Act II, Scene 2
Before Gloucester’s castle.
- Enter Kent disguised as Caius and Steward Oswald severally.
- Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?
- Where may we set our horses?
- I’ th’ mire.
- Prithee, if thou lov’st me, tell me.
- I love thee not.
- Why then I care not for thee.
Kent8 - 9
- If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care
- for me.
- Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
- Fellow, I know thee.
- What dost thou know me for?
Kent13 - 21
- A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud,
- shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy
- worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking,
- 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, pandar, and the son and heir of a
- mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining,
- if thou deni’st the least syllable of thy addition.
Oswald22 - 23
- Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one
- that is neither known of thee nor knows thee?
Kent24 - 29
- What a brazen-fac’d varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest
- me? Is it two days since I tripp’d up thy heels, and beat
- thee before the King? Draw, you rogue, for though it be
- night, yet the moon shines;
- Drawing his sword.
- I’ll make a sop o’ th’ moonshine of you, you whoreson
- cullionly barber-monger, draw!
- Away, I have nothing to do with thee.
Kent31 - 34
- 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 ways.
- Help ho! Murder, help!
Kent36 - 37
- Strike, you slave! Stand, rogue, stand, you neat slave!
- Beating him.
- Help ho! Murder, murder!
- Enter Bastard Edmund, with his rapier drawn.
- How now, what’s the matter? Part!
Kent40 - 41
- With you, goodman boy, and you please! Come, I’ll flesh ye,
- come on, young master.
- Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants.
- Weapons? Arms? What’s the matter here?
Cornwall43 - 44
- 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.
Kent48 - 49
- No marvel, you have so bestirr’d your valor. You cowardly
- rascal, Nature disclaims in thee: a tailor made thee.
- Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a man?
Kent51 - 53
- A tailor, sir; a stone-cutter or a painter could not have
- made him so ill, though they had been but two years o’ th’
- Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Oswald55 - 56
- This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar’d at suit
- of his grey beard—
Kent57 - 60
- Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if
- you’ll 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?
Cornwall61 - 62
- Peace, sirrah!
- You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
- Yes, sir, but anger hath a privilege.
- Why art thou angry?
Kent65 - 77
- 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 a-twain
- Which are t’ intrinse t’ unloose; smooth every passion
- That in the natures of their lords rebel,
- Being oil to fire, snow to the colder moods;
- Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
- With every gale and vary of their masters,
- Knowing nought (like dogs) but following.
- A plague upon your epileptic visage!
- Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
- Goose, and I had you upon Sarum plain,
- I’ld drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
- What, art thou mad, old fellow?
- How fell you out? Say that.
Kent80 - 81
- 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.
Kent85 - 88
- 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.
Cornwall89 - 98
- This is some fellow
- Who, having been prais’d for bluntness, doth affect
- 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’t, so; if not, he’s plain.
- These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
- Harbor more craft and more corrupter ends
- Than twenty silly-ducking observants
- That stretch their duties nicely.
Kent99 - 102
- Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity,
- Under th’ allowance of your great aspect,
- Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
- On flick’ring Phoebus’ front—
- What mean’st by this?
Kent104 - 107
- To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I
- know, sir, I am no flatterer. He that beguil’d 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’ offense you gave him?
Oswald109 - 118
- I never gave him any.
- It pleas’d the King his master very late
- To strike at me upon his misconstruction,
- When he, compact, and flattering his displeasure,
- Tripp’d me behind; being down, insulted, rail’d,
- 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.
Kent119 - 120
- None of these rogues and cowards
- But Ajax is their fool.
Cornwall121 - 123
- Fetch forth the stocks!
- You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent braggart,
- We’ll teach you.
Kent124 - 129
- 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 respects, show too bold malice
- Against the grace and person of my master,
- Stocking his messenger.
Cornwall130 - 131
- Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honor,
- There shall he sit till noon.
- Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too.
Kent133 - 134
- Why, madam, if I were your father’s dog,
- You should not use me so.
- Sir, being his knave, I will.
Cornwall136 - 137
- This is a fellow of the self-same color
- Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks!
- Stocks brought out.
Gloucester138 - 145
- 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 purpos’d low correction
- Is such as basest and contemned’st wretches
- For pilf’rings and most common trespasses
- Are punish’d with. The King must take it ill
- That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
- Should have him thus restrained.
- I’ll answer that.
Regan147 - 150
- My sister may receive it much more worse
- To have her gentleman abus’d, assaulted,
- For following her affairs. Put in his legs.
- Kent is put in the stocks.
- Come, my good lord, away.
- Exit with all but Gloucester and Kent.
Gloucester151 - 153
- I am sorry for thee, friend, ’tis the Duke’s pleasure,
- Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
- Will not be rubb’d nor stopp’d. I’ll entreat for thee.
Kent154 - 157
- Pray do not, sir. I have watch’d and travel’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!
- The Duke’s to blame in this, ’twill be ill taken.
Kent159 - 174
- Good King, that must approve the common saw,
- Thou out of heaven’s benediction com’st
- 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 inform’d
- Of my obscured course;
- “—and shall find time
- From this enormous state—seeking to give
- Losses their remedies.”—
- All weary and o’erwatch’d,
- Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
- This shameful lodging.
- Fortune, good night; smile once more, turn thy wheel.