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
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    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    The History of King Leir
    See how her colour comes and goes agayne,
    Now red as scarlet, now as pale as ash:
    1175See how she knits her brow, and bytes her lips,
    And stamps, and makes a dumbe shew of disdayne,
    Mixt with reuenge, and violent extreames.
    Here will be more worke and more crownes for me.
    Rag. Alas, poore soule, and hath he vsde her thus?
    1180And is he now come hither, with intent
    To set diuorce betwixt my Lord and me?
    Doth he giue out, that he doth heare report,
    That I do rule my husband as I list,
    And therefore meanes to alter so the case,
    1185That I shall know my Lord to be my head?
    Well, it were best for him to take good heed,
    Or I will make him hop without a head,
    For his presumption, dottard that he is.
    In Cornwall he hath made such mutinies,
    1190First, setting of the King against the Queene;
    Then stirring vp the Commons 'gainst the King;
    That had he there continued any longer,
    He had bin call'd in question for his fact.
    So vpon that occasion thence he fled,
    1195And comes thus slily stealing vnto vs:
    And now already since his coming hither,
    My Lord and he are growne in such a league,
    That I can haue no conference with his Grace:
    I feare, he doth already intimate
    1200Some forged cauillations 'gainst my state:
    Tis therefore best to cut him off in time,
    Lest slaunderous rumours once abroad disperst,
    It is too late for them to be reuerst.
    Friend, as the tennour of these letters shewes,
    1205My sister puts great confidence in thee.
    Mes. She neuer yet committed trust to me,
    But that (I hope) she found me alwayes faythfull:
    So will I be to any friend of hers,
    That hath occasion to imploy my helpe
    1210Rag. Hast thou the heart to act a stratagem,