PANDOSTO.

¶The Triumph of Time.

VVHEREIN IS DISCOUERED by a pleasant Historie, that although by the meanes of sinister fortune Truth may be concea­led, yet by Time in spight of fortune it is most manifestly reuealed.

Pleasant for age to auoyde drowsie thoughtes, profitable for youth to eschue other wanton pastimes, and bringing to both a de­sired content.

Temporis filia veritas.

¶By Robert Greene Maister of Artes in Cambridge.

Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit vtile dulci.

Imprinted at London by Thomas Orwin for Thomas Cadman, dwelling at the Signe of the Bible, neere vnto the North doore of Paules, 1588.

TO THE GENTLEMEN REA­DERS HEALTH.

THe paultring Poet Aphranius be­ing blamed for troublinge ye Em­peror Traian with so many doting Poems: aduentured notwithstan­ding, stil to present him with rude and homely verses, excusing him­felfe with the courtesie of ye Em­perour, which did as friendly accept, as he fondly offerd. So Gentlemen, if any condemne my rash­nesse for troubling your eares with so many vn­learned Pamphlets: I will straight shroud my selfe vnder the shadowe of your courtesies, & with Aphranius lay the blame on you aswell for frendly reading them, as on my selfe for fondly penning them: Hoping though fond curious, or rather cur­rish backbiters breathe out slaunderous speeches: yet the courteous Readers (whom I feare to offend) wil requite my trauell, at the least with silence: and in this hope I rest: wishing you health and happines.

Robert Greene.

TO THE RIGHT HOnorable George Clifford Earle of Cumber­land, Robert Greene wisheth increase of honour and vertue.

THE Rascians (right honorable) when by long gazing against the Sunne, they be­come halfe blinde, recouer their sightes by looking on the blacke Loade stone. V­nicornes being glutted with brousing on roots of Licquoris, sharpē their stomacks with crushing bitter grasse.

Alexander vouchsafed as well to smile at the croked pic­ture of Vulcan, as to wonder at the curious counterfeite of Venus. The minde is sometimes delighted as much with small trifles as with sumptuous triumphs, and as wel pleased with hearing of Pans homely fancies, as of Hercules re­nowmed laboures.

Syllie Baucis coulde not serue Iupiter in a siluer plate, but in a woodden dish. Al that honour Esculapius, decke not his shrine with Iewels. Apollo giues Oracles as wel to the poore man for his mite, as to the rich mā for his treasure. The stone Echites is not so much liked for the colour, as for vertue, and giftes are not to be measured by the worth, but by the will. Mis [...]n that vnskilfull Painter of Greece, aduentured [...]o giue vnto Darius the shielde of Pallas, so roughlie shadowed, as he smiled more at the follie of the man, then at the im­perfection of his arte. So I present vnto your honour the tri­umph of time, so rudelie finished, as I feare your honour wil rather frowne at my impudencie, then laugh at my ignoran­cie: But I hope my willing minde shal excuse my slender skill, and your honours curtesie shadowe my rashnes.

[Page]They which feare the biting of vipers doe carie in their hands the plumes of a Phoenix. Phydias drewe Vulcan sitting in a chaire of luory. Caesars Crow durst neuer cry, Aue, but whē she was pearked on the Capitoll. And I seeke to shroude this imperfect Pamphlet vnder your honours patronage, doubting the dint of such inuenomed vipers, as seeke with their slaunderours reproches to carpe at al, being oftentims, most vnlearned of all: and assure my sel [...]e, that your ho­nours renowmed valure, and vertuous disposition shall be a sufficient defence to protect me from the Poysoned tongues of such scorning Sycophants, hoping that as Iupiter vouch­safed to lodge in Philemons thatched Cotage: and Phillip of Macedon, to take a bunche of grapes of a country pesant: so I hope your honour, measuring my worke by my will, and wayghing more the mind than the matter, will when you haue cast a glaunce at this toy, with Minerua, vnder your gol­den Target couer a deformed Owle. And in this hope I rest, wishing vnto you, and the vertuous Countesse your wife: such happy suc­cesse as your honours can de­sire, or I imagine.

Your Lordships most duetifully to com­maunde: Robert Greene.

THE HISTORIE OF DORASTUS AND FAWNIA.

AMong al the Passions wherewith humane mindes are perplexed, there is none that so galleth with restlesse despight, as ye infecti­ous soare of Iealousie: for all other griefes are eyther to bee appeased with sensible per­swasions, to be cured with wholesome coun­sel, to be relieued in want, or by tract of tune to be worne out, (Iealousie only excepted) which is so sawsed with suspitious doubtes, and pinching mistrust, that whoso seekes by friendly counsaile to rase out this hellish passion, it foorthwith sus­pecteth that he geueth this aduise to couer his owne guiltinesse. Yea, who so is payned with this restlesse torment doubteth all, dystrusteth him-selfe, is alwayes frosen with feare, and fired with suspition, hauing that wherein consisteth all his ioy, to be the br [...]e­der of his miserie. Yea, it is such a heauy enemy to that holy estate of matrimony, sowing betweene the married couples such deadly seedes of secret hatred, as Loue being once rased out by spightful distrust, there oft ensueth bloudy reuenge, as this ensuing Hysto­rie manifestly prooueth: wherein Pandosto (furiously incensed by causelesse Iealousie) procured the death of his most loving and loyall wife, and his owne endlesse sorrow and misery.

IN the Countrey of Bohemia there raygned a King called Pandosto, whose fortunate successe in warres against his foes, and bountifull curtesie towardes his friendes in peace, made him to be greatly feared and loued of all men. This Pandosto had to Wife a Ladie called Bellaria, by birth royall, learned by educa­tion, faire by nature, by vertues famous, so that it was hard to iudge whether her beautie, fortune, or vertue, wanne the greatest [Page] commendations. These two lincked together in perfect loue, led their liues with such fortunate cōtent, that their Subiects great­ly reioyced to sée their quiet disposition. They had not beene mar­ried long, but Fortune (willing to increase their happines) lent them a sonne, so adorned with the gifts of nature, as the perfection of the Childe greatly augmented the loue of the parentes, and the ioy of their commons: in so much that the Bohemians, to shew their inward ioyes by outwarde actions, made Bonefires and tri­umphs throughout all the Kingdome, appointing Iustes and Turneyes for the honour of their young Prince: whether resorted not only his Nobles, but also diuers Kings and Princes which were his neighbours, willing to shewe their friendship they ought to Pandosto, and to win fame and glory by their prowesse and va­lour. Pandosto, whose minde was fraught with princely liberali­ty, entertayned the Kings, Princes, and noble men with such sub­misse curtesie, and magnifical bounty, that they all sawe how wil­ling he was to gratifie their good wils, making a generall feast for his Subiects, which continued by the space of twentie dayes: all which time the Iustes and Turneys were kept to the great content both of the Lordes & Ladies there present. This solemne tryumph being once ended, the assembly taking their leaue of Pandosto and Bellaria: the young sonne (who was called Garin­ter) was nursed vp in the house, to the great ioy and content of the parents. Fortune enuious of such happy successe, willing to shewe some signe of her inconstantie, turned her wheele, and dark­ned their bright sun of prosperitie, with the mistie cloudes of mis­hap and misery. For it so happened that Egistus King of Sycilia, who in his youth had bene brought vp with Pandosto, desirous to shewe that neither tracte of time, nor distance of place could di­minish their former friendship, prouided a nauie of ships, and say­led into Bohemia to visite his old friend and companion, who hearing of his arriuall, went himselfe in person, and his wife Bel­laria, accompanied with a great traine of Lords and Ladies, to meete Egistus: and espying him, alighted from his horse, em­braced him very louingly, protesting that nothing in the world could haue happened more acceptable to him then his comming, wishing his wife to welcome his olde friend and acquaintance: who (to shewe how she liked him whom her husband loued) inter­tayned [Page] him with such familiar curtesie, as Egistus perceiued him­selfe to bée verie well welcome. After they had thus saluted and embraced eche other, they mounted againe on horsbacke, and rode toward the Citie, deuising and recounting, howe being children they had passed their youth in friendely pastimes: where, by the meanes of the Citizens, Egistus was receyued with triumphs and showes in such sort, that he maruelled how on so small a warning they coulde make such preparation. Passing the streetes thus with such rare sightes, they rode on to the Pallace, where Pandosto en­tertained Egistus and his Sycilians with such banqueting and sumptuous cheare, so royally, as they all had cause to cōmend his princely liberality, yea, the verie basest slaue that was knowne to come from Sycilia was vsed with such curtesie, yt Egistus might easily perceiue how both hee and his were honored for his friendes sake. Bellaria (who in her time was the flower of curtesie, willing to shew how vnfaynedly shee looued her husband by his friends in­tertainemēt, vsed him likewise so familiarly, that her countenance bewraied how her minde was affected towardes him: oftentimes comming her selfe into his bed chamber, to sée that nothing should be amis to mislike him. This honest familiarity increased dayly more and more betwixt them: for Bellaria noting in Egistus a princely and bountifull minde, adorned with sundrie and excellent qualities, and Egistus finding in her a vertuous and curteous dis­position, there grew such a secret vniting of their affections, that the one could not well be without the company of the other: in so much that when Pandosto was busied with such vrgent affaires, that hee could not bee present with his friend Egistus, Bellaria would walke with him into the Garden, where they two in priuat and pleasant deuises would passe away the time to both their con­tents. This custome still continuing betwixt them, a certaine me­lancholy passion entring the minde of Pandosto, draue him into sundry and doubtfull thoughts. First, he called to minde the beau­ty of his wife Bellaria, the comelines and brauerie of his friend Egistus, thinking that Loue was aboue all Lawes, and therefore to be staied with no Law: that it was hard to put fire and flaxe to­gether without burning: that their open pleasures might breede his secrete displeasures. He considered with himselfe that Egistus was a man, and must needes loue: that his wife was a woman, [Page] and therfore subiect vnto loue, and that where fancy forced, friend­ship was of no force. These and such like doubtfull thoughtes a long time smoothering in his stomacke, beganne at last to kindle in his minde a secret mistrust, which increased by suspition, grewe at last to a flaming Iealousie, that so tormented him as he could take no rest. He then began to measure all their actions, and to miscen­strue of their too priuate familiaritie, iudging that it was not for honest affection, but for disordinate fancy, so that hee began to watch them more narrowely, to sée if hée could gette any true or certaine proofe to confirme his doubtfull suspition. While thus he noted their lookes and gestures, and suspected their thoughtes and meaninges, they two séely soules who doubted nothing of this his treacherous intent, frequēted daily eache others companie, which draue him into such a franticke passion, that he beganne to beare a secret hate to Egistus, and a lowring countenaunce to Bellaria, who marueiling at such vnaccustomed frowns, began to cast bée­yond the Moone, and to enter into a thousand sundrie thoughtes, which way she should offend her husband: but finding in her selfe a cleare cōscience, ceassed to muse, vntil such time as she might find fit opportunitie to demaund the cause of his dumps. In the meane time Pandostoes minde was so farre charged with Iealousy, that he did no longer doubt, but was assu [...]ed (as he thought) that his Friend Egistus had entered a wrong pointe in his tables, and so had played him false play: whervpō desirous to reuenge so great an iniury, he thought best to dissemble the grudge with a faire and friendly countenance: and so vnder the shape of a friend, to shew him the tricke of a foe. Deuising with himself a long time how he might best put away Egistus without suspition of treacherous murder, hee concluded at last to poyson him: which opinion plea­sing his humour, he became resolute in his determination, and the better to bring the matter to passe he called vnto him his cupbea­rer, with whom in secret he brake the matter: promising to him for the performance thereof, to geue him a thowsande crownes of yearely reuenues: his cupbearer eyther being of a good conscience, or willing for fashion sake, to deny such a bloudy request, began with great reasons to perswade Pandosto from his determinate mischief: shewing him what an offence murther was to the Gods: how such vnnaturall actions did more displease the heauens, than [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page] [Page]deuoide of pity, commanded that without delay it should bee put in the boat, hauing neither saile nor other to guid it, and so to bee carried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind & waue as the destinies please to appoint. The very shipmen seeing the sweete countenance of the yong babe, began to accuse the King of rigor, and to pity the childs hard fortune: but feare constrayned them to that which their nature did abhorre: so that they placed it in one of the ends of the boat, and with a few greene bows made a homely cabben to shroud it as they could from wind and weather: hauing thus trimmed the boat they tied it to a ship, and so haled it into the mayne Sea, and then cut in sunder the coarde, which they had no sooner done, but there arose a mighty tempest, which tos­sed the little Boate so vehemently in the waues, that the shipmen thought it coulde not continue longe without sincking, yea the storme grewe so great, that with much labour and perill they got to the shoare. But leauing the Childe to her fortunes. Againe to Pandosto, who not yet glutted with sufficient reuenge, deuised which way he should best increase his Wiues calamitie. But first assembling his Nobles and Counsellors, hee called her for the more reproch into open Court, where it was obiected against her, that she had committed adulterie with Egistus, and conspired with Franion to poyson Pondosto her husband, but their pretence be­ing partely spyed, shee counselled them to flie away by night for their better safety. Bellaria, who standing like a prisoner at the Barre, feeling in her selfe a cleare Conscience to withstand her false accusers: seeing that no lesse then death could pacifie her hus­bands wrath, waxed bolde, and desired that she might haue Lawe and Iustice, for mercy shee neyther craued nor hoped for, and that those periured wretches, which had falsly accused her to the King, might be brought before her face, to giue in euidence. But Pan­dosto, whose rage and Iealousie was such, as no reason, nor equi­tie could appease: tolde her, that for her accusers they were of such credite, as their wordes were sufficient witnesse, and that the so­daine & secret flight of Egistus, & Franion confirmed that which they had confessed: and as for her, it was her parte to deny such a monstrus crime, and to be impudent in forswearing the fact, since shee had past all shame in committing the fault: but her stale countenaunce should stand for no coyne, for as the Bastard which [Page] she bare was serued, so she should with some cruell death be requi­ted. Bellaria no whit dismayed with this rough reply [...] tolde her Husband Pandosto, that he spake vpon choller [...], and not con [...] ­ence: for her vertuous life had beene euer such, as no spot of sus­pition could euer staine. And if she had borne a frendly counte­daunce to Egistus, it was in respect he was his friende, and not for any lusting affection: therefore if she were condemned with­out a [...]y further proofe, it was rigour, and not Law. The noble men which sate in iudgement, said that Bellaria spake reason, and intreated the king that the accusers might be openly examined, and sworne, and if then the euidence were such, as the Iury might finde her guilty (for seeing she was a Prince) she ought to be [...]ry­ed by her péeres, then let her haue such punishment as the extre­mitie of the Law will assigne to such malefactors. The king pre­sently made answere, that in this case he might, and would dis­pence with the Law, and that the Iury being once panneld, they should take his word for sufficient euidence, otherwise he would make the proudest of them repent it. The noble men séeing the king in choler, were all whist, but Bellaria, whose life then hung in the ballaunce, fearing more perpetuall in famie, then momen­tarie death, tolde the king [...] if his furie might stand for a Law, that it were vaine to haue the Iury yéeld their verdit, and therefore she fell downe vpon her knées, and desired the king that for the loue he hare to his young sonne Garinter, whome she brought into the world, that hee woulde graunt her a request, which was this, that it would please his maiestie to send sixe of his noble men whome he best trusted, to the Isle of Delphos, there to enquire of the Oracle of Apollo, whether she had committed adultery with Egistus, or conspired to poyson him with Franion: and if the God Apollo, who by his deuine essence knew al secrets, gaue answere that she was guiltie, she were content to suffer any tor­ment, were it neuer so terrible. The request was so reasonable, that Pandosto could not for shame deny it, vnlesse he woulde d [...]e counted of all his subiects more wilfull then wise, he therefore a­gréed, that with as much speede as might be there should be cer­taine Embassadores dispat [...]ed to the Ile of Delphost [...]d in the meane season be commanded that his wife should be kept in close prison. Bellaria hauing obtained this graunt, was now more [Page] carefull for her little babe that floated [...] the Seas, then [...]| full for her owne mishap. For of that she doubted: of her selfe shee was assured, knowing if Apollo should giue Oracle according to the thoughts of the hart, yet the sentence should goe one her sid [...], such was the clearenes of her minde in this case. But Pandosto (whose suspitious head still remained in one song) chose out six of his Nobility, whom hee knew were scarse indifferent men in the Quéenes behalfe, and prouiding all things fit for their iourney, sent them to Delphos: they willing to fulfill the Kinges com­maund, and desirous to see the situation and custome of the Iland, dispatched their affaires with as much spéede as might be, and em­barked themselues to this voyage, which ( the wind and weather seruing fit for their purpose) was soone ended. For within three weekes they arriued at Delphos, where they were no sooner set on lande, but with great deuotion they went to the Temple of A­pollo, and there offring sacrifice to the GOD, and giftes to the Priest, as the custome was, they humbly craued an aunswere of their demaund: they had not long kneeled at the Altar, but Apol­lo with a loude voice saide: Bohemians, what you finde behinde the Alter take, and depart. They forthwith obeying the Oracle founde a scroule of parchment, wherein was written these words in letters of Golde.

The Oracle.

SVspition is no proofe: Iealousie is an vnequall Iudge: Bellaria is chast: Egistus blamelesse: Franion a true subiect: Pandosto treacherous: his Babe an innocent, and the King shal liue without an heire: if that which is lost be not founde.

AS soone as they had taken out this scroule, the Priest of the God commaunded them that they should not presume to read it, before they came in the presēce of Pandosto: vnlesse they would incurre the displeasure of Apollo. The Bohemian Lords care­fully obeying his commaund, taking their leaue of the Priest, with great reuerence departed out of the Temple, and went [...] their ships, and assoone as wind would permit them sailed toward [Page] Bohemia, whither in short time they safely arriued, & with great tryumph issuing out of their Ships, went to the Kinges pall [...]e, whom they found in his chamber accompanied with other Noble men: Pandosto no sooner saw them, but with a merrie counte­naunce he welcomed them home, as king what newes: they tolde his Maiestie that they had receiued an aunswere of the God writ­ten in a scroule, b [...]t with this charge, yt they should not reade the contents before they came in the presence of the King, and with that they deliuered him the parchment: but his Noble men intrea­ted him that sith therein was contayned either the safetie of his Wiues life, and honestly, or her death, and perpetuall infamy, that he would haue his Nobles and Commons assembled in the iudge­ment Hall, where the Queene brought in as prysoner, should heare the contents: if shee were found guilty by the Oracle of the God, then all should haue cause to thinke his rigour proceeded of due desert: if her Grace were found faultlesse, then shee should bee cleared before all, sith she had bene accused openly. This pleased the King so, that he appointed the day, and assembled al his Lords and Commons, and caused the Quéene to be brought in before the Iudgement seate, commaunding that the inditement shoulde bee read, wherein she was accused of adultery with Egistus, and of conspiracy with Franion: Bellaria hearing the contentes, was no whit astonished, but made this chearefull aunswer.

IF the deuine powers bee priuy to humane actions (as no doubt they are) I hope my patience shall make fortune blushe, and my vnspotted life shall staine spightfully discredit. For although lying Report hath sought to appeach mine honor, and Suspition hath intended to soyle my credit with infamie: yet where Uertue kee­peth the Forte, Report and suspition may assayle, but neuer sack: how I haue led my life before Egistus comming, I appeale Pan­dosto to the Gods, & to thy conscience. What hath passed betwixt him and me, the Gods onely know, and I hope will presently re­ueale: that I loued Egistus I can not denie, that I honored him I shame not to confesse: to the one I was forced by his vertues: to the other for his dignities. But as touching lasci [...]s lust, I say Egistus is honest, and hope my selfe to be found without spot: for Franion. I can neither accuse him, nor excuse him: for I was not [Page] priuie to his departure, and that this is true which I haue heere rehearsed, I referre my selfe to the deuine Oracle.

BEllaria had no sooner sayd, but the King commaunded that one of his Dukes should reade the contentes of the scroule: which after the commons had heard, they gaue a great showt, reioysing and clapping their hands that the Quéene was cleare of that false accusation: but the King whose conscience was a witnesse against him of his witlesse furie, and false suspected Iealousle, was so a­shamed of his rashe folly, that he intreated his nobles to perswade Bellaria to forgiue, and forget these iniuries: promising not one­ly to shew himselfe a loyall and louing husband, but also to recon­cile himselfe to Egistus, and Franion: reuealing then before them all the cause of their secrete flighte, and how treacherously hee thought to haue practised his death, if the good minde of his Cupbearer had not preuented his purpose. As thus he was rela­ting the whole matter, there was worde brought him that his young sonne Garinter was sodainly dead, which newes so soone as Bellaria heard, surcharged before which extreame ioy, and now suppressed with heauie sorrowe, her vitall spirites were so stopped, that she fell downe presently dead, & could be neuer reuiued. This sodaine sight so appalled the Kinges Sences, that he sanck from his seate in a soūd so as he was fayne to be carried by his nobles to his Pallace, where hee lay by the space of three dayes without speache: his commons were as men in dispaire, so diuersly [...] ­sed: there was nothing but mourning and lamentation to be heard throughout al Bohemia: their young Prince dead, their vertuous Queene bereaued of her life, and their King and Soueraigne in great hazard: this tragicall discourse of fortune so daunted them, as they went like shadowes, not men: yet somewhat to comfort their heauie hearts, they heard that Pandosto was come to him­selfe, and had recouered his speache, who as in a fury brayed out these bitter speaches.

O Miserable Pandosto, what surer witnesse then conscience? What thoughts more sower then suspition? What plague more bad then Iealousie? Unnaturall actions offend the Gods, more than men, and causelesse crueltie, neuer scapes without re­uenge: [Page] [...] recall I cannot [...] the conscience, suppressing reason, and inciting rage: a worse pas­sion then phrensie, a greater plague than madnesse. Are the Gods iust: Then let them reuenge such brutishe crueltie: my innocent Babe I haue drowned in the Seas: my louing wife I haue slaine with slaunderous suspition: my trusty friend I haue sought to be­tray, and yet the Gods are slacke to plague such offences. Oh vn­iust Apollo, Pandosto is the man that hath committed the faulte: why should Garinter, séely childe, abide the paine: Well sith the Gods meane to prolong my dayes, to increase my dolour, I will offer my guiltie bloud a sacrifice to those sackles soules, whose liues are lost by my rigorous folly. And with that he reached at a Rapier, to haue murdered himselfe, but his Péeres being present, stayed him from such a bloudy acte: perswading him to think, that the Common-wealth consisted on his safetie, and that those shéepe could not but perish, that wanted a shéepheard: wishing, that if hée would not liue for himselfe, yet he should haue care of his subiects, and to put such fancies out of his minde, sith in sores past h [...]lp, salues doe not heale, but hurt [...]nd in thinges past c [...]re, care is a [...]rāsiue: with these and such like perswasions the Kinge was o­uercome, and began somewhat to quiet his minde: so that assoo [...]e as h [...] could goe abroad, hée caused his wife to bée embalmed, and wrapt in lead with her young sonne Garinter: erecting a rich an [...] famous Sepulchre, wherein hée intombed them both, making such sollenme obsequies at her funeral, as al Bohemia might per­ceiue he did greatly repent him of his forepassed folly: causing this Epitaph to be ingrauen on her Tombe in letters of Golde:

¶The Epitaph.
Here lyes entombde Bellaria faire,
Falsly accused to be vnchaste:
Cleared by Apollos sacred doome,
Yet slaine by Iealousie at last.
What ere thou be, that passest by,
Cursse him that causde this Q [...]eene to die

[Page]THis Epitaph being ingr [...]uen, Pandosto would once a-day re­paire to the Tombe, and there with watry plaintes bewaile his misfortune: coueting no other companion but sorrowe, nor no other harmonie, but re [...]entance. But leauing him to his dolorous passions, at last let vs come to shewe the tragicall discourse of the young infant.

WHo béeing tossed with Winde, and Waue, floated two whole daies without succour, readie at euery puffe to bée drowned in the Sea, till at last the Tempest ceassed, and the little boate was driuen with the tyde into the Coast of Sycilia, where sticking vppon the sandes, it rested. Fortune minding to be wan­ton, willing to shewe that as she hath wrinckles on her [...]owes: so shée hath dimplés in her chéekes: thought after so many sower lookes, to lend a fayned smile, and after a puffing storme, to bring a pretty calme: shee began thus to dally. It fortuned a poore mer­cenary Shéepheard, that dwelled in Sycilia, who got his liuing by other mens flockes, missed one of his shéepe, and thinking it had stra [...]ed into the cou [...]rt, that was hard by, sought very diligently to [...]ind that which he could not see, fearing either that the Wolues, or Eagles had vndone him (for hée was so poore, as a shéepe was halfe his substaunce) wandered downe toward the Sea cliffes, to sée if pl [...]chaunce the shéepe was browsing on the sea Iu [...], where­on the [...] [...]reatly doe féede, but not finding her there, as he was rea­dy to returne to his flocke, hée heard a childe crie: but knowing there was no house nere, he thought he had mistakē ye sound, & yt it was the ble [...]yng of his Shéepe. Wherefore looking more nar­rowely, as he cast his eye to the Sea, he spyed a little boate, from whence as he attentiuely listened, he might heare the cry to come: standing a good while in a maze, at last he went to the shoare, and wading to the boate, as he looked in, he saw the little babe lying al alone, many to die for hunger and colde, wrapped in a Mantle of Scarlet, richely imbrodered with Golde, and hauing a chayne a­bout the necke. The Shéepeheard, who before had neuer séene so faire a Babe, not so riche Iewels, thought assuredly, that it was some little God, and began with great deuocion to knock on his breast. The Babe, who wrythed with ye head, to seeke for the pay, began againe to cry afresh, whereby the poore man knew that it [Page] was a Childe, which by some sinister meanes was driuen thither by distresse of weather: maruailing how such a seely infant, which by the Mantle, and the Chayne, could not be but borne of Noble Parentage, should be so hardly crossed with deadly mishap. The poore sheepheard perplexed thus with diuers thoughts, tooke pit­ty of the childe, and determined with himselfe to carry it to the King, that there it might be brought vp, according to the worthi­nesse of birth: for his ability coulde not afforde to foster it, though his good minde was willing to further it. Taking therefore the Chylde in his armes, as he foulded the mantle together, the bet­ter to defend if from colde, there fell downe at his foote a very faire and riche purse, wherein he founde a great summe of golde: which sight so reuiued the shepheards spirits, as he was greatly rauished with ioy, and daunted with feare: Ioyfull to see such a summe in his power, and fearefull if it should be knowne, that it might bréede his further daunger. Necessitie wisht him at the least, to retaine the Golde, though he would not kéepe the childe: the simplicity if his conscience feared him from such deceiptfull briberie. Thus was the poore manne perplexed with a doubtfull Dilemma, vn­til at last the couetousnesse of the coyne ouercame him: for what will not the gréedy desire of Golde cause a man to doe? So that he was resolued in himselfe to foster the child, and with the summe to relieue his want: resting thus resolute in this point, he left sée­king of his shéepe, and as couertly, and secretly as he coulde, went by a by-way to his house, least any of his neighbours should per­ceaue his carriage: assoone as he was got home, entring in at the doore, the childe began to crie, which his wife hearing, and séeing her husband with a yong babe in his armes, began to bée some­what ielousse, yet marueiling that her husband should be so wan­ton abroad, sith he was so quiet at home: but as women are natu­rally giuen to beléeue the worste, so his wife thinking it was some bastard: beganne to crow against her goodman, and taking vp a c [...]gel (for the most maister went bréethles) sware solenmly that shee would make clubs trumps, if hee brought any bastard brat within her dores. The goodman seeing his wife in her maiestie with her mate in her hand, thought it was time to bowe for [...]eare of blowes, & desired her to be quiet, for there was non such matter: but if she could holde her peace, they were made for euen and with [Page] that he told her the whole matter, how he had found the childe in a little boat, without any succ [...]r, wrapped in that costly mantle, and hauing that rich chain [...] about the neck: but at last when he shewed her the purse full of gold, she began to simper something swéetely, and taking her husband about the neck, kissed him after her homely fashion: saying that she hoped God had séene their want, and now ment to reliéeue their pouerty, and séeing they could get no children, had sent them this little babe to be their heire. Take héede in any case (quoth the shep­herd) that you be secret, and blabbe it not out when you méete with your gossippes, for if you doe, we are like not only to loose the Golde and Iewels, but our other goodes and liues. Tush (quoth his wife) profit is a good hatch before the doore: feare not, I haue other things to talke of then of this: but I pray you let vs lay vp the money surely, and the Iewels, least by any mishap it be spied. After that they had set all things in order, the shepheard went to his shéepe with a merry note, and the good wife learned to sing lull [...]by at home with her yong babe, wrapping it in a homely blanket in sted of a rich mantle: nourishing in so clenly and carefully as it began to bee a iolly girle, in so much that they began both of them to be very fond of it, séeing, as it waxed in age, so it increased in beauty. The shepheard euery night at his comming home, would sing and daunce it on his knée, and prattle, that in a short time it be­gan to speake and call him Dad, and her Mam: at last when it grew to ripe yeeres, that it was about seuen yeares olde, the shepheard lest keeping of other mens sheepe, and with the money he found in the purse, he bought him the lease of a pret­ty farme, and got a smal flocke of shéepe, which when Fawnia (for so they named the child) came to the age of ten yeres, hee set her to keepe, and shee with such diligence performed her charge as the sheepe prospered marueilously vnder her hand. Fawnia thought Porrus had ben her father, and Mopsa her mother, (for so was the shepheard and his wife called (honou­red and obeyed them with such reuerence, that all the neigh­bours praised the du [...]tifully obedience of the child. Porrus grewe in short time to bee a man of some wealth, and cre [...]ite: for fortune so fauoured him in hauing no charge but Fawnia, [Page] that he began to purchase land, intending after [...] giue it to his daughter: so that diuerse rich farmer [...] sonne [...] came as wo [...]rs to his house [...] for Fawnia was something [...] ­ly attired, beeing of such singular beautie and excellent [...]te, that whoso sawe her, would [...] thought, shee had bene some heauenly nymph, and not a mortal creature: in so much, that when she came to the age of six [...] yeeres, shee so increased with exquisite perfe [...]tion both of body and minde, as her natu­ral disposition did bewray that she was borne of some high pa­rentage: but the people thinking she was daughter to the she­phard Porrus; tested only amazed at hir beauty and [...]e: yea she won such fauour and commendations in euery mans eye, as her beautie was not onely praysed in the countrey, but also spoken of in the Court: yet such was her submisse modestie, that although her praise daily increased, her mind was no whit puffed vp with pride, but humbled her selfe as became a coun­try mayde and the daughter of a poore sheepheard. E [...]ry day she went forth with her sheepe to the field, keeping them with such care and diligence, as al men thought she was verie pain­full, defending her face from the heat of the sunne with [...] o­ther vale, but with a garland made of bowes and flowers: which atire became her so gallantly, as shee seemed to bee the Goddesse Flora her selfe for beauty [...] Fortune, wh [...] al this while had shewed a frendly face, began now to turne her back, and to shewe a lowring countenance, intending as she had gi­uen Fawnia a flenderchecke, so she woulde g [...] her a harder mate: to bring which to passe, she layd her trains on this wise. Egistus had but one only son called Dorastus, aboue ye age of twenty yeeres: a Prince so decked and adorned with the gifts of nature: so fraught with beauty and vertuous quali­ties, as not onely his father ioyed to haue so goode a sonne, [...] al his commons reioyced that God had lent them such a noble Prince to succeede in the Kingdom. Egistus placing all his ioy in the perfection of his sonne: seeing that hee was now mariage-able, sent Embassadors to the King of Denmarke, to intreate a mari [...]ge betweene him and his daughter, who wil­lingly consenting, made answer, that the [...] please Egistus with his sonne to come into Denmarke, hee doubted [Page] not, but they shoulde agrée vpon reasonable conditions. E­gistus resting satisfied with this friendly answer, thought con­uenient in the meane time to breake with his sonne: finding therfore on a day fit oportunity he spake to him in these father­ly tearmes.

DOrastus, thy youth warneth me to preuent the worst, and mine age to prouide the best. Oportunities neglected, are signes of folly: actions measured by time, are seldome bitten with repentance: thou art young, and I olde: age hath taught me that, which thy youth cannot yet conceiue.

I therefore will counsell thee as a father, hoping thou wilt obey as a childe. Thou séest my white hayres are blossomes for the graue, and thy freshe colour fruite for time and for­tune, so that it behooueth me to thinke how to dye, and for thée to care how to liue. My crowne I must leaue by death, and thou enioy my Kingdome by succession, wherein I hope thy vertue and prowesse shall bee such, as though my subiectes want my person, yet they shall see in thee my perfection. That nothing either may faile to satisfie thy minde, or increase thy dignities: the onely care I haue, is to see thee well marryed before I die, and thou become olde.

Dorastus who from his infancy, delighted rather to die with Mars in the Fielde, then to dally with Venus in the Chamber: fearing to displease his father, and yet not willing to be wed, made him this reuerent answere.

SIr, there is no greater bond then duetie, nor no straiter law then nature: disobedience in youth is often galled with de­spight in age. The commaund of the father ought to be a con­straint to the childe: so parentes willes are laws, so they passe not all lawes: may it please your Grace therefore to appoint whome I shall loue, rather then by deniall I should be appea­ched of [...]re:I rest content to loue, though it bee the only thing I hate.

Egistus hearing his sonne to [...] from the [...], be­gan to be somewhat chollericke, another [...].

[Page]WHat Dorastus canst thou not [...] cynicall passion of pr [...]ne de [...]res, or p [...]uish [...] ­wardnesse. What dorst thou thinke thy selfe to good for all, or none good inough for thee: I tel thee, Do­rastus, there is nothing sweeter then youth, nor swifter de­creasing, while it is increasing. Time past with folly may bee repented, but not recalled. If thou marrie in age, thy w [...]es freshe couloures will breede in thee dead thoughtes and suspi­cion, and thy white hayres her lothe somnesse and sorrowe. For Venus affections are not fed with Kingdomes, or treasures, but with youthfull conceits and sweete amours. Vulcan was allotted to shake the tree, but Mars allowed to reape the fruit. Yeelde Dorastus to thy Fathers perswasions, which may preuent thy perils. I haue chosen thee a Wife, faire by nature, royall by birth, by vertues famous, learned by education, and rich by possessiōs, so that it is hard to iudge whether her boun­ty, or fortune, her beauty, or vertue, bee of greater force: I mean [...] Dorastus, Euphania Daughter and h [...]ire to the King of Denmarke.

EGistus pausing here a while, looking when his son should make him answere, and seeing that he stoode still as one in a trance, he shooke him vp thus sharply.

WEll Dorastus take he [...]de, the tree Alpya wasteth not with fire, but withereth with the dewe: that which loue nourisheth not, perisheth with hate: if thou like Euphania, thou breedest my content, and in louing her thou shalt haue my loue [...] otherwise; and with that hee flung from his sonne in a race leauing him a sorrowfullman, in that he had by deniall displeased his Father, and halfe angrie with him selfe that hee coulde not yeelde to that passion, whereto both reason and his Father perswaded him: but see how fortune is plumed with times feathers, and [...]ow shee can minister st [...]ge causes to breede straunge effectes.

It happened not long [...]fter this that [...]ng of all the farmers D [...]hters [...] whither F [...] was also bidden as the mistres of the feast, who [...] [Page] her selfe, in her best garments, went among the rest of her com­panions to the merry meeting [...] there spending the day in such homely pastimes as shephea [...]s vse. As the euening grew on, and their sportes ceased, ech taking their leaue at other, Faw­nia desiring one of her companions to beare her companie, went home by the flocke, [...]o see if they were well folded, and as they returned, it fortuned that Dorastus (who all that daye had bene hawking, and [...]de store of game) incountred by the way these two mayds, and casting his eye sodenly on Fawnia he was halfe afraid, fearing that with Acteon he had seene Diana, for hee thought such [...]uisite perfection could not be founde many mortall creature. As thus he stoode in [...] maze, one of his Pages told him, that the maide with the gar­land on her head was Fawnia the faire shepheard, whose beau­ty was so much talked of in the Court. Dorastus desirous to see if nature had adorned her minde with any inward quali­ties, as she had decked her body with outward shape began to question with her whose daughter she was of what age and how she had but trained vp, who answered him with such ma­dess reuerence and sharpnesse of witte, that Dorastus thought her outward beautie was but a counterfait to darken her in­ward qualities, wondring how so courtly behauiour could be found in so simple a cottage, and cursing fortune that had sha­dowed wit and beauty with such hard fortune. As thus he held her a long whise with that. Beauty seeing him at discouer [...] thaught not to lose the [...]tage, but strooke him in deepely with an inuenomed shafte, as he wholy lost his libertie, and be­came a slaue to Loue, which before containned Loue, glad now to gaze on a p [...]ore shephea [...]d, who before refused the offer of a riche Princesse: for the perfection of Fawnia had so fi [...]ed his fancie as he felt his mind greatly chaunged, and his affections altered, cursing Loue that had wrought such a chaun [...]e, and blaming the basenesse of his mind that would make such a choice [...] but thinking these were but passion [...] that migh [...] be thrust out at pleasure to auoid the Syren that inchaunted him [...] his horse and had this f [...]

Fawnia (who all this while had marked the [...] [Page] of Dorastus) seeing his face [...] and each time so perfectly frame [...], began greatly to praise his perfection, commending him so long, till she found her sel [...]e faultie, and perceiued that if she waded but a little further, she might slippe ouer her shooes: shee therefore seeking to quench that fire which neuer was put out, went home, and [...]n [...]ing her selfe not well at ease, got her to bed [...] where casting a [...]sand thoughts in her head, she could take no rest: for if she wake [...], she begā to call to minde his beautie, and thinking to beguile such thoughts with [...]eepe, [...]he [...]en dreamed of his perfection: pest­red thus with these vnacquainted passions, she passed the night as she could in short [...]umbers.

Dorastus (who all this while rode with a flea in his eare) coulde not by any meanes forget the sweete fauour of Fawnia, but rested [...]o bewitched with her wit and beauty, as hee could take no rest. He felt fancy to giue the a [...]ault, and his woun­ded mind reap [...]te to yeeld as vanquished: yet he began with di­uers [...]on [...]rations to suppresse this frantick affecti [...] ca [...]ing to minde, that Fawnia was a [...]heph [...]ard, one not worthy to bee [...] at of a Prince, much lesse to bee loued of such a poten­tate thinking what a discredite it were to himselfe, and what a griefe it would be to his father, blaming fortune and acc [...]ng his owne [...] that shoulde bee so fond as but once to [...]ast a gla [...]. As thus he was raging against [...]mselfe, Loue fearing if shee dallied long, to [...]ept more nigh, and gaue him such a fresh wounde as it pra [...]t him at the heart, that he was faine to yeeld, maugre his [...]a [...] e, and to forsake the companie and gette him to his cham­ber: where being solemnly set, hee burst into these passionate [...]armes.

"Ah Dorastus, art tho [...] alone? No not alone, wosste t [...]o [...] art tired with these vnacquainted passions. Yeld to fancy, thou can [...] not by thy fathers coun [...]e, but in a frenzie t [...]o [...] art by [...]. THy father were content [...] ­ [...] [Page] by reason without Lawe [...] and therefore aboue all Law.

How now Dorastus, why [...] thou blaze that with mai­ses, which thou hast cause to blaspheme with curses. Yet why should they curse Loue that are in Loue:

Blush Dorastus at thy fortune, thy choice, thy loue: thy thou [...] [...]s cannot be vttered without shame, nor thy affections without discredit. Ah Fawnia, sweete Fawnia, thy beautie Fawnia.

Shamest not thou Dorastus to name, one vnfitte for thy birth, thy dignities, thy Kingdomes? Dye Dorastus, Doras­tus die, better hadst thou perish with high desires, then liue in base thoughts. Yea but, beautie must be obeyed because it is beauty, yet framed of the Gods to feede the eye, not to fatter the heart.

Ah but he that striueth against Loue, shooteth with them of Scyrum against the winde, and with the Cockeatrice pecketh against the steele. I will therefore obey, becaue I must obey. Fawnia, yea Fawnia shal be my fortune, in spight of fortune. The Gods aboue disdain not to loue womē beneath. Pho [...]bus liked Sibilla, Iupiter Io, and why not I then Fawnia, one something inferiour to these in birth, but farre superiour to them in beautie, horne to be a Shepheard, but worthy to be a Goddesse.

Ah Dorastus, wilt thou so forget thy selfe as to suffer af­fection to suppresse wisedome, and Loue to violate thine ho­nonour? How sower will thy choice be to thy Father, for [...] ­full to thy Subiects, to thy friends a griefe, most gladsome to thy foes? Subdue then thy affections, and seaseto loue her whome thou couldest not loue, vnlesse blinded with too much loue. Tushe I talke to the wind, and in seeking to preuent the causes. I further the effectes. I will yet praise Fawnia, ho­nour, yea and loue Fawnia, and at this day followe content, not counsaile. D [...] Dorastus, thou canst but repent: and with that his Page came into the chamber, whereupon hee ceased from his complaints houing that time would weare out that, which fo [...]une had wrought. As thus he was pained, so poore Fawnia [...] diuersly perplexed: for the next morning get­t [...] [...] very earely, shee went to her sheepe, thinking with [Page] hard [...] to passe [...] her [...] (poore soule) she was more tryed with [...] beganne to assault her, in so much [...] as she [...] vpon the side of a hill, she began to accuse her o [...]e folly in these [...].

INfortunate Fawnia, and therefore infortunate because Fawnia, thy shepherds hooke sheweth thy poore [...], thy proud desires an aspiring mind: the one declareth thy [...], the other thy pride. No bastard hauke must so [...]re so hie as the Hobbie, [...]o Fowle gaze against the Sunne but the Eagle, [...] wrought against nature reape despight, and [...] aboue Fortune disdaine.

Fawnia, thou art a shepheard, daughter to poore Porrus: if thou rest content with this, thou art like to stande, if thou climbe thou art sure to fal. The Herb Anita growing higher [...] weede. Nylus flodding more then twelue cubits procureth a dearth. Daring affect [...] that passe measure, ar [...] cut shorte by time or fortune: suppresse then Fawnia those thoughes which thou [...] to expresse. But [...] Fawnia, loue is a Lord, who will comm [...] by pow­er, and constraine by force.

Dorastus, a [...] Dorastus is the man I loue, the woor [...]e is thy [...] the lesse [...] hast thou to hope. Will Eagles catch [...]; will Cedars stoupe to be brambles, or mighty Princes [...] at such homely tru [...]es. No, no, thinke this, Dorastus [...], hee is a Prince respecting his [...], thou a beggars brat forgetting thy calling. Cease then not onely to say, but to thinke to loue Dorastus, and dis­semble thy loue Fawnia, for better it were to dye with griefe, then to liue with shame: yet in despight of loue I will sigh, to see if I can sigh out loue. Fawnia somewhat appea [...] her griefes with these pithie perswa [...]s, began after her [...] manner to walke about her shéepe, and to [...] [Page] the very ve [...]inies did deny herto [...]erine.

But Dorastus was more impatient in his passions: for loue so fiercely assayled him, that neither companie, nor mu­sicke could mittigate his martirdome, but did rather far the more increase his maladie: shame would not let him craue counsaile in this case, nor feare of his Fathers displeasure re­ueyle it to any secrete friend: but hee was saine to make a Se­cretarie of himselfe, and to participate his thoughtes with his owne troubled mind. Lingring thus awhile in doubtfull sus­pence, at last stealing secretely from the court without either men or Page, hée went to sée if hée coulde espie Fawnia wal­king abroade in the field: but as one hauing a great deale more skill to retriue the partridge with his spaniels, then to hunt after such a straunge pray, he sought, but was little the better: which crosse lucke draue him into a great choler, that he be­gan both to accuse loue and fortune. But as he was readie to retire, he sawe Fawnia sitting all alone vnder the side of a hill, making a garland of such homely flowres as the fields did afoord. This sight so reuiued his spirites that he drewe nigh, with more iudgement to take a view of her singular perfecti­on, which hée found to bée such, as in that countrey attyre shée stained al the courtlie Dames of Sicilia. While thus he stoode gazing with pearcing lookes on her surpassing beautie, Fawnia cast her eye aside, and spyed Dorastus, with sudden fight made the poore girle to blush, and to die her christal chéeks with a vermilion red: which gaue her such a grace, as she sée­med farre more beautiful. And with that she rose vp, saluting the Prince with such modest curtesies, as he wondred how a country maid could afoord such courtly behauiour. Dorastus, repaying her curtesie with a smiling countenance, began to parlie with her on this manner.

FAire maide (quoth he) either your want is great, or a shepheards life very swéete, that your delight is in such country labors. I can not conceiue what pleasure you should take, vnlesse you meane to imitate the nymph [...], being you, selfe so like a Nymph. To put me out of thi [...] me what is to be commended in a shepherdes l [...]e, [...] [Page] pleasures you haue to counter [...]aile these drudgi [...]g laboures. Fawnia with blushing face made him this ready aunswere.

SIr, what richer state then content, or what swéeter life then quiet, we shepheards are not borne to honor, nor beholding vnto beautie, the lesse care we haue to feare fame or fortune: we co [...]t our attire braue inough if warme inough, and our foode dainty, if to suffice nature: our greatest enemie is the wolfe: out only care in safe kéeping our flock: in stead of court­ly ditties we spend the daies with cuntry songs: our amorous conceites are homely thoughtes: delighting as much to talke of Pan and his cuntrey prankes, as Ladies to tell of Venus and her want on toyes. Our toyle is in shifting the fouldes, and looking to the Lambes easie labours: oft singing and tel­ling tales, homely pleasures: our greatest welth not to [...]ouer, out honor not to climbe, our quiet not to care. Enuie looketh not so lowe as shepheards: Shepheards gaze not so high as ambition: we are rich in that we are poore with content, and proud onely in this that we haue no cause to be proud.

THis wittie answer of Fawnia so inflamed Dorastus fancy, as he commended him selfe for making so good a choyce, thinking, if her birth were aunswerable to her wit and beauty, that she were a fitte mate for the most famous Prince in the worlde. He therefore beganne to sifte her more narrowely on this manner.

FAwnia, I sée thou art content with Country labours, be­cause thou knowest not Courtly pleasures: I commend thy wit, and pitty thy want: but wilt thou leaue thy Fathers Cot­tage, and serue a Courtlip Mistresse.

Sir (quoth she) beggers ought not to striue against for­tune, nor to gaze after honour, least either their fall be greater, or they become blinde. I am borne to toile for the Court, not in the Court, my nature vnfit for their nurture, better liue th [...] in meane degrée, than in high disdaine.

[...]ll [...], Fawnia (quoth Dorastus) I gesse at thy [...], thou art in loue with some Countrey Shep­hearde.

[Page]No sir (quoth she) shepheards cannot loue, that are so simple, and maides may not loue that are so young.

Nay therefore (quoth Dorastus) maides must loue, because they are young, for Cupid is a child, and Venus, though olde, is painted with fresh coloures.

I graunt (quoth she) age may be painted with new shadowes, and youth may haue imperfect affections: but what arte con­cealeth in one, ignorance reuealeth in the other. Dorastus see­ing Fawnia helde him so harde, thought it was vaine so long to beate about the bush: therefore he thought to haue giuen her a fresh charge: but he was so preuented by certaine of his men, who missing their maister, came possing to séeke him: sée­ing that he was gone foorth all alone, yet before they drewe so [...]ie that they might heare their talke, he vsed these spéeches.

Why Fawnia, perhappes I loue thée, and then thou must néedes yéelde, for thou knowest I can commaunde and con­straine. Trueth sir (quoth she) but not to loue: for constrained loue is force, not loue: and know this sir, mine honesty is such, as I hadde rather dye then be a Concubine euen to a King, and my birth is so base as I am vnfitte to bée a wife to a poore farmer. Why then (quoth he) thou canst not loue Dorastus? Yes saide Fawnia, when Dorastus becomes a shepheard, and with that the presence of his men broke off their parle, so that he went with them to the palace, and left Fawnia sitting still on the hill side, who séeing that the night drewe on, shifted her fouldes, and busied her selfe about other worke to driue away such fond fancies as began to trouble her braine. But all this could not preuaile, for the beautie of Dorastus had made such a déepe impression in her heart, as it could not be worne out without cracking, so that she was forced to blame her owne folly in this wise.

AH Fawnia, why doest thou gaze against the Sunne, or catch at ye Winde: starres are to be looked at with the eye, not reacht at with the hande: thoughts are to be measured by Fortunes not by desires [...] falles come not by sitting low, but by climing too hie: what then shall al feare to fal, because some [Page] happe to fall? No lucke commeth by lot, and fortune [...] those thréedes which the destinies spin. Thou art fau [...] Fawnia of a prince, and yet thou art so fond to reiect desired fa­uours: thou hast deniall at thy tonges end, and desire at thy hearts bottome: a womans fault, to spurne at that with her foote, which she greedily catcheth at with her hand. Thou lo­uest Dorastus, Fawnia, & yet séemest to lower. Take h [...]de, if hée retire, thou wilt repent: for vnles hée loue, thou canst but dye. Dye then Fawnia: for Dorastus doth but iest: the Lyon neuer prayeth on the mouse, nor Faultons stoupe not to dead stales. Sit downe then in sorrow, ceasse to loue, and content thy selfe, that Dorastus will vouchsafe to flatter Fawnia, though not to fancy Fawnia. Heigh ho: Ah foole, it were séemelier for thée to whistle as a Shepheard, then to sigh as a louer, and with that shè ceassed from these perplexed passions, folding her shéepe, and [...]ying home to her poore Cottage. But such was the incessant sorrow of Dorastus to thinke on the witte and beautie of Fawnia, and to sée how fond hée was be­ing a Prince: and how froward she was being a beggar, then he began to loose his wonted appetite, to looke pale and [...]an: in stead of mirth to féede on melancholy: for courtly [...]aunces to vse cold dumpes: in so much that not onely his owne men, but his father and all the court began to maruaile at his sud­den change, thinking that some lingring sickenes had brought him into this state: wherfore he caused Phisitions to come, but Dorastus neither would let them minister, nor so much as suffer them to sée his vrine: but remained stil so oppressed with these passions, as he feared in him selfe a farther inconueni­ence. His honor wished him to ceasse from such folly, but Loue forced him to follow fancy [...] yea and in despight of honour, loue wonne the conquest, so that his hot desires caused him to find new deuises, for hée presently made himselfe a shepheards coate, that he might goe vnknowne, and with the lesse suspiti­on to prattle with Fawnia, and conueied it secretly into a thick groue hard ioyning to the Pallace, whether finding fit time, and oportunity, he went all alone, and putting off his princely apparel, got on those shepheards roabes, and t [...]g a great hooke in his hand (which he had also gotten) he w [...] very [...] ­ciently [Page] to stode out the mistres of his affection: but as he went by the way, séeing himselfe clad in such vnseemely ragges, he began to smile at his owne folly, and to reproue his fondnesse, in these tearmes.

WEll said Dorastus, thou kéepest a right decorum, base desires and homely attires: thy thoughtes are fit for none but a shepheard, and thy apparell such as only become a shepheard. A strang change from a Prince to a pesant? What is it? thy wretched fortune or thy wilful folly? Is it thy cursed destinies? Or thy crooked desires, that appointeth thée this penance? Ah Dorastus thou canst but loue, and vnlesse thou loue, thou art like to perish for loue. Yet fond foole, choose flow­ers, not weedes: Diamondes, not peables: Ladies which may honour thée, not shepheards which may disgrace thée. Venus is painted in silkes, not in ragges: and Cupid treadeth on dis­dame, when he reacheth at dignitie. And yet Dorastus shame not at thy shepheards wéede: the heauenly Godes haue some­time earthly thoughtes: Neptune became a Ram, Iupiter a Bul, Apollo a shepheard: they Gods, and yet in loue: and thou a man appointed to loue.

Deuising thus with himselfe, hée drew nigh to the place where Fawnia was kéeping her shepe, who casting her eye a­side, and seeing such a manerly shepheard, perfectly limmed, and comming with so good a pace, she began halfe to forget Dorastus, & to fauor this prety shepheard, whom she thought shee might both loue and obtaine: but as shee was in these thoughts, she perceiued then, it was the yong prince Dora­stus, wherfore she rose vp, and reuerently saluted him. Dora­stus taking her by the hand, repaied her curtesie with a sweete kisse, and praying her to sit downe by him, he began thus to lay the batterie.

IF thou maruell Fawnia at my strange attyre, thou woul­dest more muse at my vnaccustomed thoughtes: the one dis­graceth but my outward shape, the other disturbeth my in­ward sences. I loue Fawnia, and therefore what loue liketh I cannot mislike. Fawnia thou hast promised to loue, and I [Page] hope thou wilt performe no lesse: I haue fulfilled thy request, and now thou canst but graunt my desire. Thou wert con­tent to loue Dorastus when he ceast to be a Prince; and to be­come a shepheard, and see I haue made the change, and there­fore not to misse of my choice.

TRueth, quoth Fawnia, but all that weare Cooles are not Monkes: painted Eagles are pictures, not Eagles, Zeusis Grapes were like Grapes, yet shadowes: rich cloth­ing make not princes: nor homely attyre beggers: shepheards are not called shepheardes, because they were hookes and bagges: but that they are borne poore, and liue to keepe sheepe, so this attire hath not made Dorastus a shepherd, but to steme like a shephherd.

WEll Fawnia, answered Dorastus: were I a shepherd, I could not but like thee, and being a prince I am forst to loue thee. Take heed Fawnia, be not proud of beauties painting, for it is a flower that fadeth in the blossome. Those which disdayne in youth are despised in age: Beauties sha­dowes are trickt vp with times colours, which being set to drie in the sunne are stained with the sunne, scarce pleasing the sight ere they beginne not to be worth the sight, not much vn­like the herbe Ephemeron, which flourisheth in the morning and is withered before the sunne setting: if my desire were a­gainst lawe, thou mightest iustly deny me by reason, but I loue thee Fawnia, not to misuse thee as a Concubine, but to vse thee as my wife: I can promise no more, and meane to performe no lesse.

Fawnia hearing this solemne protestation of Dorastus, could no longer withstand the assault, but yeelded vp the forte in these friendly tearmes.

AH Dorastus, I shame to expresse that thou forcest me with thy sugred speeche to confesse: my base birth causeth the one, and thy high dignities the other. Beggars thoughts ought not to reach so far as Kings, and yet my de [...]es reach as high as Princes, I dare not say Dorastus, I [...] thee, be­cause [Page] I am a shepherd, but the Gods know I haue honored Dorastus (pardon if I say amisse) yea and loued Dorastus with such dutiful affection as Fawnia can performe, or Dora­stus desire: I yeeld, not ouercome with prayers, but with loue, resting Dorastus handmaid ready to obey his wil, if no pre­iudice at all to his honour, nor to my credit.

DOrastus hearing this freendly conclusion of Fawnia em­braced her in his armes, swearing that neither distance, time, nor aduerse fortune should diminish his affection: but that in despight of the destinies he would remaine loyall vnto death. Hauing thus plight their troath each to other, seeing they could not haue the full fruition of their loue in Sycilia for that Egistus consent woulde neuer bee graunted to so meane a match, Dorastus determined assone as time and o­portunitie would giue them leaue, to prouide a great masse of money, and many rich & costly iewels, for the easier cariage, and then to transporte them selues and their treasure into Ita­ly, where they should leade a contented life, vntil, such time as either he could be reconciled to his Father, or els by sucession come to the Kingdome. This deuise was greatly praysed of Fawnia, for she feared if the King his father should but heare of the contract, that his furie would be such as no lesse then death would stand for payment: she therefore tould him, that delay bred daunger: that many mishaps did fall out betweene the cup and the lip, and that to auoid danger, it were best with as­much speed as might be, to passe out of Sycilia, least fortune might preuent their pretence with some newe despight: Do­rastus, whom loue pricked forward with desire, promised to dispatch his affaires with as great hast, as either time or oportunitie would geue him leaue: an so resting vpon this point, after many imbracings and sweete kisses they departed. Do­rastus hauing taken his leaue of his best beloued Fawnia, went to the Groue where hee had his rich apparel, and there vncasting himself as secretly as might be, hiding vp his shep­heards attire, till occasion should serue againe to vse it: hee went to the pallace, shewing by his merrie countenaunce, yt ei­ther the state of his body was amended, or the case of his minde [Page] greatly redressed: Fawnia poore soule was no lesse ioyful, that being a shepheard, fortune had fauoured her so, as to reward her with the loue of a Prince, hoping in time to be aduaunced from the daughter of a poore farmer, to be the wife of a riche King: so that she thought euery houre a yeere, till by their de­parture they might preuent danger, not ceasing still to goe e­uery daye to her sheepe, not so much for the care of her flock, as for the desire she had to see her loue and Lord Dorastus: who oftentimes, when oportunitie would serue, repaired thither to féede his fancy with the sweet content of Fawnias, presence: and although he neuer went to visit her, but in his shepheards ragges, yet his ofte repaire made him not onely suspected, but knowne to diuers of their neighbours: who for the good will they bare to old Porrus, tould him secretly of the matter, wish­ing him to keepe his daughter at home, least she went so oft to the field that shee brought him home a yong sonne: for they feared that Fawnia being so beautifull, the yong Prince would allure her to folly. Porrus was striken into a dump at these newes, so that thanking his neighboures for their good will: hee hyed him home to his wife, and calling her aside, wringing his handes, and shedding foorth teares, he brake the matter to her in these tearmes.

I Am afraid wife, that my daughter Fawnia hath made her selfe so fine, that she will buy repentance too deare. I heare newes, which if they be true, some will wish they had not pro­ued true. It is tould me by my neighbours, that Dorastus the Kinges sonne begins to looke at our daughter Fawnia: which if it be so, I will not geue her a halfepenp for her honestiect the yeeres end. I tell thee wife, now adaies beauty is a great stale to trap yong men, and faire wordes and sweete promises are two great enemies to a maydens honestie: and thou kno­west where poore men intreate, and cannot obtaine, there Princes may commaund, and wil obtaine. Though Kings sonnes daunce in nettes, they may not be seene: but poore mens faultes are spied at a little hole: Well [...] it is a hard case where Kinges lustes are lawes, and that they should binde poore men to that, which they themselues wilfully breake.

[...]

[Page]Peace husband (quoth his wife) take héede what you say: speake no more then you should, least you heare what you would not, great streames are to be stopped by sleight, not by force: and princes to be perswaded by submission, not by rigor: doe what you can, but no more then you may, least in sauing Fawnias maydē-head, you loose your owne head. Take heede I say, it is ill iesting with edged tooles, and had sporting with Kinges. The Wolfe had his skinne puld ouer his eares for but looking into the Lions den. Tush wife (quoth he) thou speakest like a foole, if the King should knowe that Dorastus had begotten our daughter with childe (as I feare it will fall out little better) the Kings furie would be such as no doubt we should both loose our goodes and liues: necessitie therefore hath no lawe, and I will preuent this mischiefe with a newe deuise that is come in my head, which shall neither offend the King, nor displease Dorastus. I meane to take the chaine and the iewels that I found with Fawnia, and carrie them to the King, letting him then to vnderstand how she is none of my daughter, but that I found her beaten vp with the water alone in a little boate wrapped in a riche Mantle, wherein was inclo­sed this treasure. By this meanes I hope the King will take Fawnia into his seruice, and we whatsoeuer chaunceth shal be blamelesse. This deuice pleased the good wife very well, so that they determined assoone as they might know the King at leisure, to make him priuie to this case. In the meane time Dorastus was not slacke in his affaires, but applyed his mat­ters with such diligence, that he prouided all thinges fitte for their iourney. Treasure and Iewels he had gotten great store, thincking there was no better friend then money in a strange countrey: rich attire he had prouided for Fawnia, and because he could not bring the matter to passe with out the helpe and aduise of some one, he made an old seruant of his called Cap­nio, who had serued him from his childhood, priuie to his af­faires: who seeing no perswasions could preuaile to diuert him from his setled determination, gaue his consent and dealt so secretly in the cause, that within short space hee had gotten a ship ready for their passage: the Mariners seeing a fit gale of winde for their purpose, wished Capnio to make no delayes, [Page] least if they pretermitted this good weather, they might stay long ere they had such a fayre winde. Capnio fearing that his negligence should hinder the iourney, in the night time con­ueyed the trunckes full of treasure into the shippe, and by se­crette meanes let Fawnia vnderstand, that the next morning they meant to depart: she vpon this newes slept verie little that night, but gotte vp very early, and wente to her sheepe, looking euery minute when she should see Dorastus, who cari­ed not long, for feare delay might breede daunger, but came as fast as he could gallop, and without any great circumstance tooke Fawnia vp behinde him and rode to the hauen, where the shippe lay, which was not three quarters of a mile distant from that place. He no sooner came there, but the Marriners were readie with their Cockboate to set them aboard, where being coucht together in a Cabben they past away the time in recounting their old loues, til their man Capnio should come. Porrus who had heard that this morning the King would go abroad to take the ayre, called in haste to his wife to bring him his holyday hose and his best Iacket, that he might goe like an honest substantiall man to tell his tale. His Wife a good cleanly wenche, brought him all things fitte, and spungd him vp very handsomlie, giuing him the chaines and Iewels in a little boxe, which Porrus for the more safety put in his bosom. Hauing thus all his trinkets in a readines, taking his staffe in his hand he had his wife kisse him for good lucke, and so hée went towards the Pallace. But as he was going, fortune (who meant to showe him a little false play) preuented his purpose in this wise.

He met by chaunce in his way Capnio, who trudging as fast as he could with a little coffer vnder his arme to the ship, and spying Porrus whome he knewe to be Fawnias Father, going towardes the Pallace, being a wylie fellow, began to doubt the worst, and therefore crost him the way, and askt him whither he was going so earely this morning.

Porrus (who knew by his face that he was one of ye Court) meaning simply, told him that the Kings son Dorastus dealt hardly with him: for he had but one Daughter who was a lit­tle Beautifull, and that his neighboures told him the young [Page] Prince had allured her to folly, he went therefore now to com­plaine to the King how greatly he was abused.

Capnio (who straight way smelt the whole matter) began to soth him in his talke, and said, that Dorastus dealt not like a Prince to spoyle and poore manes daughter in that sort: he therefore would doe the best for him he could, because he knew he was an honest man. But (quoth Capnio) you lose your la­bour in going to the Pallace, for the King meanes this day to take the aire of the Sea, and to goe aboord of a shippe that lies in the hauen, I am going before, you see, to prouide all things in a redinesse, and if you wil follow my counsaile, turne back with me to the hauen, where I will set you in such a fitte place as you may speake to the King at your pleasure. Porrus giuing credit to Capnios smooth tale, gaue him a thousand thanks for his frendly aduise, and went with him to the hauen, making all the way his complaintes of Dorastus, yet concea­ling secretlie the chaine and the Iewels. Assone as they were come to the Sea side, the marriners seeing Capnio, came a land with their cock-boate, who still dissembling the matter, demaunded of Porrus if he would go see the ship, who vnwil­ling and fearing the worst, because he was not well acquain­ted with Capnio, made his excuse that he could not brooke the Sea, therefore would not trouble him.

Capnio, seeing that by faire meanes hee could not get him aboord, cōmaunded the mariners that by violence they should carrie him into the shippe, who like sturdy knaues hoisted the poore shepheard on their backes, and bearing him to the boate, lanched from the land.

Porrus seeing himselfe so cunningly betraied durst not crie out, for hee sawe it would not preuaile, but began to intreate Capnio and the mariners to be good to him, and to pittie his estate, hee was but a poore man that liued by his labour: they laughing to see the shepheard so afraide, made as much haste as they could, and sette him aboorde. Porrus was no sooner in the shippe, but he saw Dorastus walking with Fawnia, yet he scarfe knew her: for she had attired her selfe in riche apparell, which, so increased her beauty, that shee resembled rather an Angell then a mortall creature.

[Page] Dorastus and Fawnia, were halfe astonished to see the olde shepherd, maruailing greatly what wind had brought him thither, til Capino told them al the whole discourse: how Por­rus was going to make his complaint to the King, if by polli­cie [...]he had not preuented him, and therefore now sith he was a­boord, for the auoiding of further danger, it were best to carrie him into Italy.

Dorastus praised greatly his mans deuise, and allowed of his counsaile: but Fawnia, (who stil feared Porrus, as her fa­ther) began to blush for shame, that by her meanes he should either incure daunger or displeasure.

The old shephard hearing this hard sentence, that he should on such a sodaine be caried from his Wife, his country and kinsfolke, into a forraine Lande amongst straungers, began with bitter teares to make his complaint, and on his knees to intreate Dorastus, that pardoning his vnaduised folly he would giue him leaue to goe home: swearing that hee would keepe all thinges as secret as they could wish. But these pro­testations could not preuaile, although Fawnia intreated Do­rastus very earnestly, but the mariners hoisting their maine sailes waied ankers, and hailed into the deepe, where we leaue them to the fauour of the wind and seas, & returne to Egistus.

WHo hauing appointed this day to hunt in one of his Forrests, called for his sonne Dorastus to go sport himselfe, because hee saw that of late hee began to loure: but his men made answer that hee was gone abroade none knew whither, except he were gone to the groue to walke all alone, as his custome was to doe euery day.

The King willing to waken him out of his dumpes, sent one of his men to goe seeke him, but in vaine, for at last he re­turned, but finde him he could not, so that the King went him­selfe to goe see the sport: where passing away the day, retur­ning at night from hunting, hee asked for his sonne, but hee could not be heard of, which draue ye King into a great choler: where vpon most of his Noblemen and other Courtiers, poa­sted abroad to séek him, but they could not heare of him through all Sicilia, onely they missed Capnio his man which againe [Page] made the King suspect that he was not gone farre.

Two or three daies being passed, and no newes heard of Dorastus, Egistus began to feare that he was deuoured with some wilde beastes, and vpon that made out a greate troupe of men to go seeke him: who coasted through all the Countrey and searched in euerie daungerous and secrete place, vntill at last they mette with a Fisherman that was sitting in a little couert harde by the sea side mending his nettes, when Dora­stus and Fawnia tooke shipping: who being examined if he ei­ther knewe or heard where the Kings Sonne was, without any secrecie at all reuealed the whole matter, how he was say­led two dayes past, & had in his cōpany his man Capnio, Por­rus, and his faire Daughter Fawnia. This heauie newes was presently caryed to the King, who halfe dead for sorow, com­maunded Porrus wife to bee sent for: she being come to the Pallace, after due examination, confessed that her neighbours had oft told her that the Kings Sonne was too familier with Fawnia her Daughter: wherevppon, her husband fearing the worst, about two dayes past (hearing the King should goe an hunting) rose earely in the morning and went to make his complaint, but since she neither hearde of him, nor saw him. Egistus perceiuing the womans vnfeyned simplicity, let her depart without incurring further displeasure, conceiling such secret greefe for his Sonnes recklesse follie, that he had so for­gotten his honour and parentage, by so base a choise to disho­nor his Father, and discredit himselfe, that with very care and thought he fel into a quartan feuer, which was so vnfit for his aged yeeres and complexion, that he became so weake, as the Phisitions would graunt him no life.

But his sonne Dorastus little regarded either father, coun­trie: or Kingdome, in respect of his Lady Fawnia, for fortune smyling on this young nouice, lent him so lucky a gale of winde, for the space of a day and a night, that the maryners lay and slept vpon the hatches: but on the next morning about the breake of the day, the aire began to ouercast, the winds to rise, the seas to swel, yea presently there arose such a fearfull tem­pest, as the ship was in danger to be swallowed vp with euery sea, the maine [...]ast with the violence of the wind was thrown [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page] ouer boord, the sayles were torne, the tacklings went in sun­der, the storme raging still so furiously that poore Fawnia was almost dead for feare, but that she was greatly comforted with the presence of Dorastus. The tempest continued thrée dayes, al which time the Mariners euerie minute looked for death, and the aire was so darkned with cloudes that the Maister could not tell by his compasse in what Coast they were. But vpon the fourth day about ten of the clocke, the wind began to cease: the sea to wax calme, and the sky to be cleare, and the Mariners descryed the coast of Bohemia, shooting of their ordnance for ioy that they had escaped such a fearefull tem­pest.

Dorastus hearing that they were arriued at some harbour, sweetly kissed Fawnia, and bad her be of good cheare: when they tolde him that the port belonged vnto the cheife Cittie of Bohemia where Pandosto kept his Court, Dorastus began to be sad: knowing that his Father hated no man so much as Pandosto, and that the King himself had sought secretly to betray Egistus: this considered, he was halfe afraid to goe on land, but that Capnio counselled him to chaunge his name and his countrey, vntil such time as they could get some other Barke to transport them into Italy. Dorastus liking this de­uise made his case priuy to the Marriners, rewarding them bountifully for their paines, and charging them to saye that he was a Gentleman of Trapalonia called Meleagrus. The shipmen willing to shew what friendship they could to Dora­stus, promised to be as secret as they could, or hee might wish, and vppon this they landed in a little village a mile distant from the Citie, where after they had rested a day, thinking to make prouision for their mariage: the fame of Fawnias beauty was spread throughout all the Citie, so that it came to the eares of Pandosto: who then being about the age of fifty, had notwithstanding yong and freshe affections: so that he desired greatly to see Fawnia, and to bring this matter the better to passe, hearing they had but one man, and how they rested at a very homely house: he caused them to be apprehēded as spies, and sent a dozen of his garde to take them: who being come to their lodging, tolde them the Kings message: Dorastus no [Page] whit dismayed, accompanied with Fawnia and Capnio, went to the court (for they left Porrus to keepe the stuffe) who being admitted to the Kings presence. Dorastus and Fawnia with humble obeysance saluted his maiestie.

Pandosto amased at the singular perfection of Fawnia, stood halfe astonished, viewing her beauty, so that he had almost for­got himselfe what hee had to doe: at last with stearne counte­nance he demaunded their names, and of what countrey they were, and what caused them to land in Bohemia. Sir (quoth Dorastus) know that my name Meleagrus is a Knight borne and brought vp in Trapalonia, and this Gentlewoman, whom I meane to take to my wife is an Italian borne in Padua, from whence I haue now brought her. The Cause I haue so small a trayne with me, is for that her friends vnwilling to consent, I intended secretly to conuey her into Trapalonia: whither as I was sailing, by distresse of weather I was driuen into these coasts: thus haue you heard my name, my country, and the cause of my voiage. Pandosto starting from his seat as one in choller, made this rough reply.

Meleagrus, I feare this smooth tale hath but small trueth, and that thou couerest a foule skin with faire paintings. No doubt this Ladie by her grace and beauty is of her degree more meete for a mighty Prince, then for a simple knight, and thou like a periured traitour hast bereft her of her parents, to their present griefe, and her insuing sorrow. Till therefore I heare more of her parentage and of thy calling, I wil stay you both here in Bohemia.

Dorastus, in whome rested nothing but Kingly valor, was not able to suffer the reproches of Pandosto, but that he made him this answer.

IT is not meete for a King, without due proofe to appeach a­ny man of ill behauiour, nor vpon suspition to inferre beléefe: straungers ought to bee entertained with courtesie, not to bee intreated with crueltie, least being forced by want to put vp iniuries: the Gods reuenge their cause with rigor.

Pandosto hearing Dorastus vtter these wordes, comman­ded that he should straight be committed to prison, vntill such [Page] time as they heard further of his pleasure, but as for Fawnia, he charged that she should be entertained in the Court, with such curtesie as belonged to a straunger and her calling. The rest of the shipmen he put into the Dungeon.

Hauing thus hardly handled the supposed Trapalonians: Pandosto contrarie to his aged yeaxes began to be somwhat tickled with the beauty of Fawnia, in so much that hee could take no rest, but cast in his old head a thousand new deuises: at last he fell into these thoughtes.

HOw art thou pestred Pandosto with fresh affections, and vnfitte fancies, wishing to possesse with an vnwil­ling mynde, and a hot desire troubled with a could dis­daine: Shalt thy mynde yeeld in age to that thou hast resisted in youth? Peace Pandosto, blabbe not out that which thou maiest be ashamed to reueale to thy self. Ah Fawnia is beauti­full, and it is not for thine honour (fond foole) to name her that is thy Captiue, and an other mans Concubine. Alas, I reach at that with my hand which my hart would faine refuse: play­ing like the bird Ibys in Egipt, which hateth Serpents, yet feedeth on their egges.

Tush, hot desires turne oftentimes to colde disdaine: Loue is brittle, where appetite, not reason beares the sway: Kinges thoughtes ought not to climbe so high as the heauens, but to looke no lower then honour: better it is to pecke at the starres with the young Eagles, then to pray on dead carkasses with the Uulture: tis more honourable for Pandosto to dye by con­cealing Loue, their to enioy such vnfitte Loue. Dooth Pan­dosto then loue? Yea: whome? A maide vnknowne, yea and perhapps, immodest, stragled out of her owne countrie: beauti­full, but not therefore chast: comely in bodie, but perhappes crooked in minde. Cease then Pandosto to looke at Fawnia, much lesse to loue her: be not ouertaken with a womans beau­ty, whose eyes are framed by arte to inamour, whose hearte is framed by nature to inchaunt, whose false teares knowe their true times [...] and whose sweete wordes pearce deeper then sharpe swordes. Here Pandosto ceased from his talke, but not from his loue: for although he sought by reason, and wisedome [Page] to suppresse this franticke affection: yet he could take no rest, y beautie of Fawnia had made such a déepe impression in his heart. But on a day walking abroad into a Parke which was hard adioyning to his house, he sent by one of his seruants for Fawnia, vnto whome he vttered these wordes.

FAwnia, I commend thy beauty and wit, and now pittie thy distresse and want: but if thou wilt forsake Sir Me­leagrus, whose pouerty, though a Knight, is not able to maintaine an estate aunswerable to thy beauty, and yeld thy consent to Pandosto: I wil both increase thee with dignities and riches. No sir, answered Fawnia: Meleagrus is a knight that hath wonne me by loue, and none but he shal weare me: his sinister mischance shall not diminishe my affection, but rather increase my good will: thinke not though your Grace hath imprisoned him without cause, that feare shall make mee yéeld my consent: I had rather be Meleagrus wife, and a beg­ger, then liue in plenty, and be Pandostos Concubine. Pan­dosto hearing the assured aunswere of Fawnia, would, not­withstanding, prosecute his suite to the vttermost: séeking with faire words and great promises in scale the fort of her chasti­tie, swearing that if she would graunt to his desire, Meleagrus should not only he fet at libertie, but honored in his course a­mongst his Nobles: but these alluring baytes could not intise her minde from the loue of her [...] we betrothed mate Melea­grus: which Pandosto séeing, he left her alone for that time to consider more of the demaund. Fawnia being alone by her selfe, began to enter into these solitarie meditations.

AH infortunate Fawnia, thou [...]éest to desire aboue fortune, is to striue against the Gods, and Fortune [...] Who gazeth at the su [...]e we akeneth his sight: they which stare at the skie, fall oft into déepe pi [...]s: haddest thou rested content to haue bene a shepheard, thou neededst not to haue feared mischaunce: better had it bene for thée, by sitting lowe, to haue had quiet, then by climing high to haue fallen into miserie. But alas I feare not mine owne daunger, but Dorastus displeasure. Ah swéete Dorastus, thou art a Prince, but now a prisoner, by too much [Page] loue, procuring thine owne losse: haddest thou not loued Faw­nia thou haddest bene fortunate, shall I then bée false to him that hath forsaken Kingdomes for my cause: no, would my death might deliuer him, so mine honor might be preserued. With that feching a déepe sigh, she ceased frō her complaints, and went againe to the Pallace, inioying a libertie without content, and profered pleasure with smal ioy. But poore Do­rastus [...] all this while in olose prison, being pinch [...]d with a hard restraint, and pained with the burden of colde, and heauie Irons, sorrowing sometimes that his fond affection had pr [...] ­cured him this mishappe, that by the disobedience of his pa­rentes, he had wrought his owne despight: an other while cur­sing the Gods and fortune, that they should crosse him with such sinister chaunce: vttering at last his passions in these words.

Ah vnfortunate wretch borne to mishappe, now thy folly hath his desert: art thou not worthie for thy base minde to haue bad fortune: could the destinies fauour thée, which hast forgot thine honor and dignities: wil not the Gods plague him wt de­spight that payneth his father with disobedi [...]nce. Oh Gods, if any fauour or iustice b [...]left, plague me, but fauour poore Faw­nia and shrowd her from the tirannies of wretched Pandosto, but let my death frée her from mishap [...] and then welcome death: Dorastus payned with these heauie passions, sorrowed and sighed, but in vaine, for which he vsed the more patience. But againe to Pandosto, who broyling at the heat of vnlaw­full lust coulde take no rest but still felte his minde disquieted with his new loue, so that his nobles and subiectes marueyled greatly at this sudaine alteration, not being able to coniecture the cause of this his continued care: Pandosto thinking euery hower a yeare til he had talked once againe with Fawnia, sent for her secretly into his chamber, whither though Fawnia vn­willingly comming, Pandosto entertained her very courte­ously vsing these familiar speaches, which Fawnia answered as shortly in this wise.

Pandosto.

[Page] Fawnia are you become less [...] wilfull and more wise, to pre­ [...]erre the loue of a King before the liking of a poore Knight: I thinke ere this you thinke it is better to be fauoured of a King then of a subiect.

Fawnia.

Pandosto, the body is subiect to victories, but the mind not to be subdued by conquest, honesty is to be preferred before ho­nour, and a dramme of faith weigheth downe a tunne of gold. I haue promised Meleagrus to loue, and will performe no lesse.

Pandosto.

Fawnia, I know thou art not so vnwise in thy choice, as to refuse the offer of a King, nor so ingrateful as to dispise a good turne: thou art now in that place where I may commaunde, and yet thou séest I intreate, my power is such as I may compell by force; and yet I su [...]y prayers: Yéelde Fawnia thy loue to him which burneth in thy loue, Meleagrus shall be set frée, thy countrymen discharged: and thou both loued and ho­noured.

Fawnia.

I sée Pandosto, where lust ruleth it is a miserable thing to be a virgin, but know this, that I will alwaies preferre fame before life, and rather choose death then dishonour.

Pandosto séeing that there was in Fawnia a determinate courage to loue Meleagrus, and a resolution without feare to hate him, flong away from her in a rage: swearing if in shorte time she would not be wonne with reason: he would forget all courtesie, and compel her to graunt by rigour: but these threa­tning wordes no whit dismayed Fawnia: but that she still both dispighted and dispised Pandosto. While thus these two lo­uers stroue, the one to winne loue the other to liue in hate: E­gistus heard certaine newes by Merchauntes of Bohemia, [Page] that his sonne Dorastus was imprisoned by Pandosto, which [...] h [...] feare greatly that his sonne should be but hardly in­treated: yet considering that Bellaria and hee was cleared by the Oracle of Apollo from that crime wherewith, Pandosto had vniustly charged them, hee thought best to send with all spéed to Pandosto, that he should set free his sonne Dorastus, and put to death Fawnia and her father Porrus: finding this by the ad [...]e of Counsaile the spéediest remedy to release his sonne, he [...]aused presently two of his shippes to be rigged and thoroughly furnished with prouision of men and victuals, and sa [...]ediuers of his nobles, Embassadoures into Bohemia: who willing to obey their King, and receiue their yong Prince: made no delayes, for feare of danger, but with as much speede as might be, sailed towards Bohemia: the winde and seas fa­uored them greatly, which made them hope of some good happe, for within three daies they were landed: which Pan­dosto no soner heard of their arriuall, but hee in person went to méete them, intreating thē with such sumptuous and fami­li [...] courtesie, that they might well perceiue how sory he was for the formet mi [...]ries hee had offered to their King, and how willing (if it might be) to make amendes. As Pādosto made report to them, how one Meleagrus a Knight of Trapolonia was lately ariued with a Lady called Fawnia in his land, com­ming very suspitiously, accompanied onely with one seruant, and an olde shepheard. The Embassadours perceiued by the halfe, what the whole tale ment, and began to coniecture, that it was Dorastus, who for feare to bee knowne, had chaunged his name: but dissembling ye matter, they shortly ariued at the Court, where after they had bin verie solemnly and sumptu­ously feasted, the noble men of Sicilia being gathered togither, they made reporte of their Embassage [...] where they certified Pandosto that Meleagtus was sonne and heire to the King Egistus, and that his name was Dorastus: how contrarie to the Kings minde he had priuily conuaied away that Fawnia, intending to marrie her, being but daughter to that poore shep­heard Porrus: wherevpon the Kings request was, that Cap­nio, Fawnia, and Porrus might bee murthered and put to death, and that his sonne Dorastus might be sent home in sa­fetie. [Page] Pandosto hauing attentiuely and with great meruaile he [...]rd their Embassage, willing to reconcile himselfe to Egi­stus, and to shew him how greatlie he estéemed his labour: al­though loue and fancy forbad him to hurt Fawnia, yet in de­spight of loue hee determined to execute Egistus will without mercy, and therefore he presently sent for Dorastus out of pri­son, who meruailing at this vnlooked for curtesie, found at his comming to the Kings presence, that which he least doubted of, his fathers Embassadours [...] who no sooner sawe him, but with great reuerence they honored him: and Pandosto embra­cing Dorastus, set him by him very louingly in a chaire of e­state. Dorastus ashamed that his follie was be wraied, sate a long time as one in a muse, til Pandosto told him the summe of his Fathers embassage, which he had no sooner heard, but he was toucht at the quicke, for the cruell sentence that was pronounced against Fawnia: but neither could his sorrow nor perswasions preuaile, for Pandosto commaunded that Faw­nia, Porrus, and Capnio, should bee brought to his presence: who were no sooner come, but Pandosto hauing his former loue turned to a disdainful hate, began to rage against Fawnia in these tearmes.

THou disdainfull vassal, thou currish kite, assigned by the destinies to base fortune, and yet with an aspiring minde gazing after honor: how durst thou presume, being a beggar, to match with a Prince: By thy alluring lookes to inchant the sonne of a King, to leaue his owne countrie to fulfill thy disor­dinate lusts. O despightfull minde, a proud heart in a beggar is not vnlike to a great fire in a smal cottage, which warmeth not the house, but burneth it: assure thy selfe thou shalt die, and thou old doating foole, whose follie hath bene such, as to suffer thy daughter to reach aboue thy fortune: looke for no other méede, but the like punishment. But Capnio, thou which hast betrayed the King, and hast consented to the vnlawfull lust of thy Lord and maister, I know not how iustly I may plague thée: death is too easie a punishment for thy falsehood, and to liue (if not in extreme miserie) were not to shew thée equitie. I therefore award that thou shall haue thine eyes put out, and [Page] continually while thou diest, grinde in a mil like a brute beast. The feare of death [...]rought a sorrowfull silence vpon Fawnia and Capnio, but Porrus séeing no hope of life, burst forth into these spéeches.

PAndosto, and ye noble Emabassadours of Sicili [...], séeing without cause I am condemned to die: I am yet glad I haue opportunitie to disburdē my conscience before my death: I will tel you as much as I know, and yet no more than is true: whereas I am accused that I haue bene a supporter of Fawnias pride, and shee disdained as a vilde begger, so it is, that I am neither Father vnto her, nor she daughter vnto me.

For so it happened that I being a poore shepheard in Sici­lia, liuing by kéeping others mens flockes: one of my shéepe straying downe to the sea side, as I went to séeke her, I saw a little boat driuen vpon the shoare, wherein I found a babe of sixe daies olde, wrapped in a mantle of skarlet, hauing about the necke this chain [...] : I pittying the child, and desirous of the treasure, carried it home to my wife, who with great care nur­sed it vp, and set it to keepe sheepe. Heere is the chaine and the Iewels, and this Fawnia is the childe whome I found in the boate, what shee is, or of what parentage I knowe not, b [...]t this I am assured that shee is none of mine.

Pandosto would scarce suffer him to tell out his tale, but that he enquired the time of the yeere, the manner of the boate, and other circumstaunces, which when he found agreeing to his count, he sodainelie leapt from his seate, and kissed Faw­nia, wetting her tender cheeks with his teares, and crying my daughter Fawnia, ah swtete Fawnia, I am thy Father, Faw­nia. This sodaine passion of the King draue them all into a maze, especially Fawnia and Dorastus. But when the King had breathed himselfe a while in this newe ioy, hee re­hearsed beefore the Embassadours the whole matter, how hee hadde entreated his wife Bellaria for iealousie, and that this was the childe whome hee sent to floate in the seas.

Fawnia was not more ioyfull that she had found such a Fa­ther, then Dorastus was glad he should get such a wife. The [Page] Embassadors reioyced that their yong prince had made such a choice, that those Kingdomes which through enmitie had long time bin disseuered, should now through perpetual amitie be v­nited and reconciled. The Citizens and subiects of Bohemia (hearing that the King had found againe his Daughter, which was supposed dead, ioyfull that there was an heire apa­rant to his Kingdome) made Bonstres and showes through­out the Cittie: The Courtiers and Knights appointed Iusts and Turneis, to signifie their willing mindes in gratifying the Kings hap.

Eighteene daies being past in these princely sports, Pan­dosto willing to recompence old Porrus, of a shepheard made him a Knight: which done, prouiding a sufficient Nauie to re­ceiue him and his retinue, accompanied with Dorastus, Faw­nia, and the Sicilian Embassadours, he sailed towards Sicilia, where he was most princelie entertained by Egistus: who hea­ring this comicall euent, reioyced greatly at his sonnes good happe, and without delay (to the perpetuall ioy of the two yong Louers) celebrated the marriage: which was no sooner ended, but Pandosto (calling to mind how first he betraied his friend Egistus, how his iealousie was the cause of Bellarias death, that contrarie to the law of nature hee had lusted after his owne Daughter) moued with these desperate thoughts, he fell in a melancholie fit, and to close vp the Comedie with a Tragicall stratageme, hee slewe himselfe, whose death being many daies bewailed of Fawnia, Dorastus, and his deere friend Egistus, Dorastus taking his leaue of his father, went with his wife and the dead corps into Bo­hemia, wh [...] after they were sump­tuouslie [...]bed, Dorastus ended his daies in con­tented quiet.

FINIS.

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