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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
    Some desperate medicine must be soone applyed,
    To dimme the glory of her mounting fame;
    Els ere't be long, sheele haue both prick and praise,
    And we must be set by for working dayes.
    115Doe you not see what seuerall choyce of Suters
    She daily hath, and of the best degree?
    Say, amongst all, she hap to fancy one,
    And haue a husband when as we haue none:
    Why then, by right, to her we must giue place,
    120Though it be ne're so much to our disgrace.
    Gon. By my virginity, rather then she shall haue
    A husband before me,
    Ile marry one or other in his shirt:
    And yet I haue made halfe a graunt already
    125Of my good will vnto the King of Cornwall.
    Ra. Sweare not so deeply (sister) here cōmeth my L. Skalliger:
    Something his hasty comming doth import. Enter Skal.
    Skal. Sweet Princesses, I am glad I met you heere so luckily,
    Hauing good newes which doth concerne you both,
    130And craueth speedy expedition.
    Ra. For Gods sake tell vs what it is, my Lord,
    I am with child vntill you vtter it.
    Skal. Madam, to saue your longing, this it is:
    Your father in great secrecy to day,
    135Told me, he meanes to marry you out of hand,
    Vnto the noble Prince of Cambria;
    You, Madam, to the King of Cornwalls Grace:
    Your yonger sister he would fayne bestow
    Vpon the rich King of Hibernia:
    140But that he doubts, she hardly will consent;
    For hitherto she ne're could fancy him.
    If she do yeeld, why then, betweene you three,
    He will deuide his kingdome for your dowries.
    But yet there is a further mystery,
    145Which, so you will conceale, I will disclose.
    Gon. What e're thou speakst to vs, kind Skalliger,
    Thinke that thou speakst it only to thy selfe.
    Skal. He earnestly desireth for to know,