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)

    and his three daughters.
    Yet to become so prouident a Prince,
    Lose not the title of a louing father:
    75Do not force loue, where fancy cannot dwell,
    Lest streames being stopt, aboue the banks do swell.
    Leir. I am resolu'd, and euen now my mind
    Doth meditate a sudden stratagem,
    To try which of my daughters loues me best:
    80Which till I know, I cannot be in rest.
    This graunted, when they ioyntly shall contend,
    Eche to exceed the other in their loue:
    Then at the vantage will I take Cordella,
    Euen as she doth protest sh}e loues me best,
    85Ile say, Then, daughter, graunt me one request,
    To shew thou louest me as thy sisters doe,
    Accept a husband, whom my selfe will woo.
    This sayd, she cannot well deny my sute,
    Although (poore soule) her sences will be mute:
    90Then will I tryumph in my policy,
    And match her with a King of Brittany.
    Skal. Ile to them before, and bewray your secrecy.
    Per. Thus fathers think their children to beguile,
    And oftentimes themselues do first repent,
    95When heauenly powers do frustrate their intent. Exeunt.
    Enter Gonorill and Ragan.
    Gon.I maruell, Ragan, how you can indure
    To see that proud pert Peat, our youngest sister,
    So slightly to account of vs, her elders,
    100As if we were no better then her selfe!
    We cannot haue a quaynt deuice so soone,
    Or new made fashion, of our choyce inuention;
    But if she like it, she will haue the same,
    Or study newer to exceed vs both.
    105Besides, she is so nice and so demure;
    So sober, courteous, modest, and precise,
    That all the Court hath worke ynough to do,
    To talke how she exceedeth me and you.
    Ra. What should I do? would it were in my power,
    110To find a cure for this contagious ill:
    A3 Some