King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

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GONERIL

This admiration, sir, is much o' th' savor
225Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright.
As you are old and reverend, should be wise.
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires,
Men so disordered, so debauched and bold
230That this our court, infected with their manners,
Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
Than a graced palace. The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy. Be then desired
235By her that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train,
And the remainder that shall still depend
To be such men as may besort your age,
Which know themselves and you.

GONERIL

This fake astonishment of yours is just like your other pranks. I’m asking you to understand my point of view. Since you’re old and respected, you should be wise. But you’re keeping a hundred knights here who are so disorderly, vulgar, and obnoxious that our noble court is starting to look like a noisy cheap hotel. They’re such oversexed gluttons that I feel like we’re living in a pub or a whorehouse rather than a respectable palace. It’s shameful, and we have to make some changes right away. Please, as a favor to me—and if you don’t do it for me, I’ll do it myself—reduce the number of your knights a little. Keep the ones who are older, like you, and who act their age.

LEAR

240Darkness and devils!
Saddle my horses. Call my train together.—
Degenerate bastard, I’ll not trouble thee.
Yet have I left a daughter.

LEAR

Hell and damnation! Saddle up my horses. Call my knights together.
I won’t bother you any more, you monstrous bastard. You’re not really my daughter, but I still have one daughter left.

GONERIL

You strike my people, and your disordered rabble
245Make servants of their betters.

GONERIL

You hit my servants, and your disorderly mob of knights treat their superiors like servants.
Enter ALBANY
ALBANY enters.

LEAR

Woe that too late repents!—
(to ALBANY)     O sir, are you come?
Is it your will? Speak, sir.—Prepare my horses.

LEAR

You’ll be sorry later, but it’ll be too late. (to ALBANY) Oh, sir, are you here now? You decided to come? Answer me, sir. (to attendants) Get my horses ready.
Exit attendant
An attendant exits.