Odo, Earl of Kent

Earl of Kent

William Shakespeare (1564-1616).  The Tragedy of King Lear.
The Harvard Classics.  1909-14.
Act II
Scene II

[Before Gloucester’s castle]
Enter KENT and Steward [OSWALD], severally
 Osw.  Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?
  Kent.  Ay.
  Osw.  Where may we set our horses?
  Kent.  I’ the mire.         4
  Osw.  Prithee, if thou lov’st me, tell me.
  Kent.  I love thee not.
  Osw.  Why, then, I care not for thee.
  Kent.  If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.         8
  Osw.  Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
  Kent.  Fellow, I know thee.
  Osw.  What dost thou know me for?
  Kent.  A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, 1 hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting 2 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. 3         12
  Osw.  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-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. I’ll make a sop o’ the moonshine of you, you whoreson cullionly 4 barber-monger! 5 Draw!  [Drawing his sword.]
  Osw.  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 6 your shanks,

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