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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.
    1135He cannot speake for weeping: for Gods loue, come.
    Let vs refresh him with some needfull things,
    And at more leysure we may better know,
    Whence springs the ground of this vnlookt for wo.
    Cam. Come, father, e're we any further talke,
    1140You shall refresh you after this weary walk. Exeunt, manet Ragan.
    Rag. Comes he to me with finger in the eye,
    To tell a tale against my sister here?
    Whom I do know, he greatly hath abusde:
    And now like a contentious crafty wretch,
    1145He first begins for to complayne himselfe,
    When as himselfe is in the greatest fault.
    Ile not be partiall in my sisters cause,
    Nor yet beleeue his doting vayne reports:
    Who for a trifle (safely) I dare say,
    1150Vpon a spleene is stolen thence away:
    And here (forsooth) he hopeth to haue harbour,
    And to be moan'd and made on like a child:
    But ere't be long, his comming he shall curse,
    And truely say, he came from bad to worse:
    1155Yet will I make fayre weather, to procure
    Conuenient meanes, and then ile strike it sure. Exit.
    Enter Messenger solus.
    Mes. Now happily I am arriued here,
    Before the stately Palace of the Cambrian King:
    1160If Leir be here safe-seated, and in rest,
    To rowse him from it I will do my best. Enter Ragan.
    Now bags of gold, your vertue is (no doubt)
    To make me in my message bold and stout.
    The King of heauen preserue your Maiesty.
    1165And send your Highnesse euerlasting raigne.
    Ra. Thanks, good my friend; but what imports thy message?
    Mes.Kind greetings from the Cornwall Queene:
    The residue these letters will declare.
    She opens the letters.
    1170Rag. How fares our royall sister?
    Mes. I did leaue her at my parting, in good health.
    She reads the letter, frownes and stamps.
    E See