Edg. Shall I heare from you anon? Enter.
Edm. I do serue you in this businesse: A Credulous Father, and a Brother Noble, Whose nature is so farre from doing harmes, That he suspects none: on whose foolish honestie My practises ride easie: I see the businesse. Let me, if not by birth, haue lands by wit, All with me's meete, that I can fashion fit. Enter.
Enter Gonerill, and Steward.
Gon. Did my Father strike my Gentleman for chiding of his Foole? Ste. I Madam
Gon. By day and night, he wrongs me, euery howre He flashes into one grosse crime, or other, That sets vs all at ods: Ile not endure it; His Knights grow riotous, and himselfe vpbraides vs On euery trifle. When he returnes from hunting, I will not speake with him, say I am sicke, If you come slacke of former seruices, You shall do well, the fault of it Ile answer
Ste. He's comming Madam, I heare him
Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, You and your Fellowes: I'de haue it come to question; If he distaste it, let him to my Sister, Whose mind and mine I know in that are one, Remember what I haue said
Ste. Well Madam
Gon. And let his Knights haue colder lookes among you: what growes of it no matter, aduise your fellowes so, Ile write straight to my Sister to hold my course; prepare for dinner.
Kent. If but as will I other accents borrow, That can my speech defuse, my good intent May carry through it selfe to that full issue For which I raiz'd my likenesse. Now banisht Kent, If thou canst serue where thou dost stand condemn'd, So may it come, thy Master whom thou lou'st, Shall find thee full of labours.
Hornes within. Enter Lear and Attendants.
Lear. Let me not stay a iot for dinner, go get it ready: how now, what art thou? Kent. A man Sir
Lear. What dost thou professe? What would'st thou with vs? Kent. I do professe to be no lesse then I seeme; to serue him truely that will put me in trust, to loue him that is honest, to conuerse with him that is wise and saies little, to feare iudgement, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eate no fish
Lear. What art thou? Kent. A very honest hearted Fellow, and as poore as the King
Lear. If thou be'st as poore for a subiect, as hee's for a King, thou art poore enough. What wouldst thou? Kent. Seruice
Lear. Who wouldst thou serue? Kent. You
Lear. Do'st thou know me fellow? Kent. No Sir, but you haue that in your countenance, which I would faine call Master
Lear. What's that? Kent. Authority
Lear. What seruices canst thou do? Kent. I can keepe honest counsaile, ride, run, marre a curious tale in telling it, and deliuer a plaine message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am quallified in, and the best of me, is Dilligence
Lear. How old art thou? Kent. Not so young Sir to loue a woman for singing, nor so old to dote on her for any thing. I haue yeares on my backe forty eight
Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serue me, if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner ho, dinner, where's my knaue? my Foole? Go you and call my Foole hither. You you Sirrah, where's my Daughter? Enter Steward.
Ste. So please you- Enter.
Lear. What saies the Fellow there? Call the Clotpole backe: wher's my Foole? Ho, I thinke the world's asleepe, how now? Where's that Mungrell? Knigh. He saies my Lord, your Daughters is not well