Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Editor: Andrew Griffin
Peer Reviewed

The History of King Leir (Modern)

772.1[Scene 9] [Video Sc.9]
Enter Gonorill and Skalliger
I prithee, Skalliger, tell me what thou think'st:
775Could any woman of our dignity
Endure such quips and peremptory taunts
As I do daily from my doting father?
Doth't not suffice that I him keep of alms
Who is not able for to keep himself,
780But, as if he were our better, he should think
To check and snap me up at every word?
I cannot make me a new-fashioned gown,
And set it forth with more than common cost,
But his old doting, doltish, withered wit
785Is sure to give a senseless check for it.
I cannot make a banquet extraordinary
To grace myself and spread my name abroad
But he, old fool, is captious by and by,
And saith the cost would well suffice for twice.
790Judge then, I pray, what reason is't that I
Should stand alone charged with his vain expense
And that my sister Ragan should go free,
To whom he gave as much as unto me?
I prithee, Skalliger, tell me, if thou know,
795By any means to rid me of this woe.
Your many favors still bestowed on me
Bind me in duty to advise your grace
How you may soonest remedy this ill.
The large allowance which he hath from you
800Is that which makes him so forget himself;
Therefore, abridge it half and you shall see
That, having less, he will more thankful be,
For why abundance maketh us forget
The fountains whence the benefits do spring.
Well, Skalliger, for thy kind advice herein,
I will not be ungrateful if I live.
I have restrainèd half his portion already
And I will presently restrain the other,
That, having no means to relieve himself,
810He may go seek elsewhere for better help.
Exit [Gonorill].
Go, viperous woman, shame to all thy sex,
The heavens no doubt will punish thee for this.
And me, a villain that, to curry favor,
Have given the daughter counsel 'gainst the father.
815But us the world doth this experience give:
That he that cannot flatter cannot live.