PERIMEDES The Blacke-Smith, A golden methode, how to vse the minde in pleasant and pro­fitable exercise: Wherein is contained speciall principles fit for the highest to imitate, and the meanest to put in practise, how best to spend the wearie winters nights, or the longest summers Euenings, in honest and delightfull recreation: Wherein we may learne to auoide idlenesse and wan­ton scurrilitie, vvhich diuers appoint as the end of their pastimes. Heerein are interlaced three merrie and necessarie discourses fit for our time: with certaine pleasant Histories and tragicall tales, which may breed delight to all, and offence to none.

Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit vtile dulci.

LONDON Printed by Iohn Wolfe, for Edward White. 1588.

To the Right worship. Geruis Cliffton Esqui [...]e, Robert Greene wisheth increa [...]e of worship and Vertue.

NO sooner, Right worshipfull, was A­lexander come to ripe yeares, but his father Philip presented him a booke and a horse; the one, to signifie his de­light in letters; the other, his desire to martiall indeuours: Pallas had hir speare, and hir pen; counted as well the patronesse of schollers, as of souldiers: And Alexander forenamed, no soo­ner laide off his helmet, but hee tooke in hand Ho­mers Iliades; scarse come from handling his weapon with his maister Parmenio, but he fell to parlee of studie with his Tutor Aristotle; counting the profit that hee reaped by philosophie, litle lesse then the gaines he got by his great conquest. These premises considered, hearing how your worship in the prime of your youth, not onely delighted in martiall actiuity, but fauored the study of good letters, as a Moecenas and patron of such vertuous labours, I resolued, if I could not hang at the shryne of Apollo beautifull instruments, yet to deck his aulters with [...]ay gar­lands: and if my want hindred me from offering to Minerua great volumes, yet I aduentured to strew [Page] her temple with loose papers, though my abilitie was not sufficient to present your worship with any worke worth the viewing, yet I presumed as spurred forward by the report of your courtesie, and fame of yout ver­tues, to dedicate this little pamphlet to your worship, conteyning the tattle betweene a Smith and his wife, full of diuerse precepts interlaced with delightfull hi­stories, which if they profit some, and please others, let them returne the end of both to your worship, for whome this worke was first taken in hand: but how­soeuer it delights or discontents, so it fit your humour, and passe with your gratious acceptance, I shall hit th [...] marke I aimed at, and so least I should shape Hercules shoo for a childs foote, I com­mit your worship to the Almightie.

Your worships to command, Robert Greene.

To the Gentlemen readers, Health.

GEntlemen I dare not step awrye from my wonted method, first to appeale to your fauorable courtesies, which euer I haue found (howsoeuer plawsible) yet smo­thered with a milde-silence: the small pamphlets that I haue thrust forth how you haue regarded them I know not, but that they haue been badly rewarded with any ill tearmes I neuer found, which makes me the more bold to trouble you, and the more bound to rest yours euerye waie, as euer I haue done: I keepe my old course, to palter vp some thing in Prose, vsing mine old poesie still, Omne tulit punctum, al­though latelye two Gentlemen Poets, made two mad men of Rome beate it out of their paper bucklers: & had it in derision, for that I could not make my verses iet vp­on the stage in tragicall buskins, euerie worde filling the mouth like the faburden of Bo-Bell, daring God out of heauen with that Atheist Tamburlan, or blaspheming with the mad preest of the soone: but let me rather open­ly pocket vp the Asse at Diogenes hand: then wantonlye set out such impious instances of intollerable poetrie, such mad and scoffing poets, that haue propheticall spirits as bred of Merlins race, if there be anye in England that set [Page] the end of scollarisme in an English blanck verse, I thinke [...]ther it is the humor of a nouice that tickles them with selfe-loue, or to much frequenting the hot house (to vse the Germaine prouerbe) hath swet out all the greatest part of their wits, which wasts Gradatim, as the Italians sav Poco à poco. If I speake d [...]rkely Gentlemen, and of­fend with this digression, I craue pardon, in that I but answere in print, what they haue offered on the Stage: but leauing these phantasticall schollers, as iudging him that is not able to make choice of his chaffer, but a ped­ling chapm [...]n, at l [...]st to Perymedes the Black Smith, who sitting in his holi-dai-sute, to enter parlee with his wif, smugd vp in her best apparrell, I present to your fauors. If he please, I haue my desire, if he but passe I shalbe glad. If neither, I vowe to make amends in my Oepharion, which I promise to make you merry with the next tearme: And thus resting on your wonted courtesies, I bid you farewell.

Yours as euer he hath beene, R. Greene.

Au R. Greene Gentilhōme, Sonnet.

EVphues qui a bien connu fils-ais [...]é d'Eloquence,
Son propre frere puisné te pourroit reconnoistre
Par tes beaux escrits, GREENE, tu fais apparoistre
Que de la docte Soeur tu as pris ta naissance.
Marot & de-Mornay pour le langage Francois:
Pour l'Espaignol Gueuare, Boccace pour le Toscan:
Et le gentil Sleidan refait l [...]Allemand:
GREENE & Lylli tous deux raffineurs de l [...]Anglois.
GREENE a son Mareschal monstrant son arte diuine,
Moulé d'vne belle Idée: sa plume essorée
Vole viste & haute en parolle empennée;
Son stile d'vn beau discours portant la vraie mine.
Courage, donc ie-dis, mon amy GREENE, courage,
Mesprise des chiens, corbeaux & chathuans la rage:
Et (glorieux) endure leur malignante furie.
Zoyle arriere, arriere Momus chien enragé,
Furieux mastin hurlant au croissant argenté,
A GREENE iamais nuyre sauroit ta calomnie.
I. Eliote.


THere dwelled, as the Annual records of Egypt makes mention, in the Citie of Memphis, a poore man called Peryme­des, whome Fortune enuying from his infancie, had so thwarted with contrarie constellation, that although hée had but his wyfe and him selfe to releue by his manuell labours, yet want had so wrong him by the finger, that ofte the greatest chéere they had, was hungar, and their swéetest sauce content: yet Fame willing to supplie what fortune had faulted with defect, so rewarded poore Perymedes with the glorie of report, that he was not onely loued and liked of all his neighbours, but knowen for his contented pouertie through all the Confines of Egypt. The man coueting although hée were poore, to be counted vertuous, first eschewed idlenesse, the moath that sorest and soonest infecteth the mynde with many mischiefs, and applied him selfe so to his woorke, being a Smith, that he thought no victualles to haue their taste which were not purchased by his own sweate. Proude he was not, as one whome pouertie had checked with to great disgrace, and yet we sée that selfe loue hang [...]s in the heart not in the habite, that Plato durst say (Calco fastidium-Diogenis) meaning that the poore Cynick was as insolent in his patcht cloake, as Alexander the great in all his roy [...]ltie. Enuie, of all othervites hee did eschewe, as a cancker so p [...]stil [...]nt to an honest minde, that it suffereth quiet not so much as to pry into the motions of the heart. Couetous h [...] was not, as one that sought by his handes thrift to satisfie his owne necessitie: and if any surplu­sage were graunted by good lucke, hée slept not soundly on saturday at night, till he his wife and his neighbours had me­rilie [Page] and honestlie spent it at a homelie banquet. He wanted nothing, as one that against all spight of Fortune opposed pa­tience, and against necessitie content: And yet Fortune that she might not be thought to iniu [...]ious, in lieu of all her other dissauours lent him a wife of his owne conditions, whome he loued more then himselfe, for the poore woman although she was barren and had no children, yet was she of a verie pure and perfect complexion, and witha [...]l of such good b [...]hauiour, first in loue and dutie to her husband, and then in friendly and familiar conuersation with her neighbo [...]rs, that shée was thought a wife fit for so honest a husband. These two thus beloued of all the inhabitants of Memphis, prescribed them selues such an order of life, as diuerse men of great cal­ling, sought to be carefull imitators of their methode: for suffring no priuate iarres to come within their poore cottage, as a thing most preiuditiall to an Oeconomicall estate, no soo­ner had thes [...] two past away the day, he at his hammers, and she at the Bellowes, for boy they had none, but that sitting them selues to supper, they satisfied nature with that their la­bour did get, and their calling allow, and no sooner had they taken their repast, but to passe the rest of the euening merely they fell to pleasant chatte betwéene them selues, sometim [...] discoursing of what came first in their heads, with Pro & cō ­tra, as their naturall logick would graunt them leaue, other while with merie tales, honest, and tending to some good end without either lasciousnesse or scurilitie, thus euer they passed away the night: and for that the Egyptians, as a great mo­nument kept diuerse of their discourses, which some by chance had ouerheard, and put downe as a Iewell in their librari [...], I meane as their recordes doe rehearse, to set downe in brief two of their nightsprattle, which although homely tolde, yet being honestand plea­sant, I thought they would bread [...] some conceipted delight to the hearers, and there­fore thus.

The first nightes discourse.

NO sooner had Perymedes and his wyfe Delia, for so was her name, ended their dayes worke, and taken their repast, but sitting safely in their simple cottage by a little fire. Perymedes begā thus solemnly and sadlie to enter into a discourse, I can not thinke wife, but if we measure all our actions with a true proportion, that wée haue supt as daintely as the proudest in all the Cittie of Memphis, for the ende of delicates is but to satisfie nature, which is so partiall in hir desires, that were not our vitious mindes drowned in gluttonie, content would seale vp hir re­quest with a very small pittance, but such is the course of the world now a dai [...], that euerie man séekes with Philoxenus to haue his necke as long as a Crane, that he may with more pleasure swill in the sweete tast of their superfluous deinties. But wife, since I can remember here in Memphis, Psamne­tichus our king, was of so sparing a diet, that being demaun­ded by an Ambassadour, what Caters he had for his houshold, made answere, his Cooke and his stomake: in seeming by this that his Cooke bought no more in the shambles than woulde satisfie what his stomack desired. But now wife, euery meane man must be so curious in his fare, that we are rather to be counted Epicurians than Egiptians, and our Chaldees haue more skill in a cup of wine than in a [...]ibrarie, which superflui­tie bredeth both beggerie to manie, and diseases to all. For so they drowne them selues in the bottomlesse sea of gluttonie, as at last they make their bodies a subiect for the Physition, thinking that the temperature of their complexions can ne­uer be well affected, vnlesse their stomacks bee made a verie Apotecaries shoppe, by receiuing a multitude of simples and drugges, so to settle their wauering constitution: those men that wed them selues to such inordinate excesse, finde diuerse and sondrie passions to torment the stomack and all the body, which no sooner paynes them, but straight, as experiēce is a great mistresse, they calculate the nature of the disease, and straight [...]ye to purging, to phlebotomie, to fomentacions, & such medicinall decretals, according to the interiour or exte­riour [Page] nature of the disease, where as perhaps some slender fault is the efficient cause of such a momentanie passion, bet­ter to be cured by time than physick. But excesse in diet (wi [...]e) bréedeth this restlesse desire, and so manie are the diseases in­cident by our owne superfluities, that euerie one had néede to haue an Herball tied at his girdle: well I haue heard my fa­ther say, that he was but one daie sicke in all his life time, be­ing then also through ouer much labour fallen into a feauer. And this perfect temperature of the bodie, did not procéed [...] from the diuersities of potions and daintie delicates, but by a true proportion of exercise and diet: which Zeno the Philoso­pher noted well to be true, who beeing of a verie weake and tender constitution, subiect oft to sickn [...]sse, yet neuer kept his bed. Being demaunded of a Lacedemonian, what preserua­tiues he did vse, Zeno willing to be briefe in his answeres, shewed then a péece of bread & a dish of water, with a strong bowe of Stéele, meaning by this Enigma to discouer vnto them, that he raced out his diseases by exercise and fasting, as two especiall pointes necessarie for the perfecting of mans health.

You say truth husband, quoth Delia, for oft haue I heard my mother say, that thrée thinges are the chiefest delicates, which who so vseth, shall liue long and happely: Hunger, quiet, and mirth, but to auer your sayings to be true, euerie one séekes to attaine the contrarie, which causeth such sodaine death & perilous diseases: mo perish by gluttonie than by the sworde, for in steade of hunger men séeke to satisfie nature with excesse, for quiet, enuie at others happinesse, presentes a stratageme, for mirth melancholie, and couetous humours, how most gréedily to gaine, thus euerie one séekes that time and experience proues most preiudiciall, but the time hath bene, yea Perymedes, and within my remembrance, when the inhabitantes of Memphis knewe not what ryot and ill diet ment, but euery man applying him selfe to frugalitie, co­ueted to be thought honest and vertuous, where as nowe a daies the meanest doth desire to be thought proud and sump­tuous. While Numa Pompilius banished excesse out of Rome, there was no drugges brought to the cittie from Afri­ [...]: whil [...] Romulus drunke no wine, excesse was not noted [Page] amongst his subiects, neither had a Physition any palm [...] in his dominions, till his successors Caligula, Nero, and the rest assigned T [...]ophees, and Triumphs, for such as best could play the part of Epicures: and because my good Perymedes we be set alone by the fire, (and with this she recht him a friendlie Bezo les labros) and none here but our selues, thou shalt soe what long I haue kept close in my chest, certaine precepts of physick that long since were giuen by one of the Caldees to Pharao the last king of Memphis, of that strename, which for that they were pr [...]tio [...]s, as wel for the doctrine as the me­thode, I haue kept them as de [...]e as I did my virginitie before I met thée, and with that she hied her to her hutch, where she set out an olde péece of parchment, where was written as followeth.

Certaine preceptes of houshold physick, giuen by Rabby Bendezzar, one of the Chaldees, to Pharao the king of Memphis.

COnsidering right mightie soueraigne, that dutie brooketh not exceptions of time, but that the reuerent seruice of an honest minde is tied to his Lord, as carefully in sicknesse as in health: although want, the enemy to desire, hath not sto­red my librarie with Galen, Auicen, nor Hyppocrates, yet dutifull affection willing to make supplie presented from the garden of my thoughts certeine receipts, compounded of sun­drie simples, which I beséech your highnesse to apply as shall best stand with your fauourable opinion.

First to present an Aphorisme which Auicen grudged to pen down,The w [...] the wo [...] payma [...] as an enemie to that science, receiue twenty ounces of merrie conceipts, pounded in the mortar of a quiet resolu­tion, vse this pouder in your morning and euening potions, forbearing to much exercise of minde, as preiudiciall to the body: Sith the world the paimistresseof vertuous indeuours hath all her coffers filled with forgetfull ingratitude.

And sith sicknesse desires companie, and sondrie sorts pre­sentes 2 them selues to a solitarie man, vse a charme so preti [...]us as Galen feared to bewray amidst his principles: write ouer [Page] your chamber dore in Siluer letters, Neque medicus si mo­ [...]sus: by this spell you shall forbid Melancholie entrance, [...]e sorest enemie to mans helth, [...]lancho­ [...], the so­ [...] enemy [...] mans [...]alth. whose operations, as th [...]y are secret, so they are mortall. If this should faile, receiue an e [...]periment confirmed with Probatum est. Take the swéete herbe called pleasant content, with that make a p [...]rfume a­bout your b [...]d chamber, and where you dyne, the sauour of this is as sure a repulse to exile melācholie, as the Ostracisme was to the noble of Athens.

3 Science a mo [...]ster that wayteth vpon Oportunitie, pre­sents by her s [...]l [...]e to a sicke person in sondrie shap [...]s, some bree­ding proffit, [...] discri­ [...]ion of a [...]sition. others preiudice to auoide hir il [...]usion, note this: when she comes with a plawsible speech, hir attier black in damaske or veluet, a side gowne, a large cape, holding in the one hand a glasse of Goates milke to restore, in the other some secret drug to purge suspect, [...]he marks [...] a good [...]hi [...]ition. and graunt no admittaunce, vn­lesse you see about her three markes: In hir forehead the fi­gure of myrth, in hir bosome the pourtraiture of conscience, and the mouth of her purse sealed with the signet of content, marked thus, vse hir as a friend, and send hir away rewarded.

4 In that sicknesse is passionate, and choller the heralt of me­lancholie inflicteth many griefes by ouerflowing of the gall, to suppresse his enuious furi [...], [...]tience a [...]ecious [...]mple. take an herbe of a mild sauour, yet verie precious called patience, his vertue is restrictiue & expulsiue, [...]nitting conte [...]t to the minde, and driuing out dis­quiet from the thoughtes.

5 The auncient Alcumists reposed great trust in their Phi­losophers stone, as the most necessarie i [...] well to drawe out quintesses for restoratiues. But our lat [...] Phisitions haue found out a singular minerall, [...]ope a sin­ [...]ular pre­ [...]ruatiue. called Hope, appli [...] this to your stomack as a soueraine simple against disquiet & feare, two passions incident to many patients.

6 Albertus Magnus in h [...]s secrets, sets downe the nature of sundrie herbes, some to procure mirth, other sléepe, according to their particular vertues, but our late practicioners, haue founde a roote, [...]arts ease [...] defenso­ [...] against griefe. whose operation comprehendeth all those pro­perties, which they cal [...] Hearts ease, this applie to your left side both day and night, in sicknesse and in health, as a defen­sorie against ensuing griefes, a preseruer of present quiet, and [Page] a m [...]d [...]cine generall for any passionate disease. Thus right mightie soueraigne, though not as a Phisition, for that our times and di [...]ts brooke not hir ariomes, yet as a poore and du­tifull welwiller, I haue s [...]t downe son [...] simples sit for re­ceit [...]s, which if it shall stand with your [...]ghn [...]sse good liking to applie, I shall rest as euer I haue done an earn [...]st suter to the almightie, that their operation may take wished effect, as well for re [...]ouerie, as for preseruing your health.

Rabby Bendezzar.

THey had no sooner scanned euer this wryting, but Perymedes began to ac­cuse the iniquitie of their time, that had made such difference in medicinal pre­cepts, & therefore burst forth into these tearmes, well wife, thus fares the course of the worlde, to decline euer to the worst, for whē Rabby Bendezzar set downe these principles to Pharao, no doubt Epicures had not yet erected any Academie in Egypt, but since his time, ex­cesse hath taken such an interest in the mindes of men, that his reasons would be counted follies, in that euery axiome sheweth not the art of an Apothecarie, but leauing such to their follies, how happie are we that eate to liue, and liue not to eate, who count it a banquet to suffice nature with any thing, hauing our health, when greater poten [...]tes are pai [...] with surfets. Well husband quoth Delia, seeing we are c [...]n­tent with our pou [...]rtie, and make a vertue of n [...]cessitie, let vs not (nimis altum [...]apere) not stretch our strings so hie as to medle with our superiours, but rest quiet at the delight of our owne estate, and therefore seeing the night is yet long, and our fire is like to last, and this discourse sufficiently dis­cussed, say husband,The hus­bands [...] a law to [...] honest wi [...]e. how shall we spende the rest of the eue­ning, for what you set downe I hold for lawe. In deede wi [...]e quoth Perymedes, it is ill medling further, than the lat [...]het: the For had his ski [...] pulled ouer his eares, for prying into the Lyons dennes: poore men should looke no hier th [...]n their [Page] féete, least in staring at starres they stumble. If others offend and become vitious that are rich, it little booteth vs that are poore to reprehend them, for it reapeth often reuenge, but the best reward is enuie. Clytus, who was a mightie Lord, and friend to Alexander, was slayne for his good admonition: Mightie men cannot brooke the touch of their ill, and there­fore [...]i [...]e we will this night passe away the time in telling some pleasant and merie tale, so shall we beguile the euening wi [...]h some pleasure, eschewe idlenesse, the welspring of many mischiefes, and banish vaine thoughtes, that brede disquiet and discontent, my selfe will tell one, and thou shalt tell ano­ther. Delia by being silent, seemed to consent, and so Peryme­des began his tale in this manner.

Perymedes tale.

IN the kingdome of Tyre, while Euriba­tes reigned as soueraine, there gouerned vnder him as his lieutenant, one Presty­nes a noble man, better beloued for his Iustice, then fauoured by fortune, who hauing a Ladie of no lesse parentage than vertue, and yet accounted the most hono­rable Matron in all the East parts, liued peaceably in his prouince, till Voltarus king of Sydon at­temp [...]ed the inuasion of Tyre, & finding fortune fauourable to his desires, made a conqu [...]st of the lande, killing Euribates, an [...] leading Prestynes prisoner to Sydon: Which newes no sooner came to the cares of his wife Mariana, for so was hir name, but fearing the violent handes of the enemy, [...]eing big with childe, and hauing an other of two yeares o [...] age, sho­with a fewe Iewels which she had kept secret in a Cashet, im [...]arked hir self in a little frigot, intending hir course to Lip­pary, where hir friends dwelt: but fortune who ment to make hir a mirrour of hir inconstancie, as it were entring a league with Neptune, droue hir vpon the coast of Decapolis, wher pe [...]force she was forst to lande, not remaining on shoare thrée dayes, before in the companie of an other gentlewoman that [Page] was nourse to hir sonne, she was brought to bed of a man childe, whome she called Infortunio, distressed thus, she past away many daies till a faire winde might serue to transport hir to Lippary, which comming about according to the mar­riners minde, they caused the Lady to sende hir two infants a borde with their nourse, she hir selfe solitarilie walking by the shoare till the cockboate came againe to fetch hir. But the destinies who are impartiall in their resolutions, hauing in­tended a worse mishap, gaue hir a sorer mate in this maner: no sooner had they shipped the sely babes, but that a Barke of Coursayres and pyrates came by, who seeing this ship not [...]atly manned for defence, bare towardes it, and borded it, [...]rying away, both vessell and marriners as a pryse, which M [...]riana séeing, she sent foorth shrikes as intreaties to per­s [...] them to retourne, & most pittifull renting of hir hayre, made [...]gnes of hir sorrowes, but in vain [...], for she gat nothing but dolefull echoes of hir cōplaints, which strake such a grief into hir minde, that she fell downe in a sounde, till at last cō ­ming to her selfe, finding she was depriued of husband, chil­dren, coūtrie, friends, yea and left al alone in a desert, surchar­ged with griefe, she sat her downe by the shoare, and fell into these piteous passions.

In [...]ortunate Mariana, whome fortune or some contrarie fate aboue fortune hath sought to make a speciall obiect of haplesse and distressed miserie, seest thou not a dismall influ­ence, to inflict a dispairing chaos of confused mishaps, art thou not first by the vniust destinies bereft of Prestynis thy husband, exiled thy countrey, a place as precious as life, sepe­rated from thy friends, she swéetest comfort, but nowe depri­ued of thy children,Friend countr [...]deate t [...] man. in whose companie there did consist the salue for all the forenamed miseries. Ah Mariana, sigh and sob at these sorrowes, but what [...]uayles showers when the har­uest is past, or griefe when actions cannot be amended by passions. Nowe Mariana, doest thou see that Fortune, that fiend and gracelesse monster,The dis [...]ton of [...]tune. the double facced daughter of Ianus, whose pleasure is inconstanc [...]e, whose thoughts are variable, whose [...]emples are strewed with roses and nettles, and whose sacrifices sauour of most infectious incenses: are not all hir gifts perilous, séem they neuer so pretious? doth she [Page] inriche thee with treasure, feare that in the other hande she holdes pouertie, to checke thy presumption: doth she aduaunce thee with honor and dignitie, knowe such fauours are brittle, and hir brauest seates are made of glasse: if with friends, alas, she presents amidst their troupes fained affections, and flatte­rie: thus euerie way hir fauours are mortall, and the more glistring, the more preiudicial. Too late poore Ladie, hast thou tried these premisses for trueth, thy selfe an instance of hir in­constancie: What then shalt thou do, [...] being thus infortunate: hope thou canst not, sith thy present mishap tels thée, fortune hath resolued thine ouerthrowe: dispaire then Mariana, dis­paire and die, so shalt thou glut the ru [...]hlesse destinies with a most balefull Stratageme: since thy husband, thy children, haue bene the first actors, end thou desperatly such a dolef [...]ll tragedie: let fortune sée how thou scornes to be infortunate: feare not death which is the ende of sorrowe, and beginning of blisse: but to thée Mariana, that lying in distresse, yet dye happie: let not dispaire euer enter within thy thoughts, grace not fortune so much in hir wilfulnesse, bee patient, and so spight hir with content, for hir greatest griefe is to see hir crosses borne with an indifferent minde. Time, Mariana, is the nourse of hope, and oft thwarteth fortune in hir decrees, then there vp thy selfe, and leade here a solitarie life in this de­sert, with such patience, as making a vertue of necessitie, then drowne all dispairing conceipts with content. I but alas, my children, my poore babes, scarse knowen to fortune, before en­uied by fortune, and with that casting hir eye to the Sea, she was so ouerpressed with sorrowe, as she could not vtter any worde more, but melting into teares, sat a long time in secret and sorrowefull meditation, till at last with a deepe sigh shee groned forth these wordes. [...] Hope and patience, and with that she rose, and resolued to liue as a sauage woman, till death or some better destinie, might mitigate some part of hir mar­tyrdome. In this resolution, she went and sought her out a Caue, which she trimmed vp, with boughes, making hir in steede of hir beddes of downe, a couch of mosse, and leaues: hir sauce was hunger: hir foode, the fruites of the earth. And thus she lay there by the space of two or thrée yeere, vnseene, or vnknowen of any bodie. Fortune not brooking hir owne bit­ternesse, [Page] seeing how patient the Ladie was in hir miseries, d [...] ­termined to adde some reliefe to hir passions, which shee brought to passe in this manner. The [...]e [...]pot of Decapolis and his wife, for solace sake, being one day, rode on hunting, by chaunce, in pursute of a Stagge, which they had in chace, lost their way, and happened into that desert where they had not wandred long, but they met Mariana in sauage manner, almost naked, her haire of amber couler, hanging downe to hir féete, hir face shri [...]eled, and parched with the Sunne, in so much as thus disguised, and deformed, as well with hir ill diet, and the weather, as with hir sorrowe, she séemed some Satire, borne and bread in that desert. The Despot and his wife, amazed at this sodaine sight, stoode still, narrowly mar­king the gesture of Mariana, who was playing with a little Fawne, which she had noursed vp, till at last she casting vp hir eyes, and séeing them there, arose hastely, & was ready to depart, but the Despot, who desired to know what she might be, drawing more nie, perceiued by the lineament of hir face, that she had bene a woman of good proportion, began to salute hir in this manner. Woman, Satyre, Nymphe, or whatsoeuer thou be, that linest thus as a sauage creature, in the deserts, tell me of courtesie, as to a straunger that pitties thy estate, whether thou be bred here, and so naturally wedded to this brutish kinde of life: or if some misfortune hath led thée to this extreeme mishap, that so either I may marueile at such a strange bréede, or els both pittie, and seeke to reliefe thy mise­rie. Mariana hearing the Despot speake thus honorably and friendly, made no answere at all, but staring in his face, called to remembraunce hir former estate, and shamed at hir present wretchednesse, so that the teares standing in hir eyes, the bur­den of euermuch sorrowe made hir a long while sil [...]nt, yet at last comming more nere, she made him this answere.

Cur [...]eous straunger, if I ouerslip either dutie or reuerēce, due to thy calling, thinke my sauage life leades me to such ignorance,Ingrat [...]tudeo [...] neuer [...] vsed. and therefore the more worthie of pardon, but whatsoeuer thou be, king or keisar, know this, I am no Sa­tyr, but a woman dis [...]ressed, and placed [...]ere by the enuie of fortune, where time and patience hath l [...]arn [...]d me to li [...]e con­tent; for thy pitie I returne thankes [...]s one whome these [Page] mother vnknowen, for the space of a yeare: in which time, Marcella the daughter of the Despot, noting the perfection of Procidor, began at the altars of Vesta to offer smoaking thoughts at the shryne of Venus. For womens eyes delight in the varietie of obiectes, the mayde séeing that the sharp­nesse of his wit (a sparke that soonest inflameth desire) was answerable to the shape of his bodie, and that his minde was adorn [...]d with so many sundri [...] go [...]d qualities: that if his for­tune had bene equall to his face, his deserts might haue made him a Prince, she began so farre to enter into the considera­tions [...]f his vertues, that hazarding too rashlie into so dange­rous a laborinth, [...]ue a pe­ [...]us la­ [...]rinth. she felt hir minde begin to alter, and hir af­fections to stoope to such a state as repent she might, but recall she could n [...]t. But taking these thoughts for passionat ioyes, that might b [...] thrust out at pleasure, cursing loue that attēp­ted such a chaunge, and blaming the basenesse of hir minde, that would make such a choice, to auoide the Syren that in­chanted hir with such deceitfull melodie, she called to hir bed­fellowe Mariana for a Lute, whereupon war [...]ling a meri [...] galliard, [...]sick mi­ [...]ats not [...]., she thought to beguile such vnacquainted passions, but fin [...]ing [...]hat musicke was but to quench the flame with oyle, féeling the assaultes to bee so sharpe as hir minde was rea [...]y to yelde as vanquished: she began with diuers conside­rations to suppresse the franticke affections, calling to minde that Procidor was hir fathers seruant, a man of meane and base parētage, for his birth not to be looked at of the daughter of a Despot, much lesse to be loued of one of hir degrée, thin­king what a discredit it were to hir selfe, what a griefe to hir parents, what a sorrowe to hir friendes, yea, what a mightie shame should be guerdon to such a mōstrous fault. Blaming fortune, and accursing hir owne follie, that should be so fond as but once to harbour such a thought, as to stoupe so lowe as to hir fathers hyerling. As thus she was raging against hir selfe, loue fea [...]ed if she dallied long, to loose her Champion, and ther [...] feare st [...]pping more nigh, gaue hir such a fresh woūd as pierst hit at the verie heart, that she was faine to yelde, mau­gre hir form [...]r considerations, and forsaking all companie, to get hir in hir closet, where being solemnlie set, she burst forth [...]nto [...]se pass [...]nate tearmes.

[Page]Unhappie Marcella, hath fame hetherto feared to spe [...]ke ill of thy thoughts, and shall report dare to miscon [...]ru [...] of thine actions, hath Decapolis honoured thée for thy vertues, and shall now all the worlde wonder at thée for thy vanities, hast thou vowes thy selfe to Vesta, and wilt thou runne after Venus? wilt thou be counted a president of virginitie, and yet subiect thy selfe to vnbridled fancie? No Marcella, there is no swéeter friend than libertie, nor no worse enemy than inconsiderate affection: the thoughtes of Ladies, Marcella, as they are worthy, so ought they to looke no lower than honor, Blush then at thy fortunes, thy choice, thy loue, sith thy thoughts cannot be contriued without secret shame, nor thy affections vttered without open discredit: farre are these fan­cies, or rather follies, vnfit for thy byrth. Hast thou not heard Marcella as an oracle from Apollo, that it is better to perish with high desire, then to liue in base thoughts. And yet Pro­cidor is beautifull, a fauour fond foole framed to feede the eye, not to fret the heart: he is wise, truth, but poore, and want is an enemy to fancy: Tush, being both beautifull and wise, why should he not be loued, wilt thou so farre forget thy selfe, as to suffer affection to intangle thée with such had coniec­tures? no, consider how such a match will be most dismall to thy father, most grieuous to thy friendes, preiudiciall to thy selfe, and most gladsome to thy [...]oes, the greatest griefe of all, sith the smyle of a foe that procéedeth from enuie, is worse then the tear [...] of a friend that commeth of pittie. These pre­misses then duely considered, preferre not a Barly corne be­fore a precious Iewell: set not a fading content before a per­petuall dishonour: suppresse thy affections, and cease to lou [...] him whō thou couldst not loue, vnlesse blinded with to much loue. As thus she was perplexed with sundrie passions, Ma­riana came to seeke hir in hir closet, whereupon she ceased hir complaintes, hoping that time would weare out that which fond loue and fortune had wrought, but all w [...]s in [...]: for so did the remembraunce of her late conceiued lo [...]e [...] [...]lienate hir thoughts from hir wonted disposition, that sh [...]e and dishonor, the greatest preuenters of mishap,Vnpossi [...] to cōce [...] loue. were no meanes to diswade hir from hir determined affect [...] In so much that not possible to hyde fire in t [...]e s [...]awe, [...] to smother vp [Page] fancy in youth, she bore such a fauourable countenance to Procidor, that not only hir selfe, but the rest of the house mar­ueiled at hir submisse familiaritie. Yet in that she had hetherto troden hir shoe so euen, as no steppe was so much as thought awry, they construed all to the best, and thought hir fauours toward Procidor procéeded as a reward for his vertues, not from a regarde to his beautie. But at last being Venus schol­ler, and therefore daring with hir to daunce in a net, played not so close, but Procidor could iudge of colours, and espye of the halfe what the whole ment, puffed vp therefore a little in conceipt with the fauour of his masters daughter, séeing oportunitie layde hi [...] hairie forehead on his lappe, he began somewhat peartlie to prie into the exquisitnesse of hir perfec­tion: noting that she was passing beautifull, and young, and that vertue added a grace vnto nature, and that being of no­ble parentage, beautie decked nature with dignitie. This in­terchange cōsidered, so charmed the poore gentlemans affec­tions [...] that fayne he would haue made requitall of hir fauours with like courtesie, if hir honourable estate had not quatted his presumption with feare: houering thus betweene two streames, at last he burst forth into these complaintes.

Doest thou not know poore Procidor, that actiōs wrought against nature, reape despight, and thoughts aboue fortune, disdaine: that what byrd gaseth against the Sunne, but the Eagle, becommeth blinde, and that such as step to dignitie, if vnfit, fall: that thoughtes are to be measured by fortunes, not by desires: how fallēs come not by stouping lowe, but by cly­ming to hie. Shall therefore all feare fo aspyre, because some hap to fall? no Procidor, though thou art in ragges, yet thou art noble borne, thou art not inferiour to Marcella in byrth, though in riches: then dare to attempt, sith she shewes thee such manifest fauours. Ah nouice in loue, doest thou count euery dimple in the cheeke a decrée in the heart, euery lims a warrant of loue, Venus, fond man, lookt on more than the lo­ued, or els she passing amorous: womens smiles are oft more of custome than of courtesie, and passing prodigall they bee with their eyes when they are nyggardes in their hearts: for thinke not fond man that Eagles will catch at flyes, Cedars stoope to bra [...]les, nor such honorable dames at such homely [Page] peasants, no no, thinke hir dis [...]aine is greater than thy desir [...], for accounting thée but a slaue, and hir fathers mercinarie man, she doth but repay thy labours with affabilitie, there­fore cease not onely to say, but to thinke she loues thée.

Procidor with these pithie perswasiōs, somewhat appea­sing the sparkling flames of loue, that already were [...]ndles in his brest, applied him selfe to his wonted labour, suppres­sing his affections with the due consideration of hir honour, and his owne meane estate, and coūting it frenzie, not fancie, to couet that which the very destinies woulde denie him to obtaine. These two thwarted thus with feare and shame, lin­greth forth the time, till at last fortune willing to present in a sweete figge bitter wormewood, found such fit oportunitie, that Procidor and Marcella met at such leysure, that not long after, Marcella was knowen to be with childe, which newes no sooner came to the eares of the Despot, but as a mā in raged furie, and reuenge, driuing reason out of conceipt [...] he presently caused Procidor to be apprehended, and his daugh­ter Marcella, resoluing that according to the law of the coun­trey, they should die. The mother more pitifull, considering the follies of hir owne youth, began to intreate hir husband to spare their liues, and assigne what punishment els, though the torture were neuer so grieuous: which by long perswa­sion, he consented vnto, committing them vnto straight pri­son, where they lay in great distresse the space of ten wéekes, before euer the Despot made any question of their imprison­ment. While thus Procidor lay sorrowing, more for the mishap of Marcella than for his own misfortune: newes was brought to Decapolis, that Euribates sonne had gathered an host, and sought to driue Voltarus out of the Confines of Tyre, which Procidor hearing, he began thus to meditate with him selfe. Unhappy Procidor, see howe fortune inten­ding thy good the haplesse fates séeke to frustrate such successe, hast thou these fourteen yeeres, gone as a vacabonde about the world vnknowen and despised, hoping for this day, that Eu­ribates sonne should séeke reuenge on Voltarus, and art thou now in pryson, when oportunitie offr [...]h such good fortune, yea and in such a place as nought but death can redéeme thée. The Iaylor ouerhearing Procidor, asked him what he [Page] had to doe with the peace or warres of Princes. Ah my good friend (quoth he) when I consider in what estate my father whilome liued in that coūtrey, as I haue heard, and am able almost to remember, I cannot but grone to see my present ill happe: And who was thy father (quoth the Iaylor) S [...]ing, answered Procidor, that time hath s [...]t the sonne of Euriba­tes almost in his kingdome, I feare not to discouer what I am, my fathers name is Prestines, Lieutenant of Tyre, vn­der Euribates, & my name not Procidor, but Castriot, and I doubt not but if I were there, for my fathers sake to reape credit and authoritie. Without further questioning, the Iay­lor went presently and tolde the Despot what he had heard, who making small account of the matter, yet presently con­sidered with him selfe, if it were true, howe greatly he should by making such a marriage, auoyde the shame like to befall to his daughter, therefore he went & asked of Mariana what her eldest sonnes name was, who made answere Castriot, & that if he liued, he was about twentie yeares of age, the Des­pot suspecting it was he, went secretly to the pryson, where examining Procidor of al his life past, found by probable cir­cumstances that he was Prestines sonne, whereupon he be­gan to recount vnto him howe he tooke him into his seruice, placing him in his fauour, then the iniurie he offred him by infringing his daughters honor, yet for all this, crauing no other amends, but that he would take hir to wife, Procidor made answere, what he had done was the faults of his youth, and that he was both sorrowfull and repentant, and that he might thinke it firme loue, and not fading fancie that forst him to commit such a fault, he was ready at his pleasure to take Marcella to his wife. The Despot séeing sparkes of his fathers courage in his resolutions, embrased him, and sending for his daughter into the same prison, there secretly betrothed each to other, then tooke them out, and sent them to a graunge place of his in the countrey: within short time they recouered their former complexions greatly impaired by their close im­prisonment. In the meane space the Despot prouiding all things necessarie for the marriage, séeing they were retour­ned into the former fourme, caried his wife, and madame Ma­riana, to his graunge, where by the way he demaunded of hir, [Page] how happy it would be vnto hir, if he did marrie his daughter to hir eldest sonne Castriot. Madame Mariana smiling, told him, it was impossible, sith she thought him dead: being well arriued at his farme, he brought his wife & the Ladie into the chamber where the two louers sate, very richely appareled, vnto whom at large he discouered what had happened. Whē Mariana knewe hir sonne Castriot, noting very well the li­niaments of his face, she fell in a sound for ioye, but being at last reuiued, after many and hartie embracings, and ioy on al partes, they sat downe to dinner: Castriot desiring the Des­pot that he would send to Iaphet where was one Lamora (que) Gouernour of the towne, that helde his yonger brother & his nourse, as slaues. This motion was greatly agreable to the Despot, so that he presently sent a messenger to Iaphet, and an other to Tyre, to heare of the estate of Prestines: The mes­sengers making as much spéede as winde and weather would permitte, arriued fortunatly at their desired places, where no s [...]ner the one was arriued, but he deliuered his embassage to Lamora (que), who musing to heare such news from his brother, the Despot, went to confirme his doubt the more, and subtely examined the nourse, who confessed as before, whereupon to satisfie his brother, and requite the great iniurie he had pro­fered to young Infortunio, hauing but onely one daughter of the age of fourtéene yeares, he gaue hir with a great dowry to the poore Gentleman, and withall shipping him selfe in a fry­got, with his daughter, his sonne in lawe, and the nourse, he sayled to Decapolis, at whose arriuall great ioy being made betwéene Mariana and hir two sonnes, the marriage of the Gentlemen, was sollemnised the next wéeke after, and to in­crease theirein content, newes was brought that Euribates sonne hauing subdued Voltarus, and recouered his kingdome, he had set Prestines in former place and authoritie. This newes greatly delighting the companie: When the marriage feast was ended, the Ladie and hir two sonnes, with their wiues, taking leaue of the Despot, and Lamora (que), sailed to Tyre, where they were most louingly entertained by Pre­stynes.

Perymedes hauing ended his tale, his wife Delia, raging against fortune, that was most [...] to them that were [Page] most honorable, said that poore men were like little shrubs, that by their basenesse escaped many blastes, when high and tall Ceadars were shaken with euerie tempest: concluding therefore, that Mediocria were most firma, séeing her fyre was out, and the night somewhat colde, they both hyed them selues to bed.

The second nights discourse.

THe day was no sooner spent in labour, but the poore Smith and his wife, according to their accustomed manner, after sup­per would not be idle [...] but sitting close by the fire, Delia brought out an olde payre of Cardes, to passe away y time at play, whereupon Perymides taking occasion, began to discourse in this manner [...] These Cardes (wife) may righ [...]ly be tearmed Glucupilica swéete & sower, double faced, bearing in th [...]ir foreheads pleasures and peace, & in their back [...]s sorrowes [...] Stratagemes, presenting vs with delicates, which in the mouth taste like hony [...] but in the mawe more bitter than G [...]ll, for although we vse them for recreation to passe away the time, yet other ayme at two endes, Lucre and Couetousnesse, and yet their gaines but losse of time. And the effects of gaming here now a dayes in Memphis, as they are many, so they are monstruous, as qua­rels, murders, blasphemies, swearing, and cous [...]nage, yea the ouerthrowe of houses and families, testifying the infamous nature th [...]rof. Chilon the Lacedemonian, being sent in Am­bassage to Co [...]inth, to treate of a league betwixt those two ci­ties, finding the Rulers playing at dice, retourned back with­out once speaking of his commission, saying that he woulde not Eclipse the glorie of the Spartanes with so great an ig­nomie as to ioyne them in societie with dice players. Delia h [...]aring hir husband enuying so much against playing, thin­king he did it to check hir desire to play at Cardes, began thus to defend it.

And would you haue v [...] hu [...]b [...]nd so [...]arre from recreation [Page] in Memphis, as to be Stoikes or Cyniks, well had I allow­ed (husband) of your spéeches, if they had sauoured of anie ex­ception, but so strict an inuectiue deserues some Apologie, and therefore by your fauour husband, thus, I denie not but those effectes which you repeated as frutes of gaming, are greatly preiudiciall, bo [...]h to the minde and bodie, but they procéede not of necessitie, as causa sine qua non, but as infections that flowe from the abuse, being growen into an extremitie. For we see that many things which of them selues are good, by ex­cesse growe into the nature of euill, and so of this: for Salo­mon, whose deuine wisedome was without comparison, set downe his censure of time, that as there were daies of sorrow, so were there houres of mirth, that the minde had as well pastimes to recreate, as serious affaires to fatigate. Cato the most seuere Censor that was euer in Rome, amongst all his straight edictes, did not vtterly abolish gaming, but al­lowed the Purpurati to spende certaine houres at such pa­stimes as they thought necessarie, saying, that moderate sport was a whetstone to the memorie. I haue heard the Chaldees say, that the Lydians were the first inuenters of Cardes and Dice, [...]nd other games, and by them preserued a long time the estate of their common wealth, which otherwise should haue bene ruinated and subiected. Perymides hearing his wife to alledge such sound reasons for Gamsters, thought to ioyne action with her in this manner.

You resemble wife those subtill Lawyers, that onely al­ledge that clause in their euidence, which best s [...]rues for the proofe of their plea, leauing out all other prouiso [...]s that are hurtfull in deede, I remember I haue heard that the countrey of Lidia, being oppressed with a great dearth and scarcitie of victualles, had almost subuerted their estate with famine, but that to resist, and sustaine hunger the better, they inuented playes and gaming, spending [...]uery other day in such sporte without any meate, which they continued for the space of twentie and eight yeares, by that pollicie preseruing their countrey from a generall famine, by sparing so carefully their prouision. But wife, the case is altred in vs, we are so farre from recompencing the fault of so vile an occupation by fa­sting, that contrariwise, we foster it vp with all kinde of dis­solutenesse, [Page] gluttonie, riot, and superfluitie, in so much that we are not ashamed nowe adayes to vse this prouerbe (that a man had better loose than to be idle) but if those leud Philoso­phers, which set downe this principle, knewe their inestima­ble losse, not of mony which they abuse, but of the riches and most pretio [...]s thing that may be spent, and which can neuer be recouered: I meane time, they would be ashamed of their doctrine, that to loose is worse than to be idle, because it is ioy­ned with so bad an action as of necessitie redoundeth to the de­triment of him selfe, or of his neighbour, yea, and oftentimes of both. And yet because the nature of man is not able to a­bide continuall labour, & occasion of businesse is not alwayes offered, we may with our Chaldees in their Academies fol­lowe this precept, that time spent in honest pastime or game, of moderate pleasure, may be set downe in the register of hap­pie dayes, as howres not greatly dissonant from vertuous indeuours, neither, saith Scipio, is gaming blame worthie, if we vse it as rest and sléepe, after we haue ended & dispatched our businesse. I am glad (quoth Delia) that you allowe vs any time to play. I am not so strict quoth Perymides, but this discource wife is farre from the purpose, therefore séeing we haue yet halfe the euening to spende, and I haue no de­light to play at Cardes, let me heare thée tell a tale, to re­quite yesternightes chat: Delia nothing dainty with hir hus­band, taking the tongs in hir hand, to kéepe the fire in repa­rations, began in this manner.

Delia hir tale.

IN the Ile of Lyppary, there dwelled sometime a Gentleman of good paren­tage, as descended from worshipfull and honest parents, learned by education, as trained vp amongst the Philosophers in their academies, vertuous in his actions, as putting in practize those principles which he hearde in their Shooles, as Axi­omes: generally, well nourtred, in so much that he liued in [Page] very good account in the Iland. This Gentleman called Al­cimides, although fauoured thus with sondrie good qualities, yet was greatly enuied by loue and fortune, for his wāt was such, as his reuenewes were nothing aunswerable to his minde, but li [...]ed poorely, and yet contentedly in meane estate. Fancie séeing fortune frowne, to fill vp the tragedie, presen­ted him with the sight of a young Gentlewomā, called Con­stance, who bein [...] both wise and beautifull: two perswasi­ons sufficient to induce affection, was so narrowly marked of Alcimides, as he thought no obiect to fit his eie but her per­son, nor no melodie to please his eare, but the sound of her mo­dest and graue communication. Snared thus with the consi­deration of this young Gentlewoman at the first, he found wa [...]es to proffer hir roses and perfumes, but at the last pilles, and hemlock. For the young virgin hearing of the vertuous disposition of Alcimides, and séeing his minde was as well garnished with good qualities, as his bodie with proportion, vsed lex talionis, and repaied him loue for loue, so farre as his honestie might desire, & her honor admitte: in so much that no­thing was wanting in the accōplishment of their thoughtes, but her fathers consent: who being moued by Alcimides in the matter, flatly denied, and made this obiection, that he was to poore to make his daughter any sufficient ioynter. Which answere so mazed Alcimides, that in a desperate moode, a­quainting certaine friendes with his purpose. He rigged forth a ship to sea, with full resolution, either to retourne rych, or to lea [...]e his louer and him selfe in the boosome of Neptune. Upon which determination resting, he loosed with his compa­nions from Lyparie, & in manner of mart, made hauock on y Coast of Barbarie, so that in short time he became very rich, but insatiate couetise, that like the serpent Hidaspis is euer a thiefe, so haled him to the hope of more rich purchase, that at last he and all his men were taken by the Sarrasins, and car­ried away prisoners into Thūnes. The news of this mishap, as report must euer be pratling, came flying to the Ile of Ly­pary, that the ship wherein Alcimides and his Souldiours was imbarqued, was drowned in the Coast of Barbarie: Constance no sooner heard of this cursed Stratageme, but she determined to ende these miseries with death, and that in [Page] the sea, that she might imitate Alcymides, who was reported to perish in the same Element: to the ende therefore, [...]ir pur­pose might the more easily be brought to passe, Constāce wal­king downe to the shoare, found a little fisher boate readie furnished, with mast, sayles & other prouision, floating in the the hauen. Which Constance espying, taking this for good occasion, she spéedely went into the boat, and as well as she coul [...]: as the women of that Iland are most skilfull in naui­gation, haled forth into the maine, and there committed hir selfe to the mercie of the waue and winding, thinking by this meanes to procure sonest hir fatall ende, sith so many ac­cidents were readie, as death & daunger euerie minute. Pas­sed thus two or thrée dayes alongst the Coast, till at last a Southeast wynde, dryue the ship vpon the shoare of Barba­rie. The Barke thus beaten vp, there was at that present in the same place a poore woman, who made cleane the fisher­mens nets, which séeing the ship so roughly arriued, thought the Marriners had bene a sléepe, to warne them therefore of their landing, she went vp the hatches and found none, in so much that séeking further, she found this young Gentlewo­man fast a sléepe, as one secure and carelesse of hir misfortune, whome the poore fisherwife waking, perceiuing by hir ap­parell, that she was a Christian, demaunded in the latine toung of whence she was, and the cause of hir so straunge im­barking. Constance risen as it were from a dreame, hearing one speake latine, thought she had béene driuen back againe to Lypary: but casting hir eye about, and séeing hir selfe in an vnknowen Coast, she craued of the woman the name of the countrey, who tolde hir, she was in Barbarie, neare a citti [...] called Su [...]e. Which greatly grieued Constance, that hir death was prolonged, by such a luklesse aduenture: so that fearing some dishonour in so barbarous a countrey might befall hir virgins estate, she sat her downe and wept. The poore wo­man taking pittie of hir passions, caried hir home to hir little cottage, and there as well as she might, so comforted the di­stressed maide, that she tolde hir from point to point, the some of this haplesse accident: and grewe so farre in familiaritie, that Constance demaunded of hir what she was, who made aunswere, that she was of Trapany, a seruant to certaine [Page] fishers, hir-name Mawdleyne: Constance séeing she was a Christian, and could speake Latine very perfec [...]lie, began to intreate hir that she would for the loue of their religion and fai [...]h, tell her what course she had best take, that she re­maine for a time safe without preiudice either of honor or honesty: Mawdleyne a woman of good and vertuous dispo­sition, told her that there was a Sarrazen widow in the Ci­tie, of vertuous life and good conscience, whose house was oft a sanctuary for the distressed, there she durst assure hir selfe she might for a time remaine, till time and opportunitie should better prouide for her estate: Constance glad of this newes desired Mawdleyne to fauour hir with the benefit of that seruice: who willing to pleasure her before two dayes were pas [...], setting all things to hir minde in order, went with Constance to the widowes house, who hauing heard before of Mawdleyne of this maide, gaue her verye good in­tertainement, & as one pittying hir distresse, heard hir sor­row with teares and remorse: well, Cons [...]an [...]e thus placed, being in the company of sundry other maides that wrought néedle-worke, so applied hir selfe to hir labour, that not only by hir diligence she procured hir mistresse fauour, but by hir courtesie, the generall loue & good liking of all hir fellowes. Remaining thus quiet, though not satisfied, fortune willing after so sharpe a Catastrophe, to induce a comicall conclusi­on, tempered hir storme with this pleasant calme: Alcyme­des lying thus in prison, hauing no hope to recouer his frée­dom [...], but looking euerye daye to be condemned perpetuall slaue to the Galleys, newes came that a Nobleman of great reputation, dignitie & power, had made claime to the king­dome of Thimes, as his owne, and ment by the sworde to take it from Mar [...]ucio that th [...]n presentlye possest it: this report comming to the eares of the prisoners, Alc [...]m [...]des who knew very well to speake the Bar [...]arian toong, told his keeper, that might it please him to bring him to the kings pres [...]nce, hee would take such order with his grace, as hee should in despight of fortune remaine conqueror. The [Page] Iaylor séeing the request was of importance, told it present­lye to his Highnesse, who in great hast sent for Alcimide [...], who gathering the king and his Nobles together, discoue­red vnto them such a péece of politike seruice, that they all consented to let Alc [...]medes haue the leading of the vaward, who vndertaking the charge, as a man greatly experienced in martiall discipline, carried his men in squadrons and troupes so artificially, as his warlike skil did greatly encou­rage the souldiers: hauing thus set his men in arraye mar­ching forward to méete the enimy, when the battailes were within v [...]w and readye to ioyne: Alcymedes taking the King by the hand, presented him to the face of all his armie, and then began to incourage them on this manner:

I néed not worthie Gentlemen and Souldiers of Barba­rie, séeke to incourage you with a long discourse, vnlesse put­ting Oyle in the flame, I should put a spur to a frée Horse: your former valiant resolutions manifested in manye bat­tailes, the honor whereof still glories your name with re­nowm [...], assures me, were the enimie like the sands of the sea, and M [...]rs hims [...]lfe opposed against our forces, yet the quarrell good, and our minds armed with inuincible forti­tude (the vertue that dareth fortune in hir face) maugre fates and destinies, you shall, as euer you haue done, returne with an honorable conquest. And for that the cause toucheth your King, who counteth himselfe a fellow-partner in your fortunes, sée he presents himselfe as the first man in the bat­taile, and last man in the field, vnlesse death giue him a princelie quittance of his kingdome: let him be a myrror this day of your magnanimitie, let his actions be your pre­sidents, presse but as far as your Generall, & courage Gen­tlemen, the victory is ours: sée how your sorrowfull Coun­trymen, onelye animated by the rebellious perswasion of a traitor, stands to receiue vs, whose cowardize scarse dare march a foote to méete vs: I sée, yea I sée, in their very faces, the portrature of feare, and therefore Gentlemen, God and our Right, and with that he put spurs to his horse, and gaue [Page] a furious and valiant onset vpon the enemy.

The king ashamed to performe any lesse then Alcimi­des had promised, taking a strong lance in his hand, pulling downe his Beuier, rusht most furiouslie vpon the enemie: his So [...]ldiers noting the vnlookt-for courage of their King, followed with such a desperate resolution, that the enimie amazed at the valour of Martucio, who like a Lion, massa­cring whom he met, ran without stop through the troupes, they laid downe their weapons without any great slaugh­ter. But Martucio forgetting they were his natiue Coun­trymen and his subiects still raged, till méeting him that made claime to the crowne, in single combat he slewe him princely in the field: stayed at last by one of his Lords, who told him the battell was ended by the submission of his sub­iects, who were ashamed that they had béene so forgetfull of their allegeance, causing the retreat to be sounded, he peace­ablie marched on toward Susa, where putting certaine of the chéefe offendors to the sworde, he sent the rest home in quiet. The victorye ended, the King presently sommoned a parlament, where with the consent of all his Commons & Nobilitie, hee proclaimed poore and distressed Alcimides Duke of Tunize, and caused him to ride through the Cittie with a Garland of Bayes on his head, and Princely robes, in great and sumptuous magnificence. Being thus aduan­ced, the report thereof came vnto the eares of Constance, who now knowing him aliue & in great authoritie, whome long since she held for dead, she conceiued such inward ioye, that she could not but outwardlye commit the sum of hir minde to the Gentlewoman with whome s [...]e dwe [...]t, who pittying hir plaints, promised as soon as opportunitie would giue her leaue, to manifest the matter to Alcimides: Con­stance impacient of delayes would not let the old Gentle­woman take no rest, till one morning she went to A [...]cimi­des, and told him that a certaine Gentlewoman was come from Lippary, who desired to speake with him in secret: Alcimides courteous, as one whome honor had not made [Page] proud, thanked the widow for hir paines, and went home to her house, where she presented him with the sight of Con­stance: Alcimedes hearing long before that she was dead, stood amazed at the sudden aduenture, but shée poore soule whome loue stunge at the verye heart, could not abstaine, but blushing, leapt about his necke, bewraying her ioye in teares.

Alcimedes the most ioyfull man aliue for so happy an en­counter, after many swéete imbrasings past, demaunded the cause & meanes how she came into Barba [...]ie, who recounting the fore rehearsed discourse, greatly gladded Alcimides for the finding of so tr [...]stie and true a fréend: Long he stayed not but that he reuealed this comicall Historie to the King, who de­sirous to sée the Maide, entertained hir with great and prince­lie courtesie, and with all spéed to both their contents, solem­nized the mariage, which past, he sent them according to their calling riche home to their fréends in Lippary.

Delia hauing ended her Tale, Perimedes began to take occasion to talke of the inconstancie of Fortune, who onelye coueted to be counted variable in all her actions, for, quoth he, I tell thée wife, I haue séene in my time many rich men, who liued secure in the aboundance of their wealth, driuen to such extreame pouertie, that their superfluitie was [...]ot more then their [...]nsuing want, & many baze peasants by hir flattery be so hoisted vp to the top of her wauering whéele, as they b [...]e po­tentates and mightie men of the earth, but her fauours are such as they include misfortune, and when she presents the most comicall shewes, then she intends the most balefull and dismall stratagemes, as the instance of Alexander the great may serue for a presidēt, who in twelue yeares making a conquest of the whole world, and so [...]attered by Fo [...]tune as he séemed to holde hir fauours in his owne hand amidst his most glée and greatest glorye, was [...]wardlye poysoned in Babilon. At this Pe [...]imedes was readye to enter into a long discourse, his Wife Delia told him the night was farre spent, wherevppon taking his wiues motion for a warning, com­manding [Page] hir to Co [...]re l [...] fen: the poore Smith and his Wife went to Bed.

The third nights exercise.

THe next day being a solempne day of sacri­fice obserued amongst the Aegyptians Peri­medes shutting vp his shop as one that fea­red to giue the least occasion of offence tying his deuotion to the Gods, his obedience to his king, his loue to his neighbours, and his will to the lawe, causing his wyfe to honor the festiuall Rytes with her best rayment, him selfe ietting in his holy-day Cassocke went to the temple, where offring vp his oraysons after the Aegyptian manner: the Flamins & Rabins hauing expounded their lawes, the poore Smith and his wife returned home to dinner, where hauing taken such repast as fitted their diet & was agréeable to their poore prepa­ration: Perimedes to disgest his great chéere, with a litle [...]hat began on this māner: noting to day wife (qu [...]th he) at y tem­ple, [...]ertaine of our great Lords of Aegypt whose beds are fra­m [...]d of Arabian bisse, whose houses stuffed within with plate and outwardly decked & adorned with such curious worke of porphurine, as nature in thē séemeth to be ouerlaboured with arte: Their ports glistring like the pallace of the Sun, shew to all passengers wonders, to be written in ye registers of their memories: But wife, when these great Potentates of the Earth came to discouer their inward deuotion at their o [...]er­torie in giuing to the Gods, and the poore, I perceiued them miserable, & so corrupted in the conceit of their owne wealth, that I cryed out in my thoughts, these men are poorer then Perimedes: For I tell thée Delia, this haue I heard of the a [...] ­cient Caldees, whose book [...]s were burned with their benes, that he onelye is riche, which abandoning all superfluities resteth contented with what Fortune hath fauoured him, his [Page] estate not pinched with such pouertie, but he may liue ho­nestlye and vertuouslye: who so resolute in this content maketh not his thoughts and passions subiect to the restlesse desire of gaine, Is vere habetur diues, for wife, the minde is the touchstone of content, and holdeth the ballance that pro­tortioneth quiet or disquiet to Kings: for Pharao our great Prince is not therfore fortunate, for that he is inuested with the diademe, for his Crowne resteth in the lap of Lachesis, and the destinies may depriue him of his dignitie this night: Kings as they haue crownes, so they haue cares, and in pas­sing vnto pleasure, they step vpon thornes, and run ouer a sea of Glasse: not therefore riche for that they are kings, vn­les content with his annuall reuenues, & satisfied with such limits as are left to the Pharaos: resting thus he is both a king and rich, in that seated amidst the glories of the world, the sundry obiects of delights drawes not away his eyes, nor as the Sirens with their inchanting melodies, nor golde nor glories can hale him with anye pleasing sorceries, from the quiet Castell of Content: thus minded Delia I tell thée I call him rich, and therefore holde my selfe one of the weal­thiest subiects in all Aegipt, in that all my desires haue rested themselues in a peaceable concord, for my estate I desire to be no higher then a Smith, as thus spighting fortune by my occupation, hauing my Tongs in my hand as a Scepter, to rule in my shop, and as Mercuries Caduceus to charme the inconstancie of the vaine Goddesse: her greatest frowne can be [...]ut want of a little worke, and that I ouerpasse with patience, and if she smile, then begin I to laugh, that For­tune is glad to become fréends with a poore Smith: Now for richesse and treasure I haue plentye, in that I wante none, but count my pouertie the verye store-house of a­bondance.

Delia hearing hir husband thus solemnlye deliuer such Stoicall paradoxes, ioyned issue with him in the same plea, and began to prosecute the matter in this manner. Indéed husband quoth she, the minds of men are so fiered with the [Page] restles heate of couetize, as they beat out hot [...]er flames then Enceladus dooth from vnder Etna, and are like the Serpent Hidaspis, which the more she drinketh, the more she is pin­ched with thirst, insomuch that they count great gifts little goods, caring not if they may gaine, what meanes they vse to get, counting all things honest that are profitable, and thinking gall most swéete, if tempered with gold: these men that haue no meane I thinke most miserable, could they with Nimrod build vp Babell, or with Ninus lay the foun­dation of Babilon: for I tell thée Perymides, it is not the coine but the conscience, not the coffers stuffed with store, but a mind luld a sléepe with pleasing content, that maketh a man rich: for he that defraudeth his neighbor with vnder­minding policies, or circumuenteth him with any intricate deceit, exacting vnreasonable taskes and customs, wrapping his fréends as if in Dedalus Laborinth, in the quiddities of preiudiciall bargaines, prying into the state of the common treasury, so to indōmage the common-wealth for his owne cōmoditie, gaping as Uultures after the testaments of the dead, not ceasing with the Rauens to pray on liuelesse car­casses: such as these husband, (quoth Delia) are not weal­thie in that as miserablie they want, but are poore in that they leaue no vnlawfull meanes to couet. Then quoth Pe­rymedes of these former inferred premises we may con­clude, that poorely content is better then richlye couetous, which the ancient Romaines auered in their censures, for whether shall we estimate the m [...]ny that king Pyrrhus sent to Fabritius, or els the continencie of Fabritius which made deniall of the same, being proffered frankelye by so great a potentat: and did not the answer of Marcus Curius more glory him & his familie with immortall renowne, in reiecting the masse of Gold sent him by the Samnites, then al the treasure they brought in such pompe to Rome, was not the liberalitie of Africanus, who parted his small Farme with his brother Quintus Maximus, registred in Rome as a thing deseruing perpetuall memory, whē the great wealth [Page] and possessions of Lucius Paulus perisht at his funerales, lea­uing behinde him no monument, but that the Romains did accompt him poore and miserable. These glorious instances of Roman excellencye, prooue, that the true richesse con­sisteth not in the aboundance of wealth, but in the perfect ha­bit of Uertue: for richesse is casuall and momentary, subiect to the frowne of Fortune, as brittle as Glasse, standing vpon a Globe that is neuer permanent, like to the Trées amongst the Natolians, that being couered with flowers in the mor­ning, are tawny & withered before night, resembling the frute in the Garden Pesparades, which glistering like gold, toucht presently turneth to Ashes: wheras Uertue is not accidentall but sets out her Flag of defiance against Fortune, opposing himselfe against all the conspyring chances of this world: like Aeneas armour not to be pi [...]rced with any contrary constella­tion, so insorted into the minds of men, as neither can perish by Shipwracke, which made Bias escaping from the Sea, bouldly and merily to saye in his greatest want: Omnia mea mecum porto: And the sonne of Anchises carrying his Father on his backe through the flames of Troye, looking behind him to say, Animus infractus remanet & virtus inter hostes & ignes viget. Then Wife thou seest they onely are rich that couet no­thing, that want nothing, but liuing in content, i [...]rich them­selues with Uertue: then Delia let me boldlye say (and with that the Smith set his hands by his side) that I am rich as the prowdest in all Aegypt. But now that I may not be t [...] tedi­ous in my discourse, I will to temper mirth with melancho­ly, and to sing the Satyres of Horace to the Lute, rehearse thée a pleasant Tale tending somewhat to this effect: and thus the Smith began.

Perymedes tale.

HEreby in the confines of Babilon, dwelled a Duke called Grada [...]so, a man whose many yeares had by long experience learned, that to trust sundry men, was to séeke for an Eele amongst many Scorpions, [Page] and therefore [...] granting [...] admitted none into familiaritie, vnlesse [...]e might sell [...]is courtesie for pro [...]t, and they buie his [...]au [...]ur with repentance But in priuate and secret counsa [...]les, he vsed no free [...]d but himselfe, fearing to find that in others, which he found [...]an­ted in his owne cankered stomacke, so [...] to shadowe his spightfull practises with glosing coulers, as resembling the Pyrite Stone, he burned sorest when he was thought most colde: to trust anye he thought was to despise securitie, and to desire mishap, and therefore knowne more for his authori­tie then by his manners, he carryed his thoughts sealed vp with silence, pained with that which he most liked, namelye Fearefull mistrust. This Gradasso although despighted by the Gods and nature, for placing such odious qualities in such an old carcasse, yet was he fauoured by Fortune in possessing large and sumptuous reuenues, and not only aduanced with the tytle of honor and dignities, but also wherein hee most ioyed, he had one onely Child called Melissa: a Ladye so fur­nished with outward shape of body, and inwarde qualities of the minde, so decked with the gifts of nature, and adorned with sundry exquisite vertues, as Aegy [...]t did not so much de­spise hir Father for his v [...]ious dispositiō, as they did extoll hir fame for hir vertuous syncerity: for she although to hir great greefe, seeing into her Fathers lawlesse actions, how with pretensed flatterye like to the H [...]ena he had snared some to their vtter mishap, and that vnder coulour of lawe, with ex­acted extortion he had oppressed the poore, sought not onely as farre as she durst, to pull her Father from such inordinate gaines, but also secretly made recompence to such as h [...]r Fa­ther vniustly had almost brought to ruine.

This M [...]lis [...]a flourishing thus in happy fame, the old mi­sard her Father casting beyond the Moone, knewe by experi­ence, that as the hearbe Spa [...]tania no sooner sprowteth aboue the ground but it blometh, and the [...]gges of the Lapwing are [...]ea [...]ce hatch [...] befor [...] the young ones can run [...] so women resembling the Apples of the Tr [...]e Pala, are scarse ripe before [Page] t [...]ey [...]re to be pluckt, and their yeares not able to discerne loue before they be halfe [...]rowned in loue: these considerati­ons m [...]oued old Gradasso to preuent had I wist, with taking opportunity by the forehead, & therefore sought out amongst his bordering neighbours a yoong Gentleman, the sonne and heyre of a Baron, whose reuenues as they w [...]re great, so they adioyned fitly to his possessions: which made the doting Duke to indeuour to buye him a sonne in lawe answ [...]rable to his owne opinion: finding his Daughter th [...]refore in fyt time and place, he brake with hir in this manner. Thou knowest Melissa (quoth he) how carefull I haue beene since thy mo­thers death, not onely sec [...]etly to prouide for thy welfare, but openly so to grace thée with exteriour fauours, as all Aegypt haue iudged me a Father worthie s [...]ch a Childe: and thee for thy obedience deseruing what my liberalitie hath so carefully imparted. In thyne nonage I indeuoured to instruct thée in modestye and manners, by such vertues to séeme gratious in the eye of euerye man, now that thou art growne to ryper yeares, and art famous for the method of thy life through all the countrey, séeing thou art fit for marriage, I haue sought thee such an husband, as shal honor thee with his byrth, and in­rich thée with his possessions, a man though not so exquisite­ly formed by nature, as he maye séeme a second Paris, yet of such wealth as hee may countenance and credit with the a­boundance of his reuenues, and to be bréefe daughter, it is Rosilius sonne to the Lord Rosilius latelye deceased: after he had named the man, he ceased to heare his daughters replye. Melissa noting with a secret mislike hir fathers motion, yet for [...]are durst not oppose hir selfe against his determination, but told him that as she was his Daughter, so she was bound by the law of nature to obeye him as hir Father, and his will should be to hir as a law, which by no meanes she dared to in­ [...]tinge: this answer pleased the old couetous Duke, that with as conuenient spéed as might be, he brake the matter to Rosi­lius, who hauing no more wyt then hee well could occupye, noting how faire a Lady he should possesse, condiscended with [Page] great thankes to the Dukes motion, and therevpon frequen­ting the house of Gradasso began after his homely fashion to court the young Lady Melissa, as fit to woe so braue a Gen­tlewoman, as Pan to be sent from Troye inambassage to Helena: well, these two discords of descanting, to make a concord:

It fortuned that a Gentleman next neighbour to the duke, had a young sonne called Bradamant, a man so suffici­ently graced with externall fauours of nature, to beautifie his body, and with inward quallities and vertues to aduance his minde as he was generally liked and loued of all the country: This young Gentleman passing by the Court of Gradasso, espied Melissa looking out of a windowe: Bradamant ama­zed at the sight of such a heauenly creature, stood a long while astonished at her excellent beautie, in so much that Melissa casting her eye aside, espyed him, and with that shut the case­ments: which somewhat daunted the minde of the young Gentleman, to be so sodenly depriued of that obiect which so greatly pleased his eyes, but taking this her modest discourte­sie in good part, he passed forward to take a vew of his fathers grounds, where as he sollemnly & sollitaryly walked, he felt in his minde a sparkling heate of affection, which he tooke as a toye of youth, rather to be laught at for the sudden passion, then to be preuented for any [...]suing danger. As thus he re­sted a little perplexed, but not greatlye pained, Cupid that grudged to loose such a nouice, hauing his winges plumed with Times feathers, least hee might let slip occasion, seeing this young Gentl [...]man at discouert, thought to strike while the Iron was hot, and so drew a boult to the head, and stroke Bradamant at the very harte, which pierced so deepe, that no physicke could cure: For the fame of Melissaes life began to allure him, the report which all Aegypt made of hir courte­ [...]ie, was a chaine to intangle hys freedome, hir honour, byrth, parentage, and incomparable beautie, gaue such fi [...]rce as­saults to his perplexed fancie, as no defense of reason was a­ble to withstand those violent impressions.

[Page] Bradamant seeing himselfe pai [...]d with these vnacq [...]ain­ted fits, was driuen into a [...]uandary, whether he sh [...]uld vali­antly resist the inchanting tunes of Cupids sorcor [...], and so stand to the chance whatsoeuer the mayne were, or els yeelde to the alluring call of Beawtye, and so spend his youth in see­king and suing for doubtfull though desired fauours. Tossed a while in these contrary thoughts, and pinched with the con­sideration of his owne estate, he began to think that to fixe his fancie vpon Melissa was with the yoong Gri [...]o [...]s to [...]cke a­gainst the [...]tars: and with the Woolues to barke against the Moone, seeing the basenesse of his birth, and such a rich [...]all as Ressilius was [...] would greatly preiudice his intended l [...]te. These considerations began somewhat to r [...]presse his [...]ting fancies: but Cupid not willing [...] take so slender a r [...]puls [...], though [...] s [...]raight to race out these de [...]pairing thoughts [...] with the comfortable Conserues of Hope, and to draw Bradamant out of the Laborinth of distrusting [...]ea [...]e, with the assured pos­sibilities of atchieuing his enterprise. He therefore began to incourage [...]s Champion with these plawsible coniectures, t [...]a [...] Me [...]a was a woman, and therefore to be woone, it [...]eau­tifull, with prau [...]s: [...] co [...]e, wi [...]th praiers: if proud, with gifts: if couetous with promises: to conclude, that as there is no stone [...]o hard which cannot [...]e cut, no Hawke so [...]ammage that cannot be manned: no Tygre so fierce w [...]ich [...] [...]e tamed: so there is no woman [...]o infected with the b [...]ter [...] on of selfe-will: no [...]e so spotted with the staine of hellish cru­eltie [...] nor so wedded vnto wilfull frowardnesse, but th [...]y may be drawne to the [...]ure by some of the forena [...]ed practises. Bra­damant pricked forward with these pithie perswasions, and yet driuen backe with the feare of some haplesse deniall, st [...]od diuersly perplexed whether he should with a momentary con­tent sue after losse, or with a long [...]isquiet séeke after gaine, re­maining awhile in these doubts, halfe frantike wi [...]h such [...]n­accustomed fits, he fell into these passionate complaints:

Oh Bradamant how art thou diuersly perplexed, driuen either to purchase haplesse content with fading pleasures, or [Page] to gaine à happy disquiet with ensuing profits [...] if thou choose the first, thou art like to repent at the last: if the s [...]ond, s [...]r [...] with Hercule [...] after painefull labours to obtaine fame and quiet: the Caspians fearing to be sti [...]d with sweete sauours, weare in their bosomes bands of Hemlocke: the people Pha­rusij doubting to surfet with drinking the iuice of Liquo­rice, preuent such perril [...] with [...]hewing Rewbarbe: it is bet­ter to be pained with the sting of a Snake, and recouer, then be tickled with the venime of Tarantula and dye laughing: hard yea hard it is, Bradamant, to ride on Seianus Horse, for his beauty and then perish, or to gaine the Golde of Thalessa with assured mishap: better it is for a time with sorrow to preuent dangers, then to buye fading pleasures with repen­tance? Why Bradamant, what cause shalt th [...]u haue to re­pent? Is paine alwayes a companion to p [...]easure? is danger the hand-maide to Lou [...]? is Fancye neuer painted but trea­ding vpon thornes? yes no do [...]bt, as Cupid hath arrowes that doo pierce [...] so they make swéete wounds. Ve [...]us I grant [...]a [...]h a wrinckle in her brow [...] but two dimples in her [...]eekes [...] [...]he frown [...]s not vpō them that sacrifice at Pa [...]hos: but paines such as de [...]pise hir Deitye Loue Bradamant, why doost thou loue, yea alas, and therefore vnhappy because in loue, a passi­on so vnfit for thy yoong yeares, as if thou yéeld to Cupids al­lurements, thou shalt haue cause either to curse the Des [...]inies [...]or appointing him a God, or accuse the Gods for errating th [...]e a man: for loue whatsoeuer the lucke be is alwai [...]s tem­pered with losse: if thou winne, thy gaines shall be like theirs who buye Hony mixed with Gall, the swéetnesse not halfe so much pleasing the taste, as the bitternesse infecteth the sto­macke: Pa [...]rhasi [...]s drawing the counterfeit of loue, painteth hir tickling Youth on the left side with a Feather, and sting­ing him on the right with a Scorpion: meaning that they which are sotted with the sorceries of Cupid, reape for a dra [...] of Go [...]de a pound of drosse, and for a pinte of pure oyle, a whole [...]un of infectious poison, being a fading pleasure mix­ed with bitter passions, and a miserye tempered with a [...]ew [Page] s [...]riue not then against the streame, féed not with the Deare against the winde, sake not to appease Venus with slanders, bu [...] with sacrifice: Melissa is beautifull and vertuous, to be w [...]e with intreatie, if thou feare not to attempt: what th [...]ugh Grada [...]o frowne, may not the fauour: he s [...]fled with [...]uer [...]e, and therefore must hate: she stirred by Venus, and therefore must loue: if Melissa like, passe not, if he lowre [...] yea [...] bo [...]h your parents mislike, so you two rest in contented q [...]iet. Bradamant had no sooner vttered these words, but he felt his minde halfe eased with slattering himselfe thus in his f [...]llies, so that from doubting if he might loue, he fell to deuising how to obtaine his loue: Resting thus diuersly pas­sionate: M [...]issa of the contrarye part began greatlye to affect young Bradamant, and though his meane byrthe, his paren­tage and lyuing, did disswade her from liking so base a youth: yet a restlesse desire, a secret Idea and contemplation of his vertues and beautye, made him thinke if Gradasso would graunt, she could prefer Bradamant before Resillius, so that hindred in a Dylemma, she began thus doubtfully to debate with hir selfe: Oh vnhappy Milissa, whose minde is payned with vnacquainted passions, and whose head is troubled with vnequall thoughts: shall thy Uirgins state be stained with fond desires, or thy young yeares darkened with Cupids sha­dowes? Tis fit for thée Melissa to spend thy youth in laboures not in loues, to pace sollemnly after Vesta, not to gad wan­tonly after Venus: maides must haue deniall in their mouth and disdayne in their harts, so shall they safelye remaine free, and securelye despise Fancie: Diana is painted kissing Uer­tue, and spotting Beauties face with a Pensell: Uirgins must delight in ancient counsailes, not amorous conceits, least in smelling vpon swéete Uiolets, they stumble on bitter Rue. Truth Melissa, thou giuest good precepts if thou canst follow thine owne principle, thou art perswaded by Brada­mant to loue, but take héede of such balefull allurements, arme thy selfe against his charming desire, with a chaste dis­daine, so shalt thou be sure as he which weareth Lawrell can­not [Page] be [...] carieth [...] of [...] Eagle perish with [...] shall neither Loue [...] paine [...] with hapl [...]sse [...] thinke this, Brad [...] is a man, and therefore inconstant: and as he sayth a Louer, and therefore a flatterer, as fickle as the Woolues of Syria which forget their praye ere they be halfe satisfied, & as dissembling as Iupiter, who féedeth Semele for a while with Nectar, [...] then killeth hir with fire. Sith then Melissa to loue is to l [...]fe, feare not Venus as a Goddesse, but despise her as a [...]anton, intreate not Cupid with prayers, but with curses: tell Fan­cie thou wilt reiect his as a vassall, not regard hir as a vertue: for Bradamant raile at him as a peasant to lowe for thy pas­sions: in stéed of courtesie, present him with Medaeas inchan­ted Casket: dooth Bradamant loue Melissa? no he hateth Me­lissa, he faineth loue to procure thy losse, he flattereth to trye thy follie, and if he find thée to fond, he will bring thée a sléepe with melodie, and then strike of thy head with Mercurie. Oh Melissa condemne not Bradamāt, without cause, if thou mea­nest not to loue him, delight not to lacke him, proffer him not Netl [...]s sith he presents thée with Roses: if he yéeld the Ho­nie rub not his hiue with gall: answere him fréendly, though thou straine courtesie to flatter, for swéete promises please more then sower gifts, and pleasant poti [...]ns are better taken though infectious, then bitter pils though most wholesome: & know this Melissa, that the flame of the hill Chymera, is to be quenched with Haye, not with water: the mountaine in Harpasa to be remooued with ones finger, not with the whole strength: and loue to be driue [...] out with reason, not to bee thrust out with force, least in striuing against Venus she play the woman and séeke to reuenge. Melissa had no sooner vtte­red these words, but going into her Closet she passed awaye the time two or thrée dayes perplexed: her swéete loue Rosi­lius could not with all his clownish courting, driue hir from hir dumpes, but still all her thoughts and imaginations were fixed on the wytte and personage of yoong Bradama [...]t, so that both the louers sought by walking in the woods to méete there [Page] [...] with­in [...] course that hi [...] loue [...], repaire [...] to a groū [...] [...] Melissa presently res [...] [...]he Saint whom in heart she did reuerence, steal [...]ng secretly amidst the thicket she determined to heare some part of his passions: Bradamāt full of melancholy dumps, tuning his Lute, began to warble [...]t this madrigale:

The Swans whose pens as white as Iuory,
Eclipsing fayre Endymions siluer-loue:
Floting like snowe downe by the banckes of Po.
Nere tund their notes like Leda once forlorne:
VVith more dispairing sortes of madrigales,
Then I whome wanton loue hath with his gad,
Prickt to the Courte of deepe and restlesse thoughts,
The frolike yoongsters Bacchus liquor mads,
Run not about the wood of Thes [...]aly,
VVith more inchaunted fits of lunacy,
Then I whome loue, whome sweete and bitter loue,
Fiers infects with sundry passions,
Now lorne with liking ouermuch my loue,
Frozen with fearing, if I step to far:
Fired with gazing at such glymmering stars,
As stealing light from Phebus brightest rayes,
Sparkles and sets a flame within my brest,
Rest restlesse Loue, fond baby be content:
Child hold thy darts within thy quiuer close,
And if thou wilt be rouing with thy bowe,
Ayme at those hearts that may attend on loue,
Let countrey swaines, and silly swads be still,
To Court yoong wag, and wanton there thy fill.

After that Bradamant had recorded this dittie, he heard a great rushling in the bushes, wherevpon desirous to sée what it might be, he espyed Melissa, at whose sight he stood so ama­zed, as if with Medusaes head he had béene turned to a stone: the Lady as much agast, hauing a coosin of hirs with hir cal­led Angelica, vttered not a word, but the Louers made mute [Page] with loue, stood as persons in a trance, til Bradamant discour­sing his loues, and making open his priuie passions, fell downe at her féete, and craued mercie: the Ladye as déepely payned as he was passionate, could not conceale fire in the straw: nor dissemble loue in her lookes, but flatlye tolde him that both the proportions of his bodye, and the vertues of hys minde had made such a conquest in her affections, that were it not the crabbed and couetous disposition of the Duke, she could find in her heart to make him hir onely paramour, but hir father Gradasso had prouided her a mariage, whome she durst not refuse, a man able with his wealth to maintaine hir, with his parentage to credit hir, and that his possessions were great gifts to content, and little gods to command, euen Ve­sta her selfe to leaue hir Uirginitie, but quoth she, how I rest discontent with the match, I appeale to the Gods and myn [...] owne conscience: Bradamant hearing her so willing to be wonne, tolde hir that pollicies in loue were not deceipts, but wisdome: that to dissemble in affection was to offer Venus her rights, and therfore if her fancy were such as she did pro­test, it were easie to inioye the fruition of their loues: Not so, quoth Melissa, for rather had I marrye Rosilius, and so wed my selfe to continuall discontent and repentance, then by be­ing lose in my loues, and wanton in my thoughts disobey­ing my fathers commaund, to disparage mine honour and become a by-word throughout all Aegipt, for Ladyes honors are like white lawnes, which soone are stayned with euerye mole: men in their loues haue liberties, that soare they ne­uer so high nor stoope they neuer so lowe, yet their choice is little noted: but women are more glorious obiects, and ther­fore haue all mens eyes attentiuelye bent vpon them: yet (quoth she) how I mislyke of my Fathers commaund, and how male-content I am, lend me your Lute, and you shall heare my opinion: Bradamant glad that his Mistresse would vouchsafe to grace him with a Song, deliuered hir the instru­ment, wherevpon Melissa beyng verye skilfull, warbled out this Dittye:

Obscure and darke is all the gloomie [...]ire,
The Curtaine of the night is ouerspred:
The sylent Mistresse of the lowest spheare,
Puts on her sable coulered vale and lower.
Nor Star nor Milkewhite cyrcle of the skye
Appeares where discontent doth hold her lodge.
She sits shrind in a Can [...]apie of Clouds,
Whose massie darkenesse mazeth euery sense.
Wan is her lookes, her cheekes of Azure hue,
Hir haires as Gorgons foule retorting Snakes,
Enuie the Glasse wherein the hag doth gaze,
Restlesse the clocke that chimes hir fast a sleepe,
Disquiet thoughts the minuts of her watch,
Forth from her Caue the fiend full oft dooth flie,
To Kings she goes, and troubles them with Crownes,
Setting those high aspiring brands on fire,
That flame from earth vnto the seate of Ioue,
To such as Midas, men that dote on wealth,
And rent the bowels of the middle earth
For come: who gape, as did faire Danae,
For showers of Gold their discontent in blacke,
Th [...]owes forth the viols of her restlesse cares,
To such as sit at Paphos for releefe,
And offer Venus manie solemne vowes,
To such as Hymen in his Saffron robe,
Hath knit a Gordion knot of passions,
To these, to all, parting the glomie aire,
Black discontent doth make hi [...] bad repaire.

No sooner had Melissa ended this Sonnet, but for feare the two louers, though most vnwilling, parted, determining when occasion would serue, they would meete againe: yet was not their méeting so in secret, but old Gradas [...]o knew of their conference: wherevpon he not onlye blamed his da [...]gh­ter, and in bitter and railing tearmes misused the father of Bradamant, but sought with all possible spéed to dispatch the [Page] marriage: Melissa passing the dayes in melancholie, and the night in passionate dumpes, that her nuptials were so nye though men determine the Gods doo dispose, and oft times many things fall out betwéene the Cup and the lip, for the day being appointed, certaine tenants, as well Gentlemen as others, that were vnder the Duke, went to Pharao with ge­nerall complaints of his couetous and barbarous crueltye. Pharao whose thoughts aimed at excessiue desire of coine, tooke oportunitie by the hand, & thought by these complaints to possesse himsel [...]e of all his possessions and treasure, where­vpon he sent for the Duke & Rosilius, and after he had heard the complaints, he banisht him, and Rosilius his sonne in law, with his Daughter Melissa, out of all the confines of Aegipt. Gradasso willing to answer to his accusers, could not be suf­fered by the King to make any replye, but within thrée day [...]s they must depart, which so danted the Duke and yoong Rosi­lius, that they stoode like those men that Perseus turned to stones, and poore Melissa sorrowing at the hard censure of the King, and wéeping at the mishap of hir Father, cryed [...]ut a­gainst Fortune that was so fickle, and the starres that [...]ad so badlye dealt in the configuration of their natiuiti [...], séeing hir sorrow with teares, and hir Fortunes with wa [...]ings: well to be breefe, the day came of their departure, the Duke with Rosilius and Melissa were imbarked in a little Ship, and so transported into Libia, where wh [...]n they arriued, the Du [...]e for that he had small acquaintance or none in the Countrie, liued obscurely and in poore estate: the clowne Rosilius ha­uing no quallities of the mind, on [...]lye at h [...]m [...] relying vpon his reuenues, & now abroad driuen to satisfie his thirst with his hands, and to reléeue his hunger with applying himselfe to any seruile kind of drudgerie: Melissa she got hir selfe into the seruice of a rich marchant, where with such court [...]sie she behaued hir selfe, that she was generally liked of all the hous­hould: while thus th [...]se thrée pilgrims liued in this penance, Bradamant hearing of this straunge accident, fell into diuers and [...]undry perplexed passions [...] First the feruent affection he [Page] bare vnto Melissa, tolde him that Fortune may not part lo­uers, nor the inconstant constellation of the planets, disseuer that which Fan [...] ye had vnited with such a bande, that the vowes of Venus are not to be violated: that loue must resem­ble a cyrcle, whose motion neuer ceaseth in that rounde, ther­fore he was bound by loue and dutie, to sayle after them into Lybia, and there to giue what reléefe he could to these exiles: but to these resolutions came strange and contrary motions: First the forsaking of his Father whome he most reuerently honoured: secondly his fréends, whome in all duty he did re­uerence, but that which pained him most, was to leaue Egipt his countrey, which hee loued more then his life, in so much that with Vlisses hee counted the smoake of Ithaca swéeter then the f [...]ers of Troie, these considerations drewe him from his resolution of departure, so that he stayed for two or thrée daies passionate in Aegipt but loue that is restlesse suffred him to take no rest, but in his dreames presented him with the shape of Melissa, and waking, Fancie set so playnely the Idea of her person and perfection before his eyes, that as one tormented with a second hell, neither respecting father, coun­try, nor friends, as soone as wynde and weather did serue, rigging a bonny Bark to the Sea, he passed into Lib [...]a, where he was no sooner arriued, but straight [...]ee highed him to the Court, where then Sacrapant the king of that land kept his pallace royall, Bradamant liuing there for a space as a cour­tier, woon such [...]auour for his excellent wit and rare quali­ties, that the king held him as one of his cheefe gentl [...]men, and promoted him with great giftes, in so much that who but Bradamant in all the Court of Libia, flowrisht thus in great credit, he sought about to finde out the Duke and his daugh­ter, him on a day as he passed downe to y sea Cliffes he fou [...]d gathering of Cockles, professing the state of a Fisher-man: with whom, after he had parted a litle, he bewrayed what he was, & in what estimation he was with Sacrapant: the Duke glad to sée one of his countrimen, and neyghbours in so strang a land embraced him, to whom Bradamant briefly discour­sed [Page] his mynde as concerning ye imperf [...]ctions of Rosilius how his wealth onely r [...]sp [...]cted, whereof now he was d [...]pryued, he was a mere pleasant and slaue of nature, not able, being exil [...] though noble borne, to shew any sparks of honor: seeing then the Duke was tyed to extremities he would now mary his daughter, and make hir liue as hir calling deserued in the Court: Gradasso no sooner heard his minde, but he graunted to hys motion, so that Bradamant breaking the matter to the king Sacrapant with all his Lordes seeing the Damzell so fayre condiscended, and with great pompe solempnised the Nuptials, where Bradamant mainteyned his wyfe and his father very richly vntill Pharao dying, the duke Bradamant and his wyfe Meli [...]sa with the clowni [...]h Lord Rosilius passed home to theyr former Possessions: Perimedes hauing tolde his tale, he brust forth into these spéeches: Thou séest Delia how farre wit is preferred before wealth, and in what esti­mation the qualities of the mynde are in respect of worldly Possessions: Archimedes hauing suffered Shipwrack on the Sea being cast on shoare all the rest of the passengers sorrow­ing because theyr goods were lost, he [...]spying certaine Geo­metricall Caracters, merrily and chéerefully sayd vnt [...] them, Feare not fellow-mates in misfortune, for I sée the steps of men, and so passed: but when hée was knowen among them, the Phylosophers reléeued them all. Least Perimedes should haue gone forward in his discourse, one of his neighbours came in to beare him company, and so hee ceast from his pratle.

If the rest of theyr discourse happen into my hands, then Gentle-men looke for Newes.

William Bubb Gentleman, to his freend the Author.

AFter that freend R [...]bin you had finished Peryme­des, and vouchsafed to commit it to my vewe, li­king the worke, [...]d so much the rather, for that you bestowed the Dedication on my verye good freind Maister Geruis Clifton, whose deserts merit it (and one of more worth) whē your labour shall be imploied more se­riouslie: the last sheete hanging in the Presse, comming into your studie, I found in your Deske certaine Sonets, fained to be written by the Caldees, what time the poore Smith and his wife liued so contentedlye, which shee hauing kept as iewels in her Chest, and you as relikes in your Chamber, not letting any but your familiars to per­use them, for that you feared to discouer your little skill in verse: these Sonets for that they fit my humour, and will content others, or els my iudgement failes, I charge thee by that familiar conuersing that hath past betweene vs, that thou annex them to the end of this Pamphlet, which if you grant, we still rest as we haue beene, if not, Actum est de amicitia, and so farewell.

Thine William Bubb.

The Author.

BEing Gentlemē thus strictly coniured by mine espe­ciall good freend, I dare not but rather hazard my credit on your courtesies then loose for so small a trifle his freendship whome I haue euer found as faithfull as [Page] familiar, and so familiar as can come within the compasse of amitie: then I humbly intreate, if my verses be harse, or want the grace that Poems should haue, that you will ouer­shadow them with your fauours, and pardon all, the rather for that I present them vpon constraint: if in this your cour­tesies shall freend me, I will either labour to haue better skill in Poetrie, or els sweare neuer to write anye more, and so I hartely bid you farewell.

R. G.

WHen the Caldees ruled in Aegypt, as the Gimnoso­phists did in India, and the Sophi in Greece, they v­sed to endeuor as far as their graue counsailes could preuaile, to suppresse all wanton affections, respecting not the degrees of persons, to whome they deliuered their satyricall exhortations: it chanced therfore, that Psamnetichus yoongest sonne, addicted to much to wanton desires, and to sot himselfe in the beautie of women: one of the Caldees hauing an in­sight into his lasciuious lyfe, perswaded him to desist from such fading pleasures, whose momentarye delights did bréede lasting reproche and infamie: the yoong Prince making light account of his words, went into his Studye, and writ him an answer Sonnet-wise, to this effect:

I am but yoong and may be wanton yet.

IN Cypres sat fayre Venus by a Fou [...]t,
Wanton Adonis toying on her knee,
She kist the wag, her darling of accompt,
The Boie gan blush, which when his louer see,
She smild and told him loue might challenge debt,
And he was yoong and might be wanton yet.
The boy waxt bold fiered by fond desire,
That woe he could, and court hir with conceipt,
Reason spied this, and sought to quench the fire
With cold disdaine, but wily Adon straight
Cherd vp the flame and saide good sir what let,
I am but young and may be wanton yet.
Reason replied that Beawty was a bane
To such as feed their fancy with fond loue,
That when sweete youth with lust is ouertane,
It rues in age, this could not Adon moue,
For Venus taught him still this rest to set
That he was young, and might be wanton yet.
Where Venus strikes with Beauty to the quick,
It litle vayles sage reason to reply:
Few are the cares for such as are loue sicke
But loue: then though I wanton it awry
And play the wag: from Adon this I get,
I am but young and may be wanton yet.

After the young Prince had ended his sonnet and gyuen it as it were in derysion to the Caldee, the olde man willing to gyue him a Sop of the same saw [...]e, called together his wyts, and refelled his reason thus, after his owne methode:

The Syren Venus nourist in hir lap
Faire Adon, swearing whiles he was a youth
He might be wanton: Note his after-hap
The guerdon that such lawlesse lust ensueth,
So long he followed flattering Venus lore,
T [...]ll seely Lad, he perisht by a bore.
Mars in his youth did court this lusty dame
He woon hir loue, what might his fancy let
He was but young: at last vnto his shame
Vulcan intrapt them slily in a net,
And call'd the Gods to witnesse as a truth,
A leachers fault was not excus'd by youth.
If crooked Age accounteth youth his spring;
The Spring, the fayrest season of the yeare,
Enricht with flowers and sweetes, and many a thing
That fayre and gorgeous to the eyes appeare:
It fits that youth the spring of man should be,
Richt with such flowers as vertue yeeldeth thee.

After that the olde Caldee had penned this Poeme, hée presented it to the young Prince, but how it tooke effect I li­tle know, and leaue you to suppose: but this I am sure, De­lia kept it in hir Casket as a Relick: and therefore as I had it I present it.

This Sonnet had no name prefixed, so that I know [...] not whose inuention it was: but Delia held it more déere then all the rest, so that before shee drew it out off hir Boxe shée praysed it with many protestations: but as the Argument may inferre coniecture, it was doone by a Lo­uer, whose Mistresse was hard-hearted: which hée dys [...] ­uered Metaphorically and myldly: Thus:

FAire [...]s my loue for Aprill in her face,
H [...]r louely brests September claimes his part,
And Lordly Iuly in her eyes takes place,
But col [...]e December dwelleth in her heart:
Blest be the months, th [...]t sets my thoughts on fire,
Accurst that Month that hindreth my desire.
Like Phoebus [...]ire, so sparkles both her eies,
As ayre perfumde with Amber is her breath:
Like swelling waues her louely teates do rise,
As earth hir heart, cold, dateth me to death.
Ave me poore man that on the earth do liue,
When vnkind earth, death and dispaire doth giue.
In pompe sits Mercie seated in hir face,
Loue twixt her brests his tro [...]hees dooth imprint.
Her eyes shines fauour, courtesie, and grace:
But touch her heart, ah that is framd of flynt;
That fore my haruest in the Grasse beares graine,
The rockt will weare, washt with a winters rai [...]e.

This read ouer, she clapt it into her casket, and brought out an old rustie paper, and with that she smyled on h [...]er hus [...]and, and spake to her neighbour [...]itting by, I will tell you Gossip (quoth she) as preciselye as my husband sits, hee hath béene a wag, but nowe age hath pluckt out all his Coltes téeth: for when hee and I made loue one to another, hee got a learned clarke to write this dittie, subtilly contriued as though it [...] [...]ne betwéene Sheepheards, but he ment it of me and him [...]selfe: Perymedes laught at this, and so the Sonnet was read thus:

PHillis kept sheepe along the westerne plaines,
And Coridon did feed his flocks hard by
This Sheepheard was the flower of all the swaines,
That trac'd the downes of fruit [...]ull Thessalie,
And Phillis that did far her flocks surpasse,
In siluer hu [...] was thought a bonny las [...]e.
A Bonny lasse quaint in her Country tire,
Was louely Phillis, Coridon swore so:
Her locks, her lookes, did set the swaine on fire,
He left his Lambes, and he began to w [...]e,
He lookt, he sithi, he courted with a kisse [...]
No better could the silly [...]wad then this.
He little knew to paint a tale of Loue,
Sheepheards can fancie, but they cannot saye [...]
Phillis gan smile, and wily thought to proue,
What vncouth gree [...]e poore Coridon did paie,
She askt him how his flocks or he did fare,
Yet pensiue thus his sighes did tell his care.
The Sheepheard blusht when Phillis ques [...]ioned so,
And swore by Pan it was not for his [...]ocke:
Tis loue faire Phillis breedeth all this woe:
My thoughts are trapt within thy louely locks,
Thine eye hath pearst, thy face hath set on fire.
Faire Phillis kin [...]leth Coridons desire.
Can Sheepheards loue, said Phillis to the swaine,
Such saints as Phillis, Coridon replied:
Men when they lust, can many [...]ancies faine,
Said Phillis: this not Corido [...] denied:
That lust had lies, but loue quoth he sayes truth,
Thy Sheepheard loues, then Phillis what ensueth.
Phillis was wan, she blusht and hung the head,
The swaine stept to, and cher'd hir with a kisse,
With faith, with troth, they stroke the matter dead,
So vsed they when men thought not amisse:
This Loue begun and ended both in one,
Phillis was loued, and she lik't Corydon.

And thus Gentle-men at my fréends request I haue put in print those bad Sonnets, which otherwise I had resolued to haue made obscure, like the pictures that Phidius drew in his prentize-hood, which hée paynted in the night and blotted out in the day: if they passe but with silence, howsoeuer you smyle at them secretly, I care not if they bée so ill that you cannot but murmur openly at such trash: I runne to the last clause of my fréends letter: doo this: Aut actum est de amicitia: and so I bid you farewell.


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