Internet Shakespeare Editions

Authors: William Baldwin, John Higgins
Editors: Michael Best, Sarah Milligan, Joey Takeda
Not Peer Reviewed

The Mirror for Magistrates (Selection)

At last it chanced the King of France to hear my fame,
My beauty brave was blazèd all abroad each-where,
And eke my virtues praised me, to my father's blame
Did for my sisters' flattery me less favor bear.
75Which, when this worthy king my wrongs did hear,
He sent ambassage, liked me more than life,
T'entreat he might me have to be his wife.
My father was content with all his heart, and said,
80He gladly should obtain his whole request at will
Concerning me, if nothing I herein denied.
But yet he kept by their enticement hatred still.
Quoth he, "Your prince his pleasure to fulfil,
I grant and give my daughter as you crave,
85But nought of me for dowry can she have."
King Aganippus well agreed to take me so,
He deemed that virtue was of dowries all the best.
And I contented was to France my father fro
For to depart, and hoped t'enjoy some greater rest.
90I married was, and then my joys increased,
I got more favor in this prince his sight
Than ever princess of a princely wight.
But while that I these joys enjoyed at home in France,
My father Leire in Britain waxèd agèd old,
95My sisters yet themselves the more aloft t'advance,
Thought well they might be, by his leave or sans, so bold
To take the realm and rule it as they would.
They rose as rebels void of reason quite,
And they deprived him of his crown and right.
100Then they agreed it should be into parts equal
Divided; and my father threescore knights and squires
Should always have, attending on him still at call.
But in six months so much increasèd hateful ires
That Gonerell denied all his desires,
105So half his guard she and her husband reft,
And scarce allowed the other half they left.