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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)

    340.1[Scene 4] [Video Sc.4]
    Enter the King of Gallia with Mumford and three Nobles more.
    Dissuade me not, my lords, I am resolved
    This next fair wind to sail for Brittany
    345In some disguise, to see if flying Fame
    Be not too prodigal in the wondrous praise
    Of these three nymphs, the daughters of King Leir.
    If present view do answer absent praise,
    And eyes allow of what our ears have heard,
    350And Venus stand auspicious to my vows,
    And Fortune favor what I take in hand,
    I will return seized of as rich a prize
    As Jason when he won the golden fleece.
    Heavens grant you may: the match were full of honor
    355And well beseeming the young Gallian king.
    I would your grace would favor me so much
    As make me partner of your pilgrimage.
    I long to see the gallant British dames
    And feed mine eyes upon their rare perfections,
    360For till I know the contrary, I'll say
    Our dames in France are more fair than they.
    Lord Mumford, you have saved me a labor
    In off'ring that which I did mean to ask,
    And I most willingly accept your company.
    365Yet, first I will enjoin you to observe
    Some few conditions which I shall propose.
    So that you do not tie mine eyes for looking
    After the amorous glances of fair dames,
    So that you do not tie my tongue from speaking,
    370My lips from kissing when occasion serves,
    My hands from congees, and my knees to bow
    To gallant girls -- which were a task more hard
    Than flesh and blood is able to endure --
    Command what else you please, I rest content.
    To bind thee from a thing thou canst not leave
    Were but a mean to make thee seek it more,
    And therefore speak, look, kiss, salute for me;
    In these myself am like to second thee.
    Now hear thy task: I charge thee, from the time
    380That first we set sail for the British shore,
    To use no words of dignity to me,
    But, in the friendliest manner that thou canst,
    Make use of me as thy companion,
    For we will go disguised in palmers' weeds,
    385That no man shall mistrust us what we are.
    If that be all, I'll fit your turn, I warrant you. I am some kin to the Blounts, and, I think, the bluntest of all my kindred; therefore, if I be too blunt with you, thank yourself for praying me to be so.
    Thy pleasant company will make the way seem short. --
    It resteth now that in my absence hence
    I do commit the government to you,
    My trusty lords and faithful counsellors.
    Time cutteth off the rest I have to say:
    395The wind blows fair, and I must needs away.
    Heavens send your voyage to as good effect
    As we your land do purpose to protect.