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against the King; and take Vanity the Puppet's (7) part, against the royalty of her father. Draw, you rogue, or I'll fo carbonado your thanks-Draw, you rafcal. Come your ways.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you flave. Stand, rogue, ftand, you geat flave,* ftrike.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!

[Beating him.


Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, Glo'fter, and Servants.

Edm. How now, what's the matter? Part Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you pleafe; Come, I'll flesh ye. Come on, young master. Glo. Weapons? arms? what's the matter here? Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives; he dies, that ftrikes again. What's the matter?

Reg. The meffengers from our fifter and the King.
Corn. What is your difference? Speak.

Stew. I am fcarce in breath, my Lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have fo beftirr'd your valour; you cowardly rafcal. Nature disclaims all share in thee. A tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a man?

Kent. Ay, a taylor, Sir; a ftone-cutter, or a painter could not have made him fo ill, tho' they had been but two hours o' th' trade.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?

Stew. This ancient ruffian, Sir, whofe life I have fpar'd at fuit of his grey beard

Kent. Thou whorefon zed! thou unneceffary letter! (8) My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread

(7) Vanity the puppet.] Alluding to the mysteries or allegorical fhows, in which Vanity, Iniquity, and other vices, were perfonified.

* neat flave,] You mere flave, you very flave.

(8) Thou whorefon Zed! thou unnecessary letter !] I do not well


tread this unbolted villain (9) into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. Spare my grey beard? you wagtail!

Corn. Peace, Sirrah!

You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Kent. Yes, Sir, but anger hath a privilege.
Corn Why art thou angry?

Kent. That fuch a flave as this fhould wear a fword, Who wears no honefty. Such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain

Too 'intrinficate t'unloose; (1) footh every passion,

understand how a man is reproached by being called Zed, nor how Z is an unneceffary letter. Scarron compares his deformity to the fhape of Z, and it may be a proper word of infult to a crook-backed man; but why fhould Gonerill's fteward be croaked, unless the allufion be to his bending or cringing posture in the prefence of his fuperiors? Perhaps it was written, thou whorefon C [for cuckold] thou unneceffary letter. C is a letter unneceffary in our alphabet, one of its two founds being reprefented by S, and one by K. But all the copies concur in the common reading.

(9) this unbolted villain-] i. e. unrefined by education, the bran yet in him. Metaphor from the bakehouse.


(r) Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwaine, Which are t'intrince, t'unloofe:] Thus the firft Editors blundered this Paffage into unintelligible Nonfenfe. Mr. Pope fo far has difengaged it, as to give us plain Senfe; but by throwing out the Epithet holy, 'tis evident, that he was not aware of the Poet's fine Meaning. I'll firft establish and prove the Reading; then explain the Allufion. Thus the Poet gave it: Like rats, oft bite the holy Cords in twain,

Too intrinficate unloofe

This Word again occurs in our Authour's Antony and Cleopatra, where she is speaking to the Afpick:

Come, mortal wretch;

With thy fharp teeth this knot intrinficate

Of life at once untie.

And we meet with it in Cynthia's Revels by Ben. Johnson. Yet there are certain punctilios, or, as I may more nakedly infinuate them, certain intrinficate Strokes and Words, to which your Activity is not yet amounted, &c.

It means inward, hidden, perplext; as a Knot hard to be unravell'd; it is derived from the Latin adverb intrinfecus, from which the Italians have coin'd a very beautiful Phra e,intrinficarfi col une, i. e. to grow intimate with, to wind one's felf into another. And now to our Author's Senfe. Kent is rating the Steward,



That in the nature of their Lords rebels,
Bring oil to fire, fnow to their colder moods,
Renege, affirm, and turn their halycon beaks
With ev'ry Gale and Vary of their masters,
As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.
A plague upon your epileptick visage! (2)
Smile you my fpeeches, as I were a fool?
Goofe, if I had you upon Sarum-plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot. (3)
Corn. What art thou mad, old fellow?
Glo. How fell you out? fay that.

Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Than I and fuch a knave.

Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What is his fault?

Kent. His countenance likes me not.

Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, nor his, nor hers.

Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;

I have feen better faces in my time,

Than ftand on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this inftant.

Steward, as a Parafite of Gonerill's; and fuppofes very justly, that he has fomented the Quarrel betwixt that Princefs and her Father in which office he compares him to a facrilegious Rat; and by a fine Metaphor, as Mr. Warburton obferv'd to me, stiles the Union between Parents and Children the holy Cords.


Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain
Too intrinficate t'unloofe:-]


By thefe boly cords the Poet means the natural union between parents and children. The metaphor is taken from the cords of the fanctuary; and the fomentors of family differences are compared to thefe facrilegious rats. The expreflion is fine and noble. WARBURTON.

(2) epileptick vifage!] The frighted countenance of a man ready to fall in a fit.

(3) -Camelot.] Was the place where the romances fay, King Arthur kept his court in the weft; fo this alludes to fome proverbial fpeech in thofe romances. WARBURTON.

In Somerfetfbire near Camelot are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geefe, fo that many other places are from hence fupplied with quills and feathers.



Corn. This is fome fellow,

Who having been prais'd for bluntnefs, doth affect
A fawcy roughnefs; and conftrains the garb,
Quite from his nature. (4) He cant't flatter, he!
An honeft mind and plain, he must speak truth;
And they will take it fo; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty filly ducking obfervants, (5)
That ftretch their duties nicely.

Kent. Sir, in good faith, in fincere verity,
Under th' allowance of your grand afpect,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phœbus' front-

Corn. What mean'st by this?

Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you difcommend fo 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 intreat me to't.

Corn. What was th' offence you gave him?
Stew. I never gave him any.

(4) -conftrains the garb

Quite from his nature.] Forces his outfide or his appearance to fomething totally different from his natural difpofition.

(5) Than twenty SILLY ducking obfervants,] The epithet SILLY cannot be right, 1ft, Becaufe Cornwall, in this beauti ful fpeech, is not talking of the different fuccefs of these two kind of parafites, but of their different corruption of heart. 2. Because he fays thefe ducking obfervants know how to stretch their duties nicely. I am perfuaded we should read,

Than twenty SILEY ducking obfervants,

Which not only alludes to the garb of a court fycophant, but admirably well denotes the fmoothnefs of his character. But what is more, the poet generally gives them this epithet in other places. So in Richard III. he calls them

-Silky, fy, infinuating Jacks.

And in Coriolanus,

when steel grows

Soft as the paralite's filk.


The alteration is more ingenious than the arguments by which it is fupported.

*though I should win your difpleafure to intreat me to't.1 Though I fhould win you, difpleafed as you now are, to like me fo well as to intreat me to be a knave.

It pleas'd the king his mafter very lately
To ftrike at me upon his mifconftruction,
When he conjunct, and flatt'ring his difpleasure,
Tript me behind; being down, infulted, rail'd,
And put upon
him fuch a deal of man, that
That worthied him; got praises of the King,
For him attempting who was felf-fubdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.

Kent. None of these rogues and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.

Corn. 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 Stocks for


I ferve the King;

On whofe employment I was fent to you.

You fhall do fmall refpect, fhew too bold malice
Against the grace and perfon of my master,
Stocking his meffenger.

Corn. Fetch forth the Stocks;

As I have life and honour, there fhall he fit till noon. Reg.'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 fo.

Reg. Sir, being his knave, I will. [Stocks brought out. Corn. This is a fellow of the felf-name nature Our fifter fpeaks of. Come, bring away the Stocks. Glo. Let me befeech your Grace not to do fo; His fault is much, and the good King his master Will check him for't. Your purpos'd low correction Is fuch, as.bafeft and the meaneft wretches For pilf'rings, and moft common trefpaffes, Are punish'd with; the King muft take it ill, That he, fo flightly valued in his meffenger, Should have him thus reftrain'd.

Corn. I'll answer that.

Reg. My Sifter may receive it much more worfe, To have her Gentleman abus'd, affaulted,

For following her affairs. Put in his legs

Come, my Lord, away.

[Kent is put in the Stocks. [Exeunt Regan and Cornwall. SCENE

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