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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)

    Enter Perillus solus.
    Per. The King hath dispossest himselfe of all,
    745Those to aduance, which scarce will giue him thanks:
    His youngest daughter he hath turnd away,
    And no man knowes what is become of her.
    He soiournes now in Cornwall with the eldest,
    Who flattred him, vntill she did obtayne
    750That at his hands, which now she doth possesse:
    And now she sees hee hath no more to giue,
    It grieues her heart to see her father liue.
    Oh, whom should man trust in this wicked age,
    When children thus against their parents rage?
    755But he, the myrrour of mild patience,
    and his three daughters.
    Puts vp all wrongs, and neuer giues reply:
    Yet shames she not in most opprobrious sort,
    To call him foole and doterd to his face,
    And sets her parasites of purpose oft,
    760In scoffing wise to offer him disgrace.
    Oh yron age! O times! O monstrous, vilde,
    When parents are contemned of the child!
    His pension she hath halfe restrain'd from him,
    And will, e're long, the other halfe, I feare:
    765For she thinks nothing is bestowde in vayne,
    But that which doth her fathers life maintayne.
    Trust not alliance; but trust strangers rather,
    Since daughters proue disloyall to the father.
    Well, I will counsell him the best I can:
    770Would I were able to redresse his wrong.
    Yet what I can, vnto my vtmost power,
    He shall be sure of to the latest houre. Exit.