Enter Kent and Oswald by opposite doors
Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?
Where may we set our horses?
Prithee, if thou lovest me, tell me.
I love thee not.
Why then, I care not for thee.
If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee
[unclear meaning; perhaps: ‘lips-town’] space between the lips, jaws
care for me.
Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Fellow, I know thee.
What dost thou know me for?
A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats, a base,
proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound,
filthy-worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking,
whoreson glass-gazing super-serviceable 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.
addition (n.) 2
attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]
Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou thus to rail
on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!
What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou
knowest me! Is it two days since I tripped up thy heels
and beat thee before the King? Draw, you rogue! For
though it be night, yet the moon shines. I'll make a sop
piece of bread or cake steeped in liquid [before being eaten]
o'the moonshine of you, you whoreson cullionly
He brandishes his sword
Away! I have nothing to do with thee.
Draw, you rascal! You come with letters against the
King, and take Vanity 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
Help, ho! Murder! Help!
Strike, you slave!
Oswald tries to escape
Stand, rogue! Stand, you neat slave! Strike!
He beats him
Help, ho! Murder! Murder!
Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, and
How now! What's the matter? Part!
With you, goodman boy, and you please! Come, I'll
flesh ye; come on, young master.
Weapons? Arms? What's the matter here?
Keep peace, upon your lives!
He dies that strikes again. What is the matter?
The messengers from our sister and the King –
What is your difference? Speak.
I am scarce in breath, my lord.
No marvel, you have so bestirred your valour. You
cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee: a tailor made
Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a
Ay tailor, sir. A stone-cutter or a painter could not
have made him so ill, though they had been but two
years o'the trade.
CORNWALL (to Oswald)
Speak yet, how grew your
This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have
spared at suit of his grey beard –
Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter! My
lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted
villain into mortar and daub the wall of a jakes with him.
‘ Spare my grey beard,’ you wagtail!
[contemptuous form of address] tail-wagger, bower and scraper
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Yes, sir; but anger hath a privilege.
Why art thou angry?
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 t' intrinse t' unloose; smooth every passion
That in the natures of their lords rebel,
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods,
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
Knowing naught – like dogs – but following. –
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum Plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
What, art thou mad, old fellow?
How fell you out? Say that.
No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and such a knave.
Why dost thou call him knave? What is his fault?
His countenance likes me not.
No more perchance does mine, nor his, nor hers.
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.
This is some fellow
Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
affect (v.) 3
assume, display, put on, practise in an artificial way
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb
Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he!
An honest mind and plain – he must speak truth!
And they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends
Than twenty silly-ducking observants
That stretch their duties nicely.
Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity,
Under th' allowance of your great aspect,
Whose influence like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phoebus' front –
What mean'st by this?
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't.
What was th' offence you gave him?
I never gave him any.
It pleased the King his master very late
To strike at me upon his misconstruction,
When he, compact, 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.
None of these rogues and cowards
But Ajax is their fool.
Fetch forth the stocks!
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend braggart,
We'll teach you –
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, show too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.
Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honour,
There shall he sit till noon.
Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too.
Why, madam, if I were your father's dog
You should not use me so.
Sir, being his knave, I will.
This is a fellow of the selfsame colour
Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks.
Stocks brought out
Let me beseech your grace not to do so.
His fault is much, and the good King, his master,
Will check him for't. Your purposed low correction
Is such as basest and contemned'st wretches
For pilferings and most common trespasses
Are punished with. The King must take it ill
That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
Should have him thus restrained.
answer (v.) 4
suffer the consequences [for], be accountable [for]
I'll answer that.
My sister may receive it much more worse
To have her gentleman abused, assaulted,
For following her affairs. – Put in his legs.
Kent is put in the stocks
Come, my lord, away.
Exeunt all but Gloucester and Kent
I am sorry for thee, friend. 'Tis the Duke's pleasure,
Whose disposition all the world well knows
Will not be rubbed nor stopped. I'll entreat for thee.
Pray do not, sir. I have watched and travelled 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!
The Duke's to blame in this.
'Twill be ill taken.
Good King, that must approve the common saw,
Thou out of Heaven's benediction comest
To the warm sun.
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery. I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately been informed
Of my obscured course, and ‘ shall find time
From this enormous state, seeking to give
state (n.) 1
condition, circumstances, situation, state of affairs
Losses their remedies.’ All weary and o'erwatched,
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.
Fortune, good night: smile once more; turn thy wheel.