The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Palace of Pleasure, by William Painter

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Title: The Palace of Pleasure
       Volume 2

Author: William Painter

Editor: Joseph Haslewood
        Joseph Jacobs

Release Date: October 10, 2010 [EBook #34053]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Note that the editions of Painter and Haslewood were published in two volumes (“Tome I” and “Tome II”), while Jacobs’s edition (the present text) was published in three volumes.

Volume I of this work, including the Introduction, is available from Project Gutenberg as a separate e-text.

Contents (entire Volume)
Tome I
Tome II
Errors and Inconsistencies





Ballantyne Press


see end of text

Title Page Text






TOME I.Continued.

see end of text

Tome I: Title Page Text


The Palace of Pleasure.



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 husbande had spoken of him, and for recompence he refused to dishonest her.

In the Citie of Siena in Italie there was a rich yong Gentleman called Galgano, borne of noble birth, actiue, and wel trained in al kinde of exercise, valiaunt, braue, stoute and curteous, in the maners and orders of all countries verye skilfull. This Galgano loued a Gentlewoman of Siena named Madonna Minoccia, the wyfe of sir Stricca a comely knight, and wore in his apparell the colour and deuises of his Lady, bearing the same vppon his helmet and armour, in all Iustes, Tourneyes and triumphes, obseruing noble feastes and banquettes for her sake. But for all those costly, sumptuous and noble practises, this Lady Minoccia in no wyse would giue eare vnto his sutes. Wherfore Galgano at his wittes ende, was voyde of aduise what to do or saye, seing the great crueltie and rigor raigning in her breste, vnto whom hee dayle prayed for better successe and fortune than to himselfe. There was no feast, banquet, triumph, or mariage, but Galgano was there, to do her humble seruice, and that daye his minde was not pleased and contented, wherein he had not seene her that had his louing harte in full possession. Very many times (like a Prince 4 that coueted peace) he sente Ambassadours vnto her, wyth presentes and messages, but she (a proude and scornefull Princesse) dayned neither to heare them or receiue them. And in this state stode this passionate Louer a longe time, tormented with the exceeding hote Loue and fealtie that he bare her. And many times making his reuerent complaints to loue, did say: “Ah Loue, my deare and soueraigne Lorde, how cruell and hard harted art thou, how vnmercifully dealest thou with me, rather how deaf be thine eares, that canst not recline the same to my nightly complaintes, and dailye afflictions; How chaunceth it that I do in this maner consume my ioyfull dayes with pining plaintes? Why doest thou suffer me to Loue, and not to be beloued?” And thus oftentimes remembringe the crueltie of loue, and his ladies tyrrany, hee began to dye in maner like a wight replete with despaire. But in fine, he determined paciently to abide the good time and pleasure of Loue, still hoping to finde mercie: and daily gaue himselfe to practise and frequent those thinges that might be acceptable and pleasant to his Lady, but shee still persisted inexorable. It chaunced that sir Stricca and his fayre wyfe, for their solace and recreation, repaired to one of their houses hard by Siena: and upon a time, Galgano passing by with a Sparhauke on his fiste, made as though he went on Hauking, but of purpose onely to see his lady. And as he was going by the house, sir Stricca espied him, and went forth to meete him, and familiarly taking him by the hand, prayed him to take parte of his supper with his wyfe and him: for which curtesie Galgano gaue him thanckes, and said: “Sir, I do thancke you for your curteous requeste, but for this time I pray you to hold me excused, because I am going about certaine affayres very requisite and necessary to be done.” Then sayde sir Stricca: “At least wise drincke with mee before you depart.” But giuing him thankes he bad him farewell. Maister Stricca seing that hee could not cause him to tary, toke his leaue, and retourned into his house. Galgano gone from maistre Stricca, sayd to himselfe: “Ah, beast that I am, why did I not accept his offer? Why should shamefastness let me from the sight of her, whom I loue better than all the world besides.” And as he was thus pensife in complaintes his spaniells sprong a Partrich, wherat he let flee his 5 Hauke, and the Partrich flying into sir Stricca his garden, his Hauke pursued and seassed vppon the same. Maister Stricca and his Ladye hearinge that pastime, ranne to the garden window, to see the killing of the Partrich: and beholding the valiante skirmishe betweene the foule and the hauke, the lady asked whose hauke it was: her husband made aunswere that he knew well inoughe the owner, by the goodnesse and hardines of the same. “For the owner of this hauke (quoth hee) is the trimmest and most valiaunt gentleman in all Siena, and one indued with beste qualities.” The lady demaunded what he was? “Maister Galgano (said her husband,) who euen now passed by the gate, and I prayed him very earnestly to supper, but hee woulde not be intreated. And truly wyfe, he is the comliest gentleman, and moste vertuous personage, that euer I knewe in my life.” With those wordes they wente from the windowe to supper: and Galgano, when he had lured his Hauke, departed awaye. The Lady marked those words and fixed them in minde. It fortuned within a while after, that sir Stricca was by the state of Siena sent in ambassage to Perugia, by reason wherof, his Lady at home alone, so sone as her husband had taken his iourney, sent her most secrete and trustie maide, to intreat maister Galgano, to come and speake with her. When the message was done to Galgano, (if his heart were on a merie pinne, or whether his spirits dulled with continuall sorrowe were againe reuiued, they knowe that most haue felte the painefull pangues of Loue, and they also whose flesh haue beene pearced wyth the amorous arrowes of the little boy Cupide:) he made aunswere that hee would willingly come, rendringe thanckes both to the maistresse and maide, the one for her paine, and the other for her good remembraunce. Galgano vnderstanding that sir Stricca was gone to Perugia, in the eueninge at conuenient time, repaired to the house of her whose sight he loued better than his owne eyes. And being come before his Lady, with great submission and reuerence hee saluted her, (like those whose hartes do throbe, as foretellinge the possession of good tournes and benefites, after which with longe sute and trauaile they haue aspired) wherewith the Lady delighted, very pleasantly took him by the hande, and imbracing him, said: “Welcome mine owne sweet Galgano, a hundred times I say welcome.” 6 And for the time with kisses, makinge truce with their affections, the lady called for comfictes and wyne. And when they had dronke and refreshed themselues, the lady toke him by the hande and said: “My sweete Galgano, night beginneth to passe awaye, and the time of sleepe is come, therefore let vs yeld our selues to the seruice and commaundment of our very good Ladye, madame Cytherea, for whose sake I intreated you to come hither.” Galgano aunswered, that he was very wel contented. Being within the chamber, after much pleasaunte talke and louing discourse betweene them, the Lady did put of her clothes, and went to bed. Galgano being somewhat bashfull, was perceyued of the Lady, vnto whom she said: “Me thincke, Galgano, that you be fearful and shamefast. What do you lacke? Do I not please you? Doth not my personage content you? Haue you not the thing which you desire?” “Yes madame,” said Galgano: “God himself could not do me a greater pleasure, than to suffer me to be cleped within your armes.” And reasoning in this sort, he put of his clothes also, and laide himselfe by her, whom he had coueted and desired of long time. Being in the bed, he said: “Madame, I beseech you graunt me one resquest.” “What is that, Galgano?” (quoth she.) “It is this, madame,” said Galgano: “I do much maruell, why this night aboue all other, you haue sent for mee: considering how long I haue bin a suter vnto you, and although I haue prosecuted my sute, by great expence and trauaile, yet you would never yelde before now: what hath moued you now thus to do?” The Lady answered: “I wil tell you sir: true it is, that not many dayes agoe, passing by this house, with your Hauke on your fiste, my husband told me that so sone as he sawe you, he wente oute to meete you, of purpose to intreate you to supper, but you would not tarrie: then your Hauke pursued a Partrich, euen into my garden, and I seing the Hauke so egerly seasing vpon the same, demaunded of my husband whose Hauke it was. He told me that the Hauke did belong to the most excellent yong man of all Siena: and that he neuer in all his life knewe a gentleman better accomplished with all vertues and good qualities, and therewithal gaue vnto you singuler prayse and commendacion. Whereuppon hearing him in such wise to prayse you, and knowing 7 righte well your affectionate minde and disposition towards mee, my hart attached with loue, forced me to sende for you that I mighte hereafter auoyde disdaine and other scornefull demeaner, to impeache or hinder your loue: and this briefely is the cause.” “Is this true?” said Galgano. “Most certaine and true,” aunsweared the Lady.” “Was there no other occasion?” “No, verely:” said the lady. “God defend,” (quoth Galgano,) “that I should recompence the curtesie and good will of so noble a gentleman (as your husband is) with reproch and villany. Is it meete that good turnes should be requited with vnkindnes? If euer man had cause to defende the honor of his vnknowen frend, cause haue I right good and apte. For now knowinge such a frende, that would by vertuous reportes haue aduaunced me to higher matters, than wherof I am in possession, should I reward with pollucion of his stocke and wife? No, no, lady! my raginge sute by loue, is by vertue quenched. Vertue onely hath staunched the flames of vile affections. Seeke another frende, to glut your lecherous minde. Finde out some other companion, to coole thy disordinate loue. Shal I be disloyal to him, that hath been faithfull vnto me? Shall I be traytor to him, that frendly hath commended me? What can be more required of humane hearte, or more desired of manlike mind, but wilfull bente, and fixed to do him good, that neuer erst by iuste desert deserued the same.” With which wordes sodenly hee lept out of the bed, and when he had furnished himselfe againe with his apparell, hee also put vppon him vertuous friendship, and takinge his leaue of the Lady, neuer after that time he gaue himself to matters of Loue. And maister Stricca he continually obserued both with singuler loue and dutifull friendship: whereby it is vncertaine whether was most singuler in him, his continency at the very instante by refrayning that vehement heate of loue, which so long time with great trauaile and coste he had pursued, or his regard of frendship to sir Stricca vppon wordes of commendacion spoken behinde his backe. Both no doubte be singuler vertues meete for all men to be obserued: but the subduing of his affections surmounted and passed.



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 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 marriage.

In the goodly citie of Venice there was once a duke, that was a noble gentleman and of greate experience and wisedome, called Valeriano di messer Vannozzo Accettani. In the chiefest Churche of which Citie called San Marco, there was a steple, very faire and sumptuous, and of greatest fame of any thinge at that time that was in Venice, which steeple was like to fall downe by reason of certaine faultes and decayes in the foundacion. Wherfore the Duke caused to be searched thorow out all Italie, some cunning workeman that would take in hand the reparacion and amendmente of the same: with promise of so much money as he would demaund for doing thereof. Whereuppon an excellent Architect of Florence, named Bindo, hearing tel of this offer, determined to go to Venice for the accomplishmente of that worke, and for that purpose with his onelye sonne and wyfe, hee departed Florence. And when he had seene and surueyed the steeple, he went straight to the Duke, and told him that he was come thither to offer his seruice for repayringe of the same, whom the Duke curteously intertayned and prayed him, that he would so sone as he coulde begin that worke. Whereunto Bindo accorded, and wyth great diligence and small time he finished the same, in better forme and surety than it was at the first: which greatly pleased the Duke, and gaue Bindo so much money as he demaunded, making him besides a Citizen of Venice, for the maintenaunce of whose state, hee allotted him a sufficient stipend: 9 afterwards the Duke called him vnto him, and declared that he would haue a Treasure house made, wherein should be disposed and layde vp all the Treasure and common ornamentes for the furniture of the whole Citie, which Bindo by and by toke vppon him to do, and made it of such singuler beautie, as it excelled all the monuments of the Citie, wherein all the said Treasure was bestowed. In which worke hee had framed a stone by cunninge, that mighte be remoued at pleasure, and no man perceiue it: meaning thereby to goe into the Chamber when he liste: whereunto none in all the world was priuie but himselfe. When this Palace and Treasure house was done, he caused all the furnitures of Silkes, hanginges, wrought with Golde, Canapees, clothes of state, riche Chayres, Plate, and other Ornaments of Golde and Siluer to be caried thither, whiche he called La Turpea del Doge, and was kept vnder fiue keyes: whereof foure were deliuered to foure of the chiefe Citizens, deputed to that office, which were called Chamberlaynes of the Treasure house, and the fift keye the Duke himselfe did keepe, so that the Chamber coulde not bee opened excepte they were all fiue presente. Nowe Bindo and his famelie dwelling at Venice, and beinge a citizen there, beganne to spende liberallye and to liue a riche and wealthye life, and hys sonne Ricciardo consumed disordinatelye, whereby in space of time, they wanted Garmentes to furnishe their bodies, whiche they were not able to maintaine for their inordinate expences: wherefore the father vpon a night calling his sonne vnto him, got a ladder, and a certaine yron instrumente made for the purpose, and taking also with him a litle lime, went to the hole, which Bindo artificially had made, who taking out the stone, crept in, and toke out a faire cup of gold, which was in a closet, and afterward he wente out, cowching the stone againe in due place. And when they were come home, they brake the cup and caused it to be solde by peece meale, in certaine Cities of Lombardie. And in this sorte, they maintayned their disordinate life begonne. It chaunced not long after, that a Cardinall arriued at Venice, about affayres with the Duke, and the state, who the more honorablie to receiue him, opened the Treasure house to take oute certaine furnitures within, as plate, clothes 10 of state, and other thinges. When the dore was opened, and had taken out the saide necessaries, they founde a cuppe lesse than oughte to be, wherewith the Chamberlaines contended amonge themselues, and wente to the Duke, telling him that there wanted a cuppe: whereat the Duke marueiled, and said that amonges them it must needes be gone. And after many denialls, and much talke, he willed them to saye nothing, till the Cardinall was departed. When the Cardinall was come, he was receyued with honorable interteignemente, and beinge departed, the Duke sente for the foure Chamberlaines, to consult about the losse of the cup, commaunding them not to departe the Palace before the same was found, saying that amongs them it muste needes be stolen. These four persons being together, and debating how and by what meanes the cup should be taken away, were at their wittes ende. At length one of them saide: “Let vs consider whether ther bee anye comminge into the Chamber besides the doore.” And viewinge it they coulde not perceiue anye entrie at all. And to proue the same more effectuallye, they strawed the chamber aboute with fyne fifted chaffe, setting the same on fier, which done, they shutte fast the windowes and doores, that the smoke and smoulder might not goe out. The force of which smoke was sutche as it issued through the hole that Bindo made, whereby they perceiued the way howe the robbery was committed, and went to the Duke to tell him what they had done. The duke vnderstanding the fact, wylled them to saye nothing, for that he woulde deuise a pollicie how to take the theefe: who caused to be brought into the chamber a caldron of pitche, and placed it directly vnder the hole, commaunding that a fyre should be kept daye and night vnder the caldron, that the same might continually boyle. It come to passe that when the money was spent which the father and sonne had receiued for the cup, one night they went agayne to the hole, and remouing the stone, the father went in as he did before, and fell into the caldron of pitche (which continually was boyling there) vp to the waste, and not able to liue any longer, he called his sonne vnto him, and fayde: “Ricciardo myne owne sweete sonne, death hath taken me prysoner, for halfe my body is dead, and my breath also is 11 ready to departe. Take my head with thee, and burie it in some place that it be not knowen, which done, commend me to thy mother, whome I pray thee to cherishe and comforte, and in any wyse take hede that warely and circumspectlye thou doe departe from hence: and if any man do aske for me, say that I am gone to Florence about certaine businesse.” The sonne lamentably began to lament his father’s fortune, saying: “Oh deare father, what wicked furie hath thus cruelly deuised sodaine death.” “Content thy selfe, my sonne,” sayd the father, “and be quiet, better it is that one should dye, than twoo, therefore doe what I haue tolde thee, and fare well.” The sonne tooke vp his father’s head, and went his waye, the reste of his bodye remayned in the caldron, like a block without forme. When Ricciardo was come home, he buried his father’s head so well as he could, and afterwardes tolde his mother what was become of his father, who vnderstanding the maner of his death, began piteously to cry out, to whom her sonne holding up his hands, sayd: “Good mother holde your peace, and geue ouer your weeping: for our life is in great perill and daunger, if your outcrie be heard. Therefore good mother, quiet yourselfe, for better it were for vs to liue in poore estate, than to die with infamie, to the vtter reproche and shame of all our familie.” With whiche woordes he appeased her. In the morning the bodye was founde and caried to the Duke, who maruelled at it, and could not deuise what he should be, but sayd: “Surely there be two that committed this robberie, one of them we haue, let vs imagine how we may take the other.” Then one of the foure Chamberlaines sayd: “I haue found out a trap to catche the other, if it will please you to heare mine aduise, which is this: Impossible it is, but this theefe that is dead, hath either wife, children, or some kinsman in the citie, and therfore let vs cause the bodie to be drawen throughout the streates, and geue diligent hede whether anye persone doe complaine or lament his death: and if any such be found, let him be taken and examined: which is the next way as I suppose, to finde out his companion.” Which being concluded, they departed. The body was drawen throughout the citie with a guard of men attending vpon the same: as the executioners 12 passed by the house of Bindo, whose carcasse laye vppon the hurdle, his wyfe stode at the wyndowe, and seing the body of her husband so vsed, made a great outcrie. At whiche noyse the sonne spake to his mother and sayde: “Alas, mother, what do you?” And beholding his father’s corps vpon the hurdle, he toke a knife and made a great gashe into his hande, that the bloud aboundantly issued out. The guarde hearing the noyse that the woman made, ran into the house, and asked her what she lacked. The sonne answered: “I was caruing a peece of stone with this knife, and by chaunce I hurt my hande, which my mother seeyng cryed out, thynking that I had hurt myselfe more than I haue.” The guarde seeing his hande all bloudy and cut, did belieue it to be true, and from thence went round about the liberties of the Citie, finding none that seemed to lament or bewayle that chaunce. And returning to the Duke, they tolde him howe all that labour was imployed in vayne, whereupon he appointed them to hang vp the dead body in the market-place, with secret watche in like maner, to espie if any person by day or night, would come to complaine or be sorrowefull for him. Which body was by the feete hanged vp there, and a continuall watche appointed to kepe the same. The rumor hereof was bruted throughout the Citie, and euery man resorted thither to see it. The woman hearing tell that her husbandes carcasse should be hanged vp in the market-place, saide diuerse times to her sonne, that it was a very great shame for him to suffer his father’s body in that shamefull sort to be vsed. To whom her sonne made answere, saying: “Good mother, for God’s sake be contented, for that whiche they do is for none other purpose, but to proue me: wherefore be pacient a while, till this chaunce be past.” The mother not able to abide it any longer, brake out many times into these words: “If I were a man as I am a woman, it should not be vndone now: and if thou wilt not aduenture thy selfe, I will one night giue the attempt.” The yong man seing the froward nature of his mother, determined to take away the body by this policie. He borrowed twelve friers frockes or cowles, and in the euening went downe to the hauen, and hired twelue mariners, and placed them in a backe house, geuing them so much meate and 13 drinke as they woulde eate. And when they had well whitled and tippled themselues, he put vpon them those friers cowles, with visards vppon their faces, and gaue euery of them in their hands a burning torch, making them to seme as though they had ben Diuels of hel: and he himself rode vpon a horse al couered with blacke, beset rounde about with monstrous and vglie faces, euerye of them hauinge a burnyng candle in his mouthe, and riding before with a visarde of horrible shape vpon his head, sayde vnto them: “Doe as I doe:” and then marched forward to the market-place. When they came thether they ran vp and downe with roring voyces crying out like Deuils being then past midnight and very darke. When the watche sawe that straunge sight they were affrayde, thinking that they had bene Deuils indeede, and that he on horsebacke in that forme had ben the great Deuill Lucifer himselfe. And seing him runne towardes the gibet, the watche toke their legges and ran away. The yong man in the shape of the great Deuill toke downe the body and layd it before him on horsebacke, who calling his companie away, roode before in poste. When they were come home, he gaue them their money, and vncasing them of their cowles sent them away, and afterwardes buried the body so secretly as he could. In the morning newes came to the Duke that the bodye was taken awaye, who sent for the guarde to knowe what was become thereof. To whome they sayde these wordes: “Pleaseth your grace, about midnight last past there came into the market-place a companie of Deuils, among whom we sawe the great deuil Lucifer himselfe, who as wee suppose did eate vp the bodye, which terrible sight and vision made vs to take our legges.” The Duke by those wordes perceiued euidently that the same was but a practise to deceiue them of their purpose, notwithstanding he determined once again to deuise some meanes in the ende to knowe the truthe, and decreed a constitucion that for the space of xx dayes no fresh meate shoulde be solde in Venice: at which decree all the citie marueiled. Afterwardes he caused a verie faire fatte calfe to be solde, sessing the price of euery pounde at a fiorino, which amounteth to a French crowne or thereaboutes, and willed hym that solde it to note and marke them that bought it: thinking with himselfe, that he which is a theefe is licorous of mouth delicate 14 in fare and would not stick to geue a good price, although it cost him a French crown for euery pound: making proclamation, that he which would buye any fresh meate should resort to the market-place where was to bee solde. All the Marchaunts and Gentlemen repaired to buye some of the veale, and vnderstanding that euery pound would not be solde under a Frenche crowne, they bought none at all. This calfe and the price was bruted in all places, and came to the knowledge of the mother of this yong man, who said vnto her sonne: “I haue a minde to eate some of the veale, now solde in the market.” Ricciardo aunswered. “Mother make no haste to buye it, first let it be cheapened by other, and at length I will deuise a meane that you shall have it: for it is not wysedome for vs to be the firste that shall desire it.” The mother like an ignoraunt and vnskilfull woman, was importunate to haue it. The sonne fearing that his mother would sende for some of the veale, by other, caused a Pie to be made, and prepared a flagon full of wyne, both which were intermixed with thinges to cause sleepe, and taking bread, the sayd Pie, and the flagon of wyne, when it was night, putting on a counterfait beard, and cloke, went to the stall where that veale was to bee solde, which as yet was whole and vnbought. And when he had knocked at the shop dore, one of the guard asked who was there. To whom Ricciardo said: “Can you tel me wher one Ventura doth kepe his shop?” Of whom one of them demaunded what Ventura? “I know not his surname,” sayde Ricciardo, “that I would he had bene hanged, when I came first to dwell with him.” “Why who sent thee?” said one of the guarde. “His wyfe (quod Ricciardo) who bade me cary him this meate and wyne for his supper: but I pray you (sayde Ricciardo,) let me leaue the same with you, till I goe home to know better where he kepeth his stall. And maruell not, my maisters, though I know not where his shop is, for it is not long sithens I came to dwell in this Citie.” And so leauing behind him the Pie, and the bread with the flagon of wyne, he made haste to departe, and tolde them that he wold come againe by and by. When he was gone, one of them toke the flagon and drancke, and afterwardes gaue it to his companion, and said: “Drinke, for thou neuer diddest tast of better wyne in all thy life.” His companion dranke, and merily communing of 15 this matter, they fel a sleepe. Ricciardo loking in at a hole of the dore, seing them a slepe, went in, and toke the calfe, and caried it home whole as it was, and saide to his mother: “Hold, mother, there is your luste, cut it out:” and by and by she cut out a great pece. The duke so sone as he heard that the calfe was stolen, and the maner howe, did wonder very muche, purposing yet to knowe what hee was: and caused a hundred poore people to come before him, whose names being written, he said vnto them: Get ye to all the houses in Venice, vnder colour to begge almes. And marke if you see in any house fleshe dressed, or any pece in making ready to be eaten at the fier, which if you doe, ye must be importunate in begging, till they giue you either flesh or broth. And he among all you that shal bring me the first newes, I wil giue him xx crownes.” These beggers dispersed themselues into euery corner of the Citie, crauing their almes, amongs whom one of them asked his almes at the house of Ricciardo, and approching nere, espied openly fleshe at the spit, and besought a morsell thereof for God’s sake: to whom the vndiscrete woman seeing that she had plentye, gaue a litle pece. The poore man thanked the good wife, and prayed God to saue her life. And as hee was going down the steps of the dore, Ricciardo met him with the flesh in his hand. Wherewithal astonned, he willed him to retourne, and sayde he would giue him more. The begger glad of that, went in againe, whome Ricciardo caried into his chamber, and when he was within, he strake suche a full blowe vpon his head with an axe, as he killed hym, and threwe him into a iakes, shutting the doore after him. In the euening, these poore men retourned to the duke, according to their promise, and sayde they coulde finde nothing. The Duke called them by their names, and compting the number founde one lesse than he had sent, whereat he maruelled. And after he had well aduised with himselfe, what should become of him that lacked, he sayde: “Certainely the poore man is Slayne.” Then causing the councell to be assembled, he declared what he had done: and yet sayde that it were meete the party were knowen. Whereunto one of the Senatours sayde: Your grace hath duely made search by the belly and mouth, to finde out this verlet: I thinke it nowe necessarie 16 that triall be made by lechery, whiche commonly accompanieth licorous mouthes.” Then it was concluded that the moste riotous and lecherous yong men, suche as the Duke had in greatest suspicion, to the number of XXV. should be warned to appeare before him: whiche accordingly was done, amonges whome was this Ricciardo. These yonge roisters assembled in the palace, euery of them maruelled wherefore the Duke had caused them to come thether. Afterwarde the Duke commaunded XXV. beddes to be made in one of his great chambers, to lodge euery of the sayd XXV. persons by hymself, and in the middes of the chamber he commaunded a riche bed of estate to be set vp and furnished, wher was appointed to ly his own daughter, which was an exceading faire creature. And in the night when these yong men were layde in their beddes, manye gentlewomen attendant vpon the Lady, came in to bryng her to her lodging: and her father deliuered to her a sawcer full of black die, or stayning, and saide vnto her: “If any of these yong men that doe lie here by thee, doe offer to come to thy bedde, looke that thou marke him in the face with this staining colour, that he may be knowen.” At which wordes all the yong men maruelled and therefore durste not attempt to goe vnto her, but said one to another: “Surely this commaundement of the Duke hath some secrete misterie in it.” Notwithstanding Ricciardo determined about midnight to go to her bedde: and when the candle was out being a wake of purpose, he rose vp and went to the gentlewoman’s bedde and began to imbrace and kisse her. The maiden when she felt him, sodainly dipped her finger in the colour and stained his face, not perceiued of him. When he had accomplished the thing he came for, hee retourned to his place: and then began to imagin vpon the Duke’s wordes, and for what policie he spake them. And lying a litle while still musing vpon the same, he went againe to the gentlewoman’s bedde, hauing throughly disposed himself to the pleasures of this paradise lambe: and perceiuing her to dippe her finger in the sawcer and rubbe his face, Ricciardo toke away the sawcer from the bedde’s side, and round about bestowed the colour vpon the faces of his felowes, who were so faste a sleepe that they did not fele him. Some he marked 17 with two spottes, some with six and some with X. himselfe he painted but with foure besides those wherewith already he was berayed by the gentlewoman: whiche done he set the saucer agayne by the bedde’s side, and when he had bidden her farewell, faire and softly he returned againe to his bedde. In the morning betimes, the damosels of the chamber came in to helpe the ladye to make her readye, which done they wayted vpon her to the duke, who asked her how the matter stode. She aunswered well, for she had done his commaundement: and tolde him howe one came vnto her three times, and euery time she gaue him a tainte in his face. The duke by and by sent for them that were of his counsell. To whome he said: “Sirs, I haue founde out this good fellow, and therfore I haue sent for you, that we altogether may goe to see him.” They went all into the chamber, and viewing them round about, they perceiued all their faces coloured, whereat they fell into a great laughter: then one of them sayde to another: “Suerly this fellowe hath the subtilest head that euer was knowen:” and concluded that one of the company had set that colour in their faces. The yong men beholding one another paynted in that sorte, brake into great sporte and pastime. Afterwardes the duke examined euery of them, and seeing that he was not able by any meanes to vnderstande by whome it was done, he determined to knowe the man before he departed, and promised to him that should confesse the truthe, to giue his daughter to him in mariage, and with her a very great dowrie, and a generall pardon. Wherefore Ricciardo vnderstanding the duke’s minde, toke him asyde, and tolde hym the whole matter particularly from the beginning to the ende. The duke imbraced hym, and gaue him his pardon, and with great ioye and triumphe he solemnized the mariage betwene hym and his daughter. Wherewithal Ricciardo encouraged, proued a very stoute and valiaunt man in suche wyse almoste as the affaires of the whole state passed through his handes. And liued a long time after, with the loue and good wyll of the whole cominaltie of Venice.



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.

At Bologna, whiche is the noblest citie of Lombardie, the mother of studies, and accomplished with al things nedefull and requisite for sutch a florishing state, there was a yong scholler, a Gentleman of the countrie of Crete named Philenio Sisterno, of very good grace and behauiour. It chanced that in his time, there was a great feast made in the citie, wherunto were bidden the fayrest dames, and beste of reputation there: there was likewyse many Gentlemen and Schollers of Bologna, amonges whom was this Philenio Sisterno: who followyng the manner of young men, dallying sometime with one, sometime with another, and perceiuing them for his purpose determined to daunce with one of them: and comming to one whiche was called Emerentiana, the wyfe of sir Lamberto Bentiuoglia, hee prayed her to daunce: who, beyng verie gentle and of no less audacitie than beautiful, refused not. Then Philenio leading forth the daunce very softly, sometymes wrynging her by the hand, spake somewhat secretly vnto her these wordes: “Madame, your beautie is so great, that without doubt it surmounteth all that ever I sawe, and there is no woman in the world to whome I beare so great affection, as to your persone, whiche if it were correspondent to me in Loue, I would thinke myself the beste contented man in the world, otherwyse I shall in shorte tyme bee depriued of life, and then you shall be the cause of my death: and louing you (Madame) as I doe, and as my dutie requireth, you ought to take me for your seruaunt, vsing me and those litle goodes whiche I haue as your owne: and I doe assure you, that it is impossible for me to receiue greater fauour from heauen, then to see myselfe subiecte to sutch a gentlewoman, as you be, whiche hath taken me in a nette lyke a byrde.” Nowe Emerentiana, whiche earnestly had marked those sweet and pleasaunt woordes, like a wyse gentlewoman, semed to geue no eare thereunto, and made him no aunswere at all. The daunce ended, and Emerentiana being 19 set down in her place, this young scholler went to take another gentlewoman by the hand, and began to daunce with her: whiche was not so sone begonne, but thus he said vnto her: “It nedeth not Madame, that by woordes I doe expresse the feruant Loue which I beare you, and will so doe, so long as my poore spirite shall gouerne and rule my members: and if I could obtaine you for my Maistresse and singuler Ladye, I would thinke myself the happiest man aliue. Then louing you as I do, and being wholly yours, as you may easely vnderstand, refuse me not I besech you for your humble seruaunt, sithe that my life and all that I haue dependeth vpon you alone.” The yong gentlewoman, whose name was Panthemia, perceiuing his meaning, did not aunswere him any thing at that time: but honestly proceded in her daunce: and the daunce ended, smyling a litle, she sat downe with the other dames. This done, amorous Philenio rested not vntil he had taken the thirde by the hand, (who was the gentlest, fairest, and trimmest dame in all Bologna,) and began to daunce with her, romyng abrode, to shewe his cunning before them that came to behold him. And before the daunce was finished, he saide thus vnto her: “Madame, it may so be, as I shall seme vnto you very malapert to manifest the secret Loue that I haue and doe beare you at this instant, for which you ought not to blame me but your beautie, which rendreth you excellent aboue al the rest, and maketh me your slaue and prysoner. I speake not of your commendable behauiour, of your excellent and maruellous vertues, which be such and of so great effect, as they would make the gods descend to contemplate the same. If then your excellent beautie and shape, so well fauoured by nature, and not by art, may seeme to content the immortall Gods, you ought not to be offended, if the same do constraine me to loue you, and to inclose you in the priuie cabane of my harte: I beseeche you then, gentle Madame (the onely comfort of my life) to haue pitie vpon him that dieth a thousand times a daye for you. In so doing, my life shall be prolonged by you, commending me humbly vnto your good grace.” This faire gentlewoman called Simphorosia, vnderstanding the sweete and pleasaunt woordes vttered from the very harte of Philenio, could not dissemble her sighes, but waying her honor, because she was maried, 20 gaue him no answere at all. And the daunce ended, she retourned to her place. Nowe it chaunced, as these three ladies did sit together iocundly disposed to debate of sundrie mery talke, behold Emerentiana, the wife of Seignior Lamberto, not for any euill, but in sporting wise said vnto her companions: “Gentlewomen, I haue to tell you a pleasaunt matter which happened to this day.” “What is that?” said her companions. “I haue gotten this night, (said she) in dauncing, a curteous louer, a very faire Gentleman, and of so good behauiour as any in the worlde: who said that he was so inflamed with my beauty that he tooke no rest day nor night:” and from point to point, rehearsed vnto them, all that he had said. Which Panthemia and Simphorosia vnderstanding, answered that the like had chaunced vnto them, and they departed not from the feaste before eche of theim knewe him that was their louer: whereby they perceiued that his woordes proceded not of faithfull Loue, but rather of follie and dissimulation, in suche wise as they gaue so lyghte credite thereunto, as of custome is geuen to the woordes of those that bee sicke. And they departed not from thence vntill all three with one accorde, had conspired euery one to giue him mocke. Philenio continuing thus in Loue, sometime with one, sometime with another, and perceiuing that euery of them seemed to Loue him, hee determined with himselfe, if it were possible to gather of them the last frute of his Loue. But he was greatly deceyued in his desire, for that all his enterprise was broken: and that done, Emerentiana whiche could not any longer dissemble the loue of the foolishe scholer called one of her maydes, which was of a fayre complexion and a ioly wenche, charging her that she should deuise meanes to speake with Philenio, to geue him to vnderstande the loue which her maistresse bare vnto him: and when it were his pleasure she willingly would one night haue him at home at her house. Which newes when Philenio heard, he greatly reioyced, and said to the maid: “Returne to your Maistresse, faire maide, and commend me vnto her, telling her in my behalf, that I doe praye her to loke for me this euening, if her husband be not at home.” During which time, Emerentiana caused a certaine number of fagots of sharpe thornes to be made, and to be layd vnder her bedde 21 still wayting for her minion. When night was come, Philenio toke his sworde, and went to the house of his enemy, and calling at the dore with the watchworde the same incontinently was opened: and after that they had talked a litle while together, and banketted after the best maner, they withdrew themselues into the chamber to take their reste. Philenio had no soner put of his clothes to goe to bedde, but Seignior Lamberto her husband came home: which the Maistresse of the house perceiuing, made as though she had bene at her wittes ende, and could not tell whether to conuey her minion, but prayed him to hide himself vnder the bedde. Philenio seeing the daunger, wherein both he and the wife were, not taking with him any other garmentes, but only his shirte, crept vnder the bed where he was so cruelly prickt and scratched with the thornes, as there was no parte of his body (from the toppe of his head to the sole of his foote) free from bloud, and the more he sought to defende himselfe in that darke place, the more sharpely and piteously he was tormented, and durst not crie for feare least Seignior Lamberto would kill him. I will leaue to your consideration in what plight this poore wretche was in, who by reason of his miserable being, as he was brechelesse in that terrible purgatorie, even so was he speachlesse and durst not speake for his life. In the morning when Segnior Lamberto was gone forth, the poore scholler put on his clothes so well as he could, and all bloudy as he was, returning to his lodging, was like to die: but being deligently cured by phisicians, in short time he recouered his former health. Shortly after, Philenio began to pursue again his loue towardes the other two, that is to say, Panthemia and Simphorosia, and found conuenient time one euening to speake to Panthemia, to whom he rehearsed his griefes and continuall tormentes, praying her to haue pitie vpon him. The subtile and wise wenche Panthemia, fayning to haue compassion vppon him, excused her selfe by lacke of meanes to content his desire, but in thend vanquished with faire supplications and maruellous sighes, shee made him to come home to her house, and being vnready, dispoyled of al his apparell to go to bed with his Lady she required hym to go with her into a litle closet, wher all her swete smels and perfumes were, to the intent he might be well 22 perfumed before he went to bedde. The yong dolt not doubting the subtiltie of this wicked woman, entred the closet and setting his foote vpon a borde vnnnayled from the ioyst, fell so depe into a store house where marchauntes vse to lay there cottons and wolles, as he thought he had broken his necke and his legges, notwithstanding as fortune would he had no hurt. This poore scholler being in that darke place, began to seke for some dore or ladder to go out, and finding nothing for his purpose he cursed the houre and time that euer he knew Panthemia. When the dauning of the day began to appeare, the simple sot discried in one place of the storehouse certain ventes in the wall, which gaue some light, because they wer old and couered ouer with mosse, in such wise, as he began with maruelous force, to pluck out the stones in the moste decaied place of the wall, and made so great a hole, as he went out. And being in a lane hard by the great streate, barefoote and bare legged, and in his shirt, he went home to his lodging vnknowen of any. A litle whyle after Simphorosia vnderstanding of the deceits whiche the other twoo had done to Philenio, attempted to geue hym the thirde, whiche was not inferior to the other twayne. And for that purpose, she began a farre of to caste her amorous lokes vpon him, letting hym to knowe that shee was in great distresse for his Loue. This poore soule hauing already forgotten his fortune paste, began to walke vp and downe before her house, like a man altogether tormented and pained with Loue. Then Simphorosia, seing him to be farre in loue with her, sent hym a letter by an old woman, whereby she aduertised hym, that his beautie and good behauior, so puissantly did gouerne her affections as she could take no rest night nor day, for the earnest loue that she bare him: wherefore she praied him if it were his pleasure to come and speake with her. Philenio receiuing that letter, and perusing the contentes, not considering the deceite prepared for him, ne yet any longer remembring the iniuries past, was more ioyfull and glad then euer he was before: who taking pen and paper, aunswered her againe, that he for his parte suffered no lesse tormentes for her sake, yea and in respect of vnfayned Loue, that he loued her farre better than she did hym, and at al tymes when shee pleased, hee woulde be at her 23 commaundement to doe her seruice: the aunswere read, and oportunitie found, Simphorosia caused him to come home to her house, and after many false sighes, she saide vnto him: “My deare frend Philenio, I knowe none other in all the world, that hath brought me into this state and plighte wherein presently I am, but you, because your beautie, good grace and pleasaunt talke, haue so sette my harte on fyre as I feele it to kindle and burne like drye woode.” Which talke Maister scholler hearing, thought assuredly that she consumed for loue of him: this poore Nodgecock, contriuing the time in sweete and pleasaunt woordes, with his dareling Simphorosia, the time approched that he should go to bed with his faire lady, who said vnto him: “My swete frend Philenio, abide a whyle, and let vs make some banket and collation:” who taking him by the hande, caried him into her closet adioyning, wher was a table ready furnished with exquisit conficts and wynes of the best. This gentlewoman had made a composition in the wyne, to cause this yong gallant to sleepe for a certain time. Philenio thinking no hurte, toke the cup and filled it with the wyne, and dranke it vp at one draught. His spirits reuiued with this refreshing, after he had bene very well perfumed and washed in swete waters, he went to bedde and within a while after this drinke began to woorke, and hee slepte so soundly, as canon shot, or the greatest gonnes of the worlde were not able to wake hym: then Simphorosia perceiuing the drinke beginne to woorke, called one of her sturdy maides that wel was instructed in the game of this pageant: both whiche carying this poore sleepy scholler by the feete and armes, and opening the dore very softlye, they fayre and well bestowed hym in the middeste of the streete, a good stone’s caste of from the house, where he lay all the nighte. But when the dawning of the daye dyd appeare, or an houre before, the drynke lost his vertue, and the poore soule began to awake, and thinking that he had bene a bedde with the gentlewoman he perceiued hymself brechelesse and in his shirt more dead then aliue, through the colde that he had endured, by lying starke naked vppon the earth. The poore wretche was not able to help himselfe so much as with his armes and legges, ne yet to stande vppon his feete without great paine: notwithstanding, through 24 creping and sprawling, hee got home to his house, vnseene of anye, and prouided so well as hee could for recouery of his health: and had it not been for his youth, which did helpe him at that instant, his sinewes had been benommed for euer. In the ende, hauing atteined his former state of health he still remembred the iniuries past, and without shewing any signe of anger or displeasure, made as though he loued them all three better then euer he did before, and sometime seemed to be in loue with the one, and sometime with an other: they againe for their part nothing mistrusting the malice of Philenio, set a good face on the matter, vsinge amorous cheere and countenance towards him, but when his backe was tourned, with mockes and floutes they toke their pleasure. He bearing in his brest secrete despite, was still desirous with his hand to marke them in the face, but like a wise man, waying the natures of women, he thought it woulde redounde to his greate shame and reproche, if hee did them any hurt: and therefore restrayning the heate of his choler vsed pacience. And yet by deuising and practising, how he might be euen with them and reuenged, hee was in great perplexitie. Very shortly after it chaunced that the scholler had inuented a meane, easely to satisfie his desire, and so sone as hee had fully resolued what to do, fortune therunto was fauorable: who hyred in the citie of Bologna a very faire house which had a large hall, and comodious chambers: and purposed to make a greate and sumptuous feast, and to inuite many Ladies and Gentlewomen to the same: amongs whom these three were the first that should be bidden: which accordingly was done: and when the feast day was come the three gentlewomen that were not very wise at that instante, repaired thither nothing suspecting the scholler’s malice. In the end a litle to recreate the Gentlewomen and to get them a stomacke, attendinge for supper time, the Scholler toke these his three louers by the hand, and led them friendly into a chamber, somewhat to refresh them. When these three innocent women were come into the Scholler’s Chamber, hee shut fast the doore, and going towards them, he sayde: “Beholde faire ladies, now the time is come for me to be reuenged vpon you and to make you suffer the penaunce of the torment wherwith ye punished me for my great Loue.” 25 The Gentlewomen hearing those cruell woordes, rather dead then aliue, began to repent that euer they had offended him, and besides that, they cursed themselues, for giuinge credit vnto him whom they ought to haue abhorred. The Scholler with fierce and angry countenaunce commaunded them vpon paine of their liues to strippe themselues naked: which sentence when these three goddesses heard, they began to loke one vppon another, weeping and praying him, that although he woulde not for their sakes, yet in respect of his owne curtesie and naturrall humanitie, that hee woulde saue their honor aboue all thinges. This gallant reioysing at their humble and pitifull requestes was thus curteous vnto them, that he would not once suffer them to stand with their garmentes on in his presence: the women casting themselues downe at his feete wept bitterly, beseeching him that he woulde haue pitie vpon them, and not to be the occasion of a slaunder so great and infamous. But he whose hart was hardened as the Diamonde, said vnto them, that this facte was not worthy of blame but rather of reuenge. The women dispoyled of their apparel (and standing before him, so free from couering as euer was Eue before Adam) appeared as beautifull in this their innocent state of nakednes, as they did in their brauerie: in so much that the yong scholler viewing from toppe to toe, those fayre and tender creatures, whose whitenesse surpassed the snow, began to haue pitie vppon them: but calling to his remembraunce the iniuries past and the daunger of death wherein he was, he reiected all pitie and continued his harde and obstinate determination. Then he toke all their apparell, and other furnitures that they did weare, and bestowed it in a little chamber, and with threatning words commaunded all three to lie in one bed. The women altogether astonned, began to say to themselues: “Alas, what fooles be we? what wil our husbands and our frendes say, when they shal vnderstand that we be found naked and miserablie slaine in this bed? It had been better for vs to haue died in our cradels, than apprehended and found dead in this state and plight.” The Scholler seeing them bestowed one by another in the bed, like husband and wyfe, couered them with a very white and large sheete, that no part of their bodies might be seene and knowen, and shutting the Chamber 26 doore after him Philenio went to seeke their husbands, which were dauncing in the hall: and the daunce ended, he intreated them to take the paines to goe with him: who was their guide into the Chamber where the three Muses lay in their bedde, saying vnto them: “Sirs, I haue broughte you into this place to shewe you some pastime and to let you see the fayrest thinges that euer you saw in your liues. Then approching neere the bed, and holding a torch in his hand, he began fayre and softly to lift vp the shete at the bed’s feete, discouering these fayre ladies euen to the knees. Ye should haue seen then, how the hushands did behold their white legges and their wel proporcioned feete, which don he disclosed them euen to the stomack, and shewed their legges and thighes farre whiter than alablaster, which seemed like two pillers of fine marble, with a rounde body so wel formed as nothing could be better: consequently he tourned vp the sheete a litle further, and their stomackes appeared somewhat round and plumme, hauing two rounde breasts so firme and feate, as they would haue constrayned the great God Iupiter to imbrace and kisse them. Whereat the husbandes toke so great pleasure and contentmente, as coulde be deuised: I omitte for you to thincke in what plighte these poore naked women weare, hearinge theyr husbandes to mocke them: all this while they laye very quiet, and durst not so much as to hem or coughe, for feare to be knowen: the husbands were earnest with the Scholler to discouer their faces, but hee wiser in other mennes hurtes than in his owne, would by no meanes consent vnto it. Not contented with this, the yong scholler shewed their apparel to their husbands, who seing the same were astonned, and in viewing it with great admiration, they said one to another: “Is not this the gowne that I once made for my wife? Is not this the coyfe that I bought her? Is not this the pendant that she weareth about her necke? be not these the rings that set out and garnisht her fingers?” Being gone out of the chamber for feare to trouble the feast, he would not suffer them to depart, but caused them to tarie supper. The Scholler vnderstandinge that supper was ready, and that the maister of the house had disposed all thinges in order, he caused the geastes to sit downe. And whiles they were remouing and placing the 27 stooles and chayres, he returned into the chamber, wher the three dames lay, and vncouering them, he sayd vnto them: “Bongiorno, faire Ladies: did you heare your hushandes? They be here by, and do earnestly tarie for you at supper. What do ye meane to do? Vp and rise ye dormouses, rubbe your eyes and gape no more, dispatche and make you ready, it is time for you now to repayre into the hall, where the other gentlewomen do tarie for you.” Behold now how this Scholer was reuenged by interteigning them after this maner: then the poore desolate women, fearing least their case would sorte to som pitiful successe, dispayring of their health, troubled and discomforted, rose vp expecting rather death than any other thing: and tourning them toward the scholler they said vnto him: “Maister Philenio, you haue had sufficient reueng vpon vs: the best for you to do now, is to take your sword, and to bereue us of oure life, which is more lothsome vnto vs than pleasaunt: and if you will not do vs that good tourne, suffer vs to go home to our houses vnknowen, that our honours may be saued.” Then Philenio thinking that he had at pleasure vsed their persons, deliuered them their apparel, and so sone as they were ready, he let them out at a litle dore, very secretlye vnknowen of anye, and so they went home to their houses. So sone as they had put of their fayre furnitures, they folded them vp, and layd them in their chestes: which done, they went about their houshold busines, till their husbands came home, who being retourned they founde their wives sowing by the fire side in their chambers: and because of their apparell, their ringes and iewels, which they had seene in the Scholler’s Chamber, it made them to suspect their wiues, euery of them demaunding his seuerall wife, where she had bin that nighte, and where their apparell was. They well assured of themselues, aunswered boldly, that they were not out of their house all the euening, and taking the keyes of their cofers shewed them their aparell, their ringes and other things, which their husbandes had made them. Which when their husbandes saw, they could not tell what to say, and forthwith reiected all suspicion, which they had conceiued: telling them from point to point, what they had seen that night. The women vnderstanding those woordes, made as though they knew nothing and 28 after a little sport and laughter betweene them, they went to bed. Many times Philenio met his Gentlewomen in the streates and sayde vnto them: “Which of you was most afraide or worste intreated?” But they holding downe their heads, passed forth not speaking a word: in this maner the Scholler was requited so well as he could of the deceites done against him, by the three Gentlewomen aforesaid.



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

In the citie of Amboise, there was a muleter that serued the Queene of Nauarre, sister to king Fraunces the firste of that name, which was broughte a bedde of a sonne at Blois: to which towne the said muleter was gone to be paide his quarter’s wages: whose wyfe dwelled at Amboise beyond the bridges. It chaunced that of long time one of her husband’s seruauntes did so disordinately loue her, as vppon a certaine day he could not forbeare but he muste vtter the effect of his loue borne vnto her. Howbeit shee being a right honest woman, tooke her man’s sute in very ill part, threatning to make her husband to beat him, and to put him away, and vsed him in suche wyse, that after that time he durst not speake thereof any more, ne yet to make signe or semblance: keeping yet that fier couered within his brest, vntill his Maister was ridden out of the towne, and that his Maistresse was at euensong at Saint Florentine’s, a Church of the Castle, farre from her house: who now being alone in the house, began to imagine how he might attempt that thinge by force, which before by no supplication or seruice he was able to attaine. For which purpose, hee brake vp a borde betweene his Maistresse chamber and his: but because the curteins of his maister and maistresse bed, and of the seruauntes of the other side couered and hid the walles betweene, it could not be perceyued, nor yet his malice discried vntill suche time as his Maistresse was gone to bed, with a litle wenche of XII. yeares of age: and so sone as the poore woman was fallen into her first sleepe, this varlet entred in at a hole which he had broken, and conueyed himself into her bed in his shirt, with a naked sworde in his hande: who so sone as she felt him layed downe by her, lepte out of her bed, perswading him by all possible meanes meete for an honest woman to do: and he indued with beastly loue, rather acquainted with the language of his mulets 30 than with her honest reasons, shewed himselfe more beastly then the beasts with whom he had of long time bin conuersant: for seing her so oft to runne about the table that he could not catch her, and also that she was so strong, that twise she ouercame him, in dispaire that he should neuer enioy her aliue, hee gaue her a great blow with his sword ouer the raines of the back, thinking that if feare and force could not make her to yeld, paine and smart should cause her. Howbeit, the contrarie chaunced: for like as a good man of armes when he seeth his owne bloud, is more set on fier to be reuenged vpon his enemies to acquire honor: euen so the chaste hart of this woman, did reenforce and fortefie her courage in double wise, to auoyde and escape the hands of this wicked varlet, deuising by all meanes possible by fayre words to make him acknowledge his fault: but he was so inflamed with furie, there was no place in him to receiue good counsell. And eftsones with his sword, he gashed her tender bodye with diuers and sondry strokes, for the auoydiug wherof, so fast as her legges could beare her, she ran vp and downe the chamber: and when through want of bloud she perceiued death approch, lifting vp her eyes vnto heaven, and ioyning her hands together, gaue thanckes vnto God, whom she termed to be her force, her vertue, her pacience and chastitie, humblie beseeching him to take in good part the bloude whiche by his commandemente was sheade in honor of that precious bloude, which from his owne sonne did issue vppon the Crosse, whereby shee did beleeue, firmelye and stedfastlye that all her sinnes were wiped awaye and defaced from the memorye of his wrathe and anger, and in sayinge: “Lorde receiue my soule which was dearely bought and redeemed with thy bounty and goodnes:” shee fell downe to the ground vpon her face where the wycked villaine inflicted her bodye with manifold wounds: and after she had lost her speache and the force of her body, thys most wicked and abhominable varlet toke her by force, whiche had no more strength and power to defende herselfe: and when he had satisfied his cursed desire, he fled away in such hast, as afterwards for all the pursute made after him he could not be found. The yong wench which lay 31 with her, for feare hid herselfe vnder the bed. But when she perceyued the villaine departed, shee came vnto her Maistresse and finding her speachlesse and without mouing, she cryed out at the window vnto the nexte neighbours to come to succour her: and they which loued her and esteemed her so wel as any woman in the towne, came presently vnto her, and brought diuers surgeons with them, who findinge vpon her body XXV. mortall woundes, they did so much as in them laye to helpe her: but it was impossible. Howbeit shee laye one houre without speache, makinge signes with hir eyes and hands, declaring that she had not lost her vnderstanding: being demaunded by the priest, of the fayth wherin she died, and of her saluacion, she aunswered by such euident signes, as her liuely speach and communication coulde not haue declared it better, howe that her trust and confidence was in the death of Iesus Christ, whom she hoped to see in the Celestiall citie, and so with a ioyfull countenaunce, her eyes erected vp to the heauens, she rendred her chast body to the earth, and her soule to her Creator: and when shee was shrouded ready to the buriall, as her neighbours were attending to followe her to the Church, her poore husbande came home, and the first sight he sawe, was the body of his dead wife before his doore, wherof before that instant hee had no newes. And when he vnderstode the order of her death, he then doubled his sorrowe, in such wyse that he was also like to die. In this sort was this marter of chastitie buried in the church of S. Florentine, where all the honest dames and wiues of the citie endeuoured themselues to accompany her, and to honour her with suche reuerence as they were able to do: accomptinge themselues most happie to dwell in that towne, where a woman of such vertuous behauiour did dwell. The foolish and wanton seing the honour done to that deade bodye, determined from that time forth to renue their former life, and to chaunge the same into a better.



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

In the citie of Naples when king Alphonsus raigned, in whose time wantonnesse bare chiefest sway, there was a Gentleman so honest, beautifull and comely, as for his good conditions and wel knowen behauiour an old Gentleman gaue to him his daughter in mariage, which in beautie and good grace was passingly well beloued and comfortable to her husband. The Loue was great betwene them, till it chaunced vpon shrouetide that the king went a masking into the citie, where euery man endeuoured to intertaine him the best he could. And when he came to this Gentleman’s house, he was best receyued of any place in all the towne, aswell for banqueting, as for musicall songes, and the Gentlewoman, the fayrest that the king sawe in all the citie to his contentacion. And vpon the end of the banket, she sang a song with her husbande, with a grace so good as it greatly augmented her beautie. The king seeing so many perfections in one body, conceyued not so great pleasure in the sweete accords of her husband and her, as he did howe to deuise to interrupt and breake them: and the difficultie for bringinge that to passe, was the great amitie that hee sawe betweene them, wherefore he bare in his hart that passion so couert, as he possibly could. But partly for his owne solace and comforte, and partly for good will of all, hee feasted all the Lords and Ladyes of Naples, where the Gentleman and his wife were not forgotten. And because man willingly beleeueth that he doth see, he thought that the lokes of that gentlewoman promised vnto him some grace in time to come, if the presence of her husband were no let therunto. And to proue whether his coniecture were true, he sent her husbande in commission to Rome, for the space of XV. dayes or III. wekes. And so sone as he was gone, his wyfe which hitherto had not felt any long absence from her husband, made great sorrow 33 for the same, whereof she recomforted by the king, many times by sweete perswasions and by presents and gifts, in such sort, that she was not onely comforted, but contented with her husbande’s absence. And before the three weekes were expired of his returne, she was so amorous of the king as she was no lesse sorowful of his comming home, then she was before for his departure. And to the intent the king’s presence might not be loste, they agreed together, that when her husband was gone to his possessions in the countrie, she should send word to the king, that he might haue safe repair vnto her, and so secretly that his honour, (which he feared more then he did the fact) might not be impaired. Vpon this hope, this Ladie’s hart was set on a merie pin: and when her husband was come home, shee welcomed him so wel, that albeit he knewe how the king made much of her in his absence, yet he would not beleeue that he so did for any dishonest fact. Howbeit by continuance of time, this fier that could not be couered, by litle and litle began to kindle, in such wise as the husband doubted much of the truth, and watched the matter so neere, as he was almost oute of doubt. But for feare, least the partie which did the wrong, should do him greater hurt, if he seemed to know it, he determined to dissemble the matter: for he thought it better to liue with some griefe, then to hazard his life for a woman that did not loue him: notwithstanding, for this displeasure, he thought to be euen with the king if it were possible. And knowinge that many times despite maketh a woman to do that which Loue cannot bring to passe, specially those that haue honourable harts and stoute stomacks, was so bold without blushing, vpon a day in speaking to the Queene, to say unto her, that he had pitie vpon her, for that shee was no better beloued of the king her husband. The Queene which heard tell of the loue betwene the king and his wife: “I cannot (quoth she) both enioy honour and pleasure together: I knowe well that honor I haue, whereof one receiueth the pleasure, and as she hath the pleasure, so hath not she the honor.” He which knewe wel by whom those words were spoken, said vnto her: “Madame, honor hath waited vpon you euen from your birth, for you be of so good a house, as to be a queene or Empresse, you cannot 34 augment your nobilitie, but your beautie, grace, and honestie, hath deserued so much pleasure, as she that depriueth you of that which is incident to your degree, doth more wrong to her self then to your person. For she for a glorie that hath turned her to shame, hath therewithall lost so much pleasure, as your grace or any Lady in the realme may haue. And I may saye vnto you (Madame) that if the kinge were no king as he is, I thincke that he could not excel me in pleasing of a woman: being sure that to satisfie such a vertuous personage as you be, he might exchaunge his complexion with mine.” The Queene smiling, answered him: “Although the king be of more delicate and weaker complexion than you be, yet the loue that he beareth mee, doth so much content mee, as I esteeme the same aboue all thinges in the world.” The gentleman said vnto her: “Madame, if it were so, I woulde take no pitie vpon you, for I know wel that the honest loue of your hart, would yeld vnto you great contentment, if the like were to be found in the king: but God hath foreseene and preuented the same, least enioyinge your owne desire, you would make him your God vppon earth.” “I confesse vnto you (saide the Queene) that the Loue I beare him, is so great, as the like place he could not find in no woman’s hart, as he doth in mine.” “Pardon me, madame (saide the Gentleman) if I speake more francklye, your grace hath not sounded the depth of ech man’s harte. For I dare be bold to say vnto you, that I do know one that doth loue you, and whose loue is so great, as your loue in respecte of his is nothing. And for so much as he seeth the kinge’s loue to faile in you his doth grow and increase, in such sort, that if your loue were agreable vnto his, you should be recompensed of all your losses.” The Queene aswel by his words as by his countenaunce, began to perceiue, that the talke proceded from the bottom of his hart, and called to her remembraunce that long time he had endeuored to do her service, with such affection, as for loue he was growen to be melancolike, which she thought before, to rise through his wiue’s occasion, but now she assuredly beleued that it was for her sake. And thus the force of Loue, which is well discryed when it is not fayned, made her sure of that, which was vnknowen to all the 35 world. And beholding the gentleman which was more amiable than her husband, and seing that he was forsaken of his wife, as she of the king, pressed with despite and ialousie of her husband, and prouoked with loue of the gentleman, began to say with finger in eye, and sighing sobbs: “O my God, must vengeaunce get and win that at my hand, which Loue cannot doe?” The gentleman well vnderstanding her meaning, aunsweared: “Madame, vengeance is sweete vnto him which in place of killinge an ennemye, giueth life to a perfecte freinde. I thincke it time that trouth doe remoue from you the foolishe loue, that you beare to him which loueth you not: and that iust and reasonable loue should expell from you the feare, which out not remaine in a noble and vertuous hart. But now madame, omittinge to speake of the greatnesse of your estate, let vs consider that we be both man and woman, the most deceiued of the world, and betrayed of them which we haue most dearely loued. Let vs now be reuenged (madame) not onely to render vnto them, what they deserue, but to satisfie the loue which for my part I can no longer beare, except I should die. And I thincke, that if your harte be not harder than flinte, or Diamont, it is impossible but you must perceiue som sparke of fier, which increaseth more than I am able to dissemble: and if pitie of me which dieth for your loue, doth not moue you to loue me, at least wyse let loue of your self constraine you, which (being so perfect a creature as you be) doth deserue to enioy the hartes of the noblest and most vertuous of the world. Suffer I say, the contempt and forsaking of him, [to] moue you, for whom you haue disdayned al other persons.” The Queene hearing those wordes, was so rauished, as for feare to declare by her countenaunce the trouble of her spirite, leaning vppon the Gentleman’s arme, went into a garden hard by her Chamber, where she walked a long time not able to speake a woord. But the Gentleman seeing her halfe wonne, when he was at the ende of the Alley where none could see them, hee certified her by effect, the loue which so long time he kept secrete from her. And both with one consent reioyced in reuenge, whereof the passion was importable. And there determined, that so oft as hee went into the Country, and the king 36 from his Castell into the Citie, he should retourne to the Castel to see the Quene. Thus deceyuing the deceyuers, all foure were partakers of the pleasure, which two alone thought to enioy. The accord made, they departed, the Lady to her Chamber, and the Gentleman to his house, with such contentacion, as they had quite forgotten al theyr troubles past. And the feare which either of them had of the assembly of the king and of the Gentlewoman, was tourned to desire, which made the Gentleman to go more oft then he was wonte to doe into the countrye, being not past halfe a mile of. And so sone as the king knew therof, he fayled not to visite his Lady, and the gentleman the night following went to the Castle to salute the Queene, to do the office of the kinge’s Lieutenaunt, so secretly as no man did perceiue it. This voyage endured long time, but the king because he was a publike person, could not so well dissemble his Loue, but all the worlde did vnderstand it, and all men pitied the gentleman’s state. For diuers light persons behinde his backe would make hornes vnto him, in signe of mockerie, which he right well perceyued. But this mockerie pleased him so wel, as he esteemed his hornes better then the king’s Crowne. The king and the Gentleman’s wife one day, could not refraine (beholding a Stagge’s head set vp in the Gentleman’s house) from breaking into a laughter before his face, saying, how that head became the house very well. The gentleman that had so good a hart as he, wrote ouer that head these words.

These hornes I weare and beare for euery man to view,

But yet I weare them not in token they be trew.

The king retourning againe to the Gentleman’s house, finding this title newlye written, demaunded of the gentleman the signification of them.

Who said vnto him:

“If princesse secret things, be from the horned hart concealed,

Why should like things of horned beastes, to Princes be revealed.

But content your selfe: all they that weare hornes be pardoned to weare their capps vpon their heads: for they be so sweete and pleasaunt, as they vncappe no man, and they weare them so light, as they thincke they haue none at all.” The king knew well by 37 his wordes that he smelled something of his doings, but he neuer suspected the loue betwene the Queene and him. For the Queene was better contented wyth her husbande’s life, and with greater ease dissembled her griefe. Wherefore eyther parts lived long time in this loue, till age had taken order for dissolucion thereof. “Behold Ladyes (quoth Saffredante) this Historye which for example I have willinglye recited to thintente that when your husbands do make you hornes as big as a Goate, you maye render unto him the monstrous heade of a Stagge.” “Peace (quoth Emarsuite smyling) no more wordes, least you reuiue some sleeping sweet soule, which without stur would not awake; with any whispring.”



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

There was in Flaunders a Lady of an honorable house, which had two husbands, by whom shee had no children that were then liuinge. Duringe the time of her widowhoode shee dwelte within one of her brothers, that loued her very well, which was a noble man, and had maried a king’s doughter. This yong Prince was muche giuen to pleasure, louinge huntinge, pastime, and the company of fayre Ladyes, accordingly as youth requireth. He had a wyfe that was curst and troublesome, whom the delectations of her husband in no wyse did contente and please: wherefore this noble man caused his sister daily to keepe company with his wyfe. This Gentlewoman his sister was of pleasaunt conuersation, and therewithal very honest and wyse. There was in the house of this noble man, a Gentleman whose worship, beautye and grace did surpasse all the rest of his companions. This Gentleman perceyuing the sister of his Lorde and Maister to be pleasaunte and of ioyfull countenaunce, thoughte to proue if the attempt of an honest frende would be vouchsaued, but he founde her aunswere to be contrary to her countenaunce: and albeit that her aunswere was such as was meete for a Princesse and right honest Gentlewoman, yet because she perceyued him to be a goodly personage, and curteous, she easily pardoned his bold attempt, and seemed that she toke it not in ill part when he spake vnto her. Neuerthelesse shee warned him, after that time, to moue no such matter, which he promised, because he would not lose his pleasure, and the honour that hee conceyued to entertaine her. Notwithstanding, by processe of time his affection increased so much as he forgot the promise which he had made her, wherefore he thoughte good not to hazarde his enterprise by wordes, for that hee had to long against his wyll experimented her wyse and discrete aunsweares: and therewithall he thought if he could 39 finde her in some conueient place (because she was a yong widow, of lusty yeares and good complexion) it were possible shee woulde take pitie vppon him, and of herself. And that he might bring his purpose to effecte, he said to his Maister that he had besides his owne house very goodlie game, and that if it pleased him to kill three or foure Stagges in the moneth of May, he should see very good pastime. The Lord aswell for the loue hee bare to the Gentleman, as for the pleasure he had in hunting, graunted his request: and went to his house, which was so faire and well furnished, as the best Gentleman in all the countrey had no better. The gentleman lodged his Lord and Lady in one side of the house, and in the other directly against it her whome he loued better than himselfe. The Chamber where his maistres laye, was so well hanged with tapistrie, and so trimely matted, as it was impossible to perceiue a falling dore, harde by the bed’s side, descending to his mother’s chamber, which was an old Lady, much troubled with the Catarre and Rume. And because she had a cough, fearing to disease the Princesse which laye aboue her, she chaunged her chamber with her sonne. And euery night the olde Gentlewoman brought comficts to the Lady for her recreation, vpon whom the Gentleman wayted, who (for that he was well beloued and very familier with her brother) was not refused to be present at her rising and going to bedde. Whereby he daily toke occasion to increase his loue and affection: in suche sorte as one night, after he had caused the Ladye to sit vp late, (she being surprised with sleepe) he was forced to depart the chamber, and to repaire to his own. Wher when he had put on the most brauest perfumed shirt that he had, and his cap for the night so trimmely dressed, as there wanted nothing, he thought in beholding himself, that there was no Lady in the world that would refuse his beautie and comlinesse. Wherefore promising himselfe a happie successe in his enterprise, hee went to his bed where he purposed not long to abide, for the desire that he had to enter into another, whiche should be more honourable and pleasaunt vnto him. And after he had sent his men away, he rose to shut the dore after them, and hearkened a good while, whether he could heare any noyse in the Ladie’s chamber aboue. And when he was 40 sure that euery man was at rest, he began to take his pleasaunt iourney, and by litle and litle opened the falling dore, whiche was so well trimmed with cloth, that it made no noyse at all, and went vp to the Ladie’s bed side, which then was in her first sleepe, and without respecte of the bonde and promise that he made vnto her, or the honorable house wherof she came, without leaue or reuerence, he laid himselfe down besides her, who felt him betwene her armes before she perceiued his comming. But she which was somewhat strong, vnfolded her self out of his handes, and in asking him what he was, began to strike, to bite and scratche, in suche wyse, as he was constrained (for feare least she should crye out) to stoppe her mouth with the couerlet, which was impossible for him to do. For when she sawe him to presse with all his force to despoyle her of her honor, she spared no part of her might to defende and kepe her selfe, and called (so loude as she could) her woman of honor, that laye in her chamber, whiche was a very auncient and sober gentlewoman, who in her smock, ran straight to her maistresse. And when the Gentleman perceiued that hee was discouered, hee was so fearfull to be knowen of the Ladye, as sone as he could hee shifted himself down by his trapdore. And where before he conceiued hope and assuraunce to be welcome, now he was brought in despaire for retourning in so vnhappy state. When he was in his chamber, he found his glasse and candle vpon the table, and beholding his face all bloudy with the scratchings and bitinges, whiche shee had bestowed vpon him, the bloud wherof ran down his fayre shyrt, better bloudied then gilted, he began to make his moone in this wise: “O beautie, thou art nowe payed thy desert, for vppon thy vayne promise haue I aduentured a thing impossible. And that which might haue bene the augmenting of my delight is nowe the redoubling of my sorowe. Being assured that if she knewe howe contrary to my promise I haue enterprised this foolishe fact, I should vtterly forgoe the honest and common conuersation whiche I haue with her aboue al other. That which my estimation, beautie and good behauiour doe deserue, I ought not to hyde in darkenesse. To gaine her loue, I ought not to haue assayed her chaste bodye by force, but rather by seruice and humble pacience, to wayte and attend till 41 loue did vanquishe. For without loue all the vertue and puissance of man is of no power and force.” Euen thus he passed the night in such teares, griefes and plaintes, as can not be well reported and vttered. In the morning, when he beheld his bloudy face all mangled and torne, he fained to be very sicke, and that he could abide no light, til the company were gone from his house. The Ladye whiche thus remained victorious, knowing that there was no man in all her brother’s Court, that durst attempt a deede so wicked, but her hoste which was so bolde to declare his loue vnto her, knew well that it was he. And when she and her woman of honour had searched all the corners of the chamber to knowe what he was, and could not finde hym, she sayd vnto her woman in great rage: “Assure your selfe it can be none other, but the Gentleman of the house, whose villanous order I wyll reueale to my brother in the morning, in such sorte, as his head shalbe a witnesse and testimony of my chastitie.” Her woman seing her in that furie, sayd vnto her; “Madame, I am right glad to see the loue and affection which you beare to your honor, for the increase wherof you doe not spare the life of one, which hath aduentured himselfe so muche for the loue that hee beareth vnto you. But many times such one thinketh by those meanes to increase loue, which altogether he doth diminishe. Wherefore (Madame) I humbly beseche you to tell me the truthe of this facte.” And when the Ladie had recompted the same at lengthe, the woman of honour sayd vnto her: “Your grace doth say that he got no other thyng of you, but scratches and blowes with your fistes.” “No, I assure you (quod the Ladie) and I am certaine if hee gette hym not a good Surgeon, the markes will be seene to morowe.” “Wel Madame (quod the gentlewoman) sithens it is so, me thinketh you haue greater occasion to prayse God, then to muse vpon reuenge: For you may beleue, that sithens he had the courage to enterprise so great an exploit, and that despite hath failed him of his purpose, you can deuise no greater death for him to suffer, then the same. If you desire to be reuenged, let Loue and shame alone bring that to passe, who knowe better which way to tormente him than your selfe, and with greater honor to your persone. Take heede Madame from falling into such inconuenience as he is in, for in 42 place of great pleasure whiche he thought to haue gayned, he hath receiued the extremest anoyance, that any gentleman can suffer. And you Madame, by thinking to augment your honor, you may decrease and diminish the same. And by making complaint, you shal cause that to be knowen, which no man knoweth. For of his part (you may be assured) there shall neuer be anything reuealed. And when my Lorde your brother at your requeste, shall execute the iustice which you desire, and that the poore Gentleman shal be ready to die, the brute will runne that he hath had his pleasure vpon you. And the greatest numbre will say, that it is very difficult for a Gentleman to doe suche an enterprise, except the Lady minister some great occasion. Your grace is faire and yong, frequenting your life in pleasant company, there is none in all the Court, but seeth and marketh the good countenaunce you beare to that Gentleman, whereof your selfe hath some suspicion: which will make euery man suppose that if he hath done this enterprise, it was not without some consent from you. And your honor which hetherto hath borne your port a loft, shall be disputed vpon in all places where this historie shall be remembred.” The Princesse well waying the good reasons and aduise of her gentlewoman, knewe that she spake the truthe: and that by moste iust cause she should be blamed: considering the familiaritie and good countenaunce which dayly she bare vnto the Gentleman. Wherefore she inquired of her woman of honour, what was beste to bee done. Who aunswered her thus. “Madame, sith it pleaseth you to receiue mine aduise, by waying the affection whereof it procedeth, me thinke you ought in your hart to reioyce, that the goodliest, and moste curteous Gentleman that liueth, could neither by loue, or force, despoile you of your greatest vertue and chastitie. For which (Madame) you are bounde to humble your selfe before God, acknowledging that it is not done by your vertue, bicause many women walking in a more paineful and more vnpleasaunt trade then you do, haue humiliated and brought low by men farre more vnworthy of loue, then he which loueth you. And ye ought now to feare more than euer you did, to vse any semblance and take of amitie, bicause there haue bene many that haue fallen the second time into daungers and perils, which they haue auoyded at the 43 first. Remember (Madame) that loue is blind, who blaseth mens eyes in such sort, as where a man thinketh the waye moste sure, ther his most readie to fal. And I suppose Madame, that you ought not to seme to be priuie of this chaunce, neither to him, ne yet to any els, and when he remembreth anye thing to you, doe make as though you did not vnderstande his meaning, to auoyde twoo daungers. The one of vaine glorie for the victorie you haue had, the other to take pleasure in remembring things, that be so pleasaunt to the flesh, which the most chaste haue had much a do to defend theimselues from feling some sparkes, although they seke meanes to shunne and auoyde them with all their possible power. Moreouer, Madame, to thende that he thinke not by suche hazard and enterprise to haue done a thing agreable to your minde, my counsell is, that by litle and litle, you doe make your selfe straunge, and vse no more your wonted grace vnto him, that he may know how much you despise his folly and consider how great your goodnesse is, by contenting your self with the victory which God hath geuen you, without seeking any further vltion or reuengement. And God graunt you grace (Madame) to continue that honestie which hee hath planted in your hart, and by acknowledging that all goodnesse procedeth from him, you may loue him and serue him, better than euer ye did.” The Princesse determined to credite the counsayle of her gentlewoman, slepte with so great ioye as the poore gentleman waked with sorrow. On the morrow the noble man ready to depart, asked for his hoste, vnto whom answere was made that he was so sicke, as he could not abide the light, or endure to heare one speake. Wherof the Prince was sore abashed, and would haue visited him, but that it was told him he was a slepe, and was very loth to wake him. Wherefore without bidding him farewell, he departed, taking with him his wife and sister, who hearing the excuse of the Gentleman that would not see the Prince, nor yet his companie, at their departure, was persuaded that it was he, that had done her al that torment, and durst not shew the markes which she had signed in his face. And although his Maister did sende oftimes for him yet came he not to the Court, vntill he was healed of his woundes, except that whiche loue and despite had made in his harte. When he came to the Courte and appeared 44 before his victorious enemie, he blushed for shame of his ouer throwe. And he which was the stoutest of all the company was so astonned as many times being in her presence, hee could not tell which way to loke or tourne his face. Wherfore she was assured that her suspicion was certain and true, by litle and litle estraunging her self from him, but it was not done so sleightly or politikely but that he perceiued well enough, and yet he durst make no semblaunce, for feare of worse aduenture. Notwithstanding he conserued both loue in his hart, and pacience in his minde, for the losse of his Ladie’s fauour, which he had right well deserued.



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

In the Countie of Arande, in Aragon, a region in Spaine, there was a Ladie whiche in the best time of her youth, continued the widow of the Earle of Arande, with one sonne, and one daughter, called Florinda. The sayde Lady brought vp her children in all vertue and honestie, meete and conuenable for Lordes and Gentlemen, in such sorte, as her house was renowmed to be one of the most honorable in all the Region of Spaine. Many times she repaired to Tolledo, where the kinge of Spaine helde his Court, and when she came to Sarragosa, which was harde adioyning to the court, she continued long with the Queene, and in the Courte, where she was had in so good estimation as any Lady might be. Vpon a time going towardes the king, according to her custome, which was at Sarragosa, in his castle of Iafferie, this Lady passed by a village that belonged to the Viceroy of Catalongne, who still continued vppon the frontiers of Parpignon, for the great warres that were betwene the Frenche king and him. Howebeit, at that time peace being concluded, the Viceroy with all his captaines were come to do reuerence to the king. The Viceroy knowing that the Countesse of Arrande did passe through his countrie, went to mete her, as well for auncient amitie, as for the honor he bare vnto her being allied to the kyng. Nowe this Viceroy had in his companye diuers honest Gentlemen, whiche through the frequentation and continuance of the long warres, had gotten suche honour and fame, as euery man that might see them and behold them did accompt them selues happy. But amonges all other, there was one called Amadour, who although he was but XVIII. or XIX. yeares of age, yet he had such an assured grace and witte so excellent, as he was demed amongs a thousand persones worthy to haue the gouernement of a common wealth, whiche good witte was coupled with maruellous naturall beautie, so that there 46 was no eye, but did content it self eftsones to beholde hym. And this beautie so exquisite, was associated with wonderfull eloquence, as doubtfull to say, whether merited greatest honor, either his grace and beautie, or his excellent tongue. But that which brought him into best reputation, was his great hardinesse, whereof the common reporte and brute was nothing impeached or staied for all his youth. For in so many places he shewed his chiualrie, as not only Spain but Fraunce and Italie, did singularly commend and set forth his vertue: bicause in all the warres wherin he was present, he neuer spared him self for any daunger. And when his countrie was in peace and quiet, he sought to serue in straunge places, being loued and estemed both of his frendes and enemies. This Gentleman for the loue of his Captaine was come into that countrey, where was arriued the Countesse of Arande, and in beholding the beautie and good grace of her daughter, which was not then past XII. yeres of age, he thought that she was the fairest and most vertuous personage that euer he sawe: and that if he could obtaine her good will, he should be so well satisfied as if he had gained all the goods and pleasures of the worlde. And after he had a good whyle viewed her, for all the impossibilitie that reason could deuise to the contrary, he determined to loue her, although some occasion of that impossibilitie might ryse through the greatnesse of the house wherof she came, and for want of age which was not able as yet to vnderstande the passions of loue. But against the feare thereof he was armed with good hope, persuading himselfe, that time and patience would bring happie ende to his trauayle: and from that time gentle Loue whiche without any other occasion than by his own force was entred the harte of Amadour, promised him fauour and helpe by all meanes possible to attaine the same. And to prouide for the greatest difficultie, which was the farre distance of the countrie wher he dwelt, and the small occasion that he had thereby any more to see Florinda, he thought to marry against his determination made with the ladies of Barselone and Parpignon, amonges whom he was so conuersant by reason of the warres, as he semed rather to be a Cathelan, than a Castillan, although he wer borne by Tollede, of a riche and honourable house, yet 47 bicause he was a yonger brother, he inioyed no great patrimonie or reuenue. Notwithstanding, loue and fortune seing him forsaken of his parentes, determined to accomplishe some notable exployt in him, and gaue him (by meanes of his vertue) that which the lawes of his countrey refused to geue. He had good experience in factes of warre, and was so well beloued of al Princes and Rulers, as he refused many times their goodes, being resolued not to care or esteme the benefites of Fortune. The Countesse of whome I spake, arriued thus at Saragossa, was very well intertained of the king, and of his whole Court. The Gouernour of Catalogne, many times came thither to visite her, whom Amadour neuer failed to accompany, for the onely pleasure he had to talke with Florinda: and to make himselfe to be knowen in the company, hee went to Auenturade, whiche was the daughter of an old knight that dwelt hard by the house, whiche from her youth was brought vp with Florinda, in such familiar sorte, as she knewe all the secrets of her harte. Amadour, as well for the honestie that he found in her, as for the liuing of III.M. ducates by the yeare which she should haue with her in mariage, determined to geue her such intertaignement, as one that was disposed to marry her. Wherunto the gentlewoman did willingly recline her eare: and bicause he was poore, and the father of the damosell rich, she thought that her father would neuer accorde to the mariage, except it were by meanes of the Countesse of Arande. Wherupon she went to madame Florinda, and saide vnto her: “Madame, you see this Castillan gentleman, which so oftentimes talketh with me, I doe beleue that his pretence is to marry me: you do know what a father I haue, who will neuer geue his consent, if he be not persuaded therunto by my Lady your mother and you.” Florinda which loued the damosell as her selfe, assured her that shee would take vpon her to bring that matter to passe, with so earnest trauaile as if the case were her own. Then Auenturade brought Amadour before Florinda, who after he had saluted her, was like to fall in a sowne for ioy, and although he were compted the moste eloquent persone of Spaine, yet was he now become mute and dumb before Florinda, wherat she maruelled much: for albeit she was but XII. yeares of age, yet she vnderstode that there was no 48 man in Spaine that had a better tongue, or a more conuenable grace than he. And seing that he said nothing vnto her, she spake vnto him in this wise: “The fame which is bruted of you (sir Amadour) throughout the whole countrie of Spaine, is such as it maketh you knowen and estemed in this company, and giueth desire and occasion to those that know you, to imploy themselues to do you pleasure: wherefore if there be any thing wherin I may gratifie you, vse me I besech you.” Amadour that gased vpon the beautie of that lady, was rapt and surprised, not well able to render thankes vnto her. And although Florinda maruelled to see him without aunswere, yet she imputed it rather to bashfulnesse than to any force of loue, and departed without further talke. Amadour knowing the vertue which in so tender yeares began to appeare in Florinda, saide vnto her whome he purposed to marry: “Doe not maruell, though my speache do fayle before Madame Florinda, for the vertues and discretion, hidden in that yonge personage, did so amase mee, as I wiste not what to saye: but I praye you Auenturade (quod he) who knoweth all her secretes, to tell me, if it be otherwyse possible, but that she hath the harte of all the Lordes and Gentlemen of the Court: for they which know her and doe not loue her, be stones, or beastes.” Auenturade whiche then loued Amadour more than all the men in the worlde, and would conceale nothing from him, said vnto him: that Madame Florinda was generally beloued: but for the custome of the countrie, fewe men did speake unto her. “And (quod she) as yet I se none that make any semblance of loue vnto her, but two young Princes of Spaine, which desire to marry her, whereof the one is the sonne of the Infant Fortune, and the other of the Duke of Cadouce.” “I praye you then (quod Amadour) to tell me which of them as you think, doth loue her best.” “She is so wise” said Auenturade, “that she will confesse or graunt her loue to none, but to such as her mother pleaseth. But yet so far as we can iudge she fauoureth muche better the sonne of the Infant Fortune, than the Duke of Cadouce: and for that I take you to be a man of good iudgment, this day you shall haue occasion to consider the truth: for the sonne of the Infant Fortune is brought vp in Court, and is one of the goodliest and perfectest 49 yong Gentlemen in al christendome: and if the mariage do procede, according to our opinion, which be her women, he shalbe assured to haue Madame Florinda: and then shalbe ioyned together the goodliest couple in the world. And you must vnderstand, that although they be both very yong, she of XII. yeares of age, and he of XV. yet is there three yeares past since their loue first began: and if you be disposed aboue other to obtain her fauour, mine aduise is, that ye become friend and seruaunt vnto him.” Amadour was very ioyfull to heare tell that his Lady loued some man, trusting that in tyme he should wynne the place, not of husbande, but of seruaunt: for he feared nothing at all of her vertue, but a lacke of disposition to loue. And after this communication, Amadour bent himselfe to haunt the societie of the sonne of the Infant Fortune, whose good will he sone recouered, for all the pastimes whiche the yong Prince loued, Amadour could doe right well: and aboue other, he was very cunning in riding of horsses, and in handling al kindes of armes and weapons, and in all other pastimes and games meete for a yong Gentleman. Warres began in Languedoc, and Amadour was forced to retire with the Gouernour, to his great sorrowe and grief, for he had there no meane to returne to the place where he might se Florinda. For which cause he spake to his owne brother, whiche was Steward of the king of Spaine’s houshold, and declared vnto him what courtesie he had found in the house of the Countesse of Arande, and of the damosel Auenturade: praying him that in his absence he would do his indeuour, that the mariage might proceede, and that he would obtaine for him the credit and good opinion of the king and Queene, and of al his friendes. The Gentleman which loued his brother, as well by nature’s instigation, as for his great vertues, promised him his trauaile and industrie to the vttermoste. Which he did in such wise as the old man her father, nowe forgetting other naturall respect, began to marke and beholde the vertues of Amadour, which the Countesse of Arande, and specially faire Florinda, painted and set foorth vnto him, and likewyse the Yong earl of Arande whiche increased in yeares, and therewithall in loue of those that were vertuous, and geuen to honest exercise. And when the mariage was agreed 50 betweene the parentes, the said Steward sent for his brother whilest the truce endured betwene the two kings. About this time, the king of Spain retired to Madric, to auoyd the euil aire that was in many places, where by the aduise of diuers of his counsell, and at the request of the Countesse of Arande, he made a mariage betwene the yong Duchesse the heire of Medina Celi, and the yong Earle of Arande, as wel for the vnion of their house, as also for the loue he bare to the said Countesse. And this mariage was celebrated in the Castell of Madric, whereunto repaired Amadour, who so well obtained his suite, as he maried her, of whom he was muche better beloued, than his smal loue toward her deserued, sauing that it was a couerture and meanes for him to frequent the place where his minde and delight incessantly remained: after he was maried, he became well acquainted and familiar in the house of the Countesse, so that he was so conuersaunt amonges the Ladies, as if he had bene a woman: and although hee was then but XXII. yeares of age, he was so wise and graue, as the Countesse imparted vnto him all her affaires, commaunding her sonne and daughter to intertayne him, and to credite all thinges wherein hee gaue counsell. Hauing wonne this great estimation, he behaued him selfe so wyse and politike, that euen the partie whiche he loued knewe no parte of his affection: but by reason of the loue that Florinda bare to the wife of Amadour, whome shee loued more than any other woman, she was so familiar with him, as shee dissembled no part of her thought, declaring vnto him all the loue that she bare the sonne of the Infant Fortune: and he that desired nothing more than throughly to winne her, ceassed not from continuance of talke, not caring whereof he spake, so that he might hold her with long discourse: Amadour had not after his mariage continued a moneth in that companie, but was constrained to retire to the warres, where hee continued more than twoo yeares, without retourne to see his wife, who still abode in the place where she was brought vp. During the time, Amadour wrote many letters vnto his wife, but the chiefest substance therof consisted in commendations to Florinda, who for her part failed not to render like vnto him, many times writing some pretie worde or posie with her own hand, in the 51 letter of Auenturade. Which made her husband Amadour diligent many times to write again vnto her, but in al this doing Florinda conceiued nothing, but that he loued her with such like loue as the brother oweth to the sister. Many times Amadour went and came, but in the space of fiue yeares he neuer sawe Florinda twoo monethes together: notwithstanding, Loue in despite of their distaunce and long absence, ceassed not to increase: and it chaunced that hee made a voyage home to see his wyfe, and founde the Countesse farre from the court, bicause the kyng of Spain was done to Vandelousie, and had taken with him the yong Earle of Arande, whiche then began to bere armes. The Countesse was retired to a house of pleasure, which shee had vpon the frontiers of Arragon and Nauarre, and was right ioyfull when shee see Amadour, who almoste three yeares had bene absent. He was very well recieued of euery man, and the countesse commaunded that he should be vsed and entreated as her howne sonne. During the time that he soiourned with her, she communicated vnto him all the affaires of her house, and committed the greatest trust thereof to his discretion, who wan such credite in the house as in all places where he liste, the dores were opened vnto him: whose wysedome and good behauiour made him to be estemed like a Sainct or Aungell. Florinda, for the loue and good wyll she bare unto his wyfe and him, made muche of him in all places where she sawe him: and therfore tooke no hede vnto his countenaunce, for that her hart as yet felt no passion, but a certen contentation in her selfe, when she was in the presence of Amadour, and of any other thing she thought not. Amadour to auoyde the iudgement of them that haue proued the difference of Louers countenaunces, was very ware and circumspect: for when Florinda came to speake vnto hym secretly (like one that thought no hurt) the fier hydden in his breste, burned so sore, as he could not staye the blushyng colour of his face, nor the sparkes whiche flewe out of his eyes: and to the intent, that through long frequentation, none might espie the same, he intertaigned a very fayre Ladye called Paulina, a woman in his tyme accompted so fayre, as fewe men whiche behelde her, coulde escape her bondes, This Ladye Paulina vnderstanding howe Amadour vsed his Loue 52 at Barselone and Parpignon, and how he was beloued of the fayrest Ladies of the Countrie, and aboue all of the Countesse of Palamons, whiche in beautie was prysed to be the fayrest in all Spayne, and of many other, sayde vnto hym: “That shee had great pitie of hym, for that after so manye good Fortunes, he had maried a wyfe so foule and deformed.” Amadour vnderstanding well by those woordes, that she had desyre to remedy her owne necessitie, vsed the best maner he coulde deuise, to the intent that in makyng her beleue a lye, he should hyde from her the truthe. But shee subtile and well experimented in Loue, was not contente with talke, but perceyuing well that his harte was not satisfied with her Loue, doubted that hee coulde not serue his Lady in secrete wise, and therefore marked hym so nere, as daylye she had a respecte and watche vnto hys eyes, whiche hee coulde so well dissemble, as she was able to iudge nothyng, but by darke suspicion, not without great payne and difficultie to the Gentleman, to whome Florinda (ignoraunt of all their malice) dyd resorte many tymes in presence of Paulina, whose demeaner then was so familiar, as he with maruellous payne refrayned his lookes against his harte and desire: and to auoyde that no inconuenience should ensue, one daye speaking to Florinda, as they were both leaning at a wyndow, sayd these words: “Madame, I beseche you to tell mee whether it is better to speake or to die.” Whereunto Florinda answered readily, saying, “I will euer geue councell to my frendes to speake and not to dye: for there be fewe wordes spoken but that they may be amended, but the life lost cannot be recouered.” “Promise me then” said Amadour, “that not onely ye will accept those wordes which I will say, but also not to be astonned or abashed, till ye haue heard the end of my tale.” To whom she aunswered: “Say what it please you, for if you do affray me none other shall assure me.” Then he began to saye vnto her: “Madame, I haue not yet bene desirous to disclose vnto you the great affection which I beare you, for twoo causes: the one, bicause I attend by my long seruice, to shewe you the experience thereof: the other, for that I doubted you would thinke a great presumption in me (which am but a poore gentleman) to insinuate my selfe in place whereof I am not worthy: and although 53 I were a Prince as you be, the loyaltie yet of your harte, will not permitte any other, but him which hath already taken possession (the sonne I meane of the Infant Fortune) to vse in talke any matter of loue: but Madame, like as necessitie in time of great warr constraineth men to make hauoke of their owne goodes, and to consume the greene corne, that the enemy take no profit and reliefe thereof, euen so doe I hazard to aduaunce the frute, which in time I hope to gather, that your enemies and mine may inioye thereof none aduauntage. Knowe ye Madame, that from the time of your tender yeares, I haue in such wyse dedicated my selfe to your seruice as I ceasse not still to aspire the meanes to achieue your grace and fauour: and for that occasion, I did marry her whome I thought you did loue best: and knowing the loue you beare to the sonne of the Infant Fortune, I haue indeuoured to serue him as you haue sene: and that wherein I thought you dyd delighte, I haue accomplished to the vttermoste of my power. You doe see that I haue gotten the good wil of the Countesse your mother, of the Earle your brother, and of all those that doe beare you good wyll: in sutche sorte as in this house I am estemed, not like a seruaunt, but as a sonne: and all the labour whiche I haue sustayned these fiue yeares past, was for none other cause, but to lyue all the daies of my life with you: and vnderstand you wel that I am none of those whiche by these meanes doe pretende to receiue of you anye profite or pleasure, other than that which is good and vertuous: I do know that I can neuer marrie you, and if I could I would not for letting the loue that you beare vnto him, whom I desire to be your husbande, likewise to loue you in vicious sorte, like them that hope to recompence their seruice with dishonour of their Ladies, I am so farre of from that affection, as I had rather be dead than to see you by desert worthy of lesse loue, and that your vertue shoulde by any meanes be diminished for any pleasure that might happen vnto mee. I do pretend and craue for the ende and recompence of my service, but one thing: which is, that you will continue my loyall and faithfull maistresse, neuer to withdrawe from me your wonted grace and fauour, and that you will maintaine mee in that estate wherein I am. Reposinge your trust and fidelitie in me more than in any other, making your selfe so 54 assured of me, as if for your honor or any cause touching your person, you stand in neede of the life of a Gentleman, the same shal right willingly be employed at your commaundement: in like maner all thinges vertuous and honest which euer I shal attempt I beseech you to thinke to be done onely for the loue of you: and if I haue done for Ladies of lesse reputacion than you be, any thing worthy of regard, be assured that for such a maistresse as you be, my enterprises shal increase in such sort, as the things which I found difficult and impossible, shall be easelie for me to accomplishe; but if you do not accept mee to be wholy yours, I determine to giue ouer armes, and to renounce valiaunce, because it hath not succoured me in necessitie: wherfore, Madame, I humblie beseech you that my iust request may not be refused, sith with your honour and conscience you cannot well denie the same.” The yong Lady hearing this vnaccustomed sute, began to chaunge her colour, and to caste downe her eyes like an amased woman, notwithstandinge, being wyse and discrete she said vnto him: “If (Amadour) your request vnto me be none other than you pretende, wherefore have you discoursed this long Oration? I am afraid lest vnder this honeste pretence there lurketh some hidden malice to deceiue the ignoraunce of my youth, wherby I am wrapt in great perplexitie how to make you aunswere: for to refuse the honest amitie which you haue offered, I shall doe contrary to that I haue done hitherto, for I haue reposed in you more trust than in any liuing creature: my conscience or mine honour cannot gainesay your demaunde, nor the loue that I beare to the sonne of the Infant Fortune, which is grounded vpon fayth of mariage: where you say that you pretende nothinge but that is good and vertuous, I cannot tell what thing should let me to make you aunswere according to your request, but a feare that I conceiue in hart, founded vpon the small occasion that you haue to vse that speache, for if you haue alreadye what you demaunde, what doth constraine you to speake so affectuouslie?” Amadour that was not without an aunsweare, said vnto her: “Madame, you speake very wisely, and you do me so much honour, for the confidence and truste which according to your sayinge you do repose in me, as if I doe not content my selfe with such a benefite, I were the 55 vnworthiest man aliue: but vnderstande Madame, that he which goeth about to builde a perpetual mansion, ought to haue regard to a sure and firme foundacion: wherfore I which desire perpetually to remaine your seruaunte, doe seeke not onely the meanes to kepe my selfe neare about you, but also to foresee that none doe vnderstand the great affection that I do beare you: for although my mind be so vertuous and honest, as the same may disclose it selfe before the whole worlde, yet there bee some so ignorant and vnskilfull of louers harts, as manye times will iudge contrary to trouth, wherof proceedeth so ill brute and report, as if the effectes were wicked: the cause which hath made me so bold to say and declare vnto you thus much, is the suspicion that Paulina hath conceyued, for that I cannot loue her: who doth nothing els but marke and espie my countenaunce in euerye place, and when you vse your familiar talke with me before her, I am so afraide to shewe any signe whereby shee maye grounde or verifie her iudgemente, that I fall into that inconuenience, which I would willingly auoyde: wherefore I haue thought good to beseech you (before her and those which you do know to be so malicious) to refraine from talkinge with mee so sodainlye, for I had rather dye, than anye liuinge creature should haue mistrust thereof: and were it not for the loue which I beare vnto your honour, I had not yet declared the same vnto you, for I do hold my selfe sufficiente happy and content of the onely loue and affiaunce that you put in me, crauing nought els butt the continuance of the same.” Florinda wel satisfyed with this aunswere, began to feele in harte a further thing to growe than euer she did before: and hearing the honest reasons alleaged by him, said, that her honestie and vertue shoulde make aunsweare for her, and therewithall assented to his demaunde: whereof whether Amadour were ioyful, Louers neede not doubt: but Florinda credited more his counsell, than he would haue had her. For shee being fearefull and timerous, not onely before Paulina, but in all other places, vsed farre other countenaunce than she was wont to do: and in this alienation of her former familiarity, she misliked the conuersation that Amadour had with Paulina, whose beauty was such, that she could not otherwise beleeue, but that hee loued her: and Florinda to passe ouer her 56 heauinesse, daily vsed the company of Auenturade, that began maruelously to be ialous betweene her husbande and Paulina, whereof shee made complaint many times to Florinda, who comforted her so well as shee coulde, like one attached with the same disease: Amadour coniecturinge by the countenaunce of Florinda, that not onely shee was estraunged from hym through his former aduertisement, but also that there was some other displeasure conceyued, comming vpon a time, from euensong out of the Monasterie, he sayd vnto her: “Madame, what countenaunce do you make me?” “Such as I thincke doth please you best,” answered Florinda. Then Amadour suspecting a matter, to know whether it were true, began to saye: “Madame, I haue so vsed Paulina, as she beginneth to give ouer her opinion of you.” She answered him: “Ye cannot do a better thing either for your selfe or for me: for in doing your selfe a pleasure, you do honour vnto me.” Amadour iudged by these words that she thought he toke pleasure to talke of Paulina, wherewith he became so desperate, as hee could not forbeare to say vnto her in anger: “Madame, you begin very sone to torment your seruante: there was neuer paine more greeuous vnto mee, than to be forced to speake to her whom I loue not: and sithens al that which I do for your seruice is taken in ill part, I wil neuer speake againe vnto her, whatsoeuer happen: and to dissemble mine anger and contentacion, I wil addresse my selfe to some place hereby, till your fancie be ouer past: but I hope I shall receiue newes from my captaine, to retourne to the warres, where I will so longe continue, as you shall well knowe, that nothing els but you alone doth force me to tarrie here.” And in saying so, without attending for her aunswere, hee incontinently departed, and shee remayned so sad and pensive as any woman coulde be: and loue began to shewe his greate force in such wyse as shee knowing her wrong incessantly, wrote to Amadour praying him to retourne home, which he did within a few dayes after that his choler was past, and to tell you what businesse there was, to interrupte and breake the ialousie conceiued, it were superfluous: but in the ende, he wanne the field, so that she promised him, not onely to beleeue that he loued not Paulina, but also helde her selfe assured that it should be to him a martirdome intollerable, to 57 speake vnto her or any other, except it were to do her seruice: after that loue had vanquished this presente suspicion, and that the two louers began to take more pleasure in their mutuall talke than euer they did before: newes came that the king of Spaine was about to addres his Armie to Saulse, wherfore he that was wont to be there with the first, was not like now to fayle to augment his honour: but true it is, that his griefe was presently more greate, than at other times before, aswell for losinge the pleasure which he enioyed, as for feare to finde some mutacion and chaunge at his returne, because he saw Florinda pursued by great Princes and Lords, and alreadye come to the age of XV. yeares, and thought that if she were maried in his absence, he should neuer haue occasion to see her againe, except the Countesse of Arande would appointe his wyfe to waite vppon her: for accomplishment wherof he made such frends, as the Countesse and Florinda promised him, that into what soeuer place she were maried his wyfe Auenturade should attende vpon her: and although it was in question that Florinda should be maried into Portugall, yet determined that his wyfe should neuer forsake her: and vppon this assuraunce, not without vnspeakeable sorow, Amadour departed and left his wife with the Countesse. When Florinda was alone, her seruaunt departed, shee gaue her selfe to all vertuous life, hopinge thereby to atteine the fame of a most perfecte Lady, and to be counted worthie the interteignemente of such a seruaunt. Amadour arriued at Barsalone, was banqueted and intertayned of the Ladies after the old maner, but they finding him so altered and chaunged, thought that Mariage could neuer haue had such power vppon man, as it had ouer him: for he seemed then to disdaine, what somtime he greatly desired, and specially the Countesse of Palamons, whom he derely loued, could deuise by no meanes to make him go alone home to his lodging: Amadour tarried at Barsalone so little while as hee coulde, because hee might not come late to the place where hee purposed to winne and atchiue honour: and being arriued at Saulse, great and cruell warres were comenced betwene the two kinges, which I purpose not to recite, ne yet the noble enterprises done by Amadour, whose fame was bruted aboue the rest of his companions. The duke of Nagyers arriuinge at Parpignon, had 58 charge of two thousand men, and prayed Amadour to be his Lieuetenaunte, who with that hand serued so well, as no crie was hard in al the skirmishes, other than of Nagyers. It chaunced that the king of Thunis, which of long time had warre with the Spaniards, vnderstandinge howe the kinges of Spaine and Fraunce were together by the eares at Parpignon and Narbonne, thought that in better time he could not anoye the king of Spaine: wherefore he sent a great nomber of Foists and other vessels, to robbe and spoile those frontiers which were ill guarded and kept: they of Barsalone seing a nomber of Shippes passe before the Towne, aduertised the king that was at Saulse, who immediatly sent the Duke of Nagyers to Palamons: and when the shippes discried that the place was well guarded, they made as though they would passe further: but about midnight they retourned, and landed so many men, that the Duke of Nagyers was taken prisoner. Amadour which was very vigilant, hearing allarme, presently assembled so many men as he could, and defended him self so wel, as the force of his enemies a long time could not hurt him: but in thende knowing that the Duke of Nagyers was taken prisoner, and that the Turks were determined to burn the Citie of Palamons, and then to fier the house which he strongly had forced againste them, hee thought it better to render himself, than to be cause of the losse of so manye good souldiors as were vnder his gouernmente, and also by putting himselfe to raunsome, he hoped in time to come to see Florinda: then he submitted himselfe to a Turke called Derlyn, the gouernor of the king of Thunis, who conueyed him home to his maister, where he was well entertaigned, and better kept: for they thought that hauing him in their hands, they had gotten the only Achilles of Spaine. In this sort Amadour continued almost the space of two yeares, in the seruice of the king of Thunis: newes came into Spaine of this ouerthrow, wherof the frends of the Duke of Nagyers, were very sorowfull: but they that loued the honor of their countrie, thoughte Amadour to bee the greatest losse, the brute wherof was noysed in the house of the Countesse of Arande, wher at that time the poore gentlewoman Auenturade lay very sore sicke. The Countesse suspecting very much the affection that Amadour 59 bare vnto her daughter, which he suffered and dissembled for his vertue’s sake, called her daughter aside, and told her the pitious newes. Florinda which could well dissemble said unto her, that it was a great losse for al their house, but specially she pitied the state of his poore wife, because at that time she was so sore sicke. But seing her mother weepe so bitterly, she let fal some teares to keepe her company, least through to much dissimulacion her loue might be discouered. After that time, the Countesse spake to her many times, but she could neuer perceiue by her countenance, any cause of certaine suspicion. I will leaue to speake of the voyages, the prayers, the supplications and fastings, which Florinda did ordinarily make for the safegard and prosperitie of Amadour, who incontinently so sone as he was ariued at Thunis, sent newes to his frends, and by a sure messenger aduertized Florinda, that he was in good health and hope to retourne. Which newes was to the poore Lady, the only meanes to releue and ease her sorow. And doubt ye not, but the meanes of writing, was vtterly debarred from Amadour, wherof Florinda acquited herself so diligently, as by her letters and epistles, he receiued great consolation and comfort. The Countesse of Arande receiued commaundement from the king to repaire to Saragosa, where hee that time was arriued. And there she found the yong Duke of Cardonne making sute to the king and Queene, for mariage of her daughter. The Countesse vnwilling to disobey the king, agreed, thinkinge that her daughter being very yonge, had none other affection, but that which already had taken sure impression. When the accorde was concluded, shee sayde vnto her daughter, that she had chosen that matche, as best worthy to ioyne with her person. Her daughter considering howe in a thing already done it was to late to take counsell, said vnto her, that God was to be praised in all things. And seing her mother so far alienated from her intent, she thought it better to shew her selfe obedient, than to take pitie vpon herselfe. And to comfort her in that sorowe, she vnderstode that the infant Fortune was at the point of death. But before her mother or any other person, she shewed not so much as one signe or token therof, strayning her grief so much, as 60 the teares by force retiringe to her harte, did cause the bloud to issue forth at her Nose, in such abundance, as her life was in present daunger. And to recouer her of that disease, shee was maried vnto him, for whose sake shee had rather haue chaunged her life for present death. After the mariage, Florinda went wyth her husbande into the Duchy of Cardonne, and in her company Auenturade, to whom she secretly made complaint, as wel of her mother’s rigor, as also of the sorow she conceyued for the losse of the sonne of the Infant Fortune. But of her griefe for Amadour, she spake no worde, but by way of comforting her. This yong lady then determined to haue God and the respect of her honoure before her eies, and so wel to dissemble her griefes, as none at any time should perceiue that shee misliked her husband. In this sort Florinda passed long time, in a life no lesse pleasaunt than death. The report whereof she sent to her good seruaunt Amadour, who vnderstanding her great loue, and wel disposed hart, and the loue shee bare to the Infant Fortune, thought that it was impossible she could liue long, and lamented her state more than his owne. This griefe augmented his paine of imprisonmente, wishinge to haue remayned a slaue all the days of his life, so that Florinda had had a husbande respondent to her desire, forgettinge his owne griefe by feeling that his frende did suffer. And because he vnderstode by a secret friend which he had gotten in the Court of the king of Thunis, that the king was minded to offer him the gibbet, or els to make him renounce his fayth, for the desire hee had to retaine him still, and to make him a good Turke, he behaued himself so well, wyth him that toke him prisoner, that he gaue him leaue to depart vpon his fayth, taxing him at so greate raunsome, as he thought a man of so small substance was neuer able to pay. And so without speaking to the king his maister, hee let him go vpon his fayth. After he had shewed himselfe at the Court of the king of Spaine, he departed incontinently to his frends to get his raunsome, and went straight to Barsalone, whether the yong Duke of Cardonne, his mother, and Florinda, was gone aboute certaine affaires. Auenturade so sone as she heard tell that her husband was come, declared the same 61 to Florinda, who seemed for her sake greatly to reioyce therat. But fearing that the desire she had to see him would make her chaunge countenaunce, and that they which knew not the cause therof, would conceiue some ill opinion, she stode still at a window to see him come a far of: and so sone as she espied him, shee went downe a paire of darke staires that none mighte perceiue her chaunge of colour. When she had imbraced Amadour, shee led him into her chamber, and from thence to her mother in law, which had neuer seene him before. He had not continued there two dayes, but he was so well beloued, as he was before in the house of the Countesse of Arande. I will omitte the words and talke betwene Florinda and Amadour, and the complaintes which he made vnto her of his ill aduenture, that hee had sustayned in his absence. And after manye teares vttered by her, for the heauines she had taken, aswel for the mariage against her wil, as for the losse of him that she loued so dearely, and for him whom she thoughte neuer to see againe, shee determined to take her consolation in the loue and fidelitie that she bare to Amadour, which notwithstanding she durst not open and declare: but he that much doubted therof, lost no occasion and time to let her know and vnderstande the great loue he bare her. And euen vppon the point that she was ready to receiue him, not as a seruaunt, but for her assured and perfect frend, there chaunced a maruellous fortune: for the king, for certaine matters of importance, incontinently sent forth Amadour, wherof his wyfe conceyued such sorrow, as hearing those newes, she souned and fell from the stayres where she stode, wherewith she hurte herselfe so sore, as neuer after she reuiued. Florinda (that by the death of her had lost all comfort) made such sorrow, as one that was destitute of good frends and kinsfolke, but Amadour toke the same in worst part: for he had not onely lost one of the most honest women that euer was, but also the meanes that he should neuer after that time haue occasion to visit Florinda. For which cause he fell into such sicknes, as he was like to haue died sodainly. The old Duchesse of Cardonne, incessantly did visite him, and alledged many philosophical reasons to make him paciently to receiue death, bu 62 it auayled nothing: for if death of thone side did torment him, loue on the other did augment his martirdome. Amadour seing that his wyfe was buried, and that the king had sent for him, (hauing no occasion of longer abode there) he entred into such dispaire, as hee seemed to be oute of his wittes. Florinda which in comforting him was almost desolate, remayned by him one whole afternone, vsinge very honest and discrete talke vnto him, thinking thereby to diminishe the greatnesse of his sorrowe, and assured him that shee would deuise wayes how he might visite her more oft than he did thinke for. And because he must depart the next morning, and was so feeble and weake that he could not rise from his bed, he intreated her to come and se him at night after euery man was retired to bed: which she promised to doe, not knowing that loue’s extremety was voyd of reason. And he that saw no hope euer after that time to see her againe, whom so long time he had serued: and of whom he had neuer receyued other interteignment than that you haue heard, was so beaten and ouercom with loue long dissembled, and of the despaire he conceiued, that (all meanes to vse her company taken away) he purposed to play double or quit, either to lose her, or to win her fauour for euer, and to pay himself at one instant the rewarde which he thought he had right wel deserued. Wherfore he caused the curtaines of his bed to be drawen, that they which came into the chamber mighte not see him, complayning of sicknes more than he was wont to do, wherby they of the house thought he would not haue liued XXIV. houres. After euery one of the house had visited him at night, Florinda (at the special request of her husband) came to see him, thinking for his comfort to vtter vnto him her affection, and how aboue all other she would loue him, so far as her honor did permit: and sitting downe in a chayre at the bed’s head, she began to comfort him, and therwithal powred out many teares. Amadour seing her sorowful and pensife, thought that in her great torment he might easely attaine the effect of his intent, and lifted himself vp in his bed, which Florinda perceyuing, she would haue staied him, because she thought that through weakenes he was not able to moue: and kneeling vpon his knees, he said vnto her: “Must 63 I for euermore forgo your sight mine owne deare Lady?” And in saying so he fel downe betwene her armes like one that fainted for lack of strength. Then poore Florinda imbraced him, and of long time held him vp, doing all that was possible for his comfort. But the medecine she gaue him to ease his sorow, did rather increase the same more strong: for in fayning himself half dead, without speaking any word, he attempted that which the honor of womanhode doth defend. When Florinda perceiued his ill intent, she could scarce beleue the same, considering his honest requests made before time, and therfore asked him what it was that he desired. But Amadour fearing to heare her aunswere which he knew well could be none other but chaste and vertuous, without further talke, pursued his purpose so earnestly as he could, wherwith Florinda beinge astonned did suspect he had bin out of his wittes rather than beleue that he wente about her dishonor. Wherefore with loude voice she called a gentleman that was in the chamber. Which Amadour hearing, vtterly in dispaire, threw himself so sodenly into his bed, as the gentleman thought he had beene dead. Florinda rising out of the chaire, said vnto him: “Goe quickly and fetch some good vineger.” Which the gentleman did. Then Florinda began to say vnto him: “Amadour, what follie hath inchaunted your wisedome? And what is that which you would haue done unto me?” Amadour that through the force of loue had lost al reason, said vnto her: “Doth my long seruice merite a recompence of such cruelty?” “And wher is the honesty then,” said Florinda, “which so many times you haue preached vnto me?” “Ah, madame!” said Amadour: “I beleue it is impossible your selfe more faithfully to loue your owne honour than I do. For when you were vnmaried, I could so wel subdue my harte and affection, as you did neuer vnderstand my will and desire. And now that you be maried, to the intente your honour may reste in couerte, what wrong do I to aske that which is mine owne, for by force of loue I haue won you? He that first enioyed your harte, hath so ill followed the victorie of your bodye, as hee hath well deserued to lose altogether. He that possesseth your body, is not worthy to haue your hart, wherefore your body is none of his, ne yet he 64 hath no title in the same. But I Madame, these fiue or sixe yeares haue susteyned suche paynes and trauaile for your sake, as you are not ignoraunt but to me appertayneth both your body and harte, for whose sake I haue vtterlye forgotten mine owne. And if you can finde in your hart to defende mee from my right, doubt ye not but they which haue proued the forces of loue, wil lay the blame on you, which hath in this sort robbed me from my libertie, and with your heauenly graces hath obscured my sences, that not knowing hereafter what to do, I am constrayned to go without hope for euer to see you againe. Notwithstanding warrante your selfe, that in what place so euer I am, you shall still possesse my harte, which shall continue your’s for euer, be I vppon the lande or water, or betweene the hands of my moste cruell enemies. But if I could recouer before my departure, that surety of you which the greatnesse of my loue deserueth, I shall be strong enough paciently to beare the griefes of my long absence. And if it please you not to graunt me this request, you shal shortly heare tell that your rigor hath rendred vnto me a most vnhappy and cruel death.” Florinda no lesse astonned than sorie, to heare such words proceede from him, of whom she neuer had any such suspicion, weepinge saide unto him: “Alas, Amadour, is this the meaning of those vertuous words which sithens the beginning of my youth ye haue vttered vnto me? Is this the honor of the conscience, which you haue many times perswaded me rather to die than lose the same? Haue you forgotten the good examples recited vnto me of vertuous dames that haue resisted foolish loue? And is this the maner of your contempt of Ladies that were foolish and vaine, whose light behauiour you dissembled so much to abhorre? I cannot beleeue Amadour that you are driuen into such madnes and furie, as the feare of GOD, your owne conscience, and the estimacion of mine honor, should be altogether out of your minde and memorie. But if it so be as you say, I do praise the goodnes of God, which hath preuented the mishap that nowe I am fallen into, in shewing me by your words, the hart which I did not know. For hauing lost the sonne of the Infant Fortune, who not onely is maried into another place, but also loued another, and 65 I now maried to him, which I cannot loue, I thought and determined wholly, with all mine hart and affection to loue you, founding the same vpon that vertue which I knew to be in you, which loue by your meanes onelye I haue conceiued, and therfore did more esteeme my honor and conscience, than the price of mine owne life. Vppon assurance of this stone of honestie, I am come hither thinking to build a most sure foundacion. But (Amadour) in one moment thou haste declared, how in place of a pure foundacion, thy buildinge is reared vpon a light sand, and vnconstant ground, or els vpon a filthy and foul quamire. And where I began to erect a good part of the lodgings of this building vpon the ground of the fidelitie, hoping to dwel there for euer, sodenly thou hast ouerthrowen the whole plot. Wherfore, you must immediately breake in sonder the hope and credit that euermore you haue found in me, and determine that in what place soeuer I be, not to pursue me either by worde or countenaunce. And do not thinke, that I can or will at anye time hereafter chaunge this mine opinion, reciting this my last adieu with great sorrow and griefe. But if I had made an othe of this perfect amitie and loue, I know mine harte would haue died vpon this breach, although the astonishment in that I am deceiued, is so great, as I am wel assured it will make my life either short or sorowfull: and therefore I bid you farewel and that for euer.” I purpose not to tel you the sorow which Amadour felt by hearing those words, because it is impossible not only to write them, but also to thincke them, except it be of such as haue had experience of the like. And seing that vppon this cruel conclusion she would haue gone away, he caught her by the arme, knowing well that if he did not remoue that ill opinion, which by his owne occasion she had conceyued, hee should lose her for euer. Wherfore he said vnto her with a very faint chere: “Madame, al the dayes of my life I haue desired to loue a woman endued with honestie and vertue: and because I haue found so few, I would fain haue tried whether your person had bin worthy of estimacion and loue, wherof now I am wel assured, and humblie do praise God therefore, because mine hart is addressed to such perfection: beseching you to pardon this fond and bold 66 attempt, sith you see that the end doth redound to your owne honor and contentacion.” Florinda, which began to know by him the malice of other men, like as she was hard to beleue the euill wher it was, euen so she was more difficile to credite the good where it was not, and said vnto him: “I pray to God your words be true: yet am I not so ignorant but that the state of mariage wherein I am, hath made me euidently to know the strong passion of blind loue which hath forced you vnto this follie: for if God had losed my hande, I am wel assured you would not haue plucked back the bridle: they that attempt to seeke after vertue, do not take the way that you do tread: but this is sufficient if I haue lightly beleeued any honestie in you, it is time for me now to know the truth, that I may rid my self from you.” And in saying so, Florinda went out of the chamber, and all the nighte long, she neuer left weeping, feeling such great griefe in that alteracion, as her hart had much to do, to sustaine the assaults of sorrow that loue had made: for although reason thoughte neuer to loue him againe, yet the hart which is not subiect to our fancie, would not accord to that crueltie: for which consideracion, she loued him no lesse than she was wont to do, and knowing that loue was the cause of that fault, she purposed for satisfaction of loue, to Loue him with all her hart, and yet for the obedience and fealtie due to her honor, she thought neuer to make any semblance. In the morning Amadour departed in this sort, troubled as you haue hearde, neuerthelesse his couragious heart centred not in dispaire, but renued a fresh hope once againe to see Florinda, and to win her fauour: then he toke his iourney towards the Court of Spaine (which was at Tolledo) taking his way by the Countesse of Arande, wher late in an euening he arriued, and found the Countesse verye sicke for the absence of her daughter Florinda: when shee saw Amadour, shee kissed and imbraced him, as if he had beene her owne child, aswel for the loue she bare vnto him, as for the like which she doubted that he bare to Florinda, of whom very earnestly she inquired for newes, who tolde her the best that he could deuise, but not the whole truth, and confessed vnto her the loue betweene Florinda and him, (which Florinda had still conceiled and kept secrete) praying her 67 ayde to bring him againe into her fauour: and so the next morning he departed. And after he had done his businesse with the Queene, he repayred to the warres, so sadde and chaunged in all his condicions, as the Ladies, Captaynes and all they that were wonte to keepe him companie, did not know him. His apparell was all blacke, mourning for the death of his wife, wherby he couered the sorrow which was hid in his hart. In this wyse Amadour passed three or 4 yeres before he returned to the Court. And the Countesse of Arande which heard tell that Florinda was so much altered, as it would haue moued any hart to behold her, sent for her, hoping that she would haue come, but her expectacion was frustrate, for when Florinda vnderstode that Amadour had told her mother the good will betweene them, and that her mother being so wise and vertuous giuing credite to Amadour, did beleue his report, she was in marueilous perplexitie, because of the one side she saw that her mother did esteeme him so well, and on the other side if she declared vnto her the truth, Amadour woulde conceiue displeasure: which thing she had rather die than to do: wherefore she thought herselfe strong inough to chastise him of his folly, without helpe of frends. Againe, she perceyued that by dissembling the euil which she knew by him, she should be constrained by her mother and her frends, to speake and beare him good countenaunce, wherby she feared he would be the more encoraged: but seing that he was far of, she passed the lesse of the matter: and when the Countesse her mother did commaunde her, she wrote letters vnto him, but they were such as he might wel gather that they were written rather vpon obedience, than of good wil, the reading wherof bred sorrow vnto him in place of that ioye he was wonte to conceiue in her former wrytings. Within the terme of two or three yeres, after he had done so many noble enterprises as al the paper of Spaine could not containe them, he deuised a new inuention, not to wynne and recouer the harte of Florinda (for he demed the same quite lost) but to haue the victorie ouer his enemy, sithens she had vsed him in that sorte, and reiecting al reason and specially feare of death, into the hazarde wherof he hasted himselfe, he concluded and determined his enterprise in such sorte, as for his behauiour towardes the Gouernour, hee was 68 deputed and sent by him to treate with the king of certaine exploytes to be done at Locates, sparing not to impart his message to the Countesse of Aranda, before he told the same to the king, to vse her good aduise therein: and so came in poste straight into the Countie of Aranda, where he had intelligence in what place Florinda remained, and secretly sent to the Countesse one of his frendes to tell her of his comming, and to pray her to keepe it close, and that he might speake with her that night in secrete wise that no man might perceiue: the Countesse very ioyfull of his comming, tolde it to Florinda, and sent her into her husbande’s chamber, that she might be ready when she should send for her after eche man was gone to bed. Florinda whiche was not yet well boldened by reason of her former feare, making a good face of the matter to her mother, withdrewe her selfe into an oratorie or chappell, to recommend her selfe to God, praying him to defend her hart from al wicked affection, and therwithal considered how often Amadour had praysed her beautie, which was not impaired or diminished, although she had bene sicke of longe time before: wherefore thinking it better to doe iniurie to her beautie by defacing it, than to suffer the harte of so honest a personage by meanes thereof wickedly to be inflamed, shee tooke vp a stone which was within the Chappell, and gaue her selfe so great a blowe on the face that her mouthe, eyes and nose, were altogether deformed: and to thintent no man might suspect what she had done, when the Countesse sent for her in going out of the Chappell, she fell downe vppon a great stone, and therewithall cried out so loude, as the Countesse came in and founde her in pitious state, who incontinently dressing her face, and binding it vp with clothes, conueyed her into her chamber, and prayed her to goe into her closet to entertaigne Amadour, tyll she were weary of his companie: whiche she did, thinking that there had bene somebody with hym: but finding him alone, and the doore shut vpon her, Amadour was not so well pleased as she was discontented: who nowe thoughte eyther with loue or force to get that, whiche hee had so long tyme desyred: and after he had spoken a fewe woordes vnto her, and found her in that mynde hee lefte her, and that to dye for it shee woulde not chaunge her opinion, desperatly he sayde vnto her: “By God 69 madame, the fruite of my labour shall not be thus taken from me for scruples and doubtes: and sithe that Loue, pacience, and humble desires, cannot preuayle, I will not spare by force to get that, which except I haue it will be the meanes of mine overthrowe.” When Florinda sawe his face and eyes so altered, and that the fairest die and colour of the world, was become so red as fier, with his most pleasaunt and amiable loke transformed into horrible hew and furious, and therewithall discried the very hote burning fier, to sparkle within his harte and face: and how in that fury with one of his strong fistes he griped her delicate and tender hands: and on the other side shee seeing all her defences to fayle her, and that her feete and handes were caught in suche captiuitie as she could neither run away nor yet defend her selfe: knewe none other remedie, but to proue if he had yet remaining in him any griftes of the former loue, that for the honour therof he might forget his crueltie. Wherefore she sayd vnto him: “Amadour, if now you doe accompt me for an enemy, I besech you for the honestie of the loue which at other times I haue found planted in your harte, to geue me leaue to speake before you doe torment me.” And when shee saw him recline his eare, she pursued her talk in this wyse: “Alas, Amadour, what cause haue you to seke after the thing wherof you shall receiue no contentation, inflicting vppon me such displeasure as there can be no greater? you haue many times proued my wil and affection in the time of my youthfull dayes, and of my beautie farre more excellent than it is now, at what tyme your passion might better be borne with and excused, than nowe: in such wyse as I am nowe amased to see that you haue the harte to torment me at that age and great debilitie wherewith I am affected: I am assured that you doubt not but that my wyl and mind is such as it was wont to be: wherefore you can not obtayne your demaunde but by force: and if you sawe howe my face is arrayed, you would forget the pleasure whiche once you conceiued in me, and by no meanes would forcibly approche nere vnto me: and if there be lefte in you yet any remnantes of loue, it is impossible but that pitie may vanquishe your furie: and to that pitie and honestie whereof once I had experience in you, I do make my plaint, and of the same I do 70 demaund grace and pardon, to thintent that according to theffect of your wonted perswasion and good aduise you may suffer me to liue in that peace and honestie, which I haue determined and vowed during life: and if the loue which you haue borne me be conuerted into hatred, and that more for reuengement than affection, you doe purpose to make me the moste unhappy of the world, I assure you, you shall not be able to bryng your intent to passe, besides that you shall constrayne me against my determination, to vtter and reueale your villany and disordinate appetite towardes her which did repose in you an incredible affiance: by discouering whereof, thinke verely that your lyfe cannot continue without perill.” Amadour breaking her talke sayde vnto her: “If I die for it, I will presently be acquieted of my torment: but the deformitie of your face (whiche I thinke was done by you of set purpose) shall not let me to accomplishe my will: for since I can get nothing of you but the bones and carcase, I will holde them so fast as I can.” And when Florinda sawe that prayers, reason, nor teares could not auayle, but that with crueltie he woulde nedes followe his villanous desire, which she had hetherto still auoided by force of resistence, she did helpe her selfe so long, till she feared the losse of her breath, and with a heauy and piteous voice she called her mother so loud as shee could crie, who hearing her daughter crie and cal with rufull voyce, began greatly to feare the thing that was true: wherfore she ran so fast as she could into the warderobe. Amadour not being so nere death as he saide he was, left of his holde in suche good time, as the Ladye opening her closet, founde him at the dore, and Florinda farre enough from him. The Countesse demaunded of him, saying: “Amadour what is the matter? tell me the truthe.” Who like one that was neuer vnprouided of excuse, with his pale face and wanne, and his breath almoste spent, sayde vnto her: “Alas, madame, in what plight is my lady Florinda? I was neuer in all my life in that amase wherin I am now: for as I sayd vnto you, I had thought that I had inioyed part of her good will, but nowe I know right well that I haue none at all: I thinke madame, that sithe the time she was brought vp with you, shee was neuer lesse wise and vertuous than shee is nowe, but farre more daungerous 71 and squeimishe in speaking and talking then behoueth, and euen nowe I would haue loked vpon her, but she would not suffer me: and when I viewed her countenaunce, thinking that it had bene some dreame or vision, I desired to kisse her hande, according to the fashion of the countrey, which shee vtterly refused. True it is Madame, I haue offended her, wherof I craue pardon of you, but it chaunced only for that I toke her by the hand, which I did in a maner by force, and kissed the same demaunding of her no other pleasure: but she like one (as I suppose) that hath sworne my death, made an outcry for you (as you haue hearde) for what cause I know not, except that shee were afraide I would haue forced some other thing: notwithstanding Madame, whatsoeuer the matter be, I protest vnto you the wrong is myne, and albeit that she ought to loue al your honest seruaunts, yet fortune so willeth as I alone, the moste affectioned of them all, is clerely exempt out of her fauour: and yet I purpose still to continue towardes you and her, the same man I came hither, beseching the continuance of your good grace and fauour, sithens that without desert I haue loste hers.” The Countesse which partely beleued, and partelye mistrusted his talke, went vnto her daughter, and demaunded wherfore she cried out so loud. Florinda answered that she was afrayde: and albeit the Countesse subtilly asked her of many things, yet Florinda would neuer make other answere, for that hauing escaped the handes of her enemy, she thought it punishement enough for him to lose his labour: after that the Countesse had of long tyme communed with Amadour, she lefte him yet once againe to enter in talke with Florinda before her, to see what countenaunce shee would make him. To whom he spake fewe wordes except they were thankes for that she had not confessed the truthe to her mother, praying her at least wise that seing he was dispossessed out of her hart, she would suffer none other to receiue his place: but she answering his former talke, saide: “If I had had any other meanes to defend my selfe from you than by crying out, she should neuer haue heard me, and of me you shall neuer heare worse, except you doe constrayne me as you haue done, and for louing any other man, you shall not neede to feare: for sithe I haue not found in your harte (which I estemed the most 72 vertuous in all the world) the good successe that I desired, I wyll neuer beleue hereafter that vertue is planted in any man. And this outrage shall make me free from all passions that Loue can force.” And in saying so she tooke her leaue. The mother which behelde her countenaunce, could suspecte nothing, and after that tyme, shee was persuaded that her daughter bare no more affection to Amadour, and thought assuredly that she was voyde of reason, because she hated al those things which she was wont to loue: and from that time forth there was such warre betwene the mother and the daughter, as the mother for the space of VII. yeares would not speake vnto her, except it were in anger: which she did at the request of Amadour: during which time, Florinda conuerted the misliking of her husband, into mere and constant loue, to auoyde the rigour and checkes of her mother: howbeit, seing that nothing could preuayle, she purposed to beguile Amadour, and leauing for a day or two her straunge countenance towards him, she counselled Amadour to loue a woman, whiche as she sayd, did commonly dispute and talke of their loue. This lady dwelt with the Queene of Spaine, and was called Lorette, who was very ioyfull and glad to get such a seruant: and Florinda founde meanes to cause a brute of this newe loue to be spred in euery place, and specially the Countesse of Arande (being at the Court) perceiued the same, who afterwards was not so displeased with Florinda, as she was wont to be: Florinda vpon a tyme heard tel that a Captain the husband of Loret, began to be ialous ouer his wife, determining by some meanes or other, he cared not howe, to kill Amadour. Florinda notwithstanding her dissembled countenance, could not suffer any hurt to be done to Amadour, and therefore incontinently gaue him aduertisement thereof: but he retourning againe to his former follies, answered, that if it would please her to intertaigne him euery day three houres, he would neuer speake againe to Lorette, whereunto by no meanes shee would consent. Then Amadour saide vnto her: “If you will not haue me to liue, wherefore go ye about to defend me from death? except ye purpose to torment me aliue with greater extremitie then a thousand deathes can do: but for so much as death doth flie from me, I will neuer leaue to seeke him out, by whose 73 approche only I shall haue rest.” Whilest they were in these tearmes, newes came that the kyng of Granado was about to enter into great warres against the king of Spain: in suche wyse as the king sent against hym the Prince his sonne, and with hym the constable of Castile, and the Duke of Albe, twoo auncient and sage Lordes. The duke of Cardonne and the counte of Arande not willing to tarie behinde, besought the kyng to geue eyther of them a charge: whiche hee did according to the dignitie of their houses, appointing Amadour to be their guide: who during that warre, did sutche valiaunt factes as they seemed rather to be desperately than hardily enterprysed: and to come to the effect of this discourse, his great valiaunce was tryed euen to the death: for the Moores making a bragge as though they would geue battayle, when they sawe the army of the Christians, counterfaited a retire, whome the Spaniardes pursued, but the olde Constable and the duke of Albe doubting their pollicie, stood still, against the will of the Prince of Spaine, not suffering him to passe ouer the Ryuer, but the counte of Arande and the Duke of Cardonne, (although they were countremanded) did followe the chase, and when the Moores sawe that they were pursued with so small a number, they returned, and at one recountrie kylled the Duke of Cardonne, and the Counte of Arande was so sore hurte as hee was lefte for dead in the place. Amadour arriuing vpon this ouerthrowe, inuaded the battayle of the Moores with sutche rage and furie, as hee rescued the twoo bodyes of the Duke and Countie, and caused them to be conueyed to the Prince’s campe, who so lamented their chaunce, as if they had bene his owne brethren: but in searching their woundes, the Countie of Arande was founde to be aliue, and was sent home to his own house in a horselitter, where of long time he was sicke, and likewise was conueied to Cardonne the dead bodie of the yong Duke. Amadour in rescuing those two bodies, tooke so little heede to him selfe, as he was inclosed with a great number of the Moores, and because he would bee no more taken, as well to verifie his faith towardes God, as also his vowe made to his Lady, and also considering that if he were prysoner to the kyng of Granado, either hee should cruelly be put to death, or els forced to renounce his faith, he determined not to make his 74 death or taking glorious to his enemies: wherefore kissing the crosse of his sworde, and rendring his body and soule to the handes of almighty God, he stabbed him selfe into the body with sutche a blow, as there neded no second wound to rid him of his life: in this sorte died poore Amadour, so muche lamented as his vertues did deserue. The newes hereof was bruted throughout Spaine, and came to Florinda who then was at Barselone, where her husbande in his life tyme ordeined the place of his buriall: and after shee had done his honourable obsequies, without making her own mother, or mother in law priuie, she surrendred her selfe into the monasterie of Iesus, there to liue a religious life, receiuing him for her husband and friende, whiche had deliuered her from the vehement loue of Amadour, and from a displeasaunt life so great and vnquiet as was the company of her husband. In this wise she conuerted all her affections, to pietie and the perfit loue of God, who after she had long time liued a religious life, shee yelded vp her soule in such ioye as the Bridegrom doth when he goeth to visite his spowes.



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

In the Citie of Florence (the chiefest of all Thuscane) there was a Duke that maried the Lady Margaret the bastarde daughter of the Emperour Charles the fift. And bicause shee was very young, it was not lawfull for him to lye with her, but taryng till she was of riper yeres, he interteigned an vsed her like a noble gentleman. And who to spare his wife, was amorous of certaine other Gentlewomen of the citie. Amonges whom he was in loue with a very fayre and wyse Gentlewoman, that was sister to a Gentleman, a seruaunt of his, whome the Duke loued so well as himselfe, to whome he gaue so muche authoritie in his house, as his word was so wel obeied and feared as the Duke’s him self, and there was no secrete thing in the Duke’s minde, but he declared the same vnto him, who might ful wel haue bene called a second himself. The duke seing his sister to be a woman of great honestie, had no wayes or meanes to vtter vnto her the loue that he bare her (after he had inuented all occasions possible) at length he came to this Gentleman which he loued so well, and said vnto him: “My friend, if there were any thing in all the world, wherein I were able to pleasure thee, and woulde not doe it at thy request, I should be afraid to say my fantasie, and much ashamed to craue your help and assistance: but the loue is such which I bare thee, as if I had a wife, mother, or daughter, that were able to saue thy life, I would rather imploy them, than to suffer thee to die in torment: and if thou doe beare vnto me that affection which am thy maister, thinke verely that I doe beare vnto thee the like. Wherefore I will disclose vnto thee suche a secrete and priuie matter, as the silence thereof hath brought me into sutche plight as thou seest, whereof I doe loke for none amendement but by death or by the seruice whiche thou maiest doe me, in a certayne matter which I purpose to tell thee.” The Gentleman hearing the reasons of his maister, and seing his face not fayned, 76 but all besprent with teares, tooke great compassion vpon him and sayd: “My Lorde, I am your humble seruaunt: all the goodes and worship that I haue doth come from you. You may saye vnto me as to your moste approued frende. Assure your self, that all which resteth in my power and abilitie, is already at your commaundement.” Then the Duke began to tell him of the loue that hee bare vnto his sister, which was of sutche force, as if by his meanes he did not enioye her, his life could not long continue. For he saide, that he knew right well that intreatie and presentes were with her of no regard. Wherfore he praied him, that if he loued his life, so well as he did his, to finde meanes for him to receiue that benefite, which without him he was in despaire neuer to recouer. The brother which loued his sister and honor of his kindred, more than the Duke’s pleasure, made a certain reuerence vnto him, humbly beseeching him to vse his trauaill and pain in all other causes sauing in that, bicause it was a sute so slaunderous and infamous, as it would purchase dishonor to his whole familie, adding further, that neither his hart nor his honor could serue him, to consent to do that seruice. The Duke inflamed with vnspeakeable furie, put his finger betwene his teeth, and biting of the nayle, said unto him in great rage: “Well then sithe I finde in thee no frendship, I know what I haue to doe.” The Gentleman knowing the crueltie of his Maister, being sore afraide, replied: “My Lorde, for so much as your desire is vehement and earnest, I will speake vnto her and brynge you aunswere of her mynde.” And as he was departing, the Duke sayde vnto him: “See that thou tender my life as thou wylt that I shall doe thyne.” The Gentleman vnderstanding well what that woorde did meane, absented him selfe a day or twaine to aduise what were best to be done. And amonges diuers his cogitations, there came to his remembraunce the bounden dutie which he dyd owe to his Maister, and the goodes and honours which he had receyued at his handes, on the other syde, hee considered the honour of his house, the good life and chastitie of his syster, who (he knewe well) would neuer consent to that wickednesse, if by subtiltie shee were not surprised, or otherwyse forced, and that it were a thing very straunge and rare, that he should goe about to defame hymselfe and the whole 77 stocke of his progenie. Wherefore hee concluded, that better it were for hym to die, than to commit a mischief so great vnto his sister, whiche was one of the honestest women in all Italie. And therewithall considered how he might deliuer his countrie from sutch a tyrant, which by force would blemishe and spot the whole race of his auncient stock and familie. For he knew right wel that except the duke were taken away, the life of him and his affinitie could not be in securitie and safegarde: wherfore without motion made to his sister of that matter, he deuised how to saue his life and the reproche that should follow. Vpon the second daye he came vnto the duke, and tolde hym in what sorte he had practised with his sister, and that although the same in the beginning was harde and difficult, yet in the ende he made her to consent, vpon condicion that hee would keepe the same so secrete as none but hymselfe and he myght knowe of it. The duke desirous and glad of those newes, dyd sone belieue hym, and imbracing the messanger, promised to geue him whatsoeuer he would demaunde, praying hym with all speede that hee might inioye his desyred purpose. Whereupon they appointed a tyme: and to demaunde whether the duke were glad and ioyfull of the same, it were superfluous. And when the desired night was come, wherin he hoped to haue the victorie of her whom he thought inuincible, he and the gentleman alone withdrewe themselues together, not forgetting his perfumed coif and swete shirte wrought and trimmed after the best maner. And when eche wight was gone to bed, both they repayred to the appointed lodging of his Lady, where being arriued they founde a chamber in decent and comly order. The gentleman taking of the Duke’s night gowne, placed hym in the bedde, and sayde vnto hym: “My Lorde, I wil nowe goe seeke her, which can not enter into this chamber without blushing, howbeit I truste before to morrowe morning she wyll be very glad of you.” Which done, he left the Duke, and went into his own chamber, where he founde one of his seruantes alone, to whome he sayde: “Hast thou the harte to followe me into a place where I shall be reuenged vpon the greatest enemie that I haue in the worlde?” “Yea sir,” aunswered his man. Whereupon the Gentleman toke him with him so sodainly, as he had no leasure to arme him 78 selfe with other weapon but with his onely dagger. And when the Duke heard him come againe, thinking he had brought her with hym that he loued so derely, hee drewe the curteine, and opened his eyes to behold and receiue that ioye which he had so long loked for, but in place of seeing her which he hoped should be the conseruation of his life, he sawe the acceleration of his death, which was a naked sworde that the Gentleman had drawen, who therwithall did strike the Duke, which was in his shirte voyde of weapon, although well armed with courage, and sitting vp in his bedde grasped the Gentleman about the body, and sayde: “Is this thy promise whiche thou hast kept?” And seeing that he had no other weapon but his teeth and nayles, he bitte the gentleman in the arme, and by force of his owne strengthe he so defended himselfe, as they bothe fell downe into the flower. The gentleman fearing the match, called for hys manne, who finding the Duke and his maister fast together, that he wyst not whether to take, he drewe them both by the feete into the middest of the chamber, and with his dagger assayde to cut the Duke’s throte. The duke who defended himselfe, till suche time as the losse of his bloud made him so weake and feeble that he was not able to contende any longer. Then the Gentleman and his man laide him againe into his bed, where they accomplished the effect of that murther. Afterwardes drawing the curteine, they departed and locked the dead body in the chamber. And when he saw that he had gotten the vicctorie of his enemy, by whose death he thought to set at libertie the common wealth, he supposed his facte to be vnperfect if he did not the like to fiue or sixe of them which were nerest to the Duke, and best beloued of him. And to attaine the perfection of that enterpryse, he bad his man to doe the like vnto them one after another, that hee had done to the Duke. But the seruaunt being nothing hardie or coragious, said vnto his maister: “Me thinke, sir, that for this time ye haue done enough, and that it were better for you now to deuise waye howe to saue your owne life, than to seeke meanes to murder any more. For if we do consume so long space of time to kill euery of them, as we haue done in murdering of the Duke, the day light will discouer our enterprise before we haue made an ende, yea although wee finde them naked and 79 without defence.” The gentleman whose euill conscience made him fearfull, did beleue his seruaunt, and taking him alone with him, went to the bishop that had in charge the gates of the citie, and the vse of the Postes, to whom he sayd: “This euening (my Lord) newes came vnto me that mine owne brother lieth at the point of death, and crauing licence of the Duke to goe se him he hath giuen me leaue. Wherefore I beseche you commaunde the Postes to deliuer me two good horse, and that you will sende worde to the porter that the gates may be opened.” The bishop which estemed no lesse his request than the commaundement of the Duke his maister, incontinently gaue him a billet, by vertue wherof both the gates were opened, and the horse made ready according to his demaunde. And vnder colour and pretence of visiting his brother, he rode to Venice, where after he had cured himselfe of the duke’s bitinges fastened in his fleshe, he trauailed into Turkey. In the morning the duke’s seruauntes seing the time so late before their maister retourned, suspected that he was gone forth in visiting of some Ladye, but when they sawe he taried so long, they began to seke for him in euery place. The poore Duchesse into whose harte the loue of her husbande strongly did inuade, vnderstanding that he could not be founde, was very pensife and sorowfull. But when the Gentleman which he so dearely loued, was not likewyse seene abroade, searche was made in his chamber, where finding bloud at the chamber dore, they entred in, but no man was there to tell them any newes, and following the tract of the bloud the poore seruantes of the Duke went to the chamber dore, where he was, which dore they found fast locked, who incontinently brake open the same: and seing the place all bloudy, drew the curteine, and found the wretched carcasse of the Duke lying in the bedde, sleeping his endlesse sleepe. The sorrow and lamentation made by the duke’s seruauntes, carying the dead bodye into his palace, is easie to be coniectured. Wherof when the Bishop was aduertised, he repaired thether, and tolde how the Gentleman was gone awaye in the night in great haste, vnder pretence to goe to see his brother: whereupon it was euidently knowen that it was he that had committed the murder. And it was proued that his poore sister was neuer priuie to the facte, who although she was astonned with the 80 sodaynes of the deede, yet her loue towardes her brother was farre more increased, bicause he had deliuered her from a Prince so cruell, the enemy of her honestie: for doing whereof he did not sticke to hazard his owne life. Whereupon she perseuered more and more in vertue, and although she was poore, by reason her house was confiscate, yet both her sister and shee matched with so honest and riche husbandes as were to be founde in Italie: and afterwardes they both liued in good and great reputation.



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.

In Digeon a town of Burgundie, there came to the seruice of king Frauncis, (whiche was father to Henry the second of that name, whiche Henry was kylled by Mounsier Mongomerie, in a triumphe at the Tilt, and graundfather to Charles the IX. that now raigneth in Fraunce) an Earle of Allemaigne called Guillaume, of the house of Saxon, whereunto the house of Sauoie is so greatly allied, as in old time they were but one. This Counte for so much as he was estemed to be so comely and hardy a Gentleman as any was in Almaigne, was in sutche good fauour with the king, as he tooke him not onely into seruice, but vsed him so nere his persone, as he made him of his priuy chamber. Vpon a day the Gouernour of Burgundie, the Lorde Trimouille (an auncient knight and loyall seruaunt of the kyng) like one suspicious and fearfull of the euill and hurte of his Maister, had daylie espies ouer his enemies, vsing his affaires so wysely, as very fewe thinges were concealed from hym. Among other aduertisementes, one of his friendes wrote vnto him that the Counte Guillaume had receiued certain sommes of money, with promise of more, if by any meanes he could deuise which waye to kill the king. The Lorde of Trimouile hearing of this, failed not to come to the kyng to giue him knowledge thereof, and disclosed it lykewyse to Madame Loyse of Sauoye his mother, who forgetting her amitie and aliaunce with the Almaigne Earle, besought the king forthwith to put hym awaye. The kyng prayed his mother to speake no more thereof, and sayde, that it was impossible that so honest a Gentleman would attempt to doe a deede so wicked. Within a while after, there came other newes of that matter, confirming the first: whereof the Gouernour for the intire loue he bare to his Maister, craued licence either to expel him the countrie, or to put him in warde. But the king gaue speciall 82 commaundement that he should not make any semblaunce of displeasure, for that hee purposed by some other meanes to knowe the truthe. Vpon a time when he went a hunting he girded about him the best sworde that hee had, to serue for all armes and assayes, and toke with him the Counte Guillaume, whome he commaunded to wayte vpon him, the firste and chiefest next his owne persone. And after he had followed the hart a certayne tyme, the kyng seing that his traynes was farre from hym, and no man neare him sauing the Counte, tourned hym selfe rounde about, and when hee sawe that hee was alone, in the mydde of the forest, hee drew out his sworde, and sayd to the Counte: “How saye you, (sir counte) is not this a fayre and good swoorde?” The counte feling it at the point, and well viewyng the same, aunswered that he neuer sawe a better in all his life. “You haue reason,” sayde the kyng, “and I beleue that if a Gentleman were determined to kyll mee, and did knowe the force of myne armes, and the goodnesse of myne harte accompanied with this sword, he would bee twyse well aduised before hee attempted that enterprise. Notwithstanding I would accompt him but a cowarde, wee being alone withoute witnesses, if he did not attempt that, which he were disposed to do.” The Counte Guillaume with bashfull and astonned countenaunce aunsweared: “Sir, the wickednesse of the enterprise were very great, but the folly in the execution were no lesse.” The king with those wordes fell in a laughter, and put the sword in the skaberd againe: and hearing that the chase drewe neare him, he made to the same so faste as he coulde. When he was come thether, he said nothing of that which had passed betweene theim, and verelye thoughte that the Counte Guillaume although that he was a stronge and stoute gentleman, yet he was no man to do so great an enterprise. But the Counte Guillaume, fearing to be bewrayed or suspected of the fact, next day morning repayred to Robertet the Secretarie of the kinge’s reuenues, and saide that hee had well wayed the giftes and annuities which the kinge would giue him to tarrie, but he perceiued that they were not sufficient to interteigne him for halfe a yeare, and that if it pleased not the king to double the same, hee should be forced to 83 departe, praying the sayde Robertet to know his grace’s pleasure so sone as he coulde, who sayd vnto him, that he himselfe could without further commission disbursse no more vnto him, but gladly without further delay he would repaire to the king: which he did more willingly, because he had seene the aduertisements of the Gouernor aforesaid. And so sone as the kinge was awake, he declared the matter vnto him in the presence of Monsier Trimouille and Monsier Bouinet, lord admirall, who were vtterly ignorant of that which the king had done. To whom the kinge said: “Loe, ye haue bene miscontented for that I would not put away the Counte Guillaume, but now ye see he putteth away himselfe. Wherefore Robertet (quoth the king) tell him, that if he be not content with the state which he receiued at his first entrie into my seruice, whereof many gentlemen of good houses would thinke themselues happie, it is meete that he seeke his better fortune, and tell him that I would be lothe to hinder him, but wilbe very well contented, that he seeke where he may liue better, accordingly as he deserueth.” Robertet was so diligent to beare this aunsweare to the Counte, as he was to present his sute to the kinge. The counte said that with his licence he would gladly go forthwith: and as one whom feare forced to depart, he was not able to beare his abode 24 houres. And as the king was sitting downe to dinner, fayning to be sorye for his departure, but that necessitie compelled him to lose his presence, hee toke his leaue. He went likewise to take leaue of the king’s mother, which she gaue him with so great ioy, as she did receiue him, being her nere kinsman and freind. Then he went into his countrie: and the king seing his mother and seruantes astonned at his sodaine departure, declared vnto them the Al Arme, which he had giuen him, saying, that although he was innocent of the matter suspected, soe was his feare greate ynoughe, to departe from a maister wyth whose condicions hitherto he was not acquainted.



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

There was in the time of king Lewes the XII. of that name, a young Lord, called the lorde of Auannes sonne to the Lorde Alebret, and brother to king John of Nauarre, with whom the said Lord of Auannes ordinarely remayned. Now this yong Lorde was of the age of XV. yeares, so comely a personage, and full of curtesie and good behauiour, as he seemed to be created for none other purpose, but to be beloued and regarded: and so he was in deede of al those that did wel behold and note his commendable grace and condicion, but chiefly of a woman, dwelling in the citie of Pampelunæ in Nauarre, the wife of a rich man, with whom she liued honestly: and although she was but 23 yeres of age, and her husband very nere fiftie, yet her behauior was so modest, as she seemed rather a widow than a maried wyfe, who vsed not to frequent and haunte any mariages, banquets, or common assemblies without the company of her husbande, the vertue and goodnes of whom she so greatly esteemed, as she preferred the same before the beautie of al others. The husband, hauing experience of her wisedome, put such trust in her, as he committed al thaffaires of his house to her discretion: vpon a day this rich man with his wife, were inuited to a mariage of one that was nere kinne vnto him: to which place (for the greater honor of the mariage) repaired the yong Lord of Auannes, who naturally was giuen to dauncing, and for his excellencie in dauncing there was not his like to be found in his time: after dinner when they prepared to daunce, the Lord of Auannes was intreated thereunto by the rich man: the said lord asked him with what gentlewoman hee should lead the daunce. He aunsweared him: “My Lord if there were any one more beautifull, or more at my commaundement then my wyfe, I would present her vnto you, beseeching you to do mee so much honour as to take her by the hande.” Which the yong Lorde did, and by reason of his youthfull courage he toke more 85 pleasure in vaultinge and dauncinge, then in beholding the beautie of the Ladies: and she whom he ledde by the hand, contrarywyse regarded more the grace and beautie of the said yong Lord, then the daunce wherin she was, albeit for her great wisedome she made therof no semblance at al. When supper time was come, the Lord of Auannes badde the companie farewell and went home to the castle: whether the riche man accompanied him vppon his moile: and riding homewards together, hee saide vnto him: “My Lord, this day you haue done so great honor vnto my kinsemen and mee, that it were great ingratitude is I should not offer my selfe with all the goods I haue to do you seruice: I knowe sir that such Lordes as you be which haue nere and couetous fathers, many times do lacke money which we by keeping of smal houshold, and vsing good husbandrie do heape and gather together. Now thus it is sir, that God hauing giuen mee a wife accordinge to my desire he would not in this world altogether indue mee with heauenly pleasures, but hath left me voyde of one ioy which is the ioye that fathers haue of children. I know sir that it is not my dutie, and belongeth not to my state to adopt you for such a one, but if it maye please you to receiue mee for your seruaunt, and to declare vnto me your small affaires, so farre as a hundred thousande Crownes shall extende, I will not sticke to helpe your necessities.” The yong Lorde of Auannes was very ioyfull of this offer, for he had suche a father as the other had described vnto him: and after he had giuen him hartie thanckes, he called him his friendlye father. From that time forth the sayd riche man conceiued such loue in the yong Lord, as daily he ceased not to inquire of his lacke and want, and hid not from his wyfe the deuocion which he bare to the said Lorde of Auannes, for which she rendred vnto him double thanckes. And after that time the said yong Lord lacked not what he desired, and many times resorted to that rich man’s to drincke and eate with him, and finding him not at home, his wyfe rewarded him with his demaunde: whoe admonished her by wyse and discrete talke to be vertuous, because he feared and loued her aboue all the women of the worlde. She which had God and her honor before her eyes, was contente with his sight and talke, wherin consisted the satisfaction of his honestie and vertuous 86 loue: in such wise as she neuer made any signe or semblaunce, wherby he might thinke and iudge that shee had anye affection vnto him, but that which was both brotherlie and christian. During this couerte amitie, the Lord of Auannes through the foresaid ayde, was very gorgious and trimme, and approching the age of XVII. yeares, began to frequent the company of Gentlewomen more then he was wont to do: and although he had a more willing desire, to loue that wyse and discrete dame aboue other, yet the feare which he had to lose her loue (if shee misliked her sute) made him to hold his peace, and to seeke els wher: and gaue himself to the loue of a Gentlewoman dwelling hard by Pampelunæ, which had to husband a yong gentleman, that aboue all thinges loued and delighted in dogges, horsse, and Hawkes. This noble Gentleman began (for her sake) to deuise a thousand pastimes, as Torneyes, running at the Tilt, Mommeries, Maskes, feastes and other games, at all which this yong dame was present: but because that her husband was very fantasticall, and saw his wyfe to be faire and wanton, hee was ialous of her honour, and kepte her in so straite, as the sayde Lord of Auannes colde get nothing at her hands but words, shortly spoken, in some daunce, albeit in litle time and lesse speache, the sayde Lorde perceyued that there wanted nothing for full perfection of their loue, but time and place: wherfore he came to his new adopted father the rich man, and said vnto him that he was minded with great deuocion to visite our Lady of Montferrat, intreating him to suffer his houshoulde traine to remaine with him, because he was disposed to go thither alone. Whereunto he willingly agreed: but his wyfe whose hart the great prophet loue had inspired, incontinently suspected the true cause of that voyage, and cold not forbeare to saye vnto the Lord of Auannes these woords: “My Lord, my Lorde, the pilgrimage of the Lady whom you worshippe, is not farre without the walles of the Citie, wherefore I beseech you aboue all thinges to haue regarde vnto your health.” Hee which feared her, and loued her, blushed at her words, and without talke by his countenaunce he seemde to confesse the trothe: whereupon he departed, and when he had bought a couple of faire Genets of Spaine he clothed himself like a horsekeeper and so disguised 87 his face as no man knew him. The Gentleman which had maried that fonde and wanton gentlewoman, louinge aboue all thinges (as is sayde before) fayre horses, espyed those two Genets which the lord of Auannes did lead, and incontinently came to buy them: and after he had bought them, hee beheld the horse-keeper which rode and handled them passing well, and asked him if he were willing to serue him: the Lord of Auannes answeared yea, and added further how he was a poore horse-keeper vnskilfull of other science but of keepinge of horse, which practize hee could do so well, as he doubted not but he should content and please him: the Gentleman very glad thereof, gaue him charge of all his horse, and called forth his wyfe vnto him, vnto whom he recommended his horse and horsekeper, and told her that he himself was disposed to go to the castel: the gentlewoman so well to please her husband as for her owne delight and pastime, wente to loke vpon her horse and to behold her new horskeper, who seemed to be a man of good bringing vp, notwithstanding she knewe him not. He seing that she had no knowledge of him, came to do reuerence vnto her after the maner of Spaine, and taking her by the hand kissed the same, and by kissing of her hand, he disclosed himself so much as she knew him: for in dauncing with her many times he vsed the like curtesie: and then she ceased not to deuise place wher she might speake to him a part: which she did the very same euening: for being bidden to a feast wherunto her husband would faine haue had her to go, she fayned herselfe to be sicke and not able: and her husband loth to faile his frends request, said vnto her: “For so much (my good wyfe) as you be not disposed to go with me, I pray you to haue regard to my dogges and horse that they may lack nothing.” The Gentlewoman was very wel contented with that comission: howbeit without chaung of countenance she made him answere that sith in better things he would not imploie her, she would not refuse the least, to satisfie his desire: and her husband was no soner out of the gates, but she went down into the stable, where she founde faulte wyth diuers things: for prouision whereof she committed such seueral busines to her men on euery side, that shee remayned alone with the master horskeper: and for feare least any should 88 come vpon them vnwares, she said vnto him: “Go into my garden and tarie my comming in the litle house at the ende of the alley.” Which he did so diligently as hee had no leasure to thancke her, and after that she had giuen order to the yeomen of the stable, shee went to see the dogges, counterfaiting like care and diligence to haue them wel intreated: in such wise as she seemed rather a mayde of the chamber then a maistresse of the house: which done shee returned into her chamber, where she made her self to be so werie, as she went to bed, saying that she was disposed to sleepe. All her women left her alone except one in whom she reposed her greatest trust, and vnto whom she said: “Go downe into the garden, and cause him whom you shall finde at the end of the alley, to come hither.” The mayde wente downe and founde the Maister horskeeper there, whom forthwith shee brought vnto her maistresse: and then the gentlewoman caused her mayd to go forth to watch when her husbande came home. The lord of Auannes seing that he was alone with his maistres, put of his horsekeeper’s apparrel, plucked from his face his false nose and beard, and not as a feareful horsekeeper, but like such a Lord as he was, without asking leaue of the Gentlewoman, boldly laied him downe beside her: where hee was of that foolishe woman receiued so ioyfully, as his estate and goodly personage did require, continuing with her vntil the retorne of her husband: at whose comming putting vpon him againe his counterfaite attire, left the pleasure which by policie and malice he had vsurped. The gentleman when hee was within, hearde tell of the dilligence which his wife had vsed vppon his commaundemente, and thanked her very hartelie. “Husband (said the gentlewoman) I do but my dutie, and do assure you that if there be no ouerseer to checke and commaunde your negligent seruaunts, you shal haue neyther dogge nor horse well kept and ordred: forasmuche as I knowe their slouth, and your good wil, you shalbe better serued then you haue bin heretofore.” The gentleman who thought that he had gotten the best horsekeeper of the worlde, asked her how she liked him. “I assure you sir (quoth she) he doth his busines so well as any seruaunt, howbeit he had neede to be called vppon, for you know seruaunts in these dayes without an ouerseer, wilbe be slow and carelesse.” Thus of 89 long time continued the husbande and wyfe in greater amitie and loue then before, and gaue ouer all the suspicion and ialousie which hee had conceyued, because before time his wyfe louinge feastes, daunces and companies, was become intentife and diligente about her household: and perceiued that now many times she was contented in homely garmentes to go vp and downe the house wher before she was accustomed to be 4 houres in trimming of herselfe: whereof shee was commended of her husbande, and of euery man that knew not how the greater deuill had chased awaye the lesse. Thus liued this yonge dame vnder the hypocrisie and habite of an honest woman, in suche fleshlye pleasure as reason, conscience, order and measure, had no longer resting place in her: which insaciat lust the yong Lord of delicate complexion was no longer able to susteine, but began to waxe so pale and feeble, as he needed no visarde for disfiguring of himselfe. Notwithstanding the folish loue which he bare to that woman so dulled his sence, as he presumed vppon that force which fayled in the monstruous giant Hercules, whereby in the ende constrayned with sicknes and councelled by his maistresse, which loued not the sicke so well as the hole, demaunded leaue of his maister to go home to his frends: who to his great griefe graunted him the same: and caused him to make promise that when he was recouered hee should returne againe to his seruice. Thus went the Lord of Auannes on foote away from his maister, for he had not paste the lenght of one streate to trauaile. And when he was come to the rich man’s house his new father, he found none at home but his wyfe, whose vertuous loue shee bare him was nothing diminished for al his voyage: but when she saw him so leane and pale, she could not forbeare to say vnto him: “Sir, I knowe not in what staye your conscience is, but your body is litle amended by this pilgrimage, and I am in doubte that the way wherein you traueiled in the night, did wearie and paine you more, then that vppon the daye: for if you had gone to Hierusalem on foote, you mighte perhappes haue returned more Sunne burned, but more leane and weake it had bin impossible. Now make accompt of your pilgrimage here, and serue no more such Sainctes, for in place of raysinge the deade from life, they do to death those that 90 be on liue: moreouer I shall saye vnto you, that if your bodye were neuer so sinfull, I see well it hath suffred such penaunce, as I haue pitie to renewe anye former payne.” When the Lorde of Auannes had hearde all her talke he was no lesse angrie with himselfe then ashamed, and saide vnto her: “Madame, I haue sometimes heard tell that repentaunce insueth sinne, and now I haue proued the same to my cost, praying you to excuse my youth that could not be corrected but by experience of that euill, which before it would not beleeue.” The Gentlewoman chaunging her talke, caused him to lye downe vppon a fayre bedde, where he lay the space of XV. dayes, feedinge onely vppon restoratiues: and the husband and wyfe kept him so good companye, as one of theim neuer departed from him: and albeit that he had committed those follies, (suche as you haue heard) against the minde and aduise of that wyse and discrete dame, yet shee neuer diminished the vertuous loue which shee bare him, for shee still hoped that after he had spent his yonger dayes in youthly follies, he would retire at length when age and experience should force him to vse honest loue, and by that meanes would be altogether her owne. And during those fifteene dayes that he was cherished in her house, she vsed vnto him womanly and commendable talke, onely tending to the loue of vertue, which caryed such effect as he began to abhorre the follie that he committed: and beholding the gentlewoman which in beautie passed the other wanton, with whom he had delt before, he imprinted in minde more and more the graces and vertues that were in her, and was not able to keepe in harte the secrete conceipt of the same, but abandoning all feare, he sayd vnto her: “Madame, I see no better means, to be such one, and so vertuous as you by wordes desire me for to be, but to settle my harte, and giue my selfe to be holie in loue with vertue, and the qualities therunto appertinent. I humblie beseech you therfore (good madame) to tel me if your selfe wil not vouchsafe to giue me al your ayde and fauor that you possiblie can, for thobteyning of the same.” The maistresse very ioyful to heare him vse that language, made him aunswere: “And I do promise you sir, that if you wilbe in loue with vertue as it behoueth so noble a state as you be, I wil do you the seruice that I can to bring you thereunto 91 with such power and abilitie as God hath planted in mee.” “Well madame,” saide the Lorde of Auannes, “remember then your promise, and vnderstande that God vnknowen of the Christian but by fayth, hath dayned to take flesh, like to that our sinful which we beare about vs, to thend that by drawing our flesh into the loue of his humanity, he may draw also our minde to the loue of his diuinitie, and requireth to be serued by thinges visible to make vs loue by fayth that diuinity which is inuisible: in like maner the vertue which I desire to imbrace all the dayes of my life, is a thing inuisible and not to be seen but by outward effects. Wherfore needeful it is, that she now do put vpon her some body or shape to let herselfe be knowen amonges men: which in deede she hath don by induing herself with your form and shape, as the most perfect that she is able to find amonges liuing creatures. Wherfore I do acknowledge and confesse you to be not onely a vertuous creature, but euen very vertue it self. And I which see the same to shine vnder the glimsing vaile of the most perfect that euer was: I will honor and serue the same during my life, forsaking (for the same) all other vaine and vicious loue.” The gentlewoman no lesse content then marueling to here those words dissembled so wel her contented minde as she said vnto him: “My Lord, I take not vpon me to aunswere your diuinity, but like her that is more fearefull of euill then beleful of good, do humblie beseech you to cease to speake to me those words of prayse, that is not worthy of the least of them. I know right wel that I am a woman, not onely as another is, but so imperfect, as vertue might do a better acte to transforme me into her, then she to take my forme, except it be when she desires to be vnknowen to the world: for vnder such habite as mine is, vertue cannot be knowen, according to her worthines: so it is sir, that for mine imperfection, I wil not cease to bere you such affection, as a woman ought or maye do that feareth God, and hath respect to her honour: but that affection shal not appere, vntill your harte be able to receiue the pacience which vertuous loue commaundeth. And now sir I know what kinde of speach to vse, and thincke that you do not loue so well, your owne goodes, purse or honour, as I doe with all my hart tender and imbrace the same.” The 92 lord of Auannes fearefull with teares in eyes, besought her earnestly that for her woordes assuraunce, shee woulde vouchsafe to kisse him: which she refused, saying that for him, she would not breake the countrie’s custome: and vppon this debate the husband came in, to whom the Lord of Auannes said: “My father, I knowe my selfe so much bounde to you and to your wife, as I besech you for euer to repute me for your sonne.” Which the good man willingly did. “And for surety of that amitie, I pray you,” said Monsier D’Auannes, “that I may kisse you.” Whiche he did. After he said vnto him: “If it were not for feare to offend the Law, I would do the like to my mother your wyfe.” The husbande hearinge him saye so, commaunded his wyfe to kisse him, which she did although she made it straunge, either for the Lord’s desire or for husband’s request to do the same: then the fier (which words had begunne to kindle in the harte of the poore Lorde) beganne to augmente by that desired kisse, so strongly sued for, and so cruelly refused: which done the sayde Lord of Auannes repayred to the Castell to the kinge his brother, where he told many goodly tales of his voyage to Montferrat, and vnderstode there, that the kinge his brother was determined to remoue to Olly and Taffares, and thinking that the iorney woulde be longe, conceiued great heauines, which made him to muse how he mighte assaye before his departure, whether the wise Gentlewoman bare him such good will, as shee made him beleeue shee did: and therefore hee toke a house in the streate where she dwelt, which was old and ill fauoured and built of Timber: which house about midnight of purpose he set on fier, wherof the crye was so great throughout the Citie as it was hard within the rich man’s house. Who demaunding at his window wher the fier was, vnderstode it to be at the Lord of Auannes, wherunto he incontinentlye repayred with all the people of his house, and found the yonge Lord in his shirt in the middest of the streat, whom for pitie he toke betweene his armes, and couering him with his nighte Gowne, caried him home to his house with al possible speede, and saide vnto his wife which was a bed: “Wife, I giue you to kepe this prisoner, vse him as my selfe.” So sone as he was departed the sayd Lord of Auannes, who had good wil to be 93 interteigned for her husband, quicklie lept into the bed, hoping that the occasion and place would make that wise woman to chaunge her minde, which he founde to be contrary: for so sone as he lept into the bed of thone side, shee speedelie went out of the other, and putting on her night Gowne she repaired to the bed’s head, and said vnto him: “How now sir, do you thincke that occasions can chaunge a chaste harte? beleeue and thincke that as gold is proued in the Fornace, euen so an vnspotted hart in the middest of temptacion: wherein many times an honest hart sheweth it selfe to be more strong and vertuous, then els where, and the more it is assailed by his contrary, the coulder be the desires of the same: wherefore be you assured that if I had bin affected with other minde then that which many times I haue disclosed vnto you, I would not haue fayled to finde meanes to haue satisfyed the same: praying you that if you will haue me to continue the affection which I beare you, to remoue from your minde for euer not onely the will but the thoughte also, for any thinge you be able to doe to make me other then I am.” As she was speaking of these words her women came into the chamber, whom she commaunded to bring in a colacion of all sortes of comficts and other delicats: but that time hee had no appetite either to eate or drincke, hee was fallen into suche dispaire for fayling of his enterprise: fearing that the demonstracion of his desire, would haue caused her to giue ouer the secrete familiaritie betweene them. The husbande hauinge ceased the fier, retorned and intreated the Lord of Auannes that night to lodge in his house, who passed that night in such nomber of cogitacions as his eyes were more exercised with weeping then sleeping, and early in the morninge he bad them farewell in their bedde, where by kissing the Gentlewoman hee well perceiued that she had more pitie upon his offence, then euill will against his person, which was a cole to make the fier of loue to kindle more fiercely. After dinner he rode with the king of Taffares, but before his departure he went to take his leaue of his newe alied father and of his wyfe: whoe after the furst commaundement of her husband, made no more difficultie to kisse him then if he had bin her owne sonne. But be assured the more that vertue stayed her 94 eye and countenaunce to shew the hidden flame, the more it did augment and become intollerable, in such wyse as not able to indure the warres which honour and loue had raysed within her hart, (who notwithstanding was determined neuer to shewe it, hauing lost the consolacion of her sight, and forgeuen the talke with him for whom she liued) a continuall feuer began to take her, caused by a Melancholicke and couert humor, in such wyse as the extreme partes of her body waxed cold, and those within burnt incessantly. The Phisitions (in the hands of whom man’s life doth not depend) began greatly to mistrust health by reason of a certaine opilacion which made her melancholicke: who counceiled the husbande to aduertise his wife to consider her conscience, and that she was in the handes of God (as thoughe they which be in health were not in his protection): the husbande which intirely loued his wyfe, was wyth their woordes made so heauye and pensife, as for his confort he wrote to the Lord of Auannes, beseechinge him to take the paynes to visite them, hoping that his sight would greatly ease and relieue the disease of his wife. Which request the Lord of Auannes immediatly vppon the recepte of those letters slacked not, but by poste arriued at his father’s house: at the entrye whereof hee founde the seruauntes and women makinge great sorrowe and lamentacion accordinglie as the goodnes of their maistresse deserued: wherewith the sayde Lorde was so astonned as he stoode stil at the doore like one in a traunce, vntil he sawe his good father: who imbracing him beganne so bitterlie to weepe, that he was not able to speake a worde. And so conueied the sayd Lorde of Auannes vp into the Chamber of his poore sicke wyfe: who casting vp her languishing eyes looked vppon him: and reaching his hand vnto her, she strayned the same with all her feeble force, and imbracinge and kissinge the same made a marueylous plainte, and sayd vnto him. “O my Lord, the houre is come that all dissimulacion must cease, and needes I must confesse vnto you the troth, which I to my greate paine haue concealed from you: which is, that if you haue borne vnto me greate affection, beleeue that mine rendred vnto you, hath bin no lesse: but my sorrow hath farre surpassed your griefe, the smarte whereof I do feele now against myne hart and will: wherefore, my lord, yee shall vnderstand, that GOD and mine 95 honour would not suffer mee to disclose the same vnto you, fearing to increase in you that which I desired to be diminished: but knowe yee, my Lorde, that the woordes which so many tymes you haue vttered vnto mee, haue bred in me such griefe, as the same be the Instrumentes and woorkers of my death, wherewyth I am contente sith God did giue mee the grace not to suffer the violence of my Loue, to blotte the puritye of my conscience and renowne: for lesse fire then is wythin the kindled harte of mine, hath ruinated and consumed most famous and stately buildinges. Nowe my hart is well at ease, sithe before I dye, I haue had power to declare myne affection, which is equall vnto yours, sauing that the honor of men and women be not a like: beseechinge you, my Lorde, from henceforth not to feare to addresse your selfe to the greatest and moste vertuous Ladies that you can finde: for in such noble hartes do dwell the strongest passions, and there the same be moste wisely gouerned: and God graunt that the grace, beautie and honestie, which be in you, do not suffer your loue to trauell wythout fruite: haue in remembrance good, my Lord, the stabilitie of my constante minde, and do not attribute that to crueltie which ought to be imputed to honor, conscience and vertue: which are thinges a thousande times more acceptable, then the expence and losse of transitorie life. Nowe, farewell, my Lorde, recommendinge vnto your honour the state of my husband your good father, to whom I pray you to reherse the troth of that which you doe know by mee, to the intent that he may be certefied how dearely I haue loued God and him: for whose sake I beseech you to absente your selfe out of my sight: for from henceforth I do meane holye to giue my selfe to the contemplacion of those promises which God hath louingly decreed, before the constitucion of the world.” In saying so shee kissed him, and imbraced him wyth all the force of her feeble armes. The sayde Lorde, whose hart was dead for compassion, as her’s was in dying through griefe and sorrow, without power to speake one onely worde, withdrew himselfe out of her sight and laye downe vpon a bed within an inner chamber: where he fainted many times. Then the gentlewoman called for her husbande, and after she had giuen him many goodly lessons, shee recommended him to the Lord of Auannes, assuringe him that 96 nexte to his parson, of all the men in the worlde shee had him in greateste estimacion: and soe kissinge her husbande shee badde him farewell. And then was brought vnto her the holye Sacramente, which shee receyued with such ioye, as one certaine and sure of her Saluacion, and perceyuinge her sighte begynne to fayle, and her strength diminishe she pronounced aloude: In manus tuas, &c. At which crie the Lorde of Auannes rose vp from the bedde, and piteously beholding her, he viewed her with a swete sighe, to rendre her gloriouse ghost to him which had redemed it. And when he perceiued that shee was dead, hee ran to the dead bodie, which liuing he durst not approche for feare, and imbraced and kissed the same in such wise, as muche a doe there was to remoue her corps out of his armes: wherof the husband was very much abashed, for that he neuer thought that he had borne his wife such affection. And in saying vnto him: “My Lord, you haue done enough:” they withdrew them selues together. And after long lamentation, the one for his wife, and the other for his Lady: the Lord of Auannes told him the whole discourse of his Loue, and howe vntill her death she neuer graunted him not so muche as one signe or token of loue, but in place therof a rebellious minde to his importunate sutes: at the rehersall whereof, the husbande conceiued greater pleasure and contentment than euer he did before: which augmented or rather doubled his sorrow and griefe for losse of such a wife. And all his life time after, in al seruices and duties he obeyed the Lord of Auannes, that then was not aboue eightene yeres of age, who retourned to the Courte, and continued there many yeares without will to see or speake to any woman, for the sorrow which he had taken for his Lady, and more then two yeres he wore blacke for mourning apparell. Beholde here the difference betweene a wise and discrete woman, and one that was wanton and foolish, both which sortes expressed different effectes of loue: whereof the one receiued a glorious and commendable death, and the other liued to long to her great shame and infamie. The one by small sute sone won and obteyned, the other by earnest requestes and great payne pursued and followed. And till death had taken order, to ridde her from that pursute, she euer continued constant.



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

King Charles of Fraunce, the eight of that name, sent into Germany a gentleman called Bernage, lorde of Cyure besides Amboise: who to make speede, spared neither daye nor nighte for execution of his Prince’s commaundement. In sutch wyse as very late in an euening he arriued at the Castle of a Gentleman, to demaunde lodging, which very hardly he obtained. Howbeit, when the gentleman vnderstode that he was the seruaunt of such a kyng, he prayed him not to take it in ill parte the rudinesse of his seruantes because vppon occasion of certain his wiue’s frends which loued him not, he was forced to kepe his house so straight. Then Bernage tolde him the cause of his iourney, wherein the Gentleman offered to doe to the king his maister all seruice possible. Leading him into his house where he was feasted and lodged very honorably. When supper was ready, the Gentleman conueyed him into a parler wel hanged with fayre Tapistrie. And the meate being set vpon the table, and he required to sit down, he perceiued a woman comming forth behind the hanging, which was so beautifull as might be seene, sauing that her head was all shauen, and apparelled in Almaine blacke. After bothe the Gentlemen had washed, water was brought to the Gentlewoman, who when she had washed she sat down also, without speaking to any, or any word spoken vnto her againe. The Lorde Bernage beholding her well, thought her to be one of the fayrest Ladies that euer he sawe, if her face had not bene so pale and her countenaunce so sadde. After she had eaten a litle, she called for drinke, which one of the seruauntes brought vnto her in a straunge cup: for it was the head of a dead man trimmed with siluer, wherof she drancke twice or thrice. When she had supped and washed her handes, making a reuerence to the Lord of the house, shee retourned backe againe that way shee came, without speaking to any. Bernage was so much amased at that straunge sighte, as he waxed very heauie and 98 sadde. The gentleman who marked hym, sayde vnto hym: “I see well that you be astonned at that you saw at the table, but seyng your honest demeanour, I wyll not keepe it secrete from you, because you shal not note that crueltie to be done without greate occasion. This gentlewoman whiche you see, is my wyfe, whom I loued better than was possible for any man to loue his wyfe. In such sorte as to marry her I forgat all feare of friendes, and brought her hither in despite of her parentes. She likewyse shewed vnto me suche signes of loue, as I attempted a thousande wayes to place her here for her ioye and myne, where wee lyued a long tyme in suche reste and contentation, as I thought my self the happiest Gentleman in Christendome. But in a iourney whiche I made, the attempt whereof myne honour forced me, shee forgot bothe her selfe, her conscience, and the loue whiche shee bare towardes mee, and fell in loue with a Gentleman that I brought vp in this house, whiche her loue vpon my retourne I perceiued to be true. Notwithstanding the loue that I bare her, was so great as I had no mistrust in her, tyll sutch tyme as experience did open myne eyes, and sawe the thynge that I feared more than death. For whiche cause my loue was tourned into furie and dispayre, so greate, as I watched her so nere, that vppon a daye fayning my selfe to goe abroade, I hydde my selfe in the chamber where now shee remayneth. Into the whiche sone after my departure shee repayred, and caused the Gentleman to come thether. Whome I did beholde to doe that thinge, which was altogether vnmeete for any man to doe to her, but my selfe. But when I sawe him mounte vppon the bed after her, I stepped forth and tooke him betwene her armes, and with my dagger immediatly did kill him. And because the offence of my wife semed so great as the doing of her to death was not sufficient to punish her, I deuised a torment which in mine opinion is worse vnto her than death. For thus I vse her, I doe locke her vp in the chamber wherein she accustomed to vse her delightes, and in the companie of hym that she loued farre better than me. In the closet of which chamber I haue placed the Anatomie of her friend, reseruing the same as a precious Iewell. And to the ende shee may not forget him at meales, at the table before my face, she vseth his skulle in 99 steade of a cup to drinke in, to the intent she may behold him (aliue) in the presence of hym whom through her owne fault she hath made her mortal enemy, and him dead and slain for her sake, whose loue she preferred before mine. And so beholdeth those twoo thinges at dinner and supper which ought to displease her moste, her enemie liuing, and her friend dead, and al through her own wickednesse, howbeit I doe vse her no worse than my self, although shee goeth thus shauen: for the ornament of the heare doth not appertaine to an adultresse, nor the vayle or other furniture of the head to an unchast woman. Wherefore she goeth so shauen, in token she hath lost her honestie. If it please you, sir, to take the payne to see her, I wil bring you to her.” Whereunto Bernage willingly assented. And descending into her chamber whiche was very richely furnished, they founde her sitting alone at the fier. And the Gentleman drawing a Curteine, whiche was before the Closet, he sawe the Anatomie of the dead man hanging. Bernage had a great desire to speake vnto the Ladye, but for feare of her husband he durst not. The Gentleman perceiuin the same, said vnto him: “If it please you to speake vnto her, you shal vnderstand her order of talke.” Therwithall Bernage sayde vnto her: “Madame, if your pacience be correspondent to this torment, I deme you to be the happiest woman of the worlde.” The lady with teares trickeling down her eyes with a grace so good and humble as was possible, spake thus vnto him: “Sir, I doe confesse my fault to be so great, as all the afflictions and torment that the Lorde of this place (for I am not worthy to call him husbande) can doe vnto me, be nothing comparable to the sorrowe I haue conceiued of myne offence.” And in sayinge so, she began pitifully to weepe. Therewithall the Gentleman toke Bernage by the hande, and led him forth. The next day morning he departed about the businesse which the king had sent him. Notwithstanding, in bidding the Gentleman fare well, he sayde vnto hym: “Sir, the loue whiche I beare vnto you, and the honor and secretes wherewith you haue made me priuie, doth force me to saye vnto you howe I doe thinke good (seing the great repentance of the poore Gentlewoman your wife) that you doe shewe her mercie. And bicause you be yong and haue no children, it were a verie great losse and detriment 100 to lose such a house and ligneage as yours is. And it may so come to passe, that your enemies thereby in time to come may be your heires, and inioye the goodes and patrimonie whiche you doe leaue behinde you.” The Gentleman which neuer thought to speake vnto his wife, with those wordes paused a great while, and in thend confessed his saying to be true, promising him that if she would continue in that humilitie, he would in time shew pittie vppon her, with whiche promise Bernage departed. And when he was retourned towardes the king his maister, hee recompted vnto him the successe of his iourneyes. And amonges other thinges he tolde him of the beautie of this Ladie, who sent his Painter called Iohn of Paris, to bring him her counterfaicte: which with the consent of her husband, he did. Who after that long penaunce, for a desire he had to haue children, and for the pitie hee bare to his wyfe which with great humblenesse receiued that affliction, tooke her vnto hym agayne, and afterwardes begat of her many children.



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.

In Grenoble (the chiefe citie of a Countrie in Fraunce called Daulphine, which citie otherwise is named Gratianapolis) there was a President that had a very fayre wyfe, who perceiuing her husbande beginne to waxe olde, fell in loue with a yong man that was her husband’s Clark, a very propre and handsome felowe. Vpon a time when her husband in a morning was gone to the Palace, the clarke entred his chamber and tooke his Maister’s place, whiche thing one of the presidente’s men, that faithfully had serued him the space of XXX. yeres like a trustie seruant perceiuing, could not keepe it secret, but tolde his Maister. The President whiche was a wise man, would not beleue it vpon his light report, but sayde that he did it of purpose to set discord betwene him and his wife, notwithstanding if the thing were true as he had reported, he might let him see the thing it selfe, whiche if he did not, he had good cause to thinke that he had deuised a lye to breake and dissolue the loue betwene them. The seruaunt did assure him that he would cause him to see the thing wherof he had tolde him. And one morning so sone as the President was gone to the Court, and the Clarked entred into his chamber, the seruaunt sent one of his companions to tel his maister that he might come in good time, to see the thing that he had declared vnto him, he himself standing stil at the doore to watch that the partie might not goe out. The President so sone as he sawe the signe that one of his men made vnto him, fayning that he was not wel at ease, left the audience, and spedely went home to his house, where he founde his olde seruaunt watching at the chamber dore, assuring him for truth that the Clarke was within, and that he should with spede to goe in. The President sayd to his seruant: “Do not tarrie at the dore, for thou knowest ther is no other going out or comming in but onely this, except a litle closet 102 wherof I alone do beare the keye.” The president entred the chamber, and found his wife and the Clarke a bed together, who in his shirt fell downe at the president’s feete, crauing pardon, and his wife much afraid began to weepe. To whome the President sayde: “For so muche as the thing which thou hast done is such, as thou maist well consider, that I can not abyde my house (for thee) in this sort to be dishonored, and the daughters which I haue had by thee to be disauaunced and abased: therfore leaue of thy weeping, and marke what I shall doe. And thou Nicolas (for that was his Clarke’s name) hide thy selfe here in my closet, and in any wise make no noyse.” When he had so done, he opened the dore and called in his olde seruaunt, and sayde vnto him: “Diddest not thou warrant and assure me that thou wouldest let me see my Clarke and wyfe in bedde together? And vppon thy words I am come hether, thinking to haue killed my wife, and doe finde nothing to be true of that which thou diddest tell me. For I haue searched the chamber in euery place as I will shewe thee.” And with that he caused his seruant to looke vnder the beddes, and in euery corner. And when the seruant founde him not, throughly astonned, he sayde to his maister: “Sir, I sawe him goe into the chamber, and out he is not gone at the dore: and so farre as I can see he is not here: therefore I thinke the Diuel must nedes carrie him awaye.” Then his maister rebuked him in these words: “Thou art a villayn, to set such diuision betwene my wife and me, wherefore I doe discharge thee from my seruice, and for that which thou hast done me, I will paye the thy dutie, with the aduauntage: therefore get thee hence, and take hede that thou doest not tarrie in this town aboue XXIIII. houres.” The President for that he knew him to be an honest and faithfull seruaunt, gaue him five or sixe yeares wages, and purposed otherwise to preferre him. When the seruaunt (with ill will and weping teares) was departed, the President caused his Clark to come out of his Closet: and after he had declared to his wife and him, what hee thought of their ill behauiour, he forbad them to shewe no likelyhode of any such matter, and commaunded his wyfe to attire and dresse her selfe in more gorgeous apparell, than she was wont 103 to weare, and to haunt and resort to company and feastes, willing the Clarke to make a better countenaunce on the matter then hee did before, but whensoeuer he rounded him in the eare and bad him depart, he charged him after that commaundement not to tarry foure houres in the towne. And when he had thus done, he retourned to the palace Courte, as though there hadde no sutche thing chaunced. And the space of fiftene dayes (contrary to his custome) he feasted his frendes and neighbours, and after euery those bankettes, he caused the minstrels to play, to make the Gentlewomen daunce. One daye he seing his wife not to daunce, he commaunded his Clarke to take her by the hande, and to leade her forth to daunce, who thinking the President had forgotten the trespasse past, very ioyfully daunced with her. But when the daunce was ended, the President faining as though he would haue commaunded him to doe some thing in his house, bad him in his eare to get him away and neuer to retourne. Now was the Clark very sorowfull to leaue his Ladye, but yet no lesse ioyfull he was that his life was saued. Afterwardes when the President had made all his frendes and kinsfolkes, and all the countrey, beleue what great loue he bare to his wife, vppon a faire day in the moneth of May, he went to gather a sallade in his garden, the herbes whereof after she had eaten, she liued not aboue XXIIII. houres after, whereof he counterfaited suche sorrowe, as no man could suspect the occasion of her death. And by that meanes he was reuenged of his enemy, and saued the honour of his house.

“¶ I will not by this Nouell (said Emarsuitte) prayse the conscience of the President, but herein I haue declared the light behauiour of a woman, and the great pacience and prudence of a man: Praying you good Ladies all, not to be offended at the truthe.” “If all women (quo Parlamente) that loue their Clarkes or seruauntes, were forced to eate such sallades, I beleue they would not loue their gardens so well as they doe, but woulde teare and plucke vp all the herbes bothe roote and rinde, to auoyde those thinges that by death might aduaunce the honor of their stock and ligneage.” “If sallades be so costly (quod Hircan) and so daungerous in May, I will prouoke appetite with other sawces, or els hunger shall be my chiefest.”



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.

Besides the countrie of Perche, there were two Gentlemen, which from the tyme of theyr youthe lyued in sutche great and perfect amitie, as there was betwene them but one harte, one bed, one house, one table, and one purse. Long time continued this perfect frendship: betwene whom there was but one will and one woorde, no difference in either of them: in so muche as they not onely semed to be two brethren, but also they appeared in al semblances to be but one man. One of them chaunced to mary: notwithstanding they gaue not ouer their frendship, but perseuered in their vsual amitie as they were wont to doe: and whan they happened to be strained to straight lodging, the maried gentleman would not stick to suffer his friend to lie with him and his wife. But yet you ought for frendship sake to consider that the maried man lay in the mids. Their goodes were common betwene them, and the mariage did yelde no cause to hinder their assured amitie. But in processe of time, the felicitie of this worlde (whiche carieth with it a certaine mutabitie) could not continue in the house, which was before right pleasaunt and happy: for the maried man forgetting the faithfull fidelitie of his friend, without any cause conceiued a greate suspicion betwene hym and his wyfe, from whom he could not dissemble the case, but sharpely tolde her his mynde. She therewithall was wonderfully amazed: howbeit, he commaunded her to doe all thinges (one thing excepted) and to make so muche of his companion as of himselfe. Neuerthelesse he forbade her to speake vnto hym except it were in the presence of many. All which she gaue her husbande’s companion to vnderstande, who would not beleue her, knowyng that hee had neither by thought or deede done anye thing whereof his companion had cause to be offended. And likewise because he used to kepe nothing secrete from hym, he tolde him what he 105 had sayde, praying hym to tell him the truthe of the matter, because he purposed neither in that, ne yet in any other thing, to geue occasion of breach of that amitie which of long time they had imbraced. The maried Gentleman assured him that he neuer thought it, and how they which had sowen that rumor, had wickedly belied him. Whereunto his companion replied: “I knowe wel enough that Ielousie is a passion so intollerable as loue it selfe. And when you shall conceiue that opinion of Ialousie, yea and it were of my selfe, I should do you no wrong, for your selfe were not able to kepe it. But of one thing which is in your power, I haue good matter whereof to complayne, and that is because you will concele from me your maladie, sith there was no passion or opinion which you conceiued, that before this time you kept secret from me. Likewise for my owne parte if I were amorous of your wife, you ought not to impute it as a fault vnto me, because it is a fier which I bare not in my handes, to vse at my pleasure. But if I kepe it to my selfe from you, and indeuour to make youre wife knowe it by demonstration of my loue, I might then be accompted that vntrustiest friend that euer liued: and for me I doe assure you that shee is a right honest and a good woman, and one that my fansie doth lest fauour (although she were not your wife) of all them that euer I sawe. But now sithens there is no cause, I do require you that if you perceiue any suspicion, be it neuer so litle, to tell me of it, because I would so vse myself, as our frendship which hath indured so long tyme, might not bee broken for a woman: and if I did loue her aboue any thing in the worlde, yet surely I would neuer speake worde vnto her, bicause I doe esteme our frendship better then the greatest treasure.” His companion swore vnto him very great othes that he neuer thought it, praying him to vse his house as he had done before. Whereunto he aunswered: “Sithe you will haue me so to doe, I am content: but I praye you if hereafter you doe conceiue any sinistre opinion in me, not to dissemble the same, which if you doe I will neuer continue longer in your companie.” In processe of time, liuing together according to their custome, the maried Gentleman entred againe into greater Ielousie than euer he did, commaunding his wife to beare no more that countenaunce 106 towards him that she was wont to doe. Whiche commaundement she tolde her husbande’s companion, praying him after that time to forbeare to speake vnto her, for that she was forbidden to doe the like to him. The gentleman vnderstanding by wordes and certaine countenaunces, that his companion had not kept promise, he sayd vnto him in great choler: “To be Ialous (my companion) is a thing naturall: but bicause thou diddest sweare vnto me by othes not to dissemble, I can by no meanes forbeare any longer: for I did euer thinke that betwene thyne harte and mine, there could be no let and interruption: but to my great griefe and without anye fault on my part, I doe see the contrarie. For as muche as thou art not only very Ialous betwene thy wife and mee, but also thou wouldest dissimulate and couer the same, so that in the ende thy maladie and disease continuing so long, is altered into mere malice, and lyke as oure loue hath bene the greateste that hathe bene seene in oure tyme, euen so our displeasure and hatred is nowe moste mortall. I haue done so mutche as lyeth in mee, to auoyde this inconuenience, but sithe thou hast suspected me to be an ill man, and I haue still shewed my selfe to be the contrary, I doe sweare, and therwithal assure thee, by my faith, that I am the same thou thinkest me to be, and therefore from henceforth take hede of me: for since suspicion hath separated the from my loue and amitie, despite shall deuide me from thine.” And albeit that his companion would haue made him beleue the contrarie, and that hee mistrusted hym nothing at all, yet he withdrewe his part of his moueables and goodes that before were common betweene them, so that then both their hartes and goodes were so farre separated as before they were vnited and ioyned together. In such wyse as the vnmaried Gentleman neuer ceassed till he had made his companion cockolde, according to his promise.



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

Betwene Daulphine and Prouence, there was a gentleman, more riche and better furnished with beautie, vertue, and good condicions, then with the goodes of fortune: who fill in loue with a gentlewoman that for this time shall want a name, for respecte of her parentes that are come of honorable houses, and the Gentleman’s name also shalbe vntolde, for like respecte, although altogether not so honorably allied, as the Gentlewoman that he loued, and yet the historie very certen and true. And bicause his degree was not so high as hers, hee durst not discouer his affection: for the loue which he bare her, was so good and perfect, as rather would he haue bene tormented with the panges of death, then couet the least aduauntage that might redounde to her dishonor. And seing his state to base in respecte of hers, had no hope to marry her. Wherefore he grounded his loue vpon none other foundation and intent, but to loue her with all his power so perfectlye as was possible, which in the ende came vnto her knowledge. And the Gentlewoman knowing and seing the honest amitie which he bare her, to be ful of vertue, ioyned with chast and comly talke, felt her selfe right happie to be beloued and had in prise, of a personage so well condicioned, practising dayly cherefull countinaunce towardes him (whiche was the best rewarde he pretended to haue) whereof he conceiued great ease and contentment. But malice the cancred enemy of all reste and quiet, could not long abide this honest and happie life. For some frowning at his good happe, (as malice euer accompanieth a well disposed mynde) tolde the mother of the mayden, howe they marueiled that the Gentleman should bee so familiar in her house, inferring therewithall that the beautie of her daughter was the only cause, with whom they sawe him many times to vse secrete and priuat speach. The mother which by no meanes doubted the honestie of the Gentleman, no more then shee did 108 of her own children, was very sorie to vnderstand that some shold be offended at that their familiarity. She thought therfore to shunne the cause of their offence. And at length, (fearing that slaunder might be raised of malice) she required the Gentleman for a tyme to haunt no more her house, as he was wont to doe. A thing to him of harde digestion, knowing his own innocencie, and lesse desert to be estranged from the house, for respect of the honest talke he vsed to the yonge gentlewoman. Notwithstanding, to stoppe the rage of malicious tongues, he withdrew himself, till he thought the brute was ceased, and then retourned after his wonted maner: whose absence nothing abridged his auncient good will. And he began no soner to be familiar there again, but he vnderstode that the mayden should be maried to a Gentleman, that was not so ritche and noble (as semed to hym) and therfore he thought he should receiue great wrong, if she were bestowed vpon that Gentleman, and not on hym, that had bene so long a sutor. And thereupon conceiued corage to preferre hym selfe in playne tunes, if choyse were geuen to the maiden. Howebeit, the mother and other of her kynne, sollicited and chose the other gentleman because (in dede) he was more welthie. Whereat the poore gentleman fretted with displeasure, seing that his Ladie should for worldly mucke be defrauded of her greatest ioye, by little and little without other maladie, began to languishe, and in litle tyme was so altered, as in his face appeared the visage of death. Neuerthelesse he could not forbeare the house of his beloued, but continually from time to time made his repaire thether to fede himselfe with the baulme of that beautie, which he thought would prolong his dayes, but it was the onely abridgement. In thend the poyson he sucked by the viewe of that beautie, consumed his strength, and force failing him, was constrained to kepe his bedde. Whereof he would not aduertise her whome he loued, for greuing her, knowing well that she would bee tormented with the newes. And so suffring him selfe to runne the race of past recourye, lost also his appetite to eate or drinck, and therewithall his slepe and rest fayled, in suche plight as within short space he was consumed in visage and face, as it grewe to be vglie and cleane out of knowledge. Brought to 109 this lowe estate, one of his frends certified the mother of his mistres, that was a very charitable and kinde Gentlewoman, and loued so well the man, as if all their parentes and kinne had bene of her’s and the mayden’s opinion they would haue preferred the honestie of him, before the great substance of the other. But the frendes of the father’s side by no meanes would consent vnto it. Yet the good Gentlewoman and her daughter (for all the other’s frowardnes) vouchsafed to visit the poor gentleman whom they founde, rather declining towards death, then in hope of life. And knowing his ende to approche, he was shriuen and receiued the holy Sacrament, purposing of present passage by panges of death, neuer to see any of his frendes againe. Being in this case and yet seing her, whome he counted to be his life and sauftie, felte suche soudden recouerie, as hee threwe hym selfe alofte his bedde and spake these wordes vnto her: “What cause hath drieuen you hither (mistres myne) by takyng paines to visite him, who hath one of his feet alreadie within the graue, the other stepping after with conuenient speede, for execution whereof you bee the onely Instrument.” “Howe so, sir?” sayde the mother. “Is it possible that hee, whom we so derely loue, can receiue death by our offences? I pray you sir to tell me, what reason leadeth you to speake these wordes.” “Madame,” sayde he, “so long as I could, I dissembled the loue that I bare to my deare mistres your daughter: so it is that my parentes and frendes speaking of a mariage betwene her and me, haue clattred thereof moe nedeles woordes then I desired, by waying the mishap that might insue, and nowe doth happe past all hope not for my particular pleasure, but bicause I knowe with none other she shalbe so well intreated nor beloued as she should haue bene with me. The benefit which I see she hath lost, is the most perfect frende the best affected seruaunt that euer shee had in this worlde, the losse wherof summoneth death to arrest the carcase, that should haue bene imployed for her seruice, which intierly was conserued and should haue bene for her sake: but sithe nowe it can serue her to no purpose, the simple losse shall redounde to greatest gaine. I meane my selfe (good Ladies bothe) that lieth bewrapped in death before your faces, whose withered 110 clammes hath catched the same within her reach, and hath warned the clocke to tolle the dolefull bell for his poor lovyng ghoste, nowe stretchynge out for the winding shete to shrowde his maigre corps, all forworne with the watche and toile, that such poore men (affected with like care) do feele. It is my selfe, that erst was rouing amid the troupe of Courtlie knightes decked with comely face, whose hewe dame Nature stayned with the colours of her golden art. It is I that of late was loued of that Nymphe, and earthie Goddesse, who with courtinge countenaunce imbraced the place where I did stande, and kissed the steps wherein I trode. It is my selfe I saye, that whilom in painefull blisse, did bath my selfe, and fedde mine eyes with the happie viewe of the heauenliest creature that euer God did make. And by forgoing of those ioyes by to to much mishap, and sacred famine of cursed mucke, I am thus pined as ye see, and wrapte in hopeles state.” The mother and doughter hearinge this complainte, did their indeuour to cheere him vp, and the mother sayde unto him: “Be of good courage sir, and I promise you my fayth, that if God giue you health, my doughter shal haue none other husband but you, and behold her here, whom I commaunde to make you present promise.” The mayden weeping with a virginall shamefastnes, consented to her mother’s hest. But knowing when he was recouered, that he should not haue her, and that the mother was so liberal of her fayre words, to recomfort him and assaye if she might restore him: he said vnto them, that if those words had bin pronounced three monethes past, he had bin the lustiest and most happie gentleman of Fraunce: but helpe offred so late, was past beliefe and hope. But when he saw, that they went about to force him to beleeue it, he said vnto them: “Now that I see ye go about to promise the good tourne which can neuer chaunce vnto mee, yea although consent ioyned with vnfayned promise desires the effect, for respect of the feeble state wherein I am: yet let me craue one thing at your hands, farre lesse then that ye offer, which hitherto I neuer durst be so bolde to aske.” Whereunto they both assented and swore to performe it, intreating him not to be ashamed to requyre it. “I humbly beseech ye (quoth hee) to deliuer her into mine armes whom ye haue promised to be my 111 wife, and commaunde her to imbrace and kisse me.” The mayden not vsed to such priuie sutes, ne yet acquainted with such secrete facts, made some difficultie, but her mother gaue her expresse commaundement to doe it, perceyuing in him no likelihode or force of a man to liue. The maiden then vpon that commaundement, aduaunced herselfe uppon the bedde of the poore pacient, saying vnto him: “Sir, I beseech you to be of good cheere.” The languishing creature, so hard as he could for his extreeme debilitie, stretched forth his faint consumed armes, and with al the force of his body imbraced the cause of his death, and kissinge her with his colde and wanne mouth, held her so long as he could, and then spake vnto the mayden: “The loue which I haue borne you hath bin so great, and the good will so honest, as neuer (mariage excepted) I wished anye other thinge of you, but that which I presentlye haue, throughe the wante whereof and with the same I will ioyfully render my spirite to God, who is the parfaicte Loue, and truest Charitie, whoe knoweth the greatnes of my loue and the honestie of my desire: humblie beseeching him, (that nowe I hauing my desire betweene mine armes,) to interteigne my ghost within his blessed bosome.” And in saying so he caught her againe betweene his armes with such vehemencie, as the feeble hart not able to abide that assault, was abandoned of all powers and mouinges: for the instant ioye so dilated and stretched forth the same, as the siege of the soule gaue ouer, making his repaire and flighte to his Creator: and because the senceles bodye rested withoute life, it gaue ouer his holde. Howbeit the loue, which the Damosell had still kept secrete, at that time shewed it self so strong and mightie, as the mother and seruauntes of the dead Gentleman had much a do to separate that vnion, but by force they haled away the liuing, almost deade with the deade. After the funerall was done with honourable exequies: but the greatest triumph was spent in teares, weepinges and cryes, specially by the gentlewoman, which so much more were manifeste after his death, as before in his life time they were dissembled, bestowinge them as an expiacion or sacrifice, to satisfie the wrong she had done vnto him. And afterwards (as I haue heard tell) she was maried to one, for mitigacion of her sorow, that neuer was partaker 112 of the ioye of her harte. See here good Ladies an Image of perfect loue, that so muche had seazed vpon thaffections of this amorous Gentleman, as the pange neuer gaue ouer, till death (the rest of all troubles) had diuided life from the body. Yet some perchaunce for the desperate part of this hopeles louer, will terme him to be a fonde louing foole: and say that it is not meete that they should neglecte theyr liues for womens sakes, which were not created but for their helpe and comforte. And that being true as verifyed and auouched by Scriptures, there is no cause of feare to demaunde that of them, which God hath enioyned them to giue vs. In deede a sensuall loue, and such as is grounded to satisfye beastly luste, is a thinge horrible to Nature, and abhominable in the sight of him that made both those creatures, whom he fraughted with reason and knowledge for the refusall of those vices, which are onely to be applied to beastes voyde of reason. But loue founded in the soyle of Vertue, for auoyding carnall lust exercized in the state of Wedlocke, or first begonne and practized for that ende, is very ciuil and to be honoured. And if that loue attaine not equall successe, through parents default or vnkindnes of frendes or other humane accidents, if that loue so perce the hart, or otherwyse afflict the pacient with dispaire of helpe, and so occasioneth death, it is not to be termed follie or dotage, but to be celebrated with honourable titles. The honest amitie then of this gentleman, borne long time to this gentlewoman, meriteth euerlasting praise: for to finde such great chastitie in an amorous hart, is rather a thing deuine then humaine. A mocion moued aboue amongs the heauenly route, and not an ac wrought in the grosenes of man’s infirmitie.



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

In the Courte of king Fraunces, the first of that name, not longe sithens Frenche king, the graunde father of Henry the 3 of that name now raigning: there was a Gentlewoman of good grace and interteignment, wanting not both minde and witte, such as the like of her sexe, are not to seeke, vnder what climate soeuer they be borne and bred, whose comly demeaner, curteous behauiour and eloquent speache, was agreeable to her other qualities of nature’s giftes: whereby she gayned the hartes and good minds of nombers of seruauntes, with whom shee was cunning ynough to spend her time, (hauing respect to the sauftie and saufgard of her honor, which she preferred before all other solace) by such delectable consumption of time, as they that could not tell howe els to imploie their leasure, thoughte themselues most blessed, if they might attaine the delightfull presence of this well nourtered Dame. For they that made greatest assuraunce of her fidelitie, were in dispayre, and the most desperat were yet in some hope to winne her. Howbeit in deceyuing the most nomber, she could not forbeare intirely to loue one, who for his part was not able to plaie the counterfait, to colour the substance of his longe pursute: but as nothing is sure and stable, their loue tourned to displeasure, and by frequent renewing of what was well knowen the hole Court was not ignoraunt, what deuocion thone did beare to thother. One day the Gentlewoman, aswell to let him know that his affection was not bestowed in vaine, as to make him to feele some smart and paine for his louing seruice, the more louingly to forde him on, with preety morsells of her dissembling concept, made show vnto him of greater fauour, then euer she did before: for which cause he that was faultles either in deedes of armes, or in prowesse of loue, began liuely and valiantly to folow her, to whom long before with gentlenes and humilitie he 114 had many times bin a suppliante. Who fayning that she was not able any longer to rest obstinate, made semblance of a womanly pitie and accorded to his demaund. Telling him that for respect of his tedious trauaile, she was now disposed to go to her chamber, (which was in a Gallerie of the Castell where that time the kinge did lie) where shee knew was none that could hinder what they two intended: willing him not to faile but so sone he saw her depart the place she was in, to folow after to her chamber, where he should finde her alone, tarying for him with good deuocion. The gentleman beleeuinge her appointmente, was readie to leape out of his skinne for ioye: and therewithall began to dalye and sport with other Ladies, attending the time of her departure. She wanting not the practize of any fine sleight or subtile pollicie, most pregnaunte in birds of her Ayrie, called two of the greatest Ladies to the present chamber window and said vnto them: “If it may please you good Ladies, I will discouer vnto you the pretiest pastime of the world.” They which hard the grief of melancholie, besoughte her to tell what it was. “Thus it is” (quoth shee) “such a gentleman, whom you know very well, to be both honest and vertuous, hath longe time (as partlie you haue by to much experience seene,) gone about diuers wayes to winne that, which he shall neuer get: for when I began to applie my fancie towards him, he (vnconstant) ceased not to couet and folow other Ladies with like pursute hee did me: whereat I conceyued such more then spitefull hatred, as notwithstanding my outwarde semblaunce, I coueted reuenge. Nowe therefore maistresse, Occasion hath lente me a porcion of oportunitie, to be requited of his vaine and fickle sute: which is, that hauinge appointed him to come to my chamber, whither he meaneth presently to follow me, it maye please you to giue heedefull eye and watch: and that when hee hath passed alonge the Galerie, and is gone vp the stayers, that both of you wil recline your heads out of this window to helpe me singe the holding of the Caroll, that I meane to chaunte vnto him. And then shall you see the raging choler of this Gentleman, that at other times presumed to be a quiet Suter: wherat perhaps through his malapert boldnes, it cannot dash his blushles face, but yet if he do not deale vnto me like spiteful reproch in open 115 hearing, I know full well in hart he will wishe me X. M. mischifes.” This conclusion was not spoken without treble laughter: for there was no gentlemen in all the Courte, that had warred so much with the woman kind as hee, and yet welbeloued and esteemed of euery one, that listed not to be intrapped within his daunger. Therfore these Ladies thinking to carie awaye some part of the glorie, which one alone hoped to atchieue vpon this gentleman, were contente to assent to the other’s liking. So sone then as they saw her depart, that purposed this enterprise, they began to espie the countenaunce of the betrayed partie, who paused not long before he exchaunged the place: and when he was oute of the chamber, the Ladies trayned after, to lose no part of the sport, and went the faster that he might not be out of theyr sight. And he that doubted not the successe, threwe his cape about his necke to hide his face, and went downe the staiers out into the Court, and afterwards mounted vp againe: but perceyuing some approche which he was loth should be a witnes, he went downe againe, returning another way on the other side. All which the Ladies sawe, vnknowen to him. But when he came to the stayers where he beleeued verely, that he might surely enter into his Maistres chamber, the two Ladies put they heads out of the window, and incontinently perceyued the gentlewoman alofte, crying out a lowde, “A theefe, a theefe:” wherunto they two below aunswered with so vehement voyce, doubling the other’s outcrie, as all the castell ronge of it. I leaue for you to consider in what despite this gentleman fled to his lodginge, but not so closely, but that he was ouertaken by those that knew this misterie: who afterwards oftentimes reproched this fact vnto him, speciall she that had deuised the reuenge: but hee had armed himselfe with aunswers and defences so readely, as he told them that he foreknew their deuise, and mente nothing by his pilgrimage but to solace his beloued. For of her loue long time before he was out of all hope, as hauing reasonable proofe by his longe pursute and seruice. Howbeit the Ladyes would not hold his excuse for a veritie, which euen to this day hangeth in suspence.



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.

There was in Fraunce a Queene, who in her company and traine broughte vp many maydens, that were issued of great and honourable progenie: amonges other that serued this Queene there was one named Rolandine, which was nere kinne to the Queene. But she for a certaine displeasure conceyued against her father, bare vnto the yonge gentlewoman no greate good will. This Maiden, although shee was none of the fayrest, yet so wyse and vertuous as many great Lords and personages made sute to her for mariage, to whom she rendred for earnest sutes, cold aunsweares: because shee knew her father to be more bent to keeping of money, then to thaduauncement of his children: and her Maistresse (as is before said) bare vnto her so little fauour as they which esteemed the Queene’s good grace, woulde neuer make anye sute vnto her. Thus by father’s negligence and Maistres disdaine, the poore gentlewoman remayned long time vnmaried. And as shee that forcibly was payned, not so much for griefe of mariage, as for that shee was not required or sued vnto, became so werie of worldly life, as deuoutly she bent herselfe to God, and by forsakinge the toyes and brauerie of the Courte, passed her time in prayer, or els in other vertuous exercise: and by withdrawing herselfe to this kinde of life, she spent her youth so soberlie and deuoutly as was possible for a woman to do. When she approched nere the age of XXX. yeares, there was a gentleman a bastarde borne, of right honorable house, a uery curteous and honest personage, whose every riches and beautie was such, as no Lady or gentlwoman for pleasure would haue chosen him to husband. This poore gentleman was voide of frends for maintenaunce of lyuing, and vnhappie in mariage sutes, although he pursued many, till at length he borded this poore Gentlewoman Rolandine: for their Fortunes, complexions 117 and condicions were very like, and by vse of seuerall complaints made one to another, ech of them fell in ernest loue with the other: and being both thrall vnto mishap, they sought desired comforte by vertuous and honest talke: and by that vse and frequentacion greater loue increased and grew betwene them. Those which had seene the maiden so straungly retired from wonted demeanor, as she would speake to none, now marking her continuallie to interteigne the bastard gentleman, incontinently conceiued ill opinion of her, and told the mother of the Queene’s maids (called Modesta) that she ought not to suffer such familiaritie betweene them. Which report Modesta reuealed to Rolandine, sayinge that diuers persons did speake euill of her, for that she vsed to talke with the bastard, that neither was of sufficient abilitie for her to marie, ne yet of beautie worthie to be beloued. Rolandine which daily was more rebuked for her austeritie of life, then for worldly toyes, sayd vnto Modesta her gouernesse: “Alas, mother, you see that I cannot haue a husband according to the worthines of my bloud, and that dailye I haue auoyded those which be beautifull and yonge: for feare to incurre the inconuenience wherinto I haue seene other to fall: and now hauing chosen this wise and vertuous gentleman, who preacheth vnto me words that be good and godly, what wrong do they to me that make this report, sith in this honest order I doe receiue consolacion of my griefes?” The good old Lady who loued the maiden (which she called maistresse) as herselfe, said vnto her: “I see well, that you are worse delt withall at your father and maistres handes then you deserue. Howbeit sith such reporte is made of your honor, you ought to refuse to speake vnto him, although he were your naturall brother.” Rolandine weeping saide vnto her: “Mother, for so much as you aduise me therunto, I will performe your request, although it be very straunge that without slaunder, a woman can haue no comfort or seeke freedome without misreport.” The bastard gentleman, as he was before accustomed, came to visite her, but she tolde him (a farre of) those words which her gouernesse had said vnto her: and with teares prayed him to refraine for a time to speake vnto her, vntill the brute and rumor were somewhat appaised: which thing he did at her request. But 118 during this long time, either of them hauing loste their consolacion, began to feele such torment within themselues, as shee for her part neuer felte the like. She ceased not from praying vnto God, from goinge on pilgrimage, and fasting: for this vnacquainted loue brought her to such disquiet as she could not rest the space of one houre. Wherewith the noble bastard was no lesse tormented: but he which had alreadie minded in hart to loue her and pursue her till mariage, and hauing respecte (for loue sake) to the honor he should acquire by the same, thought to finde meanes to declare his minde vnto her, and aboue al things to get the good wil of her gouernesse: which he did, declaring vnto her the miserie wherein her poore maistresse remayned, which was voide of al comfort and other frendship. Then the poore old Lady Modesta, gaue him thankes for the honest affection that hee bare to her maistresse: and deuised meanes how the two louers might impart their minds together. Rolandine fayned herselfe to be sicke of a Mygrim and paine in her heade, the brute of whose maladie was feared to be greater then it was, and so concluded betwene them that when her companion were gone into the chamber, they two should remaine together alone to satisfie ech other with mutuall talke. The bastard gentleman was very glad, and ruled himselfe holy by the councell of the Gouernesse, in such sort as when he liste, he spake vnto his louer and vertuous Lady: but this contencaion did not indure: for the Queene who loued her but a little, inquired what Rolandine did so long in her Chamber, and one made aunswere that it was by reason of her sicknes. Albeit there was another which knewe to well the cause of her absence, sayde vnto her, that the ioye which Rolandine had to speake vnto the bastard was able to ease her Mygrim. The Queene which found out the veniall sinnes of other, by mortall offences in herselfe, sent for her, and forbad her in any wyse not to speake vnto the bastard, except it were in the hall or within her owne Chamber. The Gentlewoman made as though she vnderstode her not, but mildlie aunswered that, is shee knew any talke betweene them might offend her maiestie, she would neuer speake vnto him againe. Notwithstanding she determined to finde out some other secret meanes that the Queene should not know of their meeting: which 119 was this. The Wednesday, Fridaye, and Saturday, the gentlewoman vsed to fast, and for that purpose kept her Chamber with her Gouernesse Modesta, where she had leysure to talke (whilest the reste did suppe) with him whom she began so earnestlie to loue: and as constrainte of time did force their talke to be shorte, the greater was their affection in vtteraunce of the same: because for the doing therof they stole time, as the theefe doth his desired praye. This order of their contentacion could not proceede so secretely, but that a certaine varlet a yeoman of the Chamber, chaunced to see him resort vnto her vpon a fasting day, and told it in such place wher of some hearer, it was disclosed to the Queene herself, who was so sore offended as neuer after that time the poore bastard gentleman durste once attempt to go into the maiden’s chamber againe. And to thintent that he might not lose the commodity of talke with her, whom he so derely loued, oftentimes he fayned himselfe to go on pilgrimage, and in the euening returned to the Church and chapell of the Castel, in the habite of a frier, or Iacobin (so wel disguised and altered, as no creature could know him) and thither repaired the gentlewoman Rolandine, with her Gouernesse to enterteigne him. He marking the great loue that she bare him, feared not to say vnto her: “Madame, you see the daunger which I hasard for your seruice, and the warnings that the Queene hath giuen for our talke. You see on thother side what a father you haue, who careth not after what sort he bestow you in mariage: and you hauinge refused so many greate states and noble men, I know not one, either farre or neare, that is minded to haue you. I confesse my selfe to be but poore, and that you may marie diuers gentlemen of greater reputacion and richesse, then I am: but if loue and good wil were deemed treasure and richesse, then woulde I presume to be the richest gentleman of the world. God hath indowed you with great plentie of goodes, and you are yet in choise to haue more: and if I were so happie as you would vouchsafe to chose me for your husband, I would accompt my selfe to be vnto you both husband, frend and seruaunt, all the dayes of my life: and againe, if you should take one equall to your nobilitie (a thinge very harde to finde) he would rule and gouerne ouer you, and haue more respecte to your goodes, then to 120 your person, to your beautie then to your vertue: and in triumphinge with dispence of that you haue, hee maye chaunce to intreate you otherwise then you deserue. The desire of this contentacion, and the feare that I haue, least you should graunte it to some other, do force me to beseech you, that by one only meanes you would make me happie and your selfe the most contented and best intreated woman that euer was.” Rolandine giuing eare to that communication which shee herselfe ment to haue pronounced, aunswered him with stoute courage: “I am very glad and wel pleased that you haue begunne the sute your self, which I of long time haue determined to breake vnto you: for which cause these two yeres past as you know, I haue not ceased to thincke and deuise all the reasons and arguments for and against you, that I could inuent: but in thend for so much as I do meane to take vpon me the state of Matrimonie, it is time that I begin to chose such husbande, with whom I shall in my conscience like to liue at rest and quiet all the dayes of my life: and amidde all the troupe of my thoughts in choise, I cannot finde anye one, were he neuer so faire, riche or noble, with whom my hart and minde can so well agree and match as with you. I know that by marying of you I shall not offende God, but rather do the thinge that hee commaundeth. And touching my Lord my father, he hath had so litle consideracion of my perferment, and so often refused it, as the law now will suffice, that I giue my selfe in mariage withoute his consent, and therefore cannot disenherite me, or worthely thincke ill of me: and by hauing a husband (a thing appertinent to women kinde) such as you be, I shall esteeme my selfe the richest woman of the worlde. As for the Queene my maistresse, I oughte not to take any care or remorse of conscience by displeasing her, to obey God: for she hath not ceased to hinder that aduauncement, which in my youth I mighte haue had, and by paine and diligence towards her did well deserue: but to thend you may vnderstand, that the loue and good will which I beare you, is founded vppon vertue and honor, you shall promise me, that if I doe accorde this mariage, you shall neuer purchase or require the consummacion thereof, Vntill my father be deade, or els do finde some meanes to make him consente hereunto.” Which 121 the bastard gentleman willingly did graunt: and vppon these promises and termes, either of them gaue eche other a ringe in the name of mariage, and did kisse together in the Church before God, whom they toke to witnes of their assurance, and neuer after betwene them was any other priuie fact committed, but only kissing. This litle easement of mind did greatly satisfie the harts of these two perfect louers: and were a great while without seing ech other, liuing only by this assurance. There was no place where honour mighte be gotten, but thereunto the bastarde made his repaire with so great delight, as he thought he could neuer be poore for respect of that riche wife which God had prouided for him. Which wyfe in his absence, did euer continue her absolute amitie towards that gentleman: and although many made sute yet they receyued none other aunswere from her but deniall, and for that she had remayned so long time vnmaried, she was minded neuer to take vppon her that state. This her aunswere was so generall as the Queene heard of it, and asked her for what occasion shee was so determined. Rolandine saide vnto her, that it was to obey her: for that shee knew shee would neuer suffer her to marie, because in time and place where she might haue bin honorablie matched to her well liking, she denied the same, and that the vertue of pacience had taught her to contente herselfe with the state wherein she was. And still as she was sued for in mariage, she rendred like aunswere. When the warres were ended, and the bastarde returned to the Courte, shee neuer spake vnto him in open presence, but wente alwayes into some Church to interteigne him vnder colour of Confession: for the Queene had forbidden both him and her, that they should not talke together, vnlesse it were before companye vpon paine of losse of their liues. But honest loue, which feareth no defence, was more prest to find meanes, for their mutuall talke, then their enemies were ready to separate the same: and vnder the habite or colour of all the religions they could deuise, they continued that honest amitie, vntil the king remoued into a house of pleasure, not so nere as the Ladies were able to go on foote to that Church, as they were to the Church of the Castell, which was not situate in such conueniente wyse for their purpose, as they could secretely 122 repaire (vnder colour of confession) to talke together: notwithstanding if on the one side occasion fayled, loue found out another for their contentment: for there arriued a Lady to the Court, to whom the bastard was very nere kin. This Lady with her sonne were lodged in the king’s house, and the chamber of this yong prince was far beyond the body of the lodging, where the king himselfe did lie: but so nere vnto Rolandine’s Chamber as he might both see and speake vnto her, for their windowes were properlie and directly placed at either corner of the house: in which chamber (being ouer the hall) were lodged al the Ladies of honor, the companions of Rolandine. Who beholding many times the yong king at that window, caused the bastard to be aduertized therof by her gouernesse: who after he had well beholden the place, made as though he had great delighte to read vpon a booke of the Knightes of the Round Table, that lay in the chamber window of the yong king: and when euery man was gone to dinner, he prayed the yeoman to suffer him to make an end of the historie, and to shut him within the chamber. The other which knew him to be the kinsman of his maistres, and an assured man, suffred him to read so long as he liste. On thother side Rolandine came vnto her window, who to find occasion to tarrie there the longer, fayned to haue a paine in her leg, and dined and supped in so good time, as she went no more to the ordinarie of the Ladies: wher she began to set herselfe a worke about the making of a bed of Crimson silke, placing her worke vpon the window, as desirous to be alone. And when she saw no man to be there, shee interteigned her husband, to whom she might speake in secret wise, so as none was able to vnderstande them: and when any person came nere, she coughed and made a signe that the bastard might withdraw himselfe. They that were appointed to watche them, thought vndoubtedlie that their loue was past and ended, because she went not out of the Chamber, wher safely he coulde not see her, for that hee was forbidden the same. Vppon a day the mother of the yong Prince being in her sonne’s Chamber, repayred to the windowe where that great booke did lie, and shee had not staied there long, but one of Rolandine’s fellowes which was within her Chamber saluted her. The lady asked her how Rolandine 123 did, who sayd that shee might very wel see her, if it were her pleasure: and caused her to come to the window wyth her night geare vppon her head. And after they had talked a while of her sicknes they withdrew themselues. The other ladie espying the great booke of the Round Table, sayde to her yeoman of the Chamber: “I do marueille much why yong men do imploie themselues to read such follies.” The yeoman made aunsweare, that he marueled much more, why men of good yeres, counted and esteemed wise and discrete, should haue greater delight in reading of such trifles, then those that were yong. And to iustifie that maruel hee told her how her cosin the bastard did spend 4 or 5 houres in a day to read vppon the same. Vpon which words by and by she conceyued the cause of his deepe studie, and charged him to hide himselfe in some place to mark what he did. Which commaundement the yeoman performed, and perceiued that the booke which the bastard read vpon, was the window out of which Rolandine talked with him: and therewithal called to remembrance many wordes of the loue which they thought to keepe very secreete. The next day he rehersed the same vnto his maistresse, who sent for her cosin the bastard, and after many tales told him, she forbad him to resort thither any more, and at night she gaue like warning to Rolandine, threatninge her that if she continued in her fond and foolish loue, she woulde tell the Queene the whole circumstaunce of her lighte demeaner. Rolandine (nothing astonied with those woords) did sweare that sith the time she was forbidden by her maistresse the queene’s maiesty, she neuer spake vnto him: the troth whereof shee might learne aswel of the gentlewomen her companions, as of other seruauntes of the house: and touching the window whereof she spake, she boldly aduouched that she neuer talked with the Bastard there. Who (poore gentleman) fearing that his affayres would be reuealed, kept himselfe farre out from daunger, and longe time after did not retourne to the Courte. Howbeit, he wrote many times to Rolandine by such secret meanes as for all the espiall that the Queene had put, there passed no weeke but twise at least shee hearde newes from him: and when one meanes did fayle hym, hee deuised another, and many tymes sent a litle Page clothed 124 in colours (so often altered and chaunged as he was sent) who staying at the gates when the Ladies passed by, delyuered his letters priuelye in the middest of the prease. Vpon a time as the Queene for her pleasure walked into the fieldes, one which knew the Page and had charge to take hede vnto those doings, ranne after him: but the Page which was a fine boye, doubtinge leaste hee should be searched, conueyed hym selfe into a poore woman’s house, where spedelie he burnt his letters in the fier, ouer whiche a potte was boyling with meate for her poore familie. The gentleman that followed him stripped him naked and searched his clothes, but when he sawe that he could finde nothing, he let him goe: and when he was departed, the olde woman asked him wherefore he searched the boye: who aunswered: “to finde letters which he thought he had about him.” “Tush,” (quod she) “serch no more, for he hath hidden them very well.” “I pray thee tell me,” (quod the Gentleman) “In what place:” hoping to haue recouered the same. But when hee vnderstode that they were throwen into the fire, he well perceiued that the boye was craftier then him selfe. All whiche incontinently hee tolde the Queene, notwithstanding from that time forthe, the bastard vsed no longer the Page, but sent one other of his olde seruauntes, whom he faithfully trusted, and he (forgetting feare of death which hee knewe well the Queene threatned on them that had to doe in those affaires) tooke vpon him to carie his maister’s letters to Rolandine. And when hee was entred the Castell, hee wayted at a certen doore placed at the foote of a paire of staiers, by whiche the ladies passed to and fro: where he had not taried long, but a yeoman which at other times had sene him, knewe him and thereof told the maister of the Queene’s house, who soudainly made searche to apprehende him. The fellowe which was wise and politique, seing that diuers loked vpon him a farre of, retourned towardes the wall (as though he would haue made his water) tearing his letters in so many small peces as he could doe for his life, and threw them behinde an old gate: who had no soner done the facte, but hee was apprehended and throughly searched, and when they could finde nothing about him, they made him weare whether he had brought any letters or not, vsing him 125 partly by rigor, and somewhat by faire perswasion to make him confesse the truthe: but neither through promise or threate, they could get any thing at his handes. Report hereof was brought to the Queene, and one of the companie gaue aduise that searche should be made behind the gate, where he was taken: in which place they founde nothing but litle peces of letters. Then they caused the kinge’s Confessor to be sent for, who recouering the peces layd them vpon a table, and red the lettre throughout, where the veritie of the mariage (so much dissembled) was throughly discifered, for the bastard in those letters called her nothing els but wife. The Queene not meaning to conceale the fault of her kinswoman, (which she ought to haue done) fil into a great rage and storme, commaunding that the poore man by al meanes possible should be forced to confesse the true tenor of that letter, to thintent that the same by his affirmacion might not be denied: but doe what they could, they were not able to make him alter his former tale. They which had commission to examine him, brought him to the Riuer side and did put him into a sack, saying that he did lie before God and the Queene, and against an approued trothe. He that had rather lose his life than accuse his maister, prayed them to suffer him to haue a ghostly father that like a Christian he might ende his life, and so entre the ioyes prepared for all repentant sinners, and after that he had clered his conscience, he said vnto them: “Maisters, tell my Lorde and maister the Bastarde, that I recommend vnto him the poore estate of my poore wife and children, trusting his honour will haue consideration of them for my sake, for so mutch as with good and loyall harte, I doe imploye my life for his honor and suretie: and with me doe what you list, for you get nothing at my handes that shall redounde to his hurt and preiudice.” Then to put him in greater feare, they bounde him within the sacke and threwe him into the water, crying unto him, if thou wilt tell the trouth thou shalt be saued: but they seing that he would make no aunswer drew him out againe, making reporte to the Queene of his faith and constancie. Who then sayd, that neither the king nor she were so happy in seruauntes as the Bastarde was, that had not wherewith to recompence such fidelitie. The Quene did 126 what she coulde to get him from his seruice, but the poore fellowe would in no wise forsake his maister. Notwithstanding in thende by his said maister’s leaue, he was put into the Queene’s seruice, where he liued many happy dayes. The Queene after she vnderstode by the bastarde’s letters the trouth of the mariage, sent for Rolandine, and in great rage, called her caitife and miserable wretche, in stede of cosin, reciting vnto her the disparagement of her noble house, and the villanie she had committed against the honorable race whereof she came, and against the will of her which was her Queene, kinswoman and maistres, by contracting mariage without the licence of the king and her. Rolandine whiche of long time knewe the small devocion that her maistres bare vnto her, vsed her with like affection: and bicause she was werie of the Quene’s displeasure, thinking that her correction vttered in presence of many proceded not of loue, but rather to make her ashamed, abandoned feare, and conceiuing courage, when she sawe the Queene in her chiefest rage, with gladsome and firme countenaunce answered her in this wise: “Madame, if you cannot conceiue the malice of your owne harte, I will set before your eyes the rancour and displeasure of the same, which malice of long time you haue borne towardes the Lorde my father and me: whereof madame, I doe fele the smarte, to my great losse and grief: for if it had pleased you to haue borne vnto me that good wil which you do to those that are not so nere about you as I am, I had before this tyme been placed and preferred in mariage as well to the likyng of your honour as to my greate satisfaction: but you haue regarded mee as one forgotten, and cleane out of fauour, in such wyse as all the noblemen, with whome I might haue been matched, haue contempned me, as well through the negligence of my Lorde my father, as for the like estimation and accompt that you haue made of me: by meanes whereof I fell into that dispaire which if my health could haue susteined the order and state of religion, I would willingly haue taken it vpon me, to haue seuered my selfe from the continuall hatred and enuy which your grace ful rigorously hath showen vnto me: and being in this dispaire, I chaunced to finde out him, that is proceded of so noble a house as my selfe. If the loue of twoo 127 persones is to be regarded, that meane to accomplishe the holy state of wedlock: for you knowe that his father in nobilitie farre excelled myne. He hath of long time loued me, and made great sute vnto me, but you madame, whiche neuer pardoned me for any small offence, ne yet praysed anye good acte of myne (although you know by experience that I haue not vsed to talke of matters of loue or other worldlie affaires, and that I minded aboue all things to leade a more religious life then any other) doe make it an hainous matter that I should talke with a Gentleman (so infortunate as my selfe), by whose loue, I thought or sought for nothing els but the ease and comfort of my minde. And seing my selfe voyde and frustrate of mine expectation, I shall imploie indeuour so well to seeke my rest and quiet, as you haue gone about to dispoyle me of the same: and then will celebrate the mariage which is already assured by promises and by a ring. Wherefore, madame, I thinke that you doe me great wrong by terming me to be a wicked woman, sithe that in so great and perfect amitie I might haue founde occasion (if I would) to haue committed euills: but there was neuer betwene him and me any priuie fact, other then that is honest, hoping that God wil shewe me such fauour, as before the mariage be consumat, I shall obtaine the fauour and good will of my Lorde my father: wherby I do neither offende God, nor my conscience, for I haue taried till the age of XXX. yeares, to see what you and my father would doe for me. I haue kept my selfe so chast and honest, as no man liuing is able to laye the contrarie to my charge. And with that reason wherewith God hath indued me, being olde and voyde of hope, to finde a husbande agreable to my nobilitie, I am determined to marie sutche a one as I like beste, not for the pleasure or satisfaction of the eye (for you know he is not faire) nor for lust of the flesh (for there hath bene no carnall fact committed) ne yet for pryde and couetousnes (for he is but poore and of litle estimation) but I haue a sincere respecte and pure regarde to his vertue, honestie and good grace, for whiche the worlde doth geue him praise, and the great loue also that he beareth me, maketh me hope to finde with him great rest and quiet. And after I had deuised and considered the good and euill that might insue by 128 this my choise, I still persisted in that mind, and haue well wayed and pondered the same these twoo yeares past, being throughly resolued to waste and spende the rest of my dayes with him which I meane still firmely to kepe in despite of all the tormentes and cruelties, that the greatest enemies I haue, be able to make my poore bodie suffre, no not death it selfe shall force me to refuse hym. Wherefore Madame, I beseech you to accept this my reasonable excuse, whereunto your self is nowe made priuie, and suffer me to liue in that peace, whiche I hope for euer through him, in these mine elder to finde.” The Queene wel marking her stout wordes and countenaunce, and knowing the same to be very true, was not able to aunswere her againe with reason: but continuing, her rebukes and taunting checkes began to waste, and at length fell out into this rage: “Ah, presumptuous drabbe, and caitife wretch, in stede of humbling thy selfe and repenting thine offence, thou carpest boldly without dropping or sheading any teare, whereby thou doest manifestly declare that stubbornes and hardnes of thy harte: but if the king, and thy father, would follow mine aduise, they should put thee into a place, where force should make thee to vse other language.” “Madame,” said Rolandine, “because you haue accused me of bolde talke and presumptous speache, I meane from henceforth to hold my peace, except you geue me leaue to make mine aunswere.” And when she was commaunded to tell forth her mynde, she said: “It is not my part, Madame, boldly or without duetifull reuerence to speake before your maiestie (whiche is my maistresse, and the greatest Princesse in Christendome). The wordes which I haue said, be not spoken (Madame) of presumption, but to declare that I haue none other aduocate to pleade for me, but the trouth of my cause. And therefore am bolde without blushing feare to disclose the same, hoping that if your grace did knowe the secret concept of my poore faithfull harte, you woulde not iudge mee to be that woman which you terme me to be. I doe not doubt that any mortall creature vnderstanding my behauiour in those matters wherwith I am charged, would blame me, for my liberall speache, sithe I am sure that God and myne honor in no point I haue offended. The cause which maketh me 129 thus without feare to saye my minde is, because I am assured that he whiche seeth my harte, is the geuer of my life also, and remaineth with me. If then such a Iudge and Guide doe order and dispose my life, why should I be afrayd of them that be subiect vnto his iudgement? And why then Madame, should I wayle or wepe, sithe mine honor and conscience without remorse or grudge do wel like of these my doings, which if they were newly to begin, I would not repente me to doe the same againe. But it is you (Madame) that hath good cause to wepe, as well for the great displeasure, euer borne me from my youthfull dayes, as for the wrong you doe me nowe by reprehending me before the face of all the worlde for a faulte, whiche ought rather to be imputed vnto you then vnto me. For if I had offended God, the king, or you, my parentes, or my conscience, I were well worthy to be counted very obstinate, if with great repentaunce I did not lament the same, but for a dede that is right good and vertuous, I ought not to wepe, whereof there was neuer other rumor spred but verie honorable, except the slaunder which your selfe hath raised, whereby your desire to increase my shame and dishonor appeareth to be greater then the respecte you haue to conserue the nobilitie of your house, or kindred wherof you come. But because it pleaseth you, Madame, so to vse me, I purpose not to withstand you. For when you shall ordeine that punishment for me, which you like best, I shal reioyse no lesse to suffer the same without desert, then you be willing to bestowe it vpon me without cause. Wherefore Madame, commaunde my Lorde my father to put me to what tormente you will, for the execution wherof you shall not finde him vnwilling. And I shall not be altogether without ioy, to see him prest and redie to obey your wilfull mynde. But I haue a father in heauen, who (I am sure) will geue me suche pacience, as I shall be able to abide and indure, what affliction soeuer you prepare for me, in whom only is al my hope and trust.” The Queene, so angrie as she could be, commaunded her out of her sight, and to be shutte into a chamber alone, that none might speake vnto her. In which imprisonment shee was not depriued from the companie of her gouernesse, by whose meanes she let the Bastarde vnderstande all her fortune, and she likewise 130 vnderstode what he thought best for her to doe. Who thinking that the seruice which he had done to the king, would stand him in some stede, came vnto the Court with all spede, and founde the king in the fieldes, to whome hee rehearsed the trouth of the facte, beseching his maiestie that vnto him (who was a poore gentleman) he would shewe such fauour and grace as the rigor of the Queene’s maiestie might be appeased, and the mariage fully consumat and ended. The king made him none other aunswere, but saide: “Is it true that thou hast maried her?” “Yea sir,” saide the Bastarde: “by wordes only as yet: but if it please your maiestie, the same may be throughly made perfit.” The king nodded his hed, and for that time geuing him none other aunswere, hee retourned straite to the Castell, and when he was almost there, he called the Captaine of his Guarde, and commaunded him to apprehend the Bastarde. Notwithstanding one of his frendes which knewe the kinge’s countenaunce, willed him to absent himselfe, and to retire to one of his houses, and if the king made serche after him (as he suspected) he would incontinently aduertise him therof, that he might auoyde the realme: and when the king’s displeasure was pacified, he would sende him worde. The Bastarde beleued him, and vsed such diligence as the Captain of the Guarde could not finde him. The king and the Queene councelled together what they might doe with this poore damsell, whiche was their kinswoman, and by the Queene’s aduise it was concluded, that she should be sent home to her father, with the true aduertisement of the whole matter. But before she was sent, diuerse Diuines and learned men of the Clergie, were demaunded their opinions of the priuat mariage, and the Counsell also did sit vpon the same, who concluded that for so muche as the mariage was not celebrated but by wordes, it might easely be vndone, vntill one of them had acquited the other. Which the king commaunded to be performed for the honor of the house wherof she came. But she made them aunswere, that in all thinges she was redie to obey the king, except it were in matter against her conscience, sayinge, that those whome God had coupled together by heauenly aduise, could not bee separated by man’s decree, praying them not to attempt a thing so 131 vnreasonable: for if loue and good will founded vpon the feare of God, were the true and sure knot of mariage, then she was so wel bounde and tied, as neither iron, fier, or water coulde breake that band, but death alone. Wherunto, and to none other constitution, she was determined to rendre her ring and othe, praying them not to speake, do, or proceede, to any thing that were contrarie vnto that: wherin she was so stedfastly resolued, as she had rather die by keping her faith, then liue to denie the same. The Commissioners retorned to the king and Queene the constant answere of the Gentlewoman, and when they sawe no remedie could be found to make her renounce her husband, they conueyed her home to her father, in such pitifull sorte, as by the way she passed, eche man and woman lamented her fortune. And albeit shee had offended, yet the punishement and affliction she suffred was so great and her constancie so firmely bent, as she made her fault to be estemed a vertue. The father receiuing those pitifull newes, would not see her, but sent her to his castell that stoode in a forest, which he had before time builded for an occasion, worthy to be rehersed hereafter, and there kept her in prison a long time, sending worde vnto her, that if shee would forsake her husband, he would take her for his doughter, and set her at libertie. Who for all that offer was firme and constant, and loued her prison the better by obseruing the bond of mariage, then al the libertie of the world, without the hauing of her husband. And it semed by her countenaunce, that al the paynes she had indured were most pleasaunt pastimes, for that she suffred the same for his sake, whome she loued best. What should I speake of men? This Bastarde at length became vnmindeful of her, and fled into Alemaine, where he had many frendes. Whose inconstancie afterwardes appeared so manifest, as the vertue of true and perfit loue outwardly seming to remain in him, was conuerted into the vice of odible ingratitude, whereby it was euident, that the causes that made him so hotte a Suter, were the vglie monsters of Auarice and Ambition, where he fill in loue with an Almaine Ladie, he forgetting to visite her with letters, that for his sake had susteined so great and manifold tribulations. For what rigor or affliction soeuer Fortune offred, coulde neuer before that tyme put 132 awaye the meanes from writing one to an other, but onely the vices before named, and the foolish and wicked loue wherin he suffred him selfe to fall. Which sudden and newe loue so perced the hart of Rolandine, and so fiercely assailed the same, as she could no more content and rest her self. Afterwards vpon the viewe of his wrytinges and letters, seing him to be so chaunged and altered from his accustomed stile, what tormentes then she suffred, they doe knowe that haue felte and tasted the bitter cup of like passions. And yet her perfecte loue would not suffer her to fixe certaine iudgement vpon this aduertisement, and therefore deuised secretly to sende one of her seruaunts whome shee trusted best, to espie, and priuely make serche whether the same were true or not. Whiche her seruaunt being retourned, hee truely tolde her, howe the Bastarde Gentleman was in loue with a Ladie of Almaine, and howe the brute was that he made great sute vnto her for mariage, because shee was very ritche. These newes brought sutche extreme sorrowe and grief to the harte of poore Rolandine, as being not able to abide the bruntes thereof, she fill very sicke. Those whiche vnderstode the originall of her disease, sayde vnto her (in the behalfe of her father) that for so muche as nowe she knewe the great villanie of the Bastarde, shee might iustly forsake hym: persuading her thereunto with the greatest reasons they could deuise. But for all those persuasions, no remedie could be founde to make her chaunge opinion: in whiche her laste tentacion shee declared the great constancie wherewith she was affected: for like as loue was decreased in him: so the same augmented in her, whiche remained and persisted in despite of all the malice of the worlde. For that loue, whiche fayled, and was fledde from him, tourned and retired into her. And when she perceiued her selfe alone fully possessed with that whiche before was deuided betwene them bothe, shee determined to obserue the same vntill death had made an ende of her fatall dayes. Wherefore the goodnes of God (which is perfect charitie and true loue) had pitie vpon her sorrowe, and regarded her pacience in such wise, as within few daies after the Bastarde died in the pursute of the other ladie’s Loue. Wherof Rolandine being dauertised by those which saw him buried, prayed them to trauell 133 with her father by humble sute, that he would vouchsafe to giue her leaue to speake vnto him. Who at their request, (although he neuer spake vnto her before, during the tyme of her imprisonment) incontinently was pleased so to doe. And after that he had herde the discourse of her iuste reasons, in place of rebukes, and his promise made to kill her (which many times he threatened by woordes) he cleped her betweene his armes, and bitterly weping, sayde vnto her: “Daughter, I wel perceiue your vertue and constant mynde, which farre surmounteth any thing that is good in mee, for if there be any faulte or lacke of consideration of your estate, I am the principal occasion thereof: but sith the goodnes of God hath thus ordeined it, I wil make satisfaction for mine offence past.” And afterwardes he sent her home to his house, where he vsed and interteigned her like his derest and eldest daughter. In the ende she was demaunded in mariage by a Gentleman of name and armes, to her estate and bloud not inferior. Who was bothe wise and vertuous, and so louingly regarded Rolandine (whome he many times visited) as he attributed vnto her the prise of prayse for that, which others accompted worthy of rebuke, knowing that her intent of former loue was grounded vpon the foundation of vertue. The mariage was well liked of her father, was acceptable to Rolandine, and was forthwith concluded. True it is that a brother she had, the only inheritour of her father’s landes, who would not agree that she should receiue her childe’s porcion, obiecting that she had disobeied her father. And after the death of the good old man (her father) her brother vsed her very rigorously and cruelly. For her husbande was but a yonger brother, and had wherewithal scarce able to liue: for which want, God bountifully prouided: for the brother whose gredie minde did craue in one daie to be possessor of al, by sodain death was depriued, as well of his sister’s porcion as of al the rest. By whose death she remained the whole inheritor of that honorable house: and afterwardes liued an honorable and stately life, in great wealth and pleasure, and was welbeloued and duetifully intreated of her husband. Finally hauing by her husband two goodly sonnes, she very vertuously brought them vp, and finishing her aged dayes, she ioyfully rendred her soule vnto him, 134 in whom of long time she had reposed her onely trust and confidence. Now good ladies let them come forth that be the common displaiers of women’s inconstancie, and let them bring forth in presence, so good and perfect a husband as this was a good and constant woman, indued with semblable faith and vertue. I am sure to bring this to passe the matter wilbe very difficult: and therfore I had rather discharge them of this my chalenge, then put them to payne to trauell and seeke for such a one. Whose vertuous loue and godlye continuance of the same, is worthye to bee sounded by Trompe of fame to the extreame partes of the Earth. And yet I would aduise yonge Ladies and gentlewomen to beware how they be inamoured, and pursue the trade of loue, contrarie to the will of parentes, who ought in time of infancie to be their guide, and also in riper yeares to procure them mariage according to their worthines: which they may the better and soner do, is by vertuous education they arme and instruct their tender and youthly age.



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

Many yeares are not yet expired sithens there was a Gentlewoman of noble house (whose name I may not disclose), so wise and vertuous as shee was wel beloued and esteemed of her neighbours: her husband (not without good cause) trusted her in al his affaires, which she ordred and gouerned so wisely, as her house by her meanes grew to be one of the richest and best apparelled, that was in the countrie wherein she dwelled. Liuing thus a long time with her husbande, by whom shee had many goodly children, their happie state and felicitie (after which daily insue their contraries) began to decaie, because that he, defatigated with to much quiet, abandoned restfull life, to seeke after troublesom trauell: and had gotten a custome when his wife was a sleepe to rise from her side, and not to returne vntill it was very nere morning. The gentlewoman misliking this maner of life, became very ielous of her husband, and yet made as though she mistrusted nothing: but that spitefull passion entred her stomacke so farre, as in thende shee forgot thaffayres of her house, the diligence of her person, and good gouernment of her familie, like vnto one that verely supposed that (do what shee could) she had lost the fruite of her paine and labour, which was the great loue of her husband, for continuance whereof shee spared no trauaile or toile: but losinge altogether as shee manifestly perceiued, shee grew to be so carelesse of her housholde state and houswiferie, as speedelie appeared the fruites of slouth and negligence: for her husband for his part spent without order, and she staied her trauell from matters of houshold: in such wise as the same was growen to so great penurie, as the high and stately woodes were felled downe to the stubbe, and the goodly maners deliuered into the handes of sir Mathewe Morgage. One of the gentlewoman’s frendes and kinsemen which knew her disease, tolde her of her fault, and rebuked her for that carelesse life: sayinge, that if loue 136 of husband could not make her to haue respecte of housholde profite: zeale and regarde of poore children’s state ought to moue her thereunto. This good councell of her frende touched her very nere, and the pitie of her children at lengthe made her to recouer her spirits, and to assaie by all meanes possible to wynne againe her husbande’s loue. See here the nature of honestie, and condicion of well disposed life: this gentlewoman was infected with the plague of Ielousie (an ordinarie disease in women,) and not without iust cause: for what Grisilde could suffre her wedded husband, assembled in bedde, in depthe of slepe, to rise and runne a straie like a wylde horse, neying after the straied female kinde of that sorte? This good Gentlewoman, I saye, almoste besides her wittes for alienation of her deserued loue, now growen careles of worldly thinges, as you haue heard, is vpon the louing admonicion of her nerest frend, pricked with naturall regarde of Infantes: launching forth that festred sore of Ialousie, serched meanes by policie to wynne that which Ialousie could not get, whiche was her husbande’s loue, whom with curteouse wiuely shame not before assemblie of neighbours, or straungers audience, by huy and crye as many doe, but in domesticall boundes, within the compas of housholde, and within the circuit of secret chambre, shee made him blushe from former life, and to deteste all filthie and beastly factes in future time. Suche be the frutes of a right matrone’s life. Suche be the gaines of the milde and quiet wife. Such a wife, I say, is the honor of her husband’s name, the onely vpholder and restoratife of his renowme and fame. But turne we againe to the experienced wisedome of this Gentlewoman. The next day she diligently watched by false slepe, the time of his vprising from her: and when he was gone, shee rose likewyse, putting her night gowne about her, causing the bedde to bee made, and saying her prayers, she waited the retourne of her husband, who being retired into his chambre, she came before him to kisse hym, and brought him a basen with water to washe his handes: and musing at the vnaccustomed order of his wife, he tolde her that he was come but from the priuie, and therfore neded not to washe. Whereunto she answered, that although it were no great matter, yet cleanly and honest, to washe the handes, being come 137 from an vncleane and stinking place, by which wordes she was desirous to let him vnderstande his follie thereby to hate his dishonest and filthie life. But for all that wyse and pretie taunte hee amended nothing at all: Howbeit she continued that ordre the space of one yere. And when she sawe, that her diligence could not reforme his vsuall trade of lyfe, on a tyme wayting for her husband, which taried longer then he was wont to doe, shee was desirous to seeke hym out, and went from chamber to chamber, till at lengthe shee founde hym a bedde in a back chambre and a sleepe with the moste ill fauoured, foule and filthiest Slutte of her house, such a homely pece and durty beaste, as the lyke was not to be founde in a countrie. The gentlewoman beholding this manerly sight, thought to teache him a lesson howe to remembre the difference betwene the sweete and pleasaunt lodging, with a fayre and duetifull wife, and the vncleanly couching with a stinking and lothsome Queane. Wherupon she caused a burden of Strawe and worne rushes to be brought vnto her, setting the same on fier in the middes of the chamber, but when she sawe her husband almoste choked with the great smother, she waked hym, and plucked him out of the bed by the armes, crying: “fier, fier.” If the husbande were ashamed, and offended with him selfe to be founde in a bedde with such an vncleanly matche, by his faire and honest wife, I referre the iudgement to all indifferent men, that be coupled with like wiues. Then his wyfe said vnto him: “Sir I haue assaied the space of one whole yeare, to withdrawe you from this vile and wicked life, by gentlenes and pacience, and shewed example by washing you without, that you might also clense your selfe within. But when I sawe myne endeuour could take no place, I attempted to helpe my selfe with the element that shall ende and consume vs all: assuring you, sir, that if this doe not amende you, I cannot tell if the seconde time, I be able likewise to ridde you from the daunger that may happen. I praye you sir to thinke and consider that there is no greater dispayre or dispite, then that whiche is conceiued of loue: and had I not set before mine eyes the feare of God, I could not haue practised suche pacience, as I haue done.” The husband very glad, that he had escaped that misfortune, promised her neuer to geue occasion, 138 that shee should take like payne to bring him to order. Whiche promise the Gentlewoman very willingly beleued, and with her husbande’s consent, she expelled out of her house, that which did displease her moste: and from that time forth, they louingly liued together, and the former faultes of this reformed life, was an increase of ioyful and mutuall delightes. I beseche you Gentlewomen (if there be any in the place where this nouell is redde) if God doe geue you such husbandes to beware of dispaire, vntill ye haue assayed all possible meanes to reduce them to good ordre. For there be in the daye XXIIII. houres, in euery of whiche houres a man may chaunge opinion: and a woman ought to accompt her selfe moste happie, if by pacience and long suffraunce she wynne her husbande, excepte fortune and frendes haue procured one that is alreadie perfecte. This example therefore maye serue al sortes of maried women. Let her take example that list (quod Dame Partelot) for it is impossible for me to vse suche long pacience. But let Dame Partelot speake her pleasure, I would aduise all husbandes to lyue honestly with their honest wiues, and doe praie to God to plant mo sutch wiues to store the barren worlde that neuer or seldome bryngeth forth such increase.



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

Another hystorie of like example I thincke meete to bee annexed: which telleth howe in the Cittie of Tours in Fraunce, there was a fayre and honest wyfe which for her vertues was not onelye beloued, but also feared and esteemed of her husband. So it was that he followinge the fragilitie of those men, which be wearie of delicate fare, fill in loue with a woman of the Countrye that kepte his house there, and many times departed from Tours to visite his countrie woman, where he commonlye taried II. or III. dayes before his retorne: and when he came home againe to Tours, he ordinarely did take cold, whereof his good wife had much to do to recouer him. And so sone as he was hole, hee failed not to returne to the place, where pleasure made him forget all his former griefe and sicknes. His wife which aboue all thinges loued his life and tendred his health, seinge him commonly broughte into so poore estate, went into the Countrye, where she founde out the yong woman that her husband loued. Vnto whom (not in choler but with smilinge cheere and countenaunce) shee sayd: “How she knew well that oftentimes her husband repaired thither to visite her, and that she was not well content that she vsed him no more carefully, for when he came home from her he toke so great cold as long time after she had much a doe to recouer him.” The poore woman as wel for the reuerence of the Dame, as for the trouth of the matter, could not denie the facte, and therefore fallinge downe vppon her knees, asked her forgiuenes. The maistresse required to see the bedde and chamber, where her husband laie, which she perceiued to be so cold, ill fauoured, and out of order, as she pitied and lamented the case: wherefore incontinently she sent for a good bedde furnished with sheetes, blanquets and Couerlet, accordingly as she knew her husband loued, causing the chamber to be repaired, hanged, and dressed vp, after the best maner: she gaue her also plate and vessell to serue her husband at meales, together with a punchion of wyne, spice, and other 140 confections: and then prayed the woman to sende home her husbande, no more so sicke, but to interteigne and cherishe him after the most delicate and carefull maner she could. The husband taried not long at home, but after his olde custome wente againe into the countrie to visit his woman, and marueiled much to finde her poore lodging so trimlye garnished, but much more he wondred when calling for drincke he sawe her to bringe him a siluer potte, asking her where she had gotten all those goodes. The poore woman sayde vnto him weeping, that it was his wife, which hauing so great pitie vppon his ill intreatie, had furnished her house, and had committed vnto her the charge and regard of his health. Hee seing the greate humilitie and goodnes of his wyfe, and that shee for the vnkindnes he shewed vnto her, had requited him with that curtesie and louing kindnes, well pondering and regarding his owne frailtie, and the honeste demeanor of his wyfe, afterwards rewarded the poore woman with money, and perswaded her from that time foorth to liue an honest life. And then returned home to his wyfe, confessing vnto her the negligence of his dutie, and that excepte she had vsed that kinde of curtesie and goodnes towards him, it had bin impossible for him to forsake and giue ouer his vngodlye life: and afterwardes vtterly abandoning his behauiour past, they liued together in great rest and quietnes. Belieue me if ye list (to you good wiues I speake) that there be verye few ill husbands, whom the pacience and loue of the wyfe, is able at lengthe to winne, or els they be more harde then stones, which the soft and feble water by continuance of time, is able to weare and make holow: for when the wiue’s lenitie shall enter his carelesse stomacke, and her pacient suffraunce renew remembraunce of dutie, then doth conscience bite, and gnaw the cancred cord that tyeth vp the good consideracion of his office, and regarde to maried life: then doth age abhorre the lewdnes of former life, and commeth home to cherish the holsome Nourice of his pleasant state. Then regardeth he the bande wherewith matrimonie hath bound him, and both at bedde and borde obserueth the ful perfections of the same.



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

In the Church of S. Iohn at Lions, there was a very darke Chappell, and within the same a Tombe made of stone, erected for great personages, with pictures liuely wroughte, and about the same Tombe there doe lie manye worthie knightes of great fame and valiaunce. Vpon a hote Sommer’s daye, a souldiour walking vp and downe the Church had great delight to sleape, and beholding that darcke chappell which was colde and fresh of ayre, thoughte to reste vpon the Tombe as other did, besides whom he layde him downe to sleepe. It chaunced that a good old woman very deuoute, came thether when the souldior was in the depth of his sleepe. And after shee had sayd her deuocions, wyth a wax candle in her hande, she would haue fastened the same vpon the Tombe, and repayring nere the place where the souldiour lay, desirous to sticke it vppon his forehead, thinking it had been the stone, the waxe would take no hold. The old woman, which thought the cause that her candle would not cleaue was the coldnesse of the Image, she warmed the souldior’s forehead with the flame of the candle, to sticke it faste. But the Image which was not insensible, beganne to cry oute, whereat the poore woman was so afraide, as like one straught of her wittes, she brake into exclamacion crying: “A miracle! A miracle!” They within the Church hearing an outcry of a miracle, ranne in heapes as though they had been madde, some to ring the belles, and some to see the miracle: whom the good woman broughte to see the Image, which then was remoued: whereat many began to laughe. But diuers priestes not willing so to give ouer so great a Miracle, determined afterwards to vse that tombe in reuerence, therby to get money.



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

To conclude our nomber of Nouels, I haue thought good (gentle reader) to bringe in place a Doctour and his wyfe, to giue thee a merye farewell: because thou haste hitherto so frendly and pacientlye suffred thy selfe to be stayed in reading of the reste: wherefore with a pleasaunt Adieu in a short and merie tale, which discloseth the subtiltie of two false knaues to beguile a poore Doctor and his wyfe, I meane to end. And therfore do saye, that in the Citie of Bologna in Italie, there was a worshipful Doctor of the Lawes, called Maister Florien, which in other thinges sauing his profession was but a slouen, and of so ill behauiour as none of his facultie the like: who by sauing of many crustes, had layed vp so good store of Crownes, as he caused to be made a very great and costly Cup of siluer, for payment of which Cup he went to the Goldsmithe’s house, and hauinge payed for the siluer, the guilt, and for the fashion, being without his Clarke to carie it home, he prayed the Goldsmith to lend him his man. By chaunce there were newly come to the Citie, two yonge men that were Romaynes, which ranged vp and downe the streates with eares vpright, to view and marke euery thinge done in the same, bearing about them counterfait Iewels and lingots, guilt of S. Martine’s touche, to deceiue him that would playe the foole to buy them. One of them was called Liello and the other Dietiquo. These two Marchantes being at good leasure to wander the streates, beholding the passangers to and fro, by fortune espied the Goldsmithe’s man, who (to set forth the workemanship and making of the cup) caried the same open. These gallants bearing a spite to the cup, more for the siluer than for other malice, purposed to inuent some sleight to get the Cuppe, and a farre of with slie pase, followed the Goldsmithe’s man, of whom they craftelie inquired of the owner of the Cup, and where hee had left maister Florien. When they had concluded vppon their enterprise, Liello (the finest boye of 143 them both) went straight to buy a Lamprey of great price, and hiding the same vnder his cloake, repayred directly to Maister Doctour’s house, where finding his wife of semblable wit and behauiour that her husband was, with vnshamefast face and like grace, said vnto her: “Maistresse, Maister Florien your husbande hath sent you a fishe, and prayeth you to dresse it and to make dinner readie, because he bringeth a company of other Doctoures with him: in the meane time he requireth you, to retorne vnto him the Cuppe againe, whiche hee sent you this morning by the Goldsmithe’s man, because he had forgotten to stampe his armes vppon it.” The woman receyuinge the fishe, franckly deliuered him the Cup, and went about to prepare dinner. Liello (which hunted after gaine but better caught his prey) hied him a pace and conueyed himselfe with speede to the house of one of his Countriemen, and there reioyced with his companion, attending for the comming of the Royster Dietiquo, who taried in the Towne, wayting and viewing what pursute was made after his fellowe. Sone after maister Florien retourned to his house and finding his dinner more delicate than it was wont to be, marueyled, and asked his wyfe who was at all that coste. His wyfe very scornefully aunswered: “Why sir, haue you forgotten that you sente me word this morning that you woulde bring home with you diuers Gentlemen to dinner?” “What” (quoth the Doctour) “I thincke you be a foole.” “I am not” (sayd shee) “and for better witnesse you sent mee this fishe, that I would you had been better aduised before you had bestowed such coste.” “I assure thee:” quoth hee, “I sent thee no fishe, but belike it was some folishe knaue that had forgotten his arrant and mistaken the house: but howsoeuer it was wyse, we at this time will be content to fare well, at other mennes charge.” “Why sir (sayd his wyfe) call your selfe to better remembraunce, for hee that brought the Lampry, came to me for your Cup, by this token that you would haue your armes engrauen vppon the same.” At those words the poore Doctour, after he had discharged three or foure Canons laden with haile shot of scolding words wente out into the streate, running hither and thither demaunding of al them he met, if they saw none carrie a Lampry home to his house. And you would haue said if you 144 had seen the Doctour wyth his hode hanging at one side, that he had been out of his wittes. Dietiquo stode still in a corner, and beheld the Doctour’s frantike order, and albeit that he was sure the stealinge of the Cuppe by Liello his companion was impossible to be knowen, yet being sorye that the Lampry cost so much, determined also to play his part, and seinge the doctour stayed from making further complaintes and pursute, he went home to the Doctour’s house, where smiling with a good grace and bould countenaunce saide vnto his wyfe: “Maistresse Doctour, good newes, the Cup is founde, one whom you know caused the same to be done in sport to bring your husband Maister Florien in a choler, who now is amonges diuers of his frendes iesting at the pleasuant deceipt, and hath sent me hither to fetch their dinner, wherein they praye you to remember the Lamprey, and to come your selfe to take part of the same, bicause they purpose to be mery.” The woman ioyful of those newes, began some what to complaine of the griefe which she had taken for losse of the cup, and deliuered to Dietiquo the rosted Lamprey with the sause, betwene two platters who incontinently hid the same vnder his cloke, and wyth so much speede as he could, went to seeke out his companion Lielo, and their countrimen, which all that while had taried for him: and God knoweth whether those good fellowes did laugh and mocke the poore Doctour, and his wife or not, and when she had made herself gay and trimme to go eate part of the Lamprey, as she was going out she met Maister Florien lookinge lowringlie vppon the matter, to whom she said (smiling like a frumenty pot) “How now, sir, come they hither to dinner? I haue sent you that Lamprey ready dressed.” Then Maister Doctor after faire talke, beganne to discharge his double Cannons, callinge his wyfe Whore, bitch, and beaste, and vnderstandinge that he was twice begiled and could not tell by whom, for spite and despayre he tare of his beard, and the heare of his head, which bruted and knowen in the Citie, the Iesters and pleasaunt felowes bent themselues to laugh, and deuise pastime at the poore begiled Doctour and his wyfe.


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Tome II: Title Page Text


To the Right Worshipful Sir George Howard Knight, Maister of the Quene’s Maiestie’s Armarye.

Every science hauing his peculier commodity, and conducinge to the trauayler and dilligent searcher, a due deserued benefyte (besydes the exercise and shunninge the pestilent monster Idlenes) discloseth the miraculous effect of the Diuinity, and the excellency of his Creature: who breathing life into that sencelesse worke, framed within the mould of humayn Conception, forceth in him by nature and timely institution such capacitye of Science, as not onelye by that knowledge hee glorifyeth his Creator, but also besydes himselfe, helpeth and doth good to other. For profe whereof the Science of that surpassing and delightsome pasture of Theologie, is profitable to teache, argue, reproue, and instruct, that by pacience and consolation, we may conceiue hope of Eternitye. The knowledge of Philosophie cureth the Mynde, auoydeth childish care, expelleth feare, and shunneth fond desyres. O Philosophye, the guide of life, (exclameth Tullie) the inquisitor of Vertue and expeller of vice. Rethorike (affirmeth he) causeth vs to learne that we know not and that we know to teach to other: by the same we exhort, with that we perswade, with that we comfort the afflicted, by it we encourage the astonned, and appease the outragious. Musike, easeth the troubled mynde, lenifyeth sorrowe, comforteth the heauye harted, and erecteth a contemplatyon of heauenlye thinges. Astronomye, reuealeth the nature of the Starres and Planets, presageth dayes and times for the helpe and maintenaunce of life. Poesie teacheth amendment of manners, directeth what things be mete for imitation, and with what detriment wantonnes anoyeth the bodye of man. By meanes of it (Sainct Augustine saith,) he learned many good lessons 150 to profite himselfe and do good to other. To be short euery science is so necessary, as the same taken away, reason is depriued and the Life of Man (of due order and gouernment) defrauded. Thinke (sayth a Greke Oratour) the knowledge of many thinges to bee more precious and excellent, then a Chest heaped vp with abundance of money: for the one quickly fayleth, and the other for euer lasteth. For Scientia (affirmeth hee) is the onelye immortall storehouse of all possessions. Amonges which troupe of Sciences, the knowledge and search of Histories deserueth a place in the chefest rank, and is for example of humaine affayres, a Christal light to shew the pathes of our Auncestors. The same displaieth the counsels, aduises, pollicies, actes, successe, and endes of Kinges, Princes and great men, with the order and discription of time and place. And like a liuely image representeth before our eies the beginning, end and circumstaunce of ech attempt. The same (like a Mistresse of our life) by probable examples stirreth vp our sluggish mindes, to aspyre the eternal glorie of praise and fame, and terrifyeth the desperate and aduenturous, from enterprise of things vnseemely. The same is a passing picture of verity, and an absolute paterne framinge the matter greatter nor lesse then it is. And because I am not ignorant what Encomia innumerable Authors in time past, and wryters of our tyme do attribute vnto that science, and with what titles the Prince of them all decketh the praise of Historicall knowledge, I only refer the worthines to the practisers, and the syngularitye of Histories trauel and delight, to ech willing minde that imploye their leasure and tyme therin. And I for my parte do confesse (that by reading of Histories) I fynd the saying which Tullie aduoucheth of Publius Scipio to bee true: that he was neuer lesse idle, then when he was idle, and neuer lesse alone, then when he was alone, meaning therby, that when he was at best leisure, he was neuer idle, nor when he was alone vnoccupied. For when labor resteth him selfe in me, and leisure refresheth other affaires nothing delights more that vacant tyme, than readinge of Histories in such vulgar speache, wherein my small knowledge taketh repast. And for that my priuat reading might not delyte and 151 pleasure me alone, to auoid the nature of that cankred churle and foe of humain companye, Timon of Athens, that liued but for him selfe, I haue (after my skill) culled some floures and fruites from that pleasaunt store of those my readinges to impart for vniversal gayne and benefite, chosynge rather hereby to followe the liberalitye of Cimon a gentleman of that Cittye, who knowynge hymselfe to bee borne to profite other and for the enriching of his Couutry, not only atchiued maruailous matters for furtherance of Comon wealth, but lefte his Gardens and Orchards open for all men to participate the Fruictes of his pleasure and trauell. Wherby so wel as I can I follow the tract and practice of other, by whose meanes, so manifold sciences in our known toung and translation of Histories be frequent and rife amonge vs. Al which be done after our commodity, pleasure, solace, preseruation and comfort, and without the which we cannot long be sustayned in this miserable lyfe, but shal become not much vnlyke the barbarous, ne discrepant from the sauage sorte. The inuestigatours and bringers to light, wherof direct their eyes and meaning to none other end but for the benefyte of vs and our posteritye, and that our faces be not taynted with the blushing coloure to se the passing diligence of other Countryes by curious imbelishinge of their states with the troublous trauaile of their brayne, and laboursom course of penne. Who altogeather imploi those paynes, that no Science lurke in Corner, that no Knowledge be shut vp in cloysters, that no History remaine vnder the maske and vnknowne attyre of other tongues. Among which crew (I say) I craue an inferiour place and haue vndertaken the vnfolding of sundry Histories from the couerture of foren language for none other purpose and intent but to vniuersal benefyte. Part whereof, two yeares past (almost) were made commune in a former boke, now succedeth a second, furnished withlike ornaments that the other was. The first (by duties chalenge) was addressed to the right honorable the Earle of Warwik, for respect of his honour, and my calling. This the second by lyke band, your worship may iustly clayme as a iust tribute now this moneth of Nouember, payable. Or if your curtesye would not deale so 152 roughly with youre bounden creditoure, yet for duty sake I must acquite and content that which hath so long ben due. The same I offer now not with such vsury and gayne as your beneuolence and syngular bounty, by long forbearing hath deserued, but with such affected will and desyre of recompence, as any man alyue can owe to so rare a friend. Your worship I haue chosen for the firste person of this boke, and the protector of the same (the matter moste specially therin comprised, treating of courtly fashions and maners, and of the customes of loue’s gallantise, and the good or yll successe therof,) because you be an auncient Courtier, and one of the eldest Trayne, and such as hath bene imployed by sundry our Princes, in their affayres of greatest wayght and importance, and for that your selfe in your lustiest tyme (euer bred and brought vp in Court,) haue not ben vnacquainted with those occurrants. If I shoulde stand particularlye to touch the originall of your noble Auncestry, the succession of that renowmed line, their fidelity for graue aduise and counsel, your honowrable education, the mariage of a mighty kyng with one of your sisters, the valiant exploites of your parents againste the Frenche and Scottes, the worthye seruice of your selfe in fielde, wherby you deseruedly wanne the order of Knighthode, the trust which her maiestie reposeth in you, by disposing vnder your charge the store of her Armure, and your worthy preferment to be Maister of her Armary generall. If I should make recitall of your careful industry and painful trauel sustayned, for aunswearing her Maiestye’s expectation, your noble cherishing of the skilful in that science, your good aduancemente of the best to supply the vacant romes, your refusall of the vnworthy: and finally of your modest and curteous dealings in that office, I feare lacke of ability (and not of matter) would want grace and order by further circumstaunce to adde sufficient prayse: yea although my selfe do say nothinge, (but reserue the same in silence to auoyd suspecte of adulation) the very armure and their furnitures do speake, vniuersal testimony doth wonder, and the Readines of the same for tyme of seruice doth aduouch. Which care of things continually resting in your breast, hath atchyued such a tymely 153 diligence, and successe, as when her Maiestye’s aduersary shal be readye to molest, she shal be prest (by God’s assistance) to defend and march. But not to hold your worship long by length of preamble, or to discourse what I might further saye, either in fauour of this boke, or commendation of youre selfe, I meane (for this instant) to leaue the one to general iudgment, and the other to the particular sentence of ech of your acquaintance. Humblye making this onlye sute that my good wil may supplye the imperfection of myne abilitye. And so with my harty prayer for your preseruation to him that is the auctor of life and health, I take my leaue.

From my pore house besides the Tower of London,
the iiij. of Nouember,

Your most bounden

William Painter./p> 154


As shewed curtesie deserueth grateful acquital and frendly fauour forceth mutual merit. So for gentle acceptation of my other boke, I render to thy delite and profit a second Tome, for which I craue but like report: albeit, neither worthy of any: or other then the rude artificer gayneth by tryal of his art. Who hauing committed to his skil and workmanship, some substance of gold, or other precious matter, fashioneth the same with such bungled shape and order, as (besydes disprayse) it carieth the vnablenes of the workman. Howsoeuer (then) the ablenes or perfection herof vniuersally shal content or particularly displease: the boke craueth mild construction, for imploied paines. And yet the same (liking or lothing the licorous diet, and curious expectation of som) shal beare regarde with those that more delite in holsom viandes (voyd of variety) than in the confused mixture of foren drugges fetched farr of. Who no doubt will supply with fauorable brute, default of ablenes and riper skil in the Histories of forren spech. Which is the guerdon (besides publike benefyte) after which I gaze, and the best stipend that ech wel willinge mind (as I suppose) aspireth for their trauel, and briefly to touch what comodity thou shalt reape of these succeding Histories, I deme it not vnapt for thine instruction, to vnfold what pith and substance, resteth vnder the context of their discourse.

In the Nouel of the AMAZONES, is displayed a straunge or miraculous port, (to our present skill) of womens gouernment, what state they subdued, what increase of Kingdome, what combats and conflictes they durst attempt contrary to the nature of that sexe.

In ALEXANDER the greate, what ought to bee the gratitude and curtesye in a puissant Prince, toward his slaue and captiue, and to what perilous plunge he slippeth by exchange of vice for vertue.


In TIMOCLIA and THEOXENA the stoutnesse of two noble Dames to auoyde the beastly lust and raging fury of Tyrantes.

ARIOBARZANES telleth the duty of a subiect to his Prince: and how he ought not to contende with his souerayn in matters of curtesy, at length also the condition of courting flatterers: and the poison of the monster Enuy.

ARISTOTIMVS disgarboyleth the intralles of Tiranny, describing the end whereunto Tirants do attein and how that vice plagueth their posterity.

The two Romayne QUEENS do point (as it wer) with their fyngers, the natures of Ambition and cruelty, and the gredy lust (hidden in that feeble sexe) of souerainty.

SOPHONISBA reporteth the force of beauty, and what poyson distilleth from that licourous sappe to inuenim the hartes of valiant gentlemen.

The gentlewomen of HYDRVSA the ficlenes of Fortune.

The Empresse FAUSTINA, and the countesse of CELANT, what blossoms blome of whorish life, and what fruictes therof be culled.

The letters of the Emperour TRAIANE, do paynt a right shape of vertue, a good state of gouernment, and the comly form of obedience.

Three Amorous Dames reueale the sleights of loue the redines of Nobles to be baited with the amorous hoke, and what desire such infamous strumpets haue to be honored.

Queene ZENOBIA, what the noble Gentlewomen (whom the fates ordayne to rule) ought to do, how farre their magnanimity ought to stretch, and in what boundes to conteine their souerainty.

EVPHIMIA a king’s daughter of Corinth, and the vnfortunate Duchesse of Malfi, what match of mariage Ladies of renowne, and Dames of Princelye houses ought to chose.

Mistresse DIANORA, MITHRIDANES and NATHAN, KATHERINE of Bologna, and SALADINE, the mutual curtesies of noble and gentle Personages, and for what respectes.

Quene ANNE of Hungarie, the good nature and liberalitye of a Quene: and with what industry Gentlewomen of priuy chamber 156 ought to preferre the sutes of the valiant, and of such as haue wel serued the common welth.

ALEXANDRE de Medices, Duke of Florence, the iustice of a Prince, and gouernour to the wronged party, what vertues ought to shine in Courtiers, and with what temperance their insolence is to be repressed.

IVLIETTA and RHOMEO disclose the harty affections of two incomparable louers, what secret sleights of loue, what danger either sort incurre which mary without the aduise of Parentes.

Two Gentlewomen of VENICE, the wisedom and pollicy of Wiues to chastice and restrain the follies of husbands, and the stoutnes they ought to vse in their defense.

The Lord of VIRLE, and the widow ZILIA, geue lessons to Louers, to auoyde the immoderate panges of loue, they prognosticate the indiscretion of promised penance, they warne to beware al vnseemly hestes, lest the penaltyes of couetise and vayn glory be incurred.

The Lady of BOEME, schooleth two noble Barons that with great boast assured themselues to impair her honor.

DOM DIEGO and GINEVRA, record the cruelty of women bent to hate and the voluntarye vow performed by a passionate Knight, with the parfect friendship of a true frend in redresse of a frend’s mishap.

SALIMBENE and ANGELICA, the kindnes of a gentleman in deliuerie of his ennemy, and the constant mynd of a chast and and vertuous mayden.

Mistresse HELENA of Florence discouereth what lothsom lustes do lurk vnder the bark of fading beauty, what stench of filthy affection fumeth from the smoldring gulfe of dishonest Loue what prankes such dames do play for deceit of other, and shame of themselves.

CAMIOLA reproueth the mobility of youth such chiefly as for noble auncestry regarded ritches more than vertue, she lyke a mistresse of constancye lessoneth her equalles from wauering myndes, and not to aduenture vpon vnstedie contracts: with those that care not (vnder what pretence) they com by riches.

The lords of NOCERA fortel the hazardes of whordom, the 157 rage of Ielousy, the difference of duty betwene Prince and subiect, the fruites of a Rebell, the endes of Traitery and Tiranny, and what monstruous successe such vices do attain.

The king of MAROCCO describeth the good nature of the homely and loial subiect, the maruaylous loue of a true and symple Countryman towarde his liege and soueraygne Lorde, and the bounty of a curteous Prince, vpon those that vnder rude attyre, be garnisht with the floures of vertue.

To be short, the contentes of these Nouels from degre of highest Emperour, from state of greattest Quene and Lady, to the homelye Cuntry peasant and rudest vilage girle, may conduce profite for instruction, and pleasure for delight. They offer rules for auoiding of vice and imitation of vertue to al estates. This boke is a very Court and Palace for al sortes to fixe their eies therein, to vew the deuoyres of the Noblest, the vertues of the gentlest, and the dutyes of the meanest. Yt is a stage and Theatre for shew of true Nobilitye, for profe of passing loialty and for tryal of their contraries. Wherfore as in this I haue continued what erst I partelye promised in the first so vppon intelligence of the second signe of thy good wil, a third (by Gods assistance) shal come forth. Farewell.



Authorities from whence these Nouelles be collected: and in the same auouched.



Quintus Curtius.


Titus Liuius.

Dionysius Halicarnassæus.

Appianus Alexandrinus.





Valerius Max.

Trebelius Pollio.




Baptista Campofulgosus.



Gyraldi Cynthio.



Petro di Seuiglia.

Antonio di Gueuarra.


The Palace of Pleasure.



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.

Where the firste booke beegan with a Combate fought, and tried betweene two mighty Citties, for Principality, and Gouernement, the one hight Rome after called the head of the World (as some thinke by reason of a man’s head found in the place where the Capitole did stand) the other Alba. To which Combat sixe Gentlemen of eyther city were appoyncted, and the victory chaunced to the Romayne side: In this second parte, in the Forefront, and first Nouell of the same, is described the beginninge, continuaunce and ende of a Woman’s Common wealth (an History rare and straunge to the vnlearned, ignorant of the world’s fickle ruled stay) which contented with the mighty Princes and puissant Potentates for defence of their kingdome, no lesse than the Carthaginians and Romaynes did for theirs. But as it is no wonder to the skilful that a whole Monarche, and kingdome should be intierly peopled with that Sexe: so to the not well trained in Histories, this may seeme miraculous. Wherefore not to staye thee from the discourse of those straunge and Aduenturous women, diuers be of diuers opinions for the Etimologie of the word: whereof amonges the Grætians be diuers iudgementes. These Amazones were most excellent warriers, very valiaunt, and without man’s aduice did conquer mighty Countreyes, 160 famous Cities, and notable Kingdomes, continuinge of longe time in one Seigniory, and gouernment. These people occupied and enioyed a great part of Asia. Som writers deuide them into two Prouinces, one in Scythia in the North part of Asia: other by the hill Imaus, which at this day is called the Tartarian Scythia, different from that which is in Europa: the other sort of the Amazones were in Libia a prouince of Africa. But because the common sort of Authors doe vnderstand the Amazones to be those of Asia, I meane to leaue of the difference. The Scythians were a warlike people, and at the beginninge of their kingdome had two kinges, by whom they were gouerned. Notwithstandinge the nature of dominion beinge of it selfe ambicious, cannot abide any companion or equall: which caused these two kinges to be at variaunce, and afterwards the matter grew to ciuill warres, wherein the one beinge Victor, two of the principal and chiefe of the contrary faction, called Plinius and Scolopithos, were banished with a great number of their adherentes, al which did withdraw themselues to the limits of Cappadocia in the lesser Asia, and in despite of the Countrey Pesantes, dwelled alonges the riuer of Thermodon, which entreth into the Sea Euxinum, otherwise called Pontus. And they beinge made Lordes of the countrey, and of the places adioyninge, raygned for certayne yeares, vntill the Peasantes and their confederates made a conspiracy agaynst them: and assemblinge by Pollicy, ouercame and sleewe theym all. The newes of theyr death knowen to their Wyues dwellinge in theyr countrey, caused them to conceiue great heauinesse, and dolor extreme: and although they were women, yet did they put on manly courage, and determined to reuenge the death of their husbandes, by puttinge theyr hands to weapons wherewithal they did exercise themselues very ofte: and that they might all be equall, and their sorrow common, they murdred certaine of their husbandes which remayned there, after the other were banished. Afterward beinge altogether, they made a great army, and forsooke their dwellinge places, refusinge the mariage of many suters: and arriuinge in the lande of their enemies (that made small accoumpt thereof, although foretolde of their approche) they sodaynly came vpon them vnprouided, and put them all to the sword. This beinge done, the 161 women tooke the gouernment of the Countrey, inhabitinge at the beginninge alonge the Riuer of Thermodon, where their husbandes were slayne. And although many Authors do differ in the situation of the place where the Amazones did dwell, yet the truth is, that the beginning of their kingdome and of their Habitation was vppon that Riuer. But of their manyfolde conquestes, be engendred diuers opinions declared by Strabo, and others. They fortified themselues in those places, and wan other countreys adioyninge, choosinge amonge them two Queenes, the one named Martesia, and the other Lampedo. These two louingely deuided the army and men of Warre in two partes, eyther of them defendinge (with great hardinesse) the Landes which they had conquered: and to make themselues more dreadfull (sutch was the credite and vanity of men that time) they fayned to be the daughters of Mars. Afterward these miraculous women liuing after this maner in peace and iustice, considered that by succession of time, for want of daughters that might succeede, warres, and time, would extinguish their race. For thys cause they treated maryage with their neyghbors named Gargarians (as Plinie sayeth) with condition, that vpon certayne tymes of the yeare, their husbandes should assemble together in some appoincted place, and vse them for certaine dayes vntyll they were with chylde, whych beinge done and knowen, they should returne home agayne to their own houses. If they brought forth daughters, they norished and trayned them vp in armes, and other manlik exercises, and to ride great Horse: they taught them to run at Base, and to followe the Chace. If they were deliuered of males, they sent them to their fathers, and if by chaunce they kept any backe, they murdred them, or else brake their armes and legs in sutch wise as they had no power to beare weapons, and serued for nothynge else but to spin, twist, and to doe other feminine labour. And for as mutch as these Amazones defended themselues so valiantly in the Warres with Bowe, and Arrowes, and perceyued that their breastes did very much impech the vse of that weapon, and other exercises of armes, they seared vp the right breasts of their yonge daughters, for which cause they were named Amazones, which signifieth in the Greeke tongue, wythout breasts, although some other do geeue vnto that 162 name any other meaninge. Afterwards, increasing by course of time in number and force, they made greate preparation of Weapons and other Engins for the Warres, and leauing their countrey (which they thought was very small) in the keepinge of some, whom they specially trusted, the rest marched abroade, conqueringe and subduinge all those which they found rebellious. And hauing passed the river of Tanais, they entred Europa, where they vanquished many countreys, directing their way towardes Thracia, from whence they returned a while after, with great spoyle and victory, and comminge agayne into Asia, they brought many prouinces vnder their subiection, proceedinge euen to Mare Caspium. They Edified, and peopled an infinite number of good citties, amongs which, according to the opinion of diuers, was the famous Citty of Ephesus, the same beeinge the chiefe of al their Empire, and the principal place that stoode vpon Thermodon. They defended themselues in Warres with certayne Tergats, made in fashion of a halfe Moone, and entring into battaile vsed a certaine kinde of Flutes to geue the people corage to fight, as the Lacedemonians were wont to do. In this wise increased more and more the fame of those women, and so continued vntill the tyme that Hercules, Theseus, and many other valiaunt men liued in Græcia. The sayd Hercules, kinge Euristeus of Athenes commaunded, to proceede with great force of people against the Amazones, and that hee should bringe vnto him the armures of the two Queenes, which then were two sisters, that is to say Antiopa and Oritia. At this commaundement Hercules incoraged with desire of honor and glory, accompanied with Theseus, and other his frends, sayled alongst Pontus, and arriued in most conuenient place vpon the shoare of Thermodon, where he landed in sutch secret manner and with sutch oportunity of tyme, as Oritia, one of the two Queenes was gone out of the countrey with the greatest part of her women, to make Warre, and conquer new Countreyes, in so mutch that he found Antiopa, which doubted nothinge, ne yet knewe of his comminge. Vppon which occasion, Hercules and his people surprisinge the Amazones vnwares, and although they entred into Fielde and did put themselues in defence with sutch diligence as they could, yet they 163 were ouercome, and put theym to flight, and many of them slayne and the rest taken: amongst whom were the two sisters of the Queene, the one named Menalipe whych was Hercules prysoner, and the other Hipolita, the prysoner of Theseus. Certane Historians do say that they were subdued in a pitched field, and appoynted battle. And that afterwards the two sisters were vanquished in singuler Combat. The Queene Antiopa then seeinge this ouerthrow, and the takinge of her sisters, came to composition with Hercules, to whom shee gaue her armure to cary to Euristeus, vpon charge that he shoulde render vnto her, her sister Menalipe. But Theseus for no offer that she coulde make, woulde deliuer Hipolita, with whom he was so farre in loue, that he caried her home with him, and afterward toke her to wyfe, of whom hee had a sonne called Hipolitus. Hercules satisefied of his purpose, returned very ioyful of his victory. Oritia certified of these news, beinge then out of her countrey, conceyued no lesse shame than sorrow, who fearing greater damage, returned speedily with her women, the greater part whereof beinge of her opinion, perswaded Antiopa to be reuenged vpon the Grekes. For which purpose they made great preparation of warre. Afterwards leuyinge so great a number of the Amazones as they could, they sent to Sigilus king of Scythia for succour: who sent them his sonne Pisagoras, with a great number of horsemen, by whose helpe the Amazones passing into Europa, and Countrey about Athenes, they greatly annoyed their ennemy: but Pisagoras entred in quarel agaynst the Queene and her women, by meanes whereof, the Scythians could not fight, but withdrew themselues aside, whereby the Amazones (not able to support the force of the Greekes,) were ouercome, and the greatest part of them cut in peeces. Those which did escape, ran to the Scythians Campe, of whom they were defended: afterward being returned into their countrey, they liued in lesse force, and surety than before. In processe of time the Greekes passed into Asia, and made a famous conquest of the Citty of Troy, when Penthesilea was Queene of the Amazones, who remembringe the iniuries receyued by the Greekes, went with a great army to helpe the Troians: where the Queene did thinges worthy of remembraunce, but the Troianes vanquished, in many Skirmishes al the Amazones 164 were almost slayne. And Penthesilea amonges other, was killed by the hand of Achilles. Wherefore those that remained, returned into their countrey with so litle power (in respect of that they had before) as with great difficulty they susteyned, and defended their old possessions, and so continued till the time that Alexander the great went into Asia, to make warre against the Hircanians. In which time one of their Queenes named Thalestris accompanied with a great number of the Amazones, went out of hir countrey with great desire to see and know Alexander. And approchinge the place where hee was, shee sent her Ambassadour vnto him to the ende that shee might obtayne safe conduct to see him, makinge him to vnderstand how mutch the Renoume of his personage had inflamed hir heart to see him. Whereof Alexander beeinge tolde, graunted hir hys safe conduct. By meanes whereof, after she had chosen out some of hir principall women, leauinge the rest in a certayne place in very good order, she went towardes Alexander, of whom she was curteously entertayned, and then with very good countenaunce, shee offered vnto him the effect of al her ability. Who prayed hir to tell him, if he were able to do her pleasure, and promised that hir request should be accomplished. She aunswered that hir comminge was not to demaund either landes or dominions, (whereof she had sufficient) but rather to knowe and be acquainted with sutch a famous Prince as hee was, of whom she had heard maruellous and straunge report. But the chiefest cause of hir comminge was, to pray him of carnal copulation, that she might be conceiued with childe, and haue an heire begotten of so excellent a Prince, telling him that she was come of noble kinde, and of high parentage, and that he ought not to disdaine hir vse. Promisinge hym that if it pleased the Gods, that she should haue a daughter, she would nourishe it her selfe, and make it her vniuersall Heire, and if it were a Sonne, she would send it vnto him. Alexander asked her if shee woulde go with hym to the warres, which if she would, he promised hir his company. But she excusinge hir selfe, aunswered that she could not goe with hym without great shame, besides the hazardinge the losse of her kingdome. Wherefore she prayed him agayne to satisfie hir request. Finally she kept company with Alexander by 165 the space of XIII dayes in publike and secret sort, which beinge expired, she tooke hir leaue, and returned home to hir prouince. But as it is the property of tyme to consume all thinges: euen so the kingdome and power of the Amazones grew to vtter decay, no one sutch nation at this day to be found. For what monstruous Sexe was this that durst not onely by many armies encountre with puissant nations, but also by single Combate, to fight with that terrible personage Hercules, whose vnspeakable and incredible labours and victories, are by antiquity reported to be sutch, as none but he, durst euer aduenture the like. What nation euer comparable to the Greekes, or the Athenian Citty? and yet these mankinde women for reuenge shronke not to peerce their Prouince. What like besieged towne as that of Troy was? and yet Penthesilea one of their Queenes with hir mayny, indeuoured to rayse the Greekes, that so many yeares had lien before the same. What Queene (nay what Stalant) durst sue for company of meanest man? any yet one of these presumed to begge the matche of the mightiest Monarch that euer ruled the world. The maners and qualities of which nation, bycause they were Women of no common spirite and boldnesse, bee thought good in the front of this second Volume to be described: bycause of dyuers Womens liues plentifull variety is offered in the sequele. And for that some mention hath bin made of the great Alexander: and in what wise from vertue hee fell to vice, the seconde Nouell ensuinge shall geue further aduertisement.



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

Great Monarches and Princes be the Gods, and only Rulers vpon Earth, and as they be placed by God’s only prouydence and disposition, to conquere and rule the same, euen so in victorious battayles and honorable Exploytes, they ought to rule and order their conquestes like Gods: that is to saye, to vse moderate behauiour to their Captiues and slaues, specially to the weaker sort and feminine kynde, whom like Tyrauntes and barbarous, they ought not to corrupt and abuse, but like Christians and vertuous victors, to cherish and preserue their honour. For what can bee safe to a woman (sayde Lucrece, when she was rauished by the Romayn Tarquine) her chastity beinge defiled? Or what can be safe to a man, that geueth himselfe to incontinency? For when he hath despoyled the virgin, robbed the wyfe, or abused the Wydow of their honor and good name, they protrude themselues into many Myseries, they bee impudent, Vnshamefaste, Aduenturous, and Carelesse howe many myschiefes they doe. And when a Prince or Gouerner doth geue himself to licentious life, what mischieues, what rapes, what murders doth hee commit? No frende, no Foe, no subiect, no enemy doth he spare or defende. Contrarywise, the mercifull and continent captayne, by subduinge hys affections recouereth immortall fame, which this History of kinge Alexander full well declareth. And because before we spake of that great conqueror in the Nouell of the Amazones, and of the repayre of Queene Thalestris for vse of his body, at what tyme (as Curtius sayth) he fell from vertue to vice: we purpose in thys, to declare the great contynencie and mercy that hee vsed to Sisigambis, the wife of the Persian prince Darius, and briefly to touch the time of his abused life, which in this maner doth begin. Alexander the great hauing vanquished Darius and his infinite army, and retiringe wyth hys hoast from the pursute and slaughter of the Persians, entred into 167 their campe to recreate himselfe. And beinge with his familiers in the mids of his banket, they sodaynly heard a pitifull cry, with straung howlinge and cryinge out, which did very mutch aston them. The Wyfe and Mother of Darius, with the other noble women newly taken Prisoners, were the occasion of that present noyse, by lamentinge of Darius, whom they beleeued to be slayne, and which opinion they conceyued through one of the Eunuches, which standinge before Their tent doore, saw a Souldier beare a peece of Darius Diademe. For which cause Alexander, pityinge their misery, sent a noble man called Leonatus to signifie vnto them that they were deceyued, for that Darius was liuing. Repayring towards the Tent where the women were with certayne armed men, he sent word before, that he was comminge to them with message from the kinge. But when sutche as stoode at the tent doore saw armed men, they thought they had bene sent to murder the Ladies: for which cause they ran in to them, cryinge that their last houre was come, for the souldiers were at hande to kille them. When Leonatus was entred the Pauilion, the Mother and wife of Darius fell downe at hys feete, intreatinge him that before they were slayne, he would suffer them to bury Darius, accordinge to the order and maner of his Countrey, after the performance of which obsequies, they were content (they sayd) willingly to suffer death. Leonatus assured them, that both Darius was aliue, and that there was no harme ment towardes them, but should remayne in the same state they were in before. When Sisigambis heard those wordes, she suffered her selfe to bee lifted vp from the grounde, and to receyue some comforte. The next day, Alexander with great diligence buried the bodies of sutch of his owne men as coulde be founde, and willed the same to be done to the noble men of the Persians geuinge licence to Darius mother to Bury so many as she liste, after the custome of her Countrey. She performed the same to a few that were next of her kin, accordinge to the hability of their presente fortune, for if shee should haue vsed the Persians Pompe therein, the Macedonians might haue enuied it, whych beinge victors, vsed no great curiosity in the matter. When the due was performed to the dead, Alexander signified to the women prisoners, that hee himselfe would come to 168 visite them, and causinge sutch as came with him to tary without, he onely with Ephestion entred in amongs them. The same Ephestion of all men was best beloued of Alexander, brought vp in his company from his youth, and most priuy with him in all thinges. There was none that had sutch liberty to speke his mynde playnly to the kinge as hee had, whych hee vsed after sutch sorte, that he seemed to doe it by no authority, but by sufferaunce. And as he was of like yeres vnto him, so in shape and personage he did somwhat excell him. Wherefore the Women thinkinge Ephestion to be the kinge, did fall down and worship him (as their Countrey maner was to do to kinges) till sutch time as one of the Eunuches that was taken prisoner, shewed which of them was Alexander. Then Sisigambis fell down at his feete, requiringe pardon of her Ignorance, forsomutch as she did neuer see him before. The kinge tooke her vp by the hande, and sayd: “Mother you be not deceiued: for this is Alexander also.” Then he behaued himselfe after sutch a maner, that hee exceeded in continency and compassion, all the kinges that had bin before his time. He entertayned the two Queenes with those virgins that were of excellent beauty, so reuerently, as if they had bin his sisters. He not onely absteyned from al violation of Darius wyfe, which in beauty excelled all the women of hir time, but also tooke great care and diligence, that none other should procure her any dishonour. And to all the women he commaunded their ornaments, and apparell to be restored: so that they wanted nothinge of the magnificence of their former estate, sauinge only the assured trust that creatures want in misery: which thinges considered by Sisigambis, she said vnto the kinge: “Sir, your goodnes towards vs, doth deserue that we should make the same prayer for you, that whilome we did for Darius: and we perceive you worthy to passe so great a king as he was, in felicity and good fortune, that abound so in iustice and clemency. It pleaseth you to terme me by the name Mother and Queene: but I confesse my selfe to bee your handmayde. For both I conceiue the greatnesse of my state past, and feele that I can bear this present seruitude. It lieth only in your hands how we shal be delt withall, and whether you will make vs notable to the worlde through your clemency or cruelty.” The king comforted them al 169 that he might, and willinge them to be of good cheere tooke Darius sonne in his armes. Thereat the childe was nothing afraid, hauing neuer seene him before, but toke and imbraced him about the necke. He was so moued with the constancy of the childe, as he beheld Ephestion, and sayde, “Oh, I would that Darius had had some part of this childe’s gentlenesse.” Which mercy, continency, humility and constancy of minde in Alexander, if hee had still kept to his latter daies, might haue bin accoumpted mutch more fortunate than he was, when hauinge subdued all Asia from Hellespont to the ocean Sea, he did counterfayte the Triumphes of Bacchus. Or if amonges the residue of his conquests, hee would haue trauayled to ouercome his pride and wrath, beinge vices inuincible. Or in his dronkennes abstayned from the slaughter of his Nobility, and not to haue put to death those excellent men of warre without iudgement, which helped him to conquer so many Nations: but at this time the greatnes of his fortune had not yet altered his nature, although afterwards he could not beare his victories with that Vertue, wherewith he wan them: for when he gaue himself to feasting and banquettinge, he vsed the company of Harlots: amonges whom there was one Thais, who vpon a day in hir dronkennesse, affirmed to Alexander, that he should wonderfully win the fauour of the Greeks, if hee commaunded the Palace of Persepolis to be set on fire. The destruction whereof (she sayd) they greatly desired, for so mutch as the same was the chiefe seat of the kings of Persia, which in times past had destroyed so many great Citties. When the dronken harlot had giuen her sentence, there were other present, who being likewise dronken, confirmed hir wordes. Alexander then that had in him more inclination of heat than of pacience, sayd: “Why do we not then recouer the fauour of the Greekes by settinge this Citty on fier?” They were all chafed with drinkinge, and rose immediately vpon those words to burne that city in their dronkennesse, which the men of warre had spared in their fury. The kinge himselfe first, and after his guestes, his seruauntes and his Concubines, set fier in the Pallace, which beinge builded for the most part of Ceder trees, became sodenly in a flame. When the army that was encamped neere vnto the City, sawe the fire, which they thought had ben kindled by 170 some casualty, they came runninge to quenche the same againe. But when they sawe the kynge there presente increasynge the fyre, they poured downe the water whych they broughte, and helped lykewyse the matter forwardes. Thus the Pallace that was the heade of the whole Orient, from whence so many nations before had fetched their lawes to liue vnder, the Seat of so many kynges, the onely Terror sometime of Greece, the same that had bin the sender forth of 9000 Ships, and of the armes that ouerflowed all Europa, that made Brydges ouer the Sea, and vndermined mountaynes where the Sea hath now his course, was consumed and had his ende, and neuer rose againe in all the age that did ensue: for the kynges of Macedon vsed other Citties which be now in the Persians handes. The destruction of this citty was sutch, that the foundation thereof at thys day could not be found, but that riuer of Araxes doth shew where it stoode, which was distant from Persepolis XX. furlonges, as the Inhabitants rather doe beleue than know. The Macedonians were ashamed that so noble a Citty was destroyed by their kinge in his dronkennes: yet at length it was turned into an earnest matter, and were content to thincke it expedient that the Citty should haue ben destroyed after that maner. But it is certayne, that when Alexander had taken his rest, and was become better aduised, hee repented him of his doinge: and after he had kept company with Thalestris aforesayde, which was Queene of the Amazones, hee tourned his continency and moderation (beinge the most excellent vertues appearinge in any kind of estate) into pride and voluptuousnes, not esteeminge his countrey customes, nor the holsome temperance that was in the vsages, and discipline of kynges of Macedon. For he iudged their ciuill vsage and maner, to be ouer base for his greatnesse, but did counterfaite the height and pompe of the kings of Persia, representinge the greatnesse of the Gods. Hee was content to suffre men there to fall downe flat vppon the grounde and worship him, and accustomed the victors of so many nacions, by litle and litle to seruile offices, couetinge to make them like vnto his Captiues. He ware vpon his head a Diademe of Purple interpaled with white, like as Darius was accustomed: and fashioned his aparell after the maner of the Persians, without scrupulosity of any euil token that is signified, 171 for the victorer to change his habite into the fashion of him whom he had vanquished: and although he vaunted, that he ware the spoyles of his enemies, yet with those spoiles he put vpon him their euil maners, and the insolency of the mynde followed the pride of the apparell. Besides he sealed sutch Letters as he sent into Europa, with his accustomed seale, but all the Letters he sent abroade into Asia, were sealed with Darius Ringe. So it appeared that one minde could not beare the greatnesse that appertayned to two. He apparelled also his frends, his Captayns, and his horsemen in Persian apparell, whereat though they grudged in their mindes, yet they durst not refuse it, for feare of his displeasure. His courte was replenished with Concubins, for he still mainteined three hundred, and threescore that belonged to Darius, and amonge them were flocks of Eunuches accustomed to performe the vse of women. The olde Souldiours of Philip naturally abhorringe sutch thinges, manyfestly withstoode to be infected with sutch voluptuousnes, and strange customes: wherevpon there rose a general talke and opinion throughout the campe, that they had lost more by the victory, than they won by the wars. For when they sawe themselues ouercome in sutch excesse, and forayne customes so to preuayle, they iudged it a simple guerdon of their longe beeinge abroade, to returne home in prisoners maner. They began to be ashamed of their kinge, that was more like to sutch as were subdued, than to them that were victorious: and that of a kinge of Macedon, was become a Prince of Persia, and one of Darius Courtiers. Thus this noble Prince from continency and mercy fell into all kynde of disorder, the originall whereof, hee tooke by delite in Women, which beinge vsed in sort lawfull, be great comfortes and delightes, otherwise, the very springe of all cruelty and mischife.



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.

Qvintus Curtius, that notable Historiographer, remembringe the stout fact of thys Thebane gentlewoman, amonges other the Gestes and Facts of Alexander the great, I haue deemed not altogeather vnfit for this place, to reueale the fine and notable pollicy deuised by her, to rid hir selfe from a couetous caitife of the Thracian kinde, who for lucre rather than loue, for gayne than gratitude, promysed golden Hylles to thys dystressed poore Gentlewoman. But shee in the ende payinge hym hys well deserued hyre, was liked and praysed of Alexander for hir aduenturous facte, beinge not one of the least vertues that shined in him, before hee grewe to excessyue abuse: but bycause Plutarch in hys Treatyse De claris mulieribus, more at large recounteth this Hystory, I haue thought good almost (verbatim) to follow him. Theagenes a Gentleman of Thebes, ioyninge himselfe wyth Epaminondas, and Pelopidas, and with other noble men, for preseruation of their countrey of Greece, was slayne in the chace of his enemyes, as he pursued one of the chyefe of hys aduersaries, the same cryinge oute vnto him: “Whether doest thou pursue vs, Theagenes?” “Euen to Macedonia:” aunswered hee. Thys Gentleman thus slayne had a sister, whose vertue and neerenesse of kin by noble deedes, she well witnessed, although she was not well able to manifest her vertue, for the aduersity of the tyme, but by pacient sufferance of the common calamityes. For after Alexander had won the Citty of Thebes, the Souldiours greedy of Spoyle runninge vp and downe the Citty, euery of them chauncinge vppon sutch Booty as Fortune offred them, it hapned that a Captayne of the Thracian horsmen, a barbarous, and wycked wretch, came to the house of Timoclia, who somewhat neere the kynge both in name, and Kyn, in manners, and conditions, was greatly different from him: hee 173 neyther regardynge the noble house, ne yet the chastity of hir forepassed life, vpon a tyme after supper, glutted and swilled wyth abundance of wine, caused Timoclia forcibly to be haled to his dronken Couch: and not contented with the forced wronge, as they were in talke together, diligently demaunded of her, if she had in no place hidden any Golde or Siluer, and partly by threates, and partely by promise to keepe her as his wyfe, endeuoured to get that he desired: but shee being of ready wit, takinge that offered occasion of her aduersary: “I would to God,” (sayd shee) “that it had beene my lucke to haue died before thys night, rather then to liue: for hitherto haue I kept my body pure and vntouched from all despite, and villany, vntill vnlucky fate forced mee to yelde to thy disordinate lust: but sith my hap is sutch, why should I conceale those thyngs that bee thine owne, thou beinge mine onely tutor, lord and husband (as thou sayst) when the Gods shal please to bringe the same to passe: for by thy will and pleasure must I vnhappy Thebane Wench be ruled and gouerned. Ech vanquished wight must subdue their wyl and minde to their lord and victor: I beinge thy slaue and prisoner, must needes by humble meanes yelde vp my selfe to the vnsaciate hest of thy puissant heart: what shall let me to disclose the pray that thou desirest, that we both, if thy minde be sutch, may rather ioye the same, than the soyly filth of stinkinge Earth, should deuoure sutch spoyle, which for feare, and hope of future fortune, I buried in the bowels of the same. Then marke my words, beare them well in mynde, sith lot had wrought me this mishap. I hauinge plenty of coyned siluer, and of fyned gold no little store besydes sutch Iewels as belonge to the settinge forth of the grace of woman’s beauty, of valure and price inestimable: when I saw this Citty brought to sutch distresse as vnpossible to be saued from takinge, all the same I threw away, or more truely to say, I whelmed altogether in a drye Ditche voyde of water, which my fact fewe or none did knowe. The Pit is couered with a little couer aboue, and thickly round about beset with bushes and thornes. Those goods will make thee a welthy personage, none in all the Campe to be compared to thee, the riches and value whereof, wyl witnes our former fortune, and the state of our gorgeous, and stately house: all those doe I 174 bequeathe to thee, as on whom I thinke them well bestowed.” This greedy Lecher, laughinge to him selfe for this sodaine pray, and thinking that his lady fast holden within his barbarous armes had tolde him truth, routed in his filthy Couch till the day had discouered the morning light, then gapinge for his hoped gaine, he rose and prayed her to tell the place, that he might recouer the same. She then brought him into her Garden, the doore whereof she commaunded to be shut, that none might enter. He in his Hose and Doublet, went downe to the bottome of the Pit: when Timoclia perceiued him down, she beckned for certaine of her maids, and rolled downe diuers great stones with her own hands, which of purpose she had caused to be placed there, and commaunded hir maides to tumble downe the like. By which meanes she killed that lecherous and couetous vilayne, that rather carked to satisfie his desire, than coueted to obserue hys promisd faith. Which afterwardes beinge knowen to the Macedonians, they haled his body out of the Pit: for Alexander had made proclamation, that none should dare to kill any Thebane, and therefore apprehendinge Timoclia, they brought her to the kinge, accusinge her for doinge that murder: who by her countenaunce, and stature of body, and by her behauiour and grauity of maners, beheld in her the very image of gentle kinde. And first of al, he asked her what she was: to whom boldly with constant cheere, she stoutely answered: “Theagenes was my brother (said she) who beinge a valiaunt Captaine, and fightinge against you for the common safegard of the Greeks, was slaine at Chæronea, that we together might not sustaine, and proue the miseries, wherewith we be now oppressed: but I rather than to suffer violence vnworthy of our race and stocke, am in your maiestie’s presence brought ready to refuse no death: for better it were for mee to dye, than feele sutch another night, except thou commaunde the contrary.” These wordes were vttered in sutch rufull plight, as the standers by could not forbeare to weepe. But Alexander sayinge, that hee not onely pitied the woman endewed with so noble wit, but mutch more wondred at her vertue and wisedome, commaunded the Princes of his army, to foresee no wronge or violence to be done to the Gentlewoman. He gaue order also, that Timoclia and al 175 her kin, should be garded and defended from slaughter or other wronges. What say yee (good Ladies) to the heart of this gentlewoman that durst be so bolde to stone this Caytife wretch to death, and for wronge done to her bodie til that tyme vntouched, to wronge the corps of him that sauoured of no gentle kinde: who rather for earthly mucke, than for loue of suche a pleasaunt prisoner, exchaunged Loue for Gold? but note hereby what force the puritie of mynde vnwilling of beastlye lust doth carye in it selfe: a simple woman voyde of helpe, not backed with defence of husbande’s ayde, doth bring a mighty Captayne, a strong and lofty lubber to enter into a Caue, and when shee saw her best aduauntage, thacked him with stones, vntil he groaned foorth his grieslye ghost. Such is the might and prowesse of chastitie: no charge to burdennous or weightye for suche a vertue, no enterprise too harde for a mynde so pure and cleane.



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.

A question is mooued manye times among learned men and Gentlemen addicted to the seruice of the Court, whether commendable deede, or curteous and gentle fact done by the Gentleman or Courtier towardes his soueraine Lord, ought to be called Liberalitie and Curtesie, or rather Band and Dutie. Which question is not proponed with out greate reason. For so muche as ech man doth know, that a seruaunt do what he can for his Mayster, or lette him imploy the vttermost of his endeuour, al the labor and trauayle he bestoweth, all trouble and daunger which he sustayneth, is to little, yea and the same his very bounden duty. Haue wee not red of many, and knowne the lyke that to gratifye their prince and mayster, haue into a thousande daungers and like number of deaths, aduentured their own propre liues? Marcus Antonius that notable oratour beying accused of incest, and broughte to the iudgement seate, his accusers required that his seruante should be called, for because he bare the candel before his maister, when hee went to do the deede, who seyng his mayster’s life and death to depend vpon his euidence, vtterly denied the facte: and notwithstanding that he was whipped, racked, and suffered other cruel tormentes, would rather haue loste his lyfe than accuse and betray his mayster. I could alleage and bring forth in place, the example of Mycithus, the seruaunt of one Anaxilaus Messenius, the fidelitye of the seruauntes of Plotinus Plancus, the faythful mayden called Pythias, that waited vpon Octauia, the chast Empresse and wife of that monster Nero, with diuers other: but that I thinke they be to the learned wel knowen, and of the vnlearned the vertue of seruauntes fidelitye is greatly liked and commended: but if the faythful seruaunt know that his desertes do gayne the grace and fauoure of 177 his mayster, what trauayles, what payns ought he to suffer to mayntayne his reputation and to encrease the fauour obtayned? for as the common prouerbe and wise sayinge reporteth, that the vertve is no lesse to conserue Frendship gotten, than the wisedome was great to get and win the same. Other there be which do contrarily contend, and with very stronge argumentes do force to proue that al which the seruant doth besydes his duetye and beyond the obligation, wherein he is bound to his mayster, is and ought to be termed, Liberality, which is a matter to prouoke his patrone and mayster to deuyse new benefytes for his seruaunte: and that at al tymes when a man doth his duty and seruice appoynted by his mayster, executing the same with all diligence and industry requisite therunto, that then he deserueth to be rewarded. Which is not to be discommended. For no true and honest seruant will refuse any trauayle for commodity of his mayster, ne yet discrete and wyse mayster will leaue the same vnrewarded according to that portion of ability wherewith he is possessed: but leauinge questions and disputacion aside procede we to that which this Nouel purposeth. I say then that there was in the kyngdome of Persia, a kyng called Artaxerxes, a man of most noble mynde, and of great prowesse in armes. This was he that firste beynge a priuate man of armes, not hauing as yet obtayned any degree in the fielde, kylled Artabanus the last kinge of the Arsacides, whose souldiour he was, and recouered the Persian kingdome, which was then in the Macedonians subiection (by the death of Darius, which was vanquished by Alexander the great) the space of 538 yeares. This noble gentleman hauing deliuered all Persia, and created king, kept a princely court, wherin were many magnificent factes and vertuous deedes exercised and done, and hee himselfe moste noble in all affayres, besydes the tytles which hee worthelye wanne in many bloudy battels, was estemed throughout the east part of the worlde, to be the most liberal and magnanimous prince that in any age euer raigned: in feastes and bankets he was an other Lucullus, royally entertaining strangers that repayred to his court. This king had a Senescall or steward, named Ariobarzanes, whose office was, that when the king made any pompous or publike feast, to mount vpon a whyte Courser with a Mace of gold in 178 his hand, and to ride before the esquiers and Sewers for the king’s own mouth, and those also that bare the king’s meat in vessel of gold couered with fine napery, wrought and purled with most beautiful workemanship of silke and gold. This office of Senescall was highly estemed and commonly wont to be geuen to one of the chiefest Barons of the Realm. Wherfore this Ariobarzanes besydes noble Linage and incomparable ritches was the most curtious and liberal knight that frequented the court whose immoderate expence was such, as leuing the mean, wherin al vertu consisteth, by reason of outrage which many times he vsed he fel into the vice of prodigality, wherby he semed not only in curtious dedes to compare with the king, but also contended to excel him. One day the king for his recreation called for the chessebord, requiring Ariobarzanes to kepe him company, which game in those dais among the Persians was in greate vse, in such wise as a player at the Chestes was no les commended then amonge vs in these dais an excelent Oratour or famous learned man: yea and the verye same game in common vse in the Court, and noble mens houses of oure time, no doubt very commendable and meete to be practised by all states and degrees. The king and Ariobarzanes being sette downe at a table in the greate Hall of the Pallace, one right against another, accompanied with a great number of noble personages and Gentlemen lookinge vpon them, and marking their playe with greate silence, they began to counter one another with the Chesse-men. Ariobarzanes, whether it was that he played better than the kinge, or whether the kinge took no heede to his game, or what so euer the occasion was, hee coursed the king to such a narow straight, as he could not auoid, but within two or three draughtes, he must be forced to receiue the Checkemate: which the king perceiuing, and considering the daunger of the Mate, by and by there grew a greater colour in his face than was wont to bee, and imagininge how hee mighte auoyde the mate, besides his blushing he shaked his head, and fetched out diuers sighes, whereby the standers by that marked the game, perceiued that hee was dryuen to his shiftes. The Senescall espyinge the kinge’s demeanour, and seeing the honest shamefastenesse of the king, would not suffer him to receiue such a foyle, but made a draught by remouing his 179 knighte backe, to open a way for the King to passe, as not onely hee deliuered him from the daunger of the Mate, but also lost one of his Rockes for lacke of taking hede: whereupon the game rested equall. The King (who knew the good nature and noble mynde of his seruaunt, by experience of the same in other causes) fayning that hee had ouerseene the takinge of hys rocke, gaue ouer the game, and rysing vp, sayd: “No more Ariobarzanes, the game is yours, and I confesse my selfe ouercome.” The king thought that Ariobarzanes did not the same so much for curtesie, as to bynde his soueraigne lorde and king by benefit to recompence his subiecte’s like behauiour, which he did not very well like, and therfore would play no more. Notwithstanding the king neither by signe or deede, ne yet in talke, shewed any token of displesure for that curtesie done. How be it, he would that Ariobarzanes in semblable act, shoulde abstayne to shewe himselfe curteous or liberal, except it were to his inferiours and equalles, because it is not conuenient for a seruant to contend with his maister in those qualityes. Not long after the kinge beyng at Persepolis (the principal citye of Persia,) ordayned a notable day of hunting of diuers beastes of that countrey breede: and when all thinges were in a readinesse he with the most part of his Court repayred to the pastyme. When they were come into the place, the king commaunded a woodde to be set about with nettes and toiles, and appointed eche man where he should stand in most conuenient place, and he himselfe attended with the dogs and hornes to cause the beastes to issue forth oute of their Caues. And beholde, they raysed a wyld beast, which with greate swyftnesse leapte ouer the nettes and ranne awaye with greate spede. The King seyng that strange beast, purposed to pursue him to death: and makinge a signe to certayne of his noble men which hee desired to keepe him companye hee gaue the rayne and spurre to his horse, and followinge the chace Ariobarzanes was one of those noble men which pursued the game. It chaunced that day the kinge rode vpon a horse, that was the swiftest runner in his stable, which hee esteemed better then a thousande other, as wel for his velocity, as for his readinesse in factes of armes. Thus following with bridle at will, the flying rather then running beast, they wer deuided far from their 180 company, and by reason of the kinge’s spedines, none was able to followe him but Ariobarzanes, and behind him one of his seruants vpon a good horse which alwaies he vsed in hunting matters, which horse was counted the beste in all the court. And thus following the chace with galloping spede Ariobarzanes at length espyed the horse of his soueraigne lord had lost his shooes before, and that the stones had surbated his hoofes, wherupon the kyng was driven either to geue ouer the chace or else to marre his horse: and neyther of these two necessities but would haue greatly displeased the kinge, that perceiued not his horse to be vnshod. The Senescall did no sooner espye the same but sodainly dismounted from his owne, caused his man to deliuer vnto him a hammer and nailes (which for such like chaunces he always caried aboute him) and toke of two shoes from the horse feete of his good horse, to set vpon the kynge’s not caring for his own rather then the king should forgoe his pleasure: wherfore hallowing the kinge which was earnestly bent vppon the chace, tolde him of the daunger wherein his horse was for lacke of shoes. The kinge hearinge that lighted from his horse, and seyng two shooes in Ariobarzanes manne’s hand, thinking that Ariobarzanes had brought them with him, or that they were the shoes which fell from his owne, taried stil vntil his horse was shod. But when he saw the notable horse of his senescall vnshod before, then he thought that to be the curtesie of Ariobarzanes, and so did let the matter passe, studying by lyke meanes to requite him with Curtesie, which forced himselfe to surmount in the same: and when his horse was shod, he gaue the same to Ariobarzanes in rewarde. And so the king chose rather to lose his pleasure of hunting, then to suffer himselfe by his man to be excelled in curtesie, wel noting the stoutnesse of Ariobarzanes mynde which semed to haue a will to contend with his prince in factes renoumed and liberal. The senescall thought it not conuenient to refuse the gyft of his liege lord, but accepted the same with like good will as before he shod his horse, still expectinge occasion how he might surpas his master in curtesie and so to bind him to requite the same againe. They had not taried there long, but many of those that followed did ouertake them. And then the king got vp vpon a spare horse and 181 returned to the city with all his company. Within few daies after the king by proclamation sommoned a solemne and pompous iust and tryumph at the tilt, to be done vpon the kalends of May next ensuing. The reward appointed the victor and best Doer in the same was a couragious and goodly curser with a brydle and byt of fine gold rychly wrought, a saddle correspondent of passing great pryce, the furniture and trappers for the brydle and saddle of like cost and workmanship, the rayns wer twoo chaynes of golde very artificially made, the barbe and couerture of the horse of cloth of golde fringed round about with like gold, ouer which horse was placed a fine sword the hiltes an chape wherof together with the scabard wer curiously beset with Pearles and Precious stones of Inestimable value. On the other syde was placed a very beautiful and stronge Mace, verye cunninglye wrought with damaskin. The Horse was placed in forme of triumph, and besydes the same all the Armours and weapons meete for a Combatante Knyghte, riche and fayre without comparison. The Placart was marueylous and stronge, the Launce was guilte and bygge, as none greatter in all the troupe of the chalengers and defendauntes. And all those furnitures were appoynted to be geuen to him that should do best that day. A greate assemblye of straungers repayred to that solemne feast, as wel to doe deedes of Armes, as to looke vpon that pompous tryumph. Of the kynge’s Subiectes there was neither knyghte nor baron, but in ryche and sumptuous apparell appeared that day, amonges whom, of chiefest fame the kynge’s eldest sonne was the fyrst that gaue his name, a Gentlemanne very valorous, and in deedes of armes of passing valour brought vp from his very youth, and trayned in the fielde and other warlyke exercises. The Senescall also caused his name to be inrolled: the like didde other knyghtes as wel Persians as other straungers: for that the proclamation was general, with safeconducte for all forrayners, noble men or other that should make their repayre. The king had elected three auncient Barons to be Judges and Arbitratours of their deedes, sutch as in their tyme for their owne personages had bene very valiant, and in many enterprises well exercised, men of great discretion and iudgement. Their stage was placed in the middes of the Listes, to viewe and 182 marke the Counterbuffes and blowes of the Combatants. We nede not to remember, ne ought to forget the number of ladies and gentlewomen assembled out of al partes to behold and view this triumphe, and peraduenture eche knight that ran that day was not without his amorous lady to note and behold his actiuity and prowesse, euery of them wearing his ladie’s sleeue, gloue, or other token, according to the common custome in such lyke cases. At the day and houre appoynted appeared all the Combatantes in greate Tryumphe and Pompe, with rych furnitures as wel vpon them selues as vpon their horse. The triumphe begon and many Launces broken in good order, on either sides Iudgement was geuen generally that the Senescall Ariobarzanes had wonne the prise, and next vnto him the kinge’s sonne did passe them all, for that none of al the combatantes hadde broken past V. staues, and the sayd yong Gentleman had in the face of his aduersary broken in pieces IX. at the least. The Senescall brought for the eleuen launces, which were couragiously and houourably broken, by breaking of the last staffe which was the twelfth he was iudged most worthy. The condition wherof was, that euery combatant should runne twelue courses with twelue launces, and he whiche should first breake the same should without doubt or further controuersie obtayne the reward. What pleasure and delight the king did conceiue to see his sonne behaue him selfe so valiantly that day, I referre to the iudgement of fathers, that haue children endued with like actiuity. But yet it greued him that the Senescall had the greater aduantage, and yet being a matter so wel knowen and discerned by the Iudges, like a wyse man he discembled his countenaunce. On the other syde, the yong Gentleman which did combate before his amorous ladye was very sorrowful for that he was voyde of hope of the chiefest honour. So that betwene the father and the sonne, was one very thought and desire: but the vertue and valor of the Senescall did cut of eythers greefe. Now the tyme was come that the Senescall should runne with his last staffe mounted vppon the horse which the king gaue him when he was an huntyng, who knowing wel that the king was very desirous that his son should excell all men, perceyued likewyse the inflamed mynd of the yonge gentleman for the presence of his lady to 183 aspyre the honour, purposed to geue ouer the honour atchieued by himselfe, to leaue it to the sonne and heir of his lorde and mayster: and yet hee knewe ful wel that those his curtesies pleased not the king, neuerthelesse he was determined to perseuer in his opinion, not to bereue the king of his glory, but onely to acquire fame and honour for him selfe. But fully mynded that the honour of the tryumphe should be geuen to the kynge’s sonne, he welded the staffe within his reste, and when he was ready to encounter (because it was he that shold come agaynst him,) he let fal his launce out of his handes, and said: “Farewel this curtesie of myne, sith it is no better taken.” The kinge’s sonne gaue a gentle counterbuffe vpon the Placarde of the Senescall, and brake his staffe in many pieces, which was the X. course. Many heard the wordes that the senescall spake when his staffe fell out of his handes, and the standers by well perceiued that he was not minded to geue the laste blowe, bicause the king’s sonne might haue the honor of the triumph, which he desyred so much. Then Ariobarzanes departed the listes: and the Prince withoute any great resistance wan the prise and victory. And so with sounde of diuerse instruments the prise borne before him, he was throughout the citie honorably conueyed, and among other, the senescall still waited vpon him with mery countenance, greatly praising and exalting the valiance of the yong Prince. The king which was a very wise man, and many times hauing experience of the chiualry of his Senescall at other Tourneis, Iustes, Barriers, and Battels, and always finding him to be prudent, politike, and for his person very valiant, knewe to well that the fall of his launce was not by chaunce but of purpose, continued his opinion of his Senescall’s liberalitye and courage. And to say the trouth, such was his exceding curtesie, as fewe may be found to imitate the same. We daily se that many be liberall of Fortune’s goods inuestinge some with promotion, some with apparel, Gold and Siluer, Iewels and other things of great value. We see also noble men, bountifull to theyr seruaunts, not onely of mouable thiugs, but also of Castels, Lands, and Cities: what shal we speake of them, which will not sticke to sheade their owne bloud, and many tymes to spende theire lyfe to do their frendes good? Of those and such like examples, all 184 recordes be full: but a man that contemneth fame and glorye or is of his owne honour liberal, is neuer founde. The victorious Captayne after the bloudy battayle, giueth the spoyle of his ennemies to his souldiours, rewardeth them with prisoners, departeth vnto them the whole praye, but the glory and honor of the battel he reserueth vnto himselfe. And as diuinely the father of Romaine eloquence doth say, how that philosophers by recording the glorious gestes and dedes of others, do seke after glory themselues. The king was displeased with these noble dedes and curtesie of his Senescall, because he thought it not mete or decente that a Subiecte and seruant should compare with his lord and mayster: and therfore did not bare him that louing and chereful countenance which hee was wont to doe. And in the ende, purposed to let him know, that he spent his brayns in very great errour, if he thought to force his mayster to be bound or beneficial vnto him, as herafter you shal perceiue. There was an auncient and approued custome in Persia, that the kinges yerely did solemnise an Anniuersarye of theyr Coronation with great feast and tryumph, vpon which day all the Barons of the kyngdome were bounde to repayre to the courte where the king by the space of VIII. dayes with sumptuous bankets and other feastes kept open house. Vpon the Anniuersary day of Artaxerxes’ coronation, when al thinges were disposed in order, the king desirous to accomplish a certayne conceiued determination commaunded one of his faythful chamberlaynes spedely to seeke out Ariobarzanes, which he did, and telling him the kinge’s message, sayde: “My lorde Ariobarzanes, the king hath willed me to say vnto you, that his pleasure is, that you in your own person euen forthwith shal cary your white steede and Courser, the mace of gold, and other ensignes due to the office of Senescal vnto Darius, your mortal enemy, and in his maiestye’s behalfe to say vnto him, that the kynge hath geuen him that office, and hath clerely dispossessed you thereof.” Ariobarzanes hearing those heauy newes, was like to dye for sorrowe, and the greatter was his grief, because it was geuen to his greatest enemy. Notwithstanding lyke a gentleman of noble stomacke, would not in open appearaunce signifie the displeasure which hee conceiued within, but with mery cheare and louing countenaunce 185 answered the chamberlayne: “Do my right humble commendations vnto the king’s maiesty, and say vnto him, that like as he is soueraine lord of all this land, and I his faythful subiecte, euen so mine office, my lyfe, landes and goods, be at his disposition, and that willinglye I wil performe his hest.” When he had spoken those woordes hee rendred vp his office to Darius, who at diner serued in the same. And when the king was set, Ariobarzanes with comly countenance sate downe among the rest of the lords, which sodenlye deposition and depriuation, did maruelously amaze the whole assembly, euery man secretly speking their mind either in praise or dispraise of the fact. The king all the dinner time, did marke and note the countenance of Ariobarzanes, which was pleasaunt and merie as it was wont to be, whereat the kinge did greately maruell: and to attaine the ende of his purpose, hee began with sharpe wordes in presence of the nobilitie to disclose his discontented minde, and the grudge which he bare to Ariobarzanes: on the other syde the king suborned diuers persons diligently to espy what he saide and did. Ariobarzanes hearing the king’s sharpe wordes of rebuke, and stimulated by the persuasion of diuers flatterers, which were hired for that purpose, after he perceiued that his declared pacience, that his modest talke and his long and faithful seruice, which he had done to the king, his losse and hinderance sustained, the perill of his life, which so many tymes he had suffred preuayled nothing, at length vanquished with disdayne he brake the bridle of pacience, and sorted out of the boundes of his wonted nature, for that in place of honoure he receiued rebuke, and in stede of reward was depryued of his office, began in a rage to complayne on the king, terminge him to bee an vnkynd prince, which among the Persians was estemed a worde of great offence to the maiesty: wherefore faine he would haue departed the court, and retired home to his countrey, which he could not doe without speciall licence from the king, and yet to craue the same at his handes, his heart would not serue him. Al these murmures and complaintes which he secretly made, were tolde the king, and therefore the king commaunded him one day, to be called beefore him, vnto whome he sayd: “Ariobarzanes, youre grudging complaintes and enuious quarels, whyche you 186 brute behinde my backe throughout my Courte, and your continuall rages outragiously pronounced, through the very Windowes of my Palace haue pierced mine eares, whereby I vnderstand that thing which hardly I would haue beleued: but yet being a Prince aswell inclined to fauoure and quiet hearinge of all causes, as to credite of light reportes, would faine know of you the cause of your complaints, and what hath moued you therevnto: for you be not ignorant, that to murmure at the Persian king, or to terme him to be vnkinde, is no lesse offence than to blaspheme the Gods immortall, bicause by auncient Lawes and Decrees they be honored and worshipped as Gods. And among all the penaltyes conteyned in our lawes, the vyce of Ingratitude is moste bytterlye corrected. But leauing to speake of the threates and daungers of our lawes, I pray you to tell me wherin I haue offended you: for albeit that I am a king, yet reason persuadeth me, not to giue offence to anye man, which if I should doe (and the Gods forbid the same) I ought rather to be termed a tyrante than a Kinge.” Ariobarzanes hearing the king speake so reasonably, was abashed, but yet with stoute countenaunce he feared not particularly to remember the woordes which he had spoken of the king, and the cause wherefore he spake them. “Wel (said the king) I perceiue that you blush not at the words, ne yet feare to reherse the same vnto my face, wherby I do perceiue and note in you a certayne kind of stoutenes which naturally procedeth from the greatnes of your mynd. But yet wisdome would that you should consider the reason and cause why I haue depryued you from your office. Do you not know that it appertaineth vnto me in all myne affaires and deedes to be liberal, curtious, magnificent, and bounteous? Be not those the virtues that make the fame of a Prince to glister among his subiectes, as the Sunne beames doe vpon the circuit of the world? Who oughte to rewarde wel doers and recompence ech wight whiche for any trauell haue al the dayes of their lyfe, or els in some perticuler seruice vsed their endeuor, or aduentured the peril of their life, but I alone being your soueraygne Lord and Prince? To the vertuous and obedient, to the Captayne and the Souldiour, to the pollityke and to the learned and graue, finally, to ech wel deseruing wight, I know how to vse the noble princely vertues of curtesie and liberality. They be the 187 comly ensignes of a kynge. They be the onely ornaments of a prince. They be my perticular vertues. And will you Ariobarzanes, being a valiaunt Souldioure, a graue counsayler, and a pollityke personage, goe about to dispossesse me of that which is myne? Wil you whiche are my seruaunte and Subiecte of whome I make greateste accompt and haue in dearest estimation, vpon whom I did bestow the greatest dignity within the compas of my whole Monarchie, grate benefite at my handes, by abusinge those vertues whiche I aboue other do principally regard? You do much abuse the credite which I repose in youre greate wisedome. For hee in whome I thought to fynde most graue aduise, and deemed to bee a receptacle of al good counsel, doth seeke to take vppon him the personage of his Prince, and to vsurpe the kinglye qualitie which belongeth only vnto him. Shal I be tyed by your desertes, or bound by curteous deedes, or els be forced to rendre recompence? No, no, so long as this imperiall crowne shal rest on royal head, no subiect by any curteous deede of his, shal straine vnwilling mynde, which mente it not before. Tel me I beseech you what reward and gift, what honour and preferment haue I euer bestowed vpon you, sithens my first arriual to this victorious raigne, that euer you by due desert did bynde me thereunto? Which if you did, then liberal I cannot be termed, but a slauish Prince bound to do the same, by subiects merite. High and mightie kinges doe rewarde and aduaunce their men, hauing respect that their gift or benefite shal exceede deserte, otherwise that preferment cannot bee termed liberal. The great conquerour Alexander Magnus wan a great and notable Citie for wealth and spoyle. For the principalitie and gouernment wherof diuers of his noble men made sute, alleaging their paynful seruice and bloudy woundes about the getting of the same. But what did that worthy king? was he moued with the bloudshead of his captaynes? was he styrred with the valiaunce of his men of warre? was he prouoked with their earnest sutes? No trulye: But calling vnto him a poore man, whome by chaunce he found there, to him he gaue that riche and wealthy citie, and the gouernmente thereof, that his magnificence and his liberalitie to a person so pore and base, might receiue greatter fame and estimation: and to declare that the conferred benefyte didde not 188 proceede of deserte or dutie, but of mere liberalitie, very curtesie, true munificence and noble disposition, deriued from princely heart and kinglye nature. Howbeit I speake not this that a faythful seruaunt should be vnrewarded (a thing very requisite) but to inferre and proue that reward should excell the merite and seruice of the receiuer. Now then I say, that you going about by large desert and manifold curtesie to binde mee to recompence the same, you seeke thy next waye to cut of the meane whereby I should be liberall. Do not you see that through your vnaduysed curtesie I am preuented, and letted from myne accustomed liberalitye, wherewith dayly I was wont to reward my kynde, louing and loyal seruauntes, to whom if they deserued one talent of golde, my manner was to geue them two or three: if a thousand crownes by the yeare, to geue them V. Do you not know that when they loked for most rewarde or preferment, the soner did I honour and aduaunce them? Take heede then from henceforth Ariobarzanes, that you liue with such prouidence and circumspection as you may bee knowen to be a seruant, and I reputed (as I am) for your souerayne Lord and mayster. All Princes in myne opinion requyre two thinges of theire seruantes, that is to say, fidelity and loue, which being hadd they care for no more. Therefore he that list to contende with me in curtesie, shal fynde in the ende that I make smale accompte of him. And he that is my trusty and faithful seruant, diligente to execute and do my commaundementes, faythful in my secret affayres, and duetyfull in his vocation, shal truely witte and most certaynlye feele that I am both curteous and liberall. Which thou thy selfe shal wel perceiue, and be forced to confesse that I am the same manne in dede, for curtesie and liberalitye whom thou indeuorest to surmount.” Then the king held his peace. Ariobarzanes very reuerentlye made answear in this manner: “Most noble and victorious Prince, wel vnderstanding the conceiued grief of your inuincible mind pleaseth youre sacred maiesty to geue mee leaue to answer for my self, not to aggrauate or heap your wrath and displeasure (which the Gods forbid) but to disclose my humble excuse before your maiesty that the same poized with the equall balance of youre rightful mind, my former attempts may nether seme presumptuous, ne yet my wel meaning 189 mind, well measured with iustice, ouerbold or malapert. Most humbly then, prostrate vpon my knees I say that I neuer went about, or else did think in mind to excede or compare with your infinite and incomprehensible bounty, but indeuored by al possible means to let your grace perceiue, and the whole world to know that there is nothing in the world which I regard so much as your good grace and fauour. And mighty Ioue graunt that I do neuer fal into so great errour to presume for to contend with the greatnes of your mynde: which fond desire if my beastly mynd should apprehend, I myghte be lickned to the man that goeth aboute to berieue and take away the clerenesse of the Sun, or brightnesse of the splendant stars. But euer I did thinke it to be my bounden duety not only of those fortunes goods which by your princely meanes I do inioy to bee a distributer and large giuer, but also bound for the profite and aduauncement of your regal crowne and dignitye, and defence of your most noble person, of mine owne life and bloud to be both liberall and prodigall. And where your maiesty thinketh that I haue laboured to compare in curtious dede or other liberall behauiour, no deede that euer I did, or fact was euer enterprised by me for other respect, but for to get and continue your more ample fauour and daily to encrease your loue for that it is the seruant’s part with all his force and might to aspyre the grace and fauoure of his soueraygne lorde. How beit (most noble prince) before this tyme I did neuer beleue, nor hard youre grace confesse, that magnanimity, gentlenes and curtesie, were vertues worthy of blame and correction, as your maiesty hath very manifestly done me to vnderstande by wordes seuere, and taunting checkes, vnworthye for practise of such rare and noble vertues. But how so euer it bee, whether lyfe or death shal depend vpon this prayse worthy and honourable purpose, I meane hereafter to yeld my dutye to my souerayne lord, and then it may please him to terme my dedes courteous or liberal or to thinke on my behauiour, what his owne princely mynde shal deme and iudge.” The king vpon those wordes rose vp and sayd: “Ariobarzanes, now it is no tyme to continue in further disputation of this argument, committing the determination and iudgement herof, to the graue deliberation of my counsel who at conuenient leasure aduisedly shal 190 according to the Persian lawes and customes conclud the same. And for this present time I say vnto thee that I am disposed to accompt the accusation made agaynste thee to be true, and confessed by thy self. In the mean tyme thou shalt repayre into the country and come no more to the court til I commaund thee.” Ariobarzanes receiuinge this answeare of his souerayne lorde departed, and to his great contentation, went home into his countreye merye, for that he should be absent out of the daylye sight of his enemies, yet not wel pleased for that the king had remitted his cause to his Councell. Neuerthelesse minded to abyde and suffer al Fortune, he gaue him selfe to the pastime of huntinge of Deere, runninge of the wylde Bore, and flying of the Hauke. This noble Gentleman had two onlye daughters of his wife that was deceased, the most beautiful Gentlewomen of the countrey, the eldest of which two was peerelesse and without comparison, older than the other by one yeare. The beauty of those fayre ladies was bruted throughout the whole Region of Persia, to whome the greatest Lordes and Barons of the countrey were great and importunate suters. He was not in his countrey resiant the space of fower monethes, which for salubritie of ayre was most holsome and pleasaunt, full of lordlike liberties and Gentlemanlike pastimes, aswel to bee done by the hound as folowed by the spaniell, but one of the kinge’s Haraulds sente from the Court, appeared before him with message to this effecte, saying vnto him: “My lord, Ariobarzanes, the kinge my souerayne Lord hath commaunded you to send with me to the Court the fayrest of your two daughters, for that the reporte of their famous beautie hath made him hardlie to beleeue them to be such, as common bruite would fayne doe him to vnderstand.” Ariobarzanes not well able to conceiue the meaning of the king’s commaundiment, reuolued in his mynde diuers thinges touching that demaund, and concludinge vpon one which fel to his remembrance, determined to send his younger daughter, which (as we haue sayde before) was not in beautie comparable to her elder sister, whereupon hee caused the mayden to be sent for, and sayde vnto her these wordes: “Daughter, the king my maister and thy soueraigne Lord, hath by his messanger commaunded me to sende vnto him the fayrest of my daughters, but 191 for a certaine reasonable respect which at thys time I purpose not to disclose, my mynde is that thou shalt goe, praying thee not to say but that thou thyselfe art of the twayne the fayrest, the concealinge of whiche mine aduise wil breede vnto thee (no doubt) thy great aduauncement, besides the profite and promotion that shal accriue by that thy silence: and the disclosing of the same may hap to engendre to thy deere father his euerlasting hindrance, and perchaunce the depriuation of his lyfe: but if so be the Kinge doe beget the with childe, in anye wise keepe close the same: and when thou seest thy belly begin to swell, that no longer it can be closely kept, then in conuenient time, when thou seest the kinge merily disposed, thou shalt tell the king that thy syster is far more beautifull than thyselfe, and that thou art the yonger sister.” The wise maiden well vnderstanding her father’s minde, and conceiuing the summe of his intent, promised to performe his charge, and so with the Haraulde and honorable traine, he caused his daughter to be conueyed to the Court. An easie matter it was to deceiue the king in the beauty of that maiden: for although the elder daughter was the fairest, yet this Gentlewoman seemed so peerelesse in the Courte, that without comparison she was the most beautifull that was to be found either in Courte or countrey: the behauiour and semblance of whiche two daughters were so like, that hard it was to iudge whether of them was the eldest: for their father had so kept them in, that seldome they were seene within his house, or at no time marked when they walked abroade. The wife of the king was dead the space of one yeere before, for which cause he determined to mary the daughter of Ariobarzanes, who although she was not of the royall bloud, yet of birth she was right noble. When the kinge sawe this Gentlewoman, he iudged hir to be the fairest that euer he saw or heard of by report, whom in the presence of his noblemen he solemnly did marry, and sent vnto her father to appoynct the Dowry of his married Daughter out of hande, and to returne the same by that messenger. When Ariobarzanes hearde tell of thys vnhoped mariage, right ioyfull for that successe, sent vnto his Daughter the Dowry which he had promised to geue to both his Daughters. Many of the Court did maruell, that the kynge beinge in aged 192 yeares woulde mary so yongue a mayden, specially the daughter of his Subiect, whom he had banished from the Courte. Some praysed the kinge’s Disposition for taking hir whom he fansied: ech man speakynge his seuerall mynde accordynge to the dyuers customes of men. Notwythstandinge there were diuers that moued the kinge to that mariage, thereby to force him to confesse, that by takinge of the goods of Ariobarzanes, he might be called Courteous and Liberall. The mariage being solemnized in very sumptuous and princely guise, Ariobarzanes sent to the kinge the like Dowry which before he had sent him for mariage of his daughter, with message to this effect: That for so mutch as hee had Assigned to his Daughters two certayne Dowries to mary them to their equal feeres, and seeinge that hee which was without exception, was the husbande of the one, his duety was to bestow vpon his grace a more greater gift, than to any other which should haue bene his sonne in law: but the king would not receiue the increase of his dowry, deeming himselfe wel satisfied with the beauty and good condicions of his new spouse, whom he entertayned and honored as Queene. In the meane time she was with childe with a Sonne (as afterwardes in the birth it appeered) which so wel as she coulde she kept close and secret, but afterwardes perceiuinge her Belly to wax bigge, the greatnesse whereof she was not able to hide, beinge vppon a time with the kinge and in familiar disporte, she like a wise and sobre lady induced matter of diuers argument, amonges which as occasion serued, she disclosed to the king, that she was not the fayrest of hir father’s daughters, but hir elder sister more beautifull than she. The king hearing that, was greatly offended with Ariobarzanes, for that he had not accomplished his commaundement: and albeit hee loued well his wife, yet to attaine the effect of his desire, he called his Haraulde vnto him, whom he had first sent to make request for his wyfe, and with him returned agayne his new maried spouse vnto her father, commaunding him to say these wordes: “That for so mutch as he knew himselfe to be vanquished and ouercome by the king’s humanity, his grace did maruell, that in place of curtesie, he would use such contumacy and disobedience, by sending vnto him, not the fairest of his daughters, which he required, but sutch 193 as he himselfe liked to sende: a matter no doubt worthy to be sharpely punished and reuenged: for which cause the kinge beinge not a litle offended, had sent home his daughter agayne, and willed hym to sende his eldest daughter, and that he had returned the Dowry which he gaue with his yonger.” Ariobarzanes receyued his daughter and the dowry with willinge minde, and sayd theese words to the Harauld: “Mine other daughter which the king my Soueraygne Lord requireth, is not able presently to go with thee, bycause in hir bed she lieth sicke, as thou mayst manifestly perceiue if thou come into hir chamber: but say vnto the king, that vppon my fayth and allegiaunce so soone as she is recouered, I will sende hir to the court.” The Haraulde seeing the mayden lye sicke on her bed, weake and Impotent, not able to trauel, returned to the king, and told him of the sicknesse of the eldest Daughter of Ariobarzanes, wherewithall beinge satisfied, he attended the successe of his desired sute: the Gentlewoman no sooner beinge recouered, but the tyme of the other’s childbirth was come, which brought forth a goodly Boy: both the Mother safely brought to Bed, and the childe strong and lusty. Whych greatly contented and pleased Ariobarzanes, and the greater grew his ioy thereof, for that hee sawe the Childe to be like vnto the kinge his father: and by that time the yong Gentlewoman was rysen from her childbed, the sister was perfectly whole, and had recouered her former hiewe and beauty, both which beinge richely apparelled, Ariobarzanes with an honourable trayne, sent vnto the kinge, instructinge them first what they ought to say and do. When they were arriued at the courte, one of the pryuy chamber aduertised the king that Ariobarzanes had not onely sent one of his daughters, but both of them. The kynge hearinge and seeinge the liberalyty of Ariobarzanes, accepted the same in gracious part, and determined for that curtesie, to vse him with sutch princely liberality, as he should be forced to confesse himselfe ouercome. And before the messanger which had brought the yong gentlewoman did departe, he caused to be called before him his only sonne called Cyrus, vnto whom he sayd: “Bycause Cyrus the time of thy yeares bee sutch, as meete they be to match the in Mariage, for hope I haue to see some Progeny proceede of thee before I die, 194 my minde is that thou shalt mary this goodly Gentlewoman here, the syster of my Wyfe. To which hys father’s hest, the yong gentleman willingly assented. Then the kyng toke again his owne, and ordayned a royall feast, for the mariage of his Sonne, which was celebrated and done with great triumph and solemnity, continuinge the space of 8 dayes. Ariobarzanes hearinge these good newes, would not yet acknowledge himselfe to be ouercome, and seeinge that his purpose was nowe brought to an extremity, determined to send the little childe, a little before begotten of hys daughter, to the kinge, which so resembled the kinge’s face and Countenaunce as was possible: and therefore caused a cradle to bee made of the fairest Iuory that was to be gotten, embossed and garnished with pure Golde, adorned and set wyth most precious Stones and Iewels, wherein he caused the childe to be placed, and couered wyth rich clothes of fynest gold and silke, and together with the Nourice, accompanied with a pompous trayne of Gentlemen, he sent him to the kinge, the very time that the solemne mariage should be celebrated: and the kinge beinge in his great Hall, which was hanged with maruellous rich and costly Arras, attended vpon with a great numbre of his Barons and noble men, hee that had the charge of the conduction of the child, vpon his knees presented the same before him, lyinge in the Cradle. The king and the Noblemen, meruelling what that did meane expected what the Messenger would say, who holding the Cradle by one of the Pomels, sayd these wordes: “Most renoumed and victorious Prince, in the behalfe of Ariobarzanes, my Lorde and your Subiect, most humbly I present vnto your maiesty, with al Submission and reuerence, this gift: and my sayd Lord doth rendre infinite thankes vnto your highnesse, for the great curtesie it hath pleased you to vse, by vouchsafinge to entertayne him into your alliaunce: for which not to seeme vnmindfull, this present (and therewithall he opened the Cradle) by mee hee hath sent vnto your maiesty.” When the Cradle was discouered, there apeared a goodly yong Chylde, Smilinge and Laughing vpon his father, the ioyfullest sight that euer his father sawe, and so like vnto him, as the halfe Moone is lyke the proportion of the rest. Then euery of the Standers by began to say his minde touchinge the resemblaunce of the Chylde 195 to hys Father, hardily protesting the same without doubt to be his owne. The kyng could not be satisfied with the sight of his child, by reason of the great delight he had to looke vpon him, and of the generall opinion whych all men auouched touchinge his lykenesse. The Chylde agayne vpon the common reioyce made vpon hym, but specially of hys Father, wyth preaty motions and sweete laughinges, representinge two smilinge pyttes in his ruddy Cheekes, crowed many tymes vpon his father, toyinge vp and downe hys tender handes: afterwardes the kynge behelde the workmanship of that sumptuous cradle, and demaunded whereof the substaunce was. Vnto whom the Messenger discribed the Hystory and whole content of that incomparable Iewel: who hearinge that discourse, caused the Queene to be called forth, and by her was further certified of her father’s noble disposition, wyth exceeding contentation, and wonderfull reioyce, he receyued the little Chylde, and confessed hym selfe in maner vanquished: notwythstandinge seeming to be thus surmounted, he thought if he did not surpasse this curtesy, his noble and princely minde should be disgraced: wherefore he determined to vse a kind of magnanimity, thereby eyther to ouercome Ariobarzanes, or else hauinge apparant occasion altogether to fall out and to conceyue a mortall malice agaynst hym. The Kynge had a Daughter of the age of 21 yeares, a very fayre and comely Lady (accordinge as her Royall education and princely bringinge vp required) whom as yet he had not matched in mariage, meaninge to bestowe her vppon some kynge or great Monarch with a dowry of Ten hundred thousand Crownes, besides the pryncely and great costly Apparell and Iewells whych her owne mother lyinge vppon her death Bed did bequeathe her. The kynge then purposinge to excell Ariobarzanes, mynded by couplynge hym wyth hys Daughter, to make hym his sonne in lawe: whych to a Lady of Royall Linage, appeareth some debacinge of her noble bloud, to be matched with a man of inferiour byrth: the lyke to a Man how honourable so euer he be cannot chaunce, if he take a Wyfe of Degree neuer so Base: for if hee bee borne of Noble and Gentle kynde, hee doth illustrate and aduaunce the Woman whom he taketh, all be it shee were of the meanest trampe of the popular sorte, and the Chyldren whych be borne of them 196 by the Father’s meanes, shalbe Noble and of a gentle kynd: but a woman, although shee be most Noble, if shee bee married to hir inferiour, and that hir husbande bee not so Noble, the chyldren that shall be borne of them shall not receiue the honour of the mother’s stock, but the state of the father’s lotte, and so shall be vnnoble. Sutch is the Reuerence and Authoritie of the Sexe of man, wherevpon doeth ryse the comparyson of the wyfe, which doth resemble the man vnto the Sunne, and the Woman to the Moone. For wee see that the Moone of hir selfe doth not giue light, ne yet can yelde any brightnesse to the darknesse of the Night, if she did not pertake some shining of the Sun, who with his liuely flames at times and places doth brighten the starres, and maketh the moone to shine: euen so the woman dependeth of the man, and of hym doth take hir nobility. The kyng therefore thought the match not meete for Ariobarzanes to marry his Daughter, and feared he should incurre some blemish of his house: but for all respect and feare of shame, the emulation whyche hee had to be victorious of his forced curtesie did surpasse. Wherefore he sent for Ariobarzanes to come vnto the Court: who vpon that commaundement came: and so soone as hee was entered the palace, he repayred to do his reuerence vnto the kinge, of whom he was welcomed with glad and ioyfull entertaynement: and after they had a whyle debated of diuers matters, the kyng sayd vnto him: “Ariobarzanes, for so mutch as thou art without a wyfe, we minde to bestowe vpon thee a Gentlewoman, which not onely wee well like and loue, but also is sutch a one, as thou thy selfe shalt be well contented to take.” Ariobarzanes aunswered: That he was at his commaundement: and that sutch choyse as pleased his maiesty, should very well content and satisefie him. Then the kyng caused his daughter, in riche vestures sumptuously attired to come before him, and there openly in presence of the whole Court commaunded that Ariobarzanes should marry her: which with seemely ceremonies being consummate, Ariobarzanes shewed little ioy of the parentage, and in apparance made as though he cared not for his wyfe. The Nobles and Gentlemen of the Courte wondred to see the straunge behauiour of the bridegroome, consideringe the great humanity of their Prince towardes his Subject, by takinge him for 197 his Father, and Sonne in lawe: and greatly murmured to see the obstinacy and rudenesse of Ariobarzanes, towards the kynge and the Fayre newe maried Spouse, mutch blaminge and rebukinge hys vnkinde demeanour. Ariobarzanes that day fared as though hee were besides himselfe, voyde of ioy and mirth, where all the rest of the Courte spent the tyme in sport and Triumph, the Ladies and Noble women together with the kynge and Queene themselues. dauncinge and maskinge, vntil the time of night did force ech Wyghte to Retyre to their Chaumbers. Notwithstandinge the kynge did marke the Gesture and Countenaunce of Ariobarzanes, and after the Banket the Kynge in Solempne guise and great Pompe caused hys Daughter to bee accompanyed wyth a great Trayne to the Lodginge of Ariobarzanes, and to be caried with hir, hir Pryncely Dowry, where Ariobarzanes very Honourably receyued hys Wyfe, and at that Instant, in the presence of all the Noblemen and Barons that wayted vpon the Bride, hee doubled the Dowry receyued, and the same wyth the Ten hundred thousand Crownes geuen hym by the kynge, hee sent back agayne. This vnmeasured Liberality seemed passynge Straunge vnto the kynge, and bredde in him sutch disdayne, as doubtful he was whether to yelde, or to condemne him to perpetuall Banishment. The kynge thought that the greatnesse of Ariobarzanes mynde was Inuincible, and was not able paciently to suffer, that a subiect in matters of curtesie and liberality, should still compare wyth his king and maister: herewithal the king conceiuing malice, could not tell what to say or do. An easy matter it was to perceiue the rage and furie of the king, who was so sore displeased, as he bare good looke and countenaunce to no man: and bicause in those dayes the Persian kings were honored and reuerenced as Gods, there was a lawe that when the king was driuen into a furie, or had conceiued a iust displeasure, he shoulde manifest vnto his Counsellers, the cause of his anger, who afterwardes by mature diligence hauing examined the cause and finding the kinge to be vniustly displeased should seke meanes of his appeasing: but if they found his anger and displeasure to be iustly grounded, the cause of the same, according to the quality of the offence, little or great, they should punish, eyther by banishment or capital death: the sentence of whom 198 should passe and be pronounced without appeale. Howbeit Lawfull it was for the Kynge to mitigate the pronounced sentence, eyther in al, or in part, and to diminish the payne, or clearely to assoyle the party: whereby it euidently appeared, that the Counsellers Sentence once determined, was very iustice, and the kynge’s wyll if he pardoned, was meere grace and mercy. The kyng was constrayned by the statutes of his kyngdome to disclose vnto his Counsell the cause of his displeasure, which particularly he recited: the Counsellers when they heard the reasons of the kynge, sent for Ariobarzanes, of whom by due examination they gathered, that in diuers causes he had prouoked the kynge’s dyspleasure. Afterwards the Lords of the Counsell, vpon the proposed question began to argue, by inuestigation and search whereof, in the ende they iudged Ariobarzanes worthy to loose hys head: for that he would not onely compare, but also go about to ouertoppe him in thinges vndecent, and to shewe himselfe discontented with the mariage of his daughter, and vnthankfull of the benefites so curteously bestowed vpon him. A custome was obserued amonge the Persians, that in euery acte or enterprise, wherein the seruaunt endeuored to surpasse and vanquish his lord and maister (albeit the attempt were commendable and prayseworthy) for respect of want of duety, or contempt to the royall maiesty, he should lose his best ioynt: and for better confirmation of their iudgement, the Counsellers alleaged a certayne diffinitiue sentence, regestred in their Chronicles, whilom done by the kyngs of Persia. The cause was this: one of the kyngs of that Region disposed to disporte with certayne of his noble men abrode in the Fields, went a Hauking, and with a Faucon to fly at diuers game. Within a while they sprang a Hearon, and the Kynge commaunded that one of the faulcons which was a notable swift and soaring Hauke, should be cast of to the Hearon: which done, the hearon began to mount and the faucon speedely pursued, and as the Hauke after many batings and intercourses, was about to seaze vpon the hearon, he espied an Egle: the stoute Hauke seeing the Egle, gaue ouer the fearfull Hearon, and with swift flight flewe towardes the hardy Egle, and fiercely attempted to seaze vpon her: but the Egle very stoutly defended her selfe, that the Hauke was 199 forced to let goe hir holde. In the ende the good Hauke, with her sharpe talendes, agayne seazed vpon the Egle’s neck, and wyth her beake strake her starke dead, wherewithall she fel downe amid the company that wayted vpon the king. Al the Barons and Gentlemen highly commended and praysed the Hauke, affirminge that a better was not in the worlde, attributing vnto the same sutch prayse, as they thought meete. The king for all the acclamations and shoutes of the troupe, spake not a worde, but stoode musing with himselfe, and did neyther prayse nor blame the Hauke. It was very late in the eueninge, when the Faucon killed the Egle, and therefore the kinge commaunded ech man to depart to the Citty. The next day the king caused a Goldsmith to make an exceeding fayre crowne of golde, apt and meete for the Falcon’s head. Afterwards when he saw time conuenient, he ordayned that in the market place of the Citty, a Pearche should be erected, and adorned with Tapestry, Arras, and other costly furnitures, sutch as Prynces Palaces are bedecked withall. Thither with sound of Trumpets hee caused the Faucon to be conueyed, where the kinge commaunded one of his noble men to place the Crowne vpon his head, for price of the excellent pray atchieued vpon the Egle. Then he caused the hangman or common executioner of the Citty, to take the Crowne from the Faucon’s head, and with the trenchant sword to cut it of. Vppon these contrary effectes the beholders of this sight were amazed, and began diuersly to talk thereof. The king which at a window stoode to behold this fact, caused silence to be kept, and so opened his princely voice, as he was wel heard speaking these words: “There ought (good people) none of you all to Murmur and grudge at the present fact executed upon the Faucon, bycause the same is done vppon good reason and iust cause as by processe of my discourse you shall well perceiue. I am persuaded that it is the office and duety of euery magnanimous prince, to know the valor and difference betweene vertue and vice, that all vertuous actes and worthy attempts may be honoured, and the contrary chastised and punished, otherwise he is not worthy of the name of a Kyng and Prynce, but of a cruel and trayterous Tyrant: for as the prince beareth the title by principality and chiefe, so ought his life chiefly to excell other, whom he gouerneth and ruleth. The 200 bare title and dignity is not sufficient, if his conditions and moderation be not to that supreme state equiualent. Full well I knew and did consider to be in this dead Faucon a certayne generosity and stoutnesse of minde, ioyned wyth a certayne fierce actiuity and nimblenesse, for which I Crowned and rewarded hir wyth thys golden Garland, bycause of the stoute slaughter which she made vpon that myghty Egle, worthy for that solemne guise. But when I considered how boldly and rashely she assayled and killed the Egle, which is hir Queene and Maystresse, I thought it a part of Iustice, that for hir bolde and vncomely act, she shoulde suffer the payne due to hir deserte: for vnlawful it is for the seruaunte, and vnduetiful for the subiect, to imbrue his handes in the bloud of his Soueraygne Lord. The Faulcon then hauinge slayne hir Queene, and of all other Birdes the Soueraygne, who can with reason blame me for cuttinge of the Faucon’s head? Doubtlesse none, that hath respect to the quiet state betweene the Prince and Subiect.” This example the Iudges alleaged against Ariobarzanes when they pronounced sentence: and applyinge the same to him, ordeyned that first Ariobarzanes, for his Magnanimity and liberal curtesie should be Crowned wyth a Laurell Garland, for the generosity of his minde and exceedinge curtesie, but for his great emulation, earnest endeuour, and continuall dyuice to contende wyth hys Prynce, and in Liberality to shew him selfe superior, bysides the mutteringe speech vttered agaynst hym, his head ought to be striken of. Ariobarzanes beinge aduertised of thys seuere condemnation, hee purposed to sustayne the Venemous Darte of Fortune, as hee had endured other bruntes of that Enuious inconstant Lady, and in sutch maner behaued and directed his Gestes, and Countenaunce, as no Sygne of Choler or Dyspayre appeared in him, onely Pronouncinge thys Sentence with ioyfull Cheare in the presence of many: “Glad I am that at length there resteth in me so mutch to be liberall, as I employ my life and bloud, to declare the same to my Soueraygne Lorde, which right willingly I meane to do, that the World may know, how I had rather lose my lyfe, than to faynt and geue ouer in mine accustomed liberality.” Then callinge a Notary vnto him, he made his Wyll (for so it was lawfull by the Persian lawes) and to his Wyfe, and Daughters hee 201 increased their Dowries, and to his kinsfolke and freendes he bequeathed diuers rich and bountifull Legacies. To the kyng he gaue a great number of most precious Iewels. To Cyrus the king’s sonne, and his by mariage (besides a great masse of money) he bequeathed all his Armure, and Weapons, with all his instruments for the warres, and his whole stable of horsse. Last of all he ordayned, that if (perhaps) his wyfe should be found with chylde, and brought to Bed of a Sonne hee should be his vniuersall heyre: but if a Woman chylde, to haue the dowry that his other daughters had. The rest of his goods and cattel he gaue indifferently to al III. equally to be deuided. He prouided also, that all his seruantes accordinge to their degree, should be rewarded. The day before he should be put to death (according to the custome of Persia) his prayses and valiaunt factes, as wel by Epitaphes fixed vpon poasts, as by proclamation, were generally sounded throughout the Realme, in such wise as ech wight iudged him to be the most liberall and noble personage that was in all the Countrey, and in the borders confininge vpon the same. And if there had not bene some enuious persons nere the kyng, which studied and practised his ouerthrow, al other would haue deemed him vnworthy of death. Sutch is enuy of the maliciously disposed, that rather than they would see their equals to be in better estimation with the prynce than themselues, study and deuise all pollicy eyther by flattery or false surmise to bringe them in discredite, or to practise by false accusation, their vtter subuersion by Death or Banishement. But whiles Ariobarzanes was disposinge his thinges in order, his Wyfe and Daughters with his Friends and Cousins, were affected with great sorrow day and night, complayning for the heauy state of that noble Gentleman. The eight day being come (for the lawe allowed that space to the condemned, for disposition of their thynges) a Skaffolde was made by commaundement of the king, in the middest of the Market place, al couered with black cloth, and an other right ouer against the same with Purple and Silk, where the kyng (if he list) in the mids of the Iudges should sit and the inditement redde, iudgement (by the kynge’s owne mouth declared) should be executed, or if it pleased him, discharge and assoyle the condemned. And the 202 kynge vnwillinge to be present, gaue to one of the eldest iudges hys full power and authority. But yet sorrowful that a Gentleman so noble and valiaunt, his father and sonne in lawe, should finish his life with a death so horrible, would needes that morninge be present himselfe at that execution, as wel to see the continent and stoute ende of Ariobarzanes, as also to take order for his deliuery. When the time was come, Ariobarzanes by the Sergeante and Garde was brought vnto the Skaffolde, and there Aparelled in rich Vestures, the Laurel Crowne was set on his head, and so continuinge for a certayne space, the garment and Crowne was taken of agayne together with his other Apparell. The executioner attendinge for commaundement to do his office, and lifting vp his sworde to do the fact, the king desired to see the countenaunce of Ariobarzanes, who neuer chaunged coloure for all that terrour of death. The king seeing the great constancy and inuincible mind of Ariobarzanes, spake aloud that all men might heare hym, these wordes: “Thou knowest Ariobarzanes, that it is not I, which haue wroughte thy condemnation, ne yet by enuious desyre haue sought thy bloude, to brynge thee to thys extremity, but it hath bene thy ill disordred life, and the statutes of this Realme, which haue found thee guilty, and thereupon sentence and death pronounced, and execution now ready to be done, and the minister ready to aduaunce his arme, to play the last acte of this Tragedy: and yet for that our holy lawes doe geue liberty that I may assoyle and delyuer whom I list, and them restore to their former state, if nowe thou wilt acknowledge thy selfe vanquished and ouercome, and accepte thy lyfe in gratefull part, I will pardon thee, and restore thee to thyne offyces and promotions.” Ariobarzanes, hearying these wordes, kneeled downe wyth hys heade declyned, and expecting the blow of the Sworde, lyfted vp himselfe, and turnynge his face to the kinge, perceyuing his malice not so sore bent against hym as the enuy and malice of his ennemies desired, he determined to proue and vse the pitiful liberality and fauour of his Soueraigne Lorde, that his Foes by his death might not Triumph, ne yet attayne the thinge, for which so long they aspired. Wherefore in reuerent wyse kneelinge before his maiesty, with a stout and perfect voyce sayd these words: “Most vyctorious and mercifull 203 Soueraygne Lord, in equall worship and honour to the immortall Gods, sith of thy abundant grace and mercy it hath pleased thee to graunt me lyfe, I do most humbly accept the same, which if I wyst should be prolonged in thy disgrace and wrath, could not be pleasaunt vnto me, and therefore do confesse my selfe in curtesie and liberality altogether surmounted and ouercome. I most humbly then do geue thee thankes for preseruation of my lyfe, hopinge hereafter to employ the vttermost of myne endeuour for the benefite and honour of thy Crowne and dignity, as readyly and without supplication made in my behalfe, thou hast vouchesafed to restore the same: and sith thy clemency hath reuiued me thyne humble vassall, I beseech thy maiesty to giue me leaue to say my minde, trustinge thereby to do thee to vnderstand the effect and cause of that my former presumption.” The kinge made signes that he should arise and boldly speake the summe of his desire. When he stoode up, silence was proclaymed, who then began to speake these wordes: “Two things there be, (most sacred Prince) which doubtlesse do Resemble the raging Waues of surginge Seas, and the mutability of vnstable windes, and yet great is the folly of an infinite numbre, which imploy their whole care and diligence to the pursute thereof. These two thinges whereof I speake, and be so deerely beloued of flattering Courtiers, are the grace and fauour of their soueraygne lord, and the luringe loue of Amorous Dames: whych two do so often beguyle the courtly gentleman, that in ende, they engender nought else but repentance: and to begin with the loue of Ladies, they, as by common experience is proued, most commonly do recline to their Inferiours. It is dayly seene by to mutch vnhappy proofe, that a yongue Gentleman by Byrth noble, and otherwyse riche, vertuous, and indued with many goodly gyfts, shall choose and worship one for his soueraigne Lady and maistresse, and her shall serue and honour with no lesse fayth and fidelity then is due to the immortall Gods, and shal not sticke to employ for her loue and seruice all the possible power and trauell he is able to do, and yet she in dispite of all his humble endeuour, shall imbrace an other voide of all vertue, makynge him possessor of that benefite, after which the other seeketh, and shee not longe constant in that minde, afterwards wil attend to the 204 first Suter, but in sutch mouable and disdaynfull sort, as the wandring starres (through their natural instability) be moued to and fro, and him in the ende will suffre to fall headlong into the bottomlesse pit of dispayre: and to him that asketh hir the reason of this variety, she maketh none other aunswere but that her pleasure is sutch, and wilfull will to dally with her sutors: so that seldome times a true and perfit louer can fasten his foote on certayne holde, but that his life is tossed vp and downe like the whirling blastes of inconstant windes. The like succedeth in the Courtes of Kings and Princes, he which is in fauoure with his soueraigne Lord in al mens eyes, so great and neare, as it seemeth the Prince is disposed to resolue vpon nothing without his aduise and counsell, when such fauored person shall employe his whole care and industrie to maintaine and encrease the commenced grace of his soueraigne Lord, behold, vpon the sodaine the minde and vaine of his Lord is changed, and an other without desert, which neuer carked to win good will, is taken in place, cherished as though hee had serued him an hundred yeares before: and he that was the first minion of the Courte in greatest grace and estimation, is in a moment dispysed, and oute of all regarde: an other within fewe dayes after, shall supplie the place of the other twaine, verye dyligent and careful to serue a man trained vp in courtly exercise, whose mindfull mind shall bee so caring ouer his lord’s affayers, as vpon the safegard and preseruation of his owne life: but all his labour is employed in vayne: and when the aged dayes of his expired life approch, for the least displeasure he shalbe thrust out without reward for former trauel, that right aptly the Common Prouerb may be applied: the common Courtier’s life is like a golden misery, and the faithfull seruant an Asse perpetuall. I haue seene my selfe the right wel learned man to sterue in Court for want of meate, and a blockish beast voyde of vertue, for lust, and for merite, aduaunced and made a Gentleman: but this may chaunce bicause hys Lord is not disposed to vertue, nought esteeminge those that be affected with good sciences, and that onely for lacke of carefull trayninge vp in youthfull dayes, or else for that his minde cannot frame with gentle spyrits, the closets of whose breasts be charged and fraught with infinite loades of learninge, 205 and haue not bin noseled in trade of Courtes, ne yet can vse due courtly speech, or with vnblushinge face can shuffle themselues in presence of their betters, or commen with Ladies of dame Venus toyes: or race of birth not mingled with the noble or gentle Sire: for these causes perhaps that vertuous wighte cannot attain the hap of fortune’s giftes. Which person thoughe in Court he be not esteemed, yet in schoolehouse of good arte he is deemed famouse, and for his worthy skill right worthy to be preferred aboue the heauens. In semblable wise, how oftentimes and commonly is it seene that the man perchance which neuer thou sawest before, so sone as he is seene of the, sodaynly he is detested lyke a plague, and the more earnest he is to do the seruice and pleasure, the greater is thy wrath bent towards him? Contrarywise, som other vpon the first view shal so content and please the, as if he require the bestowing of thy life, thou hast no power to denie him, thou arte in loue with him, and let him thwart thy mind and wil neuer so much, thou carest not for it, all is well he doth: but that these varieties do proceede from some certayn temprement of bloud within the body conformed and moued by som inward celestial power, who doubteth? And surely the foundation of these Courtly mutations, is the pricking venomous Goade of pestiferous Enuye, whych continually holdeth the fauour of Prynces in ballaunce, and in a moment hoisteth vp him which was below, and poizeth downe agayne him that was exalted: so that no plague or poison is more pestiferous in Courts, than the hurtfull disease of Enuy: all other vices with little paine and lesse labour may easily be cured, and so pacified as they shall not hurt thee: but rooted Enuy by any meanes is discharged, with no pollicye is expelled, ne yet by any Drugge or medicine purged. Veryly wythout great daunger, I know not which way the poynaunt bittes of Enuy can be auoyded: the proude man in Courte, the arrogant and ambitious, the lofty minded Foole, more eleuate and lustie than Pride it selfe, if reverence bee done to him, if he be honoured, if place be giuen to him, if hee be praysed and glorified aboue the heauens, if thou humble thy selfe to him, by and by he will take thee to be his frend, and wyll deeme thee to bee a curteous and gentle companion. Let the lacyuious and wanton person giuen to the pleasures and lust 206 of women, fixing his mind on nothing else but vpon fugitiue pleasures, if his loue bee not impeached, ne yet his wanton toyes reproued, if he be praysed before his Ladie, he will euer be thy friend: the couetous and gloutonous carle, if first thou make hym quaffe a Medicine, and afterwardes byd hym to thy table, the one and other disease is speedily cured: but for the enuious person, what Phisicke can be sought to purge his pestiferous humour? which if thou go about to heale and cure, rather muste thou remedye the same by wasting the life of him that is so possessed, than find causes of recouerie. And who knoweth not (most sacred Prince) that in your Courte there be some attached with that poisoned plague, who seeing me your maiestie’s humble vassall in greater fauoure with your grace than they, my seruice more acceptable than theirs, my prowesse and exercise in armes more worthy than theirs, my diligence more industrious than theirs, my advise and counsell more auayleable than theirs, all mine other deedes and doings in better Estimation than theirs: they I say, dallied in the lap of the cancred witch dame Enuy, by what meanes are they to be recouered? by what meanes their infection purged? by what meanes their mallice cured? If not to see me depriued of your grace, expelled from your Court, and cast headlonge into the gulfe of death extreme? If I should bribe them with great rewardes, if I should honour them with humble reuerence, if I should exalt them aboue the Skyes, if I should employ the vttermost of my power, to do them seruice, all frustrate and cast away: they wil not cease to bring me into perill, they will not spare to reduce me to misery, they will not sticke to ymagin all deuyses for myne anoyance, when they see al other remdyes impotent and vnable: this is the poisoned plague which enuenometh all Princes courtes: this is the mischiefe which destroyeth all kyngdomes: this is the monster that deuoureth all vertuous enterpryses and offendeth eche gentle spirite: this is the dim vale which so ouershadoweth the clerenes of the eyes as the bright beams of verity cannot be sene, and so obscureth the equity of iustice, as right from falshode cannot be discerned: this is the manifest cause that breadeth a thousand errors in the workes of men: and to draw nere to the effecte of this my tedious talke, 207 briefly, there is no vice in the worlde that more outragiously corrupteth Princes courtes, that more vnfrendly vntwineth frendship’s band, that more vnhappely subuerteth noble houses, then the poysone of Enuy: for he that enclineth his eares to the enuious person, he that attendeth to his malignant deuises, vnpossible it is for him to do any dede that is eyther good or vertuous: but to finishe and end for auoyding of wearines and not to stay your maiesty from your waighty affayres, I say that the enuyous man reioiceth not so much in his own good turnes nor gladdeth himself so greatlye with his owne commodityes, as hee doth insulte, and laugh at the discommodityes and hinderance of others, at whose profite and gain he soroweth and lamenteth: and to put out both the eyes of his companion, the enuious man careth not to plucke out one of his own. These wordes (most inuincible prince) I purposed to speake in the presence of your maiesty, before your gard and courtlyke train, and in the vniuersal hearing of all the people that ech wighte may understand how I not of your maiestie’s pretended malice, or mine owne committed faulte, but through the venemous tongues of the enuious fel into the lapse of your displeasure.” This moste true oration of Ariobarzanes greatly pleased the noble Prince, and although he felt himself somwhat touched therwith, and knowing it to bee certayn and true and that in tyme to come the same mighte profite all sortes of people, hee greatlye praised and exalted him in the presence of all the assembly. Wherefore Ariobarzanes having recouered his lyfe confessed himselfe to bee vanquished and ouercome by the king, who knowing the valoure and fealty of that noble Gentleman, and louing him with harty affection, caused him to come down from the mourning Scaffolde, and to assend the place where he was himselfe, whom he imbraced and kissed, in token that al displeasure was remitted: all his auncient offices were restored to him agayne: and for his further aduancement, he gaue him the Cittye of Passagarda where was the olde monument of kinge Cyrus, and made him lieuetenaunt generall of his realmes and dominions, commaundinge euery of his subiects to obay him as himselfe. And so the kyng rested the honourable father in law to Ariobarzanes, and his louinge sonne by mariage crauing stil in al his enterpryses, 208 his graue aduyse and counsell: and there was neuer thing of any importance done, but his liking or disliking was firste demaunded: Ariobarzanes then returned into greater grace and fauour of his souerayne lord than before, and for his singular vertue hauing disperced and broken the aimes and malyce of all his enimies, if before he were curteous and liberal after these so stoute aduentures, he became more then princely in his dedes, and if sometymes he had done one curteous act now he doubled the same. But sutch was his Magnanimitye, so noble were his indeuors, tempred with such measure and equanimity, as the whole worlde clerely might deserne, that not to contend with his souerayne lorde but to honour and serue him, therby to expresse the maiestye of his Prince, he employed his goodes and liuing al which the kinge and fortune had bountifully bestowed vppon him: who vntil his dying day famously mayntayned himselfe in the good grace and fauour of his prince, in such wyse as the kyng more clerely then the shining Sunnebeames, knew Ariobarzanes to bee framed of nature for a christalline mirrour of curtesie and liberalitye, and that more easie it was to bereiue the fyre of heate, and the Sonne of lighte then despoyle Ariobarzanes of his glorious dedes. Wherfore he ceassed not continually to honour, exalt and enrych him, that hee might vse the greater liberality, and to say the treuth, althoughe these two vertues of curtesie and Liberality be commendable in all persons, without the which a man truely is not he whereof hee beareth the name yet very fitting and meete for euerye ryche and welthie subiect, to beware how he doth compare in those noble vertues with Princes and great men, which beyng ryght noble and pereles vppon yearth canne abyde no Comparisons.



Lvcivs 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 vpon 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 subiectes vppon that Tyrant.

You haue heard, or as it were in a manner, you haue beeholden the right images and courteous conditions of two well conditioned persons mutually ech towards other obserued: in the one a Princely mind towards a Noble Gentleman his subiecte: in the other a duetieful obedience of a louing vassal to his soueraigne Lord and Maister: in both of them the true figure of Liberality in liuely orient colours described. Now a contrary plotte, grounded vpon extreame tiranny, is offred to the viewe, done by one Aristotimus and his clawbacks againste his humble subiects of the City of Elis, standyng in Peloponessus, a country of Achaia (which at this tyme we cal Morea.) This Aristotimus of nature was fierce and passing cruell, who by fauour of king Antigonus was made Tyran of that City: and like a Tyran gouerned his countrye by abuse of his aucthority with newe wronges, and straunge crueltyes vexing and afflicting the poore Cityzens and all hys people: which chaunced not so much for that of himself he was cruel and tyrannous, as for that his counsellours and chiefe aboute him were barbarous and vicious men, to whom he committed the charge of his kyngdome and the guarde of his person: but amonges all his mischiefes wrongfully done by him which were innumerable, one committed agaynst Philodemus (the same which afterwarde was the cause of the depriuation of his lyfe and kingdome) is specially remembred. This Philodemus had a daughter called Micca, that not onely for hir chast qualityes and good condicions whiche vertuously flourished in hir but for her extreame and goodly beautye, was in that citty of passing fame and admiration. With this fayre maiden one of the Tyrant’s guarde called Lucius fel in loue, 210 if it deserue to be called loue, and not the rather, as the end ful wel declared, a most filthy and beastly lust: this Lucius was deerly beloued of Aristotemus, for the fiendish resemblance and wicked nerenesse of his vile and abhominable condicions: and therfore feared and obeied as the Tyrante’s owne person: for which cause this Lucius sent one of the yeomen of the kinge’s chamber to commaunde Philodemus at an appoynted hour, al excuses set apart, to bring his daughter vnto him. The parentes of the mayden hearing this sodayne and fearful mesuage, constrayned by Tyrante’s forse and fatal necessity, after many tears and pittious sighes, began to perswade their daughter to be contented to goe with him, declaringe vnto her the rigour of the magistrate that had sente for hir the extremety that would be executed, and that ther was no other remedy but to obay. Alas, how sore agaynst their willes, with what trembling gesture, with what horror the good parentes of this tender pusill were affected, to consider the purpose of that dreadefull message, all dere fathers and naturall mothers can tell. But this gentle mayden Micca which was of nature stoute, and yet vertuously lessoned with sundry good and holsome instructions from hir Infante’s Age was Determined rather to Dye, then to suffer her selfe to be Defloured. This vertuous Mayden fell downe Prostrate at her Father’s Feet, and clasping him fast about the Knees, louingly did pray him, and Pitifully besought him, not to suffer hir to bee haled to so filthy and vile an office, but rather with the piercing blade of a two edged sword to kill her, that therby she might be rid from the violation of those fleshly and libidinous varlets, saying, that if her virginity were taken from hir, she should liue in eternal reproch and shame. As the father and daughter were in these termes, Lucius for the long tariance and delaye, dronke with the Wine of lechery, made impacient and furious, with cursed speede posted to the house of Philodemus, and finding the maiden prostrate at her father’s feete weeping, her head in his lappe with taunting voice and threatning woordes commaunded presently without longer delay she should ryse and go with him: She refusing his hasty request, and crying out for Father’s help, who (God wot) durst not resist, stoode still and would not goe: Lucius seeing hir refusal ful of furie and proude disdaine, began furiously 211 to hale hir by the garments, vpon whose struggling he tare hir kirtle and furnitures of hir head and shoulders, that hir alablaster necke and bosome appeared naked, and without compassion tare and whipte hir flesh on euery side, as the bloud ranne downe, beating that tendre flesh of hirs with manifold and greuous blowes. O vile tirant, more wood and sauage than the desert beast or mountaine Tigre: could cruelty be so deepely rooted in the hart of man which by nature is affected with reason’s instinct, as without pity to lay handes, and violently to hurt the tendre body of a harmlesse Maidee? Can such inhumanity harbor in any that beareth aboute him the shape of man? But what did this martyred maiden for all this force? Did she yeld to violence, or rendre hir self to the disposition of this mercilesse man? No surely. But with so great stoutnesse of mind, she suffred those impressed wounds, that no one word sounding of sorrow, or womanly shriech was heard to sound from hir delicate mouth: howbeit the pore father and miserable mother at that rueful and lamentable sight, moued with inward grief and natural pity, cried out aloude. But when they sawe that neyther playnt nor fayre speech coulde deliuer their Daughter out of the hands of that cruell monster, they began with open cryes and horrible exclamation to implore helpe and succour at the handes of the immortall Gods, thinking that they were vnworthely plaged and tormented. Then the proud and most barbarous wretch, moued and disquieted by cholers rage and fume of chafinge Wyne, sodaynly catched the most constant virgin by the hayre of the head, and in her father’s Lap did cut her white and tender throte. O detestable fact, right worthy iust reuenge. But what did this vnfaythfull and cruell Tyrant Aristotimus, when by the blustering bruit of people’s rage he heard of this vengeable murder, not only he shewed himselfe contented wyth the fact, but had him in greater regard than before, and towards them which made complaint hereof, greater cruelty and mischyefe was done and executed. For in open streat, lyke beastes in the Shambles, they were cut and hewed in peeces, which seemed to murmur at thys bloudy and vnlawfull act: the rest were banished and expelled the cytty. Eight hundred of these exiled persons fled into Etolia (a prouince adioyninge to Epirus, which now is called 212 Albania.) Those people so banished out of theyr country, made instant sute to Aristotimus to suffer Wyues and chyldren to repayre to them: but theyr suite was in vayne, their peticions and supplycations seemed to be made to the deafe, and dispersed into the wyndes: notwithstandinge, within few dayes after, he caused by sound of trumpet to be openly proclaymed, that it should be lawful for the wyues and chyldren of the banished to passe wyth their baggage and furniture to theyr husbands in Ætolia. This Proclamation was exceeding ioyfull to al the women whose husbands were exiled, which at the least by common report were the numbre of 6 hundreds: and for more credite of that Proclamation, the wicked Tyrant did ordayne, that al the company should depart vpon a prefixed day. In the meane time, the ioyful Wyues glad to visit their poore husbands, prepared horse and wagon, to cary theyr prouisions. The appoynted day of their departure out of that City being come, all of them assembled at a certayne gate assygned for their repayre, who that time together resorted with their little children in their hands bearing vpon theyr heads theyr garments and furnitures, some on horseback, and some bestowed in the wagons according as ech of theyr states required: when al things wer in a readinesse to depart, and the gate of the City opened, they began to issue forth. They wer no soner gone out of the City walles, and had left behind them the soile of theyr natiuity, but the Tyrants guard and Sergeants brake vpon them, and before they were approched they cried out to stay and go no further vpon pain of theyr liues. So the pore amazed women, contrarry to the promise of the Tyrant, wer forced to retire. Which sodain countremaund was sorowful and woful vnto the afflicted flock: but there was no remedy, for procede they could not. Then those Termagants and villains caught theyr horse by the bridles, and droue back again theyr wagons, pricking the pore oxen and beasts with theyr speares and Iauelins, that horrible it is to report the tyrany vsed towards man and best, in such wyse as the pore miserable women (God wot) contrary to their desyres, were forced in dispyte of theyr teeth to retourn. Som alack fell of theyr horse wyth theyr little babes in theyr lappes, and were miserably troden vnder the horsefeete, and ouerrun with the 213 wheles of the wagons theyr brains and guts gushing out through the weight and comberance of the cariage, and (which was most pitiful) one of them not able to help an other, and much lesse to rescue theyr yong and tendre sucking babes, the vyle sergeants forcing ech wight with theyr staues and weapons maugre theyr desirous mindes to reenter the City. Many died by the constrained meanes out of hand, many were troden vnder the horsefeete, and many gasping betwene life and death: but the greatest soart of the litle infants were slaine out of hand, and crusht in pyeces: those whych remayned alyue, were commytted to Pryson, and the goods which they caryed wyth them altogyther seased vpon by the tyrant. Thys wycked and cruell facte was most intollerable and greeuous vnto the Cytyzens of Elis, wherevppon the holy dames consecrated to the God Bacchus, adorned and garnyshed wyth theyr pryestly Garments, and bearyng in theyr Handes the sacred mysteryes of theyr God, as Aristotimus was passyng through the Streete garded with hys Souldyers and Men of Warre, wente in processyon to fynde hym oute. The Sergeauntes for the reuerence of those religious women disclosed, and gaue them place to enter in before the Tyrant. He seing those Women apparelled in that guise, and bearing in their hands the sacred Bachanal mysteries, stoode stil, and with silence heard what they could say: but when he knew the cause of their approch, and that they wer come to make sute for the poore imprisoned women, sodainly possessed with a diuelish rage, with horrible hurly burly, bitterly reprehended his garrison for suffering those women to come so neare him. Then hee commaunded that they should be expelled from that place without respect, and condemned euery of them (for their presuming to intreat for such caitiue prisoners) in II. Talents a piece. After these mischiefs committed by the tyrant, Hellanicus one of the pryncipal and best esteemed persons of the City, although that he was decrepite, and for age very weake and feeble, cared not yet to aduenture any attempt what soeuer, so it might extend to the deliuery of his countrey from the vnspeakable tyranny of most cruel Aristotimus. To this gray haired person, bicause he was of aged yeares, void of children which were dead, this Tyrant gaue no great hede ne yet emploied any care, thinking that he 214 was not able to raise any mutine or tumult in the City. In the mean space, the Citizens, which as I haue sayd before, were banished into Etolia, practysed amongs them selves to proue their Fortune, and to seeke al meanes for recouery of their countrey, and the death of Aristotimus: wherfore hauing leuied and assembled certaine bands of Souldiers, they marched forth from their bannished seat, and neuer rested till they had gotten a place hard adioyning to their City, where they might safely lodge, and with great commodity and aduantage besige the same, and expel the tyrant Aristotimus. As the bannished were incamped in that place, many citizens of Elis daily fled forth, and ioyned with them, by reason of which auxiliaries and daily assemblies they grew to the ful numbre of an army: Aristotimus certified hereof by his espials was brought into a great chafe and fury, and euen now began to presage his fall and ruine: but yet meaning to foresee hys best aduantage, went vnto the pryson where the Wyues of the banished were fast inclosed, and bicause he was of a troublesome and tyrannical nature, he concluded with him self rather to vse and intreat those wiues with feare and threates, than with humanity and fayre wordes: being entred the pryson, hee sharpely and wyth great fiercenesse commaunded them to write vnto their husbands that besieged him without, earnestly to persuade them to giue ouer theyr attempted warres: “Otherwyse (sayd he) if ye do not follow the effect of my commaundement, in your own presence I wil first cause cruelly to be slayne al your little Children, tearyng them by piece meale in pieces, and afterwardes I wyll cause you to be whipped and scourged, and so to dye a most cruel and shamefull death.” At which fierce and tyrannycal newes, there was no one woman amongs them that opened theyr mouthes to answer him: the most wycked and vile tyrant seing them to be in such silence, charged them vpon theyr liues to answer what they were disposed to doe: but although they durst not speake a word, yet with silence one beholding eche other in the face, fared as though they cared not for hys threats, more ready rather to dye than to obey his comaundement. Megistona then, which was the wife of Timolion, a matrone aswell for hir husband’s nobility as hir owne vertue, in great regard and estimation, and the chief amongs 215 all the Women, who at his comming in would not rise, but kept her place, nor vouchsafing to doe any reuerence or honor vnto hym, and the like she bad the rest: in this wyse sitting vpon the ground with vnlosed tongue and liberty of speach, stoutly she answered the tyrant’s demaund in this manner: “If there were in thee, Aristotimus, any manly prudence, wisedome, or good discretion, truly thou wouldest not commaund vs poore imprisoned women to write vnto our husbands, but rather suffer vs to goe vnto them, and vse more moderate wordes and myld behauiour, than wherewith of late thou diddest entertaine vs, by scoffing, mocking, and cruelly dealyng with vs, and oure pore children: and if now thou being voyd of all hope, doest seeke to persuade by our meanes likewise to deceiue our husbands, that be come hither to put theyr Lyues in Peryll for our deliveraunce, I assure the thou vainly begilest thy selfe, for wee henceforth do purpose neuer to bee deceyued of the: wee require thee also to thinke and stedfastly beleeue, that our husbands heades bee not so mutch bewitched with Folly, as despysing their Wyves and Chyldren, Neglecting their duetyes towards them, wyll, being in this forwardnesse, abandon their preseruation and geeve ouer the Liberty of theyr countrey: think also that they little esteme or wey the regard of vs, and theyr children, in respect of the great contentation they shal attaine by vnyoking the liberty of theyr countrey from thy pride and intollerable bondage, and which is worst of al, from that tyranny which neuer people felt the like: for if thou were a king as thou art a tyrant, if thou were a Gentleman borne of noble kind as thou arte a slaue, proceding from the deuil, thou wouldest neuer execute thy cursed cruelty against a feble kind, such as women be, and werest thou alone ioyned in singular combat with my valyant and dere beloued husband, thou durst not hand to hand to shew thy face: for commonly it is seene, that the Courtly Ruffyan backed on wyth such mates as he is himself, careth not what attempt he taketh in hand, and stares with hayre vpright, loking as though he would kil the deuyll, but when he is preast to seruyce of the field, and in order to encountre with his Prynce’s foe, vpon the small sway by shocke or push that chaunceth in the fight, he is the first that taketh flyght, and laste that 216 standeth to the face of hys ennimy. Such kind of man art thou, for so long as our husbands wer farre of, absent fro theyr Country, not able to rid vs from thy thral, thou wroughtest thy malyce then against theyr wyues at home, doyng the greatest cruelty towardes them and theyr suckyng babes, that euer deuyl could do vpon the damned sort, and now thou seest them arriued here vnder our country walles, thou flyest and seekest help at women’s hands, whose power if it serued them according to their willes, would make thee tast the fruit of thy commytted smart.” And as she would haue proceded further in hir liberal talk, the Caytife tyrant not able to abyde any further speach, troubled beyond measure, presently commaunded the litle child of hir to be brought before him, as though immediatly he would haue killed him, and as his seruants sought him out, the mother espied him playing amongs other children, not knowinge for his small stature and lesse yeres, wher he was becom, and calling him by his name, said vnto him: “My boy, come hither, that first of al thou mayst lose thy life, to feele the proufe and haue experience of the cruel tyranny wherin we be, for more grieuous it is to me to see the serue against the nobility of thy bloud, than dismembred and torn in pieces before my face.” As Megistona stoutly and vnfearfully had spoken those words, the furious and angry tyrant drew forth his glistring blade out of the sheath, purposing to have slaine the gentlewoman, had not one Cilon the familiar freend of Aristimus stayd his hand, forbidding him to commit an act so cruel. This Cilon was a fayned and counterfayt frend of the tyrant, very conuersant with other his familiar frends, but hated him with deadly hatred, and was one of them that with Hellanicus had conspired against the tyrant. This gentleman then seeinge Aristotimus wyth so great fury to waxe wood agaynst Megistona, imbraced him, and sayd, that it was not the part of a gentleman proceeding from a Race righte honourable, by any meanes to imbrue hys Handes in Woman’s bloud, but rather the signe and token of a cowardly knyght, wherfore he besought him to stay his hands. Aristotimus persuaded by Cilon, appeased his rage, and departed from the imprisoned women. Not long after, a great prodige and wonder appeared in this sort: before supper the tyrant and his wyfe withdrue 217 themselues into their chamber, and being there, an Egle was seene to soare ouer the tyrante’s palace, and being aloft, by little and little to descend, and letting fal from her tallands a huge and great stone vpon the top of that chamber, with clapping wings and flying noyse soared vp againe, so far as she was cleane out of sight from them that did behold hir. With the rumor and shouts of those that saw this sight, Aristotimus was appalled, and vnderstanding the circumstance of the chaunce, hee sent for his diuine to declare the signification of this Augurye, which greatly troubled his minde. The Southsayer bad him to be of good chere, for that it did portend the great fauour and loue which Iupiter bare vnto him. But the prophet of the City whom the Cytizens had wel tryed and proued to be faithfull and trusty, manifested vnto them the great daunger that hong ouer the tyrant’s head, sutch as the lyke neuer before. The confederats which had conspired wyth Hellanicus, made great speede to prosecute theyr enterprise, and the next night to kil the tyrant. The very same night Hellanicus dreamed that he saw his dead sonne to speak vnto him these woords: “What meane you father this long tyme to sleepe, I am one of your sonnes whom Aristotimus hath slayne, know you not that the same day you attempt your enterpryse, you shalbe captaine and prince of your country?” By this vision Hellanicus confirmed, he rose bytimes in the morninge, and exhorted the conspirators that day to execute the benefit of their country. That time Aristotimus was certified how Craterus the Tyrant of another Citty, with a great army, was comming to his ayde agaynst the Banished people of Elis, and that hee was arriued at Olympia, a Citty betweene the mount Ossa, and the mountayne Olympus. With whych newes Aristotimus beinge incouraged, thought already that he had put to flight and taken the banished persons, which made him to aduenture hymselfe abroade wythout Guard or garrison, accompanied only wyth Cilon and one or two of his familiar frendes, the very same time that the conspiratours were assembled to do the facte. Hellanicus seeing the time so conuenient to deliuer his beloued countrey by the death of the traiterous tirant, not attending any signe to be geuen to his companions (although the same was concluded vpon) the lusty old man liftinge 218 vp his handes and eyes vnto the heauens, with cleare and open voyce cried out to his companions and sayd: “Why stay yee, O my Cityzens and louinge countrymen, in the face of your Citty to finish this good and commendable act?” At whych words, Cilon was the first which with his brandishing blade killed one of those that wayted vpon the Tirant. Thrasibulus then and Lampidus assayled Aristotimus, vpon whose sodayne approche, he fled into the Temple of Iupiter, where hee was murdred with a thousand wounds vpon his body, accordingly as he deserued. He beinge thus deseruedly slayne, his body was drawen vp and down the streetes, and proclamation of liberty sounded vnto the people: whereunto ech Wyght assembled, amonges whom the imprisoned Women also brake forth, and reioysed with their countrey deliuerers of that egregious enterprise, by fires and bankets outwardly disclosinge their exceedinge great ioy wythin, and in mid of their mirth the people in great thronges and companies ranne to the Tyrant’s Palace, whose Wyfe hearinge the people’s noyse, and certified of her husband’s death, inclosed her selfe in a chamber with her two daughters, and knowinge how hatefull she was vnto the Citizens, with a fastned cord vpon a beame she hong hir selfe. The chamber dores being broke open, the people viewed the horrible sight of the strangled Lady, wherewithall not mooued they tooke the two tremblinge Daughters of the Tyrant, and caryed them away, purposinge to Rauish and Violate the same, firste to saciate their lust with the spoyle of theire virginitye, and afterwardes to kyll them (those gentlewomen were very beautiful and mariageable) and as they were about to do that shamefull deede, Megistona was told thereof, who accompanied with other Matrons sharpelye rebuked theire furye sayinge: that vncomely it were for them which sought to establishe a ciuill state, to do such a shameles act as tyrant’s rage would scarce permit. Vpon that noble matron’s auctoritye and interception, they ceassed from their filthy fact: and then the woman tooke the virgins out of the people’s handes, and brought them into the chamber where there strangled mother was. And vnder standing howe it was decreede that none of the tyrante’s bloude should rest a liue: shee turned her face to the two yonge gentlewomen and sayde: “The chiefest 219 pleasure which I can do vnto you, resteth in this choyse, that it shall be lauful for eyther of you to chose what kind of death you list, by knyfe or halter, if you wil to dispatch your liues from the headles peoples greatter fury, vppon whose two whyte and tender bodyes if they do seaze the goddes do knowe and we do feare the cruelty and great abuse which they do mean to vse, I thinke not for despyte of you, but for the iust reuenge of your most cruell father’s actes, for the tyrannous life of whom the goddes do thunder downe the boltes of their displeasure, afflicting his nearest blood and bestbeloued wyfe and children, with vengeance poured from heauens.” Vppon the sentence of this the fatall ende, the elder mayden of the twayne vnlosed a gyrdle from her middle, and began to tye the same to hang hir selfe, exhorting her yonger sister to do the lyke: and in any wise to beware by sparing of her life, to incur the beastly rage of the monstruous people, which cared not to do ech vile and filthy act, vnworthy theyr estate. The yonger sister at those wordes, layd handes vpon the fastened corde, and besought hir right earnestly first of al to suffer hir to die. Wherevnto the elder aunswered: “So long as it was lawfull for me to liue, and whiles we led our princely time in our father’s courte, and both were free from enimie’s danger, all things betwene vs two were common and indifferent, wherefore the gods forbid (that now the gates of death be opened for vs to enter, when with the Ghostes of our deere Parentes our soules amids the infernall fieldes be predestined to raunge and wander) that I shoulde make denyall of thy request. Therfore goe to good sister mine, and shrink not when thou seest the vgly face of her, that must consume vs all: but yet (dere sister) the deadly sight of thee before my selfe, will breede to me the woe and smart of double death.” When she had so sayd, she yelded the coller to her sister, and counselled hir to place the same so neere the necke bone as shee could, that the sooner the halter’s force might stop her breath. When the vnfearefull yonger sister was dead, the trembling hands of the dredlesse elder maid vntied the girdle from her neck, couering in comely wise her senselesse corps. Then turning hir self to Megistona, she humbly prayd hir not to suffer their two bodies to be seene naked, but so sone as she could, to bury them both in one 220 Earthly graue, referring the frutes of their virginity to the mould wherof they came. When she had spoken these wordes, without any stay or feare at all, with the selfe same corde she strangled herselfe and so finished her fatal dayes. The guiltlesse death of which two tender maydes there was none of the citizens of Elis (as I suppose) so stonye hearted and voyde of Nature’s force, ne yette so wrothe agaynst the tyrant father, but did lament, as wel for the constant stoutenes and manner of their death, as for their maydenlyke behauiour and right honest petitions made to that noble matrone Megisthona, who afterwardes caused the other dames to bury those two bodyes in one graue. O how happy and famous had these two sisters bene, if they had not bene the daughters of so wicked and cruell a father? But parentes offence or childrens trespas ought not to deface the vertuous dedes of their posterity.



The maruaylous courage and ambition of a gentlewoman called Tanaqvil, 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.

Ancus Marcius beynge the fourthe king (after Romulus the first builder of that Cittye) there came to dwell in Rome one Lucumo, a lusty gentleman, ryche and desirous of honour, who determined to continue his habitation there. The same Lucumo was the son of one Demaratus, a Corinthian, that for sedition fled his owne countrye, and dwelt in Hetruria amonge the stocke of the Tarquines: and after he was maried he begat II. sons, one of them was this Lucumo, and the other was called Aruns. Lucumo was heire to his father, for that Aruns died before leauing his wife gret with child, the father not knowing that his daughter in law was with child, gaue nothing in his wil to his nephew: for which cause the child was called Aruns Egerius . Lucumo being the sole heire of his father, maried a noble woman named Tanaquil, and bicause the Thuscans could not abide to see a straunger grow to abundance of welth and authoritie, shee despised hir owne countrey rather than she would suffer her husband in any wise to be dishonoured. Wherfore she deuysed to forsake the Tarquinians and to dwel at Rome, where she thoughte among that honourable sorte and new erected state that her husband beyng stout and valiant should attayne some place of resiaunce. For she shall be called to remembrance that Tatius the Sabine, Numa borne of the stocke of Curetes and Ancus, broughte forthe by a Sabine woman 222 all straungers, did rayne and became noble and mightye. Thus ambicion and desire of honoure easily doth perswade any deuyse: wherfore carying with them all their substance they repaired to Rome. It chaunced when they came to Ianiculum, as he and his wife were sitting in a Wagon, an Eagle hooueringe hir wings ouer Lucumo, sodenly toke away his Cappe, which don she soared ouer the Wagon with great force, then she retourned againe, as though he had bene commaunded by some Celestyall prouidence, and aptly placed his cappe againe vpon his head, and then soared away vp into the element. Tanaquil conceiuing this act to be some Augurie or Prophecie, being cunning in that knowledg (as commonly all the people of Hetruria be) imbraced hir husband and willed him to be of good cheere and to expect great honour. And as they were ymagining and consulting vpon these euentes, they entred the City, and when they had gotten a house for him and his family, he was called Tarquinius Priscus. His riches and great welth made him a noble man amonges the Romanes, and through his gentle entertainment and curteous behauioure, he wanne the good willes of many, in so much as his fame and good reporte was bruted through out the pallace. At length he grew in acquaintance with the king him selfe, who seeing his liberall demeanor and duetifull seruice, esteemed him as one of his familiar and nere frends, and both in his warres and also at home he imparted to him the secrets of his counsell, and hauing good experience of his wisedom, by his laste will and testament appointed him to be tutor of his children. Ancus raigned XXIIII. yeres, a man in peace and Warre, in pollicy and valiance with any of his predecessours comparable: his children were very yong, and for that cause Tarquinius was more instant to summon a parliament for creation of a kyng. When the day was come he sente the young children abroade a huntyng, and then ambiciously presumed to demaunde the kyngdome, beinge the first that euer attempted the like. For the better conciliation and obteynyng of the peoples good will, hee vttered his oration: “I do not presume to require a straunge or newe thynge: that was neuer before put in practyse, nor yet am the first, but the third stranger and foraine borne that affected and aspired this gouernment: for which consideration 223 there is no cause why any man ought to muse or maruell more than behoueth. It is euidently knowen that Tatius, not onely being a stranger but also an ennemy, was made king. Numa also was made king, being altogether a Forraine and Stranger borne, not through his owne request, but rather voluntarily accited and called thereunto by the Romaynes: but for my parte, after I was able to gouerne my selfe, I repayred to dwell at Rome with my Wyfe, my Children, and all my substance, where I haue spent the chiefest portion of my lyfe, specially after it was mature and able to execute ciuile magistery, which I chose rather to bestowe at Rome than at home in myne owne country. I haue learned the Romane rites and lawes, aswell sutch as be meete to serue abroade in the warres, as also necessary to be practised at hoame, at the handes of mine olde maister Ancus Martius your late king, a mayster right worthy and famous in all poynctes to bee followed: I shewed myselfe an humble and obedient subiect to the kyng and in frendship and familiarity toward others, I contended with the kyng himselfe.” When he had spoken those woordes, which in deede were very true, wyth the whole consent of the people he was saluted kynge: and as all thynges succeeded his Noble request, euen so after hee was settled in hys kyngdome, hee gaue himselfe to amplifie the common wealth: he chose an hundred graue persons, whych he called the Fathers of the lesser Countryes. He warred first with the Latines, and wan the Citty of Appiolas, who bryngyng from thence a greater spoyle and booty than was looked for, ordayned richer and more gorgeous Playes than any of hys predecessours: hee buylded certayne Galleries and other places of assembly aboute the Forum, hee walled the City round about wyth Stone: and as he was doing these things, the Sabines interuented him vpon the sodayne, in so much as they were passed the Ryuer of Anienes before the Romane hoste was in a readynesse: whych was an occasion of great feare and styrre at Rome. In the ende after the battayles were ioyned betweene them both, a cruell and blouddy slaughter was commytted, the victorye falling to neyther parte. Then the Romanes sought meanes to renue theyr force, by addyng to theyr armye a further bande of horsemen. Wherefore Tarquinius sent to the Rammenses, Titienses, 224 Luceres: to the bandes that Romulus had conscribed, hee added other new troupes of horsemen, purposing that the same should contynue in memorye of him after hys death: and bicause Romulus dyd the same without aduyse of the Southsayers, one Accius Nauius, the notablest Prophecier in those Dayes, wythstode that constitutyon, affyrmyng that it was not lawfull for him eyther to appoynt a newe order or to alter the olde, except the byrdes and auguries did assent thereunto: wherewith the kynge was displeased and deluding that Scyence, said: “Go to M. Southsayer: tell me now” (quod he) “is it possible to bring that to passe which I haue now conceiued in my mynd?” “Yea,” quod the Southsayer, “if you tel me what it is.” “Then” quod Tarquinius, “I haue deuised that thou shalte pare thine owne skin with a raser: therfore take thys knyfe and doe as thy byrdes doe portend and signifie.” And as it was reported he pared his owne Skin in deede: in memory whereof an Image of Accius was erected, with his Head couered: after that tyme there was nothing attempted without those auguries. Notwithstandyng, Tarquinius proceeded in hys constytutyon, and added to the Centurias an other number, for that 1800 horsemen wer conteyned in the three Centuriæ: the latter addytion was called also by the same name, whych afterward were doubled into VI. Centurias. When hys Numbre was thus increased, once again he ioyned battell wyth the Sabines, who by a notable pollicy recouered a great victory: and bicause the Sabines doubled a fresh onset without any order of battell or good aduysement, they were ouerthrowen, and then constrained to make petition for peace: the City of Collatia, and the Country confining vpon the same, was taken from the Sabines. The Sabine warres beinge in this sorte ended, Tarquinius in tryumphaunt maner retourned to Rome. At that time a prodyge and myraculous wonder chaunced to bee seene in the Palace. The head of a Chyld whose name was Seruius Tullius lying a slepe in the palace, was seene to burn. The kyng was brought to see that myracle: and as one of his seruaunts was going to fetch water to quench the fire, he was stayed by the Queene, who commaunded that the child should not once be touched vntyll he awaked of hymselfe: and so soone as hee rose 225 from sleepe, the fire vanyshed: then she tooke hir husbande aside, and sayd: “Doe you see this Chyld whom we haue very basely and negligently brought vp? I assure you sir (sayd she) he wil be the onely safeguard and defender of this our doubtfull state, and will be the preseruer of our household when it is afflycted: wherefore let vs make much of him, that is lyke to be the ornament and a worthy stay to all our famyly.” After that they had accompted him amongs the Number of theyr Chyldren, and traded him vp in those Arts, which excyte all good dispositions to aspyre vnto houour, the pleasure of the Gods appeared in shorte tyme: for the child grew to a royall behauior, in so much, as among all the Romane youth there was none more mete to mary the daughter of Tarquinius. This Seruius Tullius, was the sonne of one Seruius Tullius that was a Captaine of a towne called Corniculum, at the apprehension whereof, it chaunced that the sayd Tullius the father was slayne, leauing his wife great with child: the mother being a captiue and bondwoman was delyuered of hir Child at Rome, in the house of Priscus Tarquinius. After Tarquinius had raigned 38 yeres, the yong man began to grow to great honor and estimation, aswell with the kinge himselfe, as also with the Fathers. Then the Romanes conceiued a hateful indignation against the king, for that he being put in trust to be the tutor and gouernour of Ancus children, displaced them from theyr ryght inheritance, and specially for that he himself was a stranger, fearyng also that the kingdome should not return again to the election of themselues, but degenerat and grow into seruile bondage. They also caled to remembrance, that the city continued one hundred yeres after the sublation of Romulus, an intier kingdome within one city, and that it was a shame for them to suffer a bondeman, borne of seruile kind, to possesse the same, and would redounde to their perpetuall ignominie, hauing the progenie of Ancus aliue, to suffer the same to be open to strangers, and bondmen: wherefore they determined to defend the griefe of that iniury, and to be reuenged rather vpon Tarquinius, than upon Seruius. In fine, they committed the execution of that fact to two shepherds chosen out for that purpose: who deuised this pollicy: before the entry into the Palace they fell togyther by the eares, vpon whych fray al the kinge’s 226 officers assembled and repaired thither to know the cause of theyr falling out, when they were parted, they appealed to the king, with such exclamation as they were heard to the Palace: beyng called before the king, both of them fell to brauling, and one of them striued of purpose to hinder the tale of the other. The king’s sergeant rebuked them, commaunding them to tel theyr tales in order: when they were a lyttle quieted, one of them beginneth to discourse the tale. And as the king was attentife to heare the plaintif, the other tooke vp a hatchet and threw it at the kyng, and leauing thee weapon stickinge in the wound, they conueyed theymselues out of the dores. Those that wayted vpon the kynge, made hast to releeue him, and the Sergeantes followed to apprehend the malefactors. Wyth that a hurly burly rose amongs the people, euery man maruellinge what the matter shoulde be. Tanaquil commaunded the Palace Gates to be shut, and seeketh remedy to cure her husband, as though some hope fayled of his recouery, she called Seruius before her (whych maried her daughter) and shewed vnto him her dead husband, holdinge him fast by the right hande, shee intreated hym that he would not suffer the death of his father in the law to be vnreuenged, to the intent he might not be ridiculous to the traytours, saying to him further these wordes: “If thou bee a man of thy handes (O Seruius) the kyngdome is thyne and not theirs, which thus cruelly by the handes of other haue committed thys abhominable fact: wherefore put forth thy self, and the Gods be thy guide: for they did portend this noble head to be the gouernour of this city, at such tyme as they circumfused the same with a fire descending from aboue. Let that heauenly flame excite thy courage: be throughly awaked: we beyng straungers sometimes haue raigned. Thinke and consider what thou art, and not from whence thou camest: if the strangenesse of the case do affray the, my counsel from time to time shall relieue thee.” The cry and stirre of the people being vnmesurable, that one could scarse heare an other, Tanaquil opened the windowes that had their prospect to the new way (for the king dwelt at the temple of Iupitor Stator) and then spake to them in thys wyse: “Be of good cheere (good people) the king is but amazed with the sodainesse of the stroke, the wound is not very deepe, for euen 227 nowe he is come agayne to hym selfe, and the wounde being opened and dressed there is good hope of life: I trust within these fewe dayes you shall see hym: in the meane time, I pray you to shewe your obedyence to Seruius Tullius, who is appointed to execute the lawes, and to doe all other affayres in the absence of my husbande.” Seruius occupyinge the state and authoritye of the kyng, executed the lawes in some cases, and in other some made the people beleue that he would consult with the king him selfe. The death of the king was concealed and kept close a certaine space til such tyme as Seruius had gathered his force about him. After the death of the kynge was disclosed, Seruius beinge garded with a strong garrison, toke vpon him to be king, not by the consente of the people, but by the will of the Fathers. The children of Ancus vnderstanding that the kyng was aliue, and that Seruius power and force was greate, conveyed themselues in exile to Suessa Pometia: and leaste the children of Tarquinius should attempte lyke enterpryse against him, as the children of Ancus did agaynst Tarquinius, hee maryed II. of his daughters to Lucius and Aruns the chyldren of Tarquinius. But yet the deuise of man could not breake the necessity of fate and constellatyon, for the hatred conceiued in desire of ambicious gouernment, made all thyngs vnstable and vnfaythfull amongs domestical frends: but yet to quyet and pacyfye the present tyme, warre was renued with the Veientes, and other Cytyes of Hetruria: wherein the Fortune and valiance of Tullius excelled: for when he had given an ouerthrow to the ennimy, least the people’s and fathers good wil should be withdrawne, he retourned to Rome: who then attempted and broughte to passe a notable worke in the common wealth. He instituted a certaine yerely taxe and reuenew, to satisfie and discharge all charges susteined in the time of peace and warre, with sundry other notable lawes and deuises for the defence of the publique state. After that he had mustered the whole numbre of the Citizens in the field called Martius, the same amounted to LXXX.M. and as Fabius Pictor saith, there were so many that were able to beare armure. Then the hilles Quirinalis, Viminalis and Exquiliæ, were added to the Citye. He compassed the town round about wyth a vamure, enuironyng the same with a double trench. He deuyded 228 the Romanes into V. bandes called Classes, and into Centurias, whych bee bandes of an hundred men. He also builded a temple to Diana, with the helpe and assistance of the Latine people. Amongs the Sabines there chaunced an Oxe in the House of an Husbande Man to bee broughte forth, of an huge bignesse and maruellous shape (the hornes whereof were placed at the porche of Diana’s temple for a monument long time after.) The Southsayers prophecie that where the same Oxe shoulde be first sacrificed to Diana, there the Chyefe empire and principall gouernement should remaine: which prophecie came to the knowledge of the Chyefe minister of Diana hir Temple. One of the Sabin’s expecting for a day mete to be employed in that sacrifice, brought the sayde Oxe to Rome to the Temple of Diana, placing the same before the altar. The chiefe Minister calling to remembrance the oracle, and saw that the greatnesse of that sacrifice should be famous, spake to the Sabine these wordes: “What dost thou meane (thou impure Straunger) to prepare sacrifice to Diana, before thou bee purified and clensed in the lyuelye Riuer of Tiber? Here belowe in this valley the sayde riuer doth runne: go get the hence and wash the.” The Sabine attached with a religious feare, goeth downe to the Riuer, and while he is washing himselfe a Romane doth offer the Sacrifice, which was right acceptable both to the kyng and his country. The king althoughe that of longe tyme he had raigned, yet vnderstoode that the elder Tarquinius which was maried to one of his daughters, did bragg and report eftsones that his father in law obteined the gouernment and kingdom without the consent of the people: wherfore the king through his lyberalyty by dyuyding the conquest atchyeued of the Ennymye amongs the common people, conciliated theyr fauor and good wils: in so much as he affirmed that he would raign in despite of them all, and that there was no king at any tyme that raigned with a more generall consent: all whych did nothing diminish the hope and desire of Tarquinius. He had a Brother whose name was Aruns, being of a quiet and gentle disposition. Both they married two of the king’s daughters, which were of manners and conditions very vnlike. The yonger daughter being the wife of Aruns, the sharper shrewe, and fiercer of nature, seeing that hir husbande 229 was nothing giuen or plyant to match with hir vngracious deuice or ambicious stomack, attempted hir brother, whose condicion was correspondent to hirs, and sayd vnto him, that he was a Man in deede, and one worthy to be accompted to be borne and proceede of the bloud Royall. Then she began to contemne hir sister, for that she hauing such a man to hir husbande, would suffer him to neglect so meete and iust occasion for recouery of the kingdom. Their natures being of one disposition, as commonly one myschyefe procureth an other, al things began to be disquieted throughe the attempt of that vngracious woman. To be shorte, they two deuysed meanes, that Aruns hys Brother, and the Elder Tullia hir sister were slain: which done, they two maried together. The wicked woman ceased not daylye to animate and prouoke hir husbande from one parricide to an other. And amongs all hir wicked talke and cruel instigations, she vsed these words: “If thou be that man vnto whom I thinke I am maryed, then I wil call the both husband and king: but if thou bee not hee, then the alteratyon is chaunged to the worse, and cruelty is matched with cowardise. But why doest thou not put thy selfe in a readinesse? Why thou commest not nowe from Corinthe, or from the Hetrurian Tarquines, to atchieue and conquere newe kingdoms as thy father did. The familiar Gods and the Gods of thy countrey, the nobility of thy father, and thy royal bloud, thy stately seate within thine own house, and thy name Tarquinius, do create and make kyng. But if in al these occasions thou dost wante stomacke, why dost thou make the whole Citye conceyue a false opinion of thee? Why dost thou not shewe thyselfe to be the sonne of a king? Auoide hence I say, and go to the Tarquinians, or to Corinth, retire again to thy firste lynage: thou dost rather resemble thy brother’s effeminate hart, than the valiant stomacke of thy father.” With these wordes and sutch like, she pricked forward hir husbande, and she hir self could in no wise bee quiet. Then Tarquinius went forth to the fathers of the lesser countries, and called to theyr remembraunce the benefites vnto them by hys father extended, desiring the like to bee shewed and rendered vnto hym, he allured the yonger sort of the City by giftes and other lyberall rewardes, promising them if he atteined his purpose, more frankly to recompence 230 them. By this meanes the king became odious and offensiue to the people. Tarquinius seeing his time, guarded with a bande of Men, entred the market place, wherewith the common people were greatly abashed, then he mounted into the palace, and placed himselfe in the royal seate of the same, causinge the Fathers to be cited before hym by the haraulde, vnto whom he repeted the petigree of Seruius, and his first entrance into the kingdom. As he was speaking these wordes, Seruius in great haste repayred to the Palace, and findyng Tarquinius sitting in his place, sayd to him these wordes: “Why? what is the matter Tarquinius (quod he?) Howe darest thou be so bolde so long as I am liuing to call the Fathers, or yet presume to sit in my seat?” Wherunto Tarquinius fiercely replyed: “That hee possessed but the roume of his father, which was more mete for a king’s sonne and heyre, than for suche a bondeman as hee was, and that hee had long enough abused his lordes and maisters.” Wherwithal a great hurly burly and tumult began to rise by the fautors of both parts, so that he was like to attaine the Garland, which best could daunce for it. Tarquinius forced to giue the laste aduenture, beynge more lusty and stronger than the other, tooke Seruius by the myddle, and caryinge hym oute of the Courte, threwe hym downe the Staires, whyche done, hee caused the Senate to retourne into the Palace. Then the kynge wyth all hys trayne of Offycers, and other hys seruaunts ranne away, and as they were flying, hee was slayne by those that Tarquinius sent after to pursue hym, in the streete called Cyprius. Tullia vnderstandyng that Seruius hyr father was slayne, she bashed not in hir Wagon to come into the market place before all the assemblye there, called hir husband out of the Court, and boldly was the first that called him king. But being rebuked and commaunded by him to auoid out of that greate throng of people, she retired home agayn, and when she was paste the vpper ende of the said strete called Cyprius, the wagoner dryuing toward the right hand to the Hill called Exquiliæ, hee stayed the Wagon, and shewed his Ladye the bodye of hyr Father, lyinge starke dead in the streete. In memory of which shamefull and vnnatural fact, long tyme after ther contynued a Monument: for the same strete was called Vicus Sceleratus. Some report that 231 she caused the wagon to be dryuen ouer the dead corps of hir father, wyth the bloud of whom and hir husband, hir wagon being contaminated, she presented the same to hir Gods: after which abhominable beginnings, like end ensued. This Seruius Tullius raigned XLIIII. yeres. Then Tarquinius began to raigne, vnto whom Superbus was added for his surname: this wicked sonne in law would not suffer the dead body of Seruius to be buried. His conscience being pricked with the abhominable gaine of hys kyngdom, fearying also least other might conceiue like example, he guarded his person with a band of armed men, executing all thinges wyth force and tyranny, contrary to the aduyse and consents of the Senate and people. He caused the fautors and frendes of Seruius to be put to death, whereby the numbre of the Fathers was diminished, whose places he suffred none other to supply, of purpose to bring that honourable order to contempt. He gouerned the common welth by his own domestical and priuate Counsel: War, peace, truce, society of the Cyties adioining, he vsed as he list, without any further assent. The Latines he specially regarded, to the intent that through forreine aide hee might raign in more surety at home, with the chief of which country he ioyned affinity. One Octauius Manilius, a Tusculan born, was the prince and chief ruler of that country, descending from the stock of Vlisses, and the Goddesse Circes, if the same be true, vnto whom Tarquinius gaue his daughter in mariage: by reason wherof he conciliated great alliance and frendes. Tarquinius beinge of great authority among the Latines, appointed them vppon a day to assemble at a woode called Ferentina, there to intreat of matters concerninge both the states. To which place the Latines repaired vpon the breake of the day, but Tarquinius came not thither till the Sunne was set. During whych time many things were in talke. There was one amonges them called Turnus Herdonius, whych in Tarquinius absence had inueyed vehemently agaynst hym, affirminge that it was no maruell though he was called Superbus by the Romanes. For what prouder mock could be inforced to the Latines, than to make them wayt a whole day for his pleasure. “Dyuers Princes and Noblemen (quod he) that dwel far of, be come according to the appointment, and he which 232 first allotted the day, is not present. Heereby it most euidently appeareth in what sort he will vse vs if he myghte once attayne the soueraynty. And who doubteth in thys so manyfest apparance, but that he went about to affect the Dominion of the Latines? If the Romanes haue had iust cause to beleeue him, and if their Kyngdome had ben but gotten and not violently rapt and stolne by parricide, then the Latines mighte also beleeue hym, who being but a straunger to them, had no great cause to beleeue hym. Hys owne subiects do repent the time that euer he bare rule: For some be slayne and heaped vpon the dead bodies of other, some be banished, some haue lost their goods: what other frutes than these maye the Latine people expecte and look for? Therefore if they would be ruled, he required euery man to returne home to his own house, and geue no more attendaunce for the day of Counsel, than he doth which first appoincted the same.” These wordes and sutch like, this sedicious and desperat man declared: Whose talke Tarquinius interuented, and vpon his comming euery man conuerted him selfe to salute him. Then Tarquinius began to excuse his long tariaunce, for that he was appoynted an arbitrator betwene the father and the sonne, for whose reconciliation he was forced to stay that longe space, and to spend the time of that day. Wherefore he appoynted the next day. The conceit of which excuse Turnus could not kepe secret, but sayd: that a matter betwene the father and the sonne might be ended in few wordes: for if the childe would not be obedient to his father, some mischyef must needes lyght vppon him. Tarquinius vnderstanding these inuections made againste hym by Turnus, immediatly deuyseth meanes to kil him, to the intent he myght inculcate like terror to the Latines, that he did to his owne subiects. And bicause he was not able to sort his purpose to effect by secrete malice, he attempted to accuse him of Treason, and suborned (by means of diuers of the Citty of Aricia) his owne man whom with gold he had corrupted to bring in a forged accusation, whych was that his maister had prepared in one night a number of men with Munition and weapon to distroy the Nobility of the Latines, of purpose to recouer the principalitye of the same. This matter began to be suspicious, by reason of the Tumult made the day beefore against Tarquinius, and therefore the people the soner 233 did credit the case. In fine, Turnus was condempned, and therefore a new kind of death deuised for him. Who being laide vpon a Hurdle his face vpward, was throwen into the water of Ferrentina. This execution being done Tarquinius reuoked the Latines to Counsel, wherein he praised them for their Iustice extended vpon Turnus, and then spake these wordes: “I may by an old order and constitution iustlye say thus mutch vnto you. The whole nation of the Latines descending from the City of Alba are bounde to obserue that truce which the Albanes wyth all their colonies annexing themselues to the Romane Empyre in the tyme of Tullius Hostilius, were firmely obliged to accomplishe. The renouation whereof will nowe conduce more aduauntage and vtylity to them al, than euer it did beefore. For throughe this Truce the Latines shall possede and participate parte of the prosperous successe of the Romane people. Better it were in this sort to ioyne themselues togither, than to see Destruction of either Cities, Depopulacions and spoiles of their countries, whych in the time of Ancus (my father then raygnyng) he suffered. The like also (if you do forsake this offer) ye may styll expecte and suffer.” The Latines herevnto were soone perswaded, a Day was appointed when the lustiest sorte of theyr Countrie should be ready armed at the wood called Ferrentina. Being ioyned in order of battel, they marched towardes the Volsciens, and wanne the Citye of Suessa Pometia, the spoile wherof Tarquinius solde for XL. Talents, imploying the same vpon the Temple of Iupiter. Afterwards he assaulted the Gabinians, and when he saw he coulde not by force obteyne the same, he surmised a pollicy. Who seeming to bend him self wholy vpon the building of the Capitole and to set aside the affaires of his warres, deuised with his sonne Sextus, which was the youngest of the three, that he should runne to the Gabinians, and complayne of his father’s intollerable crueltye, whych accordingly he did. Who shewinge hymselfe as a voluntarye exyle, sayd that hys father had conuerted hys tyrannye from other, and began to execute the same vpon his owne freendes, and that he was also weary of the presence of his owne chyldren going about to remoue hys domesticall conuersants oute of hys house, as he had done the like out of the Court, to the intent hee would leaue no ofspring or heyre behinde 234 him to possesse his kingdome: adding further, that he was escaped euen through the midde of his father’s weapons and fury, thincking no place better for his safegarde and refuge, than to seeke succour amongs his ennimies. “And bicause (quod he) ye shall not be deceiued, he is euen now preparing of warres against you, and purposeth vpon the sodaine to set vpon you. Now if there be no place of abode for me your humble suppliant amongs you, I must needes wander through Italy, and first I will attempt the Volscians, afterwardes the Æquians and Hernicians, tyll sutch tyme as I finde some Nation willing to defend the poore Chylde from the cruell and wicked furye of the Father: and perchaunce (quod he) ye shall wynne hym that may bee an Instrument and courage vnto you all, to represse that proude kyng and cruell Natyon.” The Gabinians delyberating what was best to be done in this case, the young man seemed as though he were offended, and would in al hast depart, and seeke refuge of others, then they curteously interteined him: thys yong man was had in great estimation amongs them, throughe craftye and vaine persuasions, makyng them belieue that he would conduct their army euen vnder the walles of Rome, with sundry other fained instigations to brynge him self the more in credit. At length he was chosen captain of theyr warres, and recouered sundry victories for the Gabinians: whereby the foolishe Nation both of the lower and chiefest sort, beleeued that their captayne was sent vnto them by the prouidence of the Gods. He susteined perill and payne in like sort as the common Souldier did, liberally deuidinge his spoiles and booties amongs them. He was so well beloued, that hys father Tarquinius at Rome was of no greater authority than hee was among the Gabinians. When he thought that he had recouered force enough to answer his father’s expectation, he sent a post to Rome to know his father’s pleasure, although the gods had giuen him sufficient authority amongs the Gabinians. And bycause Tarquinius was doubtful of the trust and fidelity of the messenger, hee would aunswer nothing by worde of mouth, but carying the messenger into a garden, hard adioyning his house, with a wand which he caried in his hand, he cut of the heads of the highest Poppies that grew in the garden, meanyng therby that he shoulde dispatche the 235 heads of the chiefest and principal in the City. Whervpon the messanger without answere by mouth returned. But by declaryng those signes and circumstances which his father vsed in the garden Sextus conceiued his meaning. Then like a naturall sonne, following the steppes of his father, he cut of the heads of the Gabinian nobility, wherupon som ran away, vpon whose departure the goods as wel of them as of other that were put to death were deuided. The state of the Gabinians being in this doubtful case, void of al counsell and succour, at length was surrendred to the Romanes. Then Tarquinius concluded peace with the Æquians, and renued a truce with the Thuscanes and wholly bent him self to the affayres of the City. This Tarquinius was the father of him that rauished the noble Lady Lucretia: the lamentable history whereof, is recited in my former Tome, by the end of which stock, remembred in that history, and begining of the same described in this Nouell, may be gathered, what fruyctes Ambytyon and lothsome luste bryng forth. For Tarquinius Priscus repairing out of Hetruria, to dwell at Rome, by the ambycyous wyll of hys wyfe aspired and atchyeued the kyngdome, whych was by the sundry deuyce of Tullia, the daughter of Seruius Tullius mainteyned, and by the libidinous desire of Sextus Tarquinius, the sonne of Superbus the 6 Romane kynge ended, and the whole race expelled and euerlastingly banished out of that Citty. So meete an example for those that breath, and longe after the Rightes, titles, and Kyngdomes of other, as may bee read in any Author. For although the Springe appeare very fresh and lusty, of some degenerate grifft planted vpon some auncient stock, yet the fruyct most commonly in taste eateth somwhat sower, and the Rellishe in mouth not altogether so pleasaunt, as that whych both in soyle and stocke, is duely planted.



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

If men would haue afore consideration of theyr owne doings, before they do attempt the same, or els premeditate and study the scope and successe thereof, I do verely beleeue that a numbre would not cast themselues headlong into so many gulfs of miseryes and calamityes as they do, specially Noblemen, and Prynces, who oftentymes doe exceede in temerity and rashnesse, by lettynge the Raynes of theyr own Lustes, to farre to raunge at large, wherein they deepely Plunge thymselues to theyr great Preiudice and Dishonour, as teacheth thys goodly hystorie ensuinge, whych declareth that there was a Prynce called Massinissa, the Sonne of Gala kynge of Massæzali, (a people of Numidia): who warfaring with the Carthaginians in Spaine agaynst the Romaynes, hauinge first fought honourably agaynst kynge Syphax in Numidia, it chaunced that Gala hys Father dyed, vppon whose death hys Kyngdome was inuaded and occupied by other, wherefore sustayninge stoutly the surges of aduersity combatinge wyth hys Enemyes, sometymes getting part of hys Kyngdome, and sometymes losinge, and many tymes molestinge both Syphax and the Carthaginians, was in dyuers Conflicts lyke to be taken or slayne. Wyth these hys trauels, impacient of no payne and trouble, he became very Famous and Renoumed, that amonges the people of Affrica, he acquired the name and title of a valiant and puissant Souldier, and of a pollitique and prouident Captain: afterwards he was generally welbeloued of the Souldiers, bicause not like the king’s sonne or a prince, but as a priuate souldier and companion, his conuersation and vsuall trade of life was amongs them, calling euery man by his propre name, cherishing and esteeming them according to their desert, obseruing neuerthelesse a certaine comelinesse of a Superiour. This Massinissa by meanes of one Syllanus being in Spayne, priuely entred acquaintance and familiarity with that Scipio which afterwardes was surnamed Affricanus, and who in 237 those dayes with the authoritie of Proconsul in that prouince, victoriously subdued the Carthaginians: the same Massinissa entred league with the Romanes and inuiolably so long as he liued obserued amity with the Romane people, and lefte the same to his children and posteritie as an inheritance. When the Romanes began warres in Affrica, spedily with that power he was able to make, he repaired to his old friend Scipio: within a whyle after Syphax beyng ouerthrowen in battell and taken, Massinissa and Lælius were sent to surprise the chief city of that kingdom, which sometimes were king Syphax owne, called Cirta. In that city remayned Sophonisba, the wyfe of Syphax and daughter to Hasdrubal of Giscon, who had alyenated hir husband from the Romanes, being in league with them, and by hir persuasions went to aide and defend the Carthaginians. Sophonisba perceiuing that the ennimies were entred the City of Cirta: and that Massinissa was going towardes the palace, determined to meete him, to proue his gentlenesse and curtesie, whereupon in the middes of his Souldiers thronge, whych were already entred the Palace, she stoutly thrust, and bouldlye looked round aboute, to proue if she could espye by some signes and tokens the personage of Massinissa. She amongs that prease perceeiued one for whose apparel, armure and reuerence don vnto him, semed vnto hir that without doubt the same was the king: and therefore incontinently kneeled downe before him, and pitiously began to speake in this manner: “For so mutch (O puissante prince) as felicity and good fortune, but specially the fauour of the Gods immortall haue permitted, that thou shouldest recouer thine auncient kingdome descended vnto the by righte and lawfull inheritaunce, and therewithall hast taken and vanquished thine ennimy, and now hast me at thy wyll and pleasure to saue or spyll, I poore wretched myserable woman brought into bondage from Queenelyke state, whilom leading a delycate life in Princely Courte, accompanyed with a royall traine of beautifull dames, and nowe at thy mercifull disposition, doe humbly appeale to thy mercye and goodnesse, whose Princely maiesty and comfortable aspect, chereth vp my woefull heart to loke for grace, and therefore am bold thus to presume with most humble voice to implore and crie out, beseechyng thee to reach me 238 hither thy victorious handes to kisse and salute.” This Lady was a passing fayre gentlewoman, of flourishing age and comely behauiour, none comparable vnto her within the whole region of Affrica: and so much the more as hyr pleasant grace by amiable gesture of complaint did increase, so much the heart of Massinissa was delyted, who being lusty and of youthly age (according to the nature of the Numides,) was easily intrapped and tangled in the nettes of Loue: whose glutting eyes were neuer ful, nor fiery hart was satisfied in beholding and wondring at hir most excellent beauty: not foreseeing therefore, or taking heede of the daungerous effect of beautie’s snares, his heart being so fiercely kindled with the swingyng flames of loue, who causing hir to rise, exorted hir to prosecute hir supplication: then she began to procede as foloweth: “If it may be lawfull for me thy prysoner and bondwoman (O my soueraign lord) to make request, I humbly do beseech thee, by thy royal maiesty, wherein no long time past my husband and I were magnificently placed in so kynglike guise as thou art now, and by that Numidicall name, common vnto thee and my husbande Syphax, and by the sauinge Gods and Patrons of this City, who with better fortune and more ioyfull successe do receyue thee into the same, that expelled Syphax out from thence: it may please thy sacred state, to haue pity on me. I require no hard and difficult thinge at thy handes, vse thine imperiall gouernement ouer me, sutch as law of armes and reason of Warre require: cause me if thou wilt, to pyne in cruel pryson, or do me to sutch death with torments, as thou list to vse, the sharp, fierce and cruel death that any wight can suffre, or Perillus Bull shall not be dreadfull vnto me, but more deare and acceptable than wonted life in pleasures led: for no death shal bee refused of mee, rather than to be rendred into the proud handes of the most cruell Romanes. Rather had I tast the trust of a natiue Numidie, borne with me in Affrike soyle, than the faith of straungers kinde: I know full well that thou dost knowe what curtesy a Carthaginian and daughter of Hasdrubal, shal surely looke for at the Romanes hands: whose mind is fearfull of nothing more than of theyr pride and glory intollerable: if thou (my lord) haddest sisters of thine own, or daughters of thy royal bloud brought forth 239 think that they may chaunce (if fortune frown) to slide into the Pit of aduerse lucke, so well as I am nowe: of that forme Fortune’s wheele is made, whych we dayly see to be vnstable, turninge and dyuers, that now peace and now warre it promiseth, now euill it threatneth, now mirth, now sorrow it bringeth, now aduauncinge aloft, now tumbling downe the clymbers up. Let Syphax bee cleare and liuely Example to thee, whych coulde neuer finde any stedfast stay vnder the Moone’s Globe. He was the mightiest and the richest kinge that raigned in Affrica, and now is the most miserable and vnlucky wight that liueth on Land. The Gods graunt that I bee no Prophet or Diuiner of future euill, whose omnipotency I deuoutly beseech to suffer thee and thy posterity in Numidie land and most happyly to raygne. Vouchsafe then to deliuer me from the Romanes thraldome, which if thou bee not able safely to bryng to passe, cause death (the ease of al woe) to be inflicted vpon me.” In speaking those words, she tooke the kynge’s right hande and many times sweetly kissed the same. And then her teares turned to pleasant cheare, in sutch wise as not onely the mynde of the armed and victorious Prynce was mooued to mercy, but straungely wrapped in the amorous Nets of the Lady, whereby the victour was subdued by the vanquyshed, and the Lord surprysed of his Captiue, whom with tremblinge voyce thus he aunswered: “Make an end, O Sophonisba, of thy large complaynt, abandon thy conceyued feare, for I wil not onely ridde the from the Romayne handes, but also take thee to my lawfull wyfe (if thou therewyth shalt be content) whereby thou shalte not leade a prisoner’s life, but passe thy youthfull dayes and hoarye age (if gods doe graunt thy life so long) as Quene vnto a king, and wife vnto a Romane frend.” When he had sayd so with weeping teares, he kissed and imbraced hir. She by the countenaunce, Sygnes, Gestes, and interrupted Woordes, comprehendyng the Minde of the Numide king to be kindled with feruent loue: the more to inflame the same beemoned her self with such heauinesse, as the beastly heartes of the Hircane Tygres would haue bene made gentle and dispoiled of al fiercenesse, yf they had beheld her: and againe she fel downe at hys feete, kissinge the armed Sabbatons vppon the same, and bedewinge them with hir warme teares. After many 240 sobbes and infinite sighes, comforted by him, she sayd: “O the the glorie and honor of all the kynges that euer were, bee or shall bee hereafter: O the safest aide of Carthage mine vnhappy countrey without desert, and now the present and most terrible astonishment: if my hard fortune and distresse after so great ruine might haue bene relieued, what greater fauour, what thing in all my life, coulde chaunce more fortunate, vnto me, than to bee called wife of thee? O, I blessed aboue all other women to haue a man so noble and famous to husband. O mine aduenturous and most happy ruine. O my moste fortunate misery, that such a glorious and incomparable mariage was prepared for me: but bicause the Gods be so contrary vnto me, and the due ende of my life approcheth (my deare soueraygne lorde) to kindle againe in me, my hope half dead, or rather consumed and spent, bicause I see myself wrapped in a state, that in vayne against the pleasures of the Gods, I go about to molest thee: a greate gift (and to say truthe) a right great good turne, I make accompte to haue receiued of thee, if mine owne death I should procure by thee, that dyinge by thy means or with thy handes, (whych were more acceptable,) I shoulde escape the feare of the Romaynes thral and subiection, and this soule deliuered of the same, should streight passe into the Elysian fieldes. The final scope of this my humble plaint, is to ryd me from the hands of the Romanes, whose thraldom to suffer I had rather die. The other benefit which thou dost frankly offer to me pore wretch, I dare not desire, mutch lesse require the same, bicause the present state of my mishap dareth not presume so high. But for this thy pity and compassion ioined with louing regard and mind toward me, mightye loue with al the other Gods reward and blesse thy gotten kingdom in long raign, enlarging the same with more ample bounds to thine eternal renoum and praise: and I do not only render humble thanks for this thy kynd and louing enterteinment, but also yeld my self thine own, so long as lyfe gouerneth this caitif corps of mine.” These words wer pronounced with such effect, as Massinissa was not able for pity to hold his teares, which watred so his comely form, as the dew therof soaked into his tender heart, and not able a long time to speake, at last thus hee sayd: “Gyue ouer (O my quene) 241 these cares and thoughts, dry vp thy cries and plaints, make an end of all these dolorous sutes, and reioyce, that frowarde Fortune hath changed hir mind: the Gods no doubt with better successe, wil perfourm the rest of thy liuing dais. Thou shalt henceforth remain my Quene and wife, for pledg whereof the sacred Godheads I cal to witnesse. But if perchaunce (which the thundring mighty God aboue forbid) that I shalbe forced to render thee the Romanes prisoner, be well assured, that on liue they shall not possesse the.” For credit and accomplishment of this promisse, and in signe of his assured faith, he reached his right hand to Sophonisba, and led hir into the inner lodging of the king’s Palace, wher afterward Massinissa with himself considering how he might perform hys promised faith, vexed and troubled with a thousand cogitations, seing in a maner his manifest ouerthrow and ruine at hand, prouoked with mad and temerarious loue, the very same day in open presence he toke hir to wife, solemnizing that mariage, which afterwardes bred vnto hym great vexation and trouble, meanynge by the same to haue dyscharged Sophonisba from the Romanes rule and order. But when Lælius was come and hearde tell thereof, hee fretted and chafed, and wyth threatnynge Wordes commaunded Massinissa to send his new maried wife (as the booty and pray of the Romanes) together wyth Syphax, to their captaine Scipio. Notwithstanding, vanquished with the supplications and teares of Massinissa, referring the matter wholy to the iudgement of Scipio, he dispatched Syphax with the other prisoners and bootie, to the Romane campe, and he himself remained with Massinissa for the recouerie of other places of the kingdome, minding not to returne before the whole prouince were brought vnder the Romane subiection. In the meane time Lælius gaue intelligence vnto Scipio, of the successe of Massinissa his mariage: who knowing the same to be so hastilye celebrated, was maruellouslye offended and troubled in Minde, mutche maruellynge that Massinissa woulde make sutch posthast before the comming of Lælius. Yea and vpon the very first day of his entrie into Cirta, that hee would consummate that vnaduised wedding: and the greater was Scipio his displeasure towards Massinissa, for that the loue which he had conceiued of that woman, was vnsemely and dishonest, 242 wondering not a little that he could not find out some Lady within the region of Spain of semblable beauty and comlinesse, to please and content his honest and commendable intent: wherfore he iudged Massinissa his fact to be done out of time, to the preiudice and great decay of his honor and estimation. Howbeit like a wise and prudent personage he dissembled his conceiued gryefe, expecting occasion for remedye of the same. Now the time was come that Lælius and Massinissa were sent for to the Campe. But to declare the teares and lamentable talke, the great mone and sighes vttered betwene this new maried couple, time would want, and tediousnesse would ouercome the Reader. He had scarce lyen with his beloued two or thre Nyghts, but Lælius (to their great grief and sorow) claymed hir to bee hys prysoner. Wherfore verye sorowfull and pensiue hee departed, and retourned to the Campe. Scipio in honourable wyse accepted him, and openly before his Captaines and men of warre, gaue thanks to Lælius and him, for theyr prowesse and notable exploites. Afterwards sending for him vnto his Tent, he said vnto him: “I do suppose (my dere frend Massinissa) that the vertue and beneuolence which you saw in me did first of all prouoke you, to transfrete the straits, to visite me in Spaine, wherein the good will of my valiaunt frend Syllanus did not a little auaile, to sollicite and procure amity betwene vs. And the same afterwards inducing your constant minde, to retire into Affrica, committed both your selfe and all your goods into my hands and keeping. But I well pondering the quality of that vertue whych moued you thereunto, you beinge of Affrica, and I of Europa, you a Numidian borne, and I a Latine and Romane, of diuers customes and language different, thought that the temperance and abstinence from venerial pleasures which you haue sene to bee in me, and experience therof wel tried and proued, (for the which I render vnto the immortal Gods most humble thankes) would or ought to haue moued you to follow mine example, being vertues which aboue all other I doe most esteme and cherish. For he that well marketh the rare giftes and excellent benefits wherwith dame Nature hath arraied you, would thinke that ther should be no lacke of diligence and trauell to subdue and ouercome the carnall appetytes of temporal beauty: 243 which had it bene applied to the rare giftes of nature planted in you, had made you a personage to the posterity very famous and renoumed. Consider wel my present time of youth, full of courage and youthly lust, which contrary to that naturall race I stay and prohibite. No delicate beauty, no voluptuous delectation, no feminine flattery, can intice my youth and state to the perils and daungers whereunto that heedelesse age is most prone and subiect. By which prohibition of amorous passions, temperatly raigned and gouerned, the tamer and subduer of those passions, closing his breast from lasciuious imaginations, and stopping his eares from the Syrenes, and Marmaydes, of that sexe and kinde, getteth greater glorye and fame, than wee haue gotten by our victory agaynst Syphax. Hanniball the greatest ennimy that euer we Romanes felt, the stoutest gentleman and captain without peere, through the delites and imbracements of women effeminated, is no more the manlike and notable emperor that hee was wont to be. The great exploits and enterprises which valyantly you haue done in Numidia, when I was farre from you, your care, readinesse, animosity, your strength and valor, your expedition and bold attemptes, with all the reste of your noble vertues worthy of immortal praise, I might and could perticulerly recite, but to commend and extol them my heart and minde shall neuer be satisfied, by renouacion wherof I should rather giue occasion of blushing, than my selfe could be contented to let them sleepe in silence. Syphax as you know is taken prisoner by the valyance of our men of warre, by reason whereof, him selfe, his wife, his kingdome, hys campe, landes, cities, and inhabitants, and briefly all that which was king Syphax, is the pray and spoile to the Romane people, and the king and his wife, albeit she was no Citizen of Carthage, and hir father, although no captayn of our ennimies, yet we muste send them to Rome, there to leaue them at the pleasure and disposition of the Romane Senate and people. Doe you not know that Sophonisba with her toyes and flatteries did alienat and withdraw king Syphax from our amitie and friendship, and made hym to enter force of armes against vs? Be you ignoraunt that she, full of rancor and malice aganyst the Romane people, endeuoured to set al Affrica against vs, and now by her 244 fayre inticementes hath gayned and wonne you, not I say our ennemy, but an ennymy so farre as shee can, with her cruell Inchauntments? What Damage and hurt haue lyghted vppon dyuers Monarches and Prynces through sugred Lippes and Venemous Woordes, I wyll not spend tyme to recite. With that prouocations and coniured charmes shee hath already bewitched your good nature, I wyl not now imagine, but referre the same to the deepe consideration of youre wisdome. Wherefore Massinissa, as you haue bene a Conquerer ouer great nations and prouinces, be now a conquerer of your own mind and appetites, the victorie whereof deserueth greater prayse than the conquest of the whole world. Take heede I say, that you blot not your good qualities and conditions, with the spots of dishonor and pusillanimitye. Obscure not that fame which hitherto is aduaunced aboue the Regyon of the glytterynge Starres. Let not thys vyce of Femynine Flatterye spoyle the desertes of Noble Chyualrye, and vtterly deface those merytes with greater ignomynie than the cause of that offence is worthye of disprayse.” Massinissa hearynge these egree and sharpe rebukes, not onely blushed for Shame, but bytterly Weepinge, sayde: that hys poore prisoner and wyfe was at the commaundement of Scipio. Notwithstanding, so instantly as Teares coulde suffer hym to speak, he besoughte hym, that if it were possible, hee woulde gyue him leaue to obserue hys faythe foolishlye assured, bicause hee had made an othe to Sophonisba that with life shee shoulde not bee delyuered to the Handes of the Romanes. And after other talke betweene them, Massinissa retired to hys pauylyon, where alone wyth manifolde sighes, and most bytter teares and plaintes, vttered wyth sutch houlinges and outcryes, as they were hearde by those whych stoode neare hande, hee rested al the daye bewailynge hys presente state: the most part of the nyghte also hee spent with lyke heauynesse, and debating in hys mind vpon diuers thoughts and deuises, more confused and amazed than before, hee could by no meanes take rest: somtimes he thought to flee and passe the straights commonly called the Pillers of Hercules, from thence to saile to the Fortunate Islandes with his wife: then agayne hee thoughte with hir to escape to Carthage, and in ayde of that City to serue agaynst the Romanes, somtimes hee proposed 245 by sworde, poyson, halter, or som such meanes to end his life and finish his dolorous days. Many times hee was at pointe by prepared knife and sworde to pierce his heart, and yet stayed the same, not for feare of death, but for preseruation of his fame and honor. Thus thys wretched and miserable louer burned and consumed in loue: tossing and tumbling him selfe vppon his bedde, not able to find comfort to ease his payne, thus began to say: “O Sophonisba, my deare beloued wyfe, O the life and comfort of my life, O the deynty repast of my ioy and quiet, what shall become of vs? Alas and out alas I crye, that I shall see no more thine incomparable beauty, thy surpassyng comely face, those golden lockes, those glistering eyes which a thousand times haue darkned and obscured the rayes and beames of the Sunne it self: Alas I say, that I can no longer be suffred to heare the pleasaunt harmonye of thy voice whose sweetenesse is able to force Iupiter himselfe to mitigate his rage when with lightning Thunderbolts and stormie claps in his greatest furie he meaneth to plague the earth. Ah that it is not lawfull any more for me to throw these vnhappy armes about thy tender neck, whose whitenesse of face entermingled with semely rudds, excelleth the Morning Roses, which by sweete nightly dewes doe sproute and budde. The Gods graunt that I doe not long remaine on liue without thy sweete haunt and company, which can no longer draw forth this breathing ghoste of myne, than can a Bodye lyue wythoute like Breathe in it. Graunt (O Myghty Iupiter) that one graue may close vs twaine to liue among the ghostes and shadowes that be already past this world for like right louing fitts, if intent of life be ment to mee without thy fellowship and delectable presence. And who (O good God) shal be more blisful amongs the Elysian fields, wandryng amids the spirites and ghostes of departed soules, than I, if there we two may iette and stalke amonge the shadowed friths and forests huge, besette with Mirtle trees, odoriferous and sweete? that there we may at large recount and sing the sweete and sower pangs of those our passed loues without anye stay or let at all: that there I say we may remembre things already done, reioycing for delights and sighing for the paines. There shall no harde hearted Scipio bee found, there shal no marble minded captain rest, which haue not had 246 regard of Loue’s toyes, ne yet haue pitied bitter payns, by hauing no experience what is the force of loue. He then with ouer cruell wordes shall not goe aboute to persuade me to forsake thee, or to deliuer thee into the Romanes handes, to incurre miserable and most cruell bondage: he shal there neuer checke me for the feruent loue I beare thee: we shal there abide without suspition of him or any other: they can not seperate vs, they be not able to deuide our sweetest companye. I would the Gods aboue had graunted me the benefite, that hee had neuer arriued into Affrica, but had still remayned in Sicilia, in Italy or Spayne. But what stand I vpon these termes, O I fole and beast? what meanes my drousie head to dreame sutch fansies? if he hadde not passed ouer into Affrica, and made war against kinge Syphax, how should I haue euer seene my faire Sophonisba, whose beauty farre surmounteth eche other wight, whose comelines is withoute peere, whose grace inspeakable, whose maners rare and incomparable, and whose other qualities generally disparcled throughoute dame Nature’s mould by speach of man can not bee described? If Scipio had not transfraited the seas to arriue in Affrike soile, how should I, (O onely hope and last refuge of my desires) haue knowen thee, neither should I haue bene thy feere, ne yet my wife thou shouldest haue ben, but great had ben thy gaine and losse not much, neuer shouldest thou haue felt the present painfull state, wherein thou art, thy life (whereof most worthy no doubt thou art) shoulde not haue lien in ballance poize, or rested in doubtfull plight, which now in choyse of enimies thrall thou maist prolong, or else in Romanes handes a praye or spoile by captiue state. But I beseech the gods to preuent the choyce to be a Romane prysoner. And who can thinke that Scipio euer ment to graunt me the life of one, and goeth about to spoile me of the same? Did not he giue me the pardon of one, when he sent me to besiege the City of Cirta, where I found fayre Sophonisba which is my Life? A straunge kinde of pardon, by giuing me a pardon to dispossesse me of the same. Who euer hard tel of such a pardon? So much as if he said to me, thus: ‘Massinissa, go take the paine to cause the city yeld, and ransack it by force, and I wil pardon thee thy lyfe. And not wyth the onely benefit, but with Cræsus goods I wil inrich thee, and make thee owner of 247 the happy soyle of Arrabia, and when I haue so done and rased the walles by myne indeuor, wherein myne onely lyfe and ioy did rest, at my retourne for guerdone of that Noble fact, in steede of lyfe hee choppeth of my head, and for fayre promyse of golden mountes, hee strips me naked, and makes mee a Romane slaue: accordynge to whych case and state he deales wyth me. For what auailes my Lyfe, if in gryefe and sorrowes gulffe I drown the pleasures of the same? Doth not he berieue my life and bredes my death by diuiding me from my fayre Sophonisba? Ah Caitife wretch, what lucke haue I, that neither storme nor whirle Wynde could sende him home to Italian shore, or set him packing to Sicile land? what ment cruell Scipio, when so sone as Syphax was taken, he did not streight way dispatch him to Rome, to present the glorious sight of the Numidian king to the Romane people? If Scipio had not beene here, thou Sophonisba frankly hadst bene mine: for at Lælias hands I could haue found some grace: but surely if Scipio did once see Sophonisba, and reclined his eyes to viewe hir perelesse beauty, I doubt not but he would be moued to haue compassion vpon hir and me, and would iudge hir worthy not onelye to be queene of Numidia but of all the prouince besides. But what, do I make this good accompt? The common prouerbe sayth, that he which counteth before his hoste, must recken twice: and so perhaps may be my lot: for what know I if Scipio did wel view hir, whether himselfe would be inamored of hir or not, and so utterly depriue me of that Iewel? He is a man no doubt as others be, and it is impossible me think, but that the hardnesse of his heart must bow to the view of such a noble beauty. But (beast as I am) what mean these wordes? what follies doe I vaunt by singing to the deafe, and teachyng of the blynd? O wretch, wretch, nay more than myserable Wretch. Marke the words of Scipio, he demaundeth Sophonisba, as a thing belonging vnto him, for which cause he sayeth that she is the pray and part of the Romane spoile: but what shall I do? shal I gyue hir vnto hym? He wyll haue hir, hee constraynes me, he exhortes mee, hee prayes mee, but I know full well wherevnto those intreaties tend, and vnder the Grasse what lurking Serpent lieth. Shal I then put into his hands mine own Sophonisba? But before I so 248 doe, the armipotent God aboue, with his flashing fires and flamming brands shall thunder me downe into the depthe of Hell. The gapyng ground receiue my corps, before I yeld to that request, the trampling steedes of sauage kinde do teare my members in thousand gobbets, the desert beastes consume my flesh, the rauening gripes and carrain kites pick out my tongue and eyes, before I glutte his rauenous mind with that demaund to break the fayth which by holy othe I haue promised to performe. O curssed caitif, but what shall I doe then? it behoueth to obey, and in despite of my teeth to do that which the Romane Emperour commaundeth. Alas, by thinking vpon that straight and needefull lot, I die a thousand deaths: wherfore of euils to chose the least of twaine, and to preserve my plighted faith, O swete Sophonisba, thou must die, and by meanes of thy beloued feere, shalt voyd the yoke of Romanes thral, for so it pleaseth vnmindeful Ioua to appoynt. The wretched Heauens by cruel fate haue throwen their lot, that I of mine owne mischiefe shal be the minister. And so (O life most deere) I shall performe the effecte to kepe the fayth whych last of all before thy face I did confirme.” By this speach and maner of talke, the good Prince bewayled his case, excogitating by what meanes he myght doe to death the thing which aboue al the world he loued best: at length it came vnto his minde to sende hir a draught of poysoned drink, which deuise he had no sooner founde, but he was driuen into a new kinde of fury, and kindled with disdayne, his braynes were on fire with extreme madnesse, and as though Sophonisba had bene before him, hee talked and raued in Bedlemwyfe: somtimes with taunts he checked hir to hir teeth, sometimes lamented hir vnfortunate state, sometymes with pawes displayed, he seemed to rampe into hir face, and then agayne into amorous toies his passions droue him forth. When I doe thinke what kinde of a man Massinissa was, who in deede was a crowned and most noble king, and who with sutch prudence gouerned his new conquered and recouered kingdoms, and so constantly perseuered in amity of the Romane people, I pray to God to graunt my frendes and myselfe also, not to enter into so intricat and louesome Labyrinth, wherein this Noble Prince was tangled, and wyth more temperaunce to gouerne 249 our beloued things. But retourning gayne to this afflicted gentleman Massinissa. He sent vnto his beloued wyfe and Queene a pot of poyson to rid hir of hir life: but yet staying his messenger, he cried out these words: God forbid that I should commit this infamous murder vpon hir whom I most deerely loue, I would rather conuey hir into the extreme partes of the vnknowen sandy Coaste of Libia, where the countrey is full of venomous beasts and crawling poysoned Serpents, in which we shalbe safe and sure from the danger of cruell and inexorable Scipio, by which meanes he shall neuer see the rare and diuine beauty, which the serpents once beholding, will mitigate and asswage their bitter poyson, and for whose sake they will not annoy ne yet hurt me hir louing husband and companion: wherefore let vs make hast to flee thither, to auoide the bondage and death prepared for vs: and if so be we be not able to cary with vs gold and siluer, yet shal we not want there some reliefe to maintayn our liues: for better it is to feede on bread and water, then to liue in perpetual thraldome. And liuing with thee (sweete wyfe) what pouerty and beggery am not I able to sustayne? The stormes of exile and penury, I haue already suffred: for beinge driuen out of my kingdome many times, I haue repayred to obscure dens and caues, where I haue hidden my selfe, and liued in the Wildernesse among the sauage Beasts. But what meane I thus to say of my selfe, whom no misaduenture can affray or myslyke? But thou deare wyfe whych hast ben trayned vp and nourished amongs the delicacies and bankets of the Court, accompanied wyth traynes of many fayre and noble ladies, lining lyke a Queene in al kinde of pleasures and delights: what shall I doe wyth thee? I know thy heart will not suffer thee to follow me, and yet if the same would serue thee, from whence shall I procure present shippinge? Vpon the Sea the Roman fleete beares swinge, vpon the land Scipio wyth hys Army occupieth euery Coast, and is generall Lord of the field. What then shall I most miserable and vnfortunate caitife do? for whilest I am thus makinge my bitter playnts, the night is past away, day light approcheth, and the bright shining mornyng begynneth to cleare the earth. And behold yonder commeth the General’s messanger for Sophonisba, whom I must eyther deliuer into his hands or 250 else commit her to present slaughter, beinge assured that she had rather make choise to dy, than fall into the Laps of the cruell Romans.” Whereupon he determined to send hir the poyson, and for very sorrow fell downe vpon the ground like a man halfe deade. Afterwards being come agayne to him selfe, he cursed the Earth, the Ayre, the Fyre, Heauen, Hell, and all the Gods of the same, and exclaming in lamentable wyse he called vnto him one of his most faithfull seruants, who according to the custome of those dayes, alwaies kept poyson in store, and sayde vnto him: “Receyue thys Cuppe of Golde, and deliuer the same with the poyson, to Queene Sophonisba now abiding within the City of Cirta, and tel hir that I with greatest good will would fayne haue kept the mariage knot, and the firste fayth whych I plighted vnto hir, but the Lorde of the Fielde, in whose power I am, hath vtterly forbidden the same. I haue assayed all possible meanes to preserue hir my Wyfe and Queene at liberty, but he which commaundeth me, hath pronounced such hard and cruell sentence, as I am forced to offend my self, and to be the minister of mine own mischief. Thys poyson I send hir with so dolefull Message, as my poore hearte (God knoweth) doth only fele the smart, being the most sorowfull present that euer was offred to any fayre Lady. This is the way alone to saue hir from the Romanes handes. Pray hir to consider the worthines of hir father, the dygnity of hir countrey, and the royal maiesty of the II. kings hir husbands, and to do as hir mynd and wil shall fansie best. Get the hence with all possible spede, and lose no tyme to do thys Message: for thou shalt cary the bane and present death of the fairest Ladye that euer Nature framed wythin hir fayrest mould.” The seruaunt with this commaundment did departe, and Massinissa lyke a Chylde beaten with the rodde, wept and cried. The messenger being come to the Queene, and giuing hir the cup with the poyson, declared his cruell ambassage. The Queene took the poysoned Cuppe, and sayd vnto the messenger: “Geeue the king thy mayster myne humble thankes, and say vnto hym, that I receyue and Drynke thys Poyson wyth a wyll so good, as if hee had commaunded me to enter in Tryumph wyth Laurel Garlande ouer myne ennymyes: for a better gifte a husbande can not gyue to wyfe, 251 than accomplyshment of assured fayth the funeralles whereof shall bee done wyth present obsequie.” And sayinge nothynge else vnto the messenger, shee tooke the Cuppe, and mynglynge well together the poyson wythin, shee vnfearfully quafft it vp: and when she had dronke it shee delyuered the messenger hys Cuppe agayne, and layed hir selfe vpon hir bed, commaunding hir gentlewomen in comely wyse to couer hir wyth Clothes, and withoute lamentation or Sygne of feminine minde, shee stoutly waighted for approching death. The Gentlewomen which wayted vpon hir, bewayled the rufull state of their Maystresse, whose plaints and scriches were heard throughout the palace, whereof the brute and rumor was great. But the good Queene vanquished with the strong force of the poyson, continued not long before she died. The messanger returned these heauie newes vnto Massinissa, who so sorowfully complained the losse of his beloued wife, in such wise as many tymes hee was lyke to kyll hymselfe, that hys Soule might haue accompanied the ghost of hir, whych was beloued of hym aboue all the dearest things of the Worlde. The valyant and wyse capitayne Scipio vnderstanding the newes hereof, to the intente Massinissa shoulde not commit any cruelty agaynst hymselfe, or perpetrate other vncomely deede, called hym beefore him, and comforted hym wyth the sweetest wordes he could deuise, and frendly reproued him. The next day in the presence of al the army hee highly commended him, and rewarded him wyth the kyngdome of Numidia, geuing hym many rych Iewels and treasures, and brought hym in great Estimation amonges the Romaynes: whych the Senate and people of Rome very well approued and confirmed with most ample Priuileges, attributinge vnto hym the title of kynge of Numidia, and freende of the Romaynes. Sutch was the ende of the vnhappy loue of kynge Massinissa, and of the fayre and lucklesse Queene Sophonisba.



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

Bvt now we haue beegon to treate of the stoutnesse of certayne noble Queenes, I wyll not let also to recite the Hystory of a lyke vnfearfull dame of Thessalian land, called Theoxena, of right noble Race, the Daughter of Herodicus Prynce of that Countrey in the tyme that Phillip the Sonne of Demetrius was kynge of Macedone, tolde also by Titus Liuius, as two of the former be. Thys Lady Theoxena, first was a notable example of piety and vertue and afterwardes of rigorous cruelty: for the sayd kyng Philip, hauinge through his wickednesse first murdred Herodicus, and by succession of time cruelly done to death also the husbands of Theoxena and of Archo hir naturall sister, vnto eyther of them being Wydowes remayninge a Sonne: afterwardes Archo being maryed agayne to one of the principall of their Countrey named Poris, of him she had many children. But when she was dead, the sayd Lady Theoxena hir sister, who was of heart more constant and stout than the other, still refused the second mariage, although sued vnto by many great Lordes and Princes: at length pityinge her nephewes state, for fere they should fall into the handes of some cruell Stepdame, or that theyr father would not bryng them vp with sutch diligence, as tyll that tyme they were, was contented to bee espoused agayne to Poris, (no lawe that time knowen to defend the same) to the intente she might trayne vp hir sister’s children as her owne. That done she began (as if they were hir owne) to intreate and vse them louingly, with great care and industrie: wherby it manifestly appeared that she was not maried againe to Poris for hir owne commodity and pleasure, but rather for the wealth and gouernement of those hir sister’s children. Afterwards Philip king of Macedone, an vnquiet Prince, determininge to make newe warres vpon the Romanes (then throughout 253 the worlde famous and renouned for theyr good fortune) exiled not onely the chiefe and noble men, but almost al the auncient inhabitants of the Cities along the sea coaste of Thessalia, and theyr whole and entier families into Pæonia afterwards called Emathia, a Countrey farre distant from the sea, giuing their voided Cities for the Thracians to inhabite, as most propre and faithful for the Romains warres, which he intended to make: and hearinge also the cursses and maledictions pronounced against him by the banished people, and vniuersally by al other, thought he was in no good surety, if he caused not likewyse all the sonnes of them, whom a litle before he had slayne, to be put to Death. Wherefore he commaunded them to be taken and holden vnder good gard in prison, not to do them al to be slain at once, but at times now one and then an other, as occasion serued. Theoxena vnderstanding the edicte of this wicked and cruell king, and wel remembring the death of hir husband, and of him that was husband to hir sister, knew wel that hir sonne and nephew incontinently should be demaunded, and greatly fearinge the king’s wrath, and the rigour of his guard, if once they fell into theyr hands, to defend them from shame and cruelty, sodainly applied hir minde vnto a straunge deuice: for shee durst to saye vnto hir husband their father’s face, that soner she would kil them with hir owne handes, if otherwise she coulde not warraunt them, then suffer them to bee at the will and power of kinge Philip. By reason wherof Poris abhorring so execrable cruelty, to comfort his wife and to saue hys Chyldren, promysed hyr secretelye to transporte them from thence, and caryed them himselfe to certayne of hys faythfull Fryendes at Athens, whych done wythoute longe delaye, hee made as thoughe hee woulde goe from Thessalonica to Aenias, to bee at the Solemnytye of certayne Sacrifices, which yearelye at an appoynted tyme was done wyth greate ceremonies to the honour of Ænêas the founder of that Citty, where spendinge the time amonges other in solemne bankets, the thrirde watch of the night when euery man was a sleepe, as though he would haue returned home to his countrey with his wyfe and children, priuely embarked himselfe and them, in a ship hired of purpose to passe into Euboea, and not to retourne to Thessalonica. But his intent was cleane altered and chaunged, for his ship was no sooner vnder saile, but at that instant a contrary winde and tempest 254 rose, that brought him back againe, in despite of their labour, and all the endeuour they were able to doe. And when daye lighte appeared, the king’s garrison descried that shippe, and manned out a boate, to bring in the same, which secretly they thoughte was about to escape away, giuing them straight charge, that by no meanes they should returne without hir. When the boate drew neare the shippe, Poris bent him self to encourage the mariners to hoyse vp saile againe, and to make way with their oares into the Sea, if it were possible, to auoide the imminent and present daunger, to saue the life of him selfe, his wife and children: then hee lyfted hys handes vp vnto the heauens to implore the helpe and succor of the Gods, which the stoute Gentlewoman Theoxena perceiuing, and manifestly seeing the Daunger wherein they were, callinge to hir minde hir former determinate vengeance which she ment to do, and beholding Poris in his prayers, she prosecuted hir intente, preparing a poysoned drink in a cuppe, and made readye naked swordes: al which bringing forth before the Childrens face, she spake these words: “Death alone must bee the reuenge of your siely liues, wherunto there be two wayes, poison or the sworde. Euery of you choose which ye list to haue: or of whether of them your heart shall make the frankest choice. The king’s cruelty and pride you must auoid. Wherfore deare children be of good chere, raise vp your noble courage: ye the elder aged boyes, shew now your selues like men, and take the sword into your handes to pierce your tender hearts: but if the bloudy smart of that most dreadfull death shal feare and fright your greene and vnripe age, then take the venomed cup, and gulpe by sundry draghtes this poisoned drinke. Be franke and lusty in this your destened Death, sith the violence of Fortune, by Sea, doeth let the lengthning of your life. I craue this requeste of choyse, and let not the same rebound with fearfull refuse of thys my craued hest. Your mother afterwardes shal pass that strayght, whereof she prayeth hir babes to bee the poastes: ye the vaunt currours, and shee, with your louing sire, shall end and finishe Philip’s rage bent agaynst vs.” When shee had spoken these woordes and sawe the enimies at hand, this couragious dame, the deuiser of the death, egged and prouoked these yong trembling children (not yet wel resolued what to do) with her encharmed woords in sutch wyse, as in the ende, some dranke the poyson, and 255 other strake them selues into the body and by hir commaundement were throwen ouer boord, not altogether dead, and so she set them at liberty by death whom tenderly she had brought vp. Then she imbracing hir husband the companion of hir death, both did voluntarily throw themselues also into the sea: And when the kinge’s espials were come aborde the ship, they found the same abandoned of theyr praye. The cruelty of which fact did so moue the common people to detestatyon and hatred of the kinge, as a generall cursse was pronounced against him and his children, which heard of the Gods aboue was afterwardes terribly reuenged vpon his stocke and posterity. Thys was the end of good Poris and his stout wyfe Theoxena, who rather then she would fall into the lapse of the king’s furie, as hir father Herodicus, and hir other husbande did, chose violently to dye with hir own hands, and to cause hir husband’s children and hir owne, to berieue them selues of Lyfe, whych although agaynst the louinge order of naturall course, and therefore that kinde of violence to bee abhorred, as horrible in it self, yet a declaration of a stout mind, if otherwise she had ben able to reuenge the same. And what coward heart is that, that dare not vpon such extremity, when it seeth the mercilesse ennimy at hand, with shining blade ready bent, to stryke the blowe, that withoute remedye must ridde the same of breath, specially when it beholdeth the tremblyng babe, naturally begotten by hys owne kinde and nature, before the face imploryng father’s rescue, what dastarde heart dare not to offer himselfe, by singular fight (thoughe one to twentye) either by desperate hardinesse to auoyd the same, or other anoyance, aduenture what he can? which in Christians is admitted as a comely fight, rather than wyth that Pagane Dame to do the death it selfe. But now returne wee to describe a fact that passeth al other forced deedes. For Theoxena was compelled in a maner thus to do of meere constraint to eschue the greater torments of a tyrant’s rage and thought it better by chosen death to chaunge hir lyfe, than by violent hands of bloudy Butchers to be haled to the slaughter. But thys Hidrusian dame was weary of hir owne life, not for that she feared losse of lyfe, but desperate to think of Fortune’s fickle staye: whych if fortune’s darlings would regarde in time, they would foresee theyr slippery holde.



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 euery man, and woman that list, to kill them selues.

Bandello amonges the company of hys Nouels, telleth this history: and in his own person speaketh these words. If I should begin to tell those things which I saw in the tyme that I sayled alongs the Leuant seas, very tedious it would be for you to heare, and I in reporting could not tell which way to ende, bicause I saw and heard thynges ryght worthy to bee remembred. Notwythstandinge, for satisfaction of dyuers that be my frendes, I will not sticke to reherse some of them. But first of all one straunge custome, whych in the Romayes tyme was vsed in one of the Ilandes of the sea Ægeum, called Hidrusa, in these dayes by the trauaylers called Cea or Zea, and is one of the Ilandes named Ciclades, whilome full of Populous and goodly Cities, as the ruins therof at this day do declare. There was in olde time in that Iland a yery straunge lawe and ordynaunce, which many hundred yeares was verye well and perfectly kept and observed. The Law was, that euery person inhabitant within the sayd Isle, of what sexe and condition so euer, being throughe age, infirmity, or other accidents, weary of their lyfe, might choose what kind of death that liked them best: howbeit it was prouyded that the partye, before the dooing of the same, should manifest the cause that moued him therevnto, before the Magistrate elected by the people for that speciall purpose, which they constituted because they sawe that diuers persons had voluntarily killed themselues vpon trifling occasions and matters of little importance: according to whiche lawe very many Men and Women, hardily with so merry chere went to theyr Death, as if they had gone to some bankette or mariage. It chaunced that Pompeius Magnus the dreadfull Romane, betwene whom and Iulius Cæsar were fought the greatest battailes for superiority that euer were, sailing by the Sea Ægeum, arriued at Hidrusa, and there 257 goynge a land vnderstoode of the inhabitantes the maner of that law and how the same day a woman of great worship had obteined licence of the Magistrate to poyson hir selfe. Pompeius hearing tell hereof, was driuen into great admiration, and thought it very straunge, that a woman which al the dayes of hir life had liued in great honour and estimation, shoulde vpon light cause or occasion poyson her selfe sith it was naturally giuen to ech breathyng wyght to prolong theyr liuing dayes with the longest threede that Atropos could draw out of dame Nature’s webbe. Whervpon he commaunded the said matrone to be brought before hym, whose Death for hir vertue was generallye lamented by the whole Countrye. When the gentlewoman was before hym, and had vnderstanding that she was fully resolued and determined to dye, hee began by greate persuasions to exhort hir, that she should not wilfully cast hir selfe away, vpon consideration that she was of lusty yeares, riche and welbeloued of the whole countrey: and how greate pitye it were but shee shoulde renue hir Mynde and gyue hir selfe still to lyue and remayne, till Natural course dyd ende and finysh hir life: howbeit his graue and earnest persuasion could not diuert hir from hir intended purpose. But Pompeius loth to haue hir dye, ceassed not styll to prosecute hys former talke with newe reasons and stronger arguments. All which shee paciently heard with fixed countenaunce, til at lengthe with cleare voyce and smiling cheere she answered him in this maner: “You be greatly deceyued (my lord Pompeius) if you do beleeue that I wythout very great prouidence and mature aduise goe about to ende my dayes: for I do know and am fully persuaded, that eche creature naturally craueth the prolongation and lengthninge of lyfe, and so mutch abhoreth to die, as the desirous to lyue detesteth the poyson whych I haue prepared for consumation of my lyfe. Whereupon as I haue diuers times thought, considered and discoursed with my selfe, and amongs many considerations oftentimes debated in my minde, there came into the same the instability and fickle change of Fortune, whose whirling wheele neuer ceasseth, ne yet remayneth stedfast. It is dayly seene how she doth exalte and aduaunce some man from the lowest and bottomlesse Pit, euen to the top of high Heauens, endowinge him with so mutch Substaunce as he can 258 desire. An other that was most happy, honoured in this world lyke a God, vnto whom no goods and welfare were wantinge, who might wel haue bene called in his lyfe, a three times happy and blessed wyght, sodaynly from his honour and state depriued and made a very poore man and begger. Some man also, that is both riche and lusty, accompanied with a fayre wyfe and goodly Children, lyuinge in great mirth and ioylity, this wicked Lady Fortune, the deuourer of all our contentations, depriueth from the inestimable treasure of health, causeth the fayre Wyfe to loue an other better than hir husbande, and with hir venomous Tooth biteth the children, that in short space myserable death catcheth them al within his dreadfull Clouches whereby he is defrauded of those children, whom after his death he purposed to leaue for hys Heyres. But what meane I to consume tyme and words in declaration of Fortune’s vnsteady stay, which is more cleare than the beams of the Sunne, of whom dayly a Thousande thousande examples be manifest: all histories be full of theym. The mighty countrey of Græcia doth render ample witnesse wherein so many excellent men were bred and brought vp: who desirous with their finger to touch the highest heauen, were in a moment throwen downe: and so many famous Cities, which gouerned numbers of people, now at this present day we see to be thrall and obedient to thy City of Rome. Of these hurtfull and perillous mutations (O noble Pompeius) thy Romane City may be a most cleare glasse and Spectacle, and a multitude of thy noble Citizens in tyme past and present, may geeue plentifull witnesse. But to come to the cause of this my death, I say, that fyndyng myself to haue liued these many yeares (by what chaunce I can not tell) in very great prosperity, in al which tyme I neuer did suffer any one myssehappe, but styll from good to better, haue passed my time vntil thys daye: nowe fearyng the frownynge of Ladye Fortune’s face, and that she will repente hir long continued fauour, I feare, I say, least the same Fortune should chaung hir stile, and begynne in the middest of my pleasaunt life to sprinckle hir poysoned bitternesse, and make mee the Receptacle and Quiuer of hir sharpe and noysome arrowes. Wherefore I am nowe determined by good aduyse, to rid my selfe from the captivity of hir force, from all hir misfortunes, 259 and from the noysom and grieuous infirmities, which miserably be incident to vs mortall Creatures: and beleeue me (Pompeius) that many in theyr aged dayes haue left their life with little honour, who had they bene gone in their youth, had dyed Famous for euer. Wherefore (my lord Pompeius) that I may not be tedious vnto thee, or hinder thyne affayres by long discourse, I besech thee to geeue me leaue to follow my deliberate disposition, that frankely and freely I may be vnburdened of all daunger: for the longer the life doth grow, to the greater annoysaunce and daunger it is subiect.” When she had so sayd, to the great admiration and compassion of all those which were present, with tremblinge handes and fearefull cheare, she quaffed a great Cup of poysoned drynke, the which she brought with hir for that purpose, and within a while after dyed. This was the straunge vse, and order obserued in Hidrusa. Which good counsel of the Dame had the noble and valiaunt captayne followed, no doubt he would haue bin contented to haue bin brought to order: and then he had not lost that bloudy battel atchieued agaynst hym by Iulius Cæsar at Pharsalia in Ægypt. Then hee had not sustayned so many ouerthrowes as he did, then had hee not ben forsaken of his frendes, and in the ende endured a death so miserable. And for so mutch as for the most part hitherto we haue intreated of many Tragicall and bloudy chaunces, respyring now from those, let vs a little touch some medicinable remedies for loue, some lessons for gouernment and obedience, some treaties of amorous Dames, and hauty Gestes of Prynces, Queenes and other persons, to variate the chaungeable diet, wherewyth dyuers bee affected, rellishinge their Stomackes wyth some more pleasaunt Digestions than they haue tasted.



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

True and most holy is the sentence, that the Lady, Gentlewoman, or other wyght of Female kinde, of what degree or condition soeuer she be, be she fayre, fowle, or ylfauoured, cannot be endued with a more precious Pearle or Iewell, than is the neate and pure vertue of honesty: which is of sutch valour, that it alone without other vertue, is able to render her that glistereth in her attire, most famous and excellent. Be she more beautiful than Helena, be she mightier than the Amazon, better learned than Sappho, rycher than Flora, more louinge than Queene Dido, or more noble than the best Empresse and Queene of the worlde, or be she full of any other vertue, if she want the name of chast, shee is not worthy so mutch as to beare the title of honour, nor to be entertayned in honest company. Yee shall peruse hereafter an history of a Countesse of Celant, that was a passing fayre Dame, singularly adorned with Nature’s gifts. She was fayre, pleasaunt, amiable, comely, and perchaunce not altogether barrayne of good erudition and learninge: she could play vpon the instruments, sing, daunce, make and compose witty, and amorous Sonets, and the more her company was frequented, the more amiable and gracious the same was esteemed. But bicause she was unshamfast and lesse chaste, she was voyde of honest regarde. Sutch as bee dishonest, do not onely hurt themselues, but gieue cause to the common people to mutter and grudge at their parentes education, at their husbands gouernment and institution of their Children, causing them most commonly to leade a discontented and heauy lyfe. Thinke you that Augustus Cæsar (albeit he was a victorious Emperour, and led a triumphant raygne) liued a contented life when he saw the two Iuliæ, one of them his daughter, the other his Niece, to vse them selues like common strumpets, constrained through their shameful acts to pin, and close vp himselfe, shunning the conuersation of men, and once in minde to cut his Daughter’s Vaynes 261 to let out hir Lusty bloud? Was not he wont (the teares trickling downe his Princely Face) to say, that better it was neuer to haue children and to be deade without them, than to haue a fruteful wife and children so disordred? He termed his Daughter to be a Carrion lumpe of fleshe, full of stenche and filthinesse. But if I list to speake of women of this age, from noble to vnnoble, from an Emperor’s Daughter to a Ploughman’s modder, whose liues do frame after Iulia hir lore, my pen to the stumpes would weare, and my hande be wearied with writing. And so likewise it would of numbres no doubt in these dayes that folow the trace of Lucrece line, that huswifely and chastly contriue the day and nightes in pure and Godly exercise. But of the naughty sorte to speake, (leauing to voyde offence, sutch as do flourish in our time) I will not conceale the Empresse Messalina, that was Wyfe to the emperour Claudius, not only vnworthy of Empresse degree, but of the title of Woman: who being abused by many, at length arriued to sutch abhominable lust, as not contented with dayly adulterous life, would resort to the common stewes, where the ruffians and publike harlots haunted, for little hire, and there for vilest price with eche slaue did humble herselfe: and at night not satisfied, but weared, returned home to hir Palace, not ashamed to disclose hir selfe to any that list to looke vpon hir: and for victory of that beastly game, contended with her lyke. But not to say so mutch of hir as I finde in Plinie his naturall history, in Suetonius, and Cornelius Tacitus, I leaue hir to hir selfe, bycause I haue made promise to remember the dishonest loue for example sake, which I read of Faustina, whose beauty of al Writers is vouched to be most excellent, if excellency of good life had thereunto ben coupled. She was the daughter and wyfe of two holy and vertuous Emperours, the one called Antonius Pius, the other Marcus Antonius. This M. Antonius in all vertuous workes was perfect and Godly, and singulerly loued his wife Faustina, and although she was infamous to the world, and a Fable to the people, yet he cared not for the same, sutch was the passing loue hee bare vnto hir. Leaue we to speake of hir beastly behauiour amongs the noble sort, without regard vnto hir most noble husbande, and come wee to treate of a certaine sauage kind of lust she had to one of the 262 Gladiatores, whych were a certaine sort of Gamsters in Rome, which we terme to be Maisters of defence. She was so far in loue with this Gladiator, as she could not eat, drink, or slepe, ne take any rest. This Faustina was so vnshamefast, as not regarding hir state, being as I sayde before the daughter and wife of two most worthy Emperors, dysdayned not to submitte her Body to the Basenesse of one of the vilest sort, a Rascal Fencer, and many times would goe to Caieta, a Citie and hauen of Campania, to ioyne hir selfe with the galye slaues there. Hir husbande which loued her dearely, comfortying his feble louing wyfe so well as he coulde, caused the best Physicians he could finde, to come vnto hir for recouery of hir health. But all the deuysed physike of the world was not able to cure her, she was so louesicke. In the end knowing by long experience the fauour and loue hir husband bare vnto hir, and knowing that nothing could withdraw his continued minde, she tolde him, that al the torment and payne shee sustained, was for the loue of a gladiator, towards whom hir loue was so miserably bent, that except she had his company, death was the next medicine for hir disease. The good husband whych beyond measure loued his wife, comforted hir with so louing wordes as he could, and bad hir to bee of good cheare, promisinge hee would prouide remedy. Afterwards consulting with a wise man a Chaldee born, opened vnto him the effect of his wiue’s disease, and how she was louesicke with sutch a person one of the Gamsters of the City, promising great rewardes if he could by his secretes serche out redresse to saue hir life. The Chaldee could tel him none other remedy, but that he must cause the Gladiator to be slaine, and with the bloud of him to anoint the body of the Empresse, not telling vnto hir what the ointment was: which don, that he must goe to naked bed to hir, and do the act of matrimony. Some Historiographers do write, that the Chaldee gaue him counsell, that Faustina should drinke the bloud of the Gladiator, but the most part, that hir body was bathed in the same. But how so euer it was, it would haue cooled the hottest Gentlewoman’s stomack in the world, to be anoynted with like Salue. To conclud the Gladiator was slayne and the medicine made and applied to the Pacient, and the Emperour lay with the Empresse, 263 and begat hir with childe. And immediatly she forgot the Gladiator, neuer after that tyme remembring him. If this medicine were applied to our carnall louinge dames (which God defend) they would not onely follow Faustina in forgetfulnes, but also would mislike hir Phisike: and not greatly regard the counsell of sutch doctours. By meanes of this medicine and copulation was the Emperour Commodus borne, who rather resembled the Gladiator than his Father: in whose breast rested a storehouse of mischyefe and vyce, as Herodian and other Wryters plentifully do wryte.



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.

Fortune, the Lady Regent and Gouernesse of man’s lyfe, so altreth and chaungeth the state thereof, as many times we see the noble borne from that great mighty port, wherein they be, debased so farre, as either infamously their lyfe is spent in the hungry lap of Dame Penury, or else contriued in the vgly lothsom house of Wantonnesse, the stepdame of all honesty and vertue. Sometimes we marke the vnnoble ladde that was nooseled in the homely countrey caban, or rude ciuile shoppe, attaine to that whych the onely honorable and gentle do aspire: and he agayne that is ambicious in climbing vp the turning wheele, throwen down beneth the brink of aduerse luck, whelmed in the ditch and pit of black despaire. We note also sometimes that the carelesse wyght of Fortune’s giftes, hath (vnlooked for) his mouth and throte crammed full of promotion and worlde’s delights. Such is the maner of hir fickle stay: whereof this History ensuing, gyueth some intelligence, by remembring the destenied luck of 2 pore sory girles that were left destitute of desired things, both like to fal into despaire, and yet both holpen with that they most desired: which in this sort beginneth. In the time that Scipio Affricanus had besieged the City of Carthage, Chera that was a widow (dwellinge there) seeinge the daunger at hand wherein the Citty stoode, and doubtynge the losse and ouerthrowe of the same, and that the honor of the dames and womankinde, coulde vneths be safe and harmelesse, determined not to abide the vttermost: and hauinge a good quantity of Gold and precious stones, she bestowed the same in a casquet, and hid it vpon one of the beames of hir house, 265 purposinge when the stir and daunger was past, to retourne to hir house agayne for those hir hidden things. Which done, in the habite of a poore woman with her onely daughter in hir hand that was about 5 or 6 yeares of age, she went out of Carthage, and passed ouer the Seas into Scicilia, where falling sicke, after she had bene there three or foure yeares, at length died. But before shee departed, shee called her Daughter before hir, then about Ten yeares olde, and told hir the place where she had layed hir Casket. And by reason of the victory gotten by Scipio, the city was maruellously chaunged, and amongs other things, the house of Chera was giuen to a Romane Souldiour that was so enriched with Nobilyty of Mynd, as hee was poore of Fortune’s Goods. Whych Chera vnderstandyng, was sorowfull, and doubted of hir thynges secretlye bestowed vppon the beame. Wherevpon she sayd vnto hir daughter, that for so much as their house was in the possession of an other, she ought to be wise and circumspect in the recouerye of hir hidden goods: and that hir death was the more greuous vnto hir, because she must leaue hir (so yong a maiden) vnprouided of frendes for hir good gouernement. But yet she incouraged hir againe and sayd: that sith necessity approched, she must in childyshe age, put on a graue and auncient minde, and beware howe shee bewrayed that casket to any person, for that of purpose shee reserued the knowledge thereof, to hir self, that it might serue for hir preferment, and procure hir a husband worthy of hir selfe. And the maiden demaundinge the value of the same, shee told hir that it was worth CC. Talentes, and gaue hir in writing the particulars inclosed within the Caskette, and that the lyke bill shee should find within the same, written wyth hir owne Hande. And so the good woman within a while after dyed, leauyng behynde hir the yong mayden hir daughter, that maruellously lamented the death of hir mother, accordingly as nature taught hir, and ech other reasonable wyght depriued from their dearest friends. The maiden for hir yeres was very wise, and would disclose to none what her mother had sayd, keeping the writing very carefully. Not long after Philene (whych was the maiden’s name) fell in loue with a Gentleman of Scicilia of greate reputation and authority, who al bee it he saw hir to be very faire and comely, 266 yet cared not for hir loue in respect of Maryage, for that hee knewe hir to bee poore, and withoute dowrie mete for a Gentleman, iestyng and mocking to see hir fixe hir minde on him, for desyre to haue him to hir husbande, that was a personage so noble and rich: which refusall pierced the hearte of the tender maiden, bicause she saw hir selfe forsaken for nothynge else, but for want of goods: whych made hir to think and consider, howe shee myght recouer the riches that hir mother had layed vp in Carthage. It chaunced as she was in this meditation, the daughter of him to whome the House of Chera was giuen, called Elisa, was likewise enamoured of a noble yong gentleman in Carthage, who bicause Elisa was the daughter of a Souldiour, and not very rich, in like manner laughed and iested at hir loue, no lesse than the other did at Philene. Notwithstanding Elisa attempted al meanes possible to induce the yong man to loue hir, but hir practise and attemptes tended to none effect. And last of all, desirous to haue a resolute answere, and thereby vnderstode, that he would rather dye than take hir to Wyfe, she fell into despayre and curssed fortune, and hir fate, that she was not borne riche enough to match wyth hir chosen Gentleman, and that she being poore, must fall in loue wyth sutch a personage: whereupon she miserably tormented hir selfe, still bewaylinge hir vnhappy lucke, that shee could not win him to be hir husband, for whych only intent and purpose she loued him. And this amorous passion incredibly growing in hir, the rootes whereof be planted in the restlesse humor of melancholy, and wanting all hope and comforte to stay that Ranke and Rammishe weede, it so increased in her, as shee franticke in raging loue gaue hir selfe ouer to the spoyle of herself: and to rid her from the griefe, she determined to kill hir selfe, imagining whych way she might do the same. At length she was resolued, with hir father’s sword to peerce hir body: but hir heart not seruing hir thereunto, deuised by the halter to end her lyfe, saying thus to herselfe: “Thys death yet shal do me good, that the cruel man may know that for his sake I haue done this fact: and if his heart be not made of Iron or steele, he can not chose but sorrowe and lament, that a poore mayde whych loued him better than hir owne lyfe, hath made sutch wretched 267 ende onely for his cruelty.” Elisa concludinge vpon this intent, prepared a Halter: and being alone in her house, in the chamber where the Casket lay vpon the beame, placed a stoole vnder the same, and began to tye the halter about the beame: in doinge whereof, she espied the casket, and reached the same vnto hir, who feeling it to be heauy and weighty, immediatly did open it, and founde the Byll within, which Chera had written with hir owne hand, agreable to that which she had deliuered to hir daughter, wherein were particularly remembred the Iewels and other riches fast closed within the casket. Who disclosing the bagges wherein the gold and Iewels were bound vp, and seeing the great value of the same, wondred thereat, and ioyfull for that fortune, hid the rope which she had prepared for hir death, in the place where she found the casket, and with great gladnesse and mirth went vnto hir father, and shewed him what she had found, whereat the father reioyced no lesse, then his daughter Elisa did, bicause he sawe himselfe thereby to be discharged of his former poore life, and like to proue a man of inestimable wealth and substance: and saw likewise that the poore wench his daughter, by the addicion of those riches, was like to attayne the party whom shee loued. When he had taken forth those bagges and well surueyed the value, to the intent no man might suspect the sodayne mutation of his state, tooke his daughter with him, and went to Rome, where after he had remayned certayne monethes, hee returned to Carthage, and began very galantly to apparell himselfe, and to keepe a bountifull and liberall house. His table and port was very delicate and Sumptuous, and hys Stable stored wyth many fayre Horsse, in all poynctes sheewinge himselfe very Noble and rich: by which sodayne chaunge of state, the whole Citty beleeued that he had brought that wealth from Rome. And bicause it is the common opinion of the vulgar sort, that where there is no riches, there is no nobility, and that they alone make men noble and gentle (a foolyshe Opinion in deede proceedinge from heads that be rash and light) the people markynge that porte and charge kept by the Souldiour, conceyued that he was of some noble house. And throughout the whole Citty great and solemne honour was done vnto him: whereupon the young Gentleman, with whom 268 Elisa was in loue, began to bee ashamed of himselfe, that he had disdayned the mayden. Whych mayden seeing hir Father’s house to be in sutch reputation, made sute to her father, that he would procure the Gentleman to bee hir husband. But hir father wylled hir in any wyse to keepe secret hir desire, and not to seeme her selfe to bee in loue, and wysely tolde hir, that more meete it was that she should bee solicited by him, than shee to make sute or request for mariage: alleaginge that the lesse desirous the gentleman had bene of hir, the more deare and better beloued shee shoulde be to hym. And many tymes when hys Daughter was demaunded to Wyfe, he made aunswere that matrimony was a state of no litle importance, as enduring the whole course of Lyfe, and therefore ought well to bee considered and wayed, before any conclusion were made. But for all these demaundes and aunswers, and all these stops and stayes, the mayden was indowed with an honest dowry, and in the end her louer and she were maried, with so great pleasure and satisfaction of them both, as they deemed themselues happy. In the meane time while these things were done at Carthage, Philene in Scicilia toke thought how she might recouer her goods geuen to her by her mother, desirous by their meanes also to sort hir earnest and ardent loue to happy successe. And debatinge with her selfe (as we haue sayd before) howe she might obtayne them, because the house was in possession of an other, thought it to bee agaynst reason and order, that although she had lost hir house, yet hir goods ought to be restored vnto hir, which were hir onely mayntenance and reputation, and the fittest instrument that should conduct her loue to happy ende. And hearinge tell that the Father of Elisa the possessor of hir mother’s house liued at Carthage in great royalty and magnificence, thought that if by some sleight and pollicie she founde not meanes to enter the house without suspicion, hir attempt would be in vayne: determined therefore to goe to Carthage, and to seeke seruice in that house, counterfaytinge the kynde and habite of a Page. For she considered, that if she went thither in order and apparell of a mayden, she should incur the perill of her virginity, and fall into the lapse of diuers other daungers, purposed then to go thyther in maner of a Page and lacky. And 269 when she had in that sort furnished hirselfe, she passed the Seas, and arriued at Carthage. And seekinge seruice about the City at length chaunced to be retayned in a house that was next neyghbour to the Souldier, and bicause this wench was gentle and of a good disposition, was wel beloued of her maister, who being the frend of Elisa, hir Father many times sent vnto him diuers presents and gifts by Philene, wherevppon she began to be acquainted and familiar with the seruantes of the house, and by her oft repayre thyther viewed and marked euery corner, and vpon a time entred the chamber wherein hir Mother Chera olde hir, that shee had bestowed hir goods, and lookinge vpont the Beames espied by certayne Signes and tokens, one of them to be the same where the Casket lay: and therewithal wel satisfied and contented, verily supposed that the casket still remayned there, and without further businesse for that time, expected some other season for recouery of the same. In the ende, the good behauiour and diligence of Philene, was so liked of Elisa, as hir father and she made sute to hir maister to giue hir leaue to serue them, who bycause they were his friends, preferred Philene vnto them, and became a page of that house. And one day secretly repayrynge into the chamber, where the treasure lay mounted vppon a stoole, and sought the beame for the casket: where she found no casket, but in place where that lay, the halter, wherwithal Elisa woulde haue strangled hir self. And searching all the parts of the Chamber and the beames, and finding nothing else but the halter, she was surprised with sutch incredible sorrowe, as she seemed like a stock, without spiryte, voice or life. Afterwardes, being come againe to hir selfe, shee began pitifully to lament and complayn in this maner: “Ah wretched Philene, vnder what vnluckie signe and planet was thou begotten and borne? wyth what offence were the heauens wroth, when they forced thee to pierce thy mother’s wombe? Could I poore creature when I was framed within the moulde of nature, and fed of my mother’s substance within hir wombe, and afterwards in due time brought forth to light, commit such crime, as to prouoke the celestiall impressions to conspire agaynst my Natiuity, to brynge mine increased age into such wretched state and plighte wherein it is now 270 wrapped? No, no, my faulte was nothing, it was parent’s offence, if any were at all: for many times we see the innocent babe afflicted for the father’s guilt. The Gods do punish the posterity, for som sacrilege or notorious crime committed by progenitors: theyr manner is not to suffer heynous faultes vnreuenged: their iustice cannot abide such mischief vncorrected for example sake: so fareth it by me. First my father died, after wardes my Mother a widow was driuen to abandon natiue soyle, and seeke reliefe in forrain land: and leauing that wherwith we were possessed in enimies keping, were forced a simple life to leade among straungers. And my mother, yelding forth hir ghost, made me beleue that shee had hidden great treasures here: and I vnhappy wench thinking to obteine the pray, haue wandred in counterfeit kind, and fetcheed many a bitter sigh, vntil I came into this place: and the thing I hoped for, which myght haue bene the meanes and ende of all my care, is turned to nothyng: a casket transformed into a halter: gold and Iewels into a piece of rope? Is this the mariage dowry (Philene) thou art like to haue to match with him whom thou so derely louest? Is this the knot that shall conioyne you both in yoke of man and wife? Ah wretch and miserable caitife, the goods thy mother layd vp for thee, for maintenance of thy rest, and safegarde of thine honour, and for the reputation of thy noble house, wherof thou camst, is now berieued from thee: they that kepe this stately house, and beare their lofty port amid the best, haue despoiled thee pore wench of that after which thou didst vainly trauayle. But what remedye now? sith thy wicked lot doth thus fall out, sith thy cruel fate is loth thou shouldest atteine the thing on whych thy mind is bente, and sith thy painfull lyfe can take no ende, make spede to rid thy selfe from misery by that meanes which he hath prepared for thee that hath found thy goods: who seeing his good aduenture to be thy bane, his happy pray to bee thy spoyle, hath left in lieu of treasure, a halter, that therwith thou mightest dispatch thy selfe from all thy griefes, and in their vnhappye companye to cease thy life, that the lothsom, lengthning of the same might not increase thy further plaints, sorowes, anguish and affliction. And in the place where infortunate Philene toke hir beginning, ther the Miserable wretche must finishe that, 271 which without hir desired gaine no longer can be maynteined. Peraduenture it may come to passe as when thy soule is losed from this mortall charge, it shall stalke by hym, by whom it liueth, and by him also whom she thought to ioy in greatest contentation that euer mortall woman did.” And thus plaininge and sighing hir il fortune, when she had ended those words she tyed the halter about the beame, where sometimes hir Treasure lay, which beyng done shee put the same about hir necke, sayinge: “O crooked Lady Fortune, that hast thus vnfrendly dealt with thine humble clyent: Ah dispayre, thou vgly wretch and companion of the distressed that is vnwillinge to leaue my haunte vntyll thou playe the Hangman. Ah Dyuell incarnate that goest aboute to hale and plucke the innocent into thy hellish caue. Out vppon the thou deformed hellish dogge, that waitest at the fiery gate to lette them in, which faine would passe an other porte.” And as shee was powrying forth these spitefull wordes, redy to remove the stoole to fetch hir swynge, the Gods which would not giue consent, that the innocent wench should enter that vile and opprobrious death, moued the heart of Elisa, to passe by the place where she was in workynge on her selfe that desperate end: who hearing those moneful plaints vttred after such terrible manner, opened the Chamber doore, and saw that myserable sight: and ignorant of the occasion, moued with pity, ranne and stayed hir from the fact, saying thus vnto hir: “Ah Philene,” (whych was the name that she had giuen to hir selfe) “what folie hath bewitched thy mind? What phrensie hath incharmed thy braine? What harde aduenture hath moued thee in this miserable wise, to ende thy life?” “Ah” (sayd Philene) “suffer me Elisa, to finish my tormentes: giue me liberty to vnburden myselfe from the bande of cares that do assaile me on euery side: lette these Helhoundes that stande heare rounde about mee, haue theyr praye for which they gape. Thou moued by compassion, arte come hither to stay mee from the Halter: but in doyng so, thou doest mee greater wrong, than doeth despayre whych eggeth me therunto. Suffer I say, that mine afflictions may take some end, sith cruel fortune willeth it to be so, or rather vnhappy fate: for sowre death is sweeter in my conceit, than bitter life contriued in sharper sauce than gall or wormwood.” 272 Elisa hearing her speake these wordes, sayd: “For so much as thy myshap is such, as onely death is the nearest remedy to depriue thy payne, what wicked chaunce hath induced thee, in this house to finish those thy miseries? What hath prouoked the to sutch augury to this our most happy and ioyfull family?” “Forced is the partye” (sayd Philene) “so to doe when destenye hath so appointed.” “What desteny is that?” demaunded Elisa. “Tell mee I beseech thee, perchaunce thou mayst preuent the same by other remedy than that whereabout thou goest.” “No,” (answered Philene) “that is impossible, but to satisfie thy request which so instantly thou crauest of me, I wil tel thee the summe of al my miserie.” In saying so the teares gushed forth hir eyes, and hir voice brake oute into complaints, and thus began to say: “Ah Elisa, why should I seke to prolong my wretched life in this vale of wretchednesse, wherein I haue ben so miserably afflicted? my mother pitieng mine estate and seeynge me voide of frends, and a fatherlesse child vpon hir death bed, disclosed vnto me a treasure which she had hidden vpon this beam whervnto this halter (the best remedy of my misery) is tied: and I making serch for the same, in place of that treasure found this halter, ordeined as I suppose (by what misfortune I knowe not) for my death: and where I thought among the happy to be the most happy, I see my selfe amongs al vnlucky women to be the most vnfortunate.” Elisa hearing hir say so, greatly maruelled and sayd: “Why then I perceiue thou art a woman and not a man.” “Yea, truly,” answered the vnhappy mayden: “A singuler example of extreme misery to all sortes of women.” “And why so?” demaunded Elisa. “Bicause” (answered Philene) “that the pestilent planet vnder which I was borne, will haue it to be so.” And then she told hir al that which had chaunced from the time of hir mother’s departure out of Carthage, and how she went into Scicilia and recounted vnto hir the loue that she bare to a Scicilian Gentleman, and howe that he disdayning hir for hir pouerty, refused to be hir husband: whervpon to atchieue hir desire as loth to forgoe him, was come in maner of a page to Carthage, to recouer the riches which hir Mother had hidden there, to the intente she might obtaine (if not by other meanes) with som 273 rich dowrie, the yong Gentleman to husband whom she so dearely loued. And then reenforcing hir complaint, she said: That sith Fortune had despoiled hir of that which might haue accomplished hir desire, resting no cause why she should any longer liue, the halter was prepared for hir to end her daies, and to rid hir life from troubles. And therefore she praied hir to be contented, that she might make that end which hir misaduenture and wicked fortune had predestinate. I doubt not but there be many, which vnderstanding that the treasure did belong to Philene, if they had found the like as Elisa did, would not onely not haue forbidden hir the Death, but also by speedy meanes haue hastened the same, for so mutch as by that occasion the hidden treasure should haue ben out of strife and contention: so greate is the force of couetousnesse in the minde of man. But good Elisa knew ful wel the mutability of Fortune in humaine thinges, for so mutch as she by seeking death, had fonde the thinge which not onely deliuered hir from the same, but made hir the best contented woman of the worlde. And Philene seekinge hir contentation, in place thereof, and by like occasion, found the thinge that would haue ben the instrument of hir death, and moued with very great compassion of the mayden, desired to haue better aduertisement howe that treasure could belong to her. Then Philene shewing forth hir mother’s writing, which particularly remembred the parcels within the casket, and Elisa seeinge the same to be agreeable to the hand wherewith the other was written that was founde in the casket, was assured that all the gold and Iewels which she had found, did belong vnto Philene, and sayd vnto hirselfe: “The Gods defend that I should prepare the halter for the death of this innocent Wench, whose substaunce hath yelded vnto mee my hart’s desire.” And comforting the mayden, in the ende she sayd: “Be contented Philene, and giue ouer this thy desperate determination, for both thy lyfe shalbe prolonged, and thy discontented minde appeased, hoping thou shalt receyue the comforte thou desirest.” And with those words she losed the halter from hir neck, and takinge hir by the hand, brought hir to the place where hir Father and husband were, and did them to vnderstand the force and terms whereunto the fier of loue and desperation had brought that amorous mayden: 274 tellinge them that all the treasure and Iewels which she had found (where she left the halter, and wherewith Philene was minded to hang hir selfe) did by good right and reason belonge to hir: then she did let them se the counterpayne of that bill which was in the casket, in all points agreeable thereunto, declaringe moreouer that verye lyke and reasonable yt were, like curtesie should bee vsed vnto her, as by whom they hadde receyued so greate honoure and delyghte. Her husband which was a Carthagian borne, very churlishe and couetous, albeit by conferring the writings together, he knewe the matter to be true, and that Philene ought to be the possessor thereof, yet by no meanes would agree vnto hys wyue’s request, but fell into a rage, callinge hir Foole and Ideot, and sayinge that hee had rather that shee had bene a Thousande tymes hanged, than he would giue hir one peny: and although she had saued hir life, yet she ought to be banished the Citty, for so mutch as the same and all the propertie thereof was brought into the Romane’s handes, and amongs the same hir mother’s house, and al hir goods in possession of the victors, and euery part, at their disposition and pleasure. And moreouer, for so mutch as hir mother and shee had departed Carthage, and would not abide the hazarde and extremity of their country as other Citizens did, and hauing concealed and hidden those riches which ought to haue ben brought forth for the common defence of their countrey, and gone out of the Citty as though she had ben a poore simple Woman, poorely therefore she ought to lyue in Scicilia, whyther she was fled. Wherefore he was of opinion, that she in this maner beinge departed when the Citty had greatest neede of hir helpe, was disfranchised of all the rightes and customes of the countrey, and that like as a straunger can recouer nothinge in that Citty, except he haue the priuiledge and Freedome of the same, euen so Philene (for the considerations before recited) ought to be compted for a straunger, and not to participate any thinge within the City, accordingly as the lawes forbid. When he had so sayd, he was like by force to expell the sorrowfull mayden out of the house. These wordes greatly grieued Philene, who doubted least his father in law would haue ioyned with him, and agree vnto hys alleaged reasons, whych seemed to 275 be of great importaunce and effect: and therefore thought newly to returne to the Halter for remedy of hir griefes; but it otherwise chaunced, for the Father of Elisa, which was a Romane borne, and affected with a Romane minde, and therefore of a Gentle and well disposed nature, knew ful wel, that although the house was giuen vnto him by the consent of Scipio, and other the Captaynes, yet he knew that their pleasure was not to bestowe on him the treasure hidden in the same, and therefore ought to be restored to the true owner, or else confiscate and properly due to the Romane Eschequer, or common treasure house of the same: and albeit that it was true that hir Mother went out of Carthage, in the time of the Siege, and therefore had forfayted the same, yet he determined to shewe some curtesie vnto the younge mayden, and to be thankfull to fortune, for the benefite which by hir meanes he had receyued, thinkinge that she would be displeased with him, if he with vngratefull minde or dishonourable intent should receyue hir giftes. For in those dayes the Romans highly reuerenced Lady Fortune, and in hir honour had Erected Temples, and Dedicated Aultars, and in prosperous tyme and happy aduentures, they consecrated vowes, and sacrifices vnto hir, thinkinge (although supersticiously) that like as from God there proceeded none euil, euen so from him all goodnesse was deriued: that all felicity and other good happes, whych chaunced vppon the Romane Common wealth, proceeded from Fortune, as the Fountayne and most Principall Occasion, and that they which would not confesse hir force, and be thanckful vnto hir Godheade, incurred in the ende hir Displeasure and Daungers very great and haynous. This Romane then hauing this opinion, beinge (as I sayd before) of a gentle Disposition woulde at one instant both render thankes to Fortune, and vse curtesie vnto that mayden, by whose riches and goods from lowe degree he was aduanced to honourable state. Wherefore turning his Face vnto hir, with louing countenaunce he spake these wordes: “Right gentle damosel, albeit by the reasons alleged by my sonne in law, none of the treasure hidden by thy mother, and founde by my Daughter in thys house, of right doth appertayne to thee, yet I will that thou shalte vnderstande my curtesie, and that thou see how the Romanes 276 doe more esteeme the nobility of their minde, than all the riches of the world. Therefore that thou mayst enioy thy loue, I referre vnto thee and to thy disposition all the goods and Iewels that were in the Casket, and contayned in thy writinge. Beholde therefore (causing the casket to be brought vnto him) all the Iewels and other parcels that were in the same when they were founde, take so mutch thereof as thou wilt, and if so bee thou desire the whole, willingly I render the same vnto thee, sithens by means of those riches, and the industry of my trafique, I haue gayned so mutch, as hauinge gyuen a conuenient dowry vnto my daughter, I honorably liue without it.” Philene seeing the curtesie of this valiaunt gentleman, gaue him infinite thanks, and then sayd vnto him: “Sir, I for my part dare aske nothinge, well knowinge that if you geue me nothinge, there is no cause why I shoulde complayne of you, but of my hard and wicked fortune, whych hath offered and giuen that to you, which ought to haue bin mine. Wherefore, sith your curtesie is sutch, as you refer the whole to mee, I purpose to take nothing, but will that the whole shall bee in your disposition, and giue mee what you list, and that so gieuen of your liberality, I shal more thankfully receiue, than if debt or duty did constrayne it: and if it shall please you to giue me nothing, my heart shal bee so well appeased, for that your curtesie, as rather woulde I chose to liue in the poore estate wherein I am, than be rych with your displeasure.” Howbeit, the Romayne intreated Philene to take thereof what shee thought good: and Philene craued no more than it pleased hym to gyue. Eyther of them standinge vpon these termes Elisa, brake the strife, who knowinge the force of loue, and the griefes incident to his clients, by hir own harmes, moued to haue compassion vpon the afflicted, turned towardes hir father, and sayd vnto him: “Right louinge father, the contencion betweene Philene and you, is risen of a matter which came by me. The treasure for which you striue, and committed to the will of Philene, was found by me, whereof if it please you both, I wyll take sutch order, as both you shalbe satisfied.” “I am contented,” sayd hir father: “And I likewise,” aunswered Philene. Then sayd Eliza: “You father hitherto haue had but one Daughter, which 277 am I, vnto whom like a chylde and louinge daughter I haue bene obedient, and shalbe all the dayes of my lyfe: and I agayne haue receiued from you sutch fatherly education, as your ability and state required. This treasure I found and gaue to you for ease and comfort of vs both: to me it yelded the only delectation of my heart in choyse of husband: to you honour and estimation within thys Citty. Wherefore, sith the principal came from me, and the right resteth in this careful maiden, my desire is, that where before you had but one daughter, you will adopt this mayden for another, and thinke that you have twaine, and that you will intreate Philene in like sort as if shee were my sister: and where this Inheritance and reuenue wherewith now you be possessed, and this casket also ought to be onely myne after your decease, for that you haue no sonnes, nor other Issue, my desire is that you geue vnto her the halfe, and that you accept hir for your daughter, as I doe meane to take hir for my sister: and accordingely to vse hir duringe lyfe.” With these wordes Elisa imbraced Philene, and louingly dyd kisse hir, sayinge vnto hir: “For my sister I entertayn thee Philene.” And then shee tooke hir by the hand and gaue hir vnto hir father with these wordes: “Beholde father, your new daughter, whom I beseech you so hartily to loue as you do Elisa your naturall chylde.” The father praysed the curtesie of Elisa, and receiued Philene for his daughter and was contented wyth the Arbitrament of his Daughter. But Elisa perceyuing hir husband to be somewhat offended therewyth, specially for that the same should be deuided into two partes, which was like to haue bene hys wholly before, persuaded hym by gentle meanes to be content wyth that agreement: and although at the first he could not well brooke the liberality of his wyfe, yet at length viewinge the good behauiour and gentle disposition of Philene, and the contented minde of his father in law, together with the noble nature of his wyfe, and hir wise aduertisement of Fortune’s fickle assurance, yelded, and acknowledged Philene for hys kinswoman. And so Philene put in possession of the halfe of those goods, whereof she was altogether out of hope, was well satisfied, and had the Romane for hir father, Elisa for hir sister, and hir husband for hir kinsman. That valyant 278 Roman was so careful ouer Philene, as if she had ben his owne daughter, and so indeuored, as he brought to passe that she obteined hir beloued Scicilian to husbande: who also sent for hym to Carthage, where he continued with his wife in the Romane’s house, and loved them both so dearely as though he had ben father to the one, and father in lawe to the other. In this maner these two poore wenches attained their two husbands, for hauing of whom, theyr onely care was for Ryches, and for lacke thereof were dryuen to despayre: and in the ende both (though diuersly, and the one more fortunat than the other) recouered riches, and with the same theyr husbandes, to their heartes singular ioye and contentation. Which lucke I wyshe to all other poore Girles (but not hangyng rype, or louynge in despayre) that bend their mindes on Mariage, and seeke to people by that estate, their countrey common wealth. But leauinge for a time these Tragicall Nouels and heauy chaunces, wee purpose to remember some morall matters right worthy of remembraunce: Letters they bee from a godly Pagane clerk, the famous Philosopher Plutarch, Schoolemaister to an Emperour of no lesse vertue, than hys mayster’s Schoole and mynde was fraught with diuine Precepts. Wherefore proceede (good Reader) to continue the paynes vpon the readinge of these, so well as thou hast vouchsafed to employ thy time before. They shal no lesse delite thee, if vertue brooke thee, they shal no lesse content thee if duty please thee, than any delightsome thing, whereupon (at any tyme) thou hast employed thy vacaunte tyme.




Letters of the Philosopher Plutarch to the noble and vertuous Emperour Traiane, and from the sayd Emperour to Plutarch: the lyke also from the sayd 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.

Bicause these Letters ensuinge (proceeding from the infallible Schoole of Wisedome, and practised by an apt Scholler of the same, by a noble Emperor that was well trained vp by a famous Philosopher) in myne opinion deserue a place of Recorde amonge our Englishe Volumes, and for the wholsome errudition, ought to Englishmen in english shape to bee described, I haue thought good in this place to introduce the same. And although to some it shal not peraduenture seeme fit and conuenient to mingle holy with prophane, (accordinge to the prouerbe) to intermedle amongs pleasaunt histories, ernest epistles, amid amorous Nouels, learned Letters, yet not to care for report or thought of sutch findefaults, I iudge them not vnseemely, the course of those histories. For amid the diuine works of Philosophers and Oratours, amongs the pleasaunt paynes of auncient Poets, and the Nouell writers of our time, merry verses so well as morall matters be mingled, wanton bankets so wel as wise disputations celebrated, tauntinge and iocund Orations so well as effectuall declamations and persuasions pronounced. These letters contayne many graue and wholesom documents, sundry vertuous and chosen Institutions for Prynces and Noble men, yea and for sutch as beare offyce and preferment in commonwealth from highest title to meanest degree. Theese letters do vouch the reioyce of a Schoolemayster for bringinge vp a Scholler of capacity and aptnesse, to imbrace and Fix in Memory sutch lessons as he taught him. These Letters do gratulate and remembre the ioy of the disciple for hauinge sutch a maister. These letters do pronounce the minde of a vertuous Prince towardes 280 hys subiects for choyse of him to the empire, and for that they had respect rather to the vertue and condition, than to the nobility or other extreme accident. To be short, these letters speake and pronounce the very humblenesse and fealty that ought to rest in subiectes’ hearts: with a thousand other excellent sentences of duties. So that if the Emperour Nerua had bin aliue agayne to peruse these letters and Epistles of congratulation betweene the Schoolemayster and Scholler, he would no lesse haue reioysed in Plutarch than king Philip of Macedon did of Aristotle, when hee affirmed himself to be happy, not so much for hauinge sutch a sonne as Alexander was, as for that he was borne in sutch a time, as had brought Aristotle to be his maister. That good Emperor Nerua, shewed a patern to his successor by his good vertuous lyfe and godly gouernment, which made a successor and a people of no lesse consequence than they were trayned, accordingly as Herodian voucheth, that for the most part the people be wont to imitate the Life of their Prince and soueraygne Lord. If Philip deemed hymselfe happy and blessed for hauing sutch a sonne and mayster, then might Nerua terme himselfe threefolde more happy for sutch a Nephew and sutch a notable Schoolemayster as Plutarch was, who not only by doctrine but by practise proued a passing good Scholler. Alexander was a good Scholer and for the time wel practised his maister’s Lessons, but afterwards as glory and good hap accompanied his noble disposition, so did he degenerate from former life, and had quite forgotten what he had learned, as the second Nouell of this Booke more at large declareth. But Traiane of a toward Scholler, proued sutch an Emperour and victor ouer himselfe, as schoolinge and rulinge were in him miraculous, and surmounting Paragon of piety and vertue: wherefore not to stay thee from the perusinge of those Letters, the right image of himselfe: thus beginneth Plutarch to write vnto his famous Scholler Traiane.


A Letter of the Philosopher Plutarch to the Emperor Traiane, wherein is touched how Gouerners of Common wealths ought to be prodigal in deedes and spare in words.

My most dread soueraygne Lorde, albeit of longe tyme I haue known the modesty of your mynde, yet neyther I nor other liuing man did euer know that you aspired to that, which many men desire, which is to be Emperour of Rome. That man should withdrawe himselfe from honour, it were cleane without the boundes of wysedome: but not to lycence the heart to desire the same, that truely is a worke diuine, and not proceedinge of humayne nature. For he doeth indifferently well, that represseth the works which his handes be able to do, without staying upon his owne desires, and for good consideration wee may terme thine Empire to be very happy, sith thou hast so nobly demeaned thy selfe to deserue the same without search and seekinge industrious pollicy to attayne thereunto. I haue known within the city of Rome many great personages, which were not so mutch honored for the offices whych they bare, as they were for the meanes and deuises whereby they sought to be aduaunced to the same. May it please you to vnderstand (most excellent Prince) that the honor of a vertuous man doth not consist in the office, which he presently hath, but rather in the merites that preferred him thereunto: In such wise, as it is the office that honoreth the partye, and to the officer there resteth but a painful charge. By meanes wherof, when I remember that I was your gouerner from your youth, and instructed your vertuous mind in letters, I can not chose but very much reioyce, so well for your soueraigne vertue, as for your maiestie’s good fortune, deming it to be a great happinesse vnto me that in my time Rome hath inioyed him to be their souraigne lord, whom I had in tymes past to be my scholler. The principalities of kyngdomes some winne by force, and maintayne them by armes, which ought not so to be in you, nor yet conceiue opinion of your selfe, but rather to thinke that the empire which you gounerne by vniuersall consent, yee ought to entertayne and rule with general iustice. And therfore if you loue and reuerence the Gods, if you 282 bee pacient in trauels, warie in daungers, curteous to your people, gentle to straungers, and not couetous of treasure, nor louer of your owne desires: you shall make your fame immortall, and gouern the common wealth in soueraign peace: that you be not a louer of your own desires, I speake it not withoute cause, for there is no worse gouernement than that which is ruled by selfe wyll and priuate opinion. For as he that gouerneth a common wealth ought to lyue in feare of al men, euen so mutch more in feare of him selfe, in so mutch as he may commit greater errour by doinge that which his owne luste commaundeth, than if he were ruled by the counsell of other. Assure you sir, that you can not hurt your selfe, and mutch lesse preiudice vs your subiects, if you do correct your selfe before you chastise others, esteemyng that to bee a ryght good gouernment when you be prodigal in workes, and spare of speache. Assay then to be such a one now, that you do commaunde, as you were when you were commaunded. For otherwise it would lyttle auaile to do things for deseruing of the empyre, if afterwards your dedes be contrary to former deserts. To com to honour it is a humane worke, but to conserue honour it is a thing diuine. Take hede then (most excellent Traiane) that you do remembre and still reuolue in minde, that as you be a Prince supreme, so to apply your self to be a passing ruler. For there is no authority amongs men so high, but that the Gods aboue be iudges of their thoughts, and men beneth beholders of their deedes. Wherfore sith presentlye you are a mighty Prince, your duety is the greater to be good, and leisure lesse to be wycked, than when you were a pryuate Man. For hauing gotten authority to commaund, your lyberty is the lesse to bee idle: so that if you bee not sutch a one as the common people haue opinion of you, and such againe as your maister Plutarch desireth, you shall put your selfe in greate Daunger, and myne Ennymyes wyll seeke meanes to bee reuenged on mee, knowynge wel that for the Scholler’s faulte the Mayster Dayly suffreth wronge by slaunderous checke imputed vnto hym (although withoute cause.) And for so much as I haue ben thy maister, and thou my scholer, thou must indeuour by well doyng, to render me some honour. And lykewyse if thou do euyll, great infamy shall lyght on me, euen as 283 it did to Seneca for Nero his cause, whose cruelties don in Rome were imputed to his mayster Seneca. The like wronge was done to the Philosopher Chilo, by beyng burdened with the neglygent nouriture of his Scholler Leander. They truely were famous personages and greate learned men, in whom the gouernemente of myghty Princes was reposed: notwithstandyng, for not correcting them in their youth, nor teachying them with carefull dylygence, they blotted for euermore theyr renoume, as the cause of the destruction of many common wealthes. And forsomuch as my pen spared none in times paste, bee well assured Traiane, that the same will pardon neither thee or mee in tyme to come: for as wee bee confederate in the fault, euen so we shal be heires of the pain. Thou knowest well what lessons I haue taught thee in thy youth, what counsell I haue gyuen thee, beeying come to the state of man, and what I haue written to thee, sithens thou hast ben Prince, and thou thy selfe art recorde of the wordes which I haue spoken to thee in secrete: in all whych I neuer persuaded thyng but that intended to the seruice of the gods, profite of the common wealthe and increase of thy renoume: wherfore, I am right sure, that for anye thing which I haue written, sayd, or persuaded there is no cause I should feare the punishment of the gods, and much lesse the reprochful shame of men, verily beleuing that al which I coulde say in secrete, might without reproch be openly published in Rome. Nowe before I toke my pen in hand to write this Letter, I examined my lyfe, to know, if (during the time that I had charge of thee) I dyd or sayd in thy presence any thing that might prouoke thee to euill example. And truely (vnmete for me to say it) vpon that searche of my forepassed life, I neuer found my selfe guilty of facte vnmeete a Roman Cytyzen, nor euer spoke woorde vnseemelye for a Phylosoper: by meanes whereof I doe ryght heartely wyshe, thou wouldest remember the good educatyon and instructyon whych thou dyddest learne of mee. I speake not thys, that thou shouldest gratifie me againe with any Benefite, but to the ende thou myghtest serue thy selfe, esteemynge that no greater pleasure there is that can redounde to me, than to heare a good report of thee. Be then well assured that if an Empyre bee bestowed vpon thee, it was not for that thou wer a Citizen of 284 Rome or a couragious person descended of noble house, rich and mighty, but only bicause vertues did plentifully abounde in thee. I dedicated vnto thee certaine bookes of old and auncient common wealth, which if it please thee to vse, and as at other times I haue sayd vnto thee, thou shalte finde mee to be a proclaimer of thy famous workes, and a chronicler of all thy noble facts of armes: but if perchaunce thou follow thine owne aduise, and chaunge thy selfe to bee other than hitherto thou hast ben, presently I inuocate and cry out vpon the immortall Gods, and this Letter shall be wytnesse, that if any hurt do chaunce to thee, or to thine Empire, it is not through the counsell or meanes of thy maister Plutarch. And so farewell most Noble Prynce.

The aunswere of the Emperour Traiane to hys mayster Plutarch.

Cocceius Traiane Emperour of Rome, to the Philosopher Plutarch, sometimes my mayster: salutation and consolation in the Gods of comfort. In Agrippina was deliuered vnto me a letter from thee, whych so soone as I opened, I knew to be written wyth thine owne hand, and endited with thy wysedom. So flowing was the same with goodly woordes and accompanied with graue sentences, an occasion that made mee reade the same twice or thrice, thinking that I saw thee write and heard thee speak, and so welcome was the same to me, as at that very instant I caused it to be red at my table, yea and made the same to be fixed at my bed’s heade, that thy well meanyng vnto me might be generally knowen, how mutch I am bound vnto thee. I esteemed for a good presage the congratulation that the Consul Rutulus did vnto me from thee, touchinge my commyng to the empire: I hope through thy merites, that I shall be a good Emperoure. Thou sayest in thy letter, that thou canste by no meanes beleue that I haue giuen bribes, and vsed meanes to buye myne Empire, as other haue done. For aunswere thereunto I say, that as a man I haue desired it, but neuer by solicitation or other meanes attempted it: for I neuer saw wythin the City of Rome any man to bribe for honour, but for the same, some notable infamy chaunced vnto hym, as for 285 example wee may learne of the Good old man Menander, my friende and thy neyghbour, who to be Consul, procured the same by vnlawful meanes, and therfore in the end was banished and died desperately. The greate Caius Cæsar, and Tiberius, Caligula, Cladius, Nero, Galba, Otho Vitelius, and Domitian, some for usurpyng the Empire, some for tyranny, some for gettyng it by bribes, and some by other meanes procuryng the same, lost (by the sufferance of the righteous gods) not onely their honour and goodes, but also they died miserably. When thou dydst reade in thy schole, and I that time an hearer of thy doctrine, many times I hearde thee say, that we ought to trauel to deserue honour, rather than procure the same, esteemynge it vnlawfull to get honour by meanes vnlawfull. He that is without credite, ought to assay to procure credite. Hee that is with out honour, ought to seeke honour. But the vertuous man hathe no neede of noblenesse, ne hee himselfe, ne yet any other person can berieue him of due honour. Thou knowest wel Plutarch, that the yere past, the office of Consul was gyuen to Torquatus, and the Dictatorship to Fabritius, who were so vertuous and so little ambitious as not desyrous to receyue such charges, absented themselues, although that in Rome, they might have ben in great estimation, by reason of those offices, and yet neuerthelesse without them they bee presently esteemed, loued and honoured: and therefore I conceiue greater delight in Quintius Lincinatus, in Scipio Affricanus, and good Marcus Portius, for contemning of theyr offices, than for the victories which they atchieued: for victories many times consist in fortune, and the not caryng for honorable charge in onely wisedome. Semblably, thou thy selfe art witnesse, that when myn vncle Cocceius Nerua was exiled to Capua, he was more visited, and better serued, than when he was at Rome: whereby may bee inferred, that a vertuous man may bee exyled or banished, but honour he shall neuer want. The Emperour Domitian (if you do remember) at the departure of Nerua, made me many offers, and thee many fayre promises to entertain thee in his house, and to send mee into Almayne, which thou couldest not abyde, and much lesse consent, deeming it to be greater honour with Nerua to be exiled, than of Domitian to be fauored. I sweare by 286 the Gods immortall, that when the good olde man Nerua sent me the ensigne of the Empyre, I was vtterly ignorant thereof, and voyd of hope to atteyne the same: for I was aduertised from the Senate, that Fuluius sued for it, and that Pamphilius went about to buy it. I knew also that the Consul Dolobella attempted to enioy it: then sith the gods did permit, that I should be Emperour, and that myne vncle Nerua did commaund the same, the Senate approued it, and the common wealth would haue it to be so: and sith it was the generall consent of all men, and specially your aduyse, I haue greate hope that the Gods will be fauorable vnto me, and Fortune no ennimie at all: assuring you, that like ioy whych you do saye you had by teachyng me, and seing me now to be Emperour, the lyke I haue to thynke that I was your Scholler: and sith that you wyll not call mee from henceforth any other but Soueraygne Lord, I wyll terme you by none other name, than Louyng father. And albeit that I haue ben visited and counselled by many men since my commyng to the Empyre, and by thee aboue the rest, whom before all other I wyll beleue, consideryng that the intent of those which counsell me, is to draw my mynd to theyrs, your letters purportyng nothyng else but mine aduauntage. I doe remember amongs other woordes, which once you spake to Maxentius the Secretary of Domitian, this saying: that they which doe presume to gyue counsell vnto Prynces, oughte to bee free from all passions and affections: for in counsell, where the wyll is moste enclined, the mynde is more prompte and ready: that a Prince in all thyngs doe his wyll I prayse not: that he take aduise and counsell of euery man I lesse allowe. That which he ought to doe (as me thinke) is to doe by counsel, forseeing for al that to what counsel he applieth his mynd: for counsel ought not to be taken of hym whom I doe well loue, but of hym of whom I am well beloued. All this I have wrytten (my mayster Plutarch) to aduertise you that from henceforthe I desire nothyng else at your handes, but to be holpen wyth your aduise in myne affayres, and that you tell me of my committed faults: for if Rome do thinke me to be a defender of their common wealth I make accompte of you to bee an ouerseer of my life: and therefore if you thinke that I am not thankfull ynough for the good aduyse, and 287 holsom warenings that you gyue me: I am to intreate you (myne owne good mayster) not to take it in ill part, for in such cases, the griefe that I conceiue, is not for the good lessons you gyue me, but for the shame that I fayle in followyng them. The bryngyng of me vp in thy house, the hearyng of thy lectures, the folowyng of thy doctryne, and liuing vnder thy disciplyne, haue ben truly the pryncipal causes that I am commen to this Empyre. This mutch I say (mayster) for that it were an vnnatural parte in thee not to assist me to beare that thing, which thou haste holpen me to gayne and winne: and although that Vespasian was of nature a very good man, yet his greatest profite redounded to him by entertayning of the Philosopher Appolonius. For truelye it is a greater felicity for a Prince to chaunce vpon a good and faythfull man, to be neare about him, than to atchieue a large realme and kingdome. Thou sayest (Plutarch) that thou shalt receiue great contentation, from henceforth, if I be such a one now as I was before, or at lestwise if I be no worse. I belieue that which thou doest say, bicause the Emperour Nero, was the first fiue yeares of hys empyre good, and the other nine yeares exceedyng euill, in sutch wyse as he grew to be greater in wickednesse, than in dygnity. Notwithstanding, if thou thinke that as it chaunced vnto Nero, so may happen vnto Traiane, I besech the immortall Gods rather to depriue me of life, than to suffer me to raigne in Rome: for tyrantes bee they, whych procure dygnytyes and promotyons, to vse them for delighte and filthye luste: and good Rulers bee they which seeke them for profite of Common wealthe: and therfore to them whych before they came to those degrees were good, and afterwardes waxed Wycked, greater pity than enuye ought to be attributed, consideryng specyally, that Fortune did not aduaunce them to honour, but to shame and villany: beleue me then (good maister) that sith hitherto I haue ben reputed vertuous, I wyl assay by God’s assistance to aspire to be better, rather than to be worsse. And so the Gods preserue thee.


The Letter of the Emperour Traiane to the Senate of Rome, wherein is conteined, that honour ought rather to be deserued than procured.

Cocceius Traiane Emperour of the Romanes, euer Augustus, to our sacred Senate health and consolation in the gods of comfort. We beinge aduertised here at Agrippina of the Deathe of the Emperour Nerua, your soueraigne Lord and my predecessour, and knowing it to be true, that you haue wept and bewailed the losse of a Prince so noble and ryghteous, we likewise haue felt like sorow, for the death of so notable a father. When children lose a good father, and subiects a good Prynce, eyther they muste dye wyth them, or else by teares they must rayse them vp again, for so much as a good Prince in a common wealth is so rare, as the Phœnix in Arabia. My lord Nerua broughte me out of Spayne to Rome, nourished me vp in youth, caused mee to bee trained in letters and adopted me for his sonne in mine olde age: which graces and benefits truly I can not forget, knowyng that the ingrate man prouoketh the Gods to anger, and men to hatred. The death of a vertuous man is to be lamented of all men, but the death of a good Prince, ought to be extremely mourned: for if a common person die, there is but one dead, but if a god Prynce die, together with him dieth a whole Realme. I speake this (O ye Fathers) for the rare vertues abounding in myne vncle Nerua: for if the gods were disposed to sell vs the liues of good Prynces already departed, it were but a small ransome to redeeme them with teares: for what gold or syluer may be sufficient to buie the lyfe of a vertuous man. Truely there woulde be a greate masse of money gyuen by the Greekes for Alexander, by the Lacedemonians for Lycurgus, by the Romanes for Augustus, and by the Carthaginians for Annibal. But as you knewe the gods hauing made all thynges mortall, so haue they reserued onely themselues to bee immortall. How eminent and passing the vertue of the good is, and what priuiledge the godly haue, it may easily bee knowne: for so mutch, as honour is carried euen to the very graues of the dead, but so it is not to the greate Palaces of the 289 wycked. The good and vertuous man, without sighte or knowledge we loue, serue, and aunswer for him: wherein the wycked we cannot beleue what he sayeth, and lesse accepte in good part the thyng whych he doeth for vs. Touchynge the electyon of the Empyre, it was done by Nerua, it was demaunded by the people, approued by you, and accepted by me. Wherefore I prayt the immortall Goddes that it may bee lyked of theyr godheades: for to small purpose auayleth the election of Prynces, if the gods doe not confyrme it: and therefore a man maye knowe hym whych is chosen by the Gods, from him that is elected by men, for the one shal declyne and fal, the other shalbe vpholden and preserued: the choyse of man so vaynely exalted doth bowe and abase, but that which is planted by the gods, although it bee tossed to and fro wyth seuerall Wynds, and receiueth greate aduersitye, and boweth a lyttle, yet the same shall neuer fal. Ye know right wel (most honorable Fathers) that I neuer demaunded the Empyre of Nerua my Soueraigne Lorde, although he broughte me vp and was his Nephew, hauing heard and wel remembring of my Mayster Plutarch, that honour ought rather to bee deserued than procured. Notwithstanding I wyll not deny but ioyfull I was when my Lord Nerua sent me the ensigne of that greate and hygh dignity: and yet I wyll confesse that hauing begon to tast the trauailes and cares which that imperiall state bringeth, I did repent more then a Thousand times for taking vppon mee a charge so great: for Empire and gouernement is of sutch quality that although the honor be mighty, yet the gouernour sustaineth manifold paines and miserable trauailes. O how greatly doth he bind himself, which by gouernment bindeth other! for if hee bee iuste they call hym cruell, if hee bee Pitifull, he is contempned, if liberall, he is esteemed Prodigall, if he keepe or gather together he is counted couetous, if hee be peaceable and quiet, they deeme him for a coward, if he be couragious, he is reputed a quareller, if graue, they will say he is proude, if he be easie to be spoken to, hee is thought to be light or simple, if solitary, they will esteeme him to be an hypocrite, and if he be ioyfull, they will terme hym dissolute: In sutch wise as they wil be contented, and vse better termes to al others what so euer, than towardes him, which gouerneth 290 a common wealth: for to sutch a one they recken the morsels which he eateth, they measure his pases, they note his words, they take heede to his companies, and iudge of his works (many times wrongfully,) they examine and murmure of his pastimes, and attempt to Coniecture hys Thoughtes: consider then the trauayles which bee in gouernement, and the enuy which many times they beare vnto him that ruleth. We may say, that there is no state more sure than that which is furthest of from Enuy. And if a man cannot but wyth great payne gouerne the wyfe which hee hath chosen, the children which he hath begotten, nor the seruaunt which he hath brought vp, hauing them altogether in one house: how is it possible that he can still conserue in peace a whole commonwealth? I praye you tell mee, in whom shall a poore Prince repose his trust, syth that many times hee is most slaundered by theym whom he fauoureth best? Prynces and great Lordes cannot eate without a Garde, cannot sleepe without a watch, cannot speake without espiall, nor walke without some saufety, in sutch wise as they being Lords of al, they be as it were, Prisoners of their owne people. And if we wil beholde somewhat neerely, and consider the seruitude of Princes, and the liberty of Subiectes, we shall finde that he which hath most to doe in the Realme, or beareth greatest swinge, is most subiect to Thraldome. So that if Princes haue authority to geue liberty, they haue no meanes to be free themselues: the gods haue created vs so fre, and euery man desireth to haue hys liberty so mutch at wyll, that a man be he neuer so familiar a freende, or so neare of kin, we rather haue him to be our subiect, than our Lorde and mayster: one man alone commandeth all, and yet it seemeth to him but little: ought we then to marueile, if many be weary to obey one? Wee loue and esteeme our selues so mutch, as I neuer saw any which of his owne good wil would be subiect, ne yet agaynst his will was made a Lord, a Principle by dayly experience proued very true: for the quarrels and warres that be amongs men, are not so mutch for obedience sake, as for rule and commaundment. I say moreouer, that in drinking, eating, clothing, speaking, and louing, al men be of diuers qualities: but to get lyberty, they be all conformable. I haue spoken thus mutch (O Fathers conscript) vpon 291 occasion of mine owne Empire, which I haue taken with good will, albeit afterwards I was sory for the great charge. For the waltering Seas and troublesome gournement be two things agreeable to beholde, and daungerous to proue. Notwithstanding sith it hath pleased the Gods that I should be youre Lord, and you my subiects, I beseech you hartely to vse your obedience, as to your soueraygne lord, in that which shall be right and iust, and to aduertise me like a father, in things that shall seeme vnreasonable. The Consul Rutulus hath sayed mutch vnto mee in your behalfe, and hath saluted me for the people, hee himselfe shall bring aunswere and shal salute you al in my name. The Allobrogians and the inhabitaunts about the riuer Rhene, be at controuersie for the limittes of their countrey, and haue prayed me to be their Arbitrator, which will stay me a little there. I require that this letter may be red within the Senate house, and manifested to the whole people. The Gods preserue you.

An other Letter of the Emperour Traian to the Romayne Senate, contayning how gouerners of Common wealths ought to bee friendes rather to those whych vse traficke, than to them that gather and heape together.

Cocceius Traiane Emperour of the Romaynes to our holy senate health and consolation in the Gods of comfort. The affayres be so manyfolde, and businesse so graue and weighty, which we haue to doe with diuers Countries, that scarce we haue tyme to eate, and space to take anye rest, the Romane Prynces hauing still by auncient custome both lacke of tyme, and commonly want of money. And bicause that they which haue charge of common wealths, to the vttermost of their power ought to be fryends to traficke of marchandise, and enimyes of heapynge treasure together, Prynces haue so many people to please, and so greate numbre of crauers, that if they keepe any thing for them, the same shall rather seeme a spice of theft than of prouidence. To take away an other man’s goodes, truly is a wycked part: but if it bee permitted 292 to take Treasure, better it were to take it out of the Temples, than to defraude the people: for the one is consecrated to the immortall Gods, and the other to the pore commons. I speake this (right honorable fathers) to put you in remembraunce, and also to aduise you, that you take good heede to the goodes of the common wealth, howe they bee dyspended, howe gathered together, howe they bee kepte, and howe they be employed. For ye ought to vnderstand, that the goodes of the Common wealth be committed to you in trust, not to the ende yee shoulde enioy them, but rather by good gouernement to vse them. We do heare that the Walles be ready to fal, the Towers be in decay, and the Temples in great ruine, wherof we be not a lyttle offended, and you ought also to be ashamed, for so mutch as the damages and detryments of the Common wealth, we ought eyther to remedy, or else to lament. Ye haue wrytten vnto mee to know my pleasure, whether the censors, pretors, and ediles should be yearely chosen, and not perpetuall, as hitherto they haue bene: and specyally you say, that the state of the Dictators (which is the greatest and highest dignity in Rome) is onely but for sixe moneths. To that I aunswer, that we are wel contented wyth that aduyse: for not wythout cause and iust reason our predecessours dyd abolyshe the fyrst kynges of Rome, and ordayned, that the Consuls should yearely be chosen in the Common wealthe. Whych was done, in consyderation that hee whych had perpetuall gouernement, many tymes became insolente and proude. And therefore that the charges and offices of the Senate, should be yearely, to auoyde danger, which if they should be perpetual there myght ensue great hurt and damage to the common wealth: for if the Officers beyng yerely chosen, be good, they may be continued: and if they bee euyll, they may be chaunged. And truely the officer, whych knoweth that vpon the end of euery yeare he must be chaunged and examined of his charge, he wyll take good heede to that whych he speaketh, and first of all wil consider what he taketh in hand. The good Marcus Portius was the first that caused the Officers of the Romane Common Wealthe to bee thus visited and corrected. And bycause that these Almayne Warres doe styll increase, by reason that kyng Deceball wyll not as yet bee brought to obedience of the 293 Romanes, but rather goeth about to occupy and winne the Kingdomes of Dacia and Polonia, I shall be forced through the businesse of the wars, (so long continuing) to deuyse and consult here vppon the affayres touchyng the gouernement of the common wealth of Rome. For a lesse euyll it is for a Prynce to be neglygent in matters of Warre, than in the gouernement of the Common Wealth. A Prynce also ought to think, that he is chosen, not to make wars, but to gouerne, not to kyll the Enimies, but to roote out vices, not that he goe in person to inuade or defend his foes, but that he reside and be in the Common Wealth, and not to take away other men’s goodes, but to do iustice in euery man, for so mutch as the Prynce in the warres can fight but for one, and in the publyke wealth he committeth faults against a numbre. Truly it liketh me wel, that from the degree of captaines men be aduaunced to bee emperors, but I think it not good, that emperours do descende to be captains, considering that, that realm shal neuer be in quyet, where the Prince is to gret a warrior. This haue I spoken (fathers conscript) to the intent ye may beleue, that I for my parte if these warres of Almayne were to begin, I being at Rome, it wer impossible that I should be brought vnto the same, for that my principal intent, is to be estemed rather a good gouerner of a common wealth, than a forward captain in the field: nowe then principally I commend vnto you the veneration of the temples, and honor of the gods, bicause kings neuer liue in surety, if the gods be not honored, and the temples serued. The last words which my good lord Nerua wrot vnto me were these: “Honour the Temples, feare the gods, maintein Iustice in thy commonwealth and defend the pore: in so doing thou shalt not be forgotten of thy friend, nor vanquished by thy foe.” I do greatly recommend vnto you the vertues of amity and fraternity, for that you know how in great common wealthes, more hurt and damage do ciuile and neighborly wars bryng vnto the same, than those attempted by the enimies. If parents against parents, and neighbours against neighbours had not begon mutuall hatred and contention, neuer had Demetrius ouerthrowen the Rhodes, neuer had Alexander conquered Thyr, Marcellus Syracusa, Scipio Numantia. I recommend vnto you also the poore people, loue the orphanes 294 and fatherlesse children, support and help the widowes, beware of quarrels and debates amongs you, and the causes of the helplesse se that ye maintaine and defende: bicause the Gods dyd neuer wreake more cruell vengeance vpon any, than vpon those which dyd ill intreate and vse the poore and neady: and many times I haue heard my Lord Nerua say, that the gods neuer shewed themselues so rygorous, as agaynst a mercilesse and vnpitifull people. Semblably, we pray you to be modest of woords, pacient to suffer, and ware in your forme of lyfe. For a great fault it is, and no lesse shame to a Gouerner, that he prayse the people of his common wealth, and gyue them occasion to speake euill of him: and therefore they which haue charge of the common wealth, ought rather to repose trust in their workes, than in theyr woords, for so mutch as the Citizens or common people, do rather fixe theyr iudgement vpon that which they see, than on that which they heare. I would wysh that (touching the affayres appertinent to the Senate) they might not know in you any sparke of ambicion, malice, deceipte, or enuy, to the intent that the iust men might not so mutch complain of the commaunding of the common wealth, as vpon the entertainment and profite of the same. The Empire of the Greeks putting theyr felicity in eloquence, and we in well doing. I speake this (ryght honorable Fathers) to Counsell and Exhorte ye, that when ye be assembled in Senate, ye do not consume tyme in dysputing and holding opinions for the verification of any thynge. For if you will iudge wythout parciality and affection without great disputation, ye may come to reason. I do remember that being at a lesson of Appolonius Thianeus, I heard him say that it was not so expedient that Senators and Emperors should be skilful and wyse, as if they suffred themselues to bee gouerned by those that were of great experience and knowledg: and verely he said truth: for by that meanes he prohibited and forbad them, not to arrest and stand vpon their owne opinion, whereof they ought to be many times suspicious. Lykewyse we recommend vnto you the censores, who haue charge of Iudgement, and the Tribunes, whose office is to attende the affrayes of Common Wealthe, that they bee wyse and learned in the Lawes, expert in the Customes, prouident in Iudgementes, and 295 ware in theyr trade of lyfe: for I say vnto you, that a wyse man is more availeable in gouernement of a common wealth, than a man of ouermutch skyll and experyence. The forme then whych ye shal obserue in matters of Iudgement shall be thus: that in ciuile processe you keepe the law, and in criminall causes to moderate the same, bicause haynous, cruell, and rigorous lawes be rather made to amaze and feare, than to be obserued and kept. When you giue any sentence, ye ought to consider the age of the offendaunt, when, how, wherefore, with whome, in whose presence, in what time, and how longe ago, forsomutch as euery of these thyngs may eyther excuse or condempne: whych you ought to beare and vse towards them in lyke sort as the gods towards vs, who giue vs better helpe and succoure and correct vs lesse than we deserue. That consideration the Iudges ought to haue, bycause the offenders doe rather trespasse the Gods than men: if then they be forgiuen of the gods for offences whych they commit, reason it is that we pardon faultes don by those rather then by our selues. In like maner we commaund you, that if your enimies do you any anoiance or iniury, not incontinently to take reuenge, but rather to dissemble the same, bicause many wrongs be don in the world, which were better to be dissembled than reuenged. Wherin ye shal haue like regard, touching offices in the Senate and Common Wealth, that they be not giuen to ambicious or couetous persons: for there is no Beaste in the World so pestiferous and Venomous, to the Common Wealth, as the Ambicious in commaunding, and the couetous in gathering togither. Other things we let passe for this tyme, vntil we haue intelligence howe these our commaundements be fulfilled. This Letter shal be red in the chyefest place within the Senate, and afterwards pronounced to the people, that they may both know what yee commaunde, and see also what ye doe. The Gods keepe you, whome we pray to preserue our mother the City of Rome, and to send vs good successe in these our Warres.


A notable Letter sent from the Romane Senate to the Emperour Traiane, where in is declared how sometimes the region of Spayne did furnish Rome wyth golde from their Mines, and now do adorne and garnish the same with Emperours to gouerne their Common wealth.

The sacred Romane Senate, to thee the great Cocceius Traiane new Emperour Augustus, health in thy gods and ours, graces euerlastyng wee render to the immortall Gods, for that thou art in health, which wee desyre and pray may be perpetual. We signified vnto thy maiesty the death of Nerua Cocceius, our soueraigne Lord, and thy predecessor, a man of sincere lyfe, a fryend of his Common Wealth, and a zealous louer of Iustice, wherein also we aduertised, that like as Rome did weepe for the cruell lyfe of Domitian, so mutch the more bitterly doth she bewayle the death of thine vncle Nerua, whose councel (although hee was very olde and diseased) which he gaue vs lyinge on his Bedde, we loued better, and imbraced with greater comforte, than all the enterpryses and deedes don by his predecessors, when they were in health and lusty: and besides the ordinary mourning vsed to bee done in Rome for Prynces, wee haue caused all recreation and pastime to cease, so wel in the common wealth as with euery of vs particularly. We haue shut vp the Temples and made the Senate vnderstand, how displeasantly we accept the death of good men. The good old gentleman Nerua dyed in hys house, and was buried in the fielde of Mars: he died in debte, and we haue payd hys debtes: he dyed callyng vppon the Gods, and we haue canonized him amongs theyr numbre, and that which is most to be noted, hee died commending vnto vs the common wealth, and the Common wealth recommending it self vnto him: and a little before his latter gaspe, to the principall of the holy Senate, and many other of the people, standing about his bedside, he sayde: “O ye fathers, I committe vnto you the common wealth and my selfe also vnto the Gods: vnto whom I render infinite thankes, bicause they haue taken from me my children, to bee mine heires and haue lefte mee Traiane to succede.” You do remembre (most 297 dread soueraign lord) that the good Empereour Nerua had other successours than your maiesty, of nearer alyance, of greater frendship more bound by seruice, and of greater proofe in warfare: notwithstandyng amongs other noble personages, vpon you alone he cast his eyes, reposinge in you such opinyon and confidence, as to reuiue the prowes and valyaunt facts of the good Emperor Augustus, he suppressed in oblivion the insolent facts of Domitian. When Nerua came vnto the Crowne, he found the treasure pilled, the Senate in dissentyon, the people in commotion, Iustice not obserued, and the Common wealth ouerthrowen: which you likewyse presentlye shall finde, although otherwyse quiet and wholy reformed: wherfore we shalbe right glad, that you conserue the Common wealth in the state wherin your vncle Nerua left it, consideryng specially that new Prynces vnder colour to introduce new customs, do ouerthrow their common Wealths: fourtene Prynces your predecessours in the Empyre were naturally borne in Rome, and you are the firste straunger Prynce. Wherefore we pray the immortall Gods, (sith that the stocke of our auncient Cæsars is dead) to send thee good Fortune. Out of the countrey of Spaine was wont to come to this our Romane city great abundance of gold, siluer, steele, leade, and tinne, from theyr mines: but now in place thereof, she giueth vs Emperours to gouern our common wealths: sith then that thou commest of so good a countrey as Spayne is, from so good a Prouince as is Vandolosia, and from so excellent a citty as Cales is, of so noble and fortunate a Linage as is Cocceius, and aduaunced to so noble an Empire, it is to be supposed that thou wilt proue good and not euil: for the Gods immortall many times do take away their graces from vngratefull men: moreouer (most excellent prince) sith you wrote vnto vs the maner and order what we ought to doe: reason it is that we write to you agayne what you ought to foresee: and sith you haue tolde vs, and taught vs to obey you, meete it is that we may know what your pleasure is to commaunde: for that (it may come to passe) that as you haue bene brought vp in Spayne, and of longe time bene absent from Rome, through followinge the Warres, that not knowing the lawes whereunto we are sworn, and the customes which we haue in Rome, yee commaunde some thinge 298 that may redound to our damage, and to your dishonor: and therefore we accoumpt it reason that your Maiesty bee aduertised hereof, and the same preuented, for so much as Princes oftentimes be negligent of many things, not for that they wil not foresee the same, but rather for want of one that dare tell them what they ought to doe: and therefore we humbly beseech your most excellent maiesty, to extende and shewe forth your wisedome and prudence, for that the Romanes hearts bene drawen and made pliant rather by fauourable diligence, than by prouoked force. Touchinge the vertue, Iustice, may it please you to remembre the same: for your olde vncle Nerua was wont to say, that a Prince for all his magnanimity, valiaunce, and felicity, if he do not vse and maintayne Iustice, ought not for any other merite to be praysed and commended. Semblably we make our humble Petition, that those commaundements which you shal send and require to be put in execution, be thoroughly established and obserued: for the goodnesse of the lawe doth not consist in the ordinaunce, but in the fulfilling and acomplishement of the same: wee will not also omit to say vnto you (most famous Prince) that you must haue pacience to suffer the importunate, and to dissemble with the offenders: for that it is the deede of a Prince to chastise and punishe the wrongs done in a common wealth, and to pardon the disobedience done vnto him. You send vs word by your letters that you wil not come to Rome, vntyll you haue finished the Germaine Warres: whych seemeth vnto vs to be the determination of a vertuous and right noble Emperour, for so mutch as good Princes such as you be, oughte not to desire and chose places of delite and recreation, but rather to seke and win renowne and fame. You commaunde vs also to haue regarde to the veneration of the Temples, and to the seruice of the Gods: whych request is iuste, but very iuste it were and meete that your selfe should doe the same: for our seruice would little preuaile, if you should displease them. You wil vs also one to loue an other, whych is the counsel of a holy and peaceable Prince: but know ye that wee shal not be able to doe the same, if you wil not loue and intreat vs all in equall and indifferent sorte: for Prynces chearyshinge and louing some aboue the rest, do raise slanders 299 and grudges amongs the people: you likewise recommend vnto vs, the poore and the widowes: wherin we thinke that you ought to commaund the Collecters of your Tributes, that they do not grieue, when they gather your ryghtes and customes: for greater sinne it is to spoyle and pill the needy sort, than meritorious to succour and relieue them. Likewise you do persuade vs to be quiet and circumspect in our affayres, which is a persuasion resembling the nature of a worthye Prynce and also of a pitifull father. In semblable maner you require vs not to be opinionatiue and wilfull in the Senate, ne affectionate to self wil whych shal be done accordingly as you commaund, and accept it as you say: but therwithall you ought to think that in graue and wayghty matters, the more depely things be debated, the better they shall be prouided and decreed: you bid vs also to beware, the Censores be honest of lyfe and rightful in doing iustice: to that we aunswere, that in the same we will haue good respect, but it is expedient that you take hede to them whom you shal name and appoint to those offices: for if you do chose such as they ought to be, no cause shal rise to reprehend them. Item wher you say, that we ought to take hede, that our children committe no offences to the people, wherein the aduise of the senate is, that you do draw them awaye from vs, and cal them to the Almayne warres, for as you do knowe (right souerain prince) that when the publike welth is exempt, and voyd of enimies, then the same wil begin to bee replenyshed wyth youthfull vices. Notwithstanding when the warres bee farre of from Rome, then the same to them is profitable, bicause there is nothing which better cleanseth common wealths from wicked people, than warres in straunge Countries. Concernyng other things which you write vnto vs nedefull it is not now to recite them, but onely to see them kept: for truely they seeme rather to be the lawes of God Apollo him selfe, than counsels of a Mortall man. The gods preserue your Maiesty, and graunt you good successe in those your warres.

These Letters and Epistles, although besides the Scope and Nature of a Nouell, yet so worthy to be read and practysed, as no History or other mortall Precepte more: expressing the great care of a maister 300 towards his scholler, that he should proue no worse being an emperor, than he shewed hymselfe diligent when he was a Scholer: fearing that if he should gouerne contrary to his expectation, or degenerate from the good institution, whych in hys yong yeares hee imbraced, that the blame and slaunder should rest in hymselfe: that was his tutor and bringer vp. O careful Plutarch, O most happy maister, as well for thine owne industry, as for the good successe of such a Scholer: and O most fortunate and vertuous Emperor, that could so wel brooke and digest the blissed persuasions of sutch a maister, whose mind wyth the blast of promotion, was not so swolne and puffed, but that it vouchsafed to cal him father and maister, stil crauing for in instigation of reproofe, when he slid or slypped from the path of reason and duety. And happy Counsel and Senate that could so wel like and practyse the documents of such an Emperour.



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.

Leauynge now our morall discourse of a carefull Mayster, of a prouydent Scholer, of a vertuous Emperoure, of a sacred Senate, and vniforme magistery, returne we to the setting forth and description of three arrant honest Women, which for lewdnesse wer famous, and for wicked Lyfe worthy to be noted with a blacke coale, or rather their memory raked in the Dust and Cinders of their Corpses vnpure. But as all histories be ful of lessons of vertue and vice, as Bookes, sacred and prophane, describe the liues of good and bad for example sake, to yelde meanes to the posterity, to ensue the one and eschue the other, so haue I thought to intermingle amongest these Nouels the seuerall sortes of either, that ech Sexe and Kinde may pike out like the Bee, of ech Floure, Honny, to store and furnishe with delightes their well disposed myndes. I purpose, then, to vnlace the dissolute lyues of three Amorouse Dames, that with their graces allured the greatest Princes that euer were: enticed the noble men, and sometimes procured the wisest and best learned to craue their acquaintance, as by the sequele hereof shall well appeare. These three famous Women, (as Writers do witnesse) were furnished with many goodly graces and giftes of nature: that is to say, great beautye of face, goodly proporcion of body, large and high foreheades, theyr breastes placed in comely order, smal wasted, fayre handes of passing cunning to play vpon Instruments, a heauenly voice to fayne and sing: briefly, their qualities and beauty were more famous than euer any that were born within the Countries of Asia and Europa. They were neuer beloued of Prince that did forsake them, nor yet they made request of any thing which was denied them: they neuer mocked or flowted man (a thing rare in women of theyr condition) ne yet were mocked of any: but theyr specyal propreties wer to allure men to 302 loue them: Lamia wyth hir pleasaunt loke and eye, Flora with hir eloquent tongue, and Lais wyth the grace and sweetenesse of hir singing voyce: a straunge thinge that he which once was surprysed wyth the loue of any of those three, eyther to late or neuer was delyuered of the same. They were the richest courtizans that euer lyued in the worlde, so long as theyr life did last, and after theyr decease, great monumentes were erected for theyr remembraunce, in place where they died. The most auncient of these three Amorous dames was Lamia, who was in the tyme of King Antigonus, that warfared in the seruice of Alexander the Great, a valyant gentleman, although not fauored by Fortune. Thys kynge Antigonus left behynde hym a sonne and heyre called Demetrius, who was lesse valyaunt, but more fortunate than his father, and had bene a Prynce of greate estimation, if in hys youthe hee had acquyred frendes, and kept the same, and in hys age had not ben gyuen to so many vices. Thys King Demetrius was in loue with Lamia, and presented hir wyth rich giftes and rewardes, and loued hir so affectionately, and in sutch sort, as in the loue of his Lamia he semed rather a fole than a true louer: for, forgetting the grauity and authoritye of his person, hee dyd not onelye gyue hir all such things as she demaunded, but besides that hee vsed no more the company of his wyfe Euxonia. On a tyme Kyng Demetrius asking Lamia what was the thing wherewyth a woman was sonest wonne? “There is nothing,” answered shee, “whych sooner ouercommeth a Woman, than when she seeth a man to loue hir with al hys hart, and to susteyne for hir sake greate paynes and passyons wyth long continuance and entier affection, for to love men by collusion, causeth afterwards that they be mocked.” Agayn, Demetrius asked hir further: “Tell me, Lamia, why doe diuerse Women rather hate than loue men?” Whereunto she answered: “The greatest cause why a Woman doth hate a man, is, when the man doth vaunt and boast himselfe of that which he doth not, and performeth not the thing which he promiseth.” Demetrius demaunded of her: “Tell me, Lamia, what is the thing wherewith men doe content you best?”—“When wee see him,” sayde she, “to be dyscrete in wordes, and secrete in his dedes.” Demetrius asked hir further: “Tell me, Lamia, how chaunceth it that men 303 be ill matched?” “Bycause,” answered Lamia, “it is impossible that they be well maryed, when the wife is in neede, and the husbande vndiscrete.” Demetrius asked hir what was the cause that amitye betwene lwo louers was broken? “There is nothing,” answered she, “that soner maketh colde the loue betwene two louers, than when one of them doth straye in loue, and the Woman louer to importunate to craue.” He demaunded further: “Tell me, Lamia, what is the thinge that moste tormenteth the louing man?” “Not to attayne the thing which he desireth,” answered she, “and thinketh to lose the thing whych he hopeth to enioy.” Demetrius yet once agayne asked hir thys question: “What is that, Lamia, which most troubleth a Woman’s hart?” “There is nothing,” answered Lamia, “wherwith a woman is more grieued, and maketh hir more sad, than to be called ill fauored, or that she hath no good grace, or to vnderstand that she is dissolute of lyfe.” This lady Lamia was of iudgement delicate and subtyll, although il imployed in hir, and thereby made al the world in loue with hir, and drew al men to hir through hir fayre speach. Now, before she lost the heart of Kyng Demetrius, shee haunted of long time the vniuersities of Athenes, where she gayned great store of money, and brought to destructyon many young men. Plutarch, in the lyfe of Demetrius, saith, That the Atheniens hauing presented vnto him XII. C. talents of money for a subsidie to pay his men of warre, he gaue al that summe to his woman Lamia: by meanes whereof the Atheniens grudged, and were offended wyth the kyng, not for the losse of their gift, but for that it was so euil employed. When the King Demetrius would assure any thynge by oth, hee swore not by his gods, ne yet by his predecessors, but in this sort: “As I may be styll in the grace of my lady Lamia, and as hir lyfe and mine may ende together, so true is this which I say and do, in this and thys sort.” One yere and two Moneths before the Death of King Demetrius, his frend Lamia died, who sorowed so mutch hir death, as for the absence and death of hir, he caused the Phylosophers of Athens to entre in this Disputation, Whether the teares and sorow whiche he shed and toke for her sake, were more to be estemed than the riches which he spent in her obsequies and funerall pompes. This Amorous gentlewoman Lamia, was borne 304 in Argos, a City of Peloponnesus, besides Athenes, of base parentage, who in hir first yeares haunted the countrey of Asia Maior, of very wyld and dissolute lyfe, and in the ende came into Phænicia. And when the Kyng Demetrius had caused hir to be buried beefore hys chamber-window, hys chiefest frendes asked him, wherefore hee had entoomed hir in that place? his aunswere was this: “I loued hir so wel, and she likewyse me so hartyly, as I know not which way to satisfie the loue which she bare me, and the duety I haue to loue her agayne, if not to put hir in such place as myne eyes maye wepe euery day and mine hart still lament.” Truely this loue was straung, which so mighty a Monarch as Demetrius was, did beare vnto such a notable curtizan, a woman vtterly void of grace, barren of good workes, and without any zeale or spark of vertue, as it should appeare. But sith we read and know that none are more giuen or bent to vnreasonable loue, than mighty Princes, what should it bee demed straung and maruellous, if Demetrius amongs the rest do come in place for the loue of that most famous woman, if Fame may stretch to eyther sorts, both good and euill? But let vs come to the second infamous gentlewoman, called Lais. She was of the isle of Bithritos, which is in the confines of Græcia, and was the daughter of the great Sacrificer of Apollo his temple at Delphos, a man greatly experienced in the magike art, wherby he prophecyed the perdition of his daughter. Now this amorous Lias was in triumph in the time of the renowmed King Pyrrhus, a Prince very ambitious to acquire honor, but not very happy to keepe it, who being yonge of sixteene or seuenteene yeares, came into Italy to make warres against the Romains: he was the first (as some say) that aranged a camp in ordre, and made the Phalanx, the mayne square and battell: for before hys time, when they came to entre battell, they assailed confusedly and out of array gaue the onset. This amorous Lias continued long time in the campe of Kynge Pyrrhus, and went wyth hym into Italy, and wyth him retourned from warre agayne, and yet hir nature was sutch, as shee woulde neuer bee mainteined wyth one man alone. The same Lias was so amorous in her conuersatyon, so excellent fayre, and of so comely grace, that if shee would haue kept hir selfe faythfull to one Lorde or gentleman, there 305 was no prynce in the world but if he would haue yelded himselfe and all that he had at hir commaundement. Lias, from hir retourne out of Italy into Greece, repayred to the citye of Corinth, to make hir abode there, where she was pursued by many kings, lordes, and prynces. Aulus Gellius saith (which I haue recited in my former part of the Pallace of pleasure, the fiftenth Noeuill,) that the good Philosopher, Demosthenes, went from Athens to Corinth, in disguised apparell, to see Lais, and to haue hir company, But before the dore was opened, she sent one to demaunde .XII. C. Sestercios of siluer: whereunto Demosthenes answered: “I buy not repentance so deere.” And I beleue that Demosthenes spake those wordes by folowyng the sentence of Diogenes, who sayeth, that euery beast after such acte is heauy and sad. Som wryters affirme of this Amorous Lais, that thing whych I neuer reade or hearde of Woman: whych is, that shee neuer shewed signe or token of loue to that man whych was desyrous to doe her seruice: nor was neuer hated of man that knew her. Whereby we may comprehend the happe and fortune of that amorous Woman. Shee neuer shewed semblance of great loue to any person, and yet shee was beloued of all. If the amorous Lamia had a good Spirite and mynde, Lais truely had no lesse. For in the art of loue she exceeded all other women of hir detestable Arte and Scyence, as well in Knowledge of Loue as to profite in the same. Vppon a Daye a Younge Man of Corinth demaundying of hir, what hee shoulde say to a Woman whome hee long tyme had loued, and made so greate sute, that thereby he was like to fal into dispayre. “Thou shalt say,” (sayd Lais) “vnto hir, that sith she wyl not graunt thy request, yet at least wyse it myght please hir to suffer thee to bee hir seruant, and that shee would take in good parte the Seruice that thou shalt doe vnto hir. Whych requeste if shee doe graunte, then hope to attayne the ende of thy attempte, bycause wee Women bee of such nature, as opening our mouthes to gyue some mylde and pleasant answere to the amorous person, it is to bee thoughte that wee haue gyuen our heart vnto hym.” An other Daye, in the presence of Lias, one praysed the Phylosophers of Athens, saying, that they were very honest personages, and of great learnynge. Whereunto Lais aunswered: “I can not tell what great knowledg they haue, nor what science 306 they studye, ne yet what bookes youre Philosophers doe reade, but thys I am sure, that to me beynge a woman and neuer was at Athenes, I see them repayre, and of Philosophers beecome amorous persons.” A Theban knighte demaunded of Lais, what he might doe to enioy a ladye wyth whose loue hee should bee surprised: Shee aunswered thus. “A man that is desirous of a woman, must folow his sute, serue hir, and suffer hir and somtymes to seeme as though he had forgotten hir. For after that a womans heart is moued to loue, she regardeth more the forgetfulnesse and negligence vsed towards hir, than she doth the seruice done before.” An other Gentleman of Achaia asked hir what he shoulde doe to a woman, whom he suspected that she had falsified hir fayth. Lais aunswered, “make hir beleue that thou thinkest she is very faythful and take from hir the occasions wherby shee hath good cause to be vnfaythful: For if she do perceiue that thou knowest it, and dissemblest the matter, she wyll sooner dye than amende.” A gentleman of Palestine at another time inquired of hir what hee should doe to a Woman whych he serued, and did not esteeme the seruyce done vnto hir, ne yet gaue him thankes for the loue which hee bare hir. Lais sayed vnto him: “If thou be disposed to serue hir no longer, let hir not perceiue that thou hast gyuen hir ouer. For naturally we women be tendre in loue, and hard in hatred.” Beyng demaunded by one of hir Neyghbours what shee shoulde doe to make hir Daughter very wyse. “Shee” (sayde Lais) “that wyll haue hir Daughter to bee good and honest, must from her youth learne hir to feare, and in going abrode to haunte litle company, and that she be shamefast and moderate in hir talke.” An other of hir neighbors inquyryng of hir what shee myght doe to hir daughter whych began to haue delyght to rome in the fieldes and wander abroade. “The remedy” (sayde Lais) “that I finde for your daughter disposed to that condition, is, not to suffer hir to be ydle, ne yet to be braue and sumptuous in apparel.” This amorous gentlewoman Lais, dyed in the Citye of Corinth, of the age of .lXXII. Yeares, whose death was of many matrones desired and of a great numbre of amorous persones lamented. The thyrd amorous gentlewoman was called Flora, which was not so auncient, ne yet of so greate renoume as Lamia and Lais 307 were, whose country also was not so famous, For she was of Italy, and the other two of Grecia, and although that Lamia and Lais exceded Flora in antiquity, yet Flora surmounted them in lineage and generositie. For Flora was of noble house, although in life lesse than chast. She was of the country of Nola in Campania, issued of certayne Romans, Knights very famous in facts of Armes and of great industrie and gouernement in the common wealth. When the Father and mother of this Flora deceased, she was of the age of XV. yeares, indued with great riches and singular beauty, and the very orphane of all hir kynne. For shee had neyther brother lefte wyth whom shee myght soiourne, ne yet vncle to gyue her good counsell. In such wyse that lyke as this young maistres Flora had youthe, riches, lyberty and beauty, euen so there wanted neyther baudes nor Pandores to entyce hir to fal, and allure hir to folly. Flora seeing hir self beset in this wise, she determined to goe into the Affrick warres, where she hazarded both in hir person and hir honor. This dame florished and tryumphed in the tyme of the firste Punique warres, when the Consul Mamillus was sent to Carthage, who dispended more Money vpon the loue of Flora, than hee did vpon the chase and pursute of his enimies. This amorous lady Flora had a writyng and tytle fixed vpon hir gate, the effect wherof was this: King, Prince, Dictator, Consul, Censor, high Bishop, and Questor may knocke and come in. In that writyng Flora named neither emperor nor Cæsar, bycause those two most Noble names were long tyme after created by the Romanes. Thys Amorous Flora woulde neuer abandon hir Person, but wyth Gentlemen of Noble House, or of greate Dygnitye and Ryches. For shee was wonte to say that a Woman of passinge Beauty shoulde be so mutch esteemed as shee doth esteeme and sette by hir selfe. Lias and Flora were of contrary maners and conditions. For Lias would first bee payde, before shee yelded the vse of hir bodye: but Flora wythout any semblance of desire eyther of golde or siluer was contented to bee ruled by those with whom shee committed the facte. Wherof vppon a day being demaunded the question, she answered: “I gyue my body to prynces and noble Barons, that they may deale with mee lyke Gentlemen. For I 308 sweare vnto you by the Goddesse Venus, that neuer man gaue me so little, but that I had more than I looked for, and the double of that which I could demaund.” This Amorous lady Flora was wont many times to saye, that a wise woman (or more aptly to terme her a subtyll Wench) oughte not to demaund reward of her louer for the acceptable pleasure which she doth hym but rather for the loue whych she beareth him, bycause that al thinges in the world haue a certayn pryce, except loue, which cannot bee payde or recompenced but wyth loue. All the Ambassadors of the worlde, whych had accesse into Italy, made so greate reporte of the Beauty and Generositie of Flora, as they dyd of the Romane common wealth, bycause it seemed to bee a Monstrous thynge to see the Ryches of hir house, hir trayne, hir beauty the princes and great lordes by whom she was required, and the presents and giftes that were gyuen vnto hir. This Amorous Flora had a continual regard to the noble house whereof shee came touchyng the magnyficence and state of her seruyce. For albeit that she was but a common woman, yet she was serued and honored lyke a great lady. That day wherein she rode about the city of Rome, she gaue occasion to be spoken of a whole month after, one inquirynge of an other what great Romaine lords they were that kepte her company? Whose men they were that waighted vpon her? And whose liuery they ware. What Ladies they wer that rode in her trayne. The brauery of hir apparell, hir great beauty and port, and the wordes spoken by the amorous gentlemen in that troupe were not vnremembred. When this maistres Flora waxed old, a yong and beautifull gentleman of Corinth, demaunded her to wyfe, to whom she answered: “I know well that thou wilt not marie, the three score yeares whych Flora hath, but rather thou desirest to haue the twelue hundred thousand Sestercios which she hath in hir Coffres. Content thy selfe therefore, my frende, and get thee home agayne to Corinth from whence thou comest. For to sutch as be of myne age great honor is borne, and reuerence done for the riches and wealth they haue, rather than for mariage.” There was neuer in the Romane Empyre, the lyke amorous woman that Flora was, indued wyth so many graces and Queenelyke 309 qualities, for shee was of noble house, of singuler beauty, of comely personage, discrete in hir affayres, and besides al other comly qualyties, very lyberall. This maistres Flora spent the most part of hir youth in Affrica, Almayne and Gallia Transalpina. And albeit that she would not suffre anye other but great lords to haue possession of hir body, yet she applyed hir selfe to the spoile of those that were in place, and to the praye of those that came from the warres. This amorous Flora died when she was of the age of LXXV. yeares. She left for the principal heire of all hir goods and Iuells. the Romain people, which was estemed sufficient and able to make newe the Walles of Rome, and to raunsome and redeme the common Wealth of the same. And bycause that shee was a Romaine, and had made the state therefore hir heyre, the Romaines builded in hir honor a sumptuous Temple, whych in memorye of Fora was called Florianum: and euery yeare in the memorye of hir, they celebrated hir feast vppon the day of hir death: Suetonius Tranquillus sayeth, that the first feaste which the Emperour Galba the second celebrated wyth in Rome, was the feast of the amorous Flora, vpon whych daye it was lawful for men and women, to doe what kynd of dishonesty they could deuise. And she was estemed to be the greater saint which that day shewed her selfe moste dissolute and wanton. And bicause that the temple Florianum, was dedycated to amorous Flora, the Romanes had an opinion, that al women which vpon the same day repayred to the Temple in whorish apparell, should haue the graces and giftes that Flora had. These were the fond opinions and maners of the auncient, which after their owne makinge and deuises framed Gods and Goddesses, and bycause she proued vnshamefast and rich, a Temple must bee erected, and Sacrifices ordayned for hir Whorish triumphes. But that noble men and Kings haue bene rapt and transported with the lurements of sutch notorious strumpets, is and hath bene common in all ages. And commonly sutch infamous women be indewed with greatest gifts and graces, the rather to noosell and dandle their fauorers in the laps of their fadinge pleasures. But euery of them a most speciall grace, aboue the rest. As of a Kyng not lot long agoe we reade, that kept 310 three, one the holiest, another the craftiest, and the third the meriest. Two of which properties meete for honest Women: although the third so incident to that kinde as heat to a liuinge body. Cease wee then of this kynde, and let vs step forth to be acquaynted with a lady and a Queene the Godlyest and stoutest, that is remembred in any auncient Monument or Hystory.



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.

Zenobia Queene of Palmyres, was a right famous Gentlewoman, as diuerse Hystoriographers largely do report and write. Who although shee was no Christian Lady, yet so worthy of Imitation, as she was for hir vertues and heroycall facts of Immortall prayse. By hir wysedome and stoutnesse she subdued all the empire of the Orient, and resisted the inuincible Romans. And for that it is meete and requisite to alleage and aduouch reasons by weight, and words by measure, I wil orderly begin to recite the History of that most famous Queene. Wherefore I say, that about the .284. Olimpiade, no long tyme after the death of the vnhappy Emperour Decius, Valerian was chosen Emperour by the Senate, and (as Trebellius Pollio his Hystorian doth describe) he was a well learned prince, indued with manyfold vertues, that for his speciall prayse, these wordes be recorded of him. If all the World had bene assembled to chose a good Prince, they would not haue chosen any other but good Valerian. It is also written of hym, that in liberality he was noble, in words true, in talke wary, in promise constant, to his frends familiar, and to his enemies seuere, and which is more to be esteemed, he could not forget seruice, nor yet reuenge wronge. It came to passe that in the XIV. yeare of his raygne, there rose sutch cruell Warres in Asia, that forced he was to go thither in his owne person, to resist Sapor king of the Persians, a very valyaunt man of Warre and fortunate in his enterprises, which happinesse of hys not long time after the arryuall of Valerian into Asia, hee manifested and shewed. For beeyng betwene them such hot and cruell warres, in a skyrmish, throughe the greate faulte of the General, (which had the conduct of the armye) the Emperour Valerian was taken, and brought into the puissance of King Sapor hys ennimy, whych cursed tyrant so wickedlye vsed that victory, as hee woulde by no meanes put the 312 Emperour to raunsome, towards whom hee vsed such cruelty, that so oft and so many tymes, as hee was disposed to gette vp on horsebacke hee vsed the body of olde Valerian to serue hym for aduauntage, setting his feete vppon the throate of that aged gentleman. In that myserable office and vnhappy captiuity serued and dyed the good Emperour Valerian, not wyth oute the greate sorrowe of them that knew him, and the rueful compassion of those that sawe him, which the Romans considering, and that neither by offre of gold, or siluer, or other meanes, they were able to redeeme Valerian, they determined to choose for Emperour his owne sonne called Galienus: which they did more for respect of the father, than for any minde or corage they knew to bee in the sonne. Who afterwardes shewed himselfe to bee farre different from the conditions of his father Valerian, being in his enterprises a cowarde, in his promisses a lyer, in correction cruell, towards them that serued him vnthanckfull, (and which is worse,) hee gaue himselfe to his desires, and yealded place to sensuality. By meanes wherof, in his tyme the Romain Empyre more than in any others raygne, lost most prouinces and receiued greatest shame. In factes of warre he was a cowarde, and in gouernement of common wealth, a very weake and feeble man. Galienus not caryng for the state of the Empire, became so myserable as the Gouernors of the same gaue ouer their obedience, and in the tyme of hys raygne, there rose vp thyrty tyrants, whych vsurped the same. Whose names doe followe, Cyriades, Posthumus the yonger, Lollius, Victorinus, Marius, Ingenuus, Regillianus, Aureolus, Macrianus, Machianus the younger, Quietus, Odenatus, Herodes, Mœnius Ballista, Valens, Piso Emilianus, Staturnius, Tetricus, Etricus the younger, Trebelianus, Heremianus, Timolaus, Celsus, Titus, Censorinus, Claudius, Aurelius, and Quintillus, of whom XVIII, were captaynes and seruiters vnder the good Emperour Valerian. Sutch delight had the Romanes, in that auncient world, to haue good Captaynes, as were able to bee preferred to be Emperours. Nowe in that tyme the Romanes had for their Captayne generall, a knight called Odenatus, the Prynce of Palmerines, a man truely of great vertue, and of passinge industry and hardinesse in facts of warre. This Captayne Odenatus maried a 313 woman that descended of the auncient linage of the Ptolomes, tometymes Kinges of Ægypt, named Zenobia, which (if the historians do not deceiue vs) was one of the most famous Women of the Worlde. Shee had the heart of Alexander the great, shee possessed the riches of Cræsus, the diligence of Pyrrhus, the trauel of Haniball, the warie foresighte of Marcellus, and the Iustice of Traiane. When Zenobia was married to Odenatus, she had by hir other husband, a sonne called Herodes, and by Odenatus shee had two other, whereof the one was called Hyeronianus, and the other Ptolemus. And when the Emperour Valerian was vanquyshed and taken, Odenatus was not then in the Campe. For as all men thought, if he had ben there, they had not receyued so greate an ouerthrow. So sone as good Odenatus was aduertized of the defaict of Valerian, in great haste he marched to the Roman Campe, that then was in great disorder. Whych with greate diligence hee reassembled, and reduced the same to order, and (holpen by good Fortune,) wythin xxx. Dayes after hee recouered all that whych Valerian had loste, makynge the Persian kyng to flee, by meanes whereof, and for that Odenatus had taken charge of the army, hee wanne amonges the Romanes great reputation, and truely not with out cause: For if in that good time he had not receyued the charge the name and glory of the Romanes had taken ende in Asia. Duryng all thys tyme Galienus, lyued in hys delyghtes at Myllan, wythout care or thoughte of the Common wealth, consumynge in his wylfull vices, the Money that was leuied for the men of war. Whych was the cause that the gouernours of the prouinces, and Captens general, seing him to be so vicious and neglygent, vsurped the prouinces and armies which they had in charge. Galienus voyde of all obedience sauing of the Italians and Lombards, the first that rose vp against him were Posthumus in Fraunce, Lollians in Spayne, Victorinus in Affrica, Marius in Britane, Ingenuus in Germanie, Regillianus in Denmark, Aureolus in Hungarie, Macrianus in Mesopotamia, and Odenatus, in Syria. Before Odenatus rose against Valerian, Macrianus enioied Mesopotamia and the greatest part of Syria, whereof Odenatus hauing intelligence, he marched with his power agaynst him and killed him, and discomfited all his army. The death of the Tyran Macrian being 314 knowen, and that Galienus was so vicious, the armies in Asia assembled and chose Odenatus Emperour: which Election although the Senate publickly durst not agree vpon, yet secretly they allowed it, bycause they receyued dayly newes, of the great Exploytes and deedes of armes done by Odenatus, and saw on the other side the great continued follies of Galienus. Almost three yeares and a halfe was Odenatus Emperour and Lord of all the Orient, duringe which time he recouered all the Lands and Prouinces lost by Galienus, and payde the Romane army all the arrerages of their wages due vnto them. But Fortune ful of inconstancy, suffred not this good Prynce very long to raygne. For hauing in hys house a kinsman of hys, named Meonius, to whom he bare great good will, for that he sawe him to be a valiant man of warre, although Ignorant of his Enuy and couetousnesse: it chaunced vpon a day as they two rode on huntinge, and gallopinge after the pursute of a wylde Bore, with the very same Bore Speare which Meonius caried to strike the beast, he killed by treason his good Cousin Odenatus. But that murder was not long time vnreuenged. For the Borespeare wherewith he had so cruelly killed the Emperour his Cousin, was incontinently known by the hunters which folowed Odenatus: whervpon that day the head of Meonius was striken of. And Galienius vnderstandinge the death of Odenatus, gaue great rewardes and presents to them that brought him the newes, beinge so ioyfull as the Romans wer angry to vnderstand those pitiful tydings, bycause through the good ordre which Odenatus vsed in Asia, they had great tranquillity and peace throughout Europa. Now after the death of thys good Emperour Odenatus, the Armies chose one of his two Sonnes to be Emperour of the Orient: But for that he was younge, they chose Zenobia to be Protector of hir sonne, and gouerner ouer the sayd Orient Empyre. Who seeing that vpon the decease of Odenatus certayne of the East Countries began to reuolt, shee determined to open hir Treasure, ressemble hir men of Warre, and in hir owne person to march into the fielde: where she did sutch notable enterprises, as shee appalled hir enemies, and made the whole world to wonder. About the age of .XXXV. yeares Zenobia was widow, beinge the Tutrix of hir children, Regent of an Empyre, and Captayne 315 generall of the army. In which weighty charge she vsed hir selfe so wisely and well, as shee acquired no lesse noble name in Asia, than Queene Semiramis did in India. Zenobia was constant in that whych she tooke in hand, true in words, liberall, mylde, and seuere where she ought to be, discrete, graue, and secrete in her enterprises, albeit she was ambicious. For, not content with hir title of Gouernesse, or Regent, she wrote and caused her selfe to be called Empresse, she loued not to ride vpon a Mule, or in a littor, but greatly esteemed to haue great horse in hir stable and to learne to handle and ryde them. When Zenobia went forth of hir Tent to see the order and gouernment of hir Campe, she continually did put on her Armure, and was well guarded with a band of men, so that of a woman, she cared but onely for the name, and in the facts of Armes shee craued the title of valiaunt. The Captaynes of hir Army, neuer gaue battell, or made assault, they neuer skyrmished or did other enterprise of warre, but she was present in her owne person, and attempted to shewe hirselfe more hardy than any of all the troupe, a thinge almost incredible in that weake and feeble kinde. The sayd noble Queene was of stature, bigge and well proporcioned, her eyes black and quicke, hir forehead large, hir stomak and Breastes fayre and vpright, her Face white, and ruddy, a little mouth, hir Teeth so whyte, as they seemed like a rancke of white pearles, but aboue all things she was of sutch excellent Spirit and courage, as shee was feared for hir stoutnesse, and beloued for her beauty. And although Zenobia was indued with so great beauty, liberality, riches, and puissaunce, yet she was neuer stayned with the blemish of vnchaste lyfe, or wyth other vanity: and as hir husband Odenatus was wont to say, that after shee felt hir selfe wyth chylde, shee neuer suffred hym to come neare her, (sutch was hir great Chastity) sayinge that Women ought to marry rather for children than for pleasure. She was also excellently well learned in the Greke and Latine tongue. Shee did neuer eate but one Meale a Day. Hir talke was verye lyttle and rare. The Meate which shee vsed for hir repaste, was either the hanch of a Wylde Bore, or else the syde of a Deere. Shee could drinke no Wyne, nor abyde the sent thereof. But shee was so curyous in good and perfect Waters, as shee would gyue so great 316 a Pryce for that, as is ordinaryly gyuen for Wyne bee it neuer so excellent. So soone as the Kinges of Ægypte of Persia, and the Greekes, were aduertized of the death of Odenatus, they sent theyr Ambassadours to Zenobia, aswell to visite and comfort hir, as to bee her confederats and frendes. So much was she feared and redoubted for her rare vertues. The affayres of Zenobia beinge in sutch estate in Asia, the Emperor Galienus died in Lombardie, and the Romanes chose Aurelianus to bee Emperour, who although he was of a base and obscure lineage, yet hee was of a great valiance in factes of Armes. When Aurelianus was chosen Emperour, he made great preparacion into Asia, to inferre warres vpon Queene Zenobia, and in all hys tyme hee neuer attempted greater enterprise for the Romanes. When hee was arryued in Asia, the Emperour proceded agaynst the Queene, and shee as valiantly defended hir selfe, continually being betwene them great Alarams and skirmishes. But as Zenobia and hir people were of lesse trauell and of better skyl in knowledge of the Country, so they did greater harme and more anoiance vnto theyr Enimy, and thereof receiued lesser damage. The Emperour seing that hee should haue mutch adoe to vanquishe Zenobia by armes, determined to ouercome hir by gentle wordes and fayre promisses: for which cause he wrote vnto hir a letter, the tenor whereof ensueth.

Aurelianus Emperour of Rome and Lord of al Asia, to the right honorable Zenobia sendeth greetyng. Although to such rebellyous Women as thou art, it should seeme vncomely and not decente to make request, yet if thou wylt seeke ayde of my mercy, and rendre thy selfe vnder myne obedience, bee assured that I wyll doe thee honour, and geue pardon to thy people. The Golde, Siluer, and other riches, within thy Pallace I am content thou shalt enioy, together with the kingdome of Palmyres, which thou mayest keepe duringe thy life, and leaue after thy death to whom thou shalt think good, vpon condicion notwithstandinge, that thou abandone all thine other Realmes and Countryes which thou haste in Asia, and acknowledge Rome to be thy superior. Of thy vassalls, and subiectes of Palmyres, we demaund none other obedience, but to be confederates and frendes, so that thou breake vp thy Campe, wherewyth thou makest warre in Asia, and disobeyest the city of Rome, wee will 317 suffer thee to haue a certayne number of men of warre, so wel for the tuicion of thy person, as for the defence of thy kingdome, and thy two Children which thou haddest by thy husbande Odenatus. And he whom thou louest best shal remayne with thee in Asia, and the other I will carry with me to Rome, not as prisoner, but as hostage and pleadge from thee. The prisoners which thou hast of ours, shalbe rendred in exchange for those which we haue of thine, without raunsome of eyther parts. And by these meanes thou shalt remayne honored in Asia, and I contented, will retourne to Rome. The Gods be thy defence, and preserue our mother the city of Rome from all vnhappy fortune.

The Queene Zenobia hauinge reade the letter of the Emperour Aurelianus, without feare of the contents, incontinently made sutch aunswere as followeth.

Zenobia Queene of Palmyres, and Lady of all Asia, and the kingdomes thereof, to thee Aurelianus the Emperour, health, and consolation, &c. That thou do intitle thy selfe with the Emperour of the Romanes I doe agree, but to presume to name thy selfe lord of the East kingdomes, I say therein thou doest offend. For thou knowest wel, that I alone am Lady Regent of all the Orient, and the only dame and maystresse of the same. Th’one part whereof descended vnto me by lawful Inheritaunce from my predecessors, and the other part, I haue won by my prowesse and deedes of armes. Thou sayest that if I rendre obedience vnto thee, thou wilt do me great honor: To that I aunswere, that it were a dishonest part of me, and a deede most vniust, that the Gods hauing created Zenobia to commaund all Asia, she should now begyn to bee slaue and thral vnto the city of Rome. Semblably, thou saiest that thou wylt gyue and leaue me al the golde, siluer, and other ryches whych I haue: Whereunto I aunswer, that it is a wycked, and fond request, to dispose the goodes of another as they were thine owne. But thine eyes shall neuer see it, ne yet thy handes shal touche it, but rather I hope in the Gods aboue to bestow and crye a larges of that which thou haste at Rome, before thou finger that whych I haue and possesse in Asia. Truely Aurelianus, the warres which thou makest agaynst me, and thy quarell, bee most vniuste beefore the supernall Gods, and very vnreasonable 318 before men, and I for my part if I haue entred or doe take armes, it is but to defend my self and myne. Thy comming then into Asia is for none other purpose, but to spoile and make hauocke of that which an other hath. And think not that I am greatly afrayde of the name of Romane Prynce, nor yet the power of thyne huge army. For if it bee in thy handes to gyue battell, it belongeth onely to the gods to gyue eyther to thee or me the victory. That I remaine in fielde it is to me greate fame, but thou to fight with a widdowe, oughtest truelye to bee ashamed. There be come vnto myne ayde and Campe the Persians, the Medes, the Agamennonians, the Irenees, and the Syrians, and with them all the Gods immortall, who be wont to chastice sutch proude princes as thou art, and to helpe poore Widowes as I am. And if it so come to passe, that the Gods doe permit and suffre my lucke to be sutch, as thou do bereue me of lyfe and dispoyle me of goods, yet it will be bruted at Rome, and published in Asia, that the wofull wight Zenobia, was ouerthrowne and slayne, in defence of hir Patrimony, and for the conseruation of hir husbande’s honor. Labor no more then Aurelianus, to flatter and pray me, nor yet to threaten me: requere me no more to yeelde and become thy prisoner, nor yet to surrender that which I haue: for by doinge that I can, I accomplish that I ought. For it will be sayd and noysed through the world, (may it so come to passe as Fortune do not fauor mee) that if the Empresse Zenobia be captiue, she was not yet vanquished. Now touchinge my son which thou demaundest to cary with thee to Rome, truely that request I cannot abide, and mutch lesse do meane to graunt, knowing full well that thy house is stored full of manyfolde vices, where myne is garnished with many notable Philosophers: whereby if I leaue vnto my Children no great heapes of goods, yet they shalbe wel taught and instructed: For the one half of the day they spend in Learninge, and the other halfe in exercise of Armes. For conclusion of thy demaund, and finall aunswere, thereunto, I pray thee trauayle no more by letters to write vnto mee, ne yet by ambassage to spende any furder talke, but attend vntill our controuersie bee decided rather by force of Armes than by vttered wordes. The Gods preserue thee.


It is sayd that Aurelianus, receiuing that aunswere did reioyce, but when he had red it, he was greatly offended, which incontinently hee made to bee known, by gathering together his Camp, and besieginge the Citty wherein Zenobia was. And Aurelianus, wroth and outraged with that aunswere, although his army was weary and halfe in dispayre (by reason of the longe Warres,) yet he vsed sutch diligence and expedition in the siege of that place, as the Queene was taken and the city rased: which done, the Emperour Aurelianus retourned to Rome, caryinge with him Zenobia, not to doe hir to death, but to tryumph ouer her. At what tyme to see that Noble Lady goe on foote, and marche before the tryumphinge Chariot bare footed, charged with the burden of heauy chaynes, and hir two children by hir side: truly it made the Romane Matrons to conceyue great pity, being wel knowen to al the Romans, that neither in valorous deedes, nor yet in vertue or chastity, any man or woman of hir time did excell hir. The dayes of the triumph being done, all the noble Ladies of Rome assembled and repayred to Zenobia, and vsed vnto her great and honorable entertaynement, giuing hir many goodly presentes and rewards. And Zenobia liued in the company of those noble Matrons the space of .X. yeares before she dyed, in estimation like a Lucrecia, and in honour like a Cornelia. And if Fortune had acompanied hir personage, so well as vertue and magnanimity, Rome had felt the egrenesse of hir displeasure, and the whole world tasted the sweetnesse of hir Regiment. But nowe leaue we of, any longer to speak of Zenobia, that wee may direct our course to the hard fate of a King’s daughter, that for loue maried a simple person bred in hir father’s house, who in base parentage, and churlishe kynde coulde not be altered: but shewed the fruicts of brutishnesse: tyll Lady Fortune pityinge the Ladie’s case: prouided for her better dayes, and chastized her vnkinde companion with deserts condigne for sutch a matche.



Evphimia 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 Peloponesus, that loued hir very feruently. Acharisto conspiring against the Kyng, was discouered, tormented, and put in prison, and by meanes of Evphimia 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 gaue 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 vpon the sute of hir subiects, she is contented to mary him, and therby he is made Kynge of Corinth:

Constancy in honest loue (being a perfect vertue, and a precious ornament to the beloued, induinge eyther, besides ioy and contentacion, with immortall fame and Glory,) hath in it selfe these onely marks and properties to be knowen by, Chastity, and toleration of aduersity: For as the mynde is constant in loue, not variable, or geuen to chaunge, so is the body continent, comely, honest and pacient of Fortunes plages. A true constant minde is moued with no sugred persuasions of frendes, is diuerted with no eloquence, terrified with no threats, is quiet in all motions. The blustering blasts of parents wrath, cannot remoue the constant mayde from that which she hath peculiarly chosen to hir selfe. The rigorous rage of frendes, doth not dismay the louing man from the embracement of hir whom he hath amongs the rest selecte for his vnchanged feere. A goodly example of constant and noble loue this history ensuing describeth, although not like in both, yet in both a semblable constancy. For Euphimia, a kings daughter, abandoneth the great loue borne vnto hir by Philon, a yong prince, to loue a servant of hir father’s, with whom she perseuered in great constancy, for all his false and ingratefull dealings towards hir. Philon seeing his loue despised neuer maried vntill he maried hir, 321 whom afterwards he deliuered from the false surmised treason of hir cancred and malicious husband. Euphimia fondly maried agaynst hir father’s will, and therefore deseruedly afterwards bare the penaunce of hir fault: and albeit she declared hir selfe to be constant, yet duty to louinge Father ought to haue withdrawen hir rash and heady loue. What daungers do ensue sutch like cases, examples be rife, and experience teacheth. A great dishonour it is for the Lady and Gentlewoman to disparage hir noble house with mariage of hir inferior: yea and great griefe to the parents to see their children obstinate and wilfull in carelesse loue. And albeit the Poet Propertius describeth the vehement loue of those that be noble, and haue wherewith in loue to be liberall, in these verses:

Great is the fayth of Loue,

the constant mynde doth mutch auayle:

And hee that is well fraught with wealth,

in Loue doth mutch preuayle.

Yet the tender Damosell or louing childe, be they neuer so noble or rich, ought to attend the father’s tyme and choyse, and naturally encline to parent’s will and likinge, otherwise great harme and detriment ensue: for when the Parentes see the disobedience or rather rebellious mynde of theyr childe, their conceiued sorrow for the same, so gnaweth the rooted plante of naturall loue, as either it hastneth their vntimely death, or else ingendreth a heape of melancholie humors: whych force them to proclaime defiance and bytter cursse against their propre fruit, vpon whom (if by due regard they had bene ruled) they would haue pronounced the sweete blessyng that Isaac gaue to Iacob, the mother’s best beloued Boye: yea and that displeasure may chaunce to dispossesse them of that, whych should haue bene the onely comfort and stay of the future age. So that neglygence of parent’s hest, and carelesse heede of Youthfull head, breedeth double woe, but specially in the not aduised Chylde: who tumbleth himselfe first into the breach of diuine lawes, to the cursses of the same, to parent’s wrath, to orphan’s state, to begger’s lyfe, and into a sea of manifold miseries. In whom had obedyence ruled, and reason taken place, the hearte myght haue bene satisfied, the parent wel pleased: the life 322 ioyfully spent, and the posteritie successively tast the fruits that elders haue prepared. What care and sorrow, nay what extremetie the foresayde Noble Gentlewoman susteined, for not yelding to hir father’s minde, the sequele shall at large declare. There was sometimes in Corinth, a Citty of Grecia, a Kinge, which had a daughter called Euphimia, very tenderly beloued of hir father, and being arriued at the age of mariage, many Noble men of Grecia made sute to haue hir to wife. But amongs al, Philon the young king of Peloponesus, so fiercely fell in love wyth hir, as he thought he could no longer liue, if he were maried to anye other: for which cause her father knowing him to be a King, and of singular beautye, and that he was far in loue wyth his Daughter, would gladly haue chosen him to be his sonne in lawe, persuading hir that she should liue with him a lyfe so happy as was possyble for any noble lady matched wyth a Gentleman, were he neuer so honorable. But the daughter by no meanes would consent vnto hir father’s wyll, alleaging vnto him diuers and sundry consideracions wherby hir nature by no meanes would agree, nor heart consente to ioyne wyth Philon. The king aboue all worldly thynges loued his fayre daughter: and albeit hee would fayne haue broughte to passe, that she should haue taken him to husband, yet he would not vse the father’s authoritie, but desired that Loue rather than force should mach his daughter, and therfore for that tyme was contented to agree vnto hir wyll. There was in the Court a young man borne of hir Father’s bondman, whych hyght Acharisto, and was manumised by the kinge, who made him one of the Esquiers for hys body, and vsed his seruyce in sundrye enterpryses of the warres, and bicause hee was in those affayres very skilfull, of bolde personage, in conflicts and battayles very hardy, the king did very much fauor him, aswell for that he had defended him from manifold daungers, as also bycause he had deliuered him from the treason pretended against him by the kyng of the Lacedemonians: whose helpe and valyance, the king vsed for the murder and destruction of the sayde Lacedemonian king. For whych valiant enterpryse, he bountifully recompenced him wyth honorable prefermentes and stately reuenues. Vpon this yong man Euphimia fixed hir amorous eyes, and fell so farre in loue, as vpon him alone 323 she bent hir thoughtes, and all hir louing cogitations. Whereof Acharisto being certified, and well espying and marking hir amorous lookes, nouryshed with lyke flames the fire wherewyth she burned. Notwythstanding his loue was not so feruently bent vpon hir personage, as his desire was ambicious for that she shoulde be hir father’s onely heyre, and therfore thought that he should be a most happy man, aboue al other of mortall kynde, if he myght possesse that inheritance. The king perceiuing that loue, told his daughter, that she had placed her minde in place so straunge, as hee had thought hir wysdome would haue more warely foreseen, and better wayed hir estate and birth, as com of a princely race, and would haue demed sutch loue, farre vnworthy hir degree: requiringe hir wyth fatherly words, to withdraw hir settled mynde and to ioyne with him in choyse of husbande, for that he had none other worldly heire but hir, and tolde hir how he ment to bestow hir vppon sutch a personage, as a most happy life she should leade, so long as the destenies were disposed to weaue the Webbe of her Predestined life: and therefore was resolved to Espouse hir vnto that noble gentleman Philon. Euphimia hearkned to this vnliked tale, and with vnliked words refused hir fathers hest, protesting vnto him sutch reasons to like effect as shee did before, therby to draw him from his conceiued purpose, wherunto the wise king hauing made replye, continuing his intended mynde, at length in ragyng wordes, and stormed mind, he sayd vnto Euphimia: “How mutch the sweter is the wyne, the sharper is the egred sawce thereof. I speake this Parable, for that thou not knowing or greatlye regarding the gentle disposition of thy father’s nature, in the ende mayst so abuse the same, as where hitherto he hath bene curteous and benigne, he may become through thy disordred deedes, ryghte sowre and sharpe:” and without vtterance of further talke, departed. Who resting euill content wyth that fonde fyxed Loue, thoughte that the next way to remedy the same, was to tell Acharisto how greuously he toke his presumed fault, and in what heinous parte he conceiued his ingratitude, and how for the benefits which liberally he had bestowed vpon him, he had broughte and enticed hys daughter to loue him, that was farre vngreeable her estate. And therfore 324 he called hym before hym, and with reasons firste declared the duetye of a faythfull seruaunt to his Soueraigne lord, and afterwards hee sayd: That if the receyued benefits were not able to lette him know what were conuenient and seemely for hys degree, but would perseuere in that which he had begon, he would make him feele the iust displeasure of a displeased Prince, whereby hee shoulde repent the tyme that euer hee was borne of Woman’s wombe. These woordes of the Kyng seemed greeuous to Acharisto, and not to moue hym to further anger hee seemed as though that (being fearfull of the Kyng’s displeasure) he did not loue his daughter at all, but sayd vnto hym, that he deserued not to bee so rebuked, for that it lay not in his power to wythstand hir loue, the same procedyng of hir own good wyll and lyberty: and that hee for his part neuer requyred loue: if shee did bend hir mynd to loue hym, hee could not remedye that affection, for that the freewyll of sutch vnbrydled appetite rested not in hym to reforme. Notwythstandyng, bycause he vnderstoode hys vnwyllyng mind, he from that tyme forth would so endeuor hymselfe as he shoulde well perceyue that the vnstayde mynde of the young gentlewoman Euphimia, was not incensed by hym, but voluntarily conceyued of hir selfe. “You shall doe well” (sayde the kyng) “if the effecte procede accordinge to the promise: and the more acceptable shall the same bee vnto mee, for that I desyre it shoulde so come to passe.” The king liked wel these words although that Acharisto had conceiued within the plat of his entended mind, som other treason. For albeit that he affirmed before the kyng’s owne face, that hee would not loue his daughter, yet knowing the assured wil of the louyng gentlewoman, hee practised the mariage, and like an vnkind and wretched man, deuised conuenient tyme to kil him: and fully bent to execute that cruel enterpryse, he attempted to corrupt the chiefest men about him, promising promocions vnto some, to some he assured restitucion of reuenewes, which by father’s fault they had lost beefore, and to other golden hilles, so that hee mighte attayne by slaughter of the king, to wynne a kingly state and kingdome: which the sooner he peruaded himself to acquire, if in secrete silence, they coulde put vp that which by generall voice they had agreed. And although 325 they thought themselues in good assurance, that theyr enterpryse could take no ill successe, by reason of their sounde and good discourse debated amonges themselues for the accomplishement thereof, yet it fortuned that one of the conspiracy (as commonlye in sutch lyke trayterous attemptes it chaunceth) beeynge wyth hys beloued Ladye, and shee makyng mone that little Commodytye succeeded of hir Loue for hir Aduauncement, brake out into these wordes: “Hold thy peace” (sayde hee:) “for the tyme wyll not bee longe before thou shalt bee one of the chiefest Ladies of this land.” “Howe can that bee?” (sayde hys Woman.) “No more adoe?” (quod the Gentleman:) “Cease from further questions, and bee merrye: for wee shall enioye together, a verye Honourable and a quyete Lyfe.” When hir Louer was departed, the gentlewoman went to an other of hir gossips very iocunde, and tolde hir what hir Louer had sayd: and shee then not able to keepe Counsell, wente and tolde an other: in such wyse as in the ende it came to the eares of the King’s steward’s wyfe, and she imparted the same vnto hir husband, who marking those words, like a man of great wisedome and experience, did verily beleue that the same touched the daunger of the king’s person: and as a faythfull seruant to his lorde and maister, diligently harkned to the mutteringe talke murmured in the Court, by him which had tolde the same to his beloued Lady: and knowinge that it proceeded from Acharisto, which was an obstinate and sedicious varlet, and that he with three or four other his familiars, kept secret company in corners, iuged that which he first coniectured, to be most certayne and true: wherefore determined to moue the king thereof, and vpon a day finding him alone, he sayd vnto him, that the fidelity and good will wherewith he serued him, and the desire which he had to see hym lyue in longe and prosperous Estate, made hym to attend to the salfegard of hys person, and to hearken vnto sutch as should attempt to daunger the same: for which cause, marking and espying the doings of certayne of his chamber (whose common assemblies and priuy whisperings mislyking) he feared least they conspiring with Acharisto, shoulde worcke treason, for berieuinge of his life: and to th’ intent their endeuours might be preuented, and his safety foreseene, he thought good to reueale the same to 326 hys Maiesty. Then he tolde the King the words that were spoken by the first Gentlewoman, to one or two of her companions, and disclosed the presumptions which he had seene and perceyued touchinge the same. Amongs the ill conditions of men, there is nothinge more common than Poyson, Conspiracies, and Treason of Prynces and great Lordes: and therefore euery little suspicion presuming sutch perill, is a great demonstration of lyke myschiefe: which made the Kyng to geue credit to the Woords of hys Steward, hauing for hys long experience knowen him to be faythfull, and trusty. And sodaynly he thought that Acharisto attempted the same, that after hys death, by mariage of Euphimia, he might be the Inheritour of hys Kyngdome: the beliefe whereof, and the singular credite which he reposed in hys Steward, besides other thinges, caused hym to commaund the captayne of hys Guard to apprehend those 4 of whom hys Steward told hym, and Acharisto, committinge them to seuerall Prisons. Then he sent hys Officers to examyne them, and found vpon their confessions, the accusation of his steward to be true: but Acharisto, although the whole effecte of the Treason was confessed by those foure conspirators that were apprehended, and aduouched to his Face, and for all the Tormentes wherewith he was racked and cruciated, yet still denied, that eyther he was authour of the enterprise, or partaker of a treason so wicked: then the king incontinently caused the foure Gentlemen of hys Chamber to be rewarded accordinge to the worthinesse of their offence, and were put to death, and Acharisto to be repryued in sharpe and cruell prison, vntill with torments he should be forced to confesse that which he knew to be most certayne and true by the euidence of those that were done to death. Euphimia for the imprisonment of Acharisto, conceiued incredible sorrow, and vneths could be persuaded, that hee would imagine, mutch lesse conspyre, that abhominable fact, aswell for the loue which Acharisto seemed to beare vnto hir, as for the great good wyl wherewith he was assured that she bare vnto hym, and therefore the death of the kyng to be no lesse griefe vnto him, than the same woulde be to hir selfe, the Kyng being hir naturall and louing father: Acharisto thought on the other side, that if hee might speake with Euphimia, a way would be founde eyther for hys 327 escape, or else for hys delyuery. Whereupon Acharisto beinge in this deliberation, found meanes to talke wyth the Iaylor’s wyfe, and intreated hir to shewe hym so mutch fauour, as to procure Euphimia to come vnto him: she accordingly brought to passe, that the yong Gentlewoman in secrete wise came to speake wyth thys trayterous varlet, who so soone as he sawe hir, shedinge from hys eyes store of teares, pitifully complayninge, sayd vnto hir: “I know Euphimia, that the kinge your father doth not inclose me in this cruell prison, ne yet afflicteth me wyth these miserable torments, for any suspicion he conceyueth of me for any intended fact, but only for the loue which I beare you, and for the like, (for whych I render humble thanks) that you do beare to me: and because that I am wery of this wretched state, and know that nothing else can rid me from this paynefull Lyfe, but onely death, I am determined wyth myne owne propre hands to cut the threed of life wherewith the destinies hitherto haue prolonged the same, that thys my breathinge Ghoast, which breatheth forth these doleful playntes, may flee into the Skyes, to rest it selfe amonges the restfull spirites aboue, or wandre into the pleasaunte hellish fieldes, amongs the shadows of Creusa, Aeneas wyfe, or else wyth the ghost of complayning Dido. But ere I did the same, I made myne humble prayer to the maiesty diuine, that hee would vouchsafe to shew me so much grace, as before I dye, I myghte fulfil my couetous eyes with sight of you, whose ymage still appeareth before those greedy Gates, and fansie representeth vnto my myndfull heart. Which great desired thing, sith God aboue hath graunted, I yeld him infinit thankes, and sith my desteny is sutch, that sutch must be the end of loue, I doe reioyce that I muste dye for your sake, which only is the cause that the King your father so laboureth for my death: I neede not to molest you wyth the false euidence giuen against me, by those malicious villaines, that be already dead, which onely hath thus incensed the Kinge’s Wrathe and heauy rage agaynst mee: whereof I am so free, as worthilye they bee executed for the same: for if it were so, then true it is, (and as lyghtly you myght beleue) that I neuer knew what Loue you beare mee, and you lykewyse did neuer knowe, the loue I bare to you: and therefore you may thinke that so impossible is the 328 one, as I dyd euer meane, thinke, or ymagine any harme or peryll to your father’s person. To be short, I humbly do besech you to beleue, that so faythfully as man is able to loue a woman, so haue I loued you: and that it may please you to bee so myndfull of me in thys fadyng Lyfe, as I shal be of you in that life to come.” And in sayinge so, wyth face all bathed in teares, he clypped hir about the myddle, and fast imbracing hir said: “Thus takinge my last farewell of you (myne onely life and ioy) I commende you to the gouernement of the supernall God, and my selfe to death, to be dysposed as pleaseth him.” Euphimia, which before was not persuaded that Acharisto was guylty of that deuised Treason, nowe gaue full belyefe and credite to his wordes, and Weeping wyth him for company, comforted him so wel as she could, and bidding him to bee of good chere, she sayde, that she would seeke such meanes as for hir sake and loue he should not dye: and that before longe time did passe, shee would help him out of prison. Acharisto, although he vttered by ruful voice that lamentable talke, for remedye to ridde himselfe from pryson, yet he did but fayne all that he spake, addyng further: “Alas, Euphimia, do not incurre your Father’s wrath to please my minde: suffer me quietly to take that death, which sinister Fortune and cruell fate hath prouided to abridge my dayes.” Euphimia, vanquished with inspeakable griefe and burning passion of loue, said: “Ah, Acharisto, the onely ioy and comfort of my lyfe, do not pierce my heart with such displeasant wordes: for what should I do in this wretched world, yf you for my sake should suffre death? Wherfore put away that cruel thought, and be content to saue your Lyfe, that hereafter in ioye and myrth you may spend the same: trusting that yf meanes may be founde for your dispatche from hence, we shal liue the reste of our prolonged Lyfe together, in sweete and happy dayes: for my Father is not made of stone flint, nor yet was nourced of Hircan Tigre: he is not so malicious but that in tyme to come hee may be made to know the true discourse of thine innocent life, and hope thou shalt atteyne his fauour more than euer thou didst before, the care whereof onely leaue to me, and take no thought thy selfe: for I make promise vpon myne assured faith to brynge the same to passe: wherefore giue ouer thy conceyued 329 gryefe, and bende thy selfe to lyue so merie a life, as euer gentleman did, trained vp in court as thou hast bene.” “I am content,” said Acharisto, “thus to doe. The Gods forbid that I should declyne my hearte and mynde from thy behest, who of thy wonted grace doest seeke continuance of my Lyfe, but rather, sweete Euphimia, than thou shouldest suffre any daunger to performe thy promise, I make request (for the common loue betwene vs both) to leaue me in this present dangerous state: rather would I lose my lyfe than thou shouldest hazard the least heare of thy heade for my releefe.” “Wee shall be both salfe ynough, (aunswered Euphimia) for my deuice proceedinge from a woman’s heade, hath already drawen the plot of thy deliueraunce.” And with those wordes they both did end their talke, whose trickling teares did rather finishe the same, than willing mynds: and eyther of them geeuing a kysse vnto the Tower Walle, wherein Acharisto was fast shutte, Euphimia departed turmoyled wyth a Thousande amorous Pryckes, and ceased not but firste of all to corrupt and winne the Iayler’s Wyfe, whose husband was sent forth on businesse of the king’s: the conclusion of which practise was, that when shee caried meate to Acharisto, according to the order appoynted, she should fayne hirselfe to be violently dispoyled of the Pryson Key by Acharisto, who taking the same from hir: should shut hir in the Prison and escape, and when hir husband did returne, shee should make complaynt of the violence done vnto hir: accordinge to which deuise, the practyse was accomplished: And when hir husbande returned home, hearing his wyfe crie out within the Tower, was maruayllously amazed, and vnderstandinge that Acharisto was fled, (ignoraunt of the pollicy betwene his Wyfe and Euphemia,) hee fell into great rage, and speedely repayred to the Kynge, and tolde him what had chaunced. The Kinge thinking that the breach of Prison was rather through the woman’s simplicity than purposed malice, did mitigate his displeasure, howbeit forthwith he sent out scouts to spy, and watch into what place Acharisto was gone, whose secret flight, made all their trauayle to be in vayne. Then the Kinge when hee saw that he could not be found, made Proclamation throughout his realme, that who so would bringe vnto him the head of Acharisto, should haue to Wyfe hys onely Daughter, and 330 after hys decease shoulde possesse his Kingdome for Dowry of that mariage. Many knightes did put themselues in redinesse to atchieue that enterprise, and aboue al, Philon was the chiefe, not for gredinesse of the kingdome, but for loue which hee bare vnto the Gentlewoman. Whereof Acharisto hauinge intelligence, and perceyuinge that in no place of Europa hee could bee safe and sure from daunger, for the multitude of them which pursued him vnto death, caused Euphimia to vnderstand the miserable Estate wherein hee was. Euphimia which bent hir minde, and employed hir study for his safegarde, imparted hir loue which shee bare to Acharisto, to an aged Gentlewoman, which was hir nurse and gouernesse, and besought hir that she would intreat hir sonne called Sinapus, (one very well beloued of the king) to reach his help vnto hir desire, that Acharisto might retourne to the court agayn. The Nourse like a wyse woman lefte no persuasion vnspoken, nor counsell vnremembred, which she thought was able to dissuade the yong gentlewoman from hir conceiued loue: but the wound was so deepely made, and hir hearte so greuously wounded with the three forked arrows of the little blinde archer Cupide, that despising all the reasons of hir beloued nurse, shee sayde, how she was firmely bent eyther to runne from hir father, and to seke out Acharisto, to sustaine wyth him one equall fortune, or else with hir owne hands to procure death, if some remedy were not found to recouer the king’s good grace for the returne of Acharisto. The Nurse vanquished with pity of the yong mayden, fearinge both the one and the other daunger that myght ensue, sent for Sinapus, and vppon their talke together, Euphimia and hee concluded, that Acharisto should bee brought agayne vnto the Courte, and that she hir selfe should present him to the King: wherein should want no kinde of diligence vntill the Kyng did entertayne him agayne for his faythfull seruaunt, as he was wont to do. Vpon which resolution, Acharisto was sent for, and being come, Sinapus and Euphimia together with the nurse tolde hym in what sort they three had concluded touchinge his health and safegarde: which of him being well lyked, did giue them humble thankes: and then Sinapus went vnto the kyng, and told him, that there was one newly arriued at Corinth, to make a present vnto his grace of the head of 331 Acharisto. At which newes the kynge shewed hymselfe so ioyfull, as if hee had gotten an other Kingdome: and beinge placed vnder his cloath of state, with his Counsell and Princely trayne about hym, tellinge them the cause of that assembly, commaunded hym that brought those news, to bring the party forth newely come vnto the City to present the head of Acharisto before the presence of the King, who no sooner looked vpon him, but fell into sutch a rage, as the fire seemed to flame out of his angry eyes, and commaunded him presently to be taken and put to death. But Acharisto falling downe vpon hys knees, humbly besought his maiesty to geeue him leaue to speake: but the kinge not suffering him to vtter one word commaunded hym away. Then the Counsellours and other Lords of the Court, intreated his grace to heare him: at whose requestes and supplications he seemed to be content. Then Acharisto began to say: “Most sacred Prynce, and redoubted souerayne Lord, the cause of this my presumptuous repaire before your maiesty, is not to shew my selfe guilty of thy late deuised conspiracy, ne yet to craue pardon for the same, but to satisfie your Maiesty, wyth that contented desire, whych by Proclamation ye haue pronounced through your highnesse Realmes and dominions: which is, to offer this heade for reuenge of the faulte vniustlye layed vnto my charge by those foure, which worthily haue tasted the deserued payne of theyr offense. Wherfore I am come hither of myne owne accord, to shew the loue and greate desyre, whych euer I had to serue and please your Maiesty: and for that I would not consume my life in your displeasure, I make offer of the same to your mercifull wyll and dysposition, chosynge rather to die, and leaue your maiesty satisfied and contented, than to lyue in happy state, your princely minde displeased: but desyrous that your maiesty should know myne innocence, I humblye besech your grace to heare what I can say, that my fidelity maye bee throughly vnderstanded, and the wickednesse of the Varlets, mine accusers wel wayed and considered.” Then he began to rehearse all the things done by hym for the seruyce of his crowne and maiestye, and finally into what daunger he did put himself, when he kylled the Lacedemonian king, that went about by treason to murder him: whych enterpryse might appeare vnto 332 him to bee a sure and euident testimony, that hee ment nothinge hurtfull or preiudiciall to his highnesse: and that hee esteemed not his life, when hee aduentured for his seruice and sauegard to employ the same: and after these alleaged causes, he added briefly, that the loue which his maiesty knew to be betweene him and Euphimia his Daughter, ought to haue persuaded him, that he had rather haue suffered death himselfe, than commit a thing displeasant to Euphimia. And knowing that a more offensive thynge coulde not chaunce to hir, than the vilent death of her father, hee myghte well thyncke that hee woulde haue deuysed the death of a Thousande other, rather than that horible and abhominable deede, sutch as hys greatest Ennemy woulde neuer haue done, mutch lesse hee whych was bounde vnto hym by so many Receyued Benefittes, for whose seruice and preseruacion he had dedicated and vowed hys Lyfe and Soule: but if so be his maiestie’s rancor and displeasure could not be mitigated, but by doinge him to death, hee desired that none of his alleaged reasons should bee accepted, and therefore was there ready to sacrifice his life at his maiestie’s disposition and pleasure. Acharisto by nature could tel his tale excedingly well, and the more his tongue stode him in seruice, the greater appeared his eloquence: whych so pierced the minde of the king and persuaded the Counsellers, and other of the Court, as he was demed giltlesse of the treason: and the matter was so debated, and the King intreated to graunt him pardon, as he was accompted most worthy of his fauour. Then the kyng, by the aduise of hys Counsell, was perswaded, that by force of hys proclamation, hys daughter should be giuen to Acharisto in mariage, and his kingedome for a dowrie, bicause hee had offered his owne heade, accordyng to the effecte of the same. So the kinge repentinge himselfe that he had offended Acharisto, in the end agreed to the aduise of his Counsell, and gaue him his daughter to wife: whereof Euphimia was so ioyful, as they bee that atteyne the summe of their heart’s desire. The father liued one whole yeare after this mariage, and Euphimia so pleasant a life for a certaine time, as was possible for any Gentlewoman. Hir father was no sooner dead, but the vnkinde man, nay rather brute beaste, had forgotten all the benefits receyued of his kinde and louing wife: and hauing by hir onelye 333 meanes got a Kingdome, began to hate hir so straungely, as he could not abide hir sight, (sutch is the property of cancred obliuion, which after it crepeth into ambicious heads, neuer hath minde of passed amitie, ne regardeth former benefite, but like a monster and deadly ennimy to humaine nature, ouerwhelmeth in his bottomlesse gulfe all pietie and kindnesse) and determined in the ende for recompence of sutch great good turnes, to despoyle hir of hir Lyfe. Howe thinke you, fayre Ladies, was not this a fayre rewarde for the loue, the trauailes and sorrowes susteined for this ingrate and villanous man, by that royal lady, to saue his life, and to take him to husband? Here is manifest (probatum) that in a vile and seruyle minde, no vertue, no duety, no receiued benefites can be harboured. Here is a lesson for yong Gentlewomen to beware howe they contemne and despise the graue aduise of theyr auncient fathers. Here they may see the damage and hurt that vnaduised youth incurreth, when neglectyng theyr Parents holesome admonitions, they gyue themselues to the loue of sutch as be vnworthy theyr estate and callyng. For what should ayle the Gentle pucell borne of gentle bloud but to match her selfe in like affinity, and not to care for curryshe kind, or race of churle. Bee there no Gentlemen to be found of personage and beauty worthy to ioyne in loue wyth them? Bee they so precious in nature or tender in education as theyr lyke can not be vouchsafed to couple in mariage yoke? Compare the glysteringe gold to drossie durte, and sutch is the difference betweene gentle and vngentle. But perhaps bringyng vp may alter nature, and custome transforme defect of birth: as Licurgus the lawemaker dyd trye betwene the Currish whelpe and the Spanyell kinde, both by trayning vp running to their contraries, the Spanyel not vsed to hunt eigre vpon the potage dishe, the other nouseled in that pastime pursuing his game. But that Metamorphosis is seldome seene amongs humane sort, and therfore I aduise the gentle kind, to matche themselues in equall lotte, and not to trust Sir Custome’s curtesie in choyse of feere. Returne we then to vnkind Acharisto, who now in full possession of his desired praie, reuertinge to his puddle of carlishe will and cancred nature, after many thousand wronges don to his most noble and gentle Quene, accused hir to be an adulteresse, and as one indeede, 334 (although most innocent) she was condemned to the mercilesse fire. Philon, Kyng of Peloponesus, which (as we haue sayd before) loued Euphimia as he did the balles of his owne eyes, vnderstanding the crueltye that this wicked Man vsed towards hir, to whom both his lyfe and Kyngdome did belonge, moued wyth nobility of mynd, determined to declare to Euphimia the inward feruent loue which he bare hir, and to chastise Acharisto for his ingratitude with due correction. Wherfore depely debating wyth himselfe of this aduenture, thus he sayde: “Now is the time Euphimia, that Philon shewe what faythful Loue he hath euer borne vnto thee, and that he delyuer thee both from the present daunger wherein thou art, and from the hands of that vnkynde wretche, that is farre vnworthy of sutch a wife: for if thou haddest agreed to thy father’s wyll, and yelded to the pursute of him that loued thee beste, thou haddest no neede of rescue nowe, ne yet bene in perill of the wastfull flames of fire, which be ready to consume thy flesh and tender corps, full tenderly sometimes beloued of thy deare father, and of thy louyng frend Philon.” When he had spoken those wordes, hee earnestly disposed him self vpon that enterpryse. There was in those daies a custome in Corinth, that they which were condemned to death, were caried III. miles forth of the City, and there the sentence pronounced against them, were put to execution. Philon hauyng intelligence hereof, did put in readinesse a good troupe of horsemen, and being secretly imbarked, arriued at Corinth, and closely the nyght before Euphimia should be brought to the fire, harde by the place where the miserable Lady should be burnt, into a woode he conueyed his People: and so soone as the Sergeants and officers were approched neere the place wyth the lady, he issued forth, and did set vpon the throng, not sufferyng one of them to remayne aliue, to carye newes. When he had delyuered Euphimia from that present daunger of hir lyfe, and the companye dispercled, he sayd to the Queene: “Nowe thou mayst see (fayre Queene) the diuersitie, betwene the disloyaltie and vnkindenesse of Acharisto, and the faith and loue of Philon. But for that I meane not to leaue hys ingratitude vnrevenged, thou shalt staye here, vntyll thou heare newes of the due chastisment which I shall gyue hym.” Those 335 dire and cruell words foretold of hir husband’s death moued hir honest and Pryncely hearte that by no meanes could bee altered from the gentle nature, which it first had tasted and receiued: and althoughe shee had suffred Mortall and Solempne iniury of hir vnkynde husbande for Manyfolde Benefites, yet (shee good gentlewoman) woulde permyt no duetye of a trustye and faythfull Wyfe vnperformed. Wherefore shee besoughte Philon vpon her knees, not to procede to further reuenge of Acharisto, telling him, that enough it was for hir to haue escaped that present peryl, from which he like a princely Gentleman had deliuered hir, and therefore duering hir life was most bounde vnto him. Philon greately wondred at the goodnesse of this Ladie: howbeit the ingratitude of that Varlet by no meanes he would suffer to bee vnpunished. And beeing aduertised that Acharisto remayned in hys Palace without any suspicion of this aduenture, banded neyther with Guarde or other assurance, committed Euphimia to safe custodie, and sodainly assailed the Palace of Acharisto: and finding the Gates open, he entred the city, crying out vpon the Wickednesse and treason of Acharisto. At which wordes the whole City began to ryse, to helpe Philon in his enterpryse: for there was no state or degree, but abhorred the vnkind order of that Varlet, towards the noble woman their Queene. Philon aided with the people, assaulted the Palace, and in short space inuaded the same: and the Varlet beeing apprehended, was put to death. The Corinthians seeing the noble mind of Philon, and the loue which he bare to Euphimia, and knowing that their late Kyng was disposed to haue matched her wyth Philon, were very willing to haue him to be their Kinge, and that Euphimia should be his wife, supposinge that vnder the gouernement of a Prynce so gentle and valiant, they might liue very happily and ioyefullye. Execution don vpon that moste vnkinde varlet, Philon caused the Lady to be conueyed home into hir royal pallace: and the people with humble submission, began to persuade hir to marie wyth that younge Prince Philon. But shee which had lodged hir thoughts and fixed hir mind vpon that caytife, who vnnaturally had abused hir, would by no meanes consent to take a new husband, saying, that the seconde mariage was not to bee allowed in any woman. And albeit that shee 336 knewe howe greately she was bounde to Philon, as duringe life not able to recompence his louing kindnesse and valyante exployte performed for hir safegard, yet for al hir vnhappy fortune, shee was minded styll to remayne a widowe, and well contented that Philon shoulde possesse hir whole domynion and kingdome, and she pleased to lyue his subiecte: which state she sayd, did like her best. Philon, that not for desire of the Kingdome, but for loue of the Lady had attempted that worthy and honourable enterprise, sayd vnto hir: “Euphimia, it was onely for youre sake that I aduentured thys daungerous indeuor, to ridde you from the slander that might haue ensued your innocent death, and out of the cruel hands of hym, whom vnworthily you did so dearely loue. No desyre of kyngdome or worldly glorye induced me herevnto: no care that I had to enlarge the boundes of my countrey soile pricked the courage of my mynd (that is altogether empty of ambytion) but the Passion of carelesse Loue, whych thys long tyme I haue borne you in your happy father’s dayes, to whom I made incessant sute: and to your selfe I was so long a Suter, vntyll I receyued extreame repulse: for which I vowed a perpetuall single Lyfe, vntyll thys occasyon was offred: the brute whereof when I hearde first, so stirred the mynde of your most louyng knight, that drousie sleepe or greedy hunger, coulde not force this restlesse body to tarry at home, vntyl I reuenged my selfe vpon that villaine borne, which went about wyth roasting flames to consume the innocente flesh of hir whome I loued best. And therfore mustred together my men of armes and in secret sort imbarked our selues and arryued here: where wee haue accomplished the thyng we came for and haue settled you in quiet raygne, free from peryl of traiterous mindes, crauing for thys my fact nought else of you but wylling mynd to be my wife: which sith you do refuse, I passe not for rule of your kyngdom, ne yet for abode in Corinth, but meane to leaue you to your choyse. For satisfied am I, that I haue manifested to the world the greatnesse of my loue, which was so ample as euer king could beare to vertuous Queene: and so farewell.” At which words he made a signe to his people, that they shoulde shippe them selues for return to Peloponesus. But the Senatours and al the people of Corinth seing the curtesie of Philon, 337 and how greatly their Queene was bound vnto him, fel downe vpon their knees, and with ioyned hands besought hir to take him to husbande, neuer ceasing from teares and supplication, vntyl she had consented to their requeste. Then the mariage was solempnised with great ioy and triumph, and the whole City after that tyme, lyued in great felicity and quiet, so long as nature lengthned the dayes of those two Noble Prynces.



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

Good Euphimia (as you haue harde) did fondly apply hir loue vpon a seruile man, who though bred vp in court where trayninge and vse doth alter the rude conditions of sutch as be intertayned there, yet voyde of all gentlenesse, and frustrate of Nature’s sweetenesse in that curteous kinde, as not exchaunginge natiue fiercenesse for noble aduauncement, returned to hys hoggish soyle, and walowed in the durty filth of Inhumanity, whose nature myght wel with fork, or staffe be expelled, but home againe it would haue come, as Horace pleadeth in his Epistles. O noble Gentlewoman, that mildly suffred the displeasure of the good king hir father, who would fayne haue dissuaded hir from that vnseemely match, to ioyne with a yong Prince, a king, a Gentleman of great perfection: and O pestilent Carle, being beloued of so honourable a pucell, that for treason discharged thy head from the block, and of a donghill slaue preferred thee to be a king, wouldest for those deserts in the ende frame sayned matter to consume hir. With iust hatred then did the Noble Emperour Claudius Cæsar prosecute those of bond and seruile kinde that were matched with the free and noble. Right well knew hee that some taste of egrenesse would rest in sutch sauage fruite, and therefore made a law, that the issue of them should not haue like liberty and preheminence, as other had, which agreeably did couple. What harme sutch mariage hath deferred to diuers states and persons (t’auoide other examples) the former Nouell teacheth. Wherfore to ende the same, with bewailing of Euphimia for hir vnluckie lot, begin we now to glad our selues with the wise and stoute aunswer of a chaste Marquesse, a Gentlewoman of singular beauty and discretion, made to the fond demaund of a mighty Monarch, that fondly fell in loue with hir, and made a reckening of that, which was doubtfull to recouer. This king by Louing Hir whome he neuer saw, 339 fared like the man that in his slepe dreamed that he had in holde the thynge furthest from him. For the King neuer saw hir, before he heard hir praised, and when hee hearde hir praised, for purpose to winne her, he trauailed oute of his way, so sure to enioy hir, as if he had neuer seene hir. This historie, although briefe, yet sheweth light to noble dames that be pursued by Prynces, and teacheth them wyth what regarde they ought to interteine such suters. The Marquesse then of Monferrato, a citye in Italy, beynge a Gentleman of great prowesse and valiance, was appointed to transfrete the Seas in a generall passage made by the Christians, wyth an huge Armie and great furniture. And as it chaunced, vpon a day greate talke was had in the court of king Philip surnamed Luscus (bicause he was poreblinde) who likewyse was making preparation to depart out of Fraunce in the said iorney. Report was made by a knight which knewe the said Marquize, that in all the world there was not the like maried couple, as the Marquize and his wyfe were, as well bicause the Marquize was bruted to be an excellent gentleman, as also for that his wyfe amonges al the troupe of Ladies, that liued in the world that time, was the fairest and most vertuous. Which words so entred the French king’s head, as sodainely (neuer seeing hir in all his life) he began to loue hir, and for that purpose determined to imbarke him selfe at Genoua, that by trauailyng that way by lande, he myght haue good occasion to see the Marchionisse, thinking that her husband being absent, hee might easily obtein that he desired. And as he had deuised, he began his enterpryse: who sending al his power before, toke his iorney wyth a meane trayne of Gentlemen: and beynge within one Daye’s iourney of the Ladye’s House, hee sent hir worde that the nexte Daye hee would visite her at Dynner. The sage and discrete lady ioyfully aunswered the Messanger, that she would accompt his comming for a great and singuler pleasure, and sayd that hys grace should be most heartily welcome. Afterwards she maruelled why sutch a king as he was, would in hir husband’s absence, come to hir house: and in that maruel and consideration she was no whit deceyued, coniecturinge that the fame of hir beauty was the cause of hys comminge. Neuerthelesse, like a wise Lady and honest gentlewoman, she 340 determined to do him honour, and caused the worshipfull of hir country sutch as remayned behinde, to be assembled, for aduice in all thinges that were necessary for hys intertaynement. But the feast and variety of meats that should be serued, she alone tooke vppon hir to dispose and order: wherefore speedily sendinge about, and makinge prouision for all the Hennes that might be gotten throughout the countrey, commaunded hir cookes, of those Hennes without other thing what so euer, to prepare diuers seruices. The king fayled not the next day to come accordingly as he had sent word: and was with great honour receyued of the Lady, and in beholdinge hir, she seemed vnto hym (besides hys imagination comprehended by the former woordes of the Knyght) to be farre more faire, honest and vertuous, than hee thought, attributyng vnto hir, singular prayse and commendation. And so much the more his desire was kindled, as she passed the estimation bruted of hir. And after that the King had wythdrawen him selfe into the chamber ordeined and made ready for him, as appertained to a Prynce so greate, and that dinner time was come, the King and Madame the Marchionisse sat together at one boorde, and other accordyng to their degrees were placed at seueral tables. The King serued with many Dishes and excellent Wynes, beholdinge sometymes the Lady Marchionesse, conceyued great delight and pleasure. But vewing the seruice, and meates (although dressed in diuers sortes) to be but Hennes, he began to wonder, specially knowing the soyle wherein they were to be so rich and plentifull, as by little trauayle, great abundance of Foule and Venison might haue bin prouided, and thought that she had indifferent leysure to Chase and Hunt, after that he had sent hir woorde of hys comminge. Notwythstandinge he would not take occasion to enter into talke of those wants of better Cheare (hir Hennes only excepted) who lookyng vpon hir, with mery Countenaunce hee sayde vnto hir: “Madame were all these Hennes bred in thys countrey wythout a Cock?” The Marchionisse which full well vnderstoode the cause of his demaunde, thinkinge that God had sent hir an apt tyme for aunswere as she desired, boldly aunswered the Kinge: “No and it please your grace, but of Women, albeit in honour and apparell there is some difference, yet they be al made in this Countrey 341 as they be else where.” The kyng hearing hir aunswere, right wel did know the occasion of the Banket of Hennes, and whereunto hir wordes did tend: and considred that to bestow any further talke to so wyse a Lady, it were in vayne, and that force there could take no place. Lyke as vnaduisedly he fell in loue, so it behoued him of necessity wysely to staunch the fire for his honour sake, and wythout any more taunting wordes, fearing hir reuenge, he dined without hope to get other thinge of hir. And when hee had done, to the intent by hys sodayne departure, he might couer his dishonest comming, thankinge hir for the honour which he had receyued, and she recommending him to God, he departed to Genoua. Here may be proued the great difference betweene Wysedome and Folly, betweene Vertue and Vice. The King more by Lust, than other desire, by circumstances endeuoured to sound the deapth of the Ladie’s minde: she by comely answere, payd hym home for his folly. A liuely representation of a noble creature, so well bedecked wyth Vertue as wyth Beauty.



Mistresse Dianora demaunded of maister Ansaldo a garden so faire in Ianuary, as in the moneth of May. Mayster Ansaldo (by meanes of an 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 the husband, acquited hir of hir promise, and the Necromancer discharged maister Ansaldo.

Of all things commonly accompanying the maner and trade of man’s life, nothing is more circumspectly to be attended and prouided for, than regard and estimation of honesty: which attire, as it is most excellent, and comely, so aboue al other vayne Toyes of outward apparell to bee preferred: and as honesty hath all other good Conditions included in it selfe, as the same by any meanes cannot stray out of that tract, troden before by the steppes of that most excellent vertue: euen so, impossible it is for the party adorned with the same, to wander one iote from that foretrodden Path: wherefore let eche wyght that traceth this worldly Lyfe, foresee the due obseruation of all thinges incident to that which is honest. Nothinge in thys lyfe (sayth Tully in his oration, for the Poet Archias) is so mutch to bee regarded. Honesty, for the gettinge whereof all torments of body, all perills and daungers of death be not to be regarded: honesty then beinge a Treasure so precious, what care not onely for the atchieuinge but for the conseruation ought to bee employed? in the practise whereof, one speciall thinge ought to be attended, which is, how a vow or promise ought to be made, or how the estimation of honesty ought to be hazarded for any thinge seeme it neuer so impossible: for what is it that loue and Money hath not brought to passe? what heard aduentures by Iason? what sleight by Alexander the Sonne of kynge Pryamus? what monsters slayne and labours sustayned 343 by Hercules? what daungers and exploits some haue incurred and other attempted by diuers? to bee short,

Nihil est quod non effreno captus amore, ausit.

As Ouide the Poet sayth:

Nothinge there is, but that the louing man doth dare,

Surprised with frantike fit, eche deed he doth not spare.

Wherfore let euery wight beware how they gage their honesty for any enterprise (seeme it neuer so impossible). Maistresse Dianora deerely beloued of a gentleman, and earnestly assayled, in the ende yelded vpon a condition: which if it could be brought to passe (which she thought impossible) was content to surrender to his loue: who consulting with a Magitian, performed hir request: then what folowed, and what counsel hir husband gaue hir, after she had broken the effect of hir promise to hym, and what Curtesie was vsed on all sides, the sequele hereof dyscloseth. The Countrey of Frioli although it be colde, yet is it pleasaunt by reason of many faire mountaines, riuers, and cleere sprynges that are in the same: where there is a City called Vdina, and in the same sometime dwellyng a faire gentlewoman called Mistresse Dianora, the wyfe of Gilberto, a notable rich man, a very curteous personage, and of good behauiour. This Lady, for hir graces and vertues, was intierly beloued of a Gentleman and great Lord, called maister Ansaldo Grandese, who for his liberalyty and valyance in armes, was famous and well knowen: and albeit that hee loued hir feruently, seking al meanes possible to be beloued of hir, soliciting hir many tymes by Ambassadours, yet his labour was in vayn. And the Lady being offended for hys dayly sute and trauayle, hee for al hir refusal and disagreement to his desire, would not abstaine from louing hir, but still mayntayne his importunate sute: she deuising with her selfe how to rid him away, made a request vnto him, so straunge and impossible, (in hir iudgement) as he was not able to bring the same to passe: and vpon a day she sayd vnto an old woman, (the which cam often tymes to sue vnto hir in hys behalf) these words: “Good wife, thou hast many times assured me, that Maister Ansaldo doth loue mee aboue all other, and thou hast offered vnto me maruellous giftes and presents in hys name: al which I haue refused, vpon consideration, 344 that I mynd not to fauour or loue him for his goods: but if thou canst iustify by warrantize or other probable argument, that hee loueth me so mutch as thou sayest, I will condescend without fayle to loue him againe and to doe the thing that it shal please him to commaund me: therfore if he wil assure me to do that thing which I shal require hym to do, tel him that I am at his commaundement.” “What is that madame,” (said the old woman) “that you desire?” “The thing which I demaund” (answered the Gentlewoman) “is, that he should cause to be made here without the Citie, during the moneth of Januarie next commyng, a garden full of greene herbes, floures and trees, bespred wyth leaues, euen as it were in the moneth of May: and if so be that he do it not, then let him neuer send thee or any other vnto me agayn: for if afterwards he be importunate vpon me, like as I haue hitherto kept it close from my husbande and parents, euen so complayning vnto them, I wyll assaye to bee dispatched from hys long and tedious sute.” When the knight vnderstoode that request, and the offer that hys Mystresse made him (although it seemed a thinge very difficulte and all most impossible to bee done) knowinge very well that she did the same for none other purpose, but onely to put him out of hope that euer hee should enioy hir, hee determined notwithstandinge, to proue what hee was able to do. And for that purpose sent to seeke in many places of the Worlde if there were any man that could assist him and geue him Counsel therin. In the ende there was one found that offred to doe it (if he were well waged thereunto) by the art of Necromancie, with whom maister Ansaldo bargained for a great summe of Money. Then he expected the moneth of Ianuarie with great deuotion, whych beeing come, euen when the coldest wether was, and that al places were ful of snow and yce, this Necromancer vsed his art in sutch sort, as in the night after the holy dais of Christmasse, in a faire medow adioyning to the city, ther appered in the morning (as they can testify that saw the same) one of the fairest gardens that euer any man saw, full of herbes, trees, and fruites of all sortes: which when maister Ansaldo had seen, God knoweth if he were glad or not: and incontinently caused to be gathered the fairest fruites and floures that were there, and secretlye 345 sente the same to his Friende, inuiting hir to come and see the Garden which she had procured him to make, to the intent thereby she might know the loue that he bare hir, and to remember the promise which she made him, and confirmed by othe, that he might from that time forth esteeme hir a woman so good as hir promise. When the Gentlewoman sawe the flowers and fruictes and hearing tell by report of the straunge things that were in that Garden, began to repent hir selfe of the promise which shee had made: but for all her repentaunce, she like one desirous to se straung things, wente wyth many other women to see the same: and hauing praised it, not wythout greate admiration, she returned home, the angriest woman that euer was, when she had considered in what sort she had abused hir selfe by meanes of that Garden: and hir rage was so greate, that she could by no meanes keepe the same so secrete or close, but that her husband muste perceiue the same, who woulde needes knowe of hir al the whole matter: the Gentlewoman a long time kepte it secrete: in the ende she was constrained to declare vnto him the same in order. Hir husbande hearing what she had promised was sodainly very angry: afterwardes considering the pure intente of his wife, hee wisely appeaseed hir, and sayd: “Dianora, it is not the acte of a wyse and vertuouse wife to encline hir eare to sutch messages as those be, and lesse honest to make any marte or bargain of hir honesty with any person, vnder what condicion soeuer it be. Words which the hart receiueth by the eares, haue greater force than many do esteme, and there is nothing so difficult, but by the amorous is brought to passe. First therfore thou hast done euil to giue eare vnto such ambassage, and afterwards for agreement to the bargaine: for the weight of chastity is so ponderous, as by no meanes it ought to be laid in balance, eyther by impossibilities to boast and bragge therof, or else by assurance of their conceiued thought to bring it into question, leaste in all places the same may be dysputed vpon, and blemysh with the note of lightnesse, the person tyll that time vnspotted: but bycause I know the purity of thy heart, I wyll agree vnto thee for discharge of thy promise, whych peraduenture, some other would not doe, moued therunto for the feare I haue of the Necromancer, who if he see Mayster 346 Ansaldo to be offended bicause thou hast deluded hym, may doe vs some displeasure: wherfore I wyll that thou go to maister Ansaldo, and if thou canest by any meanes to vse thy selfe (as thyne honour saued) thou mayst discharge thy promise, I shall commende thy wit: but if there be no remedye otherwyse, for that onely time then lende forth thy Body and not thy wyll.” The gentlewoman hearyng hir husband so wisely speake, could doe nought else but weepe, and sayd, that she would not agree to his requeste. Notwythstanding, it pleased the husband (for al the denial whych his wife did make) that it shoulde be so: by meanes wherof, the next morning vpon the point of day the Gentlewoman in the homliest attire she had, with two of hir seruantes before, and hir mayde behinde, wente to the lodging of maister Ansaldo, who when he hearde tell that hys Louer was come to see hym, maruelled mutch, and rising vp, called the Necromancer, and sayde vnto him: “My wyll is, that thou see how mutch thyne arte hath preuailed:” and going vnto hir, without any disordinate lust, he saluted hir wyth reuerence, and honestly receiued hir. Then they entred into a faire Chamber, and sittyng downe before a great fire, he sayde vnto hir these Wordes: “Madame, I humbly beseeche you, if the loue which I haue borne you of long time, and yet doe beare, deserue some recompence, that it please you to tell me vnfainedly the cause which haue made you to come hither thus early, and with such a company.” The shamefast Gentlewoman, hir eyes ful of teares, made answere: “Sir, the loue which I beare you, nor any promised faith haue brought me hither, but rather the only commaundement of my husband, who hath greater respect to the payne and trauaile of your disordinate loue, than to his own honour or my reputation, who hath caused me to come hither, and by hys commaundement am redy for this once to satisfie your pleasure.” If Mayster Ansaldo were abashed at the begynnyng, be much more did maruell when he hearde the Gentlewoman thus to speake, and moued with the liberality of hir husband, he began to chaunge his heate into compassion, and said: “Mistresse, God defend if it be true that you do say, that I should soyle the honour of hym, whych hath pity vpon my loue, and therefore you may tarrie here so long as it shall please you, 347 with sutch assurance of your honesty as if you were my naturall sister, and frankly may depart when you be disposed, vpon sutch condicion, that you render in my behalf those thanks vnto your husband which you shal thinke conuenient, for the great liberality whych he hath imployed vpon me, deeming my selfe henceforth so much bound vnto him, as if I were his brother or Seruaunt.” The Gentlewoman hearing those wordes, the best contented that euer was, sayd vnto him: “All the worlde could neuer make me beleue (your great honesty considered) that other thing could happen vnto mee by my commyng hyther, than that which presently I see: for which I recken my selfe perpetually bounde vnto you.” And takynge hir leaue, honorablye returned in the aforesayde company home to hir husband, and tolde hym what had chaunced, which engendred perfect loue and amytye betweene hym and mayster Ansaldo. The Necromancer to whom maister Ansaldo determined to gyue the price, couenanted betwene them, seyng the liberality which the husbande had vsed towards mayster Ansaldo, and the like of mayster Ansaldo towards the Gentlewoman, sayd: “God defend, that sith I haue seene the husband lyberall of his honour, and you bountiful of your loue and curtesie, but that I be likewyse franke in my reward: for knowing that it is well employed of you, I purpose that you shall keepe it still.” The knyghte was ashamed, and would haue forced him to take the whole, or part: but in offryng the same, he lost his laboure: and the Necromancer the third day after, hauying vndon his Garden, and desirous to departe, tooke his leaue. Thus Ansaldo extinguishing the dishonest loue kindled in hys hearte, for inioying of his Lady, vpon consideration of honest charity, and regard of Curtesie, repressed his wanton minde, and absteyned from that which God graunte that others by lik Example may refrayne.



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.

Straunge may seeme thys following Hystory, and rare amonges those, in whom the vertue of liberality neuer florished: many we reade of, that haue kept Noble and bountifull houses, entertayninge Guestes, both Forrayne and free borne, plentifully Feastinge them with variety of cheere, but to entertayne a Guest that aspyreth the death of his hoast, and to cherishe hym after hee knew of it, or liberally to offer his life, seldome or neuer we reade, or by experience knowe: but what moued the conspirator to frowne at the state and life of Nathan? euen that froward pestilent passion Enuy, the consumer and deadly monster of all humanity: who imitatinge the like cost, and port of his deuout hoast Nathan, and seekinge after equall glory and fame, was through enuie’s force for not attayninge the like, driuen to imagine how to kill a good and innocent man: for enuy commonly wayteth vpon the vertuous, euen as the shadow doeth the body. And as the Cantharides (which similitude Plutarch vseth) delight in ripe and prosperous wheate, and crawle in spreadinge roses, so enuy chiefly them which in vertue and richesse do abound: for had not Nathan bene famous for hys goodnesse, and glorious for liberality, Mithridanes would neuer haue prosecuted him by enuy, nor gon about to berieue hys lyfe. He that enuieth the vertuous and industrious person, may bee compared to Dedalus, whom the Poets fayne to murder Telon hys Apprentice for deuising of the Potter’s wheele: and Mithridanes disdaynfull of Nathan’s hospitality, would haue slayne him: but how ashamed Mithridanes was of his practise, this example at large discourseth. Very true it is (at least wyse if credite may bee gieuen to the words of certayne Genoua Merchauntes, and of others whych haue trauayled that 349 countrey) how in Cataya, there was sometimes a rich Gentleman without comparison, named Nathan, who hauing a place or Pallace ioyning vpon the high way, by which the trauaylers to and from the West, and East, were constrayned to passe, and hauing a noble and liberal heart, desirous by experience to haue the same to be knowen, and wyth what nature and quality it was affected, he assembled dyuers maister Masons and Carpenters, and in short tyme erected there one of the stateliest Pallaces for greatnesse and costly furniture that euer was seene in that countrey, which afterwards he caused to be stored with all things necessary, honourably to entertayne ech Gentleman that passed that way: and with a great trayne of seruantes he welcomed and accepted sutch as iourneyed to and fro. And in this commendable custome he perseuered so longe as both in the East and West partes, report was bruted of his renoume and fame: and being come to auncient yeares, not for all that weary of his liberality, it chaunced that his fame flewe to the eares of a yong gentleman called Mithridanes, who in a country not farre of from his, had his abode and resiance. Mithridanes knowing himselfe to be so rich as Nathan, enuious of his vertue and liberality, purposed by some meanes or other to defame and obscure his neyghbour’s good reporte: and hauing builded a Palace like to that which Nathan did possesse, began to vse curtesies to those which passed to and fro, in outragious and disordred sort: whereby in little time he purchased great fame. Now it chaunced vpon a day, as Mithridanes was alone in the court of his Palace, a poore woman entring in at one of the gates of the same, craued almes, and had it and so successiuely euen to the twelfth and thirtenth time, also she retorned agayne, which Mithridanes perceiuing, said vnto her: “Good wyfe you come hither very often:” and yet he denied not hir almes. The old woman hearing those words, sayd: “O how maruellous is the liberality of Nathan, whose palace hath XXXII. entries by seuerall gates, so greate as this, and daily begging almes there, neuer made semblance as though he knew me, and yet the same was not denied me: and being come hither but XIII. times, I haue bene marked and reproued:” and saying so, she went her way, and neuer after came thither agayne. Mithridanes hearyng these 350 wordes to proceede from the old woman fell into a great rage, deeming the fame reported of Nathan to be a diminution of his own, and said: “Ah wretch, when shal I be able to attayne the liberality of Nathan’s greatest things? and why then goe I about to excel him, when in litle matters I am not able to come neare him? verily I labour all in vaine, if I myselfe do not seeke meanes to rid him of his life, sith croked age is not disposed to dispatch him, I must therfore doe the same with myne own hands. And in that fury makyng no man priuy to his intent, he rode forth with a smal traine, and in three dayes arriued where Nathan dwelte, and then commaunded his men in any wise not to be knowen that they came with him, and likewise that they knewe him not, but to prouide lodging for themselues, vntyll sutch tyme as they had further newes from him. Mithridanes then being arriued about evening, al alone, found Nathan walking vp and downe before his faire Palace, without other company than himself, who in simple attire and garment went forth to meete him: of whom Mithridanes, bicause he knew not Nathan, demaunded if he could tell him where Nathan dwelt. Nathan pleasantly made him answer: “My sonne, ther is no man in these quarters that can better tel thee than I, and therfore yf thou please, I wyll bring thee thither.” Mithridanes said, that he should doe hym a very great pleasure: but he would not if it were possible bee seene or knowen of Nathan: “And that can I very wel do,” said Nathan, now that I know your mynd. Being then lighted of from his horse, he went with Nathan, who by and by interteined him with diuersity of talk, to his faire Palace: and Nathan incontinently caused one of his seruaunts to take Mithridanes’ horse, and said vnto him in hys eare that he should wyth all speede giue order to his housholde, that none should tel the younge Man that he was Nathan, which accordingly was done: but after they were in the Palace, Nathan brought Mithridanes into a very fayre chambre, that none mighte see him excepte sutch as he had appoynted to serue hym: and causinge greate honour to bee done vnto him, hee hymselfe kepte him company. As they two were together, Mithridanes asked him (to whom hee vsed conuenable reuerence as to his father) what he was? whom Nathan answered: “I am one of Nathan’s pore seruaunts, that 351 from the time of my youth haue bene broughte vp wyth him, and neuer aduaunced me to any thing but to that which you see: wherefore, although euery man greatly prayseth him, yet haue I no cause to commend hym.” These wordes gaue some hope to Mithridanes, by better aduise and surety to execute his wicked intente: and Nathan asked him very curteously what he was, and for what businesse he was come thither, offeryng him helpe and counsel in that he was able to do. Mithridanes then paused a while before he would make him answere: and in the ende purposyng to put his trust in him, required with great circumstance of wordes his fayth and after that his counsell and ayde. Then he wholy discouered what he was, wherefore he was come, and the cause that moued hym. Nathan hearing those woordes, and the mischieuous determination of Mithridanes, was chaunged and troubled in mynde, notwythstandyng wythout making any semblaunce of displeasure answered him with bolde countenaunce: “Mithridanes, thy father was a Gentleman, and of stoute stomacke, from whome so farre as I see, thou wylt not degenerate, by attemptyng so great an enterpryse as thou hast done. I intende to be lyberall to ech man and praise greatly the Enuye whych thou bearest to the Vertue of Nathan, bycause if there were many sutch, the Worlde which is now myserable, would shortly become prosperous and happye: and doe make thee promyse, that the intent thou goest about, shall be kepte secrete, whereunto I can sooner gyue Counsell than any great helpe, and mine aduyse is this: you may see from the place where we now be a lyttle Groaue, about a quarter of a Myle hence, whereunto Nathan in a maner walketh euery mornyng, and tarrieth there a long time: there you may easily finde him, and do your pleasure: and if you kyll him, you may goe, (to the intent without daunger you may returne home to your owne House) not that way you came, but by that you see on the lefte hand leade out of the wod, whych although it be not so common as the other, yet is the nearest way and safest for you to passe.” When Mithridanes was thus informed, and that Nathan departed from him, he caused worde secretly to be sent to his Men, which likewyse lodged there, in what place they should waight for him the next day: and when the day was com, Nathan not altering the counsel he gaue to Mithridanes, 352 ne chaunging any part of the same, went all alone into the little woodde, to receiue his Death. When Mithridanes was vp, and had taken his bowe and sword, (for he had none other weapons) he mounted vpon his horse, and rode to the little woodde, where a farre of he espied Nathan, commyng thitherward all alone, and determining before he would set vppon him to see him and heare him speake, made toward him, and catchyng him by the band vpon his head, said vnto him: “Old chorle thou art dead.” Whervnto Nathan made none other answer, but said, “I haue deserued it.” When Mithridanes heard his voyce and looked him in the face, he knew by and by that it was he which had curteously receiued him, familiarly kept him company, and faithfully had gyuen him counsel. Wherupon, his fury asswaged, and his anger conuerted to shame: by meanes whereof, throwing downe his sworde which he had drawn to strike him, he lighted of from his horse, and did prostrate himselfe at Nathan his father’s feete, and said vnto him weeping: “I manifestly perceiue right louing father your great lyberality, and by what pollicy you be come hyther to render to me your lyfe: whereunto I hauyng no ryght, declared my selfe desyrous to haue the same: but our Lord God, more carefull of my deuoir than my self, hath euen at the very point, when it was moste needefull, opened the eyes of myne vnderstandynge, which curssed spite and cancred enuy haue closed vp: and therefore, the more you were ready to gratify my desire, the greater punishment I knowledge my selfe to deserue for my faulte. Take then of me if it please you sutch vengance as you thynke meete for myne offence.” Nathan caused Mithridanes to rise vp, kissinge and imbracinge hym tenderly, and sayd vnto hym: “My sonne, thou needest not to demaund pardon, for the enterprise done, good or euill as thou list to name it: for thou diddest not go about to rid me of my lyfe for any hatred thou diddest bear me, but only to be accompted the better: be assured then of me, and verily beleue, that there is no lyuing man, that I loue better than thy self, considering the greatnesse of thine heart not inclyned to hoorde or gather togither the drossy muck of Syluer, as the myserable do, but to spend that which is gathered. Be not ashamed for hauing a will to kill me, thereby to great 353 renowme: for Emperours and greatest kings, neuer streatched forth their power, and racked their Realmes, and consequently aspired fam, for other purpose but to kyl: not by murdering one man as thou didst meane, but of infinit numbers, besides the burning of Countries, and rasing of Cities: wherefore if to make thy selfe more famous, thou wouldest have killed me alone, thyne enterprise was not newly to be wondred at, but a thyng in dayly practise.” Mithridanes no more excusinge hys wicked intent, but praysinge the honest excuse, which Nathan had deuised, drew neare vnto hym to enter into further talke wyth hym, which was, how he greatly maruelled, that he durst approch the place, with so litle rescue, where his death was sworne, and what he meant him selfe to tell the way and meanes: wherein he required him to say his mynde, for disclosinge of the cause. Whereunto Nathan replied: “Maruell not, Mithridanes, of mine intent and purpose, for sithens I was at age disposed to myne owne free will, and determined to do that which thou hast gone about to do, neuer any came to me, but I haue contented them (so farre as I was hable) of that they did demaund: thou art come hither with desire to haue my lyfe, wherefore seeing that thou diddest craue, I forthwith dyd meane to gieue it, that thou alone mightest not be the man that should depart from hence without atchieuing thy request: and to bring to passe that thou myghtest haue the same, I gaue thee the best Counsel I could, aswel for bereuing of my lyfe, as for enioyinge of thyne owne: and therefore I say to thee agayne, and pray thee for to take it, thereby to content thy selfe, if thou haue any pleasure therein: for I do not know whych way better to imploy it. I haue all ready kept it foure score yeares, and haue consumed the same in pleasures, and delights, and do know by course of nature in other men, and generally in all things, that long it cannot reast in breathing dayes: wherefore I think good, that better it is to geue, as I haue dayly done, and departe with my Treasures, than keepe it till nature cary it away in despite of my Teeth, and maugre that I haue. It is a little gift to giue one hundred yeares, how mutch lesse is it then to giue sixe or eyght of those I haue to liue? Take it then if it please thee, I thee beseech: for neuer yet found I man that did desire the same, ne yet do know when I 354 shall finde sutch one, if that thy selfe which didst desire it, do not take it: and if it chaunce that I do finde some one, I know full well that so mutch the longer as I shall keepe the same the lesse esteemed it shall be, and therefore before the same be vile and of little price, take it I beseech thee.” Mithridanes sore ashamed, sayd: “God forbid, that by separating so deare a thing as is thy life, that I should take it, or onely desire the same, as I did erst, from which I would not diminish yeares, but willingly would of myne owne ad thereto if I could.” Whereunto Nathan by and by replyed: “And if thou couldest, wouldest thou gieue them? and wouldest thou cause me do to thee that which I neuer did to any man, that is to say, to take of thy things which neuer I did of any liuing person?” “Yea verily,” aunswered Mithridanes. “Then,” sayde Nathan: “thou oughtest there to doe that which I wyll tel thee: which is to remayne here in my house so younge as thou art, and beare the name of Nathan, and I would goe to thine, and bee called Mithridanes.” Then Mithridanes answered: “If I had also so great experience as thou hast, I woulde not refuse thine offer, but bicause I am assured, that my deedes woulde diminish the renoume of Nathan, I wyll not marre that in another, which I cannot redresse in my selfe: and therefore I wyll not take it.” After thys talke, and a great deale more betwene them, they repayred to the Palace, vppon the request of Nathan, where many dayes he did great honour to Mithridanes, incoraging and counselling him, so wel as he could, dayly to perseuere in his high and great indeuour. And Mithridanes desirous to returne home with his company, Nathan (after that he had let him well to know, that he was not able to surpasse him in liberality) gaue him leaue.



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.

Reading this History, I consider two straung and rare chaunces: the one a lyberall and courteous act of an earnest louer towards his beloued and hir husband, in leauinge hir vntouched, and not dishonored, although in full puissance to doe his pleasure: the other a lyke liberall offre by presentinge whom he dearly loued, and a newe borne Chylde: both supposed to be dead by hir freendes, and therefore Intoumbed in Graue. Wherewithall is to bee noted the rare and singuler desire of a gentlewoman, by humble sute for conseruation of her honour, although longe time pursued by a Gentleman that reuiued hir almost from death, and thought her vtterly to be void of life. To praise the one, and to leaue the other not magnified, it were a part of discurtesy: but to extol both with shoutes, and acclamations of infinite praise no dout but very commendable. If comparisons may be made with Prynces of elder yeares, and not to note those of later, truely Mayster Gentil by that hys fact, seemeth not mutch inferior to Scipio Africanus for sparing the wyfe of Indibilis, ne yet to king Cyrus for Panthea the wyfe of Abradatus: although both of them not in equall state of loue, (as wholly estraunged from that passion) like to maister Gentil, who in deed for subduing that griefe and motion, deserueth greater prayse. For sooner is that torment auoyded at the first assault and pinch, than when it is suffred long to flame and raigne in that yelding portion of man, the heart, which once fed with the bayt of loue, is seldome or neuer loosed. To do at large to vnderstand the proofe of those most vertuous persons, thus beginneth the history. At Bologna a very notable Citty of Lombardy, there was a Knyght of very great respect for his vertue, named maister Gentil Carissendi, who in his youth fell 356 in loue with a Gentlewoman called maistresse Katherine, the wyfe of one mayster Nicholas Chassennemie. And bicause during that loue he receiued a very ill counterchange for his affection that he bare vnto hir, he went away (like one desperate) to be the iudge and potestate of Modena, whereunto he was called. About the time that hir husband being out of Bologna, and the gentlewoman at hir Manour in the countrey, not past a mile and a halfe from the Citty, (whither she went to remayne, bicause she was with childe) it chaunced that she was sodenly surprised with a sicknesse, which was of so great force, as there was no token of lyfe in her, but rather iudged by all Phisitians to be a dead Woman. And because that hir neerest Kinne reported that they hearde hir saye, that shee could not bee longe time with Childe, but that the infante must be perfect in her wombe and ready to be deliuered, and therefore affected wyth some other disease and griefe that would bring hir to hir ende, as a Timpany or other swelling, rising of grosse humors, they thought hir a dead Woman, and past recouery: wherefore vpon a time she falling into a traunce, was verily supposed to be dead. Who after they had mourned hir death, and bewayled the sodayn expiration of hir soule, caused hir to be buried without hope of recouery (euen as she was in that extasie) in a graue of a church adioyning harde by the house wher she dwelt. Which thing incontinently was aduertised master Gentil by one of his frends, who although he was not likely, as he thought, to attayne hir fauor and in vtter dispayre therof, yet it gryeued him very mutch that no better heede was taken vnto hir, thynking by diligence and time shee woulde haue reuyued agayn, sayinge thus in the end vnto him selfe: “How now madam Katherin, that Death hath wrought his wyll wyth you, and I could neuer obteyne durynge your life one simple looke from those youre glistering eies, which lately I beheld to my great ouerthrow and decay, wherfore now when you cannot defend your self, I may bee bold (you being dead) to steale from you some desired kisse.” When hee had sayd so, beyng already Nyght, and hauynge taken order that none should know of his departure, he gat vpon his Horse, accompanied with one only seruaunt, and wythout taryinge anye where, arriued at the place where his Lady was buryed, and 357 opening the Graue, forthwith he entred in, and laying himself downe besides hir, he approched neare hir face, and many times kissed hir, pouryng forthe great abundance of teares. But as we see the appetyte of Man not to be content excepte it proceede further (specially of sutch as bee in loue) beyng determined to tarrye no longer there, and to departe, he sayd: “Ah God, why should I goe no further, why should I not touche hir, why should I not proue whyther she be alyue or dead?” Vanquished then wyth that motyon, hee felt hir brests, and holding his hand there for a certayne tyme, perceyued hir Heart as it were to pant, and thereby some lyfe remayning in hir: wherefore so softly as he could, wyth the helpe of his man, he raised hir out of the graue: and settynge hir vppon his Horse before him, secretly caried hir home to his house at Bologna. The mother of maister Gentil dwelled there, which was a graue and vertuous Matrone, who vnderstandyng by her sonne the whole effect of that chaunce, moued wyth compassion, vnknowne to anye man, placing hir before a great fire, and comfortyng hir wyth a bathe prepared for the purpose, she recouered lyfe in the Gentlewoman that was supposed to bee deade, who so soone as she was com to hir self, threw forth a great sigh and sayd: “Alas, wher am I now?” To whom the good old woman sayd: “Be of good cheere swete hart, yee bee in a good place.” The Gentlewoman hauing wholly recouered hir senses, and looking round about hir, not yet well knowing where she was, and seing maister Gentill before hir, prayed his mother to tell hir how she came thither. To whome maister Gentil declared in order what he had done for hir, and what meanes he vsed to bryng hir thyther: wherof makyng hir complaynt, and lamentyng the lyttle regard and neglygence of hir frends, she rendred vnto hym inumerable thankes. Then she prayed him for the Loue which at other times he bare hir and for his courtesie, that she might not receyue in hys house any thing that should be dishonorable to hir person, ne yet to hir husband, but so soone as it was Daye to suffer hir to goe home to hir owne House: whereunto maister Gentil answered: “Madam, what soeuer I haue desired in time past, now am I fully purposed neuer to demaund any thyng specially in this place or in any other but the safety of your honour, and that I 358 would doe to myne owne sister, sith it hath pleased God to showe me that pleasure, as by my meanes you are reuiued from death to life, and to delyuer you to mee in consideration of the loue that I haue born you heretofore: but this good worke, which this Nyghte I haue done for you, well deserueth some recompence. Wherefore my desire is, that you deny me not the pleasure which I shall demaund:” whome the gentlewoman curteously answered, that shee was very ready, so the same were honest and in hir power to doe. Then sayd mayster Gentil: “Mystresse, all your kin and al they of Bologna, doe beleue for a trouth that you bee deade, wherefore there is none that loketh for your recouery agayne: and the pleasure then whych I demaund, is that you wyll vouchsafe secretlye to tarry here wyth my mother, vntill I retourne from Modena, which shal be with so great expedition as I can: and the cause why I desire the same, is, for that I intend to make a fayre and acceptable present of you vnto your husband in the presence of the principal of this City.” The gentlewoman knowing hir self to be greatly bound to the knight, and that hys request was honest, was content to doe what hee demaunded. Albeit shee desired earnestly to reioyce hir frendes for hir recouered life, and so promised vppon hir faith. And vnnethes had she ended hir talke, but she felt the pain of chyldbirth: wherfore wyth the ayde of the mother of maister Gentil, she tarried not long before she was deliuered of a fayre Sonne, which greatly augmented the ioy of maister Gentil and hir. Mayster Gentil commaunded that she should haue al thyngs that were necessary to be ministred vnto hir, and that she should be vsed as his owne Wyfe. Then he pryuily returned to Modena, where when he had a while supplied his office, he returned to Bologna, and prepared a great feast at his house, the same morning that he arriued, for diuers gentlemen of the city, amongs whom Nicholas Chasennemie was one. When the company of the bidden guests wer com, (the gentlewoman in so good health and lykyng as euer she was, and hir Child wel and lusty), he sate down amongs them doing vnto them incomparable myrth and pastime, and serued them bountifully wyth dyuers sortes of meates. When dinner was almost done, hauing before told the Gentlewoman what he ment to doe, and in what manner 359 she should behaue hir selfe, he began thus to say: “My Maysters, I do remember that whilom I haue hearde tell that in the Country of Persia, there was a goodly custom (as me seemeth) that when som one was disposed to do great honour vnto his friend, he bad hym home to his house, and there shewed him the thing whych he loued best, were it wyfe, woman, or daughter, or what so euer it were, affirming that like as he disdayned not to shew the same, which outwardly he loued best, euen so he would if it were possible, willingly discouer his owne heart: whych custome I purpose to obserue in this City. Ye of your curtesie haue vouchsafed to do me so great honour, as to repayre vnto this my simple feast, which benefite I wyl recompence after the Persian manner, by shewing vnto you the thinge which I loue moste deerely aboue any in this worlde, or hereafter shal be able to loue so long as my life endureth: but before I doe the same, I pray you to tell mee your opynyon in a doubte whych I shall propose. There was a certayne person whych in hys house had a good and Faythfull Seruaunte who became extremely sick: that Person without attendyng the end of his diseased seruaunt, caused him to be caried into the midst of the streate wythout any further care for him. In the meane tyme there came a straunger by, who moued by compassion of the sicke seruaunt, bare him home to his owne house, where wyth great care and diligence, sparing no cost or charge, made him to recouer his former healthe: I would now fayne know of you, whither for retaining and vsing the seruice of that seruaunt, his first maister by good right myghte complayne vpon the seconde, if he should demaund hym agayne, or by demaunding of him agayne, the second not disposed to restore him, might susteyne any damage.” The gentlemen after many opinions and arguments debated too and fro amonges them, and at length all concluding in one mind, gaue charge to Nicholas Chasennemie, (bicause he was an eloquent talker) to make the answer: who first praising the Persians custome, said that he was, (with the rest) of this opinion, that the first maister had no further title in his seruaunt, hauing in sutch necessity not onely forsaken him, but throwen him into the streate, and that for the good turnes whych the second maister had don him, he ought by good right to be hys: wherefore by kepyng 360 him, he did no wrong, force, or iniury to the first. Al the rest at the Table (which were very discret and honest persons) sayd altogyther that they were of hys opinion. The knight content with that answer, and specially bycause Nicholas Chasennemie had pronounced it, affyrmed that hee was likewyse of that minde, and afterwards he sayd: “Time it is then that I render vnto you the honor which you haue done me, in manner accordyngly as I haue promysed. Then he called vnto him two of hys Seruaunts, and sent them to the Gentlewoman, whom hee had caused to be apparelled and decked very gorgeously, praying hir by hir presence to content and satisfie al the company. And she taking in hir armes hir little faire sonne, came into the hall, accompanied with the two Seruauntes, and was placed (as it pleased the kynght) besides a very honest gentleman, and then he sayde: “Syrs, behold the thing which I loue best, and purpose to loue aboue all worldly things, and whither I haue occasion so to doe, your eyes may bee Iudges.” The gentlemen doing their reuerence unto hir, greatly praised hir, and said to the Knight that ther was good reason why she oughte to be beloued: Vpon which commendations they began more attentyuely to behold hir, and many of them would haue sayd and sworne that it had bin shee in deede if it had not bin thought that she had bin dead. But Nicholas beheld hir more than the rest, who very desirous to know what she was, could not forbeare (when he saw that the Knight was a little departed from the place) to aske hir whyther shee was of Bologna, or a straunger. When the Gentlewoman saw hir husband to ask hir that question, she could scarce forbeare from making aunswere, notwithstanding to atchieue that whych was purposed, she helde hir peace. Another asked her yf that little Boye was hers: And another if shee were the Wyfe of mayster Gentil, or any kin vnto hym: vnto whom shee gaue no answere at all. But when maister Gentil came in, one of the straungers sayd vnto him: “Syr, thys gentlewoman is a very good creature, but she seemeth to be dumbe. Is it true or not?” “Syrs, sayde maister Gentil, “that is but a little argument of hir vertue for this time to hold hir peace.” “Tell vs then (sayde he) what is she?” “That wil I do very gladly,” sayd the knight, “vnder condition that none of you shall remoue out of his place for 361 any thing I speake, vntill I haue ended my tale:” which request being graunted, and the table taken vp, maister Gentil which was set downe by the Gentlewoman, sayd: “My maysters, this gentlewoman is the loyall and faithful seruant, of whom earst I propounded the question, whom I haue releeued from amids the streate, whither hir kin, little caring for hir, threw hir as a vile and vnprofitable thing: and haue by my great care brought to passe, that I haue discharged hir from death, vpon an affection which God knoweth to be so pure and perfect, as of a lumpe of dead lothsome flesh hee hath reuiued so fayre and freshe as you see: but to the intent you may more playnly vnderstand how it is come to passe, I will open the same in few words.” And beginning at the day when he fell in loue with hir, he particularly told them, what had chaunced till that time, to the great maruell and admiration of them that heard him, and then added these woordes: “By meanes whereof, if your minde be not chaunged within this litle time, and specially master Nicholas, of good right she is my wife, and none by iust title can clayme hir.” Whereunto none at al made answere, looking that he shoulde haue proceeded further. In the meane while Nicholas and the rest that were there, fell into earnest weepinge. But maister Gentil, rising from the borde and taking in his armes the little childe, and the gentlewoman by the hand, went towardes Nicholas, and sayd vnto him: “Rise vp sir gossip, I do not restore vnto thee thy Wife, whom thy frends and householde did cast into the Streat, but I will geue thee this Gentlewoman my Gossip, with the litle childe, that is, as I am assured begotten of thee, for whom at the christening I made answere and promise, and called him Gentil, and do pray thee that she be no lesse esteemed of thee now (for being in my house almost three moneths) than she was before. For I swere by the almighty God, who made me in loue with hir, (peraduenture that my loue might be the cause of hir preseruation) that she neuer liued more honestly with hir father, mother, or with thee, than she hath done in company of my mother.” When he had sayd so, he returned towards the Gentlewoman, and sayd vnto hir: “Maistresse, from this time forth, I discharge you of the promise which you haue made me, and leaue you to your husband franke and free.” And when he 362 had bestowed the gentlewoman, and the chylde in the fathers armes, he returned to his place agayne. Nicholas ioyfully receyued his Wyfe and childe, for the whych so mutch the more he reioysed, as hee was furthest of from hope of hir recouery, rendering inumerable thankes to the Knight and the rest, and moued with compassion hee wept for company, greatly praysing maister Gentil for that act, who was commended of ech man that heard the reporte thereof. The Gentlewoman was receiued into hir house wyth maruellous ioye: And longe tyme after she was gazed vpon by the Citizens of Bologna, as a thing to their great wonder reuiued agayne. Afterwards Maister Gentil continued styll a friend vnto Nicholas, and vnto hys Wyfe and Chyldren.



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.

Very comely it is (sayeth Cicero in the second booke of hys Offices,) that Noblemens houses should styll be open to noble Guestes and Straungers. A saying by the honourable and other Estates to be fixed in sure remembraunce, and accordingly practised: For hospitality and houshold intertaynment, heaping vp double gayne and commodity. The Guest it linketh and knitteth in fast band of perfect friendship, common familiarity, disporte of mynde and pleasant recreation, the poore and needy it feedeth, it cherisheth, it prouoketh in them deuout prayers, godly blessings, and seruice in tyme of neede. Hospitality is a thing so diuine, as in law of Nature and Chryst, it was well and brotherly obserued. Lot disdayned not to receyue the Aungels, which were straungers vnto him, and by reason of hys common vse thereof, and theyr frendly intertaynment, he and his houshold was delyuered from the daunger of the City, escaped temporal fire, and obteined heauenly rewarde. Abraham was a friendly host to straungers, and therefore in his old dayes, and in the barrein age of his wyfe Sara, he begat Isaac. Ietro albeit he was an Ethnicke and vnbeleuyng man, yet lyberally intertained Moyses, and maried him to Sephora, one of his Daughters. The poore widow of Sarepta interteined Helias, and Symon the Currior disdayned not Peter, nor Lydia the purple silke woman, Paule and his fellowes. Forget not Hospitality, (saith the said Apostle Paule,) for wyth the same diuers haue pleased Aungels by receiuing them into theyr houses. If Paule 364 the true preacher of eternall Healthe, hath so commended kepyng of good Houses which by the former terme wee call Hospitality, then it is a thing to bee vsed amonges those that bee able to mainteine the same: who ought with liberall hand frankely to reach bread and victuals to their acquaintance, but specially to straungers, whych wandering in forein places, be vtterly vnable to helpe themselues, and peraduenture in sutch neede, as without sutch curtesie, do perishe. For the further amplification of whych vertue, what shall I neede to remember straunge and prophane Histories? as of Symon of Athens, who was so famous in the same, as the tyrant Crytias, when he wished for the ryches of Scopades and the victories of Agesilaus, forgat not also to craue the liberality of Cimon. Pacuuius also, the Prynce of Campania, so friendly entertained Annibal, as when his sonne to do the Romanes a good turne, would haue killed him as he sat at supper, was staied by his fathers request (whom he made priuy of his intent before they sate downe.) Pacuuius had he not more regarded the office of hospitality, than the safety of his countrey, might ful wel by that murder, haue defended the same from the destruction whereunto afterwards it fel. Homere reporteth, that Menelaus fighting a combat with Paris of Troy made inuocation and prayer vnto the Gods, that he might be reuenged vpon him for the rape of his wife Helena, to the intent the posterity hearing of his punishmente, mighte feare to polute friendly housholde interteynment. Wherefore, sith hospitality hath bene thus put in vse in elder tyme, practysed in all ages, and the poluters of the same detested and accurssed, and hath notorious commodities incident vnto it, I deeme it so worthy to be frequented in noble men and all degrees, as theyr Palaces and great houses should swarme wyth guests, and their gates lustring with whole multitudes of the poore to be satisfied with relief. Sutch hath ben the sacred vse and reuerent care of auncient tyme. Sutch hath bene the zealous loue of those whose fieldes and barnes, closets, and chestes haue bene stored and stuffed with worldely wealth, that comparing that golden age, glistering with piety and vertue, to these our worsse than copper days, cancred with all corruption, we shal find the match so like, as darke and light, durt and Aungell golde. Ceasing then of further discourse hereof, 365 this history folowing shall elucidate and displaye the mutuall beneuolence of two noble personages, the one a mighty Souldan, an enimy of God, but yet a fryende to those that fauored good entertainment and housekepyng: the other a Gentleman of Pauie, a rich and liberall marchaunt, and a friendly welcomer of straungers. The Souldan demaunding the way to Pauie, somewhat digressing from the same, is not onely honourably conueyed to Pauie, and feasted there, but also sumptuously cheryshed, banketted, and rewarded by the sayd Marchant before his commyng thyther. The marchant man desirous to be one of the holye voyage intended by christian Princes, passed ouer the seas, who put to his shifts there throughe the aduerse lucke receyued by the Christians, became the Souldans Fawconer, and afterwardes knowen vnto him by certaine markes and signes, is with greater honor intertained of the Souldan, and more richly guerdoned, sent home agayne by Magike Arte to anticipate the mariage of his wife, vnto whom he had prefixed a certaine date and terme to marry againe if before that tyme, he did not returne. All which Noble entertainment, and the circumstances thereof, in this manner do begin. In the time of the Emperour Fredericke the firste, the Chrystians to recouer the Holy Lande, made a generall voyage and passage ouer the Sea. Saladine a most vertuous Prynce, then Souldan of Babylon, hauing intelligence thereof, a certayne time before, determined in his own person to see and espy the preparation which the Christian Princes made for that passage, the better to prouide for his owne, and hauing put order for his affayres in Ægypt, making as though he would go on Pilgrimage, tooke his iourney in the apparel of a Marchant, accompanied only with two of his chiefest and wisest counsellers, and three seruaunts. And when he had searched and trauelled many christian prouinces, and riding through Lumbardy to passe ouer the Mountaynes, it chaunced that betweene Millan and Pauy, somwhat late he met wyth a gentleman named mayster Thorello de Istria of Pauy, who with his houshoulde, his dogges and hawkes, for his pleasure went to soiorne in one of his Manours, that was delectably placed upon the ryuer of Tesino. And when maister Thorello sawe them come, thinckinge that they were certayn Gentlemen straungers, he desired to do them honour. Wherefore 366 Saladine demaunding of one of mayster Thorello his men, how farre it was from thence to Pauie, and whether they might come thither time inough to go in, master Thorello would not suffer his man to speake, but he himself made aunswere, saying: “sirs, yee cannot get into Pauie in time, for that the Gates will be shut before your comming.” Than sayd Saladine: “tell us then wee pray you, bicause we be straungers, where wee may lodge this night.” Maister Thorello sayd: “That will I willingly do, I was about euen presently to send one of my men that be here, so far as Pauie, about certayne businesse, him wil I appoint to be your guide to a place where you shall haue very good lodging,” and callinge one of his wysest men vnto him, he gaue him charge of that he had to do, and sent him with them, after whom he followed: where incontynently in so good order as he could, caused to be made redy a sumptuous supper, and the tables to be couered in a pleasant garden. Afterwards hee went himselfe to entertayne them. The seruaunt talking with the Gentlemen of many thinges, conducted them at leysure somwhat out of the way to protract the time, to his maysters house: and so soon as maister Thorello espied them, he with liberall heart and bountifull mynde bad them welcome. Saladine which was a very wyse man, well perceyued that the Gentleman doubted that they woulde not haue come vnto hym if he had inuited them at their first meetinge, and for that cause, to the intent they should not refuse to lodge at his house, he had pollitiquely caused them to be conducted thither, and aunsweringe hys greeting, sayd: “Syr, if a man may quarrell with them that be curteous, wee may complayne of you, who leauinge a part our way which you haue caused somewhat to be lengthened, without deseruinge your good will, otherwise than by one onely salutation, you haue constrayned vs to take and receyue this your so great curtesie.” The wise and well spoken Knight, sayd: “Syr, thys curtesie which you receyue of me, in respect of that which belongeth vnto you, as by your countenaunce I may wel coniecture, is very small, but truely out of Pauie ye could haue got no lodging that had ben good: and therefore be not displeased I pray you to be caried out of the way, to haue a little better intertaynment,” and saying so, his men came forth to receyue those straungers, and 367 when they were lighted, their horsses were taken and conueyed into the stables, and mayster Thorello caryed the three Gentlemen to their chambers, which he had prepared for them, where their Bootes were pulled of, and excellent wyne brought forth, somewhat to refresh them before supper: then he held them with pleasaunt talke vntyll the houre of supper was com. Saladine and they which were with him, could all speake Latine, and therefore well vnderstanded, and they lykewise vnderstoode eche man, by meanes whereof euery of them, thought that the Gentleman was the most curteous and best conditioned Personage, indued with the most eloquent talke that euer they sawe. On the other side it seemed to mayster Thorello, that they were the noblest and Princelik personages, and far more worthy of estimation then he thought before. Wherefore, he was very angry wyth himselfe, that he had no greater company and better intertaynment for them that night, which he purposed to recompence the next day at dinner. Wherefore hee sent one of hys men to Pauie, being not farr from thence, to his wife, that was a very wise and noble gentlewoman, and afterwards he brought them into the garden where he curteously demaunded what they were. To whom Saladine answered: “we be marchaunts of Cypres trauailing to Paris, about our businesse.” Then said maister Thorello: “I would to God that this country brought forth such gentlemen as the land of Cypres maketh marchants,” and so passed the time from one talke to another, vntyll supper time came: Wherefore to honour them the better caused them to sit downe at the Table, euery of them according to his degree and place: And there they were exceadingly wel intreated and serued in good order, their supper being farre more bountifull than they looked for. And they sate not longe after that the table was taken away, but maister Thorello supposing them to be weary, caused them to be lodged in gorgeous and costly beds: and he likewyse within a while after went to bed. The seruaunt sent to Pauie, did the message to his mistresse, who not like a woman wyth a womanish heart, but like one of Princely Mind, incontinently caused many of her husband’s frends and seruaunts to be sent for. Afterwards she made ready a great feast, and inuited the noblest and chiefest Citizens of the City: 368 apparelling hir house wyth clothe of gold and silke, tapistrie and other furnitures, putting in order all that which hir husband had commaunded. The next day in the morning the Gentleman rose, with whom maister Thorello mounted on horsebacke, and carying with him his Hawks, he brought them to the Ryuer, and shewed them diuers flightes. But Saladine demaunding where the best lodging was in Pauie, maister Thorello sayd: “I wyll shew you my selfe, for that I haue occasion to go thither.” They beleeuing him, were contented, and rode on their way, and being about nine of the clock, arriued at the City, thinking they should haue ben brought to the best Inne of the towne: but maister Thorello conueyed them to his owne house, where fiftye of the chiefest Citizens ready to receiue them sodaynly appeared before them. Which Saladine, and they that were wyth him perceyuinge, coniectured by and by what that dyd meane, and sayd: “Maister Thorello, this is not the request whych wee demaunded, your entertainment yesternight was to sumptuous and more then we desired, wherefore giue vs leaue we praye you to departe.” Whom maister Thorello answered: “My maisters, for that which ye receyued yesternight I wil giue thanks to Fortune, and not to you: for I ouertaking you by the way, forced you in a maner to make your repayre vnto my homely house: but for thys morninge voyage, I haue my selfe prepared, and likewyse the Gentlemen about you, with whom to refuse to dine, if you thincke it curtesie, doe as yee please.” Saladine and his companions vanquished wyth sutch persuation, lighted, and being receiued by the Gentlemen in louing and curteous order, were conueied to their chambers, which were richly furnished for them, and hauing put of their riding apparel, and somewhat refreshed themselues, they came into the Hall, where all things were in redinesse in triumphant sorte. Then Water was brought them to washe, and they placed at the Table, were serued wyth many delicate meats in magnificent and royal order, in sutch wise, as if the Emperour himselfe had bene there coulde not haue bene better entertayned. And albeit that Saladine and his companions were great Lordes, and accustomed to see marueylous thynges, yet they wondred very mutch at thys, considering the degree of the Knight, whom they knewe to bee but a Citizen 369 and no Prynce or great Lord. When dinner was done, and that they had talked a little together, the weather waxing very hot, the Gentlemen of Pauie, (as it pleased mayster Thorello) went to take their rest, and he remayned wyth his three Guests: with whom he went into a chamber, where to the intent that nothing which he had and loued might be vnseene, caused his honest Wyfe to be called forth: who being very beautiful and wel fauored, clothed in rich and costly array, accompanied with her two yong sonnes, which were like to Aungels, came before them, and gratiously saluted them. When they saw her, they rose vp, and reuerently receiued hir, then they caused hir to sit downe in the mids of them, sporting and dalying with hir two fayre sonnes. But after she had pleasantly entred in talk, she asked them of whence they were, and whither they were going? To whom the Gentlemen made the same aunswere that they had done before to maister Thorello. Then the Gentlewoman sayd vnto them with smilinge cheere: “I perceyue then that mine aduice being a woman, is come well to passe. And therefore I pray you, that of your special grace you will do me this pleasure, as not to refuse or disdain the litle present that I shall bring before you, but that you take it, in consideration that women according to their little ability, giue little things, and that yee regard more the affection of the person whych offreth the gist, then the value of the giuen thing.” And causing to be brought before euery of them two fayre Roabes, the one lined with silke, and the other with Meneuayr, not in fashion of a Citizen, or of a Marchant, but Noblemanlike, and III. Turkey gownes with sleeues of Taffata, lined with linnen cloth, she sayde vnto them: “Take I pray you these roabes, with the like whereof this day I apparelled my husband, and the other things may also serue your turnes, although they be little worth, considering that yee be farre from your Wyues, and the greatnesse of your iorney, which you haue taken, and haue yet to make, and also for that Marchantmen loue to be neat, and fine in things appertinent to their bodies.” The Gentlemen mutch maruelled, and playnly knew that Maister Thorello was disposed not to forget any one part of curtesie towards them, and doubted (by reason of the beauty and richesse of the roabes not marchantlike,) that they 370 should not be knowne of mayster Thorello, notwithstandinge one of them aunswered her: “These be (Gentlewoman) very great gifts, and ought not lightly to be accepted, if your intreaty did not constraine vs, against which no denial ought to be made.” That done, when mayster Thorello returned into the chamber, the Gentlewoman tooke her leaue, and went hir way: and then shee furnished the seruants with diuers other things necessary for them, and Mayster Thorello obtayned by earnest request, that they should tary all that day. Wherefore after they had rested themselues a while, they did put on their roabes, and walked forth on horsebacke into the Citty: and when supper tyme was come, they were bountifully feasted in honorable company: and when bed time approched, went to rest. And so soone as it was day they rose, and founde in steade of their weary Hackneyes, three fat and fayre Palfreyes, and also the like number of fresh and mighty horsses for their seruaunts: Which Saladine seeing, turned towardes his companions, and sayd vnto them: “I sweare by God that ther was neuer a more liberall Gentleman, more courteous or better conditioned than this is. And if Christian kings for their part be sutch, I meane indued with sutch kingly qualities as this Gentleman is, the Souldan of Babylon shall haue inough to do to deale with one, and not to attend for all those which we see to be in preparation for inuasion of his Country.” But seeing that to refuse them or render them agayne, serued to no purpose, they thanked him very humbly, and got vppon their horse. Mayster Thorello wyth many of his frends, accompanied them out of the Citty a great peece of the way: And albeit that it mutch greeued Saladine to depart from mayster Thorello (so farre in he was already in loue with him) yet being constrayned to forgo his company, hee prayed him to returne, who although very loth to depart, sayd unto them: “Syrs, I will be gone, sith it is your pleasure I shall so do, and yet I say vnto you, that I know not what you be, ne yet demaund to know, but so farre as pleaseth you. But what soeuer yee be, you shall not make me beleue at this tyme, that yee be marchauntes, and so I bid you farewell.” Saladine hauing taken hys leaue of those that accompanied mayster Thorello, answered him: “Syr, it may come to passe, that we may let you see 371 our marchaundise, the better to confirme your beleefe.” And so departed. Saladine then hauing thus taken his leaue, assuredly determined if he liued, and that the Warres he looked for did not let him, to do no lesse honor to mayster Thorello, then he had done to him, and fell into great talke with his companions of him, of his Wyfe and of his things, acts and deedes, greatly praysing all his entertaynment. But after he had trauayled and vewed al the west parts, imbarkinge himselfe and his company, he returned to Alexandria, throughly informed of his enemies indeuors, prepared for his defence. Mayster Thorello returned to Pauie, and mused a long time what these three might be, but he coulde not so mutch as gesse, what they were. When the tyme of the appoynted passage for the Chrystians was come, and that great preparation generally was made, Mayster Thorello notwithstandinge the teares and prayers of his Wyfe, was fully bent to go thither, and hauinge set all thinges in order for that Voyage, and ready to get on horsebacke, he sayd vnto hir whom he perfectly loued: “Sweete Wyfe, I am goinge as thou seest, this Iourney, aswell for myne honour sake, as for health of my soule: I recommende vnto you our goodes and honor: And bycause I am not so certayne of my retourne, for a thousand accydentes that may chaunce, as I am sure to goe, I praye thee to doe mee thys pleasure, that what so euer chaunceth of mee, yf thou haue no certayne newes of my life, that yet thou tarry one yeare, one Moneth, and one day, the same terme to begin at the day of my departure.” The Gentlewoman whych bytterly wept, answered: “I know not dear husband how I shal be able to beare the sorrowe wherein you leaue mee, if you goe awaye: But yf my Lyfe bee more stronge and sharpe, than sorrowe it selfe: and whether you lyue or dye, or what so euer come of you, I wyll lyue and dye the Wyfe of Mayster Thorello, and the onely spouse of hys remembraunce.” Whereunto mayster Thorello sayde: “Sweete Wyfe, I am more than assured that touching your selfe, it wyll proue as you do promise: But you beyng a younge Woman, fayre, and well allyed, and your Vertue greate and well knowne throughoute the Countrye, I am sure that many greate Personages and gentlemen (if any suspytyon bee conceyued of my Death) wyll make requestes to your brethren and Kindred, from whose pursute 372 (althoughe you be not disposed,) you can not defende your selfe, and it behoueth that of force, you please theyr wil, whych is the onely reason that moueth mee to demaunde that terme, and no longer tyme.” The Gentlewoman sayd: “I wil doe what I can for fulfilling of my promyse: And albeit in the ende that I shall bee constrayned to doe contrary to my lykyng, be assured that I wyll obey the charge whych nowe you haue gyuen me: And I moste humbly thanke Almyghty God, that hee neuer brought vs into these termes before this tyme.” Theyr talke ended, the Gentlewoman weepyng embraced mayster Thorello, and drawyng a Ryng from hir Fynger, she gaue it hym, sayinge: “If it chaunce that I dye before I see you, remember me when you shal beholde the same.” He receiuinge the ring, got vp vppon his horse, and takinge his leaue, went on hys voyage, and arriued at Genoua shipped himself in a Galley, and toke his way, whereunto wind and weather so fauored, as wythin fewe dayes he landed at Acres, and ioyned wyth the army of the Chrystyans: wherein began a great mortalytye and Plague, duryng which infection (what so euer was the cause) eyther by the industrie or Fortune of Saladine the rest of the Christians that escaped were almost taken and surprised by him, without any fighte or blowe stricken. All which were imprysoned in many cities, and deuided into diuers places, amongs whych prysoners maister Thorello was one, who was caryed captyue to Alexandria, where beyng not knowne, and fearyng to be knowne, forced of necessitie, gaue him selfe to the keepyng of Hawkes, a qualitie wherein he had very good skyll, whereby in the ende hee grew to the acquaintance of the Souldan, who for that occasion (not knowing him that time) toke hym out of pryson, and retayned him for his Fawconer. Maister Thorello which was called of the Souldan by none other name than Chrystian, whome hee neyther knewe, ne yet the Souldan him, had none other thing in his mynde and remembraunce but Pauia, and manye tymes assayed to escape and run away: But he neuer came to the poynt: Wherfore dyuers Ambassadoures from Genoua being come to Saladine, to raunsome certayne of theyr Prysoners, and being ready to returne, hee thought to wryte vnto his wyfe, to let hir know that he was aliue, and that hee would come home so 373 soone as he coulde, praying hir to tarry his retourne: Which was the effecte of hys Letter: verye earnestly desiring one of the ambassadours of his acquayntaunce to doe so mutch for hym as safely to delyuer those Letters to the Handes of the Abbot of S. Pietro in ciel Doro, whych was hys Vncle. And Mayster Thorello standing vppon these termes, it chaunced vpon a day as Saladine was talking with him of his Hawkes, Thorello began to smyle and to make a Iesture wyth hys mouth, whych Saladine beyng at his house at Pauie did very well note, by which act Saladine began to remember him, and earnestly to viewe hym, and thought that it was he in deede. Wherefore leauing his former talke, he sayd: “Tell me Chrystian of what countrey art thou in the West parts?” “Sir” sayd Mayster Thorello, “I am a Lombarde, of a City called Pauie, a poore man and of meane estate.” So soone as Saladine heard that, as assured wherof he doubted, said to himself: “God hath giuen me a time to let thys man know how thankfully I accepted his curtesy that hee vsed towards me, and without any more words, hauing caused all his apparell in a chamber to be set in order, he broughte him into the same and sayd: “Behold Christian, if amonges al these roabes, there be any one which thou hast seene before. Maister Thorello began to looke vpon them, and saw those which his wyfe had giuen to Saladine: but he could not beleue that it was possible that they should be the same, notwithstanding hee answered: “Sir, I knowe them not, albeit my mind giueth me that these twayne do resemble the roabes which sometimes I ware, and caused them to be giuen to three marchaunt men that were lodged at my house.” Then Saladine not able to forbear any longer, tenderly imbraced him, saying: “You be maister Thorello de Istria, and I am one of the three Marchaunts to whom your wife gaue those roabes: and now the time is come to make you certenly beleue what my marchaundise is, as I tolde you when I departed from you that it myght come to passe.” Maister Thorello hearyng those wordes, began to be both ioyfull and ashamed, ioyfull for that he had entertained sutch a guest, and ashamed that his fare and lodging was so simple. To whom Saladine said: maister Thorello, sith it hath pleased god to send you hither, thynke from henceforth that you be Lord 374 of this place and not I.” and making great chere, and reioysing one wyth an other, he caused him to be cloathed in royall vestures, and brought him into the presence of al the Noble men of his country: and after he had rehersed many thinges of his valor and commendation, commaunded him to be honoured as his owne person, of all those which desired to haue his fauor: Which thing euery Man dyd from that time forth: but aboue the rest, the two Lords that were in company with Saladine at his house. The greatnesse of the sodain glory wherein maister Thorello sawe himselfe, did remoue oute of his mind, his affayres of Lombardie, and specially, bicause hee hoped that his letters should trustely be deliuered to the hands of his vncle. Now there was in the camp of the Christians the daye wherein they were taken by Saladine, a Gentleman of Prouince, which dyed and was buryed, called maister Thorello de Dignes, a man of great estimation: whereby (maister Thorello of Istria known through out the whole army for his nobility and prowesse) euery man that heard tell that maister Thorello was dead, beleued that it was mayster Thorello de Istria, and not he de Dignes, and by reason of his taking, the truth whether of them was deade, was vnknown: Wherfore many Italians returned with those newes, amongs whom som wer so presumptuous, as they toke vpon them to saye and affyrme that they saw him deade, and were at his burial: Whych knowen to his wyfe and his friends, was an occasion of very great and inestimable Sorrow, not onely to them: but to all other that knewe him. Very long it were to tell what great sorrow, heauinesse, and lamentation his wife did vtter, who certain moneths after shee had continually so tormented hir selfe, (and when hir grief began to decrease, being demaunded of many great personages of Lombardie) was counselled by hir brothers, and other of hir kin, to mary again. Which thing after she had many times refused, in very great anguish and dolor, finally being constrained thereunto, she yelded to the minds of hir parents: But yet vpon condicion, that the nuptials should not be celebrate vntyll sutch tyme as she had performed hir promise made to maister Thorello. Whilest the affaires of this Gentlewoman were in those termes at Pauie, and the time of hir appoyntment within eight dayes approched, it 375 chaunced that maister Thorello vpon a day espyed a man in Alexandria, (which hee had seene before in the company of the Ambassadors of Genoua,) going into the galley that was bound with them to Genoua, wherfore causing him to be called, he demaunded what voyage they had made, and asked him when they arriued at Genoua? To whom he sayd: “Sir the Galley made a very ill voyage as I hard say in Creta, where I remayned behynd them, for being neare the coast of Sicilia there rose a maruellous tempest, which droue the galley vpon the shoare of Barbarie, and not one of them within bord escaped, amongs whom two of my brethren were likewise drowned.” Mayster Thorello giuing credite to the words of this fellow, which were very true, and remembring himselfe that the terme whych he had couenaunted with his Wyfe was almost expired, and thinkinge that they could hardly come by the knowledge of any newes of hym or of his state, beleued verily that his Wyfe was maried agayne, for sorrow whereof he fell into sutch melancholy, as he had no lust to eate or drinke, and laying him downe vpon his bed, determined to die: whych so soone as Saladine, (who greatly loued hym) did vnderstand, he came to visite him, and after that he had (through instant request) knowen the occasion of his heauinesse and disease, hee blamed him very mutch for that he did no sooner disclose vnto him his conceipt: And afterwards prayed him to be of good cheere, assuring him if he would, so to prouide as he shoulde be at Pauie, iust at the terme which he had assigned to his Wyfe: and declared vnto him the order how. Mayster Thorello geuinge credit to the words of Saladine, and hauinge many times hard say, that it was possible, and that the like had bene many times done, began to comfort himselfe, and to vse the company of Saladine, who determined fully vpon his voyage and returne to Pauie. Then Saladine commaunded one of his Nycramancers, (whose science already he had well experienced) that hee shoulde deuise the meanes how mayster Thorello might be borne to Pauie in one night, vpon a bed: Whereunto the Nycromancer aunswered that it should be done, but that it behoued for the better doing thereof, that he should be cast into a sleepe: And when Saladine had geuen order thereunto, he returned to mayster Thorello, and finding him fully 376 purposed to be at Pauy if it were possible at the terme which he had assigned, or if not, to die: sayd thus vnto hym: “Mayster Thorello, if you do heartely loue your Wyfe and doubt least she be maried to an other, God forbid that I should stay you by any manner of meanes, bicause of all the Women that euer I saw, she is for maners, comely behauiour, and decent order of apparell, (not remembring her beauty, which is but a fading floure) mee thyncke most worthy to bee praysed and loued. A gladsome thynge it woulde haue beene to mee (sith Fortune sent you hither) that the tyme which you and I haue to liue in this worlde, we myght haue spent together, and liued Lordes of the Kingdome which I possesse, and if God be minded not to do me that grace, at least wyse sith you be determined either to dye or to returne to Pauie, at the terme which you haue appointed, my great desire is, that I myght haue knowen the same in time, to the intente you myghte haue bene conducted thither wyth sutch honour and trayn as your Vertues do deserue: Which sith God wyl not that it bee brought to passe, and that you wyll neades be there presently, I wyll send you as I can in manner before expressed.” Whereunto maister Thorello said: “Sir, the effect (bisides your wordes) hath don me suffycient knowledge of your good wyll, which I neuer deserued, and that whych you told me, I cannot beleeue, so long as Lyfe is in me, and therefore am most certayne to dye: But sith I am so determyned, I beseeche you to do that which you haue promised out of hand, bicause to morrow is the last day of the appoyntment assigned to my wyfe.” Saladine said, that for a truth the same should be don: And the next day the Souldan purposing to send hym the nyght following, he caused to be made ready in a great hall a very fayre and rych bed, all quilted according to their manner (wyth vyluet and clothe of gold), and caused to be layed ouer the same, a Couerlet wroughte ouer with borders of very great pearles, and rich precious stones: which euer afterwardes was deemed to be an infinite treasure, and two pillowes sutelike vnto that bed: that don, he commaunded that they should inuest maister Thorello, (who now was lustie) with a Sarazine roabe, the richest and fairest thing that euer anye Man saw, and vpon his head one of his longest bands, wreathen according to theyr 377 manner, and being already late in the Euenyng, hee and diuers of his Barons went into the Chamber wher Mayster Thorello was, and being set down besides him, in weeping wise hee began to say: “Maister Thorello, the time of our separation doth now approche, and bicause that I am not able to accompany you, ne cause you to be waited vpon, for the qualitie of the way which you haue to passe, I must take my leaue here in this chamber, for which purpose I am come hither: Wherefore before I byd you farewel, I pray you for the loue and friendship that is betwene vs, that you do remember me if it be possible before our dayes do end, after you haue giuen order to your affayres in Lombardie, to come agayne to see me before I dye, to the end that I beyng reioyced with your second visitation, may be satisfied of the pleasure which I lose this day for your vntimely hast: and trusting that it shall come to passe, I pray you let it not be tedious vnto you to visite me wyth your letters, and to require me in thynges wherein it may lyke you to commaund, which assuredly I shall accomplish more frankely for you, than for any other liuing man.” Maister Thorello was not able to retaine teares: wherefore to staye the same, he answered him in few woordes, that it was impossible that euer hee shoulde forget his benefites, and his worthy friendship extended vpon him, and that without default he would accomplish what he had commaunded, if God did lend him life and leysure. Then Saladine louingly imbracing and kissing him, pouring forth many teares, bad him farewell, and so went oute of the chamber: And all the other Noble men afterwards tooke theyr leaue likewise of him, and departed with Saladine into the hal wher he had prepared the bed, but being already late, and the Necromancer attending, and hasting his dispatch, a Phisitian broughte him a drinke, and made him beleue that it would fortifie and strengthen him in his iorney, causing him to drinke the same: which being done within a while after he fell a sleepe, and so sleeping was borne by the commaundment of Saladine, and layd vpon the fayre bed, whereupon he placed a rich and goodly crowne of passinge pryce and valor, vpon the which he had ingrauen so plaine an inscription, as afterwards it was knowne that the same was sent by Saladine to the wife of maister Thorello. After that he put a 378 ring vpon his finger whych was beset wyth a Diamonde, so shining, as it seemed like a flamynge Torche, the Value whereof was hard to bee esteemed. Then he caused to bee girte aboute hym, a Sworde, the furniture and garnishing whereof could not easily be valued: and besides all thys, hee honge vppon hys Necke a Tablet or Brooche so beset wyth Stones, and Pearles, as the lyke was neuer seene. And afterwards he placed on either of hys sides, two exceding great Golden basens, full of double Ducates, and many cordes of Pearles and rings, girdels, and other things to tedious to reherse, wherewith he bedecked the place about him. Which done, he kissed him againe, and wylled the Necromancer to make hast. Wherfore incontinently maister Thorello, and the bed, in the presence of Saladine was caried out of sight and Saladine taried stil, deuising and talkyng of hym amongs his Barons. Maister Thorello being now laid in S. Peter Churche at Pauie, according to his request, with all his Iewels and habilliments aforesayd about him, and yet fast a slepe, the Sexten to ring to Mattens, entred the Church with light in his hand: and chauncing sodenly to espy the rych Bed, dyd not onely maruel thereat, but also ran away in great feare. And when the Abbot and the Monkes saw that hee made sutch hast away, they were abashed, and asked the cause why he ranne so fast? The Sexten tolde them the matter: “Why how now?” sayde the Abbot, “Thou art not sutch a Babe, ne yet so newlye come vnto the Church, as thou oughtest so lightly to be afraide. But let vs goe and see what bug hath so terribly frayed thee.” And then they lighted many Torches: And when the Abbot and his Monkes were entred the Church, they saw that wonderfull rich bed, and the Gentleman sleeping vpon the same. And as they were in this doubte and feere, beholding the goodly Iewels, and durst not goe neare the bed, it chaunced that maister Thorello awaked, fetchyng a gret sighe. The Monkes so soone as they saw that, and the Abbot with them, ran all away crying out, “God helpe vs, our Lord haue mercy vpon vs.” Maister Thorello opened his eyes, and playnly knew by loking round about him, that he was in the place where he demaunded to be of Saladine whereof he was very glad, and rising vp, and viewing particularily, what he had about him, albeit he knew before the magnificence of Saladine, now he 379 thoughte it greater, and better vnderstood the same than before. But seeynge the Monkes run away, and knowyng the cause wherefore, he began to call the Abbot by hys name, and intreated hym not to bee affrayde: For he was Mayster Thorello his Nephewe. The Abbot hearyng that was dryuen into a greater feare, bicause he was accompted to bee dead diuers moneths before: but afterwards by diuers arguments, assured that hee was maister Thorello, and so often called by hys name (making a signe of the Crosse) he went vnto him. To whom maister Thorello sayd: “Whereof be you a frayd good father? I am aliue I thanke God, and from beyond the Sea returned hyther.” The Abbot (although he had a great beard, and apparelled after the guise of Arabie) crossed hymselfe agayne, and was wel assured that it was he. Then he tooke hym by the hande, and sayde vnto hym as followeth: “My Sonne thou art welcome home, and maruell not, that wee were afrayd: For there is none in all thys Citty, but doth certaynly beleeue that thou art dead. In so mutch as madame Adalietta thy Wyfe, vanquished with the prayers and threates of hir frinds and kin, agaynst hir will is betrouthed agayne, and this day the espousals shall be done. For the mariage, and all the preparation necessary for the feast, is ready.” Mayster Thorello risinge out of the rich Bed, and reioysing wyth the Abbot and all his Monks, praied euery of them not to speake one word of his comminge home, vntill he had done what he was disposed. Afterwards placing al his rich Iewels in surety and sauegard, hee discoursed vnto his vncle what had chaunced vnto hym till that time. The Abbot ioyfull for his fortune, gaue thankes to God. Then mayster Thorello demaunded of his vncle, what he was that was betrouthed to hys Wyfe. The Abbot tolde hym: To whom maister Thorello sayd: “Before my returne be knowen, I am desirous to see what Countenaunce my Wyfe wyl make at the mariage. And therefore, albeit that the religious doe not vse to repayre to sutch Feastes, yet I pray you for my sake take payne to go thither.” The Abbot aunswered that he would willingly doe so. And so soone as it was Daye, hee sente woorde to the Brydegrome, that he, and a Frende of hys, woulde bee at the mariage: whereunto the Gentleman aunswered, 380 that he was very glade thereof. When dinner tyme was come, mayster Thorello in the habite and apparel wherein he was, went with the Lord Abbot to the weddinge dinner, where euery of them that saw him, did maruellously beholde hym, but no man knew him, bicause the Abbot aunswered them that inquired, that he was a Sarazene, sent Ambassador from the Souldan to the French Kinge. Mayster Thorello was then placed at a table which was right ouer agaynst his Wyfe, whom he beheld with great pleasure and delight, and perceyued very wel by hir face that she was not well content with that mariage. She likewise beheld him sometimes, not for any knowledge she had of hym, for his great beard and straunge attire, the firme credite and generall opinion also that hee was deade, chiefly hindred it. But when mayster Thorello thought tyme to proue whether she had any remembraunce of him, he secretly conuayed into hys hande, the ring which she gaue him at hys departure, and called a little Boy that wayted vpon hir, and sayd vnto him: “Go tell the Bryde in my behalfe, that the custome of my countrey is, that when any Straunger (as I am here) is bydden by any new maried woman (as she is now,) for a token of his welcome, she sendeth vnto him the cup wherein she drinketh full of Wyne, whereof after the straunger hath dronke what pleaseth him, he couereth the cup agayne, and sendeth the same to the Bryde, who drinketh the rest that remayneth.” The Page did his message vnto the Bryde, who like a wise Gentlewoman wel brought vp, thinking he had ben some great personage, to declare that he was welcome, commaunded a great cup all gilt, standing before hir, to be washed cleane, and to be filled ful of Wyne, and caried to the Gentleman, which accordingly was don. Mayster Thorello hauing put into hys mouth the aforesayd ring, secretly let fall the same into the Cup as he was drinking, not perceyued of any man, to the intent that she drinking the latter draught, might espy the ringe. When he had dronk, he returned the cup vnto the Bryde, who thankfully receyued the same. And for that the manner of his countrey might be accomplished, when the cup was deliuered vnto hir, she vncouered the same, and pleadging the rest of the Wyne, beheld the ring, and without speaking any word, wel 381 viewed the same, and knowing that it was the very Ring which she had geuen to maister Thorello, when he departed, tooke it out. And stedfastly did marke and looke vpon him, whom she supposed to be a straunger, and already knowinge him, cryed out as though she had bene straught of hir wittes, throwing downe the Table before hir: “This is my Lord and husband, this is of trouth Mayster Thorello.” And runnynge to the table without respect to hys apparell of Cloth of Gold, or to any thinge that was vpon the table, pressinge so neere him as she could, imbraced him very heard, not able to remoue hir handes from about his Necke for any thing that could bee sayd or done by the company that was there, vntill mayster Thorello required hir to forbeare for that present, for so mutch as she shoulde haue leysure inough to vse hir further imbracements. Then shee left him, and contented hir selfe for the tyme: but the brydale and mariage was wholly troubled and appalled for that sodayne chaunce, and the most part of the Guests excedingly reioyced for the return of that Noble knight. Then the company beinge intreated to sit and not to remoue, Maister Thorello rehearsed in open audience what had chaunced vnto him from the day of his departure vntill that tyme, concludinge with a petition to the Bridegrome, that had newly espoused his Wyfe, that he woulde not be displeased if he tooke hir agayne. The new maried Gentleman, albeit it greeued hym very sore, and thought himselfe to be mocked, aunswered liberally and like a Frende, that it was in hys power to do wyth hys owne what hee thought best. The Gentlewoman drawinge of the Rings and Garland which shee had receyued of hir newe Husbande, did put vppon hir finger the Ring which shee founde within the Cup, and likewyse the Crowne that was sent vnto hir by Saladine: And the whole troupe and assembly leauing the house where they were, went home with mayster Thorello and his wyfe, and there the kin and frends, and all the Citizens which haunted the same, and regarded it for a myracle, were with long feastinge and great cheare in great ioy and triumph. Mayster Thorello departing some of his precious Iewels to him that had bene at the cost of the marriage, likewise to the Lord Abbot and diuers others, and hauing done Saladine to vnderstand hys happy repayre 382 home to his Countrey, recommending himselfe for euer to his commaundement, liued with his Wyfe afterwards many prosperous yeares, vsing the vertue of curtesie more than euer hee did before. Sutch was the ende of the troubles of maister Thorello, and hys wel beloued Wyfe, and the recompence of their franke and honest curtesies.



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

Following the preceding arguments treated in certayne of the former Nouelles, I wyll now discourse the princely kindnesse and curtesy done to a poore Gentleman, by a Lady of later dayes, Anne the Queene of Hungary. whych Gentleman, though beyonde hys reache to catch what he aspired, fell in loue with that bountifull and vertuous Gentlewoman, thinkinge (by like) that she in end woulde haue abased her Maiesty, to recline to hys vayne and doting trauayle. But she like a Queene, not despisinge the poore mans loue, vouchsafed by familiar speech to poure some drops of comfort into his louinge minde, and once to proue, on whom he fixed his fansie, reached him a Nosegay, and prayed him to bestowe it vpon whom hee liked best. All which familiar dealings she vsed, to keepe the poore pacient from despayre, that so highly had placed hym selfe. But in end perceyuinge his continuaunce, would not reiect and geue hym ouer, or with Scornes and Flouts contemne the Amorous Gentleman: and that longe loue myght gayne some deserued guerdon, she neuer left hym vntyll she had preferred him to a Noble office in Spayne. The noble disposition of this chast and gentle Queene, I thought good to adioyn next to that of maister Thorella and Saladine: who for curtesie and passinge mutuall kindnesse, are worthy of remembraunce. And for you noble Dames for a Christall to sharpen your sightes, and viewe the recompence of loue, done by a Queene of passing beauty, and yet most chast and vertuous, that it might somewhat touch your squeymish stomackes and haulty hearts, and lenifie that corrosiue humor, which with frowning face, forceth you to ouerperke your humble suppliants. A helpinge preseruatiue I hope this Hystory shalbe to imbolden you, in sutes and petitions to their prince and soueraygne: An incoragement (I hope) to be mediators for sutch, as by seruice and warfare haue confirmed their faythfull 384 deuoirs for defence of their Countrey. Remember the care the Romane matrones had for those that deserued well of their Common wealth: as how they mourned for Lucius Brutus one whole yeres space, for his good reuenge ouer the rauishers of Lucrece: and for Martius Coriolanus, for hys piety and mothers sake, discharging his Countrey from the enemies siege. Let mistresse Paolina of the priuy Chamber to this Queene Anne, render example for preferment of sutch as be worthy to be cherished and esteemed. O how Liberality beseemeth a Queene, no lesse (as one maketh comparison) than the bright beames of the Sunne, or the twinkling starres in the Firmament. Oh how diligence in Gentlewomen, aduaunced to Princes Chambers, no lesse than the greene leaues to braunched Trees, or dyuers coloured Floures in Nosegayes. So flourishing be the fruites that bud from liberality, and freshe the benefites that succeede of the payneful trauayles sustayned in the sutes of seruiceable Gentlemen. This Philippo whom the Queene preferred, and liberally rewarded, was a meane Gentleman, but yet learned and well furnished with commendable qualities. His deserued aduauncement may stirre vp ech Gentle heart, to merite and serue in Common wealth. His warninge and other vertues may awake the sluggish Courtier, from loytering on Carpets, and doinge thinges vnseemely: His diligence also reuiue the blockish sprites of some that rout their tyme in sluggish sleepe, or waste the day in harlotrie and other filthy exercise. Whose example yf they practise, or imitate sutch commendable life as becommeth their estates, then glory will followe their deedes, as the shadowe doeth the body. Then welfare and liuelihoode aboundantly shal bee mynistred to supply want of patrimonie or defect of parents portion. And thus the Hystory doth begin. Not long sithens Queene Anne, the sister of Lewes, that was king of Hungarie, and wife to Ferdinando Archeduke of Austriche, (which at this day is parcel of the kingdome of Hungary and Boeme,) together with the Lady Mary daughter of Philip kynge of Spayne, and wife of the sayd Lewes, went to keepe hir abode, and soiorne in Hispurge, a Countrey among the Dutch very famous, where many tymes the Court of the Hungarian Prynces longe space remayned. These two Noble Queenes remained within the Palace of king 385 Maximilian, Emperour at that time elected, which Palace is so neare adioyning to the Cathedrall Church, as without sight of the people at their pleasure they mighte by a secrete Gallerie passe to the Church to heare diuine seruyce accustomably celebrated there. Which vse they dayly obserued with theyr Ladies and Gentlewomen, and other Lordes and Gentlemen of the Court. In which church was made and erected a high place in manner of a Closet gorgeously wrought, and in royall manner apparelled of sutch amplitude as it was hable to receyue the whole trayn and company attendant vpon the Persons of the two Quenes. Now it came to passe that a Gentleman of Cremona in Italy called Philippo di Nicuoli, whych in those dayes by reason of the recouery of the Duchie of Milane, by the Frenche, departed Lombardie, and went to Hispurge, and was Secretarie to Signa Andrea Borgo, bicause he was well learned, and could wryte very fayre, and therwithall a proper and very haundsome man. This yong Gentleman very mutch frequenting the Church, and seeing the beauty of Queene Anne, to excell all the reast of the Ladies, adorned and garnished with princely behauiour and Queenelyke qualytyes, not foreseeyng (when hee beheld hir) the nature of loue, whych once being possessed, neuer leaueth the pacient til it hath infebled his state lyke the quality of poyson, distillinge through the vaynes, euen to the heart. Which louing venim this Gentleman did drinke with the lookes of his eyes, to satisefy and content his desired minde by vewinge and intentife considering hir wonderful beauty, that rapt beyond measure, he was myserably intangled wyth the snares of blind and deceiptfull loue, wherewith he was so cruelly inflamed, as he was lyke to sorte out of the bounds of reason and Wyt. And the more he did beholde the hyghnesse of hir Maiesty, and the excellency of so great a Lady, and therewithal did weigh and consider hys base degree and Lignage, and the poore state whereunto frowarde fortune that tyme had brought him, the more he thought hymselfe frustrate and voyde of hope, and the more the perillous flames of loue did assayle and fire his amorous heart, kindlinge hys inward partes with loue so deepely ingraffed, as it was impossible to be rooted out. Mayster Philippo then in this manner (as you haue heard) knotted and intrapped within the 386 fillets and laces of loue, supposing all labour which hee should imploy to be lost and consumed, throughly bent himselfe with all care and diligence to atchieue this hygh and honorable enterprise, whatsoeuer should come of it: whych effectually he pursued. For alwayes when the Queenes were at church to heare deuine seruice, he fayled not to bee there. And hauinge done his duetyfull reuerence, whych very comely he could do, he vsed to bestow himselfe dyrectly ouer agaynst hir: where delitinge in the beauty of the Queene whych dayly more and more inflamed his heart, would not depart from thence tyll the Queenes were disposed to goe. And if perchaunce for some occasion, the Queenes went not to Church, maister Philippo for all that (were his businesse neuer so great and needefull) would vouchsafe at least wise to visite the place, where he was wont to see his Lady. Sutch is the ordinary force of loue that although liberty of sight and talke be depryued from the pacient, yet it doeth hym good to treade in the Steps of that Ground where his Mistresse doth vsually haunt, or to see the place vppon whych she eased hir tender corps, or leaned hir delicate elbowes. Thys young man bayted, and fed in amorous Toyes and Deuyses, now armed wyth hope, and by and by disarmed by despayre, reuolued in hys mynde a thousand thoughts and cogitations. And although he knew that hys Ladder had not steps inow to clyme so hygh, yet from his determined purpose hee was not able to remoue: but rather the more difficult and daungerous hys enterpryse seemed to bee, the more grew desire to prosecute and obiect hymselfe to all daungers. If peraduenture the Queenes for their disport and pastime were disposed to walke into the fieldes or gardens of the Citty of Hispurge, he fayled not in company of other Courtiers to make one of the troupe, beinge no houre at rest and quiet if he were not in the sight of Queene Anne, or neere the place where shee was. At that time there were many Gentlemen departed from Lumbardy to Hispurge, which for the most part followed the Lord Francisco Sforza the second, by whom they hoped when the Duchy of Mylane was recouered, to be restored to their countrey. There was also Chamberlayne to the sayd Lorde Francesco, one mayster Girolamo Borgo of Verona betwene whom and mayster Philippo, was very neere freendship and 387 familiarity. And bicause it chaunseth very seldome, that feruent loue, can be kept so secrete and couert, but in some part it will discouer it selfe, mayster Borgo easily did perceyue the passion wherewith mayster Philippo was inflamed. And one mayster Philippo Baldo many times being in the company of mayster Borgo and Philippo, did marke and perceiue his loue, and yet was ignorant of the truth, or voyde of coniecture with what Gentlewoman he was inamored. But seeing him contrary to wonted custome altered, and from vsual mirth transported, fetchinge many sighes and strayninges from his stomake, and markinge how many times he would steale from the company he was in, and withdraw himselfe alone, to muse vppon hys thoughts, brought thereby into a melancholy and meane estate, hauing lost his sleepe, and stomak of eating meate: iudged that the amorous Wormes of loue did bitterly gnaw and teare his heart with the nebs of their forked heades. They three then being vppon a time together, debatinge of diuers thinges amonges themselues, chaunced to fall in argument of loue, and maister Baldo, and Borgo, the other Gentlemen, sayd to mayster Philippo, how they were wel assured that he was straungly attached with that passion, by marking and considering that new life, which lately he led contrary to former vse, intreating him very earnestly, that he would manifest his loue to them, that were his deere and faythfull frends, tellinge him that as in weighty matters otherwise he was already sure what they were, euen so in this he might hardily repose his hope and confidence, promisinge hym all their helpe and fauour, if therein their indeuour and trauayle might minister ayde and comfort. Hee then like one raysed from a trance, or lately reuiued from an extasie, after he had composed his Countenaunce and Gesture, wyth teares and multitude of sobbes, began to say these woordes: “My welbeloued freendes, and trusty companions, being right well assured that yee (whose fidelity I haue already proued, and whose secret mouthes be recommended amongs the wise and vertuous), will keepe close and couert the thinge which you shall heare me vtter, as of sutch importaunce, that if the yong Romane Gentleman Papyrus had been here, for all his silence of graue matters required by hys Mother, I woulde vnnethes haue dysclosed the same vnto 388 hym. Indeede I cannot deny, but must needes confesse that I am in loue, and that very ardently, which I cannot in sutch wyse conceale, but that the blinde must needes clearely and euidently perceyue. And although my mouth would fayne keepe close, in what plight my passions do constrayne my inward affections, yet my face and straung maner of life, which for a certayne tyme and space I haue led, doe wittnesse, that I am not the man I was wont to bee. So that if shortly I doe not amend, I trust to arriue to that ende whereunto euery Creature is borne, and that my bitter and paynful life shall take ende, if I may call it a lyfe, and not rather a lyuing death: I was resolued and throughly determined, neuer to discouer to any man the cause of my cruell torment, being not able to manifest the same to hir, whom I doe only loue, thinking better by concealinge it through loue, to make humble sute to Lady Atropos, that shee woulde cut of the thred of my dolorous lyfe. Neuerthelesse to you, from whom I ought to keepe nothynge secrete, I wyll dysgarboyle and vnlace the very Secretes of my Minde, not for that I hope to finde comfort and reliefe, or that my passions by declaration of them, will lesson and diminishe, but that yee, knowinge the occasion of my death, may make report thereof to hir, that is the only mistresse of my life, that shee vnderstandinge the extreme panges of the truest louer that euer liued, may mourne and wayle hys losse: which thinge if my seely Ghost may knowe, no doubt where soeuer it do wander, shall receyue great ioy and comfort. Be it known vnto you therefore, the first day that myne Eyes behelde the diuine beauty and incomparable fauor of that superexcellent Lady Queene Anne of Hungary, and that I (more than wysedom required) did meditate, and consider the singuler behauiour and notable curtesie and other innumerable giftes wherewith shee is indued, the same beyond measure did so inflame my heart, that impossible it was for me to quench the feruent loue, or extinguish the least parte of my conceyued torment. I haue done what I can to macerate and mortefie my vnbridled desire, but all in vayne: My force and puissaunce is weake to match with so mighty an aduersary. Alas syres, I knowe what yee will obiect agaynst mee: yee will say that mine ignobility, my byrth and stocke be no meete 389 matches for sutch a personage, and that my loue is to highly placed, to sucke reliefe: And the same I do confesse so wel as you. I do acknowledge my condition and state to base, I confesse that my loue (nay rather I may terme it folly) doth presume beyond the bounds of order: For the first tyme that I felt my selfe wrapped in those Snares, I knewe her to beare the Port amonges the chyefest Queenes, and to bee the peerelesse Pryncesse of Chrystendome. Agayne, I knew my selfe the poorest Gentleman of the Worlde, and the most myserable exile: I thought moreouer it to be very vnseemely for me to direct my mynde vpon a wight so honorable, and of so great estate: But who can rayne the Bridle, or prescribe lawes to loue? What is he that in loue hath free wil and choyse? Truely I beleeue no man, bicause loue the more it doth seeme to accorde in pleasure and delight, the further from the mark he shooteth his bolte, hauing no respect to degree or state. Haue not many excellent and worthy personages, yea Dukes, Emperours and Kinges, bin inflamed with the loue of Ladies, and Women of base and vile degree? Haue not most honorable dames, and Women of greatest renoume despised the honor of theyr states, abandoned the company of theyr hushands, and neglected the loue of theyr Chyldren, for the ardent loue that they haue borne to men of inferiour sort? All Historyes be full of examples of that purpose: The memoryes of our auncestors be yet in fresh remembraunce, whereof if they were ignorant vnto you that be of great experience, I could aduouche assured testimony: Yet thus mutch I say vnto you, that it seeme no newe thing for a man to be ouercome by his owne affectyon: It is not the Nobility of hir state, or for that shee is a Queene, it is not the consideration of one parte or other, that moued me first hereunto: But loue it is, that is of greater force than we our selues bee of, which many tymes maketh that to seeme lawfull, which altogether is vnlawful, and by subduing reason maketh the great potentate lorde tributarie to his wyl and pleasure, whose force is farre greater then the lawes of Nature. And albeit that I neuer hope to attayne to prosperous end of this magnifike and stately loue, whych more and more doth seeme infortunate, yet I can not for my Lyfe else where apply the same, or alter it to other place: And consumynge still 390 through faithful and feruent loue borne to the Queene, I haue forced and constrained my self by al possible meanes to gyue ouer that fond and foolish enterprise, and to place my mynd else where: but mine endeuour and all my labour and resistance is employed in vayne: Yea and if it were not for feare of eternall damnation, and the losse of my poore afflicted soule (which God forbid) myne owne Handes before this time had ended my desires. I am therefore determined (sith that I can attaine no successe of Loue, and that God doth suffer me to be inspyred wyth that most honourable and curteous Lady, beyond all order and estimation) to content my selfe with the sight of those hir fayre and glistring eyes, farre excelling the sparcling glimpse of the Diamonde or Saphire, and to serue, loue and honour hir, so long as life doth last within this feeble corpes: Vpon whose radiant and excelling beautie, my hope shall continually feede: and yet I am not so far voyd of vnderstandinge, but that I do most euidently know none other to be the guide of thys vnmeasurable loue, but folly most extreme.” Vpon the end of those words he let fal many teares, and being staied with sobbs and sighes he was able to speake no more. And in very deede he that had seene him, would haue thought that his heart had bene tormented with most bitter and painfull passions. Now they being very attentiue to his pytifull oration, were attached with incredible sorrow, thinking that they had ben in a dreame by hearing of this discourse, and stode styll a while one loking vpon an other, without speaking word: Afterwards comming to themselues, distraughte almost, for the greate admiration and wonder to heare him speake those words, mayster Girolamo and Baldo, with suasible arguments went about to counsell him to withdraw his fonde and foolysh mind, praying him to place the same elsewhere, shewing him the impossibility of hys enterpryse, and the great peril that might succeede thereof. But they spake to a man that seemed to be deaf, who replied, that hee neither coulde or would giue ouer his loue, that had already made so depe impression, what so euer came of it: Notwythstandyng they ceased not still with sharp admonitions to beate into his head, the fonde begynning of his foolish loue: and not onely at that tyme, but continually when they were together, they dyd theyr 391 best by oft repetition of his vayne conceipt, to let him vnderstande his manyfest error: but theyr labour and friendly lessons were to no purpose: Wherefore mayster Borgo, determined to giue him ouer, and to attende what would succede therof. Mayster Philippo continuing hys pursute, neuer faylyng to be at church when he knew the Quenes to be ther, at length it chanced that they began to espy his loue, for that both of them did mark his order, gesture and demeanure, and did note his oft frequentation of the places where they continually haunted and his manner in placyng himselfe at the church directly ouer agaynst them, and his common vse in beholding and loking vpon their faces, iudgyng thereby that without doubt he was in loue with one of them, or at least with some Gentlewoman of their trayne whereof the two Queenes began to vse some talk, although not certain vpon whom his loue was bent. Neuerthelesse they wer desirous to know the troth, and expected oportunitie somtime to dissolue that doubt. In the meane while maister Philippo thought by gazing on theyr beauty, to remoue the fire that miserably did consume the suck and marow of his bones, seking comfort and relief for his afflicted heart, the more I say he sought for ease, the greater he felt his payn: And truely all they that feruently do loue, aspire to that, which otherwise they woulde eschue, by sight of them whome they do loue, not remembering that the more they doe contemplate the beloued beauty, the more increaseth desire, and with desire extreme and bitter smart. Maister Philippo then lost no occasion or time stil to behold Madame the Queene, were it in the church or courte, or were she disposed for disport and recreation to walke abrode. It chaunced now while things wer at this poynt, the ladies very desirous to know vpon whom maister Philippo did expend his loue, that fortune opened vnto them a meane to vnderstand the same: It was then about that time of the yere, wherein al floures and roses were by Titans force constrained to adorne and decke ech gardens and place of pleasure, and with their fragrant smells and odors, to sent the same in the moneth of May: it was when the Twinnes were dysposed to shroud themselues amongs the hawthorn boughs and honysuckles that yeld to euery wyght greatest store of delyghts, at what time roses and other floures at 392 theyr first budding be very rare and scant, sauing in Kings Courtes and prynces Palaces, where sutch rarieties by art and industrie be most abundant, and all men haue delight to present sutch nouelties to the pryncipall ladies. Vpon a day Queene Anne had in hir hands certayne floures in due order couched in a Nosegay, and for hir disport walked vp and down a very fayre and gorgeous garden, in the company of Queene Mary, and other Ladies and gentlewomen, about that tyme of the day the Sun wearie of trauaile, went to hide him self in the back side of the western mountains, wher amongs other of the Courte was maister Philippo. Queene Anne when she had espyed him, determined to make proufe with what Lady amongs them all, mayster Philippo was in loue, and sporting hir self with softe and prety walkes vp and downe the garden, pleasantly iesting with diuerse there attendant, (as the maner is of like Ladies) with trimme and pleasant talk, at length happed vpon maister Philippo, who although he was in communication with certain Italian Gentlemen, neuerthelesse his mynde and eyes were fixed vpon the Queene, that whensoeuer she appeared before him his eyes and face were so firmelye bent vppon hir, as the beholder might easily perceiue, that the Vysage of the Quene was the vndoubted harborough of his thought. Philippo, seeing the Queene come toward him, did honor hir wyth gentle and dutifull reuerence, in sutch humble wise, as hee seemed at hir hands pitifully to craue mercy. And truely whosoeuer doth loue with secret and perfect heart, seemeth to vtter more words to his Lady with his eies, than he is able to speak wyth his tongue. The Queene being come vnto him with a grace right graue and demure, sayd vnto him: “You Gentleman of Lombardie, yf these floures which we haue in our hands were giuen vnto you liberally to vse at your pleasure, and requyred to make some curteous present of the same to one of vs the ladies here that liked you best, tell mee I pray you, to whether of vs would you giue the same, or what would you do or say? Speake frankely we pray you, and tell youre mynde wythout respect: for thereby you shall doe to vs very great pleasure, and we shal know to whether of vs you beare your chiefest loue. For it is not to be supposed, that you being a young man, can spende your time without loue, being a naturall quality in euery creature.” 393 When mayster Philippo felt the swete voyce of the Queene pleasantly to pierce his eares, and hearde that he was commaunded for the loue of hir that he loued, not onely to tell whome he loued best and most intierly, but also hir whom he worshipped and serued in heart, was almost besides hymselfe, sutch was the ticklyng ioylitie that he felt in hys heart, whose face was taynted wyth a thousand colors and what for superfluous loue and ioy, wherof the like he neuer tasted before, fell into an extasie, not able to render answere. But when he had recouered stomack, so well as he coulde with soft and trembling voice, he answered the Queene in this wise: “Sith your maiesty (to whom I yelde myne humble thanks for that curtesie) hath vouchsafed to commaund me (besides the infinite pleasure and honour, for which eternally I shal stande bound to your highnesse) I am ready sincerely and truely to dysclose my mind, being promised by your maiesty in opening of the same, to deserue great thanks: Wherfore your pleasure being such I do say then, with all due reuerence, that not onely here at thys tyme, but at al times and places wher it shal please god to appoint me, being not able to bestow them in other sort than they be, but wer they more precious and fayre, the more ioyfull I should bee of them. These floures I say shall of me right humbly be presented to your maiesty, not bicause you be a Queene and of a royal Race (whych notwythstandinge is a great vertue) but bicause you bee a Phœnix, a rare Lady, and of all the troupe the fayrest, garnished with infinit gifts, and passinge vertues, for your merites worthy to be honoured wyth farr more excellent gifts, than these simple floures be, as she that (aboue all other Ladyes that liue at this day) is the honour and onely glory of all womanhoode of our age, as shee that is the Paragon peerelesse of the vniuersal worlde.” when he had sayd those words, he held his peace. The Queene with great delight hearing the ready aunswere of the yong Gentleman, sayd vnto hym: “And we do giue you thanks for the great honor and commendation done vnto vs.” When she had sayd so, without further talke, she went forth vsing pleasant talke and sport with diuers that wayted vpon hir. Queene Anne now vnderstode, and so likewise Queene Mary, which of them the yong Lumbard Gentleman did accept for his soueraign 394 Lady, whose loue she disdayned not, but in her mynde rather commended, esteeming him better than euer she did before: and lyke a discreet and wyse Lady gaue him infinite prayse. She did not now as other women wont to do, who when they see themselues of birth more noble, or of degree more ample than their louers be (whych gift they receyue through the fauor of the heauens) do not only despise them, but mock them, and their faythfull seruice, and many tymes with fayned countenance and dissembled words do extol them and set them vp aloft, and by and by almost with one breath, exchanging their fayned prayse into rebuke, they thrust them downe headlong from the tipe of hope and comfort, to the bottomlesse pit of despayre: and the fuller she is of floutes, the finer Girle esteemed. But farre better is she to be regarded, that not findinge in hir hart to loue hir suter, will frankly tell him at the first, that she cannot like hym, nor fashion hir mynde to loue him, and requiring him not to feede his minde with vayne hope, or contriue the tyme with words and lookes, and pray him to seeke some other that can better fansy his person than she: And although perchance a man do very feruently loue a woman, and that it wer great sorrow and grief vnto him to bee cast of, and receiue such refusall, yet in myne opinion it were lesse griefe openly to receiue that repulse, than to be fawned vppon, and flattered with fained talke, and for the time choaked with the baite of vaine hope, and afterwards become ridiculous, and gired by the scorneful. I am assured, that the woman which giueth hir seruant sutch repulse, shall bee counted mutch more cruell, than Maistresse Helena was to the scholler of Paris, after he was returned from the vniuersitie to Florence, written by Boccaccio in his Decamerone, and hereafter in place described. But let vs retourne to maister Philippo, who although hee coulde not imagine ne conceiue the intent, wherfore Queene Anne made that demaund, yet the same was very deare and acceptable vnto him, vppon the which he neuer thought, but felt great contentation in his mynd, and was more iocund and pleasant than he was wont to be before. On the other side the Queene, which was very discrete and wise, when she saw maister Philippo at the church or other place to make obeysance vnto hir very curteously requited the same, bowing hir head to him agayn, 395 (which she neuer vsed but to Barons and Knights of great reputation) declaryng thereby how wel in worth she regarded his reuerence made vnto hir: Whereat he receiued maruellous pleasure and delight, hoping for none other recompence at hir handes, than continuance of sutch curtesies and honourable entertaynment. Amongs certayne Italians that were vppon a Day assembled in the presence chamber of Queene Anne, waiting there vpon Madonna Barbara the wyfe of Maister Pietro Martire Stampa, who wyth hir two daughters were gone to salute the two Queenes that were that time together: There was also maister Philippo, with whom Borgo and Baldo reasoned of diuerse matters: And as they wer in talke, both the Queenes came forth, which was the occasion, that al the lords and Gentlemen attended, vppon whose approch, ech man rose vp, and bareheaded expected whither the Queenes would goe. Quene Anne perceyuing a company of Italians together, left Queene Marie, and went streight to them, and very gently inquyred of dyuerse of the Gentlemen, their names, and of what partes of Italy they were, then she came to the place where they III. were standing together, and curteously asked first maister Girolamo, what his name was, of what countrey, whether he were a Gentleman? To whom reuerently he said: “that his name was Girolamo Borgo, a Gentleman of Verona.” Mayster Baldo likewise being demaunded the same, answered so well as he coulde: “that he was a Gentleman borne, of an auncient house in Milane, and that his name was Philippo Baldo.” When she had receiued theyr answere with cheereful and smiling countenance she returned to maister Philippo, inquyryng of him also his name and countrey, and whether he were a Gentleman or not? Whom maister Philippo after his duety done reuerently answered: “Madame, my souerain Lady and only mistresse, I am a Gentleman, and am called by the name of Philippo dei Nicuoli, of Cremona.” The Queene making no further demaundes of any of the other Gentlemen, sayd to Mayster Philippo: “You say true sir, I dare warrant you to be a Gentleman in deede, and hee that sayd the contrary, should declare himself to be voyd of Iudgement what a Gentleman is.” She sayde no more, but from thence with Queene Mary and the whole trayne she went to Church. All they that hard the Queene speake those 396 words, dyd wonder, and could not deuise what shee meant by them, notwithstanding ech man thought that the Queene bare to maister Philippo singuler good will and fauour. He (as it was his custome) full of diuerse cogitations, whose head was building of great cities, went to church, bestowing himselfe in his wonted place, reuoluing in hys mind the Queene’s words spoken vnto him. And although he could not perceiue to what end that honorable lady had spoken them, yet hee thought that hir maiesty had done him great honour. And verily the humanity and curtesy of a Lady, so excellent and noble is worthy to be extolled with infinite prayses, who being of high estate and lineage, and the wife of a Prince that proceded of the stirpe Imperial, not only did not disdaine to be beloued of a man of so base degree, and banished from his own Country, but also with great care and diligence did deuise, and in effect declare that she was the same whome the Italian yong gentleman did loue as partly it was euidently to bee perceiued, not for other purpose doubtlesse, but to do some Noble deede couenable for the greatnesse of hir estate, and incident to the feruent loue of the amorous yong Gentleman, which afterwardes in very dede she accomplyshed. But howe many be there in these dayes, I doe not speake of Queenes and Pryncesses, but of simple and priuate Gentlewomen, that beyng of meane worship, indued with some shew of beautie, be without good conditions and vertue, who seeyng themselues beloued of some Gentlemen, not so enriched with the goods of Fortune as they be, do scorne and mocke them, thynking themselues to good to be loked vpon, or to be once moued of vertuous loue, scornfully casting their face at one side, as though the suters were vnworthy their company? Howe many likewyse be possessed and ouerwhelmed with pryde by reason Nature more propicious vnto them then other, be descended of some great parentage, that will accompt a great iniurie done vnto them, if any gentleman except he be rych, do make sute to loue them? Again a great number of women (I speake of them whose minds do not so mutch aspire to fame or honour as they seeke their delights and brauerie to be mainteined) bee of this trampe, that they care not whether theyr louers bee discrete, well condicioned, vertuous and gentle, so that 397 theyr pursses be full of money, or theyr shapes amiable, not waying the valour and good conditions of the minde, ne yet a thousand other qualities that ought to garnish a Gentleman, whereby all vertuous Gentlemen dayly do growe beautiful, and be enriched wyth greater perfections. Some there be that fixe their minds vpon those, that be of goodly personage, although void of good behauiour, louing rather a piece of flesh with two eyes, than an honest man well furnished with vertue. Thynk not yet for all thys, that herein men ordinarily bee more wyse than women, althoughe they ought to bee accomplished with greater witte: but to say the truth, they all be spotted with one kind of pitch, that warfare here in the large campe of this present worlde: whereof it commeth to passe, that light loue as we see to beare no good foundation, and to haue no longe continuance, euen so the end and conclusion to consume like the beauty of the floure. And therupon many times it chaunceth, that when loue is not grounded but vpon transitorie beauty, which doth dissolue like a windy cloude, the little heat thereof doth not wax more hote, but rather congealeth to frost, and many times conuerteth into hatred and mischiefe most cruel. A worse thing yet than this is in common practise: There be many that wyll needes bee counted and called gentlemen, bycause they come of Auncient and Noble race, and being growen vp to man’s state, doe appeare in shapes of men, but are altogether without approued manners, vtterly ignorant what the nature of Gentle is, accomptyng themselues to be ioly fellowes, when in company of other as bigge beastes as them selues, they contriue theyr time and make their bragges, vaunting that Sutch a woman is at my commaundment, and sutch a man’s wyfe I do keepe, sutch a one is my companion’s friende: whereby they bryng many women, yea and of the best sort, into slaunder and infamie. Diuerse Gentlewomen also bee so fond, and of so simple discretion, that although they know and clearely perceyue thys to be true, yet allured with the personages and beauty of sutch Roisters, passe not to giue the rayne to these vnbridled Iades, not foreseeing (lyke ignorant Woodcockes) that in fewe dayes through their own temeritie, they incur the common shame of the vulgar people, being pointed at in the streates as they goe: where sutch as be wyse and discrete, doe 398 dayly feare the least suspition that may be conceiued. There is no woman that is wyse, but so neare as she can, wil shunne and auoyde all occasion whereby slaunder may aryse, and will chose vnto hit amongs a number, sutch one as can best please hit fansie, and as with whome for hys vertue and honesty she purposeth to match hir selfe in maryage, which is the final ende of all honest loue. Howe be it Nature hath not framed euery creature of one metall, ne yet Minerua infused lyke brayne into euery head. And truely this our age dothe breede many fayre and worthie Women, whose condicions bee good and honest, adorned with comely qualities, the Generositie, stoutnesse and Valoure of whose myndes doe deserue syngular prayse and estymatyon. And what is hee, chauncynge vppon a curteous and Vertuous Dame, that wyll not gyue ouer the Loue of all other, to honour and loue hir for euer? But wee haue digressed too long from our Hystorye, and therefore, retourning to the same agayne, I say, that Fortune the guide of maister Philippo, was fully determined to bestow hir fauor vpon him: For besides that the Queene dearely estemed his loue, it seemed that all thyngs wer vnyted and agreed to sort his enterpryse to happy successe. The Queene had to her Gouernesse Madonna Paola dei Cauali, a Gentlewoman of Verona, very auncient and graue (aduaunced to the callyng, by Madonna Bianca Maria Sforza the wyfe of the Emperour Maximilian) whom Queene Anne requyred dylygently to procure for hir, sutch Rithmes in the Thuscane language and other Italian workes, as were to be found, bicause hir dysposition was to be conuersant and familiar in that tongue, and employed great diligence to learne and exercise the same, wherein shee attained sutch perfection, as all Italians coulde very well vnderstande her. Now (as the good lucke of mayster Philippo woulde haue it) he that day went to the Courte alone, continuallye deuisinge if it were possible, at al tymes to be in presence of the Quene: Whome so soone as Madonna Paola espyed, bicause she familiarly knew him went vnto him, and sayd: “My welbeloued friend maister Philippo, bicause the Queene hath great delight to learn our tongue, and therein already hath some towardnesse, as by hir common speakying of the same you may perceyue, this mornyng at hir vprising shee gaue me a great 399 charge to procure for hir, certayne Italian Rithmes, who besides those bookes in that tongue already prynted, gladly desireth to see some trymme deuises of diuerse learned men that make in oure Daies. specially hir mind is earnestlye disposed vpon Rithmes cunningly composed, whereof I thinke you haue some store by reason of your delight in that exercise: Wherefore I thought good to repayre vnto you, and doe heartily pray you, to make hir Maiesty pertaker of sutch as you haue, wherein you shal do hir great and grateful seruice, and I shal remain continually bound vnto you: besides that I doe purpose when I present them vnto hir, to make hit priuie that I receyued them at your hands, which bicause of the loue shee beareth to our Natyon, she wyl fauorably accept, and the same no doubte when opportunitye serueth, liberally reward.” Maister Philippo in curteous wise thanked the gentlewoman, and said, that he was sorry he was not able better to satisefie hir request, bicause in that countrey he had small store of sutch desired things, neuerthelesse he would make diligent search, to get so many as were possible to be found, either amongs the Gentlemen that folowed the Court, or else where they were to be gotten. In the meane time, he sayd, that he would deliuer those few hee had, and bring them vnto hir that night, praying hir to commend hym to the good grace, and fauour of hir maiesty. And so he tooke hys leaue, and went strayght to hys Lodging, where diligently he began to search among his writings (the gladdest man in the Worlde for that occasion offered) and founde amonges the same diuers rithmes which hee thought vnworthy to passe into the handes of so great a Lady, sauing the third Rithme or Chapter, as we commonly call it, made by a notable Doctor of the lawes, and excellent Poet called M. Niccolo Amanio, of Crema, who no doubt for making of vulgar rithmes, thereby expressing the amorous affections of Louers, was in our time without comparison. And bicause the same was so apt for the purpose of mayster Philippo his loue, as could be desired, he wrote the same fayre (being in deede a very fayre sheete of Paper,) which soundeth to this effect.


Quanto piu cresce (Amor) Paspro tormento, &c.

The more (O Loue) thy bitter pangs augment,

Melting by times my sad accensed spreete,

The more to burne I feele my selfe content:

And though ech day a thousande times I fleete

Twixt hope and dreade, all dolour yet and smart

My glorious proofe of enterprise makes sweete.

The fire so high which kindled hath myne hart,

As by loue’s flames none euer had (I know)

So lofty source of heate in any part,

Sweete then my torments are, sweete is my woe,

Sweete eke of loue the light, sweete the conceyte

From so high beames, fallen in my breast, groe.

Sutch power of porte, sutch maiesty most gret

I tremble to beholde, and do confesse

My lot to base, so worthy a blisse to get.

But will herein my Reason doth suppresse,

And those fayre eyes, where loue himselfe ny lies,

Armed with lookes of ioy and gentlenesse,

Lookes that vpliftes my soule aboue the Skies,

And in each coast al cloudes expelling cleane,

Do teach ten thousand pathes to Paradise.

My Goddesse braue, Angelicall Sirene,

Fayrenesse it selfe, Dame Beautie’s sacred heire:

What mounts of ioy may match my happy paine,

Whose scaling hope how so ensue dispeire,

Leues vaunt of thoughts, which once so highly flew

As honour, all that earth besides doth beare,

Comparde to this, but baggage were to vew.

When Mayster Philippo had written out these verses, immediately he returned to the court, and caused Madona Paolo, to be called vnto him by one of the Gromes of the Chamber, to whom he sayd: “Maystresse Paola, I haue brought you a ditty, that is very trim and prety, which I pray you deliuer to the Queene, and I will do what I can to get other.” Maistresse Paola tooke them, and went into the chamber, and findinge the Queene alone, sayd to hir: “Madame, this morninge yee commaunded me to get you some 401 Italian Rithmes, and vpon inquirie I haue receyued these few verses of mayster Philippo, secretary to the Lord Andrea Borgo, who hath promised to bring me other.” The Queene hearing hir speake those words, smilinge receiued the Paper, and read the same: the sense whereof she liked very well, thinking that mayster Philippo had bene the compositor of the same, and that of purpose he had made them for hir, whereby shee was out of doubt that it was shee that mayster Philippo so feruently loued, and the better hir opinion was confirmed, bicause some of the words tended to the state of hir personage. And considering the valor of hys minde, she praysed Nature, for that in a man so basely borne shee had sowen the seeds of a gentlemanlike and noble heart, greatly to hir selfe commendynge the yong man. Then she conferred the whole matter wyth hir Coosin Queene Marie: which was a wyse and comely Ladye, and vpon that loue they vsed many discourses, more and more hauing in regard the behauiour of that yong Gentleman. Queene Anne determined, when conueniently shee might, to rendre to mayster Philippo, for his great loue condigne rewarde: and studying still how to requite his curtesie, euer when she saw maister Philippo, shee vsed him with her wonted chere and grateful salutation (which thinge onely euery honest gentleman ought to expect that is indued wyth reason at the hands of a pryncesse so noble and worthy, as a reward sufficient, the inequality of the parties considered.) Whereof mayster Philippo was the best contented man of the world, and durst not hope for greater guerdon, continuing his wonted lyfe fed hym self stil with that beloued sight, in sutch wyse as many Gentlemen enuied the fauor borne vnto him by the Queene, who for none other cause did vse that curtesy, but for that she saw him to be Vertuous and well learned: continually esteemyng sutch as wyth learning or other gyftes of the mynd were indewed: and when occasion chaunced, shee vouchesafed to bestowe vpon them curteous intertaynment and lyberall rewardes. It fortuned about that time that the Emperor Maximilian died, Charles his nephew (which was the Emperor Charles, the fifth,) then beyng in Spayne, by reason of whose death the Lord Andrea Borgo, purposed to send one of hys Gentlemen to kyng Charles, 402 for the confirmation of that lyuing he enioyed, giuen vnto him for his long and faythfull seruyce by the said Maximilian. Amongst al he chose this maister Philippo, for his wisdome and experience in sutch affayres. Which don, he went to the Queenes, and gaue them to vnderstand that shortely he would send his Secretarie into Spayne, and told them the cause, humbly praying them both, that they would write their fauorable letters in his behalf. The Queenes knowing what payne and trauell hee had sustayned in the seruice of Maximilian, and what daungers he had passed, were very willing therunto. Now Queene Anne remembred that she had conuenient time to recompence maister Philippo for hys long loue born vnto hir: and bicause she was the most curteous Lady of the world, and therwithal most bountifull and liberal, and not onely with comely talke and gesture: but also in effecte willing to do them good, whome she honoured in minde, concluded what to do, requiring the Lord Andrea to send his Secretarie vnto hir, when he was ready to depart, for that besides Letters, she woulde by mouth commit certain businesse for hir to do in the Courte of Spayne. When the Lord Andrea was gone, Queene Anne began to deuise with the other Queene what she mighte doe for mayster Philippo, who prayed Queene Anne, after she had commended him in letters, to suffer hir to make the ende and conclusion of the same. Whereupon both the Queenes wrote many letters into Spayne, to king Charles, and to the Lord Chancellour and other Noble men, whome they thought to bee apte and mete ministers to bring the effect of their letters to passe. When the Lord Andrea had put all thinges in order for that dispatch, he sayd to mayster Philippo, (which was now furnished with all thyngs necessary and apertinent for that long voyage:) “Philippo, remembre this day that you goe to Quene Anne, and tell her, that I require you to come vnto hir, to know if she would commaund you any seruice to the Catholike Kynge, where you shall humbly offer your seruice, in what it pleaseth hir to commaunde: you shall also tel hir what things I haue gyuen vnto you in charge by speciall commission.” Neuer could more pleasant talke found into the eares of maister Philippo, than this, who for that he should bothe see and speake vnto his Lady before his 403 departure, and for that she would commit vnto him the doing of hir affayres in Spayne, was the gladdest and best contented man of the world. The houre come when he thought good to repayre to the Queene, he went vnto hir, and gaue hir to vnderstand by one of the priuy Chamber, that he was attendant there to know hir pleasure. The Quene certyfied of his readinesse to depart, by and by toke order that he should come into hir chambre, who entring the same with trembling heart, and after he had done hys humble reuerence, with great feare and bashfulnesse, said: “Pleaseth your Maiesty, that my Lorde Borgo, being about to addresse mee hys Secretarie into Spayne, to the Catholike King there, hath commaunded me to wayte vpon your hyghnesse, to knowe your pleasure for certain affayres to be don for your maiesty: Wherfore may it please the same to employ mee, your humble seruaunte, I shall thinke my self the happiest man of the world: A thing so blessed and ioyfull vnto me, as no benefite or commoditie can render vnto me greater felicitie.” Then he dysclosed vnto her thee rest of his message, which was committed vnto hym by his lord and maister. The Queene beholding hym wyth mery countenaunce gently sayd vnto hym: “And we for the trust we haue in you to do our message and other affayres in Spayne, haue requyred you to come hither: And bycause we knowyng you to be a Gentleman, and assured that you wyll gladly do your endeuour in any thing that may do vs pleasure, haue chosen you aboue any other. Our wyl and commaundement is, that fyrst you delyuer these letters, conteining matters of great importance to the hands of the catholike King, and that you do our humble commendations to his maiesty. Then al the rest accordingly as they be directed, which principally aboue other things we pray you to dispatch vpon your arriuall: And if we bee able to do you any pleasure, eyther for your preferment, or for other commodity, spare not to write vnto vs your mynd, and (we doe assure you) the same shalbe efectually accomplyshed, to the vttermoste of our indeuour, whych we do of our owne motion frankely offre vnto you, in consideration of the fidelitie, worthinesse, and honeste behauiour alwayes knowen to be in you.” Mayster Philippo hearynge these wordes was replenyshed with sutch ioy, as he thought hymselfe rapt into 404 the heauens, and his heart felt sutch pleasure, as it semed to flote in some depe sea of delights: and after the best maner he coulde, thanked hir for hir curtesie: and albeit (he sayd) that hee knew hymself vnworthy of that fauor, yet he dedicated the same to hir commaundement, surrendring himselfe as a slaue and faythful seruant to hir maiesty. Then vppon his knees, to his great contentation he kissed hir hands, which of hir selfe she offred vnto him, and then reuerently he toke his leaue. When hee was gone oute of the chamber, he met with the Queene’s Coferer, that attended for him, who taking him aside, did put into his hand a purse with 500. crowns, and the maister of the horsse presented vnto him a very goodly and beautifull horse, wherewith maister Philippo was so well pleased, as he was like to leape out of his skin for ioy. Then he toke his iorney and arriued at the Courte in Spayne, where at oportunity, he deliuered his Letters to King Charles, and accomplished other busines and message prescribed vnto him by Quene Anne: And when he had dispatched the Queene’s other letters, he attended the businesse of his Lord Andrea Borgo. The king perused the Contentes of the letters sent vnto him by his sister and kynswoman, so did the Lord Chauncellour, (which at that time was the Lord Mercurino Gattinara,) and other, to whom the Queenes had written: whereby the king was solicited to stand good Lord, to the Lorde Andrea Borgo, and likewise exhorted him to be beneficial to mayster Phylippo, whom for his good condicions and experience they had sent vnto him in the ambassage. Vpon a day the king moued by the Lorde Chancellor, caused maister Philippo to come before him, to whom kneling before his maiesty, the king said these words: “The testimony and report so honorably made of you by the two Queenes, from whom you brought vs letters, and the hope which we haue to find you a faithful and profitable seruant, and to be correspondent in effecte to the tenor of those letters, moueth vs to accepte you into the numbre of one of our Secretaries, wherein before our presence you shal sweare vnto vs to be faithfull and true.” Maister Philippo that expected for no sutch dignity, maruelled at the Kyng’s wordes, and there by oth ministred vnto hym by the Lorde Chauncellour was receyued into his seruice, and exercysed that 405 office, in singular fauor of the King, to the great satysfaction of al men. And after that King Charles was elected Emperor, knowing the experience that maister Philippo had in the affaires of Italy, and specially in Lombardie, he commytted vnto hym all matters touchyng the state of the region, which so happily came to passe to maister Philippo, as besides the ornaments of vertue and wisedom, he acquyred greate riches, and yet he continually serued and worshipped the Queene as his noble patronesse and worthy mystresse. Tel me now ye faire Ladies and Gentlewomen! What shall we say of the princely behauiour and noble disposition of this Queene? Truly in my iudgment, she deserueth that prayse and commendation that may be attributed to the moste excellente Ladye of the Worlde, who neuer gaue ouer her faythful seruant tyl she had bountifully with hir own hands and commendation, rendred vnto hym a most Pryncely rewarde. And as the funne in beautye and bryghtnesse doeth surmounte the other furniture of the Skies, euen so Magnyfycence, and liberality in ech Lady doth excell all other vertues, specially in those personages, that keepe the state of Princes. But to conclude, mete and requisite it is, that yee beautify this most curtuous and liberall Queene wyth due prayses: For surely in my iudgement, if all Women would confer theyr heades and Wittes together, and deuise Hymnes and Sonnets of Liberality, they can neuer sufficiently be able to celebrate the prayse and glory of thys Queene.



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.

If the Force of Vertue were apparant at the sight of eye, it would be deemed to be of lesse value than the greatnesse thereof deserueth (for sundry causes rising in the mindes of men) and that by performinge the little which rested for th’entier perfection of hir whole vnited glory. Now because that hir effects be diuerse, and that dyuersly they be vsed, the examples also of sutch diuersity, do variate and make diuerse the affections of men: some to follow that quality and other that part, proceeding from the whole and perfect body of vertue, which hath caused some to win the price of modesty and temperance in their deedes, other full of magnanimity (not familiar to many) haue resisted the assaults of fortune. Many other haue embraced that only honor whych is the nourice of ech good act, whereby they haue either wel ruled the state of free citties, or guided the armies of mighty Monarchs. And sutch whilom the cities of Rome, Athenes, Sparta, and the auncient Monarchs of the Medes, Persians, and the Assyrians did see. I wil omit a good company of the sage and wyse, which haue appaysed the troubles of Citties, the inquietations of Palaces, the cries of Iudgement seates, the dissimulation and deceiptfull flatteries of Courts, the carefull griefs which the householder by gouernment of his house and family doth sustaine and feele, of purpose more frankly to retire to the study of sapience, which alone is able to make a man happy, and worthy to be partaker of the diuinity. But aboue al, I wil prayse him which not subiect to the law lyueth neuerthelesse like him that is most thrall thereunto, or without respect of bloude or frendship shall exercise Iustice vpon his dearest and best beloued: as in olde time Manlius and Torquatus at Rome, the people of Athenes towards 407 one Timagoras, who beyond the duty of the Ambassador of a frank citty, fel down on his knees and worshipped the Persian king. And in our time the Marquize of Ferrara, by doing to death his own son for adultry committed wyth his mother in Law. And yet Iustice may fauour of some cruelty, which rather turneth to shame than praise: as Ihon Maria Visconte Duke of Milan, when he caused a couetous priest to be buried quick with the corps of him whom he had refused to bury without money, the history wherof is hereafter remembred. So as mediocrity of punishment ought to be yoked with the rigor of law, for the mitigation thereof. And beholde, wherefore the great Dictator Iulius Cæsar loued better to gayn the heart of his enemies with mercy, than vanquish and bring them to obedience with massy manacles and giues of Iron. Moreouer in our age Alphonsus of Aragon (the true Sampler of a iust and Righteous Prynce) dyd not hee esteeme (when hee strayghtly besieged Gaiette) the Vyctory to be more Gloryous and better gotten, which is done by composition and gentlenesse, than the bloudy conquest, colored wyth teares and bloud of a poore simple people? And truly princes, and great lordes, specially they which newly (without succession receyued from their ancestors) arriue to the gouernment of some commonwealth, ought continually to haue before their eies, an honest seuerity for the holines of the law, and a graue mildnesse, to moderat the rigour of their duety: For by that meanes right is mainteined, the heart of man is won, so wel as by violence: and the state of gouernment taketh so good footing, as the winde of no sedition afterwards can remoue the same, beinge founded vpon a sure stone, and framed vpon a rock durable for a long tyme. Whereof wee haue an example of fresh memory of a kinde act, full both of wysedome and of gentle seuerity, in a prynce of our time, who wythout effusion of bloud punished with rigor enough, a trespasse committed, and sweetely remitted the payne vpon him, which merited grieuous, nay mortall punishment, as at large you shall see by the discourse that followeth. Alexander de Medices, fauoured by the Church of Rome, (and armed with the Papall standard) was hee that first with great actiuity and Wisedome inueyed the Seniory of Florence, immediatly vsurping the name, title, and prerogatiue of Duke. The same 408 albeit vpon the prime face he was odious to the people of Florence, wroth for losing of their ancient liberty, and displeasant to the Senatours and potentates, to see them selues depriued of the soueraignty of Iustice, and of the authority they had to commaund ouer all the Citizens, yet for all that was he indued wyth so good qualities, and gouerned so wel his principality, as that which at the beginning was termed Tyranny, was receyued as iust domination, and that which was supposed to be abused by force, seemed to be done as it were by lawfull succession. And they counted themselues happy (when they saw their lucke to bee sutch as their common wealth must needs obey the aduice and pleasure of one Prince alone) to haue a soueraygn lord, so wise, so vertuous and so ful of curtesie: and albeit in all other things he shewed himselfe prayse worthy, noble, and of gentle kinde, yet in this he vanquished himselfe in himselfe, by that indifferent iustice, which made him wonderful, denying the same to none, and in no one iote shewed himselfe parcial to any, which thought by hym to bee supported in their follies: And that which is more to bee wondred in him, and doth augment the prayse of his integrity in iudgement, was, that he punished in another the thynge, which hee ought to haue pardoned and remitted, hee hymselfe beinge attaynted wyth that dysease. But thys good Duke applyed to Reason, to tyme, and to the Grauity of the fact and quality of the offended persones: For where the greatnesse of a deede surpasseth all occasion of pardon and mercye, there the Prynce, Iudge, or Magistrate ought to dispoyle and put of his sweetest affections, to apparell himselfe with rigor, whych reacheth the knyfe into the hand of the Ruler, of purpose that pryuate familiaritie, do not in ende rayse in the subiect’s hearte a contempte of superiours, and unbrydled licence, lawlesse to liue at their pleasure. Now the thing which I meane to tell, consisteth in the proofe of a rare and exquisite Prynce, which seldome or neuer harboureth in yong age, the heates whereof can not but with greate difficultie, feele the coldnesse and correction of reason: And likewise the causes from whence wisdome’s force proceede, do rest in longe experience of things, whereby men waxe olde in ripenesse of witte, and theyr deedes become worthy of prayse. This Duke Alexander ordred so wel his estates, and 409 kepte sutch a goodly and plentifull Court, as the same gaue place to no Prynce of Italy, how great or rich so euer it was, which noble court he kept aswell for his owne garde and honor as to shew the naturall stoutnesse of his corage, not vsing for all that any insolencie or vnseemely dealing agaynste the haynous and auncient enemies of his familie. Amongs his gallant troupe of Courtiers, which ordinarily attended, there was a Florentine gentleman, very neare the Duke, and the beste beeloued of them all. This yong Gentleman had a Manor hard by Florence, where he was very well and stately lodged, which caused him many times to forsake the City, wyth two of his companions, to recreate himself in that pleasant place. It chaunced vpon a time, he being in his fieldish house, besides the which there was a Myll, the maister of the sayd Myll had a passing fayre daughter, whom thys Gentleman did well marke and beholde, and with hir beauty beecame straungely in loue, in whom also appeared some Noble port, that exceded the bloud and race whereof she came. But what? The heauens be not to spare distributers of theyr gifts, but sometimes they diuide them with the least measure, and at some other times in equall weight or greatest heape, to them that be of the basest sorte and popular degree, so wel, as to the greatest and of most noble race. Rome somtimes hath seen a bondman and slaue, somtimes a Runnegate’s sonne, for his wit and Courage to beare the Scepter in his hand, and to decide the causes of that lofty people, who by sleyghts and practises aspired the Empyre of the whole worlde. And he that within our Fathers remembrance desireth to knowe what great Tamberlane of Tartarie was, the astonishment and ruine of al the East partes, shall well perceyue that his originall sorted from the vulgar sorte, and from the lowest degree that was amongs all estates: whereby must be confessed, that the goodnesse of nature is sutch and so great, as she will helpe hir nourice children (whatsoeuer they be,) the best she can: Not that I meane to infer hereby, but that the bloud of Predecessors, with the institution of their Posterity, mutch augmenteth the force of the spirit, and accomplisheth that more sincerely whereunto nature hath giuen a beginninge. Now to com to our purpose, this yong Courtier, taken and chayned in the bands of loue, settred and 410 clogged wyth the Beauty and good grace of that Countrey wench, forethought the meanes how he myght inioy the thynge after which hee hoped. To loue hir he deemed it vnworthy of his degre: And yet he knew hir to be sutch (by report of many) as had a very good Wit, tongue at wyll, and which is more esteemed, a Paragon and mirror of chaste life and modesty. Which tormented this amorous Mounsier beyond measure, and yet chaunged not his affection, assuring himselfe that at length he should attayne th’ end of his desires, and glut that his vnsatiable hunger, which pressed him from day to day to gather the soote and sauorous frute which Louers so egerly sue for at maydens handes of semblable age, who then was betweene XVI. and XVII. yeares. This Louer dyd to vnderstand to hys companions his griefe and frensie, who sory for the same, assayed by all meanes, to make him forget it, telling hym that it was unseemely for a Gentleman of his accompt, to make himselfe a fable to the people, which woulde come to passe if they knew how vndiscretely hee had placed hys loue: and that there were a number of fayre and honest gentlewomen more to whom besides conuenably and with greater contentation he might addresse the same. But he which mutch lesse saw, than blind loue himselfe that was his guid, and he that was more bare of reason and aduice than the Poets fayne Cupido to be naked of apparell, would not harken to the good counsel, which his companions gaue him, but rather sayd that it was lost time for them to vse sutch spech, for he had rather dy, and indure all the mocks and scoffs of the world, than lose the most delicate pray (in his mynde,) that could chaunce into the hands of man, adding moreouer, that the homelynesse and rudenes of the country, had not so mutch anoyed his new beloued, but she deserued for hir beauty to be compared with the greatest Minion and finest attyred gentlewoman of the Citty: For this mayden had but the ornament and mynionnesse which nature had enlarged, where other artificially force by trumperies, to vsurpe that which the heauens deny them. “Touching her vertue let that passe in silence, sithens that she” (quod he sighinge) “is to chast and vertuous for one whom I would choose to daly withal: My desire is not to make hir a Lucrece, or some of those auncient Matrones, which in elder yeres builded 411 the temple of woman’s Fortune at Rome.” The companions of this louer seeing how he was bent, promised him what they were able to doe, for accomplishment of his will, for the which he thanked them very heartely, offring like duty, where fortune should prepare the proofe of their affection and neede of his amorous seruice: In the mean time, conceiuing in his minde some new deuice, which so soone as he had found out was not able to be brought to passe, and knowing that the duke seldome would haue him out of his sight, began to inuent lyes, doing hym to vnderstand that he had necessary occasion, for a certain time, to remain and be at his country house. The duke which loued him, and who thought that either he had som secret sicknes, or els som wench which he was loth to discouer before his companions, gaue him leaue for a month, which so pleased this amorous Gentleman, as he lept for ioye, and was not able to rest one hour before he had found out his frends and companions, to mount on horsback to visit hir that had vnder hir power and obeisance the best portion of him, which was his hart and his most secret thought. When he was come to his Countrey house, hee began to stalke abrode, and daunce a round about the Mill, where his beloued did dwel, who was not so foolish, but by and by suspected whereunto those goings and commings of the Pilgrim tended, and for what pray he led his Dogs in lease, and caused so many Nets and Cords to be displayed by hunters of euery age and sexe, who to discouer the Countrey, assayde by beating the Bushes, to take the Beaste at forme: For which cause she also for hir part, began to fly the snares of those Byrders, and the raunging of the Dogs that vented after hir, strayinge not from the house of the good man hir Father: whereof this poore louer conceyued great dispayre, not knowinge by what meanes he might rouse the Game after which he hunted, ne finde the meanes to do hir vnderstand his playnts and vnmeasured griefe of heart, the firme loue, and sinceere mynde wherewyth he was so earnestly bent, both to obay and loue hir aboue all other: And that which most of all increased his payne, was that of so great a troupe of messages whych he had sent, with giftes and promisses the better to atchieue his purpose, no one was able to take place or force (neuer so little) the chastity of that sober and modest mayde. It 412 chaunced one day as this Gentleman was walking a long a wode side newly felled, hard adioyning to his house, by whych there was a cleare and goodly fountayne shadowed betweene two thick and lofty Maple trees, the Myller’s Daughter went thither for water, and as she had set downe hir payles vpon the fountaine brink, hir Louer came vnto hir, litle thinking of sutch a ioyful meeting, which he wel declared by these words: “Praysed be God, that when I hoped least of this good hap, he hath sent me hither, to see the onely substaunce of my ioy.” Then turninge his face towards the mayden, sayd vnto her: “Is it true that thou art heere (or do I dreame) and so neare to him that most desireth to gratyfie thee in any thynge wherewyth it may please thee to commaunde him? Wilt thou not haue pity vpon the paynes and griefs which continually I indure for the extreme loue I beare thee?” And saying so, he would haue imbraced hir. But the mayde, which cared no more for his flatteries, than before she did for his presents and messages seeing the same to tend to nothing else but to hir ruine and great dishonor, wyth stout countenaunce, and by hir liuely colour declaring the chast and vertuous motion of her bloud, sayd to this valiant Gentleman: “How now, syr, do you thinke that the vilenesse of myne apparell, holdeth lesse vertue, than is vnder the rich and sumptuous Ornaments of greatest Ladyes? Do you suppose that my bringing vp hath bred in me sutch grose bloud, as for your only pleasure, I shoulde corrupt the perfection of my minde, and blot the honour which hitherto so carefully I haue kept and religiously preserued? Be sure that sooner death shall separate the soule from my body, than willingly I would suffer the ouerthrow and violation of my virginity. It is not the part of sutch a Gentleman as you be, thus to espy and subtlely pursue vs poore Countrey maydens to charme vs with your sleights and guilfull talke: It is not the duety of a Gentleman to subborne sutch vaunte currors to discouer and put in perill, the honour of chaste maydens and honest Wyues, as heretofore you haue done to me. It ought to suffice, that you haue receyued shame by repulse of your messengers, and not to come your selfe to bee partaker of their Confusion.” “And that is it, that ought to moue you sweete heart” (aunswered he) “to take pitty vpon my griefe, so playnly seeing that vnfaynedly I doe 413 loue you, and that my loue is so well planted, as rather had I suffer death, than occasion the least offence that may displease you: Only I beseech you, not to shew your selfe so cruel vnto him, who disdayning all other, hath made you so frank an offer both of himselfe and of al that he hath to commaund.” The maide not greatly trusting his words, feared that he prolonged time to make hir stay till hys seruants came to steale hir away: And therefore without further aunswere, she taking vp hir payles, and half running till she came neere the Myll, escaped his hands, telling hir father no part of that talk betwene them: who began already to doubt the treason, deuised by the Gentleman, agaynst the pudicity of his daughter, vnto whom he neuer disclosed his suspition, were it that he knew hir to be vertuous inough, and constant to resist the luring assaults of loue, or considred the imbecillity of our flesh, and the malice of the same, which dayly aspireth things thereunto defended, and by lawes limitted and prescribed, which lawes it ought not to excede, and yet therof it wisheth the abolishment. The Gentleman seeinge that the mayden had forsaken hym, and little esteemed hys amorous onset, outraged for loue, and chased wyth choler, spake these wordes to hymselfe: “Ah foolish and dastard louer, what didst thou meane when thou hadst hir so neere thee, in place so commodious, where shee durst not gaynesay thee that thou didst no better pursue hir? And what knowest thou if shee came of purpose to ease thy payne and to finish thy troublesome trauels? Surely I suppose she did so, but that shame and duety forced hir to vse those wordes, to make mee thinke, that lyghtly she would not bee ouercome by persuasions: And put the case that it were not so, who coulde haue let mee to take by force that, whereunto willingly she would not accorde: But what is she to be reuenged of sutch an iniury? She is for conclusion the daughter of a Miller, and may make hir vaunte, that she hath mocked a Gentleman, who beinge alone wyth hir, and burninge wyth loue, durst not staunch hys thirst (although full dry) so neere the fountayne: And by God (sayd he rising from a greene banke neere the fountayne’s side) if I dy therefore, I wyll haue it eyther by loue or force.” In this wicked and tyrannicall mynde, hee returned to hys place, where his companions 414 seeing him so out of quiet, sayd vnto him: “Is thys the guise of a gentle minde, to abase it selfe to the pursute of so simple a Wench? Doe not you know the malice of that sexe, and the guiles wherewith those Serpents poyson men? Care you so little for a woman as she doth for you, and then wyll she imbrace you and make mutch of you, whose only study is (which I beleeue) to frame hirselfe agaynst all that, for which humble sute is made: But admit, that women hath some qualities to draw men to loue them, to honour and serue them, which if it so be truely that office and dutifull deuoyre ought to be imployed in seruice of them, that be honourable and in spirite and iudgement of gentle kinde, which no doubt wil counteruayle the merite of sutch a suter: And certesse I am of opinion that a man may vaynely consume a yere or two in pursute and seruice of this mealy Countrey wench, so well as addresse his loue in the obedience of some fayre and honest Gentlewoman: which courteously and with some fauour wyll recompence, the trauayles of hir seruaunt, where that rude and sottish gyrle, by pryde will vaunt and looke a loft, at the honor done vnto hir, despise theym whose worthynesse she knoweth not, and whom neyther she nor the best of her seede, be worthy to serue in any respect: will you know then what I thinke best for you to do? myne aduice is then, that one of these euenings, she be trussed vp in a Maile and brought hither, or in some place els where you thinke good, that you may enioy at pleasure the beauty of hir whom you do praise and wonder at so mutch: And afterwards let hir dissemble it she lust, and make a Iewel of hir chastity when she hath not to triumph ouer you, by bearing away the victory of your pursutes.” “Ah my good friend,” aunswered the desperate louer, “how rightly you touch the most daungerous place of al my wound, and how soueraygne a salue and plaister you apply therevnto: I had thought truly to intreate you of that, whereof euen now you haue made the ouerture, but fearing to offend you, or to mutch vsurpe vpon your friendship, rather had I suffer a death continuall, than rayse one point of offence, or discontentation in them, which so frankly haue offred to doe me pleasure, whereof (by God’s assistaunce) I hope to be acquited with all duety and office of frendship. Now resteth it, to put in 415 proofe, the effect of your deuise, and that so shortly as I can: In like manner you see that the terme of my heere abode, will shortly expire, and if wee be once at the Courte, impossible it is for me to recouer so good occasion, and peraduenture she wil be maried, or some other shal cary away the pray after which I haue beaten the Bush.” The plot then of this mayden’s rape, was resolued vpon, and the first espied occasion taken: But the louer which feared least this heat of his companions would coole, sollicited them so mutch, as the execution was ordayned the following night: which they did, not so mutch for the pleasure of their frend, to whom in sutch aduentures they ought to deny all helpe, (sith frendship ought not to passe, Sed vsq; ad aras, as Pericles the Athenian sayd, so far as was sufferable by the lawes of God) as for that they wer of nature of the self same tramp, which their passionate companion was, and would haue made no conscience to enterpryse the same for themselues, although the other had not tolde them hys affections: These bee the Fruictes of vnruled Youth, wherein onely the Verdure and greennesse of the Age beareth greatest sway, the wyll whereof reason can not restrayne, which sooner reclineth to the carnall part, than to that which tendeth to the honest repast and contentment of the mynd. The next night, they three accompanied with V. or VI. seruauntes (so honest as theyr maisters) gaue the onset in armure and weapons well appointed to defende and hurt, if any resistance were made, they myght be able to repell theyr aduersaries. Thus about two of the clocke in the night they came to the Mil, the Heauens hauyng throwne theyr mantell ouer the vaporous earthe, and dymmed hir Face with theyr vayle obscure and darke, and yet not sutch, but that the ayre was cloudye cleere: and when no man doubted of so great offence, and of sutch vnhappy rape, they brake into the poore Miller’s House, beetwene whose armes they toke away his daughter deare, and almost dead for feare, piteously began to cry for help, defending herself so well as she could from those Theeues and Murderers. The desolate father raging with no lesse fury then the Hircanian Tigre, when hir Faucons be kylled or taken away, ran first to one, and then to another, to stay them from carying of hir away, for whom they came. In the end the amorous rauisher of 416 his daughter sayd vnto hym: “Father, Father, I aduyse thee to get thee hence if thou loue thy lyfe, for thy force is too weake to resist so many, the least of whome is able to coole this thy foolish heart and choler, for the whych I would be sory, for the great Loue I beare vnto thy daughter, who (I hope) before she depart my company, shal haue wherewith to be contented: and thou cause to pacifye this thine immoderate rage, which in vayne thou yalpest forth agaynst this troupe.” “Ah false Knaue and theefe,” (sayd the honest pore man) “it is thou then, which by thine infamous filthinesse and insaciable knauery, doest dishonor the commendable fame of my daughter, and by like meanes shortnest the hoped yeres of me hir poore vnhappy father, loosinge through thy wickednesse, the staffe and stay of myne olde aged life? Thynkest thou Traytor, that liuing till this day (for all my pouertye) in reputation of an honest Man, in myne olde Dayes will become an vnshamefast and vyle Minister and Chapman of my daughter’s maidenhoode and virginity? No knaue thinke not that I forget the wrong receiued of thee, for which by some meanes or other, I wyll purchase iust reuenge vpon thee or thyne?” The Gentleman caryng little or nothyng for the old man’s wordes, hauyng in hys hand his desired spoyle, commanded his Men to marche before with the Mayden, leauing behind the poore olde Man which thundred against them a thousand bitter cursses, threatning and reuyling them, by all the termes he could deuise, desirous (as I think) to haue them turne backe to kyll him. But thereunto they gaue so little heede, as when he wylled them to leaue his daughter behynde them: to whome the amorous courtier addressing himselfe, began to kysse hir, and assayed by all meanes with pleasaunt Woordes and many sweete promisses to comfort hir: but the poore Wenche knowyng full well, that they wente about to play the Butchers wyth her Chastitye, and to commyt Murder wyth the floure of hir Virginity, began to cry so piteously with dolorous voice, as she would haue moued to compassion the hardest Hartes that euer were, excepte the Hearte of hym which craued nothyng more than the spoyle of that his sweetest Enimy. When the poore Wenche saw hir Vertue ready to be spoyled by one, who (not in Maryage ioyned) wente aboute to vyolate and possesse the 417 same, and knewe that afterwardes hee woulde vaunte hymselfe for the Victorye of sutch a precious pryce: “Alas (quod she) is it possyble that the Souerayne Iustyce of God can abyde a Myschiefe so greate and curssed, and that the Voyce of a poore Wretched afflicted Mayde cannot be heard in the presence of the Myghty Lord aboue? Why may not I nowe rather suffer Deathe, than the Infamy whych I see to wander before myne Eyes? O the good olde Man my deare and louing Father, how farre better had it bene for thee to haue slayne mee wyth thy Dagger, betwene the Handes of these moste wycked Theeues, than to let mee goe to bee the praye of those my Foes that seeke the spoyle of Vertue, and the blotte of thy reputation. O happy a hundred hundred tymes bee yee, whych haue already passed the ineuitable tract of Death when ye were in cradle, and I poore vnhappy Wench no lesse blessed had I bene if pertaker of your Ioy, where now I rest alyue to feele the smarte and Anguish of that Death more egre to support, than that whych deuydeth the body and soule.” The Gentleman offended with those complaynts, beganne to threaten, that hee woulde make hir forget hir disordered behauiour, sayinge that shee must change an other tune, and that hir plaints were to no purpose amongs them which cared not, nor yet were bent to stay vppon hir Womanishe teares, Lamentations and cries. The poore Mayden hearinge there resolution, and seeing that shee vaynely dysparckled hir Voyce into the Ayre, began to holde hir peace, whych caused the Louer to speake vnto hir these wordes: “And what my Wench? Dost thou thinke it straunge, that for the heate of loue I beare to thee that I should force sutch violence? Alas it is not malyce nor euill wyll that causeth me to doe the same, it is loue whych cannot bee inclosed, but must needes breake forth to manyfest his force. Ah that thou hadest felt, what I doe suffer and indure for loue of thee. I beleeue then thou wouldest not bee so hard hearted, but haue pitty vppon the griefe whereof thou shouldest haue proued the vehemence.” Whereunto the mayde aunswered nothinge but Teares and Syghes, wringing hir Armes and Handes, and sometymes makinge Warre vppon hir fayre Hayre. But all these Feminine Waylinges nothinge mooued thys Gallant, and lesse Remooued hys former desire to haue 418 hir, which hee atchieued in dispite of hir Teeth, so soone as hee arryued at his owne House. The remnaunt of the Night they lay together, where hee vsed hir wyth all sutch kynde of flatteringe and louinge Speech, as a Louer (of longe tyme) a Suter could deuise to do to hir, whom at length he dyd Possesse. Now all these flatteringe Follies tended onely to make hir his owne, to keepe hir in hys Countrey House for hys Pleasure. Shee that for hir Age (as before is sayd) was of condition Sage, and of gentle mynde, began subtilely to dissemble and fayne to take Pleasure in that which was to hir more bitter than any Aloes or Woode of Myrrha, and more agaynst hir heart than remembraunce of Death, whych styll shee wyshed for remedy of hir gryefe, and Voluntaryly woulde haue killed her selfe lyke a Lucrece, if the feare of God, and dreadfull losse of Body and Soule, had not turned hir mynde, and also hoped in God that the Rauysher should repayre the fault whych he committed, and beare the penaunce for his temerity, whereof she was no whit deceyued, as yee shall perceyue, by that which presently doth follow. Now whilest the Rauisher tooke his pleasure wyth his Rape, the miserable father made the Ayre to sound with his complaints, accusinge fortune for letting the Whorish varlet so to passe, wythout doing him to feele the lustinesse of hys age, and the force that yet reasted in his furrowed face, and corpse withered with length of yeares. In the end knowing that his playnts, curses, and desire were throwne forth in vayne, perceiuing also his force vnequal to deale with sutch an Ennimy, and to get agayne by violence hys stolne Daughter, or to recouer hir by that meanes whereby she was taken away, he determined the next day to go and complaine to the Duke: and vpon that determination he layd him downe to sleepe vnder the trees, which ioyned to the fountayne, where sometimes the Courtier had communed with his daughter. And seeing that the Element began to to shewe some splendent hue Interpaled with coulours of White, Yealow, and Red, Signes preceedinge the risinge of fresh Aurora, started from his sleepe and tooke hys way to Florence, whither he came, vpon the openinge of the Citty Gates. Then going to the Pallace of the Duke, he tarried vntill he saw the Prynce goe forth to seruice. The good man seeing him of whom he attended to receyue succour, fauour, and iustice, began to freat, 419 and rage for remembraunce of his receyued wronge, and was ashamed to see himself in place not accustomed: and although it grieued his heart wyth hardy speach to presume in presence of so many, yet the iust anger and desire of vengeance emboldned hym so mutch, as kneelinge vpon his knees before the Maiesty of the Duke, aloud he spake these woordes: “Alas (my Soueraygne Lord) if euer your grace had pity vpon a desolate man, full of dispayre, I humbly beseech the same that now you do regard the misery which on euery side assayleth me. Haue pity vpon the pouerty of that vnfortunate olde man agaynst whom one hath done sutch wrong, as I hope by force of your vertue and accustomed iustice, you wil not leaue a sin so detestable without deserued punishment, for respect of mischiefes that may insue where sutch wickednesse shalbe dissembled without due correction.” Sayinge so, the great teares ran downe his hory Bearde, and by reason of his interrupted sighes and continual sobbes, the panting of his stomack might easily haue bene perceiued all riueld for age, and Sunneburned with heate and continuall Countrey trauaile: and that which moued most the standers by, was the ruefull loke of the good old man, who casting his lookes heare and there, beheld eche one with hys holowe and dolorous Eyes, in sutch wise as if he had not spoken any word, hys countenance would haue moued the Lords to haue compassion vpon his misery, and his teares were of sutch force, as the Duke which was a wyse man, and who measured thinges by reason’s guide, prouided with wisedome, and foreseeinge not without timely iudgement, would know the cause whych made that man so to make his plaint, and notwithstanding assailed (with what suspition I know not) would not haue him openly to tel hys tale, but leading him aside, he sayd vnto him: “My frend, albeit that greeuous faultes of great importance, ought grieuously and openly to be corrected, yet it chaunceth oftentimes, that he which in a heate and choler doth execution for the guylt (although that iustly after hee hath disgested his rage, at leasure hee repenteth his rigor and ouer sodaine seueritie,) offence being naturall in man, may sometyme (where slaunder is not euident) by mild and mercyfull meanes forget the same without infringing or violating the holy and ciuil constitutions of Lawmakers. I speake thus mutch bicause 420 my heart doeth throbbe that some of my house haue don some filthy faulte against thee or some of thine. Now I would not that they openlye should be slaundered, and yet lesse pretend I to leaue theyr faultes vnpunished, specially sutch as by whose offensiue cryme the common peace is molested, wherein I desyre, that my People shoulde lyue. For which purpose God hath constituted Prynces and Potestates as shepheardes and guides of hys flocke, to the ende that the Tyrannicall fury of the vitious, mighte not destroy, deuoure and scatter the impotente flock, of no valoure if it be forsaken and lefte forlorne by the mighty Armes of Pryncipalities and Monarchyes. A singuler modesty doubtlesse, and an incredyble example of Clemencye in hym, whome hys Cytyzens thoughte to be a Tyrant and vniust vsurper of a free Segnyorye, who so priuily and with sutch familiarity, as the Friend could wish of his companion, hearkened to the cause of the poore Countrey man, and moreouer hys modesty so great, as hee would it not to bee knowen what fault it was, or else that the offenders shoulde publikely bee accused, offering for all that to be the reuenger of the wronge done vnto the poore, and the punisher of the iniury exercised agaynste the desolate, a worke certainly worthy of a true Chrystian Prince, and which establisheth kingdomes decayed, conserueth those that be, rendring the Prynce to be beloued of God, and feared of his Subiects. The pore olde man seeing the Duke in so good mynde, and that accordingly hee demaunded to know the wrong don vnto him, the Name of the factor, and that also he had promised him his help and ryghtfull correctyon due vnto the deserued fault, the good olde man I say conceiuing courage, recited from poynt to poynte the whole discourse of the rape, and the violence done, vppon hys poore vertuous Daughter, declaring besides the name and surname of those which accompanied the Gentleman, the author of that conspiracy, who (as we haue already sayd) was one that was in greatest fauor with the Duke: who notwithstanding the Loue that he bare to the accused, hearing the vnworthinesse of a deede so execrable, said: “As God liueth this is a detestable facte, and well deserueth a sharpe and cruell punyshment: Notwithstanding freend, take good heede that thou doeste not mistake the same, by accusing one for an other, for the Gentleman whome thou haste named 421 to be the rauisher of thy daughter, is of all men deemed to bee very honest, and doe well assure thee that if I finde thee a lyer, thy heade shall answere for example to eche false accuser and slaunderer in time to come. But if the matter be so true as thou hast sayde, I promise thee by the faith I beare to God, so wel to redresse thy wrong, as thou shalt haue cause to be thoroughly satisfied with my iustice.” To whome the good olde man thus answered: “My Lord the matter is so true, as at this day hee keepeth my Daughter (like a common strumpet) in his house. And if it please your highnesse to send thither, you shall know that I do not falsely accuse or vtter lying woordes before you, my Lord and Prynce, in presence of whom as before the mynister and Lyeuetenaunte of God, Man oughte not to speake but truely and religeously.” “Sith it is so,” sayd the Duke, “get thee home to thy house, where God willing, I will be this day at dinner, but take hede vpon thy life, thou say nothing to any man what so euer he be: for the rest let me alone, I will prouide according to reason.” The good man almost so glad for his good exploit, as the day before he was sorowful for his losse, ioyfully went home to his homely house and Countrey Cabane, whych he caused to be made ready so wel as hee could, attending the comming of his deliuerer, succor, support, and iudge, who when he had heard seruice, commanded his Horse to be made ready: “For (sayd he) I heare say there is a wylde Boare haunting hereby, so well lodged as is possible to see: wee wyll goe thyther to wake hym from his sleepe and ease, and vse that pastime til our dinner be ready.” So departing from Florence, he rode straight vnto the Mil wher his dinner was prepared by hys Seruauntes. There he dined very soberly, and vsing fewe words vnto his company, sate stil al pensiue, musing vpon that he had to doe: For on the one side the grauitie of the facte moued him rigorously to chastise him which had committed the same. On the other side the loue which he bare him (mollifing his heart) made him change his minde, and to moderate his sentence. The Prynce’s minde, thus wandering beetwene loue and rigor, one brought him worde that the Dogs had rousde the greatest Hart that euer he sawe: which newes pleased him very mutch, for by that meanes he sent away the multitude of his Gentlemen to follow 422 the chase, retaining with him his moste familiar friends, and those that were of his priuy and secrete councel, whom he would to be witnesses of that which he intended to doe, and causing his hoast to come before him, he sayd: “My friend, thou muste brynge vs to the place whereof thys Mornynge thou toldest me, that I may discharge my promyse.” The Courtyers wondred at those Woordes. ignoraunte whereunto the same were spoken: but the good Man whose Hearte leapte for ioy, as already feelynge some greate Benefyte at Hand, and Honoure prepared for the beautyfyinge of hys House, seeynge the Duke on Horsebacke, ran besydes hym in steade of hys Lackey, wyth whome the Prynce held mutch pleasaunt talke all along the way as they wente togyther, but they had not gone farre, but the Gentleman the Rauysher, wyth his Companyons, vnderstandyng that the Duke hunted there aboutes, came to doe hym reuerence: and his Fortune was sutch, as hee nor any of his frends perceiued the olde man, by meanes whereof they nothing suspected what did insue. For that cause the said Rauisher said to his prince: “My Lord, if fortune had so mutch fauored me, as I mighte haue knowen of your commyng into these quarters, I would haue don my duetie to entertaine you, not as appertayneth to the greatnesse of your excellency, but according to the ability of the least, and yet the most obedient of your seruaunts.” To whom the Duke dissembling his anger sayd: “Sir, I dined heere hard by within my tents, not knowing that your house was so neare vs: but sith that I haue met you vpon your own Marches and Confines, I wyll not goe hence before I see your lodging: for so farre as I can iudge by the outwarde parte of this goodly building, me thinkes the workman hath not forgotten any thing that should serue for the setting forth and ornament of this parte of the house, which for the quantity is one of the fairest plottes that I haue seene.” So approching the Castell the Duke lyghted to view the commodities of the place, and specially the image, for whych alone hee was departed from his City, whereof the Mayster of the House (dronke with the sodaine pleasure to see the Duke there) thought nothyng. So descending into the base Court, they saw a Marble fountaine that discharged the water in foure greate gutters, receiued by foure naked Nimphes, and by them poured into Vessells, 423 richely wrought with Damaskyne, where was an armed Knyght, lying vnder an hyghe and broade tree, that ouershadowed the Fountaine: And hard by, they espied a lyttle doore whych shewed the way into so singulare and well planted a Garden, as euer the delycious and pleasant Gardens were of Alcinoe: For in the same (bysides the Artyfyciall Workemanshyppe, and ordinarye Trauell of the Gardener) Nature produced foure Fountaynes in the foure Corners, makynge the Place and plaine of Garden equally parted in fouresquare forme. Now these fountaynes watered all the fayre knots of the same, wythout any payne to the Gardener, except to open certayne little Conduicts, whereby the water sprange and ran to what part he thought it needfull. I will heere leaue to speake of the Trees and fruictes deuided in fiue forme order, the Laberynthes subtilely and finely wrought, the sweete Herbers yelding sutch contentation to the eye, as if the Duke had not respected the wrong done to the Miller’s daughter, the gentlenesse of the mayster of the house, and the singularity of the place, perchaunce might haue made him forget himselfe within that little earthly Paradise. And to performe the excellency of that Garden, the workinge hand and industry of man, holpen by the benefite of Nature, had formed within the Ground wherein were bestowed a number of Antiquities, and wherein the immortal voice of an Eccho answered their talke with a triple sounde in that profound and earthly place: which moued the Duke to call the Gentleman vnto him, vnto whom he sayd: “If it bee so, that the rest of the house doe match wyth that whych I haue already seene, I am out of doubt it is one of the fayrest and most delectable houses at thys day wythin the compasse of all Italy. Wherefore my Frende, I pray thee that wee may see the whole, both for the contentation of our Mindes, and also that I may make some vaunt that I haue seene the rarest and best furnished little House that is within the iurisdiction of Florence.” The Gentleman bathed in ease and full of pleasure, seeynge that the Duke lyked so well his House, brought hym from chamber to chamber, which was enryched eyther with stately tapissarie of Turkey making, or with riche Tables diuinely wrought, vtensils so neate and fit, as the Duke could cast his eye vpon none of them, but he was driuen into 424 an admiration and Wonder. And the further he went, the greater hee sawe the increase, and almost a Regeneration, or as I may say, a newe Byrth of rare thinges, which made the littlenesse of the Place more Stately and wonderfull: Wherefore hee greatly esteemed hym in hys Mynde whych had deuysed the Magnificence of sutch a Furnyture. After then that hee had visited the Portals, Galleries, Parlers, Chambers, Garrets, Wardrobes, Closets, and chiefest Romes of that house, they came into a Gallerie, which had a direct prospect vpon the Garden, at the end wherof there was a chamber shut, ouer which sutch Antike and Imbossed worke, as it was maruell to behold, and vpon the garden side in like workemanship, yee mighte haue viewed a troupe of Nymphes (a long the side of a woode adioyning vpon a great Riuer) flying from an hierd of Satires, that made as though they would haue ouerrunne them: a pleasure it was to see their gaping mouthes, theyr eyes fixed vpon the place where theyr clouen-footed pursuters were, and the countenance of them, which so well expressed theyr feare, as there wanted nothing but speache. Moreouer a better sight it was to beholde the Satire Bucks, with dysplayed throte, and theyr fyngers poynting at the hast of those pore fearfull runawayes, as though they mocked theyr sodaine flyghte. Within a while after ye might haue seene Hercules lyinge a Bed with his wife, towards whom a Faunus came thinking to enjoy the beauty and embracements of the sleping dame: But fayrer it was to see how that strong Amphitrionian gaue him the mocke, and strained him so hard, as he thought his belly would burste. The Duke beholding as he thought, the fayrest Chamber of the house so shut, by and by suspected the truth of the cause: For the Gentleman knowing the comming of the Duke, had withdrawen his woman into the same for that it was the most secrete of his house, and the furdest from all ordinary seruice. Vpon surmise the Duke demaunded wherefore that Chamber was not opened so wel as the rest: “I suppose the same to be your treasure house?” (quod hee) “and the storehouse of your most delicate things: Wee pray you let vs looke into it.” “My Lord” (sayd the Gentleman) “the place is to farre out of order, at this time to shew your grace: Moreouer I knowe not where the Keyes be, for thys 425 morning the keeper of my house is gone into the city, and I can not tell to whom hee hath delyuered them.” The Duke which heard the end of his excuse, not accepting the same for the pryce which the Courtier woulde and thoughte to haue solde it, was sure then of that which before he did suspect. Wherfore with furious countenaunce he sayd vnto him: “Goe too, goe too, either with the key, or without the Key, let this door be opened, that I may see all thy secretes within.” The rauisher seeing the Duke to be earnest, could not tell at the first Face, of what Woode to make his arrowes, stode stil astonned, and was surprysed wyth a newe feare. In the end notwythstandyng, playinge the good fellowe, hee went vnto the Duke, in whose eare smilinge hee whispered (bicause he knew right well that the Duke was an indifferent good companion, and loued so well his neighbor’s Wyfe, as his owne:) and sayd: “My Lord there is a prety wench within, whome I do kepe, and would not shewe hir to any lyuing man but to you.” “That is the cause I aske” (sayd the duke) “let vs see hir that I may geue iudgement of hir beauty, and tell you whither shee bee worth the keeping or not.” The mayster of the house opened the chamber dore, thinking to haue gained mutch, and supposed to insinuate himselfe the better into the fauor of the Duke, but immediatlye hee saw himselfe farre deceiued of his accompt. For the rauished and shamefast maiden comming forth of the Chamber with hir hayre about hir eyes, and hir garments berent and torne, hir stomake and breast all naked and discouered, hir Face and Eyes all blubbered wyth Teares, lyke a desperate woman threw hir selfe at the Prince’s feete, crying out: “Ah (my lord) beholde heere and haue pity vpon the most vnfortunate Wenche of all most wretched caytyfe Women, who shamefully and Trayterously hath bene abused and defloured by him, whych impudently dareth to bryng you into the place the wytnesse of hys abhominable and wycked Lyfe.” The Duke seeing this sight, and hauing compassion vpon the Maiden, turned his face towardes the Gentleman and hys Companyons (which by chance wer come thither, as the Duke was entred into the Gallerie) not with milde and pleasant countenance as hee shewed from the beginning, but with a looke so graue and seuere, as the hardiest of the company could not tell what to do, or what 426 answere to make hym. Vpon them than began the ryghteous Prynce to vomit his dyspleasure, sayinge: “Is this the innobling of the Bloud whereof thou art descended, to rauyshe thy Neyghbors and my subiectes Daughters, that duetyfully lyue vnder myne obeysance and protection? Doest thou thus abuse the familiaritie whych hytherto I haue shewed vnto thee? Thinkest thou that the Lawes be peruerted together with the chaunge of the common Wealth of Florence? No, I assure thee, for so long as the Soule shal abyde within my body, I will be he that shal pursue the wycked wyth all extremitie, and shall not indure the oppressyon of the pore, enough afflicted with their own proper misery. O God could I haue thought that a Gentleman of my House, woulde haue bene so prodigall of his honour, as to soyle hys Hands so filthily by rauishing of them which ought to be required, and to dishonour them in place where their Vertue ought to shine for generall example? I cannot tell what stayeth me from cutting those curssed Heades of yours from of your shoulders like arrant Traytors and Theues as you be. Get ye hence, ye infamous villaynes and beastly Ruffians, the troubles of your Neyghbors rest, and the spoylers of the fame of hir, that is more worth than all ye together.” Then speaking to the Mayde hee sayd: “Rise vp my wench, and on me repose thy comfort, for I promise the by the faith of a Gentleman, that I will do thee sutch reason, and vse thee so vpryghtlye as bothe my Conscience shal be quieted, thou contented, and thine honour restored for the wrong and iniury whych it hath receiued of these Gallantes.” And by and by he commaunded the Miller to come before him, and all those whom he had brought wyth hym to assist his doings, before whom he caused to be brought both the rauished maiden, and the condempned of the rape: vnto whom he said: “This is the pray my friends that I sought after, which I haue taken without toyles, nets, or chaunting of the Dogs. Beholde, I pray you the Honoure whych my Householde Seruauntes doe vnto my House, who ouerrunne the Symple Countrey People, and rauyshe theyr Daughters betweene the Armes of theyr propre parentes, who breake, beate downe, and ouerthrowe the Doores of theyr Houses, that under the Lawes of our City and ought to enioy lyke Pryuiledge of Lybertye and 427 Franchyze. If one respecte (whych I wyll not dysclose) dyd not impeache and stay mee, I would doe sutch cruell iustice vppon the offenders as the posterity should make report thereof. Notwithstanding it shal suffise that they receiue this shame before you all, by seeing themselues vanquished of a crime, which for expiation and reuenge, deserueth most shamefull death, and to receyue of mee for proofe of mercy, an vndeserued pardon of their fault: with condition neuerthelesse that thou (speaking to the Gentleman Rauisher) shalt take this mayden to Wyfe, for otherwyse thou art not able to repayre the honour thou hast taken from hir) and shalt loue hir so dearely, as fondly heeretofore she was beloued of thee, to esteeme and loue hir so mutch, as if she were the very sister of me the Duke of Florence, who commaundeth thee for the raunsome and redemption of thy head, presently to mary hir. I will moreouer, and ordayne by reason of hir father’s pouerty, that for the wrong which he hath receyued of you three, that his daughter shall bee indowed wyth two thousand Crownes by him that marrieth hir, and with a thousand of eyther of the two other, to th’ entent that if hir husband dy (wythout heire,) shee haue wherewith honestly to mayntayne hir degree, and the honest port of hir house. And hereof I will that without delay a contract be made, and a publike instrument of good record inrolled, swearing once agayne before thee, that if I vnderstand, thou vse her otherwise, than a Wyfe ought to bee of hir husband, I will deale sutch punishment and correction ouer thee, as all men in time to come shal take example.” The Gentleman which expected no better meede than death, ioyfull of that sentence, fell downe prostrate before the Duke in signe of consente, and the lyke did his Companions. But the ioy of the Miller and his daughter cannot be expressed, who extolled the vertue and iustice of the Prynce vp into the heauens: to whom with sutch humility they rendred theyr humble thanks, as he would doe that saw himselfe in so great calamity, and brought to sutch dishonour as earst they were seene to be, by meanes of him that acknowledged one of them for his sonne, and the other for hir lawfull Spouse. Thus was the mariage consummat in presence of the Duke, with so great ioye, and content of all partes, as there was rage and trouble for the Rape of the 428 Bryde. The Duke beinge retourned to Florence, the Brute of this act incontinently was disparkled almost throughout the Region of Italy, and this iudgement no lesse praysed, than the sentence which Kynge Solomon gaue vppon the Controuersie of the two Harlots for the liuing childe, which eyther of them claimed for hir owne. And for this cause was hee extolled aboue any other Prynce or Lorde that in tymes passed did commaund or rule the Common wealth wythin the Countrey of Thuscan. In thys wyse that modesty made him worthy of the Principality, which almost against all ryght he had vsurped, and of a prayse whych shall no lesse continue, than the Memory of man is able to extende the same from one generation to an other, and which those that be Couetous of the prayse of a Prince so vertuous, iust and modest, shal not cease to illustrate and gloriously aduaunce him in open euydence, to the ende that hys like may exercise like things, or of greater consequence, by not sufferinge venemous and vnprofitable hearbs to grow within the Garden of their Common wealth. Wythin the which, a little mildew or vntimely rayne, is able to marre and corrupt all the good Seedes and Plantes sowen, and grifted there before: For commonly wicked Weedes and Bastard Impes take deeper roote than those that beare a good and fauorous fruict, for conseruation whereof, the diligent husbandman imployeth his labour throughout all the Seasons of the yeare.





Title Pages

Volume II Title Page

Palace of Pleasure

[Publisher’s Mark: IN NUCE LIBELLUS]

Tome I Title Page

Pleasure Beautified
adorned and well furnished
vvith pleasaunt Histories and
excellent Nouels, selected out
of diuers good and commendable Authours

By William Painter, Clarke
of the Ordinaunce and Armorie
¶ Eftsones perused corrected
and augmented
by Thomas Marshe.

Tome II Title Page

The second Tome
of the Palace of Pleasure,
conteyning store of goodly Histories,
Tragicall matters, and other Mo-
rall argument, very re-
quisitefor delighte
and profit.
Chosen and selected out of
diuers good and commen-
dable Authors:

By William Painter, Clerke of the
Ordinance and Armarie.
Imprinted at London, in
Pater Noster Rowe, by Henry
Bynneman, for Nicholas

Errors and Inconsistencies

Spelling in the Novels

Fused forms such as “thende” occur side by side with “the ende”. Word-initial “u” and non-initial “v” are in the original.

Specific words:

“renowme” is far more frequent than “renowne”
“alablaster” is standard for the period
“Cræsus” is used consistently


The printed book did not include an Errata list. It is therefore impossible to tell whether irregularities of spelling, punctuation and typography in the primary text are unique to the Jacobs edition (1890), or whether they were deliberately carried over from Haslewood (1813) and/or Painter (1566 and later).

Errors and anomalies are handled in one of three ways, all using mouse-hover popups:

Clear errors in the text are marked but not changed: guie.

Missing punctuation—generally closing quotation marks—is added in grey with a note:

A few unexpected forms were simply noted: usq;.

End of Project Gutenberg's The Palace of Pleasure, by William Painter


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