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About this text

  • Title: The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)
  • 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
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    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    The History of King Leir
    That we shall march with conquest where we go.
    My selfe will be as forward as the first,
    2400And step by step march with the hardiest wight:
    And not the meanest souldier in our Campe
    Shall be in danger, but ile second him.
    To you, my Lord, we giue the whole commaund
    Of all the army, next vnto our selfe,
    2405Not doubting of you, but you will extend
    Your wonted valour in this needfull case,
    Encouraging the rest to do the like,
    By your approued magnanimity.
    Mum. My Liege, tis needlesse to spur a willing horse,
    2410Thats apt enough to run himselfe to death:
    For here I sweare by that sweet Saints bright eye,
    Which are the starres, which guide me to good hap,
    Eyther to see my old Lord crown'd anew,
    Or in his cause to bid the world adieu.
    2415Leir. Thanks, good lord Mumford, tis more of your good will,
    Then any merit or desert in me.
    Mum. And now to you, my worthy Countrymen,
    Ye valiant race of Genouestan Gawles,
    Surnamed Red-shanks, for your chyualry,
    2420Because you fight vp to the shanks in bloud;
    Shew your selues now to be right Gawles indeed,
    And be so bitter on your enemies,
    That they may say, you are as bitter as Gall.
    Gall them, braue Shot, with your Artillery:
    2425Gall them, braue Halberts, with your sharp point Billes,
    Each in their poynted place, not one, but all,
    Fight for the credit of your selues and Gawle.
    King. Then what should more perswasion need to those,
    That rather wish to deale, then heare of blowes?
    2430Let's to our ships, and if that God permit,
    In foure houres sayle, I hope we shall be there.
    Mum. And in fiue houres more, I make no doubt,
    But we shall bring our wish'd desires about. Exeunt.
    Enter a Captayne of the watch, and two watchmen.
    2435Cap. My honest friends, it is your turne to night,
    To watch in this place, neere about the Beacon,