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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)

    Alarum, with men and women halfe naked:
    Enter two
    Captaynes without dublets, with swords.
    1. Cap. Where are these villaines that were set to watch,
    and fire the Beacon, if occasion seru'd,
    2480That thus haue suffred vs to be surprisde,
    And neuer giuen notice to the towne?
    We are betrayd, and quite deuoyd of hope,
    By any meanes to fortify our selues.
    2. Cap. Tis ten to one the peasants are o'recome with drinke
    2485and sleep, and so neglect their charge.
    1. Cap. A whirl-wind carry them quick to a whirl-poole,
    that there the slaues may drinke their bellies full.
    2. Cap. This tis, to haue the Beacon so neere the Ale-house.
    Enter the watchmen drunke, with each a pot.
    24901. Cap. Out on ye, villaynes, whither run you now?
    1. Wat. To fire the towne, and call vp the Beacon.
    2. Wat.No, no, sir, to fire the Beacon. He drinkes.
    2. Cap. What, with a pot of ale, you drunken Rogues?
    1. Cap. You'l fire the Beacon, when the towne is lost:
    2495Ile teach you how to tend your office better. draw to stab them.
    Enter Mumford, Captaynes run away.
    Mum. Yeeld, yeeld, yeeld. He kicks downe their pots.
    1. Wat. Reele? no, we do not reele:
    You may lacke a pot of Ale ere you dye.
    2500Mum. But in meane space, I answer, you want none.
    Wel, theres no dealing with you, y'are tall men, & wel weapōd,
    I would there were no worse then you in the towne. Exit.
    2. Wat. A speaks like an honest man, my cholers past already.
    Come, neighbour, let's go.
    25051. Wat. Nay, first let's see and we can stand. Exeunt.
    Alarum, excursions, Mumford after them, and some halfe naked.