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  • 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)

    Enter the King and Queene of Gallia, & Mumford.
    King.By this, our father vnderstands our mind,
    1810And our kind greetings sent to him of late:
    Therefore my mind presageth ere't be long,
    We shall receyue from Brittayne happy newes.
    Cord. I feare, my sister will disswade his mind;
    For she to me hath always bin vnkind.
    1815King. Feare not, my loue, since that we know the worst,
    The last meanes helpes, if that we misse the first:
    If hee'le not come to Gallia vnto vs,
    Then we will sayle to Brittayne vnto him.
    Mum. Well,
    and his three daughters.
    Mum. Well, if I once see Brittayne agayne,
    1820I haue sworne, ile ne're come home without my wench,
    And ile not be forsworne,
    Ile rather neuer come home while I liue.
    Cor. Are you sure, Mumford, she is a mayd still?
    Mum. Nay, ile not sweare she is a mayd, but she goes for one:
    1825Ile take her at all aduentures, if I can get her.
    Cord. I, that's well put in.
    Mum.Well put in? nay, it was ill put in; for had it
    Bin as well put in, as ere I put in, in my dayes,
    I would haue made her follow me to Fraunce.
    1830Cor. Nay, you'd haue bin so kind, as take her with you,
    Or else, were I as she,
    I would haue bin so louing, as ide stay behind you:
    Yet I must confesse, you are a very proper man,
    And able to make a wench do more then she would do.
    1835Mum. Well, I haue a payre of slops for the nonce,
    Will hold all your mocks.
    King. Nay, we see you haue a hansome hose.
    Cor. I, and of the newest fashion.
    Mum. More bobs, more: put them in still,
    1840They'l serue instead of bumbast, yet put not in too many,
    lest the seames crack and they fly out amongst you againe:
    you must not think to outface me so easly in my mistris quarrel,
    who if I see once agayne, ten teame of horses shall
    not draw me away, till I haue full and whole possession.
    1845King. I, but one teame and a cart will serue the turne.
    Cor.Not only for him, but also for his wench.
    Mum. Well, you are two to one, ile giue you ouer:
    And since I see you so pleasantly disposed,
    Which indeed is but seldome seene, ile clayme
    1850A promise of you, which you shall not deny me:
    For promise is debt, & by this hand you promisd it me.
    Therefore you owe it me, and you shall pay it me,
    Or ile sue you vpon an action of vnkindnesse.
    King. Prithy, Lord Mumford, what promise did I make thee?
    1855Mum. Fayth, nothing but this,
    That the next fayre weather, which is very now,
    G2 You
    The History of King Leir
    You would go in progresse downe to the sea side,
    Which is very neere.
    King. Fayth, in this motion I will ioyne with thee,
    1860And be a mediator to my Queene.
    Prithy, my Loue, let this match go forward,
    My mind foretels, 'twill be a lucky voyage.
    Cor. Entreaty needs not, where you may cōmaund,
    So you be pleasde, I am right well content:
    1865Yet, as the Sea I much desire to see;
    So am I most vnwilling to be seene.
    King. Weele go disguised, all vnknowne to any.
    Cor. Howsoeuer you make one, ile make another.
    Mum. And I the third: oh, I am ouer-ioyed!
    1870See what loue is, which getteth with a word,
    What all the world besides could ne're obtayne!
    But what disguises shall we haue, my Lord?
    King. Fayth thus: my Queene & I wil be disguisde,
    Like a playne country couple, and you shall be Roger
    1875Our man, and wayt vpon vs: or if you will,
    You shall go first, and we will wayt on you.
    Mum. 'Twere more then time; this deuice is excellent.
    Come let vs about it. Exeunt.