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When he, conjunct, and flatt'ring his displeasure,
Kent. None of these rogues and cowards,
Cornw. Fetch forth the stocks ! You stubborn ancient knave, you rev'rend braggart, We'll teach you
Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn : Call not your stocks for me; I serve the king; On whose employment I was sent to you. You shall do small respect, shew too bold malice Against the grace and person of my master, Stocking his messenger.
Cornw. Fetch forth the stocks; As I have life and honour, there shall he fit'till noon. Regan. "Till noon ! 'till night, my lord, and all
night too. Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You could not use me so. Regan. Sir, being his knave, I will.
[Stocks brought out.
Cornw. This is a fellow of the self-fame nature Our fifter speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks.
Gloc. Let me beseech your grace not to do so; His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for it; but must take it ill To be thus flighted in his messenger.
Cornw. I'll answer that.
Regan. My fifter may receive it worse, To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted.
[Kent is put in the stocks. Come, my lord, away. [Exeunt Regan and Cornw. Gloc. I'm sorry for thee, friend ; 'tis the duke's
pleasure, Whofe difpofition, all the world well knows, Will not be check'd nor stop'd. I'll intreat for thee. Kent. Pray, do not, Sir ; I've watch'd and tra
vell'd hard ; Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle :A good man's fortune may grow out at heels; Give you good morrow. Gloc. The duke's to blame in this, 'twill be ill taken.
[Exit. Kent. Approach, thou beacon to this underglobe,
[Looking up to the moon. That by thy comfortable beams I
may Peruse this letter. I know, 'tis from Cordelia ;
Who hath most fortunately been inform’d
Scene changes to a part of a heath.
Enter Edgar. Edgar. I've heard myself proclaim'd; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Efcap'd the hunt. No port is free, no place, That guard and most unusual vigilance Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may 'scape, I will preserve myself: And am bethought To take the basest and the poorest shape, That ever penury in contempt of man Brought near to beast: My face I will besmear, Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots ; And out-face The winds, and perfecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices, Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms Pins, iron-spikes, thorns, sprigs of rosemary; VOL. III.
And thus from sheep-cotes, villages, and mills, Enforce their charity; poor Turlygood! poor Tom! That's something yet: Edgar, I nothing am. [Exit. Scene changes again, to the earl of Glocefter's castle. Kent in the stocks.
Enter Lear and attendants. Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart
Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!
mistook, To set thee here?
Kent. It is both he and she,
Lear. They durft not do't. They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than murder,
To do upon respect fuch violent outrage:
Kent, My lord, while at their home
horse, Commanding me to follow and attend The leisure of their answeř; gave me cold looks: And meeting here the other messenger, Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison’d mine; (Being the very fellow, which of late Display'd so faucily against your highness) Having more man than wit about me, I drew; He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries : Your son and daughter found this trespass worth The shame which here it suffers. Lear. Oh, how this mother swells up tow'rd my
heart ! Down, down, thou climbing forrow!