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About this text

  • 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 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,