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  • Title: The History of King Leir (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    1093.1[Scene 14] [Video Sc.14]
    Enter Leir and Perillus faintly
    Rest on me, my lord, and stay yourself;
    The way seems tedious to your agèd limbs.
    Nay, rest on me, kind friend, and stay thyself;
    Thou art as old as I, but more kind.
    Ah, good my lord, it ill befits that I
    1100Should lean upon the person of a king.
    But it fits worse that I should bring thee forth,
    That had no cause to come along with me,
    Through these uncouth paths and tireful ways,
    And never ease thy fainting limbs a whit.
    1105Thou hast left all -- ay, all -- to come with me,
    And I, for all, have nought to guerdon thee.
    Cease, good my lord, to aggravate my woes
    With these kind words, which cut my heart in two
    To think your will should want the power to do.
    Cease, good Perillus, for to call me "lord,"
    And think me but the shadow of myself.
    That honorable title will I give
    Unto my lord so long as I do live.
    Oh, be of comfort, for I see the place
    1115Whereas your daughter keeps her residence.
    And, lo, in happy time the Cambrian prince
    Is here arrived to gratify our coming.
    Enter the Prince of Cambria, Ragan, and Nobles; look upon them and whisper together.
    Were I best speak or sit me down and die?
    I am ashamed to tell this heavy tale.
    Then let me tell it, if you please, my lord.
    'Tis shame for them that were the cause thereof.
    What two old men are those that seem so sad?
    1125Methinks I should remember well their looks.
    No, I mistake not, sure it is my father.
    [Aside] I must dissemble kindness now of force.
    She runneth to him, and kneels down, saying:
    Father, I bid you welcome, full of grief,
    1130To see your grace used thus unworthily,
    And ill-befitting for your reverend age
    To come on foot a journey so indurable.
    Oh, what disaster chance hath been the cause
    To make your cheeks so hollow, spare, and lean? --
    1135He cannot speak for weeping. For God's love, come,
    Let us refresh him with some needful things
    And at more leisure we may better know
    Whence springs the ground of this unlooked-for woe.
    Come, father; ere we any further talk,
    1140You shall refresh you after this weary walk.
    Exeunt [all but] Ragan.
    Comes he to me with finger in the eye
    To tell a tale against my sister here,
    Whom I do know he greatly hath abused?
    And now, like a contentious crafty wretch,
    1145He first begins for to complain himself,
    Whenas himself is in the greatest fault.
    I'll not be partial in my sister's cause,
    Nor yet believe his doting vain reports,
    Who, for a trifle, safely I dare say,
    1150Upon a spleen is stolen thence away,
    And here, forsooth, he hopeth to have harbor
    And to be moaned and made on like a child.
    But ere't be long, his coming he shall curse,
    And truly say he came from bad to worse.
    1155Yet will I make fair weather to procure
    Convenient means, and then I'll strike it sure.