The Duke of Albany’s palace.
Goneril is sick and tired of hosting her father and his hundred knights, who are growing more and more rowdy. She orders her servants to stop treating them so well, in the hopes that this will drive them away, and decides that she will refuse to see her father when he returns from the hunt. She writes to Regan so that the latter will know how things stand. (27 lines)
Enter Goneril and Steward Oswald.
Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his Fool?
By day and night he wrongs me, every hour
He flashes into one gross crime or other
That sets us all at odds. I’ll not endure it.
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
I will not speak with him; say I am sick.
If you come slack of former services,
You shall do well; the fault of it I’ll answer.
He’s coming, madam, I hear him.
Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows; I’d have it come to question.
If he distaste it, let him to my sister,
Whose mind and mine I know in that are one,
Not to be overrul’d. Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now by my life
Old fools are babes again, and must be us’d
With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus’d.
Remember what I have said.
And let his knights have colder looks among you;
What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak. I’ll write straight to my sister
To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.