Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • Title: The Mirror for Magistrates (Selection)
  • Editors: Michael Best, Sarah Milligan, Joey Takeda

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: William Baldwin, John Higgins
    Editors: Michael Best, Sarah Milligan, Joey Takeda
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Mirror for Magistrates (Selection)

    Eke as in Scotland thus he lay lamenting fates,
    Whenas his daughter so sought all his utter spoil.
    The meaner upstart gentles thought themselves his mates
    110And betters eke, see here an aged prince his foil.
    Then was he fain for succor his to toil
    With all his knights to Cornwall, there to lie
    In greatest need, his Ragan's love to try.
    And when he came to Cornwall, Ragan then with joy
    115Received him, and eke her husband did the like.
    There he abode a year and lived without annoy;
    But then they took all his retinue from him quite,
    Save only ten, and showed him daily spite,
    Which he bewailed, complaining durst not strive,
    120Though in disdain they last allowed but five.
    On this he deemed himself was far that time unwise,
    When from his daughter Gonerell to Ragan he
    Departed erst, yet each did him, poor king, despise;
    Wherefore to Scotland once again with her to be
    125And bide he went; but beastly cruel she,
    Bereaved him of his servants all save one,
    Bade him content himself with that or none.
    Eke, at what time he asked of each to have his guard
    To guard his grace whereso he walked or went,
    130They called him doting fool, and all his hests debarred,
    Demanded if with life he could not be content.
    Then he too late his rigor did repent
    Gainst me, and said, "Cordila now adieu,
    I find the words thou toldst me too too true."
    135And to be short, to France he came alone to me,
    And told me how my sisters him, our father, used.
    Then I besought my king with tears, upon my knee,
    That he would aid my father thus by them misused,
    Who nought at all my humble hest refused
    140But sent to every coast of France for aid
    Wherewith my father home might be conveyed.