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  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 8

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LEAR

(rising)     Never, Regan.
She hath abated me of half my train,
Looked black upon me, struck me with her tongue,
155Most serpentlike, upon the very heart.
All the stored vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!

LEAR

(getting up) Never, Regan. She’s sent away half my knights, glared at me, and aimed her venomous insults straight at my heart. She and her ingratitude can go to hell! I hope she gets sick and becomes lame!

CORNWALL

     Fie, sir, fie!

CORNWALL

Shush, sir, please!

LEAR

You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
160Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-sucked fogs drawn by the powerful sun,
To fall and blister!

LEAR

I hope lightning strikes her in the eyes! I hope poisonous swampy fog covers her face and ruins her complexion!

REGAN

   O the blessed gods!
So will you wish on me when the rash mood is on.

REGAN

Oh, dear gods! That’s how you’ll talk about me when you’re in this mood.

LEAR

No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse.
165Thy tender-hafted nature shall not give
Thee o'er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce, but thine
Do comfort and not burn. 'Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
170And in conclusion to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in. Thou better know’st
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude.
Thy half o' th' kingdom hast thou not forgot,
175Wherein I thee endowed.

LEAR

No, Regan. I’ll never curse you. You’re so gentle, you’d never be harsh like her. Her eyes are vicious, but yours are comforting. You’d never deny me my pleasures, downsize my entourage, insult me thoughtlessly, reduce my allowance, or lock me out of the house. You know better than she does how important the duties of a child to a parent are, and the responsibilities that come from gratitude. You haven’t forgotten the half of a kingdom I gave you.

REGAN

   Good sir, to the purpose.

REGAN

Sir, let’s get to the point.

LEAR

Who put my man i' th' stocks?

LEAR

Who put my messenger in the stocks?