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RICHARD

Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.

RICHARD

Yes, I thank God, my father, and yourself.

DUCHESS

Then patiently hear my impatience.

DUCHESS

Then patiently listen to my impatience.

RICHARD

Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
160Which cannot brook the accent of reproof.

RICHARD

Madam, I’m a bit like you in that I can’t tolerate a tone of disapproval.

DUCHESS

O, let me speak!

DUCHESS

Oh, let me speak!

RICHARD

     Do then, but I’ll not hear.

RICHARD

Go ahead, but I won’t listen.

DUCHESS

I will be mild and gentle in my words.

DUCHESS

I’ll be gentle and mild.

RICHARD

And brief, good mother, for I am in haste.

RICHARD

And brief, good mother—I’m in a hurry.

DUCHESS

Art thou so hasty? I have stayed for thee,
165God knows, in torment and in agony.

DUCHESS

Are you that impatient? God knows I waited for you in anguish, pain, and agony when I gave birth to you.

RICHARD

And came I not at last to comfort you?

RICHARD

And didn’t I finally arrive to comfort you?

DUCHESS

No, by the Holy Rood, thou know’st it well.
Thou cam’st on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
170Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school days frightful, desp'rate, wild, and furious;
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous;
Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred.
175What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever graced me in thy company?

DUCHESS

No, by God, you know perfectly well you arrived on earth to make it my hell. Your birth was incredibly painful; you were a fussy and difficult baby; as a schoolboy, you were frightening, wild, furious, and caused me despair; as a young man, you were daring, bold, and enterprising, and in your maturity, you have been haughty, bloody, and treacherous—both more mild and more harmful than before. So, what hour of comfort have I ever had in your company? Name one.