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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)

    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,