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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.
    And giue a stabbe or two, if need require?
    Mes. I haue a heart compact of Adamant,
    Which neuer knew what melting pitty meant.
    I weigh no more the murdring of a man,
    1215Then I respect the cracking of a Flea,
    When I doe catch her byting on my skin.
    If you will haue your husband or your father,
    Or both of them sent to another world.
    Do but commaund me doo't, it shall be done.
    1220Rag. It is ynough, we make no doubt of thee:
    Meet vs to morrow here, at nyne a clock:
    Meane while, farewell, and drink that for my sake. Exit.
    Mes. I, this is it will make me do the deed:
    Oh, had I euery day such customers,
    1225This were the gainefulst trade in Christendome!
    A purse of gold giu'n for a paltry stabbe!
    Why, heres a wench that longs to haue a stabbe.
    Wel, I could giue it her, and ne're hurt her neither.
    Enter the Gallian King, and Cordella.
    1230King. When will these clouds of sorrow once disperse,
    And smiling ioy tryumph vpon thy brow?
    When will this Scene of sadnesse haue an end,
    And pleasant acts insue, to moue delight?
    When will my louely Queene cease to lament,
    1235And take some comfort to her grieued thoughts?
    If of thy selfe thou daignst to haue no care,
    Yet pitty me, whom thy griefe makes despayre.
    Cor.O, grieue not you, my Lord, you haue no cause;
    Let not my passions moue your mind a whit:
    1240For I am bound by nature, to lament
    For his ill will, that life to me first lent.
    If so the stocke be dryed with disdayne,
    Withered and sere the branch must needes remaine.
    King. But thou are now graft in another stock;
    1245I am the stock, and thou the louely branch:
    And from my root continuall sap shall flow,
    To make thee flourish with perpetuall spring.
    Forget thy father and thy kindred now,
    E2 Since