Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

The Mirror for Magistrates (Selection)

He thought to wed us unto nobles three, or peers,
And unto them and theirs divide and part the land.
For both my sisters first he sent, as first their years;
Required their minds, and love, and favor t'understand.
40Quoth he, "All doubts of duty to aband,
I must assay and eke your friendships prove;
Now tell me each how much you do me love."
Which when they answerèd they loved him well, and more
Than they themselves did love, or any worldly wight,
45He praised them and said he would again, therefore,
The loving kindness they deserved in fine requite.
So found my sisters favor in his sight;
By flattery fair they won their father's heart,
Which after turnèd him and me to smart.
50But not content with this he minded me to prove,
For why he wonted was to love me wonders well.
"How much dost thou," quoth he, "Cordile thy father love?"
"I will," said I, "at once my love declare and tell.
I loved you ever as my father well,
55No otherwise. If more to know you crave,
We love you chiefly for the goods you have."
Thus much I said, the more their flattery to detect,
But he me answered thereunto again with ire,
"Because thou dost thy father's agèd years neglect,
60That loved thee more of late than thy deserts require,
Thou never shalt to any part aspire
Of this my realm among thy sisters twain,
But ever shalt undoted aye remain."
Then to the King of Albany for wife he gave
65My sister Gonerell, the eldest of us all;
And eke my sister Ragan for Hinnine to have,
Which then was Prince of Camber and Cornwall.
These after him should have his kingdom all
Between them both; he gave it frank and free,
70But nought at all he gave of dowry me.