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The Tragedy of King Lear

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Act I, Scene 3

The Duke of Albany’s Palace.


Enter Goneril and [her] Steward [Oswald].

  • Goneril. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool? 505
  • Goneril. By day and night, he wrongs me! Every hour
    He flashes into one gross crime or other
    That sets us all at odds. I'll not endure it.
    His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us 510
    On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
    I will not speak with him. Say I am sick.
    If you come slack of former services,
    You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.

[Horns within.]

  • Oswald. He's coming, madam; I hear him.
  • Goneril. Put on what weary negligence you please,
    You and your fellows. I'd have it come to question.
    If he distaste it, let him to our sister,
    Whose mind and mine I know in that are one, 520
    Not to be overrul'd. Idle old man,
    That still would manage those authorities
    That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
    Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd
    With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd. 525
    Remember what I have said.
  • Goneril. And let his knights have colder looks among you.
    What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.
    I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, 530
    That I may speak. I'll write straight to my sister
    To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.