Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > King Lear
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of King Lear.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act I
Scene III
[The Duke of Albany’s palace]
Enter GONERIL, and [OSWALD, her] Steward

  Gon.  Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his Fool?
  Osw.  Ay, madam.
  Gon.  By day and night he wrongs me; every hour
He flashes into one gross crime or other        4
That sets us all at odds. I’ll not endure it.
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
I will not speak with him; say I am sick.        8
If you come slack of former services,
You shall do well; the fault of it, I’ll answer.
  Osw.  He’s coming, madam; I hear him.  [Horns within.]
  Gon.  Put on what weary negligence you please,        12
You and your fellows; I’d have it come to question. 1
If he distaste 2 it, let him to my sister,
Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
[Not to be over-rul’d. Idle old man,        16
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.]        20
Remember what I have said.
  Osw.        Well, madam.
  Gon.  And let his knights have colder looks among you;
What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.        24
[I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak.] I’ll write straight to my sister,
To hold my [very] course. Prepare for dinner.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Discussion. [back]
Note 2. Dislike. [back]


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