Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 1, 1608)

The Historie of King Lear.
1160Kent. No contraries hold more, antipathy,
Then I and such a knaue.
Duke. Why dost thou call him knaue, what's his offence.
Kent. His countenance likes me not.
1165Duke. 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 instant.
1170Duke. This is a fellow who hauing beene praysd
For bluntnes doth affect a sawcy ruffines,
And constraines the garb quite from his nature,
He cannot flatter he, he must be plaine,
He must 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.
1180Kent. 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?
1185Kent. 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.
1190Duke. What's the offence you gaue him?
Stew. I neuer gaue him any, it pleas'd the King his maister
Very late to strike at me vpon his misconstruction,
When he coniunct and flattering his displeasure
1195Tript 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,
1200Drew on me here againe.
Kent. None of these roges & cowards but AIax is their foole.