« AnteriorContinuar »
Who dotes, as if he were a child agayne,
I shall inioy the noble Cambrian prince:
Only, to feed his humour, will suffice,
To say, I am content with any one
Whom heele appoynt me; this will please him more.
Then e're Apolloes musike pleased loue,
Gon. I sinile to think, in what a wofull plight
Cordella will be, when we answere thus :
For she will rather dye, then giue consent
To ioyne in marriage with the Irisb king:
So will our father think, the loueth him not,
Because she will not graunt to his desire,
Which we will aggrauate in fuch bitter termes,
That he will soone conuert his loue to hate :
For he, you know, is alwayes in extremes.
Rag. Not all the world could lay a better plot,
I long till it be put in practice.
Enter Leir and Perillus.
Leir. Perillus, go seeke my daughters,
Will them immediately come and speak with me.
Per. I will, my gracious lord.
Leir. Oh, what a combat feeles my panting heart,
'Twixt childrens loue, and care of common weale!
How deare my daughters are vnto my soule,
None knowes, but he, that knowes my thoghts and secrét
Ah, little do they know the deare regard,
Wherein I hold their future state to come :
When they securely fleepe on beds of downe,
These aged eyes do watch for their behalfe :
While they like wantons sport in youthfull toyés,
This throbbing heart is pearst with dire annoyes.
As doth the sun exceed the smallest starre,
So much the fathers loue exceeds the childs.
Yet my complaynts are caufleffe: for the world
Affords not children more conformable:
And yet, me thinks, my mind prelageth still
I know not what; and yet I feare some ill.
Enter Perillus, with the three daughters.
Well, here my daughters come: I haue found out
A present meanes to rid me of this doubt.
Gon. Our royall lord and father, in all duty,
We come to know the tenour of your will,
Why you so hastily haue sent for vs.
Leir. Deare Gonorill, kind Ragan, sweet Cordella,
Ye florishing branches of a kingly stocke,
Sprung from a tree that once did flourish greene,
Whose blossomes now are nipt with winters frost,
And pale grym death doth wayt vpon my steps,
And summons me vnto his next aslizes.
Therefore, deare daughters, as ye tender the safety
Of him that was the cause of your first being,
Resolue a doubt which much molests my mind,
Which of you three to me would proue most kind;
Which loues me most, and which at my request
Will soonest yeeld vnto their fathers hest.
Gon. I hope, my gracious father makes no doubt
Of any of his daughters loue to him:
Yet for my part, to thew my zeale to you,
Which cannot be in windy words rehearst,
I prize my loue to you at such a rate,
I thinke my life inferiour to my loue.
Should you inioyne me for to tye a milftone
About my neck, and leape into the sea,
At your commaund I willingly would doe it:
Yea, for to doe you good, I would ascend
The highest turret in all Brittany,
And from the top leape headlong to the ground:
Nay, more, should you appoynt me for to marry
The meanest vassayle in the spacious world,
Without reply I would accomplish it:
In briefe, commaund what ever you desire,
And if I fayle, no fauour I require.
Leir. O, how thy words reuiue my dying foule !
Cor. O, how I doe abhorre this flattery !
Leir. But what fayth Ragan to her fathers will ?
Rag. O, that my simple veterance could suffice,
To tell the true intention of my heart,
Which burnes in zeale of duty to your grace,
And neuer can be quench'd, but by desire
To Mew the fame in outward forwardnesse.
Oh, that there were some other mayd that durst
But make a challenge of her loue with me;
Ide make her soone confesse she neuer loued
Her father halfe so well as I doe you.
I then, my deeds should proue in playner case,
How much my zeale aboundeth to your grace :
But for them all, let this one meane suffice.
To ratify my loue before your eyes:
I haue right poble suters to my love,
No worse then kings, and happely I loue one:
Yet, would you haue me make my choyce anew,
Ide bridle fancy, and be rulde by you.
Leir. Did neuer Philomel sing so sweet a note.
Cord. Did neuer Aatterer tell so false a tale.
Leir. Speak now, Cordella, make my ioyes at full,
And drop downe nectar from thy hony lips.
Cor. I cannot paynt my duty forth in words, I hope my deeds shall make report for me :
But looke what loue the child doth owe the father,
The same to you I beare, my gracious lord.
Gon. Here is an answere answerlesse indeed :
Were you my daughter, I should scarcely brooke it.
Rag. Dost thou not blush, proud peacock as thou art,
To make our father such a Night reply?
Leir. Why how now, minion, are you growne so proud ?
Doth our deare loue make you thus peremptory?
What, is your loue become so small to vs,
As that you scorne to tell vs what it is?
Do you loue vs, as euery child doth loue
Their father? True indeed, as some,
Who by disobedience fort their fathers dayes,
And so would you ; some are so father-sick,
That they make meanes to rid them from the world;
And so would you: fome are indifferent,
Whether their aged parents liue or dye;
And so are you. But, didst thou know, proud gyrle,
What care I had to foster thee to this,
Ah, then thou wouldīt say as thy fifters do :
Our life is lesse, then loue we owe to you.
Cord. Deare father, do not so mistake my words,
Nor my playne meaning be misconstrued ;
My toung was neuer vsde to fattery.
Gon. You were not best say I Aatter : if you do,
My deeds shall shew, I Aatter not with you.
I loue my father better then thou canst.
Cor. The prayse were great, spoke from anothers mouth: But it should seeme your neighbours dwell far off.
Rag. Nay, here is one, that will confirme as much
As the nath fayd, both for my felfe and her.
I say, thou dost not with my fathers good.
Gord. Deare father.
Leir. Peace, bastard impe, no issue of king Leir,
I will not heare thee speake one tittle more.
Call not me father, if thou loue thy life,
Nor these thy sisters once presume to name:
Looke for no helpe henceforth from me or mine;
Shift as thou wilt, and trust voto thy selfe
My kingdome will I equally deuide
'Twixt thy two sisters to their royall dowre,
And will bestow them worthy their deserts :
This done, because thou shalt not haue the hope,
To haue a childs part in the time to come,
I presently will dispossesse my selfe,
And set vp these vpon my princely throne.
Gon. I euer thought that pride would haue a fall.
Ra. Plaine dealing, fifter : your beauty is so sheene, You need no dowry, to make you be a queene.
Exeunt Leir, Gonorill, Ragan.
Cord. Now whither, poore forsaken, shall I goe,
When mine owne sisters tryumph in my woe?
But vnto him which doth protect the iust,
In him will poore Cordella put her trust.
These hands shall labour, for to get my spending;
And so Ile liue vntill my dayes haue ending.
Per. Oh, how I gricue, to see my lord thus fond,
To dote so much vpon vayne flattering words.
Ah, if he but with good aduice had weyghed,
The hidden tenure of her humble speech,
Reason to rage should not haue giuen place,
Nor poore Cordella suffer such disgrace.
Enter the Gallian king with Mumford, and three nobles more,
King. Diliwade me not, my lords, I am resolu'd,
This next fayre wynd to fayle for Brittany',