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  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 7

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REGAN

130I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
You less know how to value her desert
Than she to scant her duty.

REGAN

Calm down, sir, please. I hope there’s been a misunderstanding. It’s more likely that you don’t know how to appreciate her than that she’d ever fail in her duties as a daughter.

LEAR

     Say, how is that?

LEAR

How do you mean?

REGAN

I cannot think my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation. If, sir, perchance
135She have restrained the riots of your followers,
'Tis on such ground and to such wholesome end
As clears her from all blame.

REGAN

I can’t believe my sister would neglect her obligations in any way. If she restrained your rowdy knights, she had such a good reason that you can’t blame her for it.

LEAR

My curses on her!

LEAR

I curse her.

REGAN

O sir, you are old.
140Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of his confine. You should be ruled and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself. Therefore I pray you
That to our sister you do make return.
145Say you have wronged her, sir.

REGAN

Sir, you’re old. Your life is stretched to its limit. You should let others take care of you and submit to people who know better than you do what’s good for you. Please go back to Goneril’s house. Admit you were wrong.

LEAR

     Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house?—
(kneels) “Dear daughter, I confess that I am old.
Age is unnecessary. On my knees I beg
That you’ll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.”

LEAR

Apologize? Do you think this kind of thing is appropriate for the royal family? (he kneels) “Dear daughter, I admit I’m old. Old people are useless. I’m begging you, on my knees, to give me food, clothes, and a bed.”

REGAN

150Good sir, no more. These are unsightly tricks.
Return you to my sister.

REGAN

No more, please. These are ugly antics. Go back to my sister’s.