The Age of Chivalry eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 350 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.
recall these words, persisted in asking, she still restrained her expressions so as to say rather less than more than the truth.  Then Leir, all in a passion, burst forth:  “Since thou hast not reverenced thy aged father like thy sisters, think not to have any part in my kingdom or what else I have;”—­and without delay, giving in marriage his other daughters, Goneril to the Duke of Albany, and Regan to the Duke of Cornwall, he divides his kingdom between them, and goes to reside with his eldest daughter, attended only by a hundred knights.  But in a short time his attendants, being complained of as too numerous and disorderly, are reduced to thirty.  Resenting that affront, the old king betakes him to his second daughter; but she, instead of soothing his wounded pride, takes part with her sister, and refuses to admit a retinue of more than five.  Then back he returns to the other, who now will not receive him with more than one attendant.  Then the remembrance of Cordeilla comes to his thoughts, and he takes his journey into France to seek her, with little hope of kind consideration from one whom he had so injured, but to pay her the last recompense he can render,—­ confession of his injustice.  When Cordeilla is informed of his approach, and of his sad condition, she pours forth true filial tears.  And, not willing that her own or others’ eyes should see him in that forlorn condition, she sends one of her trusted servants to meet him, and convey him privately to some comfortable abode, and to furnish him with such state as befitted his dignity.  After which Cordeilla, with the king her husband, went in state to meet him, and, after an honorable reception, the king permitted his wife, Cordeilla, to go with an army and set her father again upon his throne.  They prospered, subdued the wicked sisters and their consorts, and Leir obtained the crown and held it three years.  Cordeilla succeeded him and reigned five years; but the sons of her sisters, after that, rebelled against her, and she lost both her crown and life.

Shakspeare has chosen this story as the subject of his tragedy of “King Lear,” varying its details in some respects.  The madness of Leir, and the ill success of Cordeilla’s attempt to reinstate her father, are the principal variations, and those in the names will also be noticed.  Our narrative is drawn from Milton’s “History;” and thus the reader will perceive that the story of Leir has had the distinguished honor of being told by the two acknowledged chiefs of British literature.

FERREX AND PORREX

Ferrex and Porrex were brothers, who held the kingdom after Leir.  They quarrelled about the supremacy, and Porrex expelled his brother, who, obtaining aid from Suard, king of the Franks, returned and made war upon Porrex.  Ferrex was slain in battle and his forces dispersed.  When their mother came to hear of her son’s death, who was her favorite, she fell into a great rage, and conceived a mortal

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The Age of Chivalry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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