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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.
    King. Nor neuer like impiety was done,
    Since the creation of the world begun.
    Leir. And now I am constraind to seeke reliefe
    Of her, to whom I haue bin so vnkind;
    2285Whose censure, if it do award me death,
    I must confesse she payes me but my due:
    But if she shew a louing daughters part,
    It comes of God and her, not my desert.
    Cor. No doubt she will, I dare be sworne she will.
    2290Leir. How know you that, not knowing what she is?
    Cor. My selfe a father haue a great way hence,
    Vsde me as ill as euer you did her;
    Yet, that his reuerend age I once might see,
    Ide creepe along, to meet him on my knee.
    2295Leir. O, no mens children are vnkind but mine.
    Cor. Condemne not all, because of others crime:
    But looke, deare father, looke, behold and see
    Thy louing daughter speaketh vnto thee. She kneeles.
    Leir. O, stand thou vp, it is my part to kneele,
    2300And aske forgiuenesse for my former faults. he kneeles.
    Cor. O, if you wish I should inioy my breath,
    Deare father rise, or I receiue my death. he riseth.
    Leir. Then I will rise, to satisfy your mind,
    But kneele againe, til pardon be resignd. he kneeles.
    2305Cor. I pardon you: the word beseemes not me:
    But I do say so, for to ease your knee.
    You gaue me life, you were the cause that I
    Am what I am, who else had neuer bin.
    Leir. But you gaue life to me and to my friend,
    2310Whose dayes had else, had an vntimely end.
    Cor. You brought me vp, when as I was but young,
    And far vnable for to helpe my selfe.
    Leir. I cast thee forth, when as thou wast but young,
    And far vnable for to helpe thy selfe.
    2315Cor. God, world and nature say I do you wrong,
    That can indure to see you kneele so long.
    King. Let me breake off this louing controuersy,
    Which doth reioyce my very soule to see.
    Good father, rise, she is your louing daughter, He riseth.
    H4 And