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.
    1515But fall asleepe, when you should watch and pray.
    Leir. My friend, thou seemst to be a proper man.
    Mes. Sblood, how the old slaue clawes me by the elbow?
    He thinks, belike, to scape by scraping thus.
    Per. And it may be, are in some need of money.
    1520Mes. That to be false, behold my euidence.
    Shewes his purses.
    Leir. If that I haue will do thee any good,
    I giue it thee, euen with a right good will. Take it.
    Per. Here, take mine too, & wish with all my heart,
    1525To do thee pleasure, it were twice as much.
    Take his, and weygh them both in his hands.
    Mes. Ile none of them, they are too light for me.
    Puts them in his pocket.
    Leir. Why then farewell: and if thou haue occasion
    1530In any thing, to vse me to the Queene,
    'Tis like ynough that I can pleasure thee.
    They proffer to goe.
    Mes. Do you heare, do you heare, sir?
    If I had occasion to use you to the Queene,
    1535Would you do one thing for me I should aske?
    Leir. I, any thing that lyes within my power.
    Here is my hand vpon it, so farewell. Proffer to goe.
    Mes. Heare you sir, heare you? pray, a word with you.
    Me thinks, a comely honest ancient man
    1540Should not dissemble with one for a vantage.
    I know, when I shall come to try this geare,
    You will recant from all that you haue sayd.
    Per. Mistrust not him, but try him when thou wilt:
    He is her father, therefore may do much.
    1545Mes. I know he is, and therefore meane to try him:
    You are his friend too, I must try you both.
    Ambo.Prithy do, prithy do. Proffer to go out.
    Mes.Stay gray-beards then, and proue men of your words:
    The Queene hath tyed me by a solemne othe,
    1550Here in this place to see you both dispatcht:
    Now for the safegard of my conscience,
    Do me the pleasure for to kill your selues:
    F2 So