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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.
    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