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knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to it.
Corn. What was the offence you gave him?
I never gave him any.
None of these rogues and cowards, But Ajax is their fool.1 Corn.
Fetch forth the stocks, ho !
Sir, I am too old to learn :
my master, Stocking his messenger. Corn.
Fetch forth the stocks : As I've life and honor, there shall he sit till noon. Re. 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. Re.
Ti. e. Ajax is a fool to them.
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.
Glos. 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 punish'd with. The king must take it ill, That he's, so slightly valued in his messenger, Should have him thus restrain’d. Corn.
I'll answer that. Re. My sister may receive it much more worse, To have her gentleman abused, assaulted, For following her affairs.-- Put in his legs.
[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my good lord; away.
[Exeunt Regan and Cornwall. Glos. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
pleasure, Whose disposition, all the world well knows, Will not be rubb’d nor stopp'd. I'll entreat for
thee. Kent. Pray, do not, sir: I have watch'd and
travell’d 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!
Glos. The duke's to blame in this : 'twill be ill taken.
[Exit. Kent. Good king, that must approve the common
saw! Thou out of heaven's benediction comest 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 inform’d Of my obscured course; and shall find time From this enormous state,-seeking to give Losses their remedies.—All weary and o'erwatch'd, Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold This shameful lodging. Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy wheel !
A part of the heath.
Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd; 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,
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots ; 1
Before Gloster's castle. Enter LEAR, FOOL, and GENTLEMAN. Lear: 'Tis strange, that they should so depart
from home, And not send back my messenger. Gen.
As I learn'd, The night before there was no purpose in them Of this remove.
1 Hair thus knotted was vulgarly supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night.
Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!
Lear. How !
No, my lord.
mistook, To set thee here? Kent.
It is both he and she,
Lear. They durst not do't;
1 A quibble is here intended on the word crewel, which signifies worsted.
2. The old word for stockings.