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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
    Gon. I like thee well, thou hast a good toung.
    Mes. And as bad a toung if it be set on it, as any Oysterwife
    at Billinsgate hath: why, I haue made many of my neighbours
    1025forsake their houses with rayling vpon them, and go dwell else
    where; and so by my meanes houses haue bin good cheape in
    our parish: My toung being well whetted with choller, is more
    sharpe then a Razer of Palerno.
    Gon. O, thou art a fit man for my purpose.
    1030Mes. Commend me not, sweet Queene, before you try me.
    As my deserts are, so do think of me.
    Gon. Well sayd, then this is thy tryall: Instead of carrying
    the Kings letters to my father, carry thou these letters to my
    sister, which contayne matter quite contrary to the other: there
    1035shal she be giuen to vnderstand, that my father hath detracted
    her, giuen out slaundrous speaches against her; and that hee
    hath most intollerably abused me, set my Lord and me at va-
    riance, and made mutinyes amongst the commons.
    These things (although it be not so)
    1040Yet thou must affirme them to be true,
    With othes and protestations as will serue,
    To driue my sister out of loue with him,
    And cause my will accomplished to be.
    This do, thou winst my fauour for euer,
    1045And makest a hye way of preferment to thee
    And all thy friends.
    Mess. It sufficeth, conceyt it is already done:
    I will so toung-whip him, that I will
    Leaue him as bare of credit, as a Poulter
    1050Leaues a Cony, when she pulls off his skin.
    Gon. Yet there is a further matter.
    Mes. I thirst to heare it.
    Gon. If my sister thinketh conuenient, as my letters
    importeth, to make him away, hast thou the heart to
    1055effect it?
    Mess. Few words are best in so small a matter:
    These are but trifles. By this booke I will.
    kisse the paper.