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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.
    2125Or euer thought well of me in my life, He strips up his arme.
    Feed on this flesh, whose veynes are not so dry,
    But there is vertue left to comfort you.
    O, feed on this, if this will do you good
    Ile smile for ioy, to see you suck my bloud.
    2130Leir. I am no Caniball, that I should delight
    To slake my hungry iawes with humane flesh:
    I am no deuill, or ten times worse then so,
    To suck the bloud of such a peerelesse friend.
    O, do not think that I respect my life
    2135So dearely, as I do thy loyall loue.
    Ah, Brittayne, I shall neuer see thee more,
    That hast vnkindly banished thy King:
    And yet not thou dost make me to complayne,
    But they which were more neere to me then thou.
    2140Cor. What do I heare? this lamentable voyce,
    Me thinks, ere now I oftentimes haue heard.
    Leir. Ah, Gonorill, was halfe my Kingdomes gift
    The cause that thou didst seeke to haue my life?
    Ah, cruell Ragan, did I giue thee all,
    2145And all could not suffice without my bloud?
    Ah, poore Cordella, did I giue thee nought,
    Nor neuer shall be able for to giue?
    O, let me warne all ages that insueth,
    How they trust flattery, and reiect the trueth.
    2150Well, vnkind Girles, I here forgiue you both,
    Yet the iust heauens will hardly do the like;
    And only craue forgiuenesse at the end
    Of good Cordella, and of thee, my friend;
    Of God, whose Maiesty I haue offended,
    2155By my transgression many thousand wayes:
    Of her, deare heart, whom I for no occasion
    Turn'd out of all, through flatters persuasion:
    Of thee, kind friend, who but for me, I know,
    Hadst neuer come vnto this place of wo.
    2160Cor. Alack, that euer I should liue to see
    My noble father in this misery.
    King. Sweet Loue, reueale not what thou art as yet,
    Vntill we know the ground of all this ill.
    H2 Cor. O,