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My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night;
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
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
comes.All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape; The duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture I will send far and near, that all the kingdom May have due note of him; and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means To make thee capable.
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 one, “O strange and fastened villain.”-Strong is determined, resolute. Our 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
bither (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 ?
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 ? your Edgar ?
Glo. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid !
Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights
I know not, madam;
Yes, madam, he was.
Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.-
'Twas my duty, sir.
Corn. Is he pursued ?
Ay, my good lord, he is.
16 Bewray his practice." That is, he did betray or reveal his treacherous devices. The quartos read betray.
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 ; 2 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.
SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter Kent and Steward, severally. Stew. Good dawning 3 to thee, friend. Art of the house?
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.
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 zven.” 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 ?
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!
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 2 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 4 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 neat slave, strike.
[Beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!
1 i. e. thy titles.
4 Alluding to the moralities or allegorical shows, in which Vanity, Iniquity, and other vices, were personified.
6 You finical rascal, you assemblage of foppery and poverty.
Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, GLOSTER, and
Kent. With you goodman boy, if you please ; come, I'll flesh you ; come on, young master.
Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?
Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives;
Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.
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
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 ?
Kent. Thou whoreson zed !? thou unnecessary letter !-My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted 3 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.—Spare my gray beard, you wagtail ?
Corn. Peace, sirrah!
Kent. Yes, sir ; but anger has a privilege.
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. Unbolted mortar is mortar made of unsifted lime; and therefore to break the lumps, it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.