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Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a sword, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain Which are too intrinse' to unloose ; smooth every passion That in the natures of their lords rebels; Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods; Renege,” affirm, and turn their halcyon" beaks With every gale and vary of their masters, As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.— A plague upon your epileptic visage Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool P Goose, if I had you upon Sarum-plain, I’d drive ye cackling home to Camelot." Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow P Glo. - How fell you out? Say that. Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy, Than I and such a knave. Corn. Why dost thou call him knave P What's his offence P Kent. His countenance likes me not.” Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or hers. Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain; I have seen better faces in my time, Than stands on any shoulder that I see Before me at this instant. s Corn. This is some fellow, Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
1 The quartos read, to intrench ; the folio, to intrince. Perhaps intrinse, for so it should be written, was put by Shakspeare for intrinsicate, which he has used in Antony and Cleopatra. The word too in the text is substituted for to by Mr. Singer.
2 To renege is to deny.
3 The bird called the kingfisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows.
4 In Somersetshire, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geese.
5. i. e. pleases me not.
VOIL. VII. 7
A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Kent. Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
Corn. What mean'st by this
Rent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer. He that beguiled you, in a plain accent, was a plain 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 P
Stew. I never gave him any. It pleased the king, his master, very late, To strike at me, upon his misconstruction ; When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure, Tripped me behind; being down, insulted, railed, And put upon him such a deal of man, That worthied him, got praises of the king For him attempting who was self-subdued; And, in the fleshment" of this dread exploit, Drew on me here again.
1 “Forces his outside, or his appearance, to something totally different from his natural disposition.”
* Silly, or rather sely, is simple or rustic. JVicely here is with scrupulous nicely, punctilious observance.
3 This expressive word is now only applied to the motion and scintillation of flame. Dr. Johnson says, that it means to flutter, which is certainly one of its oldest meanings, it being used in that sense by Chaucer.
4 “Though I should win you, displeased as you now are, to like me so well as to entreat me to be a knave.”
5 A young soldier is said to flesh his sword the first time he draws blood with it. Fleshment, therefore, is here metaphorically applied to the first act of service, which Kent, in his new capacity, had performed for his ma.Ster,
Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards, But Ajax is their fool." Corm. Fetch forth the stocks, hol
You stubborn, ancient knave, you reverend braggart,
1 i. e. Ajax is a fool to them. 2 The sentence in brackets is not in the first folio.
Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
taken. [Exit. Rent. Good king, that must approve the common Saw *
Thou out of Heaven’s benediction com’st
[He sleeps. SCENE III. A Part of the Heath.
1 A metaphor from bowling. 2 The saw, or proverb alluded to, is in Heywood's Dialogues on Proverbs, b. ii. c. v. :—
“In your running from him to me, ye runne
i. e. from good to worse. Kent was thinking of the king being likely to receive a worse reception from Regan than that which he had already received from Goneril.
3 Kent addresses the sun, for whose rising he is impatient, that he may read Cordelia's letter. “Nothing (says he) almost sees miracles, but misery: I know this letter which I hold in my hand is from Cordelia; who hath most fortunately been informed of my disgrace and wandering in disguise; and who, seeking it, shall find time (i.e. opportunity), out of this enormous (i. e. disordered, unnatural) state of things, to give losses their remedies; to restore her father to his kingdom, herself to his ove, and me to his favor.”
Edg. I heard myself proclaimed ; 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, Brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth; Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots; And with presented nakedness outface The winds, and persecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars,” who, with roaring voices, Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms Pins, wooden pricks,” nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting ‘villages, sheep-cotes and mills, Sometime with lunatic bans," sometime with prayers, Enforce their charity.—Poor Turlygood!" Poor Tom That’s something yet; Edgar I nothing am. [Evit.
! Hair thus knotted was supposed to be the work of elves and fairies In the night.
* In the Bell-Man of London, by Decker, 5th edit. 1640, is an account of one of these characters, under the title of Abraham Man: “He sweares he hath been in Bedlam, and will talke frantickely of purpose: you see pinnes stuck in sundry places of his naked flesh, especially in his armes, which paine, he gladly puts himselfe to, only to make you believe he is out of his wits. He calls himselfe by the name of Pöore Tom, and coming near any body, cries out Poor Tom is a-cold.”
° i.e. skewers: the euonymus, or spindle-tree, of which the best skewers are made, is called prick-wood.
4 Paltry. 5 Curses.
9 Turlygood, an English corruption of turluru (Ital.), or turelureau (Fr.); both, among other things, signifying a fool or madman. It would, perhaps, be difficult to decide with certainty whether those words are corruptions of turlupino and turlupin ; but at least it seems probable. The Turlupins were a famatical sect, which overran the continent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, calling themselves Beghards or Beghins. Their manners and appearance exhibited the strongest indica