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  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 11

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I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend when thou canst. Be better at thy leisure.
225I can be patient. I can stay with Regan,
I and my hundred knights.
person when you’re ready, if you’re inclined. I’ll wait patiently. Meanwhile I’ll stay with Regan with my hundred knights.

REGAN

   Not altogether so, sir.
I looked not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister.
For those that mingle reason with your passion
230Must be content to think you old, and so—
But she knows what she does.

REGAN

It’s not quite that simple. I wasn’t expecting you, and I’m not ready to receive you. Please hear what Goneril is saying. We’re trying to be reasonable while you’re so upset, and we understand that you’re old, and… But Goneril knows what she’s doing.

LEAR

     Is this well spoken now?

LEAR

Do you mean what you’ve just said?

REGAN

I dare avouch it, sir. What, fifty followers?
Is it not well? What should you need of more—
Yea, or so many—sith that both charge and danger
235Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one house,
Should many people under two commands
Hold amity? 'Tis hard; almost impossible.

REGAN

Yes, I do. Isn’t fifty knights enough for you? Why would you need more than that? Or even that many. Fifty knights are expensive to maintain, and there’s always a risk they’ll rebel. How could so many people, under two masters, get along under one roof? It would be hard, almost impossible.

GONERIL

Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
From those that she calls servants, or from mine?

GONERIL

Why couldn’t you be attended by my servants, or by Regan’s?

REGAN

240Why not, my lord? If then they chanced to slack you,
We could control them. If you will come to me—
For now I spy a danger—I entreat you
To bring but five and twenty. To no more
Will I give place or notice.

REGAN

Yes, why not, my lord? Then if they’re negligent, we could control them. Now that I think about the danger of these knights, if you come to stay with me, please bring no more than twenty-five of them with you. I won’t lodge any more than that under my roof.

LEAR

245I gave you all—

LEAR

I gave you everything—

REGAN

And in good time you gave it.

REGAN

And it was about time too.