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He has represented Emergard as driven away in a covered cart or waggon by one of the servants. She is attended by a female, and in the front of the cart is placed her fool, with a countenance expressive of the utmost alarm at the impending danger. Nor would it be difficult to adduce, if necessary, similar instances of the reciprocal affection beween these singular personages and
those who retained them.
ON THE STORY OF THIS PLAY.
To the account already given of the materials which Shakspeare used, nothing perhaps of any moment can be added; but for the sake of rendering this article more complete, it may be worth while to add that the unpublished Latin Gesta Romanorum contains the history of Lear and his daughters under different names, and with some little variety of circumstance. As it is not tedious, and has never been printed, at least as far as we know at present, it is here subjoined in its English form. The manuscript used on this occasion is No. 7333, in the Harleian collection.
"Theodosius regned, a wys emperour in the cite of Rome and myghti he was of power; the whiche emperour had thre doughters. So hit liked to this emperour to knowe which of his doughters lovid him best. And tho he seid to
the eldest doughter, how moche lovist thou me? fforsoth, quod she, more than I do myself, therfore, quod he, thou shalt be hily avaunsed, and maried her to a riche and myghti kyng. Tho he cam to the secund, and seid to her, doughter, how moche lovist thou me ? As moche forsoth, she seid, as I do myself. So the emperour maried her to a duc. And tho he seid to the thrid doughter, how moche lovist thou me? fforsoth, quod she, as moche as ye beth worthi, and no more. Tho seid the emperour, doughter, sith thou lovist me no more, thou shalt not be maried srichely as thi susters beth. And tho he maried her to an erle. Aftir this it happid that the emperour held bataile ayend the king of Egypt. And the kyng drove the emperour oute of the empire, in so moche that the emperour had no place to abide ynne. So he wrote lettres ensealed with his ryng to his first doughter that seid that she lovid him more than herself, for to pray her of socouryng in that grete nede, bycause he was put oute of his empire. And when the doughter
had red thes lettres, she told hit to the kyng her husbond. Tho, quod the kyng, it is good that we socour him in this nede. I shal, quod he, gadern an host and help him in all that I can or may, and that will not be do withoute grete costage. Yee, quod she, hit were sufficiant if that we wold graunt him V knyghts to be in felashyp wt him while he is oute of his empire. And so hit was ydo indede. And the doughter wrote ayen to the fader, that other help myght he not have but V knyghts of the kyng to be in his felashyp at the cost of the kyng her husbond. And when the emperour herd this, he was hevy in his hert, and seid, alas! alas! all my trust was in her, for she seid she lovid me more than herself, and therfore I avaunced her so hye.
"Then he wrote to the seconde that seid she lovid him as moche as hirself, and when she ha herd his lettres, she shewid his erand to hir husbond, and yaf him in counseil that he shuld fynde him mete and drink and clothing honestly, as for the state of such a lorde during tyme of his nede. And when this was graunted, she wrote lettres agein to hir fadir. The emperour was hevy w this answere, and seid, sith my two doughters have thus yhevid me, sothely I shal
preve the third. the third.
And so he wrote to the thrid that seid she lovid him as moche as he was worthi, and praied her of socour in his nede, and tolde her the answere of her two sustris. So the thrid doughter when she had considered the myschief of her ffader, she told her husbond in this fourme: my worshipfull lord do socour me now in this grete nede, my fadir is put oute of his empire and his heritage. Then spake he, what were thi will I did therto. That ye gadre a grete oste, quod she, and helpe him to fight ayens his enemys. I shal fulfill thi will, seide the erle, and gaderid a grete oste and yede with the emperoure at his owne costage to the bataile, and had the victorye, and set the emperour ayen in his heritage. And then seid the emperour, blessed be the hour I gate my yongist doughter: I lovid her lesse than eni of the othir, and now in my nede she hath socoured me, and the othir have yfailed me; and therefore aftir my deth she shal have myn empire. And so hit was ydo in dede; for aftir the deth of the emperour, the yongist doughter regned in his sted and ended pesibiy."
The same story is to be found in the formerly celebrated English chronicle erroneously súpposed to have been written by Caxton, the early