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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)

    The History of King Leir
    Ide make her soone confesse she neuer loued
    Her father halfe so well as I doe you.
    265I then, my deeds should proue in playner case,
    How much my zeale aboundeth to your grace:
    But for them all, let this one meane suffice,
    To ratify my loue before your eyes:
    I haue right noble Suters to my loue,
    270No worse then Kings, and happely I loue one:
    Yet, would you haue me make my choyce anew,
    Ide bridle fancy, and be rulde by you.
    Leir. Did neuer Philomel sing so sweet a note.
    Cord. Did neuer flatterer tell so false a tale.
    275Leir. Speak now, Cordella, make my ioyes at full,
    And drop downe Nectar from thy hony lips.
    Cor. I cannot paynt my duty forth in words,
    I hope my deeds shall make report for me:
    But looke what loue the child doth owe the father,
    280The same to you I beare, my gracious Lord.
    Gon. Here is an answere answerlesse indeed:
    Were you my daughter, I should scarcely brooke it.
    Rag. Dost thou not blush, proud Peacock as thou art,
    To make our father such a slight reply?
    285Leir. Why how now, Minion, are you growne so proud?
    Doth our deare loue make you thus peremptory?
    What, is your loue become so small to vs,
    As that you scorne to tell vs what it is?
    Do you loue vs, as euery child doth loue
    290Their father? True indeed, as some,
    Who by disobedience short their fathers dayes,
    And so would you; some are so father-sick,
    That they make meanes to rid them from the world;
    And so would you: some are indifferent,
    295Whether their aged parents liue or dye;
    And so are you. But, didst thou know, proud gyrle,
    What care I had to foster thee to this,
    Ah, then thou wouldst say as thy sisters do: ??
    Our life is lesse, then loue we owe to you.
    300Cord. Deare father, do not so mistake my words,