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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.
    Puts vp all wrongs, and neuer giues reply:
    Yet shames she not in most opprobrious sort,
    To call him foole and doterd to his face,
    And sets her parasites of purpose oft,
    760In scoffing wise to offer him disgrace.
    Oh yron age! O times! O monstrous, vilde,
    When parents are contemned of the child!
    His pension she hath halfe restrain'd from him,
    And will, e're long, the other halfe, I feare:
    765For she thinks nothing is bestowde in vayne,
    But that which doth her fathers life maintayne.
    Trust not alliance; but trust strangers rather,
    Since daughters proue disloyall to the father.
    Well, I will counsell him the best I can:
    770Would I were able to redresse his wrong.
    Yet what I can, vnto my vtmost power,
    He shall be sure of to the latest houre. Exit.
    Enter Gonorill, and Skalliger.
    Gon. I prithy, Skalliger, tell me what thou thinkst:
    775Could any woman of our dignity
    Endure such quips and peremptory taunts,
    As I do daily from my doting father?
    Doth't not suffice that I him keepe of almes,
    Who is not able for to keepe himselfe?
    780But as if he were our better, he should thinke
    To check and snap me vp at euery word.
    I cannot make me a new fashioned gowne,
    And set it forth with more then common cost;
    But his old doting doltish withered wit,
    785Is sure to giue a sencelesse check for it.
    I cannot make a banquet extraordinary,
    To grace my selfe, and spread my name abroad,
    But he, old foole, is captious by and by,
    And sayth, the cost would well suffice for twice.
    790Iudge then, I pray, what reason ist, that I
    Should stand alone charg'd with his vaine expence,
    And that my sister Ragan should go free,
    To whom he gaue as much, as vnto me?
    C4 I prithy,