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Corn. But if a man can frame himselfe to myrth, It is a meane for to prolong his life.
Leir. Then welcome forrow, Leirs only friend, Who doth desire his troubled dayes had end.
Corn. Comfort your felfe, father, here comes your daughter, Who much will grieue, I know, to see you sad.
Leir. But more doth grieue, I feare, to see me liue.
Corn. My Gonorill, you come in wished time,
To put your father from these pensiue dumps.
In fayth, I feare that all things go not well.
Gon. What, do you feare, that I haue angred him ?
Hath he complaynd of me vnto my lord ?
Ile prouide him a piece of bread and cheese
For in a time heele practise nothing else,
Then carry tales from one vnto another.
Tis all his practise for to kindle strife,
'Twixt you, my lord, and me your louing wife :
But I will take an order, if I can,
To cease th' effect, where first the cause began.
Corn. Sweet, be not angry in a partiall cause,
He ne're complayn'd of thee in all his life.
Father, you must not weygh a woman's words,
Leir. Alas, not I: poore foule, she breeds yong bones,
And that is it makes her so tutchy sure.
Gon. What, breeds young bones already! you will make
An honest woman of me then, belike.
O vild olde wretch ! who euer heard the like,
That seeketh thus his owne child to defame ?
Corn. I cannot stay to heare this discord sound. Exit.
Gon. For any one that loues your company,
You may go pack, and seeke fome other place,
To sowe the seed of discord and disgrace.
Leir. Thus, say or do the best that e're I can,
Tis wrested straight into another sence,
This punishment my heauy sinnes delerde,
And more then this ten thousand thousand times :
Elle aged Leir them could neuer find
Cruell to him, to whom he hath bin kind.
Why do I ouer-liue my selfe, to see
The course of nature quite reuerst in me?
Ah, gentie death, if euer any wight
Did wish thy presence with a perfit zeale
Then come, I pray thee, euen with all my heart,
And end my sorrowes with thy fatall dart.
He weeper. Per. Ah, do not so disconfolate your felfe, Nor dew your aged cheeks with wasting teares.
Leir. What man art thou that takest any pity Vpon the worthlesse state of old Leir ?
Per. One, who doth beare as great a fhare of griefe,
As if it were my dearest fathers case.
Leir. Ah, good my friend, how ill art thou aduifde,
For to confort with miserable men :
Go learne to flatter, where thou mayst in time
Get fauour ’mongst the mighty, and so clyme :
For now I am so poore and full of want,
As that I ne're can recompence thy loue.
Per. What's got by flattery, doth not long indure ;
And men in fauour liue not molt secure.
My conscience tels me, if I should forsake you,
I were the hatefullt excrement on the earth :
Which well do know, in course of foriner tine,
How good my ford hath bin to me and mine,
Leir. Did I ere rayse thee higher then the rest
Of all thy ancestors which were before ?
Per, I ne're did seeke it; but by your good grace,
I still inioyed my owde with quietaelle.
Leir. Did I ere giue thee liuing, to increase
The due reuennues which thy father left ?
Per. I had ynough, my lord, and hauing that,
What should you need to giue me any more ?
Leir. Oh, did I euer dispossesse my felfe,
And giue thee halfe my kingdome in good will ?
Per. Alas, my lord, there were no reason, why
You should haue fuch a thought, to giue it me.
Leir. Nay, if thou talke of reason, then be mute;
For with good reason I can thee confute.
If they, which first by natures sacred law,
Do owe to me the tribute of their lives;
If they to whom I alwayes haue bin kinde,
And bountifull beyond comparifon;
If they, for whom I haue vndone my felfe,
And brought my age vnto this extreme want,
Do now reiect, contemne, despise, abhor me,
What reason moueth thee to forrow for me?
Per. Where reason fayles, let teares confirme my loue,
And speake how much your passions do me moue.
Ah, good my lord, condemne not all for one:
You haue two daughters left, to whom I know
You shall be welcome, if you please to go.
Leir. Oh, how thy words adde sorrow to my foule,
To thinke of my vnkindnesle to Cordella !
Whom causelesse I did dispossesse of all.
Vpon th' vokind suggestions of her sisters :
And for her fake, I thinke this heauy doome
Is falne on me, and not without desert :
Yet vnto Ragan was I alwayes kinde,
And gzue to her the halfe of all I had :
It may be, if I should to her repayre,
She would be kinder, and intreat me fayre.
Per. No doubt she would, and practise ere't be long,
By force of armes for to redresse your wrong.
Leir. Well, since thou doeft aduise me for to go, I am resolu'd to try the worst of wo.
Rag. How may I blesse the howre of my natiuity,
Which bodeth vnto me such happy starres !
How may I thank kind fortune, that vouchsafes
To all my actions, such desir'd euent !
I rule the king of Cambria as I please ;
The states are all obedient to my will;
And looke what ere I say, it shall be so;
Not any one, that dareth answere no.
My eldest Gifter liues in royall state,
And wanteth nothing fitting her degree :
Yet hath she such a cooling card withall,
As that her hony fauoureth much of gall.
My father with her is quarter-master still,
And many times restraynes her of her will:
But if he were with me, and seru'd me so,
Ide send him packing some where else to go.
Ide entertayne him with such fender cost,
That he should quickly wish to change his hoft.
Enter Cornwall, Gonorill, and attendants,
C:rn. Ah, Gonorill, what dire vnhappy chaunce
Hath fequeftred thy father from our presence,
That no report can yet be heard of him?
Some great vnkindnesse hath bin offred him,
Exceeding far the bounds of patience :
Else all the world shall neuer me perswade,
He would forsake vs without notice made.
Gon. Alas, my lord, whom doth it touch fo neere,
Or who hath interest in this griefe, but I,
Whom sorrow had brought to her longest home,
But that I know his qualities so well ?
I know, he is but stolne vpon my sister
At vnawares, to see her how she fares,
And spend a little time with her, to note
How all things goe, and how she likes her choyce :
And when occasion ferues, heele steale from her,
And vnawares returne to vs agayne.
Therefore, my lord, be frolick, and resolue
To see my father here agayne e're loug.
· Corn. I hope fo too; but yet to be more sure,
Ile send a poste immediately to know
Whether he be arriued there or no.
Gon. But I will intercept the messenger,
And tens per him before he doth depart,
With sweet perswalions, and with sound rewards,
That his report shall ratify my speech,
And make my lord cease further to inquire.
If he be not gone to my sisters court,
As sure my mind presageth that he is,
He happely may, by trauelling vnknowne wayes,
Fall sicke, and as a common passenger,
dead and buried : would God it were so well;
For then there were no more to do, but this,
He went away, and none knowes where he is.
But say he be in Cambria with the king,
And there exclayme against me, as he will :
I kaow he is as welcome to my sister,