King Lear
Background on King Lear: King Leir the Play: Scene 21

Cordella, the Gallian King, and Mumford talk.  The king once again declares that they will go themselves to England if Leir does not arrive himself in France soon.  Mumford declares his intent this time to come back with a maid.  They exchange some low and crude sexual puns for quite some time, then decide to go to England anyway so Mumford can have his lady.  They decide upon a disguise, common people, with Mumford in service.

Scene 20 . . . Directory . . . Scene 22


Scene 21

Enter the King and Queen of Gallia, & Mumford.

KING: By this, our father understands our mind,
And our kind greetings sent to him of late:
Therefore my mind presageth ere’t be long,
We shall receive from Britain happy news.

CORDELLA: I fear, my sister will dissuade his mind;
For she to me hath always been unkind.

KING: Fear not, my love, since that we know the worst,
The last means helps, if that we miss the first:
If he’ll not come to Gallia unto us,
Then we will sail to Britain unto him. … [21.10]

MUMFORD: Well, if I once see Britain again,
I have sworn, I’ll ne’re come home without my wench,
And I’ll not be forsworn,
I’ll rather never come home while I live.

CORDELLA: Are you sure, Mumford, she is a maid still?

MUMFORD: Nay, I’ll not swear she is a maid, but she goes for one:
I’ll take her at all adventures, if I can get her.

CORDELLA: Aye, that’s well put in.

MUMFORD: Well put in? nay, it was ill put in; for had it
Been as well put in, as ere I put in my days, … [21.20]
I would have made her follow me to France.

CORDELLA:
Nay, you’d have been so kind, as take her with you,
Or else, were I as she,
I would have been so loving, as I’d stay behind you:
Yet I must confess, you are a very proper man,
And able to make a wench do more than she would do.

MUMFORD: Well, I have a pair of slops for the nonce,
Will hold all your mocks.

KING: Nay, we see you have a handsome hose.

CORDELLA: Aye, and of the newest fashion. … [21.30]

MUMFORD: More bobs, more: put them in still,
They’ll serve instead of bombast; yet put not in too many,
lest the seams crack, and they fly out amongst you again:
you must not think to outface me so easily in my mistress’ quarrel,
who if I see once again, ten team of horses shall
not draw me away, till I have full and whole possession.

KING: Aye, but one team and a cart will serve the turn.

CORDELLA: Not only for him, but also for his wench.

MUMFORD: Well, you are two to one, I’ll give you over:
And since I see you so pleasantly disposed, … [21.40]
Which indeed is but seldom seen, I’ll claim
A promise of you, which you shall not deny me:
For promise is debt, & by this hand you promised it me.
Therefore you owe it me, and you shall pay it me,
Or I’ll sue you upon an action of unkindness.

KING: Prithy, Lord Mumford, what promise did I make thee?

MUMFORD: Faith, nothing but this,
That the next fair weather, which is very now,
You would go in progress down to the seaside,
Which is very near. … [21.50]

KING: Faith, in this motion I will join with thee,
And be a mediator to my Queen.
Prithy, my Love, let this match go forward,
My mind foretells, ’twill be a lucky voyage.

CORDELLA: Entreaty needs not, where you may command,
So you be pleased, I am right well content:
Yet, as the Sea I much desire to see,
So am I most unwilling to be seen.

KING: We’ll go disguised, all unknown to any.

CORDELLA: Howsoever you make one, I’ll make another. … [21.60]

MUMFORD: And I the third: oh, I am overjoyed!
See what love is, which getteth with a word,
What all the world besides could ne’re obtain!
But what disguises shall we have, my Lord?

KING: Faith thus: my Queen and I will be disguised,
Like a plain country couple, and you shall be Roger
Our man, and wait upon us: or if you will,
You shall go first, and we will wait on you.

MUMFORD: ‘Twere more than time; this device is excellent.
Come let us about it. Exeunt. … [21.70]

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.