QueenʼsMen Editions

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
    I prithy, Skalliger, tell me, if thou know,
    795By any meanes to rid me of this woe.
    Skal.Your many fauours still bestowde on me,
    Binde me in duty to aduise your Grace,
    How you may soonest remedy this ill.
    The large allowance which he hath from you,
    800Is that which makes him so forget himselfe:
    Therefore abbridge it halfe, and you shall see,
    That hauing lesse, he will more thankfull be:
    For why, abundance maketh vs forget
    The fountaynes whence the benefits do spring.
    805Gon. Well, Skalliger, for thy kynd aduice herein,
    I will not be vngratefull, if I liue:
    I haue restrayned halfe his portion already,
    And I will presently restrayne the other,
    That hauing no meanes to releeue himselfe,
    810He may go seeke elsewhere for better helpe. Exit.
    Skal. Go, viperous woman, shame to all thy sexe:
    The heauens, no doubt, will punish thee for this:
    And me a villayne, that to curry fauour,
    Haue giuen the daughter counsell 'gainst the father.
    815But vs the world doth this experience giue,
    That he that cannot flatter, cannot liue. Exit.
    Enter King of Cornwall, Leir, Perillus & Nobles.
    Corn. Father, what ayleth you to be so sad?
    Me thinks, you frollike not as you were wont.
    820Leir. The neerer we do grow vnto our graues,
    The lesse we do delight in worldly ioyes.
    Corn. But if a man can frame himselfe to myrth,
    It is a meane for to prolong his life.
    Leir. Then welcome sorrow, Leirs only friend,
    825Who doth desire his troubled dayes had end.
    Corn. Comfort your selfe, father, here comes your daughter,
    Who much will grieue, I kuow, to see you sad. EnterGonorill.
    Leir. But more doth grieue, I feare, to see me liue.
    Corn. My Gonorill, you come in wished time,
    830To put your father from these pensiue dumps.
    In fayth, I feare that all things go not well.
    Gon. What,