1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

'King Lear' Act 2, Scene 4 (Part 3)

The Complete Text to 'King Lear' Act 2, Scene 4 (Part 3)

By

KING LEAR

Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
'Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;

[Kneeling]

Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.'


REGAN

Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks:
Return you to my sister.


KING LEAR

[Rising]

Never, Regan:
She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:
All the stored vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!


CORNWALL

Fie, sir, fie!


KING LEAR

You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
To fall and blast her pride!


REGAN

O the blest gods! so will you wish on me,
When the rash mood is on.


KING LEAR

No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse:
Thy tender-hefted 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,
And 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' the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.


REGAN

Good sir, to the purpose.


KING LEAR

Who put my man i' the stocks?

[Tucket within]


CORNWALL

What trumpet's that?


REGAN

I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter,
That she would soon be here.

[Enter OSWALD]

Is your lady come?


KING LEAR

This is a slave, whose easy-borrow'd pride
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
Out, varlet, from my sight!


CORNWALL

What means your grace?


KING LEAR

Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope
Thou didst not know on't. Who comes here? O heavens,

[Enter GONERIL]

If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Allow obedience, if yourselves are old,
Make it your cause; send down, and take my part!

[To GONERIL]

Art not ashamed to look upon this beard?
O Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?


GONERIL

Why not by the hand, sir? How have I offended?
All's not offence that indiscretion finds
And dotage terms so.


KING LEAR

O sides, you are too tough;
Will you yet hold? How came my man i' the stocks?


CORNWALL

I set him there, sir: but his own disorders
Deserved much less advancement.


KING LEAR

You! did you?


REGAN

I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
If, till the expiration of your month,
You will return and sojourn with my sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me:
I am now from home, and out of that provision
Which shall be needful for your entertainment.


KING LEAR

Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd?
No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
To wage against the enmity o' the air;
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl, --
Necessity's sharp pinch! Return with her?
Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
To knee his throne, and, squire-like; pension beg
To keep base life afoot. Return with her?
Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
To this detested groom.

[Pointing at OSWALD]


GONERIL

At your choice, sir.


KING LEAR

I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad:
I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell:
We'll no more meet, no more see one another:
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter;
Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil,
A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle,
In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee;
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it:
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:
I can be patient; I can stay with Regan,
I and my hundred knights.


  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Shakespeare
  4. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  5. 'King Lear' - The Complete Text Online
  6. 'King Lear' Act 2, Scene 4 (Part 3)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.