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Lear. What dost thou profess? what would's thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honeft;
to converse with him that is a wise, and says little; to fear judginent; to fight when I cannot choofe, and to eat no fish.
Lear. What art thou?
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?
Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master,
Lear. What's that?
9 H. and W. read—wife; to fixy little, &c.
I To eat no fish.] In queen Elizabeth's time the papists were estcemed, and with good reason, enemies to the government. Herce the proverbial phrase of he's an honest man, and eats no fifk; to fignify he's a friend to the government, and a protestant. The eating fish on a religious account, being then esteemed such a badge of popery, that when it was enjoined for a scafon by an act of parliament, for the encouragement of the fish-towns, it was thought necessary to declare the reason; hence it was called Cecil's fast. To this dif graceful badge of popery Fletcher alludes in his l'oman-bater, who makes the courtezan say, when Lazarillo in search of the umbrano's head, was seized at her house by the intelligencers for a traitor-Gentlemen, I am glad you have difcovered 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 Marston's Dusch courtezan, I trust I am r.one of the wicked that eat fijh a Friday. W. s All but the qu's read best for be. The qu's and ist f. read wbo for whom.
Lear. What services capit u thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest w counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message 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 so young, * fir, to love a woman for singing ; nor so old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty-eight.
Leír. Ý 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?
[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there ? Call the a clot-pole back.
-Where's my fool? ho! I think the world's asleep. How now? Where's that mungrel?
*Knight. He says, my lord, your c daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the Nave back to me when I call'd him?
u The 1st q. omits tho..
* The qu's and fo's have no points but commas till after yet. R. P. T. W. and 7. put a semicolon after serve me, a comma after dinner, and a pe riod after get; which makes it nonsense. H. points in the same manner, baiting that, to make sense 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.
d Knight. Sir, he answer'd' me in the roundeft manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not!
d Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is ; but, to my judgment, your bighness 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 also, and your daughter. Lear. Ha! fay'lt thou so?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be filent, when I think your highness 8 is wrong'd.
Lear. Thou but rememberest me of my own conception : I have perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't. But where's ' my fool ? I have not seen him k these two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, 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. 1. you fir, you fir, come you hither; who am I, sir?
The qu's give there speeches to a servant. e The 34 and 4th fo's, R. P. and H. omit me. r The qu's omit of kind:efs. & The ist q. and the 1st 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 thefi.
The qu’s omit well. | So the qu's; the it and ad qu’s read on your fir, you, ceme you bither,
Enter steward. Stew. My lady's father,
Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave !---you whoreson dog, you save, you cur.
Stew. I am done of “ these, my lord; "I beseech your pardon. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking
him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base foot-ball player !
[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, fir, P arise, away. I'll teach you differences. Away, away. If you will measure your lubber's length again, I tarry; but away, 'go to, s have you wisdom? 'fo
[Pubes the steward out. Lear. Now, u my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earnest of thy service.
far, iba em I sir? and so all the rest, bating that they omit the second
* The qu's read this for these.
The qu's omit arise, away.
Fool. Let me hire him too. Here's my w coxcomb.
[Giving Kent his cas; Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou? Fool. Sirrali, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, * fool ?
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that's out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, 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 blesring against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters.
Lear. Why, my boy?
Fool. If I z gave them a all my living, b I'd keep my ccox, combs myself. There's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
Coxcomb.] Meaning his cap, called fo because on the top of the fool or jeher's cap was sewed a picce of red cloth, resembling the comb of a cock.
* So the qu's; the rest for fool read my boy; which appellation is what Lear gives the fool, and not so natural in the mouth of Kent. This mistake feeins to have happened from the next speech but one, which was taken inNead of this in the fo's.
y So all till Pi who alters on's to of bis; fo careful is he that even a foo! thall speak exact grammar. Follow'd by the rest.
So the qu's, and 1st and 2d fu's; the rest 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 Fest read I'll. © So the qu's and 1st f. all the rest coxconib.