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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.
    2515And do intend no harme at all to you,
    So you submit vnto your lawfull King.
    Leir. Kind Countrymen, it grieues me, that perforce,
    I am constraind to vse extremities.
    Noble. Long haue you here bin lookt for, good my Lord,
    2520And wish'd for by a generall consent:
    And had we known your Highnesse had arriued,
    We had not made resistance to your Grace:
    And now, my gracious Lord, you need not doubt,
    But all the Country will yeeld presently,
    2525Which since your absence haue bin greatly tax'd,
    For to maintayne their ouerswelling pride.
    Weele presently send word to all our friends;
    When they haue notice, they will come apace.
    Leir. Thanks, louing subiects; and thanks, worthy son,
    2530Thanks, my kind daughter, thanks to you, my Lord,
    Who willingly aduentured haue your blood,
    (Without desert) to do me so much good.
    Mum. O, say not so:
    I haue bin much beholding to your Grace:
    2535I must confesse, I haue bin in some skirmishes,
    But I was neuer in the like to this:
    For where I was wont to meet with armed men,
    I was now incountred with naked women.
    Cord.We that are feeble, and want vse of Armes,
    2540Will pray to God, to sheeld you from all harmes.
    Leir. The while your hands do manage ceaselesse toyle,
    Our hearts shall pray, the foes may haue the foyle.
    Per.Weele fast and pray, whilst you for vs do fight,
    That victory may prosecute the right.
    2545King.Me thinks, your words do amplify (my friends)
    And adde fresh vigor to my willing limmes: Drum.
    But harke, I heare the aduerse Drum approch.
    God and our right, Saint Denis, and Saint George.
    Enter Cornwall, Cambria, Gonorill, Ragan, and the army.
    2550Corn.Presumptuous King of Gawles, how darest thou
    Presume to enter on our Brittish shore?
    And more then that, to take our townes perforce,
    And draw our subiects hearts from their true King?
    I3 Be