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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.
    1895O, ne're was heard so strange a misaduenture,
    A thing so far beyond the reach of sence,
    Since no mans reason in the cause can enter.
    What hath remou'd my father thus from hence?
    O, I do feare some charme or inuocation
    1900Of wicked spirits, or infernall fiends,
    Stird by Cordella, moues this innouation,
    And brings my father timelesse to his end.
    But might I know, that the detested Witch
    Were certayne cause of this vncertayne ill,
    1905My selfe to Fraunce would go in some disguise,
    And with these nayles scratch out her hatefull eyes:
    For since I am depriued of my father,
    I loath my life, and wish my death the rather.
    Cam.The heauens are iust, and hate impiety,
    1910And will (no doubt) reueale such haynous crimes:
    Censure not any, till you know the right:
    Let him be Iudge, that bringeth truth to light.
    Ra. O, but my griefe, like to a swelling tyde,
    Exceeds the bounds of common patience:
    1915Nor can I moderate my toung so much,
    To conceale them, whom I hold in suspect.
    Cam. This matter shall be sifted: if it be she,
    A thousand Fraunces shall not harbour her.
    Enter the Gallian Ambassador.
    1920Am. All happinesse vnto the Cambrian King.
    Cam.Welcom, my friend, from whence is thy Ambassage?
    Am.I came from Gallia, vnto Cornwall sent,
    With letters to your honourable father,
    Whom there not finding, as I did expect,
    1925I was directed hither to repayre.
    Rag. Frenchman, what is thy message to my father?
    Am.My letters, Madam, will import the same,
    Which my Commission is for to deliuer.
    Ra. In his absence you may trust vs with your letters.
    1930Am. I must performe my charge in such a maner,
    As I haue strict commaundement from the King.
    Ra. There is good packing twixt your King and you:
    G3 You