King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 1

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Enter KENT disguised and OSWALD the steward, severally
KENT enters in disguise. OSWALD enters from elsewhere.

OSWALD

Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house?

OSWALD

Good morning to you, friend. Do you work in this house?

KENT

Ay.

KENT

Yes, I do.

OSWALD

Where may we set our horses?

OSWALD

Where should we stable our horses?

KENT

I' th' mire.

KENT

In the mud.

OSWALD

5Prithee, if thou lovest me, tell me.

OSWALD

Please, sir, be kind to me and tell me.

KENT

I love thee not.

KENT

I won’t be kind to you.

OSWALD

Why, then, I care not for thee.

OSWALD

In that case, I don’t much care for you either.

KENT

If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.

KENT

If I could get my hands on you, I’d make you care.

OSWALD

10Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.

OSWALD

Why are you talking to me like this? I don’t even know you.

KENT

Fellow, I know thee.

KENT

Ah, but I know you.

OSWALD

What dost thou know me for?

OSWALD

Who am I then?

KENT

A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service; and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.

KENT

You’re a lowlife, a rascal who eats leftover scraps. You’re an ignoble, arrogant, shallow, vulgar, pretentious, conceited, filthy third-rate servant who thinks he’s something special. You’re a cowardly lawyer-loving bastard; a vain, brown-nosing, prissy scoundrel who’d pimp himself out to advance his career; a bag lady. You’re nothing but a lowlife, a beggar, a coward, and a pimp, the son and heir of a mutt bitch. I’ll beat you until you whine and cry if you deny the least bit of this.