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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
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    The History of King Leir
    Hath sequestred thy father from our presence,
    That no report can yet be heard of him?
    Some great vnkindnesse hath bin offred him,
    Exceeding far the bounds of patience:
    950Else all the world shall neuer me perswade,
    He would forsake vs without notice made.
    Gon. Alas, my Lord, whom doth it touch so neere,
    Or who hath interest in this griefe, but I,
    Whom sorrow had brought to her longest home,
    955But that I know his qualities so well?
    I know, he is but stolne vpon my sister
    At vnawares, to see her how she fares,
    And spend a little time with her, to note
    How all things goe, and how she likes her choyce:
    960And when occasion serues, heele steale from her,
    And vnawares returne to vs agayne.
    Therefore, my Lord, be frolick, and resolue
    To see my father here agayne e're long.
    Corn. I hope so too; but yet to be more sure,
    965Ile send a Poste immediately to know
    Whether he be arriued there or no. Exit.
    Gon. But I will intercept the Messenger,
    And temper him before he doth depart,
    With sweet perswassions, and with sound rewards,
    970That his reportshhall ratify my speech,
    And make my Lord cease further to inquire.
    If he be not gone to my sisters Court,
    As sure my mind presageth that he is,
    He happely may, by trauelling vnknowne wayes,
    975Fall sicke, and as a common passenger,
    Be dead and buried: would God it were so well;
    For then there were no more to do, but this,
    He went away, and none knowes where he is.
    But say he be in Cambria with the King,
    980And there exclayme against me, as he will:
    I know he is as welcome to my sister,
    As water is into a broken ship.
    Well, after him Ile send such thunderclaps