King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 2

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KENT

20Service.

KENT

To work as a servant.

LEAR

Who wouldst thou serve?

LEAR

Who do you want to work for?

KENT

You.

KENT

You.

LEAR

Dost thou know me, fellow?

LEAR

Do you know me?

KENT

No, sir. But you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master.

KENT

No, sir, but there’s something about your face that makes me want to serve you.

LEAR

What’s that?

LEAR

What do you see in my face?

KENT

Authority.

KENT

Authority.

LEAR

What services canst thou do?

LEAR

What work can you do?

KENT

I can keep honest 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.

KENT

I can be discreet in honorable matters, ride a horse, run, tell a good story badly, and deliver a plain message bluntly. I’m good at everything that ordinary men can do. The best thing about me is that I’m hardworking.

LEAR

How old art thou?

LEAR

How old are you?

KENT

Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor so old to dote on her for anything. I have years on my back forty- eight.

KENT

Not young enough to fall in love with a woman because she sings well, but not old enough to dote on a woman for any reason. I’m forty-eight.

LEAR

Follow me. Thou shalt serve me. If I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.—Dinner, ho, dinner! Where’s my knave, my fool?—Go you, and call my fool hither.

LEAR

Follow me. You’ll work for me. If I still like you after dinner, I won’t send you away yet.—Hey, dinnertime! Dinner! Where’s my fool?—Go call my fool and have him come here.
Exit attendant
An attendant exits.
Enter OSWALD the steward
OSWALD enters.