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And living in queen Ragan's court,

The eldest of the twain,
She took from him his chiefest means,

And most of all his train.

For whereas twenty men were wont

To wait with bended knee: She gave allowance but to ten,

And after scarce to three :
Nay, one she thought too much for him :

So took she all away,
In hope that in her court, good king,

He would no longer stay.
Am I rewarded thus. quoth he,

In giving all I have
Unto my children, and to beg

For what I la rely gave?
I'll go unto my Gonorell;

My second child, I know, Will be more kind and pitiful,

And will relieve my woe.

Full fast he hies then to her court

Where when she hears his moan Return’d him answer, That she griev'd

That all his means were gone : But no way could relieve his wants; Yet if that he would

stay Within her kitchen, he should have

What scullions gave away.

When he had heard with bitter tears,

He made his answer then ;
In what I did let me be made

Example to all men
I will return again, quoth he,

Unto my Ragan’s court;
She will not use ine thus, I hope,

But in a kinder sort.

Where when he came, she gave command

To drive him thence away:
When he was well within her court,

(She said) he would not stay. Then back again to Gonorell

The woeful king did hie,
That in her kitchen he miglit have

What scullion boys set by.

But there of that he was deny’d,

Which she had promis'd late:
For once refusing, he should not

Cone after to her gate.
Thus 't wixt his daughiers. for relief

He wander'd up and down;
Being glad to feed on beggar's food,

That lately wore a crown.
And calling to remembrance then

His youngest daughter's words,
That said, the duiy of a child

Was all that love affords:
But doubting ro repair to her,

Whom he had banish'd so,
Grew fran‘ick mad; for in his mind

He bore the wounds of woe :

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Where she, true-hearted noble queen,

Was in the battle slain :
Yet he good

ng, in his old days,
Possest his crown again.

But when he heard Cordelia's death,

Who died indeed for love
Of her dear father, in whose cause

She did his battle move ;
He swooning fell upon her breast,

From whence he never parted :.
But on her bosom left his life,

That was so truely hearted.
The lords and nobles when they saw

The end of these events,
The other sisters unto death

They doomed by consents;
And being dead, their crowns they left

Unto the next of kin:
Thus have you seen the fall of pride,

And disobedient sin. Johnson.*

This ballad, which by no means deserves a place in any edition of Shakspeare, is evidently a most servile pursuit --not, indeed, of our author's play, which the writer does not appear to have read, but-of Holinshed's Chronicle, where, as in Geoffrey of Monmouth, the King of France is called Aganippus. I suppose, however, that the performance and celebrity of the play might have set the balladmaker at work, and furnished him with the circumstance of Lear's madness, of which there is no hint either in the historian or the old play. The omission of any other striking incident may be fairly imputed to his want of either genius or information. All he had to do was to spin out a sort of narrative in a sort of verse, to be sung about the streets, and make advantage of the publick curiosity. I much doubt whether any common ballad can be produced anterior to a play upon the same subject, unless in the case of some very recent event. Ritson.

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