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Lear. What dost thou profess? what would's thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honeft; to converse with him that is 9 wise, and says little; to fear judginent; to fight when I cannot choose, and' to eat no filh.
Lear. What art thou?
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?
Kent. No, fir; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master,
Lear. What's that?
9 H. and W. readwife; to fizy little, &c.
r To eat no fim.] In queen Elizabeth's time the papists were esteemed, and with good reason, enemies to the government. Hence the proverbial phrase of he's an honest man, and eats no fish; to lignify he's a friend to the government, and a protestant. The eating fish on a religious account, being then esteemed such a badge of popery, that when it was enjoined for a season by an act of parliament, for the encouragement of the fish-towns, it was thought necessary to declare the reason; hence it was called Cecil's faji. To this difgraceful badge of popery Fletcher alludes in his Woman-bater, who makes the courtezan say, when Lazarillo in scarch of the umbrano's head, was fized at her house by the intelligencers for a traitor-Gentlemen, I am glad you have difcovered him. He should not have eaten under my roof for twenty pounds. And fure I did not like him when be called for fijh. And Marston's Dutch courtezan, I trust I am one of the wicked that eat fish a Friday. W. s All but the qu's read best for be. The qu's and ist f. read who for whom,
Lear. What services capft u thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest w counsel, ride, run, mar a cutious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly. That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in ; and the best of me is diligence.
Lear. How old art thou ?
Kent. Not so young, * fir, to love a woman for singing ; Dor fo old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lir. Follow me, thou shalt ferve me, if I like thee no worse after dinner. I will not part from thee yet. Dinner ho, dinner-Where's my knave? my fool?
[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the a clot-pole back.
-Where's my fool? ho! I think the world's asleep. How now? where's that mungrel ?
Knight. He says, my lord, your c daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the Nave back to me when I callid him?
u The ift q. omits thou.
* The qu's and fo's have no points but commas till after get. R. P. T. W. and 7. put a semicolon after serve me, a comma after dinner, and a period after get; which makes it ponsense. H. points in the same manner, baiting that, to make sense of it, he puts the period after from thee; and reads thus-from ihee. ret no dinner, &c.
2 The qu's read you but once.
d Knight. Sir, he answer'd * me in the roundest manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not!
d Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement f of kindness appears as well in the general dependants, as in the duke himself also, and your daughter, Lear. Ha! say'st thou so?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your highness 8 is wrong'd.
Lear. Thou but rememberest me of my own conception : I have perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't. But where's i my fool? I have not seen him k these two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, fir, the fool hath much pin’d away.
Lear. No more of that; I have noted it * well. Go you and tell my daughter, I would speak with her. Go you, call hither my fool. 1O you sir, you sir, come you hither; who am I, sir?
d The qu's give these speeches to a servant.
The ist q. and the ift and 2d fo's, omit iso h The qu's read purport. i The qu's read this for my. k All before P. read this for these. * The qu’s omit well. 1 So the qu's; the ist and 2d qu's read Oh you fir, you, come you biiber,
Enter steward. Stew. My lady's father,
Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave !--you whoreson dog, you slave, you cur.
Stew. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech yor pardon. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking
him. Stew. I'll not be o struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base foot-ball player !
[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, sir, P arise, away. I'll teach you differences. Away, away. If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry; but away, 'go to, s have you wisdom? *lo
[Pufbes the steward out. Lear. Now, u my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earnest of thy service.
far, who em I fir? and so all the rest, bating that they omit the second
13 The qu's read this for these.
The qu's read I beseech you pardon me. • The fo's and R. read strucken. ? The qu’s omít arise, away. 4 T.'s duodecimo, W. and F. read tarry again; but, &c. I The qu's omit go to. • The qu's read you have wifilos, • The qu's omit so.
The qu's omit my,
Fool. Let me hire him too. Here's coxcomb.
[Giving Kent his cap: Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou ? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, * fool?
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that's out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly. There, take my coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banish'd two y on's daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters.
Lear. Why, my boy?
Fool. If I z gave them a all my living, b I'd keep my cox, combs myself. There's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
# Coxcomé.] Meaning his cap, called fo because on the top of the fool or jescr’s cap was fewed a piece of red cloth, resembling the comb of a cock.
* So the qu’s; the rest for fool read my boy; which appellation is what Lear gives the fool, and not so natural in the mouth of kent. This mistake seems to have happened from the next speech tut one, which was taken isRead of this in the fo's.
y So all till P. who alters on's to of his; so carcful is he that even a fool thall speak exact granmar. Follow'd by the reít.
7 So the qu's, and it and ad fu's; the rest read give for gave. Home The qu's read any for all my.
b The qu's read i'de; the fo's I'ld; both contractions of I would: all the Fest read I'll. So the qu's and ift f. all the rest coxcomb.