“O irreversible decrees of the Fates, that never swerve from your stated course! why did you ever advance me to an unstable felicity, since the punishment of lost happiness is greater than the sense of present misery? The remembrance of the time when vast numbers of men obsequiously attended me in the taking the cities and wasting the enemy’s countries, more deeply pierces my heart than the view of my present calamity, which has exposed me to the derision of those who were formerly prostrate at my feet. Oh! the enmity of fortune! Shall I ever again see the day when I may be able to reward those according to their deserts who have forsaken me in my distress? How true was thy answer, Cordeilla, when I asked thee concerning thy love to me, ‘As much as you have, so much is your value, and so much do I love you.’ While I had anything to give they valued me, being friends, not to me, but to my gifts: they loved me then, but they loved my gifts much more: when my gifts ceased, my friends vanished. But with what face shall I presume to see you my dearest daughter, since in my anger I married you upon worse terms than your sisters, who, after all the mighty favours they have received from me, suffer me to be in banishment and poverty?” As he was lamenting his condition in these and the like expressions, he arrived at Karitia, where his daughter was, and waited before the city while he sent a messenger to inform her of the misery he was fallen into, and to desire her relief for a father who suffered both hunger and nakedness. Cordeilla was startled at the news and wept bitterly, and with tears asked how many men her father had with him. The messenger answered, he had none but one man, who had been his armour-bearer, and was staying with him without the town. Then she took what money she thought might be sufficient, and gave it to the messenger, with orders to carry her father to another city, and there give out that he was sick, and to provide for him bathing, clothes, and all other nourishment. She likewise gave orders that he should take into his service forty men, well clothed and accoutred, and that when all things were thus prepared he should notify his arrival to king Aganippus and his daughter. The messenger quickly returning, carried Leir to another city, and there kept him concealed, till he had done every thing that Cordeilla had commanded.
Chapter 13. He is very honourably received by Cordeilla and the king of Gaul.
As soon as he was provided with his royal apparel, ornaments, and retinue, he sent word to Aganippus and his daughter, that he was driven out of his kingdom of Britain by his sons-in-law, and was come to them to procure their assistance for recovering his dominions. Upon which they, attended with their chief ministers of state and the nobility of the kingdom, went out to meet him, and received him honourably, and gave into his management the whole power of Gaul, till such time as he should be restored to his former dignity.
Chapter 14. Leir, being restored to the kingdom by the help of his son-in-law and Cordeilla, dies.
In the meantime Aganippus sent officers over all Gaul to raise an army, to restore his father-in-law to his kingdom of Britain. Which done, Leir returned to Britain with his son and daughter and the forces which they had raised, where he fought with his sons-in-law and routed them. Having thus reduced the whole kingdom to his power, he died the third year after. Aganippus also died; and Cordeilla, obtaining the government of the kingdom, buried her father in a certain vault, which she ordered to be made for him under the river Sore, in Leicester, and which had been built originally under the ground to the honour of the god Janus. And here all the workmen of the city, upon the anniversary solemnity of that festival, used to begin their yearly labours.
Chapter 15. Cordeilla, being imprisoned, kills herself. Margan, aspiring to the whole kingdom, is killed by Cunedagius.
After a peaceful possession of the government for five years, Cordeilla began to meet with disturbances from the two sons of her sisters, being both young men of great spirit, whereof one, named Margan, was born to Maglaunus, and the other, named Cunedagius, to Henuinus. These, after the death of their fathers, succeeding them in their dukedoms, were incensed to see Britain subject to a woman, and raised forces in order to raise a rebellion against the queen; nor would they desist from hostilities, till, after a general waste of her countries, and several battles fought, they at last took her and put her in prison, where for grief at the loss of her kingdom she killed herself. After this they divided the island between them; of which the part that reaches from the north side of the Humber to Caithness, fell to Margan; the other part from the same river westward was Cunedagius’s share. At the end of two years, some restless spirits that took pleasure in the troubles of the nation, had access to Margan, and inspired him with vain conceits, by representing to him how mean and disgraceful it was for him not to govern the whole island,