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.
    And carry her her fathers latest blessing:
    Withall desire her, that she will forgiue me;
    For I haue wrongd her without any cause.
    1670Now, Lord, receyue me, for I come to thee,
    And dye, I hope, in perfit charity.
    Dispatch, I pray thee, I haue liued too long.
    Mes. I, but you are vnwise, to send an errand
    By him that neuer meaneth to deliuer it:
    1675Why, he must go along with you to heauen:
    It were not good you should go all alone.
    Leir. No doubt, he shal, when by the course of nature,
    He must surrender vp his due to death:
    But that time shall not come, till God permit.
    1680Mes. Nay, presently, to beare you company.
    I haue a Pasport for him in my pocket,
    Already seald, and he must needs ride Poste.
    Shew a bagge of money.
    Leir. The letter which I read, imports not so,
    1685It only toucheth me, no word of him.
    Mess. I, but the Queene commaunds it must be so,
    And I am payd for him, as well as you.
    Per. I, who haue borne you company in life,
    Most willingly will beare a share in death.
    1690It skilleth not for me, my friend, a whit,
    Nor for a hundred such as thou and I.
    Mes. Mary, but it doth, sir, by your leaue; your good dayes
    are past: though it bee no matter for you, tis a matter for me,
    proper men are not so rife.
    1695Per. Oh, but beware, how thou dost lay thy hand
    Vpon the high anoynted of the Lord:
    O, be aduised ere thou dost begin:
    Dispatch me straight, but meddle not with him.
    Leir. Friend, thy commission is to deale with me,
    1700And I am he that hath deserued all:
    The plot was layd to take away my life:
    And here it is, I do intreat thee take it:
    Yet for my sake, and as thou art a man,
    Spare this my friend, that hither with me came:
    F4 I brought