The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1, by William Painter
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Title: The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1
Author: William Painter
Release Date: January 1, 2007 [eBook #20241]
[Most recently updated: October 17, 2021]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Louise Hope, Carlo Traverso and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

The first seven pages of the printed book have been moved to the end of this section of the e-text.

In the introduction, the spelling “Giovanne” (Boccaccio) is used more often than “Giovanni”. Unless otherwise noted, brackets [ ] and question marks (?) are in the original.

Note that “Tome I” refers to the two-volume editions of Painter and Haslewood, while “Volume I” refers to Jacobs’s three-volume edition (the present text). Tome I goes up to Novel LXVI (i.66); Volume I ends at Novel XLVI (i.46).

title-page text at end of file

Title Page Text

Ballantyne Press





Indented or italicized items were added by the transcriber. Italicized terms do not appear in the printed text. The “Tome I” link leads to a separate file containing novels I - XLVI.

Bibliographical Notices xlv




The Second Tome lxxxi
Footnotes end

Novels 1.I - 1.XLVI



The present edition of Painter’s “Palace of Pleasure,” the storehouse of Elizabethan plot, follows page for page and line for line the privately printed and very limited edition made by Joseph Haslewood in 1813. One of the 172 copies then printed by him has been used as “copy” for the printer, but this has been revised in proof from the British Museum examples of the second edition of 1575. The collation has for the most part only served to confirm Haslewood’s reputation for careful editing. Though the present edition can claim to come nearer the original in many thousands of passages, it is chiefly in the mint and cummin of capitals and italics that we have been able to improve on Haslewood: in all the weightier matters of editing he shows only the minimum of fallibility. We have however divided his two tomes, for greater convenience, into three volumes of as nearly as possible equal size. This arrangement has enabled us to give the title pages of both editions of the two tomes, those of the first edition in facsimile, those of the second (at the beginning of vols. ii. and iii.) with as near an approach to the original as modern founts of type will permit.

I have also reprinted Haslewood’s “Preliminary Matter,” which give the Dryasdust details about the biography of Painter and the bibliography of his book in a manner not too Dryasdust. With regard to the literary apparatus of the book, I have x perhaps been able to add something to Haslewood’s work. From the Record Office and British Museum I have given a number of documents about Painter, and have recovered the only extant letter of our author. I have also gone more thoroughly into the literary history of each of the stories in the “Palace of Pleasure” than Haslewood thought it necessary to do. I have found Oesterley’s edition of Kirchhof and Landau’s Quellen des Dekameron useful for this purpose. I have to thank Dr. F. J. Furnivall for lending me his copies of Bandello and Belleforest.

I trust it will be found that the present issue is worthy of a work which, with North’s “Plutarch” and Holinshed’s “Chronicle,” was the main source of Shakespeare’s Plays. It had also, as early as 1580, been ransacked to furnish plots for the stage, and was used by almost all the great masters of the Elizabethan drama. Quite apart from this source of interest, the “Palace of Pleasure” contains the first English translations from the Decameron, the Heptameron, from Bandello, Cinthio and Straparola, and thus forms a link between Italy and England. Indeed as the Italian novelle form part of that continuous stream of literary tradition and influence which is common to all the great nations of Europe, Painter’s book may be termed a link connecting England with European literature. Such a book as this is surely one of the landmarks of English literature.



A young man, trained in the strictest sect of the Pharisees, is awakened one morning, and told that he has come into the absolute possession of a very great fortune in lands and wealth. The time may come when he may know himself and his powers more thoroughly, but never again, as on that morn, will he feel such an exultant sense of mastery over the world and his fortunes. That image1 seems to me to explain better than any other that remarkable outburst of literary activity which makes the Elizabethan Period unique in English literature, and only paralleled in the world’s literature by the century after Marathon, when Athens first knew herself. With Elizabeth England came of age, and at the same time entered into possession of immense spiritual treasures, which were as novel as they were extensive. A New World promised adventures to the adventurous, untold wealth to the enterprising. The Orient had become newly known. The Old World of literature had been born anew. The Bible spoke for the first time in a tongue understanded of the people. Man faced his God and his fate without any intervention of Pope or priest. Even the very earth beneath his feet began to move. Instead of a universe with dimensions known and circumscribed with Dantesque minuteness, the mystic glow of the unknown had settled down on the whole face of Nature, who offered her secrets to the first comer. No wonder the Elizabethans were filled with an exulting sense of man’s capabilities, when they had all these realms of thought and action suddenly and at once thrown open before them. There is a confidence in the future and all it had xii to bring which can never recur, for while man may come into even greater treasures of wealth or thought than the Elizabethans dreamed of, they can never be as new to us as they were to them. The sublime confidence of Bacon in the future of science, of which he knew so little, and that little wrongly, is thus eminently and characteristically Elizabethan.2

The department of Elizabethan literature in which this exuberant energy found its most characteristic expression was the Drama, and that for a very simple though strange reason. To be truly great a literature must be addressed to the nation as a whole. The subtle influence of audience on author is shown equally though conversely in works written only for sections of a nation. Now in the sixteenth century any literature that should address the English nation as a whole—not necessarily all Englishmen, but all classes of Englishmen—could not be in any literary form intended to be merely read. For the majority of Englishmen could not read. Hence they could only be approached by literature when read or recited to them in church or theatre. The latter form was already familiar to them in the Miracle Plays and Mysteries, which had been adopted by the Church as the best means of acquainting the populace with Sacred History. The audiences of the Miracle Plays were prepared for the representation of human action on the stage. Meanwhile, from translation and imitation, young scholars at the universities had become familiar with some of the masterpieces of Ancient Drama, and with the laws of dramatic form. But where were they to seek for matter to fill out these forms? Where were they, in short, to get their plots?

Plot, we know, is pattern as applied to human action. A story, whether told or acted, must tend in some definite direction if it is to be a story at all. And the directions in which stories can go are singularly few. Somebody in the Athenæum—probably Mr. Theodore Watts, he has the habit of saying such things—has remarked that during the past century only two novelties in plot, xiii Undine and Monte Christo, have been produced in European literature. Be that as it may, nothing strikes the student of comparative literature so much as the paucity of plots throughout literature and the universal tendency to borrow plots rather than attempt the almost impossible task of inventing them. That tendency is shown at its highest in the Elizabethan Drama. Even Shakespeare is as much a plagiarist or as wise an artist, call it which you will, as the meanest of his fellows.

Not alone is it difficult to invent a plot; it is even difficult to see one in real life. When the denouement comes, indeed—when the wife flees or commits suicide—when bosom friends part, or brothers speak no more—we may know that there has been the conflict of character or the clash of temperaments which go to make the tragedies of life. But to recognise these opposing forces before they come to the critical point requires somewhat rarer qualities. There must be a quasi-scientific interest in life quâ life, a dispassionate detachment from the events observed, and at the same time an artistic capacity for selecting the cardinal points in the action. Such an attitude can only be attained in an older civilisation, when individuality has emerged out of nationalism. In Europe of the sixteenth century the only country which had reached this stage was Italy.

The literary and spiritual development of Italy has always been conditioned by its historic position as the heir of Rome. Great nations, as M. Renan has remarked, work themselves out in effecting their greatness. The reason is that their great products overshadow all later production, and prevent all competition by their very greatness. When once a nation has worked up its mythic element into an epos, it contains in itself no further materials out of which an epos can be elaborated. So Italian literature has always been overshadowed by Latin literature. Italian writers, especially in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, were always conscious of their past, and dared not compete with the great names of Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and the rest. At the same time, with this consciousness of the past, they had evolved a special interest in the problems and arts of the present. The split-up of the peninsula into so many small states, many of xiv them republics, had developed individual life just as the city-states of Hellas had done in ancient times. The main interest shifted from the state and the nation to the life and development of the individual.3 And with this interest arose in the literary sphere the dramatic narrative of human action—the Novella.

The genealogy of the Novella is short but curious. The first known collection of tales in modern European literature dealing with the tragic and comic aspects of daily life was that made by Petrus Alphonsi, a baptized Spanish Jew, who knew some Arabic.4 His book, the Disciplina Clericalis, was originally intended as seasoning for sermons, and very strong seasoning they must have been found. The stories were translated into French, and thus gave rise to the Fabliau, which allowed full expression to the esprit Gaulois. From France the Fabliau passed to Italy, and came ultimately into the hands of Boccaccio, under whose influence it became transformed into the Novella.5

It is an elementary mistake to associate Boccaccio’s name with the tales of gayer tone traceable to the Fabliaux. He initiated the custom of mixing tragic with the comic tales. Nearly all the novelle of the Fourth Day, for example, deal with tragic topics. And the example he set in this way was followed by the whole school of Novellieri. As Painter’s book is so largely due to them, a few words on the Novellieri used by him seem desirable, reserving for the present the question of his treatment of their text.

Of Giovanne Boccaccio himself it is difficult for any one with a love of letters to speak in few or measured words. He may have been a Philistine, as Mr. Symonds calls him, but he was surely a Philistine of genius. He has the supreme virtue of style. In fact, it may be roughly said that in Europe for nearly two centuries there is no such thing as a prose style but Boccaccio’s. xv Even when dealing with his grosser topics—and these he derived from others—he half disarms disgust by the lightness of his touch. And he could tell a tale, one of the most difficult of literary tasks. When he deals with graver actions, if he does not always rise to the occasion, he never fails to give the due impression of seriousness and dignity. It is not for nothing that the Decamerone has been the storehouse of poetic inspiration for nearly five centuries. In this country alone, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, Keats, Tennyson, have each in turn gone to Boccaccio for material.

In his own country he is the fountainhead of a wide stream of literary influences that has ever broadened as it flowed. Between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries the Italian presses poured forth some four thousand novelle, all avowedly tracing from Boccaccio.6 Many of these, it is true, were imitations of the gayer strains of Boccaccio’s genius. But a considerable proportion of them have a sterner tone, and deal with the weightier matters of life, and in this they had none but the master for their model. The gloom of the Black Death settles down over the greater part of all this literature. Every memorable outburst of the fiercer passions of men that occurred in Italy, the land of passion, for all these years, found record in a novella of Boccaccio’s followers. The Novelle answered in some respects to our newspaper reports of trials and the earlier Last Speech and Confession. But the example of Boccaccio raised these gruesome topics into the region of art. Often these tragedies are reported of the true actors; still more often under the disguise of fictitious names, that enabled the narrator to have more of the artist’s freedom in dealing with such topics.

The other Novellieri from whom Painter drew inspiration may be dismissed very shortly. Of Ser Giovanne Fiorentino, who wrote the fifty novels of his Pecorone about 1378, little is known nor need be known; his merits of style or matter do not raise him above mediocrity. Straparola’s Piacevole Notti were composed in Venice in the earlier half of the sixteenth century, and are chiefly interesting xvi for the fact that some dozen or so of his seventy-four stories are folk-tales taken from the mouth of the people, and were the first thus collected: Straparola was the earliest Grimm. His contemporary Giraldi, known as Cinthio (or Cinzio), intended his Ecatomithi to include one hundred novelle, but they never reached beyond seventy; he has the grace to cause the ladies to retire when the men relate their smoking-room anecdotes of feminine impudiche. Owing to Dryden’s statement “Shakespeare’s plots are in the one hundred novels of Cinthio” (Preface to Astrologer), his name has been generally fixed upon as the representative Italian novelist from whom the Elizabethans drew their plots. As a matter of fact only “Othello” (Ecat. iii. 7), and “Measure for Measure” (ib. viii. 5), can be clearly traced to him, though “Twelfth Night” has some similarity with Cinthio’s “Gravina” (v. 8): both come from a common source, Bandello.

Bandello is indeed the next greatest name among the Novellieri after that of Boccaccio, and has perhaps had even a greater influence on dramatic literature than his master. Matteo Bandello was born at the end of the fifteenth century at Castelnuovo di Scrivia near Tortona. He lived mainly in Milan, at the Dominican monastery of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo painted his “Last Supper.” As he belonged to the French party, he had to leave Milan when it was taken by the Spaniards in 1525, and after some wanderings settled in France near Agen. About 1550 he was appointed Bishop of Agen by Henri II., and he died some time after 1561. To do him justice, he only received the revenues of his see, the episcopal functions of which were performed by the Bishop of Grasse. His novelle are nothing less than episcopal in tone and he had the grace to omit his dignity from his title-pages.

Indeed Bandello’s novels7 reflect as in a mirror all the worst sides of Italian Renaissance life. The complete collapse of all the older sanctions of right conduct, the execrable example given by the petty courts, the heads of which were reckless because their position was so insecure, the great growth of wealth and xvii luxury, all combined to make Italy one huge hot-bed of unblushing vice. The very interest in individuality, the spectator-attitude towards life, made men ready to treat life as one large experiment, and for such purposes vice is as important as right living even though it ultimately turns out to be as humdrum as virtue. The Italian nobles treated life in this experimental way and the novels of Bandello and others give us the results of their experiments. The Novellieri were thus the “realists” of their day and of them all Bandello was the most realistic. He claims to give only incidents that really happened and makes this his excuse for telling many incidents that should never have happened. It is but fair to add that his most vicious tales are his dullest.

That cannot be said of Queen Margaret of Navarre, who carries on the tradition of the Novellieri, and is represented in Painter by some of her best stories. She intended to give a Decameron of one hundred stories—the number comes from the Cento novelle antichi, before Boccaccio—but only got so far as the second novel of the eighth day. As she had finished seven days her collection is known as the Heptameron. How much of it she wrote herself is a point on which the doctors dispute. She had in her court men like Clement Marot, and Bonaventure des Périers, who probably wrote some of the stories. Bonaventure des Périers in particular, had done much in the same line under his own name, notably the collection known as Cymbalum Mundi. Marguerite’s other works hardly prepare us for the narrative skill, the easy grace of style and the knowledge of certain aspects of life shown in the Heptameron. On the other hand the framework, which is more elaborate than in Boccaccio or any of his school, is certainly from one hand, and the book does not seem one that could have been connected with the Queen’s name unless she had really had much to do with it. Much of its piquancy comes from the thought of the association of one whose life was on the whole quite blameless with anecdotes of a most blameworthy style. Unlike the lady in the French novel who liked to play at innocent games with persons who were not innocent, Margaret seems to have liked to talk and write of things xviii not innocent while remaining unspotted herself. Her case is not a solitary one.

The whole literature of the Novella has the attraction of graceful naughtiness in which vice, as Burke put it, loses half its evil by losing all its grossness. At all times, and for all time probably, similar tales, more broad than long, will form favourite talk or reading of adolescent males. They are, so to speak, pimples of the soul which synchronise with similar excrescences of the skin. Some men have the art of never growing old in this respect, but I cannot say I envy them their eternal youth. However, we are not much concerned with tales of this class on the present occasion. Very few of the novelle selected by Painter for translation depend for their attraction on mere naughtiness. In matters of sex the sublime and the ridiculous are more than usually close neighbours. It is the tragic side of such relations that attracted Painter, and it was this fact that gave his book its importance for the history of English literature, both in its connection with Italian letters and in its own internal development.

The relations of Italy and England in matters literary are due to the revivers of the New Learning. Italy was, and still is, the repository of all the chief MSS. of the Greek and Latin classics. Thither, therefore, went all the young Englishmen, whom the influence of Erasmus had bitten with a desire for the New Learning which was the Old Learning born anew. But in Italy itself, the New Learning had even by the early years of the sixteenth century produced its natural result of giving birth to a national literature (Ariosto, Trissino). Thus in their search for the New Learning, Englishmen of culture who went to Italy came back with a tincture of what may be called the Newest Learning, the revival of Italian Literature.

Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey “The Dioscuri of the Dawn” as they have been called, are the representatives of this new movement in English thought and literature, which came close on the heels of the New Learning represented by Colet, More, Henry VIII. himself and Roger Ascham. The adherents of the New Learning did not look with too favourable eyes on xix the favourers of the Newest Learning. They took their ground not only on literary lines, but with distinct reference to manners and morals. The corruption of the Papal Court which had been the chief motive cause of the Reformation—men judge creeds by the character they produce, not by the logical consistency of their tenets—had spread throughout Italian society. The Englishmen who came to know Italian society could not avoid being contaminated by the contact. The Italians themselves observed the effect and summed it up in their proverb, Inglese italianato è un diabolo incarnato. What struck the Italians must have been still more noticeable to Englishmen. We have a remarkable proof of this in an interpolation made by Roger Ascham at the end of the first part of his Schoolmaster, which from internal evidence must have been written about 1568, the year after the appearance of Painter’s Second Tome.8 The whole passage is so significant of the relations of the chief living exponent of the New Learning to the appearance of what I have called the Newest Learning that it deserves to be quoted in full in any introduction to the book in which the Newest Learning found its most characteristic embodiment. I think too I shall be able to prove that there is a distinct and significant reference to Painter in the passage (pp. 77-85 of Arber’s edition, slightly abridged).

But I am affraide, that ouer many of our trauelers into Italie, do not exchewe the way to Circes Court: but go, and ryde, and runne, and flie thether, they make great hast to cum to her: they make great sute to serue her: yea, I could point out some with my finger, that neuer had gone out of England, but onelie to serue Circes, in Italie. Vanitie and vice, and any licence to ill liuyng in England was counted stale and rude vnto them. And so, beyng Mules and Horses before they went, returned verie Swyne and Asses home agayne; yet euerie where verie Foxes with as suttle and busie heades; and where they may, verie Woolues, with cruell malicious hartes. A trewe Picture of a knight of Circes Court. A maruelous monster, which, for filthines of liuyng, for dulnes to learning him selfe, for wilinesse in dealing with others, for malice in hurting without cause, should carie at once in one bodie, the belie of a Swyne, the head of an Asse, the brayne of a Foxe, the wombe of a xx wolfe. If you thinke, we iudge amisse, and write to sore against you, heare, The Italians iudgement of Englishmen brought vp in Italie. what the Italian sayth of the English Man, what the master reporteth of the scholer: who vttereth playnlie, what is taught by him, and what learned by you, saying Englese Italianato, e vn diabolo incarnato, that is to say, you remaine men in shape and facion, but becum deuils in life and condition. This is not, the opinion of one, for some priuate spite, but the iudgement of all, in a common Prouerbe, which riseth, of that learnyng, and those maners, which you gather in Italie: The Italian diffameth them selfe, to shame the Englishe man. a good Scholehouse of wholesome doctrine, and worthy Masters of commendable Scholers, where the Master had rather diffame hym selfe for hys teachyng, than not shame his Scholer for his learnyng. A good nature of the maister, and faire conditions of the scholers. And now chose you, you Italian Englishe men, whether you will be angrie with vs, for calling you monsters, or with the Italianes, for callyng you deuils, or else with your owne selues, that take so much paines, and go so farre, to make your selues both. If some yet do not well vnderstand, An English man Italianated. what is an English man Italianated, I will plainlie tell him. He, that by liuing, and traueling in Italie, bringeth home into England out of Italie, the Religion, the learning, the policie, the experience, the maners of Italie.... These be the inchantements of Circes, brought out of Italie, to marre mens maners in England; much, by example of ill life, but more by preceptes of fonde bookes, Italian bokes translated into English. of late translated out of Italian into English, sold in euery shop in London, commended by honest titles the soner to corrupt honest maners: dedicated ouer boldlie to vertuous and honourable personages, the easielier to begile simple and innocent wittes.   It is pitie, that those, which haue authoritie and charge, to allow and dissalow bookes to be printed, be no more circumspect herein, than they are. Ten Sermons at Paules Crosse do not so moch good for mouyng men to trewe doctrine, as one of those bookes do harme, with inticing men to ill liuing. Yea, I say farder, those bookes, tend not so moch to corrupt honest liuing, as they do, to subuert trewe Religion. Mo Papistes be made, by your mery bookes of Italie, than by your earnest bookes of Louain....

Therfore, when the busie and open Papistes abroad,   could not, by their contentious bookes, turne men in England fast enough, from troth and right iudgement in doctrine, than the sutle and secrete Papistes at home, procured bawdie bookes to be translated out of the Italian tonge, whereby ouer many yong willes and wittes xxi allured to wantonnes, do now boldly contemne all seuere bookes that founde to honestie and godlines. In our forefathers tyme, whan Papistrie, as a standyng poole, couered and ouerflowed all England, fewe bookes were read in our tong, sauyng certaine bookes of Cheualrie, as they sayd, for pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were made in Monasteries, by idle Monkes, or wanton Chanons: as one for example, Morte Arthur. Morte Arthure: the whole pleasure of which booke standeth in two speciall poyntes, in open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye: In which booke those be counted the noblest Knightes, that do kill most men without any quarrell, and commit fowlest aduoulteres by subtlest shiftes: as Sir Launcelote, with the wife of king Arthure his master: Syr Tristram with the wife of king Marke his vncle: Syr Lamerocke with the wife of king Lote, that was his owne aunte.   This is good stuffe, for wise men to laughe att or honest men to take pleasure at. Yet I know, when Gods Bible was banished the Court, and Morte Arthure receiued into the Princes chamber. What toyes, the dayly readyng of such a booke, may worke in the will of a yong ientleman, or a yong mayde, that liueth welthelie and idlelie, wise men can iudge, and honest men do pitie. And yet ten Morte Arthures do not the tenth part so much harme, as one of these bookes, made in Italie, and translated in England.   They open, not fond and common ways to vice, but such subtle, cunnyng, new, and diuerse shiftes, to cary yong willes to vanitie, and yong wittes to mischief, to teach old bawdes new schole poyntes, as the simple head of an Englishman is not hable to inuent, nor neuer was hard of in England before, yea when Papistrie ouerflowed all. Suffer these bookes to be read, and they shall soone displace all bookes of godly learnyng. For they, carying the will to vanitie and marryng good maners,   shall easily corrupt the mynde with ill opinions, and false iudgement in doctrine: first, to thinke nothyng of God hym selfe, one speciall pointe that is to be learned in Italie, and Italian bookes.   And that which is most to be lamented, and therfore more nedefull to be looked to, there be moe of these vngratious bookes set out in Printe within these fewe monethes, than haue bene sene in England many score yeare before. And bicause our English men made Italians can not hurt, but certaine persons, and in certaine places, therfore these Italian bookes are made English, to bryng mischief enough openly and boldly, to all states great and meane, yong and old, euery where.

And thus yow see, how will intised to wantonnes, doth easelie allure the mynde to false opinions: and how corrupt maners in liuinge, breede xxii false iudgement in doctrine: how sinne and fleshlines, bring forth sectes and heresies: And therefore suffer not vaine bookes to breede vanitie in mens wills, if yow would haue Goddes trothe take roote in mens myndes....

They geuing themselues vp to vanitie, shakinge of the motions of Grace, driuing from them the feare of God, and running headlong into all sinne, first, lustelie contemne God, than scornefullie mocke his worde, and also spitefullie hate and hurte all well willers thereof. Then they haue in more reuerence the triumphes of Petrarche: than the Genesis of Moses: They make more account of Tullies offices, than S. Paules epistles: of a tale in Bocace, than a storie of the Bible. Than they counte as Fables, the holie misteries of Christian Religion. They make Christ and his Gospell, onelie serue Ciuill pollicie: Than neyther Religion cummeth amisse to them....

For where they dare, in cumpanie where they like, they boldlie laughe to scorne both protestant and Papist. They care for no scripture: They make no counte of generall councels: they contemne the consent of the Chirch: They passe for no Doctores: They mocke the Pope: They raile on Luther: They allow neyther side: They like none, but onelie themselues: The marke they shote at, the ende they looke for, the heauen they desire, is onelie, their owne present pleasure, and priuate proffit: whereby, they plainlie declare, of whose schole, of what Religion they be: that is, Epicures in liuing, and ἄθεοι in doctrine: this last worde, is no more vnknowne now to plaine Englishe men, than the Person was vnknown somtyme in England, vntill som Englishe man tooke peines to fetch that deuelish opinin out of Italie....

I was once in Italie my selfe: but I thanke God, my abode there, was but ix. dayes: Venice. And yet I sawe in that litle time, in one Citie, more libertie to sinne, than euer I hard tell of in our noble London. Citie of London in ix. yeare. I sawe, it was there, as free to sinne, not onelie without all punishment, but also without any mans marking, as it is free in the Citie of London, to chose, without all blame, whether a man lust to weare Shoo or Pantocle....

Our Italians bring home with them other faultes from Italie, though not so great as this of Religion, yet a great deale greater, than many good men will beare. Contempt of mariage. For commonlie they cum home, common contemners of mariage and readie persuaders of all other to the same: not because they loue virginitie, nor yet because they hate prettie yong virgines, but, being free in Italie, to go whither so euer lust will cary them, they do not like, that lawe and honestie should be soche a barre to their like libertie at home in England. And xxiii yet they be, the greatest makers of loue, the daylie daliers, with such pleasant wordes, with such smilyng and secret countenances, with such signes, tokens, wagers, purposed to be lost, before they were purposed to be made, with bargaines of wearing colours, floures and herbes, to breede occasion of ofter meeting of him and her, and bolder talking of this and that, etc. And although I haue seene some, innocent of ill, and stayde in all honestie, that haue vsed these thinges without all harme, without all suspicion of harme, yet these knackes were brought first into England by them, that learned them before in Italie in Circes Court: and how Courtlie curtesses so euer they be counted now, yet, if the meaning and maners of some that do vse them, were somewhat amended, it were no great hurt, neither to them selues, nor to others....

An other propertie of this our English Italians is, to be meruelous singular in all their matters: Singular in knowledge, ignorant in nothyng: So singular in wisedome (in their owne opinion) as scarse they counte the best Counsellor the Prince hath, comparable with them: Common discoursers of all matters: busie searchers of most secret affaires: open flatterers of great men: priuie mislikers of good men: Faire speakers, with smiling countenances, and much curtessie openlie to all men. Ready bakbiters, sore nippers, and spitefull reporters priuily of good men. And beyng brought vp in Italie, in some free Citie, as all Cities be there: where a man may freelie discourse against what he will, against whom he lust: against any Prince, agaynst any gouernement, yea against God him selfe, and his whole Religion: where he must be, either Guelphe or Gibiline, either French or Spanish: and alwayes compelled to be of some partie, of some faction, he shall neuer be compelled to be of any Religion: And if he medle not ouer much with Christes true Religion, he shall haue free libertie to embrace all Religions, and becum, if he lust at once, without any let or punishment, Iewish, Turkish, Papish, and Deuilish.

It is the old quarrel of classicists and Romanticists, of the ancien régime and the new school in literature, which runs nearly through every age. It might be Victor Cousin reproving Victor Hugo, or, say, M. Renan protesting, if he could protest, against M. Zola. Nor is the diatribe against the evil communication that had corrupted good manners any novelty in the quarrel. Critics have practically recognised that letters are a reflex of life long before Matthew Arnold formulated the relation. And in the disputing between Classicists and Romanticists it has invariably happened xxiv that the Classicists were the earlier generation, and therefore more given to convention, while the Romanticists were likely to be experimental in life as in literature. Altogether then, we must discount somewhat Ascham’s fierce denunciation, of the Italianate Englishman, and of the Englishing of Italian books.

There can be little doubt, I think, that in the denunciation of the “bawdie stories” introduced from Italy, Ascham was thinking mainly and chiefly of Painter’s “Palace of Pleasure.” The whole passage is later than the death of Sir Thomas Sackville in 1566, and necessarily before the death of Ascham in December 1568. Painter’s First Tome appeared in 1566, and his Second Tome in 1567. Of its immediate and striking success there can be no doubt. A second edition of the first Tome appeared in 1569, the year after Ascham’s death, and a second edition of the whole work in 1575, the first Tome thus going through three editions in nine years. It is therefore practically certain that Ascham had Painter’s book in his mind9 in the above passage, which may be taken as a contemporary criticism of Painter, from the point of view of an adherent of the New-Old Learning, who conveniently forgot that scarcely a single one of the Latin classics is free from somewhat similar blemishes to those he found in Painter and his fellow-translators from the Italian.

But it is time to turn to the book which roused Ascham’s ire so greatly, and to learn something of it and its author.10 William Painter was probably a Kentishman, born somewhere about 1525.11 He seems to have taken his degree at one of the Universities, as we find him head master of Sevenoaks’ school about 1560, and the head master had to be a Bachelor of Arts. In the next year, however, he left the pædagogic toga for some connection with arms, for on 9 Feb. 1561, he was appointed xxv Clerk of the Ordnance, with a stipend of eightpence per diem, and it is in that character that he figures on his title page. He soon after married Dorothy Bonham of Dowling (born about 1537, died 1617), and had a family of at least five children. He acquired two important manors in Gillingham, co. Kent, East Court and Twidall. Haslewood is somewhat at a loss to account for these possessions. From documents I have discovered and printed in an Appendix, it becomes only too clear, I fear, that Painter’s fortune had the same origin as too many private fortunes, in peculation of public funds.

So far as we can judge from the materials at our disposal, it would seem that Painter obtained his money by a very barefaced procedure. He seems to have moved powder and other materials of war from Windsor to the Tower, charged for them on delivery at the latter place as if they had been freshly bought, and pocketed the proceeds. On the other hand, it is fair to Painter to say that we only have the word of his accusers for the statement, though both he and his son own to certain undefined irregularities. It is, at any rate, something in his favour that he remained in office till his death, unless he was kept there on the principle of setting a peculator to catch a peculator. I fancy, too, that the Earl of Warwick was implicated in his misdeeds, and saved him from their consequences.

His works are but few. A translation from the Latin account, by Nicholas Moffan, of the death of the Sultan Solyman,12 was made by him in 1557. In 1560 an address in prose, prefixed to Dr. W. Fulke’s Antiprognosticon, was signed “Your familiar friend, William Paynter,”13 and dated “From Sevenoke xxii. of Octobre;” and the same volume contains Latin verses entitled “Gulielmi Painteri, ludimagistri Seuenochensis Tetrastichon.” It is perhaps worth while remarking that this Antiprognosticon was directed against Anthony Ascham, Roger’s brother, which may perhaps account for some of the bitterness in the above passage from the Scholemaster. These slight productions, however, xxvi sink into insignificance in comparison with his chief work, “The Palace of Pleasure.”

He seems to have started work on this before he left Seven Oaks in 1561. For as early as 1562 he got a licence for a work to be entitled “The Citye of Cyuelite,” as we know from the following entry in the Stationers’ Registers:

W. Jonnes—Receyued of Wylliam Jonnes for his lycense for pryntinge of a boke intituled The Cytie of Cyuelitie translated into englisshe by William Paynter.

From his own history of the work given in the dedication of the first Tome to his patron, the Earl of Warwick, it is probable that this was originally intended to include only tales from Livy and the Latin historians. He seems later to have determined on adding certain of Boccaccio’s novels, and the opportune appearance of a French translation of Bandello in 1559 caused him to add half a dozen or so from the Bishop of Agen. Thus a book which was originally intended to be another contribution to the New Learning of classical antiquity turned out to be the most important representative in English of the Newest Learning of Italy. With the change of plan came a change of title, and the “City of Civility,” which was to have appeared in 1562, was replaced by the “Palace of Pleasure” in 1566.14

The success of the book seems to have been immediate. We have seen above Ascham’s indignant testimony to this, and the appearance of the Second Tome, half as large again as the other, within about eighteen months of the First, confirms his account. This Second Tome was practically the Bandello volume; more than half of the tales, and those by far the longest, were taken from him, through the medium of his French translators, Boaistuau and Belleforest. Within a couple of years another edition was called for of the First Tome, which appeared in 1569, with the addition of five more stories from the Heptameron, from which eleven were already in the first edition. Thus the First Tome might be called the Heptameron volume, and the second, that of Bandello. Boccaccio is pretty xxvii evenly divided between the two, and the remainder is made up of classic tales and anecdotes and a few novelle of Ser Giovanni and Straparola. Both Tomes were reprinted in what may be called the definitive edition of the work in 1575.

Quite apart from its popularity and its influence on the English stage, on which we shall have more to say shortly, Painter’s book deserves a larger place in the history of English Literature than has as yet been given to it. It introduced to England some of the best novels of Boccaccio, Bandello, and Queen Margaret, three of the best raconteurs of short stories the world has ever had. It is besides the largest work in English prose that appeared between the Morte Darthur and North’s Plutarch.15 Painter’s style bears the impress of French models. Though professing to be from Italian novellieri, it is mainly derived from French translations of them. Indeed, but for the presence of translations from Ser Giovanni and Straparola, it might be doubtful whether Painter translated from the Italian at all. He claims however to do this from Boccaccio, and as he owns the aid of a French “crib” in the case of Bandello, the claim may be admitted. His translations from the French are very accurate, and only err in the way of too much literalness.16 From a former dominie one would have expected a far larger proportion of Latinisms than we actually find. As a rule, his sentences are relatively short, and he is tolerably free from the vice of the long periods that were brought into vogue by “Ciceronianism.” He is naturally free from Euphuism and for a very good reason, since Euphues and his Englande was not published for another dozen years or so. The recent suggestion of Dr. Landmann and others that Euphuism came from the influence of Guevara would seem to be negatived by the fact that the “Letters of Trajan” in the Second Tome of Painter are taken from Guevara and are no more Euphuistic than the rest of the volume.

Painter’s volume is practically the earliest volume of prose translations xxviii from a modern language into English in the true Elizabethan period after the influence of Caxton in literary importation had died away with Bourchier the translator of Froissart and of Huon of Bordeaux. It set the ball rolling in this direction, and found many followers, some of whom may be referred to as having had an influence only second to that of Painter in providing plots for the Elizabethan Drama. There can be little doubt that it was Painter set the fashion, and one of his chief followers recognised this, as we shall see, on his title page.

The year in which Painter’s Second Tome appeared saw George (afterwards Sir George) Fenton’s Certaine Tragicall Discourses writtene oute of Frenche and Latine containing fourteen “histories.” As four of these are identical with tales contained in Painter’s Second Tome it is probable that Fenton worked independently, though it was doubtless the success of the “Palace of Pleasure” that induced Thomas Marshe, Painter’s printer, to undertake a similar volume from Fenton. The Tragicall Discourses ran into a second edition in 1569. T. Fortescue’s Foreste or Collection of Histories ... dooen oute of Frenche appeared in 1571 and reached a second edition in 1576. In the latter year appeared a work of G. Pettie that bore on its title page—A Petite Palace of Pettie his Pleasure—a clear reference to Painter’s book. Notwithstanding Anthony à Wood’s contemptuous judgment of his great-uncle’s book it ran through no less than six editions between 1576 and 1613.17 The year after Pettie’s first edition appeared R. Smyth’s Stravnge and Tragicall histories Translated out of French. In 1576 was also published the first of George Whetstone’s collections of tales, the four parts of The Rocke of Regard, in which he told over again in verse several stories already better told by Painter. In the same year, 1576, appeared G. Turberville’s Tragical Tales, translated out of sundrie Italians—ten tales in verse, chiefly from Boccaccio. Whetstone’s Heptameron of Ciuill Discourses in 1582 was however a more important contribution to the English Novella, xxix and it ran through two further editions by 1593.18 Thus in the quarter of a century 1565-1590 no less than eight collections, most of them running into a second edition, made their appearance in England. Painter’s work contains more than all the rest put together, and its success was the cause of the whole movement. It clearly answered a want and thus created a demand. It remains to consider the want which was thus satisfied by Painter and his school.

The quarter of a century from 1565 to 1590 was the seed-time of the Elizabethan Drama, which blossomed out in the latter year in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great. The only play which precedes that period, Gordobuc or Ferrex and Porrex, first played in 1561, indicates what direction the English Drama would naturally have taken if nothing had intervened to take it out of its course. Gordobuc is severely classical in its unities; it is of the Senecan species. Now throughout Western Europe this was the type of the modern drama,19 and it dominated the more serious side of the French stage down to the time of Victor Hugo. There can be little doubt that the English Drama would have followed the classical models but for one thing. The flood of Italian novelle introduced into England by Painter and his school, imported a new condition into the problem. It is essential to the Classical Drama that the plot should be already known to the audience, that there should be but one main action, and but one tone, tragic or comic. In Painter’s work and those of his followers, the would-be dramatists of Elizabeth’s time had offered to them a super-abundance of actions quite novel to their audience, and alternating between grave and gay, often within the same story.20 The very fact of their foreignness was a further attraction. At a time when all things were new, and intellectual curiosity had become a passion, the opportunity xxx of studying the varied life of an historic country like Italy lent an additional charm to the translated novelle. In an interesting essay on the “Italy of the Elizabethan Dramatists,”21 Vernon Lee remarks that it was the very strangeness and horror of Italian life as compared with the dull decorum of English households that had its attraction for the Elizabethans. She writes as if the dramatists were themselves acquainted with the life they depicted. As a matter of fact, not a single one of the Elizabethan dramatists, as far as I know, was personally acquainted with Italy.22 This knowledge of Italian life and crime was almost entirely derived from the works of Painter and his school. If there had been anything corresponding to them dealing with the tragic aspects of English life, the Elizabethan dramatists would have been equally ready to tell of English vice and criminality. They used Holinshed and Fabyan readily enough for their “Histories.” They would have used an English Bandello with equal readiness had he existed. But an English Bandello could not have existed at a time when the English folk had not arrived at self-consciousness, and had besides no regular school of tale-tellers like the Italians. It was then only from the Italians that the Elizabethan dramatists could have got a sufficient stock of plots to allow for that interweaving of many actions into one which is the characteristic of the Romantic Drama of Marlowe and his compeers.

That Painter was the main source of plot for the dramatists before Marlowe, we have explicit evidence. Of the very few extant dramas before Marlowe, Appius and Virginia, Tancred and Gismunda, and Cyrus and Panthea are derived from Painter.23 We have also references in contemporary literature showing the great impression made by Painter’s book on the opponents of the stage. In 1572 E. Dering, in the Epistle prefixed to A briefe Instruction, says: “To this purpose we have gotten our Songs and Sonnets, our Palaces of Pleasure, our unchaste Fables and Tragedies, and such like sorceries.... xxxi O that there were among us some zealous Ephesian, that books of so great vanity might be burned up.” As early as 1579 Gosson began in his School of Abuse the crusade against stage-plays, which culminated in Prynne’s Histriomastix. He was answered by Lodge in his Defence of Stage Plays. Gosson demurred to Lodge in 1580 with his Playes Confuted in Five Actions, and in this he expressly mentions Painter’s Palace of Pleasure among the “bawdie comedies” that had been “ransacked” to supply the plots of plays. Unfortunately very few even of the titles of these early plays are extant: they probably only existed as prompt-books for stage-managers, and were not of sufficient literary value to be printed when the marriage of Drama and Literature occurred with Marlowe.

But we have one convincing proof of the predominating influence of the plots of Painter and his imitators on the Elizabethan Drama. Shakespeare’s works in the first folio, and the editions derived from it, are, as is well known, divided into three parts—Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. The division is founded on a right instinct, and applies to the whole Elizabethan Drama.24 Putting aside the Histories, which derive from Holinshed, North, and the other historians, the dramatis personæ of the Tragedies and Comedies are, in nineteen cases out of twenty, provided with Italian names, and the scene is placed in Italy. It had become a regular convention with the Elizabethans to give an Italian habitation and name to the whole of their dramas. This convention must have arisen in the pre-Marlowe days, and there is no other reason to be given for it but the fact that the majority of plots are taken from the “Palace of Pleasure” or its followers. A striking instance is mentioned by Charles Lamb of the tyranny of this convention. In the first draught of his Every Man in his Humour Ben Jonson gave Italian names to all his dramatis personæ. Mistress Kitely appeared as Biancha, Master Stephen as Stephano, and even the immortal Captain Bobabil as Bobadilla. Imagine Dame Quickly as Putana, and Sir John as Corporoso, and we can see what a profound xxxii influence such a seemingly superficial thing as the names of the dramatis personæ has had on the Elizabethan Drama through the influence of Painter and his men.

But the effect of this Italianisation of the Elizabethan Drama due to Painter goes far deeper than mere externalities. It has been said that after Lamb’s sign-post criticisms, and we may add, after Mr. Swinburne’s dithyrambs, it is easy enough to discover the Elizabethan dramatists over again. But is there not the danger that we may discover too much in them? However we may explain the fact, it remains true that outside Shakespeare none of the Elizabethans has really reached the heart of the nation. There is not a single Elizabethan drama, always of course with the exception of Shakespeare’s, which belongs to English literature in the sense in which Samson Agonistes, Absalom and Achitophel, Gulliver’s Travels, The Rape of the Lock, Tom Jones, She Stoops to Conquer, The School for Scandal, belong to it. The dramas have not that direct appeal to us which the works I have mentioned have continued to exercise after the generation for whom they were written has passed away. To an inner circle of students, to the 500 or so who really care for English literature, the Elizabethan dramas may appeal with a power greater than any of these literary products I have mentioned. We recognise in them a wealth of imaginative power, an ease in dealing with the higher issues of life, which is not shown even in those masterpieces. But the fact remains, and remains to be explained, that the Elizabethans do not appeal to the half a million or so among English folk who are capable of being touched at all by literature, who respond to the later masterpieces, and cannot be brought into rapport with the earlier masters. Why is this?

Partly, I think, because owing to the Italianisation of the Elizabethan Drama the figures whom the dramatists drew are unreal, and live in an unreal world. They are neither Englishmen nor Italians, nor even Italianate Englishmen. I can only think of four tragedies in the whole range of the Elizabethan drama where the characters are English: Wilkins’ Miseries of Enforced Marriage, and A Yorkshire Tragedy, both founded on a recent cause celèbre of one Calverly, who was executed 5 August xxxiii 1605; Arden of Faversham, also founded on a cause celèbre of the reign of Edward VI.; and Heywood’s Woman Killed by Kindness. These are, so far as I remember, the only English tragedies out of some hundred and fifty extant dramas deserving that name.25 As a result of all this, the impression of English life which we get from the Elizabethan Drama is almost entirely derived from the comedies, or rather five-act farces, which alone appear to hold the mirror up to English nature. Judged by the drama, English men and English women under good Queen Bess would seem incapable of deep emotion and lofty endeavour. We know this to be untrue, but that the fact appears to be so is due to the Italianising of the more serious drama due to Painter and his school.

In fact the Italian drapery of the Elizabethan Drama disguises from us the significant light it throws upon the social history of the time. Plot can be borrowed from abroad, but characterisation must be drawn from observation of men and women around the dramatist. Whence, then comes the problem, did Webster and the rest derive their portraits of their White Devils, those imperious women who had broken free from all the conventional bonds? At first sight it might seem impossible for the gay roysterers of Alsatia to have come into personal contact with such lofty dames. But the dramatists, though Bohemians, were mostly of gentle birth, or at any rate were from the Universities, and had come in contact with the best blood of England. It is clear too from their dedications that the young noblemen of England admitted them to familiar intercourse with their families, which would include many of the grande dames of Elizabeth’s Court. Elizabeth’s own character, recent revelations about Mistress Fitton, Shakespeare’s relations with his Dark Lady, all prepare for the belief that the Elizabethan dramatists had sufficient material from their own observation to fill up the outlines given by the Italian novelists.26 The Great Oyer of Poisoning—the case of Sir Thomas xxxiv Overbury and the Somersets—in James the First’s reign could vie with any Italian tale of lust and cruelty.

Thus in some sort the Romantic Drama was an extraneous product in English literature. Even the magnificent medium in which it is composed, the decasyllabic blank verse which the genius of Marlowe adapted to the needs of the drama, is ultimately due to the Italian Trissino, and has never kept a firm hold on English poetry. Thus both the formal elements of the Drama, plot and verse, were importations from Italy. But style and characterisation were both English of the English, and after all is said it is in style and characterisation that the greatness of the Elizabethan Drama consists. It must however be repeated that in its highest flights in the tragedies, a sense of unreality is produced by the pouring of English metal into Italian moulds.

It cannot be said that even Shakespeare escapes altogether from the ill effects of this Italianisation of all the externalities of the drama. It might plausibly be urged that by pushing unreality to its extreme you get idealisation. A still more forcible objection is that the only English play of Shakespeare’s, apart from his histories, is the one that leaves the least vivid impression on us, The Merry Wives of Windsor. But one cannot help feeling regret that the great master did not express more directly in his immortal verse the finer issues and deeper passions of the men and women around him. Charles Lamb, who seems to have said all that is worth saying about the dramatists in the dozen pages or so to which his notes extend, has also expressed his regret. “I am sometimes jealous,” he says, “that Shakespere laid so few of his scenes at home.” But every art has it conventions, and by the time Shakespeare began to write it was a convention of English drama that the scene of its most serious productions should be laid abroad. The convention was indeed a necessary one, for there did not exist in English any other store of plots but that offered by the inexhaustible treasury of the Italian Novellieri.

Having mentioned Shakespeare, it seems desirable to make an exception in his case,27 and discuss briefly the use he made of xxxv Painter’s book and its influence on his work. On the young Shakespeare it seems to have had very great influence indeed. The second heir of his invention, The Rape of Lucrece, is from Painter. So too is Romeo and Juliet,28 his earliest tragedy, and All’s Well, which under the title Love’s Labour Won, was his second comedy, is Painter’s Giletta of Narbonne (i. 38) from Bandello.29 I suspect too that there are two plays associated with Shakespeare’s name which contain only rough drafts left unfinished in his youthful period, and finished by another writer. At any rate it is a tolerably easy task to eliminate the Shakespearian parts of Timon of Athens and Edward III., by ascertaining those portions which are directly due to Painter.30 In this early period indeed it is somewhat remarkable with what closeness he followed his model. Thus some gushing critics have pointed out the subtle significance of making Romeo at first in love with Rosalind before he meets with Juliet. If it is a subtlety, it is Bandello’s, not Shakespeare’s. Again, others have attempted to defend the indefensible age of Juliet at fourteen years old, by remarking on the precocity of Italian maidens. As a matter of fact Bandello makes her eighteen years old. It is banalities like these that cause one sometimes to feel tempted to turn and rend the criticasters by some violent outburst against Shakespeare himself. There is indeed a tradition, that Matthew Arnold had things to say about Shakespeare which he dared not utter, because the British public would not stand them. But the British public has stood some very severe things about the Bible, which is even yet reckoned of higher sanctity than Shakespeare. And certainly there is as much cant about Shakespeare to be cleared away as about the Bible. However this is scarcely the place to do it. It is clear enough, however, xxxvi from his usage of Painter, that Shakespeare was no more original in plot than any of his fellows, and it is only the unwise and rash who could ask for originality in plot from a dramatic artist.

But if the use of Italian novelle as the basis of plots was an evil that has given an air of unreality and extraneousness to the whole of Elizabethan Tragedy, it was, as we must repeat, a necessary evil. Suppose Painter’s work and those that followed it not to have appeared, where would the dramatists have found their plots? There was nothing in English literature to have given them plot-material, and little signs that such a set of tales could be derived from the tragedies going on in daily life. But for Painter and his school the Elizabethan Drama would have been mainly historical, and its tragedies would have been either vamped-up versions of classical tales or adaptations of contemporary causes celèbres.

And so we have achieved the task set before us in this Introduction to Painter’s tales. We have given the previous history of the genre of literature to which they belong, and mentioned the chief novellieri who were their original authors. We have given some account of Painter’s life and the circumstances under which his book appeared, and the style in which he translates. We have seen how his book was greeted on its first appearance by the adherents of the New Learning and by the opponents of the stage. The many followers in the wake of Painter have been enumerated, and some account given of their works. It has been shown how great was the influence of the whole school on the Elizabethan dramatists, and even on the greatest master among them. And having touched upon all these points, we have perhaps sufficiently introduced reader and author, who may now be left to make further acquaintance with one another.



Preliminary Matter.


William Painter was, probably, descended from some branch of the family of that name which resided in Kent. Except a few official dates there is little else of his personal history known. Neither the time nor place of his birth has been discovered. All the heralds in their Visitations are uniformly content with making him the root of the pedigree.31 His liberal education is, in part, a testimony of the respectability of his family, and, it may be observed, he was enabled to make purchases of landed property in Kent, but whether from an hereditary fortune is uncertain.

The materials for his life are so scanty, that a chronological notice of his Writings may be admitted, without being deemed to interrupt a narrative, of which it must form the principal contents.

He himself furnishes us with a circumstance,32 from whence we may fix a date of some importance in ascertaining both the time of the publication and of his own appearance as an author. He translated from the Latin of Nicholas Moffan, (a soldier serving under Charles the Fifth, and taken prisoner by the Turks)33 the relation of the Murder which Sultan Solyman caused to be xxxviii perpetrated on his eldest Son Mustapha.34 This was first dedicated to Sir William Cobham Knight, afterwards Lord Cobham, Warden of the Cinque Ports; and it is material to remark, that that nobleman succeeded to the title Sept. the 29th, 1558;35 and from the author being a prisoner until Sept. 1555, it is not likely that the Translation was finished earlier than circa 1557-8.

In 1560 the learned William Fulke, D.D. attacked some inconsistent, though popular, opinions, in a small Latin tract called “Antiprognosticon contra invtiles astrologorvm prædictiones Nostrodami, &c.” and at the back of the title are Verses,36 by friends of the author, the first being entitled “Gulielmi Painteri ludimagistri Seuenochensis Tetrasticon.” This has been considered by Tanner as our author,37 nor does there appear any reason for attempting to controvert that opinion; and a translation of Fulke’s Tract also seems to identify our author with the master of Sevenoaks School. The title is “Antiprognosticon, that is to saye, an Inuectiue agaynst the vayne and unprofitable predictions of the Astrologians as Nostrodame, &c. Translated out of Latine into Englishe. Whereunto is added by the author a shorte Treatise in Englyshe as well for the utter subversion of that fained arte, as well for the better understandynge of the common people, unto whom the fyrst labour semeth not sufficient. Habet & musca splenem & formice sua bilis inest. 1560” 12mo. At the back of the title is a sonnet by Henry Bennet: followed in the next page by Painter’s Address. On the reverse of this last page is a prose address “to his louyng frende W. F.” dated “From Seuenoke XXII of Octobre,” and signed “Your familiar frende William Paynter.”38

xxxix By the regulations of the school, as grammar-master, he must have been a bachelor of arts, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to the appointment was attached a house and salary of £50 per annum.39

Of the appointment to the School I have not been able to obtain any particulars. That situation40 was probably left for one under government, of less labour, as he was appointed by letters patent of the 9th of Feb. in the 2d of Eliz. (1560-1) to succeed John Rogers, deceased, as Clerk of the Ordinance in the Tower, with the official stipend of eightpence per diem, which place he retained during life.

In 1562 there was a license obtained by William Jones to print “The Cytie of Cyvelite, translated into Englesshe by william paynter.” Probably this was intended for the present work, and entered in the Stationers Register as soon as the translation was commenced, to secure an undoubted copy-right to the Publisher. Neither of the stories bear such a title, nor contain incidents in character with it. The interlocutory mode of delivery, after the manner of some of the originals, might have been at first intended, and of the conversation introducing or ending some of those taken from the collection of the Queen of Navarre, a part is even now, though incongruously, retained.41 By rejecting the gallant speeches of the courtiers and sprightly replies of the ladies, and making them unconnected stories, the idea of civility was no longer appropriate, and therefore gave place to a title equally alliterative in the adoption of the Palace of Pleasure.

Under this conjecture Painter was three years perfecting the xl Translation of the first volume of the Palace of Pleasure. He subscribes the dedicatory Epistle “nere the Tower of London the first of Januarie 1566,” using the new style, a fashion recently imported from France.42 It must be read as 1565-6 to explain a passage in another Epistle before the second volume, where he speaks of his histories “parte whereof, two yeares past (almost) wer made commune in a former boke,” concluding “from my poore house besides the Toure of London, the fourthe of November, 1567.” The two volumes were afterwards enlarged with additional novels, as will be described under a future head, and with the completion of this task ends all knowledge of his literary productions.

It no where appears in the Palace of Pleasure that Painter either travelled for information, or experienced, like many a genius of that age, the inclination to roam expressed by his contemporary, Churchyard,

“Of running leather were his shues, his feete no where could reste.”43

Had he visited the Continent, it is probable, that in the course of translating so many novels, abounding with foreign manners and scenery, there would have been some observation or allusion to vouch his knowledge of the faithfulness of the representation, as, in a few instances, he has introduced events common in our own history.

He probably escaped the military fury of the age by being appointed “Clerk to the great Ordinance,” contentedly hearing the loud peals upon days of revelry, without wishing to adventure further in “a game,” which, “were subjects wise, kings would not play at.” In the possession of some competence he might prudently adjust his pursuits, out of office, to the rational and not unimportant indulgence of literature,44 seeking in the retirement xli of the study, of the vales of Kent, and of domestic society, that equanimity of the passions and happiness which must ever flow from rational amusement, from contracted desires, and acts of virtue; and which the successive demands for his favourite work might serve to cheer and enliven.

As the founder of the family45 his money must be presumed to have been gained by himself, and not acquired by descent. It would be pleasing to believe some part of it to have been derived from the labours of his pen. But his productions were not of sufficient magnitude to command it, although he must rank as one of the first writers who introduced novels into our language, since so widely lucrative to—printers. Yet less could there accrue a saving from his office to enable him to complete the purchases of land made at Gillingham, co. Kent.

At what period he married cannot be stated. His wife was Dorothy Bonham of Cowling, born about the year 1537, and their six children were all nearly adults, and one married, at the time of his death in 1594. We may therefore conclude that event could not be later than 1565; and if he obtained any portion with his wife the same date allows of a disposition of it as now required.

It is certain that he purchased of Thomas and Christopher Webb the manor of East-Court in the parish of Gillingham, where his son Anthony P. resided during his father’s lifetime. He also purchased of Christopher Sampson the manor of Twidall in the same parish with its appurtenances, and a fine was levied for that purpose xlii in Easter Term 16 Eliz. Both the manors remained in the family, and passed by direct line from the above named Anthony, through William and Allington, his son and grandson, to his great grandson Robert, who resided at Westerham, in the same county, and obtained an Act of Parliament, 7 Geo. I. “to enable him to sell the manors of Twydal and East-Court.”46

xliii Not any part of the real Estate was affected by the will of William Painter, who appears, from its being nuncupative, to have deferred making it, until a speedy dissolution was expected. It is as follows:

“In the name of God, Amen. The nineteenth day of February in the Year of our Lord God one thousand five hundred ninety four, in the seven and thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, &c. William Painter then Clerk of her Maj. Great Ordinance of the Tower of London, being of perfect mind and memory, declared and enterred his mind meaning and last Will and Testament noncupative, by word of mouth in effect as followeth, viz. Being then very sick and asked by his wife who should pay his son in law John Hornbie the portion which was promised him with his wife in marriage, and who should pay to his daughter Anne Painter her portion, and to the others his children which had nothing;47 and whether his said wife should pay them the same, the said William Painter answered, Yea. And being further asked whether he would give and bequeath unto his said wife all his said goods to pay them as he in former times used to say he would, to whom he answered also, yea. In the presence of William Pettila, John Pennington, and Edward Songer. Anon after in the same day confirming the premises; the said William Painter being very sick, yet of perfect memory, William Raynolds asking the aforesaid Mr. Painter whether he had taken order for the disposing of his Goods to his wife and children, and whether he had put all in his wives hands to deal and dispose of and to pay his son Hornby his portion,48 and whether he would make his said wife to be his whole Executrix, or to that effect, to whose demand the said Testator Mr. William Painter then manifesting his will and true meaning therein willingly answered, yea, in the presence of William Raynolds, John Hornbie and Edward Songer.”48

He probably died immediately after the date of the will. Among the quarterly payments at the ordinance office at Christmas 1594 is entered to “Mr. Painter Clerke of thõdiñce xvijlb, xvs.” and upon Lady Day or New Year’s Day 1595. “To Willm̅ Painter and to Sr. Stephen Ridleston49 Clarke of Thordñce for the xliv like quarter also warranted xvijlb. xvs.” He was buried in London.50 After his death the widow retired to Gillingham, where she died Oct. 19th 1617. Æt. 80, and where she was buried.51

[For some additional points throwing light on the way in which Painter gained his fortune, see Appendix. Collier (Extr. Stat. Reg. ii. 107), attributes to Painter A moorning Ditti vpon the Deceas of Henry Earle of Arundel, which appeared in 1579, and was signed ‘Guil. P. G.’ [= Gulielmus Painter, Gent.].—J. J.]



In the following section, text in boldface was originally printed in blackletter type.

Of the first volume of THE PALACE OF PLEASURE there were three editions, but of the second only two are known. Each of these, all uncommonly fair and perfect, through the liberal indulgence of their respective owners, are now before me; a combination which has scarcely been seen by any collector, however distinguished for ardour of pursuit and extensiveness of research, since the age of Q. Elizabeth. Their rarity in a perfect state may render an accurate description, though lengthened by minuteness, of some value to the bibliographer. The account of them will be given in their chronological order.

The Palace of Pleasure | Beautified, adorned and | well furnished with Plea- | saunt Histories and excellent | Nouells, selected out of | diuers good and commen- | dable authors. | ¶ By William Painter Clarke of the | Ordinaunce and Armarie. | [Wood-cut of a Bear and ragged Staff, the crest of Ambrose Earl of Warwick, central of a garter, whereon is the usual motto | HONI: SOIT: QVI: MAL: Y: PENSE. | 1566. | JMPRINTED ATLondon, by Henry Denham, | for Richard Tottell and William Iones.52—4to. Extends to sig. Nnnij. besides introduction, and is folded in fours.

This title is within a narrow fancy metal border, and on the back of the leaf are the Arms of the Earl of Warwick, which fill the page. With signature * 2 commences the dedication, and at ¶ 2 is “a recapitulacion or briefe rehersal of the Arguments of euery Nouell, with the places noted, in what author euery of the same or the effect be reade and contayned.” These articles occupy four leaues each, and five more occupy the address “to the reader,” xlvi followed by the names of the Authors from whom the “nouels be selected;” making the whole introduction, with title, 14 leaves.

The nouels being lx. in number, conclude with folio 345, but there are only 289 leaves, as a castration appears of 56.53 On the reverse of the last folio are “faultes escaped in the printing;” and besides those corrected, there are “other faultes [that] by small aduise and lesse payne may by waying the discourse be easely amended or lightly passed ouer.” A distinct leaf has the following colophon:

Imprinted at Lon | don, by Henry Denham, | for Richard Tottell and | William Jones | Anno Domini. 1566 | Ianuarij 26. |These bookes are to be solde at the long shoppe | at the Weast ende of Paules.

This volume is rarely discovered perfect. The above was purchased at the late sale of Col. Stanley’s library for 30l. by Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bt.

The second Tome | of the Palace of Pleasure | conteyning manifolde store of goodly | Histories, Tragicall matters and | other Morall argument, | very requisite for de- | light & profit. |Chosen and selected out of diuers good and commen- | dable Authors. | By William Painter, Clarke of the | Ordinance and Armarie. | ANNO. 1567. | Imprinted at London, in Pater Noster Rowe, by Henrie | Bynneman, for Nicholas | England.54 4to. Extends, without introduction, to signature P. P. P. P. p. iiij. and is folded in fours.

A broad metal border, of fancy pattern, adorns the title page. At signature a. ij. begins the Epistle to Sir George Howard, which the author subscribes from his “poore house besides the Toure of London, the fourthe of Nouember 1567:” and that is xlvii followed by a summary of the contents and authorities, making, with the title, 10 leaves. There are xxxiiij novels, and they end at fo. 426. Two leaves in continuation have “the conclusion,” with “divers faultes escaped in printyng,” and on the reverse of the first is the printer’s colophon.

Imprinted at London | by Henry Bynneman | for Nicholas Englande | ANNO M.D.LXVII. | Nouembris 8.

A copy of this volume was lately in the possession of Messrs. Arch, of Cornhill, Booksellers, with a genuine title, though differently arranged from the above, and varied in the spelling.55 When compared, some unimportant alterations were found, as a few inverted commas on the margin of one of the pages in the last sheet, with the correction of a fault in printing more in one copy than the other, though the same edition.56

The Pallace | of Pleasure Beautified, | adorned and wel furnished with | Pleasaunt Historyes and excellent | Nouelles, selected out of diuers | good and commendable Authours. | ¶ By William Painter Clarke | of the Ordinaunce and | Armarie. | 1569. | Jmprinted at London in | Fletestreate neare to S. Dunstones | Church by Thomas Marshe.—4to. Extends to K k. viij, & is folded in eights.

xlviii The title is in the compartment frequently used by Marsh, having the stationers’ arms at the top, his own initials at the bottom, and pedestals of a Satyr and Diana, surmounted with flowers and snakes, on the sides. It is a reprint of the first volume without alteration, except closer types. The introduction concludes on the recto of the eleventh leaf, and on the reverse of fo. 264 is the colophon. Jmprinted at London in Flete | streate neare unto Sainct Dunstones | Churche by Thomas Marshe | Anno Domini. 1569.57

THE PALACE | of Pleasure Beautified | adorned and well furnished | with pleasaunt Histories and | excellent Nouels, selected out | of diuers good and commendable Authors. By William Painter Clarke | of the Ordinaunce | and Armarie. | Eftsones perused corrected | and augmented. | 1575. | Imprinted at London | by Thomas Marshe.—4to. Extends to signature O o, iiij. and is folded in eights.58

Title in same compartment as the last. The introduction is given in nine leaves, and the novels commence the folio, and end at 279. The arguments of every novel, transposed from the beginning, continue for three leaves to reverse of O o iiij, having for colophon,

Imprinted at London by | Thomas Marshe.

Seven novels were added to the former number, and the language improved.


THE SECOND | Tome of the Palace of | Pleasure contayning store of goodlye | Histories, Tragical matters, & other | Morall argumentes, very requi- | site for delight and | profyte. | Chosē and selected out | of diuers good and commendable au- | thors, and now once agayn correc- | ted and encreased. | By Wiliam Painter, Clerke of the | Ordinance and Armarie. | Imprinted at London | In Fleatstrete by Thomas | MARSHE.—4to. Has signature Z z 4, and is folded in eights.

Title in the compartment last described. The introduction has seven leaves, and the “conclusion” is at fo. 360.59 The summary of nouels, which stand as part of the introduction in the former edition, follows, making four leaves after discontinuing the folio. There is no printer’s colophon, and the type throughout is smaller than any used before. The translator added one historic tale, and made material alterations in the text.

With respect to the date the year 1582 has been several times given, and it is doubtful if I have discovered the source of the authority. Oldys, among the manuscript notes upon Langbaine, registers “W. Painter’s Palace of Pleasure, &c. 4to. 1569, and in 2 vols. 1575, and 1582:” and Mr. Bindley, whose friendly assistance it is always gratifying to record, pointed out to my attention the catalogue of the library of the Honorable Bryan Fairfax,60 where the volumes are increased in number, and with only a single date. It stands thus, Lot “336, Painter’s Palace of Pleasure, 3 vols.61 B.L. 1582:” again in the Osterley catalogue, p. 87, is No. l “26, Palace of Pleasure, 1582.”62 To decide positively on such an unexpected repetition of the date made it desirable to obtain a sight of the copy.63 That, with some difficulty, has been effected. On visiting Osterley, strange as it may appear, I found the two volumes bound in one, the same editions as those now printed from, and both wanting title pages!!

There is not much temerity in decisively pronouncing that there never was an edition in three volumes; that the date of 1582 was intended by Oldys to be only applied to the second volume; and that that date was founded on an erroneous conjecture. Two of these points are already disposed of, and the last can require but few words. The translation of the tale of Sultan Soliman, from the circumstance of the dedication to Sir William Cobham, as shewn in a former page, must have been finished about 1557-8, and Painter, on the reprinting, mentions that fact as “twenty-two yeares past or thereabouts,” which decides that the printing the above volume could not be later than 1580.

The Palace of Pleasure, as enlarged by the Translator, is now reprinted. The text of the latest edition of each volume has been carefully preserved; except that, instead of numberless abbreviations, every word is given at length. The character of the work did not require such minuteness, being followed for authority; and the rejecting what might seem a disfigurement of the page, it is hoped, will obtain the sanction of the reader: and it may be observed, that in the later editions many words are contracted which were first printed at length, and others given at length which were before contracted.

In the punctuation some slight alterations have been made, where the sense or uniformity materially required it.

li From Earl Spencer, with that marked attention which always distinguishes the interest his Lordship takes in every literary undertaking, I received the unsolicited offer of the use of the copy belonging to the library at Althorpe. As there was the first edition of the second volume, it proved a needful and valuable acquisition, and from that source several obscure passages have been corrected, and whole sentences restored, which, in the last edition, appear to have been negligently omitted in the hurry of the press.

For the purpose of collation, Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, Bart. obligingly assisted me with his copy, purchased at the Roxburghe sale; and has since also favoured me with the first edition, to perfect the Bibliographical Notices.

Of an hundred and one novels, the whole number, the larger portion have been traced, as supposed, to their respective originals. In attempting this task, I have derived material assistance from the extensive researches made in that class of literature by Mr. Weber, who, though personally unknown, most promptly supplied the wanted information. The ingenious conjecture as to the origin of the story of Gismonde and Guiscardo, is by Mr. Singer.

It is probable that many of the stories were appropriated as soon as published by the dramatic writers to the purposes of the English Stage.64 To the instances discovered by the indefatigable Langbaine I have made some addition.

From the application of Mr. Freeling to Mr. Crewe, I obtained an inspection of the earliest records preserved in the Ordnance Office; and the research was further facilitated by the assistance of Mr. Banovin.

Sir Egerton Brydges, with his accustomed ardency to promote literary investigation, aided my endeavours to discover some trace of the translator as master of the school at Sevenoaks.

lii To Mr. George Chalmers and Mr. Utterson, I am indebted for some bibliographical communications, and also to the Rev. T. F. Dibdin for long extracts made from the work by Herbert, preparatory to a new edition of the Typographical Antiquities.

When the present edition was announced, it was intended to consist of only one hundred and fifty copies. In order, however, to meet the common hazard of the press, seven quires of each sheet were printed, making about one hundred and sixty-five saleable copies; seven were also taken off on vellum.


Conduit Street, November 5th 1813.

[It is only necessary to add that Haslewood’s edition was in two volumes, of which the first ran to 34 (Introductory Matter) + xviii. (Dedication and Table of Contents) + 492 pages. The Second Tome, which is mostly found bound in two parts, ran to xv. (Dedication and Table of Contents) + 700 pages.

The present edition, it will be observed by the above, is really the fourth and a half edition—i.e., it is the fifth of the first Tome, and the fourth of the second. I have however ventured to neglect the reprint of the First Tome in 1569, and taken account only of complete editions. It follows Haslewood’s reprint page for page and line for line, except in two points. The Tables of Contents of the two Tomes have been brought together, and their literary history connected directly with the Summary of Contents. In a few cases, where Haslewood inserted passages from the first edition, I have enclosed the interpolations in square brackets. The other point of difference between Haslewood’s edition and the present is that we have divided the two Tomes into three volumes of as nearly equal size as possible. While Haslewood has been used as “copy” for the printer, it must be understood that every line has been collated with the British Museum copy of the original, and many thousands of corrections, mostly though not all of a minor kind, made in Haslewood’s text.


4 Haselmere Road, Kilburn,

1st Aug. 1890.]



Assignments to Painter (Abstract).
(Record Office Dom. State Papers, Eliz., xl. No. 36.)

July 24, 1566. Assignment by Edward Randolph, Esq., to William Painter, Clerk of the Ordinance, Richard Webb, Master-Gunner of England, and Edward Partridge, Keeper of the Queen’s Harquebutts, Dagges, and Curriers, of certain annuities or pensions for a term of years.

Petition of Hartnell, Saint Barbe, and Painter (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lands. MS. 51, No. 25.)

Petition of Raulph Harknell, William Saintbarbe and William Painter to the Lord High Treasurer, c. 1586.

Having lately been called before Sir W. Mildmay, Chancor of the Exchequer, Mr. Fanshawe & Mr. Dodington for the sum of £7,075 and after conference the division was imposed upon Turville Bowland and Painter, and a brief was drawn, it pleased his Honour to will that if they could show cause why the said sums should not be burdened upon them they were to have allowance by petition which they have done and beseech his Honour to have regard to the present state of themselves their liv wives and children & by him to at once decide what sum they have to pay.

With regard to their estates:—

Bowland’s goods came to but £431 : 6 : 8. His land is given to three children, the eldest not twelve years old. As the land cannot be sold during their nonage he humbly begs that the land may be extended and prays that some allowance may be made for the education of the children.

Turville’s substance was chiefly in debts, his household stuff was of the value of £120 : 3 : 4. Of this £1,441 : 19 : 7 is to go to William Saintbarbe, the most part of which sum remains in the hands of the Earl of Warwick and Sir Philip Sydney. Notwithstanding he is willing to pay as much as His Honour shall think good.

William Painter craves remembrance of a note of his estate delivered in 1586, expressing the particulars of all he has in the world to live upon in these his aged days, amounting to about £64 a year. He has a wife and five children all marriageable and unprovided for. He begs his Honour’s favourable consideration of his case and promises to be the occasion of saving unto Her Majesty of far greater sums than what he owes to her.

Charge against Turville, Bowland, and Painter (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 55, No. 3.)

Charge informed in the Exchequer by John Powell against Geoffrey Turville, Richard Bowland and William Painter.

s d
  £7,077 : 8 : 1 :
Of which
Upon G. Turville 2,715 : 2 : 8
    „   R. Bowland     2,413 : 2 : 8
    „   W. Painter 1,949 : 2 : 8

lv Of this sum of £1949 : 2 : 8 William Painter confesses in his answer to owe £1079 : 17 : 3 which leaves unconfessed the sum of £869 : 5 : 5 of which he himself prays to be disburdened for divers good and reasonable considerations:—

For Iron sold to the amount of

  £ 16 : 8 : 4

For Powder sold for

£   4 : 8 : 10

For things conveyed from the Storehouse at Woolwich

4 : 0 : 0

For unserviceable shot sent into Barbary

173 : 13 : 4

For Powder Munition &c.

205 : 0 : 0

For sale of Sulphur

10 : 10 : 0

Divers allowances

373 : 6 : 8

Work done at Portsmouth

8 : 6 : 8

He promises to pay what is due from him in reasonable time.

The value of the Lands in Gillingham, Kent, belonging to William Painter is £413 : 10 : 0, which brings him in £94 : 10 of which he has to pay £33 : 3 : 2 leaving him £61 : 6 : 10.

The said William Painter owes £1200 for land in mortgage and is indebted to divers persons besides.

He humbly beseeches Her Majesty to have pitiful regard for his wife and marriageable children.

Powell’s charges against Earl of Warwick and Painter (Abstract).
(Hatfield, Calendar iii., No. 581.)

September, 1587. John Powell to the Queen, offers to expose frauds in the Ordnance Office, and begs the Queen to grant him a hearing before the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Lord Admiral, and Earl Warwick, which last named he accuses of great oppressions, and one Painter of false recording the office books.


W. Painter’s Confession.
(Record Office State Papers, Domestic, Eliz., vol. 224, No. 102.)

xxiijclo Junii 1589. Willm Painter confesseth that all those things that stande nowe charged upon Thearle of Warrewicke by the twoe bookes delivered by Mr. Coniers and Mr. Bartholme Vodoington were in truthe taken out of the Quenes stoare in the Towre of London and other places, and promiseth that before Michaelmas Tearme next he will in writing undr. his hand shewe discharge of so muche of the same as the said Earle is to be discharged of, and will charge his L. wth so muche thereof as in truth he ought to be charged wth by shewing of his owne warrant or other good proof that the same came to his L. hands or to suche as his Lo. did appoint for the receipt thereof, and the residue he will charge upon suche others as of right are to be charged therewth, and for his bettr instruction he placeth a coppie of the said twoe bookes delivered by the Auditors.

signed     W. PAINTER.

endorsed. 23 Junii, 1589.
Mr. Painters aunsweare for the Charging the E. of Warwick in the 2 books delivered to the Auditors of the Presse.

(Record Office Dom. Pap. Eliz. ccxxv., No. 38.)

June 22, 1589. Answer of John Powell, Surveyor of the Ordnance, to the informations given against him by Mr. Wm. Paynter. Examined in the office of the Ordnance before Sir Robert Constable and the rest of the officers, and noted in the margin accordingly.


Application of A. Painter in behalf of his Father (Abst.).
(Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 67, f. 47.)

April 6. 1591. He has many times besought his honour to accept of his serviceable endeavours with regard to his duty concerning the indirect government of the office of ordnance, the entries into the books &c. and as he knows that many irregularities have been committed for which he fears he and his aged father may be blamed he has thought it his duty to crave access to his Honour as well to advertise what has been heretofore done as to declare the manner how this office is managed, beseeching his honour, in regard his aged father is clerk of that office, whose duty it is to register all things, not to sign any proportion books of debt or monthe’s books but by the delivery of the said clerk or his deputy.

Grant in Reversion of Painter’s Office (Docquet).
(Record Off. Dom. State Papers, Eliz. ccxxxiii.)
1591. Grant in reversion of John Grenewaie of the office of Clerk of the Ordnance, with a fee of 8d. per diem, after the death of Wm. Paynter.

Accounts of the Ordnance (Abstract).
(Record Off. Dom. State Papers, Eliz. ccxliii., No. 96.)

Accounts by John Powell, Wm. Painter and Thos. Bedcock for provisions and stores delivered unto her Majesty’s Ordnance up to 31 Dec. 1592. Total of debts £6,786 0sd; of payments during lviii the last year £3,960 17s 6d; Balance due, £2,825 2sd. Also of debts due for provisions brought into the stores, repairs, &c., during the year: total £4055 9s besides Sir Rob. Constable’s debt. With note that as the books of the office have been delivered to the two auditors, the writers cannot set down every particular debt but have done so as far as they could.

Specific Charges against Painter.
(Brit. Mus.: Lansdown MS. 73, No. 59.)

In the following passage, syllables in [brackets] represent expanded abbreviations, chiefly “per”.

Right Honorable whearas I heartofore exhibited Articles vnto yor Lopp therin revealing and Justlie accusing William Painter clerke of Thordynaunce of notorious Deceiptes and abuses [per]petrated by him in Thexecution of his saide office vnto whiche he hathe made some Answeare as is reported./ May it ffurther please yor Lo I haue thoughte yt my parte to reveall such further and more deceiptes as I haue discovered of his lyke practizes and abuses when he tooke vppon him the charge and discharge of Thoffice as now his sonne seekethe to doe, which I Humblie prostrate heare inclosed. Cravinge of yor good Lo for proofe of bothe my Articles I may haue Aucthoritie to examine suche wittnesses as I can produce by othe before some Baron of Thexchequer as to Remaine vppon recorde leaste Deceasinge her Maties seruece therbye be hindered and I in some sorte descredited in skeming to Informe your Lopp wth matters I cannot proue./

So lyke wise if to yor Ho yt shall seeme good to signe the warrantate here to fore by me [pre]sented Aucthorishinge me and others to [per]vse and vewe Thaccomptes of Sir Robert Constable Knyghte deceased and msr willm Sugdon for Tower matters. I will bringe to lighte suche matters agaynste his sonne whearby yt shall appeare that he is a moste unfitt man to execute anie office of charge or truste vnder her matie beinge so corrupte a man as I will prooue him to be./ Pardon Right Ho my boldnes for Dutifull zeale did pricke me to discouer that I and sithence they are lix abroache care of my credite dothe continuallie vrge mee not to be negligent or alowe vntill I haue by good proues confirmed and established them. So restinge Readie to [per]forme the same and accordinge to my Bounden dutie to do her hignes anie service to my vttermoste./ I Humblie cease to trouble yor Ho any further at this tyme. But never will omitt to pray Thalmightie to increase yor Honor with all healthe and happines.

Your Honors most humble


Endorsed November 1793
George Hogg to my L.

Discouerie of certain abuses committed by Wm. Paynter clerk of the Ordinance wtin his office.

Wronges offered by Willm Painter Clerke of Thordenance entered in his Jornall booke ffor receiptes broughte into her maties Store Anno 1575 and 1576.

Right Honorable, first ther was a receipte for one Laste and a half of Serpentine powder broughte into her Maties Store and debenter made by Painter for the same as made of forraigne Peeter the xiiijth of Julie 1576, the which I will prooue vnto yor Ho that yt was her Maties owen powder brought from Windsor Castell the verie same Somer./ Wherein he deceaved her Matie, and made her pay for that wch was her owen./ Desyringe that my proofes may be taken bye Othe before one of the Barons of her Mties Exchecquer./

Secondlie, their was another Receipte made for xiie wht of corne powder As made of fforraine provision and brought into her maties Store and debenter made for the same the xxjth of Julie 1576 at the Rate of xijd the pownde, the wch did amounte to the some in money of lxlb the wch I will prove to be her maties Owen Powder as aforsayde./

Third, there was another Receipte made for One Laste of Serpentine powder by the sayd Painter at xjd the pownde/ and debenter made for the same the xxjth of Julie 1576 as brought into her maties Store beinge made lykwyse of fforraigne provision the wch I will proove no such matter receaved into her maties saide store and lx therefore her matie flatlie Deceaved by him of the Some of one c and xlb ∴/./

ffowerthlie there was lykewyse broughte into her Maties sayde store by one Constantine Watchindroppe the seconde of auguste 1576 certaine bowstaves to the number of fower Thousande after syxe Score to the Hundrethe at the Rate of xiijlb the Hundrethe the which dothe Amounte to vC and xxlb and entred by Painter in his Jornall booke and debenter made for the same I will proove vnto yor Ho notwithstandinge his debenter and entrie in his sayde booke that there was xjc of them neuer brought into her maties Store / and therfore her Matie Apparentlie Deceaved by him of the some of oneC xliijlb

ffiftlie wheras there was a Deliverie made in Thoffice of Thordinance the xxvith of Aprill 1576 for Serpentine Powder Delivered out of her Maties Store for the shootinge of Thordinance vppon the wharfe he did enter into his Jornall xxc wht delivered whearas, I will proove vnto yor Ho there was but vc Di delivered but heare he Dothe shewe his conninge in the discharginge of the kee[per] of the Store for the overcharge layd vppon the sayd kee[per] by him on his Receipte before specified the xxjth of Julie 1576 whearas he did charge the kee[per] wth a laste of Powder which was never brought into the Store which he made her Matie pay for/

Syxtlie he made a Delyuerie of fower hundrethe wht of Serpentine Powder the Laste of Aprill 1576 for the shootinge of Thordynaunce uppon May Є vo accordinge to the olde accustomed manners I will Proove there was but j Two hundredthe wht Delyvered whearin he hath abused her Matie as in the Article befor specified/.

symbol This symbol, represented in the text by Cyrillic Є, has not been identified. The following vo may be an error for vo, meaning either “quinto” (5th) or “ultimo” (last).

Application of J. Painter (Abstract).
Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 75, No. 55.)

Sept. 26. 1593.—The best experience of faithful and true endeavours is to be opposed by politic and malicious adversaries whose lxi slanderous informations have lately been used against him which he has truely answered and has been examined by Sir Geo: Carewe with the copies of the monthe’s books and therefore he trusts his Hon: will be satisfied. He hopes his slanderers will be punished, or it will be a precedent to others. He has served H. M. faithfully being encouraged by hopes of preferment. He yearly increases H. M. Store to the value of £2,000 by taking the returns of such munitions as return from the seas unspent in H. M. ships, which formerly were concealed and converted to private use. He has deciphered so many deceipts as amount to above £11,000. He is ready to show a number of abuses by which H. M. pays great sums of money which do not benefit her service, and finally by his experience he has been able to do Her Majesty profitable service, the particulars of which he is ready to show when required, and he trusts he deserves more favour and regard than to be utterly discredited and disgraced through the information of the person who through malice seeks to be revenged of him, because he saves H. M. £40 a year which this person sued for, for taking the aforesaid remains.

(Brit. Mus.: Lansdown MS. 78, No. 29.)

Right Honourable, I thought it my duty to aduertise yor ho: of dywrse misdemeanors comytted against her Mate in and about the Tower, when yor lop shall please to command me to attend you in the meane tyme I hold it most fytt to give you to vnderstand that vnderstandinge of Mr. Anthonie Paynter should make his vawnt of his playnes and truth of thencising of his fathers place being deputye vnto him thus much I am able to averr that in false entryes false debentes ymbeseling of powder, and other deceipte as come XVcIi as by informand recd to be put in against him the last term begonn by hogg who had mistaking the daye lxii ffor his father I send yor lop matter of XXVIj mll Against him It is uery fitt if it may stand wth yor ho: good liking all booke and recorde ap[per]teying to her Mae be taken into the costody of some whom yo shall think mete to kepe them to her Mate vse And so leaving the same to yor honourable care I doe humbly take my leave the Tower this XXjth of february

    ho: most humbly
   Att Commandmet
     N. Raynberd.

Endorsed 21 Feb. 1594
Mr Rainberd steward of ye Tower
to my l:
Informac͠on against Mr Paynter of abuses in his office.



Title links lead to the named stories in a separate file.

[In the following notes, Source refers to the origin whence Painter most probably obtained the tale; Origin to the earliest appearance of it in literature: these often coincide. I have included all the information given by Haslewood.]

I. Horatii and Curiatii.

The Romaines and the Albanes being at warres, for iniuries mutually inferred, Metius Suffetius, the Albane captaine, deuised a waye by a combate to ioygne bothe the cities in one. Victorie falling to the Romaines, the Romaine victor killed his sister and was condemned to die. Afterwardes, upon his father’s sute, he was deliuered.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 26.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Cicero, Pro Mil. 37; Dionys. Hal. iii. 21, 22; Plutarch, Par. Min. 16; Valerius Max. vi. 36; Florus, i. 3; Zonar, vii. 6. II. Mediæval: Holkot, Moral. 12. III. Modern: Wolgemuth, ii. 74; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, i. 13, vi. 61; Albertinus, Lusthauss, 1619, 191; Corneille, Horace; Acerra Philologica, 1708, ii. 15.

Painter, Ed. I. (1566) i. 1; II. (1575)65 i. 1; III. i. 1; IV. i. 15.]

II. The Rape of Lucrece.

Sextus Tarquinius ravished Lucrece. And she, bewailing the losse of her chastitie, killed herselfe.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 57-60.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Dionys. Hal. iv. 64; Cicero, De Fin. ii. 20-26; Val. Max. 6, i. 1; Ovid, Fasti, ii. 761; Aurel. De Vir. Ill. 9; Augustin, De Civit. Dei, i. 19. II. Mediæval: Vincent Bellov. Spec. Doct. iv. 100; Gesta Rom., 135; Violier, 113. III. Modern: Hans Sachs, i. 2, 184; 3, 21, Ein schön spil von der geschicht der edlen Römerin Lucretia, Strassburg, 1550, 8vo; Kirchhof, vi. 67-70; Eutrapelos, i. 92; Acerra, ii. 51; Histor. Handbüchlein, 247; Albertinus, 279; Abraham à Sta. Clara, Etwas für Alle, ii. 623.

lxiv Painter, Ed. I. i. 5; II. i. 5; III. i. 8; IV. i. 22.

Derivates.—There can be no doubt Shakspeare derived his Rape of Lucrece from Painter, though he has expanded the four pages of his original into 164 stanzas. Heywood has also a play called The Rape of Lucrece.]

III. Mucius Scævola.

The siege of Rome by Porsenna, and the valiaunt deliuerie thereof by Mutius Scæuola, with his stoute aunswere vnto the kinge.

[Source and origin.—Livy, ii. 12. 13.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch, Public. 17; Valerius Max. 3. 3. I; Dionys. 5 27-30; Aurel. Vict. 72; Cicero, pro Sext. 21. 48; Flor. i. 105; Martial, i. 51; Orosius, ii. 5; Augustin, De Civit. v. 18; Zonar, vii. 12; Dio Cass. 45, 31; 46, 19; 53, 8. II. Modern: H. Sachs, I. 2. 156: 2. 3. 39; Kirchhof, i. 15; Acerra, i. 19; Albertinus, 287.

Painter, I. i. 7; II. i. 7; III. i. 12; IV. 26.

Derivates.—A play called Mutius Scevola was played at Windsor in 1577 (Fleay, Hist. of Stage, p. 380).]

IV. Coriolanus.

Martius Coriolanus goinge aboute to represse the common people of Rome with dearth of Corne was banished. For reuengement whereof he perswaded Accius Tullius king of the Volscians, to make warres upon the Romaynes, and he himselfe in their ayde, came in his owne person. The Citie brought to greate miserye, the fathers deuised meanes to deliuer the same, and sent vnto the Volscian campe, the mother, the wife and children of Coriolanus. Vpon whose complaintes Coriolanus withdrewe the Volscians, and the citie was reduced to quietnes.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, ii. 35 seq.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Dionys. Hal. viii. 1; Zonar vii. 16; Plutarch Coriolanus; Val. Max. 5. 4. I; Dio Cass. (Exc. Vat.) 16 p. 148; Aur. Vict. 19. II. Mediæval: Holkot Narrat. 175; Gesta Rom., Lat. 137; Germ. 89; Violier, 115; Rosarium, i. 120. III. Modern: Abr. à St. Clara; Laubenhüt, I. 301; Acerra, 2. 17; Albertinus, 291; Kirchhof, vi. 73-6, 82.

Painter, I. i. 9; II. i. 9; III. i. 35; IV. i. 29.

Derivates.—It is possible that Shakespeare first got the idea of the dramatic capabilities of the story of Coriolanus from Painter though he filled in the details from North’s Plutarch.]


V. Appius and Virginia.

Appius Claudius, one of the Decemuiri of Rome, goeth about to rauishe Virginia a yonge mayden, which indeuour of Appius, when her father Virginius vnderstode being then in the warres, hee repaired home to rescue his doughter. One that was betrouthed vnto her, clamed her, whereupon rose great contention. In the ende her owne father, to saue the shame of his stocke, killed her with a Bocher’s knife, and went into the Forum, crying vengeance vpon Appius. Then after much contention and rebellion, the Decemuiri were deposed.

[Source.—Giovanni, Pecorone, giorn. xx. nov. 2.

Origin.—Livy, iii. 44, 47-57.

Parallels.Mediæval: Gower, Conf. Amant. vii.; Chaucer, Cant. Tales, Doctour’s Tale; Modern: Macaulay, Lays.

Painter, I. i. 13; II. i. 12; III. i. 31; IV. i. 35.

Derivates.—R. B., A new tragical comedy of Apius and Virginia, 1575.—Webster, Appius and Virginia. Hazlewood also refers to tragedies on the subject by Betterton, Crisp, Dennis, Moncrieff, Brooke, Bidlake, &c. Vincent Brooke, the actor, made his greatest hit in the part of Virginius.]

VI. Candaules and Gyges.

Candaules king of Lidia, shewing the secretes of his wyues beautie to Gyges, one of his guarde: was by counsaile of his wife, slaine by the said Gyges, and depriued of his kingdome.

[Source and Origin.—Herodotus, i. 7-13.

Parallels—.Justin, i. 7. Mod.: Guicciardini, 44; Federmann, Erquickstunden, 1574, 65; Albertinus, 186; Kirchhof, iv. 1.

Painter, I. i. 19; II. i. 18; III. i. 32; IV. i. 46.]

VII. Crœsus and Solon.

King Cræsus of Lydia reasoneth with the wyseman Solon, of the happie life of man. Who little esteeming his good aduise, vnderstoode before his death, that no man (but by vertue) can in this life attaine felicitie.

[Source and Origin.—Herod, i. 50 seq.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Diod. xvi. 56; Plutarch, Solon. II. Modern: Albertinus, 235; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, i. 4; Wanley, Wonders of the Little World, ed. 1774. III. li. 7.

lxvi Painter, I. i. 21; II. i. 20; III. i. 35; IV. i. 49.

Derivates.—A tragedy under this name was written by Earl Stirling about 1601.]

VIII. Rhacon and Cartomes.

Of a father that made suite, to haue his owne sonne put to death.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, i. 34.

Parallels.—Wanley, Wonders, IV. iii. 1.

Painter, I. i. 24; II. i. 22; III. i. 39; IV. i. 53.]

IX. Artaxerces and Sinetas.

Water offered of good will to Artaxerxes King of Persia, and the liberall rewarde of the Kinge to the giuer.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, i. 32.

Painter, I. i. 24; II. i. 23; III. i. 40; IV. i. 54.]

X. Chariton and Menalippus.

The loue of Chariton and Menalippus.

[Source and Origin.—Ælian, ii. 17 [Melanippus].

Painter, I. i. 25; II. i. 24; III. i. 42; IV. i. 56.]

XI. Cyrus and Panthea.

Kinge Cyrus perswaded by Araspas, to dispose himselfe to loue a ladie called Panthea, entreth into a pretie disputation and talke of loue and beautie. Afterwards Araspas himselfe falleth in loue with the saide ladie, but she indued with greate chastitie, auoydeth his earnest sute. And when shee heard tell that her husbande was slaine in the seruice of Cyrus, she killed herselfe.

[Source.—Probably Bandello, iii. 9.

Origin.—Xenophon (given as source by Painter).

Parallels.Anc.: Plutarch, Moralia; De curiositate. Modern: Belleforest; Hist. trag. iv. 265; Wanley, Wonders, I. xi. 30.

lxvii Painter, I. i. 27; II. i. 25; III. i. 44; IV. i. 58.

Derivates—Warres of Cyrus, with the tragical Ende of Panthea, a tragedy, was printed in 1594.]

XII. Abdolominus King of Scythia.

Abdolominus is from poore estate, aduaunced by Alexander the Great, through his honest life, to be kyng of Sydone.

[Source and Origin.—Quinct. Curtius, IV. i. 19-16.

Parallels—Anc.: Diod. Sic. xvii. Mod.: Wanley, Wonders, VI. xiv.

Painter, I. i. 33; II. i. 31; III. i. 45; IV. i. 69.]

XIII. Alexander and the Scythian Ambassadors.

The oration of the Scythian Ambassadours to Alexander the great, reprouing his ambicion, and desire of Empire.

[Source and Origin.—Quintus Curtius, ix. 2.

Painter, I. i. 34; II. i. 32; III. i. 57; IV. i. 71.]

XIV. Metellus on Marriage.

The woordes of Metellus of mariage, and wiuing with the prayse and dispraise of the same.

[Source.—Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 6.

Origin.—Livy, ii. 32.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plut. Coriol. 6. Dio. Halic. vi. 76.

Painter, I. i. 36; II. i. 24; III. i. 60; IV. i. 74.]

XV. Lais and Demosthenes.

Of Lais and Demosthenes.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 8.

Parallels.—Repeated in Painter II. xiii.

Painter, I. i. 38; II. i. 35; III. i. 63; IV. i. 77.]

XVI. Fabricius and Pyrrhus.

C. Fabritius and Emillius Consuls of Rome, beyng promised that king Pyrrhus for a somme of money should be slayne (which was a notable lxviii enemie to the Romaine state) aduertised Pyrrhus thereof by letters, and of other notable thinges doen by the same Fabritius.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 14.

Origin.—(?) Livy, Epit. xiii.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch Pyrr. 18, 19; An seni sit, &c., 21; Cicero, Pro Cœl., 14, 24; Brut. 14, 55; 16, 61; Phil. i. 5, 11; Cato, vi. 16; Val. Max., viii. 13, 5; Sueton. Tib., 2; Justin, 18, 2; Ovid, Fasti, xvi. 203.

Painter, I. i. 38; II. i. 36; III. i. 64; IV. i. 78.]

XVII. Camillus and Schoolmaster.

A Scholemaister traiterously rendring the noble mens sonnes of Faleria to the hands of Camillus, was wel acquited and rewarded for his paines and labour.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. xvii. 24.

Origin.—Livy, v. 26.

Parallels.—I. Ancient: Plutarch, Camillus, 10; Dion. Halic. excerp. Vatec. 13, 1; Frontinus, Strat. iv. 4, 1; Polyænus, Strat. viii. 7; Val. Max. vi. 5, 1; Aur. Victor, De vir. ill. 33; Zonar. vii. 32. II. Modern: Enxemplos, 187. III. Modern: Gallensis, Commumilog. 1489, i. 11; H. Sachs, III. ii. 46; Hanmer, Hist. Roseng. 1654, 437; Acerra, i. 100; Kirch, i. 18.

Painter, I. i. 39; II. i. 37; III. i. 66; IV. i. 80.]

XVIII. Papyrius Prætextatus.

The Hystorie of Papyrius Prætextatus [and how he misled his mother].

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 23.

Parallels.Sabell. Exemp. i. 3; Bruson, Facet. iv. 4; Wanley, Wonders, III. xlvii. 4.

Painter, I. i. 41; II. i. 38; III. i. 69; IV. i. 83.]

XIX. Plutarch’s Anger.

How Plutarche did beate his man, and of pretie talke touching signes of anger.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 26.

Painter, I. i. 42; II. i. 39; III. i. 71; IV. i. 85.]


XX. Æsop’s Fable of the Lark.

A pretie tale drawne out of the Larke of Æsope.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. ii. 29.

Origin and Parallels.Cf. Caxton’s Æsop, ed. Jacobs, Ro. i. 20; vol. i. p. 238.

Painter, I. i. 42; II. i. 40; III. i. 72; IV. i. 86.

Derivates.—A ballad on the subject, entitled A mirror most true, was licensed to Richard Jones 1576-7.]

XXI. Hannibal and Antiochus.

A merie geste, uttered by Hanniball to King Antiochus.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius.

Painter, I. i. 44; II. i. 41; III. i. 74; IV. i. 88.]

XXII. Androdus.

The marueilous knowledge of a Lion, being acquainted with a man, called Androdus.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. v. 14, 10.

Origin and Parallels.Cf. Caxton’s Æsop, ed. Jacobs, Ro. iii. 1, vol. i. p. 243.

Painter, I. i. 44; II. i. 41; III. i. 79; IV. i. 89.]

XXIII. Favorinus.

A pretie disputation of the philosopher Phauorinus, to perswade a woman not to put forth her child to nursse, but to nourishe it herselfe with her owne milke.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. xvii. 12.

Painter, I. i. 45; II. i. 42; III. i. 77; IV. i. 91.]

XXIV. Sertorius.

Of Sertorius, a noble Romaine capitaine.

[Source and Origin.—A Gellius, Noct. Att.

Painter, I. i. 48; II. i. 45; III. i. 81; IV. i. 95.

Derivates.—A tragedy with this title, by J. Bancroft, appeared in 1679, but it is scarcely likely to have been derived from Painter.]


XXV. Sibylline Leaves.

Of the bookes of Sybilla.

[Source.—A. Gellius, Noct. Att. i. 19.

Origin.—Pliny, Hist. Nat. xiii. 28.

Painter, I. i. 49; II. i. 46; III. i. 84; IV. i. 98.]

XXVI. Master and Scholar.

A difference and controuersie betwene a maister and a scholler, so subtile that the iudges coulde not geue sentence.

[Source and Origin.—A. Gellius.

Painter, I. i. 80; II. i. 46; III. i. 85; IV. i. 99.]

XXVII. Seleucus and Antiochus.

Seleucus king of Asia, gaue his wife to his owne sonne in mariage, being his mother in lawe; who so feruently did loue her, that he was like to die, whiche by a discrete and wyse inuention, was discouered to Seleucus by a Phisition.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Demetrius (probably in Amyot’s translation).

Parallels—.Val. Max. v. 7; Wanley, Wonders, III. ix. 4.

Painter, I. i. 51; II. i. 48; III. i. 88; IV. i. 102.]

XXVIII. Timon of Athens.

Of the straunge and beastlie nature of Timon of Athens, enemie to mankinde, with his death, buriall, and Epitaphe.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Marc Antonius (probably through Amyot’s translation).

Parallels—.Erasmus, Adagio; Sabell. Exemp. ii. 2; Reynolds, Treatise of Passions, c. 13; Wanley, Wonders, II. ix. 8.

Painter, I. i. 57; II. i. 54; III. i. 98; IV. i. 112.

Derivates.—Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens (c. 1608) is founded on this, though much expanded. There is a play of Timon anterior to Shakespeare’s, and printed by Mr. Hazlitt.]

XXIX. Marriage of Widow and Widower.

The mariage of a man and woman, hee being the husband of xx. wiues: and shee the wife of xxii. husbandes.

lxxi [Source.—Pedro di Messia, Selva di varie Lezzioni, i. 34.

Origin.—St. Jerome.

Painter, I. i. 59; II. i. 55; III. i. 100; IV. i. 114.]

XXX. The Three Rings.

How Melchisedech a iewe, by telling a pretie tale of three Ringes, saued his life.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decameron, giorn. i., nov. 3.

Origin.Cento novelle antichi, 72 (through Busone), L’avventuroso Ciciliano; cf. Landau, Die Quellen2 183. Probably original source was Jewish. Cf. G. Paris in Revue des études juives, t. xvii., and A. Wünsche in Lessing-Mendelssohn Gedenkbuch.

Parallels.Med.: Shebet Jehuda (Heb.), Gesta Rom. 89. Lessing, Nathan der Weise.

Painter.—I. i. 60; II. i. 56; III. i. 102; IV. i. 116.]

XXXI. Borsieri and Grimaldi.

One called Guglielmo Borsiere with certaine wordes well placed, taunted the couetous life of Ermino Grimaldi.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Dec., giorn. i., nov. 8.

Origin.—Benvenuto Rambaldi. Commentary on Inferno xvi.

Painter.—I. i. 61; II. i. 57; III. i. 105; IV. i. 119.]

XXXII. Alberto of Bologna.

Maister Alberto of Bologna, by a pleasaunt aunsweare made a gentlewoman to blushe, which had thoughte to haue put him out of countenaunce, in telling him that he was in loue with her.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio, Dec. i. 10.

Painter.—I. i. 63; II. i. 58; III. i. 108; IV. i. 122.]

XXXIII. Rinaldo of Este.

Rinaldo of Esti being robbed, arrived at Castel Guglielmo, and was succoured of a wydowe: and restored to his losses, retourning saulfe and sounde home to his owne house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Dec. ii. 2.

Origin.Pantschatantra (Fables of Bidpai), II. iv. tr. Benfey, 183.

lxxii Parallels.Mediæval: von der Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer, No. 42; Mod.: Lope de Vega, Llegar en ocasion: Lafontaine, L’oraison de St. Julien; La Moth, Le Talisman.

Painter.—I. i. 64; II. i. 60; III. i. 111; IV. i. 125.

Derivatives.The Widow, attributed to Ben Jonson, Fletcher and Middleton, seems to have been derived from this.]

XXXIV. The King of England’s Daughter.

Three yonge men hauing fondlye consumed all that they had, became verie poore, whose nephewe (as he retourned out of Englande into Italie,) by the waye fell into acquaintaunce with an abbote, whome (vpon further familiaritie) he knewe to be the king of Englande’s doughter, whiche toke him to husbande. Afterwardes she restored his vncles to all their losses, and sent them home in good state and reputation.

[Source and Origin.66—Boccaccio, Dec., giorn. ii., nov. 3.

Painter.—I. i. 68; II. i. 63; III. i. 116; IV. i. 130.]

XXXV. Landolfo Ruffolo.

Landolpho Ruffolo being impooerished, became a pirate and taken by the Geneuois, was in daunger of drowning, who sauing himselfe vpon a litle coafer full of rich iewels, was receiued at Corfu, and beinge cherished by a woman, retourned home very riche.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 4.

Painter.—I. i. 73; II. i. 68; III. i. 124; IV. i. 138.]

XXXVI. Andruccio.

Andreuccio of Perugia being come to Naples to buy horses, was in one night surprised, with three marueilous accidentes. All which hauinge escaped with one Rubie he retourned home to his house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 5.

Origin.—Fabliau, Boivin de Provins. Barbazan, i. 357.

Parallels.Mod.: Pitré, Nov. pop. sic. No. 163. Nerucci, Nov. montalesi, No. 45. Gianandrea, Trad. Marchigiane (cf. T. F. Crane, Academy, 22 Mar. 1879). Schiefner, Mahâkâtjâjana, 23.

Painter.—I. 76; II. i. 71; III. i. 129; IV. i. 143.]


XXXVII. The Earl of Angiers.

The erle of Angiers being falsely accused, was banished out of Fraunce, and left his two sonnes in sondry places in Englande, and retourning (vnknowen) by Scotlande, founde theim in great authoritie, afterwardes he repayred in the habite of a seruaunte, to the Frenche kinges armie, and being knowen to be innocent, was againe aduaunced to his first estate.

[Source.Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. ii., nov. 8.

Origin.—Dante, Purg. vi. 22, and frame of Seven Wise Masters.

Parallels.Mediæval: Guillaume de la Barre, ed. P. Meyer; Jacob à Voragine, Legenda aurea, 176; Gesta Rom. 48; Mod.: Goethe, Vertriebener Graf.

Painter.—I. i. 85; II. i. 78; III. i. 142; IV. i. 156.

Derivates.—Ayres, the German dramatist (+ 1605), who derived much from the English comedians, had a drama called Graf von Angiers.]

XXXVIII. Giletta of Narbonne.

Giletta, a Phisition’s doughter of Narbon, healed the French King of a Fistula, for reward whereof she demaunded Beltramo Counte of Rossiglione to husband. The Counte being maried against his will, for despite fled to Florence and loued another. Giletta his wife, by pollicie founde meanes to lye with her husbande, in place of his louer, and was begotten with childe of two sonnes: which knowen to her husband, he receiued her againe, and afterwards he liued in great honour and felicitie.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. iii., nov. 9.

Origin.—? Terence Hecyra.

Parallels.Mediæval: Somadeva Katha-sarit-sagara, 29; Von der Hagen, Gesammt. No. 32; Fauche Tetrade, ii. No. 6; Mod.: Gipsy Tale, by F. Miklosich, Denks. K. Akad., Wien, xxiii. p. 14.

Painter.—I. i. 95; II. i. 87; III. i. 157; IV. i. 171.

Derivates.—The main plot of Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well certainly comes from Painter.]

XXXIX. Tancred and Gismonda.

Tancredi Prince of Salerne, caused his doughter’s louer to be slayne, and sente his harte vnto her in a cup of golde: whiche afterwardes she put into poysoned water, and drinking thereof died.


[Origin.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. iv., nov. i.

Source.—Romance of Raoul de Couçy.

Parallels.Med.: Aretini, De Amore Guiscardii, F. Beroaldo, Latin verse, Paris, 1599; J. Fleury, L’amour parfaite de Giusgardu, Paris, 1493; A. Guasco in ottava rima, Venice, 1600; W. Walter, Amorous hysterie of Guistard, 1532; Howell, Letters, ed. Jacobs, p. 323; Wanley, Wonders, II. xii. 24.

Painter.—I. i. 100; II. i. 92; III. i. 166; IV. i. 180.

Derivates.—R. Wilmot, Tancred and Gismund (performed 1568, printed 1591); Turberville, Tragicall Tales, iv.]

XL. Mahomet and Irene.

Mahomet one of the Turkish Emperours, executeth curssed crueltie vpon a Greeke maiden, whome hee tooke prisoner, at the wynning of Constantinople.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 10 (through French translation of Boaistuau, 1559, no. 2).

Parallels.—Belleforest, Histories tragiques, i. 30 seq.; Knowles, Turk. Hist. 350 seq.; Wanley, Wonders, IV. x. 6.

Painter.—I. i. 107; II. i. 94; III. i. 176; IV. i. 190.

Derivates.—Peele’s Famous play of the Turkish Mahomet and Hyren the Fair Greek, played in 1594 and 1601 (not extant). Ayres had also a drama on Mahomet. Also, L. Carlell, Osmond the Great Turk, 1657; G. Swinhoe, Unhappy fair Irene, 1658; C. Goring, Irene, 1708; Dr. Johnson, Irene, 1749.]

XLI. Lady Falsely Accused.

A Ladie faslie accused of adultrie, was condempned to be deuoured of Lions: the maner of her deliuerie, and how (her innocencie being knowen) her accuser felt the paines for her prepared.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello (through Belleforest’s translation, 1559, no. 2).

Painter.—I. i. 112; II. i. 103; III. i. 184; IV. i. 198.]

XLII. Didaco and Violenta.

Didaco a Spaniarde, is in loue with a poore maiden of Valencia, and secretly marieth her, afterwardes lothinge his first mariage, because she was of base parentage, he marieth an other of noble birth. His first lxxv wyfe, by secrete messenger prayeth his company, whose request he accomplisheth. Being a bedde, shee and her maide killeth him. She throweth him into the streate: shee in desperate wise confesseth the facte before the Maiestrates, and is put to death.

[Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 5.

Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 42.

Painter.—I. i. 125; II. i. 114; III. i. 204; IV. i. 218.

Derivates.—T. Achely put the story into verse, 1576. Beaumont and Fletcher’s Triumph of Death, the second of their Four Plays in One.]

XLIII. Lady of Turin

Wantones and pleasaunt life being guides of insolencie, doth bring a miserable end to a faire ladie of Thurin, whom a noble man aduaunced to high estate: as appereth by this historie, wherein he executeth great crueltie vpon his sayde ladie, taken in adulterie.

[Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 4.

Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 12.

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 78 seq. Q. Margaret, Heptameron, nov. 32 (cf. Painter I. 57, infra and parallels there).

Painter.—I. i. 135; II. i. 127; III. i. 226; IV. i. 240.]

XLIV. Aleran and Adelasia.

The loue of Alerane of Saxone, and of Andelasia the doughter of the Emperour Otho the thirde of that name. Their flight and departure into Italie, and how they were known againe, and what noble houses of Italie descended of their race.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 27 (Belleforest, 1559, no. 1).

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 57 seq.

Painter.—I. i. 20 (sic); II. i. 130; III. i. 245; IV. i. 249.]

XLV. Duchess of Savoy.

The Duchesse of Sauoie, being the kinge of England’s sister, was in the Duke her husbandes absence, vniustlye accused of adulterie, by a noble man, his Lieutenaunte: and shoulde haue beene put to death, if by the prowesse and valiaunt combate of Don Iohn di Mendozza, (a gentleman of Spaine) she had not beene deliuered. With a discourse of maruelous accidentes, touchinge the same, to the singuler praise and commendation of chaste and honest Ladies.

lxxvi [Source.—Boaistuau, 1559, no. 6.

Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 44 (from Val. Baruchius).

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. 107, seq.

Painter.—I. i. 226; II. i. 153; III. i. 271; IV. i. 285.

Derivates.—De la Peend, History of John Lord Mandozze, 1565 (cf. Brit. Bibliographer, ii. 523). De la Peend must have had proof sheets of Painter.]

XLVI. The Countess of Salisbury.

A King of England loued the daughter of one of his noble men, which was Countesse of Salesburie, who after great sute to atchieue that he could not winne, for the entire loue he bare her, and her greate constancie, hee made her his queene and wife.

[Source.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 26 (through Boaistuau, no. 1).

Origin.—Froissart, i., cc. 77-89. (N.B.—There is a confusion between Edward III. and the Black Prince, who was really the Countess’ lover.)

Parallels.—Belleforest, i. § 18.

Painter.—I. i. 258; II. i. 182; III. i. 320; IV. 334.

Derivates.—The Shakespearian part of Edward III. is derived from the work of Painter.]

XLVII. Galgano and Madonna Minoccia.

A gentleman called Galgano, long time made sute to Madonna Minoccia: her husband sir Stricca (not knowing the same) diuers times praised and commended Galgano, by reason whereof, in the absence of her husband, she sent for him, and yelded herself vnto him, tellinge him what wordes her husband had spoken of him, and for recompence he refused to dishonest her.

[Source and Origin.—Ser Giovanne Fiorentino, Peccorone, I. i.

Parallels.—Masuccio, Novellino, 1450, nov. 21.

Painter.—I. i. 279; II. i. 199; III. i. 351; IV. ii. 3.]

XLVIII. Bindo and Ricciardo.

Bindo a notable Architect, and his sonne Ricciardo, with all his familie, from Florence went to dwell at Venice, where being made Citizens for diuers monuments by them done there, throughe inordinate expences were forced to robbe the Treasure house. Bindo beinge slaine lxxvii by a pollicie deuised by the Duke and state, Ricciardo by fine subtelties deliuereth himselfe from foure daungers. Afterwards the Duke (by his owne confession) vnderstandinge the sleightes, giueth him his pardon and his doughter in mariage.

[Source and Origin.—Ser Giovanne, Pecor., giorn. ix., nov. 1.

Parallels.Anc.: Herod ii. 121, 122; Diod. Sic. i. 62; Pausanius ix. 37, § 4. Med.: L. Valla. Mod.: H. Stephen, Traité preparatif à l’Apologie; Bandello, Part I. nov. xxv.

Painter.—I. i. 282; II. i. 202; III. i. 356; IV. ii. 8.

Derivates.—Henslowe’s Diary, 4 Mar. and 5 June 1592, has references to a tragedy of Bindo and Ricardo, evidently derived from this.]

XLIX. Filenio Sisterno.

Philenio Sisterno, a Scholler of Bologna, being mocked of three faire Gentlewomen, at a banket made of set purpose he was reuenged on them all.

[Source and Origin.—Straparola, Piac. Notti, II., nov. 2.

Painter.—I. i. 289; II. i. 208; III. i. 366; IV. i. 18.]

L. Muleteer’s Wife.

The piteous and chaste death of one of the muleters wiues of the Queene of Nauarre.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron 2.

Painter.—I. i. 296; II. i. 214; III. i. 377; IV. ii. 29.]

LI. King of Naples.

A king of Naples, abusing a Gentleman’s wife, in the end did weare the hornes himself.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 3.

Parallels.Bandello, Part iv., nov. 10.

Painter.—I. i. 298; II. i. 216; III. i. 380; IV. i. 32.]

LII. Princess of Flanders.

The rashe enterprise of a Gentleman against a Princesse of Flaunders, and of the shame that he receyued thereof.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 4.

Painter.—I. i. 302; II. i. 219; III. i. 386; IV. ii. 38.]


LIII. Amadour and Florinda.

The loue of Amadour and Florinda: wherein be conteined mani sleightes and dissimulations, together with the renowmed chastitie of the said Florinda.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 10.

Painter.—I. i. 306; II. i. 223; III. i. 393; IV. ii. 45.]

LIV. Duke of Florence.

The incontinencie of a duke and of his impudencie to attaine his purpose, with the iust punishment which he receiued for the same.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 12.

Painter.—I. i. 326; II. i. 270; III. i. 423; IV. ii. 75.]

LV. Francis I. and Count Guillaume.

One of the Frenche kinge’s called Frauncis the firste of that name, declared his gentle nature to Counte Guillaume, that would haue killed him.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 17.

Painter.—I. i. 330; II. i. 243; III. i. 429; IV. ii. 81.]

LVI. Gentlewoman of Pampelunæ.

A pleasaunt discours of a great Lord to enioy a Gentlewoman of Pampelunæ.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, 26.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 245; III. i. 432; IV. ii. 84.]

LVII. A Strange Punishment of Adultery.

A punishment more rigorous than death, of a husband towarde his wife that had committed adulterie.

[Source.—Q. Margaret, Heptameron, nov. 32.

Origin.—? Bandello, Part ii., nov. 10.

Parallels.Med.: Gesta, Gower; Conf. Amant. i. Mod.: Bandello, iii., nov. 15; Belleforest, i. 297; Whetstone, Heptameron, 3rd day; Stollberg, Ballad.

Painter.—I. i. 332; II. i. 252; III. i. 445; IV. ii. 97.

lxxix Derivates.—Greene’s Planetomachio and Davenant’s Alborine have similar incidents, but whether derived from Painter it is difficult to say.]

LVIII. President of Grenoble.

A President of Grenoble aduertised of the ill gouernement of his wife, took such order, that his honestie was not diminished, and yet reuenged the facte.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 36.

Parallels.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 35.

Painter.—I. i. 334; II. i. 254; III. i. 449; IV. ii. 101.

Derivates.—Shirley’s Love’s Cruelty.]

LIX. Gentleman of Perche.

A gentleman of Perche suspecting iniurie done vnto him by his friend, prouoked him to execute and put in proufe the cause of his suspicion.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 47.

Painter.—I. i. 336; II. i. 256; III. i. 452; IV. ii. 104.]

LX. Gentleman that Died of Love.

The piteous death of an Amorous Gentleman, for the slacke comfort geuen him to late, by his beloued.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 9.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 258; III. i. 455; IV. ii. 107.]

LXI. Lady of the French Court.

A Gentlewoman of the Courte, very pleasauntly recompenced the seruice of a kinde seruaunte of her’s, that pursued her with service of loue.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 58.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 26; III. i. 461; IV. ii. 113.]

LXII. Rolandine the Chaste.

The honest and maruellous loue of a mayden of noble house, and of a gentleman that was base borne, and howe a Queene did impeche and let their mariage, with the wise aunswere of the mayde to the Queene.

lxxx [Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 21.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 263; III. i. 464; IV. ii. 116.]

LXIII. The Prudent Lady.

The Wisedome of a woman to withdrawe the foolishe loue of her husband, wherewith he was tormented.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 37.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 263; III. i. 483; IV. ii. 135.]

LXIV. The Lady of Tours.

The notable charitie of a woman of Tours towards her husbande.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Margaret, Hept., nov. 38.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. i. 276; III. i. 487; IV. ii. 139.]

LXV. Miracle at Lyons.67

The simplicitie of an old woman, that offered a burning candle to S. Iohn of Lions.

[Source and Origin.Hept., nov. 65.

Painter.—I. i. 338; II. i. 277; III. i. 489; IV. ii. 141.]

LXVI. Doctor of Laws.

A Doctor of the Lawes boughte a cup, who by the subtiltie of two false varlets, lost both his money and the cuppe.

[Source.—“Out of a little Frenche booke called ‘Comptes du Monde Avantureux.’”

Origin.—Massanio, Novellino, Part II. nov. 17.

Parallels.Mensa Philosophica.

Painter.—I. i. 339; II. i. 278; III. i. 490; IV. ii. 142.

Derivates.—Marston’s Dutch Courtesan, 1605; and Anon.: The Cuckqueanes and Cuckolds Errant, a Comedye, 1601, formerly in Haslewood’s possession.]



I. The Amazons.

The hardinesse and conquests of diuers stout, and aduenturous women, called Amazones, the beginninge, and continuance of their Reigne, and of the great iourney of one of their Queenes called Thalestris to visit Alexander the great: with the cause of her trauaile.

[Source and Origen.—Herod, iv. 110.

Parallels.—Acerra, ii. 58; Albertinus, 55; Kirchhof, Wendenmuth, iv. 182.

Painter.—I. ii. 1; II. ii. 1; III. ii. 1; IV. ii. 159.]

Derivates.—A Masque of the Amazons was played March 3, 1592 (Henslowe).]

II. Alexander and Sisigambis.

The great pitie and continencie of Alexander the great and his louinge entertaynment of Sisigambis the wife of the great monarch Darivs after he was vanquished.

[Source and Origin.—Q. Curtius, x. 5.

Parallels.—Justin, xiii. 1.

Painter.—I. ii. 5; II. ii. 4; III. ii. 8; IV. ii. 166.]

III. Timoclia of Thebes.

Timoclia, a gentlewoman of Thebes, vnderstandinge the couetous desire of a Thracian knight, that had abused hir, and promised her mariage, rather for her goods than loue, well acquited hir selfe from his falshoode.

[Source and Origin.—Plutarch, Alexander, (Amyot).

Parallels.—Zonar, Ann. i. f. 32; Wanley, Wonders, III. xxx. 6.

Painter.—I. ii. 9; II. ii. 7; III. ii. 14; IV. ii. 172.

Derivates.—A play entitled Timoclia, doubtless derived from Painter, is mentioned in the Revel’s Account. It was played at Merchant Taylors’ in 1574. Fleay, History, 381.]


IV. Ariobarzanes.

Ariobarzanes great steward to Artaxerxes king of Persia, goeth about to exceede his soueraigne lord and maister in curtesie; where in be conteyned many notable and pleasaunt chaunces, besides the great patience and loyaltie naturally planted in the sayd Ariobarzanes.

[Source and Origin.—i-Bandello, Pt. i., nov. 2.

Parallels.—Belleforest iv. f. 9 seq.

Painter.—I. ii. 11; II. ii. 9; III. ii. 18; IV. ii. 176.]

V. Aristotemus the Tyrant.

Lucivs one of the garde to Aristotimvs the Tyrant of the cittye of Elis, fell in loue with a fayre mayden called Micca, the daughter of one Philodemvs and his cruelty done upon her. The stoutnesse also of a noble matron named Megistona in defence of hir husbande and the common wealth from the tyranny of the said Aristotimvs: and of other actes done by the subjects vppon that Tyrant.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part iii. nov. 5.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv. f. 234.

Painter.—I. ii. 32; II. ii. 26; III ii. 51; IV. ii. 209.]

VI. Tanaquil.

The maruaylous courage and ambition of a gentlewoman called Tanaquil, the Queene and wife of Tarqvinivs Priscvs the fift Roman king, with his persuasions and pollicy to hir husbande for his aduauncement to the kingdom, her lyke encouragement of Servivs Tvllivs, wherein also is described the ambition of one of the II. daughters of Servivs Tvllivs the sixt Roman king, and her cruelty towards her owne natural father: with other accidents chaunced in the new erected common welth of Rome, specially of the last Romane king Tarqvinivs Svperbvs, who with murder atteined the kingdome, with murder maynteined it, and by the murder and insolent lyfe of his sonne was with al his progeny banished.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, i. 34-41.

Painter.—I. ii. 40; II. ii. 33; III. ii. 63; IV. ii. 221.]


VII. Sophonisba.

The vnhappy end and successe of the loue of King Massinissa, and Queene Sophonisba his wyfe.

[Source.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 41.

Origin.—Petrarch, Trionfi.

Parallels.—Belleforest, I. iii., f. 356; Trissino, Sophonisba (tragedy), 1524; Raleigh, Hist. V. iii. 8; Wanley, Wonders, III. liii. 2.

Painter.—I. ii. 49; II. ii. 39; III. ii. 78; IV. ii. 236.

Derivates.—Marston, Wonder of Women, or Sophonisba, her tragedy, printed 1606; N. Lee, Sophonisba, or Hannibal’s Overthrow, 1676; J. Thomson, Sophonisba, acted 28 Feb. 1730.68]

VIII. Theoxena and Poris.

The crueltye of a Kynge of Macedone who forced a gentlewoman called Theoxena, to persuade hir children to kill and poyson themselves: after which fact, she and hir husband Poris ended their lyfe by drowninge.

[Source and Origin.—Livy, xl. 4.

Painter.—-I. ii. 39; II. ii. 48; III. ii. 94; IV. ii. 252.]

IX. Lady of Hidrusa.

A straunge and maruellous vse, which in old time was obserued in Hidrvsa, where it was lawfull, with the licence of a magistrate ordayned for that purpose, for every man, and woman that list, to kill them selues.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 56.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv., f. 214.

Painter.—I. ii. 61; II. ii. 50; III. ii. 98; IV. ii. 256.]

X. The Empress Faustina.

The dishonest Loue of Favstina the Empresse, and with what remedy the same loue was remoued and taken away.

lxxxiv [Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part 1, nov. 36.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iv., f. 83.

Painter.—I. ii. 65; II. ii. 52; III. ii. 102; IV. ii. 260.]

XI. Two Maids of Carthage.

Chera hid a treasure: Elisa going about to hang her selfe, and tying the halter about a beame found that treasure, and in place thereof left the halter. Philene the daughter of Chera going for that treasure, and busily searching for the same, found the halter, wherewithal for dispayre she would haue hanged hir selfe, but forbidden by Elisa, who by chaunce espied hir, she was restored to part of hir losse, leading afterwards a happy and prosperous lyfe.

[Source and Origin.—Cinthio, Ecatomithi, giorn. ix., nov. 8.

Parallels.—“Heir of Linne” in Percy; Guellette, Contes tartares.

Painter.—I. ii. 67; II. ii. 54; III. ii. 106; IV. ii. 264.]

XII. Letters of the Emperor Trajan.

Letters of the Philosopher Plutarch to the noble and vertuous Emperour Traiane, and from the sayd Emperour to Plutarch: the lyke also from the said Emperour to the Senate of Rome. In all which be conteyned godly rules for gouernment of Princes, obedience of Subiects, and their duties to common wealth.

[Source and Origin.—Guevara.

Painter.—I. ii. 76; II. ii. 62; III. ii. 121; IV. ii. 279.]

XIII. Lamia, Flora and Lais.

A notable History of three amorous Gentlewomen called Lamia, Flora, and Lais: conteyning the sutes of noble Princes and other great Personages made vnto them, with their answeres to diuers demaundes: and the manner of their death and funerals.

[Source and Origin.—“Pausanias and Manitius” (text).

Parallels.—Painter I. nov. xv.; for Lais, Fenton, Wonderful Secretes 1569, ff. 65-7.

Painter.—I. ii. 123 [89]; II. ii. 73; III. ii. 143; IV. ii. 301.]


XIV. Zenobia Queen of Palmyra.

The lyfe and giftes of the most Famous Queene Zenobia with the Letters of the Emperour Avrelianvs to the sayde Queene, and her stoute aunswere thereunto.

[Source and Origin.—Tacitus, Ann. xii. 51.

Painter.—I. ii. 89 [95]; II. ii. 78; III. ii. 153; IV. 311.

Derivates.—A Zenobia was played at the Rose Theatre in 1591.]

XV. Euphemia and Acharisto.

Euphimia the Kyng of Corinth’s daughter fell in love with Acharisto, the seruaunt of her father, and besides others which required hir in mariage, she disdayned Philon the King of Peloponesvs, that loued hir very feruently. Acharisto conspiring against the King, was discouered, tormented, and put in prison, and by meanes of Euphimia deliuered. The King promised his daughter and kingdome to him that presented the head of Acharisto. Evphimia so wrought, as hee was presented to the King. The King gave him his daughter to wyfe and when he died made him his heyre. Acharisto began to hate his wyfe, and condemned hir to death as an adulteresse. Philon deliuered hir: and upon the sute of hir subiects, she is contented to mary him, and thereby he is made Kynge of Corinth.

[Source and Origin.—Cinthio, Ecaton, viii., nov. 10.

Painter.—I. 101; II. ii. 82; III. ii. 162; IV. ii. 320.]

XVI. The Marchioness of Monferrato.

The Marchionesse of Monferrato, with a banket of Hennes, and certaine pleasant wordes, repressed the fond loue of Philip the French Kynge.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. i., nov. 5.

Origin.Seven Wise Masters.

Parallels.Anc.: II. Sam. c. xi. Med.: Sindibad, and plls.

Painter.—I. ii. 112; II. ii. 91; III. ii. 180; IV. ii. 338.]

XVII. Ansaldo and Dianora.

Mistresse Dianora demaunded of maister Ansaldo a garden so faire in Ianuary, as in the moneth of May. Mayster Ansaldo (by meanes of an lxxxvi obligation which he made to a Nicromancer) caused the same to bee done. The husband agreed with the gentlewoman that she should do the pleasure which maister Ansaldo required, who hearinge the liberality of hir husband, acquited hir of hir promise, and the Necromancer discharged maister Ansaldo.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 5.

Origin.Cukasaptati, cf. Forty Viziers, c. 14.

Parallels.Med.: Chaucer, Cant. Tales. Mod.: Andræ, Chymische Hochzeit; cf. Campbell, West Highland Tales, No. 19, and R. Kohler’s variants in Orient und Occedent, ii.

Painter.—I. ii. 114; II. ii. 93; III. ii. 184; IV. ii. 342.

Derivates.—Beaumont and Fletcher, Triumph of Honour (but perhaps from Chaucer); Two Merry Milkmaids.]

XVIII. Mithradanes and Nathan.

Mithridanes enuious of the liberality of Nathan, and goinge aboute to kill hym, spake vnto him vnknowne, & being infourmed by himself by what meanes he might do the same he found him in a little wood accordingly as hee had tolde him, who knowinge him, was ashamed, and became his friende.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 3.

Origin.—? Sadi, Orchard, story of Chatemtai and King of Yemen.

Painter.—I. ii. 118; II. ii. 96; III. ii. 190; IV. ii. 348.]

XIX. Catherine of Bologna.

Mayster Gentil of Carisendi being come from Modena, tooke a woman out of hir graue that was buried for dead, who after she was come agayne, brought forth a sonne, which mayster Gentil rendred afterwardes with the mother to mayster Nicholas Chasennemie her husband.

[Source and Origin.—Boccaccio’s Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 4.

Parallels.Storia di Ginevra (printed, Pisa, 1863); Bandello, Part ii., nov. 41; Marie de France, Lai d’Eliduc; Uhland, Todten von Lustnau. See Liebrecht’s discussion, Zur Volkskunde, pp. 60-5.

Painter.—I. ii. 123; II. ii. 100; III. ii. 197; IV. ii. 355.]


XX. Thorello and Saladine.

Saladine in the habite of a Marchaunt, was honourably receyued into the house of mayster Thorello, who went ouer the Sea, in company of the Christians, and assigned a terme of his wyfe when she should mary agayne. He was taken, and caried to the Sovldan to be his Faulconer, who knowing him, and suffering himself to be knowen, did him great honour. Mayster Thorello fell sicke, and by Magique Art, was caried in a night to Pavie, where he found his wyfe about to mary agayne, who knowinge him, returned home with him to his owne house.

[Source.—Boccaccio, Decamerone, giorn. x., nov. 9.

Origin.—Busone da Gubbio, L’avventuroso Siciliano.

Painter.—I. ii. 128; II. ii. 104; III. ii. 205; IV. ii. 363.]

XXI. Anne Queen of Hungary.

A Gentleman of meane callinge and reputation, doth fall in loue with Anne, the Queene of Hungarie, whom shee very royally requited.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 45.

Painter.—I. i. 140; II. ii. 114; III. ii. 225; IV. ii. 383.]

XXII. Alexander De Medice and the Miller’s Daughter.

The gentle and iust act of Alexander de Medices Duke of Florence, vpon a gentleman whom he fauoured, who hauing rauished the Daughter of a poore Myller, caused him to mary hir, for the greater honour and celebration whereof, he appoynted hir a rich and honourable Dowry.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 15.

Painter.—I. ii. 155; II. ii. 127; III. ii. 248; IV. ii. 406.

Derivates.—Fletcher, Maid of the Mill.]

XXIII. The Duchess of Malfy.

The infortunate mariage of a Gentleman, called Antonio Bologna, wyth the Duchesse of Malfi, and the pitiful death of them both.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 26.

Parallels.—Belleforest, edit. 1565, nov. 19.

Painter.—I. ii., 169; II. ii. 139; III. ii. 271; IV. iii. 3.

Derivates.—Webster, Duchess of Malfy.]


XXIV. The Countess of Celant.

The disordered Lyfe of the Countesse of Celant, and how shee (causinge the County of Masino to be murdered,) was beheaded at Millan.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 4 (Belleforest, 1565, no. 20).

Parallels.—Fenton, Tragical Discourses; Whetstone, Castle of Delight, Heptameron.

Painter.—I. ii. 195; II. ii. 160; III. ii. 312; IV. iii. 44.

Derivates.—Marston, Insatiate Countess.]

XXV. Romeo and Juliet.

The goodly Hystory of the true, and constant Loue between Rhomeo and Ivlietta, the one of whom died of Poyson, and the other of sorrow, and heuinesse: wherein be comprysed many aduentures of Loue, and other deuises touchinge the same.

[Source.—Bandello, Part ii., nov. 9 (through Boaistuau, 1559, no. 3).

Origin.—Luigi da Porto, 1535 (fr. Masuccio, 1476, nov. xxxiii.).

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i.; otto novelle rarissime; A. Brooke, 1562; Lopez de Vega, Los Castelveses y Monteses; F. de Roscas, Los Vandos de Verona; L. Groto, Hadriana, 1578.

Painter.—I. ii. 118; II. ii. 179; III. ii. 348; IV. iii. 80.

Derivates.—Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is partly founded on Painter, partly on Brooke’s poem. The English comedians played it in Germany. Sloane MS., 1775, contains a Latin play on this subject.]

XXVI. Two Ladies of Venice.

Two gentlemen of Venice were honourably deceiued of their Wyues, whose notable practises, and secret conference for atchieuinge their desire, occasioned diuers accidentes, and ingendred double benefit: wherein also is recited an eloquent oration, made by one of them, pronounced before the Duke and state of that Cittye: with other chaunces and acts concerninge the same.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 15.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. iii. p. 58.

lxxxix Painter.—I. ii. 247; II. ii. 203; III. ii. 393; IV. iii. 125.

Derivates.—The underplot of Marston’s Insatiate Countess is derived from Painter, cf. supra.]

XXVII. The Lord of Virle.

The Lorde of Virle, by the commaundement of a fayre younge Wydow called Zilia, for hys promise made, the better to attaine hir loue, was contented to remayne dumbe the space of three yeares, and by what meanes he was reuenged, and obtayned hys suite.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part iii., nov. 17.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i. f. 289; Fenton, Trag. Disc. hist. xi.

Painter.—I. ii. 268; II. ii. 22; III. ii. 425; IV. iii. 157.]

XXVIII. Lady of Bohemia.

Two Barons of Hungarie assuring themselues to obtayne their sute to a fayre Lady of Boeme, receyued of hir a straung and maruelous repulse, to their great shame and Infamy, cursinge the tyme that euer they aduentured an enterprise so foolish.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 21.

Parallels.—Whetstone, Arbour of Vertue.

Painter.—I. ii. 292; II. ii. 238; III. ii. 463; IV. iii. 195.

Derivates.—Massinger, The Picture.]

XXIX. Diego and Ginevra.

Dom Diego a Gentleman of Spayne fell in loue with fayre Gineura, and she with him: their loue by meanes of one that enuied Dom Diego his happy choyse, was by default of light credit on his part interrupted. He constant of mynde, fell into despayre, and abandoninge all his frends and liuing, repayred to the Pyrene Mountaynes, where he led a sauage lyfe for certayne moneths, and afterwardes knowne by one of hys freendes, was (by marueylous circumstaunce) reconciled to hys froward mistresse, and maryed.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 27.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. i., f. 382; Fenton, Trag. Disc., hist. xiii.; Whetstone, Garden of Unthriftness.

Painter.—I. ii. 309; II. ii. 252; III. ii. 490; IV. iii. 222.]


XXX. Salimbene and Angelica.

A Gentleman of Siena, called Anselmo Salimbene, curteously and gently deliuereth his enemy from death. The c00ondemned party seeing the kinde parte of Salimbene, rendreth into his hands his sister Angelica, with whom he was in loue, which gratitude and curtesie, Salimbene well markinge, moued in conscience, woulde not abuse hir, but for recompence tooke hir to his wyfe.

[Source.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 46.

Origin.—G. Sermini.

Parallels.—Fenton, Trag. Disc., hist i.

Painter.—I. ii. 350; II. ii. 286; III. ii. 556; IV. iii. 288.]

XXXI. Helena of Florence.

A wydow called mistresse Helena, wyth whom a scholler was in loue, (shee louing an other) made the same scholler to stande a whole Wynter’s night in the snow to wayte for hir, who afterwardes by a sleyght and pollicie, caused hir in Iuly, to stand vppon a tower starke naked amongs flies and gnats, and in the sunne.

[Source.—Boccaccio, giorn. viii., nov. 8.

Origin.—? Fabliau, Barbazan, i. 296.

Painter.—I. ii. 376; II. ii. 307; III. ii. 597; IV. iii. 329.]

XXXII. Camiola and Roland.

A gentlewoman and wydow called Camiola of hir own mind raunsomed Roland the kyng’s sonne of Sicilia, of purpose to haue him to hir husband, who when he was redeemed vnkindly denied hir, agaynst whom very eloquently she inueyed, and although the law proued him to be hir husband, yet for his vnkindnes, shee vtterly refused him.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. xxxv.

Painter.—I. ii. 391; II. ii. 320; III. ii. 622; IV. iii. 354.]

XXXIII. Lords of Nocera.

Great cruelties chaunced to the Lords of Nocera, for adultry by one of them committed with the captayne’s wyfe of the forte of that citty, with an enterprise moued by the captaine to the cittyzens of the same xci for rebellion, and the good and dutyfull aunswere of them: with other pityfull euents rysing of that notable and outragious vyce of whoredom.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i., nov. 55.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. ii. f. 162 (ed. 1565, no. 23).

Painter.—I. ii. 217; II. ii. 324; III. ii. 631; IV. iii. 363.]

XXXIV. Sultan Solyman.

The horrible and cruell murder of Sultan Selyman, late the emperor of the Turkes and father of Selym that now raigneth, done vpon his eldest sonne Mvstapha, by the procurement, and meanes of Rosa his mother in lawe, and by the speciall instigation of one of his noble men called Rvstanvs: where also is remembred the wilful death of one of his sons named Giangir, for the griefe he conceiued to see Mvstapha so miserably strangled.

[Source and Origin.—N. à Moffa.

Painter.—Not in I.; II. ii. 341; III. ii. 663; IV. iii. 395.

Derivates.—Latin Tragedy of same name Solyman et Mustapha was played in 1581 (Fleay, History, 421).]

XXXV. The King of Morocco.

The great curtesie of the kyng of Marocco, (a citty in Barbarie) toward a poore fisherman, one of his subiects, that had lodged the kyng, being strayed from his company in hunting.

[Source and Origin.—Bandello, Part i. nov. 57.

Parallels.—Belleforest, t. ii. f. 190 (ed. 1565, no. 24).

Painter.—I. ii. 410; II. ii. 348; III. ii. 684; IV. iii. 416.]



[Double titles are repeated under both headings, e.g., “Romeo and Juliet” will also be found under “Juliet and Romeo.” Roman numbers indicate the Tome of Painter.]

Abdolominus i. 12
Acharisto and Euphemia ii. 15
Adelasia and Aleran i. 44
Adultery, Punishment of i. 57
Æsop’s Fable of Lark i. 20
Alberto of Bologna i. 32
Aleran and Adelasia i. 44
Alexander and Scythians i. 13
Alexander and Sisigambis ii.   2
Alexander de Medici ii. 22
Amadour and Florinda i. 53
Amazons ii.   1
Androdus (Androcles) i. 22
Andruccio i. 36
Angelica and Salimbene ii. 30
Angiers, Earl of i. 37
Anne of Hungary ii. 21
Ansaldo and Dionora ii. 17
Antiochus and Hannibal i. 21
Antiochus and Seleucus i. 27
Appius and Virginia i.   5
Ariobarzanes ii.   4
Aristotemus ii.   5
Artaxerxes and Sinetas i.   9
Athens, Timon of i. 28
Bohemia, Lady of ii. 28
Bologna, Alberto of i. 32
Bologna, Katharine of ii. 19
Borsieri and Grimaldi i. 31
Camillus and Schoolmaster i. 17
Camiola and Roland ii. 32
Candaules and Gyges i.   6
Carthage, Maids of ii. 11
Carthomes and Rhacon i.   8
Chariton and Menalippus i. 10
Coriolanus i.   4
Countess of Celant ii. 24
Countess of Salisbury i. 46
Crœsus and Solon i.   7
Curiatii and Horatii i.   1
Cyrus and Panthea i. 11
Daughter of King of England i. 34
Demosthenes and Lais i. 15
Didaco and Violenta i. 42
Diego and Ginevra ii. 29
Dionora and Ansaldo ii. 17
Doctor of Laws i. 66
Duchess of Malfy ii. 23
Duchess of Savoy i. 45
Duke of Florence i. 54
Duke of Venice and Ricciardo i. 48
Earl of Angiers i. 37
Este, Rinaldo of i. 33
Euphemia and Acharisto ii. 15
Fabricius and Pyrrhus i. 16
Faustina ii. 10
Favorinus i. 23
xciv Filenio Sisterno i. 49
Flanders, Princess of i. 52
Flora, Lamia, and Lais ii. 13
Florence, Duke of i. 54
Florence, Helena of ii. 31
Florinda and Amadour i. 53
Francis I. and Guillaume i. 55
Galgano and Minoccia i. 47
Gentleman of Perche i. 59
Gentleman that died of love i. 60
Giletta of Narbonne i. 38
Ginevra and Diego ii. 29
Gismonda and Tancred i. 39
Grenoble, President of i. 58
Grimaldi and Borsieri i. 31
Gyges and Candaules i.   6
Hannibal and Antiochus i. 21
Helena of Florence ii. 31
Hidrusa, Lady of ii.   9
Horatii and Curiatii i.   1
Hungary, Anne of ii. 21
Irene and Mahomet i. 40
Juliet and Romeo ii. 25
Katherine of Bologna ii. 19
King of England’s Daughter i. 34
King of Naples i. 51
King of Morocco ii. 35
Ladies of Venice ii. 26
Lady falsely accused i. 41
Lady of Bohemia ii. 28
Lady of French Court i. 61
Lady of Hidrusa ii.   9
Lady of Pampluna i. 56
Lady of Tours i. 64
Lady of Turin i. 42
Lady, Prudent i. 63
Lais and Demosthenes i. 15
Lamia, Flora, and Lais ii. 13
Landolfo Ruffolo i. 35
Lark, Fable of i. 20
Laws, Doctor of i. 66
Letters of Trajan ii. 12
Lord of Virle ii. 27
Lords of Nocera ii. 33
Lucrece, Rape of i.   2
Lyons, Miracle at i. 65
Maids of Carthage ii. 11
Mahomet and Irene i. 40
Malfy, Duchess of ii. 23
Master and scholar i. 26
Medici, Alexander of ii. 22
Menalippus and Chariton i. 10
Metellus on Marriage i. 14
Minoccia and Galgano i. 47
Miracle at Lyons i. 65
Mithridanes and Nathan ii. 18
Monteferrato, Marchioness of ii. 16
Morocco, King of ii. 35
Mucius Scævola i.   3
Muleteer’s Wife i. 50
Naples, King of i. 51
Narbonne, Giletta of i. 38
Nathan and Mithridanes ii. 18
Nocera, Lords of ii. 33
Pampluna, Lady of i. 56
Panthea and Cyrus i. 10
Papyrius Prætextatus i. 15
Perche, Gentleman of i. 59
Plutarch’s Anger i. 19
Poris and Theoxena ii.   8
President of Grenoble i. 58
Princess of Flanders i. 52
Prudent Lady i. 63
Pyrrhus and Fabricius i. 16
Rape of Lucrece i.   2
Rhacon and Carthomes i.   8
Ricciardo and Duke of Venice i. 48
Rinaldo of Este i. 33
Rings, The Three i. 30
Roland and Camiola ii. 32
Rolandine i. 62
Romeo and Juliet ii. 25
Ruffolo, Landolfo i. 35
xcv Saladin and Thorello ii. 20
Salimbene and Angelica ii. 30
Salisbury, Countess of i. 46
Savoy, Duchess of i. 45
Scævola, Mucius i.   3
Scholar and Master i. 26
Schoolmaster and Camillus i. 17
Scythians and Alexander i. 13
Seleucus and Antiochus i. 27
Sertorius i. 24
Sibylline Leaves i. 25
Sinetas and Artaxerxes i.   9
Sisigambis and Alexander ii.   2
Sisterno, Filenio i. 49
Solon and Crœsus i.   7
Sophonisba ii.   7
Sultan Solyman ii. 34
Tanaquil ii.   6
Tancred and Gismonda i. 39
Theoxena and Poris ii.   8
Thorello and Saladin ii. 20
Three Rings i. 30
Timoclea of Thebes ii.   3
Timon of Athens i. 28
Tours, Lady of i. 64
Trajan, Letters of ii. 12
Turin, Lady of i. 43
Venice, Duke of and Ricciardo i. 48
Venice, Two Ladies of ii. 26
Violenta and Didaco i. 42
Virginia and Appius i.   5
Virle, Lord of ii. 27
Widow and Widower i. 29
Zenobia ii. 14


1. It was suggested to me, if I remember right, by my friend Mr. R. G. Moulton.

2. There was something Elizabethan in the tone of men of science in England during the “seventies,” when Darwinism was to solve all the problems. The Marlowe of the movement, the late Professor Clifford, found no Shakespeare.

3. See Burckhardt, Cultur der Renaisance in Italien, Buch II., especially Kap. iii.

4. On Peter Alphonsi see my edition of Caxton’s Æsop, which contains selections from him in Vol. II.

5. Signor Bartoli has written on I Precursori di Boccaccio, 1874, Landau on his Life and Sources (Leben, 1880, Quellen des Dekameron, 1884), and on his successors (Beiträge zur Geschichte der ital. Novelle, 1874). Mr. Symonds has an admirable chapter on the Novellieri in his Renaissance, vol. v.

6. Specimens of these in somewhat wooden English were given by Roscoe in his Italian Novelists.

7. The Villon Society is to publish this year a complete translation of Bandello by Mr. John Payne.

8. See Prof. Arber’s reprint, p. 8.

9. Ascham was shrewd enough not to advertise the book he was denouncing by referring to it by name. I have failed to find in the Stationer’s Register of 1566-8 any similar book to which his remarks could apply, except Fenton’s Tragicall Discourses, and that was from the French.

10. See Haslewood’s account, reprinted infra, p. xxxvii., to which I have been able to add a few documents in the Appendix.

11. His son, in a document of 1591, speaks of him as his aged father (Appendix infra, p. lvii.).

12. Reprinted in the Second Tome of the “Palace,” infra, vol. iii. p. 395.

13. In his own book, and in the document signed by him, the name is always “Painter.”

14. The Dedication is dated near the Tower of London 1 January 1566, which must have been new style (introduced into France two years before).

15. Always with the exception of exceptions, the Bishop’s Bible.

16. Mr. P. A. Daniel, in his edition of Painter’s “Romeo and Juliet,” in the New Shakespere Society’s Originals and Analogues, i., 1876, gives the few passages in which Painter has misunderstood Boaistuau. For lexicographical use, however, it would be well to consult Painter’s original for any very striking peculiarities of his vocabulary.

17. The tales are ten—1. Sinorix and Camma [=Tennyson’s Cup]; 2. Tereus and Progne; 3. Germanicus and Agrippina; 4. Julius and Virginia; 5. Admetus and Alcest; 6. Silla and Minos; 7. Curiatius and Horatia; 8. Cephalus and Procris; 9. Pigmalion and his Image; 10. Alexius.

18. M. Jusserand gives a list of most of these translations of French and Italian novels in his just issued English Novel in the Elizabethan Age, 1890, pp. 80-1. He also refers to works by Rich and Gascoigne in which novels occur.

19. A partial exception is to be made in favour of the Spanish school, which broke loose from the classical tradition with Lope de Vega.

20. It is probable however that the “mixture of tones” came more directly from the Interludes.

21. Euphorion, by Vernon Lee. Second edition, 1885, pp. 55-108.

22. It has, of course, been suggested that Shakespeare visited Venice. But this is only one of the 1001 mare’s nests of the commentators.

23. Altogether in the scanty notices of this period we can trace a dozen derivatives of Painter. See Analytical Table on Tome I. nov. iii., v., xi., xxxvii., xxxix., xl., xlviii., lvii.; Tome II. nov. i., iii., xiv., xxxiv.

24. In the Warning for Fair Women there is a scene in which Tragedy, Comedy, and History dispute for precedence.

25. Curiously enough, two of the four have been associated with Shakespeare’s name. It should be added, perhaps, that one of the Two Tragedies in One of Yarington is English.

26. The frequency of scenes in which ladies of high birth yield themselves to men of lower station is remarkable in this connection.

27. The other Elizabethan dramatists who used Painter are: Beaumont (I. xlii.; II. xvii.), Fletcher (I. xlii.; II. xvii., xxii.), Greene (I. lvii.), Heywood (I. ii.), Marston (I. lxvi.; II. vii., xxiv., xxvi.), Massinger (II. xxviii.), Middleton (I. xxxiii.), Peele (I. xl.), Shirley (I. lviii.), Webster (I. v.; II. xxiii.). See also I. vii., xxiv., lxvi.

28. Shakespeare also used Arthur Brook’s poem. On the exact relations of the poet to his two sources see Mr. P. A. Daniel in the New Shakespere Society’s Originals and Analogies, i., and Dr. Schulze in Jahrb. d. deutsch. Shakespeare Gesellschaft xi. 218-20.

29. Delius has discussed Shakespeare’s “All Well” und Paynter’s “Giletta von Narbonne” in the Jahrbuch xxii. 27-44, in an article which is also reprinted in his Abhandlungen ii.

30. I hope to publish elsewhere detailed substantiation of this contention.

31. The Visitation Book of 1619, in the Heralds College, supplied Hasted with his account. There may also be consulted Harl. MSS. 1106, 2230 and 6138.

32. Palace of Pleasure, Vol. II. p. 663.

33. The translation is reprinted in the second volume. Of the original edition there is not any notice in Herbert.

34. This happened in 1552, and Moffan remained a captive until Sept. 1555.

35. Brydge’s Peerage, Vol. IX. p. 466. Banks’s Dormant Peerage, Vol. II. p. 108.

36. These verses were answered by another Kentish writer. “In conuersium Palengenii Barnabæ Gogæ carmen E. Deringe Cantiani,” prefixed to the firste sixe bokes of the mooste christian poet Marcellus Palingenius, called the Zodiake of Life. Translated by Barnabe Googe, 1561. 12mo. See Cens. Lit. Vol. II. p. 212. Where it appears that Barnaby Googe was connected with several Kentish families. He married a Darell. His grandmother was Lady Hales.

37. Bibliotheca, p. 570.

38. M.S. Ashmole, 302. Mr. H. Ellis has kindly furnished me with the above, during a late visit to Oxford, and observes that the reference to Tanner is wrongly stated, the article being in Ashmole’s study.

39. Hasted’s Hist. of Kent, Vol. III. p. 98.

40. If Painter had laid in this School the foundation of that fortune, which he afterwards appears to have realised in land, he did no more than was done by a celebrated successor, Thomas Farnaby, a well-known annotator on Horace, who settled his male posterity at Keppington, in the parish of Sevenoaks, where they remained in rank and opulence, till the late Sir Charles Farnaby, Bart., who at one time in the present reign represented the County of Kent, sold that seat and estate to Francis Motley Austen, Esq., the present owner.

41. George Whetstone has An Heptameron of Civill Discourses, &c. 1582.

42. In France the style was altered in 1564. Clavis Calendaria. Vol I. p. 64.

43. Bibliographical Miscellanies, 1813. p. 2.

44. This is confirmed by his making the following observation: “When labour resteth him selfe in me, and leisure refresheth other affairs, nothing delights more that vacant tyme than readinge of Histories in such vulgar speache, wherein my small knowledge taketh repast.” Epistle Dedicatory, Vol. II. p. 4.

45. Some of the following notices, probably, relate to branches of the family.—William Paynter “de Vkefielde,” possessed lands at Horsemonden, Benynden, and Merden, co. Kent. He left three sons, Alexander, John and Robert. His will dated 25th Feb. 24. Hen. 7th. (1509) and proved in November following.—John P. Citizen and Freemason of London, by Will dated 26th Nov. 1532, proved 1537, gave to the children of his late brother Richard P. late of Littleport, co. Kent, 6s. 8d. each. He was to be buried at St. Albans, Wood Street, where on inquiry I am informed the Registers of that period do not exist.—John P. twice mayor of Dover, died 14th July, 1540, buried at Rainham, same co. See Weever’s Funeral Monuments.—Edmonde P. Steward to the Bishop of Ely, held a patent place, and by his will dated 7th Sept. 14 Eliz. (1572) gave to his brother’s daughter “Johane” forty pounds. Probably the eldest daughter of our Author.

46. Hasted’s History of Kent. art. Gillingham. The following pedigree of the family is collected from Hasted and the Harleian MSS.

William Painter,a of Twedall, parish of Gillingham, the author. Ob. 1594. = Dorothy, daughter of —— Bonham, of Cowling. Ob. Oct. 19, 1617, Æt. 80.
| | | | | |
=(1) Nathaniel Partrich
=(2) John Orwell
= John Bagenhall
= John Hornby
Anthony = Catherine, coheiress of Robt. Harris, Master in Chancery. Catherine
= —— Champ, Co. Suff.
William of Gillingham, died about the time of the Restoration of Charles II. = Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Hickman, of Kew, Co. Surrey, Esq. relict of George Allington, jun.
| | |
Elizabeth.c Anna.c
Robert, who obtained an act of parliament to alienate the manors of Twedall and East Court. = Eleanora, youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Seyliard, Bart. buried at Westerham.

ARMS. Gules, a chevron between three griffins’ heads erased or, on a chief of the second an helmet sable between two pellets. CREST. A lizard (as supposed) vert, escaping from the trunk of an old tree, proper.

a. Also spelt Paynter and Payneter; but neither used by the above-named William Painter, if we may rely upon the repetition of ten printed authorities.

b. That Anna was the youngest child, is doubtful, from her father only naming her, besides Helena, as entitled to a portion. She resided with her mother, unmarried, 1617.

c. One of these married William Wiseman, a civilian.

47. Dorothy P. (the Executrix) by her will, dated 3d July, 1617, gave a specific legacy to her granddaughter Thomasine Hornby, which was to be void if she sued or impleaded her executor, relative to any gift, legacy or bequest, under the above will; from which it may be concluded the portion of John Hornby’s wife was never properly adjusted.

48. Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 3d Feb. 1595.

49. His patent, dated 21st June 1595, gives all emoluments from the day of the death of William Painter.

50. In the will of Dorothy P., already noticed, is the following direction. In case I dye or departe this life in the Citie of London, to be buryed in the same parish in London where my late loving husband Mr. William Paynter, Clerke of the great Ordinance of the Tower of London, was buryed, and as neere to the place where he was buryed as conuenyentlie may be, with some memoriall there to be engraven sett vp or placed as shalbe devised and appoynted by my executor and overseers hereafter named; yf elsewhere then allso at their like discretions and with the like memoriall.” Had she set up such a memorial for her husband, the name would probably have been found in Stowe’s Survey of London. It does not occur in the Registers of the Tower Chapel; Allhallows Barking; St. Catherine’s; or Aldgate. At St. Dunstan’s, Tower Street, the register has been destroyed, and also at St. Alban’s, Wood Street, where there was probably a family vault, and not being the church frequented when he lived by the Tower, the name might have been forgotten by the widow.

51. Her Will was not proved until July 1620. It is unusually long, and the bequests are trifling. She particularizes all her grand-children, whom, in the language then used, she calls nephews and nieces. There had probably been some difference in the family to occasion the following passage, whereby she bequeaths the only memorial mentioned of our author. “Item, whereas my very welbeloued niephue William Paynter, and I, and all my children, nowe are and I trust in God so shall continue loving hartie and inward frends, whereof I receyue great ioye and contentment, vnto the which my saied neiphue, for a gentle remembraunce, I give and bequeethe my tablet of gould with a pearle to yt which sometymes was his graundfather’s, beyng nowe all readie in his owne keeping and possession.” The will is subscribed with a cross, which the feebleness of age might render necessary.

52. Herbert has this edition entered as printed by Thomas Marshe, upon the authority of Mr. William White, p. 856. It was licensed to Jones as “certen historyes collected out of dyuers Ryght good and profitable authours by William Paynter.” ib. 1319.

53. There is a lapse of signatures from O o. j. to A a a. j. and of folios from 145, (misprinted 135) to 201. What occasioned the castration it is impossible to conjecture; the volume is certainly perfect, as the table of Contents has no article for the omitted leaves.

54. Herbert, 967. Entered in the Stationers’ Register (as Mr. G. Chalmers obligingly informs me) in 1566-7, “to Nycholas Englonde.”


It stands thus: The second Tome | of the Palace of Pleasure, | conteyning store of goodly Histories | Tragicall matters and other mo- | rall argument, very re- | quisite for delighte | and profit, | Chosen and selected out of | divers good and commen- | dable authors. | By William Painter, Clerke of the | Ordinance and Armarie | Anno. 1567.—Imprinted &c.

Similar differences are found in the earliest stage of the English press. Thus a copy of Caxton’s Cato, 1483, in possession of the Duke of Devonshire, has the first line

¶ Here begynneth the prologue or prohemye of the book callid:

and in the fine copy belonging to the Library of Lee Priory, it stands

Here begynneth the prologue or prohemye of the booke callyd.

56. The second volume is undoubtedly the rarest of the two. The industrious Langbaine does not appear to have seen it, as in the Account of the English Dramatic Poets, 1691, he refers more than once to the originals for stories contained in that volume.

57. Dr. Farmer’s copy was Vol. I. 1569, and Vol. II. 1567. Purchased at the sale by Mr. Payne for fifteen guineas. [Bibl. Farm. No. 5993.] The opinion Dr. Farmer entertained of their rarity may be given in his own words: “The Two Tomes, which Tom Rawlinson would have called justa volumina, are almost annihilated. Mr. Ames, who searched after books of this sort with the utmost avidity, most certainly had not seen them, when he published his Typographical Antiquities, as appears from his blunders about them: and possibly I myself might have remained in the same predicament, had I not been favoured with a copy by my generous friend, Mr. Lort.” Essay on the learning of Shakespeare.

58. Hence Tanner and others have been erroneously supposed to describe an edition in Octavo, and I have seen copies where the margin, cropped by the intolerable plough of the binder, might have been shown in proof of the conjecture.

59. Folios 225 and 6 are repeated, and several others are erroneously numbered.

60. Prepared for sale by auction by Mr. Prestage, of Savile Row, in April, 1756, and sold by private contract to Mr. Child. It forms the principal part of the library at Osterley Park.

61. It might be expected that the third volume was formed by adding the inferior performance of George Pettie, who imitated our author’s title; but that was the article in the succeeding lot. Pettie’s work is called: A petite Pallace | of Pettie his Pleasure: | contayning many pretie Histories | by him set foorth in comely colours | and most delightfully dis-coursed. | Omne tulit punctum, | qui miscuit vtile dulci. | Col. Printed at London, by R[ichard] W[atkins]. n. d. but entered in the Stationers’ books 1576. Again by Wolfe, n. d. and other editions 1598, 1608, and 1613. The contents of the volume are described in an article by Mr. Utterson in the British Bibliographer, Vol. II. p. 392. For an Account of the author see Wood’s Ath. Oxon. by Bliss, 1813, Vol. I. col. 552.

62. Class (or rather case, the library not being classed) IX.; division 2; shelf 7; book 26. This explains the numerals used in the Osterley Cat.

63. To the unequalled store of bibliography, possessed by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin there has lately been added a copy of the Fairfax catalogue, priced according to the private valuation. There may be found Caxton’s Prince Arthur rated at only fifty-five shillings, and lot 336 (the P. of Pleasure) at four guineas: undoubtedly, from the above description in the catalogue, the copy was supposed UNIQUE.

64. Malone, in a note on the Historical Account of the English Stage, has the following extract from Gosson’s Plays confuted in five Actions, printed about the year 1580. “I may boldly say it (says Gosson) because I have seene it, that The Palace of Pleasure, The Golden Asse, The Æthiopian Historie, Amadis of Fraunce, The Round Table, bawdie comedies in Latin, French, Italian and Spanish, have beene thoroughly ransackt to furnish the playe-houses in London.”—Reed’s Shakespeare, Vol. III. p. 40.

65. The reprint of 1569 is not taken into account in giving the pagination.

66. Landau, Quellen2, p. 331, points out that the tale is related to the “Youngest-best” folk tales, which deal with the successes of the youngest.

67. By error omitted in Table of Contents to Vol. II.

68. The celebrated line, “O Sophonisba, Sophonisba O!” has kept its memory alive.

The following seven pages, separated by horizontal lines, appeared at the beginning of the printed book.

Anglistica & Americana


publisher’s device ‘O’

Georg Olms   Hildesheim



Anglistica & Americana

A Series of Reprints Selected by
Bernhard Fabian, Edgar Mertner,
Karl Schneider and Marvin Spevack


publisher’s device ‘O’



The Palace of Pleasure

Edited by Joseph Jacobs


Vol. I


publisher‘s device ‘O’



The present slightly reduced facsimile is reproduced from a copy in the possession of the University of Münster (Englisches Seminar).
Shelfmark: XVI 4043/4.

M. S.


Reprographischer Nachdruck der Ausgabe London 1890
Printed in Germany
Herstellung: fotokop wilhelm weihert, Darmstadt
Best-Nr. 5101932



Of this Edition five hundred and fifty copies have been printed,
five hundred of which are for sale.

Title Page

The Palace of Pleasure

[Publisher’s Device: “IN NUCE LIBELLUS”]

Volume I: Novels I - XLVI (i.1 - i.46)

Spelling irregularities and error handling are explained at the end of this file.

Note that “Tome I” refers to the two-volume editions of Painter and Haslewood, while “Volume I” refers to Jacobs’s three-volume edition (the present text). Tome I goes up to Novel LXVI (i.66); Volume I ends at Novel XLVI (i.46).

title-page text at end of file

Title Page Text



XXII. ANDRODUS (Androcles) 89





To the Right Honourable, my very good Lord, Ambrose Earle of Warwike, Baron of Lisle, of the most noble order of the Garter Knight, Generall of the Queenes Maiesties Ordinaunce within her Highnes Realmes and Dominions.

Provoked, or rather vehemently incited and moued, I haue been (right honorable my very good Lorde) to imagin and deuise all meanes possible to auoyde that vglie vice of ingratitude (which as it is abhorred amonge creatures voyde of reason and deuine knowledge, so of men indued and full possessed with both, specially to be detested.) And that I might not be touched with that vnkind vice, odible to God and man, I haue many times, with myselfe debated how I might by any meanes shew my selfe thanckfull and beneuolent to your honour, which hath not onely by frequent talke vnto my frendes priuately, but also vpon my selfe openly imployed benefits and commendation vndeserued. The one I haue receiued by frendly report of your dere and approued frends, the other I do feele and tast to my great stay and comfort. For when it pleased your honour of curteous inclination, vpon the first vew, willingly to consent and agree to the confirmation of that which I do enioy: for that bounty then, euer sithens I haue studied by what meanes I might commend my good will and affection to the same. Wherefore incensed with the generositie, and naturall instinct of your noble minde, I purposed many times to imploy indeuor by some small beginninges, to giue your honor to vnderstande outwardly, what the inwarde desire is willinge to do, if abilitie thereunto were correspondent. And as oportunitie serued (respiring as it were from the waighty affaires of that office wherin it hath pleased our most drad Soueraigne Ladye worthely to place you the chiefe and Generall) I perused such volumes of noble Authors as wherwith my poore 4 Armarie is furnished: and amonges other chaunced vpon that excellent Historiographer Titus Liuius. In whom is contayned a large campe of noble facts and exploites atchieued by valiaunt personages of the Romaine state. By whom also is remembred the beginning and continuation of their famous common wealth. And viewing in him great plenty of straung Histories, I thought good to select such as were the best and principal, wherin trauailing not far, I occurred vpon some which I deemed most worthy the prouulgation in our natiue tongue, reducing them into such compendious forme, as I truste shall not appeare vnpleasant. Which when I had finished, seing them but a handfull in respect of the multitude I fully determined to procede in the rest. But when I considered mine owne weakenes, and the maiestie of the Authour, the cancred infirmitye of a cowardlye minde, stayed my conceyued purpose, and yet not so stayed as vtterlye to suppresse mine attempt. Wherefore aduauncing againe the Ensigne of courage, I thought good (leauing where I left in that Authour, till I knew better how they would be liked) to aduenture into diuers other, out of whom I decerped and chose (raptim) sondry proper and commendable Histories, which I may boldly so terme, because the Authors be commendable and well approued. And thereunto haue ioyned many other, gathered oute of Boccatio, Bandello, Ser Giouanni Fiorentino, Straparole, and other Italian and French Authours. All which I haue recueled and bound together in this volume, vnder the title of the Palace of Pleasure, presuming to consecrate the same and the rest of my beneuolent minde to your honour. For to whom duly appertayneth mine industry and dilligence, but to him that is the patrone and imbracer of my wel doinges? Whereunto also I may apply the words of that excellent Orator Tullie, in his firste booke of Offices. De beneuolentia autem, quam quisq’; habeat erganos, primum illud est in officia, vt ei plurimum tribuamus, à quo plurimum diligimur. Of beneuolence which ech man beareth towards vs, the chiefest duty is to giue most to him, of whom wee be most beloued. But how well the same is done, or how prayse worthy the translation I referre to the skilful, crauing no more prayse, than they shall attribute and 5 giue. To nothing do I aspyre by this my presumption (righte honourable) but cherefull acceptation at your handes: desirous hereby to shew my selfe studious of a frend of so noble vocation. And where greater thinges cannot be done, these small I truste shall not be contempned: which if I doe perceiue, hereafter more ample indeuor shal be imployed to atchieue greater. In these histories (which by another terme I call Nouelles) be described the liues, gestes, conquestes, and highe enterprises of great Princes, wherein also be not forgotten the cruell actes and tiranny of some. In these be set forth the great valiance of noble Gentlemen, the terrible combates of couragious personages, the vertuous mindes of noble Dames, the chaste hartes of constant Ladyes, the wonderful patience of puissaunt Princes, the mild sufferaunce of well disposed gentlewomen, and in diuers, the quiet bearing of aduers Fortune. In these Histories be depainted in liuelye colours, the vglye shapes of insolencye and pride, the deforme figures of incontinencie and rape, the cruell aspectes of spoyle, breach of order, treason, ill lucke and ouerthrow of States and other persons. Wherein also be intermixed, pleasaunte discourses, merie talke, sportinge practises, deceitfull deuises, and nipping tauntes, to exhilarate your honor’s minde. And although by the first face and view, some of these may seeme to intreat of vnlawfull Loue, and the foule practises of the same, yet being throughly reade and well considered, both old and yonge may learne how to auoyde the ruine, ouerthrow, inconuenience and displeasure, that lasciuious desire and wanton wil doth bring to their suters and pursuers. All which maye render good examples, the best to be followed, and the worst to be auoyded: for which intent and purpose be all things good and bad recited in histories, Chronicles and monumentes, by the first authors and elucubrators of the same. To whom then may these histories (wherin be contayned many discourses of nobilitie) be offered with more due desert than to him that in nobilitie and parentage is not inferiour to the best? To whom may factes and exploites of famous personages be consigned, but to him whose prowesse and valiant actes be manifest, and well knowen to Englishmen, but better to straungers, which 6 haue felt the puissance thereof? To whom may the combats, gests, and courses of the victorious be remembred, but to him whose frequent vse of mightye incountrie and terrible shocke of Shielde and Launce: is familier in Court, and famous in towne and country? In whom may pacient bearing of aduersitie, and constante suffrance of Fortune’s threates more duly to the world appeare, than in him that hath constantly susteyned and quietly passed ouer the bruntes thereof? To whom may be giuen a Theatre of the world, and stage of humaine misery, more worthely than to him that hath with comely gestures, wise demeanor, and orderly behauiour, been an actor in the same? Who is he that more condignelye doth deserue to be possest in a Palace of Pleasure, than he that is daily resiant in a Palace of renowmed fame, guided by a Queene adorned with most excellent beautie indued and garnished with great learning, passing vertues and rare qualities of the minde. To whom (I say) may constancie of Ladies, and vertuous dedes of Dames, more aptly be applied than to him that hath in possession a Lady and Countesse of noble birthe (whose sire was the old Earle of Bedford, a graue and faithfull councelor to her Maiesties most noble progenitors, and father is the same, in deare estimation and regard with her highnesse, vnder whom he trustily and honourably serueth) whose curteous and countesse like behauiour glistereth in court amongs the troupe of most honourable dames: and for her toward disposition, first preferred by her Maiesty into her secret Chamber, and after aduaunced to be Countesse of your noble Earldome. Besides all which rare giftes, by nature grated in your honor, and by her bountifully bestowed, the perfect piety and brotherly loue betweene you and the right noble and vertuous the Earle of Leycester your honourable brother is had in greatest admiration. Whose noble courage in deedes of honour and passing humanity to his inferiours, is very commendable to the worlde. But here I wyll staye, leste whilest I goe about to extolle your fames, I doe (for want of perfit skill in due prayse) seeme to diminishe that whiche among all men by commune proofe is sufficientlye renowmed. And as your honor doth with great prudence gouerne that 7 office of the Ordinance (whereof I am a member) euen so, the same hath with greate care and diligence commended suche vnto her highnes, to ioyne and serue, right worthy their vocations, specially the worshipfull Edward Randolfe Esquire, Lieutenaunt of that office a man for his experience and good aduise rather fostred in the bosome of Bellona, than nourced in kentish soile (although in the scholehouse of curtesie and humanitie he appeareth ful carefully to haue ben trained vp by his vertuous parents) which is famiarly knowne vnto me and other that domestically (as it were) do frequent his companie. But alas my Lorde, among the mid of my reioyce of those before remembred, I cannot pretermit the lamentable losse of the best approued Gonner that euer serued in our time his Prince and countrie, Robert Thomas, the Maister Gonner, who for skill and seruice, a title of Prince of Gonners iustly did deserue: And see the lucke, when he thought best to signifie his good will, by honouring Hymeneus bed, at nuptial night, a clap of that he neuer feared did ende his life. Such is the dreadful furie of Gonners art, and hellish rage of Vulcane’s worke. And therefore that daungerous seruice by skilful men is specially to be recommended and cherished. Whereunto as your honour hitherto hath borne singuler affection, by preferring to her Maiestie suche as from their infancie haue bene trayned vp in that necessarie seruice and very painefullye haue imployed their time, euen so I humbly beseche your honour for continuance of the same, specially in those, that be indewed with greatest experience, in whome only resteth the brunte of our defence. A seruice and science so rare and nedefull, as none more. But what neede I to prouoke your willing mynde, whiche is more prest to cherishe such, than I am able by wyshing heart for to conceiue? Finallie yet once againe, I humblie besech your honour gratefully to accept this booke, and at your Leisure and conuenient time to reade and peruse it. By reuoluing whereof your honour I trust shall be delighted with the rare Histories and good examples therin contained, such as to my knowledge heretofore haue not bene published. And which with all my good wil and indeuour I dutifully exhibite. Beseching 8 almightie God fauourably to defende and gouerne your honour, prosperously to maintaine and keepe the same, godlye to directe my right honourable Ladie in the steppes of perfect vertue, bountifully to make you both happye parentes of manie children: and after the expence of Nestor’s yeares in this transitorie life mercifully to conducte you both to the vnspeakeable ioyes of his kingdome.

Nere the Tower of London the first of Ianuarie, 1566.

By your L. most bounden

William Painter.



Authours out of whom these Nouelles be selected, or which be remembred in diuers places of the same.


Titus Liuius.




Quintus Curtius.

Aulus Gellius.

S. Hierome.


Polidorus Virgilius.

Aeneas Syluius.



L. Cælius Rhodoginus.


Pietro Messia di Siuiglia.



Ser Giouanni Fiorentino.


The Queene of Nauarre.

A booke in French intituled Comptes du Monde.

Francois Belleforest.

Pierre Boaistuau, surnamed Launay.





Nothing in mine opinion can be more acceptable vnto thee (friendly Reader) then oft reading and perusing of varietie of Hystories, which as they be for diuersitie of matter pleasaunt and plausible, euen so for example and imitation good and commendable. The one doth reioyce the werie and tedious minde, many times inuolued with ordinarie cares, the other prescribeth a directe pathe to treade the tracte of this present life. Wherefore if in these newes or Nouelles here presented, there do appeare any thing worthy of regarde, giue thankes to the noble gentleman to whome this booke is dedicated, for whose sake onely, that paine (if any seme to bee) was wholy imployed. Inioy therefore with him this present booke, and curteously with frendly talke report the same, for if otherwise thou do abuse it, the blame shal light on thee, and not on me, which only of good will did meane it first. But yet if blaming tongues and vnstayed heades, wil nedes be busy, they shal sustain the shame, for that they haue not yet shewen forth any blamelesse dede to like effect, as this is ment of me, which when they do, no blame but prayse they can receiue. For prayse be they well worthy for to haue which in well doing do contende. No vertuous dede or zelous worke can want due prayse of the honest, though faulting fooles and youthly heades full ofte do chaunt the faultles checke, that Momus mouth did once finde out in Venus slipper. And yet from faultes I wyll not purge the same, but whatsoeuer they seme to be, they be in number ne yet in substaunce such, but that thy curteous dealing may sone amende them or forget them. Wherefore to giue the full aduertisement of the whole collection of these nouels, vnderstande that sixe of them haue I selected out of Titus Liuius, two out of Herodotus, certayn out of Aelianus, Xenophon, Aulus Gellius, Plutarche, and other like approued authors. Other Nouels haue I adioyned, chosen out of diuers Italian and Frenche wryters. Wherein I confesse my selfe not to be so well trayned, peraduenture as the fine heads of suche trauailers would desire, and yet I trust sufficiently 11 to expresse the sense, of euerye of the same. Certaine haue I culled out of the Decamerone of Giouan Boccaccio, wherin be conteined one hundred Nouelles, amonges whiche there be some (in my iudgement) that be worthy to be condempned to perpetual prison, but of them such haue I redemed to the libertie of our vulgar, as may be best liked, and better suffered. Although the sixt part of the same hundreth may full well be permitted. And as I my selfe haue already done many other of thesame worke, yet for this present I haue thought good to publish only tenne in number, the rest I haue referred to them that be able with better stile to expresse the authour’s eloquence, or vntil I adioyne to this another tome, if none other in the meane time do preuent me, which with all my heart I wishe and desire: because the workes of Boccaccio for his stile, order of writing, grauitie, and sententious discourse, is worthy of intire prouulgation. Out of Bandello I haue selected seuen, chosing rather to follow Launay and Belleforest the French Translatours, than the barren soile of his own vain, who being a Lombard, doth frankly confesse himselfe to be no fine Florentine, or trimme Thoscane, as eloquent and gentle Boccaccio was. Diuers other also be extracted out of other Italian and French authours. All which (I truste) be both profitable and pleasaunt, and wil be liked of the indifferent Reader. Profitable they be, in that they disclose what glorie, honour, and preferment eche man attaineth by good desert, what felicitie, by honest attempts, what good successe, laudable enterprises do bring to the coragious, what happy ioy and quiet state godly loue doth affecte the imbracers of the same. Profitable I say, in that they do reueale the miseries of rapes and fleshly actions, the ouerthrow of noble men and Princes by disordered gouernment, the tragical ends of them that vnhappely do attempt practises vicious and horrible. Wilt thou learne how to behaue thy selfe with modestie after thou hast atchieued any victorious conquest, and not to forget thy prosperous fortune amyd thy glorious triumphe, by committing a facte vnworthy of thy valiaunce: reade the first Nouel of the fortunate Romane Horatius? Wilt thou vnderstande what dishonour and infamie, desire of libidinous lust doth bring, read the rape of Lucrece? Wilt thou 12 know what an vnkinde part it is vnnaturally to abuse the state of thine own countrie, reade Martius Coriolanus? Wilt thou learne what fruite is reaped of wicked luste, to dispoyle virgins and maydens of their greatest vertue see the hystorie of Appius Claudius and Sir Didaco the Spanish knight? Desirest thou to knowe howe closely thou oughtest to keepe the secrets of honorable mariage, peruse the history of Candaules? Dost thou covet to be aduertised what is true felicitie, reade of kyng Cræsus and the wyse man Solon? Hath the Lady, Gentlewoman, or other of the feminine kinde a desire to beholde a mirrour of chastitie, let theim reade ouer the nouelles of the lady Panthea, of the Duchesse of Sauoy, of the Countesse of Salesburie, of Amadour and Florinda? Is the nobleman affected to vnderstand what happy end the vertue of loyaltie and fidelitie doth conduce, the Earle of Angiers may be to him a right good example? Will gentlemen learne howe to prosecute vertue, and to profligat from their minde, disordinate Loue, and affection, I referre theim to the Historie of Tancredi, and to Galgano of Siena? Is not the marchaunt contented with his goodes already gotten, but will needes go seeke some other trade, let him note and consider the daungers wherein the Aduenturer Landolpho was. Is he disposed to sende his factor beyonde the seas, about his affaires, let him first bidde him to peruse Andreuccio, and then commaunde him to beware of Madame Floredelice? If the yeoman intendeth to be carefull of his businesse, meaning to reape that he hath sowen in due time, let him take hede howe he repose any trust in friendes and kinsmen, least in haruest he be deceiued, which Æsope’s larke doth pretely note. If the artificer will not faithfully deale according to the truste reposed in him, I would not wyshe him to suffer that whiche Bindo did, but aduisedly to reade the Historie, and trustelye to accomplishe that he taketh in hande. If scornefull speache or flouting sport do flowe in ripe wittes and lauishe tongues of womankinde let them beware they do not deale with the learned sort, least Maister Alberto with phisicke drougues, or Philenio with Sophist art do staine their face, or otherwise offende them with the innocencie of their great Graundmother Eue when she was somoned from Paradise ioye. If the poore mayden of base 13 birth be aduaunced (by fortune’s grace) to highe estate: let her fixe in mynde the lady of Thurin. Finallye, for all states and degrees, in these Nouelles be sette forth singuler documentes and examples, right commodious and profitable to them that will vouchsafe to reade them.

Pleasaunt they be, for that they recreate, and refreshe weried mindes, defatigated either with painefull trauaile, or with continuall care, occasioning them to shunne and auoid heauinesse of minde, vaine fantasies, and idle cogitations. Pleasaunt so well abroade as at home, to auoyde the griefe of Winter’s night and length of Sommer’s day, which the trauailers on foote may vse for a staye to ease their weried bodye, and the iourneors on horsback for a chariot or lesse painful meane of trauaile, insteade of a merie companion to shorten the tedious toyle of wearie wayes. Delectable they be (no doubt) for al sortes of men, for the sad, the angry, the cholericke, the pleasaunt, the whole and sicke, and for al other with whatsoeuer passion rising either by nature or vse they be affected.

The sad shal be discharged of heauinesse, the angrie and cholericke purged, the pleasaunt mainteined in mirthe, the whole furnished with disporte, and the sicke appaysed of griefe. These Nouelles then, being profitable and pleasaunt Histories, apt and meete for all degrees, I truste the indifferent Reader, of what complexion, nature and disposition so euer he bee, will accepte in good parte, althoughe perchaunce not so set foorth or decked with eloquent stile, as this age more braue in tongue then manners dothe require, and do praye thee to receiue them into thy curteous hands, with no lesse good wil (though not with like regard) then Alphonsus king of Arogon did Q. Curtius, out of whome be some of these selected, Who vpon a time beinge sicke at Capua, receiuing at the handes of diuers Phisitions manye medicines, in his greatest fit called for the historie of Q. Curtius, in whome hauing great delight for his eloquent description of gestes and factes of king Alexander, when he was restored to health, sayd: Farewell Auicen, Adieu Hipocrates and other Phisitians, welcome Curtius the restitutor and recouerie of my health. Whereby he declared what pleasure he had in the exercise 14 and reading of Histories, not contempning for all that, the honorable science of Phisicke, which in extremities be holsomely vsed. What commoditie and pleasure histories doe yelde to the diligent serchers and trauailers in the same, Tullie in his fift booke De finibus bonorum et malorum ad Brutam, doth declare who affirmeth that he is not ignorant, what pleasure and profit the reading of Histories doth import. And after hee hath described what difference of commoditie, is betweene fained fables, and liuely discourses of true histories, concludeth reading of histories to be a certain prouacation and allurement to moue men to learne experience. If Tullie then, the Prince of Orators, doth affirme the profite and pleasure to be in perusing of histories, then fitlye haue I intituled this volume the Palace of Pleasure. For like as the outwarde shew of Princesse Palaces be pleasaunt at the viewe and sight of eche man’s eye, bedecked and garnished with sumptuous hanginges and costlye arras of splendent shewe, wherein be wrought and bet with golde and sylke of sondrye hewes, the dedes of noble states: Euen so in this our Palace here, there bee at large recorded the princely partes and glorious gestes of renowmed wights represented with more liuely grace and gorgeous sight then Tapestrie or Arras woorke, for that the one with deadlye shape doth shewe, the other with speaking voyce declare what in their time they were. Vpon whom do wayte (as meete it is) inferiour persones, eche one vouchsafing to tell what hee was, in the transitorie trade of present life.

Wherefore accepte the same in gratefull wise, and thinke vpon the mynde of him that did the same, which fraughted is with no lesse plentie of good will, then the coafers of kyng Cræsus were, with store of worldlye pelfe. Farewell.




The Romaines and the Albanes being at warres, for iniuries mutually inferred, Metius Suffetius the Albane captaine deuised a waye by a combate, to ioygne bothe the cities in one. Victorie falling to the Romaines, the Romaine victor killed his sister and was condemned to die. Afterwardes vpon his fathers sute he was deliuered.

As the name of Palace doth carie a port of Maiestie as propre for princes and greatest estates, and as a Palace and Court by glorious viewe of loftie Towers, doe set forth an outwarde showe of greate magnificence; and as that glittering sight without importeth a brauer pompe and state within, whose worthiest furniture (besides the golden and curious ornamentes) resteth in the Princely train of courtly personages, most communely indowed with natures comliest benefites and rarest giftes incident to earthly Goddes, as well for the mindes qualities, as for the bodies acts. So, here at our first entrie, I thought to staye as it were at the gate of this palace, to discouer the incountrie of sixe renowmed Gentlemen, brethren of equal numbre, that, by consent of either state, fought and vsed dedes of armes, not for sportes of Ladies, or for precious prises, but for Countrie quarell and libertie of Natiue soyle. For the vpper hand and vniting two most mighty Italian cities, that before bare eche other moste mortall spite and deadlye foode, whiche in ende after the bloudie skirmishe of those chosen brethren (for sauing of a bloudier battell) were conioyned in 16 vnited Monarchie. An historie though dreadfull to hearing as fitter for the Campe then Courte, yet, for the worthinesse of the quarell, not to bee shunned from tendrest eares, for that it spreadeth foorth a victorious paterne of valiant Chiualrie. And so do the rest succeding, which speake of glorious chastitie, of inuincible mindes, of bold Aduentures for Countries saufetie, of naturall pietie in parentes and children, and the othe of other honorable causes, fitte to be displaied to eche degree, and practised by such, whose functions, principally do, or ought to aspire semblable valiaunce, for defence of that whiche their Elders by bloudie swette haue honorably gotten, and most carefully kept. But not by tedious proeme to holde the desirous minde from what is promised, thus it beginneth.

Numa Pompilius the second king of the Romaines being dead, Tullus Hostilius succeded, which was a lustie and couragious younge Gentleman: And as Numa was giuen to peace, so was he to warres and valiance. It chaunced in his time that certaine peasauntes of the Romaine dition, and the like of the Albanes, were foraging and driuing of booties the one from the other. At that time raigned in Alba one C. Cluilius, from whence and from Rome, Ambassadours were sent to redemaunde the thinges stollen. Tullus commaunded his people that they should deliuer nothing till commaundement were giuen in that behalfe: for than he knewe right well that the Alban king would not restore at all, and therefore might vpon iust cause, proclaime warres. Hee receiued the Alban Ambassadours in verie courteous manner, and they as courteously celebrated his honourable and sumptuous intertaignement. Amitie proceded on either parties, till the Romanes began to demaunde the first restitution which the Albanes denied, and summoned warres to bee inferred vppon them within thirtie daies after. Whereupon the Ambassadours craued licence of Tullus to speake, which being graunted, they first purged themselues by ignoraunce, that they knewe no harme or iniurie done to the Romaines, adding further, that if any thing were done that should not please Tullus, it was against their willes, hoping he would remember that they 17 were but Ambassadours, subiect to the commaundement of their Prince. Their comming was to demaunde a restitution, without whiche, they were straightlye charged to proclayme defiaunce. Whereunto Tullus aunswered: “Tell your maister, that the king of the Romaines doth call the Gods to witnes, whether of them first maketh the quarel, to thintent all men may expect the reuenge of those warres.” Which answere the Albane Ambassadours retourned to their maister. Great prouision for the warres was made on both partes, much like to a ciuile contention, almost betwene the father and the sonne, for the citie of Lauinium was builded by the Troians, and Alba by the Lauinians, of whose stocke the Romaines toke their beginning. The Albanes seing that they were defied of the Romaines, began first to enter in armes, and with a maine power perced the land of the Romaines, and encamped within fiue miles of the citie, enuironing their campe with a trenche, which afterwardes was called Fossa Cluilia, of their capitaine, wherin Cluilius the king died. Then the Albanes appointed one Metius Suffetius, to be their Dictator. Tullus vnderstanding the death of their Prince, with great expedition marched into the countrie about Alba, pssiang by the Albanes campe in the night which by the watche and scoutes was skried. Then he retired to lodge as nere the enemie as hee could, sending an Ambassadour before, to require Tullus that he would come to parle before they fought, and than he had a thing to saye, no lesse profitable to the Romaines, then to the Albanes. Tullus not contempning that condition, agreed. Whereupon both did put them selues in readines, and before they ioyned, both the captaines with certain of their chiefe officers, came forth to talke, where Metius sayde these wordes: “The mutuall iniuries that hath been done, and the withholding and keping of thinges caried away, contrary to the truce, and that our king Cluilius, is the authour and beginner of these warres, I do heare and assuredly vnderstande for a trothe. And I do not doubte, Tullus, but thou also doest conceiue the same, to be the only occasion of this hostilitie. Notwithstandinge, if I may speake rather the truthe, then vtter any glosing woordes by waye of flatterie, the ambicious desire of both the Empires, doth moste of all stimulate and prouoke both the 18 cities, being of one affinitie, and neighbours, to vse this force of Armes. But whether this my coniecture bee righte or wrong, they oughte to consider, whiche firste began the warres. The Albanes haue created me their Captaine of this enterpryse. I come to geue aduertisement to thee, O Tullus, of this one thing. Which is, that the Thuscans being a great nation, and of power right famous, doth inuirone vs both rounde about, and the nerer they be vnto you, the more knowledge you haue of them. They be mightie vpon lande, and of great power vpon Sea. Call to thy remembraunce and consider, that when thou geuest the signe and watch worde of the battell, our twoo armies shall bee but a ridiculous spectacle to them. So sone as they doe perceiue vs twoo to bee spent, and weried with fighting, they will bothe assayle the vanquished, and him also that doeth ouercome. Wherefore if the Goddes do fauour eyther of vs, let vs not shewe our selues to bee wearie of our libertie and franchise that is certaine, and hazard the dice to incurre perpetuall seruitude and bondage. Therfore let vs deuise some other waye, wherby the one of vs may gouerne the other without effusion of eithers bloud.”

This condition nothing displeased Tullus, although in courage, and hope of victorie, he was more fierce and bolder then the other. And being in consultation about the purpose, fortune ministred an apt occasion to them both: for in either campes there were thre brethren, of age and valiance semblable. The brethren that were in the Romaine campe were called Horatij, the other Curiatij. Whereupon a combate was thought meete betwene these sixe persones. After the Romaines had vsed their solempne maners of consecrating the truces, and other rites concerning the same, either partes repaired to the combate. Both the armies stode in readines before their campes, rather voyde of present perill then of care: for the state of either of their Empires, consisted in the valiance and fortune of a fewe. Wherfore theire mindes were wonderfullye bent and incensed vpon that vnpleasant sight. The signe of the combat was giuen. The thre yonge men of either side do ioigne with furious and cruel onset, representing the courages of two battelles of puissaunt armies. For the losse consisted in neither those three, but the publique gouernement or 19 common thraldome of both the cities, and that was the future fortune, whiche they did trie and proue. So sone as the clashing armoure did sound at their first incountrie, and their glittering swordes did shine, an incredible horror and feare perced the beholders, and hope inclining to either partes, their voyce and myndes were whist and silent. But after they were closed together, not onely the mouing of their bodies, and doubtfull welding and handling of their weapons, but bloudye woundes appeared, two of the Romaines falling downe starke dead one vppon an other: But before the three Albanes were sore hurt. Whereat the Albane hoste shouted for ioye. The Romaine Legions were voyde of hope, amazed to see but one remayne against three: It chaunced that hee that liued whyche as hee was but one alone (an vnmeete matche for the rest) so he was fierce, and thought himselfe good enough for them all. Therefore to separate their fight, he flede backe, meaning thereby to geue euery of them their welcome as they followed. When he was retired a good space from the place wher they fought, loking back, he sawe them followe some distance one from an other, and as one of them approched, he let driue at him with great violence. And whiles the Albane hoste cried out vpon the Curiatij, to helpe their brother, Horatius had killed his enemie, and demaunded for the seconde battaile. Then the Romaines incouraged their champion with acclamations and shoutes, as fearefull men be wont to do vpon the sodaine, and Horatius spedeth himselfe to the fight. And before the other could ouertake him, which was not farre off, hee had killed an other of the Curiatij. Nowe were they equally matched one to one, but in hope and strengthe vnlike. For the one was free of wounde or hurte: cruell and fierce by reason of double victorie, the other faint for losse of bloud, and wearie of running, and who with panting breath, discomfited for his brethrens slaughter, slaine before him, is now obiected to fight with his victorious enemy. A match altogether vnequall. Horatius reioysing sayd, two of thy brethren I haue dispatched, the thirde, the cause of this battaill, I will take in hand: that the Romaines maye bee lordes of the Albanes. Curiatius not able to sustaine his blowe, fell downe, and lying vpon his backe, he thrust him into the throte with his sworde, 20 whiche done he dispoyled him of his armure. Then the Romanies in great triumphe and reioyse intertaigned Horatius, and their ioye was the greater, for that the feare of their ouerthrowe was the nearer. This combate being ended, the Albanes became subiecte to the Romaines, and before Metius departed, he asked Tullus if hee would commaunde him any further seruice. Who willed him to kepe the younge souldiours still in intertaignement, for that hee woulde require their aide against the Veientes. The armie dissolued, Horatius like a Conquerour marched home to Rome, the three spoyles of his ennemies being borne before hym.

The said Horatius had a sister, which was espoused to one of the Curiatij that were slaine, who meeting her brother in the triumphe, at one of the gates called Capena, and knowing the coate armure of her paramour, borne vpon her brothers shoulders, which she had wrought and made with her owne handes: She tore and rent the heare of her heade, and most piteouslye bewayled the death of her beloued. Her brother being in the pride of his victorie taking the lamentation of his sister, in disdainful part, drew oute his sword, and thruste her through speaking these reprochfull woordes: “Auaunt with thy vnreasonable loue, gette thee to thy spouse. Hast thou forgotten the deathe of thy two brethren that be slaine, the prosperous successe of thy victorious brother, and chiefelye the happye deliueraunce of thy countrie: Let that Romaine woman whatsoeuer she be, take like rewarde, that shall bewaile the death of the ennemie.” Which horrible facte seemed most cruell to the fathers and people. For which offence he was brought before the kinge, whom he deliuered to be iudged according to the lawe. The law condempned him, then he appealed to the people. In which appeale P. Horatius his father spake these wordes: “My doughter is slaine, not without iust desert, which if it were not so, I would haue sued for condigne punishmente, to be executed vpon my sonne, according to the naturall pietie of a father: Wherfore I beseech you do not suffer me, whom you haue seene in time past, beautified with a noble race and progenie of children, nowe to be vtterlye destitute and voyde of all together.”

Then hee embrased his sonne amonges them all, and shewed the 21 spoiles of the Curatiens, sayinge: “Can you abide to see this noble Champion (O ye Romaines) whom lately ye behelde to go in order of triumphe in victorious maner, to lye nowe bounde vnder the gibet, expecting for tormentes of death: Which cruell and deformed sight, the Albanes eyes can not well be able to beholde, goe to then thou hangman, and binde the handes of him, who hath atchieued to the Romaine people a glorious Empyre: Goe, I saye, and couer the face of him that hath deliuered this citie out of thraldome and bondage. Hang him vpon some vnhappie tree, and scourge him in some place within the Citie, either amongs these our triumphes, where the spoiles of our enemies do remaine, or els without the walles, amonges the graues of the vanquished. Whether can yee deuise to carrie him, but that his honourable and worthye actes, shal reueng the villanie of his cruel death.” The people hearing the lamentable talke of his father, and seinge in him an vnmoueable minde, able to sustaine al aduersity, acquited him rather through the admiration of his vertue and valiance, then by iustice and equity of his cause. Such was the straite order of iustice amonges the Romaines, who although this yonge gentleman had vindicated his countrie from seruitude and bondage (a noble memorye of perfecte manhode) yet by reason of the murder done vppon his owne sister, were very straite and slacke to pardon: because they would not incourage the posteritie to like inconuenience, nor prouoke wel doers in their glorye and triumphe, to perpetrate thinges vnlawfull.



Sextus Tarquinius rauished Lucrece. And she bewayling the losse of her chastitie, killed her selfe.

Great preparation was made by the Romaines, against a people called Rutuli, who had a citie named Ardea, excelling in wealth and riches which was the cause that the Romaine king, being exhausted and quite voyde of money, by reason of his sumptuous buildinges, made warres vppon that countrie. In the time of the siege of that citie the yonge Romaine gentlemen banqueted one another, amonges whom there was one called Collatinus Tarquinius, the sonne of Egerius. And by chaunce they entred in communication of their wiues, euery one praysing his seueral spouse. At length the talke began to grow hot, whereupon Collatinus said, that words were vaine. For within few houres it might be tried, how much his wife Lucretia did excel the rest, wherefore (quoth he) if there be any liuelihod in you, let us take our horse, to proue which of oure wiues doth surmount. Wheruppon they roode to Rome in post. At their comming they found the kinges doughters, sportinge themselues with sondrye pastimes: From thence they went to the house of Collatinus, where they founde Lucrece, not as the other before named, spending time in idlenes, but late in the night occupied and busie amonges her maydes in the middes of her house spinning of woll. The victory and prayse wherof was giuen to Lucretia, who when she saw her husband, gentlie and louinglie intertained him, and curteouslye badde the Tarquinians welcome. Immediately Sextus Tarquinius the sonne of Tarquinias Superbus, (that time the Romaine king) was incensed wyth a libidious desire, to construpate and defloure Lucrece. When the yonge gentlemen had bestowed that night pleasantly with their wiues, they retourned to the Campe. Not long after Sextus Tarquinius with one man retourned to Collatia vnknowen to Collatinus, and ignorant to Lucrece and the rest of her houshold, for what purpose he came. Who being well intertayned, after supper was conueighed to his chamber. Tarquinius burninge 23 with the loue of Lucrece, after he perceiued the housholde to be at reste, and all thinges in quiet, with his naked sworde in his hande, wente to Lucrece being a sleepe, and keeping her downe with his lefte hande, saide: “Holde thy peace Lucrece, I am Sextus Tarquinius, my sworde is in my hand, if thou crie, I will kill thee.” The gentlewoman sore afrayed, being newely awaked oute of her sleepe, and seeing iminent death, could not tell what to do. Then Tarquinius confessed his loue, and began to intreate her, and therewithall vsed sundry minacing wordes, by all meanes attempting to make her quiet: when he saw her obstinate, and that she woulde not yelde to his request, notwithstanding his cruell threates, he added shameful and villanous speach, saying: That he would kill her, and when she was slaine, he woulde also kill his slaue, and place him by her, that it might be reported howe she was slaine, being taken in adulterie. She vanquished with his terrible and infamous threate, his fleshlye and licentious enterprice, ouercame the puritie of her chaste and honest hart, which done he departed. Then Lucrece sent a post to Rome to her father, and an other to Ardea to her husbande, requiringe them that they would make speede to come vnto her, with certaine of their trustie frendes, for that a cruell facte was chaunced. Then Sp. Lucretius with P. Valerius the sonne of Volesius, and Collatinus with L. Iunius Brutus, made hast to Lucrece: where they founde her sitting, very pensife and sadde, in her chamber. So sone as she sawe them she began pitiously to weepe. Then her husband asked her, whether all thinges were well, vnto whom she sayde these wordes.

“No dere husbande, for what can be well or safe vnto a woman, when she hath lost her chastitie? Alas Collatine, the steppesof an other man, be now fixed in thy bed. But it is my bodye onely that is violated, my minde God knoweth is giltles, whereof my death shalbe witnesse. But if you be men giue me your handes and trouth, that the adulterer may not escape vnreuenged. It is Sextus Tarquinius whoe being an enemie, in steede of a frende, the other night came vnto mee, armed with his sword in his hand, and by violence caried away from me (the Goddes know) a woful ioy.” Then euery one of them gaue her their 24 faith, and comforted the pensife and languishing lady, imputing the offence to the authour and doer of the same, affirming that her bodye was polluted, and not her minde, and where consent was not, there the crime was absente. Whereunto shee added: “I praye you consider with your selues, what punishmente is due for the malefactour. As for my part, though I cleare my selfe of the offence, my body shall feele the punishment: for no vnchast or ill woman, shall hereafter impute no dishonest act to Lucrece.” Then she drewe out a knife, which she had hidden secretely, vnder her kirtle, and stabbed her selfe to the harte. Which done, she fell downe grouelinge vppon her wound and died. Whereupon her father and husband made great lamentation, and as they were bewayling the death of Lucrece, Brutus plucked the knife oute of the wound, which gushed out with aboundance of bloude, and holding it vp said: “I sweare by the chast bloud of this body here dead, and I take you the immortall Gods to witnes, that I will driue and extirpate oute of this Citie, both L. Tarquinius Superbus, and his wicked wife, with all the race of his children and progenie, so that none of them, ne yet any others shall raigne anye longer in Rome.” Then hee deliuered the knife to Collatinus. Lucretius and Valerius, who marueyled at the strangenesse of his words: and from whence he should conceiue that determination. They all swore that othe. And followed Brutus, as their captaine, in his conceiued purpose. The body of Lucrece was brought into the market place, where the people wondred at the vilenesse of that facte, euery man complayning vppon the mischiefe of that facinorous rape, committed by Tarquinius. Whervpon Brutus perswaded the Romaynes, that they should cease from teares and other childishe lamentacions, and to take weapons in their handes, to shew themselues like men.

Then the lustiest and most desperate persons within the citie, made themselues prest and readie, to attempte any enterprise: and after a garrison was placed and bestowed at Collatia, diligent watche and ward was kept at the gates of the Citie, to the intent the kinge should haue no aduertisement of that sturre. The rest of the souldiours followed Brutus to Rome.

When he was come thither, the armed multitude did beate a 25 marueilous feare throughout the whole Citie: but yet because they sawe the chiefeste personages goe before, they thought that the same enterprise was taken in vaine. Wherefore the people out of all places of the citie, ranne into the market place. Where Brutus complained of the abhominable Rape of Lucrece, committed by Sextus Tarquinius. And thereunto he added the pride and insolent behauiour of the king, the miserie and drudgerie of the people, and howe they, which in time paste were victours and Conquerours, were made of men of warre, Artificers, and Labourers. He remembred also the infamous murder of Seruius Tullius their late kinge. These and such like he called to the peoples remembraunce, whereby they abrogated and deposed Tarquinius, banishing him, his wife, and children. Then he leuied an armie of chosen and piked men, and marched to the Campe at Ardea, committing the gouernemente of the Citie to Lucretius, who before was by the king appointed Lieutenant. Tullia in the time of this hurlie burlie, fledde from her house, all the people cursing and crying vengeaunce vpon her. Newes brought into the campe of these euentes, the king with great feare retourned to Rome, to represse those tumultes, and Brutus hearinge of his approche, marched another waye, because hee woulde not meete him. When Tarquinius was come to Rome, the gates were shutte against him, and he himselfe commaunded to auoide into exile. The campe receiued Brutus with great ioye and triumphe, for that he had deliuered the citie of such a tyraunte. Then Tarquinius with his children fledde to Cære, a Citie of the Hetrurians. And as Sextus Tarquinius was going, he was slaine by those that premeditated reuengemente, of olde murder and iniuries by him done to their predecessours. This L. Tarquinius Superbus raigned XXV yeares. The raigne of the kinges from the first foundation of the citie continued CCxliiii. yeares. After which gouernmente two Consuls were appointed, for the order and administration of the Citie. And for that yeare L. Iunius Brutus, and L. Tarquinius, Collatinus.



The siege of Rome by Porsenna, and the valiaunt deliuerie thereof by Mutius Scœuola, with his stoute aunswere vnto the kinge.

When P. Valerius and T. Lucretius were created Consuls, Porsenna kinge of Hetruria, vppon the instigation of the banished Tarquinians, came before the citie with a huge armie. The brute wherof did wonderfully appall the Senate: for the like occasion of terrour, neuer before that time chaunced to the Romaines, who did not onely feare their enemies, but also their owne subiects, suspecting lest they should be forced to retaine the kinges againe. All which afterwards, were through the wisedome and discretion of the fathers quietlye appeased, and the citie reduced to such vnitie and courage, as all sorts of people despised the name of king. When the enemies were approched, the rurall people abandoning their colonies, fled for rescue into the citie. The citie was diuided into garrisons: some kept the walles, and some the waye ouer Tiber, which was thought very safe and able to be defended. Althoughe the wodden bridge made ouer the Riuer, had almost been an open way for the enemies entrie, whereof Horacius Cocles, as fortune serued that day, had the charge. Who so manfully behaued himselfe, as after he had broken vp and burned the bridge, and done other notable exploites, he defended that passage with such valiance, that the defence therof seemed miraculous, to the great astonishment of the enemies. In fine Porsenna seing that he coulde litle preuaile in the assault, retourned to the Campe, determining neuerthelesse to continue his siege. At which time one Caius Mutius, a yonge gentleman of Rome, purposed to aduenture some notable enterprise: saying to the Senators these wordes: “I determine to passe the Riuer, and enter if I can, into the campe of the enemies, not to fetch spoile, or to reuenge mutuall iniuries, but to hazard greater matters, if the Gods be assistant vnto me.” The senate vnderstanding the effect of his indeuour, allowed his deuise. And then hauinge a sword vnder his garment, went forth. When 27 he was come into the throng, he conueighed himselfe as nere the kinges pauilion as he could. It chaunced that he was paying wages that day to his souldiours, by whom his Secretarie did sit in such apparell, almost as the king himselfe did weare. Mutius being afraide to demaunde which of them was the king, lest he should bewray himselfe, sodainly killed the Secretarie in steede of the king, and as he was making waye with his bloudie sworde to escape, he was apprehended and brought before the king, and with maruailous stoutnesse and audacitie, spake these wordes: “I am a citizen of Rome, and my name is Mutius, and beinge an enemy, I woulde faine haue killed mine enemie. For which attempt I esteeme no more to die, then I cared to commit the murder. It is naturally giuen to the Romaines, both valiantly to do and stoutly to suffer. And not I alone haue conspired thy death, but a greate nomber of vs, haue promised the like, and hope to prosecute semblable prayse and glorie: wherfore if this beginninge do not please thee, make thy selfe ready euerye houre to expect like perill, and to fight for thy selfe. And make accompt, that euery day euen at the dore of thine owne lodging, thy enemye armed doth waite for thee: we alone yong gentlemen of the Citie do stand at defiance, and pronounce vppon thee this kinde of battaile. Feare no armies or other hostilitie, for with thee alone, and with euerye one of vs these warres shalbe tryed.” The king astonied with that bold and desperate enterprise, fell into a great rage and furie, commaundinge Mutius presentlye to be consumed with fyre, vnlesse he would out of hand tell him the order of the purposed and deuised treason. “Behold O king (quoth hee) how litle they care for theyr bodies, that do aspire and seeke for fame and glorie.” And then he thrust his right hand into the fire, and rosted the same in the flame, like one that had been out of his wits. The king amazed wyth the straungnes of the fact, stepped downe from the seate, and caused him to be taken from the fire, saying: “Away, frend (quoth the king) thou hast killed thy selfe, and aduentured hostilitie vppon thy selfe rather then against mee. Surely I would thincke mine estate happie, if like valiaunce were to be found wythin the boundes of my countrye. Wherfore by law of Armes I set the at libertie to go whither thou 28 list.” Whereunto Mutius for acquiting that desert, aunswered: “For as much as thou hast thus honourably delt with me, I wil for recompence of this benefite, saye thus muche vnto thee, whych by threates thou shouldest neuer haue gotten at my handes. Three hundred of vs that be yonge noble men of Rome, haue conspired thy death, euen by the like attempt. It was my lot to come first, the reste when fortune shall giue opportunitie, euerye one in his tourne will giue the aduenture.” Whereupon he was dismissed, and afterwards was called Scæuola, for the losse of his right hande. Then peace was offered to the Romaynes, who vpon conditions that the enemies garrisons should be withdrawen from Ianiculum, and that the country wonne of the Veientines, should be restored againe, gaue hostages. Amonges whom there was a gentlewoman called Cloelia deliuered into the handes of the Hetrurians, who deceyuinge her keepers, conueighed herselfe and the other pledges from their enemies, and swimming ouer the riuer of Tiber, arriued at Rome in safetye, which being redemaunded by Porsenna, were sent backe againe. The king driuen into a wonderfull admiration for the desperate and manly enterprises, done by the Romaine Nation, retourned the maiden home againe to Rome. In whose honour the Romaines erected an Image on horse backe, placed at the vpper ende of the streate called Sacra via. And so peace was concluded betweene Porsenna and the Romaynes.



Martius Coriolanus goinge aboute to represse the common people of Rome with dearth of Corne was banished. For reuengement whereof he perswaded Accius Tullius king of the Volscians, to make warres upon the Romaynes, and he himselfe in their ayde, came in his owne person. The Citie brought to greate miserye, the fathers deuised meanes to deliuer the same, and sent vnto the Volscian campe, the mother, the wife and children of Coriolanus. Vpon whose complaintes Coriolanus withdrewe the Volscians, and the citie was reduced to quietnes.

In the yeare that Titus Geganius and Publius Minutius were Consuls, when all thinges were quiet abrode, and dissention at home appeased, an other great mischiefe inuaded the citie. First a dearth of victuals, for that the land was vntilled, by the peoples departure, then a famine, such as chaunceth to the besieged: which had brought a great destruction of people, had not the Consuls forseene the same, by prouision in forren places. They sent purueiors into Scicilia: but the malice of the cities adioyning, stayed the prouision that was made a farre of. The Corne prouided at Cumas was stayed for the goodes of Tarquinius by Aristodemus the tyrant, that was his heire. The next yere followinge, a greate masse of Corne was transported oute of Scicile, in the time of the Consuls, M. Minutius and A. Sempronius. Then the Senate consulted, vppon the distribution of the same vnto the people. Diuers thought that the time was then come, to bridle and suppresse the people, that thereby they mighte the rather recouer those priuileges, which were extorted from the fathers. Amonges whom Martius Coriolanus a yonge gentleman was the chiefest, who being an enemie to the Tribune authoritie, said these woords. “If the people will haue victuals and corne at that price, whereat it was assised and rated in time past, then it is meete and necessarie, that they render to the fathers, their auncient aucthoritie and priuilege: for to what purpose be the plebeian Magistrates 30 ordained? For what consideration shall I suffer my selfe to be subiugate vnder the authoritie of Sicinius, as though I were conuersaunte amonges theeues? Shal I abide these iniuries any longer to continue, then is necessarie? I that could not suffer Tarquinius the king, shal I be pacient with Sicinius? Let Sicinius depart if he will, let him draw the people after him: the way yet is open to the sacred hill, and to the other mountaines. Let them rob vs of our corne which they toke away from our owne land, as they did three yeares paste, let them enioy the victuals which in their furie they did gather. I dare be bold to saye thus much, that being warned and tamed, by this present penurie, they had rather plow and til the land, then they would suffer the same to be vncultured, by withdrawing themselues to armure. It is not so easy to be spoken, as I thincke it may with facilitie be brought to passe, that vpon conditions the prices of victuals should be abated, the fathers might remoue the aucthoritie of the Tribunes and disanul all those lawes, which against their wills were ratefied and confirmed.” This sentence seemed cruel to the fathers, and almost had set the people together by the eares, whoe woulde haue torne him in peeces, had not the Tribunes appointed a day for his appearance. Whervpon their furie for that time was appeased, Coriolanus seinge the peoples rage to encrease, and consideringe that they should be his Iudge, when the day of his apparance was come, he absented himselfe, and therfore was condempned. Then he fled to the Volscians, of whom he was gently interteigned: and lodged in the house of Accius Tullius, the chiefe of that citie, and a deadly enemie to the Romaynes. Vpon daily conference and consultation had betwene them, they consulted by what sleight or pollicie, they might comence a quarrell against the Romaines. And because they doubted, that the Volscians would not easely be perswaded thereunto, beinge so oft vanquished and ill intreated, they excogitated some other newe occasion. In the meane time T. Latinius one of the plebeian sorte, perceyuing that the Romaynes went about to institute great pastimes, conceiued a dreame, wherein hee sawe Iuppiter to speake vnto him, and said that he liked not the towardnes of those games, and in case the same were not celebrated, with 31 great royaltie and magnificens, they would ingender perill to the citie, which dreame he declared to the Consuls. Then the Senate gaue order, that the same shoulde be addressed with great pompe and triumphe: whereunto through th’instigacion of Accius, a greate nomber of the Volscians resorted. But before the plaies begunne, Tullius according to the compact agreed vpon, betwene him and Coriolanus, secretely repaired to the Consuls, and taking them a syde, declared that he had to say vnto them a matter touching the publique wealth of their citie, in these words. “I am forced against my will to signifie vnto you a matter, that toucheth the condition of mine owne subiects and countrie men. I come not to accuse them, as thoughe they had already admitted any thinge, but I come to giue you a premonition, lest they should perpetrate some occasion, contrary to the order of your Citie. The disposition of my countrie men, is more inconstant then I would wish: which we haue felt, to our great losse and decaie. The cause of oure security at this present, is rather suffered by your pacience, then by our desert. Here be at this instant a great multitude of Volscians: Here be games prepared, and the citie throughlye bent to behold them. I do remember what was done vpon like occasion in this citie by the Romain youth: I tremble to thincke, what may be rashly attempted, wherfore I thought good both for your owne sakes and for auoyding of mutual displeasure, to foretel you of these things. And for mine owne part I purpose immediatlye to returne home, because I wil auoide the daunger and peril, that maye chaunce by my presence.” When he had spoken those words, he departed. The Consuls immediatly recompted the request of Accius to the Senate: who more esteming the personage, from whence the same did procede, then the matter that was spoken, determined to prouide a remedie for the same, and immediatlye caused the Volscians to auoide the citie, sending officers about, to commaund them to depart that night: vpon which sodain edict, at the first they began to marueile. And afterwards they conceiued great griefe and offence, for that their vnneighbourlye entertaignment, and as they were passing out of the citie in a long traine, Tullius being vpon the top of the hill called Ferrentine, to waite for the people, as they passed by, called vnto him the chiefe and 32 principal parsonages, to prouoke them to take that aduauntage, and then assembled the multitude in the valleie, hard by the high way, to whom he pronounced these words. “Forgetting all iniuries and displeasures past, done by the Romaine people against the Volscians, how can you abide the shame you suffer this daye, wherein to oure great reproch, they begin to ostentate and shew forth their plaies. Do not you beleeue, that euen to day, they triumph ouer you? Is not your departure (thincke ye) ridiculous to all the Romaines, to strangers, and other cities adioyning? Be not your wiues and children (trow ye) now passing homewards, laughed to scorne? What thincke ye your selues to be, which were warned to depart, at the sound of the trumpet? What (suppose ye) wil all they thinke, which do meete this multitude retiring homewards, to their great reproch and shame? Truly excepte there be some secrete occasion, whereby we should be suspected to violate the plaies or commit some other crime, and so forced to relinquish the company and fellowship of the honest, I know not what should be the cause of this repulse? Were we lyuing, when we made such festination to depart? If it may be called a departure, and not a running away, or shamefull retire. I perceiue ye did not accompt this to be a citie of our enemies, wher I thinck if ye had taried but one day longer, ye had all beene slaine. They haue denounced warres vppon you, which if you be men of courage, shall redounde to the vtter destruction of them, which first gaue the defiaunce.” The Volscians perceyuing themselues greatly derided, for considerations before remembred, determined by common accord, to inferre warres vppon the Romaines, vnder the conduction of Actius Tullius, and Coriolanus. After they had recouered diuers of the Romaine cities, they proceded further, and in sondrie places spoiled and destroyed the same, encamping themselues fiue miles from Rome, besides the trenches called Fossas Cluilias. In the meane time contention rose betwene the people and the fathers, howbeit the feare of forren partes, linked their mindes together, in the bands of concord. The Consuls and fathers reposed their whole confidence in battel, which the common people in no wise could abide. Wherfore they were constrained to assemble the Senate, in which consult was determined, that Ambassadours 33 should be sent to Coriolanus to demaund peace: who retourned them againe with a froward answere, to this effect: that first they should restore to the Volscians their countrie, which they had conquered, and that done, he willed them to seke for peace. Yet they sent againe Ambassadours, but in no wise they were suffered to come into their campe. Then the priestes cladde in their ornamentes, and other diuine furniture, were sent humblye to make peticion for peace: And yet they coulde not perswade theim. Then the Romaine Dames repayred to Veturia the mother of Coriolanus, and to his wyfe Volumnia. But whether the same was done by common consent, or by the aduise of the feminine kind, it is vncertaine. It was appointed that Veturia, being an auncient gentlewoman, and mother of Coriolanus and Volumnia his wife, with her two yonge children, should repaire to the campe, to the intent that they by their pitiful lamentacion, might defende the citie, which otherwise by force, was not able to be kept. At their arriuall, Veturia was knowen by one of her sonnes familier frends, standing betwene her doughter in law, and her two neuies, who caried word immediatlye to Coriolanus, how his mother, his wife and children, were come into the Campe to speake with him. Coriolanus hearing him say so, descended from his seate, like one not wel in his wits, and went forth to embrace his mother. The old gentlewoman from supplications, fell into a great rage, speakinge these woordes. “Abide a while before I do receiue thy embracementes, let me knowe whether I am comen to mine enemie, or to my sonne, or whether I am a prisoner in thy Campe, or thy mother. Alacke how long haue I prolonged these auncient yeares, and hoare heares most vnhappie, that nowe first I do behold thee an exile, and then view thee mine enemie. Canst thou finde in thy harte, to depopulate and destroy this thy country, wherin thou wast begotten and brought vp? Could not thy rage and furie be appeased, when thou diddest first put foote into the limites of this thy country? Did not natural zeale pearce thy cruel hart, when thou diddest first cast thine eyes upon this citie? Is not the house of thy mother, and her domesticall Goddes, conteyned within the walles of yonder Citie? Do not thy sorrowful mother, thy deare wife and children, inhabite within the compasse of yonder citie? 34 (O I, cursed creature!) if I had neuer had childe, Rome had not been now assailed. If I had neuer brought forth a sonne, I should haue laied mine old bones and ended my life in a free countrie. But I coulde neuer haue susteined, or suffred more miserie, then is nowe fallen vnto mee, nor neuer more dishonour, then to beholde thee in pitifull plight, a traytour to thy natife soile. And as I am the moste wretched wight of all mothers, so I trust I shal not long continue in that state. If thou procede in this enterprise, either sodaine death, or perpetuall shame bee thy rewarde.” When his mother had ended these woordes, the whole traine of gentlewomen, brake into pitifull teares: bitterly bewayling the state of their Countrie, whiche at lengthe did mitigate the stomacke of Coriolanus. And when he had imbraced his wife and children, hee dismissed them. Then hee withdrewe the Volscian campe from the citie, and out of the Romaine Prouince. Vpon the displeasure of whiche facte, he died. It is sayd that when he was an old man, hee vsed many times to speake and vtter this sentence. “That verie miserable it is, for an olde man to liue in banishement.” The Romains disdaigned not to attribute to women, their due prayse: for in memorie of this deliuerie of their Countrie, they erected a Temple, Fortunæ Muliebri, to Womens Fortune.



Appius Claudius, one of the Decemuiri of Rome, goeth about to rauishe Virginia, a yonge mayden, which indeuour of Appius, when her father Virginius vnderstode being then in the warres, hee repaired home to rescue his doughter. One that was betrouthed vnto her, clamed her, whereupon rose great contention. In the ende her owne father, to saue the shame of his stocke, killed her with a Bocher’s knife, and went into the Forum, crying vengeance vpon Appius. Then after much contention and rebellion, the Decemuiri were deposed.

Spurius Posthumius Albus, Aulus Manlius, and P. Sulpitius Camerinus, were sent Ambassadours to Athenes, and commaunded to wryte out the noble Lawes of Solon, and to learne the Institutions, orders, and Lawes of other Greeke cities. Vpon whose retourne, the Tribunes were verie instant that at length lawes might be enacted and confirmed. And for that purpose certaine officers were appointed, called Decemuiri: with soueraigne authoritie and power to reduce the same into wryting, whiche were thought meete and profitable for the common wealth. The principall and chiefe of which nomber was Appius Claudius, who committed no lesse filthy facte, then was done by Tarquinius, for the rape of Lucrece. The sayde Appius conceiued a libidinous desire, to rauishe a yong virgine, the doughter of one Lucius Virginius, then a captain in the warres at Algidum, a man of honest and sober life, whose wife was also of right good behauiour, and their children accordingly brought vp, and instructed. They had betrouthed their doughter, to one L. Icilius of the order of the Tribunes, a man of great stoutnesse and tried valiance in the cause of the people. This yong maide being of excellent beautie, Appius at the first began to woe by giftes and faire promises: but when he sawe that she was impregnable, he deuised by wicked and cruell pollicie, to obteine her, committing the charge of that enterprise to one of his frendes, called Marcus Claudius, who went about to 36 proue and maintaine, that the maide was his bondwoman, and in no wise would giue libertie to her friendes to haue time to answere the processe made in that behalfe, thinking by that meanes, in the absence of her father, hee might at his pleasure enioye her. As the virgine was going to schole in the Forum, the said Claudius, the minister of mischief, layd handes vpon her, claimed her to be his bondwoman, for that she was borne of a seruile woman, and commaunded her to folow him. The mayde being afraide was amazed, and the Nursse that wayted vpon her, cried out. Whereupon the people ran out of their doores, to knowe the cause of the sturre. Claudius seing the maide like to be rescued by the multitude that was assembled, said, that there was no neede of that hurlie burlie, for that he attempted nothing by force, but that he was able to proue by lawe. Whereupon he cited the mayde to appere, her frendes promised that she should according to the Lawe, make her apperance. Being come before the consistorie, where Appius set in iudgement, Claudius began to tell a tale and processe of the cause, whereof Appius being the deuiser, vnderstode the effect. The tenor of the tale was, that the maide was borne in his house, and was the doughter of his owne bondwoman, who afterwardes being stolen awaye, was caried to the house of Virginius, and supposed to be his childe, which thing he said, he was well able to proue and would referre the iudgement of his cause to Virginius him selfe: vnto whom the greater part of his iniurie did apertaine. In the meane time, he sayde, that it was meete the maide should folowe her maister: wherunto the Aduocates of the mayde replied, and said, that Virginius was absent about the affaires of the commonwealth, but if he were aduertised of the matter, they knewe wel he would bee at home within twoo dayes after: wherefore, they sayd, that it were against equitie and iustice, that processe and suite should bee made for clayme of chyldren in the absence of the parentes, requiring them to deferre the matter tyll the retourne of the father. Appius not regarding the iustice of the case, to the intent hee myght satisfie his owne luste and pleasure, ordeyned in the meane tyme, that Claudius the Assertor and playntife, shoulde haue the keping and placing of the mayde, till the father were returned. Against whiche wrong, many did grudge, although 37 none durst withstand it. But as fortune chaunced immediatly after that decree and order was so pronounced: Publius Numitorius, the maydes vncle by her mother’s side, and Icilius her beloued, were comen home: vpon whose retourne, incontinentlye Icilius approched nere to Appius, and being put backe by the Sergeant, hee cried out a loude in these wordes: “Thou oughtest to put me back from hence (O Appius) with a sworde that thou mightest without let, enioye the thing thou wouldest haue kepte close and secrete. It is I that purpose to mary this maide, who I doubte not, is very honest and chaste: wherefore cal together thy Sergeantes, and cause the roddes and axes, to be made prest and ready. For I assure thee, the spouse of Icilius shall not remayne out of her father’s house. No! although thou hast taken away from the Romaine people their Tribunes aide and appeales, whiche be twoo strong fortes and holdes of their common libertie. Is authoritie geuen thee, libidinously to abuse our wyues and children? Exercise thy crueltie behinde our backes, and vppon our lives if thou liste, so that thou doe not contaminate and defile the vertue of chastitie. Whereunto if thou inferre any damage or iniurie, I will for mine owne parte, and for the loue of my beloued, crie out for the ayde of the Romaines that be present, and Virginius shall do the like of the souldiours, in the quarell of his owne doughter. And all wee together, will implore for the succour of Goddes and men. And truste to it, that thou shalt not enioye thy purpose before some of vs haue lost our liues. Wherefore Appius I aduise thee, take hede in time, for when Virginius doth come, hee will seke remedie to defende his doughter, and will knowe in what condition and sorte shee is ordred, if shee be referred to the seruitude of this man. And for my part, my life shall soner fayle in defending her libertie, then my faithe to her betrouthed.” Appius perceiuing the constancie of Icilius, and that the people was in a great mutine and sturre, differred the cause of Virginia til the next daye: whose frends hoped by that time, that her father would be at home: wherefore with all expedition they addressed messengers vnto him in the campe, bicause the saufgarde of his doughter consisted in his presence. In the meane time the Assertor required the mayde, offering to put in baile; the like offer made Icilius, 38 of purpose to contriue and spende the time, till the ariuall of Virginius. The multitude of their owne accordes, helde vp their hands promising to become suretie for Icilius, vnto whome hee gaue thankes, weping for ioye, to se their kinde behauiour, and said: “I thanke you moste hartely my beloued frendes, to morowe I wil vse your frendly offer, but at this present I haue sureties sufficient.” Whereupon Virginia was bailed. Then Appius repaired home, and wrote to his frendes in the campe, that in no wyse they should giue Virginius leaue to come to Rome, whiche vngracious deuise came to late, and tooke none effecte. Whereupon Virginius retourned home, and in poore and vile apparell, repaired to the Forum, after whom followed a great nomber of matrones and aduocates. Then he began to require them all of succour and ayde, alledging that he was a Souldiour, and one that aduentured him selfe, for the saufegarde and defence of them al: with such like perswasions to the multitude. Semblable wordes were vttered by Icilius. All which doinges being viewed and marked by Appius, in a greate furie he ascended the consistorie. Then M. Claudius the plaintife began to renewe his sute: and before the father of the mayden could make answere to that plea, Appius gaue sentence that the mayde was bonde: which sentence semed so cruell, as it appalled the whole multitude. And as Claudius was laying handes vppon the virgine, Virginius stepped to Appius, and said: “I haue betrouthed my doughter to Icilius, and not to thee Appius. My care in the bringing of her vp, was to marrie her, and not to suffer her to be violated and defloured. It is your maner, like sauage and cruell beastes, indifferentlye thus to vse your fleshly affections: I can not tell whether the multitude here present will supporte this enormitie, but I am sure the armed Souldiours, and men of warre, will not suffer it.” Marcus Claudius being repulsed by the women, and Aduocates that were present, silence was proclaymed by the Trumpet. Then Appius began to declare how he vnderstoode, that all the night before, certaine companies were assembled within the citie, to excite and moue sedicion, for whiche cause hee came with armed men, not to hurte any that was quiet, but according to the authoritie of his office to bridle and represse those, that were troublers of the publique state. 39 “Wherefore goe Seargeant (quod he) make roume emonges the multitude, that the maister may enioye his seruante.” Which wordes he thundered out with great furie, and therewithall the multitude gaue place, leauing the poore Puselle to be a praye to the ennemy. Her father seeing that hee was voyde of succoure and helpe, to defende the innocencie of his doughter, spake to Appius in this sorte: “I firste doe beseche thee Appius, if I haue vsed any vnreasonable woordes against thee, to pardone mee, and to impute the same to the Father’s griefe and sorowe. Suffer mee I praye thee, to examine the Noursse, in the presence of the wenche, of the whole circumstance of this matter, to the intent that if I be but a supposed father, I maye departe hence with quiet conscience satisfied and contented.” Virginius hauing licence to talke with his doughter and Noursse, departed a side into a place called Cloacina, where the shoppes be, nowe called Tabernæ Nouæ, and plucking a sharpe knife from a Bocher that stode by, he thrust the same to the harte of his doughter, sayinge: “By this onely meanes (doughter) I can make thee free:” And looking againe to the iudgement seate, he said: “This bloud Appius I consecrate and bestowe vpon thee.” Whiche done, with his sworde he made waye, to passe through the thronge to conueighe him selfe out of the citie. Then Icilius and Numitorius tooke vp the dead bodie, and shewed it to the people, who cryed out vpon the wickednesse of Appius, bewayling the vnhappie beautie of that fayre maiden, and deplored the necessitie of the father. The women exclaimed in lamentable wyse, saying: “Is this the condicion and state of them that bring foorth children? Be these the rewardes of chastitie?” With suche like pitifull cries, as women are wonte to make vpon suche heauie and dolorous euentes. Virginius being arriued in the campe, whiche then was at the mount Vicelius, with a traine of fower hundred persones, that fled out of the Citie, shewed to the Souldiours the bloudie knife, that killed his doughter, whiche sighte astonied the whole Campe: in so muche as euery man demaunded, what was the cause of that sodain chaunce. Virginius could not speake for teares, but at length he disclosed vnto them, the effecte of the whole matter, and holding vp his handes towardes the heauens, sayd: “I beseche you (deare companions) do not 40 impute the wickednesse of Appius Claudius vpon mee, ne yet that I am a paricide and murderer of mine own children: the life of my dear doughter had bene more acceptable to me then mine owne life, if so be shee might haue continued a free woman, and an honest virgine. But when I sawe she was ledde to the rape like a bondwoman, I considered, that better it wer her life to be loste, then suffered to liue in shame: wherefore my naturall pitie was conuerted to a kynde of crueltie. And for myne owne parte, I doe not passe to lyue long after her, if I thought I should not haue your helpe and succour to reuenge her death. Consider that your selues haue doughters, sisters, and wyues, thinke not therefore, that the fleshlye desire of Appius is satisfied with the death of my doughter. And the longer that he doth continue in this securitie, the more vnbrideled is his appetite. Let the calamitie of an other be a sufficient document for you, to beware like iniuries. My wife is dead, by naturall fate and constellation, and bicause my doughter could continewe no longer in honeste and chaste life, death is befallen vnto her: whiche although it be miserable, yet the same is honourable. There is nowe no place in my house for Appius to satisfie his filthie luste: and I will fayle of my purpose, if I do not reuenge the death of my doughter with so good will vpon his fleshe, as I did discharge the dishonour and seruitude of her from his violent and cruell handes.” This succlamation and pitifull complainte, so stirred the multitude, that they promised all to helpe and relieue his sorowe. Whereupon, the whole Campe were in a mutine and marched in order of battayle to the mounte Auentine, where Virginius perswaded the Souldiours, to chose ten principall Captaines, to bee head and chiefe of that enterprise: whiche with honourable titles of the field, should be called Tribuni. And Virginius him selfe being elected the chiefe Tribune, sayde these wordes to the Souldiours: “I praye you reserue this estimation, whiche you conceiue of me, vntill some better tyme and apter occasion, as well for your commoditie, as for my selfe. The death of my doughter, will suffer no honour to bee pleasaunt or welcome to me, duringe my life. Moreouer in this troubled state of the common wealth, it is not meete for them to be your gouernours, that be subiect and occurrant to enuie and reproch, 41 if my seruice shall bee profitable vnto you when you haue thus created me a Tribune, it shall be no less commodious if I doe still remaine a priuate man.” When he had spoken those wordes, they chose tenne Tribunes. And like as the campe at the mounte Auentine, was prouoked and stirred to this sedition, euen so by meanes of Icilius and Numitorius before remembred, the Armie then beinge against the Sabines began to reuolte and made the like nomber of Tribunes, which in array of battaile, marched through the citie, at the gate Colina, with banner displaied, to ioyne with the campe vpon the mount Auentine. And when both the campes were assembled, they chose out two amonges the twenty Tribunes, to be their generalles, called M. Opius and Sextus Manilius. The Senate, careful and pensife for these euentes, eftsons assembled, but no certaine determinations was agreed vpon. At length they concluded, that Valerius and Horatius, should bee sent to the mount Auentine to perswade the people, but they vtterlye refused the message, vnlesse the Decemuiri were first deposed. The Decemuiri made aunswere, that they would not geue ouer their authoritie, til such time as those lawes were ratified, which were treated vpon, before they wer elected to that office. Of all these contentions the people was aduertised by M. Duillius their Tribune. And when both their armies were ioyned at the mount Auentine, aforesayd, al the multitude of the citie, men, women, and children, repaired thither in sorte, that Rome was like a forlorne and abandoned place. The fathers seing the citie thus relinquished, Horatius and Valerius, with diuers of the fathers, exclamed in this wise. “What do ye expect and looke for, ye fathers conscript? Will ye suffer al thinges to runne to extreame ruine and decay? Shall the Decemuiri still persiste in their stubburne and froward determinacions? What maner of gouernement is this (O ye Decemuiri) that ye thus lay holde vpon and enioye? Will ye pronounce and make lawes within your owne houses, and the limites of the same? Is it not a shame to se in the Forum a greater nomber of your catchpolles and Sergeantes, then of other sober and wise Citizens? But what will ye doe, if the enemie vpon the sodaine, dothe approche the walles? What will ye do if the people vnderstanding that we care not for their departure, do in 42 armes assaile vs? Will ye finishe your gouernement, with the ouerthrowe of the citie: But either wee must expell and abandon the people, or els wee must admitte the Tribunes. We shall soner wante our Fathers and Senatours, then they their plebeian officers. They bereued and toke awaye from vs the fathers a newe kinde of authoritie, which was neuer sene before, who now feeling the sweetnesse thereof, will neuer geue it ouer. For we can not so well temper our authoritie and gouernement, as they be able to seke helpe and succour.” The Decemuiri perceiuing that they were hated, so well of the Senate, as of the people, submitted themselues. And therupon Valerius and Horatius were sent to the campe, to reuoke the people vpon suche conditions as they thought moste meete. Then the Decemuiri were commaunded, to take heede of the peoples furie. So sone as the Commissioners were come to the campe, they were received with great ioye and gladnesse of the people, because they were the beginners of that sturre, and supposed that they would make an ende of the commocion, for whiche cause they rendred to them their humble thankes. Then Icilius was appointed to speake for the people, who required to haue the authoritie of the Tribunes restored, and their appeale renewed, with restitution of those lawes, which before the erection of the Decemuiri, were ratified and confirmed. They demaunded also an impunitie and free pardon to those that firste encouraged and incited the Souldiers to that enterprise, and the restoring of their liberties. They required to haue their enemies the Decemuiri, to be deliuered into their handes. Whom they threatened to put to death by fire. Whereunto the Commissioners aunswered in this wise: “Your requestes bee so reasonable, that they ought willingly to be graunted. All which ye desire to obtaine, as a defence and comfort for your libertie, and not to persecute and infeste others. Your furie and anger ought rather to be pardoned, then permitted or graunted. Yee beare a face and seeme to detest and hate seueritie, and ye your selues incurre, and runne headlong into all kinde of crueltie: and before ye be made free your selues, ye desire to bee Lordes ouer your aduersaries. Shall our citie neuer bee voide of tortures and oppressions: sometime of the fathers towardes the people, sometime of the people towardes the fathers: you had more 43 neede of a shilde to defende you, then of a sworde to fight. That man is of a base state and courage we suppose, that liueth in a citie and beareth him self so vpright, as neither he inferreth iniurie to others, ne yet suffereth wrong him selfe. If ye shew your selues so terrible, then it is to be supposed, that after ye haue recouered your lawes and magistrates, and be placed again in your former authoritie and preeminence: ye will also ordeine and appointe lawes ouer vs, that shall concerne our liues and goodes, and euery other light matter. But for this present I would wishe you, to be contented with your former freedome.” After the commissioners had willed theim to consulte vppon some determinate aunswere, they retourned to Rome, to make reporte to the Senate, of the peoples requestes. The Decemuiri perceiuing, that contrarie to their expectation, no likelihode was of any persecution, to be done vpon them, condescended to those demaundes. Appius being a man of nature cruell and malicious, measuring the malice of others, by his owne maligne disposition, spake these woordes: “I am not ignoraunte what fortune is nowe imminente: for I do plainely see that whiles weapons be deliuered to our aduersaries, the combate is deferred against vs: with bloude, enuie muste be rewarded. I will not any longer delaie the time, but depriue my selfe of the decemuirate.” When the Senate was aduertised by the Commissioners, Valerius and Horatius, of the peoples aunswere, they decreed that the Decemuiri should be deposed, and that Q. Furius the chief bishop, should create that plebeian Tribunes. Wherin also was enacted, that the departure of the people, and mutine of the souldiours should be pardoned.

When these lawes were renewed, the Decemuiri went foorth, and openly in the assemblie deposed them selues, to the great ioye and comforte of them all. All whiche being reported to the people: both the souldiours, and the rest of the multitude, were somoned to appeare before the commisioners, unto whom they spake these wordes. “We now besech you al, to retourne into your countrie, to your domesticall goddes, your wiues, and children, which we truste shal be right good, happie and profitable vnto you, and to the common wealth. But your modestie and sober behauiour, for that no mans grounde is violated and destroyed, considering 44 many thinges, could not suffice the hugenesse of this multitude, that part of modestie, I saye, cary with you into the citie, to your immortall fame and glorie. Get ye therfore to the mounte Auentine, from whence ye departed, where, as in a place moste happie ye renewed the foundacions of your auncient libertie, and there yee shall create your Tribunes: the chiefe bishop shal be present, to kepe the comitialles.” Then the Romaine people made Aulus Virginius, Lucius Icilius, and P. Numitorius the Tribunes, who with their assistantes, first aduanced and confirmed the libertie of the people. Afterward Virginius was appointed to be the accuser, and Appius chosen to be the defendant. At the day appointed, Appius resorted to the Forum, with a great companie of yong gentlemen, of the patricial order, where Virginius began to renewe the cruel and abhominable facte, which Appius committed in the time of his authoritie, and said: “Oration was first deuised and found out, for ambiguous and doubtfull causes: therefore I will neither consume time, in accusing him before you, from whose crueltie, ye haue by force defended your selues, nor yet I wyll suffer hym to coyne to his former wickednesse, any impudente aunswere for his defence. Wherefore Appius, all those thynges whiche wyckedlye and cruellye one vpon an other, thou haste done these twoo yeares past, I doe freely forgeue thee: but if thou canst not purge thyselfe of this one thing, that against the order and forme of lawe (thou thy selfe being judge) wouldest not suffer the freman, to enioye the benefite of his freedome, during the processe made of seruitude, I will presently commaunde the to pryson.” Appius Claudius being nowe a prysoner, and perceiuing that the iust complaintes of Virginius did vehemently incite the people to rage and furie, and that the peticions and prayers of his frendes in no wise could mollifie their hartes, he began to conceiue a desperation, and within a whyle after slewe him selfe. Spurius Oppius, also an other of the Decemuiri, was immediatly sent to prison, who before the daye of his iudgement died. The reste also of that order fled into exile, whose goods were confiscate. M. Claudius also the assertor was condempned: howbeit Virginius was contented he should be banished the citie, and then he fled to Tybur. Thus vpon the filthie affection of 45 one noble man, issued paricide, murder, rebellion, hatred, depriuing of magistrates, and great mischiefes succedinge one in an others necke; whereupon the noble and victorious citie, was lyke to be a praye to forren nations. A goodlie document to men of like calling, to moderate them selues, and their magisterie with good and honest life, thereby to giue incouragement of vertue, to their vassalles and inferiours: who for the most parte doe imitate and followe the liues and conuersation of their superiours.



Candaules king of Lidia, shewing the secretes of his wyues beautie to Gyges, one of his guarde: was by counsaile of his wife, slaine by the said Gyges, and depriued of his kingdome.

Of all follies wherewith vayne men be affected, the follie of immoderate loue is moste to bee detested. For that husband, which is beautified with a comely and honest wife, whose rare excellencie doth surpasse other, aswel in lineaments, proporcion, and feature of bodie, as with inwarde qualities of minde: if he can not retaine in the secrecie and silence of his breast, that excelling gifte and benefite, is worthy to be inaugured with a Laurel crown of follie. Beautie eche man knoweth, is one of natures ornamentes, by her wisedome ordeined, not to enter in triumphe, as victours vse vpon gaine of victorie, with brauerie to ostentate their glorie, by sound of Shalme and Dromme, but thankefully for the same, to proclaime the due praise to the authour of nature. For there is nothing more fraile and fading, then the luring lookes of dame beauties eies, altogether like the flaring Marigold floure, which in the moste feruent heate of the Sommers day, doth appeare most glorious, and upon retire of the nights shadowe, appeareth as though it had neuer bene the same. And therfore he that conceiueth, reioyce in her vncertayne state, is like to him that in his slombring dreame, doth imagine he hath founde a perelesse iewell, of price inestimable, beset with the glistring Diamonde: and perfectly awaked, knoweth he hath none such. If God hath indued a man with a wife that is beautifull and honest, hee is furnished with double pleasure; such, as rather thankes to him, then vain ostentation is to be remembred: otherwise, he doateth, either in Jelosie or openeth proude vauntes therof, to suche as he thinketh to be his most assured frendes. What ioye the sequele therof doth bring, let the historie insuing reporte.

Candaules king of Lydia, had a marueilous beautifull gentlewoman to his Queene and wife, whome hee loued very dearlye, 47 and for that great loue whiche he bare her, thought her the fayrest creature of the worlde. Being in this louing concept, hee extolled the prayse of his wife, to one of his guarde called Gyges, the sonne of Dascylus (whom he loued aboue all the reste of his housholde, and vsed his counsayle, in all his weightie causes) within a whyle after he sayde vnto Gyges these woordes. “It semeth vnto mee Gyges, that thou doest not greatlye beleue the woordes whiche I speake vnto thee, of the beautie of my wyfe, but because eyes bee better witnesses of thinges then eares, thou shalt see her naked.” With these woordes Gyges being amazed cryed out, saying: “What woordes be these (sir king) me thynke you are not well aduised, to require mee to viewe and beholde the Lady my maistres in that sorte? For a woman seene naked, doth with her clothes, put of also her chastitie. In olde tyme honest thinges were deuised for mannes instruction, emonges which was vsed this one thyng. That euery man ought to beholde, the thinges that were his owne. But sir, I do beleue assuredly that she is the fairest woman in the world, wherfore desire me not to thynges that bee vnlawefull.” In this sorte Gyges replied, and yet feared lest some daunger might happen vnto hym. Whome Candaules encouraged, saying: “Bee of good chere, and be not afrayde, that either I or my wyfe, goe about to deceiue thee, or that thou shalt incurre anye daunger. For I wyll take vpon me so to vse the matter, as she by no meanes shall knowe that thou haste seene her. I wyll place thee behynde the portall of our chamber. When I goe to bedde, my wyfe commonly doth followe. And she being in the Chamber, a chayre is sette readye, vppon whiche shee layeth her clothes, as she putteth them of. Whiche done shee sheweth her selfe a good tyme naked: and when she ryseth from her chayre to goe to bedde, her backe beyng towarde thee, thou mayest easilye conueyghe thy selfe out again, but in any wyse take heede, she doe not see thee, as thou goest out. Whereunto I praye thee, to haue a speciall regarde.” Gyges seyng that by no meanes, hee could auoyde the vayne requeste of the king, was readie at the tyme appoynted. Candaules about the howre of bedde tyme, went into the Chamber, and conueighed Gyges into the same, and after the kyng the queene followeth, whome 48 Gyges behelde at her going in, and at the putting of her clothes. When her back was towardes him, (as he was going out) she perceiued him. The queene vnderstanding by her husbande, the circumstance of the facte, neyther for shame did crie out, ne yet made countenaunce as though shee had seen Gyges; but in her minde purposed, to reuenge her husbandes follie. For emonges the Lydians (as for the most part, with all other nations) it is coumpted a great shame, to see a naked man. The gentlewoman counterfaited her grief, and kepte silence. In the morning when she was redie, by such of her seruaunts, whome she beste trusted, shee sent for Gyges, who thought that shee had knowen nothing of that whiche chaunced. Being come before her presence; she sayde vnto hym, “Gyges I offer vnto thee nowe twoo conditions, take whether thou wylte. For eyther thou must kill Candaules, and take mee to thy wyfe, and the kyngdome also, or els thou must dye thy selfe, that thou maiest vnderstande, how in all thynges not meete to be knowen, it is not necessarye to obeye Candaules. For eyther hee muste needes dye, whiche gaue thee that counsayle, or thy selfe, which diddest see me naked, and thereby committed a thing vnlawfull.” Whiche words for a while, did wonderfully amase Gyges, then he besought the Queene that she woulde pardon him from that vnlawfull choise. When he saw that he coulde not perswade her; he required her to shewe him by what meanes he might attempt that enterprise. “Marie (quoth she) euen in that place where thou sawest me naked, when he is a sleepe thou shalt commit that facte.” After they had deuised the treason, night approched. And Gyges with stoute courage, bent himselfe thereunto, for he saw no remedye, but that he must kill, or els be killed. Wherefore with a Dagger which the Queene deliuered him, he killed Candaules, when he was a sleepe; and so gotte from him both his wife and kingdome. A goodly example to declare, that the secrets of Marriage, ought not to be disclosed: but with reuerence to be couered, lest God do plague such offences with death or other shame, to manifest to the world, howe dearely hee esteemeth that honourable state.



King Cræsus of Lydia reasoneth with the wyseman Solon, of the happie life of man. Who little esteeming his good aduise, vnderstoode before his death, that no man (but by vertue) can in this life attaine felicitie.

A Noble Gentleman of Athens called Solon, by th’ appointement of the Athenians, made lawes for that citie, and because none of the same lawes shoulde be abrogated, for the space of tenne yeares, hee bounde the Citizens by othe. And that the same mighte the better be obserued; he himselfe traueyled into farre countries, as into Egipt to visite king Hamasis, and so to Sardis to kinge Cræsus, where he was liberallie intertayned. This Cræsus was king of Lydia, sonne of Haliattes, that brought to subiection great countries in Asia and Græcia, and gathered together an innumerable masse of moneye and riches. Who three or foure dayes after the arriuall of Solon (which was led aboute by his seruauntes, to viewe his notable wealth and substaunce) said vnto Solon these wordes. “My frende of Athens, because thy famous wysedome is well knowen to the worlde, and I haue heard tell of the excellencie therof, and of the greatnes of thy trauaile, where thou hast attaigned to the singuler knowledge of Philosophie; I desire to learne of thee (now hauing seene my great treasures) who is the happiest man and most blessed, that thou knowest in this world.” Thinking he would haue iudged him to be the same. But Solon made aunswere, that, “Tellus was the happiest; who was an Athenien, and had vertuous and honest sonnes, and they likewise had honest children, all which were that time liuing. And when by the space of many yeares he had ledde a vertuous and godly life, he died an honourable death in the warres which the Athenians had with theyr neighbours, at the battaile of Eleusina. Wher he was indued with sumptuous funerals, to his great honour and prayse.” Then Cræsus asked him: “Who was happie next Tellus;” thinking hee would haue attributed to him the second 50 place. “Forsoth (quoth he) that is Cleobis and Bito, which were Argiues, and liued a contented life. And in all pastimes to proue force and maisterie, they bare away the prise and victorie. And of them these thinges be remembred; when the feastfull day of Iuppiter was celebrated amonges the Argiues; their mother should be caried to the Temple in a Chariot, drawen with a yoke of Oxen, which were not come out of the countrie at the appointed time. The yonge men seinge that the hower was come, entred into the yoke themselues, and drewe the chariotte the space of XLV. stades to the Temple. After this acte seene of all the people there, th’ende of their life was such, as certainly God gaue to vnderstand by them, that better it is to die, then liue. For the Argiues that were assembled about Bito and Cleobis, with shoutes and acclamations, praised the good willes of those children, and the women themselues said, ‘That happie was the mother, which brought forth such lineage.’ Their mother then ioyfull for that fact, and of the reputation of her sonnes, kneeled downe before the Image of Iuno, humbly beseechinge her to giue her sonnes the thinge that were best for a man to attaine vnto. Her prayer ended, she made her sacrifice, which done, the two yonge men presently died in the temple. In token of whose noble liues, the Argiues erected two Images at Delphos.” And to them Solon appointed the second place of blisfulnes. Cræesus moued with these words, said vnto Solon. “Thou straunger of Athens, is our felicitie in such litle reputation with thee that thou doest preferre before vs these priuate men?” Solon aunswered: “Sir shal I assure you of humaine things, knowing that God enuieth the state of men, and troubleth them so often: in length of time many thinges be seen, which men would not see, and many thinges be suffred, that men would not suffer. Let vs assigne to mans life the terme of LXX. yeres: in which yeares are the nomber of XXV.M.CC. dayes, in which computation the leape moneth, which is February, is not comprehended. But if you wil that other yeres be longer, by reason of that moneth, to th’ end the howers may be adioyned to them, that want then the leape monethes, maketh the time to amount (aboue LXX. yeares) to XXV. monethes, and the dayes of those monethes amount to M.V.C. But admit that LXX. yeares with their leape monethes, be 51 the total summe of man’s life, then is producted the summe of XXV. M. CC. dayes. Truly one day is not like an other in effect, euen so Cræsus I conclude, that man is ful of miserie. But althoughe your grace, seeming both in wealth, and also in multitude of men, to be a riche and mightie king, yet I cannot aunswere fullye your demaunde, before I see howe well you doe ende your life: for the rich man is not more happie, because he hath long life, except to his riches fortune graunt that he lead a good and honest life. Many men be very rich, and yet for all that be not blessed and happie: and manye that haue but meane wealth, be fortunate. He that is rich and wealthie, and therewithal not happie, excelleth him that is fortunate and happy onely in two thinges, but th’other surmounteth the riche man in many thinges. The two thinges wherein the rich excelleth th’other be these. Th’one in satisfying his lust and affection, th’other in power and abilitie, to susteine harde fortune and aduersitie; and as the meane man is inferiour to the rich in these two points, which by fortune be denied him, yet he doth excell him, because he neuer hath experience of them; he liueth in good and prosperous health, he neuer feeleth aduersitie, he doth nothing that is wicked, he is a father of good children, he is indued with formosity and beautie, who if (besides all those thinges) he die well, it is he to aunswere your demaunde that worthely may be called happie; for before he die he cannot be so called: and yet fortunate he may be termed. For to obtaine all (whiles you be a liuing man) it is impossible: for as one countrie is not able to serue it selfe with all commodities, but hauing one it lacketh an other: yet the same countrie that hath most commodities is the beste: and as a man’s bodie hauing one perfection is not perfect, because in hauing one he lacketh another: euen so he that hath most vertue, and is indued with greatest nomber of the aforesaid commodities, and so quietly departeth his life, he in mine opinion is worthy to be intitled with the name of a king. A man must expect th’ende of euery thinge whereunto it tendeth: for God plucketh vppe by the rootes many men, to whom hee hath giuen abundaunce of wealth and treasure.” Cræsus misliking the woordes of Solon suffred him to depart saying: “He was a foole that measured present pleasures with no better regard.” After 52 whose departure, the gods began to bende their indignation and displeasure vpon him, because he thoughte himselfe the happiest man aliue. Long time after, Cræsus receyuing courage and comfort from Apollo at Delphos, attempted warres against Cyrus kinge of Persia, who in those warres was ouerthrowen, and taken prisoner after he had raigned XIIII. yeares, and was broughte by the Persians to Cyrus. Then Cyrus caused a stacke of woode to be piled vp, and Cræsus fettred with giues, was set vpon the same: who then remembring the saying of Solon, that no liuing man was blessed, or in all pointes happie, cried out in lamentable wyse, “O Solon! Solon! Solon!” which Cyrus hearing, caused his interpreters to demaund of him, what the same Solon was. Cræsus with much difficultie toulde what he was, and declared all the talke betwene him and Solon. Wherof when Cyrus heard the report, he acknowledged himselfe to be also a man, and sore repented that he went about to burne him, which was equal vnto him in honour and riches, confessing nothing to be stable and certaine in the life of man. Wherupon he commaunded the fire to be taken awaye, which then began to flame. And so with much a doe, he was deliuered. Then Cyrus asked him, who gaue him counsaile to inuade his countrie, to make his frende his foe. “Euen my selfe (saide Cræsus) through vnhappie fate, by the perswasion of the Greekish God which gaue me counsaile, to make warres vpon thee: for there is no man so madde, that had rather desire warre then peace. For in peace sonnes burie their fathers, but in warres, fathers burie their children. But that these thinges be come to passe, I maye thancke the deuil’s good grace.” Afterward Cyrus intertained him very honourablie, and vsed his counsell, which he found very holsome and good.



Of a father that made suite, to haue his owne sonne put to death.

There was a man borne in Mardus (which is a Countrie adioyning vnto Persia) called Rhacon, that had seuen children. The yongest of them (named Cartomes,) afflicted diuers honest men with greate harmes and mischiefes. For which cause the father began to reforme him with words, to proue if he would amend. But he litle waying the good discipline of his father, it chaunced vpon a time that the Iustices of the countrie, repaired to the Sessions in that towne, where the father of the childe did dwell, Who taking his sonne, and binding his handes behinde him, brought him before the Iudges. To whom hee remembred by waye of accusation, all the mischiefes, which his sonne from time to time had committed, and desired the Iudges, that he might be condempned to die. The Iudges amazed with that request, would not themselues giue sentence against him, but brought both the father and the sonne, before Artaxerxes the king of Persia: in whose presence the father still persisted in the accusation of his sonne. “Why (quoth the king) canst thou finde in thy harte, that thine owne sonne should be put to death before thy face?” “Yea truly (quoth the father,) for at home in my garden, when the yong Lactuse begin to growe, I cutte of the bitter and sower stalkes from them: for pitie it were the mother Lactuse should sustaine sorow, for those bastard and degenerate shrubbes: which beinge taken awaye, she prospereth and encreaseth to great sweetenesse and bignes. Euen so (O kinge) if he be hanged that hurteth my whole familie, and offendeth the honest conuersation of his brethren, both my selfe shalbe increased, and the reste of my stocke and linage shall in like sort prosper and continue.” The king hearing those words, did greatly praise the wisedom of Rhacon, and chose him to be one of his Iudges, pronouncing these wordes before the multitude. “Hee that dare thus seuerely and iustly pronounce sentence vpon his owne child, doubtles he wil shew himselfe to be an incorrupt and sincere Iudge vpon the offences of other.” Then the kinge deliuered the yongman, from that presente faulte, threatninge him with most cruell death, if after that time, he were apprehended with like offence.



Water offered of good will to Artaxerxes King of Persia, and the liberall rewarde of the Kinge to the giuer.

There was a certaine Persian called Sinetas, that farre from his owne house mette king Artaxerxes, and had not wherwith to present him. For it was an order amonges the Persians, instituted by law, that euery man which met the king, should giue him a present. Wherfore the poore man because he would not neglecte his dutie, ranne to a Riuer called Cyrus, and taking both his hands full of water, spake to the king in this wise. “I beseech God that your maiestie may euermore raigne amonges vs. As occasion of the place, and mine ability at this instant serueth, I am come to honour your maiesty, to the intent you may not passe without some present, for which cause I giue vnto you this water. But if your grace had ones encamped your selfe, I would go home to my house, for the best and dearest thinges I haue to honour your maiestie withall. And peraduenture the same shall not be much inferiour to the giftes, which other now do giue you.” Artaxerxes delighted with this fact, sayde vnto him. “Goode fellowe I thancke thee for this presente, I assure thee, the same is so acceptable vnto me, as the most precious gift of the worlde. First, because water is the best of all thinges, then because the Riuer, out of the which thou diddest take it, doth beare the name Cyrus. Wherefore I commaunde thee to come before me when I am at my campe.” In speakinge those wordes, he required his Eunuches to take the present, and to put it into a cuppe of gold. The king when he was lodged in his pauilion, sent to the man a Persian robe, a Cuppe of Golde, and a thousande Darices, (which was a coigne amonges the Persians, wherupon was the Image of Darius) willinge the messenger to saye vnto him, these wordes. “It hath pleased the king, that thou shouldest delighte thy selfe, and make mery with this gold, because thou diddest exhilarate his minde, in not suffering him to passe, without the honour of a present: but as necessitie 55 did serue thee, diddest humblie salute him with water. His pleasure is also, that thou shalt drincke of that water in this Cuppe of gold, of which thou madest him partaker.”

Artaxerxes hereby expressed the true Image of a princely minde, that would not disdaine cherefully to behold the homelie gifte (in our estimation rude, and nothing worth) at the handes of his poore subiect: and liberally to reward that duetifull zeale, with thinges of greate price and valour. To the same Artaxerxes, riding in progresse through Persia, was presented by one called Mises, a very great Pomegranate in a Siue. The king marueiling at the bignes therof, demaunded of him out of what garden he had gathered the same: he aunswered, out of his owne. Wherat the king greatlye reioysinge, recompenced him with princelye rewards, saying: “By the Sunne (for that was the common oth of the Persian kinges) this man is able with such trauaile and diligence in my iudgement to make of a litle citie, one that shal be large and great.” Which wordes seeme to declare, that all thinges by care, sufficiente paine and continual labour, may against nature, be made more excellent and better.



The loue of Chariton and Menalippus.

Nowe will I rehearse a fact of the tyrant Phalaris farre discrepante from his conditions, because it sauoureth of great kindnes and humanitye, and seemeth not to be done by him. Chariton was an Agrigentine borne, which is a towne in Sicilia, and a great louer of beauty, who with ardent affection loued one Menalippus, which was also borne in that Citie, of honest conditions and of excellente forme and comelines. This tyraunt Phalaris hindred Menalippus in a certaine sute: for he contending in iudgement with one of Phalaris frendes, the tyraunt commaunded him to giue ouer his suite: whervnto, because he was not obedient, he threatned to put him to death, except he would yelde. Notwithstanding, Menalippus ouer came him in law, and the noble men which were the frends of Phalaris, would giue no sentence, but brought the matter to a Nonesuite; which the yong man takinge in ill part, said he had receiued wrong, and confessed to his frend Chariton the wrong he had sustained, requiring his ayde to be reuenged upon the tyrant. He made other yonge men priuie to his conspiracie, such as he knewe woulde be ready and apte for that enterprise. Chariton perceyuinge the rage and furie of his frende, knowinge that no man would take his parte for feare of the tyraunt, began to disswade him, sayinge, that he himselfe went aboute the like attempte, a litle before, to deliuer his country into libertie from present seruitude, but he was not able to sort the same to any effect, without great daunger: wherefore he praied hym to commit the consideration thereof vnto him, and to suffer him to espie a time apt and conuenient. Menalippus was content: Chariton reuoluing with himselfe that deuise, woulde not make his deare frend a partaker of the fact least it shoulde be perceiued, but he alone took vppon him to do the deede, that onely himselfe might sustaine the smart; wherefore taking a sword in his hande, as he was seeking way to giue the assault vpon the tyraunt, his enterprise was disclosed, and Chariton apprehended by the Guarde, which for the tyrauntes defence, diligently attended about him. 57 From thence he was sent to the Jaole, and examined vpon interrogatories to bewraye the rest of the conspiratours; for which hee suffered the racke, and the violence of other tormentes. Afterwardes, Menalippus remembring the constancie of his frende, and the crueltye by him stoutly suffered, went to Phalaris and confessed vnto him that not onely he was priuy to that treason, but also was the aucthour thereof. Phalaris demaundinge for what cause he did it, tolde him the consideration before rehearsed, which was the reuokinge of sentence, and other iniuries done vnto him. The tyraunt maruaylinge at the constant frendshippe of those twaine, acquited them both, but vppon condition that both shoulde depart oute of the citie and countrie of Sicilia. Neuerthelesse, he gaue them leaue to receiue the fruites and commodities of their reuenues. In record and remembrance of whose amitie, Apollo sang these Verses.

The raysers vp of heauenly loue,
amonges the humaine kinde:

Were good Chariton and Menalippe,
whose like vnneths we finde.

This Phalaris was a most cruell tyraunte of the citie of Agrigentine in Scicilia, who besides other instrumentes of new deuised tormentes, had a Bull made of Brasse, by the art and inuention of one Perillus: into which Bull, all such as were condemned to death were put, and by reason of extreame heate of fire made vnder the same, those that were executed, yelled foorth terrible soundes and noyses, like to the lowing of a Bull. For which ingine and deuise, Perillus thinking to obtaine great reward, was for his labour, by commaundement of the tyraunt, throwen into the Bull, being the first that shewed the proofe of his deuise. Within a while after, also Phalaris himselfe, for his great crueltie, was by a general assault, made vpon him by the people, haled into the same Bull and burned: and althoughe this tyraunte farre excelled in beastlye crueltie, yet there appeared some sparke of humanitie in him, by his mercye extended vpon Chariton and Menalippus, the two true louers before remembred. The same Phalaris wrote many proper and short Epistles, full of vertuous instructions, and holsome admonitions.



Kinge Cyrus perswaded by Araspas, to dispose himselfe to loue a ladie called Panthea, entreth into a pretie disputation and talke of loue and beautie. Afterwards Araspas himselfe falleth in loue with the saide ladie, but she indued with greate chastitie, auoydeth his earnest sute. And when shee heard tell that her husbande was slaine in the seruice of Cyrus, she killed herselfe.

Before the beginning of this Historie, I thought good by way of Proeme, to introduce the wordes of an excellente writer called Lodouicus Cælius Rhodoginus, who saith that S. Hierome the most holy and eloquent father, affirmeth that vertues are not to be pondered by the sexe or kinde, by whom they be done, but by the chaste and honest minde; wherewith if euer any woman was affected, truly it was the fayre Ladie Panthea: for which I would no man should blame me of vngodlines, or indiscretion, in that I do remember a woman mentioned in profane authours, because at this present I am not minded to make vewe of Christe his secretes which are his deuine Scriptures, wherein be contayned the Ghostly liues of sacred dames, wherein also aboundantly doth shine and glitter, the celestiall mercie of our heauenly Father. But let the Reader remember that we be now conuersant in the auncient monuments of other profane aucthours, and out of them do select most pleasant places to recreat ech weary minde. This Panthea therfore as Xenophon writeth, and partly as S. Hierome reporteth, was the wyfe of Abradatas a noble personage, and in warlicke factes very skilfull, dearely beloued of Cyrus king of Persia, with whom this Lady Panthea was captiue, at the ouerthrow of the Assyrians. King Cyrus then after his enemyes were vanquished, hearinge tell of this gentlewoman, called vnto him one of his dearest frends named Araspas which was a Median borne, the very minion, playe felow, and companion of Cyrus from his youth: to whom for the great loue that he bare him, he gaue the Median robe of from his owne backe at his departure from Astiages into 59 Persia. To this gentleman, king Cyrus committed the custodie of the ladie, and of her tente. Abradatas her husbande (when she was taken prisoner) was before sente in ambassage to the king of Bactria by the Assirian king, to intreate of peace, because he was his familiar frend. When Araspas had receiued the keeping of the ladie: he asked Cyrus whether he had seen her, “No truly” said Cyrus. “Then haue I (saide Araspas): and haue chosen her specially for your owne person. And when we came into her pauilion, none of us could tell which was she, for she set vppon the grounde, with all her women about her, and her apparell was like vnto her maides. But we desirous to know which was the maistres, beheld them all, and by and by shee seemed to excell them all, although she satte with her face couered, loking downe vpon the grounde: and when we bad her to rise vp, all the rest rose up also. She did farre surmounte her maides, as well in making and lineamentes of body, as in good behauiour and comelinesse, although she was clad in simple apparell: the teares manifestly ranne downe her eyes vppon her garments, distilling downe euen to her feete; to whom he that was most auncient amonges vs said: ‘Be of good chere lady: we heare tell that you haue a very valiaunte man to your husbande, such one whose practize and experience is well knowen and tryed amongs greatest princes, notwithstanding we haue chosen for you a gentleman, that is not inferiour to him, either in beautie, force, wisedome or valiaunce. And we do verely beleeue, that if there be any man in this world, worthie of admiration, it is Cyrus our Prince and Lorde, whose paragon wee haue chosen you to bee.’ When the Lady hearde them saye so, she tare the attirement from her head and body, she cried out, and all her maides skriched with her. At which times the greatest part of her face appeared, and so did her necke and handes: And assure your selfe (Cyrus) to vs that viewed her well, it seemed impossible, that such a creature coulde be borne of mortall parentes in Asia. Therefore sir, looke vppon her in any wise.” To whom Cyrus said, “The more praise ye giue her, the lesse minde I haue to see her, if shee be such one as you haue saide.” “And whye so?” (quoth Araspas). “Because (sayde Cyrus) if I should go to see her, hearing you make this reporte of her beautie (leasure not seruinge me 60 thereunto) I am afraide, lest she would sone alure me to go many times to behold her. Whereby I might perchaunce, grow negligent in my matters of greatest importance.” The yong gentleman smiling, said, “Thincke you Cyrus, that the beauty of a woman, can force a man vnwilling, to attempt a thinge that should not be meete for him. If nature haue that force in her, she would compell all men alike. Do you not see, that fire burneth all men after one sort, because it is his nature? Beautifull thinges be not had in equall estimation, some be of great price, some not so, some do regarde this, some that. For loue is a voluntarie thing, and euery man loueth what he list. The brother is not in loue with the sister, but of another she is loued. The father is not in loue with the doughter, and yet she is beloued of another. For feare and law are able enough to restraine loue. But if there were a law made to commaund men, that they which did not eate, should not be hungrie, and they that did not drinke, should not be a thirst, and that no man should be cold in Winter, and hotte in Sommer, that lawe coulde not compell men to obeye: for men by nature be subiect to those infirmities. But to loue, is a thinge free and voluntarie. Euery man loueth thinges that be his owne, as his apparell and other his necessaries.” Wherunto Cyrus replied: “If loue be voluntary: how can it be that a man may abandon the same, when he liste? But I haue seene men weepe for sorowe of loue: I haue knowen them that haue beene slaues to loue, who before they haue loued, haue thoughte thraldome, the greatest euill: geuing awaye manye thinges, which had beene better for them to haue kept: and haue prayed to God to be exonerated of loue, aboue all other diseases, and yet coulde not be deliuered, being bound with stronger imprisonment then if they had beene tied with chaines, yelding themselues to their louers, seruing them with all obedience. And when they be hampered with such mischiefes, they seeke not to auoide them.” “They do so in deede as you saye (aunswered the yong man:) And therefore such louers be miserable, wishing still to die and yet still continue in their woe and calamitie: And where there be a thousande wayes to bereue them of life, yet they do not die. Some of them fall to stealing and robbing of other men. But when they haue robbed 61 and stolen anye thing thou with the first thinkinge theft vnnecessary, doest condemne them as theeues, whom thou dost not pardon, but punish. In like maner the beautifull doe not councell men to loue them, or couet that is not lawful: But miserable men shewing themselues inferiour to all lustes and desires, doe in the ende accuse Loue to be the authour of their miserie. Good and honest men, althoughe they desire golde, beautifull horses and faire women, yet they can well ynoughe abstaine from them all, as not subiect to them more then is meete: For I my selfe haue beholden this woman, which seemeth to be a surpassing faire wight: and yet I am now with you, I ryde and do other thinges accordinge to my dutie.” “Peraduenture (said Cyrus) you went soner awaye, then loue coulde haue time to fasten vppon you: For fire touchinge a man, doth not straite burne him: And woode is not by and by in flame, yet would I not willingly touch fire, nor behold beautiful persons: and I would giue you counsaile Araspas, to beware how you suffer your eyes to rolle, and wander vpon faire women: for the fire burneth them, that touch it: and beautifull folke, do kindle them, that behold them a farre of, in such wise as they burne for loue.” “I warrant you Cyrus (sayd Araspas:) for if I do continually loke vpon them, I wil not so be drowned in loue, as the same shall prouoke me to do any thing that doth not become mee.” “You saye well, sayd Cyrus, Therfore keepe this woman as I bid you, and loke wel vnto her: For peraduenture she is taken in good time.” And so they departed: The yong gentleman marking the singuler beautie of the Lady, and perceyuing her great honesty, he hauing custodie of her, thoughte he woulde do her pleasure, and by gesture sawe that she was not ingrate and vnthanckfull, but very diligent: She caused her seruauntes to prepare all thinges in readines at his comming in: and if he were by chaunce sicke, shee toke order that he shoulde lacke nothinge: vpon which occasions, he fell in loue with her: and no maruaile, for she was (as before is saide) a woman very fayre and amiable. Afterwards king Cyrus desirous to send a spie into the countrie of Lydia, to learne what the Assyrians did: Araspas which had the keepinge of the fayre Lady, seemed most mete for that purpose. But Araspas chaunced to fall in loue with the Ladie, in suche wise 62 as he was forced to breake his minde vnto her, for the satisfying of his pleasure: which request, like a faithfull and louing woman to her absent husband, she denyed. Howbeit she would not accuse Araspas to Cyrus, being a fraide to set variaunce betweene frendes. Araspas thinkinge it a great shame and reproche vnto him, not to obtaine his desire: threatened the Lady, that if she would not yeld to his request, he would haue it perforce. Then the woman fearing violence, kepte the thing no longer secrete, but sente one of her Eunuches to Cyrus, to discouer the whole matter: which when he heard, he laughed hartely at Araspas, that sayde and made his vaunte that he was superiour to loue, sending Artabasus with the Eunuch, to commaund him not to force the woman: but if he could by fayre meanes allure her, he would not be against him. When Artabasus came to Araspas, he rebuked him, both for his infidelity in the thinge committed vnto his charge, and also for his wickednesse, iniurie, and incontinencie. Wherwithall Araspas wepte for sorowe, beinge oppressed wyth shame, and confounded with feare, for the displeasure of Cyrus: whiche thing Cyrus vnderstanding, called him, and priuely sayd thus vnto him. “I see Araspas that you be afraied of me, and much ashamed: but be contente, for I knowe that the goddes haue bene vanquished with loue, and haue learned what thinges the wisest men haue suffered for loue: and I haue accused my selfe, bicause I could not conteine, being in companie with faire personages: and of this mishappe happened to you, I my selfe am the occasion, for I compelled you to that inuincible matter.” Araspas making aunswere sayd: “You be in this thing, O Cyrus, euen like vnto your selfe, as you be in all other: you be mercifull, and full of clemencie: but the brute that shall rise hereof is, that whiche maketh me moste pensife, for so sone as the rumour of my calamitie is dispersed, mine enemies will reioyce, and my frendes will counsaill me to flee, lest youre maiestie do hainously take reuenge of mine offence.” “Well Araspas, said Cyrus, by that opinion and brute, you shall do me greatest seruice, and profite very muche my confederates.” “How can that be (said Araspas)? where in for that respect shall I be able to doe you any seruice?” “If presently (quoth Cyrus) you do make as though 63 you fledde from me, and by going to myne enemies, you maye wynne of them great credite.” “Verely (sayd Araspas) I suppose that I and my frendes, might raise a rumour indeede, that I am fled from you for feare.” “So may you (sayd Cyrus) returne vnto vs againe, when you knowe our enemies secretes; for I thinke they will make you priuie to all their counsell and deuises: and you being in credit, shall be made priuie to all their appointementes whiche wee desire to knowe.” “I will euen nowe depart (sayd Araspas) for it is very likely, that this my departure, may seme to be an argument of trouth, bicause I seme to flie for feare of punishement.” “Can you in that maner forsake faire Panthea” (quoth Cyrus). “Truely (said he) it euidently nowe appeareth, that I am endewed with two mindes: with the one I haue plaied the philosopher, with loue that vntrue Sophistre: for ther is no one minde which is good and badde, and at one time is rapt with the loue of good and euil thinges, ne yet at one instant can wil and will not together. Wherefore it is manifest, that ther be two mindes; when the good minde ruleth, it doth things that be honest, when the euill is superiour, it worketh ill: and now the good minde, by making you his frende and confederate, doth puissantly gouerne.” “Well (sayde Cyrus) if you goe, you must beware, that your credite may increase amonges them: tell them hardly the somme of our indeuours, but in suche wise as our doinges may bee lettes to their practises. And this shall hinder their deuises muche, if you saie that we determine to inuade their countrie: for hearing this, they will not assemble their whole power, euery man fearing his priuate part: and see that you tary with them a good space, and looke which partes they meane sonest to approche, the same be moste conuenient for vs to knowe: and bid them to be ready, whensoeuer they thinke time: for when you shall depart from them, although they know you to be priuie to their order, yet they must needes kepe the same, and be afrayd to alter it, lest they confounde them selues through their sodaine chaunge.” Thus Araspas departing, telling his moste trustie seruauntes what hee would have done in this matter, went his waye: but Panthea hearing that Araspas was gone, sent to Cyrus this message conteining these woordes.

64 “Bee not sorie Cyrus, for the departure of Araspas to your enemies, for if you wyll suffer mee to sende for my husbande, I doe promyse you, that he shalbe a farre more assured frende then Araspas was. And I knowe he wyll come with so great power (for your ayde) as hee is able to make, for the father of the Assirian kyng, whiche nowe raigneth, was his frende. But this kyng vppon a tyme, went about to make a diuorcement, betweene my husbande and mee: therefore, knowyng that this kyng, doth disdayne my husbandes good fortune, by hauing mee to wife, I am sure hee woulde sone be perswaded to serue so noble a Prince as you be.” Cyrus hearing her saye so, commaunded her to sende for her husbande, which she did. Abradatas knowing his wiues tokens, and vnderstanding the effecte of her message, spedely came to Cyrus with two thousand horsemen. They that were the Persian spies, sent to Cyrus, declaring what he was. Cyrus commaunded that forthwith he should be brought vnto his wife. When the wife and husbande sawe eche other, they imbraced like twoo that mette after suche troublesome aduentures. Then Panthea tolde her husbande the goodnes, temperance, and clemencie of Cyrus towarde her. Who hearing of her interteignement, sayde: “What shall I doe Panthea, to render thankes to Cyrus, for you and mee?” “What other thing (saide Panthea) but to indeuour your selfe, to bee suche a trustie frende to him, as he hath bene to you.” Then Abradatas went to Cyrus, and when he sawe hym, he tooke him by the right hande and sayde: “For the pleasures that you haue done mee, O Cyrus, I haue no more to saye, but that I assure my selfe vnto you, as your frende, your seruaunt and confederate: and what soeuer I see you desyre, I shall imploye my selfe, to the vttermoste of my power, to ayde and helpe you in the same.” To whome Cyrus sayde, “I accepte you, and for this tyme dismisse you, to goe and suppe with your wife: then you shall agayne be placed in my Tente about me amonges your frendes and myne.” And when Abradatas sawe the preparation of Cyrus, that hee made against his enemies, he addressed to make prouision of armure, and thinges meete for the fielde for hym selfe. His wyfe Panthea, had made of her treasure, a curate and helmet of golde, and likewyse his vambraces, and had furnished the horses of the chariot with brasen barbes.

65 When Cyrus had spoken diuerse oracions, for the incoraging of his armie, and had taken order, howe all thinges might prosperously succede, diuided his captaines into seuerall battailes, appointing euery of them their charge: Abradatas shewed him selfe verie braue, and marciall in his Chariot: who being about to put on a linnen breast plate, according to his countrie maner, his wife Panthea brought him an armure of golde, and a purple gowne down to his feete, after robe fashion, and a crimsen skarfe. These thinges had she priuely wrought for her husbande, knowing the measure of his harnesse, whiche when her husband sawe, he marueiled, and said to Panthea. “Wife, haue you not defaced your jewels, to make this armure?” “Truelye (said Panthea) I haue a more precious jewell then this; for if you proue a valiant gentleman to other, as you haue done a louing and trustie husband to me, you are my dearest jewell.” In saying thus, she armed him, and would that no man should haue sene her: for the teares trickled downe her chekes. Abradatas being in the fronte of the armie, armed after this maner, appered a gallant and braue captayne, whose nature and complexion agreed to his comelinesse. And taking the raines of the chariot in his hands, he prepared him selfe to mounte vp. Then Panthea, all other being commaunded to stande backe, saide: “Truely Abradatas, if there be women, that esteme their husbandes better then their owne liues, I thinke you knowe that I am one of them. Therefore what neede I to expresse euery particular thing: my factes, as I thinke, do perswade you more then woordes. And thus indeuouring my selfe towardes you, our mutuall loue is such, as I had rather be buried quicke with you, being a noble man, then to liue in shame. I regarde you with the beste, and my selfe not as the worste. Great thankes we owe to Cyrus, for his Princely interteignement of me, being a captiue and chosen for him selfe, not like a prysoner with shame, but free, without spot or blemishe to mine honor: and vsed me, as though I had bene his brothers wyfe. And after Araspas departed from him, whiche had the custodie of me, I promised him, that if hee would giue mee leue to sende for you, that you should become more loiall and assured to him, then euer Araspas was.” Abradatas delited with her chaste communication, and tenderly laying his 66 hand vpon her head: looking vp to heauen, made this praier. “O most mightie Iuppiter, graunte that I may shewe my selfe an housbande meete for Panthea, and a frende worthy of Cyrus, who hath so curteously dealt with vs.” Thus speaking at the entrie of the chariot seate, he went vp, and being set downe, the gouernour of the chariot made fast the seate. Panthea hauing nowe nothing to embrace, kissed the chariot seate, and so he went forth. But Panthea followed him priuelie, till he tourned and spied her, to whome he sayde: “Be of good conforte Panthea, Adieu and farewell.” Then her Eunuches and women, conueighed her to her own chariot, couering the same with curteines.

Cyrus after the battaile and victorie, had against Cræsus, called diuerse of his men vnto him, and demaunded if they sawe Abradatas. “For I marueile (sayde hee) that he commeth not vnto me: for before the battell many times he appered in my presence.” Whereunto one of his men answered: “The cause is (sir) that he is not aliue, for hee was slayne in the battaile, as he inuaded the Ægiptians. The rest of his companie, except his owne souldiours, fled from him, when they sawe him incountre with the Ægiptian battaile. And then his wife Panthea tooke him vp, and laid him in her owne wagon; conueighing him to a certayne place, by the ryuer Pactolus. And (they say) that her Eunuches doe digge a graue to burie him. His wife sitteth vpon the ground, apparelled with those furnitures that he did weare, leaning her head vpon her knees.” With whiche wordes, Cyrus was driuen into greate sorowe, clapping him selfe vppon the thighe, and by and by mounted on his horse, and taking with him M. horsemen, he went to mourne for his frende Abradatas. Moreouer he commaunded Gadatas and Gobryas, to carrie the fairest apparell they coulde get, to his good and honest frende that was dead, and to assemble his oxen and horse, and all his beastes and cattell, whersoeuer they were, that they might be sacrificed to Abradatas. But when he sawe Panthea sitting vpon the ground and the dead corps lying by her, he wept for sorowe, and said: “Alake good woman, thou trustie and faithfull wife, doest thou thus depart and leaue vs alone.” And with those words he tooke her by the right hand, and therewithall was presented the dead hand of Abradatas, which the Ægiptians 67 in the battaile had cut of: whiche when Cyrus sawe, hee then lamented more then he did before: and Panthea cried out. Who comforted by Cyrus, kissed the dead hand, bestowing the same againe in place, so well as she coulde, and sayde: “Thus it is chaunced Cyrus, but why do you beholde the dead body? This death I knowe (quoth she) hee hath suffred for my sake, being none of the lest aduentures whiche he hath hazarded for me. And perchaunce Cyrus, he would haue done no lesse for you. For I exhorted him (like a foole as I was) to attempte this aduenture, to thintent he might haue shewed him selfe a frende of worthy remembraunce; whiche request he accepted, to pleasure you and me: he hath valiantly bestowed his life and is dead, and I vnhappy caitife that gaue him first counsayle, do sitte here aliue.” Cyrus for a certayn space holding his peace, powred forth aboundance of teares, and then said: “This gentleman (lady Panthea) hath a commendable ende, for he died in victorie; but take these furnitures, and adorne him there withall:” for Gobryas and Gadatas were come with riche and costly apparel. Then hee sayde: “Bee sure he shalbe honoured with greater thinges then these. A monument also, according to his worthinesse, shalbe erected vpon his graue. Sacrifice shalbe offered, meete for a man so valiant and puissaunt. Thou likewyse shalt not be left comfortles; for in consideration of thy great chastitie and vertue, I will honour thee and appointe a garrison to conuey thee into what place thou arte disposed to goe.” To whom Panthea sayd: “Be of good chere Cyrus, I wyll not hide from you the place, wherein I am determined to bestowe my selfe.” Cyrus hearing her say so, went away pitying the woman that was bereued of suche a husbande, and lamenting the man that had lefte suche a wife behinde him, and was like no more to see her againe. But Panthea commaunded her Eunuches to go out of the place, till she had satisfied her selfe with teares, and lamentations for her husbande: for she prepared to kil her selfe, requiring her nursse to tarie by her, and commaunded her, that when she was dead, she should shroude her and her husbande in one garment. The nursse perswaded the Ladie, with humble wordes and supplications, from her determined death, but she could not preuaile: and when she sawe that her 68 maistres tooke her woordes in ill parte, she satte downe and wepte. But Panthea with a sworde, whiche she had prepared long time for that purpose, killed her selfe, and laying her head vpon her husbandes breaste, she yelded from her chaste bodie, her innocent ghost. The Nursse seing that, cried out, and couered them both, as she was commaunded. Cyrus vnderstanding the woman’s facte, was amazed, and spedely went to see if she might be holpen. The Eunuches (being three in nomber) seing their maistres dead, they likewyse drewe out their swordes, and killed theimselues in the place, where they were commaunded to stande. In memorie of which facte, Cyrus erected a noble monument to the perpetuall prayse of chastitie and honest loue. Which (as Xenophon reporteth) remained to his daies, with their names ingrauen in Syrian letters.



Abdolominus is from poore estate, aduaunced by Alexander the Great, through his honest life, to be kyng of Sydone.

Alexander the mightie and noble Emperour, after he had subdued Darius the Persian kyng: at length came to Sydone, a famous citie, by reason of the auncient fame of the first founders. The same citie was vnder the gouernement of Strato, and mainteined by the puissaunce of Darius, who yelding more by force of the people, then by free wil, was thought vnworthy to raigne and rule there. Alexander at the request of his frende Ephestion, willed him to appointe one to be king, whom the citizens should thinke moste worthy of that state. After profers of Ephestion to diuers of the yonge gentlemen of that citie, and refusall made of their partes, they alledged that none ought to enioy the dignitie of their king, but such as were descended of the royall bloud. Thinking none to be more meete for that state then one Abdolominus, who being of the royall race, for pouertie was inforced to inhabite a litle cotage without the citie. His good life was the cause of his pouertie, as it is to many other: and labouring in his daily trauell, vnderstoode not the brute of the warre that troubled all Asia. Ephestion and the yonge gentlemen repaired vnto him with garmentes to garnishe him like a king, and founde him making cleane his garden, whome they saluted, and saide: “You must exchaunge your homelie clothes with these riche robes, wherewith wee here present you. Washe your bodie that nowe is foule and vncleane, take vppon you the courage of a kyng, and in this state (wherof you be worthy) expresse the same sobrietie and continencie you doe presently vse. And when you sitte in your regall seate, vsing the authoritie of life and death ouer your subiectes, do in no wise forget the fortune, wherin you were before you were made king, ne yet for what purpose you did receiue it.The matter semed to Abdolominus like a dreame, and demaunded of theim, if their wittes were sounde, that did deride him in 70 that sorte. But when he sawe them bynde by othe their doynges to bee of trouthe, he washed him self, and taking the garment, which was purple and golde, went with them into the place. The fame was diuersly bruted of this facte: some fauoured the cause, and some did froune against it. But suche as were riche, did reproue his pouertie and base estate, to those that were neare aboute Alexander, which made the kynge to sende for him. And when he had long beholden his manner and order sayd: “Your personage doth not degenerate from the fame of your progenitors, but I would fayne knowe, howe pacient you were in the tyme of your pouertie.” “I would to God (quoth Abdolominus) I could beare my prosperitie in lyke case now I am kyng. These handes did get that I desired. And hauing nothing, I lacked nothing.” Whiche woordes made Alexander conceiue a good opinion of hym, to whome he restored the riches of the kyng before, and diuers other thinges, taken awaye by the Persians.



The oration of the Scythian Ambassadours to Alexander the great, reprouing his ambicion, and desire of Empire.

Tvllie in the firste booke of his Offices, saieth, that very miserable, is ambicion and desire of honour: and that moste men, whiche be giuen to cupiditie of gouernement, honor and glorie, bee forgetfull of Iustice. The truthe of whiche graue wordes, vttred by a Prince of eloquence, the rude and barbarous Ambassadours of Scythia, in plaine and homelie talke, boldly did pronounce to king Alexander (surnamed Magnus) when hee was about to inuade their countrie. For when he had within three dayes finished twelue thousand boates, to transporte his armie ouer the famous ryuer of Tanais, (whiche deuideth Asia from Europa) against the poore Scythians, twenty Ambassadours of the Scythians came to Alexanders campe to speake with hym, to proue if they coulde by woordes withdrawe his entended purpose: Before whome when they were placed, the eldest of them spake these wordes.

“If the Goddes had giuen thee a bodie according to the immoderate desyre of thy mynde, the whole worlde coulde not be able to holde thee. With one of thy handes thou wouldest touche the Oriente, and with thy other hande the Occidente. And when thou haste gotten that, thou wylt desyre to knowe, where the brightnesse of the Diuine Maiestie is placed. Thus thou couetest after the thing, thou art not able to receyue. Out of Europa thou marchest into Asia, and out of Asia thou passest into Europa. Afterwardes, if thou doest vanquishe all mankynde, thou must make warre with woodes and Snowes, with Ryuers and wylde beastes. What? doest thou not knowe, that great trees growe long, and yet be rooted out of the grounde in a moment? He is a foole that looketh after the fruite, and doeth not measure the height of the tree wheron it groweth. Take hede lest whyle thou doest contende to clymme to the toppe, thou fallest downe with the bowes whiche thou doest imbrace. The lion also sometyme is made the foode of the smalest byrdes: and rust consumeth iron. There is 72 nothing so firme, that is not in perill of the weake. What haue we to doe with thee? We neuer touched thy lande. What thou arte, and from whence thou commest, is it not lawefull for vs to bee ignoraunte, that liue in the waste wooddes? Wee can not be subiecte to any man, and wee desyre not to rule. Wee haue certaine giftes peculiar vnto vs, bicause thou shalt not be ignoraunte of the state of our nacion: the yoke of Oxen, the Plough, the Darte, and the Bowl: those things we vse, both with our frends and against our enemies. Vnto our frendes wee giue the fruictes, gotten with the labour of our Oxen. And with them in our Bowle, we sacrifice wine to the Goddes. Our enemies we strike with the Darte a farre of, and with the Speare nere at hande. After that sorte in tyme paste, wee ouercame the kyng of Scythia, and afterwardes the kyng of Media and Persia, and the waye was open vnto vs into Ægipt. But thou whiche doest boaste, that thou art come to persecute theues, art the common thefe of all nacions, whereunto thou makest thy repayre. The countrie of Lidia thou haste taken. Thou haste enioyed Syria. Thou doest possesse Persia, and the Bactrianes bee vnder thy power. Thou doest goe into India, and nowe thou extendest thy vnstable and gredie handes vppon our cattell. What neede haste thou of those ryches, whiche doe make thee so hungrie? Thou art the first of all men whiche with sacietie hast gotten famine, that the more thou hast, the more gredely thou couetest after thinges thou hast not. Doest thou not remember how long thou hast sticked about Bactria? And whiles thou goest about to bring them in subiection, the Sogdians begin to reuolte. Thus warre doth grow vnto thee of thy victorie. For be thou neuer so great, and puissant ouer other, yet there be none that can indure to be gouerned by straungers. Passe nowe Tanais, thou shalt perceiue what breadth it beareth, and yet thou shalt neuer ouertake the Scythians, whose pouertie is swifter then the armie, which carieth the spoyle of so many nacions. For when thou shalt thinke vs to be farre of, thou shalt see vs within thy campe, with like swiftnesse we folowe and flee awaye. I heare that our desertes and voide places, be mocked by the Greeke prouerbes, we couet rather those desertes and places vnhabited, then cities and plentifull soyles. Therefore holde fast thy fortune, for 73 she is tickle and can not be holden against her will. Folow thou the counsaile that is good, specially whyles the time doth serue. Bridle thy felicitie, and thou shalt rule it the better. Our countriemen say, that Fortune is without feete, and that she hath onely handes and wynges, but when she stretcheth forth her hand, shee will not suffer her winges to be touched. Finally, if thou be a God thou oughtest to geue benefites to mortall men, and not to take away the commodities they haue already: but if thou bee a man, consider that thou art alway the same that thou arte. It is a foolishe part to remember those things, and to forget thy selfe. Those people that fele not thy warres, thou maiest use as thy frendes. For frendship is most firme and stable emonges equall, and those seeme to be equall that haue not vsed force and violence emonges them selues. Beware thou take them not for thy frendes whome thou doest subdue, and bring in obedience. There is no frendship betwene the maister and the seruaunt, and in peace the lawe of Armes is obserued. Beleue not that the Scythians doe bynde frendship with any othe: for they make their othe by obseruation of faith. The maner of the Greekes is to iustifie their factes, by inuocation of their Goddes to witnesse: but wee know, that Religion consisteth in faith her self. They which do not reuerence to men, do begile the Goddes. Thou hast no nede of him to be thy frende of whose frendship thou standest in doubt. Thou hast vs as kepers of Asia and Europa: for we should touche the countrie of Bactria, were it not for Tanais, whiche deuideth vs. And beyonde Tanais all is ours so farre as Thracia, and the fame is that Thracia bordreth vppon Macedonia: wee being neighbours, to bothe thy dominions, chose nowe whether thou wylte haue vs frendes or foes.” These were the woordes of the Scythians. Howe be it these homelie and plaine aduertisementes, could not diuerte kyng Alexander from his intended enterpryse, and according to his desired successe, he ouercame them.



The woordes of Metellus of mariage, and wiuing with the prayse and dispraise of the same.

In the presence of many learned men of Rome, Metellus surnamed Numidicus, for his victories and triumphe ouer Iugurtha king of Numidia, a countrie in Africa, in the tyme of his office of Censor, made an Oration before the Romain people, of mariage of wyues, vppon Occasion that hee hymselfe, by diuers of his frendes, was perswaded to that state. Against whiche hee used manye vehemente inuectiues and termes, whiche Aulus Gellius omitteth, for that hee was loth to offend (when report therof should be bruted) the nice eares, and louing mindes of the matrones, and dames of that citie: knowing well that both they, and their successours, would not forget reprochefullie to combate with his spirite and shadowe, when they were not able (being preuented by earthly vermine) by anye meanes to impeche his corps, in tombe fast closed and buried. But when I do remember, howe the same was said, and also noysed emongs a bande of heathen soules, whose mindes for want of godly skill, could not disgest such hainous blastes, as sounded in a time prophane, wherin no sacred voyce of christian lore was breathed vnto redemed flocke: I call to mynde that now I may in time of grace, right frankely write, without offence to humble state of matrone kinde, in these our daies, inspired with spirit of humble hart, whose eares no taunting talke can griue: wherefore with blushles face, and vnstaied penne, I meane the woordes, of that well learned wighte, in open audience to pronounce, and by this booke, to suche elected sort for to declame: but loth for to offende, as one well bet in mariage schole, I must, a pœna & culpa, forgiuenes craue: lest some shreude heathen dame (for other doubt I not) doe from her graue Al’ Arme crie out: and then to fight with buried ghostes: 75 my manhode will not serue, but by and by with posting legges, and flying fast I will retire. But doubtes here be brought foorth, where doubting cause is none. Gellius therfore in persone of the vnmaried knight, in wordes right fewe, this sentence of the maried state, doth vtter and proclayme.

“O ye Romaines, if we could be without wiues, then all we should wante that griefe. But bicause nature hath so prouided, that neither with them we can liue and passe our time conueniently, nor yet by any meanes be without them satisfied, we ought rather to make preparation, for perpetuall health, then for short pleasure.” With which wordes, diuers of the Romaines were displeased, and founde fault with Metellus who (for that he went about, to exhorte the people to mariage) ought not by any meanes, to confesse any griefes and incommodities to be in the same. But in these wordes he seemed rather to disswade and terrefie, then to perswade and incourage; but contrarely he ought, rather to haue affirmed no sorowes and perplexities, to be in wedlocke, and if perchaunce any chaunced to be, they were but light, and easie to be borne and suffered, which for greater commodities and pleasures, might full well be forgotten, and those that were, happed not through natures vice, but by the default and ill behauiour of some maried folke. Howbeit, Titus Castritius supposed that Metellus spake well and worthely. “For (said he) a Censor ought to speake like a Censor, a Rhetorician like one that professed Rhetorike: it is giuen to Rhetoricians, to vse false sentences, bolde, subtile and captious: if so be, they be likely, and may by any action moue the hartes of men.” Moreouer he sayde, “that it was a shame for a Rhetorician, in an euil matter, to leaue out any thing vntouched.” “But truely Metellus (quoth he) is a holy man indued with grauitie and fidelitie, and that it was not decent for so honorable a personage, as he was, to speake any thing to the Romaine people, but that hee thought to be true, and likely to seme true to all men: specially sithe he intreated of such a matter, as by daily knowledge, common experience, and frequented vse of life, might well be comprehended and knowen. Therfore in geuing to vnderstande, a griefe notorious to al men, 76 he hath deserued by that oration, a fame of a diligent and faithfull man, bicause (to be short) he easely and redely perswaded, that a citie can not prosper and continue, without the vse of Matrimonie, which of all things is most assured and true.” This Titus Castritius was a teacher of Rhetorike in Rome, and in the same citie for declamation and teaching, was in greatest reputacion: a man of right great grauitie and authoritie: and of the Emperour Adrian, for his vertue and learning well estemed.



Of Lais and Demosthenes.

Phocion a peripatetique Philosopher, in a booke which he made, intituled Cornucopia, writeth this historie of Demosthenes and Lais the harlot of Corinthe, saying: that Lais by reason of her excellent beautie, and pleasaunt fauour, demaunded for the vse of her body, a great somme of money: vnto whom was resorte of all the ryche men of Græcia: but she woulde not admitte them to that facte, except they would first giue vnto her, her demaunde. The quantitie of whiche somme was exceading greate, whereof rose the prouerbe. Non cuiuis homini contingit, adire Corinthum.

Not euery man can well attaine

To goe to Corinthe towne.

He that traueiled to Corinthe to Lais, not able to giue and bestowe, that somme vpon her went in vaine. To this woman that noble Philosopher Demosthenes secretly repayred, praying her to giue him leaue: but shee demaunding of him tenne thousand Denarios (amounting very nere to three hundred pounde of our money) astonied at the wantonnesse of the woman, and discouraged with the greatnesse of the somme, retourned backe again, saying: I come not to buye repentaunce so dere.



C. Fabritius and Æmillius Consuls of Rome, beyng promised that king Pyrrhus for a somme of money should be slaine (which was a notable enemie to the Romaine state) aduertised Pyrrhus thereof by letters, and of other notable thinges doen by the same Fabritius.

When Pyrrhus king of Epirus inferred warres vpon the Romaynes and was come into Italie, and there had prosperously fought, and atchieued the victory of two or three battailes, wherby the Romanes were brought to great distresse and most part of Italie had reuolted: one Timochares Ambraciensis, a frend of king Pyrrhus, secretely repaired to C. Fabritius then Consul, and told him, if he would giue him a reward, he would poyson the kinge, which hee said, he mighte easely bringe to passe because his sonnes, at table waited vpon king Pyrrhus cuppe. Hereof Fabritius wrote to the Senate requiring their aduise. The Senate depeached Ambassadours to the king commaunding them to saye nothing of Timochares, but to giue the kinge warning circumspectly to loke wel about him, to preuent such treason, as by those that were nerest him might be attempted. Thus much is written in the historie of Valerius Antiates. But Quadrigarius in the third booke, writeth that it was one Nicias and not Timochares, that went to Fabritius, and that those Ambassadours were not sente by the Senate, but by the Consuls, and that the kinge rendred praise and thanckes to the Romaines, restoring to them, all the prisoners, which he had taken. The Consuls that time were C. Fabritius and Æmilius. The tenour of which letters then sent to king Pyrrhus, the said Cl. Quadrigarius affirmeth to be this. “The Romaine Consuls send salutations to king Pyrrhus. We for thine iniuries, displeasures and wronges iustlie offended, for the valiaunte stomackes remayninge in vs, do studie and indeuour like enemies, to continue warres vpon thee: but it seemeth good vnto vs for the loue we beare to our faith, and for common example, to wishe thee well to do, whom by armes we be not able to vanquishe. There came vnto vs one Nicias, thy familiar frende, to 79 demaunde rewarde of vs, if secretely he did kill thee: whiche we vtterlye denied, and required him for that fact, to loke for no reward at our hands. Whereupon wee thought good to giue thee aduertisement hereof, lest if any such thing did chaunce, the cities should not thincke that we were priuie to the fact: for wee delite not to fight with giftes, rewards and treason.--Thou in the meane time, except thou take heede, art like to die: Farewel.” This was the aunciente order amonges the Romaines, that neuer were pleased by the cowardly ouerthrow of other, to winne fame and glorye. And because I rede an other excellente historie of the same Fabritius, I haue thought good to adde the same to this Nouell. When peace was concluded, betwene the Romaines and the Samnites, the Ambassadours of the Samnites repaired vppon a time to this Fabritius, who after they had remembred vnto him diuers and sundrie thinges, frendlye done in their behalfe, they offered vnto him for reward, a great summe of money, intreating him to receiue the same: which the Samnites did (as the report was) because they sawe, that he wanted many thinges, for the furniture of his house and maintenaunce, thinking the same also not to be sufficiently decente for his estate and calling: which Fabritius perceyuing, with his bare handes, hee touched his eares and eyes, and then strooked his face downeward, his noase, his mouth and throate, and the rest of his bodie, to the bottome of his bealie, answearing the Ambassadours in this wise. “That whiles hee was able to rule and gouerne all those members which he touched, he was sure to lacke nothing: wherefore (quoth he) these members, which be profitable and necessarye for my vse, will not suffer mee to receiue this moneye, whereof they knowe I haue no neede.” Hereby reprehending the foolish indeuour of these Samnites, in offring to him a bribe, which hee was neur accustomed to take for any cause, what soeuer he accomplished. Who stil shewed himselfe a man sincere and incorrupt.



A Scholemaister traiterously rendring the noble mens sonnes of Faleria to the hands of Camillus, was wel acquited and rewarded for his paines and labour.

Warres were addressed by the Romaines against the Falisques (a people of Italye, the ruines of the chiefe citie wherof do yet appeare sixe miles from Viterba) and an armye conscribed and sent thether, vnder the conduct of Furius Camillus. The Falisques vppon the approch of the Romaines, were constrayned to retire within their citie, thinking the same to be their most assured refuge. And they to continue their siege, incamped a mile from the citie, and determined throughly to besiege it, which in deede had like to haue beene of verye long continuance except fortune had giuen to the Romaine Captaine, for his tried and well approued valiaunce, victorie in time, which chaunced after this maner. It was a custome amonges the Falisques (obserued also in these oure dayes) to haue their children instructed by one Scholemaister, and him also to vse for their guide and companion in all games and pastimes. Amonges theym there was a Scholemaister, which taughte noble mennes sonnes, who in the time of peace, teachinge those children, and vsinge for theyr exercise to leade them abroade in the fieldes, kepte still that order, for all the warres before the gates, sometime wyth shorte walkes, sometime wyth longer for their disportes: and continuinge varietie of talke wyth his schollers longer then he was wont to do, at length he brought them to the Romaine campe, euen to the tent of Camillus, hoping thereby (by like) to haue beene well welcomed, and liberally rewarded: saying to Camillus, as detestable woords as the facte was traiterous and wicked: which was in effect--“That he was come with that present vnto him, to yelde those children into his hands whose parents were the principall of that Citie: and therby knew for certainty that the citie would surrender.” Camillus seeing that 81 fact, and hearing those words, said vnto him. “Thou arte not come (villane) to a people and Captaine, with this thy trayterous offer, semblable to thy selfe. We haue no aliaunce with the Falisques confirmed by compacte or humaine promise, but amitie wherunto nature doth bind vs, is and shall be for euermore betweene vs. Warre so well as peace, hath his law and right: which we haue learned to obserue with no lesse Justice, then constancie. We make no warre against boies, whom wee spare, whensoeuer we inuade or take any cities: but against armed men we fight, yea, and against such, as without offence, or prouocation of our partes, assailed the Romaines campe at the siege of the Veiens. Thou hast vanquished them so much as lyeth in thee, with a new kinde of victorie atchieued by treason: but I will subdue them by pollicie of the Romaines, by vertue, indeuour and armes, euen as I did the Veiens.” When he had spoken those wordes, he caused this trayterous scholemaister to be striped starke naked, and binding his handes behinde him, deliuered him to the children, with roddes in their handes, to whippe him home to the citie. When hee was in this order retourned, the people of the citie flocked together to see this sight. Then the magistrates assembled in counsaile, vpon this straunge occasion, and where before they were incensed with maruailous wrath and furie, rather desirous of vtter ouerthrow, then peace. Now their mindes were quite altered, and peace vniuersally demaunded. The fidelitie of the Romaines, and iustice of Camillus, both in Forum and Court was celebrated, and by general conformitie, Ambassadours were sente into the campe to Camillus, and from thence by Camillus sufferance, to the Senate of Rome, of purpose to yelde themselues to their gouernment, who being brought before the Senate spake these woordes. “Wee (fathers conscripte) vanquished by you and your Captaine, (where at neither God nor man oughte to be offended) haue yelded our selues to you, thinking that wee shall liue more happie, and better contented vnder your gouernmente, then by our owne lawes and liberties: a thing that maketh the victor more glorious and praise worthie, then anye other. By the successe of these warres, two holsome examples bee manifested to mankinde. Ye doe preferre fayth in warres before certaine victorie, and we, induced 82 by that faith, haue of our owne accord, presented victorie unto you. We be at your commaundement: sende hither commissioners, to receiue our weapons, our pledges and our citie, which standeth with the gates wide open. We hope well, that neither ye shall haue occasion to be miscontented with oure fidelitie, nor wee offended with your gouernment and Empyre.” For which facte greate thankes were attributed to Camillus, both by the Falisques and Romaynes.

Here appeared the face and true Image of that greate vertue, Justice, wherewith this noble man was truly affected. His noble nature was not able to abide any trayterous fact, done by vnnaturall Citizens, toward their owne countrie. No vngratitude of his owne countrie men, could withdrawe his nature from the zeale and loue he bare to his countrie. His condempnation by vnkinde Apuleius Saturninus the Tribune, for which he fledde to Ardea, could not let or impeach his magnanimitie from giuinge the Galles an ouerthrowe when they had sacked Rome, and sharpely besieged the Capitole: who in his absence (created Dictator,) by gathering together such Romaines as were fledde, vnwares set vpon the couetous Galles, as they were in controuersie for paimente of a golden summe of money, and thereby restored his countrie to libertie. Wherefore worthely might he be intitled, with the honourable name of a second Romulus. For as Romulus was the first builder and peopler of that citie, so was Camillus the vindicator and deliuerer of the same.



The Historie of Papyrius Pratextatus.

The same historie is written by Cato, in an oration which he made to his souldiours against Galba, contayninge in effecte as foloweth. The Senatours of Rome vsed before this time, to enter into the Senate house with their sonnes, Prætextatis, that is, in long robes garded about the skirtes with purple silke. When the Senate debated of graue and waightie matters, they euer deferred the same till the next day, forbiddinge that those causes should not be published, before they were throughly decreed. The mother of this yong gentleman Papyrius, which had been with his father in the Senate house, asked of him, what the fathers had done in the Senate house that day? Papyrius aunswered, that in any wise, he ought not to tell the secretes of the same. The mother more desirous to know then she was before, went about by faire meanes, foule wordes and correction, to vnderstand the secretes of the Senate, and the cause why the same were kept so silente. Wherefore she more earnestlye endeuoured to learne the same of her sonne. The yong man by compulsion of his mother, toke occasion to inuent a pleasaunt and mery lie, in this wise. “Mother (quoth he) the Senate doth deliberate and consult, whether it be more commodious and profitable for the common wealthe, that one man should haue two wiues, or whether one wife shoulde haue two husbandes.” When the old Ladie heard this she was abashed, and in fearefull wise goeth to the other Ladies and matrones of Rome, tellinge them, where about their husbands did consult. The next day the women flocked together in great traines, and in lamentable wise repaired to the Senate, beseching them that one woman might rather be maried to two husbands, then two wiues to one man. The Senatours entring into the Court, marueyled what toyes were in the womens heads, to make that demaunde. The yong gentleman Papyrius stepped foorth, declaring how importunate 84 his mother was, to know whereuppon they consulted the day before, and therefore he deuised that fained tale, to pacifie her desire. The Senatours hearing and perceyuing his good and honeste disposition, greatly commended and extolled his fidelity and witte. Howbeit, they made a lawe that from that time forth, none of their sonnes should come into the house with their father, but onely Papyrius. Who afterwardes receiued the surname of Prætextatus, to honour and beautifie his name, for his notable wysedome in keeping secretes, and holding his peace, in the time of that youthly age.



How Plutarche did beate his man, and of pretie talke touching signes of anger.

Avlus Gellius demaunding of the Philosopher Taurus, whether a wise man could be angrie? Taurus after he had disputed much of that affection, turned to Gellius and said: “This is mine opinion of the angrie man: but what the Philosopher Plutarche iudgeth thereof, I thincke it not a misse to tell thee. Plutarche had a bondman which was an vnthrift and wicked verlet, but geuen to learning and to disputation of Philosophie, whom vppon a time he did beate, making him to put of his coate, and to be whipped, for what offence I know not: he began to beate him: the fellow cryed out, that he had deserued no cause, why he ought to be so beaten. At length in continuance of his beating, he gaue ouer his crying complaintes, and began to vtter earneste and serious woordes, saying. ‘It was not Plutarche the Philosopher, that beate him: (he said) it was a shame for Plutarche to be angrie, and how he had heard him many times dispute of that vice of anger, and yet he had written a goodly booke thereof:’ with manye such words. ‘Why, (quoth Plutarche, with gentle and quiet debating of the matter:) thou lubbor, do I seeme to be angry with thee? Doest thou either by my countenaunce, by my talke, by my colour, or words, perceyue that I am angrie? Nether mine eyes be fierce, nor my mouth troubled: I cry not out a loude: I chaufe not in rage or fume: I speake no vnseemely woordes, whereof I take repentaunce: I tremble not. All which be signes and tokens of anger: which pretie notes of that vnseemely passion, ought to minister to all men, occasion to auoyde that vice.’”



A pretie tale drawne out of the Larke of Æsope.

Æsope of Phrygia is not vnworthely demed a wise man. For so much as he admonisheth and perswadeth those thinges that be profitable, not seuerely or imperiously as Philosophers doe, but by pretye and pleasaunt fables he indueth the mindes of men with holsome and prouident instructions. As by this fable of the birdes neste, he pretily and aptly doth premonish that hope and confidence of thinges attempted by man, ought to be fixed and trusted in none other but in him selfe. A litle birde (saith he) called the Larke, builded her neste in a Wheate field, and when the Wheate was ready to be ripped, her yonge began to fledge. Therefore flyinge abroade to seeke meate for them, shee warned them that if there fortuned anye newes to be done or spoken in her absence, they should giue diligent heede thereunto, and to tell her when she retourned. Within a while after, the Owner of the corne called a yong man, his sonne, vnto him, (saying) “Doest thou see this Wheate now ripe and ready to be cut, lacking nothing but helpe to reape the same? Gette thee therefore to morowe in the morninge (so soone as the daye doth breake) vnto my frendes and neighbours, and praye them to come and helpe me in with this Corne:” and so departed. When the damme retourned, the yonge Larkes in trembling and fearefull wise, peping and chirping about their mother, prayed her to make hast to seeke some other place: for the owner of the Wheat had sent for his frends, to be there the next day by times to haue it in. Their damme bad them to be of good cheere: “If the owner (quoth she) do referre it to his frendes, I am sure the Wheate shal not be cutte downe to morowe, and therefore wee shall not neede to feare.” The next day the damme flew abrode again for foode, and the owner waited at the houre appointed for his frendes. The Sunne was vp, whose beames shone hot, and nothing was done: his frendes came not. Then he said againe to his sonne: “Me thincke 87 sonne (quoth he) our neighbours be slepers and tarrie long. Goe, call I pray thee, our kinsfolke and cosins, that they maye helpe vs to morowe betimes.” Which saying the yong Larkes ones againe afraid, tolde their damme when she returned: the damme still perswaded them to be of good cheere and not to feare: “For kinsfolke in these dayes, be so slacke to do good deedes (quoth she) and to helpe their owne stocke and kinred, that they bee loothe to take paines, specially at so short and sodaine warning: neuerthelesse, faire byrdes, (quoth shee) harken what shalbe said againe and tell mee.” The next morning the old Larke went forth againe for food and forage, and the kinsfolke and cosins came not, according to the owners request. At length the owner saide to his sonne: “Adieu my frendes and kinsemen: to morow in the morning, bring hither two Sickles, the one for mee, and the other for thy selfe, and wee with our owne hands, wil cut downe this Wheate.” The mother Larke, hearing her yong ones tel this tale at her retourne: “Ye marie my babes (quoth shee) now it is time to be gone: for the thing whereof the owner hath spoken so long, shal now be done in deede, sith he purposeth to do the same himselfe, and trusteth to none other.” Whereuppon the Larke toke vp her yong ones, and went to inhabite in some other place. And the corne accordinglye, was cutte downe by the owner. This fable Æsope reporteth, premonishing men to beware of lighte hope, and vaine truste, to be reposed in frends and kinsfolke. And the same Q. Ennius in his Satyres, very elegantlye in trim verses hath described the two laste, whereof worthie to be had in harte and memorie, I haue thought good to remember.

Alwayes fixe fast in breast,
in prompt and ready wise:

This prouerbe olde and true,
a sentence of the wise:

The thing do not expect,
by frends for to atchieue:

Which thou thyselfe canst doe,
thy selfe for to relieue.



A merie geste, vttered by Hanniball to king Antiochus.

Antiochus making great preparation and furniture, to inferre warres vpon the Romaines, decked his armie with Siluer and Golden Ensignes and Pendentes, wherein he had plentie of wagons, chariots and Elephantes with towers, his bande of horsemen glittered gloriouslie, with golden bridles, trappers, barbes, and such like. The king beholdinge, in glorious and reioysing wise, his gaye and beautifull armie: loked towards Hannibal, and said: “How saiest thou Hannibal? thinkest thou that these thinges be not ynough and sufficient to match with the Romaynes?” Hannibal mocking and deluding the cowardnes and weakenes of his souldiours, clad in those precious and costlie furnitures, saide. “All these thinges be ynough and ynough againe for the Romaines, although they were the most couetous men of the world.” The king vnderstoode Hannibal, that he had meant of the nomber of his souldiours, and of their brauerie. But hee meant of the pray and spoile, which the Romaines should winne and gette.



The marueilous knowledge of a Lion, being acquainted with a man, called Androdus.

There chaunced to be certaine playes and games at Rome, wher were many monstruous and cruel beastes: but amonges all those beastes, the hugenesse and cruell aspectes of the Lions were had in greatest wonder, especially of one: which Lion was of an huge and greate bignesse, hauinge a terrible voyce, his clawes stretched forth, his bristles and heare vprighte, beholdinge with his fierce and deadly eyes, all the multitude standing by. There was brought in to fight with the lion amonges al the rest, one Androdus a Dacian borne, the bondman of a great personage, of the Consular order, whom the Lion beholding a farre of, sodenly stoode still: and afterwards by litle and litle, in gentle sort he came vnto the man, as though he had knowen him: Wagging his taile like a Spaniel fawning vpon his maister, and licked the handes and legges of the poore felow, which for feare was almost dead. This Androdus perceyuing the flatteries of this fierce beast, recouered comforte, and earnestly viewed and marked the Lion. Then they began to enter into mutual acquaintaunce, one reioycing at an others meting. Upon which straung euent, the people raysed great shoutes and acclamations: wherupon Androdus was called before the Emperoure, and demaunded the cause, why that most cruell beast did in that sorte, fawne and fauour him aboue all other.

Androdus tould a maruaylous and straunge historye of the cause thereof, saying: “If it please your Maiestie, when my Lorde and maister did by the office of Proconsull gouerne Africa, I throughe his causelesse stripes and dailye whippinges, was forced to runne awaye. And when I had gotten pardon of the liefetenaunte of that countrie, to remaine there, I withdrew my selfe into the deserts and voide places: and lacking meate to ease the paine of hunger, I determined by some meanes, to seeke mine owne death. It chaunced about the midde of the day, when the Sunne 90 was feruent hot, I entred into a Caue, which was farre from habitation, verye wide and large. Whereunto, within a while after, this Lion resorted, hauing one of his feete bloudie and hurt: for paine whereof, he vttered much mone and sorrow, bewayling the griefe, and anguishe of the sore. When I saw the Lion my hart began to quake for feare, but beinge come in, as it were into his owne habitation (for so it shoulde appeare,) perceyuinge me to go aboute to hide myselfe a farre of, he like a milde and gentle beast came vnto me, holding vp his foote, reaching the same to me, as though he desired helpe and reliefe at my handes. Wherewithall I plucked out of his foote a stubbe, which stucke betweene the pawes thereof, and taking a litle salue, which I had in my bosome, I thrust it into the bottome of the wounde, and diligently without any further feare, I dryed vp the wound, and wiped away the bloud thereof: wherewith the lion being eased, resting his foote in my handes, he laye downe to refreshe him selfe. From that day duringe the space of three yeares, the Lion and I continued together, and liued with like fare: the fattest and best morsels of those beastes, which he prayed, he did euer bring me into the Caue: which meate because I had no fire, I rosted in the heate of the Sunne, and did eate the same with good stomacke. But when I began to waxe weary of that kinde of diet, vpon a time the Lion being abroad, I forsoke the Caue, and trauailing almost the space of three dayes, I was espied and taken of the souldiours, and brought home to my maister out of Africa to Rome: who immediatlie condempned mee to be deuoured of beastes. And now I perceiue that this lion sithens I lefte his companie is taken, and doth acquite that good tourne and cure, which I shewed him then.” The people hearing the discourse of this straunge fact, made suite that the felow might be pardoned, and set at libertie: and the Lion by generall voyce was giuen vnto him for reward. Afterwards Androdus caried the Lion abrode the citie in a litle corde, and had muche money giuen him: and the Lion was decked and beautified with flowers, and euery man that met them, did vse to say:--“This is the Lion the frend of this man, and this is the man, the Phisition of the Lion.”



A pretie disputation of the philosopher Phauorinus, to perswade a woman not to put forth her child to nursse, but to nourishe it herselfe with her owne milke.

It was told to the Philosopher Phauorinus, that the wife of one of his Sectators and scholers was brought a bedde of a sonne. “Let vs go (quoth Phauorinus) to visite the childwife, and to gratulate the father for the ioy of his sonne.” When they were entred the house, after hee had saluted the good man, according to the custome, he asked the wife how she did, and prayed the Gods to sende her good footing, and then inquired of her trauel, and painfull panges. When he vnderstode that her trauel was greate, and her bodye weake with watchinge, howbeit somewhat comforted with sleepe which she had taken, he determined to enter into further talke. “I doubt not gossip (quoth he) but that you purpose to nourish your sonne your selfe.” The mother of the woman hearing him say so, began to pray pardon, and said, that her doughter might not both sustaine paine in the birth, and also trouble to nourish it herselfe. “I pray thee mother, said Phauorinus, to suffer thy doughter to be the whole and intire mother of her owne sonne. What kinde of halfe and vnperfecte mothers be they, which so sone as they be deliuered do, against nature, by and by thruste the child awaye from them? Can they nourishe with their owne bloud, the thing which they see not, and wil they not vouchsafe to bestow their milke vppon that, which is now a lyuing creature, crying out before their faces for the mothers helpe, and dutie? O thou vnkinde woman, doest thou thincke that nature hath giuen thee two breastes for nothinge els, but to beautifie and adorne thy bodie, and not to giue sucke to thy children? In like sort many prodigious and monstruous women, haue dried vp and extinguished that moste sacred fountaine of the body, the educatour of mankinde: not without peril of their persons: as though the same were a disgracing of their beautie and comlinesse. The like also some do attempt by 92 deuises and subtile secretes to extrude theyr conceptions, that the swelling of their body might not irrigate and wrinckle their faces, and that their paineful labours and great burdens, do not make them looke olde in their youthly dayes. And like as it is generally to be abhorred, that man in his first beginnings, (when he is fashioned and inspired with life, and in the handes of the cunning and wise woman, dame Nature,) should be killed and slaine: euen so with not much lesse detestation it is to be had and compted, when he is perfecte and borne and the childe of thine owne bloude, to be depriued from his due sustenance. But it is no matter (wil som say) with whose milke hee be nourced, so hee receiue milke and liue. The like may be said to that man which is so dull in perceyuing the prouidence of nature, that what matter had it been in whose bodye, and with whose bloud, he himselfe had been formed and brought into light. Hath not she which nowe respireth, and with beauty waxeth white and fayre, the same bloud now in her breastes, which was before remayninge in her wombe? Is not the wysedome of nature manifest in this, that after the cunning workman the bloud, hath framed in the inward parts euery body of man, straight way when the time of byrthe approcheth, the same bloude infudeth himselfe into the vpper partes, and is readie to nourishe the rudimentes of lyfe and lighte, offeringe acquaintaunce and familiar sustinance to the new borne? Wherefore in vaine is not that report and beliefe, that like as the force and nature of the generation seede is able to shape the similitudes of the mind and body, euen so the qualities and properties of the Milke, do auayle to like effect. Which thinge is not onelye marked in men, but also in brute beastes. For if Kiddes be sockled vp wyth Ewes Milke, and Lambes wyth Goates, the woll of thone will grow more rough and hard, and the heare of the other more tender and soft. In trees also and fruites, there is for the most part, a greater force and power in the nature of the soile and water where they grow, eyther for the pruning and planting, then there is if straunge impes and seedes be grifted and sowen there. And many times you see, that a fruitfull tree, caried and set in an other place, decayeth, throughe the nature of the ground more barren. What reason is this then, 93 to corrupt the noble nature of this borne childe, whose body and minde, is well begunne wyth naturall beginninges to infect the the same wyth the degenerate food of straung Milke. Specially if she to whom you shall put forth this childe to giue sucke, be eyther a bonde and seruile woman, and (as commonly it chauncheth) of a forren and barbarous nation, be she wicked, ill fauoured, whorish or drunken. For diuers times without difference, children be put foorth to suche Noursses, whose honestie and conditions, in the tyme of the putting foorth, be vtterly vnknowen. Shall we suffer therefore, this our infant to be corrupted with pestiferous milke? Shall we abyde a newe nature and spirite, to bee renued in his mynde and bodye, deriued from that whiche is moste vile and wicked? Muche like to the same, whiche many tymes wee see and wonder, howe diuers chyldren borne of chaste and honest women, haue bodies and qualities farre discrepant from their honest parentes. Wherefore very trimlie and cunningly Maro folowing Homeres verses, doth say, speaking of the cruel nature of Achilles:

Sir Peleus that gentle knight,
was not thy father sure,

Nor yet thy dame faire Thetis was
whose grace the Goddes did lure:

The raging Sea, and stonie rockes,
did bring thee forth to light:

Thy nature is so bloudie bent,
so fierce in cruell fight.

He did not herein reprehende the birth of Achilles, but the nature of the cruell and sauage beaste that broughte him vp; for he added this of his owne.

And the Hircan Tigres did giue him sucke.

And truely the condicion of the Noursse, and nature of the milke, disposeth almost the greater part of the childes condition, whiche (notwithstanding the fathers seede, and creation of the bodie and mynde, within the mothers wombe) doth nowe in the beginning of his nouriture, configurate and frame a newe disposition in him. Moreouer who can saye the contrarie, but that such women as put their children from them, deliuering them to bee nourced of other, 94 doe cut of, naye, rather doe wype awaye and extinguyshe, that bande and increase of mynde and affection, that doeth consociate and ioyne in nature, the parentes towarde their children. For when the childe is put forth to an other place and remoued from the mothers sighte, the vigor and tendernesse of her affection, is by litle and little forgotten, and out of memorie, and the derest care of her tender babe, groweth to vtter silence. The sending awaye of the chylde to an other Nourice is not muche inferiour to the forgetfulnesse that chaunceth when death dothe take it awaye. Agayne, the affection, the loue, and familiaritie of the chylde, is prone to her that giueth it sucke. And so as it is euidently seene in them that be put foorth, the chylde taketh no knoweledge, or desire of the owne mother, that brought it forth. Therefore, when the elementes and beginnings of natural pietie and loue be ones abandoned and defaced, howe soeuer suche children, in that sorte brought vp, shall seeme to loue the parentes, yet for the moste part, it is no pure and naturall affection, but rather a suposed and Ciuile loue.” Thus this noble Philosopher giueth counsayle to euery good mother, not to be ashamed or grieued, to bringe vp her childe with her own Milke, after her greatest payne past, whom before with her owne bloud, she disdained not to feede in her owne bodie.



Of Sertorius a noble Romaine capitaine.

Like as in a good captaine, chosen out by any prince and monarche, to serue in his warres and exploytes, manhode and valiaunce is to be desired and wished: euen so in the same a politique minde, to forecaste and preuente, as well the saufetie and good gouernement of his owne charge, as the anoyaunce of the enemie is to be desired. Cicero in his oration Pro lege Manilia, affirmeth fower thinges, mete to be in a Generall or Lieutenaunte. That is to saye: Scientia rei militaris, virtus, authoritas, fœlicitas, Knowledge of warfare, Manhode, Authoritie, and good Fortune. Knowledge and experience, in choyce of his souldiours, in trayning the ignoraunt, in lodging the campe, in politique order howe to dispose the Scoutes and watche, in making the approche, and defence of the armie lodged, with other necessarie orders, incident to the same. In manhode, boldlie to aduenture, warely to retire, paciently to suffer misfortune, hardly to lie, sparely to fare, stoutlie to abide stormes and colde weather. In authoritie wiselie to gouerne, gently to speake, iustly to threaten, deseruedly to punishe, mercifully to forgiue, liberally to deuide, and louingly to be obeied. And in felicitie and good successe, to honour God: to be faithfull to the prince, to preuente the enemy, not to triumphe before the victorie. To be constant in froward fortune, and coragious in extremitie. Al which and many other, are very mete and requisite in him, that shalbe put in trust, by his soueraigne Lorde or Ladie, to aduenture the painful charge of a Deputie, General, Lieutenaunt, or Captaine. Whereof, or in the chiefest of the same this noble gentleman Sertorius, a captaine of the Romaine citie, in time of Marius and Sylla, when the citie of Rome were at ciuile discention, had greate skil and knowledge. For besides his experience in the warres (as Plutarche saith in his life) hee was very abstinente from pleasures, and continente in other disorders, a rare thing in men of his calling. But because I purpose not to staye in the full discourse 96 of his vertues and qualities, I meane but to touche in this Nouell, so muche as Aulus Gellius (in whom I am now conuersant) doth of him make remembraunce. Referring the studious reader, desirous to know the state of his life and doinges, to the plentifull recorders of such memorable and worthie personages: Plutarche de vitis illustrium, and Appianu’s de ciuili Romanorum bello. Which beinge Greeke authours, be very eloquently translated in the Latine, thone by Gulielmus Xilander 1561, and thother by Sigismundus Gelenius 1554. This Sertorius was of a pregnaunt witte, and therewithall a noble Captaine, very skilfull in the vse and gouernement of an armye. In distresse and harde aduentures hee practised for pollicie, to make lies to his souldiours, to proue if they coulde preuaile. He vsed counterfait letters, to imagine dreames, and to conferre false religions, to trye if those thinges could serue his tourne, in comforting and couraging his souldiours. Amonges al the factes of Sertorius, this insuing was very notable and famous. A white Stagge of exceeding beauty and liuely swetenesse, was giuen vnto him by a Lusitanian: He perswaded euery man, that the same was deliuered vnto him by the Goddes, and how the Goddesse Diana had inspired that beaste to admonishe and teache what was meete and profitable: and when he wente about to cause his souldiours to aduenture anye hard and difficile exploit: he affirmed, that the Stagge had giuen him warning thereof, which they vniversally beleued, and willingly obeyed, as though the same had been sent downe from the Gods in deede. The same Stagge vpon a time, when newes came that the enemye had made incursion into his campe, amased with the haste and turmoile, ranne awaye and hid him selfe in a marishe harde adioyning. Afterwardes being sought for, hee was supposed to be dead. Within fewe dayes after, tidinges was brought to Sertorius that the Stagge was founde. The messenger was commaunded by him to holde his peace, and threatened to be punished, if he did disclose it. The next day, the same messenger was appointed sodainly, to bring the Stagge into the place, where he and his frendes, did consulte together. When they were assembled he tolde them howe the daye after that he had lost his Stagge, he dreamed that he was come againe, and according to his custome, 97 tolde him that was needefull to be done. Then Sertorius making a signe, to haue the order fulfilled, whiche he had geuen the daye before, by and by the Stagge brake into the chamber. Wherewithall a great shoute was made, and an admiration raysed of that chaunce. Whiche credulitie of the barbarous countries, serued Sertorius tourne in his weightie affaires. A worthy matter also, is to be remembred of him, that no Souldiour that euer serued him, of those vnciuile countries (that tooke his part) did neuer reuolte or forsake him, although those kinde of people be moste inconstant.



Of the bookes of Sybilla.

In auncient Chronicles, these things appere in memorie, touchinge the bookes of Sybilla. A straunge and vnknowen old woman, repaired to the Romaine kyng Tarquinius Superbus, bearing in her armes nine bookes, which she sayde were deuine Oracles, and offered them to be solde. Tarquinius demaunded the price. The woman asked a wonderfull somme. The king making semblaunce as though the olde woman doted, began to laughe. Then shee gotte fyre in a chafing dishe, and burned three bookes of the nyne. She asked the kyng again, if he would haue the sixe for that prise, wherat the king laughed in more ample sorte, saying: “that the olde woman no doubt did dote in deede.” By and by she burned other three, humbly demaunding the king the like question, if he would buye the reste for that price. Wherevpon the kyng more earnestlye gaue hede to her requeste, thinking the constante demaundes of the woman not to be in vain, bought the three bookes that remained for no lesse price, then was required for the whole. Therewithall the woman departed from Tarquinius, and was neuer seene after. These bookes were kept in the Capitole at Rome, whereunto the Romaines resorted, when they purposed to aske counsayle of the Goddes. A good example for wyse men to beware, howe they despyse or neglecte auncient bookes and monumentes. Many the like in this Realme haue bene defaced, founde in Religious houses, whiche no doubte woulde haue conduced great vtilitie and profite both to the common wealth and countrie, if they had bene reserued and kepte, whiche bookes by the ignoraunt, haue ben torne and raised, to the great griefe of those that be learned, and of them that aspire to learning and vertue.



A difference and controuersie betwene a maister and a scholler, so subtile that the iudges coulde not geue sentence.

Diuers thinges be written, whiche although they seme of litle importaunce, yet they be wittie and comfortable to recreate honest mindes and deserue to be had in remembraunce. Emongs whiche Aulus Gellius (who reporteth tenne of the former Histories, selected out of his booke De noctibus atticis) remembreth this pretie controuersie. In Athenes there was a yong man, called Euathlus, who being desirous to be an Orator, and a pleading Aduocate, to the intent he might postulate, according to the accustomed maner of Athenes in those daies, accorded vpon a price, with a renowned Oratour named Protagoras, that he should instruct him that arte, for a price agreed vpon betwene them, vpon condicion that the Scholler should pay the one half of the money before hande vnto his maister, and the reste at such time as he should proue to be an Aduocate, so well instructed, as the first matter, which he did pleade, he should obtaine sentence on his side, and gayne for his labour and industrie. But if sentence were pronounced against hym, he should not be bound to paye the same. Vppon this conclusion, the Maister taughte hym with greate diligence, the vttermoste of his knowledge in that arte. The Scholler againe learned and receyued his teaching, with greate prompitude and readinesse of witte. When Protagoras hadde taught him the vttermost of his knowledge: the Scholler Euathlus, to defraude hym of the reste of his money, determined neuer to be Aduocate, whose craft Protagoras perceiuing, cited him by writte, to appeare before the iudge, to aunswere the reste of the bargaine. When they were both come in the Iudges presence, Protagoras spake to his scholer in this wyse: “Euathlus, the bargaine betweene vs, thou canst not chose but confesse and acknowledge, whiche in effect is this. It was agreed that I should teache thee, the arte of pleading, and in the first matter whiche 100 thou diddest pronounce and sentence giuen on thy parte, thou shouldest paye me the other halfe of the money (for the first moitie I receiued before hande) and nowe to auoyde the satisfaction thereof (although thou knowest, that I haue full well deserued it) thou to defraude me of my duetie, refusest to be an Aduocate. But I wil tell thee, this thy determination is but vayne and frustrate: for I haue intangled thee in suche nettes, as thou canst not escape: but by one meane or other thou shalt be forced to pay mee. For if the Iudge doe condempne thee, then maugre thy head thou shalt be constrayned: and if contrariwyse sentence be giuen on thy side, thou shalt be likewyse bounde to paye me, by thy verie couenaunt, sithens thou art bounde, when thou pleadest first, and sentence should be giuen in thy behalfe. Doe nowe then what thou liste, for in fine thou fhalt be forced to paye me, in despite of thy teethe.” All the assistantes held with Protagoras, affirming his suite to be very reasonable. Notwithstanding Euathlus with a bolde spirite, aunswered for him selfe in this maner: “Sir Protagoras, it semeth vnto you that I am conuicted, but staye a whyle and giue me leaue to speake: and then you shall perceiue in what wyse I will confounde your argument. Here you haue brought your action against me, wherof I truste vpon my reasonable answere before the Iudges, to be discharged. For if by this your pleading, by circumstaunces and arte of an Oratour, whiche you haue vsed in all your discourse, the matter shall fall so out as sentence be giuen on your side, then the bargayne made betwene vs is voyde and of none effecte, bicause I losing the profite of my firste pleading: wherein by our agrement sentence should be geuen on my behalfe, the same bargaine is not accomplished. For you should be payde the moitie of the money behinde, with that commoditie, which I did gayne by my first pleading: for whiche cause, there is no reason but I must bee discharged of your demaunde.” After this debating of the matter, the Iudges wayed with argumentes of both parts whiche semed so doubtfull vnto them, that knowing not howe to giue sentence, they suspended the processe.

The same Aulus Gellius, reciteth an other lyke question, whiche hee referreth to Plinie, as the firste authour thereof. There was a lawe (sayeth hee) in a certayne citie, that what so euer hee were, 101 that committed any valiaunte facte of armes, the thyng that he demaunded, whatsoeuer it were, should be graunted vnto him. It chaunced that a certayne persone did this worthy acte, and required that a man’s wife (whom he derely loued) should be giuen vnto him: whiche wyfe by force and vertue of the lawe, was accordingly deliuered. But afterwardes the man, from whome his wyfe was taken, did the lyke facte, and demaunding his wyfe to be redeliuered vnto him agayn, sayde vnto him that had her: “If thou wilt obserue the lawe, thou must of force deliuer vnto me, my wyfe, but if thou do not like the lawe, thou oughtest yet to render her vnto me, as mine owne.” The other aunswered him in like sorte: “If thou obserue the lawe, this woman is myne, for I haue first wonne her by the lawe: but if thou do not approue the lawe, thou hast no right to demaunde her, shee nowe being myne.”



Seleucus king of Asia, gaue his wife to his owne sonne in mariage, being his mother in lawe: who so feruently did loue her, that he was like to die, whiche by a discrete and wyse inuention, was discouered to Seleucus by a Phisition.

Although the wyse Philosopher Plutarche, elegantly and brieflye describeth this historie, in the life of Demetrius: yet bicause Bandello aptlye and more at large doth discourse the same, I thought good to apply my pen to his stile. Who saith that Seleucus king of Babylon, a man verie victorious in battaile, was amongs the successors of Alexander the great, the moste happie and fortunate: He had a sonne called by his father’s name Antiochus. After the deceasse of his wife, his sonne increased and gaue great hope of valiaunce in future time, to become a valiant gentleman worthy of suche a father. And being ariued to XXIIII. yeres of age, it chaunced that his father fell in loue with a very faire yonge gentle woman, discended of great parentage (called Stratonica) whom he tooke to wife, and made her Queene, and by her had one sonne. Antiochus seing his mother in lawe, to be (besides her great beautie) a curteous and gentle Lady, began to be very amerous of her, whose hart war so set on fire (without apparent shew) that incredible it is to expresse the loue that he bare her. And yet he thought that loue to be vnnaturall because she was his father’s wife, and therefore durst not discouer it to any man. And the more secrete he kept it the more the heate began to boile and consume him. But bicause he sawe that loue had fixed so deepe footing, that he was not well able to retire, hee determined after long sorow and great turmoile, to seke some quiet hauen to reste his weather beaten barke, that had ben tossed with the waues of pensife and sorowfull cogitacions. His father had many kingdomes and Prouinces innumerable vnder his Empire. At whose handes Antiochus craued licence to visite some of them for his disport and recreation, of purpose to proue if he could auoide that vnseasonable loue, wherewith his hart was suppressed. But he was no 103 soner out of his father’s house, but his harte was vexed with greater tormentes then before, being depriued from the sight of faire Stratonica, whose presence did better content him, then all the pleasures and sportes of the worlde. Neuerthelesse, desirous to vanquishe his indurate affections, he continued abroade for a certaine time, during whiche space, vnable to quenche the fire, he led a more desolate and troublesome life, then he did before. In the end victorious loue toke him prisoner and caried him home againe to his father’s house. Who seing the great loue that his father bare to his wife, and the ioyfull tyme that hee spent with faire Stratonica, transported into many carefull panges, many times complained to him selfe in this wise. “Am I Antiochus the sonne of Seleucus? Am I he that my father loueth so well, honoreth so much, and estemeth better then al his realmes and dominions? Alas if I be Antiochus in deede, the sonne of so louing a father, where is the duetifull loue, and bounden reuerence that I ought to beare vnto him? Is this the duetie of a sonne towardes his father? Ah wretche and caitife that I am. Whether hath grosse affection, vayne hope, and blynde loue caried me? Can loue be so blynde? Shall I be so voyde of sence, that I know not my mother in law from an other woman who loueth me no lesse, and entertaigneth me so wel, as if she were mine own mother, that laboured with painful panges, to bring me into light? Which being true, as it is most true, why then do I loue her? nay rather more then loue her. Why doe I seke after her? What meane I to hope for her? Why doe I precipitate so fondlye into the snares of blynde and deceiptfull loue, and into the trappe of deceiptfull hope? Can I not perceyue that these desyres, these vnstayed appetites, and vnbrydeled affections, doe proceade from that whiche is dishonest? I see well enough that the waye I take leadeth mee into great inconuenience. And what reproche should I sustayne, if this vnreasonable loue were made common to the world? Ought not I rather to suffer infamous death, then to see my father depryued of suche a wyfe, whome hee so derely loueth? I wyll giue ouer this vnsemely loue, and reuerting my mynde to some other wyght, I wyll accomplishe the duetie of a good and louinge sonne towardes his father.” Reasoning thus with hym selfe, hee determyned wholly to giue ouer his enterpryse. 104 And hee had no soner purposed so to doe, but sodaynly the beautie of the Lady appeared, as it were in a vision, before the face of his mynde, and felte the flames to growe so hotte, as hee, vppon his knees, craued a thousande pardons of the louing God, for the abandoning of his gentle enterpryse. And therewithal contrarie imaginations began to ryse, whiche so contended with mutuall resistaunce, as they forced hym thus to saye. “Shall not I loue this Ladie, because shee is my fathers wife? Shall not I prosecute my suite, for all that shee is my mother in lawe? Ah cowarde, fayntharted, and worthy to bee crowned a Prince of follye, if therefore I should giue ouer my former mynde. Loue prescribeth no suche lawe to her suters as pollicie doth to man. Loue commaundeth the brother to loue the sister, loue maketh the doughter to loue the father, the brother his brothers wife, and many times the mother, her sonne in lawe: whiche being lawfull to other, is it not lawful to me? If my father being an old man, whose nature waxeth cold, hath not forgotten the lawes of loue, in louing her whom I loue: shal I being a yong man, subiect to loue, and inflamed with his passions, be blamed for louing her? And as I were not blame worthy, if I loued one that were not my fathers wife, so must I accuse Fortune, for that she gaue her not to wyfe to an other man, rather then to my father, bicause I loue her, and would haue loued her, whose wyfe so euer she had bene. Whose beautie (to say the trouth is such) whose grace and comelinesse so excellent, that shee is worthy to be receiued, honoured, and worshipped of all the worlde, I thinke it then conuenient for me to pursue my purpose, and to serue her aboue al other.” Thus this miserable louer, trauersing in seuerall mindes, and deluding his own fansie, chaunged his mynde a thousand times in an hower. In thende, after infinite disputations to him selfe, he gaue place to reason, considering the great disconuenience that would insue his disordinate loue. And yet not able to geue it ouer: And determining rather to die, then to yelde to such wicked loue or to discouer the same to any man. By litle and litle he consumed, as sleting snow against the warme Sone: wherwith he came to suche feble state, that he could neither slepe, nor eate, and was compelled to kepe his bedde, in suche wyse, that with superfluous paine he was brought 105 to marueylous debilitie. Whiche his father perceiuing, that loued him very tenderly, conceiued great griefe and sorowe: and sent for Erasistratus, (which was a very excellent Phisition and of great estimation) whom very instantly he praied diligently to loke vnto his sonne, and to prouide for him such remedie as was conuenient for the greatnesse of his disease. Erasistratus viewyng and beholding all the partes of the yonge gentlemans body, and perceiuing no signe of sickenes, eyther in his vrine or other accident, whereby hee coulde iudge his body to be diseased; after many discourses, gaue iudgement, that the same infirmitie proceaded from some passion of the mynde, whiche shortelye woulde coste hym his life.

Whereof he aduertised Seleucus. Who louing his sonne after a fatherly maner, and speciallye, because he was indued with vertue and good condicions, was afflicted with vnspeakeable griefe. The yong gentleman was a marueilous towarde youth, so actiue and valiaunte as anye that liued in his tyme, and therewithall verie beautifull and comely. Whiche made hym to be beloued of all men. His father was continuall in his chamber, and the Queene her selfe oftentimes visited him, and with her own handes serued him with meates and drinkes: whiche bicause I am no Phisition, I knowe not whether the same did the yong man any pleasure, or whether it did him hurt or good. But I suppose, that her sight was ioyfull vnto hym, as of her in whom he had placed his comfort, all his hope, quietnesse, and delight. But beholding before his eyes so many times the beautie of her whome so greatly he desired to enioye, hearing her speake that was the cause of his death, and receiuing seruice of meates and drinkes at her handes whome he loued better then the balles of his eyes: vnto whom he durst not make any request or praier, whether his grief surmounted all other, and therefore continually pined and consumed, I thinke it of reason to be beleued. And who doubteth but that he feling him self to be touched with those her delicate handes, and seing her to sitte by him, and so many times for his sake to fetche so many syghes, and with suche swete woordes to bidde hym be of good chere, and that if he wanted any thing to tell her, and praied him with pleasaunt woordes, to call for that he 106 lacked, and that for his sake she would gladly accomplish what he desired: who douteth I say, but he was marueilously tormented with a thousande cogitations? Nowe conceiuing hope, and now dispaire, and still concluding with him selfe, rather to dye then to manifeste his loue. And if it bee a griefe to all yonge men, (be they of neuer so meane and base condicion) in theyr youthlye tyme, to lose their lyfe, what shall we thynke of Antiochus, beyng a younge man of freshe and flourishyng age, the sonne of a ryche and mightie kyng, that looked if hee escaped after the death of his father to bee heyre of all, did willingly craue death, of that small disease: I am assured that his sorowe was infinite. Antiochus then beaten with pitie, with loue, with hope, with desyre, with fatherly reuerence, and with a thousande other thynges (lyke a shyppe tossed in depest Seas) by litle and litle beganne to growe extremely sicke. Erasistratus that sawe his bodye whole and sounde, but his minde greuously weakened, and the same vanquished with sundrie passions. After hee had with him selfe considered this straunge case, hee for conclusion founde out that the yonge man was sicke of loue, and of none other cause. Moreouer he thought that many times, wise and graue men, through ire, hatred, disdaine, melancholie, and other affections, could easily faine and dissemble their passions, but loue if it be kept secrete, doth by the close keping therof, greater hurt then if it be made manifest. And albeit that of Antiochus he coulde not learne the cause of his loue, yet after that imagination was entred into his head, he purposed to finde it out by continual aboade with him, and by great diligence to obserue and marke all his actions: and aboue all to take hede to the mutacion of his poulces, and whereupon their beating did alter. This deliberation purposed, he sat downe by the bed side, and tooke Antiochus by the arme, and helde him faste where the poulses ordinarily do beate. It chaunced at that very instant, that the Queene Stratonica entred into the chamber, whom so sone as the yonge man sawe comming toward him, sodainly the poulse which were weake and feble, began to reuiue through mutation of the bloud. Erasistratus feling the renforcing of the poulce, to proue howe long it would continewe, he remoued not at the comming of the Queene, but still helde his 107 fingers vpon the beating of the poulces. So longe as the Queene continued in the chamber, the beating was quicke and liuely, but when she departed, it ceased, and the wonted weakenes of the poulces retourned. Not long after the Queene came againe into the chamber, who was no soner espied by Antiochus, but his poulces receiued vigor, and began to leape, and so still continued. When she departed the force and vigor of the poulce departed also. The noble phisition seing this mutation, and that still it chaunced vpon the presence of the Queene: hee thought that he had founde out the cause of Antiochus sickenesse: but he determined better to marke the same the next daye, to be the better assured. The morowe after, Erasistratus satte downe againe by the yonge gentleman and took him again by the arme, but his poulce made no motion at all. The king came to see his sonne, and yet for all that his poulces were still: and beholde the Queene came no soner in, but sodainly they reuiued, and yelded suche liuely mouing, as if you woulde haue sayde:--“Yonder is shee that setteth my harte on fyre. Beholde where she is that is my life and death.”--Then Erasistratus was wel assured and certaine that Antiochus was feruently inflamed with his mother in lawe, but that shame constrained him to conceale the hotte firebrandes that tormented him, and to keepe theim close and secrete. Certified of this opinion, before he would open the matter, he considered what way were best to geue knowledge therof to king Seleucus. And when hee had well debated of this matter, he deuised this waye: hee knew that Seleucus loued his wife beyonde measure, and also that Antiochus was so deare vnto him as his own life. Whereupon he thus sayde vnto the kyng. “Noble Seleucus, thy sonne is affected with a greuous maladie, and that (which is worse) I deme his sickenesse to be incurable.” At whiche woordes, the sorowefull father began to vtter pitifull lamentation, and bitterly to complayne of Fortune. To whome the Phisition sayde.--“If it please you (my Lorde) to vnderstande the occasion of his disease, this it is: The maladie that affecteth and languisheth your sonne, is Loue: and the loue of such a woman, which except he enioy, there is no remedie but death.” “Alas (quoth the kinge, weeping with bitter teares) and what woman is 108 shee, but that I maye procure her for him, which am kinge of all Asia, and am able with intreatie, money, giftes, or other pollicie whatsoeuer, to make her obediente and willinge to my sonnes requeste. Tell me onely the name of the woman, that I maye prouide for my sonnes health, yea, thoughe it coste me all my goodes and realme to, if otherwise shee cannot be gotten: for if he die what shall I doe with my kingdome.”

Whereunto Erasistratus aunswered. “If it like your grace, your sonne is in loue with my wife, but because the loue of another man’s wife seemeth vnto him vnreasonable, he dareth not to manifest it for shame, but rather wisheth to die, then to open his minde. Howbeit, I by certaine euidente signes, do well perceiue it.” When Seleucus hearde these words, he said. “O Erasistratus! thou being so worthie a man, to whom fewe in goodnesse and humilitie be comparable, so deare and wel beloued of mee, and beareth the bruite to be the very hauen and harborough of wisedome, wilt thou not saue my sonne, which is a yonge man, nowe vppon the floure of his youth, and most worthy of life: for whom the empyre of all Asia is worthely reserued? O Erasistratus! the sonne of thy frend Seleucus, is thy king, who through loue and silence, is at the pointe of death, thou seest that for modestie, and honestie sake, at this his last and doubtfull passage, he had rather chose to die, then by speaking to offend thee, and wilte thou not helpe him? This his silence, this discretion, that his reuerence which hee sheweth, oughte to moue thee to compassion. Thincke my wel beloued Erasistratus, that if he loue ardently, that he was forced to loue: for vndoubtedly, if he could not loue, he would doe the best he could not to loue: yea, and with all his endeauour to resist it: but who is able to prescribe lawes to loue? Loue I knowe, not onelye forceth men, but also commaundeth the immortal Gods: and when they be not able to resist, what can man’s pollicie preuaile? Wherefore, who knoweth not what pitie mine owne deare Antiochus doth deserue? who being constrained, can none otherwise do: but to be silent in loue, is a most euident signe of a noble and rare vertue. Dispose thy minde therefore, to helpe my sonne: for I assure thee that if thou do not loue the life of Antiochus, Seleucus life must needes be hated of thee: 109 he cannot be hurt, but I likewise muste be touched with griefe.” The wise Phisition, seing that his aduise came to passe as he thought before, and that Seleucus was so instant vpon him for the health of his sonne: the better to proue his minde and his intention, spake vnto him in this wise. “It is a common saying, my most dradde soueraigne Lord, that a man when he is whole, can giue to him that is sicke and weake, very good counsel. You perswade me to giue my welbeloued wife to another man, and to forgoe her whom I moste feruently doe loue, and in lackinge her, my life also must faile. If you do take from me my wyfe, you take with her my life. Doubtfull it is my Lord, if Antiochus your sonne were in loue with the queene Stratonica, your graces’ wyfe, whether you would be so liberall vnto him of her, as you woulde that I should be of mine.” “I would it were the pleasure of the Gods (sodenly aunswered Seleucus) that he were in loue with my best beloued Stratonica, I sweare vnto thee, by the reuerence that I haue always borne to the honourable memorie of my father Antiochus, and my graundfather Seleucus: and I sweare by all the sacred Gods, that freelye and forthwith, I would render her into his hands (althoughe shee be the dearest beloued vnto mee,) in suche wise as all the worlde should know what the dutie of a good and louing father ought to be to such a sonne, as is my intirely beloued Antiochus: whoe (if I bee not deceiued) is moste worthie of all helpe and succour. Alas! this is a great vertue, in concealing that notable passion as an earnest affection of loue: and is it not worthie to be consecrated to eternall memorie? Is he not worthie of all helpe and comfort? Doth hee not deserue to be pitied and lamented of all the worlde? Trulye he is worse then a cruel enemie, naye he is rather more fierce and vnnatural then a sauage beast, that at such moderate behauiour as my sonne vseth, wil not take compassion.” Many other wordes the good father spake, manifestly declaring, that he for the health of his sonne, would not onely sticke to bestowe his wife, but also willingly his lyfe for his preseruation. Wherefore the Phisition thought it not good any longer to keepe secrete the cause, but toke the king aside, and said vnto him in this wyse. “The health of your sonne (my deare Lorde and Soueraigne) is not in my handes, but the 110 same resteth in you, and in your wife Stratonica: whom (as I, by certaine signes doe manifestly know,) he ardentlie doth loue. Your grace now doth knowe from henceforth what to do, if his life be dere vnto you.” And telling the king the maner of his loue, he ioyfully toke his leaue. The king now doubted but of one thing, which was how to perswade his sonne to take Stratonica to wife: and howe to exhorte his wyfe, to take his sonne to husbande. But it chaunced for diuers causes, that easelye ynough he perswaded them both. And perchaunce, Stratonica made a good exchaunge, in taking a yong man, to forsake him that was olde. After Seleucus had made the accord betwene his wife and his sonne, he caused al his army to assemble, which was very great: to whom he said in this maner. “My dere and louinge souldiours, which sith the death of Alexander the great, haue (with mee) atchieued a thousande glorious enterprises: I thincke it meete and conueniente that yee be partakers of that which I purpose to bringe to passe. Ye doe knowe that vnder mine Empyre, I have LXXII. kingdomes, and that I beinge an olde man, am not able to attende so greate a charge: wherefore (louinge companions) I purpose to deliuer and ridde you from griefe of idlenesse, and my selfe from trouble and toyle, reseruing to mee onely so much as lyeth betweene the Sea and the riuer Euphrates. All the rest of my dominions I giue to my sonne Antiochus, vppon whom in marriage, I haue bestowed my wife Stratonica, which thinge ought to contente you, because my will and pleasure is such.” And when he had tolde them the loue and sicknes of his sonne, and the discrete deuise of the gentle Phisition, in the presence of all his armie, the mariage was celebrated betwene Stratonica and Antiochus. Afterwards he crowned them both kinge and Queene of Asia, and with royall pompe and triumphe, the desired mariage was consummate. The armye hearing and seing these thinges, very highly commended the pietie of the father towards his sonne. Antiochus then continued with his welbeloued wife in ioy and quietnes, liuing together in great felicitie. This was not hee that for matters of Ægipt did make warres with the Romaines: but he that onely inferred warres vpon the Gallatians, which out of Europa passed into Asia, out of which 111 countrie hee chased them, and ouercame them. Of this Antiochus came Seleucus, which was father of Antiochus surnamed the great, that attempted very notable warres against the Romaines, and not his great graundfather, that maried his mother in law. Finally this Seleucus (of whom I recompt this historie) by giuing his wife to his sonne, did accomplish a miraculous act, and worthy (in deede) of sempiternall remembraunce, and greatlye to bee commended therefore, who although he had achieued infinite victories ouer his enemies, yet there was none of them all so great as the victorie of himselfe, and his passions. For certainly Seleucus did vanquish his owne appetites, by depriuing himselfe of his wife, whom hee loued and esteemed, aboue all worldly thinges.



Of the straunge and beastlie nature of Timon of Athens, enemie to mankinde, with his death, buriall, and Epitaphe.

Al the beastes of the worlde do applye theimselues to other beastes of theyr kind, Timon of Athens onely excepted: of whose straunge nature Plutarche is astonied, in the life of Marcus Antonius. Plato and Aristophanes do report his marueylous nature, because hee was a man but by shape onely, in qualities hee was the capitall enemie of mankinde, which he confessed franckely vtterly to abhorre and hate. He dwelt alone in a litle cabane in the fieldes not farre from Athenes, separated from all neighbours and company: he neuer wente to the citie, or to any other habitable place, except he were constrayned: he could not abide any mans company and conuersation: he was neuer seen to goe, to any mannes house, ne yet would suffer them to come to him. At the same time there was in Athenes another of like qualitie, called Apemantus, of the very same nature, differente from the naturall kinde of man, and lodged likewise in the middes of the fields. On a day they two being alone together at dinner, Apemantus said vnto him: “O Timon what a pleasant feast is this, and what a merie companie are wee, being no more but thou and I.” “Naie (quoth Timon) it would be a merie banquet in deede, if there were none here but my selfe.”

Wherein he shewed how like a beast (in deede) he was: for he could not abide any other man, beinge not able to suffer the company of him, which was of like nature. And if by chaunce hee happened to goe to Athenes, it was onelye to speake with Alcibiades, who then was an excellente Captaine there, wherat many did marueile: and therefore Apemantus demaunded of him, why he spake to no man, but to Alcibiades. “I speake to him sometimes, said Timon, because I know that by his occasion, the Atheniens shall receiue great hurt and trouble.” Which wordes many times he told to Alcibiades himselfe. He had a 113 garden adioyning to his house in the fields, wherin was a Figge tree, wheruppon many desperate men ordinarily did hange themselues: in place whereof, he purposed to set vp a house, and therefore was forced to cutte it downe, for which cause hee went to Athenes, and in the markette place, hee called the people about him, saying that hee had newes to tell them: when the people vnderstoode that he was about to make a discourse vnto them, which was wont to speake to no man, they marueiled, and the citizens on euery parte of the citie, ranne to heare him: to whom he saide, that he purposed to cutte downe his Figge tree, to builde a house vpon the place where it stoode. “Wherefore (quoth he) if there be any man amonges you all in this company, that is disposed to hange himselfe, let him come betimes, before it be cutte downe.” Hauing thus bestowed his charitie amonges the people, hee retourned to his lodging, wher he liued a certaine time after, without alteration of nature; and because that nature chaunged not in his life time, he would not suffer that death should alter, or varie the same. For like as he liued a beastly and chorlish life, euen so he required to haue his funerall done after that maner. By his last will, he ordeined himselfe to be interred vpon the sea shore, that the waues and surges might beate and vexe his dead carcas. Yea, and that if it were possible, his desire was to be buried in the depth of the Sea: causing an Epitaphe to be made, wherin was described the qualities of his brutishe life. Plutarche also reporteth an other to be made by Calimachus, much like to that which Timon made himselfe, whose owne soundeth to this effect in Englishe Verse.

My wretched catife dayes,
expired now and past:

My carren corps intered here,
is fast in grounde:

In waltring waues of swel-
ling Sea, by surges cast,

My name if thou desire,
The Gods thee doe confounde.



The mariage of a man and woman, hee being the husband of xx. wiues: and shee the wife of xxii. husbandes.

Men commonly do reproue the honour of widowes, because they being twise or thrise wedded, doe marrie againe: and albeit by outward apparaunce, they which soe blame them seeme to haue reason, yet no man ought to iudge the secrecie of the hart. Mariage is holy and ought be permitted, and therfore by any meanes not to be reproued. Although it cannot be denied, but that the chast life is most perfecte, notwithstanding, that perfection in nothing doth diminishe the other. The widowe marying againe doth not offende God by mariage, and to the world she committeth the lest faulte. And because, manye olde and aunciente widowes, in these dayes, may not after three or fower mariages be dismaied and terrified from that state, I will recite an Historie, auouched by S. Hierome, in an Epistle Ad Gerontiam viduam de monogamia, whom for his holines and vertue, wee ought to beleue. It is also pretely set forth by Pietro Messia de Seuiglia, an excellent authour, a gentleman of Spaine, in the 34 Chapter of the first parte of his worke, called La Selua di varie Lezzioni. S. Hierome sayth, that in the time of Pope Damasus, he sawe and knew in Rome, one woman lawfully maried to XXII. men, and was the widowe of XXII. husbands: there was also a man which had had XX. wiues, and was then the widower of the XX. Both which being free, and of equall state and condition, they made suite one to other: and that either of them might proue whether should be the victor, in buryinge ech other, they maried together, which mariage was in great admiration amonges the Romaines: who musinge which of them should die first, promised that at the funerall, they would beautie the corpes, both with their presence, and also with tokens of victorie. It chaunced (sore against her will I dare say) that the woman died first. At the celebration of whose buriall, all the Romaine husbandes laied their heades together, howe they mighte 115 exornate and garnish the funeralles. They concluded, to goe before the corpes with Laurel garlands vppon their heades, singing verses of praise for the obtaining of such a victorious conquest. Now where the women went, I cannot tell: for I finde written, that populus totius vrbis præcedebat feretrum; wher populus, as I take it, signifieth the whole route of men and women. And yet I thincke womens’ hartes coulde skarce aforde to go before: therefore I thincke they came behinde like mourners, bearinge braunches without leaues, their beades in their handes, praying for all christen soules. But giuing women leaue to mourne for such an ouerthrow, I woulde wishe all my frendes that be widowes, to folow the noble Romaine matrone and widowe called Annia, who (when her frendes and familiers, exhorted her to marie againe, because She was yong and beautifull) aunsweared that she would not. “For, quoth she, if it be my fortune to haue a good husband, as I had before, I shall still be afraied, lest death should take him away: but if it be my chaunce to matche with one that is euill, howe can I be able quietly to beare that, hauing had so good a husbande before.” Declaringe thereby, that being ones well matched, great heede ought to be taken, how to chose the nexte, leaste in making hastie choise, leasure for repentaunce should folow.



How Melchisedech a iewe, by telling a pretie tale of three kinges, saued his life.

Saladine, whose valiaunce was so great, that not onely the same from base estate aduaunced him to be Souldan of Babilon, but also thereby hee wanne diuers victories ouer the Saracene kinges and christians: who throughe his manifolde warres and magnificent triumphes, hauing expended al his treasure, and for th’execution of one exploite, lackinge a great summe of money, knewe not where to haue the same so redily as he had occasion to imploy it. At length he called to remembraunce a rich iewe named Melchisedech, that lent out money for interest in Alexandria, whose greedie and couetous nature was such, that with his good will he would not do it, and to force him the Souldan was very loth. Howbeit, compelled by necessity, he cast his wits about him to finde a meanes how the iew might serue his tourne, and thereuppon founde out a sleight and waye by a colourable force. Who causing the iew to be called before him, intertayned him familiarly, making him to sit downe besides him, and said to him these words. “Sir, I do learne by report of diuers, that you are verye wise and well learned in thinges touching God, for which cause I would gladly know of you which of the three lawes you iudge to be most sincere and true: the Iewishe law, the Saracene law, or the Christian lawe?” The Iewe which in deede was very wise, perceiued wel that Saladine went about to intrappe him in wordes, thereby to raise some quarell against him, and thought that it was not good for him to praise one of those lawes more then another, leste Saladine mighte take aduauntage of him. Wherefore, to make a wise and discrete aunswere that he might not be ouer shotte, he sharpened his wittes, and sodainly came into His remembraunce this aunswere. “My Lorde, the question which you haue proponed is excellent, and to declare vnto you that which I knowe, I muste tell you a tale, the better to open my meaninge, which if 117 it shall please you to heare, is this. I doe remember (if I be not deceiued) that many times I haue heard tell, how vppon a time there was a Noble man which was very rich, and had amonges his other treasures, a verye beautifull ringe of great price and estimation: which for the valour and beautie, hee was very desirous perpetually, to leaue vnto his successors: willing and ordeining that the same sonne which should haue that ring by the gift of his father, after his decease, should be taken and reputed for his heire, and should be honoured and magnified of the reste as the chiefest. He to whom the same ring was left, obserued semblable order in his posteritie, and did the like that his predecessor had done before him. In short time, this Ryng succeded from hand to hand to many successors. And last of al it came to the hand of one that had three goodly sonnes, vertuous and very obedient to their father, who loued them all indifferently and in equall maner, which knowing the order for the disposition of that Ring, curious to be best esteemed and beloued, euery of them prayed his father so well as seuerally they could, (which then was aged) that when hee died he would giue him the Ring. The good man which loued one no better then another, knew not which of them to chose, to whom he might dispose it, and thought best to promise the same to euery of them to satisfie all three. Secretely he procured an excellente Goldsmith to make two other Rings, which accordinglye were made so like vnto the first, as the owner himselfe vnnethes knew one from the other. And when he was vpon his death bedde, he secretly gaue to euery of his sonnes a Ring. Who after the death of their father desirous to enter the inheritaunce and honour, one goinge about to displace another, euery of them to declare what title he had to enioy the same, brought forth his Ringe: and the ringes were founde so like, that the true Ring could not be knowen. Therefore the processe for the title remained in doubt and yet continueth till this daye. And so I say vnto you my Lord of the thre lawes giuen by God the father to those three people, whereof you haue made the question: euery of those Nations thinketh to enioy the inheritaunce of God, and to obserue the true lawe and his commaundementes: but which of them hath the truest law, that remaineth in doubt like 118 the question of the Rings.” Saladine perceyuing that Melchisedech knew right well how to auoide the snare which hee had laied for him: determined therefore to open and disclose vnto him his necessitie, to proue if he would do him that pleasure: which hee did, telling him his intent and meaninge, if he had not framed him that wyse aunsweare. The Iewe liberally lent him the summe of moneye that he demaunded, which Saladine wholie repaied vnto him againe, besides other very great rewardes that he gaue him, vsing him still for his frende, and afterwards maintayned him next his person, in great and honourable state.



One called Guglielmo Borsiere with certaine wordes well placed, taunted the couetous life of Ermino Grimaldi.

Longe sithens there was a gentleman at Genoua called M. Ermino Grimaldi, whoe as all men thoughte, was the richest of possessions and ready money within that citie, and therin farre excelled all other citizens which then were knowen in Italie. And as he did surpasse al other Italians in substance and wealth, so in auarice and wretchednes he surmounted beyond measure the most couetous and miserable of the worlde. For he kept his purse so close that he did not onely neglecte to do good to other, but also to himselfe, by sparinge many things necessary for his owne person: he indured much hardnes in meate and drinke because he would spend nothinge: contrary to the common custome of the Geneuois, who be wonte very nobly and honourably to maintaine themselues in apparell and fare. For which cause his surname Grimaldi deseruedly was taken away, and was called of euery man nothing els but M. Ermino the couetous. It chaunced in those dayes, that as he by spending nothing multiplied his goods. There ariued at Genoua an honest gentleman and well spoken, a Courtier of good interteignement, named Guglielmo Borsiere, (nothing like the Courtiers in these dayes that to their great shame, for their corrupt and rude maners would be called and reputed gentlemen, which in deede maye bee counted Asses, broughte vppe and noseled rather in the filthye conditions of the vilest menne, then in Courtes.) In those dayes Courtiers occupied themselues, in treatinge of peace and endinge of quarelles that bredde strife and dissention amonges gentlemen, or in makinge of mariages, amities, and attonementes, and with mery woordes and pleasaunt, did recreate troubled mindes, and exhilarated with pastimes other Courtiers, not with sharpe reprehensions, but like fathers rebuking the liues of the wicked, and that for no gaine or reward. Where some of the Courtiers of oure age do imploye their time, in ill reportes 120 one of another, and do disseminate debate and strife, vtteringe a thousande vnhappie and vile wordes, yea and that (which is worst of all) in common audience. Their maner is to reproue and checke one an other with iniuries, reproches and nipping girdes, with false and deceiuable flatteries, villanously and dissemblingly, to begile poore and needie gentlemen. He is also the proprest man and best beloued of some great men of like conditions, and of them is best rewarded that can vse the vilest and most abhominable talke, or can do semblable deeds, which redoundeth to the great shame and dishonour, of the chiefe and principall that beare the swaie in Courte: proofe wherof is euident enough for that the vertues past, haue forsaken the presente sort, who liue in the ordure and filth of all vices. But to procede in that which I haue begon, (although vpon iust occasion I haue a litle more digressed then I thought,) I say that the foresaid Guglielmo Borsiere, was honoured and visited of the gentlemen of Genoua, who making his abode for a certaine time in the Citie, and hearing tel of the miserie and couetousnes of M. Ermino, had great desire to see him. M. Ermino hearing tell that this Guglielmo Borsiere was an excellente man, and therefore (although a couetous man) yet hauing in him some sparke of gentilitie, he receiued him with friendlye woords and good countenaunce, entringe into communication with him of diuers and sundrie matters, and in talking brought him with certaine other Citizens to one of his houses which was very faire and newe, where (after hee had shewed him his house) he said vnto him: “M. Guglielmo, you that haue seene and heard many things, can you shew vnto me any new deuise neuer seene before, that I may cause the same to be painted in the hall of this my house.” To whom M. Guglielmo (hearing his fonde demaunde) aunsweared: “Sir I can shewe you nothing but that which hath beene knowen before, excepte Nesinges or such like. But if it please you sir I wil gladly teach you one, which I thincke you neuer saw.” M. Ermino glad to heare of that, said: “I pray you sir tell mee what it is,” (not thinking he would haue made that aunswere). To whom M. Guglielmo redely said: “Cause the figure of Liberality to be painted.” At which aunsweare M. Ermino was so sodenlye ashamed, as he was forced 121 to chaunge his minde in maner cleane contrarye to his accustomed vse, and trade of life, saying: “M. Guglielmo, I will cause the same to be painted in such wise, as neither you nor any man els, shall haue occasion iustly to obiect the same against me.” And from that time forth (such was the force of that taunt) hee was the most liberall and bountefull gentleman that dwelte in Genoua, and one that honoured straungers and citizens more then euer did any in his time.



Maister Alberto of Bologna, by a pleasaunt aunsweare made a gentlewoman to blushe, which had thoughte to haue put him out of countenaunce, in telling him that he was in loue with her.

Not manye yeares paste there was at Bologna a notable Phisition, renowmed throughe out the whole worlde, called Maister Alberto, whoe beinge old, almost LX. yeares of age, had such an excellent wit, that although naturall heate was expired in his bodie, yet hee disdayned not to conceiue some amorous flames of loue. Seing at a banket a verye fayre gentlewoman a widowe called (as some saye) Madonna Margherita de Ghisilieri, she pleased his fansie so well, that he fixed her so fast in the siege of his remembraunce, as if he had been a yonge man of rype and youthlye yeares. In such wise as that nighte he coulde take no reste, if the day before hee had not seene the faire and beautifull face of this faire gentlewoman. For which cause sometimes a foote, and sometimes on horsebacke as he thought best, he continually vsed to passe before her lodginge, which was the cause that shee and diuers other gentlewomen did marke th’occasion of his ofte passing to and fro that waye. And many times they iested and dalied amongest them selues to see a man of such yeares and experience to be in loue, thinking that the displeasaunt passion of loue, could fasten no hold but in the fonde mindes of yonge people and no where els. Wherefore Maister Alberto daily passing to and fro the house of that gentlewoman, it chaunced vppon an holye daye, that shee sittinge with other dames before her doore, and sawe Maister Alberto a farre off, comming towards them, she with the rest determined curteously to receiue him, and reuerently to salute him, and afterwardes merely to talke and sporte of his loue, which accordingly they did. The gentlewoman rising vp conueyed him into a court, of ayre fresh and pleasaunt, where they caused to be brought forth excellent wynes and comfites, and in the ende with manye cherefull and pleasaunt woordes, one of them asked him how it 123 was possible, he could be in loue with that fayre gentlewoman, speciallye sithens manye fayre and trimme yonge menne, did loue her. Maister Alberto perceyuinge himselfe touched and gested at, very honestlye aunsweared with smyling countenaunce: “Maistres, no wyse man whatsoeuer hee be oughte to marueile whye I am in loue, especiallye with you (lookinge vppon her whom hee loued) because your beautye and woorthines dothe well deserue the same. And althoughe naturally the forces which be incident to exercises of Loue, do faile and decaie in olde men, good wil therfore is not in them depriued, nor the iudgement in knowledge, the which ought to be beloued. But because they haue greater experience then yonge men haue, therefore by nature they better know the qualitie of loue. The hope that moueth mee an olde man to loue you, that is soe well beloued of yong men, is this: I haue many times been conuersaunte in places where I haue seene gentlewomen for their collation and pleasure after dinner, oftentimes to eate Lupines and Leekes, and albeit that in the Leeke, there is nothing good or holsome, yet the heade thereof is less hurtful, and most pleasaunt to the mouth, whereof generally (through a folish lust) ye women holde the heade in your hands and chawe the leaues, which not onely be euil and nought, but also of an ill fauoured smel and sauour. And what doe I knowe (maistres) if in the choise of your frendes ye do the like? which if ye do, no doubt it is I, whom you haue chosen to be your frende, and haue forsaken all other.” This gentlewoman somwhat ashamed blushing with the rest, said: “Maister Alberto, you haue ful wel and curteouslye paied vs home, and aunsweared oure presumptuous obiection. Notwithstandinge I doe esteeme and accept your amitie and loue, as I oughte to regard the loue of a wise and honest personage. And so (mine honestie and honour saued) al that I haue to do you pleasure, is to be assured at your commaundement.” Therewithall M. Alberto rose vp, thanking the gentlewoman, and with much sport and pleasaunt talke taking his leaue of the company departed. In this maner the gentlewoman giuing ouer her scoffes and tauntes, whereby she thoughte to putte Mayster Alberto out of conceyt, was put to silence her selfe. Whereof I (in the name of Pansilo Filostrato and Dioneo) by 124 waye of intreatie do beseech yee Ladies, Pampinea, Fiammetta, Philomena, and other gentlewomen, to beware howe ye doe contriue your holy day talke, by waste wordes issuing forth your delicate mouthes, in carping, gauding, and iesting at young gentlemen, and speciallye olde men, and Maister Alberto of Bologna, that for loue like the grene stalkes or graye heades of Lekes, doe desire to sauer your mouthes, and by honest recreation and pleasure to gratifie your comlie personages, lest before the banket be done, and all the comfites spente, ye departe with blushing cheekes, hanging downe your heades, not shaming to looke your mother in the face from whence you came: I meane the earth. Where dame nature hath formed you by your comely grace, and your fayre face, to beholde eche man, and to vtter pleasaunt talke intermixed with honestie and vertue.



Rinaldo of Esti being robbed, arriued at Castel Guglielmo, and was succoured of a wydowe: and restored to his losses, retourning saulfe and sounde home to his owne house.

In the tyme of Azzo Marques of Ferrara, there was a marchaunt named Rinaldo of Esti, come to Bologna to do certaine affaires. Whiche when hee had dispatched, in retourning homewardes, it chaunced as he departed out of Ferrara, and riding towardes Verona, hee mette certayne men on horsebacke, whiche semed to be Marchauntes, but in verie deede were arrant theues: with whome he kepte companie, and without suspicion what they were, rode together familiarly talking. These good felowes seing this Marchaunt and thinking that he had money about hym, determined to robbe him, when they sawe their aduauntage, and to the intent he should not suspecte them, they rode lyke graue men of honest conuersation, debating with him of honest causes, and faithfull, shewing them selues counterfactely, to be lowly and gentle. Uppon whiche occasion, he thought him selfe moste happy that he had mette with such companie, because he and his seruaunt rode together alone. And as they were talking of diuers matters (as chaunceth in communication) they fel in talke of prayers, that men do make vnto God. And one of the theues (for they were three in nomber) sayd vnto Rinaldo: “And you gentleman, what praier bee you accustomed to saye, when you ryde by the waye?” To whom Rinaldo answered: “To tel you the truth, I am a man very playne, and rude in those matters, and I haue a fewe prayers at my fingers endes: suche as myne auncestours vsed before me. And I let go currant II. S. for XXIIII D. But neuerthelesse, I haue alwayes accustomed, when I ryde by the way, to say in the morning at my going forth of my lodging, a Pater noster and an Aue Maria, for the soule of the father and mother of sainct Iulian: and after that, I pray to God and sainct Iulian, to sende me good lodging the night folowing. And full oft in my time I haue founde, in trauailing of Countries many great daungers, all whiche 126 hauing escaped, it hath bene my fortune always (when night approched) to chaunce vppon good lodging: whiche maketh me stedfastly beleue that sainct Iulian (vnto whose honour I saye the same) hath obteined this benefite of God for me, and I thought that daye wherein I neglected, to saye in the morning that prayer, I could neither saulfely trauell, ne yet at night obtain good harborough.” He that demaunded the question, asked him: “And haste thou said them this morning?” “Yea verely,” answered Rinaldo. Then he whiche already knewe howe the matter would go, said to him selfe, thou shalt haue enough to doe anone, for if thou haue not sayde them this morninge, it may so happe that thou shalt lodge full ill this night. And afterwardes hee saide, “I haue likewyse trauayled in my dayes a great waye, and neuer said those praiers, but I haue heard many men greatly prayse them (although) I could neuer perceiue but that I haue bene well lodged. And peraduenture this night you shal proue, which of vs two shal haue best lodging, you that haue sayd them, or I which haue not said them. It is most true that I haue accustomed, in stede of that praier, to saye that verse Dirupisti, or the antheme Intemerata, or the De profundis, which are (as my graundmother did teach and instructe me) of verie great effecte and vertue.” And speaking thus of diuers thinges, alwayes riding, expecting the place and time, to accomplish their wicked intent: it chaunced that approching nere to Castel Guglielmo, when they had passed ouer a ryuer, these three theues, late in the euening in a darke place, did sette vppon him and robbed him, dismounting him from his horse, and left him there in his shyrte. And as they were going awaye, they sayde vnto hym: “Goe and seeke if thy sainct Iulian, will helpe thee to good lodging this nighte, for our saincte wyll helpe vs to good.” And repassing through the Riuer, they went their waye. The seruaunt of Rinaldo, seyng the theues sette vppon his maister (like a cowarde) helped him nothing, but tourned his brydle and neuer left galloping vntill he came to Castell Guglielmo: where because it was nighte, he lodged in an Inne, without any further care for his Maister. Rinaldo being stil there in his shyrte, bare footed and bare legged, in the great Frost and Snowe, not knowing what to doe, and seing night already approche, quaking, and his 127 teethe clacketing in his head, began to looke about hym, if he coulde see anye place there for hym to resorte for succour, that he might not dye for colde: but (seyng none at all, because a litle before, the warres had with fyre consumed all thynges) being sore afflicted for colde, he began to make spede towardes the Castell Guglielmo, not knowyng that his seruaunt was fledde thither: thynking that if he might come in, God would sende hym some succour, but darke night ouertooke him a good waye of, before hee coulde come to the Castell, almoste the space of a mile, by whiche meanes he arriued there verye late, the gates being shutte vp and the bridges drawen, that he could not goe in. By reason whereof hee was verie sorowefull and discomforted, lamentable casting his eyes about, to espie if it wer possible that at the lest he might shroude him selfe free from the snowe: and by chaunce he sawe a house vpon the walles of the Castell, vnder whiche he determined to reste tyll it was daye, and repairing thether, he found vnder the house a doore, (whiche was locked) vnder which doore gathering a litle strawe that he founde thereabout, he sat down very heauie and pensife: making his complaint many tymes vnto saincte Iulian, that the faith which he reposed in him had nowe deceiued him. But saincte Iulian taking pitie vpon him, without any further delaye, prepared him (as it chaunced) a good lodging: for there dwelled in that Castell a woman whiche was a wydowe so faire a persone as might be seene, whom the Marques Azzo lou d as his life, and kepte her there for his owne pleasure. And the same woman dwelte in the house, vnder the porche wherof Rinaldo was gone to reste him selfe, vnto whome the daye before, the Marques resorted to disport him selfe that night, and in her house had secretly caused a bathe to be made, and a great supper to be prepared. All which being readie, and the good wyfe expecting nothing els but the comming of the Marques, it chaunced that one of his men called at the gates of the Castell, with newes to the Marques, that sodainly he must ryde awaye; wherefore he sent woorde to the wydowe, that shee should not attende his comming: who, not a litle displeased with the message, not knowing what to doe, determined to enter the Bathe whiche was prepared for the marques, and when she had supped to goe to 128 bedde. This Bathe was harde by the doore whereunto poore Rinaldo was approched. The widowe being in the Bathe, hearing the plaintes and trembling voyce of Rinaldo, thought it had been the noyse of a Storke. Whereupon she called her mayde and saide vnto her: “Goe vp, and looke ouer the walles, to know who is at the doore and what he would haue.” The mayde, according to her maistres commaundement, went to the doore, and the night being somewhat cleare, sawe Rinaldo sitting in his shyrte, bare legged, shaking for colde, as is before said, and asked him what he was. Rinaldo with his teethe shyuering in his head, coulde scarse well speake, or vtter a woorde, but yet so brieflie as he coulde, he tolde her what he was, howe and for what purpose he was come thither. Afterwardes he piteously began to praye her (if she could) not to suffer him that night to sterue for colde. The maide pitying his estate, returned to her maistres, and tolde her what she sawe: who likewyse hauiug compassion vppon him, remembring that she had the keye of the dore (whiche sometimes serued the turne, when the marques was disposed secretly to come in) she sayde to her mayde: “Go open the doore softly, for we haue prepared a supper, and here is no man to eate it: and also here is lodging sufficient to harbour him.” The mayde greatly praysing her maistres for her curtesie, wente forth and opened the doore. And when he was let in, they sawe him to be almoste frosen for colde: sayinge vnto him, dispatche good felowe, goe into the Bathe, being yet hotte. Whiche thinge he right willingly did, not looking that he should be bidden againe, and being recomforted with the warmth therof, he felt him selfe reuiued from death to life. The good wyfe caused certayne apparel of her late dead husband, to be searched out for him, and when he had put them on, they were so mete, as though they had bene made of purpose, and waiting what it should please the good wife to commaunde him, he began humbly to thanke God and saincte Iulian, that hee was deliuered from that euill nighte (contrarie to his expectation) to so good a lodging. After this the fayre wydowe, somewhat reposing her selfe, caused a great fyre to be made in one of her great chambers, into the whiche shee came, and demaunded her mayde what maner of man he was. The maid aunswered: “Maistres, nowe he is in good apparell, he is a verie handsome felowe, and seemeth 129 to be of good reputation and honestie.” “Goe thy wayes (quod her maistres) and call hym hether. Bidde him come to the fyre, and tell hym that he shall suppe with me, for perchaunce he hath eaten no meate this nighte.” Rinaldo came into the chamber, and seing the wydowe, he made to her great reuerence: thanking her for her kindnesse shewed vnto him. When the wydowe had seene him, and heard him speake, perceiuing him to be suche a one as her mayde reported, shee intertaigned him in curteous wyse, causing him familiarly to sitte downe before the fire, and demaunded what mishap brought him to that place. To whome Rinaldo rehersed the whole discourse. For she had heard at the comming of Rinaldo his seruaunt to the Castell, a brute of his roberie, whiche made her to beleue him the better: She tolde him also, that his man was come to the towne, and howe hee might easely finde him the next morning. And after meate was serued to the table, Rinaldo and she washed together, and then sat down to supper. He was a goodly personage, faire and pleasaunt to beholde, yonge and of good behauiour, vpon whom the woman many times did cast her eyes, and liked him well. To be shorte, this lecherous Lady, burning inwardlye with amourous desyre, abused her selfe with hym, in steede of the Marques. But when the morning began to shewe foorth her light, the wydowe, to the intent no suspicion might bee hadde, gaue him certayne base and course apparell, and filled his purse with money, praying him to kepe her counsell, and first tolde him whiche way he should take to seeke his man, letting him out at the doore whereat he came in. Who seming as though he had traueiled a great waye that morning, when the gates were opened, went into the Castell, and founde his seruaunte. And then putting vppon hym suche apparell as was in his male, and being about to mounte vpon his man’s horse, it came to passe, like as it had bene a diuine miracle, that the three theues, whiche had robbed him the night before, were taken for doing an other robberie a little whyle after, and were brought to the Castell, and vppon their confession, his horse, apparell, and money, were restored to him againe, losing nothing but a payre of garters. Wherefore Rinaldo thanking God and saint Iulian, mounted vppon his horse and retourned whole and saulfe to his owne house. And the nexte daye, the three theues were conueied foorth, to blesse the worlde with their heeles.



Three yonge men hauing fondlye consumed all that they had, became verie poore, whose nephewe (as he retourned out of Englande into Italie,) by the waye fell into acquaintaunce with an abbote, whome (vpon further familiaritie) he knewe to be the king of Englandes doughter, whiche toke him to husbande. Afterwardes she restored his vncles to all their losses, and sent them home in good state and reputation.

There was sometyme in the citie of Florence, a knight called Sir Tebaldo, who as some saie, was of the house of Lamberti: and as other affirme, of Agolanti. But leauing the variaunce of whether house he was, true it is, that hee was in that time a notable riche and wealthy knight, and had three sonnes. The firste called Lamberto, the seconde Tebaldo, and the thirde Agolante, all faire and goodly yonge men: and the eldest of whiche was not XVIII. yeares of age. When the sayde Sir Tebaldo died, to them (as his lawefull heires) he lefte all his landes and goodes. Who being verie ryche in readie money and possessions, continued their life without gouernement at their owne pleasures, and without brydle or stay they began to consume their goodes. They kepte a greate and franke house, and many Horses of great value, with Dogges and Haukes of sundrie kyndes, giuing liberall giftes, and obseruing diuerse gestes at Tilte and Torney: doing also that whiche not onely did appertayne and belonge to Gentlemen, but also that whiche was incident to the trade and course of youthe. They continued not long in this order, but their substaunce lefte them by their father, was very muche consumed. And their reuenues (not able to mainteine their expences) began to decrease, whereupon they were fayne to morgage and sell their inheritaunce, in suche wyse as in the ende they grewe to extreme pouertie. And then penurie did open their eyes, in like sorte as before riches had closed them vp. For whiche cause, Lamberto vpon a daye did cal his other twoo brethren vnto him, and tolde them of what honour their father was, to what value his rychesse did amounte, and nowe to 131 what pouertie they were come through their disordinate expences: giuing them counsaile (so well as he could) that before miserie did growe any further vpon them, by selling that whiche was lefte, they shoulde goe their waye: whiche they did. And without leaue taken of any man, or other solempnitie, they departed from Florence, and taried in no place before they were arriued in Englande. Where taking a litle house in the citie of London, they liued with litle expences, and began to lende out their money to vsurie: and Fortune was so fauourable vnto them by that trade, that in few yeares they had gayned a verie notable somme of money, whiche made them one after an other, to retire agayne to Florence with their substaunce: where they redemed a great part of their inheritaunce, and bought other lande, and so gaue them selues to mariage: continuing neuerthelesse in Englande, their money at interest. They sent thither to be their factour, a yonge man their nephewe, called Alexandro. And they three dwelling still at Florence, began agayne to forget to what miserie their inordinate expences hadde brought them before. And albeit they were charged with housholde, yet they spent out of order, and without respect, and were of great credite with euery Marchaunt: whose expences, the money that Alexandro many times did send home, did helpe to supporte for certaine yeares, which was lent out to diuers gentlemen and Barons of the countrey, vpon their Castelles, Manours, and other reuenues, wherof was receiued an incredible profite. In the meane time the three brethren spent so largely, as they borowed money of other, fixing all their hope from Englande. It chaunced that warres happened betwene the king of England, and one of his sonnes, whiche bredde muche diuision in that lande, some holding of one parte, and some of an other. By meanes whereof, all the Manours and morgaged landes, were taken awaye from Alexandro, hauing nothing wher vpon any profite did ryse. Howebeit he dailye trusted that peace shoulde bee concluded betweene the father and the sonne, and that all thinges should be surrendred, as well the principall as the interest: determining vppon that hope not to departe the Countrie. The three brethren whiche were at Florence, not limitting any order to their disordinate expences, grewe daylye worse and worse. But 132 in processe of tyme, when all hope was paste of their recouerye, they loste not onely their credite, but the creditours desirous to be payde, were fayne to sende them to pryson. And because their inheritaunce was not sufficient to paye the whole debte, they remayned in pryson for the reste, and their wiues and children wer dispersed, some into the countrie, and some hether and thether, out of order, not knowing how to do, but to abide a poore and miserable life for euer. Alexandro which of long time taried for a peace in Englande, and seing that it came not to passe, considering also with him selfe (ouer and besides his vaine abode, for recouerie of his debtes) that he was in daunger of his life, he purposed to retourne into Italie. And as he trauailed by the waye alone, and departed from Bruges, by fortune he perceiued an abbot clothed in white, in like maner about to take his iourney, accompanied with many Monkes, and a great traine: hauing much cariage and diuers baggages before. After whome rode twoo olde knightes, the kinsmen of the king, with whom Alexandro entred acquaintance by reason of former knowledge, and was receiued into their companie. Alexandro then riding with them frendlye, demaunded what Monkes they were that rode before with so great a trayne, and whether they went. To whome one of the knightes aunswered, that he which rode before, was a yonge gentleman their kinsman, which was newly chosen Abbot of one of the best Abbaies in England. And because he was verie yonge, and not capable by the decrees, of suche a dignitie, they went with him to Rome, to obteine of the holy father a dispensation for his age, and for a confirmation of that office. But they willed him to disclose the same to no man. And so this newe Abbot, riding sometimes before and sometimes after, as wee see ordinarelie that Lordes doe when they trauell in the countrie, it chaunced that the Abbot espying Alexandro riding besides him, which was a faire yonge man, honest, curteous, and familier, who at the first meting did so marueilously delight him, as any thing that euer he sawe in his life, and calling him vnto him, he began familiarly to talke, and asked what he was, from whence he came, and whether he went. To whom Alexandro declared liberally all his state, and satisfied his demaunde, offering vnto him (although his power was 133 litle) al the seruice he was able to do. The Abbot hearing his courteous offer and comely talke, placed in good order, considering more particulerly the state of his affaires, and waying with him selfe, that albeit his traine was small yet neuerthelesse he semed to be a gentleman, and then pitying his mishappes, he recomforted him familiarly, and saide vnto him: That hee ought dailye to liue in good hope, for if he were an honest man, God would aduaunce him againe not only to that place from whence fortune had throwen him downe, but also to greater estimation: praying him that sithens he was going into Thuscane, whether he likewyse went, that it would please him to remaine in his companie. Alexandro thanked him humblie of his comfort, and said vnto him that he was redie to imploy him selfe where it should please him to commaunde. The Abbot thus riding, (into whose minde newe thoughts entred vpon the sight of Alexandro) it chaunced, after manie daies iournies, they arriued at a village that was but meanly furnished with lodging. The Abbot desirous to lodge there, Alexandro intreated him to light at the Inne of an hoste which was familiarly knowen vnto him, and caused a chamber to be made redie for him selfe in the worste place of the house. And the Marshall of the Abbot’s lodgings, being alreadie come to the towne, (which was a man very skilfull in those affaires) he lodged al the traine in that village, one here, an other there, so well as he could. And by that time the Abbot had supped, night was farre spente, and euerie man repaired to his lodging. Alexandro demaunded the hoste wher he should lie? To whom the hoste made aunswere “Of a trouthe Maister Alexandro I knowe not, for you see that all my house is so full, as I and my housholde are faine to lie vpon the benches: howe be it, I haue certaine garrettes, harde adioyning to the lorde Abbottes chamber, where I may place you very well, and I wyll cause my folkes to beare thither a pallet, where if you please, you may lodge this night.” To whome Alexandro said. “But how shall I passe through the Abbot’s chamber, the rowme being so streight as not one of his Monkes is able to lie there. But if I had knowen it before, the Curteins had bene drawen, I would haue caused his Monkes to haue lien in the Garret, and I my self would haue lodged where they do.” Wherunto the 134 hoste saide, “It is doen nowe, but (me thinke) you may if you liste lie there so well, as in any place of the house. The Abbot being asleepe, and the Courteins drawen, I wyll softly and without noyse conueye a pallette thyther.” Alexandro perceiuing that the same might be done, without any anoiaunce to the Abbot, agreed and conueyed him selfe, so secretlye as hee coulde, through the chamber. The abbot whiche was not a sleepe (but gaue him selfe to thinke and imagine vpon his newe desires) heard the wordes that were spoken, betweene the hoste and Alexandro, and likewise vnderstanding where Alexandro lay, was verie well contente in him selfe, and began to saye: “The Lorde hath sent me a tyme fauourable to satisfie my desyres, whiche if I doe not nowe receiue, peraduenture the like will neuer be offred againe.” Wherfore perswading with him selfe to take that present occasion, and supposing likewyse, that euery man was a sleepe, he called Alexandro so softlie as he could, and willed him to come and lie beside him: who after many excuses, when his clothes were of came vnto him. The Abbot laying his arme ouer him, began to attempte suche amorous toyes, as be accustomed betweene twoo louers: whereof Alexandro meruayled muche, and doubted that the Abbot being surprysed with dishonest loue, had called him to his bedde of purpose to proue him. Whiche doubt the Abbot (either by presumption, or some other acte done by Alexandro) vnderstanding: incontinently began to smyle, and to putte of his shyrte whiche he ware, and toke Alexandro’s hande, and laide it ouer his stomacke, saying vnto him: “Alexandro, cast out of thy mynde thy vnhonest thought, and fele here the thing which I haue secrete.” Alexandro laying his hande ouer the Abbottes stomacke, perceiued that he had twoo breastes, rounde and harde, the skinne whereof was verie fine and tender, whereby he perceiued that hee was a woman, whom incontinently hee embraced, and without looking for any other inuitation, he would haue kissed her, but she saide vnto him: “Before thou approche any nearer, marke what I shall saye vnto thee. I am a woman and not a man, as thou maiest perceiue, but being departed a maid from my house, I am going to the Pope, to praye him to place me in mariage. But when I first viewed thee, the other daye, whether it was through thy good 135 fortune, or my mishap, loue attached me in suche wyse as neuer woman loued man, as I do thee, and therefore I do purpose to take thee to husbande before all other: but if thou wilt not take me to wife get the hence and retourne to thyne owne bedde.” Alexandro although hee knewe her not, yet hauing regarde vnto the companie and traine that folowed her, iudged her to be some noble and riche Ladie: on the other parte, he sawe that she was a personage right beautifull and faire, therefore without any further consideration, he answered. “That for so muche as her pleasure was such, he was verie well contented.” Shee then sitting vp in her bedde, hauing a litle table (wherin the picture of Christe was painted) indowed him with a ringe, doing the order of espousalles, and afterwards embracing one an other, to their great contentation and pleasure, they ioyfully continued together that night. And after they had deuised and concluded the order and meanes to order their affaires from that time foorth, Alexandro, so sone as it was daye, rose vp and went out of the chamber that waye he came in, without knowledge to any man where he lay that night. Then right ioyfull and glad, he proceaded in his iourney with the abbot and his companye, and within fewe daies arriued at Rome. And when they had remained there a certain time, the Abbot taking with him but the twoo knightes and Alexandro, went to the Pope: where doing to him their due reuerence, the Abbot began to speake in this wyse. “Holie father (as your holinesse doth better knowe then any other) euery man that purposeth to liue an honest life, ought to auoyde (so muche as lieth in him) all occasions that may drawe him to the contrary. Which to th’intent I that am desirous to leade an honest life, may fully performe, am secretly fled and arriued here, in the habite wherin you see, with a good porcion of the king of Englandes treasure, who is my father: that your holines may bestow me in mariage, for so muche as my father woulde giue me to wife (which am a yonge gentlewoman as you see) to the Scottishe king, a very riche and welthy Prince, but yet very olde and decrepite. And his olde age was not so much the occasion of my departure, as the feare which I conceiued (through the frailtie of my youth to be maried vnto him,) to commit a thing that should be contrarie to the lawe of God, 136 and the honour of the bloud roiall of my father. And in coming hitherwardes, being in this deepe deliberation with myself, almighty God, who only knoweth assuredly, what is nedeful and necessary for vs al, did place before mine eies (through his gracious mercy as I trust,) him that he thinketh mete to be my husband, which is this yonge gentleman (pointing to Alexandro) whom you see standing besides me. The honestie and worthinesse of whome is well able to matche with any great lady, how honorable so euer she be, although per aduenture, the nobilitie of his bloud is not so excellent as that which procedeth from the roiall and Princely stock. Him then haue I chosen to be my husband, him I will haue and none other, whatsoeuer my father shall say, or any other to the contrarie. Wherefore the principall occasion that moued me to come hither, is now dispatched. But I will accomplishe and performe the rest of my voyage, as well to visite the holy and reuerent places (wherof this citie is ful) and your holinesse: as also that the contract of mariage (hitherto only made in the presence of God, betwene Alexandro and me,) may be consumate openly in the presence of you, and consequently in the sight of all men: Wherfore I humbly beseche your fatherhode, to be agreable vnto that whiche it hath pleased God and mee to bring to passe, and that you would giue vs your benediction, to the intent we may liue together in the honour of God, to the perfection and ende of our life.” Alexandro greatly marueiled, when he vnderstoode that his wife was the doughter of the king of Englande, and was rapte with an vnspeakeable ioye. But much more marueiled the two knightes, which were so troubled and appalled, that if they had bene in any place els, sauing in the presence of the Pope, they woulde haue killed Alexandro, and peraduenture the lady her self. On the other part the Pope was verie much astonned, both at the habite and apparell of the Lady, and also of her choise. But knowing that the same could not be vndone, he was content to satisfie her request. And first of all he comforted the two knightes, whom he knewe to be moued at the matter, and reduced them in amitie, with the lady and Alexandro: then he gaue order what was beste to be done. And when the mariage daie, by him appointed, was come, hee caused the Ladie to issue forth, clothed in 137 roiall vestures, before al the Cardinalles, and many other great personages that were repayred to the great feaste, of purpose by hym prepared. Whiche Ladie appeared to be so fayre and comelie that not without deserte shee was praysed and commended of all the assemblie. In like maner Alexandro, gorgeouslie apparelled, both in outwarde apparaunce and condicions, was not like one that had lent monie to Vsurie, but of a more Princelie grace and was greatelye honoured of those twoo knightes, where the Pope solempnely celebrated (againe) the espousalles. And after that ryche and royall mariage was ended, he gaue them leaue to departe. It seemed good to Alexandro, and likewise to the Lady, to goe from Rome to Florence, in whiche citie, the brute of that accidente was alreadie noysed, where being receiued of the citizens with great honour, the Ladie deliuered the three brethren out of prison, and hauing firste payde euerie man their debte, they with their wiues, were repossessed in their former inheritaunce. Then Alexandro and his wife, with the good will and ioyfull gratulations of all men departed from Florence, and taking with them Agolante, one of their vncles, arriued at Paris, where they were honourably interteigned of the Frenche king. From thence the twoo knightes went into England, and so perswaded the king, that they recouered his good will towardes his doughter: and sending for his sonne in lawe, hee receiued them both with great ioy and triumphe. And within a whyle after, he inuested his saide sonne with the order of knight hode, and made him Earle of Cornewale, whose wisedome proued so great, as hee pacified the father, and the sonne whereof insued, surpassing profite and commoditie for the whole Realme, whereby also he gained and got the loue and good will of all the people; and Agolante his vncle, fully recouered all debtes, due vnto him in Englande. And the Earle when he had made his vncle knightes suffered him to retourne in riche estate to Florence. The Earle afterwardes liued with his wife in great prosperitie (and as some do affirme) both by his own pollicie and valiaunce, and with the aide of his father in lawe, he recouered and ouercame the Realme of Scotlande, and was there crowned Kyng.



Landolpho Ruffolo being impooerished, became a pirate and taken by the Geneuois, was in daunger of drowning, who sauing himselfe vpon a litle coafer full of rich iewels, was receiued at Corfu, and beinge cherished by a woman, retourned home very riche.

It is supposed, that the sea coast of Reggium (in Calabria) in the most delectable part in all Italy, wherin (hard by Salerno) there is a countrye by the Sea Side, which the inhabitauntes doe terme the coast of Malfy, so full of litle cities, gardeines, fountaines, riche men and marchauntes, as any other people and countrie. Among which said cities, there was one called Rauello, where in time past (althoughe in these dayes there be very rich men), there dwelte a notable man of substaunce, called Landolpho Ruffolo: who being not contented with his riches, but desirous to multiplye them double, was in hazarde to lose himselfe, and all that he had. This man, (as all other marchauntes be accustomed) after he had considered with himselfe what to doe, boughte a very greate shippe, and sraughted the same with sondrye kindes of marchaundize of his owne aduenture, and made a voyage to the Isle of Cypri, where he found (besides the commodities which he brought) many other shippes arriued there, laden with such like wares: by which occasion it happened, that hee was forced not onelye to sell the same good cheape, but also was constrained (if hee woulde dispatch his goodes) to giue them almost for nought, whereby he thoughte that he was vtterly vndone. And being greatly troubled for that losse, not knowing what to doe, and seing how in so litle a time, of a rich man he was come to begger state, he thoughte either to die, or els by piracie to recouer his losses, to the intent he might not returne to the place poore, from whence he was departed riche. And hauing founde a copeseman for his great barque, with the money thereof, and with other which hee receiued for his marchandise, he boughte a small pinnas, meete for the vse of a pirate, which he armed and furnished with al thinges necessary for that purpose: and determined 139 to make himselfe riche with the goodes of other men, and chiefelye hee ment to set vppon the Turkes: whereunto fortune was more fauourable then to his former trade: and by chaunce, by the space of one yeare, he robbed and toke so many Foistes and galleis of the Turkes, as he had recouered not onely that which he loste by marchaundise, but also more then twise so muche as whereunto those losses did amounte.

Wherfore, well punished with the first sorow of his losses, knowing his gaines to multiplie, as he needed not returne the seconde time, he thoughte with himselfe that the same which he had gotten was sufficiente: and therefore determined presently to returne to his owne house with his gotten goods. And fearing the hinderance which he susteined in traffique of Marchaundise, hee purposed to imploie his moneye no longer that wayes, but in that barque wherewith hee had gained the same, with his ores hee tooke his course homeward: and being vppon the maine Sea, in the night the wind rose at the Southeast, which was not onely contrary to his course, but also raised such a tempest, as his smal barque was not able to indure the Seas. Wheruppon he toke harborough in a Creke of the Sea, whiche compassed a litle Ilande, there expecting for better wind. Into which creke within a while after, with much a do for auoyding of that tempest, arriued two great Argoseis of Genoa, that were come from Constantinople: the mariners of which greate shippes, when they sawe the litle barque, they closed vp the waye, that the pinnas could not goe out. And then vnderstanding of whence he was, and knowinge by report, that he was very riche, determined (being men naturally giuen to spoile and loue of money,) to take her. And setting a shore part of their men, well armed and furnished with crossebowes, they conueied themselues to keepe and defende that none within the Pinnas (except they woulde be shot through) was able to escape: then retiring into their skiftes, with helpe of the Tide they approched Landolpho his barque, which without any great difficultie, in a small space they toke with all the company, not loosing so much as one man. And carying Landolpho aborde one of their cockes, and all within borde his little Pinnas, they soncke the same and al the Mariners, and kept Landolpho, 140 suffering him not to haue about him any kind of armure, not so much as an haberion. The next day the winde chaunged, and the shippes hoisted vp sailes toward Leuant, and all that day prosperouslie sailed on their voyage. But vpon the closing of the night, a storme rose againe, and separated the two ships, one from another, and by force of the wind, it chaunced the ship wherein poore Landolpho was, strake with great violence vpon a sande, in the Iland of Cephalonia: and as one would throw a glasse against a wall, euen so the shippe opened, and fell in peeces, whereby the sorowfull Mariners that stoode aboue, (the seas being couered with goodes, coaffers and plancks of the ship that swam aboue water, which chaunceth many times in such like accidents, the night being darke and the billowes going high and streinable,) such as were able to swim, began to take holde of those thinges which Fortune gaue vnto them. Amonges whom wretched Landolpho, seinge death before his face (which he so greatly desired, and so many times craued the day before, rather then to retourne home in that poore estate) was afraied, and caught hold of a borde amonges the rest, trusting it might chaunce that God woulde pardon him of drowninge, and sende him some refuge for his escape. And as hee was a horseback, and fletinge vpon a plancke, so wel as he could, (driuen here and there with the Sea and winde) he helde faste the same till it was day lighte: which when he perceiued, he looked about him and saw nothing but the cloudes, the Seas, and a coaffer, swimminge aboue water, which was driuen so nere him, that it made him manye times to feare that it would be his ouerthrow. And the nerer it came, the more hee laboured to put it backe (so well as he could) with his hande, although his force and power was gone: but how soeuer it chaunced, a gale of winde blew out of the skies, and strake the coaffer against the borde whereuppon Landolpho was, who by that meanes driuen backe, was forced to giue ouer the plancke, and with a billow was beaten vnder the water, and afterwardes, remounting aloft againe, hee swam more through feare then force. And seing the borde caried a farre of from him, fearinge lest he should not be able to fasten the same againe, he drewe toward the coafer which was nere ynough vnto him, and laying his 141 breaste vpon the couer thereof, he made it go (so right as he could) with his armes. And in this maner driuen by the Sea, now here now there, without eating (as hauing not wherwithall) and drinking more then he would, he continued al that day and night following not knowing wher he was, for he sawe nothing but sea. The next morning, eyther by the will of God, or throughe the windes force, Landolpho (which was then transfformed into a sponge) holding faste with both his handes the brimme of the coafer, (like as we see them that feare to be drowned, do take hold of the next thinge that commeth to hande,) arriued at the shore of the Isle of Corfu, wher by fortune, a poore woman was scowring her vessell with Sand and salt water, who seing him draw nere, and perceyuing in him no forme or fashion of a man, was afraid, and crying out ranne backe. He not able to speake, and see but very litle, could say nothinge, but as the Sea droue him nere the shore, the woman discryed the likenes of a coafer, and beholding the same more aduisedlye, saw at length his armes vpon the same and therewithal his face, marueiling with her selfe who it should be: wherfore moued with compassion, she wente into the Sea a litle waye, which then was calme, and catching him by the heare, she pluckte him and the coafer to lande: and with much a doe vnfolded his armes that were about the coafer, causing her maide that was with her to carrie the coafer vpon her head: and she bare him to lande, (like a litle childe,) which done, she put him into a hotte house, and with warme water, by frotting and robbing him, his naturall heate, and other his sences lost, began to come againe into their former course. And when he saw time she toke him out, cherishing and comfortinge him with wynes and brothes, and so well as shee could, made him at length to recouer his force in such wise as he knew wher he was. Then the woman deliuered him his coafer, which he had saued, and badde him to seeke his aduenture. And thus this good wife delt with Landolpho, who litle esteemed the coafer, but yet he considered that it coulde not be of so small value, but that it was able to beare his charges for certaine dayes. Howbeit, feelinge it to be lighte, he was cleare voyde of hope to haue anye succour and reliefe thereof. Neuerthelesse (when the good wyfe was out of the doores) he 142 brake open the same to see what was within, where he found many precious Jewels, some bound together and some loose, wherein he had pretie skill: and knowing them to be of great value, giuing thanckes to God, which had not yet forsaken him, was wholy recomforted. Howbeit, for so much as in a litle space he had bin twise cruellye distressed and tormented by Fortune, fearing the third time, he thought that it was needeful for him to take heede how to dispose his things in safetie till he came home to his owne house. Wherefore hauing bestowed those precious Jewels in certaine ragges and cloutes so well as he could, he said to the good wife that he had no neede of the coafer, but if shee woulde giue him a bagge, he would bestow the same vppon her: which the good wife willingly did. And Landolpho geuing her so great thanckes as he coulde, for the kindnes which he had found at her hands, toke his leaue, and imbarking himselfe, he passed to Branditio, and from thence from place to place till hee came to Trani, where findinge diuers of the Citie wherein he dwelt, that were Drapers, he was apparelled of them (in a maner for Gods sake) to whom he told the discourse of all his fortune, except the coafer, who lent him a horse, and sente diuers in his company to bring him home to Rauello. And when he was in safety arriued, he thanked God that had brought him thither, where he searched his bouget with more leasure then he did at the first, and founde that he had manye stones of so greate value, that sellinge them at price reasonable, for lesse then they were worth, his substaunce did amount to so much more then it was when he departed from his house. And when he had founde the meanes to dispatch and sell his Jewels, he sent to Corfu a good peece of money, to the woman that toke him oute of the Sea, to recompence the kindnes, that he had found at her handes: and the like to them of Trani, that had giuen him apparell, the rest he toke to himselfe and would be no more a Marchaunte, but liued at home in honest estate to the ende of his life.



Andreuccio of Perugia being come to Naples to buy horses, was in one night surprised, with three marueilous accidentes. All which hauinge escaped with one Rubie he retourned home to his house.

There was at Perugia a yong man, called Andreuccio di Pietro, a horse corser, who vnderstanding of a horse faire at Naples, did put fiue hundred Crownes in his pursse, and neuer traueling before from his owne house, went thither with certaine other marchants, who arriued at Naples vpon a Sonday at night. The next morninge, accordinge to the instructions giuen him by his host, he went to the fayre, where he viewed and saw many horses, whereof diuers did very well like him, and demaunded their prises: but with none he could agree of price. And to shew himselfe a right well able man to paye for that he boughte, many times (like a dolte and foole as he was) hee drew out his pursse stuffed with crownes, in the presence of them that passed to and fro. It chaunced that a yonge woman of Scicilia (which was very fayre, but at euery man’s commaundement, and that for little hire) passed by as he was shewinge his purse, not marked or perceiued by Andreuccio, who sodenlye saide to her selfe: “What is she in all this towne, that should be like vnto me, if all those crownes were mine?” And so passed forth. There was with this yong peate, an old woman, a Scicilian also, who so sone as she espied Andreuccio, forsoke her companion and ran affectuouslye to imbrace him. Which the yong woman perceyuinge (not speaking a word) she gaue good heede to that they said: Andreuccio tourninge himselfe to the olde woman, immediatlye knew her, and reioysed muche that he had so happely met her: whom after greate gratulacions and manye welcomes, she promised to visite at his lodginge, which done, she departed from Andreuccio, and hee retourned to buy his horsse, howbeit that morning he bought none at all. The yonge dame, which had first seene this pursse, and marked the acquaintaunce between the old woman and him, to assaie by 144 what meanes she might get that moneye, or at leaste some part thereof, subtelly asked the old woman what man that was, of whence, what he did there, and how he knew her. To whom the olde woman particularlye recompted her whole acquaintaunce, how she dwelt of long time in Scicilia with his father, and afterwards at Perugia. And likewise she told her when he retourned, and for what cause hee was come to Naples. This iollie wenche, wholy informed of Andreuccio his parentes, and of their names, made a plat and foundation, by subtill and craftie meanes, how to obtaine her purpose: and when she was come home to her house, she sent the old woman about businesse for that day, because she might not retourne to Andreuccio. She had dwelling with her a pretie girle, well noseled and brought vp in doing of arrantes, whom about euening, she sent to the lodging of Andreuccio to make inquirie for him: where by fortune she chaunced to finde him standing alone at his hostes doore, whom the girle did aske if he knew not an honest man of Perugia called Andreuccio di Pietro, that hosted there: “Yes my girle (quoth he) I am the same man.” Then she toke him a side, and saide vnto him. “Sir, there is a gentlewoman of this towne, that would gladly speake with you, if it were your pleasure.” Which when Andreuccio heard, by and by hee called to minde, and seemed to himselfe that hee was a goodly yonge man of person, and that withoute doubte the same woman was in loue with him, because in all Naples he thought ther was none so proper a stripling as himselfe: whom incontinently he aunsweared, that he would waite vpon her, demaunding when he should come and to what place. To whom she made answere. “Euen when it pleaseth you sir, for my maistresse attendeth at home for you. Andreuccio vpon that, withoute any word spoken to his hoste, whither he was gone, said to the wench. “Go thou before, and I will follow.” And the girle did conduct him to her maistres house, which dwelt in a streate called Marpertugio, a name shewing the honestie of the streate, wher she dwelt. But he knowing and suspecting nothing, thought the place to be right honest that he went vnto, and the wife likewise honest and good, and boldlie entred the house, the wenche going before: and mountinge vp 145 the staiers, this yonge gristle called her maistres, sayinge vnto her that maister Andreuccio was come. Who redie at the vpper steppe, seemed as though she attended for him. This Ladie was fine and had a good face, well apparelled and trimmed after the beste maner. And seinge maister Andreuccio at hand, descended two steppes of the staiers with her armes open to imbrace him, foldinge the same aboute his necke, and paused a certaine space without speaking any word, as thoughe great loue and earneste affection enforced her so to doe. Then weeping, she kissed his face, and with a voice halfe vttered betwene howling and speaking, she said vnto him: “O Andreuccio mine owne deare hart, most hartely welcome.” Andreuccio marueyling at those tender words, all amazed aunsweared: “Gentlewoman, and you also well found out.” Afterwards she toke him by the hand and conueied him vp into a parlour, and from thence (without further talke) into a chamber, which was all perfumed with Roses, with flowers of Orenges, and other sweete smelles: where he sawe a bedde well furnished, and diuers sortes of apparell placed vppon presses (accordinge to the maner of that countrie) and many other faire and riche ornaments. By reason whereof Andreuccio, which was but a freshe water Souldiour, thought that shee had been a great ladie. And they two sittinge together vppon a cheste, at her bed’s feete, she began thus to saye vnto him. “Andreuccio, I am assured you do greatly wonder at these faire words, this curteous interteignement, and at the teares which I let fall. And no marueile, although you do not know mee, and peraduenture neuer heard tel of me before: but I wil declare vnto you a thing more straunge and marueilous then that is: and to tell you plaine, I am your owne sister, and I say vnto you, that sith it hath pleased my Lord God, to shew me so much grace and fauour, that I doe now see one of my brethren before I die (althoughe I desire to see them all) I care not when hee do call mee from this wretched world: I am so in minde comforted and releued. And where it may chaunce, that you neuer vnderstoode so much before this time, I will tell you the whole discourse. So it is, that Pietro my father and yours, dwelt of long time (whereof it is possible, that you haue heard report) 146 at Palermo, where through the goodnesse and frendlye behauioure of him, there be yet some remayninge that did beare him singular good wil and frendship. But amonges other which loued him moste, my mother (which was a gentlewoman, and then a widow) without doubt did loue him best: in such wise, that shee forgetting the loue of her father, and of her brethren, and the loue of her owne honour and reputation, they dealed so together as they begat mee, and am here as you see. Afterwardes when your father and mine had occasion to depart from Palermo, he retourned to Perugia, leauing my mother behinde, and me his yong doughter, neuer after that (so farre as I knowe) caringe neither for my mother or me: whereof if he were not my father, I coulde blame him very much, consideringe his ingratitude towards my mother. Albeit, he ought to vse towards mee so muche affection and fatherlye loue as to his owne doughter, being come of no kitchin maide, ne yet of anye base woman: for my mother otherwise not knowinge what he was, did commit into his handes (moued of mere loue) both herselfe and all that she had. But what? thinges ill done, and so longe time past, are more easie to be reprehended then amended. Thus the matter went, he left mee a litle infante at Palermo, where when I was growen to yeares, my mother which was riche, gaue mee to wife, to one of the house of Gergenti, a gentleman of great honesty and reputation, who for the loue of my mother and me, retourned to dwell at Palermo, where greatly fauouringe the faction of the Guelphi, hee began to practise a certaine enterprise with oure king Charles, which being knowen to king Frederick, before the same enterprise could take effect, we were forced to flie out of Scicilia: at what time I had thought to haue been the chiefest ladie, that euer dwelte in that Island. Wherfore taking with vs such fewe things as wee were able to carie (fewe I maye well call them, in respect of them we possessed) and leauinge our houses and Palaces, we came vnto this citie: where we found kinge Charles so beningne towards vs, that he hath recompenced part of our losses, which we sustened in his seruice. For he hath giuen vs possessions and houses, with good prouision of housholde to my husband and your brother in law, as you now see and perceiue: 147 and in this maner I do remaine here, where (sweete brother) I thancke God (and not you) that at this present I see you:” and therwithall she toke him about the necke, weeping tenderly, and then kissed his face againe. Andreuccio hearing this tale spoken in order, and digested from poinct to poinct with good vtterance, wherof no word stucke betwene her teeth, or was impeached by default of tongue, and remembring how it was true that his father dwelt at Palermo, knowing also by himselfe the maner of yong men, which in their youth be prompte and willinge to loue, and seinge her tender teares, her imbracinges and honeste kisses, thoughte all that shee had spoken to be moste certaine and true. And after shee had done her tale, he answered in this wise: “Madame you may not thincke vnkindnesse, if I doe marueile at this, for that in verye deede, I haue no acquaintaunce of you, no more then if you had neuer beene borne: but whether my father hath spoken of you or of your mother at any time, truly I do not now remember: but so much the more I do reioyce that I haue founde a sister here (as I truste) because I am here alone: and certainely I knowe none so honourable, but you may seeme agreeable vnto him so well as to mee, which am but a poore marchaunt: howbeit, I do beseeche you to tell me how you did know that I was in the City.” To whom she aunsweared: “This morning a poore woman which oftentimes repaireth to my house, gaue mee knowledge thereof, because of long time (as she told me) she did dwell with your father at Palermo and at Perugia: and because I thought it more conuenient and meete, to bidde you home to mine owne house then to seke you in another man’s, I thought good to send for you.” After these words, she began in order to inquire of the state of his parents, calling them by their proper names: whereunto Andreuccio made aunswere, that now he perceiued he had better cause to giue credite vnto her words then before. Their discourse and talke of thinges being long and the weather hot, shee called for Greke wine and comfits, and made Andreuccio to drinke. Who after the banquet, desirous to depart to his lodging (for it was about supper time) shee by no meanes woulde suffer him, but making as though she were angrie, said vnto him: “Oh God! I see now most euidently, that you do 148 make little accompte of mee, being your owne sister whom you neuer sawe before, and in her house: whereunto you ought to resorte when so euer you come to towne: and will you nowe forsake the same to suppe in an Inne? But of trouth you shall not chose but take part of my supper: and althoughe my husbande be not at home (whereof I am righte sorie,) yet you shall knowe that his wife is able to make you some good chere.” To whom Andreuccio, not knowing wel what to say els, made this aunsweare: “I do loue you as I oughte to loue a sister: but if I goe not to mine Inne, I know they will tarie for mee all this night before they go to supper, to my great reproch and shame.” “Praised be God (quoth she then) I haue seruauntes to aduertise your host that you be here with me, to the intente hee shall not tarrie for you. But pleaseth you sir, to do me this great curtesie, that I may sende for your companions hither to beare you company, that afterwardes, if you will needes depart, ye may goe all together.” Andreuccio aunsweared, that he would send for none of his company that night: but for so much as she was so importunate, he himselfe was righte well content to satisfie her request. Then she made as thoughe shee had sent to his Inne to giue word that they should not tarie for him: and after much communication supper was placed vppon the table, serued in with manye deuises and sondrie delicates abundantly, and she with like sleights continued the supper till it was darke night. And when they rose from the table, Andreuccio made hast to departe, but shee would not suffer him, tellinge him that Naples was a towne so straight of orders that none might walke abrode in the night, and specially straungers; and that like as she had sent word how they should not tary for him at supper, euen so she had done for his bedde. All which Andreuccio beleeuing, and taking pleasure that he was with his sister, (deceiued though he were of his false beliefe) was wel contented to tarie. Their talke and communication after supper was of purpose dilated and protracted, and one part of the night being spent, she left Andreuccio in his chamber going to bedde, and a litle boye to waite vpon him to see that he lacked nothinge, and shee with her women went into another chamber. The time of the yeare was very hotte, wherefore Andreuccio being alone, 149 striped himselfe and laid his hose and doublette vnder his beddes head, and desirous to go to the priuie, he asked the boie where it was, who pointing to the doore in a corner of the chamber, said vnto him: “Goe in there.” Andreuccio safely wente in, and chaunced by Fortune to set his foote vpon a borde, which at both endes was loose from the ioyst whereuppon it lay, by reason whereof the bord and he tombled downe into the Iakes: and God so loued him, that in the fall he receiued no hurt although it were of a good height, sauing he was imbroined and arraied with the dunge of the place, wherof the Iakes was full. Which place (to the intent you may the better vnderstand what is said, and what shall follow) euen as it was I wil describe vnto you. There was in a litle straighte entrie (as manye times we see betweene two houses) certaine bordes laied vppon two Ioistes, betwene the one house and the other: vpon which was placed the seate of the priuie, one of which bordes was the same that fill downe with Andreuccio, who now being in the bottome of the Iakes, sorowfull for that sodaine chaunce, cried oute to the boie for helpe. But the boie so soone as hee hearde, that hee was fallen, wente in to tell his maistres, whoe by and by ranne into his chamber to seeke for his clothes: and when she had founde them, and in the same his money, which Andreuccio like a foole, without mistruste, still caried about him: she now possessed the thing for which she had before laied the snare, in fayning her selfe to be of Palermo and the doughter of one of Perugia. And caring no longer for him, she straight way shut fast the priuy doore whereat he went forth when he fell. Andreuccio seing that the boie would not aunswere, began to cry out a loude, but all was in vaine: wherfore suspecting the cause, and beginning somewhat to late to vnderstande the deceipt, he lept ouer a litle wall which closed the place from the sight of the streat. And when he was in the open streate he went to the dore of the house, which he knew well ynough, makinge a noise, rapping hard and long at the doore, but it was in vaine: for which cause he began to complaine and lamente, like vnto one that manifestly saw his misfortune, saying: “Alas, in howe litle time haue I lost fiue hundred crownes and a sister.” And after many other words, he began 150 againe to bounse at the doore, and to crie out. He rapped so long and cryed so loude, as he waked manye of the neighbours there aboutes, who not able to suffer that noyse, rose out of their beds, and amonges others one of the maides of the house (fayning her selfe to be slepie) looked out at the window and said in great rage: “What noise is beneath?” “Oh” saide Andreuccio, “do yee not know me? I am Andreuccio, the brother of madame Floredelice?” “Thou hast droncke to much me thinketh, (quoth the maide) go sleepe and come againe to morow: I know none called Andreuccio, nor yet do vnderstand what thou meanest by those foolish words, get thee hence good man and let vs sleepe I pray thee.” “Why (quoth Andreuccio) doest thou not heare me what I say? thou knowest me well ynough if thou wilt, but if the Scicilian kinred be so sone forgotten, giue me my clothes which I haue left behinde me, and I will go hence with al my hart.” Whereat the maide laughed and saide: “I thincke the man is in a dreame:” and with that she tourned her selfe and shut fast the window. Andreuccio now sure and certaine of his losses, attached with incredible sorow, conuerted his anger into rage, thoughte to recouer by anoiaunce that which he could not get with fayre wordes. Wherefore takinge vp a bigge stone, he began againe with greater blowes to beate at the doore. Which when manye of the neighbours (that before were waked oute of their sleepe and risen) did heare, thinking that it was some troublesome felow that counterfeited those words to anoye the good wife of the house, and all they likewise troubled with the noyse: loking out of the windowes, began to rate him with one voice (like a sorte of Curres of one streate, which doe baule and barke at a straunge Dogge that passeth by) sayinge: “This is to much shame and villanie, to come to the houses of honest women at that time of the night, and to speake such fonde wordes. Wherefore (good man) gette thee hence for God’s sake, and let vs sleepe: if thou haue any thing to do with the good wife, come againe to morrow and disquiet vs no more to night.” With which woordes, as poore Andreuccio was somewhat appeased, one that was within the house, a ruffian (that kept the good wife) whom Andreuccio neuer saw, nor heard before: looked out of the windowe, and 151 with a bigge and horrible voice, demaunded who was beneath? Whereat Andreuccio lifting vp his head, saw one, that so far as he could perceiue, seemed to be a long lubber and a large, with a blacke beard, and a sterne visage, looking as though he were newly rysen from bedde, ful of sleepe, gaping and rubbing his eyes. Whom Andreuccio aunsweared in fearefull wise, saying: “I am the good wiue’s brother of the house.” But the Ruffian interrupting his answeare, speaking more fiercely then at the first, said: “I know not who thou arte, but if I come downe, I will so codgel and bombaste thee, as thou shalte not be able to sturre thy selfe, like an asse and dronken beast as thou art, which all this night wilt not suffer vs to slepe.” And with these wordes turning himselfe aboute, he shutte the windowe. Diuers of the neighbours (which knewe better the conditions of that terrible Ruffian) speakinge faire to Andreuccio, saide vnto him: “For God’s sake good man, depart hence in time, and suffer not thy selfe to be slaine:” “Gette thee hence (quoth an other) and saye not but thou haddest warning.” Whereat Andreuccio being appalled, and with the Ruffians woordes and sight amazed, moued likewise by the counsaile of the neighbours that spake to him as he thoughte, in charitable wyse, toke his waye to retourne to his Inne, the sorowfulles man that euer liued, and in greatest despaire, for losse of his money. Turninge that way, wherein he was guided by a litle girle the day afore, and anoyed with the stenche that he felt about him: desirous to goe to the sea side to washe him, hee declined to muche on the left hande, taking the waye vp to the streat called La Ruga Catellana, and as hee was marching vp the highest parte of the citie, by chaunce he sawe twoo men before him, with a lanthorne light in one of their handes, coming towardes him, for auoyding of whom (because he feared that it was the watche, or some other ill disposed persones) he hidde him selfe in an olde house harde by. But they (as of purpose) went to the very same place: where one of them discharging hym selfe of certain instrumentes of yron, whiche he bare vpon his backe, both of them did vewe and surueie those yrons, debating of diuers thinges touching the same, and as they were talking togethers, one of them sayde: “What meaneth this? I smel the 152 foulest stenche, that euer I felte in all my life.” And when he had sayd so, he lifted vp the Lanthorne and espied miserable Andreuccio couching behinde the wall, and being afrayde, asked who it was, Andreuccio helde his peace. But they approching neare him with their lighte, demaunded what hee made there, so filthely araied. To whom Andreuccio rehersed the whole aduenture as it chaunceth. Who considering the cause of that misfortune, sayd one to an other: this no doubt was done in the house of Scarabone Butta Fuoco: and tourning towardes Andreuccio, one of them sayde vnto him. “Good man, although thou hast lost thy money, yet thou hast great cause to prayse God that it was thy chaunce to falle, and not to enter againe into the house: for if thou haddest not fallen, assure thy selfe that when thou haddest bene a slepe, thy throte had bene cutte, and so with thy money shouldest haue loste thy life. But what auaileth it nowe to wepe and lament: for thou shalt so sone plucke the starres out of the Skye, as euer recouer one peny of thy losse: and without doubt he will kill thee, if hee vnderstande that thou make any wordes thereof.” When they had sayde so, and had giuen him that admonition, they comforted him in this wyse. “Good felowe, we doe lament thy state: And therefore, if thou wilt ioyne thy self with vs, about an enterprise, which we haue in hande: we warraunt thee, thou shalt get a great deale more than thou hast loste.” Andreuccio like one in extreame dispaire, was content. The daie before was buried one Messer Philippo Minutulo, an Archebishop of Naples, in riche pontificalles and ornamentes, with a Rubie vpon his finger, that was worth fiue hundred Ducates of golde, whome they purposed to robbe and dispoile, telling Andreuccio the whole order of their intent: who more couetous, then well aduised, went with them. And going towardes the great church: Andreuccio his perfume began to sente very strong, whereupon one of them sayde. “Is it not possible to deuise a waye, that this shitten beaste may washe him selfe in some place, that he stinke no more thus filthelie?” “Yes, (quod the other) there is a pitte here harde by, ouer whiche there hangeth a pulley, and a great bucket, where we may presently washe him.” When they were come to the pitte, they founde the rope hanging still vpon the 153 pulley, but the bucket was taken away: wherefore they thought beste to tie him to the rope, and to let him downe the pitte to washe him selfe: and that when he was washed, he should wagge the rope, and they woulde hoiste him vp againe. Whiche they did. But it chaunced that whiles he was thus clensing him selfe in the pitte: the watche of the citie (because they swette and the night was very hot), being drie and thirstie came to the pitte to drinke. The other twoo perceiuing the watche at hande, left Andreuccio in the pitte and ranne awaye. The watche whiche was come thether to drinke, perceiued not those two that were fledde; and Andreuccio being still in the bottome, when he had clensed him selfe, began to wagge the rope. The watche sitting downe by the pittes syde caste of their clokes and layde downe their halbardes and other weapons, and began to drawe vp the rope, thinking that the bucket full of water was tied to the same. When Andreuccio was haled vp, to the brincke of the pitte, hee forsoke the rope, and cast him selfe with one of his handes vpon the syde of the same. When the watche sawe that, they for feare ranne away so faste as they could without speaking any worde. Wherof Andreuccio did marueile very much: and if he had not taken good holde, he had fallen agayne downe to the bottome, to his great hurt, and peraduenture not without peril of his life. Notwithstanding being out of the pitte, and finding halberdes and other weapons there, which he knew wel his fellowes brought not with them: he then began muche more to wonder. But betwene feare and ignoraunce of that which happened, complaining him self of his harde fortune, without touching of any thing, he determined to go from thence, and wandred he could not tell whether. But as he was departing from that place, he met his fellowes, retiring backe to drawe him vp. And when they perceiued him alredie haled out of the pitte, they wer wonderfully abashed, and asked who drewe him out? Andreuccio made aunswere, that he coulde not tell, rehearsing to them in order, what had chaunced, and of the things he founde without. They vnderstanding the matter, laughed and tolde him againe the cause, wherefore they ran awaye, and what they were that drewe him vp. And without further talke (being then about midnight, 154 they repaired to the great churche: into the whiche they easely entred: and wente to the Tombe, whiche was of Marble, verie huge and weightie: the couer whereof being verye great, with their crowes of yron, and other tooles, they lifted vp so farre, as one man was able to enter, which doen, one asked an other, who should goe in? “Not I” quod one: “And not I” (quod the other) “No, nor I” quod Andreuccio. The other twoo hearing Andreuccio saye so, stepped vnto hym, saying: “Wilte thou not goe in? by the faythe wee owe to God: if thou goe not in, we will so beate thee, with one of these yron barres, as thou shalt neuer sturre againe out of this place.” Andreuccio being made their common riding foole, greately fearing when he heard them saye so, went in: and when he was in the graue, he sayde vnto him selfe. “These good felowes do make me goe in, because they would deceiue me: for when I haue geuen them all that is here, and I readie to come out, they meane to runne awaie to saue them selues, and to leaue me behinde without any parte thereof.” Wherfore he purposed first, to take his owne porcion to him selfe: and remembring the Ring of great valour, whereof they tolde him: so sone as he was in the graue, he pulled it of from the Archebishop’s finger, and put it vpon his own: and afterwardes taking the Crosse, the Miter and the Gloues, dispoyling him euen to his shyrt, he gaue them all saying. “That there was nothing els.” But they pressing vpon him that there was a ring behinde, willed him throughly to make searche for it: howebeit he still aunswered that he could not finde it. And because he would make them to tarie a litle longer, he fained as though he had made a further searche. The other so subtile and malicious as he, bad him to seke stil: and when they saw time, they toke away the proppes that staied vp the Tombe, and ran awaye, leauing poore Andreuccio fast shutte in the graue. Whiche when Andreuccio perceiued, what chaunced to him then, eche man may consider: then he assaied some times with his shoulders, sometimes with his head, to remoue the couer, but all was in vaine. Wherefore euen for verie sorowe, he fell in a sownde vpon the dead bodie of the Bishop. And if a man had seene them both at that instant, it coulde not well haue bene discerned, whether was the dead 155 corps, the Archebishhope dead, or poore Andreuccio dying: but after he was come to him self, he began piteously to complaine, seing hee was arriued to one of these twoo endes, either in the Tombe to die for hunger, and with the stenche of the dead bodie, putrifying with wormes, if no man came to open it: or els to be hanged as a thiefe, if hee were founde within: and as he was in these considerations tormented with sorowe: he heard a noyse in the church of diuers men, who as he thought came to the like facte, that he and his felowes had done before, wherewith his feare began much more to augmente. But after they had opened the graue and stayed it vp, it came in question amongs them who should go in. And when they had contended a good space about the same, a priest that was in the companie sayde. “Why are ye afrayde? doe ye thinke that hee will eate you? the dead neuer eate men: I will go in my selfe.” And when he had sayde so, he laied him downe vpon his breste at the side of the graue, and thrusting his feete in before, he went downe. Andreuccio seeing that, erected him selfe vpright and caught the Priest by one of the legges, making as though he would haue drawen him in: which when the priest perceiued, he cried out a loude, speeding him self out so fast as he could. Wherewithal the reste dismaied almoste out of their wittes, leauing the graue open, toke their legges and ran, as though a hundred thousand deuels had bene at their tailes: whiche seing, Andreuccio (more ioyful then he looked for) lepte out of the graue, and ran as faste as he could out of the Churche, at the place where he came in. At what time dayelight began to appeare, and he with the ringe on his finger, wandred he wiste not whether, tyll he came to the Seaside, and at length recouered his Inne, where he founde his companie and his hoste al that night, taking greate care for him. To whome recompting that whiche chaunced, his hoste gaue him aduise incontinently, to get him out of Naples, whiche presently he did: and retourned to Perugia, hauing bestowed his v. C. crownes vpon a rynge, whiche he thought to haue imploied vpon horses: for whiche cause he made that iourney.



The erle of Angiers being falsely accused, was banished out of Fraunce, and left his two sonnes in sondry places in Englande, and retourning (vnknowen) by Scotlande, founde theim in great authoritie, afterwardes he repayred in the habite of a seruaunte, to the Frenche kinges armie, and being knowen to be innocent, was againe aduaunced to his first estate.

The Romaine Empire being transferred from the Frenche, vnto the Almanes, there rose a great discencion betwene both the nacions, and in the ende a cruell and continuall warre. For whiche cause, as well for the defence of his kingdome, as to offende his ennemies, the Frenche king and one of his sonnes, with all the power of their owne Realme and of their frendes and allies, assembled a great hoste of menne to encountre with their enemies: and before they proceaded, because they would not leaue their realme without a gouernour, knowing Gualtieri, Erie of Anglers, to be a gentle and sage knight, and their moste trustie frend, and that he was a man moste expert in the art of warfare, seming vnto them (notwithstanding) more apt to pleasure, then paine, lefte him Lieutenaunt generall in their place, for the gouernement of the whole kingdome of Fraunce: and preceded in their enterprise. The Erle then began with great knowledge, and by good order, to execute his office committed vnto hym, doynge nothinge withoute the consente of the Queene and her fayre daughter in lawe, althoughe they were lefte to be vnder his custodie and gouernement, yet neuertheles, he honoured them as his Maistresses and superiours. The Erle Gaultieri was a beautiful personage, about the age of fourtie yeares, so familiar and well condicioned, as any gentleman could be, and be sides that, hee was the moste excellent and trimmest knight that was knowen in those dayes, and one moste comelie in his apparell. It chaunced that the king and his sonne, being at the warres aforesaide, the wife of the Erle died in the meane whyle, leauing him onely twoo litle yong children, a sonne and a doughter, whiche he had by her. He then frequenting the court 157 of the aforesaid ladies, talking many times with theim about the affaires of the Realme: the wife of the kinges sonne, fixed her eyes vpon him, and with great affection (for his persone and vertues) feruently embraced hym with secrete loue. And knowing her selfe to bee yonge and freshe, and him to be without a wyfe, thought (sodainly) to bring to passe, that whiche shee desired, and thinking that nothing could lette it but onelye shame to discouer it, shee purposed vtterlye to abandone the same. And vppon a daye beyng alone, shee sente one to seeke the Erle, as though shee would haue communicated with him of other matters. The Erle whose mynde was farre different from the Ladies, incontinentlye came vnto her: who beyng sette downe together vppon a bedde (whiche she desired) alone in a chamber, he asked her twyse vpon what occasion she sent for hym: and she hauing nothing to saye vnto hym, pressed in the ende, and rapte with loue waxed verie shamefaste and almoste wepinge, and quaking for feare, with faynte woordes, began to saye as foloweth. “My derely beloued and louing frende, and Lorde, you may easely knowe (beyng a wyse man as you bee) the frailtie of men and women: and by diuers considerations, the weakenesse to be more in the one, then in the other. Wherefore (before a iust iudge) one fault of diuerse qualities, ought not of reason to receiue one like punishement. Moreouer who is he that will saye, that a poore man or woman, which getteth their liuing with the labour of their bodie, ought not more to be reprehended if they become amourous, and subiect to their lustes, then the riche Ladye whiche taketh no care for her liuing, or wanteth any thing that shee desireth. Truely I beleue there is none that will saye so: for which reason I suppose that the things beforesayd, ought to serue the greatest part of the excuse to the aduauntage of her that doth possesse them: if it happen that shee geue her selfe fully to the conductions of loue: and the superflusage of her saide excuse ought to consiste, in that shee hath chosen her a sage and vertuous frende, if shee that loueth hath done so in dede. Whiche twoo thinges as they ought to be (in my iudgement) so they are in me, and many other also: whiche ought to induce me to loue, accordingly as my youth requireth, and the great distaunce that is betweene my husbande and mee. 158 It behoueth nowe then, that they should aduaunce them selues in your presence, for the defence of my burning loue: and if the same do raine in you, whiche haue power in the wise, then I beseche you to geue me counsayle and aide in the thing which I shal demaunde. True it is, that for the long absence of my husbande (not able to resist the prickes of the fleshe, and the force of loue) whiche be of suche great effect, that they haue many times past and yet daily do vanquishe and ouercome, not only feble and weake women, but also the strongest men. I liuing in ease and idlenes as you se, and forced to folowe the pleasures of loue and to become amourous: and as I do knowe well, that suche thinges (if they were knowen) should not be reputed honest. Neuerthelesse, the same being kepte secrete, I truste shall not be reprocheful. Notwithstanding dame Loue is so fauourable vnto mee, that not onely shee hath geuen me true iudgement in choise of a frende, but hath reueiled vnto me that it is you whiche is worthy to be beloued, of such a Ladie as I am. For if I be not greatlye deceiued, I doe make accompte that you be the fayrest personage, the semeliest, the moste curteous, and wysest gentleman, in all the Realme of Fraunce. And as I maye saye, by reason of his absence, that I am without a husband so may you affirme that you be without a wife: wherefore I beseche you, for the loue that I beare vnto you, that you will not denye me your loue and frendship, and that you will haue pitie vpon my young yeares, whiche doubtles do consume for you, as I see against the fierie flames.” At which worde the teares ran downe in such aboundance, as where she thought to make further supplication and praiers, she had no more power to speake. But holding downe her head, like one that was ouercome, she threw her self downe into the Erles lappe, who like a faithfull knight, began to blame (with sharpe rebukes) her fonde and foolishe loue: pushing her from hym, as shee was about to clepe him aboute the necke, and swoore great othes, that rather hee woulde be drawen in peces then consent to suche a thing, to bee done by him, or any other, against the honour of his Lorde and maister. Whiche woordes the Ladie hearing, sodainly forgat her loue, and in great rage, sayde vnto him: “Shall I then be frustrate, thou arrent villayne, in this wyse of my desired 159 ioye? but sithens thou goest about, to seke my destruction, I will cause thee to be put to death, or els to be banyshed the worlde.” When she had sayde so, by and by she caught her selfe by the heare of the head, and almoste tare it of cleane, and then layde handes vppon her garmentes, renting the same in peeces, and afterwardes cried out aloude: “Helpe, helpe, the Erle of Angiers wil rauyshe me by force.” The Earle seeing that (and farre more doubting of the enuie, and malice of the Courte, then his owne conscience, for any committed facte, fearing also, that more credite would be geuen to the wickednesse of the Ladie, then to his innocencie) conueighed him selfe from that place, and so soone as hee coulde, hee wente out of the palace, and fledde home to his owne house, where without any further aduise, he placed his children on horsebacke, and so well as he coulde caried them to Callice. At the brute and noyse of the ladie, many people assembled: who seing and hearing the occasion of her crie, not onely beleued her wordes, but also affirmed, that the pompouse state of the Erle, was vsed by him to bring to passe, th’effect of his desire. Then they ranne to the houses of the Erle, in great furie, to arreste his persone: but not finding hym there, they firste sacked his houses, and afterwardes ouerthrewe them to the grounde. The newes hereof (so wicked as might be deuised) arriued at the king and dolphins Campe, whereof they were so troubled and offended, as they condempned the Earle, and all his progenie to perpetuall exile: promising great giftes and rewardes, to them that would present them quicke or dead. The Erle being offended in his conscience, for that he was fled, innocent of the facte, made himself culpable therof, and arriued at Callice with his children, dissembling what he was, and sodainlye passed ouer into England, and in poore apparell, trauailed vp to London. And before he entred the citie, he gaue his children diuers admonicions, but specially of two things: First, that they should beare paciently the pouertie, wherunto fortune (without their offence) had brought theim. Afterwardes, that wisely they should take hede, at no time to manifeste and declare from whence they came, and whose children they were, as they loued the price of their owne lyues. The sonne was named Lewes, almoste of the age of nyne yeares, and the doughter called 160 Violenta, was about the age of VII. bothe whiche chyldren, as their age could suffer them, did well obserue their fathers hest, as afterwardes it did right wel appeare. And because that this might the better be brought to passe, it semed good vnto him, to alter their names, naming the son Perotto, and the doughter Gianetta. And when they were arriued at London, in maner of beggers, they craued their almosse, and being by fortune for that purpose, one morning at a church doore, it came to passe that a great Lady, which was one of the Marshalles of Englandes wiues, in going out of the church, sawe the Erle and his two litle children begging their almose, of whom she demaunded, what countrie man he was, and whether those children were his owne, or not. To whom the Erle answered, that he was a Picarde, and by reason of a wicked facte, done by his eldest sonne (that was an vnhappie boye) he was forced to departe his countrie, with those his twoo children. The Ladie whiche was pitifull, fixed her eyes vpon the girle, who pleased her verie much, because she was beautifull, gentil, and amiable, saying: “Good man, if thou be content to leaue vnto mee, this thy litle doughter, which hath a good face, I will willingly take her, and if she become a duetiful maiden, when shee is mariagable, I wil marie her in honest wise.” This demaunde greatly pleased the Erle, who redely aunswered, that hee was contented, and with teares trickeling downe his eyes he deliuered and commended his pretie doughter vnto her. And when he had thus well bestowed her, he determined to tarrie no longer there, but in begging his almose, traueiled through the countrie, with his sonne Perotto, and went into Wales, not without great labour and paine, as one neuer accustomed to trauayle on foote. Where dwelte one other of the kyng of Englandes Marshalles, that was of great authoritie, and kepte a noble house: to whose courte the Erle and his sonne oftentymes repayred, to practise and begge their liuing: where one of the Marshalles sonnes, and other Gentlemens chyldren, doyng certayne chyldyshe sportes and pastymes, as to runne and leape, Perotto began to entermedle hym selfe amonges them (who in those games dyd so excellentlye well, as none was his better) whiche thyng diuers tymes the Marshall perceiuing, well pleased with the order of the chylde, asked of 161 whence hee was. It was tolde him that hee was a poore man’s sonne, which many tymes came thyther, to begge his almose. The Marshall desiring to haue the childe, the Erle, whiche prayed vnto God for nothing els, liberallye gaue hym vnto hym, although it greeued hym to departe from him. The Erle then hauing bestowed his sonne and his doughter, determined no longer to tarrie in England, but so well as he coulde, he passed ouer into Irelande, and when he was arriued at Stanforde, he placed him selfe in the seruice of a man of armes, belonging to an Erle of that countrie, doing all thinges that did belong vnto a seruing man, or page: and not knowen to any man, hee continued there a long time, with great paine and toile. Violenta named Gianetta, that dwelt with the Ladie at London, grewe so in yeares, in beautie, in personage, and in such grace and fauour of her lord and lady, and of all the reste of the house, and so well beloued of al them that knew her, that it was maruailous to see. All men that sawe her maners and countenaunce, iudged her to be worthy of great honour and possessions, by reason wherof, the lady that receiued her of her father, not knowing what shee was, but by his reporte, purposed to marrie her honourablie, according to her worthinesse. But God the rewarder of all mens desertes, knowing her to be a noble woman, and to beare (without cause) the penaunce of an other man’s offence, disposed her otherwise, and to the intent, that this noble gentlewoman might not come into the handes of a man of ill condicions, it must be supposed that that whiche came to passe was by God’s own will and pleasure, suffred to be done. The gentlewoman, with whome Gianetta dwelte, had but one onely sonne by her husband, whiche both shee and the father, loued verie dearelye: as well because hee was a sonne, as also that in vertue and good merites hee greatlye excelled. For hee surpassed all other in good condicions, valiaunce, goodnes, and beautie of personage, being about sixe yeares elder then Gianetta: who seyng the mayden, to be both fayre and comelye, became so farre in loue with her, as he estemed her aboue all thinges of the worlde. And because he thought her to be of base parentage, he durst not demaunde her of his father and mother to wyfe. But fearing that he should lose their fauour, he kept his loue secret, wherby he was 162 worse tormented, then if it had bene openly knowen. And thereby it chaunced, through Loue’s malice, he fel sore sicke: for whose preseruation, were many Phisitions sent for, who marking in him all signes and tokens of sickenes, and not knowing the disease, were altogether doubtfull of his health: wherof the father and mother tooke so great sorowe and griefe, as was possible, and many times with pitifull praiers, they demaunded of him the occasion of his disease. To whome he gaue for aunswere, nothing els but heauie sighes, and that he was like to consume, and die for weakenesse. It chaunced vpon a daye there was brought vnto him a Phisicion, that was very yonge, but in his science profoundlie learned, and as he was holding him by the poulces, Gianetta (who for his mother’s sake, attended him very carefully, entered vpon occasion into the chamber, where he lay sicke, and so sone as the yonge gentleman perceiued her, and that she spake neuer a woorde, or made any signe, or demonstration towardes him, he felte in his hart to arise his most amorous desire, wherefore his poulces began to beate aboue their common custome: whiche thing the Phisicion immediatly perceiued and marueiled, standing still to see howe long that fitte would continue. Gianetta was no soner gone out of the Chamber, but the beating of the poulces ceased: wherefore the Phisicion thought, that he had founde out some part of the gentleman’s disease, and a litle while after seming to take occasion to speake to Gianetta holding him still by the armes, he caused her to bee called in, and she incontinently came, but she was no soner entred the chambre but the poulces began to beate againe: and when she departed, the beating ceased. Wherupon the Phisicion was throughly perswaded that he vnderstode the effecte of his sickenes, and therwithall rose vp and taking the father and mother aside, sayde vnto them: “The health of your sonne doth not consiste in the helpe of Phisicions, but remaineth in the handes of Gianetta your maide, as I haue perceiued by moste manifest signes, which maide the yong man feruently doth loue. And yet (so farre as I perceiue) the maide doth not knowe it: you therfore vnderstand now what to doe, if you loue his life.” The gentleman and his wife hearing this, was somewhat satisfied: for so muche as remedy might be founde to saue his life, although it 163 greued theim greatly, that the thing whereof they doubted, should come to passe, whiche was the mariage betwene Gianetta and their sonne. The Phisicion departed, and they repaired to their sicke sonne, the mother saying vnto him in this wyse: “My sonne, I would neuer haue thought, that thou wouldest haue kept secret from mee, any parte of thy desire: specially, seing that without the same thou doest remaine in daunger of death. For thou art, or ought to be assured, that there is nothing that may be gotten, for thy contentment, whatsoeuer it had bene, but it should haue bene prouided for thee, in as ample maner as for my selfe. But sithe thou hast thus done, it chaunceth that our Lord God, hath shewed more mercy vpon thee, then thou hast done vpon thy selfe. And to the ende thou shalt not die of this disease, he hath declared vnto me the cause of the same: whiche is none other, but the great loue that thou bearest to a yonge maiden, wheresoeuer she bee. And in deede thou oughtest not to be ashamed, to manifest thy loue, because it is meete and requisite for thyne age. For if I wist thou couldest not loue, I would the lesse esteme thee. Now then my good sonne, be not afraid, franckly to discouer thine affection. Driue away the furie and thought which thou hast taken, and wherof this sickenes commeth, and comfort thy selfe. Being assured, that thou shalt desire nothing at my handes, that may be done, but it shall be accomplished of mee, that loueth thee better then mine owne life: and therefore expell from thee this shame and feare. And spare not to tell me, if I be able to doe any thing, in that whiche thou louest. And if thou perceiue, that I be not carefull to bring it to passe, repute me for the cruellest mother that euer bare childe.” The yonge gentleman hearing these woordes of his mother, was first ashamed, but after thinking with him selfe, that none was so well able to pleasure him as shee (driuing awaye all shame) sayed to her in this wise: “Madame, there is none other thing that hath made me to kepe my loue so secrete, but that, which I see by commune proofe in many, who after they be growen to yeares of discretion, doe neuer remembre that they haue bene yonge. But for so much as herein I doe see your Ladiship discrete and wyse, I will not onely affirme that to be true, whiche you haue perceiued in me, but also I will confesse 164 what it is, vpon condicion that the effect shall folowe your promise, so farre as lieth in you, and whereby you shalbe able to recouer my life.” Whereunto the mother trusting to much in that, which she ought not to haue accomplished, for certaine consideracions, which afterwardes came into her minde, answered him liberally: “That he might boldly discouer all his desire, and that forthwith she would bring the same to passe.” “Madame (sayde the yonge man then) the great beautie and commendable qualities of your maiden Gianetta, whom as yet not only I haue no power to intreate, to take pitie vpon me, but also I haue made no wight in the world priuie of this my loue. The not disclosing and secrecie of whose loue, hath brought me in case you see: and if so be the thing, whiche you haue promised, doe not by one meane or other come to passe, assure your selfe that my life is but shorte.” The Ladie knowing, that it was more tyme to comforte, then to reprehende, sayd vnto him smiling: “Alas, my sonne, were you sicke for this? Bee of good chere and when you are whole let me alone.” The yonge gentleman being put in good hope, shewed in litle time tokens and signes of great amendement. Wherof the mother was marueilous glad, disposing her selfe to proue, howe she might obserue that which she had promised. And on a day calling Gianetta vnto her, demaunded in gentle wise, by waye of mery talke, “If she had not gotten her a louer.” Gianetta with face al blushing, aunswered: “Madame, I haue no nede therof, and much more vnsemely for so poore a damosell as I am, to meditate or thincke vpon louers, which am banished from my frendes and kinsfolke, remaining in seruice as I doe.” To whom the Lady saide: “If you haue none, wee will bestowe one vpon you, whiche shall content your minde, and make your life more delectable and pleasaunt: for it is not meete that so faire a maide as you be, should continue without a louer.” Whereunto Gianetta answered: “Madame, waying with my selfe, that you haue taken me from my poore father, and brought me vp as your doughter, it becommeth me to do that whiche pleaseth you. Notwithstanding, I intende neuer to make any complaint to you for lacke of such, but if it please you, to geue me a husbande, I purpose dutifully to loue and honour him. For my progenitours haue 165 left me none other inheritaunce but honestie, whiche I meane to kepe, so long as my life indureth.” These woordes to the Ladye, semed contrary to that whiche shee desired to knowe, to atchieue her promyse made to her sonne, although (lyke a wyse Ladie) to her selfe, shee greatly praysed the Damosell, and sayde vnto her. “But Gianetta, what if my Lorde the Kyng (whiche is a younge Prince, and you a fayre mayden) would take pleasure in your loue, woulde you refuse him?” Whereunto the mayde sodaynlye aunswered. “The Kyng maye well force mee, but by consent he shall neuer obtayne the thing of mee that is dishoneste.” The Ladye conceyuyng the courage, and stoutnesse of the mayden in good parte, sayde no more vnto her, but thinking to put the matter in proofe, she tolde her sonne, that when he was whole, she woulde put them both in a chamber that he mighte haue his pleasure vppon her. For she thought it dishonest to intreate her maide for her sonne, because it was the office of a Ruffian. The yong man was nothing contented therewith, whereby hee sodainlye waxed sicke againe: which the ladye perceiuinge, opened her whole intent to Gianetta: but finding her more constant than euer she was before, she told her husband all that she had done, whoe agreed (althoughe against their willes) to giue her to be his wife, thinkinge it better (their sonne lyuing) to haue a wife vnagreeable to his estate, then to suffer him to die for her sake. Which after great consultation, they concluded, whereof Gianetta was maruelouslye well pleased, and with deuout harte gaue thankes to God for that he had not forgotten her. And yet for all that, shee woulde neuer name her selfe otherwise, then the doughter of a Picarde. The yong sonne waxed whole incontinently, and was maried, the best contented man aliue, and began to dispose himselfe, louingly to lead his life with her. Perotto which did remaine in Wales with the other Marshall of the king of England, semblably increased, and was welbeloued of his maister, and was a very comely and valiaunt personage, that the like of him was not to be found in all the Island, in such wise as at Torneis, Iustes, and other factes of armes, there was none in al the Countrie, comparable vnto him: wherefore by the name of Perotto the Picarde, hee was knowen and renowmed. And like as God had not forgotten his sister, euen 166 so he shewed his mercifull remembraunce of him. For a certaine plague and mortalitie, happened in that countrie, which consumed the one halfe of the people there: besides that the most part of them that liued, were fledde for feare into other countries, wherby the whole prouince, seemed to be abandoned and desolate. Of which plague, the Marshall his maister, his wife, and his sonne and many other brothers, neuewes, and kinsfolk died, of whom remained no more, but his onely daughter, which was mariageable, and some of his seruauntes, together with Perotto, whom (after the plagues was somewhat ceased) the yong gentlewoman toke for her husband, through the counsaile and consente of certaine of the countrie people that were aliue, because he was a valiaunt and honest personage, and of all that inheritaunce which her father lefte, shee made him lord. A litle while after, the king of Englande vnderstanding that the Marshall was dead, and knowing the valour and stoutnesse of Perotto the Picarde, he made him to supplye the rowme of the deade Marshall. In this sort in short time, it chaunced to the two innocent children of the Erle of Angiers, which were left by him as lost and quite forlorne. It was then the XVIII. yeare sithens the Erle fledde from Paris, hauing in miserable sorte suffred manye aduentures. Who seinge himselfe to begin to waxe olde, was desirous (being yet in Irelande) to knowe (if hee could) what was become of his children. Wherefore, perceyuinge that he was wholy altred from his wonted forme, and feeling himselfe more lustie (throughe the longe exercise and labour which he had susteined in seruice) then he was in the idle time of his youth, he departed from his maister (verye poore and in ill apparel) with whom hee had continued in seruice a long time, and came into England to that place where he had left Perotto, and founde him to be Marshall of the countrie, and saw that he was in health, lustie, and a comelye personage, which reioysed him maruelously, but he would not make himselfe to be knowen to him, till hee had seene what was become of his doughter Gianetta: wherfore taking his iourney, he rested in no place, till he came to London. And there secretely inquyring of the Lady, with whom he had left his daughter, and of her state, he learned that his doughter was her sonnes wife, whereof hee toke exceding great pleasure. And from that 167 time forth, he compted his aduersities past as nothing, sith he had found his children liuing and in such great honour. And desirous to see her (began like a poore man) to harbour himselfe neare vnto her house, whereuppon a certaine daye, beinge seene of Giacchetto Lamyens: (for that was the name of the husbande of Gianetta,) who hauinge pitie vppon him because he was poore and old, commaunded one of his seruaunts, to haue him into the house and to giue him meate for God’s sake, which the seruaunt willingly did accomplish. Gianetta had many children by Giacchetto, of which the eldest was but eight yeares olde: the fayrest and beste fauoured children of the worlde. Who when they sawe the Erle eate meate, they all came about him and began to make much of him, as though by nature’s instruction they had knowen him to be their Graundfather. And hee knowinge his nephewes, began to shew them tokens of loue and kindnesse. By reason whereof the children would not go from him, although their gouernour did call them away: wherfore the mother beinge tolde the same, came oute of a chamber vnto the place where the Erle was, and threatned to beate them if they would not do as their maister bad them. The children began to crie, and said that they would tary by that good man, that loued them better then their maister did, wherat the Lady and the Erle began to laugh. The Erle not as a father but like a poore man, rose vp to doe honour to his daughter because shee was a noble woman: conceyuing marueilous ioy in his minde to see her: but she knewe him not at all, neither at that instant, nor after, because he was so wonderfully transformed and chaunged from that forme he was wonte to be: Like one that was old and gray headed, hauinge a bearde leane and weather beaten, resembling rather a common personne then an Erle. And the Ladye seinge that the children woulde not departe from him, but still cryed when they were fetched awaye, shee willed the maister to let them alone. The children remayning in this sort with the honest poore man, the father of Giacchetto came in the meane time, and vnderstode this of their maister: He that cared not for Gianetta, said, “Let them alone with a mischiefe, to keepe companye with beggers, of whom they come: for of the mothers side, they be but verlettes children, and therfore it is no marueile, though 168 they loue their company.” The Erle hearing those words, was very sorowfull, notwithstanding (holding downe his head) he suffred that iniurie, as well as he had done manye other. Giacchetto which knew the mirth and ioy that the children made to the poore man (althoughe he was offended with those words) neuerthelesse, made as much of the poore Erle as he did before. And when hee sawe him to weepe he commaunded that if the honest poore man would dwel there to do some seruice, he should be reteyned. Who aunsweared, that he wouid tarrie there with a good will, but he said that he coulde do nothinge els but keepe horse, whereunto he was accustomed all the dayes of his life. To whom a horse was appointed to keepe, and dailye when he had dressed his horse, he gaue himselfe to play with the children. Whiles that Fortune thus dealt (according to the maner abouesaid with the Erle of Angiers and his children, it chaunced that the French king (after many truces made with the Almaynes) died, and in his place was crowned his sonne, whose wife shee was that caused the Erle to be banished. When the last truce with the Almaynes was expired, the warres began to grow more sharpe, for whose aide the king of England sent vnto him (as to his new kinseman) a greate nomber of people vnder the gouernement of Perotto his Marshall, and of Giacchetto Lamyens, sonne of his other Marshall, with whom the poore Erle went: and not knowen of any manne, remained a greate while in the Campe as a seruaunt, where notwithstanding, like a valiaunt man, with his aduise and deedes he accomplished notable thinges (more then hee was required.) It chaunced that in the time of the warres, the Frenche Queene was very sore sicke, and perceyuing herselfe at the point of death, repenting her of all her sinnes, and was confessed deuoutly to the Archbishop of Roane, who of all men was reputed an holye and vertuous man: and amonges all her other sinnes she tolde him of the great wronge that she had done to the Erle of Angiers, and was not onely contented to reueale the same to him alone, but also rehearsed the whole matter before many other personages of great honour, desiring them that they would worke so with the king, that if the Erle were yet liuinge or anye of his children, they might be restored to their state againe. Not long after the Queene departed, and 169 was honourablie buried. Which confession reported to the Kinge, (after certaine sorowfull sighes, for the iniuries done to the valiaunt man) hee made Proclamation throughout all the Campe and in many other places, that whosoeuer could bring forth the Erle of Angiers, or any of his children, shoulde for euery of them receiue a great rewarde, because he was innocente of that matter for which he was exiled, by the onely confession of the Queene: and that he entended to exalte him to his former estate, and more higher then euer hee was. Which thing the Erle hearing (being in the habite of a seruaunt) knowing it to be true, by and by he wente to Giacchetto, and prayed him to repaire to Perotto that they might come together, because he woulde manifest vnto them the thinge which the kinge sent to seeke for. And when they were all three assembled together in a chamber the Erle saide to Perotto, that now he thought to let him vnderstand what he was, saying these woordes: “Perotto, Giacchetto whoe thou seest here hath espoused thy sister and neuer had yet any dowrie. And because she maye not be destitute of her Dowrie, I purpose that he and none other shall haue the reward, which the king hath promised to be so great. Thou shalt manifest thy selfe Perotto, to be the sonne of the Erle of Angiers, and Violenta the wife of Giacchetto to be thy sister, and me to be the Erle of Angiers thy father.” Perotto hearing this and stedfastly beholding him, began to know him, and weeping, threw himselfe downe at his feete, and afterwards imbracing him, said: “My deare father, you are right hartely welcome.” Giacchetto hearing first what the Erle had saide, and after seinge what Perotto did, he was incontinently surprised with so great marueile and ioye that he knew not what to do: notwithstandinge, geuinge credite to his words, as being ashamed of the opprobrious talke, which he had vsed towards the Erle, as to a seruaunt, weeping, fell downe at his feete and humblie asked pardon for all his rashe behauiours towards him: which was curteously graunted vnto him by the Erle, who toke him vp. And after euerye of them had a while debated of their Fortune, and had well bewailed the same, and reioysed one with another, Perotto and Giacchetto would haue newly apparrelled the Erle, but he in no wise would suffer them. And beinge desirous that 170 Giacchetto mighte haue assurance of the rewarde promised, he woulde that he shoulde first present him to the king after that sort in the habite of a seruaunte as he was, that hee mighte make him the more ashamed. Then Giacchetto with the Erle (and Perotto after) came before the king, and offred to present the Erle and his children if it should please him to reward him according to the Proclamation. The king incontinently caused to be brought forth a reward of marueilous value, (as Giacchetto thoughte) and commaunded him forthwith to present the Erle and his children according to his promise. Giacchetto then tourned about, and placed before him the Erle his seruaunt, and Perotto, saying: “Sir, beholde the father and the sonne, the doughter which is my wyfe, is not here. But by God’s helpe you shal see her shortly.” The king hearing this, behelde the Erle: and albeit he was so greatlye chaunged from his former fauour, after hee had well viewed him, he knew him, and with teares standinge in his eyes, hee caused the Erle to rise vp, that kneeled before him, kissing and imbrasing him, and very graciouslye receiued Perotto: and commaunded forthwith that the Erle should be restored to apparell, seruaunt, horses and furniture, according to his state and degree, which incontinentlye was done: And moreouer the kinge greatly honoured Giacchetto, and forthwith desired to know all their Fortunes passed. And when Giacchetto had taken the great reward for bringing forth the Erle and his children, the Erle said vnto him: “Take these royall rewards of the king, my soueraigne Lord, and remember to tel thy father, that thy children, his nephewes and mine, be no beggers borne of their mother’s syde.” Giacchetto toke the reward, and caused his wife and his mother in Lawe to come to Paris: likewise thither came the wife of Perotto, where, with great ioy and triumphe, they taried a certaine space wyth the Erle, to whom the kinge had rendred all his goodes, and had placed him in greater aucthoritie, then euer hee was before. Then euery of them toke their leaue and retourned home to their owne houses: and from that time forth the said Erle, to thende of his life, liued in Paris, in greater honour and aucthority, then euer he did before.



Giletta a Phisition’s daughter of Narbon, healed the French King of a Fistula, for reward whereof she demaunded Beltramo Counte of Rossiglione to husband. The Counte being maried against his will, for despite fled to Florence and loued another. Giletta his wife, by pollicie founde meanes to lye with her husbande, in place of his louer, and was begotten with childe of two sonnes: which knowen to her husband, he receiued her againe, and afterwards he liued in great honour and felicitie.

In Fraunce there was a gentleman called Isnardo, the Counte of Rossiglione, who because he was sickely and diseased, kepte alwayes in his house a Phisition, named maister Gerardo of Narbona. This Counte had one onely sonne called Beltramo, a very yonge childe, amiable and fayre. With whom there was nourished and brought vppe, many other children of his age: amonges whom one of the doughters of the said Phisition, named Giletta, who feruently fill in loue with Beltramo, more then was meete for a maiden of her age. This Beltramo, when his father was deade, and left vnder the royall custody of the king, was sente to Paris, for whose departure the maiden was very pensife. A litle while after, her father being likewise deade, shee was desirous to go to Paris, onelye to see the yonge Counte, if for that purpose she could get any good occasion. But being diligently loked vnto by her kinsfolke (because she was riche and fatherlesse) she could see no conuenient waye for her intended iourney: and being now mariageable, the loue she bare to the Counte was neuer out of her remembraunce, and refused manye husbandes with whom her kinsfolke woulde haue matched her, without making them priuie to the cause of her refusall. Now it chaunced that she burned more in loue with Beltramo than euer shee did before, because she hearde tell that hee was growen to the state of a goodly yong gentleman. She heard by report, that the French king had a swelling vpon his breast, which by reason of ill cure was growen to be a Fistula, which did put him to marueilous paine and griefe, and that there was no 172 Phisition to be found (although many were proued) that could heale it, but rather did impaire the griefe and made it worse and worse. Wherfore the king, like one in dispaire, would take no more counsell or helpe. Wherof the yong mayden was wonderfull glad, thinckinge to haue by this meanes, not onely a lawfull occasion to go to Paris, but if the disease were such (as she supposed,) easelye to bringe to passe that shee mighte haue the Counte Beltramo to her husbande. Whereuppon with such knowledge as she had learned at her father’s hands before time, shee made a pouder of certaine herbes, which she thought meete for that disease and rode to Paris. And the first thing she went about when she came thither was to see the Counte Beltramo. And then she repayred to the king, praying his grace to vouchsafe to shew her his griefe. The king perceyuing her to be a fayre yonge maiden and a comelie, would not hide it, but opened the same vnto her. So soone as shee saw it shee put him in comforte, that shee was able to heale him, saying: “Sir, if it maye please your grace, I truste in God without anye greate paine vnto your highnesse, within eighte dayes to make you whole of this disease.” The king hearing her say so, began to mocke her, saying: “How is it possible for thee, beinge a yong woman, to do that which the beste renowmed Phisitions in the world can not?” Hee thancked her for her good will and made her a direct aunsweare, that hee was determined no more to followe the counsaile of any Phisition. Whereunto the maiden aunsweared: “Sir, you dispise my knowledge because I am yonge and a woman, but I assure you that I do not minister Phisicke by profession, but by the aide and helpe of God: and with the cunninge of maister Gerardo of Narbona, who was my father, and a Phisition of great fame so longe as he liued.” The king hearing those words, sayd to himselfe: “This woman peraduenture, is sente vnto me of God, and therefore why should I disdaine to proue her cunninge? for so muche as she promiseth to heale me within a litle spac, without any offence or griefe vnto me.” And being determined to proue her, he said: “Damosel, if thou doest not heale me, but make me to breake my determination, what wilt thou shal folow therof.” “Sir,” said the maiden:Let me be kept in what guard and keeping you list: and if I do not heale you within 173 these eight dayes, let me be burnt: but if I do heale your grace what recompence shall I haue then?” To whom the kinge aunswered: “Because thou art a maiden and vnmaried, if thou heale me according to thy promise, I wil bestow thee vppon some gentleman, that shalbe of right good worship and estimation.” To whom she aunsweared: “Sir, I am very well content that you bestow me in mariage: but I beseech your grace let me haue such a husband as myselfe shall demaund, without presumption to any of your children or other of your bloud.” Which request the king incontinently graunted. The yong maiden began to minister her Phisicke, and in short space before her appointed time, she had throughly cured the king. And when the king perceiued himselfe whole, said vnto her: “Thou hast well deserued a husbande (Giletta) euen such a one as thy selfe shalt chose.” “I haue then my Lord (quoth she) deserued the Countie Beltramo of Rossiglione, whom I haue loued from my youth.” The king was very loth to graunt him vnto her: but for that he had made a promise which he was loth to breake, he caused him to be called forth, and said vnto him: “Sir Countie, knowing full well that you are a gentleman of great honour, oure pleasure is, that you returne home to your owne house to order your estate according to your degree: and that you take with you a Damosell which I haue appointed to be your wife.” To whom the Countie gaue his humble thanks, and demaunded what she was? “It is she (quoth the king) that with her medecines hath healed me.” The Counte knew her wel and had already seen her, although she was faire, yet knowing her not to be of a stocke conuenable to his nobility, skornefully said vnto the king, “Will you then (sir) giue me a Phisition to wife? It is not the pleasure of God that euer I should in that wise bestow my selfe.” To whom the king said: “Wilt thou then, that wee should breake our faith, which wee to recouer health haue giuen to the damosell, who for a reward asked thee to husband?” “Sir (quoth Beltramo) you may take from me all that I haue, and giue my person to whom you please because I am your subiect: but I assure you I shal neuer be contented with that mariage.” “Wel, you shall haue her, (said the king) for the maiden is faire and wise, and loueth you most intirely: thinking verely you shal 174 leade a more ioyful life with her, then with a Lady of a greater house.” The Countie therewithal held his peace, and the kinge made great preparation for the mariage. And when the appointed day was come, the counte in the presence of the king (although it were against his wil) maried the maiden, who loued him better then her owne selfe. Which done, the Counte determining before what he would do, praied licence to retourne to his countrye to consummat the mariage. And when he was on horsebacke hee went not thither but toke his iourney into Tuscane, where vnderstanding that the Florentines and Senois were at warres, he determined to take the Florentines parte, and was willingly receiued and honourablie intertaigned, and was made captaine of a certaine nomber of men, continuing in their seruice a long time. The new maried gentlewoman, scarce contented with his vnkindnes, hopinge by her well doinge to cause him to retourne into his countrye, went to Rossiglione, where she was receiued of all his subiects for their Lady. And perceyuing that through the Countes absence all thinges were spoiled and out of order, shee like a sage Ladye, with greate diligence and care, disposed his thinges in order againe: whereof the subiects reioysed very much, bearing to her their harty loue and affection, greatly blaming the Counte because he coulde not content himselfe with her. This notable gentlewoman hauing restored all the countrie againe to their auncient liberties, sent word to the Counte her husband, by two knights, to signifie vnto him, that if it were for her sake that hee had abandoned his countrie, vppon retourne of aunsweare, she to do him pleasure, would departe from thence. To whom he chorlishly replyed: “Let her do what she liste: for I do purpose to dwell with her, when she shall haue this ring (meaning a ring which he wore) vpon her finger, and a sonne in her armes begotten by mee.” He greatly loued that ring, and kepte it very carefully, and neuer toke it from his finger, for a certaine vertue that he knew it had. The knights hearinge the harde condition of two thinges impossible: and seinge that by them he could not be remoued from his determination, retourned againe to the Lady, tellinge her his aunsweare: who, very sorowfull, after shee had a good while bethoughte her, purposed to finde meanes to attaine the two thinges, that thereby 175 she might recouer her husbande. And hauinge aduised her selfe what to doe, shee assembled the noblest and chiefeste of her Countrie, declaring vnto them in lamentable wyse what shee had alreadye done, to winne the loue of the Counte, shewinge them also what folowed thereof. And in the ende saide vnto theim, that shee was lothe the Counte for her sake should dwell in perpetuall exile: therefore shee determined to spende the reste of her time in Pilgrimages and deuotion, for preseruation of her Soule, prayinge theim to take the charge and gouernemente of the Countrie, and that they would let the Counte vnderstande, that shee had forsaken his house, and was remoued farre from thence: with purpose neuer to returne to Rossiglione againe. Many teares were shed by the people, as she was speaking those wordes, and diuers supplications were made vnto him to alter his opinion, but all in vaine. Wherefore commending them all vnto God, she toke her way with her maide, and one of her kinsemen, in the habite of a pilgrime, well furnished with siluer and precious Jewels: telling no man whither shee wente, and neuer rested till shee came to Florence: where arriuinge by Fortune at a poore widowes house, shee contented her selfe with the state of a poore pilgrime, desirous to heare newes of her Lord, whom by fortune she sawe the next day passing by the house (where she lay) on horsebacke with his company. And althoughe shee knewe him well enoughe, yet shee demaunded of the good wife of the house what hee was: who aunsweared that hee was a straunge gentleman, called the Counte Beltramo of Rossiglione, a curteous knight, and wel beloued in the City, and that he was maruelously in loue with a neighbour of her’s, that was a gentlewoman, verye poore and of small substance, neuerthelesse of right honest life and good report, and by reason of her pouerty was yet vnmaried, and dwelte with her mother, that was a wise and honest Ladye. The Countesse well noting these wordes, and by litle and litle debating euery particular point thereof, comprehending the effecte of those newes, concluded what to do, and when she had well vnderstanded which was the house, and the name of the Ladye, and of her doughter that was beloued of the Counte: vppon a day repaired to the house secretely in the habite of a pilgrime, where 176 finding the mother and doughter in poore estate amonges their familie, after she had saluted them, told the mother that shee had to saye vnto her. The gentlewoman rysing vp, curteously intertayned her, and being entred alone in a chamber, they sate downe and the Countesse began to speake vnto her in this wise. “Madame, me thincke that ye be one vpon whom Fortune doth frowne, so wel as vpon me: but if you please, you may both comfort me and your selfe.” The lady answered, “That there was nothing in the world wherof she was more desirous then of honest comfort.” The Countesse proceeding in her talke, said vnto her. “I haue neede now of your fidelitie and truste, whereuppon if I do staye, and you deceiue mee, you shall both vndoe me and your selfe.” “Tell me then what it is hardlie (said the gentlewoman:) for you shall neuer bee deceiued of mee.” Then the Countesse beganne to recite her whole estate of loue: tellinge her what she was, and what had chaunced to that present daye, in such perfite order as the gentlewoman beleeuinge her, because shee had partly heard report before; began to haue compassion vppon her, and after that the Countesse had rehearsed the whole circumstaunce, she continued her purpose, saying: “Now you haue heard amonges other my troubles, what two things they bee, which behoueth mee to haue, if I doe recouer my husband, which I know none can helpe me to obtaine, but onelye you, if it be true that I heare, which is, that the Counte my husband, is farre in loue with your doughter.” To whom the gentlewoman sayd: “Madame, if the Counte loue my doughter, I knowe not, albeit the likelyhoode is greate: but what am I able to doe, in that which you desire?” “Madame, aunsweared the Countesse, I will tell you: but first I will declare what I meane to doe for you, if my purpose be brought to effecte: I see your faire doughter of good age, readie to marie, but as I vnderstande the cause, why shee is vnmaried, is the lacke of substance to bestowe her. Wherefore I purpose, for recompence of the pleasure, which you shall doe for mee, to giue so much readie money to marie her honourablie, as you shall thincke sufficient.” The Countesse’ offer was very well liked of the Ladie, because she was poore: yet hauing a noble hart, she said vnto her. “Madame, tell me wherein I may do you seruice: and if 177 it be a thinge honest, I will gladlye performe it, and the same being brought to passe, do as it shall please you.” Then said the Countesse: “I thincke it requisite, that by some one whom you truste, you giue knowledge to the Counte my husband, that your doughter is, and shalbe at his commaundement: and to the intent she may be well assured that hee loueth her in deede aboue anye other, she must pray him to sende her a ring that hee weareth vppon his finger, which ring as she knoweth, he loueth very dearely: and when he sendeth the ringe, you shal giue it vnto me, and afterwards sende him woorde, that your doughter is readie to accomplishe his pleasure, and then you shall cause him secretelye to come hither, and place me by him (in steede of your doughter) peraduenture God will giue me the grace, that I may be with child, and so hauing this ring on my finger, and the childe in mine armes begotten by him, I maye recouer him, and by your meanes continue with him, as a wife ought to do with her husbande.” This thinge seemed difficulte vnto the Gentlewoman: fearing that there woulde folowe reproche vnto her doughter. Notwithstandinge, considering what an honest part it were, to be a meane that the good Ladie might recouer her husbande, and that shee mighte doe it for a good purpose, hauinge affiaunce in her honest affection, not onely promised the Countesse to bring this to passe, but in fewe dayes with greate subtiltie, folowing the order wherein she was instructed, she had gotten the ringe, although it was with the Countes ill will, and toke order that the Countesse in steede of her doughter did lye with him. And at the first meeting, so effectuously desired by the Counte: God so disposed the matter that the Countesse was begotten with child, of two goodly sonnes, and her deliuery chaunced at the due time. Whereuppon the gentlewoman, not onelye contented the Countesse at that time with the companye of her husbande, but at manye other times so secretly as it was neuer knowen: the Counte not thinkinge that he had lien with his wife, but with her whom he loued. To whom at his vprising in the morning, he vsed many curteous and amiable woords, and gaue diuers faire and precious Jewels, which the Countesse kept most carefully: and when she perceiued herselfe with child, she determined no more to trouble 178 the gentlewoman, but said vnto her. “Madame, thanckes be to God and you, I haue the thing that I desire, and euen so it is time to recompence your desert, that afterwards I may depart.” The gentlewoman said vnto her, that if she had done anye pleasure agreeable to her minde, she was right glad thereof which she did, not for hope of reward, but because it appertayned to her by well doing so to doe. Whereunto the Countesse said: “Your sayinge pleaseth me well, and for my part, I doe not purpose to giue vnto you the thing you shal demaunde in reward, but for consideration of your well doing, which dutie forceth me to do.” The gentlewoman then constrained with necessity, demaunded of her with great bashfulnesse, an hundred poundes to marie her daughter. The countesse perceiuinge the shamefastnesse of the gentlewoman, and her curteous demaunde, gaue her fiue hundred poundes, and so many faire and costly Jewels, as almost amounted to like valour. For which the gentlewoman more then contented, gaue most harty thankes to the Countesse, who departed from the gentlewoman and retourned to her lodging. The gentlewoman to take occasion from the Counte of anye farther repaire, or sendinge to her house, toke her doughter with her, and went into the country to her frends. The Counte Beltramo, within fewe dayes after, being reuoked home to his owne house by his subiectes, (hearinge that the Countesse was departed from thence) retourned. The Countesse knowinge that her husbande was goone from Florence and retourned home, was verye gladde, continuing in Florence till the time of her childbedde, being brought a bedde of twoo sonnes, whiche were very like vnto their father, and caused them carefully to be noursed and brought vp, and when she sawe time, she toke her iourney (vnknowen to anie) and arriued at Montpellier, and resting her selfe there for certayne dayes, hearing newes of the Counte, and where he was, and that vpon the daye of Al Sainctes, he purposed to make a great feaste, and assembly of Ladies and Knightes, in her pilgrimes weede she repaired thither. And knowing that they were all assembled, at the palace of the Counte, readie to sitte downe at the table, shee passed through the people without chaunge of apparell, with her twoo sonnes in her armes: and when shee was come vp into the 179 hall, euen to the place where the Counte sat, falling downe prostrate at his feete, weeping, saying vnto hym: “My Lorde, I am thy poore infortunate wyfe, who to th’intent thou mightest retourne and dwel in thine owne house, haue bene a great whyle begging aboute the worlde. Therefore I nowe beseche thee, for the honoure of God, that thou wilt obserue the conditions, which the twoo (knightes that I sent vnto thee) did commaunde me to doe: for beholde, here in myne armes, not onely one sonne begotten by thee, but twayne, and likwyse thy Ryng. It is nowe time then (if thou kepe promise) that I should be receiued as thy wyfe.” The Counte hearing this, was greatly astonned, and knewe the Ryng, and the children also, they were so like hym. “But tell me (quod he) howe is this come to passe?” The Countesse to the great admiration of the Counte, and of all those that were in presence, rehersed vnto them in order all that, whiche had bene done, and the whole discourse thereof. For which cause the Counte knowing the thinges she had spoken to be true (and perceiuing her constant minde and good witte, and the twoo faire young boyes to kepe his promise made, and to please his subiectes, and the Ladies that made sute vnto him, to accept her from that tyme foorth as his lawefull wyfe, and to honour her) abiected his obstinate rigour: causing her to rise vp, and imbraced and kissed her, acknowledging her againe for his lawefull wyfe. And after he had apparelled her according to her estate, to the great pleasure and contentation of those that were there, and of al his other frendes not onely that daye, but many others, he kept great chere, and from that time forth, hee loued and honoured her, as his dere spouse and wyfe.



Tancredi Prince of Salerne, caused his daughter’s louer to be slayne, and sente his harte vnto her in a cup of golde: whiche afterwardes she put into poysoned water, and drinking thereof died.

Tancredi Prince of Salerne, (an vniuersitie in the region of Italie) was a curteous Lorde, and of gentle nature: had he not in his age imbrued his handes with the bloud of his owne doughter. It chaunced that this Prince in al his life time, had but that doughter: but more happie had he ben if she had neuer ben borne. That doughter he loued so well, as a father might loue his childe: and for the tender loue he bare her, he was not able to suffer her to be out of his sight. And could not finde in his harte to marie her, although she had many yeres passed the time that she was mariageable: notwithstanding, in thende he gaue her to wife to one of the sonnes of the Duke of Capua, with whom she continued no long time, but was a widowe, and then retourned vnto her fathers house againe. This Ladie was very faire and comely of bodie and face, as any creature could be, yonge, lustie, and more wise peraduenture then a woman ought to be. And thus dwelling with her louing father, she liued like a noble Ladie, in great pleasure: and seing that her father for the loue he bare vnto her, had no mynde or care to marie her agayne, and also she thinking it skarce honest to require him thereunto, deuised secretly (if it were possible) to retaine some valiaunt man to be her louer. And seyng manye gentlemen and others, frequenting her fathers court (as we commonly see in the courtes of princes) and marking the behauiour and order of many (amonges all) there was a young man, one of her fathers seruauntes that liked her well, whose name was Guiscardo, of very base birth (but in vertue and honest condicions more noble then the reste) and many times when she sawe him, she wonderfully delited in him, alwayes praysing his doinges aboue all others. The younge man, not hauing good consideration of him selfe, perceiuing her feruent affection, so fixed his minde that he disposed the same vpon 181 nothing els but to loue her. One louing an other secretly in this sorte, and the Ladie verie studious to finde occasion that she might talke with him, vnwilling to committe the secrecie of her loue to any man, she imagined a newe deuise to geue him knowledge thereof. And wrote a letter signifying vnto him, what he should doe the next day, and howe he might vse himselfe to come to talke with her: and then putting the letter into the cane of a rede, she gaue it vnto Guiscardo in sporting wise, and said. “Thou shalt this night make a paire of Bellowes for thy seruaunt wherwith she may kindle the fire.” Guiscardo toke it, and thought that shee did not geue it vnto him, without some special purpose went to his chamber, and loking vpon the Cane perceiued it to be hollowe, and openyng it founde the letter within whiche shee had written. And when he had well perused it, vnderstandyng the tenour thereof, hee thought hym selfe the happiest man in the worlde, and began to put hym selfe in readinesse, to mete with his Ladie, by suche wayes and meanes, as shee had to him appointed. There was in the corner of the Princes palace a Caue, long time before made vnder the syde of a hille, whiche Caue receiued light by certayne ventes made of force within the sayd mountaine, and because the same was not frequented and vsed, it was ouergrowen with busshes and thornes. Into which Caue was a discent by a secrete payre of stayers, into one of the lowest chambers of the Palaice, wherin the Ladie lay, which was out of all men’s minde, because it was not occupied many a day before, and shut vp with a very strong doore. But Loue (in the eyes wherof nothing is so secrete, but will come to knoweledge) had brought the same againe into the remembraunce of the amorous Lady. The opening of which doore (that no man might knowe it) many dayes did trouble her wittes: afterwarde when she had founde the waye, she went downe alone into the Caue, and viewing the vente, whereunto she had geuen order for Guiscardo to come, she tolde him of what height it was from the ground: for the execution whereof, Guiscardo prepared a rope with knots and degrees to goe vp and downe, and putting vpon him a leather coate, to kepe him from the thornes and bushes, went downe the next night at the saide vente, vnknowen of any man: and fastening 182 one of the endes of the rope, to the stocke of a tree, that grewe at the mouth of the vente, hee slipte downe into the Caue, and taried there for the Ladie, who the next daye faining her selfe to slepe after dinner, sent her maydes out of her chamber, and locked her selfe within alone: and then opened the doore, and went downe into the Caue, where finding Guiscardo, they marueilously reioysed one with an other. And from thence went vp together into her chamber: where they remained togethers, the moste parte of that day, to their great delight. And hauing geuen good order for the affaires of their loue, and the secrete vse therof, Guiscardo retourned into the Caue, and the Ladie locked the doore, and came out amonges her maides. The next night after, Guiscardo issued out of the vente vpon the rope, wherewith he descended and conueied him selfe into his chamber. And hauing learned the waye, he resorted thither many times after. But Fortune enuious of that pleasure, so long and great, with dolorous successe, tourned the ioye of those twoo louers into heauie and sorowefull ende. The Prince accustomed sometimes to resorte alone into his doughter’s chamber, and there for a whyle to tarie and talke with her, and so to departe. Vpon a daye after dinner, when the Ladie (whose name was Gismonda) was in the garden with all her maidens, he repaired vnknowen or seene of any man into her chamber. But being loth to trouble his doughter of her pleasure, and finding the wyndowes of her chamber shut and the curtens of her bedde drawen, he satte down vpon a stoole at the beddes feete, and leaning his head to the bedde the Curteine drawen ouer him (as he had bene hidden of purpose) he fel a slepe. And the king being thus a slepe, Gismonda that (in euill time) the same day had appointed Guiscardo to come, left her maydens in the Gardeine, and entred very secretly into her chamber, locking fast the doore after her, and not knowing any man to be there, shee opened the doore of the Caue to Guiscardo, who was redie to wayte for her comming. Then they caste them selues vpon the bedde, as they were wonte to doe, solacing the time together, vntill it chaunced that the Prince awaked, heard and sawe what Guiscardo and his doughter did. Whereof being verie sorowfull, he would vpon the first sight haue cried out: but that he thought 183 it better for that time to holde his peace, still to kepe him selfe secrete, to the intent that he might more priuelie, and with lesse shame, accomplishe that which he purposed to do. The twoo louers continued togethers a great time, as they were wont to do, without any knowledge of the Prince his being there, and when they saw time, they went downe from the bedde: and Guiscardo retourning to the Caue, shee went foorthe of her chamber, from whence Tancredi (as olde as he was) conueyed him selfe into the Gardeine out at a wyndowe of the same, vnseen and not perceiued of any. Who like a pensife man, and carefull euen vnto death, repaired to his owne chamber, and the next night, about one of the clocke, he caused Guiscardo to be apprehended, by an order that he had prescribed, at his comming forth of the Caue, euen clothed as he was, with his leather coate: and by twoo men was secretly conueyed to the Prince. Who so sone as he sawe him, sayd vnto him with teares standing in his eies: “Guiscardo, the beneuolence and goodnes towardes thee, haue not merited this outrage and shame, that thou hast committed this daye in mine owne house, which I sawe with mine owne eyes.” To whom Guiscardo gaue no other aunswere, but that Loue was of greater force, then either any Prince or hym selfe. Then the Prince commaunded him to be kept, in a chamber adioyning. The next day the king (Gismonda being ignoraunt hereof) reuolued in his minde, diuers and sundrye matters, and after diner as he was accustomed, he wente into his doughter’s chamber, and caused her to be called vnto him, and shutting the chamber doore, in lamentable speche sayd vnto her. “Gismonda, I had so much affiaunce and truste in thy vertue and honestie, that it coulde neuer haue entred into my mynde (althoughe it had bene tolde me, if I had not sene it with mine owne propre eyes) but that thou haddest not onely in deede, but also in thought, abandoned the companie of all men, except it had bene thy husbande: whereof I shalbe right pensife and sorowefull so longe as this litle remnaunt of life (that mine olde age doth preserue) indureth in mee. And sithe thou couldest not conteyne from suche dishonest loue, I woulde it had pleased God, that thou haddest taken a manne, equall to thyne estate. But amonges so many that do frequente 184 my court, thou hast chosen this young man Guiscardo, whose birthe is very vile and base, and brought vp (as it were for God’s sake) from a childe to this present daye, in our Court. For which consideration I am verie sore disquieted, not knowing how to take this at thy handes: for with him (whom I haue caused to be taken this nighte in going out of the Caue, and nowe kepte as prisoner) I have already concluded what to do. But with thee what I shal do, God knoweth: of the one side, the loue that I still beare thee, more then any father euer bare to his doughter, doth drawe me: on the other side, a iust displeasure and indignation, taken for thy great follie, doth moue me. The one mocion would that I should pardon thee, the other forceth me against my nature, to be cruell vnto thee. Notwithstanding, before I doe make any certaine resolucion, I desire to heare what thou canst saye for thy selfe.” When hee had spoken those woordes, he kissed her face, weping verie bitterly like a childe that had ben beaten. Gismonda hearing her father, and knowing that not only her secret loue was discouered, but also her louer Guiscardo to be in pryson, conceiued an inestimable sorowe, vttering the same many times, with outcries and schreches, according to the maner of women, howe beit, her great courage surpassed her weakenesse, and did sette a bolde face on the matter, with marueilous stoutnesse determining, before she made any sute for her selfe, no longer to liue, seing that her frende Guiscardo was alreadie dead. Wherefore not like a sorowefull woman, or one taken in any faulte, but as a desperate persone, with a drie and stoute countenaunce, not troubled or vexed, she said thus to her father: “I doe not purpose, deare father, to stande in deniall, nor yet by humble sute to make requeste: for the one wyll nothyng auayle mee, and the other is to none effecte. Moreouer I doe not intende by any meanes, to beseche your clemencie and loue towardes mee, to be beneuolente and bontifull, but confessinge the trouthe, I will first with true reasons and argumentes, defende myne honour, and afterwardes prosecute in vertuous wyse, by effectes, the stoutnesse of my courage. True it is, that I haue loued and do loue Guiscardo, and will loue him so long as I liue, which shalbe but a litle time. And if so be that a woman may loue a man after death, I will not cease 185 to loue him. But womanly frailtie and feminine weakenesse hath not so much induced me hereunto, as the litle care you haue had to bestow me in mariage, and the great vertues that daily I haue seene in Guiscardo. You ought deare father to knowe, that your selfe is of fleshe, and of fleshe you haue engendred me your doughter, and not of Stone or Iron. In likewyse you ought, and must remember (although now you be arriued to olde yeares) what yonge folkes bee, and of what great power the lawe of youth is: and although you were (during the force of your youthlie dayes) trayned and exercised in factes of armes, yet nowe you oughte to knowe what great puissaunce resteth in the idle and delicate life, as well in the aged, as amonges yonge people. I am then as you be, begotten of fleshe, and my yeres so few, as yet but yonge, and thereby full of lust and delight. Wherunto the knowledge which I haue had alredy in mariage, forceth me to accomplishe that desire: and to the same be added marueilous forces, against whiche it is impossible for me to resiste, but rather to folowe, whereunto they drawe me. I am become amorous like a yonge woman, and like a woman as I am, and certainly I would haue imploied my whole force that waye, so farre as I could not to committe any shame to you, or to my selfe in that, whereunto my naturall offence hath forced me. To which thing, pitiful loue, and gentle fortune haue founde out, and shewed a waye secret enough, whereby without knowledge of any man, I am come to the effecte of my desires: which thing I will not denie (who so euer tolde you of it, or by what meanes so euer you are come to the knowledge of it) I haue not taken Guiscardo to be my louer by chaunce, as many women haue done, but I haue chosen him by long aduise and deliberation, aboue all others, and haue brought him into me in this wise, inioying with our wise continuance of longe time, the accomplishment of my desire, wherof me thincke (althoughe I haue not offended but by loue) that you doe purpose to prosecute rather the vulgar opinion, then the truth, purposinge in this wise moste bitterly to comptroll me, saying: ‘That you had not had such an occasion of anger, if I had chosen one that had been a gentleman.’ Wherein you do not consider, that the faulte is not mine, but rather to be ascribed to fortune, who ought to be 186 blamed because many times shee exalteth the vnworthie, and treadeth vnder foote those that be most worthie: but nowe let vs leaue of further talke of this matter, and consider the beginninge hereof. First of all you see, that of one masse of fleshe we haue all receiued flesh, and that one Creatour hath created euery lyuing creature, with force and puissaunce equally, and wyth equall vertue: which vertue was the first occasion that made the difference and distinction of vs all that were borne, and be borne equall, and they that obtayned the greatest part of vertue, and did the workes of her, were called noble, the rest continuing vnnoble. And albeit contrary vse afterwards obscured this Law, yet therefore, shee is not remoued ne abandoned from nature, or good maners. In likewise hee that by vertue performeth all his doinges, doth manifestlie shewe himselfe to be noble: and he that doth otherwise terme him, doth commit the faulte, and not he that is so called. Behold all your gentlemen, and examine well their vertue, their conditions and maner of doinges. On the other part, behold the qualities and condicions of Guiscardo: then if you please to giue iudgement wythout affection, you shall say that he is righte noble: and that all your gentlemen be villaines in respecte of him. The vertuous and excellencie of whom, I beleeue cannot be placed in any other wight, as in hym, as well by your owne report as by the choyse of mine owne eyes. Who euer praysed man so, and with such ample commendacions praise worthie, wherein an honest man ought to be praised, as you haue done? and truly not without cause: for, if mine eyes be not deceiued, you neuer gaue hym anye praise but that I haue knowen more in him then your wordes were able to expresse. Notwithstanding, if I haue bin deceiued herein, it was you by whom I haue bin deceiued: wil you then say that I couple myselfe with a man of base condicion? Truly you cannot well say so. But if you will saye, perchaunce with a poore man, I confesse it: and verely it is to your shame, that you haue not vouchsafed to place in highe estate a man so honest, being your owne seruaunt. Neuerthelesse, pouertie doth not depriue anye parte of nobilitie, but riches hath. Manye kinges and greate Princes, haue bin poore in olde time, and manye ploughmen and sheepeheardes in times past, haue bin aduaunced 187 to riche estate. And the last doubt which troubleth you, is, that you be doubtfull what to doe with me: caste boldly out of your minde that doubte, and if you do intend in thextremity of your age to vse that which in your youth you neuer did, I purpose to become cruel also. Use your cruelty against me, for the auoyding whereof I haue not determined to make any supplication to you as giltie of this faulte, if faultes may be rehearsed. Assuring you, that if you do not vnto me, that which you haue done or will doe to Guiscardo, mine owne handes shall doe it. Wherefore goe to, and let fall your teares with women, and if you purpose to be cruell, kill him and let me also drincke of the same Cuppe, if you thincke we haue deserued it.” The king hearing the stout words of his doughter, thoughte not that shee woulde haue done in deede, as her wordes pretended, and as she said she would doe. Wherefore departing from her, and not willing to vse any maner of crueltie towards her, hee thoughte by the destruction and slaughter of Guiscardo, to coole her burning loue. And therefore commaunded two of his seruauntes (that had Guiscardo in keeping) without any noise, to strangle him the next nighte, and afterwardes plucking his harte out of his bodie, to bringe it vnto him: who did as they were commaunded. And the next day the king caused a faire Cuppe of gold to be broughte vnto him, wherein he laid the harte of Guiscardo, which he sent (by one of his trustiest seruauntes) vnto his doughter: and commaunded him, when hee presented the same vnto her to say these wordes: “Thy father hath sent thee this presente, to comforte thy selfe with the thing, which thou doest chiefle loue, as thou haste comforted him of that which he loued most.” Gismonda not amoued from her cruel determination, caused to be brought vnto her (after her father was gone) venemous herbes and rootes, which she distilled together, and made water thereof to drincke sodenly if that came to passe which she doubted. And when the kinges seruaunte was come vnto her, and deliuered his presente, he said as he was commaunded. Gismonda toke the Cuppe with stoute countenaunce, and couering it, so soone as she sawe the harte, and vnderstoode the woordes, shee thoughte verelye that it was the hart of Guiscardo, wherefore beholding the seruaunt, she saide vnto him: “Truly it behoueth that such a hart as this is, shoulde be 188 intombed in no worse graue then in golde, which my father hath most wisely done.” Afterwards lifting the Cuppe to her mouth, she kissed it, saying: “I haue in all thinges, euen vnto this time (being the last ende of my life) alwayes found the tender loue of my father towards mee: but nowe I knowe it to be greater, then euer I did before. And therefore in my behalfe, you shall render vnto him, the last thanckes that euer I shall giue him, for so great a presente.” After those wordes, tourning herselfe towardes the Cuppe, which shee helde faste, beholdinge the hart, shee said thus: “Oh sweete harboroughe of my pleasures, cursed be the crueltye of him that hath caused mee at this time to loke vppon thee with the eyes of my face: it was pleasure ynoughe, to see thee euery hower, amonges people of knowledge and vnderstanding. Thou hast finished thy course, and by that ende, which fortune vouchsafed to giue thee, thou art dispatched, and arriued to the ende wherunto all men haue recourse: thou hast forsaken the miseries and traueyles of this world, and haste had by the enemy himselfe such a sepulture as thy worthinesse deserueth. There needeth nothing els to accomplishe thy funerall, but onely the teares of her whom thou diddest hartelye loue all the dayes of thy lyfe. For hauing wherof, our Lord did put into the head of my vmercifull father to send thee vnto me, and truly I will bestow some teares vppon thee, although I was determined to die, without sheading any teares at all, stoutlie, not fearefull of any thinge. And when I haue powred them out for thee, I will cause my soule, which thou hast heretofore so carefully kepte, to be ioyned wyth thine. For, in what company can I trauell, more contented, or in better safegard in places vnknowen, then with thy soule? Truly I am well assured, that it is yet here within, that hath respecte to the place, aswell of his owne pleasures, as of mine, being assured (as she who is certaine, that yet he looueth me) that he attendeth for myne, of whom he is greatly beloued.” When she had thus sayd, she beganne to let fall (as thoughe there had been a fountaine in her head) so many teares, as it was a myracle to beholde her, oftentimes kissing the deade harte. Her maydens that stoode aboute her, knewe not what hart that was, nor whereunto those woords did tende: but being moued with compassion they all wepte: pitifullie demaundinge (althoughe in 189 vayne) the occasion of her sorowfull plaintes: and comforted her so well as they could. Who after she had powred forth sufficient teares, lifted vppe her heade and when she had wiped her eyes, she sayd: “Oh louing hart, all my dutie is fulfilled towardes thee, hauinge nowe nothinge to doe but onely to yelde foorth my ghoste, to accompany thyne.” And this sayd, she caused the glasse of water, which she had made the daye before, to be brought vnto her: and poured it out into the cuppe where the hart laye, all bained with a multitude of teares: whiche shee putting to her mouthe, without feare, dronke vp all. And that done went into her bedde, with the cuppe in her hand, tossing her bodie as decently as she could vppon the same, holding the harte of her dead frende, so nere as shee coulde, vnto her owne. Her maidens seing this (although they knewe not what water it was, that she dranke) sent worde to the king, who fearing that whiche happened, incontinentlye wente downe into his doughters chamber: where he arriued euen at that instante that she had cast her selfe vpon the bedde, and being come to late to succour her, with sweete woordes he began (seing her in those pangues) to wepe bitterly. To whome his doughter sayde: “Father, kepe in those vndesired teares and bestowe them not vpon me, for I desire them not: who euer sawe man beside you, to bewayle the wilfulnesse of his owne facte. Howe be it, if there do yet reste in you any sparke of that loue, which you haue alwayes borne towardes me: graunt me this last requeste, that although you were not contented that I should liue secretly and couertly with Guiscardo, yet at lest, cause our bodies to bee openly buried togethers, where it pleaseth you to bestowe them.” The anguishe and sorowe would not suffer the Prince to aunsweare one worde for weping. And the Ladie perceiuing her ende approche, cleped and strained the dead hart harde to her stomacke, saying: “Farewell sweete harte in God, for I am going to him.” And therewithall she closed her eyes, and lost her senses, departing out of this dolorous life. In this maner sorowefully ended the loue of Gismonda and Guiscardo, as you haue hearde, whome the prince after he had wepte his fill, and taken to late repentaunce for his crueltie: caused honorablie to be buried, and intombed both in one graue, not without great sorowe of all the people of Salerne.



Mahomet one of the Turkishe Emperours, executeth curssed crueltie vpon a Greeke maiden, whome hee tooke prisoner, at the wynning of Constantinople.

If you doe euer make any proofe of trial, to knowe of what trampe the Arrowes of Loue be, and what fruite they brynge to them, that doe vse and practise them: I am assured you shall be touched with some pitie when ye vnderstande the beastlie crueltie of an Infidell louer towards his Ladie. He of whome I wyll declare the historie, is Mahomet, not the false Prophete, but the great graundfather of Soliman Otiman, Emperoure of the Turkes, whiche raigned at that tyme. He it is, that to the shame and eternall infamie of all Christian Princes of his tyme, did wynne Constantinople, and tooke awaye the Easte Empire from Constantine, a Christian Emperour, the yeare of our Lord 1453. Mahomet then hauing obteined so great victorie at Constantinople, amonges the spoyle of that riche Citie, there was founde a Greeke mayden, of suche rare and excellent beautie, as she allured the eyes of euery wight, to wonder and beholde her, as a thing miraculous, whose name was Hyerenee, of the age of sixtene or seuentene yeares: whom a Capitaine to gratifie his Lorde, did presente, a Iewell, (as hee thought) moste acceptable to him, aboue all thinges of the worlde. The Emperour Mahomet, young and wanton beyonde measure, after he had caste his eye upon the mayden, and had grauen her beautie in his harte, gaue a straighte charge that shee shoulde bee kepte for hym, hopinge after the tumulte of the warre was ended, to bestowe conuenient tyme vpon her. The retracte sounded, and the affaires of the Empire reduced to sure estate, remembring him selfe of the beautie of Hyerenee, whiche had made a breache and entrie into his harte, commaunded that shee should be brought foorth vnto him, and hauing viewed her at his pleasure, hee felte him selfe so surprised with that newe flame, that hee conceived none other delight but to playe and 191 dallie with her, in suche sorte as his spirites being in loues full possession, loue dealt with hym so cruellie, as he coulde take no reste daye nor night. Who yelded him selfe suche a praie to his darling Hyerenee, that he felte none other contentation in his mynde but that whiche he receiued of her. And this amorous passion indured the space of three continuall yeares, taking suche vigor and increase by litle and litle, that he began to forget that whiche appertained to the ornament and honour of his Empire, leauing the whole administration of publique causes to his Baschats, he him selfe being so negligent, as he reposed in them all matters concerning the state of the Empire. During this disorder, the vulgar people began secretly to grudge, as well for the confusion and disorder of the Empire, as for the il gouernment of the same, (and specially, because the Baschats corrupted with auarice imployed them selues to their particuler profite, and to inriche them selues with the spoile of the people.) The Ianissaries on the other side, a warlike people, and brought vp in continuall exercise of Armes, began with open voyce, to detracte and slaunder their lorde, commonlie complaining howe hee consumed his life like an effeminate persone, without inferring or doyng anye profite to the Empire. To bee shorte, the matter came to suche desolation, as it might rather haue bene called a sedition then a murmure: and yet there was none so hardie as durst attempte to declare the same to the Emperour, knowing him to be of nature terrible, cruell, and rigorous, that with a woorde woulde put him to death that went about to withdrawe him from his desire. Therewithall he was so dronke with the beautie of the Greeke, that the leste matter, wherewith they might geue occasion to withdrawe him from his negligent life, was enough to driue him into rage and furie. This poore Emperour was so bewitched, as not onely hee consumed dayes and nightes with her, but he burned with continual ielousie, whose beautie was so liuelie painted in the inward partes of his hart and minde, that he remained thus ouerwhelmed in beastly pleasure, euery man in particuler and all in generall conspired against him, with one determinate minde, to yelde no more obedience vnto him in time to come, and purposed to chose some Emperour, that were more marciall and warlike, 192 through whose succour and counsaile they might not onely conserue the thinges gotten, but also amplifie the boundes and limites of their Empire. Mustapha which was brought vp with the Emperour, a gentle personage, franke of talke, and so nere to his maiestie that he might go into his chamber, although the Greeke was present: when he perceiued conuenient time, suche as he desired to haue, repaired to the Emperour vpon a daye, who liking well his deuises, walked with him alone in his Gardeine, to whom after he had made great reuerence, according to their custome, he sayde: “My souereigne lorde and maister, if I might speake freely, without seruile feare, which staieth mee, or if the terrour of your displeasure might not abash me, I would willingly declare vnto your maiestie that which concerneth not onely your securitie and saulfegarde, but (which is more) the saulfetie of your whole Empire.” Whom Mahomet aunswered with merie countenance in these wordes. “Cast away such colde feare as staieth thee, and speake hardly thy minde: Shewe me what it is that toucheth me.” “I doubt, and it shall please your maiestie, leste I shall seeme ouer presumptuous and rashe, if I discouer the secretes of my hart: but our auncient education, the dutie of my conscience, with the experience that you haue alwayes had of my fidelitie, haue so much forced mee, as being no longer able to rule my selfe, (I am constrained, by what vertuous prouocation I know not) to manifest thinges vnto you, that both time and necessitye will make you to thincke them good and necessarie: althoughe (it may so be) that now your eyes be so bounde vppe, in the vaile of your disordinate affection, that you cannot digeste, or take the same in good part. The life (my lorde) which you haue ledde, sithens the taking of Constantinople, and the excessiue pleasures wherin you haue bin plunged these three yeares, is occassion that not onely your Souldiours and the rest of your popular people, but the most faithful Lords of your Empire, do murmure, conspire, and coniure against you. And pardon me (my lord) if I speake so vnreuerently, in thinges touching your preseruation. For there is no man but doth very much marueile of this great and newe alteration that appeareth in you, which doth so abase you, and maketh you to degenerate from your auncient generositie and valiaunce. Your owne selfe hath giuen 193 ouer your selfe to be a spoile and praye to a simple woman: that you wholie depend vpon her flatteries and allurementes: reason or counsaile can take no place in your passionate and afflicted hart. But I humblie beseech your maiestie to enter a little into your selfe, and make a suruey of your life, that you haue ledde these three yeares paste. The glory of your auncestours and predecessours, acquired and wonne by sheading of so much bloud, kepte by so great prudence, conserued by so happy counsell, haue they no representation, or shew before your face? The remembraunce of theyr memorable victories, doth it not touche the depthe of your conscience? The magnanimitie and valiaunce whereby they be immortalized, and their fame regestred throughe the whole world, is it extinguished in you? Their Trophees and Monumentes grauen and aduaunced to all the corners of the earth, be they throwen downe and defaced from the siege of your remembraunce? But where is now the ardent desire which boiled in you from your infancie, to make Italie tributarie vnto you, and to cause your selfe to be crowned at Rome, Emperour aswel of Thorient, as of the Occidente? This is not the way to amplifie and inlarge your Empire, but rather to restraine and diminish the same. This is not the meane to preserue it, but to dispoile it and make it lesse. If Ottoman the first tronke or stocke of your gentle familye and kinred, had thus giuen himselfe to be corrupted in idlenes, you had not now inherited the noble kingdom of Greece, nor gouerned the countries of Galatia and Bithinia, and many other prouinces, which enuironne the greate sea. Semblablie his sonne Orcan (a liuely Image of his father and a folower of his valiaunt factes) had not triumphed ouer Licaonia, Phrigia, Caria, nor dilated the boundes of his Empyre to Hellesponte. What shall I speake of Amurates, the successour of Orcan, who was the first that inuaded Europa, conquered Thracia, Syria, Rafia and Bulgaria? And Baiazet likewyse, did not he cut of the head of the greate Tamburlain, which called himselfe the scourge of God, and brought into the field foure hundred thousande Scithians a horsebacke, and sixe hundred thousande footmen? Shall I passe ouer with silence the vertuous exploites of your grandfather Mahomet, who conquered Macedonia and made the Countries to feele the edge of his sword, 194 euen to the sea Ionicum, lettinge passe many wonderfull expeditions and iourneis by him made against the Lidians and Scicilians? But nowe I cannot reuiue the memorie of your father Amurate, but to my great sorow and griefe, who by the space of XL. yeres made the Sea and earth to tremble and quake, and with the furie of his stronge hand vsed such cruell reuengment ouer the Grekes, that the memorie of the woundes do remaine at this present, euen to the mountaines of Thomao and Pindus: he subiugated the Phocians, made tributarie Athenes, Beotia, Aetolia, Caramania, and all the barbarous nations, from Morea to the straits of Corinthe. What neede I here to bring in the cruel battell that he fought with the Emperour Sigismunde and Philip Duke of Burgundia wherin he ouerthrew the whole force of the Christians, toke the Emperour prisoner, and the Duke of Burgundie also, whom he sent to Andrionopolis? or to remember other fierce armies which he sent into Hungarie, wherof your maiesty is a faithfull witnes, your selfe being stil there in your owne person. Iudge, then, my Lord, what diligence and intollerable trauell he vsed in his manifolde glorious enterprises and famous victories. Do you thincke that if hee had bin idle in his palace, amonges the Ladyes, you had inherited your Empyre, or had nowe bin Lord of so many excellent Prouinces: which he is not sufficient to rule, that cannot prouide to confirme and establish the same. There be many of your subiectes and vassals at this day, which do obey and honour your maiestie (more for feare then good loue they beare you) that woulde rebell against you, if Fortune would turne her backe. The Christians of longtime (as you know) haue sworne your ruine and destruction. Moreouer they say that their high bishop the pope of Rome hath conuocated all his prelates to vnitie, and reconciled the Princes and Monarches of Christendome together, to ouer run you, and to take the Scepter out of your hands, and to dispoile you of your Empire. But what know we whither they wil ioyne their force with the power of the Persian Sophi, your capital enemie, or with the Souldan or Aegipt, your auncient aduersary: which if they come to passe (as God forbid) your Empire wilbe consumed. Gather your wits then together from henceforth my Lord, and call againe reason, which so many yeres you haue banished 195 from you. Awake out of the deepe sleepe which hath sealed vp your eyes: imitate and folow the trade of your auncestors, which euer loued better one day of honour then a hundred liuing yeares of shame and reproch. Attend to the gouernment of your Empire: leaue of this effeminate life; receiue againe the smell of your generosity and vertue: and if you cannot at one time cutte of and remoue all that amorous heate which vndermineth so your hart, moderate the same by litle and litle, and giue some hope to your people, which thincke you to be vtterlye loste and desperate of recouerie. Or if so be the Greeke do delighte you so much, who shall let you to carye her with you in all your iourneis and expeditions? Why cannot you together both enioy her beauty and vse the practise of armes? Mee thincke that your pleasure shalbe greater after you haue wonne some victory, and subdued some countrye to inioye her in your armes, then to remaine in a house with eternal infamie and continuall grudging of your subiectes. But proue I pray you, to separate your selfe certaine dayes from her and you shall certainly iudge, how farre more passing the pleasures be so differred, then those that be daily vsed. Yet one thinge more, and it please your Maiestie, there resteth to be saide, which is, that all the victories of your progenitours, or the conquestes which your selfe hath made be to small purpose, if you doe not keepe them and increase them, the keeping of a thing gotten being of no lesse glory and praise then the conquest. Be now then a conquerour of your selfe, humblie beseching your Maiestie, that if I haue spoken any thing disagreable to your minde, according to your wonted clemencie to pardon the same, and to impute the faulte to my bounden duty and the care that I haue of your honour and safetye.” Mahomet after he had heard the longe discourse of his slaue, stoode as still as a blocke, and fixing his eyes vppon the grounde, with sodaine chaunge of colour, declared by outward signes, the agitations and vnquietnes of his minde in such wise, as the poore slaue Mustapha, seing in him those alterations, was in doubt of his life: whose woords so pricked the Emperour’s harte, that he knew not what to do, or whereupon to be resolued, and feeling his conscience troubled with a furious battel: knowing euidentlye 196 that Mustapha had spoken the truth, and that he vttered the same like a trustie seruaunt to his maister. But on the other side the beautie of the Greeke, was still before his eyes, and the minde he had to abandon her, gaue him suche alarme, that he seemed at that instante as though his hart had been torne out of his belly. And thus moued with diuers tempestes, and disquieted with sundry thoughtes, hauing his eyes inflamed with great rage and furie, he said vnto him. “Althoughe thou hast spoken vnreuerently inough, yet our education together, and the fidelitie that I haue proued in thee in time paste, shalbe thy pardon for this time. To the purpose. Before the Sunne doth compasse the Zodiacke, I will let it be knowen to thee and other, what puissaunce and power I haue ouer my selfe: whether I am able to bridle mine affection or not. Take order in the meane time that all my noble men, the Baschats and the principall of my men of warre, be assembled together to morowe, in the middes of the greate halle of my palace.” This determination finished, the Emperour went into the Greeke, with whom he reioysed all that day and night, and made more of her than euer he did before. And the more to flatter her, he dined with her, and commaunded that after dinner, she should adorne herselfe with her most precious Iewels, and decke her with the costliest apparell shee had. Whereunto the poore wenche obeied, not knowinge that it was her funeral garmentes. On the other side, Mustapha vncertaine of the Emperour’s minde, at the houre appointed caused all the nobilitie to be assembled in the hall, euerye of theym marueilinge what moued the Emperour so to do, sithens he had so long time shut vp himselfe, without shewing his person abrode. Being thus assembled, and euerye man talking diuerslye of this matter, accordinge as their affection serued: beholde, the Emperour entred the hall, leading the Greeke by the hand, who being adorned otherwise then she was wont to be, was accompanied and garnished with beautie, so rare and excellent as she resembled rather an heauenly Goddesse then a humaine creature. The Turke being come into the hall, after that the Lords had made their reuerence, according to their wonted maner, he holding still the faire Greeke by the left hande, and stoode still in the middest of the same, loking furiously round 197 about him, he said vnto them. “So farre as I vnderstand, all ye do mutine and grudge, because I (being vanquished with Loue) cannot be deuided nor yet content my selfe day nor night, from the presence of this Greeke. But I do know none of you all so continente and chaste in Loue, that if hee had in possession a thing so rare and precious, so amiable, indowed with beautie so excellent, but before he could forget her, and giue her ouer, hee would three times be well aduised. What say you to the matter? Euery of you shall haue free liberty franckly to tel me your minde.” But they rapt with an incredible admiration, to see so faire a thing, sayde that he had with greate reason passed his time wyth her. Wherunto the barbarous cruel Prince aunsweared. “Well, now then I will make you to vnderstand, that there is no earthlie thing that can bind vp, or captiuate my sences so much, but that from henceforth I will folow the glorie of mine auncestours, and immitate the valiaunce of the Ottomans, which is so fixed in my breaste as nothinge but death is able to blotte it out of my remembraunce.” Those wordes finished, incontinently with one of his handes, hee catched the Greeke by the heare of the head, and with his other hand he drew out his falchion from his side, and folding his handes about her golden lockes, at one blow hee strake of her head, to the great terrour of them all. When he had so done, he said vnto them: “Now ye know, whether your Emperour is able to represse and bridle his affections or not?” Within a while after, meaninge to discharge the rest of his cholere, he addressed a Campe of foure score, or an hundred thousand men: with whom percing Bousline, he besieged Belgrade, where Fortune was so contrary vnto him, that he was put to flight, and loste there a notable battaile against the Cristians, vnder the conduct of Iohn Huniades, surnamed le Blanck, who was father of the worthie and glorious king Mathie Coruin.



A Ladie falslie accused of adultrie, was condempned to be deuoured of Lions: the maner of her deliuerie, and how (her innocencie being knowen) her accuser felt the paines for her prepared.

In the countrie of Aquitane, there was sometime a Lord, whose lands and lordships laye betweene Lismosine and Poictou, and for the antiquitye of his house was renowmed both for bloude and wealth, amonges the chiefe of all the Countrie. Being allied in kindred wyth the best, hee had full accesse and fauour as well in the houses of the aunciente Dukes of Guienne, and Countes of Poictou, as in the Royall Courtes of the French kinges. This Lorde (whom Bandello the aucthour of this history affirmeth to be Signor de la Rocca Soarda, but the translatour and augmentor of the same in French called Francois de Belle Forest, leaueth out his name, for good respect as he alleageth) kept a great Court and liberal household, and singularlie delighted (after the maner of the French nobilitie) in huntinge and hawking. His house also was had in greater admiracion (the rudenes and ignoraunce of that tyme was such) because he had gotten beastes of straunge countries, cheflie Lions, wherein he had great pleasure aswell for the rarenesse of that beast in Fraunce, as for a certain generositie that he knew to be in the same, which resembled the magnanimitie and courage of noble men, whose minds and spirites doe not esteeme thinges that be vaine and cannot be affraide in doing of deedes, whereunto honour is offred for reward. This Lord maried a Ladie, the doughter of one of his neighbours, a woman worthie for such a husbande: whose beautie was so rare as there was none comparable vnto her: which the more increased for that shee was indued with perfite vertue, and furnished with so good behauiour as right good mindes and wittes should be occupied, naie rather put to their shiftes to decide, whether gifte were greatest, either the exquisite workemanshippe of her excelling beautie, or whether nature had imploied al her cunning, to frame 199 a body to appeare before men miraculous, or els her honest porte, her good grace, curtesie and graue mildnes, accompanied with vertue, not vulgare or common to many men, which made this Ladie to shine like the glisteringe Planet of Mars, amonges other the wanderinge starres. In such wife as the very sauage and brute were forced with splendent fame, to praise her to be such a woman whose equall they neuer knew to be in all their Countrie, who made the house of her husband glorious and him a contented man, to beholde such a starre to lie by his side, which sufficed to illustrate and beautifie a whole countrie by her onely presence, and to nobilitate a race, althoughe the bloud of auncestours did faile, for the accomplishmente of their perfection. Such is the great force of vertue which not onely did aduaunce her aboue other creatures, but also did constraine the enuious to haue her in admiration. But these admiratours and praisers of vertue, doe not vse like indeuour for the merites of vertue, rather they imploie their onely industrie to gather some profite of vertue and then (followinge the nature of the dogge) they retourne to their vomite, and vomite forth their venime hidden in their serpent’s breast. As it came to passe and was euident in a certaine man, that was Stewarde of this nobleman’s house (truly a very happye house, as well for the honest loue betwene the Lord and the Lady, as for the vertue and clemency wherewith both the one and the other were accompanied) who in the beginninge, as honestie and dutie did require, was a louer of good maners and commendable demeanour of his Lady and maistresse, afterwardes (forgetting the fidelitie which he did owe vnto his Lorde, the nobilitie of his predecessours, and the perill of his owne life) began to loue her and serue her in harte, and to wishe for the fairest thing which outwardlye did appeare to be in her, where he oughte not so much as with the loke of his eye, to giue any atteint of liking, for the reuerence of him which was the right owner and iuste possessor of the same. This maister foole then, not measuring his forces, and lesse followinge the instincte of reason, became so amourous of his Madame, as continually he imagined by what meanes he mighte giue her to understand the paines and languores wherein he liued for the loue of her. But (alas) these 200 deuises vanished, like a litle dispersed cloude at the rysinge of the Sunne: for thinking vppon the vertue of his maistresse, his desires were soner remoued from his hart, then he was able to impresse them in the seat of his iudgement, therby to take anye certaine assuraunce. Notwithstandinge his heade ceased not to builde Castels in the ayre, and made a promise to himselfe to enjoye her whom he worshipped in his hart. For he toke such paynes by his humble seruice, that in the ende he acquired some part of his Laydes good grace and fauour. And for that he durste not be so bolde to manifest vnto her the vehemence of his griefe, he was contented a long time to shew a counterfaict ioy, which raised vnto him a liuely spring of sorowes and displeasures, which ordinarily did frette and boyle his minde so muche: as the force of his weping for vaine hope, was able to suffocate the remnant of life, that rested in his tormented hart, which caused certaine litle brokes of teares to streame downe, assailing the minde of this foolishe Louer. This faire and chaste Ladie was so resolued in the loue of her husbande, that she toke no regarde of the countenaunces and foolishe fashiones of this maister Louer. Who seing his mishappe to growe to dispaire, and from thence foorthe no remedie, that whether by reioyse, well hoping of better lucke, or for sodaine and miserable death, he determined to proue Fortune: and to see if the water of his hope coulde finde any passage, stedfastlye determined that if he were throwen downe hedlong into the bottome of Refusal, and contempned for his seruice, not to retire againe, but rather further to plondge for the accelerating of the ruine of him self, and his desires: for he thought it impossible that his harte could indure more intollerable heate of that invisible fier, then it had felt alreadie, if he founde no meanes for the smoke to haue some vent and issue. For whiche consideration, cleane besides him selfe, bewitched with foolish Loue, like a beast throughly transformed into a thing, that had no sense of a a reasonable man (such as they be accustomably, that be inrolled in the muster bookes of Venus’ sonne) was purposed to open to the Ladie (when occasion serued) both the euill, and also the griefe that he susteined in bearing towarde her, so great and extreme affection. Behold here one of the effects of humane follie: this 201 was the firste acte of the Tragedie, wherein loue maketh this brainlesse man to playe the first and principall parte vpon the Stage. This poore gentleman (otherwyse a good seruaunt, and carefull for the profite and honoure of his maister) is nowe so voyde of him selfe and blinde in vnderstanding as hee maketh no conscience to assaile her (to defraude her of her greatest vertue) the simple name of whom ought to haue made him tremble for feare, and to blushe for shame, rather then for her beautie sake and naturall curtesie, to dispoyle her of her honestie, and to attempte a thing vncertaine to winne and also more daungerous to practise. Nowe whiles he liued in the attemte of his hoped occasion, it chaunced that the Lady (thinking no malice at all) began to beholde the Stewarde with a better eie and looke more familier, then any of the gentlemen and domesticall seruauntes of the house, as well for the painted honestie of this Galant, as to se him so prompte and readie to obey her: and therefore vpon a daye as she walked in the Gallerie she called him vnto her, and verie familierly communicated certaine affaires touching the profite of the house. He that marched not but vpon one foote, and burned with Loue, and whose harte leapte for ioye, and daunced for gladnesse, thought that he had nowe obteined the toppe of his felicitie, and the whole effect of his desire: sodainly he cast away the dispaire of his former conceiptes, obiecting him selfe to the daunger wherin he was to bee ouerwhelmed, if the Ladie accepted not his request with good digestion. In the end, recouering force, he discoursed in minde this wicked opinion, wherwith foolish and wilfull fleshly louers doe blason and displaye the honour and chastitie of Ladies, when they make their vaunte that there is no woman, be she neuer so chaste, continente, or honest, but in the ende yeldeth, if she be throughly pursued. O, the wordes and opinion of a beast, rather then of a man knowing vertue. Is the nomber of chaste women so diminished that their renowme at this daye is like a Boate in the middes of some tempestious sea, whereunto the mariners do repaire to saue them selues? It is the only vertue of Ladies which doeth constraine them to vomite foorthe their poyson, when they see them selues deceiued, of their fonde and vncomely demaundes. A man shall neuer heare those 202 woordes precede, but from the mouthes of the moste lasciuious, which delight in nothing els, but to corrupte the good names of Ladies, afterward to make them ridiculous to the worlde. Retourne we then to our purpose, this valiaunt souldier of loue, willing to geue the first onset vpon his swete enemie, began to waxe pale and to tremble like the Reede blowen with the wynde, and knoweth not in what part, or by what meanes, to bestowe the firste strokes of his assault. At length with foltring tongue and trembling voyce, he speaketh to his Ladie in this wyse. “Alas, madame, how happie were the course of our transitorie life, if the common passions received no increase of troubles, by newe and diuers accidents, which seme to take roote in vs, for the very great diminution of that libertie, which euery man doth studie so much to conserue. But truly that studie is vain, and the paine thereof vnprofitablie bestowed: for he inforceth him selfe to liue free from passion, which in the middes of his inforcement, feeleth him selfe to be violently constrained, and seeth the taking away of his libertie, to be a certaine impeachemente, whiche thereunto hee would geue. Alacke, I haue proued that mischiefe, and am yet in the greatest excesse and pangues of my disease. I fele (alas) a diuersitie of anguishes, and a sea of troubles, which tormente my minde, and yet I dare not discouer the cause, seing that the thing, which is the fountaine of my grief, to be of suche desert as my seruice paste, and all that is to come, is not able to geue the proofe, if one speciall grace and fauour, do not inlarge, the litle power that is in mee, to counteruaile the greatnesse, and perfection of that which thus doth variat and alter bothe my thoughtes and passions. Pardon mee (madame) if I doe speake obscurelye, for the confusion of my minde maketh my woordes correspondent to the qualitie of the same. Notwithstanding I wyll not kepe silente from you that whiche I doe suffer, and muche lesse dissemble what passion I indure, beyng assured for your vertue and gentlenes, that you (moued with compassion) will succour me so muche as shall lie in you, for preseruacion of the life of him that is the best and most obedient seruaunt amonges them all that do you humble seruice.” The Lady which neuer thought of the wickednesse which this insensate man began to imagine, aunswered him verye curteously: 203 “I am sorie trulye for your mishap, and do marueile what should be the effect of that passion which as you say, you feele with such dimunicion of that which is perfect and accomplished in you: for I do see no cause that ought to moue you to so straunge infirmitie, whereof you told mee, and wherewith I had alreadie found fault although you had said nothing. I would to God I knew which way to helpe you, aswel for my lord my husbandes sake, whoe I am sure doth beare you good will, as for the honestie which hetherto I haue knowen to be in you, wherein I thincke all other resembling you, for vertue and good conditions doe deserue that accompt and consideration.” He that thought her already to be taken in his nettes, seing so faire a waye open and cleare, to disclose that which he had kept couerte so long, in the depth of his hart, aunsweared. “Ah, madame, are ye ignoraunte of the forces of Loue, and how much his assaultes can debilitate the liuelihoode of the bodies and spirites of men? Knowe ye not that he is blinde and naked, not caring whither hee goeth; manifesting himselfe there, wher occasion is offred? Alas, madame, if you haue not pitie vppon mee, and doe not regard that, which I do suffer for the loue of you, I know not how I am able to auoyde death, which will approche so sone to cutte of, and abridge my yeares, as I shall vnderstande a refusall of that which the extreme Loue I beare you (madame) forceth mee to require: which is to receiue a new seruice of your auncient and faithfull seruiture: who inflamed by the brighte beames of your diuine face, knoweth not how to chaunge his affection, and much lesse to receiue helpe, but of the place where hee receiued the pricke. Excuse (madame I beseech you) my rashnesse, and pardon my follie: accuse rather, either your celestiall beautie, or els that tyrant Loue who hath wounded me so luckelie, as I esteme mine euill fortunate, and my wounde happie: sithe by his meane my thoughtes and cogitations doe onelye tende to do you seruice, and to loue you in mine hart, which is the Phenix of the fairest and moste curteous Ladies within all our Prouince. Alas, that excellencie, which thus maketh me your seruaunt shall one daye be my ruine, if by your good grace (speaking it with weaping teares) you doe not fauour him, which liueth not, but to obey you, and which 204 lesing your good grace, will attempte to depriue him selfe of life, which being depriued through your crueltie, will go to complaine of his bolde attempt, and also of your rigor amonges the ghostes and shadowes of them that bee alreadie dead for like occassion.” The chaste Ladie was so wrapt of wittes for the straungenes of the case, and for the griefe whiche she concerned, to see the vnshamefast hardinesse of the varlette, as she could not tell how to make him aunswere: but in the ende breaking silence, and fetching a great sighe from the bottome of her harte, her face stayned with a freshe Vermilion rudde, which beautified her colour, by reason of disdaine conceiued against this impudent Orator, she aunswered him verie seuerely. “O God, who would haue thought, that from a hart nobly brought vp, and deriued from an honourable race, a vilanie so greate could haue taken roote and spring vp with such detestable fruite? What maister Stewarde? have ye forgotten the dutie of a seruaunt towarde his Lorde and maister? Haue ye forgotten I saye, the dutie of a vertuous gentleman, wel nourished and trayned vp towarde suche and so great a ladie as I am? Ah, Thefe and Traitour! Is this the venime which thou kepest so couert and secrete, vnder the swetenesse of thy counterfaicte vertue? A vaunte varlet, a vaunt: goe vtter thy stuffe to them that be like thy self, whose honour and honestie is so farre spent, as thy loialtie is light and vayn. For if I heare thee speake any more of these follies be assured that I wil mortifie that raging flame, which burneth thy light beleuing harte, and wil make thee feele by effecte what manner of death that is, wherein thou reposest the reste of thy trauell.” As this deceiued Oratour was framing his excuse, and about to moderate the iust wrath of his Ladie, displeased vpon good occasion, she not able to abyde any more talke, sayde further. “And what signes of dishonestie haste thou seen in mee, that moue thee to perswade a thing so wicked, and vncomely for mine estate: yea and so preiudiciall to me, to my frendes, and the house of thy maister, my Lorde and spouse? I can not tell what it is that letteth me, from causing thee to be caste foorthe amonges the Lions (cruell and capitall enemies of adulterie, amonges themselues) sithe thy pretence is, by violating my chastitie to dishonour the house, whereunto thou owest no 205 lesse, then al the aduancements thou hast: from the taste whereof thou hast abandoned Vertue, the best thing wherwith thou were affected. Auoyde nowe, therefore, let me heare no more of this, vppon paine of thy life, otherwyse thou shalt feele the rewarde of thy temerite, and vnderstande the bitternesse of the litle pleasure, whiche I haue conceiued of thy follies.” So the good Ladie held her peace, reseruing in her harte, that whiche should bee her helpe in time and place: howbeit she sayde nothing hereof vnto her husbande, aswell for raising offence or slaunder, as for prouoking him against him whiche susteined the punishement him selfe, sithe that this refuse, did more straungely pinche him, nerer at the harte then euer the Egle of Caucasus (whereof the Poetes haue talked so muche) did tier the mawe of the subtile thefe Prometheus. And yet the vnhappie stewarde not contented, with the mischiefe committed against the honour of his maister, seing that it was but lost time to continue his pursute, and that his gaine would bee no lesse then death, if she according to her promised threates did therof aduertise her husband, being a cholericke man, and lighte of beliefe, and because the said Steward for such an enterprise had receiued a simple recompence, althoughe correspondent to his desert, premeditated worse mischiefes, more noisome then the first. He was in doubte, whether it were better for him to tarie or to departe, sith two thinges in a maner, were intollerable for him to suffer. For he coulde not forsake the house where from his cradle he had been so finely brought vp, the lord wherof made so much of him, as of his owne person. On the other side, he knewe that so long as the Lady was aliue, he could haue no maner of ioy or contentation. For that cause, conuerting extreeme loue (which once he bare to the lady) into cruel hatred, vnseemly for a brutal beaste, and into an insaciable desire of reueng, he determined to addresse so strong an ambushe, trained with so great subteltie, that she was not able to escape without daunger of her life and honour, whereof she declared herselfe to be so carefull. Alas, what blindnes is that, which captiuateth the wittes and spirite of him, that feedeth himselfe of nothing els, but vpon the rage of fantastical despite and vpon the furie of dispaire. Do wee not see, that after Reason giueth 206 place to desired reuenge of wrong thought to be receiued, man dispoyleth himselfe of that, which appertayneth to the kinde of man, to put on the fierce nature of the moste brute and cruell beastes, to runne headlonge without reason toward the place wher the disordinate appetite of affections, doth conduct him? whereof I will not aduouche any other example, but of this traitour, who passionated not with Loue, but rather with rage and fury, ceaseth not to espie all the actions and behauiour of his Ladie, to the intente he mighte bringe to ende his deuised treason against her, that thoughte (perchaunce) no more of his follies, but honestlie to passe the time with her deare and wel beloued husbande. Truly, if this Lady had been of the disposition of some women (that care not to moleste theyr husbands, for the first Flie that buzzeth before their eyes, conceyuing a friuolous and sodaine opinion of their chastitie, not so much assailed, or to sharpely defended, chaunting glorious Hympnes and high prayses of their victorie) certainly she had not tombled herselfe into the daunger, wherunto afterwards she fell. Not for that I will blame them that do reueale to theyr husbandes the assaults which they receiue of importunate suters, that doe assaie to deflower their Chastitie. Yet I will saye that Modestie in the same (as in euery other humaine action) is greatly to be required, sith that such a one, by thincking to extolle her honour and honestie, and to make proofe of her Chastitye, rendreth the same suspicious, and giueth occasion to talke to the people that is more apt and redie to slaunder and defame, then by good report to prayse them, which by vertue do deserue commendation, bringing the lyfe and fame of her husband, to such extremitie, as it had been better vertuously to haue resisted the force of Loue, and the flattering sute of such louers, then to manifest that which might haue been kept secrete without preiudice of eyther. And truly that woman deserueth greater glorie, which of herselfe defendeth her honestie, and quencheth the flames liuelye kindled in the hartes of other, with the coldnes of continencie, by that meanes vanquishing two, then she doth, which manifesting the vice of an other, discloseth as it were, a certaine apparaunce of her frailtie, and the litle reason wherewith she is indewed, to vanquish him that confesseth to be her seruaunt, and whose wil dependeth at 207 her commaundement. And when the whole matter shalbe rightlye iudged, shee that reuealeth imperfection of a Suter, sheweth her opinion and minde to be more pliant to yelde, then indewed with reason to abandone pleasure and to reiect the insolencie of the same, sith Reason’s force doth easely vanquish light affections of sensuall partes, whose fancies imprinted wyth ficklenes, do make them so inconstant, as they perswade themselues to be so puissaunte and mightie, as all thinges be, and rest at their commaundement. Retourning nowe then to our former discourse, the Steward so laboured with might and maine, till he had found meanes to be reuenged of the receiued refusall, with such subtilty and Diuelish inuention as was possible for man to deuise, which was this. Among the seruauntes of this greate Lorde there was one no lesse yonge of witte and vnderstanding, then of age. And albeit that he was fare and comely, yet so simple and foolishe as hee had much a do to tell the nomber of sixe. This foole by reason of his follye and simplicitye, was the onelye sporte and pastime of the Lord and Lady. The Lady many times toke pleasure, to talke with this maister foole, to bring him into a choler and chaufe, thereby to prouoke laughter. And therefore all the houshold vsed to call him in mockerie, my Ladyes darlinge. In whom the Lorde toke singular pleasure and delighte, esteeming him so well as any of his other seruaunts. The malicious Steward, seing the familiaritie of the lady with the foole (like one that had already catched his pray within his snares) began also to make much of that yonge Cockescome, in such wyse as he had brought him into such fooles paradise, as he mighte make him do and saye what he liste. Who seing him diligent to his desire, one day toke him aside, and after he had whitled him well, he sayd vnto him. “Dicke, I can tell thee a knacke, that thou shalt make my Lady laugh wel, but thou must say nothing, till she do perceiue it.” The poore idiot glad to please his maistres, was desirous to knowe what it was, and promised to doe whatsouer he would bidde him. “Thou must (sayd the steward) in the eueninge before she go into her chamber, hyde thy selfe vnder her bedde, and tarry there till it be an hower or two before day, and then I wil tell thee what thou must doe besides.” This plat deuised the foole the same euening 208 executed the deuise of hys diuelish counsaylour, who seing his desire to take effecte, went to an olde gentleman, that was of great honestie and vertue, for which he was of all men so wel knowen, as they esteemed his word so true as the Gospell. To that gentleman this craftie villaine, full of poison and malice, wholy bent to mischiefe, told and reported the facte, not as it was in deede, but to the great preiudice and dishonour of the Lady, geuing him to vnderstand how much she had forgotten herselfe, how without the feare of God, reuerence of her husband, and respect of her owne honesty, she had filthely giuen herselfe ouer to him which was called her Dareling. The good gentleman hearing this straung case, was astonned like one that had been stroken with a flashe of lightening, then drawing nere to the accuser, he aunswered. “Is it possible that suche wickednes can lye hidden in the breast of our Madame? I sweare vnto thee by God, that if any other had told it me besides you, I would not haue beleued it, and truly yet I am in doubt thereof.” “No, no,” said this wicked blasphemer, “I will make you see that, which you cannot beleue:” and hauing lessoned his foole, in his conceiued follie, the next day he procured the gentleman thyther, who seing the Ladies minion, going out of her chamber (which many times lay seuerally from her husband) could not refraine weeping, lamenting the ill fortune of his Lord, who thinkinge that he had had an honest wyfe, was abused with an impudent and vnshamefast whore. Then he began to frame a long Oracion, against the incontinencie of women, moued rather through the good will hee bare to his mayster, then to the truth of the matter, which vndiscretely he spake against the order of women kynd. So ignorant was he of the treason and indeuour of the Steward, who demaunded of him what was to be done in that matter? “What,” sayd the old gentleman, “such wickednesse ought not to be vnpunished. My Lorde must be aduertised hereof, that the house maye be purged of suche a plague and infection, that he maye euidentlye vnderstande the hypocrisye of her that so longe time hath kept close her incontinencie, vnder the vaile of fayned chastitie. But the righteous God made openly to appeare before mens eyes the secrete sinnes of the wicked, to thintent greater slaunders should not increase. 209 The steward very ioyful that he had gotten so honeste a man to be a witnesse of his accusation, approued his aduise, for that it agreed wel with his intent. So they two together went to the Lord, with countenaunce sad and heauie, correspondent to their minde, and specially the Traitour, whose sense was so confounded with gladnesse, that thinking to begin his tale his wordes so stucke in his mouth as he was not able to vtter a word. Whereat the Lorde was wonderfully abashed, marueyling what that timidite did meane, till he had heard the vnfaithfull Stewarde tell his tale, who sayde to him in this maner. “My Lord, I am sory that it is my lotte to declare vnto you a matter hitherto vnknowen and not marked or taken heede of by any, which wyl so much offend you, as any pleasure that euer till this day, did please and content you. And God knoweth what griefe it is to me (in your presence) to be an accuser of a person in the world, which I haue esteemed nexte vnto you aboue anye other creature that lyueth: but being in that place I am, I might (by good deserte) be accused of treason and felonie if concealing such a detestable crime, I should leaue the dutie of fidelitie to an other, lesse desirous to do you seruice then I am. Who beleueth there is no second person, that desireth better to acquite the goodnes and preferment which I haue receyued of your Lordship, then I do. This it is my Lord: my lady misprising her duty to your Lordship, and the honour of the house whereof shee came, hath not disdayned to receiue into her chamber at inconuenient time, the foole that is called her Darelinge, and in the place into which none but your honour, ought to haue peaceable entrie: whereof this gentleman present (whom you know to be without comparison) shalbe witnesse: touching myselfe the fayth and trust, which alwayes I haue vsed in all vour affayres, and the litle affection which I haue to things contrary to vertue, shal giue true testimonie of that which I haue saide.” The Lorde hearing these pitiful newes, which pearced his harte more deepe then anye two edged sword, at the first was so astonied, that he could not tell what to say or do, sauing the ardente furie of Cholere made him distill a certaine Melancholique humour into his eyes, which receyued the superfluous vapours of his braine. At length breakinge that forth, which troubled him within, 210 and grindinge his teethe for furie, with stutteringe and vncertaine voice, fetching sighes betweene, saide: “O God, what newes be these that I heare? Is it possible, that the fairest and chastest Lady that liueth, hath in this wise defaced her honour: and so wickedly blemished my reputation? Alas, if it so be, that she hath in this wise disparaged herselfe, no trust is to be reposed in any other, what soeuer she bee. Ah, God! vnder what Planet was I borne, that after so longe pleasure receiued with my beloued fere and companion, I should by her feele a displeasure, an hundred times worse then death? Is there no remedie but that my house muste receiue and see an enterprise so vilanous, but her onely meane, which ought rather to haue been the ornamente and beautie of the same?” Then he chaused vp and downe the chamber, without speaking any more wordes, with his eyes rolling in his heade, making straunge countenaunces, which did well expresse the griefe that vexed and tormented his minde. In the ende halfe pacifyed, he tourned his face toward the accuser, saying: “My frende, if this be true, which thou hast told mee, I sweare by God, that I will make her feele the smarte, of such greeuous punishmente, as shalbe spoken of for euer. But if my wyfe be slaundred, and accused wrongfully, assure thy selfe that I will be reuenged vppon thee. I know the vertue of this gentleman very well (hauing had good proofe thereof) and of thy fidelitie I am nothing at all in doubt. But, alas! the loue that I beare vnto my wife, and her former vertue, which maketh me to loue and esteeme her so much, doth throughlye pearce my hart, and much adoe I haue to liue hearing this reporte: which doth deface and blotte all the honestie and vertue that euer remaiued in mee.” “And that was it my Lord, (answeared the traitour) which did deceiue you. For the shewe of that painted vertue did so delude you, that you be almoste bewitched from vnderstanding the wronge, so manifestlye perpetrated against you, and all your house. Now to thend, that you thincke not the accusacion to be false, I trust (if it please you to assist me) to let you see the thing, whereof wee haue giuen you intelligence.” “I will do (sayd the Lord) what you will haue me, although it be to my great griefe and sorow.” “To morow morning then (answeared the Traitour) one hower before day, I 211 will let you see the varlet goinge out of her chamber with so great ioy, as I do conceiue heauines and griefe for the simple remembraunce of so greate wickednes.” When they were agreed hereupon, this knaue most detestable, weauing the toile wherin he himselfe was caughte, wente to suborne the personage of his foole, holy made and instructed in his trumperie: leauinge the poore Lord with a hamer working in his head, that he was lyke to runne out of his wittes. So great is the furious force of the poison of Ialosie, whych ones hauing dispersed the vemine ouer the harte and intrayles of men, the wysest sorte haue lost the due discretion of their wittes. In the morning about the hower that the amourous foole (ignoraunt wherfore he went in) should issue out of his maistresse chamber, the Stewarde rauished with inexplicable ioye and gladnesse, like to the pleasure of hym that had attaynde the summe of his desires, called hys Lorde to see that heauye and dolourous sighte. The good gentleman, perceyuing the report to be true, and thincking that she had vsed the foole to be her bedfelowe, was like to haue dyed for sorow, or els to haue torne in peeces that vnhappy sotte, innocent of the euill suspected by the Lorde, who durst not so much as thincke to do such a wicked fact. In the ende geuing place to reason, he caused the poore foole to be apprehended, and put in the bottome of a dongeon, and beyonde measure was offended wyth his wyfe, for that he thought the simplicitie of the imprisoned wretche, had not the face to demaund the question, and therefore did verely beleeue that it was she that had induced him to do the deede to satisfie her vnbrideled and filthy lust, and therefore caused her to be shut vp, within a darke and stincking prison, not meaninge to see her, or to heare her speake for her iustification, ne yet woulde suffer that any man should take vppon hym to stand in her defence, to bring witnesse of her innocency. “For” (sayd he, replete wyth wrath and anger): “I do better beleue that which I haue seene, and knowen by myne owne presence, then your wordes, vayne reasons, and complaintes of no good ground and effecte as founden vppon her, that hath to muche forgotten herselfe, and her dutye towardes mee.” Moreouer vanquished with the Cholere (not without cause truly) of a husband that thought himselfe by her onely meanes deceyued and betrayed, sent 212 word to the poore captiue, that she should then prouide for her soules health, sith he was determined the very same day to make her play a Tragedy, more cruell then that was pleasant, which she had already done wyth her beloued, in extruding her to be deuoured of hys Lions, which were the ministers for the execution of the Iustice ordayned against her, as thoughe she had bin the most lasciuious and detestable woman that euer the earth brought forth. The fayre and innocent lady, knowing the humour and Cholere of her husband, and likewyse seing (contrary to right order of all Iudgement) that she could not be heard or suffred to make aunsweare, passed through the rigorous law of hym, that thoughte her to be an Adultresse: and coulde not tell what to doe but to lamente her ill fortune, gushing forth teares in such abundance, as the most part of her attyre were wet and bedewed with the same, then fortefying herselfe in the hope of the mercifull hande of Almightye God the father of all consolacion, who neuer forgetteth them, which with intire faith do call vppon him, and appeale to the succour of the holy and precious name of his sonne Iesus Christe our sauiour, she with compunction of hart, and sincere deuocion, with ioyned handes and knees vppon the grounde, addressing her eyes to the heauens, prayed in this wyse: “Alas, my God, I do knowe and confesse, that the multitude of my sinnes do surpasse the sea sands, and am not ignoraunt, that this vnhappie time is chaunced vnto me, for the punishment of my forepassed offences. Notwithstandinge (Lord) accordinge to thy greate goodnes, haue no respecte vnto my demerites and wickednes (whereof my life is ful) but rather extende thy fauour and mercy vppon thy poore creature, whose innocencie thou (which art the searcher of mennes hartes) doest well vnderstande and knowe, I do not desire prolongation of miserable lyfe, onely maye it please thee (O God) for thy goodnes and iustice sake, to saue mine honour, and to graunt that my husbande maye see with what integritie I haue alwayes honoured the holy band of mariage, by thee ordayned, to thintent he may liue from henceforth quiet of his suspicion conceyued of mee, and that my parentes may not sustaine the blot of ignominie, which will make theym blushe, when they shall heare reporte of my forepassed life.” She beinge 213 in these contemplacions and holye prayers, preparinge herselfe to receyue death, her husband caused her to be conueyed into the Parke of Lions, which being straunge and terrible at the first sight, did marueylouslie affray her, but remembring how innocent she was, putting her hope in God, she went thither with such constancie and courage, as if she had bin ledde to some ioyous banquet, and the people which neuer heard tell before of suche a kinde of death, was assembled in great multitude, tarying to see the ende of that execution, and talking diuersly of that sodaine iudgement, prayed all with one voyce, for the preseruation of the Ladie, of whose chastitie they were alredy right well assured. Now as they attended for the time of execution, the Lady was placed in the mid of the Parke, not without teares and sighes of the Assistantes who murmured at the remembraunce of the horror of a sight so furious. The innocent Ladye kneeled downe vpon her knees, and both by gesture and mery countenaunce, shewed how ioyful she went to suffer that which she had neuer deserued: then recommending her soule to God, for whose saluation she stedfastly hoped, she pronounced this praier a loude: “O my Lorde God, whiche diddest ones deliuer Daniell from a daunger like to this, wherunto the false accusation of the wicked, haue wrongfully cast me hedlond: and diddest discharge Susanna from the slaunder of the peruerse and adulterous Iudges, pleaseth the pitifully to behold thy poore creature. Pardon, O Lorde! forgiue I humblie beseche thee, the simplicitie of my deare husband, who dealeth thus with mee, rather through the circumuention of deceiptfull cauilling slaunderers, then by his owne malice and crueltie. Receiue, O my God, and mercifull father, receiue my soule betwene thy blessed handes, which thou hast redemed by the bloudshedding of thy sonne Iesus, vpon the Tree of the Crosse!” As she had ended these wordes, she sawe the Lions come forth ramping, and bristling vp their heare, stretching forth their pawes with roaring voice, cruelly looking round about them, of whom the Lady thought to be the present pray. But the goodnesse of God, who is a iust Iudge, and suffreth his owne elect to be proued to the extremitie, of purpose to make their glorie the greater, and the ruine of the wicked more apparaunt, manifested there an euident miracle. For 214 the Lions (being cruell of nature, and that time hungrie and gredie of pray) in lieu of tearing the Ladie in pieces, to gorge their rauening paunche, they fill to licking and fawning vppon her, making so much of her as if they had familiarly ben nourished with her own breastes. A thing no lesse pleasaunt to the Ladye then merueilous to all the people standing round about, who seing a chaunce so miraculous cried out, incontinently for the deliuerie of the Ladie, and for vengeaunce to be taken of him, which so wickedly had protruded her into that daunger: which for her vertue, ought to be extolled and praised of the whole world. When the noble man was certified of this straunge aduenture, hee caused his Steward to be apprehended and imprisoned, whose conscience forced great remorse, yet not knowing the ende of the Tragedie, condempned himselfe by his countenaunce. During his imprisonement the deposition of the beloued foole was taken, who saide: “That by the suggestion of the malicious Steward, many times (ignoraunt to the Lady) he conueied himself in her chamber, not knowing wherunto the intent of him that caused him so to do did tende.” The other gentleman made excuse (although he was blame worthy) that he was deceiued by the same false practise, that the Lorde himselfe was. The Steward openly confessed the treason, which he had deuised against the Ladie, and the whole occasion thereof, and thinking to be reuenged of the refusall of loue by her denied, he framed this slaunder to make her lose her life. Which the Lord hearing could not abide that his death should any longer be respected, but without other forme of Lawe, he was thrust out to the Lions, and was presently seased vpon, and torne in peeces by those beastes, which by God’s iuste iudgement, did absteine from the good ladie, for the punishement of the detestable sinne of this varlet. In the meane time the chaste and innocent Ladie, being brought before her husbande, after he had kissed and imbrased her, with humble reuerence she sayde vnto him: “My Lorde, I render my humble thankes to God, for that through his holy grace, and inscrutable Iustice, he hath let you to vnderstande, twoo diuers affections, in two seuerall persones of this worlde, which you loue so well. In one, the treason so pernicious, which prouoked you to soile and imbrue your handes (not without 215 cause till this daye proued contrarie) in the bloud of your faithfull and dere beloued wife. In thother, a will and minde so good to obey you, and to persist in continuation of that effecte, which maketh her generally to be praysed, and worthy of your earnest loue, for so much as she is your very affectionate spouse. Notwithstanding, iustly may I make my complaint of you, for that without excuse for my discharge, or hearing any thing that might serue for my purgation, you condempned her, for whose honour and defence you ought to haue imployed both goodes and life. But God shalbe iudge betwene your litle discretion, and my righteousnesse, betwene mine obedience and your crueltie, wherewith you haue abused the nobilitie, of the race whereof I came.” The husbande hearing this wise and iust complaint, on the one side transported with ioye, leapt and rejoysed, to see his deare companion in libertie, and declared to be innocent, on the other part he blushed for shame, that hee had so lightly, and without better proofe and triall condempned her, whom God by his grace had preserued from the lions throates, and durste not lift vp his head, by reason his harte freated at the remembraunce of his light credite and furie immoderate. Finallie imbracing his wife, and kissing her louingly, said vnto her: “Madame, and deare beloued wife, I can not denye but foolishely I haue attempted to blemishe the honor of her, that whilome made me to shine and glister amongst the best and chief of al this countrey, but he that doth wel marke and beholde the galle and disdaine of a husband louing his wyfe, and then vnderstandyng her litle care and greate forgetfulnesse whiche shee hath, bothe of his honour and glorie of his comforte, will easely excuse and pardon my fault, whiche I will not by any meanes colour and cloke, but rather craue pardon at your handes, assuring you that I will amende and requite the same, so well and in suche wise as you and yours shall haue no cause but to be content and satisfied.” “It suffiseth me, sir, (quod she) that my giltlesse offence is knowen vnto you, and that I haue recouered place in your fauourable acceptation: for I doe accompte mine aduersitie well imployed, sith thereby you and your friendes may glorie, of the seuere iustice ministred against malefacters, and I reioyce in resistaunce of 216 the assaultes of loue, and of death to guarde and kepe my chastitie pure and inuiolable: and may serue for example to euery honourable Ladie, being assailed with suche strong and mightie aduersaries, to kepe them selues honest. For the croune is not due but to her that shall lawfully combate to the ende.” After this the lorde by perswasion of his wife, commaunded that the foole should be auoided the house, that his presence might not grieue or torment her, ne yet renewe the memorie of a thing that neuer was thought or doen. And not without cause: for the Lorde, whiche reclined his eare to euery trifling report, and credited the woordes of euery whistling pikethanke, had much a do to escape from doing thinges unworthy his estate and calling. Of so great force truely is the venime of such Serpentes, that seasing by little and little, the harte of him disposed to receiue it in furie, maketh it to be in effect like the nature of poyson and drogues corrupt: whereof men ought to be no lesse, but rather more diligent and carefull then of meates, amonges persones whom they suspect and feare, sithens that maladies and infections of minde, be farre more daungerous then outward passions which torment the body. Whereunto if the said nobleman was not hedefull, he felt the dammage for penaunce of his inconsideration. Howbeit as thinges, both good and ill amonges men, bee not still durable and perpetuall. Certaine daies after, he began to solace hymselfe with his wife, and rode an huntinge abroade, visited his neighbours, and at home made great feastes and banquettes, whereunto his kindred and frends were inuited, to congratulate this newe alliaunce, indeuouring thereby to satifye the fault committed, and the better to gratifie and pleasure his wyfe, to make her know how much more hee esteemed and regarded her then before: hee caused the successe of his present historie to be ingrauen with great industrie, and marueilous cunning in Marble, which he placed ouer the gate of the first entrie into his Castell, aswell to immortalizate the great chastitie of this fayre and vertuous wife, as to set forth a Mirrour and example to euerye housholde seruaunt, and to all other whatsoeuer they bee, to beware how they attempt any thing against the honour of Ladies. For many times it chaunceth, that he which diggeth a ditch, and setteth vp a Gallowes, is the first that doth 217 fall, or is stretched thereuppon. As you may see by this present discourse, which setteth before your eyes what ende the fonde loue of them ordinarily haue, which without reason, not measureing their owne ability, doe suffer themselues to be guided and led into their sensuall lustes and appetites: for ill successe faileth not in a beginning, the grounde whereof abhorring reason, is planted and layed vppon the sandie foundacion of pleasure, which is shaken and ouerthrowen, by the least winde and tempest that Fortune can bluster against such building.



Didaco a Spaniarde, is in loue with a poore maiden of Valencia, and secretly marieth her, afterwardes lothinge his first mariage, because she was of base parentage, he marieth an other of noble birth. His first wyfe, by secrete messenger prayeth his company, whose request he accomplisheth. Beinge a bedde, shee and her maide killeth him. She throweth him into the streate: shee in desperate wise confesseth the facte before the Maiestrates, and is put to death.

There is no man but doth knowe, that Valencia is at this day, the chiefe and onelye Rampar of Spaine, the true seate of Faith, Iustice and humanity. And amonges all the rare and excellent ornamentes, that Citie is wel furnished with so trimme Ladies and curteous gentlewomen, as they know how to baite and feede yong men with foolish daliaunce, and idle passetime. So that if there be any beetlehead or grosse person, the better to allure and prouoke him to those follies, they tell him by a common Prouerbe: That he must go to Valencia. In this citie there was in old time as it is at this day, a verye aunciente stocke and familie called Ventimiglia, oute of which be descended a great nomber of riche and honourable knightes. Amonges whom, not long time paste, there was one named Didaco, verye famous and renowmed to be the most liberall and familiar gentleman of the City, who (for want of better businesse) walked vppe and downe the citie, and so consumed his youth in triumphes, maskes, and other expences, common and apte for such pilgrimes, addressing his loue indifferently to al women, without greater affection to one, then to an other, and continued that order, till vppon an holy daye, he espyed a yonge maide of fimal yeares, but of very exquisite beauty: which maiden sodainlye castinge her eye vppon him, so pearced the knighte Didaco with her looke, that from that time forth shee entred more neare his hart than any other. And after he had well marked her dwelling place, he many times passed and repassed before the doore, to espie if he might get some loke or other fauour of her, that began already to gouerne the bridle of his 219 thoughtes, and if it chaunced that the gentleman beheld her, she shewed herselfe curteous and amiable, indued with grace so good as he neuer departed ill contented out of the streate. The gentleman continuing certaine time in those vanities, was desirous to know a far of what she was, of what lineage and of what vocation. And after he had curiously searched out all her original, he vnderstoode by diuers reporte, that she was a Goldsmithes doughter, whose father was dead certaine yeares before, hauinge no more but her mother aliue, and two brethren, both of their father’s science. Notwithstanding, of life she was chaste and honest, defamed with none, although she was pursued of many. Her outward beautie did not so much set her forth, as her grace and order of talke, who although brought vp in a Citizen’s house, yet no Lady or gentlewoman in the Citie, was comparable to her in vertue and behauiour. For from her tender yeares, she was not onely giuen to her nedle (a meete exercise for mayds of her degre,) but also was trayned vp to write and reade, wherein she toke so greate pleasure, as ordinarilie shee caried a booke in her hande, which she neuer gaue ouer, till she had gathered som fruit thereof. This knight hauing receyued that first impression, of the valor and vertue of Violenta (for that was her name) was further in loue then before: and that which added more oile to the matche, was the continuall lookes, wherewith she knew how to delighte him: and wyth them shee was so liberall, that so oft as he passed through the streate she shot them forth so cruelly, as his poore hart (feeling it selfe so tormented) could not indure that new onset. By reason whereof, thincking to quench the fire, that by litle and litle consumed him, he attempted her chastity, with giftes, letters, and messengers, which he continued the space of halfe a yeare or more. Whereunto Violenta geuing no place, in the ende hee was constrayned to assayle her with his owne presence: and one daye finding her alone at the doore, after he had made a verye humble reuerence vnto her, he sayde: “Maistresse Violenta, considering your order and the colde regard that you haue to my letters and messages, I do remember the subtiltye that is attributed to the Serpente, who with his taile stoppeth his eares, because he will not heare the words, which hath power to constraine him to do against his wil, which 220 hath made me to leaue to write vnto you, and to desire specially to speake vnto you, that mine affectuous accentes, my sorowful words and feruent sighes mighte certifie you better then paper, the rest of my passion, beleuing verely, that if the heauy sound of my greuous complaints, may come to your delicate eares, they will make you to vnderstand a part of that good and euill, which I feele continually in my harte, although the loue which I beare you, be such as I cannot giue such liuely experience outwardly, being but litle in comparison of them, which may be seene within.” And pronouncing those words, there followed so many teares, sobbes and sighes, as they gaue sufficient testimony, that his tongue was the true and faithfull messenger of his hart. Whereof Violenta some what ashamed, with a constante grace said vnto him: “Senior Didaco, if you do yet remember your life past, and mine honesty (which peraduenture you haue thought either rude or cruell) I doubt not, that you haue any cause to maruaile of my presumption and to attribute that to vice, which is familiar with vertue. For although that you haue sollicited mee to loue you, by an infinite nomber of letters and messages, yet it is so, that following the nature of maydes of my degree, I haue neither allowed them, nor yet condempned them, as wherunto accordingly I haue made no aunswere: not for despite or contempt, but to let you know more certainly, that by fauouring your enterprises, I should increase your griefe, which can receiue none ende by the waye you pretende. For although that I haue made the firste proofe vpon my selfe, and therefore of reason I ought to lamente them, whiche be in semblable paine, yet I will not let slippe the bridle in suche wise to my passion, that mine honestie shall remain in an other man’s power, and (so it may be) at the mercie and curtesie of them, who not knowing howe dere it is to me, shall thinke they haue made a pretie conquest. And that I maye haue no cause to repent to late, I haue stopped mine eares for feare, that I be not arested and stayed with the violence of your charmes, a thing as you say proper to Serpentes. But I haue fortefied my harte, and so armed my inwarde minde, as if God continue that grace in me, which hitherto he hath done, I hope not to be surprised. Although that I must needes confesse (to my shame) that I haue receiued marueilous 221 assaultes of loue, not onely for the common renowme of your vertues, and through the curtesie and gentlenesse dayly imparted to me by your letters, but specially by your presence, whiche hath yelded vnto me experience and assuraunce of that, whiche all the letters of the world could not do, nor all other messages were not able to conceiue. And to the ende that I may not be vtterly ingrate, and that you doe not departe from me, altogether miscontent, I doe promise you nowe that from henceforth, you shall inioye the first place of my harte, whereunto another shall neuer enter: if so be you can be content with honest amitie, wherein you shall finde me in time to come so liberall, in all that whiche honestie shall permitte, that I am contente to forgoe the name of a presumptuous or cruell Damosell for your sake. But if you meane to abuse me, or hope for anye thing of me, contrarie to mine honour, you be meruailously deceiued. Wherefore if you thinke your worthinesse to great to cary away a recompence so small, you shall doe very wel both for me and yourselfe, in forgetting that is past, to cut of all hope in time to come.” And she thinking to prolonge a further discourse, the mother of Violenta which stil stode at the wyndowe al the time that Senior Didaco was with her doughter, came downe to the doore, interrupting their talke, saide to Didaco: “Sir, I suppose you take great pleasure in the follie of my doughter, because you tarie and abide here, rather to contriue your tyme, then for any other contentacion you can receiue. For she is so euill taught, and of suche rude behauiour, that her demeanour will rather trouble you, than geue you cause of delight.” “Maistresse,” said Didaco, “although in the beginning I purposed not to tary so long, yet when I entered in more familiar acquaintaunce and had well experienced her good graces, I confesse that I haue staied here longer then I thought. And were hee neuer so great a Lorde, that liueth at this daie, I dare auouche that he might thinke his tyme well spente, in hearing suche sober and honest talke, wherewith I thinke my selfe so well satisfied and instructed, as all the daies of my life I wyll witnesse, that vertue, curtesie, and sober behauiour is to bee founde, as well in meane degrees and houses, as in them that be right noble, amonges which meane families, although she be one (it maye so be) that 222 one more illustre and noble, can not bee more excellente, and accomplished with better manners, then she: whiche is nowe well manifested to me in this little discourse.” And after certaine other common talke, Didaco took his leaue, and went home to his house, where hee lyued fourtene or fiftene monethes without any reste, assaying by all meanes to mortifie his desires, but it auayled not: For although he was ryche, a trymme Courtiar, and an eloquent gentleman, and had opportunitie to speake vnto her many times, and she gentle enough to heare him, and to vnderstande his errantes, and was assured by frendes that she for her part was also in loue, yet he was not able by humane arte and pollicie, to conuerte her to his mynde. Wherewithall hee was long tyme molested, and at lengthe pressed with griefe and annoyance, hee was aduised to sende sixe hundred ducates to the mother, for a reliefe to the mariage of her doughter, promising besides, that he would assigne her an honest dowrie, when she found a man worthy to be her husbande: vppon condicion that she would yelde to him some comforte, to ease his affection. But shee whiche could not be wonne with loue, was not able to be recouered with money: and was offended that Senior Didaco had forgotten himselfe so farre as to thinke to gaine that for money, which with so great paine, teares and sighes, had bene denied him. And to make him vnderstande howe she was offended, shee sent woorde by him that brought her the money, that he should goe and proue hereafter to deceiue them that measured their honour with the price of profite, and not to sette trappes to deceiue other that would buye nothing hurtfull to vertue. And after Didaco was aduertised of her minde, and perceiued that he lost time in all his enterprises, and was able no longer to susteine his extreme paine and sorowe, whiche daily augmented, and when hee had debated in his minde all the successe of his loue, he resolued in the end vpon that which he thought moste profitable for his quiet, whiche was to marye her. And although she was of no suche house, and yet lesse indowed with substaunce, as he deserued, yet her beautie and vertue, and other giftes of grace, wherewith she was inriched, made her worthie of a great lorde. And resolued vpon this, hee repaired to Violenta, to whom he said: “Maistresse Violenta, if the true touchstone 223 to knowe them that be perfecte louers (amonges other) is mariage, certainly you haue gotten a husbande of me, if it please you to accepte me for suche one, whom in time you shall make to vnderstande the difference betweene goodes and vertue, and betweene honestie and richesse.” Violenta then rauished with ioye, and incredible contentation, somewhat abashed, sayd vnto him: “Senior Didaco, I knowe not whether you pretende by woordes to proue my constancie, or els to bring me into fooles paradise: but of one thing I can assure you, that although I acknowledge my selfe inferiour to you in merites, goodes and vertue, yet if that come to passe which you promise, I will not geue place to you in loue, trusting if God sende us life together, you shall well vnderstande one daye that you would not exchaunge my persone for a greater Ladie, what so euer she be.” For confirmation whereof, Didaco plucked from his finger an Emeralde of great value, which (when he had kissed her) he gaue vnto her in the waye of mariage, praying her that she would not disclose it for a certaine time, vntill he him selfe had made all his frendes priuie vnto it. Notwithstanding, he willed her to imparte the same to her twoo brethren, and to her mother, and he would get some Priest of the countrie to solempnize the mariage within their house: which was doen in a chamber, about fower of the clocke in the morning, being onely present the mother, the brethren, the Prieste, and a seruaunt of the house, brought vp there from her youthe, and his own man, without making any other preparation of coste, requisite for suche a matter. In this sorte they spent the day in great ioye and mirthe (which they can conceiue, that be of base birth, and exalted to some highe degree of honour) till night was come, and then euery man withdrewe them selues, leauing the bride and her husbande to the mercie of loue, and order of the night. Who being alone receiued equal ioye, and like contentation, which they fele that being pressed with ardent and greuous thirste, doe in the ende afterwardes with liuely ioye, and all kinde of libertie, quenche that cruell discommoditie. And continued in those pleasures till morning, that daye began to appeare, to whome Violenta saide: “My honourable Lorde and dere husbande, sithe that you be nowe in possession of that which you haue so greatly desired, I humbly beseeche you, to consider 224 for the time to come, howe and what wyse your pleasure is that I shall vse my selfe. For if God graunt me the grace to be so discrete in pleasing you, as I shalbe readie and desirous to obey you, in all that you shall commaunde mee, there was neuer gentleman’s seruaunt, that did more willingly please his maister, then I hope to doe you.” Whereunto Didaco aunswered: “My sweete and welbeloued wife, let vs leaue this humblenesse and seruice for this time, to them whiche delight in them: for I promise you of my faith, that I haue you in no lesse reuerence and estimation, then if you had come of the greatest house in Cathalongne: as I will make you vnderstande some other time, at more leasure. But till I haue giuen order to certaine of mine affaires, I praye you to kepe our mariage secrete, and bee not offended if many times I do resorte home to mine own house, although ther shall no day passe (by my wil) but at night I wil kepe you companie. In the mean time to buye you necessaries, I will sende you a thousande, or twelue hundred Ducates, to imploye not vpon apparell, or other things requisite to your degree (for I will prouide the same my selfe at an other time) but vpon small trifles, such as be apt and conuenient for householde.” And so departed Senior Didaco from his wiue’s house: who did so louingly interteigne him as by the space of a yeare, there was no daye wherein he was content without the view and sight of his wife. And vpon his ofte resorte to their house, the neighbours began to suspect that he kept the mayden, and rebuked her mother and brethren, but specially Violenta, for suffering Didaco to vse their house in suche secrete wise: and aboue al they lamented the ill happe of Violenta, who being so wel brought vp till she was twentie yeares of age, and maiden of such beautie, that there was none in all the citie of Valencia but greatly did esteme her to be of singuler honestie and reputation. Notwithstanding, degenerating from her accustomed vertue, they iudged her to be light of behauiour, giuen to lasciuious loue: and albeit that verie many times, such checkes and tauntes were obiected, yet she made smal accompte of them, knowing that her conscience by anye meanes was not charged with such reproch: hoping therwithall that one daye she would make them to give ouer that false opinion when her 225 mariage should be published and knowen. But certaine times feeling her selfe touched, and her honestie appaired, could not conteine but when she sawe time with her husband, she prayed him verie earnestlie to haue her home to his own house, to auoyde slaunder and defamacion of neighbours. But sir Didaco knewe so well howe to vse his wife by delaies and promises, as she agreed vnto him in all thinges, and had rather displease the whole world together then offende him alone. Being now so attached with the loue of the knight as she cared for nothing els, but to please and content him in al things wherunto she sawe him disposed, and like as in the beginning she was harde and very slacke in loue, nowe she became so feruent and earnest in her affections as she receiued no pleasure but in the sight of Didaco, or in that which might content and please him best. Which the knight did easely perceiue, and seing him selfe in full possession of her harte, began by litle and litle to waxe cold, and to be grieued at that which before he compted deare and precious, perswading himself that he should do wrong to his reputation, if that mariage vnworthy of his estate, were discouered and knowen in the citie: and to prouide for the same, he more seldome tymes repaired to visite his wife Violenta: yea and when soeuer he resorted to her, it was more to satisfie his carnall pleasure, then for any loue he bare her. And thus forgetting both God and his own conscience, he frequented other companies in diuerse places, to winne the good will of some other gentlewoman. In the ende by sundrie sutes, dissimulations, and hipocrisies, he so behaued him self, as he recouered the good wil of the doughter of Senior Ramyrio Vigliaracuta, one of the chiefest knightes, and of moste auncient house of Valentia. And (as we haue declared before) because he was ritche and wealthie, and issued of a noble race, her parentes did easely agree to the mariage: and the father hauing assigned an honourable dowrie to his doughter, the Nupcials were celebrated publikely with greate pompe and solemnitie, to the singuler contentation of all men. The mariage done and ended, Sir Didaco and his newe wife continued at the house of his father in lawe, where he liued a certaine time in suche pleasure and delectation as they do that be newly maried. Wherof the mother and 226 brethren of Violenta being aduertised, conceiued like sorowe, as accustomably they doe, that see the honor of them that be issued of their owne bloud vniustly and without cause to be dispoiled. And these poore miserable creatures, not knowing to whom to make their complainte, liued in straunge perplexitie, bicause they knew not the priest which did solempnise their mariage. On the other side they had no sufficient proofe of the same. And albeit they were able to verifie in some poinctes the first mariage of Didaco, yet they durst not prosecute the lawe against two of the greatest Lordes of their citie: and knowing the stoute hart of Violenta, they thought to conceale the same from her for a time, but it was in vaine: for not long after shee was certified thereof, not onely by the next neighbours, but by the common brute of the Citie, which reported that in tenne yeres space, there was not seen in Valencia, a Mariage more honourable or royall, nor frequented with a nobler companie of Gentlemen and Ladies, then the same was of the yong knight Didaco, with the doughter of Senior Ramyrio. Wherewithall Violenta vexed beyonde measure pressed with yre and furie, withdrewe herselfe into her chamber alone, and there began to scratche and teare her face and heare, like one that was madde and out of her wittes, saying: “Alas, alas, what payne and trouble, what vnmeasurable tormentes suffreth nowe my poore afflicted mynde, without comfort or consolation of any creature liuing? what dure and cruell penaunce doe I susteine, for none offence at all? Ah! fortune, fortune, the enemy of my felicitie and blisse, thou haste so depriued me of all remedie, as I dare not so muche as to make any man know or vnderstand my mishap that the same might be reuenged, which being doen would render such content to my minde, that I should departe out of this worlde the beste satisfied mayden that euer died. Alas, that the Goddes did not graunte me the benefite, that I might haue come of noble kinde, to the intente I might haue caused that trayterous ruffien, to feele the grieuous paine and bitter tormentes, which my poore harte susteineth. Ah wretched caitife that I am, abandoned and forlorne of all good fortune: nowe I doe see that with the eies of my minde, which with those of my body daseled and deceiued I could not see or perceiue. Ah cruell enemy of all 227 pitie, doest thou not knowe and feele in thy minde, the heauie and sorowfull sounde of my bitter plaintes? Vnderstandest not thou my voyce that crieth vengeaunce vpon thee for thy misdede? Can not thy crueltie in nothing be diminished seing me dismembred with the terrour of a thousand furious martirdomes? Ah ingrate wretche, is this nowe the rewarde of my loue, of my faithfull seruice, and mine obedience?” And as she thus bitterly tormented her selfe, her mother and brethren, and her maide, whiche was brought vp with her from her tender yeres, went vp to the chamber to Violenta, where they found her then so deformed with rage and furie, that almoste she was out of their knowledge. And when they went about to reduce her by al meanes possible from those furious panges, and saw that it nothing auailed, they lefte her in the keeping of the olde maiden, whom she loued aboue any other. And after the maiden had vttered vnto her particularly many reasons, for the appeasing of her griefe, she told her that if she would be quiet a litle while, she would go and speake to the knight Didaco, and make him to vnderstand his fault. And would with discrete order so deale with him, that he should come home to her house, and therefore shee prayed her to arme herselfe against this wickednes, and to dissemble the matter for a time, that hereafter she might vse vpon him iust reuenge. “No, no Ianique” answered Violenta, “that offence is very small and lighte, where counsaile is receiued: and albeit that I cannot chose, but confesse thine aduise to be very meete, yet there wanteth in me a minde to followe it: that if I did feele any part in me disposed to obeye the same, I would euen before thy face, separate that minde from my wretched bodie: for I am so resolued in the mallice and hatred of Didaco, as he cannot satisfie me without life alone. And I beliue the gods did cause me to be borne with mine owne hands to execute vengeaunce of their wrath and the losse of mine honour. Wherefore, Ianique, if from my youth thou diddest euer loue me, shew now the same to me by effect, in a matter whereunto thy helpe is moste necessary: for I am so outraged in my mischiefe, as I do enuie the miserablest creatures of the world, remayning no more in me to continue life in wailing and continuall sighes, but the title of a vile and 228 abhominable whore. Thou art a straunger and liuest here a beastly life, ioyned with continuall labour: I haue twelve hundred crownes with certaine Iewelles, which that false traitour gaue me, which he predestinated by the heauens for none other purpose but to paie them their hire, which shall do the vengeaunce vpon his disloyall persone. I doe put the same money nowe into thy hands, if thou wilte helpe mee to make sacrifice with the bodye of poore Didaco: but if thou doest denie me thy helpe I will execute the same alone: and in case he do not die, as I do intende, he shalbe murdred as I may, for the first time that I shal see him with mine eyes, come of it what will, his life shalbe dispatched with these two trembling hands which thou seest.” Ianique seing her maistresse in these termes, and knowinge her stoute nature, indued with a manly and inuincible stomacke, after shee had debated manye thinges in her minde, she determined wholie to imploye herselfe for her maistres in that shee was able to doe. Moued partly with pitie to see her maistres dishonored with a defamed mariage, and partly prouoked with couetousnes to gaine so great a summe of money, which her maistres did offer if she would condiscende to her enterprise (thinking after the facte committed, to flee into some other countrie.) And when shee was throughlye resolued vppon the same, shee imbraced Violenta, and said vnto her: “Maistres, if you will be ruled by mee, and giue ouer the vehemencie of your wrathe and displeasure, I haue found a way for you to be reuenged vppon Didaco, who hath so wickedly deceyued you: and albeit the same cannot be doen secretly, but in the end it must be knowen, yet I doubte not but the cause declared before the iudges, and they vnderstandinge the wronge hee hath doen you, they wil haue compassion vpon your miserie: who know right well that alwayes you haue been knowen and esteemed for a very honest and vertuous maiden: and to the ende that you be informed how this matter may be broughte to passe, first you must learne to dissemble your griefe openlye, and to faine your selfe in anye wise not to bee offended with the new mariage of the knight. Then you shall write vnto him a letter with your owne hande, letting him therby to vnderstande the paine that you suffer for the great loue you beare him, and ye shal 229 humblie beseech him, some times to come and visite you. And sithe that frowarde fortune will not suffre you to be his wife, yet that it would please him to vse you as his louer, that you maye possesse the second place of his loue, sith by reason of his new wife you cannot inioy the first. Thus the deceiuour shalbe begiled by thinkinge to haue you at his commaundment as he was wont to doe: and being come hither to lie with you, we will handle him in such wise, as I haue inuented, that in one nighte he shal lose his life, his wife, and her whom hee thinketh to haue for his louer: for when he is a bedde with you, and fallen into his first sleepe, we will sende him into another place where in a more sonder sleepe hee shall euerlastinglie continue.” Violenta all this time which fed her bloudie and cruell harte with none other repaste but with rage and disdaine, began to bee appeased, and founde the counsaile of Ianique so good, as she wholy purposed to follow the same. And to begin her enterprise, shee prayde Ianique for a time to withdrawe her selfe, vntill shee had written her letter, by the tenor whereof shee should vnderstande with what audacitie shee would prosecute the reste: and being alone in her chamber, takinge penne and paper, she wrote to Didaco, with fayned hart as followeth. “Senior Didaco I am perswaded, that if you wil vouchsafe to read and peruse the contentes of these my sorowful letters, you shalbe moued with some compassion and pitie, by beholdinge the true Image of my miserable life, pourtrayed and painted in the same, which through your disloyaltie and breach of promise is consumed and spent with so many teares, sighes, tormentes and griefes, that diuers times I maruaile howe Nature can so long support and defende the violente assaultes of so cruell a martyrdome, and that she hath not many times torne my feeble spirite out of this cruell and mortall prison: which maketh me to thinke and beleeue by continuinge life, that death himselfe hath conspired my miserie, and is the companion of my affliction: considering that by no torment she is able to make diuision betweene my soule and body. Alas, how many tenne hundred thousande times in a day haue I called for death, and yet I cannot make her to recline her eares vnto my cries. Alas, how many times am I vanquished with the sharpe tormentes of sorowe, readie to take my 230 leaue and last farewell of you, being arriued to the extreme panges of death. Behold Didaco mine ordinary delites, behold my pleasures, behold all my pastime. But yet this is but litle in respect of that which chaunceth in the night: for if it happen that my poore eyes doe fall a sleepe, weary with incessaunt drawing forth of well springes of teares, slombring dreames cease not then to vexe and afflict my minde, wyth the cruellest tormentes that are possible to be deuised, representing vnto me by their vglie and horrible visions, the ioye and contentacion of her, which inioyeth my place: wherby the greatest ioy which I conceiue is not inferior to cruell death. Thus my life maintayned with continuacion of sorowes and griefes, is persecuted in most miserable wise: now (as you know) I dailye passe my sorow, vnder painefull silence, thinkinge that your olde promisses, confirmed with so many othes, and the assured proof which you still haue had of my faith and constancie, would haue brought you to some order, but now seing with mine eyes, the hard metall of your harte, and the crueltie of my fate, which wholie hath subdued mee to your obedience, for respect of mine honour: I am forced to complaine of him that beateth mee and thereby despoileth mee both of mine honour and life, not vouchsafing onely so much as ones to come vnto mee. And vncertaine to whom I may make recourse, or where to finde redresse, I appeale vnto you, to thende that seing in what leane and vglie state I am, your cruelty maye altogether be satisfied, which beholdinge a sighte so pitifull, wherein the figure of my tormente is liuely expressed, it may be moued to some compassion. Come hither then thou cruell manne, come hither I saye, to visite her whom with some signe of humanitie, thou maiest staye or at least wise mollifie and appease the vengeaunce which shee prepareth for thee: and if euer sparke of pitie did warme thy frosen hart, arme thy selfe with greater crueltie then euer thou was wont to doe, and come hither to make her sobbe her laste and extreme sighes, whom thou haste wretchedly deceiued: for in doing otherwise thou maiest peraduenture to late, bewaile my death and thy beastlye crueltie.” And thinking to make a conclusion of her letter, the teares made her woords to die in her mouth, and woulde not suffer her to write any more: 231 wherefore she closed and sealed the same, and then calling Ianique vnto her she said: “Holde, gentle Ianique, carye these letters vnto him, and if thou canste so well play thy part as I haue doen mine, I hope wee shall haue shortly at our commaundemente him that is the occasion of this my painfull life, more greuous vnto me then a thousand deathes together.” Ianique hauing the letter, departed with diligence, and went to the house of the father in lawe of Didaco, where quietly shee waited till shee mighte speake with some of the house, which was within a while after: for one of the seruauntes of Didaco whom she knew right well, wente about certaine his maisters busines, and meeting Ianique was abashed. Of whom she demaunded if the Lord Didaco were within, and saide that she would faine speake with him: but if it were possible she would talke with him secretly. Whereof Didaco aduertised, came forth to her into the streate, to whom smilingly (hauing made to him a fayned reuerence) she said: “Senior Didaco, I can neither write nor reade, but I dare laie my life, ther is sute made vnto you by these letters, which Madame Violenta hath sent vnto you. And in deede to say the truth, there is great iniurie doen vnto her of your parte, not in respecte of your new mariage: (for I neuer thought that Violenta was a wife meete for you, considering the difference of your estates) but because you wil not vouchsafe to come vnto her, seeming that you make no more accompte of her and speciallye for that you prouide no mariage for her in som other place. And assure your selfe she is so farre in loue with you, that she is redie to die as she goeth, in such wise that making her complaint vnto me this day weeping, she said vnto me: ‘Well, for so much then as I cannot haue him to be my husbande, I would to God he would mainteigne me for his frende, and certaine times in the weeke to come to see mee specially in the night, lest he should be espied of the neighbours.’ And certainly if you would followe her minde herein, you shall do very well: for the case standeth thus, you may make your auaunte that you be prouided of so faire a wife, and with so beautifull a frende as any gentleman in Valentia.” And then Ianique deliuered him the letter, which he receiued and redde, and hauing well considered the tenor of the same he was incontinently surprised 232 with a sodaine passion: for hatred and pitie, loue and disdaine (as within a Cloude be conteined hotte and colde, with many contrary winds) began to combate together, and to vexe his hart with contrary minds, then pawsinge vpon answere, he said vnto her: “Ianique, my dere frende recommende mee to the good grace and fauour of thy maistres, and say vnto her, that for this time I will make her no answere, but to morow at fower of the clocke in the morning I will be at her house, and keepe her companie all the daye and nighte, and then I will tell her what I haue doen sithens I departed last from her, trusting shee shall haue no cause to be offended with me.” And then Ianique taking her leaue, retourned towarde Violenta, telling her what shee had doen. To whom Violenta answeared: “Ianique, if thou hast made a good beginninge to our plotted enterprise, I likewise for my part haue not slept. For I haue deuised that wee must prouide for a stronge roape, which wee will fasten to the beddes side, and when hee shalbe a sleepe, I will caste the other ende of the rope to thee, ouerthwart the bedde, that thou maiest plucke the same with all thy mighte, and before thou beginnest to pull I will with a knife cutte his throate, wherefore thou muste prepare two great kniues, what soeuer they cost, but I pray thee let me alone with doing of the facte, that I may dispatche him of his life, which alone did make the first assault to the breach of mine honour.” Ianique knew so well how to prouide for all that was requisite for the execution of their enterprise, as there rested nothing but opportunitie, to sort their cruel purpose to effect. The knight sir Didaco, at the houre appointed, tolde his new wife that he must go into the countrie, to take order for the state of his land, and that he could not retourne, til the next day in the morning. Which she by and by beleued: and the better to couer his fact, he caused two horse to be made redie, and rode forth when the clocke strake iiii. And when he had riden through a certain streat, he said to his man, which was wonte to serue his tourne in loue matters: “Carie my horse to such a manour in the countrie, and tarrie there all this day, and to morowe morning come seeke mee in suche a place, when I am gone from the house of Violenta. In the meane time set my horse in some Inne: for in any wise I will haue no 233 man know that I doe lie there.” Which doen the maister and the seruaunte wente two seuerall wayes. The knight being come to the house of Violenta, he found Ianique tarying for him, with good deuocion to vse him according to his desert, and conueyed him to the chamber of Violenta, and then she retourned about her busines. The knighte kissed Violenta and bad her good morowe, asking her how she did? Whom Violenta aunsweared: “Sir Didaco, you bid me good morrow in words, but in deede you go about to prepare for me a heuie and sorowfull life. I beleeue that your minde beareth witnes, of the state of my welfare: for you haue broughte me to such extremitie, that you see right wel how nothing els but my voice declareth me to be a woman, and therewithall so feeble a creature, as I still craue and call for death or for pitie, although both of thone and of the other, I am not heard at all: and yet thincke not Didaco, that I am so farre out of my wittes to beleeue that the cause of my writing the letter was for hope, that (you remembring my bitter paines, and your owne hainous crime) I coulde euer moue you to pitie: for I am perswaded that you wil neuer cease to exhauste and sucke the bloud, honor, and life of them that credite your trumperies and deceiptes, as nowe by experience I know by my selfe, with such deadly sorow that I still attende and loke for the sorowful ende of my life.” Didaco seing her thus afflicted, fearing that her cholere woulde further inflame, began to cull her, and to take her now into his armes, telling her that his mariage with the doughter of Vigliaracuta, was concluded more by force then his owne will and minde, because they pretended to haue a gift of all the lande and goods he had in succession after his father was dead, which if they did obtain by law he should be a begger all the dayes of his life, and that the same was doen to prouide for the quiet state of them both, and notwithstanding hee had maried an other wife, yet hee purposed to loue none but her, and meant in time to poison his wife, and to spend the rest of his life with her. And thus seeming to remedie his former fault, by surmised reports, chauntinge vppon the cordes of his pleasaunt tongue, hee thought with Courtlike allurements, to appease her, which had her wittes to well sharpened to be twise taken in one trap, howbeit for feare 234 of driuing him awaye, and to loose the meane to accomplish that which she intended, she said vnto him with forced smiling: “Sir Didaco, although you haue so ill vsed mee in time paste, as I haue no greate cause to beleeue your presente woordes, yet the loue that I beare you, is so rooted in my harte, as the faulte muste be verye greate, which shoulde remoue the same: in consideration whereof, I will constraine myselfe to beleeue that your woords be true, vpon condicion that you will sweare and promise to lie with me here ones or twyse a weeke. For me thinke that if I might at times inioye your presence, I should remaine in some part of your grace and fauour, and liue the best contented woman a liue.” Whereunto hee willingly agreed, with a great nomber of other like protestations, prompte and redy in them which meane deceipt. But in the poore miserable woman had perced the same in the depth of her harte, and had credited all that he spake, no doubte he woulde haue chaunged his minde. Thus either partes spente the daye in cold and dissembled flatteries till darke nighte, with his accustomed silence, did deliuer them the meane to exercise their cruell facte. So sone as supper was doen, Didaco and Violenta walked vp and downe together, talking of certaine common matters, till the knight (pressed with slepe) commaunded his bed to be made redie: it neded not then to inquire with what diligence Violenta and Ianique obeyed his requeste: in whome onely as they thought consisted the happe, or mishappe of their intent: to whom because Violenta might shewe her selfe more affectionate, went first to bedde, and so sone as they were layde, Ianique drewe the curteines and tooke away Didaco his swoorde, and making as though she had a thing to do vnder the bedde, she fastened the rope and raked vp the fire which was in the chimney, carying a stoole to the beddes side, and layd vpon the same twoo great kechin knifes, which doen she put out the candle, and, fayning to goe out of the chamber, she shut the dore and went in againe. And then the poore infortunate knight, thinking that he was alone in the chamber with Violenta, began to clepe and kisse her, whereunto she made no refusal, but desirous to renew his old priuate toies, she prayed him of al loue that he bare vnto her to kepe truce for twoo or three howers, for that the 235 night was long inough to satisfie his desires, affirming that it was impossible for her to wake, because fiue or sixe dayes before by reason of her griefes, she had not slept at all, notwithstanding, she said, that after her first sleepe she would willingly obey him: wherunto the gentleman was easely perswaded, aswell bicause he hadde els where sufficiently staunched his thurst, as also for that he was loth to displease her: and faining her selfe to sleepe, she turned her face to the other side, and in that wyse continued, till the poore gentleman was fallen into his sound slepe. Then Ianique softly conueyed the rope ouer his bodye, and gaue it to Violenta, and after she had placed it according to her minde, as they together had deuised before, she deliuered thende to Ianique, who being at the beddes side satte down vpon the grounde, and folding the rope about her armes, hoisted her twoo feete against the bedde to pull with greater force when nede required. Not long after, Violenta toke one of the great knifes, and lifting her selfe vp softlye, she proued with her hand, to seke a place most meete for her to stabbe a hole into her enemies fleshe. And inchaunted with wrath, rage and furie, like another Medea, thrust the poincte of the knife with suche force into his throte as shee perced it through, and the poore vnhappie man thinking to resiste the same, by geuing some repulse against that aduerse and heauie fortune, was appalled, who feeling a new charge geuen vpon him againe, specially being intricated with the roape, was not able to sturre hande nor foote, and through the excessiue violence of the paine, his speache and power to crie, was taken away: in such sorte that after he had receiued tenne or twelue mortall woundes one after an other, his poore martired soule departed from his sorowfull body. Violenta hauing ended her determined enterprise, commaunded Ianique to light the candle, and approching nere the knightes face, shee sawe by and by that he was without life. Then not able to satisfie her bloudye harte, ne yet to quenche her furious rage which boiled in her stomacke, she with the poinct of the knife tare out the eyes from his head, crying out vpon them with hideous voice, as if they had ben aliue: “Ah traiterous eyes, the messengers of a minde most villanous that euer seiorned within the bodie of man: come out of your shamelesse siege for euer, for the spring of your fained 236 teares is now exhausted and dried vp.” Then shee played the Bocher vppon those insensible members, continuing still her rage, and cruelly seazed vpon the tongue, which with her bloudy handes she haled out of his mouth, and beholding the same with a murderous eie as she was cutting it of, sayd: “Oh abhominable and periured tongue, how many lies diddest thou frame in the same, before thou couldest with the canon shot of this poysoned member, make breache into my virginitie: whereof now being depriued by thy meanes, I franckly accelerate my self to death, wherunto thou presently hast opened the way.” And when shee had separated this litle member from the reste of the body (insaciable of crueltie) with the knife ripped a violent hole into his stomacke, and launching her cruel handes vpon his harte she tare it from the place, and gashing the same with many blowes, she said: “Ah, vile hart, harder then the Diamont whose andeuile forged the infortunate trappes of these my cruel destenies! oh that I could haue discoured thy cogitations in time past, as I doe now thy materiall substaunce, that I might haue bene preserued from thine abhominable treason, and detestable infidelitie.” Then fleashing her selfe vpon the dead body, as a hungry lion vpon his praye, she lefte no parte of him vnwounded: and when shee had mangled his bodye all ouer, with an infinite number of gashes, she cried out: “O infected carrion, whilom an organ and instrumente of the moste vnfaithfull and trayterous minde that euer was vnder the coape of heauen. Nowe thou art payed with deserte, worthy of thy merites!” Then shee sayed to Ianique (whiche with great terrour, had all this whyle viewed her play this pageant) “Ianique I feele my selfe now so eased of payne that come death when he will, he shal find me strong and lustie to indure his furious assault, which of long time I haue assaied. Helpe me then to traine this corps out of my father’s house, wherein I was first defloured, then will I tell thee what thou shalt doe: for like as mine honestie is stayned and published abrode, euen so will I the reuenge to be manifeste, crauing that his bodie may be exponed to the viewe of all men.” Whose request Ianique obeied: and then she and Violenta toke the body, and threwe it out at one of the chamber wyndowes down vpon the pauement of 237 the streate, with all the partes which she had cut of. That done she sayd to Ianique: “Take this casket with all the money within the same, and shippe thy selfe at the next port thou shalt come to, and get thee ouer into Africa to saue thy life so spedely as thou canst, and neuer come into these partes again, nor to any other wher thou art knowen.” Which Ianique purposed to doe, although Violenta had not consailed her thereunto: and ready to departe, shee gaue a sorowefull farewell to her maistres, and betoke her selfe to her good fortune: and from that time forth, no man could tell whether she went, for all the persute made after her. So sone as daye appeared, the firste that passed by the streate espied the dead bodie, whiche by reason of the noyse and brute made throughout the towne, caused many people to come and see it: but no man knew what he was, being disfiguered as well by reason of the eyes torne out of his head, as for other partes mutilated and deformed. And about eight of the clocke in the morning, there was suche a multitude of people assembled, as it was in maner impossible to come nere it. The moste parte thought that some theues in the nighte had committed that murder: whiche opinion seemed to be true, because he was in his shurte: other some were of contrary opinion: and Violenta, whiche was at the wyndowe, hearing their sundrie opinions came downe and with a bolde courage and stoute voyce, that euery man might heare, said; “Sirs, you do contend vpon a thing whereof (if I were demaunded the question of the magistrates of this citie) I am able to render assured testimonie: and without great difficultie this murder can not be discouered by any other but by me.” Whiche woordes the people did sone beleue, thinking that diuers gentlemen ielous of Violenta had made a fraye: for she had now loste her auncient reputacion by meanes of Didaco, who (as the fame and common reporte was bruted) did keepe her. When she had spoken those wordes, the Iudges were incontinently aduertised as well of the murder as of that whiche Violenta had said, and went thither with Sergeauntes and Officers, where they founde Violenta, more stoute then any of the standers by: and inquired of her immediatlye howe that murder came to passe, but shee without feare or appallement, made this aunswere: “Hee that you see here dead, is the 238 Lorde Didaco: and because it apperteineth to many to vnderstand the trouth of his death (as his father in lawe, his wife and other kinsmen) I would in their presence, if it please you to cause them to be called hither declare what I knowe.” The Magistrates amased to see so great a Lorde so cruelly slayne, committed her to warde til after dinner, and commaunded that all the before named should bee summoned to appeare: who assembled in the palace, with such a number of the people, as the iudges could skant haue place: Violenta in the presence of them all, without any rage or passion, first of all recompted vnto them the chast loue betwene Didaco and her, whiche hee continued the space of fourtene or fiftene monethes, without receiuing any fruicte or commoditie thereof. Within a whyle after (he being vanquished with loue) maried her secretly at her house, and solempnized the nuptialles by a Prieste vnknowen: declaring moreouer, how they had liued a yere together in householde, without any occasion of offence, on her part geuen vnto him. Then she rehersed before them his seconde mariage with the doughter of such a man, being there present, adding for conclusion, that sith he had made her to lose her honestie, shee had sought meanes to make him to loose his life: which she executed with the helpe of Ianique her mayde: who by her aduise being loth to liue any longer, had drowned her selfe. And after she had declared the true state of the matter, passed betwene them, shee sayd for conclusion, that all that she had rehersed was not to incite or moue them to pitie or compassion, thereby to prolong her life, whereof shee iudged her self vnworthy: “For if you (quoth she) do suffer me to escape your handes, thinking to saue my body, you shalbe the cause and whole ruine of my soule, for with these mine owne handes, which you see before you, I will desperatly cut of the thred of this my life.” And with those wordes she held her peace: wherat the people amased, and moued with pitie, let fall the luke warme teares from their dolourouse eyes and lamented the misfortune of that poore creature: imputing the fault vppon the dead knight, which vnder colour of mariage had deceiued her. The Magistrates determining further to deliberate vpon the matter, caused the dead bodie to be buried, and committed Violenta againe to warde, 239 taking away from her kniues and other weapons, wherewith they thought shee might hurt her selfe. And vsed such diligent search and inquirie, that the Priest which maried them was found out, and the seruaunt of Didaco that was present at the mariage of Violenta, being examined, deposed how by his maister’s commaundement he caried his horse into the countrie, and how he commaunded him to come to him againe the nexte morning to the house of Violenta. And all thinges were so well brought to light, as nothing wanted for further inuestigation of the truthe, but onely the confession of him that was dead. And Violenta by the common opinion of the Judges was condempned to be beheaded: not only for that she had presumed to punishe the knightes tromperie and offence, but for her excessiue crueltie doen vpon the dead body. Thus infortunate Violenta ended her life, her mother and brethren being acquited: and was executed in the presence of the duke of Calabria, the sonne of king Frederic of Aragon: which was that time the Viceroy there, and afterwardes died at Torry in Fraunce: who incontinently after caused this historie to be registred, with other thinges worthy of remembraunce, chaunced in his time at Valencia. Bandell doth wryte, that the mayde Ianique was put to death with her maistres: but Paludanus a Spaniard, a liue at that time, writeth an excellent historie in Latine, wherin he certainly declareth that she was neuer apprehended, which opinion (as most probable) I haue folowed.



Wantones and pleasaunt life being guides of insolencie, doth bring a miserable end to a faire ladie of Thurin, whom a noble man aduaunced to high estate: as appereth by this historie, wherein he executeth great crueltie vpon his sayde ladie, taken in adulterie.

The auncient and generall custome of the gentlemen, and gentlewomen of Piedmonte, was daily to abandon famous cities and murmures of common wealthes to retire to their Castels in the countrie, and other places of pleasure, of purpose to beguile the troublesome turmoyles of life, with greatest rest and contentation. The troubles and griefes wherof they do feele, that intermedle with businesse of common wealth, which was with great care obserued before the warres had preposterated the order of auncient gouernement, til which time a harde matter it had ben to finde an idle gentleman in a hole citie. Who rather did resort to their countrie houses with their families, which were so well gouerned and furnished, that you should haue departed so well satisfied and instructed, from a simple gentleman’s house as you should haue doen from a great citie, were it neuer so wel ruled by some wife and prouident Senatour. But sithens the world began to waxe olde, it is come again to very infancie, in suche sorte that the greatest nomber of cities are not peopled in these dayes but with a many of Carpet Squiers, that make their refiance and abode there, not to profite, but to continew their delicate life, and they do not onely corrupt themselues, but (which is worse) they infecte them that keepe them companie, whiche I will discourse somewhat more at large, for so much as the gentlewoman, of whome I describe this historie, was brought vp al the time of her youth, in one of the finest and most delicate cities of Piedmonte. And feeling as yet some sparke of her former bringing vp, she could not be reformed (being in the countrie with her husbande) but that in the ende she fill into great reproche and shame, as you shall vnderstande by the content of that whiche foloweth. In the time that Madame Margaret of Austriche, doughter of Maximilian the 241 Emperour, went in progresse into Sauoie, towardes her husbande: there was a great Lorde, a valiaunt and courteous gentleman, in a certaine countrie of Piedmonte, whose name I will not disclose, aswell for the reuerence of his nerest kynne, which doe yet liue, as for the immoderate cruell punishemente, that he deuised towards his wife, when he toke her in the fault. This great Lorde, although he had goodly reuenues and Castelles in Piedmonte, yet for the most parte of his time, he followed the Courte, by commaundement of the Duke, that interteyned him next his owne persone, vsing commonly his aduise in all his greatest affaires. This Lorde at that tyme maried a mayden in Thurin, of meane beautie, for his pleasure, not esteming the place from whence shee came. And because he was well nere fiftie yeares of age when he maried her, she attired her selfe with such modestie, as she was more like a wydow then a maried woman: and knewe so well how to vse her husbande, the space of a yere or two, as he thought him selfe the happiest man aliue, that he had founde out so louing a wyfe. This woman being serued, and reuerenced with great honour, waxed werie of to muche reste and quiet, and began to be inamoured of a Gentleman her neighbour, whom in a litle tyme she knewe so well to vse by lookes, and other wanton toies, as he did easely perceiue it, notwithstanding for the honour of her husband, he would not seme to knowe it, but a farre of. Nowe this warme loue by litle and litle, afterwardes began to grow hot, for the yong woman wearie of such long delay, not able to content her self with lookes, vpon a day finding this yong gentleman in conuenient place, as he was walking harde by her house, began to reason with him of termes, and matters of loue: telling hym that he liued to solitarie, in respect of his yong yeares, and howe shee had alwayes bene brought vp in Townes, and places of great companie and resorte, in such wyse as now being in the Countrie, shee could not easely digeste the incommoditie of being a lone, specially for the continuall absence of her husbande, who scarce three monethes in a yeare remayned at home in his owne house. And so falling from one matter to another, loue pricked them so sore, as in fine they opened a waye to that whiche troubled them so mutch, and specially the woman: who forgetting her 242 honour, which ordinarily dothe accompanie great Ladies, priuely she told hym the loue that she had borne hym of long tyme, whiche notwithstanding shee had dissembled, wayting when hee should haue geuen the fyrst onsette, for that Gentlemen ought rather to demaunde, then to be requyred of Ladies. This Gentleman vnderstanding (by halfe a woorde) the cause of her disease, told her: “That although his loue was extreme, neuerthelesse, deming himself vnworthy of so high degree, he stil concealed his grief, which because he thought it coulde not come to passe, feare forced him to kepe it silent. But sithe it pleased her so much to abase her selfe, and was disposed to doe him so much honour to accepte him for her seruaunte, he would imploye his indeuour, to recompence that with humilitie and humble seruice, whiche fortune had denied hym in other thinges.” And hauing framed this foundacion to their loue, for this tyme they vsed no other contentment one of an other but onely deuise. But they so prouyded for their affaires to come, that they neded not to vse longer oration. For beyng neyghbours, and the husbande manye tymes absent, the hyghe waye was open to bryng their enterpryses to desired affecte. Which they full well acquieted, and yet vnable wysely to maister and gouerne their passions, or to moderate theim selues by good discretion, the seruauntes of the house (by reason of the frequented communication of the Gentleman with the Gentlewoman) began to suspecte theim, and to conceiue sinister opinion of their maistresse, although none of theim durste speake of it, or make other semblaunce of knowledge. Loue holding in full possession the hartes of these twoo louers, blynded theim so muche, as leauing the brydle to large for their honour, they vsed theimselues priuely and apertlye at all tymes one with an other, without anye respect. And when vpon a tyme, the Lorde retourned home to his owne house (from a certayne voyage, wherein he had bene in the Duke’s seruice) he found his wyfe to be more fine and gorgeous then she was wont to be, whiche in the beginning dyd wonderfully astonne him. And perceiuing her sometimes to vtter wanton woordes, and to applie her mynde on other thynges, when he spake vnto her, he began diligently to obserue her countenaunce and order, and being a man broughte vp 243 in courtlye trade, and of good experience, hee easely was perswaded that there was some ele vnder that stone, and to come to the trouthe of the matter, hee made a better countenaunce, then he was wonte to doe, which she knewe full well howe to requite and recompence: and liuing in this simulation, either of them attempted to beguile the other, that the simplest and leste craftie of them both could not be discouered. The yong gentleman, neighbour of the Lord, grieued beyond measure, for that he was come home, passed and repaired many tymes before his Castell gate, thinking to get some looke of his Ladie’s eye: but by any meanes she could not for feare of her husbande, who was not so foolishe, that after he sawe him goe before his gate so many times, without some occasion, but that he easely iudged there was a secret amitie betwene them. Certaine dayes after, the gentleman to insinuate himselfe into the Lord’s fauour, and to haue accesse to his house, sent him a very excellent Tercelet of a Faucon, and at other times he presented him with Veneson, and vmbles of Dere, which he had killed in hunting. But the Lorde (which well knew that flatterie many times serued the torne of diuerse, to beguile foolish husbands of their faire wiues) that he might not seme vngrateful, sent him also certain straung things. And these curtesies continued so long, that the Lorde desirous to lay a baite, sent to praye him to come to dyner: to which requeste the other accorded liberally, for the deuocion he had to the sainct of the Castell. And when the table was taken vp, they went together to walk abroade in the fieldes. And that more frendly to welcome him, he prayed his wife to goe with them, whereunto she made no great deniall. And when they had debated of many thinges, the Lord said vnto him: “Neighbour and frende, I am an old man and Melancholie, as you know, wherfore I had neede from henceforth to reioyce my self. I pray you hartely therefore to come hither many times, to visit vs and therewithal to participate such fare as God doth send. Vsing the thinges of my house, as they were your owne.” Whiche the other gratefully accepted, humblie praying that his Lordshyp would commaunde him and that he had, when he pleased, and to commaunde him as his very humble and obedient seruaunt. This Pantere layed, the yong gentleman ordinarely came ones a daye 244 to visite the Lorde and his wife. So long this pilgrimage continued, vntill the Lorde (vpon a time, faining himselfe to be sicke) commaunded that no man should come into his chamber, because all the night before he was ill at ease, and could take no reste. Whereof the gentleman was incontinently aduertised by an old woman hired of purpose for a common messenger, of whom a none we purpose to make remembraunce. Being come to the Castell, he demaunded how the Lord did, and whether he might go see him, to whom aunswer was made, that he could not, for that he was fallen into a slomber. Madame now was in the garden alone, roming vp and down for her pleasure, and was aduertised that the Gentleman was come. Who being brought into the gardeine, and certified of the Lordes indisposition, began to renew his old daliaunce with the Ladie, and to kisse her many times, eftsones putting his hand into her bosome, and vsing other pretie preparatifes of loue, which ought not to be permitted but only to the husband. In the meane time, while they twoo had ben there a good space, the husband slept not, but was departed out of his chamber, the space of two houres and more, and was gone vp to the highest place of all his Castell, wher at a very litle window, he might discrie al that was done, within the compasse of his house. And there seing al their curteous offers and proffers, hee waited but when the gentleman should haue indeuoured himself to precede further, that he might haue then discharged his mortal malice vpon them both. But they fearing that their long abode in the gardein might ingender some displeasure, retourned into the Castell, with purpose in time to content their desires, so sone as opportunitie serued. The Lorde noting all the demeanour betwene them, retourned to his chamber, and so went againe to his bed, faining to be sicke, as he did all the daye before. Supper time come, the lady went to know his pleasure, whether he would sup in his chamber or in the hall: he answered (with a disguised cherefull face) that he began to feele himselfe well, and that he had slept quietly sithens diner, and was determined to suppe beneth, sending that night for the gentleman, to beare him companie at supper: and could so well disemble his iust anger, as neither his wife, nor the Gentleman perceiued it by any meanes. And so the Lorde with his Lady still 245 continued, the space of fiftene dayes, or three wekes, making so much of her (as though it had ben the firste moneth that he maried her) in suche sorte, as when the poore miserable woman thought to haue gotten victorie ouer her husband and frend, it was the houre that fortune did weaue the toyle and nette to intrappe her. The Lorde which no longer could abide this mischief, driuen into an extreame choler, seing that he was able to finde no meanes to take them (himselfe being at home) deliberated either sone to die or to prouide for the matter: and the better to execute his determination, he counterfaited a letter from the Duke of Sauoie, and bare it secretly to the post him selfe alone, and commaunded him next daye to bring it to his Castell, whereby he fained that the Duke had sent the same vnto him. Whiche matter the post did handle so well, as he brought the letter, when he was at supper, with botes on his legges all durtie and raied, as though he were newly lighted from his horse. And the better to maintain his wife in her error, after he had reade the letter, he gaue it to her to reade: which conteined no other thing but that the Duke commaunded him presently with all diligence, himselfe and his traine to come vnto him, to be dispatched vpon ambassage into Fraunce. That doen he said vnto her: “Wife, you see how I am constrayned to depart with spede (to my great grief) bid my men therfore to be ready in the morning, that they may go before and wayte for me at Thurin, where my Lord the Duke is at this present. I my self will departe from hence to morow at night after supper, and will ride in post in the freshe of the night.” And the better to deceiue this poore vnhappie woman, he went into his Closet, and took his caskette, wherin was the moste parte of his treasure, and deliuering the same vnto her, sayde: “That fearing leste hee shoulde tarie long in Fraunce, he would leaue the same with her to help her when she wanted.” And after all this traine was gone, hee caused one of the yeomen of his chamber to tary behynde, whose fidelitie he had at other times proued: and all that daye he ceased not to cherishe and make much of his wyfe. But the poore soule did not forsee, that they were the flatteries of the Crocodile, which reioyseth when he seeth one deceiued. When he had supped, he made a particuler remembraunce to his wife how the affaires of his house should be disposed in his absence: and 246 then toke his leaue, giuing her a Iudas kisse. The lorde vnethes had ridden twoo or thre miles, but that his wife had sent the olde woman to carye worde to her louer, of the departure of her husband, and that he might saufly come and lie with her in the castell, for that all the seruauntes were ridden forth with their maister, sauing one yeoman and her twoo maydes, whiche doe neuer vse to lie in her chamber. Vpon this glad newes the Gentleman thought no scorne to appeare vppon that warning, and the old woman knew the way so well, as she brought him straight into the ladies chamber, whom loue inuegled in such wise, as they lay together in the bedde where the lord was wont to lye. And the olde woman laye in an other bed in that chamber, and shut the dore within. But while these twoo poore passionate louers thought they had attayned the toppe of all felicitie, and had inioyed with full saile the fauours of the litle God Cupide, Fortune desirous to departe them, for the last messe of the feast prepared so bitter Comfettes, as it cost them both their liues, with such cruell death, as if they which make profession of semblable things doe take example, wyues will get them better names, and husbandes shalbe lesse deceiued. The Lorde that night made no longer tracte of time, but lighted from his horse, at the keper of one of his Castles houses, whom he knewe to be faythfull. To whome in the presence of the yeoman of his chamber, he discoursed the loue betwene the gentleman and his wyfe, and commaunded them with all spede to arme themselues, and with a case of pistolets to follow him, whom they obeyed. And beyng come to the Castell gate he saide to the keper of his castell: “Knocke at the gate, and fayne thy selfe to be alone, and saye that I passing by thy house did leaue a remembraunce with thee, to cary to my ladie. And because it is a matter of importaunce, and requireth hast, thou were compelled to bring it this night.” Knocking at the gate somewhat softely (for feare lest they whiche were in the chambers should heare) a yeoman rose whiche laye in the courte, knowing the voyce of the keper (because he was one, whome his lorde and maister dyd greatly fauour) opened the gate, and the firste thyng they did, they lyghted a torche, and wente vp all three to the Lordes chamber, not sufferyng anye man to cary newes to the Ladie, of theyr approche. Being come to the chamber doore, 247 the keeper knocked, whiche immediatly the olde woman hearde, and without opening the doore, asked who was there. “It is I (quod the keeper,) that haue brought a letter to my ladie, from my Lorde my maister, who ryding this nyght in post to Thurin, passed by my house, and very earnestly charged me by no meanes to fayle but to deliuer it this night.” The Ladie aduertised hereof, who could not mistruste that her owne man (whome she tooke to bee simple, and voyde of guyle) would haue framed a platte for suche a treason, sayde to the olde woman: “Receiue the letter at the doore, but in any wyse let him not come in, and I will accomplishe the contentes.” The olde woman, which thought onely but to receiue the letter betwene the doore, was astoned when the keper who (giuing her a blow with his foote vpon the stomacke) threwe her backward, where she laie more then a quarter of an houre, without speaking or mouing. And then they three entring the chamber in great rage, with their pistolets in their handes, found the two miserable louers starke naked, who seing them selues surprysed in that state, were so sore ashamed as Eue and Adam were, when their sinne was manifested before God. And not knowing what to doe, reposed their refuge in lamenting and teares, but at the verie same instaunt, they bounde the armes and legges together, of the poore gentleman with the chollers of their horse, which they brought with them of purpose. And then the Lorde commaunded that the twoo maydes, which were in the Castell, and the reste of the seruantes, should be called to assiste them, to take example of that faire fight. And all the meane people being gathered in this sort together, the lorde tourning him self vnto his wife, saied vnto her: “Come hither thou vnshamefast, vile, and detestable whore, like as thou hast had a harte so traiterous and vnfaithfull, to bring this infamous ruffian in the night into my castell, not only to robbe and dispoile me of mine honour, which I preferre and esteme more then life: but also (whiche is more to be abhorred) to infring and breake for euer, the holie and precious bande of mariage, wherewithall wee be vnited and knit together. So will I forthwith, that with these thyne owne handes, with whiche thou gauest me the firste testimonie of thy faith, that he presently shalbe hanged and strangled in the presence of all menne, 248 not knowing howe to deuise anye other greater punishimente, to satisfie thyne offence, then to force thee to murder hym, whome thou haste preferred before thy reputation, aboue myne honour, and estemed more then thine owne life.” And hauing pronounced this fatall iudgement, he sent one to seeke for a greate naile of a Carte, which he caused to be fastened to the beame of the chamber, and a ladder to be fetched, and then made her to tie a Coller of the order belonginge to theeues and malefactours, about the necke of her sorowfull louer. And because she alone was not able to do that greuous and waightie charge, hee ordayned that like as the olde woman had bin a faithfull minister of his wiue’s loue, so shee should put her hand in performing the vttermost of that worke. And so these two wretched women, were by that meanes forced to suche extremitie, as with their owne handes, they strangled the infortunate Gentleman: with whose death the Lord not yet satisfyed, caused the bedde, the clothes, and other furnitures (wherupon they had taken their pleasures past) to be burned. He commaunded the other vtensiles of the chamber to be taken away, not suffring so much straw, as would serue the couche of two dogges, to be left vnconsumed. Then he said to his wife: “Thou wicked woman, amonges al other most detestable: for so much as thou hast had no respecte to that houourable state, whereunto fortune hath aduaunced thee, being made by my meanes of a simple damosell, a greate Ladie, and because thou hast preferred the lasciuious acquaintaunce of one of my subiects, before the chast loue, that thou oughtest to haue borne me: my determination is, that from henceforth thou shalt kepe continuall company with him, to the vttermost day of thy life: because his putrified carcase hath giuen occasion to ende thy wretched body.” And then hee caused all the windowes and doores to be mured, and closed vp in such wyse, as it was impossible for her to go oute, leauing onely a litle hole open, to giue her bread and water: appointing his Steward to the charge thereof. And so this poore miserable woman, remained in the mercie of that obscure and darke prison, without any other company, then the deade body of her louer. And wheu shee had continued a certaine space in that stinking Dongeon, without aire or comfort, ouercome with sorrow and extreme paine, she yelded her soule to God.



The loue of Alerane of Saxone, and of Adelasia the daughter of the Emperour Otho the thirde of that name. Their flight and departure into Italie, and how they were known againe, and what noble houses of Italie descended of their race.

The auncient histories of Princes (as wel vnder the name of kinge, as of the title of Duke, which in time paste did gouerne the Countrie of Saxone) do reporte that Otho the seconde of that name, which was the first Emperour that lawfullye raigned (after the Empire ceassed in the stock of Charles the great) had of his wife Matilde doughter of the king of Saxone, one sonne which succeded him in the Imperial crowne, called Otho the third, who for his vertuous education and gentle disposition, acquired of all men the surname of The loue of the world. The same Emperour was curteous and mercifull, and neuer (to any man’s knowledge) gaue occasion of griefe to any person, he did good to euery man, and hurt none: likewise he thought that kingdome to be well gotten, and gotten to be better kept, where the king, Prince or Ruler therof, did studie and seeke meanes to be beloued, rather then feared, sith loue ingendreth in it selfe a desire of obedience in the people. And contrary wise, that Prince which by tyrannic maketh himself to be feared, liueth not one houre at rest, hauing his conscience tormented indifferently, both with suspition and feare, thinking stil that a thousand swords be hanging ouer his head, to kill and destroye him. Otho then vnder his name of Emperour, couered his clemencie with a certaine sweete grauite and Princely behauiour. Who notwithstanding declared an outward shew of curtesie, to make sweete the egreness of displeasure, which they feele and taste that be subiect to the obeysaunce of any new Monarchie. Man being of his owne nature so louing of himselfe, that an immoderate libertie seemeth vnto him sweeter, more iust and indurable, than aucthorities rightly ordained, the establishment whereof seemeth to represente the onely gouernment of that first kinge, which from his high throne, giueth being aud mouing to al thinges. That good 250 Emperour then knowinge verye well the mallice of men, who although he was a good man of warre, hardye of his hands, and desirous of glorie, yet moderated so well the happie successe of his enterprises, as his grace and gentlenes principally appeared, when he had the vpper hand, for that he cherished and well vsed those whom he had subdued vnder his obedience: his force and felicitie was declared when he corrected and chastised rebells, and obstinate persons, which wilfully would proue the greate force of a Princes arme iustly displeased, and to others what fauour a king could vse towards them, whom he knew to be loyal and faithfull: giuing cause of repentaunce to them which at other times had done him displeasure. And to say the truth, he mighte be placed in the ranke of the most happie princes that euer were, if the priuate affaires of his owne house had so happily succeeded, as the renowme which hee wanne in the science of warfare, and in the administration of the common wealth. But nothing being stable in the life of man, this emperour had in him, that which diminished the glorie of his wisedome, and (resembling an Octauius Augustus) the vnhappie successe of his owne house did somewhat obscure the fame of his noble factes, and those insolent doinges serued vnto him as a counterpoyse to prosperous fortune, which may be easely perceiued, by the progresse and continuation of this historie. This good Prince had one daughter, in whom nature had distributed her giftes in such wise, as she alone might haue vaunted her self to attaine the perfection of all them, which euer had any thing, worthy of admiration, were it in the singularitie of beauty, fauour and courtesie, or in her disposition and good bringing vp. The name of this fayre Princesse was Adelasia. And when this Ladie was very yong, one of the children of the Duke of Saxone, came to the Emperour’s seruice, whose kinsman he was. This yonge Prince, besides that he was one of the fayrest and comliest gentlemen of Almaigne, had therwithall, together with knowledge of armes, a passing skill in good sciences, which mitigated in him the ferocitie both of his warlike knowledge, and of the nature of his countrey. His name was Alerane, who seing himsefe the yongest of his house, and his inheritaunce very small, indeuoured to conciliate every man’s fauour and good will, to remoue his owne fortune, and 251 to bring himselfe in esteemation with the Emperour, wherein all thinges hee imployed so well his indeuour, as through his worthines he wanne commendation and report, to be the most valiaunte and stoutest gentleman in all the Emperour’s Court, which praise did greatly commend the tendernes of his yong yeares, and was therewithall so sober, and of so gentle spirite, that although he excelled his companions in all things, yet he auoyded cause of offence (shewinge himselfe familiar amonge all the Courtiers.) Euery man (which is a greate matter) praised him and loued him, and he thought himself most happie, that by any meanes could fashion himself to imitate the vertue that made Alerane’s name so renowmed. And that which made him fuller of admiracion, and brought him into fauour with his Lord and maister was, that vpon a day the Emperour being in hunting alone in the middes of a launde, and in a desert place, it chaunced that a Beare issuinge out of her caue, was assayled of Hunters: the fierce beaste, auoyding the toyles and flyinge the pursute of the dogges, came with greate vehemencie and speede from a mountaine, and was vpon the Emperour or he was ware, separated from his companie and without his sword. But Alerane by good fortune was at hand, who more careful for the safetie of his Prince than for his owne life, encountred the beare, and killed him in the presence of the Emperour and many other. All which beholding (to their great astonishmente) the dexteritie and hardines of Alerane at those small yeares, (for then hee was not aboue the age of XVII.) the Emperour imbracing him, did highly commende him, tellinge them that were by, that his life was saued chiefely by God’s assistaunce, and nexte by the prowesse of Alerane. The newes hereof was so bruted abroade, as there was no talke but of the valiaunce and stoutenes of this yong man of warre, which caused fair Adelasia (moued by naturall instigation, and with the opinion and reporte of the vertue toward in that yonge Prince) to feele a certaine thing (I cannot tell what) in her minde, which inflamed her senses and hart. And she had no sooner cast her eyes vpon Alerane, but loue, which had prepared the ambushe, so pearsed her delicate breast, as he toke ful possession of her: in such wyse as the Princesse was so straungelye in loue wyth the yonge Prince, that she neuer founde pleasure 252 and contentment but in that which was done or said by her louer, whom she accompted the chiefe of all the men of his time. In this burning heate, she felt the passions of Loue so vehement, and his pricks so sharpe, that she could not euaporate the cloudes which darkened her spirites and continually tormented her minde. And albeit that the little occasion, which she saw, for their comminge together in time to come, did disswade her from pursuing the thing which she most desired: yet the tyrant Loue shewed himselfe very extreame in that diuersitie of thoughts, and variety of troubles which vexed the spirite of the Princesse: for shee could not so well dissemble that, which honour and age commaunded her to keepe secrete, but that Alerane which was (as we haue alreadie said) well expert and subtile, perceiued the inwarde disease of Adelasia. Moreouer there was betweene them a naturall conformitie and likelyhode of conditions, which made them to agree in equall desires, to feede of like meates, their passionate mindes were martired with equall sorowe and paine, departed as wel in the one as in the other. For Alerane by taking careful heede to the lookes which the Princesse continually did stealingly cast vpon him, saw the often and sodaine chaunces of colour, wherein sometimes appeared ioye, which by and by did ende with infinite nomber of sighes, and with a countenance agreeable to that, which the hart kept secrete and couert, whereby he assured himselfe vnfainedly to be beloued, which caused him to do no lesse (for satisfaction of such like merite and desert done by Adelasia) but to beare vnto her like affection, forcinge her by all diligence and seruice to continue still that good will toward him, yelding himselfe a pray to the selfe same Loue. Who ruling thaffections of the Princesse, (as braue and pleasaunt as she was) made her sorowfull and pensife, and altered her in such wise as she thought the companie wherein she was did impeach her ioy, which companie she imagined to conceiue the like pleasure that she did, when at libertie and alone shee reuolued her troubles, and fansied her contentation in her minde. Alerane on the other side slept not, but as though he had receiued the first wound by the handes of the blinde little archer Cupide, ceassed not to thincke of her, whose image ordinarelye appeared before his eyes, as engrauen more liuely in his minde than anye 253 forme may be insculped vppon mettall or marble. And yet neither the one nor the other, durste discouer the least passion of a greate nomber which oppressed their besieged hartes, and which suffered not to liue in anye reste this faire couple of loyall louers. The eyes alone did thoffice of the handes and tongue, as trustie secretaries, and faithful messengers of the effects of the minde. That which kindled the fier moste, was their frequente talke together, which was but of common matters, withoute vtteraunce of that which the hart knewe well enoughe, and whereof the eyes gaue true testimonie. A passion truly most intollerable for a yonge Princesse, as well because she neuer had experience of semblable sorow, as for her tender age, and yet more for a naturall abashmente and shame, which with the vaile of honor doth serue, or ought to serue for a bridle, to euery Ladie couetous of fame, or like to be the ornament or beauty of her race. Adelasia then floting in the tempestuous seas of her appetites, guided by a maister which delighteth in the shipwracke of them he carieth, vanquished with an immoderate rage of loue, tormented with grief vnspeakeable, offended with her owne desires, beinge alone in her chamber, began to complaine her sorowes, and saide: “Ah, what passion is it that is vnknowen vnto me, that ingendreth an obliuion of that which was wont to delighte and contente me? From whence commeth this new alteration, and desire vnaccustomed, for solitarie being alone, is the reste and argumente of my troubles? What diuersities and chaunges be these that in this sorte do poise and weigh my thought? Ah, Adelasia, what happie miserie dost thou finde in this free prison, where pleasure hath no place till the enemies haue disquieted the life, with a Million of painefull aud daungerous trauailes? What is this to say, but that againste the nature of maidens of my yeres I will not, or cannot be quiet day nor night, but take my repast and feeding vpon cares and thoughtes? Alacke, I thought then to finishe my sorowes and griefes, when (being alone) I began to frame the plot of my tormentes and paines, with so many formes and deuises in my fansie, as I do make wishes and requestes vpon the thing I loue and esteeme aboue all, vppon which all mine affections do depende and take their beginning. What is this to saye, but that my maydes do offende mee, when with 254 discrete wordes they go about to diuert me from my follies and pleasaunt noysome thoughtes? Wherefore should not I take in good part the care which they haue of my health, and the paine which they take to remember me of my torment? Alas, they know not wherein consisteth the force of mine euil, and much lesse is it in their power to remedie the same. Euen so I would haue none other plaister but him that hath giuen me the wound, nor none other meate but the hunger that drieth me vp, I craue none other comfort but the fire which burneth mee continuallye, the force wherof pearceth the sucke and marie within my bones. Ah Alerane, Alerane, the floure and mirror of all prowesse and beautie: it is thou alone that liueste in mee, of whom my minde conceyueth his hope, and the hart his nourishment. Alas: that thy worthines should be the ouerthrow of mine honour, and thy perfection the imperfection of my life. Ah Loue, Loue, how diuersly thou dealest with mee. For seing mine Alerane, I am attached with heate in the middes of ise that is full oolde. In thinking of him, I do both rest and trauaile continually. Nowe I flee from him, and sodainly againe I desire him. In hearing him speake, the suger and hony, that distilleth from his mouth, is the contentmente of my minde, till such time as his words appeare to be different from my desire. For then, ah Lord: my rest is conuerted into extreme trauaile, thy honye into gall, and wormewoode more bitter than bitternes it selfe, the hope of my minde is become dispayre so horrible, as the same onely wil breede vnto me, (if God haue not pittie vpon me) a short recourse of death.” After these wordes, shee rested a longe time without speaking, her armes a crosse, and her eyes eleuate on highe, which ranne downe like a Ryuer of teares, and seemed to be so rauished, as a man would haue iudged her rather a thing withoute life, than a creature sensible, and labouring for life, till, recouering her spirites againe, as comming from an extasie and sounde, she beganne her plaintes againe in this sort: “What? must such a Princesse as I am, abase my selfe to loue her owne subiect, yea and her kinseman, and specially not knowing yet how his minde is disposed? Shall I be so vnshamefast, and voyde of reason, to surrender my selfe to anye other but to him, whom God and fortune hath promised to be my espouse? Rather death shall 255 cut of the threde of my yeres, than I wil contaminate my chastitie, or that any other enioy the floure of my virginitie, than he to whom I shal be tied in mariage. Ah: I say and promise muche, but there is a tormenter in my minde which dealeth so rigorouslie with my reason, as I cannot tel wherupon wel to determine. I dare not thincke (which also I ought not to do) that Alerane is so foolish to despise the loue of one, that is the chiefeste of the doughters of the greatest Monarches of the world, and much lesse that hee should forget himselfe, in such wise to forsake mee, hauing once enioyed the best and dearest thing that is in mee, and whereof I meane to make him the onelye and peaceable possessor. Truly the vertue, gentlenes, and good nurriture of Alerane, doe not promise suche treason in him, and that great beautie of his, cannot tell how to hyde such rigor as hee will refuse one that is no deformed and ill fauoured creature, and which loueth him with such sinceritie, as wher she shall lose the meanes to inioy him, there shee shal feele, euen forthwith, the miserable ende of her sorowfull dayes.” And then againe she helde her peace, tossed and turmoiled with diuers thoughtes fleetinge betweene hope and feare: by and by she purposed to deface from her hart the memorie of Loue, which alreadie had taken to faste footinge, and would not be separated from the thing, which heauen himselfe seemed to haue prepared, for the perfection and glorie of his triumphe. Loue then constrayned her, to resolue vppon her laste determination. Then continuinge her talke, sighing without ceasing, she said: “Chaunce what may to the vttermost, I can but wander like a Vagabonde and fugitiue with mine owne Alerane (if hee will shew me so much pleasure to accept mee for his own): for sure I am, the Emperour wil neuer abide the mariage, which I haue promised: and sooner will I die, than another shall possesse that which Alerane alone deserueth: hauinge a long time vowed and dedicated the same vnto him. And afterwards let the vulgar sort blabbe what they liste of the bolde and foolishe enterprises of Adelasia, when my harte is contented and desire satisfied, and Alerane enioyeth her that loueth him more than her selfe. Loue verily is not liable to the fansie of the parentes, nor yet to the will euen of them that subiungate themselues to his lawes. And besides that I shall not 256 be alone amongest Princesses, that haue forsaken parentes and countries, to folow their loue into straunge regions. Faire Helena the Greeke, did not she abandon Menelaus her husbande and the rich citie of Sparta, to follow the faire Troian, Alexander sailing to Troie? Phedria and Ariadne, despised the delicates of Creta, lefte her father a very old man, to go with the Cecropian Theseus. None forced Medea the wise furious lady (but loue) to departe the isle of Colchos, her owne natiue countrey, wyth the Argonaute Iason. O good God, who can resist the force of loue, to whom so many kinges, so many Monarches, so many wise men of al ages haue done their homage? Surely the same is the onely cause that compelleth me (in makinge my selfe bolde) to forget my dutie towardes my parentes, and specially mine honour, which I shall leaue to be reasoned vpon by the ignoraunt which considereth nothing but that which is exteriourly offred to the viewe of the sighte. Ah: how much I deceiue my selfe, and make a reckeninge of much without mine hoste: and what know I if Alerane (although hee do loue me) will loose the good grace of the Emperour; and forsake his goods, and (so it maye bee) to hazard his life, to take so poore and miserable a woman as I am? Notwithstanding I wil proue fortune, death is the worst that can chaunce, which I wil accelerate rather than my desire shall loose his effecte.” Thus the fayre and wise Princesse concluded her vnhappie state: and all this time her best frende Alerane, remained in greate affliction, and felt such feare as cannot be expressed with woordes, onely true louers know the force, altogether like to that wherof the yong Prince had experience, and durst not discouer his euill to her, that was able to giue him her allegeaunce, much lesse to disclose it to any deare frende of his, into whose secrecie he was wont to commit the most parte of his cares, which was the cause that made him feele his hart to burne like a litle fier in the middes of a cleare riuer, and saw him selfe ouerwhelmed within the waters, hotter than those that be intermixed with Sulphure, and do euaporate and sende forth ardente smokes in an Æthna hill or Vesuue mountaine. The Princesse impaciente to endure so long, could no longer keepe secrete the flames hidden within her, without telling and vtteringe them to some, whom her minde liked best, and there to 257 render them wher she thought they toke their essense and beinge, casting away all shame and feare, which accustomablie doth associate Ladies of her estate and age. One day, she toke secretly aside, one that was her gouernesse named Radegonde, a gentlewoman, so vertuous, wise and sober, as anye other that was in the Emperour’s Courte, who for her approued manners and chaste life, had the charge of the bringing vppe and nourishing of Adelasia, from her infancie. To this gentlewoman then the amorous princesse deliberated to communicate her secretes, and to let her vnderstande her passion, that shee might find some remedie. And for that purpose they two retired alone within a closet, the poore louer tremblinge like a leafe (at the blaste of the westerne winde, when the Sunne beginneth to spread his beames) sighinge so strangely, as if her bodye and soule would haue departed, said thus: “The trust which euer I haue found in that naturall goodnes that appeareth to be in you, my mother and welbeloued Ladie, ioyned with discretion and fidelitie, wherwith all your actes and affayres be recommended, do presently assure me, and make me bolde in this my trouble, to participate vnto you my secretes, which be of greater importance without comparison, than anye that euer I tolde you, perswading my selfe that the thing which I shall tell you, whatsoeuer it be (be it good or ill) you will accept it in suche wyse, as your wysedome requireth, and to keepe it so close as the secrete of such a Ladie as I am doth deserue. And that I maye not holde you longe in doubte what it is, know ye, that of late the valor, prowesse, beautye, and curtesie, of Senior Alerane of Saxon, hath founde such place in my hart, as (in despite of my self) I am so in loue with him, that my life is not deare vnto me but for his sake, my hart taketh no pleasure but in his glorie and vertue, hauing chosen him so vertuous a Prince for my frend, and one day (by God’s sufferaunce) for my lawfull spouse and husband. I haue assaied a thousand meanes, and so many wayes, to cast him of and to blot him out of my remembraunce: but, alas! vnhappie caytife, fortune is so froward and so vnmercifull to my endeuour, as the more I labour and go aboute to extinguishe in me, the memorie of his name and commendable vertues, so much the more I do enlarge and augmente them, the flames of which loue do take 258 such increase, as I do litle or nothinge esteeme my life without the enioyinge the effecte of my desire, and the taste of suche licour, which nourishing my hope in pleasure, may quenche the fier that doth consume me: otherwise I see no meanes possible but that I am constrayned, either to lose my good wittes (whereof already I feele some alienation) or to ende my dayes with extreme anguishe, and insupportable hartes sorowe. Alas, I know well that I shall loose my time, if I attempt to pray the Emperour my father to giue me Alerane to husbande, sith he doth already practise a mariage betwene the king of Hungarie and me: and also that Alerane (although he be a Prince of so noble bloud and honourable house, as the Saxon is) yet he is to base to be sonne in lawe to an Emperour. In these my distresses, it is of you alone, of whom I looke for ayde and counsaile, beinge certaine of your prudence and good iudgement: and therefore I pray you to haue pitie vpon mee, and haue remorse vpon this immoderate passion that doth tormente mee beyonde measure.” Radegonde hearing Adelasia disclose this talke, wherof she would neuer haue thought, was so confounded and astoned, that of long time she could not speake a word, holding her head downe, reuoluing a thousand diuers matters in her minde, knewe not well what to aunswere the Princesse. Finally gatheringe her spirites vnto her, shee aunswered her with teares in her eyes, saying: “Alas, madame, what is that you saye? Is it possible that the wisest, vertuous, and most curteous Princesse of Europa could suffer herselfe in this sort (through her onely aduise) to be transported to her owne affections and sensuall appetites? Is it well doen that you seing in me, a discretion and modestie, doe not imitate the puritie thereof? Be these the godly admonicions which heretofore I haue giuen you, that you will so lightly defile your father’s house with the blot of infamie, and your self with eternal reproch? Would you, Madame, that vpon the ende of my yeares I should begin to betraye my Lord the Emperour, who hath committed to my hands the most precious iewell of his house? Shal I be so vnconstant in mine old dayes to become an vnshamefast minister of your fonde and foolishe loue, a thing which I neuer did in the ardent time of youth? Alas, madame, forget I beseech you this foolish order, cast vnder your feete this determination 259 wickedly begonne, such as to the blemishinge of the honourable brightnes of your fame, maye cause the ruine of vs all. Follow the counsell of your deare nourice Radegonde, whoe loueth you better than her owne soule. Quenche these noisome and parchinge flames which haue kindled, and throwen forth their sparkes into your chaste and tender harte. Take heede, I beseech you, that a vaine hope doe not deceiue you, and a foolishe desire abuse you. Alas, thincke that it is the parte of a sage and prudente minde, to restraine the first motions of euerye passion, and to resiste the rage that riseth in our willes, and the same very oft by succession of time, bringeth to it selfe to late and noysome repentance. This your thought procedeth not of loue: for hee that thincketh to sustain himselfe with venim sugred with that drogue, in the ende he seeth himselfe so desperately impoysoned, as onely death is the remedie for suche disease: a louer truly may be called the slaue of a tyrant most violent, cruell, and bloudie that may be found, whose yoke once put on, can not be put of, but with painful sorrowe and vnspeakeable displeasure. Do you not know Madame, that loue and follie be two passions so like one an other, that they engender like effectes in the minds of those that do possesse them: in such wise as the affection of the paciente cannot be concealed? Alas, what shall become of you and him that you loue so well, if the Emperour do know and perceiue your light and fond determinations. Shew Madame, for God’s sake, what you be. Let the ripe fruits of your prudence so long time tilled, appeare abrode to the worlde: expell from you this vnruled loue, which if you suffer frankly to enter into your hart, assure your selfe he wil take such holdfaste of the place, that when you thincke to extrude the enemie out, it is he that will driue away that small portion of force and reason that resteth in you: and then the comfort of your miseries, wil be the lamentation of your losses, and a folowing repentaunce for that which cannot be by any meanes recouered.” Adelasia burning in loue and fretting with anger, not able to abide contrarie replie to her minde, began to loke furiouslie vppon the Ladie that gave her suche holsome admonicion, to whom she said with more than womanly stoutnes, these words: “And what are you, good gentlewoman, that dare so hardly prescribe 260 lawes to Loue that is not subiect or tied vnto the fantasie of men? Who hath giuen you commission to take the matter so hote against that I haue determined to doe, say you what you can? No, no, I loue Alerane and wil loue him whatsoeuer come of it: and sithe I can haue none other helpe at your handes, or meete counselle for mine ease and comfort: be assured that I will endeauour to finde it in my selfe: and likewise to prouide so well as I can for mine affaires, that eschewing the alliaunce which the Emperour prepareth, I will liue at hartes ease with him, whom (in vaine) you go about to put out of my remembraunce: and if so be I chaunce to fayle of my purpose, I haue a medicine for my calamities which is death, the laste refuge of all miseries: which will be right pleasaunt vnto me, ending my life, in the contemplation and memorie of the sincere and perfecte loue that I beare to mine Alerane.” Radegonde no lesse abashed, than surprised with feare, hearinge the resolution of the Princesse, could not at the first make any aunswere, but to make her recourse to teares, the most familiar weapons that women haue. Then seing by the countenaunces of Adelasia, that the passion had set in foote to deepe for any to attempt to plucke oute the rootes, from that time forth shee wiped her eyes, not without euident demonstration (for all that) of her great griefe conceyued, with infinite sighes, turning her face to the Ladie, shee said to her with pleasaunter countenaunce than before: “Madame, sith your mishap is such as withoute Alerane you cannot bee quiet or pacifyed in minde, appease your plaintes, wipe awaye your teares, shew your countenaunce ioyful, and setting aside all care, put on good corage, and repose in mee all your anguishe and trouble. For I doe promise you and sweare by the fayth that I do owe you Madame, come whatsoeuer shall vnto me, I will deuise in practising your rest to beginne mine owne sorow. And then you shall see how much I am your frend, and that the words which I haue spoken do not proceede els where, but from the desire that I haue to doe you seruice, seeking al wayes possible your aduauncement.” Adelasia at these last words felt such a motion in her minde, as much a doe she had for the exceeding great ioy and pleasure she conceiued, to staie her soule from leapinge forth of that corporall 261 prison (like the spirite of that Romaine Ladie which once lefte the bodye to descende into the Elisien fields, to vse the perfection of her ioy with the blessed soules there, when she saw her sonne retorne safe and sounde from the battaile of Thrasimene besides the lake of Peruse, where the Consull Flaminius was ouercome by Hanniball): but in the ende, the hope to haue that which Radegonde had promised, made her to receiue hart againe, and to clepe her counseler, sayinge: “God forbid, deare mother, that the thing you do for me should rebound to your mishap or discontentmente, sithe the affection which you haue consisteth in the onely pitie and conseruation of a poore afflicted maiden. And your desire tendeth to the deliuerance of the most passionate Princesse that euer was borne of mother: and beleeue that fortune will bee so fauourable, that what mischiefe soeuer chaunce, you remayninge without paine, I shall be shee that alone shal beare the penaunce: wherefore once againe I beseech you, (sayd shee embracinge Radegonde) to bringe that to passe whereof you giue assured hope.” “Care not you Madame,” sayde Radegonde “I truste within a while to make you proue the effecte of my promise: and will cause you to speake vnto him whom you desire so muche: onely be meerye and forgette these straunge fashions, in tormentinge your selfe so muche before your maides, to the intente that, which hitherto hath bin kepte secrete, maye not be reueyled to your great shame and hinderaunce, and to the vtter ruine and ouerthrow of me.” During all this time, Alerane liued in despaire, and hardy cowardise, for although he saw the amorous gestes of Adelasia, yet he durst fixe no certain iudgement of his owne satisfaction, although his harte tolde him, that he was her onely fauoured friend, and promised him that, which almost he feared to thinke, whiche was to haue her one day for friend, if the name of spouse were refused. Thus tormented with ioye and displeasure, wandering betwene doubt and assuraunce of that he hoped, the selfe same daye that Adelasia pratised with Radegonde, for the obtaining of her ioye, and secrete ministerie of her loue, he entred alone into a garden, into whiche the Princesse chamber had prospect, and after he had walked there a good space in an Alley, viewing diligently the order of the fruitful trees of so 262 diuers sortes, as there be varietie of colours, within a faire meade, during the verdure of the spring time, and of so good and sauorours taste as the harte of man could wyshe: he repaired vnder a Laurel tree so well spred and adorned with leaues, about whiche tree you might haue seene an infinite number of Myrtle trees of smell odoriferous and sweete, of Oringe trees laden with vnripe fruite, of pliable Mastickes and tender Tameriskes: and there he fetched his walkes a long the thycke and greene herbes, beholding the varietie of floures, whiche decked and beautified the place, with their liuely and naturall colours. He then rauished in this contemplation, remembring her which was the pleasure and torment of his minde, in sighing wise began to saye: “O that the heauens be not propitious and fauourable to my indeuours: sithe that in the middes of my iolities, I fele a new pleasaunt displeasure, which doth adnihilate all other solace, but that which I receiue through the Image painted in my harte, of that diuine beautie, whiche is more varieted in perfection of pleasures, than this paradise and delicious place, in varietie of enamel and painting, although that nature and art of man, haue workemanlye trauailed to declare and set forth their knowledge and diligence. Ah, Adelasia, the fairest Lady of al faire and most excellent Princesse of the earth: is it not possible for me to feede so well of the viewe and contemplation of thy heauenly and angelicall face, as I doe of the sight of these faire and sundry coloured floures? may it not be brought to passe that I may smell that sweet breath which respireth through thy delicate mouth, being none other thing than Baulme, Muske, and aumbre, yea and that which is more precious, and for the raritie and valour hath no name, euen as I do smell the Roses, Pincks, and Violets, hanging ouer my head, frankely offering themselues into my handes? Ah, infortunate Alerane, there is no floure that ought to be so handled, nor sauor, the sweetnesse whereof ought not to bee sented without desert merited before. Ah! Loue, Loue, that thou hast fixed my minde vpon so high thinges: alas I feare an offence so daungerous, which in the ende will breede my death: and yet I can not withdrawe my harte from that sincke of Loue, although I would force my selfe to expell it from me: alas, I haue red of him so many times, and 263 haue heard talke of his force, as I am afraide to boorde him, and yet feare I shall not escape his gulfe. Alas, I knowe well it is he, of whom is engendred a litle mirth and laughing, after whiche doth followe a thousand teares and weapinges, which for a pleasure that passeth away so sone as the whirlewinde, doth giue vs ouer to great repentaunce, the sorowe whereof endureth a long time, and sometimes his bitternesse accompanieth vs euen to the graue. The pacientes that be tainted with that amorous feuer, although continually they dye, yet they can not wholy see and perceiue the default and lacke of their life, albeit they do wyshe and desire it still. But, alas, what mishap is this that I doe see the poyson whiche causeth my mischiefe, and doe knowe the waye to remedye the same, and yet neuerthelesse I can not or will not recouer the helpe: did euer man heare a thing so straunge as a sicke man seking helpe and fynding recouerie, should yet reiecte it?” Saying so, he wepte and syghed so piteously as a litle chylde threated by his mother the nourice. Then roming vp and downe vppon the grasse, he seemed rather to be a man straught and bounde with chaines, than like one that had his wittes and vnderstanding. Afterwardes being come againe to himselfe, hee retourned to his first talke, saying: “But what? am I more wyse, more constant and perfecte, than so many Emperours, kynges, Princes, and greate lordes, who notwithstanding their force, wisedome, or riches, haue bene tributarie to loue? The tamer and subduer of monsters and tyrants, Hercules (vanquished by the snares of loue), did not he handle the distaffe in stead of his mightie mace? The strong and inuincible Achilles, was not he sacrificed to the shadowe of Hector vnder the colour of loue, to celebrate holy mariage with Polixena, doughter to king Priamus? The great dictator Iulius Cæsar, the Conquerour of so many people, Armies, Captaines, and Kinges, was ouercome with the beautie and good grace of Cleopatra, Queene of Egipt. Augustus his successour, attired lyke a woman, by a yoeman of his chamber, did he not take away Liuia from him that was first maried vnto her? and that common enemy of man and of all curtesie, Claudius Nero, appeased yet some of his furie for the loue of his Ladie? What straunge things did the learned, wise, and vertuous Monarche Marcus Aurelius indure of his 264 well beloued Faustine? and that greate Captaine Marcus Antonius the very terror of the Romaine people and the feare of straung and barbarous nations did homage to the child Cupido for the beautie of Queene Cleopatra, which afterwardes was the cause of his vtter ouerthrow. But what meane I to alledge and remember the number of louers, being so infinite as they be? Wherefore haue the poetes in time past fained in their learned and deuine bookes the loues of Iupiter, Apollo, and Mars, but that euery man may knowe the force of loue to be so puissaunt as the Gods themselues have felt his force to be inuincible and ineuitable? Ah: if sometimes a gentleman be excused for abassing himself to loue a woman of base birth and bloud, why should I bee accused or apprehended for louing the daughter of the chiefest Prince of Europe? Is it for the greatnesse of her house and antiquitie of her race? Why, that is all one betwene vs twoo, and toke his original of the place, whereof at this daye, my father is the chiefe and principall. And admitte that Adelasia be the doughter of an emperour: ah, loue hath no regarde to persons, houses, or riches, rather is he of greater commendation whose enterpryses are most famous and haute gestes extende their flight farre of. Now resteth then to devise meanes how to make her vnderstand my payne: for I am assured that she loueth me, sauing that her honour and yong yeres doe let her to make it appeare more manifest: but it is my propre dutie to make requeste for the same, considering her merites and my small desertes in respect of her perfections. Ah: Alerane, thou must vnlose the tongue which so long time hath ben tied vp, through to much fonde and fearful shame. Set aside the feare of perill, whatsoeuer it be, for thou canst not employe thy selfe more gloriously than vpon the pursuit of suche a treasure that semeth to be reserued for the fame of thy mind so highly placed, which can not attaine greater perfections, except the heauens do frame in their impressions a second Adelasia (of whom I think dame nature her selfe hath broken the moulde) who can not shake of Alerane from the chiefest place, in whom he hath laid the foundation of his ioye that he hopeth to finde in Loue.” During these complaintes, Radegonde, that sawe him rauished in that extasie, coniecturing the cause of his being alone, caused him to be called 265 by a page: who hearing that, was surprised with a new feare intermixt with a secrete pleasure, knowing very well, that she being the gouernesse of his lady, vnderstode the greatest priuities of her harte, hoping also that she brought him gladsome newes, and setting a good chere vpon his face all mated and confused for troubles past, hee repayred to the lady messanger, who was no lesse ashamed, for the tale that she must tell, than he was afeard and dombe, by sight of her whom he thought did bring the areste and determination, either of ioye or of displeasure. After curtesie and welcoms done betwene them, the lady preambled a certayne short discourse touching the matter, to do the Saxone Prince to vnderstande the good will and harty loue of Adelasia towarde him, praying him that the same might not be discouered, sith the honor of his lady did consiste in the secrecie thereof, assuring him, that he was so in fauour with the Princesse as any true and faithfull louer could desire to be for his content. I leaue to your consideration, in what sodayne ioye Alerane was, hearing suche gladsome newes whiche he loked not for, and thought he was not able to render sufficient thankes to the messanger, and much lesse to extolle the beautie and curtesie of his Lady, who without any of his merites done before, (as he thought) had him in so good remembraunce. Beseching moreouer Radegonde, that she would in his name do humble commendations to his Lady, and therewith to confirme her in the assuraunce of his perfect good will, and immutable desire, euerlastingly at her commaundement, onely praying her that he might saye vnto Adelasia three wordes in secrete, to thintent shee might perceiue his harte, and see the affection wherewith he desired to obey her al the dais of his life. The messanger assured him of al that he required, and instructed him what he had to doe for the accomplishement of that he loked for, which was, that the next day at night she would cause him to come into her warderobe, which was adioyning to the Chamber of his Lady, to the ende that when her maydes were a bed, he might repaire to the place where he might easely visite his maistresse, and say vnto her what he thought good. The compact thus made, the Lady returned to the Princesse, that wayted with good deuotion for the newes of her beloued. And hearing the reporte of Radegonde, 266 shee was not contente that she should make repeticion of the same, twise or thrise but a Million of times and euen till nighte, that she slept vpon that thought with the greatest rest, that she had receiued in long time before. The morrowe at the houre that Alerane should come, Adelasia fayning her self to be ill at ease, caused her maydes to goe to bed, making her alone to tarie with her that was the messanger of her loue, who a litle while after went to seeke Alerane, whiche was a building of Castels in the ayre, fantasying a thousand deuises in his minde: what might befall of that enterprise he went about: notwithstanding he was so blinded in folly, as without measuring the fault which he committed, he thought vpon nothing but vppon the present pleasure, which semed to him so great as the chambre wherein hee was, seemed not sufficient to comprehend the glory of his good houre. But the Princesse on the other part, felte a maruellous trouble in her minde, and almoste repented that she had so hardely made Alerane to come into a place vndecent for her honour, and at a time so inconuenient. Howbeit seing that the stone was throwen, shee purposed not to pretermitte the occasion, which being balde can not easely be gotten againe if she be once let slip. And whiles she traueiled in these meditations and discoursed vppon that shee had to doe, Radegonde came in, leading Alerane by the hande, whom she presented to the Princesse, saying to her with a verie good grace: “Madame, I deliuer you this prysoner, whom euen nowe I founde here, betwene your chambre and that wherin your maydes lye: now consider what you haue to doe.” Alerane in the meane tyme, was fallen downe vpon his knees before his sainct, wholly bent to contemplate her excellent beautie and good grace, which made him as dumbe as an Image. Shee lykewyse beholding hym that made her thus to erre in her honestie, forced through shame and loue, could not forbeare to beholde him, the power of her mynde wholy transferred into her eyes, that then yelded contentation of her harte whiche shee so long desired. In the ende Alerane holding the handes of Adelasia many tymes did kisse them, then receiuing courage, he brake of that long silence and began to saye thus: “I neuer thought (madame) that the sight of a thing so long desired, had bene of such effect, as it 267 would haue rauished both the mynde and bodye of their propre duties and naturall actions, if nowe I had not proued it in beholding the diuinitie of your beautie moste excellent. And truely madame Radegonde dyd rightly terme this place here, my pryson, considering that of long tyme I haue partly loste this my libertie, of the whiche I feele nowe an intire alienation: of one thing sure I am, that being your prysoner as I am in deede, I may make my vaunt and boast, that I am lodged in the fairest and pleasauntest pryson that a man can wyshe and desire. For which cause Madame, be wel aduised how you do vse and entreate your captive and slaue, that humbly maketh petition vnto you, to haue pitie vpon his weakenesse, which he will accept as a grace vnspeakeable, if of your accustomed goodnesse it may please you to receiue him for your owne, for that henceforth hee voweth and consecrateth his life, goodes, and honour, to your commaundemente and seruice.” And saying so, his stomake panted with continuall sighes and from his eyes distilled a ryuer of teares, the better to expresse and declare the secret force, that made hym to vtter these woordes. Which was the cause that Adelasia embrasing hym very louingly made aunswere thus: “I knowe not (Lorde Alerane) what pryson that is, where the prisoner is in better case, than the pryson of whom he termeth himselfe to be the slaue, considering that I fele in me such a losse of my selfe, as I can not tell whether to go, or where to retire, but euen to him that craueth the same fredome, whereof I my selfe doe make requeste. Alas, my welbeloued Alerane, into what extremity am I brought: the very great loue that I beare you, forceth me to forget my dutie, and the ligneage wherof I come, yea and mine honor, which is more to bee estemed than all the reste. But I repose in you such affiance, as you will not deceiue so simple a Ladie as I am, vtterly voyde of guyle and deceit. Who, if you be tormented, liueth not without griefe and sorrowe altogether like vnto yours. If you doe sighe, I am wholly spent and consumed in teares. Do you desire reste? Alas: I wishe and craue the same vnto vs both, that be now sundred and deuided, whiche can not be aquired except they be vnited which before were wholly separated.” Radegonde interrupting their talke, smilingly said: “And how 268 can this separation be combined, where the parties them selues do liue in such disiunctions?” “You say true, madame,” saide Alerane, “for the perfection of vnitie consisteth in the knitting of that which is separated. Wherfore madame (sayd he to Adelasia) I humbly besech you, aswel for your comfort as my rest, not to suffer this diuision to be to long, sith the outward bound shall combine the same so inwardly, as very death shall not bee able hereafter to deface or diminishe the same.” “If I may assure my selfe,” sayde she, “of your fidelitie, it so may come to passe, as I wold giue you a very great libertie, but hearing tell so many times of the inconstancie and fickle trust of men, I will be contented with my first fault, without adding any further aggrauation, to fasten and binde that, which I do specially esteme.” “Alas, madame,” sayd Alerane, “doe you thinke that the prouf of my fidelitie may receiue greater perfection, by enioying the pleasure, that I hope for than it doth alredy? No, no, madame, and therefore be sure of my harte and stedfastnesse: for soner shall my body fayle, than defaulte in me to serue and honor you, if not according to the worthinesse of your estate, yet by al meanes, so farre as my power shal stretch. And can you finde in your hart to conceiue, that your Alerane would play the traitour with her, for whose seruice he feareth not to aduenture a thousand liues if God had geuen him so many?” Adelasia be sprent all with teares, was in an extasy or traunce. Which Alerane perceiuing and saw that Radegonde was gone into the warderobe, to suffer them to talke their fill, he began to take possession of her mouthe, redoubling kisse vpon kisse, sometimes washed with teares, sometime dried vp, with frequent vse thereof, leauing neither eye nor cheke vnkissed: and seing the pacience of his Ladye, he seased vpon her white, harde, and round breastes, whose pappes with sighes moued and remoued, yelding a certaine desire of Alerane to passe further. Which Adelasia perceiuing, dissembling a swete anger and such a chase as did rather accende the flames of the amorous Prince, than with moiste licour extinguishe the same, and making him to geue ouer the enterprise, she fiercely sayd unto him: “How now, (Sir Alerane) how dare you thus malapertly abuse this my secret frendship, in suffering you to come so frankely into my chamber. Thinke not that although I 269 haue vsed you thus familiarly, that I can be able to suffer you to attempt any further: for (if God be fauourable to conserue me in my right wittes) neuer man shal haue that aduauntage to gather the floure of my virginitie, but he with whom I shall be ioyned in mariage. Otherwyse I shall bee unworthy, bothe of my honourable state, and also of that man what soeuer he be, worthy of estimation and preferrement.” “So I thynke to Madame,” aunswered Alerane:for if it woulde please you to doe me that honour, to receiue me for your faythfull and loyall espouse, I sweare vnto you by him that seeth and heareth all thynges, that neuer any other shall bee maistresse of Alerane’s harte, but the fayre Princesse Adelasia.” She that asked no better, after mutche talke betwene them, in the ende condescended that Alerane should geue his faith to marrie her, and to conuey her out of the Courte, till the Emperour were appeased for their committed fault. Thus had the Saxon Prince, the full possession of his desires, and carried away the pray so long time sought for. Radegonde was she, that receiued the othes of their espousalles, and capitulated the articles of their secrete mariage. And after the determination made of their flying awaye, and a daye thereunto appointed, the two louers entred the campe, to make proufe by combate of their hardinesse and assaye of their trauayle in time to come, wherein they thought for euer to perseuere and continue. Beyng a bedde then together, they did consumate the bande that strayghtly doth bynde the harte of louers together, intiring the vnion diuided, whiche before they thought imperfect and could not be accomplished but by inward affections of the minde. And God knoweth howe this new maried couple vsed their mutuall contentation: but sure it is, that they continued together vntil the morning had vncouered from the night her darkenes, euen to the point of day, that Alerane was somoned by Radegonde to depart, who to conclude his former ioye, very louingly kissed his newe wife, and sayd vnto her: “Madame, the felicitie that I fele nowe, by enioying that which vniteth me so nerely being indissoluble and neuer hereafter to be broken, semeth so great that no perill whatsoeuer doth happen, can make me forget the least part of my ioye. So it is that seing the state of our present affaires, and fearing the daunger that may chaunce, I will for this time take my leaue of you, 270 and goe about to put the same in order, that no negligence may slacke your ioye and desired pleasure.” “Ah, sir,” (saith she) “that my harte forethinketh both the best and worste of our intended enterprise. But to the intent we may proue our fortune, by whose conduction we must passe, I doe submitte my selfe to the wisedome of your mynde, and to the good successe that hetherto hath accompaignied all your indeuours.” And then they kissed and embraced again, drinking vp one anothers teares, which distilled from them in such aboundaunce. Thus Alerane departed from his Ladies chamber, and went home to his owne house, where he solde all his goodes at small price, making men to vnderstand, that he would employ the money otherwise in things whereof he hoped to recouer greater gaine. With that money he bought precious stones, and pretie Iewels, that he might not be burdened with cariage of to much gold, or other money, and then he put his males and bougets in readinesse to go with his wife, either of them in the habite and apparell of pilgrimes, faire and softly a foote, that they might not be discouered: which was done in the night. The Princesse faining her selfe to be sicke, made her maydes to withdrawe themselues into their chamber, and then she went into the garden where Alerane firste made his plaintes, as you haue heard before: in whiche place her husbande taried for her. God knoweth whether they renewed their pastime begon the daye of their mariage, but fearing to be taken, they began to playe the comedie, the actes whereof were very long, and the scrolle of their miseries to prolixe to carie, before they came to the catastrope and ende of their comicall action. For leauing their sumptuous and riche apparell, they clothed themselves with pilgrims attire, taking the skallop shell and staffe, like to them that make their pilgrimage to S. Iames in Gallisia. The Princesse toke the personage of a yong wench, ruffling her heare whiche she had in time past so carefully kempt, curled, and trimmed with gold and Iewels of inestimable value, wherein consisteth the chiefest grace of the beautie and ornament of the woman. Who is able to deny, but that this naturall humour and passion, borne so sone as we, whiche they call Loue, is not a certayne essence and being, the force and vigor whereof, not able to abide comparison? Is it no small matter, that by the only instinction of loue’s force, the doughter of so great a Prince, as 271 the Emperour of the Romaines was, shoulde wander like a vagabonde in dissembled tire, and poorely cladde, to experiment and proue the long trauaile of iourneyes, the intemperature of the ayre, the hazarde to meete with so many theeues and murderers, which wayte in all places for poore passengers, and moreouer, to feele the bitternesse of trauayle, neuer tasted before, the rage of hunger, the intollerable alteration of thirst, the heate of hotte Sommer, the coldenesse of wynter’s yce, subiect to raines, and stormy blastes: doth it not plainely demonstrate that loue hath either a greater perfection, than other passions, or els that they which feele that alteration, be out of the number of reasonable men, endued with the brightnesse of that noble qualitie. This fayre Lady recouering the fields with her husband, with determination to take their flight into Italie, was more ioyfull, freshe, and lusty, than when she liued at ease amonges the delicates and pleasures, which she tasted in her father’s court. See howe fortune and loue are content to be blinde, closing vp the eyes of them, that followe their trace, and subdue themselues to their edictes, and vnstable dispositions. And truely this rage of loue was the only meane to dulcorate and make swete the bitter gal of griefe whiche those twoo louers felte, defatigated almoste with tedious trauaile, iudging their wearinesse a pastime and pleasure, being guided by that vnconstante captaine, whiche maketh dolts and fooles wyse men, emboldeneth the weake hearted and cowardes, fortifieth the feeble, and to be shorte, vntieth the pursses and bagges of couetous Carles and miserable Misers. Nowe whyles our faire pilgrimes, without any vowed deuocion, were abrode at their pleasures (beyng wery with the waye they had traueyled all nighte) the morrowe after their departure, all the Emperour’s house was in a great hurly burly and stirre for the absence of Adelasia. The wayting maydes cried out, and raged without measure, with such shrichinges, that the Emperour moued with pitie, although his griefe and anger was great, yet he caused euery place there aboutes to be searched and sought, but all that labour was in vaine. In the ende, perceiuing the absence of Alerane, suspected that it was he that had stolen away his fayre doughter, whiche brought him into such passion and frensie, as he was like to runne out of his wyttes and 272 transgresse the bondes of reason. “Ah, traytour,” sayd the good Prince, “is this the guerdon of good turnes, bestowed vpon thee, and of the honour thou hast receiued in my company? Do not thinke to escape scot free thus without the rigorous iustice of a father, deserued by disobedience, and of a Prince, against whom his subiect hath committed villany. If God geue me lyfe, I wyll take such order, as the posteritie shall take example by that iuste vengeaunce whiche I hope to take of thee (arrant theefe, and despoyler of my honor and consolation.) And thou vnkynde doughter shalte smartely feele the wrong done to thy kynde, and welbeloued father, who thought to prouide for thee, more honourably than thy disloyaltie and incontinencie, so farre as I see, doe merite and deserue, sythe that without my leaue, and respect of thy vocation, thou hast gotten thee a husband worthy of thy folly, with whom I hope to make thee vnderstand thy fault, and my displeasure whiche I receiue through thy shamefull acte, so reprochfull, specially in her which is the doughter of such a father as I am, descended of the moste royall race within the circuit of Europe.” Many other things the Emperour sayd, in great rage and furie: and in thend commaunded, that one should go into Saxone, to knowe if Alerane had conueied his stolen doughter thither: but he could bring no newes at all from thence. He assaied then if he could learne any tidinges of them by other meanes, causing by sound of Trumpet to be cried in all the townes confining that if any persone could bring him worde, or do him to vnderstande certaine and sure newes of those twoo fugitiues, he would geue them that, wherewith they should be contented all the daies of their life. But he wan so much by this thirde serche, as he did by the firste twoo. Whiche thing the Maiestie of God, semed to permit and suffer as wel for the happie successe that chaunced afterwardes, as for the punishing of the rashe enterprise of two louers, whiche liued not very long in prosperitie and ioy, but that they felte the hande of God, who sometime suffereth the faithfull to fall, to make him acknowledge his imbecillitie, to the ende he may confesse, that all health, sustenaunce, reste, and comfort, is to be attended and looked for at the handes of God. When Alerane and his Lady were gone out of a citie with in the Emperour’s lande called Hispourge 273 being come into a certaine wilde and desert place, they fell into the lapse of certaine theues, whiche stripped Alerane into his shirte, and had done as mutch to the poore princesse, if certaine Marchauntes had not come betwene, which forced the theues to flie. Alerane was succoured with some clothes to couer his bodie, and releued with a litle summe of money, which being spent, those twoo kinges children were constrained to begge, and aske for God’s sake reliefe to sustaine their infortunate life. Whiche distresse was so difficulte for Alerane to disgest, as he was like (standing vppon his feete) to die for sorrowe and want, not so mutch for the aduersitie whereunto he was brought through his owne fault, as the pitie that he toke vpon his deare beloued Lady, whome he sawe in so lamentable state, and knew that she might attaine her auncient dignitie and honour againe, if she listed to preferre rewarde or prise before his life, for which she spared not the very last drop of her bloud. She knowing the dolor and anguishe that her husband endured, comforted him very wisely with ioyfull countenaunce, saying: “Howe now, deare husband, thinke you that fortune is or ought to be still fauourable to Princes and greate Lordes? Do you not knowe that great bulkes and shippes do soner perishe and drowne in maine seas and riuers amiddes the raging waues and surges, than in narrow floudes and brookes, where the water is still and calme? Doe you not see great trees, whose toppes doe rise aloft, aboue high hilles and stepe mountaines, soner shaken and tossed with blustering windie blastes, than those that be planted, in fertile dales and low valleis? Haue you forgotten so many histories, by you perused and read with so great delight, when you were in the Emperour’s Court? Doe not they describe the chaunge of Monarches, the ruine of houses, the destruction of one realme acquired, by the establishing and raigne of an other? What Prince, Monarch or Captaine was euer so happy, as hath not felt some griefe and misfortune? Alas, sweete heart, thinke that God doth chastise vs with his roddes of tribulation, to make vs to know him: but in the meane time, he kepeth for vs a better fortune that wee looke not for. Moreouer he neuer forsaketh them which with a good heart do go vnto him, hauing their affiaunce in his great goodnesse and infinite mercie.” Alerane hearing the 274 wise talke of his wife, could not forbear weeping, and sighing aunswered her in this maner: “Ah, Lady, in beautie and wisedom incomparable, it is not the present fortune that causeth my minde to wander and straye from the siege of constancie, knowing well the qualities and number of fortune’s snares, and how ielous she is of humaine ioye and felicitie. I am not ignorant that she layeth her ambushes, and doeth beset the endeuours, soner of personages that bee noble and of highe parentage, than of those whose heartes be base and vnnoble, and their victories not able to attain any iote of honour and fame. But, good God, (saide he, embracing his deare beloued spouse) it is for you, madame, that I endure tormente, hauing made you to abandon the pompe of your estate, and bereued from you a king to be your husband, causing you thus to feele an horrible and new kinde of punishmente, hunger and famine (I meane) in the middes of the deserts and wilde places, and therewithall haue ioyned you in companie with an infortunate felowshippe, who in stead of comfort and solace, ministreth teares and sighes. O God, most high and puissant, howe profounde and darke are thy iudgementes, and howe righteous is thy iustice. I acknowledge mine offence to be the cause of thyne anger, and the originall of our trespasse, and that this paine chauncheth to vs for our sinnes, which haue so wickedly betraied the best Prince of the world, and forsaken the companie of him, at whose bountifull handes I haue receiued better entertainement and greater honour, than I deserued. Ah, Emperour Otho, that thou art so well reuenged nowe, with cowardly fraude and deceipt committed against thee by Alerane of Saxone, taking away her from thee, which was the staffe and future staye of thy reuerend age.” And as he was perseuering in this talke, Adelasia (seeing him in that contemplation) plucked him by the arme, saying: “Sir, it is time to consider our own affaires: we haue trauailed I can not tell howe farre without rest, me think (our fortune being no better) that we ought to remaine in some place attending for the grace and mercy of God, who (I hope) wil not forsake vs.They were then in Liguria in the desarts, betweene Ast and Sauonne, a countrie in that time well peopled, and furnished with huge and darke forestes, garnished with many trees, great and highe. By the 275 aduise then of Adelasia, the Saxone Prince forced by necessitie (the maistresse of all artes) retired into those forestes where he practised the occupation of a Collier, and some said that nature taught him the order howe to cutte his woode, to make readie his pittes, and to knowe the season and tyme when his coales were burned enough. Great paines he susteined about his businesse, and went himself to sell his coales, which he bare vpon his shoulders, to the next market townes, tyll he had gayned so mutche as bought him an asse, wherewith he dayly trauailed to vtter his coales, and other deuises which neede had forced him to learne. In this time Adelasia was deliuered of a goodly child, whom they named William. And afterwards, by succession of time, she bare sixe sonnes more. For they dwelt almost XVIII. or XX. yeares in that poore and miserable life, and had dressed vp a litle lodging within a caue, that was faire and brode, wherein verye trimly and well they had bestowed themselues. When the eldest of their sonnes was growen to the stature of a pretie stripling, the father sent him sometime to Sauonne, and sometime to Ast, to sell their litle merchandise, for reliefe of their houshold. But the boy, whose bloud could not conceale and hide the nobilitie of his birth, hauing one day sold certaine burdens and loades of woode and coale: bought with that money a faire yong hauke, which he caried vnto his father. The good man gently rebuked his sonne, and said, that suche game belonged not to men of their degree, and that they had muche a do to liue, without employing their money vppon such trifles. Long time after, William being arriued to the age of XVI yeares, went to Sauonne, to sell certaine ware by his father’s commaundement, and with the money he bought a very fayre sword, which when his father saw, with teares in his eyes, he went aside and said to himselfe: “Ah vnfortunate ladde, that thy hard lucke should do thee this great wrong: truely neither the pouertie of thy parentes, nor the place of thy bringinge vp, can deface in thee the secrete shining brightnes of thine auncestors vertue, nor the prediction of thy courage and manhode in time to come, if God giue the grace to aduaunce thee, to the seruice of some noble Prince.” Notwithstanding for that time he ceassed not sharply to rebuke and threaten his sonne, in such wyse as the yong man hauing a 276 harte greater than his force, determined secretly to depart from his parentes. Now fortune chaunced so wel and apt for his purpose as then and at the verye same time, the Hongarians were entred Italye to spoile and robbe the countrie, against whom the Emperour marched in greate expedicion, with an huge and goodly armie, of purpose to force them to leaue his lande in peace. William hauinge knowledge hereof, proceeded towarde the Emperour’s campe, where hee shewed in deede great hope (being of so smal yeares) of his future valiaunce and prowesse, by the deedes of armes that hee did, during that warre. Which ended and the enemie put to flighte, the Emperour wente into Prouance, to put in order his affaires in his realme of Arles, which then was subiecte to the Empire. Afterwards he retired into Italy with deliberation to seiorne at Sauonne for a certaine time, which displeased William nothing at all, because he should remaine harde by his parentes, who were very carefull for his well doing, vtterly ignoraunt where he was become. And notwithstanding a hope (what I knowe not) made them expect of their sonne som good fortune in time to come, who was now grown great and of goodly perfection, one of the most valiaunt souldiours that were in the wages and seruice of his Maiestie. Which very brauely he declared in a combate, that he fought man to man with an Almaine souldiour, that was hardy, big made, and feared of all men, whom neuerthelesse he ouercame in the presence of the Emperor his graundfather. Who, I know not by what natural inclination, daily fixed his eye vpon that yong champion, and began to bear him more good will than anye other in his courte, which was an occasion, that an auncient gentleman, serving in the Princes Courte, stedfastly beholding the face, behauiour and countenaunce of William, seemed to see a picture of the Emperour when he was of his age, which was more exactlye viewed by diuers other, that were broughte vp in their youth with Otho. Wherof being aduertised, he caused the yong man to be called forth, of whom he demaunded the names of his parentes, and the place where hee was borne. William that was no lesse curteous, humble and welmanered, than wise, valiant and hardie, kneeled before the Emperour with a stoute countenaunce, resemblinge the nobilitie of his auncestours, answered: “Most sacred and renowmed 277 Emperour, I haue nothinge whereof to render thanckes to fortune, but for the honour that your Maiestie hath done vnto me, to receiue mee into your noble seruice. For the fortune and condition of my parentes, be so base, that I blushe for shame to declare them vnto you. Howbeit being your humble seruaunte, and hauing receiued fauour of your maiestie, not commonly emploied, your commaundement to tell you what I am, I will accomplish as well for my bounden dutie, wherewith I am tied to your maiestie, and to satisfie that which it pleaseth you to commaund me. Be it knowen therefore vnto your maiestie, that I am the sonne of two poore Almaines, who flying their owne countrie, withdrew themselues into the desarts of Sauonne, where (to beguile their hard fortune) they make coals, and sel them, to sustaine and relieue their miserable life: In which exercise I spent all my childhod, although it were to my great sorowe. For my hart thought (Sir) that a state so vile, was vnworthy of my coragious minde, which dailye aspired to greater thinges, and leauing my father and mother, I am come to your seruice, to learne chiualry and vse of armes, and (mine obedience saued to your maiestie) to find a way to illustrate the base and obscure education, wherein my parents haue brought me vp.” The Emperour seinge the courteous behauiour of the yonge man, by this wise aunswere, remembring the similitude of his face, which almoste resembled them both, suspected that he was the sonne of Alerane and his doughter Adelasia, whoe for feare to be knowen, made themselues citizens of those desertes, albeit that William had told him other names, and not the proper appellations of his father and mother. For which cause his hart began to throbbe, and felte a desire to see his doughter, and to cherishe her with like affection, as thoughe he had neuer conceiued offence and displeasure. He caused then to be called vnto him a gentleman, the nere kinsmanne of Alerane, to whom he said with merie countenaunce and ioyful cheere: “You do know as I thincke, the wrong and displeasure that your cosin Alerane hath done me, by the rape and robberie committed vppon the person of my doughter: you are not ignoraunt also of the reproch wherwith he hath defiled all your house, committed a felonie so abhominable in my courte, and againste mine owne person, which am his so 278 soueraigne Lorde. Notwithstanding, sith it is the force of Loue, that made me forget him till this time, rather than desire of displeasure, I am very desirous to see him, and to accepte him for my sonne in lawe, and good kinsman, verye willing to aduaunce him to that estate in my house, which his degree and bloud do deserue. I tell you not this without speciall purpose. For this yong souldiour, which this daye so valiantly and with such dexteritie vanquished hys aduersary, by the consente of all men, which haue knowen me from my youth, doth represente so well my figure and lineamentes of face, which I had when I was of his age, as I am persuaded, and do stedfastly beleeue, that he is my neuew, the sonne of your cosin Alerane and my doughter Adelasia. And therefore I will haue you to goe with this yonge man, into the place where hee shall bring you, and to see them that be his parents, because I purpose to do them good, if they be other than those whom I take them. But if they be those two that I so greatly desire to see, doe mee so much pleasure as I may satisfie my hart with that contentation, swearing vnto you by the crowne of my Empire, that I will do no worse to them, nor otherwise vse them, than mine own proper person.” The gentleman hearing the louing and gentle tearmes of the Emperour, saide vnto him: “Ah, Sir, I render humble thankes vnto your maiestie, for the pitie that you haue, vpon our dishonored race and ligneage of Saxone, dedecorated and blemished throughe Alerane’s trespasse against you. I pray to God to recompence it (we being vnable) and to giue you the ioye that you desire, and to mee the grace that I may do some agreeable seruice both in this and in all other things. I am readie (Sir) not onely to go seeke my cosin (if it be he that you thincke it is) to carie vnto him those beneficiall newes which your maiestie hath promised by word, but rather to render him into your hands, that you may take reuengement vppon him for the iniurie that he hath done to the whole Empire.” “No, no,” said the Emperour, “the desired time of reuenge is paste, and my mallice against Alerane hath vomited his gall. If in time paste I haue thristed to pursue the ruine and ouerthrowe of those two offenders, nowe I goe about to forsee and seeke their aduauncement and quiet, considering the longe penaunce they haue taken for their fault, and 279 the fruite that I see before mine eyes, which is such that it maye by the smell and fragrant odour thereof, supporte the weaknesse and debilitie of my olde yeares, and constraineth mee (by the vertue thereof) to haue pittie vpon his parents, which (through their owne ouerthrowe) haue almost vtterly consumed me.” Those words ended the good Prince gaue euident testimonie of desire to see his onely doughter, by the liuely colour that rose in his face, and by certaine teares running downe along his hoare and frostie beard. Then he caused William to come before him, and commaunded him to conduct the gentleman to that part of the forest where his father dwelled. Whereunto the yonge man readily and with all his harte obeyed. Thus the Lorde Gunforde (for so was Alerane’s cosin called) accompanied with his litle cosin, and manye other gentlemen, went toward the place, wher the collier princes remained. And when they were neere the craggie caue, the lodging of Alerane, the whole companie lighted of their horse, and espied him busie about the lading of his coales to sende to Ast. For the arriuall of the Emperour to Sauonne, staied Alerane from going thither himselfe, by reason his conscience still grudged for his fault committed against him. Alerane seing this goodly companie, was abashed, as though hornes had sodenly started out of his head, and yet the sighte of his sonne richly furnished, and in the company of Gunfort his cosin, did more astonne him. For he suspected incontinentlye that hee was discouered, and that the Emperour had sente for him to be reuenged of the faulte so long time paste committed. And as he had imagined diuers thinges vppon his harde fortune within his fancie, his sonne came to embrace him vppon his knees, and to kisse his hands, with an honest and humble reuerence, saying to Gunfort: “Sir, this is he of whom I told the Emperour, and of him I toke my being: This is my father.” All this while the good father embraced his sonne very hard, and weeping for extreme ioy, said vnto him: “Alas, my sonne, if thy comming be so happie vnto mee as it is ioyfull, if thy newes be good and prosperous, which thou bringest: thou doest reuiue thy father half deade, and from lamentable despaire thou doest replenishe and fill him with suche hope, as one day shall be the staie of his age, and the recouery of his greatest losses.” 280 The sonne not able to abide the discourse of his parents affaires, could not comprehend any thing at that pitiful meting: but stode stil so astonned, as though he had bin fallen from the clouds. Now during this time, that the father and the sonne thus welcomed one an other: Gunfort toke heede to al the countenaunce and gestures of Alerane. There was no part of the collier’s bodie that he forgat to view: and yet remembring the voyce of his cosin, and seing a wound that he had in his face, was sure that it was hee. And then with his armes stretched forth he came to clepe Alerane about the necke, whom he made to loke redde with his warme teares, saying: “Ah: Alerane, the present torment now, but in time past, the pleasaunce rest, of oure race. What eclipse hath so longe obscured the shining sunne of thy valiaunt prowesse? why haste thou concealed so longe time, thy place of retire from him, which desired so much thine aduauncement? Hast thou the harte to see the teares of thy cosin Gunfort running downe from his eies vppon thy necke, and his armes embracinge thee with such loue and amitie, as he cannot receiue the like, except he be something moued by thee, in seing thy louing entertainment? Wilt thou denie that, which I knowe, by a certaine instinct and naturall agreement, which is, that thou art Alerane the sonne of the Duke of Saxone, and so renowmed throughout all Germany? Doest thou pretende (throughe thine owne misfortune so rooted in thy harte by liuinge in these wildernesse) to depriue thy sonne of the honor, which the heauens and his good fortune haue prepared for him? Ah cruel and pitilesse father, to suffer thy progenie to be buried in the tombe of obliuion, with eternall reproche. O vnkinde kinsman toward thy kindred, of whom thou makest so small accompte, that wilt not vouchsafe to speake to thy cosin Gunfort, that is com hither for thy comfort, and the aduauncement of thy familie.” Alerane sore ashamed, as well for the remembrance of his auncient fault, as to see himselfe in so poore estate before the emperour’s gallants, answered Gunfort, saying: “My Lord and cosin, I beseech you to beleeue, that want of desire to make my complaint vnto you, and lacke of curtesie to entertaine you, haue not made me to forget my dutie towardes you, being as well my neare kinseman, as such one to whom I haue done wrong and very great iniurie 281 by offending the Emperour. But you do knowe of what puissance the prickes of conscience bee, and with what worme she gnaweth the harte of them, which feele themselves culpable of crime. I am (as you saide) the present missehap of our house, for the opinion that the Emperour hath conceiued of my folly, and shal be the rest (if you wil do me so much pleasure to rid me out of this miserable life) both of you and of the minde of a father iustly displeased against his doughter, and the quiet of a Prince offended with his subiecte: for I sweare vnto you by my fayth, that I neuer soe much desired life, as I nowe do couet death, for that I am assured, that I being deade, my poore companion and welbeloued wife, shall liue at her ease, enioyinge the presence and good grace of her father.” “What meane you so to saye,” answered Gunfort, “the Emperour is so well pleased and appeased, as he hath sworne vnto mee to receiue you as his sonne in law, and my Lady your wife as his deare beloued doughter, whom I pray you to cause to come before vs, or to signifie vnto vs where shee is, that I may doe reuerence unto her as to my Princesse and soueraigne Ladie.” William was all amased, and almost besides himselfe, hearing this discourse, and thought hee was either in a dreame or els inchaunted, till that Alerane called his wife by her proper name, who was so appalled to hear the word of Adelasia, that her hart was sodainly attached with terror and feare, when she saw so great a company about her husband: and then her sonne came to doe his dutie, not as to his mother onely, but as to the doughter of an Emperour, and the wife of a Prince of Saxon. She againe embraced and kissed him, although shee was surprised with feare and shame, and so moued with that sodaine sighte, as she had much a doe to keepe herselfe from fainting and falling downe betweene the armes of her sonne, and thought that she had passed the place where Gunfort was, who going towarde her, after his reuerence and deutie done, made her vnderstand the charge hee had, and the good will of the Emperour, which determined to receiue her againe with so good order and entertainement as might be deuised. Which earnest words made them to resolue vppon the proufe of fortune, and to credite the promises that Gunfort made them in the Emperour’s behalfe. 282 Thus they forsoke the Caue, their Coales and fornaces, to reenter their former delightes and pleasures. That nighte they lodged at a village not farre from the foreste, where they tarried certaine dayes, to make apparell for these straunge Princes, and so wel as they could to adorne and furnish Adelasia, (who being of the age almost of XXXIV. or XXXV. yeares, yet manifested some part of the perfection of that deuine beautie, and modest grauitie, which once made her marueilous and singuler aboue all them that liued in her dayes.) In the time that this royle company had furnished and prepared themselues in readinesse, Gunfort sente a gentleman of that troupe toward the Emperour, to aduertise him of the successe of their iourney. Wherof he was exceeding ioyful, and attended for the comming of his children, with purpose to entertaine them in louing and honourable wise. When all thinges were in readinesse and the traine of Adelasia in good order, according to the worthines of the house whereof she came, they rode toward Sauonne, which iourney seemed to them but a sport, for the pleasure mixte with compassion that eche man conceiued, in the discourse that Alerane made vpon his misfortunes and chaunces, as well in his iourneis, as of his abode and continuaunce in the desarts. Which William calling to remembraunce, praised God, and yelded him thanckes for that it had pleased him to inspire into his minde, the forsaking of his parentes, considering that the same onely fault, was the cause of their restitution, and of his aduauncement and glorie, being the sonne of such a father, and the neuew of so great a Monarche. The fame of whose name made all men quake and tremble, and who then had commaunded all the troupe of the Gentlemen of his Court, to go and seeke the forlorne louers, so long time lost and vnknowen. To be short, their entrie into Sauonne, was so royal and triumphant, as if the Emperor himself would haue receiued the honour of such estate, and pompe. Which he commaunded to be done as well for the ioy that he had recouered the thing, which he accompted lost, as to declare and acknowledge to euery wight, that vertue cannot make herselfe better knowen: than at that time, when the actions and deedes of great personages be semblable in raritie and excellencie to their nobilitie. For a Prince is of greater dignitie and admiration than he commonly 283 sheweth himselfe, which can neuer enter into the heade of the popular sort, who waie the affections of other with the balance of their owne rude and beastly fansies. As the Greeke poet Euripides in his tragedie of Medea, doth say:

Ill luck and chaunce thou must of force endure,

Fortune’s fickle stay needs thou must sustaine:

To grudge therat it booteth not at all,

Before it come the witty wise be sure:

By wisedom’s lore, and counsell not in vaine,

To shun and eke auoyde. The whirling ball,

Of fortune’s threates, the sage may well rebound

By good foresight, before it light on ground.

The Emperour then hauing forgotten, or wisely dissembling that which he could not amende, met his doughter and sonne in lawe at the Palace gate, with so pleasaunt cheere and ioyfull countenance, as the like long time before he did not vse. Where Alerane and Adelasia being light of from their horse, came to kisse his handes (and both vppon their knees) began to frame an oration for excuse of their fault, and to pray pardon of his maiestie. The good Prince rauished with ioy, and satisfied with repentaunce, stopped their mouthes with sweete kisses and hard embracings. “O happie ill time (said he) and sorowful ioy, which now bringeth to me a pleasure more great than euer was my heauy displeasure. From whence commeth this my pleasaunt ioye? O wel deuised flight, by the which I gaine that (by preseruinge my losse once made and committed) which I neuer had: if I may say so, considering the ornament of my house, and quietnesse of my life.” And saying so, hee kissed and embraced his litle neuewes, and was loth that Adelasia should make rehersall of other talke but of mirthe and pleasure. “For (said he) it sufficeth me that I haue ouerpassed and spent the greatest part of my life in heauinesse, vtterly vnwilling to renewe olde sores and wounds.” Thus the mariage begon, vnknowen and againste the Emperour’s will, was consummate and celebrated with great pompe and magnificence, by his owne commaundement, in the Citie of Sauonne, where he made sir William knight, with his 284 owne hand. Many goodly factes at the tourney and tilte were done and atchieued, whereat William almost euery day bare away the prise and victorie, to the great pleasure of his father and contentacion of his graundfather, who then made him marques of Monferrat. To the second sonne of Alerane, he gaue the Marquisat of Sauonne, with all the appurtenances and iurisdictions adioyning, of whom be descended the Marqueses of Caretto. The third he made Marques of Saluce, the race of whom is to this daye of good fame and nobilitie. Of the fourth sonne sprange out the original of the house of Cera. The fifte was Marques of Incise, whose name and progeny liueth to this daye. The sixt sonne did gouerne Pouzon. The seuenth was established Senior of Bosco, vnder the name and title of Marques. And Alerane was made and constituted ouerseer of the goods and dominions of his children, and the Emperor’s Lieutenaunt of his possessions which he had in Liguria. Thus the emperoure by moderatinge his passion vanquished himselfe, and gaue example to the posteritie to pursue the offence before it do take roote: but when the thinge cannot be corrected, to vse modestie and mercie which maketh kinges to liue in peace, and their Empire in assuraunce. Hauinge taken order with all his affayres in Italye, hee tooke leaue of his doughter and children, and retired into Almaine. And Alerane liued honourably amonges his people, was beloued of his father in lawe, and in good reputacion and fame, arriued to old yeares, still remembring that aduersitie oughte not to bring us to dispaire, nor prosperitie to insolencie or ill behauiour, and contempt of thinges that seeme small and base, sithe there is nothing vnder the heauens that is stable and sure. For he that of late was great and made all men to stoupe before him, is become altogether such a one as though he had never beene, and the poore humble man aduaunced to that estate, from whence the firste did fall and was deposed, makinge lawes sometimes for him, vnder whom he liued a subiect. And behold of what force the prouidence of God is, and what poise his balance doth containe, and how blame worthy they be that referre the effectes of that deuine counsel to the inconstant and mutable reuolucion of fortune that is blinde and vncertaine.



The Duchesse of Sauoie, being the kinge of England’s sister, was in the Duke her husbandes absence, vniustlye accused of adulterie, by a noble man, his Lieutenaunte: and shoulde haue beene put to death, if by the prowesse and valiaunt combate of Don Iohn di Mendozza, (a gentleman of Spaine) she had not beene deliuered. With a discourse of maruelous accidentes, touchinge the same, to the singuler praise and commendation of chaste and honest Ladies.

Loue commonly is counted the greatest passion amongs all the most greuous, that ordinarily do assault the sprites of men, which after it hath once taken hold of anye gentle subiecte, followeth the nature of the corrupt humour, in those that haue a feauer, which taking his beginning at the harte, desperseth it selfe incurablye, through all the other sensible partes of the bodie: whereof this present historie giueth vs amplie to vnderstand, being no lesse maruelous than true. Those that haue read the aunciente histories and chronicles of Spaine, haue sene in diuers places the occasion of the cruell ennimitie which raigned by the space of XL. yeares, betweene the houses of Mendozza and Tolledo, families not onely righte noble and aunciente, but also most aboundante in riches, subiectes and seignories of all the whole realme. It happened one day that their armies being redie to ioyne in battaile, the Lord Iohn of Mendozza chief of his armie, a man much commended by al histories, had a widow to his sister, a very deuout Lady, who after she vnderstode the heauie newes of that battaile, falling downe vppon her knees, praied God incessauntly, that it would please him to reconcile the two families together, and to make an ende of so manye mischiefes. And as she vnderstode that they were in the chiefest of the conflicte, and that there were a greate nomber slaine on both partes, she made a vow to God, that if her brother retorned victorious from that enterprise, she would make a voyage to Rome on foote. The ouerthrowe fell (after much bloudshead vpon them of Tolledo. Mendozza brought away the victorie, with the lesse losse of his people. Wherof Isabell aduertised, declared vnto her brother the vow that she had made. 286 Which seemed very straung vnto him, specially how she durst enterprise so longe a voyage on foote, and thoughte to turne her purpose, howbeit she was so importunate vppon him, as in the ende hee gaue her leaue, with charge that she should go wel accompanied and by small iourneis, for respect of her health. The Ladie Isabell being departed from Spaine, hauing trauersed the mountaines Pirenees, passed by Fraunce, went ouer the Alpes, and came to Thurin, where the Duke of Sauoye had then for wyfe, a sister of the kinge of Englande, whoe was bruted to be the fairest creature of the weste partes of the world. For this cause the Lady Isabel desired greatly in passing by to see her, to know whether truth did aunswere the great renowne of her beauty. Wherein she had fortune so fauourable, that entring into Thurin, she found the Duchesse vpon her Coche, goinge abroade to take the ayre of the fields: which the Lady Isabell vnderstandinge, stayde to behold her, being by fortune at that present at the doore of her Coche. And then with great admiration, considering the wonderfull beautie of that princesse, iudging her the chiefest of beautie of al those that she had euer seene, she spake somewhat loude in the Spanish tongue, to those of her companie, in this maner: “If God woulde haue permitted that my brother and this Princesse might haue married together, euery man might well haue said, that there had bin mette the moste excellente couple for perfection of beautie, that were to be found in all Europa.” And her wordes in deede were true: for the Lord Mendozza was euen one of the fairest knightes that in his time was to be found in all Spaine. The Duchesse whoe vnderstoode the Spanishe tongue very well, passing forth, behelde all that companie: and fayninge as thoughe shee had not vnderstande those woordes, thoughte that shee surely was some greate Lady. Wherefore when shee was a litle paste her, she saide to one of her pages: “Marke whether that ladye and her companye go to their lodging, and say vnto her, that I desire her, (at my returne) to come and see mee at my Castell.” Which the page did. So the Duchesse walking a long the riuer of Poo, mused vppon the words spoken by the Spanishe Ladye, which made her not longe to tarie there, but toke the waye backe againe to her Castel, where being arriued, she founde the Lady Isabell, 287 who at the Duchesse request, attended her with her company: and after dutiful reuerence, the Duchesse with like gratulacion, receiued her very courteouslie, taking her a part, and demaunding her of what prouince of Spaine shee was, of what house, and what fortune had brought her into that place. And then the Lady Isabell made her to vnderstand, from the beginninge, the occasion of her long voyage, and of what house she was: the duchesse vnderstanding her nobilitie, excused her selfe, for that shee had not done her that honour which shee deserved, imputinge the faulte vpon the ignorance of her estate. And after diuers other curteous communications the Duchesse pressed her to know whereunto the wordes tended that shee had spoken of her, and of the beautie of her brother. The Spanishe lady somewhat abashed, saide vnto her: “Madame, if I had knowen so much of your skill in our tongue, as now I do, I would haue beene better aduised before I had soe exalted the beautie of my brother, whose praise had beene more commendable in the mouth of another: yet thus much I dare affirme (without affection be it spoken), as they that know him can report, that hee is one of the comliest Gentlemen that Spaine hath bredde these twenty yeares. But of that which I haue saide touching your beautie, if I haue offended, muche a doe shall I haue to get the same pardoned, because I cannot repent mee, nor say otherwise, except I should speake contrary to truth. And that durste I enterprise to be verified by yourselfe, if it were possible that nature for one quarter of one houre onelye had transported into some other that which with right great wonder she sheweth to be in you.” Wherunto the Duchesse to the ende shee woulde seeme to excuse her prayse, aunswered with a litle bashfulnes, which beautified much her liuely colour, saying: “Madame if you continue in these termes, you will constraine me to thincke, that by chaunging of place you haue also chaunged your iudgemente: for I am one of the leaste to be commended for beauty of all this lande, or els I will beleeue that you haue the beautie and valour of my Lorde your brother soe printed in your minde, as all that whiche presenteth it selfe vnto you, hauinge anye apparaunce of beautie, you measure by the perfection of his.” And at that instante the Ladie Isabell, whoe 288 thoughte that the duchesse had taken in euill parte the comparison that she had made betweene her brother and her, somwhat in choler and heate, said vnto her: “Madame, you shall pardon mee for that I haue so much forgotten my selfe, to presume to compare your beautie to his: whereof if he be to be commended, yet I maye well be blamed, being his sister, to publishe the same in an vnknowen place: notwithstanding, I am wel assured, that when you shall speake, euen with his enemies, that yet besides his beautie, they will well assure him to be one of the gentlest and best condicioned gentlemen that liueth.” The Duchesse seinge her in these alterations, and so affected to the praise of her brother, toke great pleasure in her speach, and willingly woulde haue had her to passe further, had it not bin for feare to offende her, and to put her in a choler. And to thintent to turne her from that matter, she commaunded the table to be couered for supper, where she caused her to be serued honourably of all the most delicate and most exquisite meates that were possible to be gotten. Supper done, and the tables vncouered, after they had a little talked together, and that it was time to withdrawe themselues, the Duchesse the more to honor her, would that she should lodge in her chamber with her, where the pilgrime (wearied with the way) toke very good rest. But the Duchesse pricked with the strange talke of the Lady Isabell, hauing a hammer working in her head, could not sleepe. And had so wel the beauty of the unknowen knight graued in the bottom of her hart, as thinking to close her eyes, she thought that he flew continuallye before her like a certaine fansie or shadowe. In sorte, that to know further what he was, she would gladly haue made greater inquirie. Then sodainlye after a little shame and feare intermingled with a certain womanhoode longe obserued by her, and therewithall the fidelitie which shee bare to the Duke her husbande, presentinge it selfe before her, shee buried altogether her first counsell which died and tooke ende, euen so sone almoste as it was borne. And so tossed with an infinite number of diuers thoughtes passed the night, vntill the daye beginning to lighten the world with his burning lampe, constrained her to ryse. And then the Lady Isabel, ready to departe, went to take leaue of the Duchesse, who willingly 289 would haue wished that she had neuer sene her, for the newe flame that she felt at her harte. Neuerthelesse, dissembling her euill, not able to holde her any longer, made her to promise by othe, at her retourne from her voyage, to repasse by Thurin, and after she had made her a very liberall offer of her goodes, taking her leaue, she left her to the tuicion of God. Certaine dayes after the departing of the Spanish lady, the Duchesse thinking to quenche this new fier, the same began further to flame, and the more that hope failed her, the more did desire encrease in her. And after an infinite number of sundrie cogitacions, Loue got the victorie. And she resolued with her selfe in the ende, whatsoeuer might come thereof, to communicate her cause to one of her beloued damsels called Emilia, and to haue her aduise, in whom she wonted to repose her trust in all her secrete affaires, and causing her to be called for secretely, she said vnto her: “Emilia, I beleue that if thou hast taken any good heede to my auncient maner of behauiour, euer since I departed from England, thou haste knowen me to be the very ramper and refuge of all afflicted persons. But now my destenies be turned contrarie. For I haue nowe more neede of counsel than any other liuing creature, and hauing no person about me worthy to be priuie of my misfortune, but thou, my first and last refuge is to thee alone: of whom I hope to receiue consolation in a matter whiche toucheth me no lesse than my life and honour.” And then the Duchesse declared vnto her priuily, how since the departing of the Lady Isabell she had had no reste in her minde, and how she was enamoured of a knight whome she neuer sawe, whose beautie and good grace had touched her so nere, as being altogether vnable any longer to resiste her mishap, she knew not to whom to haue recourse, but to the fidelitie of her counsell: adding thereunto for conclusion, that she loued him not dishonestly, or for hope she had to satisfie any lasciuious appetite, but onely to haue a sight of him: whiche (as shee thought) would bring unto her such contentation, as ther by her grief shoulde take ende. Emilia who euer loued her maistresse as she did her owne heart, had great compassion vpon her, when she vnderstode the light foundation of her straunge loue: neuerthelesse desiring to please her euen to the last point of her life, 290 she said vnto her: “Madame if it wil please you to recreate your selfe from these your sorrowes, and to respite me onely twoo dayes, I hope to prouide by some good meanes that you shal shortly see him who vndeseruedly doth worke you all this euill.” The Duchesse nourished with this hope, desired her effectually to thinke vppon it: promising vnto her, that if her woordes came to good effect, she would make her such recompence as she her self should confesse she had not done pleasure to an ingrate or vnthankefull woman. Emilia which had the brute to be one of the moste subtile and sharpe witted dames of all Thurin, slept not during the time of her prescription. But after she had searched an infinite number of meanes to come to that which she desired, there was one that semed moste expedient for that purpose, and of least perill aboue other. And her time of delaye expired, shee went to Madame the Duchesse, and sayd: “Madame, God knoweth howe many troubles my minde hath sustayned, and how much I haue striued with mine own conscience to satisfie your commaundement, neuerthelesse, after I had debated thinges so substantially as was possible, I coulde deuise nothing more worthy your contente, than that whiche I wyll nowe declare vnto you, if it wyll please you to heare mee. Whiche to be short is, that for the execution of this our enterpryse, it behoueth you to fayne your selfe to be sicke, and to suffer your selfe to be trayned into suche maladies as there shall rather appeare in you token of death, than hope of lyfe. And being brought into such extremitie, you shall make a vowe (your health recouered) to go within a certayne time to Saint Iames on pilgrimage, which thing you may easely obtayne of the Duke your husbande. And then may you make your voyage liberally with the Ladye Isabell, who will passe this waye vpon her retourne, without discouering your affection vnto her, and wyll not fayle by reknowledging the curtesie that you haue vsed towardes her in these partes, to conduct you by her brother’s house, wher you may see him at your ease, that maketh you to suffer this great torment. And I will aduertise you furthermore of one thing, which till this time I haue kept close, whiche is: that for as mutch as we two togethers cannot without great difficultie accomplishe our businesse, it hath seemed good vnto me to know of you, if 291 you would that a third persone shalbe called hereunto, who is so much at my commaundement as I dare comit my trust vnto him. It is maister Fraunces Appian the Millanor, your phisitian, who (to say the very truth vnto you) hath bene so affectioned to mee this yeare or two, as he hath not ceassed by al meanes possible, to wynne me (but to honest loue) for he pretendeth to marry me. And because that hetherto I haue made small accompt of him, and haue not vsed any fauour towards him, nor hitherto any good entertainement, I assure my self seing the great amitie that he beareth me, that if I did but fauorably behold him fiue or sixe times with pleasaunt lookes, adding therunto a few kisses, he would hazard a thousand liues for my sake if he had them, to content me. And for as much as I know him to be a diligent man, learned, and of great reputation, and one that may stande vs to great stead in this busines, I thought good not to conceale or kepe from your knowledge my aduise herein.” The Duchesse vnderstanding all this pretie discourse, so apt for her affections (rauished with great ioye) embraced hard Emilia, and saide vnto her: “Emilia my deare friend, if thou diddest knowe in what wise I do esteme thee, and what I meane in time to come, to bestowe vpon thee, I am well assured, albeit thou hast hetherto sufficiently shewed thy good will, yet thou wilt hereafter doe me greater pleasure promising thee, by the faithe of a Prince, that if our enterprise doe well succeede, I will not vse thee as a seruaunt, but as my kinswoman and the best beloued frend I haue. For I holde my selfe so satisfied with that thou hast sayd vnto me, as if fortune be on our side, I see no maner of impediment that may let our enterprise. Goe thy way then, and entertaine thy Phisitian, as thou thinkest best, for it is very expedient that he be a partie, and for the rest let me alone: for neuer was there any Lazar that better coulde dissemble his impotencye, than I knowe how to counterfeit to be sicke.” The Duchesse being departed from Emilia, began to plaine her selfe bitterly, faining sometime to fele a certain paine in her stomack, sometime to haue a disease in her head, in such sort, as after diuers womanly plaintes (propre to those that feele themselues sicke) she was in the end constrayned to laye her self downe, and knew so well howe to 292 dissemble her sicknesse, as (after she had certaine dayes kept her bedde) there was mutch doubt of her health. And during this time Emilia had layed so many amorous baytes to seede her Phisitian, that he whiche knewe very well the moste happy remedies for the body, could not now finde out any that was able to heale the maladie of his owne minde. Emilia hauing noseled maister Appian with amorous toyes, began to make him vnderstande the originall of the Duchesse sickenesse, the effectes of her passion, the order that she had vsed during the furious course of the same: adding thereunto for conclusion, that if he would keepe the matter secrete, and ayde them with his counsell, she would by and by promise hym mariage by woordes, for the present tyme, and that from thenceforth she would neuer denie him any fauour or priuitie. That onely reserued which no man can honestly demaunde, till the mariage be solempnized in the face of the church. In witnesse wherof she kissed him with great affection. The Phisitian more eased there withall, than if he had sene his Hippocrates or Galen, raysed againe from death, promised rather to lose his life than she should want his helpe. And for the better beginning of this enterprise, they wente presentlye to visite the Duchesse: in whom they found her pulse so to beate, the tongue so charged, the stomacke so weakened by continuall suffocation of the matrice, that the pacient was in verye great perill of death. Whereunto euery man did easely geue credite for the reputation and great experience of the Phisitian: and maister Appian hauing commauuded all the chamber to be voyded, made the Duchesse to vnderstande in fewe wordes, how it behoued her to gouerne her selfe. And the better to cloke her cause, he brought her at that instant a little perfume, by receiuing the sauour wherof she should often times fal into certaine litle soundinges, and by vsing the perfume it woulde diminishe her colour for a time, and make her looke as though she had kepte her bed halfe a yeare before: neuerthelesse it should doe her no other displeasure, and that in three or foure dayes, with certaine other drugges, hee would restore her colour so freshe as euer it was. Whiche counsell the Duchesse liked best of any thing in the world. And they three together played their partes so wel, as the common brute throughout all 293 the citie was, that the Duchesse was in great daunger of death. The duke being aduertised of these thinges, caused all the phisitians of Thurin to assemble, to prouide for the health of the Duchesse: who being come together, with the Duke into her bedde chamber, a litle after she had receiued maister Appian’s perfumes: and seing her to sowne diuers times before them, were in great dispaire of her health. And after they had somewhat debated the matter with Maister Appian, not knowing wherupon to resolue, they said vnto the Duke, that it behoued him to prouide for her soule, for that they saw in her the ordinarie tokens and messangers of death. The poore Duke being sorowfull beyond measure, for that he loued the Duchesse entierly, sent for the Suffragane of the Bishop of Thurin, a man of uery holy life, to thintent he might geue her ghostly councell. To whom she confessed her self with a voyce so feeble, that it seemed to be more than halfe dead. Her talke was not long, but yet she made him beleue that nature failed her, and that by litle and litle she drewe towardes her ende: desiring him to haue her and her poore soule in remembraunce when he made his orisons and praiers. The Suffragan being gone, the Duke and others, with a great number of Gentlemen and Ladies, went into the chamber. But she began then to enter into so great rauing, as euery body was afeard of her. And after that she had tossed her selfe in her bed like a senselesse creature, her speach fayled her. Whereat those present, stricken with no smal wonder, thinking the soule would straight wayes haue departed the body, some of them cried vpon her, Madame remember Iesus, som other S. Barbara. But wilie Emilia more priuie of her counsell than the rest, taking her tenderly by the arme, cried upon her with a loude voice: “Madame call vpon S. Iames, who hath so often succoured you in youre aduersities.And with that the Duchesse awaked as it wer out of a heauy sleepe, and rowling her eyes to and fro, with a straunge trembling of all her members, began to pronounce with an interrupted voyce: “O glorious Apostle, in whome from my tender youth, I haue euer had my stedfast trust and hope, be now mine intercessor in this cruel assault of death, to Iesus Christ. And I make a vowe nowe vnto thee, that if I may recouer health, I will my self in person, go honor thy sacred body, 294 in the proper place where it reposeth.” And hauing ended her fayned prayer, she counterfaited a sleepe, and so continued the space of twoo or three houres, whiche caused all the companie to withdrawe themselues, excepte the poore Duke, who would not depart from her vntil she waked, and in the meane time ceassed not to praye to God for the health of his loyall spouse. After shee had so well plaied this pageaunt by the space of an houre or twoo, faining then to awake, she began to stretche forth her armes and legges with suche force, as whosoeuer had heard the noyse, would easely haue iudged that she had bene deliuered from some great torment. And beholding the Duke her husband, with a pitifull eye (who had leaned his head nere vnto her’s in the bed) she cast her stretched armes negligently vpon his neck, and kissing him sayd; “Now may I safely kisse you my Lorde, that within these three houres was in such pitifull plight, as I thought my self for euer depriued of that benefit. Thankes be geuen to God and that good Sainct to whom I made my vow I am presently so wel eased, as if I fele myself no worse, I will yet deteine you (husband) a while from an other mariage.” But the poore Duke altogether rauished with ioye, hauing his white beard all tempered with teares, knew not what answere to make, but behelde her with such admiration, as he seemed to be besides himself. And in the meane time certayn whiche wer at the dore, hearing them speake, entred the chamber, who finding the Duchesse somwhat better then she was, published her recouerie incontinently throw al the citie, whereof the citizens being aduertised (because they loued her dearly) made processions and other thankesgeuing to God, as in cases like are accustomed. Within a whyle after, the Duchesse began by litle and litle to taste her meates, and to vse suche diet as shee recouered her former health. Except the newe plague which pynched her tender harte for the Lorde Mendozza, whiche she could not cure, but by the presence of him that bare the oyntment boxe for that sore. And so long she continued in the amorous thoughtes, till the Lady Isabell retourned from her pilgrimage, who came to the castell according to her promise. And after friendly gretinges one of an other, the Duchesse made her to vnderstande how since her departure she had neuer almost 295 commen out of her bed, for that she had been afflicted with a moste grieuous sickenesse. Neuerthelesse by the helpe of God, and the intercession of good S. Iames (to whom she had vowed her selfe) she had recouered health. And if she could obtaine leaue of the Duke her husband, she would thinke her selfe happy to make a voyage thither in her companie. Which the Spanishe Lady persuaded by all meanes possible, shewing vnto her many commodities, she should finde in Spayne, and the honorable company of Gentlemen and Ladies, who at her arriuall there (if it would please her to doe them so muche honor as to visite them in passing by) would leaue nothing vndone for the best manner of entertainement that possibly might be deuised. And by this meane the Ladye Isabell thought to pricke her forward, who was in dede but to quicke of the spurre already, and thinking euery houre VII. determined one morning thereof to moue the Duke her husbande, to whom she sayd: “My Lorde, I beleue that you doe sufficiently well remember my trouble paste, and the extreme martyredome that I suffred in my late sickenesse, and namely of the vowe whiche I made for recouery of my health. Nowe finding my selfe whole and strong, my desire is that with your licence I might accomplishe my voyage, specially with so good opportunitie: for the noble woman of Spayne of whome I have heretofore told you, is returned, and it should be a great ease to vs both to go in companie together. And for so much as it is a matter of necessitie, and that early or late, I must aduenture to paye my vowed debte, it is best both for my commoditie and also for my honour, to goe in her companie.” Whereunto the good Duke did willingly accorde: who neuer had any manner of suspicion that sutch a treason was lodged in the harte of so great a Princesse. And hauing giuen order for all things requisite for her departing, she tooke a certaine number of Gentlemen and damsels, amongst which, Maister Appian and Emilia were not forgotten, and being all apparelled in pilgrimes weedes, by long trauaile and weary iourneis, after they had passed the cold Alpes, they came into the countie of Rossilion, and entred into Spayne: and then the Duchesse feling her selfe to approche the place where her harte of long tyme had taken hold, 296 desired the Lady Isabell and her company earnestly, not to make it knowen to any persone what she was. And so traueiling by small iourneyes, and deuising of diuerse matters, they arriued within two litle dayes iourney to the place where the Lorde of Mendozza kept his ordinarie housholde. For which cause the Spanishe lady entreated the Duchesse not to be offended, if she sent some one of her men before to geue aduertisement of their comming, which the Duchesse graunted. And the messenger finding the Lord of Mendozza readie to receiue them, and hauing done him to vnderstand of the coming of the Duchesse, of the first talke betwene her and his syster, of the great entertainement that she had geuen them, of the singuler beautie with the which she was adorned: he was not so grosse but that he knewe by and by, that the Duchesse at those yeares, had not bene so liberall of her labour, to make such a voiage one foote, without some other respect: and dissembling what he thought, caused thirty or fortie of his gentlemen incontinently to make them ready. To whome making as though hee would goe hunte the Hare, he went to meete the Duchesse: and hauing discouered them a farre of in a fielde, the Lady Isabelle did forthwith knowe theim. Who aduertised the Duchesse that he which ridde vppon the whyte Ienet of Spayne, was the Lorde of Mendozza her brother, and that the other were his servauntes. The Prince then after he had made his horse to vaute three or foure times aloft in the ayre, with an excellent grace and marueilous dexteritie lighted from his horse, and kissing her hand, sayd vnto her: “Madame, I beleue that if the wandering knightes of olde tyme, who haue eternized their memorie, by an infinite numbre of renowmed victories, had had so muche good lucke, as many tymes in their aduentures to meete with such pilgrimes as you be, they woulde willinglye haue abandoned the Launce and Murrion, to take the Staffe and Scrippe.” The Duchesse then beyng comparable with anye ladye of her tyme, for her education and comely talke, assayled with ioye, feare, and shame, that no lacke of dutie might be founde in her, sayde vnto hym: “And in deede my Lorde like as if the knightes of whom you speake, had tasted of some good hap (as you terme it) by meting with such pilgrimes: so also we hope that the Saint to whome we be 297 vowed, in the honor of whom we haue enterprised this perillous voyage, will receiue vs in good parte: otherwyse our payne were altogether loste, and our iourney euil imployed.” And after they had geuen this first amorous atteint, the Lord of Mendozza taking her by the arme, conducted her vnto his castell, deuising of pleasaunt matters. And he was greatlye astonned, to see so rare a beautie, as appeared in the Princesse: whiche neither the wearinesse of the waye, nor the parching beames of the Sunne, coulde in any wyse so appaire, but that there rested ynough, to drawe vnto her the very hartes of the moste colde and frosen men of the world. And albeit the Lorde of Mendozza tooke great pleasure and admiration in beholding her, yet was it nothing in respect of the Duchesse: who after she had aduised and well marked the beautie, excellency, and other good giftes of grace, in the Lorde of Mendozza, she confessed that al that which she had heard of his sister, was but a dreame in comparison of the proufe, which discouered it selfe vpon the first viewe: seeming vnto her by good iudgement, that all the beauties of the worlde were but paintinges, in respect of the perfection of that whiche shee sawe with her eyes. Wherin she was not deceiued, albeit that her feruent loue might haue bewitched her senses. For all the histories in Latine, Spanishe, and Italian, the whiche make mention of Mendozza, geue vnto him the firste place in beautie of all the Princes and Lordes that were in his tyme. The poore Duchesse, after she had manifested by outwarde gestures, and countenaunces, to the Lord of Mendozza, that which was in the inward part of her harte, without receiuing the full satisfaction of his sight, whiche she desired, determined (hauing soiourned three dayes in his castell) to departe the nexte morning (vnwares to the knight), to performe her voyage. And so soone as the light of the daye began to appeare, she went to the chamber of the Lady Isabell, whom she thanked affectuously, aswell for her good companye, as for the great courtesie and humanitie, that she had receiued in her house. And hauing taken leaue of her, departed with her traine. The knight Mendozza, about an houre or two after her departure, aduertised thereof, was greatly troubled, what the matter might be that she was gone without taking leaue of him. And after that he had a 298 little thought therupon, he easely perceiued, that all the fault therof was in him selfe: and that this great Princesse had abandoned her countrie, of purpose by all iudgement to visite him, and that he had shewed himself very slacke for her satisfaction, in that he had not offred her his seruice: wherat being iustly greued, she did not vouchsafe to geue him a farewell. And so accusing himselfe, he determined to followe after her, accompanied onelye with twoo pages. And beyng on horsebacke, it was not long before hee espied her in the hyghe waye to Saint Iames, where lighting, hee walked twoo myles with her, reasonyng the matter without intermission: desiring her amonges other thynges, to let hym vnderstand what displeasure shee had concerned in his house, that caused her so spedy and secret a departure: adding thereunto, that if her pleasure were, he would accompanie her to the place whether she was vowed, and would also reconduct her in his owne persone to Thurin, in so honourable sorte, as she should finde cause to be contented. Then passing further, with sighes sayd vnto her: “Madame, fortune had done me a great benefite, if when my sister made her vowe to go to Rome, I had lost the battaile against mine enemies, and that her vowe had bene without effect. For it might haue bene that I should haue remained quiet by the losse of some of my people. But alas, I fele now, since your comming into this countrie, a battaile so cruel, and assault so furious in my harte, as not being able any longer to resiste it, I finde my selfe vanquished, and caught captiue, in such sorte as I know not to whom to complain, but to you, which is the motion of all my disquietnesse: and yet, which grieueth me most, you dissemble as though you did not vnderstand it. And to bring me to my last end, you are departed this day out of my house, not daining to see me, or to appease me with one farewel, which hath so further inflamed my passion, as I die a thousand times a day. Beseching you for the time to come, to entreate me more fauourably, or you shall see me, in that state, wherein you would be loth to see your enemy: which is, most cruel death.” And in dede, he shewed sufficiently, how great the grief was that pressed him, and how well the passion that he felt, was agreable to the wordes which he spake: for in pronouncing his wordes he sighed so in his tale, and 299 changed his colour so often, and had his face so besprent with teares, as it semed his soule attached with superfluous sorrowe, would at that very instant haue abandoned his bodye. Which the Princesse perceiuinge, touching at the quicke the very spring of all his euill, sayd vnto him: “Seignior Mendozza, I know not what you wold that I should do more for you, nor for what occasion you do pretende, that I should be the cause of your death: for if the occasion thereof should happen through my default, my life by strengthe or abilitie, could not endure one houre after, for the sorowe I should conceiue therof. Thinke me to be yours, and be not offended, I besech you, if openly I doe no longer talke with you: for I would not to winne al the goodes in the world, that any of this traine which doth accompany me, should perceiue any one sparke of the great kindled fire, wherin my harte burneth day and night for you, being assured that if you had felt one houre of my payne, in place to accuse me of crueltie, your self complaining, wold pitie the griefe whiche I haue sustained for your long absence: for without the continual presence of your persone, representing it selfe in the eyes of mine understanding, with a firme hope once to haue seen you: it had bene impossible for me, to resist the long and hard assaulte, wherwith loue hath euery houre assailed me. But one thing I must nedes confesse vnto you, that by reason of the cold welcome which you made me in the beginning, I thought it preceded of some euill opinion conceiued of me or peraduenture that you had thought me ouer liberall of mine honour, to haue left the countrie where I commaunde, to render my selfe subiect to your good grace, which caused me without leaue to depart your house. But now that I do know by your countenaunce and teares, the contrarie, I acknowledge my fault, and desire you to forget it. With full promise that vppon my retourne from my voiage of S. Iames, I will make you amendes, in the very same place, wher I committed the fault: and remaining your prisoner for a certaine time, I wil not depart from you, vntill I have satisfied, by sufficient penance the greatnes of my trespas. In the meane time you shal content your selfe with my good will: and without passing any further retorne againe home to your castell, for feare least some suspicious persone in my company should conceiue 300 that in me, which all the dayes of my life I neuer gaue occasion so much as once to thinke.” To whome the Lorde of Mendozza obeied, more to content her than otherwise, for hee had the beauties and good behauiours of the Princesse, so imprinted in the moste pleasaunt place of his harte, as he would haue desired neuer to haue departed her companie. But like as they determined iocundly, to imploy and satisfie their desire, at her retorne from her voyage, euen so fortune in the meane while did beset the same, and so fully brake the threde of their enterprises, as the issue had not so good successe, as was their prefixed hope. Now leaue we the Duchesse to perfourme her voyage, and the Lord of Mendozza to entertain his amorous passions, and let vs digresse to the duke, who about X. or XII. dayes after the Duchesse his wife was departed, began to fele her absence, which not being able to susteine for the great loue he bare vnto her, and specially knowing the great fault that he had committed (being the sister of a king and wife of such a Prince) so to let her go like an vnfeathered shaft, in so long a voyage: determined with him selfe (for feare least if any misfortune happening vnto her, the same should touch his honour) to call together his counsel, and to prouide some remedie. The counsel assembled, and the cause proponed, euerie of them told the Duke that he had ouer lightly consented to the will of the Duchesse, and that if she should chaunce to incure any inconuenience, all men would impute it to his reproch wherof they would haue aduertised him at the beginning, sauing for feare they had to displease him: adding for conclusion, that it was most expedient the Duke should put himselfe on the sea to goe seeke her in Galisia. Which he did, and imbarked him selfe with a great companie of gentlemen, to whome the winde was so fauourable, as he ariued at S. Iames before her: and hauing made enquirie for her, vnderstode she was not come. Neuerthelesse he was aduertised by certaine pilgrims, that it could not be long before she would be there, for that they had left her not paste three or foure dayes iourney from thence, traueiling with her trayne, by small iourneis: wherof the Duke was exceading glad, and sent certaine of his gentlemen to mete her vpon the way, as she came, who rode not farre before 301 they met the Duchesse with her companie, and did her to vnderstand of the Duke’s arriuall, and of the cause of his comming from Thurin. Which tidinges was not very ioyfull to her, and by her will would have wished that he had not taken so much paynes: neuerthelesse, preferring honor before affection, she made the more haste to see him, and at her arriuall seemed to bee glad of his comming, and to lament the payne that he had taken by committing himselse in so many daungers for her sake. Afterwardes they entred into the churche with great deuotion, where when the Duchesse had made certaine particuler praiers, shee began to perceiue that God had withstanded her lasciuious wil, and pitying the good Duke her husband, would not permit him to be deceiued in suche disloyal sort, repentantly bewayling her forepassed faulte. And feling herself pressed euen at the very soule with a certaine remorse of conscience, she was so victorious over her affections, as she determined wholly to forget Mendozza and his beautie: praysing God neuerthelesse that it had pleased him to graunt her the grace so well to dispose her matters, that her affections had not exceeded the bondes of honor: determining from thenceforth, not onely to put Mendozza in vtter obliuion, but also for euer clerely to cut of his amorous prastise, and therfore would not so much as bid him once farewell, nor yet to let him in any wise vnderstand those newes. And so settled in this deliberation, solicited her husbande very instantly to departe, whiche he did, and all thinges prepared to the Sea, they toke againe their course to Thurin, and had the wynde so prosperous, as from thence in fewe dayes after, they arriued at Marsellis; and wearye of the Seas, he caused horses to be prepared to ryde from thence to Thurin by land, wher he and his wife liued together in right great ioy and amitie. The Lorde of Mendozza greatly payned with the long absence of the Duchesse, sent a gentleman of purpose to Galisia to know the cause of her long tarying. Who brought certain newes that the Duke was comen in persone to fetche his wife, and that he caried her awaye with him by Sea; wherewithal he was marueilously out of pacience, determining neuerthelesse one daye when his affaires were in good order, to go visite her at Thurin. During the time that these thinges 302 remained in this estate, as well of the one side, as of the other: the Almaines prepared a great army, and entred into Fraunce, where they wasted and burned al the countrey as they passed. The king being aduertised hereof, sent for the Duke of Savoie, to goe mete them with the men of armes of Fraunce. But before his departure from Thurin, he lefte for his Lieutenant generall, the Earle of Pancalier, by the aduise and counsell of whome he intended that all the affaires of the Duchie should be ruled and gouerned in his absence, and that he should in so ample wyse be honoured and obeyed, as his owne persone. This Earle of Pancalier was a nobleman, verie prudent in his doinges, and knewe right well how to gouerne the common wealth, who seing that hee had the whole countrie at his commaundement, and hym selfe many tymes in presence of the Duchesse, viewing her so fayre and comelie, could not so well rule his affections, but that by litle and litle he fell into loue with her, in such wyse as hee forgat hym selfe, making no conscience to offer his seruice vnto her. But the Princesse, who was resolued to lyue a good woman, abhorred all his lasciuious orations, requiring hym to bee better aduysed another tyme, before he presumed to vtter sutche talke, excepte to sutch that were his equals. Telling hym that a man ought not to bee so vnshamfast to offer his seruice to anye great Ladie, or to make other sute vnto her, before hee hadde fyrste knowen by her gesture or woordes, some lykelyhoode of loue: which he could not deeme in her, for so much as she neither to him or to any other had euer, (til that day in all her life) shewed such fauour, as other suspicion could be conceiued, but that which was conuenable and meete for her honour. Which when the Countie of Pancalier vnderstoode, he toke his leaue of her, ashamed of that he had done. But he folowing the custome of louers, not thinking himselfe cast of for the first refuse, eftsones renewed his requestes: and framing a louing stile, besought her to haue pitie vppon him, and to respect the greatnesse of his passion: and that he could not prolonge his life without the fauour of her good grace, who onely was the very remedie of his euill. The Duchesse pestred with such like talke, said vnto him: “Sir Countie, me thinke you ought to haue satisfyed your selfe with my first deniall, without further 303 continuance in the pursuing of your rash enterprise. Haue you forgotten the place that you keepe, and the honour whereunto my Lorde the Duke my husbande hath exalted you? Is this nowe the loyall reward that you render vnto him for creating you his Lieutenaunt ouer all his landes and seignories, to demaund the preheminence of his bedde? Assure your selfe for final warning, that if euer hereafter you shal againe fall into like error, I sweare vnto you by the faith of a Princesse, that I will make you to be chastised in suche sort, as al semblable traytors and disloyal seruants shal take example.” The Earle seeing himselfe refused, and thus rebuked, and in doubt that the Princesse woulde make her husbande to vnderstande his enterprise upon his retourne, chaunging his greate loue into hatred more then mortall, determined whatsoeuer should come thereof, to inuente all meanes possible, vtterly to destroye the Duchesse. And after that he fansied diuers thinges in minde, he deuised (by the instinct of the deuil) to cause one of his nephewes, being of the age of XVIII. or twentie yeares, which was his heire apparant, for that he had no children, and was one of the fayrest and best condicioned gentlemen of all Thurin, to sort that deuilish attempt to purpose. And finding opportunitie, one daye hee saide to the yonge man (that depended wholly vppon him) these words: “Nephew, thou knowest that all the hope of liuing thou hast in this world resteth in me alone, of whom I make so good accompte as of my childe. And for that it pleased God to giue me no children, I haue constituted and ordeined thee my sole and ouely heyre with ful hope that from henceforth thou wilt dutifully acknowledge thy selfe most bounde vnto mee, and therefore obedient in all thinges which I shal commaunde thee, specially in that which may be most for thine aduancemente. The Duke as thou knowest, is absent, olde, and crooked, and at all houres in the mercy of death throughe the daungers of the warres. Nowe if he should chaunce to die, my desire is to mary thee with some great Lady: yea and if it were possible with the Duchesse her selfe, which God knoweth what profite it would bring both to thee and thy frendes, and in my iudgement an easie matter to compasse, if thou wilt dispose thy selfe after my counsell, or at leaste wise, if thou canst not come to the title of husband, thou maiest 304 not faile to be receiued as her frend. Thou art a comly gentleman, and in good fauour with the Duchesse, as I haue oftentimes percieued by her communication, albeit that holdinge fast the bridle of her honor, shee hath been afraid hetherto to open herselfe vnto thee. Spare not my goods, make thy selfe braue and gallant from henceforth whatsoeuer it coste, and be dilligente to please her in all that thou maiest, and time shall make thee know that which thy tender yeares hath hitherto hidden from thee.” The poore yonge man giuing faith to the vnfaithfull inuentions of his vncle (whom hee counted as his father) began oft to frequent the presence of the Duchesse, and shamefastlye to solicite her by lookes and other offices of humanitie, as nature had taught him, continuing that order the space of a moneth. Which by the Duchesse wel viewed and marked, she was diligent for her part to accept the honest and affectionate seruice which the yong man dailye did vnto her, and shewed vnto him likewise a certaine more curteous fauour than to the rest of the pages, as wel for the birth and beautie wherwithal nature had enriched him, as for that she saw him enclined to do her better seruice than the rest, not thinking of any dishonest appetite in the yong man, nor the malice of his vncle, who conceiued none other felicitie but in reuenge of the Duchesse, his ennemie, and not able to beare the cruell mallice rooted in his harte, determined to play double or quit. And callinge his nephew before him he said vnto him: “My childe, I do perceiue and see that thou art one of the most happiest gentlemen of al Europe, if thou knewest how to folow thine owne good luck. For the Duchesse not onely is amorous of thee, but also consumeth for the earnest loue shee beareth thee. But as thou knowest women be shamefast and woulde be sued vnto in secrete, and do delight to be deceiued of men, to thend it might seeme how with deceit or force they were constrained to yeld to that which of their own minds they would willingly offer, were it not for a litle shamefastnes that doth withdrawe them. And thereof assure thy sefe, for I haue oftentimes experimented the same, to my great good lucke. Wherfore credite my councel, and follow mine aduise. And thou thy selfe shalt confesse vnto me, before to morrow at this time, that thou art the happiest man of the world. I will, then, that this night when thou seest conuenient time, thou shalt 305 conueye thy selfe secretlye into the chamber of the Duchesse, and there hide thy selfe vnder her bedde, for feare of being espied: where thou shalt remaine vntil an houre after midnight, when all men be in the depth of their sleepe. And when thou perceiuest euery man at rest, thou shalte closely rise, and approching the Duchesse bed, thou shalt tell what thou art, and I am sure for the earnest loue she beareth thee, and for the long absence of her husband, she wil curteouslie receiue thee betwene her armes, and feast thee with such delights as amorous folke doe embrace their louers.” The simple yong man giuing faith to the words of his vncle that was honoured as a king (thinking perhaps that it proceeded by the perswasion of the Duchesse) followed his commaundement, and obeied whollie his traiterous and abhominable hest. Who (oportunitie found) accomplished from pointe to point, that which his cruel vncle had commaunded. And a litle before midnight, fearing least his treason shoulde be discouered, toke with him three councellors, and certaine other of the guarde of the castell. Whereunto as Lieutenaunt to the Duke, he might both enter and issue at al times when he list, and not opening the cause of his intent, went straight to the portall of the Duchesse chamber, and knockinge at the dore, said that the Duke was come. Which being opened, hee entred in with a nomber of lightes, accompanied with the guarde, hauinge a rapier readye drawen in his hande, like a furious man besides himselfe, began to looke rounde about, and vnder the bedde of the Duchesse: from whence he caused his owne proper nephew to be drawne. To whom, without geuing him leisure to speake, for feare lest his malice should be discouered, he saide: “O detestable villaine thou shalt die.” And therewithall he thruste the rapier into him, to the hard hiltes, and doubling another blowe to make him faile of his speache, hee pearced his throte, so fiercely, as the poore innocente after he had a little staggered, fell downe deade to the grounde. When he had put up his rapier, he turned towards the Counsellers, and saide vnto them: “My frends, this is not the first time I haue espied the lasciuious and dishonest loue betweene this my lecherous nephew and the Duchesse, whom I haue caused to die to honourably in respect of his desert, for by the very rigor of the law, he deserued to haue bin burnt quick, or els to be torne in peeces with foure horses. But my Ladie 306 the Duchesse I meane not to punishe, or to prouide chastisement for her: For you be not ignoraunt, that the auncient custome of Lombardie and Sauoye requireth that euery woman taken in adulterie, shal be burned aliue, if within a yeare and a day she finde not a Champion to fight the combate for her innocencie. But for the bounden duetie that I beare to my Lord the Duke, and for respect of the estate which he hath committed to my charge, I will tomorrow dispatch a poaste, to make him vnderstande the whole accident as it is come to passe. And the Duchesse shall remaine in this chamber, with certaine of her maids, vnder sure keeping and safegarde.” All this time the Duchesse who had both iudgemente and spirite so good as any Princesse that raigned in her time, suspected by and by the treason of the Earle. And with a pitifull eye beholding the dead body of her page, fetching a deepe sighe, cried out: “Oh, innocent soule: which sometime gauest life to this bodye that nowe is but earth, thou art nowe in place where thou seest clearelye the iniquitie of the murderer, that latelye did put thee to death.” And hauing made an ende of this exclamation with her armes a crosse, shee remained as in a sowne with out mouing either hande or foote. And after she had continued a while in that state, shee desired the Counsellers to cause the bodye to be buried, and to restore it to the earth whereof it had the first creation. “For (quoth she) it hath not deserued to be tied to the gibet, and to be foode for birds of the ayre.” Which they graunted not without a certaine greuous suspicion betweene her and the page. For so muche as she excused not herselfe, but the innocencie of him, without speaking any worde of her owne particular iustification. This pitifull aduenture was out of hande published through all the Citie, with so great sorrow and murmure of the people, as it seemed the enemies had sacked the towne. For there was not one, from the very least to the greateste of al, but did both loue and reuerence the Duchesse, in such sort as it seemed vnto them, that this misfortune was fallen vpon euery one of their children. The Earle of Pancalier did nothing all that day, but dispatch the poastes. And hauing caused all the whole matter to be registred as it was seen to be done, he commaunded the Counsellers, and them of the Garde, to subscribe his letters. And all the matter being put in order he 307 sent away two currors with diligence, the one into Englande to aduertise the king her brother, and the other to the Duke: who being arriued, ech man in his place, presented their charges. Whereunto both the brother and the husband gaue full credite without any maner of difficultie: perswaded principally thereunto by the death of the nephew: who (as it was very likely) had not been put to death by his owne vncle, and of whom he was also the very heire, without his most greueous fault, praysinge greatly the fidelitie of the Earle, that had not pardoned his owne proper bloud, to conserue his dutie and honour to his soueraigne Lorde. And it was concluded betweene them, by deliberate aduise and counsaile, as well of those of the king of England, as by a great nomber of learned men of Fraunce, whom the French kinge made to assemble for that respect in fauour of the Duke, that the custome should be so inuiolably kepte, as if the Duchesse were the most simple damsell of all the countrie: to the ende that in time to come, greate Lordes and Ladyes which be as it were lampes to giue lighte to others, might take example. And that from thenceforth they should not suffer their vertues to be obscured by the clouds of such execrable vices. The king of England to gratifie the Earle of Pancalier: who (in his iudgement) had shewed himself right noble in this act, sent him an excellent harnesse, with a sword of the selfe same trampe by the Currour, with letters of aunsweare written with his owne hand, how he vnderstode the maner of his proceedings. And the messenger vsed such diligence, as within few daies he arriued at Thurin. Shortly after that the king of England had sent back the Currour, the Duke of Sauoie retorned his, whom he staied so much the longer, because the matter touched him most neere: for he would that the matter should be debated by most graue and deliberate counsell. And when he had resolued what to do, he wrote to the counsellers and other Magistrates of Thurin, aboue al things to haue respecte that the custome should be inuiolably obserued, and that they should not in any case fauour the adultery of his wife, vpon paine of death. Then in particuler, hee wrote his letters to the Earle, whereby he did greatly allow his fidelitie, for the which he hoped to make him suche recompence, as both he and his should taste therof during their liues. The Currour of the duke arriued, 308 and the matter proponed in counsell, it was iudged, that (followinge the auncient custome) a piller of marble should be placed in the fieldes neere Thurin: which is betweene the bridge of the riuer Poo and the Citie, wherupon should be written the accusation of the Earle of Pancalier against the Duchesse, which the Duchesse vnderstanding (hauing none other companie but Emilia, and a yong damsell) dispoiled herselfe of her silken garmentes, and did put on mourninge weede, martired with an infinite nomber of sondrie tormentes, seing herselfe abandoned of al worldly succour, made her complaints to God: beseeching him with teares to be protector of her innocencie. Emilia who vnderstode by her that shee was vniustlie accused, and seing the iminent perill that was prepared for her, determined by her accustomed prudence to prouide therfore. And after she had a litle comforted her she saide vnto her: “Madame, the case so requireth that now you must not consume time in teares and other womanish plaints, which can nothing diminishe your euill. It seemes most expediente vnto mee, that you fortefie your selfe againste your enemye, and finde some meane to sende maister Appian in poaste to the Duke of Mendozza, one of the best renowmed in prowesse of all the knightes in Spaine, whoe being aduertised of your misfortune, wyll prouide so well for your affaires, (that your honour being recouered) your life shall remaine assured. Wherefore if you will follow mine aduise, you shall write him an earnest letter (as you know right wel how to indite) which Appian shal present on your behalfe. For if you follow not this counsel, I know none els (as the world goeth now) that will hazarde his life vnder the condicion of so straunge a lotte as yours is, specially hauing respect to the renowne and magnanimitie of the Earle, who as you know, is in reputation to be one of the most valiaunt men and most happy in armes that is in all Sauoie or Lombardie.” “My deare frende (quoth the Duchesse) doe what thou wilt: for I am so resolued and confirmed in my sorowe, as I haue no care either of death or life, no more than if I had neuer been borne. For neither in the one nor in the other, can I forsee anye remedie for mine honour alreadie lost.“Madame (quoth Emilia) let us for this time leaue the care of honour in the hands of God, who knoweth 309 both howe to keepe it and restore it, as shall seeme good vnto him. And let vs giue order for our parte that there be no want of diligence, for feare of being ouertaken.” And hauing made an ende of her tale, shee gaue her incke and paper, sayinge vnto her: “Now Madame I shall see at this pinche, if your harte will serue you at a neede or no.” The Duchesse withdrew her selfe a part, and after she had longe discoursed in her minde of that which was paste betweene the knight and her, she wrote vnto him as followeth: “My Lord Mendozza, I do not write these letters vnto you, vppon any hope to be deliuered by your meane from the poinaunt pricke of fierce death which doth now besiege me, knowing death alwayes to be the true port and sure refuge of all afflicted persons. For since that God willeth it, nature permitteth it, and my heauie fortune consenteth to it, I will receiue it with righte good will, knowinge that the graue is none other but a strong rampier and impregnable cartel, wherein we close our selues against the assaults of life, and the furious stormes of fortune. It is farre better (as appeareth manifestly by me) with eyes shut to waite in graue, than no longer to experimente life (the eyes beinge open) liuing with so many troubles vpon earth. But gladly woulde I bringe to remembraunce, and set before your eyes how sometime I abandoned the place which was no lesse deare vnto me than mine owne country where I was borne, and delicatelye nourished in honor and delightes, to extende my selfe into an infinite nomber of perills, contrarye to the deutie of those that be of mine estate, losinge the name of a Princesse to take the title of a caytife pilgrim, for the onely seruent and vnmeasured loue which I bare you, before I did euer see you, or by anye meanes bounde thereunto by any your preceding benefites. The remembraunce whereof (as I thinke) ought now to deliuer such an harde enterprise, to the port of your conscience, that breaking the vaile of your tender hart, you shoulde therefore take pitie and compassion of my straunge and cruell fortune. Which is not onely reduced to the mercy of a most dolorous prison, and resteth in the power of a bloudie and mercilesse tyrant: but (which is worse) in the continuall hazarde of a shamefull death. Which I do not much lament hauing long desired to accelerate the same 310 with mine owne hands, to finde rest in an other worlde: were it not that by death I shoulde leaue an eternall blot to my good name, and a perpetuall heritage of infamie to my house and kindred. Wherefore if it so be, that frendship loketh for no rewarde, or that frendship cannot be paid but by the tribute of an other, make me now to taste the auncient fruite of frendship. And if pitie be the sole and onely keye of Paradise, displaye it now on the behalfe of her, who (forsaken of al humaine succour) attendeth but the fatall houre to be throwen into the fier as a poore innocent lambe in sacrifice. And for that the bearer shal make you vnderstand the rest by mouth (whom it may please you to credite as mine owne selfe) I will make an ende of my heauie letter. Beseching God to giue a good life vnto you, and to mee an honorable death.” The letter closed and sealed vp with the seale of the Duchesse, shee commaunded Emilia to deliuer it to Appian, and to require him to vse diligence, not ceasing to ride day and night vntil he come to the place where they left the knight Mendozza, giuinge charge to make him vnderstande (at length) her innocencie and false accusation. Appian being dispatched, was so affected to please his maistresse, and so desirous to see her deliuered of her imprisonmente, as hee ceassed not to trauaile day and night, till he came within the frontiers of Spaine. And after that he had ridden yet two or three dayes iourney, approching nere the place wher he thought to find the knight Mendozza, he began to inquire of the host of the inne where he laye that nighte, as well of his good health, as of his other affayres, whoe made him aunswere, that it wente euen so euill with him at that present, as with the poorest gentleman of al Spaine: although that he were in deede a very great Lorde. “For (quoth he) within these few monethes past, his ennemies of Tolledo, whom he hath diuers times vanquished, have so wel allied themselues together out of al partes of Spaine, that they haue brought a great armie to the field. And fortune of the warre hath been so fauourable unto them, that they discomfited Mendozza and all his armie. Who hath retired himselfe, with those few of his people that hee could saue aliue, into a litle towne of his, where yet to this present he is besieged. And so it is (as euery man sayth) that he 311 doth his endeuour maruellouslie well, in such sort as his ennemies cannot enter the towne.” Master Appian then demaunded of him, if the towne besieged were farre of. And he answered, that it was about VII. or VIII. poastes. Then withoute making any longer inquirie, he toke a guide that accompanied him euen almoste to the campe. And when he sawe the towne a farre of, he sent the guide backe againe, and went the same daye to offer his seruice to a certaine captaine of lighte horsemen, who receiued him into wages, and then he bought armour to serue his purpose. And maister Appian besides his learning was a wise and polliticke man, and determined so sone as any skirmishe did begin to be formost, and in deede he vsed the matter so well, as hee suffred himselfe to be taken prisoner and to be caried into the towne. And being within, he desired those that had taken him, to conduct him to the Lorde of Mendozza their chieftaine: whoe knew him by and by, for that in the voyage which the Duchesse made into Spaine, he saw him euer more neere her then any other of her gentlemen. And after that the Lord of Mendozza had demaunded of him by what meanes he entred the towne, vpon his aunswere, he perceyued that he was a man of good experience, and well affected to the seruice of his maistres, that durst hazard his life in such wise to obey her desire. Incontinently maister Appian deliuered vnto him the Duchesse letter: which when he had read, he retired into his chamber with maister Appian, hauing his face all bedewed with teares: and because that the letter did import credite, he prayed maister Appian to declare his charge. Who said unto him, “My lady the Duchesse which is at this day the most afflicted Princesse vnder the coape of Heauen, commendeth herselfe vnto your honour, and doth humbly besech you not to be offended for that at her last being in Galisia, shee departed withoute accomplishing her promise made vnto you: prayinge you to impute the fault vpon the importunitie of the Duke her husband: whom being constrained to obey, she could not satisfye the good will that she bare vnto you.Then he began to declare in order howe the Earle of Pancalier fell in loue with her, and not beinge able to obtaine his desire, caused his nephew to hide him vnder her bedde: and how hee had slaine him with his owne handes. Finallye, the 312 imprisonmente of the Duchesse, and the iudgemente giuen againste her. Wherat the Lord of Mendozza was greatly astonned: and when hee had heard the whole discourse, hee began to conceiue some euill opinion of the duchesse: thinkinge it to be incredible, that the earle of Pancalier woulde so forget himselfe, as to murder his owne proper nephewe and adopted sonne, to be reuenged of a seely woman. Neuerthelesse, he dissembled that which he thoughte, in the presence of maister Appian, and said vnto him: “Appian my frende, if mine aduerse fortune did not speake sufficiently for me, I could tel thee here a long tale of my miseries: but thou seest into what extremitie I am presently reduced, in sorte that I am vtterly vnable to succour thy maistresse, I my selfe stil attending the houre of death: and all the pleasures which presentlye I can doe for thee, is to set thee at libertie from the perill prepared for vs.” And without longer talke, hee caused a hot skirmishe to be giuen to his enemies, to set Appian at large: who being issued forth, made certaine of his men to conduct him to place of suretie. Appian seinge no way for Mendozza to abandon his citie for peril of death prepared for him and his, thoughte his excuse reasonable. And to attempt some other fortune, he vsed such diligence, as he in short time was retourned to Thurin, wher hauing communicated the whole matter to Emilia, she went straight to the Duchesse, to whom she said: “Madame, God giue you the grace to be so constant in your aduersities, as you haue an occasion to be miscontented with the heauy newes that Appian hath brought you.” And then she began to recompt vnto her the misfortune of Mendozza, the thraldome wherunto his enemies had brought him, and for conclusion, that there was no hope of helpe to be expected at his handes. Which when the Duchesse vnderstoode she cryed out: “Oh, poore vnhappy woman, amongste all the most desolate and sorowfull: thou mayst well now say that the lighte of thy life from henceforth beginneth to extinguishe and growe to an ende: seing the succour of him, vpon whom depended thine assuraunce, is denied thee. Ah, ingrate knight: now knowe I righte well (but it is to late) that of the extreme loue which I did beare thee, sprong the first roote of all mine euil, which came not by any accident of fortune, but from celestiall dispensation 313 and deuine prouidence of my God: who now doth permit that mine hipocrisie and counterfaite deuotion shall receiue condigne chastisemente for my sinne.” And then Emilia, seing her so confounded in teares, said vnto her: “Madame, it doth euil become a greate and wise Princesse, (as you hitherto haue euer been reputed) to tormente her selfe, sith that you know howe all the afflictions which we receive from heauen, be but proues of oure fidelitie: or as your selfe confesseth by your complaintes, to bee iust punishment for our sinnes. Nowe then be it the one or the other, you ought to be fortified against the hard assault of your sorow: and to remit the whole to the mercie of God, who of his aboundant grace, will deliuer you of your trouble, as he hath done many others when they thought themselues forsaken of all helpe, by causinge certaine dropps of his pitie to raine down vpon them.” “Alas, deare hart,” (quoth the Duchesse,) “how easie a matter it is for one that that is hole to comforte her that is sicke: but if thou feltest my griefe thou wouldest helpe me to complaine: so greuous a matter it is vnto mee, with life to loose mine honour. And I must confesse vnto thee, that I sustaine a very cruel assault both againste death and life, and I cannot either with the one or with the other, haue peace or truce in my selfe. Ne yet do know how to dissemble my sorrowe, but that in the ende the same will be discouered by the fumes of myne ardente sighes, which thinking to constraine or retaine, I do nothinge els but burie my selfe within mine owne bodye: assuringe thee, that greater is one droppe of bloude that swelteth the harte within, then all the teares that maye be wept in the whole life without. Wherefore I pray thee leaue mee a litle to complaine my dolor, before I go to the place from whence I shal neuer retorne.” Emilia, that willingly would haue sacrificed herselfe to redeeme the Princesse from perill, not beinge able anye longer to endure the hard attempte wherewith pitie constrayned her hart, was forced to goe forth and to withdraw herselfe into another chamber, where she began to lament after so straunge maner, as it seemed that it had been shee that was destened to death. Whiles these ladies continued thus in their sorowes, the knight Mendozza toke no rest by day or night, ne ceassed continually to thincke vpon the distresse of the 314 Duchesse. And after that he had well considered the same, hee accused himselfe for fayling her at that greate neede, saying: “Now do I well knowe that I am for euer hereafter vtterly vnworthy to beare armes, or to haue the honourable title of knight, sith the same order was giuen me, wyth charge to succour afflicted persons, specially Ladies, whose force onely consisteth in teares. And yet neuerthelesse, I (like a caytife) haue so shamefullye neglected my dutye towards the chiefe person of the worlde, to whom I am greatly bounden, as I die a thousand times that day wherein I thincke vpon the same. It behoueth mee then from henceforth to establishe new lawes to my deliberation, and that I breake the gate of mine auncient rigor: louing much better to die in honour, poore, and disinherited, than to liue puissant, vnhappie, and a cowarde. Wherfore let fortune worke her wil: sithens the Duchesse did forsake her countrie, to come to see me in her prosperitie, I may no lesse do now, but visite her in her aduersitie.” Pressed and solicited inwardlye with this newe desire, determined whatsoeuer happened to go to her rescue, and hauinge giuen order to all that was necessary for the defence of the Citie: putting his confidence in the fidelitie of those that were within, caused all his Captaynes to be called before him: whom hee did to vnderstande, how he was determined to go seeke succour, to leuie the siege of his enemies. Duringe which time he constituted his nere kinsman, his Liefetenaunte generall, and the nexte morning before the daye appeared hee gaue a great alarme to his ennemies, wherein hee escaped vnknowen. Being mounted vppon a Ienet of Spaine and out of daunger, he toke post horse, and made such expedition as hee arriued at Lions, where he prouided the beste armour that he could get for money, and two excellent good horses, whereof the one was a courser of Naples. And hauing gotten a certaine unknowen page, toke his waye to Thurin, where beinge arriued, hee lodged in the suburbs, demaunding of his host if there dwelt anye Spaniards in the towne, whoe made aunsweare, that hee knewe but one, which was a good olde religious father, that for the space of twentie yeares was neuer out of Thurin, a man of vertuous life, and welbeloued of all the Citizens, and had the charge of a certaine conuente. Neuerthelesse his lodginge 315 was aparte from his brethren, to solace himselfe, and to auoide the incommoditie of his age. The knight hauinge learned of his hoste the place wher this good father dwelled, went with diligence betimes in the morning, to see him, and said vnto him in the Spanish tongue: “Father, God saue you: I am a Spaniarde comen hither into this country for certaine mine affaires, towardes whom you mighte doe a charitable deede, if it woulde please you to suffer mee to remayne with you foure or fiue dayes onelye, crauinge nothinge els but lodginge: for my seruaunte shall prouide for other necessaries.” Whiche the good father willingly graunted, muche maruelling at his goodlye personage. And whiles the seruante was gone to the towne to bye victualls, the good father demaunded of him, of what countrye in Spaine hee was, whiche the knighte francklye confessed. And the fatherlye man then hauinge his face all be sprent with teares, sayde: “Praysed be the name of GOD, that he hath giuen mee the grace before I dye, to see so great a Lorde in my poore house, of whom I am both the subiecte and neighbour.” And then he began to tell him how for deuocion he had forsaken his natiue countrey and had bestowed himselfe there, the better to withdrawe him from worldly vanitie. Neuerthelesse he said: that he knew his father, his mother, and his graundfather. Desiring him to vse his house at commaundement, where he should be obeyed as if he were in his owne: and then the lord of Mendozza said vnto him, that he was departed from Spaine of purpose to see Fraunce, and there to make his abode for a time. And that passing by Lions one aduertised him of the infortunate chaunce of the Duchesse, whom if he thought to be innocent of the crime whereof she was accused, he would defend her to the sheading of the last drop of his bloude. Neuerthelesse he would not hazard his life or soule to defend her, if he knew her to be guiltie. Which wordes the good man greatly allowed, saying vnto him: “My Lord, touchinge her innocencie, I beleue there is at this day no man liuing, but herselfe and the Earle, her accuser, that can iudge. But one thinge I can well assure you, that wee heere, do deeme her to be one of the beste Princesses, that euer raigned in this countrie, specially for that a yeare paste she went on foote to S. Iames, with suche deuotion and humilitie, 316 as there was no man but pitied to see her so mortified for her soules healthe. And to combate with the Earle of Pancalier, you seeme vnto me very yong: for besides the continual exercise that he hath alwayes had in armes, he is withal esteemed to be one of the strongest, readiest, and most redoubted knights of all Lombardie: the victorie notwithstanding is in the hand of God, who can giue it to whom he pleaseth: which hee made manifest in the yong infante Dauid, against the monstrous Giante Golias.” To whome the knighte aunswered: “Father, I have deuised a waye how to prouide against the scruple of my conscience, touchinge the doubte conceyued by mee, whether the combat that I shall take in hande against the earle of Pancalier, be iust or not, which is, that I vnder colour of confession, might vnderstand of the duchesse, the trouth of the matter. And therfore if you thinke good I may cause my head and beard to be shauen, and apparelling my selfe in such habite as you do weare, we two may easely (as I thinke) with the leaue of her keepers, go into the Duchesse Chamber, to exhort her to pacience: for about this time of the yeare, the day is expired.” Wherunto the good father without any great difficultie, consented, aswell for respect of his good zeale, as for his reuerent duty to the nobility of the stock whereof he came. And so all things prouided, they wente together towards the castle of the Duchesse. And he that had seen the knight Mendozza in his fryer’s apparell, would vnethes haue discerned him, to be so great a Lorde as he was: for besides his dissembled gestures and countenaunces, wherwith he knew right wel how to behaue himselfe, he was so leane and poore, aswell for the care of the battell he lost, and ouerthrowe of his people, as for the mishap of the Duchesse, and the peril of his life at hand, by reason of the combate betweene the Earle and him, as he resembled rather a holy S. Hierome, mortified in some desert, then a Lorde, so noble and valiaunt as he was. Arriued at the castell, the olde father addressed himself to the guarde and sayd: “Maisters, because the time for the death of the miserable duchesse doth approche, we be come hither to geue her such spirituall comforte, as wherwith God hath inspired vs, hoping that hee will this daye geue vs the grace to induce her to die paciently, to the intent that by losse of the bodye, her soule may be 317 saued.” Wherunto they accorded willinglye, and caused the chamber to be opened vnto them. They within the chamber went forth incontinently, thinking that the Gouernour had caused the good fathers to come to heare the last confession of the poore Duchesse, who was so sorowefull and pensife as she was forced to kepe her bed: which came very well to passe, for the knight Mendozza, comming neare vnto her bedde, with his face towardes her, so counterfayted hym selfe as he coulde not in any manner of wyse be knowen. And the good olde father fryer taried in a corner of the chamber a farre of, that he might heare none of their talke: and as the Lorde of Mendozza leaned vpon her bedsyde, he sayde vnto her in the Italian tongue, which was so familiar to him as the Spanishe: “Madame, the peace of our Lorde be with you.” Wherunto the lady aunswered: “Father why speake you of peace, sithe I am in continuall warre, depriued of al contentation, and doe but attende the last end of my calamitie, whiche is a moste cruell and shamefull death, without desert.” And then the Lorde of Mendozza, who had consumed the moste parte of his youthe in good letters, saide vnto her: “I beleue madame you be not ignoraunt howe miseries and tribulations, fall not by accident or fortune, but by the prouidence or dispensation of God, before whome one litle sparrowe onely is not forgotten, as the prophete Amos doth manifeste vnto vs when he sayth: ‘there is none euil in the Citie that I haue not sent thither:’ whiche is also apparaunt in Job, whome the Deuil could not afflicte before he had first obtayned licence of God. And it is necessarye for you to knowe, that tribulations and affliction bee tokens of the fore chosen and elected people of God, and the true markes of our saluation: so that if you consider the order of all the Scriptures, from the beginning of the worlde vntyll this tyme, you shall fynde that they whome God hath alwayes best loued and cherished, he hath commaunded to drinke of the cup of his passion, and to be more afflicted than others: examples whereof be common in the Scriptures. As when Abell was afflicted by Caine his brother, Isaac by his brother Ismaell, Ioseph by his brethren, Dauid by Absolon his sonne, the children of Israel (the electe people of God) by Pharao: whiche thinges beinge profoundlye 318 considered by Sainct Paule, he sayde: ‘If we had not an other hope in Iesus Christe, than in the lyfe present, we might well say that we were the most miserable of al others. And yet moreouer, saith he, it is litle or nothing that we endure, in respect of that which Iesus Christe hath suffered.’ Who (although he framed the whole worke of the worlde) was called the Carpenter’s sonne, for preaching he was sclaundered, he was caried vp to a mountaine to be throwen down, he was called Glotton, Dronkard, louer of Publicanes and sinners, Samaritane, Seducer, Diuell: saying, that in the name of Belzebub he did cast out Diuels. But let vs consider, madame, a litle further, what thinges were done vnto him, hee was naked to clothe vs, prisoner and bounde to vnbinde vs from the chain of the Diuell, made a sacrifice to cleanse vs of all our inward filth, we doe see that he suffred his side to be opened, to close vp hell from vs, we see his handes whiche in so comely order made both heauen and earth for the loue of vs, pearced with pricking nailes, his head crowned with three sharped thornes to crowne vs with heauenly glorie. Let vs way that by his dolour came our ioye, our health grew of his infirmitie, of his death was deriued our life: and should we be ashamed to haue our head touched with a fewe thornes of trouble? Strengthen your self then (madame) in the name of God, and make you ready to receiue death in the name of him that was not ashamed to indure it for you. Is his strong hande any thing weakened? Is it not in him to ouerthrow the furie of your enemie, and so to humble your aduersarie that he shall neuer be able to be relieued? How many poore afflicted persones haue there bene seene to be abandoned of all succour, whom he hath behelde with his pitiful eye, and restored to greater ease and contentation, then euer they were in before? learne then from henceforth, to comforte your selfe in God, and say as the great doctor holy Ignatius sayd in his Epistle to the Romaines: ‘I desire that the fier, the gallowes, the beastes, and all the tormentes of the Diuil might exercise their crueltie vpon me, so as I may haue fruition of my Lorde God.’” And after that the knight had made an ende of his consolation, the Duchesle was so rapte in contentation, as it seemed her soule had already tasted of the celestiall delightes, and would flie euen vp 319 into heauen. And then feeling her selfe lightened like one that had escaped some furious tempest of the seas, she began to confesse her selfe vnto him from point to point, without omitting any thing of that whiche she thought might greue her conscience. And when she came to the accusation of the Earle, she prayed God not to pardon her sinnes, if she had committed in deede or thought, any thing contrarie to the dutie of mariage, except it were one dishonest affection that she had borne to a knight of Spaine, whom vnder pretence of a fained deuotion she had visited in Spayne, not committing any thing sauing good will whiche shee bare vnto him. “Which maketh me thinke (quod she) that God being moued against myne hypocrisie, hath permitted this false accusation to be raysed against me by the Earle of Pancalier, whiche I will paciently suffer, sithe his will is so.” Her confession finished, she plucked of a rich diamonde from her finger, saying: “Good father, albeit I haue heretofore bene a riche Princesse, as you knowe, yet nowe myne ennemies haue taken awaye all my goodes from me (this diamond except) which my brother the kyng of Englande gaue me, when I was maried to the Duke of Sauoie. And because I can not otherwise doe you good, I geue it vnto you, praying you to remember me in your prayers, and to kepe it for my sake: for it is of a greater price then you thinke, and may serue one daie to supply the necessitie of your conuent.” The confession ended and the diamond receiued, the twoo friers retourned home to their conuent. And so sone as they were arriued there, the Lorde of Mendozza sayde vnto hym: “Father, nowe doe I know certainly, that this poore woman is innocent, wherefore I am resolued to defende her so long as life doth last. And I feele my selfe so touched and pressed in mynde, as I thinke it long till I be at the combat. Wherefore I praye you if it chaunce that fortune be contrary vnto me, after my death, make it to be openly knowen what I am, and chiefly that the Duchesse may vnderstande it, for speciall purpose. And if it fortune that I escape with life (which can not be but by the death of the Earle) be secrete vnto me in these thinges which I haue declared vnder the vayle of confession.” The good father promised so to doe. And 320 hauing passed all that day and night in praiers and supplications, he armed himselfe, and made ready his courser. And when the dawning of the daye began to appeare, he went in his armour to the gates of the Citie, and calling one of the Guarde, he sayd vnto him: “Good fellowe, I pray thee bidde the Counte of Pancalier to prepare him selfe, to mainteine the false accusation, which he hath falsely forged against the Duchesse of Sauoie. And further tell him, that there is a knight here, that will make him to denie his horrible vilany before hee parte the fielde, and will in the presence of al the people cut out that periured toung, which durst commit such treason against an innocent Princesse.” This matter was in a moment published throughout all the citie, in such sorte, as you might haue sene the churches full of men and women, praying to God for the redemption of their maistresse. During the time that the guarde had done his ambassage, the Lord of Mendozza went towardes the piller where the accusation was written, attending when the accuser should come forth. The Earle of Pancalier aduertised hereof, began incontinently to feele a certaine remorse of conscience, which inwardly gript hym so nere, as he endured a torment lyke to very death. And being vnable to discharge himself therof, would willingly haue wished that he had neuer attempted the dishonour of the Lady. Neuerthelesse that he might not seeme slacke in that he had begonne, he sent woorde to the knight, that he mould write his name vppon the Piller, to whome Mendozza made aunswere, that he might not know his name, but the combat he would make him feele before the daye went downe. The Earle of Pancalier made difficultie of the combat, if firste he knewe not the name of hym with whom he should haue to doe. The matter well aduised, it was clearely resolued by the Iudges, that the statutes made no mention of the name, and therefore he was not bounde thereunto, but that the statute did expreslye fauour the defendant, geuing vnto him the election of the armour, and semblablie it was requisite that the persone accused should be brought forth in the presence of the twoo Champions. Which thinges vnderstanded by the Earle, albeit that he trusted not his quarell, yet making a vertue of necessitie, and not vnlearned in the order of such conflictes, forthwith armed hymselfe, and came 321 into the place ordayned for the campe, where he founde his enemy armed in a black armour, in token of mourning. Immediately after they sent for the Duchesse, who ignoraunt of the matter wondered much when she vnderstode that there was a knight in the field all armed in black, seming to be a noble man, that promised some great matter by his dexteritie and bolde countenaunce, and would also mainteine against the Earle of Pancalier his accusation to be false. The poore Duchesse then not being able to imagine what he should be, greatly troubled in mind, and comming forth of the Castel was conducted in a litter couered with black cloth, accompanied with more then two hundreth ladies and damsels, in semblable attire vnto the place where the Iudges, the people and the two knightes were, who did but attend her comming. And after they had wayted her going vp to a litle stage ordained for that purpose, the Deputies for the assurance of the campe, demaunded of her these wordes, saying: “Madam, for that you be accused of adulterie by the Earle of Pancalier here present, and the custome requireth that you present a Knight within the yeare and daye, by force of armes to trye your right: are you determined to accepte him that is here present, and to repose your selfe vpon him, both for your fault and innocencie?” The Duchesse aunswered: that shee committed all her right into the mercie of God, who knew the inwarde thoughtes of her harte, and to the manhode of the knight, albeit she thought that she had neuer seen him. And when she had ended those woordes, she fell downe vppon her knees, then lifting vp her eyes all blubbered with teares towardes heauen, she prayed: “O Lorde God, which art the very veritie it self, and knowest the bytternesse that I fele in my harte, to see my self falsely accused, shew forth now the treasure of thy grace vpon me wretched Princesse: and as thou diddest deliuer Susanna from her trouble, and Iudith from Holofernes, deliuer me from the hande of a tiraunt: who like a lion hungrie for my bloud, deuoureth both myne honour and life.” And hauing made an ende of her prayer, shee remained vnmoueable as if shee had bene in a traunce. And nowe the knight Mendozza, offended to see the Earle to praunce his horse vp and downe the campe, making him to vaut and leape, with a 322 countenaunce very furious sayd vnto him: “Traytour Counte, because I am certayne that the accusation which thou hast forged against this Princesse, is inuented by the greatest villany of the world, I do maintaine here before al the people, that thou hast falsely accused her, and that thou liest in thy throte, in all that thou hast contriued against her, and that thou haste deserued to bee put into a sacke, to bee caste into the Riuer for the murder that thou haste committed vppon thy Nephewe, the innocent bloud of whom doth nowe crie for vengeance to be taken for thy synne before God.” And scarce had he made an ende of his woordes, but the Earle aunswered him with a marueilous audacitie: “Infamous villain, which hidest thy name for feare lest thy vices should be knowen, thou arte nowe fouly deceiued by thinking to warrant her, who hath offended against the Duke her husbande, by her whoredome and adulterie: and for that thou hast parled so proudly, and wilt not be knowen, I can not otherwyse thinke but that thou art some one of her ruffians: and therefore I doe mainteine, that thou thy selfe doest lie, and that thou deseruest to be burnt in the same fire with her, or els to be drawen with foure horses by the crosse pathes of this towne, to serue for an example in the worlds to come, not onely for all lasciuious Ladies and Damsels, but also for such abhominable whoremongers, as be lyke thy selfe.” Incontinently after, the Harraulde of armes began to make the accustomed crie, and the Knightes to put their launces in their restes: they let run their horses with such violence, as ioyning together their shieldes, their bodies and heads, they brake their staues, euen to their Gauntlets, so roughly, as they fel both down to the ground without losing, neuerthelesse, the raines of the bridles. But the heate of the harte, and desire to vanquishe, made them readily to get vp againe, and hauing cast away the troncheons of their staues, layd handes on their swordes, and there began so straunge and cruell a sturre betwene them, as they which were the beholders were affrighted to see them able to endure so much: for they were so fleshed one vppon another, and did so thicke bestowe their strokes without breathing, as the lookers on confessed neuer to haue seene any combat in Piemonte betwene twoo single 323 persons, so furious, nor better followed then that of the Earle and of the knight Mendozza. But the Spanishe knight encouraged with the Iustice of his quarell, and the rewarde of his fight, seemed to redouble his force: for euen when euery man thought that power must needes fayle him, it was the houre wherin he did best behaue himselfe. In such sort, as his enemy not being able any longer to susteine his puissaunt strokes, being wounded in diuers partes of his bodye, did nowe no more but defende himselfe, and beare of the blowes which were bestowed vpon hym without intermission: whiche the Spanishe knight perceiuing, desirous to make an ende of the combat, made so full a blowe with all his force ypon the top of his helmet, as he wounded his head very sore. Wherewithall the harte of the Earle began very muche to faint, and staggering here and there like a dronken man or troubled in his senses, was constrained to fall downe from his horse: and then the Lorde of Mendozza dismounting him selfe, and takyng holde vpon the corps of his shield, plucked it so rudely to him, as he ouerturned him on his other syde. Then with the pomell of his sworde he did so swetely bumbast him, as he made his helmet to flye of his head: and setting his foote vpon his throte, made as though with the point of his swearde he woulde haue killed hym, saying: “Counte, the houre is now come that thou must goe make an accompt with God of thine vntrouth and treason which thou hast committed against the Duchesse.” “Ah, sir knight (quoth the Earle) haue pitie vpon me, and kil me not I beseche thee, before I haue a litle bethought me of my conscience.” “Villaine (quoth the Spaniard) if I had any hope of thine amendement, I would willingly geue thee dalay of life: but being a traytour as thou art, thou wilt neuer ceasse to afflicte innocentes. Neuerthelesse if thou wilt acknowledge thy fault publikely, and require pardon of the Duchesse, I wil willingly leaue thee to the mercy of the Duke, although that if I did obserue the rigour of the lawe, I should cause the presently to receiue the payne prepared for the Duchesse.” To whom he obeied for safegarde of his life, and kneeling on his knees before the Duchesse in the presence of al the people, made a long discourse of his loue towardes her, of the repulse that 324 she gaue him, and that for reuenge, he ayded him self with his nephewe, thinking to ouerthrowe her chastitie. Finally, howe he had slayne his Nephewe, to induce the Duke to iudge her to be culpable of the adulterie. And then tourning his face towardes the Duchesse, sayde vnto her: “Madame it behoueth me to confesse that the losse of this one life is to litle to paye the tribute of the curelesse faulte that I haue committed against you. Yet sithe it is so, I beseche you by preferring pitie and mercy before the rigor of your iustice, you will permit that I may liue yet certayn dayes to make a view of my life past, and to prouide for the scruple of my conscience.” Then new ioye approched to garnishe the spirite of the Duchesse, and both the soule and the harte began to shewe theim selues ioyful, in such wyse, as she was a long tyme without power to speake, and did nothing els but ioyne her handes and lifte vp her eyes to heauen, saying: “O Lorde God, praysed be thy holy name, for that thou hast caused the bright beames of thy diuinitie, to shyne vpon the darkenesse of my sorrowfull life, enforcing so well the mynde of this traytour the murderer of mine honour by the prickes of thy rigorous iustice, openly to acknowledge before all men, the iniurie that he hath done me.” And without speaking any more wordes, she torned her face for feare lest she should make him any other aunswere. Then all the people began to laude and magnifie God, and to sing psalmes for ioye of the deliueaunce of their Duchesse, who was brought backe and reconducted into the Citie, with so great triumphe, as if she had made a seconde entrie. Whilest these things were adoing, the Deputies for the suretie of the campe caused the wounded Earle to be borne to pryson. The knight Mendozza stale secretly awaye, and after that he had in the next village dressed certaine small woundes that he had receiued in the combat, he toke his way into Spain. In the meane time, the Duchesse caused him to be sought for in euery place, but it was not possible to know any more newes of him, than if he had ben neuer seene. Whereat being grieued beyond measure, she made her mone to Emilia, to know wherefore he should so absent himself from her. “Madame (quoth Emilia,) he is sure some French knight, or els it may be some 325 kinsman of your own, that is come out of England into these partes for certayne other affaires: and fearing least he should bee staied here, will not be knowen, reseruing the manifestation of himself till an other tyme more apte for his purpose.” “Let him bee what he may bee (sayde the Duchesse) for so long as my soule shall remayne within this bodye, I wyll doe hym homage during life: for the whiche I am so duelye bounde debtour vnto him, as neuer subiecte was to his soueraigne Lorde.” In this tyme whylest these matters went thus at Thurin, the Duke of Sauoie, the Lieutenant generall for the king against the Almaines, encountring with his enemies in a skirmishe, by fortune was slayne: whereof the king of England being aduertised, and specially of the deliuerie of his syster, desirous to haue her about him, sente for her to marrie her agayne, and to leaue vnto her the entier gouernement of his householde: and to gratifie her at her firste arriuall, he gaue the rule of his daughter vnto her, which was of the age of sixtene or seuentene yeares, with whom by certayne meanes there was a mariage practized for the Prince of Spayne. Let vs now leaue the Duchesse to liue in honor with her brother, and retorne we to the Lorde of Mendozza, who being arriued nere vnto his Citie, vnderstode incontinently that they which had besiedged it had leuied their campe. For that they of the towne had so well done their endeauour as not onely their enemies were not able to enter, but also they had in a certain skirmishe taken the Lord Ladolpho their chieftaine prisoner, who was yet to that present detained: because meanes were made for peace to be concluded on al sides: neuerthelesse they durst doe nothing without hym: whereat the Lorde of Mendozza beyng replenyshed with greate ioye to see his affaires prosper so well in all partes, entred the Citie: and the articles of the peace communicated vnto him, hee founde them verie profitable for him: and being concluded and approued by him he began to solace himselfe in his owne house, without taking care for any thing saue onely from thenceforth to thinke by what meane he might goe to see the Duchesse, and recount vnto her the issue of his affaires. But fortune prepared him a more readie occasion than he thought of: for the kyng of Spaine being aduertised of certaine talkes that had bene 326 bruted of the mariage of his sonne with the daughter of the king of Englande, determined with speede to send a great companie of noble men thyther, to demaunde his daughter in mariage: of the which the Lorde of Mendozza, as wel for his nobilitie, as for the knowledge he had in languages and other good disciplines, was elected chiefe, with speciall commission to accorde the mariage in case it should so please the kyng. The Ambassadours vsed suche expedition, that they arriued at London, where the kynge for that presente made his abode: who aduertised of their comming, gaue commandement to the Princesse his daughter, and to the Duchesse his sister, to prepare them selues to receyue a great companye of Lordes of Spayne, whiche that daye would come to his Courte to treate of the aforesayde mariage. And God knoweth if the ladies spared oughte of that, whiche they thought might augmente their beautie. The king also for his part, to doe them more honour, wente to meete them in persone, and at their arriuall, gaue them a moste friendly welcome: but sodaynly as they presented themselues to doe their reuerence to the ladies, the Duchesse who incontinently knew the Lord of Mendozza, began so to deteste him as she was not able to rule her selfe, but (with a sodayne mutation of colour) she abandoned the companie: the Lorde of Mendozza knowyng the originall of her griefe, lefte not his dutie vndone towardes the Princesse and other ladyes which accompanied her, dissembling to haue taken no regarde to the absence of the Duchesse. And Emilia, who had followed her mistresse into the chambre, fearynge leaste there were some sodaine mischaunce happened, demaunded of her, wherfore she was retired from a company so honourable: and sayd that she did great wrong to her owne estimation: to whom the Duchesse (with extreme choler) made aunswere: “Why Emilia, thinkest thou that I haue the harte to suffer my hand to be kissed by that moste trayterous and moste cowardly knight of the world, who made no conscience to abandone me in the greatest necessitie of my life? where as I, contrary to the dutie of all the lawes of honour, and contrary to my sexe, did so muche abase my selfe as to visite hym in Spayne. Naye rather my dayes shall ceasse their course than myne affection shall euer reuiue in him: he shall neuer receiue any other 327 fauour of me, but as of his most cruell and mortall enemy.” And then Emilia smiling, sayd vnto her: “In good earnest, madame, I thought that the sharpenesse of your imprisonement, with the other tormentes paste, whiche you indured, might haue put all these matters quite in obliuion, and woulde so haue mortified you, that you had wholly lost all desire of reuenge: but so farre as I can perceiue, I am deceiued of mine accompte, seying that sodaynly so soone as you behelde the knight Mendozza, you began to flie, as if your ghostly enemie had come before you, in his moste hideous and horrible forme.” Yet could not Emilia perswade her, to shewe her selfe abroade before dynner, tyll the king sent for her, with woorde that if she came not, he would himselfe fetche her. And then a little shamefast colour began to renew her alablaster cheekes, which rendred her so ruddye and fayre, as the Spanyards confessed neuer to haue seene in any parte of the worlde, where they had bene, one so faire and beautifull a wydow. The tables couered for dynner, the king tooke his place, and for their more honourable entertaynement, caused them to be set at his owne table: and made the Lorde of Mendozza to be placed right ouer against the Duchesse his sister: who was so inflamed and moued with choler, as shee duste not lift vp her eyes for feare least vpon the sodayne she should bee perceyued: whiche eyes sparkeling sometymes with greate yre, resembled properlye twoo starres of the night, that shoote forth their brightnesse vpon the earth, when all thinges be in silence. And all this tyme the Lorde of Mendozza conceyued suche pleasure at these pretie toyes, as he would not haue chaunged his ioy for the best Citie in all Englande: and as the Duchesse in this order did firmely fix her eyes, shee sawe by fortune a ryche diamonde that Mendozza ware vpon his finger, wherupon hauing oftentymes caste her eyes, she sodaynly knew that it was the very same that shee had geuen to the good father that confessed her at Thurin, the daye before shee was leadde to the Piller, and began then to imagine with her selfe, how it might be that he could come by the same: and not knowing what to saye, immediatly after shee had dyned and the tables taken vp, she caused maister Appian her Phisitian to be called vnto her: whome she desyred to know 328 of the Lord of Mendozza, by what meanes he came by the Diamonde that he ware vpon his finger: which Appian did. And after he had talked with the knight of certain common matters, he sayde vnto hym: “My Lorde, you haue a very fayre Diamonde there, whiche as I thinke I haue sene before this tyme, wherefore sir I praye you tel me where you had it.” To whome the Lorde of Mendozza answered in laughing wise: “Maister Appian, where I had the ring, is to secret for you to know, but tell my lady the Duchesse, that the knowledge thereof onely appertayneth vnto her.” Whiche aunswere Appian declared to the Duchesse: and albeit that she tooke no great pleasure in the aunswere, yet neuerthelesse very desyrous to vnderstande the truth, she repayred to the Knight whiche the same time walked alone in a Gallerie, who after he had kyssed her handes, began to discourse of his fortunes past, declaring vnto her, that he repented of the refusall that he made to maister Appian for her succour, and howe within a while after he rode to Thurin: adding the deuise whereby he had heard her confession, and how the Diamonde came into his handes, putting her in remembraunce from worde to worde, of all his talke with her, during the tyme that he was in frier’s weede, then finally his victorie against the Earle, his secret flyght, and all the whole as before hath bene declared. Whereat the Duchesse no lesse abashed than rapt with ioy and admiration, fel downe in a swoune betwene his armes, holding her mouth so faste closed against his, that it seemed she would drawe the soule out of his bodye, to ioyne and vnite with her’s: and after she had remayned a whyle in this traunce, shee cried out: “O poore harte so long tyme plagued, whiche hast for the space of a yeare nowe passed, bene tossed with so many tempestes and diuers assaultes of fortune: receiue at this present the medicine apt for thy health, sithens thou enioyest him betwene thine armes, that by the pryce of his blood, valiant force and extreme trauailes, hath raised thee from death to life: let fortune from henceforth doe her will in that she is able to deuise against me: and yet wyll I, for this onely benefite, confesse my selfe this daye to be eternally bounde vnto her.” “Madame (quod the knight) I pray you let vs not renewe the memorie of our former griefes: wherein, if by any meane I 329 haue done you good, I was but the organe or instrumente thereof: for God, who is the righter of all wrong, did neuer suffer iustice without his due acquitall, howe long so euer he taried. So (you not beyng in any wyse culpable) if I had neuer enterprysed the combate whereunto I was bounde, our Lorde God would haue raysed some other to achieue the same.” “Well then my Lord, (quoth the Duchesse) sithens it pleaseth you not, that I renewe my dolours past, which have taken ende by your meane, I shall humbly beseche you to excuse mee, if this daye I haue not geuen you that honour and good entertainement whiche you deserued: assuring you that before you shall departe this countrey, I wyll make you amendes according vnto your own discretion.” “Madame, (quod the knyght) for all the wronges that euer you did vnto me, (if they may be called wronges) the curtesie, fauour and gentlenesse which alreadie I haue receiued, doth at one instant requite and recompence. Neuerthelesse if it may please you to receyue me for your seconde husbande, sithe it hath pleased God to call your first out of this lyfe into an other: that is and shal bee the fulnesse of all the felicitie that I looke for in this worlde.” “My Lorde Mendozza, (sayd the Duchesse) the recompence whiche you demaunde of me, is very little in respect of the amendes and satisfaction whiche I ought to make you. But of one thing I can well assure you, that if I had the whole world at my commaundement, and that I were the greatest Princesse of the earth, in all kinde of beauties and giftes of grace, I would willingly submitte my self vnto you, in consideration of your worthinesse, and benefits bestowed vpon me with so willing a minde, as presently I do yelde vnto your request: and I must nedes confesse, that I am now greatly bounde to fortune, that hath deliuered me into your handes, from whome I hope never to be seuered so long as my soule shall reste within my body: being predestinated as I beleue to no other ende but to serue and obey you.” And as they thought to make a longer discourse of their talke, Emilia told them that the king was in counsell, and that the other Lordes of Spaine attended his comming: who with his company being come before the king, and hauing done their reuerence vnto him, he began to declare his charge, and how they were of purpose 330 sente to his maiestie in the behalfe of the king of Spaine, to demaunde the Lady his doughter in mariage, for his sonne the Prince of Spaine: which he had chosen aswel to haue his alliance (a matter by him only desired) as for the beautie and good grace, for the which she was specially recommended. And if so bee, he had willed to haue chosen his matche els where, that there was not at that day any Prince in al Europa, that woulde not willingly haue accorded vnto him. To whom the king answered: “My frendes, I feele my selfe so much honored, for that it hath pleased the king to send vnto me, as if he had not preuented me, I had thought to haue sent vnto him for the same purpose. And albeit that herein he hath vanquished me in ciuilitie and courtesie, yet I will not faile if I can to surmount him in amitie. For he hath bound me during life, in such wise as he, and my Lord his sonne, may boldly vaunt themselves to haue a king of England and a realme from henceforth at their commaundement.” The mariage concluded, the Duchesse diligentlye made sute to talke with the king alone, to communicate vnto him the agreement betweene the Lord of Mendozza and her. And perceiuing that the king was gone into his chamber, she went vnto him, and being alone with him, hauing her face al bedewed with teares, kneling, she said vnto him: “My Lord, when I consider my miseries paste, and the cruell assaultes that I haue receiued of fortune, being not onely committed to the mercy of a moste cruell prison, but (which is more) at the very last point of a shamefull death, I am so afflicted, that the onely remembraunce of those miseries terrifieth me, and causeth a certaine extreme bitternesse to rise in my hart. And when on the other side, I thinke of the great goodnesse that Almightie God hath shewed vnto me, by stretching forth his mighty hand to deliuer me out of that perill, chieflie to make mee triumphe ouer the death of mine enemy: I feele such comforte of minde as all the delightes of the world be but griefes, in respect of the ioye, pleasure and contentacion that I receiue: wherein nothing offendeth me so much as hetherto that I haue not acknowledged the benefit receiued of him, who was elected of God to be my deliuerer: neuerthelesse sir, by your onely word, you may both satisfie him, and content mee, yea and (as it were) prolong the 331 dayes of my life.” The king, who loued his sister no lesse than his daughter, seeing her pitifull complainte and teares, and to speake with such affection, toke her vppe, and holdinge her by the arme, said vnto her: “Deare sister and frende, if I have not to this present satisfied him that was the cause of your deliueraunce, I cannot be accused of ingratitude, for that hitherto I haue not knowen him, ne yet your selfe doth knowe what he is, (as you haue oftentimes tolde me:) but of one thing you maye be assured, and I sweare vnto you at this present, by my Scepter, that so sone as I shall vnderstande what he is, I will vse him in such wise as he shall thincke himselfe satisfied and contented, thoughe it did coste me the one halfe of my kingdome: for the pleasure which he hath done vnto you bindeth not you alone, but mee also, to be partaker of that band, both our honours being iointly bound thereunto.” “Alas, my Lord, (said the Duchesse) it is the knighte Mendozza, chiefe of this ambassade, to whom, if it please you to giue your consent that we two might marrie, all auncient bands and debtes shal remain extinct, and so by a smal reward you shal restore life to two persons, almost dead, for the excessiue loue which one beareth the other.” And therewithal she began to declare to the king, thoriginal and processe of the whole discourse. First, the voyage of the sister of Mendozza into Piemont: her owne peregrination to S. Iames, the honest amitie betweene her and Mendozza, the message of maister Appian to Mendozza, his refusall of that request, his retorne after to Thurin, her confession, the Diamonde knowen againe, finally, how all the whole had passed betwene them: the counterfaite deuocion to Sainct Iames onelye reserued, which, for her honour’s sake, shee woulde not tell him. The kinge vnderstanding this straunge discourse, was so rapte with ioye and appalled with gladnesse, as hee could not for a longe time make any aunswere. When his passion was moderated, hee said to his sister: “But be you well assured, that hee will receiue you for his wyfe.” “Yea, my Lord, (quoth shee) I ought well to be assured of it, since he himselfe hath made the requeste.” “And truly, (quoth the kinge) God forbidde that I should be the cause to breake so holy an accorde: for if the Lorde of Mendozza were inferiour in qualitie, nobility, and goods, than hee is: yet 332 hath hee so much done both for you and mee, as we may not honestlie refuse him. Howe much more then be we bounde to him: being a greate Lorde as hee is, issued of noble and famous families of Spaine, rich in goodes, and hauinge hazarded his life for the conseruation of your honour: and therewithall seeketh mine alliaunce. Goe your wayes, (dere sister and frend) goe your wayes, make much of him, and entreate him as you thincke beste. And when I haue walked two or three tornes here, I will come vnto him, to communicate more amplie of these matters.” Scarce had the Duchesse leysure to aduertise the Lorde of Mendozza of that which was concluded betweene the kinge and her, but he came downe into the hall, where the moste parte of the Spanishe gentlemen walked, and with a very ioyfull countenaunce wente to the knight. To whom hee said: “My Lorde Mendozza, I praye you to embrace mee: for so farre as I see, I haue a better intereste in you than I thought.” And the Lorde of Mendozza thinking to embrace him, his knee vppon the ground, was immediatelye desired to stand vp, Whom the kinge cleeping aboute the necke, saide vnto him so loude as euerye man mighte heare: “Sir knighte, by the God of Heauen, since that I might commaunde in the realme of Englande, I haue not entertayned Gentleman nor Prince, to whom I have bin more endebted than to you: nor neuer was there any dearer vnto mee than you, for the greate gratitude and kindnesse, wherewith you haue bound me, and wherby I shal not from henceforth be satisfied, vntil I haue in some thinge acknowledged the bonde wherein I am bounde vnto you.” When hee had spoken those woordes, hee began to declare from point to point, in the presence of all the assemblie, the contentes of the whole before declared historie. Whereat there was none in all the company, but was greatly astonned at the prudence of Mendozza, by so well dissembling, and accomplishing so great enterprises, without making them manifest. And the king of Englande commaunded that the mariage of him and his sister shoulde be published throughe out his realme, that all his nobilitie might be assembled. And for his greater honour, the kinge did from thenceforth constitute him his high Constable of England, and reposed himselfe in him, as vppon a firme piller, for the administration 333 of the wayghtiest affaires of his realme. The mariage solempnized and consummate with the Duchesse, he retourned into Spaine, to accompanye the Prince into England, whose mariage was celebrated at London, with the king of England’s daughter, in such pompe and solempnitie, as semblable Princes be commonlie accustomed to do in such like cases.



A King of England loued the daughter of one of his noble men, which was Countesse of Salesburie, who after great sute to atchieue that he could not winne, for the entire loue he bare her, and her greate constancie, hee made her his queene and wife.

This historie ensuinge, describing the perfect figure of womanhode, the naturall qualitie of loue incensinge the hartes indifferentlye of all nature’s children, the liuely image of a good condicioned Prince, the zealous loue of parentes and the glorious reward that chastitie conduceth to her imbracers, I deeme worthie to be annexed to the former Nouell, wherein as you haue hearde, bee contayned the straunge aduentures of a fayre and innocente Duchesse: whose life tried like gould in the fornace, glittereth at this daye like a bright starry planet, shining in the firmament with moste splendent brightnesse aboue all the rest, to the eternal prayse of feminine kinde. And as a noble man of Spaine, by heate of Loue’s rage, pursued the louinge trace of a king of England’s sister: euen so a renowmed and most victorious Prince (as the Auctour of theim both affirmeth) thorow the furie of that passion, which (as Apuleus sayth) in the firste heate is but small, but aboundinge by increase, doth set all men on fier, maketh earnest sute by discourse of wordes to a Lady herselfe, a Countesse, and Earle’s doughter, a beautifull and faire wighte, a creature incomparable, the wife of a noble man his own subiect: who seing her constante forte to be impregnable, after pleasaunte sute and milde requeste, attempteth by vndermining to inuade, and when with siege prolixe, hee perceiueth no ingenious deuise can atchieue that long and painfull worke, he threateth mighte and maine, dire and cruell assaultes, to winne and gette the same: and laste of all surrendred into his hands, and the prisoner cryinge for mercie, he mercifully is contented to mitigate his conceyued rigour, and pitifully to release the Lady, whom for her womanlye stoutnesse and coragious constancie hee imbraceth and entertayneth for his owne. This greate and worthy king, by the 335 first viewe of a delicate Ladie, thorowe the sappe of loue soaked into his noble harte, was transported into manye passions, and rapte with infinite pangues, which afterwards bredde him great disquietnes. This worthie Prince (I say) who before that time like an Alexander, was able to conquere and gain whole kingdomes, and made all Fraunce to quake for feare, at whose approch the gates of euery Citie did flie open, and fame of him prouoked ech Frenchman’s knee to bowe, whose helmet was made of manhods trampe, and mace well steeled with stoute attemptes, was by the weakest staye of dame Nature’s frame, a woman (shaped with no visage sterne or vglie loke) affrighted and appalled: whose harte was armed with no lethal sworde or deadly launce, but with a curat of honour and weapon of womanhode, and for all his glorious conquests, she durst by singuler combat to giue refusall to his face: which singuler perseueration in defence of her chastitie inexpugnable, esclarisheth to the whole flocke of womankinde the brighte beames of wisedome, vertue and honestie. No prayers, intreatie, suplication, teares, sobbes, sighes, or other like humaine actions, poured forth of a Princesse hart, could withdrawe her from the boundes of honestie. No promise, present, practise, deuise, sute, freinde, parent, letter or counsellour, could make her to stray oute of the limites of vertue. No threate, menace, rigour, feare, punishmente, exile, terror, or other crueltie, could diuert her from the siege of constancie. In her youthly time till her mariage day, shee delighted in virginitie: from her mariage day during her widow state, she reioysed in chastity: the one she conserued like a hardie Cloelia, the other she kept like a constant Panthea. This notable historie therfore I haue purposed to make common, aswel for encouragement of Ladies to imbrace constancie, as to imbolden them in the refusal of dishonest sutes, for which if they do not acquire semblable honour, as this Lady did, yet they shall not be frustrate of the due reward incidente to honour, which is fame and immortall prayse. Gentlemen may learne by the successe of this discourse, what tormentes be in Loue, what trauailes in pursute, what passions like ague fittes, what disconueniences, what loste labour, what plaints, what 336 griefes: what vnnatural attemptes be forced. Many other notorious examples be contayned in the same, to the greate comforte and pleasure as I trust, of the wel aduised reader: and although the auctour of the same, perchaunce hath not rightlye touched the proper names of the aucthours of this tragedie, by perfecte appellations: as Edward the third for his eldest sonne Edward the Prince of Wales (who as I read in Fabian) maried the Countesse of Salesburie, which before was Countesse of Kent, and wife vnto sir Thomas Holland: and whose name, (as Polidore sayth) was Iane, daughter to Edmond Earle of Kent, of whom the same Prince Edward begat Edward that died in his childish yeres, and Richard that afterwards was king of England the second of that name, and for that she was kin to him, was deuorced: whose sayde father maried Philip, daughter to the earle of Henault, and had by her VII. sonnes: and Ælips for the name of the sayde Countesse, beinge none suche amonges our vulgare termes, but Frosard remembreth her name to be Alice, which in deede is common amonges vs: and the Castell of Salesburie, where there is none by that name, vppon the frontiers of Scotlande, albeit the same Frosard doth make mention of a castell of the Earle of Salesburie’s, giuen vnto him by Edward the third when he was sir William Montague and maried the saide Lady Alice for his seruice and prowesse against the Scottes: and Rosamburghe for Roxboroughe: and that the said Edwarde when hee saw that hee could not by loue and other perswasions attaine the Countesse but by force, maried the same Countesse, which is altogether vntrue, for that Polydore and other aucthors do remember but one wife that hee had, which was the sayde vertuous Queene Philip, with other like defaults: yet the grace of the historie for all those errours is not diminished. Whereof I thoughte good to giue this aduertisemente: and waying with my selfe that by the publishing hereof no dishonour can dedounde to the illustre race of our noble kinges and Princes, ne yet to the blemishinge of the fame of that noble kinge, eternized for his victories and vertues in the auncient Annales, Chronicles and Monuments, forren and domesticall, (because all nature’s children be thral and subiecte to the infirmities of their first parentes,) I do 337 with submission humblie referre the same to the iudgement and correction of them, to whom it shall appartaine: which beinge considered, the Nouell doth begin in this forme and order.

There was a kinge of Englande named Edwarde, which had to his first wyfe the doughter of the Counte of Henault of whom hee had children, the eldest whereof was called also Edward, the renowmed Prince of Wales, who besides Poictiers subdued the French men, toke Iohn the French king prisoner, and sent him into England. This Edwarde father of the Prince of Wales, was not onely a capitall eunemie of the Frenchmen, but also had continual warres with the Scottes his neighbours, and seing himself so disquieted on euery side, ordayned for his Lieutenant vpon the frontiers of Scotland, one of his Captaynes, named William, Lord Montague: to whom because he had fortified Roxborough, and addressed many enterprises against the enemies, he gaue the Earledome of Sarisburie, and maried him honourablie with one of the fairest Ladies of England. Certaine dayes after, kinge Edward sent him into Flaunders, in the companie of the Earle of Suffolke, where fortune was so contrarie, as they were both taken prisoners, by the Frenchmen, and sente to the Louure at Paris. The Scottes hearing tell of their discomfiture, and how the marches were destitute of a gouernour, they speedely sente thether an armie, with intente to take the Countesse prisoner, to rase her Castle, and to make bootie of the riches that was there. But the Earle of Sarisburie before his departure, had giuen so good order, that their successe was not such as they hoped: for they wer so liuely repelled by them that wer within, as not able to endure their furie, in steede of making their approches, they were constrayned to go further of. And hauinge intelligence by certaine spies, that the king of England was departed from London, with a great armie, to come to succour the Countesse, perceyuing that a farre of, they were able to do litle good, they were faine shortly to retire home again to their shame. King Edward departed from London, trauayling by great iourneyes with his armye towardes Sarisburie, was aduertized, that the Scottes were discamped, and fled againe into Scotland. Albeit they had so spoyled the castle in manye places, as the markes gaue sufficiente witnesse, what their intente 338 and meaning was. And althoughe the kinge had thoughte to retourne backe againe vppon their retire, yet being aduertised of the great battrie, and of the hotte assault they had giuen to the Castell, he went foorth to visit the place. The Countesse whose name was Ælips, vnderstanding of the kinge’s comming, causing all things to bee in so good readinesse, as the shortnesse of the time could serue, furnished her selfe so well as shee could with a certaine nomber of Gentlewomen and Souldiours that remained, to issue forth to meete the king, who besides her natural beautie, for the which she was recommended aboue all the Ladies of her prouince, was enriched with the furniture of vertue and curtesie, which made her so incomparable, that at one instante, she rauished the hartes of all the Princes and Lordes that did behold her, in such wise, as there was no talke in all the armie but of her graces and vertue, and specially of her excellent and surpassing beauty. The kinge hauing made reuerence vnto her, after hee had well viewed all her gestures and countenaunces, thoughte that hee had neuer seen a more goodlier creature. Then rapte with an incredible admiration he said vnto her: “Madame Countesse, I do beleeue, that if in this attire and furniture wherein you now be, accompanied with so rare and excellente beautie, ye had beene placed vppon one of the rampiers of your Castell, you had made more breaches with the lokes and beames of your sparkling eyes, in the hartes of your ennemyes, than they had beene able to haue done in your castel, with their thundring ordinaunce.” The Countesse somewhat shamefast and abashed, to heare herselfe so greatly praysed of a Prince so greate, began to blushe and taint with roseall colour, the whitenesse of her alablaster face. Then lifting vp her bashfull eyes, somewhat towards the king, she said vnto him: “My soueraigne Lord, your grace may speake your pleasure, but I am well assured, that if you had seen the nomber of shotte, which by the space of XII. houres were bestowed so thicke as hayle, vpon euery part of the fort, you might haue iudged what good wil the Scots did beare vnto mee and my people. And for my selfe I am assured, that if I had made proufe of that which you saye, and submitted myselfe to their mercie, my bodye nowe had been dissolued into duste.” The king astonned with so sage and wise aunswere, chaunging 339 his minde, went towarde the castell: where after interteignement and accustomed welcome, he began by litle and litle, to feele himselfe attached wyth a newe fier. Which the more he laboured to resist, the more it inflamed: and feelinge this new mutacion in himselfe, there came into his mind, an infinite nomber of matters, balancing betwene hope and feare, somtimes determining to yeld vnto his passions, and somtimes thinking clerely to cut them of, for feare least by committinge himselfe to his affections, the vrgent affayres of the warres, wherewith hee was inuolued, should haue ill successe. But in the ende vanquished wyth Loue, hee purposed to proue the hart of the Countesse, and the better to attayne the same he toke her by the hande, and prayed her to shewe him the commodities of the fortresse. Which shee did so well, and with so good grace intertaigne them all the whyle wyth infinite talke of diuers matters, that the litle grifts of loue which were scarcely planted, began to growe so farre as the rootes remayned fast grounded in the depthe of his harte. And the kyng not able any longer to endure such a charge in his minde, pressed with griefe, deuised by what meanes he might enioye her, which was the cause of his disquiet. But the Countesse seing him so pensife, without any apparaunt occasion, sayde vnto him: “Sir, I doe not a litle maruell to see you reduced into these alterations: for (me thincke) your grace is maruelously chaunged within these two or thre houres, that your highnes vouchsaued to enter into this castel for my succour and reliefe in so good time, as al the dayes of my life, both I and mine be greatly bound vnto you, as to him which is not onely content liberally to haue bestowed vpon vs the goods which we possesse, but also by his generositie, doth conserue and defend vs from the incursions of the enemie. Wherein your grace doth deserue double prayse, for a deede so charitable: but I cannot tell nor yet deuise, what should bee the cause that your highnesse is so pensife and sorowful, sith without great losse on your parte, your enemies vnderstandinge of your stoute approche, be retired, which ought, as I suppose, to driue awaye the Melancholie from your Stomacke, and to revoke your former ioy, for so much as victorie acquired withoute effusion of bloud, is alwayes most noble and acceptable before God.” The king hearing 340 this angel’s voyce, so amiably pronouncing these words, thinking that of her owne accord shee came to make him mery, determined to let her vnderstand his griefe, vpon so conueniente occasion offred. Then with a trembling voice he said vnto her: “Ah Madame, how farre be my thoughtes farre differente from those which you do thincke me to haue: I feele my hart so opprest with care, as it is impossible to tell you what it is, howbeit the same hath not beene of long continuance, being attached therewithall, since my comminge hether, which troubleth me so sore, as I cannot tell whereupon well to determine.” The Countesse seing the king thus moued, not knowing the cause whye, was vncertaine what aunswere to make. Which the king perceyuing, said vnto her, fetching a deepe sighe from the bottome of his stomacke: “And what say you Madame thereunto, can you giue mee no remedie?” The Countesse, which neuer thoughte that any such discurtesie could take place in the kinge’s hart, taking things in good part, said vnto him: “Syr, I know not what remedie to giue you, if first you do not discouer vnto me the griefe. But if it trouble you, that the Scottishe kinge hath spoyled your countrie, the losse is not soe greate, as therewith a Prince so mightie as you be, neede to be offended: sithens by the grace of God, the vengeaunce lieth in your handes, and you may in time chasten him, as at other times you haue done.” Whereunto the kinge seinge her simplicitie, aunsweared: “Madame, the beginninge of my griefe ryseth not of that, but my wounde resteth in the inwarde parte of my harte, which pricketh mee so soore, as if I desire from henceforth to prolonge my life, I muste open the same vnto you, reseruing the cause thereof so secrete, as none but you and I must be partakers. I must now then confesse vnto you, that in comminge to your Castell, and castinge downe my head to behold your celestial