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  • 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.
    Rag.How shall I liue, to suffer this disgrace,
    At euery base and vulgar peasants hands?
    It ill befitteth my imperiall state,
    To be thus vsde, and no man take my part. Shee weeps.
    1975Cam.What should I do? infringe the law of Armes,
    Were to my euerlasting obloquy:
    But I will take reuenge vpon his master,
    Which sent him hither, to delude vs thus.
    Rag. Nay, if you put vp this, be sure, ere long,
    1980Now that my father thus is made away,
    Sheele come & clayme a third part of your Crowne,
    As due vnto her by inheritance.
    Cam. But I will proue her title to be nought
    But shame, and the reward of Parricide,
    1985And make her an example to the world,
    For after-ages to admire her penance.
    This will I do, as I am Cambriaes King,
    Or lose my life, to prosecute reuenge.
    Come, first let's learne what newes is of our father,
    1990And then proceed, as best occasion fits. Exeunt.
    Enter Leir, Perillus, and two Marriners, in sea-
    gownes and sea-caps.
    Per. My honest friends, we are asham'd to shew
    The great extremity of our present state,
    1995In that at this time we are brought so low,
    That we want money for to pay our passage.
    The truth is so, we met with some good fellowes,
    A little before we came aboord your ship,
    Which stript vs quite of all the coyne we had,
    2000And left vs not a penny in our purses:
    Yet wanting mony, we will vse the meane,
    To see you satisfied to the vttermost. Looke on Leir.
    1. Mar. Heres a good gown, 'twould become me passing wel,
    I should be fine in it. Looke on Perillus.
    20052 Mar. Heres a good cloke, I maruel how I should look in it.
    Leir. Fayth, had we others to supply their roome,
    Though ne'erso meane, you willingly should haue them.
    1. Mar. Do you heare, sir? you looke like an honest man;
    G4 Ile