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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)

    and his three daughters.
    And vigilantly haue regard,
    If any fleet of ships passe hitherward:
    Which if you do, your office is to fire
    2440The Beacon presently, and raise the towne. Exit.
    1. Wat. I, I, I, feare nothing; we know our charge, I warrant:
    I haue bin a watchman about this Beacon this xxx. yere, and
    yet I ne're see it stir, but stood as quietly as might be.
    2. Wat.Fayth neighbour,and you'l follow my vice, instead of
    2445watching the Beacon, wee'l go to goodman Gennings, & watch
    a pot of Ale and a rasher of Bacon: and if we do not drink our
    selues drunke, then so; I warrant, the Beacon will see vs when
    we come out agayne.
    1. W.I, but how if some body excuse vs to the Captayne?
    24502. W.Tis no matter, ile proue by good reason that we watch
    the Beacon: asse for example.
    1. W. I hope you do not call me asse by craft, neighbour.
    2. W. No, no, but for example: Say here stands the pot of ale,
    that's the Beacon. 1. W.I, I, tis a very good Beacon.
    24552. W. Well, say here stands your nose, that's the fire.
    1. W. Indeed I must confesse, tis somewhat red.
    2. W. I see come marching in a dish, halfe a score pieces of salt
    Bacon. 1. W. I vnderstand your meaning, that's as much to say,
    half a score ships. 2. W. True, you conster right; presently, like
    2460a faithfull watchman, I fire the Beacon, and call vp the towne.
    1. W.I, thats as much as to say, you set your nose to the pot, and
    drink vp the drink. 2. W. You are in the right; come, let's go
    fire the Beacon. Exeunt.
    Enter the King of Gallia with a stil march, Mumford & soldiers.
    2465King. Now march our ensignes on the Brittish earth,
    And we are neere approching to the towne:
    Then looke about you, valiant Countrymen,
    And we shall finish this exployt with ease.
    Th'inhabitants of this mistrustfull place,
    2470Are dead asleep, as men that are secure:
    Here shall we skirmish but with naked men,
    Deuoyd of sence, new waked from a dreame,
    That know not what our comming doth pretend,
    Till they do feele our meaning on their skinnes:
    2475Therefore assaile: God and our right for vs. Exeunt.
    I2 Alarum,