogues as these,
Like Rats oft bite the holy cords a twaine,
Which are t'intrince, t'vnloose: smooth euery passion
That in the natures of their Lords rebell,
1150Being oile to fire,snow to the colder moodes,
Reuenge,affirme, and turne their Halcion beakes
With euery gall,and varry of their Masters,
Knowing naught (like dogges) but following:
A plague vpon your Epilepticke visage,
1155Smoile you my speeches,as I were a Foole?
Goose,if I had you vpon Sarum Plaine,
I'ld driue ye cackling home to Camelot.
Corn. What art thou mad old Fellow?
Glost. How fell you out,say that?
1160Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Then I,and such a knaue.
Corn. Why do'st thou call him Knaue?
What is his fault?
Kent. His countenance likes me not.
1165Cor. No more perchance do's mine,nor his,nor hers.
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plaine,
I haue seene better faces in my time,
Then stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me,at this instant.
1170Corn. This is some Fellow,
Who hauing beene prais'd for bluntnesse,doth affect
A saucy roughnes,and constraines the garb
Quite from his Nature. He cannot flatter he,
An honest mind and plaine,he must speake truth,
1175And they will take it so,if not, hee's plaine.
These kind of Knaues I know,which in this plainnesse
Harbour more craft,and more corrupter ends,
Then twenty silly-ducking obseruants,
That stretch their duties nicely.
1180Kent. Sir,in good faith,in sincere verity,
Vnder th'allowance of your great aspect,
Whose influence like the wreath of radient fire
On flicking Phœbus front.
Corn. What mean'st by this?
1185Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discom-
mend so much; I know Sir,I am no flatterer, he that be-
guild you in a plaine accent, was a plaine Knaue, which
for my part I will not be, though I should win your
displeasure to entreat me too't.
1190Corn. What was th'offence you gaue him?
Ste. I neuer gaue him any:
It pleas'd the King his Master very late
To strike at me vpon his misconstruction,
When he compact,and flattering his displeasure
1195Tript me behind:being downe, insulted,rail'd,
And put vpon him such a deale of Man,
That worthied him,got praises of the King,
For him attempting,who was selfe-subdued,
And in the fleshment of this dead exploit,
1200Drew on me here againe.
Kent. None of these Rogues,and Cowards
But Aiax is there Foole.
Corn. Fetch forth the Stocks?
You stubborne ancient Knaue,you reuerent Bragart,
1205Wee'l teach you.
Kent. Sir,I am too old to learne:
Call not your Stocks for me,I serue the King.
On whose imployment I was sent to you,
You shall doe small respects,show too bold malice
1210Against the Grace,and Person of my Master,
Stocking his Messenger.
Corn. Fetch forth the Stocks;
As I haue life and Honour,there shall he sit till Noone.
Reg. Till noone? till night my Lord,and all night too.
1215Kent. Why Madam,if I were your Fathers dog,
You should not vse me so.
Reg. Sir,being his Knaue,I will.
Stocks brought out.
Cor. This is a Fellow of the selfe same colour,
Our Sister speakes of. Come,bring away the Stocks.
1220Glo. Let me beseech your Grace,not to do so,
The King his Master,needs must take it ill
That he so slightly valued in his Messenger,
Should haue him thus restrained.
Cor. Ile answere that.
1225Reg. My Sister may recieue it much more worsse,
To haue her Gentleman abus'd,assaulted.
Corn. Come my Lord,away.
Glo. I am sorry for thee friend,'tis the Duke pleasure,
Whose disposition all the world well knowes
1230Will not be rub'd nor stopt,Ile entreat for thee.
Kent.Pray do not Sir,I haue watch'd and trauail'd hard,
Some time I shall sleepe out,the rest Ile whistle:
A good mans fortune may grow out at heeles:
Giue you good morrow.
1235Glo. The Duke's too blamein this,
'Twill be ill taken.
Kent.Good King,that must approue the common saw,
Thou out of Heauens benediction com'st
To the warme Sun.
1240Approach thou Beacon to this vnder Globe,
That by thy comfortable Beames I may
Peruse this Letter. Nothing almost sees miracles
But miserie. I know'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately beene inform'd
1245Of my obscured course. And shall finde time
From this enormous State,seeking to giue
Losses their remedies.All weary and o're-watch'd,
Take vantage heauie eyes,not to behold
This shamefnll lodging. Fortune goodnight,
1250Smile once more,turne thy wheele.