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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)

    2387.1[Scene 26] [Video Sc.26]
    Sound drums and trumpets
    Enter the King of Gallia, Leir, Mumford, and the army
    Thus have we brought our army to the sea
    Whereas our ships are ready to receive us.
    The wind stands fair and we in four hours' sail
    May easily arrive on British shore
    Where, unexpected, we may them surprise
    2395And gain a glorious victory with ease.
    Wherefore, my loving countrymen, resolve,
    Since truth and justice fighteth on our sides,
    That we shall march with conquest where we go.
    Myself will be as forward as the first,
    2400And step-by-step march with the hardiest wight;
    And not the meanest soldier in our camp
    Shall be in danger, but I'll second him. --
    [To Mumford]To you, my lord, we give the whole command
    Of all the army, next unto ourself,
    2405Not doubting of you but you will extend
    Your wonted valor in this needful case,
    Encouraging the rest to do the like
    By your approvèd magnanimity.
    My liege, 'tis needless to spur a willing horse
    2410That's apt enough to run himself to death,
    For here I swear by that sweet saint's bright eyes,
    Which are the stars which guide me to good hap,
    Either to see my old lord crowned anew,
    Or in his cause to bid the world adieu.
    Thanks, good Lord Mumford, 'tis more of your good will
    Than any merit or desert in me.
    [To the soldiers] And now to you, my worthy countrymen,
    Ye valiant race of Genovestan Gauls,
    Surnamed Redshanks for your chivalry,
    2420Because you fight up to the shanks in blood,
    Show yourselves now to be right Gauls indeed,
    And be so bitter on your enemies
    That they may say you are as bitter as gall.
    Gall them, brave shot, with your artillery,
    2425Gall them, brave halberds, with your sharp-point bills,
    Each in their 'pointed place. Not one, but all,
    Fight for the credit of yourselves and Gaul.
    Then what should more persuasion need to those
    That rather wish to deal than hear of blows?
    2430Let's to our ships. And if that God permit,
    In four hours' sail I hope we shall be there.
    And in five hours more, I make no doubt
    But we shall bring our wished desires about.