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Wherein we must have use of your advice.
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home: the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your


and bestow
Your needful counsel to our business,
Which craves the instant use.

I serve you,

madam : Your graces are right welcome.



Before Gloster's castle.
Enter Kent and STEWARD, severally.
Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend ! art of the

Kent. Ay.
Stew. Where may we set our horses ?
Kent. I'the mire.
Stew. Pr’ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.

Stew. Why dost thou use me thus ? I know thee not.

Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
Stew. What dost thou know me for?
Kent. A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken

meats ; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave ; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; onetrunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.1

Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one, that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou to deny thou knowest me! Is it two days ago, since I tripped up thy heels and beat thee before the king ? Draw, you rogue; for, though it be night, the moon shines : I'll make a sop o’the moonshine of you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger; draw.

[drawing his sword. Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee.

Kent. Draw, you rascal : you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father. Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks :-draw, you rascal; come your ways.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! help.

1 Titles. ? A character in the old moralities.

Kent. Strike, you slave! stand, rogue, stand! you neat slave, strike!

[beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder !



Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.

Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please ; come, I 'll flesh you: come on, young master. Glos. Weapons! arms ! What's the matter

here? Corn. Keep peace, upon your

lives; He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter ?

Re. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference ? speak.
Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valor. You cowardly rascal, Nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make a man ?

Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir : a stone-cutter or a painter could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel ?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have

At suit of his gray beard,-

Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter !—My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted 1 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my gray beard, you wagtail ?

Corn. Peace, sirrah !
You beastly knave, know you no reverence ?

Kent. Yes, sir ; but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?
Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a

sword, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as

these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain, Which are too intrinse ? t unloose; smoothe every

That in the natures of their lords rebels ;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege,3 affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks


of their masters, 4
As knowing naught, like dogs, but following:-
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool ?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.

Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow ?

How fell you out ? Say that.

every gale and

1 Unrefined, unsifted. 2 Perplexed.

3 Deny. 4 The halcyon, or king-fisher, when dried, and hung up by a thread, was formerly supposed to turn his bill to the point whence the wind blew.

Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy Than I and such a knave. Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's

his offence ? Kent. His countenance likes me not. Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or

Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain :
I have seen better faces in my time,
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.

This is some fellow,
Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
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 plain-


Harbor more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.

Kent. Şir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
Under the allowance of your grand aspect,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phæbus' 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

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