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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
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    and his three daughters.
    Which of you three do beare most loue to him,
    150And on your loues he so extremely dotes,
    As neuer any did, I thinke, before.
    He presently doth meane to send for you,
    To be resolu'd of this tormenting doubt:
    And looke, whose answere pleaseth him the best,
    155They shall haue most vnto their marriages.
    Ra. O that I had some pleasing Mermayds voyce,
    For to inchaunt his sencelesse sences with!
    Skal. For he supposeth that Cordella will
    (Striuing to go beyond you in her loue)
    160Promise to do what euer he desires:
    Then will he straight enioyne her for his sake,
    The Hibernian King in marriage for to take.
    This is the summe of all I haue to say;
    Which being done, I humbly take my leaue,
    165Not doubting but your wisdomes will foresee,
    What course will best vnto your good agree.
    Gon. Thanks, gentle Skalliger, thy kindnes vndeserued,
    Shall not be vnrequited, if we liue. Exit Skalliger.
    Ra. Now haue we fit occasion offred vs,
    170To be reueng'd vpon her vnperceyu'd.
    Gon. Nay, our reuenge we will inflIct on her,
    Shall be accounted piety in vs:
    I will so flatter with my doting father,
    As he was ne're so flattred in his life.
    175Nay, I will say, that if it be his pleasure,
    To match me to a begger, I will yeeld:
    For why, I know what euer I do say,
    He meanes to match me with the Cornwall King.
    Ra. Ile say the like: for I am well assured;
    180What e're I say to please the old mans mind,
    Who dotes, as if he were a child agayne,
    I shall inioy the noble Cambrian Prince:
    Only, to feed his humour, will suffice, [two illegible letters?]
    To say, I am content with any one
    185Whom heele appoynt me; this will please him more,
    Then e're Apolloes musike pleased Ioue.
    A4 Gon.I