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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
    All's one to me, I do request but this:
    That as I am, you will accept of me,
    720And I will haue you whatsoe're you be:
    Yet well I know, you come of royall race,
    I see such sparks of honour in your face:
    Mum. Haue Palmers weeds such power to win fayre Ladies?
    Fayth, then I hope the next that falles is myne:
    725Vpon condition I no worse might speed,
    I would for euer weare a Palmers weed.
    I like an honest and playne dealing wench,
    That sweares (without exceptions) I will haue you.
    These foppets, that know not whether to loue a man or no, ex-
    730cept they first go aske their mothers leaue, by this hand, I hate
    them ten tymes worse then poyson.
    King. What resteth then our happinesse to procure?
    Mum. Fayth, go to Church, to make the matter sure.
    King. It shall be so, because the world shall say,
    735King Leirs three daughters were wedded in one day:
    The celebration of this happy chaunce,
    We will deferre, vntill we come to Fraunce.
    Mum. I like the wooing, that's not long a doing.
    Well, for her sake, I know what I know:
    740Ile neuer marry whilest I liue,
    Except I haue one of these Brittish Ladyes,
    My humour is alienated from the mayds of Fraunce. Exeunt.
    Enter Perillus solus.
    Per. The King hath dispossest himselfe of all,
    745Those to aduance, which scarce will giue him thanks:
    His youngest daughter he hath turnd away,
    And no man knowes what is become of her.
    He soiournes now in Cornwall with the eldest,
    Who flattred him, vntill she did obtayne
    750That at his hands, which now she doth possesse:
    And now she sees hee hath no more to giue,
    It grieues her heart to see her father liue.
    Oh, whom should man trust in this wicked age,
    When children thus against their parents rage?
    755But he, the myrrour of mild patience,