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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
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    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: