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With checks, as flatteries --when they are seen
Stew. Very well, madam.
SCENE IV.-A hall in the same.
Enter Kent, disguised. Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech diffuse, my good intent May carry through itself to that full issue, For which I raz'd my likeness.--Now, banish'd
Kent, If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn'd, (So may it come !) thy master, whom thou lov'st, Shall find thee full of labours. Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and
Attendants. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go, get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now, what art thou?
Kent. A man, sir.
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 honest; to converse with him, that is
wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose ; and to eat no fish.
Lear. What art thou?
Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldest thou?
Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.
Lear. What's that?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious 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, sir, to love a woman for singing; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve 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? Go you, and call my fool hither:
[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.—Where's my fool, ho?-I think the world's asleep.-How now? Where's that mongrel?
Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the slave back to me, when I called him?
Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not!
Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertained with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears, as well in the general dependants, as in the duke himself also, and your daughter.
Lear. Ha! sayest 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 is wronged.
Lear. Thou but rememberest me in mine own conception: I have perceived a most faint neglect of late ; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness : I will look further into't. But where's my fool? I have not seen bim this two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined 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 iny
Re-enter Steward. O, you sir, you sir, come you hither: Who am I, sir?
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 this, my lord; I beseech you, pardon me.
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?
[Striking him, Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripped neither; you base foot-ball player.
[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences; away, away: If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry: but away: go to ; Have you wisdom? so. [Pushing the Steward out.
Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank 'thee : there's earnestof thy service. (Giving Kent money.
Enter Fool. Fool. Let me hire him too ;-Here's my coxcomb.
[Giving Kent his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take
coxcomb. Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that is out of favour: Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thoul't catch cold shortly: There, take my coxcomb: Why, this fellow has banished two of his 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 gave them all a living, I'd keep my coxcombs myself: There's mine; beg another of thy daughters.
Lear. Take heed, sirrah ; the whip.
Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel; he must be whipped out, when Lady, the brach, may stand by the fire and stink.
Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
Have more than thou showest,
Than two tens to a score.
Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer; you gave me nothing for't: Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle ?
Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing
Fool. Pry'thee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to.; he will not believe a fool. [To Kent.
Lear. A bitter fool.
Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet fool?
Lear. No, lad; teach me.
To give away thy land,
Or do thou for kim stand:
Will presently appear ;
The other found out there.
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away ; that thou wast born with.