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It so fortuned after, that Aganippus, which the Chronicle of England named Agamp, and king of France, heard of the beauty and womanhood of Cordelia, and sent unto her father, and axed her in marriage. To whom it was answered, that the king would gladly give to him his daughter; but for dower he would not depart with: for he had all promised unto his other two daughters.
Aganippus, thus by his messagyersinformed, remembered the virtues of the forenamed Cordelia, and without promise of dower, married the said Cordelia.
But here is to be noted, that where this Aganippus, or Agamp, is called, in divers Chronicles, king of France, it cannot agree with other histories, nor with the Chronicle of France: for it is testified by Polychronica, by Peter Pictavience, by master Robert Gagwyne, by bishop Antonyne, and many other Chronicles, that long after this day there was no king in France; nor long after it was called France; but at this day the inhabitants thereof were called Galli, and were tributaries unto Rome, without king, till the time of Valentinianus, emperor of Rome, as hereafter in this work shall be inanifestly shewed.
The story of Britons saith, that in the time that Lear reigned in Britain, the land of France was under the dominion of twelve kings, of the which Agam
nippus should be one. The which saying is full of unlike to be true, which might be proved by many reasons, which I pass over for length of time.
Then it followeth in the story after this Lear was fallen in age, these foresaid two dukes thinking long or the lordship of Britain was fallen to their hands, arose again' their father, (as testifieth Gaufrede,) and bereft him the governance of the land upon certain conditions, to be continued for term of life. The which, in process of time, more and more were minished', as well by Maglaunus, as by Henninus, husbands of the forenamed Conorilla and Ragan. But most displeased Lear, the unkindness of his two daughters, considering their words to him before spoken, and sworn, and now found and proved them all contrary.
For the which he being of necessity constrained, Red his' land, and sailed into Gallia, for to be comforted of his daughter Cordelia ; whereof she having knowledge, of natural kindness, comforted him. And after shewing all the manner to her husband, by his agreement, received him and his to her lord's court, where he was cherished after her best manner.
Long it were to shew unto you the circumstance of the utterance of the unkindness of his two daughters, and of the words of comfort given to him by Aganippus and Cordelia, or of the council and pur
veyance made by the said Aganippus and his lords, for restoring of Lear again to his dominion. But finally, he was, by the help of the said Aganippus, restored again to his lordship; and so possessed, lived as ruler and governor thereof by the space of three years after; in which season died Aganippus. And when this Lear had ruled this land by the term of forty years, as affirmeth divers Chronicles, he died and was buried at his town of Caerleir, or Leister ; leaving after him for to inherit the land, his daughter Cordelia.
Cordelia, the youngest daughter of Lear, was, by assent of the Britons, made lady of Britain, in the year of the world, four thousand three hundred and ninety-eight, the which guided the land full wisely, by the time or space of five years complete; the which time expired and run, her two nephews, called Margan and Cunedagi, sons of her two sisters, came upon her land, and made therein great waste and destruction ; and at the last took herand cast her into a strong prison, where she, being despaired of the recovery of her estate, (as testifieth Gaufryde,) slew herself, when she had reigned, as before is declared, by the term of five years.
I shall present the reader with one extract more taken from the 83d chapter. It is the relation of the celebrated interview bę. tween Vortigern and Rowena, (stiled by our author Ronowen,) together with the arrival of St. Germain, and bishop Lupus, to extirpate, the Pelagian (or according to Fabian, the Arian) heresy. Both these stories are related in the third book of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Then by the soude of Hengist, came with sixteen sails, Ronowen, the daughter of the said Hengist, which was a maiden of excellent beauty. After whose coming, Hengist, upon a day, besought the king that he would see his castle, which he had newly edified. To whose request the king was agreeable; and at the day assigned, came to the said castle, where he was joyously received. And there, among other pastimes, the said Ronowen, with a cup of gold, full of wine, presented the king, saluting and saying, wassayle. The king, which before that time had heard no like salutation, nor yet understood what she meant, axed of her father what she meant by that word wassayle. To whom it was answered by Hengist, that it was a salutation of good and gladness, and that the king should drink after her, joining thereunto this answer-drink, hail! Wherefore the king, as he was informed, took the cup of the maia den's hand, and drank; and after beheld the wench
in such manner, that he was wounded with the dart of the blind god Cupid, that never after he could withdraw his love from the wench; but lastly, by instigation of the devil, axed her in marriage of her father. And by force thereof, as witnesseth Polycronica, he put from him his lawful wife, of the which he had before time received three noble sons, called Vortimerus, Catagrinus, and Pascentiuș. Then the king gave unto Hengistus, the lordship of Kent, tho'Garangonus, then earl thereof, thereat grudged, with many of his Britons.
For this and for that, that the king had married a woman of uncouth beleve, well near all the Britons forsook him and his works. Nevertheless, soine there were, as well nobles and other, that comforted the king in his evil doing. By which mean and other unleful deeds, then daily used, the faith of Christ bea gan sore to appal. . And over that, an heresy, called Arian's heresy, began then to spring in Britain. For the which, two holy bishops, named Germanus and Lupus, as of Gaufryde is witnessed, came into Britain to reform the king, and all other that erred from the way of truth.
Of this holy man, St. Germayn, Vincent Historial saith, that upon an evening when the weather was passing cold, and the snow fell very fast, he axed lodging of the king of Britain, for him and his compeers, which was denied. Then he, after sitting