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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.
    Nor my playne meaning be misconstrued;
    My toung was neuer vsde to flattery.
    Gon. You were not best say I flatter: if you do,
    My deeds shall shew, I flatter not with you.
    305I loue my father better then thou canst.
    Cor. The prayse were great, spoke from anothers mouth:
    But it should seeme your neighbours dwell far off.
    Rag. Nay, here is one, that will confirme as much
    As she hath sayd, both for my selfe and her.
    310I say, thou dost not wish my fathers good.
    Cord. Deare father.-------
    Leir. Peace, bastard Impe, no Issue of King Leir,
    I will not heare thee speake one tittle more.
    Call not me father, if thou loue thy life,
    315Nor these thy sisters once presume to name:
    Looke for no helpe henceforth from me nor mine;
    Shift as thou wilt, and trust vnto thy selfe:
    My Kingdome will I equally deuide
    'Twixt thy two sisters to their royall dowre,
    320And will bestow them worthy their deserts:
    This done, because thou shalt not haue the hope,
    To haue a childs part in the time to come,
    I presently will dispossesse my selfe,
    And set vp these vpon my princely throne.
    325Gon. I euer thought that pride would haue a fall.
    Ra. Plaine dealing, sister: your beauty is so sheene,
    You need no dowry, to make you be a Queene.
    Exeunt Leir, Gonorill, Ragan.
    Cord. Now whither, poore forsaken, shall I goe,
    330When mine own sisters tryumph in my woe?
    But vnto him which doth protect the iust,
    In him will poore Cordella put her trust.
    These hands shall labour, for to get my spending;
    And so ile liue vntill my dayes haue ending.
    335Per. Oh, how I grieue, to see my Lord thus fond,
    To dote so much vpon vayne flattering words.
    Ah, if he but with good aduice had weyghed,
    The hidden tenure of her humble speech,
    B2 Reason