QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • 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)

    2433.1[Scene 27] [Video Sc.27]
    Enter a Captain of the Watch [( 1 Captain)] and two Watchmen
    24351 Captain
    My honest friends, it is your turn tonight
    To watch in this place, near about the beacon,
    And vigilantly have regard,
    If any fleet of ships pass hitherward;
    Which if you do, your office is to fire
    2440The beacon presently and raise the town.
    First Watchman
    Ay, ay, ay, fear nothing. We know our charge, I warrant: I have been a watchman about this beacon this thirty year, and yet I ne'er see it stir but stood as quietly as might be.
    Second Watchman
    Faith, neighbor, and you'll follow my 'vice, instead of 2445watching the beacon, we'll go to Goodman Jennings' and watch a pot of ale and a rasher of bacon. An if we do not drink ourselves drunk, then so, I warrant, the beacon will see us when we come out again.
    First Watchman
    Ay, but how if somebody excuse us to the captain?
    2450Second Watchman
    'Tis no matter. I'll prove by good reason that we watch the beacon, ass for example --
    First Watchman
    I hope you do not call me ass by craft, neighbor.
    Second Watchman
    No, no, but for example: say here stands the pot of ale, that's the beacon.
    First Watchman
    Ay, ay, 'tis a very good beacon.
    2455Second Watchman
    Well, say here stands your nose: that's the fire.
    First Watchman
    Indeed, I must confess 'tis somewhat red.
    Second Watchman
    I see come marching in a dish, half a score pieces of salt bacon.
    First Watchman
    I understand your meaning. That's as much to say half a score ships.
    Second Watchman
    True; you construe right. Presently, like 2460a faithful watchman, I fire the beacon and call up the town.
    First Watchman
    Ay, that's as much as to say you set your nose to the pot, and drink up the drink.
    Second Watchman
    You are in the right. Come, let's go fire the beacon.