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Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
I serve you, madam : Your graces are right welcome.
SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter Kent and Steward, severally. Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of the house?
Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.
Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
18 That is, not at home, but at some other place.
| The quartos read, good even.' Dawning is used again in Cymbeline, as a substantive, for morning. It is clear from various passages in this scene that the morning is just beginning to dawn.
? i. e. Lipsbury pound. • Lipsbury pinfolď may, perhaps, like Lob's pound, be a coined name; but with what allusion does not appear. It is just possible (says Mr. Nares) that it might mean the teeth, as being the pinfold within the lips. The phrase would then mean, 'If I had you in my teeth.' It remains for some more fortunate inquirer to discover what is really meant.
Kent. A knave; a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, threesuited ?, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whorson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that would'st 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 deny'st the least syllable of thy addition*
Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one, that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee?
Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou know'st me? Is it two days ago, since I tripp'd up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king ? Draw, you rogue: for, though it be night,
3 • Three-suited knave' might mean, in an age of ostentatious finery like that of Shakspeare, one who had no greater change of raiment than three suits would furnish him with. So in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman :
-Wert a pitiful fellow, and hadst nothing but three suits of apparel. A one-trunk-inheriting slave may be a term used to describe a fellow, the whole of whose possessions were confined to one coffer, and that too inherited from his father, who was no better provided, or had nothing more to bequeath to his successor in poverty; a poor rogue hereditary, as Timon calls Apemantus. A worsted-stocking knave is another reproach of the same kind. The stockings in England in the reign of Elizabeth were remarkably expensive, and scarce any other kind than silk were worn, even by those who had not above forty shillings a year wages. This we learn from Stubbes in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1595. In an old comedy, called The Hog hath Lost its Pearl, by R. Tailor, 1614, it is said :• Good parts are no more set by, than a good leg in a woollen stocking. This term of reproach, as well as that of a hundred pound gentleman, occurs in The Phenix, by Middleton. Actiontaking knave is a fellow who, if you beat him, would bring an action for the assault instead of resenting it like a man of courage.
* i. e. thy titles.
the moon shines; I'll make a sop o’the moonshine5 of you: Draw, you whorson cullionly barber-monger, draw.
[Drawing his Sword. Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee.
Kent. 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.
Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!
Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike.
[Beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder! Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER,
and Servants. Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.
Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please; come, I'll flesh you; come on, young master.
Glo. Weapons ! arms! What's the matter here?
Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives; He dies, that strikes again: What is the matter ?
Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference? speak.
5 An equivoke is here intended, by an allusion to the old dish of eggs in moonshine, which was eggs broken and boiled in sallad oil till the yolks became hard. It is equivalent to the phrases of modern times, ' I'll baste you,' or 'beat you to a mummy.'
6 Barber-monger may mean dealer with the lower tradesmen; a slur upon the Steward, as taking fees for a recommendation to the business of the family.
7 Alluding to the moralities or allegorical shows, in which Vanity, Iniquity, and other vices were personified.
8 Neat slave may mean you base cowherd, or it may mean, as Steevens suggests, you finical rascal, you assemblage of foppery and poverty. See Cotgrave, in Mirloret, Mistoudin, Mondinet ; by which Sherwood renders a neate fellow.
Stew. I am scarce in breath, my
lord. Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in 9 thee; a tailor made thee.
Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make a man?
Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir; a stone-cutter, or a painter, could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.
Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Kent. Thou whorson zed 10! thou unnecessary letter!—My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted 11 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my gray beard, you wagtail?
Corn. Peace, sirrah!
Kent. Yes, sir; but anger has a privilege. Corn. Why art thou angry? 9 To disclaim in, for to disclaim simply, was the phraseology of the poet's age. See Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 264.
10 Zed is here used as a term of contempt, because it is the last letter in the English alphabet: it is said to be an unnecessary letter, because its place may be supplied by S. Baret omits it in his Alvearie, affirming
it to be rather a syllable than a letter. And Mulcaster says, “Z is much harder amongst us, and seldom seen.
S is become its lieutenant-general. It is lightlie (i.e. hardly) expressed in English, saving in foren enfranchisements.'
11 Unbolted is unsifted; and therefore signifies this coarse villain. Massinger, in his New Way to Pay Old Debts, Act i. Sc. 1, says:
I will help your memory,
And tread thee into mortar.' Unbolted mortar is mortar made of unsifted lime; and therefore to break the luinps it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.
Kent. 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 too intrinse 12 ť unloose: smooth every
passion 13 That in the natures of their lords rebels; Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods; Renege 14, affirm, and turn their halcyon 15 beaks With every gale and vary of their masters, As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.– A plague upon your epileptick 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 16.
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
12 The quartos read, to intrench; the folio, t’intrince. Perhaps intrinse, for so it should be written, was put by Shakspeare for intrinsecate, which he has used in Antony and Cleopatra :
Come, mortal wretch,
Of life at once untie.' I saspect that the poet meant to write too intresse ; that is, too intricate, or too much intrammelled. See Florio in v, intrecciare; or intrique for intricated, as we find it in Phillips's World of Words.
13 See Pericles, Act i. Sc. 2, note 9.
14 To renege is to deny. See Antony and Cleopatra, Sc. 1, note 1.
15 The bird called the kingfisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows. So in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
• But how now stands the wind ?
Into what corner peers my halcyon's bill.' • A lytle byrde called the Kings Fysher, being hanged up in the ayre by the neck, his nebbe or byll wyll be always direct or strayght against ye winde.'— Book of Notable Things.
16 In Somersetshire, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geese. It was the place where the romances say King Arthur kept his court in the west.