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  • Title: The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)
  • 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
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    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    The true Chronicle Historie of King
    Leir and his three daughters.
    ACTVS I.
    1Enter King Leir and Nobles.
    THus to our griefe the obsequies performd
    Of our (too late) deceast and dearest Queen,
    5Whose soule I hope, possest of heauēly ioyes,
    Doth ride in triumph 'mōgst the Cherubins;
    Let vs request your graue aduice, my Lords,
    For the disposing of our princely daughters,
    For whom our care is specially imployd,
    10As nature bindeth to aduaunce their states,
    In royall marriage with some princely mates:
    For wanting now their mothers good aduice,
    Vnder whose gouernment they haue receyued
    A perfit patterne of a vertuous life:
    15Left as it were a ship without a sterne,
    Or silly sheepe without a Pastors care;
    Although our selues doe dearely tender them,
    Yet are we ignorant of their affayres:
    For fathers best do know to gouerne sonnes;
    20But daughters steps the mothers counsell turnes.
    A sonne we want for to succeed our Crowne,
    And course of time hath cancelled the date
    Of further issue from our withered loynes:
    One foote already hangeth in the graue,
    25And age hath made deepe furrowes in my face:
    The world of me, I of the world am weary,
    And I would fayne resigne these earthly cares,
    And thinke vpon the welfare of my soule:
    Which by no better meanes may be effected,
    30Then by resigning vp the Crowne from me,
    In equall dowry to my daughters three.
    Skalliger. A worthy care, my Liege, which well declares,
    The zeale you bare vnto our quondam Queene:
    And since your Grace hath licens'd me to speake,
    The History of King Leir
    35I censure thus; Your Maiesty knowing well,
    What seuerall Suters your princely daughters haue,
    To make them eche a Ioynter more or lesse,
    As is their worth, to them that loue professe.
    Leir. No more, nor lesse, but euen all alike,
    40My zeale is fixt, all fashiond in one mould:
    Wherefore vnpartiall shall my censure be,
    Both old and young shall haue alike for me.
    Nobl. My gracious Lord, I hartily do wish,
    That God had lent you an heyre indubitate,
    45Which might haue set vpon your royall throne,
    When fates should loose the prison of your life,
    By whose succession all this doubt might cease; [close up]
    And as by you, by him we might haue peace.
    But after-wishes euer come too late,
    50And nothing can reuoke the course of fate:
    Wherefore, my Liege, my censure deemes it best,
    To match them with some of your neighbour Kings,
    Bordring within the bounds of Albion,
    By whose vnited friendship, this our state
    55May be protected 'gainst all forrayne hate.
    Leir. Herein, my Lords, your wishes sort with mine,
    And mine (I hope) do sort with heauenly powers:
    For at this instant two neere neyghbouring Kings
    Of Cornwall and of Cambria, motion loue
    60To my two daughters, Gonorill and Ragan.
    My youngest daughter, fayre Cordella, vowes
    No liking to a Monarch, vnlesse loue allowes.
    She is sollicited by diuers Peeres;
    But none of them her partiall fancy heares.
    65Yet, if my policy may her beguyle,
    Ile match her to some King within this Ile,
    And so establish such a perfit peace,
    As fortunes force shall ne're preuayle to cease.
    Perillus. Of vs & ours, your gracious care, my Lord,
    70Deserues an euerlasting memory,
    To be inrol'd in Chronicles of fame,
    By neuer-dying perpetuity:
    and his three daughters.
    Yet to become so prouident a Prince,
    Lose not the title of a louing father:
    75Do not force loue, where fancy cannot dwell,
    Lest streames being stopt, aboue the banks do swell.
    Leir. I am resolu'd, and euen now my mind
    Doth meditate a sudden stratagem,
    To try which of my daughters loues me best:
    80Which till I know, I cannot be in rest.
    This graunted, when they ioyntly shall contend,
    Eche to exceed the other in their loue:
    Then at the vantage will I take Cordella,
    Euen as she doth protest sh}e loues me best,
    85Ile say, Then, daughter, graunt me one request,
    To shew thou louest me as thy sisters doe,
    Accept a husband, whom my selfe will woo.
    This sayd, she cannot well deny my sute,
    Although (poore soule) her sences will be mute:
    90Then will I tryumph in my policy,
    And match her with a King of Brittany.
    Skal. Ile to them before, and bewray your secrecy.
    Per. Thus fathers think their children to beguile,
    And oftentimes themselues do first repent,
    95When heauenly powers do frustrate their intent. Exeunt.
    Enter Gonorill and Ragan.
    Gon.I maruell, Ragan, how you can indure
    To see that proud pert Peat, our youngest sister,
    So slightly to account of vs, her elders,
    100As if we were no better then her selfe!
    We cannot haue a quaynt deuice so soone,
    Or new made fashion, of our choyce inuention;
    But if she like it, she will haue the same,
    Or study newer to exceed vs both.
    105Besides, she is so nice and so demure;
    So sober, courteous, modest, and precise,
    That all the Court hath worke ynough to do,
    To talke how she exceedeth me and you.
    Ra. What should I do? would it were in my power,
    110To find a cure for this contagious ill:
    A3 Some
    The History of King Leir
    Some desperate medicine must be soone applyed,
    To dimme the glory of her mounting fame;
    Els ere't be long, sheele haue both prick and praise,
    And we must be set by for working dayes.
    115Doe you not see what seuerall choyce of Suters
    She daily hath, and of the best degree?
    Say, amongst all, she hap to fancy one,
    And haue a husband when as we haue none:
    Why then, by right, to her we must giue place,
    120Though it be ne're so much to our disgrace.
    Gon. By my virginity, rather then she shall haue
    A husband before me,
    Ile marry one or other in his shirt:
    And yet I haue made halfe a graunt already
    125Of my good will vnto the King of Cornwall.
    Ra. Sweare not so deeply (sister) here cōmeth my L. Skalliger:
    Something his hasty comming doth import. Enter Skal.
    Skal. Sweet Princesses, I am glad I met you heere so luckily,
    Hauing good newes which doth concerne you both,
    130And craueth speedy expedition.
    Ra. For Gods sake tell vs what it is, my Lord,
    I am with child vntill you vtter it.
    Skal. Madam, to saue your longing, this it is:
    Your father in great secrecy to day,
    135Told me, he meanes to marry you out of hand,
    Vnto the noble Prince of Cambria;
    You, Madam, to the King of Cornwalls Grace:
    Your yonger sister he would fayne bestow
    Vpon the rich King of Hibernia:
    140But that he doubts, she hardly will consent;
    For hitherto she ne're could fancy him.
    If she do yeeld, why then, betweene you three,
    He will deuide his kingdome for your dowries.
    But yet there is a further mystery,
    145Which, so you will conceale, I will disclose.
    Gon. What e're thou speakst to vs, kind Skalliger,
    Thinke that thou speakst it only to thy selfe.
    Skal. He earnestly desireth for to know,
    and his three daughters.
    Which of you three do beare most loue to him,
    150And on your loues he so extremely dotes,
    As neuer any did, I thinke, before.
    He presently doth meane to send for you,
    To be resolu'd of this tormenting doubt:
    And looke, whose answere pleaseth him the best,
    155They shall haue most vnto their marriages.
    Ra. O that I had some pleasing Mermayds voyce,
    For to inchaunt his sencelesse sences with!
    Skal. For he supposeth that Cordella will
    (Striuing to go beyond you in her loue)
    160Promise to do what euer he desires:
    Then will he straight enioyne her for his sake,
    The Hibernian King in marriage for to take.
    This is the summe of all I haue to say;
    Which being done, I humbly take my leaue,
    165Not doubting but your wisdomes will foresee,
    What course will best vnto your good agree.
    Gon. Thanks, gentle Skalliger, thy kindnes vndeserued,
    Shall not be vnrequited, if we liue. Exit Skalliger.
    Ra. Now haue we fit occasion offred vs,
    170To be reueng'd vpon her vnperceyu'd.
    Gon. Nay, our reuenge we will inflIct on her,
    Shall be accounted piety in vs:
    I will so flatter with my doting father,
    As he was ne're so flattred in his life.
    175Nay, I will say, that if it be his pleasure,
    To match me to a begger, I will yeeld:
    For why, I know what euer I do say,
    He meanes to match me with the Cornwall King.
    Ra. Ile say the like: for I am well assured;
    180What e're I say to please the old mans mind,
    Who dotes, as if he were a child agayne,
    I shall inioy the noble Cambrian Prince:
    Only, to feed his humour, will suffice, [two illegible letters?]
    To say, I am content with any one
    185Whom heele appoynt me; this will please him more,
    Then e're Apolloes musike pleased Ioue.
    A4 Gon.I
    The History of King Leir
    Gon. I smile to think, in what a wofull plight
    Cordella will be, when we answere thus:
    For she will rather dye, then giue consent
    190To ioyne in marriage with the Irish King:
    So will our father think, she loueth him not,
    Because she will not graunt to his desire,
    Which we will aggrauate in such bitter termes,
    That he will soone conuert his loue to hate:
    195For he, you know, is alwayes in extremes.
    Rag. Not all the world could lay a better plot,
    I long till it be put in practice. Exeunt.
    Enter Leir and Perillus.
    Leir. Perillus, go seeke my daughters,
    200Will them immediately come and speak with me.
    Per. I will, my gracious Lord. Exit.
    Leir. Oh, what a combat feeles my panting heart,
    'Twixt childrens loue, and care of Common weale!
    How deare my daughters are vnto my soule,
    205None knowes, but he, that knowes my thoghts & secret deeds.
    Ah, little do they know the deare regard,
    Wherein I hold their future state to come:
    When they securely sleepe on beds of downe,
    These aged eyes do watch for their behalfe :
    210While they like wantons sport in youthfull toyes,
    This throbbing heart is pearst with dire annoyes.
    As doth the Sun excceed the smallest Starre;
    So much the fathers loue exceeds the childs.
    Yet my complaynts are causlesse: for the world
    215Affords not children more conformable:
    And yet, me thinks, my mind presageth still
    I know not what; and yet I feare some ill.
    Enter Perillus, with the three daughters.
    Well, here my daughters come: I haue found out
    220A present meanes to rid me of this doubt.
    Gon. Our royall Lord and father, in all duty,
    We come to know the tenour of your will,
    Why you so hastily haue sent for vs ?
    Leir. Deare Gonorill, kind Ragan, sweet Cordella,
    and his three daughters.
    225Ye florishing branches of a Kingly stocke,
    Sprung from a tree that once did flourish greene,
    Whose blossomes now are nipt with Winters frost,
    And pale grym death doth wayt vpon my steps,
    And summons me vnto his next Assizes.
    230Therefore, deare daughters, as ye tender the safety
    Of him that was the cause of your first being,
    Resolue a doubt which much molests my mind,
    Which of you three to me would proue most kind;
    Which loues me most, and which at my request
    235Will soonest yeeld vnto their fathers hest.
    Gon. I hope, my gracious father makes no doubt
    Of any of his daughters loue to him:
    Yet for my part, to shew my zeale to you,
    Which cannot be in windy words rehearst,
    240I prize my loue to you at such a rate,
    I thinke my life inferiour to my loue.
    Should you inioyne me for to tye a milstone
    About my neck, and leape into the Sea,
    At your commaund I willingly would doe it:
    245Yea, for to doe you good, I would ascend
    The highest Turret in all Brittany,
    And from the top leape headlong to the ground:
    Nay, more, should you appoynt me for to marry
    The meanest vassayle in the spacious world,
    250Without reply I would accomplish it:
    In briefe, commaund what euer you desire,
    And if I fayle, no fauour I require.
    Leir. O, how thy words reuiue my dying soule!
    Cor. O, how I doe abhorre this flattery!
    255Leir. But what sayth Ragan to her fathers will?
    Rag. O, that my simple vtterance could suffice,
    To tell the true intention of my heart,
    Which burnes in zeale of duty to your grace,
    And neuer can be quench'd, but by desire
    260To shew the same in outward forwardnesse.
    Oh, that there were some other mayd that durst
    But make a challenge of her loue with me;
    B Ide
    The History of King Leir
    Ide make her soone confesse she neuer loued
    Her father halfe so well as I doe you.
    265I then, my deeds should proue in playner case,
    How much my zeale aboundeth to your grace:
    But for them all, let this one meane suffice,
    To ratify my loue before your eyes:
    I haue right noble Suters to my loue,
    270No worse then Kings, and happely I loue one:
    Yet, would you haue me make my choyce anew,
    Ide bridle fancy, and be rulde by you.
    Leir. Did neuer Philomel sing so sweet a note.
    Cord. Did neuer flatterer tell so false a tale.
    275Leir. Speak now, Cordella, make my ioyes at full,
    And drop downe Nectar from thy hony lips.
    Cor. I cannot paynt my duty forth in words,
    I hope my deeds shall make report for me:
    But looke what loue the child doth owe the father,
    280The same to you I beare, my gracious Lord.
    Gon. Here is an answere answerlesse indeed:
    Were you my daughter, I should scarcely brooke it.
    Rag. Dost thou not blush, proud Peacock as thou art,
    To make our father such a slight reply?
    285Leir. Why how now, Minion, are you growne so proud?
    Doth our deare loue make you thus peremptory?
    What, is your loue become so small to vs,
    As that you scorne to tell vs what it is?
    Do you loue vs, as euery child doth loue
    290Their father? True indeed, as some,
    Who by disobedience short their fathers dayes,
    And so would you; some are so father-sick,
    That they make meanes to rid them from the world;
    And so would you: some are indifferent,
    295Whether their aged parents liue or dye;
    And so are you. But, didst thou know, proud gyrle,
    What care I had to foster thee to this,
    Ah, then thou wouldst say as thy sisters do: ??
    Our life is lesse, then loue we owe to you.
    300Cord. Deare father, do not so mistake my words,
    and his three daughters.
    Nor my playne meaning be misconstrued;
    My toung was neuer vsde to flattery.
    Gon. You were not best say I flatter: if you do,
    My deeds shall shew, I flatter not with you.
    305I loue my father better then thou canst.
    Cor. The prayse were great, spoke from anothers mouth:
    But it should seeme your neighbours dwell far off.
    Rag. Nay, here is one, that will confirme as much
    As she hath sayd, both for my selfe and her.
    310I say, thou dost not wish my fathers good.
    Cord. Deare father.-------
    Leir. Peace, bastard Impe, no Issue of King Leir,
    I will not heare thee speake one tittle more.
    Call not me father, if thou loue thy life,
    315Nor these thy sisters once presume to name:
    Looke for no helpe henceforth from me nor mine;
    Shift as thou wilt, and trust vnto thy selfe:
    My Kingdome will I equally deuide
    'Twixt thy two sisters to their royall dowre,
    320And will bestow them worthy their deserts:
    This done, because thou shalt not haue the hope,
    To haue a childs part in the time to come,
    I presently will dispossesse my selfe,
    And set vp these vpon my princely throne.
    325Gon. I euer thought that pride would haue a fall.
    Ra. Plaine dealing, sister: your beauty is so sheene,
    You need no dowry, to make you be a Queene.
    Exeunt Leir, Gonorill, Ragan.
    Cord. Now whither, poore forsaken, shall I goe,
    330When mine own sisters tryumph in my woe?
    But vnto him which doth protect the iust,
    In him will poore Cordella put her trust.
    These hands shall labour, for to get my spending;
    And so ile liue vntill my dayes haue ending.
    335Per. Oh, how I grieue, to see my Lord thus fond,
    To dote so much vpon vayne flattering words.
    Ah, if he but with good aduice had weyghed,
    The hidden tenure of her humble speech,
    B2 Reason
    The History of King Leir
    Reason to rage should not haue giuen place,
    340Nor poore Cordella suffersuch disgrace. Exit.
    Enter the Gallian king with Mumford, and three
    Nobles more.
    King. Disswade me not, my Lords, I am resolu'd,
    This next fayre wynd to sayle for Brittany,
    345In some disguise, to see if flying fame
    Be not too prodigall in the wondrous prayse
    Of these three Nymphes, the daughters of King Leir.
    If present view do answere absent prayse,
    And eyes allow of what our eares haue heard,
    350And Venus stand auspicious to my vowes,
    And Fortune fauour what I take in hand;
    I will returne seyz'd of as rich a prize
    As Iason, when he wanne the golden fleece.
    Mum. Heauens graūt you may; the match were ful of honor,
    355And well beseeming the young Gallian King.
    I would your Grace would fauour me so much,
    As make me partner of your Pilgrimage.
    I long to see the gallant Brittish Dames,
    And feed mine eyes vpon their rare perfections:
    360For till I know the contrary, Ile say,
    Our Dames in Fraunce are more fayre then they.
    Kin. Lord Mumford, you haue saued me a labour,
    In offring that which I did meane to aske:
    And I most willingly accept your company.
    365Yet first I will inioyne you to obserue
    Some few conditions which I shall propose.
    Mum. So that you do not tye mine eyes for looking
    After the amorous glaunces of fayre Dames:
    So that you do not tye my toung from speaking,
    370My lips from kissing when occasion serues,
    My hands from congees, and my knees to bow
    To gallant Gyrles which were a taske more hard,
    Then flesh and bloud is able to indure:
    Commaund what else you please, I rest content.
    375Kin. To bind thee from a thing thou canst not leaue,
    Were but a meane to make thee seeke it more:
    and his three daughters.
    And therefore speake, looke, kisse, salute for me;
    In these my selfe am like to second thee.
    Now heare thy taske. I charge thee from the time
    380That first we set sayle for the Brittish shore,
    To vse no words of dignity to me,
    But in the friendliest maner that thou canst,
    Make vse of me as thy companion:
    For we will go disguisde in Palmers weeds,
    385That no man shall mistrust vs what we are.
    Mum. If that be all, ile fit your turne, I warrant you. I am
    some kin to the Blunts, and I think, the bluntesstof all my kin-
    dred; therfore if I bee too blunt with you, thank your selfe for
    praying me to be so.
    390King. Thy pleasant company will make the way seeme short.
    It resteth now, that in my absence hence,
    I do commit the gouernment to you
    My trusty Lords and faythfull Counsellers.
    Time cutteth off the rest I haue to say:
    395The wynd blowes fayre, and I musstneeds away.
    Nobles. Heauens send your voyage to as good effect,
    As we your land do purpose to protect. Exeunt.
    Enter the King of Cornwall and his man booted and
    spurd, a riding wand, and a letter in his hand.
    400 Corn. But how far distant are we from the Court?
    Ser. Some twenty miles, my Lord, or thereabouts.
    Corn. It seemeth to me twenty thousand myles:
    Yet hope I to be there within this houre.
    Ser. Then are you like to ride alone for me. to him-selfe.
    405I thinke, my Lord is weary of his life.
    Corn. Sweet Gonorill, I long to see thy face,
    Which hast so kindly gratified my loue.
    Enter the King of Cambria booted and spurd, and his
    man with a wand and a letter.
    410Cam. Get a fresh horse: for by my soule I sweare, He lookes
    on the
    I am past patience, longer to forbeare
    The wished sight of my beloued mistris,
    Deare Ragan, stay and comfort of my life.
    Ser. Now what in Gods name doth my Lord intend? to him-selfe
    The History of King Leir
    415He thinks he ne're shall come at's iourneyes end.
    I would he had old Dedalus waxen wings,
    That he might flye, so I might stay behind:
    For e're we get to Troynouant, I see,
    He quite will tyre himselfe, his horse and me.
    420Cornwall & Cambria looke one vpon another, and
    start to see eche other there.
    Corn. Brother of Cambria, we greet you well,
    As one whom here we little did expect.
    Cam. Brother of Cornwall, met in happy time:
    425I thought as much to haue met with the Souldan of Persia,
    As to haue met you in this place, my Lord.
    No doubt, it is about some great affayres,
    That makes you here so slenderly accompanied.
    Corn. To say the truth, my Lord, it is no lesse,
    430And for your part some hasty wind of chance
    Hath blowne you hither thus vpon the sudden.
    Cam. My Lord, to break off further circumstances,
    For at this time I cannot brooke delayes:
    Tell you your reason, I will tell you mine.
    435Corn. In fayth content, and therefore to be briefe;
    For I am sure my haste's as great as yours:
    I am sent for, to come vnto King Leir,
    Who by these present letters promiseth
    His eldest daughter, louely Gonorill,
    440To me in mariage, and for present dowry,
    The moity of halfe his Regiment.
    The Ladies loue I long ago possest:
    But vntill now I neuer had the fathers.
    Cam. You tell me wonders, yet I will relate
    445Strange newes, and henceforth we must brothers call;
    Witnesse these lynes: his honourable age,
    Being weary of the troubles of his Crowne,
    His princely daughter Ragan will bestow
    On me in mariage, with halfe his Seigniories,
    450Whom I would gladly haue accepted of,
    With the third part, her complements are such.
    Corn. If I haue one halfe, and you haue the other,
    and his three daughters.
    Then betweene vs we must needs haue the whole.
    Cam. The hole! how meane you that? Zlood, I hope,
    455We shall haue two holes beweene vs.
    Corn. Why, the whole Kingdome.
    Cam. I, that's very true.
    Cor. What then is left for his third daughters dowry,
    Louely Cordella, whom the world admires?
    460Cam. Tis very strange, I know not what to thinke,
    Vnlesse they meane to make a Nunne of her.
    Corn. 'Twere pity such rare beauty should be hid
    Within the compasse of a Cloysters wall:
    But howsoe're, if Leirs words proue true,
    465It will be good, my Lord, for me and you.
    Cam. Then let vs haste, all danger to preuent,
    For feare delayes doe alter his intent. Exeunt.
    Enter Gonorill and Ragan.
    Gon. Sister, when did you see Cordella last,
    470That prety piece, that thinks none good ynough
    To speake to her, because (sir-reuerence)
    She hath a little beauty extraordinary?
    Ra. Since time my father warnd her from his presence,
    I neuer saw her, that I can remember.
    475God giue her ioy of her surpassing beauty;
    I thinke, her dowry will be small ynough.
    Gon. I haue incenst my father so against her,
    As he will neuer be reclaymd agayne.
    Rag. I was not much behind to do the like.
    480Gon. Faith, sister, what moues you to beare her such good (will?
    Rag. Intruth, I thinke, the same that moueth you;
    Because she doth surpasse vs both in beauty.
    Gon. Beshrew your fingers, how right you can gesse:
    I tell you true, it cuts me to the heart.
    485Rag. But we will keepe her low enough, I warrant,
    And clip her wings for mounting vp too hye.
    Gon. Who euer hath her, shall haue a rich mariage of her.
    Rag. She were right fit to make a Parsons wife:
    For they, men say, do loue faire women well,
    B4 And
    The History of King Leir
    490And many times doe marry them with nothing.
    Gon. With nothing! marry God forbid: why, are there any (such?
    Rag. I meane, no money.
    Gon. I cry you mercy, I mistooke you much:
    And she is far too stately for the Church;
    495Sheele lay her husbands Benefice on her back,
    Euen in one gowne, if she may haue her will.
    Ra. In faith, poore soule, I pitty her a little.
    Would she were lesse fayre, or more fortunate.
    Well, I thinke long vntill I see my Morgan,
    500The gallant Prince of Cambria, here arriue.
    Gon. And so do I, vntill the Cornwall King
    Present himselfe, to consummate my ioyes.
    Peace, here commeth my father.
    Enter Leir, Perillus and others.
    505Leir. Cease, good my Lords, and sue not to reuerse
    Our censure, which is now irreuocable.
    We haue dispatched letters of contract
    Vnto the Kings of Cambria and of Cornwall;
    Our hand and seale will iustify no lesse:
    510Then do not so dishonour me, my Lords,
    As to make shipwrack of our kingly word.
    I am as kind as is the Pellican,
    That kils it selfe, to saue her young ones liues:
    And yet as ielous as the princely Eagle,
    515That kils her young ones, if they do but dazell
    Vpon the radiant splendor of the Sunne.
    Kings of
    and Cam-
    Within this two dayes I expect their comming
    But in good time, they are arriu'd already.
    This haste of yours, my Lords, doth testify
    520The feruent loue you beare vnto my daughters:
    And think your selues as welcome to King Leir,
    As euer Pryams children were to him.
    Corn. My gracious Lord, and father too, I hope,
    Pardon, for that I made no greater haste :
    525But were my horse as swift as was my will,
    I long ere this had seene your Maiesty.
    Cam. No other scuse of absence can I frame,
    and his three daughters.
    Then what my brother hath inform'd your Grace:
    For our vndeserued welcome, we do vowe,
    530Perpetually to rest at your commaund.
    Corn. But you, sweet Loue, illustrious Gonorill,
    The Regent, and the Soueraigne of my soule,
    Is Cornwall welcome to your Excellency?
    Gon. As welcome, as Leander was to Hero,
    535Or braue Aeneas to the Carthage Queene:
    So and more welcome is your Grace to me.
    Cam. O, may my fortune proue no worse then his,
    Since heauens do know, my fancy is as much.
    Deare Ragan, say, if welcome vnto thee,
    540All welcomes else will little comfort me.
    Rag. As gold is welcome to the couetous eye,
    As sleepe is welcome to the Traueller,
    As is fresh water to sea-beaten men,
    Or moystned showres vnto the parched ground,
    545Or any thing more welcomer then this,
    So and more welcome louely Morgan is.
    Leir. What resteth then, but that we consummate,
    The celebration of these nuptiall Rites?
    My Kingdome I do equally deuide.
    550Princes, draw lots, and take your chaunce as falles.
    Then they draw lots.
    These I resigne as freely vnto you,
    As earst by true succession they were mine.
    And here I do freely dispossesse my selfe,
    555And make you two my true adopted heyres:
    My selfe will soiorne with my sonne of Cornwall,
    And take me to my prayers and my beades.
    I know, my daughter Ragan will be sorry,
    Because I do not spend my dayes with her:
    560Would I were able to be with both at once;
    They are the kindest Gyrles in Christendome.
    Per. I haue bin silent all this while, my Lord,
    To see if any worthyer then my selfe,
    Would once haue spoke in poore Cordellaes cause:
    565But loue or feare tyes silence to their toungs.
    C Oh,
    The History of King Leir
    Oh, heare me speake for her, my gracious Lord,
    Whose deeds haue not deseru'd this ruthlesse doome,
    As thus to disinherit her of all.
    Leir. Vrge this no more, and if thou loue thy life:
    570I say, she is no daughter, that doth scorne
    To tell her father how she loueth him.
    Who euer speaketh hereof to mee agayne,
    I will esteeme him for my mortall foe.
    Come, let vs in, to celebrate with ioy,
    575The happy Nuptialls of these louely payres.
    Exeunt omnes, manet Perillus.
    Per. Ah, who so blind, as they that will not see
    The neere approch of their owne misery?
    Poore Lady, I extremely pitty her:
    580And whilest I liue, eche drop of my heart blood,
    Will I strayne forth, to do her any good. Exit.
    Enter the Gallian King, and Mumford, dsguised
    like Pilgrims.
    Mum. My Lord, how do you brook this Brittish ayre?
    585King. My Lord? I told you of this foolish humour,
    And bound you to the contrary, you know.
    Mum. Pardon me for once, my Lord; I did forget.
    King. My Lord agayne? then let's haue nothing else,
    And so be tane for spyes, and then tis well.
    590Mum. Swounds, I could bite my toung in two for anger:
    For Gods sake name your selfe some proper name.
    King. Call me Tresillus: Ile call thee Denapoll.
    Mum. Might I be made the Monarch of the world,
    I could not hit vpon these names, I sweare.
    595King. Then call me Will, ile call thee Iacke.
    Mum. Well, be it so, for I haue wel deseru'd to be cal'd Iack.
    King. Stand close; for here a Brittish Lady cōmeth: EnterCordella.
    A fayrer creature ne're mine eyes beheld.
    Cord. This is a day of ioy vnto my sisters,
    600Wherein they both are maried vnto Kings;
    And I by byrth, as worthy as themselues,
    Am turnd into the world, to seeke my fortune.
    How may I blame the fickle Queene of Chaunce,
    and his three daughters.
    That maketh me a patterne of her power?
    605Ah, poore weake mayd, whose imbecility
    Is far vnable to indure these brunts.
    Oh, father Leir, how dost thou wrong thy child,
    Who alwayes was obedient to thy will!
    But why accuse I fortune and my father?
    610No, no, it is the pleasure of my God:
    And I do willingly imbrace the rod.
    King. It is no Goddesse ; for she doth complayne
    On fortune, and th'vnkindnesse of her father.
    Cord. These costly robes ill fitting my estate,
    615I will exchange for other meaner habit.
    Mum. Now if I had a Kingdome in my hands,
    I would exchange it for a milkmaids smock and petycoate,
    That she and I might shift our clothes together.
    Cord. I will betake me to my threed and Needle,
    620And earne my liuing with my fingers ends.
    Mum. O braue! God willing, though shalt haue my custome,
    By sweet S. Denis, here I sadly sweare,
    For all the shirts and night-geare that I weare.
    Cord. I will professe and vow a maydens life.
    625Mum. Thē I protest thou shalt not haue my custom.
    King. I can forbeare no longer for to speak:
    For if I do, I think my heart will breake.
    Mum. Sblood, Wil, I hope you are not in loue with my Sēpster.
    King. I am in such a laborinth of loue,
    630As that I know not which way to get out.
    Mum. You'l ne're get out, vnlessse you first get in.
    King. I prithy Iacke, crosse not my passions.
    Mum. Prithy Wil, to her, and try her patience.
    King. Thou fairest creature, whatsoere thou art,
    635That euer any mortall eyes beheld,
    Vouchsafe to me, who haue o'reheard thy woes,
    To shew the cause of these thy sad laments.
    Cor. Ah Pilgrims, what auailes to shew the cause,
    When there's no meanes to find a remedy?
    640King. To vtter griefe, doth ease a heart o'recharg'd.
    Cor. To touch a sore, doth aggrauate the payne.
    C2 King.The
    The History of King Leir
    King. The silly mouse, by vertue of her teeth,
    Releas'd the princely Lyon from the net.
    Cor. Kind Palmer, which so much desir'st to heare
    645The tragick tale of my vnhappy youth:
    Know this in briefe, I am the haplesse daughter
    Of Leir, sometimes King of Brittany.
    King. Why, who debarres his honourable age,
    From being still the King of Brittany?
    650Cor. None, but himselfe hath dispossest himselfe,
    And giuen all his Kingdome to the Kings
    Of Cornwall and of Cambria, with my sisters.
    King. Hath he giuen nothing to your louely selfe?
    Cor. He lou'd me not, & therfore gaue me nothing,
    655Only because I could not flatter him:
    And in this day of tryumph to my sisters,
    Doth Fortune tryumph in my ouerthrow.
    King. Sweet Lady, say there should come a King,
    As good as eyther of your sisters husbands,
    660To craue your loue, would you accept of him?
    Cor. Oh, doe not mocke with those in misery,
    Nor do not think, though fortune haue the power,
    To spoyle mine honour, and debase my state,
    That she hath any interest in my mind:
    665For if the greatest Monarch on the earth,
    Should sue to me in this extremity,
    Except my heart could loue, and heart could like,
    Better then any that I euer saw,
    His great estate no more should moue my mind,
    670Then mountaynes moue by blast of euery wind.
    King. Think not, sweet Nymph, tis holy Palmers guise,
    To grieued soules fresh torments to deuise:
    Therefore in witnesse of my true intent,
    Let heauen and earth beare record of my words:
    675There is a young and lusty Gallian King,
    So like to me, as I am to my selfe,
    That earnestly doth craue to haue thy loue,
    And ioyne with thee in Hymens sacred bonds.
    Cor. The like to thee did ne're these eyes behold;
    and his three daughters.
    680Oh liue to adde new torments to my griefe:
    Why didst thou thus intrap me vnawares?
    Ah Palmer, my estate doth not befit
    A kingly mariage, as the case now stands.
    Whilome when as I liu'd in honours height,
    685A Prince perhaps might postulate my loue:
    Now misery, dishonour and disgrace,
    Hath light on me, and quite reuerst the case.
    Thy King will hold thee wise, if thou surcease
    The sute, whereas no dowry will insue.
    690Then be aduised, Palmer, what to do:
    Cease for thy King, seeke for thy selfe to woo.
    King. Your birth's too high for any, but a King.
    Cor. My mind is low ynough to loue a Palmer,
    Rather then any King vpon the earth.
    695King. O, but you neuer can indure their life,
    Which is so straight and full of penury.
    Cor. O yes, I can, and happy if I might:
    Ile hold thy Palmers staffe within my hand,
    And thinke it is the Scepter of a Queene.
    700Sometime ile set thy Bonnet on my head,
    And thinke I weare a rich imperiall Crowne.
    Sometime ile helpe thee in thy holy prayers,
    And thinke I am with thee in Paradise.
    Thus ile mock fortune, as she mocketh me,
    705And neuer will my louely choyce repent:
    For hauing thee, I shall haue all content.
    King. 'Twere sin to hold her longer in suspence,
    Since that my soule hath vow'd she shall be mine.
    Ah, deare Cordella, cordiall to my heart,
    710I am no Palmer, as I seeme to be,
    But hither come in this vnknowne disguise,
    To view th'admired beauty of those eyes.
    I am the King of Gallia, gentle mayd,
    (Although thus slenderly accompanied)
    715and yet thy vassayle by imperious Loue,
    and sworne to serue thee euerlastingly.
    Cor. What e're you be, of high or low discent,
    C3 All's
    The History of King Leir
    All's one to me, I do request but this:
    That as I am, you will accept of me,
    720And I will haue you whatsoe're you be:
    Yet well I know, you come of royall race,
    I see such sparks of honour in your face:
    Mum. Haue Palmers weeds such power to win fayre Ladies?
    Fayth, then I hope the next that falles is myne:
    725Vpon condition I no worse might speed,
    I would for euer weare a Palmers weed.
    I like an honest and playne dealing wench,
    That sweares (without exceptions) I will haue you.
    These foppets, that know not whether to loue a man or no, ex-
    730cept they first go aske their mothers leaue, by this hand, I hate
    them ten tymes worse then poyson.
    King. What resteth then our happinesse to procure?
    Mum. Fayth, go to Church, to make the matter sure.
    King. It shall be so, because the world shall say,
    735King Leirs three daughters were wedded in one day:
    The celebration of this happy chaunce,
    We will deferre, vntill we come to Fraunce.
    Mum. I like the wooing, that's not long a doing.
    Well, for her sake, I know what I know:
    740Ile neuer marry whilest I liue,
    Except I haue one of these Brittish Ladyes,
    My humour is alienated from the mayds of Fraunce. Exeunt.
    Enter Perillus solus.
    Per. The King hath dispossest himselfe of all,
    745Those to aduance, which scarce will giue him thanks:
    His youngest daughter he hath turnd away,
    And no man knowes what is become of her.
    He soiournes now in Cornwall with the eldest,
    Who flattred him, vntill she did obtayne
    750That at his hands, which now she doth possesse:
    And now she sees hee hath no more to giue,
    It grieues her heart to see her father liue.
    Oh, whom should man trust in this wicked age,
    When children thus against their parents rage?
    755But he, the myrrour of mild patience,
    and his three daughters.
    Puts vp all wrongs, and neuer giues reply:
    Yet shames she not in most opprobrious sort,
    To call him foole and doterd to his face,
    And sets her parasites of purpose oft,
    760In scoffing wise to offer him disgrace.
    Oh yron age! O times! O monstrous, vilde,
    When parents are contemned of the child!
    His pension she hath halfe restrain'd from him,
    And will, e're long, the other halfe, I feare:
    765For she thinks nothing is bestowde in vayne,
    But that which doth her fathers life maintayne.
    Trust not alliance; but trust strangers rather,
    Since daughters proue disloyall to the father.
    Well, I will counsell him the best I can:
    770Would I were able to redresse his wrong.
    Yet what I can, vnto my vtmost power,
    He shall be sure of to the latest houre. Exit.
    Enter Gonorill, and Skalliger.
    Gon. I prithy, Skalliger, tell me what thou thinkst:
    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 keepe of almes,
    Who is not able for to keepe himselfe?
    780But as if he were our better, he should thinke
    To check and snap me vp at euery word.
    I cannot make me a new fashioned gowne,
    And set it forth with more then common cost;
    But his old doting doltish withered wit,
    785Is sure to giue a sencelesse check for it.
    I cannot make a banquet extraordinary,
    To grace my selfe, and spread my name abroad,
    But he, old foole, is captious by and by,
    And sayth, the cost would well suffice for twice.
    790Iudge then, I pray, what reason ist, that I
    Should stand alone charg'd with his vaine expence,
    And that my sister Ragan should go free,
    To whom he gaue as much, as vnto me?
    C4 I prithy,
    The History of King Leir
    I prithy, Skalliger, tell me, if thou know,
    795By any meanes to rid me of this woe.
    Skal.Your many fauours still bestowde on me,
    Binde me in duty to aduise your Grace,
    How you may soonest remedy this ill.
    The large allowance which he hath from you,
    800Is that which makes him so forget himselfe:
    Therefore abbridge it halfe, and you shall see,
    That hauing lesse, he will more thankfull be:
    For why, abundance maketh vs forget
    The fountaynes whence the benefits do spring.
    805Gon. Well, Skalliger, for thy kynd aduice herein,
    I will not be vngratefull, if I liue:
    I haue restrayned halfe his portion already,
    And I will presently restrayne the other,
    That hauing no meanes to releeue himselfe,
    810He may go seeke elsewhere for better helpe. Exit.
    Skal. Go, viperous woman, shame to all thy sexe:
    The heauens, no doubt, will punish thee for this:
    And me a villayne, that to curry fauour,
    Haue giuen the daughter counsell 'gainst the father.
    815But vs the world doth this experience giue,
    That he that cannot flatter, cannot liue. Exit.
    Enter King of Cornwall, Leir, Perillus & Nobles.
    Corn. Father, what ayleth you to be so sad?
    Me thinks, you frollike not as you were wont.
    820Leir. The neerer we do grow vnto our graues,
    The lesse we do delight in worldly ioyes.
    Corn. But if a man can frame himselfe to myrth,
    It is a meane for to prolong his life.
    Leir. Then welcome sorrow, Leirs only friend,
    825Who doth desire his troubled dayes had end.
    Corn. Comfort your selfe, father, here comes your daughter,
    Who much will grieue, I kuow, to see you sad. EnterGonorill.
    Leir. But more doth grieue, I feare, to see me liue.
    Corn. My Gonorill, you come in wished time,
    830To put your father from these pensiue dumps.
    In fayth, I feare that all things go not well.
    Gon. What,
    and his three daughters.
    Gon. What, do you feare, that I haue angred him?
    Hath he complaynd of me vnto my Lord?
    Ile prouide him a piece of bread and cheese;
    835For in a time heele practise nothing else,
    Then carry tales from one vnto another.
    Tis all his practise for to kindle strife,
    'Twixt you, my Lord, and me your louing wife:
    But I will take an order, if I can,
    840To cease th'effect, where first the cause began.
    Corn. Sweet, be not angry in a partiall cause,
    He ne're complaynd of thee in all his life.
    Father, you must not weygh a womans words.
    Leir. Alas, not I: poore soule, she breeds yong bones,
    845And that is it makes her so tutchy sure.
    Gon. What, breeds young bones already! you will make
    An honest woman of me then, belike.
    O vild olde wretch! who euer heard the like,
    That seeketh thus his owne child to defame?
    850Corn. I cannot stay to heare this discord sound.Exit.
    Gon. For any one that loues your company,
    You may go pack, and seeke some other place,
    Tosowe the seed of discord and disgrace. Exit.
    Leir. Thus, say or do the best that e're I can,
    855Tis wrested straight into another sence.
    This punishment my heauy sinnes deserue,
    And more then this ten thousand thousand times:
    Else aged Leir them could neuer find
    Cruell to him, to whom he hath bin kind.
    860Why do I ouer-liue my selfe, to see
    The course of nature quite reuerst in me?
    Ah, gentle Death, if euer any wight
    Did wish thy presence with a perfit zeale:
    Then come, I pray thee, euen with all my heart,
    865And end my sorrowes with thy fatall dart. He weepes.
    Per. Ah, do not so disconsolate your selfe,
    Nor dew your aged cheeks with wasting teares.
    Leir. What man art thou that takest any pity
    Vpon the worthlesse state of old Leir?
    D Per. One,
    The History of King Leir
    870Per. One, who doth beare as great a share of griefe,
    As if it were my dearest fathers case.
    Leir. Ah, good my friend, how ill art thou aduisde,
    For to consort with miserable men:
    Go learne to flatter, where thou mayst in time
    875Get fauour 'mongst the mighty, and so clyme:
    For now I am so poore and full of want,
    As that I ne're can recompence thy loue.
    Per.What's got by flattery, doth not long indure;
    And men in fauour liue not most secure.
    880My conscience tels me, if I should forsake you,
    I were the hatefulst excrement on the earth:
    Which well do know, in course of former time,
    How good my Lord hath bin to me and mine.
    Leir. Did I ere rayse thee higher then the rest
    885Of all thy ancestors which were before?
    Per. I ne're did seeke it; but by your good Grace,
    I still inioyed my owne with quietnesse.
    Leir. Did I ere giue thee liuing, to increase
    The due reuennues which thy father left?
    890Per. I had ynough, my Lord, and hauing that,
    What should you need to giue me any more?
    Leir. Oh, did I euer dispossesse my selfe,
    And giue thee halfe my Kingdome in good will?
    Per. Alas, my Lord, there were no reason, why
    895You should haue such a thought, to giue it me.
    Leir. Nay, if thou talke of reason, then be mute;
    For with good reason I can thee confute.
    If they, which first by natures sacred law,
    Do owe to me the tribute of their liues;
    900If they to whom I alwayes haue bin kinde,
    And bountifull beyond comparison;
    If they, for whom I haue vndone my selfe,
    And brought my age vnto this extreme want,
    Do now reiect, contemne, despise, abhor me,
    905What reason moueth thee to sorrow for me?
    Per . Where reason fayles, let teares confirme my loue,
    And speake how much your passions do me moue.
    and his three daughters.
    Ah, good my Lord, condemne not all for one:
    You haue two daughters left, to whom I know
    910You shall be welcome, if you please to go.
    Leir. Oh, how thy words adde sorrow to my soule,
    To thinke of my vnkindnesse to Cordella!
    Whom causelesse I did dispossesse of all,
    Vpon th'vnkind suggesstions of her sisters:
    915And for her sake, I thinke this heauy doome
    Is falne on me, and not without desert:
    Yet vnto Ragan was I alwayes kinde,
    And gaue to her the halfe of all I had:
    It may be, if I should to her repayre,
    920She would be kinder, and intreat me fayre.
    Per. No doubt she would, & practise ere't be long,
    By force of Armes for to redresse your wrong.
    Leir. Well, since thou doest aduise me for to go,
    I am resolu'd to try the worst of wo. Exeunt.
    925Enter Ragan solus.
    Rag. How may I blesse the howre of my natiuity,
    Which bodeth vnto me such happy Starres!
    How may I thank kind fortune, that vouchsafes
    To all my actions, such desir'd euent!
    930I rule the King of Cambria as I please:
    The States are all obedient to my will;
    And looke what ere I say, it shall be so;
    Not any one, that dareth answere no.
    My eldest sister liues in royall state,
    935And wanteth nothing fitting her degree:
    Yet hath she such a cooling card withall,
    As that her hony sauoureth much of gall.
    My father with her is quarter-master still,
    And many times restraynes her of her will:
    940But if he were with me, and seru'd me so,
    Ide send him packing some where else to go.
    Ide entertayne him with such slender cost,
    That he should quickly wish to change his host. Exit.
    Enter Cornwall, Gonorill, and attendants.
    945Corn. Ah, Gonorill, what dire vnhappy chaunce
    D2 Hath
    The History of King Leir
    Hath sequestred thy father from our presence,
    That no report can yet be heard of him?
    Some great vnkindnesse hath bin offred him,
    Exceeding far the bounds of patience:
    950Else all the world shall neuer me perswade,
    He would forsake vs without notice made.
    Gon. Alas, my Lord, whom doth it touch so neere,
    Or who hath interest in this griefe, but I,
    Whom sorrow had brought to her longest home,
    955But that I know his qualities so well?
    I know, he is but stolne vpon my sister
    At vnawares, to see her how she fares,
    And spend a little time with her, to note
    How all things goe, and how she likes her choyce:
    960And when occasion serues, heele steale from her,
    And vnawares returne to vs agayne.
    Therefore, my Lord, be frolick, and resolue
    To see my father here agayne e're long.
    Corn. I hope so too; but yet to be more sure,
    965Ile send a Poste immediately to know
    Whether he be arriued there or no. Exit.
    Gon. But I will intercept the Messenger,
    And temper him before he doth depart,
    With sweet perswassions, and with sound rewards,
    970That his reportshhall ratify my speech,
    And make my Lord cease further to inquire.
    If he be not gone to my sisters Court,
    As sure my mind presageth that he is,
    He happely may, by trauelling vnknowne wayes,
    975Fall sicke, and as a common passenger,
    Be dead and buried: would God it were so well;
    For then there were no more to do, but this,
    He went away, and none knowes where he is.
    But say he be in Cambria with the King,
    980And there exclayme against me, as he will:
    I know he is as welcome to my sister,
    As water is into a broken ship.
    Well, after him Ile send such thunderclaps
    and his three daughters.
    Of slaunder, scandall, and inuented tales,
    985That all the blame shall be remou'd from me,
    And vnperceiu'd rebound vpon himselfe.
    Thus with one nayle another Ile expell,
    And make the world iudge, that I vsde him well.
    Enter the Messenger that should go to Cambria,
    990With a letter in his hand.
    Gon. My honest friend, whither away so fast?
    Mes. To Cambria, Madam, with letters frō the king.
    Gon. To whom?
    Mess. Vnto your father, if he be there.
    995Gon. Let me see them. She opens them.
    Mess. Madam, I hope your Grace will stand
    Betweene me and my neck-verse, if I be
    Calld in question, for opening the Kings letters.
    Gon. 'Twas I that opened them, it was not thou.
    1000Mes. I, but you need not care: and so must I,
    A hansome man, be quickly trust vp,
    And when a man's hang'd, all the world cannot saue him.
    Gon. He that hangs thee, were better hang his father,
    Or that but hurts thee in the least degree.
    1005I tell thee, we make great account of thee.
    Mes. I am o're-ioy'd, I surfet of sweet words:
    Kind Queene, had I a hundred liues, I would
    Spend ninety nyne of them for you, for that word.
    Gon. I, but thou wouldst keepe one life still,
    1010And that's as many as thou art like to haue.
    Mes. That one life is not too deare for my good Queene; this
    sword, this buckler, this head, this heart, these hands, armes,
    legs, tripes, bowels, and all the members else whatsoeuer, are at
    your dispose; vse me, trust me, commaund me: if I fayle in any
    1015thing, tye me to a dung cart, and make a Scauengers horse of
    me, and whip me, so long as I haue any skin on my back.
    Gon.In token of further imployment, take that.
    Flings him a purse.
    Mes. A strong Bond, a firme Obligation, good in law, good
    1020in law: if I keepe not the condition, let my necke be the forfey-
    ture of my negligence.
    D3 Gon. I
    The History of King Leir
    Gon. I like thee well, thou hast a good toung.
    Mes. And as bad a toung if it be set on it, as any Oysterwife
    at Billinsgate hath: why, I haue made many of my neighbours
    1025forsake their houses with rayling vpon them, and go dwell else
    where; and so by my meanes houses haue bin good cheape in
    our parish: My toung being well whetted with choller, is more
    sharpe then a Razer of Palerno.
    Gon. O, thou art a fit man for my purpose.
    1030Mes. Commend me not, sweet Queene, before you try me.
    As my deserts are, so do think of me.
    Gon. Well sayd, then this is thy tryall: Instead of carrying
    the Kings letters to my father, carry thou these letters to my
    sister, which contayne matter quite contrary to the other: there
    1035shal she be giuen to vnderstand, that my father hath detracted
    her, giuen out slaundrous speaches against her; and that hee
    hath most intollerably abused me, set my Lord and me at va-
    riance, and made mutinyes amongst the commons.
    These things (although it be not so)
    1040Yet thou must affirme them to be true,
    With othes and protestations as will serue,
    To driue my sister out of loue with him,
    And cause my will accomplished to be.
    This do, thou winst my fauour for euer,
    1045And makest a hye way of preferment to thee
    And all thy friends.
    Mess. It sufficeth, conceyt it is already done:
    I will so toung-whip him, that I will
    Leaue him as bare of credit, as a Poulter
    1050Leaues a Cony, when she pulls off his skin.
    Gon. Yet there is a further matter.
    Mes. I thirst to heare it.
    Gon. If my sister thinketh conuenient, as my letters
    importeth, to make him away, hast thou the heart to
    1055effect it?
    Mess. Few words are best in so small a matter:
    These are but trifles. By this booke I will.
    kisse the paper.
    and his three daughters.
    Gon. About it presently, I long till it be done.
    1060Mes. I fly, I fly. Exeunt.
    Enter Cordella solus.
    I haue bin ouer-negligent to day,
    In going to the Temple of my God,
    To render thanks for all his benefits,
    1065Which he miraculously hath bestowed on me,
    In raysing me out of my meane estate,
    When as I was deuoyd of worldly friends,
    And placing me in such a sweet content,
    As far exceeds the reach of my deserts.
    1070My kingly husband, myrrour of his time,
    For zeale, for iustice, kindnesse, and for care
    To God, his subiects, me, and Common weale,
    By his appoyntment was ordayned for me.
    I cannot wish the thing that I do want;
    1075I cannot want the thing but I may haue,
    Saue only this which I shall ne're obtayne,
    My fathers loue, oh this I ne're shall gayne.
    I would abstayne from any nutryment,
    And pyne my body to the very bones:
    1080Bare foote I would on pilgrimage set forth
    Vnto the furthest quarters of the earth,
    And all my life time would I sackcloth weare,
    And mourning-wise powre dust vpon my head:
    So he but to forgiue me once would please,
    1085That his grey haires might go to heauen in peace.
    And yet I know now how I him offended,
    Or wherein iustly I haue deserued blame.
    Oh sisters! you are much to blame in this,
    It was not he, but you that did me wrong.
    1090Yet God forgiue both him, and you and me,
    Euen as I doe in perfit charity.
    I will to Church, and pray vnto my Sauiour,
    That ere I dye, I may obtayne his fauour. Exit.
    Enter Leir and Perillus fayntly.
    1095Per. Rest on me, my Lord, and stay your selfe,
    The way seemes tedious to your aged lymmes.
    D4 Leir. Nay,
    The History of King Leir
    Leir. Nay, rest on me, kind friend, and stay thy selfe,
    Thou art as old as I, but more kind.
    Per. Ah, good my Lord, it ill befits, that I
    1100Should leane vpon the person of a King.
    Leir. But it fits worse, that I should bring thee forth,
    That had no cause to come along with me.
    Through these vncouth paths, and tirefull wayes,
    And neuer ease thy faynting limmes a whit.
    1105Thou hast left all, I, all to come with me,
    And I, for all, haue nought to guerdon thee.
    Per. Cease, good my Lord, to aggrauate my woes,
    With these kind words, which cuts my heart in two,
    To think your will should want the power to do.
    1110Leir. Cease, good Perillus, for to call me Lord,
    And think me but the shaddow of my selfe.
    Per. That honourable title will I giue,
    Vnto my Lord, so long as I do liue.
    Oh, be of comfort: for I see the place
    1115Whereas your daughter keeps her residence.
    And loe, in happy time the Cambrian Prince
    Is here arriu'd, to gratify our comming.
    Enter the Prince of Cambria, Ragan and Nobles: looke
    vpon them, and whisper together.
    1120Leir. Were I best speak, or sit me downe and dye?
    I am asham'd to tell this heauy tale.
    Per. Then let me tell it, if you please, my Lord:
    Tis shame for them that were the cause thereof.
    Cam. What two old men are those that seeme so sad?
    1125Me thinks, I should remember well their lookes.
    Rag. No, I mistake not, sure it is my father:
    I must dissemble kindnesse now of force.
    She runneth to him, and kneeles downe, saying:
    Father, I bid you welcome, full of griefe,
    1130To see your Grace vsde thus vnworthily,
    And ill befitting for your reuerend age,
    To come on foot a iourney so indurable.
    Oh, what disaster chaunce hath bin the cause,
    To make your cheeks so hollow, spare and leane?
    and his three daughters.
    1135He cannot speake for weeping: for Gods loue, come.
    Let vs refresh him with some needfull things,
    And at more leysure we may better know,
    Whence springs the ground of this vnlookt for wo.
    Cam. Come, father, e're we any further talke,
    1140You shall refresh you after this weary walk. Exeunt, manet Ragan.
    Rag. Comes he to me with finger in the eye,
    To tell a tale against my sister here?
    Whom I do know, he greatly hath abusde:
    And now like a contentious crafty wretch,
    1145He first begins for to complayne himselfe,
    When as himselfe is in the greatest fault.
    Ile not be partiall in my sisters cause,
    Nor yet beleeue his doting vayne reports:
    Who for a trifle (safely) I dare say,
    1150Vpon a spleene is stolen thence away:
    And here (forsooth) he hopeth to haue harbour,
    And to be moan'd and made on like a child:
    But ere't be long, his comming he shall curse,
    And truely say, he came from bad to worse:
    1155Yet will I make fayre weather, to procure
    Conuenient meanes, and then ile strike it sure. Exit.
    Enter Messenger solus.
    Mes. Now happily I am arriued here,
    Before the stately Palace of the Cambrian King:
    1160If Leir be here safe-seated, and in rest,
    To rowse him from it I will do my best. Enter Ragan.
    Now bags of gold, your vertue is (no doubt)
    To make me in my message bold and stout.
    The King of heauen preserue your Maiesty.
    1165And send your Highnesse euerlasting raigne.
    Ra. Thanks, good my friend; but what imports thy message?
    Mes.Kind greetings from the Cornwall Queene:
    The residue these letters will declare.
    She opens the letters.
    1170Rag. How fares our royall sister?
    Mes. I did leaue her at my parting, in good health.
    She reads the letter, frownes and stamps.
    E See
    The History of King Leir
    See how her colour comes and goes agayne,
    Now red as scarlet, now as pale as ash:
    1175See how she knits her brow, and bytes her lips,
    And stamps, and makes a dumbe shew of disdayne,
    Mixt with reuenge, and violent extreames.
    Here will be more worke and more crownes for me.
    Rag. Alas, poore soule, and hath he vsde her thus?
    1180And is he now come hither, with intent
    To set diuorce betwixt my Lord and me?
    Doth he giue out, that he doth heare report,
    That I do rule my husband as I list,
    And therefore meanes to alter so the case,
    1185That I shall know my Lord to be my head?
    Well, it were best for him to take good heed,
    Or I will make him hop without a head,
    For his presumption, dottard that he is.
    In Cornwall he hath made such mutinies,
    1190First, setting of the King against the Queene;
    Then stirring vp the Commons 'gainst the King;
    That had he there continued any longer,
    He had bin call'd in question for his fact.
    So vpon that occasion thence he fled,
    1195And comes thus slily stealing vnto vs:
    And now already since his coming hither,
    My Lord and he are growne in such a league,
    That I can haue no conference with his Grace:
    I feare, he doth already intimate
    1200Some forged cauillations 'gainst my state:
    Tis therefore best to cut him off in time,
    Lest slaunderous rumours once abroad disperst,
    It is too late for them to be reuerst.
    Friend, as the tennour of these letters shewes,
    1205My sister puts great confidence in thee.
    Mes. She neuer yet committed trust to me,
    But that (I hope) she found me alwayes faythfull:
    So will I be to any friend of hers,
    That hath occasion to imploy my helpe
    1210Rag. Hast thou the heart to act a stratagem,
    and his three daughters.
    And giue a stabbe or two, if need require?
    Mes. I haue a heart compact of Adamant,
    Which neuer knew what melting pitty meant.
    I weigh no more the murdring of a man,
    1215Then I respect the cracking of a Flea,
    When I doe catch her byting on my skin.
    If you will haue your husband or your father,
    Or both of them sent to another world.
    Do but commaund me doo't, it shall be done.
    1220Rag. It is ynough, we make no doubt of thee:
    Meet vs to morrow here, at nyne a clock:
    Meane while, farewell, and drink that for my sake. Exit.
    Mes. I, this is it will make me do the deed:
    Oh, had I euery day such customers,
    1225This were the gainefulst trade in Christendome!
    A purse of gold giu'n for a paltry stabbe!
    Why, heres a wench that longs to haue a stabbe.
    Wel, I could giue it her, and ne're hurt her neither.
    Enter the Gallian King, and Cordella.
    1230King. When will these clouds of sorrow once disperse,
    And smiling ioy tryumph vpon thy brow?
    When will this Scene of sadnesse haue an end,
    And pleasant acts insue, to moue delight?
    When will my louely Queene cease to lament,
    1235And take some comfort to her grieued thoughts?
    If of thy selfe thou daignst to haue no care,
    Yet pitty me, whom thy griefe makes despayre.
    Cor.O, grieue not you, my Lord, you haue no cause;
    Let not my passions moue your mind a whit:
    1240For I am bound by nature, to lament
    For his ill will, that life to me first lent.
    If so the stocke be dryed with disdayne,
    Withered and sere the branch must needes remaine.
    King. But thou are now graft in another stock;
    1245I am the stock, and thou the louely branch:
    And from my root continuall sap shall flow,
    To make thee flourish with perpetuall spring.
    Forget thy father and thy kindred now,
    E2 Since
    The History of King Leir
    Since they forsake thee like inhumane beastes,
    1250Thinke they are dead, since all their kindnesse dyes,
    And bury them, where black obliuion lyes.
    Think not thou art the daughter of old Leir,
    Who did vnkindly disinherit thee:
    But think thou art the noble Gallian Queene,
    1255And wife to him that dearely loueth thee:
    Embrace the ioyes that present with thee dwell,
    Let sorrow packe and hide her selfe in hell.
    Cord. Not that I misse my country or my kinne,
    My old acquaintance or my ancient friends,
    1260Doth any whit distemperate my mynd,
    Knowing you, which are more deare to me,
    Then Country, kin and all things els can be.
    Yet pardon me, my gracious Lord, in this:
    For what can stop the course of natures power?
    1265As easy is it for foure-footed beasts,
    To stay themselues vpon the liquid ayre,
    And mount aloft into the element,
    And ouerstrip the feathered Fowles in flight:
    As easy is it for the slimy Fish,
    1270To liue and thriue without the helpe of water
    As easy is it for the Blackamoore,
    To wash the tawny colour from his skin,
    Which all oppose against the course of nature,
    As I am able to forget my father.
    1275King. Myrrour of vertue, Phoenix of our age!
    Too kind a daughter for an vnkind father,
    Be of good comfort; for I will dispatch
    Ambassadors immediately for Brittayne,
    Vnto the King of Cornwalls Court, whereas
    1280Your father keepeth now his residence,
    And in the kindest maner him intreat,
    That setting former grieuances apart,
    He will be pleasde to come and visit vs.
    If no intreaty will suffice the turne,
    1285Ile offer him the halfe of all my Crowne:
    If that moues not, weele furnish out a Fleet,
    and his three daughters.
    Andsayle to Cornwall for to visit him:
    And there you shall be firmely reconcilde
    In perfit loue, as earst you were before.
    1290Cor. Where toung cannot sufficient thanks afford,
    The King of heauen remunerate my Lord.
    King. Only be blithe, and frolick (sweet) with me:
    This and much more ile do to comfort thee.
    Enter Messenger solus.
    1295 Mes. It is a world to see now I am flush,
    How many friends I purchase euery where!
    How many seekes to creepe into my fauour,
    And kisse their hands, and bend their knees to me!
    No more, here comes the Queene, now shall I know her mind,
    1300And hope for to deriue more crownes from her. Enter Ragā.
    Rag. My friend, I see thou mind'st thy promise well,
    And art before me here, me thinks, to day.
    Mes. I am a poore man, and it like your Grace;
    But yet I alwayes loue to keepe my word.
    1305Ra. Wel, keepe thy word with me, & thou shalt see,
    That of a poore man I will make thee rich.
    Mes. I long to heare it, it might haue bin dispatcht,
    If you had told me of it yesternight.
    Ra. It is a thing of right strange consequence,
    1310And well I cannot vtter it in words.
    Mes. It is more strange, that I am not by this
    Beside my selfe, with longing for to heare it.
    Were it to meet the Deuill in his denne,
    And try a bout with him for a scratcht face,
    1315Ide vndertake it, if you would but bid me.
    Ra. Ah, good my friend, that I should haue thee do,
    Is such a thing, as I do shame to speake;
    Yet it must needs be done.
    Mes. Ile speak it for thee, Queene: shall I kill thy father?
    1320I know tis that, and if it be so, say. Rag. I.
    Mes. Why, thats ynough.
    Rag. And yet that is not all.
    Mes. What else?
    Rag. Thou must kill that old man that came with him.
    E3 Mes. Here
    The History of King Leir
    1325Mes. Here are two hands, for eche of them is one.
    Rag. And for eche hand here is a recompence.
    Giue him two purses.
    Mes. Oh, that I had ten hands by myracle,
    I could teare ten in pieces with my teeth,
    1330So in my mouth yould put a purse of gold.
    But in what maner must it be effected?
    Rag. To morrow morning ere the breake of day,
    I by a wyle will send them to the thicket,
    That is about some two myles from the Court,
    1335And promise them to meet them there my selfe,
    Because I must haue priuate conference,
    About some newes I haue receyu'd from Cornwall.
    This is ynough, I know, they will not fayle,
    And then be ready for to play thy part:
    1340Which done, thou mayst right easily escape,
    And no man once mistrust thee for the fact:
    But yet, before thou prosecute the act,
    Shew him the letter, which my sister sent,
    There let him read his owne inditement first,
    1345And then proceed to execution:
    But see thou faynt not; for they will speake fayre.
    Mes.Could he speak words as pleasing as the pipe
    Of Mercury, which charm'd the hundred eyes
    Of watchfull Argos, and inforc'd him sleepe:
    1350Yet here are words so pleasing to my thoughts, To the purse.
    As quite shall take away the sound of his. Exit.
    Rag. About it then, and when thou hast dispatcht,
    Ile find a meanes to send thee after him. Exit.
    Enter Cornwall and Gonorill.
    1355Corn. I wonder that the Messenger doth stay,
    Whom we dispatcht for Cambria so long since:
    If that his answere do not please vs well,
    And he do shew good reason for delay,
    Ile teach him how to dally with his King,
    1360And to detayne vs in such long suspence.
    Gon. My Lord, I thinke the reason may be this:
    My father meanes to come along with him;
    and his three daughters.
    And therefore tis his pleasure he shall stay,
    For to attend vpon him on the way.
    1365Corn. It may be so, and therefore till I know
    The truth thereof, I will suspend my iudgement.
    Enter Seruant.
    Ser. And't like your Grace, there is an Ambassador
    Arriued from Gallia and craues admittance to your Maiesty.
    1370Corn. From Gallia? what should his message
    Hither import? is not your father happely
    Gone thither? well, whatsoere it be,
    Bid him come in, he shall haue audience.
    Enter Ambassador.
    1375What newes from Gallia? speake Ambassador.
    Am.The noble King and Queene of Gallia first salutes,
    By me, their honourable father, my Lord Leir:
    Next, they commend them kindly to your Graces,
    As those whose wellfare they intirely wish.
    1380Letters I haue to deliuer to my Lord Leir,
    And presents too, if I might speake with him.
    Gon. If you might speak with him? why, do you thinke,
    We are afrayd that you should speake with him?
    Am. Pardon me, Madam; for I thinke not so,
    1385But say so only, 'cause he is not here.
    Corn. Indeed, my friend, vpon some vrgent cause,
    He is at this time absent from the Court:
    But if a day or two you here repose,
    Tis very likely you shall haue him here,
    1390Or else haue certayne notice where he is.
    Gon. Are not we worthy to receiue your message?
    Am. I had in charge to do it to himselfe.
    Gon. It may be then 'twill not be done in haste. to herselfe.
    How doth my sister brooke the ayre of Fraunce?
    1395Am. Exceeding well, and neuer sicke one houre,
    Since first she set her foot vpon the shore.
    Gon.I am the more sorry.
    Am.I hope, not so, Madam.
    Gon. Didst thou not say, that she was euer sicke,
    1400Since the first houre that she arriued there?
    E4 Am. No,
    The History of King Leir
    Amb.No, Madam, I sayd quite contrary.
    Gon.Then I mistooke thee.
    Corn.Then she is merry, if she haue her health.
    Am.Oh no, her griefe exceeds, vntill the time,
    1405That she be reconcil'd vnto her father.
    Gon. God continue it.
    Am.What, madam?
    Gon.Why, her health.
    Am.Amen to that: but God release her griefe,
    1410And send her father in a better mind,
    Then to continue alwayes so vnkind.
    Corn.Ile be a mediator in her cause,
    And seeke all meanes to expiat his wrath.
    Am. Madam, I hope your Grace will do the like.
    1415Gon. Should I be a meane to exasperate his wrath
    Against my sister, whom I loue so deare? no, no.
    Am.To expiate or mittigate his wrath:
    For he hath misconceyued without a cause.
    Gon.O, I, what else?
    1420Am. Tis pity it should be so, would it were otherwise.
    Gon. It were great pity it should be otherwise.
    Am. Then how, Madam?
    Gon. Then that they should be reconcilde againe.
    Am. It shewes you beare an honourable mind.
    1425Gon. It shewes thy vnderstanding to be blind, Speakes to her selfe.
    And that thou hadst need of an Interpreter:
    Well, I will know thy message ere't be long,
    And find a meane to crosse it, if I can.
    Corn.Come in, my friend, and frolick in our Court,
    1430Till certayne notice of my father come. Exeunt.
    Enter Leir and Perillus.
    Per. My Lord, you are vp to day before your houre,
    Tis newes to you to be abroad so rathe.
    Leir. Tis newes indeed, I am so extreme heauy,
    1435That I can scarcely keepe my eye-lids open.
    Per. And so am I, but I impute the cause
    To rising sooner then we vse to do.
    Leir. Hither my daughter meanes to come disguis'd:
    and his three daughters.
    Ile sit me downe, and read vntill she come.
    1440Pull out a booke and sit downe.
    Per. Sheele not be long, I warrant you, my Lord:
    But say, a couple of these they call good fellowes,
    Should step out of a hedge, and set vpon vs,
    We were in good case for to answere them.
    1445Leir. 'Twere not for vs to stand vpon our hands.
    Per.I feare, we scant should stand vpon our legs.
    But how should we do to defend our selues?
    Leir. Euen pray to God, to blesse vs frō their hands:
    For feruent prayer much ill hap withstands.
    1450Per. Ile sit and pray with you for company;
    Yet was I ne're so heauy in my life.
    They fall both asleepe.
    Enter the Messenger or murtherer with two
    daggers in his hands.
    1455Mess. Were it not a mad iest, if two or three of my professiō
    should meet me, and lay me downe in a ditch, and play robbe
    thiefe with me, & perforce take my gold away from me, whilest
    I act this stratagem, and by this meanes the gray beards should
    escape? Fayth, when I were at liberty againe, I would make no
    1460more to do, but go to the next tree, and there hang my selfe.
    See them and start.
    But stay, me thinks, my youthes are here already,
    And with pure zeale haue prayed themselues asleepe.
    I thinke, they know to what intent they came,
    1465And are prouided for another world.
    He takes their bookes away.
    Now could I stab them brauely, while they sleepe,
    And in a maner put them to no payne;
    And doing so, I shewed them mighty friendship:
    1470For feare of death is worse then death it selfe.
    But that my sweet Queene will'd me for to shew
    This letter to them, ere I did the deed.
    Masse, they begin to stirre: ile stand aside;
    So shall I come vpon them vnawares.
    1475They wake and rise.
    Leir. I maruell, that my daughter stayes so long.
    F Per. I
    The History of King Leir
    Per. I feare, we did mistake the place, my Lord.
    Leir. God graunt we do not miscarry in the place:
    I had a short nap, but so full of dread,
    1480As much amazeth me to think thereof.
    Per. Feare not, my Lord, dreames are but fantasies,
    And slight imaginations of the brayne.
    Mes.Perswade him so; but ile make him and you
    Confesse, that dreames do often proue too true.
    1485Per. I pray, my Lord, what was the effect of it?
    I may go neere to gesse what it pretends.
    Mes. Leaue that to me, I will expound the dreame.
    Leir. Me thought, my daughters, Gonorill & Ragan,
    Stood both before me with such grim aspects.
    1490Eche brandishing a Faulchion in their hand,
    Ready to lop a lymme off where it fell,
    And in their other hands a naked poynyard,
    Wherwith they stabd me in a hundred places,
    And to their thinking left me there for dead:
    1495But then my youngest daughter, fayre Cordella,
    Came with a boxe of Balsome in her hand,
    And powred it into my bleeding wounds,
    By whose good meanes I was recouered well,
    In perfit health, as earst I was before:
    1500And with the feare of this I did awake,
    And yet for feare my feeble ioynts do quake.
    Mes.Ile make you quake for something presently.
    Stand, Stand. They reele.
    Leir. We do, my friend, although with much adoe.
    1505Mes. Deliuer, deliuer.
    Per. Deliuer vs, good Lord, from such as he.
    Mes. You should haue prayed before, while it was time,
    And then perhaps, you might haue scapt my hands:
    But you, like faithfull watch-men, fell asleepe,
    1510The whilst I came and tooke your Halberds from you.
    Shew their Bookes.
    And now you want your weapons of defence,
    How haue you any hope to be deliuered?
    This comes, because you haue no better stay,
    and his three daughters.
    1515But fall asleepe, when you should watch and pray.
    Leir. My friend, thou seemst to be a proper man.
    Mes. Sblood, how the old slaue clawes me by the elbow?
    He thinks, belike, to scape by scraping thus.
    Per. And it may be, are in some need of money.
    1520Mes. That to be false, behold my euidence.
    Shewes his purses.
    Leir. If that I haue will do thee any good,
    I giue it thee, euen with a right good will. Take it.
    Per. Here, take mine too, & wish with all my heart,
    1525To do thee pleasure, it were twice as much.
    Take his, and weygh them both in his hands.
    Mes. Ile none of them, they are too light for me.
    Puts them in his pocket.
    Leir. Why then farewell: and if thou haue occasion
    1530In any thing, to vse me to the Queene,
    'Tis like ynough that I can pleasure thee.
    They proffer to goe.
    Mes. Do you heare, do you heare, sir?
    If I had occasion to use you to the Queene,
    1535Would you do one thing for me I should aske?
    Leir. I, any thing that lyes within my power.
    Here is my hand vpon it, so farewell. Proffer to goe.
    Mes. Heare you sir, heare you? pray, a word with you.
    Me thinks, a comely honest ancient man
    1540Should not dissemble with one for a vantage.
    I know, when I shall come to try this geare,
    You will recant from all that you haue sayd.
    Per. Mistrust not him, but try him when thou wilt:
    He is her father, therefore may do much.
    1545Mes. I know he is, and therefore meane to try him:
    You are his friend too, I must try you both.
    Ambo.Prithy do, prithy do. Proffer to go out.
    Mes.Stay gray-beards then, and proue men of your words:
    The Queene hath tyed me by a solemne othe,
    1550Here in this place to see you both dispatcht:
    Now for the safegard of my conscience,
    Do me the pleasure for to kill your selues:
    F2 So
    The History of King Leir
    So shall you saue me labour for to do it,
    And proue your selues true old men of your words.
    1555And here I vow in sight of all the world,
    I ne're will trouble you whilst I liue agayne.
    Leir.Affright vs not with terrour, good my friend,
    Nor strike such feare into our aged hearts.
    Play not the Cat, which dallieth with the mouse;
    1560And on a sudden maketh her a pray:
    But if thou art markt for the man of death
    To me and to my Damion, tell me playne,
    That we may be prepared for the stroke,
    And make our selues fit for the world to come.
    1565Mes. I am the last of any mortall race,
    That ere your eyes are likely to behold,
    And hither sent of purpose to this place,
    To giue a finall period to your dayes,
    Which are so wicked, and haue liued so long,
    1570That your owne children seeke to short your life.
    Leir. Camst thou from France, of purpose to do this?
    Mes. From France? zoones, do I looke like a Frenchman?
    Sure I haue not mine owne face on; some body hath chang'd
    faces with me, and I know not of it: But I am sure, my apparell
    1575is all English. Sirra, what meanest thou to aske that question?
    I could spoyle the fashion of this face for anger. A French face!
    Leir. Because my daughter, whom I haue offended,
    And at whose hands I haue deseru'd as ill,
    As euer any father did of child,
    1580Is Queene of Fraunce, no thanks at all to me,
    But vnto God, who my iniustice see.
    If it be so, that shee doth seeke reuenge,
    As with good reason she may iustly do,
    I will most willingly resigne my life,
    1585A sacrifice to mittigate her ire:
    I neuer will intreat thee to forgiue,
    Because I am vnworthy for to liue.
    Therefore speake soone, & I will soone make speed:
    Whether Cordella will'd thee do this deed?
    1590Mes. As I am a perfit gentleman, thou speakst French to me:
    I neuer
    and his three daughters.
    I neuer heard Cordellaes name before,
    Nor neuer was in Fraunce in all my life:
    I neuer knew thou hadst a daughter there,
    To whom thou didst proue so vnkind a churle:
    1595But thy owne toung declares that thou hast bin
    A vyle old wretch, and full of heynous sin.
    Leir. Ah no, my friend, thou are deceyued much:
    For her except, whom I confesse I wrongd,
    Through doting frenzy, and o're-ielous loue.
    1600There liues not any vnder heauens bright eye,
    That can conuict me of impiety.
    And therefore sure thou dost mistake the marke:
    For I am in true peace with all the world.
    Mes. You are the fitter for the King of heauen:
    1605And therefore, for to rid thee of suspence,
    Know thou, the Queenes of Cambria and Cornwall,
    Thy owne two daughters, Gonorill and Ragan,
    Appoynted me to massacre thee here.
    Why wouldst thou then perswade me, that thou art
    1610In charity with all the world? but now
    When thy owne Issue hold thee in such hate,
    That they haue hyred me t'abbridge thy fate,
    Oh, fy vpon such vyle dissembling breath,
    That would deceyue, euen at the poynt of death.
    1615Per. Am I awake, or is it but a dreame?
    Mes. Feare nothing, man, thou art but in a dreame,
    And thou shalt neuer wake vntill doomes day,
    By then, I hope, thou wilt haue slept ynough.
    Leir. Yet, gentle friend, graunt one thing ere I die.
    1620Mes. Ile graunt you any thing, except your liues.
    Leir. Oh, but assure me by some certayne token,
    That my two daughters hyred thee to this deed:
    If I were once resolu'd of that, then I
    Would wish no longer life, but craue to dye.
    1625Mes. That to be true, in sight of heauen I sweare.
    Leir. Sweare not by heauen, for feare of punishmēt:
    The heauens are guiltlesse of such haynous acts.
    Mes. I sweare by earth, the mother of vs all.
    F3 Leir. Sweare
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    Leir. Sweare not by earth; for she abhors to beare
    1630Such bastards, as are murtherers of her sonnes.
    Mes. Why then, by hell, and all the deuils I sweare.
    Leir. Sweare not by hell; for that stands gaping wide,
    To swallow thee, and if thou do this deed.
    Thunder and lightning.
    1635Mes. I would that word were in his belly agayne,
    It hath frighted me euen to the very heart:
    This old man is some strong Magician:
    His words haue turned my mind from this exployt.
    Then neyther heauen, earth, nor hell be witnesse;
    1640But let this paper witnesse for them all.
    Shewes Gonorils letter.
    Shall I relent, or shall I prosecute?
    Shall I resolue, or were I best recant?
    I will not crack my credit with two Queenes,
    1645To whom I haue already past my word.
    Oh, but my conscience for this act doth tell,
    I get heauens hate, earths scorne, and paynes of hell.
    They blesse themselues.
    Per. Oh iust Iehoua, whose almighty power
    1650Doth gouerne all things in this spacious world,
    How canst thou suffer such outragious acts
    To be committed without iust reuenge?
    O viperous generation and accurst,
    To seeke his blood, whose blood did make them first!
    1655Leir. Ah, my true friend in all extremity,
    Let vs submit vs to the will of God:
    Things past all sence, let vs not seeke to know;
    It is Gods will, and therefore must be so.
    My friend, I am prepared for the stroke:
    1660Strike when thou wilt, and I forgiue thee here,
    Euen from the very bottome of my heart.
    Mes. But I am not prepared for to strike.
    Leir. Farewell, Perillus, euen the truest friend,
    That euer liued in aduersity:
    1665The latest kindnesse ile request of thee,
    Is that thou go vnto my daughter Cordella,
    and his three daughters.
    And carry her her fathers latest blessing:
    Withall desire her, that she will forgiue me;
    For I haue wrongd her without any cause.
    1670Now, Lord, receyue me, for I come to thee,
    And dye, I hope, in perfit charity.
    Dispatch, I pray thee, I haue liued too long.
    Mes. I, but you are vnwise, to send an errand
    By him that neuer meaneth to deliuer it:
    1675Why, he must go along with you to heauen:
    It were not good you should go all alone.
    Leir. No doubt, he shal, when by the course of nature,
    He must surrender vp his due to death:
    But that time shall not come, till God permit.
    1680Mes. Nay, presently, to beare you company.
    I haue a Pasport for him in my pocket,
    Already seald, and he must needs ride Poste.
    Shew a bagge of money.
    Leir. The letter which I read, imports not so,
    1685It only toucheth me, no word of him.
    Mess. I, but the Queene commaunds it must be so,
    And I am payd for him, as well as you.
    Per. I, who haue borne you company in life,
    Most willingly will beare a share in death.
    1690It skilleth not for me, my friend, a whit,
    Nor for a hundred such as thou and I.
    Mes. Mary, but it doth, sir, by your leaue; your good dayes
    are past: though it bee no matter for you, tis a matter for me,
    proper men are not so rife.
    1695Per. Oh, but beware, how thou dost lay thy hand
    Vpon the high anoynted of the Lord:
    O, be aduised ere thou dost begin:
    Dispatch me straight, but meddle not with him.
    Leir. Friend, thy commission is to deale with me,
    1700And I am he that hath deserued all:
    The plot was layd to take away my life:
    And here it is, I do intreat thee take it:
    Yet for my sake, and as thou art a man,
    Spare this my friend, that hither with me came:
    F4 I brought
    The History of King Leir
    1705I brought him forth, whereas he had not bin,
    But for good will to beare me company.
    He left his friends, his country and his goods,
    And came with me in most extremity.
    Oh, if he should miscarry here and dye,
    1710Who is the cause of it, but only I?
    aMes. Why that am I, let that ne're trouble thee.
    Leir. O no, tis I. O, had I now to giue thee
    The monarchy of all the spacious world
    To saue his life, I would bestow it on thee:
    1715But I haue nothing but these teares and prayers,
    And the submission of a bended knee. kneele.
    O, if all this to mercy moue thy mind,
    Spare him, in heauen thou shalt like mercy find.
    Mes.I am as hard to be moued as another, and yet
    1720me thinks the strength of their perswasions stirres me
    a little.
    Per.My friend, if feare of the almighty power
    Haue power to moue thee, we haue sayd ynough:
    But if thy mind be moueable with gold,
    1725We haue not presently to giue it thee:
    Yet to thy selfe thou mayst do greater good,
    To keepe thy hands still vndefilde from blood:
    For do but well consider with thy selfe,
    When thou hast finisht this outragious act,
    1730What horrour still will haunt thee for the deed:
    Think this agayne, that they which would incense
    Thee for to be the Butcher of their father,
    When it is done, for feare it should be knowne,
    Would make a meanes to rid thee from the world:
    1735Oh, then art thou for euer tyed in chaynes
    Of euerlasting torments to indure,
    Euen in the hotest hole of grisly hell,
    Such paynes, as neuer mortall toung can tell.
    It thunders. He quakes, and lets fall the Dagger
    1740next to Perillus.
    Leir. O, heauens be thanked, he wil spare my friend.
    Now when thou wilt come make an end of me.
    and his three daughters.
    He lets fall the other dagger.
    Per.Oh, happy sight! he meanes to saue my Lord.
    1745The King of heauen continue this good mind.
    Leir. Why stayst thou to do execution?
    Mes. I am as wilfull as you for your life:
    I will not do it, now you do intreat me.
    Per. Ah, now I see thou hast some sparke of grace.
    1750Mes. Beshrew you for it, you haue put it in me:
    The parlosest old men, that ere I heard.
    Well, to be flat, ile not meddle with you:
    Here I found you, and here ile leaue you:
    If any aske you why the case so stands?
    1755Say that your toungs were better then your hands. Exit.Mess.
    Per. Farewell. If euer we together meet,
    It shall go hard, but I will thee regreet.
    Courage, my Lord, the worst is ouerpast;
    Let vs giue thanks to God, and hye vs hence.
    1760Leir. Thou art deceyued; for I am past the best,
    And know not whither for to go from hence:
    Death had bin better welcome vnto me,
    Then longer life to adde more misery.
    Per. It were not good to returne from whence we(came,
    1765Vnto your daughter Ragan back againe.
    Now let vs go to France, vnto Cordella,
    Your youngest daughter, doubtlesse she will succour you.
    Leir. Oh, how can I perswade my selfe of that,
    Since the other two are quite deuoyd of loue;
    1770To whom I was so kind, as that my gifts,
    Might make them loue me, if 'twere nothing else?
    Per. No worldly gifts, but grace from God on hye,
    Doth nourish vertue and true charity.
    Remember well what words Cordella spake,
    1775What time you askt her, how she lou'd your Grace.
    Se sayd, her loue vnto you was as much,
    As ought a child to beare vnto her father.
    Leir. But she did find, my loue was not to her,
    As should a father beare vnto a child.
    1780Per. That makes not her loue to be any lesse,
    G If
    The History of King Leir
    If she do loue you as a child should do:
    You haue tryed two, try one more for my sake,
    Ile ne're intreat you further tryall make.
    Remember well the dream you had of late,
    1785And thinke what comfort it foretels to vs.
    Leir. Come, truest friend, that euer man possest,
    I know thou counsailst all things for the best:
    If this third daughter play a kinder part,
    It comes of God, and not of my desert. Exeunt.
    1790Enter the Gallian Ambassador solus.
    Am. There is of late newes come vnto the Court,
    That old Lord Leir remaynes in Cambria:
    Ile hye me thither presently, to impart
    My letters and my message vnto him.
    1795I neuer was lesse welcome to a place
    In all my life time, then I haue bin hither,
    Especially vnto the stately Queene,
    Who would not cast one gracious looke on me,
    But still with lowring and suspicious eyes,
    1800Would take exceptions at each word I spake,
    And fayne she would haue vndermined me,
    To know what my Ambassage did import:
    But she is like to hop without her hope,
    And in this matter for to want her will,
    1805Though (by report) sheele hau't in all things else.
    Well, I will poste away for Cambria:
    Within these few dayes I hope to be there, Exit.
    Enter the King and Queene of Gallia, & Mumford.
    King.By this, our father vnderstands our mind,
    1810And our kind greetings sent to him of late:
    Therefore my mind presageth ere't be long,
    We shall receyue from Brittayne happy newes.
    Cord. I feare, my sister will disswade his mind;
    For she to me hath always bin vnkind.
    1815King. Feare not, my loue, since that we know the worst,
    The last meanes helpes, if that we misse the first:
    If hee'le not come to Gallia vnto vs,
    Then we will sayle to Brittayne vnto him.
    Mum. Well,
    and his three daughters.
    Mum. Well, if I once see Brittayne agayne,
    1820I haue sworne, ile ne're come home without my wench,
    And ile not be forsworne,
    Ile rather neuer come home while I liue.
    Cor. Are you sure, Mumford, she is a mayd still?
    Mum. Nay, ile not sweare she is a mayd, but she goes for one:
    1825Ile take her at all aduentures, if I can get her.
    Cord. I, that's well put in.
    Mum.Well put in? nay, it was ill put in; for had it
    Bin as well put in, as ere I put in, in my dayes,
    I would haue made her follow me to Fraunce.
    1830Cor. Nay, you'd haue bin so kind, as take her with you,
    Or else, were I as she,
    I would haue bin so louing, as ide stay behind you:
    Yet I must confesse, you are a very proper man,
    And able to make a wench do more then she would do.
    1835Mum. Well, I haue a payre of slops for the nonce,
    Will hold all your mocks.
    King. Nay, we see you haue a hansome hose.
    Cor. I, and of the newest fashion.
    Mum. More bobs, more: put them in still,
    1840They'l serue instead of bumbast, yet put not in too many,
    lest the seames crack and they fly out amongst you againe:
    you must not think to outface me so easly in my mistris quarrel,
    who if I see once agayne, ten teame of horses shall
    not draw me away, till I haue full and whole possession.
    1845King. I, but one teame and a cart will serue the turne.
    Cor.Not only for him, but also for his wench.
    Mum. Well, you are two to one, ile giue you ouer:
    And since I see you so pleasantly disposed,
    Which indeed is but seldome seene, ile clayme
    1850A promise of you, which you shall not deny me:
    For promise is debt, & by this hand you promisd it me.
    Therefore you owe it me, and you shall pay it me,
    Or ile sue you vpon an action of vnkindnesse.
    King. Prithy, Lord Mumford, what promise did I make thee?
    1855Mum. Fayth, nothing but this,
    That the next fayre weather, which is very now,
    G2 You
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    You would go in progresse downe to the sea side,
    Which is very neere.
    King. Fayth, in this motion I will ioyne with thee,
    1860And be a mediator to my Queene.
    Prithy, my Loue, let this match go forward,
    My mind foretels, 'twill be a lucky voyage.
    Cor. Entreaty needs not, where you may cōmaund,
    So you be pleasde, I am right well content:
    1865Yet, as the Sea I much desire to see;
    So am I most vnwilling to be seene.
    King. Weele go disguised, all vnknowne to any.
    Cor. Howsoeuer you make one, ile make another.
    Mum. And I the third: oh, I am ouer-ioyed!
    1870See what loue is, which getteth with a word,
    What all the world besides could ne're obtayne!
    But what disguises shall we haue, my Lord?
    King. Fayth thus: my Queene & I wil be disguisde,
    Like a playne country couple, and you shall be Roger
    1875Our man, and wayt vpon vs: or if you will,
    You shall go first, and we will wayt on you.
    Mum. 'Twere more then time; this deuice is excellent.
    Come let vs about it. Exeunt.
    Enter Cambria and Ragan, with Nobles.
    1880Cam. What strange mischance or vnexpected hap
    Hath thus depriu'd vs of our fathers presence?
    Can no man tell vs what's become of him,
    With whom we did conuerse not two dayes since?
    My Lords, let euery where light-horse be sent,
    1885To scoure about through all our Regiment.
    Dispatch a Poste immediately to Cornwall,
    To see if any newes be of him there;
    My selfe will make a strickt inquiry here,
    And all about our Cities neere at hand,
    1890Till certayne newes of his abode be brought.
    Rag. All sorrow is but counterfet to mine,
    Whose lips are almost sealed vp with griefe:
    Mine is the substance, whilst they do but seeme
    To weepe the lesse, which teares cannot redeeme.
    and his three daughters.
    1895O, ne're was heard so strange a misaduenture,
    A thing so far beyond the reach of sence,
    Since no mans reason in the cause can enter.
    What hath remou'd my father thus from hence?
    O, I do feare some charme or inuocation
    1900Of wicked spirits, or infernall fiends,
    Stird by Cordella, moues this innouation,
    And brings my father timelesse to his end.
    But might I know, that the detested Witch
    Were certayne cause of this vncertayne ill,
    1905My selfe to Fraunce would go in some disguise,
    And with these nayles scratch out her hatefull eyes:
    For since I am depriued of my father,
    I loath my life, and wish my death the rather.
    Cam.The heauens are iust, and hate impiety,
    1910And will (no doubt) reueale such haynous crimes:
    Censure not any, till you know the right:
    Let him be Iudge, that bringeth truth to light.
    Ra. O, but my griefe, like to a swelling tyde,
    Exceeds the bounds of common patience:
    1915Nor can I moderate my toung so much,
    To conceale them, whom I hold in suspect.
    Cam. This matter shall be sifted: if it be she,
    A thousand Fraunces shall not harbour her.
    Enter the Gallian Ambassador.
    1920Am. All happinesse vnto the Cambrian King.
    Cam.Welcom, my friend, from whence is thy Ambassage?
    Am.I came from Gallia, vnto Cornwall sent,
    With letters to your honourable father,
    Whom there not finding, as I did expect,
    1925I was directed hither to repayre.
    Rag. Frenchman, what is thy message to my father?
    Am.My letters, Madam, will import the same,
    Which my Commission is for to deliuer.
    Ra. In his absence you may trust vs with your letters.
    1930Am. I must performe my charge in such a maner,
    As I haue strict commaundement from the King.
    Ra. There is good packing twixt your King and you:
    G3 You
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    You need not hither come to aske for him,
    You know where he is better then our selues.
    1935Am. Madam, I hope, not far off.
    Ra. Hath the young murdresse, your outragious Queen,
    No meanes to colour her detested deeds,
    In finishing my guiltlesse fathers dayes,
    (Because he gaue her nothing to her dowre)
    1940But by the colour of a fayn'd Ambassage,
    To send him letters hither to our Court?
    Go carry them to them that sent them hither,
    And bid them keepe their scroules vnto themselues:
    They cannot blind vs with such slight excuse,
    1945To smother vp so monstrous vild abuse.
    And were it not, it is 'gainst law of Armes,
    To offer violence to a Messenger,
    We would inflict such torments on thy selfe,
    As should inforce thee to reueale the truth.
    1950Am. Madam, your threats no whit apall my mind,
    I know my conscience guiltlesse of this act;
    My King and Queene, I dare be sworne, are free
    From any thought of such impiety:
    And therefore, Madam, you haue done them wrong,
    1955And ill beseeming with a sisters loue,
    Who in meere duty tender him as much,
    As euer you respected him for dowre.
    The King your husband will not say as much.
    Cam. I will suspend my iudgement for a time,
    1960Till more apparance giue vs further light:
    Yet to be playne, your comming doth inforce
    A great suspicion to our doubtful mind,
    And that you do resemble, to be briefe,
    Him that first robs, and then cries, Stop the theefe.
    1965Am. Pray God some neere you haue not done the like.
    Rag. Hence, saucy mate, reply no more to vs; She strikeshim.
    For law of Armes shall not protect thy toung.
    Am. Ne're was I offred such discourtesy;
    God and my King, I trust, ere it be long,
    1970Will find a meane to remedy this wrong, Exit Amb.
    Rag. How
    and his three daughters.
    Rag.How shall I liue, to suffer this disgrace,
    At euery base and vulgar peasants hands?
    It ill befitteth my imperiall state,
    To be thus vsde, and no man take my part. Shee weeps.
    1975Cam.What should I do? infringe the law of Armes,
    Were to my euerlasting obloquy:
    But I will take reuenge vpon his master,
    Which sent him hither, to delude vs thus.
    Rag. Nay, if you put vp this, be sure, ere long,
    1980Now that my father thus is made away,
    Sheele come & clayme a third part of your Crowne,
    As due vnto her by inheritance.
    Cam. But I will proue her title to be nought
    But shame, and the reward of Parricide,
    1985And make her an example to the world,
    For after-ages to admire her penance.
    This will I do, as I am Cambriaes King,
    Or lose my life, to prosecute reuenge.
    Come, first let's learne what newes is of our father,
    1990And then proceed, as best occasion fits. Exeunt.
    Enter Leir, Perillus, and two Marriners, in sea-
    gownes and sea-caps.
    Per. My honest friends, we are asham'd to shew
    The great extremity of our present state,
    1995In that at this time we are brought so low,
    That we want money for to pay our passage.
    The truth is so, we met with some good fellowes,
    A little before we came aboord your ship,
    Which stript vs quite of all the coyne we had,
    2000And left vs not a penny in our purses:
    Yet wanting mony, we will vse the meane,
    To see you satisfied to the vttermost. Looke on Leir.
    1. Mar. Heres a good gown, 'twould become me passing wel,
    I should be fine in it. Looke on Perillus.
    20052 Mar. Heres a good cloke, I maruel how I should look in it.
    Leir. Fayth, had we others to supply their roome,
    Though ne'erso meane, you willingly should haue them.
    1. Mar. Do you heare, sir? you looke like an honest man;
    G4 Ile
    The History of King Leir
    Ile not stand to do you a pleasure: here's a good strōg motly ga-
    2010berdine, cost me xiiij. good shillings at Billinsgate, giue me your
    gowne for it, & your cap for mine, & ile forgiue your passage.
    Leir.With al my heart, and xx. thanks. Leir & he changeth.
    2. Mar. Do you heare, sir? you shal haue a better match thē he,
    because you are my friend: here is a good sheeps russet sea-
    2015gowne, wil bide more stresse, I warrant you, then two of his, yet
    for you seem to be an honest gentleman, I am content to chāge
    it for your cloke, and aske you nothing for your passage more.
    Pull off Perillus cloke.
    Per. My owne I willingly would change with thee,
    2020And think my selfe indebted to thy kindnesse:
    But would my friend might keepe his garment still.
    My friend, ile giue thee this new dublet, if thou wilt
    Restore his gowne vnto him back agayne.
    1. Mar. Nay, if I do, would I might ne're eate powderd beefe
    2025and mustard more, nor drink Can of good liquor whilst I liue.
    My friend, you haue small reason to seeke to hinder me of my
    bargaine: but the best is, a bargayne's a bargayne.
    Leir. Kind friend, it is much better as it is; Leir to Perillus.
    For by this meanes we may escape vnknowne.
    2030Till time and opportunity do fit.
    2. Mar. Hark, hark, they are laying their heads together,
    Theile repent them of their bargayne anon,
    'Twere best for vs to go while we are well.
    1. Mar. God be with you, sir, for your passage back agayne,
    2035Ile vse you as vnreasonable as another.
    Leir. I know thou wilt; but we hope to bring ready money
    With vs, when we come back agayne. Exeunt Mariners.
    Were euer men in this extremity,
    In a strange country, and deuoyd of friends,
    2040And not a penny for to helpe our selues?
    Kind, friend, what thinkst thou will become of vs?
    Per. Be of good cheere, my Lord, I haue a dublet,
    Will yeeld vs mony ynough to serue our turnes,
    Vntill we come vnto your daughters Court:
    2045And then, I hope, we shall find friends ynough.
    Leir. Ah, kind Perillus, that is it I feare,
    and his three daughters.
    And makes me faynt, or euer I come there.
    Can kindnesse spring out of ingratitude?
    Or loue be reapt, where hatred hath bin sowne?
    2050Can Henbane ioyne in league with Methridate?
    Or Sugar grow in Wormwoods bitter stalke?
    It cannot be, they are too opposi}te
    And so am I to any kindnesse here.
    I haue throwne Wormwood on the sugred youth,
    2055And like to Henbane poysoned the Fount,
    Whence flowed the Methridate of a childs goodwil:
    I, like an enuious thorne, haue prickt the heart,
    And turnd sweet Grapes, to sowre vnrelisht Sloes:
    The causelesse ire of my respectlesse brest,
    2060Hath sowrd the sweet milk of dame Natures paps:
    My bitter words haue gauld her hony thoughts,
    And weeds of rancour chokt the flower of grace.
    Then what remainder is of any hope,
    But all our fortunes will go quite aslope?
    2065Per. Feare not, my Lord, the perfit good indeed,
    Can neuer be corrupted by the bad:
    A new fresh vessell still retaynes the taste
    Of that which first is powr'd into the same:
    And therfore, though you name yourselfe the thorn,
    2070The weed, the gall, the henbane & the wormewood;
    Yet sheele continue in her former state,
    The hony, milke, Grape, Sugar, Methridate.
    Leir. Thou pleasi}ng Orator vnto me in wo,
    Cease to beguile me with thy hopefull speaches:
    2075O ioyne with me, and thinke of nought but crosses,
    And then weele one lament anothers losses.
    Per. Why, say the worst, the worst can be but death,
    And death is better then for to despaire:
    Then hazzard death, which may conuert to life;
    2080Banish despaire, which brings a thousand deathes.
    Leir. Orecome with thy strong arguments, I yeeld,
    To be directed by thee, as thou wilt;
    As thou yeeldst comfort to my crazed thoughts,
    Would I could yeeld the like vnto thy body,
    2085Which is full weake, I know, and ill apayd,
    H For
    The History of King Leir
    For want of fresh meat and due sustenance.
    Per. Alack, my Lord, my heart doth bleed, to think
    That you should be in such extremity.
    Leir. Come, let vs go, and see what God will send;
    2090When all meanes faile, he is the surest friend. Exeunt.
    Enter the Gallian King and Queene, and Mumford, with a
    basket, disguised like Countrey folke.
    King. This tedious iourney all on foot, sweet Loue,
    Cannot be pleasing to your tender ioynts,
    2095Which ne're were vsed to these toylesome walks.
    Cord. I neuer in my life tooke more delight
    In any iourney, then I do in this:
    It did me good, when as we hapt to light
    Amongst the merry crue of country folke,
    2100To see what industry and paynes they tooke,
    To win them commendations 'mongst their friends.
    Lord, how they labour to bestir themselues,
    And in their quirks to go beyond the Moone,
    And so take on them with such antike fits,
    2105That one would think they were beside their wits!
    Come away, Roger, with your basket.
    Mum. Soft, Dame, here comes a couple of old youthes,
    I must needs make my selfe fat with iesting at them.
    Cor. Nay, prithy do not, they do seeme to be
    Enter Leir
    & Perillus
    very faintly.
    2110Men much o'regone with griefe and misery.
    Let's stand aside, and harken what they say.
    Leir. Ah, my Perillus, now I see we both
    Shall end our dayes in this vnfruitfull soyle.
    Oh, I do faint for want of sustenance:
    2115And thou, I know, in little better case.
    No gentle tree affords one taste of fruit,
    To comfort vs, vntill we meet with men:
    No lucky path conducts our lucklesse steps
    Vnto a place where any comfort dwels.
    2120Sweet rest betyde vnto our happy soules;
    For here I see our bodies must haue end.
    Per. Ah, my deare Lord, how doth my heart lament,
    To see you brought to this extremity!
    O, if you loue me, as you do professe,
    and his three daughters.
    2125Or euer thought well of me in my life, He strips up his arme.
    Feed on this flesh, whose veynes are not so dry,
    But there is vertue left to comfort you.
    O, feed on this, if this will do you good
    Ile smile for ioy, to see you suck my bloud.
    2130Leir. I am no Caniball, that I should delight
    To slake my hungry iawes with humane flesh:
    I am no deuill, or ten times worse then so,
    To suck the bloud of such a peerelesse friend.
    O, do not think that I respect my life
    2135So dearely, as I do thy loyall loue.
    Ah, Brittayne, I shall neuer see thee more,
    That hast vnkindly banished thy King:
    And yet not thou dost make me to complayne,
    But they which were more neere to me then thou.
    2140Cor. What do I heare? this lamentable voyce,
    Me thinks, ere now I oftentimes haue heard.
    Leir. Ah, Gonorill, was halfe my Kingdomes gift
    The cause that thou didst seeke to haue my life?
    Ah, cruell Ragan, did I giue thee all,
    2145And all could not suffice without my bloud?
    Ah, poore Cordella, did I giue thee nought,
    Nor neuer shall be able for to giue?
    O, let me warne all ages that insueth,
    How they trust flattery, and reiect the trueth.
    2150Well, vnkind Girles, I here forgiue you both,
    Yet the iust heauens will hardly do the like;
    And only craue forgiuenesse at the end
    Of good Cordella, and of thee, my friend;
    Of God, whose Maiesty I haue offended,
    2155By my transgression many thousand wayes:
    Of her, deare heart, whom I for no occasion
    Turn'd out of all, through flatters persuasion:
    Of thee, kind friend, who but for me, I know,
    Hadst neuer come vnto this place of wo.
    2160Cor. Alack, that euer I should liue to see
    My noble father in this misery.
    King. Sweet Loue, reueale not what thou art as yet,
    Vntill we know the ground of all this ill.
    H2 Cor. O,
    The History of King Leir
    Cor.O, but some meat, some meat: do you not see,
    2165How neere they are to death for want of food?
    Per.Lord, which didst help thy seruants at their need,
    Or now or neuer send vs helpe with speed.
    Oh, comfort, comfort! yonder is a banquet,
    And men and women, my Lord: be of good cheare;
    2170For I see comfort comming very neere.
    O my Lord, a banquet, and men and women!
    Leir. O, let kind pity mollify their hearts,
    That they may helpe vs in our great extreames.
    Per.God saue you, friends; & if this blessed banquet
    2175Affordeth any food or sustenance,
    Euen for his sake that saued vs all from death,
    Vouchsafe to saue vs from the gripe of famine. She bringeth him to the table
    Cor. Here father, sit and eat, here, sit & drink:
    And would it were far better for your sakes.
    2180Perillus takes Leir by the hand to the table.
    Per. Ile giue you thanks anon: my friend doth faynt,
    And needeth present comfort. Leir drinks.
    Mum. I warrant, he ne're stayes to say grace:
    O, theres no sauce to a good stomake.
    2185Per.The ble}}d God of heauen hath thought vpon vs.
    Leir. The thanks be his, and these kind courteous folke,
    By whose humanity we are preserued. They eat hungerly, Leirdrinkes.
    Cor.And may that draugh tbe vnto him, as was
    That which old Eson dranke, which did renue
    2190His withered age, and made him young againe.
    And may that meat be vnto him, as was
    That which Elias ate, in strength whereof
    He walked fourty dayes, and neuer faynted.
    Shall I conceale me longer from my father?
    2195Or shall I manifest my selfe to him?
    King. Forbeare a while, vntill his strength returne,
    Lest being ouer ioyed with seeing thee,
    His poore weake sences should forsake their office,
    And so our cause of ioy be turnd to sorrow.
    2200Per.What chere, my Lord? how do you feele your selfe?
    Leir. Me thinks, I neuer ate such sauory meat:
    It is as pleasant as the blessed Manna,
    and his three daughters.
    That raynd from heauen amongst the Israelites:
    It hath recall'd my spirits home agayne,
    2205And made me fresh, as earst I was before.
    But how shall we congratulate their kindnesse?
    Per. Infayth, I know not how sufficiently;
    But the best meane that I can think on, is this:
    Ile offer them my dublet in requitall;
    2210For we haue nothing else to spare.
    Leir. Nay, stay, Perillus, for they shall haue mine.
    Per. Pardon, my Lord, I sweare they shall haue mine.
    Perillus proffers his dublet: they will not take it.
    Leir. Ah, who would think such kindnes should remayne
    2215Among such strange and vnacquainted men:
    And that such hate should harbour in the brest
    Of those, which haue occasion to be best?
    Cor. Ah, good old father, tell to me thy griefe,
    Ile sorrow with thee, if not adde reliefe.
    2220Leir. Ah, good young daughter, I may call thee so;
    For thou art like a daughter I did owe.
    Cor. Do you not owe her still? what, is she dead?
    Leir. No, God forbid: but all my interest's gone,
    By shewing my selfe too much vnnaturall:
    2225So haue I lost the title of a father,
    And may be call'd a stranger to her rather.
    Cor. Your title's good still; for tis alwayes knowne,
    A man may do as him list with his owne.
    But haue you but one daughter then in all?
    2230Leir. Yes, I haue more by two, then would I had.
    Cor. O, say not so, but rather see the end:
    They that are bad, may haue the grace to mend:
    But how haue they offended you so much?
    Leir. If from the first I should relate the cause,
    2235 'Twould make a heart of Adamant to weepe;
    and thou, poore soule, kind-hearted as thou art,
    Dost weepe already, ere I do begin.
    Cor. For Gods loue tell it, and when you haue done,
    Ile tell the reason why I weepe so soone.
    2240Leir. Then know this first, I am a Brittayne borne,
    And had three daughters by one louing wife:
    H3 And
    The History of King Leir
    And though I say it, of beauty they were sped;
    Especially the youngest of the three,
    For her perfections hardly matcht could be:
    2245On these I doted with a ielous loue,
    And thought to try which of them lou'd me best,
    By asking them, which would do most for me?
    The first and second flattred me with words,
    And vowd they lou'd me better then their liues:
    2250The youngest sayd, she loued me as a child
    Might dō: her answere I esteem'd most vild,
    And presently in an outragious mood,
    I turned her from me to go sinke or swym:
    And all I had, euen to the very clothes,
    2255I gaue in dowry with the other two:
    And she that best deseru'd the greatest share,
    I gaue her nothing, but disgrace and care.
    Now mark the sequell: When I had done thus,
    I soiournd in my eldest daughters house,
    2260Where for a time I was intreated well,
    And liu'd in state sufficing my content:
    But euery day her kindnesse did grow cold,
    Which I with patience put vp well ynough,
    And seemed not to see the things I saw:
    2265But at the last she grew so far incenst
    With moody fury, and with causlesse hate,
    That in most vild and contumelious termes,
    She bade me pack, and harbour somewhere else.
    Then was I fayne for refuge to repayre
    2270Vnto my other daughter for reliefe,
    Who gaue me pleasing and most courteous words;
    But in her actions shewed her selfe so sore,
    As neuer any daughter did before:
    She prayd me in a morning out betime,
    2275To go to a thicket two miles from the Court,
    Poynting that there she would come talke with me:
    There she had set a shaghayrd murdring wretch,
    To massacre my honest friend and me.
    Then iudge your selfe, although my tale be briefe,
    2280If euer man had greater cause of griefe.
    King. Nor
    and his three daughters.
    King. Nor neuer like impiety was done,
    Since the creation of the world begun.
    Leir. And now I am constraind to seeke reliefe
    Of her, to whom I haue bin so vnkind;
    2285Whose censure, if it do award me death,
    I must confesse she payes me but my due:
    But if she shew a louing daughters part,
    It comes of God and her, not my desert.
    Cor. No doubt she will, I dare be sworne she will.
    2290Leir. How know you that, not knowing what she is?
    Cor. My selfe a father haue a great way hence,
    Vsde me as ill as euer you did her;
    Yet, that his reuerend age I once might see,
    Ide creepe along, to meet him on my knee.
    2295Leir. O, no mens children are vnkind but mine.
    Cor. Condemne not all, because of others crime:
    But looke, deare father, looke, behold and see
    Thy louing daughter speaketh vnto thee. She kneeles.
    Leir. O, stand thou vp, it is my part to kneele,
    2300And aske forgiuenesse for my former faults. he kneeles.
    Cor. O, if you wish I should inioy my breath,
    Deare father rise, or I receiue my death. he riseth.
    Leir. Then I will rise, to satisfy your mind,
    But kneele againe, til pardon be resignd. he kneeles.
    2305Cor. I pardon you: the word beseemes not me:
    But I do say so, for to ease your knee.
    You gaue me life, you were the cause that I
    Am what I am, who else had neuer bin.
    Leir. But you gaue life to me and to my friend,
    2310Whose dayes had else, had an vntimely end.
    Cor. You brought me vp, when as I was but young,
    And far vnable for to helpe my selfe.
    Leir. I cast thee forth, when as thou wast but young,
    And far vnable for to helpe thy selfe.
    2315Cor. God, world and nature say I do you wrong,
    That can indure to see you kneele so long.
    King. Let me breake off this louing controuersy,
    Which doth reioyce my very soule to see.
    Good father, rise, she is your louing daughter, He riseth.
    H4 And
    The History of King Leir
    2320And honours you with as respectiue duty,
    As if you were the Monarch of the world.
    Cor. But I will neuer rise from off my knee, She kneeles.
    Vntill I haue your blessing, and your pardon
    Of all my faults committed any way,
    2325From my first birth vnto this present day.
    Leir. The blessing, which the God of Abraham gaue
    Vnto the trybe of Iuda, light on thee,
    And multiply thy dayes, that thou mayst see
    Thy childrens children prosper after thee.
    2330Thy faults, which are iust none that I do know,
    God pardon on high, and I forgiue below. she riseth.
    Cor. Now is my heart at quiet, and doth leape
    Within my brest, for ioy of this good hap:
    And now (deare father) welcome to our Court,
    2335And welcome (kind Perillus) vnto me,
    Myrrour of vertue and true honesty.
    Leir. O, he hath bin the kindest friend to me,
    That euer man had in aduersity.
    Per. My toung doth faile, to say what heart doth think,
    2340I am so rauisht with exceeding ioy.
    King. All you haue spoke: now let me speak my mind,
    And in few words much matter here conclude: he kneeles.
    If ere my heart do harbour any ioy,
    Or true content repose within my brest,
    2345Till I haue rooted out this viperous sect,
    And repossest my father of his Crowne,
    Let me be counted for the periurdst man,
    That euer spake word since the world began. rise.
    Mum. Let me pray to, that neuer pray'd before; Mumfordkneeles.
    2350If ere I resalute the Brittish earth,
    (As (ere't be long) I do presume I shall)
    And do returne from thence without my wench,
    Let me be gelded for my recompence. rise.
    King. Come, let's to armes for to redresse this wrong:
    2355Till I am there, me thinks, the time seemes long. Exeunt.
    Enter Ragan sola.
    Rag. I feele a hell of conscience in my brest,
    Tormenting me with horrour for my fact,
    and his three daughters.
    And makes me in an agony of doubt,
    2360For feare the world should find my dealing out.
    The slaue whom I appoynted for the act,
    I ne're set eye vpon the peasant since:
    O, could I get him for to make him sure,
    My doubts would cease, and I should rest secure.
    2365But if the old men, with perswasiue words,
    Haue sau'd their liues, and made him to relent;
    Then are they fled vnto the Court of Fraunce,
    And like a Trumpet manifest my shame.
    A shame on these white-liuerd slaues, say I,
    2370That with fayre words so soone are ouercome.
    O God, that I had bin but made a man;
    Or that my strength were equall with my will!
    These foolish men are nothing but meere pity,
    And melt as butter doth against the Sun.
    2375Why should they haue preeminence ouer vs,
    Since we are creatures of more braue resolue?
    I sweare, I am quite out of charity
    With all the heartlesse men in Christendome.
    A poxe vpon them, when they are affrayd
    2380To giue a sttab, or slit a paltry Wind-pipe,
    Which are so easy matters to be done.
    Well, had I thought the slaue would serue me so,
    My selfe would haue bin executioner:
    Tis now vndone, and if that it be knowne,
    2385Ile make as good shift as I can for one.
    He that repines at me, how ere it stands,
    'Twere best for him to keepe him from my hands. Exit.
    Sound Drums & Trumpets: Enter the Gallian King,
    Leir, Mumford and the army.
    2390King. Thus haue we brought our army to the sea,
    Whereas our ships are ready to receyue vs:
    The wind stands fayre, and we in foure houres sayle,
    May easily arriue on Brittish shore,
    Where vnexpected we may them surprise,
    2395And gayne a glorious victory with ease.
    Wherefore, my louing Countreymen, resolue,
    Since truth and iustice fighteth on our sides,
    I That
    The History of King Leir
    That we shall march with conquest where we go.
    My selfe will be as forward as the first,
    2400And step by step march with the hardiest wight:
    And not the meanest souldier in our Campe
    Shall be in danger, but ile second him.
    To you, my Lord, we giue the whole commaund
    Of all the army, next vnto our selfe,
    2405Not doubting of you, but you will extend
    Your wonted valour in this needfull case,
    Encouraging the rest to do the like,
    By your approued magnanimity.
    Mum. My Liege, tis needlesse to spur a willing horse,
    2410Thats apt enough to run himselfe to death:
    For here I sweare by that sweet Saints bright eye,
    Which are the starres, which guide me to good hap,
    Eyther to see my old Lord crown'd anew,
    Or in his cause to bid the world adieu.
    2415Leir. Thanks, good lord Mumford, tis more of your good will,
    Then any merit or desert in me.
    Mum. And now to you, my worthy Countrymen,
    Ye valiant race of Genouestan Gawles,
    Surnamed Red-shanks, for your chyualry,
    2420Because you fight vp to the shanks in bloud;
    Shew your selues now to be right Gawles indeed,
    And be so bitter on your enemies,
    That they may say, you are as bitter as Gall.
    Gall them, braue Shot, with your Artillery:
    2425Gall them, braue Halberts, with your sharp point Billes,
    Each in their poynted place, not one, but all,
    Fight for the credit of your selues and Gawle.
    King. Then what should more perswasion need to those,
    That rather wish to deale, then heare of blowes?
    2430Let's to our ships, and if that God permit,
    In foure houres sayle, I hope we shall be there.
    Mum. And in fiue houres more, I make no doubt,
    But we shall bring our wish'd desires about. Exeunt.
    Enter a Captayne of the watch, and two watchmen.
    2435Cap. My honest friends, it is your turne to night,
    To watch in this place, neere about the Beacon,
    and his three daughters.
    And vigilantly haue regard,
    If any fleet of ships passe hitherward:
    Which if you do, your office is to fire
    2440The Beacon presently, and raise the towne. Exit.
    1. Wat. I, I, I, feare nothing; we know our charge, I warrant:
    I haue bin a watchman about this Beacon this xxx. yere, and
    yet I ne're see it stir, but stood as quietly as might be.
    2. Wat.Fayth neighbour,and you'l follow my vice, instead of
    2445watching the Beacon, wee'l go to goodman Gennings, & watch
    a pot of Ale and a rasher of Bacon: and if we do not drink our
    selues drunke, then so; I warrant, the Beacon will see vs when
    we come out agayne.
    1. W.I, but how if some body excuse vs to the Captayne?
    24502. W.Tis no matter, ile proue by good reason that we watch
    the Beacon: asse for example.
    1. W. I hope you do not call me asse by craft, neighbour.
    2. W. No, no, but for example: Say here stands the pot of ale,
    that's the Beacon. 1. W.I, I, tis a very good Beacon.
    24552. W. Well, say here stands your nose, that's the fire.
    1. W. Indeed I must confesse, tis somewhat red.
    2. W. I see come marching in a dish, halfe a score pieces of salt
    Bacon. 1. W. I vnderstand your meaning, that's as much to say,
    half a score ships. 2. W. True, you conster right; presently, like
    2460a faithfull watchman, I fire the Beacon, and call vp the towne.
    1. W.I, thats as much as to say, you set your nose to the pot, and
    drink vp the drink. 2. W. You are in the right; come, let's go
    fire the Beacon. Exeunt.
    Enter the King of Gallia with a stil march, Mumford & soldiers.
    2465King. Now march our ensignes on the Brittish earth,
    And we are neere approching to the towne:
    Then looke about you, valiant Countrymen,
    And we shall finish this exployt with ease.
    Th'inhabitants of this mistrustfull place,
    2470Are dead asleep, as men that are secure:
    Here shall we skirmish but with naked men,
    Deuoyd of sence, new waked from a dreame,
    That know not what our comming doth pretend,
    Till they do feele our meaning on their skinnes:
    2475Therefore assaile: God and our right for vs. Exeunt.
    I2 Alarum,
    The History of King Leir
    Alarum, with men and women halfe naked:
    Enter two
    Captaynes without dublets, with swords.
    1. Cap. Where are these villaines that were set to watch,
    and fire the Beacon, if occasion seru'd,
    2480That thus haue suffred vs to be surprisde,
    And neuer giuen notice to the towne?
    We are betrayd, and quite deuoyd of hope,
    By any meanes to fortify our selues.
    2. Cap. Tis ten to one the peasants are o'recome with drinke
    2485and sleep, and so neglect their charge.
    1. Cap. A whirl-wind carry them quick to a whirl-poole,
    that there the slaues may drinke their bellies full.
    2. Cap. This tis, to haue the Beacon so neere the Ale-house.
    Enter the watchmen drunke, with each a pot.
    24901. Cap. Out on ye, villaynes, whither run you now?
    1. Wat. To fire the towne, and call vp the Beacon.
    2. Wat.No, no, sir, to fire the Beacon. He drinkes.
    2. Cap. What, with a pot of ale, you drunken Rogues?
    1. Cap. You'l fire the Beacon, when the towne is lost:
    2495Ile teach you how to tend your office better. draw to stab them.
    Enter Mumford, Captaynes run away.
    Mum. Yeeld, yeeld, yeeld. He kicks downe their pots.
    1. Wat. Reele? no, we do not reele:
    You may lacke a pot of Ale ere you dye.
    2500Mum. But in meane space, I answer, you want none.
    Wel, theres no dealing with you, y'are tall men, & wel weapōd,
    I would there were no worse then you in the towne. Exit.
    2. Wat. A speaks like an honest man, my cholers past already.
    Come, neighbour, let's go.
    25051. Wat. Nay, first let's see and we can stand. Exeunt.
    Alarum, excursions, Mumford after them, and some halfe naked.
    Enter the Gallian King, Leir, Mumford, Cordella, Perillus, and soul-
    diers, with the chiefe of the towne bound.
    King. Feare not, my friends, you shall receyue no hurt,
    2510If you'l subscribe vnto your lawfull King,
    And quite reuoke your fealty from Cambria,
    And from aspiring Cornwall too, whose wiues
    Haue practisde treason 'gainst their fathers life.
    Wee come in iustice of your wronged King,
    and his three daughters.
    2515And do intend no harme at all to you,
    So you submit vnto your lawfull King.
    Leir. Kind Countrymen, it grieues me, that perforce,
    I am constraind to vse extremities.
    Noble. Long haue you here bin lookt for, good my Lord,
    2520And wish'd for by a generall consent:
    And had we known your Highnesse had arriued,
    We had not made resistance to your Grace:
    And now, my gracious Lord, you need not doubt,
    But all the Country will yeeld presently,
    2525Which since your absence haue bin greatly tax'd,
    For to maintayne their ouerswelling pride.
    Weele presently send word to all our friends;
    When they haue notice, they will come apace.
    Leir. Thanks, louing subiects; and thanks, worthy son,
    2530Thanks, my kind daughter, thanks to you, my Lord,
    Who willingly aduentured haue your blood,
    (Without desert) to do me so much good.
    Mum. O, say not so:
    I haue bin much beholding to your Grace:
    2535I must confesse, I haue bin in some skirmishes,
    But I was neuer in the like to this:
    For where I was wont to meet with armed men,
    I was now incountred with naked women.
    Cord.We that are feeble, and want vse of Armes,
    2540Will pray to God, to sheeld you from all harmes.
    Leir. The while your hands do manage ceaselesse toyle,
    Our hearts shall pray, the foes may haue the foyle.
    Per.Weele fast and pray, whilst you for vs do fight,
    That victory may prosecute the right.
    2545King.Me thinks, your words do amplify (my friends)
    And adde fresh vigor to my willing limmes: Drum.
    But harke, I heare the aduerse Drum approch.
    God and our right, Saint Denis, and Saint George.
    Enter Cornwall, Cambria, Gonorill, Ragan, and the army.
    2550Corn.Presumptuous King of Gawles, how darest thou
    Presume to enter on our Brittish shore?
    And more then that, to take our townes perforce,
    And draw our subiects hearts from their true King?
    I3 Be
    The History of King Leir
    Be sute to buy it at as deare a price,
    2555As ere you bought presumption in your liues.
    King. Ore-daring Cornwall, know, we came in right,
    And iust reuengement of the wronged King,
    Whose daughters there, fell vipers as they are,
    Haue sought to murder and depriue of life:
    2560But God protected him from all their spight,
    And we are come in iustice of his right.
    Cam. Nor he nor thou haue any interest here,
    But what you win and purchase with the sword.
    Thy slaunders to our noble vertuous Queenes,
    2565Wee'l in the battell thrust them down thy throte,
    Except for feare of our reuenging hands,
    Thou flye to sea, as not secure on lands.
    Mum.Welshman, ile so ferrit you ere night for that word,
    That you shall haue no mind to crake so wel this tweluemonth.
    2570 Gon. They lye, that say, we sought our fathers death.
    Rag. Tis meerely forged for a colours sake,
    To set a glosse on your inuasion.
    Me thinks, an old man ready for to dye,
    Should be asham'd to broache so foule a lye.
    2575Cord.Fy, shamelesse sister, so deuoyd of grace,
    To call our father lyer to his face.
    Gon. Peace (Puritan) dissembling hypocrite,
    Which art so good, that thou wilt proue stark naught:
    Anon, when as I haue you in my fingers,
    2580Ile make you wish your selfe in Purgatory.
    Per. Nay, peace thou monster, shame vnto thy sexe:
    Thou fiend in likenesse of a humane creature.
    Rag. I neuer heard a fouler spoken man.
    Leir. Out on thee, viper, scum, filthy parricide,
    2585More odious to my sight then is a Toade.
    Knowest thou these letters? She snatches them & teares them.
    Rag. Think you to outface me with your paltry scrowles?
    You come to driue my husband from his right,
    Vnder the colour of a forged letter.
    2590Leir. Who euer heard the like impiety?
    Per. You are our debtour of more patience:
    We were more patient when we stayd for you,
    and his three daughters.
    Within the thicket two long houres and more.
    Rag.What houres? what thicket?
    2595Per. There, where you sent your seruant with your letters,
    Seald with your hand, to send vs both to heauen,
    Where, as I thinke, you neuer meane to come.
    Raga. Alas, you are growne a child agayne with age,
    Or else your sences dote for want of sleepe.
    2600Per. Indeed you made vs rise betimes, you know,
    Yet had a care we should sleepe where you bade vs stay,
    But neuer wake more till the latter day.
    Gon. Peace, peace, old fellow, thou art sleepy still.
    Mum. Fayth, and if you reason till to morrow,
    2605You get no other answere at their hands.
    Tis pitty two such good faces
    Should haue so little grace betweene them.
    Well, let vs see if their husbands with their hands,
    Can do as much, as they do with their toungs.
    2610Cam. I, with their swords they'l make your toung vnsay
    What they haue sayd, or else they'l cut them out.
    King. Too't, gallants, too't, let's not stand brawling thus.
    Exeunt both armyes.
    Sound alarum: excursions. Mumford must chase Cambria
    2615away : then cease. Enter Cornwall.
    Corn.The day is lost, our friends do all reuolt,
    And ioyne against vs with the aduerse part:
    There is meanes of safety but by flight,
    And therefore ile to Cornwall with my Queene. Exit.
    2620Enter Cambria.
    Cam.I thinke, there is a deuill in the Campe hath haunted
    me to day: he hath so tyred me, that in a maner I can fight no
    more. Enter Mumford.
    Zounds, here he comes, Ile take me to my horse. Exit.
    2625Mumford followes him to the dore, and returnes.
    Mum.Farewell (Welshman) giue thee but thy due,
    Thou hast a light and nimble payre of legs:
    Thou art more in debt to them then to thy hands:
    But if I meet thee once agayne to day,
    2630Ile cut them off, and set them to a better heart. Exit.
    I4 Alarums
    The History of King Leir
    Alarums and excursions, then sound victory. Enter Leir, Peril-
    lus, King, Cordella, and Mumford.
    King. Thanks be to God, your foes are ouercome,
    And you againe possessed of your right.
    2635Leir. First to the heauens, next, thanks to you, my sonne,
    By whose good meanes I repossesse the same:
    Which if it please you to accept your selfe,
    With all my heart I will resigne to you:
    For it is yours by right, and none of mine.
    2640First, haue you raisd, at your owne charge, a power
    Of valiant Souldiers; (this comes all from you)
    Next haue you ventured your owne persons scathe.
    And lastly, (worthy Gallia neuer staynd)
    My kingly title I by thee haue gaynd.
    2645King. Thank heauens, not me, my zeale to you is such,
    Commaund my vtmost, I will neuer grutch.
    Cor. He that with all kind loue intreats his Queene,
    Will not be to her father vnkind seene.
    Leir. Ah, my Cordella, now I call to mind,
    2650The modest answere, which I tooke vnkind:
    But now I see, I am no whit beguild,
    Thou louedst me dearely, and as ought a child.
    And thou (Perillus) partner once in woe,
    Thee to requite, the best I can, ile doe:
    2655Yet all I can, I, were it ne're so much,
    Were not sufficient, thy true loue is such.
    Thanks (worthy Mumford) to thee last of all,
    Not greeted last, 'cause thy desert was small;
    No, thou hast Lion-like layd on to day,
    2660Chasing the Cornwall King and Cambria;
    Who with my daughters, daughters did I say?
    To saue their liues, the fugitiues did play.
    Come sonne and daughter, who did me aduaunce,
    Repose with me awhile, and then for Fraunce.
    2665Sound Drummes and Trumpets.Exeunt.