QueenʼsMen Editions

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)

    The History of King Leir
    Be sute to buy it at as deare a price,
    2555As ere you bought presumption in your liues.
    King. Ore-daring Cornwall, know, we came in right,
    And iust reuengement of the wronged King,
    Whose daughters there, fell vipers as they are,
    Haue sought to murder and depriue of life:
    2560But God protected him from all their spight,
    And we are come in iustice of his right.
    Cam. Nor he nor thou haue any interest here,
    But what you win and purchase with the sword.
    Thy slaunders to our noble vertuous Queenes,
    2565Wee'l in the battell thrust them down thy throte,
    Except for feare of our reuenging hands,
    Thou flye to sea, as not secure on lands.
    Mum.Welshman, ile so ferrit you ere night for that word,
    That you shall haue no mind to crake so wel this tweluemonth.
    2570 Gon. They lye, that say, we sought our fathers death.
    Rag. Tis meerely forged for a colours sake,
    To set a glosse on your inuasion.
    Me thinks, an old man ready for to dye,
    Should be asham'd to broache so foule a lye.
    2575Cord.Fy, shamelesse sister, so deuoyd of grace,
    To call our father lyer to his face.
    Gon. Peace (Puritan) dissembling hypocrite,
    Which art so good, that thou wilt proue stark naught:
    Anon, when as I haue you in my fingers,
    2580Ile make you wish your selfe in Purgatory.
    Per. Nay, peace thou monster, shame vnto thy sexe:
    Thou fiend in likenesse of a humane creature.
    Rag. I neuer heard a fouler spoken man.
    Leir. Out on thee, viper, scum, filthy parricide,
    2585More odious to my sight then is a Toade.
    Knowest thou these letters? She snatches them & teares them.
    Rag. Think you to outface me with your paltry scrowles?
    You come to driue my husband from his right,
    Vnder the colour of a forged letter.
    2590Leir. Who euer heard the like impiety?
    Per. You are our debtour of more patience:
    We were more patient when we stayd for you,