Internet Shakespeare Editions

Editor: Michael Best
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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."