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  • Title: Hardyng's Chronicle (Selection)
  • Author: John Hardyng
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Editor: Michael Best
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    Hardyng's Chronicle (Selection)

    The eleventh chapter: of King Leyre
    How this Leyre proved his daughters, which of them loved him most and best. How Maglane, Duke of Albany, and Ewayn, Duke of Cornwall, did homage to King Leyre for Cornwail and Albany, and afterward they wed his daughters and put him out of the realm by unkindness.
    1After him [Baldud] then reigned Leyre his son,
    Who that did make a city upon Soar,
    Caerleyre, in which he did most dwell and wone,
    Leicester is now called, but wherefore
    5I wot not why, but Leirecestre afore
    I trow it hight. We leave out "R," this letter,
    For lighter speech to make the language sweeter.
    This Leyre had to his heirs but daughters three,
    So after time that he had reignèd long
    10In all honor and high prosperity,
    And fall'n in age, he set him them among.
    To the eldest with voice he spake and ronge,
    Imagining how that they might be proved,
    Which of them three that best and most him loved.
    15He askèd so the eldest Goneryle,
    How well she did him love he prayed her say.
    She answered him again then with a wile,
    Well better than her own life in good fay;
    Of which he was so pleased to his pay
    20That he her granted fully forto advance
    With sufficient part of his inheritance.
    The second then, that callèd was Ragawe,
    He askèd so, to whom she said anon,
    "Father, I love you right, so as I owe,
    25More than all this whole earthly world alone."
    "Daughter," he said, "as true as any stone,
    The third part of my realm so shalt thou have;
    Thou say'st so well I may no more thee crave."
    To Cordele then, the youngest of them three,
    30He askèd then right on that same avise,
    Who answered him with all benignity,
    Right in this form and as she could devise
    "You as my father I love without quaintise
    And as much as ye be worth of richesse
    35So much I love you father and shall doubtless."
    To her he said, "Why, lovest me no more?
    Now truly thou shalt never have good of me,
    But help thyself from this day forth therefore."
    With that the Duke of Albany, wit ye,
    40Wed Goneryle his wife for to be.
    Sir Maglayne then hight withouten fail.
    And Ragawe had Ewayne, Duke of Cornwall.
    After all this, the King of France, Aganippe,
    For good love wed without any richesse
    45Cordeyle, to whom her father no quantity
    Of goods gave that I can aught express,
    But all his lands departed by process
    Betwixt Maglayne and Ewayne so in fere
    With his daughters two that to him were full dear.
    50And in his age the princes two toke governance
    Of all his land, and let him have no might
    For which they grant him than by ordinance,
    To find him so with forty knights right
    Whilst he might live, so laid they down his height;
    55For which he went to his daughter Gonerile
    Of whom certain she irked in short while.
    Than went he forth unto his daughter Ragawe.
    She did right as her sister with him had done.
    Within a year she would have made him low,
    60His knights voided and holden but a whone.
    So went he thence; he wist not what to do.
    For sorrow he would have liggen on his bier,
    Such thought he had and made right heavy cheer.
    Then took he full to counsel and to rede
    65By friends he had, to Cordeyle for to gone
    To fele her help thither they did him lead.
    He sent to her his messenger anon,
    For whom she was annoyed and made great moan.
    Both gold and goods she sent him, and array
    70Right sufficient and rich unto his pay.
    They brought him so to her with great honor,
    Where he had cheer full fair and all disport;
    And welcome was, and hight him whole succor
    To win again his land with great comfort.
    75The King of France, his host, assembled and resorted
    To pass with him to win his land again;
    Did send his wife to help him in his pain.
    So won he then his land with might again;
    In which he stood the sovereign king three year,
    80And then he died, and buried is, to lain
    At his city of Caerleyre as did affeir,
    With all worship within a temple clear
    Of Janus god; and then Aganippe
    Her lord at home did pass away and die.
    85So stood she forth, widow, reigning five year
    Without issue, and held the monarchy
    Of all Britain after her father dear.
    The queen she was, and held the regency
    Till on a day her sisters' sons forthy
    90That they were come, and also generate
    Of her elder sisters and procreate.
    The twelfth chapter: of King Margan and King Condage
    Margan that was then Duke of Albany,
    Condage that was so Duke of Cornwall,
    With hosts great, through right of ancestry
    95For to be kings and have the governal,
    Then fought with her and gave her strong battle.
    So, at the last, overcome she was and take.
    Imprisoned sore, her own death sought to make.
    She slew herself for woe she lost the realm,
    100And buried was beside her father right
    Within a tomb under the water stream
    Of Soar, that she had wrought for him and dight
    Within Caerleyre that now Leicester hight.
    Her soul so went to Janus whom she served
    105And to Minerva whose love she had deserved.