QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • Title: The History of King Leir (Modern)
  • Editor: Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: Andrew Griffin
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Modern)

    772.1[Scene 9] [Video Sc.9]
    Enter Gonorill and Skalliger
    I prithee, Skalliger, tell me what thou think'st:
    775Could any woman of our dignity
    Endure such quips and peremptory taunts
    As I do daily from my doting father?
    Doth't not suffice that I him keep of alms
    Who is not able for to keep himself,
    780But, as if he were our better, he should think
    To check and snap me up at every word?
    I cannot make me a new-fashioned gown,
    And set it forth with more than common cost,
    But his old doting, doltish, withered wit
    785Is sure to give a senseless check for it.
    I cannot make a banquet extraordinary
    To grace myself and spread my name abroad
    But he, old fool, is captious by and by,
    And saith the cost would well suffice for twice.
    790Judge then, I pray, what reason is't that I
    Should stand alone charged with his vain expense
    And that my sister Ragan should go free,
    To whom he gave as much as unto me?
    I prithee, Skalliger, tell me, if thou know,
    795By any means to rid me of this woe.
    Your many favors still bestowed on me
    Bind me in duty to advise your grace
    How you may soonest remedy this ill.
    The large allowance which he hath from you
    800Is that which makes him so forget himself;
    Therefore, abridge it half and you shall see
    That, having less, he will more thankful be,
    For why abundance maketh us forget
    The fountains whence the benefits do spring.
    Well, Skalliger, for thy kind advice herein,
    I will not be ungrateful if I live.
    I have restrainèd half his portion already
    And I will presently restrain the other,
    That, having no means to relieve himself,
    810He may go seek elsewhere for better help.
    Exit [Gonorill].
    Go, viperous woman, shame to all thy sex,
    The heavens no doubt will punish thee for this.
    And me, a villain that, to curry favor,
    Have given the daughter counsel 'gainst the father.
    815But us the world doth this experience give:
    That he that cannot flatter cannot live.