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Lear. What doft thou profefs? what would't thou with us? Kent. I do profefs to be no lefs than I feem; to ferve him truly, that will put me in truft; to love him that is honeft; to converfe with him that is 9 wife, and fays little; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot choofe, and to eat no
Lear. What art thou?
Kent. A very honeft-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king. Lear. If thou be as poor for a fubject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?
Lear. Doft thou know me, fellow?
Kent. No, fir; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master.
Lear. What's that?
9 H. and W. read-wife; to fay little, &c.
To eat no fifh.] In queen Elizabeth's time the papifts were efteemed, and with good reason, enemies to the government. Hence the proverbial phrase of he's an honeft man, and eats no fifk; to fignify he's a friend to the government, and a proteftant. The eating fifh on a religious account, being then esteemed fuch a badge of popery, that when it was enjoined for a feafon by an act of parliament, for the encouragement of the fifh-towns, it was thought neceffary to declare the reafon; hence it was called Cecil's faft. To this dif graceful badge of popery Fletcher alludes in his Woman-hater, who makes the courtezan fay, when Lazarillo in fearch of the umbrano's head, was fized at her houfe by the intelligencers for a traitor-Gentlemen, I am glad you have dif covered him. He should not have eaten under my roof for twenty pounds. And fure I did not like him when he called for fish. And Marfton's Dutch courtezan, I trust I am one of the wicked that eat fish a Friday. W.
s All but the qu's read be'ft for be.
The qu's and 1ft f. read who for whom.
Lear. What fervices canft u thou do?"
Kent. I can keep honeft w counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain meffage 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 fo young, * fir, to love a woman for finging; nor fo old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lear. Follow me, thou shalt ferve me, if I like thee no worfe 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. You, you, firrah, where's my daughter?
Stew. So please you
Lear. What fays the fellow there? Call the clot-pole back. -Where's my fool? ho!-I think the world's afleep. How now? where's that mungrel ?
Knight. He fays, my lord, your c daughter is not well. Lear. Why came not the flave back to me when I call'd him?
The 1ft q. omits thou.
So the qu's and 1it f, the reft counfels.
* The qu's omit fir.
▾ The qu's and fo's have no points but commas till after yet. R. P. T. W. and J. put a femicolon after ferve me, a comma after dinner, and a period after yet; which makes it nonfenfe. H. points in the fame manner, baiting that, to make fenfe of it, he puts the period after from thee; and reads thus-from thee. Yet no dinner, &c.
2 The qu's read you but once.
a R.'s octavo reads coltpole; F. clod-poll; the qu's clat-pole..
The qu's gives this fpeech to Kent.
The ift and ad fo's read daughters.
d Knight. Sir, he anfwer'd me in the roundest manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not!
d Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement f of kindness appears as well in the general dependants, as in the duke himself alfo, and your daughter.
Lear. Ha! fay'ft thou fo?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be miftaken; for my duty cannot be filent, when I think your highness 8 is wrong'd.
Lear. Thou but remembereft me of my own conception: I have perceived a moft faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiofity, than as a very pretence and purpofe of unkindnefs; I will look further into't. But where's my fool? I have not feen him k thefe two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, fir, the fool hath much pin'd 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 my fool. 10 you fir, you fir, come you hither; who am I, fir?
The qu's give thefe fpeeches to a fervant.
eThe 3d and 4th fo's, R. P. and H. omit me.
f The qu's omit of kind:efs.
The ft q. and the 1ft and 2d fo's, omit is.
h The qu's read purport.
i The qu's read this for my.
* All before P. read this for thefe.
The qu's omit well.
So the qu's; the 1st and 2d qu's read Oh you fir, you, come you hither,
Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave !-you whorefon dog, you flave, you cur.
Stew. I am none of thefe, my lord; "I befeech your pardon.
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking
Stew. I'll not be° ftruck, my lord.
Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base foot-ball player!
[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou ferv'ft me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, fir, P arife, away. I'll teach you differences. Away, away. If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry; but away, go to, s have you wifdom? fo
[Pufbes the fteward out.
Lear. Now, u my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earneft of thy fervice.
fir, who am I fir? and fo all the reft, bating that they omit the fecond
The qu's read this for thefe.
"The qu's read I beseech you pardon me.
• The fo's and R. read strucken.
℗ The qu's omít arife, away.
T.'s duodecimo, W. and J. read tarry again; but, &6.
The qu's omit go to.
• The qu's read you have wisdom.
The qu's omit fo.
The qu's omit my.
Fool. Let me hire him too. Here's my w coxcomb.
[Giving Kent his cap:
Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how doft thou?
Fool. Sirrah, you were beft take my coxcomb.
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that's out of favour. Nay, an thou canft not fmile as the wind fits, thou'lt catch cold shortly. There, take my coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banish'd two y on's daughters, and did the third a bleffing against his will; if thou follow him, thou muft needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters.
Lear. Why, my boy?
Fool. If I gave them a all my living, b I'd keep my cox. combs myself. There's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
Coxcomb.] Meaning his cap, called fo because on the top of the fool or jefter's cap was fewed a picce of red cloth, refembling the comb of a cock. W.
So the qu's; the rest for fool read my boy; which appellation is what Lear gives the fool, and not fo natural in the mouth of Kent. This mistake feeins to have happened from the next fpeech but one, which was taken inflead of this in the fo's.
y So all till P. who alters on's to of his; fo careful is he that even a fool shall speak exact grammar. Follow'd by the rest.
So the qu's, and ift and 2d fo's; the reft read give for gave.
The qu's read any for all my.
b The qu's read i'de; the fo's I'ld; both contractions of I would: all the reft read I'll.
So the qu's and 1ft f. all the reft coxcomb.