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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.
    He lets fall the other dagger.
    Per.Oh, happy sight! he meanes to saue my Lord.
    1745The King of heauen continue this good mind.
    Leir. Why stayst thou to do execution?
    Mes. I am as wilfull as you for your life:
    I will not do it, now you do intreat me.
    Per. Ah, now I see thou hast some sparke of grace.
    1750Mes. Beshrew you for it, you haue put it in me:
    The parlosest old men, that ere I heard.
    Well, to be flat, ile not meddle with you:
    Here I found you, and here ile leaue you:
    If any aske you why the case so stands?
    1755Say that your toungs were better then your hands. Exit.Mess.
    Per. Farewell. If euer we together meet,
    It shall go hard, but I will thee regreet.
    Courage, my Lord, the worst is ouerpast;
    Let vs giue thanks to God, and hye vs hence.
    1760Leir. Thou art deceyued; for I am past the best,
    And know not whither for to go from hence:
    Death had bin better welcome vnto me,
    Then longer life to adde more misery.
    Per. It were not good to returne from whence we(came,
    1765Vnto your daughter Ragan back againe.
    Now let vs go to France, vnto Cordella,
    Your youngest daughter, doubtlesse she will succour you.
    Leir. Oh, how can I perswade my selfe of that,
    Since the other two are quite deuoyd of loue;
    1770To whom I was so kind, as that my gifts,
    Might make them loue me, if 'twere nothing else?
    Per. No worldly gifts, but grace from God on hye,
    Doth nourish vertue and true charity.
    Remember well what words Cordella spake,
    1775What time you askt her, how she lou'd your Grace.
    Se sayd, her loue vnto you was as much,
    As ought a child to beare vnto her father.
    Leir. But she did find, my loue was not to her,
    As should a father beare vnto a child.
    1780Per. That makes not her loue to be any lesse,
    G If