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  • Title: King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-463-9

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

    The Historie of King Lear.
    1160 Kent. No contraries hold more, antipathy,
    Then I and such a knaue.
    Duke. Why do st thou call him knaue, what's his offence.
    Kent. His countenance likes me not.
    1165 Duke. No more perchance does mine, or his, or hers.
    Kent. Sir tis my occupation to be plaine,
    I haue seene better faces in my time
    That stands on any shoulder that I see
    Before me at this in stant.
    1170 Duke. This is a fellow who hauing beene praysd
    For bluntnes doth affect a sawcy ruffines,
    And con straines the garb quite from his nature,
    He cannot flatter he, he mu st be plaine,
    He mu st speake truth, 1175and they will tak't so,
    If not he's plaine, these kind of knaues I know
    Which in this plainnes harbour more craft,
    And more corrupter ends, then twentie silly ducking
    Obseruants, that stretch their duties nisely.
    1180 Kent. Sir in good sooth, or in sincere veritie,
    Vnder the allowance of your graund aspect.
    Whose influence like the wreath of radient fire
    In flitkering Phoebus front.
    Duke. What mean' st thou by this ?
    1185 Kent. To goe out of my dialogue which you discommend so
    much, I know sir, I am no flatterer, he that beguild you in a plain
    accent, was a plaine knaue, which for my part I will not bee,
    though I should win your displeasure, to intreat mee too't.
    1190 Duke. What's the offence you gaue him?
    Stew. I neuer gaue him any, it pleas'd the King his mai ster
    Very late to strike at me vpon his miscon struction,
    When he coniunct and flattering his displeasure
    1195 Tript me behind, being downe, insulted, rayld,
    And put vpon him such a deale of man, that,
    That worthied him, got prayses of the King,
    For him attempting who was selfe subdued,
    And in the flechuent of this dread exploit,
    1200 Drew on me here againe.
    Kent. None of these roges & cowards but AIax is their foole.