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About this text

  • 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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hardyng's Chronicle (Selection)

    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."