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fallen into age, the two Dukes that had married his two eldest daughters, thinking long ere the gouernemente of the land did come to their handes, arose against him in armour, & reft from him the gouernance of the land, vpon conditions to be continued for tearme of life: by ye whiche he was put to his portion, that is, to liue after a rate assigned to him for the maintenance of his estate, whyche in proces of time was diminished as well by Maglanus? as by Henninus. But the greatest griefe that Leir toke, was to see the vnkindnesse of his daughters, which seemed to thinke that all was too much which their father hadde, the same being neuer so little: in so muche, that going from ye one to ye other, he was brought to that miserie, that vnneth? would they allow him one seruaunt to waite vpon him. In the end such was the vnkindnesse, or (as I may saye) the vnnaturalnesse which he founde in his two daughters, notwithstanding their faire & pleasante wordes vttered in time past, that being constreyned of necessitie, he fled ye land, & sayled into Gallia, there to seke some comfort of his yongest daughter Cordeilla whom before time he hated. The Lady Cordeill hearing yt he was arriued in pore estate, she first sent to him priuily a certayne summe of money to apparell himselfe withal, & to reteyne a certayn number of seruants that mighte attende vpon him in honorable wise, as apperteyned to the estate whiche he had borne: and then so accompanyed, she appointed him to come to ye Court, which he did, & was so ioyfully, honorably, and louingly receiued, both by his son in law Aganippus, & also by his daughter Cordeilla. that his hart was greatly comforted: For he was no lesse honored, than if he hadde bin king of ye whole countrey himselfe. Also after yt he had enformed his son in law & his daughter in what sort he had bin vsed by his other daughters, Aganippus caused a mightie army to be put in 4 readinesse, & likewise a great nauie of Ships to bee rigged, to passe ouer into Britayne with Leir his father in law, to see him againe restored to his kingdome. It was accorded, that Cordeilla should also goe with him to take possession of ye land, yo whiche he · Magbanus in the original.

? hardly.

promised to leaue vnto hir, as his rightfull inheritour after his decesse, notwithstanding any former graunte made to hir sisters or to their husbands in any manner of wise. Herevpon, when this arıny & nauie of Ships wer ready, Leir & his daughter Cordeilla wt hir husband toke ye sea, & arriuing in Britaine, fought wt their enimies, and

discomfited them in battaile, in ye whiche Maglanus and Henninus were slaine : and then was Leir restored to his kingdome, which he ruled after this by the space of two yeeres, and then died, fortie yeres after he first began to raigne. His body was buried at Leycester in a vault vnder ye channel of the River of Sore beneath the towne.'

The same story is also found in Lazamon's Brut (ed. Madden, vol. i. 123–158), with some differences of detail. The three daughters are there called Gornoille, Regau (as in Geoffrey), and Cordoille or Gordoylle, but there is a curious confusion with regard to the husbands of the two former. Gornoille is given to the duke of Cornwall, and Regau to the Scottish king, but afterwards the distribution followed by Shakespeare is mentioned as having been carried out as if it had been all along intended. This is in accordance with the story in Geoffrey of Monmouth, but is not clear from Holinshed's account, which would lead us to suppose that Goneril was married to Cornwall and Regan to Albany. The chroniclers in verse and prose who follow Geoffrey repeat the narrative. See Robert of Gloucester (ed. Hearne), pp. 29-37; Fabyan (ed. Ellis, 1811), pp. 14-16; Grafton (ed. 1809), pp. 35-37; The Mirror for Magistrates (ed. 1594), fol. 47b, &c.; Spenser, Faery Queene (bk. ii. cant. 10, st. 27-32), where Shakespeare first found the name Cordelia ; and the ballad printed in Percy's Reliques. The subsequent history of Cordeilla as told by the Chronicler is prosaic as compared with Shakespeare's version, though her end was sufficiently tragic. She succeeded Leir and reigned as queen of Britain for five years, when after her husband's death her sisters' sons "leuied warre against hir, and destroyed a great part of the

1 hir in the original.

land, and finally tooke hir prisoner, and leyd hir fast in ward, wherwith shee tooke suche griefe, beeing a woman of a manly courage, and despayring to·recouer libertie, there she slew hirselfe.' Whatever Shakespeare may have borrowed from the old story, Cordelia's fate and character are all his own. Other points of difference will be obvious upon comparison.

But with the traditional history of Lear the dramatist has interwoven the narrative of the fortunes of another father who was brought to misery by the unfilial conduct of his son, and by the combination the plot is rendered more complex, and the interest in the development is increased in the highest degree. In Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, Lib. 2 (ed. 1598, pp. 133-138), Capell pointed out the episode from which Shakespeare appears to have derived his first conception of Gloucester. In the first edition of 1590 it is called 'The pitifull state, and storie of the Paphlagonian vnkinde King, and his kind sonne, first related by the son, then by the blind father.' So much of it as is necessary for our purpose is here given from the edition of 1598.

'It was in the kingdome of Galacia, the season being (as in the depth of winter) verie cold, and as then sodainlie growne to so extreame and foule a storme, that neuer any winter (I thinke) brought forth a fowler child: so that the Princes were euen copelled by the haile, that the pride of the winde blew into their faces, to seeke some shrowding place which a certain hollow rocke offering vnto them, they made it their shield against the tempests furie. And so staying there, till the violence therof was passed, they heard the speach of a couple, who not perceiuing them, being hid within that rude canapie, held a straunge and pitifull disputation, which made them step out, yet in such sort, as they might see vnseene. There they perceiued an aged man,

and a young, scarcelie come to the age of a man, both poorely arrayed, extreamely weather-beaten; the olde man blind, the young man leading him: and yet through all those miseries, in both there seemed to appeare a kind of noblenesse, not sutable to that affliction. But the first words they heard,

of me.

were these of the old man. Well Leonatus (said he) since I cannot perswade thee to leade me to that which should end my griefe, and thy trouble, let me now intreat thee to leaue me: feare not, my miserie cannot be greater then it is, and nothing doth become me but miserie: feare, not the daunger of my blind steps, I cannot fall worse then I am: and do not I pray thee, do not obstinately continue to infect thee with my wretchednesse : but Aie, flie from this region only worthie

Deare father (answered he) do not take away from me the only remnant of my happinesse: while I haue power to do you seruice, am not whollie miserable. Ah my sonne (said he, and with that he groned, as if sorrow straue to breake his heart) how euill fits it me to haue such a sonne, and how much doth thy kindnesse vpbraid my wickednesse ? These dolefull speeches, and some others to like purpose (well shewing they had not bene borne to the fortune they were in,) moued the Princes to go out vnto them, and aske the younger what they were? Sirs (answered he with a good grace, and made the more agreeable by a certaine noble kind of piteousnesse) I see well you are straungers, that know not our miserie, so well here knowne, that no man dare know, but that we must be miserable. Indeed our state is such, as though nothing is so needfull vnto vs as pitie, yet nothing is more daungerous vnto vs, then to make our selues so knowne as may stirre pitie; but your presence promiseth that crueltie shall not ouer-runne hate: and if it did, in truth our state is sunke below the degree of feare.

• This old man (whom I leade) was lately rightfull Prince of this countrie of Paphlagonia, by the hard-hearted vngratefulnesse of a sonne of his, depriued, not onely of his kingdome (wherof no forraine forces were euer able to spoyle him) but of his sight, the riches which Nature graunts to the poorest creatures. Whereby, and by other his vnnaturall dealings, he hath bene driuen to such griefe, as euen now he would haue had me to haue led him to the top of this rocke, thence to cast himselfe headlong to death: and so would haue made me, who receiued my liļe of him, to be the worker of his destructión. But noble Gentlemen, said he, if either of you haue a father, and feele what dutifull affection is engraffed in a sonnes heart, let me intreat you to conueigh this afflicted Prince to some place of rest and securitie: amongst your worthie acts it shall be none of the least, that a king of such might and fame, & so vniustlie oppressed, is in any sort by you relieued.

But before they could make him answere, his father beganne to speake. Ah my sonne, said he, how euill an Historian are you, that leaue out the chiefe knot of all the discourse ? my wickednesse, my wickednesse: and if thou doest it to spare my eares, (the only sense now left me proper for knowledge) assure thy selfe thou doest mistake me: and I take witnesse of that Sunne which you see (with that he cast vp his blind eyes, as if he would hunt for light) and wish my selfe in worse case then I do wish my selfe, which is as euill as may be, if I speake yntrulie, that nothing is so welcome to my thoughts, as the publishing of my shame. Therefore know you Gentlemen (to whom from my heart I wish that it may not proue some ominous foretoken of misfortune to haue met with such a miser as I am) that whatsoeuer my son (ô God, that truth binds me to reproch him with the name of my son) hath said is true. But besides those truthes, this also is true, that hauing had in lawfull mariage, of a mother fit to beare royall children, this sonne (such a one as partly you see, and better shall know by my short declaration) and so enioyed the expectations in the world of him, till he was growne to iustifie their expectations (so as I needed enuie no father for the chiefe comfort of mortalitie, to leaue another ones-selfe after me) I was caried by a bastard sonne of mine (if at least I be bound to beleeue the words of that base woman my concubine, his mother) first to mislike, then to hate, lastlie to destroy, or to do my best to destroy this sonne (I thinke you thinke) vndeseruing destruction. What wayes he vsed to bring me to it, if I should tell you, I should tediouslie trouble you with as much poisonous hypocrisie, desperate fraud, smooth malice, hidden ambition, and smiling enuie, as in anie liuing person could be harboured: but I list

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