Written in French by Monsieur Verdere, And Translated for the Right Honourable, Philip, Earle of Pembroke and Montgomery, Lord Chamberlaine to his Majesty.


LONDON, Printed by Thomas Harper, for Thomas Walkley, and a [...]e to be sold at his Shop at the signe of the flying Horse, neere Yorke House, 1640.

CHAP. I. The wonder that ensued the great battell of Aleppo.

THe night comming on, with a lamentable griefe in those which were the victors, for the losse of so many Princes, by the valour of whom, all Christendome was so much glorified: and with an extreame amazement of all the Pa­gans to see such a flaughter of so many Kings, Gyants, and Knights, who had gathered themselves together for the ru­ine of the Christian Empire. Amadis of Greece unwilling to expose his souldiers to the hazard of the darknesse of the night, commanded the retreat to be sounded; whereupon fires were made in every part of the campe, good Courts of Guard were setled, and the charge of the watch being commit­ted to the trust of the King Melinda, and him of the Ile of Magera, (as those which we [...]e lesse tyred than the rest) all those Princes whom the heavens had preserved from the fury of the sword, rendred themselves at the Tent of the Emperour Amadis of Greece: who unable to take the care of Councell upon him, by reason of the multitude of his wounds, remitted it wholly to the wisedome of Prince Florisell, of Niquea his sonne; he desiring in some sort to mittigate the sorrow he was in for the losse of his [...]insmen, by the utter ruine of the Pagans, determined no longer to deferre his revenge, and therefore commanded that Don Rogell should march by the first breake of day, with the Army of the King Melinda, and Olidor his brother, which consisted of thirty thousand horse, for that purpose. And finding that of so infinite a number of people, which had fol­lowed the Christian Colours, there remained onley 36000. men; he appointed 4000. horse, & 12000. foot for the guard of the camp, and securing the person of the Emperour Amadis of Greece. Among which was the valiant Alastaxerea, Ci­linda, wife to Dorigell, of the fortunate Ilands, Gelodan, King of Moldavia, Atletta his wife, the Kings of Sardamira and Catay, with their wives, resolving to passe on with the Emperour Sheramond, the fayre Salvagesse, Dorigell, the two Ceno­phales, Gin [...]ldan, Amanio, d'Astro, Silvan, Liseard King of Licaonia, Filadard, Prince of Poland, Parmenian of Cyprus, Ladazan of Numidia, Garmanti the Duke of Laiazga, Anaxand [...]r, Fl [...]r [...]din his brother, and twenty thousand horse, which remained of so great a slaughter. Things thus ordered, every man was a­bout to withdraw to his Tent to repose himselfe, when as a fearefull noyse was heard in the middle region of the ayre, the claps of thunder did so hideously rore, flashes of lightning followed one another so close, and the windes contested with such violence, that all men beleeved the world was going to returne into the first confusion of its chaos. The Princes as [...]onished with the strangenesse hereof, be­holding one another, expected the issue of this tempest: and beleeved already that the beavens having care of their quiet, did meane to take them to themselves, that they might not over-live the anguish of the losse of so many Princes their dearest friends. But after a while the wi [...]des w [...]e laid, the noyse ceased, and the [Page 2] ayre before full of lightning flashes, grew so blacke, that all the fires which they had kindled in the campe, to cheare and refresh the souldiers, being extinguished in an instant, they could not discerne at all what the matter was. This second ac­cident would have made them tremble, if their hearts had been capable of feare: but having alwayes stood firme before the appearance of the greatest dangers, they remained with a couragious resolution to endure what God should please to lay upon them. This darkenesse having endured three or foure houres, the day drew on, with an universall amazement of them all. For in the midst of the field where the battell had beene found, they saw a building erected of a strange fa­brique. The forme thereof was round, divided by sixty five towers of christall, which altogether did make a Hall of a portentuous greatnesse. Into it there was a passage by one onely gate, before the which stood two great Lyons of brasse, who seemed as if they had beene there placed to teare in pieces such as should of­fer to come neere it. Two columnes were fixed about ten paces from them, on either side one, whereof each had a Table hanging on it, in which these words were written.

The Prophecie. The glory of all humane knowledge shall never be knowne, untill the new Lyons shall with their roring, fill the darkesome Forrest: then shall all the Crowes gather themselves together to possesse the neasts of the sleeping Eagles; the earth shall open it selfe to restore the treasure which it keepeth hidden, and the teares shed for a losse not befallen, shall be converted into joy.

The other spake thus.

When the dead shall awake to joyne themselves with the living, then shall valour be at her height, and beauty in the supreamest poynt of her glory.

These Princes as much ravished to see that great field cleared of a million of bodies, which had beene slaine there the day before, as with the rarity of the worke, did instantly draw neere to the columnes, read these Prophecies, and pas­sing on to the Gate, saw in the first towre, the great King Amadis of Gaule, ar­med at all peeces, except his hands, upon one of which he rested his head, sitting in a chayre, in the posture as of one asleepe: Esplandian was in the opposite tower over against him on the other side of the Gate, but not in a like posture to his fathers, for he was laid along, with his armes acrosse, on the hilt of his sword, the point whereof reached to his feet: the Emperour Lisward was in the third tower, in the same fashion as his father; and Don Silves de la Silve, in the fourth seated as Amadis of Gaule. Vpon the same side, and in the same manner, were A­gesilan, Amadis d' Astre, Astrapole, Fortunian, Anaxartes, Penthasilea, Argantes, Florarlan, Lucencio, Falanges, d' Astre, Arlantog Arlanges of Spaine his sonne, Lu­cidamon of Boetia, Florenio Emperour of Rome, Filisu [...]l de Montaspin, Zain, Don Flores of Greece, Filin, Artaure, and Lindamart: and on the other side laid along as Esplandian was, were Galaor, Lucidor, the Kings of Mesopotamia, and of Tra­ramata, Brimart of Syria, Don Brunco de bonne mer, the two Gyants sonnes of Pla­nacoldo, Ol [...]rius of Spaine, Farron the second sonne of Amadis of Gaule; the kings of Corinthe, of Magadena, and of Paloman, the Prince of Palomar his sonne, Agrayes, the Kings of Mont Libanus, of [...]oliemia, Galatia, Pantapolis, and of the Garamantes, Guillan the Penfif, Don Galdes of Rhodes, Vatliades, Circi [...] of [Page 3] Ireland, the gyant Girafer, Stilpon, Talanque, Don Frisas of Lusitania, Faenix of Corinthe, Albion of Bugia, Astibell of Mesopotamia, Brimart of Syria, Garinter King of Dacia, Dinerpio, Emperour of Rome, Florestan his sonne, Brian of Mo­niasta, Galvanes, sonne of Agrayes, Pintiquinestro, and Calafio, who fill'd the towres that compassed the whole body of the edifice. This object renewed their griefe, and drew from them some sighes: but being certaine of their loss [...], and suf­ficiently generous to beare all the blowes of fortune, they resolved to shew the least resentment thereof that was possible. Neverthelesse, desirous to see what was within the Hall, Florisull drew to the gate, with his sword in his hand, and knocked at it with the pommell, but was deceived in his hope, for no word of an­swer was returned him, and therefore was constrained to retire himselfe, with some discontent, for having effected so little in his attempt. Following his ex­ample, Don Rogel advanced, but being no more fortunate therein than his father, he sheathed his sword, and made roome for all those yong Princes, who speeding no better, were upon the point of quitting the place: when they saw the excellent [...] of Greece approach, that notwithstanding the advice of his Physitians, forbidding him to go [...] abroad, would not excuse himselfe from the labour of this adventure, no [...] lose the contentment of the honour which out of it [...] hoped to gaine. This brave Prince, despising the greatnesse of his wounds, and marching with the same courage that he ever carried in the most difficult enter prises of his youth, [...]et his hand bravely to his sword, and being come close to the gate, raised his a [...]me to have knocked, but seeing that it ope­ned of it selfe, he presently [...] without any resistance. As soone as he was in, the g [...]t [...] closed [...], with such a trembling of the earth, that all these Prin­ces, more [...] then they were before, could not keepe themselves from falling downe. Neverthelesse th [...]r amazement continuing not long, they rose up againe much grieved th [...] they knew not whether that clap of thunder were a signe of that great Emperours death, or that his entring into that Hall were for the preservation of his life. See (said Florisull) how fortune makes her selfe sport with crossing us thus, but she must not prevaile. We are to be victorious over her malice: and make her bend under the power of our vertue. Let us then pursue our former resolution: give ch [...]e to our enemies, and not pardon their insolence. They are so dejected, as they will hardly be able to raise themselves againe. At these words, all men dispos'd themselves to follow their colours: when as a Dam­sell appeared, who making her addresse to Don Florisull, delivered him a paper which she had in her hand, and without expecting any answer, immediatly tur­ned bridle and departed. Th [...] [...] at this [...] others, but desiring to know what this letter contained, they presently environed Florisull, who read these words aloud unto them. To the Greeke Princes: I doe not write to you with a purpose to raise up your spirits, nor to comfort you in your affliction: for­tune and your vert [...]e have already [...]. But to advertise you that the heaven take [...] care of your quiet, by the preservation of a treasure of infi­nite value, which you shall one day finde with so much contentment, that you shall not remember your passed [...]. If I had liberty to speake more free­ly, I would adde to your joy, [...] power being restrained within these onely words, which I n [...]w speake: you shall i [...] you please malie use of them to keep you from afflicting you [...]selve [...] too [...]. In the meane time doe not prosecute the designe you [...] ▪ The [...] more compleat revenge is not yet come, and the sa [...] will have i [...] [...], to ma [...]e it a more memorable day. Keepe that which you have [...] and [...] things to time. It is by this [Page 4] prudence that you must live, and I testifie the desire which I have to doe you ser­vice. Alcander.

This Letter held the Prince a while in suspence, for the name being unknown to them, they were not sure that this advice was without some practise. Our ene­mies (said Dorigell) have invented this tricke to retard our revenge, and having no more strength to resist us, they flye to their tricks; let us follow our fortune. She prospers such as lay hold of occasions, & they that make themselves unwor­thy of her favours, never encounter them according to their desires. Speaking thus, he had almost perswaded all those Lords to neglect the counsell that was given them, and to pursue the fortune of their victory: but Florisell, who was en­dued with no lesse prudence than valour, fairely demonstrating that with preci­pitation they might too much indanger themselves, and that matters were to be weighed with more deliberation, staid the fury of these Princes. It is true (said he) that we may with reason suspect this counsell, since we know not him that gives it. But when I consider this tombe wherein all our ancestors doe now re­pose with so much glory, I cannot thinke there is any deceit intended against us. Where are the bodies of so many Pagan Kings, and what honour is done them in their obsequies? I see nothing that can be to their advantage, and all these wonders serve but to increase our greatnesse. The advice that is given us, is very good: let us I beseech you follow it. And not busying our thoughts with the conquest of Pagan Empires, let us wisely preserve those estates which heaven hath bestowed upon us. For mine owne part I am resolved to take into my care the governement of Greece, my sister Alastaxeree shall command in Trebisond, till the destinies doe restore us the Emperour my Lord and Father: my sonne shall be resident in Persia, and Spheramond shall maintaine the authority that he hath among the Parthians; the rest of you (my Lords) shall every one retire into the Province, which either his birth or valour hath acquired him. The opinion of this judicious Prince being well approved of, they left twenty thousand men with the Kings Anaxander and Floradin, to keepe the kingdomes lately conque­red in awe, fifteene thousand with Ginoldan and Amano [...] D. Astre; and the re­mainder being otherwise divided, Florisell set forth for Constantinople, Ala­straxeree for Trebifond, Don Rogell for Persia, Dorigell for the fortunate Iland, Melinde and Olidor for their kingdomes, Gulodan for Moldavia, Fladard for Po­land, Gadard for Hungary, and the rest in generall, as either their affaires or their affections drew them.

CHAP. II. Who Alcander was, his inchanting Don Belianis of Greece, the Knight of the Sunne, King Amadis, and the bravest Knights of their time.

IT is most necessary for the understanding of this our history, that you should know who this Alcander was, of whom we spake be­fore, for that thereupon depends one of the foundations of our worke: he came into the world in the time of Don Belianis, Empe­rour of Greece, and from his childehood gave himselfe to the knowledge of letters, particularly to the secrets of Magicke, but with such ear­nestnesse of affection, that having bestowed certaine yeares therein, he became [Page 7] so perfect an Artist, as he surpassed all those that had travelled in those studies before him, aswell as those that came after him: yet was it not his purpose to make use thereof, as many doe, to the hurt or ruine of any, but for the glory of Christendome, which he so tooke to heart, that all his actions had no other ayme, but the preservation of those, whose worth was able to mayntayne it at the due heigth, as you may well judge by the sequele of this History. Seeing then that Don Belianis, a Prince as vertuous and valiant as could be named, was somewhat enfeebled by the battell that he had fought before Constantinople, with Perineo, Soldan of Persia, the most valiant of all the Pagans that then li­ved, the Empresse of Almayne, Claristea, who might also bee termed the mir­rour of Armes, and Ariobarcan Emperour of Tartary, he wrought so powerful­ly upon the mindes of that brave Pagan, and of that valorous Lady, as admi­ring the vertue of so gallant a man, they determined to turne Christians, and become his friends, upon condition, that the Persian should marry the Infanta of Greece, named Sirenna: which was accomplished presently after his Bap­tisme. In which holy Sacrament he was accompanied with Salinterne, without Farre, his sonne, and the bastard of Don Belianis, Polistor of Nubia, and Polistea de la Selva, whom he had by the Queene of the Garamantes, and had followed the Pagan colours before they knew Don Belianis for their Father. This peace and this marriage cheered all Greece, and particularly our Alcander, who then thought it well and sufficiently supported. But being continually carefull for the quiet of these Princes, he had one day a curious desire to understand what good fortune was to attend their designes and life; withdrawing therefore himselfe from all resort of company, hee began to make his ordinary invoca­tions, and found onely by the motion and aspect of the starres, that the house of Greece was to suffer a totall ruine; and that these Princes were threatned with an eminent death. The knowledge heereof did mightily afflict him; but carrying a greater minde then to yeeld to this calamity, hee made new conju­rations: the spirits were invoked, and all the powers of Hell were summoned to appeare: neverthelesse he saw nothing but signes of death, and presages of misfortune. Let the starres, sayd hee, bee froward, let all the Divels in Hell conspire together, to subvert the Empire of the Christians, yet will I change their influences, and overturne their designes. For having sometimes restored life to those which breathed no more, I may be permitted to preserve such as are yet in the world. Thus speaking, hee enfolded himselfe in a cloud, and transported himselfe into the dangerous forrests of the great kingdom of Mar­tan, neere to the Empire of Mexico, where long before he had built a Castle of wondrous workmanship. But doubting that the charms which he had set upon it, were not powerfull enough for the great purpose he had in hand, hee em­ploied all his skill, which surpassed that of all other men, layd such strong en­chantments upon three divisions of lodgings, that hee had built in a triangular forme, as those which should be inclosed therein, should not grow old, or bee impayred in any sort whatsoever; yet not desiring that this his worke should last till the end of the world; for hee well foresaw that the necessity of Chri­stendome, would one day oblige him to suffer it to be dissolved, ordayned that the enchantment should be defeated by the valour of sixe the bravest Knights, accompanied with as many the fayrest Ladyes of the world. Thinking then that he had done enough, hee presently transported himselfe to Constantino­ple: and having talked a while in private with Don Belianis, hee desired him to goe into his Chariot, and with him his Sonne Belforan, Fortiman of Greece, [Page 8] his grandchilde Polistor of Nubia, Polistea de la Selva, Policentes sonne to Perineo, Don Clarinell Don Astrides his sonne, Perineo, Furibond the brave Giant, Salin­tern without feare, Hermiliana, the Amazon, wife to Don Clarinel, Florisbella, wife to Don Bel [...]anis, the Princesse Belianisa, wife to Belforan, Sirenna wife to Pe­rineo, and the fayre Bergeline her daughter. This done, having touched the Griffons with a rod that he had in his hand, they cut the ayre, with incredible swiftnesse, and carried him to the house, which hee would have called by the name of the Castle of Treasure. Where with some teares, hee enclosed these Princes in one quarter of the Lodgings, assuring them that they should bee en­larged after certayne ages, and at such time as Christendome should have ex­treame need of their assistance. These things being done, his minde might wel have beene contented, but the exceeding care that he had to effect his designes, not suffering him to be quiet, hee againe turned over his bookes: And finding, that before the time these Princes should be disinchanted, certayne most excel­lent Knights should be borne, which yet should not arrive to the perfection necessary for the putting an end to his enchantments, hee resolved also to pre­serve them in the same Castle with the Emperour Don Belianis. For which cause therefore, as soone as the incomparable warriour, the Knight of the Sun was borne, he was infinitely carefull of his safety, assisted him with his Arte without his privity, and knowing that after certayne yeeres, hee was threatned with a disastrous end, by the practise of some traytors, who should murther him one night in his bed, he carried him also away, as he had done Don Belia­nis, and with him all the principall Knights of his Court, who were to run no lesse hazard; and placing them in the second division of the lodgings, hee re­served them for that furious encounter, wherein the glory of all Christen­dome, or the ruine of the Pagans was to be disputed. The names of those en­chanted with him, were, his sonne Claridiano of the Spheare, Rosiclere, Clara­mant, Poliphebo, Don Eleno of Dacia, Rosabell sonne to Rosiclere, Clarabel bastard to Rosabel, and Leobant his brother, Besson, Bramidor the brave Giant, the Em­presse Claridiana, and the Princesse Olivia, wife to Rosicleere. Their life was pleasant, and the contentment of Alcander infinite. For as often as hee consi­dered, that Christendome should one day triumph over her enemies, by his as­sistance, he esteemed himselfe blessed, to be so favoured by heaven, and deter­mining not to neglect such grace hee persevered in his good desire, whence it came that after certayne ages were past, being in the castle of Treasure, he un­derstood the lamentable losse, which the Christians were to sustayne, and the death of those great Monarchs, Amadis of Gaule and of Greece, with many o­thers of their blood. Which, for the reasons before alledged, being desirous to remedy, hee transported himselfe, the same night as that great battell was fought in the fields of the Soldan of Aleppo, to the place where so many bo­dies lay extended; gave an honourable sepulture to those Christian Princes which were dead, as you have heard in the first Chapter; and carryed away those, in whom he found any hope of life, to that wonderfull Castle, appoin­ting them the third division of lodgings; the names of whom were; The great King Amadis of Gaule, Amadis of Greece, enchanted as you have heard, Don Silves de la Selva, Agesilan, Amadis d' Astre, Astropolo, Fortiman, Anaxartes, Penthesilea, Argantes, Florartan, Lucentio, Falanges d' Astre, Arlantes, his sonne Arlanges of Spayne, Lucidamor of Boetia, Floreni Emperour of Rome, Fili­sel of Montespin, Zayr, Flores of Greece, second sonne to Esplandian, Filon King of Sibila, Artaur his Brother, King of Mount Libanus, and Lindamart [Page 7] of Rhodes. But because there may arise a doubt in this Discourse, for that all these which I now have named, were inclosed in the Monument, that ap­peared in the field of the battell after the darkenesse was past, the Reader may remember, if he please, that these, of whom I now speake, were in a posture there, di [...]ering from theirs, who were fully and really dead; and that the wise man did so order it, to comfort those great Knights, after so heavy a losse. These Princes then being enchanted with Don Belianis, and the Knight of the Sunne, though they knew it not, Alcander, who would not doe a curtesie to halfes, first healed them of their wounds. And then desiring, they should not be lesse happy then the rest, presented them a little while after, with some of the Princesses they loved, whom he had brought from Constantinople, to the extreame discontent of those that remayned be­hinde. There was the Queene Oriana, the Empresse Niquea, delivered not long before of a sonne, whose birth was celebrated by an infinity of fires appearing in the ayre; and whom at his Baptisme shee named Amadis of Trebisond, Diana, Axiana, the Princesse Oriana, wife of Anaxartes, Cleosila, Sestiliana, Radiana, Oristila, Anaxarea, Theodorina, Belisaura, Claire estoille, Sclarimena, and Timbria. Having then prepared soveraigne baths for them, made with a million of rare simples, gathered at such time as they were in most vertue, he bathed them eight dayes together; at the end whereof King Amadis and his wife seemed to bee but forty yeeres old; and every man as fresh and lovely, as they were at that age; the Emperour Amadis of Greece, and the Princesse Niquea, but thirty five: Don Silves Agesilan, and the rest, not above thirty.

This done, he carried them all into a fayre chamber, and thus spake unto them: Mighty Princes, you perceive by the helpe that you have already received at my hands, the desire I have to doe you service: I will not there­fore excuse my selfe unto you, for holding you restrayned in this maner, since I have no other end for it, but the augmentation of your glory: All things must have their course, and the malignant influences of the starres, must have time to passe over. The day will come, when you will see your off-spring with more contentment then ever; expect it with so much the more patience. In the meane time I will go from hence to take care for the affayres of those which concerne you neerely. Saying thus, hee went out of the doore, which shut of it selfe with a strange violence, leaving those Princes and Princesses so inchanted, as they did not remember any thing without that place whatsoever.

CHAP. III. Most of the Prin [...] of Greece die: Alcander goes to visit the wise Alquif and Urganda.

THE newes of the death of so many Kings, Princes, and Em­perours, and the carrying away of the Queene Oriana, with the rest, which were enchanted in the Castle of Treasure, was the cause of so much griefe to those Ladyes that remay­ned at Constantinople, expecting what would be the issue of [Page 8] that warre, as not able to withstand the violence thereof, they yeelded to the necessity of death, leaving Christendome a world of sorrow for so great a losse. The Empresse Leonine was the first that payd that tribute of nature, but followed so close by the yong Princesse of Sardamyra, the wife of Sistra, that the funerals of the one served also for the other. After them died al­most at the same time, the Empresse Arbra, Briolania, the Queene of France wife to Lucidor, the Queene of Traramate and Mesopotamia, Melicia wife to Bruneo of the good Sea, Lardenia, Laciana, Gricelarie, Olinde, the Queenes of Corinth, Saba, Bohemia, the wife of Guillan the pensive, the Queenes of the Garamantes, of Pentapoly, Galacia and Ireland, the wives of Girafer, of Vail­lades, of Don Frisus of Lusitania, the Queene of Dacia, the Empresse Brisen­ne, Darayde Queene of Cores, the wife of Stilpon, and the Queene of Rhodes: who were all interred in the Emperours great Chapell, with so many com­playnts and teares, that nothing was heard in any part of the City but cries and lamentatio [...]s. Now whilest the ceremonies of so many obsequies were performing, Alcander, who had no care more pressing, then the preservati­on of those Princes, went in his Chariot of the Griffons, to the unknowne Island, wh [...]re the wise Alquif was, with Vrganda, Zirzea, and Zirenna; but not desiring to present himselfe unto them without some demonstration of his skill, he in a moment raysed such horrible flashes of lightning in the aire, so great an earthquake, as those reverend old folkes seeing so furious a tem­pest beyond the order of nature, beleeved that those thunders were presa­ges of their deaths. So that disposing themselves to seeke the mercy of hea­ven, which never refuseth grace to us, when with humility we seeke it, they fell upon the earth, and lifting up their eyes they met with a new terrour when as they espied the fearefull Chariot in which Alcander appeared, sea­ted with such a majesty, that if they had not beene instructed by the light of fayth, that one only God was to be acknowledged, they had adored him: never so much as dreaming that it was done by art Magicke, or that this in­counter could proceed from the skill of any mortall man. For beleeving that none in the world was more expert in that art then they, they could ne­ver imagine that any man could finde them out in their Island, unlesse they pleased to permit it. Alcander reading their amazement in their lookes and motions, would not keepe them any longer in payne: Most venerable persons, sayd he, be not dismayd to see me heere at this present, and in this maner: That almighty God who hath endued you with the knowledge of things above nature for the good of his people, hath imparted to mee the same favours which he hath bestowed upon you, and made me no lesse zea­lous of his glory and service: I am not come hither now to trouble you, as you imagine, but indeed to conferre with you about certayne things, which shall be necessary for the welfare of the Princes of Greece, whose ver­tue hath begotten such an affection in me towards them, as I will not enter­tayne a thought but for the augmentation of their glory. I know that you have alwayes infinitely loved them; that your assistance was never wanting to them; and that without your ayd they could not so easily have endured those labours they have passed thorow. Wherefore I will endevour to re­compence you for it; imparting to you certayne secrets, that as yet are not come to your knowledge, and that I know you will not a little esteeme: But because your preservation is no lesse deare to me then their quiet, I doe de­sire you all to goe with me to a Palace that I have, whither wee will carry [Page 9] with us your Bookes, and such instruments as are fit for those of our pro­fession; to the end, that my sabour being added to your learning, wee may the more easily finde out what shall most conduce to our designe. I cannot doubt but you may have some cause to feare the undertaking of this voyage in the company of a man, whom you never heard spoken of, and that you may finde reason to decline it in the incommodity of your age; but the good service I have done to Christendome, which hath not undergone so great a losse as you beleeve, and that also I intend to you in your owne par­ticular, may oblige you not to suspect any malice in me: I love vertue too well to be a traytor, and your lives are with mee no lesse considerable then mine owne. Resolve with your selves then, my deare friends, and make no difficulty in following my advice: Time will make you know mee better, and experience; assure you of my zeale to that, which concernes the affaire I have in hand. How pleasing is rest after labour, and how sweet is assu­rance after feare? These good folkes, who expected nothing lesse then so gentle a language, and that made no great account of their lives, judging by Alcanders courage, that he had no bad disposition, gave him as many thanks as the favour he did in visiting them seemed great. It is most true, sayd Al­quif, that we would never have thought any other could have outgone us in the knowledge of the secrets of Magicke. But your comming hither hath freed us of that error: for this our Island being indivisible to all the world, and so easily discovered by you, our selves also in a maner bereft of our judgement in beholding you, we cannot doubt but your knowledge is farre beyond ours. Wherefore without any maner of distrust of you, wee doe withall acknowledgement accept the honour of your company, and the of­fer that you make of acquainting us with such secrets, as have beene hither­to concealed from us. And to testifie unto you that I speake ingenuously and freely, I protest henceforth to depend wholly upon you, so that if wee doe heereafter undertake any thing, it shall not bee but by your advice: and if our weake indevours may be of use to the greatnesse of your intentions, we will joine them to yours, without expecting of any part in the glory of your actions, but that which shall redound from having been your servants. Let us goe then, when you please, wee will carry with us what shall bee re­quisite; and if you thinke good, leave nothing behinde us in this Island. No, no, answered Alcander, that shall not need: The best of your bookes will be sufficient. Vrganda then having made up a bundle of them, they all went into the Chariot of the Griffons, that is to say, Alquif, Vrganda, Zir­za, Zirenna, Alquifa, and the yong Cassandra, who afterwards by the ayde of Alcander, became so perfect in that art, as she much excelled her parents. The beasts having their load, began to cut the ayre with an incredible swift­nesse, and in a little time arrived at the Castle of Treasure, which appeared to these Magicians so magnificent, that they had never seene building equal to it. As soone as they were come thither, Alcander not to lose time, desired them to put off their clothes, and made them goe into those pretious baths, which hee had formerly prepared to restore the Princes of Greece to the most flourishing estate of their age; where after hee had kept them eyght dayes, the wrinkles which covered their faces, were cleane defaced; their limbes enfeebled by a troublesome old age, became firme; their backes bending under the weight of yeeres, were straightned; their hayre whited with time, changed colour; in briefe, they found themselves wholly altered [Page 10] from what they were in the unknowne Island. Behold, sayd then this great Prince of Philosophers, the first favour I will doe to you, that to me seemes of no meane importance: But because wee are not assembled heere onely for our selves, let us take a little paynes, and see how wee may hinder the mischiefe which is yet to fall upon the house of Greece, by the losse of some certayne yong Princes, who are one day to be the strongest pillars of Christendome. I propound this unto you, though I thinke it unprofitable, for the ordinances of heaven are inevitable; howbeit our labour shall not bee without fruit; and though wee cannot keepe them from imprisonment, yet shall wee doe somewhat to helpe and preserve them among their ene­mies. This sayd, they began to make their conjurations apart, which were not altogether unusefull, as you shall know by the sequel of this Discourse. That done, Alcander thought good to returne his friends to their Island, not discovering to them the enchantment of the Princes of Greece. And having desired them to watch as till then they had done, for the benefit of Christendome, hee went away, carrying Cassandra along with him, to shew her all the secrets of Magicke, and to render her perfect in that Art.

CHAP. IV. The Adventures of the Greeke Princes returning into their Empires.

FLorisel of Niquea, approoving of the wise Alcanders ad­vice, did wholly desist from the purpose he had of ra­vaging the estate of the Pagans, thereby to render his revenge the more memorable; and resolved by break of day to depart for Greece: ordering Alastraxerea to goe unto Trebisond, Don Rogell into Persia, Sphera­mond into the Empire of Parthia, Lucendus into France, Dorigell into the Fortunate Islands, the King Gadart into the Island Megera, Anaxander, Florador, Melindo, Olidor, Ginoldan, Ama­nio d'Astre, for their kingdomes, and the rest whither fortune called them. But fearing lest some new warre might breake foorth after his departure, he left the moiety of his troopes with those, whose Provinces were surroun­ded with the Pagans estates, that they might not be surprised with any new garboyle, and also might preserve the Countreys they had gotten. Matters being thus disposed, they attended the next rising Sunne, which presented to them no lesse wonder then the day before had done: for that vast and stately edifice, wherein all those Kings, Princes, and Emperours, were en­closed, appeared no more, nor was there any thing seene in the place there­of, but onely the playne ground, as it was before the battell. This second losse had afflicted them, for they receyved no meane consolation in seeing their parents interred with so much glory, but straightway considered that this was some new device of that Magician, who had written unto them, they were no whit dismayed; and taking it for a good testimony of his love to them in that he had not left those bodies in the middest of so many ene­mies, they prepared for their departure with the lesse griefe. The time then of their remoove being come, all those troopes began to march severall [Page 11] wayes. For Spheramond, Dorigell, Sylvan, Amanio d'Astre, and the fayre Sa­vage, tooke a way farre different from that, which the others had, determi­ning to spend some time in seeking adventures abroad. The beauteous Sa­vage seeing her self alone, renewed her sorrow for the losse of her husband, whilest Silvan travelled with no lesse discontent for that of his fayre Lici­nia, of whose death he had heard; and that Spheramond, Amanio d'Astre, and Dorigell lamented so great a disaster, although the glorious death of their kinsmen did yeeld them some comfort. Having thus passed two or three dayes without meeting any adventure worthy their undertaking, Sphera­mond about the time that the Sunne was in the middest of his course, felt himselfe so drowsie, that he was constrayned to lie downe to sleepe, com­manding his Squire to let their horses graze. The extreame paines that be­fore he had taken, and the delicacy of the place, made his rest so pleasing unto him, as he did not wake till night, nor would peradventure have done till the next day, if the noyse of a Chariot passing by him, had not made him to rise in all haste; he was about to have called his Squire for to bridle his horse, but the voyce of one that lamented, stayd him for to learne the cause thereof. Listening then attentively, and looking that way the voyce came, he saw a Chariot passe by him drawne with sixe great horses, wher­in sate three dreadfull Giants, every one of them holding a Lady in his armes; two of the which seemed to be rather dead then alive; and the third was she that made those cries and lamentations which hee had heard. Iust Heaven, sayd she, will you not send some succour to these great though mi­serable Princesses? Or will you permit them to remayne in the hands of these villayns, who questionlesse will without respect of their quality strive by force to robbe them of what is most deare unto them? O God! what a losse will Christendome receyve? And you, brave Princes, how much will it grieve you to heare of this disaster? I lament your misfortune asmuch as the death they are going to suffer. This voyce being lost in the ayre, left nodesse pity then anger in the minde of this Prince: For finding by this speech that they were Christians of eminent quality, and thinking also that he had beene acquaynted with the sound of that voyce, he was moved with an extreame desire to succour them: So calling his Squire, hee made his horse to be brought him; and quickly mounting upon him, he galloped the same way that he saw the Chariot take, hoping to reach those Giants in a little time, and to fight with them at any rate whatsoever. But the night was so darke, that not knowing which way he tooke, hee entred into a Forrest, where the first that he met with, was a reverend old man, holding a torch in his hand, who taking his horse by the bridle, sayde unto him: Valiant Prince, be not offended if I take the liberty to stay you at this present; For desiring your safety, as much as my owne welfare, I cannot let you passe without advertising you, that you are infallibly lost, if you ob [...]inately pur­sue the designe you have in hand, and light upon those this night whom you now are following: The day will bee more fit for your purpose, then this darkenesse: and patience alone is that must procure you what you now so earnestly wish for: Enquire not what I am, nor why I meddle thus with youraffayres. It is not yet time that you should know mee, nor that you should thorowly understand my intentions, as I doe your thoughts. Onely alight, and goe into this Tent, that you see heere; and tarry for day light to finish your enterprise, which is of more importance then yet you con­ceive. [Page 12] I do not know, answered Spheramond, (somewhat wondring to meet that man in such a place, and at so unseasonable an howre) how you can bee obliged to wish and seeke my good, with so much demonstration of friend­ship, since I doe not remember that ever I saw you before: But happen what may, I will gladly obey you, my necessity and the time also advising mee therunto: Thus speaking he alighted, leaving his horse with a little Dwarfe who was there as of purpose, and entred the Tent, which hee thought was the fayrest that ever he had seene. Without doubt, sayd hee then, you love me not a little, that have provided me so magnificent a lodging: for I did not expect to be so well accommodated to night: But beleeve it, you shall not find me ungratefull, if you please to make use of me. Saying so, he went to embrace this man, but he was no more to be seene: wherat he was some­what amazed, yet supposing all this to bee done by inchantment, hee began to survey the Tent, and found in one of the corners of it, a Table covered with plenty of delicate meat, which so whetted his stomacke, that hee sate him downe to supper; where having well asswaged his hunger, hee walked about the Tent, and finding a bed ready made hee layd him downe upon it, and fell into so sound a sleepe, that the sunne was of a good height before he awaked; and then being much amazed to find himselfe armed with new and excellent Armes, his Squire snoring at his feet, and neyther Wood nor Tent to be seene, but a playne, so large as it could not limit his view: how­beit his wonder ceasing by the remembrance of such like encounters, when as hee was a Knight errant, hee jogd his Squire to waken him. And having not forgotten the adventure that he met with the night before, nor the dis­course of the old man, he quickly got to horse, and tooke the first way hee lighted upon, wherein he rode till Sunne setting, when as hee perceived a Castle before him garnished with twelve towres, so fayre and strong that it was impossible to better them: this curiosity inviting him to view this buil­ding neerer hand he approached to it, and going about it he was so attentive in observing it, as hee could hardly give over. But seeing night now come on, he tooke the hammer of the gate, and knocked very hard: At the noyse whereof a Giant appeared upon the Battlements, who with a hoarse and dreadfull voyce sayd unto him: Withdraw thy selfe, wretched creature, and come not hither to seeke that which all men else are afrayd to find: the gate may not be opened this night, for so are wee commanded, what ever occasion shall fall out; but if thou wilt tarry till tomorrow, I will bee con­tent to heare what thou hast to say: Therewith he retyred himselfe leaving Spheramond ill satisfied with that his arrogant behaviour. Neverthelesse, not being able to quit his longing to know what was within the Castle, hee fell off to certayne trees, that were not farre off from it: and commanding his Squire to discharge the part of a carefull Sentinell, with much adoe he fell on sleepe.

CHAP. V. What happened to the Princes Dorigell, Silvan, and Amanio d'Astre.

DOrigell and Silvan having taken almost one and the same way entertayned themselves with divers thoughts; the one meditated upon the losse of his dearest halfe, and the other on the absence of the fayre Cilinda, his wife, to whom he had left the command of his troopes, and the government of his Kingdome. They were two dayes without lighting on any adventure, at the end whereof Dorigell entring into a great field met with a Dwarfe mounted upon the bravest horse that ever hee had seene: but him­selfe so mishapen and ill favoured, that he wondered how nature could pro­duce a rationall creature with so much deformity: He was about to questi­on him concerning the occasion of his journey, but the Dwarfe prevented him: For drawing neere and saluting him in a more gracefull maner, then he expected, he sayd unto him; Knight, I marvell much to see you ride a­lone through these Launds, which are commonly called The Fearfull, in re­gard of the strange adventures which doe happen dayly, by reason of a Ca­stle scituate in the middest of them, belonging to an old Sorceresse, who doth entrap all the Knights that passe this way, finding meanes to entice them to her house, where all their valour will not serve to free them from captivity, if they bee not slaine in fight. For to that end shee keepes there twelve Giants of a monstrous stature, and so strong withall, as they alone are able to defeat the mightiest Emperour of the World; You shall there­fore, if you please, bend your course some other way, and not tempt For­tune: For it is no lesse honour to eschew with discretion an unresistable danger, then being ingaged to fight couragiously. Dorigell more delighted with the discourse then with the person of this gallant, answered him, Thy counsell might indeed be usefull to me, if I had lesse respect to my honour, then my life; but doest thou not know that worthy Knights must never re­cuile for any consideration of danger whatsoever: that glory is not to bee found but in the most difficult enterprises; and that victory is then most ho­nourable, when it is purchased with bloud. I will therfore follow this way, since fortune hath put me into it: but yet before I part with you, I would entreat you to enforme me more particularly concerning this Castle; and why this Enchantresse doeth live there, to worke so much mischiefe to Knights that have not wrongd her. You could not, replyde hee, have ad­dressed your selfe better then to me, at the least to be satisfied in your curio­sity; For I doe belong to a man, who is no lesse a friend to brave Knights, then this woman their enemy, and one whose knowledge is asmuch as hers: She is sister to the King of the Frozen Islands, that was slaine in the late and memorable battell of Aleppo, where all the Pagan Kings ended their lives, except him of Pentapoly, who saved himselfe with sixe thousand men, which were under his command, for the guard of the Campe. The desire she hath alwayes had to ruine the Christians, causing her often to turne over her Ma­gicall [Page 14] bookes (in which she is very expert) she foresaw the generall defea­ture of the Pagans, that should unite themselves for that warre; And for that reason would have diverted her brother from it, assuring him of his death, if he should bee present there: but hee preferring an honourable end before the ill report that otherwise hee should have incurred by absenting himselfe from thence, would needs make one in that expedition, and was there slaine, as I have related: which did so inrage this old Sorceresse, that she withdrew her selfe to these Launds, where by Enchantment she built this Castle: and for the guard thereof drew hither twelve of the mightiest Giants in the world; who, without regard to any lawes of Chivalry, do all of them commonly fall upon any one man that presents himselfe, if the first that encounters him be not able to defeat him: hoping to surprise in their passing this way some of those famous Knights of Greece, and with a thou­sand tortures which she meanes to make them suffer, in some sort to mitigate the griefe she feeles for the losse of the King her brother. Iudge now, I pray you, whether my advice doe not concerne you, and whether it be not a good testimony of my love, in desiring you to retire out of these parts, where you can meet with nothing but mischiefe. Thou hast, sayd Dorigell, so fully satisfied me, that I will confesse my selfe much obliged unto thee for thy labour. Thy counsell I acknowledge for very good, but yet me thinks my reasons against it are much better: so that I am resolved to passe on, and see what the heavens have preordained for me. Speaking thus, he would have put his horse forward, but the Dwarfe taking him by the bridle sayd, Stay a little, Sir Knight, and permit me to speake a few words unto you; He that appointed me to be heere now, hath commanded me to present you with this horse, and the shield which you see hanging at my saddle bow, assuring you that you will have occasion to use them in an extreame necessity. Say­ing so, he vanished away, leaving the horse and shield with Dorigell: who not more wondring, then pleased with so brave a present, gave his own to his Squire; and mounting upon his new horse, found him upon managing, so ready and light, that he liked him much better then he did before. Fol­lowing then his way he rendred many thankes in his heart to him that had so deeply obliged him: but we will let him goe with this sense of the cur­tesie done him, and return to Silvan amidst his sorrowfull meditations. This yong Knight perpetually thinking on his Licinia, whom death had untime­ly ravisht from him, was even lost in the anguish of his minde, when as he heard the voyce of one that cried for helpe: whereupon he turned head, and galloping mainely away, he came to certain trees, to one of the which he saw a handsome woman bound with cords, and a yong Squire of a pro­mising presence, that held his sword at her throat to make her confesse the truth of something which he desired to wring out of her. Verily, said he then, speaking to the Squire, Nature forgat her selfe when she framed you with any kind of perfection, since you have so little curtesie in you: Why do you so ill intreat one of those whom we are all bound to protect? with­draw your self, I say, for beleeve it if you were a Knight, I would punish you for so great a villany. I would, answered the Squire without being at all dismayd, you had known the mischievous disposition of this woman, be­fore you had been so mooved as you are; for then, Sir Knight, you would not so readily have engaged your selfe in her defence. I met with her this morning, and having conversed a while with her, I perceived by her cariage [Page 15] that the little beauty Nature hath bestowed upon me, had wrought some al­teration in her, wherewith I must confesse I was well enough pleased: Not that I found any thing in her which gave me the least satisfaction, but that from her love I gathered a testimony of some merit in my self: Our dis­course at the first was ordinary, but as her passion transported her, she at length could not conceale her damnable intentions, but confessed freely to me that she was upon her way onely to wait for some Knight of quality, for to bring him to be butchered at the Castle of the Towers, where a thou­sand sorts of cruelties are daily practised. I am a friend to vertue, and would with the hazard of my life preserve a worthy Knight, so that desiring to prevent her wicked purposes, I bound her as you see, with a resolution to make an end of her, which I had certainly done: for the point of my sword having forced her to confesse that her principall plot was upon the Princes of Greece, whose vertue all the world loves and admires: I determined to let her breath no longer then would serve to recommend her soule into the hands of heaven: you may now dispose of her as you please; but I advise you to looke well to your self, and consider that you shall be guilty of all the mischiefes that ever she shall heerafter commit, since you give her her life, which for her treacheries she justly deserves to lose. With that imme­diately mounting on his horse he departed, leaving Silvan somewhat per­plexed: for his reasons seemed so good, and with such appearance of truth, that he was about to passe on, and leave the Wench in the estate he found her: But being moved with her teares, and not able to perswade himselfe, that so fair a creature could be possessed with so much malice, he comman­ded his Squire to unbind her: and forgetting the advice of him that but then parted from them, he began to comfort her, in stead of representing her vice unto her. I will never beleeve, said he unto her, that a woman e [...] ­dued with so many beauties, can be so wicked as was but now reported unto me. Wherefore give over afflicting your self, and tell me truely the cause why this Squire entreated you in that fashion. Not to dissemble, said she, this cunning was but too well disguised. For according to the report of the base villaine made of me, you have reason not to trust me, and to believe that I am the falsest woman in the world: but the matter is quite otherwise then he hath delivered: for as soon as he saw me, he protested that he was extreamly enamored of me; and not being able (as he swore) to endure the violence of his passion, he besought me to receive him into my favour, and to afford him some more particular grace; which having refused him, he tooke me from my horse, and notwithstanding all my best resistance, bound me as you saw, threatning to kill me if I did not grant his desire, whereunto without doubt, I should at the last have yielded, not having courage enough to suffer death, if you had tarried any whit longer. Behold, noble Knight, the truth of this affair, which I have freely and simply delivered unto you, hoping that you will not do a curtesie to halfes, and leave me without assi­stance in a Countrey so dangerous, where I travell without any acquain­tance by the command of a Lady, that is ready to perish for the love of a brave Christian Knight whom I may not name: having so vowed at my de­parture for the reputation of her that emploies me. What cannot the per­swasions of a villanous woman effect? Silvan tasting this discourse far other­wise then was for his behoofe, was so taken with the faire pretext of her reasons, that casting away the ill conceit he had of her, he determined to [Page 16] accompany her till she were in some place of safety; So causing her to be set on horseback, he went along with her towards the dangerous Castle, where questionlesse he had been lost, if heaven that took a particular care of him, had not miraculously diverted the mischief that hung over his head. In the meane time, the gentle Amanio d'Astre followed somewhat a different way from that of Silvan, being no lesse busied with his unquiet thoughts: but he was driven out of his dumps by a Dwarf, who taking his horse by, the bridle turned him aside, and giving him a jerk with a wand, said; Knight, take this way, I pray you, and let not the night stay you: for your retard­ment would be the cause of perpetuall sorrow to you. Saying so he passed on, leaving Amanio infinitely amazed with this speech, whereof he would gladly have known the meaning, but finding no means to be satisfied there­in, for that the Dwarf was no longer appearing, he put on his horse with more haste then before; resolving not to discontinue his travell till he might see what the end of this adventure would be.

CHAP. VI. The Emperour Spheramond being in extream danger, i [...] relieved by certaine Knights.

SPheramond, not able to rest by reason of the choler wher­into the arrogance of the Giant had put him, rose as soon as he saw the day appear: and having made him­self ready to fight, drew to the gate where he knock­ed with more violence then he had done the evening before, which caused him that already had spoken to him to look out at a window, and with an audacious tone to say unto him: Wretched Knight, I thought that sleepe and the night would have setled thy brain; But since thou wilt needs lose thy selfe out of humour, do but stay till I am armed, and I will quickly cure thee of thy madnesse: with that he angerly clapt to the win­dow, and shortly after sallied out with so furious a countenance, as had been sufficient to have affrighted any one lesse assured then this Prince, who see­ing him come on horseback, with a Lance like a mast of a ship in his hand, took as much of the field as was necessary for his course, and encountred him with such fury as having pierced his shield, he made him with a dangerous wound in his side [...]lie over the crupper of his horse: but his own fortune was not much better; for constrained he was to kisse the earth, as well as the Gi­ant, not being able to bear the violence of that shock, yet remembring that he was not laid there to sleep, he quickly got up, and bravely laying hold on his sword he drew to the enemy; who found himself so astonished with his fall, as he was not able to stir: whereupon Spheramond was going to present his sword to his throat for to make him yield up the victory unto him; but hearing a great noise at the gate, he turned about his head, and instantly saw two other monsters, like him that he had overthrown, come running to­wards him with their Cymitars in their hands, and threatning him with no lesse then the losse of his life: This object somewhat troubled him, but im­mediatly [Page 17] resolving himself, he sheathed his sword in the body of his first man, who was striving to get up, and straightway mounting on his horse the better and more easily to defend himself, he made towards them, but they were by that time so neer unto him, as he was constrained rather to think of warding their blows, then offending them. For the one of them laid upon his shield, and the other upon his cask with such violence, as but for the goodnesse of his new armes, his life had then been at its period: neverthe­lesse he was not much dismaied, yet thinking that such violent incounters might at length be attended with death, he resolved to fight with judge­ment, and to stand carefull upon his guard; making them therefore spend the most part of their blows in vain, he took so good choice of his times, as he often drew bloud of them, not giving a blow which pierced not the flesh, and put them in doubt of their lives: whereat they were so enraged, as in stead of striking on his armes, they hewed the stones in pieces, and filled the ground about them full of clefts. Whilest their fury did thus transport them, the Emperor not willing to let slip any occasion that presented it self, took his time when as one of them stooped to pull his Courtelasse out of the earth, whereinto he had sunk it three foot deep, and hit him with a reverse so just upon the neck, that he laid his great head at his feet; leaving his com­panion much amazed to see himself alone, covered with bloud and wounds, and with little or no power to defend himself any longer, howbeit he reco­vered some heart with the sight of three other Giants, that came out of the same Castle; who having encompast his enemy, began to charge him with such fury, that not being able to ward so many blows which bruised his bones, he thought that he must needs fall under such an oppressing violence, but resolving to sell his life at a dear rate, he defended himself with such courage, and charged them with such force, that he grievously wounded two of them, when as the third gave him so insupportable a blow on his hel­met, that he laid him quite void of sense on the crupper of his horse, voiding bloud in abundance at his nose and ears. The Giant, proud of his fortune, followed him with his sword advanced for to finish the work, when as a great Knight arriving in the instant charged his Lance against him, and run­ning it clean through his body tumbled him dead upon the ground. Sphera­mond who while this was a doing, had some leisure a little to recover his spirits, seeing himself so opportunely seconded, clasped his sword fast in his hand, and with an infinit rage for having been reduced into that estate, he let it descend with such force upon the first Giant, that he divided his head in twaine, just at such time as he which came to his succour, having di­spatched the other against whom he was opposed, taking a new Lance from his Squire, turnd himself gallantly to receive thirty Knights, that sallied out of the Castle, under the conduct of three dreadfull Giants, who made such a noise as the earth seemed to tremble under them. The courage of these Knights encreasing with the difficulty of enterprises, Spheramond carri­ed with extraordinard fury addressed himself to one of the Giants, and dis­charged a blow upon his arm, with such force as he sent it together with his sword to the ground. That done, falling in amidst those Knights, he kild the two first that presented themselves before him. On the other side, the black Knight (so was he called that sided with him) made the Giant whom he encountred lose his stirrop, and dealt such blows amongst the rest, as he laid three of them at his f [...]: but the two remaining Giants held them so [Page 18] short, that with the assistance of those rascals, which would not suffer them so much as to breath, they had been in extream danger of their lives, if two Knights had not at one time arrived there by severall wayes, who seeing a fight managed with so much unequality, presently layd hands on their swords, and attaching the Giants that exceedingly molested the Princes, charged them with such furious blows, that they were fain to turn head for to defend themselves, leaving Spheramond and his companion amidst their other Knights; of whom they made so great a slaughter, that there remai­ned but two of them alive, who fearing to lose their lives as their compani­ons had done, threw away their weapons and craved mercy. You shall (said Spheramond) have it granted you, upon condition that you put us in possessi­on of this Castle. You may, said they, enter it freely, and without fear, For you shall find no body there to resist you, so as Argenea the Mistresse of the place, doth not frame some new inchantment to make you purchase it with more danger and pain: howbeit I can assure you that she is not now in the Castle, she having gone from thence not long since, (as I conjecture) to find some means from hindring it to be taken. For her spirits (without) let­ting her know the time) had advertised her of the misfortune that hath this day befallen us: you may therefore boldly enter in, and your best course will be first to seaze upon the ports for your more security. This counsell seeming good to the Knights, the blacke Knight staid at the gate, *whilest Spheramond searched all about the house. But finding nothing, he returned presently to view the combat between the two Knights and the Giants, which continued with so much fury, that it was not easie to determine what the issue of it was like to be. But ere long they perceived the advantage on their side that came last. For their enemies had lost so much bloud, as they fell both almost at one instant so weak, that there was no need of any wea­pon to make an end of them. Spheramond extreamly satisfied with this vi­ctory, lifted up the visier of his helmet and addressing himself to the Knight that had first succoured him: Valiant Sir, said he, You have so infinitly ob­liged me, as I cannot doubt of your affection to me: but to render the plea­sure of your assistance and my preservation accomplished, tell me who you are, that in recompence thereof, I may heerafter seek out occasions to be commanded by you. Excellent Prince, answered the black Knight, disco­vering his face, I will never acknowledge that you are any way engaged to my arms, in the least obligation: For your valour alone was able to defeat your enemies without my aid, yet I cannot but give humble thanks unto heaven for bringing me hither so opportunely to testifie the desire I have to do you service; I am your most humble servant Dorigell, Prince of the For­tunate Island, and more contented for meeting you heer at this time, then I could have been for the conquest of any enemies Empire. With these words they embraced, as if they had not been together in a long time before: and were about to draw toward the other two Knights to give them thanks for their succours; when as they who knew them, came to them with all de­monstrations of respect: My Lords, said they, give us leave to kisse your victorious hands, as those which will ever depend upon you: You see heer Amanio d'Astre and Silvan, brought hither by most strange means, but excee­ding happy in that our arrivall hath not been altogether unusefull to you. Then unlacing their helmets they would have humbled themselves to Sphe­ramond, but he embraced them with such expressions of love, as more could [Page 19] not be. The entertainment of these fowr Knights having lasted a while, they all entred the Castle: and having shut the gates, they were conducted by the two Knights whom they had saved to the prisons, from whence they enlarged thirty or forty Knights; amongst the which were Parmenian of Cyprus, and Ladazan of Numidia, who determining to seek adventures a­broad, had left the Army the evening before their dislodging: and as their fortune directed them, met neer the Castle of the twelve Towrs; where they were surprised by two of the Giants, who having astonied them with two blows, enclosed them in a Dungeon, with an intention ere long to sa­crifice them to their Gods, in satisfaction of Argeneaes revenge. The con­tent of these Princes was not small, in having thus delivered two of their friends; nor did they take care for any thing more, then how to find out some one that could dresse their wounds. For Dorigell was hurt in three pla­ces, Spheramond very much bruised with the blows he had received (the goodnesse of his arms having arrested the edge of his enemies swords,) and Amanio d'Astre had a slash on his shoulder nothing so dangerous as great; but instantly they had word brought them, that at the gate there was a Dwarf who desired to speak with them: Let him in, said Spheramond, his presence will not affright us; only have a care that he be not followed by any other. For the two Knights we spared have assured me, that three of the guard of this Castle are yet abroad, and that it is likely they will return this evening. The Sentinell then perceiving no body but the Dwarf ope­ned the gate, and from thence he was brought to the Princes, where at first addressing himself to Dorigell he said, Do you know me, Sir Knight? Yes truly, said Dorigell, you gave me yesterday the best horse and the bravest shield in the world; for which curtesie you may ask of me what you please: and be assured you shall not be refused in any thing that lies in my power. I do not come hither, answered he, to request any reward for my service, but to do you some more: Go, I pray you presently to bed, together with these Princes that are hurt, and I will dresse you. For knowing that your wounds would extreamly incommodate you without looking to, I am come to cure you. You have already done so much for me, said Dorigel, that I will not now refuse your assistance, neither for my self nor my friends. Ma­king then three beds to be set up in one Chamber, that the time might seem the lesse tedious unto them, they went to bed and were drest by this Dwarf, who enjoining them to rest till the morning, went out with Silvan that took upon him the charge of the Castle, appointing Parmenian of Cyprus, and Ladazan of Numidia, to keep the watch with twelve Knights for fear of being surprised. But little need there was of that care; for the day came on and nothing appeared to disturb them. Now were all these Princes ris [...]n, as whole and sound as if they had not been hurt at all the evening before, and much wondring they could not see their Chyrurgian that was not any more to be found, when as the Sentinell brought them word that he saw a Chariot come almost to the gate, wherein were three Giants, and three La­dies, who fild the aire with sighs and lamentations: but that withall there appeared a brave and able Knight that made no difficulty to set on the Gi­ants, for the relief of those afflicted women. Thereat the Princes cald for their arms, fearing lest that Knight should not be able to withstand the fury of those monsters: and therefore made all the haste they possible could. The yong Silvan who was first ready, knowing the Giants to be on foot, [Page 20] went out only with his sword in his hand, wherewith he entertained his ene­mies in so rude a fashion, aided by the valiant Emperour of the Parthians, that followed him, as he made them not only despair of the victory, but stand in fear of a neer approaching death. The Knight whom before they had circled about, seeing himself so well and beyond his hope seconded, did so gallantly bestir himself, and charged him that opposed him, with such fury, as the grasse round about him was died with his bloud. In like sort, Silvan entreated his man, and Spheramond gave his enemy not so much lea­sure as to breath; but the honour of this combat was so well disputed with them, as they could not vaunt to have lent any thing but upon very good pawns. He that fought with the first Knight, despaired of his safety, and defying heaven for being so ill intreated by one man alone, took his curtel­ax in both his hands, and discharged so violent a blow on his adversaries helmet, that he laid him in the dust altogether deprived of sense. That blow naving given him some hope of victory, he was going to disarm him, but having in that rage and straining of himself, spent all his bloud and strength, he reeling tumbled down on the other side with apparant signes of death. Spheramond that had observed the misfortune of the Knight whō he thoght to be dead, was so transported with choler, that griping his sword fast in his hand he made it descend with such fury on the cask of his enemy, as divi­ding it together with his head in two pieces, he laid him stark dead upon the earth. Thence presently flying to the Knight, that lay extended by the slain Giant, he unlaced his helmet, to see if he yet breathed, and found it was the beauteous Savage, who feeling the freshnes of the air, immediatly ope­ned her eies: His amazement to see her there, was no lesse then his content to find her with some remainder of life; but thinking that she stood in more need of succour then of complement, he went about to help her up, when as remembring the combat she had begun, she rose with such force and agi­lity as made them all to wonder that beheld her; and laying hold of her sword that was fastned to her arm, she was going to fall furiously on the Giant that fought with Silvan; but she saw him sink under a terrible blow which he gave him. I am, said she then, fully revenged of my enemies: but yet I desire to know unto whom I am indebted for this assistance. To your own vertue, said Spheramond, which had no great need of our arms. God, said she, What do I see? and what strange encounter is this? Tell me, my Lord, what good fortune brought you hither? What Knights are these in your company? and what have your adventures been these three daies? Even such, answered Spheramond, as those that have rendred you heer; we arrived heer without any particular design, and have rooted out of this Country a crew of mischievous fellows: but that which gives me the most content is, that we fell upon this place so happily for your safety, and the increase of our glory. These that you see heer with me are at your dispo­sing. Heer is Silvan, who shewed himself the most forward to do you ser­vice, being the first that sallied foorth to your succour. This is Dorigell, Prince of the Fortunate Island: the third is Amanio d'Astre; and these two Knights are Parmenian of Cyprus and Ladazan of Numidia, whom we have freed out of prison. Then he told her all the circumstances of his coming thither, his combat, and how without the assistance of those brave Princes, he had infallibly lost his life. This discourse having perswaded them, that all those occurrences had fallen out by the providence of some Magician [Page 21] their friend, she was about after she had infinitely caressed those Knights to enter the Castle; but remembring the women in favour of whom she had undertaken the combat, although she know not who they were, she desired Parmenian and Ladazan to go and seek them out; for she had observed that at the beginning of the fight they fled away from that place: This they un­dertook most willingly, and did discharge it so happily, as the same day they returned with unspeakable content of all the company, as shall be re­lated to you in the Chapter following.

CHAP. VII. Who th [...]se Princesses were that were f [...]rcibly carried away by the Giants: as also the Emperour Spheramonds return into Parthia.

WE have in the preceding Chapter told you, that Argen [...] sister to the King of the Frozen Island, foreseeing the ruine of the Pagan Princes, withdrew herself into the borders of the Soldan of Aleppo his Countrey, where by enchantment she built that proud Castle of the twelve Towrs, and for the guard thereof drew thi­ther twelve of the mightiest Giants in all the army, in hope by that means to surprise some of the Greek Prin­ces, and so to revenge her self. But God whose providence reacheth to e­very thing, overthrew all her designs, making the Emperour Spheramond fall with that place, and after him Dorigell, Silvan, and the gallant Knight of the Bridge, by the procurement of the great Alcander; who desiring to prevent the mischiefs which this woman intended to Christendome, and which without all doubt had happened in the losse of Spheramond, did provide that Dorigell should be met withall by a Dwarf, the Knight of the Bridge by a Squire, and Silvan by a Damsell, to the end they might be conducted thi­ther to succour that great Emperour. It remains now that we relate unto you the new designe she had to render her malice the more memorable: As soone as the building was brought to perfection, she took her books, where­with she often entertained her self, and straining her skill to the highest pitch, she found that the Empresse Richarda, and the Princesse Rosaliana, her sister, were with childe with two sonnes, who one day should be the support of Christendome, and the ruine of Paganism; which did so vex her, as she resolved to destroy them before they should come into the world: Having sought out then from among the cunningest of her thoughts, for some sub­tile invention to bring her desires to passe, she departed with three of her Giants a little before those two great Armies came to meet, and imbarked her self in a ship, which by the guiding of three Dwarffes, she caused to sail so shiftly, that in two daies she was in the Empire of Parthia at the foot of a Castle by the Sea side, where by chance the Empresse Richarda with her si­ster were at that time, to find some diversion from the grief they were in for the absence of their Husbands: Being arrived at her desired [...]ort, she made certain Characters upon the poop of her Bark; and redo [...]bling her [Page 22] charms, she enchanted her Giants that she carried with her in such sort, as they appeared in the shape of Spheramond, Amadis d' Astre, and the Duke of Arbamont; that done, she disarmed their heads, caused them to shew them­selves upon the hatches, and commanding two of her Dwarfs to sound a fanfara to awake the Princesses, she sent the third well instructed with his message, to advertise them of the return of those Princes. Upon the noise of the trumpets the Ladies looked out at the window that opened to the sea, with a great desire to know what the businesse might be: but unable at that distance to discern the countenance of these transformed people, they did with some delight lend an ear to the Musick, that seemed to presage some good fortune unto them: and whilest they thus suffered their souls to be drawn out at their ears, a damsell came to enform them, that there was a Dwarf desired admittance, to advertise them of some affair which neerly concerned them: wherupon having commanded him to be brought in, they withdrew from the window to understand what the Dwarf would say unto them; who being too well taught for to fail Argenea in her design, presen­ted himself with much respect: and having made an humble obeisance with a cheerfull countenance he said to the Empresse Richard [...]: Madam, what will you give me for the contentment which my coming will bring you? The Emperour Spheramond with his cousin Amadis d' Astre, is at the foot of this Castle: but because they have in their company a beautifull Princesse whom they chanced to meet with at sea, that will not land this e­vening, in regard she desires to visit you to morrow with the more magnifi­cence, they humbly beseech you not to be displeased with their retardment in saluting you, since it is against their wils and only to discharge themselves of the promise they have made to this Lady. They have reason to keep their word, answered Richarda, who was transported with joy and content; no [...] will I render them perjured by commanding them to come hither. But let me not live if I go not my self to visit them, though for a penance I serve in the morning to glorifie the triumph of this forrein Beauty they bring with them. Having then caused their horses to be brought, she went down to the haven accompanied only with her sister, and one maid, where seeing the lovely face of her Husband, she could not without some trouble bear the little delay which she was forced to endure, before she could be set aboord the ship; into the which she was with her company no sooner entred but the Giants reassumed their former shapes, which did so amaze them, that with grief to find themselves so wofully abused, they fell down more then half dead upon the deck; Argenea seeing that which she so much desired in her power, immediatly covered the ship with a cloud, took her way back again with the same speed she had made thither, and landed at the same port from whence she had weighed ancor not above five daies before. But her house being ten leagues from thence, she presently caused a Chariot to ap­pear, drawn by six horses of a monstrous greatnesse; and having found by her last incantations she was threatned with a terrible mischief, she willed her Giants to passe on and to bestow the Ladies in safe custody, whilest she went to consult with a great Magician, with whom she had formerly been very conversant, to the end that by the help of his skill she might divert the storm which was ready to fall upon her; yet all her devices were to no pur­pose: for Alcander (to whose knowledge all other mortall mens gave place) having foreseen the mischievous intentions of this Hagg, had first turned [Page 23] the Chariot somwhat out of the right way to make it come within the view of Spheramond, to whom also he gave the same day those excellent arms, by means wherof he escaped death, which was otherwise inevitable, being to fight with three or fowr of the most able Giants in the world, all at one instant, assembled all those Princes who had been separated from the Army into that one place being assured that Spheramond would at length be una­ble to resist so many Knights as were to combat him together. These then were the Princesses which he saw passe by when overtaken with the night, he was sleeping under the trees, and the very same that were brought to the Castle of the twelve Towrs, by the Giants, when as those Princes sallied foorth to second the fair Savage, who having met the Chariot followed the Giants to fight with them, being mooved with pity at the lamentations of those Ladies. But it is time to return to our former Discourse of Parmenian of Cyprus and Ladazan finding these Princesses under a tree who trembled with fear, alighted from their horses, and putting off their helmets, that the Ladies might by seeing who they were, be the better assured, they kneeled down to kisse their hands: but they were so amazed with the encounter of them, as they were not able to speak a word; which Parmenian observing, to restore them to themselves he said: I cannot but much wonder (excellent Ladies) to meet you in these uninhabited parts, and so far remooved from your own Countries. But you will be no lesse amazed when I tell you, that the Emperour Spheramond is at the Castle, which you see yonder, accom­panied with certain Princes of Greece, who are merrier then the losse they have endured might seem to permit, not knowing as yet of your being in these quarters. Do not then I beseech you, afflict your selves any further; those that brought you hither are dead; nor shall you find in that house any but such as were born to do you service. At these words the Princesses re­covered a little courage, yet fearing such another treacherous trick, as had been plaid them before, they made but little shew of resenting that news, and rested as it were in an extasie, when Ladazan, who marvailed at that coldnesse of theirs thus pursued his discourse: Why how now, Ladies, are not these newes pleasing unto you? and will you not return with us to glad the Emperour? Verily this cariage of yours doth amaze me; nor can I ima­gine from whence it should proceed, since all feare of danger is past. Let us go, I beseech you, without any more delay. Well, let us go, said the Em­presse Richarda, who was somwhat the heartier of the three, since you will have it so, at the worst we can be but once more abused: with that they ad­vanced toward the Castle, before the gate whereof stood Spheramond with Dorigell and the rest. He at the first sight knowing them was strangely ama­zed at so unexpected an encounter. O God! said he, can I imagin or believe that my fair mistrisse is heer, or can any man perswade me that I am not in a dream? Tell me, Madam, am I in the Parthian Empire? or is it possible that I should meet you in these desert plains, which are not neer it by three hundred leagues? Certainly I am so confounded and besides my self, as I dare not embrace you, fearing that you are heer through some enchantment. I should have, replied she my dear heart, a great deal more cause to be asto­nished beholding you heer, seeing it is not above six daies since you were with me in Parthia: but you did so suddenly change your aspect, that the pleasure of your sight was instantly followed with an infinit grief for not finding you any more like unto your self; yet I do not now wonder any [Page 24] longer at it, for by the way I learned that a Sorceres our enemy had plotted this treason against us, an [...] that she had framed that enchantment for to sur­prise us; She threatned me with death, and to destroy with me the fruit that you left with me at your departure. But since I see you heer with me, I do no more fear her charms, and care as little for her menaces: speaking thus, she gave him a million of kisses, and did so hang upon his lips as he could hardly have leisure to answer the Infanta Rosaliana, who came to entertain him, and enquired for some news of her Husband. I would, said he, gladly satisfie you if I knew how to do it with assurance: but not being able to say any thing certainly, I beseech you seek not to be informed but with as little curiosity as your love will permit. In the mean time comfort your self in his absence, and beleeve that heaven will not be so much an enemy to your quiet, as not to render him unto you ere it be long, with more content then ever you had. These words were extreamly sensible unto her, for she ima­gined that he was dead among so many other Princes; and did therefore bewail him in her mind: but unwilling to disturb her sisters contentment, or make it appear that she distrusted the words of Spheramond, she restrained her tears to return the salutes which she received from Silvan, Dorigell, and Amanio d' Astre, who presented their service unto her, having before tendred the same respect to the Empresse Richarda. Some time then being spent a­midst these complements, the Empresse would needs visit the fair Savagesse, who was in her bed with three wounds, being much troubled that she could meet with no body that could dresse them. But as they were consulting a­bout finding out some Chyrurgion, they saw the little Doctor come in that had cured them the night before; who commanding them all out, applied such sovereign salves to her wounds, as after eight howrs sleep, she waked without any pain, and as able to bear arms, as ever she was in her life. The wonder therof being no lesse then their content, they passed on that night without any fear of Argenaes power. But in the morning upon consultation they resolved, that this place being in the midst of the enemies Countrey, was with much diffi [...]ulty to be kept, so that Spheramond determing to quit it, returned towards his Empire, accompanied with the beautuous Empresse his wife, her sister, and her maid, as also with Parmenian, Ladazan, and thir­ty Christian Knights, which would needs attend him; the rest took such o­ther waies as fortune pleased to guide them.

CHAP. VIII. The arrivall of the Princes of Greece in their Countries: and the conveying away of little Amadis of Trebisond.

FLorisell of Niquea being arrived at Constantinople, A­lastraxeree in Trebisond, Don Rogel in Persi [...], Sphera­mond with the Empresse Richarda in the Empire of Parthia, and the other Christian Princes in their seve­rall Countreys: tears of joy and grief were mingled together. Sidonia with all kindnes welcommed her Husband, and the Empresse of Persia shewed no lesse [Page 25] content for the return of hers. But seeing that their Courts (in former time so flourishing by the presence of such a number of excellent Princes) now seemed forlorn by their deaths, and the absence of so many Princesses as were partly deceased, and partly carried away, they were not able to master their sorrow; howbeit time, the common Physitian of miseries, and the consolations they continually received from those brave Princes, having somwhat sweetned the bitternes of their anguish, they began to restrain their tears and asswage their grief; seeing that necessity enforced them to so cou­ragious a resolution. When as fortune that was not yet weary of vexing them prepared them a new occasion of sorrow: you have seen how the Empresse Niquea, before she was enchanted in the Castle of Treasure, was delivered of a yong son, whom she called by his fathers name, for that he much resembled him in face; and that at his birth there appeared in the air certain signs which seemed to presage the excellency of that child. It re­mains now to tell you what became of him after the transporting of his mo­ther away. The Chronicle of Alquif reports, that in those daies lived a great Magician of the Pagan sect, who (though he came short of Alcanders perfection) yet was master of many admirable secrets, unknown to those of his profession: This man named Dorion, holding nothing in higher esteem then the propagation of his law, took the same care for the preservation of the Pagans, as our Alcander did for the welfare of Christendome: so that one night bestowing himself in the invocation of his spirits, he learned of them the birth of the little Amadis of Trebisond, knew by his art that he would surpasse his father in valour, and that he should one day be the second pillar of the Empire of the faithfull, as also the subverter of Paganism. This infinitely afflicted him, and from thencefoorth he vowed his death, prote­sting to employ all the secrets of his art rather then fail of his purpose. But he continued not long in this mind: for turning over his books to find by what means he might best bring his desire to passe, he found that he whose destruction he sought, should one day shed his bloud for to save him from an extream danger: changing then his mischievous intention, he became more carefull of his life, then he had before been eager of his death; yet ha­ving the love of his Religion deeply rooted in his heart, and being unwil­ling for the respect of his own preservation to see the ruine of it, he took a middle way between the fear of seeing the glory of the Pagans defaced, and his desire to live. This infant, said he, may one day indeed relieve me, for the influence of the celestiall bodies are never fall, but yet I will keep him from destroying those which professe the same law that I do. I will ther­fore go and take him out of his mothers bosom, bring him into these deserts, where I reside, draw out of him the service that he is predestined to do me, and then will set such strong enchantments upon him, as he shall never be seen by any man but my self. Having thus spoken he inclosed himself in a cloud, and went directly to Constantinople, where the little Amadis was brought up. As soon as he came there, the Sun began to lose his light, the daies brightnes was turned into darknes, and from the cloud wherin he was, such claps of thunder roare [...] foorth, that every man feared to be grownd into powder. Whilest all these wonders strook the world with astonish­ment, Dorion descended, entred the chamber of little Amadis, who then was but three months old▪ took him in his arms, and in the presence of Florisel, that with excessive gr [...]ef saw him go out and was not able to hinder it, retur­ned [Page 26] into the midst of his cloud, which immediatly rising up in the air carri­ed him to the monstrous Island his own habitation, where being setled, he presently caused a woman to nurse him, commanding her with his milk to infuse into him the directions of their Law, so soon as she found him capable of any impression of it: howbeit his design there sorted not to his desire. For Alcander who was not able to hinder the carrying of him away, for that the decrees of heaven are not to be crossed, made him understand by cer­tain secret impressions, that one only God was by him to be worshipped. When the cloud was gone, the Sun resumed his former splendor, and the air became as calm as before, but with exceeding grief to Sidonio, who see­ing the new losse she had sustained, so exceedingly renewed her sighes and tears, that if Prince Florisell, which was better able to undergo such cros­ses, had not fallen again to his former reasons for to comfort her, she would undoubtedly have buried her self with her grief. Whilest the people la­mented this misfortune, Florisell to seek some diversion from these sorrows, resolved to go on hunting, and to that end departing out of the palace for to take horse, a maid presented herself, and kissing a paper which she had in her hand, delivered it to him, telling him withall that it came from the wise Vrganda; with that word he trembled, for not having heard of her since the losse of his friends, he thought she had not been living, but had accom­panied them in death, whom so faithfully she had served during their lives. But this his perturbation being of no long continuance, he opened the pa­per, and therin read these words.

Vrganda to the Greek Princes.

SOvereign Princes: If you had not learned by so many crosses as you have met withall in the World, what men of co [...]rage ought to know, I would comfort you in your losses, and specially for that which hath this day befallen you: But knowing you to be every way invincible, and that you make little account of fortunes worst attempts against you, I will not present you with reasons to mitigate your just re­sentments, though I should be glad that you could reach unto the meaning of these obscure words.

The Prophecie.

When the strange Lion shall amaze the World with his roaring, and shall meet with him of the Grecian Forrests, the fourth of that name shall see the day for to render you presently after the lost Treasure.

If you did understand these words, without doubt, you would, brave Princes, perceive that the counsels of heaven are wonderfull, and living with quieter minds give me means to continue my doing you service with more affection then ever.

See, sayd Florisel, how the Sunne shines againe after cloudy weather: These good Magicians are still living; and as far as I can perceive by this scroul, though I do not fully understand it, we shall not suffer so much as we imagined: Let God that governs our actions, be pleased to direct them to his Glory; for I will neither murmur at his corrections, nor grow insolent with his favors. This said, he went down the stairs, mounted on horsback, [Page 27] and better cheered then he had been in a long time before, went to the for­rest, where he had not been long, but he heard one that lamented not far from him, which made him to gallop that way the voice directed him, so that within a little while he arrived at a place where under a tree he found a good handsome woman, which held in herlap a dead Knight, over whom she made exceeding strange moan. Gentlewoman, said he being moved with pity, if your sorrow be capable of comfort, I would intreat you to consider that you afflict your self to no purpose, & that it were fit you should demonstrate your love to this Knight some other way rather then by your tears, wherof he is now insensible. That which he now is to expect from your hands is a grave; Let us, I beseech you, bestow it upon him, and that done we will think of what remains. If he be slain by the treachery of any, I will, if it be in my power, work your revenge, otherwise it may be a com­fort to you that you have seen him die like a good Knight, which is the most honourable departure out of this life. And if I shall not be troublesome to you, I will beseech you to let me know his name, and who it is that hath brought him into this estate. For being ingaged by my word to revenge it, I should be glad to understand if with reason I may do it. This afflicted wo­man then lifting up her eies all drownd in tears, beheld him a while without speaking a word, but judging by his countenance that he was not a Knight of any mean quality, at length she very modestly replied to him in this ma­ner: Do not beleeve, noble Knight, that my complaint is excessive; for the valour and fidelity of him whose death I now lament, deserves that my tears should be perpetuall, and might justly perswade me to lend no ear to any comfort whatsoever. But since with so much curtesie you make a tender to me of your assistance, I will not be so ingratefull as to refuse you the satisfa­ction you desire. Know then, my Lord, that this Knight whose head you see divided in two pieces, was called Balard of Catabatmon, grandchild to the good King Manely, who in the time of the Emperour Esplandian was held in the esteem of a brave Knight; he some moneths since left his fathers house to be at that great battell, where the rest of all Christendome was set up; but falling very sick in a Town of Macedon, he could not bring his pur­pose to passe, his malady still increasing, there was little hope of his life, when as his Squire (the faithfullest that ever served in that kind) remem­bring that there needed no more to cheer him up but only to speak of me, assured him that I was upon the way to visit him, having had advertisement of his sicknes: as soon as he heard my name, his love which yet in the ex­tremity of his disease was still the same, made him instantly rayse himself up, imagining that I had been come. But not seeing me, he gently laid his head down again upon his pillow, and began to take a little rest. In the mean time his Squire not intending to lose the benefit of his invention, instantly dispatched a post to me, knowing full well that my love was powerfull e­nough to make me undertake more then a voyage of fowre daies journey; And having gives me notice of the estate his master was in, he put me in a strange perplexity: for loving him to infinity, I almost died at the first news of his sicknes: but fortifying my self with a couragious resolution, I wiped my eies, and taking a good pacing nag, I made such haste, that three daies after I was by his bed side, though wonderfully troubled to see him brought so low; yet did my presence so work with him, that his bloud returning to all the parts of his body he began to shew some signes of amendment. To [Page 28] what end should I entertain you with longer discourse of his malady? Time restored him to his health, and when he found himself able to bear Armes, he departed from thence with me, who would by no means quit him. For I lesse valued the opinion of the world then the obligation wherein I was tied to my affection. Having travelled then twelve daies without meeting any adventure, his courage coupled with his love, made him undertake to guard this passage for my sake, and to force all Knights that should passe this way to confesse that I was the fairest maiden in the world. This his enter­prise though full of danger, passed with him very happily, and divers were vanquished by him: but alas! Fortune forsook him this morning. For a great Knight in flaming coloured armes arrived heer; who not satisfied with the conditions of the combat proposed by him, said unto him. Knight, there are two strong reasons that oblige me to sight with you; One is, the faith that I ow to my mistrisse much more beautifull then yours; and the o­ther an oath, which I have taken never to spare any that are enemies to my Religion. The device which I see painted in your shield is an infallible ar­gument that you are a Christian, and I know you have an unjust cause to maintain in affirming your Mistrisse to be the fairest living; seeing then that you are in case to combat I am ready to follow your example. Balard, who wanted no courage, not enduring the arrogance of this Knight, presently set hand to his sword, and a long time made his party good; but alas! not ha­ving a cask of proof sufficient to bear the furious and weighty blows of his adversary, he was in the end brought into the estate wherein you now see him. Iudge now if I have not reason to torment my self, since I have lost by his death all that can be dear unto me: and do not condemn my sorrow, which to me appears but too just and reasonable. I rather said Florisel, do commend your resentment of such a losse; howbeit I have no great reason to combat this Knight upon the quarrell, since it hath been fairly carried, and according to the lawes of Knighthood, but seeing he professeth himself an enemy to Christians, whose protector I am bound to be, I promise you to seek him to the worlds end for to revenge the death of Balard, and to rid this Country of so pernicious a Knight. Saying thus, he sent for his arms, nor would he returne to the City, but went his way with Lidora (so was the Gentlewoman called) not being to be diverted from this enterprise for any entreaty could be made him.

CHAP. IX. Who the Knight ardant was, and why be hated the Christians.

THey that have bestowed any time in reading this famous history, have found in the twelfth book of Amadis, that Don Rogel of Greece, being at sea with Persea, Princesse of Persia, and Don Brianges of Boetia, was one day so tossed with a tempest, that after they had with no good successe, used all the labour and skill of the mariners, he at the last found himself hurried away with the storm, and thrown into the billows; [Page 29] from whence yet he escaped, rather by the permission of God, then by the strength and addresse of his swimming, it being the pleasure of the Almigh­ty that he should not at that time miscarry. That afterwards he fell in love with Florelle Queen of Canabea, who died the same day that he left her. And that the great Giant Exceladus opened her womb to take out the child whereof she was ready to be delivered, being gone nine months and above of her time; which after he had wrapped up in a virgin parchment, he carri­ed away with him, and in brief all the rest that is particularized in the 97. Chapter of that Book. But for that the History of that miraculous Infant is not as yet come to light, at least only vented by an ignorant Translator, I held it no lost labour to acquaint you with what I have found in an old frag­ment, written by Alquif (entituled, the Orientall History of the Imperiall House of Greece) which was found in Constantinople when it was taken by the French, in the time of Baldwin of Flanders, and afterwards brought into France by Geffrey de Ville Hardovin, Marshall of Champaigne, who compiled the history of that expedition, the rather for that the sequell of my discourse doth not permit me to passe by his name and acts in silence. This Infant then (as you have known) was called Fulgoran, by reason of a little blaze, which being cut out of his mothers belly, appeared upon his breast, and brought up with all maner of care by that Magician Giant, who found by his art that he would be infinitely valiant, and one day do some great mischief to Christendome: he daily instructed him in the handling of his arms; and often enformed him of the honor that brave Knights had ac­quired to themselves, to the end to render him ambitious of such glory and vertue by their example. And in brief he had so trained up his youth, that except the hate of the name of a Christian, which he had deeply engraven in his soul, he might boldly vaunt that he had framed a master piece of him. As soon as he perceived that he was able to beare arms, he made him a Cui­race of the colour of flaming fire, a cask of the best temper in the world, and a shield of so good proof, as with that greatnesse of courage and ability of body which he knew him endued withal, he might well believe that he was invincible. These being all in a readines, he took him one day aside, and thus sp [...]ke to him: It is in my opinion time, my sonne, that you should be­gin to attempt the effecting those things which the destinies have promised unto you, to the end you may not frustrate the hope that I have conceived of your valour. You shall the refore this night watch the Arms that I will give you, and prepare your self to depart to morrow for to seek the adven­ture of the world. Be gentle and easily intreated to pardon, patient in la­bour, love your Religion, and above all things take heed that conversing with Christians do not one day make you of another faith. I shall have my share with you in the glory that you shall gain, and shall be infinitely plea­sed if your praises may reach to the furthest end of the world. This yong Prince, who had naturally a disposition to goodnes, with a courage no­thing inferiour to his father, promised the Giant with care to remember his instructions, watcht his Arms, was the next morning Knighted by the Gi­ant, and loth to lose time mounted on a hors, that had not many fellows on the earth, and departed the same day under the protection of his Gods. Passing then along with an extream desire of meeting with some adventure worthy of his courage, he spent three hours in crossing certain forrests with­ou [...] lighting upon any one of whom he might enquire where he was: but at [Page 30] the end therof he entred into a great plain, where under certain trees he saw an old man sitting; who rising up with incredible nimblenes thus saluted him: Gentle Prince, I have ever since morning waited heer for you, to dis­cover unto you a secret that much imports you: You beleeve that Enceladus is your father, because he hath hitherto had the education of you; but from hencefoorth be not any more of that opinion; for you are sonne to one of the bravest and greatest Princes in the World, and whom you shall never know but with an extream hazard of your life. For the rest, remember the good counsell your foster Father gave you; I mean, be liberall, curteous, patient in adversity, easily intreated to forgive, and ready to relieve those that are distressed: But do not follow his advice of never being an enemy to the Religion which you now professe. The time shall come wherin you shall feel so much delight in another that is better and more conducing to your happines then this is, that you will quickly find how much my counsel is more profitable for you then his. You are amazed to hear me talk to you in this maner, and it may be will make little account of what I speak be­cause you know me not; but you will one day see how much my meeting with you at this time did concern you. Follow now the way you are in, since the destinies have put you into it, and be assured that in the greatest danger I will not be far from you, as well for your own merit, as for the af­fection which Iow to the vertue of your Father. This said, he vanished out of his sight, leaving our new Knight much astonished at that he had seen, and extreamly pleased to understand that his parents were of such eminent quality, although as yet he knew them not. Going on then very joyfully, he intertained his thoughts with infinite designs, when as he heard a great clashing of arms in a forrest that was not far from him: wherupon clapping spurs to his hors, he entred the wood, where at first he spied a Coach wher­in were two Ladies wofully weeping; and a little beside them three fearful Giants amongst fifteen or twenty Knights, who (as was easie to be conje­ctured) disputed with them the liberty of those women: Fulgoran having a while beheld them, and seeing that as often as the Giants Curtelaxes light­ed upon any of them, some of those Knights fell dead to the earth, couched his launce with so good both addresse and fortune against one of them, that having pierced him clean through, he laid him dead in the dust. This happy blow, the first essay of his chivalry, having added to his courage, he set hand to his sword which he emploied so gallantly, that he staid the fury of the second, leaving the third in the midst of fowrteen Knights, who did extreamly trouble him. But he was therwith so enraged, that as many as he fully lighted upon, he laid on the grasse: so that having dispatched eight of them, all the rest betook them to their heels saving one, who being richly armed, and obstinately pursuing his revenge, received so furious a blow up­on his helmet, that he fell from his hors voiding bloud at his nose and ears: That so cruell a blow having extreamly affrighted the women, who were before somwhat cheered upon the comming in of the burning Knight, made them shrike out so lowd that Fulgoran hearing it, gave his opposit so forci­ble a thrust, as having run him clean through the body, he laid him on the ground in the same estate his companion was in. Turning him then about, he perceived that he which survived, was going to unbuckle the Knights helmet whom he had overthrown, which was the cause of the womens la­mentations: this put him in such choler, as instantly running to him, and not [Page 23] giving him leisure to rise (for he had one knee upon the ground) he strook him so just on the neck, that he laid his head at his feet. This execution done, he drew to the Ladies, and began to comfort them, telling them that their enemies being dead, they had now no more cause to fear: But one of them who appeared beautifull in perfection, although her sorrow and tears hindred in some sort the discerning of her excellencies, interrupted him, saying: Good Knight, the time doth not now give me leave to render you condign thanks for this happy relief you have given us, for the fear I am in lest the King my Lord be dead, doth so transport me as I scarce know what I speak: Continue if you please, your assisting me, and help me presently to alight, that if there be any remainder of life in him, I may preserve it with such help as in this necessity I may give him. Fulgoran who was naturally very curteous, took her instantly in his arms, out of the chariot, and led her to him whom the last Giant would have killed; and pulling off his helmet, he used such means to him, as he brought him to himself again, being much amazed to find himself in that estate. Clairangia (for so was that beautifull Princesse called) seeing her husband breathe, recovered somwhat both her colour and courage: so that perceiving a yong Squire whom the Giant had bound behind the chariot, she presently caused him to be freed, and com­manded him with all diligence to seek out those Knights, who by flying had sought their safety, and will them to return unto her. In the mean time Ful­goran held the King in his arms, perswading him not to be dismaid with his wounds, which would easily be cured. The Squire having gladly underta­ken this charge, immediatly ran into the wood, but meeting them returning with a resolution to lose themselves with their master, since he would not save himself with them, he staid his pace, and having informed them of the issue of the businesse, he brought them to the King, where full of shame for the cowardise they had shewed, they began to frame an arm litter, in which they took up Dardan [...]r (so was the King named) Fulgoran going into the Coach with Clair [...]gia, who much wondring to find such valour in a Knight so yong and lovely, did gently enquire of him what good fortune had brought him into that Country for to bind her to him in so eternall an obli­gation. That Madam, said he, which doth ordinarily bind such Knights, as without defign do go about the world seeking strange adventures. But if you marvell at my comming hither in so seasonable a time, beleeve it I am no lesse amazed to have found you in so much danger. For your beauty and the greatnes of your estate, were in my opinion likely to have kept you from any sinister accide [...]t: although I well know, that fortune doth not alwaies consider either the merit, or the quality of those with whom she means to make her self sport. For this cause Madam, I would gladly know of you (provided my request heerin may not be offensive) by what mischance you fell into this mischief. I am too much engaged to your valour, said she, to refuse you any thing you shall desire. Know then, my [...]ord, that Dardan [...]r and my self being possest of the Crown and Scepter of Romerie, which is but two easie daies journey from hence, did live happily together in our match; for it is but two months since we were joined in mariage, and had nothing to complain of, but that we could not free our Court of one of these Giants which now you have slain: for being pass [...]onately in love with the Princesse Alixea, my sister, whom you see heer, we were extreamly discon­tented at his pretension, which yet we durst not but under hand oppose. For [Page 32] knowing that his brothers were our neighbours, and exceedingly redoubt­ed by all the provinces thereabout, we very much feared that a refusall would so enrage them, as they would make a war upon us, and so peradven­ture dispossesse us of the estate of Romerie. And indeed we could by no means have avoided that misfortune without your aid, considering the e­state wherin you met with us: for Bracandor my sisters amoroso not able longer to endure the violence of his desire, one day took the boldnesse to move the King therein after this fashion: Sir, you are not ignorant of my descent, and you also know (for you have been a witnes of my valour) that I am able to purchase Principalities to my self, and when I please can set a roiall Crown upon my head. I will not therfore fear to discover my inten­tions unto you, wherof I make no doubt but you have had some conjecture already: I have long loved your sister Alixea, and gladly would I be so far obliged to your favour as to be pleased with my alliance, which will not be of mean importance to you. For the consideration of my self and my brothers, will make you to be so redoubted, that all your neighbours will tremble at the very rumour of your arms, and from my self you shall still receive so many and so agreeable services, that you shall never have cause to repent of affording me that honour. This discourse did extreamly perplex Dardanor; for the bad conditions of this Giant made us so to loath him as we resolved to run any hazard rather then yield my sister unto him, whom by no means she could affect: howbeit not to make him utterly despair, he answered him, that being a King who desired to do nothing but that which was good and just, he could not absolutely determine of a matter of such consequence, without the consent of my sister, and his people: and that therfore he would first propound the busines to the Counsell of his Estates: and that in the mean time it would be fit for him to go and communicate the matter with his brothers, to the end he might not render them his ene­mies by neglecting their authority. Bracandor being heerby perswaded that all went according to his desire, was easily carried to take his leave of us, nothing dreaming of the Kings secret intentions, who not to lose time did presently after his departure send foorth commissions for the raising of sol­diers, fortified his ports and frontier Towns; and with all diligence prepa­red himself for a war. Our Amoroso being heerof advertised, was extream­ly amazed, and instantly perceived, to what end the King had perswaded him to remove; which did so inrage him, that he vowed to die, or be reven­ged of us all. But seeing the carefull order that Dardanor had taken thorow­out his Kingdome, and that it would be impossible for him to bring his de­signs to passe, he made as if he had quite forgotten Alixea, so as he suffered six months to passe without declaring himself any way sensible of my hus­bands proceeding with him; who in the mean while not thinking any more of him, determined about twelve daies since to go a progresse to all the good Towns in his [...]ngdome; and taking his journey, with the Princesse my sister, and my self, under the guard of two hundred Knights, he visited some places of most importance: and finding upon his way a very pl [...]asing forrest, he resolved to spend some daies in hunting in it. This while Bra­candor was not sleeping, for being advertised by some, which he intertained in our Court, of all these passages, as you know that palaces are never un­furnished of such traitors, he came thither accompanied with his bro­thers, where finding us attended only by thirty Knights of our guard, they [Page 33] put us into this Chariot, and after they had massacred our people, hurrying us away, they threatned us with no lesse then ravishment and death. Some of our servants that had escaped from the fury of their swords, having gi­ven notice of our misfortune to the King, he presently drew together as many of his Knights as possibly he might, and following us with all dili­gence, he overtook us to his certain ruine, without the happy assistance which you, Sir, so luckily brought him. See heer, my Lord, the true narra­tion of our disaster, which I conclude with a protestation, that I shall never be sparing of any thing in my power whatsoever your service shall com­mand in, since you have hazarded your life so nobly for my preservation. While Clairangia was thus discoursing to him, Fulgoran who never had be­held such beauty before, observed her with a strange and unusuall motion, and in his heart said thus to himself. Good gods, how blessed a man is Dar­danor to be possest of a creature so full of perfections? and how much to my prejudice am I to fear the incountring and seeing of her at this time? I cannot chuse but love her, though she be dedicated to the contentment of a­nother: and spite of my teeth I must yeeld to the impulsions of that proud deity which triumphs over all men. Mighty Love, do not, I beseech thee, refuse me thy aid; and since it is thy pleasure to be acknowledged by me, grant that the heart of this Lady may prove as pliant, as the glances of her eies are pleasing; I will then with a liberall hand present sacrifice to thy al­tars, and proclaim to all the world that thou art of more power then all the gods that we adore. On the other side Clairangia finding him wonderfully agreeable to her, did insensibly passe from a due acknowledgement of his assistance, to an heigth of liking him, being unable with all her modesty to keep her self from dearly loving him, and wishing that she might in that manes possesse him, as she might one day receive the contentments which Love doth give us in the fruition of our desires. Neverthelesse not being willing to leave a bad impression in him of her weaknesse, she concealed her mind, and kept him well enough from discerning her affection. Thus shortning the length of the way, with the sweet entertainment of their thoughts, they arrived at a village, where the King had a mind to rest, and cause his wounds to be carefully looked unto. But having intelligence that some kinsmen of the Giants had a design to surprize him in that place, and so to be revenged on him, he presently dislodged, being much troubled, that he had no more of his people about him to assist him, if the enemy should charge him: but he was quickly freed of that care, by the comming in of the Knights that he had left in the forrest, who incountred him on the way an howr after: much rejoicing to find him alive, whom they had given for dead, as soon as they heard he was gone to set upon the Giants. When he saw them he commanded his tent to be pitched, that he might repose himself being then out of all fear of danger, since he had in his company the burning Knight, to whom he did all the honour that possibly he could devise. The night past sweetly away with every one, but these two hearts so lately wounded: for fixing their imaginations, she upon the considerati­on of what she ought to her honour; he upon the fear of not being inter­tained with favour, and the danger that his enterprise might draw upon him, they were both of them kept waking till day, amidst the perplexity of a world of thoughts: but if they were tormented that night, the next was so them much more full of torture. For their conversing familiarly together [Page 34] all that day, having added no little fuell to their fire, made them feel their desires much more violent, and so rendred their pains more insupportable. Shamefastnesse sealed up the lips of Clairangia, and a due respect brideled Fulgoran, but remembring that lovers are commonly fortunate, when they are adventrous, he desired to trie whether boldnesse would acquire him that, which his faintnesse had not hitherto permitted him to ask. Wherup­on calling for pen and inck he wrot these lines to discover his love unto her, not being confident enough to do it by word of mouth.

Fulgorans Letter to his Lady the faire Clairangia.


I Beleeve you will think me very rash in acquainting you thus with my thoughts, but when you shall consider your own power and my weaknesse, without question you will hold me excused; and say, that I have reason being sick, to seek for recove­ry, which is in your hands, and the content of my life depends upon your favour. Do not. I beseech you, refuse it to the passion of a lover, who never knew what it was to sigh but for you, nor desires any greater felicity in the world, then the honour of your service. Your eies in which shines so much beauty, promise me no lesse: make not them then the authors of my despair, as they have been of my captivity, but let your sense of my suffering, give me ease to blesse my good fortune: so shall you put new life into my courage, and my arms shall make all the earth to know, that it is your beauty alone which deserves to command the burning Knight, who doth not wish a condition more eminent then to be

Your Servant.

This Letter being by the means of Silesia, the trusty secretary of her pri­vatest thoughts, cunningly conveied into Clairangiaes hands, was read with some perturbation; but unresolved as yet to declare her self, she returned no answer unto it, leaving the burning Knight in such disquiet, as his humor before so pleasing and sociable, became altogether untractable: he was sel­dome seen in the Court, little in his chamber, but commonly in the woods and unfrequented places, where he entertained himself with the sad consi­deration of his miserable estate; in which being denied the happinesse of knowing his parents, he was now also refused the enjoying the first thing that ever he had loved. Unfortunate Knight, said he, what dost thou now dream of, or what canst thou think of that gives thee not occasion to com­plain? Thou canst not be happy, only because thou art not worthy of so much glory. Retire then in time, and rather blame thy boldnesse, then the cruelty of thy Mistris: she is not guilty of thy misery, it is thy destiny that thou must accuse for it. But alas! what counsell is this thou harknest unto? Is it likely that thou canst leave her, and love her so dearly? Thou must ei­ther die, or vanquish this hard heart of hers: women do not so easily yield themselves; they will be entreated, and do often times feign themselves cruell, to trie our constancy. If thou shouldst possesse her without pain, her caresses would not be so sweet, nor thy contentment so compleat. Where­fore thou must not be weary of serving her, since the recompence well de­serves thy labour. This Knight thus losing himself in his meditations made all the Court to wonder at this change of his. The King was much troubled with it, as admiring his vertue, but Clairangia much more. For knowing that she only was the cause therof, she participated with him in her grief [Page 35] and suffering, which much amazed Silesia, who not approoving this reser­vednesse of hers, did one day thus speak to her: I wonder at you, Madam, and cannot imagine why you afflict your self in this maner, when you may live contented. You love Fulgoran, he adores you; and you have often told me, that you would not be ingratefull to the good offices he hath done you. His valour, beauty, love, and the infinite respect that he serves you withall, fill you full of desire; why then do you not seek for the accomplish­ment therof? and to what end is this modesty, seeing it is so troublesome unto you? Madam, it is not well done, you tyrannize your life to no pur­pose; occasions are to be laid hold on when they present themselves. This Knight hath too many perfections to be despised: open your arms to him, since he offers himself to you; and as he hath not been sp [...]ring of his bloud for your preservation, deny him not your favour for the conservation of his life, which cannot be long, if you continue this course with him: his death could be no pleasure to you, but condemning your rigour, you would say that you had committed an irreparable fault. Ah! how dangerous it is to meet with one that will push us on when we have our foot upon the preci­pice: Clairangia, whom the respect of her greatnesse, and the consideration of a husband, did as yet contain, beleeving that her weaknesse might be somwhat warranted by Silesiaes reasons, soon yielding up her self promised this wench no longer to reject Fulgoran; and permitted her to tell him that she would the next day go to Cel [...]bana, a house of pleasure that she had some three leagues from thence, where she thought she might have more liberty to confer her favours on him, then amongst a thousand observers, which are ordinarily in Court. This office Silesia willingly undertook; for as soon as she had her commission, she past three or fowre times before Ful­gorans chamber door, till she found an opportunity of meeting him, to let him know how all things were disposed for his content: how her Mistrisse desired to see him at Celibana, that there she might give some asswagement to his sorrows: and that he was happy if he could manage his fortune with discretion. This advertisement made him to change his countenance, as the fear of being ill used had altered his humour, he became more jolly then he had been in a good while before, and at last went to bed with lesse un­quietnesse then before.

CHAP. X. The Queen Clairangia going to Celibana, is twice surprised, and rescued by Fulgoran.

THE Queen departing with the Kings consent, under the guard of the Earl of Clina and twenty Knights, Fulgo­ran (who had not forgotten Silesiaes directions) went out armed, as he was accustomed to do, and seeming to be caried by his ordinary fancies, followed a way a little wide of that which the Queen with her train had taken, meditating upon the good fortune he was to have in finding his Lady more gentle then she used to be to him. She on [Page 36] the other side went with no lesse contentment thinking on the caresses she was to receive from a lover of such perfections. But her joy was quickly turned into sorrow: for she espied a Giant comming out of the wood of a goodly proportion, and not of any monstrous greatnesse, but every way so handsome, that notwithstanding the trouble she was in by the appearance of such an object, yet took she some pleasure in beholding his gallant de­meanour; howbeit considering that such kind of persons are for the most part cruell and uncurteous, she began to say: O ye Gods! how much I doubt the meeting with this great Knight? and I am much afraid that the death of our enemies will be revenged by this incounter. Sister, we are un­fortunate, and can expect nothing from this mischance, but either to be for­cibly bere [...] of that which we ought to hold most dear, or to bee reduced into the misery of a long captivity. Wherfore, said she to her attendants, prepare your selves to fight, and shew in what esteem you hold my safety. Reward shall wait on the valiant, and punishment on those that are cowards, and that prefer their lives before their honors. At these words every one made him ready to do his duty; but the Giant making no account of this troop, first of all addrest himself to the Coachman, whose brains he pre­sently knockt out with a blow of his armed fist; then drawing out his Cy­mitar the first that presented himself to him had his head cloven in sunder: after that falling in amongst the rest, he dealt his blows in such maner, as from one he cut off an head, from another an arm, cleft a third down to the middle, so that within lesse then half an howr he had laid fowrteen at his feet; and amongst them the Count of Clina so far from himself, as he re­membred not that he was in the world. The six that survived hoping for no better entertainment then their companions had received, fled into the wood, leaving their Queen a prisoner, when as two Giants by much far greater then the first, came to the place where this fight had been; one of the which having beheld the excellent beauty of Clairangia, was so far in love wi [...] her as he resolved either to die, or make her his own; Wherfore ad [...]ressing himself to the Conquerour, who was going to play the Coach­man, and had the whip already in his hand, he said: Do not think, Knight, that a treasure of such value as you think to have, is to be purchased with so little labour: you have in your opinion, made it yours by the slaughter of these men, the defeature of whom can give you no true glory; but if you mean to possesse it without doubt of a competitor, it is my death that must give you assurance: therfore you must resolve to fight for it with me, or ac­knowledging your self unworthy of such a happinesse, give over any fur­ther claim to it, and suffer me to carry it whither I please. The advantage you have, answered he, of a second, makes you speak with so much arro­gance; for if you were alone, you would rather think of defending your self, then offer to brave a man of my fashion: howsoever do not perswade your self that I will so easily yield you the fruit of my labours, neither hope to be the conducter of these Ladies, to whom I have so just a title; for I in­tend not to make way to you for it, but upon very strict conditions. At these words enraged like two Bulls that were ready to fight for an heyfer, they at one instant discharged two such heavy blows each upon the other, as they both staggered ready to fall, had not the shame of being overcome in the presence of her whom they loved transported them. This beginning but incensing them the more, they laid upon one another with such fury, as by [Page 37] the noise they made, one would have thought there had been fifty Knight together by the ears. If the one gave a blow, the other was not asleep. In In brief, they were so eager, that their bloud running down on every side, did nothing at all a bate their courage. He that came first not enduring to be disputed with about a thing he had gotten, struck so furious a blow upon his enemies shield, that having divided it in two the sword descended upon his casque which it entred, giving him a slight wound in the head: but well of­fered was as well returned, he being paid at the same instant with so rude a thrust that pierced through his armour a good way into the flesh, which put him into such a rage, as grinding his teeth, he took his Cymitar in both his hands, and gave his enemy so horrible a blow upon the head, that without doubt he had determined the combat if he had made it home. Neverthe­lesse it served not only to give him a slash in the face, but the point passing on with an incredible violence opened his cuirace and wounded him dange­rously in his breast. This blow somwhat amazing the other, who yet had not drawn his sword, but was with the Ladies, intreating them not to be troubled with their meeting them, caused him to lay hand on his Curtelax, wherwith very rudely he intertained his enemy; who little caring for this assistance, redoubled his strokes with more fury then before. In the mean time Clairangia was more liker a dead then a living woman; for well per­ceiving that which side soever fortune should favour, her danger was inevi­table, she afflicted her self in such extremity as would have moved any the most insensible heart to have pitied her, but her sorrow lasted not long; for a while after she perceived the brave Knight ardant come galloping in, who seeing so many dead bodies scattered on the ground, his Lady all drenched in tears, and stretching out her hands as imploring his aid, he became so en­raged, that drawing forth his sword he let it fall with such force upon the head of the last Giant that he clove him to the teeth overthrowing him dead to the earth. This brave blow having reinforced his courage, he made so smart a thrust at the breast of his companion, as meeting just with the wound which the first Giant had given him there, the point of his sword came out at his back, together with his life and that little bloud he had lest: howbeit not contented to see himself delivered from those two, he turned him to the first comer for to serve him with the same sawce; but he retiring a little back said unto him: I cannot worthy Knight, with reason imploy my arms against you; for having given me my life which was undoubtedly far engaged by the force of these two Knights whom you have slain, it were base in me to defend it against you, and in you a cruelty to deprive me of it, after you have so generously preserved it: if you have any interest in this fair Lady I will no longer pretend to any part in her, but will rest conte [...]nted with the honour of your service. Fulgoran admiring the humility of this Giant, (for he could not doubt his courage having before his eies such ap­parant proofs of his valour) let down his sword which was advanced to strike him, and very gently answered: I did not look, Sir, to be vanquisht by your curtesie, as I doubted to have been by your arms, wherwith having made two of the terriblest Giants in the World to tremble, I might very well fear a bad successe of our combat. But since you will have this glory over me, I willingly grant it you, and shall be well cont [...]nted to accept of this obligation, in hope one day to find a means to requite it: let us then, I pray you, be friends, since you will have it so, and believe it that I shall ever [Page] hold my self honoured in your acquaintance. Heerupon with open arms they embraced one another, to the infinit satisfaction of the Queen, who see­ing this businesse ended according to her wish, and contrary to the fear she was in about the issue therof, knew not well how to look. See, said she to her Knight, who came to kisse her hands after his victory, and to present the Giant to her; See, my Lord, how I am doubly engaged to you for my li [...]; But you shall not find me ungratefull, and your services shall be so wel recompenced, as you shall have cause to command my acknowledgement of them; I do willingly receive this great Knight, although he hath strange­ly perplexed me, but the happinesse to see you by me, and my self at liber­ty, which I was so lately in despair of, doth not suffer me to think of any passed misfortune; Let us go on, since we are so neer to Celibana, but first it were good to see if among so many Knights as lie heer in the dust, there be any one yet living: for it were not well done to leave any neglected that have so faithfully discharged their duties. Fulgoran then lighting from his horse viewed them all over, but found none to breath saving the Count of Clina, who shewed some signs of life assoon as he had air given him, wher­at the Queen very much rejoiced, though I believe she would have helped to make an end of him her self, if she could have foreseen the mischiefs which by his occasion did afterwards befall her. The Count being thorow­ly recovered, for he had no wound upon him, they began to set on towards Celibana, where they quickly arrived with much contentment. The news of the Queens misfortune being carried to Dardanor, the Courtiers were all up in arms, and every one was ready to get to horse for to succor her, when word was brought to the King, that she was freed by the valour of the Knight ardant, who entertaining himself in his melancholy fancies not far from the way which the Queen went, had heard the noise of arms, and came in just as the combat of the three Giants was in the highest fury: two of the which passed by the edge of his sword, the third becomming his friend for the assistance he had given him. This second advertisement much more welcome then the former, having quieted Dardanors mind, he sent his Phy­sitians and Chyrurgians to Celibana to look to those which were wounded. In the mean time our Lovers began to caresse one another; for Clairangia no longer able to hinder the felicity of the Knight ardant, whom she thoght worthy of her love, assoon as he was unarmed thus amorously said unto him: I should be ungratefull indeed, if I should not answer your affection or now refuse you a recompense for those good services you have rendred me, your valour doth inforce me aswell as it doth Knights that incounter you; and I am constrained to confesse that you deserve my favours, I will therefore confer them on you, so as you do manage them with discretion, and will delay your delight no longer then the evening. You shall follow Silesia when time serves, but take heed you lose not your self in the excesse of your joy, nor let your actions testifie the content of your heart. O ye Gods! said Fulgoran, rapt into a heaven of blisse, how pleasing is this pro­mise to me, and what cause have I to esteem my self the happiest man on the earth? Not all the gods, Madam, shalbe able to attain to this glory of mine, and I may well say that all my travels are fully rewarded with these words alone: you assure me unexpressable felicities, and such as questionles might easily transport me from my self (for no mortall man can receive them without passion.) But Madam, I will carry my self (sinc [...] you command [Page 39] me to do so) with such prudence as you shall never repent your so infinitely obliging of me. But alas! I fear that the time may change, and pardon me. If I say that I doubt that I am not fortunate enough to merit so much grace. This is, answered she, to afflict your self without cause: Doubt not, my Knight, that I will fail of my word, since I am to have a share in the plea­sure you hope for; but that we may begin our love with discretion, I would not have you tarry heer any longer, for fear of giving suspition to any. There is the Earl of Clina, hold good correspondence with him if it be pos­sible, for he is a man of whom I stand in doubt, and that questionlesse ob­serves our actions. These words making Fulgoran to withdraw, he went in­to the garden, not now any more to passe his time among the trees with ru­minating upon the cause of his discontent, but to meditate with the lesse di­version upon the good fortune that was promised him. Having spent some hours in this entertainment the night approached, which he with so much impatience had expected, to render him contented: For Silesia whom the Queen had fully informed of her intentions, came to him, and having lead him to certain trees that made a delicate arbour, willed him not to stir from thence till she returned to him. His impatience making him think the time long, he accused his Mistris of sloth, and would willingly have gone to ha­sten her, but fearing to offend with much ado he refrained, and staid till at last he saw the Queen appear, having nothing but a loose white sattin gar­ment on, and so gentle a night dressing on her head, as would have forced the dullest soul in the world to have loved her. Ravished then with delight he went and fell on his knees before hir, kissing her hands a thousand times: But she that could not endure to see him in that posture, joined her lips to his with such ardency, as did well testifie that she was no lesse pressed with her desires then he. These first caresses serving only to waken their appe­tites, they sate down upon the grasse, where Fulgoran immediatly took pos­session of his desired blisse, with so much sweet dalliance, as the Reader must not wonder if I do not take upon me to describe the pleasure thereof, since all the words in the world are not sufficient to expresse it. Having thus past the greater part of the night with all the content that may be wished for in this world, they withdrew themselves with a promise to meet there eve­ry night, which accordingly they performed with much secrecie; and cer­tainly their delights had been of longer continuance, if Fulgoran had well observed the advice his Mistris gave him. But with this good fortune his humour changed, he was no longer melancholy, he was not to be found in the woods, he frequented not the fields, he was more curious in his appa­rell then he was wont to be; If he spake it was alwaies in the defense of the beauty of Ladies; briefly in his eies was to be read the tranquility of his mind, and all his actions being full of jollity, made men judge that joy was more predominant in his heart then fadnes, so that every man wondered at this strange alteration in him. The Count of Clina observing him more narrowly then the rest, because he had a particular design upon him, soon discovered the secret, and was confident (seeing the Queen so often to eye him) that the metamorphosis proceeded from some speciall familiarity that was between them, which made him infinitely discontented. For being somewhat in love with the Queen, wherof nevertheles he never durst make any shew, it madded him to see another more happy then himself. What, said he all enraged, shall a stranger gather the roses, whilest I feel the prick [Page 40] of the thorns? It is unreasonable, I must at leastwise have a share in her favours, since I cannot wholly possesse them; and she cannot refuse me that, seeing she gives her self to another: but say she should be so vain as to slight my affection, I have the means to be revenged of her, and make her f [...]el the effects of an incens [...]d spirit. Being carried then by this heady reso­lution, he went directly to the Qu [...]ens Chamber, where by chance she was alone, and with a low reverence said unto her: I am come, Madam, to put my life into your hands, and to acquaint you wtth a secret, which I scarse dare trust my self withall; I am over-rash (it is true) but who would not be so, when so great a reward is proposed? I love you, Madam, and the consi­deration of your greatnes, or my duty, could ever divert me from it, though in so doing I have, as it were foreseen my ruine, but who would be loth to die for so excellent a cause? No, I will fear no punishments, that it may ap­pear I am not insensible of the force of your beauty; my sighes do testifie rather your power then my insolence, and from my passion can nothing re­dound but your glory. Consider me, Madam, I beseech you, as this great light of the world beholds all creatures, and remember that the least and meanest of them is as much obliged to him as the mightiest Monarks: The Gods that have made you so fair for the contentment of a King, have never forbidden you the conferring of a like grace on such as have not scepters, but yet many vertues; so that it lies in your power to make one happy; think me then worthy of that favour, and let my vow of an eternall fidelity give me a place in your good opinion; I will never passe by the respect that I ow to your greatnes, and the humility of my services shall so content you, that you shall more esteem the possessing of me, then regard the satisfaction of another, though greater, yet lesse vertuous then I. So kneeling down before her as if he would have demanded some further grace, he attended not the answer which he hoped for, but that which in all reason he was to fear. What [...]n insolence said the offended Princesse, is this? And how shall I ever endure to look on thee again after so enormous a crime? Get thee gone, wicked man, and do not force me to shew thee how much I am dis­plea [...]; my cariage I am sure could never put this boldnesse into thee, and thy duty should have restrained this affrontednesse. If you must needs have passion, let it be for one of your own rank; they that resemble me cannot behold such as you are but with contempt: howbeit I will excuse the love which you say forceth you in this sort, provided my gentlenes do not puffe you up; and that I may see you reduced within the tearms of your duty, I shall then forget your folly, and forbearing to question you for it, will say that you have erred after the ordinary custome of other men; withdraw your self then with this testimony of my clemency, and never abuse my patience again, if you mean not to feel the punishments which use to be in­flicted on those that remember not their own condition. With these words shutting her self into her cabinet, she left him mightily grieved to see him­self despised, which he resolved either to revenge or lose his life. Retiring therefore to his lodging, he began to plot the villany wherwith I will ac­quaint you in the Chapter following.

CHAP. XI. Clairangia and Fulg [...]ran are betraid by the Count of Clina. The Queen i [...] imprisoned. Fulg [...]rans adventures after he had left Celibana.

THE Count of Clina's spite being greater then his love, he went away full of infinit discontent. I am, said he, all transported with choler, slighted for a stranger, and my boldnes in discovering my self is threatned with punishment; but I will make it appear that I am sensi­ble of affronts. The Queen abusing the easines of the King, doth give her self over to the Knight ardant, and refusing to let me share in her caresses gives me just cause to resent it, and dis­cover this secret. I will do it then, but with so much safety for my self, that without any hazard I will tast the pleasure of a sweet revenge. I will ac­cuse these adulterers, and putting them in the Kings hand will not give this Knight leisure who trusts in his valor, to make use of his courage, his arms; for the Law doth not allow any man the combat in his own quarrell. And if the remembrance which the King owes to his precedent services, or the respect of the Queen, do draw him to dispense with the Law and permit him to combat himself, I will confront him with the redoubtable brothers of the two Giants that he last slew, who will be right glad to meet such an occasion to be revenged of their enemy. They are three, and able alone to defeat a whole army; I do therefore perswade my self that he will not stand long before them, what companion soever he gets to assist him. His choler then keeping him from considering how dangerous the issue of his enterprise might be, he instantly sent a messenger to Bracandors three bro­thers giving them notice of his design, wherewith they were so pleased, as without further delay they came presently to meet him in the wood, where their conspiracy being contrived and agreed upon, the Count returned to the Castle to write a letter to the King, the tenor wherof was as followeth.

The Count of Clina's Letter to King Dardanor.

SIR, It much grieves me that in performing the office of a good subject, I must give you occasion to afflict your self: but since I cannot fail in this duty without being a traitor, I have resolved to passe by all considerations whatsoever, rather then have that spot stuck upon me. The Knight Ardant, whom you have so graced beyond his merits, not being so sensible a [...] he should be of your favours, changes the respect which he owes you into ingratitude, and forgetting how much he stands in­debted to your goodnesse, hath ingaged the Queen to love him with all the most a­greeable services he is able to do her; which have already so gained upon her, as she hath wholly given her self unto him, reserving nothing for you but the appear­ances of her affection. They are ordinarily together, their countenances do but too much discover their thoughts, and their actions are so little concealed, that only those who will not take the pains to observe them, cannot frame any sinister con­struction [Page 42] of them. I have indeavoured as a faithfull servant ought to do, to divert the Queen from this course, remonstrating unto her the quality she is of, the estate of the Knight Ardant, and withall her duty to your Majesty. But my advice hath been entertained with such coldnes, or as I might better say, with such choler, as in stead of the thanks which I expected for my fidelity, I received nothing but me­naces so that unable to endure this wrong to your Majesty, I have been constrained to advertise you of it, that you may take present order for your quiet by the resent­ment which you are to have of so grievous an offence.

What extreams will not the choler of a King run into, that beleeves him­self [...]ffronted? Dardanor having read this letter suffered his passion so to trans­port him, that not considering what he owed to the reputation of his wife, and Fulgorans services, he dispatched away immediatly fowr hundred Knights (having first written a ticket to the Count of Clina) and comman­ded them to be at Celibana two howrs after midnight, and obey the Count in all his directions. Thus was all in disorder, except our lovers, who lived so contented amidst their ordinary delights, and not imagining they were subject to fortunes power, did study nothing but how to caresse one ano­ther, to the infinit vexation of the Count of Clina, who tore his hair for despite, but his pain was of no long continuance: For seeing in the Com­mission the King had sent him what means he had to be revenged, his grief was turned into joy: neverthelesse not intending to discover his thoughts he kept the same countenance as before, till his succour were arrived. This while Clairangia who dreamt not of the mischief that was to fall upon her head, having not forgotten the place where she met with such delight, was lying upon the grasse with Fulgoran, striving to make her caresses more plea­sing to him with a world of dalliance, when as all on a sudden she heard a great noise of arms in the Castle. Sin ordinarily makes the guilty fearfull, and we often see that fear doth discover a bad design. The Queen guessing at the cause of all this hurly-burly instantly arose, and shewing the Knight Ardant a place of the wall commodious for him to get out, she besought him to save himself rather then to lose his life out of too much courage. Dear friend, said she to him, you may much better relieve me, having the liberty of the fields then fettred in irons void of all power to make use of your valour against our enemies. Time presseth us, and forbids us any long discourse: wherefore I will take my leave of you with this kisse, then joy­ning her lips to his, she speedily retired by a secret pair of stairs up to her chamber; where she found Silesia neerer dead then alive, with the affright of hearing the Count bouncing at the door and threatning to break it open. The escape of the Knight Ardant having rendred the Queen somwhat con­fident, she freely opened the door: and seeing the Count come in attended by a number of soldiers, she said to him with a countenance that testified her displeasure: What is it (disloiall as thou art) that thou intendst to do, and what means so many men at arms at this unseasonable howr when eve­ry one should be at rest? If you had, Madam, replied he with a like confi­dence, continued still in your virtue, I should be bound to render you an account of my actions, but that now being wanting in you, I will not tell you the reason why in the Kings name I arest you as his prisoner, being as­sured that your offence tels you what is the cause therof. Prisoner by the Kings command, said she then all amazed? Oh traitor! this mischief comes [Page 43] not but from thy villany. If I would have given ear to thy base praiers, I should not have received this affront, but the Gods which never forsake the innocent, will deliver me out of thy hands, and from this unadvised King, who gives so much credit to thy sl [...]nderous reports. I will go to prison then, since it must be so, but remember that chastisement alwaies followes the offence, and that thy crime will not remain unpunished. Saying so, she was going out to take her Coach, when as she espied the Knight Ardants Squire in the custody of thirty or forty souldiers, who intreated him with such indignity, as she could not forbear saying to the Count: Base man, Is this poor gentleman also guilty with me? Oh heavens! what injustice is this? and how is it that you do not punish such enorm iniquities? I would, replide the Count without being any whit abashed, that his master were in his room, we would make him know that strangers cannot defile a Princes bed without danger; but perhaps he may fall into our fingers heereafter. Yes, said Clairangia, or els thou into his: but I will not wish thee that ho­nour, for thou deservest no better an executioner then a hangman. With that these speeches serving but to put the Count into further choler, he pre­sently thrust her into the Coach, with Silesia, the Squire, and the Knight Ardants arms, and so took his way to the Court, not a little vexed that he carried not with him the principall piece of his busines. The Giant Gran­dimore who was become Fulgorans true friend, did not approve of this pro­ceeding, and had it not been that he was not as yet thorowly recovered of his wounds, so as he was not able to wear his arms, he would never have suffered the Queen to be entreated with so much cruelty: but he was con­strained with patience to expect the issue of this affair, resolved neverthe­lesse, either to lose his life, or to defend the Knight Ardants right, who on the other side was no lesse troubled. For seeing himself without arms, with­out hors, and not d [...]ring to shew himself for fear of being made a prisoner he was so transported with grief, at he was almost beside himself. What, said he all inraged, and looking toward the town whither they were carry­ing away his mistris, is it possible that I should leave my Lady unrelieved? and can I be satisfied with shedding of tears in stead of spending my bloud for her service? It is not possible that I should be so base? My love is the cause of her misfortune: my resenting it must also be the cause of her pre­servation: I have a sword yet left me, that is enough, for courage cannot be wanting to me in this occasion: I will break through these armed troops that convoy her, and make it appear that I am more sensible of her misery, then of her affection. Therewith he laid hand on his sword and began to follow the Count and his company, when as he heard the voice of one that called to him, that made him presently at a stand, imagining that perhaps it might be his Lady, who being unwilling to fall into the Kings hands, had made an escape as he had done, and was come to seek him determining to run one and the same fortune with him: but he continued not long in this er­ror, for though it were night and dark he might yet discern a maid, that ha­ving saluted him, said: Good Knight, I come to divert you from your de­sign, and to tell you that it is no lesse glory for a man to do all things with prudence, then to encounter his enemies with courage: you are in the way to an inevitable ruine, and of making your Lady culpable in your death: rea­son should alwaies predominate in us, and to her should our passions ever submit: Take this way into the wood, where you shall find a Cave, out of [Page 44] which you are not to go till you have direction to do it. For you cannot now be seen without extream hazard of your life: the time will not seem so tedious unto you as you apprehend, and believe it you shall find such plea­sing diversions there, as you will never repent the following of my advice. W [...]th that she vanished out of his sight, leaving him so amazed as he could hardly perswace himself that he was not in a dream: how beit determining to follow her counsell he took the way which had been shewed him, and walked along till the Sun arose, when as he found himself at the foot of a little rock wherein there was a cleft, wide enough for two men to enter a front, thinking then that this was the Cave of which she spake, he looked round about, and seeing a little pair of stairs cut out of the rock he went down, without any apprehension of fear, and at length came into a court so fair and compassed about with buildings so large and magnificent, that he remained much astonished: the walls were round about adorned with most exquisire pictures that represented the heroique acts of Amadis of Gaul, and of all the Princes of his bloud, in the contemplation wherof he took such delight as he would have thought of nothing els, had he not been interrupt­ed by three damsels of admirable beauty, one of which spake thus unto him: It should seem, Sir Knight, that we have nothing in this house worth your regard but these pictures, Follow us, I pray you, and we will shew you that which will no lesse transport you? With that she took him gently by the hand and led him through the Garden, where a thousand sorts of delicate flowrs divided a great number of quarters, into so stately an hall, that he was even lost with the admiration of it. For besides the limming of gold and azure, the walls were adorned about with threescore marble statues of Knights, which holding up one of their hands supported a throne of chry­stall, wherupon Cupid was seated in state, as it were thereby demonstrating that he had triumphed over al those the most valiant Knights of the World. Being arested a while with the consideration heerof, he went out of that in­to another room, which seemed no lesse glorious to him then the former, where immediatly six other damsels served a great deal of excellent meat to the Table: but me thinks it is fit to leave him a while amongst these delica­cies, from whence we shall bring him in convenient time, to relate unto you the lamentations which in the mean space the beautifull Queen of Romerie made. This Princesse being conducted to the City in all rigorous maner, was yet still in hope to mollifie the King by her tears, and to make him lose the bad conceit he had of her; but her hope was in vain, for Dardanor be­ing too sensible of his disgrace, refused to see her, and having committed her to prison determined without further delay to put her to death, seeking no better proofs against her then the Count of Clina's information, and the flight of Fulgoran, had not the Lords of his Kingdome opposed them­selves to this injustice of his. The Law, Sir, said one of his ancienst Coun­sailor, doth indeed adjudge the Adulterer to death, but yet commands us to proceed upon better evidence then bare opinion; who doth assure us of the Queens offence, besides the words of the Count of Clina? and who can truly swear that this is not a treachery in him? Silesia maintains that she is innocent, and no body presents himself as her accuser but only one man, who is not to be relied upon in this case; why then should we be more led by his motion then by Law and Custome? Sir, there is no likely hood of it, (pardon me if the consideration of right makes me speak in this maner) and [Page 45] the conjecture which you frame upon the flight of the Knight Ardant, is not forcible enough to prove her guilty; He was not found in the Castle, that is rather a sign of my mistr [...]sses innocency, then an evidence of her guilt. I, but he presents not himself: it is true, and in my judgement he hath reason; For being a stranger, and not expecting to be supported in his right, since you have failed him after he had so infinitely obliged you, he hath withdrawn himself, knowing how dangerous it is to fall into the hands of an incensed Prince. Sir, you have my opinion freely delivered to you: the place that I hold by your Majesties command, gives me that liberty. And since there is question of your quiet, and my conscience, I say, that your Majesty ought not to refuse the Queen the benefit of the Law, which is, that a woman accused may justifie her self by the arms of a Champion. This liberty then she hath if her accusers appear. I am heer said then the Count of Clina, ready to accept of this condition, and to enter the combat with three seconds against an equall number: for being certain of the thing I shall never fear that the victory should not be of my side. Heerupon the King seeing that the most apparant of the kingdome were of his opinion, and that the Count of Clina accepted of the combat, he Decreed, That he should accompanied with three gentlemen, within fifteen daies maintain his accusation; And that the Queen should within the same tearm, present the like number, upon pain of being held culpable and liable to punishment. Matters thus ordered every one withdrew: The Count of Clina to send for his Giants, and Silesia who was enlarged, to enquire and search for the Knight Atdant.

CHAP. XII. The horrible combat between the Giant Grandimore, the Count of Clina; and the three brothers: Grandimore being in extream danger of his life, is relieved first by a strange Knight, and then by Fulgoran.

THE Count of Clina highly pleased for that the combat was granted him as he desired, dispatched presently a servant of his to Bracandors kinsemen, advertising them of the conditions of the combat, and what day they were to be in the City for the finishing of their enterprise; being so confident of the victory, as he made no doubt of being revenged to the full, since Fulgoran appeared not, to take upon him the defence of his own honour and his Ladies; who amidst the grief to see herself in captivity had no other recourse but to her tears; howbeit judging it fit to give them over for to think of some means for her delivery, she dispatched away Silesia with a command to seek the Knight Ardant where ever he were, and to acquaint him with the resolution that was taken concerning this combat, but all her labour was in vain: for having emploied two daies in that search without any news of him, she was ready to make her self a­way, determining rather to die so then to return to her mistris with so little [Page 46] satisfaction. Great Gods, said she lifting up her hands, can you suffer so beautifull a Queen to be lost for want of succour? and what may be heer­after expected from any man, when the Knight Ardant not only fails of his promise, but is also wanting both to the life of his Lady, and his own ho­nour? Is this the recompense of all her love? and how can he excuse so great a basenes? If he have not feared the hazard of his life for the relief of privat persons, why doth he now refuse to employ his valour for a mat­ter that so neerly concerns him? Truly I know not what to say, and am ex­treamly amazed to see him thus abandon us without any sense of that affe­ction which lately was so violent in him. But alas! it may be he is not still in this country, and so is ignorant of the resolution is taken concerning this affair: wherfore I may blame him wrongfully: and yet not so, but I have just cause; for the fear of all the tortures in the world should not have made him quit this kingdome before he knew whether his presence heer were ne­cessary or no. He is guilty, and my complaint of him not unjust: but what shall I say to this afflicted Princesse? Shall I carry her the certain news of her ruine, by the default of her Knight? Or shall I perswade her to save her life by yeelding to the desires of this Traitor that accuseth her? Neither of them, for so should I be either guilty of her crimes, or of her punishment, and be the destruction both of her honour and her life: die I must then, (for without her I desire no happinesse in this world) and declare by a generous resolution that I loved her more in my death then whilest I lived. Die then Silesia, and let the sacrifice of thy bloud appease the Gods, and make them look upon thy mistris with an eie of pity. With that she took a little knife that hung at her girdle, with a purpose to sheath it in her bosome, when as on the sudden she espied hard by her a maid, that thus spake unto her: Dam­sell, do not persist in this furious design which you are about to execute up­on your self: The Gods would rather be highly displeased with the effusi­on of your bloud, then any way reconciled to your desires by such a heady violence. They are to be humbly intreated and not provoked by our des­peration. Leave then this course which would be to no purpose, and ere long you shall meet with a Knight that will be of much use to you in your businesse. He is full of curtesie, and will not refuse to be a second therein; touching the rest never trouble your self, for the first being found, a third will appear in so due time as these tears will be converted into joy. This said, she so suddenly left her, as Silesia had not leisure to reply, being very much grieved that she understood not the meaning of her speech; never­thelesse taking a little better heart upon her promise, she forgot the nymphs advice, but went into the thickest of the wood, where she had not gone far before she found a yong Knight sleeping under the shadow of certain trees: He was so lovely, and seemed so handsome asleep, as she could not chuse but behold him with passion. Oh heavens! said she to her self, how liberall hath nature shewed her self to this Knight, if he be as brave and valiant as the nymph would make me believe, I do not think that any one in the world can match him, except it be Fulgoran, who is nothing behind him in those perfections which I observe in him? and me thinks he looks very like him; or if there be any difference, it is that our Knight is somewhat fairer, and hath a more majesticall aspect. Shall I wake him to judge a little better of his excellencies in observing the gracefulnesse of h [...]s motion? that were somewhat uncivill. But alas! I am as it were bound to do so: for besides [Page 47] my desire, the businesse about which I am sent doth presse me unto it, and doth not permit me to trifle out the time in this maner. I must then inter­rupt him to procure mine own quiet, but it must be done in such sort as I may not be taxed of incivility. Wherupon retiring a little aside, she began to lament so lowd, that the sleeping Knight awaked, and not well come to himself, laced on his helmet, took his sword in his hand, and drew directly to the place whither the voice called him. She that saw him coming in that fashion presently arose, and throwing herself at his feet embraced his knees without any other speaking then by sighs, which made the Knight take her up by the arm, and say unto her: Gentlewoman be pleased to rise, and tell me if you have any occasion to use me, that I may dispose my self to do you service. For having taken arms for no other end, I shall hold it a glory to be emploied in drawing you out of that affliction wherin you seem to be at this present. Noble Knight, replied she, the Gods reward you for this so generous an offer: I am indeed afflicted, and perhaps you shall never meet with an occasion more worthy of your arms and valour then this, to which you have presented your self: I belong to the beautuous Queen of Rome­ria, one of the compleatest Ladies on the earth; who, for slighting the affe­ction of the most treacherous man that lives, is falsly accused to have forfei­ted her honour: and the King himself more heady then discreet, hath ad­judged her to the fire, if some Knight do not undertake her defence. See heer the first and principall cause of my grief, and the next is, for that I can­not find a Knight whom I have sought these two daies; for I am assured that he would not fail us at our need, and that with your assistance our ene­mies would come much short of their reckoning. But if we do not meet with him we shall not find any in the Court that will undertake the combat for the Queen: not for that they do not hold her innocent, but because the report is that three horrible Giants will second the traitor, who is the cause of all these mischiefs; now if your courage be suteable to the beauty which I see in your face, you can never have a braver occasion to gain honor in the world, nor will you let me return without hope of seeing my mistris soon rid of the trouble. Do not believe, Gentlewoman said he, that the fear of any danger can make me be wanting to the duty of a good Knight; we ne­ver leave our homes, nor put on arms, but with a solemn oath not to forsake the innocent in their misery. Wherefore I will not only assist you in this, where the life and honor of so excellent a Princesse is in question, but in whatsoever els you will employ me: Let us then when you please make for the town, provided that we may reach it in time, I shall never complain of my labour. I could not, replied she wiping her eies, expect an answer lesse vertuous from so gallant a Knight. Let us go then, since you are pleased, without any further stay, for in truth I fear that we shall not get there but with the latest. Away then went they towards the Town, entertaining one another with pleasing discourses, to make their journey seem the lesse tedi­ous. In this mean time Fulgoran was in the Palace of the rock, amidst the greatest delights that might be; one while being entertained by the dam­sels, who recounted to him the admirable deeds of arms of the Grek Prin­ces, to the end he might thereby be drawn to love them: another while di­verted by the pleasing object of a thousand varieties which he met with in every part. Love did not then disquiet him, he was free in his thoughts, and the remembrance of no one thing whatsoever, was of force to bar him [Page 48] from enjoying a most happy content. Fourteen daies being spent amidst so much sweetnes, that fair Lady which did first welcome him at his arrivall there, took him by the hand and said, I could passionately wish, gentle Prince, that the Fates would permit you a perpetuall abode in this house, that I might not be deprived of your conversation, which is most agreeable to me: but you were not brought hither for my satisfaction, nor for to passe the rest of your daies in solitarines; your valour is necessary in the world, and I should be guilty of much mischief if I should retain you heer any longer: Wherfore you shall presently depart, for the preservation of that which your merit hath gotten you, I mean that beautuous Queen who feared not to hazard her life to oblige you: She is in an extream danger of death, which she cannot avoid but by your assistance: Do not fail her then in this necessity, lest you incur the name of ingratefull. The estate wherin you now are doth trouble you, I well perceive, for to enter a com­bat in the case you are now in were not agreeable to your merit. But be not dismaid, for those which brought you hither from amongst the middest of your enemies, have taken a care of your affairs; behold, heer are arms, that were made for you and worthy of your valour: with that she opened a little Cabinet and took out of it an azur'd armour, covered all over with golden starrs, and an helmet of the same so rich and of so excellent a temper, as was hard to be matched. You must, said she continuing her discourse, instantly a [...]m your self, whilest I give order to make ready a horse for you; with that she departed, leaving the Knight Ardant as much amazed as contented: but remembring that it was no time to loiter, since the busines was pressing, he put on those arms, which he found so light as he could hardly beleeve that they were proof enough against the blow of a sword; yet unwilling to shew any mistrust of them which had entertained him with so much curtesie, he made an end of arming himself, and instantly came down the stairs: but when he thought to come into the Court, he no longer saw those stately buildings, or the rock, but a very spacious plain. Good God! said he then all astonished, where am I now? and how in a moment comes so goodly a house to be lost? Either I sleep, or all that was done heer proceeded from the art of some person that loves me. Howsoever I am armed now, and therfore fear not the encounter of my enemies: then looking round about him he saw on of the bravest horses that ever he had beheld, tied at a tree not far off. This Lady, said he is no liar, for the horse is not inferior to the arms: with that he drew to him, and finding him sadled and brideled, got up on him, took a lance that was reared against the tree, and rode away towards the Town. In this mean time the Giant Grandimores wounds were healed, and Clairdngia's sorrows increased. For having no news either of her Knight or of Silesia, she was in utter despair of her life, the rather in regard that the next day was the very same which was designed her for the maintenance of her innocency; that her enemies were come, and that no Knight presented himself to defend her right. Poor distressed Queen, said she tearing of her hair, into what extremity art thou now reduced? Thou hast but one gasp of life remaining, which also thou must lose ignominiously; and that which with reason may most torment thee is, that thy misery proceeds from thy sence of anothers pains, who now hath no feeling of thine. O ingratefull Knight! I could never have beleeved that thy love would have been extin­guished by my misfortune, since that was the only cause of it: but thy perfi­diousnes [Page 49] doth teach me, that nothing is more unsure then the promises of men. Thou oughtest to lose a thousand lives (for so thou hast often sworn to me) and run any danger whatsoever for my service; and thy affection ought to be as lasting as thy life, yet now thou wantest either love or cou­rage: the presence of three men doth affright thee, or forgetfull of my ca­resses, thou art now lying at the foot of some other Lady, whom thou mea­nest to bring into the like miserable condition. But what do I say? Fulgo­ran, Thou art no coward, I have seen too great proofs of thy valour for to doubt of it: nor can I by any means perswade my self that thou dost not love me still. Thou comest not then to relieve me, because thou art detai­ned by some unlucky fate, and so it is not in thy power: I am therefore too blame in accusing thee; for I know thou wouldst not shun the encounter of a thousand armed Knights when my preservation were in question. No I can accuse none for my ill fortune but my self; I will die then in this opi­nion, and will beseech the Gods that they will deliver thee if thou beest in captivity, and alwaies blesse thy enterprises. The Princesse being thus re­solved for death expected but the next day, which came on with much con­tentment to the Count of Clina, who believing that he should not find any opposit, caused himself to be armed with rich arms, and mounted upon a mighty horse came into the field with such arrogance, as there was not one of the assistants that did not curse him in his heart, seeing with what boldnes he marched in the midst of his three Giants: as soon as he was entred the field the Queen was sent for; but she not expecting any help would have gone straight to the place of execution and not to the lists: but in that instant the Giant Grandimore presented himself to her, armd at all pieces to desire her leave that he might undertake the combat for her. Madam, said he, it is with much grief that I see your fair eies drenched in tears, and that the Knights of your Court are so base as not to assist you in this necessity: I am the Knight Ardants friend, and will with his quarrell which now is in dis­pute, maintain against your enemies, that you are innocent of the crime is imputed unto you: be pleased then to give me power so to do, and distrust not the mercy of the Gods who never leave the afflicted in their miseries. These couragious words giving Clairangia some hope, she replied in this maner: Vertuous Knight, this good will of yours to me doth so oblige me, as I am most willing to put all my right into your hands; you go alone to fight with fowr redoubted enemies, nevertheles I hope you will be victori­ous: For they are traitors, and the God [...] will fight on my side, giving you as much courage as they have malice. But let us know with what conditions this combat is to begin: Then calling for the Iudges, she sent to the King to beseech him that Grandimore might be permitted to encounter his enemies one by one, and not altogether, since the lawes of Chivalry did not permit a combat upon advantage: wherunto the King answered, that the busines was not in his power to dispose of, but depended wholly upon the pleasure of his adversaries; howbeit he would no way hinder him from being se­conded by any Knight that should happen to arrive whilest the combat la­sted. Since it is in the choice of our enemies, said Grandimore, incensed with this answer, let us Madam, go and see if there be more curtesie in them then in the King: wherupon entring within the lists he set himself just against the Count of Clina and his Giants; one of whom desired the first course, remonstrating to his companions that it were a basenes for fowr of them to [Page 50] join in the defeature of one single Knight. But the Count of Clina would none of that, knowing the abilities of Grandimore, and the importance of the victory. Those which are wicked, said he, desiring to cloke his malice with some shew of reason, do not deserve to be intreated like persons of ho­nour; we therfore may lawfully make use of our fortune that is presented unto us: Saying so, he furiously elapt spurs to his horse, and the others by his example did the like. But Grandimore disdaining the Count directed his lance against one of the Giants, and that so luckily, as he ran him clean tho­row, laying him upon the ground: yet being unable to sit the shock of fowr lances, which had at one and the same instant incountred him, he was un­horsed spite of his heart, and fell with a slight wound in his arm; neverthe­les being more active then the greatnes of his body did seem to permit, he very lightly got up, and was remounted on his horse by that time the others had ended their course: Having then no feeling of his hurt, he couragiously drew out his sword, wherwith he gave the Count such a blow, as cutting his arm sheer off he sent him without sence to the ground. That done, he made head to the Giants, who battered him more rudely then he desired, and be­gan one of the cruellest fights in the world; sometimes striking, sometimes foining, and then again with an admirable dexterity avoiding their blows: In brief, he so carried himself that it was not perceived to whom the victo­ry did incline; when as the first Giant whom he had overthrown, then ha­ving recovered his spirits came to charge him with strange fury; his coming in making him dispair of his life, he graspt his sword fast in his hand, and determining to sell his skin as dear as he could, he let it fall with such rage upon him that first came within his distance, as he gave him a dangerous wound in his head. And not therwith satisfied he was raising his sword a­gain to dispatch him, but at that very instant he received two such blows, one on the head and the other on the arm, that letting his sword fall he re­mained in his saddle deprived of all sence, his horse carrying him about the field so as the Giants could not come to fasten the least blow upon him. Things being at this passe, every one accounted the victory sure; for the Count of Clina who now began to move, when as a damsell was seen to enter the field accompanied with a Knight, who understanding the state of the combat, and the conditions whereunto it was begun, approached to the Giants that pursued Grandimore, and charged them in such sort, as they were glad to turn head to defend themselves. Grandimore coming to himself then at the noise of their blows, was as much astonished to see himself brought to that estate, as pleased with that assistance, wherof meaning to make use, he took hold of his sword that hung at his arm, and renewed the combat with so much fury, as every body wondred at the courage he shewed in this fight: which having indured about an howr without advantage, was ready to end with the death of Grandimore and his fellow, if in the instant there had not appeared in the field a Knight in azur'd armor, powdred with little starrs of gold, so brave, and carrying himself so handsomly in his seat, that every body was delighted with the view of him: his coming in was plea­sing to all the spectators; for as soon as he was entred the lists, and that fal­ling to work, they saw him light upon one of the Giants with a blow, that divided his helmet and head in two pieces, they all presently assured them­selves that the victory would fall on the Queens side, who then began to hope well: and attentively beholding him, she believed that it was her Ful­goran, [Page 51] whom she had so long wished for. The more she eied him, and consi­dered the force of his blows, the more she setled her self in that opinion. But he that obserued her alteration, immediately imagined that she knew him: which did so fire his courage, as not enduring that two men alone should so long dispute with him the honour of a combat, upon the successe wherof depended all his contentment, together with the life of his Mistris, threw so violent a thrust at him that was opposed to Grandimore, as he ran him quite through the body, and laid him dead upon the ground. From him then turning presently to the third, which was hand to hand with the strange Knight, he let flie at him so furious a blow, as he clove his cask and head down to the teeth. Then looking upon the Count of Clina, who was not able to rise, he leapt from his horse, went and disarmed his head, and put­ting the point of his sword to his throat, wretch as thou art, said he, confesse thy villany if thou wilt hope for any favour. For Gods sake, good Knight, answered he, be not so cruell as to take away my life: Content your self with my being thus wofully dismembred; I will freely discover the truth of this affair, so you will but cause the Iudge to come down to me. Heer­with the Duke of Rozolia descending from his scaffold, the Count decla­red, that the excellent beauty of the Queen, having powerfully mastered his reason, he had sought for relief at her hands: but his suit being rejected by her with indignation, he was so sensible of that disgrace, as he had plotted this treason in revenge of his despised affection. That he had never seen the actions of the Knight Ardant without respect, nor the cariage of the Queen without modesty; and that he most humbly besought the King to pardon this his offence for his repentance sake. Let the Gods, said Darda­nor, when they reported this confession to him, never be favourable to me, if once more I give ear to a man so wicked: he shall suffer the punishment that he had ordained for my Wife, to the end that traitors may by his ex­ample learn to be wise. Having then caused him to be thrown into the fire, he turned to receive the Queen, unto whom he shewed all the kindnes that might be, desiring her utterly to forget the curelty he had exercised towards her. Afterwards addressing himself to the three Knights; I confesse, said he, that I am engaged to you as much as I could have been for the reserva­tion of mine own life: But Gentlemen, since you already have done so much for me, please you oblige me further, by letting me know who you are. If my innocence were not apparant, answered he in the azure arms, and with­all unbuckling his helmet, I should not thus present my self before you, Sir, to entreat you to restore me the honour of your favour: but the Count of Clina's confession giving me that boldnesse, I come to continue my services if they may be acceptable unto you. I am Sir, the Knight Ardant, who is not a little grieved that he hath been at any time the subject of your displea­sure. This great Knight is Grandimore, whom the last day I purchased my friend in my way to Celibana. This other is a stranger, whom good fortune hath brought hither, and whose name, as yet I know not. Pardon me then, Sir, if you please, and make it appear, that the malice of my enemies hath not been of power to take away your favour from me. Nor shall it, by the faith of a Prince, said the King embracing him again, and I am more trou­bled for having so lightly given credit to this cal [...]y, then for any thing that ever I did in all my life: you are most truly welcome, and so are these Cavaliers, whom one day I will recompence for their p [...]i [...]s: but since it is [Page 52] a time of rejoicing, let us talk no more of our passed misfortunes. See where my Wife comes to entertain you: you shall from her receive the acknow­ledgement that is due to your valour. Wherupon he withdrew, leaving the three Knights with the Queen, who made infinitly much of them, wondring at the beauty of the strange Knight, that was so like to Fulgoran, as there was no great difference between them. Some time being sweetly spent in these complements, the Knights were conducted to their Chambers, there to be unarmed, to the extream vexation of these Lovers; who, for fear of reviving the suspition that had touched upon them, passed this interview slightly over, holding no other discourse together, but with their eyes and thoughts. As soon as they were retired to their Lodgings, the Physitians and Chyrurgians by order from the King, came to visit their wounds. But the strange Knight and Fulgoran had not that need of their aid which the Giant Grandimore had, whom they found hurt in fowr places: whereat the Knight Ardant was much grieved, in regard he loved him dearly for his vir­tue: how beit his displeasure consisted not only in that, but rather for that he was barred from his Mistris, who suffered no lesse then he; and that durst not look familiarly on him, for fear of falling again into the danger which so lately she had escaped. Living then in this vexing restraint, all maner of delights were unpleasing to them, and perhaps this sadnes of theirs, might have turned to their ruine, if the Gods, who take care of all things, had not given them a remedy thereunto, as I will presently shew you.

CHAP. XIII. A Damsell comes to the Court of Dardanor, for to obtain a gift of the Queen, by whose means she carries away the Knight Ardant and the stranger. Their ensuing adventures.

THE Court of Romeria being full of extraordinary joy, for the declaration of the Queens innocency, a Damsel of an indifferent beauty entred one way into the great Hall of the Palace, and falling on her knees before the Queen, she thus said unto her: Madam, if the misfor­tunes which oppresse me, were of force enough to make me stoop to weak and base expressions of my sorrow, I would powr a river of tears at your feet to make you pity my mishaps, and stir up a desire in you to succour me by the multiplicity of my complaints. But knowing that Art is needles to the in­gaging of a generous mind, I only come humbly beseeching you to grant me one boon wherby I hope to get out of those my sighs, wherinto the trea­son of certain wicked persons have plunged me. The gentle maner of your request, said the Queen, doth not permit me to refuse you. Say then, sweet heart, what is it that you desire of me, for I am most ready to grant it? I did not expect an answer lesse noble from your Majesty, replied the Damsell, & therfore will presently begin the acknowledgements that I ow for this fa­vor, with a protestation of continuing them all my life. That which I desire at your gracious hands is, that you will command these two Knights (poin­ting [Page 53] to Fulgoran and the stranger) to follow me for the freeing of my Fa­ther, whom the most distoiall man in the world holds prisoner, with an in­tent to deprive him of the Dutchy of Matran, which after his death is to discend upon me. It may be you will think me uncivill, for craving a thing of you that depends on the will of another: but, Madam, you will not so much wonder at me, when you shall well understand the reason I have to make this suit unto you. Worthy Knights are alwaies obliged to lend suc­cour indifferently to all afflicted persons what soever; but yet I am assured that they go more willingly to the undertaking of the most difficile enter­prises, when as they are commanded so to do by some Lady of your merit: I therfore thought it sitter to addresse my self to you, then to importune them to quit this Court, where their vertues are held in so high an esteem. You know, answered Clairangia, extreamly sorry for the promise she had made, that they being no subjects to the King, we have no farther force over them, then what their curtesie is pleased to afford us; so that I should think it an abusing of their good will they bear us, if I should lay any command upon them heerin: but that I may not be wanting to my word, I desire them to employ their valour in your service, and to follow you for my sake. Ma­dam, said Fulgoran then, I receive no little content in the leave you give me to serve this Damsell, to whom in truth both your Majesty and my self are much obliged: for it was she that furnished me with the arms and horse, which you saw me use the day of your deliverance. I did not think, said the Damsell smiling, that so small a service as that which I rendred you then would have been so long remembred: but now I see by experience that a good turn is never cast away, since one way or other we alwaies meet with a recompence for it: your kind acknowledgement pleaseth me so well, that I am resolved to do more for you then ever I did, and you shall one day find it: In the mean time, I pray you prepare your self to go with me to morow in company of this strange Knight; for if we tary heer any longer, my la­bour would be lost, and we shall not find him alive whom we go to deliver. The departure of these Knights being thus resolved on, the Queen remained in a strange perplexity: for the absence of Fulgoran afflicted her extreamly before it came; and that which most vext her was, that she durst not bring him into her chamber to take her last farewell of him: which this strange Damsell knowing, said unto her: If I had not Madam, a particular science for to penetrate into the secretest thoughts of men, I would not offer to speak with such privacy to you, but understanding both what they do, and what they resolve to do before they communicate it to any one: you may not wonder if I tell you that I know the pain you are in at this instant, for the departure of this Knight whom I am to carry away with me. I am the cause of your sorrow, but I will now let you see that I have alwaies desired your contentment: you long, and blush not at it, to enjoy the Knight Ar­dants company with the same liberty you have heertofore had; I will pro­cure it for you, knowing full well that he disires it with no lesse passion then you: but do not send for him before night, for otherwise I should not have time enough for my conjurations, and so you might be surprised: you shall have the whole night at your dispose, and him to continue safely with you till break of day. These words mightily troubled the Queen; for women would not have their counsels known, and are well pleased that people should be blind in their affairs: but being unable to help it, and on the other [Page 54] side most contented with the promise was made her, she very much blushing answered: If you were ignorant of the weaknes of women, of the power of that haughty deitie which triumphs over all men, or of the merits of Fulgo­ran, I would never confesse my error, or would seek excuses to make it seem lesse distastfull to you; but being assured that none of these things have esca­ped your consideration, I will not trouble my self with studying for rea­sons to perswade you that I have not done much amisse: and rendring you thanks for the assistance you proffer me, which indeed I cannot refuse, since you are so well read in my privatest intention; I will wholly rest upon your promises, for the execution wherof, I will instantly go and send Silesia to my Knight to give him advertisement of our resolution. This enamoured Queen retiring therupon to her Chamber, with much impatience attended the evening, which was no sooner come, but she sent for her Knight, whom she caressed more then ever she had done; conjuring him by the infinity of her love to shorten his voiage as much as possibly he could, and not to de­prive her longer then of necessity he must, of the pleasure she took in his company; and the more to oblige him thereunto, she informed him that their embraces at Celibana had left her with child. The night then being insensibly slipt away amidst the sweetest delights that two lovers can enjoy, they parted with tears, and protestations to love one another eternally. Having taken their leaves and bidden Grandimore farewell, that lay of his wounds, our Knights presently left the Town, with the strange Damsell, who seeing her self a great way distant from the Town, made a stand, and said thus to Fulgoran; Valiant Knight, marvell not if I speak somwhat free­ly to you; they which love you and desire to have a share in the glory of your fame, out of the interest that their affection doth chalenge therin, have commanded me to tell you, that a worthy and well bred Knight ought not to be caried away by any disordered love, which never produceth but mis­chievous effects. Your passion for the Queen of Romeria, would infallibly have been your ruine, and her imprisonment was no other then a presage o [...] the misfortune that ere long would have befallen you, had not I retired you in this sort from the Court, not with any purpose to conduct you to some enterprise, as you have hitherto believed, but only to shew you how you may clear your self of that obligation wherin you stand ingaged to your ho­nor: for without doubt you had not armour put on your back to let it hang rusting on a pin, while you lie languishing at the feet of a Lady. This which I give you is the advice of a friend; for you may well imagine, that it is more for your glory, then for any profit I may reap therby: And if you re­member with what affection I received you lately in the palace of the in­chanted rock, you will judge that I rather did it to conceal you from them that sought for you, and who would without doubt have taken away your life without any regard of your former services, then for any hope of draw­ing assistance from you. Weigh my reasons well, I pray you, and do not yield so much to your passion as to forget what you are. Go seek abroad in the world the renown that your predecessors have acquired. Imitate your Father and Brother, which qu [...]stionles are two of the greatest and valiantest Princes on the earth. And above all take heed you return not to Romeria, till your fate bring you thither when as you least think of it; otherwise you will perish there by the jealousie of Dardanor, and will be the cause of such mischiefs, as will make your memory most odious amongst men. I am not [Page 55] afraid to speak thus unto you before this Knight, who is your neer kinsman, though you know him not to be so, to the end that if you follow not my ad­vice, he may with reason blame you for it. Saying so, she vanished away, leaving them both much amazed, but principally Fulgoran, who was ex­treamly grieved that he had not first learned the names of his so brave and eminent kinsmen; but hoping that fortune would one day let him know them, he turned him to the Knight that accompanied him, and embracing him thus spake: Dear Cousin, you may please to pardon me, if till now you have been no better entertained by me; if I have erred it was out of igno­rance, but time shall let you see that I do highly value your being of kin to me, and the services that I will render you shall give you cause to think my actions void of malice; with that they embraced a fresh: which done, Ful­goran did in this maner prosecute his discourse: Were it reason to stick in so fair a way? I verily believe we are of kin, but know not which way; Fa­vour me in letting me know who you are: for by the knowledge therof, I shall it may be, learn somwhat of my own discent. Verily, answered he, the more I consider the words of this woman, the more find I my self in confusion, not being able any way to imagin how you and I should be of the same bloud as she delivers, in regard that my Father and Mother (who for the present hold the Scepter of Canabea) never had either brother or sister, but the Queen Florella, who died without children; and yet, as I remember, I have often heard it spoken, that the same Queen dying with child by one of the most esteemed Princes of Christendome, who it may be should have married her, was ript up by a Magician Giant, that took out the child, wher­of she had not been conceived full eight months, and wrapping it in a vir­gin parchment, carried it away no man being able to hinder him: howbeit he promised the Prince Brazanges my father, that he would one day return him, and let him see him with all the perfections to be required in a brave Knight. It now rests that you instruct me where you have bestowed your yonger yeers, that out of this incertainty we may (if possible) draw a truth for our content. Doubtles, said Fulgoran, this womans words are true: The great E [...]celadus did bring me up, and though he told me not who were my parents, yet he many times assured me that he did cut me out of my mothers belly: See now whether I ought not to be the sonne of Florella, and conse­quently your kinsman. At these words they embraced again with much e­xpression of love, and travailing on entertained themselves with variety of pleasing discourses: but night comming on sooner then they de [...]ired, for there was never a house in sight to retire unto, they resolved to rest under certain trees there by, and alighting from their horses, they sat them down neer to a little brook, and began to stay their stomacks with such meat as their Squires had brought with them, when as they heard a voice that did sweetly suit it self to the musick of a Lute: That made them pause a while, but the distance of the place being too much for them perfectly to enjoy the pleasure therof, they presently arose, and following the voice that drew them to it, they approached to certain trees, under the which by the help of fowr torches that stood lighted by them they perceived two Ladies with a Knight in their company, who appeared so lovely, as they much admired him: Their curiosity to come neerer them had already carried them so f [...]r as they easily heard the same voice, after a little pause, begin again to sing.

[Page 56] As soon as the song was ended, she that had sung threw the Lute upon the grasse, took the Knight by the hand and sat down so close to Fulgoran, and his cousin Florimond, that they could not stir without being perceived. This approach according with their desire, they stood still in expectation of what would ensue heerupon, and had not long continued so before they heard the Lady speak in this maner: I am with much reason afraid that you may slight my favours because they are freely offered you, and think me shamelesse forthus discovering my thoughts unto you. But Sir, when you shall consider the weaknes of women, and your own merit, you will never condemn my boldnes, but will love me so much the more willingly, in that I do not stick to tell you that I will give my self absolutely unto you with­out any reservation at all. My beauty is not so small that you can despise it, without being cruell; and did I want that perfection, yet can I glory of a greater, which is, that I love you with passion. The time is seasonable, the darknes favours us, and this place seems to be made for such an occasion: let it not then slip, I beseech you, and I will render my caresses so pleasing to you, as you shall account your self happy in the fruition of them. Let us begin with this kisse, which heer I tender you, and not suffering me to con­sume in this flame, so requite me that I never have occasion to say that you are ingratefull, and most unworthy of the beauty which doth so adorn you. With that word she drew neer with her lips to his, and already had put her arm about his neck, when as the Knight modestly withdrawing himself thus replied: Madam, please you to pardon me if I do not receive your fa­vours with the same height of affection wherwith they are now presented to me; you are deceived by my outward appearance, and believing me to be what I am not, you give me more cause to be sorry in your behalf, then to smile at your discourse. I am of the same sex that you are, and conse­quently incapable of yielding you the contentment you expect: I freely dis­cover this secret for to testifie unto you that I have no will to be ingratefull to your affection, which I do not entertain because I am unable so to do: you wonder now at this, I believe, for there are but few women seen in these parts to follow arms: but yet it is not a thing impossible, and I assure my self that you are not so ignorant of the world as not to know that the Ama­zons do passe up and down every where as Knights errant use to do. How­beit, if you give not credit to my words, I will not make dainty to let you see such evidence upon my breast as shall assure you of this truth, and by this means curing you will be very glad to let you understand, how it is no little discontentment to me that nature hath framed me such as I am. You may say (replide the Lady) what you please, but upon my faith I shall still take you for a Knight, untill I see some better assurance of the contrary: where­fore you shall oblige me (though this may seem somewhat uncivill) if you will put off your cuirasse, that so I may be disabused; and in the mean time tell me your name, for it may be I shall know you by the fame that goes of you. That is the only way, answered she, not to know me at all; for my name is not so renowned in the world, as that you might know me by tel­ling it you: yet to obey you, please you to know that I am called the great Savagesse, wife to the mighty King of Lidia, who died at the battell of A­leppo, and am fitter to do you service with my arms in my hand, then as you have desired. Saying this she unlaced her cuirasse, and took the Ladies hand to put it into her bosome, when as three Giants and twelve Knights, [Page 57] who had long dogd them, and now found them by the light of the torches, seazed upon them both, and put them into a Chariot, notwithstanding all the resistance that the fair Savagesse, who had not leisure to draw her sword, could make. The Knights much troubled for the want of their helmets at this so unexpected an incounter, speedily recovered for to make them ready to follow the Giants, who went away infinitly pleased with their booty. But it was so dark that they knew not where they were, and therfore it was a good while before they could find their Squires, who likewise were so drowsie, as it was long before they could bridle their horses, by means wherof their enemies were gotten a great way before them, ere they were able to set forth in pursuit of them: neverthelesse desirous to see the end of this adventure, they rode all night with incredible speed, insomuch that two howrs after Sun rising they came to a valley, in the bottom wherof they saw the Coach standing still, and the three Giants with their followers bat­tering a Knight, who defended himself bravely, and had already laid fowr of their Knights dead at his feet. Oh heavens! said Fulgoran, madded to see this unequall match, what do I behold? and why do not I assist so gal­lant a man? Come Cousin, let us make these base creatures know, that the justice of the Gods is alwaies armed for the succour of the oppressed. This said, they fell upon the Giants with such fury, as at the first shock they tum­bled two of them to the earth, so wounded, as one was troden to death with the horses feet; the other getting up again a little after with much ado: the Knight that was first ingaged in the [...]ight seeing this favourable aid, and de­termining to make a profitable use therof bestird himself so lustily amongst those rascals, that he laid three more of them dead at his feet, whilest Ful­goran and his Cousin combatted the other two Giants. The valor of these three warriours being at the highest, the combat lasted not long; for the first Knight having made his enemies turn their backs, he discharged so furious a blow upon the arm of the Giant that fought with Florimond, as he sent it together with his sword to the ground, just as Fulgoran had made an end of his. The victory being thus gloriously atchieved, the Ladies which were bound with cords were presently delivered, to the great astonishment of the Knight that began the fight. For knowing the fair Savagesse, he presently unlaced his helmet, and imbracing her said: Ah Madam! how I detest these inhumane villanes that have bound you, who are able to bind all the world▪ A thousand times I give thanks to heaven that brought me thus seasonably to encounter you, for to begin your deliverance: nor am I lesse engaged to these brave warriors, who have in seconding me shewed so much valor: for the which I will go and vow a perpetuall service to them. Be you also plea­sed to yield them the like regard, that it may appear you are as curteous as you are beautifull; wherwith he was turning to them when as the fair Sa­vagesse being free of her bonds, took him in her arms and kissed him with such affection, as made her somthing jealous that was with her: My Lord, said she, it is I that is made happy in this meeting, and your gene [...]ous hand doth every day ingage me in new obligations. I acknowledge that these Cavaliers have done much for us, and am therfore willing to render them thanks for their assistance; wherupon she leaped down from the Chariot to go to Fulgoran and Florimond, who were amazed at her beauty: but they prevented her with so much respectivenes as rendred her almost ashamed of it. Madam, said Fulgoran to her, you honour us too much in esteeming us [Page 58] worthy to serve you; and this poor pains we have taken, is nothing in com­parison of that which we desire to undergo for you. This day is most for­tunate, since it hath furnished us with means to see you: but that our con­tentment may be compleat, tell us, I beseech you, who this yong Knight is, the bravest and most valiant that ever I beheld. It is not without reason, answered the fair Savagesse, that you commend and desire to know him; for besides the merit of his valour, wherof your selves are judges, he is discen­ded of the noblest race in the world, being grandchild to the excellent Em­perour Amadis of Greece, who fils all the earth with astonishment at the recitall of his glorious deeds of arms, and son to the valorous Penthesi­lea, the most invincible Princesse of the world, and the never conquered Don Silves de la Silva. His name is Silvan, accomplished with all those rare endowments, that can honour a gentleman; and so obliged to the assistance you have given him, as he will not fear to engage his life for your service, nor my self to employ these arms for you which you see me cary. Fulgo­ran exceedingly pleased with this incounter, for he had an extream desire to prove himself against some of the Greek Princes, answered: Madam, the praises that you give this Knight, are great, because they come from you, but too little for the excellency of his valor, wherof there needs no better testimony then this field covered with dead bodies; wherfore I shall gladly receive the honor of his affection, together with yours, although I could have wished that our acquaintance had been begun in another fashion, I mean by a combat between him and me: For being of a contrary faith to mine, we could hardly have continued friends but by such an adventure. Silvan who was no lesse discreet then valiant, and that would not appear in­sensible, being so touched, answered him modestly: Vertuous Knight, I should be very sorry to lift my sword against a person to whom I am so ex­ceedingly obliged: but if for the quiet of your conscience you desire the combat I will not refuse you. These words would without question have embarked them further, if they had not at that instant spied a maid come ri­ding towards them as fast as she could drive, who without other ceremony said to Fulgoran: Knight Ardant, take this way presently, with the Prince of Canabea your Cousin, and by the command of the Lady of the inchan­ted rock follow three damsels that are in the hands of an horrible Giant: and you gentle Silvan, prepare your self for an affair no lesse dangerous then that, and let the fair Savagesse accompany you, for she will be of much use to you therin. These Ladies shall in the mean time withdraw to this house, which you see heer by, and my self will watch for the safety of all. The earnestnes of this woman having quickly put them in readines, each one took the way that was shewed him, and so they seperated themselves. Be­ing gone a little way, Silvan heard a noise behind him, which made him turn suddenly about, thinking he had been among his enemies: but seeing no body save that one woman whom he had lately left, he staid and said unto her: Gentlewoman, you follow us, I perceive, wheras I thought you had been otherwhere imploied; is it your pleasure that I take any other way? No, replied she, I only come to salute you from the wise Vrganda, who sends you word that you should not be troubled, that you are not in com­batting with the Knight Ardant, for that could not have been done without an irreparable losse. Keep on your way till you arrive in the Parthian Em­pire, with this beautuous Queen: your presence will shortly be necessary [Page 59] there. In the mean time I will advise the other Knight to travell no further in vain: for the adventure which I told him of▪ proceeded wholly from my own invention. Saying so, she turned about her horse without tarrying for any answer, and went to the Knight Ardant, to whom she made the like di­scourse, informing him that her Mistris would not for some reasons, which she would one day let him know, suffer him to fight with Silvan; and giving him no time to speak a word, she left him with such speed, as Fulgoran pre­sently lost sight of her, infinitly grieved for that he had not asked her his fathers name. But hoping to meet her again some other time, he passed on with Florimond, whilest the fair Savagesse and Silvan followed their way, intertaining themselves with an infinity of pleasing discourses.

CHAP. XIV. The adventures that befell Fulgoran, and Florimond of Canabea, after their departure from Silvan.

LOve is bred by occasions, and a familiar conversation doth oftentimes force our inclinations: Silvan did not believe he could possibly be enthralled again by the power of any beauty whatsoever, after the losse of his dearest moiety, and had taken a resolution to passe the rest of his daies in the exercise of arms; but he was soon taught that our designs are ineffectuall when that proud deity will not authorise them; and that the will of men doth alwaies depend on his power: for being ordinarily in company with the fair Savagesse, who had charms sufficient to make her be beloved, he could not preserve his liberty, but was constrained to revive the same flames wherwith he had been so sweetly consumed before in the love of his Licina: evermore sighing then, and becomming much sadder then he used to be, he made this Lady wonder at it it: who not thinking her self to be the cause of this change, one day she spake thus to him: My Lord, I am much amazed to see you in this humour, and cannot conceive how you should be transported with your passions in so weak a maner. What are these sighs good for, and to what end is this silence? Do you still think of the losse you have endured? Hath not time as yet wrought its due effect in you? And have you not obeied the advice of your reason which ought to represent unto you that tears do no good at all in any misfortune; and that we are not to make use of them but only to ease nature a little: cast your eie upon me, I pray you, and you shall see that I have more courage: you have lost a lovely and beloved wife, it is true; neither shall I any more behold a worthy Husband such as my Lord the King of Lidia was; I have then as great cause to complain as you, and in me it would be more pardonable to afflict my self, in regard such strong resolutions are not expected from my sex as from yours, yet I restrain my tears, I smother my sighs, and do cary the same countenance which I did in my prosperity. Imitate then this pa­tience, and give me not occasion to say that my company displeaseth you: I speak both for your content and mine own, for seeing you lesse disquieted [Page 60] then before I shall be much the merrier. Alas! said he, casting an amorous eie upon her, now I perceive you have no [...] the gift of Prophecy, or that you rightly understand my grief: fair Queen I do not sigh for the dead (althogh my losse be ever present before me) for I know well how we ought to bear an affliction, and that heaven forbids an excesse in our mourning, but feeling a new grief I cannot forbear venting some part of my sorrow in sighs, since my discretion forbids me to do it in words: howbeit I might with reason condemn my self as long as I lived, and ascribe all my misery to my own cowardise, if the way to my preservation be opened, I should not passe on for fear of meeting with thorns in it. Madam, I must unlock my bosom to you, since your self hath given me the occasion to do it: I have not been a­ble to refuse that to your beauty which all the men in the world do render it; and my grief proceeds from my not daring to hope that you will receive me in to your service: for knowing that such an ambition becomes none but the prime Knights of the earth, I have alwaies feared to beg that grace of you. My ill humour doth not please you, it is in your power to change it: my sighs and tears are troublesome to you; you may quickly stop the cur­rant of them: and if you have no lesse pity then you have attracting charms you will presently command me to live at more quiet heerafter, by telling me that I shall not love ungratefully. This fair Amazon that was not infen­sible of Loves power, considering the merits, the perfections, and the birth of this Knight, who had made no difficulty to expose himself to danger for her succour, that she could hardly passe the rest of her daies in widowhood, and that she knew not where to find a man more agreeable to her humour, or better suited to her condition, answered him with much modesty. See, my Lord Silvan, how our opinions do many times abuse us; I had thought your discourse had been of another quality then it is, nor did I believe that the little beauty which I have, could have prevailed so much over you. You love me, and say that you breath not but for the honour of my favor, I will grant it to your merit; and not to be ingratefull, do even now receive you not only for my Knight, but for the lord of my affections, assuring my self that you will not seek the possession of them but according to the laws of honour. No certainly, said Silvan all overjoid, for it were a sacriledge to serve you with any hopes of a base alloy: Madam, I accept of the grace which you now do me, with a true and pefect sence of the worth therof, and do heer plight you that faith, which another day I will tender to you with more solemnity in the presence of those upon whom I depend. Saying so, he disarmed his hand, and giving it to her he pursued his discourse in this sort: Now Madam, it is in you to render me in effect the happiest Knight on the earth, as already I am in hope. Dear friend, said she smiling, time will give us leisure to think of that point: in the mean space live in this belief, that being perfectly beloved of me, I will not passe by any occasion that may tend to your content and mine own. Whilest these Lovers rode on with all the delights that two such persons might injoy, Fulgoran and his Cousin on the other side were giving end to a number of brave adventures, which made their name so glorious, as the whole world was full of their re­nown. And indeed there was no other talk but of the Knight Ardant, and him of the Flowrets: they were sought for every where, and continually imploied in divers enterprises, whereof they so worthily acquited them­selves, as the most excellent Knights of the earth were jealous of them.

[Page 61] Travelling up and down thus with a world of praises one morning at the entry into a forrest they met with two damsels, each of which demanded a boon of them. Those that resemble you, answered Florimond, are not to be refused; say then what it is that you desire of us. That you presently will follow us, replied she that spake to him, you to deliver my brother who is marked out for death with all the injustice that may be, and this Knight to do the like office for the beautifull Princesse of Clodamira, called Alixenna, that with much reason fears to be ravisht of that which she ought above all things to hold most dear. Wherupon these two Knights parted with some discontent: Fulgoran entred into a wood where a while after he met with Balard of Catabatmon, whom he slew, as I have related in the eighth Cha­pter, because he carried a red cros [...]e upon his shield: which engaged Florisel of Niquea, that found Lidora weeping over the body of Balard, to pursue him in revenge of the death of so good a Knight.

CHAP. XV. Florisel of Niquea finding the Knight Ardant in an extream danger relieves him, and after fights a cruell combat with him upon the death of Balard.

FLe [...]isel of Niquea extreamly desiring to meet with the Knight Ardant had travelled two daies without ligh­ting upon any adventure worthy of his imploiment, when as he saw a damsell comming towards him that grievously lamented, did not spare the hair of her head, which she tore off with much violence: His good and sweet nature not permitting him to behold her in that plight, without offering her his assistance, he presently made to her, and perceiving she took no heed of him he said unto her: Gentlewoman, do not afflict your self so excessively, but tell me the cause of so violent a grief, that I may do you some service if it lie in my power. Yes, said she looking up, you may divert a great mischief by assist­ing one of the best Knights in the world, whom a horrible Giant accompa­nied with thirty or forty of his men, doth hold invested in that Castle which you see yonder before you, and if your courage be answerable to your gallant aspect, you will not suffer him to perish in that maner. At these words Florisel without any further stay in regard the danger was pres­sing, set spurs to his horse, and finding the gate open, entred into a large Court, where he saw a Knight armed with a Cuirasse of the colour of fire, who bestirring himself bravely, did one while lay upon a Giant, and ano­ther while send an arm or a head of a Knight to the earth. His valour be­getting in him no lesse wonder then it did desire to succour him, (although he knew him to be the Knight Ardant whom he sought) he instantly couch­ed his lance, and aiming it at the bever of the Giants helmet, he hit him with such force as he made him take three or fowr turns on the ground, so that if the shame to see himself overthrown had not animated him with rage he had lien there longer: but spite rendring him insensible of all pain, he [Page 62] arose though with some difficulty, and incountring Don Florisel who in the mean space had dispatched three of his followers, he charging them with such violence, as much amazed him; howbeit not failing in courage, and knowing full well how to carry a businesse as that was, he avoided half of his blows, and made him feel his so waighty that he had no cause to brag of his advantage. Hammering upon one another in this sort, they kept so close together, that the Giant had no opportunity to assist his people, of whom the Knight Ardant did in the interim make a strange slaughter; whereat he was so enraged, that he bestowed the most part of his blows in vain, with horrible menaces to overthrow the altars which he had erected for the ado­ration of his Gods, which gave him not powr to vanquish one single Knight. His fury augm [...]nting with the sight of his bloud, that ran down all along his armour, he resolved either not to live, or to determine this combat by the death of his enemy; so that taking his curtleax in both his hands, he let it fall with such force upon Don Florisels shield, as he made him go staggering three or fowr steps back, & so astonied that he knew not where he was: from thence flying to the Knight Ardant, who by this time had not above ten or eleven enemies to deal with, he advanced his arm to have given him a dan­gerous and weighty blow, when as Florisel enraged for having been so rude­ly intreated, struck him with such fury on the back, as cutting through his armour he gave him a great wound on the shoulder: this blow, the sorest that ever he had felt, making him turn head their combat began to be more cruell then before, whilest Fulgoran having cut all those rascals in pieces, went speedily up the stairs hearing a great noise above: Florisel seeing this great execution, was so transported with anger at the resistance his adversa­ry made him, that he made a stockado at his belly with such violence, as he ran him thorow and thorow, laying him stark dead on the pavement. That done he instantly returned forth of the Castle, for that he would not be known of the Knight Ardant, lest the resentment of the succour he had gi­ven him, should oblige him to refuse the combat which he intended to have with him: and withdrawing himself to the edge of the forrest he lighted upon the cottage of a yong shepheard, who receiving him very courteously gave him the best entertainment he could. But whilest he took a little rest, Fulgoran was in no great ease: for meeting with an old Giantesse who had a mace in her hand wherwith she was beating in pieces the door of a chamber where the Princesse Alixenna had locked up her self, he was by that Mege­ra charged with such violence, that he was somewhat amazed at it. The re­spect he carried to women made him endure some blows, and would wil­lingly have freed himself without striking her; but fearing some mischief from this fury he sustained a mighty blow that she struck with her mace up­on his shield, and closing with her gave her such a knock with the pommell of his sword under the ear, as he laid her dead upon the floor. That done, he caused the Princesse Alixenna to open the dore, who with tears of joy would have cast her self at his feet to have kissed his hand. But having pre­vented her he said: Madam, Knights errant do not receive such homage, which is not due but to persons of your merit; If I have done any thing for you, I am sufficiently recompensed in that my endevours are acceptable to you. But leaving these complements tell me what I am to do more for your safety, for I am heer to no other end but to obey you? If necessity did not constrain me, replied she, I should not so far presse upon your goodnes: but [Page 63] being left heer alone by the death of my people who were all cut in pieces, when the Giant took me, I may not refuse the honour of your con [...]ucting me to Constantinople, if so be your occasions will permit you to travell thi­ther with me. The Emperour Florisel will give you thanks for me, and no­bly recompence the succour you have given me. I am somewhat of kin to the fair Queen Sidenia his wife, and came now from Guindaia, to visit and comfort her after so many losses as she hath lately sustained: but tell me, I beseech you, whether I be not too importunat in this request of mine, or whether I shall hazard my self in this journey, only with the damsell that brought you hither in so lucky an howr? Madam, answered Fulgoran, I will go with you most willingly to Constantinople, not to receive as you pro­pound, any recompence: for good Knights are to content themselves with the glory of their actions; but to preserve you from falling again under the mercy of some wicked men, who without sufficient regard to your beauty might strive to get that of you by violence, which ought to be given for love. Wherfore we will depart presently, if you please, unlesse you had ra­ther stay till to morrow. I should, said she be uncivill, if I should not allow you some time to refresh your self after the labour you have this day endu­red, the rather for that our chiefest enemies are dead, and that now there is no body heer but such as are at your service; we will then, if you please, ta­ry till to morrow, and in the mean time I will take care to have you looked unto by my maid, who knows how to cure a wound, that you may be dres­sed if need be. Fulgoran assuring her that he felt no hurt, they both went down the stairs to give thanks unto the Knight that had so bravely assisted them, but not finding him they were extreamly grieved with his absence. Howbeit seeing it could not be helped, they went to free certain Knights, whom the Giant held in prison, to whose care the charge of the Castle was committed. That done every one retired to his rest, whilest Florisel to whom the length of the day seemed tedious, in the company of his host that had not wherwithall to divert his thoughts by his discourse, entred into the thic­kest part of the wood, where he walked a great while inter [...]aining himself with the little assurance that men ought to place in the things of this world, which for the most part renders our pleasures but passant, our pains of long continuance, our good without sweetnes, our evils without hope, and our lives subject to all the accidents of fortune. This contemplation having held him till it was almost night, he was upon returning to his lodging, when as he saw a damsell making towards him, followed at the heels by a Giant, armed at all pieces: He that had no other arms but his sword, would without question have been amazed at this encounter, had he been capable of fear; but his gallant heart despising all dangers, he was advancing to­wards them with his sword in his hand, when as the maid thus spake to him: Hold, my Lord Florisel, arms and valour are of no use, where there are no enemies; we are heer rather to do you service, then to offend you. I confesse said he, stretching out his arms to embrace her, I confesse, Gentlewoman, that I was in the wrong, for I did not at the first sight know you to be our dear friend Alquifa: Tell me, I pray you, are your parents yet living, and what occasion brings you hither at this time? I have already told you, an­swered she, that it is in some sort to oblige you this I am heer: My Father and Mother were never more affectionated to your service: all their study and care is for the good of you, and those of your house. They have com­manded [Page 64] me to present you with this pack, wherin you shall find arms very necessary for your design, which doubtles is of greater consequence then you believe it to be, and withall to advertise you, That

The new Lions shall shortly come with such strong claws, as they shall tear up the greatest foundations of the earth, discovering the Treasure that hath so long time been hidden, for the glory of those from whom they are extracted.

To give you a clearer understanding of these words is that I may not do. Wherfore not to trouble you any longer about it, I will only say, that you must alwaies cary in mind what you ow to your name and glory; with that she went away so suddenly, as she gave him not the leasure to return her any answer, leaving him somwhat displeased with so abrupt a parting: howbeit considering that all the actions of those sages were done for some reason, he was the better satisfied by viewing those fair arms, which he immediatly put on, and so returned to his cottage. The night being then quietly passed over, he arose very early, and taking up his station at the edge of the wood, he remained there till such time as he saw the Knight Ardant come out of the Castle, and then advancing fair and softly he met him in the midst of the way, and thus spake to him: Knight, it is with some grief that I desire to combat with you, for such as resemble you are to be honoured. But I am so sensible of the death of a Gentleman, whom some few daies since you slew, because he carried a red Crosse on his shield, that I cannot suffer you to be at quiet, nor let slip so fair an occasion of revenging his death: you are provided for the combat, our incounter is without advantage; Let us see then to whom fortune will be most favourable. Fulgoran that heard himself defied in such modest tearms, much commending in his mind the gallant de­meanour of his adversary, would willingly have declined the fight, but fea­ring to leave an ill impression of his courage, he answered him very discreet­ly: I assure you, Knight, our discontent is equall, for a discourse so free from passion as yours is, doth inform me that you are no lesse valiant then curtu­ous, and makes me with some doubt apprehend the issue of this our combat: which no longer defer since you will have it so. Saying thus, they retired a little to take the field, and turning head they met so bravely, that their lan­ces were shivered to their very gantlets, neither of them being unhorsed: This so rude and furious an incounter having but animated their courages, out of an esteem that each of them had of his enemies courage, they charged one another with such rage, as their helmets seemed to be all fire. The Knight Ardant that had never met with so strong a party, displaied all his force and cunning, and laid so mightily at him, that Florisel was much ama­zed at it, holding him worthy of the fame that ran of him: but knowing not how to be vanquished, he returned him such an exchange, and prest him so lively, as he began to doubt of the issue of the combat. O immortall Gods! said he full of despite, have you then vowed my ruine? and intend you that this combat shall bereave me of all the glory of my former adventures? I have seen the stoutest Giants in the world at my feet, and now am reduced to the fear of seeing my enemy triumphing over me: this is faintnes in me, I confesse, but I am resolved either to overcome or die. Which thought inflaming choler, he redoubled his blows with such violence, as Florisel had never escaped with life, had it not been for those good arms given him by [Page 65] Alquif, Fulgorans sword was not able to pierce, no more then his could that fier [...] armour he had on. Hammering thus upon one another with more passion then judgement, they continued their combat fowr howrs together without breathing, or being able to discern who had the advantage, which so enraged them, as letting go their swords, they closed together and fell to wrastle in that violent maner one with another, that at length they fell both of them to the ground, where they tumbled a long time up and down, some while a top, and some while underneath, not knowing who should prevail: at last, neither of them being able that way to master each other, they rose both together, and returned to their swords, wherwith they laid on a fresh with so much fury, that after they had continued two howrs in this second charge, they were inforced to fall off a little to refresh them­selves. Whilest thus they took breath, each of them had leisure to wonder at the bravery of his adversary: and willingly would they have left the combat in the estate wherin it then was, had not honour defended it: but either of them unwilling to give any advantage to the other, they recom­menced their fight more furiously then before. And so obstinately were they bent upon it, that nothing could be expected from the end of this fight but the death of them both, if heaven which reserved them for its glory, had not secured them by the goodnes of their arms. Eight howrs being al­ready spent since the beginning of their combat, each of them feared to see himself vanquished; so that making no further account of their lives, they at one instant delivered two such mighty and dangerous blows at each o­ther, as they both fell to the earth quite deprived of sence. As soon as they were fallen, so thick a mist arose, that for two howrs space no man was able to discern any thing; but at the end therof, the air reassuming its former light, the combatants were no more to be seen. Florisel finding himself in Constantinople with Alixena and Lid [...]a, extreamly vexed for that he knew not what the end of the fight had been. And Fulgoran with no lesse discon­tent in the Kingdome of Canabea, where he found his Cousin Florimond, who caused him to be received with all the magnificence that might be, in­vesting him with the Crown and Scepter of that Kingdome, as he that was the apparant and legitimate heir therof.

CHAP. XVI. The Triumphs made in the Parthian Empire, for the births of Rozalmond of Greece, and a great many other yong Princes and Princesses.

THE heavens with providence sends us favours, aswell as corrections, and having afflicted us for a time, do afterwards give us such consolations as are necessary for our sorrows. The generall losse of so many Prin­ces, upon whose valour Christendome had so long depended, having filled every one with astonishment, their Empires breathed nothing but fears, when as God to cease the deluge of tears, changed their peoples griefs into accla­mations [Page 66] of gladnes and rejoicing. The Empresse Richarda was delivered of a son, the most lovely that ever the Sun had seen, called Rozalmond, by rea­son of a globe which he had upon his left pap, wherin appeared three red Roses. And the Infanta Rozaliana, her sister o [...] another, named Rozabel, who was not much behind him in beauty. The birth of these two Princes did so overjoy the Parthians, that they resolved to lay aside all mourning, and to demonstrate as it were in emulation one of another, the contentment of so great a felicity. To this end they were making preparations, when as the Emperour Spheramond was advertised that the Empresse of Persia was also brought to bed of two sons, the one called Persides and the other Flori­dan; the Queen Sidonia of one called Clarisel of Guindaia; The Infanta For­tuna of one called Florisbel of the star; The Princesse Timbria of one called Agesipolis; The Queen of Clotona, of one called Flamides; The Queen of Castara of one called Formozel of Sitanquia; The Queen of the fortunate Island of one called Cilindor; The Queen of Samothracia of one called A­gramant; The Queen of Licaonia of one called Fidamant; The Dutchesse of Laiazza of one called Lucian; The Empresse of Rome of one called Sclerimond; The Queen of Dacia of one called Lascaris; The Queen of Fe­nicia of one called Doristan; and the Queen of Cathaia of a daughter called Anticlia: which news so increased the content of Spheramond, as he deter­mined to keep open Court eight daies together, and to hold a joust and tournay for all commers, at the end of these magnificences. This was in­deed a just occasion of rejoicing for the Christians, but this happines was yet greater then they were aware of: for at the same time the fair Clairestoil­la, who was inchanted in the Castle of the incomparable Treasure, with all the delights that might be, had brought into the world a son of extraordi­nary beauty, called Lucibel of France; The Empresse of Almain one called Alazian; The Queen of Sibilia one called Sestilian; The Queen of Trinacria one called Lucidan; The Princesse Anaxara one called Hercules of Niquea; The Queen of Armenia one called Abvaran; and the Queen of Rhodes one called Onoxander; who were all brought up with great care by Alcander, un­till the inchantments of the incomparable Treasure were dissolved by the valour of those two bright lights of the World, Rozalmond of Greece, and the gentle Alcidamant. But to return to my discourse: All things being thus in order for the Triumphs which were to begin within two daies, the Em­perour one morning was going out on hunting, when as he perceived fifteen or sixteen Gentlemen entring the Palace, who comming to him fell on their knees desiring his hand to kisse; Nay, said he unto them, I shall be more curteous then so, for by your noble countenances I cannot but judge you to be persons of more then ordinary quality: Free me, I pray you, of this doubt, and let me know who you are, as also what design brings you hither. Excellent Prince, answered one, that spake for them all, we will most wil­lingly content you heerin, but upon condition that you will not refuse us a favour which we desire at your hands. I will not upon the faith of a Prince, said the Emperour; for I am confident you will not ask me any thing but what is in my power. We could hope for no lesse, replied he, and therfore I will presently begin to give you satisfaction, by letling you know that this yong Gentleman is called Perion of Gaul, grandchild to the Sovereign king of Great Britain: this other is Esquilan of Poland, heir to King Filadart, with whom you are acquainted: these two are the grandchildren of Gala [...], [Page 67] the first named Florian of Sobradisa, and the other Eriston: he that follow them is called Florestan of Sardinia, son to the deceased King therof: this heer is the heir of Saba bearing his fathers name: this other is Don Agrian, of Scotland, son to Agriers: these two are called Dardan [...], son to Galdes King of Rhodes, and Florizart of Taproban, whom the valiant Artaxerxes had by the fair Lardenia: the other is Melfort son to Gadard King of Hunga­rie: these remaining fowrate, Frisel of Arcadia, A [...]ies of Ireland, Leonidas of Mesopotami [...], Armond of Bohemia, and he that now speaks to you is a Gentleman unknown, and called Russian of Media. We altogether met a­bout fowrdaies since, with [...] and the same design; namely, to be made Knights by your hand, which is the b [...]on we crave of your Majesty, and which you have been so graciously pleased to promise us. My good Lords, said Spheramond, having intertained them with all curtesie, the pains you have taken in comming to see me so far, doth so oblige me that you shall have no cause to be discontented with me: I grant you that which you desire, and comm [...]nd the generous design you have to follow your predecessors, who have acquired so much glory in the World, as their fames shall ever last be­yond their lives: You shall therfore refresh your selves heer this day; to morrow I will give order for the fitting of you for that Ceremony: and the next day I will arm you Knights, together with the fair Alteria, daughter to Calafia, who hath already been a suitor to me for the like favour: to the end you may enter with her into the jousts, that are to be holden for the celebra­tion of the birth of a son, which the heavens have bestowed on me. Having thus spoken, he commanded the Duke of L [...]iazza, to take care that they might be accommodated in with all things necessary: and so passing on he went into the forrest, where he tarried till night amidst all the pleasures that hunting can afford. The next day being pa [...] with much impatience by these yong Lords, they were all armed in white after the fashion of new Knights, took their oaths before the Emperour, and having received their swords from the beautifull Empresse Richarda, and the Infanta Rozaliana, her sister, who were there present for to do them honour, they went presently to din­ner, to be the sooner ready for the jousts. Now was the feast ended, and the yong Knights with some impatience called for their helmets, when as a Dwarf came into the Hall, who kneeling down before the Emperour thus spake: Sovereign Monarch of the Parthians, the two black Knights, whose names with good reason slies about the World, desiring to bring some addi­tion to the magnificence of your Triumphs, do most humbly beseech, that you will be pleased they may maintain with the lance against all commers, that love gives all the contentments in the world, and that men cannot pro­pose a more worthy object to themselves, then that of so powerfull a deity. The condition shall be very easie: Those which shall be unhorsed with the Lance, may not require a further triall with the sword: every one may win six courses; the conquerors shall have nothing but the glory of the action; nor the vanquished but the constraint to acknowledge, that to sigh for the favour of a mistris is not to be inthralled. This is (Sir) the intention of the black Knights, touching that you may be pleased to let me know your reso­lution, to the end that if your Majesty allow of them, they may instantly appear in the Lists. Their enterprise, said Spheramond, is too generous to be denied the liberty they desire; If they come they shall obli [...] me to them, and I will promise the performance of the conditions you have pro­pounded, [Page 68] but you may advise them not to forget any thing necessary be­hind them at their lodging, for heer you see new Knights that will not give them leave long to repose themselves. These yong Lords, taking this the Emperours answer for an especiall favour, gave him most humble thanks, for the good opinion he had of them, and having fitted themselves with all things requisite, they mounted on horsback to go and incounter the black Knights, who having set themselves at one end of the Lists, had already laid fowr of the most remarkable Knights of the Parthian Empire on the ground the addresse of these Knights extreamly contenting them each one in par­ticular, resolved to incounter them; so that Florian of Sobradisa, and Trist [...]r his brother, advancing ran one course, very pleasing to Spheramond, for they brake their staves bravely, without losing their saddles; but the second staff sunck them to the earth. Perion of Turkie, and Florestan had greater honor, but a like disgrace; for having run twice in a gallant maner, they w [...]re at the third course constrained to kisse the ground, however they had resolved to keep their seats better. Quedragant and Fulurtin succeeded them in the same misfortune, accompanied with Florizart of Taprobana, and Don A­grian in their fall. Dardanio and the brave Melfort hoping for better fortune, put themselves presently in play, determining to revenge their companions, but their luck being no better, they were unhorsed; and so were at the se­cond course Frisel of Arcadia, Abies of Ireland, Armond of Bohemia, and Leoni das a little after. These Knights having been so eafily overthrown, every one began to give the honour to the black Knights, when as the vali­ant Esquilan of Polonia, and the brave Russian of Media, who had reserved themselves till the last, advanced with a kind of I know not what hope in the spectators, that the glory of the jousts might yet remain to the Court by the valour of these two gallant Princes, who taking strong and stiff lances, went and encountred the black Knights with such fury, as the earth seemed to tremble under them. Their encounter was remarkable, all fowr of them brake upon their shields with such equall fortune, as there appeared not more addresse or lesse courage and force in any of them then in the other. Those staves being in shivers, the second were brought them, which they brake as the first, the Knights not seeming to be any whit moved with these so furious shocks, howbeit this resistance inflaming their courages they ran yet three other courses, with as much fury as grace; but being extreamly enraged for doing so little before so great an Emperour, they charged new staves, wherwith they encountred so violently that all fowr of them quit their saddles, infinitly grieved at so great a misfortune; neverthelesse sud­denly getting up they were going to repair that default with their swords, when as they that were appointed for the Tournay came in, and separated them. The yong Knights divided themselves, and being placed in the head of two squadrons of two hundred men a piece, they encountred together so bravely, that many were unhorsed at the first brant, and every one stri­ving for the honour of the day, they laid lustily about them: the yong Knights performed wonders, one while they were seen in the middest of the presse, another while in the front, striking furiously and warding gallant­ly. In brief the party was so well disputed, that a full howr was past, ere any man could judge who had the better of it. If the brave Russian of Me­dia, and the generous Esquilan, cleared all before them, the two black Knights on the other side performed their parts no lesse bravely, in such sort [Page 69] that all was in equall ballance, when at the beginning of a combat between the two black Knights and Russian of Media with Esquilan, who had met to­gether, they saw a Knight armed all in white armour appear in the Lists, who joining with Per [...]on of Turkie, so furiously bestirred himself, that he made the advantage lean to that side, notwithstanding any resistance the contrary party could make. The black Knights foreseeing their losse, re­doubled their blows with extream violence, but they were opposed by such strong enemies, as they could not promise themselves the victory: on the other side Russian and his companion fearing that the honour of the Tour­ney might rest upon the white Knight whom they knew not, assailed their adversaries most valiantly, whence it ensued that being resolved either to die, or vanquish, all fowr discharged at one and the same instant such terri­ble blows upon each other, as the swords of Esquilan and Russian brake in eight or nine pieces, and the black Knights helmets flew from their heads; whereupon they were presently known by Spheramond, for the gentle Sil­van, and the fair Savagesse, who were about fowr daies before arrived in the Empire of the Parthians, after they had run many fortunes, of which we have not spoken, because we would not omit those other passages, that more neerly concerned our design.

CHAP. XVII. The continuation of the Tourney in [...] of the mariage of Silvan with the fair Savagesse, and the interruption therof upon the news of the losse of yong Clorisel of Guindaia, sonne to Florisel of Niquea.

THE arrivall of this fair warriouresse and Silvan, was ex­ceedingly pleasing to the Emperour, who putting an end to the Tourney, received them with all the love and curtefie that might be, highly commending the valour which those yong Princes had shewen in this beginning of their arms; especially Russian and Esqui­lan, with the white Knight, who was found to be the fair Amazon Alteria. Verily, said he, embracing them, you have this day done so much, as you may well be ranked in the number of the best Knights of this age; and I believe that when time hath rendred you more active and stronger, you will find but few your matches in the world. Persist, I pray you, and suffer not this brave courage of yours to grow dull, that the glory of your actions may not be inferiour to that, which your Fathers in their time have obtained: I will divide the honor of the Tourney amongst you all; and that of the jousts shall remain only to those that have so valiantly maintained them. Saying thus, he took the fair Savagesse by the hand, and willing Silvan to go on the other side of him, he returned to the Palace, where their welcoms were renewed by the beau­tifull Empresse Richarda, and her sister the Infanta [...]zaliana, who remem­bring that this generous Lady was the first that came in to their late rescue, they did her so much honour as she was almost ashamed of it. Some howrs being spent amidst these complements, the Knig [...] retired to disarm them­selves, [Page 70] Silvan being extreamly grieved to be separated from his Mistris, but fortune was more favourable to him then he expected; for their Chambers were so neer together, as they might meet without being discovered by a­ny; which Silvan well observing, he quickly put off his arms, and not en­during the delay of so much time as to refresh himself, he instantly went to his Mistris, and thus spake to her: Madam, if the glory of your favours were not as dear to me as my life, I should not labour to possesse them with­out suspition; but having too much love to dissemble it, and fearing to take the same liberty heer which I had with you abroad, I beseech you be plea­sed to let me keep you from slander, and render my delights more pleasing by enjoying them without fear: We might depend only upon our selves, and legitimate our mariage by a mutuall consent of our wills, but we shall do more discreetly to yeeld that respect unto those who have so much obli­ged us, and seeking their approbation rather out of good maners, then for necessity, we shall not only make them alwaies ready to assist us, but also therby increase their affection towards us. The Emperour doth highly ho­nour you, and esteems of me no lesse; wherfore I beseech you be pleased to let me make him my intercessor to you, for your love and favour: what shall be resolved upon by his advice will, as I suppose, cary the more weight with it; not in regard of us, for being reciprocally assured of our affections, the opinion of others should be indifferent to us, but only to have it said, that we know how to render due honor to such as deserve it. Dearest friend, answered she, you are assured that my will is yours, and that I wholly de­pend on you, having reserved nothing to my self, since I first engaged my faith unto you; therfore you may dispose of all things at your pleasure: and if the Emperour shall speak to me in your behalf, my answer shall be so modest, as it shall neither swarve from the respect I ow unto him, nor from the duty wherunto your love obligeth me. This resolution being taken, not without some kisses, Silvan went to the Emperour, to whom in the first place he gave an account of all his adventures which he had passed since he left the great Castle of the twelve Towrs; that done, he began a speech to him of this tenor: Sir, you are a competent judge of the powers of Love, nor do I believe that any man can speak more experimentally therof, then your Majesty. My parents that were not long since inclosed in their tombs, nor the late losse of so many Princes, whom Christendome doth to this day lament, have not been able to divert this passion growing in me by the object of a pleasing beauty, so that I am enforced to confesse unto you, that the merits of that fair Queen whom you saw not long since fighting with me, are accompanied with such unresistable charms, as I have been constrai­ned to yeeld up my liberty unto them: I know you have a mighty power over her, and that you may freely dispose of her determination. In which regard, Sir, I most humbly beseech you that you will be the author of my happines, that you will contribute to my content, entreat her graciously to accept of my affection, and in a word engage her to give me with her self, the scepter of Lidia, which she now enjoieth by the death of her husband. It is true that I have not deserved this grace, but the favour you shall do me heerin shall so firmly oblige me, as I shall never have any desire but for your service. Cousin, answered Spheramond, the lawes of Love are so plea­sing, that I do not wonder if men do prefer them before those of conveni­ency: our parents are dead, for they could not live ever, and what should [Page 71] lessen our grief for that losse, is, that they have left the world with so much glory and honour, as their fame shall continue in the mouths of men to all eternity; so that we are not to afflict our selves excessively for losing them, nor refuse our good fortune when it is presented, the rather for that they are not sensible of our actions; wherfore you shall not wrong their memo­ry if now you take a wife, since heaven hath too soon deprived you of her whom your merits had purchased for you: and to testifie unto you that I speak according to my heart, I will share in the fault which you think to commit. You shall enjoy what you earnestly desire, or this fair one shall reject my praiers, for she is well worthy of you, and you of the delights which you hope for from her. Saying so he left him, and without protra­cting time, went into the fair Savagesses chamber, who had that day at the request of her Lover, attired her self like a woman. See now said he, find­ing her in that habit, see now fair Queen, your self in case more likely to force a thousand Knights to your obedience, then you were of late with your sword in your hand, although you can well make it redoubtable to your enemies; and in truth I do not now marvell that Silvan is charmed by so many excellencies, since I my self do begin to have the like desires, al­though I am heer rather to do him service, then to suffer my self to be van­quished. I know not how you value his kindred, or the merits of his person, but I am not ignorant how much he loves you with passion, and if I did not think I should trench too much upon the sweetnes of your disposition, I would willingly beseech you to do him so much honour as to receive him for your Husband. Sovereign Prince, replied she with a deep blush, I did in the beginning of your discourse beleeve, that you were pleased to divert your cares with some gentle passage of wit, but these words are past jesting, so that I am obliged to answer as seriously: you render me a husband so worthily vertuous, as the greatest Princesse on the earth could not refuse him without imputation of vanity, nor do I mean to leave the election of him to any other; I do therfore most willingly accept of him, aswell in consideration of the pain your Majesty hath taken in speaking to me for him, as for his own merit and love; and do account all those poor services that I have done to your Crown, abundantly rewarded in this only favour: which is as much as you may expect from me, who do humbly beseech you absolutely to dispose of all that concerns me, being most assured that you shall never see me disobey your commandements. Spheramond having re­ceived an answer to his wishes, and unwilling to give fortune leisure to in­terpose any malice for the disturbance of these Lovers content, he caused them to be contracted the same night, and the next day to be maried with great solemnity. This wedding renewed the former pleasures, and the new Knights not being weary of well doing, armed themselves presently after dinner, and divided into two troops, Russian commanded the one, and the gallant Esquilan the other: all these yong Princes behaving themselves so bravely, as after a long dispute of the honour of the Tourney, it could not be discerned which of the parties had the better, so as they retired with e­quall commendation: the day being then spent in all kind of delight, the two Lovers were by the Emperour and Empresse brought to their Cham­ber, where they presently went to bed, for to reap the fruit of their amo­rous trauels. All things being thus disposed to delight, and the next day inviting every man to get up for the continuance of the former sports, For­tune, [Page 72] who never gives good without evill, would needs mingle some bitter amongst this sweetnes; a Gentleman arrived from Greece, which brought the Emperour word, that yong Clarisel of Guindaia, was stollen away by a Sorceresse the very same day wherin the Tourney was held at Constanti­nople, in honour of his birth; and that Florisel and Sidonia were extreamly affl [...]cted with sorrow for this losse. These displeasing news caused great trouble in the Court, all pastimes ceased, complaints were renewed, and e­very one grieved according to the measure of his love: the new Knights de­sirous to shew their affection to the services of the house of Greece, imme­diatly armed themselves, and comming altogether before the Emperour, they besought his permission to go in search both of this yong Prince, and of the adventures of the World; which request being granted them, they departed the same day with a resolution to run over all Countries, rather then to fail of their enterprise; but their design was to no purpose, for the Enchantresse Creonda, in whose hands he was, and that had not taken him away, but only for that she foresaw by her Art, that of her daughter Grisoli­ta, he should beget a Prince excelling all of his time, had so enchanted him, as by the sequel of this Discourse will appear, that none but Alcander could know the place of his retreat, or be able to contribute to his deliverance. The Court being in mourning for this bad news, and for the absence of so many Princes, Spheramond had no contentment left him but in the conver­sation of Silvan, who not willing to abandon him so soon, endeavoured to make the time more pleasing, and his losse lesse sensible unto him. Howbeit forced by the necessity of his affairs, he was constrained to depart, together with his wife, for to reduce the people of Lidia to their duties; who seeing neither King nor Queen, rendred but little obedience to their governours, and began to rise in tumultuous maner. Their departure made the Court very solitary, but the Emperour knowing how to live every where with contentment, never troubled himself with the consideration of so many losses as he had endured, and began to attend the care of his subjects, when a second advertisement gave him a fresh cause of discontent.

CHAP. XVIII. The adventures of the new Knights after they had left the Court: the Emperour Spheramond is advertised that the King of Canabea raised a mighty army to invade the Empire of Trebisond.

FOrtune is seldome satisfied with one attempt upon us; she redoubles her assaults to see if she can overthrow us, and never shews her face, if we do not force her to it by the greatnes of our courage. The losse of the little Clarisel of Guindaia not able to suffice her rage she would needs once again arm the Pagans for the ruine of those brave Princes, who shewed still the same countenance in their afflictions, as they had car­ried in their prosperity, and were not troubled for being crost, since it did [Page 73] but render their vertues the more eminent, by ministring to them occasions of glory; the new Knights going out at severall parts to seek adventures in the world, Russian riding along with Esquilan on a plain, hard by the Sea, perceived a damsell flying from a tall old man that pursued her with a sword in his hand: As I live said he, at the view of so discurteous an act, I would never have believed that a man so neer his grave, could have done a thing so unworthy of himself: Let us by no means leave this maid in this distresse; wherfore put on I pray you, that we may free her from the hands of this barbarous man, which without doubt will never spare her, being so inraged as he is. Heerwith they set spurs to their horses, but make what haste they could they were not able to overtake them before they came to the sea side, where they saw the wench leap in a Bark and the old man after her, who ha­ving taken her by the hair made as though he would have cut off her head. The Knights much grieved for that they could not aid her, in regard the Bark was put off a little from land, they approached to them as neer as they could; and thinking to alay his fury with intreaties, began to conjure him to consider what he himself was, and how little honour he should gain by dipping his hands in the bloud of a woman. I know very well, answered he, what every man ows to his reputation, but withall I am not ignorant of the content that revenge affoords: This woman cannot escape death for satisfaction of the wrong I have received from her, except you grant me one boon: You shall have it said Esquilan, whatever it be that you desire of us: Come aboard this Bark then, replied he, and go with me, I shall have time enough to let you know what I will require of you. Wherupon not staying for further entreaty, they presently lighted from their horses, and by the advice of the old man leaving them upon the strand, they entred that little Bark, which without attending any more lading, began to cut the waves with incredible speed. The Knights much amazed to see themselves caried away in that sort, looked round about them, and seeing no Sailers for the steering and conducting this vessell, they desired to be informed by what means it was done, but they found no body to satisfie them therin; the old man and the damsell no longer appearing, nor any thing to be found in the Bark but two little Beds, and a Table furnished with exquisit meat. Ve­rily, said Esquilan, this is one of the wise Alquifs, or the unknown Vrganda's devices, but never credit me if for fear of any inchantment, I forbear now to eat of this meat; wherwith he drew to the Table, and finding a paper upon it, he opened it and therin read these words:

Excellent Princes, do not wonder at the novelties you have seen this day: all is done for your glory, and we have with Art disposed you to follow the influ­ences of the Stars; for which our care of you, you will then give us thanks, when as you shall with the hazard of your lives, give us that you have this day promised us.

If I had not, said Russian, oftentimes heard of the like incounters, I should be somwhat mistrustfull, and could not touch this meat fearing the malice of some enemy, but I entend not to be more cautelous then your self; with that they sat down, and finding the meat agreeable to their pa­l [...]t, they fell to with a good appetite, and their repast being ended, with thanks to heaven, which never leaves his without relief in their necessities, [Page 74] they saw a Dwarf come in to them, who shewing a spirit much greater then his body, thus spake unto them: My Lords, it is time for you to rowse up your selves, and worthily to employ these arms you wear. Heerwith they arose, and looking about them they perceived two ships grapled together; in one of the which were two Knights, invironed with about twenty soul­diers, and two horrible Giants, that charged them with such fury, as they were amazed to see what resistance they made. Their Bark laying them a­boord just as they had laced on their helmets, they leapt into that ship wher­in the two Knights were, and assailing the two Giants, they laid upon them so lustily, as they quickly made them dispair of the victory. The combat was very hot between these fowr, but no whit lesse dangerous on the other side: for the two Knights desirous to make use of time, charged their ene­mies with so much fury, as they cut them all in pieces, except one, that was very richly armed, who unwilling to die with the rest, though he had beha­ved himself very bravely before, intreated for life and liberty. You shall have it, said one of them, provided you let us know both who you are, and why you caused us to be thus assaulted. It is, said he, the least that I can do since I am in your power, but I could wish that these fowr Knights who are fighting together might be seperated, for the death of the two Giants would be very grievous to me; with that he stept forward to put himself between them, when as he saw them tumble into the sea, with two fearfull blows which at one instant they had received. See, said he, with tears in his eies, that which I feared more then the losse of min [...] own life, but the matter be­ing now past remedy, I must have patience, & remembring the estate wher­in I am, I will give you an account of what you require of me. I am a kins­man to the mighty King of Canabea, the Christian Princes capitall enemy, and am now come from treating with the great Cariff of Affrica, and the King of Coriza, to whom I was emploied, for to invite them to a war a­gainst the Princes of Greece; the cause wherof is, rather for religion then conquest, and my voiage was successefull enough, had I not lighted upon you: for having obtained all that I desired, namely fifty thousand men to fall upon the Empire of Trebisond, besides an hundred and thirty thousand more, which are already levied in the Kingdomes of Canabea, Romeria, and Calican, I returned extreamly well satisfied, in the company of those two Giants, which the King of Coriza had given me, by whose aid I did not doubt but to see the Crown of Trebisond placed on my masters head: the rather for that I knew the principall defenders of that Empire are dead, so as the Christians have been constrained to commit the government ther­of to an Amazonian woman; and that those which survive will not willing­ly quit their own provinces, for fear of being invaded by other Pagan Kings. Behold what you can expect from me in discharge of my promise; it remaineth now that you make yours good, and restore me to my former liberty, as you have preserved my life. The Princes of Greece, answered one of the first Knights, aretrue of their words, and stand in no doubt of their enemies: Experience should have made them wiser, and so many bat­tels as they have lost, should me thinks, be able to break that obstinate de­sire they have to die in this quarrell; but since they will not guide them­selves by reason, they shall not be more gently entertained then they have been heertofore. They have reason to say that the bravest Knights in the world are dead, but there yet remain enough to trample on the heads of all [Page 75] such as shall dare to provoke them. And to testifie unto you that we do not much regard their menaces, we will give you leave to proceed on your voi­age, and you may tell your kinsman that for a beginning of the war you have met with Greek Princes as full of curtesie as courage. This said, he com­manded to weigh anchor, and letting them go he turned to the two Knights, with no little admiration to see them so yong and so excellent. Esquilan ha­ving observed them very attentively, desired them not to be displeased if his curiosity caried him to demand of them who they were, to the end they might the better know to what persons they were engaged for so many ca­resses and praises, wherwith they had rewarded the poor service they had done them. We are said one of them, too much obliged to you, to refuse to let you understand who we are: I am Dorigel, King of the fortunat Islands, and this other is the valiant Amanio d'Astre; at these words they redoubled their embraces, and continuing their discourse they resolved to take several waies, Dorigel commanded to steer for the fortunat Island, for to raise some forces in aid of the Greek Princes; Russian and the Polack reentred their Bark in pursuit of their fortune; and the gentle Amanio took his way to­wards the Parthian Empire, from which he was not then far distant, to ad­vertise Spheramond of the Pagans design, as he did within a few daies after: these news having diverted that great Emperour from his ordinary passions, made him give order for the raising of men, for dispatching away speedily of certain Gentlemen unto Greece and Trebisond, lest they should be sur­prised by the enemy, and s [...]ewing an exceeding affection to the welfare of Christendome, he hastned his levies, and in person set forward with ten thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. On the other side Florisel and Rogel were no lesse carefull; and beyond them all Alastraxarea; for see­ing their estates exhausted by so many former wars, they were much grieved to behold their people thus continually subject to alarums; but not able to force the destinies, they suddenly gave order for their affairs, Don Rogel dislodging with thirty thousand men at arms, and Don Florisel with fifteen thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. In the mean time the ship wher­in Russian was, having ran two daies without meeting any adventure, arrived at the foot of a little mountain which seemed to the Knights so pleasant, that they presently landed, much admiring to see their horses upon the shore in the same equipage that they had left them in; but ceasing their wonder by the remembrance of what they had seen the old man and the damsell do not long before, they presently mounted upon them, and taking a beaten way that lead up to the top of the mountain, they spent about an howr or more, at the end wherof they found a Cave, whose mouth was stopt with certain pieces of wood, which made them conjecture that there was some secret within it, their curiosity then not permitting them to go a­ny further, without knowing whether there were any adventure within it worthy their courages, they alighted; and tying their horses to a Tree they thrust away the bars, so as with little difficulty they made that entry free for them, but that not being large enough for two to passe in front, Russian drew out his sword, and intreating Esquilan to stay there till his return, he went on a pretty way in that darknes not without some apprehension of fal­ling into some precipice, out of which he should never be able to disingage himself, but then presently espying a lamp he marched with more assurance by the light therof, till he came into a vault of about five and twenty or [Page 76] thirty paces broad, in one corner wherof upon some stones raised in form of an altar was a fire burning, & making a stand to look about him he disco­vered two damsels comming, one of the which kneeling down before him, thus spake: If it be by the order of that barbarous man, who now desires to glut himself with my bloud, as he hath heertofore done with my embra­ces, if it be, I say, from Ormand that you come, do not, Sir, make me lan­guish any longer; my bosome is ready to receive the blow of mercy, and it will lesse grieve me to die by your hands, then once more to come in the sight of so wicked and base a man. Fortune hath brought me hither, said Russian, taking her by the hand to raise her from the ground, not with an in­tent to shorten your daies, and much lesse to put you into the power of a man that you have no cause to love. Be not therfore afraid, but rather be confident in my company, and be assured, Gentlewoman, that I will have an account of the wrong that hath been done you, if you will make use of my arms; and let me know the occasion of your retirement to this desolate place, so far remooved from all conversation of men. Good Knight repli­ed she, my misery is past remedy, and the aid you proffer me can no other­wise serve but only to oblige me unto you for your good will; yet will I not be so little sensible of the favour you do me, as to deny your curiosity the relation of my misfortunes. Let us sit down then upon this bed of leaves that so you may with the more ease attend to my discourse. Me thinks, said Russian, we should be much better abroad where the clear day will more content us then this darknes, the rather for that a Gentleman my friend, who staies without for guard of the entry of this darksome lodging may perhaps be discontented with our longer stay. All places are to me indifferent, said she, and if I desired to stay you in this cave it was because I thought it a fit­ter place for the rehearsall of my woes, then any other whatsoever. But I am well contented to go out with you that the Sun which for these fowr and twenty daies hath not troubled my sight, may let you behold in my face the signs of a most extream sorrow; wherupon going forth they went and set them down in the shadow of certain trees, where she began to speak in this maner: Do not, I beseech you, expect a long discourse, although the histo­ry of my misfortunes be infinit; for I will not Sir, abuse your patience, but succinctly let you know the cause of my dispair; I was not five weeks since Countesse of Haute fleur, rich and beautifull enough, at least as I thought, to cause my self to be beloved of any, now ugly and more likely to fright people with my looks, then to beget the least affection in their hearts, and deprived of all conveniences in the world, but what these trees do yield me for my sustenance, and that of this maid which keeps me company, who not being ingratefull for some favours received of me in the time of my prosperity would needs bear a share in my miseries to comfort me. This is a strange change, and such as men might well wonder at, if they did not know that fortune disposeth of all things, and that she daily maketh greater metamorphosis, but I will not lay the blame on her, because I must confesse that all the fault was wholly in my self; for if I had not given credit to the words of Ormand a yong Prince, and one of my neighbours, I might still have flourished amidst the delights which those of my condition daily en­joy. This Knight, valiant of his person, and fully compleat in all those per­fections that can render a Gentleman commendable, if he had been sensible of a lawfull affection, happening to be in a forrest where I intended to spend [Page 77] some daies in hunting, was assailed by fowr Knights, who pressed him very hard, and without question would have laid him in his grave, if I had not chanced to come in during their combat, but unable to endure the sight of so unequall a party, I went to his enemies, and curteously desired them for my sake to forbear, and to consider that they much wronged the order of Knighthood, but they were so obstinatly bent, as they would not give ear to me, wherwithall being displeased I commanded three Knights of my fol­lowers to take the busines in hand, which they did so fortunately as in lesse then half an howr these arrogants were cut in pieces. That execution done, I was going towards Ormand, whom I had never seen before, meaning to invite him home with me, to have his wounds looked unto, but he prevent­ed me, and lifting up his cask said unto me: You have Madam, nobly pre­served my life, which doubtlesse was otherwise in my enemies power, but I desire you will be pleased to imploy it in your service, and not to spare it whensoever you shall think me fit for any design of yours; I am heer with­out all acquaintance, and find my self constrained to presse yet once more upon your goodnesse, beseeching you to spare me one of your servants for to guide me where I may have my bloud stanched, which runs out at three or fowr wounds. I should but half oblige you if I should leave you in the estate you are in; but Sir, I will make you see that I esteem more of your life then you think for, wherfore go along with me and you shall find all that is needfull for you: wherupon departing with all speed we got in lesse then an howr to Heautefleur, where I put him into the hands of a Physician, that within a month so recovered him, as he was able to bear arms; during which time I visited him daily, and finding him to be of a most gentle cari­age, I conceived a certain kind of good will towards him, which converted into a violent love assoon as he had told me who he was, and that he had sworn to affect me more then all the world beside: I will not heer tell you the pleasure I received in hearing him sigh, nor the contentment I had in the praises he gave me; for taking all his actions for testimonies of his love and my merit, I felt such infinit sweetnes in his conversation, as all other de­lights whatsoever were nothing to me in comparison therof. To what end should I spin out this discourse any longer? Opportunities being fit, and our passions violent, I yielded him up that which I ought to have held most dear, under the assurance of a thousand oaths that he made me to marry me publikely, when he had craved the consent and permission of his Father, whose authority he held not fit to be contemned; which seeming to me ve­ry reasonable, I gave him leave to return into his Country after he had tar­ried five months with me, hoping that ere long he would have returned a­gain: but the traitor never thinking more of his promises, but with sorrow for that he had made them, and despising my caresses because he had too easily injoied them, not only refused to write to me, but having done a world of indignity to a Gentleman whom I sent to presse his return and to advertise me of his health, he signified to me by word of mouth that the beauty of my Country, much more then that of my person, did make him desire to revisit it, but that it should be with a powerfull army to annex it to those estates that fortune had conferred upon him; and as for me that I should do better to place my self amongst those that attend the sacrifices of the Gods, then to think of living any more to the world: Imagine, I pray you, what an astonishment I was in when the Gentleman delivered this unto [Page 78] me: Verily, I had much ado to beleeve him, for remembring the loving speeches that he had so often entertained me with, and the innumerable oaths that he had sworn to me, I could not be perswaded that his affection was entinguished, and that he could be so fearles of the justice of heaven, but alas! I found to my grief, that the good opinion which I had of him did a­buse me; for adding effects to his words not long after, he invaded my Country with two and twenty thousand men, seazed upon all the places that depended upon my command, except the Castle of Heautefleur, wher­into a Cousin of mine hath put himself with three thousand foot resolving to die or to keep it for me: but fearing to fall into the hands of this wicked wretch, who threatned to abandon me to the lust of his souldiers, I rather chose to make my retreat to this place then to serve once again for the sub­ject of his scorn. You are now, brave Knight, fully informed of my infor­tunat estate, which can have no end but with the losse of my life. In extream dangers Madam, said Russian, we must put on strange resolutions; your mi­series I confesse are great, yet do I not hold them past remedy, for you will be at quiet when this vile man shall be no longer living, and that may be within a few daies; the Heavens are just and alwaies armed for the defence of oppressed innocence, to whom I render humble thanks for bringing us hither to assist you in so just a quarrell, for the maintenance wherof, this Knight and my self will either die or reinvest you in your former greatnes. Is your Castle far from hence? But one daies journey replied she. Be then assured, said he, that your enemies shall shortly see us; in the mean time, keep you close heer, that we may know where to give you an account of our proceedings when time shall serve: with that they tooke their leaves of her, and getting to horse made such speed as they were at the Camp by break of day, and just as the enemies were raising of their ladders to assault the place; that occasion seeming to favour their approach to the walls without suspi­cion, they followed Ormand, and seeing those of the Castle make a sally at the very same instant even as they desired, they presently turned head and began the skirmish so lustily as the souldiers on both sides were amazed at it, Russian advisedly judging that the quiet of the Countrey depended upon the life or death of Ormand, perceiving him advance with certain troops, he discharged so dangerous a blow upon his helmet, that he overthrew him to the ground amongst the feet of a thousand horses, but not willing to let him die in that maner, he caused him presently to be taken up, and commanding two Knights to carry him to the Castle, they pursued their good fortune with such fury as the enemies being in disorder for want of their Generall, betook them to their heels, leaving above three thousand dead upon the place. Those of the Castle being by the direction of these two Knights, retired, there were bonefires made for joy of so remarkable a victory, but especially for the taking of Ormand prisoner; who seeing himself in the hands of a people that had no cause to love him, could not well brok his misfortune, and did extreamly fear the displeasure of the fair Isolinda, for he could not beleeve that after so much scorn as he had put upon her, it was possible for her to continue her affection still to him, nevertheles resolving patiently to endure the worst of fate, he expected what his enemies would determine of him. In the mean space the two Knights not willing to lose time, made all the garrison to arm, leaving the inhabitants to favour their retreat if they were pursued, and determined to waken their enemies by the [Page 79] break of day, but assured by their spies, that they were dis-lodged in the night, Russian departed onely with three Knights, not acquainting any bo­dy with his designe but his companion, whom he desired to remain there by his presence to restrain the fury of the people, who out of the remem­brance of the mischiefes he had caused them to suffer, were otherwise like enough to do some violence to their prisoner; and returning the same way, he came the night before he arrived at the caves mouth; where the fair Isolinda, hearing the noyse of the horses, had hidden her self, with an ex­tream apprehension of falling into the hands of her enemies: and entring into the vault, he found her all trembling so that to assure her he said thus: Madam, this is no time for you to be afflicted, Fortune hath changed her countenance, and you now hold Ormand in a stronger prison then that of your eyes, at least he shall not so easily get out of it: whereupon rendring her account of all that had past, he so amazed her with the strangenesse of this change, as she could hardly have beleeved it, had not her Knights, whom she well knew, with new protestations, given her assurance of the truth thereof. Revived with these newes, she returned a thousand thanks to Russian, and getting on horseback, she went presently away with him to Haute [...]e [...]r; where, with unspeakable joy, she was received by her sub­jects, who besought her to deliver Ormand into their hands, that they might punish him as he deserved: but thereunto the two Knights opposed themselves, remonstrating the mischiefes which might result out of such an execution, she that could not for all that had passed, totally extinguish her love to him, yeelded to their advice with so much felicity, as the two Knights resolved to endeavour the reuniting of their affections; and indeed wrought so effectually, as Ormand having solemnly protested to love her ever, and without dissimulation, she was pleased to pardon him, and he to take her to wife, which was presently done with the generall applause of her people, who proclaimed the valour of our Knights to be worthy of Altars. An assured peace th [...] being setled, Russian and his companion, that loved not to be idle, took their leaves of the new m [...]ried couple, and not having forgotten their way to the Bark, they put to sea again, commit­ting the care of their voyage to those sages that had been their conductors thither.

CHAP. XIX. The arrivall of the Pagan Princes in the Empire of Trebisond: the fight between the Greek Princes and them at their landing: the assault given to the town, and the resolution that the Pagans took.

THE Queen Alastraxerea being advertised, as I have re­lated, that Fulgoran armed the Pagans against the Empire of Trebisond, did all that a warlike and dis­creet Lady could do to crosse the designes of the enemy; the ports were fortified, the townes furni­shed with munition and souldiers, and the fields co­vered with a number of gallant Knights. On the other part Fulgoran was not idle: for upon the return of Gonzaldin, whom Russian and Esquilan had defeated, when they succou­red Dorigell, and the gentle Amanio d' Astre, he drew together the forces of Canabea to the number of thirty thousand men: and those which King Dardanor had sent him, being about fourty thousand more, together with the troops of the Prince of Calican of thirty thousand; with these forces, consisting of threescore thousand horse, fourty thousand foot, and two and twenty furious Giants, who alone thought themselves able to co [...] ­quer the whole world, he embarked himself to go meet with those of the great Cariffe of Africa, and the King of Coriza, amounting to foursoore thousand horse, and thirty five thousand foot, in whose company they sai­led together with so fair a winde for three weeks space, as they began to make the land of Trebisond. The valiant Alastra [...]erea, who looked daily for them, and therefore held in readinesse some forty thousand horse, be­sides sufficient garrisons for the townes, being by frigates of advice infor­med of the approach of this mighty Fleet, presented her selfe with her forces at the Port. And determining bravely to dispute with the enemy his first footing upon her territories, attended while the winde should bring them to shore. The skirmish then began to grow hot on both sides: the Christians encouraged by the presence of that valorous Princesse, who like a flash of lightning made her way through as many enemies as she en­countred, bestirred themselves very bravely, and standing very firm upon the shore, would have made a strange butchery of their adversaries, if Ful­goran, accompanied with Florimond, Bruzanges, and the fair Arifleura, had not lea [...]'d to land in spight of all resistance, and the King Dardanor, the Cariffe of Africa, with twelve Giants, done the like in another place; these Knights clearing the place with incredible fury, in a short time made room for more then twenty thousand men to land, who seconding the Giants, that ruined all before them, they made the Christians give ground, when as five Knights armed in white, presenting themselves with their lances in their rests, gave in upon the enemy with such courage, as they raised the spirits of those who before trembled with fear; these five joyning with Alastraxerea, who seemed a Fury to the Pagans, maintained the fight a long time; howbeit, the greatest part of the Army being landed, Ala­straxerea [Page 81] thought good to make her retreat; but still fighting, wherein she was we [...]l seconded by the arrivall of two Knights in gray armour, who at the same instant flying in among the enemies, presently laid two horrible Giants dead upon the earth, and rendred themselves so redoubted to the other Knights, as they durst not come near them: this retreat, so full both of courage and discretion, bred admiration in their enemies, which extol­ling the valour of the Christians, mourned for their own losse, being but too great for a first encounter: for in the sea, and on the shore fell about thelve thousand men and four Giants, besides the Kings of Coriza, and Romeria, dangerously wounded, whereas the Christians got off with the losse of two thousand men. The army thus landed, the Citie was present­ly invected, the Pagans fortifying their camp with more judgement then ever any of their forces had done before upon any Christian land; and as one side made their preparations for an assault, the other disposed them­selves to make a gallant defence, Alastraxerea finding her selfe assisted by the five Knights, who were Perion of Turkie, Florizart of Taprobana, Quedragant, Florertan and Dardani [...], as also by these two thunderbolts of warre, in the gray armour, which were quickly known to be Russian of Media, and the brave Esquil [...]n of Polonia, thought herself much more as­sured then before; and therefore was lesse afraid to skirmish with the ene­my, so as no day passed without the death of some, and for the most part of the Pagans, who more guided by rage then judgement, did hazard all to get nothing, which so vexed F [...]lg [...], seeing his people diminish, as much as the honour of the Christians augmented, he resolved to lose all, or win all: and therefore he disposed his forces for an assault, comman­ding them either to die or vanquish, to which end having caused a great number of ladders to be prepared, he went himselfe the formost to the fight, being followed by his Giants, by Florimond, Bruzanges, Dardanor, the great Cariffe; and the Kings of Coriza and Calican, when as advertise­ment was given him, that a great fleet of Christians was under saile, ente­ring the harbour. These newes made him pause a while: for Captains can­not, without blame, despise any intelligence brought them; but being no lesse wise then couragious, he commanded the Kings of Coriza and Cali­can, to take six of the Giants, and an hundred thousand men to attacque the town, whilst with the rest of the armie in good order falling out of his trenches, he marched to the shore; where Florizel, accompanied with the incomparable Emperour of the Parthians, whom he had a little before met at sea, was landing with fourscore thousand men. This brave Prince, seeing such a multitude of enemies, instantly drew his forces into Battaglia, and not intending to give his opposites leave to discover that the half of his people were not yet disembarked, he advanced together with Sphera­mond, and the gallant Amanio d' Astre, encountring Fulgoran so furiously, that their horses not able to bear the shock, fell backe three or four paces, to come on again afterward with the greater violence; Spheramond running against one of the Giants, passed his lance clean through his body, Amanio d' Astre having made Florimond of Canabea to lose his stirop; on the other side, the Cariffe of Africa, Bruzanges, and the Giants, finding none but or­dinary Knights in their way, made so great a slaughter of them, that with­out the assistance of Spheramond, who came in to their aid with ten thou­sand men, the Christians had suffered much; but his arrivall stayed the [Page 82] fury of the Pagans in such sort, as they began to give him ground; which Fulgoran perceiving, who then was combatting Florizel with so much va­lour, as he was amazed at it, he delivered such a dangerous blow upon his helmet, as astonied him, and throwing himself among the Parthians, he re­covered again what his men by their default had lost; whereupon Sphara­mond carried with a strange rage to see the massacre of his people, dis­charged a bow upon his helmet with such fury, as laid him upon his hor­ses crupper, so farre besides himself, that he had no judgement or memory left him: This blow so affrighted the enemy, that they had certainly reti­red to their trenches, if the Cariffe of Affrica, attended by his Gi­ants, had not presently come into their second: his presence diminished their fear, and terrified the Christians; but Florizel and the valiant Ama­nio d' Astre advancing to their succour, so revived their courages, that the fight was renewed more sharply then before. Whilst thus they disputed the honour of the landing the other were not at quiet: for the Kings of Coriza and Calican, made the assault to be maintained with so much ob­stinacie, as it seemed they resolved not to live, or be victorious; the dead which fell in the ditches feared them not, and their losse augmenting their courage, made them so adventurous, as Alastraxerea avowed afterwards, that she never had seen a wall better assailed; howbeit, their labour was in vain, and the Christians resistance such, as they were constrained to fall off just at the time that their fellows, who fought upon the shore, retired into their trenches. Florizell seeing their retreat, and considering that his souldiers were as yet not recovered of their travail, by sea, would not presse them any further, but encamping hard by them, commanded necessary in­struments to be made, caused the hurt men to be looked unto, took order for the guard of his camp, and desirous to see the Princesse Alastraxerea, his sister, mounted upon his horse with Spheramond to go to the Citie, but but they met her in the mid way, accompanied with the new Knights, you may well imagine how kindly they entertained one another; and withall, the content that Spheramond took in seeing these young Princes, on whom he had lately conferred the order of Knighthood, discharge themselves so bravely for the honour of the Christian name. I will not therefore dwell any longer hereupon, but following my discourse, will tell you what the Pagan Princes resolved to do, being grieved with the losse of eighteen thousand men, and three Giants, which died in this encounter, wherein also there fell of the Christians, no lesse then eight thousand and five hundred Knights, Fulgoran performing the duty of a right commander, that will not be frighted for one misfortune, seeing the courage of his men grow cold, and that the names of the Greek Princes was become redoubted in his Ar­my, caused the principall Knights of his troops to be called together, and when they were assembled, with a confident countenance thus spake unto them: As it is no little griefe to me to see your lookes so pale, and that so slight a losse should any whit amaze you; as yet we have had no cause to complain; and so many of our enemies slaughtered before these walls, should, me thinks, oblige us not to fear the encountring of them. Have they any advantage of us? Do their swords cut better then ours? Have they better courages, or Arms of better proofe?

Verily, we no way yield to them, in re [...]olution of doing bravely, their curtelaxes carry no keener edge then our scymeters; and the greatnesse of [Page 83] our blowes doe testifie that our armes are as of much weight as theirs; you will say that they have never beene assailed wi [...]hout danger, and that so many armies as have beene routed in these fields, doe witnesse their valor, and may justly make us apprehend a like successe of our enterprize. It is true that they have ever hitherto shewed themselves invincible, and that few kings have affronted them without their owne extreame damage, but shall we from thence infallibly, conclude, that fortune must therfore per­petually favour them, nothing lesse, she delights in inconstancy, and makes her selfe sport in abasing those whom she hath for a time raised to the high­est pitch of eminency; the glory which they have acquired in the pro­ceeding battailes, should make us rather strive with obstinacy for victory over them, then daunt our courages, for triumphing over them that stoope under the weight of so many law [...]ells shall render our names, so glorious in the world, that all the sorraine nations will shrinke when they but hea [...]e us named.

Throw off therefore, I pray you, this fear, which I see in your faces, re-kindle that generous fire which made you slight your ease to bring your selves into businesse of honour, and giving the enemy no leisure to streng­then himself by the comming in of any fresh supplies, go pull him out of his trenches, and make it appear to them that you were never afraid to meet them in the plain field. For my own part I am of opinion to present them battell with our whole army, and by a triall of all the forces on both sides, see what we may hope for from our enterprise. This, answered the Cariffe of Affrica, this brave Prince, is the best advice that now can be gi­ven, for a long siege, or a tedious war, cannot be but very dangerous, and if we spend our time in beating of walls in stead of turning our swords up­on our enemies, we shall never avoid the misfortune of those, which have come hither with the same designe that brought us hither, who left all their honour behinde them in our enemies hands; the Princes of Greece are full of courage, and will never shun the fight, since the Emperours of Par­t [...]ia, and Greece, are arrived to their succour, but if we be good men we cannot fail of the honour of the day. The number of our souldiers doth far exceed theirs, our hearts are good, we have Giants and Knights to be redoubted, Why then should we not be conquerours? Either the victo­ry, Excellent Prince, must be ours, or we must all die in seeking to atchieve it: As for me, I prize my life at lesse then nought in this occasion, and do beleeve that all these Lords hee [...] assembled will be as resolute as my self; you may therefore, when you please, send to offer them battell, with this assurance, that we will dispute the honour of it with a great deal of courage. This opinion being approved by them all, they dispatched presently a He­rauld to Don Florizell of Niquea, who received him very courteously, and a little after returned him with assurance of a generall battell, the fourth day following, for the preparations whereof, a truce was in the mean time concluded on either side.

CHAP. XX. The joy of the Greek Princes for the arrivall of the Excellent Emperour of Persia, and the successe of the battell.

THe two armies disposing themselves equally for victo­ry, prepared all things necessary for the fight, the Pa­gans with a certain assurance of triumphing through the multitude of their men, and the Christians of de­feating their enemies, more by the assistance of hea­ven, then by the force of their arms, the day being al­ready passed, they saw the seas covered with ships comming in very good order; whereupon; both sides were in fear alike, for neither of them knew to whether part they were in fa­vour inclined; but they dwelt not long in that doubt, for as soon as the Vantguard approached the Port, the red Crosse with the arms of Persia were discerned in their flags, whereby it was judged to be the valiant Don Rogel of Greece; his arrivall brought no lesse fear to the Pagans, then con­tentment to his friends, who being free to go whether they pleased, for that the truce was yet on foot, went to meet him in the strand with a thou­sand signes of joy; the ceremonies of entertainment being over, the Prin­ces, not to lose time, met presently in councell, for to deliberate on the courses which was to be held for the future battell, wherein all their opi­nions, in a manner, concurring, they resolved to make four equall battalia's, each of them consisting of five and twenty thousand horse, and eight thou­sand foot; the first or which should be commanded by Spheramond, accom­panied with Amanio d' Astre, and Perion of Turkie; the second by the va­liant Prince of Persia his father, with Russian of Media, and Dardanio; the third by the royall Alastraxerea, with Esquilan, and Quedragant of Sansue­ga; and the last by the excellent Florizell of Niquea, with Florestan, and Florizart; the command and guard of the town was intrusted to the Count of Argamond, with ten thousand foot, and the Campe to the Duke of Sile­sia, with the like number of Infanterie: On the other side, the Pagans were not drowfie, but knowing that the losse of that day would be the end­ing of their honours, and lives, they incouraged their souldiers, one while with promise of rewards, another while with hope of glory, so as the most cowardly resolved to fight it out bravely, both for reputation and spoil; their spies having informed them of the order the Greek Princes determi­ned to hold in imbattelling their army; they also concluded to frame four battalia's of their forces, each of them composed of thirty eight thousand horse, and fifteen thousand foot; whereof the first was to be led by the Prince Bruzanges, Florimond his son, the valourous Arifleura, and three Giants; the second by the great Cariffe of Africa, Dardanor King of Ro­meria, and three Giants; the third and fourth by the King of Coriza and Fulgoran, with a like number of men; the King of Calican remaining with twelve thousand foot for the guard of their Camp. These things thus de­creed, every man bestirred himself, some making clean their arms, some [Page 85] whetting their swords, and others looking to their horses: In brief, none was idle, and every one passionately wished for the next day, that they might imploy their forces. Assoon then as the morning appeared, Sphera­mond, who had the foreward, covered the field with his horse, and not in­tending to stay untill the trumpets sounded a charge, he espied on his right hand five Knights armed all in white, present themselves with incredible courage against the enemy, to the no little joy of the Christians; whereup­on, perceiving Florimond begin his career, he set spurs to his horse, and so strongly incountered him in the midst of his race, as their lances flew into a thousand shivers, Florimond still keeping his seat, though he was twice or thrice ready to fall; such was not Bruzanges fortune with the valiant A­manio d' Astre, for he was laid upon the earth, so dangerously hurt, that without the succour of his son, he had been stifled under the horses feet; Perion of Turkie, and the white Knight, directed their staves against the Giants, whereby two of them were wounded, but so slightly, as they pre­sently laid hands on their scymiters, and disdaining to fight with ordinary men, they began a furious combat with three of the white Knights, whilst Spheramond, in the midst of the preasse, thundered wheresoever he came, neither was Florimond any way behinde him, for as often as he advanced his sword, the death of some Christians ensued; whence it followed, that his people in imitation of him, laboured exceedingly to make good the place they fought upon; but they were so press [...]d by Spheramond, Peri [...], Amanio d' Astre, and the white Knights, that they began to give ground with extream discontent to the Giants, who could not relive them, being too far ingaged in their combat with the new come Knights; neverthelesse, enraged to see themselves staid in that sort, they all at one instant diseharged three such blows on their adversaries heads, as they laid them on the ground almost void of sense; with that, taking the opportunity of the time, they went to have made their people turn head, which they perhaps had done, if they had not been stopt by the brave Emperour of the Par­thians, Amanio d' Astre, and Peri [...], who not giving them leave to passe any further, charged them so stoutly, as they were constrained to look to their own defence; then it was, that Florimond re-incouraging his men, over­threw as many Christians as stood in his way, but the white Knights being come to themselves again, and infinitely inraged that they had been so ill intreated, flew into the throng, with their two companions, and made such a slaughter among them, as the enemies were fain to retreat to avoid their fury, notwithstanding all that Florimond could do to stay them: The great Cariffe of Africa, accounted one of the most valourous among the Pagans, seeing the first troop in disorder, caused those which he led to advance, a­gainst whom the Excellent Emperour of the Persians opposed himself, and with that greatnesse of courage, which made him so admired in the world, charged his lance against the Cariffe, whom he made to lose his stirrups, Russian of Media having run one of the Giants quite thorow and thorow; upon the encounter of these new troops, the earth was quickly covered with arms, legs, weapons, and the field with horses that had lost their ma­sters, the air ecchoed with the cries of dying and wounded men, the ground shook with the noise of drums and trumpets, all was full of hor­rour and fear, and wheresoever D [...] R [...]gel and Russian passed, they left be­hinde them evident marks of their valour▪ the ranks grew thin before the [Page 86] great Cariffe and his Giants; in brief, all was in confusion, and the bloud streamed so over all the field, as it filled every one with astonishment: the King of Calican, and Fulgoran, impatient to see others imployed in busi­nesse of glory, caused their troops presently to advance, the like did Ala­straxerea, and Don Florizell; then it was, that the earth, and the heavens seemed to be but one thing, and so many Knights were overthrown at this encounter, as no man could stir a foot without treading on the dead; the Knight Ardant carried ruine in his hand, Florizell passed along like lighten­ing, the Giants cut all in pieces that stood in their way, Alastraxerea, Esqui­lan, Russian, Rogell, Spheramond, Quedragant, and P [...]rion, seemed furies; in summe, nothing appeared but bloud and slaughter. The King of Calican, meeting with Alastraxerea, and Fulgoran with Florizell, began a furious com­bat, but it lasted not long, for they were divided by a troop of Pagans, which invironing this valiant Prince and his sister, reduced them into very great danger of their lives, had not Spheramond, and the gallant Amanio d'A­stre, come in just at the time, when as their horses were killed under them; these two Princes knowing Florizell and his sister, slew in suddenly amidst their enemies, and so wonderfully behaved themselves, as they gave their friends leave to breathe a while; howbeit, their succour had little prevai­led against so great a multitude, amongst the which were three Gi­ants; if the brave Russian of Media, together with the five white Knights, had not put himself in the head of fifty Knights, wherewith he charged the enemy so furiously, that after they had slain above two hundred of them, even before Fulgorans face, they re-mounted Florizell, and the valorous Alastraxerea, who renewing the fight with more rage then before, seemed not be wearied at all with their former toil. Whilst matters past thus in this part, Don Rogell, with Esquilan, Florerian, Dardanio, Quedragant, and Florizart, arrested the fury of the Cariffes Giants, and Florimond, where­by their people were so heartened, as they were no whit dismayed with the sight of so many corpes as lay dead before them. The slaughter ha­ving continued all the day with the Combattants incredible pain, the night came on, which parted them without knowing unto whom fortune was most favourable, the Pagans retired to their Camp, and the Christians to their tents, not a little glad to see the principall Knights preserved from the fury of this best debated battell that ever was fought. The number of the dead being calculated on both sides, it was found, that the Pagans had lost ninety two thousand men, with seven Giants, and the Princes Bruzan­ges, Florimond, and the Cariffe sore wounded; the Christians for their part having fifty seven thousand men slain, Florizell and Alastraxerea both hurt, the one in the shoulder, the other in the arm. The retreat thus made, the Christian Princes, after they had caressed the new Knights, which were Florian, and Tristor of Sobradiza, Agrian of Scotland, Fulurtin, and Melfort, met in counsell about their affairs, where every one agreeing to Don Rogells advice, who perswaded the renewing of the fight by break of day, to let the enemy see, that neither losse nor labour could affright them, word was brought, that an Ambassadour was come from the Knight Ardant. Let him, said Don Rogell, come in, his presence will not scare us. The Ambas­sadour then being admitted, spake to them all in this manner: Princes of Greece, the King of Canabea, beleeving that you have need of rest, as well as himself, and that you will be as willing to do all fair offices to those [Page 87] which have lost their lives on your side, as well as he would be to such as died on his, he hath sent me hither to require a tr [...]ce for eight dayes, to the end every man may bestow [...] upon his friends: that time expired, he will let you understand the designe he hath resolved on, for to give an end to this war. Don Rogell, that was chi [...]e in the counsell, by reason of the absence of Florizel of Niquea his father, who was retired into the citie, by reason of his hurt, would have had the advice of the other Princes upon this demand; but they all protesting to be wholly g [...]ided by him, he thus answered the Em­bassadour, We had resolved before your comming, to have seen to morrow morning what the issue of our warre would have been; and to that end had commanded our men to be ready by break of day; but now we will let your master know, that the Princes of Greece will never be wanting in courtesie no more then in courage. The truce then which in his name you require, we are content to grant you, and will be glad to understand what his designe is, that we may contribute thereunto all that is necessarie on our part. This an­swer being returned to Fulgoran, very much contented his army, and the Christians retired into their tents to refresh themselves at leasure.

CHAP. XXI. Vpon the point of a combat between Fulgoran, the Cariffe, Florimond, and the unknown Knight, with Spheramond, Amanio d'Astre, Russian and Esquilan, two Damsels interrupting them, carried them away.

THe field being cleared of the dead bodies, Fulgoran, who had no greater desire then to be victor in that war, in­cessantly studied how to bring that to passe; one while he was inclined to put his army once more to the haz­zard of a battle, but straight remembring the horrible slaughter which had been made of his men, he had compassion of so many innocent people, and desired to triumph with lesse effusion of bloud; but not knowing which way to iattain thereunto, he passed the most part of his time in these meditations, without drawing any resolution out of an in­finity of thoughts: At the last, returning one day from the forrest, where he often used to walk, with a determination to raise his siege, and after­wards to dispute, by a combat of two to two; not the Empire, which now he durst not hope for, but the glory of the victory, he heard the voyce of one that complained, wherewith his heart being moved to pitty, he sudden­ly turned his horse that way, and approaching to certain trees, which Na­ture had set very close together, he saw thorow the branches a Knight laid upon the grasse, armed at all peeces, except his hand [...] and head; his eyes were full of tears, his face pale, yet did not that hinder him from appearing very handsome. The sadnesse of this object, not leaving him without re­senting the griefe which he saw him endure, moved him to alight for to present his best assistance unto him, when as he saw him rise from the ground, and take a Lute that hung upon the boughes of one of the trees, [Page 88] whereunto he sung a very mournfull ditty, which being ended, he returned his Lute to the former place, and throwing himselfe upon the grasse, he said, Is it possible to finde a more unhappy man then my selfe in the world? and who can say that I am not the worst required of any that ever sighed for love? Hope mitigates the torments of lovers; and if they suf­fer, it is with a certain opinion that time will change their misfortune, and that patience will render the end of their desires happy; but alas! my mi­sery is not of that quality, I languish without possibility of hope, and the death of Arthemisa deprives me of all the blisse that man can expect: I love her as much in the grave as when she lived, and foolishly imagining, that she will one day revive to set me at rest, I cannot resolve to entertain any affection for another Mistresse. Good Gods! is not my destiny very deplorable herein? Have I not cause to complain of my hard fortune? And is it not with reason that I hold my selfe the most wretched creature breathing? Yes doubtlesse, I may well blame mine own weaknesse, and accuse you of injustice; you ought to force this humour, that renders me repugnant to my selfe, work miracles on me, not permit me to be obstinate in mine owne ruine, or restore me that which you unjustly detain from me. But I wrongfully complain of you, it is Death to whom I should addresse these reproaches, she hath ravished my treasure, and left me nothing but the remembrance of my Arthemisa; she, she it is that is capable of my sor­row, of my tears and sighs; It is through her that fury overcomes my reason; briefly, she alone is the cause of my u [...]doing. This speech ending with an alas! he remained a good while silent, leaving F [...]g [...]ran extreamly grieved to see a Knight of so brave a presence reduced to such extremity; howbeit, his silence lasted not long: Fairest Arthemisa, continued he, what tears have you cost me? you have but one tomb, one sepulchre, and my griefe prepares for me every day an infinity; you partake of the glory of the Gods, I am amongst the miseries o [...] the world; you are hap­py in your death, and I unhappy in my life; what inequality do we now suf­fer, that have heretofore been so comfortable in all things? You are in plea­sure, I am in pain; I sigh, you are contented: verily I am much amaz [...]d at this change, and cannot comprehend how we should live so at this present, where­as our love would not permit us to do so in times past. It is true, O Arthemi­sa, that I should be much amazed at it, if I did not call to minde your merit, which doubtlesse hath with reason acquired all these advantages: wherefore I ought not to envie your glory, but contrarily rejoyce to see you with the Gods, and to offer the same sacrifices to you, as we do daily to them, which this Desart place will not suffer me to do, neverthelesse, I will at the least offer something, untill such time as my valour may lay the bravest Knights of the earth upon your tomb. Saying so, he rose up, brake the branches of the nee­rest trees, which hee piled one upon another, and falling down on his knees, he was again going to complain anew, had not Fulgoran, grieving to see him lose himselfe in that manner, advanced towards him just at the instant; Knight, said he unto him, I wish that you could so relish my speech, as it might bring you that consolation which is necessary for your griefe, and then you would see how great a fault you commit to love an insensible thing, and that com­plaints are not fit for you, you may well retain the memory of a beauty that you have so long adored; but to fancie to your selfe a returning of it, for your satisfaction is that, which with reason should never enter into your [Page 89] thoughts; and besides, do not beleeve that it is a glory to you to be thus opi­nionate in your passion▪ not that it can purchase to you the reputation of a perfect lover: the way to merit that commendation lies in those things where our judgement doth not erre, and you shall never meet with any that will ap­prove of this course of yours, and that will not freely tell you how it is a kinde of madnesse. Follow the first motions of your reason, let it not be lost in your affl [...]ction, and re-entring into the exercise of Arms, divert your sor­rows by the undertaking of generous enterprises. Now it may be your pas­sion will not brook the liberty of this discourse; but if I fail therein, it is out of the compassion which I have of your sufferings, so that if you have any power yet left over your self, you will embrace my counsel, and go along with me to refresh you in my tents, where I shall endevour to free you from these fancies. Verily, answered he somewhat coldly, were my sorrow lesse, I should willingly make use of your offer; but what should I do in the world, since I am too well assured that I shall never meet Arthemisa there? Sir, I should see nothing that could please me, all objects would renew my grief, and the advertisements you speak of would be torments to me when I should consi­der that I did not carry arms for the service of my Mistrisse: you say that I should have a better heart after this losse; but alas! it too neerly concerns my life, nor may I, without basenesse, resolve to live more contentedly then now you see me: howbeit, were I able to do you any service in recompence of your courtesie, I would follow you, and let you one day see that I am not insensible of a benefit. But what can you hope from the weaknesse of these arms, which an extream sorrow hath deprived of all vigour? Truly nothing, and your good will would be unprofitably imployed; wherefore be pleased to leave me heer in a continuall martyrdome, and goe you away with the glory of having exceedingly obliged me, though I entertain not your assistance. Fulgoran, that attentively observed him during this discourse▪ which seemed not to proceed from a man besides himselfe, seeing him of a ve­ry goodly presence, was more desiro [...] then before [...]o prevent the mischief that menaced him, so as persisting in his perswasions, he laid so many reasons be­fore him, that at length he promised not to afflict himselfe so excessively, but with patience to attend how the Gods would dispose of his life. This brave resolution was so pleasing to our Pagan, as embracing him, he protested to love him eternally; and making him get on horseback, they together [...]ode on towards his tents: but whilst they were upon the way, Fulgoran observed his carriage, and seeing how gallantly he sate his horse, he could not forbe [...]re saying thus unto him; Truly it would be a great losse to see [...] man of your parts passe the best of his dayes in Desarts, not do I little oblige the world by restoring so brave a knight unto it; your behaviour contents me much, and makes me desire to know you better then yet I do; you shall then, if you please, do me the favour, to tell me more particularly who you are. It is, an­swered he, that which at this present I cannot do, without breaking an oath I have made; but not to be so ingrateful as to refuse you the information of what I may lawfully relate, I will tell you, that I am every where called, the Vn­knowen, a name indeed that very well befits me, who have not given men oc­casion to speake of mee, and that having a long ti [...]e travel [...]ed thorow the world for the execution of enterprises, that may crown with glory Knights er­ran [...], I arrived some months since in the land of Mo [...]cassi [...], which was then all covered over with the forces of enemies: My first encounter was a very lovely [Page 90] maid, who not without confidence presented her selfe before me, and that in so gracefull a manner, as begat in me an extream desire to speak unto her; and as I was opening my lips so to do, after she had a little viewed me, she pre­vented me, thus: If you be, Sir, as courteous as handsome, you will not re­fuse me a Boon I desire of you. Men use not, replied I, to send away those of your merit with discontent, you may therefore freely command of me what you please, and be assured not to be denied. You shall then follow me presently, said she, to Nicopolis, the capitall citie of this kingdome, and there put your selfe into the hand of Arthemisa, with protestation to defend her a­gainst the King of Nicomena, a dreadfull Giant, and ugly as may be exprest, who now holds her besieged in that place, because she will not give him the title of her husband: She is a Princesse so faire, and withall so nobly enclined to acknowledge any service done unto her, as you will never repent any assi­stance you may give her. To what end should I spin out my discourse any further, she did so highly extoll the beauties and perfections of this Princesse, as I loved her before I saw her; so that I rode away most desirously to Nico­polis, whereinto I entred with much facility by the cunning and direction of this wench. I had a little affection to her before, as I told you, but as soone as I saw so many charms in the eyes of Arthemisa, I reserved no more power o­ver my selfe, but well contented to present her with my liberty, never to re­demand it again. The King of Morcassia her father, was much afflicted to see the enemy so neer his walls, yet did he a little cheer up himselfe when he saw in a skirmish that fell out two dayes after my arrivall, that my blows were weightier then those of all his Knights, and that the King of Nicomena's people did no lesse redoubt the incountring with me, then his did that of the Giant; whereupon he made extreamly much of me, all things were directed by my advice, but that which gave me most satisfaction, was that I saw Ar­themisa did love me, and was delighted to see me sigh at her feet. Leaving them with this tranquillity of minde, I accounted my selfe the most fortunate Knight of the earth, especially when as a little after, I was the cause of all their happinesse by the death of Balistan, so was their capitall enemy called, whom I slew in single combat, routing afterward his whole army with a horrible slaughter. This victory gained me the hearts of the Morcassians, and absolute­ly possessed me of the good graces of Arthemisa, who, to tell you in few words, being no lesse in love with me then I was with her, yeelded up herselfe wholly unto me, and so made me taste the sweetnesse which is found in the caresses of an amorous woman. Two months past amidst this felicity, at the end where­of she counsell [...]d me to demand her of her father, to the end our secret priva­cies might not at length be the cause of our ruine. The assurance that I had of the Kings favour, made me approve of her opinion, so that I went presently to him, and putting him in minde of the service I had done him, I besought him to reward me for them by the possession of Arthemisa. Your vertue, an­swered he, doth oblige me to give you all contentment; but first for the satis­faction both of my self and my subjects, I desire to know who you are. This request, replied I, seemes so reasonable, that I cannot refuse it, without wrong to my self. My father is called [...]nomander, Prince—O ye Gods! said he, step­ping back two or three paces, say no more, that name is no stranger to mine eares; O heavens! have you suffered me to be obliged for my life to the son of the greatest enemy I have? Get you gone, continued he unto me, get you gone, Knight, and that instantly: for Arthemisa shall never be your wife. And [Page 91] were not the memory of your services a bar to my displeasure, I would make you feel what is due to the hate of your father. Think now, I beseech you, how I was vexed at the hearing of these words, so contrary to my hope: In truth, I was ready to die, but my rage kept me alive to make him this reply.

Ingratefull King, thou hast forgot that without my assistance thou hadst now been a slave, and not knowing what curtesie means, thou refusest me that which I have justly purchased; but thou shalt one day see what thy heady fury will avail thee, and that it had been more expedient for thee, to have past by the enmity which thou carriest to my father, and a thousand times repent the little esteem thou makest of me; for be assured, I know the way to abase what I have so generously exalted: Thou threatenest me here in thine own Palace, but beware of comming neer me, for I carry the same sword that spilt the bloud of thine enemies, and think not my courage any whit abated by two moneths rest. Saying thus, I past into my cham­ber, armed my self, and mounting on horsback, I retired into a forrest which was not far from thence, with a designe to return the same night, for to know of Arthemisa, how I should bear my self in this affair: But alas! I found her not alive, for having been acquainted with the quarrell between her father and me, she fell upon the floor with so violent a grief, as she was therewith suffocated before she could be succoured: From hence proceeds the excessive sorrow that I have now these three moneths endured, and from this so untimely death of hers, are those hourly complaints deri­ved, which you have heard, and which I would have continued to the end of my dayes, had not your perswasions diverted me from them.

This discourse ending with many sighes, Fulgoran began afresh to com­fort him, remonstrating unto him, that a noble courage ought equally to receive the assaults and caresses of fortune; and thus discoursing, they arri­ved at the Army, which the unknown Knight liked very well of, when he knew the occasion wherefore it was there. Not long after, Fulgoran, per­ceiving the terme of the truce ready to expire, called the chiefest of his Commanders into his tent, and with a Majestick countenance, thus spake unto them: Excellent Princes, did not the bloud of the innocent rather move us to pity, then carry us to cruelty, I should advise you once again to hazard that remainder of our men, which the fury of our enemies hath left us, and seek in their destruction the honour of an happy victory; but una­ble to see them suffer so for the satisfying of our pleasure, I am of opinion, that it is best our quarrell be determined by a company of selected persons, and that we should secure our people with the venture of our lives; I am the authour of this proposition, and therefore it is reason, that I also should be the first in the danger. Our adversaries are valiant, it is true, and all the world ascribes to them the glory of knowing how to fight well; how­beit, we have heer so many brave spirits, that we need not fear to meet them with equall number, for otherwise, the good conduct of their armies will make them alwayes triumphant; let us then arm three or four of us against so many of the Greek Princes, and let not the rest that are ex­cluded from the fight be troubled, for it shall be no lesse glory to be placed in the government of an Army, then to dispute the honour of acombat; I desire to be the first, the unknown Knight shall second me, the other two may be elected: If my advice be good, you may follow it; if not, coun­sell [Page 92] me, I will most willingly break off my designe, to let you see, that my resolutions depend upon yours. Valiant Prince, then answered Darda­nor, who spake for them all; It was onely our respect of you that put our swords into our hands, and without regard of your passion, or to say bet­ter of your zeal, since the glory of our Altars is in question, we would ne­ver have entered into any dispute with the Grecian Princes, we will there­fore obey your pleasure, as we have hitherto your commandements upon all occasions presented: Dispose of the persons and the number, they which do not accompany you in this action, shall have their share in what­soever shall befall you, and all of us together shall suffer with you in your victory. This is, said Fulgoran, no lesse then I expected from your wis­dom; my Cousin Florimond, and the great Cariffe of Africa, shall make up the number of four, the King of Calican shall be our Iudge, and you mine Unkle, said he to Bruzanges of Canabea, shall with the Kings of Co­riza, and Romeria, see our forces imbarked, and with them attend us at the at the neerest Countrey of the Pagans, in case that fortune shall be favoura­ble unto us. This resolution being taken, each one departed untill the next day that Fulgoran arose to write these lines unto the Princes of Greece.

The King of Canabea's Challenge to the Princes of Greece.

WE ought to have a care of our people, and to prefer their quiet before our own preservation, I am grieved for the death of so many brave Knights, that lie now in these fields, wherefore I will not hazzard the rest of my souldiers that are left me in a second battell, but being loath to retire with so little satisfaction of the pains I have taken to come and see you, I desire that the honour of this enterprise may depend on the combat of four of us against a like number of yours; Consult with your courages, and belie not the opinion which the world hath of your valour: This bearer hath power to signe for me whatsoever you shall require touching the conditions of this fight, whereof you may dispose, and for your assurance relie on my faith.

Verily, said Don Rogel, it is not without much reason that this Prince is esteemed to be valiant, and more advised, then his age doth feem to per­mit, for I cannot remember that ever I saw a defiance more courteous then this he hath sent us; We accept of it, and are very well contented with the number he propounds. Whereupon, calling for ink and paper (with Flori­zells consent) he returned him this answer.

The Greek Princes Answer to the King of Canabea.

VVE finde your reasons so just, as we cannot refuse that you desire, without wrong to our honours; you shall therefore have the combat on the third day after this, with the same assurances you give us; for the conditions, we leave them to your arbitrement; and desiring to imitate your curtesie, we remit the election of the arms and field to you, for the securitie whereof, we do, as you, ingage our faiths.

The Ambassadour being returned herewith, Fulgoran drew his army in­to battalia, and causing it to march to the sea side, where it was presently [Page 93] imbarked, onely the four Knights, that were to fight, remaining in the port, with the King of Calican for Iudge on their part, and the Queen Alastraxe­rea for the Christians; which were, Spheramond Emperour of the Parthi­ans, Amani [...] d' Astre, Russian of Media, and the brave Esquilan of Poland. The Grecian Princes seeing the enemies Armie under sail, and understand­ing that the principall Knights amongst them were those that staid behinde, sent to invite them to lodge in the City till the day appointed for the Com­bat, but they refused the offer with thanks, and chose rather to rest in Ful­gorans tent, which was left for them. The third day being come, with the incredible content of the Combatants, they presented themselves in the field, armed at all parts, and expected nothing but the sound of the trum­pet to charge their lances, when as they saw two Damsels enter, who in­stantly addressing themselves to the Princes of Greece, demanded a boon of them. We are too courteous, answered Spheramond, to refuse you any thing, therefore acquaint us with your desire, and we will most willingly grant it. We are then well satisfied on your part, answered one of them, we must now try whither we shall obtain as much of your enemies; so tur­ning them about, they went to Fulgoran, and said unto him: My Lord, we come to crave a boon of you in the behalf of the Damsell that entertained you in the Castle of the Rock, when you sought to escape the Count of Clina's surprisall. As I live, said he, you shall not be denied, for I am too sensible of the favours which I received from her at that time, speak onely, and let me [...]now what I may do for her service. That which I desire, re­plyed she, is, that you will follow me presently, together with these three Knights that accompany you, to the end you may give her what then you promised her. Gentlewoman, answered he, somewhat perplexed, I ac­knowledge that I am mightily ingaged to her, but I am tied by my word to those Knights that are there, and the estate wherein you see us, will not suffer us to stir from hence before we know unto whom the Gods will grant the victory. No, no, replied she straight, they are as much obliged to me by promise, as you are, and will not make any difficulty to defer the combat to another time. No indeed, said Spheramond, who was come to them, since we are ingaged thereunto by our oath; howbeit, you shall do us a singular favour, i [...] you will at the least permit us to break these staves in our hands together, and strike three blows with the swords. To use your swords, answered she, is a thing I will never give way to, but that I may in some sort content you, I will not be against one career, upon condi­tion that the weaker shall not be offended with their misfortune, nor hin­der my businesse. The Knights remaining agreed thereupon, returned to their places, and from thence suddenly dislodged with such fury, as the earth trembled under them. The incounter of Spheramond and Fulgoran was e­quall, their lances being broken to the very gantlets, without so much as once moved in their saddles; Russian, that ran against the great Cariffe of Africa, made him lose his stirrups, and had pierced him thorow and tho­row had not his staffe broke upon his shield; Amanio d' Astre, and the un­known Knight, were both overthrown to the ground; and the brave Es­quilan, having incountered Florimond on the helmet, made him see the stars in plain day, and so to stagger, that he was ready to kisse the earth; but his enemies blow being not effectlesse, he lost one stirrup, which yet he so speedily recovered, as fewtook notice of it. This course being per­formed [Page 94] with some advantage to the Grecian Princes, the P [...]gans were not well pleased, and would willingly have proceeded to a further triall by the sword, but perceiving these two women advance, unto whom they were in­gaged by their word, they followed them, though extreamly grieved for having been thus diverted from their enterprise: Neverthelesse, des [...]ing not to appear discontented, they comforted themselves with the hope, that time would furnish them with occasions to satisfie their wills. Assoon as they were gone a league, these Damsels staid at the meeting of two wayes, and one of them turning to Fulgoran, said unto him: Excellent Prince, you and I, with the unknown Knight, must follow this addresse, whilst my com­panion leads the other Knights this way, to a place where their presence will be very necessary. I have told you, answered Fulgoran, that I will never decline your Mistresses commands; let us then proceed in the way, since you will have it so, and let these Lords take the other; herewith, imbracing with some shew of sorrow, they parted, and followed their guides. She that conducted Fulgoran, observing by his countenance that he was melan­choly, said unto him: Sir, be not troubled for that my Mistris hath not suf­fered you to fight with the Princes of Greece, it was not done without good consideration, the day would have been fatall, and your enterprise could not have been ended without great mischief: when you shall know your self, you will think that she hath done nothing without reason, and you will thank her for the care she hath alwayes had of your content; she loves you, though as yet you cannot say wherefore, but you shall understand it from her the first day that you shall see her, which shall be the happiest, and the most dangerous, of your whole life, and behold new testimonies of her af­fection. Thereat Fulgoran, who lent an attentive ear to her discourse, lift up his eies and saw two Dwarfs, the one upon the fairest courser in the world, the other much lesse, and more deformed, with a great pack on his back: This, said she, taking the horse by the bridle, and presenting it unto him, is that which now she gives you; she will not change your arms, because they are excellent, but knowing that you desire others, for that you would not be known, she hath committed a secret unto me to quench these burning co­lours; whereupon, pouring a violl of water upon them, she rendered them quite black; but so polished, as one might see himself in them. This now, continued she, doth represent the grief you are in, for that you do not know who you are, and remember I tell you that these arms shall not lose this co­lour till you be known; at which time they shall re-assume their ardent flames to make you burn with a new fire, and be assured that this change will not let you doubt of your dissent, when you shall call to minde these my words: Now this is all that you may learn from me at this present. As for you, brave Knight, speaking to the unknown, you may beleeve that she loves you also, and for some instance thereof, she hath commanded me to present you with these arms, which are in this pack, that are far fitter for the adventures you are to undergo, then those you have on you; you shall do well to accept of them from her accordingly, and to be confident that they will be very usefull to you; you may not leave this way, because it is not without a mysterie that you are brought into it, and doing that which belongs to the duty of good Knights, yield more to the glory of your name, then to your passions. Saying so, she vanished away, together with the Dwarfs, leaving the horse under Fulgoran, and the arms upon the back of the unknown Knight.

CHAP. XXII. Fulgoran and the unknown Knight arriving at the Castle of Argenea, sister to the King of the fr [...]zen Islands, force her guards, destroy her inchantments, and free many good Knights there imprisoned.

FVlgoran no lesse astonished with the alteration of his Arms, then contented to see himself master of so brave an horse, looked a pretty while upon the unknown Knight, without a word speaking, as if he would have demanded of him what he thought of the affaire; but knowing full well the great power of the Damsell, whom he had seen in the palace of the rock, which was no other then Vrganda the unknown, he ceased from further marvell for to think of her words that lately left him. I am perswaded, said he to himselfe, that I am the son of some Christian Prince, and I have rea­son to think so: for this Lady, that favours my enterprises, would not now twice have diverted me from fighting with those famous Knights of Greece, if I might have done it without offence: Moreover, if I call to minde the speech of that old man whom I met withall the same day I received the order of Knighthood; and at my coming to the Crown of Canabea, I cannot doubt of it: for the most part of my Barons do affirm, that the Queen Florella, my mother, contracted a marriage in private with the brother of the greatest Prince of Christendome, and for that onely consideration, did they put the Scepter into my hands, as being the lawfull heire of the countries under her obedience. If it be so, I ought to serve them, and not seek to ruine them by my Arms. But what do I say? Serve them? that were to be base, and insensi­ble of indignities; They have beguiled the simplicity of an amorous woman, and made her ardours serve to end her life: wherefore me thinks it were more reasonable for me to lose my selfe with her, then leave this crime unpunished. Howbeit, there is no remedy for that which is past, and my revenge would but increase my griefe and shame: things therefore must be left as they are, and I must labour to finde out the truth of the matter, rather then run indis­creetly into actions of perpetuall repentance. Having been long entertained with these thoughts, he came to himself, and cheering the unknown Knight, who was no lesse transported with his imaginations, they continued on their way till night, which they passed in a sound sleep under the trees after they had fed on such cates as their Squires had provided. Rising the next mor­ning with the Sun, they got to horse, and travelled so long till they came to the sea side, discovering nothing round about them, save a little B [...]rke, where­into they entred with their horses; immediatly whereupon the unknowne Knights Squire going to take an Oare for to row off the vessell, she suddenly went away with such swiftnesse, as they were amazed at it. Behold, said Ful­goran, a new miracle for us, and the Gods seem to authorize our enterprizes, yet I fear our teeth will grow longer, if our fortune do not the sooner bring us to some land: for I am exceeding hungry already. And so am I, said the [Page 96] unknown, so that if our Squires have some provision yet in store, we shall be very much obliged to their providence; whereupon their Squires opening their males, where they looked for no more then a sittle bread that was lest, were mightily astonished to finde them full of good meat, the sight whereof so whetted their stom [...]cks, as they presently fell to it, which was not yet so delicate, but that the wine of their bottles did every way equall it. Their ap­petites being satisfied, they were about to have taken a little rest; but their Bark staying at an Island, that seemed marvellous beautifull and pleasant, they went on shore, and mounting their good horses, they entred into a forrest of goodly trees, planted with admirable Art: the musicke which the birds made them from the trees, and the diversitie of flowers they trampled on, so enter­tained their eares and eyes, as they seemed not to consider any other thing. Having travelled so an howr, with all the content that might be, they arrived neer to a mountain, on the top whereof they saw one of the most stately Castles in the world; five towers equally distant an hundred & fifty paces one from the other, framed on the fore-front of the building, whose walls were of white and black Marble, and the covering of a mettall so glistering, as one could not behold it with lesse pain then the Sun. Between these towres an hall appeared, so high, as it seemed to surpasse the clouds; and the gardens made all in discent, possessed them with an extream desire to be in so sweet a place. The wonder of these rarities inviting them to passe on, they advanced a flight shoot further, where they met with a great Arch, that gave passage to a Bridge, before the which stood a pillar, whereon hung a Table of Brasse with these words inscribed therein:

When the two unknowne shall arrive at the cruell Castle, all shall be at liberty.

This adventure, said Fulgoran, is questionlesse reserved for us: for you are unknown by name, and I by birth: wherefore I am perswaded, the Destinies have established it for our glory, let us proceed then if you please, and see what is promised us: So going to the bridge, they perceived a little stream running under it, that seemed to be swoln with the bloud of a great many murdered persons. O me! said Fulgoran, how much doth this object so full of hor­rour abase the glory of these proud buildings, which doubtlesse were not ere­cted but to draw Knights hither, and then to destroy them; neverthelesse I will increase the number of those that are here sacrificed, or overthrow the power of it. Scarcely had he spoken thus, when as he saw coming in two se­verall wayes, a furious Giant with a mighty club in his hand, and the most dreadfull Serpent that can be imagined; he was covered all over with green scales, that were proofe against the cuttingst steele in the world; his throat, whereinto a man might easily enter seemed to be a fornace, and the ground was so violently beaten by his tail, eight foot in length, that it trembled round about him. Fulgoran, whose courage was incapable of feare, thinking the defeat of this creature more difficult then that of the Giant, marched against him, leaving the other combat to his companion, and instantly discharged so mighty a blow on his head, that he was constrained with it to shut his mouth, which before he held wide open to devour him. The Knight much vexed for having imployed so much force in vain, struck him again on the body with such violence, that he made him recoil three or four paces back. Now this [Page 97] blow serving but to incense him the more, he flew upon him so furiously, as he overthrew him to the earth, tearing his shield from his arm. Fear doth fur­nish us with wings, and many times is cause of our preservation: Fulgoran finding himselfe in that plight, and without a shield, was in some doubt of his life; but suddenly getting up, and feeling his strength increase with his chol­ler, he gave the Serpent such a smart thrust in his eye, as he passed his sword a foot deep into his head. The beast growing mad with the pain of his wound, made three or four steps back, and with his huge long tail smote the Knight so terribly on the helmet, that he was once more compelled to kisse the ground with an opinion that a tower had fallen upon him; the violence of the blow having somewhat astonished him, he was not able presently to rise, so that the Serpent seeing him lying along, leapt to him, and seizing on him with his teeth laboured to bite his armour in pieces; but Fulgoran that had not lost his judgement gave him another thrust where there were no scales, running his sword up to the hilts in his belly. The pangs of death making this fierce ani­mal fall off three or four paces from him, the Knight much troubled to behold himselfe without a sword, stood in a maze, when as Fortune presented him with the means, not onely to save himselfe, but to conquer also: for the Giant, that combated the unknown Knight, being exceedingly vexed to see his bloud trickle out from divers parts of his body, came up so close to him, as think­ing to discharge a blow on his enemies head, he bit his arm on his helmet with such force, that it quite stund it, so that his club fell out of his hand close by Fulgoran, who speedily catching of it up, gave the Serpent such a deadly stroke with it just between both the eyes, as his brains flew out. This victory, as glorious as little expected, serving but to increase his courage, he turned him about, having first plucked his sword out of the Serpents belly, to go unto the succour of the unknown Knight, but perceiving his adversaries head at his feet, he went and sate him down on a great stone to take breath, thinking that so painful a beginning would have a more difficult ending. The desire he had to see the issue of this adventure, and the glory which he hoped for from it, not suffering him long to rest, he arose [...] little after, and passing under another Arch which he saw on his left hand, he was ready to enter into a little wood, when as he perceived ten hideous Salvages come out of it, whereof five began to assault him terribly with their massie clubs, the other five giving the un­known Knight the same welcome; who finding himselfe amongst such dread­full enemies, was in some doubt of his life: neverthelesse, resolving to sell it dearly, he bestirred himselfe with much valour and dexterity. But it much in­raged him for that his sword could not make way thorow the shaggy hair of these monsters, which crushed his bones with their heavie clubs. On the o­ther side Fulgoran laid fearfully about him: for desiring either to dye or to vanquish, he had already overthrown two of them dead at his feet, defending himself couragiously from the rest that pressed him with incredible fury. The combat being in this dangerous estate, the unknown Knight enraged for that he could not as yet see any bloud drawn from his enemies, gave one of them such a thrust in the belly, as he ran him quite thorow and thorow, laying him dead on the grasse; but he had not time to rejoyce at this his lucky dispatch of that monster, for the rest charged him at the very same instant with two such cruell blows, as they extended him on the earth quite void of sense; be­leeving then that he was dead, they yelled forth such a dreadfull cry, as the whole Island resou [...]ded therewith, whereby Fulgoran being drawn to look a­bout [Page 98] for to see whence it might proceed, perceived the misfortune of his com­panion, whereat he was so exceedingly incensed, that taking his sword in both hands, he discharged it so forcibly upon one of them, as the hair not able to withstand the edge thereof, it divided his head in two pieces; whereupon, not regarding the rest, he ran suddenly to the unknown Knight, whom his adver­saries were a disarming; and carried with the same fury as before, he struck one of them so terribly on the shoulder, as he cut him down to the very girdle. The other three beholding this terrible blow, presently forsook their former man, and joyning with them that remained, they assailed him so furiously, that they gave him no leave to breathe, their strokes descending so thick upon him, as his shield seemed to be an anvill whereon 5 or 6 Smiths were a hammering. Seeing himself pressed in this sort, & fearing that at length he should fall under the weight of these strokes, he began to retire by little and little towards the Arch, that so he might avoid fighting with them all at once, when as a big Knight in gray Armour presented himselfe, who seeing the inequality of this fray, drew out his sword, and therewith charged one of the Salvages with such strength, as he sent his club arm and all unto the ground; not contented there­with, he gave another such a thrust just in the throat, as the point of his sword came out at the nape of his neck, laying him dead on the grasse. Fulgoran no lesse amazed then pleased with the valour of this new commer, took his sword again in both hands, and fearing lest the glory of this adventure might be ra­vished from him, he struck one of them that pursued him very hard, with such violence on the thigh, as cut it sheere off, placing him in the number of those that live not. The two that still remained, beholding the horrible butchery of thir companions, would have saved themselves by flight; howbeit they were followed so close by the two Knights, as their deaths were not deferred but to the third blow they received. This victory being thus gloriously obtai­ned, Fulgoran going to the grey Knight, spake in this manner: Noble sir, I must render that unto your valour which all the world cannot refuse you, and give you thanks for my deliverance: if I live, it is through you, but I will gladly spend so much bloud for your service as you have now preserved in my body; pursue the good fortune which brought you hither, the glory of this adventure is reserved for you, and the beginning that I have given to it, shall not make me desire to oppose your enterprize. I have not done any thing, sir, answered he embracing him, for your succour, but what the Law of Knight­hood commanded me. So many enemies as you have extended heer on the earth, and that dreadfull serpent which lies dead yonder, are assured testimo­nies that you can vanquish without me, and defeat your enemies without my assistance; wherefore I will never attribute unto my selfe the honour due to your courage, which verily is more then humane, but shall be glad to go on with you, and in all things be governed by your command: Herewith they embraced again, and were disposing of themselves to proceed in their en­terprize, when as Fulgoran bethinking him of his companion, went presently unto him, to see whether he were yet in case to receive any service from him. Having then unlaced his helmet, he found his face all covered with bloud, but yet was much cheered to see him still breathe. Courage, said he unto him, our enemies are slain, and you revenged for the outrage they did you. This victo­ry, answered he somewhat faintly, would be a great contentment unto me, were I sure that it had not cost you too much of your bloud. I feel much pain, replied Fulgoran, from so many blowes that I have received; but the [Page 99] Clubs being unable to to pierce my Armes, I have not lost one drop of bloud, the only thing that now troubles me, is to see you so ill. It is true, answered he, that I am very light headed, but time wil restore me my judge­ment, with my strength, and if our Squires were heer to tend me, I am per­swaded I should be well again in a little time. Fulgoran, who highly pri­zed him, ran incontinently to the first Arch of the bridge to call them, and leaving him in their hands, he passed on with the gray Knight, till they came to the Marble walls, where they parted upon the encounter of two wayes, Fulgoran taking that on the right hand, and the gray Knight the left; going then on, with wonder to see so strong walls, and dangerous guards, they came much about the same time unto two gates, the gray Knight to that on the west side, and Fulgoran to the other that looked towards the Sun rising, so that the sound of their knocking was heard both at one in­stant, whereupon the gates flew open with a most dreadfull noyse; which notwithstanding, stayed not from entring in with their shields on their arms, and their swords in their hands: But they had not made three steps, when as Fulgoran saw one of the hugest and most deformed Giants that might be, advance towards him with an Axe of ten foot long, which he discharged at his head, with a confident beliefe to cleave him to the middle, notwithstanding the goodnesse of his Arms; howbeit he nimbly avoided the blow by leaping aside, so that it lighted upon the ground, whereinto it entred a great dep [...]h: Fulgoran laying hold on that advantage, struck him so furiously on the arm, that he separated it from his body; and not satisfied therewith, he was going to double his blow when as the Giant more through rage then judgement, closed with him, and with his left hand ar­resting the stroke, lifted him up, mangre all his resistance, with a purpose to batter him against the ground; but the Knight perceiving himselfe in that extremity, drew out a short dagger that he had, and stab'd it into his belly which was unarmed. This stroke bringing death with it, the Giant tumbled presently down, but with such ill fortune for Fulgoran, as he fell under him, being almost stifled with the weight of his body: neverthelesse, collecting all his forces together, he so heaved at his dead enemy, that he turned him aside, thereby clearing himselfe of such an heavie burthen; howbeit he was constrained to sit down and rest himselfe till he was raised again by a new occasion.

In the mean time, the gray Knight was not idle, for passing in just when Fulgoran did, he was incountered with a furious Bull, and a most fearfull Dragon, which shewing him his teeth, that were a cubit long, and as sharp as a razor, menaced him with a [...] approaching death; yet being as valiant as could be, he was no whit abashed, but presented the point of his sword to the Dragon, that thinking to swallow up his arm, received a dangerous wound in the throat: This hurt inraging the beast, he retired a little, to cast up the bloud that choked him; but the Knight knowing he must lose no time, presently advanced, and guided by his good fortune, gave such ano­ther thrust in his belly, as his guts came presently forth with his life: That done, he made head to the Bull; but he was so neer him, that he could nei­ther avoid the push of his horns, nor make use of his sword; so as all that he could do was again to present him with his shield, but the beast came running at him with so much fury, as the Knight was inforced to tumble three or four times over upon the sand, with extream danger of his life, [Page 100] had not the Bull, leaping and bounding, gone a good way from him to fetch his course with the more fury at him, gave him leisure to rise, but in so due a season, as with a light leap he avoided the second incounter of his horns, upon the point whereof he thought the hazard of his life did hang: not willing to sticke in so fair a way, he made as though he would stand his return, but stepping aside, he struck him so right upon the neck, that he cut it half in sunder, letting him run about the court with the pangs of death, which was not long deferred, for passing by Fulgoran, who then was up, he received another blow in the very same place, which laid his head upon the earth. The two Knights, that saw not one another, the house being between them, having no more imployment below, went up by two pair of stairs, and found themselves, the gray Knight in one of the fairest chambers that ever he had seen, and Fulgoran in a hall, where the first object that his eyes lighted on, was the beautifull wife of Dardanor, chained in a corner, half naked, and almost covered over with bloud. Good Gods, said he, stepping a little back! Where am I? Do I not see Clairangia, the Queen of my de­sires, as well as of Romeria, in chains, that are onely fit for slaves? Ah Ma­dam! Those that have thus intreated you, understand not your merit: But do not, I beseech you, afflict your self any further, See heer your Fulgoran, who vows by all the Deities, that he adores, either to revenge your wrongs, or to die with you. Alas! said she with a sigh, and no lesse rapt with asto­nishment, then delight, to see this Knight there, whom she loved as much as her life, it is most true, that the Gods never forsake them that in their af­flictions crave their aid: Dear friend, I alwayes hoped that my freedom would be procured by your hand, and though the strength of this place was very great, yet I beleeved that your vertue could meet with nothing able to resist it: you are come just as it should be, for I had not long to live, the torments I save suffered have been so grievous, as I wonder how I could have patience to endure them: You are doubly bound to a revenge; but be­cause you know not yet this secret, I must tell you that our private caresses at Celibana, made my belly so to swell, that you may see good testimony of it ere it be long; howbeit, Dardanor was free from all suspition of it, till an old Sorceresse, sister to the King of the frozen Isles, who died at the great battell of Aleppo, came into the Court the same day that he returned from the warre of Greece, and said to him: Knowest thou (King of Romeria) that thy wife is with child of a son, which is none of thine, and that shall one day, when he comes to know his father, ruine the Altars of the Gods whom we adore? No, thy knowledge doth not extend so far; but for that I am obliged to preserve the Pagan name, I came to thee to advertise thee of the affront done unto thee. And the better to clear this point, remember the Count of China, he spake but out of suspition, yet was his accusation most true, and therefore would advise thee to choak this brat before it be able to do mischiefe; but because it would be a dishonour for thee to defile thy hands in the bloud of thy wife, leave thy revenge to me, and give me permission to punish her my way: you know the violent humour of Dardanor. This discourse having rekindled the displeasure that he had conceived against me, at the time when you delivered me, he presently put me into this womans hand, who making me go with her into a Chariot drawn by four Griffions, brought me to this house, chained me by the neck, as now you see me, and ever since hath daily whipped me with rods, threatning to put me and my child to one of the cruellest deaths [Page 101] that ever was seen, which she would questionlesse have done long since, but that she still told me, how the stars did not as yet give way to her desires, so as I beleeve our lives are limitted by the onely pleasure of the gods. This is a case, answered Fulgoran, whereof we are not now to speak; let us rather seek out this old witch, to punish her as she deserves: But pardon me, Madam, if this desire be more pressing with me, then the care of free­ing you now from these chains, for so long as she lives, we shall have no­thing but troubles here, I will therefore pursue that businesse with all the speed I may: So making obeisance to his Lady, he went up a little paire of stairs, which carried him to the top of the house, where at his first com­ming he espied this Enchantresse, drawing figures and characters upon the floor. As I live, said he, old Megara, taking her fast by the hair, which hung about her ears, your devils shall not now serve your turn, but you shall give an account of your cruelty to a Lady which you have held so long heer in fetters: Dragging her then down the stairs, he came into the hall, at the end whereof he saw a Knight, who comming upon the cry of that Sorceresse, said: Ah, Sir Knight, do not imploy your self in fighting with a woman. Fulgoran mad angry, to see his revenge deferred, gave her such a blow upon the stomack, as he laid her half dead upon the floor; and not considering, that the Knight which spake to him, was the same, who so lately had afflicted him, and that forced by the charms of this woman was come thither, laid hand on his sword, and began so cruell a combat with him, that all the hall rang with the noise of their blows, Fulgoran fought very bravely, for that the preservation of his Mistris was in que­stion, but his opposite was so stout, as he durst not hope for the victory, which put him in such a rage, as he redoubled his blows with infinite vio­lence; but he was no lesse pressed by his adversary, who charged him so fiercely, that he did not remember he had ever been so harldly laid to un­lesse it were when he fought with Florisel about the death of Balard; the combat growing furious, through their choler, they continued in that man­ner almost three hours, without discerning to whom fortune would be most favourable: But as they were in this dispute, the old woman gat up, all a­mazed, and thinking to escape into her Cabinet, where the prime of all her charms remained, cast her self between the Knights, who having their swords advanced to charge one another, did let them descend in one instant upon her head, which they divided into three or four pieces. Where­upon, the earth trembled, and the foundations of that building, which were laid by Art Magick, were scattered with a thunder clap; the Knights finding themselves in the field, wondered much at their combat, which they well remembered, and much more that they saw neither marble nor towers, but onely the bodies of the Savages, of the Giants, and the monsters, which were naturall, and not forged, an infinite number of bones of men, devou­red by those creatures, Clairangia bound to a tree, with thirty or forty Knights in the same plight hard by her, and the body of the Sorceresse di­vided, as I have told you; Fulgoran, who had nothing more pressing, then the misfortune of his Mistris, ran presently to her, cut the cords that tied her, besought her to accept the desire he had to do her service, and not be troubled though her habits were not sutable to her royall greatnesse.

I am, said she, so contented to see my self free, and so neer to you, as I no more complain of my passed torments; Let us onely think of getting [Page 102] out of this place, and afterwards we will consider of the means to be reven­ged of the ingratitude of a man, that did not merit the honour of my com­pany, as well as we are delivered from her whose malice sought our destru­ction. Whilst these discourses were re-inkindling the fires of their former loves, the gray Knight unbound all those prisoners, whom that hag had re­served for a torture far worse then death; and finding amongst them four very young, and exceeding handsome, he courteously demanded of them, whence they were: We are, said one of them, Christian Princes, knighted but a few moneths since, but so infortunate in the beginning of our arms, (being unhappily fallen upon this place, where without your aid we had certainly found our graves) as we cannot hardly say, that we have given the least proof of the valour which our fathers demonstrated in an age far younger then ours; This first is called Leonidas, son to Astibel of Mesopo­tamia, the next is Abies of Ireland, son to King Cildadan, the third is Frizell of Arcadia, son to Giorntes, nephew to the good King Lisard, and my self am an Amason, daughter to Celafia, of whom perhaps, you have sometimes heard: We came, drawn by the beauty of the place, into these parts, were made prisoners by the Giants or the Savages, and are now all dispo­sed to serve you, since your valour hath given us the means so to do. The gray Knight, finding himself obliged by this offer, very curteously thanked them, and knowing them to be Christians, left them to the liberty of their actions, departing from them to Fulgoran, who having not seen him yet without his helmet, spake thus unto him: Brave warrior, It is time, me thinks, that I should know him, to whom I ow so much service; be pleased then to tell me your name, and to let me see your face. I cannot, answered he, refuse you so small a request; and now you see me, said he, taking off his helmet, and discovering a face, brown indeed, but grave and amiable, as might be wished; but if I must proceed farther, and tell you also who I am, you shall know that I am called Prigmaleon, son to the great Emperour of Aethiopia, and more pleased with your acquaintance, then with the possession of the best part of the world; with that they embra­ced, and letting the young Knights depart in Prigmaleons Frigot, they went to the unknown Knight, who was now well recovered, and so all three, with Clairangia, imbarked themselves in Fulgorans vessell, which with its wonted celerity, made to the main sea, whilst they were furnished with good meat for their repast, and good beds for their repose.

CHAP. XXIII. Fulgoran and Prigmaleon meet with two Fleets at sea in fight together, one of the which by their assistance gets the victory.

THE Bark wherein Fulgoran and Prigmaleon were passing on, with incredible speed, to the great contentment of all the company, had now sailed three dayes with­out any stop; when as about break of the fourth day, Fulgoran, that could not sleep, being troubled with his amorous fires, [...]hich were every minute increased by the continuall sight of his Lady, saw a Bark passe hard by him, in which was a great Knight, and a very beautifull maid, who seemed to take no delight in any thing but her tears, nor to finde any ease for her grief, but in her sighes, which so moved him to compassion, that he would presently have leaped into the Bark for to succour her, out of a perswasion that her sorrows proceeded from the force which that great Knight intended unto her, had not the wind, which drove away the vessell, crossed his desire: but seeing her gone, and not knowing how to tack about for to follow her, he was so inraged to be in that sort carried away by anothers pleasure, rather then his own, that a thousand times in his minde he cursed the power of Magick, though it had so often given him assistance; wherefore in a great cha [...]e he was going to steer himself, and had commanded his Squires, whom he had called up, to bring the sails about, when as he saw a Dwarf at the helm, that said unto him: Suffer not your self, Sir, to be so transported with passion; those by whose Art you are now guided, will not suffer you to slip any occasion that may adde to your glory, but such affairs, as are both of importance, and pressing, must precede them that may be deferred without danger: ha­ving thus spoken, he vanished out of his sight, leaving the Knight more quieted in his minde then before; and not a little wondering at the vast knowledge of those, to whose skill it seemed his fortune was inseparably attracted: Laying himself down then upon his bed, he quickly fell asleep, but he did not continue so long, for his Squire, waking them all, shewed them afar off a great number of ships, in battell array, ready to attacque another fleet, which in the like order appeared against them. Their vessell sailing that way, as they desired, they saw these vessels meet together, and begin a furious Sea-fight; in which at the first, they medled not, being as yet uncertain, in favour of whether side they were to employ their arms: But discerning white crosses in the flags of those on the right hand, they resolved to be for the other side, and accordingly had their swords in their hands, to give a charge, when as they saw a man in the midst of the waves, who laying hold of their ship, besought them, to take him up, and not to suffer him to perish in that pitifull element: The Squires having drawn him aboord, Fulgoran, that guessed him to be a Pagan, came to him, and asked him whom he served. He answered, that he was a subject to Darda­nor, King of Romeria, who having raised a mighty army, and shipped it in [Page 104] the fleet which they saw to invade the kingdom of Canabea, in revenge of the affront done him by the King thereof, through his too much fam [...]liarity with the Queen his wife, contrary to the respects of the friendsh [...]p between them, had met with this fleet of Christians bound for Trebisond; and being a mortall enemy to that profession, hath charged them in hope to defeat them. As I live, said Fulgoran, your master is a villain, and though by my religion I an obliged to the ruine of the Christians, yet for this once will I be their ser­va [...]t. Get you then into the fi [...]st of your ships that you come to (for I will not out of my bate to your master make you lose your life after I have saved it) and tell Dardanor that heer is the King of Canabea, who will not put him to the trouble of going so far, since he hath so conveniently met with forces heer, so turning to Prigmalion, he thus spake unto him: Deare friend, I am extreamly grieved that I must employ my sword for the enemies of our Gods, but the wrong which this Prince hath done his wife, which is she that is here aboord us, and that which he intended to me, raising this mighty Ar­my to ruine my countrey, do not permit me to incounter him without re­venge: for we to make use of the times and occasions that Fortune presents us w [...]th: If you will assist me, I shall take it for a singular favour, if not, at least wise affoord it to the affl [...]ction of a Lady, unjustly banished her countrey, which as a Soveraigne she possessed, and as a malefactor basely entreated by a jealous and cruell husband.

How fir? said Prigmaleon, do you think that I will leave you in the fight, and turn my Arms against a side for which you shall declare your selfe? Be assured, never: for I do not consider with whom, but why I fight; Dardanor is your enemy, therefore I cannot love him; he hath raised these forces against you, we must endevour to defeat them; and, as you said, m [...]ke use of time and occasion: Let us then follow our fortune, which offers it self so fairly unto us: And since the Christians have diverted the storme which was intended should fall upon you, let us, if we can, procure them the victory, and overthrow the malitious designe of this ingratefull and barbarous Prince. With these words they passed into the middest of the two armies, and seeing the fight hottest between two great ships, which were grapled together, the one bea­ring the A [...]mes of Romeria in their tops; and the other w [...]it [...] Crosses with Eagles, they boorded the Pagans ship all three together, leaving their Squires in guard of their ba [...]k, and of Cl [...]rangia, who seemed more dead then alive, and began to make such a slaughter, as the deck was covered with bloud and dead karkasses. The Christians making use of the advantage which the Knights gave them, followed them close, and entring with them among their enemies, continued the butchery with so much fury, that the sea round about them was died all red with blood. Fulgoran knowing Dardanor by his rich Armor, in despight of all that were about him could do, got up to him, and letting flye a mighty blow at his head, he cut it in two pieces, laying him stark dead on the hatches. That done, he entred another ship of the enemies, which made a strong resistance, and beginning a like destruction, as in the for­mer, he overthrew so many dead into the sea, as the water was fu [...]l of them. This execution having continued above five hours, and the death of the King of Romeria being known, they presently tacked about, and the Captains de­siring to save that which remained after so furious a charge, retired to the next p [...]rt whence they came the same morning. Fulgoran being no lesse discreet then brave and able, taking a sudden resolution upon this retreat of the ene­my, [Page 105] turned himselfe about, and addressing himselfe to the Generall of the Chri­stians, whose valour, during the fight, he had admired, said unto him: Ex­cellent Prince, I know not whether you will think me bold to crave any thing of you, not having obliged you by precedent services to grant it, and being be­sides a worshipper of other Gods then yours; but vertue is to be exercised e­very where, and the duty which we ow to our religion, doth no [...] prohibite us to be courteous, and to help one another when occasion is offered: my ene­mies are defeated as well as yours; for you must know that this Fleet was in­tended against my countrey in revenge of a wrong that King Dardanor said he had received at my hands; howbeit, that the victory which you have glo­riously gotten, may be well managed, and that I may also make my benefit of it, for the reliefe of a distressed Queen, unto whom, as a Knight of worth, you also are bound not to refuse your assistance, be pleased to put your army again into battle array, and present it rather to fear, then wholly to destroy them: In the mean time I will go and visit them with their Queen, whom Fortune not long since put into my hands, to the end I may (if possibly I can) restore her to the Crown of Romeria, wherof she was deprived by the jealous humour of her husband, and bring her subjects to receive her commands, with as much obedience as heretofore. Brave warriour, answered he, I so approve of your compassion of an ill intreated Princesses misery, that in stead of denying you, I will my selfe accompany you into the countrey, that if her subjects will bee rebellious, we may with force reduce them to their duties, and leaving my course for Trebisond, where I beleeve I might be very necessary, in regard of the multitude of enemies, which i [...] may be do now ravage that countrey, I shall think it a glory to oblige you to that end, without sticking at the consideration of our different religions. As for the victory which you ascribe to me, I will not receive the honour of it, since you and your friends have the best part therein: for this army being levied against you, I will beleeve that I have only been an assistance to you, without whom I could never have vanqu [...]shed it. Let us then advance when you please, onely do me the favour I pray you, to tell me your n [...]mes. I am, said Fulgoran, so much obliged to you, as I cannot conceal my self from you; I am the King of Canabea, who not three months since held your Empire of [...]rebis [...]d in fear. But the losse of a very great num­ber of brave men of both sides, in the battle and skirmish between us, ma­king me desirous to decide our difference by a combat of four with so many of the Greek Princes, I sent presently to the Citie, where my offer was accep­ted. My men then being all embarked, except those that were of the party, we were in the field, and within the lists, when expecting nothing but sounding of the trumpers, we saw two damsels enter, who obtained a Boon both of us & our adversaries, carried us presently away, not permitting us any other triall then that of the lance, wherin the honour was equall▪ and now sailing in this sea, guided by Fortune and the waves, we discovered you this morning, and were ready to side with your enemies, your white crosses for bidding us to assist you against those of our religion; but understanding Dardanors designe, I followed your colours, and have left him in that case, as he shall never attempt again upon the estates of his neighbours: For these two Knights, said he, pointing unto Prigmalion and to the unknown Knight, I cannot dispense with the oath which they have taken not to reveale themselves: be pleased then, to ex­cuse me though I tell you no more, and that the favour you do me, may be compleat, refuse not the samething you required of me, I mean the knowing [Page 106] of you. Nor will I, answered he: for your freenesse with me, doth oblige me to more then that: I am Dorigel, King of the fortunate Island; and this A­mazon, which you see with her helmet on, is my wife, and called Cilinda, we came out of our countrey to carry aid to the Princes of Greece our kinsmen; neverthelesse, since the siege as you say, is raised, we will proceed no further in our intended voyage, but changing our designe, will employ this Army for the re-establishment of the Queen of Romeria. Commanding then his Fleet to go on, toward the evening the Army drew into order within a bow shot of them, giving Fulgoran time for the effecting of his designe: where­upon he departed in the same Bark that brought him thither, onely with his two friends, and the faire Queen of Romeria in his company. And holding up a gantlet in signe of parly, he went aboord the Admirall, where all the principall commanders were assembled; and adressing himselfe in particular to some that he knew, holding Clairangia by the hand, he so well remonstrated their duty unto them, that they all submitted to her as their Soveraigne Prin­cesse, protesting they were never so much discontented with any thing as her absence. Fulgoran infinitely pleased to see a new oath of allegeance unto her, and the affection that her subjects did beare her, besought her to give him leave to returne to the Christian Army, that hee might give Dorigel thanks for his assistance, which she could not well refuse him; yet granted it upon his promise of returning the next morning to conduct her into Romeria with a troop there to possesse him of the crown thereof, together with her selfe. But Fortune suffered him not to dispose of himselfe: for as he was with Prigmalion and the unknown Knight aboord his Bark, she put to sea in sight of both the Armies, with such celerity, as immediatly they had lost sight of her. Fulgoran was vexed at this sudden parting: for his amorous passions left him not in quiet, and gladly would he have returned to b [...]the himselfe in those delights which he had before with so much pleasure tasted. But calling to minde, that all things were disposed of by the ordinances of heaven, he grew more patient, seeming lesse troubled then he was by the secret conversa­tion of the two Knights that accompanied him. On the other side, the Queen was more grieved with separation, for feare that she should not see him again of a long time, she was ready to despaire; but desiring to have the cause of h [...]r grief concealed, lest otherwise she might be condemned for it, she carried her selfe so discreetly that it was beleeved she was not troubled with his absence, but onely in regard it much disordered her affairs. Dorigel seeing this his de­parture, and well knowing there was in that Bark no sailer, lesse wondered at it then others, for that he conceived, as the truth was, all this was done by the care which some Magician had of him. Being therefore advertised by a light Frigot which he had sent to the enemy, that Clairangia's affairs were setled, and she in security, he returned his Army into the fortunate Island, under the command of his wife Cilinda, and shipping himselfe with onely one Squire, sailed towards Constantinople, whither he understood all the Greek Princes were gone.

CHAP. XXIV. Fulgorans and Prigmalions adventure in the fearfull Isle.

FVlgora [...] being carried away by the winde, so much against his will, continually bestowed his thoughts in considering how lovers are alwayes crost in their affections, from whence drowing an infallible con­clusion of the uncertainty of things, discreetly re­solved, never more to hold himselfe assured of any, and to receive the disgraces and favours of the world with an equall minde. Having entertained himselfe the restof the day with these cogitations, night drew on, which gave him occasion to lay himselfe down upon his bed, where the labour he had endured being more powerfull then his fancies, he fell into a long and sound sleep. No man can doubt but that our imaginations do work strongly upon our senses, and that whilst our bodies are at rest, our souls do fix on the objects wherunto waking we were most intentive. This Knight being fallen asleep in disco [...]tent for the absence of his mistrisse, dreamed about break of day, that he found her sleeping on the fairest flowers that ever he had seen; & that when he drew towards her to enjoy the same privacies with her he had used to do, a Giant of a most horrid and hideous aspect, caught her up, and in spight of h [...] carrying her away, threw her and himselfe into a great lake, which was at the corner of the goodliest orchard in the world, and that transported with a furious despaire, he ran to cast himself after, that he might not overlive such a losse; when as o [...] of the la [...] a Nymph of most exq [...]site beauty, with her haire dispread over her neck and shoulders, appeared, who said to him: Fulgoran, remember, th [...] good men are not born to be slaves to their passions, and that a worthy Knight should never give himself over to in­considerate affections, which oftentimes bring along with them strange mis­fortunes. Mark well my beauty, which is by the heavens reserved for thee. It shall one day extinguish the unchast flames wherewith thou now art scor­ched, and make thee t [...]ste the sweetnesse which is found in the embraces of a chast and vertuous woman. Saying so, she dived under water, leaving him so displeased to see her so soon berest him, that his body laboured no lesse them his minde: so as a waking a little after sun rising, he found himself all in a sweat, and his eyes full of teares. O yee Gods! said he to himselfe, recording what he had seen, are these the effects of my dreame? or rather the favour of the Gods, who desiring to preserve me from ruine, command me to shun all occa­sions of offending them by my cri [...]s? Spirits have indeed some shadow of truth, but they use not to appeare with so many circumstances, nor for the most part do we see them for our good. These are without doubt, revelations upon which I must settle my co [...]tent. I am advised to shun all foolish love, I will do it; I am counselled to le [...]n more wit by mine own sufferings, it is but reason; and out of this faithful advertisement I must take a good lesson, to love for the glory of a love, both more pious and better grounded. Farewell then all witlesse passions, which have so often troubled me, I will make my selfe no [Page 108] more a slave to your commands, I am now again mine own, or at least I sub­ject my self to a more pleasing and secure Empire.

Rising then free from all care, unlesse it were to finde out that fair one, whose image was ingraven in his heart, he waked Prigmaleon, and the un­known Knight, that were still sleeping, and shewing them an Iland afar off, put them in some hope that their Bark might bring them thither to meet with some adventure. Within two hours they came to land, not more wondering at the beauty of the place, wherein, about a flight shot off, they saw a stately Castle, then to finde a big Knight in the sea up to the knees, couragiously defending himself from two Giants, and forty or fifty vil­l [...]ins, armed with murrions and halberts, who pressing him very sorely, made him despair both of victory and life. The inequality of this fight perswading them to relieve him, they instantly leaped on shore, where straight way a Gentlewoman presented her self at their feet: My Lords, said she, with sighs and tears, have pity upon my grief, and do not l [...]ave this good Knight in the hand of these villains: I brought him hither upon the word of Scarafand, the Master of this place, and the most perfidious man breathing, with an opinion that he should combat with none but him­self, for the deliverance of a Gentleman, whom I infinitely love; but the traitour without regard of his protested f [...]ith, hath engaged him as you see, after that he had in single combat slain one of his sons, so as I can expect nothing but his death, if you assist him not. Rise, Gentlewoman, said Prigmaleon, and be assured that we will not fail to succour him in this di­stresse. Herewith they drew out their swords, and began to march toward the enemy: But they met one of the Giants, with five and twenty halber­tiers, comming to stop their passage, which Fulgoran considering, and fear­ing the big Knight would not be able longer to endure the violence of so many opposites, fl [...]w in amongst them, with the unknown Knight, leaving Prigmaleon to incounter the Giant, and laid upon them with such fury, that he presently sent five or six of them dead to the earth; having scattered them in that sort, he passed on running, till he came to those that fought with the big Knight, where, at his first comming in, he gave the Giant such a blow upon the head, as he tumbled him into the water, out of which he never rose again, for the weight of his arms keeping him down, he was there drowned, receiving in that maner the punishment of his wickednesse. The great Knight seeing himself so opportunely seconded, quickly got out of the water, and thrusting himself into the midst of those rascalls, in a short time laid seven or eight of them at his feet, imitating Fulgoran, who to their horrour, making them feel both the edge and point of his sword, cut halberts, shields, cuirasses, murrions, in pieces, so that in a little while he had strewed the ground with armour that he had hewen in sunder, and with arms, legs, and heads, that he divided from bodies. Those which remained, seeing with what rage these Knights did massacre them, fled with all speed into the Castle, and quickly locked themselves up therein, expecting what fortune would befall their companions: In the mean time, Prigmaleon combatted Scarafand (one of the most furious Giants of the earth) with so much valour, as Fulgoran was amazed at it; for he had made so many breaches in his arms, as he had scarce any bloud left in him; so that he fell by the violence of a blow that lighted on his helmet, at the same time that Fulgoran, and the great Knight, beholding the unknown [Page 109] Knight shrewdly pressed by these rogues, recommenced their butchery, which was such, as there survived not one, but onely the four that had be­fore recovered the Castle: This execution ended, the great Knight unla­ced his helmet, and craved the Knights hand to kisse, in acknowledgement of their favour in succou [...]ing him. When as Fulgoran, who knew him, cast his arms about his neck, crying out: O ye Gods! said he, What a happy meeting is this? And how am I ingaged to these Sages, by whose direction our ship hath been guided to this Island, since by my arrivall here I receive such a benefit? My dear friend, Grandimore, I never thought to finde you in such danger, and I was amazed at the valour which you shewed in your combat with so many mighty enemies; yet, having otherwhere seen grea­ter proof thereof, I cannot doubt, but in the end, the victory would have been yours though the number of them were excessive: Neverthelesse, I heartily thank the Gods for bringing me hither, where I might in some sort requite you for that which you did for me, when you undertook the combat against the Count of Clina in my behalf. At these words, Gran­dimore, who till then knew him not, opened his arms, and embracing him with much affection, remained a good while unable to speak, through ex­cesse of joy, but when his tongue was at liberty, he said: My content in thus meeting you, is no lesse then that you testifie in beholding of me: My Lord, I wandered about the world onely to seek you, that I might do you service; and beleeve me, I am not more glad of the saving of my life (which is preserved onely by your valour, and that of these brave war­rio [...]s in your company) then that I am to see you now in the estate I have alwayes wished to finde you; but we shall have time enough to confer of these things hereafter, let us now, if you please, go on with our businesse, and see what we have more to do in this Island, for the enlarging of a Knight whom I must render to this Gentlewoman. All of them agreeing with him in opinion, they advanced toward the Castle, which they found close shut against them; and not knowing how to get in, they promised life to as many as were there; when as a horrible Giantesse, who was come out of a secret postern, came behinde Prigmaleon, and struck him so mighty a blow with a mace, that she laid him quite astonished in the dust, and re­doubling Fulgorans helmet, before he could ward it with his shield, she left him in the same estate, which put Grandimore in such a rage, as laying hand on his sword, without remembring her sex, he discharged a blow at her head with such violence, as he clove her in sunder to the girdle; whereup­on he ran presently to Fu [...]goran, took him in his arms, and unlaced his hel­met to give him air; whilst the unknown Knight did as much to Prigmaleon: Time, and the helps which they used to them, having restored the Knights to their senses, with the infinite content of the other two and the Gentle­woman. Grandimore being vexed for that they would not open the gate, took up the Giantesses mace, and therewith began to knock so at it, as all the shore resounded again; but the unknown Knight, remembering that the Giantesse came forth by a back way, went about the house, till find [...]ng the place whence she issued, he went in without any fear. And having gone a while under ground, he met with a pair of stairs, which brought him into a great court, where he saw a young Giant, of eight or ten yeers old, with three Knights, and the four villains, that had saved themselves by flight, busily imployed in bringing pieces of wood to rampire up the gate [Page 110] against Grandimores blows; The ratling that his arms made comming into the Court, caused the Knights to turn unto him, when as thinking that some other followed him, they presently fell on their knees, craved their lives; which was freely granted them, upon condition the prisoners should be opened, and all that were there detained set at liberty. This promise ha­ving assured them, they opened to Grandimore, whose chiefest care being to satisfie the Gentlewoman, he commanded all the prisoners to be brought forth, which were about threescore, as well men as women, the most part of whom had been deflowred by the two Giants, and then cast into the dungeon. The Knight, which was the occasion of this enterprise, com­ming out with the rest, and knowing how much he was obliged to the Gen­tlewoman, whom he also loved, besought these Knights that he might marry her before they left the Castle, which was granted them, to their infinite content. The prisoners being freed, and the Knights having need of some rest, they went up into the lodgings, after they had committed the charge of the Castle to Celisdan, (so was the Gentlewomans sweet heart called) and renewing their caresses, they related their adventures, with as much satisfaction as wonder to all the company: In such discourse they passed away the time till supper, after which every man retired to his rest, till two howrs after midnight, that the Sentinell came, and awaking them, declared, how he had seen a chariot, drawn with six great horses, go by, wherein were five or six women, that made the strangest moan in the world, the fear of two dreadfull Giants, and twenty Knights, that rode by, and threatened them, not being able to make them hold their peace. These Princes, alwayes forward to succour such as were in distresse, having re­ceived this intelligence, instantly arose, and commanding the grooms to make ready the best horses that the Giants had in the stable, armed them­selves with all speed possible, and guided by a fair and clear moon-light, followed the way that the Sentinell had shewed them; when as they had ridden hard two howrs and better, about day break they came to a port, where they found the horses and the chariot, but that empty, and without any to guide it: This somewhat troubled them, but when they espied not far off a ship, newly under sail, they presently conjectured, that they whom they sought for were aboord her, wherewith they were extreamly vexed, because they could not succour those afflicted women: Whilst they looked one at another, without speaking, as it were lamenting their want of some vessell to carry them; Fulgoran turning about, descried a Bark afar off, which comforted him a little, especially when he observed, that it stood right with them: but when it was come neerer, and that he percei­ved it to be the same in which he had navigated so long before, he quickly alighted, and addressing himself to Prigmaleon; See, Sir, said he, our friends do not leave us without their assistance; behold heer our little Bark which comes so pat for us to pursue these theeves according to our desire; Let us lose no time then, but make use of the occasion that so favourably presents it self; whereupon, having all left their horses, they presently with their Squires got aboord the vessell, which not tarrying for any other lading, put off straight to sea, following the ship where the Giants were, to the in­finite contentment of the Knights, who entertained the time with discour­ses of the admirable knowledge of those Sages, which in this sort were able to command the winds, and order the inconstancy of that mercilesse [Page 111] element, highly commending the care which they shewed in directing all their designes onely to the honouring of vertue. The one half of the day being pleasingly spent in these discourses, they saw the ship which they had in chase, grapled with another, and hearing a terrible noise, presently conjectured that it proceeded from the fight of some Knights, who meeting with the Giants, and not enduring the lamentation of those captive women, had set upon them, with a resolvtion to revenge their wrongs. That conceit having put them in a readinesse, they immediatly came up close to those vessels, in one of the which they saw onely four Knights, two very big, who had taken the Giants to taske, and other two of a lesser proportion, that opposed the fury of twenty strong Knights. The courage wherewith these four Knights maintained the combat giving them exceeding satisfaction, they stood a good while looking on them, admiring the horrible blows of the first four, and the gracefull activity which the other two shewed in holding so many play: But doubting their too long stay might perhaps be prejudiciall to these four brave warriors, they leapt into the Giants ship in despight of their Knights resistance. And at the first boording of it laid four of them upon the deck, which might have affrighted the rest, if one of the Giants, seeing that slaughter, had not left his enemy almost deprived of sense, with a mighty blow that he gave him, come in to their succor; his presence animating them they began to fly upon our Knight with more fury then before, whilst their Master combated Grandimore: But being fallen into the hands of the most valiant Knights in the world, their utmost indeavour nothing availed them; for within a while, the hatches were covered with their armour cut in a thousand pie­ces, and the water, with heads and quarters which every minute they made flie over boord, so as none remained alive save the two Giants, who be­holding their troops defeated, redoubled their blows with such fury, as the Knights were amazed at it; but straining themselves to discharge their blows with their utmost force, caused the bloud to issue so abundantly out of the many wounds they had received, that they both fell down dead, al­most at one instant, the one at the feet of Grandimore, and the other into the sea, by the valour of him with whom he fought. Fulgoran then with Prigmaleon, advanced towards the Knights to salute them, but hearing a great noise in their own ship, they suddenly turned about, and seeing the unknown Knights Squire fallen into the sea, they all made what haste they could to save him: which when they had done, and taken him up, their ship flew off from the other, with such celerity, as the Knights had no time either to give them thanks for their assistance, or to enquire of their names and fortunes. Now whilst their Bark carried them away in this sort to a Port of Greece, where within two dayes after they arrived, to the ex­ceeding contentment of Grandimore, that was sore wounded, and had none in their vessell who knew how to cure him: The other Conquerours, ha­ving romaged the Giants ship, met with a most beautifull Lady, accompa­nied with six maids, so sad and disfigured with the fear they were in, that there appeared no bloud in their faces: Going then to comfort her, and bringing her forth into the light, one of the Knights kneeling down, and kissing her hand, said unto her: Madam, put away all fear, for your ene­mies are dead, and heer are none but such as onely breathe for your safety. We will let you understand who we are, as we well know that you are the [Page 112] peerlesse Princesse Fontanea, daughter to the great Emperour Amadis of Greece, and now Queen of France, assuring you that there are not any in the world more devoted to your service then our selves; I am your Nephew Silvan, and this brave warriouresse is the fair Savagesse, lately become my wife: These two great Knights, are the Cenophales, whom the Em­perour Spheramond, and the valiant Amadis d' Astre made purchase of in the wars of Pe [...]sia, and whom I met at sea bound for Constantinople: If I did not know that Fortune taketh delight in crossing those which are raised to any greatnesse, I should be amazed to finde you a prisoner, and in danger of suffering violence from the base vilains into whose hands you were fallen: But, not being ignorant of her malice, I take your misfor­tune to be such as may befall to any man, onely this is it I wonder at, how these Giants could take you out of your own Kingdom, and from amongst your subjects, a valiant people.

Ah, dear Nephew, said she, imbracing and kissing him with much affection, this mishap did not befall me in France, but in an Island of this sea, whether a storm had driven me, with thirty Gentlemen that at­tended on me, who gave but too good proof of their fidelity; for after they had slain one of three Giants, and twelve Knights, they maintained the fight with the rest to the last gasp: I was going by the consent of the Prince Lucendus my husband, who intends to follow me presently, towards Constantinople; but my voiage was at an end, and my life at the last pe­riod, had I not met with you. I commend the election you have made of this gallant Amazon, whom I will ever love and cherish, as I have alwayes done your mother: And for these two brave Giants, that ac­company you, let them be assured, I will never forget the pains they have taken to set me free. Then going to the fair Savagesse, she enter­tained her with as much kindnesse and respect, as her valour, and their al­liance meritted: then giving these two Cenophales her hands to kisse, she received them very graciously. These complements over, she went in­to Silvans ship with all her women, who seemed as if they had been ri­sen from death to life, and commanding the Marriners to hoise up all their sails, she made directly for Constantinople; where within two dayes she landed, to the infinite joy of all those Princes, who were thither returned from Trebisond, about ten or twelve dayes before her arrivall there.

CHAP. XXV. Florizell of Niquea proclaims a T [...]rnament in honour of the French Queens arrivall: the end thereof, with the brave actions of a number of gallant Knights.

THE arrivall of this matchlesse Queen, with Silvan, and the beautifull Savagesse his wife, causing a publick re­j [...]ycing, Florizell determined to keep open Court [...]or eight dayes together; during which time a Iust was or­dained for the young Knights, and a Tourney for the conclusion thereof, with a safe conduct for all strangers. Messengers were therefore sent into every quarter, that these first magnificences, after the death of so many Princes, might be the more glorious, and that those which survived, might in this sort demonstrate, that their courages were nothing abated by afflictions. All things being disposed to pleasure, a multitude of good Kn [...]ghts flocked thither from all parts: Artificers were set on work, horses were mana­ged for the Tilt, the trumpets sounded in every corner: In briefe, no­thing was spoken of but mirth, and all men strove to shew their gladnesse for the greater contentment of the Princes. The first day of the Iusts being come, and Florizell of Niquea set at Table with all those Kings, a Squire came into the Hall and kneeling down, thus spake unto him: Excellent Prince, the two Knights of the Crowns, as valiant peradventure as any on the e [...]rth, do by me beseech you to grant them a favour, in contemplation of the desire they have to do you service. They know that these three next dayes are de­dicated to exercises of Arms, the two first for the Iusts, and the third for the Tourney: They therefore humbly crave, that they may be permitted to main­tain with the lance against all that will run with them during those two daies; not that their Ladies are the fairest in the world, (for they will not offend those unto whom nature hath affoorded a like advantage of beauty) but that their fidel [...]ty doth render them more worthy of those favours, which lovers may re­ceive in recompence of any remarkable services, then any other Knights in the world. The conditions shall besuch, as are usuall in the like occasions, th [...]t is, none shall require of them the combat of the sword, so long as they shall have the better at the lance; That if their fortune be equall in the course, and both they and their adversaries unhorsed, then they may dispute the ho­nour of the day with the sword; but with this reservation, that if at the time of their being dismounted, new Knights shall happen to enter, equall in num­ber to them, the two assailants shall remount themselves, and siding with the maintainers, shall altogether oppose the last commers, to the end they may not be deprived of the honour of the Iusts: The said Knights desiring no o­ther benefit of their victory, then onely the names of those that shall be un­horsed, that it may be known how far the valour of every one will extend. Verily, said Florizell, this gentile proceeding doth infinitely please me; where­fore not enquiring after the names of your masters (who cannot be other then gallant Knights) I grant them all that they desire: Let them come then when [Page 114] they please, they shall finde the lists ready for them; and if the incommodity of their journey have not permitted them to bring a tent with them, I will see them furnished with what shall be necessary for their service. The Squire re­turning with an answer so gracious, the young Knights prepared themselves for the Iusts, and every one lookt for their comming, to see if their deeds would make good the bravery of their words. The people having already fil­led the place, and the Princes being set at the windows, they saw how the Knights, armed in azure coloured Arms, powdered all over with innumera­ble golden Crowns, came in, with such a grace, and so gallantly sitting their horses, as better cannot be imagined. As soon as they were entred the lists, a Gentlewoman much richer in clothes, then either in good fashion or beauty, presented her selfe unto them, and said: Gentlemen, if you be as sull of cour­tesie as you seem to be able and brave, you will not refuse me one request I am to make you. No upon my faith, answered one of them smiling, provided that it be in our power: for your merit doth oblige us to giue you all satisfa­ction. That which I require of you, replied she, is, that all the courses which which you shall run this after noone, may be onely for my honour, that I may one day glory, that I have seen a number of good Knights unhorsed upon the quarrell of my beauty. These words having made all that were within hea­ring, ready to burst with laughter, the Knight returned her this answer: Gen­tlewoman, we are sory that it is not in our power to satisfie your demand: for the conditions which we have propounded for this Iust, have already so bound us, as we cannot be permitted to run a course for your sake, wherefore you may be pleased to excuse us for this present, and expect some other occa­sion wherein we may do you service. See, said she in choller, just the answer which ill bred Knights, and without judgement, use to make; you refuse to serve me though you have very much reason for it: but I doubt not to meet with some others more courteous then you, that punishing this basenesse, will revenge the wrong you do to my beauty. Then going out of the lists, with a million of reproches that she gave the Knights, she made all the assembly to renew their laughter: and so getting to horse departed with speed. In the mean time, ten Knights, that were newly seen to come out of the forrest, entred the field, two of which taking their place over against the defendants, attended the sound of the trumpet, which was no sooner heard, but they dislodged with a very good grace, breaking their staves on their adversaries shields; who, therewith not moved, although the incounter was strong, layd them in the dust, giving by this their first course, a very fair demonstration of their valour. The two adventurers being thus unhorsed, two others took their room, who were entertained more favourably then their fellows: for at the first course they fell not, yet the second staffe made them quit their saddles, to the extream discontent of their companions, who attempting to revenge them, had a share in their disgrace, and found themselves also extended on the earth. The spectators admiring the bravery of the Knights of the Crown, expected what the two next would do that presented themselves; but they were not long in suspence: for they gained no more then those which preceded them, but were rudely overthrown after they had made their opposers lose their stir­rops. The two last advancing, with no lesse gallantry then full of despight, ran their first course with extream fury, and meeting all four in the middest thereof, brake their staves bravely, and so passed on without any advantage on either side. This course being fairer then any of the former, did highly [Page 115] please all the assistants; when as new staves being brought them, they came to encounter with the same violence as before, but with the same good for­tune: for the new commers lost their stirrops, and were fain to catch hold of their horses manes to save themselves from falling, whereas the challengers onely bended a little in their saddles. The resistance which the one found, and the disadvantage the others had, serving them but to increase the rage of either party, they took new staves, both stronger and stiffer then the former, and spurring on furiously, they incountred with such violence, as their staves being broken to their very gantlets, they met with their shields and bodies so forci­bly, as the strangers kissed the ground, leaving the others something troubled with so furious an encounter. The courses ended, the Knights un [...]aced their helmets, and presented their names; the two first were Armond of Bohemia, and Florizart of Taprobana, the next, Melfort and Aegrian; after them Flo­rian and his brother Triston; then Quedragant and Dardanio; and the last, Florestan of Sardinia, and P [...]rion of Turkie, gran-childe to Amadis of Gaule. They going up to the Emperours, extreamly troubled for that they had the foyle in their presence, were by them received with all courtesie, and comfor­ted in their misfortune, as that which was common to all Knights in the world. The Knights of the Crownes returning to their places, highly pleased with the praises that the world gave them, were not long at rest: For within two hours they unhorsed above thirty of the best Knights, as well of the Em­pire as of strangers. And now all the company were perswaded, that the ho­nour of the Iusts would be certainly theirs, when as there entred into the lists three Knights armed in white, and by another gate two more in gilt Armour, sitting their horses in such a gallant and sprightly manner, as all men beheld them with admiration: arriving all at one time, those in the white came to the other, and fairly entreated their leave for the first course; which being easily granted them, two of them presented themselves, and ran with a good grace, but with no better fortune then the other before them: for at the first incounter they were both unhorsed. Their companion resolving to sha [...]e in their misfortune, if such were his hap, put himselfe forward, and running with incredible fury, encountred one of the Knights of the Crownes so brave­ly, that he brake his staffe in a thousand shivers, but was so shaken by the lance of the adversary, that he staggered as if hee would have fallen, yet he quickly recovered himselfe, and made an end of his course with the estimation of a good Knight. Having taken a new staffe, he came to him with whom he had run, and thus said: Knight I am sufficiently satisfied of your valour: where­fore, if you please, I will now make triall of your companions. That, answe­red he, depends on your choyce, though I beleeve your bargain will be no­thing bettered by it. Fortune, replied the Knight, sh [...]ll determine of that; wherewith returning to his place, he spurred lustily against the second, and in­countring him with the like fury as before, brake upon his shield, but the Knight aiming his la [...]ce at his helmet, hit him with such force, as he brake the laces of it, and made it flye from his head: whereupon there fell scatte­red about his shoulders goodly tresses of haire, which declared that it was no Knight, but a most beautifull Amazon, whose name the Knight would not re­ceive, though she twice presented it. Those which accompanied her, seeing her discovered, made themselves known to the Princes of Greece, the one be­ing Leonidas of Mesopotamia, the other Abi [...]s of Ireland; and the Amazon, Altaria, who was very kindly received by the Emperour, & particularly by the [Page 116] Queens of Guindaya, France, and Lydia, who placed her amongst them after they had highly commended her. The two Knights in the gilt ar­mour, upon whom all men eyes were c [...]st, seeing Alteri [...]'s combat thus ended, presently advanced, and setting spurs to their horses, encountered them of the crown so furiously, as one would have said, that four towres torn from their foundations, by so many whirlwinds, had shocked toge­ther; Fortune was indifferent to them all, for they remained firm in their seats, & passed their course with so much bravery as made the whole assem­bly admire them; but the desire they had of victory, caused them sudden­ly to turn head, and then taking new staves, they setled themselves to run the second time, when as there was seen come into the place, three Knights and a Giant, of a gallant and a warlike aspect, in the company of the Gentle­woman, before mentioned, who addressing her self to the Knights of the Crowns, with a very furious garb that well demonstrated how much she was displeased, thus spake: Discourteous Knights, I have brought these with me heer, that are more ready to do service unto Ladies then you have been, and that will revenge the disgrace you have put upon me. In good time be it, said one of them, we shall see what they are able to do, provided these Knights heer, our opposi [...]es, will give way thereun­to. Wit that, not entering into further [...]iscourse, they made a signe to their adversaries to prepare themselves, and dislodged at one instant with such fury, as not able to stand so violent an incounter, they were constrai­ned to come all of them together to the ground: Choller, and the shame to be overthrown, in the presence of so great Princes, having suddenly rai­sed them up, they couragiously laid hands on their swords, to try whose the victory should be: But the four last, that came with the Gentlewo­man, advanced, and interposing between them, said: That they were not to proceed any further, since the conditions of the justs did forbid the com­bat with the sword, so long as there remain any in the place on horsback: whereupon, the Iudges being called, their reasons were approved of, as very just, in regard it was one of the principall Articles thereof, expressed in these tearms:

That if fortune made the encounter equall, and they were all at one time unhor­sed, they might try it out with the sword; but if at the time of their being dis­mounted new commers arrived, in number equall to them, the assailants should take new lances and siding with the maintainers, sh [...]uld all together make head against the last attempters, that the first might not be defrauded of their due ho­nour.

And that therefore the number on both sides being equall, the Knights had reason to hinder the combat with the sword, untill they had tryed themselves with the lance; it still remaining in their power, to recom­mence their combat, in case the last commers were overthrown, but other­wise not. The Knights in the gilt arms, not desiring to shew themselves refractory, since the Iudges would have it so, ranked themselves with those of the Crowns, who took fresh horses, conceiving by the countenance of their adversaries, that they had a hard party to deal withall; and placing themselves over against them, attended the sound of the trumpet for their dislodging. Whilst the questions were deciding, Alteria, observing those [Page 117] which came last in, knew them for the same, that had delivered her out of the power of Argenea (as indeed they were Fulgoran, Prigmaleon, the un­known Knight, and Grandimore, who arriving in Greece, as I told you in the former Chapter, were drawn to Constantinople upon the report of the triumphs there proclaimed:) So that turning to Don Rogel, who sat not far from her, she said to him: Beleeve it, Sir, you will by and by receive much contentment in the sight of these eight Knights combat; for if those two of the Crowns have hitherto rendered themselves remarkable, they in the gray and black armour are excellent in the supremest degree, and few their equalls are to be found in the world: By their valour the dange­rous guards of the Castle of Argenea were vanquished, and these two youn­ger Princes, with my self, delivered from a prison, where we certainly be­leeved to finde our graves; but since the trumpets now begin to sound, you will quickly see the proof of my words. Don Rogell then turning his eye a­bout to the lists, saw them begin their course at one instant, and meet in the midst of it with such fury, as the earth seemed to tremble under them; their fortune was equall, for they all lost their saddles, the unknown Knight remaining wounded by the lance of one of the Knights of the Crowns, and one of them in the gilt armour by that of the Giant Grandimore: The shame to see themselves dismounted in the presence of so many excellent Princes, having suddenly raised them, they began one of the most furious combats that ever was beheld. Nothing appeared but sparks of fire in the air, and cantles of armour and shields on the ground. If Fulgoran and Prigmaleon charged with violence, they felt themselves so closely followed, as they wondered at the valour of their enemies; nothing was to be heard but hor­rible blows, one part laid on load, another was forced to set their knees to the ground: In brief, this sight might truly be tearmed the most furious that ever had been seen between eight persons. Prigmaleon, who had one of those of the gilt arms to deal with, being mad at the resistance he found from him, let his sword descend with such rage on his helmet, as he made him recoil two or three paces with the sight of a million of stars at midday; but he had not time to glory much of that advantage, for his adversary re­covering his spirits, came and charged him with such force, as his shield being divided in two pieces, the sword fell so heavy on his shoulder, that he was fain to set one knee to the ground, to save himself from falling; but quickly getting up again, he rendered the combat far more cruell then ever it was. In the mean time, Fulgoran and his adversary intreated one ano­ther with the like fury; Grandimor [...], and the unknown Knight, disputed the victory with very much courage; howbeit, they were so pressed by their opposites, as they had little leisure to think of their consciences; neverthe­lesse, desiring rather to die then to shew any signe of faintnesse, they fought two howrs without any advantage to their enemies, who still resolving to vanquish, redoubled their blows, and so sharply followed them, that these two Pagan Knights, after another hours combat, fell almost both at one time to the ground, to the great content of the conquerours, who having made them confesse the victory, helped them up, and delivered them into the hands of two Chirurgians, which Don Florisell had appointed to be ready, for the relief of such as should chance to be wounded: The misfor­tune of these two Knights, augmented the rage of Prigmaleon and Fulgoran, their blows became more weighty then before, so as often times their ene­mies [Page] were forced to knocke their chins against their breasts, and to set their kn [...]es to the ground. But they had so good a share in those courtesies, that e­very one was amazed at the sight of so dangerous a combat, which every one thought could never be ended, but by the [...]eath of them all. And indeed they were so eager as they continued seven hours without taking of breath, or that any one could discerne any the least signe of wearinesse or of advantage in them, which so madded them, as carried by an unusuall rage, they all quit­ted their swords, and grapled together, hoping by meer strength to get the victory; but little prevailing that way, they were at length constrained, after they had tumbled on the ground, sometimes above, and another while be­low, to rise as by agreement, and recommence their combat, which lasted till night, no man being able to attribute the honour of it more to the one then the other. Don Rogell, who infinitely admired the valour of these Knights, perceiving them obstinately bent not to give over for all that it grew dark, caused the retreat be sounded. But their rage not permitting them to heare it, they went on with their businesse, and continued battering one another more cruelly then they had done all the day before: so that Don Rogell was inforced to discend with Spheramond, and intreat them to part for his sake, shewing them, hat the cause of their contention being so slight, their enmity had no reason to be so bitter; but they lent a deafe care to all that he could say, so as at last he was constrained to put himselfe between them, which so much dis­pleased Prigmaleon, as turning himselfe somewhat hastily to Don Rogell, he said in some choller: I would fain have intreated you to have let Fortune work her will; but seeing your authority opposes the designe of those that combat before you, remember that it shall not be able to hinder me when I shall visit you with an hundred thousand men, to require an account of the distaste you now give me. Neither will I, said Fulgoran, who was as much displeased, promise them better dealing: for I will once more cover your fields with brave and warlike Souldiers.

Wherefore, Princes of Greece, receive these words for a defiance, and pre­pare for a war. But that you may understand who are your enemies, this Knight is Prigmaleon, the great Emperour of Ethiopia, whom you see in these gray Arms, and I am the King of Canabea, by which name you cannot chuse but know me. Yes, said Don Rogel, without being any way distempered, we have cause not to be ignorant of what you are; but it may be time will qualifie this heat, and that little you gained before our walls, perhaps will keep you from pursuing the second designe. But if you be so resolved, we have friends enough not to care much for your Armes: yet shall not that keep me from in­treating you, since it is now dark night, to take a lodging in our Palace, untill you have a little refreshed your selves after the great toyle you have this day endured. That is ordinary with us, answered Fulgoran, so that your courte­sie may well be spared; wherewith somewhat coldly retiring, they went to their friends, who with more despight then paine, quickly got to horse: and, notwithstanding they were shrewdly wounded, travelled till about midnight, that they came to a Gentlemans house; where, when they had stayed two dayes, they left Grandimore and the unknown Knight to be cured of their hurts, and the morrow after they parted with a promise of meeting at the end of two moneths, in Natolia, with each of them an hundred and fifty thousand men, to be in one body transported to Constantinople. In the mean time Don Rogel and Spheramond, who were not much troubled with their menaces, ad­drest [Page 119] themselves to the other Knights, and with such curtesie intreated them to let themselves be known, as they were content to satisfie them. Having then unlaced their helmets, they let them see that those two of the Crownes were Lucendus Prince of France, and D [...]rigel King of the fortunate Island. The other in the gilt Arm [...] were the valiant Russian of Media, and the migh­ty Esquilan of Polonia. You may well imagine the contentment which the Greek Princes, and especially the Infanta Fortuna, received by the comming of these Knights, though I do not put my selfe to the trouble of relating it. In summe, a thousand caresses were not for born amongst so many friends, nor any thing forgotten which might serve for the contentment of those Princes; who, for the present, treading all care of their more important affairs, under foot, pas­sed two or three dayes more in tourneys, and all the delights that could be imagined. At the end whereof that happened, which in the next Chapter shall be related.

CHAP. XXVI. The adventure of the Pyramide is ended to the honour of the brave Russian of Media, who is known to be the sonne of Don Rogel, and the faire Queen Giranda.

WHilst all thing [...] were thus disposed unto pleasure, and Flo­risell with the other Princes were sitting in the Palace Hall, there entred four Lions, carrying a Pyramide of indifferent height, and made after a strange fashion: It was composed of two severall materials, as it was divi­ded into two stories, the highest being of transparant Christall, inclosed the body of a young Lady of most excellent beauty, that seemed to sleep: The lower made of a black Marble, suffered nothing to be seen that was within it, yet was there a gate to give passage into it. The beasts being come, with amazement of all that were present, into the middest of the Hall, by little and little discharged themselves of their load, and keeping still their places, turned them towards the company, which so affrighted them, that except the Princes, who could not be scared, every one was about to shift for himselfe; when as a Damsell presenting herselfe, kneeled down before Florisell, and thus spake, Excellent Prince, I do not think that your courage, so often tried with infinite dangers, can be moved with this wonder which here you see: the Fortunes of men are various and great, and seldome are they at quiet after an infinitie of crosses, The Gods did seem to promise to the Princesse, whom you see inclosed in this Christall, unspeakable contentments: for having made her by birth a Prin­cesse, and, as yet you may perceive, beautifull in the highest degree of excel­lence, she should, me thought, have been exempted from those misfortunes that attend our life. But alas! all these attributes of so raised a condition, have served onely to make her miserable; and this ornament of beauty hath rende­red her in the estate wherein you now see her, as I will presently inform you. Her father, a vertuous Prince, being forced to pay that debt unto nature which is due by all men, left her under the charge of the great Emperour of [Page 120] Guardacia (whose crown she might one day pretend to, if the Gods should call the 2 daughters which he now hath, & those the fai [...]est on the earth) and dyi [...]g charged her not so much to regard the greatnesse, as the vertue of a valian [...] husband; so that in a while all the Countrey knew, that for Agriclea, so is she named, not a rich but a worthy man is required, that could couragiously conserve the Scepter that should be put into his hands. The [...]umour running not only through the countrey subject to her crowne, but to other kingdomes far removed, came to the knowledge of a yong Giant, an ugly man, and very debauched, who beleeving (as many do often flatter themselves) that he had not his match in the world, presented himselfe not long since unto her, and of­fered to maintaine, that all the Knights in the world came short of him in valour: This Princesse (who questionlesse deserveth to be better besto­wed) not brooking this his vanity, somewhat coldly desired him not to tempt his fortune for her occasion. But the Giant, having too much fancie in his brain, not admitting of that excuse, presented himselfe six moneths together in the lists; where, to speak truth, he purchased the esteem of a valiant per­son, howbeit he lost his labour: for Agriclea, who dyed as often as she saw him triumph over his enemies, and that could not approve of his cruelty, to the vanquished, one evening when hee troubled her with the discourse of his passions: Fulgosan, said shee, for that was his name, I know not how you can imagine that I should ever love you, since I cannot finde any thing in you that might move mee unto it; what likelyhood is there that I should subject my contentment to the kisses of a man so deformed? or that my delights should depend upon your caresses. The very thought thereof is distastefull unto me, and if you had had any judgement all, you would have considered the inequa­lity of our conditions, and persons, before you had engaged your affection: I here permitted you to combate many times for the merit of my beauty, I confesse, but I have done it rather to winne you glory, then any way to oblige my selfe unto you: Nor thinke it an argument of good will in me towards you, because I was willing to appeare courteous, you may therefore retire your selfe when you please, and never st [...]nd on my fathers will for that which shall alwaies depend on my choyce. It is against my mind, that I pay your service in this sort for perswading my self that you fough not in hope of reward, I doe not present you withany. In summe my own contentment is dearer to me then yours, nor shall my torment spring from your satisfaction. Brave Prince, I will not insist upon informing you what rage these discreet & modest words kindled in the breast of this proud Knight: for you may well imagine with what impatience he heard them; but going on with my discourse, will te [...]l you, that departing with strange menaces, hee was seene not long after to returne, accompanied with an Aunt of his, very expert in magicke, who taking this faire Princesse by the arme (no body there present being able to succour her) placed her where at this present you behold her, using these very words: Thou shalt know, Agriclea, that the affection of one that loves, is not to bee dispised, and that the difference of condition, dispenses not with the duty of a well bred soule; thou oughtest to have loved my Nephew, since thy beauty was the onely soveraigne of his thoughts, but having [...]eene to di [...]acknow­ledging as to recompence him with injuries, thou shal [...] a long time suffer that which he now indures: And for that I will not pardon him the fault he hath comitted in loving thee with too much fidelity, my pleasure is that he shal still he follow thee, that shall heare thy lamentations, [...]d perpetually upbraid thee [Page 121] with thy ingratitude. Thus speaking, she made him go in at the doore in the black Marble, which instantly closed of it selfe; and calling me, who had al­wayes had the government of this Princesse in charge: I will not, said she, de­prive you of the office that you have formerly enjoyed, and that still you de­serve, go therfore to the Courts of the greatest Princes in the world with her, and know that you shall never see an end of your travels, nor the re-establish­ment of your Mistrisse into her former estate, untill The bastard Lion be disco­vered in the bloud of this miserable man that I have here lockt up, who shall come out to fig [...]t as often as any shall knock at the doore with the pummell of his sword. Saying so, she touched the Lions with a rod which she had in her hand, and made me presently go out with them, willing me to take no care for the way. Thus have I, excellent Prince, delivered the cause of my comming into your dominions, where my hope is to see this Princesse freed by the hand of some one of those which render your Court the most glorious, and the most re­doubted in the world. But if it be your pleasure that the triall of this adven­ture shall be made in your presence, then I humbly desire that you will permit that I may obtain a Boon of your Knights, which notwithstanding shall not oblige any but him that shall undo this inchantment. That shall not hinder you, said Florisell, from finding that contentment heer you desire: and with all my heart I wish that this fair Princesse may in this place meet with an ease of all her pains; to the furtherance wherof I promise you, in the name of all mine, that you shall not be denied your request, so as it be in our power to perform. Hereupon all those Knights, who desired nothing but occasions of winning honor, were to arm themselves for to begin the triall. The first that presen­ted himselfe, was the gentile Perion of Turkie, who knocking at the Marble gate with his sword, they saw a Knight come forth all armed, not so great as most Giants, but much exceeding the stature of most men, that setting hand to a rich sword, advanced his shield against the fury of a blow which Perion delivered at his head, and at the same instant charging him, made him perceive, that his valour was extream, so that the combat began to be both dangerous and delightfull: for if the one shewed a rare agility in avoiding his adversaries blows, the other demonstrated an excessive force. Having battered one ano­ther then above an hour in that fashion, Perion determined to see the game upon a cast, and with his sword in both hands, to lay upon his enemies helmet; but he was prevented: for the Giant having discharged an horrible blow on his head, laid him all along upon the floor, and was going to return into his prison, when as Florian of Sopradisa advanced; who, to be short, had no bet­ter fortune, no more had Tristor, Florestan, Quedragant, and all these new Knights, which were all served in the same manner, after they had stood a fight more or lesse, according to the proportion of their strengths. The va­liant Esquilon of Polonia would needs succed his companions in their misfor­tunes, but not till after two hours fight, and with some hope of the assistants, that he would carry away the honour of the adventure. His fall having possessed the gallant Russian with more choller then fear, he drew to Fulgo­son with his sword drawn; whereupon they began to charge one another with such mighty blows, that the room shook under them, pieces of armour flew about, their shields were hewen in pieces, and the pavement sprinkled with bloud, testified the valour of the combatants; who bravely disputing for their lives, and the victory, made all the spectators amazed at it, especially the Greek Princes, who judging Russians manner of fight both more furious, and more [Page 122] pleasing then any of the former, exceedingly desired to know him: Three howrs being past away, since the beginning of the combat Russian grew in­raged, and chusing rather to die then not to overcome in the presence of so many excellent Princes, he delivered a full blow upon the Giant with such violence, that it divided his body in twain, to the infinite contentment of the Gentlewoman, and of the fair Infanta Agriclea, who instantly recover­ing her spirits, and a great clap of thunder breaking forth, just as Fulgoson fell, the Pyramid was found in a thousand pieces, and Agriclea in the arms of her woman, who comming to Russian; Brave warrior, said she to him, you have this day gained so much honour, as we will speak eternally of your valour; but you know withall to what your word doth oblige you. I do, said he, ravished with the singular beauty of Agriclea, I know that I am ingaged to you for a boon, and am ready to grant it presently. The time for it, said she, is not yet come; but you shall, if you please, one day make good your promise, either at my intreaty, or at the command of this Prin­cesse; with that, a new clap of thunder being heard, they saw Agriclea and her woman, together with the body of the Giant, and the fragments of the Pyramid taken away in a cloud, nothing remaining of them in the room, but the bloud that Fulgoson shed, upon the last blow he received; In which, as it had been in a table of brasse or marble, were written these words:

Russian of Media, the son of Rogell of Greece, and of the fair Queen Grianda.

O me! (said Spheramond, who had noted the Gentlewomans discourse, and therefore was come to look upon that bloud, imagining that it was not left there without some mysterie) What a wonder is this? And by what a strange adventure are we acquainted with a secret of such importance? Come hither brother, said he, offering to embrace Russian, and give me the first caresses that are due to our neernesse in bloud; you can no longer con­ceal your self, for your descent is written here; and my Lord, my Father, hath just cause to rejoyce to see one of his race with so much good fortune. Russian, thus suddenly surprised, kneeled down before his father, and kis­sing his hands, confessed that he had determined not to reveal that he was his son, supposing that his valour had not as yet rendered him worthy of that glory: but since the heavens had thus discovered him, he thought himself most happy in this adventure, and would endeavour to honour the name that he carried. I should never have done, if I should go about to particularize the caresses which Russian received from Florisel, from those Princes his kinsmen, from the Queens of Guindaya, France, and Lydia, and from all the Court; wherefore I will not stand upon it, but following my discourse will tell you, that Russian was not more contented with the ho­nour which he had gained in this adventure, and with the notice that his kindred had taken of him, then he was grieved for the departure of Agri­clea, whose incomparable beauty had made a deep impression in his heart: but hoping that time would furnish him with occasions to see her again, he comforted himself as well as he might, and laboured to finde out reasons to quiet his minde.

CHAP. XXVII. The Princes of Greece consult of the war; the mustering of Fulgorans and Prigmaleons armies; a Damsell carries Russian of Media from Constantinople.

WIse men forestall the time, and their prudent foresight doth often times free them from dangers. Our Princes more intentive to what concerned them in honour, then to continue their pleasures, assembled one day together, and calling to minde Fulgorans and Prigmaleons threats, they consulted of the means they had to oppose the violence of their forces. Our Empires, said Florisel, as the principall person in that counsell, are not unfurnished of good souldiers; we have a number of brave Princes still alive, and our Courts are full of gallant Knights; wherefore we have no great cause to be troubled with our enemies coming, so as we take care to hasten our levies in due time; as for our selves, I am not of opinion that we should stir from hence, since the Governours of our Provinces, and our subjects, will not be wanting in point of obedience to all our com­mands: So that the thing which doth most presse us for the present, is, that to dispatch away speedily some Gentlemen, to the Lievtenants of those countreys, which are subject unto us, commanding them to raise as many men as they may without disfurnishing the places of importance of their necessary garrisons. This advice being approved of, as the best they might think of, every one withdrew to expedite the businesse, and accord­ingly the same day, the Emperour Don Rogell sent into Persia, Spheramond to the Empire of the Parthians, Dorigell to the fortune Island, Lucendus in­to France, and Alestraxerea into Tre [...]isond, Florisel also gave out Com­missions for the Empire of Greece, dispatched Posts to Rome, to great Britain, to Guindaya, to the Kings of Dardania, Comagenia, India, Samo­thracia, Cathaya, Poland, Hungary, Moldavia, and Scotland; and giving order for the fortifying of the Ports and frontire towns, he rested in expe­ctation of what the heavens would determine in an affair of such great con­sequence. Whilst they were thus imployed in Greece, Fulgoran and Prig­maleon were not idle, for having parted with a resolution not to enter any combat except extream necessity inforced them to it, they arrived almost at one instant, the one in the Empire of Aethiopia, and the other in the Kingdom of Canabea, where the first things they did, was, to send to all their neighbour Kings, to intreat that they would together with them im­brace the revenge of those outrages, which from time to time all Pa­ganisme had received from the Emperours of Greece: Their request was without any difficulty granted, for a multitude of Kings and Princes that had not been parties in the former leagues, determined to joyn with them, utterly to exterminate the Christian name for ever. The first that at the motion of Fulgoran arrived in Canabea, were the great King of Mauritania, with two thousand horse, and three Giants; the King of Canaria, with the [Page 124] like number of horses and Giants; those of M [...]larra, and Tremiscen, with twelve thousand foot, and five Giants; those of Zaphir, Zambar, and Car­thagena, with fifteen thousand horse, and seven Giants; those of M [...]loc, [...]ramaza, Panonia, Aganazes, and Budomell, with thirty thousand Ar­chers; the Tamberlen of Moraria, the Kings of Libia, Arcania, Barbary, Anguly, Argier, Numidia, and Carthage, with four [...]core thousand horse, and thirty Giants; those of Bisancia, Marocco, Thunes, Thenery, and and Miramolin, with fifty thousand foot; and the Kings of T [...]ll, and Ba­zana, with fifteen thousand horse, and thirteen Giants. So that the Gene­rall muster of these troops being taken, with those which Fulgoran had rai­s [...]d in his own Kingdom, consisting of ten thousand horse, and eighteen thousand foot, amounted to one hundred and forty thousand horse, and an hundred and ten thousand foot, threescore Giants, and thirty Kings, who alone would with confidence have undertaken the conquest of the whole world with the moity of these troops, which being embarked with a favourable wind, stood for Natolia, as it was before agreed with Prigma­l [...]on: who in the mean time took no lesse care, for having called his friends tog [...]ther, he put to sea with the Kings of Guine, Morlavia, B [...]nazar, Sa­photir, Merove, Cyrcia, the Soldan of Cayre, the Princes of Colidonia, Tergadan, and Ardania, with an hundred and thirty thousand horse, forty thousand foot, and seven and thirty Giants, whom we will leave to the conduct of Neptune, that they may have time to arrive, and return to the Greek Court, which in the mean space had made their preparations for the war, and as yet had onely a body of fifty thousand horse, Florisel having disposed his inf [...]ntery in the good towns, as that which was fitter to de­fend a rampire, then to fight in field: Whilst all was thus inclining to war, the Christian Princes sought all kindes of diversions, for the ca [...]es of those fai [...] Queens, who seemed to have lost the better part of their lustre, with the fear of insuing dangers; Iusts and Tourneys were not wanting, wherein those young Knights, to their infinite commendations, appeared as it were in emulation of one another: In brief, the Court was full of pastimes, and it seemed that the news which was brought them of the incredible multi­tude of enemies that were comming to them, served but to animate them the more. One day when as all the world was intentive on the Iusts, that Tristor of Sopradisa maintained, in honour of Alteria, of whom he was passi [...]nat [...]ly inamoured, there came in a Damsell, her hair scattered about her shoulders, her eyes full of tears, and with so sad a countenance, as she mov [...]d as much pity, as desire to know from what mish [...]p her sighes and la­mentations proceeded. As soon as she drew neer these Princes, she wiped her eyes, and stood a good while viewing them, without speak [...]ng a word; But Spheramond, imagining that her grief made [...]er so silent: Gentlewo­man, said he, the est [...]te in which we see you, makes us beleeve that you are opprest with some affliction, and that you desire relief. Speak, and make use of us, for there is no man-heer, but will gladly contribute to your re­dresse. That onely hope, said she, made me come hither, for knowing that you never refused your assistance to those that intreated you for it, I am come to crave revenge of a wrong that hath been done me in this countr [...]y. I travelled by the command of a Lady, whose principall care doth aim at the preservation of a vertuous man, and in a scarff carried a sword, the fai­rest that may be found, and at my saddle bowe, an helmet, so rich, that it is [Page 125] not to be valued, hoping erelong to have met with them for whom these presents were designed: But passing thorow a forrest, some two dayes journey from hence, I lighted on a great Knight, who neither respecting my weaknesse, nor the little profit that he could reap of his injurious deal­ing (for I had told him that neither the sword nor helmet could serve for any but onely those two for whom they were made) seased upon them, and told me with a harsh voyce, that the Destinies had forged these arms for him, since they were appointed for two of the bravest Knights in the world. How beir, I besought him to render them back to me, bidding him try and he should see, that they would be of no use to him; but he r [...]dely replied, that if this adventure were not ordained for him, the valour of who so ever it were could not repair his default; and that therefore I should as­sure my self, they should never go out of his hands but upon a strict ac­count; so withdrawing to a tree that stands by the high wayes side, on whose branches he hung the helmet and the sword, he vowed to tarry there eight whole dayes, and not suffer any Knight to passe without trying this adventure: Now you know the losse that I have endured, and the onely cause of my tears, in regard whereof, I demand some Knight, who by pu­nishing this offence, may make me as joyfull, as now you see me afflicted. Your desire, said Spheramond, appears to me so just, as I will gladly do you service in it, if you will but give me time to take my arms. Certainly it seems, my Lord, said Russian then, that you intend to have all the glory of the world to your self alone; Have you not honour enough already? Or will a petty adventure adde any w [...]it to the praises that are now given you? Not at all, your name doth sufficiently fli [...] abroad i [...] every mans mouth, no [...] is there any need that you should labour to purchase more fame: Leave, I beseech you, the care of this affair to me, and permit me to seek occasions to imitate your vertue. You shall do as you will, said Spheramond, nor will I ever oppose so brave an ambition: Go then when you please, but remember to return, I pray you, and not suffering your self to be carried away with any new fansie, think that ere long we shall have occasion to imploy you. Be assured, said Russian, extreamly glad with the leave he had gotten, I will not, but upon necessity, go far, and that our ene­mies shall see me the first in the field; with that, doing reverence to all those Princes, he leaped on horsback, and left them all much grieved at his de­parture: For remembring a number of surprises wherewith they had been otherwhiles caught themselves, they with reason feared he might be car­ried somewhither, where the danger might be greater then to incounter one Knight alone; Neverthelesse, retaining the same greatnesse of courage which they ever carried in all their actions, they made no shew of any sad­nesse, but committing the care of his good fortune to heaven, they setled themselves to behold the justs; where Tristor shewed so much valour, as he was commended of all men. In the mean time, Russian meditating more of his new passion, which he felt for the fair Agriclea, then of the affair wherein he wa [...] imployed, [...]ravelled with some discontent to the Damsell, who not approving that silence of his, as if it had testified a kinde of faintnesse in him, she th [...] said: I will not condemn your humour before I know you better; but I would gladly understand the occasion of your sad­nesse, to the end I might serve you with as much freenesse, as you have shewed courage i [...] undertaking the revenge of my wrong. You must im­pute [Page 126] it to time, answered he, which doth not give us leave to be alwayes of one temper, and not to any ill disposition of nature. It is a fault, I confesse: for you have enough to divert a troubled mind, but I shall desire you, not to be offended with it, since I fail not out of malice, and that I am ready to make a­amends for my errour. It was not to constrain your actions, that I set this discourse on foot, replied he, but knowing that the withdrawing one from melancholy thoughts, doth many times oblige a man. I took the boldnesse to call you, that you might do better to be merry, then thus to lose your selfe in such cogitations. Riding on then in this sort, they past away the day with many pleasing discourses, and the night in a sound sleep, though they had no other covering then the trees. But the Sun having waked them, they pursued their former way, and travelled till noon, when as they came to the tree where the Damsell hoped to finde her gallant, and to make him give an account of the Armes that he had taken from her: howbeit, she was extreamly amazed when she saw neither the sword nor the helmet hanging on the boughes. I am most certain, said she, looking Russian in the face, that my griefe, as great as it was, did not take my understanding from me, and that this tree is the witnesse of the wrong which the robber did me of whom I now complain, as well as of the oathes which he swore to tarry eight dayes for me here. No, I am not mistaken: for see where the grasse is pressed down with the weight of his bo­dy. This is the bough whereon that pretious sword hung, and these the same stones upon which he sate down to try if the helmet would fit his head, yet I wonder he should be gone, considering how he boasted of his valour; ne­verth [...]lesse, to speak truth, I have no great reason to think it strange: for could I hope that a thiefe would stand upon respect of honor, and that he would prize his faith above his profit; people of that metall use to promise any thing, and perpetually fail: he is gotten away to hide his booty, and keeping out of my sight, beleeves that he shall never be forced to restore it again. But I am resolved either to lose my selfe, or to be revenged: wherefore, if you please, let us go on, and seke him so long till we heare some newes of him. I am ready, said Russian, to do as you shall command me, since your enemy is not heer, let us go and learn what is become of him.

Being about then to depart, they spied a Dwarse so little, that the grasse whereon he lay, covered half of his body. It may be, said the Damsell laugh­ing, that we may have some notice here of what we seek: let us enquire, sir, of this little ugly fellow, what is become of the Knight. As I live, said the Dwarf, rising up in haste, I would not so much as open my mouth to give you the satisfact [...]on you desire, did not the worth of this Knight perswade me to it as much as your injuries disswade me from it; wherupon turning to Russian, Knight, said he, will you command me any service? I desire, answered Rus­sian, that you would be pleased to tell us where we are, and if you have seen any Knight under this tree. You are, said the Dwars, in the Kingdome of Macedon, this Oke is called, the tree of adventure; because that ordinarily here falls out one novelty or other: and the Knight after whom you enquire, is this morning gone away at the request of a damsell, who hath carried him to the guard of the castle of Love from hence. I am, said Russian, satisfied in few words: but my friend, you may adde one greater obligation yet to that wherein I stand already indebted unto you by giving me information of the Castle you speake of. I would, replied he, if it were in my power to satisfie you, but truly, sir, my curiosity did never stretch so far, onely my opinion is, [Page 127] that it is called the Castle of Love, because there is to be seen in an inchanted room there, that proud Deity which triumphs over the hearts of lovers, sea­ted upon a throne of Marble; at the end whereof are two Arches, where­into no living man could ever yet enter. Now if you be not contented here­with, and that you aske me why the entring into that house is forbidden, I will tell you, that as far as I could gather by the Damsels discourse which car­ried the Knight away, that it is to hinder a great happinesse to Christendome, predestined to it by the ruine of this inchantment, which is shortly to come to an end. I could not, said Russian, be more clearly informed in what I desired to know, so that I will trouble you no further. Saying so, he passed on with his guide, determining to go into the Castle, and see the end of that adven­ture.

CHAP. XXV. Don Rogell by a strange meanes is brought to the Castle of Love, and having, with Russian of Media, given an end to the inchant­ment, they both remained inchanted under the arches of the [...] of lovers.

DVring the time that Russian was going to the Castle of Love, Don R [...]gel weary of the City, had a minde to re­fresh his spirits on hunting; commanding therefore the dogges to be brought to the wood, and with some gen­tlemen getting to horse, he entred into a Coppice; where, within a while, he saw a St [...]gge come out, one of the greatest that ever he had seen. Passion, that often hurries us after what we desire, made him so run his horse after the Deer, as presently he had lost his company, and thought they followed him hard; yet none of them knew what was become of him: for being better mounted then they, he quickly got a great deal of ground of them, and stopt not, but upon occasion of a new incounter, as full of danger, as of wonder; he saw comming out of the wood fix Savages, which carried a great pack upon their shoulders, and two terrible Giants, that conducted them, with so horrid an aspect, that the onely view of them might have af­frighted any heart lesse couragious then that of this valiant Prince. But being incapable of feare, he observed them a good while: and at last was advan­cing with an extream desire to know what was in that pack, had he not with­all remembred, that he was without Arms, that therefore reason did forbid him the committing so rash a part, and that [...] an indiscreet act would bring him much more blame then commendation. Returning then into the wood, with­out any further thought of hunting, but onely with a purpose to finde out his people, among whom was [...] Sq [...]re, who alwayes carried a compleat armour for him: he made many returns in it with infinite discontent that he was not then in case to fight: for fearing he should not meet with this adventure again, he thought himselfe unfortunate, and carried with an unusuall rage, he deter­mined to turn head, and try his fortune onely with his sword; whereas casting his eye about [...]n every side, to see which way he were best to take for his p [...]r­suit [Page 128] of the Savages, he spled a green cuirasle at the foot of the tree, with an hel­met and shield of the same colour. That fortune, no lesse expected then wi­shed for, changing his displeasure into joy, made him instantly alight, and ta­king up the cuirasle, with the rest of the Arms that belonged to it, he armd himselfe from head to foot. Hereupon being more contented then he had been of a long time, he speedily remounted his horse; and never thinking of the discontent his friends would be in for his departure, he travelled so long, that night came upon him nee [...] to the cabbine of a young Shepheard, who received him with much courtesie, giving him such entertainment as his narrow for­tunes were able to affoord. The desire he had to reap the fruit of his labour, not permitting him to sleep soundly, he gat up by break of day, and proceeded in his former way, till th [...]t about two hours after noon he saw a proud Castle, before the which two Knights were in fight with very much courage: The neerer he drew to them, the crueller their combat appeared to be: for the ter­rible blows they gave one another, shewed an extream force, and made him think that the death of them both would perhaps be the end of their combat. Being delighted with this furious fight, he staid a while to observe the vio­lence, and adresse, wherewith these Knights struck and avoided the blows of one another. But hearing a noyse on the left hand, he turned suddenly about, & seeing the Savages and the Giants whom he so [...]ght for, ready to enter into the Castle by another gate, far greater then that before which this combat was begun, he spurred away so hard, that he got into the gate just as the last Giant entred; who giving him no leasure to informe himselfe of this adventure, char­ged him very furiously with a beliefe that he should dispatch him at the first blow. But this Prince, that knew the way to vanquish, lifting up his shield o­ver his head, b [...]re off the violence of his sword, that descended without har­ming him, and at the same instant made so strange a thrust at him, that hee gave his enemy a deep wound in his side. The other Giant turning about at the noyse of this fight, and seeing his brothers bloud, ran immediatly at Don Rogel, who nothing amazed to have two such adversaries upon him, with a quick change of his ground, avoided a blow which he let flye at his head, and made another thrust at him, hoping to have as good fortune with it as he had at the first; but it was without effect: for that meeting with his shield▪ entred but a little way. Whilst this combat grew hot, by reason of the Giants rage, and the government of the Prince, who fought with more judgement then force, that of the two Knights having endu [...]ed above three hours, conti­nued still with all fury that may be imagined between two valiant men, who would rather have been in their graves, then misse the glory of being conquerours. Their blows fell alike, heavie and dangerous, the sight of their bloud enflamed their cho [...]ler, and the resistance which they found from one another, rendred them so obstinate, as they would not speake of breathing, though they were both in case to desire it. But me thinks it is time to tell who these two excellent Princes were, that the reader may no longer be held in suspence; Russian of Media was one, and the other was Mandajar the proud Pagan, that took the sword and helmet from the Dam [...]ell, and afterward was carried to guard the castle of love, as you have heard in the precedent chapter. Passing therefore from this to the prosecution of my discourse, you must know, that these Knights [...]attering one another, continued their combat a­bove an hour longer. At the end wherof Mandajar feeling his enemies sword too often in his flesh, and hoping for no safety, but in d [...]sparation tooke his [Page 129] sword in both his hands, and let drive with such fury at the Prince of Media his shield, as he forced him to set one knee to the ground, with an opinion that he would never rise again. But he had little time to rejoyce: for his sword brake in three peeces, and Russian getting up in an extraordinary rage, made him beleeve that his death was no further from him, then till he received the next blow, so that valuing his life more then his honour, he shamefully turned his back, and not daring to stand the fury of our Christian, he ran away through the Court of the Castle, at the very same time when as Don Rogel gave one of the Giants his deaths wound, and got him into the inchanted Hall, as into a place of refuge, or sanctuary. Russian following him, and fin­ding one of the Giants in his way, gave him so terrible a blow upon his head, that he clave him to the very teeth, and suddenly withall entred the Hall where Mandajar was; who seeing himself followed so close, went up the stairs, which led to the throne of love: and taking that copper Idoll in his hand, he was going to throw it at Russian, but was prevented by his sword, which di­vided his body in two. The Knight was no sooner fallen with the image in his hand, but a terrible clap of thunder was heard, which was followed with so thick a smoke, as nothing could be discovered a good while after: howbeit, an hour being past in that darknesse, and the day recovering its for­mer brightnesse, the place of the throne was seen to be strangely changed: for in stead thereof was a fine covered Fountain, of the same Marble which the two Arches underneath it were framed, which contained a most clear and transparant water; whereinto Russian looking, beheld the fair Neece of the Emperour of Guardacia, just as he saw her at Constantinople at such time as he delivered her from the inchantment, in which she was held for Fulgoso [...] cause. This object ravisht him, and that beauty so pleasing to his soule, tran­sporting him from the thought of all other contentments, he was about to dis­cover his love unto her, as if she had indeed been present, when a [...] the noyse that a man in Armes comming towards him, made, awaked him out of this pleasing dream, and possessed him with despight and rag [...] to be so interrup­ted. Rash and presumptu [...], said he, looking up, and not knowing that it was the Emperour his father, why come you to trouble my delight, and to di­vert me from the greatest pleasure that a [...] may meet with in his life? As I live, I will chastice you for this insolence, and you shall pay me interest for the content you have deprived me off. Don Rogel, who knew him by his Arms, could not forbear laughing▪ and answered: You have no reason to threaten me: for you shall never finde a Knight more ready to do you pleasure then my selfe. These are excuses, said Russian, which wil hardly serve your turn, and to think of satisfying me with words, is to deceive your self, you must therefore provide for your defence. Nay, said Don Rogel, I had rather yeeld you the victory presently: for there is no reason I should take away that life which I have given you, or that you should bereave me of mine, from whom you hold yours. Your words, replied Russian, do amaze me: for either you are the Emperour Don Rogel, and my Lord, or I understand you not. It is true, said Don Rogel, lifting up his Bever that I am your father, brought hi­ther by the strangest accident in the world, and infinitely pleased with the honour which you have gained by the ruine of these inchantments. But pray tell me, what delight was that from which I hindred you? Your eyes my Lord, said Russian, after he had modestly excused himselfe upon his ignorance, will better inform you then my words. If you please to look into [Page 130] this fountain, which was set heer in the time of the mist, perhaps you will have cause to say with me, that it is one of the rarest wonders that may be seen: Don Rogel then, more curious then before, went presently up the steps, and looking into the water, he beheld the fair Emperesse of Persia his wife, who with a sad countenance declared, that his absence was not little grievous to her, that loved him so truly; Fair-Mistris, said he then, it is not without extream sorrow that I am thus esloigned from you; But alas! I am compelled to it by the necessity of occasions, that will not suffer me to enjoy the happinesse of your presence, as your felicity seems to depend on mine: Comfort your self, I beseech you, for a time, the common Father of all things, will render us that contentment, and our delights will be the more pleasing after the displeasure of so long an absence; with that look­ing down, he espied the sword and helmet, whereof we have heertofore spoken, hanging over the two marble arches, he had a desire to prove if those arms were reserved for his glory, but perceiving a Damsell comming in with two Lions in a lease, he went speedily down to entertain her, and to go the neerest way, passed under one of the arches, where he presently lost the remembrance of all things, remaining inchanted, without any will to go out, but for to combat those which should touch him with their swords. R [...]ssian, who thought that some new matter of wonder had made him stay there, straightway entered under the other, as desiring to partici­pate of his fathers good fortune; but he was also enchanted in the same sort, and finding a chair there, he sat him down, withou [...] any thought of his Agriclea. As soon as these two Princes were thus arrested, the Dam­sell f [...]stening two iron chains unto two buckles that appeared at the ends of that frame, and struck the Lions with a rod she had in her hand; which done, the fountain, seated upon four iron wheels, began to move with the drawing of the Lions, who were no sooner out of the Castle, but the whole building sunk into the earth, the Damsell being left in a corniche of the frame, with the rains in her hand, and the coffer, which the savages had brought in, between the two arches, but so close shut, that no body could possibly come to see what was within it.

CHAP. XXIX. That which befell Esquilan of Poland and Perion of Turkie, going in quest of Den Rogel.

THE Gentlemen, that accompanied Don Rogel on hunt­ing, having made a thousand turns in the wood with­out hearing any news of him, determined to return to the City, beleeving that they should finde him there; but when they came thither, and found him not, they advertised Don Florisel of his losse, who was very much grieved thereat, and would certainly have gone himself the same day to seek him, had he not counted it an unpardonable fault to have left his Empire, and his people, to the mercy of their enemies, whose comming he every howr expected, having [Page 131] had intelligence that they were at sea, and might with a fair wind be quick­ly there: Determining therefore not to stir, he called Esquilan and Perion to him, commanded them to get to horse, and to seek Don Rogel four dayes, with a charge, that if in that time they heard not of him, they should not fa [...]l to return back: These young Princes thinking it an honour for them to receive this command, went presently to arm themselves, and being well mounted, travelled till it was late, without meeting any adventure worth the relating; but toward night they saw a Shepherdesse passing by them, who in the midst of her age, had some lines yet left in her face of a loving beauty, which in her youth had made her beesteemed: a young Shepherd, handsome, and well proportioned, followed her, with his eyes drowned in tears: What, said he, fair Oristea, will you alwayes flie me, and shall my tears never soften that marble which you have lodged in your breast? Stay, I beseech you, and by my actions judge of my sufferings, too long indeed for so slight a fault; My sighs do crave that grace which sometimes you granted me, and which now I have lost, rather by misfortune, then malice; Do not deny it to this violent affection I bear you, your quiet, and my con­tentment depend on your facility in receiving me at this present, for love having heertofore tied us together with such fast bonds, I cannot see how ever we should live contentedly in this separation. That is it, said the Shepherdesse, with a disdainfull countenance, which without doubt abuses you; for I am now more capable of hate, then ever I was of love, neither do you imagine, that my happinesse consists in your glory, or my pain in your misfortune; you are to me me so indifferent, that I will never have a share in any thing that may be fall you; your excuses therefore, and the im­portunities wherewith you thus vex me, are altogether unprofitable: Leave me then to live with the liberty of my thoughts, and study some artifice with which you may appease Cloria, who hath no lesse cause to banish you her presence, and not to love you, then my self. With that she was go­ing away, when as Peri [...], who was highly delighted with her discourse, and as much desired to know the occasion of it: Fair Shepherdesse, said he, I know not what fault this young man hath committed, but I finde his pe­nance very sharp, and your heart a little to blame, for we do alwayes me­rit pardon, when we confesse our errour, and protest never to offend again. If you have heertofore loved him, you would doubtlesse have loved him still, had not some crime of his rendered him unworthy of your affection; his repentance doth blot out his offence, wherefore you ought to love him as much now, as heertofore you have done, nor think more of his fault, since his sorrow for it hath cancelled it. I should willingly, answered she, allow of your reasons, if I were lesse sensible of the grief I am in, for ha­ving been so fouly deceived, or could build any assurance on the oaths of men: but can it be likely I should ever put any trust in the oaths of a Shep­herd, whose humour I too well know to be so inconstant and full of levity; these tears, which you see in his eyes, are onely to reduce me once more into the captivity wherein his love hath for three yeers detained me; and his sighs, serve but for charms, to keep my reason from discerning the mis­chief which he would bring upon me; I must not therefore regard them, but having paid for my learning, take my self out a good lesson from his fault, and my misfortune, to injoy the happinesse of my liberty. It may be you will not approve [...] discourse, and will say that my humour is too [Page 132] valiant; but I will let you see, that I have all the reason in the world to han­dle him in this sort, and firmly to resolve, either never to love again, or to live no more for the world, since there is no security to be found in it, so your occasions will give you leisure to hear me, and that you disdain not a poor cottage for your lodging this night. Your request is so fair, answered Esquilan, that we are bound to accept of your curr [...]sie, wherefore we will wait on you, with a longing desire to hear the relation of your adventure. Taking then a path on the right hand, and guided by the Shepherd, who, out of civility, had given over his sighing and lamentions, they came to a little village, where they were better entertained by Oriste [...], then they could have hoped for from one of that quality: Their supp [...]r ended, she caused caused them to sit down under certain trees, where when her self and Filis­m [...]nd had also taken their places, she thus began: Do not wonder▪ Knights, to hear me say, that I am nobly descended, because you see me not in a ha­bit sutable to that condition; Love and Fortune do often work greater mi­racles then this; I came into the world, with so malignant an aspect of the stars, that I cannot with reason say, that ever I enjoyed any contentment long: My parents losing themselves in that common blindnesse of the world, which thinks wealth to be the soveraign good, made me be called a wife, at the time, when onely the title of a childe was fit for me; and at se­ven yeers of age married me to a man, whose kindnesse, in that tender age, was very unpleasing unto me; but much more when I arrived at yeers of discretion, and was able to discern the defects which were in him: Com­plaining then, not to those, upon whom my will should in right have de­pended, (for hardly should I by my prayers and tears have drawn them to break that which they had once done) but to them that had the power of justice in their hands; and demonstrating unto them, that it was but reason to suffer me to enjoy the rights which heaven bestows on all men that are born into the world, I got them, after much deb [...]ting, and with many dif­ficulties, to dissolve this marriage, and gave me power to chuse a husband to my own liking, wherein truly I chanced very happily, by the possession of a Gentleman, as good and accomplished a Cavalier as the earth this day bears: But the Fates envying the felicities which I then began to taste, too suddenly ravished him from me, and gave me cause to die with him if so I might have done without displeasing the Gods, who will with absolute power dispose of our dayes, not permitting us to shorten them, no more then we are able to prolong them. My tears, and the continuance of my mourning, sufficiently demonstrated my sorrow, but my undestanding, and time, the common Physician of our sorrows, having somewhat eased my grief, I confidered that it was but weaknesse of spirit so to lose my self in the anguish of my minde; and finding some ease in my p [...]tience, resolved to afflict my self no more so excessively; I lived then with lesse disquiet then before: But alas! This happinesse was not of long continuance: The proud tyrant of our souls, Love, would once more triumph over me by the means of this Cavalier, whom you see heer, in this simple habit of a Shep­herd, which within these few dayes he hath assumed, though with a pur­pose far different from mine: for I wear it to exempt my self from the c [...]res of the world, and to seek for pleasures in these woods; and he with­out doubt to make me beleeve that he loved me in this change of condition, as that of his affection made me hold him inconstant and perfidious; He [Page 133] was worthy of my love, I do confesse, for his fault shall not keep me from giving him his deserved commendations; but his light and sickle humour hath made him incapable of so good a fortune. He saw me, and finding (as he pretended) charms in my eyes, came to present his service to me with so good a grace, that from that time forth it was impossible for me to ap­prove of the resolution I had taken, never to love again, for fear of being once more in the danger of the misfortune, which had made me complain so long; howbeit, good manners obliging me, not to accept him at the first tender of himself, nor my affection permitting me to reject him with too much rigour, I made him an ordinary answer, which yet might let him perceive that I had no inclination to neglect his good will: To what end should I spin out my discourse, with delivering the particulars of the be­ginning of our passions? Our love did so increase, that every body held our marriage for concluded, and that it would be consummated as soon as the yeer was expired, which the modesty of the world allows to the mourning for the dead, and indeed I had resolved upon it, [...]s I told you but now, had not his inconstancie put him by that fortune: The faithlesse man, seeing among the Ladies, which my quality had made my friends, and that often bestowed visits upon me, a maid called Cloria, beautifull in­deed, and of parts to make the most insensible feel the power of love, could not refuse to yeeld her that, which she was able to command from all those that looked on her; and did in such sort become her sl [...]ve, as he scarce re­membered that ever he had sighed for me: If he came into my company, it was with a ceremonious respectivenesse; now he no longer besought me to quench that fire which I had [...]indled in his soul, his lips where unto he was wont to rivet me, did no more meet with mine; our looks no more in­countered together, I was no more acquainted with his minde, though I did clearly let him see what was in my heart: In brief, his discourses, being of a strain clean diffrent from what they had been before, made me suspect▪ not any ill in him, (for I was too full of love to think him a villain) but that some mish [...]p had caused this change. What [...]il you Filismond, said I to him, and why do you appear so cold? Hath any man told you tales to the prejudice of the good opinion which you had of me? Or do you not think me as beautifull, as for these three moneths past you have done? If it be repentance that you have loved me, which doth trouble you, and that you hold me unworthy of your aff [...]ction, you are yet in your own power to make a fair retreat, for I will never force your humour, but rather do my best for your content, nor will I be displeased with the liberty you shall take to ingage you other where, so as the cause thereof may excuse this mu­tability in you: Now if you have heard any mis-report in me, give me leave to clear your minde of any doubts may be in it; and I make no que­stion, but you shall finde me without [...]aint, or shame, for any fault I have committed. I should wrong my judgement, as well as all theirs that know you, answored he, if I should think you other then discreet; that is not the cause, Or [...]stea, of this change in me, no more then my being sorry for that I have loved you; for you deserve to be served by a more accomplished and eminent man then my self; but I must accuse mine own weaknesse, and by confessing my fault, l [...]bour to obtain your parcton. I love, but alas! it is not you: [...], posse [...]es me with an absolute power, and that Deity, which disposeth of our affections, is not pleased that I shall have any con­tent [Page 134] in this world, but in enjoying her: Iudge, I beseech you, what my misfortune is, that cannot move, but by the impulsion of another, and that am constrained to crave favours of Cloria by your mediation: Verily, I blush for shame, and know well that it were better for me to seek them in your imbraces; but I have not power to dispose of my self, and can think of nothing, more conducing to my happinesse, then your assistance, which you promise me: But alas! I fear you are not so minded. My promises are in­violable, answered I, without any shew of discontent for his b [...]s [...]n [...]sse, and it may be, Filismond, Cloria will love you sooner at my intreaty, then for your services; wherefore, I will go presently to her, to begin the making good of my word: G [...]ing out th [...]n, exceeding full of grief, I went to Cloria, unto whom I discovered the desires of my waverer, praying her to have respect to his me [...]i [...], and to the advantage that his affection might bring her. This discourse of mine, s [...]emed a fiction to her at first, for she was not ignorant with what passion Filismond had wooed me; but seeing that I spake seriously, and withall found some other pretences for cause of our se­paration; she answered me, that time and my advice should resolve her of this businesse, and that in the mean while she would entertain Filismond at my request. This good news I delivered to my Turn-coat, and though displeas [...]d with the office, the next mo [...]n [...]ing carried him to his new Mist is; to whom, and in my presence, he made the same protestation of love, that at other times I had received of him. O ye Gods! said I, when I heard him, What traitours are men, and what fools are we to give any credit to their promises? Hark if these be not the very same speeches that Filismond hath used a thousand times to me, all which the wind hath blown away, as without doubt another puffe will do these; he swears only that he may be perjured, whereof I am to make my benefit, grow wise with my losse, ne­ver trust any but my self, and draw my fu [...]ure content out of the knowledge of Filismonds treacherie. Entertaining my self in this fashion, whilst these lovers were laying the first foundations of their aff [...]ctions; the day insensi­bly slipt away, and night comming on, made me return home in a strange dist [...]mper; for, not to dissemble, all my resolutions could not keep me from wishing, that these new fansies had never come into Filismonds Head; but be­ing, as then fuller of desp [...]ght then love, I determined to live no more in the w [...]rld, since the lives of those of quality were subject to so many muta­tions, and from hence orth onely to frequent the woods, where people live without ambition. This designe contenting me best, I took a good summe of money, and with a wench in my company, who was content to run my fortune, I came and bought a cottage in this Hamlet; taking care for nothing but to feed my sheep, and by that imployment divert my self from more troublesome thoughts. Living thus quietly, and pleased with mine own profession, I was at good ease, till within these fowr dayes, that Cloria ha­ving given Filismond some occasion of distate, he came to crosse my con­tent with his continuali importunities; thinking that I will change my minde, and consent as easily to his return, as I did to his departure: But he is deceived, the resenting of my wrong will not let me endure his sight, and his levity forbids me ever to accept of him again. You now know, Gen­tlemen, the cause of his complaint, and my displeasure, which I think to be just; and that also you will not condemn, when you remember, that nature and reason both forbid us ever to impose any trust in those which have [Page 135] once betrayed us. I excuse not my fault, answered Filismond, when he saw that she had done speaking, and will with you avow, that I do not deserve the grace that I crave. But, Oris [...]ea, I must say, that it is yet due to my repentance, that so you may avoid the name of being cruell: and for that consideration, I will never cease following you, and perpetually powring out my teares before you, in hope that they may one day mollifie your heart. And if I cannot ob­tain that blisse, I will gladly end my dayes in the acknowledgement of my er­rour, and in my desire to do you service. Time, said Oristea, may do that mi­racle; but now, because it is the hour of rest, you shall retire your selfe with these Knights; who, if you please, may lodge in your cottage. With that, ma­king a courtsie to the Princes, that were exceedingly delighted with her dis­course, she left them to go with Filismond, who carried them home, where they lay that night, and the next morning very early getting to horse, procee­ded on their voyage, which they finished without any news of Don Rogel, to the exceeding griefe of Florisel, for that it hapned in a time wherein Greece had such need of his presence.

CHAP. XXIX. The Pagans arrivall at Constantinople, with a cruell fight upon their landing.

THE return of these Princes having brought a generall dis­content to the whole Court, and in particular to Don Florisel, who judged the Empire of Greece to be in bad case, not being supported with those invincible courages which had rendered it every where redoubtable: but having fortitude enough to endure the wo [...]st of fortune, he well resolved not to murmure against God, and to receive his chastisements as an assured signe of his fa­vour; which was very m [...]ch confirmed by the arrivall of the forces of great Britain and Rome. The last commanded by Sclarimond, sonne to Florenio, and the other by Garm [...]nt, Ladazan, of Numidia, Don Sinald [...], and G [...]cilad [...]r. This succour of twenty five thousand horse, and ten thousand foot, did some­what encourage those, which were before in feare of the multitude of the ene­mies, and much cheered the Greek Princes. But their contentment, was com­pleat, when the next day word was brought them, that the two Empresses of Perfia, and of the Parthians, were in the Port, with thirty thousand horse, and Fifteen thousand foot. Vpon this advertisement, Florisel, Spheramond, and all the young Princes, quickly madethem ready, and presently went down to the shore, where no sort of kindest entertainment, or embraces were preter­mitted; Spheramond seemed as if he had been fastened to the lips of his beau­tifull wife: But when he saw R [...]zal [...] of Greece, his sonne, who with Ro­zanel d' Astre presented themselves to do their duty to him, he ran to embrace them with a world of joy to behold them so lovely and well made. Florisel on the other side▪ no lesse kindly entertained the Empresse Persea, wondring at the goodly disposition of Persides and Floridan her sonnes, whom she had brought with her. But when he saw that she looked round about, as if she de­manded [Page 136] why her husband was not in the company, he told her, that he was a few dayes since gone abroad into the countrey, with purpose not to make a­ny long stay. In the mean time Don Lucendus entertained the fair Infanta Ro­zaliana: briefly, there was nothing but complements, and still were some armes stretched out to reiterate their embraces. Those caresses being over, Spheramond led the Empresse Persea, Florisel and Silvan, the fair Ric [...]arda; and Lucendus and Dorigel, the Infanta Rozaliana, the young Knights tooke the charge of their women, and Rozalmond with the three young Princes his companions, putting themselves in the head of the troop, marched with an admirable grace, and were the first that came into the Palace, where the ca­resses were by those Queenes renewed, with so many expressions of love, that not to be tedious, I will passe them over in silence. In the mean time Flo­rizel, to whose care all the affairs were left, made these aids be landed, which he joyned to those of great Britain and Rome. And having given order for the making of strange trenches to lodge them in, he returned to the Citie, to continue the pleasures which the comming of so brave a company had begun. But that lasted not long: for the next morning they saw the sea covered with ships, and the Princes were forced to arme, and suddenly to marshall their Souldiers upon the shore, to impeach the landing of the Pagans. The Empe­rour Spheramond put himselfe first of all in the head of five and twenty thou­sand horse, accompanied with the valiant Dorigel, the Duke of Laiazza, Que­dragant of Sansueque, and the brave Florestan of Sardinia. The brave Ala­straxerea had the second place assisted by Silvan, the faire Savagesse his wise, Florian with his brother Tristor, and Dardanio King of Rhodes. The third Squadron consisting onely of twenty thousand horse, was led by Lucendus, Prince of France, accompanied by the gallant Esquilan of Poland, Perion of Turkie, Florizart of Taproban, Agrian, Abies of Ireland, and Frizel of Ar­cadia. And the last troop of the same number, by the valorous Florizel of Niquea, who was followed by the two Cenophales, Armond of Bohemia, Alteria, Malford, Leonida [...], and Ladazan of Numidia. The Infantery, which were onely five and twenty thousand men, remained in guard of the towne and camp, under the charge of Garmant, Sinaldo and Gucilador. The shore thus covered with these Troops in good order, it was presently discovered by the Pagans, who came on with swelling sails; whereupon Fulgoran and Prigmaleon (who were joyned five dayes before) gave order to their Fleet to make ready for fight. Arriving then with incredible fury, in an instant was heard a confusion of voyces, mingled with a dreadfull noyse of trumpers and drums; and the aire was presently darkned with millions of arrows. The Pagans proud of their multitude, and thrusting on with courage, under the favour of their Archers, threw out bridges and ladders to get to the strand. But the Christian Princes, and those brave Knights, received them upon their lances, made them tumble into the sea as fast as they left their ships; and not fearing their Archers, who but very seldome pierced their Arms, put them­selves into the water, the better to make use of the swords. The fight then be­gun to be very cruell: for the Giants and the Kings in a rage to see the water died red with the bloud of their men, leaped all at once on land, in spight of all their enemies resistance, and with them above fourty or fifty thousand men. Then was the encounter very bloudy: for as many Pagans as the swords of our Christian Princes did light upon, found their graves in the sands; and the catholiques had not a much better bargain under the scymiters of the Giants, [Page 137] whereof two were at this first meeting slain; and with them the Kings of Zambar, Carthage [...], and Nabagaz [...]. Prig [...]leon and Fulgor [...], who desi­red to signalize their valour at their enemies cost, cut in pieces all that they met with; and followed by a multitude of people which were gotten to land, they had fallen upon Alastraxerea's Squadron, if Spheramond had not arre­sted the fury of Prig [...]leon, and Silvan that of the King of Canabea. These four Knights being thus incountred, began a most furious combat; during the which, Alastraxerea, the fair Savagesse, Florian, Dorigel, Quedragant, Altaria and Dardanio, were on the one side gotten together, to take the Giants in hand, while their Knights made a strange massacre of the Pagans; and on the other side Florizel, Lucendus, Esquilan, Florestan, Florizart, Leonidas, Melfort, Sclarimond, and some o [...] the most remarkable in the Army, rendred them­selves dreadfull even to those proud Knights, who thought that all the men in the world assembled together, were not able to resist their forces: so that no­thing was seen but dead bodies and horses on the ground. The fight having thus continued above two hours with horrible slaughter, Florisel perceiving a battallion of three or fourscore thousand horse, which had landed below the place where they fought, ready to charge him, caused presently a retreat to be sounded, being unwilling to engage himselfe amongst such a multitude of ene­mies. And falling into the rear of his Army, with all those brave Knights, he bare off the fury of the Giants and the Kings, who not enduring the losse they had suffered, charged themselves like desperate men; but seeing twenty thousand foot advance, which Don Si [...]ald [...] and Garmant had drawn out to fa­vour the retreat of the Christian Princes, they made a stand, and rallying themselves together, went in good order to plant their Army before the towne. Florizel having put the greatest part of his men into the fortifications which he had caused to be made, and the rest into the town, desired to know what this battell had cost him; and by the report of the Captains, he found, that seven thousand Christian [...] were dead on the place; but he was advertised by the spies which he had in the [...]nemies camp, that the Pagans had lost two and twenty thousand men, fifteen Giants, and thirteen Kings; at which they were so enraged, that if it had not been so neer night, they would not have tar­ried till the next day for giving the assault to the town; yet necessity enforcing it, they were glad to set a good face on the matter, for fear of disanimating their Souldiers, promising themselves to do wonders upon the first occasion, since their Army was now out of feate of the sea, and that they might fight at large upon firme ground. But they were beguiled in their hopes: for the Greeke Princes, who well knew how to follow their fortune, and to vanquish as well by industry as courage, gave them a new occasion of despight, as I will pre­sently deliver.

CHAP. XXXI. The wonderfull deeds of Armes that were done both in a sally, and in the assault given to Constantinople, with the great losse that the Pa­gans suffered by an Army newly arrived in favour of the Christians.

THis mighty Fleet of enemies having landed, as hath been told you, passed the night without any rest, being im­ployed in setting up of tents, and making retrench­ments for their security: so that about the break of day the fortifications being finished, the Souldiers ti­red with the sea, as well as with their precedent labour; and besides, pressed with an extream desire of sleep, laid themselves downe to take a little rest; but they were quickly rowsed: for the Princes of Greece being infatigable, and ever casting for the victory, and how to weaken their enemies, having withdrawn to the town for to cheer up those timerous Princesses, after they had supped, went to counsell; where the couragious Florisel remonstrating in few words, what benefit would result from a surprisall of drowsie enemies, determined to get to horse before Sun rising, and meaning to play his game with as much losse and hazard of the enemy as he could, he gave order that Spheramond should [...]ally forth at the east port, with ten thousand choyce horse, the two Cenophales, the brave Esquilan of Poland, Perion of Turkie, Florian and Tri­stor of Sopradisa; that the Prince Lucendus, with the like number, should fall out of the south port, followed by Silvan, the fair Savagesse, Quedragant, Florestan, Agrian, Alteria and Dardani [...]: and that at the same time he would be in the fild with twelve thousand horse, in the head of which should be the valiant Dorigel, Florizart, Frizel Abies, Melfort, Armond, and Leo­nidas; appointing the Queen Alastraxerea to be ready with two thou­sand horse to favour his retreat; as also Parmenian of Cyprus with the like num­ber to support Spheramond; and Ladazan of Numidia to do as much for the Prince of France, if the enemies approched to the walls. Things being in this sort disposed, and direction given to such as were to be of the party, every one withdrew till the houre appointed, when as they sallied out with a designe to make a strange havock among the Pagans. The first that began to stirre was the invincible Emperour of the Parthians, who find [...]ng the enemy sleeping, and almost disarmed, did such execution on them, as the fild was all strewed over with dead bodies. Prigmaleon & Fulgoran who were asleep in their arms, but a great way asunder, hearing this fearfull alarm, presently took each of them ten thousand horse, which they held ready about them for all occasions, and joyning together, went to oppose the violence of these indomptable Greekes, who bare all down before them, when as a fresh noyse on the south side, made them make a stand, as uncertain which way to bend themselves; but being met just at that instant, Prigmaleon with fifteen Giants, and twelve Kings, who had put themselves into his troop, whilst the others took care of drawing the rest of the forces to Arms, turned to that side where Spheramond [Page 139] acted wonders, desiring Fulgoran to encounter the enemy which gave in up­on the south quarter: matching then with incredible fury, they began a most cruell bickering: for the Greekes imitating their Princes, who never let their swords fall without the death of some one, followed their businesse so close, that the Pagans wanting courage to defend themselves, were already wavering and ready to quit their ground, had not 20000 horse come in presently to their second. But that also served them to little purpose: for Florisel of Ni­quea being at that instant likewise fallen upon their quarters, caused such a confusion, as no [...] knew which way to turn himselfe; howbeit, Fulgoran no way losing his judgement, left the great King of Mauritania in his stead, to make head to the brave Prince of France, who still got ground upon his ene­mies, and taking with him two dreadfull Giants, with fifteen thousand horse, went to charge the Squadron which Florisel led, had not that great Captain, more carefull of the preservation of his men, then of satisfying his own passi­on, wisely retreated, after he had bothed the earth with the bloud of his ene­mies. The gallant Pagan vexed to death with the sight of such a massacre a­mong his men, could not bridle his rage, but without observing how the Christians retired in a safe orderly manner, gave in upon them with the Gi­ants, hoping to break them, and to enter the town pell [...]ell with them: But Alastraxerea with her two thousand horse comming in at the same time, char­ged him in flank whilst Florisel making his men turn head, stood his shocke with unspeakable valour, and not onely rendred his designe effectlesse, but al­so forced him to quit the place with extream losse. In the mean time Sphera­mond was but in an ill taking: for intending to retire to save his men from the terrible blows of Prig [...]le [...] and his Giants, who found nothing able to resist them, was by the obstinate eagernesse of the enemy so engaged, that some mis­fortune had befallen him, if the valiant Parmenian of Cyprus, and Don Si­naldo, advancing with strange fury, had not valiantly freed him out of their hands. Lucendus also having bravely delivered himselfe from an incredible multitude that most violently charged him, the Citie ports were shut to the great contentment of the Princesses, who seeing all the principal knights safely come off, received them so lovingly, that the sweetnesse of their entertainment made all their labor seem almost nothing. The losse which the Christians had made, somwhat troubled them, when as they considered, that one Knight was of greater importance to them, then three to the enemy; but having learned that seventeen thousand Pagans, three Kings, and twelve Giants remained slain in the field, and that they wanted of their men but three thousand and seven hundred, they comforted themselves, hoping that God would not for­sake them, since the question was as much for his glory as for the preservation of their estates. On the other side, the Pagans were mad with spight to see the a [...]dacity of the enemy, and their own losse; but yet having too much courage to be daunted therewith, they made shew of lesse griefe then inwardly they felt. But not intending to sit down without revenge, they assembled that day in counsell, and there resolved either to carry the town, or dye at the assault; whereupon secretly commanding all the Captains to be ready by breake of day, that so they might by a cam [...]ssado pay the Christians in their owne com, they withdrew till two hours after midnight, when as they rose according to the order given, armd their Souldiers with the least noyse that might be, and divided their forces in this manner: Prigmaleon, Fulgoran, and the great Kings of Mauritania, made three battalions, each of an hundred thousand Souldiers, [Page 140] twenty Giants, and fourteen Kings, to assail the town in three severall parts, and gave the Tamberlan of Moraria in charge to keep them of the Fort im­ployed with thirty thousand foot, and fifteen thousand horse, thereby to impeach them from assisting those that were to defend the walls. Now they perswaded themselves that they should finde the Greeks asleep, but Florisel being advertised of their designe by the spi [...]s which he had in their camp, placed Alaslraxerea at the Conduct-gate with twenty thousand men, and part of the young Knights, charging them not to shew themselves till the ladders were set up, and laden with enemies; Spheramond at the Dra­gon-gate, with the like number, and the same direction; and Lucendus at the East-port in the like sort provided; so commanding Silvan to take four thousand horse, for to round the tower, he went out of the City with Dori­gel, Parmenian of Cyprus, Ladazan of Numidia, and the brave Esquilon of Poland, and finding twenty thousand horse, and twelve thousand foot in his fortifications, he presently put them in arms, to make use of them as time and occasion should require.

The Pagans drawing toward the Town, and hearing no noise in it, thought the Christians had been sleeping, so that in a moment their ladders were reared, whereupon, the Giants first mounted, to encourage the soul­diers to follow them: But straightway they saw the enemy shew himself, and with a tempest of stones, boiling oyl, sulphur and pitch, overthrew those which thought to lay hold of the parapet, so that the ditch began to be filled with dead men; then it was that the assault grew to be furious and cruell, for the Giants enraged to see their fellows repulsed and slain, not ca­ring for their lives pressed forward, and divers times to the sword with the Christian Princes, who, under favour of the wall, discharged most horrible and mortall blows; especialy Spheramond, that never lighted on a Giant, with­out depriving him of life. Neverthelesse, lacking room to lay about him, according to his minde, he took a new resolution, and leaving the charge of his quarter to Don Sinaldo, as also Lucendus that of his to Garmant, they both sallied forth with six thousand horse apiece, and gave upon the enemy with such fury, that finding them in disorder, the field was infinitely cove­red with dead carcasses. Then was the valiant Prince of France seen breaking into that mighty battalion of the enemies, and charging them with such courage, as made his friends admire, and his enemies fear him: On the other side, the invincible Emperour of the Parthians seemed a thun­derbolt of war, one while sending arms and heads to the ground, another while dividing a Giants body in two pieces. In brief, nothing was to be seen round about them, but dead bodies, nor any thing to be heard, but a confusion of voices, and the cryes of such as lay dying under the horses feet. The valourous Aethiopian, and the mighty King of Canabea, whom these two little squadrons attacqued, followed by the Kings and Giants that accompanied them, did wonders, piercing into the Christians squadrons with a great and terrible slaughter, and were very glad to see them abroad, in hope to beat them in, and enter the Town with them: But Florisel, that considered the consequence of this enterprise, caused eight thousand horse to slip along by the Town, without being per­ceived by the Tamberlan of Moraria, put Esquilan in the head of the one moity, and sending him to second Spheramond, himself with the rest, charged the enemy, and assisted the Prince of France, who then was [Page 141] fighting with Fulgoran, with as much courage as force and dexterity: these troops, having renewed the fight with much cruelty, and so continued it a pretty while, were about to make their retreat upon advertisement that a great piece of the wall was fallen down, and that there was great danger in it, by reason of the enemies obstinate pressing on there; when as on the sudden, a terrible noise and tumult was heard at the sea side, which put a fear into both sides; the Christians doubting that it was some new succour against them, and the Pagans mistrusted as much; but it was soon known what it was; for presently the Pagans army was seen to be in disorder, and a little while after, a Knight came up to the trenches, that certified Florisel of the arrivall of the brave Amanio d' Astre, of Ginoldan, the Kings of Dar­dania and Comagena, the Kings Melinda, and Olidor his brother, with sixty thousand horse, and forty thousand foot, who knowing in what estate the fight stood, had landed with a determination to charge the enemy back. As I live, said Florisel, this is good news; Come, let us close up our enemies, and keep them from putting themselves in array. Saying so, he advanced with forty thousand horse, drawn out of the Towns and trea­ches, and put himself into the field with a resolution to fight, but Prigma­leon and Fulgoran, as discreet as valiant, perceiving the disorder their peo­ple were in by reason of this new-come army, which made an incredible flaughter amongst them, kept their souldiers within their trenches, under the command of the King of Thenes, and of the Island of Till, and run­ning where the Christian Princes were arrived, arrested their fury, draw­ing the rest of their men within their works. Florisel, commending the discretion of Princes so young, went to receive his kinsmen with a world of contentment, and causing a quarter to be set out under the walls for their forces, carried the Kings to the City with him, where the entertainments were renewed at their meeting with those beautifull Princesses. That done, they fell to burying the dead, which on the Christian part, was found to be nine thousand three hundred Knights, and seven hundred foot; and on the enemies, twenty seven thousand souldiers, fourteen Giants, and five Kings, which so much the more vexed the Pagans, as our Princes had cause to re­joice. Neverthelesse, concealing their thoughts, they shewed but little ressentment of it, divulging that they were glad of the comming of these troops, for that thereby the Gre [...]k Princes would be drawn to a set battell, whereunto before they had no reason to hearken.

CHAP. XXXII. The Pagans send to present the Christians with battell, which is accepted, and the successe of it.

THE discontent of the Pagans not suffering them to be at quiet, the Princes assembled together after they had given order for the buriall of their dead; and trusting as much in the greatnesse of their spirits, as in the multitude of their people, sent an Herauld with a bloudy gantlet, to require assignation of a day for a generall battell, which these invincible Princes of Greece would not refuse them, because they would not leave any bad impression of their courages: Florisel of Niquea then having accepted it, and appointed next morning for the same, a truce in the mean time being agreed on, all men were commanded to prepare themselves for the fight, and the Ladies bestowed themselves in prayers unto God for his mercy and blessing to be powred down upon his peo­ple. And now all men making ready, when as on the second day, they descried a Fleet at sea, sailing in good order, no man knowing in whose fa­vour they were come, both the armies expecting them, equally affected with hope and fear; these forces landed, and marching in good order, sent to the Pagan Princes, to let them understand, that they were come to serve them against the common enemy of their Gods, under the command of the great Cariffe of Africa, the Kings of Tincifroc and Marocco, and the Princes of Gamall and Aridamia, as also their dear friends, the Giant Gran­dimore, and the unknown Knight were with them; whereupon Fulgoran and Prigmaleon, with great joy, went presently to give them thanks for their assistance. If this supply, consisting of forty thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot, pleased the enemy, you may well beleeve it gave no content to our Princes; neverthelesse, being uncapable of fear, they resol­ved to submit themselves under the hand of God, and not to murmure at his providence. Commanding then publike prayers to be made, and go­ing to sit in Councell about the approaching battell, word was brought them that a mighty Fleet was descried at sea, comming thither with full sails. Their desire to know who they might be, breaking off their former designe, they presently repaired to the walls, where they had not long been before they discerned a world of colours, and flags, with white and red crosses, which made them quickly come down to go to the Port, but in the way thither, they met a Gentleman, who informed them, that in the first ships were the young Prince of France, Florisbel of the Star, second son to Prince Lucendus, and the Infanta Fortuna, and Lucibel of France, son to Fortanian, and the beautious Chireestoille, with five and twenty thousand choice Knights; That the second squadron came from Trebisond, with tw [...]lve thousand foot; The third from Hungary and Poland, with ten thousand horse, under the conduct of Gadard, and Filadart; The fourth from the fortunate Iland, with six thousand foot, commanded by the brave [Page 143] Cilinda, who brought with her her little son Cilindor. The fifth from Cathay, with eight thousand horse, led by Or [...]thea and her husband. The sixt from Almayne, with six thousand horse, under the charge of Alozian, eldest sonne of Don Argantes and the fair Scharimen [...]. The seventh of twelve thousand Spanish horse whose Generall was Sestilian, sonne to Don Arlanges of Spain. And the last from Guindaya with seven thousand foot, commanded by the Duke of Affarte: these newes having given them far more content, then the arrivall of the enemies succour, had brought them sadnesse; the Princes went to the Port where these young Cavaliers and the Kings were entertai­ned with a million of welcomes; and from thence conveyed to the Citie, to the infinite joy of the Ladies, who received them with a world of caresses. The welcomes once at an end, all these Christian Kings and Knights assem­bled together to consult of these affairs; because the day of battell drew neer: but they all referring themselves to the prudence of Don Florizel, he ordered things in this manner: Their whole forces consisting of an hundred and three­score thousand horse, and an hundred and sixteen thousand foot; having first drawn out sixteen thousand of the foot for the guard of the town, he divided into five battalions, each of them containing thirty thousand horse, and twen­ty thousand foot; of which he committed the first to the Emperour Sphera­mond, accompanied with the two Cenophales the King of Numidia his wife Cassinna, Olidor of Siranquea, Armond of Bohemia, and Florizart of Tapro­bana. Don Lucendu [...] had the second, with the brave Alastraxerea, Peri [...] of Turkie, Florian and Tristor of Sopradisa, Quedragant and Leonida [...] of Me­sopotamia. Dorig [...]l had the third, with his wife the faire Cilinda, Florestan of Sardinia, Agrian of Scotland, Alteria and Dardani [...]. The fourth was led by the Kings of Hungary and Poland, accompanied with their sonnes Melfort and Esqui [...], Parnenian the Duke of Laiazza, and Abies of Ireland. The last he reserved for himselfe with the King of Cathay, and his wife, the Princes of Dardania and Comagena, and Frizel of Arcadia. Then ordering that Silvan and the fair Savagesse his wife, should command ten thousand horse upon the wings, to releeve such as they saw overpressed: he commanded every man to look well to his horse and arms, and to be in a readinesse by the break of the next day. In the mean time the Pagans were busied with the same care: for knowing of what importance this battell would be, they ende­voured to fit themselves in every particular for it, and to omit nothing through negligence.

Being then informed of the order that the Christians intended to hold, they thought it best to observe the same, and not to make any superfluous bodies; for they considered, that united forces were harder to be broken then when they were dispersed: so that finding their Army to be three hundred thousand horse, and an hundred and sixtie thousand foot: they made five Squadrons of it, each consisting of sixty thousand horse, and twenty five thousand foot. The first led by the great Cariffe of Africa, with whom were the Kings of Tingefort, of Morque, Calisan, N [...]zamo [...], Argosana, Meroūe, and of the Tragonites, as also twelve dreadfull Giants. The great King of Mauritania commanded the second, and with him the Kings of Zizima, Dragon, Cezi­phala, Barnazar, Saphotir, of the Island of Till, Bazana, and twelve other Giants, no lesse huge and terrible then the former. The Tamberlan of Mo­raria brought on the third, with the Kings of Libia, Bisaura, Argier, Numidia, Thunes, Mira [...]in, and twelve Giants. Fulgoran and Prigmaleon led the [Page 144] fourth and fifth, with the like number of Giants, Kings and Knights. The Kings of Budomel and Arcania had the guard of the camp, with thirty five thousand foot. All things thus setled on either part, they expected the day of battell; which being come, to the generall content of both the Armies, the Pagans began to draw into the field, not a little wondring to see their enemies there before them, who already had had their troops there embattaild with admirable judgement: The first that shewed himselfe of the Pagans party was the great Cariffe of Africa, who marching gloriously under a num­ber of colours, wherein appeared two Lyons slain by one man, intimating his valour, that had made him twice to triumph over those beasts, caused a charge to be sounded as soon as he saw the Emperour Spheramond with a brave Ca­vallerys set forth against him. The incounter of these two leaders was very gallant: for the African was brave & daring but having the prime Knight of the world in hand, was wounded in the shoulder, and ready to lose his saddle, had he not been sustained by one of his Giants that followed him; neverthe­lesse his wound being such as would not permit him to keep the field, he was constrained to retire, leaving his men very ill handled at the first shock: for the Cenophales, the King Melinda, Cassiana, and Olidor, laid five of the Gi­ants dead upon the earth, Armond of Bohemia, and Florizart, having been as fortunate against the Kings of Tincefort and Calisan, who were overthrown at the first incounter with a multitude of Pagans beside, who were not com­parable to the Greekes that had been inured to the war so many years to­gether, wherein their enemies had forced them to bear Arms. This fight grow­ing furious on the one part by the terrible blowes of Spheramond, and the Princes that accompanied him, and on the other by those of the Giants their adversaries, there was nothing to be seen but karkasses strewed on the ground, and the cries of dying men filled the aire with groans & lamentations. Where­soever the Princes went, death attended on their swords; and on the other side, the Giants made such a massacre, that it was hard to passe over the heaps of sl [...]in men. But the numbers of the enemie giving way to the valour of our Princes, they were already wavering, and ready to turn their backes, had not Prigmaleon caused the second battalion to advance, commanded by the great King of Mauritania: to encounter whom the excellent Prince of France drew forward his; and with that greatnesse of courage wherewith his youn­ger years was endued, at the very first course he ran his lance clean thorow his enemies body, depriving this second Squadron both of an head and hope; yet being maintained by so many Kings and Giants, the battell began to be very bloudy: the valiant Alastraxerea, Ginoldan, Perion, Florian, Tristor and Quedragant, laid about them so terribly, that for all their multitude of Kings, and the bravery of their Giants, of whom five were at this second charge kil­led in the place, the Pagans were about to retire with shame, had not the Tamberlan of Moraria presently set forth with incredible fury. To oppose whom Dorigel of the fortunate Island came on, with a confident hope of vi­ctory, since his friends had begun so luckily: for this King resolving not to degenerate from the valour of the excellent emperour of Persia his brother, performed such wonders as he was much redoubted by his enemies; who, not­withstanding their losse, so disputed the victory, as no man knew to which side it would incline, when as the brave King of Lidia followed by his wife, the faire Savagesse, and his six thousand horse, gave in upon them with such violence, as having disordered this third Squadron with an unspeakeable [Page 145] slaughter, both that and the two former had all passed by the edge of the sword, if the invincible King of Canabea had not come into play, with so much valour, and acting such marvellous deeds, as notwithstanding all the resistance the King of Hungary and Poland could make, who advanced at the very same time, he maintained the battell in an equall balance: his presence cleared the ranks, and the souldiers shunned his sword, as they would have done a thunderbolt from heaven; close by him marched Flo­rimond, Grandimore, and the brave unknown Knight, making such a ha­vock, as was most lamentable to behold. Then were above twenty thou­sand Knights seen lie dead on the ground, and such was the confusion in every part, as it cannot be exprest. The valiant Esquilan of Poland did miracles, and not parting from his father, who gave strange proof of his courage, ran to oppose the Giants that ruined all before them, but the va­lour of the Prince of Canabea, and of the Giants that accompanied him, held the battell longer in suspence then could have been hoped for from the weaknesse of the former troops; howbeit, in the end he was constrai­ned to give way to force, by the comming in of Silvan, who that cay ren­dered good proof of a wonderous vertue: and carrying ruine along with him whithersoever he went, he made the victory incline to the Christians, when as the mighty Emperour of Aethiopia entered the field, and like a torrent rushing on our troops, quickly changed the face of all things; but he was soon incountered by Florisel of Niquea, with his last battalia: These two Princes, as valiant as possibly might be, encountering in the midst of their course, bare one another to the earth; but fearing to be troden under the horses feet, they instantly got up again; the fall of these two great cap­tains, having drawn all the bravest Knights of their squadrons to that place, there began a most dangerous fight; for the Kings of Cathay, Dardania, and Com [...]gena, laboured all they could to remount Florisel, but they were so pressed by the Giants, and the Pagan Kings, who were very excellent warriors, that their valour little availed them: For having thrown them­selves into the midst of so many enemies, they were unhorsed as well as Florisel, and constrained to defend themselves on foot with him a long time; howbeit, tired at length with the killing of men round about them, whose bodies served them for a rampire, they expected nothing but a glo­rious death to crown their future renown; when as the valiant Silvan, con­ducted by the Queen Orothea, (who could not get her souldiers, that stood in fear of the Giants, to follow her) came in with such fury, to see Florisel in that danger, as at the first blow he laid a Giants head at his feet, redou­bling another terrible one on Prigmaleons helmet, he made him see the stars at midday. Perion, Orothea, and the fair Savagesse, acting things no lesse wonderfull, this squadron was presently seen in disorder, and the Princes remounted upon good horses, revenging the trouble they had been put to with their enemies lives. Whilst the victory hung in this incertainty, the Emperour Spheramond, Lucendus, Dorigell, Ginoldan, Amanio d'Astre, and the brave Alastraxerea, made such a slaughter, having killed the greatest part of the Giants, that infallibly the Christians had gotten the day, if ad­vertisement had not been brought to both the Armies, that the sea was co­vered with ships, and the shore with men; who embattelling themselves, declared, that they ment to have a share in the businesse: This news cau­sed either side to give over, and draw to their colours; the Pagans retired [Page 146] to their trenches, and the Christian Princes toward the town, just at that time when as they saw these troops composed of about sixty thousand horse, move to charge them in the flank, whereby it appeared that their comming was against the Christians, to the great rejocing of the enemy; whereupon, Fulgoran and Prigmale [...]n advanced towards them, and under­standing that it was the Emperour of Melly, accompanied with fifteen Kings, they gave him the kindest welcome in the world, offered him the absolute command of all their forces, and related unto him the successe of the late battell, which had been very bloudy; for the number of the slain being taken, it was found that they had lost an hundred and forty thousand horse, thirty seven thousand foot, seven and twenty Giants, and fourteen Kings: The Christians having got off for seventy two thousand horse, and two and twenty thousand of their infantery.

CHAP. XXXIII. During a truce agreed upon between the two Armies, the Emperour of Melly sends to demand a combat of five to five, which is ac­cepted, and the issue of it.

THE grief of our Christian Princes was no lesse, for pay­ing so dear for the victory, then it was for the arrivall of such a multitude of new enemies: But having placed all their hope on God, who never leaves the afflicted in their miseries, so as their patience re [...]dered them worthy of his aid, they busied themselves more, with refreshing their surviving souldiers, then in mourning for those which were dead; for doubting a second assault from these troops, that yet had not fought, they sought to encourage their men by the care they took of their health, and by that means prevent the inconveniences which might arise by their negligence: On the other side, the Pagans were not very well pleased, for knowing full well that the end of the battell would have been unfortunate unto them, in regard of the losse they had made; notwithstanding, the great advantage which they had in the beginning, they gnawed their fingers for very spight, and if their wounds had not kept them in their beds, they would questionlesse either have renewed the assault, or presented a new battell the next morning: But being able to do no more then they could, they resol­ved to expect time, and in the mean space give their hurt men leisure to be cured; for which purpose, sending to the Christian Princes, they obtai­ned a truce for fifteen dayes. But the Emperour of Melly, as able, and va­liant, as any of the Pagans, and that could not endure to continue idle so long, desired Fulgoran, and Prigmaleon, whom the Army acknowledged for their Generall, that they would permit him, during the truce, to fight a particular combat of five on his fide, against as many of the Greek Princes, of whom there ran such a glorious fame. Your determinations depend on­ly upon your selves, answered Prigmaleon, and therefore you may (mighty Prince) dispose of this affair as you shall think good; Fulgoran and my self [Page 147] would willingly have waited upon you in it, if our wounds would have suffered us; howbeit, if you please to tarry but eight dayes, we will double the number, and adde some conditions to our combat which may be for the benefit of either Army. There were no reason, replied he, that a Ge­nerall should tie himself to the passions of a private man, you shall have time enough for that, and this first combat will be no impediment to a se­cond, wherefore since you do not disapprove of it, I will go and waken the Princes our enemies a little; whereupon, calling for paper, he wrote this cartell to them, and sent it the same day.

The Emperour of Melly to the Princes of Greece.

The honour of the world, and the glory of our Altars, obliging me from losing of time, makes me desire to see you in the field with the ordinary arms of a Cava­lier; but without comprising any thing in thi [...] combat, which concerns your diffe­rences with the mighty Princes of Aethiopia, and Canabea, I will be tomorrow un­der your walls, accompanied with four Gentlemen, so as you will meet me there with the like number, and with the assurances usuall in such cases.

This Ticket being delivered to Don Florisel, that kept his bed of two hurts he received, the young Knights, which desired nothing more, then to win honour and glory, pressed forward to be of the number of the com­batants, perswading themselves that Florisel would not refuse this offer; but he, that by the relation of his spies, was assured, how the Emperour had the estimation of a very valiant Prince, and that his seconds were of the most redoubted Giants in the world, made some difficulty at first of ac­cepting it; for he thought that this combat would be of great importance to the Pagans, if they went away with the honour of it; howbeit, withall considering, that to put it off with an excuse, would blemish the reputation which in so many occasions he had purchased; he promised the messenger, that he would give his Master all possible satisfaction, and that he would command the field to be chained in; and that for assurance, he could give him no greater assurance then his faith, and the continu [...]tion of the truce. The messenger being thus dispatched, and highly pleased with this answer, and the brave gallant demeanour of the Princes, which he exceedingly commended to the Emperour, as most worthy of the fame that ran of them. Florisel desiring his friends not to be displeased if they were not comprised in the number, named for the first of the combatants, Silvan, with Amanio d' [...]stre, Esquilan, Ginoldan, Perion: These five Princes, more pleased with this election, then the possession of a Kingdom, went present­ly to view their arms, and preparing themselves like good Christians, they attended the next day with much impatience, which no sooner appeared to the infinite contentment of both parties; but the Emperour of Melly came into the field, in the midst of four dreadfull Giants, matching in so grave and majesticall a fashion, as his carriage did well denote his great­nesse; and on the otherside, the Christian Princes so gallantly presented themselves, that every one took pleasure in beholding them: The Iudges, who were the valiant Alastraxerea, and the beautious Ar [...]eura, Aunt to F [...]l­go [...]an, having divided the Sun between them, Silvan charged his lance a­gainst the Emperour, and the rest in like sort doing the same, at the third [Page 148] sound of the trumpets, they suriously set spurs to their horses, meeting in the midst of their course so bravely, that they were all overthrown to the earth, without any other hurt, then onely the astonishment of their falls, but they lay not long there, for getting up, with ex [...]ream rage to be so disgraced [...] the of presence such great Princes, they began to charge one another, with such mighty blows, that all the shore resounded with the terrible n [...]ise thereof. The Princesses of Greece, who stood upon the walls to encourage the Christians, seeing the fury of the lances past, were not a little glad, for that the enemy had nothing to boast of in that encounter, and began to ob­serve with what dexterity those brave Knig [...]t, avoided the horrible blows of the Giants, who suffering themselves to be transported with choler, which moved but heavily by that time the combat had lasted an hour; when our Knights seemed to have drawn fresh forces out of their labour. Silvan, calling to minde that he was before the flower of all the Knights in the world, laid such furious blows on the great Emperour of Melly, and he again charged him with so much force and valour, as all men were amazed at the cruelty of their fight: On the other side, the va [...]iant Amanio d' Astre, Ginoldan, and their fellows, acted wonders against their adversaries: and now was their armour on both sides died red with their own bloud, when as the Gian [...] Fulmander, with whom Perion fought, delivered so terrible a blow on his enemies shield, that being unable to resist the violence thereof, it was divided into two pieces, and the point of the sword falling on his helmet, laid him quite astonished in the dust; Silvan beholding that terri­ble blow, discharged so sound a one on the Emp [...]rour of Melly, that with a great wound in the head he deprived him of sense, and suddenly running t [...] Fulmander, who was driving at Ginoldan behinde, he struck him so cou­ragiously on the arm, that both it and his sword flew together to the ground: In the mean time, Perion having leisure to rise, approached to his enemy, who was taking his scymiter in his left hand, and smote him with such violence, as he laid his head at his feet. This combat thus ended, he set himself to observe Ginoldan, Amanio d' Astre, and Esquilan, who fought wi [...]h admirable dexterity, and every minute drawing from the Giants bloud, and enf [...]ebling them, as he concluded their victory to be infallible: but he was wonderfully amazed at the fury of Silvan, and the Emperour of Melly, who not regarding their wounds, continued battering one another with unspeakable cruelty: The fight having lasted two howrs and more in this outragious manner, Silvan, that could not endure to have the victory disputed with him so long, took his sword in both his hands, and dischar­ged it with such fury on his enemies helmet, as he laid him on the earth, where when he had him, he presently put the point of his sword to his throat, making him confesse that he was overcome: And just at the same time, Amanio, Ginoldan, and Esquilan, had their enemies heads in their hands; whereupon, the Christian Conquerers were conducted to the town, with a world of triumph, and the Emperour of Melly, with the bo­dies of the four Giants, carried to his tent; to the extream discontent of the Pagans, who then vowed, either to die, or totally to ruine the Princes of Greece. Neverthelesse, within a little while a strange mutation of things happened, as I will presently tell you.

CHAP. XXXIV. The Fountain of Lovers comes to Constantinople, and what Knights be­gan the triall of it.

BOth the Armies taking breath, under the favour of the truce, and every one keeping within their tren­ches, that they might not give any cause of jea­lousie to their enemies, one morning two Lions were seen to passe thorow the Pagans Army, which drew a little edifice of marble; from the top whereof there fell a pure and cleare water into a Fountain, cut into five angles; two arches were at the ends of it, up­on one of the which there hung a most excellent fair sword, and on the o­ther one of the richest helmets that ever was seen; under them, two Knights appeared, of a warlike aspect, and in the midst was a corniche of indifferent greatnesse, where sat a Damsell that in her left hand held the rains, with which she governed the beasts; and in her right a little golden wand, wherewith sometimes she touched them to make them go. This object arrested the eyes of those forrain Kings with wonder, to behold so rare a thing, and gladly they would have seen the Lions take their way into their teeth, that they might have had the content to have considered it neerer: But seeing them go towards the City they forbare, and would not follow them: Some of the Greek Princes, being without the walls, to clear the ditches, and gave order for the repairing of the breaches which the enemy had made, presently conceived that it was some brave adventure: and there­fore commanded the gates to be opened: which done, the Lions entered, and passing the streets with marvellous speed, they came into the court of the Palace, where they stood still. The noise that the people made having caused the Princes, and the most part of those great Laies, to look out of the windows, they saw the Damsell, of whom we spake before, descend from her seat, and go straight to Florisel, unto whom, with such reverence as belonged to his greatnesse, she said: Excellent Prince, may it please you, not to be offended at my repair hither without your leave; for being conducted by the power of certain Magicians, I can neither dispose of my desires, nor of the course these Lions take, onely they have set me heer to tell such as will attempt this adventure, wherein the labour lies that they must undergo, to gain both the satisfaction, which they desire, and the re­ward proposed to them that shall have the fortune to end it: You shall finde heer strange secrets, the chiefest whereof shall not be revealed, till the fairest light in the world comes to discover the excellencie of the trea­sure which is hidden in this Coffer: The second is in this inchanted Foun­tain, wherein is represented unto you, not onely your thoughts, but also those of the Lady whom you best Love. The honour is to vanquish these two Knights, whom you see under the arches, and the reward of the Con­querours, that sword, and the inchanted helmet, which you see there a­bove, the Fountain remaining free to all men that have a minde to see it: It [Page 150] rests now, brave Prince, that you let me know, whether it be your pleasure to give way to the tri [...]ll of it, for if you shall not like so to do, I shall presently return to my seat and be gone; whereas otherwise we cannot stir from hence, so long as there is any Knight worthy to draw his sword against mine. I would to God, answered Florisel, that the end of this adventure depended onely on my word; for then, sweet heart, I would soon ease you of the pains you take in travelling over so many strange Countreys, and would give this company the content of never doubting hereafter of their actions, by the view of this admirable Fountain; but since so great a happinesse cannot be at­tained without danger, I am willing my Knights shall hazzard their lives, for the glory of this adventure, neither will I my self be exempted, if some of these young Princes have not the fortune to conclude it. Herewith, every one got him to his arms, whilst Florisel, and those, who were by age conjoyned to more reservednesse, bestowed themselves in viewing this little edifice neerer at hand. The impatience of these young Lords being alike, they returned al­most at one time; but Florisel, foreseeing the confusion which might arise out of their generous emulation, ordered, that Triston, and Florian, should be the first in the triall; they then advanced, and having touched the two Knights, who sat as if they had been sleeping under the arches, gave them lei­sure to rise and come out; which they presently did in so brave a manner, as made all the Greek Princes wonder at them; who observing in how grace­full a fashion they began their fight, commended them for the ablest Knights that ever they had seen: The two brothers performed their parts very gal­lantly, and nothing amazed at the valour of their adversaries, continued their combat with an extream desire of victory; but having to do with so strong a party, they were both at one instant overthrown to the ground quite deprived of sense, so as they were fain to be carried away to their chambers. Their misfortune not affrighting such as were to succeed them, Florizart & Darda­nio stept forward, and began a brave fight, giving those, which were able to judge, occasion to render them in the number of good Knights; but having maintained it almost an hour, they were overthrown as the two brothers had been. And after them, Armond, and Frizel of Arcadia; Abies and Leonid [...]; Florestan and Quedragant; Agrian and Melfort, to the great discontent of the King of Hungary his father, who desiring to revenge his disgrace, advan­ced with Perion of Turkie, and charged the two Knights so stoutly, that their combat lasted above an hour; yet in the end they were laid along, with ex­tream grie [...] of minde, for that they had by their own defeat augmented the glo­ry of the inchanted Knights. Filadard of Poland, who with his son Esqui­lan, was in readinesse, took the next turn, and began as brave a fight as might be seen; their blows were more weighty then those of the Knights that were vanquished before, and if their adversaries shewed an admirable dexterity, they appeared no lesse able and active, laying on so lustily both with edge and point, and maintaining the combat in such a fashion, as the spectatours were all of opinion they would have a share in the triumph; but two hours being thus spent, the inchanted Knights were seen to redouble their blows, with such violence, as within a while the Polonians were sent to the earth as well as the rest; to the great wonder of Florisel, who held Esquilan for one of the best Knights in the world; and because night was hard at hand, he put off all further triall till the next morning. Now whilst things thus past in the City, Prigmaleon and Fulgoran were mightily troubled; for having heard talk of [Page 151] this adventure, he exceedingly desired to have the honour of it, beleeving it was due to them, if valour might have any share in it: But how to carry the businesse they knew not, for on the one side, they were unwilling to go into the City, lest thereby they should put themselves into their enemies hands; and contrarily, they were in doubt never to meet with the like opportunity a­gain. It is, said Fulgoran to himself, a sure means for me to learn how I am descended, nor need I doubt of seeing in that water what I wish to know, since it presents both the face and the thoughts of the woman one is to have; and to feare that I should be known of the Princes of Greece, I have little reason, for they are so generous, that if fortune should denie me the victory, they would never retaine me a prisoner, since I was not made so fairely. I must then passe by all these poore considerations, and at any rate see what the fates promise me. I will change my arms and horse, and pretending that I come from farre, require the gates may be opened for me, onely for so long time as I may make triall of the valour of these inchanted Knights. Meeting then with Prigmaleon who was labouring of the same disease, he discovered his intenti­on freely to him, and so well they agreed together that an howre before day they went out of their trenches, not acquainting any man with their purpose. Fulgoran in his blacke, which he had not put on since the warre began, and Prigmaleon in azure armes. Then taking a way some three leagues about, they came to the North gate, where all the Christian forces were intrenched, and sent to let the Greeke Princes know, that two stranger Knights having heard talke of the fountaine of Lovers, did entreat they might bee permitted to trie their fortune. Their desire, said Florizel, seems so just, that I cannot refuse them, were I sure they were our enemies: Let them enter then when they please. The Pagan Princes having received this answer, went on to the Palace Court, where seeing two Knights ready to begin the triall, they staid to behold the issue of it, and tying their horses to the railes they made them­selves ready to second those Knights, that were going to fight, if they sped not well. And turning toward the fountain, they perceived the two inchanted Knights arm from underneath the arches, who began one of the most furious combats that ever had been seen; for they charged one another with such vio­lence, as all the assistants were amazed at it, and extreamly wondered to see with what activity all four of them avoided their adversaries blows; the lon­ger they sought the lustier, and more able they seemed to be, and all the Gre­cian Princes said they had never seen a braver combat: having then continued in that sort, above two hours and a half, the two assailants resolving either to conquer, or die, took their swords in both their hands; but their enemies no lesse enraged at the refistance they found in them, and transported with the same fury, delivered two such terrible blows on their heads, as they laid them on the pavement, to the extream grief of all the spectatours, that thought they were dead, especially the Kings of Lidia, and the Fortunate Island, who when their heads were disarmed, saw that they were their dear wives, the fair Savagesse, and the King of Nyeger [...] his valiant sister; who desiring to be con­cealed, had taken unknown [...]rms, hoping to carry the honour of the businesse; yet was their sorrow somewhat mitigated, when they perceived them to breathe, and by and by heard them say, that they ailed nothing; but onely that their heads were somewhat dizz [...]e: howbeit, not satisfied therewith, they presently went to arm themselves, resolving to be revenged for their wives, or serve likewise for a triumph to the inchanted Knights; but Fulgoran and [Page 152] Prigmaleon being in a readinesse, as I told you, straightway advanced, and saved them that labour, as you shall see in the next Chapter.

CHAP. XXXV. The end of the adventure, and Fulgoran known.

THE griefe, which was conceived for the misfortune of these two warlike Queenes, being as soone past, as their harme, the Kings and those beauteous Princes­ses, returned to the windowes, being informed that the strange Knights advanced, against whom they presently saw the enchanted Knights come foorth, in the same gallant maner as before, and begin one of the terriblest combats that ever the world had beheld, being maintained with so much courage and judgement, as Florizel who had never seene a braver fight, went downe into the Court, that hee might better observe all that past. Their blows were delivered with a wonderfull force, and joining grace and skill to their strength, they [...]ad the eyes of all the beholders fastned unto them. Prigmaleon and Fulgoran, who saw them­selves before the Princes of Greece, so glorious for an infinity of brave deeds, which they had performed, forgot nothing of what they were able to doe: but they were opposed by such mighty enemies, as they durst not so much as hope, which so set them on fire, that in stead of growing wea­ry, their swords fell still with more violence then at the first. The inchan­ted Knights, behaved themselves so bravely, and delivered their blowes with such fury, that every one expected no other end of that fight, but by the death of them all. Fowr howrs being spent in this sort without any shew made by these Knights of taking any breath, the place was strewed with their armes, the bloud ran down their sides, millions of sparkles flew about their eares, and their swords descended alwayes with such violence, as their lives seemd to depend on every stroake. Entreating one another thus, sometimes in hope of victory, and then againe in fear of death or in­famy, two howrs more being past away, and yet no advantage to be discer­ned between them, which putting them into an excesse of impatience and rage, they all fowr quitted their swords, and closing with one another, they began a very dangerous wrastling: but skill no more availing then force, by a common generall consent they let go their hold, and renewed their com­bat, wherein they bestowed yet two howres more, which rendred Fulgoran so mad, that desiring rather to die then not to vanquish, he clasped his sword fast in his hand, and laid it with such rage on his enemies helmet, as having made it to flie from his head, the blade brake in seven or eight peeces. The enchanted Knight being thus discovered, and withall known to be the ex­cellent Emperour of Persia, Don Rogel, was so exceedingly vexed to see himselfe made so to stagger two or three steps back (by the violence of that blow) that he discharged on his adversary with such fury, as he forced him to set one foot to the ground; and going to redouble upon him, Fulgoran suddenly getting up, nimbly avoided that mortall stroke: and finding him­selfe [Page 153] disfurnisht of a sword, he instantly laid hold on that which hung upon the Arch, and drew it out with ease at the same time as Don Rogel finding his head also disarmed, and his enemy provided of new Armes, tooke the helmet which was fastened to the other Arch, and quickly covered his head with it: Thereupon both of them going to renew their combat, a mighty clap of thunder was presently heard, wherewith all the four Knights fell to the ground, and were straight way covered with a thicke m [...]st. Out of which a little after, came a reverend old man, with a beard reaching downe to his girdle, marching between two women, with such a majesty, as amazed all the standers by. Florisel who observed him, and knew the two women to be Vrganda the unknowne, and the faire Cassandra her daughter, arose from his chaire, seeing they drew toward him, and o­pened his Armes to embrace them; but the old man bending himselfe to the ground: said, Most excellent Prince, you should have some reason to shew that you are pleased with my comming, if you knew how far my de­sire extends to do you service, but not having hitherto given you much notice of it, I will acknowledge the favours you now do me, do pro­ceed meerly from your courtesie, not having any way deserved them. And if I present my selfe before you thus, without command, it is onely to as­sure you, that without me you would lose very much to day. You see this mist, it doth enfold some great matter, and is that which a faire Sun must dissipate; wherefore be pleased that Polixena may come hither, and then we will make an end of our worke. Reverend sir, said Florisel, your ser­vices are the more recommendable, in that they are without obligation; and this inclination you have to do something for my content, so much ob­liges me, that not to be ingratefull, I must tender you all that lies in my power. If my daughter may be usefull for any great designe of yours, she shall presently be here: But in the mean time, suffer me, I pray you, to complain a little of these Ladies that accompany you, for leaving me so long without hearing any newes of them. It is true, answered Vrganda, after some usuall complements, that we have not been heere, but it was be­cause the welfare of Christendome would not permit us to desert our studies, whereof you shall hereafter reap the benefit, and for the present you shall see that we have done more for you then you thinke. Polixena then being come downe with all those Princesses, the old man tooke her by the hand, and led her into the mist, whilst Vrganda saluted the Princesse, and spake these words to Florisel:

Believe it, my Lord, that you are not a little obliged to this wise man, who is called Alcander, and is the most knowing personage that ever bestowed time on good bookes, and that will do more for you in two dayes, then we have been able to do in so many years. I thinke no lesse, said Florisel: But you must also be assured, that he shall want no recompence, if he will re­ceive it from our hand: For I finde my selfe so engaged to his knowledge, whereby the bodies of our fathers are interred with so much honour, as I will be master of nothing in the world, that shall not be at his disposing. But, Madam, what means this youth, which I see in your face, and in the rest of your person? whereat I cannot but wonder, if it be not done by Art. That is a secret, said she laughing, which you shall know in due time. In the mean while, let us, if you please, go to Alcander, since we see the dark­nesse is gone; with that they drew toward the foure Knights, and saw, that [Page 154] Polixena having powred a viall of water, which she had in her hand, upon Fulgoran his armes, they immediatly were turned to their former colour of fire, even at the very same instant. When as the other three Knights a­arose, much abashed to see themselves without helmets, and not knowing how their combat was determined, Don Rogel and the brave bastard of Me­dia, who were the two enchanted Knights, looked about on Florisel, and all their kinsmen, without a word speaking, as if they still had been restrained by some charme. And on the other side, Prigmaleon and Fulgoran were no lesse astonished, beleeving that they were in prison. But Alcander, not to keep them longer in suspence, addressed himselfe to Fulgoran, said, Sir, have you ever seen me in any other place? Yea, replied he, you are the same that I met with the very day that I first put on these Armes, and that then gave me an advice, of which I have at times made good use. And I, Vrganda, taking him by the hand, what place do I hold in your memory? Such, Madam, answered he, as I owe to the assistance which I have a thou­sand times received from you in my occasions: for I am not ignorant, that you are the Lady of the enchanted Rock, and by the means of whose Art, all my enterprises have succeeded happily. But, Madam, I beleeve, that it is not without some mystery, that you now are heer. No certainly, an­swered she: for I am come to make you understand certaine words, which a damsell whom I sent to you, spake when she changed the colour of your armes. She told you, if you well remember, that when your armes should reassume the former colour of fire, you should know what you were; and that the first day of our enterview, should be the happiest, and yet the most dangerous of your whole life: you see now the experience of it; your ar­mour is now no longer blacke, and I beleeve you will freely confesse, that you were never in more danger of death, then when you fought with this Knight, pointing to Don Rogel, who is your Father; and all these Princes which you see heere, are your kinsmen: but that you may have no occasi­on to doubt, give me that sword which you have in your hand, that I may shew you more certaine evidence of the truth heereof. Taking it then from him, she shewed him graven upon the blade:

Fulgoran, Sonne of Don Rogel of Greece, and of Florella of Canabea.

And if you desire yet more certain proof, added she, go up these stairs, and look into the water of this fountain, it will shew you the truth. That would shew, answered he, but too much obstinacy, to distrust such power­full witnesses: I will never make a doubt, Madam, of that you shall tell me; nor doe I desire more assurance of this verity, then the sorrow that I feel for having lifted up my arms against him, for whose preservation the Gods and Nature, command me to die a thousand times, if I were capable of so many lives. But my Lord, said he kneeling down to Don Rogel, you will impute the fault to my ignorance, and be pleased to pardon me, if hitherto I have sought the ruine of your Empire, for the glory of the Gods, whom my education made me adore; which henceforward I shall be ready to pre­serve, and repair the damages which my arms have brought them. My son, said Don Rogel, most lovingly embracing him, I am so pleased with this accident, that setting a part all care of the wars, I will not think of any thing, but of rejoicing with you, and for you. See heer, my Lord and Fa­ther, [Page] Prince Florisel, the second is your Brother the Emperour of the Par­thians, and all these other are your so neer kinsmen, as you are bound to re­spect them equally with my self. Fulgoran then going toward Don Florisel to kisse his hands, he held him a long while infolded in his arms, shewing the infinite content he took in knowing of him. Spheramond caressed him with no lesse affection. Dorigel, Lucendus, Silvan, and the rest in generall let him see the incomparable pleasure they received by this adventure. Du­ring these complements, Prigm [...]leon was transported from himself: one while he observed the Princes of Greece with wonder, and then again be­holding so great a change, he was much amazed at the vicissitude of things: but that which most arrested him, was the excellent beauty of Polixena, that working powerfully on his soule, made him wish for the amity of the Grecian Princes, that he might not be esloigned from that sun, whose light he already so adored. His new desires then not permitting him to think of his return, he expected the issue of the businesse; when as Fulgoran, who a­midst his excesse of joy, could not forget him, turning most, kindly to him thus spake: My worthy Lord, and Companion, I am extreamly afraid, that the knowledge of my parents, obliging me to be baptised, wil make me lose the honour of your love, and cause you to hate me as much as ever you affected me. That is a thing, answered Prigmaleon, which you are not to doubt; for your vertue onely having given birth to our friendship, I cannot beleeve it can be so easily broken by any difference of religion; on the contrary, I think it good reason that you imitate your parents, and that it is just in you to testifie the content you take in knowing them; for these being the prime Princes in the world, no man can descend from them without glory; we have troubled them very much, and our arms have caused great disorder in their States, but we may amend that fault; you shall serve them out of duty, as I will out of af­fection; for from henceforth I vow to hold a firm peace with them if they be pleased with it; and am very willing to be their friend, provided they judge me worthy of that favour.

Now on my soul, said Fulgoran, embracing him again, this is that which most I could wish for in the world, and your freenesse so obligeth me, that, not to be ingratefull, I most heartily offer you all that lies in my power: but come and let us go to these my Lords, who for that they know you not, have not rendered you that which your birth and valour deserve. Repairing to Don Florisel, he briefly acquainted him with the quality of Prigmaleon, whereup­on, Florisel, excusing himself on his ignorance, caressed him in such manner, as he held himself much indebted to his c [...]tesie. These ceremonies having la­sted a good while, the Princes would needs look into the inchanted Fountain, and wondered at the secrets which it revealed to them; but he that seemed to receive most satisfaction from it, was Prigmaleon; for seeing in it the fair Po­lixena, with a smiling and cheerfulnesse countenance, he conceived that his af­fection would not be paid with ingratitude, and that this fair one had already harboured a good opinion of him; which so delighted him, that going with Florisel (who would needs give him the upper hand) to the palace, where he was magnificently entertained, he continued in all the contentment that might be desired, till it was bed time; when as he was, by the greatest part of the young Knights, conducted to a chamber that was prepared for him.

CHAP. XXXVI. The Pagan Kings understanding that Prigmaleon and Fulgoran were become friends to the Greek Princes, conspire to massacre their troops; they are prevented, and their Army defeated.

FVlgoran and Prigmaleon not suffering themselves to be so transported with pleasure, the one by seeing his kinred of a quality so eminent, and the other with those de­lights, which his new fancies begat in him, as not to think of that so much concerned them, they arose early in the morning, and with the approbation of the Greek Princes, returned to their quarter, where when they had called together all the principall Commanders of the Army; Fulgoran began this discourse to them: There is not, My Lords, any one heer so little experienced in affairs, as, by the revolution of things in the world, hath not learned, that often times our wills, and our desires, do not depend upon our selves; and that the heavens, and fortune, have reserved a power to dispose of them, either for our good, or for a chastisement of our of­fences: It is not long since, that intending to arm, for the glory of our Al­tars, and to gain my self a reputation in the world, I laboured to procure your assistance, with a purpose that you should share with me in the honour, as well as in the labour of my enterprise; but now you see me heer with other incli­nations, my speech no longer demands bloud and revenge, nor my heart wi­shes for the ruine of this Empire, and lesse for the destruction of the Princes of Greece; this makes you wonder, and by your faces I see, that you would wil­lingly know from whence this change doth proceed: My Lords, it is most reasonable that I reveal it to you, and that I now deliver you the cause of my amity, as well as heertofore I did that of my hate. Yesterday, the Prince of Aethiopia, and my self, carried with a strong desire to see the rarities of a Foun­tain, which the day before passed thorow our Army, required that we might be admitted to the triall thereof, which our enemies, who are full of curtefie, and truly generous, freely granted, not desiring to know us, or otherwise to be informed of our condition, so that we entered into Constantinople, where, in few words, to come to the point, we began a very dangerous com­bat with the Knight of the Fountain, which having lasted eight howrs was ended by the greatest wonder in the world: My sword flying in pieces by the violence of a blow which I gave my adversary on the helmet, which also there­with fel from his head, leaving him discovered, I presently laid hold on a sword that hung upon the Arch; and my enemy seeing himself without a head­peece, took one that was fastened to the other Arch; so being furnished with new arms, we were about to renew our fight with more fury then before, when as a clap of thunder laid us both on the ground, deprived of all sense; and with us the other two, that then were still [...]ighting together, whereof one was the valiant Prince of Aethiopia heer present, a thick mist so covering us for a while, as none that were present could discern us; but ere long we were seen all four without our helmets; and these arms, which I now have on me, did in an in­stant [Page 157] re-assume their former colour, whereat, I confesse, I was exceedingly a­mazed; for not knowing how our combat ended, I beleeved I was a prisoner; but beholding certain Magicians, whom I have long time known, come to­ward me, I was somewhat better assured; and saluting them, intreated them to tell me, at what rate I should be quit for the folly I had committed, in so rashly abandoning our trenches. Oh how happy a fault, said an old Wise-man to me, is this you have done! for you shall presently see the be­nefit that will arise to you out of it: Requiring me then to deliver him this sword, that you see heer (laying his hand upon the hilt) he shewed me these words, which you also, if you please, may read upon the blade.

Fulgoran son of Regel of Greece, and of Florella Queen of Canabea.

Seeing such good evidence of my extraction, which may also be confirmed by the Prince Bruzinges heer, my uncle, and having consulted with the water of the Fountain, that fains not, remembring withall the words that a great Magician, and my friend, had spoken to me, how my arms should never recover this burning hue, that first it had, till my kindred were known; I did my duty to the Emperour Don R [...]gel, my Lord, with whom it was that I had fought, and besought him that he would not refuse me the name of Father; protesting, that I would indeavour to render my self worthy of that grace: To what end should I particularize all that then passed amongst us? The Prince of Aethiopia, and my self, were received with so much kindnesse, as that I, in regard of the obligation of bloud and nature, wherein I am tied to them, and he for the [...]ity which he means to contract with them, are come out of Constantinople, with a purpose to beseech you, as humbly we do, that for our sakes you will raise the siege, as you came hither at our intreaties; in recompense whereof, time I hope will furnish us with occasions to serve you, and one day return you the favour which now you shall do us. This said, Prigmaleon, and he, stood up, expecting when one would speak for the rest: But perceiving them to be all silent, they modest­ly retired, and with them Bruz [...]nges, Florimond, Grandimore, and the un­known Knight; beleeving that their presence hindered them from taking some resolution in an affair of that consequence: They being come then out of the room, the other Princes were a great while in dispute; some advised that every man should repair to his home, remonstrating, that to persist any longer in that siege would be their manifest ruine, since they had lost those two Princes, who joyning their forces with the Christians, they could hope for nothing but a totall destruction of their Army: Howbeit, this opinion nothing approved of, the rest perswaded the prosecution of their enterprise; affirming, that now to give over after so much labour and charge, would prove the greatest basenesse that might be; yet considering the importance of those two Armies, which might much offend them, in case they should turn to the enemy, they resolved to cut them in pieces the next night, and after­wards to do as occasion should invite them. This concluded upon, all those Kings rose from Counsell, and one of them went to Prigmaleon & Fulgoran, to tell them, that the votes being equall, they had put off the resolution to the day following You m [...]y do therein as you think good, said they: But if you would well consider the event of things, and the means you have to oblige us by it, you would be carried more readily [...]o it then you are; whereupon, going away, [Page 158] with Florimond, and the unknown Knight, who would needs accompany them to them to the City, they took leave of Bruzanges and Grandimore, and returned to the Greek Princes, who made it appear, that they cared not much whether the enemy continued stil before their wals, or was on the sea returning homeward, since they had drawn from them the best part of their strength. Re­newing then their feasting and sports, they passed away the day with all de­light, till toward evening, when as word was brought, that there was a Knight at the gate, who desired to speak with Prigmaleon. Let him come in, said Florisel, it may be he comes to be merry with us, as being weary of lying so long in his tent, and seeing nothing but arms. Vpon this command, the Knight was brought into the room, where kissing a paper which he had in his hand, he presented it to Prigmaleon, from the King of Zizinia; who having opened and read it, said to him, Knight, your master tells me, that, the busi­nesse being of importance, he hath committed it onely to your fidelity; let us know then, I pray you, what the matter is: More, I assure you, answered he, then you imagine; and by the care my Master takes of you, you may per­ceive how much he loves you. He was this day present at the Counsell, wherein it was concluded, to cut your troops and those of Canabea in pieces; but he not intending to be a traitour to you, nor able to endure such wicked­nesse, hath advertised you of their designe, to the end that with the assistance of your new friends, you may turn that hurt upon them, which they intend to you: He will favour your enterprise, nor shall his men draw a sword against you; and when the alarm is given, he will draw to the sea side and embark his souldiers: It rests now, that you make good use of the advertisement that he givees you, and carry the matter with such discretion, as it may not be known that your enemies counsell is revealed by his means. Assure him, said Prig­maleon, much amazed at the soul design of those Pagan Kings, that I will die rather then prejudice him for the favour he doth me; he doth indeed oblige me as you see, but I will never be ingratefull, and hope one day to require him: in the mean time, I will prevent this mischief if I can, and beleeve it, the traitours shall have no great cause to brag of their villany. Having then acquainted the Greek Princes with the businesse, he sent the unknown Knight to his quarter, to give private directions to his Commanders, and intelligence of the enemies designe; Florimond having received the like Commission for the Canabeans, with order to put on white shirts upon their arms, that they might know their own men in the dark. This Knight being returned to the Pagans Camp, Don Florisel of Niquea, desiring to let Prigmaleon know how much he esteemed his friendship, seeing the night reasonable dark, put thirty thousand horse out of the North-gate, and divided them into two squadrons, in one of which he commanded himself, with Prigmaleon, the two Cena­phales, Lucendus, Filadard, Esquilan, Gadard, Dorigel, Melfort, Abies, Ar­mond, Leonidas, Florizart, & Dardanio: The other he left to the leading of Don Rogel, Spheramond, Melinda, Olidor, Ginoldan, Amanio, Silvan, Anaxander, Floradin, Perion, Florian, Tristor, Quedragant, Agrian, and Florestan, ha­ving all of them white linnen upon their arms, now with his squadron he ad­vanced towards Prigmaleons quarter, and Rogel with the other, toward Ful­gorans: But thinking it fit to stay till the fight began, they made a stand about a mile off, tarrying for nothing but the noise to make them give in upon them. On the other side, the Pagan Kings did not slumber, for having made two battalia's of their men, each of them of seventy two thousand horse, and four­teen [Page 159] thousand foot, they fell to march very quietly, and thinking to finde the Aethiopians and Canabeans sleeping in their beds, they charged furiously up­on them; but they were better entertained then they expected; for the un­known Knight, and Grandimore, on the one party, and Brazanges, with his son Florimond, Arfleura and Lar [...]ella on the other, who had kept their men in arms, and in good order to fight, gave them so rude a welcome, that they presently knew that they were out of their reckoning. The battell then grow­ing sharp, and the noise every moment increasing, the Princes of Greece flew in among the enemies with such fury, as above ten thousand Pagans lost their lives at that first encounter; for thinking of nothing lesse then this surprise, they were extreamly amazed to see their enemy on every side them: Florisel, Prigmaleon, Rogel, Spheramond, Fulgoran, the Cenophales, Russian, Lucen­dus, and the rest of these invincible Princes, like lightning shattered as many souldiers as they lighted upon, and grew so terrible, that within an howr the Pagans betook them to flight, where the slaughter grew so great, all being in disorder, that a little after Sun-rising, the fields of Greece were strewed with the bodies of an hundered and eight thousand men fallen under the edge of the sword; the rest having luckily recovered their ships, to receive and shelter them from that tempest: The Christian Princes then retiring to the town, with much joy for so happy a victory, which had not cost them above fifteen thousand men, return to the City with great triumph.

CHAP. XXXVII. The Baptisme of Prigmaleon and Fulgoran, together with the inchanting of the most part of the Princes and Ladies of Greece.

THE Court being full of rejoycing, and our Princes seeking daily new diversions to passe away the time, all their for­ces were dismist, the Citizens of Constantinople took the liberty to go into the Countrey, to repair the ruines which the enemy had made in their lands about the Ci­ty; and the Peasa [...]s seeing no more souldiers a forraging, carried their cattell, as they were wont, into the fields to feed. Thus all things being at quiet and peace, Fulgo­ran, who was desirous that the content of his being known should not be im­perfect, resolved to be washed in that Fountain of salvation by water whereof man was regenerated into grace, and no longer to think of his idols, who till then had mis-led him, but to begin to adore one true and Almighty God; which determination of his, infinitely pleased Don Rogel, and generally all the rest of the Princes, who desiring to celebrate that Sacrament with all kinde of magnificence, gave order accordingly for the Ceremonies thereof. And now every thing being in a readinesse, the streets and windows full of people, and the Patriarch of Constantinople attending their comming in the Church, Prigmaleon intreated the Princes of Greece to give him a little audience, and thus spake on to them: Excellent Princes, I do not think you will imagine that any weaknesse or fear doth carry me to that I am about to do, seeing I am heer intreated amongst you with so much kindnesse and honour, whereas I [Page 160] might in reason have expected a resenting of the wrongs that you have re­ceived from me; but that you will rather say, it proceeds from the provi­dence of that God whom you adore, who desiring my salvation, hath made me with patience to hearken unto the reasons which you used to my com­p [...]nion, for to draw him out of the errour wherein he hath lived so long; I have profited by them as he hath done, and am determined to receive the same character which you intend to conferre on him this morning. And as we have been fellowes together in many dangers: so will we be also in this action wherein the grace of heaven is to be communicated unto us.

This is, said Florisel embracing him; this is, brave Prince, indeed so great a grace, that you may draw more glory from this holy motion, then fromall the brave exploits that your courage hath hitherto performed. God which hath raised you above such multitudes of people, and endowed you with all the rare perfections that are able to render a man of your quality worthy of all commendations, hath not left you in your blindnesse, but determining to make use of your service for the glory of his religion, the ruine whereof you have heretofore sought, hath knit this bond of friendship between you and my soone, that you might share with him in the happinesse, which by his being known for what he is, was to befall him; wherewith we are in­finitely contented: And as we had determined freely to employ our selves for your service, meerly out of the consideration of your vertue and great­nesse, we will now do it the more willingly, for that you shall become our brother in b [...]ptisme, whereunto let us go then presently, and be pleased that I may conduct you to the Church, as your God-father, and that the beauti­full Empresse of the Persians may be my partner. I will not spend time, an­swered he, in protractations of doing you service, because I will not delay so good a worke. But I beleeve, sir, that Fulgoran and I shall not be the sole parties in it, Bruzanges, Arfle [...]ra, Florimond, Larmella, Grandimore, and the unknown K [...]ight wil also partake of it. All the better, said Florisel, God shall have so much the more glory; howsoever, let us proceed to this holy acti­on: with that they went toward the Church, Prigmaleon between Florisel and the Empresse of Persia; Fulgoran between the Prince of France, and the faire Queen Sidonia; Bruzanges led by Rogel and the beauteous Queen of France; Arfleura by Spheramond and the faire Savagesse; the unknown Knight by Silvan and the fair Cilinda; Grandimore by Dorigel and the Em­presse of the Parthians; and Larmella by Filadard, and the beauteous Polix­ena, who went with some content to see Prigmaleon figh for her. For being exceeding lovely, valiant, and a very mightie Prince, she could not despise his affection; & in her heart counted it a glory to her beauty to be honored with so great a triumph. The ceremonics ended, all the Princes returned to the Palace, where they were magnificently feasted. And intending to deferre the exercise of Armes till some other day, they were speaking of going to dance, when as Alcander rising up with Vrganda, and addressi [...]g himselfe to Florisel, thus spake: It is true, great Prince, that I let you see the desire I have to do somewhat for your good, and that you should know how the studies both of my self and these Ladies (pointing to Vrganda and young Cassandra) have not been fruitlesse: wherefore follow us, and if you love your lives, give us leave to dispose of you as we thinke fit. I have re­solved, answered he with a cheerfull countenance, never to swerve from your directions, being most assured, by the many testimonies you have [Page 161] given us of your love, that you desire our happinesse; you may command then when you please, and I will be in a readinesse, as soon as you have spo­ken. Stay then here, said Alcander, till I have given order for every thing: then taking Sid [...]nia by the hand, he placed her by her husband, made Don Rogel and the Empresse of the Persians follow them; after them L [...]cend [...], and the faire Infanta Fortnna; Spheramond and the Princesse Richarda his wife; Alastraxarea and Roz [...]lian [...], the two Cenophales, Gadard and Fila­dard, and putting himselfe with Vrganda, in the head of them all, he mar­ched to the fountain of lovers, made all those Princesses go with Vrganda, under one of the Arches, whilst himselfe with the Princes, were under the other; which done, he spake before them all in this fashion: My Lords, you have lived many yeares, and the defects that use to accompany a life subject to crosses, would ere long bereave you of that heroicall vigor which hath made you triumphant in so many enterprises, if out of my love I had not found out certain secrets able to restore you to the flower of your age, to preserve in you that admirable force you have, and to keep you from decaying with age, till threescore yeares be past; see heer bathes prepared for that purpose, go into them, I pray you, and come not out of them till the hearbs, which were gathered in their due seasons, have per­fected their operation on you; Vrganda is under the other Arch, with the Princesses that accompanied you hither, they shall en­joy the same prerogative with you, and that wise Lady shall render them the same beauty which they enjoyed when they were twenty years old, as I will restore you to the estate that you were in at your five and twentieth yeare of your age. At these words they stripped themselves without re­plying, and went into the bathes, whilst all the young Princes that follow­ed them, wondered to see the fountaine and the place about it, covered with a thick mist: wherupon they looked one upon another without spea­king a word, and would have gone into it, to know what was become of that troop, if Cassandra had not told them that all was done for the glory of the Grecian family, and that the time to require the freeing of those great personages, was not yet come. And whether it be so or no, read I pray you, in this writing. They then looking a little forward, saw a co­lumne of Iasper, upon which hung a table of Brasse, with these words engraven it it,

Death is threatned to all those that are so a [...]dacio [...] as to approch thee cloud of secrets, Nor shall this cloud be dispelled, till the young Lion comes out of his den: then shall the hidden treasures be discovered, and the old creatures having chan­ged their skins, shall behold the Sunne again to the glory of their young ones.

Now on my life, said Dorigel, addressing himselfe to Cassandra, if the faithfull services you have done us, did not well secure me, I would either die presently, or my fortune should be the same with these Princes. But since it were a crime to be jealous of you, I will have patience, expecting the time wherein the heavens will restore us what we this day have lost. This losse, gently replied Cassandra, shall not hinder your pleasures, nor shall you so much as ressent it for the present, as you shall ere long finde it the more comfortable to you: Wherefore let us returne unto the palace, and continuing our former triumphs and feasting, make it appeare, that if [Page 162] need be, we can master even Fortune her selfe. The freenesse of these words, and the grace of her pronouncing them, having somewhat quieted those Knights, they returned unto the Palace determining not to stir from th [...]nce in ten dayes space, and in the mean time to employ themselves in some vertuous exercises.

CHAP. XXXVIII. Prigmaleon transported by the violence of his desires, discovers his affection to Polixena: Her answer.

WHilst Russian meditates on means to see Agriclea, whose absence very much troubled him, & that Dorigel with the rest, sought to divert their cares by noble exerci­ses, Prigmaleon entertaining himselfe with his private thoughts, and delighting onely in solitary places, told the trees, that the occasion of his disquiet was an ex­tream apprehension, that Polixena, who held all his desires engaged, would refuse to accept of his affecti­on, as being most unworthy of her merit; bestowing his thoughts then in this manner, and not daring to reveal his sufferings to the Princesse, he expe­cted till love should take pity of his grief, and that good fortune should send him some help: howbeit, better considering that confidence was to bring him content, and that where fear was there could be no hope, he resolved to open his heart upon the first occasion that should present it self, & to seek a remedy for his grief some more speedy way then by silence: Beleeving then that this was his best course, he began to frame a speech in his minde to that purpose; when as a confused sound of voices, talking together, put him out of his ima­ginations; whereupon, he rose up presently from under the trees, where he was laid, and looking round about he spied Polixena, with seven or eight young Ladies, that were going to take the air of the garden. O me! said he, How luckily doth this fall out? It seems that love doth favour my designe, now is the time wherein my courage must appear; if Polixena rejects me, a resolute death shall free me from so many pains, which will be far more ho­nourable for me then a languishing life. This ardour carrying him on, he came to his Mistris, thinking that he should have his tongue as free as his thought; but after a Good-even, he stuck fast, and leaving his eyes to disco­ver his passion, he was not able to utter a word. Polixena, who took this ti­morousnesse for a signe of his love, seeing him in that case, took him by the hand, and said: My Lord, I beleeve we have surprised you, for the amaze you are in makes me imagine so much.

Do not wonder, Madam, answered he, at seeing me disordered in this encountring you, the weaknesse of my sight is not able to endure the glit­tering of so many beauties as I behold. This excuse, said Polixena, is none of the best: for if I had the power that you speak of, I should indifferently trouble as many as look on me: but none complaines of me save you, and your palenesse declares that it is some secret malady which you will not have not knowne. It is true, replied he all trembling, that a secret griefe [Page 163] doth consume me. But, Madam, I should have just reason to blame my want of courage, and to impute all my vexation to my cowardice, if I should not seek for a remedy when it is in my power to do it. I have suffe­red infinitely since I saw you, and the powerfull charms of your eyes have left me nothing that is mine, but my desire to doe you service. You may say, I am too bold, that a greater respect belongs to your greatnesse, and that I ought to have endured my suffering without declaring it. But alas! I do not speake but by the impulsion of a passion that forces me to it. Love hath untied my tongue, which you saw was dumbe when you came hither: and that is it which now constraines me to beseech you, that you will be as sensible of pitty as I am of affection. If I had not given you occasion to speake, coldly replied Polixena, I should be displeased with this your discourse. Maidens in these daies, and especially those of my qua­lity, doe not take a liberty of engaging themselves without the consent of their fathers; neither willingly permit any to talk to them of love, for fear of being deceived, and infortunate by trusting the oaths of a lover of three daies standing. If I receive a command to looke on you with these conditi­ons, you have merrit enough in you of power to make me willing to obey it; otherwise doe not expect any kinder language from me. In the meane time live with lesse disquiet, and out of this my answer extract reasons to procure your ease. Therewith she passed on, leaving him much perplexed; for he found both bitter and sweet equally mixed in her words, and durst not hope without fear. Neverthelesse, being somwhat pleased that he had revealed his thoughts, he retired quietly to his chamber, and remembring that townes doe ordinarily endure the first assault, that yet will afterwards yeeld to a persisting beleager, he tooke paper, and in it wrote these lines.

Prigmaleons Letter to Polixena.

THink it not strange if I shew more love then obedience: I am brought to that extremity that all considerations in the world must give way to the violence of my suffering. I write this because you have forbidden me to speak to you, and do crave the same pitty of you which you would wish for if you were in the pain you have seen me; If you judge rightly of my passion, you will not be offended at this re­quest. Honour doth guide it, nor do I desire any felicity, but according to the or­dinance of heaven that may legitimate it: Let not your refusall then make me des­perate, but permitting me from hence forward to call my selfe your Knight, give me leave to expect the return of those upon whom you so absolutely depend.

This Letter, written and sealed, he committed to the fidelity of a Dwarf, who certainly had a greater spirit then a body, and that could so well chuse his time, as the next morning he found Polixena in her chamber, unto whom kneeling down, he said: If it were fit for me, Madam, to relate to you what one of the most completest Princes of the earth doth suffer for you, I would recount to you his sighes, his griefs, his transports, and his disquiets, and let­ting you know the miserable estate whereinto despair hath reduced him, since you forbad him to complain to you, I should perhaps possesse you with as much pity, as he hath love; but perswading my self that his passion hath found reasons enough to let you see it, I will content my self with presenting this paper to you from him: Be pleased, Madam, to view it with a gentle eye, [Page 164] and return him so favourable an answer as may cause him to live conten­ted; you shall tye the world to you in no mean obligation, by preserving in it so brave a Knight; who, I assure you, desires nothing so much as the honour of doing you service. I will not, answered she, be so farre an enemy to his content, as not to be willing to read what occasion he takes to com­plain of me: wherefore give me the paper; with that she took and opened it, and having well considered it, said to the Dwarfe: My friend, the answer that I must returne to thy master, consists of so few words, as I need not take a pen in hand to let him know my minde, onely bid him hope, that time bring him content, and that fidelity alone can procure him that which with so much impatience he wishes? for. It is enough, answered the Dwarfe, I will go tell him that he is happy, and that he is not to com­plain any more. So going out with a curtsie that made the Princesse laugh, he went to Prigmaleon who expected his returne with a panting heart, and returning him that answer, he rendred him so contented, that not remem­bring himselfe to be Emperour of Aethiopia, he imbr [...]ced him three or foure times, ever and anon enquiring of him, if he had observed any cold­nesse in her actions, or rather love in her words. What, said the Dwarfe, coldnesse? Beleeve it, you may be happy if you will, if you be not happy already, me thinkes I see you in the midst of those delights which will bring you to a very paradise. For having seen that faire hand which tou­ched mine when she tooke the letter from me, and imagining that her cloathes concealed wonders, I was almost transported with her. And if the respect of your passions had not staid me, I had assuredly besought her with some favour to quench that flame which already began to scorch my heart. But not intending to be a traytor, nor to seek my contentment with the losse of your quiet, I surmounted those unruly passions, and quickly withdrew my selfe for feare that the violence of my desires should make us commit some errour. See, said Prigmaleon, laughing heartily at the grace wherewith this little thing vented his fooleries. See my Mussardin, assured proofs of thy fidelity, which I have also observed in other things. But be confident, that thou obligest not an ingratefull man, and that I will one day recompense the labour thou tookest in mastering thine own appe­tite for my sake. I know well, said the Dwarfe, that my affection doth highly oblige you; howbeit withall, I extreamly feare that you will not give me the reward for it that I desire. But I will upon the faith of a Knight, said Prigmaleon, so that I may do it without prejudice to my love, and that it be in my power. Nay, I will quickly ease you of that fear, said the Darfe, nor shall you find any friend more faithfull to endeavour the bringing of your wishes to their desired part, then my self, if you will assist me: for as for Polixena, I will wholly quit her to you; but I would fain have a place in the good grace of Castibella, daughter to that peerlesse Diana, who once filled the world with such wonders of her beauty. It is a rising Sunne, that promises great things in her course; and that to be briefe, hath struck me dead in the eye. Perswade her to love me, and setling a good impression on her of my courage (for you know I would rather dye then be wanting to my occasion of honour) tell her, that my alliance with her will be for her glory, and that she shall finde herselfe most happy in my services. So will I never complaine of my pains in furthering your satis­faction, and you shall see how faithfully I will serve you. This is, said [Page 165] Prigmaleon, almost burst with laughter, the happ [...]est passage that may be, for now I shall not be jealous of thee; do thou but labour secretly to purchase the favour of Polixena for me, and I will do the like to thee to Castibella, who truly would accommodate thee excellent wel if she were not a little too young. Make not that your excuse, said the Dwarf, true love never stands upon time, I will stay till yeers have better ripened her judgement, and in the mean space will finde a thousand wayes to make my intentions not unpleasing to her. This discourse finishing, with certain frisks that the Dwarf made to shew his agility, Prigmaleon returned to his thoughts, where we will leave him to fol­low the course of our History.

CHAP. XXXIX. A Damsell arrives at Constantinople with the head of the great Marand [...]r, slain by the Knight of the Savage.

EVery one seeking diversions from their cares, the Court seemed not to ressent the absence of the Princes that were inchanted, because they hoped to see them delive­red ere it were long. When as there came into the Hall a Damsell reasonably handsome, carrying in her hand the head of a Giant, who beholding the company a good while, with wonder to see Knights of so brave a presence, and Ladies of such beauty, enquired ve­ry modestly which was the Emperour of the Parthians. Gentlewo­man, answered Russian, to whom she then spake, he hath been absent from hence some few dayes, but if your affairs cannot permit you to attend his re­turn, and that you stand in need of his aid, I will willingly supply his place, and with a free heart do you service. I am said she, much bound to your cur­tesie, but God be thanked, I have heer in my hand an occasion of rejoycing, rather then of complaining; nor am I come hither to crave the help of any whatsoever, but to present to that Excellent Emperour the head of the grea­test enemy he had, brought to this passe by the incomparable valour of a Knight, that bears a wilde man in his shield, whom I may justly vaunt to be one of the valiantest men upon the earth, and the Phoenix of those that this day bear arms. This Knight, meeting with me in the confines of Macedon, could not passe by me, without enquiring after the cause of some tears which he saw me shed: I freely told him, that the villany of a Giant, who had ravi­shed me, did wring them from me, and that I was going to Constantinople to crave reparation of that wrong; knowing well that the Princes of Greece did never refuse their assistance to Ladies in distresse, and that particularly I in­tended to addresse my self to the Emperor Spheramond, both for that he holds [Page 166] the reputation of surpassing all Knights of this age, and that the Giant had told me, how all the villanies which he then committed, were done by him, in some sort to revenge the death of another Giant, whom the Emperour had slain, when as a Knight errant he followed adventures abroad in the world. With­out doubt, then answered this court [...]ous Knight, you could not make your re­venge more certain, then by referring it to the hands of that brave Prince, who hath with all reason acquired those praises which the wo [...]ld doth give him. But if you be pleased to make use of me, I shall most willingly imploy my self in your service; It is a long journey from hence to Constantinople, your ene­my may finde occasion to get him further off, you will take a great deal of pains in vain, and not be satisfied in your desire: On the other side, I do pas­sionately long to demonstrate unto that valorous Prince, how I do love his vertue as much as other men do honour his birth, and that I will labour so long as I live to ruine his enemies. To what end should I trouble you with our discourse? This gentlenesse of his so wrought upon me, that after I had thorowly considered him, and judged him fit for any great attempt, I carri [...]d him straight to the Giants Castle, where, to be short, he did wonders: For not satisfied with laying that foul masse of flesh on the earth, in a very dange­rous combat, he defeated thirty or forty Knights, who were seldome out of that Robbers company; it was to me an unspeakable delight, to see some arms flie to the ground, some men cut asunder in the midst, others cloven to the girdle, the boldest of them stoutly scattered; and the gallantry of this Knight did so please me, that if I had not acquainted him with the misfortune that by the Giant had befallen me, I had endeavoured to make him love me; but fea­ting to be slighted, I passed from love to the resentment of his good will; vow­ing to serve him upon all occasions, and to that end intreated him to lay some command upon me. I would not have you, said he, give me so many thanks for a thing whereunto I was bound by the laws of Chivalrie; but since you will needs oblige me, take the head of your enemy, and for a further satisfaction of your minde, carry it to Constantinople, present it to that warlike Prince, and render your grief the lesse, by publishing the revenge you have had for it. I shall with a good will, replied I, undertake that journey, but then Sir, will you be pleased to tell me who you are, to the end I may know to whom I am so infinitely indebted. See heer, my name in my shield, said he, shewing a Sa­vage pourtrayed thereupon, for a more perfect knowledge of me, at this pre­sent, I may not give: Follow on your way, whilst I go some other where to seek occasion of imploying my arms; with that, not thinking it convenient to be troublesome, I took the head of Marandor, (for so was the Giant named) and began my journey to this place, where I am arrived with grief, for that I finde not the Emperour of the Parthians to give him an account of this brave Knight; but, if you please, I will leave it in your charge to do it, upon condi­tion that I shall at any time be ready to deserve it of you in all possibly I may. Whereupon, she laid the head of Marandor on the floor, and making a very humble reverence, immediatly departed, leaving all the Princes extreamly de­sirous to know this so valiant and brave new Knight: Whilst they were all commending the valour of the Knight of the Savage, Russian, who still had Agriclea in his memory, could not be at rest, and would certainly have been gone, had it not been for the desire he had to see his father and his kinsfolks at liberty: but that respect prevailing with him, he passed the most part of his dayes unquietly enough; contrarily Prigmaleon, who interpreting Polixena's [Page 167] answer to his advantage, felt so many delights amidst his pain, that he bles­sed love every minute, being pleased with the change of his condition, as the cause of all his felicity. If he walked in the woods or gardens, it was not with any purpose to complaine, but to entertain himselfe with the con­templation of his good for [...]une, and to grave the names of Polixena and himselfe on the barkes of trees: his actions were altogether amorous. And if he suffered any thing at all, her sole impatience was the cause thereof; howbeit hoping that time would bring him remedy, he gently supported the violence of his desires.

Pleasing himself then in this fashion, with the entertainmen of his owne thoughts, and sometimes in the remembrance of his Lady, the time slipt so sweetly away, that they were insensibly come to the Eve of these Princes enfranchisement, whereof I will relate you the wonder, when I have en­formed you of some occurrents that did precede it.

CHAP. XL. A Damsell comming to Constantinople, carries away Prigmaleon to combat with Griolani [...], surnamed the fa [...]e Knight: The successe thereof.

ALL these Princes being assembled together to consult of the order that was to be kept for the reception of these enchanted Princes; who, as Cassandra assured them, were to be freed within two dayes, they saw a strange D [...]msell come in; who, pausing upon the view of so many brave Knights, considered them a while without speaking a word. But observing that they all had their eyes fixt on her, and that they were silent, as it were, to give her leave to speak, she said: Now on my faith, I never saw so gallant, nor fo well shap'd men in all my life; nor do I wonder that this Court is so e [...]told through the world. But I would gladly know which is the most amorous amongst you. There is not any here, said Prigmaleon, to whom the Damsell seemed especially to addresse her selfe, that would not appeare to be a lover, and that in regard thereof would not willingly draw his sword against his companion, if it were to be justified by Armes. But unable to tell assuredly how farre another mans suff [...]ring extends, I may confidently affirme, that I am he, who perhaps endureth most, that loves with most passion, as he that hath devoted himselfe to one, who kindles no ordinary [...]ames, and that to save a thousand lives, would not let any thing passe to the prejudice of my Lady, the most beautifull that treads upon the earth. Follow me then, answered the Damsel, to do her service. For yesterday passing by a crosse way, some three leagues [Page 168] from hence, I saw two pavillions set up, a number of shields hanging upon the next trees, and lances enough to maintaine a passage for three moneths space, which made me draw neerer to heare what all this preparation inten­ded; and seeing a Squire issue forth of one of the pavillions, I made a signe to him that he should come and speak with me, which in a very civill fashi­on he did, and told me, that his Mistris, whom he would by no meanes name, though I divers times intreated him unto it, being passionately in love with one that was called the fair Knight, had engaged him to main­tain a Iust in her favour; to which end she was come neer unto Constanti­nople, in hope that the Greek Princes hearing of it, would come to a tri [...]ll with her Knight, whom she held to be the most valorous in the world, as without question he is the most lovely of all that this day lives: whereby this warriour should gain immortall praise, and that she should have a sh [...]re in the glory which he acquired by his valour, as being the principall cause thereof. These words begetting a desire in me to see this Knight, I freely went into his tent, where seeing him with his head unarmed, I indeed ob­served in him so pleasing an eye, a beauty so lovely, and so goodly a pre­sence, as I may with truth averre, that I had never beheld any thing more ami [...]ble. But that which exeedingly vexed me, was, to see, that the Lady, in whose favour he had taken up armes, had not any one of those perfections. Her face was pale and lean, no charmes were in her eyes, no grace in her actions: her stature was defect [...]ve, her smiles unbecoming, and her voice harsh and unpleasant. In briefe, observing all this in her, I could not for­beare laughing, and withall told that gallant Knight, how his valour was ill employed, how he should never gain much glory by his labour, having undertaken it upon an occasion that could not deserve it, and that being sen­sible of the injury which he did to all the faire ones that passed by, rendring them subject to acknowledge the preheminence of a creature so little ad­vantaged by nature, I would go to the Court of Greece, to require reason for this injustice. And indeed I am now here for no other cause, but onely to carry you with me to revenge the wrong of those that have merits in them, and particularly of the fair one whom you adore with so much re­spect and love. I was never more willing to put on Armes, said Prigma­leon, then now, that my Ladies beauty is in question. Let us go then, Gen­tlewoman, and we shall know ere it be long, if this Knight be as valiant and strong as you thinke him lovely. Whereupon having called for a horse, he mounted on him, departed with the Damsell, and travelled till night, which constrained him to rest under certaine trees, and to sup with the pro­vision which his squire had brought.

When it grew dark, the damsell whom the good grace and convers [...]ti­on of the Knight had made very much in love with him, seeing him with­draw apart from her to sleepe, and not approving that reservednesse which in her heart she called simplicity, she followed him, and lying down by him said: In faith, I must complain of your neglect of me, and not forbear tel­ling you that you want judgement in not making use of time, occasion, and of the good will of a w [...]nch, that loves you with p [...]ssion; what sence were it to passe the night in languishing, when we may make it full of content? Entertaine the good fortune that presents it self to you, and do not foolishly imagine as the most part of our Greek Princes do (who are more gloriously [Page 169] proud of their loialty in love, then of all the great things which they have done in armes) that to afford any part of your affection to more then one, is in any kind of fault. It is an errour, at which those of little judgement doe stumble, and which the more discreet doe laugh at. I will mingle so much sweetnesse with my kisses, and such dalliance with my caresses, as you sh [...]ll with reason think your self happy in so favourable an incounter. Suffer then our lips to meet, receive my embraces, and doe not disdain a love be­cause it is freely profered you. Doe not beleeve, answered Prigmaleon, ex­treamly amazed to see himself thus assaulted; Do not I say, beleeve, if I an­swer not your desire, that it is out of the consideration of the liberty which you take in discovering your passions: I know how weake men are when love hath resolved to master them, and that it is not in their power to go­vern their passions, if once they have submitted them to the tyranny of so great a power; and yet lesse then that would I have you beleeve, that I en­tend to follow any man for a patern of my actions, for they shall ever de­pend onely upon my owne humour: but to tell you freely what is in my heart, I cannot make vse of your good will, because I doe infinitely love a Lady, that permits me not so to dispose of my will, as you, without doubt, neither could now love the first that should present himselfe to you. Let this reason serve for my excuse, and do not, I pray you, call me ingrate­full. The service that I will do you with my arms, shall make amends for this default; in the mean time if you have a minde to tarry heere, I will re­move further, that I may not trouble your repose. Thus it is, said shee in choler, that poore spirits use to excuse themselves. Sleep, since you care more for a nap, then you do for my life. The Gods who are alwaies just, will one time or other revenge your despising of me, and make you thorow­ly feel the pain that I suffer by your ingratitude. Saying so, she withdrew under another tree with extream discontent, leaving Prigmaleon in no lesse disquiet of mind: for remembring his Polixena, from whom he durst not assure himselfe a better entertainment then now he had given that amorous damsell, he never could shut his eies; and in that trouble he continued, till the sun being risen made him get to horse, where entring into a forrest, that befell him, which shall be deliverd to you in the next Chapter.

CHAP. XLI. Prigmaleon meets with Melina; she gives him an account of Griolanis his fortunes, with the issue of the combat between him and the Knight of the Savage.

PRigmaleon travelling in the forrest, under the shadow of the trees, entertained himselfe with his ordinary fan­cies, and thought of nothing lesse then the damsell, which still followed him, though it were with much discontent; and ashamed for having been so refused, when as on the sudden he heard the voice of a person, who seemed to be much afflicted. Those laments comming to his ear, put him out of his musing, and made him presently goe to a bush, from whence the noise did come; where at the foot of it he saw a Lady, that holding a ponyard in her hand, spake these words: Melina it is time for thee to die, since thy Knight is lost; for thy dayes would be but anguish, and every thought of him an insupportable torture, when thou shalt remember that thou wert the cause of his death, by putting him upon a busines, which could no way conduce to thy content. It had beene much better done to have kept him still in thy house, amidst a thousand pleasures, then to carry him abroad to the hazard of his life. But since this mischief is not to be remedied, thy desire to accompany him, must be without fear; neither must thou shrinke from death to follow him. Lifting up then her hands, she was ready to strike the dagger into her bo­some, if Prigmaleon, who perceived her intent, and therefore was lighted from his horse, had not suddenly laid hold of her; and remonstrated that despair was a greater offence, then that for which she so much sorrowed. Stay Madam, said he, stay your hand, I beseech you, and do not in this sort run headlong to perdition. The shortest follies are the best; and when you have well considered that the shedding of your bloud, will not restore him to life, whose death you lament, you will, without doubt preserve it; and beleeve that it were better to appease his ghost with some other kind of du­ty, then to incense the Gods with a new murther. Alas! answered she, loo­king upon him, if you knew the occasion I have to desire to die, you would not now divert me from this designe. I do not doubt, said he, but the cause of your grief is very important, but yet I say that it ought not to transport you from your reason; and if you could give your self some relaxation in imparting it to me, you should doe much for my satisfaction, and perhaps not a little for the ease of your mind. I am content to do it, answered she, letting the poniard go, but it shall be upon condition, that you shall leave me at liberty to do what I please, if you find the occasions that I have to be just. Prigmaleon having promised her not to crosse her will, provided hee [Page 171] might do it with reason, she sat down upon the grasse, and thus began her discourse. Walking one evening in a wood neere the house, in which I am ordinarily resident, I met a Knight, who being strayed out of his way, did so curteously entreat me to grant him lodging for that night, as beside the law of charity, which doth bind us not to refuse our helpe to those that doe need it: I felt my self also forced by the fair language, and by the grace that he used in his request, to give him my hand, and to lead him to my house, assuring him that there he should receive the best entertainmen [...] [...]hat I could possibly give him. As soon as we were come there, and that by the light of the torches I had seen his face, I found him so lovely, and all h [...] a­ctions so pleased me, that not to dissemble, I could not keep my self from falling in love with him. I then made him to be served at the Table, and sometimes serving him my self with the strength of my affection, I so obli­ged him to my curtesie, that assuredly hee did beare mee some good will, which infinitely rejoiced me; but fearing to lose him, as soon as I had got­ten him, my contentment was thereby much weakened: To remedy that doubt, I resolved to arrest him with my caresses, I mean, to give my selfe wholly to him without any reservation at all. Taking him then by the hand, after he had supped, I went and fate down with him upon the beds feet, be­sought him to tell me his name, his quality, and passing from those ordinary tearms to those of love, I made an ostentation, not of my bounty, for of that his eyes could be judge, but of my birth and quality, eminent enough for the ambition of any Knight, that were not a Prince; the conveniencies that I was Mistrisse of, my estate, my humour not unpleasing: and briefly, all that came in my head, and which I beleeved might serve to make him to affect me; but fearing all these charmes would not be able to stay him, I entreated him to grant me one favour, which I intended to desire of him.

The entertainment, said he, which I have heer received from you, doth not permit me to be ingratefull in refusing you; Madam, you shall have of me all that you please to command. As for the first point of your desire, I will tell you freely, that I am called Griolanis, born in Macedon, of parents unto whom fortune truly hath done wrong in not conferring scepters on them for a recom­pence of their vertue; I travell thorow the world to purchase glory, and raise my ambition beyond the limits of my birth, and should reckon my self most happy, if I might deserve the greatnesse of your fortune in possessing of you; but not thinking it fit to aim so high, before my valour hath made me wor­thy of so great a favour, I will put off the further treating thereof till some o­ther time, and in the mean while beseech you to let me freely know what you desire of me. To have you maintain a justs in favour of me, answered I, ex­ceedingly satisfied with his discourse, which confirmed my hope, not in this Castle, but neer Constantinople, that the glory of my beauty may flee about, together with the praise which you will acquire by your noble deeds. Your request, said he, is so much to my advantage, as I will not fear to intreat you that we may be gone about it in the morning. This answer having quieted my minde, I brought him to his chamber, where I left him to take his rest, and having given order for some affairs of mine, after Sun-rising I departed with him, and came to a crosse way not far from hence, where this fair Knight, for three weeks space, acted wonders, and won such glory, that round about there was no talk save of him; but the Destinies, envying my content, brought a [Page] Knight to us yesterday, that bare a Savage in his shield, who defied my lover upon the injustice of his enterprise. Griolanis alwaies accustomed to be conque­rour, judging by the aspect of his adversary, that he was like to be very vali­ant, to [...]k the strongest lance that he had, and set himself over against this his able enemy, who seeing him dislodge, set spurs to his horse, & incountered him with such fury, as he laid him on the ground; but Griolanis his blows, being not easily born, he of the Savage also lost his saddle, and all amazed lay in the dust. Choler then having quickly raised these two brave warriors, they pre­presently drew their swords, and so stoutly charged one another, that all the wood resounded with it; I saw their heads continually covered with fire, pie­ces of their armour fell to the ground; if one struck with force, the other with dexterity rebated it; blows followed thrusts, their shields were so hewed, that but a little of them was left upon their arms, their helmets were all battered, their cuirasses pierced, and the grasse was stained with their bloud; as often as the Knight of the Savage advanced his sword, I grew pale, and lifting mine eyes to heaven implored the aid of the Gods for my Knight; I was many times rising to part them, and instantly fell down again with fear and weaknesse; briefly, I beheld this combat more dead then alive. Six howrs now being spent between them in this fashion, and yet no advantage to be discerned on either side, both quitted their swords, and taking one another about the middle, they fell to wrestling together with extream fury; sometimes one was above, sometimes another; so that having toiled thus a while with incredible despight to see their victory no more advanced, they by a mutuall consent arose, and ta­king their swords againe, renewed the combat in a crueller and more fear­full manner then before: Griolanis did his part to the height, and well de­clared that he was one of the prime Knights in the world: but the Savage was nothing behinde him. So that having continued the fight in this sort, three or foure houres longer, they advanced both their swords, and at one and the same instant discharged them with such violence on each other, as Griolanis not able to support the weight of the blow, fell to the ground quite deprived of sense, just as his enemy staggering did the like. The fall of these two Knights so amazed me, as I was not able to go presently to Griolanis▪ but love prevailing over feare, I at last arose, and being about to unlace his helmet, I saw two women come riding in a Caroch, who taking them both up, put them into it, and then immediatly going in themselves, without speaking a word to me, went their wayes with such speed, as that, and the astonishment wherein I was, made me that I could not observe what way they took. But having within a while recovered my spirits, I made a horse be brought me, and getting up, I put my selfe into the wood, and sought them all the night, without hearing any newes of them. From hence proceeds my resolution to dye: for since Griolanis lives not, what should I do in the world? So holding her peace, shee went to seeking of her ponyard; but Prigmaleon fell again to comfort her, and so powerfully prevailed with her, as in the end she promised him to do no violence upon herselfe: whereupon bidding the Damsell that follo­wed him farewell, since the occasion of his journey was removed, he retur­ned to Constantinople, where we will give him leasure to relate what he had learned from the Gentlewoman, to speake of these two incomparable warriours.

CHAP. XLII. What became of Griolanis and him of the wilde man after their combat.

THE combat between these two valiant Knights being en­ded, as I have told you, Alcander, in whose power they were, and that desired their preservation, as much importing the good of Christendom, placed them se­parately in a palace, which (by the power of his charms) he made appear in a large plain; and having rubbed them with an excellent Balsamum, he let them sleep all the night; at the end whereof, and about the time when the Sun began to gild the earth, Grian awaking, was strangely amazed to see himself laid in a very rich bed, and not to feel any pain of his wounds, received in the combat the day before, which he had not forgotten. O me! said he, casting his eye on every side, and perceiving nothing but gold and azure, par­ting a number of excellent pictures that filled the room where he was. What do I see? Where am I, or who could bring me into a place of such delicacie? I remember very well, that I fought with one of the valiantest Knights of the world, and that his sword had pierced my flesh in a number of places, yet now I feel not a wound, nor can I imagine how we were pa [...]ted, nor who could bring me hither: Certainly this is very marvellous! But I may quickly free my self of all doubt: This stately Palace, is not without inhabitants, and I shall surely finde some body in it, that will inform me how things have past: Leaping then out of his bed, he took certain clothes that lay upon a table, and having put them on, he went down into a dainty garden, where all the excel­lent flowers of the earth were set in a most strange and artificiall order; he beheld with admiration a multitude of trees, loaden with all manner of fruit, heard with pleasure the musick of a million of birds, who seemed to strive for to render that place most delectable; and viewed with wonder, a many of fountains, which made a fair lake, wherein a world of swans did sport them­selves: but that which he thought the greatest wonder, was that, among all these rarities, he found not any one person of whom he might be satisfied in what he desirēd: In the end, having visited all the allies, he saw come forth from the other side of the house a Gentleman, so handsome; of so sweet a coun­tenance, and of so brave a presence, as he beleeved that nature was not able to frame such another piece; his carriage exceedingly pleasing him, he went to salute him, and not knowing him for that incomparable warrior, that had made him so sweat in his armour the day before, he said to him: Sir, you shall much oblige me if you will be pleased to tell me where I am, and who is the Master of this place. Verily, answered the fair Knight, I am in the same trou­ble that you are, and being heer without knowing how I came hither, was seeking some body that might satisfie me in what you enquire after. As far as I perceive, said Grien, our case is much one, and since a like fortune hath made us (not expecting it) to incounter thus, a like means, it may be, will make us finde the cause of it: Yet me thinks I see a man under those trees; let us, I pray [Page 174] you, go to him, he may perhaps satisfie our desire: The Knight then, who was no other then Griolanis, looking behinde him, spied an old man com­ming towards them, of a tall stature, in whose face appeared a Majesty not common with other men, who when heapproached to them, said: Sir Knights, your meeting doth yeeld me matchlesse contentment, for seeing you so kinde friends after so great an animosity, I may with reason esteem my self happy, that I have entertained you in my house. For my part, said Griolanis, who by those words knew that this Knight whom he beheld, was the redoubted Knight of the Savage, that had so late made him despair of his life, I can bear no ill will to this brave warrior, out of the consideration of our late combat; but if he please to love me, I shall gladly do him all service. Love you, said Grian, yes without question I will love you, for it were a crime to hate your vertue; beleeve it then that I am wholly yours: Whereupon, they imbraced one another with as much affection as could be desired, which so contented Alcander, that carrying them into a Cabinet, after he had royally feasted them, with abundance of delicate meats, he thus spake to them: Brave warriors, be not amazed at what you have lately seen; the heavens, that would have you preserved for their glory, made me yesterday seek to save you in a time when you had little reason to hope for it; your choler brought you even to deaths door, my care hath returned you back from it, seek not any occasion of diffe­rence heerafter; but rather imploy those mighty abilities which God hath en­dowed you with, to the ruine of those that would overthrow his religion, he will reward your zeal, and you shall see a happy end of all your enterprises. At these words he vanished out of their fight, those stately buildings were now no more to be seen, those delicious gardens changed their form, the Knights found themselves mounted upon their horses, and armed at all peeces, exceedingly astonished at that which had befallen them: But not forgetting the counsell that had been given them, they again protested to love one ano­ther eternally; and taking the first way that came to hand, they went directly to Constantinople, as you shall see in the Chapter ensuing.

CHAP. XLIII. The Princes of Greece are disinchanted: Rozalmond of Greece departs with Alcander: the brave deeds of Arms at the Tourney that was made upon the Knighting of the young Princes.

TEN dayes being insensibly past away since the inchant­ment of the Princes and Ladies of Greece, Cassandra, who knew the time fit for their deliverance, called to­gether all the rest that were not there inclosed, tooke Rozalmond of Greece in one hand, and the faire Polixena by the other, and leading them very neer the Arches, made them cast certaine vials upon them, full of a marvellous water; which donethey heard a multitude of sweet voyces, that ravished the eares of all that were present: [Page 175] whilst all the Court expected the issue of so many wonders, whilst the cloud was dispersing, and that they began to behold that admirable foun­taine, Rozalmond, by the advice of Cassandra, laid hold of a rich sword, which was found planted between the Arches, and having easily puld it out, with the pommell of it struck such a blow upon the inchanted coffer, as he brake it in a thousand pieces; which were no sooner on the ground, but he was seen covered with the richest Armour, and of the strongest fa­shion that was ever seen: It was made of the bones of a fish that is found in the Atlantike sea, white as snow, and harder then a Diamond: the joynts thereof were overlaid with pretious stones of a strange workmanship; and that which most shewed it selfe, was the gold, curiously inlaid, and parting a thousand delicate figures. This being done in view of all that were in the great Court of the Palace, every one with impatience attended what would be the end of this adventure; when as they saw four fearfull Dragons ap­peare in the aire, that drawing after them a great Chariot, went and tooke their stand before the Arches, with such an aff [...]ighting of the people, that every one for his [...]afety was about to run away, had they not beheld the venerable Alcander on the one side, comming out in the head of all those Princes; and on the other side Vrganda, a little before those excellent Q [...]eens. That object assured all the world, but a new occasion of astonish­ment and displeasure, troubled them anew: Alcander, Vrganda, the young Cassandra and Rozalmond, entred into the chaire, and in few words bidding all those Princes farewell, were carried into the clouds, with such speed, as no man could make them any answer. Sosudden a departure would certainly have very much discontented all the Court, if that yong Prince had been in the power of anyother. But every one being assured that those Sages had not carried him away in that sort, but for his honor, they shewed but little grief for his absence, especially Florisel & the rest of those Princes, who seeing themselves without wrinkles, and with the same beauty and abilities which they had when they were five and twenty years old, did view themselves with wonder, & could not tell how to comprehend such prodigious things. All men cast their eyes upon the fair Queen of France, who having the same charmes about her, that she had when she was called the Basiliske of man­kinde, strucke every eye with infinite amazement: they also admired the renewed beauty of the excellent Queen of Guindaya, of the matchlesse A­lastraxarea, which had for so long a time kept the Prince of Colchos her idolatrizer, of the faire Empresse of Persia, the peerlesse Empresse of the Parthians, and the Infanta Rozaliana her sister: and in brief, of them all, who had as well as they experienced how farre the power of Alcander▪ ex­tended. Dorigel and the rest were no lesse transported with beholding so great a change in those Princes: they did nothing but caresse them every minute, they redoubled their kisses and embraces; and not knowing how to put an end to their complements, spake the same thing a thousand times over. All being thus set upon pleasure, the young Princes who as yet were not knighted, desiring to demonstrate that they were no lesse joyfull then the rest, presented themselves upon their knees together, all armed in white armour, before Florisel of Niquea, and by Persides, whom they had made their spokesman, thus delivered their request. Excellent Prince, it is time that we should appeare in the world as you have done, and by a triall in sport, give an essay of our Armes, and testifie how much we rejoyce to see [Page 176] you in that estate you are in. Be pleased to make us Knights, we are in case to receive that sacred Order, and determined to fight so well, that you shall not grieve to acknowledge we are descended of your race. My good chil­dren, (said Florisel, who was highly pleased to see them in that sort) this generous disposition doth so content us, as notwithstanding your youth▪ I will not delay the giving you satisfaction. Sweare then all of you, with one accord, that you will not at any time faile to succour the weake, such as are oppressed, but principally women. When they had all promised rather to dye then be wanting to the duty of a good Knight, he gave them his be­nediction, knighted them, and left it to their choyce to receive the sword from the hand of any of the Princesses they best liked. That done, he tur­ned himselfe afresh, to make much of his friends, who seemed to be trans­ported beyond all joy. These new Knights rising from their knees, with incredible satisfaction, for that they had met with so little difficulty in their designe, went to take a slight repast with the Emperours; and having fitted themselves with all that was necessary, entred the list, where Prigmaleon being chosen for the Captain of two hundred Greek Knights▪ in the head of whom were Russian, Fulgoran, Esquilan, Florizart, Abies, Frizel, Leoni­das, Armond and Melfort; and Persides with the like number of French and Persians, assisted by his brother Floridan, Rozanel d'Astre, Lucibel, Sestilian, Perion, Florian, Tristor, Quedragant, Dardanio and the gentle Florestan of Sardinia. Vpon the third sound of the trumpet they began the bravest course in the world, Persides, Floridan, Rozanel and the young Prince of France, brake very gallantly upon the Emperour of Aethiopia, Fulgoran, Russian of Media, & the stout Polonian. And passing forwards without once bending in the faddle, for all the encounter of four such famous warriours, they bravely set hand to their swords, wherewith they began to cleare the rankes, in such sort, as already men fore-judged that with time they would prove equall with the prime Knights of the world: Every blow that they gave, laid a man upon the ground, and nothing could have stood before them, if the same foure with whom they ran their courses, had not opposed themselves, and arrested their fury. The brave bastard of Media having Persides in hand, charged him with very much force and grace; but his ene­my behaved himselfe so well, as he was esteemed no lesse valiant then him­selfe. Prigmaleon, being opposed to Rozanel, confessed, that he had never seen a man more active, or more able. And the valiant Princes of Canabea, & Poland, had enough to do to ward the blows which Lucibel and Floridan laid incessantly upon them.

The honour of the victory being generally disputed by these young Lords, everyone was highly delighted with their behaviour, and more then all the rest, the Princes of Greece, who observing them with wonder, and infinitely admiring such ability in tender yeers, did heartily wish that the honour of the tourney might be theirs, which undoubtedly had befallen them, notwithstan­ding all that Melfort and the rest could do, who by little and little yeelded to the blows of Sestilian, which that day gave great proof of an admirable valour, when as they saw two Knights enter the field in watchet arms, so gentile, and so gallantly seated in their saddles, that all men had a good opinion of them; their gracefull carriage drawing the most part of the assistants to observe them, it was quickly known, by a Savage appearing in a shield of one of them, that they were the famous Grian, and the fair Knight, of whom such miracles had [Page 177] been reported. These two warriors seeing that every body observed them with expectation of what they would do, couched their lances, and taking part with the weaker side, at the first course laid Perion of Turky, and Flore­stan in the dust; and drawing forth their swords, in a moment overthrew Flo­rian, Trist [...]r, and Dardanio, which so incouraged the side that saw themselves so well assisted, as they had made their enemies to give ground, if Persides and Rozanel, enraged at it, had not astonished Russian and Prigmaleon with each of them a blow; these two young warriors, seeing the disorder which these new commers caused in their troops, charged them with strange fury; but the two invincible Knights received them so bravely, as every one began to be­hold them with admiration: Persides, who remembered the glory that his fa­ther had gained in the hardest enterprises, charged him with such mighty blows, as a man of lesse abilities could never have sustained them: But Grian, whom he had to deal with, that was not to be moved with a little, held him so short, as he made him despair of the victory. On the other side, Rozanel and Griolanis entreated one another with a like fury; their swords were perpetual­ly in motion, their shields fell in pieces, and a thousand flames flew continual­ly about their heads: If fear of being overcome rendered the Greek Princes strong and hardy, the desire which the others had of acquiring glory in the presence of the most gallant warriors of the world, did so enflame their cou­rages, as their blows seemed lightening which falls from heaven upon the highest tow [...]. At length the combat having lasted above an howr, Grian madded that he met with so strong resistance, delivered so weighty a blow up­on Don Persides his helmet, that he made his head touch the crupper of his horse; then flying into the midst of the troops, he met with the valiant Esqui­lan, upon whose shield he discharged so [...]uriously, as he laid him in the dust; and not satisfied therewith, he ran in among the rest, intending to have used them in the like sort, but that he met with Griolanis, who having overthrown his adversary, deprived Florizart and Leo [...]id [...] of sense, went out of the field with him upon hearing of the trumpet, which sounded a re [...]reat: Spurring then together out of the lists, they took the way to the forrest, leaving a won­derfull admiration in the Greek Princes of their valour, and mighty displea­sure in the minde of those young Princes, who had been so roughly handled by them. Four of which, that is to say, Lucibel, Persides, Prigmaleon, and Russian, presently followed them, with a resolution to die, or revenge the disgrace they had received.

The end of the first Part.



Written in French by Monsieur Verdere, And Translated for the Right Honourable, Philip, Earle of Pembroke and Montgomery, Lord Chamberlaine to his Majesty.

Tome II.


LONDON, Printed by Thomas Harper, for Thomas Walkley, and are to be sold at his Shop at the signe of the flying Horse, neere Yorke House, 1640▪

CHAP. I. Rozalmond of Greece being carried by Alcanders Griffons, arrives in the Empire of Gardacia, receives the order of Knighthood from the Emperour, and is entertained by the beautifull Arma­zia, for her Knight.

ROzalmond of Greece being carried by Alcanders Grif­fons (as I have delivered in the last Chapter of our first Part) divided the air with an incredible content to behold the disposing of the earth and the seas, to­gether with the order which nature observed in their scituation; If the waters seemed pleasing unto him in their calm, and under the shadow of a multitude of sails which the winds drove sundry waies; the earth separated by mountains covered with trees, by valleies which amiable streams peopled with flowrs, and by plains delectable in the division of towns and fruits wherwithall they were charged, gave him no lesse delight, and left him in a deep astonishment to view over all the marveilous effects of the powerfull hand of God. Two daies being sweetly spent in this ma­ner, Alcander (who disposed of his leisure according to the event of things which he fore saw by an admirable knowledge) caused his Griffons to stay in the unknown Island of the sage Vrganda, and alighting with her and lea­ving Rozalmond in the Chariot, accompanied with the fair Cassandra, he said unto him: Excellent Prince, it is time to give a beginning to the wonders which your valour is to bring into the world, your labours shall be great, but as great shall be your reward, and the glory you shall reap by them will make them so acceptable unto you that in stead of being danted with the pains you will every day seek new occasions to employ your self and ren­der your name more famous. I will not speak heer of the care you are to have of the service of God, knowing full well that your good education hath not been without that instruction, and lesse will I recommend those parts unto your memory which a good Knight ought to be indued withall, the greatnes of your birth having naturally given you a powerfull impressi­on of vertue; but I earnestly beseech you not to abandon the counsell which this damsell your follower shall give you, untill such time as your destiny shall call you to the place where her presence can no longer serve you: Her parents have alwaies watched for the safety of your predecessors, she shall continue the same care, and her succour shall be no lesse importing your en­terprises, then that of her mothers was to the designs of Amadis the Great. At these words the Griffons extending forth their wings, rose up so sudden­ly, that Rozalmond had not time to render the thanks which he thought was due to the affection of this man: wherwithall undoubtedly he had been much discontented if Cassandra had not advertised him that so sudden a de­parture [Page 2] was not without some secret mysterie. Comforting himself then with his entertainment, three dayes past away with the same delight as be­fore, at the end whereof he saw the Griffons, which drew him gently to stay their flight, and alight down neer to a city, the stateliest and most de­lectable that ever he had beheld; it being composed of beautifull build­ings, framed after another fashion then at Constantinople, or in the Em­pire of the Parthians, where he had been brought up. This [...]ovelty plea­sing him, his eyes were diversly carried according to the variety of the ob­jects, which ravished him in such sort, that he never thought of alighting out of his chariot; but Cassandra taking him by the hand to divert him from so profound a thought, said unto him; It is no time, brave Prince, it is no time to wonder at such petty matters, by and by you will see far greater marvells: onely let us enter into the city, and be mindfull to reserve so much power over your self, that you fail in nothing when you come be­fore an Emperour that is to make you Knight, and are to appear before the fairest Princesse of the world, who will this day triumph as much over you, as you in time to come shall triumph over the greatest Knights of the earth. I should fear the encounter of these persons (answered he) if I did not march under your conduct; but Madam, what apparance is there that I can fail in your presence, or that my passion should transport me so far as to forget my duty? I know how to carry my self towards persons of the qua­lity of this Emperour, and how a Princesse of her merit, whom you so highly commend, is to be admired; so that if I must learn to love, time and my fidelity shall one day make me expert: in the mean season, I will never be troubled to see her sigh for another, and reject my services; for if her heart be other wayes ingaged, you have charms of power to alter her minde, and to subject her unto me in despight of her ablest resistance. Your merits can do more (said Cassandra) then my Art: But not to loose time, give me your sword and helmet, and let us go on. Then advancing towards the city, they went unto the Palace, before which they found four hundred Knights all armed, and mounted in such sort, as if they had been ready to charge some enemy. This encounter amazed them, and they could wil­lingly have stayed to demand what occasion had assembled them in that manner; but fearing to offend by this curiosity, they past on, and mounting up the staires, came into the hall, where the first object they met withall, was an old man, high seated in a throne of gold, wearing an Imperiall dia­dem on his head, having by his side a wife of his own age, and a little be­low a daughter so fair, that nature seemed to have imploied all the power she had left for to make her accomplished. Rozalmond who had pro­pounded a world of assurance in his actions unto himself, beholding a beau­ty so rare and excellent, made a stand in the midst of the hall, as if he would have taken time to admire her; but instantly remembring Cassandra's ad­vice, he continued his pace with a sweet modestie; and seeing himself at the foot of the throne, he kneeled down, where with an admirable grace craving the Emperours hand to kisse, he besought him not to refuse him one boon he would demand of him. You shall have it (said the Emperour, ri­sing out of his seat for to imbrace him, with astonishment at his so extraor­dinary feature) and I will never refuse a gentleman of so goodly a presence as yours, albeit my scepter and my crown were at stake for it. I am not heer to ask riches of you (said Rozalmond) Fortune doth give them to us [Page 3] when we have deserved them, and a man ought to be contented when he is vertuous, but I am now at your Majesties feet to obtain the power to im­ploy these armes upon my back; first, for the service of God, and then for the succour of those which shall be any wayes afflicted: In a word, Sir, I desire you, if you please to make me Knight, to the end I may in some sort imitate my Ancestours, who by their worthy acts have acquired immor­tall glory in the world. Your demand seems so just (answered the Empe­rour) that I should hold it a very great errour to deny you; but it grives me not a little, noble Sir, that I cannot give you so sacred an order with those ceremonies I desire, for having so just an occasion to be afflicted, by reason of the importunity of an accident, that now lies heavie upon me, I cannot any way shew that joy which otherwise I would. The silence I every where observe (said Rozalmond) & that array wherin I beheld some of your people, made me think that you had some great affair in hand, but I could not imagine, Sir, that your Majestie being so puissant in friends, in means, in men, could fear any disaster whatsoever: howbeit, now I learn that the highest are most subject to mishap, and your affliction makes me say, that the condition of men is miserable, seeing it depends onely upon fortune: the most violent diseases finde their remedies, so shall your griefe ere it be long, and time shall restore you to your former peace. The Gods (said the Emperour, shedding some tears) shall if it be their pleasures authorize your words and my wishes, and take pity of my suffering, whilst I comfort my self in that hope. And that you may not complain of me, I will make you Knight yet before dinner, since you desire it so much. Then taking him by the hand, he led him to the Temple, where his Gods were worshipped, and giving him the Oath, he made him Knight after his fashion. All the while the Ceremonies were in doing, Rozalmond had his eies firmly fixed on this beautious Princesse, whom his soul already adored; and perceiving her looks in like manner to be fastened on him, as amazed at the goodli­nesse of his person, he kneeled down before her, and said; Madam, there is but one thing now wanting to make me compleatly happy, namely, that I may receive the sword from you, who are, in my judgement, the fairest Lady in the world, as I have received the Order from the greatest Empe­rour of the earth; this favour will so incourage me in the midst of dangers, that I shall draw glory out of the most difficile enterprises. Would to the Gods (said she, amorously sighing) that this were able to adde any thing to your valour; be assured then, Sir Knight, that your good fortune should be­gin with mine own preservation, and that I would give you forces sufficient to draw us out of the perplexity wherein we are now so miserably plunged; but knowing mine own weaknesse, and the little power I have in the world, I can hope for nothing that way: nevertheles, not to be so far ingratefull, as to refuse you any thing which may become me to grant you, I wil willingly gird you with the sword, & withall humbly beseech the Gods, that you may worthily imploy it, for the glory of their Altars, and the succour of the afflicted; saying so, she took it from the sage Cassandra, hung it at his girdle, and presently would have retired; but the love of this new Knight was more, then to leave her with any distaste for want of an answer: so that bowing himself, and kissing her hand, he said unto her; Excellent Lady, I may truly say, that the bravest Knights of the earth never received fa­vours equall to those you have been graciously pleased to confer on me [Page 4] this day, but render my content perfect, I beseech you, and permit me to importune you so far, as to demand why you told me that my good for­tune should begin with your preservation, if you could adde any thing to my forces; for it is just, that I serve you at this time with the sword where­withall you have armed me, and I should finde supreme glory in the com­mandment which you should be pleased to lay upon me, for to undertake some combat, with the title of your Knight. If I did not value your life (replied she with a delicate blush, and a little withdrawing her self aside) I should make no difficulty to expose you to the fury of a man, the most re­doubted of the earth; who lately encountring the Emperour my father in a forrest, whither for his pleasure he was gone to hunt, cut an hundred Knights, which accompanied him, in pieces; and having struck him down with a blow of his sword, made him promise that I should be the price of his life and liberty, and that he should marry me within fifteen dayes; but desiring to reserve you for an affair lesse dangerous, if I cannot avoid this, I will never permit you to ingage your self so rashly, and I shall be very well contented that you will leave this controversie to be decided by all those Cavaliers, whom you saw before the Court gate when you entred in. I do not think (answered Rozalmond) that the promise of all the Empires in the world would be half so dear to me, as the assurance which you have now given of your fair respect to me. But, Madam, could I merit this grace, or could you ever regard me, if I should be so base as to leave the glory of your service to another? That shall never be, and well might you repute me most unworthy of your esteem, if this occasion should passe over so. My vertue must give me this treasure, and my valour must make me the lawfull master of it; your enemy is a man, and consequently subject to the same accidents which thwart others; I will see him, not with those ar­med troops, but alone; to the end that the reputation of his defeat may not be divided with others; I most humbly beseech you therefore not to respect my life, which cannot be more generously imploied, and be confi­dent, that marching for your interest, you will receive satisfaction from my enterprise. These words pronounced with more then an ordinary grace of spirit, gave much content to the Princesse, who took them for powerfull testimonies of love; but her affection making her apprehensive of his losse, she was about to have commanded him not to undertake this combat, when as the Emperour sent for him to sit down at the table, who not enduring to hear the sighes of the afflicted people amidst his own joy, seeing the meat come in, he went and kneeling down before the Emperour, said unto him: Mighty Prince, the honour that you have done me this day, obligeth me to take part of your distresse, nor will it permit me to quit these armes un­till I have imploied them against this barbarous stranger, who thus dis­quiets you. He is before the walls of the Town, and it is said, that he hath made a vow never to depart thence till you have performed your promise; let us make good his words, and permit me to send him to a grave, rather then into the armes of a creature so divine, from whom he doth not merit so much as a look: I am in case to fight, there is yet day enough, if he have much strength, I do not want courage; make use, Sir, of a stranger, who hath not the honour to be known of you, nor so much as can tell where he is: If fortune prove mine enemy, you will be the lesse sensible of my losse, in regard you know me not; and if the dice chance to turn, from how much [Page 5] care will you be delivered. The knowledge which I have (said the Empe­rour) of the incomparable forces of this warrior, will not suffer me to per­mit you the combat with him, and the reasons you bring to perswade me thereunto, are proper to disswademe from it; for if you undertake a busi­nesse out of the onely pity which you have of my affliction, have not I much cause to lament you, if for my sake you should die? Yea, I should be­wail the losse of you more then of a thousand other men, who it may be could attempt the danger out of the hope of recompence, whereas you pro­pound nothing to your self, but the glory you expect from your travell: put your self in head of those armed troops, that they may take assurance from this courage; this way you will much more endear me unto you then any other. Sir (answered Rozalmond) the Knights of our countrey never fight with advantage, at leastwise those who hope for honour from their actions: your enemy is accompanied but with one Squire, and with your favour I will carry none along with me but this damsell, who hath alwayes followed me; onely in regard I am on foot, permit me to chuse an horse in your stable. Seeing you will have it so (said the Emperour) I will no lon­ger oppose you, and the Gods I humbly beseech to favour your valour, and return you with as much glory, as you have justice in this quarrell. This resolution of Rozalmond, having astonished all the Knights of the Court, who beheld him as a wonder, seeing with what confidence he went to affront a man, that scorned to draw his sword against whole troops, greatly troubled the Princesse, who discontented with her fathers consent, would fain have drawn the Knight aside, absolutely to forbid him the fight, but seeing she could not possibly do it without discovering her affection, she was constrained to retire, and have recourse unto teares for the easing of her grief.

CHAP. II. Rozalmond combats and defeats the dreadfull Fulmigadan, who would have married Armazia against her fathers will.

WHilest the Princesse bewailed the losse of her Knight, which she held to be inevitable, he went to finde out his rivall, with an incredible content for that he had so suddenly met with an occasion to employ his sword for the service of a beauty which his soul ado­red; but he was vexed with himself, for that he had not been so curious as to demand her, and her fathers name. Intertaining himself in this manner, the thought of his Mistris, from whose fight he was not absented, made him fetch some sighes; whereupon, Cassandra took occasion to say unto him; Ah Sir, did not I assure you that you should see strange things to day, and you should not come out of the city again with the same power you had of your self in the morning? You have been but too true (answered he) for ac­knowledging my captivity, I may say to you, that now I have seen the fairest thing in the world: But Madam, Why do you not tell me in what [Page 6] countrey we are, the name of this courteous Prince who hath made me Knight, and that of this incomparable beauty, which hath left me nothing free, but the will to serve her? Why what important affair had you (an­swered Cassandra, smiling) that hindered you from informing your self thereof? My passion, replied he, may serve to excuse me for that: and I, said she, was restrained by the respect I had, not to withdraw you out of the rapture, wherein the object of this Princesse had cast you: but to satis­fie your desire, Know that you are now in the mighty Empire of Gardacia, which is so far distant from the Kingdoms of Christendom, that they have never heard so much as speak of it: the Sovereign thereof is this Prince, by whom you were Knighted, valiant in his younger yeers, and so redoubted by all his neighbours, that never any one durst offer to trouble the quiet of his state, but Fulmigadan, the same against whom you now go to fight: who not being able to look upon Armazia, so is your Mistris named, without rendring unto her that which is due to her from all men in the world, found means to surprise her father, and oblige him, by the restitution of his liber­ty, to make him master of the felicities, which he imagines to himself in the possession of a thing so rare: But it is time to leave off this discourse for an­other, which touches you somewhat neerer; you are approaching an ene­my so p [...]issant and hardy, that the Emperour hath, with a great deal of rea­son, made difficulty to let you go single to so dangerous an enterprise: howbeit, doubt not but this combat will bring you very much glory, so as you call to minde the renown which your fathers have acquired in the world, and that this affair doth mainly import you, in regard it so much concerns Armazia, who if she were in place where she might behold the fight, would questionlesse much advantage you; for her presence would exceedingly augment your forces, and give you far greater courage; wherefore I am minded to request so much of her in your behalf. Then will you oblige me much more then you think for, said Rozalmond, but I fear she will not willingly take so much pains. Leave me the care of that, said Cassandra, and I am perswaded she will make no difficulty at all of it. Whereupon returning presently to the Court, she went to Armazia in her chamber, and perceiving some tears upon her cheeks, she said unto her; Beautious Princesse, I imagine that the pity which you have of our Knight, makes you lament his losse as inevitable, being to encounter Fulmigadan; but it lies in you to hinder that mishap, and to make him this day triumph over so brave an enemy. Would you know how? By not disdaining to ap­pear upon the city walls; your presence will animate his forces, redouble his courage, and I am perswaded render him invincible; upon this favour, your own good and his life depend: wherefore, Madam, seek assurance in his victorie, as he will finde glory in your service; you shall not repent any pains you can take to go and see him fight for you, for I am confident that you will return with more content then you have grief at this present. I were not worthy to live, if I would not contribute to mine own safety, an­swered she; Will my presence avail this Knight, say you? It is most just that I give him this small satisfaction, seeing he contemns his own life to save mine; let us go then when you please, but with this assurance, that for eve­rv drop of bloud his enemies sword shall draw from him, so many tears shall I shed: so being attended by certain Ladies, she appeared upon the walls just at the time, when Rozalmond, being come to Fulmigadan, said un­to [Page 7] him. Knight, it is time for you to say, that Armazia is too fair to fall into the power of a man so ill made as your self; she hath sent me hither to free you of the error you are in, that she may one day affect you, howsoever her father hath been constrained by fear to promise the contrary; but thinking that these words would not be very pleasing unto you, I am come provi­ded to answer you other wayes. What do I hear, said Fulmigadan in won­derfull fury, doth Armazia disdain the honour of my favour, and do I see my self defied by one man alone? O ye Gods! How will I be revenged on her and you for this affront; but thou, insolent Knight, shalt begin the dance for bringing me so harsh a message. Saying so, he unsheathed a long and heavie Scimiter, wherewithall he struck at Rozalmonds head, but he observing his action, threw away his lance, and laying his hand suddenly on his sword, opposed his left arm to the fury of the blow, which was so great, that it made him bow to the crupper of his horse with extreme pain; but he presently setled himself again, and desiring to be revenged, he struck him with such fury, that the Pagan receiving the blow upon his shield, thought he had been under the ruines of a tower overthrown by lightning, and indeed he so astonished him, that had it not been for his horse that car­ried him away, Rozalmond, who had his sword aloft, might easily have vanquished and slain him. This first blow amazing Armazia, inflamed her with the love of this Knight, and m [...]de her wish that his enemy might ne­ver come to himself again; but seeing him re-settle himself in his saddle, and with a world of madnesse make head against his adversary, that pur­sued him, her bloud congealed in her vains, with the apprehension of so mortall a blow as the in [...]initenesse of his choler did threaten, [...]nd in truth the rage of the Pagan was such, that Rozalmonda arms, though the best of the world, could not have resisted the fury of the blow; but lightly avoiding it, and making use of the opportunity, he charged full upon the body of Fulmigadan, which he opened, and gave passage to his bloud to issue forth in great abundance: Thus the battell waxing every minute hotter and hotter, the ground was strewed with pieces of their armor, the grasse was died with their bloud, & the skie enlightened with the fire which sparkled from their helmets, and the encounter of their swords. If the force of Fulmlgadan seemed monstrous, no lesse admirable appeared the addresse of his adversa­ry, both in abating, and shifting his blows; briefly, this combat brought a generall astonishment, and every one expected the end of it by some dread­full blow. In the mean time, the two combatants charged one another with extream fury, and taking no time to breathe, so quick were their strokes, that their swords were neverseen but in the air, or on their armour. Fulmi­gadan, far more enraged then can be exprest, and striking with passion, and not with judgement, railed against heaven and earth for producing a man so puissant and couragious, as to be able to withstand his force, that made the whole world to shake; and seeing that four hours were already spent since the combat first began, and yet had gotten no advantage of his ene­my, he gave such desperate blows that made Rozalmond amazed at his fury; but being no lesse incensed to see that in the beginning of his arms, the vi­ctory was so long disputed in the presence, and for the preservation of Ar­mazia, to whom his soul was so far ingaged, he resolved either to die, or suddenly to vanquish; clasping his sword then fast in his hand, he began to presse the Pagan with such terrible blows, that his forces seemed to in­crease [Page 8] with his travell, whereat Fulmigadan was so transported with rage, that he took his Scimiter in both his hands, and discharged it so furiously upon Rozalmonds helmet, as it made him fall backward upon the crupper of his horse, casting out great quantity of bloud at his mouth, and nose; whereupon every one thought him to be dead, and the Emperour com­manded his Knights to assail his enemy, who seemed to be all covered over with bloud and dust; but even as the troops were about to march, they be­held Rozalmond raise himself up, and make towards Fulmigadan with such horrible fury, that he, who contemned the dreadfull thunder of the Gods, began to fear, seeing him arrive with so much rage, and indeed the blow which he discharged on his head was such, that it cleaved him down to the very shoulders, overthrowing him stark dead to the ground. This victory thus generously obtained, brought a world of contentment to the Emperor, but much more to the beautifull Armazia, who not able to contain her joy, so published the praises of this Knight, as if she had neither voice nor speech but for his glory; howbeit, every one thinking that she did it in regard of the interest which she had in the death of Fulmigadan, it was not supposed that her love made her speak in that maner, but she could not possibly con­tain her self in the excesse of her passion; for seeing Rozalmond come with some wounds upon him, she made it appear that she would be partaker of his pain, and not enduring to stay till the Emperour had entertained and ca­ressed him, she went, and with an amorous countenance asked of him whe­ther his wounds were dangerous. Madam, answered he, I am not so ill, but that if I were to begin another combat for your service, I would most gladly undertake it. The Gods, said she, forbid such another accident; you have done so much this day that your name shall never die in this Empire, so long as the world doth last; but I fear I shall abuse your patience, if I do not permit your wounds to be visited; wherefore I will leave you, having first entreated you to make use of all things heer, as if you were in your own house: the obligation wherein we stand ingaged unto you gives you this power, and commands me to seek out the means to shew my self acknowleding in particular, which assure your self I will do; in the mean time have regard to your health; so with most amourous looks she de­parted, leaving him more contented with the care she had of him, then with a Monarchie. The Emperours Chyrurgeons being arrived, would have dressed his wounds, but Cassandra desiring them to leave that unto her, she caused him presently to be laid into a bed, and making use of a precious balm, which she ordinarily carried about her, she willed him to rest untill such time as the medicine had wrought its operation.

CHAP. III. The discourse between Armazia and Rozalmond, the recipr [...]call assurances of their loves: his departure from Cardacia, with the extream discon­tent of the Princesse, and what were his adventures.

CAssandra leaving Rozalmond to his rest, walked into the orchard, where the trees diversly ranged, yeelded an in­credible delight, and devising with her self what means she might use to get from this Court without giving too much discontent to these new lovers; she espied Arma­zia, who being carried with clean contrary thoughts, was entertaining her self with the pleasure she conceived to be in the possessing of a man, on whom the heavens seemed to have con­ferred all the beauty, comelinesse, and valour of the world. Should I not be happy indeed (said she to her self) if this Knight were born for me, and should I not have cause to praise my good fortune, if his condition should prove equall to mine, that so my parents might one day grant me unto him in recompence of his services? Yes no doubt, and I should think that my content would surpasse all the pleasures of the earth, nor would I envy the very glory of the Gods: But alas, I am afraid, considering the misery de­rived unto us from the fault of the first man, that Fortune hath not given Scepters to his being, and that in regard thereof he will be lesse acceptable to my father, who erring with others, will more esteem greatnesse then vertue, and will make me wretched in his avarice: Howbeit, I cannot think, that a valour so great, a countenance so promising, a presence so a­miable, and actions so majesticall, may possibly be encountred in a vile and base person: Vertue delights in the highest places, and doth not commu­nicate her self to such as know not how to acknowledge her; it cannot be but that his birth doth equall his merits, and sure I commit no fault in lo­ving him: neverthelesse, it were not amisse to clear this point instantly, and so free my self of this unquietnesse that thus afflicts me; which may ea­sily be done, for this damsell that follows him will not refuse, I hope, to give me this satisfaction: I will send for her then, and under colour of in­forming my self of the fashions of his countrey, draw her to acquaint me with that which I so much desire to know; whereupon, turning about to command some of her women to fetch her unto her, she perceived her de­clining that walk, as it were for fear to interrupt her in her meditations; wherewithall being very glad, she called her unto her, and taking her by the hand, said thus; Sweet heart, you shall do me a singular favour, if du­ring our walk amongst these trees, you will first recount unto me who this young Knight is, being the valiantest that ever bare arms, and unto whose courage we are bound in so powerfull an obligation; and afterwards falling upon the fashions of your Countrey you will faithfully deliver how the Knights live there with their mistrisses. Madam (answered Cassandra) I will content you in a few words; Our lands are happy, because they pro­duce excellent Knights, and most beautifull women (though I must con­fesse [Page 10] I never saw any that might compare with your Highnesse) but that which addes unto our happinesse, is the freedom wherein we live, we know not what suspicion means; the Gallants frequent the Ladies, and the Ladies converse with them, and are ordinarily seen in company together, either in the woods, or fields, free from any conjecture that may any way redound to the prejudice of their honour. It is certain that vertue is not al­wayes found in all kinde of persons: if any undiscreet Knight shall offend any Gentlewoman whom he shall meet alone, she shall be presently righted by the next that passeth by, and so is the insolence of a dishonourable fel­low revenged: concerning the situation of the countrey, I will speak brief­ly, onely saying, that it is very goodly, fertile in fruits, replenished with beautifull and strong towns, pleasant rivers and woods: Now the merit of this Knight, the knowledge of whom you desire; Madam, he is come of the noblest race in the world, and his parents are at this day so great, that the earth trembles at the onely report of their arms; for his valour, you have had the first proofs of it; you are judge of his person, but in re­gard you are as yet ignorant of his disposition, I will assure you that imagi­nation is not able to conceive a sweeter, or more pleasing; more I may not say, a precedent Oath forbids me, and without breach of my faith, I may not name him, untill such time as he hath finished some warlike adventures, for the execution whereof I conduct him; and therefore, Madam, I hum­bly desire you that you will be pleased that he may depart to morrow. How, to morrow? (said Armazia) he is not in case to go so soon, but say he were, you could not in any reason carry him away before the Emperour my father have bethought him of the recompences which are due to his va­lour. Madam (answered Cassandra) men of this Knights condition under­take nothing for gain, honour directs their enterprises, and all the riches of the world could not make him step one foot; you are the treasure he de­sires, and the glory of your service will be far more dear to him, then all the kingdoms of the earth: This makes you blush, but Madam (please you to pardon me if I go farther) it is no time now to disguise your thoughts; I know them as well as your self, and can tell that the perfections of this Knight have gotten him good place in your favour, as your beauty hath not left him without passion. You love him, but it is not fit that your affe­ction should deprive the world of the fruit of his vertue, him of the honour that he is to reap thereby, you of the content you are to hope from it, and his friends of the satisfaction which they shall finde in the praises every where published of him: the Ordinances of the Destinies, Madam, must be pursued, wherefore let your patience make your pleasures, which you are to enjoy by his alliance, more sweet: I will return him unto you, within a certain time, so full of glory, that you shall think you had been very unhap­py, if you had hindered his designes; Weigh these reasons, Madam, and never stand upon the consideration of his wounds, they are healed by this time; and let me obtain that favour from you, as to trust your secrets in my hands, I may do you more service therein then you are aware of, and with­out me you will hardly see your desires fulfilled. It is true indeed (said Ar­mazia) that I did not think you had had such knowledge, and that being surprized in this manner, my colour rose in my face; but since nothing can be concealed from you, I will deal freely with you, and confesse that the merits of this Knight have wounded me with love, and desire you to be [Page 11] very mindfull of the promise you have made me, to take care of our affecti­ons, and of his return, in the hope whereof, not opposing my self to the de­crees of heaven which govern all things with an admirable prudence, I will permit him to depart when you will, provided that I have to morrow for to see him heer after dinner, and draw from him the vows which I desire for my assurance, at which time you shal bring him hither if you please, and you shall oblige me not to let him know that it is with my privity, to the end he may not take advantage of my weaknesse. Madam, answered Cassandra, he hath too much love and judgement to make so vain a use of that favour, and my self too much devotion unto your service to disobey the command­ment you have laid upon me; we will be heer presently after dinner, and in the mean time I wish that may be alwayes propitious to your desires▪ Saying so, night being come, she withdrew, and getting to bed, betook her to her rest. This while Rozalmond, having slept six hours, awaked; and feeling no pain from his wounds, was much abashed at the first; but con­ceiving that this powerfull operation proceeded from Cassandra's salves, he fell to think of his Lady, and his imagination representing unto him the charms of her eyes, the lovely feature of her face, and the delicacie of her complexion, he said; Mighty Love, that disposest the hearts of men as thou pleasest, leave me not now without succour, and make this fair one as sensible of my passion, as my soul is of her beauty, then will I proclaim thy praises amidst my content, and acknowledge no power to be greater then thine; I will publish to every one that thou art justly stiled the Master of the Gods. Entertaining himself thus with such pleasing fancies, he never ob­served that it was far day, and had continued longer in his bed, if Cassandra had not come in, but her arrivall took him from his thoughts, for to tell her that all his wounds were cured, save onely that of his heart. I do beleeve it (said she unto him) but think you that I cannot cure that of your heart as well as those of your body? I conceive that you are perswaded so, and that my power doth not extend so far; but I will make it good to your ex­perience in the presence of Armazia, who assuring you anon that she loves you, will make it appear that I have power over all things: then setting her self down at his beds feet, she declared unto him the encounter which she had had with his Mistris, the discourse that past between them, and briefly the commandment she had received to bring him into the orchard, which gave him such content, that all his speech seemed too little to give her thanks for her assistance; he imbraced her, protested that he would never forget this favour, and not being able to contain himself in the excesse of his joy, he called for his clothes, in all haste to run unto the place which should be the witnesse of his glory: but Cassandra wisely delivering, that he ought not to be so transported by his passion, which might over­throw all his future happinesse, staied him and said: Consider better of your own good, go not on so precipitiously, and remember that honoura­ble loves are preserved and made perfect by direction. Armazia affects you, it is true, but she would not have it known, and she might justly be of­fended if your passion should discover her secret, wherefore you see how you are to carry your self with more judgement. I hold your counsell to be very good, answered he, but alas! I cannot command my self; and my joy is such, that thereby my reason is lost: howbeit, I will be more advised since it concerns me so much, and by my government hereafter you shall [Page 12] known the greatnesse of my affection. Entertaining themselves thus with a world of pleasing discourses, they past away the time with much con­tent, till Rozalmond went into the great Hall, where the Emperour received him with so much demonstration of kindnesse, that he was even ashamed of his favours. Behold (said he, kissing him on the forehead) one of my chiefest wishes are accomplished, for seeing you in good health after I had doubted of your life, me thinks I have nothing else to desire, but the means how to recompence you worthily: But whilst the Gods shall be pleased to grant it me, make use, Sir, freely of the authority which I enjoy in my Em­pire; I give you the same power over it which I my self have, and be assu­red I hold you every way as dear as I do my Armazia: I will not ask you who you are, time and my fair respect will perswade you to acquaint me with it. Yes Sir (answered Rozalmond) and at this instant I would give you that satisfaction, if I could do it without the breach of the vow, which I have made not to discover my self, untill I return from a voiage I had undertaken for the damsell whom you see accompanying me: at which time, Sir, I promise you, not onely to tell you who I am, but to serve you as long as I live, if you will be pleased to do me so much honour, as to ad­mit me into the number of your Knights. How (said the Emperour) will you leave me so soon? My word obligeth me (answered Rozalmond) and I beseech you be pleased that I depart to morrow, about an affair of conse­quence, and if Fortune favour my arms, it shall not be long before I return again to wait on your Majestie. I should have been very glad, said the Em­perour, to have kept you longer heer; howbeit, I will not interrupt your designes, but will rest contented with your promise: howsoever, will you not take leave of the Ladies? My duty bindes me to that, said Rozalmond, and the rather because you are pleased to permit me: So making a very low re­verence unto him, he went unto the Emperesses chamber, who received him no lesse graciously, and would likewise have perswaded his longer stay; but making the same excuses which he had used to the Emperour, he walk­ed forth, attending the time that he was to see Armazia; who having with­drawn her self presently after dinner, entred into the orchard, with the at­tendance onely of one woman, and came to Rozalnond, who with impati­ence expected her; and seeing her approach kneeled down for to kisse her hand. I will not permit you to use such humility, said she, for desiring to live freely and plainly with you, I hold these ceremonies unfit; arise then, and tell me whether you desire any thing of me? I desire (answered he, with a trembling that thorowly witnessed his love) Madam, I desire that, passing by the excellency of your merits, you will be pleased to make me your Knight, and receive all the glory which shall arrive to me by my en­terprises. I have found you so valourous (answered she) that your request redounds to my advantage; wherfore I receive you very willingly, and not onely your arms shall be imploied by my commandment, but if your loial­ty renders you worthy of more, I shall be glad to let you know that I love you: speaking to you in this manner, you see, Sir Knight, how much I ob­lige you to behave your self in like sort towards me: Engage not your self elswhere, nor sigh for the favours of another Mistris, you shall for ever finde me firm in that which I have told you, and that I may relie upon your word, tell me, What are your designes? Rather a thousand times to die (answered he) then to make my self unworthy the favour you have done [Page 13] me; Madam, I will serve you so faithfully, that you shall never repent your affection to me. That is all which I desire, said she; in the mean time, I beseech the Gods to blesse the successe of your enterprises, and quickly to let me see my content in your return; so amourously kissing him, she went away with tears in her eyes; and Rozalmond, being no lesse discon­tented, got him to his chamber, from whence he stirred not till the next morning about the break of day, when with Cassandra he set forward on his way.

CHAP. IV. How Rozalmond and Cassandra put themselves to sea in the goodly vessell of the Sun, and of the marvells which they saw therein.

ROzalmond very sorrowfully abandoning Gardacia, ever and anon looked back, and sometimes fixing his eies on the Palace, he said; O Gods! How happy is it being there, and what would not I give to continue there for ever, if I might do it without wrong to mine honour? But the world will not permit me to have more passion for love, then ambition for glory; and spite of my teeth I must leave Armazia, who on [...]ly can render me contented, and give my soul her full desire. Howb [...]it, I should suffer more willingly, if I durst assure my self that she will love [...]ne but me, and that no rivall shall ever possesse her by her fathers authority; so she hath promised: But alas! Who can rely upon the protestation of a woman, which hath not memory for a day, when a fair offer presents it self, and that many times is carried with the first wind: The object makes her love, her passion draws a thou­sand promises from her, and the presence of a lover encourages her to the resolution of suffering any torment whatsoever, rather then be disloiall; but time and absence do easily deface these determinations, and her purpo­ses hold no longer, but till she meet with a subject to make her perjured. Then sighing, as if he conceived such a like misfortune could never crosse his affections, he lift up his eies to heaven, and instantly changing his opi­nion, he pursued his discourse thus: It is true indeed that the most part of women are possest with such weaknesse, but I should offend infinitely a­gainst Armazia, to beleeve she can ever be of that disposition. I trouble my self too much, beget occasions of mine own discontent, and foolishly de­stroy that which she hath built for my glory: I have observed so much freedom in her speech, so much love in her actions, and so much sweet­nesse in her charms, that I cannot with any reason suspect her of any fals­hood; I must chase away then tho [...]e thoughts which so disquiet me, be­leeve that she will never ingage her self unto two, and from thence derive a resolution to serve her faithfully as she well deserves. Cassan [...]a, who perceived how he was transp [...]ed with these fancies, would not interrupt him in regard of the content, she imagined, he took therein; but seeing half the day spent, and no talk of meat, she took him by the arm, and said unto him: My Lord, What do you get by these thoughts, which carry you so [Page 14] away? Both pleasure and pain (answered he) for if I be well satisfied with the remembrance of the beauties of Armazia, I am as much vexed at my esloignment from her, not having bestowed that time in her service which my affection desired. This should not trouble you (said she) for Fortune prepares you so much pain for that occasion, that you will one day wish you had lesse; I do not speak this to terrifie you, knowing well that you will never fear, come what danger can, but to allay the griefe you are in for your departure from the Court of Gardacia, having acquired no more re­nown. Howbeit, if I shall proceed, and say something for your comfort, be sure that you afflict your self to no purpose, whensoever you doubt the power of a rivall, Armazia being born to love you with as much fidelity as you professe constancie unto her. But it is time to leave off this discourse, the sea appears, and now we must rowl according to Fortunes pleasure, that so you may give a beginning to the wonders which your actions shall pro­duce. Approaching then to the sea shore, they beheld the waters begin up­on an instant, out of a setled calm, to swell with mighty billows, which vio­lently encountering one with another, made a dreadfull noise. So sudden a tempest amazed Rozalmond, who turning to Cassandra for to ask of her from whence it should proceed, he saw a ship of the strangest fashion that ever eie beheld; it was round, and carved all over, at each window stood a strong and furious savage with an oar in his hand, the outside was azure fil­led with characters of gold, and roses of the same metall, and in the midst of it was a mast, on whose top appeared a little Sun, shining so bright, that it was not possible for one to look upon it. He was strangely ravished with this marvell, and his eies were so fastned to the beauty of the vessell, that he seemed immoveable; which Cassandra considering, and desiring not to loose time, she alighted, and said unto him: Sir, do not you think now that the wise Alcander loves you well, having sent you so goodly a ship for the execution of your enterprises? I never doubted of his good affection to me (said he) nor of the devotion you have to the advancement of our house (for I am perswaded that you have a hand in the fashion of this work) but in truth, I must acknowledge that this care is none of the least favours, which I may hope both from you and him, seeing it is a mean to open me the way of glory: let us go into it then, if it be made for us, and let us begin to seek our Fortune. Saying thus, he saw six savages open a port, and pre­sent him a plank; whereupon, going in he became more astonished then before, finding himself immediatly in a room, the richest that ever he had seen; he looked all about, wondering at a thousand rarities which he be­held there; but that which most delighted him, was six pictures hanging together on a row; whereupon fixing his eie, in the first he observed the very same feature, love had powerfully graven in his heart, which so trans­ported him, that kneeling down, he said aloud; Beautious Armazia, now am I happy indeed, and there is nothing wanting to my felicity, but that you will be pleased once more to tell me that you live for my content: But alas! You do not speak? From whence doth this silence proceed? From your passion (said Cassandra, who followed him) that doth not per­mit you to consider how you speak to the picture of Armazia, more proper to feed your eies, then to give you a more fensible satisfaction. It is true (said he, rising up) that the excesse of my joy made me beleeve that this was Armazia indeed, but you are not to marvell at it; for if lovers be blinde, [Page 15] how would you have me to see the fault which I committed, in adoring the shadow for the substance? Madam, I am not blameable for this action, which testifies the violence of my affection, and if I have any way failed, it is in that I have done it before you, unto whom, me thinks, I should ow more respect. Your greatnesse (answered she) gives you far more power then you speak of; for being heer but to serve you, there were no reason that my presence should bring any constraint to your actions, neither was it the occasion that drew me to put you out of those fancies, but what I did was onely to shew you these other pictures, and to ask your opinion of them; tell me then, I pray you, what you think of the Princesse which is next to Armazia? That Nature (answered he) never framed a more beau­tifull piece, and if my Mistris were not in the world, no doubt, this fame which equalls her, would bear away the prize from all the beauties of the earth; and that which makes me more to wonder, is, how all the rest may justly boast of the like advantage: What could be desired more in the face of this third, who seems to carry charms in her eyes, powerfull enough for the captivity of all men? Questionlesse nothing, and I hold that Knight most happy, which is one day to enjoy her: but come let us view this Shep­herdesse a little, and tell me whether ever you saw ever so much grace and majesty under such a rude and unhandsome habit? I am perswaded that the heavens have taken exceeding pleasure in making her so fair, thereby to inform us, that their treasures are not alwayes imparted to the greatest. How contented will the fields be whither she shall drive her flocks, how how happy the trees under whose shadow she shall rest; but far more for­tunate shall the Shepherd be, whose lips shall be prest with so delicate a mouth! Without dissembling, I envie him, and were Nature wise, she would furnish her with matches worthy such an excellence. For the fifth, truth shall save me the labour of commending her, modesty not permitting me to say that Penamond of Greece, my si [...]er, is worthy to be of their number, which are the wonder of the world. And as for the last, he hath not eies that will say, her beauty deserves not praises equall to the rest. But Madam, will not you tell me who those four be which I know not? Most willingly, answered she; The first is Trasiclea, the excellent Princesse of Tramazond, who hath none to be compared with her but your Armazia, and which may be said to be the most valiant Lady that this day beareth arms, being promised by the Destinies to him, who alone may also be pa­ralelled to you in feats of chivalrie. The next is Palmirenna, the heir of Martaria. This Shepherdesse so beautifull, is called Miralinda, whom France brought forth, and which shall hereafter fill the world with asto­nishment. And she that appears with so sweet an aspect, is the stately Queen Corolandaya, worthy of the place where you see her ranked. But, Sir, me thinks, it is time to take a little repast. In good faith, said he, I could wil­lingly content my self with beholding my Armazia, but seeing it is your pleasure I shall eat, let us do so; whereupon, going to a table set full with exquisite meat, they sat them down, whilst their vessell swiftly cut the waves, being carried, as it seemed, moreby the dexterity of the savages, who rowed with a wonderfull strength, then by the wind that filled the sails: after their repast, they fell to discourse upon a world of pleasing sub­jects, which past away the day in such sort, that might came upon them far sooner then they were aware of; so that Cassandra withdrawing to a [Page 16] chamber, and Rozalmond to another, no lesse rich then the room where he had been all the day, they got them to bed for to take their rest.

CHAP. V. Rozalmond and Cassandra arrive at the secret Iland, where Clarisel of Guindaya was retained by inchantment in the embraces of Crisolita the Inchantresse.

EIght daies being sweetly spent in this manner, their ves­sell staied neer to an Island, wherein they beheld a stately Castle on a little hill, the foot whereof was planted with a thousand sorts of beautifull trees, which made the place so delightfull, that they presently land­ed, being resolved to view it at leisure; leaving then their horses behinde them, they went on fair and soft­ly, very much marvelling to see a number of walks, of almost an incredi­ble length, into which the Sun never so much as looked: but they not gone far, when turning on the left hand, they met with an arbour, where­into as Rozalmond would have entered, he perceived a young man asleep, so accomplished, that he stood a good while earnestly gazing on him without uttering a word; he was of a large making, uniform in the disposition of his members; and though his eyes were shut, his face shewed a warlike countenance. Upon my soul (said Rozalmond, speaking softly to Cassandra) here is one of the handsomest Gentlemen on the earth, his shape very much contents me, and me thinks I cannot chuse but love him. No doubt you have reason for it (said Cassandra) for he touches you so neer, that you should deny nature, if you had not some affection to him; in a word he is your kinsman, and is named Clarisel of Guindaya, son to the famous Flori­sel of Niquea, carried away (as you have heard) when he was in his swad­ling clothes, and now kept heer by the charms of an Inchantresse, who loves him no lesse then Ginolda did in times past the valiant Prince of France; but it is high time to free him from so long a captivity, to the end his vertue may be manifest to the world; and for that regard, I caused the ship to stay heer, knowing that your valour was necessary for his deliverance. Me thinks (said he) there needs no great labour to bear away a man that sleeps, and that is without arms to defend himself, if he had power to do it; shall I carry him aboard the vessell? No (said she) let us stay and hear what this damsell will say to him that is coming; it is Crisolita, she that captivateth him as much by the charms of her beauty, as he is otherwise held by those of her mother Creonda; then softly retiring, and hiding themselves be­hinde the trees they let this Nymph passe, who seeing Clarisel asleep, put her mouth presently to his, and finding that this touch did not awake him, she said somewhat aloud with a sigh. Alas! It seems your cares are not like unto mine; you take your rest, whilst I am disquieted; your eies are closed, whereas mine are covered with teares; sleep no longer, dear Clarisel, but come and take part of my pain, and let us seek the means to divert the storm wherewithall we are threatned. At these words Clarisel arose, and [Page 17] seeing Crisolita's cheeks all bedewed with tears, he said unto her: Whence comes this change? What cause have you to look so sad, and why do you thus complain? Because the end of our content is come (said she) for my mother told me in the morning that your Dest [...]nies will not permit you any longer abode heer, and that a Knight will arrive very suddenly, who shall carry you from hence; judge then whether I have not reason to weep, and just occasion to wish my self out of my life; for what pleasure can I take in the world, if I may not see you, my dear heart; all delights will be trouble some to me, my griefe will make those joyes, that would even ravish others, distastfull unto me, and the memory of our imbraces will torment me, when I am deprived of the hope any more to enjoy such happinesse. I do not think (said Clarisel) that any man can take me from hence against my will; wherefore do not you afflict your self in this sort, for be assured my love is too much for me to forsake you so: but I wonder that your mother, who can stay the Sun in his course, force even the devils themselves, and do what else she please against the law of nature, doth not shew her self more carefull of our good, by impeaching the arrivall of this Knight. The Ordinances of heaven are inviolable (answered Crisolita) for you may be confident that she hath imploied the utmost of her skill, and yet cannot come to know how, or by whom you are to be carried from hence; which makes me conjecture that a Magician, more cunning then her self, hath un­dertaken the care of this affair: wherefore I must resolve to lose you, and so I will; but first I desire to obtain this promise from you, which wil be infi­nite comfort to me in your absence, that you wil alwaies love me, and return hither sometimes unto me. Let the Gods, who are judges of our thoughts (said Clarisel) refuse me in my greatest occasions, if ever I forget the fa­vours you have done me; Madam, they are of too much esteem with me, and I am more sensible of benefits then to affect the name of ingratefull; but since the Destinies will separate us, let us make use of the time we yet injoy, and by a thousand new delights, assure our love against the common weaknesse of an absence. Then beginning their caresse [...] with a million of kisses, I doubt they would have proceeded farther, had not Rozalmond, whose mouth peradventure began to water, broken the bough of a tree, to give them a tacite notice, that they were seen. The lovers surprised with this noise, arose straightway from the ground where they lay, and running towards the Castle, got immediatly out of sight; whereat Cassandra, laugh­ing, turned to the Prince, and said; Behold, Sir, a testimony of that power called Love, which oftentimes carries us into extreamities, not per­mitting us to consider of things, but let that passe; you are now to imploy your sword for the rendring of a man to the world, who question­lesse will prove very necessary in it. Let us go, Madam (said Rozalmond) for I shall most willingly undertake this enterprise, and receive infinite con­tent to serve mine unkle upon so worthy an occasion: using some speed then, they arrived neer to the Castle, where under the first gate they en­countered a man of a goodly stature, who seeing Rozalmond advance, said unto him; Knight, you cannot enter heer, unlesse you overcome me; wherefore let us try unto whom Fortune will be most favourable. I will not commit such an errour (said Rozalmond) as to trifle out the time unpro­fitably in talk; so that using no farther speech, they presently charged one another with two such mighty blows, that thereby either of them knew the [Page 18] force of his enemy; the Knight of the Bridge, as valiant and couragious as could be, offended his adversary, and defended himself with marvellous dexterity; but he was exceedingly vexed for that his sword could not fa­sten on Rozalmonds armour, who giving him sometimes a thrust at the brest, then a down right blow on the shield, cut all his arms in pieces, and drew the bloud from divers parts of his body, which put him in such a rage, that not regarding his life, he struck such blows, as oftentimes made Rozalmond see Stars, though the Sun were but in the midst of his course. The combat continued in this manner very cruell and dangerous, each imploying his uttermost force, especially the Knight of the Bridge; who being mad for that he saw no bloud on his enemies armour, and resolved either to van­quish or to die; he set both his hands to his sword, and struck his enemy so rudely on the helmet, that he made him stoop with one knee to the earth, whereat he was so mightily incensed, that rising in fury, he discharged such a terrible blow on the Knight of the Bridges shield, that having divided it in two, he made him to stagger, and put both his hands to the ground, whereon questionlesse he had fallen, had not the shame of being overcome, and the apprehension of death caused him quickly to get up again. Re­newing the fight then with more cruelty then before, they held out three long hours without any shew of taking breath; but Rozalmond, who began to enter into fury; and mad at the resistance which he found in his enemy, gave him so dangerous a blow upon the helmet, that had not his sword turned in his hand, his head had been cloven in pieces; howbeit, not being able to support the violence of such a stroke, he tumbled to the ground as if he had been dead. This fall without doubt had brought a great deal of con­tentment to the victour, if he had not pitied the misfortune of so strong and valiant a Knight; but desiring much to save him, he stepped instantly unto him, and unl [...]ed his helmet to see whether he were in case to receive any assistance, which at the first he greatly doubted, perceiving his face to be covered all over with bloud; howbeit, not to omit any thing that might serve for his preservation, he intreated Cassandra to wipe him, and to em­ploy her utmost skill in Chyrurgerie for to recover him if there were any hope of it; and so not stopping at this first victory, he went on with his sword in his hand, resolved either to see the end of the adventure, or to die in the attempt; approaching then to the second gate, he was about to have knocked, when he perceived Crisolita coming forth, followed by the old Creonda (leading a furious serpent, of the strangest form that ever was be­held, in a chain) who modestly making towards him, said: Excellent Prince, it is not fit that we should longer oppose your desire, or hazard your life in the claws of this serpent, which is so inchanted, that you could not triumph over it without a world of pain; for knowing now who you are, I cannot, me thinks, endure to see you in any extremity, my love to your kinsman wills me to serve you in stead of seeking to hurt you; sheath your sword then, and be assured heer is none but th [...]se that will gladly re­ceive the honor of your cōmandments. Madam (answered Rozalmond, who little expected such gentle language) without dissembling, I did not think to finde so facile an entrance, considering the dangerousnesse of the guards; but since you will free me from that labour, and do also say that you love me, not having any way obliged you thereunto, I receive this favour with all respect, and do protest to serve you, so far forth as not to demand your [Page 19] lover of you, for whose deliverance I come hither: your meeknesse makes me ready to leave him to your caresses, until such time as some other Knight lesse courteous and sensible of obligations, shall come and pluck him from you. No my Lord (said Crisolita) I have more love then passion, and will never prefer mine own satisfaction before Clarisels glory, it is time for him to see the world, and pursue his fathers steps, that so the Oracles, which publish wonders of him, may be made good. Madam (said Rozalmond) you are as generous as fair, and my unkle is most happy in your acquain­tance; but you shall very much oblige me, to let me rid the world of so dangerous a creature as is that same your mother holds there. My Lord (answered Creonda) we have easier waies, for having kept him hitherto but onely to oppose him to the violence of such as sought after your kinsman, it is in our power to famish him now that he is no longer fit for that pur­pose; wherefore, I pray you, be not offended if I deprive you of this glo­ry, which you would adde to the triumphs which are due to you, all your actions being so many miracles; you must not be displeased then if we hinder this combat, since our weaknesse, and the good wil we bear you, will not permit us to behold you in any danger whatsoever. Madam (answered Rozalmond) your fair respect to me obligeth me so much, that I am con­tented with what you please; and seeing you hold it not fit for me to im­ploy my sword upon this serpent, let us go in; but see, heer comes my unkle, unto whom I must by any means tender my service. Clarisel then ar­riving, they entertained one another with all the demonstrations of kind­nesse that might be, each of them admiring the goodly presence of the other: and as they were thus complementing, the fair Cassandra approach­ed, who assured them that the valiant Silveri [...] of the Desert (so was the good Knight named, whom Rozalmond had combatted at the first gate) was out of all danger, whereat they were not a little joyfull; and so they continued caressing one another, till it was time to go to supper; where they were roially entertained, and from thence conducted to their cham­bers to take their rest after their painfull travells.

CHAP. VI. Clarisel of Guindaya, being made Knight, departed with Rozalmond, Silverin of the Desert, and Cassandra; he becomes i [...]amoured of the fair Miralinda the French Shepherdesse; the furiou [...] combat that he had against four dreadfull Giants and twenty Knights.

THe night being sweetly past away by every one, but by Carisel and Crisolita, who interrupted their usuall plea­sures with an infinity of fighs and tears, drawn from them by the grief to see themselves so soon to be sepa­rated; each one arose with the day: Clarisel put on a white armour, which Creonda with her conjurations had made sufficient proof against any stroke whatsoe­ver, and withdrawing himself into a place where Creonda kept her Idols, he [Page 20] fell to praying unto God (whom he began now to know by the means of his Nephew, which most part of the evening had instructed him there­about) that he would be pleased to blesse his arms for the glory of his ser­vice, and the honour of his house. In the mean time Crisolita, well resol­ved for his absence (since the heavens would have it so) went into Rozal­monds chamber, and perceiving he was not asleep, approached to his beds side, and kneeling down, said unto him: Excellent Prince, I am come to importune you for a thing, which I must desire to obtain of you, and which I intreat you not to refuse me upon the condition that I will never alter the resolution I made yesterday. Provided Madam (said Rozalmond) that you arise from the place where you are, I will with all my heart grant whatso­ever you can demand of me, but this humility of yours displeases me (par­don me for speaking so) I being of no such recommendation in the world as to be complemented with so much submission. I cannot (answered Crisolita) yeeld you so much honour, but that you yet deserve far more; howbeit, since you command me to carry my self otherwise towards you, I hope I shall not erre in obeying you. That which I desire of you, my Lord, (said she, being risen up) is, that you will pleased to give Clarisel the Order, to the end that the memory of being made Knight by so excellent a hand, may render him worthy the renown which his father hath acquired in the world; for if he must go along with you, I shall think my self happy that he may take courage from your presence to combat bravely whensoever fortune shall offer him the occasion in your voiage. Madam (answered Ro­zalmond) the merit of your beauty obliged me to respect you before, but I never esteemed you as I do now, nor was perswaded that it was possible any woman could love so generously as you have done, which makes me once more to say that mine unkle is happy in your affection, seeing you pre­fer glory before your own satisfaction, and his honour before the content­ment you might have in him; you desire to have him Knighted, if he be ready, your pleasure shall be presently fulfilled. You shall finde him all ar­med (answered she) and when your leisure will permit, my mother shall wait upon you to conduct you to the Temple of our Gods (whom for his sake I utterly renounce) whither I will go with Cassandra, that my prayers, be­ing conjoined with hers, may the better obtain from heaven those graces, which are requisite to so sacred an Order. Departing then with a very low obeysance, she went to seek out Clarisel, who observing as much love in her patience, as he had found in her caresses, he could not contain himself from kissing her; notwithstanding, the presence of Cassandra, who seeming not to see them, kneeled down after she had wished him all good fortune; having spent an hour in prayers, Rozalmond arrived, who finding Clarisel on his knees, demanded of him whether he would be Knighted? That is it (answered he) which I most desire in the world: Swear then (replied Rozalmond) that the fear of no danger whatsoever, shall at any time make you decline the duty of a good Knight, which ow [...]th his assistance to all kinde of persons, and chiefly to women, without any regard to their conditi­on. I promise so much (answered Clarisel:) Be a Knight then said Rozalmond (imbracing him with the usuall Ceremonies, and making the signe of the Crosse on his forehead:) Let you arms alwayes tend to the glory of God, the service of the feeble, and be your enterprises as successefull as you can wish. Whereupon having kissed him on the cheek, he asked of him from [Page 21] what hands he would receive the sword, and the rest of his arms: from these twins (said Crisolita) the onely cause of his first carrying away, and the pledges of our love: At these words, Rozalmond turning him about, per­ceived a little girle about five or six yeers old, the fairest that ever he had seen of that age, whom a page followed with an excellent sword, which she took, after she had made obeisance to the company, and with an admirable grace hanging it on Don Clarisels girdle, she retired to give place to a little boy of the same bignesse, and so accomplished, that Rozalmond wondered to see him take the helmet with a kinde of brave confidence, and put it on the head of the new Knight, who having received the gantlets from Cassan­dra and Crisolita, he rose up to give thanks unto Rozalmond for this favour; but he was so transported with the sweet entertainment of these pretty children, whose beauty he justly admired, that he marked not the halfe of his complements. All the Ceremonies being finished, Crisolita obtained of Rozalmond that he would stay there eight daies longer, which past away very pleasingly, sometimes in the company of the valiant Silverin of the Desert, whom Rozalmond much affected, and that was now thorowly cured of his wounds, and sometimes with the entertainment which Cassandra and Creonda gave him by some ingenious trick of their Art: But the day of de­parture being come, Crisolita's resolution began to faint under the grief she had to see that her lover was to be divided from her. Ever and anon she sighed, and not able to stop the course of her tears, it appeared how insen­sible she was of the reasons Clorisel gave for to comfort her; howbeit, yeelding unto her judgement that represented unto her the necessity of this departure, she made some truce with her sorrow, and accompanying him to the ship, she received the kisses of a farewell, which made her return home extreamly sad, for that she should no longer behold the Sun there, from whence the life of her soul was derived. Whilst she bestowed the time in lamenting, Rozalmond, Clarisel, Silverin of the Desert, and Cassandra, made way thorow the waves in the great vessell of the Sun, with the beauty whereof Clarisel was so taken, that observing the r [...]rities of it, by fortune he cast his eie on the delicate Shepherdesse of France, whose charms were so pleasing to him, that by little and little forgetting Crisolita's caresses, he suffered himself to be altogether captived, giving the glory of his freedom to the innocent features of this countrey in beauty. Good God (said he to himself) how defective is Nature in the dividing of her treasures, and how little providence seem the heavens to have in the distribution of their gra­ces? Why should a beauty so excellent be born with so much misery, and what reason is there that she should one day serve for the contentment of a Shepherd, who shall not have the judgement to know the value of so inesti­mable a jewell? Questionlesse it is unjust, and it were unworthy in me to suffer it; if Nature have made a fault, I will repair it; I am born a Prince, it is in my power to raise a base condition, and to place her in the rank where she ought to be: I must then, without any regard at all to the opi­nion of men, who more respect greatnesse then vertue, riches then merit, and gold then contentment; make no difficulty to love her, provided her ingratitude do not render her incapable of that fortune; now if any man will condemn me for this action, my fathers example shall serve to excuse me, who was no lesse inamoured of Silvia, then I am now of this same; and without doubt he had married her, never sticking at her poverty, if the [Page 22] providence of Vrganda, who knew she was his aunt, had not hindered him. This young Prince entertaining himself with these new fancies, took infi­nite delight in the object of this picture, whereupon his eies were incessant­ly fixed; but that which most troubled him, was that he durst not ask of Cassandra the place of her abode, lest he should seem inconstant, and little sensible of Crisolita's love: neverthelesse, shewing more curiosity then affe­ction, he learned the names of Armazia and Trasicle [...], and discovered that his Mistris was French, which gave him some satisfaction, hoping to see her one day, and rather then fail, to traverse all the fields of that great king­dom for to finde her out: comforting himself then upon this assurance, & in the sweet conversation of Rozalmond, Cassandra, & Silverin, eight daies were insensibly spent; at the end whereof, they saw a ship arrive, manned with fifty Knights, and four terrible Giants, who laying hands on their swords, commanded our Knights to quit their arms, and willingly suffer themselves to be chained. By heaven (said Rozalmond) you are unlike to have us at so easie a rate, nor shall your audaciousnesse carry away the victory without some pain: so quickly lacing on their helmets, they opposed the Giants with their swords drawn, and charged them so fiercely, that it amazed them at first; but thinking that all the forces of the world united together could not withstand them, they began to showr so many blows upon them, that without the goodnesse of their arms, which resisted the sharpnesse of their blades, they had been in very great danger, howbeit, fighting without fear, they sent many an arm into the sea, cut Knights in sunder, and many times drew bloud from the Giants, who railing on the Destinies, and their Gods, struck most of their blows on the ship side (being hindered by a thick smoak, which issued out of their visers, from smiting where they would:) Silverin fought with a great deal of valour, Clarisel did wonders in the com­mencement of his arms, and Rozalmond amazed every one; his blows were so many thunderbolts, and his sword never lighted without the bloud of his enemies. Whilst the fight was at the hottest, one of the Giants percei­ving Cassandra where she sat in the vessell of the Sun, leaped suddenly in, and laying fast hold on her, carried her into his ship, when one of the sava­ges discharged his oar so strongly on his head, that he struck him into the sea, whereinto Cassandra had tumbled with him, if she had not been suc­coured by Clarisel, who marking the Giants enterance into their vessell, at the very instant ran his enemy clean thorow the body, who therewith fell down dead in the place: this young Knight having caught her by the gown, and placed her again in the ship, returned suddenly to the fight; exceeding­ly amazed to behold with what grace Rozalmond imploied his sword, and in what manner, having eleft the Giants head with whom he had to do, he bestirred himself amongst the fouldiers; following him then with the like courage, he performed such wonders, that Rozalmond stood a while to con­sider him amongst those Knights, who fell before him as the grasse before the mower; so as not being able to hold out any longer, they were quickly cut into a thousand pieces: In the mean time Silverin, who was in fight with a Giant, seeing his friends glorious by the defeature of all the rest, be­came so furious, that making no account of his life, he put both his hands to his sword, and therewith smote his enemy so dangerously on the body, that he opened him even to the very back, tumbling him into the sea with his companions. This so glorious a victory having given them incredible con­tent, [Page 23] they would have gone down into the hold of the ship for to have deli­vered such prisoners as they should have found there, but that they were staid by a noise they heard; and as they were about to learn the cause ther­of, they saw a window open in the side of the ship, out of the which a Gi­antesse threw her selfe headlong into the sea, holding in her arms a damsell reasonable handsome, who seeing her self in such danger, cried out alowd for help: At her crie all the Knights suddenly reached forth their hands for to have saved her, but their pity was to no purpose; for the Giantesse sink­ing to the bottom, she was drownd with her, whereat the Princes were ex­ceedingly greeved; neverthelesse being comforted by the little knowledge they had of her, they reentred into their own ship, which running her first course had quickly left that coast, and sooner far then Cassandra could visit those Princes, who were all unhurt except Silverin of the desert, that had received a cut on his left arm, but the wound not being great he made little reckoning of it, and sat down at the Table with the rest, where we will leave them, and take a little breath.

CHAP. VII. Clarisel of Guinday a incountring by night with a strong adventure, forsakes the ship of the Sunne, and departs for to go into France to the succour of the brave Alcidas.

THE ship of the Sunne cutting the waves wonderfull swiftly, Rozalmond and the Knight of the desert past away the time with much content, whilest Clarisel not without unquietnes intertained his thoughts with the perfections o [...] his fair shepheardesse, and the extream desire that he had to see her, made him to wake when others tooke their rest; so that one night not being a­ble to sleep, he forsook his bed, and getting up to the deck, he began to speak unto the waves (as if he would have demanded their assistance against the flames which consumed him) when a voice broght to him by the wind from a far, drew him out of his thoughts to give eare un­to that which she said; the neerer he approached, the better he understood the accents of the voice, which interrupted by an infinity of sighs, made him conclude that they proceeded from a person very much afflicted: wher­withall he was so moved to pity, that he presently descended into his cham­ber, took his arms without speaking a word to his companions, instantly re­mounted up, and seeing a bark passe by wherin was a woman lamenting, he said unto her: Gentlewoman, if you will let your vessell come neerer, and take me in, I willingly offer you my sword, if you can make any use of it for your content. Alas! (said she fighing) the complaint which I make now proceeds from my not meeting with any one that is sensible of my sorrow, and that will undertake the deliverance of a Lover, the faithfullest that ever sighed at the feet of a beautifull mistris; wherfore I will not refuse your no­ble offer. Saying so, she drew neer with her bark, received Clarisel in very curteously; and commanding the mariners to hoise up sails, and run on their [Page 24] former course, she thus proceeded: I imagin that the only compassion of my pain, and the glory which is to be expected from a generous enterprise have given you the desire to succour me; but beleeve me, Sir Knight, you wilbe caried therunto with more affection when you understand the occasi­on of it. The time was that I lived very contentedly, and free from the cares of the world, beleeving that fortune was not able to crosse this my happi­nes: but that powerfull divinity which alwaies triumphs over men, made me feel that our good or harm depend on his favour and frown. I walked forth one day into a wood adjoining to one of the fairest houses of France (whither I am now conducting you) and little thinking of love, I went ad­miring the providence of nature, that produceth all things either for the profit or pleasure of man, when through the trees I perceived a Knightly­ing upon the grasse: I was about to have turned back (and would to God I had, for then you had not seen me at this present so sigh and complain) but being a little too curious, and having my woman with me, I ventured to go close unto him; as soon as I had seen his face which seemed marvellous beautifull, it was impossible for me (O Gods! can I say it without shame? yes, since my fortune will have it so) it was impossible for me, Knight, any longer to maintain my liberty, but even then I received the hurt which time hath made incurable. I had taken exceeding delight in beholding of him, if some tears that trickled down his cheeks had not troubled me, but there by apprehending the misery which now I am in, I found pain in this pleasure; howbeit having more love then feare, and foolishly imagining that I had beauty sufficient to alter him, in case he were in passion for ano­ther, I went to awake him with a kisse, when I perceived him to open his lips, and complain in this maner: O Gods! must our love yeeld to the fury of a barbarous mother, and shall our desires depend upon her avarice? Fair Clitia, I cannot beleeve but that the memory of our delights are dearer to you then her commandements, and that you prefer your vowes before her menaces. But your silence doth much amaze me, and I am not able to say whether I am to fear a change in you, or some mischance in your person. Mighty Love, divert both the one and the other of these accidents, and suf­fer not humanity to be of more power then thy selfe. These complaints infinitely displeased me, and I would fain have retired, if my new passion would have permitted me; but being no longer Mistris of my will, I came inconsiderately to mine owne ruine, neverthelesse knowing that modesty is a powerfull charm to win mens affections, I would not seem impudent, but withdrew my self under some trees fast by, and began to sing, hoping that he would repair to the voice as he did; for not giving me so much lea­sure as to sing out fowr verses, he arose, and creeping from oak to oak he came very neer unto me. I marked him well, but making as though I did not, I continued my song, at the end whereof he shewed himself, and salu­ting me with an excellent grace, demanded of me whether I would accept of his company. Another would have been affraid at the sudden approach of a man unknown, but not desiring to make use of any such cunning, I an­swered him with a smile (which might very well have testified my thoghts) that it were simplicity to refuse a Knight of so fair a presence as his. To what end should I relate the discourse we had then, and how I applied all my allurements and charms for to render our disease common? Without doubt it would but adde unto my misery; wherefore I will only let you [Page 25] know, that taking occasion to discover unto him what I thought of certain sighs he had fetched, I told him that his good parts had possest me with a great desire to love him, and that I intreated him to consider what good he had gotten without any labour at all. My speech ending with a mighty blush, he looked upon me, and answering me with a sigh. Alas! Madam, said he unto me, what a world of cause have I now to complain of my ill fortune, which having ingaged my affection in another place, will not suffer me to receive the favours you would confer upon me. These eies wherein you yet see tears do witnes but too well, that my heart is not at quiet, and that a woman possesseth it: be pleased then not to accuse me, if I doe not dispose of it according to your desire, seeing I have not the power so to do; but if in any other thing you can think me fit for your service, Madam com­mand, I will recompence the honour of your love, with my bloud, and will gladly die to assure you that I am much obliged by your favour. Imagine, I pray you, whether I took any pleasure in this answer, whereby the death of all my hopes was concluded. No questionles, for I was almost ready to swound with grief at it, but my anger preserved my judgement, for to complain of him, and I began to tearm him cruell, when I saw a woman appear, who knowing him alighted at that very instant, and presenting him a letter said, that Clitia, (so was my rivall called) remembred her service unto him. At these words I perceived him grow pale, and his legs became so feeble, that he had fallen down had not that woman upheld him. I was almost as sensible of his indisposition as himself, but desiring to make use of the opportunity it gave me, I took the letter out of his hand, and knew by the contents thereof, that Clitia being ready to be delivered of a child, derived from their stollen pleasures, desired him to return in all haste both for to legitimate the birth of it, as also by that way to deserve the favour which her mother had alwaies denied them, protesting in case he were dis­loiall, not to survive her delivery, but to poison her self. I was violently in love with him, I must confesse, but when I considered the reason that he had to affect this woman, who upon his faith had made no difficulty to give him that, which ought of all things to be most dear unto us, I set by mine own interest, and shewing more pity then love, I counselled him to depart instantly away, since it so much concerned his Mistris life and honor. This is to love nobly, said he being come to himself again, but Madam, my mis­fortune will not suffer me to expedite my journey, my horse being slain in a combat which I had yesterday just without this wood. That shall not hin­der you, replied I, for I that would give you my self, cannot refuse you an horse. Then bringing him to my stable, I bestowed one of the best Cour­sers of the Kingdome on him, and so letting him go, I returned to my cham­ber for to complain of my destiny, that had made me to love a man, who had not the power to recompence my affection, and for to seek out reasons to divert me from these fancies, in the continuance whereof I saw my assu­red ruine, but to speak truth I could not resolve so much as to say that I would never love him: proceeding then in my former passion, I presently dispatched away a Squire, and charged him expresly to enquire what be­came of Alcidas (so is that worthy Knight named) which he performed with so much care, that about six daies after he reported unto me the death of Clitia, who had poisoned her self, thinking that the retardment of her lover was a sign of his disloialty; and further, which much perplexed me, [Page 26] he delivered that the mother of this Lady had caused Alcidas to be appre­hended (as he was shedding an ocean of tears on his Mistrisses tombe) and imprisoning him, had condemned him shamefully to lose his head, if within three moneths he did not finde a Knight that would combat Farna­bazan, a terrible and mighty Giant, who came not long since to inhabit up­on this womans lands, no man knowing wherefore. If the death of Clitia was pleasing to me, because it opened a door to my hopes, you may as well beleeve that the captivity of Alcidas afflicted me; howbeit, loving him too much onely to bestow tears on him, I put my self to sea two daies after, with a purpose to go unto Constantinople, to demand the assistance of some one of those brave Princes, which seek the like occasions of glory; but I am sufficiently satisfied for all my travell, having incountred you in the strangest manner that ever was, and applauding my good fortune, I will hope that ere long you will restore me to the supremest degree of my felicity, seeing justice accompanies your arms. Madam, assure your self (answered Clarisel) that I will gladly fight for his preservation, and your contentment; but if you would oblige me, make truce with your com­plaints, and restrain these tears a little, that so our voiage may seem the lesse tedious. It is fit (said she) that having found a remedy for my grief, I should shew a merrier countenance; I will no longer complain then, but ap­ply my self to make the time, if I can more pleasing unto you. Whilest they discoursed in this manner, Rozalmond and the Knight of the Desert, being risen with the Sun, marvelled very much that they could not see Clarisel, and purposed to go and wake him, thinking that he was yet in his bed; but Cassandra arriving thereupon, told them, that he had imbarked himself with a strange Gentlewoman, for to assist her in an important affair; whereat doubtlesse Rozalmond had been discontented, but that he considered, it was not without great cause he was carried away by so extraordinary an adven­ture, so tha shewing himself not much sensible of it, he fell into talk with Cassandra and Silverin till it was dinner time, which was no sooner done, but they landed hard by Constantinople with no small content.

CHAP. VIII. Rozalmond and Silverin being in the Empire of Greece, combat with the valiant Knight of the Savage, and Griolanis: they are parted by [...]our Princes of Greece, the quarrell that grew between them by the cunning of a Damsell, and the end of the dangerous fight which was betwixt these eight incomparable warriors.

ROzalmond, who sought not the praise of men, and that ascribed all the glory of his actions onely to vertue, perceiving that he was in the Empire of Greece, tur­ned him to Cassandra, and said unto her: Madam, I much desire not to be discovered here, untill my valour have rendred me worthy of my birth; but how is that likely to be, seeing the arms I wear, which are the best in the world, will presently be known by all that saw me depart with them from the Court; I would [Page 27] therefore intreat you, as an addition to your other favours, to go and buy me some others where you think they may be had, otherwise I am resolved to seek my fortune elsewhere, because I will not be constrained by the im­portunity and intreaties of my friends, to make any longer abode here. I knew very well (answered she) that you would request this of me, which made me to take order for it aforehand; and I marvell how all the while that you were aboard, you never observed an armour which the wise Al­cander hath provided for you: whereupon, returning with him into the ship, she shewed him certain arms hanging on a pin, the fairest and the ri­chest that ever he had seen; they were [...]zure, all covered over with white roses, raised up with small strings of gold, whose ends made an A. and an R. so neatly interlaced, that he stood a good while admiring the workman­ship of them; imagining, and that rightly, that those were the first letters of his fair Armazia's and his own names; but having an extream desire to see them on, he doft those which first belonged to Meridian, and after­wards to the Knight of the Sun, and immediatly put on them, greatly mar­velling to finde them so exceeding light, and fit for him, as if he had but a dublet on. I should never hazard my self in any combat with these arms (said he to Cassandra) if any other saving your self had given them to me; but wholly relying upon your judgement, I will make no scruple to use them, and will beleeve that the temper will supply the defect of the mat­ter. Your safety (said she) is dearer to me then that I should be any way carelesse of it, and if these arms be light, it is to accommodate you the bet­ter in fight, you shall know the goodnesse of them ere it be long; in the mean while, you must remember that a valiant man is to apply himself to the time, not to yeeld to any labour, and to take all things in good part: I speak this to you, because we are to part one from another immediatly, for I am to bestow my self in an affair that tends very much to the good of your house; but before I go, I will advise you by no means to be afflicted for your absence from the beautiful Armazia, time and your loialty wil give you those felicities which is expected by a vertuous love. At these words Rozalmond found himself close by Silverin, who attended him on the shore, very much marvelling that he could neither see the ship of the Sun, nor any body living, but two dwarfs, that held a couple of brave strong hor­ses, upon which Silverin and he presently mounted, taking the first way they met withall, which brought them in lesse then an hour into a goodly forrest, where on the fudden they met with a Damsell and two Knights; one of them carried a Savage on his shield, and the other a Moore in chains; whereby you may easily guesse them to be the renowned Knight of the Savage, and Don Griolanis, called the fair Knight, who came from the justs at Constantinople, as you heard in the last Chapter of the prece­dent Book, and had by chance incountered a Damsell, unto whom Griola­nis spake thus: It grieves me not a little that I cannot satisfie your desire, but Gentlewoman you must blame your self for it, who require a thing which is not in my power. Your excuses are to no purpose (answered she) and all the reasons of the world shall not release you from your promises: follow me then to perform my pleasure, otherwise I will endeavour to de­prive you of your life, and will request your head of these Knights that are coming heer. By heaven (answered he) they are not able to give it you; and if it were as easie for me to content you, as to defend my self from [Page 28] them, I should soon be delivered from a great importunity. You are a lit­tle rash (said the good Knight of the Roses, so we will call Rozalmond heer­after) for it seems that after you have failed in your promise to this Dam­sell, you will also defie us upon that quarrell, I do not willingly undertake a combat without knowing whether it be just or no, but if this Gentlewoman intreats me, you shall see it had been better for you to have used gentler language, for you shall either die for it, or satisfie her in what she desires of you. Who are you (said Grian the Savage then in scornfull manner?) Who are you that kills men so fast? I am (answered Rozalmond, netled with this disdainfull speech of his:) I am a Knight can do more then I say. That will I know by experience, said Grian: when as turning their horses about, they encountered one another so bravely, that each of them thought he had run against a rock, finding themselves both with great a­mazement on the ground: for Rozalmond and Grian, not being used to such falls, could hardly be perswaded they were unhorsed; howbeit, seeing themselves lie all along, they instantly arose, and carried with an unaccu­stomed fury, they discharged two such blows with their swords each on the other, that both of them b [...]nded their knees, even ready to tumble down, had they not been supported by shame; but presently recovering themselves, they began to assail one another so fiercely, that either of them wondered at his enemies force; their blades being alwayes in continuall motion, and guided still by a like rage: This while Silverin and Griolanis combatted with no lesse courage and addresse, sometimes one made two or three steps back, sometime the other was astonied, their armour was all over hacked, and if the bloud ran down on one of their arms, the other pre­sently beheld his on the ground. Having thus continued fighting three hours together, and no advantage perceived on either side, when the Dam­sell, who had so ingaged them, seeing four very gallant Knights arrive, ran suddenly unto them, and bedewing her cheeks with tears, besought them to grant her one thing she would request of them. We will not deny you (said one of them, who spake for the rest) provided your request be just, and that it be in our power. I should be unworthy of your favour (answered she) if I should require an impossibility of you; my desire then is, that you will tell me your names, and that you will speedily part these Knights, who outrage one another, as you see, for my occasion. You would have made us beholding unto you (said the Knight) if you had not desired our names, but not to fail in our promise, know that this great Knight is Prigmaleon, Soveraigne of the Empire of Aethiopia; the second is Persides, son to the excellent Emperour of Persia, Don Rogel; the third is the valiant Lucibel, Prince of France; and for my self, I am called Russian, of Media: touching the quarrell of these Knights, we will labour to pacifie it, or die in the at­tempt. Whereupon, advancing towards them, who were still in fight, they wondered to see with what fury and addresse they managed their combat, and especially with what grace he of the Roses bestowed his blows, which seemed far more terrible then those of Grian, who had gotten him such glo­ry at Constantinople, and gently declaring unto them, that she that was the cause of their difference desired their attonement, they intreated them to become friends, and to part with equall reputation. I am content (said Griolanis) so as this woman will quit me of the boon which she hath cun­ningly obtained from me. How, answered the damsell, would not my [Page 29] love suffer me to see you in danger, have I sought the means to draw you out of it, and are you so ingratefull not to acknowledge such favor? Knight it shall cost you your life, since I can hope for nothing els from you. Then having desired the new commers to do her right, one might presently see the case altered.

Rozalmond, Grian, Griolanis, and Silverin, forgetting their former quarrel, made head against these fowr Princes of Greece, who abandoning their lances had betaken them to their swords, and began a most dangerous bic­kering; if Rozalmond admired the dexterity of Persides, Persides redoubted his fury, the force of the Savage astonished the bastard of Media, and no lesse was he apprehensive of his addresse; if Griolanis blows seemed weigh­ty to Prigmaleon, his had no lesse violence; and if the Knight of the Desert struck with courage, Lucibel could answer him as readily; their helmets were all fire, the ground was strewed with pieces of their arms, the woods resounded with the impetuousnes of their blowes; briefly, it was the dread­fullest combat that ever was seen in Greece, for indeed such strong and va­liant champions never appeared there before; the more they fought, the more terrible they seemed, and their fury increasing with their travail, it might well be concluded that the end of this fray would determin the most part, or it may be all their lives. Rozalmond vexed to find so much resi­stance in his enemy, imploied all his might, but Persides fought so well that he perceived he had met with his match, and durst not assure himselfe the victory, which so enraged him, that he seemed to be even desperate; wher­fore resolving either to die or quickly to vanquish, he gave his enemy so dangerous a blow on his shield, that being not able to sustain the fury of it, he was constrained to fall backward on his saddle bow, deprived of sence; but he was not long in that posture, for raysing himself up far more incen­sed then ever he was in his life, he gave Rozalmond so strong a thrust, that his horse recoiled a step back: this while Russian and the Knight of the Sa­vage assailed one another very furiously, now the one bowed down to the crupper of his horse, by and by the other hit his chin against his breast; if Griolanis astonished the valiant Aethiopian, he was oftentimes compelled to lose his stirrups, and stagger under the weight of his blows; and if Lucibel drew bloud from Silverin, he saw his own at the same instant upon his arms: thus was the combat so equall, so cruell, and full of fury, that no other but some unlucky end of it could have been expected, if at the end of six howrs the night had not arrived, which growing very dark made them retire, with some content to the Greek Princes, who thought their enemies a little too strong, and that this battell could not have beene concluded with their ho­nour. Being parted then the one from the other, howbeit resolved to at­tend the next morning for to see unto whom fortune would give the victo­ry, the fowr first combatants went to lie down together under certain trees, when they saw a Giant passe along by them, who carrying a torch in the one hand, held a very fair damsell by the other, that wept bitterly, crying out for help unto the Gods, and it seemed to Rozalmond that it was his beau­tious Armazia, which put him into such a rage, that instantly he got him to horse again, galloping after the Giant, whom he had threatned with a mil­lion of deaths, if he had been able to suffer so many, but the busines being carried by enchantment, and by the sole wisdome of Alcander, who labou­red in this maner to divert the mischief which might have ensued if these [Page 30] Princes had fought again together, Rozalmond could by no means meet with this Giant, and finding himself not long after in the Cote of a yong shep­heard, who received him very courteously, he forgot this affair, and betook him to his rest, whilst the others which had had clean contrary visions, strai­ed one from another severall waies.

CHAP. IX. The marvels which Griolanis encounters, pursuing the fantosmes of Alcander.

THE valiant Knight of the Savage and Griolanis having an extream desire to overtake two Centaurs, which seemed to carry away certain damsels, rode so hard that by break of day they found themselves close to a great and spacious forrest, at the entrance wherof, perceiving two waies alike beaten, they separated themselves though somewhat unwillingly; Grian ta­king the right hand, and Griolanis the left, pursuing their course with the same desire to succor these afflicted women, which they thought were in the hands of those monsters. Griolanis having been two howrs in the wood, sometimes standing still to hearken if the cries of the damsels could bring him to the retreat of these Centaurs, sometimes to mark the tract on the ground that might make him guesse the way he was to hold, he espied three Knights riding a front before a litter crownd with crimson velvet, on the one side thereof a big Knight richly armed, and of a haughty look, on the other a reasonable handsome damsell, & fowr Knights behind. This equipage having made him turn aside the better to observe it, begot such an earnest desire in him to know what was in the litter, that ap­proaching it and addressing himself unto him, who appeared to be of so good a presence, he said unto him: Knight, be pleased to tell me what it is you conduct in this Litter. It is that which you may not know (answered he in an arrogant maner) unles first you vanquish me, and afterward these seven Knights together, & that also you grant a boon to this damsell. Now think whether your forces are capable of so great a charge, or whether you have sufficient courage to undertake it; if not, depart, for all the praiers in the world shall get you no other satisfaction. You are so discurteous (an­swered Don Griolanis) that if I had not a desire to undertake this adventure, your arrogance would make me fight with you, therefore I will know by e­xperience what is in you, and look into this Litter spite of your teeth: wher­upon placing themselves in the middle of the way just one against the o­ther, they charged their lances and incountered so strongly that the stran­ger flew to the ground; Griolanis having lost both his stirrups, was so asto­nished with the violence of the shock, that his course was finished before he could come to himself; howbeit considering that it was no time to com­plain, he quickly recovered his spirits, alighted from his horse, drew his sword, and seeing his enemy that was risen, come towards him with an ex­tream desire to revenge his disgrace, he met him, and withall gave him two [Page 31] such terrible blows, that he was compelled to knock his chin against his breast, which so incensed him that clasping his sword fast in his hand he smote him so furiously that he smote his shield in two. Griolanis stroaks were dreadfull, no lesse impetuous were those of the Knight of the Litter; if the one struck, the other gave a thrust, they cunningly avoided blows, their dexterity was admirable, their force extream, their rage so great that to see them hew one another in that maner, nothing els could be expected thence but death: two howrs being spent since the beginning of the com­bat, Griolanis enraged with this protraction, redoubled his blows most furi­ously, and perceiving his enemy grow weary, he gave him such a cruell cut three fingers deep on the shoulder, that he staggered with it, and not per­mitting him to come to himself again, he struck him with such a mighty force upon the head, that he laid him stark dead in the place. Behold, said he, the reward of pride, and the punishment which attends the unadvised: it may be lawfull for me now, I hope, to see what I have so much desired. Our deaths, answered one of the Knights, must first accompany our con­ductor. Truly, said Griolanis, it is much against my will if I sight at this pre­sent, but since you constrain me, you shall suffer for it. Saying so, he quick­ly leapt into his saddle, and taking a lance from his Squire, he ran against the seven Knights, who incountred him furiously all at once, and brake all their spears upon him without moving him any more then if they had resi­sted against some rock; but it fell out otherwise with him, at whom he aim­ed his lance, for he was run quite through and through, and overthrown dead to the earth. Having ended his course he returned with his sword a­loft, and seeing himself invironed by six men, who seemed to be fearles of death, he began to lay about him; now he foind at one, then he cut another on the head, heer fell a leg, there flew off an arm, and briefly he quartered them with such fury, that in lesse then half an howr three of them were laid dead on the ground; the rest notwithstanding grew more obstinate, and drawing strength from their grief for the losse of their friends, they seemed to fight with the more rage and fury, but being in the hands of one of the prime Knights of the world, all that they could do was to no purpose; for they were soon cut in pieces, and there remained none but the damsell, who being much amazed at the incomparable valour of this Knight, beheld him with wonder. Gentlewoman, said he approaching to her, may I now be permitted to see that which I have so deerly bought with the death of these discurteous Knights? Yes Sir, answered she, so as you promise me one boon. Most willingly, said Griolanis, for I was born for the service of Ladies. You may approach then when you please, said she. Griolanis having lift up the covering beheld in the bottom of the Litter the pourtrait of a Queen so marvellous fair, that he was almost beside himself considering her with so much perfection. Good God, cried he, what a world of beauties are heer assembled together? and how happy is the Knight that can hope for the possession of so invaluable a treasure? Gentlewoman, be pleased I pray you, to let me understand the name of this excellent Princesse, and why you cary her picture about in this fashion. It is fit, said she, that I give you this satisfa­ction, seeing you have nobly promised to grant me what I shall desire of you: You see the face and features, but not all the beauties and graces of the mighty Queen of Corolandaya; for her actions are so winning, that they render her accomplishments far greater and more commendable: As [Page 32] for that which concerns our voiage, I will deliver you the cause of it. The Kingdome of this Princesse consisting of one of the most spacious and fer­tile Islands in the world, accommodated with safe harbors, strong places, valiant warriors, and exceeding lovely dames, gave her a number of excel­lent Knights for servants, some carried by the consideration of this crown, and others to injoy a thing so rare, whereupon depended the former. The fame of the beauties and graces of this Queen every day bringing one Knight or other to present his service unto her, it hapned that at one time there were two and thirty which caried with a like desire to shew their va­lor before her, made a turnament, where, in few words, jealousie incensing their fury, they hewed one another so cruelly, that notwithstanding all the praiers of Adelazia (so is my Mistris named) who wept and took on piti­ously, there was but one remained alive, all the rest having past by the edge of the sword: the Queen was so sensible of this massacre, that she swore never to admit of any man more, and to that end she caused thirty soldiers to be placed at each port of her Kingdome, with expresse commandement not to suffer any Knight whatsoever to land; and conceiving that one vali­ant person might vanquish them, she made a law whereby she ordayned, that not any one of those which should be so fortunate as to passe in despite of her guards, should see her before they had submitted unto one comman­dement of three, the choice whereof she left unto them (assuring her selfe that the least of the three was impossible for any man whatsoever to per­form) or that they had overcome an hundred armed men, which should be alwaies ready waiting at the gates of the town where she pleased to make her residence. Since that time many have presented themselves at the port, some of purpose, others driven in by fowl weather, but being vanquished by the guards, they retired with disgrace; only this miserable man whom you have slain, the Prince of Argilles named Silvion, subdued the thirty Knights, and entred into the Island, where the Queen causing three most difficile things to be propounded unto him, namely, either to give her the scepter of Greece by the death of all the Princes which possesse it, or pre­sent her with the goodliest Knight, & the most exquisit beauty of the earth, or conduct her portrait through all the Provinces of the Orient, in the ma­ner that you have seen, maintain in all the Courts of Kings, that she was the fairest Lady in the World, and at the end of six yeers return unconquered, which done she promised he should see her, and that with her self she would give him the Crown of Corolandaya. This infortunate Prince finding an extream favor in this last commandement, most willingly undertook that charge (albeit that the term of six yeers was grievous unto him) and there­fore desired that she would be pleased to appoint some one to accompany him who might be judge of his actions, and give her account therof; which she granted, sending me along with him, and expresly commanding me to write all the names of such as should be vanquished upon this quarrell, and present her with a list of all the Princesses for whose service they under­took the combat: the which accordingly I have performed, having already the names of threescore and twelve daughters to Sovereign Potentates, and of two hundred Knights bravely fought withall and overcome, but the end of my commission arriving by the death of this Knight, I am constrained instantly to return, and carry back this Litter to Corolandaya, whither you shall accompany me if you please, suffering no man to see the portrait of my [Page 33] Lady, wherunto you are obliged by the boon you have promised me. Gen­tlewoman, said Griolanis, there needed no promise to make me undertake this voyage with you, for I feel my self already so much the servant of this Princesse, that if it like you, I will eyther continue the enterpriz [...] of this Knight I have slain, or otherwise fulfill your pleasure, protesting according to your desire, that no man shall have the content to behold so delicate a face, without he buy it at the same rate it cost me. The damsell then com­manding a little dwarf to drive on the horses, put her self behind the Litter with the Knight, who having doft his helmet for to refresh himsel [...], made this Gentlewoman so amazed that she could not contain from crying out. O Gods! what an incounter is this? I beheld even now in the combat of this Knight all the valor that may be wished for in a man; now I see all the charms and all the graces that can be desired in the sweetest face of the World. Ah Sir! if the Prince of Argilles had beheld you without an hel­met, and that he could have prevailed more by his praiers, then he hath done by his sword, doubtlesse he had shewed my Mistris that which she most desires, & placing you by her, he had assembled the goodliest Knight, and the beautifullest Lady in the earth; but it much rejoices me that she shall not be deprived of this contentment, seeing I am conducting you unto her. Griolanis laughing at this speech, began to entertain her with other di­scourse, and so sweetly passing away the time, they arrived at the Sea side, where they imbarqued themselves, sailing towards the Island of Coro­landaya, whither we will leave them going, for to overtake Grian the Savage.

CHAP. X. The Adventures which happened to Grian the Savage, after he was separated from Griolanis: the Loves of Arliana and Zelandion, and the beginning of his own with the fair Brandimanda Queen of the Amaz [...]ns.

THE Knight of the Savage being separated from Grio­lanis as you saw in the precedent Chapter, travelled all the day not meeting with any adventure, and per­ceiving himself when it began to wax dark at the foot of a rock, upon the which he discerned a little house; he took a path that he thought would lead him to it, and went about so long till he came to the door of it, where at the first knock two yong Her­mites appeared, who having received him very curteously brought him to a chamber, and helped him to unarm himself, whilst his Squire set up his horses in a little hovell there by. Grian finding more meat then he could hope for that barren place, fell to with a good stomack, howbeit he was not so attentive to his pallat, but that he observed how the actions, speech, and countenance of these Religious persons did not shew to be of men able to endure the austerity of a solitary life; having then a very great desire to know what he was ignorant of, he said unto them: Excuse me, I pray you, [Page 34] if I suspect that you are not such as you seem to be, your voices and youth perswade me that you are some women, abused, and reduced by despair, to so desert a place; let me obtain of you not to conceal any thing from me, declare your misfortunes, and I vow by the Order of Knighthood, which I have received, to assist you in all that shall be necessary to your content. Your judgement doth not deceive you (answered one of them, with her eies full of tears) we are the unhappiest creatures in the world, she by per­taking my miserie, and I by giving too light beleefe unto the words of a man, the most disloiall that ever breathed, he is called Zelandion, Count of Ma [...]tage, and I am named Arliana, no lesse rich, and as well derived as he, but it may be not so fair as was requisite to settle his fickle humour; it was my ill fortune to see him at a turnament made in honour of the nupti­alls of a kinswoman of mine, where most unluckily he chose me out from all the rest to combat under my favour; I accepted him for my Knight, be­leeving that his merits and civility commanded me to do him that grace, and then I began to love him so extreamly, that from thence doth the occasion of all my complaints proceed. He was adjudged the best man at arms, and I the fair [...]st woman of the assembly, which was the reason that we willing­ly grew acquainted together, finding a certain kinde of, I know not what, sweetnesse in our conversation, which reciprocally informing our know­ledge with the perfections of the minde, as the eie had done by those of the body, it begot so great an amity betwixt us, that we were never quiet when we were absent one from another, either by some accident, or mode­stie; the trees carried a thousand marks of our loves, every day he received my letters in answer of his, our parents authorized our affections, all things seemed disposed to our desire, and in my heart I named my self already his wife; as without doubt I had been, if he had well remembred the oathes which he had sworn to me a million of times: But this traitour having drawn from me all that he had desired, upon promise of marriage, left me with childe; and under colour of some affairs he got him to his friends, whither having sent letter upon letter to certifie him of the case I was in, the disgrace I was like to run, how much he owed to my affection and his own faith, the desperate estate whereunto I should be reduced in the end, not daring to appear before my friends with a bastard in my belly; and briefly, all that might be said upon the like occasion, I received no other return but contempt, and an advertisement to shew my self wiser when I would have an husband.

I will not deliver the sorrow which this cruell answer brought me, you will imagine it well enough, but it wrought so powerfully upon me, that I was delivered of a son, which born before his time, died the same day, redoubling my grief and lamentation, (for I hoped he might one day serve to make this wretch acknowledge his fault) who understanding this acci­dent, & thinking that I would never let him be quiet, departed one morning from his fathers, and went to seek adventures, as Knights errant use to do; which coming to my knowledge, I resolved to leave the world, not able to endure the menaces and hatred of my parents, who never looking upon me, but with an eie of contempt and scorn, made me wish for death a thou­sand times a day: wherefore taking all the money I could make, I got out one night, and in two daies travelled so far, that I arrived at this house, where, finding it empty, I staied; and because I would not be known, I [Page 35] changed my habit, resolving to spend the rest of my daies in continuall tears. And thus, good Sir, have you had the sad, but true story of my mis­fortune, which me thinks, deserves as much pity, as I have misery. Cer­tainly, answered Grian, Zelandions treacherie is greater then your weak­nesse, for ordinarily we have not considerations strong enough to keep us from erring when we love, wherefore I protest unto you, that if I can meet and know him, either to be the death of him, or he shall make good his promise to you of marriage; live then with his hope, and suffer me to take a little rest, for this is the third night that I have not so much as closed an eie. Then Arliana bidding him good night, withdrew into another cham­ber with her companion, and left Grian to sleep till the next day, when he took the first way that presented it self after he had courteously taken leave of his disguised hostesses. His horse carrying him according to chance, rather then by his own direction, he travelled till noon, when he discovered a stately Castle, unto the which addressing himself, he incoun­tered a damsell making most pitifull moan. Gentlewoman, said he unto her, this great sorrow of yours argues some extraordinary affliction, but if your relief may lie in the power of a Knight, let me quickly know what troubles you, and be assured of present succour. Alas, said she, I will not relate the occasion of my laments, because I will not stay you to no pur­pose; enter into this unluckie house, and preserve one from death, who it may be will render you the like another time. Herewith Grian setting spurs to his horse, gallopped into the base court of the Castle, where at one side he saw seven souldiers and a giant lie dead, and fast by, a Knight of goodly presence, in the midst of three giants, who discharging three ter­rible blows upon his head, felled him to the ground; whereat Grian being exceedingly discontented, suddenly advanced, for fear they should make an end of dispatching him, and couching his lance, very luckilieran one of them clean thorow; the other two with horrible cries, which were able to have feared some Knight lesse confident then this Champion, charged him presently; but he no more daunted then a bird of prey would be at the sight of a sillie partridge, drew out his sword, and combating with no lesse judge­ment then fury, made them not onely despair of the victory, but so dread­full were his strokes, that whensoever they saw his arm elevated, they straight began to apprehend the end of their lives: the combat waxed fiercer and fiercer, the place was strowed with the pieces of their armour, the giants bloud died the pavement, and Gria [...] so held them to it, that they ta­sted oftner of the edge of his blade, then willingly they would; howbeit, ashamed to see themselves reduced under the power of one man alone, they recovered new forces, and assailed him in such sort, that they gave him two dangerous wounds, the one in the thigh, the other on the arm; which so in­raged him, that taking his sword in both his hands, he let fall so mighty a blow upon the head of one of them, that he divided it in two; and instant­ly advancing his arm with the like fury, he had paid the third in the same coin, had he not been prevented by his flight; neverthelesse, it little availed him, for Grian following him close, with one dreadfull blow, almost cut his body in sunder: this done, he looked about him to see if he had any more enemies to fight withall, but perceiving no body to appear, he presently sheathed up his sword, and approaching the Knight, whose fall he had be­held, he disarmed his head, remaining even ravished with the extream [Page 36] beauty of his face, which being at that instant overspread with golden hair, made him think that he held not a Knight, but a woman fair, beyond all excellencie; he called the damsell at whose request he entered, and was about to ask her for some water to fetch her again, but seeing her open her eies, he took her under the arm, and holding her up a little, he said unto her; Madam, take courage, your enemies are not in case now to offend you. Where are they, said she, rising with fury, where are these wicked wretches, that would upon such extream odds have taken away my life? Madam, answered Grian, I have used them as you see, with more content­ment then can be imagined, in that I have diverted the destruction which they meant you. What powerfull obligations are these, said she, with a gentler countenance? and questionlesse you are a most valiant Knight, that could prevail over three such monsters as these. I have done nothing, answered he, but what I would most desirously recommence for your ser­vice, and to deserve the honour of your commandments; wherefore if you be any whit sensible of so little, Madam, furnish me with means to do more, and favour me so much, as now to name me your Knight, you shall I hope no more recent that choice, then I shall complain of my captivity; in the mean time let us look, whether there be any thing else for us to do heer. It is very well advised, said she, lacing on her helmet, let us go then, as for your request, time shall resolve me; so mounting up a pair os stairs, they visited all the chambers, and finding no body, but onely one woman with a bunch of keyes, they made her immediatly descend into the dun­geon, from whence she brought up one and thirty Knights, whereof one seeming to Grian of a better presence then the rest, made him desirous to know him. Gentleman, said he unto him, I pray you tell me your name, and how you fell into the hands of these Giants. I should be very ingrate­full, answered he, if I should refuse you so small a matter, receiving so much good from you; I am called Zelandion. How (said Grian, laying hold of him at that word) are you then that disloial man, which betraied the affections of Arliana, after you had had your pleasure of her? By my best hopes, if you were armed, as you are not, you should either die, or confesse that you have dealt lewdly. My Lord, said Zelandion, very much troubled with this menace, it is not likely I should offer to fight with him that saves my life, if I were in case so to do; it is true, that the bad counsell of some pernicious persons, drew me to abuse the love of Arliana, but chastised by a long captivity, I fully purpose quickly to repair that fault if I may finde her alive. Your repentance, said Grian, perswades me to pardon your weaknesse; but do not think to deceive heaven once more, for if you do not keep your word which you have given me now, be assured that I will not stick to ride a thousand miles to inflict a just punishment upon you: And to let you know that I have a speciall care of this businesse, go instantly and take the best horse you can finde heer, following my Squire into a desert place, whether despair hath reduced Arliana, and marry her, whereby you shall give me occasion to serve you. Now heer is, said he, the happiest com­mandment that ever I could have received: My Lord, you shall be obey­ed, saying so, he caused a horse to be sadled, got up, and following Grians Squire, arrived in four hours at his Mistresses hermitage, whom he married after a world of protestations to love her eternally.

Whilst he made this voiage, the gentle Knight of the Savage caused his [Page 37] wounds to be looked unto, learned the quality of his Lady, knew that she was named Brandimanda, a Princesse among the Amazons, and representing the beginning of his love unto her with such a grace, that considering the obligations wherein she was tied to his assistance, she received him for her Knight, being content to seek adventures with him, upon condition, that their familiarity should not passe the limits of respect, and that he should not take the liberty at any time to importune her, that she might not be ob­liged to do any thing repugnant to the duty of a wise and modest virgin; which being most freely promised by him, as soon as Grian was recovered of his hurts they departed, and began to travell the world doing wonders in emulation one of another, and nourishing their loves in this maner, untill such time as the brave acts of this great warriour advanced him to his Mi­strisses Crown, as you may perceive by the sequel of this discourse, which I will continue with the adventures of Clarisel of Guindaya, seeing he is one of the prime subjects of our discourse.

CHAP. XI. Clarisel of Guindaya being arrived in France, succours Alcidas: his combat with the Giant Farnabazan: he hath news of Mira­linda, at the nuptialls of Alcidas with Orizenna.

WE left Clarisel at sea going to succour Alcidas in favour of a French Lady, whom he had incountred in the night, we are now to conduct him unto a good port, and prosecute the history with his fortunes. This brave Prince seeing himself a shore, after a tedious voiage at sea, and knowing that the term prefixed for the safety of this Knight approached, he used very great expedition, declining all occasions that might divert him from the execution of his enterprise. Having travelled then eight daies with his guide, who was named Orixenna, at length he saw him­self in the town where Alcidas was prisoner: but Orixenna exceedingly dis­maid to behold all the people assembled in the market place, waxed pale, and so weak, that if Clarisel had not held her, without doubt she had fallen from her horse. What ails you, said he, and what can trouble you now when you have such cause to rejoice? Alas! said she with a sigh, the con­course of this people gives me occasion to fear that Alcidas is not alive. That were an extream mischief, said Clarisel, but do not thus afflict your self be­fore you be more certain of the truth: I will go and inquire of some body, in the mean time do you stay heer and be comforted. Saying so he was ri­ding away, but perceiving divers persons running on the other side of the street, he made a stop, and immediatly after he discovered a yong Gentle­man in the middest between two hangmen, and guarded by twenty archers, he marched with so confident a countenance, that his innocence evidently appeared by the contempt of an infamous death. Madam, said Clarisel, do you know this prisoner? Yes, said she exceedingly troubled, it is Alcidas; wherefore good Knight, be pleased to remember your promise. At these [Page 38] words Clarisel advancing towards the officers of justice, modestly deman­ded, whether he might be admitted to combat for the justification of Alci­das. You cannot be denied that, answered one, so as he will commit it to your armes. With all my heart, said Alcides little expecting this good hap, and I protest before heaven, which alwaies takes in hand the defence of in­nocents, that I am no way guilty of the crime wherewithall I am charged. I am satisfied, said Clarisel, and therefore all that I require now is, that I may encounter your enemy; with that he passed on to the place where proud Farnabazan was walking, with the opinion that no man durst affront him; but seeing this Knight appear so bravely disposed, and of so gallant a presence, he said unto him: Comest thou, unadvised Knight, to defend Al­cidas? I do, answered Clarisel; and I am heer to make thee die like a trai­tor, replied the Giant, wherefore let us not spend the time any longer idly. Then taking the field and charging their lances they met so furiously that the earth seemed to tremble under them: their encounters had different ef­fects; Farnabazans spear rested in the Princes shield, who lost his stirrups, but Clarisels entred into his body above fowr fingers deep, overthrowing him to the ground with a noise like to the ruines of a mighty building, which amazed all the assistants, who shouting for joy testified their unspeakable content to behold this insolent man overthrown. These acclamations aug­mented Don Clarisels courage, and the Giants shame, who blaspheming a­gainst heaven, rose up to receive his enemy, that scorning advantage, was a­lighted, and making towards him with his sword in his hand. Farnabazan confidently perswading himself to repair the default of his lance with the first stroke he should strike, thought to discharge his great fauchion on Cla­risels head, and cleave it in two, but the Prince wisely letting it slip by, de­clined this storme, and taking hold of the occasion gave him a great wound on the left arm, which dying the ground with his bloud so incensed the Gi­ant, that he advanced his sword again with more fury then before; and fol­lowed Clarisel so close that he could not eschew the blow which was so vi­olent, that it made him recoil two or three steps back, and shewed him a thousand stars more then there are in the element. Those which beheld him stagger in this maner were extreamly grieved, being verily perswaded that a second stroke would make an end of him, but they rejoiced when they saw him recollect himself, and charge his enemy so furiously, that his hel­met being cut in many places, the bloud ran down upon his eies and blind­ed him in such sort as he struck his blows in vain, which Don Clarisel percei­ving, who would not give him leisure to recover, pressed him so far that in lesse then an howr he drew out all the rest of the bloud of his body, and o­verthrew him stark dead in the place, to the infinite contentment of the peo­ple, and principally of Orizenna and Alcidas, who seeing himself free from his chains, and without fear of any further suffering, he approached unto Don Clarisel, and thanked him for his assistance, with all the humility he could possibly expresse. But Clarisel knowing Orizenna's mind, said unto him: The glory of your deliverance is to be ascribed to God, who never forsakes the innocent in their distresse, howbeit next to him you are indebt­ed to the care of this Lady, which hath travelled above five hundred leagues to find out some Knight that might combat Farnabazan, and deliver you; wherefore you shall do wisely to shew your self gratefull for so much fa­vour, Alcidas then turning about to Orizenna, and having well observed [Page 39] her, remembred that it was she whom he had incountered in the wood, and which surmounting her own desires, had nobly assisted him with an horse, that he might not be wanting in his engagement unto Clitia; wherewithall considering the new and powerfull obligation wherein he was bound to her affection, he resolved to let her see how sensible he was of a benefit. Madam, said he unto her, my happinesse would be compleat, if you will be pleased now to passe by the little satisfaction I gave you, when you ho­noured me so much, as to say that you loved me; then I was a captive, now I [...]m free, and can repair that fault, if you be as well inclined to me as you were; for, me thinks, it is more then reason I should be liberall unto you of that, which you have gotten with so much pains: command then what you please, and drawing me out of the abisme of wretchednesse, wherein I was plunged, raise me to the supremest degree of felicity that love can give us. If I had more regarded your vertue then mine own passion, answered Orizenna, without doubt my spight had been added to the malice of your enemies, and I had not laboured so much to finde you an assured succour; but not able to blame your fidelity, I desired you should know that I was not offended with your refusall, since you had not the power to give your self twice: As for your resentment of the good offices I have done you, I approve of it, and shall be very well satisfied, to see you sigh for me with the same sincerity as you have heretofore done for Clitia; but now is no time to speak of this matter, let us go to my house, and seek to restore you a little, after the enduring of so much incommoditie as imprisonment brings along with it, and then we will consider of the rest. This amorous dis­course being very pleasing to Clarisel (whose valour Alcidas commended to the skies) they all left the town, and for that Orizenna's house was but four leagues from thence, they got thither by that time it was night, which was no sooner past, but Alcidas, who could not endure the violence of his new desires, fell upon the point of his marriage with Orizenna, which was celebrated the third day after, with a world of magnificence, and brave en­tertainment; howbeit, that which most contented Clarisel, was to behold six strong lusty shepherds enter into the hall, whereof one advancing before the rest, desired he might be admitted to maintain at wrestling, that Miralin­da was the fairest maid in the world. I know very well; replied Alcidas, that this Shepherdesse is incomparably fair, but my friend you are too weak to undergo such a businesse; neverthelesse, I will not hinder you from shewing your strength heer, and to witnesse that I am pleased with your designe, I promise a scarf to the victor. At those words of Shepherdesse, and Mira­linda, Clarisel, who was then in talk with Orizenna, changed colour three or four times, which very much troubled her at first, and going to prevent what she feared, Clarisel, that suspected her meaning, took her by the hand, and leading her to a window, said thus: Madam, I make no question but you have discerned some alteration in me, and that the goodnesse of your disposition hath made you partaker of my suffering; but the way to re­lieve me, is other then you imagine, and if I fail now of your assistance, there is no hope of remedy for me, but in death; I assure my self you marvell at this language, and that you will demand an explication of it from me; but if you had not known what it is to love, you may think I would never ac­quaint you with my thoughts, for fear you should laugh at me. In a word, I am in love, and the perfections of this Shepherdesse, for whose sake these [Page 40] men dispose themselves to wrastle, have ever since I saw her picture, which was about some three weeks ago given me so much passion, that it is impos­sible for me to hear her spoken of but that I am troubled because I cannot come to the sight of her: it may be you will condemn this affection of mine, and say with the most part of persons, that I am but poorly spirited not to consider her birth and my condition, howbeit I will reply that it is the fault of fortune, which doth not impart her favours as she ought, and that finding in her all that may be desired in the rarest Princesse of the earth, she is alike to be regarded. Howsoever it is no question with me whether I do well or ill, but I freely communicate my heart to you, to the end you may assist me with your counsell, acquaint me with her abode, give me a safe retreat in your house, and so recompence that which you think is due to my desert. In good faith, said she laughing, I will confesse my weaknes to you; when I saw you change colour, I beleeved you had not been well, but altering this opinion upon the beginning of your discourse, I lightly imagined that you had been in love with me, and was bethinking my self whether I should yeeld more to your merit, then to the faith I ow to my Alcidas, but now being freed from this care, it is easie for me to tell you that you love with reason; for the beauty of this shepherdesse may excuse the affection of any Knight whatsoever; she dwels not above three leagues hence, and lives with such contempt of the shepherds that adore her, as she seems to be born to triumph over all and love none. Now if you will follow my counsell heerein, you shall not present your self before her in the estate you are; your habit would beget suspition, and your presence mistrust, but accom­modating your self to her life, take upon you as she doth the care of some flocks, that so you may have the more occasion to see her, and lesse impedi­ment to your content. Truly, said he, I hold this to be the best course I can take; but Madam, it were fit me thinks that she should once see me first as a Knight, to the end that beholding me change my condition for her sake, she might be the more obliged to love me. That will not be amisse, answe­red she, and if you can find the opportunity to meet with her alone when you go in that fashion, your design no doubt will speed the better; but we will think of that at more leasure, in the mean time let us take our part, if you please, of this wrastling sport. Then turning about to the shepherds, whereof two were a wrastling together, they tooke marvellous delight to see what falls they gave one another, tumbling together on the grasse, and afterwards dispute with their fists who should be the victor. This pastime having lasted two howrs, the night according to these Lovers wishes arri­ved, which gave every one occasion to betake them to their rest.

CHAP. XII. Clarisel sees his fair Mistris: their first discourse.

THE night too short unto these Lovers was very tedious to Don Clarisel, who troubled with an amorous impa­tience slept not, and would have departed before day to have given some quiet to his mind by the sight of his fair shepherdesse, but fearing to go without a guide left he should misse his way, he staied till Alci­das (whom Orizenna had acquainted with his resolu­tion) came to bid him good morrow. The content­ment which he shewed in his countenance made Clarisel sigh, and say unto him: O God! how happy were I if I could boast the caresses of Miralinda as you do in your thoughts the kisses of your Orizenna. Your love doth make you hope for the like successe, answered Alcidas, and time will give it you, let us make use of it then, and beginning to trie our fortune let us see whether you shalbe as happy a lover, as you are a valiant Knight. Heerwith they got to horse, and rode straight to Bellombre where Miralinda lived; Alcidas endevored to make the way seem short unto him with a deal of plea­sing discourse, but it gave him no gust at all, his mind was so taken up with expectation of the content which he was to have ere long in beholding the beauties of his Mistris: two howrsbeing spent in this maner, they past out of the wood, & began to discover one of the delicatest places of the world: On the one side a champion full of corn, on the other a dainty rising hill planted with fruit trees, below a river, which gently winding watered two meadows wherwithall his banks were bounded, upon the decline of the hill a number of houses appeared, which made a pretty village, and at one side a little wood of firre trees reaching almost to the clouds. Well Sir, said Alcidas, what say to this place? That it is worthy of Miralinda, answered Clarisel, and that nature seems to have made it for to render my abode heer lesse irksome, albeit the only presence of my shepherdesse is able to make it most delightfull unto me were it not composed as it is, but I very much fear we shall not easily meet with that we seek for. Let us follow our for­tune, said Alcidas, Love is never wanting to them that adore him. Then ha­ving past the river they came to certain sallows, which gave a very pleasant shade, at the end of one of those meadows where Alcidas alighting, said un­to Don Clarisel: Sir, I hold it fit that we should stay heer a while for to see if Miralinda will passe by; for commonly she goes this way, and grazes her flock upon this fresh pasture. Do as you think good, answered Clarisel, for I am so little my self, that I am not able to say any thing to purpose; wher­upon he alighted, took his horse by the bridle, as Alcidas had done, and letting him feed amongst the trees, he returned close to the high way, where he espied a yong shepherd who folding his arms acrosse, and lifting up his eies to heaven, said: O heavens! how long will you suffer me to be the o­bject of the scorn of this shepherdesse, and when will you render her more sensible of my affection? I have willingly forsaken that which ambition [Page 42] might make men desire, I have put on an habit unworthy of my estate that so I might enjoy the sight of her with lesse suspition, and I serve her with the same respects which should be used to a person more eminent, yet she forbids me her presence, shuns me, and will not permit me so much as to say that I die for her. This is extream ingratitude, and if I complain thus it is not without a great deal of reason. As I live, said Clarisel, I shall never be jealous of this shepherd, and if all that suffer for her find no better enter­tainment, I have cause already to complain. You are to hope better, said Alcidas, for all those that she hath seen have not that worth in them which you have; but let us speak softer, I pray you, for questionles I see her com­ming. At these words Clarisel grew pale, and perceiving her not far off, he trembled like a leaf shaken by the wind, nevertheles thinking how much it conduced to his future happines to be bold in this first encounter, he coura­giously resolved to boord [...]er without fear, and was going to meet her had he not been retained by Alcidas, who seeing him offer to set forward, drew him back whilest Miralinda approached, and sitting down upon the grasse untied her golden hair for to make it up again with the more grace. Clarisel that beheld her through the trees, was ravished in the contemplation of such wonderfull beauty, but apprehending a greater content in her conver­sation, he went towards her, leaving Alcidas behind. The noise which he made treading upon some leaves, drew Miralinda suddenly to divide her hair, that so she might with the lesse impediment look about her, she was somewhat amazed seeing a Knight so goodly, and of so gallant a grace to appear, but accompanying her actions with an extraordinary discretion, she presently rose up, and making him a low reverence demanded what chance had conducted him to that place. My passion brought me hither, answered he, for to tell you fair shepherdesse, that you are not to marvell hearing me truly to sigh for you, though our conditions seem to be so dif­ferent; Love doth greater miracles, and the wonders which I see in your eies shall alwaies excuse me before the severest Iudge that can be. Look, said she no whit abashed, how a silly shepherdesse may be jeered: no doubt, Sir, I have cause to complain of fortune for giving me no better a being; but withall I must praise her for sending me into the world with so much judge­ment as to know how to put the difference that is requisit between your greatnes and my poverty, which forbids me to be perswaded that ever I can merit the honour you would do me. I am without name, without pa­rents, and have nothing els to relie upon this day in the world then the on­ly goodnes of an old shepherdesse, who doth bring me up, upon condition that I shall feed her flocks, in regard whereof I will never beleeve that you love me but to undo me, which I will avoid if I can, and will wisely con­serve that which can make me live happily in my unhappines. Now if you fondly suppose with them who think that promotion may one day per­swade me to accept of the advantages they propound unto me, without doubt you will be deceived, and lose your labour, for at length you shall know that the desire of greatnes shall never prevail with me.

If you take feigning for truth, answered Clarisel, without doubt you will intreat me as you have done all those which have hitherto presented them­selves before you; but if you please to make use of your reason, you will discern the difference that is to be made between my affection and their passions. I love you without desiring any thing of you but what honour [Page 43] will permit you to confer on me, and that which I most wish for at this pre­sent is, that you will suffer me to live by you with the liberty to keep a flock in another habit then this I have on; and that you will not refuse to see both in my respect and in my actions, the integrity of this love. Provided, an­swered she, that your quality be not known heer, which at last might make me unhappy; and that you will live modestly according to your promise, I will never oppose your desire: for I will give my self the glory of your captivity, and beleeve that your intentions are as sincere, as I am innocent. Beauteous shepherdesse, answered Clarisel, kissing her hand whether she would or no, I receive this grace from you with more satisfaction, then if you had made me Monarch of the whole earth: You command discretion in my actions, you will have my affection to be unfeigned, and my vows inviolable; such is my desire to, and I wish that thunderbolts from heaven may strike me, if ever, you see me sigh otherwise then you would have me; and from henceforward I will approve of your anger and my banishment, if I give you any occasion to abridge these favours which I hold so dear. Well, said Miralinda, our accord is half made, but can you counterfet the shepherd well? The best in the world, answered he, and if I had the habit now, I verily think you would take me for one, at leastwise I should accom­modate my self far better to the cariage of a swain, then one of your Lo­vers doth, who came this way a little before you, and mightily complained of your rigour. It is the son of Count Moligny, named Cesander, answered she, who questionles wishes me well, but his humor is intolerable; he is jea­lous when he beholds me cast an eie upon any shepherd, he importunes me continually, and is alwaies chanting unto me the greatnes of his race, as if I were obliged to love him, for that only consideration, rather then for the merit of his person, and renders himself so odious in his waies, that I can­not endure to look upon him, which is the reason I flie him as I would do a wolf. But let us leave off this discourse, I pray you, and tell me how you lighted on this place. The destinies conducted me hither, said he, and from their providence is this good fortune of mine derived. Then making a brief relation of his adventures, of his condition, of the beginning of his love, and of the violent passions he had undergone since that time, he much amazed her, & put her almost out of hope of ever enjoying him; but setting up her rest upon a contrary opinion, she sweetly replied thus: Verily I am of the same faith with you, that there is a kind of fare in our affections: for if you were stricken in love by my picture, I was no lesse wounded therewith by yours, which I saw not many daies past in this very place, it being shewed to me by a damsell, who told me that within a while I should no longer be mine own; wherefore I do not marvell now, that I have not been more dif­ficult to receive you, seeing the heavens governed my thoughts, and dispo­sed of my will: I acquaint you with this secret, not to give you more bold­nes, & lesse respect, but to let you know that we are not to falsifie the effect of so many promises, if we will live contented, since it is the only mean to assure you those felicities which you hope for in me, and to render me the satisfaction that I expect from your thraldome. Fear not, fairest shepher­desse, answered he, wonderfully contented with these assurances, fear not that I will ever passe the bounds of your commandements, I feel such infi­nite joy in being yours, that I am resolved to die a thousand deaths before I will give you the least occasion to complain of me, and to testifie how far [Page 44] I am from abusing your favour, I will depart, if you please, with promise to be heer again in two daies for to continue my services unto you. Go my shepherd, said she, (for so will I call you heerafter) and let Love, whom we begin to adore, favour our designs. Heerewith Clarisel kissing her hand a­gain, went to find out Alcidas, who seeing him return with so merry a coun­tenance, asked him if he should be happy. Yes, said he, if heaven do not oppose mine enterprise: Miralinda wishes me well, and trusting in my pro­mises makes me hope for that which I most desire in the world; let us get to horse, we shall have leisure enough to talk of this matter. Then returning to their way they began to discourse of the means Clarisel was to use for to fall in with some shepherd, and left the beautifull Miralinda to a million of new thoughts, which giving her occasion to consider of all things, made her sometimes apprehend the misery of a deceit, and by and by confirm her a­new against the assaults of that weaknes.

CHAP. XIII. Clarisel turns shepherd: his contentment, and the jealousie of Cesander.

IN the mean time Clarisel being returned home publish­ed his good fortune before Orizenna, who seeing him in so pleasing a humor, gave order to make him up in­stantly a caslock and hole of white fustian tied toge­ther with cornation ribands; provided the next day a flock of sheep for him, put a very curious sheephook in his hand, a scrip at his side, and giving him a boy of fifteen yeers of age to tend his sheep, whilest he entertained his shepherdesse, she sent him to a Farmer (unto whom she had communicated the secret with a charge not to disclose it to any body living) beseeching love to render his intentions prosperous. As soon as he was in the field, he reflected on himself, and considering the habit he was in, it see­med to accuse him of imprudence and weaknes, wherfore he said: O God! How great is the imbecility of man, and how justly are Lovers condemn­ed, who renounce their own wills, for to give themselves over to their pas­sions? Doubtles I am now subject to the mockeries of the wise, and though I may find some excuse in the example of an infinity of great personages, who have erred like my self, yet can I not hinder the jeering of those which are more advised, and that will say with reason too, how I should rather draw instruction from the misery of others, then imitate them in their faults: Howbeit if I consider the recompence which I am to attend from my design, I cannot be charged with folly, nor guilty of blame; but I may maintain before all the world, that the beauties of so accomplished a shep­herdesse, may extenuate this act of mine. I must pursue my course then, not stand upon such weak considerations, and yeeld more to mine own satisfa­ction, then to the opinion of those that are fools, and think themselves wise. Thus intertaining himself with a world of thoughts, he arrived at the plea­sant meadows of Bellombre, where extreamly desirous to find his shepher­desse, he looked round about, and not seeing her appear, he was strangely [Page 45] troubled, not knowing whither to go, when he heard a rebeck, the sound whereof came from out certain E [...]ms which he perceived on the left hand, whence he conjectured that Miralinda might be there, and that some amo­rous shepherd courted her in that maner. Driving on his flock then within a little while he came to those trees, at the foot wherof he saw his shepher­desse with another, nothing neer so fair, and two shepheards upon their knees, who seemed to implore her pity. His goodly presence, and the grace wherewithall he saluted this company, fastened every ones eies upon him; but Miralinda knowing him, arose contrary to her custome, and giving him an amorous look, asked him what occasion brought him thither. That is not to be questioned, answered he, since it is most sure that I come as others do to sigh out my passions, and to tell you that you never saw shepherd before that adores you with more respect then my self. She hath more cause to re­compence my services, answered one, then to hear you make these protesta­tions; but I beleeve you will reap no more benefit by them then I have done by my complaints. If the defect of your merit and the judgement of this shepherdesse, answered Clarisel, have given you no part in her favour, you must not think, shepherd, that others are as unhappy as your self; the condition of our service obligeth a woman, and when our actions are dispo­sed to please her, we are to expect an acknowledgement of them. If I can­not constrain her to love me, I will be contented with the sight of her; and if my presence offend her, you shall see me continually upon these banks singing my misfortune, and her beauty: behold, shepherd, how I will ac­commodate my desires to hers, accusing my self without rendring her cul­pable: and if I receive any thing from so great an obedience, I will beleeve it proceedeth rather from her goodnesse, then mine own merit, otherwise I will say that I am justly punished for having been too daring. How now, shepherd, said Miralinda, is any man so light as you are, thus freely to disco­ver his thoughts? I never saw you till now, and will you already have eve­ry one to know that you love me? Yes without doubt, answered Clarisel, and if I should use lesse freedome, I should not have so much affection. Is it likely that I should be heer for your service, and it not be known? my de­signs would then be without honour, and my ambition without glory; I can no more forbear, beauteous shepherdesse, to publish my captivity, then to suffer; and if you be displeased with it, I will hold my peace, and think to profit more by my silence, then by my speech. Shepherd, answered Miralinda, reaching him her hand for to make him sit down by her, I do not purpose to forbid you to speak, and what I said was but to let you know that I love a man that is discreet, howbeit let us leave this discourse, and tell me from whence you are come, whither you go, and what accident brought you to this place. Your beauty which is so famed over all, answered he, hath made me to forsake the banks of Seine, with a resolution never to aban­d [...]n this Country without you, or at the least till I see you ingaged under the power of some shepherd, which is the reason why I crave your leave to deliver my passions as love shall make me feel them. I will not refuse to speak unto you, answered she, but never be importunate, if you hope for a­ny part in my favour. O God! said the shepherd who had not spoken yet, what cause have I to complain? I have served you these two yeers with all the fidelity that can be imagined, and yet you have never done me the grace which now you have shewed unto this shepherd, who is but newly arrived: [Page 46] for advising him to live according to your humor, you seem to take care of his content. Ah! that I were permitted to let him see, even at this instant, how unworthy he is of so great a bl [...]sse, I would throw him at the first bout, and by his fall conserve unto my self that good which I think is belonging unto me. Miralinda not being able to forbear laughing at this shepherds anger, that seemed to be extreamly jealous, cast her eie upon Clarisel, who conceiving he was bound to answer him, said unto him rising up: Foolish shepherd, I would it were as easie for me to obtain some part in the good grace of Miralinda, as to throw thee; nevertheles I will not wrastle with thee but upon condition, that the weakest shall yeeld his pretensions to the victor. I am content, said Celidon, so was this shepherd named, and I wish that the meads may want pasture for my [...]ocks, if I do not make these fair sh [...]pherdesses laugh at thy cost. Then seazing on Clarisel he gave him two or three rough twitches, which made him give back a step, but Clarisel ta­king good hold on the wings of his dublet, flung him all along on the ground, and gave him such a cruell fall, that every one thought he had been dead; whereupon the other shepherd, of whom we have spoken before, ran instantly to succour him, howbeit Celidon being risen with pain, told him that he felt no hurt, and that in regard he was not fallen but by accident, he was not resolved to quit Miralinda, whom he would make judge of their difference; but she laughed so heartily that she could not utter a word; at length seeing her self constrained to speak, she agreed them so, that each of them should remain in his hopes. After that time Clarisel was ordinarily present in the places where Miralinda fed her flock; sometimes alone, som­times with a number of shepherds, who oftentimes accorded their rebocks and hoboys together, for to make the length of the daies seem lesse tedious to this shepherdesse, who loving none but the handsome shepherd (so Cla­risel was called) cared only for his conversation, and avoided as much as she could the rest; to the end she might not be importuned by their usuall com­plaints; so that if she were obliged by the way of civility to see them, it was very coldly, being unwilling to give her Clarisel any cause of suspition, who in the mean while graved upon the bark of all the trees (under whose sha­dows they met) the name of his beautifull shepherdesse, little regarding the solicitations of his rivals, as unworthy of his jealousie. Having past some time in this maner, alwaies accompanying Miralinda at the fountains, at the rivers side, in the woods and in the meadows, oftentimes taking the care of grazing her flocks, every one perceived that Clarisel was beloved of this cruell one, before inexorable to any shepheard whatsoever; so that jealou­sie putting them often into choler, some new match at wrastling was every day seen, wherein Clarisel shewed himself so accomplished, that all the Country gave way unto him, each one judging him worthy of the fortune he enjoied, Cesander only excepted, who openly declared himself his ene­my, sought all maner of occasions to annoy him, and delivered a thousand lies to Miralinda, thinking to divert her from loving him; but she very well knowing whereunto it tended, and the fidelity of Clarisel would give no ear to him, and daily made demonstration of some new passion for her shep­herd, which so vexed Cesander that he resolved to run into the uttermost of extreams, as you shall see by and by.

CHAP. XIV. The fair Miralinda is carried away forcibly: the admirable deeds of Arms done by Clarisel for her rescue.

THese two Lovers conversing with a great deal of free­dome and love, lead a most happy life, their plea­sures were without care, and they never troubled themselves with any thing more, then to let both God and man be witnesses of the sincerity of their thoughts, only the violence of our shepherds desires, who would willingly in a more sovereign manner have possessed his shepherdesse, interposed some un­quietnes amidst his content, but the hope to see himself one day in the port of so much felicity made him suffer with patience; complaining then but lightly all his discourse was of new assurances of his love, or of praiers, that God would divert from his shepherdesse the misfortunes which ordinarily follow men; and verily I am perswaded that these vows so often sent to heaven, were the means to make him foresee in a dream the storm which threatned both his love, and his life, that so he might prevent the effect therof in despite of fortune, which never giveth sweets without some sowr. This amorous shepherd driving his [...]ock one morning to their pasture, went with a sadder look then he was wont, and was so carried away by certain visions which he had had the night before, as he never perceived Miralinda, who staied for him under the Elms for to do him all the noble favors their fair affection would permit her; but perceiving him walk very melancholy, his hat over his eies, and using some action with his hands as if he had been transported with anger, she was at first much troubled, in that she could not imagin the cause of his discontent, and began to fear lest some misreport of her had displeased him; nevertheles being confident of her own innocence, and not able any longer to suffer him in this posture, she presently made to­wards him, and taking him by the hand, said unto him: What mean these fancies, my shepherd, whence comes this indisposition, and why do you passe by without bidding me good morrow? have you lesse love then you had yesterday, am I lesse fair, more unpleasing then I was used to be, or have you observed any thing in my carriage that is distastfull to you? No, my dearest shepherdesse, answered he, I have no cause for to complain of you; alike is your beauty, and the sence of my passions, which are no whit lesse to day then they were before; but you know that time and accidents do not alwaies leave us in case to laugh or complain. You will say that our content should not be subject therunto, and that our love may exempt us from a million of miseries, as an assured port from the surges of a troubled sea, my sweetest shepherdesse it is true, but can we triumph without labors? Questionles we cannot, and the best affections are most subject to crosses: That which afflicts me (I will not conceal it from you) is a dream which I had the last night, very ominous in my judgement [...], and that hath reduced me to the passe wherein you have seen me; although I know very well [Page 48] that no regard is to be had to such frivolous things, which oftentimes arise from the weaknes of our brain, yet I will not slight it, but take it as an ad­vice from heaven, that it may be lets me foresee a mischief, to decline it. I dreamt then an howr before day that I saw six Lions come into these plains who tearing your cloths in a thousand peeces, dragd you up and down the wood, without any fear of the noise and cries the shepherds of this Coun­try made, that they were gotten into a den for to have fed on your body▪ but that a great Bear defended you, and that I comming in to his aid, drew you out of their paws; judge now whether I have not reason to fear some mishap in your person, and whether I can live contented after these mena­ces. No doubtles, nor shall I ever be in quiet, till I have put my self in case to serve you, if by chance any thing should arrive unto you beyond expe­ctation. But what can you do heerin, said Miralinda, a little troubled? Keep my self ready upon all occasions, answered he, and have my horse and my arms in my lodging; for I never told you yet, my fairest shepherdesse, that I am a Knight, and son to the great Emperour of Greece Florisel of Niquea, a thousand times more satisfied in being yours, then in the possession of all the Kingdoms of the World. O God! said Miralinda, what tears will these words one day cost me, and what sorrow will this great inequality make me endure? I would your condition, my Clarisel, were lower, or mine more eminent, I might then expect that which my judgement doth now prohibit me to hope for. No, no, said he, do not imagin, my excellent shep­herdesse, that ever this difference shall alter my resolution, or that it shall one day cause me to despise that, which you see me so adore at this present. I do not love you for the consideration of any means that you may have, but for the sole merit of your beauty, by which I swear in the sight of hea­ven, whom I call to witnes, that I will alwaies hold you as dear as mine own life; and that I will never have other wife then your self, if so be you wilbe contented with my fortune. Relie upon these assurances, I beseech you, and do not kill me with greeving at your doubt of my faith. I will give, said she with a cheerfuller countenance, my Lord, I will give more to your oath, then to my fear; for you would not take pleasure to beguile the simplicity of a maid that loves you with passion, howsoever you shall per­mit me, if you please, to carry my self with much more respect to you then formerly I have done, to the end that my humility may render me worthy of your affection. It would be the utter undoing of all our pleasures, an­swered he, if you take away the liberty of our actions, wherefore we will live, if you please, as hitherto we have done. But my shepherdesse, shall we not seal these promises of marriage with some kisses? It is reason, said she, that I should grant you this little, since you have reserved nothing but to give me all. And my Lord, added she after she had amorously joined her lips to his, I would I might give you sweeter and greater contentments, verily you should then perceive that I am most sensible of your passions, but mine honour doth forbid me the granting of any thing more, and wills me humbly to intreat you to be contented with this, untill such time as the de­stinies have resolved to make us happy. You shall never see me swerve from the respect which you require in my actions, said Clarisel; but my shepher­desse, seeing this article is concluded according to our desire, let us return to our former talk. Have you not observed the absence of Cesander? He hath not appeared these three daies, and I am confident he hath some dan­gerous [Page 49] plot upon you, induced thereunto by the favourable intertainment you have given me, and by the neglect of the services which he hath so of­ten tendered unto you. Assure you, Sir, said Miralinda, that loving none but you, I never thought of others, and not to lie to you Cesander was quite out of my head; but now I call to mind that I have not seen him a good while, which makes me approve of your suspition, wherefore we shall do well to stand upon our guard. For my self, said Clarisel, I resolve to go pre­sently to Alcidas house, where all my furniture is ready; but in regard I may not absent my self without your leave, I desire you to grant it me. Go, said she weeping, and all the Protectors of our woods be propitious to your de­signs; as for me, I will passe away the rest of this day by entertaining my thoughts with the favors which the heavens have conferred on me in your affection. Clarisel then departing, arrived within a few howrs after at Alci­das Castle, who by chance was gone the very same day upon a certain en­terprise, and conferring a long time with Orizenna, recounted unto her the pleasantnes of his life, the contentment which he had in the continuall be­holding of so lovely a shepherdesse, and commending her disposition that was far from all kind of rudenes, he swore that he had never seen any thing so worthy the affection of the greatest Prince; insomuch that he made Ori­zenna in love with Miralinda, and extreamly desirous to see her. This dis­course having continued till the evening, he caused his horse and arms to be brought him, and taking leave of Orizenna, unto whom he had declared his dream, he returned to Bellombre, wherein desiring to enter in by dark, because he would not be discovered in that equipage, he got him to bed hoping to sleep better then he had done the night before, howbeit the ex­ceeding desire he had to see his shepherdesse again, not suffering him to take much rest, made him rise by break of day to wait for her at the Elms; but she that had no lesse unquietnes was there first, so that incountring in this maner, they renewed their salutes a thousand times, and sitting down on the grasse gave account of their thoughts in such amorous words, that they were able no doubt to make them live contented in the midst of infinit cros­ses; having sat then a long time thus sweetly entertaining one another, they rose up for to gather their sheep together which were scattered, but they were eased of that labour, and remained somewhat amazed to behold two yong unknown shepherds do them that office; and that advancing them­selves both at one instant fell upon their knees before Miralinda, and said un­to her: Fair shepherdesse, the fame of you which filleth our hamlets with wonder and astonishment, having stricken this shepherds heart and mine both at a time, we revealed our passions one to the other at one instant, but with so much ill fortune, that a marvellous great friendship which tied us together like brothers, was suddenly converted into hatred, jealousie not suffering either of us to indure a rivall; so that in brief after we had recipro­cally and in vain intreated each other to yeeld up his pretensions, we came three or fowr times to blows, alwaies giving over with a like advantage; and questionles, we had seen the end of one another, if our parents grieved with this enmity had not laboured to accord us; but the prize of our quar­rell being great, each one stood firm in his purpose, so as the assistance of our friends had been without effect had they not had recourse to the ora­cle, which told them that our remedy lay in your hands; we are come ther­fore, fair shepherdesse, that you may pronounce in favour of the one or the [Page 50] other of us: Our conditions are alike, our states equall, there rests nothing but the consideration of our persons, wherof you may be judge. So finish­ing this discourse they both kneeled down before Miralinda, who kindly turning to Don Clarisel, smiled and said unto him: Shepherd, I will not make the Oracle a liar, I will presently heal these sick Lovers, but know you how my friends? By commanding you both never to appear again before me, nor hope that ever I will love you. O cruell! said he that had not yet spoken, you heal us indeed: but alas! it is with extream remedies; for our love not permitting us to disobey you, we will retire our selves for to die instantly: Saying thus they rose up, and taking severall paths went away, and were never seen more at Bellombre. These shepherds being dispatched in this maner, Miralinda sate down again in the shadow, and began to talk with Celidon, that was come to the Elms to seek her out for to complain of her rigor, when she perceived two armed men making directly to her: the sight of them much amazing her, she cast her eies upon Don Clarisel, who remembring his dream presently laid hold of a great bat that lay on the bank of the river, and approaching to his shepherdesse told her, that it was expedient for her to turn back to Bellombre. Miralinda very much troubled was running away, but the two Knights comming in, the one intercepted her passage, whilest the other taking her by the arm, would have set her up­on his horse; nevertheles she resisted and cried out for help, which put Cla­risel into such a rage, that advancing his bat he discharged it so strongly on him which held his shepherdesse, that he overthrew him dead to the ground. This greatly animating him he instantly seazed on the dead Knights sword, ran after the other, cut off one of his arms, and with the second blow clea­ving his head in twain, he thought that he had freed his shepherdesse, when he discerned six other Knights come galloping towards him, from whom he could expect nothing but death. I must, said he then, make use of new counsell upon new occasions; if I expose my self to the fury of these trai­tors which are comming, Miralinda would be lost, and my death would but add to her sorrow; I will therefore preserve my self if I can, for to succor her to some purpose, and not rashly. Wherupon taking his course towards Bellombre, he entred speedily into his lodging, suddenly armed himself, mounted upon his horse which he found ready, and getting out of the back gate he galloped after these villains, who this while had forcibly conveied away Miralinda, and were [...]led as fast as their horses could run. Clarisel sol­lowed them close, and carried with extream rage, thought of nothing, save how to catch them; but his ill fortune making him take somewhat a differ­ent way, he was six howrs before he could overtake them; and questionles he had never met with them if being in the midst of the wood, he had not resolved to stand still a little for to listen if he could hear any noise they might make, letting his horse then take a little breath, though it were with much impatience, he remained a pretty while with very great attention, but hearing the wood resound with the violence of some blows which seemed to be stricken upon armor, he spurred away through the trees, and came in­to a great way, in the midst whereof he saw a Knight that was valiantly combatting with fowr of those whom he sought. By heaven, said he, you rakehels, ye shall pay deerly for it now I have met with you; so drawing his sword he smot one of them with such fury on the helmet, that he clove him to the very shoulders; and instantly redoubling a back blow on ano­ther [Page 51] he cut his armor as if it had been single paper, and divided his body in twain, therewith giving another a thrust in the belly, he ran him quite through the guts sending him dead to the other two. Not satified with this execution, he raised his sword again to have dispatched the fourth, when as the Knight intreated him to leave him that small part of the glory, and fol­low a shepherdesse which three other theeves had carried away. At this word of shepherdesse, he turned about, and keeping the same way as fast as his horse could carry him, within half an howr he perceived his fair mistris in the arms of a Knight who seemed invincible amidst two others, which so enraged him, that with the first blow he sent the sword and arm of one of them to the ground; and fearing to strike the other, because he held Mi­ralinda, he discharged upon the crupper of his horse, which he cut in two peeces, by that means staying him: the third seeing so sudden an execution slunk presently into the wood to avoid pursuing; but Clarisel who thought of nothing but his shepherdesse, alighted instantly, and approaching to the Knight that having left Miralinda had drawn his sword for to defend him­self, he discharged so terrible a blow upon his head, that his brains flying a­bout, he tumbled dead in the place. This done he looked round about to see if there were any more enemies to fight withall, but no body appearing before him save Miralinda, who seemed more dead then alive, he went pre­sently unto her, and lifting up his bever, that she might know him, he said unto her: What s [...]y you now, my beauteous shepherdesse, to dreams? Without doubt we had been lost, if I had not thought upon my arms, but thanks be to God we are now out of danger. I my Lord said she, imbra­cing him as it were the better to assure her self, I have no cause to fear now that I am so neer you, and that you know so well how to chastise those that offend you: but alas! you are to fight yet, for the half of our enemies are behind. I think, said Clarisel, they will never trouble you more; for they have beaten the way to their Captain; and having encountred them first, I cut them first in peeces; one thing only grieves me that I do not know the author of this villany. The author, said she was Cesander, he that held me, and that was the last which past by the edge of your sword: This wretch made me suffer strangely, for all his discourse was nothing but reproaches of my ingratitude, and thre [...]ning to be revenged at leasure of my neglect of him, and giving you the better part of my heart. As I live, said Clarisel, I am wonderfull glad that he is in the case I behold him; more for to see you freed from his importunities, then for any fear I had that he could ever have obtained place in your favour, for you have too much judgement to love a man so ill disposed; but let us leave of this discourse, and think of getting out of this wood that we be not nighted in it, at leastwise we will go and render the thanks which we ow to the assistance of a good Knight whom we shall find hard by, and that peradventure is still in fight with one of these raskals. Saying so, he led his horse with one hand, and held Mi­ralinda by the other, when they perceived the Knight of whom they spake, come towards them as fast as he could drive; but as soon as he discerned them, he presently stopt; and alighting embraced Don Clarisel, to whom he said: My Lord, I was making all the haste I could to your succor, but I see you had no need of my sword. Truly said Clarisel▪ not knowing him, I am more obliged to you then you think for, and you shall do me a singular plea­sure to make use of me, and freely to tell me your name. Do you not know [Page 52] Alcidas then, said the Knight? O me! said Clarisel, how forgetfull am I? These arms I saw at your house, but I was before in such a rage, and am now so full of joy, that I had then no desire but to be revenged, nor at this present have any will but to render thanks unto God for my good successe, which was the reason why I knew you no sooner. I but I did your Miralin­da, said Alcidas, for seeing her in the power of these Knights, and hearing her crie out, I fell in amongst them to rescue her, being assured that I should oblige you in her assistance, but without your arrivall, we had both been lost. Let us speak no more of this misfortune, since we have avoided it, said Clarisel, and tell me whether we may find any lodging heerabout; night is at hand, and I am sensible already of the incommodity this shepherdesse would receive, should she lie abroad. I am not able to assure you any, said Alcidas, only let us keep this way, perchance it will bring us ere long to some village: then Clarisel having taken up Miralinda behind him, Alcidas rode along with them, and was musing on this treacherous plot, when as a Knight came against him as hard as he could run, and incountred him so fu­riously that he cast him out of his saddle to the ground, passing on as if he had been carried by lightning. By my life, said Alcidas, being much aba­shed to see himself overthrown in that maner, you have taken me at una­wares, but if I live Ile crie quittance with you; whereupon having desired Clarisel not to be displeased with his departure, he rode after this discurte­ous Knight, and left the Lovers in the midst of the wood, who unable to find any way by reason of the darknes of the night, they went aside, and alighting under a tree, they resolved to rest there till day.

CHAP. XV. The passions of Clarisel finding himself alone with his shepherdesse: Alcidamant is made Knight.

CLarisel seeing himself alone with his shepherdesse, was so contented that he never felt the discommodity of hun­ger and his hard lodging, but men are never void of crosses, his desires made war with him, and labouring to have as much respect as love, he found his pain to be every way equall unto the pleasure which he had to find himself beloved: his words were so many assu­rances of his affection; his thoughts so many wishes that Love would afford him some assistance, & all his actions assured proofs of a violent passion, he took the delicate hands of his shepherdesse, carried them often to his lips, sometimes bathed them with tears, sighed incessant­ly, and then by a deep silence testified that his soul was opprest with great unquietnes: fain he would have complained, but he durst not, fear contai­ned his tongue, and when he would have opened his heart he was restrained by the consideration that he was not to be importunate: Miralinda whose affection was innocent, guessing by his carriage that he suffered much, was perswaded that he had received some wound, which he would not discover for grieving her, insomuch that she was afraid, and desiring to know the [Page 53] truth, she said unto him: Why do you weep, my Shepherd, whence grow these sighs, and what means this silence? are you hurt, and do your wounds pain you? Alas! said he, beautious Shepherdesse, now you inforce me, I was resolved to have suffered silently; but since you will understand the cause of my griefe, I will not refuse you the knowledge of it, to the end I may not accuse my cowardise for my suffering. I consider the misery whereunto I am reduced, in that I dare not tell you, how it is time that you should recompense my services; the place favours my thoughts, but my feare to offend you, will not permit me to reveal them: I love passionately, you doubt not of it I assure my self, your beauty gives me violent passions, I am in continuall torment, I feel a million of flames which consume me, yet I endure and do not so much as open my mouth; and hitherto I never gave you any cause to complain of my actions: But it is time, I, my Shep­herdesse, it is time to be more hardy, and I should think my self miserable, if I should overslip this opportunity, without knowing how far your love extends. We are in a wood, barred from all eies that may disclose our se­crets, this darknesse will warrant our delights, my faith will make them lawfull, you will free me from a perpetuall fear, that another more happy then my self may one day possesse you, you will oblige me to live con­tented, and this way I shall assure you the greatnesse which is due to your merit; do not suffer me, my dearest Shepherdesse, to languish any longer, & keep me from dying with grief, at your being insensible of my endurings; give your self wholly to me, as I protest again, before God, to be onely yours, and never to have other wife; let us take hold of occasion, that is bald, and which seldom offers it self twice; give not your self time to ac­cuse your fear, nor me cause to complain of you; and now calling to minde the integrity of all my passed actions, draw from thence an infallible con­clusion, that I love you sincerely, and that you shall not be deceived; this is the way to assure our happinesse, all your future content depends on your discretion, which ought to accomodate you to the time: think on it, my Shepherdesse, and lose not yourself with light considerations, which are never well accepted of amongst lovers: I am now in a state to receive grace, said he kneeling down, con [...]er it on me, I beleech you, and be per­swaded that my death is tied to your deniall. Miralinda, observing him thus disposed, was exceedingly troubled, her affection made her think his impatience just, would have her consent to his imbraces, and counselled her to give up her self to him upon assurance of these promises; but then, her ho­nor represented unto her, how she was to love otherwise, if she meant not to give this Prince just cause to despise her another day, when he should finde her so facile; resting then on this resolution, she answered him: Ah Sir, do you make more account of your pleasure then my reputation, and do not you consider that I should be most unworthy of your love, if my affection were not innocent and pure? What could you wish for more, if you had once the spoil of me, and how could you love me, if there were nothing left for you to hope from me? I will never beleeve that you love me for to be my ruine, or that you have weighed that well which you have said; your desires, and opportunity, that tempts men, have made you speak in that manner I know, but recollect your self, I pray you, judge whether I may give you that with reason, which you demand with passion; I love you infinitely, I confesse it; howbeit, nature teacheth me, that I ought to [Page 44] love my self better, and that we are not to seck the satisfaction of another, with our own overthrow; moreover fortune hath bestowed nothing on me but mine honour for to releeve the miseries of my birth, and will you de­prive me of that? Ah Clarisel! you will make me beleeve that your love was alwaies feigned, that so many oaths were not sworn but to deceive me, and that you would now triumph over me, for to make me the object of re­proach, as I am of ill fortune. If you have spoken to that end, proceed shepherd, I put my self into your hands, and my undoing shall testifie that I was not insensible of the honour you have done me, and that I have not refused you a satisfaction, but for to make it one day a thousand times more acceptable unto you, by giving it you without sorrow or shame, howbeit that I may not have occasion to complain of my weaknes, be assured that this night you shal have all that ever you can hope for from me. Then shed­ding some tears, which she accompanied with so many sighs, she put Clari­sel into such a confusion, that he would have given the best part of his bloud he had never been so unadvised; nevertheles thinking that his repentance might deface his offence, he replied unto her in this sort. I am extreamly grieved at the discontent you have received from my speeches, which were de [...]ived from my passion, and not from the end you spake of; for I should hold my [...]el [...] the most disloiall Knight of the earth, if I had so much as en­tertained a thought to draw favours from you for to make you the scorn of the world, as now you are the wonder of it, you will have me wait upon time, and leave the recompence of my services to the pleasure of the desti­nies; it is most just that I obey their ordinances and your commandments, be confident then, my shepherdesse, that you shall never have cause to fear a like discourse, and that amidst all kind of occasions you may live secure by me, so as you will now promise me never to remember my fault. I were void of love, said she, if I should not excuse your passion. No my shepherd, I will never think on it, but love you the more, for this obedience doth so please me, that now I think my self far happier in possessing of you, then I did at the first; and that you may see I will not be sparing of the favours, which a pure affection may permit me to give you, I will recompence the victory you have gotten over your desires, with a kisse. Saying so, she drew neerer to him, and joined her lips so sweetly to his that the excesse of so in­finite a content transported him beyond all that could be desired of pleasure in the world, wherein doubtles he had continued a long time if Miralinda, plucking him by the arm had not put him in mind that the night was more then half spent, and that it was time to betake them to their rest, thought the place was not very proper for it. Sitting down then one close by another they fell asleep upon the assurance that Cl [...]risels horse would make a noise to awake them if any beast chanced to approach them. Having endured so much the day before, they had rested longer, but that the sun piercing through the branches shined upon their faces, wherefore awaking both at one time they arose, and were ready to proceed in their former way, when they perceived two yong Squires comming along, and that staying neer the tree under which they were, seemed as if they would confer of some important f [...]air. As I live said one, I can no longer endure these delais, and to be thus hindred so troubles me, that I am resolved to go far enough till I find some valiant and curteous Knight, who will confer that on me which I shall not receive God knows when, if I attend the Kings return, who can­not [Page 55] so easily part with Greece, from so many friends as he hath there to come hither. But I doubt [...] you mean to forsake me, and that the fear of my mothers displeas [...] will more prevail with you then the consi­deration of the promises which I have made you. You judge not well of my affection, answered he, let us go when you please, Sir, you shall find me more ready to travell abroad, then to keep at home; howbeit I see no great likelyhood of effecting your purpose; for having neither money, horses, nor arms, how will you be fitted to receive the order which you so much desi [...]e? Fortune will assist us, said he, only let us get away, and then put our selves upon the care of heaven; wherupon turning about they espied Miralinda, and Don Clarisel, who during their discourse were admired: this gentleman being wonderfull handsome, of a great deal lesse stature then Clarisel, but squarer set, demonstrating in his look an alacrity of spirit, a sweetnes in his speech, an admirable grace in his cariage, a resolute courage in his countenance, and briefly a majesty not ordinary amongst ordinary Knights. Espying, I say, this Knight so well proportioned, and his shep­herd [...]sse so fair, they stood still as it were ravished with the sight of so rare an object, but Clarisel that would not leave them in that amaze approached to them, and addressing himself unto him that seemed so hopefull, he said thus: Gentleman, whither are you going at this present? To seek out some bo [...]y, said he, that will make me Knight; for it is time to fall upon actions that may bring forth glory, but I will go no further, if you will do me that favour, and I should hold my self much honored to receive the order from your hand, for your aspect doth shew you to be strong and valiant. I am very sorry, said Clarisel, that we have [...] arms heer to put upon you, but if you will go three or fowr miles with me I will promise to accommodate you worthily to morrow. I had rather follow you tendaies said he, then fail in this busines, do but lead the way, and I will wait upon you most wil­lingly. Give me leave then said Clarisel, to fit my horse for the ease of this shepherdesse, in the mean time I pray tell me who you are: Very gladly, answered he; my name is Alcid [...], son to the Marquesse of M [...]nteclare, a man of consideration in France, which is obliged unto him for many great services, but that you may not marvell to seeme at this present so ill accommodated, be it known to you that not able to contain my mothers permission for to be made a Knight untill the return of my father, who hath been a good while with the king [...] at Constantinople, I was going to seek out some one that would give me an horse and arms, it seeming unde­cent to me to spend the best part of my daies in idlenes, but thanks be to God I have encountred that I wished for when I least expected it. By the faith of a Knight, answered Clarisel, if you be as valiant as you are hand­some, I shall not repent the pains which I purpose to take in accompanying you on foot. My Lord, said then a damsell which appeared on a sudden, you shall never trouble your self in that maner; for some that honour you, and respect this Gentleman with whom you talk, have taken the care upon them of this affair; these brave arms which the destinies have reserved for his valor, and that have hung upon this tree above these hundred yeers, shal serve his occasion, and these horses which you see heer before you shall keep you from being lackies. The presence of this woman had amazed them, but the horses and the arm [...] which were the fairest in the world, made them no lesse to wonder, so that they beh [...]ld one another without speaking [Page 56] a word, when as the damsell pursuing her discourse, said unto Don Clarisel: My Lord, the learned Nerea, who loves this Gentleman, because he is to be one of the prime Knights of the world, desires you to give him the or­der. I do not know the Lady, said Clarisel, but I will honour her merit, depend wholly on her power, and serve her in some better occasion then this, although I think I shall do much, by giving to the world a Knight of so extraordinary an esteem as he is of whose great worth ye foretell, where­fore I will defer the effect of it no longer. Alcidamant being armed the [...] with his rich arms, whereof the shield was shadowed with three palms, from whence his sirname was afterward derived, kneeled down before Clarisel, took his oath never to be wanting to the duty of a good Knight, re­ceived the benediction from him, which being done, Clarisel called Mira­linda, desiring her to gird the sword unto him: This request made her blush, for she had never been present at such a Ceremonie; but the dam­sell approaching to her, said: Fair Shepherdesse, make no difficulty to do this honour unto this Knight, he touches you neerer then you think for, and the time will come, that you will hold your self most happy to know him as I do; so that you shall do wisely, to place this day, and this action in your memory, the better to remember it all your life. I do not understand your language, said Miralinda, taking the sword; but I beseech God that all may redound to his glory, and that he will be pleased to make this Knight as vertuous, as he is handsome; herewith she hung his sword at his side, and having gently kissed him, she retired towards Clarisel, unto whom Alci­damant protested a world of service, desiring his permission that he might begin to travell, as his good fortune should direct him. Go, said Clarisel, imbracing him again, and heaven grant you to prove as I hope you will. Alcidamant then valting into the saddle, sat his horse with such a grace, that Clarisel admired him, and thought he had never seen a Knight so comely in his arms; but he spurring into the thickest of the wood, left Clarisel very much satisfied with his gallant demeanour, and with the encounter of an ambling nag which the damsell had left, upon the which he set Miralinda, returning very covertly to Bellombre, with an opinion that it would not be known he was a Knight, and that the honour of the deliverance of this Shepherdesse, would be ascribed to some other rather then to him; but the truth cannot be hid, for it was presently divulged thorowout all France, that the village of Bellombre was honoured with the fairest maid, and with the valiantest knight of the world; so that all the talk thereabout, was of the excellency of these lovers, every body commending as well the va­lour of the one, as the incomparable beauty of the other.

CHAP. XVI. The sweet life which Clarisel leads with his Shepherdesse; the incounter of Mascarin the Dwarf, his buffoonries upon occasion of his love to Miralinda.

CLarisel and his fair Shepherdesse, living with incredible pleasure, past away the time insensibly, and feeling no other distaste, but what they found in the violence of their desires, that forced them to wish for a greater content, they attended with patience the felicitie, which they hoped either time or fortune would one day bring them. They were ordinarily together at the river side under the willows, or in a little wood of fir trees, whose tops were wrapt within the clouds, and which seemed to be disposed for the contentment of the beholder, where their usuall dis­course was of new assurances of their loves. One day as their flocks were laid in the long and spacious alleys, which separated these fir trees, making them appear sometimes in triangle, and many times in little ovalls, Mira­linda was arising for to catch a pretty ew that she loved, and which com­monly wore her colours; but seeing a little ill-favoured and mishapen man upon a great and mighty horse, she cast her self suddenly into her Shep­herds arms, as if fear had made her seek a place of refuge. Clarisel rising up, laid hold on his sheephook, and looked round about him, as it were doubting a second misfortune; howbeit, perceiving no body but a little piece of a man, he fell a laughing at his Sh [...]pherdesses fear, and approach­ing to him, said: Friend, what would ye have, or why do you stay heer? To admire, said he, the excellencie of this Shepherdesse, who seems to me so fair, and hath such a d [...]licate grace, that I am already no longer mine own. By my faith, said Clarisel, she shews a marvellous power in this en­counter, and your captivity gives her no little glory; but do you think it is wisely done of you to come and trench upon my rights, and are you not afraid that I will be revenged on you, for daring thus boldly to trespasse me? Afraid said he? I would not fear a thousand deaths, if I were to suffer them for her service, and the consideration of you, does not hinder me from telling her, that I love her more then all the men of the earth; it is for her to chuse whom she shall like best, and I assure my self, she will soon forsake you, when she shall know who I am, and that her judgement shall make her apprehend the advantages which she may have in the ele­ction of me. Make your self known then, said Clarisel, and do not so un­dervalue me before I know wherefore. I am, said he, Mascarin the amo­rous (that sirname will I assume for the love of this Shepherdesse) other­wise called the little Favourite; because my Master, the Count d' Aglas, re­specting me above all his other servants, imparts his secrets to me, and im­ploies me in matters of consequence; will you have a testimony of it? Why I come now by his commandment, from a very fair Gentlewoman, whom he loves passionately, having thought none worthy of this charge but my [Page 58] self. By my faith, said Clarisel, these are qualities very eminent indeed, but yet my friend, you must seek out greater, if you mean to enjoy this Shepherdesse, her beauty renders her glorious, and raises her thoughts to desire a Knight, that is excellent in arms, for to match with her; I am one my self, howbeit without hope, and my want of merit obligeth her to de­ny me that which she ows to my affection. Are you a Knight said Mas [...]a­rin? Never take me for an honest manif I be not so ere long; wherefore prepare your self to just with me, for I like not a rivall of so handsome a presence as yours, and your death shall free my suit of all competition. Saying so, he bowed himself below the pommell of his saddle, for his chin was but a little above it, in that manner doing obey sance to Miralinda, and leaving them almost burst with laughter, he past on with more love, then body, or good grace. Being strucken then to the heart, he made in­credible haste, and the same day came to his Master, before whom he knee­led down, and in stead of giving him an account of his journey, he said un­to him: My Lord, if the consideration of my services, have begotten a will in you to give me some recompence, do not refuse me one boon which I will demand of you, for the good news I bring you. His Master, that saw him so earnest, was somewhat amazed at his speech, but desirous to know the businesse, he promised him all that he would require. You shall make me Knight, then said he, within these four or five dayes, and bestow­ing arms on me answerable to the proportion of my body, leave me power to obtain a Mistris, I will not say the fairest she pherdesse, but the rarest wo­man on the earth; I have already placed her in my heart, and there is no­thing wanting to the absolute possession of her, but the courage to defeat an audacious Shepherd that follows her, and brags he is a Knight; for my part, the overthrow of most horrible G [...]ants were possible for me, out of the new power infused into me, by the vertue of this beauty; so that I am most assured very easily to vanquish this rivall, and to see my self shortly the happiest man of the world. The Count not being able to forbear laughing at his Favourites p [...]ssion, said unto him: Thou hast talkt enough of thine owne love, Mascarin; but thou sayest nothing to me of my Lady: Marvell not at that, answered he, I am so taken with this Shepherdesse, that I can think of nothing else; yet it is fit that I should satisfie you touching your demand: Your Mistris is wholly yours, and as I may conclude by her carriage towards me, there wants nothing but your presence to render you contented; Would you have better news then this? No, said the Count, for I am happy indeed if it be true. Why, do you doubt of my fi­del [...]ty, said Mascarin? That I do not, answered the Count, for I finde that thy new passion doth not transport thee so, as to make thee speak otherwise then thou shouldest. You may build upon it, said the Dwarf; and do but take order that I may be furnished with arms, upon my life Ile lodge you in your Mistrisses bed assoon as you have made me Knight. This discourse being past, not without a world of laughter, the Dwarf retired himself, in expectation of the next morning, which was no sooner come, but he so prest his Lord, that he sent him to the next town, caused light arms to be made fit for him, who having put them on with such Ceremonies as his Master had devised, for to make himself sport, stood upon such puntillioes, as if he would have made all the world to fall by the edge of his sword. I will see now, said he, taking a lance greater then himself, whether this [Page 59] Shepherd dare affront me, or be my rivall; and let me not live, if I do not overthrow him at the first encounter; wherefore my good Lord, said he to his Master, give me leave to commence my knighthood with the most glo­rious conquest of the earth. I will not hinder thee, said the Count, who took wonderfull delight in his humour, but I foresee that thou wilt catch a fall. No, no, said he, couragiously getting up on his horse, the prize will animate my forces: therewith setting spurs to an old jade, upon the which he was mounted, away he went to Bellombre with all the speed he could, and came thither just at such time, as Miralinda and Clarisel, sitting under the shadow of those lofty firretrees, were singing an air upon the happy incounter of their loves. By heaven, said he, addressing his speech to Don Clarisel, and shaking a lance, which might be of the length of an ell, in stead of singing, thou hadst need begin the lamentations of thy death, or else re­solve never to love my Shepherdesse more. O me, said Clarisel, laughing in good earnest with Miralinda, to behold the equipage of this piece of man: what new Knight have we here, and with what a grace does he man­age a lance? Shepherd, answered he, in a mighty rage, it is no time to jeer, I mean to be the death of thee, wherefore betake thee to thy arms, and then thou shalt see, that though my body be lesse, my courage is grea­ter then thine. Why, doest thou think that I shall need arms to vanquish thee, said Clarisel? I arms, said Mascarin, for I would be loth to fight with thee upon advantage; but if thou wilt make thy self unworthy of the fa­vour which I offer, Ile soon rid the world of thee. Wherewithall he char­ged his lance, set spurs to his horse, and ran against Clarisel, who taking wonderfull delight in this sport, stept aside, and with a little rap of his sheephook tumbled him so prettily out of his saddle, that Miralinda thought she should have killed her self with laughing. Now art thou my prisoner, said Clarisel, taking him by the collar, and therefore yeeld me up the Shep­herdesse, or resolve to die. That were against reason, answered the Dwarf, for thou camest behinde me, and didst not vanquish me fairly. Well, said Clarisel, wilt thou run once morethen, and quit thy pretensions if thou art overthrown? I▪ by my knighthood, said he, and will never crosse thee more, if I chance to be so unhappy as to tumble once again, So mounting on his horse, he charged his little lance, and ran very couragiously against Clarisel; but receiving another rap on his head with the sheephook, he fell to the ground, so astonied, that if Miralinda had not opened his helmet to give him aire, he had beene deprived of his senses. How do you feel your self, my Knight, said she, after your fall? Too well, said he, for the con­tent of this Shepherd, whosetreachery to me begins to be punished, for ac­knowledging me to be your Knight, his hopes are utterly undone, so that he may go seek him another Mistris elsewhere.

How, said Clarisel, ready to burst with laughing, do you threaten me af­ter I have given you your life? Come, come, said Miralinda, I will make a peace between you: Friend Mascarin I wilbe alwaies glad to see you, and receiving your vows with affection, I will call you my favourite, as you are already to the Count d' Aglas; but I desire that this shepherd should be my Knight, for he can defend me better than you, and so I entreat you to live friends. By my life, fair shepherdesse said Mascarin, I will never appeal from your sentence, for it were not fit you should discard this shepherd for me, at leastwise before you know how far my services may extend, so that [Page 60] if he will render you as much obedience as I do, our quarrell is at an end. I am very well pleased with this accord, said Clarisel, for I should never have slept quietly having so dangerous an enemy as thy self; let us drink then together for a confirmation of this agreement. In good faith said Ma­scarin, thou shalt do me a singular curtesie to bestow a little wine on me, if thou hast any in thy bottle, this armor hath put me into such a heat, and the choler I was in, made me so drie, that I am ready to die for thirst. Therwith Clarisel reaching him a leather bottle which he had ordinarily in his scrip, so tempered him, that he talkt of nothing but of combatting all the shep­herds of the Province to maintain that he was more amiable then they. Li­ving in this maner with Miralinda, he gave her incredible content, pleasant­ly interrupted Don Clarisels cares, and serving for sport to all the shepherds of Bellombre, went up and down along the rivers side extolling the incom­parable beauty of his sh [...]pherdesse, sometimes graving her name on the barks of trees, and sometimes at her feet demanding one grace or other for the mitigation of his suffering. But it is time to leave this shepherd amidst such infinite delights, for to give a beginning unto the report of the marvel­lous acts done by the excellent Knight of the Palms.

CHAP. XVII. The adventures of Alcidamant, called the Knight of the Palmes, after he parted f [...]om Clarisel: his first combat against Narsander the Inchanter in the behalf of Melania.

ALcidamant departing, as you have heard, wonderfull well satisfied at his being made Knight, travelled with an extream desire to meet some accident worthy his courage, and the commencement of his arms, but be­cause the absence of the King made adventures little frequent in France, it was two daies ere he could light on any, at the end whereof he encountred a yong Squire, who bitterly weeping complained very much of the injustice of the destinies: the sight of his tears moved him to pity, and imagining that so grievous a complaint proceeded from some great occasi­on, curteously asked of him if he could do any thing for him. Yes Sir, said he wiping his eies, it lies in you to oblige me unto you for ever, if you please to imploy your sword for the service of one of the fairest Ladies of this Kingdome, unjustly disinherited, and likely to be most miserable all her life time, if the succour of strangers do not render her that of which her friends have deprived her. She is the sole heir of the Count of Maran, excellently fair, as I told you, and for a long time adored by most of the yong gallants of the Court, now neglected by all through the practice of one of the wic­kedest men of the world. Narsander (so is this wretch called) Unkle to Me­lania, (which is the poor affl [...]cted creatures name) having an extream desire to possesse the lands of Maran, which had been managed by him about some fowr yeers (for so long it is since the decease of the father and mother of Melania) hath laid as damnable a plot to be [...]eave his neece of them, as hath [Page 61] been heard of: for he hath accused her not only for offending against the duty of a maid well born, but for being culpable of the death of a child, which he produced, and affirmed to be hers, and to confirm his speeches he hath so inchanted Melania (for he is very skilfull in Negromancy) that she her self avouches how she hath murdered that child, although it is most cer­tain that she had never seen it, but at that time when the Iudges commanded her to be brought to look upon it. This confession of hers, the accusation of an Unkle, who seems to be carried thereunto by a just resentment of her dishonour, and the testimony of a servant that he hath, more wicked then himself, hath caused this maid to be condemned to death, and the Earldom of Maran to be confiscated unto this Inchanter, if some friends of hers by the mothers side had not opposed this sentence; shewing that there was no regard to be had to the saying of the maid, who questionles spake by the power of witchcraft which Narsander had used, neither to the false accusa­tion of this man whom avarice had provoked therunto, as was easily to be judged by the demand he had made of the lands of Maran, and lesse to the testimony of that servant who was known to be a most lewd rascall, and that had said nothing but upon promise of recompence. These reasons were fa­vourably heard, and all means have been used to discover the truth of this affair; but the Iudges not finding anything to prove the innocence of Me­lania, as they have witnes of her offence, have confirmed their first sentence of death; howbeit desiring to give something to the birth of this maid, and to the request of her friends, who still maintain that she is bewitched, they have added these conditions, that within three months she shall bring a Knight for to combat Narsander, in whose victory or overthrow her life or death consists, which hath been accepted both by her friends, and Narsan­der, who questionles is very valiant and couragious, and that with reason beleeves how she will meet with none in all the Country that either dares affront him or that will not fall under his sword, which very much troubles Melania's friends, who unwilling to hazard her honour and life upon the weaknes of their arms, have sent me to seek some adventurous Knight for to undertake this combat; and had commanded me to find out the hand­some shepherd, who is much spoken of alate; but I will go no further ha­ving thus luckily incountred you, only now it resteth that you will through­ly examin your forces, and consider whether you are able to give an end to so great a busines. The honour of combats, said Alcidamant, depends on the grace of heaven, rather then on the vanity of men, which is the reason why I will not rashly promise thee the victory; but I wil confidently assure thee to undertake this quarrell with courage, and not to be diverted from it by the commendation thou hast given this inchanter. Let us away then if you please, said the Squire, for to morow is the last day of the term prefixed, but my comfort is, we may get thither to night if we use a little speed; whereupon setting spurs to their horses, they rode discoursing of the many mischiefs occasioned in the world by the treachery of men, when they met a yong damsell, who saluting Alcidamant said unto him: Brave warrior, I am commanded to present you with this Ring; it is a mean to discover the innocence of Melania: you may put it on her finger, and then make her speak to the Iudges before you combat for her; howbeit leave it not with her, but conserve it carefully, for it will stand you in stead other where. She that sends me so rare a present very much obliges me, said Alcidamant, [Page 62] and assure her that she shall dispose of me whensoever, or howsoever she pleaseth, and so shall you for your pains in bringing it to me. Saying thus, he past on, as it were fearing that the least stay might interrupt his enter­prise, but his Squire seeing him post away so suddenly, said unto him: Do you not know this damsell that spake to you but now? No, said Alcidamant, for I never saw her to my remembrance before. That is very strange, said Armidas, for it is even she which gave you these arms, and me thinks you gave her but cold intertainment, for such powerfull obligations. By my hopes said Alcidamant, I am very sorry for it, I would she were heer again, thou shouldst see then I would soon repair this fault; but since it is now too late, I must expect some other opportunity to shew my self more acknow­ledging unto her. Talking thus in this maner, sometimes of one thing, som­times of another, they arrived at a house where Melania's friends were as­sembled with a purpose to chuse out some one amongst themselves for to hazard the combat with Narsander, but the Squire alighting and telling them of the incounter he had made of Alcidamant, they all came forth to receive him, wondring very much to behold one so yong to follow arms, and they could not be perswaded that he was of force sufficient to resist the fury of a man, who had made himself redoubted every where; howbeit observing him very ex [...]ctly, and seeing him to be of so goodly a stature, well made, and of a confident look, they hoped for something extraordinary from him, so as they honoured him exceedingly; and having given him marvel­lous noble entertainment, they conducted him to a chamber for to repose himself; but so great was his desire to combat, that he slept not long. Rising then very early in the morning, he disposed of himself, as a good Christi­an ought to do that means to hazard his life; and afterwards being armed at all points, he went straight to the field, which the Iudges had caused to be prepared, in whose presence he approached to Melania, who was set upon a scaffold, and said unto her: Madam, assure me of your innocence, that so I may have the assistance of heaven fighting for your preservation. Why do you speak of my innocency, answered she, have not I said a thousand times at least that I have murthered my child, what would you of me more? that were too much, replied Alcidamant, if what you say were true: But my Lords, said he, addressing his speech to the Iudges, I will let you see what cunning this wicked man, to whom you have granted the honour of the field, hath used to undo this maid: whereupon, taking the Ring which Ne­rea had sent him, he put it upon Melania's finger, and then said unto her: Madam, Is it true that you have murdered a childe? That I have murdered a childe, answered she, with a setled judgement; O God, never suffer me, I beseech thee, to be charged with such a crime; but, Sir, what childe is this that you speak to me of? Of one that you brought into the world, and murdered instantly, answered the Iudges. Alas! said she, lifting up her eies: may heaven, that never suffers such a crime to go unpunished, strike me dead with thunder, if this whereof I am accused be true: Are all this people then assembled for that, and must this ax do vengeance on me for a sin which I have not committed? My Lords, do not precipitate my daies in this manner, at leastwise let me know the authour of so great a wicked­nesse. Narsander, said Alcidamant, is he that would ruine you, that charges you with this fact, that by the power of his charms hath made you say, that you are culpable of it, and that labours to have you put to death; but [Page 63] we will chastice him if you will remit your right unto my arms. I would ne­ver permit you to fight upon this occasion, answered she, if I were not con­fident of his assistance that never forsakes the innocent, but assuring my self both of his justice and your valour, you may proceed to the combat when you please. Whereupon Alcidamant taking the Ring from her as he was ad­vised by Nerea, Melania required afresh to be put to death as she that was guilty; wherby the assistants plainly perceived how Narsander had bewit­ched her, in such sort that all the people were so incensed against him as they had torn him in peeces, had it not been for Alcidamant, who desiring a little silence, advanced towards him; and finding him full of rage and de­spite to see his secrets discovered said unto him: I have laid open thy villa­ny, not to exempt my self from the combat with thee; for I will oblige the world by thy death, and free all honest persons heerafter from thy de­ceits, but to clear Melania from all imputation whereunto she might be sub­ject in the opinion of those that neither could discover nor beleeve thy wic­kednes, wherefore defend thy self from me. Therewithall taking the field, he charged his lance, and setting spurs to his horse, he met him so strongly in the midst of the course, that he cast him out of his saddle, though not without some staggering by the incounter he had received. Narsander fin­ding himself on the ground suddenly rose up, and drawing out his sword he let fall a blow with such fury on his enemies shield, that thorowly made him to feel the force of his arm; but not to fail in the first combat that ever he had undertaken, he began to charge Narsander so fiercely, that every one admired to see him fight with such grace and courage against a man so re­doubted, and that was scarcely to be matched again in France: if his enemy struck at him, he either warded it with his sword, or opposed with his shield to it, and for the most part avoided it with such agility, as he gave most of his blows in vain, wheras his never fell but to purpose; so that having cut Narsanders shield in an hundred peeces, he drew bloud from him in I know not how many places. Having then a quick eie, a confident judgement, a strong arm, and a resolute courage, his addresse gave marvellous content­ment to the people, who beholding his youth prophecied, that in time he would prove one of the most accomplished Knights of the world. Narsan­der almost in despair to see himself reduced into so ill a plight, and cursing his spirits, for neglecting to advertise him of the force of this Knight, ve­rily beleeved that the justice of heaven was armed for to punish his wicked­nes; nevertheles hoping yet to prevail, he took his sword in both his hands, and therwith struck Alcidamant so dangerously on the helmet, that he made him knock his chin against his breast, almost despairing of his sences, and without doubt if he had quickly redoubled upon him he had been in perill, but the Knight having time to resettle and come again to himself, grew so furious that Narsander was exceedingly troubled with the apprehension of a most horrible blow, which lighting on his head overthrew him in the place without moving either hand or foot, wherewithall the Knight not be­ing satisfied was going to disarm him, for to take his head from his shoul­ders, when as the Iudges declaring Melania to be innocent, desired him to save his life. So wicked a creature as this is, answered he, deserves no fa­vour, howbeit deliver this gentlewoman into the hands of her friends with the ceremonies requisit in such a case, and then at your request I will spare him. Heereupon they caused Melania to be conducted to the house where [Page 64] her friends were assembled, into the which she was no sooner entred, but she was presently restored to her former understanding, free from the charms of her Unkle, who being come to himself would not suffer his wounds, though very dangerous, to be looked unto; the grief to see himself vanqui­shed making him desire rather to die then to live.

CHAP. XVIII. The loves of Alcidamant and Melania.

WHilest the people talked of the exceeding valour of Alci­damant, and that Narsander infinitely enraged vowed to revenge his disgrace, Melania suffered her self to be carried with the perfections which she found in her Knight, his person was a wonder to her eie, she admi­red such unmatchable force in an age so tender, a ma­tute and setled judgement in this youth, an extraordi­nary prudence in his actions, and briefly observing no­thing in him that was not capable of love, she felt the violence of certain desires that touched her to the quick, and that seemed even to enform her to discover her thoughts unto him, nevertheles retained by shame she resol­ved to suffer with silence, and in the mean time to let him see that she loved him; Emploied then whatsoever she had of charm and attraction in her, and all the art that maidens use for the captivity of men, she indevoured to gain and possesse him, but there needed no great labour to bring her designs to passe; for Alcidamant being naturally amorous, seeing so beautifull a crea­ture, and occasion so favorable, said unto her one day as they were walking alone under the trees of a fair and pleasant orchyard: Madam, I did not think that my ruine should have been drawn out of your preservation, and that your deliverance should have been the cause of my thraldome; but now I perceive to my grief, that I have not freed you, but to suffer the more my self, unles you be as sensible of my pain as I was of your misfortune. I do not know answered she, exceedingly contented to hear him upon those terms which she so much desired, what cause you have to complain of me, for I have laboured to serve you, and by all waies sought to give you that, which your assistance hath deserved; but if what I have done doth not suf­fice, Sir, you may dispose of all that is mine, and there is nothing in my po­wer, that I do not most willingly make you the Master of, that so at least I may not rest unthankfull. And if so be this house be distastfull to you, as indeed it is not very pleasing, I am to be excused, in regard I have not staid you heer, but only to shew you how desirous I am to give you some enter­tainment befitting your merit. Alas! said he, that is not the cause of my complaint; for these pleasant walks, these delicate gardens, curious water works, stately buildings, and even this very orchard wherein we are, set with a multitude of excellent trees, might give content to the saddest dispo­sition that could be, much more to me that can never be enough satisfied of them, but I will explane my self, seeing it is your pleasure. I said that I did not think my ruine would have been drawn out of your preservation. Ah [Page 65] Madam! will you not soon understand the meaning of these words, when I shall tell you that your beauty hath left me nothing free, but the will to do you service, and a desire to enjoy you? Yes, and will think I have rea­son to complain, if you should leave me in distresse, from whence I have delivered you. I did not know my power till now, answered she with a smile, nor could ever imagine that my eies had been of more force then the fury of the bravest Knights of the earth, neither did I think of bringing any remedy to your disease, because I was not acquainted with the cause; but now that I am assured of it, I will take time to resolve my self, and let you see that I cannot be ingratefull. You shall never meet with better op­portunity to make me happy, said Alcidamant; and this place, free, as I conceive, from all danger of discovery, may invite you not to let me lan­gu [...]sh any longer. Look now, replied Melania, how your impatience would wrong us; would you have the Sun be a witnesse of my dishonour, or would you have me espie some one peeping on us in the midst of our pleasures, which could never taste well, accompanied with such fear? We will finde a more seasonable time, and safer place, till when, I shall intreat you to rest contented; with this assurance, that I am won to your desire: and withall, that you will give me the satisfaction, to look more merrily upon me. Why this, said he, kissing her hand, is as much as I can wish, whereof I were most unworthy, if my looks hereafter do not give you the content you require; onely be mindfull of me, and make the way to my felicity, as short as possibly may be.

You shall not complain of me, answered she, and I shall hold my self most happy in your affection, provided you be constant, and do not forsake me to sigh for another. Sigh for another, said he? Ah, Madam, never fear that, for I have not the power so to do though I would, and if my ho­nour would permit me to leave following of arms, I would not stir from you whilst I have a day to l [...]ve; howsoever, you shall never see me mount on horsback but by your commandment. I mistrusted, said she, that I should finde the defect in you, which ordinarily accompanies the weaknesse of men, who oftentimes suffer themselves to be carried away with new ob­jects; but your vow hath relieved that doubt, and perswaded me to be­leeve, that you will be as perfect in love, as you are in arms; which makes me resolve to care more for your contentment, then my own reputation. This discourse having lasted somewhat long, they walked in, where a sumptuous supper waited ready for them on the table; that done, they had entertained themselves with some pleasing discourse, had not Melania, de­sirous to loose no time, feigned some little indisposition, thereby to send her family to bed: Being then alone with a chambermaid, whom she had made the Secretary of her thoughts, and perceiving a generall silence over all the house, she accomodated her hair in a delicate manner, perfumed it with a most exquisite odour, and putting on a cloak of white satten over her smock, she went forth without any light, but that of her eies, and slipt secretly into Alcidamants chamber, who seeing her come with such a grace, lept suddenly out of his bed, and giving her a kisse, whereby she might ea­sily discern the gre [...]tnesse of his passion; he laid her immediatly between the sheets, where their embraces began with all the delight, that may be imagined by any one th [...]t hath had the happinesse to be at such a banquet. Their first fires being extinguished, they instantly re-kindled them with a [Page 66] million of kisses, and with all the dalliance that can be used in such actions, they rendered their pleasure so full, that the length of the night, was but a moment to their desires; insomuch, that they parted lesse satisfied, and with much more will to meet again then before, so the next night being come, as they had wished for a thousand times, they renewed their sport with such pleasure, that Melania became with childe of a most beautifull daughter, which was named Lucilea, and afterwards married to Sonabel of Fenuz [...], as more at large shall be related in the prosecution of this history: but to come where we left. These Lovers drowned in delight, thought of nothing, but how to please one another; Alcidamant talked no more of horses and arms, Melania had forgotten her passed miseries, and finding her self in the suprem [...]st degree of worldly felicity, had no other desire, but every day to adde some grace to her actions for the contentment of her Knight: Howbeit, Fortune, that never gives a sweet without some sowr, not enduring to see them triumph over her inconstancie, resolved to inter­rupt the course of so much happinesse, and send Alcidamant away when least they expected it.

CHAP. XIX. The Knight of the Palms arrives at the dangerous Bridge, forces the guards there, and bravely delivers Florimond of Canabea with a mul­titude of prisoners.

ONE moneth being sweetly past away in these sweet de­lights, Alcidamant, who desired to join the pleasure of hunting with his content in love, getting to horse one morning, rode into the woods of Maran, attend­ed by five or six huntsmen; but wandering from his company, and thinking to take a way which he saw on his left hand, he perceived a little Dwarf, who laying hold on his bridle, said with a surly counte­nance: Thou wilt make the Destinies liars if thou continuest long in this manner, and the exercises which thou hast used of late, will not give thee that glory they have promised thee. Shall the bosom of a woman, limit thy ambition, and in stead of nobly sweating under the weight of an ar­mour, wilt thou die inglorious in her imbraces? Remember, Knight, that fame is not acquired with unmanly courses, and that God hath not given thee such incomparable force to imploy it ill. With these words he va­nished, leaving Alcidamant in a strange confusion; for reflecting on his life, and judging it indeed most unbeseeming a man that desired to be in esteem with persons of worth, he resolved to quit Melania, and follow the voice of the Destinies: howbeit, finding no little difficulty therein, and fearing this wenches extream love would oppose his designe; he knew not whe­ther he should depart without leave, or whether it were better for him to perswade her with reasons to allow of his going. This last opinion, seem­ing fairest unto him, in regard that this way, he avoided all occasion she might have to reproach him for deceiving her, as also any misfortune that [Page 67] otherwise peradventure might arise from such his neglect of her; he con­cluded to proceed ingenuously with her, and to undertake nothing but with permission; being perswaded he ought that respect unto so many favours which he had received from her. Pursuing then the cry of the hounds, and finding as full a grown Boar as ever he had seen, he presently advanced towards him, and not giving him time to enter into the toils, he struck him to the heart with his Boar spear; whereupon, commanding the huntsmen to bring him away, he returned home, where at first he discovered not his intent to Melania; but night being come, and they together in bed, he be­gan his discourse with a sigh, and said unto her: Madam, it is with extream grief, that I desire you to consider the reasons I bring for to induce you no longer to keep me heer. We are not born for our selves, much lesse for pleasure and idlenesse, nor is a man to put on arms for once, and ever after to let them hang ignobly rusting: The greatest Knights that are, have lo­ved like my self, but their love never kept them from seeking adventures in the world; contrarily, they have rendred themselves famous by an infinity of enterprises atchieved by the sole remembrance of their Mistrisses; sweet Madam give me this power, permit me to raise my name with your praises, and that I may make the world say, how France produceth excellent war­riors, and incomparable beauties; you shall have a share in my triumphs, and when you shall hear the greatnesse of my acts reported, you will re­ceive a thousand times more contentment, then that you can expect from my stay. I speak not thus, because I am weary of your caresses, they have too much charm and delight in them; but truly mine honour will not suf­fer me to give the best part of my daies to rest and ease; for so should I ren­my self the fable of the world, whereas I should desire to be the wonder of it. You love me in regard you hold me to be vertuous, should I not then be most unworthy of your favours, if I should be basly effeminate▪ Verily, Madam, you might justly despise me: wherefore, I beseech you, to leave me the liberty to merit them, and generously testifie, that you prefer my honour before own satisfaction: This way you shall oblige me, never to forget your noble carriage to me, and furnishing me with occasion to com­mend you, you will make me desire to return to serve you, after I have crowned my self with a million of laurells. Alas! said Melania, I feared nothing in the world so much as this discourse, the doubt whereof, hath many times interrupted the pleasure I took in you. What do you think will become of me, for can I live without a soul? Ah no, dear heart, I cannot, your departure will procure my death, as your coming prevented it: Ne­verthelesse, I cannot blame you, your reasons appear most just unto me, and though my love cannot allow of them, yet I must needs confesse, that you ought to live for glory, and not for pleasure. Why will not you then, said Alcidamant, suffer a little, since it is for my good? My weaknesse, an­swered she, will not permit me so to do; howbeit, seeing reason com­mands, I will resolve my self for it: Go then when you please, I will seek for consolation in my patience, in the praises which I shall hear published of you, and most of all, in the promise you have made me to return hither again another day. But alas, I fear, and with reason, that your merits, which make you so lovely, will furnish you with as many Mistrisses, as you shall meet with fair women, and that you will utterly forget me. Madam, said Alcidamant, kissing her very amorously, you are then troubled to no [Page 68] purpose, your beauty may well assure you against this fear, and the know­ledge of my disposition will keep you from beleeving that ever I can be so far ingratefull: If I am much indebted to the favour you have done me, I must add to that account as none of the least, this last resolution of yours, wherein I find as much love as courage, and from thence draw upon my self most powerfull obligations to make me despise all kind of objects for your sake.

Accompanying these words then with a world of kindnes, he somewhat pacified the grief of this poor afflicted creature, but her sorrows renewed when she saw her self alone in bed, and that she considered how her Lover was arming himself to be gone, whereupon not enduring the place, and de­siring to enjoy the sight of him as long as possible might be, she presently got forth, covered only with a little cloak, and went to the chamber where our Knight was, and would once again have bid him adieu, howbeit not a­ble to speak but with sighs, she let him go to horse, somwhat pleased, yet in her displeasure to have seen a few tears on his cheeks as assured testimonies of his grief so to leave her, and returned to her bed, where the memory of the pleasures she had there formerly enjoied refreshing her torment, she continued a long time weeping, whilest Alcidamant followed his good for­tune.

This generous warrior being alone was no doubt very sensible of the so­row he had left at Maran, but on the other side it gladded him asmuch, that he was at liberty, and bethinking him of the time which he had unprofita­bly spent, it vexed him to see how little he had done in the commencement of his chivalry, neverthelesse he comforted himself with the resolution to do such deeds of arms as should deface this fault, and give occasion to all the world to talk of him. Travelling then with this intention, he bestowed all the rest of the day without meeting of any adventure, and at night took up his lodging in a village, where being at supper a yong Squire came in, and with a very sad countenance desired entertainment. As God help me, seid he moved with pity to behold him, your affliction displeases me, and if you will acquaint me with the cause of it, I will gladly indevour to assist you if you have need of my succour. Sir, said the Squire, your good will doth much oblige me, but alas! it brings me not the satisfaction I desire, and which I cannot hope for but from heaven: If I be greeved it is with a great deal of reason; for having to day lost my master, one of the best Knights in the world, I can never look for any contentment heerafter. By what misfortune did you lose him, said Alcidamant? Through the treason of a wicked villain, answered the Squire, who causes a bridge to be guard­ed some three leaues hence, for to surprise a Knight, from whom it seems he hath received some displeasure, but others that come there are not ex­empted from his trechery; for assoon as ever any one is advanced upon the bridge, he makes the barrier by which he entred, to be shut upon him, and straightway he is opposed by fowr strong Knights, who stop him from passing on, till such time as another, that I assure you is very valiant and cou­ragious, comes and joins with them to combat him if he will not render up his arms. My Master unluckily arriving there, went in boldly never drea­ming of any such matter; but he had not made twenty steps when the Knight of whom I last mentioned, came against him, & threatned him with present death if he would not yeeld himself to prison. What do you talk [Page 69] of death and prison to me, answered my Master? By my life you shall not triumph so easily of me, and as long as I am able to weild a sword, no man living shall command my liberty. Saying so, my Master having given me his lance, because the Knight was without one, couragiously drew his sword, and not to use many words he began a fierce combat with him, who behaved himself, marvellous well, both in defending and charging my Ma­ster, that surpassing him in valour, had brought him to an ill passe having al­ready drawn bloud from divers parts of his body, when as those that guar­ded the barrier advanced, and having charged him altogether, overthrew him from his horse, manacled his hands, and cast him into a dungeon, with a resolution to plague him thorowly for the pain he had put them unto: now because their meaning is not to take any but Knights, they presently turned me out, and told me that I was set at liberty in hope I would find our some valiant man or other for to deliver my Master out of their hands; but they shall misse of their purpose, for I will never make the misfortune grea­t [...]r, by conducting any Knight thither, unles it be the valorous Fulgoran of Canabea, my Masters neer kinsman, or in his absence the brave bastard of Media: now judge, Sir, whither I have not great cause to complain. That you have in good faith, said Alcidamant, and I much commend the affection which you carry to the service of that good Knight; but me thinks you should not so afflict your self by despairing of his recovery, seeing it may happen that he may be delivered; and to oblige you thereunto, I promise you so as you will conduct me to that bridge, to trie my fortune there to morrow, and save you the labour of going so far to seek relief. Now God defend, said the Squire I would rather co [...]s [...]ll you to forbear; for I should undo you, be guilty of the mischief that should betide you, and your death would augment my grief and displeasure. It were an honour for Knights chiefly of your ag [...] (pardon me for speaking to you in this maner, and telling you that your youth doth not permit you to have much experience in arms) it were an honour, I say, for Knights to undertuke adventures, whereof the power of a man is capable, but they are held to be rash and unadvised when they venture upon such as are above their forces, they are to leave those great executions unto such, as by little and little have given end to difficult enterprises, and to remember that nature hath taught yong birds not to soar high till their wings be strong and able. If we venture nothing, said Alcida­mant, what can we do worthy of commendation, and if glory be not to be acquired by common adventures, we are without fear to attempt such as are dangerous? wherefore, honest youth, never trouble your self for me, nor enquire whether I can, or cannot; the order I have received obliges me to this design, which I will execute without you, conducted thither by some other, howbeit if you love your Master, I know you cannot stir a foot till you have made this journy. My pity of you, said the Squire, drew me to give you this advice, but seeing you have so much courage as to contemn it, I will not fail to be your guide. Whereupon bidding him good night, he retired, leaving Alcidamant with an extream desire to break so pernicious a custome. Having slept then b [...]t a little, he arose very early, and conducted by the Squire, he arrived at the Bridge, upon which he entred boldly with­out any fear, although he saw the barrier shut after him, and advancing for­wards he incountred a great Knight, who perceiving those three palms up­on his shield, cried out: Come, come, my Masters, heer is the bird for [Page 70] which we laid our nets. At these words, Alcidamant was assured, that this custom was established for to take away his life; and observing the Knight well, he perceived that it was Narsander the inchanter, which having made him draw his sword, he advanced to him with this speech: By heaven, traitor, thou shalt not escape me now, neither shall the power of thy friends avail thee, for it is more then time to make thee give an account of all the wickednesse that thou hast committed. Wherewithall, he discharged his sword so furiously upon his shield, that he divided it in two, the point there­of lighting with such v [...]olence on his head-peece, that it overthrew him quite astonished to the ground, where doubtlesse he had trode him in pie­ces under his horses feet, if the Knights of the Bridge had not arrived to his succour. Those four Knights exceedingly vexed to behold their Master in that case, charged Alcidamant all at once, making no question to subdue him with ease; but he despising their assauits, which made not so much as any print upon his arms, began a most dangerous bickering with them; now he gave a down right blow on the head of one, by and by he ran ano­ther clean thorow the body; howbeit, not having room enough to lay a­bout him, his blows fell not half so strongly as otherwise they would have done, insomuch, that the combat endured longer then he defired; never­thelesse, growing into choler to see Narsander come again to himself, and offer to arise, he bestirred himself so terribly amongst his enemies, that with the first blow he discharged he cut one of them in twain, and present­ly sent the arm of another to the earth. This expedition had amazed them, and they were even upon the point of betaking themselves to flight, when as Narsander joined with them, charging Alcidamant very fiercely; who becoming more furious by the resistance he found, struck one of them with such force, that he clave him down to the very teeth, thereby so terrifying those which remained, that Narsander began to flie one way, whilst the Knight laboured to save himself by another. Alcidamant, who cared for nothing but to dispatch this inchanter, followed him close, and cried to him: Turn about, traitor, and adde not cowatdise to so many thy other vices; neverthelesse, he ran away still, striving to get the Castle on his head, for to shelter him from that furious tempest; but the Knight held him so to it, that entering in at the first gate, he discharged such a terrible blow on him behinde, as having made him a wound on his shoulder half a foot deep, he laid him once more on the earth, where instantly going with a resolution to take off his head, and about to unlace his helmet, he beheld a reasonable handsome gentlewoman, and of a gracious presence, make hastily towards him, who falling upon her knees, said unto him: Excellent Knight, have pity, I beseech you, on me, and for her sake whom you love best in the world, grant me the head of this Knight whom I see in your power. As I live, said he, Madam, he doth not deserve such grace, but you so straitly conjure me, that I may not refuse you: howbeit, I must have the naughty custom that is kept heer abrogated, and you shall presently de­liver the prisoners which are in your custodie. My Lord, answered the gentlewoman, I confesse with you, that Narsander is be to blamed for many of his actions, and you may be sure, that it is a grief unto me to see him live in this manner: But alas! my condition doth not permit me to dispose of it otherwise, and my love to him makes me desire his welfare. You are plea­sed that the custom of the Bridge shall be broken, and the passage left free [Page 71] heerafter, assure your self, that shall be the first request I will make unto him; and as for the prisoners, it is reasonable that they should be set at li­berty, seeing it is your pleasure, unto whom all obedience is more then due heer. Commanding then some of her servants to open the dungeons, they brought forth above forty Knights, who presently departing, went pub­lishing the valour of this Knight of the Palms, in so many places, that all France resounded again with the report of his famous deeds; onely the Squires Master remained behinde, in regard that Alcidamant, observing his gallant disposition, had intreated him to make himself known to him. That will I most gladly, answered he; My name is Florimond, son to Bru­zanges of Canabea, and Cousin to the burning Knight, of whom it may be you have heard talk, as of one of the valiantest Gentlemen of the earth, and who not long since was acknowledged to be the son of the Excellent Em­perour of Persia, Don Rogel; I went forth of Constantinople a good while since, for the execution of a difficult enterprise, and made account to re­turn again instantly, but the ordinary adventures, which befall Knights errant, having carried me from one Countrey to another, I arrived in this goodly Kingdom, where the first incounte [...] I met withall, was a very beau­tifull Gentlewoman, who understanding by my speech that I was a stran­ger, invited me very courteously to repose some time in her house, to the which I consented in a most unluckie time, (well may I say so, for my tor­ments will not suffer me to speak better;) I was conducted then to my chamber, where being disarmed, I presently saw Claristea enter (so is this cruell f [...]ir named) who seemed to be curious after novelties, asked me a thousand questions, whereunto I answered, as I conceived, very fully. Whilst she talked thus with me, I marked her very heedfully, and obser­ving powerfull charms in hereies, a marvellous delicate face, a winning grace in her carriage, and a certain kinde of Majestie in her countenance, I could not chuse but love her. To what end should I hold you longer with discou [...]sing my p [...]ssions? I discovered my thoughts unto her (Alas! Love would needs force me to it, for to make me suffer afterwards a tor­ment worse then death) by a million of sighs I made her understand the power she had over me, and a thousand times besought her to take some compassion of my endurings; but she was so far from beleeving my pro­testations, or regarding my pain, that she would at no hand grant me the honour to be her Knight. If ever you have loved, you may easily con­jecture how great my sorrow was, seeing all my hopes so frustrate; truly it was such, that no whit respecting my life, since I was not pleasing to whom I adored, I resolved to appear no more before her; and so one morning I departed, with a purpose to undergo things impossible for a man to perform, to the end I might free my self from farther languishing; and indeed, I never complained of the rigour of my imprisonment, from which you have delivered me, in hope that death would give an end to all my troubles. Behold, S [...]r, this is that which you have desired of me, and if there be any other thing wherein I may serve you, I would desire you to command me before I get me to some desert, where I may with more li­berty bewail my misfortune. This is a resolution, said Alcidamant, very unbefitting the honour of a good Knight, wherefore you shall never put it in practice if you will be ruled by me, rather hope for something from your merit, and compell this insensible creature to blame her ingratitude, [Page 72] and acknowledge your services; a small matter pleases a woman, a far lesse displeases her, and oftentimes she loves us in our neglect of her, as she despiseth us when we adore her beauty. My grief, replied Florimond, made me wish for death, but your discourse makes me desire life, for to imploy it in your service. This is as it should be, said Alcidamant, now it were not amisse, we began to think of dislodging from hence, where so little good is meant us. Truly, answered Florimond, I was about to advise you unto it, for the lesse while we stay here, the easier will it be for us: Whereupon, Florimond having himself caused the barrier to be opened, and followed Alcidamant to a village not far off, where they met with the adventures, which shall be recounted in the ensuing Chapter.

CHAP. XX. The strange adventure which happened to the Knight of the Palms and Flo­rimond, with the de [...]iverance of Claristea, and her love to Alcidamant.

THE Knight of the Palms having endu [...]ed so much the day before, fell asleep assoon as he was a bed; but Florimond, more oppest with care and sorrow, could take no rest; his ill fortune presented it self continu­ally before him, and Claristea's rigour so tormented him, that he found no ease save in his complaints: arising then, he walked about the chamber, but that being too strait for the liberty of his thoughts, he went unto certain trees that bordered on the high way which led unto the village, and there was so ingaged in his passions, as he thought on nothing else. What a weak [...]esse is this in me, said he, to sigh for an ingratefull creature, that takes pleasure in my sufferings; her cruelty should make me despise her as much, as her beauty hath made me love her, and my just dis­dain should give me that content, which her neglect and my fidelity deny me. Ah Claristea! my anger should make me happy, it should make me forget you, so to deliver my self out of the pain wherein I am, or at least­wise not to think of you, but to hate you, seeing you take the course to un­do me: But alas! it is not in my power, my desires are tied to my misfor­tune; I love my misery because you are the occasion of it, and shall never resolve for hate, as I do for patience: Live then, as you please, either in­gratefull, or inclined to favour me; alter your minde, or persevere in your purpose to destroy me; I will never breathe, but for you, nor shall my de­sires be bestowed any other where. So, concluding to die, rather then to be wanting in loialty, he was devising some way how he might come to see Claristea again; when as a great noise made him give ear to certain voices he heard; but suddenly remembring, that the Moon shone clear enough to let him see what he desired, he abandoned the shadow of those trees, and got him into the midst of the high way, where he perceived three Giants coming on, which seemed three towers, leading five or six damsels bound, who crying to heaven for help, filled the air with their complaints.

[Page 73] This object amazed him, and if he had been armed without doubt he had set upon these Giants, although he had been sure to die for it, but having not so much as his sword about him, he returned instantly unto the trees with a resolution to follow and succor those afflicted women assoone as ever he was armed. Concealing himself then under a walnut tree he patiently suf­fered them to passe by, but he was marvellously astonished, when as they were just against him, to hear the voice of his fair Mistris amongst the con­fusion of their lamentations, and observe the very garments, as he thought, which she wore the day he parted from her. Either I am enchanted said he to himself, or I see Claristea a captive. Ah beauteous mistris! My death shall testifie the greatnes of my passion, for I will free you from those chains which are nothing so hard as they that bind my heart, or I will die coura­giously, that I may not survive my misfortune. Whereupon he was about to have pluckt away a branch from the t [...]ee under which he stood, and be­gun the fight therwi [...]h, but knowing he should lose himself so to no purpose he forbore, and stealing softly from one tree to another, he got to the house where his horse and arms stood, before the door wherof these women staid, as if some good spirit had told them that they should find succour there; howbeit they were constrained to set forwards instantly out of the fear they had of one of those Giants, who switching them ever and anon with a wand said unto them with a terrible voice: On, on, ye baggages or I will cut you in a thousand peeces. These words and this action put Florimond into such a rage that immediatly he got into his lodging, and finding his Squire by good fortune awake, commanded him to saddle his horse with all expediti­on, armed himself, and never minding the Knight of the Palms, who was fast asleep in an inner chamber, mounted on his steed, and straightway gal­loped after the Giants. In the mean time Arnides having heard the noise was got forth to know the cause thereof, where seeing Florimond depart in such haste, and understanding part of this adventure by his Squire, he sud­denly returned in to Altidamant [...] chamber, and pulling him by the arm for to awake him he said unto him: Do you sleep, Sir, whilest others are upon brave emploiment? For Gods sake arise, and ride after Florimond, who to succor certain damsels that are led away captive by three Giants, hath put himself into a danger out of which he cannot escape unlesse he be gene­rously assisted. At these words Alcidamant leapt out of his bed, and whilest Arnides was making ready his horses, hastily armed himself, vaulted into his saddle, and spurred as hard as he could drive af [...]er Florimond, who ha­ving made wonderfull speed had overtaken the Giants, just as the Sun began to appear. These three Colosses seeing themselves pursued but by one Knight alone, fell a laughing outright, and continued on their way as it were disdaining to draw their swords; but one of them not able to endure this presumption turned him about, and said unto the others: This Woodcock will needs be taken in the net which we have not pitcht for him; go you on, Ile soon give him his p [...]sport, and be with you presently. Wherupon draw­ing out his curtelax he attended Florimonds approach, and seeing him come running at him with his lance in his rest, he thought to have slipt aside and cut it in two, howbeit he was not so quick but that he was surprized and en­countred with such force, as he was fain to recoil two or three steps back for to save himself from falling, which put him into so great a fury, that cursing his Gods, he advanced to cleave him in twain. But Florimond resol­ving [Page 74] to fight with judgement and not with passion, lightly avoided the blow and letting it fall to no purpose, gave his enemy so home a thrust under the left arm, that it entred three fingers deep into his body. When as the Giant beheld his armor all besmeared with bloud he was ready to burst with cho­ler and rage; and lifting up his heavy curtelax, he laboured to let it descend on Florimond, who knowing that death attended on that weapon, somtimes leapt aside, and somtimes slipt under his enemies arm, so making it still to fall in vain. This combat growing more cruell and furious, through the force and dexterity of these warriors, it continued so long till the incompa­rable Alcidamant came galloping to them, who staying to behold the fight Florimonds Squire said unto him: Alas Sir! you see not the worst of the adventure in this combat, two monsters like to this heer, have carried away certain Ladies who are sure to be ravished by them, without your assistance. I will die, said Alcidamant, before that shalbe, and if their safety may de­pend on me, no man els shall run the hazard of their deliverance but my self. Heerwith he posted away, and rode almost an howr without discove­ring that which he sought for, wherupon beginning to fear lest he should fail of his enterprise, in regard he was entring into a great and spacious for­rest, he heard the cries of a woman that sounded very brief amidst the si­lence of those woods: turning then to that part whither the voice seemed to call him, he approached to certain oaks, under the which he saw a Giant that held five damsels bound with a cord, and another more dreadfull then he, who strove to violate a maid fair beyond excellence, and which made those outcri [...]s he had heard. By heaven said he, aiming the point of his lance at this Giants throat, I will be as good as thou art wicked; this steell shall be the death of thee, that art so base as to go about to ravish a woman that infinitely deserves to be served. How now, said this proud Giant, da­rest thou offer to disturb me from enjoying a pleasure, wherein I placed a sovereign happines. By all my Gods Ile teach thee better manners, and re­spit thy death no longer then to the first blow I shall give thee: whereupon drawing out his curtelax he thought to divide the Knight of the Palms in two peeces, but he was turned aside to receive the encounter of the other, who having tied those damsels to the foot of a tree, ran furiously at him with his lance charged. Their encounter was dangerous, Alcidamant som­what astonished had much ado to keep his saddle, but he more fortunat past his lance quite through the body of his enemy, who was overthrown dead in the place, and that in good time; for the first Giant arriving the mean while, gave him so terrible a blow, that it made his head bow to his saddle bowe: great was the pain that he felt therby, but raising up himself more furious then ever he had been in all his life, he gave his enemy so dangerous a stroak on his shield, that his arm being too weak to sustain the brunt of it, carried it to his head with such violence, that it made him knock his chin a­g [...]inst his breast, and see a thousand stars more then ever he had beheld. The Giant am [...]zed therewith, advanced his heavy curtelax again, but the Knight of the Palms not intending to abide the fury of it, slipt aside, and seeing that his choler made him to neglect the guarding of himself, he discharged so mighty a blow on his left arm, that it made way to the quick, and gave him a great wound a little under the elbow. Wherupon the Giant entring into extream rage, would have closed with his enemy, but the point of Alci­damants sword made another deep entrance into his body, so that not able [Page 75] to get within him as he desired, he had recourse again to his cimiter, where­with he laid about him more dangerously then before. This while the dam­sell who had seen her self so neer to be ravished was got up, and having un­bound her companions, was fallen on her knees, heartily praying unto hea­ven to assist their Knight; and beginning to be in some hope by the death of the first Giant, and the bad estate whereinto the other was reduced, she observed this valiant Knight of the Palms, admired his addresse and force, and comparing him to God Mars, it begot a well willing in her towards him, which by little and little converting into love, made her wish him the victory, that so she might be liable to a recompence. Have you ever, said she to those that accompanied her, have you ever seen a Knight fight with more grace? and who could imagin that a Giant so dreadfull should passe by the sword of one man alone? It amazes me, and the danger I was so lately in keeps me not from considering this combat with pleasure; see you not his strange force, and that he never gives blow in vaine; but especially mark his addresse, he diverts his enemies strokes, wisely avoids the edge of his curtelax, and when he is surprised he seems a towr that contemns all as­saults, no travell wearies him, he appears stronger then he was but now; briefly I observe in this Knight all that is most commendable and rare in o­thers. This beauty speaking thus in the behalf of this warrior, fell insensi­bly in love with him, rendred the fear of her companions much lesse, and made them hope for speedy safety: The mean while Alcidamant and the Giant hewd one another, and each of them desiring the victory entreated his adversary as hardly as he could; howbeit our champion seemed to have the better; for the Giant grew more unweldy, and the great quantity of bloud that issued from his wounds made him so weak that his blows were not discharged with that fury as at the beginning of the fight, wheras Alci­damants courage augmented every minute, which put the Giant into such an excesse of rage, that resolving either to die or presently to vanquish, he took his curtelax in both his hands thinking therwith to cleave the Knight to the very teeth, but Alcidamant making his horse to leap aside the weapon did only whistle in the air; and because the Giant had emploied all his strength on this blow, he bowed forward even to his horses mane, at which very instant of time Alcidamant having his sword aloft let it fall with such fury just on his neck, as he divided his head from his body, to the infinite contentment of these damsels, who fell on their knees before him. Valiant Knight, said the fair damsell, you have done miracles for our deliverance; but you shall not lose the glory of it, for we will publish over all France that you are the bravest gentleman that this day bears arms. Lady, answe­red he having caused her and the rest to rise, you may do and say what you please, but the recompence already exceeds the pains. I have freed you, I ought to do it, and I do not think I have any way obliged you; wherefore your acknowledgement me thinks is to no purpose, let us therefore leave speaking of that, and go to see the end of a combat wherein a Knight is in­gaged, with whom I was lodged when you past by the village, and that di­scovering you before me generously began the fight. On my faith, said Ar­nidas thereupon, I doubt of some ill news from him, for his Squire comes galloping heer, and I fear he is slain. Now God defend, said Alcidamant, howsoever we must resolve for patience: then meeting the Squire, he lear­ned that Florimond was the victor, but had lost so much bloud that he was [Page 76] not able to sit his horse, nor likely to live if he were not quickly assisted. Take my Squire with you, and get him to be carried to the village where we lay, said Alcidamant, and send with all speed for the best Chyrurgians of the Country; as soon as I have placed these Ladies in safety, I will come and look to him my self, for his valour deserves this care. He intreats you, said the Squire, to have as much pity of his sufferings, as of his life, and to indevour to make his Mistris more tractable. His Mistris, said Alcidamant, is she one of these Ladies? It is that fair one which sp [...]ke to you but now, said the Squire. I am very glad of it, said Alcidamant, assure him that he is happy if my reasons may prevail with her.

Whereupon, having dispatched away Arnides with Florimonds Squire, he returned to Claristea (so was that Lady named whom the Giant would have forced) and having secured her against all fear which she might have conceived, he walked along fair and softly with her towards a house which she had some two leagues from thence. She was beautifull, he was amorous, she had good experience of his valour, his opinion was no lesse of her me­rit; beholding then powerfull charms in her eies, and being carried with the remembrance of those two alablaster thighs which he had seen bare under the Giant, as she likewise was transported with the memory of what she had seen him perform, their love was reciprocall, and their actions decla­red their thoughts sufficiently without speech; she looked amorously up­on him, expecting to be sued unto; he beheld her with the like aff [...]ction, and designe; but their silence seeming to accuse them of too little love, and too much respect they began to speak both at an instant, and presently stopt, each of them desiring to give that advantage to the other. At length, Claristea thinking she was obliged to speak first, said unto him: What shall we give you, Sir, for a recompence of so much pain? I would willingly ask, answered he, having quite forgotten Melania, and holding change no crime; I would willingly ask, I say, that which you could have conserved without me; but, Madam, I fear the same punishment, which you gave to the temerity of a Knight, who adores none in the wo [...]ld but you; you speak of Florimond, said she, for I observed that that was his Squire which lately parted from you; but let us enter no farther upon that discourse, I pray you, I know how to put a difference between your valour and his, and your merit will not suffer my favours to be shared equally betwixt you: Say then, What is it you desire of me? That you will love me, said he, and that taking pity of my pain, you will not make me languish in the expectation of that I so infinitely desire. You would deserve that grace, answered she, provided that you had love enough. Love enough, replied he instantly; Ah Madam! Do not make that your excuse, I beseech you, your beau [...]y makes no small wounds, neither doth my heart receive light impressions, I can love more in a moment, then another in a whole yeer. I, said she, but such violence will not last. No, if I die quickly, answered he: I do not mean so, said Claristea, nor have I spoken in that manner, but as fearing a change in you. Never think of that, Madam, said Alcidamant, when you know my disposition, you will not accuse me thus. Time will clear this point, said she, in the mean time, hope well, and beleeve I este [...] highly of you. Discoursing in this manner, they arrived at Claristea's house, where a many of Knights were assembled, consulting in what sort they might recover their kinswoman out of the Giants hands, but infinitely [Page 77] contented to see her delivered; and understanding that it was the valour of the Knight of the Palms, they honoured him with exceeding much respect, wondering to behold him so young, so fair, and indued with such extraor­dinary forces; in so much, that every day one or other arrived for to visit him: the fame of this warlike act running from Province to Province with such infinite applause, that nothing was talked of, but the marvellous va­lour of this Knight.

CHAP. XXI. Alcidamant visits Claristea in the night, obtains his desire, and by a strange adventure is constrained to depart from her.

CErtain dayes being but sadly past away for these lovers, who in regard of the multitude of those which every minute came in and out, had not the leisure to dis­course of their passions, much lesse the liberty to be so private together, as they extreamly desired: Alcida­mant, very much discontented, finding Claristea busie one night in entertaining certain companies, went forth into the garden to take the air, and walking along the alleys, he was a devising, how he might avoid those which continually im­portuned him with their visitations, and so get some time to content him­self with his Mistris; but fortune, that seemed to watch more for his good then he expected, made him incounter Claristea's chambermaid, who espy­ing him, went softly to him, and taking him by the arm, said unto him: Knight, you are surprised, and you can hardly deny, but that you are now thinking of love. In good faith, said he, I should wrong my self if I did, for my carriage then would give me the lie, and much more to disguise my self to you, upon whose assistance I resolve to place all my hope. Melita (so was she called) you beleeve that I am infinitely in love, it is true: But alas! it may be I am so unhappy, that I am not beloved again; for I fear left the excellencie of my Lady, and my little merit, should restrain her from gi­ving remedy to my sufferings: Dear friend, it lies in you to oblige me as much as my life comes unto. And how, said this wench, who seemed to understand him? By being my advocate to Claristea, answered he, and de­siring that favour for me, which may mitigate my pain, and render my love everlasting. I did not think, said Mileta, that my Mistrisles beauty had wounded you, and that you had sighed for her; but I will no longer doubt it, now that I have such testimony of it from your self. You crave my assi­stance, you shall have it, and I promise to contribute as much to your satis­faction as possibly I may, being perswaded that I am obliged thereunto, by the good office I received from your valour, when as you delivered me, with my Mistris, out of the power of these dreadfull Giants, where we were sure to have lost both honour and life: But what shall I demand for you? That she will do me the favour to receive me into her chamber, said he, at such time as all the world is at rest, that I may represent the great­nesse of my affection unto her, seeing that the arrivall of so many persons [Page 78] that continually come to visit her, will not permit me to talk freely with her. You demand very much, said Melita, for the knowledge of this action, could not but redound to the prejudice of her honour; neverthelesse, I will labour to satisfie you, and shewing her how she oweth all that she hath to your succour, I will oblige her, if I can, not to refuse you such a grace; live then in this hope, and in the mean time be patient. Beleeve me, Melita, said he, kissing her more affectionately then she expected, your services shall not be without recompence; go and make good your promise, whilst I com­fort my self with my thoughts. Saying so, he entered into an arbour of Iasemines, ravished with the apprehension of a happinesse, which he ho­ped to injoy ere long; and Melita went directly to Claristea's chamber, who withdrawing thither, a little after made her unready to go to bed; whereupon, Melita said unto her, being assured that she should please her extreamly in talking to her of her Knight; Madam, the honour you have done me, by freely imparting your secrets unto me, obliges me not to con­ceal my thoughts from you: walking but now in the garden, I found your Lover in a case that made me exceedingly to pity him; his arms acrosse, his hat over his eies, wherein I espied some tears to stand, his pace full of stops, which, with a thousand sighes, testified a marvellous distemper of minde; I approached to him, guessing well enough what might be the cause of this his behaviour, but making as though I understood it not, I demanded from whence it was derived; from my fear not to be loved as I love, answered he; and if I do not the sooner finde relief in my passions, my life will quickly be at an end. Then he declared unto me, that his grief proceeded from the want of liberty, to discover unto you what lay upon his heart, as he wonderfully desired; and finishing his discourse with a sigh, he conju­red me to be a suiter for him, that you would be pleased to let him come and see you this evening, to the end he may have the felicity of contempla­ting your beauty at the full, as likewise be free from all interruption in his talk: now it is for you to resolve, whether you have love enough to grant him this favour. Melita, answered she, a little troubled, thou knowest too well that I love him infinitely; but how can we bring him hither, without fear of incountering some body that might discover our secrets; I see no likelihood thereof, and lesse yet, when I consider, that he hath not bought so much grace with the price it ought to be rated at; me thinks, it were [...]it­ter that difficulties should make it more precious to him. Heer be reasons indeed, said Melita, a little moved with choler; Madam, these fond hu­mours which would make things seem otherwise then they be, are seldom approved of; you love him passionately, you would have him in your arms, and if he sued not to you, it may be you would do that office for him; notwithstanding, you will defer him this happinesse, out of such weak con­siderations that I am ashamed of; it is no time to dissemble, when our pur­poses are discovered, and those Artificers serve for nothing, but to make us oftentimes to be otherwise judged of then we ought; let him be fetcht hither, the opportunity fits, for all the house are at rest, and if your love ob­liges you, refuse him not the recompence which is due to his valour. I am contented he shall come and see me, said she; wherefore thou m [...]yest go for him when thou wilt; but beleeve that I will not be carried so easily as thou sayest, and that I am resolved to vanquish my self, for to triumph over him. In good faith, said Melita, if I were in his room, I would not return [Page 79] with empty hands, but would well consider the time, the places, and the persons. Whereupon, going out, she left Claristea strangely troubled; sometimes resolving to conserve her self, and then by and by, not to lose so favourable an occasion, which is not to be recovered, when it is once past. This while Melita entertained Alcidamant, and leading him by the hand, she said unto him: Sir, I am carrying you to Claristea, but rem [...]mber that modestie is a reproach to lovers, that it renders them unworthy of any favour whatsoever, and that to be happy one must be somewhat bold; this speech ended at the door, she entered first, and approaching to Claristea's bed, she said unto her: This prisoner demands grace, Madam, please you to grant it him, whilst I go and draw up his pardon; saying so, she got her into the ward robe, it may be with some grief for that she had not also a se­cond, and left our Knight upon his knees, who holding one of his Mistris­ses hands, kissed it, not being able to speak a word; on the other side, she was no lesse moved; for seeing him so handsome with humility by the beds side, and calling to minde how much she was obliged to him, she felt her self provoked with mighty desire, and was even upon the point to have joined her lips to his, for to let him know her minde; but desiring to ap­pear more contained, she forbare; howbeit, having too much love to leave him in that posture, she said unto him: Knight, I pray arise, for I am resol­ved not to hear you till you be at ease. That shall I never be, answered he, but by the fruition of so many beauties as I behold: Ah Madam, take pity of my suffering, opportunity speaks for me, and seems to say that you are not to deny me this favour; whereupon, laying his mouth to hers, he was fastned there for a while, with such extream delight, that he could not for­bear putting his hand on her delicate breast, with the exceeding smooth whitenesse whereof, he was marvellously taken; and finding himself in case not to stay there, he slipt off a night-gown that he had on, and getting into bed, he made her feel incredible pleasures in loosing the name of maid. The first course being finished, she began to sigh, and said: Alas! I was resolved to defend my self better, but, Sir, accuse your merits for this weaknesse, and take not occasion thereupon, to make the lesse esteem of me; I have given you that which was most dear to me, preserve it, I be­seech you, with as much love as discretion. Assure your self, Madam, said he, redoubling his courses, that you shall never see me disobey so sweet a commandment, and that I will never lose the memory of so powerfull an obligation; but in the mean time, permit me, I pray you, to visit you thus every night. You shall alwaies have as much power of this chamber as my self, answered she, nor shall it be at any time shut against you, onely remember to carry your self advisedly. Continuing their kisses thus, they perceived the day to appear, whereat they were grieved; but hoping to meet again ere long, Alcidamant returned to his chamber, and left Claristea, who finding her self weary, slept till dinner time; when as she was wa­kened by her chamber maid, who bidding her good morrow, fell a laugh­ing, and said: Madam, is this Knight as couragious with women, as he is valiant amongst Giants? Come, you are jeering now, said she, whereas you are guilty of that fault, for if you had staid heer, I should have had no cause to complain of his boldnesse. That is no answer to my question, re­plied Melita, for you desired to be forced I know, but do you hold him worthy of your favours? Never seek to be so curiously informed, I pray, [Page 80] said she, but give me my cloths, since it is so late, another time we will talk of that at [...]easure. Thereupon having quickly made her self ready she ap­peared in the dining room, where her Knight was alone; she blusht at first, but seeing that the matter was past remedy she fell into discourse with him whilest meat was serving to the table, which being taken away they with­drew into a cabinet where their kisses and caresses were renewed with a world of content. Living thus in all the pleasure which can be enjoied by Lovers nineteen or twenty daies past sweetly away, at the end wherof, for­tune that delights in change, would needs separate them; for being one evening at supper together, and thinking of nothing lesse then any crosse that might arrive to their desires, a lacky came in and told them, that the Marchionesse of Monteclare was at the gate, desiring accesse to Claristea. At these wo [...]ds Alcidamant changed colour, which she perceiving, asked him whether he were not well. Yes, said he, but Madam, this news displea­ses me, for it concerns us much; and if you will oblige me, charge all your house that a word be not spoken of my being heer, in the mean time, so please it you, I will re [...]i [...]e and shut my self up in my chamber. You will be bet [...]e [...] in my Cabinet, said she, for I will know the cause of such fear in you, and beleeve me I should be jealous did not the age of the Marchionesse whose neer kinswoman I am, retain me from imagining that you can have any aff [...]ction for her. Whereupon Alcidamant being past into his Ladies Cabinet, and Arnides into his masters chamber, Claristea went to receive her kinswoman, giving her a thousand thanks for the pains she had taken to come and visit her, and commanding the table to be covered again, she gave her all the best entertainment she could. Whilest she was at supper Claristea calling to mind her Lovers behaviour, very attentively observed the Marchionesse, and seeing some remains of beauty yet abiding in her, she was not without some unquietnes, insensibly suffering her self to be per­swaded that she had some interest in her Knight, and that the only cause of her journey thither was to see him, so she wisht her far enough off, and was vexed in her mind to hear her say that she would stay nine or ten daies in that pl [...]ce: but not to appear incivill, she made no shew of it, hoping to learn the truth from her Lovers own mouth: desiring then to free her self of so weighty a care, she conducted the Marchionesse to the chamber which she had caused to be made ready for her, and telling her that the consideration of her health invited her to bid her good night, she left her, and went to find out her Knight, whom she presently kift, but in such a manner as testi­fied some discontent, which very much troubled Alcidamant, who not in­during to see her melancholy, demanded of her why she was so sad. Be­cause I cannot wholly enjoy you, answered she, for the fear you are in to appear before the Marchionesse of Monteclare, who makes shew of visit­ing me, that she may the better without suspition see you, hath, to speak the truth, much distasted me. I love you too well, for to let any other share with me; I love you too well, dear heart, to possesse you by halfs, seeing I am entirely yours. If you will remember my caresses, and call to mind with what a heart I have received you, how I have contemned all men to love you only, doubtlesse you cannot sigh for any other, since I live not but for your content. Alas Madam! said he holding her in his arms, permit me to tell you, that your complaints are without cause, and consider what wrong may be done one out of a suspition not rightly grounded. You imagine [Page 81] that I love the Marchionesse of Monteclare, I confesse I do, but in such sort as a son should love his mother, she hath brought me into the world, and I ow her as much aff [...]ction as is due by nature to parents. And if I do not appear before her, it is because I will not be constrained to absent my self from you, and quit the desire I have to follow arms; nevertheles since she hath resolved, as I am informed, to abide heer with you some time, I think it fit for me to depart before day, and bestow my self elswhere whilst she continues heer, that I may not be hindred in my designs. You make me wonder, said Claristea, to hear you say that the Marchionesse of Monteclare is your mother, and I should hardly beleeve it, but that I am confident you would not take pleasure in deceiving a maid that loves you so much. Ma­dam, said Alcidamant, give credit to my words, for I honor you too much to tell you an untruth; but if you would be further satisfied therin, talk with my Squire about it, to whom I have not spoken since supper. I desire no better assurance, said Claristea, then your protestation, but pardon me, sweet heart, I pray you, for love is ever accompanied with fear, and my distrust was rather a sign of passion, then weaknes. I am not offended with it, said Alcidamant, and though I receive great contentment in knowing my self to be your kinsman, yet is it much more satisfaction to me that I enjoy your favour, which I will alwaies preserve with the uttermost hazard of my life. If my love could augment, said Claristea, this new tie of kindred would add unto the glory of it, but it is at the heighth of its perfection, and cannot pos­sibly be greater. Whereupon getting to bed they renewed their delights with such amorous dalliance, that the day surprised them before they were aware, which made Alcidamant take leave of his Mistris, so that retiring in­to his chamber, he armed himself, and mounting his horse, he left both her and his mother, who was afterward wonderfully joifull when she under­stood by Claristea, that the Knight of whom so much was spoken of tho­rowout France, was her son.

CHAP. XXII. The Knight of the Palms is by a wile conducted to the Castle of Towers, and by the means of a damsell he the second time avoids the plot which Narsander had laid to take away his life.

ALcidamant mixing the grief of his esloignment with the content he had to see himself in the flate of acquiring glory, rode till noon and never thought of eating, but Arnides that neither approved of this silence or auste­rity, said unto him: Sir, I know not what pleasure you take in your fancies, but sure I am my stomack complains of this abstinence, and the hunger that op­presses me, makes me think that you likewise suffer that way; wherefore, I beseech you, let us get up to this mountain, where I espie a little hermitage, and there I hope we shall meet with some holy personage that will give us to eat. If thou feelest any incommodity, said Alcidamant, thank thy self, for it should be thy care to make provision. That is good indeed, answered Arnides, for how could I make provision [Page 82] upon so sudden a departure as yours was? Do but call to mind, Sir, that you could scarce give me time to saddle our horses, and then you will not accuse me in this sort. Thou art in the right, said Alcidamant, but I am not resolved to quit my way for such poor entertainment as we are like to find there; therefore let us go on, it may be we shall meet with some house or other, where we may stay our stomacks. I am afraid, said Arnides, that this good fortune will fail us, or that it will be too long ere we shall attain to it; but since it is your pleasure to have it so, I must be contented to obey. Thus rendring their travell lesse tedious, they continued two howrs on horsback, which seemed two ages to the famished Squire, but then they met a dam­sell followed by a little Dwarf, who casting her eie upon Alcidamant, and viewing that famous ensign of the Palms, leapt presently from her palfrey, and falling on her knees, said unto him: Worthy Knight, if I be not de­ceived you are he that I have so long sought for. It may be so, said Alcida­mant, but Gentlewoman by what token would you know me better, and what it is you desire of me? If you be the Knight, said she, that lately freed the prisoners which Narsander the Inchanter detained at the dangerous bridge, I shall be [...]eech you not to refuse me one boon I will ask of you. I grant it you, said Alcidamant, for I am he that restored them to their liber­ty, which they had lost for my sake. You shall follow me then instantly, said she, to a kin