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My worthy arch' and patron, comes to-night;
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
Glo. Strong and fastened villain : Would he deny his letter?—I never got him.
[Trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets' I know not why he COIN)62S.-----
All ports I’ll bar; the villain shall not 'scape; -
1 i.e. chief; now only used in composition.
2 “And found him pight to do it, with curst speech.” Pight is pitched, fired, settled; curst is vehemently angry, bitter.
3 i. e. would any opinion that men have reposed in thy trust, virtue, &c. The old quarto reads, “ could the reposure.”
4 i. e. my hand-writing, my signature.
5 The folio reads, “potential spirits.” And in the next line but 9ne, « O strange and fastened villain.”—Strong is determined, resolute. Qur ancestors often used it in an ill sense; as strong thief, strong whore..&c.
6 i.e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the legal bar of thy illegitimacy.
Enter CoRNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants.
Corn. How now, my noble friend ? since I came . hither . (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news. Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord 8 Glo. O madam, my old heart is cracked, is cracked Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life He whom my father named 2 your Edgar P Glo. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights That tend upon my father P
Glo. I know not, madam :
Reg. No marvel, then, though he were ill-affected; 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death, To have the waste and spoil of his revenues. I have this present evening from my sister Been well informed of them ; and with such cautions, That, if they come to sojourn at my house, Pll not be there.
Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.— Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father A child-like office.
Edm. 'Twas my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray his practice," and received This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Corn. Is he pursued P
Glo. Ay, my good lord, he is.
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more Be feared of doing harm : make your own purpose, How in my strength you please.--For you, Edmund, Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant 3. So much commend itself, you shall be ours; Natures of such deep trust we shall much need; You we first seize on.
1 “Bewray his practice.” That is, he did betray or reveal his treacherous devices. The quartos read betray.
Edm. I shall serve you, sir, Truly, however else. Glo. . For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,
Reg. Thus out of season ; threading dark-eyed night. Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize," 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 bosom ; and bestow Your needful counsel to our business, Which craves the instant use.
Glo. I serve you, madam; Your graces are right welcome. [Ea.eunt.
SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter KENT and Steward, severally.
Stew. Good dawning” to thee, friend. Art of the house P . Rent. 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 In Ot. Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
1 i.e. of some weight, or moment. The folio and quarto B. read prize. 2 That is, not at home, but at some other place. 3 The quartos read “good even.” It is clear, from various passages in this scene, that the morning is just beginning to dawn. 4 i. e. Lipsbury pound. “Lipsbury pinfold” may, perhaps, like Lob's pound, be a coined name; but with what allusion does not appear.
Stew. What dost thou know me for P
Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundredpound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-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."
Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!
Rent. 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 P 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.
Rent. 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 !
Kent. Strike, you slave ; stand, rogue, stand; you meat slave,” strike. [Beating him.
Stew. Help, ho! murder murder
1. i. e. thy titles.
2 Probably alluding to some dish so called.
8 Barber-monger may mean dealer with the lower tradesmen.
4 Alluding to the moralities or allegorical shows, in which Vanity, Imiquity, and other vices, were personified.
* You finical rascal, you assemblage of foppery and poverty.
Enter EDMUND, CoRNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and
Edm. How now P what’s the matter P Part. Rent. With you goodman boy, if you please ; come, Pll flesh you ; come on, young master. Glo. Weapons ! arms | What's the matter here P Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives ; He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter? Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king. Corn. What is your difference 2 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? $ Rent. 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 P Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spared, At suit of his gray beard, Kent. Thou whoreson zed to thou unnecessary letter!—My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted * villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.–Spare my gray beard, you wagtail P Corn. Peace, sirrah You beastly knave, know you no reverence 3 Rent. Yes, sir; but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry P.
1 To disclaim in, for to disclaim simply, was the phraseology of the Poet's age. See Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 264.
2 Zed is here used as a term of contempt, because it is the last letter in the English alphabet. Baret omits it in his Alvearie, affirming it to be rather a syllable than a letter. And Mulcaster says, “Z is much harder amongst us, and seldom seen. S is become its lieutenant-general.”
3 Coarse villain. Umbolted mortar is mortar made of unsifted lime ; and therefore to break the lumps, it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.