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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)

    742.1[Scene 8] [Video Sc.8]
    Enter Perillus [alone]
    The king hath dispossessed himself of all,
    745Those to advance which scarce will give him thanks.
    His youngest daughter he hath turned away,
    And no man knows what is become of her.
    He sojourns now in Cornwall with the eldest,
    Who flattered him until she did obtain
    750That at his hands which now she doth possess;
    And, now she sees he hath no more to give,
    It grieves her heart to see her father live.
    Oh, whom should man trust in this wicked age
    When children thus against their parents rage?
    755But he, the mirror of mild patience,
    Puts up all wrongs and never gives reply,
    Yet shames she not, in most opprobrious sort,
    To call him "fool" and "dotard" to his face,
    And sets her parasites of purpose oft
    760In scoffing-wise to offer him disgrace.
    Oh, iron age! Oh, times! Oh, monstrous, vile,
    When parents are condemnèd of the child!
    His pension she hath half restrained from him,
    And will, ere long, the other half, I fear,
    765For she thinks nothing is bestowed in vain
    But that which doth her father's life maintain.
    Trust not alliance, but trust strangers rather,
    Since daughters prove disloyal to the father.
    Well, I will counsel him the best I can.
    770Would I were able to redress his wrong!
    Yet what I can unto my utmost power
    He shall be sure of to the latest hour.