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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
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    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,