EROMENA, OR, Love and Revenge.

Written originally in the Thoscan tongue, BY CAVALIER GIO. FRANCESCO BIONDI, Gentleman extraordinary of his MAJE­STIES Privie CHAMBER.

Divided into six Books.

And now faithfully Englished, By IA. HAYVVARD, of Graies-Inne Gent.

SIC OMNI TEMPORE VERNO

LONDON, Printed by Richard Badger, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his Shop in PAVLS Church-yard, at the signe of the Beare. 1632.

TO THE NO LESSE SINGVLAR FOR VERTVE, THAN EMI­NENT FOR HONOVR, The Excellently worthy, and worthily Right Excellent Princesse, The Lady FRANCIS. Dutchesse Dowager of RICHMOND and LENOX.

Illustrious and Right Noble MADAME;

TWO speciall reasons embolden, or rather oblige mee to expose this Translation to the common view, under your Gracious patronage; The one is, because its Originall was by the Authour composed at the com­mand of that Worthy Pillar of this State, your deceased Duke of blest memory, under whose princely tutelage it also boldly presented it self to the pub­like eye, so as it was chiefly beholding to that renowned Peere for both it's life and being: The other, that this Ero­mena, though a Princesse, yet necessitated (for being an alien borne) to implore a protection in this Monarchall [Page] Ile, comes now, as well to expresse to your Grace the greatnesse of her obligation to the honoured memory of that noble Peere, for having so courteously protected her in Italy, as also to sue for and request the further continu­ance of a like favour (here in this Ile) at the hands of your Illustrious Grace, who are the now remaining part of that divinely composed piece of Excellency, whereof he was the residue; which (considering your known noble demerits, and princely courtesie) shee hopes to obtaine, for that fame hath assured her, that your Grace is as well a Patronesse of Vertue, as patterne of Honour, especially finding them so innately habituall, and so constantly per­manent in that Sex, and therewithall in a Princesse, their choisest seat of residence: Vouchsafe then (Right Excel­lent Lady) that my obligation to obey so meriting a Prin­cesse, may excuse my boldnesse in ushering her Excellencie in reall perfections so excelling, into so excellent a presence as that of your Graces; Where with all submissive and reverent respects I leave her to apologize (as I am perswa­ded her no way defective heroicall goodnesse will) in ex­cuse of my necessitated boldnesse; whilest I (wishing that she prove as capable and fortunate, as (I am confident) she is both desirous and zealous to manifest her two-fold obligement to so highly-deserving a Patronesse) with your gracious benigne permission, submissively kissing your Princely hands, with all respective humblenesse retire my selfe.

Your Graces most humbly devoted in all dutifull observance IAMES HAYVVARD.

THE TRANSLATOVR to the understandingly judicious READER.

STript now of her Italian vail, presents her selfe to thy view Cavilier Biondi his Eromena, being the first volume of his works, highly esteemed in Italy, among the choisest pieces of that nature; as well for the good liking which that Nation beares to that plea­sing way of Helidorian Poesie (I mean an historicall way of Poetizing, or Poeticall manner of historizing, or displaying of the fained seeming unfained adventures and actions of persons reall, masked under the vizard of invented names:) As also for the Authours peculiar way of imbellishing it more frequently with Ethicall solidity, than superficiall Rhetorick; which gained so much on the Italian humour, as it induced divers of that Nobility to procure him to second it (as sithence he hath done) with another Tome, called Don­zella Desterrada, so adorned with elevated grave conceits, and variety of strange (though aptly enterlaced) occurrences, that their desire being thereby rather exceedingly augmented, than (in the least measure) satis­fied, incited them by (then more than ever) earnest solicitations to re-im­portune him to close up what in these two remained unfinished, with a third and finall Volume; which the Authour (loth to disoblige so many deserving and noble personages) is now (some while sithence) in hand withall, having in it's infancy named it, Il Coralbo, being (for the better suiting with his yeares) the graver of the three; so as he intends not to shew thee the way of pulling by the Curtaine from before the persons in his former pieces represented, untill he hath withdrawn his now well-nigh wearied pensill from his, as yet, little more than halfe pourtraied Co­ralbo.

Meane time, if thy liking sympathize any whit with that of the Ita­lians, I may then hope for thy gentle approvement of having imployed some vacant houres in translating this piece, which, indeed, might well have merited an abler Pen, and in that kinde of imployment more versed than mine; though I would not willingly (for all that) be taken (or rather mistaken) for a Dictionary-tutred Linguist; but rather the meanest pro­ficient among those, whose Genius (in their lesse experienced yeares) ne­ver either rounded them in the eare with that French Adage, La pierre sovent remuée n'amasse pas volontiers mousse; Mosse seldome doth infold that stone that's often rowl'd. Or was ever so providently cau­telous, [Page] as to admonish them, that the securest survaying of Transmarine territories was in a Map in ones Chamber; and the safest conversing with Transalpinan Transalpeninan, or other remoter Nations, was by discour­sing privately in ones study with Rawleigh, Sands, Villamont, Mai­erne, &c. Whereunto seemeth to allude that of Martial,

Aethereas lascive cupis volitare per auras?
I, fuge, sed poteras tutior esse domi.
Hast thou a longing gadding vein
throughout the world to rome?
Goe, post away; yet know, thou mightst
have liv'd more safe at home.

But suffred their greener youth to be swaied by an innate and unresistable desire of going themselves (more superfluously curious, thou wilt say, than judiciously considerate) to search after such out-landish flowers as best liked their fancy, & having found to gather & crop them off their proper stems, where they naturally grew (for doubt of receiving them at a second hand withered, vertuelesse, or adulterate) though necessitated for arriving at them, to force a passage through many a bushie brake, and thorny thicket, besides the often hazarding the pricking of their fingers to the quick, in reaching at them, so fenced and entertwined with sharp-pointed brambles, and smart-stinging briers; Howbeit, thou maist hereafter expect a participa­tion of the gleaning of some of them, not much perhaps declined from their native beauty, odor, and vertue: For the sooner accomplishing whereof, it shall prove no slender encouragement to have prevailed so farre with thy courtesie, as that the acknowledgement of my being sensible of my own incapability may be accepted in excuse of my not voluntary under­going (by the Authours assent and privity) the burthen of this Transla­tion, more for the satisfaction of some noble Friends of mine, (if the weaknesse of my deserts, supported onely with a desire of honouring merit in the proper sphere, where it both resides and moves, may presume so to terme them) than for any over-weaning confidence I ever durst repose in my own far short sufficiencie, or rather selfe-conscious insufficiency of be­ing able to accord the far discording strings of two so different languages. Yet if this cannot satisfie thee whom I have stiled, an Vnderstandingly ju­dicious Reader (than whom, I know no other fit for either my judge or censurer) doe thou then but ease me of a labour (which I doubt will be im­posed on my unwillingnesse) in translating his Donzella desterrada; which (perhaps) ere thou hast brought to a finall period, will give thee cause to entertain a milder opinion of the no lesse well-meaning than un­willing imployment of my as yet bashfull maiden Pen, in a task of this kinde not the easiest; on whose behalfe I dare yet confidently (and that without presumption too) averre the same to be, though (in respect of my not yet fully renew'd acquaintaince with my native tongue) not elegantly; yet (by the furtherance of my twice two Summers assiduall conversing with that Nation at their native home) faithfully (not paraphrased, but) translated. Seeing that I have (as oft as they would endure the being new [Page] cast in an English mould) used the Authours own words, rarely ever (un­constrained) varied any phrase of his, and never I am sure strayed be­yond the limits of either his matter or meaning; wherein (upon the im­portunity of some deserving spirits) I have been the more charily obser­vant, to the end, that such as desire to make that (no lesse pleasing than stately) language their own, might, without any great difficulty to their (as I presume thou wilt confesse) no small furtherance in that study, ma­ster this Originall, for depth of language not inferiour to the best I ever yet saw publisht by any of that nation; For which, as I expect not the least stroaking of applause (it being no other than a recreative imployment, or rather but the immature fruit of some spare houres, stolen from the Orch­yard of recreation) so feare I not the ghastliest frown of censure, knowing that the scope of these mine (how slender soever) endeavours, aime no lesse at their profit than delight, from which, lest I detain them too long, I bid thee and them, Farewell.

YEt e're thou passe, a word, and that's but this,
Think not all's mine that here thou find'st amisse.
The Plot and Authours way may chance come short
Of pleasing all; if so, then blame him for't;
Suffice it me t'expresse him in our tongue,
And neither doe his Muse nor meaning wrong;
Since to th' Interpr [...] 'tis held a blemish,
To change or adde, no lesse than to diminish.
If language thou expects, then pore not here,
But Sidney read, whose Pen ne're yet found peere.
Some faults here may prove mine, that Ile confesse;
Yet load not me with th'errours of the Presse.
Man's apt to erre; and many a first edition,
For it's escapes pleads Custome and Tradition;
And so must this, since, What's once done and ended,
Can ne're by after-view be well amended.
To quote all scapes might wrong thy patience; then
Correct but these more grosse ones with thy Pen;
The sense will help thee give the rest their due
Meaning, and order both.

Once more, Adieu.

ERRATA.

IN pagina 2. linea (que) 3. for became, read, and become. p. 5. l. 20. for seemes, read, seemes unto you. p. 7. l. 4. for my, read if my. p. 25. l. 27. for setting, read setling. p. 25. l. 46. for honour, read house. p. 34. l. 38. for wayed, read weying. p. 45. l. 30. for commending, read commanding. p. 47. l. 16. for houses, read houshold. p. 55. l. 32. for time, read tune. p. 55. l. last, for disdaine, read destiny. p. 61. l. 46. for chiefe, read choise. p. 62. l. 40. for him, read them. p. 74. l. 3. for put in, read put in for. p. 83. l. 26. for at, read an. p. 84. l. 3. for cu­rious, read courteous. p. 89 l. 20. for leaving, read leavying. p. 94. l. 32. for [...] his. p. 96. l. 34. for experienced, r. unexperienced. p. 98. l. 11. for force [...] forces. p. 104. l. 20. for turning, r. stirring. p. 107. l. 5. for digested, r. [...]. p. 129. l. 21. for out of, r. out to. p. 131. l. last, for effects, r. affects. p. [...] l. 1. for word, r. ward. p. 136. l. 15. for re­spects, r. effects. p. [...]4. l. 17. for their, r. third. p. 147. l. 17. for well, r. wall. p. 148. l. 3. for in, r. on. p. 157. l. 8. for for, r. farre. p. 158. l. 16. for meane, r. moane. p. 177. l. 8. for excusive, r. exclusive. p. 192. l. 16. for his, r. her.

To the most Illustrious and right Excellent, my most honoured Lord and Patron, The Lord Duke of RICHMOND and LENOX, Earle of DARNLEY, &c.

Most Illustrious and right Excellent Lord,

I Have brought forth to breathe the common aire this Eromena, at the commandment of a Lady, who (pretending to have over mee the soveraignety of an absolute Comman­dresse) straightly requires at my hands, a devoutly-obe­dient, strict, and sudden performance of her imperious and not to be questioned commands. If she prove imper­fect, she is the more excusable for being no naturall birth, but an abortive of a few moneths time, accidentally con­ceived without any hope ever to have breath'd. And now I am constrained to dedicate her (thus unpolish't) unto your Excellencie, before whom shee ought (indeed) to have appeared as richly endowed with ornaments, as you are with vertues. Vouchsafe (I beseech you) to accept, in excuse of my boldnesse, the necessity of my obedience, by receiving this Princesse into your courteous protection, that you may behold in her the conformity she hath with your Excellencie in nobility and valour, but (above all) in an eternall constancie, whereby as shee grew to bee peerlesse among all the Ladies of her time, so makes it also your Excellencie become singular among all the Cava­liers of this our age. The Lord God grant your Excellencie all increase of felicitie, whilst I, with reverend affection, humbly kisse your hand.

Your Excellencies most humble and most devoted Servant, Gio. Francesco Biondi.

To his worthy good Friend, Mr. IAMES HAYWARD, upon his Translation of EROMENA out of the Italian.

THere is a sort of people use to be
Most captious, though of least capacity,
Who when, as almost still, they meet with Strains
Too high and lofty for their stupid braines,
They say, they see no wit in't; good cause why,
Tis too far distant from the purblinde eye
Of their dull knowledge; whence it comes they sleight
All that they cannot understand aright.
I hate their humour; yet not so that I
Should onely on meere contrariety
Praise all I apprehend not. Friend, your Book,
(Although I partly ghesse what pains you took
To gain the Language, how the Seas you crost,
What time, what travell, and what coyne it cost)
Yet dare I not [...]mend, unlesse I were
A perfect Linguist, and a Traveller;
For to thy censure is requir'd more art
Than conning or some Dictionary by heart,
Or an Italian Grammar: he must sweat,
And coole again, fare hard, endure the heat
Of forreigne Climats; and, whats ten times worse,
Humour each people, keep an open purse,
And a close heart, passe through such misery,
You'd rather think his work well done, than try
How he came by his knowledge: 'twill suffice
The man that can consider, and is wise
Enough to know the motive to his pains
Was not vain-glory, nor the hop'd-for gains
Of praise, or profit; nor to merit thanks
From some great Lord his Patron: Mountebanks
Of art there are, whose aymes be these; but he
Disclaims such basenesse, shames to Poesie.
[Page] His end is onely that he may delight
His Reader, shewing how th' Italians write,
And what their fancies are: Nor doth his wit
Seek out some Satyre to translate, lest it
Should nip our vices of the newest fashion,
So neare, that some might think 'twere no translation:
Nor covets he that to the world be known,
He hath a Muse or Genius of his own
Can teach his Pen a method: and for stuffe,
His Travells might afford tales strange enough
To please the times with; but his wiser brain,
Gives to your censure first a Strangers vein;
So a Translatours name may faults excuse
Not of his own, but of anothers Muse,
If there be any: for, who knows the tongue,
May see he hath not done his Author wrong;
But rather how th' Italian he refines
In these his smoother and more polisht lines.
Yet in the Authors praise, whom I nor know,
Nor understand, thus far Ile dare to goe,
Knowing our Translatours judgement to be such,
I dare presume he likewise merits much;
For had his work not been a piece well writ,
'Thad known no language but Italian yet.
THOMAS SALUSBURY.
Ex Templo interiori Ar.

To my worthily esteemed Friend, Mr. IAMES HAYVVARD, upon his Translation of Eromena [...]

FAire Eromena in her Thoscan tyre,
I view'd, & lik'd the fashion wondrous well;
But in this change of habit I admire,
That still in her the same perfections dwell:
So have I seen Transalpin grafts to grow,
And beare rare fruit, remov'd to Thames from Po.

A l'istesso.

FV l'Eromena parto felice
Del 'alto intendimento di Biondo,
Et girava parte del mondo
Si tosto quasi che vidde luce.
In Inghilterra nacque, mandata
Dipoi a
Venetia.
l' alma cittá donzella
Picciolina nelle fascie, ella
Diventó tutta Italianata.
Il virtuoso Haüardo la trouava,
Et l' ha fatto parlar buon Inglese,
Maternella lingua del paese,
Dove che primá l' aria spirava.
IA. HOVVELL, Arm.

To his much honoured Friend, Mr. IAMES HAYVVARD, upon his Translation of EROMENA.

SPare minuts thus spent (most accomplisht Friend)
Much should I erre shold I not much commend;
For thy retired houres, (by proofe) I know,
Thou in more serious studies dost bestow,
As Engin, Stratagem, Fortification,
Meanes to extend the confines of a Nation;
In which as judgement doth already crown thee,
Imployment in the future may renown thee;
Since in the Mathematick Art (I meane
Those parts most usefull, and whence we may gleane
An Enginiers perfection) I know none,
In Theorick and Practick hath out-gone
Thee for thy time. On then in thy progresse,
As for thine own thy Countries good no lesse;
Nor hast thou of thy travells made that use
[Page] Which many doe, to bring home the abuse
Of Forreigne Climes, their complement, their fashion,
Not their known vice, t'infect thy home and nation;
Thy purpose and thy practise was not such;
For thy endeavours have not been so much
To see as know: for neither hast thou pierc't
France to attain her garb, but to be vers't
In her best Dialect; nor Almaigne known,
To make their healthing, not their tongue thine own:
Thee thine approved Temperance hath taught
The Teutons lofty language, not deep draught;
And to thy minde gave a more pleasing gust
The Thoscans stately strain than lothsome lust.
Of these thy waies I cannot but approve,
Both 'cause I know them, and because I love
To see thee constant in them; doe but then
Impart thy Talent to thy Countrymen,
By culling out the choisest Forreigne flowers,
To plant in English soil and make them ours.

A l' istesso sopra l' istessa Translatione.

Dell' Eromena le vaghe bellezze
Miraì in Italia con occhio gradito;
Eveggolla adesso con l' istesse bellezze
In tutte le sue parti: solamente 'l vestito
Parmi cangiato; Benche per richezze
Non é manco al presente ch'alhorá compito.
Mercé 'l Haüardo diligente & cortese
Che così garbata la vesti a l' Inglese.
I. G. Ar.

To his selected Friend, Mr. IAMES HAYWARD upon his Translation of EROMENA.

WHat? laid aside thy Compasse? from whose use
No Art could wean thee or thy constant Muse?
Or with the Circle art thou fallen at Square?
Cause thy Direct and Perpendicular
[Page] Lines want their due imployment, that I see
Thee practise language for Geometrie;
No, th'are thy Passatempos fruits, and they
Tasted by a judicious palat may
Have a good relish, and deserve (though so)
More praise than a more serious piece, and moe
Than Ile conferre upon thee; yet I owe
Something unto thy gratefulnesse, that thou,
Having by Eromena's proper file
Bin polisht to the choisest Thoscan stile,
Hast in the way of friendly commutation,
Taught her the language of our English nation.

All' istesso.

L'A [...]tiera Eromena d' addobbare
Con vestimenti à par lei pari
Non bastano gl'ingegni ordinari
Versati fuorch' in un' particolare,
Ma chi in fatti d'arme esquisito▪
Destro nel cavalcar [...]'l navigare,
Anco esperto nel' fortificare,
Ed in scienze altre é compito,
Alui di giure appartien l'honore
Armar Heroice spalle coll' arnese
Tutt' imbellito di lavor Inglese;
Donque ardisco dir al tuo favore,
Di guerriera degna tu guer riero
Degno sei degno esser sol' scudiero.

At yr unrhiw.

HAwdd darllhen dalen liw dydd, hawdd siarad
Hawdd siwrneio glenydd,
I byr iaith bod yn ieithydd
Gorchwyl faith gorchest y sydd.
THO. REVELL, Ex hospitio Graii, Gen.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA

The First Booke.

CAttalampo King of Mauritania, had by his wife Algidosia (the Numidian Kings daugh­ter) a goodly, though too too numerous a progenie; Because the law of birthright (in that kingdome inviolable) was not liberall to yonger brothers, of other patrimony, than sword and horse. The youngest among them, was a babe of exquisite beauty, to whom together with perfections of body, na­ture was bountifull of those vertues of the minde, which best be­seemed a well-meriting Prince. Polimero (for so was he called) in growth preuented his yeares, and in knowledge and discretion the age of discretion; so as (though a child) he knew already what it imported him to be last borne, and what it was to bee a younger Bro­ther: Whereof although his naturall generosity made him in some sort carelesse, yet the same influence that gaue him a great spirit, made him also pensive in finding out the meanes, how he might with vertue ore-match destiny; and by making himselfe the forget of his owne fortunes, verifie, that the Wise man rules thestarres; his nature then being equaliz'd with an education conformable, induced his Parents (allured with the splendor of so many graces) to dote on him as a creature singular, in whom the heavens had (with extraor­dinary [Page 2] partiality placed all these good gifts, which they ordinarily vsed to share among many. Metaneone the eldest brother (obser­ving this their inclination, became iealous thereof) began so deep­ly to hate Polimero, that he (borne to endure rather any misfortune, than domestike hatred) purposed (though not as then arived to six­teene yeeres of age) to leave the countrey; and the effect had accom­panied his deliberation, had not the reverence which he owed his father, perswaded him to a discreet dissimulation thereof.

It hapned that the Queene of Ireland, Catalampo's sister, (by relation enamored of the toward linesse of her Nephew) sent him some pretious gifts, and among those two Irish Greyhounds, of the goodliest, and best, that were in her kingdome: Polimero desirous to try them, commanded, that a Lion and Leopard should be led out of the den of the Lions, into an inclosure, neere the kings Quiry, railed in with pales for such like baitings; which was no sooner performed, but that the Prince came unexpectedly thither. Polimero (cour­teously and affectionatly entertaining him, and leaning on the gal­lery with him,) caused one of the Greyhounds to be led in, toge­ther with the Lion. The dogge, as soone as hee saw the sauage beast, slipt eagerly off, with a great leape. The Lion (lashing him­selfe with his tayle) went on to encounter him; th' other (as if hee had beene accustomed, (all his life time) to wrestle with such like beasts) seeing the fierce beast make stealing-wise towards him, flung himselfe furiously on him, and with his fore feet keeping down his [...]rm'd pawes, pinch'd him in the eye, with so terrible a shake, that the Lion (not able to recover from under him, orecome with an ex­treame convuision) was constrained to forsake himselfe. If the wonder of the Prince was great, greater yet was the content of Po­limero, who (having caused the railes to be removed away) willed that th' other Greyhound should be led in, with the Leopard. This dogge (as if hee envied his fellow) to shun the disadvantagious dexte­rity of his enemy, encountered so furiously in the aire, that he shookt his backe against the ground, and ere he could get up againe, (sea­zing on his shoulder) tore it sheere off his body with such facility, that an hatchet could not have done it more neately. The Prince (well pleased with the fiercenesse of the Greyhounds, and desirous to have them) could not satisfie himselfe in commending them, which Polimero observing, profered them unto him, and praying him to accept of them, the Prince said, Infante Polimero, I will not accept them as a gift, If I have them at all, I will owe fortune for them: choose you out of my stable two steeds, such as like you best; those I will play against your doggs at such a game as we shall agree on. Polimero per­ceiving that his gifts (meerely for ill will's sake) were not accepted, and that (by law of inferiority) it behooved him to accept the proposi­tion, replied, My Lord, sithence that you will not vouchsafe me this favour that the doggs be immediatly yours, as I am, I cannot but obey you; But two horses are too much for a couple of doggs, [Page 3] It shall suffice me (so you be therewith contented) to choose out for my selfe onely Flammauro. (This was a horse kept in the stable as a thing excellent, whom never any man till then was able throughly to tame; though he had already dismounted and kild a­bove twenty Knights: all which Polimero knew well, and perswaded himselfe that (in winning this steede) he might content himselfe with­out discontenting his brother; confident withall that himselfe alone was able to tame him.)

The Prince therewith contented, the wager was agreed on, but not the game, whereof many (that were disliked of) were proposed. Met aneone would have it be three carrieres at the Ring; when Impa­tient to stay the sadling of the horses, he saw (as he passed through Polimero's hall) some foiles and blunt swords to fence withall; where­upon (his minde being altered) he said, Infante, Let him of us twaine lose his wager, that shall with these foyles receive the first foine of th' other. Be it as it please you (My LORD) answered Polimero; On this each of them having taken one, the Prince advanced himselfe forwards, making with his point towards the others face, and fai­ning a passage (by stamping on the ground with his right foote) stood still, expecting his advantage. Polimero (who well knew what opinion the Prince had of himselfe) making a shew of fearing him, stood close in his guard, forbidding him entrance; The Prince (think­ing to dazle him) and so put him from his ward) fained at him di­vers foynes, but with so little Iudgement, that the Infante (seeing him lye open) touched at two thrusts his [...] and hat: But the Prince loth to acknowledge himselfe the looser (every one crying [...], that such thrusts could never have drawne bloud, because they had not made a­ny signe or impression in the clothes) and continuing in striking at Polimero, who warding his blowes, and standing in a steddy guard, with his point received the Prince in the midst of his breast (as he advanced forwards with a steppe:) who thereupon, all in a chafe threw away the foyle, and (confessing to have lost) bade leade forth the horse. The Infante (seeing him in so fiery a mood) said unto him, My LORD; since that it hath pleased you, to let me winne, that so you might bestow on me your steed, I beseech you to fa­vour me in accepting the Greyhounds: (which the Prince refusing) they descended the staires into the Court of the Quiry where they saw come the horse with his spectacl [...]s and covering, (which ta­ken from him) he remained naked so well shapen and exquisitly pro­portioned, as that Apelles (though he had borrowed the perfections of all the horses in the world) could never have painted one more perfect Flammauro (seeing himselfe at liberty) made no more e­steeme of his bridle, than if it had beene a small thread, and giving a busling shake (wherewith he threw to the gaound the two horse­men that held him) after hee had many times raised himselfe in the [...]yre, tooke a full carriere towards the Prince, so swift, as he gave him [...]o time to save himselfe: for rushing in among the throng of Cour­ [...]rs, and (trampling down many of them, shrewdly maimed) he then [Page 4] (wheeling about,) bore downe the Prince himselfe, who desirous to revenge his fall cried, Kill him, kill him. Every man with sword in hand strove to obey him. But the fierce courser (like a skilfull fen­cer) kept them aloofe off; untill upon the appearing of some lances (as if he had knowen that his hurt could not be redressed by de­fence) he then quietly (laying aside all fiercenesse) drew neere Polimero. Who (taking him gently by the reines, and turning to­wards the Prince) said: I beseech your highnesse, seeing (through the favour of the gods) you haue received no hurt, to grant life to this faire beast for my sake. I will not, (answered irefully the Prince) but will, that hee dye. Vpon this every man strove who should be formost to come to strike him, which Polimero perceiving to be done in scorne of him, and not being able to endure it, lightly vaulted on the courser, and gallopping a maine speede out of the Quirie entred into the Kings stables, where (finding by chance the chiefe rider) he deliuered the horse into his charge, as a speciall steed of the Kings; denouncing him his Maiesties indignation, if he per­mitted any one (not excepting any man breathing) to lay hands on him. The rider) astonished to see one of the Kings sonnes come ri­ding on such a horse, imagining that the exception comprehended no ordinary persons) answered, that he would obey him, and be­sought him to send for those horsemen, that were accustomed to go­verne him, whereto the Infante would not consent, but caused him to put the horse (now grown to be gentle) into a good place of standing. The Prince (in the meane time having understood whither the In­fante was gone,) stood a good while doubtfull whether hee should pursue him or no, but pride and disdaine boyling within him, he re­turned to the palace.

Some there were in that very instant, that acquainted the King of these passages, who made as though he knew nothing thereof, ex­pecting at the houre of dinner the comming of his sonnes (according to the accustomed manner) but observing Polimero's roome void, and inquiring for him of one of his servants (come thither expres­ly for that purpose) hee was answered, that he was in his withdraw­ing chamber, (come newly from abroad, somewhat hot and wea­ry) but that he was well, and desired (with his Maiesties good leave) to dine alone.

The King (attentively looking on the Prince) perceived his colour altered. In the meane time, Polimero returned from the Kings stables, and (reasoning with himselfe upon the matter) was visited unawares by his governour the Count of Bona, who told him how the Prince (as hee returned towards the palace) had rashly let slip that the death of some body should redeeme the life of the horse; and therefore besought him to be circumspect, and for a few daies to retire himselfe to (a countrey palace of the Queens cald) Poggio; Be­cause he beleeved that these words aimed at no man but him.

The Infante (seeing the businesse fall out worse than hee ima­gined, making shew of embracing his aduice) resolved to depart for [Page 5] good and all, and (taking leave of him) caused to be called unto him Carasio. (This Carasio was a squire given him by his father, who (having served him from his cradle) besides that he was by nature loyall, so deerely loved him, as he judged that he could not trust a­ny other more faithfull and more loving.) Wherefore he said un­to him.

Carasio, You see on what tearmes I stand with the Prince my brother. I am resolued to give fortune place; Only two things grieve me, the one is that I must part without the consent of my Sove­raigne the King, and my Mother; the other, that I have not as yet re­ceived the order of Knighthood; But now necessity must excuse me in the one, and assist me in the other; See that those armes which we over-saw some daies agoe be put in a readinesse, with that little mo­ny that I have, and such jewels as you thinke may best stead, and lesse comber me. Choose you out for your selfe one of my steeds, the best in the stable; for me, I will have no other, than that fatall cause of my exile. And as Carasio would haue said something, Polimero (interrupting him) replied; I know what you would say, It greeves you that I part, in respect of the discontent my father will conceive there-from. It seems that my resolution is rash and overhasty not (ha­ving beene advised thereon) proceeding (as you believe from some childish disposition. But know: that if I part not, my stay will oc­casion heavier discontents. I choose my departure as the lesser evill; many moneths [...] have I thought thereon, my resolution is nei­ther suddaine nor childish, [...] grounded on manifest tokens of the hate of my brother, who will doe me all the [...] he may, during my fathers life, and after his death all the mischiefe he please; I there­fore (being of age to discerne and know my owne danger) were ve­ry simple if want of yeeres should hinder me to eschew it. My father I will satisfie, (not with my presence, because I may not) but by my letters, and much more with my actions. Here is not any patrimo­ny for me: we are to many brothers, my selfe the yongest of all, and not like to enioy othe eportion than my brothers hatred; my fathers love should not make me hope for any thing, who (being aged) must by course of nature dye shortly; and he once gone, who will pro­tect me against such an one, as is naturally inclined to tyrannize over me: and beleeveth, that the deceitfull love of the vulgar should edge me on to cause him leade a life full of misery and suspition? Fortune (Carasio) is a woman, and consequently a lover of youth, seeing ther­fore, I cannot abide here, it behoves me (the younger the better) to se [...]ke her, find her out and retaine her.

To waite irresolutely for time, is but to lose time, and to bring ones-selfe to such a passe as he can never amend the error of time. And though I were not in such danger as I am, yet must I goe get my selfe a patrimony elsewhere, since that the spite of fortune made me bee borne last, and the rigor of the law makes mee (for being borne such) poore and miserable. Ther's none can deny, but that I doe well; aswell, to avoid contentions with my brother (wherein [Page 6] I cannot choose but loose) as also, to take away the occasion of many vexations of the King my Father, whom I should not grieve.

I will hence to Ireland to my Aunt, and then I will thinke on my journey as occasion shall require. See you dispatch all things this day in any wise, and prepare this evening a ship, the first that sets out of the hauen. For I am most resolute that the Sunne shall not eye me to morrow in Birsa.

Carasio (having heard his LORDS irrepliable reasons,) with­out any more adoe went to the haven, where (finding a ship of Sar­degna with hoised up sailes, and understanding that there blew a faire gale, and that she would part about the first watch) he having agreed with the mariners for their passage, acquainted therewith Polimero, who (causing Flammauro to be led forth) mounted on him, and (ha­ving awhile gently mannaged him without finding him any way disobedient to the great amazement of all those that had formerly seene him very capritious) fayning to goe recreate himselfe to Pog­gio de gli Oliui, a palace of the Queene his Mother, gave order publikly to Carasio to come thither to him with the furniture of his chamber. Got out of the City, (and fetching a great compasse) he return'd againe at night, and (finding Carasio in the place appoin­ted) went aboord the shippe, who having waied up her anchors, hoyst up her sailes before a pleasant and gentle gale of winde.

As soone as the King had dined, he sent secretly a Gentleman of his chamber to spie for Polimer [...], and (understanding what order he had given Carasio) was thereof well pleased, imagining that by that meanes he might avoide occasion of new broiles; And lest the Prince should resolve to pursue him (wroth perhaps that his brother went away triumphant with the horse escaped from his anger) he entertained him all that day in counsell. The day following came to court the housekeeper of Poggio; who (seene of the King and questioned of the cause of his comming to the City, whilest he ought to have beene an assistant in the service of the Infante Polimero) an­swered; He was come for some service of the house: And that as touching the Infante Polimero, he understood not his Maiesties mea­ning.

How, understandest thou me not? (replied the King) what I would tell thee is; that, when any of my sonnes come to Poggio, thou depart not thence, but serve them as cause shall require. Even so doe I, my Leige, (answered the housekeeper) and acknowledge my selfe blame-worthy if I did otherwise: But, my Lord, the Infante Polimero is not at Poggio. How? is he not there, (said the King ve­ry angrily) and having espied the Gentleman that had told him he was gone thither, he said; Did you not tell me that Polimero was gone to Poggio? I did so, my Liege (answered the Gentleman) citing with that his authors, who were some of the Infante's servants there pre­sent, who joyntly protested that they saw him mount on horseback, and that he would not suffer any man come with him, but gave or­der [Page 7] to Carasio to bring (that night to Paggio) the furniture of his chamber: The keeper (amazed at so many affirmations) turning to­wards the King

My dread Soveraigne (said he) my Lord the Infante Polimero parted yesterday in the evening to goe to Poggio, I know not where he may be; he came not the last evening, nor this last night, much lesse this morning; for I dined there, neither is it above an houre since I parted thence. The King (fixing his eyes on the table) knew not what to imagine, he thought first hee might be gone to his uncle in Numidia, but that seemed impossible; considering the discommodity of the journey because of the sands: it being not likely he would un­dergoe that journey secretly with so much danger, and besides he would have feared to be pursued and overtane.

Afterwards (reasoning on the old desires he had to travell) e­ven in that also appeared difficulty, being he could not doe it, with­out a great provision of monies: But (the remembrance of his si­ster the Queene of Ireland come into his fancy) he imagined that for certaine, he was imbarqued to goe to her, and therefore comman­ded to see what manner of shipping had set out of the Port that night, and whither they went; and from whence they were; but finding that there parted no other than a ship of Sardegna, he remai­ned more confused than before, not judging it a thing likely that he was gone for Sardegna, but that the ship had rather [...] course of the straight of [...] supposing that they could not [...] land in Sardegna, because of the warres, (which he knew to be there very hot) Inveloped with so many coniectures he went to the Queene, to whom hee related what till then no creature living durst have spoken of; whereat shee (orecome with an extreame hearts griefe,) beganne the pitifullest complaint that could be.

The King (not able to endure the sight of her in that plight) went out from her, and having sent for the Count of B [...]na, charged him diligently to search Palimero's lodgings, and study; and to bring him word of all whatsoever he found there: The Count obey­ed and (making a diligent search of all) made an inventory there­of.

Being come to the study he caused it to be opened, wherein the first thing he discovered, was a letter sealed and placed on the midst of the table with inscription, To the King my [...]: which the Count tooke, and brought unto the King, offering him also the inven­tory, which hee refused: But opening the letter, hee found it said,

Sir; Among all the misfortunes, which I have hitherto in these my few yeeres partaked of, the greatest is that I part without your Maiesties royall licence, which if I had done in way of disobedience, or other such like thing, my life would be loathsome unto me, nei­ther could that joy be found that might any way case me. But (Roy­all Sir,) I hitherto ever have and henceforth ever will study to o­bey you: whereof although the obligation takes away the merit, [Page 8] yet bereaves it not me of that comfort which a noble minde receives in doing his duty: I am gone away, not for any curiosities sake to see my selfe free; nor for any desire I had to exercise my selfe in the profession of armes; Since that in the one I aspire to no greater li­berty than to serve your Maiestie, neither had your clemency de­nied me (in its time fit) in the other such reasonable satisfaction, and in such an equipage, as had beene answerable to the honor I have in being your sonne. The sole cause of my going away is, Because the small fortune I have in the favour of my LORD the Prince, hath ther­to advised me; Had I thought I could be able to have bettered the re­spect I owe him, and so becom more gracious in his favor, heavens be my witnesse, I had never entertained such a resolution, knowing that next your Maiestie he is that only one whom I ought to serve and honour. But seeing my conscience doth not accuse me of misdoing, I must needs confesse, my behaviour to be such as cannot please him: And if my duty be to please him, but cannot, then am I obliged to what I can, which is, to absent farre from him my presence, which so much dislikes him. Touching the last occasion of my departure I am not willing to say any thing, not meaning to excuse my selfe, by pretending, that I could not find any reason in my LORD the Prince, who indeed cannot doe amisse in any thing he doth against me; But rather I humbly beseech your Maiestie to hold mee for faulty, con­demning [...] for my absence (though neither voluntary nor malici­ous) for which (I hope by the intercession of your gratious benig­nity) to obtaine your royall pardon. I write not to the Queen my Lady and Mother, lest I thereby grieve her the more. Assuring neverthelesse the one and the other, that I part hence with an Inde­liblememory of being, of both your Maiesties a most humble, and most obedient Sonne, and servant. Polimero.

The King strangely mooved at this letter (having called for the Prince) with an Irefull countenance thus spake unto him. Metaneone, I intended (many daies agoe) to make knowne unto you your ill car­riage towards your brother the Infante Polimero: but misfortune hath so prevailed, that I have differ'd it so long as it is now past remedy you are the cause that I have lost him, in which losse I yet enjoy this comfort, that you also have lost him, and that besides 'tis you that shall repent it; you are first borne, 'tis true; but by meere fortune; And hee is last borne; by the same reason: But for his vertues worthy to be the first; And thou for thy vices worthy to be, not the last, but none at all; so much exceeds he thee in worth, that thou (be­cause thou couldst not match him in equality of deserts) didst (of meere malice) endevour to reduce him to those termes of desperati­on; Neither had thy fault beene so insupportable, if what induced thee thereto had not beene unworthy of a Prince; (who is obliged to love vertue, and not to abhorre it:) yet if thou would'st needs offend in such a case, then should thy fault have beene a gene­rous envy to emulate vertue, where it was; now with what face canst thou shew thy selfe to the world? with what reasons canst thou ex­cuse [Page 9] thy selfe? with thy hopes (perhaps) and interesses to the crown? Interesses of a Tyrant and no Prince. Think'st thou thy selfe surer of succession if thou wer'st alone? peradventure thou dost imagine the being of many brothers to be prejudiciall unto thee, and among them especially him, that is most worthy: knowest thou not that the mul­titude of Princely issue in a royal [...] house, is that which assures the successor in his government; And though this multiplicity were pre­judiciall to a wicked Prince (as thou art) yet availes it to the publike good, saving them a labour of seeking a master elsewhere, which cannot be done without endangering a state? Neither art thou depri­ved of the meanes of avoiding this hazard by out-going the rest in goodnesse, being a matter that lies in thy owne power; and although it were granted that all thy suppositions were indeed as thou wouldst have them, yet should not all things be equally considered in p [...]r­sons unequall. Polimero's qualities are not such as might give thee cause to doubt him, although (after my daies) even the kingdomes crowne were offered unto him: Seeing then thou hast had [...] orea­son to disaffect him, and yet hast hated him, thou hast made thy selfe unworthy to be such an one as nature hath made thee to be. And let thus much suffice, for what concernes thee.

Now touching what concerns me, I thee tell that in this case I am doubly interessed, both as a father and as a Iudge; as a father, I accuse thee that thou hast rob'd me of my sonne, that thou hast made him a fugitiue, and that thou [...] lost him mee; as a Iudge, I con­demne thee to restore him me againe: And that (whilst I live) thou be not seene in this kingdome without him.

Metaneone (hearing these cruell words of the King) was even halfe dead for grief, because the ingenuity of his bloud working in him, [...]irred up from the more internall parts of the heart the seeds of vertue, sowed there by education, and till then dead and buried; but in an instant in their sprowting, quickned by the heate of bloud, and revived by reproach; wherefore (kneeling on the ground) he thus answered, My LORD, I confesse that never father with more rea­son bemoaned the losse of a Sonne; nor Iudge more iustly con­demned a guilty malefactor, than doth your Majestie: Onely this one thing is wanting, that your Majestie (possessing the place both of father and Iudge) have, as being a father, too too much modera­ted your affections (deserving all immoderation for so wor [...]hy a sonne) and have obtained of so just a Iudge so unjust a sentence, as not to exercise the rigor worthy for so great a fault, against the wic­ked person of that caytive wretch that hath so maliciously commi­ted it: I beseech you (My LORD) that (stript naked of all pitty) you cloath your selfe with the robes of justice, and that you severely punish me that have so highly offended you, I having not deserved to have any place (much lesse the first) in the book of your generation: I know not (My LORD) how it is possible that I (your sonne, and nurst with the crums of your royall vertues) have suffered my selfe to precipitate into so base a fault, borne to bee a slave to my owne [Page 10] sensuality (without having participated of any of your perfections) but dazled with the lightsome splendor of those of my noble bro­ther. My Liege, had not your Majestie condemned me to seeke him out, I had besought you to favour we with that imployment, not as a punishment or penance (for such to mee could it not have beene) but as a supreame favour, being assured that if I find him not, and though I finde him, if I obtaine not his gratious pardon (which I can­not pretend of other than a Polimero) I shall leade but an ever-dy­ing life: And if my ill behaviour have offended you (my Leige) lost you a sonne and therewithal scandalized the world. I will endea­vour with my future actions to deserve your Majesties pardon: And that both my love and respect towards my brother may yeeld a ma­nifest testimony of my repentance; and also that my future course of life (contrary to that I formerly affected) may give the world a good example. And although I be not worthy to be called your sonne, yet (seeing it lies not in the power of my fault to cancell that character of nature) I beseech your Maiestie to favour me with some signe or assurance of my future reintegration into your royall fa­vour, to the end that my conscience (stung with the foulnesse of it's fault) be not so wounded with the imagination of your Majesties ha­tred, as overcome with its infirmity, procure mee that have lost you a worthy son by malice, to lose you also an unworthy one by re­pentance; which said, imbracing the knees of his father (which stood as a Rocke immovable) he humbly kissed them, weeping so piti­fully that the King (not able longer to containe himselfe) raised him up from the ground, and (having first turned aside to drie the teares of his eyes;) Metaneone (said he) I am not a father so inexorable, but that I (seeing thy unfained repentance) can pardon thee.

And though the departure of Polimero be grievous unto me, yet neverthelesse so much prize l thy repentance, that thy becomming a new man doth temperate the griefe I conceive of his losse: Howso­ever I will in any case have him againe, for my comfort, and thy ser­vice. I cannot yet imagine where he may be gone. Neither can I (by this letter found in his study) gather any thing of his journey: Reade it, and to morrow wee will resolve of what shall bee done.

The Prince (having read the letter) was well pleased with his brothers modesty, and thought the time long of imbarking himselfe to goe finde him out, and bring him home againe. But the Queene (being informed by the King of the conference had with his sonne, of the humble speeches he used, and of the unfained teares which he saw spring from his heart) prayed the King not to suffer him to goe: wherto he had willingly condescended, if the doubt of shew­ing himselfe too credulous (lest this repentance were counterfeited) had not confirm'd him in his former deliberation: But the Queene (urging earnestly the businesse) with many reasons drew him at last to be of her opinion, they agreeing to send in his stead the Count of Bona, who in a well arm'd galley should suddenly de­part. [Page 11] The Prince (as soone as hee understood that the King was gone from his mother) went thither: And in the same manner as he had done with his father, (accusing himselfe of his ill carriage to­wards his brother) besought her pardon: But (perceiving that she consented not to what was proposed, touching his going to seeke his brother) prostrating himselfe before her, he besought her with rea­sons so lively, and teares so effectuall, that she (mollified in affecti­on to see her sonnes reconciled) was content to let him goe.

The Prince forthwith caused to be rig'd and trim'd up the Roy­all, which was a bastard Galley of three and thirty banks with sixe men to an oare, he armed her with twise as many crossebow-men as souldiers, and furnished the remnant with knights, and adorning her with double harnesse, tackling and furniture, he chose to take along with him for counsellor the same Count of Bona. By whom though hee were advised that the Galley would onely serve in the Mediter­ranean sea, as farre as the straights, but that (being to passe thence to Ireland in respect of incommodity and perill of the long vessels in those seas,) it would be good to take a-long with them a spare shippe for that purpose; yet resolved hee to bring with him no other but the Galley, because she (being well rig'd and man'd) might overtake Polimero's shippe ere she could reach to the straights (being that she parted but a day and two nights before them; in which time she had no good wind, but onely one night and some few houres the day following, the rest of the time being calme as it continued to that ve­ry instant:) And if hee should neede to passe any further, he might then either leave the Galley in the straights, or send her backe a­gaine, and there hire or buy a round vessell.

The Prince having kissed the King and Queens hands ascended in­to the Galley, and (causing the ghing to ply the sea with their oares) vanished in an instant out of the channell of Birsa, and leaving on one hand Porto-Farina, Biserta, and Capo di ferro, and on the other the Iland of Sardegna, steer'd a course right on towards the straights, the Galley slaues being eased by a little gale that blew from the shoreward.

Polimero in the meane season sayled very pensive (his vessell run­ning the course of Sardegna,) hee could find in himselfe no comfort because of the discurtesies of his brother, nor quietnesse for having in such a fashion forsaken his parents: The noble Pilot (who de­lighted much in his generous presence) knew well who he was, and (seeing him so heavy) imagined that there was some thing occasio­ned it (his age and constitution not being such as might argue me­lancholy.) Whereupon (desirous to make him merry) he said, Sir, If you were constrained to make this voyage of necessity, which (I beleeve) you doe onely of your owne free will, I would imagine you could not be exempt from feare, being you goe to a place where the landing is somewhat dangerous: If such be the cause of your heavinesse (which I beleeve not) I beseech you be of good courage: Because (God willing) I hope (if you vouchsafe to marke what I shall tell you) to direct you in such a manner, as you may [Page 12] enjoy the sight of the warres without participating the perills there­of.

Polimero (that purposed to goe for Ireland, and had put himselfe in that shippe only to get out the speedier from Birsa; and that till then understood nothing of that warre) desired to heare: the relation thereof. The Pilot most willing to obey him, and assuring him that he should understand a memorable (though a pittifull) history, thus began.

Arato King of Sardegna (whither we are going) had two chil­dren, the one a male named Perosphilo, and the other a female called Eromena: both so beautifull, as that the world never produced a goodlier couple; But that which chiefly adorned their fading and corruptible beauties were the everlasting perfections of their im­mort all soules, whereby the one hath already, and the other doth at this present shew her selfe admirable to such as know her.

The prince Perosphilo was growne up to about your yeeres (be­ing as I conceive not above sixteene) when after he was dub'd an arm'd Knight, he so manifested the dexterity or his body, as (lea­ving his home, and spending sower yeares time abroad in most noble atchievements) he made himselfe therby (though unknowne) famous and knowne over all the world. But (recalled by often mes­sages from his father) he returned home with such rich tropheyes, store of good manners and languages, that (displaying them oppor­tunely without ostentation) he both amazed and delighted such as were so fortunate as to enioy the happinesse either of his conversati­on or service: whilst he thus travelled abroad to passe the time with­out losing it; Eromena at home made such a benefit and use of hers, as every man thought he could not make a richer gaine of his time than to spend it in admiring her; whose imployments were a noble and solid curiosity of knowing things in their beginnings; a strict vigilancy to accuse and correct her selfe, if her perfections could have beene capable of the least error; To speculate the meanes of negotiating with diversity of persons, and to put the same in practise with the measure of more and lesse, according to the difference and merits of each one: and to yeeld every one satisfaction, so as not a­ny (how highly soever favoured) could presume to judge himselfe worthy thereof, so well knowen was her Incomparable courtesie that shee participated it to all with a proportion so regular, that nei­ther she in doing it (although a Princesse,) nor others in receiving it (how meane conditioned soever) came thereby to lose or gaine in the imagination of others.

This court then (by meanes of these two princes) so flourished, as that the kingdome of Sardegna (though neither ample in terri­tories nor opulent in riches) surpassed neverthelesse in many things sundry of the greatest and most famous, for these Princes being young (studying onely to delight and be delighted) by their affabi­lity and gracefull behaviour, allured and wan the hearts of all that knew them. In so much as nought else was there to bee seene, but [Page 13] Iousts and tourneyes, entertainements of armes and love: so as such as came thither from other countries preferred Calary (which is the citty where the King did and doth yet reside) before all others the most renowned cities of Europe.

Among the principall dames of Sardegna, among the fairest and best esteemed of the Princesse, was Talasia, Lady Marquesse of Sassari, a young Lady of nineteene yeares of age, brought up with the Princesse Eromena. Who though married, had yet no occasion to leave the court, because her husband (a harsh fellow, but of a great spirit) served the King as Admirall of his fleete.

Perosphilo at his returne home was two and twentie yeere old, du­ring all which time Love could never get any victory over him, be­ing ever till then daunted with the Maiesty of his vertues, imployed in so many heroike actions: But (espying him now idle) thought it the fittest time to bring him under his obeysance, and (because hee had beene his wilfull enemy) with a miserable and tragicall successe.

The Lady Admiral kept continually the Princesse her company, neither came the Prince ever to the lodging of his sister, but that hee there found her; And finding in her at first sight regard-worthy ob­jects, hee thought well of her, ere the destinies compled him to love her, neither imagined shee ever that the favours of the Prince were other than meere termes of gentility; wherewith she being caught, began to love him, ere shee thought her selfe belov'd of him; yet as the native vertue of the one, served as a remedy to quell downe the growing fire; so the seemely modesty of the other (fearing to pre­sume too high made her conceale that flame, which in the end redu­ced to ashes both her life and honor.

The Prince (in his long travels) lighted on a thousand occasions of love, which he eschewed, to shunne any thing that might disturbe the honorable course of his worthy enterprises; and now, freed from this care (as though other occasions deserved not such or grea­ter obstacles) hee suffered himselfe to bee bound, and being but a Novist in that practise, thought at first, there was no such matter to bee doubted of, but deceiving himselfe (and beleeving that faire parts in a beloved object, were onely faire for being vertuous) hee perceived not how the more he esteemed it, the more it pleased him, and the more it pleased him, the more it inflamed him.

After that vertue (a greenefu [...]ll for such a fire) was somewhat dry'd up, and that it's smoake (which were good inspirations) eva­porated away through the chimni [...]s of youth, the flame of the one began so lively to communicate it selfe with the flame of the other, that joyned both in one they became to be (by little and little) an infernall Mongibello. The Prince meditating with himselfe con­sidered (as a presager of what was to ensue) all the mischiefe that afterwards befell him. There lay represented before him his Illustrious deeds, his renowne acquir'd, with those his royall vertues that purchased him the good opinion of the world, then the quality [Page 14] of the woman (not for being his inferior, but for being married) and because her husband was a noble and valiant knight, the King his fa­thers servant, and a well deserver of the crowne.

But that which more than all the rest tormented him was his conscience, gnawing him so shrewdly, and stinging him so deepely, that the very Imagination of the sinne was to him both penance and torment.

This conflict betweene him and reason, lasted well-nigh two yeeres, during which time he did as much as a well governed under­standing could doe, and thought to ease his heart of this conceit by listning to the marriage which his father treated for him with the Princesse of Maiorica.

But the subtile Lady Admirall (who was long before aware of the Prince's love to her-ward; and did oft hope that the heate of youth, and delight of enjoying would in time vanquish all the Philosophy of vertue and reason) when she understood that hee had condescended to the conclusion of the marriage (so long for her sake suspended) was ready to grow franticke with the very thought ther­of: But honesty so tempered her affctions, that concealing inwardly her griefe shee seemed in outward shew to be more joyfull than ever before: Meane time the disease creeping inwardly, brought her to her bed for not bringing her to her Beere, which had been better for her. The Physitians knew not what to doe, her impairing was manifest, her disease unknowne and strange, yea meere conjectures were defici­ent because the meanes (whereby to coniecture) were wanting; they applied vnto her foments, but not such as she required, they gave her cordialls, but not proportionable to her melancholy: so as (ces­taine of the evill and despairing of the cure) they left her in the hands of fortune; The Princesse (that truly loved her) conceived there­of an extreame griefe, not omitting to visite her dayly, having cau­sed her to bee brought to the Palace in a covered chaire, and couch'd her in a withdrawing chamber neer her owne.

The Prince (for all his resolution made never more to thinke of her) could take no rest, neither thought he that hee could possibly live if she died, he asked for her often of Eromena, and was somewhat solaced in hearing the sweete harmony of her name. But finding one day his sister with bitter sobs bemoaning her as dead, hee comfor­ted her, intermingling among the offices of consoling, an expression of a certaine pious desire he had to see her: wherupon his sister said, Alas, my LORD and brother, and well are you thereto obliged, for you owne not that subject that is more observant of you than Tala­sia: with much a-doe could the Prince refraine from teares, when (concealing his griefe) hee said, Let us goe (Madam) to doe this charitable office, which I had done long ere this, had not the due respects of her sexe withheld me.

The Princesse would first know what she did, and would goe give her notice how that the Prince would come visit her. The lan­guishing Talasia, that stood on the point of death, and who (having [Page 15] abandoned all earthly things) retaind only the love of her Perosphilo; understanding that she should see him before her death, was the best contented woman in the world; and not wanting her gentile spirits (although deprived of all the rest;) sent him word, that she having never merited much, and now (being a carkasse) nothing at all should exceedingly joy to carry with her to her grave the honour of being so highly and gratiously favoured of her LORD and Prince.

The chamber-windowes were all shut, so that whosoever came therein, saw nothing, but onely heard a pitifull murmure of the stan­ders by, and sometimes the languishing sighs of the sicke Lady. Perosphilo was conducted unto her bed whilst the Princesse would needs goe know of the women what she said or did since she had left her.

The grieved Prince knew not how to frame his speech, yet (with a pittifull accent) enquired of her disease; Shee (with an amorous hearts griefe able to become visible in darknesse it selfe, thanking him for having so much abased himselfe as to come visite her his most humble handmaid) answered him; that shee knew it not otherwise, but that she must needs die. The Prince (in a manner illuminated by this answer, but much more by her manner of ex­pressing it) suspected what the matter was indeed; but (desirous to be better cleared of his doub:) having besought her to comfort and cheere up her selfe, hee prayed her to len [...] him her pulse, and there withall lest she night take cold by putting forth her arme;) he rea­ched in his hand gently to it

But she (feeling her selfe touched with that hand which shee so much desired) not able longer to refraine, tooke it betweene her two hands, and (sweetly kissing it and bathing it with her teares) said unto him; Behold LORD, how that I, a dead woman have now more courage, than I had when I was lively: I beseech your High­nesse to pardon me, I presume too much, I know it I offend against mine own honesty, but much more against your resolution (which is by not loving me to compell me to die) yet this doth me good, that you (being the cause of my death) doe now know it; you neede feele no other pulse than my heart, which (being in you) you may keepe (as you please) dead or alive, and by it give mee either life or death.

The Prince (orecome with supreame tendernesse of affection) answered, (Madam) I have, and doe love you, and if I resolved to strive to conceale my affection, yet did I it not with an intent to with­draw it from you, I beseech you, recover, and be well, otherwise my life shall end with your death. Scarce had he finished the last ac­cent of his speech, when the Princesse came unto them: Who, ha­ving asked her how she felt her selfe, said unto her, Talasia, I pray you torment me not by depriving me of you. All the world will have your sicknesse to be nothing else but a meere melancholy, and therfore the remedy lies in your owne power; what want you wo­man will you be your owne murtheresse? If you will not recover for [Page 16] any others sake, yet doe it for mine. See (my LORD and brother) the Prince is come to visite you, and I am sure that you cannot please him better than in recovering. The Lady Admirall (who had already chased away all melancholy, and who full of content thought the time long that she left not her bed) answered; The fa­vours (Madam) you doe me are such, as it is impossible for me to die, though I would; I am not so foolish but that I know, that it is better for mee to stay here, and serve you, than to lie in the grave with my ancestors: I will endeavour to obey you; and doe already perceive my selfe to have that ability which before I had not, I am toomuch obliged to my LORD the Prince, by whose gratious visit I acknowledge my selfe revived, for at his comm [...]ng in, I felt my selfe so amend, as I now hold my selfe fully recovered.

The Princesse very gladsome (embracing her about the necke) kissed her, and (having together with the Prince accompained her a good while) left her, being well pleased to see manifest signes of her amendment, neither deceived she her selfe therein; for in eight daies space shee returned in her former plight both of health and beauty.

Perosphilo, having thus (under the pretext of pitty) given reines to sense, thought the time tedious till he should enjoy her; and mee­ting her at his sisters, agreed to speake with her that night, be­ing to enter into her house through a secret doore, (standing towards an alley frequented of few;) her husband was then executing his charge in the fleete on suspition of the King of Corsica, who gave no obscure signes of enmity: Because he requiring for wife Eromena the Princesse, Arato denied her him (seeing his daughter not thereto inclined) this King (who is called Epicamedo) being of a crabbed na­ture, pimple-faced and a creple: Whereupon pretending old titles to the Iland of Asinara, a naturall member of Sardegna (it seemed) he would by this pretext molest that kingdome.

Now the Lady Admirall had in her house many maids and women, to whom she would not trust her selfe, beleeving she might better commit her life and honour both into the hands of Prodotima her slave (with many courtesies obliged unto her;) who withall was already (some time past) a servant in the Admirals house; and shee (seeing her selfe become her mistres treasurer of a secret of such im­portance) was infinitely glad thereof, hoping to reape there-from no ordinary profit; shee was borne in Orcano and taken on those shores, when she (running away with her lover) endevoured to save her selfe from the fury of her parents, that came pursuing her, not because they cared either for her or for the honor of their blood (she being but basely borne) but because at her parting away she had broken up the chest in the warehouse (where her father was factor) and stolen there-out the money.

And (because matters ill begun end worse) her fortune was to escape her parents, and perish among strangers, for the galleys of Sardegna being (by a great tempest) wether-beaten and driven to [Page 17] that shore, the two Fugitives (spied by the Galley-slaves) were by them first taken and stript, and then presented to the Admirall.

Andropodo (which was the secret lecher) was put to serve in the stable, and she (being an artificiall dissembler) knew so well how to worke for her selfe, that she was withdrawen from base slavery to services more civill, about the person of her Mistresse. And now (perceiving her selfe imployed in affaires of so great consequence) she (with well composed words) promised her utmost helpe, and being rich in invention, discoursed upon the manner and means of the com­ming of the Prince with such circumspection, as the poore Talasia thought it impossible to perceive it her selfe, much lesse her hus­band; and gave her forthwith (in earnest of her liberality) two hun­dred crownes of gold. At the appointed houre came Perosfilo (armed with a sword, a little buckler, and a halfe coat of maile) so secretly, as that not any of his servants were any way privy to his going, because some dayes before he had begunne to locke himselfe in his chamber, with a devise that lying a bed, he could with a little cord, open and pull towards him the doore; so now also hee caused him­selfe to be set a bed, but as soone as the Gentlemen that waited on him were gone, he put on his cloathes himselfe, and getting out by a secret ladder went on to the Admirals house, where he needed not to touch the doore, so vigilant was the villanous Prodotima, who (expecting him, with the doore under-shut) suddenly leade him the way in. It's needlesse to tell you of the joy and pleasure of the two Lovers, be­cause the imagination unable to conceive it, deprives the tongue of the ability of expressing it: let it suffice, that they did their best to recompence the two yeares time, lost to their loves, with the perill of death incurr'd by her in her last sicknesse; and well might they doe it, there concurring in them both, love, beauty, and youth, to make them humanely happy.

This practise continued happily, untill such time as Prodotima (rewarded by her Mistresse, and inriched by the Prince) beganne to desire to enjoy in liberty the selfesame pleasures with her Andropodo But knew not what course to take, because to run away was a diffi­cult matter, and to delay time grieved her; not so much, because it is a thing ordinary to expect with impatience, the fruition of dishonest desires, as because she (hoording up every day more gifts and coine) doubted lest the abundance thereof should redound more to her pe­rill, than profit; just as it chanced her, when she was taken with the Galleyes. At length after she had a long time conceited divers projects, she ran her head into the most detestable mischiefe that ever was heard of in the world; and there, (without passing any further) she staid: this alone seeming unto her to be the way to re-have their liberty, regaine her sweet-heart, and to enjoy happily her ill-gotten riches. Wherefore having caused Andropodo to come unto her, (be­fore she came to the purpose, she lessoned him what he should say, if by chance any body had observed them talke together,) and then afterwards she thus began.

[Page 18] Andropodo, I will not make thee any long stories of my love, nor of the losses and sufferings I have endured for thy loves sake, as well because thou already knowest them, as also be­cause I have no spare time at this present to lose in matters so su­perfluous, it shall suffice me onely to remember thee, how that I have beene rob'd, and that I am now a slave, for nothing else but for loving and following thee; not making any reckoning of the rest, as the losse of honor, countrey and friends, because I ever have, and yet doe prize all as nothing in comparison of thy deare selfe a­lone.

What I have to tell thee is, that I, desirous we might recover againe our liberty, (among many waies by mee thought of) have found out onely one easie, and (as I beleeve) without any danger. But that which should cause us to desire it the more (although it bee of it selfe desireable) is, because we now are in case and ability of en­joying it sweetly, without being beholding to any, my selfe being worth between Iewels and money neere about six thousand crowns, by what meanes I came by them, thou shalt understand with the rest: But first, thou should'st not marvaile, why I have till now concealed this from thee, because it was a matter of exceeding great importance, and though I well know that I may assuredly trust thee in any thing, yet know I also, that if I had made thee privy thereto, I could not have refrained from being good unto thee, and thou by spending, had'st given occasion to others of being inquisitive, how thou couldst come by those monies, and so our affaires might have beene peradventure indangered.

Then discovered she unto him the love between the Prince and her mistresse, shewing him all the presents bestowed on her by them, and (taking out of her chest a purse) she said unto him, What I have thought of to be done, is this; that thou goe to our Master, and tell him that upon condition that he grant us our liberty, thou wilt disclose unto him a matter of great importance, neerly concerning the principall of his interesses; thou must speake of me, not as if I knew the secret, but as thy fellow-slave and taken in thy compa­ny; assuring him that to know it he would not stand on granting li­berty, not onely to two but even to two hundred slaves; which if hee promise (and that thou ghesse it bee made in such sort as if he meant really to performe it,) then tell him, that I, (not able to en­dure to see him so highly injuried) have sent thee unto him, wherein if he doubt of being deceived, beseech him to come secretly, and his owne eyes shall see the manifestation thereof. But if he chance to deny thee, and will needs by all meanes know the matter, then set not thy selfe about this enterprise, if thou hast not the courage to resolve to die in torments, rather than to confesse it.

The hazard I confesse is great, but well recompenced with thy liberty, my person, and those riches thou here seest, wherewithall we will live all our lives time most happily. Here take these hundred crownes, if thou wilt goe, let them serve thee in thy journey; But if [Page 19] thou canst not finde in thy heart to goe, then enjoy them, (but with such sobriety, as the aire perceive thee not to have them) untill for­tune offer us some other occasion.

The slave as rash as malicious (having suddenly made a briefe dis­course with himselfe, and ballanced the danger with the benefit,) re­solved to goe, assuring her that no torment in the world, should force one word out of his mouth: onely it seemed unto him a matter worthy of consideration, whether they might trust to the perfor­mance of their masters promise, seeing it lay not in their power to force him thereto. And Prodotima judging the consideration to be of moment, (after she had awhile stood somewhat doubtfull) said unto him: We (my Andropodo) can never aspire to our liberty, but by some strange and unexpected accident, which the gods alone know, when any such may happen; as for me I can well stay for it, for though I be a slave by name, yet am I in effect a free woman: my mistresse being my slave upon the matter, neither can she deale otherwise than well with me, who have in my hands both her heart and life: but thou, that leadest a painefull life, canst no long time prolong it, without danger of thy health, yea, and of thy life it selfe; wherefore beleeve me, that what I doe, that doe I not for my owne sake (because I can never have a happier nor better fortune than I already enjoy) but it is for thy sake I doe it, without whom I can take no joy, neither in fortune, nor in any goods whatsoever; and albeit in an estate so highly raised, we ought to governe our selves with all prudencie, yet, if thou thinkest that it lies in our power to prevent all dangers, thou art deceived, for fortune will have a share in our actions, and for the most part wee should referre our selves to her. On these speeches Andropodo resolved to goe.

The fleete rode then hard by Isoletta Asinara (to which the King of Corsica pretended title) in the port of Torre, distant from Calari a hundred and sixteene miles: and the way to goe thither, passed through Sassari (a place of the Admirals) where he then resided for its commodiousnesse, who being there in his owne house, was not above eight mile distant from the fleete.

There accompanied him in that instant a high spirited young gentleman (his owne cozen) the Count of Montevero, and with him the Baron of Frisano (his kinsman, brought thither by him to see the Admirall.)

The slave noting his master all alone, presented himselfe before him, and said; My Lord, you wonder to see me here unsent for, but the occasion that drew me hither is of such importance, and con­cernes you so neerely, that I resolved by all meanes to come hither; being well assured that when you shall know it, you will not onely take it in good part, but will also courteously grant me what I shall demand of you.

The Admirall, who (seeing him come unawares) had ey'd him with a dogged looke, suspecting that he meant to flie into Corsica, but that being discovered, he resolved to come to Sassari; or else that [Page 20] somebody had enticed him to runne away (which might be the bet­ter done under colour and pretext of being his slave) yet hearing these words, permitted him to speake all that he would. The slave (observing the comming of others into the roome,) with a submis­sive voice besought him to make a shew of bidding him doe some­thing, till such time as the company were gone away. The Admirall seeing him so circumspect, thought his suspition might be vaine, and (his hart telling him that something was amisse) he bade him do some services about the chamber, to set him aworke till he were rid of those that were there; then (having made him follow him alone in­to the garden) he commanded him to tell him the occasion of his comming. Whereat he kneeling downe, thus said unto him;

My Lord, the thing I have to tell you is of such importance, as, if it should be knowne, there is no man living could save my life: although then I (as your slave, and as a slave well used) am in all things obliged unto you, without having any reason of preten­ding any reward from you; neverthelesse, I beseech you to be plea­sed, that (before I tell it you) I begge the liberties of my selfe and Prodotima, who (to tell you the truth) is my wife; and though libertie be the onely thing that ought to be most desired of every one in the world, yet would I not in this case desire it, were I not of necessitie (for the saving of my owne life) constrained so to doe.

The Admirall (having heard these well compact reasons) abso­lutely promised him all that he requested; in case, the matter were such as he made it to be. Whereupon the slave kissing his feete, said vnto him; My Lord, Prodotima sent me unto you, and (out of the ob­ligation she owes you) lets you know, that your bed is violated by the Prince, which (if you beleeve not) she offers to let you see.

The Admirall (who expected no such newes) was ready to fall dead for griefe thereof; but striving to encourage himselfe the best he could, he demanded of him many things touching that purpose: but the other (fearing to faile) said, he knew no more thereof, but that Prodotima could fully satisfie him of all. The Admirall (con­cealing what he felt in himselfe) sent him to the stables, bidding him say, that he himself had sent for him thither. Afterwards (setling him­selfe to ruminate, or rather to rave on the case of the businesse) he could not imagine that the slave came to tell him a lie: neither held he him to be so simple, as not to know his owne danger.

Whilst he thus stood, there came to him unlookt for, the Coant of Montevero; who (seeing him changed as if he had beene sicke a whole moneths time) asked him, if he felt not himselfe well? And being answered with, no; The Count said, that it might be, that he was not sicke, but that it could not otherwise be, but that some great ill had befallen him. The Admirall (suffering at these words a dee­per impression of griefe) burst out like a child into an extremitie of weeping: whereupon the Count (taking him by the hand) led him to the end of the walke, and having first seated themselves in the thicket of a grove, besought him to tell him the occasion of his [Page 21] griefe, to the end that he might either comfort, counsell, or assist him. The Admirall blushing for shame of being found in such a plight, (after he had dried his eyes) related unto him all that the slave had told him: whereupon the Count (after a short pawse) said unto him, Cozen, the occasion of your griefe is great, not in respect of what is already happened you, (you being not the first that had a dishonest wife) but in regard of what may befall you, if you thinke to repaire your honour; whereof (because of its difficulty) you cannot easily resolve: suspend (I pray you) your sorrow, lest by bewraying it, you marre all your businesse. Only this much Ile tell you, that though in revenging your wrong I were sure to lose my life and goods, yet would I most willingly forgoe them, and thinke them well spent for your honors sake. The Admirall (framing the best countenance he could) departed thence, to which place both of them returned a­gaine after supper, under pretence that the Baron was disposed to recreate himselfe: where after much consultation, they resolved that the Admirall should goe disguised to Caleri, to assure himselfe of the act, before they would thinke of the rest, and to the end that this his journey might not be any way suspected; they tooke on them to goe thence alone to Montelione, without any attendance, that those of the household might thinke they made this journey for some a­morous pleasure. The slave sent they two dayes before with a spare Barbar horse, which the Admirall was to ride on; lead by him a mai [...]e pace as far as Montecouo being fortie miles, where he left him, having found another that there expected him, being sent there by the Count; which hee led as farre as Genevi, being forty miles more, w [...]ere after he had delivered him with the counter-signe agreed [...] a place without the Castell, he went thence a foote to Caleri. [...] Admirall, after he had continued at Sassarie, till such time [...] imagined that the horses sent before were somewhat reposed, [...] on horsebacke, very early, accompanied with the Count, [...]ping together as farre as Montelione, where leaving him at a [...] Inne; he mounted first on the one fresh horse, and after­ [...]rds upon the other, posting on with such diligence that by darke [...]gh [...] hee reached to Caleri, where expected by the slave, that through the stables conducted him to the house (to the lodgings re­served for strangers,) Prodotima came to finde him out.

The words were few, because they were to goe thence to watch the comming of the Prince: she led him into the fore-chamber of her mistresse (who was already laid in bed) and there hid him in the study, where-hence he might first see the Prince, as he passed by, and then through the doore (which was to stand open) heare and see all the speeches and actions of his wife. He was well armed, because he came of purpose about a businesse of such importance, and wan­ting neither valour nor courage, had soone resolved with himselfe to kill them both; if his Cozen (foreseeing the danger) had not made him promise to do nothing else but assure himselfe of the fact.

In lesse than a quarter of an houre came the Prince, and passed [Page 22] through the fore-chamber with a light that Prodotima bore before him. The Admirall saw him, and knew him he heard their amo­rous complements, their reciprocall affections, the smacking of their kisses, his putting off his clothes, and going to bed. I wonder that madnesse, jealousie, and fury, made him not forget his pro­mise.

Prodotima gone out, he would not stay to heare any more (not willing to trust too much to his owne patience.) Of her would he needs know in many particulars, and (amongst other things) the time and continuance of this practice. She, concealing such things as might condemne her selfe for a mediatrix, told him, that it had not lasted many daies, and that she (for her part) had absolutely deni­ed her assistance, when she was thereto requested by her mistresse, who therefore (mistrusting her) had caused the Prince to threaten her, the selfe same evening, when her mistresse went her selfe in per­son to open him the dore (as she beleeved she had done ofttimes be­fore her being made privy thereto) so that she for feare of her life could not choose but obey her.

The Admirall, after he had seene and heard too much, went his way, charging her to serve them with a good countenance, untill such time as he gave her further order; promising her, that (over and besides her liberty) hee would therefore well reward her.

The slave having put the horse to stand in a stable without the house, found him (when he went to saddle him) so tired and weary, as he could not possibly cause him to get up on his feet, so as the Admi­rall knew not what to doe, and (not able to endure any longer the sight of his house, or of Calari, no nor of the skie that covered them) went out of the citty on foot; giving the slave money to hire ano­ther horse, as farre as Geneui, whitherward he was to come after him and overtake him by the way.

The subtle hangman (well knowing where to finde choise of horses,) chose out an excellent good one, paying well for him, and leaving the other in pawne thereof, received of his master when he overtooke him, the counter-token for getting againe the horse at Ge­neui; whither he walked at his leasure. But the Admirall carried by Furies road those five and thirty miles in two houres, and with the other two horses came to Montecouo ere the Count was stirring out of his bed; where (almost dead with wearinesse, hunger, and griefe) he told him of all that had happened him.

The Count (although astonished to heare him) answered no­thing else, but that he had well done to hold his hands, praying him to repose himselfe a little, as he had need for not having slept a winke the two former nights, and that afterwards they would discourse of the businesse with more conveniency and leasure.

The Admirall (although he had more desire to die than to live, yet orecome by necessity having refreshed himselfe with a little meate,) without stripping himselfe of his cloathes, lay him downe [Page 23] to sleepe a nap on the beds side. And afterwards awaking with a a shivering feare, caused by his imagination and passion, he found the Count awake, who spake thus unto him:

Cozen, I have thought on your case, wherein I finde you may proceede two manner of waies, the one profitable, but contrary to the common opinion of our countrey; the other (by the same opi­nion) honorable, but ruinous: in the first, is laid before you; how that he who offends you is your Prince, & such a Prince, as (this fault excepted) might be entitled the worthiest that the world enjoyes.

Adde hereunto his discretion in doing what he doth, in a man­ner so secret, that no living creature can come to know it, and what you esteem an offence is rather an amorous trespasse, than an injury. Moreover if we ought to ground our resolutions on the common opinion, we shall finde that a Prince takes not away the honor of his subject in enjoying his wife; which if it be allowed, though all the world know it, why will not you allow it now that no body knowes it? Infinite truly are the number of such, as will laugh at you in their sleeves, if you but doe otherwise; because honor is indeed in the end nothing else, but a mecre opinion, and many nations mocke and leere at us, who with so great and so many dangers endevour to protect the chastity of our wives, perswaded in our selves that their dishonesty spots us with infamy.

Therefore, if you will follow this course, you shall (besides the saving of your honour) reape therby many commodities, you shall find your selfe freed of a griefe that so much troubles you; and con­sequently, letting all things passe, you neede not thinke of any thing else, than of your course of life.

And may withall (if jealousie should yet torment you) in some seemely fashion th wart those loves by causing your wife to come to Sassari; you shall save your owne patrimony, and the estates of di­vers others; and besides free from danger your own life with those of your friends and kindred.

The other way of proceeding is, for such as beleeve, that this case marcheth in the very front of the first files of honor, which if you'l follow, you'l uncloath your owne shame, and thereby pro­cure your selfe many losses and disgraces, as to be branded with the infamous name of a Traitor, and utterly lose your goods, countrey, honor, dignities and friends. The choise therefore lies in your owne hand, and on you alone depends the election thereof.

This said, he pawz'd awhile, till (seeing the Marquesse stand si­lent, without making any answer) he thus proceeded: I beleeve, that these reasons shall not (peradventure) obtaine of you that credit, as I wish they could; in that you may perswade your selfe that I pro­pose them, onely to free my selfe from the communitie of your perils; but (to cleare you of that doubt) I heare seriously pro­test unto you, that I am most willing to incurre with you any danger whatsoever.

The Admirall (looking somewhat more cheerefull) answered, [Page 24] (Cozen) I have not so little judgement, but that I know you; though your reasons indeede are more profitable than honourable, my bu­sinesse caries with it no other ballance than that of honour, which if in this case it cannot be taken from me by the Prince, because he is a Prince; no more can he deprive me thereof in another case, for being such a person: and Princes by this reason should be lesse powerfull than private men, for such (for being private men,) might and are able to doe injuries, if they would, whereas Princes cannot so doe (for being Princes.) But this (cozen) is a false reason, found out and invented either by the Princes themselves, or by the women, who (being dishonest) would thereby defend their honestie; or by their husbands, who faine would under that veile hide their owne disgra­ces. As concerning vertue, I confesse the Prince hath heretofore par­ticipated of some part thereof, whereof he is at this present deprived, because true vertues are perpetuall, neither are they ever found unac­companied with others like themselves, so that when one of them is corrupted, all the residue are thereby blemished. Touching honour, I allow what you say thereof: but the selfesame argument of yours is sufficient to give you satisfaction; True honour (as you terme or limit it) is that, which is found common in every one, as the law of nature is common to every man; observing this rule, I should have but small reason to finde my selfe aggrieved. But there are certaine particular lawes, which although they be not observed elsewhere, than in places where they are established, yet can it not be denied, but that they are lawes; and ought to bee knowne and observed of every one for such. When custome hath brought a thing to become, (or be esteemed) a branch of honour, whosoever is not observant and obedient thereto, is dishonored, not because it ought to bee so in effect, but because we have consented that it should be so. I con­fesse that to watch over womens honesty, with so great curiositie, is a custome altogether prejudiciall: but wee being thereto subject, must needs endure it; and so much the rather, by how much we are the more conspicuous & eminent in our callings. And if I would free my selfe from the bonds thereof, then would it not be said that I did it, because the Philosophie of honour taught me to despise this fan­tasticall opinion; but rather for that avarice and ambition had indu­ced me to become patient: so as I shall not onely make my selfe sub­ject to the sottish talke of the vulgar, but shall also bee accounted of my Peeres scorne-worthy, and infamous. As for my life and goods, the selfe-same custome will answer for me; which custome will, that I preferre my selfe, and my owne honor before all things: and that with losing all, I declare my selfe a rebell to Nature, which commands us to looke to our owne profit, and to conserve what we enjoy of hers. Touching my friends, I know not what to answer you, saving only, that the disgrace I suffer doth also reflect on them; what is my case to day, may be theirs to morrow. It rests that I tell you, that the Prince might have allowed himselfe pleasures without offending any man, as wise Princes doe, who jest not, but [Page 25] where such iests are received for favours. The summe of all is, that I am resolved, that the lives of both the Prince and my wife shall sa­tisfie the vengeance of my wronged honour.

Seeing that such is your resolution (replied the Count) mine also shall be conformable to yours. And after they had proposed divers meanes for effecting it, at length they concluded on these; that the Admirall should sell a good part of his goods, who to give a colour to the sale thereof, was to lose publikely at play with the Count, sixty thousand crownes. That he should practize a plot with the King of Corsica, by the mediation of Mortiro (one of the Ambassadors that came to demand the Princesse) a friend to them both, whom they were to procure to come disguised, and give them the meeting. That the assistance of that King should be sued for, with proffering him in recompence, the Kingdome of Sardegna. That they should in the meane time insinuate into the love of the Captaines, Souldiers, and Mariners; but so discreetly, as their unaccustomed liberality might not cause them to be suspected. All which accomplished, the last thing should be the death of the Prince.

The Admirall, after this agreement, seemed to be of better com­fort, and considering how it would be well done to prepare thereto their friends; and particularly the Baron of Frisano, the Count there­to agreed not; but said that the foundations being once well groun­ded (which were the moneyes and the backing of the King of Cor­sica) their friends would bee thereunto afterwards more easily per­swaded.

The day following they returned to Sassari, where taking on them to be merry, and setting themselves to gaming; the Admirall lost some monies, which he tooke out of his pocket, and then play­ing on ticket, lost twenty thousand crownes: under which pretext he had leasure to give himselfe over to his melancholy, and holding on his game (although the Baron with many Captaines would have set themselves in betweene them, and the Count himselfe made as though he plaid unwillingly) in a few dayes, the Admirall resolutely lost threescore thousand crownes.

The newes of these losses were suddenly rumored about the Court, and came to the eares of the Admirals wife, who grieved extremely thereat; and not long after received from her husband a letter, with order, to finde out such as would buy so much of his goods, as might make up the summe of sixty thousand crownes. Now the Prince being that night come unto her, she with be-teared eyes, shewed him the letter: and he (glad of having occasion to gra­tifie in any thing his Talasia) wished her not to trouble her minde therewith. Having therefore sent for the Admirall to Calari, (who came thither very unwillingly) he bespake him in this wise: I un­derstand that your Steward hath offered to sale your goods, which have for these many yeares belonged unto your honour, for which I am indeede sorry, more for the occasion, that for the thing it selfe; the King (my father) will not that you (being the second Baron [Page 26] of Sardegna) should (by being ruinated) become unable to serve him: repaire therefore unto the Treasurer generall, who hath order to deliver you sixty thousand crownes; make use thereof, and re­store it againe, by little and little, without discommodating your estate. The Admirall (who well knew the cause of this liberalitie) dissembling, kneeled downe before him, and with most humble speeches, thanked him, doing the selfesame to the King; who ad­vised him not to suffer himselfe by play, to be any more reduced to such necessitie.

The Admirall continued at home but a very small time, where it behooved him to make much of his wife, with no lesse art, than disgust. Returned backe to Sassari, he wrote to his Cozen, to whom (as soone as hee was come) he publikely disbursed sixty thousand crownes, acquiring thereby the praise and reputation of a loyall and gene [...]ous spirit.

Afterwards retired aside, the Count shewed him the answer of Mutriro, the contents whereof was, that he would goe to Assinara, in the habit of a Fisherman, where they were to expect him; they therefore retired to the fleete, and (taking on them to goe a fishing) went so farreonwards till they came to Assinara, where the coun­terfeit shepheard expected them, and landing a bowshot distant from him, (leaving their Squires busied in making dinner ready) they walked along the strond, till they came to his Barke; where (dissem­bling the matter before his servants, there present, and asking him what he was? and what he there did?) they singled him from them; and he (with a seeming humility) followed them, till such time as the Admirall perceiving himselfe out of sight, told him; that the oc­casion wherefore he had prayed him to come thither was, for that he (resolved to avenge his wrong'd honour) was desirous to partici­pate it to King Epicamedo, who by that occasion, might not onely be revenged for the refusall of the Princesse Eromena, but also impa­tronize himselfe of that kingdome, which they offered him, telling him, that they demanded no moneys; howbeit he might doe well to imploy such as hee should have given them, in reinforcing of the fleete with more men and munition to passe over into Sardegna, when he should be thereof advertized. That the Admirall would stirre up to rebellion the fleete under his command (having already purcha­sed the love and affection of the Captaines and Souldiers thereof) which he could the easier accomplish, because his was no rebel­lion, but a just revenge. That as soone as he received an answer, he would communicate the businesse to all his friends, whereof some of them had their lands and castles lying in the Province of Lougo­dori, over against Corsica, so as at their landing in the Iland, they should find no resistance. That in these consisted all the strength of the kingdome; in that (the Prince being once dead) there would re­maine to King Arato, but very few souldiers, without either Ge­nerall or Captaines.

Glad was Mortiro of so goodly an imployment, whereof when [Page 27] when they had sufficiently discoursed, every one returned to his owne barke, agreeing within six dayes to meete againe in the same place, where being accordingly returned, Murtriro presented the Admirall with a letter from King Epicamedo, whereby he accepted of their offer, promising all whatsoever they had required of him, specifying withall, how that he would send into the Iland, twentie thousand souldiers, and increase the fleete to the number of five and twenty Galleyes, together with this message sent he him for a pre­sent, a rich sword with the hilts, inlaied with many diamonds, and unto the Count a rich Iewell to weare in his hat.

Afterwards, having more particularly ordered a setled course for what was to be effected; the Admirall together with the Count, returned to the Fleet, and thence went away as if it had beene to recreate themselves, together with the Baron of Frisano: to whom when they had communicated the businesse, he remained so troubled in mind to here of such an unexpected act done by the Prince, that lo­ving both the Admirall and his Cozen (as it were) with an equall affection, he easily consented to make one in this conspiracy.

Thence compassing about Capo Luogodori, they infected all those tributaries thereabout, whereof the principallest were, the Earles of Reparata, of Pussinera, and of Castle Rabone, with the Barons of Ianque, of Lilaraba, of Lagosardo, and of Villapeires. All these were present at the death of the Prince, except the Count of Monte­vero, who (with the occasion of apparant receit of sixtie thousand crownes, having (by the Admirals appointment,) liberally given as largesse of his winnings in the army, more than six thousand of them) had so obliged the Captaines, and all the rest, that it was thought fit to leave him in the custody and governement thereof.

The Admirall in the meane time, sent the King and Prince often intelligence of the great preparations of the King of Corsica, desiring to be authorized with greater power, to the end he might give order in the country of Luogodori, for the defence of that Cape (dangerous in time of invasion) as the neerest unto the enemy. Whereupon he received greater authoritie than he desired, and began first to forti­fie his owne holds (namely) Sassari and Porta Torre. Thence (with title of Commissary Generall) he visited the Conspirers, and caused their townes to be fortified, their battalions armed, and many com­panies of souldiers to be levied all at the charge of the Kings Exche­quer, without a penny of expence, of either his, or his complices. All which accomplished (and nothing but the execution lest unef­fected) he sent for the slave (under pretence of having the horse which he governed) who come, and instructed of what he had to do, returned to expect him at Caleri. Where the Admirall with the con­spirers, came by night at the houre appointed, and were hidden by Prodotima, (after Talasia was a bed) in the study of the fore-cham­ber. After that the Prince had received intelligence from the Ad­mirall of the King of Corsica's being up in armes, he felt in his [Page 28] heart (although he was the most valourous Knight in the world) a new effect of melancholy, withisome conceit or feeling of feare, whereat he was astonished: It seemed to him unlikely that Epicamedo (alone without forraine aide) durst move warre against Sardegna (a kingdome well-neere thrice greater than his, and withall abounding with warrelike subjects.) And (being desirous to proceede on sure ground) he had sent many spies into Corsica, who conformably ad­vertized him of the great preparations there, and how that all the troopes marched towards Basilica, over against Sardegna; whereupon he often sollicited the Marquesse, by sundry poasts, to assure that Countrey of Luogoderi, till such time as he (having mustered up the horse, and armed men) came thither in person.

All that morning, which preceded his death, spent he with the King and Queene (who grieved to see him so changed) and he angry at himselfe, strove to force himselfe to be merry; but his joyes va­nished in an instant.

In the evening he determined to goe sport himselfe with his Tala­sia; Prodotima led him to the chamber as she was accustomed, all trembling (as knowing what was to befall him,) and passed before the Conspirers. The Prince disarm'd and uncloath'd himselfe: but the Admirall (not able to hold any longer) rush't into the chamber, just as the Prince thought to lay himselfe downe, and (without spea­king a word) thrust at him a full stocada, which although it pierced him quite through the other side, yet was it not mortall: The Prince (seazing suddenly on his sword that lay by him) stroke at the Ad­mirals head with so maine a force, that he (warding with his buckler) was not able to beare off the blow, but yeelding thereto, the sword came to charge him so furiously on the head, that cutting through the Helmet, it somewhat wounded him. But the Prince seeing so many about him, and among those, the Earles of Reparata and Castel Robone, (both his speciall Favorites) detesting, and wroth to see so great ingratitude, he said unto them; And to you Traitors, what have I done that you thus murther me? Thou hast done too much in maculating our bloud, (answered Reparata;) now these were all of them of kinne, either to the Lady, or to the Admirall; and the Count of Reparata was her owne Cozen-germaine, who thought this fatall shame concerned him nearest, in that she had neither father nor bro­ther living. The Admirall (who had fore-thought of the manner of conducting this enterprize) had before-hand furnished his com­panions with Iavelings, because, having considered the valour of the Prince, he judged it folly to regard the faire termes of Knight­hood, much rather, in that he doubted lest the noise and bustling of their blowes might indanger them; so as the poore Prince pierced at once with six darts, was not any more able, either to strike or speake. The Baron of Iangue, and the Count of Pussinera, were (from the be­ginning) runne to the bed, who (lest the Lady Admirall should cry out) held close her mouth stopt up with the sheetes: her husband, (having made her rise up, and put on a chamber-weede) intending [Page 29] (because he disdained to kill her himselfe) to cause her to be stran­gled by the slave, seeing the Prince not yet quite dead, grew desi­rous (for his greater anguish) that she should give him his last wound, and having therefore made her take a Poyniard in hand, he told her, his will was, that to revenge the death he had given her honour, she should resolve to kill him with her owne hands; she (seeing him wallowing in a lake of bloud, and how he though gasping for life, yet beheld her) laying aside all feare, stab'd her husband with the Poy­niard in the face, thinking to strike him in the throat-pipes (for well deemed she him arm'd every where else) and had therewithall sped him, had he not fallen flat on the ground; then turning towards the next unto her, which was the Baron of Vellapetres, she ranne him in the flanke, and kil'd him. The Admirall (in the meane while gotten up) gave her a thrust in the side, which pushed her upon the Baron of Lybaraba; in whose belly, she without losse of time, buried the Poyniard up to the hilts, (aiming her thrust low, for doubt of stic­king it in his coat of maile) and therewith sped him; but then, shee beaten downe with divers blowes (and struggling to set her selfe forwards againe to kill her husband) came to fall upon the Prince, where faintly kissing him, she breathed out her life with him; in that very instant, as he breathed out his last gaspe.

The Admirall seeing his plot brought to passe, at so deere a rate, as to have two of his companions slaine, and himselfe wounded; knew not what course to take with their bodies, and yet needs must he have resolved to get him thence: when every one advising him not to lose any time about two inutile carcasses, he thought his best and safest course was to be ruled by them. Having therefore bound up his wounds, hee wished them all to goe out into the Hall, to the end that those of the house (wakened with their bustling) seeing them jest (beating one the other with pillowes) might beleeve that thence began the first noise: The beds being made ready they called for dice, commanding the servants to goe sleepe, under colour of having no man to over-looke their game; and because many of them (con­sidering how unfit it was to leave Lords of such a ranke, not atten­ded with asmuch as one servant) would have waited out of the Hall; they constrained them to get them thence, and by locking the doores after them, had thereby conveniencie a little after to shift themselves away thence, without being observed of any. The Ad­mirall had fore-thought of all things (except the two slaves,) whom then also he had not remembred, had they not presented themselves before him, so as they must have taken them up behind them on their horse-croppers, had not the death of the two Barons remedied that inconvenience. And because Caleri for the suspition it had of Corsica, stood then guarded with some watch; it behooved the Admirall to make himselfe knowen unto the Porter of the Citie. They rode all night, having twise changed horse, and taking the way of Montevero, arrived there the day following. There were they inforced to leave behind them Prodotima (accompanied with the [Page 30] slave) all galled and bruised with riding; to embarke themselves sud­denly at the mouth of the river Thirsis, distant but eight miles from Montevero, and thence to get them to Porto Torre, themselves with­out one minutes stay, (holding on their journey with incredible di­ligence) arrived the night following at Sassari.

As the Pilate held on his discourse, there appeared in sight a small Barke, sayling here and there without any order or direct course, which being shewed them by Polimero, they judged it to be some one, that had beene rob'd by Pirates, and left as a play-game to the windes; (desirous to know the truth) they bore up to her. But be­cause she was yet afarre off, the Pilate (requested to continue his History) thus proceeded.

It grew to be farre dayes, and Talasia's Gentlewomen expected that Prodotima should come to call them up, as she was wont to doe: but dinnertime being come, and no Prodotima as yet appearing, and the Serving-men on the other side (marvelling they saw not in the strangers lodgings, the Knights come thither with their Master the night before) went on towards the fore-chamber, where Prodo­tima lay, where knocking many times, and hearing no body stirre within, they began to doubt, of I know not what. Whereupon, bouncing againe many times and often, they resolved without any respect, to throw downe the doore, which when they had done, and found not their Prodotima, onwards they went into the chamber, and there they saw the pittifull spectacle of foure bodies lying weltred in bloud; whereof (to their great horror) they knew at the first sight their Mistresse and the Prince. My tongue cannot expresse the effects of griefe and amazement, that seazed on these poore people, neither beleeve I, that they can be imagined, unlesse the imagination had ex­perimented a like disaster: they could not as much as ghesse how the matter stood, because they never were any way privie to the Prince his love: but seeing him now in such a plight, and knowing that their Master came to the house that night, and thence shifted himselfe away privily, they beganne to doubt of what was so in­deed.

The Steward (having caused the gate to be shut, with charge not to open it to any man) went to the Kings Councell, to whom he re­lated the fact, conformable to his conjectures.

The Councell (not knowing by what meanes they might there­with acquaint the King,) were advised by the Marquesse of Bossa, Lord high Chamberlaine, not to informe the King of any thing, ere they had seene themselves the body of the Prince, and with more certainetie informed themselves of the case, wishing therefore, all, or some of them, to goe to the Admirals house, whilst he rooke care that no man came neere the King. His Councell was imbraced; The Marquesse retiring to the Kings chamber, and the o­thers, (as soone as their coaches came) hurrying to the Admirals house, where causing it to be close shut up, and the chamber opened, they saw the relation prove but too too true; there being not any of [Page 31] them present, who by the place, persons and qualities of the dead, comprehend not the case.

Having afterwards examined the household, they understood of the Admirals being there that night, accompanied with Reparata, and the rest, and how that the slaves were not sithence seene, by whom they beleeved the Prince to bee betraied, and so by the helpe of the rest murthered, by the Admirall. They sent suddenly to the gates, where they understood that the Admirall, with eight Companons all well horsed, went out at the gate of Castlemuni. They resolved to send after him, and having to that end sent for the Count of Montereale, Generall of the horse, and shewed him the body of the Prince, they committed to his charge what he was to doe. The Count (who adored him living, and now being dead, could not sa­tisfie himselfe in bemoaning him) considering that the present state of the businesse required somewhat else than teares, went on his way most resolute to use all possible diligence to revenge his death. The Lords of the Councell in the meane time, (after they had taken such order, as was requisite, touching the bodies of the Prince, and of the guiltie Traitors) returned to the Palace. But the Citizens having (I know not how) understood of the accident, and telling it one unto another, were seene to shut up all their shops in an instant, with lamentations so manifest, that the King perceiving it, asked the Marquesse, what was the matter, who answered him that he knew not: but the King (seeing it more and more increase) bade him goe call the Prince, and learne what the matter was. Wherein, whilst the Marquesse tooke on him to obey him, there appeared in his pre­sence the Privie Counsellors, who when the King saw come thronging so many together, he imagined that some great disaster had hapned; for all of them pitifully lamented, insomuch as the Pre­sident (who was to be the Speaker) could not utter a word; whereat the King impatient, turning towards the Marquesse, and seeing him make greater moane than any of the rest; asked him angerly, if the King of Corsica were in Caleri, or if the Kingdome were lost. My Soveraigne Leige, (answered then the President) would to God, I could bring you that newes in exchange of this other, a thousand times more wofull; for there might be hope to recover againe the Realme, whereas the losse that both you and the Kingdome have now sustained, is irrecoverable. What can it then be? (replied the King) Is Perosfilo dead? At which demand all of them kneeling downe, and pitifully lamenting him with grieuous sobs, and morne­full cries, answered that he was.

The King hereat astonished, would have runne towards the Lod­gings of the Prince, thinking to see him there: Whene the Queene (comming out thence, accompanied with Eromena, with their heire hanging disorderly about their eares, more like Bacchanals, or mad women than themselves) met him at a doore, full-but. The Queene strangely gazing on the standers by, with reiterated words, cried out, Perosfilo? Where is hee? where is my Sonne? Come, give him [Page 32] mee: withhold him not rom mee, for I will have him.

This incounter was to the King, even as a fire which come neere a dry tow-like matter, fuming, and halfe consumed, puffs it up in a flame in an instant, for seeing his wife and daughter in so strange a fashion, his spirits and courage so failed him, as he sunke downe to the ground. But the Queene without taking any notice of him, (run­ning about, while here, while there) continued in calling out for her Sonne, till become all hoarse with crying, she held her eyes, immoveably fixt where once she let fall her sight, without shed­ding a teare.

Eromena (the mirrour of beauty and Prudence) stood in that instant (with her faire eyes concentrated) pale, and wan. She wept not, and yet she wept, for her weeping were exclamations and sighes, she called on the beloved name of her brother, she sought for him all over his Lodgings, and hehind the Tapistrie, as if she had hoped to have found him there hidden.

The King was raised up from the ground, and laid in his bed, so would the Ladies have likewise disposed of the Queene; but she (become frantike) ran up and downe the Palace, and round about the Lodgings, complaining of the heavens, and cursing men; till she brought her selfe to that passe as she was not able any more either to move or crie. The numerous companie of Ladies, that pittifully wept about her, had not beene able to re-conduct her to her Lod­gings, if Eromena (fearing with her brother to lose also her mother) had not with her presence and teares, importuned and perswaded her to retire her selfe.

It boots me not to tell you of the revolt of the Citie, when the corpes of the Prince, were (about midnight) brought to the Pa­lace.

The dolefull Eromena, (considering how her father was, by rea­son of his great griefe fallen sicke of a Feaver, and her mother growne distracted of her senses) was not therefore willing to let them know any thing, but went her selfe with a few others, to veiw the body; but then, although all her vitall powers ran unto her heart; although all her force and vertues (whereof the heavens were unto her so graciously liberall) united themselves together to fortifie her courage, yet could not all this save or sustaine her spirits, and al­most her life from failing her at that instant: she grew pale, shee swounded, she fell dead, at least in all likelihood, and died she had in­deed, if a spirit more feeble had given shape and being to a lesse ge­nerous heart: In the end (come to her selfe, and sitting by the corps as she watered his breath-losse face, with a fountaine of her teares) she said:

Are these then the joyes (Brother) which we expected of thee? Are these the hopes that the world had of thee, & which with all reason is expected of thy valour? Is this the flourishing age, by so short a space of life, so cruelly cut off, to bring therewithall to an end with no lesse crueltie the lives of those that brought thee into the world? [Page 33] why did not thy resplendent vertues dazle the eyes of him that slew thee, maugre the spectacles of envie? O cruell starres! To what end served such and so great influences of beautie and exquisite feature in a body peerlesse for prowesse, and adorned with so divine a soule, see­ing a little blemish, an error (in youth so tender) so excusable hath caused and pro [...]ured the corruption and ruine of all those excellent perfections, to give the whole world cause to lament the losse of them: yet are they not lost, for what ascends from above must returne to whence it came, so as we have no cause to grieve for thy generous soule, but yet can we not chuse (as we are mortall) but la­ment the dissolution of the perfectest composure that ever nature put together: neither can we without death chuse but bewaile thy death, depriving us of the life, which from thy sweet life we received; for in thee were indivisible all those graces, which the Graces participate not to others, but in such measure as is requisite for the delight of hu­mane kind. We cannot chuse but mourne, seeing our selves threatned at home and abroad, being (since we are deprived of thee) without force and vigor: neither can we chuse but lament, when we behold the state of our drooping kingdome, which by thee alone become once renowned and famous, returnes (now that it is deprived of thee, it's light and life) to it's former cloudinesse, and dimme obscuritie. But if every one hath cause to lament, why should I not then bewaile thee with an eternall lamentation; seeing I participate of all the ge­nerall causes, and have withall peculiar to my selfe alone, a particular cause, as being left, the onely Sister, of an onely brother, taken from me suddenly unawares, and without all reason? Here (overcome with extremitie of griefe, and being not able to forbeare) she flung her selfe upon him, whence as her Ladies endevored to raise her, she (turning towards them with a fierce and severe look) said unto them; How unseasonable, unjust, and pittilesse, is this pitty of yours, that would defraud so worthy a Prince of these funerall rites I owe him: Which if I beleeved that I could better solemnize with my death, I would willingly doe it? Then (taking off the sword from the corpes side, and lifting up her eyes to heaven) she proceeded. But I assure my selfe (my noble Brother) that I am not the sacrifice which thou re­quirest: Wherefore if so be that thy divine ghost doth as yet wander or hover hereabout thy faire body, & that thou seest our griefe, com­fort us then, (we beseech thee) whilst I also comfort thee, and assure thee that I will never rest, till I have executed just vengeance on him that unjustly slew thee. Which said (girding her selfe with the sword) she dried away her teares, and seeing there was no action to be hoped for of the King her father, she caused the Councell to come together, and (after a briefe consultation) commanded the souldiery to be mustred, resolving (at the returne of the Count of Mon­tereale) to march in her owne person to Sassari: most assured that the kingdome would be on that part assaulted by King Epicamedo, with­out whose privitie, the Admirall would never have undertaken to murther the Prince her Brother.

[Page 32] The very same night she privately caused the corps to be interred, reserving the solemnizing of the funerall rites till her returne, en­joying in so great heavinesse, one sole comfort, which was to see the unfained teares of the people.

The Count of Montereale used all possible meanes to ore-take the Conspirators. Albeit he perceived that he laboured in vaine, the pursued having gotten the start of him both in time and riding: which hee could not recover without change of horses: and had therefore returned backe, but that he hoped to blocke them up, either in Sassari or Porte Torre, or at least to chase them out of the kingdome.

The day following he came to Montevero, where when the dole­full newes were spred abroad, the lamentation was such, as you would have judged it to be an effect of one only heart and spirit.

Now whilst the Count could imagine no possible meanes to over­take the Admirall (who by that time might have reach't to Sassari) he was informed how that there was left behind him in that village, a slave of his together with a woman-slave bruised and galled by ri­ding, who (because she could not goe by any other meanes) had cau­sed her selfe to be carried in a chaire to the sea coast, to take shipping, and that (if it pleased him to send after them) they might be both o­vertaken by the way.

The Count, although he were wearie, and his horses tired (ha­ving procured a Guide) would needs personally pursue them. Nei­ther rode he five miles, when as he (ascending a hillocke) descried the she-slave in a chaire, who (seeing the horsemen) grew pale, and over-tane by the Count (who well knew her in the Admirals house) she besought him to kill her. But he (thereby better assured that she was the authresse of all the mischiefe) answered her; No, mischievous and accursed Traitresse, thou shalt not enjoy the happinesse of dying by my hand, it grieves me that there is no kind of death so cruell, as can equalize thy base offence. And inquiring afterward for the slave, he understood by the porters, that he was gon before to hire a barke; The Count therefore (leaving the woman in safe hold) spur'd a­maine to the sea-ward: but the slave (espying him descending a little mountaine) having already bespoken a Barke, imagined that those horses came for him; wherefore although all alone without any Mariners, who were gon to Bossa for provision, having got himselfe aboord the Barke, he waied anchor, spread sailes before the wind; whom, though most ignorant of that profession, feare made so cun­ning, as he was gotten more than two miles into the maine, ere the Count could gaine the sea shore; and (which was worse) there was not so much as one Barke with sailes to be found at the mouth of the river Thirsis, but onely small fishing boates unfurnisht of all things necessarie: Whereat this Count was ready to eate his fingers. But whilst he sent for a Barke to Pisanco, that of the slaves was in a short time borne away with the wind, so as although they had made after her, yet the night would have taken her out of the sight of such as pursued her.

[Page 35] The woman slave was sent backe againe to Caleri: and onwards went the Count to Sassari, when finding it shut, and calling to the Centrees, he was answered with a showre of arrowes; wherewith were kild eight of his horses, and many more hurt and wounded: Whereupon, perceiving the mischiefe to be greater that he tooke it for (in that the subjects maintained with open Rebellion, the wicked actions of their Lord) he retired himselfe with all the speed he could; and having sent Scours to scoure the field, he received intel­ligence that the King of Corsica in person, was passing over into the Iland, with a great army: considering therefore that his stay there could be but disadvantagious (his horses being already all spoild) he determined to advertize thereof the King, and to retire himselfe to the first secure place.

In the meane time, the Princesse, who onely sate alone at the Helme of this weather-beaten ship, (having left part of the Lords of the Councell at Caleri, having given order for the marching on­wards of the foot Companies) followed them with two thousand horse, her selfe being armed at all pieces, and mounted on a great Courser, having first commanded the she-slave to be sarely lockt up in the bottome of a Tower; by meanes of whose confession came to bee knowne all that I have told you: and because wee shall come shortly to Sardegna, you shall there understand the sequell hereof, and (shall perhaps) see with your owne eyes, the generous actions of the fairest and stoutest Princesse the world en­joyes.

Polimero, (who with twise so much sweetnesse had dranke of Ero­mena's perfections, by how much compassion he had listened to the Tragicke story of so worthy a Prince) thinking himselfe not as yet fully satisfied in mind, desired to know how the Princesse came to have the courage to practise, and use the handling of armes, an exer­cise not ordinary to her sex, and though she had naturally such a spirit and will, yet how came she to acquire an apt gesture and dex­teritie ot supply the weaknesse of her sex, when occasion required? Whereto the Pilot smiling, answered; Thinke not (Sir) that the re­solution of our Princesse is void of reason, or insufficient to accom­plish whatsoever she takes in hand; I confesse it is a thing extraordi­nary to her sex, but not to her: for know, that whilst she was yet a girle, and had no other brother, than the unfortunate Prince, shee even then, loved him, and he her so heartily deerely, as their frater­nitie became converted to a friendly society, most part of their time spent they together, neither had the one any conversation in his ex­ercise more deare than his Sisters, nor the other any company more conformable to her inclination than her Brothers: whose childish games and delights, being (such as those of all Princes should be) representations of battels of armes and horses, she came (by the sha­dow) to such knowledge of the things reall, and substantiall, that there is not a Knight can, either in managing a courser, observe bet­ter his times and motions, or breake a Launce with a seemelier grace, [Page 36] or bandish a Sword with greater cunning or dexteritie, than this our Princesse.

Continued had they on this discourse (so much was Polimero therewith delighted) had it not beene broken off by the drawing neere of the Barke, by them a little before descried; whereunto see­ing no body therein, they drew neere, and one of the Mariners boording her, found therein a man stretcht all along (by the pumpe) covered with many cloathes, and gasping for life; they (pittying to see him in such a plight, and curious to know the occasion thereof) began to question him, but he opening his eyes a little, and then clo­sing them againe, made them no answer; they hereupon (seeing him not any way wounded) thought that perhaps he wanted sustenance, so much the rather, when having searched the Barke, they found there, neither meat, nor drinke; therefore gave they him a little wine, and a while after a little more, till they saw him beginne to recollect his spirits, and recover some vigor; and withall (unclosing his eyes) mutter out some faint words, so as having made him a soppe (with the pith of bread sokened in Spanish wine) he willingly are it, whereby he recovered such force, as turning up his face, he disco­vered himselfe to bee the Admirals slave, of the Pilot very well knowne; who was therfore the gladdest man in the world: yet with­out making any shew thereof, he commanded them to use all atten­dant diligence to restore him to himselfe, which they so performed, as in a short time he began to speake. The Pilot, seeing him restored to his disposition, caused him to be transported over into his ship, and the Barke to be tow'd, then after he had given him leave a good while to repose himselfe, he inquired of him, what he was? and by what accident he came to be so left alone? He (with his eyes inclined downewards) began to tell them a tale, without either be­ginning or end, and so by studying for matter, the more disclosed himselfe to be what he was, neither had they gotten ought else out of him, had not the Pilot (all disguise laid aside) said unto him, Art thou Andropodo, and knowest not him, prostrating himselfe, kneeled downe before him, saying, Pardon me (my Lord) for truly I knew you not in that habite you now weare; and sithence I am falne into your hands, I beseech you rather to kill me, than bring me backe to Sardegna; For albeit I am no wayes guiltie of the Prince his death, neverthelesse, I assure my selfe that because I am the Admirals slave, my innocencie cannot save me: No more of this (answered the counterfeit Pilot) but tell us how comes it, that thou hast continued so long at sea? hast thou landed any where? Whereunto Andropodo (all quaking) made answer, that about some fortie dayes, sithence he imbarked himself, during which time he had suffered all the miseries to a body humane insufferable, that the wind ever kept him (for the most part) in the maine sea, that sometimes he saw land, and had a good wind to come almost a shore, but that it changed in a moment, and that he (not having any experience in governing the sailes, and [Page 37] withall being all alone) had escaped in many tempests the danger of drowning a thousand times; but that his ill fortune had saved him, to make him die a death more miserable; that when he came aboord, he found in the Barke a little bread, which lasted him not two dayes. That on the Sardegnan coast, hee met with some Fisher-men, and (a little farther that way) a ship of Greece, that furnished him with bisquet and a barrell of water, which he had wanted three dayes before. That the principall cause of his roving up and downe the sea, was sleepe, because the Barke abandoned of her Rother, ranne whither the wind carried her, so losing (whilst he slept) the way he had gained waking; and beside, being in the midst of the sea, and not knowing on which part the land lay, he beleeved, that he ranne alwayes in a round, going perhaps nothing at all, or very little wide from the same place. And finally, that his spirit fai­ling him, he was stretch't along, expecting death, in manner as they found him. And being asked why he imbarked not himselfe in the ship that sold him the victuals, he answered, that they would not take him aboord, for feare of the plague, whereof those of the East were very scrupulous, it being not lawfull for them, to commerce or trafficke without their patent of health, from the place whence they parted, with the precise number of the persons a-boord them.

So be it a-Gods name (answered the Pilot) they have well done in not taking thee with them, to leave thee to me, who will bring thee where thou shalt receive the reward thy treasons merit. Which said, he caused him to bee bound, and set fast in the lowest part of the ship, to deprive him thereby of the meanes of doing himselfe any harme.

Polimero then (turning towards the Pilot, and smiling) said; Sir, you have hitherto represented the personage of one, whom you are not: I pray you vouchsafe to favour me so much as fully to unmaske your selfe; seeing this Villaine hath almost wholly discovered you.

The Knight (who till then had caused himselfe to be called Pilot) answered, I will obey you Sir, knowing you for such as may command me; for be pleased I pray you to know, that if you be­leeve your selfe masked as well as I, you entertaine then an opinion that deceives you, you having not so soone set your foot a ship­boord, but that I knew you for what you are.

My name is Eterossilo, and am Marquesse of Chia, a place on the sea coast on this part of Sardegna, bordering towards Afsrique: I was the Prince his servant, to whose memorie I am so much indebted, as that I shall never more content my selfe in that I can no longer serve him. And as soone as (by the meanes of the conductors backe of the she-slave) the flight of this Villaine was knowne; I resolved to goe to sea, (my heart telling me that I should finde him out) having ve­rie well knowen him in the house of the Admirall, his master. I romed of purpose up and downe this sea, almost a moneth, without [Page 38] being any thing the neerer of finding what I sought for, untill (assay­led by a great tempest) I was constrained to save my selfe in the ha­ven of Birsa Where to avoid the being questioned of the affaires of Sardegna (whereof I was doubtfull, whether I might without dan­ger relate any thing in neighbouring countries) I charged every one to call me by the counterfeite name of Pilot. And when I saw your servant enquiring out for passage in some ship, for two persons, and two horses; I know not what spirit prompt me (knowing him to be your servant) that he sought them for you, (putting then his hat off in reverent manner, he proceeded) which are the Infant Polimero, worthy sonne of the puissant King of Mauritania; wherein I thought my selfe exceeding fortunate, judging that in our tribulations, the gods had touched the heart of a youthfull Prince, (so like both in the vertues of the mind, and beautifull proportions of body to our de­ceased Prince) to come to the defence of Sardegna; so as it was no difficult matter for us to accord for the passage. And now (my Lord) behold us both unmasked. Here, as he would have kneeled downe before Polimero, he taking him by the hand, besought him not to discover him; telling him how he would (as unknowne) make one in those warres; moved so to doe, for the interest common to all Princes against Traitors, for the revenge due to the vertues of Prince Perossilo, and for the valour sake of a Princesse so renowned, as Eromena. And this was indeed the occasion of breaking off his intended voiage into Ireland.

Within two dayes then after, they landed safely in Chia, to the great pleasure and content of both parties.

The end of the First Booke of BIONDI'S EROMENA.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA
The Second Booke.

PRINCE Metaneone furrowed the surging waves, variously affected with cont [...]nt and griefe; both tormented with the remem­brance of his offence, and comforted with the hope of finding out his Brother, to amend and recompence past defects, with contrary effects. The Count of Bona, exceeding conso­lated in seeing him so altered, and indeede par­tially obliged to rejoyce at the love of the Brothers, (as one who next the King his Father, claimed greatest interest in Polimero, for having bred him up from his infancie) confirmed him in his good intentions, being (as he already assured himselfe) not counterfeit, in that he made choise of him for a companion in his voiage, to be a testimonie of his actions.

The weather was cleare, whereat all the world seemed to joy, except the Galley-slaves, who, for being becalmed, were forc'd to ply their oares.

The Galley scowred away amaine course, seeming for her riches and curiositie of workemanship, to be some rare inchanted piece of excellency. She had her poope curiously carved with divers Histo­ries of finest graven worke, gilt all over with gold; her pavement of Iewels, and richest mother of pearle; her hulke painted over with sparkling vermilion; her oares of the same, but done pompously [Page 40] from the midst downewards with golden flames; her beake, railes, and window-linternes proportioned to the devise of her poop; her mast and loope-holes gracefully adorned with banners, and flags of cloth of gold: on her foresaile flag-staffe hung of the same stuffe a goodly streamer, of such length, as it reach't downe to touch the very waves; her three lanthornes of marvellous invention, glittering with gold, afforded the greater lustre, because of the chrystal, cut diamond­wise; and artificially in-laid in their footstals, cubes and columnes: so as she seemed to such, as saw her a farre off, (both in shape and colours,) a firie Dragon with scales and wings of gold.

Two dayes sailed the Prince, without seeing any kinde of vessell saile before him, on the third he descried a galley, which espying that of the Prince, strove to gaine the shore. But doubting to be overtaken, she made off towards the West, thinking to escape by the benefit of the night: The Prince taking her for some Pirats ship (as she was indeed) commanded the Galley-slaves of his Royall, to row a­maine, and they (encouraged with hope of bootie) made her scoure little lesse than her full length betweene one stroake and the o­ther.

Twenty miles off, were the Pirats descried by the little top-saile of their top-gallant; and the Prince making forward with extraor­dinary swiftnesse, (maugre all her force of oares) over-tooke her; whose Commanders seeing no meanes to escape, resolved to de­fend themselves, fearing to lose the great riches they had stolne be­fore, and purposing to make head by tacking about, they could not doe it so soone, but that the Prince his Galley, running her full course, bore upon theirs at her poope; whence passing over her prow, she plung'd her up to the mast in the sea; but the vessell being good, got up a floate againe, receiving thereby no other harme, than the spoi­ling of some battlements, with the death and bruising of such as were so unfortunate, as to be on that side of her: In the same encoun­ter, were many of the Prince his oares broken, a losse not recom­penced with the gaine of the Galley, which with no great paines, and lesse bloudshed, fell into his hands. Then would he know what they were, and whence they came, whereto one of them answering for all, said, That they were of Callo of Mauritania, and that going with a Galley of theirs, to get some bootie, towards the coast of Catalogna, they were by an East winde driven to land on the strand of Dragonera, a little Iland of Maiorica; where having understood how that from Porto Colombo to the West part of the Iland, was to set out a Galley, sent from the King to his daughter; they made the best speed they could to rigge and dresse up theirs, which with bea­ting on the shore was almost all over crack't, and bruised: and that, having set themselves in ambush behind the cliffe of Cabrera, they had assailed her unawares, and (not farre off the haven) taken her, with the death of many, for that being constrained to leave behind them their owne Galley (which was unfit for any service) they had no roome on this other alone to set aboord both all their companie [Page 41] and the slaves too; And that yet for all they had kild none, but the more unserviceable, sparing the Knights, Ladies, family and servants of the Princesse; with an intention to goe thence to the rocke, where she was her selfe (to them very well knowne,) and thence to take her prisoner, whom they meant not to set free ere they had received for her an exceeding great ransome.

Faine would the Prince see those prizes, and passing over there­fore into their Galley, he found there certaine women, and among those the Countesse of Palomero, (the Princesse her Governesse) with foure Ladies of honour, and among the men six Knights.

The women rather dead than alive, as soone as they saw the Prince, kneeled downe before him, who courteously entertaining them, accompanied them in grieving for their misfortunes, yet joying in that hee was the meanes of their deliverance, he prayed them to acquaint him with their voiage, and the occasion thereof

The Countesse (somewhat comforting her selfe, and assured by the Royall presence of the Prince, whom by many circumstances she thus judged to be such) said, My Lord, we, and those Knights are all Vassals and servants of the King of Maiorica, who having but one onely daughter (which is one of the fairest of the world) and shee retired into Asrique; sent us thither with all provision necessary to sojourne with her in that Countrey; but scarce had we issued out of the Port, when we were taken by these Pirats. The Prince (causing her (though unwilling) to fit her down with all the other Ladies) curious to understand the manner of the case, besought her to relate it him minutely and particularly, saying, that (being now freed) it would serve them to shorten and drive away the time. At which word they would all of them have kissed his hands, which he not permitting, but profering them all further courtesies possible, the Countesse (re­spectively thanking him with the termes of Noble gratitude) thus beganne.

Two yeares are now expired, sithence the King of Sardegna, trea­ted of a Marriage betweene the Prince his Sonne, and the Princesse Eromilia our Mistresse; which was concluded on, to the great content of both parties, for the commodities of commerce, and neighbour-hood, but much more for the rare qualities of the bride­couple, being such, as (I beleeve) whosoever had searched over all the world, could not have found out such another paire; for Perosfilo Prince of Sardegna (besides the valour of his person) was by nature endowed with parts so excellent for beauty, feature, comelinesse and grace, as hardly meete all in one man alone. And for Eromilia our Princesse, Ile not only say that who so hath seene her, beleeves her to be for beautie matchlesse; but I will also, without error, affirme her to bee such, as needs not (in that regard) the favourable judge­ment of any.

The marriage then concluded, with hope of a speedie perfor­mance, she was by her hopefull Bridegroome visited by letters and [Page 42] presents, whereunto she reciprocally corresponded, building a most ardent affection on the presumption of being his wife, and upon two of his pictures, the one limmed and painted, the other made of stuck, (this later, fully and proportionably representing his naturall linea­ments:) It fell out afterwards, whilest the marriage for more than two yeares was (upon some unknowne occasion) deferr'd, that the infortunate Prince was by the Marquesse of Sassari (Admirall of Ser­degna) in the night time found a bed with his wife, and by him there­fore slaine, which newes spread abroad in Maiorica, manifested the cause of so long putting off the mariage; which neuerthelesse was not sufficient to take away from our Princesse all occasion of griefe, as it had done to any other: whereas she no sooner heard it, than she sunke downe to the ground senselesle, and breathlesse, so as there was much adoe to restore her to her spirits, that had suddenly for­saken her. Impossible it is to expresse the extremitie of her lamenta­tion, suffice it, that two dayes after she went her wayes, whither no body knew, except one very aged and trusty Priest of hers, who al­so (untill he was a good way of the Iland) never knew any thing of her resolution, (which was) to retire her selfe from the world, and ne­ver more to thinke of father and mother, realme, subjects, or ought else save onely on her dead husband, whom because she could not owne living, she resolv'd to enjoy now dead and gone, spending a coine quite contrarie to his, both in stampe and metal: for wheras he had obscured the puritie of his customes, by falsifying his faith (for love of another woman) before he had maried her; she on the contra­ry, (though now a freewoman, and he dead and buried) would reserve her selfe constantly his spouse, resolved never to change her resolu­tion for any mans sake in the world.

The good old man could not with any arguments perswade her to returne; he shewed how she (abiding in Maiorica) might accom­plish her intention, telling her how that to goe wander about to seeke places of aboad in strange countries, was neither commendable nor secure for a woman of ordinarie condition, much lesse for a Princesse, ordained, both by birth and desert, to a royall dignitie; moreover that in so doing she could not please the gods; to whom she preten­ded to devote her selfe, within the limitation of whose service were not comprehended the disobedience and crueltie to parents-ward, who, without doubt, would for this occasion die with griefe; that her reason of neglecting her parents for divine love, was not in this case approueable, but that she should and ought to understand it rightly, in a wholsome construction, which was not to neglect their service for any affect of bloud, which ought not to be held in e­quall esteeme with them, who admit of no comparatives, much lesse of superlatives in their love; and that under such a pretence to aban­don our parents, (especially growne aged, desolate, and charged with a family) was rather to displease, than to serve the gods, who by the law they gave us by nature, require at our hands, reverence and obedience towards our parents, being strong, and vigorous, [Page 43] and pitty, comfort and sustenance, being become weake and impo­tent; and that then the eldest child ought, together with the family, sustaine and undergoe the charge and burthen of parents; and if this were the true meaning and manner of discharging on's dutie, even in private families, how much rather should it be observed in hers, that was Royall, wherein she being an onely child, had forsaken her parents (growne now aged) and with them also the whole king­dome being her family, which being by her means made an Orphan, lay subject to the tyranny of whosoever would oppresse it? Besides, that this resolution of hers sprang not from any true affection she had of serving the gods, but from a despaire and discontent, for see­ing her selfe deprived of such a husband, whose companie she hoped would have endowed her with a blessed life; which effect she despai­ring to finde in any other, had suffered her selfe to be beguiled by her evill Genius, who perswaded her under the colour of pitty, to be­come cruell against father, subjects, and her owne selfe.

But to all these arguments, the good old man found her eares deafe: for she accompanied with one onely Damsell, and two of her ancient servants (by whose meanes she had found out that vessell, and put therein many things of her deerely esteemed, but espe­pecially the statue of the deceased Prince) passed over into Af­frique; where landing at Velez, she bought of the Lord of that place, a Rocke, which she then caused to be named Pegno della morte (or the pledge of death:) whereupon she caused immediatly a Chappell to be built, with an intention to erect afterwards a Temple, by this time begun, where she intended to finish her dayes. By the Priests perswasion, she wrote to the King her father, to rid him from the anxietie and vexation of minde; wherewith he was troubled because of her departure.

Her father (somewhat consolated in seeing the evill was not so great as he beleeved it to be, and hoping that time would alter her mind▪) being informed of the situation of the place, and of the neigh­bouring inhabitants, would needs send her (although he knew it to be against her will) all her household, to the end he might there­with also furnish her with companie sufficient to defend her, from such as might goe about to take her into their power; and with these sent hee also some Masons, who under pretext of building the Temple, might fortifie and assure the place with strong wall-workes, which reared up on the accessible parts of the rocke, might be defen­ded of a few persons: Howbeit before he sent us, he would know of every one of us, whether we were willing to goe or no; but there was not any one who was not willing to dwell in the fire, much lesse on a rocke, in the service of so gracious and amiable a Mistresse. Wherupon, the King having caused this galley to be rig'd up, and put in a readinesse, and set aboord therein all kind of household-stuffe hangings, and furnitures necessarie for a new house, besides a good summe of money; we departed, when on a suddaine (ere we could put our selves in defence) we were taken by these Pirats.

[Page 44] The Prince (astonished at a resolution so strange in such a Princesse, and enamoured of her extolled beautie, whereof he had also for­merly heard talke of) bethought himselfe that he might conveni­ently now goe see her, the way to goe where she was abiding, being the selfesame course hee was to hold. Wherefore (after he had thanked the Countesse for the relation she imparted him) he told them all that (so it were not discommodious unto them,) they might without any feare abide still in that Galley, because of the great number of men aboord his, and wished them to see they had againe all their things (as well those of every particular person, as also those of their Princesse) restor'd them, whereof whatsoever was wanting, he would see by all meanes found out; promising them fur­ther, that their way being the same with his, he would not leave them, untill he had landed them safely in the place where resided the Princesse, whose hands he (conformable to the dutie of a knight) was desirous to kisse, whereat they all kneeled before him on the ground, and to the Prince raising them up, the Countesse, after she had ren­dred him convenient thanks, thus spake on.

My Lord, in telling you the Historie of my Mistresse, I forgot one essentiall point thereof, which is, that after her resolution of go­ing her wayes, and leading that kind of life she now lives, she made a third resolution, more strange than all the rest, which was, To re­maine a whole yeare unseene of any mankind in the world, except such as were admitted to serve her: so that the King himselfe (her father) (desirous to come in person to bring her backe againe) chused rather (as the lesser evill) not to come, condemning that small time to the griefe of his daughter, who having experimented the bitternesse thereof, and vented the extremitie of her heavinesse, would (as he hoped) become more supple and pliant to wholsome perswasions. And of this (My Lord) I thought good to informe you, to the end that to you being so courteous, it might not seeme a dis­courtesie meant towards you, when you encounter an effect con­trary to your desert. The Prince somewhat amazed hereat, courte­ously tooke his leave of them, sending the Pirats, being his subjects to the Countesse, to be by her chastised, as she thought good, who being importuned and pressed to accept them, and foreseeing the use and imployment her Princesse might have of slaves, caused them to be put to the chaines, abhorring to chastise them with any other pu­nishment, though they well deserved it.

In the three dayes following, the Prince encountred with many vessels, of whom he could heare no newes of her he sought after. But now drawing neere to the Pegno della morte (which after a long progresse of time, I know not if by corruption of language or other­wise, it came to be called the Pagnone) he overtooke a ship of Sardeg­na, which in that she came not from Birsa made him somewhat pen­sive: whereupon the master of the ship said, (My Lord) if you de­sire to heare any newes of the Sardegnan ship, that came from Birsa, I have here one can satisfie you, for I met her in her returne, and [Page 45] she belong'd to the Marquesse of Chia, of whom I obtained the fa­vour of getting this young man (my brother) from aboord her; who will relate unto you, what he knowes, to satisfie you in what you shall please to require of him. The Prince and Count both (having questioned him particularly touching the passengers aboord that ship) comprehended by the qualities of the horse, and of the squire; but more probably by the features of the youth & respect borne him by the Marquesse, that without doubt, that same was Polimero, whereof they causing him to relate the same againe, were yet more than fully assur'd that it could be no other than he. Metaneone therefore the gladdest man now that ever he was all his life time, resolved (as soone as he had accompanied those people to their journies end, and seene the Princesse) to steere thence to Sardegna.

Arrived at the Pegno, he would not come a shore for feare of dis­pleasing the Princesse; but calling one of her Knights, whom in that small time his good liking reputed confident, he said unto him;

My Lord Perseno, one thing that I desire most in this world, is to serve your Lady the Princesse, it grieves me that I may not be permit­ted personally to offer her my service to such an honest and hououra­ble end, as befits a Knight of my qualitie; seeing that her vow forbids me it: It would grieve me extremely to part without seeing her, I'le therefore intreate you to further me to the accomplishment of my desire. And seeing she is resolved to see no man, I will not bind you to an impossibilitie, but onely to bring me to see her without letting her know it; wherein I promise you not to stray from your directi­ons.

Perseno (that held himselfe obliged to the Prince, and well concei­ved the honestie of his intentions,) made him this answer.

My Lord, so much I hold my selfe obliged unto you, for the favour you shew me in commending me, that if I owed you not that great obligation, (as doe all the rest in generall, and withall the Princesse her selfe, my Mistresse) yet were this a sufficient tie to oblige me eternally; howbeit, I beseech you, give me leave to tell you, that I cannot as yet absolutely promise you any thing in this purpose, having not as yet seene the Princesse, nor knowing how she lives, neither am I acquainted with the place whereby I might make use of such occasions as would be requisite in such a businesse: but if you please to give me time to see her, and to discover and observe her manner of life, I promise you then, that I will endeavour to obey you, to the utmost of my power, assuring my selfe, that you will not command me any thing wherein I may not serve you without blemishing my honour.

The Prince well satisfied with the reasons of Perseno, told him that he would willingly attend, and withal would not stray from his directions. Afterwards, having sent for the Countesse, he told her he was glad that she was safely arrived to her Lady and Princesse, to whom though he could not be permitted to come to kisse her hands (as his duty bound him) he hoped neverthelesse to be favored with [Page 46] some command of hers, ere his departure, which would be about three dayes thence, during which time he had need to repose his Gal­ley-slaves, that he might then after hold on a straight course to Sar­degna, where he hoped to finde out his Brother.

The Lady (who was of right noble behaviour) answered him; that she found her selfe confused in the confused being and state of her Mistresse, for that she well knew, that to suffer him to depart thence, without being for his noble favours, courteously thanked by her herselfe, was no otherwise than to satisfie a great obligation with the coine of a greater ingratitude, and therefore besought him to be pleased to excuse with the perfection of his courtesie, the im­perfection of the times, and to assure himselfe that she (for her part) would not faile to manifest to the Princesse, to the King her father, and to all the world, how deepely, and for how great a good turne she remained engaged to his Highnesse. Wherunto the Prince replied, that he deemed himselfe most happy, in being so fortunate, as to happen to doe so slender a service for so worthy a Princesse, for which he pretended no other guerdon, than the favour of her com­mands, that he might more effectually serve her, and so tooke his leave, abiding below without offering either to goe up himselfe, or permit any other to ascend the Rocke.

The Princesse (in the meane time) according to the custome of melancholy folkes (who either stand stone-still, or else are never quiet nor content with any place) roaming up and downe, (now here, now there) about the upper part of the rocke, vouchsafed not once to move herselfe at the newes, which was brought her of the splendor descried afarre off, although it made towards, and drew neere that place; till seeing the Galley appeare from under the cliffe, and marvelling at a piece so rich and gallant, she could not chuse (for all her griefe) but behold it, yet fretting with her selfe for giving her senses way, to taste of the least content, (contrarie to her reso­lution made, of never taking delight in any thing) she returned to her lodgings, become (in respect of its garnishment, situation, and so­litarinesse) gastly and hideous to behold; she could not beleeve that they were company sent her from her father, for well knew she that his Arcenall affoorded no such Galleyes. And whilst she, curi­ous to know whose it was, was angry with her selfe for being curi­ous; desirous to rest naked of any other affect, than of griefe alone, Gierofando the Priest came unto her, with newes, that the Countesse of Palomera was at the foot of the rocke (with all those of her house­hold, sent her from her father) accompanied with a great Prince.

Eromilia (doubtfull in her minde, what she should doe, and wrought on by the tendernesse of her affections, being not altoge­ther indulgent, nor yet altogether repugnant to her naturall inclina­tions) knew not whether she should rather joy for the comming of the Countesse, (her Governesse) or fret her selfe, that any Prince would (contrarie to her deliberation) proffer to come to that place. Neverthelesse, the stocke of her naturall prudence remaining yet [Page 47] livily, after being awhlle amazed to see her household come unsent for, imagining the cause thereof, which displeased her not, in that she began already to conceive the danger she incurr'd in, by living so alone, she made no other answer, than that the Countesse was well­come, and that she onely should be admitted to come to her. But that for strangers, he well knew himselfe, that she could not be seene of her owne father, and therefore referr'd to him the satisfying of that Prince in that behalfe.

Whilst then with crooked and tortuous interrogations Gierofando endevoured to tell her what she required not; thither came the Coun­tesse, whom the Priest went to meet, conducting her in, all-alone. The teares (here shed) were in such abundance, as there was not for a good while any roome left for speech: but as soone as any was, the wittie Lady (knowing that the time served but to things generall) presented her with the letters of the King and Queene, giving her withall succinct newes of the houses, of such things as were sent her by her father, and of the love of the family. The Princesse (molli­fied in affection) would needs see them all, who came one by one to kisse her hands, waxen so moist with the teares of every one of them, as she could not restraine hers.

The Countesse then afterwards related unto her, how they had beene taken by Pirats, and freed by the Prince of Mauritania, extol­ling the humanitie of his behaviour, his Royall manners, and the features of his person; acquainting her further of the desire he had to kisse her hand, or at least, to receive from her some command, ere his departure thence.

The Princesse answered, she was sorry she could nor might not see him, to acknowledge the obligation she owed him. But hoped, that (he being a courteous Knight) would accept of her excuses, in stead of more essentiall reasons. With which embassage, to satisfie him in that behalfe; she willed there should be sent him some Knight (in her name) such as should to the Countesse seeme fittest.

The Countesse having observed in their voiage, the affectionate in­clination the Prince had shewed towards Perseno, caused him to be called in, to whom the Princesse said.

Perseno, the Countesse hath told me what great favour, both I and all you have received at the hands of the Prince of Mauritania, and how by his meanes have beene saved, both your lives and liberties. If I were now, as heretofore I have beene, I would endeavour with my owne mouth to assure him, how highly I esteeme his favours; but I being now no more my selfe, am (among other defects) dis­inabled herein (which at this present inwardly grieves me) my pre­sent estate being more capable of receiving, than in doing courte­sies; and seeing (because of my vow) I may not see any man, I cannot therefore content my selfe, in partly satisfying so great a service.

Then (wiping off her teares which the imagination of her melan­choly made her powre out in abundance) she further said.

I can tell you no more, you know my minde, and therewithall the [Page 48] condition of my hard fortune, you shall therefore with your speech, supply the defect of mine. And because the place is not furnished with any thing worth the presenting him, nor my selfe stored with any thing to honour him withall, you shall endevour to assure him of the griefe I conceive thereof Afterwards, when shee had opened her fathers letter, she found it thus said.

Onely and beloved daughter, by your absence have I obscurely ghessed, and by your letters clearely understood of the strange reso­lution by you undertaken, so that if I knew you not well, or belee­ved not that I knew you more than passing well, I know not what I could thinke of you; for first, for the losse of one thing in hazard or uncertaine, and which might well not be (that is, your husband) you have despised many things certaine, and which could not chuse but be; and such am I, your mother, our subjects and kingdome. And albeit the gods have endued you with a spirit transcending the ordinary, neverthelesse I beleeve for a certaine, that if a man would at this present demand your reason, why you have so done, you would answer him with I cannot tell, and therefore the first essence that was in you is necessarily corrupted, seeing the actions thereon depending are corrupted: for although it were granted, that the Prince of Sar­degna had beene already your husband, and that the possession of his person had redoubled your love, yet what reason should move you to grieve for him in such a fashion, as that because you cannot enjoy him, you will not enjoy the world? Nay, though even this were also granted you, yet who will grant you, that you may live, and not live to the world? If then you ought to make use of the world, then ought you doubtlesse to exchange a Cliffe for the Iland Baleari, which ought to be so much the worthier of your ashes, by how much the neerer they are to the tombes of those you love so well: And though your judgement were so unequall, as to judge, that you ought for the place where you are, leave the place where you should be, and that you may live, and yet not live to the world: yet tell me (I pray you) what reason, what law, or what god have ever heard grant or allow such injustice, offence, or crueltie, as you, an onely daughter, use towards me your father, that never gave you any occa­sion therefore? Which if you had no reason to have done, although I had used you ill, what cause or colour have you then for it, know­ing that I esteemed you not onely as a daughter, but as mine owne heart, you being withall even in my life's time (excepting the title) Soveraigne Queene of my people? In that you loved him, that was to be your husband, it is a signe of a good and laudable nature, I blame you not therefore; but to have so loved him, as because you cannot love him any longer, you will not love either me, or any o­ther, you shall finde this to be an obstinate contradiction of nature: You say, you are retired, because you would not be interrupted in your griefe; Truly if nature were as constant as she's variable in our affections, then had you wisely deliberated, and I would have there­fore commended you; for if a man could shunne all griefes for the [Page 49] price of one griefe alone, though the same were most violent, doubt­lesse he ought to purchase it at any rate, because it is impossible that it can of its nature last long: and passions passe away even as plea­sures doe, though not so soone, which though they did not, yet paines, abstractions, and businesses, but (above all things) time (ex­tenuating it by little and little) would at length reduce it to nothing. Whence it proceeds, that who so beleeveth to prefix and give him [...]selfe a law for his life, founded upon a running griefe, imagining it to be everlasting (as you have done) such an one doth not onely de­ceive himselfe; but also (as soone as his understanding is cleared from the cloud of passion) he first repents himselfe thereof, and then lookes in the face of his owne ignorance, which instructs him how humane nature is changeable in all things, and yet rather in love, than in hatred. But let us suppose it be not so, and let's grant, that you may be in time possessed, if not of a greater griefe, at least of a more worthy resolution, occasioned by some danger of your ho­nour, of my death, of the losse of your subjects, and of many other accidents which cannot be imagined: Tell me, which of them would you judge more worthy the entertaining, the first, or the last? That which toucheth you very neere, or that which nothing at all con­cernes you? That, whereto you (applying the remedy) may bring to nothing, or that, which (being irremediable) can receive no other being than that of your imagination? But yet, this is not all, it is a thing ordinary for one evill to produce many others. Your unrea­sonable griefe may beget desperation, and desperation the loathing of all things; hence sprung your disobedience, your stealing away, your new course of life, and finally your vow of depriving your selfe of your selfe, and of seeing you, every man (my selfe not excepted.) If this be the ladder to climbe up to heaven, and the way to please the gods, as you pretend, then would I thinke that humane actions were to them indifferent, and that their favour might be acquaired as well by working iniquitie, as by doing good and vertuous deeds. Perceive you not, alas, what opinions your actions manifest you to hold; (which is) to forme by degrees this monstrous, horrid and blasphemous consequence? If you had a desire to serve the gods, how then to marrie? Or will you, that I beare something with your love (truly lawfull, and in its limits vertuous?) well, I am so content; but what hinders you to serve the gods, abiding at home in your owne house? Are Maiorica and Minorica not to your liking, for being more spacious and fairer than your Pegno della morte? And why so I pray you? Have the gods (perhaps) such eyes as we? Or respect they more the outward appearance than the inward reali­tie? Thinke you that they esteeme more an erected Temple, than a contrire heart? No surely, we may as well serve the gods in our delicious and sumptuous palaces, as offend them in Caves and De­ [...]rts: yet can you not say that you want such, because you have the Cabrera and Dragonera, whither you might have retired your selfe with greater reason; with greater (I say) in that where you now [Page 50] are, you are deprived of all safety: possessing in your person and quali­tie, and carrying with you so many silent invitations, as might tempt all such to endeavour to have you in their power, as shall come to know, how that you being beautifull, a Princesse, and heiresse to the Crowne, are retired alone without any guard, to a Rocke not defen­ded otherwise than by winds, the Sunbeames, and the injurie of the weather: yet your misfortune would be farre lesse (though never­thelesse exceeding great) if you hapned to fall into the hands of a Prince; but if fortune should make you a prey of theeves and Pirates, What would then become of you? For such would sell you and make you of a free woman a slave, and of a Mistresse a servant; all which is (you will say) nothing to a mind resolutely indifferent. But can you find in your heart to rancke among those indifferent things your honour and virginitie? Consider how you are invironed with most potent Kings, if any one of them had a desire to take you away, I see not how you could defend your selfe from them; which if they enterprized onely to deprive you of your widdowhood, it would p [...]ove [...] great ill hap: But how are you assured that they will not [...]ake you first away, and then (under the pretence of having you) impudently deprive me both of Realme and life? There are now warres in Sardegna, which by all reason expects aide from vs: If Ep [...]camedo King of Corsica become Lord thereof, (as I doubt he will, he (being a lover of beautie) hath courage enough to claime interest in yours, seeing he is already wroth at the Princesse Eromena, and is a man like enough to aspire (with the i [...]corporation of Sardegna) to the dominion of all the other Ilands, and of ours also together with your person. And if you be not here, what resolution can I make; fearing allwayes, that I shall neede reserve for your res­cue such souldiers as I should send to succor Sardegna? No other per­swasions (daughter) will I use towards you: onely I pray you so to strippe your selfe of your passion, as being freed therefrom, you may partly judge of things as other times you have done. I will not thereto compell you (although I might;) but will in some things dispense with your griefe, which I pray you endeavour the best you can to shorten. In the meane time (for the shunning of the imminent dangers of your person) I herewithall send you men, and money, to the end that you might, to save your selfe from death, blocke your selfe up in your Pledge of death. I send you all your household, because all of them would needs come serve you, notwithstanding all recom­pence that I (without service) offered to each of them in particular. But above all (I pray you) honour the Countesse of Palomera, and esteeme her as a mother.

Much was the Princesse astonished at the reasons of this letter, es­pecially when she more lively considered the danger, wherein she stood, wherefore she resolved, as soone as her husbands funerall rites were solemnized, to wall about the rock on the parts of its ascent, be­ing every where else so fortified by nature, as it needed not to be doubted of. Perseno in the interim joyfull for the commandement he [Page 51] had received, went to present the Prince with his embassage, who (after corresponding of affectionate discourses) thus said unto him. And must I then (my kinde friend) depart hence without seeing your Lady the Princesse? I much doubt it (answered Perseno) unlesse you would vouchsafe to abase your selfe to doe one thing I have thought of; without the which it is impossible that any man in the world come to the sight of her: And (being demanded what that was) he pro­ceeded, saying,

Two things my Mistresse intends to doe; the one is the Dedica­tion of her Chappell, for the celebrating of sacrifice; the other, the solemnization of Prince Pirosfilo's funerall, when (among other cere­monies) she will, that all, aswell her Knights as Squires, be cloathed (conformable to the custome of our Countrey in the like occasions) in a mourning garment with a Cappuccio or hood which covers the face, saving the eyes; for whose use there is an opening in that part reserved. What I have thought of, is, to give you mine, and to take for my selfe one of one of my servants; If this device please you, the matter is then accomplished, for to conduct you in, is a thing I can easily performe.

The Prince (embracing him) with great joy told him, that hee could not have thought on a better meanes, desiring to have it by all meanes effected. The order they therefore tooke was, that the Prince should launch out thence, to some place not farre off, and that within six dayes then after (which was the terme prefixt) leaving his Galley behinde him, he should come in a Frigat about midnight, there (shewing him the place with his finger) where he with a little Barke would be ready to receive him. Which concluded on, Perseno returning to the Princesse, reported unto her such speeches, which even of blinde folkes could not be taken for other than conceits of curtesie, & by a good eye might easily be discerned to implie conceits of love, neither displeased they her; for that truly gentle hearts are ever ambitious of other mens good opinions. But the Countesse plea­sed they exceedingly, who earnestly desired that some new affection of some effectuall love in her Lady and Princesse, might rid the old of it's desperate humor: for the better grounding whereof she neglected not the opportunitie of extolling the Prince, with such commenda­tions, as had beene sufficient to have enamoured any heart not obsti­nately resolved not to love at all.

Now the time for reposing the Galley-slaves being expired, the Prince caused the March or Levata to be sounded, continued with the consort of all his trumpets, with such exquisite melodie, that the hollow concavitie of the rocke thereat resounding, the ecchoes were heard make answer from every part thereof. Whereupon every one ran out to see the Galley, except the Princesse, who was jealous lest her griefe should grow to be displeased with her, for adventu­ring her selfe to the gust of a curious sight; yet would she have the Countesse goe thither with the rest, to whom (refusing to goe, and leave her all alone) she said,

[Page 52] Mother, the time that was is now no more, solitarinesse is now my pastime: And albeit you are (as you know your selfe to be) right deare unto me; neverthelesse seeing I hate my owne company, the being deprived of anothers cannot grieve me: Recreate your selfe then, and take no care of me, and so shall you best please me, for in doing otherwise you will displease me. Whereat the Countesse ex­ceedingly sorrie, without any more words went out.

Then stood the Galley beaten upon by the beames of the Sunne in her glittering parts, so as she seemed with her splendors to warre against Phaebus, and to dart to him-wards, as many radiant glimps, as she received of him. Being afterwards disanchored, whilest the ghinge stood readie with oares in hand at the whistle of the Boat­swaine, she saluted (according to the custome) the place thrice with cries and trumpets; the windowes above them appeared full of La­dies and Knights, that standing bare saluted the Prince, who requi­ting them with the like, and causing the ghing plie the water with their oares in tenne stroakes vanished out of the Port: whence pas­sing the Promontory towards the East, landing at Budema twentie miles off, he smiling said to the Count, What thinke you? Have we not made a long dayes journey? And upon this acquainting him of what he meant to doe, he there entertained himselfe untill the day appointed, which seemed to him a tedious yeares time▪ but then ha­ving armed and mann'd a Frigat with men and oars, he went aboord her, taking a speciall care when he came neere the rocke, to glide on so silently that the noise of rowing might not discover him: arrived to the place appointed, he had no cause to attend, for there found he the diligent Perseno with a little Whirry, wherein both of them passed over to the Rocke, having first taken order, that the Frigat should returne the night following to the selfesame place to fetch him backe againe. Thence gotten up on high with no small paines to the Prince, being unacquainted with that steepie ascent, the night be­ing also darke and not otherwise illuminated than by starlight; he slept that night with Perseno, because he could not be better accom­modated, yet was so merry in that he hoped to obtaine his desire, that he never thought of any toile or discommoditie.

The day come, the Princesse, who slept little or nothing, rose up early in the morning, and after the Chappell was dedicated (which was without any ceremony, and where the Prince could not be ad­mitted to come) every oneretired himselfe to his owne lodgings, till such time as the funerall Beere was put in order.

Then appeared the Princesse in the Hall, where the ceremony was to begin, clad in a blacke gowne straight wasted with large sleeves, and so long, as they reached downe to the ground, it was lined quite through with whitesilke cipres, pleated and crisped about the necke, with a deepe fringe round about it: the body of her garment, and the sleeves of her wascot, were cut from the highest to the lowest part thereof, and rejoind with small blacke loope-lace, betweene which cuts the same cipres came puckering out in equall small pleats; [Page 53] attracting the eies of the beholders with the comelines of her person, the strangenesse of the habit, and the proportion of contrary co­lours; her head, necke, and brest were covered with a kind of robe of exceeding fine linnen, foulded in waves, which reached no fur­ther downe than the knee: her sweete face restrain'd in its owne con­fines, had allowed it for observers and keepers (as it was not fit it should be left all alone) some few of her faire haire, which the more they were confused in the Chaos of so comely a melancholy, the more orderly were they disposed to proportionate the fairest of all other beauties: yet were they no golden haires, because nature fore­seeing or peradventure emulating those accidentall colours of her habit; & being desirous to sure naturally the same devise, had framed her countenance as white as the driven snow, and her haire like the glittering browne of finest silke; this robe of hers, together with her face were covered all over with a transparent veile; which although it was blacke, yet did it not moderate, but rather augment those sin­gular beauties: that being neither altogether apparant, nor yet alto­gether hidden, could not either be concealed in their being shadow­ed, or conceived in their full perfections; for their raies, penetra­ting through the pores of the heart, made themselves knowen, and yet dazling the eyes of the capacitie depriv'd it of the meanes of well-knowing and fully discerning them. This her habit was em­bellished with the pearles that drop'd in chaines from her chrystall eyes, which (united together in a milke-white piece of fine linnen under the black veile) were motives sufficient to change even mirth and laughter it selfe into plaint and griefe.

The family came to the Hall a little before, to waite on their Mistresse, and among them Metaneone and Perseno in the very instant of her comming forth of her chamber (as private as they could to shun the occasion of discourse with any one.) The Prince seeing ap­peare such a tree cloath'd with a shadow, purpurized under the ob­scuritie of veiles, betweene two contrary colours (no otherwise than Aurora when she begins (at the approach of the Sun-beames) to shew forth her ornamentall graces, having besprinkled the eyes attracted with unknowen violence, in stead of dew with a treasure of teares, signes (not obscure, of an amorous heart) became thereat so astonished, as that if he had beene so forgetfull of the qualitie of the place, as he was of his owne condition, hee had no doubt in that place quite forgotten himselfe. But Perseno (that with a vigilant eye beheld him) seeing him beginne to stagger, set him right againe by bringing him to himselfe with a becke; Iust as a ge­nerous Courser (forgetting his exercise) is suddenly brought in a­gaine by the voice and hand.

In the midst of the Hall stood a Beere, representing the body of the dead Prince raised up from the ground, with a large Beere-cove­ring of blacke velvet, fringed round about with divers Tropheies of armes and instruments of warre, with the Escocheons of Sardegna and Maiorica quartered, and richly embrodered with gold at each of [Page 54] it's foure corners. The superficies of the Beere-cloath was sprinkled all over with drops of bloud, represented to the life by a curious hollow-stich of vermilion silke. The Hall hang'd all over with blacke Arras, not onely the walls, but also the seeling and pave­ment thereof. So as amongst all these obscure colours, there was not any white discernable, but onely that which (shaming all blacks) was not onely transparent, but resplendent from under the veiles of the Princesse.

At one end of this Hall right over against the Beere stood placed a Canopy of State, with a little bench, and two great cushions, all covered over with blacke velvet: here stood still the Princesse, and kneeled downe; where after she had a while fixed her waterie eyes to heaven-wards, then (as if she hated the light) bent them downe­wards to celebrate the funerall, weeping out amaine such musicke, as with i'ts mournefull and compassionate tone, drew humid lamen­tations from the driest eyes.

Metaneone uncertaine with himselfe, whether he was in a dreame, or awake, nere tooke his eyes off the Princesse, and (forming in his minde a rapsody of the things he saw) was not aware that he saw them, so great was the confusion hee tossed too and fro, in his minde.

The musicke ended, there were distributed torches, which (though of pure white wax) were yet all artificially made obscurely browne. Then the Priest, having first invocated the God of gods with the attributes of onely incomprehensible, and eternall, thus prayed:

Receive (O Lord) our prayers, and accept our teares, which because they are not worthy of thy sight, vouchsafe to make them worthy, for thy mer­cies sake; seeing we, because of our corruption, cannot make them worthy, but acknowledge thee to be both the worke, and the workeman, the begin­ning and end of all things, and that in thee is perfect happinesse, which we hope to enjoy in thee, by thee, and with thee, for ever and ever.

Which said, taking out of a golden Chalice, a spoonefull of most pretious sweete incense, he powred it on the kindled embers, that stood by him in a great vessell of silver, and then made a signe to them all to stand up, and goe forward with their tapers lighted; those of meaner qualitie going first in rancke, were followed by such as carried the Beere; next after which followed the Princesse her­selfe with her Ladies.

The little Chappell was all over illuminated with no other light than wax candles, having its windowes shut up with cloath cur­taines, to make the ceremonies seeme more lugubrous, and the office more devout: In the end thereof stood a great Altar, hung round a­bout with blacke velvet, whereon in stead of fringe, were richly embrodered divers tropheies of death. On this Altar was not any god, onely there stood fastened in the wall a large Tablet of de­licate picture-worke, whereon with astronomicall proportions was represented the Vniverse: in whose poles stood two hands full of [Page 55] light, that gave it motion, made in such a fashion as they seemed to be of a greater body than the world. And this body became invi­sible by being hidden by the interposition of the machine of the uni­verse, but much more by its owne splendent raies; the distance be­tweene these raies were fild up with good Angels, having sundry coloured wings, and about it might be reade, ‘And in perpetuall working I
Finde sweete repose eternally.’

As soone as they came hither, they laid downe the Beere upon a rais'd-worke mourning Coverlet, adorned with many pieces of armes. The Priest having in his hand a silver vessell (that hung at small chaines of the same, wherein was finest incense on fired coales) went thrise about the Beere, invocating the greatest Iove. Whereto being answered by the Quire of musicke, he made a stand before the Altar, where (after a long silence) lifting up his eyes towards heaven, he said:

O Lord, that art the true love wherewith thou joinest together in an invisible society, the things become incorruptible and immortall, we pray thee so to strengthen us as that wee being divided from our corruptible and mortall parts, may comfort our selves in thee, which art our only life and comfort: (and then pu [...]ting more incense on the fire of the Altar, he spake on.) Kindle (O Lord) our soules with thy ardent fire, that we being ride of the desire of terrestriall things, may withdraw our selves from them, and trust onely in thee; Let our prayers (for thy goodnesse sake) ascend up to thy sight, even as this incense by its nature mounts upwards; and as its odour is pleasing unto us, so let our prayers be acceptable unto thee. Let all the dead live in thee, together with him for wh [...]m we now pray, that though they be severed from us at this present in the diversitie of their essence; yet that when we become conformable to them in essence eternall, we may joyne with them to praise thee world without end. To this the musicke (answering, So be it ô God we beseech thee) sung an interchangeable quire consort, in a time so dolefull as might move to plaint and hea­vinesse the merriest disposition.

In the meane time got up the Princesse, and Metaneone (before advertized by Perseno to whom that duty belonged) was ready to helpe to raise her; supporting her to his so great content, as he might well in disparity (or in a contrary kind) contend to paralell her dis­content.

Come to the Altar, she taking in her faire hands the Incense, and laying it on the fire, returned, all the rest imitating her in doing the same; which finished she rose up againe, and causing the statue of Pe­rosfilo to be carried onwards with great solemnity, she causing it to be laid in a Presse, made for that purpose, thus said,

Behold (My Lord) the last duties of your Spouse, it pleaseth the heavens that it so be, and therefore must needs please me. I once hoped to serve you in another manner, and to place you elsewhere in an other-ghesse shape. But sithence it so pleaseth my cruell dis­daine, that in stead of your noble person, I may enjoy but your [Page 56] shadow and picture; behold me most ready and willing so to live all my lifes time. The Bride-chamber (My Lord) is denied you, but not the Elysian Fields. And I taking thence example, knew not where to place your Image in a fitter place than this, which being dedica­ted unto the eternall, it is fit your Image should haue another like here on earth. Which said, she with many teares, retired to her lodgings, wherehence all the rest retired to theirs.

The Prince of Mauritania having laid aside his roabe, and caused Perseno (whether he would or no) to sit downe by him, thus be­spake him; I have received from you (My Lord) so notable a peec [...] of service, as I will never forget it whilst I breathe; I pray you con­tinue your good inclination to me-wards, whereby (I assure you) you shall reape nought else but honour; I part hence so enchained to the beauties and noble behaviour of your Mistresse the Princesse, as I doubt to die thereof; though I am more affraid that the selfe­same will betide her, if she obstinately persevere in such an unreaso­nable and desperate way of Melancholy. My intent is to demand her of the King her father; but I doubt it will prove but lost labour, unlesse she alter her opinion: I am not of my selfe a man to resolve of any thing, without your advise, as well for my ingagement to your Highnesse, as also because I finde my selfe an insufficient Coun­sellor in this businesse, being onely capable to receive it from you.

Perseno (desirous to stand up, but retain'd by the Prince in his seat) made answer; (My Lord) you have no cause to thinke your selfe ob­liged to me, sithence you well know, that I by your meanes enjoy both libertie, and life [...] selfe: which though it were not so, yet would I neverthelesse beseech you to command me, because in so do­ing, you much oblige me. Besides you may well judge, that the little service I did you, tended indeed to the service of my Mistresse; and therefore the foundations of what you thinke your selfe obliged for to me-wards, is quite demolished. For I fore-thought (most excel­lent prince) that you becomming enamored of her (as I was sure you would be, considering her perfections) might prove a meane to di­vert her from her so strange a course of life. Because her being sought for, by so great and worthy Prince, as your Highnesse is, might open away to the businesse of freeing her hence. Of your reso­lution of demanding her of the King her father I approve right well, which the sooner it be done, would be the better; albeit I could wish it were caried in such a fashion, as the demand might not occasion any delay, (that is) that she were demanded by the gratious mediation of the King your father, and that with his owne privity: because since such must be the issue of it, it is as good it be done first as last; as well to eschew losse of time, as also because the businesse may goe forwards under the shadow, protection and dignitie of both parties. Neither should her present humor give you any cause of disincou­ragement, because (hap the worst that hap may) we cannot be in worse plight than we are.

[Page 57] And assure your selfe that when you have gotten the goodwills of both kings (your father and hers) you will soone obtaine her con­sent or no man breathing can ever gaine it. Nay, we may well hope that when she understands her selfe to be sued for by you, to whō she is so much obliged, she may be more easily bent to a contrary resolu­tion, rather for yours than for any other mans sake. Neither is this the sol [...] reason that moves me thereto, for know (most excellent Prince) that my mistresse lives herein exceeding great danger; the fame of her beauty is spread far and neere, many Kings have sued to have her, so that some one of them requiring her of her father may deprive you of her; or some other (considering her resolution) may resolve to take her hence by force; whereas if you demand her in time, you may then prevent the one, and the other hazard an inconvenience: for th [...] King her father will not deny her you; especially when the Countesse and I have written unto him in such a manner, as we shall make him not onely desirous, but also know himselfe obliged to grant her you: and as for others, when they come to know her to be yours, they will alter their intention of molesting her. Now for the Princesse, I reply, that her resolution should neither hinder nor discourage you, because she is (in fine) a woman, and therefore subject to change, even as we are also. Neither can such a change be upbraided her, it being from worse to better, besides her being subject to her father, and ob­liged to the subjects as Heiresse. And for what lies in my power, I [...] not tell you any more, but that you see already that I am so far from pretending to oblige your Highnesse, as I remaine therefore exceedingly obliged unto you for this, above all other engagements, whereby I am already tied unto you. And if you yet (like a noble Prince) will needs for all this hold your selfe my debter, yet shall it be satisfied by your following my counsell, and hastning with all possi­ble speed the execution thereof.

The Prince embracing him about the necke, expresses his thank­fulnesse with the most affectionate tearmes that could be, and (pur­suing their discourse) asked him, what new and strange manner of service was that which the Princesse used in worshipping the gods? Wherto Perseno answered, my Mistres, as in materiall things she hath not any one thing ordinary or common unto others: so also in the vi­vacity of spirit there is none can paragonize or equall her; for she, (not contenting herselfe with the common opinion) examines the causes of things with such an elevated judgement, as there is not a Phi­losopher that can paralell her in the speculation of them. And that which above all other things makes her curious, is not onely the va­rietie, but rather the contrariety of opinions, almost in all ages, and those stiffely maintained by all such as were by the world esteemed for the wisest men, so as it might (not without good reason) be concluded, That humane wisdome is meere folly and hath no certaine founda­tion. And if any man were more prized than the rest, it was not be­cause he had reason to procure him better estimation; but because nature made him more acute than others in Philosophizing, and [Page 58] in the art of speaking more dialecticall in perswading. I will give you a touch of my Mistresse her opinion in the generalitie of things, to the end you may imagine that the particulars dege­nerate not a whit therefrom. To this her sound judgement thee hath conjoyned a Prince-worthy erudition; because shee hating superficiall and seeming disciplines, which puffes up the under­standing, embraces the solid, wherein consists reall and true knowledge; And albeit Philozophizing on the gods bee some­what dangerous, being it is dangerous to pronounce the truth, in that wee cannot set it forth but according to our capacitie, whence proceeded (not without some ground) that saying, that the truth thereof is best knowne by being not knowen: yet is it neverthe­lesse lawfull for us to know so much thereof, as Pietie and Re­ligion permits us; for if wee were thereof altogether igno­rant, then would there not bee among us either devotion or Re­ligion.

About some two yeares sithence came from Lucania (I know not by what accident) that Priest you saw in the Temple, who being (besides his knowledge and learning) a man of an upright mind, and exemplary life, was bestowed on her by the King, to the end that by his conference she might be assisted and furthered in her studies, wherein they are come to such a pitch, as they have concluded, that the opinion of many gods is false, and that there is no more but one, and him such a one, as no understanding can conceive in that he transcends the limits and reach of our intellects. And that is the reason you saw no Image in the Temple. The picture (that is there) represents the whole world; and the two hands the provi­dence of God, of God himselfe: forasmuch as he is the motor and originall cause of all causes. The bloud sacrifices are abominable in Gods sight, neither ought he be otherwise worshipped, than with odoriferous and sweet smelling offerings.

The Prince (marveiling not a little hereat) with a smiling cheere, said; Your Lady (the Princesse) being farre from superstition and vanity, and doubting lest she her selfe should for her divine qualities be reputed a goddesse will have but one God invisible, and incor­poreall; but this beliefe shall not enter so farre in me, but that I will adore her. Whereupon enterchanging together pleasant discourses, they resolv'd on a meanes to receive intelligence each from other And in the evening Metaneone (being upon departure) would have presented Perseno with an exceeding rich diamond, which hee could never (either by forced courtesie or courteous force) worke him to accept: whereby (being no lesse satisfied with the noblenesse of his minde, than with his other gentle quali­ties) taking (in affectionate manner) his leave of him, hee trans­ported himselfe to his Frigat that rode waiting for him, and de­parted.

Perseno, now a glad man, that the businesse had so succeeded according as hee desired it should, went, and acquainted there­with [Page 59] with the Countesse, who astonished at the boldnesse of his resolution, could not chuse but commend it, seeing it had so well succeeded. And being to render the King an account of their voiage and arri­vall, they wrote so well in commendation of the Prince, touching the purpose of his freeing and accompanying them, that more could not be said thereof, giving him withall an inkling of having discovered in him, a more than ordinarie inclination to the fame and renownc of the Princesse. Afterwards Perseno taking counsell touching the fortifying of that place, and having noted how Eromilia lived not without feare, deferring the building of the House and Temple, set­led himselfe to wall it round; and beginning at the foot of the rocke, fortified the parts adjoyning to the ascent, with small paines and lesse charge, the rocke it selfe supplying him with stone and lime.

A little before the peering out of the Sun, came Metaneone to his Galley, where the Count with much joy received him: to whom he related all that befell him, extolling Eromilia her singularities with such superlatives, as the Count could not chuse but tell him, smiling; Sobrietie (My Lord) with these your commendations, no more I beseech you. Two things I want for becomming enamored, and those are, the being young, and therewithall a Prince. If your High­nesse publish her to such as want neither of these, in such fashion as you doe to me, (no doubt) you will have rivals enow.

The Prince joying at the Counts words, could not satisfie himselfe in talking of her, resolving in any case to demand her. Neither could the Count therefore blame him, having beene long before informed (by lesse assionate witnesses) of the merits of that Princesse, advi­sing him to go on in that match, not somuch for the satisfaction of the Prince, as for the interesses of the kingdome of Mauritania. Consi­dering then how they had in their voiage too much digressed, he (as soone as the Prince went to sleepe) caused to wigh up anchor and steere on a straight course for Sardegna.

There blew from shore-ward a sweet gale of wind, and the Vessell scoured away amaine, on each side courted with wanton Dolphins: when after having two dayes sailed with most prosperous weather, they were assailed by a tempest, so terrible, as the Masters-mate (with all his counsell) could not resolve of any course that could a­vaile them, observing the winds so outragiously unstable, as when by the helpe of any one gale, they ranne a course towards any part, they were suddenly rebutted and driven backe by another: so as, not being able to obey any one particular, but forced to yeeld to the violence of all indifferently, they were constrained to rome up and downe, with an order so disorderly, that dejected and suppressed both in courage and force, they had given themselves over for lost, had not the goodnesse of the Vessell and ghing somewhat consolated them.

The Prince no whit dismaied, in that he was assured of the sound­nesse of his Galley, commanded to give her sea-roome enough, but seeing no meanes of disobeying the winds, they gave their violence [Page 60] way, according to their alterations: so as, although they had desired to come a-shore, yet was there not any meanes to doe it, because the progresse of tenne miles was seconded with a greater regresse. By meanes whereof, not knowing where they were, they danced at the sound of the rustling waves, more than eight dayes in the Center of the sea, with the losse of many of their oares, shivered by the repercussion of the surging billowes. On the ninth day the tem­pest being somewhat appeased, they descried above them the Iland of Maiorica, and a Galley that set forth from Cabrera. Whereupon desirous to know whence they were, imagining her to be sent from the King of Maiorica to his daughter (by whose meanes he might write something to Perseno) he commanded to make towards her; but for all they could doe, it was impossible to overtake her, for she so posted with the helpe of both oares and sailes, that in the beginning of the night, she got quite out of their sight.

The Prince (suspecting in his heart I know not what) seeing that though the tempest was calmed, yet the wind was against him, turning towards the Count, said unto him, I cannot imagine why this Galley should shun me; I have a great desire to follow her, because I cannot possibly steere onwards any further in my intended course, which I shall neglect but for this onely night, during which time also, the Galley-slaves may repose themselves; seeing he wind will drive us whither I would goe. The Earle, seeing him so desirous, would not contradict him.

The saild all night with their prore towards Lebecchio (being the way they saw the Galley hold) when at the breake of day the Cen­tree on the maine top-saile, told them he descried the Galley not a­bove five miles off. The Prince, who lay on a quilt with his cloathes on, and his armes hard by him, presently rose up; and causing the Galley-slaves to be meated, and the Knights armed, he pursued her with sailes and oares: yet she (being one of the swiftest Galleyes of all that sea) had not beene so easily overtaken, if she had listed to flie away; but seeing her selfe traced after, she holding on her course as the wind carried her away, without putting hand to oare, seemed to stay and expect to be boorded. By this time they drew so neere her, that the Sunne (by then risen) discovered her fully; so that the Prince saw her with her rich lanthornes, in bignesse little lesse than his; well mann'd with souldiers, and numerous for galley-slaves; imagining therefore that she was no Pirat (as he had beleeved) he bade the oares forbeare, and (with the advise of the Count) comman­ded Tolmido Captaine of his men, to take a Frigat, and goe see what she was; he (performing the command) quickly overtooke her, as she sailed gently, without making any haste. And demanding what she was? he was asked againe, who they were that would so faine know? Whereto Tolmido answering that they were of Mauritania; (just at that word) appeared a Knight of a low stature, and iron hue, at whose comming all the rest reverently retired themselves; whilst he fixing his eyes on Tolmido, said,

[Page 61] Sir Knight, I know not what you are, neither am I curious to know it; me thinkes you should be as little inquisitive of me. I can not imagine wherefore you have ever sithence yesterday so dog'd me to no purpose. I will not tell you what I am, though I be such, as can tell how to chastise your indiscretion, if you keepe not on your way. Tolmido (although by his garb and appearance, he ghessed him to be no ordinarie person, yet seeing him so stout) made answer.

Let it not displease you (Sir Knight) that I aske what you are, in that you might be such, that he, who sent me to you, might per­haps honour you, if you were thereof capable, or did deserve it. It is the ordinary fashion of such as goe by sea, to haile one another, and therefore you had no neede to be therewith offended: but si­thence that you are so disdainefull and proud, as to dare (not know­ing the termes of civilitie) thus boldly to threaten us, I am con­tent to returne with this your answer, and doe beleeve that you will be faine to shew, whether you can prove your selfe to be so brave and valiant in deeds, as you are rash and arrogant in words.

The Knight (not accustomed to such answers) taking a bow in hand, aimed at him an arrow, which if it had hit, where he levelled, dispatched had beene the life of Tolmido; but fortune so favoured him, as it slipping by him, razing onely his skinne, and doing him no other harme, pierced into the water. Whereupon, he retiring himselfe with his company (though shot at by the Galley) returned safely to the Prince: who (seeing what violence was offered) advan­ced forwards, causing to be hung out the standard of warre, under­standing afterwards by Tolmido what termes were used, he could not imagine who that Knight might be, till at length he began to suspect it might be some Prince that went about to steale away Ero­mina, neither was he indeed therein any whit mistaken. This suspi­tion made him become more fierce and eager, so as having got the lee of her, he began to salute her with such a showre of arrowes, as obscured even the midday Sun: Yet found he not her asleepe, nor her men with their hands tied at their girdle, for as soone as Tolmido was gon, she turn'd backe, and (mainely rowing) came on, to charge the Prince.

The battle of Archers lasted not long, because Metaneone (not waying a rush the furie of the shot-men) hastened to grapple with the Galley; and (having under him the best Vessell in the world, and the wind a-poope) encountred her with such a thump, as tea­ring off her snout, tottered and bruised her all-over: then armed with a halfe-pike (being backed by his Archers and seconded by his Knights; himselfe in person the first among the formost gotten up on her prore) made such a massacre of all such as opposed him, that in spite of them he boorded her, where followed by his owne men, hee justling and laying about him with sword in hand, won her to her mast, where encountered with a Squadron of chiefe Knights, hee was forc'd to retire himselfe some steps backe­wards. But resolved either to prevaile or die, he Tiger-like flung [Page 62] himselfe on the little Knight, who was Lord of the rest, and getting within his pikes point cut it off close at his hand, charging him with­all with such and so many blowes as constrained him to fall downe at his feete on the hatches; whence Tolmido taking him by the heeles drag'd him betweene two bancks, intending (if he had had time) to cast him over boord. Whilst the Prince obstinately pursuing the as­sault, got againe as farre forwards as the maine Mast, and thence fur­ther, but with such difficultie, as he was faine to win the Galley by inches: for besides the good ghing, there were aboord her betweene Knights and souldiers, about two hundred, who behaved themselves very valiantly: of all which neverthelesse there remained but sixtie a­live, & those for the most part wounded. The Prince lost some twen­tie of his, beside some of the ghing that were hurt with the arrowes, and more had been kild and wounded, but that the battlements defen­ded them. Then would the Prince forthwith know of the prisoners, what they were? and who was their Lord? Whereto they made answer, that they were Catalans, and that the Knight by him hurt, and perhaps slaine, was Don Peplasos Prince of Catalogna, who (enamou­red of the Princesse of Maiorica, and understanding that by her good will shee would not consent to any mariage at all,) went to Afrique to steale her away, which he resolved to effect; without his owne fathers consent, and therefore unknowne to him, set forth privily from Barcellona.

Metaneone (rejoycing for so good an encounter, and that fortune, by such unthought of meanes had so favoured his desires) blessed the tempest that drave him thither, joying in himselfe, that it was his good fortune (by the instigation of an unknowne desire to cut off and frustrate the designes of the Prince, which had they beene effe­cted, had made him the unhappiest man in the world.

In the meane time lay Peplasos more than halfe dead betweene two of the ghing-bancks, when Metaneone (causing him to be tane up, and his wounds search't and drest) sent the Count to visit him, and to tell him that he was sorrie for his hurt, but much more, because he himselfe was the occasioner thereof; for had they but knowen one another, then that inconvenience had not hapned: whereas his concealing of himselfe might have occasioned a greater disaster. But he, (more vexed at heart for the frustrating his designes than for his wounds) having understood who his enemie was, dissembling his anger, answered, That he was not agrieved at his hurts got by the hands of so valorous a Prince, but rather thought him well imploied, in that they gave him occasion of being acquainted with him: in re­spect therefore that there was not between them any cause of enmi­ty, he desired to be permitted to hold on his way, seeing that if the in­convenience was occasioned by his ignorance, he well felt the smart thereof.

The Count having related this suit unto the Prince (who then was upon going himselfe to visite him) gave him thereby cause to alter his minde, so as he went not, but sent againe the Count, with [Page 63] order to tell him; That he was sorry he could not serve him in that perticular; understanding how he was bound for Afrique to steale away the Princesse of Maiorica, an offence that extended it selfe to the King of Catalogna his father, the King of Maiorica, and to all other Princes; but more particularly to all Knights, expresly obliged to defend that sex. And that therefore he might doe well to see care­fully to the cure of his wounds, assuring himselfe he should not be detained prisoner, being there was a good and reciprocall amitie be­wixt both their fathers: but that the reason why he could not let him part suddenly was, because he could not be accessary to his of­fence, which otherwise hee must needs have beene, if knowing his intention, and being able to prevent it, he did it not: Nay, that he further knew himselfe tied as he was a Prince to remedy it, and as he was a Knight to chastise him, if he offered to put his plot in execution; but that he hoped that the qualities of his birth and dignity, (with the obligations accompanying them) had already therefrom sufficiently disswaded him.

Don Peplasos stood a good while after he had heard this embas­sage, without speaking any thing, till at length he burst forth into such speeches; The Prince of Mauritania favours me exceedingly in redoubling the paines of a person of your merit, thereby re-obliging me with the favour of his visits: But as concerning my voyage, which (as you tell me from him) was to steale away the Princesse of Maiorica, I pray you assure him that whosoever told him so, lied most falsely, in that he informed him of an untruth in a matter so far from my thoughts, as that Princesse (whom I never yet saw) is from my knowledge and acquaintance. And if my voyage hath given oc­casion to any ill-minded fellowes to thinke so of me, yet cannot any such conjecture accuse me, neither am I such as ought to yeeld any man an account where, or which way I goe, there being in those parts whither I am bound for, so many countries and such diversitie of occasions wherein a Knight may honourably imploy himselfe: As I hold my selfe greatly injured of such as judge of me rather the worst than the best; for the rest, I know the Prince for a valiant Knight, and have tri'd him, but yet armes (as well as other things) have their both fortunate and fatall dayes, so as if I should happen to affront him; this my present misfortune should no whit disencou­rage me; Albeit for the occasion he pretends, there shall neither be cause for him to chastise me (as he saith,) nor for me to defend my selfe, as I would doe for any one, that would offer to injure me. If he please to leave me to my liberty, there being not betweene us any cause of hostility, he will then performe what he owes to the amitie of our parents. If otherwise, and that he will rather credit the ma­lignant conjectures of some villaine, than the royall words of a Prince, I shall then have just cause to thinke my selfe hardly used by him.

The Count could doe no lesse than reporte all these speeches punctually to the Prince, who (not as much as moved thereat) sent [Page 64] for the Catalans, of whom hee would know againe, whither Don Peplasos intended to goe; those that had already vnadvisedly spoken the truth, could not revoke what they had said; the rest (who were so fortunate as not to be examined) said, they knew not their Lords intrinsecall intentions. Howbeit the rumor thereof was so published, as the more cautelous sort, knew better how to conceale, than denie it. Whereupon Metaneone (unwilling by contestation to multiply the ruine of these men) resolved (with the advice of the Count) not to set him at liberty, untill such time as Eromilia were thereof advi­sed, and had taken a course for the securing of her person. But ha­ving discoursed of the manner of effecting it, they (considering of their being but sixtie miles wide from Maiorica) concluded to passe that way, and thereof to advertize the King her father, and so with the merit of two so great services to give him then an inckling of the desire he had to be his Sonne in-law; not that he then meant to treate of the marriage, but onely to prevent the suit of all such others, as might come thither to demand her.

The Prince (glad of this counsell) fell off with a contrary wind to Fermentera, where he found a Frigat, that there rode sequestred by the winds; The Knight that came in her, presently knowing the Galley Royall, ran with much joy to kisse the Prince his hands, who suddenly knew him for one of Eromilia's Knights; of whom when he understood of his being sent from her, with letters to the King her father, he told him what had hapned betweene him and the Prince of Catalogna, and how that hee continued not in his voyage, because it was necessarie for him to goe to Maiorica there to leave him in the Kings custodie, till such time as the Princesse had made sufficient pro­vision for the securitie of her person.

Fidele (for such was this Knights name) was much astonished at this newes, and besought the Prince to grant him some odds of time, to get him gon before him, as soone as the wind should turne to be a little calmer, that the King by reading the letters of the Princesse, might come to know the other obligation he ow'd him. To which request the Prince was at first loth to consent, supposing it was but to give the King of Maiorica time to receive him with greater pompe and honour; till afterwards considering the advantage he might come to receive by meanes of the letters of Perseno, and the Countesse Palomera, he was contented to favour his request: and such was the lucke that the winde in that instant (as it were) quite asswaged occasi­oned a great calme. Wherof Fidele regardlesse (having a good Frigat well provided of oares, and pressing forwards amaine speed) arri­ved at Maiorica a day sooner than the Prince.

The King (who was even dead of longing to heare newes from his daughter) seeing this Knight present himselfe before him, was exceeding glad thereof, and understanding what had hapned them in their journey as they went, and unto the Prince of Mauritania as he came) remained thereat strangely amazed, afterwards opening his daughters letter, he found it thus said,

[Page 65] My Lord, if I had beene capable of content, I might say I had received it from your Majesties letters, delivered me by the Countesse of Palomero, being the greatest joy that an obliged and obedient daughter might possibly receive; yet doth not this incapacitie de­prive me of that comfort, which nature in all children, and your particular love towards me might suggest or put me in mind of: Insomuch therefore as you strive to surpasse all fathers in loving your daughter, most ungratefull were I, if I endevoured not to exceed all other daughters, in loving so worthy and deserving a fa­ther. But now me thinkes I heare you say, that the last effects ma­nifested the contrary: yet (My Lord) I beseech you (in this sub­ject) to give credit even to the incredible, for my affection, which was the source of paradoxes, was so repugnant to all humane disposi­tions, as it is no wonder, if with it subsist contrarieties. Behold then, how I pretend not to excuse my fault, but doe beseech you to impute it to passion: by whose meanes (like a raving sicke woman come to the worst point) I wanted force to exercise those faculties which the wise make use of; so as my offence deserves rather compassion than reproofe, in that it brings with it its owne punishment. And now that I have acknowledged my duty towards you, together with the fault of my absence; give me leave (I pray you) to defend my selfe with the worthy occasion of my errors. Represent, Oh repre­sent before you (My Lord) a Perosfilo, a Prince of such exceeding rare qualities, to whom was dedicated by you, my person, and by me, my soule; and then represent him before you dead. Alas, how could I possibly in so great disorder, observe any order? I, that more than any other loved him, whom all loved, (and which is more) with a true and legitimate love: If then he were assigned me by you, to be the companion of my life, why will you not permit me to be the companion of his death? And where shall I ever finde out his like? Indeede had I aim'd at no other end than solitarinesse, I could have retired my selfe into solitarie places, there at home: But what kinde of a solitarie life had that beene, where every one would have baited and opposed me? Besides, how had I beene able to re­sist authoritie? but much more your sweete perswasions where­with you are able to divert the most constant resolutions? Now whereas you afterwards accuse me of small love; certainely (My Lord) if you thinke you have occasion to say so, I hope you have no reasion to beleeve so; for it is right all one, as if you accused me for a dead woman, and respectlesse of your griefe, and of my mo­thers love, together with the debt I owe your subjects, and doe you beleeve that it would grieve me lesse to abandon these respects, than it would doe to lose my life? No surely, but the violence and wrong done me by such a conjecture, is at least as great (if not greater) than death it selfe; seeing it is true that love and death are both of equall power.

I answer not to all the residue of your grave and prudent reasons, which although they convict mee not, because they are [Page 66] grounded upon common suppositions, which in my case (void of all rule) give no rule at all; neverthelesse the reverence I owe you obligeth mee to receive them, as if they had already convinced mee. My loving family I will love, and among them the Coun­tesse above all: little thought they once to see mee in the estate of a Mistresse, but of a slave for companie with them. It pleased God that the Prince of Mauritania freed, and conducted them here in safetie, as shall bee told you more at large by Fidele, the bearer hereof, whereto I referre my selfe; beseeching you that (in respect I could not thanke that Prince by word of mouth) you would be pleased to supply my defect, by sending to the King of Mauritania his father, and to him such personages, as are capable of executing such an embassage. Touching the particular of my person, I know the danger wherein I am, and will fortifie my selfe in such a manner, as I may be able (the place being strong of its owne situation) onely with my owne family to defend my selfe, and live secure from all the world, so I bee but furnished with victuals. And in the meane time God will provide for all, whom I pray to grant your Majestie the height of felicity, and to me that comfort, which being absent from your Majestie I cannot re­ceive. Eromilia.

With this letter the King became somewhat consolated, in that hee thought he had wrought something on his daughters me­lancholy: Albeit she therein made no mention of returning home­wards; neverthelesse he could not chuse but be well satisfied with the accidents that had hapned, hoping they would prove a meanes to induce her to alter her intention. But when afterwards he had seene the letters of the Countesse, and Perseno: he thought than that the Gods had sent them that Prince to free them from affliction. Therefore (having given order to receive him with all honour, and that notice should be given him, when he were descried in the sight of the Iland) he went the day following himselfe in person to meete him on the sea-coast. The honors wherewith be enter­tained him were such, as might be expected, from an inferior, and the love such, as could bee hoped for from a loving father. The Queene (who both by the relation of Fidele, and also by her owne letters comprehended the Prince his merits) received him with such tendernesse of affection, as a mother is wont to welcome her endea­red Sonne.

After reciprocall complements, the Prince retiring himselfe aside with the King, told him, that the cause of his comming thither was an accident, that chanc'd him with the Prince of Catalogna, whose servants had plainely confessed that they went with an intent to steale away the Princesse Eromilia, because their Prince had no hope of obtaining her by any other meanes. That it seemed not good unto him to take him along with him, lest he might thinke himselfe detained prisoner; much-lesse would he by any meanes set him at liberty, lest he should then effect his [Page 67] designe: And that being now wounded, his Majestie (under the colour of hospitality) might detaine him, and in the meane time advertize thereof the King of Catalogna his father, and send the Princesse provision to assure her from such like dan­gers.

The King not knowing how to finde out words correspondent to the qualitie of his beholdingnesse, omitted no meanes of letting him see, how dearely hee esteemed such notable and so worthy services.

And concerning Don Peplasos, told him, that a better course could not be thought of, whom he would detaine, and have a provident eye to the curing of, his wounds, till such time as he had effected all that the Prince had counselled him. And so passing from businesse to complements, and from complements againe to affectionate pas­sions; the Prince, who according to the custome of lovers, had not all this while the boldnesse to open his mouth in his owne desire, (whereat the King marvelled, beleeving that the Countesse and Perseno, who had thereof written unto him so confidently, were altoge­ther deceived) yet now (having lighted on so fit an opportunity) said unto him,

Your Majestie is together with the title and dignity of a King, en­dowed by the heavens with inclinations so Royall as they embolden me to supplicate your Majestie for one favour, since that you have beene so courteously pleased, as to command me to aske you any thing. The King all joyfull (taking him by the hand) made an­swer, that he could not doe him a greater favour, than to demand whatsoever hee desired, assuring him he would not denie him any thing comprehended within the limits of his power. The Prince then kneeling on one knee, (whence he would not be raised up, doe what the King could, untill hee had first expressed his desire) said unto him; The boone I then begge of your Majestie is, that your Majestie would vouchsafe to be pleased to accept me for a sonne, by giving mee (for wise) my Lady the Princesse Eromilia. Whereunto the King raising him on his feete an­swered,

Worthy Prince, your Highnesse obligeth me more in disobliging me, than I can ever deserve, much lesse requite. My daughter can­not bee bestowed on either a greater or worthier Prince than your selfe; and the demanding her, as a boone, in so gentle a manner as you have done, had beene a sufficient motive to have induced me to give her you, if nothing else had tied mee thereto. Therefore I tell you, that without asking either counsell or advice of any one, (bee it the Queene or Councell) as is usually done betweene Princes of our condition; I will, that shee bee yours for as much as concernes me. Whereat the Prince would have kneeled downe againe to kisse his hands, but the King (staying him up) spake on, I told you, for as much as lies in my power, because for what is in the power of others, I must request two things of you, [Page 68] the one is, that there may bee obtained thereto the consent of the King your father; and the other is, that therewithall be procured the good will of my daughter, for well you know in what kinde of resolution she lives in, as yet; howbeit I trust (God willing) by the meanes of your merits (seeing the authoritie of a father could not hitherto prevaile any thing with her, which I have not as yet made use of, but have reserved it for a fitter season) we shall in a small time obtaine our desire.

The Prince humbling himselfe againe replied, Sir, I would not have presumed to demand her on any other conditions than those you propose, and doe assure your Majestie that if I had not feared to have beene prevented by others, I had not thus have asked her of you, ere I had first wrought the King my father to demand her for me himselfe by his Ambassadors, which shall be done in its time fit, and when it shall please your Majestie to command it. And as touch­ing my Lady the Princesse, I will comfort my selfe with this, that if she marry at all, then is she (by your Royall liberality) to be mine. Having afterwards acquainted the King with the occasion of his voyage, how hee was bound for Sardegna to fetch home his bro­ther, they accorded, that the one with his daughter, and the other with his father should labour for the accomplishment of both their desires, which was to be concealed till such time as the Princesse could be perswaded to alter her resolution. Then came they forth amongst their attendants very pleasant and merry, which caused all to rejoyce, being the first time that a joyfull looke was seene in that Court, sithence the departure of the Princesse.

The Prince of Catalogna was in the meane time removed out of the Galley, and carried to the citie in a horse-litter; which though performed with much honour, seemed neverthelesse strange unto him, beleeving he should be there detained prisoner. And being now visited by them, after that the King had entertained him with some courteous speeches, Metaneone thus said unto him,

My Lord, I grieve more for your hurts than I have cause to excuse my selfe for having given them you; for if you had (when you knew that my Galley was of Mauritania) either used me friendly, and not threatened me, or but as much as in some sort pronounced (not the name of your person) but the place whence your Vessell was, then had I not felt the sorrow and displeasure I now feele, nor you suffered the prejudice and losse you have and now doe; for which if it might be remedied, I would endeavour to give you sa­tisfaction, not for that any offence of mine thereto binds me, but be­cause indeed such is the inclination of my nature. The reasons that perswaded me to bring you hither, were your wounds and the ill plight of your Galley, wherein (wanting so many of your folke) you could not have defended your selfe from any one that had listed to injure you. Howbeit if the importancie of my businesse could have permitted me, I my selfe would not have feared to have con­ducted you home to the King your father, whom I beleeve to be a [Page 69] Prince so just, that understanding how things passed, he would have had no occasion to have wish'd me any harme; the like hope I of you also: There being then no place neerer your kingdome than this, nor any King more courteous and friendly to both our fathers, than its Soveraigne here present, I thought good to recommend you to his Majestie, to whom I have related the disaster of our encounter, which grieves him so, as he desires that you stirre not hence in any case, till you be fully cured. Whereupon the King (interrupting him) said, My Lord, Prince Peplasos, I neede not adde any thing to what my Lord, Prince Metaneone, hath spoken, neither will indeed your hurts admit tediousnesse: we are (you know) friends and neighbours; lay aside then all melancholy, albeit you are in a house where dwelt no mirth these many dayes; have but the patience to stay till you be cur'd, and you shall then goe whither soever it please you. And albe­it I know you came from Catalogna unknowne to your father, yet pretend I not to correct you therefore, much lesse to judge betweene you both; onely I pray you give me leave to acquaint your Royall father of your being here, and the messenger I will send, shall not part till you please.

Don Peplasos (not hearing himselfe accused of his fault) with a merry countenance, answered; That he would willingly write to his father, thanking therewithall very kindly, the one, and the other, with words, in shew the most courteous that could be, reserving ne­verthelesse inwardly an implacable hatred, rather to the vertue than person of Metaneone, who, having taken leave of him, was by the King entertained with all such honours and pastimes as the time per­mitted him.

The Queene acquainted by her husband of all passages, was ex­ceedingly glad thereof, and by his directions, presented the Prince (at his going away) with a flat box all chased over with diamonds, wherein was inclosed Eromilia's picture; which the Prince well knowing, would therefore by all meanes needs kisse her hands. And thence (having embarked himselfe) with a prosperous gale of winde passed over to Sardegna.

The End of the Second Booke.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA
The Third Booke.

ENtertained was the Infante Poli­mero by the Marquesse of Chia, without any excesse of extra­ordinarie courtesie (for so would he have it,) where ha­ving reposed and air'd them­selves a while, they went thence to Caleri, causing the slave to be brought along with them well guarded; whom the King (joyfull that he had gotten him into his hands) commanded to be close shut up in a strong prison, till the time of his sufferings and punishment, which was to be deferred untill the returne of the Princesse Eromena.

Polimero would have kissed the King hands, (who understanding t [...] came of purpose to serve him, and for that end, desired to be made a Knight) seemed to bee delighted with his forward [...]p [...]rit and gentle demeanour; and when hee asked who hee was, the Marquesse durst not discover him (so strictly was he tied by pro­mise to conceale him) which notwithstanding the King denied him not the honour of Knighthood.

There waited then on his Majestie the Marquesse of Bossa, with some other of his Councell, all the rest accompanying the Princesse; [Page 72] which Marquesse of Chia, desirous to understand the state of busi­nesse sithence his departure thence; that other of Bossa (at this his request) in the presence of Polimero, thus said,

After the Prince's misfortune (whereof I beleeve this noble Knight hath already beene fully informed) the Princesse mar­ching out into the field, was advertized how that King Epicamedo was with a strong army passed over to Cape Luogodori, and that the Prince his murtherers, being united and siding with him, had (for his assistance) procured all that Countrey to revolt. Whereupon (imagining that her speedy comming thither might hinder that in­fection to spread abroad among the neighbours) she made forwards to those parts, & found that Valentino (a small Castle forsaken by the men thereof, for feare of not being of number sufficient to keepe it) was valiantly defended by the women that therein remained, against all the enemies united forces. Whereby she (very joyfull) divined, and seemed to fore-see, that she (a woman also) was fore-destined to defend that state; with which hope inspired, she encreased her army with all such as she met by the way, she assailed the enemy in the night-time unawares, making of them such havocke, as Epicamedo was constraind by retiring his forces to raise the siege from Valentino. Which Countrey for being extraordinarie hilly, afforded him the commodiousnes of retiring himselfe without any hazard, till (after he had gotten out of the mountaines) he was set upon afresh by the Princesse, hard by Villapetres, who did that day so renowned exploits, that those of Camilla, and of a number of other famous women, were nothing in comparison of hers. For she had three Coursers kild under her, and personally affronted Epicamedo in two severall encounters; at the first whereof she unhorst him; but resolving at the second, either to kill, or take him prisoner, hardly escaped the being kild her selfe; for being invironed with the Kings guard, her horse being slaine, she was like to have beene also her selfe by them either slaine or taken prisoner, had she not valiantly defended her selfe with the death of more than fifteene of them. Neither perhaps had all this freed her, hand not a squadron of women of Valentino, (who followed her as Voluntaries) rescuing her from the danger she was in, remounted her on horsebacke, maugre all those that fought against her; by whose example euery man behaved himselfe so va­liantly, that the enemie (with his rancks altogether disordered) was faine shamefully to retire himselfe under Villapetres. Epicamedo re­maining by the hand of the Princesse wounded with two deepe cuts, whereof he was not as yet cured.

Having thus raised the siege of Valentino, chased away the besie­gers, and withall beaten them in open field, she forced them to re­tire into the very Villapetres, and keepe themselves close therein, as if they had beene besieged.

In which meane time, those of the Princesse her councell of warre were diversly opinionated of what was best to be done; wherof some would have her pursue the enemie untill he were quite vaquished; [Page 73] others thought best, that (having blockt up Epicamedo from going on any further by the opposition of the valorous Valintinean women together with one part of the army) they should with the other part over-run the countrey on the left hand towards Sassari, where they understood the Admirall resided, who (ere he could be advertized of her comming and of the discomfiture of Epicamedo) might (together with the city) runne the hazard of being taken prisoner; to this last advice the Princesse somewhat inclined, but was disswaded by the nearenesse of the enemies Galleyes, doubting lest they landing their men, might breake those troopes she left behind her; or else dividing their froces pursue them, and environ them in, betwixt the King and the Admirall. Whilst she stood thus doubtfull what course to resolve of, there arrived before her a Knight (to her full well knowne) who kneeling downe said,

Most excellent Lady, I come from the Fleete which as yet rides in the Port of Torre, where the horrible treason against the life of the Prince was published by the Traitors-selves, by whom the chiefe of that countrey (being cald for before them to Sassari, and earnestly wrought upon to joyne in the Rebellion) seeing themselves in their power, could doe no lesse than promise them their service. But now being retired to the Fleete, and risen up in armes, have taken the Count of Montevero prisoner, who was then aboord the Royall, in the Admirals place, and because there is already a Galley sent to give his Majestie intelligence thereof along by the West coast; I was also dispatched away in a Frigat, with commandement to coast hither a­long by the Easterne shore. But being by the tempest weather-bea­ten into Tolata, I understood that your Highnesse was gon out with the army; and therefore imagining that the Galley might by this time have performed that service without me: I came poast hither, to acquaint your Highnesse herewithall.

The Princesse hereupon (as soone as she read the letter, sent her by the Commanders of the fleete) determined to put their last consulted enterprise in execution, who (leaving in her campe five hundred horse, and five thousand foote,) about the first watch in the night, set her selfe with the rest of her forces on the way to Sassari. And this is the summe of all, that hath beene hitherto done. But we expect with great desire further newes, having already received a confirma­tion of what I have now told you, by the Galley that arrived here the other eventing, who hath spent many dayes in comming hither, by reason of those past tempests, and was also chased by certaine Galleyes of Corsica, that lay at Asinara, who had already understood of the revolt of the fleete, who never lost sight of her, in all the storme, being winde-driven, or rather, weather-beaten into the same place not far distant one from another; but as soon as the wind grew calme, the Galley (being well rigg'd and mann'd) with the favour of the night got quit out of their sight, and arrived here in safetie.

The Marquesse of Chia lovingly thanked him for this relation, and then taking Polimero aside, asked him, if his intent was to [Page 74] part suddenly for the Campe, which having understood so to be, he replied, Mine (indeed) was once the same; but the conservation of our fleete gives me occasion to put in the place of Admirall, wherein (if once I but desire it) I cannot have any competitor. Therefore if you please, either to dispence with the obligation I have to serve you onely in this particular voyage; or else, to enter­taine your selfe here, till such time as I have dispatched this busi­nesse, which shall soone be (I being assured to be sent backe to the Princesse) I shall receive it as a speciall favour. The Infante (affecti­onately embracing him) answered, that his company would be at all times most acceptable unto him. Howbeit that, for so weighty an affaire, he went to deprive himselfe thereof, praying him not to neglect his businesse, which he would be exceeding glad to heare he had effected, there being not any necessitie of neglecting his af­faires, for so short a journey. Having then taken instructions for the way, and licensed himselfe from the King, he set him forwards on his journey to Sassari, riding with as much content as could be, to see himselfe free from domesticke broiles.

Carasio, seeing his Lord addressed to a warre of every one so fa­voured, was very glad thereof; nor joyed it lesse Polimero's youth to survey a Countrey so differing from his, where in stead of par­ched sands, and barren downes, he feasted his eyes with the various aspect of most fertile hils, nature shewing her selfe so liberall, that being in other places sparing, she seemed here to be prodigall, which gave him occasion of discorsing with himselfe, that the pleasant­nesse of Poggio, and others of his fathers seates, (compared with those he now saw) were but meere apparances, and besides but arti­ficiall workes, requiring much toyle and paines in conserving them, whereas there were here to be seene the more than ordinary excel­lent workes of nature, which cloathed with sundry devises, shamed all artificiall colours, affording such content to the senses, as they were capable to receive by the fruition of those objects proportio­nable to their proportioned incliantions. And if this varietie seemed unto him so strange in a countrey so litle distant from his in latitude, what would he have thought of others far more fortunate and de­lightsome? Sardegna being not of it selfe one of the best Provinces, though as then well enough inhabited, and sufficiently rich to su­staine its inhabitants, and withall to contribute corne to many other countries, which grew superabundantly in the Province of Luogo­dori.

Three dayes travelled Polimero without encountring any adven­ture; on the fourth he saw comming riding towards him from afar off, a Knight on a horse, droppin wet with sweate, and quite tired, which for all that could doe by spurring him, he could not make goe on one steppe further. Whereupon, knowing Polimero for a strange Knight (lifting vp his beaver) he said unto him,

Sir Knight, I beseech you favour me with your horse, for mine being tired can passe no further, yet must I make haste for [Page 75] the Kings service to whom I am sent from the Princesse.

Polimero hearing such an unreasonable demand proceede from a personage, of whom, by his rich armour, and by what his aspect promised, such a request was not to bee expected, made an­swer,

Sir Knight, if I knew, that you could not performe your duty with any other horse than mine, I would gladly give him you, to doe the King or Princesse any service, whom I also desire to serve as well as you; but knowing that you might have furnist your selfe in place, through which you have passed; or if you could finde none there, that you may speede your selfe howsoever at Cornetto, I hope you will hold me excused, by so much the rather for that I going my selfe to serve the Princesse, should doe her but simple service, if I were deprived of my horse. But as the gods shall protect you, what good newes bring you with you? What hath she done at Sassari? Is that Traytor the Admirall perhaps taken? The Knight (altering his colour at these last words) answered him; The taking of the Ad­mirall is not a thing so easie as you beleeve: casting with that word his eyes about, to see if any body was comming, and seeing none in sight, he spake on: The Admirall was never Traytor, but a Knight that can revenge injuries, as now he is ready to revenge this which thou dost him, and to take away as a good prize (together with thy life) that horse, thou wouldest not give him by courteous meanes; which said, he lightly vaulting off his saddle, drew out his sword.

Polimero taking him (by these words) for the Admirall, was the joy fullest man in the world, and giving Carasio his horse, drew out his sword, and said, Yea marry, this is the onely way to get the horse; if thou being the Admirall (as thy words descrie thee) hast the courage to kill me Knight-like, as thou slew'st the Prince, Trai­tor-like. Well, then, come doe thy worst, for I will doe my best, to revenge in his injurie, the wrong done to all Princes. The other replied not with words, but with a great blow which he made at his head, ere he was in his guard, or had time to bring thither his shield, which had put him in an ill plight, had it not happened to fall a­thwart, so as it lighting on the crest of his helme did him no other hurt, than the cutting off of a small piece thereof. To require which courtefie, Polimero, having put him to ward a fain'd blow, stroake wiht a true one at his helme, with such force, as hitting him in a place unarmed, it there made an ample wound. The Knight (who desired nothing more than a quick dispatch of the combat, see­ing himselfe thus disadvantaged in the very first blow) resolved with himselfe to adventure at all. For the effecting whereof, having spi­ed out his opportunitie of closing, got in to imbrace him, throwing away his sword, that he might the better use his dagger; then hee stuggling to throw him downe, tried his armour every where by potching it, to see if he could find any place unarmed. But Polimero, being fresher and stronger than the other, (lifting him up by the hams) threw him flat on his backe, and seazing on his dagger (whilst [Page 76] he lay amazed with the fall) held its point before his helmets sight, bidding him yeeld; which because he would not doe, but struggled to get up, Polimero stabd him in a place unarmed under the short rib, laying him thereby to measure againe his length on the ground; and taking him for dead (because he saw him stirre no more) he unlaced his helmet, to assure himselfe thereof, when seeing him yet alive (though not in plight to defend himselfe) he said unto him,

Tell me (Sir Knight) in plaine termes, who you are? Because, if you be the Admiral, and had as well avenged the death of the Prince, as you have done mine, you had not beene in the plight you now are in, which had beene much better for you; for the longer the gods delay punishment, the heavier inflict they them, as now they doe to you, by not suffering you to die by my hands. Which as hee was speaking, hee saw comming towards him a great crew of Countrey Pesants, armed with pikes and javelings, who seeing the wounded Knight on the ground without any helmet, straightwayes knew him; and not knowing Polimero otherwise than for a stranger. Alas, My Lord, (said they) what meane you to doe with this wretch, which you keepe under you little better than dead? How much better befits it him to die by other meanes, seeing your hands are too worthy for him, and he farre unworthy to die by them. For he is (if you know him not) the Prince his murtherer, the Author of the Rebellion, the occasioner of the warre, and wee pray God he prove not consequently the cause of our utter ruine.

Polimero glad of such an encounter, said unto them, My friends, if you will promise me to bring him prisoner to the Princesse, I will leave him in your hands. How? (answered they) If you please to deliver him us, we will most willingly obey you, not onely for our promise sake, but also because it is an imploiment we much de­sire; for (we pray you) be pleased to know, that this is the Admirall, the common enemy, both of the Kingdome and of all good men; howbeit for your better assurance, if you list to returne backe but two miles, we will deliver him up (in your presence) to the Magi­strate of Cornetto. That will I not doe (answered Polimero) you seeme to me to be such, as I neede not doubt of your honesty, see therefore, I leave him in your hands, take him, for I give him you: which said, hee mounted on horsebacke, leaving him as yet in a swoond on the ground. But they having laid him athwart his horse, without bearing him any kind of respect, lead him to Cornetto, and delivered him up to the Magistrates charge, who caused his wounds (whether hee would or no) to be search'd and carefully look'd unto.

Polimero (joyfull for what had hapned, and continuing his jour­ney) understood by the way how that the Princesse surprizing Sassari at unawares, had taken prisoner the Baron of Frisano, but that the Admirall escaped away; and that her Highnesse was withall speede returned under Villapetres, ere the King of Corsica could be infor­med [Page 77] of her absence thence. This newes made him (leaving Sassari on the left hand) hold right on to Villapetres, whence come to Valentino, he understood how the Princesse was already arrived at the Campe; wherefore he thinking every houre one yeare till his comming to see her, having refreshed his horses, past on, and came to the Campe, just at such time as Epicamedo's men had begun a brave skirmish; which growing greater and greater, increased almost to the magni­tude and forme of a battell. The Princesse stood beholding it (from the top of a hillocke) encompassed with the principall of the army; when looking aside, by chance, shee spied Polimero descending the side of a hill, in great haste, for the great desire he had to make one in the battell. It seemed to her that she never saw Knight of a better grace and seemelinesse (except her Brother Perosfilo) and not being able to refraine looking on him, she perceived that he had a desire to fight: but he (come to the place, and seeing the enemie at first but weake in number) stood still to behold the skirmish, which by de­grees increasing, began to exasperate. The Princesse would not suffer hers to be succored, for the great desire she had to see what this un­knowne Knight meant to doe; when he (seeing issue forth of the enemies Campe a troope of horse, that came to charge the Princesse her squadron in the flancke, and perceiving no man stirre from her side) put on Flammauro with such velocity, as the winde could not have surpassed him in swiftnesse: and then (without regard of being all alone, but preferring the necessitie of aide before the difficul­tie of the enterprize) himselfe alone resolutely charged them all. The Corse Captaine (desirous to breake his launce in the curace ra­ther of a Knight than of a meane pike-man) ranne with his launce rested fully at him; so as in the midst of the carriere each of them hit his opposite, but with contrarie successe; for the Cors burst his launce (as he made account to doe) without doing any further harme, and Polimero in the encounter brake his also, but left a yard and a halfe thereof in his enemies breast. Then reining his obedient Cour­ser to the right hand to divert himselfe from encountring the whole troope together, he mannaged him so dexterously, as (having broke through them without receiving any blow) he turned face againe with sword in hand, sooner than they could doe the like; and withall (ere any one touch'd him) sent with three blowes, three horsemen tumbling to the ground. In the meane time, though all strucke at him, yet was there not any that could fully reach him, by reason of the great fiercenesse of Flammauro, who (as if he had beene inspired with a reasonable soule) would not suffer any one come neere him; yet would he come so neere to the others, as his master might well come to strike them: never in her life-time ever eyed the Princesse a more pleasing spectacle, considering the valours of the Knight and Courser, so fitly shared betweene them, as by assisting one the o­ther reciprocally, they became Invincible. Well knew she him to be a stranger, in that all her Knights were well knowne unto her, imagining hee could be no lesse than a Prince that enjoyed so rich [Page 78] a treasure, as so unvaluable a Courser. Polimero seeing no man as­saile him (after he had kild and beaten downe above twenty horse­men) with redoubled courage, began to charge them a-new, but finding no armour that either denied entrance to the fine edge of his damaske blade, or resisted the force of his victorious arme, nor any Courser that in nimble gyres, and curvets, could match his Flam­mauro, he forced them to save themselves by flight; himselfe brea­king in suddenly with the same furie among the foote squadrons, where those of his side following him, would have slaine them all, had there not beene sent fresh troopes to their reliefe. Who shooting a good while whole clouds of arrowes, gave Poli­mero cause to feare lest his horse (which then by the triall he had of him, he esteemed more than all the kingdomes of the world) might be thereby endangered; and therefore retired himselfe from such a hazard. But the firy Steede though obedient to the hand, by his neighing, puffing, snorting and looking backwards, expressed how unwillingly he retired, which he manifested so evidently as the Prin­cesse had thereby occasion to say, that he needed not speech in that he expressed himselfe better by his actions.

Polimero seeing him so willing, and knowing him to be so barded and trapped as he could not be hurt elsewhere than in the legs, resol­ved to adventure him, not without entring into the opinion of such, as beleeve the transmigration of spirits into bodies, his Flammauro so fortuned, that having emptied their quivers, they so closed in the shocke, as they had scarce roome to use their swords.

The Princesse continued heart-ravished (as it were) with this her gust, spectatrix of the sweetest sport that ere her eyes beheld; nei­ther could she tell (till she saw Polimero's helme off) whether she more affected the horse, or the horseman, being so rapt with the pleasure she conceived, as she tooke no notice how hers were disad­vantaged. Whereupon the Marquesse of Oristagno could not chuse but say unto her;

May it please your Highnesse to give me leave to succour our men, lest that noble Knight judge us to be farre more cowardly, than we have esteemed him valiant; whereof the Princesse was well content, but would not for all this stirre thence her selfe. The Mar­quesse then followed with a noble troope of Knights (being him­selfe most nobly descended from the bloud Royall, and withall the richest of the Sardegnan Lords) issued forth at such time, as Polimero (after he had a little reposed himselfe) was about to goe to renew the charge. Who seeing comming towards him the Marquesse, richly armed, and not knowing who he was, he staid for him, till such time as come to him, he said,

Sir Knight, I beseech you pardon us, for having left you alone, seeing your matchlesse valour needs no succour; and truly, but that we doubted you would have thought us discourteous, we had per­mitted you alone to undergoe the brunt of destroying Epicamido's [Page 79] whole campe, we are now come hither by her Highnesse Commissi­on to obey and follow your armes and command. Polimero (incli­ning himselfe somewhat downewards) made answer;

Sir Knight, if my actions were such as might deserve the com­mendations you give me, I should deeme my selfe exceeding fortu­nate; but the little time that makes me know you so courteous, makes me know also how little reason I have to beleeve my selfe valorous, and yet that little in that respect alone, that I am favoured with your applause. As touching my not being succored, I have reason to be­leeve, that I needed not any, because of the justice of the Lady Prin­cesse; neither could I (without being much to blame) entertaine so unworthy an opinion of such worthy Knights as ye are; nor is it in­deed possible that any one fighting for such a cause as this, can chuse but be couragious if not valorous: and for the rest, I am come hi­ther with an intention to serve; if therefore you be to fight, behold me ready to obey and follow you.

The Marquesse (who was one of the most courteous of his time) had not left Polimero's answer unreplied unto, had he not beene pre­vented by the enemy, who perceiving these Knights descend the hill, had formed a squadron of the best of the host, to goe encoun­ter them, which the Marquesse seeing now come galloping towards him (with their launces rested) said to Polimero; The Lady Princesse is that onely one that can paralell your courtesies, see where comes the enemy, let us goe meete them; at which words, he (spurring his horse) passed on. But Flammauro at the onely cheeke of the hand (as if he had knowne his Masters will) sprung forwards such a leape as he left behind him the Marquesse. Polimero had no launce, for he had broken it in the first encounter, so as being encountred by many, he bore the brunt of them all, without moving ever so little of his seate, yet stroke he downe at every blow a horseman to the ground, being assured if he fail'd any, his horse supplied his de­fault, who beate downe so fast as even his owne friends feared to approach him.

Epicamedo, who began by this time to recover, and had left his bed, being desirous to see what was done abroad, caused himselfe to be carried up on a hill, accompanied with divers Lords, among whom were the Earles of Reparata, Pussinera, and Castle Rabone, with the Barons of Ianque and Lagosardo all the Prince his murtherers, see­ing now so rich a squadron on the enemies side, would needs know who they were, wherein he was satisfied by these Lords, who well knew them by their devices. But as they knew not Polimero, so were they astonished at his valour. By this time had the horse (issued from their side) received the charge, after the foote were cut all to pieces. Epicamedo, not able to support this so foule a disgrace, (all swollen with disdaine) called for his armes. The Chirurgions were not able to disswade him, who although he was by reason of his wounds growne weake, yet was he farre more stout than feeble, and because hee could not suffer his head (not as yet well cured) to be [Page 80] armed, therefore would he needs goe bare-headed. But those great ones that were about him, in the end so prevail'd with him, as (cal­ling for their horses) they quieted him with assured hope, that they would by the getting of that dayes victory recover the honour of the field.

The Marquesse of Oristagno (seeing the enemies foot overthrowne, and their horse but few, and these retiring) drew neere Polimero to conduct him to the Princesse, judging the residue sufficient to make good the field; but now perceiving issue from their side more than twenty troopes of horse, he said: I once thought that the enemie had contented himselfe with the losse he hath already sustained, but hee (I perceive) is insatiable and will have more, let us see what troopes are these: looking then towards the Princesse, he perceived she sent him succour; and comming afterwards to know (among the ene­mies) the Count of Reparata and the other Rebels, he shewed them Po­limero, but more particularly those that slue the Prince.

The Princesse (seeing the conflict grow greater and greater) moun­ted on horsebacke, and causing the Trumpets to sound, so rowsed up Epicamedo's spirits, that she saw him send forth for a supply well neere all his horse. Whereupon shee doing the like, and drawing nigh the battell, came to know all the Traitors, of whom being de­sirous to take some alive, she discovered her desire to the warlike Va­lentinian women, who alwayes made good their places in the flancks of her own troope, and then put her selfe forwards among foremost, where Polimero was, that with one blow had newly beaten off his horse the Count of Castlerabone: the women alighting strave to car­rie him away, which they could hardly effect, because of the great resistance of the enemies side. The Princesse (growne furious to see them all before her) thrust at the Baron of Ianque, which fortune so well guided, that it passing betweene his curace and pouldrons came out at his backe. Polimero who by the colours of Sardegna, by her rich upper garment, by her horse roially trapped, (but above all) by the comelinesse of her person, knew her for the Princesse; and obser­ving her strive to get this prisoner, put forwards Flammauro, who by making a large roome, gave the women time to save their prize; and then changing his sword into the other hand, he compassed with his right arme the Baron of Ianque about the middle, and spurring on his owne horse, plucked the other sheere off his, which he perfor­med with such facility, as one would have thereby judged his force to have beene sufficient to have removed a Tower, and delivering him over to the charge of the Valentinian women (whose designe he well observed) he encountred the Count of Reparata: whilst the Prin­cesse (in the same place) affronted that other of Pussinera. But in re­spect all their Cavallerie ran thither to succour them, the throng grew to be so pressing as neither the one part nor the other had beene able to stirre, if Flammauro had not made them roome, for he keeping off with his heeles such as were behinde him, gave Reparata's horse such a shocke, as made him (being not able to stand) presse downe with [Page 81] him (as he fell) that of Pussinera, who tumbled downe in a bundle with him, with the legges of the one Count and the other under their horses.

And because Flammauro was that onely he, that could make all stand off, Polimero, leaving to others the charge of bearing away the prisoners, tooke care to secure those, that bare them away from be­ing hindred by such as would have rescued them; wherein he had no small adoe, by reason they were all upon him, so as he had not got from them alive, but that the Princesse rescued him, who seeing him barricadoed about with the enemies horse (none of them daring for all that approach him) being seconded by the Marquesse, and the Valentinians with an unresistable force, brake into their ring, by that meanes freeing him from the danger he was in, without having the power, either to speake one word unto him (although she was alwayes close by him) or to separate her selfe from him, though she knew no reason therefore. Wherehence I gather (concede me I pray you this small digression) that among the hidden secrets of na­ture, that of sympathizing is one of the truest, which if we judge vaine in respect of the operator, may yet prove to bee not altoge­ther such in respect of the principles of nature. For as experience teacheth us, that the influence of lights and planets are true in the mutations of qualities here below, which none can denie, that denie not sense it selfe; so may we also argue from the like, that the other starres have also their peculiar influence, which if it be granted, and that wee allow them to bee promoters of affections, then must they bee such also of love and harred, by reason of the diverse proportion of their aspects, and not of elections or casuall acci­dents; and if they, or these, bee changed from their former into a diverse proportion, and that the celestiall signes be found to bee of diverse aspects, and that some of them be malignant, others not; some predominant, and others obedient; this may proceede from the foundation of daily conjectures, whereby wee see one friend rule another, the sonnes the fathers, and the servants also over­sway and (in a certaine manner) domineere over their Ma­sters.

So now Polimero, before ere hee saw the Princesse, became enamored of her; and she (likewise without seeing him) fell so strangely in love with him, that the more willingly she ey'd and followed him, the lesse power had shee to speake to him; Nay, (almost deprived of all boldnesse and courage) she feared either to looke in his face or fall in conference with him.

He in the meane time scoured over all the field edg'd onwards by his great spirit, and by the desire hee had to shew himselfe worthy of the favour of her whom hee had elected for his Lady and Mistresse, stand long still to looke on her hee could not, as well for a native respect potent in that age of his, in teaching him that necessarie circumspection which might give others no occasion to take notice of his thoughts; as also be­cause [Page 82] it behoved him to have an eye both to himselfe, and to his horse, who delighting in the warre, gave sometimes such counter­times, as might teach a good Horseman to sticke firme to his seate: yet failed he not to cast a carefull eye to her dangers, wherein he (a­bandoning all other care) rescued her twise from being oppressed with the enemies.

Of all the Prince his murtherers, there remained free, none but the Baron of Lagosardo: who albeit he were fierce and couragious, yet fought he neverthelesse very circumspective of his person, not that he feared to die, but because he feared to fall alive into the hands of the Princesse. Him Polimero knew not for one of them (though he had beene shewed him as well as the other foure) yet incountring him by chance, hee strucke him on the nape of the necke with a backe blow, which made him bow downe his forehead to his horse-necke; which he (come to himselfe) requited with a thrust in the flancke, whence began to gush forth store of bloud, which the Princesse perceiving (and desirous to revenge) violently flew at him with such a furie, that (maugre those that would have guarded him, or her owne determi­nation of having him alive) she never left him till such time as shee saw him mortally wounded, fallen downe and trampled, not weigh­ing a rush all the rest; especially because Polimero, though he had no finger in her combat as long as it lasted, guarded neverthelesse her person in beating the way round about her with his Flammauro; by which meanes he defended her from all such as would have strucken at her.

By this time the enemies could doe no more, nor hold out any longer, having lost almost all their Captaines, so as there remained no other eminent Commander than the King alone; for the rem­nant of the Rebels (being the Earles of Sarda, Terra nova, and Lon­geria) were run away for feare of being taken prisoners: So that if either the day had lasted, or Polimero not beene wounded, then even there had ended the warre, and perhaps the life of Epicamedo. But Eromena doubting lest his wound were mortall (in that she saw gush out thereof such store of bloud) caused a retreite to be sounded, and then suspition chasing away respectivenesse; she having lifted up her beaver, said unto him;

Sir Knight, so great is the obligation I owe you, that it grieves me, my power is inferior to the desire I have to expresse my grate­fulnesse: I see you bloudy, but know not how you feele your selfe: Doe you beleeve that your wound is very deepe?

Polimero, as soone as he saw her face uncovered, permitted his greedy eyes to runne to such a long'd for sight, thinking hee saw the heavens opened, and those parts, which with celestiall symme­try formed that face, to be congregated gods; howbeit he was du­bious in the absolute distinction of the greater from the lesser, seeing all generally Majesticall, and every one by it selfe worthy of the ser­vice of so many more worlds. But those splendent eies (full of spark­ling rayes, that pierced through the concentred point of his heart) [Page 83] made him a little stagger, whose lustre was as that of Apollo, but their vertue as of a greater Deity; for these in stead of dazeling the material eyes, strike those of the minde with so reiterated raies, that there is no lightsome splendor, either of Sunne, Moone or Stars, which con­taines the thousandth part of its own vertue so fully in it selfe, as these possesse all of all theirs, in a manner so unexpressable, as the most perspicuous wit could never forme to it selfe an Idea conformable thereunto: And although her language had its preheminence, and that it had captivated the understanding in its first apprehension; neverthelesse the shafts of her eyes made themselves be esteemed the armes of love, nay his throne, nay his heaven, nay Iove himselfe. Wherefore having already lifted up his beaver, with an humble garbe and true posture of veneration he returned her this answer;

And who can ever presume (valorous Lady) to thinke himselfe worthy or capable of serving you in such a manner, as that your de­serts, and the dutie of who so serves you, exceede not a thousand times his service? or what greater recompence ought any one pretend from your Highnesse, for any service than your service it self? such have the gods made you, that being onely and absolutely singular in all excel­lent parts, you onely should, for being such, be excladed and ex­empted from the debt which others own by the common law of nature. As for me I pretend nothing else than your service, neither expect I other guerdon than that you would vouchsafe to be pleased to give me leave to serve you: wherein if my fortune or your benig­nitie make me so happie, as that my service be acceptable unto you; I shall account in at unpretended gaine. But as for my wound, I thinke it be not dangerous, if my sense beguile me not, which in­deed it well may, seeing that who so lives with the gods is not sub­ject to the feeling of any paine; your divine presence is sufficient to ease all kinde of paines, and cure all manner of wounds, though deepe and inward, as I repute mine to be at this instant rather exasperated than given.

The Princesse, in the lifting up he made of his beaver, rested so ex­tazied, as if she had beene strucken with lightning, beleeving not till such time as she heard him speake, that hee could be other than a damzell like her selfe, whom some emulation had drawne into those parts. But having afterwards examined the arguments for the contrary, she could not satiate her selfe in beholding him, yet not all of him, for her eyes (become immoveable) had not the power to stirre from their first object; so as fixed altogether on his, her eyes twinckled not at all, and so exceedingly was she ravished by an unknowne power, as she was forced to understand the invisi­ble intelligences that passed frō one heart to the other. But when she afterwards heard his courteous conceits, his modest pretentions, and his last words, of her not understood amisse; she being such a one, as both for vivacitie of wit to conceive them, and for incomparable beauties and exquisite perfections, to deserve them was every way peerelesse, imagining withall that so lofty a thought could not be [Page 84] lodg'd elsewhere, than in a Prince's heart) she with a gladsome coun­tenance made him this reply.

You are too too curious (Sir Knight) in prizing a feeble damzell so highly as you doe; and too little affectioned to your selfe-wards, in so slenderly esteeming your owne worth; for such have your services hitherunto beene, as I judge my selfe more than any other, indebted to that common law you speake of, the exclusion from which if it could be granted me in any case, shold then be for services done me by my fathers subjects, who are thereto obliged by nature, and by the favours they daily receive; but in this case a stranger hath no place, his service not depending on the law of subjection, but on his owne free-will and election, wherewith he greatly obligeth whom he serves. But leaving this aside, me-thinks your wound hath no neede of delaying its cure, which since it is such as you tell me, let us hence to our tents, where (I hope in the gods) the danger will not prove such, but that you may be soone cur'd thereof: for there have we good Chirurgions, and withall these our mountaines are full of vertuous herbes, by meanes whereof you will in a few dayes (I hope) finde your selfe recovered and a sound man.

Polimero would no further reply, for doubt of being esteemed au­dacious; which she observing, put off her glove to touch his hand, as she was wont to doe to her guests, and he gently taking it in his, af­fectionately kissed it, to the great pleasure of them both, acutely conceiving their joyes to be equally shared. The Marquesse and o­thers seeing him of so tender an age, and so rare a beauty (after en­terchange of courteous complements) could never have their fill of looking on him, deeming his force to be unproportionable to his yeares, and his delicacy to his valour.

Being come to the tents, and the Chirurgions sent for, he was (by speciall order from the Princesse) laid a-bed, and dressed in a tent not farre from hers. The wound was in the fleshly part of the flancke of a good widenesse, of no danger, and of a likelihood of be­ing soone cured, whereof the Princesse was exceeding joyfull, and had willingly gone in person to visite him, but that modesty and her dignitie forbade her.

The day ensuing, it was resolved in councell, that no time, nor re­spite, was to be given the enemy, already halfe overthrown, but that he should be assailed in his trenches: when (as they were going out) there appeared before them some Countrey Swaines, who (delive­ring the Princesse a letter,) told her they were of Cornetto, where they kept prisoner the Admirall shrewdly wounded; whereupon she being verie inquisitive to know how he was taken, one of them knowing Carasio (who by chance waited there to know what the Councell would resolve of) answered her; the Master of that same squire there, is he that delivered him us, to bring him (as sent from him) to your Highnesse, but he is in so bad a plight at this present, as that we could not bring him along with us. Hereupon the Princesse (knowing Ca­rasio) knew also by him, whence the present came; so as (turning [Page 85] towards the Councell) she said; A happy starre was it for us, that conducted hither such a Knight as this, who in a small time hath done more himselfe alone, than all our forces together; for al­though the overthrow at Valentino, and taking of Sassari were of im­portance, yet all had beene to little purpose without the taking of this Traitor and the rest, which were by him tane yesterday; calling upon this for Carasio, she enquired of him if what they said was true: which when hee had affirmed, and saw that she joyed much thereof, he further said; I beleeve not, that your Highnesse knowes as yet all that might in that respect make up your joyes more com­pleate, and thereupon acquainted her of the imprisoning of the slave; How (said she) is the slave a prisoner, and I know nothing thereof? It is most certaine (answered Carasio) and with that related unto her the manner how he was found at sea, by the Marquesse of Chia.

Scarce had he finished his discourse, when there arrived unawares a Poast from the King, who brought also letters from the same Marquesse, wherein (after the newes of the slave) he recommended Polimero, describing him by his aspect, armes, and horse, giving her withall an inkling of his being highly descended, and of his com­ming of purpose to serve her in that warre. Which newes afforded her (as she conceived) a colourable excuse to go see him; and therefore asked Carasio if a visite of hers would be discommodious unto him, who (having answered her it would not) advertized thereof his Master; who (at the Princesse her entrance raising himselfe on his elbow) said,

The Tent (Madame) in that it is your Highnesses, may perhaps deserve this favour, but never I; although I possessed all the merits in the world: (and as he would have spoken on) the Princesse interrup­ting him, said,

Since then (Sir) the Tent (as you say) is mine, it is fit that I com­mand in mine owne house, which otherwise I would not presume to doe with you, but by way of intreaty: Repose your selfe on your pillow, or I will get me gone, courtesies are not supportable when they be prejudiciall to your wounds. There is no wound can preju­dice me (answered Polimero) that is annointed with the precious balsome of your Highnesse favours, yet must I needs for all that o­bey you, for to that end was I borne. Whereat she smiling said, I could doe no lesse (Sir Knight) than come to see you, to yeeld you thankes for the present you sent me ere your arrivall hither, whereof I know nothing till this instant; I pray the heavens I may be able to shew my selfe not ingratefull unto you, for (for my owne part) I owing so much, have (without their aide) but little to satisfie so great a debt. He then (willing to raise himselfe anew, and she charging him to lie still) made her this answer:

Your Highnesse her presence enjoyes a vertue so excellent, as it is not (either in respect of it selfe or of others) capable of receiving of the least blemish of defect, so as what in others might be perhaps stiled importunity, is in your Highnesse no other than a favour, who [Page 86] being so bountifull a distributresse of your courtesies will not suffer me to goe away, without largely participating thereof, for that I well know that they point fully at me, so as I hope for more ease and good to my wounds from them, than from all the balsomes, and so­veraigne herbes in the mountaines of Sardegna; by so much the more am I therefore indebted unto your Highnesse, by how much you exceeding with your goodnesse and bounty, the weakenesse of my deserts, deeme me worthy of that merit which no dignitie can deserve; for the rest, if presents ought to be prised for their good qualities, then hath your Highnesse no reason to thanke me for this, because among men there is not a worse than that Traytor; or if by some consequence, or motive of just revenge, your Highnesse thinke this present meritorious, yet cannot that neither make it thanke. worthy, seeing all men are obliged to justice, and Knights above all other, and yet above all Knights I, who have dedicated my selfe to your Highnesse service, ere ever I knew you.

The Princesse, having fixt on him her eyes whilst he spake, exactly surveying, and considering with her selfe his beautie (which excee­ded that of any other in his time) his comelinesse, and behaviour, (gifts in him naturall, and by education perfected) together with the sweetnesse of his words (which pronounced in a feemely order, and with a certaine kinde of inimitable utterance won the hearts of such as heard him) maugre the vigor of her courage, the vertue of her dig­nity, & her formerly made deliberation never to affect any could, not chuse but love him; which she afterwards continued with a passion so excessive, as there was never woman that ever more truly lov'd than she. Moved then with the affects of love (borne, at the first sight, or ere she beheld his face, and growne up by seeing him with his beaver off, but now waxen ripe, in both seeing and hearing him,) she rested so troubled in her minde, as she knew not what to say, till at length somewhat stammering, and bewraying with her humide eyes, the state of her burning heart, she said unto him:

What shall I say to you? (courteous Knight) sithence that your vertue being subordinated to the divinitie, a type of all vertue, con­tenting it selfe with it selfe, despiseth those fruits which humane ver­tue delights in among mortals? You will be obliged unto me, and will maintaine, that you cannot by serving of me disoblige your selfe, if humane affaires proceeded in such a fashion, then were the conditions of some miserable, and of others tyrannicall: for those straightly bound without being able to untie themselves, and these quite loose, and free from all possibilitie of becomming bound, could never hold that relation together, that nature requires equally a­mong things not unequall. Wherefore in that we are in nature e­quall, and therefore necessarily borne to this relation, it must needs follow that who so serves, deserves; and that you being the obliging, I must consequently needs be the obliged unto you: otherwise (by treading the paths of divinitie) all humane wayes would be quite de­stroyed. Your wounds (Sir Knight) though peradventure not your [Page 87] actions, bewray you to be a man, and being such, how can you hold your selfe tied to this snare of obligation, and to this chaine of servi­tude without ever pretending either liberty or reward? Nay, not so much as commendations, being you must strip your self of that also, if you will sustaine the machine of your paradox? You free from all kinde of debt and duty, either of vassallage or otherwife, have done me so great services, as I may not endure to heare you degrade (by the indignitie of the prize) your worthy actions that so much oblige me; and if your argument were true, the gods should never be exal­ted by me, seeing their good turnes extended no further than to the purging the world of monsters, and to terrestriall things here below on earth, who neverthelesse ought with great reason to be adored, as those by whose meanes we receive all goodnesse. And if by the o­ther argument you beleeve you could not oblige me in that you were already obliged to justice; give me but leave to tell you, that the just man is indeed commended onely by justice, not because wee are not all bound to be just, but because the law of justice doth not compell us to have a hand in all just causes; and therefore, you for having a hand in this, and in a cause of such a nature, and withall with the hazard of your life (whereto justice obliged not) acquire thereby the praise not onely of a just man, but also of a stout Cham­pion, for which you deserve the guerdon, if justice cease not to be justice.

Polimero, (seeing her so profoundly dive into the center of the Ethnickes, with a resolution not to be vanquished) making her with all respectivenesse a submissive cringe, to manifest his yeelding as conquered, said thus unto her; Let not your Highnesse imagine (I beseech you) that I meane to oppose your courteous Tenents, by so much the rather because they tende to my favour. And although that truth in its power can doe more than all powers, this rule never­thelesse shall for this time suffer its exception; your Highnesse gene­rositie of necessitie exceeding and surpassing truth it selfe. Pardon me (I pray you) for so saying, for had I said otherwise, it would have prov'd a species of Rebellion in my service, which (although your arguments rather stop my mouth that can expresse little, than per­swade my faith, which beleeves what it ought) being it desires to conserve it selfe faithfull, cannot chuse but confesse even to the death, that the condition of my services, is nothing in comparison of the royall merits of your Highnesse, which of themselues are such as by vouchsafing to suffer them, to be knowen, is a guerdon sufficiently satisfactorie, to whosoever is graced with the favour of knowing them.

Thus did love solace it selfe in these two Lovers, but with a cer­taine extraordinary order: for being wont in other to creepe by de­grees, in these would he needs manifest his Deitie, and shew himselfe to be a god, though blinde, yet eyed sufficiently to spie out two spirits, who (participating of celestiall essence) merited to be by an extraordinary way infused with his graces. Therefore would hee [Page 88] have the beginning and the period to be both in the same instant, and that from their reciprocall affection, should suddenly spring forth a certaine knowledge, as if they had been long before acquainted each with other: So as (banishing all complements, and depriving them of all whatsoever they had learnt, either by nature or from the Court, in the art of dissembling;) he taught them to understand and discerne the scope of their different arguments, and yet would hee have them understand mutually each the others meaning, by the secret intelligence of the meanes already adoperated.

Eromena then (breathing amorous sighs from the internall cen­ter of her heart) thus replied; I well perceive (Sir Knight) that un­der a false title of service, you are resolved to command me, which (for the clearing of some opposing ambiguities) makes me very de­sirous to know but who you are; for albeit I am constrained to yeeld unto you (were it but for your valours sake, which makes me deeme you most noble) yet should I thinke my selfe exceeding happy, if fortune therewithall concurr'd in the rest. Whereat Polimero (taking her by the hand, and with extreme joy kissing it) returned her this answer: Your Highnesse shall in this point be very shortly obeyed and satisfied, for I hold it more difficult by prowesse to make my self knowne to be worthy of what I pretend to be already, than to bee known, for that other, who as yet is altogether unknown. Tell it then (replied the Princesse.) Command me it not I beseech you, said then Polimero; onely be but pleased that the warres first be brought to an end, and that my true service, which shall never have end, may esta­blish its foundation of actions; this accomplished, I will not onely pray the heavens (contrarie to all my owne arguments) to be fa­vourable in granting a reward, but will also beseech your Highnesse selfe to bestow one on me: neither shall I presume to desire it at your Highnesse hands, if fortune and nature concurre not in a higher pitch, than I shall ever be able to arrive with the humility of my service, considering the infinite deserts and high merits of your HHighnesse. On this Eromena (desirous to know him, and not allow­ing those his excuses) was disturbed by the Marquesse and other knights, by reason of whose comming she retired her selfe thence a little after; and so did these others also, after they had passed with Polimero such observant tearmes of good breeding, as (because of the last newes) they judged convenient.

The morning following was Epicamedo assailed in his trenches; but not with any particular valour of singular persons; for the Princesse went not thither, and Polimero lay wounded, the others suffred themselves to be governed by a common and ordinary spirit, which commonly rules by ordinary meanes. So that the fortifications being good, well flanked and as well guarded, and the defendants become (by past knocks) more carefull and resolute, not to give way to the valour of the enemy, there therefore ensued an honoura­ble retreat with small losse of men, and no disadvantage of acquired reputation. [Page 99] the Corses (to shew they were not vanquished) in the succeeding dayes, issued forth incessantly to their wonted skirmishes, with an intent rather of prolonging than finishing the warre; although many were of opinion that their best course had beene to retire themselves, in that their hopes were by so many contrary fortunes almost quite overthrowne. But Epicamedo (that of all the Corsan Kings was most couragious and fierce, no whit daunted to see his designes broken off, his friends lost, and himselfe forsaken of such of them as survived,) had already sent post over into Corsica for new forces, so fortifying (in the meane time) the situation of his Campe, as hee made it of its selfe apt to beare the brunt of any sudden assault, as might tend to the forcing of his trenches, which lasted many dayes, untill the recoverie of Polimero, who all this while had much adoe to detend his being concealed from the urging importunity of Eromena.

Whilest these things were a doing, the Fleets at sea were diversly governed. The Sardan rode in Porto di Torre contented to conserve her selfe. And the Corsan (who was stronger by ten Galleyes) com­manded as Mistresse of the sea, scowring the coast from Tolata to Corsica, without any danger, when shee leaving fresh forces, and disembarking them at Terra-nova (a place neere the Campe) romed over all that river, leaving alwayes eight or ten Galleyes at Tolata to supply such occasions, as might fall out to be necessarie, either for the affaires of the army, or the Kings service. Now when all these of the Fleete were returned from Corsica, and had landed some thousand foot, fifteene of them wafted off towards Porto di Torre, to see if they could by any meanes draw forth into the Maine, the Sardan Galleyes; which under the command of a brave Vice Ad­mirall lay at anchor in the haven, expecting the arrivall of the Marquesse of Chia, with a good number of Galleyes, that were a rigging and arming in the Arcenall of Caleri, towards the augmenting and reinforcing of this Sardan Armado.

Now the Marquesse had obtained of the King the office of Admirall, on condition that Eromena thereto consented, wherefore hee came to Villa-petres, and got the confirmation thereof, by meanes both of his owne merits, and of Polimero's intercession, to whom hee so perform'd his promise of concea­ling him, as the Princesse could not possibly come to know there­of any thing else, but generalities, wherewith albeit shee was ex­ceedingly contented, yet remain'd shee neverthelesse in a confused manner, confusedly disquieted. Returned afterwards to Caleri, he there staid waiting untill the Galleyes were made ready, where­with (though inferior in number) hee hoped to affront all the Corsan Armado. In the meane time the other Galleyes (as I told you) lay at anchor under the command of a Vice-Admirall; who (because his power was limited, and his Galleyes but twelve in number) would not venture them farre, knowing that the losse of these few Vessels might occasion the ruine [Page 90] of the whole enterprize. The Centrees which he kept watching ashore on the Promontory, gave him notice of the comming of the enemie, together with the precise number of their Gallies, besides one Galley more that came from a contrarie point where of they knew not what to thinke. The Vice-Admirall therefore judging it a great shame to suffer himselfe to be assieged in his owne haven, the enemies having but the advantage of three galleys, or at the most but of foure (if that which was comming from the West, were also one of theirs) resolving to prepare himselfe to fight, launch'd forth of the haven in good order, not beleeving that the other Galley was any foe to them, because the kingdomes of Spaine and Maiorica (whence she seemed to come) were in good league and friendship with the Sardegnan crowne.

By this time the Corses had divided their fleete into three small squadrons, where of two consisted of six Galleyes a-peece, and the third but of three, which (being disentangled) might succour where occasion required; And the Sardans divided theirs into two onely, not reserving any Galley for succour. Gotten then within shot one of the other, they began to let flie their arrowes; the three fetching a large compasse came with their Archers to charge the Sardans in their poope; and after they had for a good while maintained their shot (perceiving the approach of the Galley of the West that with maine force of oares came flying towards them) they went two of them to haile her, whilst the other thirteene went on to grapple with the twelve Sardans, with such shouts and cries, as made all the sea-coast resound at the noise thereof. The two approaching neere to that other, and seeing her with three fanals or lanthornes, but without any Standard, wondring what she might be, held still their oares; the other did the like, but carried away with the meere force of her course, she bare up so neere the other, that the Corse Captaine might conveniently aske her whence she was? Where at she (know­ing them for Corses) plunging her oares suddenly in the waters, run full-but on the next to her, giving her such a violent shocke, as she, be­ing but of three and twenty banckes, scaped hardly a sinking, and then being boorded by a brave squadron of Knights, was (after a short skirmish) taken, with the death of such as strove to defend her. Meane while her fellow-galley, thinking this stranger so busied as she could not resist her assault, resolved to charge her sterne, where ha­ving setled her snout on the ladder, and reach'd out their grappling hookes to hold her firme, that so they might mount her by skaling, they were beaten backe by one Knight alone, that threw downe into the sea above fifteene of them one after another, who were there drown'd with the weight of their armour; the rest (playing wide off with their arrowes) were in a case but little better, because the enemy (being exceedingly well armed) showred such clouds of arrowes, as forced this Galley to forsake her lost fellow, and flie backe to the rest for safegard; but the stranger (not weying the want of her men that were aboord the other Cors, seeing they were Masters [Page 91] there of) made amaine after this, whom she overtaking assailed, and in a short time (boording her with her men) made her fellow captive with the other; and because she could not chuse but use some cruel­tie towards her for the assuring her self of her the more speedily (she being resolved to succour those others of Sardegna) she cut in pieces almost all the souldiers, and withall cut off her oare-ties that she might not runne away; which done, she bent her course towards the Corsan Admirall; who, not able to sustaine a new assault, having had but too much to doe with the Sardan Vice-Admirall, remained in the power of the Sardans. Then after assailing another, and taking her, it came to passe, that the Corsans first losing their ods of vessels, and afterwards over-match'd with disparity and disadvantage, were all of them taken, so as there escaped not as much as a Pinnaee of all their number.

The Vice-Admirall, who before was in a doubtfull plight, and had (without this succour) for all his valour gotten the worst of the day, not knowing whose that Galley might be, went aboord a Fri­gat, and come to her poope, he saw that Knight (that with his owne hands had tumbling downe so many over-boord) clad in costly armour, of a Majesticall aspect, and environed with a ring of noble Knights, that honoured him as their Lord; and therefore imagi­ning he could be no lesse than a Prince, he kneel'd downe before him; when the other (not permitting him) said, Stand up (Sir Knight) for I may not heare you in such a posture, whereupon he (rising up) an­swered; I will obey you (my Lord) for all things oblige me so to doe, yet shall this not hinder me to acknowledge, that your presence merits to be by me spoken unto in such a posture and fashion. I know I enjoy this victorie by your meanes, and that it is to you, that the kingdome of Sardegna owes this debt. I am therefore come to yeeld you thankes for it, not conformable to your dignitie, though such as may be better expressed by the affection of a gratefull heart, than by the unpolisht language of a Knight that is more Mariner than Cour­tier. I will say no more, because I judge your qualitie to be such, that to offer you my selfe with these Galleyes, sav'd by your valour, would adde so little to your greatnesse; as you would peradventure disdaine them. I am not indeede Admirall of this fleete, and there­fore ppossesse not such absolute authoritie as were requisite for your service; neverthelesse, so great is the service that the King my So­vereigne hath received of you, as I may in this particular without presumption assume full authoritie, which shall be to offer you, be­sides his Galleyes, and those that man them, whose hearts you have by your helpe won already, those also of the enemies, acquired by your armes, that you may dispose of them, as to you may seeme good, being well assured that I can never doe a service more accepta­ble than this to my Sovereignes the King and Princesse.

The Knight that had all this while listened unto him with a con­stant Majestie, changing it now into a smiling countenance, thus re­plied; (Sir Knight) I can doe no lesse than accept very kindly your [Page 92] Noble courtesie which you could never have manifested by a more generous spirit than your owne; but as it befits me not to accept it according to the largenesse of your offer, so hold I it very inconve­nient not to accept of some portion there of, and that shall be your amitie. Leaving the rest for you and your souldiers, together with the honour of the day, whereof if you will yet needs have me parti­cipate, it shall suffice me to have with my comming, hastned your victorie. I am Metaneone, Prince of Mauritania, come hither to finde out a brother of mine, who (I know well) is come to Sardegna, with the Marquesse of Chia, to make one in these warres; I have a great desire to get a sight of him; and because he (for some respects) will perhaps conceale himselfe from me, and shun my presence; I would faine be so directed as I might unawares come to finde him out, ere he knew any thing of my comming, wherein if you can fur­ther me, 'you shall oblige me exceedingly.

The Vice-Admirall, notwithstanding the Princes commands, knee­led downe before him, and because he could not come to kisse his hand, he reverently kissed the skirt of his armour, and then (raised up againe) he said,

Most valourous Prince, to reply or repeate things already spoken were super fluous, especially considering that of so great a Prince as is your Highnesse, all gifts are to be accepted, as I also accept all, save onely one, where of your Highnesse (though liberall) ought not to be prodigall, and that is the honour of this dayes conquest; which if it happen that your Highnesse refuse, I will erect to fame a Trophee thereof, so great, as you shall be (whether you will or no) constrai­ned to accept it. And as concerning the rest, had you not mentioned particularly the Marquesse of Chia, I could not have certainely satisfi­ed your desire in any thing; yet now I know that the youth that came with him, lives unknowne, and hath performed such martiall ex­ploits, as it is most necessarie and requisite that Sardegna being alrea­die engaged to the one for his land enterprizes, rest obliged to the other also for his atchievements by sea: he hath kept his bed (woun­ded) almost this moneth, and lives (not farre hence) in the Campe with the Princesse. If your Highnesse please to goe thither by land, your way will be the shorter, but more difficult, if by sea, more commodious, sudden and unexpected; whither I will waite on your Highnesse, together with the whole Fleete; for in that the King of Corsica hath but tenne Galleyes now left, I intend to seize on them, ere they can come to know any thing of the losse of the others. Nor can the King Epicamedo escape death or imprisonment, when hee shall be thus deprived of his Gallies, being that he can hope for no helpe from the Rebels; the greatest part whereof are taken priso­ners, and the remaining three, fled.

The Prince commending this deliberation as prudent, and secon­ded with the approbation of the Count of Bona, told him, that hee himselfe would partake with him in that enterprise, the rather be­cause that way was most commodious for him. Returned therfore to [Page 93] Porto di Torre, and leaving there the Galleyes they tooke, (except foure which they caused suddenly to be arm'd and mann'd, re-infor­cing the others with the Corsan ghing) they set out for their deter­mined voiage.

Polimero kept his bed longer than he made account to doe, for get­ting up one day to goe skirmish, his wound then halfe cured, bruised by his armour, began to ranckle and fester; wherefore the Princesse would not suffer him to arme himself any more, till such time as that wound were fully cur'd, together with two more given him the same day. It grieved him to the heart to see the Princesse in all dangers, and himselfe not able to succour her, the rather because the enemie was so well fortified in his Campe, with sundry Forts and redouts over all the field, as made him even despaire. Such was (in the meane time) the affection betweene them, that it was impossible to beleeve how strongly it was joyned with a passing modest discretion (a well knowne enemy to fervent love:) but too too greene youth in the one, and native modestie in the other, moderated their affections, whence sprung those effects in love unacustomed.

The Princesse could by no meanes come to know who he was; which made her often vex at her selfe for having had so little fore­cast, as not to have forced the Marquesse of Chia to tell it her, assu­ring her selfe that he well knew i, although he made shew of the contrary, the rather because in his letter to her he wrote, that hee was of a high descent. And albeit she could beleeve no lesse but that she was beloved (for had she but imagined otherwise, she had beene dead a thousand times) neverthelesse this constant concealing him­selfe put her in doubt, causing her to syllogize; That who so loveth, the same obeyeth the thing or subject beloved, but he obeyed not (because he told her not who hee was) and therefore he loved her not. Another time she would imagine that he concealed himselfe for not being able to make himselfe knowne to be of such bloud as might be deemed any way worthy of her: Or if he were, that then he did but professe affection onely to passe away the time (during the con­tinuance of his stay there,) in pleasing his humour with the title of love. But when she considered how his royall manners unmasked him, repenting her selfe of her censure, she accused her judgement of temeritie, it grieving her that she had her spirits so offuscared as in not knowing him, not to know her selfe. Onely shee was certaine, that if this torment lasted, her life could not long endure, growne alrea­die impotent with the tedious suffering the violent fits of her amo­rous feaver, wherewith she had euery day such a bickering, as caused the corals and roses fade away from her sweetly Majesticall face, like one languishing and fainting underthe burthen of some tyran­nous disease: which gave many cause to conjecture, that the delicaete of her sex kept disproportioned companie with the stoutnesse of her courage, and that watching, weight of armes, and other discommo­dities of the warres diminished the excellencie of her beautie, so that if the warre continued, it might well revive in her the valour of [Page 94] Perosfilo, but quite destroy the beauties of Eromena.

Polimero on the other side, the more his externall wounds healed, the more did his internall exasperate and fret. Well was he assured of the love of the Princesse, which made him not become insolent (conformable to the levity of youth,) nay rather, though neither his starres had enclined him, nor her beauties and good parts forced him to love her; yet had meere gratitude (a great mistresse of gentle spirits) beene powerfull enough (without either influence of starres, or attraction of beauties) to have compel'd him (in a certaine man­ner) even to adore her. And how much rather then by inclination or compulsion, was hee constrained to doe it for divers other re­spects? When he considered the excellency of her singular endow­ments; by so much the more worthy of all merits, by how much the vertues of both sexes being united in her, had of the Idea of beau­ties (compartible among all women) formed one woman alone, and withall (to make her more admirable) conferr'd on her al manly va­lour and courage. And that therefore his was a fortune fortunate, above all fortunes, to be belov'd of her, who above all other women merited the sacrifice of all hearts. And if every great Prince (how potent soever) had reason to esteeme himselfe happy, if he came to receive but the least of those favours, which he hourely enjoy'd; by how much the more should he, being poore, without meanes, and the meanest of all his brothers, thinke himselfe (among the happiest) most truly happy? It grieved him he obey'd her not in a matter so friuolous, which she so much desired to know; yet he ex­cused it, in that he was ashamed to manifest himselfe ere he had given a more ample expression of his merits; because the being sprung from bloud Royall, was but a qualitie to content the world. The noblenesse of a minde so divine, as exceeded all Royall state, requi­ring a qualitie more sublime to content it selfe; so as he for being not able to reach with the lownesse of his services to the hight of her perfections would have utterly dispaired thereof, if he desire to serve her, more than the service it selfe (eternally inferior to his duty) had not made the way of her favour easie to his merits.

Little else could Polimiro ponder in his minde, the greenenesse of his yeares not affording him as yet other effectuall affections, than the lesse secret, and his want of experience, depriving him of the light of nature, which is wont to beare a great sway, even in child­hood it selfe, unlesse a true love (interposing it selfe) engender a ver­tuous eclipse; his speculations were altogether of abstractions, for in not knowing he knew, and though he knew not how, yet well knew he what he would faine have, and what he would faine not have: Full little was he as yet aware of that the negative might have place in a courteous Lady; he being not (ever so little) acquainted with those things, (which though sued for) might be without discourtesie denied. Much was he troubled and vexed for his hurts, thinking that the time spent in healing his wounds, wounded him in losing so much time in her service, his heart perswading him, that (with the [Page 95] ardent desire he had to deserve her) he found himselfe sufficiently en­couraged to chase away, not onely from his trenches, but even from Sardegna, both Epicamedo and Mars himselfe.

Whilst Polimero stood thus feeding his amorous melancholy, in came the Princesse, who accustomed to come every day to visite him, and the better to shadow her affection, held her councell of warre about his bed, under pretext (for the honour due to his va­lour) to receive also his opinions. Where, after thanking her for the trouble and paines she vouchsafed to take in comming to visite him, he besought her to give him leave to goe out to the field, for that hee well saw that that aire agreed not with her constitution, and that therefore she being unaccustomed to hardnesse and disasters should doe well to take some course to avoide them. Whereunto the Prin­cesse (that well knew the cause of her alterations) made answer:

My Lord, you would faine governe your selfe, according to the greatnesse of your stout spirit, which at this present ought to resigne its government to your person, that may not be otherwise ruled than according to your present indisposition; you well know and feele what prejudice you have got thereby already; I pray you thinke on it, that it may serve you for a warning, to dehort you from incur­ring againe into the like inconvenience. My indisposition is not such as you take it for, neither doth any toile prevaile over any tender­nesse or ease that I have beene formerly used unto; Have but a little patience, and when the Chirurgians condescend that you may (without danger) get up, then will I also bee therewith conten­ted.

Whilst thus with reiterated supplications Polimero endevored to obtaine his request, there entred into the tent Carasio with a Currier come from Porto di Torra, who kneeling downe before the Princesse, delivered her a letter, which opened, she found to be the Vice-Admi­rals, and contained the newes of the victory, obtained against the e­nemies with the conquest of fifteene Galleyes; which chanced him by the aid of one Galley, commanded by a most noble Knight. And that now he was resolved (having arm'd foure Galleyes of those fifteene he had taken, and reinforced the rest) to assaile (with the assistance of that other Galley) Epicamedo's Armado at Terra­nuova; whereof hee would render an account to her Highnesse, whom hee besought to charge the enemie by land, in the selfesame time, if it seemed good to her Highnesse so to doe.

The Princesse having read this letter, gave it Polimero; and sen­ding for the Councell of warre, caused it to be reade unto them, who approved of the opinion of the Vice-Admirall. And because the sea was about two and twenty miles thence distant, there were placed many Centrees along the mountaine towards Castrodesen, who (as soone as they saw the Fleete appeare and assaile the Corsan Armado) were to give a signall, with smoke in severall places; which was performed with such secrecie, that no man knew it, except the Councell, and him that (standing Centree at the sea) might serve to [Page 96] give all the rest directions; nor was there any danger of his falling into the hands of the enemie, because the Sardan horse was Com­mander of the field.

Polimero (when the Councell was gone) turned towards the Prin­cesse, saying, Alas, and will your Highnesse doe me this shame, to let me lie lulled here amongst the feathers in such an occasion of ser­vice, when others toile themselves abroad in the field? Not I by any meanes, (answered the Princesse) so that the Chirurgians permit you but to goe abroad; and as she would have spoken on, in came the Chirurgians to dresse him, who were so favourable towards him in their opinions, that the Princesse was contented hee should get him up.

Much was Polimero troubled in minde, ever fithence he had reade the Vice-Admirals letter, wondering with himselfe, what, or who might be that most noble Knight therein mentioned. On this, jea­lousie already crept into his imagination began full cruelly to sting him, making him beleeve that it was some Prince, who (moved with the fame of Eromena) was come thither of purpose to serve her. And because his heart was tortured with the passion he felt, therefore he resolved rather to die than endure to have any rivall; so easily is humane wit altered, when it is once ravished with its affections: see­ing that he who before breath'd forth nought else but vertue, now stung with the Serpent of amorous envy (for such was his (though unreasonable) being that he neither saw his favours participated, nor any person partakeable of them) he suffered himselfe to be guided with the false imagination of having a rivall, till the day wherein he was cleared of that doubt, with no small amazement and griefe of Eromena; who on the other side raved therefore, beleeving that his minde (surprised by some new thought) had fully alienated from her his affection. And so indeede seemed it to be, he wanting art to dissemble his passions; which concealed, though not disguised, de­ceived the judgement, that tooke the one for the other: so as if Ero­mena were therein mistaken, yet was she not to be therefore blamed, because Polimero an experienced youth, reasoned with himselfe on this businesse, as if she had beene faultie, and as if her beauties and good parts ought not to have had the force of attracting other than him alone; in so much as he became fretfull, and pettish, never be­holding her but with troubled browes, manifest expressers of more troubled thoughts: whilst shee that passionately loved him (knowing what little reckoning he made of his wounds) could by no meanes imagine what might be the cause of so suddaine an altera­tion; whereof she conceived such a griefe as pierc'd through her ve­rie soule. She therefore desirous to be resolved thereof, conducted him aside towards the trenches (under pretext of finding out a con­venient place to assaile the forts) where (after a short discourse of what might there be done, and seeing him possessed with his ac­customed desire of combating) she said unto him,

My Lord, I would not by any meanes, that the greatnesse of your [Page 97] courage should any way prejudice your health, I well perceive you much altered, sithence you left your bed, the reason whereof cannot possibly be, other than the feeling of your self not well; which if it be so, I pray you let me know it, assuring you that I have a greater share than you beleeve in your sufferings: And I protest unto you, that if your wounds endanger you, by reason of a re-lapse (as some dayes si­thence they did) I shall be therewith displeased, and shal judge it a dis­pleasure done me by you. Polimero, who well understood what it was to be a sharer in his sufferings, and what signified the declaration of her displeasure; dying his cheeks with a faire vermilion, and become fully consolated, returned her this answer; I yeeld your highnes hum­ble thanks, for vouchsafing to take care of my health; which (among many other your noble favours) manifests how deepely I am engaged unto you; and could I but fully assure your Highnesse of what is un­knowne unto you, I assure my selfe that your Highnesse would rest satisfied with my reverent gratitude. As for my hurts, your Highnesse needes not doubt of them, my wounds being now growne to a good passe; but if you see me malecontent, I think I have good cause so to be for to tel you the truth, it liks me not wel, that any other come to rob us of the glory of this war; and had your Highnes but given me leave when first I besought you for it, I assure my selfe that we had con­strain'd Epicamedo either to returne or die, ere any other came to de­prive him of his army, and mee of the honour of doeing my ob­liged duty. Eromena by her acutenesse of apprehension, soone con­ceived Polimero's drift, whereof she was very joyfull, well knowing that jelousie in its limits, is a daughter of love: wherefore she said un­to him; Let not (I pray you) what hath hapned displease you, which shall (I assure you) be for your greater consolation and honour; the comming of any other shal neither deprive you of that honour which your valorous actions deserve, nor me of the obligation which I shall ever owe you therefore, more than to any Knight of the world, how great or worthy soever he be; whereof assure your selfe, and live con­tentedly, if the being therof assur'd have any power to make you such. Hereupon Polimero gently took her by the hand, which she liberally reached out unto him (& affectionately kissing it) remained the joyful­lest man living: with great desire stood he expecting the signall of smoak, which the day following appearing, made the Sardans give an all-arme, though few of them understood the meaning therof; which Epicamedo seeing, knew not what to thinke, but perceiving them di­vided into three squadrons, and advancing forwards to come and as­sault his forts, he also caused for their defence, an allarme to be beaten. But Polimero, who was of opinion, that to assaile the forts was lost la­bour, and that it wold prove the better course to make on, & become masters of thetents, if they could (for the forts left alone unsuccour'd, would afterwards fall of themselves) wheeld about a large com­passe; and then causing all his troope to alight, hee assaulted the trenches on the reare parts thereof suddenly, and with such a furie, that he forced the guard thereof, and was himselfe the first man that [Page 98] entred, where leaving to make good the front a strong squadron of horsemen, though a-foote, he with the rest remounted on horse­backe, beating downe all hee met; wherein hee found no great difficultie, because there were no horse to withstand him (they being issued forth with the King together with the greatest part of the armie to defend that part, where the assault was most likely to be given:) and so in lesse than an houres space, became master of all the Tents.

The Princesse on the other side (as soone as by the cries she per­ceived the troopes to bee in a hot conflict) spurr'd on-wards; till (passing betweene Fort and Fort) followed by her force, she af­fronted Epicamedo, who making head with those few horses he had, not able to hold out long, was forc'd to retire himselfe, causing a squadron of pikes to set forwards in firme battell-array: By whom the Princesse seeing her selfe opposed, caused hers to advance, who (after a small resistance) put the enemie to rout for want of horse. Then Eromena (disdaining to besmeare her hands with the bloud of the vulgar) went searching for Epicamedo, who having understood how the Tents were set upon, was runne to their succour, leaving in his stead the Marquesse of Sagona: Whereupon she (having selected a troope of the choisest horse, and left the rest to the charge of the Marquesse of Oristagno) pursuing him eagerly, found that Polimero (after he had taken the Tents) was come forth to charge Epicamedo; who had with him but a small Battalion of horse, not amounting to six hundred; but all of them of the prime Nobilitie of Corsica, his greatest confidence being in his foote that failed him; for when they saw the Tents taken, the enemie victorious in the front, and now come to charge them in the flancke (themselves being there­withal disordered, and the greatest part without any pikes for having burst them in the former incounter) growne quite heartlesse, they sought to save themselves by flight: so as being for their better way of escape divided, they were (for the most part) slaine, whilst the King skirmifhing with Polimero, and hurt in the hand and flancke, was forc'd to yeeld himselfe. Of the six hundred horse escaped but a few, who flying towards the Fleete with hope to save themselves, were met by those that were comming to bring newes of its losse, and then being all scattered abroad some in in one place and some in another, they were by the Peasants rob'd and killed.

Polimero (having laid the King in sure hold) ran under the Forts, where the fight was yet maintained; but the Corses (not able to with­stand any longer, nor having any place of retreite) throwing downe their armes, yeelded themselves, the greatest part of them being already slaine in the first hot skirmish; and the Forts (after they had stood as spectators of the slaughter of their men, and imprisonment of their King) yeelded themselves over into the mercy of the vanquishers. Thus were the Tents taken, the Forts rendred, assaulted, and won in lesse than two houres space. And [Page 99] now Eromena, desirous to see what fortune had done with the Fleete at sea (leaving all the foote to repose themselves) taking along with het Polimero and two thousand horse, set her selfe on her way to­wards Terranova.

Metancone used such diligence in this voyage, that (without helpe of any winde) he in one nights space compassed about all Capo Luo­godori to Terranova, being little lesse than a hundred and twenty miles, where he found the Corses without suspition, and had found them also buried in sleepe, without either watch or ward, had not the Fleete as it passed by Capo di Sarda, beene descried; he found them with armes in their hands, not because they made account to fight, but onely to observe the termes of martiall discipline: They tooke these Galleyes to be their owne, returning (as they thought) victo­rious, and the two over and besides the fifteene, to be prizes taken away from the enemie; the rather because the three lanternes were not borne by their Admirall; but when they descried the colours of Sardegna, and on the Royall those of Mauritania, they knew not what course to take: flie away they could not, because their ladders were a-shore their hatches out of order, and some of them un­furnisht with oares; so as being assaulted, there was more adoe to kill than to conquer them; and such of them as escaped a-shore, met with the Princesse and were taken prisoners. Metaneone seeing the enterprize so well succeede, was very glad thereof, and long'd for with impatience the long-wish'd for fruition of his brothers company, comming stealingly towards him, wished him to re­tire, for that he had descried many troopes of horse, which could be no other than the enemies, seeing they came from that part of the field whereof they were Masters.

Metaneone (thus surprizd) knew not what to resolve of, thinking it a shame to retire, aud a desperate danger to stay their comming; When the Vice-Admirall said thus unto him, I cannot beleeve that these are enemies; or if they be, I am sure they have but a few horse, wherewith they can doe us no great harme: howsoever as it is not fit we leave the Galleys unmann'd, so is it not any discredit or disho­nour for us to retire untill we be better assured of the matter: let us therefore (if you please) retire every man to his charge. The Prince thereupon (seeing the Count de Bona of the selfesame opinion) made a faire retteite, causing the Archers to stand ready at the loope-holes, and all the rest with their armes in hand. But no sooner appeared those horse in sight, than the Vice-Admirall knew the Prin­cesse by her Banner, and Metaneone his brother by Flammauro. Being then sorry hee had retired, he came a-shore from the Galley, fol­lowed by the Count de Bona, and all the other Knights.

The Princesse and Polimero never lin gallopping till they came to the haven: where the first man of all the fleete that Polimero knew, was the Count of Bona his governour, and then next his brother; whereat with a shril voice he sudenly seritch'd out, Oh ye gods what is this I see? [Page 100] The Princesse (seeing that something ailed him) asked him what was the matter? Nothing Madam (answered he) but that I cannot imagine what this Prince makes here. And whilst she was asking him what Prince that was (without getting any answer of Polimero, who remained as yet astonished) they were come to the place where hee was. Eromena perceiving Metaneone comming to meet her, hearing him stil'd Prince, lighted off her horse, to whom Metaneone drew neere to kisse her hand, which shee not permitting, and he not persisting in his offer (as a courteous Knight should have done) but running (as if hee had beene besides himselfe) to Polimero, hee straightly embraced him, saying, And will you (my sweete bro­ther) be perpetually mindfull of my foule fault? What, will you abjure nature, and for one discourteous brothers sake, abandon a lo­ving father that tenders you so dearely? Behold me here in token of repentance, desiring your pardon; I beseech you forgive me: Suffice it you, that the knowledge of an error is a sufficient punish­ment to a generous heart; if such you can but thinke mine to be, that haveso undeservedly offended you. But (my dearest best of brothers) doe but consider how all things have their time; the wrongs are done and past, the repentance is now present, and the penance shall bee to serve you, now when my service is not acceptable unto you; which if it were or could be, I should esteeme it a great honour unto me. These his words were accompanied with teares so lively, that (whilst he on the one side embraced him, and the Count of Bona on the other side kissed his hands, and wept over him like a child) the standers by were forced to beare them company in doing the same, though altogether ignorant of the mysterie of their procee­dings.

Polimero at the first, knowing his brother and his disposition, could not chuse but doubt of some evill intention; but afterwards seeing him come in such a fashion and speake unto him in such a manner, accom­panied besides with the Count whom he wel knew would not deceive him, striving to unhelme himself but could not (so transported was he with the overmuch haste he made, and of the strange commotion of his affections (having lifted up his beaver, he taking his brothers hand; would needs kisse it, with no lesse respective humilitie, and humble respectivenesse, than he would have used towards his Royall father. But Metaneone more and more affectionately embracing him, and closing his face to the visard, could not satiate himselfe in kissing him, not affording him leasure to speak a word, much lesse to answer. Carasio seeing what his Master would faine have done, help'd him off with his helme; whereof Polimero being freed ran againe to kisse his brothers hand, and he in the meane time with affectionate embra­ces, clasped him so closely, as it was unpossible for him to speake a word, untill at last, quite wearied with kissing and weeping, they were faine to defist. When Polimero after a short pauze turning to­wards his brother, said;

My Lord, I know not how I have merited so much of the gods, as [Page 101] to be (for ought I see) received into your gracious favour; I will not flatter my selfe in beleeving that I deserve it, but beleeve rather that your goodnes mov'd to pitty my youth, hath bin pleased to exceede all excesse of courtesie, by receiving me in the degree of such a faith­full servant as my duty binds to be, and of so obedient a brother as nature made me. I beseech you vouch safe to concede me onely the first attribute, in your esteeme, and that shall content me; so that your Highnesse would be pleased to accept in good worth the since­ritie of my good will, excusing the weakenesse of my yeares, which have given your Highnesse occasion to be displeased with me: but of my willingnesse to deserve your Highnesse favour, let (I beseech you) my voluntarie exile, and my choise of going unaccompanied (to avoid your Highnesse displeasure) be an assured token: for the rest I submit my selfe to your good will and pleasure, being most ready to doe whatsoever you shall please to command me.

Metaneone, that had converted his former hatred into the most perfect affectionate and truest friendship that could possibly be found in any brother of the world, embracing him anew, said unto him; Oh peace, peace, my deare Polimero, it becomes not you to speake in this sort, for the witnesses that testifie against me are without excep­tion, and above all, my owne conscience. I am not come with an in­tention to grant you pardon, but of purpose to begge and receive it from you, so that you then forgive me, I shall thinke I have ob­tained the greatest part of the happinesse I wish to enjoy in this world.

Faine would they have exceeded, when the Count of Bona (inter­rupting them) said to the Prince; No more, (my Lord) no more. My Lord, the Insante Polimero cannot brooke to see the person of your Highnesse so submissive; neither neede you doubt that his good nature is any whit mindfull of what is done and past. Which said, he (taking againe the hands of Polimero) kissed them with a fa­therly affection.

The Princesse that stood all this while an amazed spectatresse, ha­ving (the meane while) caused her helme to be unlaced, said to Me­taneone; (Worthy Prince) I beseech you give me leave to interrupt your joyes, we can no longer forbeare to know who you are, as well that we may thereby come to know what this Knight also is, (who having done as such notable service would never hitherunto oblige us with his name;) as also that we may honour you conformable to the merits both of your noble person, and of the favours you have done us; which said, she withdrew him aside from the rest, whilst Polimero went againe to embrace the Count and to entertaine the Mauritanian Cavaliers.

Metaneone related orderly unto the Princesse all that had passed be­tweene him and his brother, and how his father had charged him to bring him backe againe: which when the Princesse heard, she thought her former joyes but bitter now, that she understood her lover to be a Prince, waxing so pale thereat, that the apprehensive Prince obser­ving [Page 102] it, said on; My charge was indeede not to returne without him; but in respect I see what warres your Highnesse is like to have in your Kingdome, and withall for that (me thinkes) I see that my brother hath beene fortunate in your Highnesse service, I will finde a way to content my father without taking him hence.

The Princesse having by this time recovered her spirits, well percei­ved the acutenesse of the Prince his apprehension, which though it made her blush, yet was she not thereat displeased; but entertained him with all such gentle termes, as best became a courteous Lady to use towards a deserving Prince; hoping to finde him a co-adjutor and furtherer of her desires: And then turning towards Polimero; Is it thus (said she) that you deale with yourfriends; My Lord Infante Polimero; in not suffering your selfe to be knowne, thereby to loade me with shame for not having honoured you conformable to your birth and qualitie? Whereto he (all joyfull) made answer, (Right excellent Princesse;) Too too much have I beene honoured by your Highnesse, I would it pleased the gods, that you thought me worthy but of some part thereof. Whereupon she taking him by the hand, (and joying together for the arrivall of the Prince his brother) wrung it amorously, and he againe affectionately kissed hers, to his excee­ding great content.

The Princesse, afterwards and all the rest, when they under­stood the manner of taking both the Fleetes, went to renew their complements with Metaneone, confessing the warre to be brought to an end by the valour of these two brothers.

The End of the Third Booke.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA
The Fourth Booke.

THat evening taried the Princesse (somewhat incommodated) in Terranova, whence she adver­tized the Marquesse of Oristagno how the Fleete was taken; (and in regard her comming thither was unexpected, and her ne­cessarie provision as then not arrived from the Campe,) Metaneone perswaded her to sup with him in his Galley, which he caused to launch out of the haven with the sweete consort of his trumpets, at the pleasing harmony whereof, the Ghing rowed so mainely, as they made her in lesse than an houres space out-strippe her fellow Galleys (which were the Vice-Admirall with three others of the choicest of the whole Fleete) leaving them (to the wonder of every one) above three miles a-poope of her. Much adoe had the Princesse to satiate her eyes in beholding the rare beautie of the Vessell, with the rich curiositie of her hangings and furniture, which farre exceeded those of many royall Palaces.

It was now Summer-season, and the calme-sea was from the shore-ward courted with a gentle breath of aire, whilst the sea-strond [Page 104] and winding creeks of the Iland, afforded the eye a spacious and delightsome prospect. The Princesse (in the meane while) was served with such exquisite diversitie of banquets, as that she seemed to be in a dreame; so strangely was she amazed in observing the abundant quantitie, and rare qualitie thereof, together with the richnesse of the plate, and order of service in a Galley at sea. And to the Sardans the wine (above any thing else) seemed excellent, who now perceived themselves deceived in the opinion, they til then held, that their white-wines were the best and richest of the Vni­verse.

The prince had for his pleasure divers kinds of strange creatures, which Affricke is continually and daily accustomed to produce; wherewith the Princesse was exceedingly delighted, because they be­ing tane, were very gentle and tractable, and euery one in his kinde manifested by his gesture the diversitie of his temperature, wherein Nature discovereth the treasures of her providence.

It grew towards night, when intending to returne, they descried (not very farre off them) something that floted on the sea; which such as at first tooke it for a fish, perceived it to be none, for that it dived not but stood still, without turning, either for the noise of the oares, or voice of men. The Princesse, who (taking pleasure to looke all about) was the first that saw it, would needs know what it might be, and therefore causing to row gently towards it, ere they came to touch it with their oares, she perceived it was a woman, who fast­handing a little plancke, floted on the sea. The Frigat (which stood neere the Royall, and that for swiftnesse was not her inferiour) went to fetch her aboord, where they found, for subject to their conside­ration, an exquisite bcautie that in her they saw, with the evident symptoms of a miserable fortune; pale was she, and leane, hare-foo­ted, and bare-legged, with her feete sorely bruised, and full of gags and scarres. Mong'st these so rue-full conditions, there shined in her face a royall Majestie, and in her dying eyes a pitty, able to cause to moane the very Tigers themselves. There covered her snow-white bodie (which by her alablaster legges and ivory armes, might easily be judged to be such) a course gowne of shippes russet freeze, made carelesly without any order, just like one of those, wherewith statues are sometimes wont to bee covered withall: hardly could they make her let goe her hold of the plancke, because, when danger, travell and fasting had bereaved her of her understanding; then na­ture, which in such occasions failes not, had forc'd her vitall spirits into her hands and fingers; so as now freed from perill, and not comprehending it, she continued her holdfast without slacking it any thing, following altogether the instinct that governed her, being not able to follow reason, which she wanted, because she wanted the more ignoble part, which was the sense. There was none so flintie­hearted, as not to pittie so compassionable a spectacle; but farre a­bove all the Princesse, who having caused her to be laid on a bed, was carefull to see her dri'd by her trusty damsell Aretia. Who not like a [Page 105] waiting woman, but like a diligent Squire followed her Lady with­out ever abandoning her for feare of any danger how perillous soever; she dried, rub'd and chafed her, so as her revoked spirits return'd by little and little to their proper residences, to the asto­nishment of the miserable weake one; who seeing her selfe in such a place, knew not what to imagine; she peer'd stedfastly on the two standers by, her mouth shee opened, but spake never a word; in being silent she spake, and yet in speaking she uttered never a syllable, tormented with agitations of minde, the more grievous, for that the body oppressed with long sufferings, lay as if it had beene deprived both of life and senses. The first things that came to life in her were sighs and sobs; and next teares, which being not sufficient to exhale and evaporate the heavinesse of her heart, would faine be accompa­nied with a kinde of a voice not shreeking or displeasing, but moa­ning and wailefull, able to move the very stones to pitty. The Prin­cesse (who with her damzell were all that were of her sex among all that company) would needs be a sole co-adjutor in this charitable office, having for modesties sake excluded all the rest; and calling for some cordials and restoratives, gave them her with her owne hand, comforting her, entreating her, and courteously compelling her to take them; because no one meanes alone was sufficient to per­swade her, neither had altogether prevailed with her, but that fixing her eyes on the royall she-warrier, she became astonisht at her beau­tie and behaviour, which perswaded, and (as it were) constrained her to obey her; little are she, when having recovered a little vigor, she turning towards the Princesse, with a feeble voice scarce audible, said thus unto her;

I know not (faire one) what you may be, whether a woman or a goddesse, if a goddesse, then know you well that pittie is ill be­stowed on me, and that it were true commiseration not to give, but to take away the feeling of my griefes: but if a woman, let me then tell you, that the having used it to me-wards, hath beene a cru­eltie, as in me nature it selfe was more cruell in procuring my escape, and I most cruell against my selfe for following her instincts; which said, she (become clay-cold) remained in such a plight, that for a good while she seemed to be rather dead than alive.

The Princesse, who by her speeches (which ofttimes are expresse signes of inward conceits) conceived to be in this woman some (of I know not what) kinde of worth and singularitie, having cald for vineger and odoriferous waters, ceased not to use her uttermost in­deavour with affectionate care to revive her againe, which quickly succeeded as shee desired; and seeing her come againe to her selfe, though little better in the rest of her organs and members, onely she strove to get up to come to kisse her hands; the courteous Princesse (holding her downe, and incessantly besprinkling her with those waters) spake thus unto her;

Alacke (good soule) Leave off I pray you all other thoughts, but such as concerne your selfe, courtesies in you are now out of season, [Page 106] neither is there any one here that lookes for any such, which though there were, yet might such be well satisfied with your willingnesse, which in you appeares not otherwise resisting than against your selfe and your owne good. Be comforted, I pray you, and resolve with your selfe to live; for albeit your afflictions be great (as I imagine them to be by the condition wherein I found you;) neverthelesse ought you by all means be consolated; good and evill stand not alwayes in the same limits; that evill is onely deplorable that is alto­gether remedilesse, and in such a case necessitie should comfort us; fortune (Sister) is unstable, and her wheele voluble, so as we ought the rather presume to looke for good, being in an ill case, than on the contrary; for as good cannot attaine to excesse, so can it not bee either long or stable; and the excesse of evils, as it is easily encoun­tred, so is it also as easily diverted, it being a sting that so long lasts, as the maligne aspects endure, which as they increase in their excesse, so decrease they in their recesse, and with its mutation change them­selves into a better aspect. The sicke woman, who with great attention had listned unto her (fetching a deepe sigh) return'd her this answer.

Alas (Valorous Lady) what dolefull consolations are these for me; grounded on a foundation as sandy as are constellations. But, if what you inferre, bee true; What then (I pray you) is the reason, that few are the fortunate, and innumerable the unfortunate in the world, who withall ever remaine such? Or if they assay mutation, yet is it not substantiall, but onely somewhat extenuated from more to lesse. How many are there that live in continuall poverty? How many in perpetuall imprisonment? How many are there that are mi­setable in all kinde of misery, whom (in regard of the infinitenesse of the number) I neede not specifie? And yet in them may be discer­ned many accesses and fits of evill, but never a period of any, for they never feele its recesse, although the heavens goe round to them as well as to others, neither goe the starres slower for these than for those. And as touching what you say of good and prosperitie, It is ture, that there is nothing more slippery and flickering, nay such is it of its owne nature, as it cannot make it selfe enjoyable; the passions of the minde make it lesse delightsome and imperfect, especially be­ing accompanied (as it ever is) with cares and feares, whereby it doth not onely lessen, but growes not to be what it is taken to bee; where (on the contrary) the desire to continue or rather to goe on­wards in prosperitie, augments our discontents; which infused into us by the imagination, spring up successively like ill weedes in a good foile, without either tillage or seede, thriving the better in the more tempestuous weather, and becomming perpetuall from season to season, bountifully repaying the earth an hundred for one, manife­sting thereby its being farre more liberall than just, and a better friend to it selfe than to other mens labours.

The Princesse astonished at her discourse, would faine egge her on a little further, for the better discovering among obscurities so palpable, the cleerenesse of an elevated capacitie; wherefore [Page 107] she said unto her; The cause (sister mine) of our errour in beleeving that evill hath a greater stroke over us than good, proceeds from our owne passions, as you your selfe have confesessed; though in re­spect of themselves they bee of equall weight. The palat is more digested with the bitter than pleased with the sweete, though of its proper nature it love and affect the latter; the reason is, because our senses make us more sensible of ill than good, which if wee consider rightly, we shall have no reason to complaine of nature, which made not contraries with proportion more contrary in the one than in the other. The blacke is no more blacke, than the white is white; albeit the one is discerned better than the other, not for any defect of con­trarietie, but by reason of the qualitie of the eye, that is more incli­ned to receive the impression of the one than of the other; the Sunne (likewise) which for his brightnesse should bee more apt to bee seene, is neverthelesse (for a like reason) lesse seene. If then it bee so (as most assured it is) Why then comfort you not your selfe now that you are certaine of having passed the period of your evils, by the escaping of death, the extremest point of all mi­sery? So as necessarily your misfortune declining, it's malignite in the recesse prepares for you in his change argument of consola­tion, and seeing that changes are no other than mutation of quali­ties, you ought to suppose that it must needs bee from bad to good.

Alas Madame, (answered the woman weeping) consider I pray you that reason and sense cannot be weighed with equall weights, be­cause reason is either so fleeting, as she will not suffer us easily to lay hold on her, or else light and wavering, if shee chance to be formed by use or opinion. But the sense being weightie and of certaine con­sistence, remaines active, and deceives not, unlesse it selfe be begui­led by some alteration: well said you, that so should I doe, for in­deede so would I faine doe; but first make you these scales even (if you can) by giving mee either so much reason as sense, or else no more sense than reason, and then will I both obey you, and comfort my selfe. But (woe is me) it is their irreconcileable disparitie that makes my miserable estate inconsolable in that the practise of the Theoricke is in them too too different; the one being more easie to an eloquent tongue, than the other to the stoutest heart, when it shall have occasion to put it in practise. Now as touching the ex­cesse and period of my evils; know (most noble Lady) that if men could content themselves with food onely, as doe the wilde beasts, then might the argument be good; for you (of your commiseration) having freed me frō death, which was the period of evill; (me thinks) reason tels me, that I am now in its recesse, for that the way of life is opened unto me: but too too miserable is our condition to bee contented to live onely, and to live to our selves alone; there is none but knowes that we must live for others also, neither say I onely as he, who held that we are borne to our Countrey and friends, but I hereto adde that we are likewise borne to our owne affections, and [Page 108] among them above all to honour, which subsisting of an unknowne and delicate element, receives its influence from the course of the more delicate spheares, which conjoyned to these materials, are in the point of their period diverse in qualitie, even as mine are; so as the recesse of ill in the one is the recesse of honour in the other: How then can one live in the recesse of ill, with the hope of the accesse of good, when the recesse of honor engenders the accesse of infamy, that stands in the opposite point? But to speak with your own principles, you (Madame) well know, that it is not one sole aspect that makes us become miserable, but our meeting afterwards with other new as­pects in the way of theirprog ressions; & the being of the maligne stars (which the learned call the Infortunate) of superior situation, and by consequence heavier and slower, which being in some sort intricated with the fixed, that are slowest of all, are never more disinveloped, but accompanie our few dayes with infinite evils; which being li­mited by death, and deprived of all power of hurting us in a life freed from their fetters, pursue us nevertheelesse to our very graves, with an abominable and ignominious fame; which i say not because I beleeve it to be so indeede, but because that who so gives those principles credit will be induced to beleeve no otherwise. And I (for my part) cannot chuse but subscribe to the opinion of such as beleeve, that the fates and constellations are no other thing than the providence of the gods, whereunto if I now trusted not more than I doe to the celestiall figures, I should utterly despaire.

The Princesse (observing her to speake with much paine and great perplexiti of minde) thought it not good to trouble her any fur­ther, albeit she much desired to know both her, and the originall of her misfortunes, the rather because she well discerned in her ordi­nary signes of no ordinary person; leaving therefore Aretia to ac­company her, she returned to the Princes, to whom she related what discourse she had with her, expressing her selfe to be gladder of this prize than of that of both the Fleets. They lodged themselves in Terranova as well as they could, where the sicke woman was care­fully looked unto, and lodged as commodiously as the straightnesse of the place would permit, who by meanes, either of the Physitians, or of comfortable repose recovered together with her strength, her before exiled beauty.

Whilst the Princesse continued with the weake woman, the two brothers had time to conferre together, where Metaneone informed his brother of all that past betweene him and his father, and how he was by him sent to finde him out, whom therefore he once intended to have conducted homewards; but perceiving (as he thought) in that Princesse probable signes of an excessive love towards him, and considering withall how the tie of honour straightly obliged him to deferre his departure thence, till the warres were ended, he knew not what course he were best to resolve of; howbeit he held his owne returne necessarie, because he was to intreate his father to demand for him a wife (and there related he unto his brother all the story of [Page 109] Eromilia) yet knew he not well how he could go home without him. And that on the other side in procuring him to returne with him, he should doe very ill, for that he might thereby marre his fortune, and hinder his advancement, which hee ought rather by all meanes to further and procure, not onely for the gaining him such and so great a Princesse, but also for that when himselfe had obtained Ero­milia, they might betweene them make (as it were) but one state of Mauritania, Sardegna and Maiorica, and so become awed of all their bordering neighbours.

Here the Count of Bona (perceiving the Princesse comming) inter­rupted their discourse; and assoone as they came a-shore, counselled them both to abide in Sardegna, undertaking to be himselfe the Am­bassadour of their commissions, not doubting but that the King would be for that time contented to know that they loved one ano­ther; of whom he promised them to procure for the Prince an Em­bassage for Maiorica, and for the Infante troopes of aide for Sar­degna, wherewith he might (for the furtherance of his marriage with Eromena) conquer the kingdome of Corsica, who also (now that he was knowne for a Prince) should in the meane time endeavour to bring his loves to a determined end. Of this proposition the Prince liked well, desiring it might bee suddenly put in execution; where­upon both of them wrote to their father conformably, as well of the friendship confirmed betweene them, as also of the reasons that con­strained them to stay some-time in Sardegna, and withall of the neede they had of being favoured by his Majestie, in what should by the Count of Bona (to whom they wholly referred themselves) be manifested unto him more at large: to the same effect wrote they likewise to their mother, sisters, and brothers; telling afterwards the Princesse, that they, being resolved to serve her in those warres, thought good to acquaint therewith the King their father, to the end that he might not grieve, in that he saw them not returne home­wards; whither they meant to send for that end the Count of Bona, whom they besought her Highnesse to honour with some command of hers, if such an occasion might any way proove serviceable unto her; for which the Princesse kindly thanked them, telling them with­all that she herselfe would also write to the King, being bound to thanke him for the favours shee had at their hands received, which accordingly shee did with as lively a gratitude as by paper and inke could be expressed.

The Count went speedily aboord the Royall, and in two dayes he arrived in Tunis. The King seeing him come wihtout the Princes, became thereat strangely amazed, but had no sooner understood the occasion of their stay, and perused their letters, than he was there­with fully satisfied, and exceedingly comforted. Those two busi­nesses were proposed to the Kings Councell, where the Count of Bona shewed the utilitie of matching the Prince in Maiorica to be so evident (especially comprehending the other of Sardagna of him held for assured) that no man opposed the conclusion thereof; yet [Page 110] stirred he not from Tunis till such time as there were eight thousand foote, and two thousand horse ready levied for Polimero. And for Metaneone, it was the Kings pleasure, that the same Count (as soone as hee had disembarked his forces) should goe treate of the match with Maiorica, giving him for adjutants three of his fellow­peeres, to the end that the embassage might be the more solemnly performed.

Eromena in the meane while, lived now at her owne hearts sweet content, having not onely fortunately vanquished her enemies, and ended so dangerous a warre, but come also to know Polimero for the sonne of so great a King, as his condition could not give the people any occasion of murmuring, and therefore meant shee (as soone as the state were well appeased and fully setled) without any further de­lay to returne to Caleri & marry him; from which although the death of her brother (as yet fresh in her memory) did in some sort disswade her; neverthelesse when shee considered with her selfe how in­capable of government her father was, she was perswaded that the world would commend her, for making choice of a Prince of such exquisite conditions and knowne valour; the onely obstacle indeede was his somewhat too greene youth, for which she doubted some would grumble at her, the rather because the dise qualitie of yeares (she being at least by six yeares his elder) made the difficultie the greater; but love (suppressing all such considerations) made all these skores even: so as she (having sent for Polimero) told him that shee had not as yet rejoyced with him, according unto her minde; for ha­ving obtained her so long wished for desire of knowing him, nor expressed (as she ought) how sorry she was, that he had not made himselfe knowne unto her sooner. But hee on the other side ende­vored to excuse himselfe with many reasons, among which some were, that he being desirous to become worthy of her favours, thought it expedient to obtaine his intention therein, rather by reall feates of armes, than by bare merit of bloud, being a condition hee was sure could never faile him; that he was bound to thanke the hea­vens, in that he saw till then all things succeed well, save onely one which he as yet wanted; and as shee thought to aske him what that might be; It is a thing (said he) that I cannot expresse unto you in words; but if your Highnesse would vouchsafe but to looke into my heart, you might there see it protraied, which you shall there no sooner see than know it to be no other thing, than an ardent desire of being your servant till death: which as he said, his speech failed him, as he would have pronounced the last accents. Now Metaneone (knowing his youth too tender for the managing of a businesse of that nature and importance) had before hand lessoned him what he should say, wherein he following his instructions, thought himselfe afterwards to have made more ample manifestation of his courage, than if he had fought alone against all the world.

Eromena, being glad he had thus begun to breake the ice, returned him this answer; My Princely Lord, I understand not well what you [Page 111] would say, being that you are too great a Prince for my service, for well see you how I am served by no other than simple Knights; and the services I have received of you, are indeed no services but fa­vours, which rather binde me to be your servant, for the obligations I therefore owe you; and for me to looke into your heart, alas, how can I possibly doe it without your prejudice, which I would not doe, although it were to save my owne life. It is true, that a Painter might in your hearts portrayture place my Picture, and so might I by that means come to see it without harming you: doe but tell me then (I pray you) how was it that he did it, and who he is, and I will be his scholler.

Polimero, waxen by this time somewhat bolder, replied; Right excellent Lady, your Highnesse ought not refuse my service, be­cause I am a Prince, but should accept of me the rather for being such an one; and for the Painter you neede seeke no further than your Royall selfe, because your Highnesse is both the Painter, and Por­traiture; who if you had the power and skill to portray your selfe in my brest, may more easily behold there the excellency of your Pencill, which is so farre from harming me, as it is the onely resto­rative that can prolong my life.

Here as hee would have spoken further, his speech failed him, so as waxen more vermilion than the freshest rose, and kneeling on the ground he affectionately kissed her hands, which she withdrew not, but was well content to suffer his warme breath to satiate it selfe with that (to him) more than an Ambrosian banquet: Well (said shee) my Lord Polimero, what if I should see my selfe in your heart, could you then finde in your heart to see your selfe in mine? Whereto he (without letting her hands goe) replied. But how dare I (peerlesse Lady) without infinite presumption deeme my selfe such a Painter, as to place my unworthy picture in so worthy a Tabler, wherein if I were favoured with one sole thought of yours, I should thinke my selfe the happiest knight that ever was borne a mortall? You are (said she) indeede no Painter, nor have I any picture of you, or your making; yet well know I you for a perfect sculptor, for here have you carved your lively statue, breathing as you see it; which said, she (holding before him a looking-glasse) proceeded, Whether of us now is the best Artificer? I, that onely placed in you my lifelesse Picture; or you that have graven and carved in mee your sculpture with its compleate parts and lineaments, accompa­nied with all the lively organs and living powers of the intellect? If so it be (answered the overjoyed Polimero,) I aske then no other boone of the immortall gods; but having never knowne my selfe for such a one a could accomplish so notable a piece of workeman­ship, for which I shall be all my lifes time obliged to my selfe, I am constrained (because the word of so great a Princesse, cannot fully sa­tisfie my beliefe herein) to beseech your Highnesse to favour mee with some authentique assurance, by whose vertue this statue may abide in this place, secured by an irrevocable title, conformable to [Page 112] the lawes of the world, as I assure my selfe it is already according to the lawes of love.

The Princesse hereat passionately inflamed, leaving him never­thelesse in his kneeling posture, and taking him with her armes gently about the necke, thus replied; (My deere Lord) to the end you may be fully assured, that I will bee yours according to the rites of the world, as I am already yours by the power of love, for irrevo­cable assurance of the one and the other, I give you this earnest: and with that (kissing him) spake on; Now see whether such an assu­rance can by one of my qualitie be ever either revoked or denied. Whereupon hee drawen on with so sweete a baite, would faine become somewhat bolder, but wanted the boldnesse to ven­ture, so checkt was his forwardnesse with the curbe of bashfulnesse, till afterwards his being assured encreased his courage in so modest a way, that holding on a meane path betweene excesse and defect, he needed not any more, either bit or spurre. The combat was of kisses, wherein fortune shewed her selfe indifferent, there being no one kisse lent, that was not as amorously repaied; till at length for feare of being discovered, though neither weary nor satiated, they sate them downe, where (banishing all coynesse and love-hating re­spects) now and then reciprocally interchanging sweete embraces, they recounted each to other their intended designes. Eromena well approving of his sending to Mauritania for fresh troopes, together with his designe of Corsica, whereon her minde (distracted with amorous thoughts) neere fastened, and now thought she it fit, that he under went that enterprise, that so that kirgdome being by him in­corporated to the kingdome of Sardegna, might make their nuptials more approveable and better lik'd of, hee having no other thing to endow her withall. Vpon this shee would needs the day following, have her Councell summoned to sit, whereunto, having invited the two Princes, she proposed the state of the warre to be considered in its future limits.

The proposition was, whether it were their best course (now they had the Corsan king prisoner) to hold the enterprise as accom­plished, and so license their souldiers or no? and if no, then to re­solve of what they were best to doe? Some held it fitting that the warres should so rest determined; others were on the other side of a contrary opinion. Whereupon Metaneone being requested to deliver his opinion, excused himselfe by alleaging that being but so lately arrived there, he was unacquainted both with the countrey, and in­teresses thereof, and therfore referr'd himselfe unto his brother, who (having served the state) could not chuse but have a more exact knowledge of its condition. Polimero, being thereunto earnestly im­portuned, at last delivered himselfe in this sort.

If State-affaires (Soveraigne Princesse) carried with them no o­ther consideration than that of the present, I should hold for vaine any other opinion, than that of peace, and should thinke the best course were to lay armes aside, and enjoy the fruit of conquest [Page 113] atchieved by the valour our arme of your Highnesse, but considering them not as the short dayes of men, but according to their lasting perpetuitie, a prudent Prince ought to square out, and settle his go­vernement in such a manner as the same may last, not for his life onely, but even as long as the world can endure; It is true, your Highnesse hath already freed this kingdome from the cruel-lest Re­bellion that ever was raised against any Prince, and withall taken pri­soner that King, who (to become Tyrant here) so inhumanely nou­rished it; but this can suffice but for the present, what should follow is to prevent future dangers, which cannot bee otherwise effected than by measuring the Kingdome of Corsica with the same measure wherewith its King would have measured this of Sardegna; the for­mer being so neere a borderer to the latter, as they almost joyne, and by the ill which that hath, and would have done: to this may be comprehended the danger of the evill it may doe hereafter; I grant that your Highnesse hath for this once beene so fortunate as to sup­presse him; yet is not Sardegna sure to have alwayes the same con­duct, prowes and fortune. The good husbandman beleeves not, he hath sufficiently rid his land of noysome weeds, by cropping their leaves onely, unlesse he also plucke them up by the rootes, ere they fall to seede a-new. So should your Highnesse also advane your victorious banners in the kingdome of Corsica, which once subdued, you may unite to this crowne, which untill you doe, the warres may well be ended in opinion, but never in effect; for Corsica ha­ving now lost its King may chuse it selfe another, and so either of it selfe, or by the helpe of other Princes make perpetuall incursions into this Kingdome, which that they will attempt, I am the rather in­duced to beleeve, because the humor of those people is naturally revengefull, especially now that there is not a house among them that hath not felt heavy losses by this warre, and the fugitive Rebels, nestling themselves in the Bastilica, may thence get themselves easily setled in their ancient patrimcnies, their treason and offence not suf­ficing to make them so odious as not to finde some favourers of their actions among those they have commanded and swayed over these foure hundred yeares: and Corsica being a poore countrey, the inhabitants thereof for being needy will come shift for their li­ving to Sardegna, where under the pretext of forragers they will maintaine a warre so lasting, as no valour shall bee able to de­stroy them, so well fortified will they bee found by the advan­tage of hils, and strongly barricadoed by the strength of woods, as there will bee somewhat to doe to dinde them out, but much more to come to fight with them. But if your Highnesse would be pleased to resolve of the contrary, you shall avoide all these inconveniences, neither shall you find any considerable opposition, for that you shall invade a kingdome, that ownes neither King, Captaine, nor souldiers, and shall withall find it deprived (for ought I beleeve) of Galleyes, armes and Councell, now that all the best of them lie slaine in these wars. And though forraine Princes would endeavour to succour it, [Page 114] yet should they finde it lost and won ere they came, so as such an enterprise cannot indeede any way redound to their good, or ho­nour, who have neither interest nor reason to succour such as cannot but be utterly forlorne. Now some one may object, thatto suppose that no neighbouring Princes can lay any claime thereto, is false. Well, I grant it, but let us (I pray them) argue who such may bee, for I see but onely five that may justly be reckoned in this number; three whereof also I will immediatly exclude. The first shall be the King my father, I will not say for my sake, for that every one will scarce beleeve, seeing that Princes square out their actions by the rule of their own ends, but becase he never aimed at the command of the sea, neither can the greatnesse of Sardegna breed in him any jealo­sie; considering that looke what difficulties stranger Princes shall have in enjoying it, the selfe same difficultie shall she have also in possessing the Dominions of others, especially in the firme land: for the same reasons, I exclude for the second man the Etrurian King; though not the King of Maiorica, who is the third; but be­cause his forces are not such as neede be feared; there remaine yet the King of Sicily and Ligurie: this last may not doe it, because the Tuskan King his neighbour will not suffer him to over-grow him in greatnesse, so as if hee should strive to possesse some others ter­ritories, the other would not let slippe the occasion of seazing on his. And if the Sicilian King doe but asmuch as aime thereat, hee must necessarily make enemies of the Mauritanian, Ligurian, and Etrurian Kings, besides such others as command the other side the Faro, if he but offer to joyne new kingdoms to his own, who (besides his being rich and potent) is sufficiently well seated to put all the rest in a jealousie of him. But let it be granted that any of them (excep­ting the King my father, for whom I offer my selfe an hostage) would be easily tempted to take up armes, yet let any such whosoever hee be but ballance, the certaine charge, that must be necessarily dis­bursed, with the uncertaine benefit, that may perhaps be reaped there­from, and he shall see that as it cannot be compassed with a few men, so the transportation of great forces, will require great Fleets, which cannot be rigg'd under a great deale of time, which though they could suddenly provide, yet shall they meete with many other dif­ficulties in being (for want of convenient havens) compel'd in the selfesame time, to fight against the winde, sea and us. I omit the consideration of what the blindest see, which is, That Sardegna shall be rid of its bad neighbours, and shall by commanding in stead of awing them, become glorious and dreaded of all such as would ei­ther harme or infest it; I overpasse also such consequences as might be deduced from the augmentation of forces, territories and revenewes, considering the commodiousnesse of its situation. Other considerable difficulties I beleeve there are none, whereof though there were, yet can I not thinke them to be such as may be paragonized with the dif­ferent state of these two kingdoms, besides no difficulties should ever hinder the performāce of necessary resolutions. But now because it is [Page 115] no policy to credit the Counsel of such as share not of the perils that may chance to spring from the roote of such advise, I here porferre your Highnesse to participate thereof, not only with my person, but also with such troopes as shall be thought requisite for that imploy­ment, which I hope to obtaine of the King my father, and of the Prince my brother here present, so your Highnesse will but vouch­safe to accept of them.

The Princesse, that with great pleasure had all this while listned unto him, kindly thanked him for his proffer, as though it had beene a thing strange unto her. And because she well perceived that the matter when it came to be resolved of among the Councell, would not prove so plaine, but that it might meete with some oppositions, by reason of such jealousies as might arise from the proffer, there­fore gave shee order that they should among themselves treace thereof.

The Marquesse of Oristagno, who ever sithence Polimero was knowne for a Prince, began to ghesse at the cause of his comming to Sardegna, as he had also before that taken notice of the inclination of the Princesse, deeming that love of hers to be well emploied, since that (if shee married at all, she could not make choise of either a fitter or worthier husband) resolved to set forwards, and bring to head that businesse, being well assured the should thereby both please the Prin­cesse, and doe the state good service; therefore opposed he openly such as held the Infante of Mauritania's propsition dangerous (infer­ring for an example the Trojan horse for a caveat to feare and mistrust both the gift and giver.) His reasons were, that it was not to bee doubted, that he who so had begunne to merit, would not continue so to doe, aswell for desire of glory, as for hope of reward, hee being the last of the sonnes of Mauritania, and there­fore without meanes: that in case he harboured any evill intention, his forces could not stead him much, for that theirs would be more than thrice so many; and that sithence they might without losse of their owne men gaine themselves a kingdome (to them so commo­dious and necessary) he held it a great folly to refuse it. Many other things toucht he by the way, whereby the most acute smelt out his drift, wherewith they were so farre from being displeased, as all of them without any opposition, willingly concurr'd in the selfesame opinion. Wherof the Princesse was a glad woman, who having there­with acquainted Polimero, caused both him and his brother, to be cald in to the Councell, as though she had told him nothing thereof; where (having extolled his noble exploits in the wars, taking occa­sion to fall in speech of his last proffer) she told him; That although the Councell was somewhat loth to make use of the kingdome of Mauritania, yet notwithstanding, that in respect of the knowne good correspondencie ever held betweene that and the Sardegnan crowne, it had now resolved to accept of the troopes by him offered, to the end that hee might with them and those of Sardegna proceede in his Corsan enterprize, as hee had proposed. Then turning her [Page 116] selfe towards Metaneone (when she had made a great Encomio on the Fleete, won her by his meanes) shee confest, that the King her father, her selfe, and the whole kingdome, were exceedingly obliged to the one, and the other; for which all of them together would be ready at all occasions to serve them, the King their father, and kingdome: whereunto the brothers having answered each for him­selfe, gave in courteous termes such assurance of their good inten­tions, there was not any that doubted of their sinceritie.

The Princesse had already posted a Currier to advertize the King her father of the victories; and now determined shee to send him the Councels resolution, and withall the King Epicamedo with the other prisoners; much had he desired to see the Princesse, whereto shee would by no meanes condiscend, pretending to detaine him not as a prisoner of warre, but as a Traitor, guilty of injured Majestie, be­cause her brothers murtherers had never attempted to take away his life, had they not beene back't by him; so as he indeede was the au­thor of that murther, those warres, and all other ils that thence pro­ceeded.

Many dayes staid the Princesse in Terranova, expecting the com­ming of the rest of the army from Villapetres, to march thence on­wards to the next countrey of Luogodori, which lies in the utmost point of Sardegna in the sight of Corsica, to the end she might assure her selfe of those countries formerly possessed by the Rebels, and might also thence with more conveniency (at the arrivall thither of the Mauritanian troopes) transport them over into Corsica

Aretia in the meane time had used all possible diligence to restore to her former being, the weake woman, whom they had saved from the mercilesse sea, which for her bodily plight was not very difficult, but for the state of her minde, seemed a thing impossible, in that she found her weaker every day than other, and (as it were) repen­ting that she died not. The Princesse now disentangled of publike affaires, and desirous to know who shee was, went in person to visite her, who having by this time understood that this was the famous Princesse Eromena, received her with profound humilitie, by the Phy­sitians direction shee kept as yet her bed, though much against her will; where the Princesse, sitting downe by her, joyed much to see her a living woman, hoping that as she had already gotten this point, so shee might in time also come to gaine the other, which was to bring her to some degrees of comfort by entertaining her with mirth and pleasant company: wherein shee was neverthelesse very much deceived, because a refined melancholy, having first beene an infirmitie of the minde, and then come to be a bodily disease, and so growne to be a residence of different substance is wont to prove (for the most part) mortall and incurable. I had come sooner unto you (said the Princesse) but that I thought good to give you first time to recollect your spirits, and yet wot I not well how I ought to entertaine you, because the outward expressions of your fortune shew you to be otherwise than your proper conditions discover you [Page 117] to be. I beseech you to cleare me of that doubt, assuring you on the faith of a noble maiden, that the curiositie to know it, tends to no o­ther end than to assist you, which I will doe without sparing any thing I have. Here is no body present but Aretia, for whose secrecie I undertake as for my selfe.

The woman (standing awhile in a muse, without making any an­swer) fetching at length a deepe sigh, not without teares, said un­to her;

Royall Princesse, your requests are commands to me; and al­though to satisfie your Highnesse therein, bee but as it were to draw fresh bloud out of greene wounds, and to fester an old long sithence inulcerated sore, yet can I for all that doe no lesse than obey you.

My name is Eleina, my Nation, the Narbon Gaule, my Countrey, Arelate; where my father is he that beares both Crowne and Scep­ter. My mother was the daughter of the Celtan King; know her did I never, because she (presaging my misfortunes) lest she should see so unhappy a burthen, died in childbirth of me. With such quaint tendernesse was I bred up, as children of my birth and qualitie are wont to be, but much more fondly; for being the only child of my fa­ther, who (although a Widdower at foure and twentie yeares of age) would never condiscend to marry againe, for all that his subjects earnestly besought him thereto, so much overswayed him, the ex­ceeding great love he bare to my mother, for whose sake he also tendered me the dearer; for the fuller expression whereof, he grew more obstinate in his intended resolution, so as I was esteemed and honoured of the world, as undoubted heire of that Kingdome. My childhood spent I in many noble disciplines; for being borne to a Crowne, I was educated not as a woman, but as a Soveraigne Prince: and withall to make my present state more fully miserable with the memorie of passed glories, the Knights errant deemed themselves not worthy of the seeking adventures, ere they had first had the ad­venture of seeing me, which came to passe, either because things a far off had a greater priveledge of opinion, than things more at hand; or because there was in me some esteeme-worthy thing which I knew not my selfe; suffice it, that such was the effect, whether the cause de­serv'd it or no. Being arrived to sixteene yeares of age, such was my misfortune, that there came to Arelate as a Knight errant, the son of the King of Catalogna, whose name was Don Peplasos. This Prince making a shew of being enamored of me, speake, and wrought so far, as I (drawne on rather by my destinie, than by any love I bare him) perswaded my father to give me him for wife; which he did, (being not used to contradict me) though sore against his will, and with the teares in his eyes protesting he did it meerely to satisfie me, himselfe for his owne particular, liking not well of such hasty weddings, and much lesse of the bridegrooute. But I, over-tired with the great number of Suitors, without knowing which of them to chuse, (detained in this ignorance by the tendernesse of age, but much [Page 118] more by my simplicitie in not knowing what manner of thing love was, wearied with the trouble of being so wooed, and foolishly cu­rious to see my selfe a wife) made choice of him, to verifie that old Proverbe, Women ever chuse the worst. With him lived I seven yeares without bearing children, which seene by my fathers subjects, who would by no meanes bee commanded by the Catalonian nation (ab­horred by them by a naturall antipathy) and much lesse by him, whom for his bad usage to me-wards, they hated more than death it selfe, they earnestly besought my father to marry, so that at last he, won by their importunities, but much more by my letters, tooke to wife a faire and vertuous Princesse, the King of Aquitain's daugh­ter, who; bare him the very first yeare a male-child, which as much contented the people, as it madded and discontented my husband, who seeing himself deprived both of that kingdome, and also of any hope of having by me any children, determined to avenge the one, and remedy the other, by doing away my person.

It fell out in the meane time, that fame extolling abroad the two neighbouring beauties, which were yours, and that of Eromilia, (Princesse of Maiorica) hee (being the vainest man living) not knowing which of both to chuse, was much tormented in minde, for being indifferently enamored, as well of the one as of the other; but considering yours, without possessions and dominions (the prin­cipal object of his love) during the life time of your brother, that on­ly mirrour of Princes, and withall fearing you for the fame of your valour, which would not (as he thought) willingly brooke ill usage, he bent his inclination towards the Princesse of Maiorica, from whom he withdrew it againe, when he understood of her being pro­mised to your brother, which occasioned not the taking away of my misfortunes, but the differring of them for my greater evill.

Now Don Peplasos lov'd a gentle Knight, if he may be said to love, to whom nature gave no inclination to love other than himself, besides the being of his nature, disposition, and conditions, so farre alienated from those of Don Eleimo (for so was the Knight named) that it seemed impossible to forme thereof a true friendship; but as every rule is wont to have, (so hath this also) its exception, at least on the behalfe of the Prince, who being presumptuous, and so farre deceived in himselfe as to repute his owne vices to be vertues, easily beleeved, that Don Eleimo (a vertuous Cavalier) tooke them for such indeede; to him therefore discovered hee his inhumane designes: but he (which well knew his nature) although he durst not contra­dict him, yet was he so mov'd by the instinct of his owne vertue, as he could do no lesse than advertize me thereof. And because either to speake or write to me might prove dangerous, he onely wrote to me to finde out some one trusty, with whom he might conferre with­out any suspition.

The husband of my chiefe chamberlaine, named Don Elavio, was one of the best esteemed, and noblest of the Catalonian Knights, whose conditons when I had well examined, I judged him a man [Page 119] worthy of my secret. And he having conforted me, went to con­ferre with Don Eulavio, to whom he shewed the letter, which he had (as I told you) written unto me, according as we had first agreed on, to certifie him, that he was sent from me, and afterwards (burning it in his presence) used with him, on my behalfe, such courteous lan­guage, as might suite with an affaire of such importance. To whom Don Eleimo answered, that without the testimonie of the letter, him­selfe alone was a sufficient letter of assurance and credit. And with that he told him, how that the Prince, having taken me to wife, not for affection sake (as he made me beleeve ere he married me) but for meere covetousnesse of the Arelatan kingdome, which not succee­ding according to his expectation, (my father being married and ha­ving a sonne, and I prov'd a barren woman) was resolved to put me to death; but considering the good opinion which the people and his father also had of my honestie, he determined to worke his ends another way, and that was by poison, which he intended to put in practise ere long, having already so wrought with my Physitian, as he had got him to promise to make him some of purpose, which (for not being violent) should in the end of certaine dayes worke their effect, without giving any colour of suspition. All which when I understood, I know not which was greater, either the hate I bore my husband for so barbarous a crueltie, or the feare I had of not be­ing able to preserve my selfe; and having before my marriage beene very curious of simples, whereby I knew such as might more easily be used to hurt me, I prepared for my selfe such antidotes, as I hoped thereby to preserve my life, as it came indeede to passe; for I in using them, so prevented the danger, as I could not have poisoned my selfe, although I would. Yet was I not therein uncircumspect, for some of them I tooke (being assured by the antidotes) others would I not take, because I knew they were too strong, being fore­warned of all of them, and of their qualities, by the good Don Eleimo; whereat the Prince wondering, after many fantasies and conjectures, (most subtle as he was) imagined that I was enformed thereof, but not thinking of Don Eleimo, he began to mistrust that the Physitian (moved either by pitty or avarice) had made me priuy thereto; but when he afterwards saw, both by his protestations and proceeding in the practise, that he proved as trusty to him as treacherous to me, he could not then chuse but suspect who it was indeede. And there­fore he (intending now to kill two birds with one stone) forethought how to take Don Eleimo so napping, as he might punish him, not for the good he did me, but for the evill he might lay to his charge to have done with me, which he perhaps beleeved so to be, as one dee­ming it impossible that meere pietie and pitty (which he being never acquainted withall, himselfe beleeved to bee in no other man) had moved this Knight to doe me this good office; nor could he imagine that any other interesses induced him thereto, whom he well knew to be a noble and rich Cavalier and my selfe so poorely entertained, as I had ordinarily little more allowed me than a private Lady. [Page 120] Confirmed then in this article of beleefe, he, for many dayes, did nothing else but pry into our actions, though to no purpose, we be­ing so farre from any such intention as imagination it selfe could not fancie us more alienated therefrom.

One had Don Eliemo among all his servants no lesse deare unto him, than himselfe was to the Prince; on him fixt Don peplasos his eye, judging him a fit instrument for his designes; and seeing him ofttimes in his fore-chamber, waiting for Don Eleimo, tooke occa­sion to call him, under colour of asking of him something, or bidding him doe some petty service, so as hee puffed up with such like fa­vours, and already framing himselfe high fortunes, began to despise such meane preferments as might bee pretended from Don Eleimo; Nay, so great was his presumption, that thinking one day to unhorse his master himselfe out of the Prince his favour, he grew by this imagination, both to envie and hate him; so useth fortune to sport her selfe in humane things, as in a noble minde one generous act pre­vailes more than all wordly interesses; and on the contrary, in a base minde, one sole interest can doe more than all the ties of vertue, the one to save the innocent contemnes his Lords favour, and the other to obtaine it by betraying the guiltlesse, makes himselfe guilty. Now when the Prince thought hee had sufficiently prepared him, hee found one day opportunitie to speake unto him in this wise.

Catascopo, I purpose to receive thee into my service, but charge thee not to speake a word thereof to any man living, especially to Don Eleimo from whom ere thou part, thou must (for a businesse that imports me) observe, whothose of my wives family be that frequent him most, and in this and every other action of his, penetrate the deepest thou canst possibly; wherein, if thou servest me well, I pro­mise to make thy fortune such as thou shalt not neede envie thy Masters greatnesse.

Catascopo, who joyed not a little to become thus the Princes favo­rite, promised to serve him with all observant diligence, wherein he could already assure him, how Don Eulavio used to come often to visite him, and that (for the most part) by night, locking themselves in privately, both alone, very circumspect, that no man over-heard them; and that one evening among the rest, when Don Eulavio was gone, Don Eleimo stood a long while looking on a Iewell, which the other had left him.

The Prince (thinking he had now gotten all that he desired) bade him in any case steale away that Iewell, which hee promised to doe, well knowing how to filtch away the key of the study wherein it was laid up. This Iewell was my mothers, being a triangle of three rich diamonds, each angle whereof was enriched with a great pearle; I sent it him by Don Eulavio in token of gratitude, and he (as Don Eulavio told me) accepted it very unwillingly, his heart seeming to presage unto him his ensuing evils, seeing that he abhorring it as a thing mortiferous, praid him sundry times after he had received it, [Page 121] to bring it me backe againe; which (I beleeve) he did, not that his ima­gination stucke in what his heart presaged him; but because he ble­misht his nobilitie (as he thought) in doing mercenarily that action, which had no other end than it selfe. It was an easie matter for Catas­copo to satisfie the ill intended curiositie of the Prince, Don Eleimo con­cealing not himself from him, for that he deemed him to be as faithful a servant, as himselfe was an affectionate Master; so as he made a shift to steale away the key, and then filtching away the Iewell, brought it forthwith to the Prince, who (knowing it to be mine) looked after no other evidence, but condemning me unheard, would by no means let slip a season so opportune to his villanies: Being then risen out of his bed, & causing himself to be followed by those of his guard, he went towards Don Eleimo's house, that adjoyned to the Court, intending to surprize him there, but that the heavens permitted not, because ha­ving occasion to call to Catascopo (who lay in his chamber) without receiving any answer, he was forced to rise himself, when not finding him there, whereat he was much amazed, til having sent for a candle, he perceived at the first sight, the studie doore open, and finding not therein the Iewell, he suddenly suspected the cause, wherefore the Prince favoured the Traytor. What to resolve of in that instant, hee knew not, seeing that to stay there was dangerous; and to get him gone would bee judged a signe of manifest guilt. Whileft thus his troubled minde enclined while to the one, and while to the other resolution, behold hee perceived through a window, (which by good fortune stood the open) a great glimmering of lights, and no small crowde of people; among whom were also the Archers of the Court; whereupon examining in his judgement (in the twinckling of an eye) the crueltie of the Prince, who was both head-strong and in­exorable, he resolved to shun his owne ruine, as the lesset evill, reser­ving a place and time more proper, for the clearing of his innocency, which was mine by consequence; taking with him therfore some coine and Iewells from out his study (by the being there wherof he comprehended, that the robberie tended not to the filtching away of a Iewell, but to the murthering of him in his life and honour) leaving unstirred his family (who little suspected any such accident) he slipt him out by a secret doore that leade to his lodgings, whilst the Prince caused the streete doore to be furiously beaten downe to the ground. The confusion of the poore servants which then lay in a deepe sleep, cannot be expressed, no more than the fury of the Prince, who because he found him not, tooke on him like a mad man; whilst those of his traine not beleeving that he could be fled away in so short a time, in causing him to be sought for all over the house, gave him the more time to save himselfe: who (being suffered to passe through the gate of the watch, not so much for giving them the militarie signe, as because they knew who he was) went aboord a Galley (feining some businesse for the Prince) wherewith he got himselfe to the King my father in Arelata. The Prince (in the meane time having sent all over) found out at length the way of his escape, when though he speeded all the [Page 122] Galleyes after him sundrie wayes, and to diverse places; yet was it not possible for any of them to over-take him, because hee having chosen the best Galley never suffered the Ghinge to repose their oares, till he arrived in Aquamorta.

Don Eleimo being thus escaped, there remained yet Don Eu­lavio. Now there served Don Eleimo a slave given him by Don Eula­vio, who (having beene well used by both, and seeing the misfortune of the one) ranne instantly to the other, thinking it his best course to save himselfe in the house of his first Master, ere the Officers fea­zed on him for a chattle with the goods of the second. Now Don Eulavio used gaming very much, (and as fortune would have it) he then was at play, when seeing the slave appeare before him, he (rising off the table with a great heart-beating) asked him what he would have? And (having understood the cause, though not the occasion) suspecting what was indeede, and judging his stay to quit himselfe thereof would prove dangerous, hee loding the slave with a ladder of cords (made in his youth for his stolen love-sports) and taking his way towards a part of the citie, formerly perhaps observed by him for such like occurrences, speedily descended the walls, leaving there the ladder behinde, sithence when, there was never any newes heard, either of him or the slave. The Prince thus frustrated of his first hope, came running to Don Eulavio's house, which he found open, and repleate with servants, waiting for their Masters, that were there a gaming; but scouting on further, and detaining such as would have runne in to give notice of his comming, he suddenly rushed in him­selfe among them; where every one stood up to honour him, and he (finding there missing Don Eulavio) enquired for him, after whom when every man had sought and cald too, they perceived in the end, he was gone his wayes; which when Don Peplasos understood, there was no man that durst as much as looke on his fierie eyes, for hee laying aside all gravitie, spake and did things unworthy a Prince; all the servants there sent he packing to a close prison, as he had former­ly done with Don Eleimo': neither were those Knights whom hee found a gaming, any thing better used by him; whilest I (wretched woman) lay (thankes to my quiet conscience) deeply plunged in a profound sleepe. Many yeares before slept I al'alone, the Prince never comming neere me, but at the request of the King his father, which was seldome, and then with a demeanour rather irkesome & disgust­ful, than any whit contentsome for the conversation of married folks, unlesse it be in an affectionate way, is no pleasure but a torment, and savours rather of beastiality than humanity. There slept alwayes two gentle-woman in my bed-chamber, where stood a small lampe con­tinually burning, because my melancholy being growne to be a for­mall infirmitie, I ever found my selfe troubled with some indisposi­tion, orther, either of stomacke or spleene, so as there passed not a night, wherein I needed not both remedies, and the company of some to comfort me; for my head was so replete with vapours, as I saw and suffered what another woman (how ill disposed soever) [Page 123] could not have asmuch as imagined, much lesse seene and endured. With a great rumbling came the Prince rushing into my bed-cham­ber, by reason whereof my fit of sicknesse seizing on me; as soone as I understood the occasion of his comming thither, I swounded and fell in a convulsion, so extremely violent, as I was so fortunate as not to heare with mine owne eares those injurious termes which (I after­wards heard) he gave me. He would by all meanes have caused me so naked to be cast into the bottome of a dark dungeon, had not the king (who came running to see what this hurly-burly meant) hindred him to do it; who hearing him accuse me of adulterie with Don Eleimo, by the instrumentall means of Don Eulavio, told him, that the judgement thereof belonged to him as King, and therefore bade him get him to bed, telling him that what he had done was sufficient, assuring him withall, that as he would have me burnt, if he found me guiltie, so would he also allow my innocencie such favour as it merited; whereupon hee parting away (though much against his will) the King would not as yet leave me, but patiently attending to see the end of my fit, and conferring in the meane time, while with the one, and while with the other of my gentle women, he well percei­ved the Prince his suspition to bee either vaine or malicious. Re­turned to my selfe (if so I may say that found my selfe then in a worse plight than ever) the King drew neere mee, consolating mee exceeding courteously; and having first suffered me to vent out my teares, for the disburdning of my heart, hee then told me; that albeit he never had occasion in so many yeares, to suspect my honesty; neverthelesse, being that the gods had given him the Scepter of Iustice, he could doe no lesse than heare such as accused me, to the end he might the better heare me also. And that if I knew my selfe innocent, hee saw no cause I had to grieve, seeing that I might assure my selfe that no tie of affection should prevaile with him so farre, as to suffer me to be wronged. I (that felt my selfe strucke through the heart by so dishonest an injurie) assured by my conscience, answered him, that the not condemning me, obli­ged me never awhit, because finding me guiltlesse (as most certainely he should) he was obliged to publish me innocent; but that (to free me from the evill opinion of the world, wherein I was falne by this imputation) lay not at his dispose, unlesse he would be pleased to preferre the rites of justice before all respects of bloud, by judg­ing my malitious accusers by the strictnesse of the Talion law. The King strucken inwardly with my words, stoodawhile in a maze, and afterwards (bidding mee good night) retired to his lodging, lea­ving with me a guard, with expresse order, not to suffer the Prince to enter my chamber.

The day following, the fame of this accident was rumored a­broad, not onely through the Citie, but also over all the King dome, with such discontent of the people, murmuring in so open a man­ner, against the person of the Prince, as made him (being no lesse ti­morous than cruell) ready to goe besides himselfe; neither was [Page 124] there any Market-place, Temple, or Common-walke, where there was not punctuall scrutinie made of my life, and behaviour, followed by a generall judgement on my behalfe every way favourable. And in truth, though I had harboured a dishonest intention (which was (God knowes) farre from my thoughts) yet was it impossible for me to have ever put the same in practise, being that I went no where unaccompanied, nor staid I ever by night or day in my owne cham­ber all alone, neither (which is more) favoured or affected I ever a­ny one of my women more than the rest, but esteemed them all e­qually alike, bearing no other different respect towards them, than might serve to manifest my better liking, to such of them as I found more diligent in my service, so as it was impossible for me to be ac­cused by other than malice it selfe, which neverthelesse by the afore­said meanes could not possibly prejudice me, because it could no way alleage time or place; although (by its mischievous malig­nitie) it could devise how to alleage persons.

The day following the King would faine know of his sonne the cause of my accusation, who related unto him all that he gathered out of Catascopo, with the contumacie, and suspitious flight of the two Knights where of he formed a consequence of my offence. And then examining Catascopo (who conformed himselfe in all things to the Prince his allegation without varying in any thing) it hapned that the accusation (though most false) seemed somewhat likely to bee true. Whereupon the King (misinformed) came to me, and ex­plained all that was laid to my charge, opening unto me by his propo­sitions a large field to cleare my innocency, which I manifested unto him so apparently lively, as any man but he, would have instantly ab­solved me, and condemned the Prince. But alas, No man ever hated his owne flesh, so as it was no marvaile, if his fatherly inclination, hindred him to discerne the malice of his sonne; he would not be­leeve that they went about to poison me, because the Physitian de­nied it, for which I (having no other testimony than the two Knights that were fled and gone) alleaged my distillations, and some words carelesly let slippe from mee, whereby my women discovered in mee such like suspitions. I denied not the gift of the Iewell, though for the occasion I told you, further alleaging, that Don Eu­lavio being (as every one knew) a noble Knight, it was not a thing credible that either I should use him for a Pander, or that he would have beene so base as to suffer himselfe to become such a one: but seeing the King for all this sticke firme to the evidence of his sonne (which was the gift of the Iewell, and flight of the Knights,) I shewed him how the gift had its occasion, and much more the flight of the Knights, that had beene verie wilfully sottish to have trusted themselves to the discretion of an unjust and cruell Prince, who if he made no conscience to procure my death, for being excluded of his hopes of the Arelatan kingdome, and for the aspiring to that of Maiorica, much lesse would he have made, to put them to death, to the end he might thereby, not onely revenge himselfe, and suppresse the [Page 125] discoverie of his mischievous practises, but also rid himselfe of me for ever, at the price of my life and honour. In the end I besought him that my Physitian might be examined by torture, wherof he was well contented; but hee the very day before he was to be examined, was found strangled, to make the world beleeve that he hanged him­selfe for feare of torments. My reasons (in summe) had availed mee little, if (in lesse than eight dayes after this accident) there had not appeared an Ambassadour from my father come scowring with maine force of oares, on a well rigged Galley, who having presen­ted the King with a letter of credence, and acquainted him with the occasion of his comming, delivered him also a letter from Don Elei­mo, containing the whole story of my case, without varying a haites bredth from what I had formerly related. And (because the Embassadour suddenly upon his arrivall, would needs have au­dience, ere he spake with me or any other) he praied, as soone as the King had reade the letter, that he might see me, to confront there­with my deposition; which could not be denied him; and finding me in a plight so deplorable, he comforted me, with assuring me, that my fathers tendernesse of affection to me-wards, was no lesse now than when I was his only child; and that when he were assured of my honesty, he was resolved to defend it, though it should cost him his life and kingdome, that he was sent thither to be an assistant at my arraignement, which he would have prosecuted with all rigor, that so my innocency might be the better cleered, that the maine proofe consisted of one sole point, which was, to see if what I said, was conformable to what Don Eleimo had told my father, and now written to the King of Catalogna there present. Much was I comfor­ted in hearing this, and after, having asked him how my father did, I related unto him (as formerly I had done to my father-in-law) the advertizements many times given me by Don Eleimo, with the seve­rall antidotes by mee taken, whereof I shewed them the receipts, wishing them to aske the Physitians, if such were effectuall against poisons. I made known unto them in the end how it grieved me, that my Physitian was hanged up in prison, for feare lest he discovered (on the racke) both his own and the Prince his treacherie. Which when the Embassadour heard, he asked the King what he thought of it? Whereto hee not knowing what to answer, (reading againe Don Eleimo's letter, with strange mutation of colours) said, he would goe conferre with his sonne: to whom, when he had shewed the letter, and made with him a great stirre about it, he at length resolved to have all things husht up, wherewith I not contenting my selfe (but requiring the death of the false Catascopo, with some publike declara­tion of the Prince, for the manifestation of my innocency) could by no meanes possible obtaine, either the one or the other, for Ca­tascopo, disclaimed from having ever named me, maintaining all hee averr'd to be true without any prejudice to me; and the Prince, by alleaging love to be a thing full of doubts and feares, not onely ex­cluded himselfe from the obligation of giving me such satisfaction, [Page 126] as I looked for, but also pretended to have withall obliged me, in having so basely defamed me. I would faine have returned home to my fathers, but entreated by my father-in-law, deceived by the false penitencie of my husband, and counselled by the Embassadour not to doe it (being that my husband could no waies make a more publike declaration of my wronged honestie, than to keepe mee with him) I was perswaded to stay; whereof I soone repented me, now that a justly conceived disdaine had taken away from mee all the residue of love; and that there appeared to increase in him a desire to free himselfe of the knowne ill opinion that every one con­ceived of him, imagining my life to be unto him a perpetuall upbrai­ding of his infamie.

It fortuned that a yeare and somewhat after that these things suc­ceeded, the valourous Prince, your brother, was slaine, whereupon a new phrensie being come into his head of getting the Princesse Ero­milia (a thing which could not be whilest I lived) he resolved to make me away; but not knowing what colour to have for it, now that my honestie was so openly knowne, he thought of a thousand wayes, whereof no one liked him; at last hee lighted on one, the most villanous that ever humane wit could imagine.

Now there stood seated on the Pirenean mountaines, a Temple dedicated to the goddesse Iuno; whither such married paires, as had lived disgusted, came from remote parts on pilgrimage, to pray the goddesse to grant them reciprocall love and concord. Don Pepla­sos (in whom was never before seene any signe, either of pietie, or reli­gion, become now forsooth in an instant devoutly religious) invited me to this pilgrimage; whereof I (that much needed celestiall helpe) was (God knowes) exceeding joyfull. Me-thought that my prayers were already heard, and that I saw my husband become an altered man, for that the desire to be good (which he seemed now to have) argued in him a beginning of goodnesse. Nothing would he resolve of without me, touching this journey, participating of my advice, as well for the manner thereof, as for the company we were to take along with us; wherein (he seeming to be exceedingly mortified and full of contrition) we resolved to goe disguised, without any man­ner of pompe; taking with us but one servant a-piece: but because I thought I could not (for modesties cause) be so conveniently served in my occasions by a man servant, I told him that in stead of a man, I would take along with me a waiting-woman, he (telling me that it was fitting I should so doe) replied; that to prevent future accidents, I should doe well to take along with me also a man-servant, for that wee knew not what dangers might befall us by the way, and that therefore it were not amisse, to chuse out such a one as I knew for aman of valour, whereunto I very willingly condescended, and be­ing by this proposition quite cleared of all suspition that might have stucke in my minde; albeit, so simple was I, as that I never once doubted of any thing; I selected me one, whose name was Calaplo, a harmelesse and comely young fellow, though never till then [Page 127] knowne to me for a man any way valiant; and now my minde setled on no other thing than my journey, having cloathed our selves in pilgrimes weedes of course gray cloth, we set our selves forwards on our journey: whither hee offered not to take along with him Catascopo, to shew how unwilling hee was to displease me; albeit though hee had brought him along with him, I would never have disliked it, having before resolved with my selfe to forget what­soever was past; in his stead tooke he a right noble and valiant Knight, and such a one, as I cannot beleeve that he knew any thing from this treacherous plot, but rather that the Prince tooke him with him of purpose, that his deceived goodnesse might deceive others. Come to the Temple, wee adored the goddesse, and presented her with rich gifts, whereat I beleeved, she smiled to see them come from two hearts, the one a Traytor, the other betraied. I (full of religious faith) continued all the day in the Temple praying, not without fee­ling a very great commotion of feare in my minde, though I saw no reason why, and therefore imputing the fault to my infirmitie, I fer­vently besought the goddesse to comfort me. In the meane time my good husband (whilst the Knight was at our lodging, which was very farre off, left behind there of purpose, under colour of keeping companie with my woman, who was somewhat ill at ease) sent my man to fetch him a little wallet, which (having given him the key thereof) he made him open, shewing him a good quantitie of Iewels and gold (as indeede there was nothing else therein;) then causing him to put all in again, and locke it up fast, he said unto him; Here take this wallet, and get thee gone suddenly into some countrey, so farre off, as it may not bee knowne that thou art living in the world, for if ever I come to know it, I vow thou shalt not live one houre af­ter. The yong man (hereat much amazed, taking the wallet) went his way without any more adoe. And he comming hastily into therem­ple, invited me to goe see a white Doo on these mountaines, whereat I smiled that he tooke it for a Doo, where it was more likely some kinde of Chamoy or Wilde-goate; but he obstinately persisting in affirming it to be a Doo, I gathered up my selfe to follow him. And because my Physitians had told me, that exercise was good against my infirmitie; it was no difficult matter for him (we having not as yet gotten any sight of the Doo) to get me to descend through pla­ces so rugged and craggy, as it was impossible for me to returne thence backe againe. But he telling me he had the day before gone the same way, and that a little further was a very faire path, whither we were necessarily to goe, to returne backe againe; I then (though too late) perceived my selfe deceived; wherefore (bursting out a weeping) I besought him to have compassion of me. But he (waxen by this time cruell, and growing more and more savage) made mee trot so long, till seazed on by one of my wonted fits) I fell downe deprived of all sense or feeling. What become of him I know not; for it was darke night ere I came to my selfe; when I found I was gotten into a steepie and rockie dale, a long dayes journey distant [Page 128] from the place where I swounded. How I was carried thither, I know not, much lesse how I came to bee left bare-foote and bare-legged, and stripped naked of all save onely this gowne of my un­happie pilgrimage; and certainely I would have chosen rather to have died a thousand deaths, than to have beene left in such a plight, for my tender feere could not endure the sharpnesse of the stones, neither (which was worse) knew I which way to goe, assu­ring my selfe, that to returne backe againe, was impossible for mee, so as putting my selfe into the hands of fortune, I made choise to descend the lesse difficult way, going for the most part on all foure, and sharing among my knees, legges, and hands, the paines which my feete alone were not able to suffer. But come at last to the foote of one mountaine, where began the ascent of another, without ha­ving seene all the day long any living creature, lifting up my eyes by chance, whom might I see but my servant Calaple, who beheld me, but knew me not, so great was his astonishment to see me trudge in such a fashion; till constrained by my wearinesse to sit me downe, he came to know me by the pitious moane I made; whereupon hee (with a voice somewhat loud) thus said unto me;

And is it possible that you are my Lady the Princesse? Alas, what cruell destinie could make any man become so barbarous as to put you in such a plight? I now perceive, that the cause of my exile was to make the world beleeve, that I were runne away with your Highnesse, (and here related he unto me the charge and command the Prince gave him, whence we gathered the scope of his malicious intention.) Whilest we thus stood talking, behold there came three highway theeves, that set upon him unawares, where I saw him vali­antly defend himselfe; till they in their fight so changed their ground, as I (losing the sight of them) knew not what thereof succee­ded, for there being a profound steepy dale, and a great fall of wa­ters, betweene the one mountaine and the other, I must have fetcht a large compasse about to get whither I had seene them, which lay not in the power of my feere to doe, and besides, I imagined that I could not have found him otherwise than dead, for had he beene alive, hee would not have failed to have come to finde me out. All that night lay I in that place, where the firmament was my Inne, the earth my bed, passions my meate, and teares my drink; being kept waking with the new paine of my feete, accompanied with the cold, without any hope of rising ever thence any more; so tired and tormented was I with all extremities of anguish and vexation. Scarce was it day, when I was found in this plight by a countrey swaine, who (taking compassion on me) lifted me up, and (comforting mee in pitifull manner) carried me into a Cottage, where I was lovingly entertai­ned by his wife and mother, who (having restored me with fresh egges, and anointed my feete and legges) laid me in a rusticke bed, with such a diligent charitie, as more they could not have done though they had knowne me for what I was. Three dayes abode I there, and might (if I had lifted) have staied there longer, but being [Page 129] that these exceeding poore people could not furnish me with victu­als for my journey, nor the shepheard neglect his flocke to accom­pany me, nor I discover my selfe for great shame (having got them to shew me the way to the sea, to embarke my selfe) I went on my way; and in stead of rewarding these poore creatures with gifts, according to the state of my birth and qualitie, I was glad to accept of them some bread, and an old paire of slip-shooes, according to the state of my fortune, to save my selfe from starving for hunger, and from quite spoiling my feete: but wherefore goe I thus prolon­ging the matter? I made a shift to get me (though with infinite suf­ferings) unto the sea-shore, which I no sooner descried, than I was from a-farre off espied of certaine Pirates that lay there a roving about the shoare, who having seized on mee, fell to a great strife whose of theirs I should bee, but because they saw mee growne very weake with want and wearinesse, they suffered mee to repose my selfe, agreeing that the chance of the dice should assigne mee an owner. It was the eighth night that wee continued sailing (though they steered on no direct course, but romed up and downe, accor­ding as occasions offered them hope of booty) when I heard them jarring among themselves with swearing they were a-ground, and crying out of the steere-man to hul, they seemed to be all at their wits end, for feare of splitting. The winde was somewhat sharpe, but even and levell with the sea, without any surging billowes; when I (seeing my selfe fallen into the hands of such a rabble of rascals, re­solved either to free my self or die) threw me down into the sea with a plancke, whilst the Foist (carried away with the winde) got farre wide of me, in the twinkling of an eye; & the night being so obscure, as I could not descrie the shore, I kept my selfe setled on the plancke till the morning, when being by wearinesse and fasting, re­duced to the passe wherein you found me, I had the fortune to re­ceive this benefit from so worthy a Princesse, who will vouchsafe (as I hope) to helpe me yet to get home to my father, as I beseech your Highnesse to doe, obliging thereby both him and I, for all the remnant of our lives time.

Eromena, who had attentively listned to the refluxes of so unjust a fortune in a Princesse of so great merit, and who had before under­stood by others the former passages, said thus unto her; (Noble and vertuous Princesse.) there is not any debt due from mee to the gods (although I owe them many) which I esteeme greater than their ha­ving made of me the instrument to breake off (as I hope) the course of your misfortunes. I beseech you to rest you merry, and to thinke your selfe at home at your own Royall fathers house, whither I will send you so well accompanied, as you shall not neede to feare either Don Peplasos or the Pirats. Here are the Princes of Mauritania, to whom I pray you to make your selfe known, and to any other what­soever; for I do not only care little, that the Prince of Catalogna know that I professe friendship unto you, but meane to make him know withall that I will for your sake professe enmitie to him. And then [Page 130] without staying for an answer, (having sent for the two brothers that staid to come in unto them) she related succinctly unto them the recited Historie: wherewith as Polimero was transported to an affect of compassion, so was Metaneone violently carried beyond himselfe with a passion of wrath, discoursing and arguing with him­selfe, how that all the ill done this innocent Lady, was intended to the making miserable of his Eromilia; being very sorrie he had not known it sooner, for then Don Peplasos had not so easily slipt out of his hands, whom (when his brothers affaires and his owne were once set­led) hee resolved to chastise at any hand. With diverse ends there­fore comforted they Eleina, promising to hazard in her assistance both their powers and lives, so as being by them thus consola­ted, and by the Princesse supplied with whatsoever befitted her state and qualitie; she thanked the gods for having by such infortunate meanes, so fortunately conducted her thither. Two dayes then af­ter dispatch't Eromena a well furnisht Galley to the King of Arelate, with hers, and his daughters letters, not consenting to let her goe her selfe, because shee intended to detaine her some dayes, till shee were recovered of her sufferings, and then to send her home better accompanied.

In the meane time the two brothers conferred together of their affections, impatiently expecting the Count of Bona's returne; whilest the Princesse (to prevent the losse of time) assured her selfe of Luogodori: confiscating the estates of the Rebells, and therewith bountifully recompencing the merits of diverse Knights, that had in this warre worthily behaved themselves, so as the kingdome was in a small time peaceably set­led.

The Count of Bona, having got all things requisite for his charge, hasted over into Sardegna, where receiving intelligence of the Prin­cesse at Terranova, he fetching about the Ilands end came to Portodi­torre, and leaving the Fleete ride there, went thence to Sassari, where the Princesse then resided. The Princes (having courteously embraced him) and understood of the expedition hee brought with him, were thereof exceeding joyfull; but Eromenaes joyes farre transcended theirs, hoping that this Corsan enterprize would make up her mar­riage.

The Marquesse of Oristagno (who in his youth had beene one of the most amorous Knights of his time, and who by great practise on himselfe and others, was growne to be a skilfull Physiognomist in the affaires of love) seeing her desires written in her face, thus spake unto her; Your Highnesse hath done for the state one of the two things you should doe to make it become fully happy, opulent and flourishing (which is) to have reduced it after such great tempests of war and rebellion to the pleasant calme of peace and obedience. The other thing that is yet to doe, is, to finde out a husband wor­thy of you, to the end that you may have a companion to beare a share with you in supporting the weightie burthen of governement, [Page 131] and to bestow on us a faire, goodly, and generous posteritie.

The Princesse blushing (though well pleased with so unexpected a proposition) returned him this answer; Certainely I beleeve (Cozen) that you never meant to be old, seeing that you are not yet about to leave off your youthfull humours, would you have me marrie, when there is no man (for ought I know) that will have me; Do you thinke it a thing seemly or fitting for one of my sex and qualitie to go woo for a husband? By the high gods (replied the Marquesse) your Highnesse hath reason to conceive of me as you do; for by my good­will I would never grow old; Where is that man living that desires to be unpleasant? Take away but the jocondnesse of our thoughts, and what are we (old men) good for? seeing melancholy makes a man noysome, both to himselfe and others; and mirth in old age is the gift of heaven; It conserves a man, and makes his company be­come desired of every one, which if in youth it be dissolute and wan­ton, yet hath it in graver yeares its gravitie, and its peculiar wayes, so as under the barke of pleasantnesse lies hidden the sub­stance of the Theoricke and Practicke of the world, which being the onely booke for perfecting man, instructs without error, unlesse error bee caught hold of, in its beginnings, and in the simple vulgar opinions. The Princesse smiled at his discourse, and (to give him fur­ther matter thereof) she replied.

Oh how simple are those encomions you make of old age, of that shivering age, which cannot be pleasant, because it wants the vigour of bloud, the efficient cause of mirth. Your Highnesse may reason as you thinke good (answered the Marquesse) that reason of yours may hold good in old dotards, as (being long sithence fallen from being any more themselves) are good for nothing; but yet give me leave to tell you that such as fortifie their minds, against the defects of time with good governement, against fortune by enjoying her fa­vours indifferently, and against their owne rebellious affections, by having gotten a habitude of commanding them, fall not under the censure of this your reason; for such (keeping themselves from both extremes, (that is) from such things as befit no other than young men, and from excesse of melancholy (which is most habituall in old men) may (finding themselves free from mentall perturbations) conserve themselves a long time in a healthfull and pleasant disposi­tion; in whom if mirth cannot engender love, yet makes it them at leastwise become more sociable and usefull to such as are enamored, not without awaking withall the memory of their owne particular loves, which in them cannot for all that bee blamed, for being con­fined within the limits of an affection overswayed by reason. You will say then (replied the Princesse) that if an old man would conserve himselfe in a blithsome disposition, he then ought by consequence to procure its effects, and therefore the effects of love. I say it, and yet I say it not (answerd the Marquesse) The wife old man may bee master of the affects of the minde, but not of the progressions of na­ture, necessarie to the consideration of such effects, against which [Page 132] there is no word either of Prudence or Philosophy that can suffice; Yet remaines there in him, I know not what thing, which I cannot expresse, that makes him, though having himselfe laid by his armes, delight neverthelesse to see them exercised by young men in the termes of legall affection. Now touching what I have motioned un­to you, your Highnesse should doe it of your selfe, and not wonder at me as you doe, for if I were not growne old, I would not stay till some other should put mee in minde of businesses of that nature. Whereat the Princesse smiled, saying; And whom (Cozen) shall I take to husband? There is to Prince but will (when he hath mar­ried me) reside in his owne countrey; and I againe will by no meanes leave mine: and for wedding a private man, who will commend me? Neither the one nor the other should your Highnesse doe (said he) but reade a meane path betweene both; and being asked how? he proceeded saying, I meane some Prince noble and valourous, though without any means, for such a one can not be said to be a pri­vate man, who (in being a Prince) shall bee a match befitting your greatnesse, and (for having no dominions) will doe all whatsoever is requisite for your affaires. Yea, but could you name me such a one? (asked with a grave countenance the Princesse.) Marry, that can I well, Madame (answered the Marquesse) Whom could your High­nesse ever chuse more noble, valiant, and generally beloved of all men, than the Infante Polimero? Whereat she (changing her colour, and standing a while in a muze) said; I know, that to match my selfe is necessarie, because to continue as I am, is for many respects dis­convenient unto me; albeit (as your selfe know) I have ever had but a small inclination therto; but the maine difficultie consists in finding out such a one as may give the people satisfaction. I cannot denie but that the Infante Polimero ownes all those conditions you speake of, yet reason will not that I be she he should aime at, neither beleeve I, that he will ever offer to looke for me, for feare (perhaps) of being rejected for want of meanes. Neverthelesse if you thinke that this marriage may make for the publike good of the kingdome, take you care then of the managing thereof, and (for my owne part) I promise you not to swerve from your Counsell.

The Marquesse, kneeling downe before her, and kissing her hand, undertooke the charge thereof, assuring her he would conduct it in such a manner, as she should therewith rest well satisfied, which in­deede he afterwards accordingly performed: for taking opportune­ly hold of an occasion to exaggerate before the Councell, the fa­vours of the two Mauritanian Princes, and to exalt the valour of the younger; and descending handsomely thence to the occasions and affaires of the time, to the infirmitie and decadency of the King, to the sex of the Princesse (though valorous, yet feminine) he at last in generall termes proposed the necessitie of matching her with such a husband, as might reside in the kingdome. Whereupon all the neigh­bouring Princes, and others also further off being named and propo­sed, he found oppositions against every one, except Polimero, whose [Page 133] age and nature, hee considered to be apt to receive the aire and cu­stomes of Sardegna; who although hee wanted Dominions and meanes, yet wanted hee not forces and warlike troopes, but could upon any occasion procure (as hee had done at that present) great supplies of his father and brother, whose amitie was more profita­ble, and enmity more dangerous to Sardegna, than all the rest of the neighbouring Princes.

Some there were that feared there was some dissembling or double dealing in this businesse, so patly proposed in the instant of the arrivall of the Mauritanian forces, as if they menat, in case they could not obtaine their desire by faire meanes, to enforce them there­to with their powers; which the Marquesse perceiving, assured such of their being therein mistaken: wishing them withall to deliver themselves freely, if they thought that such a match would prove any way inutile or prejudiciall unto them, assuring them of the Mau­ritanian troopes, as well as of their owne native Sardegnans. Their disputations were at length reduced into resolutions; that the mar­riage of the Princesse was necessarie; that there was not alliance nor match better, nor fitter for her, than that of the Mauritanian Infante: and that the Marquesse should treat therof, by way of proposition, as proceeding from himselfe, giving thereby rather way and encou­ragement to the Infante, to demand her, than cause to beleeve, that they were already resolved to give her him. The joy that Eromena thereof conceived, as it was exceeding great, so was it neverthelesse exceeded with an incomparable prudence, whereby she well knew how to conceale it, answering the Councell that they should finde her conformable to their deliberation.

The Count of Bona after hee had delivered his Lords letters, and discharged himself of the troopes and Galleys, being licenced to go on his Embassage, wafted off (as soone as he had received the Princes letters) with a prosperous gale for Maiorica, where he, and the other Embassadours were received with all such solemnities, as befitted the Embassadours of so great a King. And because the businesse was before resolved of, and this solemne office done, meerely for publike satisfaction; it was easily concluded on, and Eromilia promised to Metaneone Prince of Mauritania, upon the sole condition, that shee would ever marrie at all.

The End of the Fourth Booke.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA
The Fifth Booke.

IF great was the fame of Eromi­lia's beauty whilst (abiding in Maiorica) shee was promised in marriage to the Prince of Sar­degna, far greater was it, when as soone as his death was pub­lished, her retiring also was in­stantly divulged abroade, the resolution and occasion where­of, with a reasonable indiffe­rency, wrought a generall a­mazement, so as such as before had her heard commended for the extraordinary industries of nature observed in her, now rapt with new (partly curious, and partly amorous) affections deemed that man happy, whose fortune it were to winne her in this losse of her selfe, being it seemed not so inconvenient for any other, to finde in­ventions to steale her away; as for her, to invent (her selfe) the meanes of depriving her selfe of the world. And albeit the businesse in it selfe stood not founded on reason, that a Princesse (especially of so great a merit) should be constrained to alter her (upon what oc­casion soever grounded) indeede rather compassionable than blame­worthy resolution. Neverthelesse some discoursing by way of ar­gument, [Page 136] approved it as an act lawfull to search after, and finding to gather up such Iewels, which throwne away by an unwise (and as it were) a prodigall owner, were exposed to the hazard of being stolne away by the unworthy, and so to become subject to light in­to their base and abject hands; neither could such an attempt (so it were confined to the bounds of honour) be (for all that) stiled ra­pine, the intention of the act, being to restore the thing so seazed on to themselves; and though it be true that its maine scope and ends tended to gaine, yet doth every kinde of labour deserve its hire, nor is that kinde of usury unlawfull which in recompence of its paines, desires but the simple lone of the thing found.

Suchlike were the reasonings of sundry young Princes of divers Countries, who like sphericall lines came to meete all in one and the same center; nor is it any wonder that a cause remote, should pro­duce and bring forth the selfesame respects in persons remote each from other, seeing the universall soule that moves and inspires the vaste world, is even one and the same. But those (among the rest) that gave themselves most to these imaginations, were the Prince of Tingitana and one of his brothers, with the Princes of Andaluzia and Granada.

The King of Tingitana in those dayes commanded as Soveraigne all that part of Afsrike that lies on the Ocea sea, as farre as six de­grees beyond our Tropike, growne to be great there by fortune and reach of wit, (if wicked subtiles may be stiled the effects of wit.) This King had foure sonnes, that were ever at discord among them­selves, who (having together with their breast-milke sucked ambi­tion and desire of rule) could never quiet themselves with other thought than in being every of them left sole without competitors. The King old of yeares, but elder in wickednesse, growne expert in knowing the pravitie of his sonnes by his owne, moved rather by a jealous zeale of himselfe than any affection he bore them, had se­vered them asunder, by assigning to each of them the governement of a kingdome; with the revenewes whereof they maintained them­selves in an honourable and splendide fashion, without ever abando­ning the precepts of soothing & dissembling being a maxime placed in the frontispice of the schoole of those (therein so accomplished) Princes; wherein every of them so exceedingly profited, as the fa­thers selfe, though a great experientist in that art, was (for all his cunning) deceived for beleeving those affectionate-seeming demon­strations to be really true, that were indeede but counterfait, which neverthelesse served for nothing else than for gins and traps, to ruine and overthrow one the other.

Argilo the first borne (who bare the title of Prince) aboade in Fessa (a kingdome assigned him for his share.) Anterasto the second, in the fortunate Ilands; The other two possessed two kingdomes in the Meridian parts, the one on this side the lesser, the other on the other side of the greater Atlas: purposely placed so distant each frō other, to the end that their neighbourhood might not occasion, or give [Page 137] them any subject of enmity. The King himselfe resided at Morocco (the heart of his Dominions) thinking hee could more easily bridle the evill inclinations of his sonnes, by keeping them thus seve­red at so large distances, especially the two eldest, who troubled him more than the rest; but humane prudence is wont to light on often­times by shunning, what but for shunning, it had not encountred: for Orgilo (having understood by the Lord of Velez of the comming of the Princesse Eromilia) grew suddenly desirous of enjoying her, gui­ded thereto rather by his beastly appetite, than any kinde of true love, for being unapt to receive those flames which shine but in gentle breasts stored with noble thoughts, where-from his was so far alienated, as (for having never harboured a gentle qualitie) he gave himselfe over to be a sordid receptacle of all kinde of foule and mis­chievous enterprises: onely one sole thing in him seemed to looke with a face of vertue, which was a bodily force inconsiderately used, and a generous seeming spirit, the abundance of his vices straight­ning him too much from being able to lodge, either true magnani­mitie or reall bounty: With such and the like qualities purposed Or­gilo to work his own ends on the noble person of Eromilia But Ante­rasto, who, with the ambition to reign, and with impatience to be longer bridled, lived unfortunate in the fortunate Ilands, having un­derstood by the spies he kept in his brothers Court, all his designes, and how hee had caused to be calked and rigged a Galley in Mamora for the stealing away of the Princesse of Maiorica (thinking hee might better bring his project to passe by sea, ariving unawares, than by land with the rushing noise of people, wherwith he might also run the ha­zard of working a jeloufie in his father) thought now or never to lay hold on this so fit an occasion to crush him, and therwithal to possesse the beauty of the most famous maiden in the world. Seteld in this re­solution he caused two Galleyes to be put in a readines with such ex­pedition, as he was ship'd and at sea, ere it was openly known that he had any intention to embarke himselfe; steering on, because of the length of the voiage, night and day till hee came to lie in ambush be­hinde a little rock, without the streights of Collonne; where, having un­derstood by a frigat which he sent before to Mamora, that his brother stood on the point of departure, and well knowing that the Pegno della morte could not easily be forced, he held it his best course to adver­tize the Princesse before-hand of Orgilo's intention, thereby obliging her to receive him in, as a defender (being altogether ignorant of the vow she had made [...]) Whereupon, having to that purpose instructed one of his Knights he dispatch'd him away in a frigat with letters of credit; who arriving thereby night, & by the centre hindred to land, said, he was sent frō a knight, who was a speciall servant of the Prin­cesse, concerning a businesse much importing her Highnesse, whereat Perseno (thinking he came from the Prince of Mauritania) came down to the sea-shore to welcome him, having already understood by Meta­neones letters all things that had succeeded him sithence his departure thence, as the taking of Don Peplasos and his designes, the King of Ma­iorica's [Page 138] promise of giving him his daughter, his arrival in Sardegna & finding out of his brother, with the historie of Eleina, and of the Mau­ritanian Ambassadors sent frō his father to the King of Maiorica con­cerning that marriage; neither was it twenty dayes sithence there had arrived a Galley sent by the King himselfe, with particular newes of the promise he had made, of which he wrote not opēly to his daugh­ters, thinking it better that the Countesse & Perseno should at some con­venient opportunitie, possesse her thereof, charging them by severall letters to perswade her therto. So as Perseno, thinking now that some one sent from Metaneone brought him the same newes, came running downewards; when hee soone perceived himselfe beguiled, disco­vering this stranger knight by his speech and habit to be none of his, growne by this meanes somewhat suspicious, and seeing the other in his answer not fall from generalities, but persisting in saying he had letters to the Princesse, touching a businesse of much consequence, he ushered him up, entertaining him with the best coūtenance that could be, and then recommending him to the company of some Knights of speciall esteeme, he placed him to sup with them, wherehe dranke his share of the precious wines of Malaga, wherewith they ceased not to ply him, till such time as he was knowne to be grownei somewhat altered. Perseno in the meane time, having made privy hereto the Princesse, and acquainted her with his suspicion, besought her by all meanes to give him audience, which she refusing to doe in respect of her vow, Gierosando (falling a perswading of her to doe it) told her, that her vow bound her not from such persons, which though it did, yet could it but tie her onely from being seene, but not from being spoken unto, and that therefore she might well speake with him with­out permitting her selfe to be seene of him: much adoe had they to perswade her to it, till at length, being'egged on with the necessity of knowing the businessei she suffered her selfe to be over-swayed.

The messenger was therefore brought in, and a candle so placed, as she could not be seene; whereat he (being already informed of the occasion of the vow) was no whit displeased, but sent in before him his letters of credit; which when the Princesse had perused, and seene whence they were sent, she grew to be more curions and desi­rous to heare him, who used not many words, and those few ill ex­prest and worse linkt together, whereby was discovered unto her the designe of the Prince of Tingitana, and how that Anterasto came pur­posely to defend her, being as he was a Knight obliged so to do, but that in regard the other was his brother, he would not give the King of Tingitana his father cause to thinke, that he thus assailing him by the way, was moved so to doe for any other end, than for the obli­gation of Knight-hood, in respect whereof he intended to give him leave to come under the rocke, and there to punish him; which he had done without making her privie to it, but that he doubted that she (not knowing how the matter stood) might feare some sudden as­sault. The Princesse stood hereat some while in a muze, without ma­king him any answer; till by questioning him how Anterasto came to [Page 139] know of this attempt and what moved him to incurre the hazzard of succouring her against his own brother, she gave him occasion to tell more than was either demanded of him, or cōmitted to his charge to reveale; Insomuch as he affirmed that the desire of enjoying her beau­ty, & the affectionate love he bare her, made her become his brothers enemie. Now Eromilia had formerly understood of their hatred and malice, whereby shee knew that the occasion of this service, sprung not from any love to her, but rather from the hate he bare to his brother, and that such like love in subjects that obscured the sweete affection of fraternitie, could not prove to her otherwise than dis­mall and unluckie; reviving therefore her memorie with the de­signes of the Pirats, than whom she judged these more dangerous, she answered him, that she held her selfe obliged to the Infante Ante­rasto, which she would make knowne to the King her father; How­beir she marvailed much that a Prince so noble, as his brother was, could harbour so theevish a spirit, especially considering how she re­sided in the territories of Tingitana, where she expected to be pro­tected rather by him than by any other. Howsoever shee bade him, (seeing he was so minded) come and spare not, for that she was not so ill provided of men and munition, as that she had not thereof both number and store, sufficient to defend her selfe. And that therefore seeing the comming of his Lord Anterasto was needlesse, she praied him to spare himselfe that labour; aswell for that she stood in no ne­cessitie thereof, as also because she desired not that he gave his father the King of Tingitana any cause of disgust, who could not chuse but suspect the worst of these his proceedings: and then rewarding the Knight with rich presents, she licenced him. But to the Countesse, who seemed to be sorrie that she accepted not the assistance of An­terasto, she said, She was loth to give him any occasion or excuse to come, being assured that his purpose was no lesse abhominable than his brothers, and that (God willing) shee would defend her selfe from the one and the other.

The first thing which the Princesse did, was to send away the two Galleyes that rode in the haven to save them, being disfurnished of their souldiers, emploied for the manning of the holds within, from being seazed on by the enemy, but much rather to give her father notice of the danger wherein she stood; and then caused all her for­ces to be severed into divers places, not doubting of being able to defend her selfe for many moneths, the place being well fortified and provided of victuals.

By no means would the faithfull Perseno lose this so fit an occasion of letting her see, how that her stay there was an invitation to any one to come to steale her away, who being till then extolled for her vertues and prudence, was now like enough to incurre a contrary censure, seeing the daily perills sufficed not, either to make her be­come more warie, or to change her resolution. Besides, the expen­ces and distasts of her father, who hazarded the bearing the brunt of some dangerous warre, with one Prince or other, whereof two [Page 140] might pretend themselves already injured, who were those of Ca­talogna and Tingitana; telling her withall, that God requires not of us ought beyond our power, but is displeased when under colour of doing him service, we doe what we should not doe: that Peros­ [...]ilo's soule could receive no satisfaction from these her lugubrous loves; but that her age, the lawes, the kingdome, and the King her father desired an end in this businesse; and that if heretofore it beho­ved her to match her selfe for convenienceies sake; she was now by necessitie constrained thereto, it behoving her of force to have one to defend her, and to give her selfe to one, thereby to avoide the being thus injured by all.

Eromilia blushed to see her selfe so neerely touched with these reasons, knowing them to be true, by the feeling she had of the pre­sent dangers, more than by any thing else, which seconded rather with the teares, than the arguments of the Countesse, drew her at last to promise them (as soone as her yeare ended) to returne home a­gaine. Full glad were the Countesse and Perseno, to have gained on her this point, beyond their expectation, and therefore tooke further occasion to instill into her memorie the modestie of Metaneone, who, finding her Pegno della morte unwalled and disarmed, would not so much as offer once to put foote ashore, for feare of displeasing her; and now they observing, that his name sounded pleasantly in her eares, and that she listned willingly thereto, signified so much unto the King. Perseno writing besides unto Metaneone, whom hee be­sought to favour them with a convoy, being that her father had not a Fleete sufficiently potent to resist so many enemies.

Anterasto's messenger returned in the selfe same time, when by her flagges was descried Orgilo's Galley gliding smoothly on the chrystal surface of the calme sea, glittering by reason of the reflexion of the golden Sunne-beames, nor was it long ere she entred into the streights, where they lost sight of her. She passed some foure houres before night, and went with an intention (being that the winde withstood her not) to arrive the day following at the Pegno della morte ere the breake of day, thinking that houre of all other the fit­test time to surprize it.

In the meane time Anterasto wayed anchor, and coasting Spaine, tooke on him to steere a different way, but at night tacking about, held the same course, by crossing the streights, and coasting along the shore of Affricke; wondring not a little why Eromilia would not be seene, for which he beleeved not her vow an excuse sufficient, because he, that never was of any Religion, or ever knew the gods, judged of all others by himselfe. And understanding further (by the messenger) wonders of her perfections, which the more unapt he was to judge of, seemed by so much the more strange unto him, he grew the more desirous to possesse her.

Whilest these two (so neere in bloud and resolution) were poa­sting towards the fatall place prepared for them by destinie; for­tune (resolved to represent now a complete Tragedie) had in her [Page 141] seene assembled the two Princes of Andaluzia and Granada, which with an equall designe, had each of them put in order a Galley, to come to the possession of those beauties which were judged so much the fairer, by how much the more they were hid and prohibited. Their fathers Dominions were somewhat neere adjoyning, but their thoughts so farre from any neerenesse of sympathizing one the others, as they themselves but too well knew, that either of them e­ver endevoured to crosse the others intentions. Nor should it seeme strange that all of them ranne with so small forces to this enterprize; being that their hope and aime was not to force the rocke, but to sur­prise it, for who so would have made provision to take it by force, had need of greater power than theirs within, or (attempting it with an equall force) of time, (the father of inventions,) wherewith the neighbours would have beene awaked, and so the execution of their designes interrupted. Wherehence we may gather, that an un­ripe and imprudent counsell proves oftentimes better than a prudent and mature direction.

The Prince of Andaluzia had before his setting forth of the haven, descried afarre off a Galley, who crossing the seas, tooke the direct course he meant to steere, suspecting therefore that others might in­tend as hee did, he launcing out, traced her, till such time as (the Sunne declined) the darkenesse deprived him of the sight of her. The other, who was the Princes of Granada, albeit she saw this Gal­ley make after her, yet was she nothing suspitious of her, but steering onwards, arrived by three houres of the night, at Pegno della morte, with as little noise as possibly she could, suffering her selfe to be car­ried meerely with the force of her course without any further helpe of oares: which neverthelesse was not so secretly performed, but that the scouts of the Pegno descried her, expecting (because of the notice given them) no lesse than to be assaulted. The Knights, with­out any noise stood every man ready to make good his ground, and (that the enemie might thinke himselfe the more secure) as much as the very rounds had retired themselves.

The Prince of Granada (armed at all pieces) was the first that set foot on ground, follow'd by two hundred resolute spirits (the greater part wherof were of the bravest Knights in his Countrie) amongst whom one (who had bin there before to view the fortificarions) was the first man that (by a scaling ladder) mounted the walls, causing (in the selfesame instant) divers othes to be fastned in places lesse difficult. The great silence kept within, made them hold the enterprize for accomplished, there being neither Centrees, nor rounds to be seene. But the skaling ladders were no sooner full, than (with the showring downe from on high, of logs of timber, fire and stones) the assayers were all beaten downe, bruised and kil'd, and the ladders (for the most part) torne and rent all to pieces. Whereupon the Prince re­newing the assault, and loosing then more than before, seeing the place inaccessible, retired himselfe, just as there came a Galley rushing into the port with great fury; upon the sudden arrival [Page 142] whereof he (neither knowing whose she was, nor willing to fight a­gainst so many, making up a squadron of such as remained alive) mar­ched downe to the sea shore, to see whom it was; but receiving no an­swer, he waxed bolder, and just as he opened his mouth to haile them againe (with his beaver lift up) there hit him a shaft in the very mouth, that pierced him quite through the nape of the necke, where­withal showred so great a cloud of arrowes on the rest of his troope, that almost all of them lay dead in the place; whilest those of An­daluzia not so much as once quitted their standing, whose Prince mad angry for being discovered, assayling with a sudden furie the Gra­nadan Galley, easily tooke her, and understanding whose shee was, was passing glad thereof.

These two Princes were Cozen-germanes, growne at ods for certaine lands, and other pretentions of the brothers their fathers, become now withall rivals and pretenders to one and the same beau­tie, which sole occasion had been sufficient ground of enmitie. How­sover the Andaluzian Prince could not chuse but grieve now that he saw the other dead, being that neerenesse of bloud, must needs worke something in any one, whose heart is not waxen altogether inhu­mane, and resolutely given up to hate and revenge. Yet was not the Tragicke example of his Cozens death, sufficient to warne this in­fortunate Prince from tumbling downe the precipice of the same for­tune, albeit by the chillinesse of divers shivering feares his first heate were frozen, for growne now neere his end, he could not give place to the opposition of reason, because it lay not in his power to resist the will of heaven; so as seeing himselfe thus guided by so wavering a passion in the place where his misfortune led him on to slay his Co­zen, he more now enraged than enamoured, commanded his men to give the assault, resolved (now that he found himselfe growne to that passe) either to take the rocke or die. But alas, what could he doe with so few men against that hold, which was of its naturall si­tuation so strong as it could not be won but either by surprisall, or by farre greater forces, than his were? Whilest he, thus despairing of what he would have done, but much more desperate for what he had done, made account to retire himselfe, behold the Prince of Tin­gitana (hearing the noise of the conflict) comes sweeping amaine o­ver the swelling waves, and seeing the two Galleyes left unmanned, thought it his best course to seaze on them, left they might be made instruments to indamage him, which he soone accomplished, for finding in them but very few fighting men, he put them all to the sword (without sparing one of them) even to the imbruing his Princely blade in the base bloud of the raskally Ghing.

The Prince of Andaluzia seeing himselfe thus surprized (having re­tired his men from the walls) stood ready to receive this second un­look'd for enemy, who landing with no great difficultie, and under­standing by a prisoner the case of the Cozens, (growne cholericke to see his designe thus thwarted) came fiercely on with sword in hand, desirous rather to kill him with his owne hands, though with [Page 143] danger, than to shoote him through with arrowes as he might have done without any perill at all.

This Prince Orgilo was great of stature, and strong as any Knight of his time, who for knowing himselfe to be such, never knew what feare meant, which engendred in him an undaunted temeritie. But as his force was greater than that of a savage beast, so was his iudge­ment lesse than that of man. Stay to be backed by his he would not, but went on himselfe alone, to charge them all, and had made them all retire too, had there but beene any place of retreit.

The poore Andaluzo stood almost under the walls, whom Per­seno taking for Orgilo (as he tooke also Orgilo for Anterasto) defeated with logs and stones; so as the true Orgilo had no great adoe to make an end of the rest, having first with his owne hands killed the Prince as he had desired: which effected, he knew not what to doe next; but he from below, and Perseno (with his) from above, stood looking the one on the other without speaking a word.

The night was exceeding faire, so as the Moone being then newly risen, discovered them each to other; When Orgilo (seeing himselfe injured by none, and thinking to delude them) told them who hee was; and that being advertized of the intentions of these two Princes, he was come of purpose to interrupt and chastise them, being an act that concerned him, not so much for being Prince of that Countrey, as because he more than any other was desirous to serve the Princesse of Maiorica their Mistresse. Perseno (dissembling his knowledge in those passages) answered him, That that act of his was such as might bee expected from a just and generous Prince, for which he kindly thanked him, on the behalfe of the Princesse, and the King her father, both which would therefore remaine his debtors, but that he was onely sorry for one thing, which was, that he had put himselfe to that trouble without any neede, for if he thought himselfe able to oppose two Princes, and frustrate their designes with one onely Gal­ley, hee might easily have imagined that the qualitie of the Prin­cesse her servants, was not so lither and effeminate, not their valour so slender, as not to know how to defend themselves against so few in a place so strong: and that therefore it had beene suf­ficient for him to have sent the Princesse intelligence thereof, with­out exposing himselfe to such a hazard; or if he would needs come, wherefore came he not then by land, which he might have more ea­sily done, and with more men too, being that there wanted no Barkes at Velez, to passe them over to the rocke? Strange seemed this language to Orgilo, who judged him too arrogant, and withall too sawcily subtle for penetrating and touching him so neere the quicke of the truth, which made him disdainefully thus reply; I know not what thou art, that speakest thus indiscreetly; I hold the Lady Princesse for the most courteous damzell of the world, so as I have cause to wonder, that she retaines in her service a fellow so dis­courteous as thou art: It besits not thee to examime or pry into the actions of Princes who governe themselves according to their parti­cular [Page 144] uncontrouled wils and understandings, not staying to have their actions scanned, by the measure of the common judgement of the vulgar, for the most part false and remote from any true princi­ple. Somewhat more hee would have said, when his owne men (pointing with their fingers) shewed him two Galleyes that came entring the port, whereupon (beleeving them to belong to one of the dead Princes) he ranne hastily to the shore to hinder their disem­barking.

All this while had Anter asto hastned the best he could, for feare of comming too late, doubting of the fortunate temeritie of his bro­ther, from whom he assured himselfe the Rocke could not easily be won by so few men as his troopes consisted of, if his brother but once possessed it. And seeing ride there three Galleyes, he was not affraid of them, but marvailed to see them so silent, taking them to belong to the Princesse, and imagining that his brother was not as yet there arrived: drawing neerer them, and seeing two of them full of dead bodies, and the their with the colours of Orgilo (which he soone descried together with himselfe standing on the shore) he imagined that he had taken the Galleyes, but that for not being able to take the Rocke, he had then retired himselfe. His first resoluti­on was to seaze on the Galleyes which succeded him fortunately, for causing his Archers to play at those squadrons he saw marshal­led on the shore, hee gave them no time to remount aboord their Galleyes, as they sought to have done, shooting them at his pleasure, though to no great hurt of those others, who (kneeling on the ground, and covering themselves with Targets closed together one athwart another) sheltred themselves from the shot.

Orgilo had with him the bravest and expertest souldiers of all Assrike, so as though inferior in number, he no more feared this as­sault, than if he had had equall forces to withstand it; nor would he retire himselfe one steppe from the ground he stood on, which was there, where such as came a-shore, were of necessitie to land.

Anterasto (seeing the slender service his arrowes did him) made on towards the shore with a Frigate, whereupon his men (seeing him goe with so few, against enemies that so well defended them­selves) leapt into the water to ranke themselves with him; who would have found enough to doe, had they not beene armed with launces, wherewith (maugre the obstinate courage of Orgilo) they forced a place to land the rest of their troopes: yet him could they never have forced, if his owne men had seconded him by doing as much as he did, who not caring a rush for the pikes and launces, but encountring them boldly, burst them with his breast in shivers, so confident was hee in the fine temper of his Cuyrasse, not stirring one inch off his ground, but blaspheming heaven, and abusively injuring his followers, branding with infamous titles, and direfull menaces the most valiant of them, who (having retired themselves not cowardly but discreetly for being over-matched in number and armes,) as they forsooke him not in effect, so came they farre short [Page 145] of equalling his temerity, reduced to the point of obstinately re­solving not to stir thence a foot. Anterasto, glad to see him brought to this streight, and desirous to make use of this advantage, com­manded his troopes to keep the enemies so separated, as they might not be able to come to re-unite themselves any more with their Captain; wherein hee was straightwaies obeyed; for two hun­dred of them falling into a close order, interposed themselves be­tween them, leaving Orgilo all alone, without possibility of being succoured by any, whilest hee, with his sword in both hands, made himselfe large way, without being hurt of any; for all shun'd the whisk of his mortall blade, which had by its keen cutting, showne it selfe to be both well tempered, and of finest edge and metall.

Anterasto, who was a Knight of great valour, and though not so strong, yet more dexterous and warie than his brother, whom he desirous to kill with his own hands, (not so much for any distrust hee had of his, who would (if they had known him) have borne him respect, as to carry away together with Eromilia and a king­dome, the rich spoiles of three sovereigne Princes) bravely en­countred him hand to hand, wounding him with a main blow on the elbow of the sword hand, which although it struck him not downe, because of the goodnesse of his armour, yet was it such as so benum'd him, as he was not able to requite him with the like: so as favoured by this opportunity to make use of his point, he bore him a thrust under the vauntplate, between the two cuyshard pieces, bursting through the mail that assured that part of his body, and run­ning his sword in his belly foure fingers beneath the navell. Full well preceived Anterasto that hee had mortally wounded him; yet not satisfied with giving him his deaths wound, but desirous with­all to let him dying know by whose hand hee fell. Pround wretch, (said he) th'art now come to that passe which thou thoughtst by thy treacheries to bring mee to; die thou shalt now (maugrethy stout mischievous heart) by my hand, and I will kill thee fairly, as be­comes a good Knight, although thy treacherous life nver deserved at my hands so honourable a favour.

Orgilo, knowing his brother, and not grieving so much for his death, as to dye by his hand, seeing he could not use his right arm, and that there was no way for him but death, being therefore loth to lose any time in making him any answer, hee (throwing away his shield, and patiently suffering himself to be wounded anew, without offring once to put by any thrust) with his left arm strong­ly grasped Anterasto, whom hee (being endued with extraordinary force) bare to the Shore-brink, which was not above ten paces off, with telling him, Die then I will, for so will my misfortune have it, yet shalt not thou (insulting traitour) out-live mee, for wee will both march hand in hand to the other world, where if there be any field to fight in, I now mortally defie thee to an eternall combate. At which word throwing himself downe headlong into the water with him, (maugre all his strugling to get off) hee bare him downe [Page 142] to the bottome, whence neither of them return'd ever sithence up again.

Anterasto's Knights, there present, little thinking to see their wrastling come to such an end, were nothing carefull to help their master, seeing the advantage hee had already, much lesse when they came to know his enemy; but when they saw both of them so plung'd in the Sea, they remain'd thereat much astonished. The Frigats ranne to their succour, but too late; and one who disarmed himself to dive under water to fetch them up, soone repen [...]ed him of his in­tention, when hee saw it was to no purpose at all, seeing that if they were dead, all his labor was in vain; and if alive, yet was it more than hee alone could do to bring them up again, who besides would have had so much sense as to keep him under water with them, taking him for an enemy, and so should he have been drowned for at [...]nd man. But indeed, the truth is, that they cared not much for either of them, all men fearing and hating as well the one of them as the other; so as there were some of them that interposed themselves be­tween the two squadrons that yet continued fighting, who under­standing the case, and knowing themselves for vassalls of one and the same King, lifting up their arms (in token of accord) appeased their mortall fury: But seeing themselves on the rock, where they imagined the Princesse to have great treasures, they resolved to force the place, under pretext of revenging the death of their lords, by sacrificing to their soules the bodies of such as defended it. Nor could the strong situation of the place restrain them, who grown couragious by their false imagination, prepared themselves to give th'assault.

Returned into Sardegna was the Count of Bona, with an happy an­swer to his embassage, to perfect the happinesse of Prince Meta­neone, who the selfe same night in his sweetest sleep, thought he saw some one awake him ingreat haste; the chamber was without light, yet thought he that all the wall on its foreside stood open, so as by Moon-light he might see, that he that awoke him was Perseno. Fain would hee have risen on his elbow to salute him, when the other (without uttering a word) keeping him down with one hand (with a look melancholike, and all besmear'd with blood) shewed him with the other, the Pegno dellamorte assailed by many men, who strove to come scale the walls. Metaneone, turning about to know of him who they were, & how he came thither, lost suddenly the sight of him, and desirous thereupon to rise up, he saw no more neither battell, nor Pegno, nor any opening of the wall, but the obscure pitchy darknesse of the night, with the chamber in its former na­turall termes and dimensions: come to know himselfe awakened, he marvelled much to see his imagination work so strongly on him, as to make him not onely think his dream true, but even to beleeve that it was no dream at all. Return'd to sleep again, there passed not an hower ere hee was in the same manner again awakened by the Countesse of Palomera: Seeing again through the breach of the [Page 147] chamber, the Pegno assaulted; but as he would have ask'd her some­what, he saw she was quite vanished away, & in her place appeare the Princesse his Lady and Mistresse, who from the windowes of the Castle, beckoned unto him to come to her succour. Whereupon, throwing away the coverler, and rising up suddenly without further examining whether it were a dream or no, now he saw himselfe a­wake, nor beleeving it lesse true in that he saw the Well closed up a­gaine, having cald up his servants to bring him lights, he went to the next chamber, where Polimero lay, to whom when he had related the vision, he told him, how he was resolved to hie him thither, because he could not beleeve that this vision (or dreame whatsoever it was) contained not in it some mysterie; and had upon this parted sudden­ly, but that the occasions of the warres perswaded him to stay till day, for the avoiding of such suspicions, as might be concelved of this nocturnall and sudden resolution.

Polimero (being as yet very sleepie) said unto him, My Lord and Brother, to stay till day will doubtlesse prove to bee your best course, because so suddaine a departure cannot chuse but be ill taken, and much censured; especially, seeing you cannot goe so alone, but must take with you many of your Galleyes designed for the Corsan enterprise. And (then having pawzed awhile) he proceeded. I can­not beleeve that either too light, or too free-feeding hath occasioned you this dreame; for being that you supped last night, these fanta­sies could not proceede from any weakenesse; and on the other side, seeing you fed not superfluously, there is no place left for imagina­tions, so particular, and distinct, as those you saw; neither is (indeede) your temperature or complexion, any way subject to melancholy; but I should rather thinke, that you were (ere you slept) troubled with some imaginations that caused you to see, in this your dreame, such resemblances as were represented unto you.

No (brother) no, (answered him Metaneone) it was not any di­stemperature proceeding from diet, that hath produced these effects, much lesse any imagination, or melancholike passion, for I went to bed merrily enough disposed; and albeit I denie not that my thoughts are ever busied about Eromilia, yet am I sure they are not any thing spiced with melancholy, which though they were; how is it possible for them to have shape so distinct a dreame, if it may bee said a dreame to finde my selfe broad-waking, gotten up, and withall to have spoken once with Perseno, and another time with the Countesse of Palomera, and to see the selfe same things the second time, as at the first, not sleeping, but broade waking; and which is more, the assault, the very place, nay, my Lady Eromilia's self out of my chamber, laid then open to the heavens, and splendor of the moone? To these last words Polimero halfe-smiling made him this answer; The seeing now your chamber as before; the knowing of the great distance of the persons you saw, and much rather of the place which of it selfe is immoveable, may assure you, that yours was but a dreame, though such, as of it selfe is not altogether to be slighted: for many are of [Page 148] opinion, that the knowledge which we have of the gods (for as much as concerneth pure nature, and its instincts) depends, partly in the order of such things as wee see in the world, and partly on the motions of the minde in dying, and on the quietnesse and sweet temper of the senses in sleeping: for the soule being in that instant free, and in its pure celestiall disposition foretells us things to come, thereby instructing us how we should govern our selves, which also befalls oftner the good than the bad; the former participating of the divinity in a certain manner, which the evill doe not. By this came in Divination, which many well-ordered Common-wealths, not onely beleeved, but also governed themselves by it; which as I can­not commend, so must I needs confesse, that who so denies not the divinity, cannot deny the examples of divine admonitions by way of dreams, whereby have been ruled both men and kingdomes: onely what I think not well of, is, to credit every dream indifferent­ly; because, as the denying of divine admonitions is impiety, so also to beleeve that all dreams are divine admonitions, is both super­stition and vanity. I know not what to say of it (answered Me­taneone) but well know, that the world (for the most part) excludes those things for which it can give no reason, whereof I beleeve this to be one. Nor can all the Philosophers that ere the earth enjoyed, make mee beleeve, that their ignorance in knowing the reason of things can make that not to be, which experience teacheth us, can­not choose but be in effect. Which he expressed so passionately, that Polimero could not choose but smile thereat, and therefore said unto him; It is an ordinary thing for such as desire to surmount others in knowledge, to come short of them therein. To deny either the sense or the effect of things, is, if not ignorance, at least a sophi­sticall and foolish wisdome; for if this so were, who could give us a reason of the gods? who have bestowed on us many things, not that we should know them, but that we might use them.

There's not a people in the world but beleeves, that things to come may by some meanes or other be foretold, the examples whereof are infinite, and the consent both generall, and authorized, if not by the reason of the efficient cause, yet at least by its effect and successe. We may then conclude that your dream, (not proceeding from any alteration, but reiterated with the testimony of your own selfe broad waking) is a voice come from heaven to call you to suc­cour that Princesse, whom (being you) you ought to defend against all the world.

The Prince seemed to be herewith satisfied, though not yet well quieted in minde; for having spent the residue of the night in prepa­ring himselfe for his journey and in rowzing up his followers, hee with Impatience long'd for the appearance of the new day, that he might take his leave of Eromena. But the Mauritanian Knights be­ing scatteringly dispersed over the lodgings, it hapned that the hea­ring the noise that was made in knocking in so many places, and un­derstanding it to be downe by Metaneones order rose vp all-astoni­shed [Page 149] in that she knew not the occasion thereof till having sent for him; hee and his brother both came and participated unto her the businesse, wherewith she then remained well satisfied: for the imagi­nation of not knowing▪ what to imagine thereof, had before very much troubled her. But now she offered him the whole fleet, and (if need were) her own person also, judging it by the quality of the dream impossible, that this faire Princesse stood not in some dange­rous plight. Metaneone, (yeelding her therefore condigne thanks) told her, that hee left with her his brother in pledge of his service, and besought her courteous pardon, assuring her, that no other oc­casion could have been able to have drawn him from her service, (especially at that time) except this imployment, whereto he held himselfe the more obliged (albeit he had had no such interest there­in as indeed he had) because he thought that heaven it selfe had thi­ther call'd for him in particular. Howbeit, hee meant not to take along with him any more than six Gallies, in that hee saw in the vi­sion (whereto he gave credit) the enemies to be but few in number, leaving the others with the rest of the shipping, to be disposed of by her Highnesse as her owne, for such would he have them bee. Whereupon, loth to lose any time, hee suddenly parted (after he had taken his leave of the Princesse Eleina, who was also come to see what this stirring meant.) By the break of day came he to the Fleet, where embracing Polimero, he praid him to send their father word of his departure, promising to advertise him of whatsoever should befall him. And then (having taken his leave of the Mar­quesse of Oristagnio, who would by all means have accompanied him, the Count of Bona, and the rest,) he hoist up sails, with so great a desire to be in Affrick, that thinking a good gale of winde not suf­ficient, he would needs haue his oars plied withall, which hee was fain to countermand againe, seeing the Seas swell, and the windes maintaine of themselves a stiffe gale, according to his own desire.

Eight daies without ceasing continued his navigation, alwaies at­tended on, either by favourable gales, or gentle calmes, which (in respect of the goodnesse both of ghing and vessells) no whit disad­vantaged his voyage. In the morning of the ninth day was by its dawning discovered to his view, the Pegno della morte; and within an houre after were discried, foure Gallies running into that haven, which confirm'd him in his opinion, that his dream was not false, wherefore causing the oars to assist the sails, he arrived there two houres after Sunne-rising.

The Souldiers of the two brothers had done their utmost endea­vours to assaile the walls, during the piece of night that rested, but seeing at last the losse they sustained, they retired themselves, with an intention not to get them gone, but to procure of the Lord of Velex some supply of men, till such time as their King (being there­of advertised) either sent or came himselfe to avenge the death of his sonnes, for which purpose they had sent to him a Galley. And as they thought in the mean while to repose themselves, they saw [Page 150] strike into the [...]port foure Gallies, whose lord being Don Peplasos, seeing the armed troopes under the walls, with such a number of dead bodies, would not resolve of any thing, till perceiving how few they were, and seeing the Gallies opposing him not, as soone as he came to know who they were, and what had befallen them, he proffered them (on condition they would but assist him to take that hold) the whole place it selfe, with all therein (the persons onely excepted:) quick enough were the Tingitanes in accepting this proffer, who suddenly choosing themselves a Captain, sent him to conclude the accord, so as having landed the fresh forces, and got­ten new Scaling-ladders, they re-began the fight; the defendants being tir'd out with fighting all the night long, without once closing an ey: whilest Perseno, who had the main care of all things (both in commanding and performing) discharg'd the duty of a good Knight.

Don Peplasos (seeing that place could not be taken by scaling, unlesse it were either at unawares, or by night, caused a Ram-engine to be landed, which, together with its testude, they setled on its wheels, covered with great searses of Goats-haire, to save it from fire. The Ram was fastened with a strong chain, and supported by two tim­ber-beams, joyning angle-wise under it, rear'd up against the wall, in the lowest, evenest, and most accessible part of the Rock. Which done, he (to beat the defendants off the walls) planted above for­ty Catapults, and Crossebowes, which so galled the defendants, that many of them were thereby killed and wounded; among whom Perseno made one, having one arme little better than lost by a Cros­bow-shot. The Ram began already to work its effect, and the wall (which was new and hastily built) began soone to yeeld to its ruine­threatning-buts. Remedy there was none, for the leaden Cilinders (which are used to bruise the Rams) the milstones likewise and pil­lar-pieces were not beforehand provided, [...]no more than the sacks stuffed with straw, which are usually let down between the wall and the Ram, to abate the force of its mighty thump: not had they as much as iron Wolves and Crows to graspe the Ram withall; for having not (in so short a warning) forethought of assuring them­selves against other than a sudden assault; using stones for a shift, in stead of oile, sulphur, pitch, and lime, when it was dangerous for the defendants as much as to peep out, so incessantly were they plaid upon by those murdering engines.

The Princesse Eromilia (whom feare had caused to strain courte­sie with her religious vow) stood o'recharged with griefe, looking out through a window of the Tower, a wailfull Spectatrix of the unhappy conflict: repenting now too late her obstinacy, knowing now by a feeling experience, her fathers reasons to be true, Perse­no's persuasions good, and the Countesse her counsell both whol­some and holy. But (alas) what comfort or help can repentance bring in a season when it can doe no good? The Countesse that stood by her (albeit moved and griev'd to think that the Princesse her [Page 151] selfe was the sole cause of all these evils) omitted not (for all that) that reverence, which a faithful servant in all respects owes his Lord nor yet lost she the occasion of giving her a gentle touch and feeling of her errors, by telling her that Princes (how prudent soever) should never deliberate of any thing of themselves alone, especially when affection makes them become passionate, and therefore apt to deceive themselves; which (as she then told her) she thought good to put her in minde of, not for the present, when the evill could not be remedied, but rather to fore-warne her from incurring the like danger in succeeding times. I would to God (answered the Princesse) that it might doe mee good hereafter, whereof I much doubt, be­cause I see no way to shunne this present ruine. The Gods will there-from deliver you (answered the Countesse) whereof I con­ceive already an assured hope. See you those Galleyes there? If my sight beguile mee not, they are the Prince of Mauritania's; your Highnesse hath better eyes than I, I beseech you looke, if the Admi­rall hath three Lanters, for if it hath, then sure they are his. The Princesse (who had stood all the while, with her eyes fixed on her owne danger, fetching a deepe sigh) turned her looke to the sea­wards, and spying there the Galleyes, she all joyfull, cried out, that one of them bare such lanternes; but this consolation lasted not a moment, when she now saw thei wall battered downe, the enemie enter in, and her men flie upwards towards the house. Perseno, see­ing the case thus irrepairable, being resolved to die, retired him­selfe fighting with his unhurt arme, without lending any eare to the Catalan, who had by publike proclamation granted life to such as laide aside their armes, yet were there for all that but very few that followed not Perseno's example.

In the beginning of this service were found to be neere about five hundred fighting men, betweene such as were sent thither from the King, and those that were taken out of the two Galleyes; whereof lay dead almost three hundred, and of them the greatest part slaine by the Machines; with the rest went Perseno retiring, though alwayes fighting, but the steepinesse of the rocke (making for their great disadvantage, by discovering to the Catalognian Archers, the reare, as well as the front) was cause that he lost many of them, so that at length his feeble self wounded again with the push of a pike, and then trampled under foote, gave occasion to such as remained to yeeld themselves to the enemies discretion; whom the Tingitans would have put all to the sword, but Don Peplasos, who aspired to Eromilia's favour, would by all meanes have them all spared; giving them withall leave to gather up Perseno, who lay, though not dead, yet dan­gerously wounded, by whose fatall ruine were utterly overthrowne the nowruined hopes of the poore distressed assiedged; the house not being any whit fortified, but depending altogether on the for­tune of the walls below.

The Princesse all this while never stirred off the window, where having cald one unto her, shee caused him by waving about a sheete [Page 152] fastened to a pole, to make signes to the Galleyes to hasten their course, insomuch as Metaneone with all the rest saw it, and grieving at the slownesse of the winde though favourable, hee caused the Ghing to plunge their oares a-new in the foaming deepe; by meanes whereof he quickly appeared so neere the view of Eromilia, as hee might plainely discerne her dolorous gesture in the act of imploring his succour; and the Countesse with her hands beckning unto him to make all possible haste.

The defendants a little before (when they saw the enemie got in) had lock'd fast the Tower, and fortified its gate with chests and coffers (though it was of it selfe sufficiently strong, being barr'd all over with iron bands) hoping to keepe themselves free, untill the arrivall of Metaneone, which fell out indeede as they expe­cted; for Don Peplasos unwilling to offer any violence (being alrea­die assured that hee had her in his hands, and well knowing that for want of provision and men to defend her, she must needs at last have yeelded) came himselfe in person to the gate, using the most humble and loving termes that could be. But the Princesse when she came to know him (growne no whit dejected to see her selfe thus penn'd up by one she abhorred more than death it selfe) up-braided him his treacheries so disdainefully, that he thereupon re-assuming his naturall disposition, and laying by all fained courtesies, was now a preparing his engines to beate downe the gate, when newes was brought him of the arrivall of six Galleyes. The Princesse not re­garding him any more, when once she heard the trumpets sound, returned with the Countesse backe to the window, whence percei­ving Metaneones saluting her all armed as he was, she answered him by doing the like in a maner, expressing her gratitude as courteously as possibly shee could; by which favour he thought his courage so multiplied, as hee would to doe her any service, have resolutely fought against all the world. The Countesse with signes made knowne unto him the best she could the state they were in. But the Prince assailing the Galleyes (which were left almost unmann'd, because of every ones running to the sacke) tooke them without any great adoe, and understanding whose they were, thanked the gods that hee came time enough to thwart those his mischievous de­signes.

Don Peplasos giving over his late intention of throwing downe the gate, ranne with his whole squadron downe towards the sea-shore, confused in minde to thinke of what he were best to doe, and astonished at the suddenesse of the enemies arrivall, without being described on the maine sea, being that not onely his Centrees, but e­ven he himselfe might have easily discovered him thirtie miles off. At last he resolved to stay in the Fort, and there to make good his ground against the enemy, for that he thought himselfe too weake to keepe from landing.

Metaneone, who no whit regarded the hazard of his owne person, growne now furious with love, but more enraged with anger, [Page 153] hotly assaulted the ruines of the wall, not so well defended as assai­led, till seeing he therein spent too much time, having placed an hun­dred souldiers to the Ram, he made them give against that part of the wall that lay next the breach, which being already much shaken with the former battery, with fiftie stiffe blowes fell to utter ruine; so as the squadron that stood ready to mount the breach, entred it, maugre all the enemy could doe, who now discouraged, were forced to retire as Perseno had done before them. When Metaneone knowing the Catalan Prince, thus bespake him; And is this (Don Peplasos) the recompence, wherewith thou requitest the King of Maiorica's courtesie and mine, when we freely gave thee both thy life and liberty? Are these the exploits of a Prince, or of a theefe? Well, I now promise to doe thee Iustice, which thou deservest as a theefe, seeing thou abusest the undeserved courtesie which I did thee as a Prince.

Don Peplasos, (finding himselfe disadvantaged, as well in reason as power, both the generositie of his minde, and vigor of his spirits, failing him together, whether by reason of his wounds, or other­wise) sunke downe to the ground in a swound and senselesse: Me­tancone, causing him to be carried by a strong guard into his Galley, gave order, that he should be carefully looked unto, whilest the most part of the rest, who had the happines to die with their arms in their hands, made (by their death) an easiee way to their fellowes captivi­tie, who were not long detained prisoners, but as common theeves hang'd up, without any pittie, about the walls of the Rocke. Catas­copo had also runne the same fortune, had not Metaneone remembred to aske for him, and caused him to bee a-part by himselfe, put in irons, to the end that the deferring of his present punishment might serve him for interest of a greater.

The victorie once gotten, the first thing that Metaneone did, was to aske how Perseno fared; When understanding the ill plight hee was in, he was much grieved thereat; yet being unwilling to make any stay in the Fort, for feare of displeasing the Princesse, he sent a Knight to the Countesse of Palomera, with order, that having on his behalfe saluted her, hee should pray her (in his name) to kisse the hands of her Lady the Princesse, and to tell her, that seeing the gods had now freed her from her enemies, hee waited onely to receive her commands, whereon depended both his stay and de­parture, wishing that in the meane time some course were taken for the re-edifying the walls, whereto he would cause his Ghing put their helping hands, especially on the outside which had most neede of, being assured against the Ram-engines, and that if she needed souldiers, he would leave with her as many of them as she pleased. He injoyned him further, to goe and visite Perseno, and to tell him that he had come himself to see him, but that he doubted to-incurre the Lady Princesse her displeasure; with this Knight sent he him his own Physitians & Chirurgians, with divers soveraigne-good things for wounded and sicke men, causing all his to returne to the galleys, [Page 154] without suffring them to pillage or touch any thing within the com­passe of the walls, although it were the spoile of the enemies selves.

Now the Countesse (as soone as she saw Metaneone runne in the Port, and the Princesse, out of her agonies) had begun a-new to per­swade her to change her resolution, shewing her, how she alone was the onely cause of the death of so many Princes, whose fathers (in case they went about to avenge them as they had reason) would re­duce her to such a streight, as shee could not be able to defend her selfe long; telling her withall, that her vowes tied her onely to pos­sibilities, but not to what could possibly not be accōplished. Besides, that shee had already shewed her selfe to the Prince of Mauritania, whose whole Fleete had seene her, as well as he. The Princesse an­swered her, that shee would follow her Counsell, and that shee would for the execution thereof write to her father, to send to fetch her thence. And what will it boote you to doe so? (said the Coun­tesse) seeing that ere your messenger can arrive in Maiorica, wee shall be here besieged by all the King of Tingitana's, forces, whose aime will tend, not so much to the revenge of his sonnes, as to the gai­ning of this Rocke, now that experience hath taught him (what he saw not before) the importance of such a Fort; which for good reasons was not fit to bee left in the possession of a strange Prince. But how can I helpe it (answered the Princesse) seeing I have no shipping. What have you not? (replied the Countesse) whose then are the Prince of Mauritania's Galleyes? They are his owne (answered the Princesse smiling:) but I know them to bee yours (said the Countesse.) And here unmasking the whole state of the businesse she related unto her the great love that the Prince of Mauri­tania bore her, and how at the request of the King his father, shee was by her father promised him in marriage; with the Historie of Don Peplas [...], and all other passages to that purpose, except his se­cret comming by stealth into that house, which the Countesse thought not good to make knowne unto her as yet, whilest her mind were so agitated with passions for the deceased Prince his death; which in that it could not be remedied, she should (as the Countesse told her) strive to forget, and endeavour to restore her selfe to her father, kingdome, and (above all others) to a husband and posteritie, to satisfie the world with reason, as she had before without any rea­son, justly incurr'd its censure.

At these words the Princesse stood mute, thinking it a strange matter for her to be changed in an instant, and being obstinately resolved to live without any husband, now should, or possibly could dispose her selfe to take one; but knowing that she could not but doe so, her resolutions till then to the contrary, being neither good nor laudable, and that it was a lesser evill to cconfesse an errour (being that there is no wise man but erres sometimes) than to make it the more unexcusable by defending it, shee quite changed, or at least most resolute to change her intention, told her, that she marvelled she had not acquainted her with those things [Page 155] sooner, howbeit the reason (why she did not) gave her (in that be­halfe) sufficient satisfaction; her servants being afterwards come to certifie her of Metaneone's conquest, and Don Peplasos his imprison­ment, she having caused the Tower to be opened, made them carry Perseno neere to the Countesse her withdrawing [...]chamber, for whose wounds she grew so compassionate as they drew pearle-like teares from her faire chrystall eyes. And understanding now that there was a Knight there sent from Metaneone, she sent to him the Coun­tesse, who having received the embassage, came and acquainted her therewith; whereunto Eromilia (after a short pawse) returned this answer;

Goe and pray him to kisse his Lord the Princes hand on my behalfe, and to tell him that for the rest, I intend to answer to none but himselfe, for seeing that I am constrained to breake my vow, I meane hee shall be the man that shall breake it, by seeing me first of any other, desiring him therefore to vouchsafe (so it be not troublesome unto him) to come hither himselfe. The exceeding joy the Countesse hereat conceived cannot be expressed, who went her self to conduct the Knight with the Physitians and Chirurgians to Perseno, whose wounds not being mortall, were with all diligence by them carefully look'd unto; but the soveraigne balme that cured him indeede was his Mistresse her resolution told him by the Coun­tesse; so as having answered the Knight, as he was in respective dutie obliged, he licensed him to returne to his Master.

Metaneone as soone as he understood this unexpected answer, would needs suddenly runne up, but considering it to be then dinner­time, he thought best to deferre it a little, when lifting up his eyes by chance, he saw the Countesse, that beckned to him to come up; whereupon (accompanied with a few, leaving all the rest below) he ascended the rocke.

The Princesse made a shew of beleeving that he comming from as farre off as Sardegna (without touching land any where) was un­furnish'd of provision; and therefore seeing that he came not, had willed the Countesse to call him; albeit she was by reason of the ruines and losses occasioned by the last great bickering deprived of the meanes of entertaining him any thing sumptuously. But that was not indeede the white her intentions aimed at, for the truth is, that the desire she had to see him was so great, as she had not the pa­tience to stay till he came, she being now (upon the Countesse her perswasions) totally changed from what she was before. Nor might this be said to proceede from inconstancie, seeing that she in all her actions manifested the contrarie; than which it should rather bee beleeved, that she being by nature endued with a con­stant inclination to whom shee was to bee married, loved Peros­filo, beleeving him to bee the man, and in the errour it selfe followed her naturall inclination; but come in the end to see and know the vanitie of her amisse-shed teares, the reall blame she there­by justly incurr'd, the more than great evills and inconveniences [Page 156] that thereupon ensued, and withall how this Prince had served her, deserved her, and obtained her ere ever she knew him, she could now doe no lesse than follow the instinct of her generous nature, which was to love him whom the heavens had appointed for her.

Metaneone being come up, the Countesse came to the gate to meete him, where she would have kneeled unto him, but that he permitted her not; howsoever shee rapt with an extremitie of joy, said unto him; A great good fortune was it to us (valorous Prince) to meete with your Highnesse, sithence thereon depended the safetie of us all, who had else beene twice lost ere this time. Nay rather, right for­tunate was I (answered the Prince) in having beene favoured with the occasion of serving my Lady the Princesse in your person, who deserve to be served for your owne sake. Whereto she with a respe­ctive obeisance replied; Your Highnesse knowes well how to ob­lige too much; although I cannot have too-much time to acknow­ledge your Princely favours. Vouchsafe (I beseech your Highnesse) to come in, and be joyfull, for you shall finde my Lady the Princesse an altered woman, so as I am induced to beleeve that your Highnesse is the true Perosfilo: and here related she unto him succinctly, how she had acquainted her Lady the Princesse of her being promised un­to him in marriage. Meane while the Princesse stood expecting him at her chamber-doore, where come, he kneeled downe before her, and with a reverent force taking her hand, kissed it with an obser­vant affection; so as I know not whether his presence or carriage liked her best.

Now Metaneone was (next Polimero) the best accomplished Cavalier of those times; and whereas he at first hated such courte­sies as were peerelesse in Polimero, in whom he also disliked all other perfections; So now hatred being chased away, and love brought in, in its stead, there came running in with it (headlong as it were) all his brother's vertues (at least much resembling, if not of equall weight with them) as though they had beene formerly violently and unnaturally excluded.

The Princesse offended with her selfe that she was not able to hin­der him from doing such courtesies, would not heate him a word whilest he continued in that kneeling posture; but seeing his courage sufficed him not to utter one sole word (so wrapt was he with the he joy conceived in seeing himselfe in presence of her, who was the rich Cabinet, wherein lay stored all his best of happinesse;) she, per­ceiving the cause of this silence, said thus unto him;

Right excellent Prince, Let it not (I pray you) seeme any won­der unto you, that I after so much time brake off now that delibe­ration which I once purposed constantly to observe during the rem­nant of my life. I beseech you not thinke me such, as being first ill­counselled by my selfe, am now at the perswasions of others, remo­ved by reason of any naturall levity; for if it so were, I would ra­ther chuse to continue unhappie (as I was before) than to re-ac­quire my former being, by running the hazard of an opinion some­what [Page 157] what sinister as you in that behalfe might conceive of me. I will passe over with silence all those reasons, (which as both your selfe and any one else may easily judge) perswaded me to alter my course of life; but of one onely (seene by none) will I make mention. And with this rising up to make him a low congey, she proceeded; This is the obligation and tie of duty I owe you, to conforme my selfe thus to your will, which if my father hath thought fit for me to do, for greater reason have I to judge it so, and will doe while life shall last. I thanke you not, either for your past or present favours; si­thence that you have now recovered that which the heavens had prescribed you, which being yours, and by you (as you manifest) beloved, the thankes you therefore owe, is to your selfe. And with this (my Lord) I thought good to acquaint you, not so much for declaration of my obedience to the King my father, and expression of my gratefulnesse to you my benefactor, as that you might hence­forwards (as sole Lord) dispose of our stay or departure, profes­sing before all the world, that I will for ever hereafter, depend wholly on that honest, courteous, and discreet will of yours, that knew so well how to oblige me.

The chamber was full of people, that thronged thither to see how their Mistresse would behave her selfe, among whom were al­so the Knights that came with Metaneone, and she spake somewhat loud of purpose that all might heare her.

The Countesse, with the other Ladies, when they heard her, burst out a weeping so tenderly, that Metaneone had much adoe to hold from doing the like, so strangely was he surprised with an unexpe­cted content, but very few were they, who shed not some teares for companie with the women; whilest he offering to kneele downe, but by her not permitted, returned her this answer;

My ever-onely Lady, Nature that was so carefull to create your Highnesse singular, above all things else, should by its singularities assure you, that there is no judgement so clouded, as (considering your wayes) can chuse but knwo your actions to be completely perfect: and though it were possible that any such could be, yet should it bee constrained to confesse, that in you the very errours themselves are perfections; which steali [...] gwife accompanied you, and being ambitious of honour, and coverous of fame, changed both name and nature, being not (for all that) grafted, but onely fastned to the boughs of the goodliest and perfectest tree, that ever the gods of husbandry for celestiall deliciousnesse planted among the terrene ones of humane Paradise: For who could have knowne how to leave father, countery and Realme, without any blot of errour, except your unparalel'd selfe, who have even in erring abounded in a singular constancie, and incomparable worth of love, farre surpas­sing all the constancies and merits of the world? Your High­nesse then should not doubt, but rather confidently beleeve, that you shall thereby reape the more praise, in that so praise-worthy an errour cannot sufficiently be prized, which I repute to be more per­fect, [Page 158] because its sole perfections having invited mee, it of it selfe so ravished me, as I being really transformed into a sweete error, cannot (without error) call my selfe more mine owne. Now for that it pleaseth your Highnesse to make me happie, by seconding the Will of the King your father, I have not words to expresse my thankfulnesse, nor effects to serve you comformable to your merit, onely there remaine in me a desire and a will to both. And because your Highnesse merits all that is good, too too blame were I, if after having given, what else was mine; I detained from you these that are yet left me. Accept them then I beseech you to make mee will and desire, if it bee your will that I may wish; and your desire that I may desire; who account my selfe no other than the obedient executor of your commands, and in that right happie, since fortune hath raised mee to so high a pitch, as to be thought worthy to serve you.

The Princesse, who had now converted her widdowly moane into fresh teares of conjugall affection, joyfull of having acquired so courteous a Prince, would not leave him unreplied unto with a gentle correspondence of courteous thankes-yeelding; which ended, and the houre of dinner a good while passed, they sate them downe with better content, and more consolation in the straightnesse of that Rocke, than others of their ranke and eminencie would have done among the superfluous varietie of royall Palaces.

Needs would the Prince (as soone as he had dined) goe see Per­seno, whom the Princesse also favoured with the same honour, where after some gratefull passages, they had no time to discourse of ought else than of their departure, which somewhat troubled Eromilia's minde, for not knowing how to dispose of the Rock. But the Prince (who well knew the Tingitanan Kings ambition, and how that such a place well fortified, might curbe him at any time) resolved not to abandon it at any hand; so as their departure was deferred for no other cause, than for the refabricking of its ruines, and hewing the rock in such a contrived maner, as no engins might approch it, which in few dayes was dispatched, by the helping hand of the Galley­slaves, who laboured thereabout every one his share. The Princesse would have him leave some of his to governe it, whereto he would by no meanes condiscend (deeming it as yet unbeseeming him so to doe;) but prayed her to leave there for Commander Perseno, the rather, because hee being grievously wounded, could not chuse but grow to be in worse plight with the motion and rowling of the sea: the Prince himselfe sending to Orano (a frontier citie of his state) for all things requisite for him to assure that hold against a long siege, promising him withall (in private) that in case it pleased him not to stay there, he himselfe would procure his father in law, to send him a successour, gratifying him in the meane time with large rewards of honours and revenewes from Mauritania of his owne things pertaining to his principalitie. Things reduced to this head, he embarked himselfe with the Princesse and all her family, [Page 159] steering on a direct course for Maiorica.

Now Eromilia had by Metaneone's counsell (ere shee parted) caused the Brother-Princes to bee fish'd up, whose bodies she sent embalmed in two coffers, to the Lord of Velez with the two remai­ning Galleyes, together with the full relation of the fact, (whereof he was before sufficiently informed) praying him to send them to the King of Tingitana their father, not without expressing her be­ing sensible of the violence done her in their Dominions, and in a place purchased of the Governour himselfe; whereto he dissem­blingly answered, That the Princes came to no other end, than to defend and rescue her, having understood by their spies the designes of the Princes of Andaluzia and Granada. And that if one of them en­deavoured to force the Rocke, it was for the discourteous language given him by the Captaine of her Garrison.

In the same manner were the bodies of the other two Princes, to­gether with their Galleyes, consigned to such of their men as remai­ned alive; thereby to take away all pretext of grievances; adver­tizing thereof, besides the Courts of sundry Princes by particular letter, expressing the manner of the fact, to the end that the truth might be every where knowne. Onely Don Peplasos was reserved to his wives determination, being deemed unworthy to enjoy the pre­rogative of a Prince, or honour due to a Knight, for being culpable of two faults, and in each of them two severall times guiltie, after ha­ving for his first offence in the one and the other, obtained pardon; offences of a base minde, an impious heart, and mischievous affect; and against that sex, which nature made pious, that it might even of crueltie it selfe obtaine pittie; yet he, more cruell than any cruelty, moved with a barbarous avarice of Tyrannicall ambition, had twise attempted the death of chaste Eleina, to deprive her, both of life and honour, and to make her twise miserable, with the rape of the gentle Eromilia; besides, his ingratitude towards the King of Maio­rica, and Prince of Mauritania, who albeit they knew his ill intention, yet (because they thought it impossible for him to fall into relapse of so foule and enormous a fault) had both set him at liberty, and honoured him. In such a fashion was his Inditement framed, not by notaries, upon the testimony of two or three; nor written in fragile papers, but in his owne conscience, approved by the deede it selfe, made notorious by the attestation of all that part of the world, and registred in the most tenacious memories to be conserved for a per­petuall tradition to posteritie, to the horror, not so much of the good, as of the mischievous; that, as fame is the reward of the well-doer, so infamy might be a punishment to the ignominious liver.

The Prince (as wee have said already) had six Galleyes of his owne, besides those foure of Catalogna, which he assured from run­ning away, by intermingling the Ghing together, so as they being first well armed, and then assured with the exchange of Galley-slaves, he assured them yet better with souldiers, and the family of [Page 160] the Princesse; whom with her Ladies, he lodged in his Galley Royall, serving her by day, with the greatest respect that could be, and at night retiring himselfe into the Admirall of Catalogna, for commodiousnesse and burden little inferiour to his.

More joyfull was Eromilia at this her parting, than at her com­ming, telling the Countesse that she now found it by experience to be true, that violent infirmities cannot be otherwise cured but by conformable remedies; confessing that but for the continuance of those dangers that gave her a true feeling of her then being, it had beene impossible to free her selfe of her melancholy, and to be per­swaded to returne whom: but now by seeing, with admiration eve­ry day more than other, the Prince's discreet manners and beha­viour, the love of him living, served as a wedge to knocke out of her minde the memory of the other deceased.

Their Navigation was short, and favoured with gentle windes, yet to them seemed it farre shorter than indeede it was, for that the joy which their hearts conceived of their amorous conversation, made the houres and dayes runne faster, all things appearing unto them, with an aspect more gratefull. And indeede darkenesse it selfe lets happie men see its shadow more pleasant, if not lesse darke­some, and the heavens that seeme to threaten troubled hearts, doe sport and play with the contented.

Before Eromilia was assailed of any one, there was muttered a cer­taine murmur in Maiorica, that she was assieged and in danger to bee lost. Great enquirie was made to finde out the Authour thereof, who could not for all that by any possible meanes be knowne; there being not any vessell or shipping, arrived from any where, so as the King (who was wise) thought it could not chuse but be true, dee­ming it some naturall effect of the number of those, for which no reason can bee given; remembring he had read, that a great King being slaine, the fame of his death fore-ranne the fact, a full moneths-time; which albeit it had its reason, that there were many in sundry places, that were privie to the conspiracy, which being to be effected from moment to moment, and yet not executed, made such as were farthest off, thinke it done indeede; whereon ensued the fame of giving out that for done, which was to be done; never­thelesse hee wanted not other examples free from this opposition, whereby he came to know, that there be invisible channels of reci­procall correspondencie between minds separated by place, but con­joyned by naturall sympathy, by meanes whereof the one comes to receive light from the other. Hence proceed the buzzing of the ears, the palpitation of the heart, dreames, apparitions of seeming spirits, sudden melancholy in evill, and sudden joyes in good, whereof wee know no reason at all; but howsoever it be, the King beleeving the common rumor to be the effect of an effect to it conformable, in a short time set in order a Fleete of tenne Galleyes, and of many of such ships, as he found riding in the ports of his kingdome; whereof he leaving the governement to the Queene his wife, em­barked [Page 161] himselfe, resolved to free his daughter from danger (if shee were in any) and if in none, to free her from any further suspition thereof, by conducting her home againe; but seeing he lost time, by encountring for the most part with contrary windes, he resolved (leaving the ships behinde) to make onwards with the Galleyes; nor was he gotten ten miles wide off them, when he descryed tenne Galleyes, steering aright course towards him, whose they might bee, whether friends or foes, he could not imagine; but his prudence inclining to suspect the worst, made him prepare to fight.

This King was somewhat strucken in yeares, but yet a lustie old man, with a body enured to suffer, and nerves hardened with the continuall exercise of the sling, (a weapon more used in those Ilands, than in any other part in the world;) wherefore he (ar­med at all pieces) with a couragious and joyfull countenance heartned and cheered up his men to behave themselves vali­antly.

Neither of the Fleetes shrunke backe, but held on their courses in a right direct line, the one against the other.

Metaneone thinking them to be enemies in that he tooke them for some Catalans, that went with these new forces to finde out their Prince, set out his Standard of warre, resolved to use them as barba­rous savages.

The Princesse, who till now (to her passingcontent) stood behol­ding the pleasantnesse of the calme sea, and listning to the musicke, which the waves (like a second quire) made at the stroke of the oares, finding now her pleasure corrupted with the feare of the Fleet that came towards her; and beseeching the Prince to retire himselfe, could not chuse but grieve thereat, her heart telling her, that to fight then, was a resolution taken contrary to all reason.

Both Fleets were now come somewhat neere, without knowing one another, when having fitted their hatches, they mann'd their Frigats from either Fleete to discover each other; come to know the banners, and to haile one the other; it cannot be credited with what an extraordinary fleetnesse they speeded each backe to his Lord.

When Metaneone heard of the King of Maiorica's being there, he ran to the chamber to acquaint therewith Eromilia, who aboun­ding in tendernesse of affection, returned up againe to see her father. The Prince, intending to conduct her to him, caused a Frigat to bee covered to shade her from the Sunne, which then was most violent and scorching hot. But the King mounting on the selfe-same ves­sell, which brought him the newes, that his daughter was a con­voying homewards by the Prince of Mauritania (not standing on any termes of ceremonie) went on all alone towards the Royall. Whilest Metaneone (on the other side) boording his Frigat, launched out to meete him, saluting him with such a respective reverence as he could not have used greater towards the king his father, go in to kisse [Page 162] his hands he would not for doubt of interrupting his content of see­ing his daughter, but followed him neere at hand. Before the King arrived at Eromilia, he saw her oftentimes saluting him with sub­missive inclinings; but come to embrace her, he had not the power to sever himselfe from her, his royall gravitie not being suffici­ently powerable to withstand the motives of his spirits, in such an encounter. Eromilia wept, nor did hee lesse, and if the respective consideration of seeing the Prince stand on side of him, had not somewhat enlightned him, he was not likely to be soone disenvelo­ped out of the passions of his fatherly affection: whereupon leaving her, without having had the power to speake one word unto her, he ranne with his, as yet bedewed eyes, to embrace Metaneone; who kneeled to him to kisse his hand; but he obstinately striving to get him to stand up, debard them of the time to expresse each to other, otherwise than superficially, the joyes they conceived for the happi­nesse of this encounter, for retiring to Eromilia, and causing her to sit on one side of him, and Metaneone on the other, (after hee had received the Countesse with the other Ladies that kissed his hand) hee lifting up his eyes, thanked the gods that had gran­ted him this joy, relating unto them the occasion of his com­ming. The Princesse (marvelling thereat) told him, that his opi­nion was not false, acquainting him with all that had hapned, and how that, but for Metaneone's comming, shee had remained a prey to Don Peplasos. Then Don Peplasos (said hee) came to steale you away againe? Hee came indeede (answered Ero­milia) and wee have him prisoner in that Galley there. The King somewhat musing thereat (turning towards Metaneone) said unto him; And you (my noble sonne) how hap'd you to arrive so opportunely to rescue Eromilia? On this Metaneone related unto him all that befell him sleeping, whereof though hee had alrea­die informed Eromilia, yet forbore shee not to marvell thereat a­new. He told them how the vision was reiterated; himselfe be­ing not deceived in having seene, talked, and walked; that being parted without staying till day came, it pleased the gods to favour him, in conserving unto him by their pietie, what his Majestie had out of his Royall courtesie bestowed on him; for which hee now kissed his hand, being not permitted to doe it before. The King embracing him, and glancing a looke on Eromilia (who though shee blushed, yet meant not to denie her consent) thus replied;

Sithence then the heavens will, that she be yours, who have now two severall times acquired her, so as I am (for that sole re­spect) obliged to give her you, I beseech you to beleeve, that if I had not already bestowed her on you, I would most willingly give her you, onely for your merits sake. For which hee, kissing his hand againe, and discoursing with him a good while about the dreame, desirous at length to leave him all-alone with his daughter, rose up with an excuse to goe salute the Barons of Maiorica.

[Page 163] Glad was the King to see the alteration of his daughter, and the humilitie wherewith shee craved his pardon for her past disobedi­ence, delighting to know of her more particularly all past successes, together with the manner of the fortification of the Rocke. Arrived afterwards to his shippes he might see them turne sterne; so confu­sed were they to see so many Galleyes fall towards them so sudden­ly and unexpected, but come to know what they were, they tack'd about to accompany them, arriving with the others all together in Maiorica with as much joy to the Queene, and all the kingdome, as may be imagined at a returne so unexpected.

There were arrived also in Maiorica the two Galleyes that came from the Pegno, who were not so fortunate as to meete the King, in that they hapned to passe one night a good distance wide off him, and now (having provided themselves of such men as they wanted) they rode prepared to returne to the Pegno, when the Fleet arrived.

Metaneone would not deferre the nuptials of his Eromilia, albeit he desired to have them solemnized in the presence of Polimero and his fathers Embassadours; but considering how he stood imployed in an enterprise, which hee could not so soone rid his hands off, hee thought it sufficient to advertise him thereof, sending him backe a­gaine the six Galleyes, and those foure of Catalogna, with foure others, that the King would needs send Eromena, writing unto her that hee would have sent her more, but that he doubted of some accident, because of Don Peplasos, who was directed to Eleina to bee by her disposed of, as she thought good. Metaneone sent also to Mau­ritania to his father the newes of his adventures, and also of his marriage, to receive from him order of his stay in Maiorica, or com­ming with his wife to Rirsa, who in the meane while staid there to consolate her parents and kingdome with her presence.

The Galleyes (being once departed) sail'd on with a smart gale to Sardigna-wards with Don Peplasos by this time fully cured of his wounds, who observing himselfe excluded from the sight of the King of Maiorica, where he had beene, and of Metaneone, who had taken him prisoner, and sent him to his wife (by him so unworthily and inhumanely used) hee well perceived there was no account made of his qualitie, and therefore often-times proffered to kill himselfe; but being prevented of his purpose by the diligent custo­die of such as guarded him, he bethought himselfe of a way of decei­ving them, by changing apparences, and shewing himselfe lesse al­tered, and with a more quiet minde, taking on him to desire what hee most abhorred, which was the sight of Eleina. Whilest then the Galleyes (one morning ere Sunne-rising, by the favour of a strong Westerne gale) glided on a maine speede, there discovered it selfe within kenning the Iland of Sardegna, whereat the Ghing gave a joyfull shout, crying, (Land, land) which as soone as Don Peplasos heard, hee cald for his clothes, and having put on a cham­ber-weede, made a shew of being desirous to take the aire, and to re­fresh [Page 164] himselfe with the sight of the shore, after his being over-tired with his long sojourning at sea; come up on the hatches, he stood still a-while beholding the Iland, then walking a turne or two, seri­ously muzing, and standing with his face towards the ladder of the Galley, he suddenly let fall off his gowne, and leaving therewithall his slippers, leapt down into the sea, with such an unexpected sudden­nesse, that he was plunged therein, ere any one was aware of his in­tention: whereupon the sailes were strucken downe with great fury, but to little purpose; for the Galley being runne onwards above two miles, ere the sailes could be taken in, or the long-boate hoist out; (the Frigat of the Royall hapning then to be sailing before the Fleet.) The lewd-lifed Prince was drowned ere he could be succou­red: his body was found floating on the sea, and swollen with wa­ter, which brought a-boord, was laid under hatches, to the great discontent of the Admirall, who was very sorry that he could not deliver him to Eleina in the same state as he received him. But now (seeing the accident remedilesse) they having placed him with his head downewards, to emptie his body of the water, afterwards co­vered it with a beere-cloath of blacke velvet, bearing that respect to his life-lesse corpes, for having beene those of a Prince, which hee deserved not living, having leade a life unworthy of a Prince.

Arrived in Porto Torre, they found not the Fleet there, and un­derstanding how that it was passed into Corsica, they also with fa­vourable windes crost over, bathing their anchors (by the waxing browne of the evening) in Portoficari.

The End of the Fifth Booke.

CAVALIER GIO: FRANCESCO BIONDI HIS EROMENA
The Sixth Booke.

SOmewhat pensive remained Po­limero after his brothers depar­ture, not well approving of such resolutions as are built on the slipperie foundation of dreames; but seeing that it lay not in his power to remedy it, he with the rest of his compa­nie, returned to Sassari; whilest Eromena, growing more and more ardent in her love, and buring with its violent flames, solicited the Corsan expedition, thereby to rid her selfe the sooner of the time interposed betweene her and the conclusion of her desires. The King desirous to conso­late himselfe with her presence, oftentimes importuned her returne, but she resolved to bring first the warres to a period, comforted him with her letters, acquainting him with the Councell necessarily concluded on for the establishing, by the conquest of the Corsan kingdome, a perpetuall peace in Sardegna, assuring him that the war could not long last, the enemies wanting a head to guide them, now whilest the infeebled body was not able to support it selfe; which indeede even just so succeeded, for she (embarking her forces, and crossing the sea) brought downe in lesse than foure moneths [Page 166] time, the innate pride of the high-soring Corsan spirits, which (for all Polimero's great exploits) she could not have so performed, if they had either had a Captaine, or not wanted those that remained dead in Sardegna.

Now Eromena was at Tolmido's arrivall in Sagona, accompanied with the Princesse Eleina, who could not be disswaded from follow­ing her, both of them delighting every day more and more each in the others conversation; and in Eleina were every day more than o­ther new wonders of alteration discovered, for that her studies ha­ving given her a perfect knowledge (as much as imperfect disciplines can give to true perfection) made her capeable of taking delight in everie thing.

Passing joyfull was Polimero of Tolmido's comming, who having reade his letters ran to the Princesse to present her with hers, whence they went both together to Eleina; who (good Lady) un­derstanding the miserable case of her husband, stood somewhile mute thereat, whilest her waterie eyes were not sufficient to retaine her teares, for so much as a generous heart cannot chuse but grieve for another's miserie, especially for that of such, with whom it formerly held any communion of amitie; see his body she would not, nor the place where it lay, but besought Eromena to be pleased (for her sake) to send it to his father in Catalogna, which was accordingly performed in a Galley painted all-over with browne, with sailes and tacklings of the same colour. But Catascopo would she at any hand retaine for the manifestation of her innocencie before her father in Arelate; whom Polimero (curious to heare the rest of this story, requested also thereto by Eromena, and Eleina her selfe) caused to be brought in before them, where he (despairing of being saved, now that he understood of his Masters end) thus said unto him; Most valorous Prince, I now see in my selfe what I have a thousand time observed in others, that of things not good the end was ever the worst; wherein Princes themselves are not priviledged, since that mine, for falsely accusing his wife the first time, reaped nought else from it but shame; and for endevouring to make her a­way the second time, was by his owne conscience prick'd on to make away himselfe; the gods having miraculously saved her, to save together with her life her never blemished honour. And I (well may I say, most wretched I) drawne on with the sweetly alluring baite of vaine ambition, (after having betraied a Master, than whom I could not have desired a better) see my selfe now likely to end deservedly my dayes, with some kinde of unusuall and ignominious death. Now touching what your Highnesse commands me con­cerning the entire Story of the Lady Princesse Eleina, I will willing­ly obey you, without either concealing what may serve for the clee­ring of her innocency, or excusing my selfe in any thing that might lighten or extenuate my fault. Here related he all that Eleina her selfe had told them before, till the instant of her swooning, continu­ing the narration of the rest, with these words;

[Page 167] The Prince before his departure, gave me order to goe my wayes before him, to spie out a fit place to kill and burie in the Princesse; to the end that when her body could not be found by any, we might boldly give out, she was runne away with Calaplo; I went, but be­cause the places neere the Temple were indifferently frequented with Priests and Pilgrimes, I was faine to goe a good distance wide off it, ere I could finde a place for the purpose. I had with me two (I know not whether I should terme them souldiers or executio­ners) sure cards to the Prince; whom he was wont to make use of for the taking away of the lives of many. Wherefore he thought he might well trust those, who charged with the burthen of a thou­sand offences, had no other stay on earth than his countenance, nor could he indeede chuse but make use of them, being that hee would not himselfe, nor saw me willing to strike that bloudy blow; I then, and those fellowes with disguised cloathes and false beards fol­lowed the Prince a-farre off (being by me first informed of the place) when shee fell in a swoond, whither he cald us, and would needes have her slaine in that very place; but there being not so much as a handfull of earth to cover her body withall, he knew not what to doe; yet because it behoved him to resolve of some course, hee made us continue to carrie her towards the place appointed, looking alwayes round about him, to see if he could espie any other fit for that purpose. But we, going on a slow pace, by reason of our bur­then and difficultie of the stones; he both weary and vext with im­patience told us, hee was not able to follow us any further, and therefore would (lest his absence might give cause of suspition) re­turne backe againe, leaving to our charge the execution of the bu­sinesse. Which said (I know not whether it was to necessitate us not to let her live or otherwise) hee himselfe cut off her cloathes from under her gowne, stripping her of them all, without leaving her as much as stockings or shooes; telling us that he did it, lest there remained any token to know her by, in case the body were by any means discovered. But the very act of seeing so naked a Princesse of so great merit (innocently condemned to lose both life and ho­nour,) stamped such a compassion in the cruell mindes of those two murtherers, that as soone as the Prince was gone, they so gazed one the other in the face, as if their new affect had beene written in their foreheads, each of them with halfe-pronounced interrogations, ex­pecting when his fellow would speake.

We held on our way a good while without losing sight of the Prince, in that we descended, and he ascended, making many a stand, to behold the progresse of our journey, of us diligently continued; but the two (not able to dissemble any longer) told mee flatly, that they would not imbrue their hands in the bloud of that Innocent Princesse. The same, my friends (said I) is also my desire; but what shall we doe then? If we leave her in the plight she is in, she will die of her selfe, if she bee not dead already; which if she be not, how shall we doe to save our selves? That thought troubles not us (an­swered [Page 168] they;) If we returne, we are sure to come to some ill end or other, for the Prince will never thinke himselfe safe whilest we live partakers of a businesse of such importance, and will therefore cause us to be slaine, when we thinke least of it; doe you therefore what you please with the Princesse, and tell the Prince what you list of us, for wee are most resolute never to returne more to Catalogna: at which word they would have laid downe their burthen; but I be­seeching them not to leave me so alone, they were contented to listen unto me, having in former times received of the Prince (through my hands) rich presents and great summes of money, which made them thinke themselves therefore somewhat obliged unto me. I cannot (said I to them) but commend your resolution, seeing it o­pens me the way to satisfie the compassion. I have of this Princesse. What I desire is, that (she & you being safe) I may also without dan­ger returne to the Prince, being that I have not with me means to live elsewhere, as ye have. Whereupon many things were proposed, but none resolved of; when espying foure mountaine Swaines or hillie-men, comming with a chaire made of light wood, wherewith they had carried down some one, we thought best to lay therein the Princesse; but they, seeing a woman in such a plight, and so clothed in such a place, and among such men, refused to obey us; till at length constrained, partly by menaces, and partly by faire promi­ses, they tooke her up, and carried her betweene them so maine a pace, that we (though disburdened) had much adoe to follow them; who asking us afterwards whither we would goe? Forth of all habitation, said we. By that time it grew to be night, found wee our selves a great way distant from whence we parted from the Prince; having with us (being men for such a piece of service well provided, for having no neede of an Inne) bread, wine, and other good things, wherewith we kept our men in breath, who come to the [...]oote of a great mountaine among other lesser ones; we thought it best to lay downe our burthen in a solitarie place, and there to murther them for their paines: then made we as thought we meant to pay these countrey fellowes, yet (being vnwilling, I know not wherefore) to kill them in that place; the presence of the Princesse (by us reputed for dead, there having not appeared in her any signe of life all that day long) carrying with it a strange unthought of re­verence, we walked on with them, one of us taking on him to open his purse, and I, asking the name of that mountaine, and the way to the next place of habitation, till come a good way off, wee kild three of them, every one of us his man, which booted us not much, for that the fourth escaped, making us to follow running after him a great way thence, nor could we have possibly overtaken him, if his ill fortune had not (by causing him to stumble at a great stone) made him burst one of his legs, whereby we came easily to dis­patch him away. This crueltie could not we (especially my self) by any meanes forbeare to execute, because our apparent qualities, and habits, with a woman so strip'd halfe naked, and taken for dead, were [Page 169] sufficient motives to stirre up curiositie in any one, to prie into our actions, learne them out, and report them. Returning backwards, it was not possible for us to finde out our first path; so as wearie with the tediousnesse of our long dayes journey, we sought out for a place to hide and repose our selves in, that night in the thickest of the mountaine, with order, that whilest two of us slept, the third man should watch; but so farre were every of us from taking any rest that night, that even that reposing our selves tormented and wearied us more than all the former dayes toile; whereby I came to know it to be true, that mischievous deedes are of themselves both executioners and tortures; so as I that never knew what testimonie of conscience meant, when I betraied Don Eleimos, began to have now a feeling of it. For of that (because there followed it no danger of life, and that I thereby obtained the benefit of the Prince's favour) I made small reckoning; judging that as a wicked Prince makes slight account of any inconvenience that stands betweene him and a Scepter, so ought also a Courtier to arrive to the height of favour, esteeme dissimulation, fraude and mischiefe, as prudence and good counsell. But the comparison in this case was too too different, in respect of the qualitie of the person, the project not treating of, nor tending to the precipitating of a man downe from the top of his fortune, for the setling of my selfe in his place, but to the murthe­ring of an Innocent Princesse; from whose death I was like to gaine nought else than perpetuall suspitions, assuring my selfe (considering the nature of the Prince) that I could by no meanes long shunne my fatall ruine; and that he would never rest till he had freed himselfe of such as were privy to this so important a secret, which made me grieve that I had not with me my Iewels, or so much money as might suffice me to accompanie the resolution of the other two. But now the day appearing, there was not one amongst us, that knew whether to goe, since that to returne to the Princesse was but lost labour, so as the thought thereof was of us already abandoned; for their parts, they were resolved never to come, where any newes might be heard of them; but I (whom avarice and ambition had deprived of all good counsell) was exceeding sorrie that I knew not how to returne backe to the Prince, and doubting lest some mis­chiefe would befall mee, if it should be knowne that the Princesse were not dead; I resolved at length to returne backe againe howso­ever, and to affirme for certaine that she was slaine, and then to take away with me such coine and Iewels as I had gotten and stor'd to­gether, partly of the Prince, and partly of others for procuring them his favour; wherewith I made account to live the remnant of my dayes commodiously, if not richly without being beholding to any man. Which plot of mine communicated unto the others, and by them approved of; we parted thence, toiling our selves to finde out some kinde of path, which we had never lighted on, had we not de­scried afar off one a foot, who descending the mountaine, and com­ming towards us was without spying us, discovered by us. When [Page 170] I, straight knowing him to be Calaplo, was thereof exceeding joy­full, deeming it the happiest encounter that could possibly betide me; for I (knowing the cause of his going away, being my selfe the man that hatch'd the invention of sending him packing in that manner) hoped to bring the Prince good newes of his being slaine, (for we having at first concluded to deale so with him, did not exe­cute it, for not multiplying of too many Ministers in the fact, and by consequence of dangers in discovering him, the rather in that we hoped, that he would for feare have kept himselfe secret.) Impar­ting the businesse unto my companions, they resolved to murther him, not so much to serve and please thereby the Prince; as for love of the Iewels and coine which I told them hee had about him. Wherefore as soone as we got to the path, we dogg'd him without being able to overtake him almost all the day long; In the end pas­sing downe a deepe steepy bottome, and getting up another moun­taine, he held not on his way one houres space, till he stood still, so as we might at our pleasure overtake him; and (comming stealing­wise upon him for feare of being espied) we might perceived him talke with some body afarre off, and in his speech heare him say (Your Highnesse) which gave us cause to imagine it was the Princesse he spake to; there we set upon him unawares, but found him so va­liant, that (what by retiring, and defending himselfe) were could never come once to fasten a blow on him, the difficulty of the mountaines steepinesse, serving him for a great advantange. And I, in the meane while, seeing how he had with a maine downeright blow cloven the head of one of my two companions, thought it my best course to leave him hand to hand with the other: their death lit­tle importing my ends, which was the life of the Princesse, or rather my owne, which without her death could not subsist: it grieving me too much to leave in an instant the fortunes of the Court, by me only assayed, but not fully tasked. Thus was I flattered by ambi­tion, which prevailes more in an upstart, than in one (that being borne there) hath it hereditarie from his ancestors, and from the noblenesse of bloud.

Being freed then from that pittie which was instill'd in me by my companions, I got me to the place where I had before seene Calaplo, to assure my selfe whether the same was indeed the Prin­cesse, or that I was deceived; where I saw it was she indeede, and she also might well have seene me, if hindred by her weeping, shee had not in drying her eyes covered them with the sleeve of her gowne, her good husband not having left her any thing else to drie them withall. The seeing her then in such a plight bred in me such a com­passion, as made me (quite contrarie to my intended resolution) de­sire to comfort her; but remembring how she would never have either beleeved or trusted me; and that it was better to goe and finde her out, crave her pardon, bring her backe to her father in safetie, and there leave her; I descended the hill; but could by no meanes possible (for all my rambling about) ever finde her out; so as at length [Page 171] (having also sought her the day following to no purpose) I resolved to set my selfe on the way of my returne.

The Prince in the meane time had in this tragedie plaid his part with exceeding great artifice; for returning to the Temple dropping wet with sweat, making a shew of being (as he was indeede, though for a different cause) profoundly afflicted, sent folkes to search all there about, for his wise; taking on him to feare, that shee (losing her way) were devoured of some wilde beast; he sent first of all to the Inne to know if shee were retired thither. But the Knight that was left there with the sicke woman comming thereupon up to the Temple, and acquainting him how that Calaplo had bin there to fetch away the waller, he began to display and ground on that act of his, some token of suspition; but when such as were sent aboade returned without any newes of her; then told he them openly that he could beleeve no lesse, than that she were runne away with Calaplo, which he knew how to represent so feelingly, with such naturall affects both of griefe and disdaine, that the Knight (whose imagination never dived to the depth of so foule a treason) could not otherwise chuse than be of the same opinion; nor could it indeede be otherwise conceived of any, except of such as lighted pat on the very truth; seeing that neither bloud, nor any relique of any limbe of hers could possibly be found any where; albeit the mountaine was (for three dayes continuance) search'd all over with most exquisite diligence. Besides that (in that part so well frequented) was never seene any savage beast, much lesse was it ever heard that any one was ever slaine or hur there. The Prince with this occasion came to be dis­covered (for so would he have it,) to the end that the fame of the accident might forerunne his arrivall in Barcelona, and so for being afterwards conformably confirmed by him, be the better credited; whcih indeede succeeded him every way answerable to his expe­ctation.

The King well deeming that his heavy-hearted sonne had neede of comfort, sent of the gravest and wisest of the Realme to meete him; when he taking on him to be uncapable of any comfort, spake and did things with such an extreme compassion-meriting passion, as there was not any that grieved not for his griefe. For albeit by the qualities of the Princesse, there was no reason to beleeve, that any such a resolution could ever be fostered in her, yet could he so cun­ningly dissemble, that for some while he blinded the best sighted and most penetrating eyes. My returne was neere about the same time as his, though a little sooner, for so had we before agreed on. When I, in taking on me at Court to have never heard any thing of these passages, in wondring at such an accident, in making as though I could not beleeve it, and in such other circumstances, wanted little of going beyond my Master himselfe, yet to him told I that we had buried her a pikes depth under ground, satisfying with­all the rest of his demands at full, I having studied by the way how to make answer to all whatsoever he could aske me: but he that now [Page 172] could finde no more in his heart to fix his eyes on me (my very presence upbrayding him of the foulenesse of his fault) never spake to me more one word thereof.

Soone went I about preparing my selfe for my flight, when hee faining to have heard some inckling of the Princesse, went suddenly a-boord a Galley, so as I was faine to doe the same; where we were scarce setled a-boord her, whenamong the Knights and Ghing was spread a rumor, that we were bound for Affrique to steale away the Princesse of Maiorica. Of this good plot knew I nothing, for the Prince beginning to grow cold in his favours to me-wards, favoured another (perhaps) worse yet than my selfe, at least in that behalfe, that he could not conceale a secret, wherewithall his Lord trusted him; which he telling in confidence to a friend of his, and that friend againe to another, soone occasioned our almost utter ruine.

We incountred (as it pleased the gods) by the way the Prince of Mauritania (your Highnesse brother) with whom the matter past ill for us. In that fight remained I wounded, endevouring either to die or regaine the Princes favour; not with an intention to enjoy it long, but onely to assure my selfe thereof, till such time as oppor­tunity presented me occasion and place to run away; it grieved me exceeding that I say so wounded as I was not able to helpe my selfe, now that I might have made use of so fit an occasion for my pur­pose.

The King of Maiorica (after the departure of the Prince of Mau­ritania) considering how little it stead him to detaine in that sort Don Peplasos, and too withall that sithence he was to set him at liber­tie, his fairer course was to do it, with giving him as little disgust as possibly he could, (after he had given his daughter notice of it, there­by freeing her from danger, in case Don Peplasos resolved to returne thither againe) he went himselfe in person to visit him, referring it to his owne choise whether he would go or stay. Whereupon he assoone as he had dispatched himselfe thence having by making by the way enquiry, easily found out the Author of the rumor spread a-broad, caused him (in his owne presence) to be hang'd up by the maine yard. Arrived at home, scarce were his wounds cicatrized or begun to close up, when he (on the same pretext as before, with an ex­cuse that his wife was retired to Pegno della morte,) embarked himself; taking with him foure Galleyes, wheron it behoved me to mount a­boord too, (wounded as I was) resolved to run away (at any hand) as soone as we should be landed in Afrique. Where what after­wards befell us, is already knowne unto your Highnesse: whom I humbly beseech to intercede some remission for me, since that it better beseemes the Lady Princesse Eleina's royall brest to pardon, than it ill befitted my base heart to offend; protesting before the Immortall gods, that in all these evills, my offences shall never grow so high, that they left not rooted in my mind a feeling sorrow for having committed them, neither did I (as I hope for mercy) commit them out of any despight or malice, but meerely for that [Page 173] ambitions sake, that hath in every man such power, in causing him to desire to engrosse to himselfe his Prince his favour, wherein we have no example left us of any man, that could ever yet (in that kinde of avarice) content or temper himselfe.

To these last words of his, Polimero could not without disdainefull anger listen, and beholding him earnestly he excused Don Eleimo's judgement, for that Catascopo's countenance and demeanour was able to deceive the most penetrating & subtilest understanding. Once was he about to make him no answer at all, his person not meriting any, but observing to be there present, many of the principall Courtiers, he (desirous that this example might serve them for a document) thus said unto him;

Catascopo, the Historie I heare of thee makes thee knowne to bee unworthy of what thou cravest, especially those arguments aggra­vating thy fault wherewith thou pretendest to qualifie it. Thou would'st have the Princesse Eleina pardon thee out of her ggreatnesse, what thou hast offended out of thy basenesse; not considering how that Princes are obliged to punish malefactors, not to doe sacrifice to their particular revenge, but for the publike weale's sake, the people being much better bridled by example, than swayed by lawes. Nor indeed can she, as a Princesse justly pardon thee; for though that all her miseries had ended with her death, yet the mischiefs and mi­series that had thereon ensued, or that may yet proceede therefrom betweene the Arelatan and Catalognian kingdoms, might or yet may be perpetuall, with the death of thousands of innocents that might, or yet may perish by thy meanes. Moreover, thy being in the act it selfe sorry for having offended her, makes thee the more unwor­thy of favour; for it is no marvell if the blinde fall that hath no bo­die to leade him; or that a franticke man under the conduct of his corrupt imagination, throw himself down headlong from any pre­cipie, but for one of a perfect sight to fall and refall so foulely, and for one that hath a reflux of knowledge, and beene admonished by conscience, to precipitate thy selfe so dangerously and wilfully as thou hast done, is a thing altogether prodigious; nor can a man judge otherwise of thee than that thou intendest whensoever thou didst any mischiefe to doe it irrevocably without the consent either of reason or conscience, an evident figne of an accomplished malice, never to be repealed with any kind of good inspiration whatsoever; nor am I ever a whit induced to beleeve, that it was repentance which made thee, (when from on high thou sawest her drying her eyes with the sleeves of her poore gowne) to thinke of succou­ring her, and of bringing her home to her father, for that was not an effect of a repentant spirit, but of a minde already vilified in the consideration of its proper danger that thou incurredst with thy Master, for the life thou could'st not deprive her of. And this made thee (thinking on thy own miseries) capable of that pitty which thou hadst not whilest thou wast void of such impressions.

Men of a shallow judgement, looking no farther than the appa­rances, [Page 174] take those to be vertues that are not, whereas the wiser sort examine the actions, distinguishing that which really is from that which seemes to be. Which that it is so, thou maist see by thy selfe, for thou betrayed'st not thy Master first but with premeditation; nor the Princesse afterwards, but with deliberation, and yet passed there betweene these two treason plots, dayes and moneths; where­in thou hadst time to kindle the coles of charitie towards the one and the other, if there had beene remaining in thee any sparke of vertue; but thou didest it not till thy foreseene miserie joyned with the danger, engendred in thee this adulterate pittie, if it may be ter­med pittie, and not rather basenesse & diffidence of being able to save thy selfe any other way. Nay, I beleeve what is yet worse (nor can I beleeve otherwise of such an one as thou art) that thou (seeing thy self undone) thought'st with a new invention of malice to winne her to be thine, after thou hadst lost her to her selfe, and to make the in­strument of thy life and good fortune, her, whose death thou had'st complotted, & whose miserie thou mean'dst to accomplish by taking from her her honour, to no other end than to oblige her unto thee with a strange kind of benefit directed wholly to thy own sole ends, which also might have accordingly succeeded thee, considering the noble inclinations of so excellent a Princesse. But the gods permitted thee not to put that project in practise having destined for her safetie other meanes than thy malicious pittie, which because they in thee abhorred, they blinded thy eyes and clouded thy understanding, for finding her any more; nor doth thy last alleaged excuse (that the ambition of the Prince his favour was cause of thy offence) decline any whit from thy other reasons; for if we ought not to doe evill that good may come thereof, how can we excuse that evill whence springs another evill by many degrees greater?

The impossibilitie thou inferrest of the never being of any man that could in such like ambitions containe himselfe, is most false; whereof though I yet granted thee that there were not any, yet will I never concede that there cannot be any such. A Prince his favour is acquired either by merits, or else by reason of the inclination of the Prince himselfe; and where merits are, there is seldome any great fortune, for they proceeding from vertue, those vertues can­not brooke fortune, but disdaine her means, and she again seeing her selfe so despised, scornes and contemns them; where inclination is, there resides fortune also, but diversely; for many Princes are good, & have good inclinations, but with them have they also their affects, which they will have humored; yet should they not be therefore ab­horr'd, seeing they are but men, nor should they be condemned or much blamed for chusing persons to their fancy and liking, so that the State suffer not thereby. True it is, that such as these shall be by so much the neerer a fortune, by how much the farther off they are from integrity, except when the Prince his meere liberality inricheth them out of his owne, without prejudicing any other. But such as are cald to favour to be instruments of the wicked to the ruine of the [Page 175] good (as thou wast) are not of this number, but of a third degree as detestable, for being in the extremitie of evill, as is that of the good desirable, that marcheth in the fore-ranke of goodnesse; so as I be­leeve that (among all men in the world) thou onely art in that de­gree, and as such an one unworthy of either excuse or pardon.

Much amazed remained Catascopo at this so rigorous though just judgement of Polimero, which ended, he was reconducted to prison where along time he continued without any hope of pardon or re­leasement.

Eromena having passed over into Corsica and taken Bonifacio, mar­ch'd on to Sagona which yeelded it selfe to her mercy; with the same felicitie tamed she the Talsines, acquired Telisano, the valley of Va­sina, Giovellino with whatsoever other places are contained in Capo­Corso. Nebbio that was then the citie and seate Royall made her some resistance, the Rebels being reduced thither, and most resolute to de­fend themselves till death; which they had performed, if the inhabi­tants had thereunto consented: which later weying with themselves the losse they sustained by Polimero's valour, and considering withall how scant their provision was growne, yeelded on reservation of the safegard of their lives and goods: whilest the Rebels seeing the people so inclined, saved themselves by timely flight in Balagnia.

In the meane time had Polimero (long before) sent the Count of Bona to the King his father, that he might (when he had given an account of his embassage in Maiorica) obtaine an other for Sardeg­na, to demand in marriage for him Eromena, wherein he was with such expedition dispatched as Nebbio was scarce rendred up, when the Princesse received letters from her father, with newes of the ar­rivall of an Embassadour from the King of Mauritania, about a bu­sinesse of so great importance as it necessarily required her personall presence, wishing her therefore to leave good order for the enter­prise, and to hie her selfe thither with all possible speed.

Vpon this Eromena, well knowing what the businesse was, though loth to part from her lover, posted away, leaving all the troopes in his charge, taking along with her the Marquesse with the principall Commanders of the Campe, to the end that the whole honour of the conquest of Corsica might rest entirely his alone. Nor was she therein deceived, for Polimero (desirous to bring his enterprise to an end, and above all to get into his hands the Rebels) came before Balagnia so suddenly and unexpected, as they had no time to get out, as they made account to have done, any tentative of theirs serving them to no purpose, for that the citie was walled round about, so as it was soone given up, and the Rebels consigned him alive. This done, he tooke Calui wth all its territorie, nor remai­ned there now other than Genarca, which because of its being seated on the sea, had not so easily beene forced, if he, by bringing thither the Fleet, had not constrained it to follow the fortune of the others. Afterwards having embarked the Rebels on the Mauritanian Gal­lies he commanded the Admirall to deliver them from him to the [Page 176] King. As soone as Eromena was come the King told her, the occa­sion for which he sent for her, was, for that the King of Mauritania had sent to demand her in marriage for his sonne Polimero. She (ma­king as though the matter were strange to her) answered, that shee would doe what should be by the State thought fitting, referring her selfe wholly to the Councell. Now those of the Councell come with her from the Campe were fewer than those others of the Court, and approved of the marriage, acknowledging for chiefe of their side the Marquesse of Oristagnio. But the Marquesse of Bossa (being uncle to the Count of Montevero) endevoured by all meanes to crosse those nuptials, making with the kinsmen of the Rebels so strong a voice, as that but for the others authoritie, he had easily hindred it. His reasons were, the disparitie of their yeares, his be­ing without any patrimonie, his having made many principall hou­ses in the kingdome his enemies, with the imprisonment, and con­sequently the torture and death of so many Barons, which though it were done on a just ground, yet was not justice able to give every one satisfaction. And though that prudent Princes ought to aime their levell at reason onely when they reape no prejudice therefrom, yet if they see any likelihood of the contrary, then ought they to se­cond the passions of their subjects, who being potent in a state might otherwise trouble it, they presupposing the justice done to the faulty, to bee a generall injury to their bloud, whereof in respect of the number of such as were innocent, there should be a speciall care ta­ken, not to contaminate the honour of some, in the punishing of some others. Nor can the governement be supportable of a Prince brought in with the bloud of so many, who for for being necessita­ted to leade a life full of jealous suspitions) cannot be beheld other­wise than with an evill eye by the kinsmen of such as were by him delivered up to the hangmau: that his Majeestie should consider not so much whether what was proposed were reasonable, as whether the same were profitable or no. And on the contrary; if the sole reason were for its being prejudiciall to him; true it were that just Princes should desire the execution of justice, though the whole world came thereby to perish; but that this case required no such justice, for in denying Polimero the Princesse, we (said he) neither wrong him, nor take from him ought that is his, whereas by giving her him, we should wrong the Realme by endangering it, and take from it what it its owne by depriving it of its peace, there being many spirits that cannot brooke the governement of this Prince, though (I confesse) in all other respects worthy.

The Marquesse of Oristagnio could not without indignation heare out this Oration, wherein he discovered many heads of great con­sequence. Rising up therefore on his feete, and concealing to him­selfe what he conceived of it, he answered to his objections. That the disproportion of yeares was not a disadvantage to be calculated betweene Princes, it bringing no prejudice to the maine principall; which also if it were to be calculated should be rather objected on [Page 177] Polimero's side; that his being without patrimony was that which was of them to be sought after, to the end that his affection might not in­cline to any other state or country than that of Sardegna (here gave he thē by the way a touch of his supplying the want of a patrimony by the conquest of Corsica, & of the obligation that the crown owed him therefore.) That the enmitie he incurr'd with the Barons should serve & much availe for the amplifying of his deserts, so as he much wondred at their inducing for an exclusive argument, that which a­bove all thing else expressed his worthinesse; that the rebels kinsmen were known for Cavaliers of conditions so noble, as would not with­out any cause hate Polimero's person; and though they were such as would wish him ill, howsoever, yet had they no reason for his sake to hate the state, and so prefer their particular enmity before the publike benefit; which if it so were not, and that therfore those nuptials caried with them some apparance of danger, yet should there not be there­of any reckoning made, seeing that Princes ought in every state to maintaine the priviledges of their dignitie; which they doe not when they lend an eare to all manner of privie whisperings, by listning wherto they come at length to be drawn to condiscend to any thing, even to the putting down of the crown, and renouncing the govern­ment; or to beare the scepter, and govern, not as a King, but as a sub­ordinate magistrate depending on the will of others. True it was that the people ought to be hearkened unto, & that in matters of law and justice, the Prince ought to part from his own opinions and cleave to better judgments; for which purpose were counsellors and councels ordained, which were otherwise superfluous and vaine; but yet that in matters absurd and unjust he ought to let them see, that he knowes how both to conceive and punish offences; making it thereby appeare to every one, that his taking of counsell sprang not from defect, but from excellency of judgment, which is to the nature of a Prince more particularly adherent, than any other condition whatsoever, that the punishing of the guilty was to be imputed no more to Polimero, than to justice it self; which if it should be therfore hated, then might we in such a case grant, that he might also with reason be stomacked; that his comming to the principality could not prove insupportable to o­ther than ill-minded men; his steps of ascending thereto being groun­ded, not on the bloud of any of the nobilitiey and their demerits, but upon his own bloud and well-known deserts; nor was it to be doubted that he would become suspitious, & so by consequence cruell, seeing that the rebels kindred either approved, or not approved of their misdeeds, which if they approved, they then made themselves acces­saries to the same fault; if disapproved, they could not chuse then but approve of their punishment; nor was it lesse strange to say that their honour remained blemisht by the others punishment, as if we would beseech love not to let the Sun shine on any uncleane thing, for feare of polluting it selfe therewith; but if they still insist, that their honor is thereby contaminated, let them then tell mee what is in their judgement fit to bee done, and whether the murthering of ones [Page 178] Prince, and betraying of ones countrey, merit impunity and reward? Furthermore hee denied that the rule of just and profitable had the supposed distinctions, which though they had, yet could not that any way stead them for the present purpose. In fine, he con­cluded, that none but traitors could either refuse or oppose this match being both just and lawfull, which he offered (besides argu­ments) to make good with the sword. Much amazement in the au­dience bred this resolute speech of Oristagnio; and little wanted the Marquesse of Bossa of being seconded, when he excusing his speeches with much humilitie, and the King being unwilling to be entangled with new garboiles (feare occasioning such effects in him, as it useth to doe in such as thinke by suffocating evils to make them sheere a­way) the matter was whosht up with the conclusion of the marriage.

Well perceived the Princesse how her father erred with too much facilitie, but seeing it could not be remedied; she with Oristagnio's counsell resolved to call the prisoners to be put to death before the publication of the marriage, and returne of Polimero, thereby to free him (as much as in her lay) from the imminent hatred of the Barons. That which in this designe of hers troubled her most, was the per­son of Epicamedo; she ballanced all those reasons that made him be­come worthy of death, with that one sole regall qualitie of his, which gave the scales such a shake, as it was impossible to find means or counter-reasons to condemne him. Most inconvenient seemed it also to proceede against him by a judicious way, as against private persons, by nature, law, and oath subject to the state. In deciding this point were many dayes consumed, with no few arguments of both sides. After which was resolved, that for one borne free, a King and a Soveraigne, to live a prisoner, deprived of a kingdom, and sub­jected to the charge of a Iavlor, was no small punishment: howso­ever that his Realance was well gotten from him by the common rule of nature, which teacheth us to repell force by force, not so much by a title of war, as because it was a warre begun by him, who became a refuge to traitors, an entertainer of rebels, and a fosterer of the mur­therers of Princes; with an example tyrannicall and prejudiciall to himselfe, if it had fortuned him to have continued in his royal estate: nor were all those dangers that were proposed to be likely to spring from the keeping of him alive, able to remove Eromena from her in­nate clemencie; who onely kept him secure under the charge of a faithfull guarde, whereof there was no great neede; for he having understood of the losse of his kingdome, and of the resolution taken touching his person, growne furiously mad thereat, and wanting wherewithall to kill himselfe, ranne his head at the wall with such a horrible force as he therewith dash'd out his braines; for the others were prepared new wayes of torture, as pinsers, sheares, hot irons, and fires: but the Princesse thereto consented not, leaving such in­ventions for hellish furies, contenting her selfe that they (though worthy of all torments) paid the law its due, and satisfied by exam­ple the necessitie and publike desire of justice, which was executed [Page 179] with so great a concourse of spectators as that the field was not capable to containe so great a throng. The Traytors dying all of them penitent of the offence, except the obstinate Admirall. In the meane time was the Count of Bona held in suspence (almost two montehs space) without receiving any publike answer; being never­thelesse well informed of its occasion, and sumptuously entertained. The newes being afterwards come of the totall possession of Corsi­ca, and Polimero desiring there should be sent thither a Vice-Roy to governe it; a generall assembling of the states of the kingdome, was resolved of, to which end came together the feodatories & deputies of every one of the Cities and Provinces. The first thing in that Parliament decreed, was the Prince's funerall exequies, which were celebrated with such an orderly pompe, as that they might with more reason bee termed triumphs; there not appearing other lugu­brous object, than the habit and affection to the deceased Prince. There were to be seene the representations and modells of sacked cities, battells won, people tamed and vanquished, of Kings and Giants taken and led captives, of wilde beasts trampled downe, and monsters slaine, the liberalitie used towards the vanquished; the giving of cities and whole kingdomes, not for avaritious but for honourable ends; the Virgins preserved and the women cared for: the dangers of the land and sea, voyages and disco­vering of new regions. In summe all whatsoever could in such a subject bee imagined for the expression of his a thousand-fold happinesse, if there had not (among so many ornaments of glorie) violently beene inserted in the minds of the beholders the occasion of his death.

At the second sitting was in solemne forme established the incor­poration of Corsica to the kingdome of Sardegna, with a law of never alienating it more for any occasion whatsoever. Some there were that would have their lawes and priviledges quite abolished, but thereto would not the Princesse abosolutely consent, thinking it best to see first how they demeaned themselves, who though conquered by force, should not be for that respect worse used than before; be­ing fallen not through their owne, but through their Prince's faultinesse, whose remembrance shold bee defaced out of the peoples hearts by good vsage and continuation of favours; rather than by harsh usage, and withdrawing of favours to give them cause of endeavouring to regaine their former freedome. As for the lawes, she well knew their abolishing to be necessarie, being that a body cannot be formed of two soules, and those different; and would therefore have the Sardan lawes serve for, and be com­mon to both kingdomes; nominating the Marquesse of Oristagnio Vice-roy of Corsica with generall applause of the universall as­sembly.

There being propounded afterwards at the third sitting the de­mand of Mauritania (not for obtaining of consent thereto, but to have it confirmed by counsell) upon recitall of Polimero's merits, [Page 180] and of the conquest of Corsica there was not so much as one that gainesaid it.

The Marquesse of Oristagnio parted suddely, to the end Polimero might come to celebrate the marriage. Now he had received daily intelligence from his Eromena, the Marquesse, and the Count of Bona, of all that was done in Sardegna, wherefore though he were desi­rous to dispatch himselfe thence, yet waited he with all patience, the orderly proceeding of his affaires, conformable to the necessitie of the times, setling in the meane time the places he had gotten in such order, as they might be easily conserved; fortifying every place, whose site or necessitie required it, having a speciall eye to the assuring of the ports, but chiefely to the remotest from Sardegna in the face of Liguria. So as when the Marquesse came, and found all things so well setled, he said, that Corsica might well be kept without his government; it being so well ordered, as it was im­possible for it for a long time to fall into any disorder. Arrived in Sardegna, and as its Prince reverenced of every one, he came to Ca­leri, met with great pompe and extraordinary applause; where ha­ving kissed the Kings hands, he would needes doe no lesse to Ero­mena's also, the presence of the multitude prohibiting them to em­brace one another according to their internall amorous affects, so as they greeted each other with outward apparances, according to the stile of convenient ceremonies.

The King for all these rejoycings never once joyed at all, but the more he observed his sonne-in-law in his actions resemble his sonne, the more he felt his heart rent with the memorie therof, which he so loved, as for it he disloved every thing else not excepting himselfe.

Polimero's first resolution was to licence the Mauritanian forces, wherewith he well pleased the whole kingdome; he re-sent them en­riched with the pillage or Corsica, and therefore passing well conten­ted, sending backe also with them all the Fleet, except the Galleyes, which he sent for Metaneone to come to his marriage; and he by entreatie of his father and mother-in-law, got leave to bring also a­long with him Eromilia. Having then ship'd themselves (after they had by a Fleet-Galley sent their brother word of their comming) they sayled the two first daies with prosperous windes; but were the two following greatly troubled with Southerly windes, so as they had much ado to keep in the maine, from crossing over to the Gaulan cost. But the winde increasing and blowing with extraordinary fu­rie, they having lost their direct course, were driven into the Ly­gustike sea, without being able to touch the Iland of Corsica. The sweet Eromilia found her selfe heart-sicke, being unable to taste any sustenance; sore was she troubled with vomiting, so as having no­thing in her stomack, she cast up the very pure bloud, to the extreme griefe of her husband, who would willingly have died rather than have seene her so languish. He had once hoped to come by some meanes or other to strike on the Corsan shore, but seeing himselfe transported beyond Capo-Corso, he commanded to take the winde [Page 181] in poop, and to runne a-shore on the neerest place of landing.

North-ward from that Cape stood a little disinhabited Isolet, where having with much adoe cast anchor, they presently set a-shore the Princesse, who no sooner touched land, than that there came to meete her a white fawne, which gently licking her hands, seemed to kisse them for her welcome thither. No small delight tooke Eromi­lia to see so timorous a creature growne so domesticke, so as forget­ting her passed feares, shee cald for something to feede her withall; whilest she (gentle thing) taking the bread (as it were for good man­ners sake) out of her faire hand, and then letting it wantonly fall (as needing it not,) continued in cherishing her, and (as farre as could be comprehended) in inviting her to goe along with her, for having walked eight or tenne steps she would looke backe, and see­ing her selfe not followed would returne againe, doing oftentimes the selfesame thing.

Metaneone, who was passing glad to see his Lady take pleasure in a beast, that seemed to participate of reason, imagined that this Iland might be one of those, wherein was beleeved to be by authen­ticall relations the transmutation of men into beasts; but yet keeping his thoughts to himselfe for feare of instilling of new feares into the minde of the Princesse, he prayed her to give him leave to follow that Deere, sithence that she so evidently thereto invited him; which the Princesse would not assent unto, aswell because she was loth to be without his company, as also for that she beleeved not, that these actions of the silly beast contained in them other mysterie, than the content of her owne nature. But observing her continue them, and too withall grone, as if she grieved to be disobeyed, she permitted him to goe.

The Deere seeing her selfe now followed, went on a little further, but no sooner perceived shee her selfe not followed by Eromilia, than she came running backe to her amaine. Whereat she (marvel­ling, and desirous to know the issue thereof) caused her selfe to be carried after her. The gentle beast led on a round pace, making sometimes an observant stand as if she meant to give time to be o­vertaken. And gotten out of the sight of the sea, she entred into a little, but very pleasant valley; where (ere she had gone two bow­shoots on) she stood still before a poore cottage, lying at the foote of a rocke, rustically built of earth and fagots; at the doore where­of stood playing with little stickes the best featured and fairst child that ever humane eye beheld; his age was about three yeares, his body covered with a rich habit, and his countenance clothed with a no lesse commanding than majesticall physignomy. This sweet boy seeing so many folkes, stood looking on them awhile, and then suddenly neglecting them, and turning to the fawne-wards (that plaid skipping and hopping round about him) he stroaking her, made very much of her, and she of him.

Whilest thus Eromilia (having forgotten all past discommodities) stood with her lookes fixed on them, there came suddenly to them [Page 182] a Knight with a crossebow in his hand, and many birds in his fowling-bagge, who (having espied the Galleyes) had left off his fowling, to come running to his lodging; his clothes (though not very good for being much torne) were all of silke, garnished and cu­riously embrodered over with gold; he seemed to be about five and and fortie yeares of age, and had an aspect noble and courteous; his followers were no more than one servant not very young, with a bow and a hare on his necke. Both of them changed their colours seeing Metaneone with so many folkes; and looking one upon the other, seemed with their eyes to expresse some great matter. The fashion of their habits was very strange, quite differing from those of neighbour regions, which descried them to bee of some re­mote countrey.

Eromilia impatient to stay till they would speake, seeing them so in a maze, said unto them; My friends, I beleeve that this unexpe­cted sight of us, breeds in you no lesse astonishment, than the seeing you in so solitarie a place hath stirred up wonder in us; but if your taciturnitie spring from none other roote than from that of admira­tion, in that you expected no such guests; then I pray you to forgoe it wholly, for we are not persons to doe you any injurie, but rather to pleasure you and doe you all the courtesies that lie in our power. Please you but tell us who you are, and whether this babe be your sonne, or that love (fearing his jealous wife) hath given him you to keepe, to the end that he, being so reserved, may in time doe such exploits, as might be expected from such as are descended from celestiall Deiries.

The Knight, who at first sight had not placed his eyes on other than Metaneone and his Knights, (because Eromilia exceedingly de­lighted in the babe was gotten to sit downe by him) now observing her, and contemplating the appearances which denoted her great­nesse, he with a more setled countenance, said unto her; Madame, I cannot denie but that your comming into this strange and disinhabi­ted place, strikes in us some admiration, this little Iland not being in­habited of other than us alone, nor frequented but of such as are winde-driven hither, whether they will or no. Here see we never any other than Marriners and Fisher-men, poore creatures, I will not say guided by fortune, but going to seeke their fortune. Your qualitie seemes to us much different, so as by reason of the diversitie of ours, we cannot (in seeing you) tell what to judge thereof; when therefore it shall please you to let us know who you are, we will not faile to obey you, in what you command us, nor would we without great reason request that favour of you.

Sir Knight (answered him the Princesse) if that can satisfie you, there shall be no let in us to worke your satisfaction. This whom you here see, is the Prince of Mauritania my Lord and husband, the other our knights; my name is Eromilia the King of Maiorica's only daughter, borne with a naturall instinct to helpe men of merit, as you seeme to be; hither are we come driven with the violence of the windes and for no other reason.

[Page 183] The Knight (having already understood their cases by some poore folkes that had beene there, casting a-side his crossebow) would have kissed their hands; but not being permitted so to doe, especially by Metaneone, he besought them to enter in with him in­to his poore Caban, where he promised them a part (in private) to satisfie their desire. Already moved they themselves onwards to follow him, when there appeared from the Fleet in seemely order a great number of servants with divers dishes of meat and delicate cates of all sorts; which the knight perceiving, and comprehending by the tempest of the sea, that yet continued, what the matter was, hee (laying aside all suspition, which the sudden apparition of such a number had bred in him) said unto them; May it please you (ex­cellent Princes) to give your bodies some comfort, ere you content your mindes with the curiositie of our fortunes, the deferring whereof cannot so much trouble you, as the delaying of recreating and restoring your bodies after your past sufferings must needs pre­judice you.

Whereupon the Princesse (more for the desire she had to rid her selfe of the company, than for any appetite) tooke some refection; the Prince doing also the same; entertained with the sweet demea­nour of the noble babe; who neither caring for, nor yet despising the cates they gave him (though most delicate,) expressed a Royall gravitie in the povertie of the place, farre from such pettish wanton­nesse as is usually in that age common to all children; he disdained not Eromilia's affectionate kisses, but being well pleased with them, would with a kinde of a sweet willingnesse meete them as they were comming; her he contemplated, examining with a suspence of spirit, all her parts, her speech and gesture; observing her with ad­miration, not as a thing strange unto him, but out of a judgement mature enough to know her merits. Impossible it was to perswade the Knight to taste of any thing, who notwithstanding wanted not discreete manners and humble language, to defend himselfe from their enforcing courtesies; something he accepted of, which were onely such as he saw liked by the child, of him respected not as a sonne, but as his Lord.

By this time had the Prince's servants pitch'd some tents in the selfesame valley farre from the sight and roaring of the sea (for such was the command of the Princesse;) in one of them dined they, pas­sing away the time there, till the Knight having dined with the o­thers, and the tables taken away, they licensing for awhile their traine walking ontowards the Caban; where entred in, they mar­velled at its no lesse strange than rare architecture, for that which seemed to be but a cottage, was in appearance no other, but in effect served but to limit a secret and hidden dwelling. And to make no shew of what was therein, there stood placed in it two poore beds of greene leaves and boughs of trees, with a poore hearth and a homely chimney, which made such as came in, beleeve there was nothing else. But opening a doore (that seemed to be a wall closed [Page 184] fast to the rocke, built to keepe off its moisture) there was an entry that led into a hollow vault of a soft mouldrie stone, under the su­perficies of a rocke, which was divided into two partitions of lod­gings; in the principall of them stood a square Hall with two faire lodging chambers and one backe chamber: In the other lodgings were servants beds, sellers, wardrobes, and other [...]places and store­houses for necessarie provisions, which might there be seene, not onely copious, but also singular in their severall kindes; and to illu­minate the one and the other, stood placed in the midst of them, (compassing it in forme of a Crowne) a little court formed by nature in the very rocke, which by degrees opened it selfe to its ve­ry toppe with such a well-observed proportion, as art seemed to have lent a hand thereto. And because the raine trickled by severall channels downe to the bottome, there was formed an ample cisterne to receive it, the place being in its superior part inaccessible, and therefore unknowne to any.

The Hall (we speake of) was all hung with silke hangings of tex­ture not seene before in Europe, being rich, strong, of various co­lours, incapable of spot or staine; and withall so lively as the re­flexion of the aire from them, made the place more lightsome. The chambers adorned with cloth of tissue, had placed in one of them two beds of the same sute and fashion, in one whereof lay the child, in the other the Knight: their furniture were all pretious, no side thereof wanting either rich curiosities, or riches, worthy (without curiositie) of the greatest Monarch; the tables were of silver of fi­nest workemanship; the livery cupbords of gold inlaid with rich pretious stones, with houre-glasses of the same, but that the gold was brought to be of an inestimable value by the quality of the gems and orientall pearles inlaid therein; that which made up this wonder of rare curiosities, was, when betweene the two lodgings divisions, was opened a doore covered with arras, where-through was an en­trance leading into an odoriferous Chappell dedicated to the gods, whose Images were little, but all of massive gold, and so resplendent with the abundance of so many Iewels that served for fringe to the rich tapestrie wherewith it was hung, as there is not any King in the world that can boast of a treasure equall thereunto. In the midst of this Chappell in six faire lampes of most pure gold, burned a pretious liquor, whence issued an odour so pleasingly sweet and deli­cate, as passed all fragrancy, dispersing it selfe over all the house to the great restoring and ravishing delight of the senses.

So astonished were the Princes to see such an excellencie of rari­ties, as they could never have their fill of beholding them; which to observe well would require a great deale of time, whereas that little time was taken up with varietie, the varietie with curiositie, the curiositie with art, and the art (being inimitable in all his parts) with its owne excellencie, so as the intellect (fixing it selfe, while on one, and while on another wonder of matter and workemanship) was carried about with a perpetuall motion, from one to the other, [Page 185] remaining aggreeved for his being unperfect to judge of them. The hangings of the Hall (though but of silke simply) possessed (per­haps) some parts more worthy of contemplation than all the other riches, not so much for that they contained the maps of some coun­tries done with all those exact proportions as are possible in art, as because they were fringed about with purple, its silke being died in the bloud of beasts to us unknowne, representing the naturall colours with such vivacitie, as there was not any money that could counter-value them. No other thing had bin able to have removed the eyes of the Princes from beholding of these such eye-ravishing objects, the like whereof they had never seene before, than the lon­ging desire (increased also by these circumstances) which they had to know the story of the babe; whom Eromilia having taken on her lap, and affectionatly cherishing with a motherly tendernes, praid the Knight to acquit himself of his promise, whereunto he shewing him­selfe obedient (as soon as they were sitten down) spake in this forme.

Some eight yeares may be expired, sithence there chanced to come to the kingdome of Arabia the happie, the Prince of Artacana the youngest amongst the sonnes of the King of Parthia, who for his noble conditions was growne so famous, as there was not any Princesse or Queene, that hearing of him desired not to see him, and seeing him, desired not to have and enjoy him; so that he whilest he lived a Knight Errant, had more adoe with his love to satisfie wo­men in their affections, than to succour them with his valour, which in him was more than ordinarie. There reigned then in Arabia a right noble Queene, that had beene some two yeares a widdow, a woman of exquisite beautie and extolled modestie; no sonnes had she, but in their stead seven daughters, the elder whereof bred up with hope of s [...]ccession she had then newly married to the Prince of Susiana, which marriage occasioned the comming thither of the Artacanan Prince, who borne to the exercise of armes and in them bred up (upon the bridegromes invitation) came thither to honour his friend, and to make his fame by exercising of his person grow still more famous in the world, the affect of honour being somewhat a [...]kin to that of gold, whereof the more one hath the more he covets. It were too long to relate unto you the feates of armes he there performed, only I must tell you that valour, beautie, and bodily fea­ture (qualities without paragon in him) held very ones minde in suspence, to judge whether they overcame or were overcome of courtesie and other vertues scated in the minde, which (though in­ternall) twinkled forth sparkles that argued great flames of excellen­cies, not to be extinguished by any other humour whatsoever. The Queene who was then young (being not passing foure and thirtie years of age) grew to be so ardently enamored of him, as no one place could long hold her; nor were the considerations of her being mother to so many daughters, & Lady of so many people, sufficient to extinguish this ordor of hers; but (like some combustible matter sprinkled over with oyle) she burned more vigorously when she [Page 186] lighted on any reasons contrary to her desire. This o! this was it which made her neglect even her sleep and food; dragd by amorous furies a different way, she strove to defend her selfe from being con­quered, and in the victory the excessive paines she tooke to obtaine it, weakened her forces against the succeeding battell. Shee shunn'd the sight of him, and yet was sicke to see them, and being so sicke, would willingly have died, for not living sicke perpetually, in that her modestie permitted her not to sue to him. In the meane time he (both honoured and beloved) held correspondencie with all, which he well knew how to doe; nay, it had gotten in him such a habit, as that he could not chuse but doe it. When he saw in himselfe any qualitie that he perceived to be in the Queene, he would joy thereat. It grieved him much to see her retired, judging the feasts and sports obscured by the privation of her presence, and that her griefe alone was an universall contagion to the Vniverse. He went to see her, and grieved so to see her. Their language was not common (such having no place in persons of singular vertue) but accompanied with an in­ternall affect of pitty, followed with a sweet faintnesse of the heart, and waited on with manners Royall, and an expression able to cap­tivate the most obdurate minde; forcible enough it was not to bat­ter (for the breach thereof was made already) but to raze to the ground her constrained resolution, her losse making her know she was too weake to resist so many engins and so potent an enemy. At length because her modestie consented not to the giving up of that Fort unto any, which ever till then she had conserved, she dee­med it her best course rather than to lose it, to yeeld it up upon ho­norable conditions; wherefore retiring her selfe into her selfe, and summoning her thoughts before the privy Councell of her conside­ration, she came to see, that it ill-befitted not her age and beautie to take to her a husband, and too with all that the Prince of Artacana (be­ing her equall though not his fathers heire) was no inconvenient march for her. With this comforted, and resolved, (leaving her bed) she appeared at the solemnities with an excellent beautie, wai­ted on with so rare perfections as engendred envy in her sex, but reverence and love, or rather a reverent love in any lover of beauty, luckily borne under an amorous influence.

The Prince at that time exceeded not the age of foure and twentie yeares, too young for the practice of the world, but not for the ex­perience of love, that grew so fixed by affection (which by little and little was a building in him) in all the gestures of the Queene; as it was no difficult matter for him to perceive the fire that the fuell of his love maintained in her; but yet doubted he of being beguiled, for albeit he might assuredly have builded on the foundation of his owne merits; yet modestie (one of the vertues that embellished him) made him charie in judging the best of himselfe, and much more in censuring the worst of others; being that such inclinations could not without some declination of honestie be presupposed to be (as he conceived in any woman whatsoever. An opinion some­times [Page 186] false, but ever discourteous; which argument of his was farre from the thought of mariage, knowing himselfe much younger than her, and she not onely a mother of a numerous off-spring, but also likely to be shortly a grand-mother; wherin although he thought not himselfe deceived, yet determined he not to give himself over for all that as a prey to desire ere he knew that he were certaine of his hope.

The dayes of those feasts were for the most part spent in feats of Chivalry, masqueradoes, shewes, dances, and huntings; and the re­sidue in journeying: for seeing that the whole kingdome, would needs partake thereof, it was the Queenes pleasure, that the foure moneths destined to that end, should be stored amongst the foure royall cities, which were Omano the Metropolitan citie placed in the midst of the Kingdome; Zabra situate (as it were) under our Tropicke; Saba in the extremitie of the Arabian creeke, and Carma beyond the Sudmaritan mountaines; nor was the time spent in iourneying recko­ned in this account, because every of them would needs feast their Queene their full moneth out, lodging and entertaining her Court with all its followers, without any charge at all to the Exchequer. By which occasion also all such strangers as were flocked thither, saw all that part of the kingdome, where grew the aromaticall and sweet-smelling spices, which is in the Sabeian, Mineian and Scalal [...]tan quarters, to such passing recreation of the senses, that such of them as had been professed travellers, protested, that they never gusted the pleasantnesse of any journey with such a ravishing content, as humane sense might imagine it held conformitie with the divine es­sence, excepting this onely, the odors of Myrrhe, Incense, and Bal­some, (in the place where they grow, and where every one may with his hands gather them) farre supassing the odors of the same simples transported any where else. the very aire there, being also situate under so fortunate a clime, as it breathes nought els but sweet odors, nor distils other than right pretious balmes; nay more, the impartiall-seeming Sun which in the same paralell in other places melts and kills, there vivifies and recreates. And the hew of the inha­bitants countenances which in Arabia the desart, (though many de­grees more northerly) are gloomie and swarffee, are here neverthe­lesse cleere and lively. If then among the pleasures of so delightfull a climate, among the commodities of a terrene Paradise, amongst the allurements of feasts & revellings, and occasion of journeyings love had not commoditie, passage, and place to lodge it selfe in, we must needes beleeve him to be rather deprived of judgement, than hood­winked.

The marriage was celebrated in Carma, a palce for all the neigh­bouring parts most commodious; there ended the Queene her moneth, and there also shooke she off her sicknesse.

The Prince of Artacana grew to be extraordinarily altered from what he was wont to be, to the no small griefe of the Prince of Susi­ana, who for having invited him thither, thought himselfe obliged to entertaine him in such manner, as melancholy might get no seat [Page 188] in him, he oftentimes would aske him what ailed him, when the o­ther putting on a merry countenance, strove to conceale with its oc­casion the effect thereof. The Prince of Susiana sought every way to procure his content, and thinking that the conversation of Ladies might delight him, he had no great a-doe to frame a Colledge (as I may say) of the fairest of them, whereof some in stead of recreating and curing of him grew by him to be infected.

The Queene (having with an amorous prudence examined all things with her selfe) aimed rightly at the occasion of his alteration; so as she glad thereof, began to hope for some good issue to her de­sires; but yet (desirous that the matter might be first broken, either by him, or by some other accident) she had the patience to expect the occasion of parting thence.

Now to goe to Omano, they were to passe the mountaine in a chaire, at the foote whereof were to stand ready their coaches. De­scended then from the mountaine, the Queene (under pretext of the great heat) would have none in hers but the two younger girles; whereupon the Prince of Susiana (who desired to be alone with his bride) came to her and told her, that there was no coach for the Prince of Artacana, nor was there any provided for him, because it was thought her Majestie would have honour'd him with a place in hers. She excusing her selfe for not having thought of it, taking him by the hand made him come and sit by her of one side, causing the two little Princesses to passe over to the other.

This Queene bare in her countenance (placed there by nature) an awing Majestie, whereby though she had not beene borne a Queene, she would have beene reputed for such, for that she seemed with it to teach reverence and respect. The Prince (docible in such like dis­ciplines) learn'd them in an instant but unlearned himselfe; for lo­sing his colour and speech (as a man suddenly oppressed with a great fit of [...]icknesse) he remained deprived of all motion. The Queene (intending to enquire of him how he like her countrey, seeing him now in so profound a maze, laying aside the faire colours which she carried in her countenance, and borowing of his pale and bloud­lesse hew) said hastily unto him; What is this I see, My Lord? Are you sicke, and yet conceale your maladie? Doe you take mee (perhaps) to be so discourteous as not to deferte my journey for your good, if your health so required it? Vpon which words she intending to bid the coach returne; the Prince (revived with the sound of that voice with his eyes big with child of a captivated pit­tie, a weeping discoverer of his amorous disease) return'd her this answer.

Madame, I beseech you by the same courtesie, by whose meanes my imagination is by you made innocently guiltie, not to breake off for me your intended progresse; I cannot denie my selfe to be sicke, though my disease be of such a nature that the more rest it hath, the more it increaseth: there is no other way for me to overcome it but by suffering, which although it cannot be cured, yet should a Knight [Page 189] being not able to chase it away, endure it the best he may. For this occasion then, and not for any diffidence of your royall courtesie, have I conceal'd it, howbeit it was never so presumptuous a blab (though for all that mute) as now it is. True it is, that I must excuse it because it seeing no possibilitie of being cured otherwise than by the hand of a goddesse, beleeving (and that peradventure rightly) that you are that deitie, hath made bold to invoke you. The Queene made no present answer, but after a short pause said thus unto him;

I never yet heard (My Lord) of a disease of that nature; and though I beleeve that the gods can (when they will) cure all diseases, yet am I somewhat dubious in beleeving, that such a cure be reserved, ei­ther more to the one than to the other, or to a goddesse rather than to a god; but though it were granted that it could so bee, yet how can your disease wanting the discourse of reason beleeve me to be a goddesse; or how can you say (that perhaps it beleeved rightly) knowing me for a woman?

That the gods (Madam) have divided their offices and govern­ment (replied the Prince) cannot (I beleeve) be doubted of: and this perceive we plainely in the visible gods; the one meddles not with the others businesse, be it either to helpe or hurt the things created; onely they may because of their benigne nature, with their aspects mitigate the evill effects of such, which being of a diverse nature thinke but of harming us. That a disease hath understanding though it want discourse cannot be denied, unlesse the naturall rela­tion among creatures be denied also; for how doth bloud gush out of the wound of a dead corps in its murtherers presence, wanting discourse, nay (which is more) not having as much as sense? It must be then needs granted me, that all things either by power of an internall sympathy, or by relation (as we may say) of another thing to the same (in some manner) correspondent may without un­derstanding, understand, and without will, will. In that I therefore beleeve that my malady perhaps mistakes not it selfe in thinking you to be a goddesse I can say nothing, because I know not what to say. But the Queene solliciting him to make particular answer to this point, as he had done to the rest, (not by any means allowing of his excuses) got him at length to confesse unto her, that indeed his desease was love; but that the qualitie of his Lady was so divine, as that it deprived him not onely of all hope that his service would ever be accepted of, but also of all courage of presuming to make it knowne unto her, which he durst not attempt for feare of the thun­der of her disdaine, and that that accident had then befallen him, because his heart seeing her hold so great a conformitie in all things with the Lady of his life, and taking her for the same indeede, was moved to implore her gratious assistance; nor thought it itselfe de­ceived, aswell because his Lady was a goddnesse, as also because it could perceive no essentiall difference betweene the one and the o­ther. The Queene, perceiving well what he meant, and yet resolved to get it plainely out of him, told him there was no Lady free, and [Page 190] at her owne dispose that had cause to refuse the service of so noble and vertuous a Knight as he was, unlesse she were a married wife, such a one having indeed a good cause of excuse; whereto he answe­ring her, that she was a widdow; she replied, that widdowes might lawfully re-marry. In fine, the end of their discourse was the recipro­call discovery of their affection, with the appointment of their mar­riage to be mannaged with such meanes as might best befit her mo­destie and credit; a conclusion that wrought in their hearts ex­treme content not to bee changed for the possession of the whole world.

The overjoyed Queene now assured of the affection of her belo­ved Prince, grew fairer every day than other, and come to Omano, passed there right happily her destinated moneth. Faine would the Prince have written unto his father to send him thither forthwith Embassadors to demand her; whereunto she (with whom love pre­vailed not so much, but that modestie prevailed yet more) would by no meanes consent; to the Prince his so great torment, as he thought himselfe unable to support it. Whereas she founding the fact with more maturitie, considered that the world (omitting the considerations of her being both a woman and young withall, and therefore subject (as others were) to common passions) would have said that she married onely to spite her daughter.

The feasts ended, she licenced him with all the rest: he having all that time so behaved himselfe, that though hee were enamored, young, and full of fire, yet was there not any that could take notice of his pretentions; and although he served her with extraordinarie diligence and that in tournies he carried her Impresa and favours, and that shee did him besids the publike favour to terme him her Knight; neverthelesse the opinion of modesty in her, and discretion in him being great, suffered [...] those his demeanors to bee deemed other than [...] of Chivalrie, and of service due rather to a Lady than to love.

Come home, he communicated his designe to the King his father and to the Parthian Prince his brother, who assoone as they had un­derstood of the Prince of Susiana's returne home with his bride, were not slacke to send to the Queene a noble embassage, which they wil­led to be expressed in presence of the Councell. The obstacles in this businesse were three; all of them of moment, whereof the least was the quantitie of daughters; of the other two the lesse impor­tant was the jealousie and by consequence the enmitie of the Prince of Susiana; the last and greatest of all was the danger of stirring up rebellion in Arabia the desart, whereof her late husband (the father of the girles) having beene naturall King, it was to bee doubted whether that people would ever obey a new King in prejudice of the Princesse of Sasiana their legitimate Queene, as her, who of the daughters was the eldest.

To the first was answered, that a male being more convenient and necessarie to the Realme than a female, and a naturall home-borne [Page 191] native more fit than a stranger; the mariage of the Queene was approved to be, not onely laudable, but necessarie.

To the second, that the Prince of Susiana (being the Artacan Prince his friend) had no reason to dislike of this alliance; and though hee were more wedded to the hope of that kingdome, than to its Princesse till then presumed to be heiresse; neverthelesse there was not by this match any thing of his taken from him, because there having beene neither promise nor mention made of giving him the kingdome for a Dower, hee was not berest of the hope of having it, in case there sprung not from these nuptials any heires male; and if he would not be thus satisfied with reason, yet was there no cause to feare him, considering the greatnesse of the king­dome, the valour of the Prince of Artacana, and the force of the Parthians apt upon any occasion to invade Susiana.

To the third, finding neither reason nor pretext, was said, that it lay not in the Queenes power either to give her new husband the title of King of the other Arabia, nor yet (in case she married) to re­taine it her selfe, it being not hers, but her daughters; adding, that as they besought her to marrie, that so she might give them a law­full Lord; so desired they her to be also pleased in the selfe same time to cede that kingdome, to whom it of right descended.

With this the marriage was concluded on, and the kingdome of Arabia the desart granted to the Prince of Susiana (who, for all the inviting that he and his wife had to come to the celebration of the marriage would by no meanes come;) and Artacana proclaimed and crowned King of that Realme with generall applause and pub­like satisfaction; but little could shee or the kingdome enjoy him, for within foure yeares time death tooke him away in the fairest flower of his yeares, & in the greatest expectation of prowesse that might be hoped for of any Prince of that age. Grievous then above all griefes was the griefe of the more than grievously grieved Queene, insomuch as no perswasions could prevaile to take out of her armes the dead corpes, her often swounding kept her alive by making her become unsensible of the sharpenesse of the paine which shee felt, without which shee had irrevocably accompanied him. But (alas)' twas not here that her misfortunes ended; for ha­ving left her by her husband two babes, the one a boy (which is this here) and the other a girle; there was stirred up (a little after the Kings death) an insurrection in the Realme, in the favour of the cl­der Princesse. In that time were the Parthians troubled by the Medes, and our King (when he sickned) was about to goe in person to the aid of his father, who hath by this time (I beleeve) made an end of losing his state and whole Dominions. Susiana seeing himselfe therefore assured of his, on that part, and withall rid of a competitor; having with gifts and promises made up a strong faction in his mo­ther-in-laws kingdome, thought by laying hold on this occasion to become absolute Lord thereof. Of his first motion the Queene was not much affraid, either because, she having by the losse of her hus­band [Page 192] beene accustomed and vsed to the supremest of evils had no feeling of lesser; or for that shee relying upon the having of a male-legitimate heire, cared little therefore, but gave her Generall com­mission to goe pacifie the insurrection.

These Rebels with the greatest part of the other Barons who (whether it were that they scorned to serue a babe in his swathing bands, or for any hopes of better advancement, under a King great of State, and well stricken in yeares) accorded to receive him; whilest he with a great army quartered on the cofines of the two Arabiaes, resolved he would be declared apparent heire (after the Queene) of that kingdome, excluding by name Coralbo (for so is this unfortunate child cald) in spight of all such as opposed him. Ve­ry few were those that stucke to the Queenes side, all following the fortune of the sonne-in-law, with the pretext of the Princesse, by this time fruitfull of three sonnes; so as the poore distressed Queene counselled by necessitie, was faine to forgoe his sonnes title; but perceiving though too late, that this could not make up her good sonne-in-lawes content, and that Coralbos life was that which he ai­med at, shee sent him to the strong castle of Cardamina; when he waxen wroth to see him so repriv'd from his barbarous crueltie, un­masking himselfe now, and promising his sisters-in-law with great Dowries to many Princes, had the heart to deprive his mother-in-law of her kingdome; the death of his wife giving him occasion so to do, who whilest she liv'd would never consent either to the depo­sing of her mother, or the death of her brother. Established then with the title of his sonnes; the deposed Queene (of every one pit­tied too late) considering how that Cardamina (whither she was re­tired) could not be long able to withstand the Tyrants force, calling me unto her.

Sotiro my beloved Cozen (said she) I know you conceive the miserable estate whereto fortune hath reduced me, I am now with­out either husband or kingdome, and am also like enough to bee shortly without a sonne too. In such losses as these (for which I should have died) I have conserved my selfe alive, to the end that at every new breathing I might lively feele them all: my kindred and servants have all forsaken me, you onely (deare Cozen) have left and lost all to accompanie and comfort me, so that it is not the least among my griefes to know the disproportion that is betweene your fidelitie and my present state, for not being able to reward you, yet will I neverthelesse give you so efficacious a token of my gratitude (though the receiving of it can bee to you but a great trouble) that you will confesse it lies not in my power to give you more, in the case I am in at this present. With that, taking the child, and laying it in my armes, she stood a good while without opening her mouth, plung'd in a sea of teares, till at last she said unto me, This is that, which I promised you, the sole Relique of my felicities and onely comfort of all my losses and miseries, which I must lose to my selfe that it be not lost to the world; here is no place for him [Page 193] (poore Infant) no King or Prince, to whose trust I may commit him; you onely dare I boldly trust him with. Vpon this (rising off her seate, and I following her with the babe in my armes) she led me into a great tower, where we found so much riches, Iewels and coine, as I remained thereat astonished, opening unto me afterwards the places shut up, and my wonder thereat increasing; Cozen (said she) I would bid you take all that you here see, if the carriage of it would not endanger you; take therefore all that you thinke may stead and serve you, yet must you make account that what you take, must (without any more) be the patrimonie of my poore sonne, and the stay of your loyaltie, my selfe not knowing either what shall become of me, or whether I shall ever find any meanes of sending you any more. And as she was about to tell me somewhat touching the education she would have me give him, she was seazed on by so great a floud of teares, as her unfinished conceits were by her sobbings limited with this onely, Doe you.

Whereupon I (transformed into her griefe, though most unapt to comfort her) strove (the best I could) to speake something to her; but she soliciting me to depart with such speedy earnestnesse, as if the Tyrant had beene at the gates, I went and chused out of the treasure what liked me best, and taking up the babe got me to Ar­sinoe; where landing in a Merchants habit, having with me the riches signed up in diverse packs with merchants marks, I passed to the Nile desending on it at my leasure to the sea, where boording a good shop, I sought for a setling place over all the Mediterranean Ilands, but being winde-driven hither, and finding here a great heard of goats with this Deere amongst them, I wondered to see her so gently fawne upon me without any feare at all; so as I judging this a fit place for my purpose, called it (because of the goates) Capraia; and finding this mouldrie stone easie to be wrought, I sent for workmen from Liguria, who in a short time made me the house you here see, wherein I will doe my best to conceale this disinherited Prince. I brought along with me three right faithfull servants, one my owne, the others given me by the Queene; but because I never wrote unto her more than once from Arsinoe, I sent her (some three moneths sithence) one of them to bring her newes of us, not so much for discharge of my dutie as to know what state she now is in, and to see, if there be any likelihood of any hope of our returne; wherein if there appeare an impossibilitie, I intend to continue here, till such time as the child grow to be able to exercise horse and armes; by that time, suspitions ceased, my selfe growne aged, he well growne up, and both of us altogether unkend and quite forgotten, I will en­deavour to bring him elsewhere, that fortune may not together with his kingdome deprive him of those fruits the world is like to reape from his (truly Royall) inclinations. And this (excellent Princes) is all that you desired to know, which I beseech you to account as not spoken; nor had your Royall dignities beene suffici­ent to have made mee become thereof confident enough, if your [Page 194] aspects carried not engraven in them the merits of your vertues worthy to be the cabinet of so great a secret.

Eromilia hugging the babe close to her faire breast, with kissing it a thousand times, could not containe her selfe from weeping; faine would she have praied Sotiro to goe along with her to have him bred up in her Court, if she had thought to have obtained him; which proffer she and Metaneone both made him, with expression how de­sirous they were thereof, but he humbly thanking her, told her, that he would finde a time to come with him to see and serve her. The three dayes that the tempest lasted, passed the Princesse pleasantly on this Rocke, with the sweet-pleasing company of Coralbo; which expired, shee (commending him to the gods) departed with her husband.

In a short time arrived they at Caleri met by Polimero, and well­comed by Eromena, conformable to the dignitie of their estates and communitie of their affections; whence they could not part for ma­ny dayes after the marriage, although the King of Mauritania had by often messages solicited their returne; till at length Polimero also, (desirous to pay the tribute of the dutie that he owed his father) ha­ving gotten leave of his father-in-law to take along with him Erome­na, they (accompanied with Eleina) went on their intended voyage for Mauritania, where being arrived, they were received with such pompe and joy, as greater can not be described.

The old King seeing his sonnes thus well match'd, and Polimero so well provided for and setled, joyed for the hope he had to see issue from them a faire posteritie, which hee was so fortunate, as to see spring from both of them: for Eromilia about foure moneths then after was brought to bed of a boy. Whilest Eromena knowing her selfe to bee with child, thought to returne home, being sent for by her father; but the intreaties of her parents and brothers-in-law were so importunate as it was not possible for her to returne, and the Embassadors sent thence to Sardegna got (with much difficultie) leave for her to stay there somewhat longer; her time being come, she was brought to bed of a daughter, whose features were both so faire and manly, that the sight of her bred no lesse delight than wonder in the hearts of all that saw her. And too withall nature it selfe (which in ingendring amazement proceeds with unaccustomed meanes) now in her operations exceeded her ordinarie bounds; for two or three nights before her birth were heard all over the Pa­lace and through the streets of the citie a pleasing murmur, as that of voices and instruments, that carried to the eare an unusuall sweet­nesse of harmonie; beguiling many, (who went through the lod­gings to seeke for it) with others who went out of their houses, thinking to finde it abroad.

The day shee was borne on, there was no man that minded his owne businesse, but every man (drawne by an unknowne affect) forsooke his shop, whilest the sacred temples shone with sacrifices and devout worshipping. Never was there seene over all Afrique [Page 195] a more temperate day, or a more sweetly-warming Sunne than was then; Orenge, Lemon, and Cedar-trees that never budded before, now blossomed abundantly, yeelding at that birth their fruit in all maturitie and perfection. The gentle Dolphins ranne sporting themselves nimbly in the sea, chasing to the land whole armies of fish, which the inhabitants tooke with no lesse joy than amazement: an old well or deepe wintch (that at first was sunke in the castle of Birsa for the commoditie of the Garrison, and was (for being found afterwards with salt water in it) dedicated to Neptune) boild all the night long, becomming in the following morning so sweete, as it excelled in goodnesse the best waters in that Countrey.

Full glad was Eromena to heare of such things, acknowledging her thankes to heaven for doing them in the favour of her girle. Congratulations she received not as a woman in child-bed, but as a Captaine vanquissant of a battel. Many times and often kissed shee her sweet babe, who without either crying or weeping, beheld sted­fastly the faire light of the world; by no meanes possible would the sweet little one endure the swathing bands, but would with a lovely fiercenesse push them off her. No other dugs would shee touch, sa­ving those of her mothers; wherein though they thought to be­guile her (by Eromena's holding her in her armes, and others rea­ching her a dug,) yet she informed by the instinct of nature would shut up close her pretty mouth, chusing rather to die for hunger than to be nurst with other milke than her mothers. She would (by all meanes) bee obeyed in all things, and faine were they (whether they would or not) to let her have her will, to the passing content of her grand-parents, leaving at her parting so great a longing after her, as the expectations from her exceeded that of all the girles that ever were borne in Africke.

Polimero with his Eromena departed thence, leaving every one sad for their privation; who arrived in Sardegna, setled themselves to the ordering of the Relame-affaires. Whose strange adven­tures and rare feates of chivalrie, together with other things in this Booke unfinished, shall be writ in the Story of Donzella-desterrada, or the Exiled Virgin.

FINIS.

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