Thirtene most plesant and delectable Questions, entituled A disport of di­uers noble personages Written in Italian by M. IOHN BOCACE, Florentine and Poet Laureate, in his Booke named PHILOCOPO.

Englished by H. G.

These bookes are to be solde at the Corner shoppe, at the North-weast dore of Paules. (⸫)

¶To the right worshipfull M. VVilliam Rice Esquier, H. G. wisheth a happy long life, with in­crease of muche worship.

IN HOVV MVCHE the thankfull sorte are desirous (as reson vvil­leth, and experience daylie teacheth) to gratifie such their dear frends, as to vvhom for sundrie good turnes and receiued benefits they are not a litle beholding, the sundrie dealing of thousands dayly in vse and ap­parant to the vvorlde, to the great prayse and commendation both of the one and the other, giueth a sufficient testimonie: So that, taking occasion thereby to shevv the good vvill I haue, to pay in parte the debt many yeres due, for that your boun­tie tovvards me (the least sparke vvhereof I am vnable to satisfie:) I do giue vnto you this ITLLIAN Disport, the vvhich I haue turned out of his natiue attyre into this our ENGLISH habite, to the ende the same may be no lesse familiar to you, and to such other (for your sake) as shall [Page] vouchsafe thereof, than it is either to the ITALIAN or the FRENCH: and desire that the same may march abroade vnder your charge: to vvhom I recount the pro­tection therof. Not douting but as the re­ding therof shal bring pleasure and delite: so the matter beeing therevvithall duely considered, shal giue sundry profitable les­sons mete to be folovved. And bicause the name of the author (being of no smal cre­dit vvith the learned, for those his sundry vvel written vvorks) is of it selfe sufficient to carry greater commendation therwith, than my pen is able to vvrite, I leaue to la­bor therin, lest my lack may be an occasiō to the leesing of his due prayse. And vntill Fortune (the onely hope of the vnhappy) shall make me better able, I shall desire you thankfully to accept this as a token and pledge of the good vvil I haue to per­forme that vvhervnto mine abilitie is vn­able to stretch. Thus taking my leaue, I betake you to the tuitiō of almightie god, vvho preserue you in health to his plesure, and after this life make you possessor of those ioyes, vvhereof vve all hope to be partakers. 6. Martij. 1566.

The Booke to the Reader.

LOke ere thou leape, dome not by vievv of face,
Least hast make vvast, in misdoming the case,
For I teach not to loue, ne yet his lore,
Ne vvith vvhat salue is cured suche a sore.
But I the carke vvith cares that therby haps,
The blisse vvith ioyes, the stormes vvith thunder­claps,
The curtesies, vvhere most his force is shevvde,
The choyce of best, be it of good or levvde,
Compare them so, as doomed is the doubt
Thereof, and ay the truth vvell fifted out:
The vvhich to reade such pleasure thou shalt finde
As may content a vvell disposed minde.

The argument to the .xiij Questions, composed in Italian, by M. John Bocace, Florentine, and Poet Laureat: And now turned into English by H. G.

FLORIO surnamed Philocopo, accompa­nied with the Duke Montorio, Ascalion, Menedon, and Mas­salino, in sayling to séeke his frend Bian­cofiore, was thorow a very obscure and darke night, by the fierce winds, driuen into great dangers, but the perilles béeing once passed, they were cast into the Porte of the auncient PARTHENOP [...], wheras the Mariners (espying them selues in Hauen) he re­reiued comfort, not knowing into what coast Fortune had forced him, yelded thankes to his Gods. And so taried the new day, the which after it once appea­red, the place was of the Mariners de­scried, so that they al glad of suretie, and of so acceptable arriuall, came a shoare. [Page] Philocopo with his companions, who rather séemed to come foorth new risen agayne out of their sepultures, than dis­barked from shippe, looked backe towar­des the waywarde waters, and repea­ting in them selues the passed perils of the spent night, could yet scarcely thinke themselues in suretie. They all then with one voyce praysed their gods, that had guided them safe out of so crooked a course, offred their pitifull Sacrifices, and began to receiue comfort, and were by a friende of Ascalions honorably re­ceiued into the Citie, whereas they cau­sed their ship to be all new repaired and decked, of Mast, sayle, and better sterne, than were the others whiche they had lost: and so tarying time for their fur­ther voiage, the which was much longer lengthened than they looked for: by oc­casion whereof Philocopo would many times haue taken his iourney by lande, but discouraged therein by Ascalion, stayde, in tarrying a more prosperous houre in the aforesayde place, where he and his companions saw Phebea fiue times round, & as many times horned, [Page] before that Notus did abandon his vio­lent forces. And in so long a while, they neuer almost saw time to be merry, wherevpon Philocopo, who was very desirous to perfourme his deferred iour­ney, one day called his companions vn­to him, and sayde: Let vs go take the pleasaunt ayre, and passe the time vpon the salte sea shoare, in reasoning and prouiding for our future voyage. Thus he, with the duke Parmenion, and the rest of his companions, directed their walke with a mild pace (discoursing di­uers matters) towards that place wher rest the reuerende ashes of the most re­noumed Poet Maro. They all thus tal­king a good space, were not gone farre from the Citie, but that they came to the side of a Gardeyn, wherein they heard gracious and ioyous feasting of young Gentlemen, dames, and dam­sels: There the ayre did all resounde with the noyse of sundrie instruments, and as it were of Angelicall voyces, entring with swéete delighte into the hearts of them, to whose eares it came: the whiche noyse it pleased Philocopo [Page] to staye a while to heare, to the ende his former Melancolie thoroughe the swéetenesse thereof, mighte by little and litle departe away. Then Ascalion restrayned theyr talke. And whylest Fortune helde thus Philocopo and his companions without the garden inten­tiuely listening, a yong gentleman com­ming foorth thereof, espied them, & forth­with by sighte, porte and visage, knew them to be noble gentlemen, & worthy to be reuerenced. Wherfore he without tariaunce, returned to his company, and sayde: Come, let vs goe welcome cer­tayne yong men, séeming to be gentle­men of great calling, the whiche per­haps bashfull to enter herein, not being bidden, stay without, giuing eare to our dysporte. The companions then of this Gentleman lefte their Ladies at their pastime, and went foorth of the Gar­den, and came to Philocopo, whome by sighte they knew too bée chiefe of all the reste, to whome they spake with that reuerence their reason coulde de­uise, and that was most conuenient for the welcoming of such a guest, praying [Page] him that in honour and increase of this their Feast, it would please him and his companions to enter with them the gar­den, constrayning him through many requests, that he should in no wise denie them this curtesy. These swéete prayers so pierced the gentle heart of Philocopo, and no lesse the hearts of his compani­ons, that he answered the intreators in this sort: Friends, of truth such a Feast was of vs neither soughte for, nor fled from, but like weather beaten mates cast into your port, we to the ende to flée drouste thoughts, which spring of ydle­nesse, didde in reciting our aduersities, passe by these sea banks: But how for­tune hath allured vs to giue eare vnto you I know not, vnlesse as we thinke, desirous to remoue from vs all pensiue­nesse, she hath of you, in whom I know to be infinite curtesie, made vs this of­fer: and therfore we will satisfie your desire, though peraduenture in part we become somewhat lauesse of the curtesie which otherwise towards others ought to procéede from vs. And thus talking, they entred togither into the Garden, [Page] wheras they founde many fayre Gen­tlewomen, of whom they were very graciously receiued, and by them welco­med to their feast. After Philocopo had a good while behelde this their feasting, and likewise had feasted with them, he thought it good to depart, and willing to take his leaue of the yong Gentlemen, and to giue them thanks for the honor he had receiued, one Lady more hono­rable than the rest, indued with maruel­lous beautie and vertue, came foorth where he stode, and thus sayd vnto him: Most noble Syr, ye haue this morning through this your great curtesie, shewed no smal pleasure to these yong Gentle­men, for the which they shalbe alwayes beholding vnto you, that is to wit, in that you haue vouchesafed to come to honor this our feast. May it please you then, not to refuse to shew vnto me, and to these other Dames, that fauor that I am secondarily to intreate you for: To whome Philocopo with a swéete voyce answered: Most gentle Lady, no­thing maye iustly be denied you, com­maunde therefore, for both I and these [Page] my companions are all prest at your will: To whom the Lady sayde in this wyse: Forasmuche as this your com­ming hath increased this our feasting, with a most noble and goodly companie, I shal desire you that you will not with departure lessen the same, but rather helpe vs here to spende this day euen to the laste houre, to that ende we haue already begonne the same. Philocopo behelde hir in the face as she thus spake, and séeing hir eyes replete with bur­ning rayes to twinkle lyke vnto the morning starre, and hir face exceading pleasaunt and faire, thoughte neuer to had séene (his Biancofiore excepted) so faire a creature: to whose demaund he thus made aunswere: Madame I shall dispose my self to satisfie rather your de­sire than mine owne, wherefore so long as it shall please you, so long will I a­bide with you, and these my compani­ons also: The Ladye gaue him greate thanks, and retourning to the others, began togethers with them all to be ve­ry merry. Philocopo abiding with them in this sorte, entred greate familiaritie [Page] with a young Gentleman named Ga­leone, adorned with good qualities, and of a singuler eloquence, to whome in talking he sayde thus: Oh, how muche are you more than any others beholding to the immortall Gods, the whiche pre­serue you quiet in one will in this your mirth making. We acknowledge vs to be greatly bounden vnto them, an­swered Galeone. But what occasion moueth you to say this? Philocopo an­swered: Truely none other occasion, but that I sée you all here assembled in one will. Oh, sayde Galeone, mar­uayle not at all thereat, for this Lady in whome all excellencie dothe reste, both moueth vs herevnto, and holdeth vs herein. Then demaunded Philocopo: And this Lady, who is she? Ga­leone aunswered: It is she that made request vnto you that ye woulde tarry here, when as a while since ye woulde haue departed. By sight she semeth vnto vnto me (sayd Philocopo) exceding faire, and of a surmounting worthinesse: but yet if my demaund be not vnléefull, ma­nifest hir name vnto me, of whēce she is, [Page] and of what Parentes discended. To whom Galeone answered: No wayes maye your request bée vniust, besides there is none publiquely talking of hir, which doth not vouchsafe to publish the renoume of so worthy a Lady, and ther­fore I shall fully satisfie your demaund. Hir name is of vs here called Fiametta, howbeit the greatest part of the people call hir by the name of hir, throughe whom that wounde is shut vp, that the preuarication of the first mother ope­ned. She is the daughter of a most high Prince, vnder whose scepter these coun­treys are quietly gouerned, she is also Lady to vs all: and briefly, there is no vertue that ought to be in a noble heart, that is not in hirs. And as I thinke, in tarying this day with vs, you shall haue good experience therof. That which you say (sayde Philocopo) can not be hidden in hir semblance. The gods guide hir to that ende that hir singular giftes do merite, for assuredly I beléeue both that and much more than you haue affirmed. But these other dames, who are they? These Gentlewomen (sayde Galeone) [Page] some of them are of Parthenope, and o­ther some of places else where, commen as are you your selues, hither into hir company. And after they had thus helde talke a good space, Galeone sayde: Ah my swéete friende, if it mighte not dis­please you, it should be very acceptable vnto me to know further of your state and condition, than your outwarde ap­pearance representeth, to the ende that by knowing you, we maye do you that honor you worthily merit, bicause some­times want of knowledge bringeth lack of duetie, to them that honour others in not doing their due reuerēce. To whom Philocopo aunswered: no lacke in do­ing me reuerence coulde any ways hap­pen on your behalfe, but rather ye haue therin so far excéeded, as with excesse ye haue passed the bounds & limits therof. But since you desire to know further of my condition, it should be vniust not to satisfie your desire therein. And therfore (in how muche it is lawfull for me to discouer) I shall tell you: I am a poore Pilgrim of Loue, and goe séeking as ye sée, a Lady of mine, taken away from [Page] me by subtile cautele by my Parents▪ and these Gentlemen whom ye sée with me, of their curtesie kéepe me compa­nye in this my Pilgrimage: and my name is Philocopo, of Nation a Spa­niard, driuen through tempestuous we­ther (séeking for the Ilande of Cicilia) into your Ports. But he knew not so couertly to talke, as that the yong Gen­tleman vnderstoode not more of his con­dition, than he willingly desired he should: and hauing compassion of those his harde happes, somewhat comforted him with woordes, whiche promised him hereafter a more luckie life, and from that time forwards to increase his honour, willed that he shoulde be hono­red of them all, not as a Pilgrim, or as a bidden guest, but rather as the chiefe and principall patrone of the feast. The Lady, who vnderstood his state and con­dition, through the report of Galeone, estéeming derely of such an happe, com­maunded specially that so it shoulde be. Apollo was now with his Chariot of light mounted to the Meridian circle, and did scarcely behold with leueled eye [Page] the new apparelled earth, when as these Dames, Damsels, and yong gentlemen béeing thus assembled togither in that place, (setting their feasting aparte) sée­king forth by sundry quarters of the gar­den the delightfull shade, and fleing the noysome heat that might offend their de­licate bodies, toke by diuers companies, diuers delightes. And the Ladie accom­panied with foure others, toke Philoco­po by the hand, saying: Sir, the heat doth constraine vs to séeke out the fresh aire, let vs therfore go to yonder medow you sée here before vs, and there with sundry discourses, passe ouer the heat of the day. Philocopo then greatly praised the La­dies deuise, and folowed hir motion, and with him his companions. Galeone also with two others, wēt with them to the appointed medow, which was excéeding fair of grasse and floures, and filled with a swéete suauitie of smels, about ye which grewe store of yong trées very faire and thicke of gréene leaues, wherewith the place was defended from the parching beames of the great planet. There was in the middest of that medowe a propre [Page] Fountain, very faire & cleare like Chri­stall, about the which they all sate them downe, where some gasing in ye water, and other some gathering floures, they began to talke of sundry matters. But bicause sometimes at vnwares, the one did interrupt the others Tale, the fayre Ladie sayd vnto them thus: To the ende that this our discourse may procéede in a more better order, and so continue vntill the freshe coole houres, the which we at­tend for our further feasting. Let vs or­daine one of vs in place of our king, to whome eche one shal propound a questi­on of Loue, and shall receiue from hint an apt resolution thereof: and truely (as I think) we shal no sooner haue made an end of our Questions, but yt the heat (we not knowing how) shall be past, and the time spent to our profit and delite. This deuise pleased them al, and among them it was sayd: Let ther be a king: and with one voice they all chose Aschalion to their king, for that he was somewhat more growne in yeres, than was any of the rest: To whom he made answer, to be altogither insufficient for so great an [Page] office, bicause he had spent more yeres in the seruice of Mars, than of Venus. But yet he prayed them all to leaue vnto him the Election of suche a King. They that thought him to be suche a one (knowing so wel before hand the qualities of them all) as would constitute one suche, as should yeld true answer to all theyr de­maundes, did then wholly consent that the Election shuld fréely be remitted vn­to him, since he would not take suche a dignitie vpon himself.Fiametta cho­sen Queene to define the que­stions pro­pounded. Ascalion thē rose him vp, and gathered certaine twigges of a greene Laurel, the shade wherof did ouerspread the fresh fountaine, and ther­of made a riche Coronet, the which he brought in presence of them all, and said in this wise: from the time that I in my most youthful yeares began to haue vn­derstanding, I swere by those gods whō I worship, that I do not remēber to haue leen or hard named, a womā of like wor­thinesse to Fiametta, of whō loue holdeth vs al heer in hir presēce inflamed, and by whō we haue this day bin honored ī such sort, as we ought neuer to forget ye same. And bicause she (as wtout dout I know) [Page] is plentifully endued wyth euery good grace, adorned bothe with beautie & good qualities, and endued with a flowing e­loquence, I therefore make choice of hir to be our Quéene. For assuredly it is cō ­uenient that the imperial crowne be be­stowed vppon hir magnificence, being discended from a stirpe royal, to whome the secrete wayes of loue, being (as they are all) open, it shall be an easie matter for hir to content vs in these our Que­stions. And this sayd, he humbly knéeled before this noble Ladie, saying: Most curteous Ladie vouchsafe to decke your head with this Crowne, the which is no lesse dearly to be estéemed of them, that are worthy thorow their vertues to co­uer their heades with the like, than if it were of Golde. The Ladie with a newe red bepainted hir white visage, and said: Truely ye haue not in due sorte proui­ded a Quéene for this amorous people, (yt haue more néede of a most able king) for that of all you that are present, I am the most simple and of least vertue, nei­ther is there any one of you that is not more meet to be inuested of such a croun [Page] than am I. But since it thus pleseth you, I can not withstand this your election: & to the end I be not found cōtrary to our made promisse, I will receiue it, and as I hope, shal eke receiue from the Gods with it, ye stomacke due to such an office: and thorowe the helpe of him to whome these leaues were alwayes acceptable, I shall answere you all, according to my small knowledge: Neuerthelesse, I de­uoutly pray him that he will enter into my brest, and renue my voice with that sound wherewith he caused the valiant vanquished man Marsia, to deserue to be drawne forthe of the sheath of his mem­bers. I by way of mirthe shall giue you light answeres wythout sifting to the depthe of your propounded Questions, the going about to serch forth the which, should rather bring tediousnesse than de­light to your mindes. And hauing thus sayd, she toke with hir delicate hand the offred Garland, and therwithal crouned hir head, and commaunded that eche one vppon paine to be depriued of the amo­rous ioyes, should prepare to put forthe some question, the which might be apte [Page] and conuenient to the purpose whereof they did intend to entreat, and such a one as should rather be an increaser of theyr mirth, than through too great subtilty, or otherwise, a destroyer of the same.

The first Question, proposed by PHILOCOPO.

ON the right hand of the Quéene sate Phi­locopo, to whome shée sayde: Noble Sir, you shal begin to propoūd your Question,The Queene commaundeth Philocopo to propound. to the end that ye rest order­ly, as we are heere placed, may after you with more suretie propound theirs also. To whō Philocopo thus made answer: Most noble Ladie, without any forslow­ing, I shal obey your commaundement, and thus said: I remember that in the ci­tie, wherein I was borne, there was one day made a bountiful great feast, wher­at, [Page] to honoure the same, were many gen­tlemen and Gentlewomen:Tvvo Gentle­men enamored of one Gen­tlevvoman. And I that was likewise there roming about, and beholding them that were in the place, espied among the rest, two yong mē ve­ry gratious to behold, that ernestly eyed an excéeding faire woman. Neither was I any wayes able to discerne whither of them hir beauty had most inflamed. And as she in like sort had a good space beheld them, not making greater semblance to the one, than to the other, they betwéene themselues, began to reason of hir: and among the other wordes that I vnder­stoode of their talke, was yt eche one said, that he was hir best beloued: and for proofe thereof, either of them alleaged in the furtherance of himselfe, diuers ge­stures then before done by the yong wo­man. And they thus remaining in this contention a long time, being now tho­rowe many woordes at daggers draw­ing, they acknowledged that héerin they did very euil, bicause in thus doing, they wrought hurt and shame to themselues, and displeasure to the woman. Where­fore (moued of an equall agréement) [Page] bothe two wente to the mother of the mayd, who was also at the same feast, and thus sayd vnto hir: That forsomuch as aboue all other women of the world, either of them best liked hir daughter, and that they were at contention whe­ther of them was best liked of hir, it woulde therefore please hir to graunte them this fauor, to the ende no greater inconuenience might spring thereof, as to will hir daughter, that she either by word or déede, would shew whether of them she best loued. The intreated gen­tlewoman smiling, thus answered: wil­lingly. And so calling hir daughter to hir, sayd: My fayre daughter, eche one of these preferreth the loue of thée, aboue the loue of him selfe, and in this conten­tion they are: whether of them is best beloued of thée: and they séeke of me this sauour, that thou either by signes or words, resolue them herein. Wheras loue is, there peace ought to be. And there­fore to the end that loue, from whom all peace and goodnesse oughte alwayes to spring, brede not now the contrary, con­tent them in this, and with semblable curtesie, shew towards which of thē thy [Page] minde is most bent.The loued giueth cause of argument to hir louers. The yong damsell sayd: It liketh me right well. And so be­holding them bothe a while, she saw the one of thē to haue vpon his head a faire garlande of fresh floures, and the other to stande without any garlande at all. Then she that had likewise vppon hir head a garlande of gréene leaues, firste tooke the same from hir head, and set it vpon his, that stoode before hir without a garlande. And after she toke that whiche the other yong man had vpon his head, and set the same vpon hirs: and so lea­uing them, she returned to the feast, say­ing that she had both performed the com­mandement of hir mother, and eke their desire. The yong men béeing thus lefte, returned also to their former cōtention, eche one affirming that she loued him best. And he whose garland she toke and set vpon hir head, sayde: Assuredly she loueth me beste, bicause she hath taken my garlande to none other ende, but for that what mine is, pleaseth hir, and to giue occasion to be beholding vnto me. But to thée, she hath giuen hirs, as it were in place of hir last farewell: vn­willing [Page] that (like a countrey girle) the loue which thou bearest hir, be without requitall, and therfore lastly she giueth thee that garlande thou haddest merited. The other replying with the contrary, thus answered: Truely she loueth that thine is, better than thée, and that may be séene in taking therof. And me she lo­ueth better than what mine is, in as much as she hath giuen me of hirs: And therefore it is no token of hir last deser­ued gift, as thou affirmest, but rather a beginning of amitie and loue. A gift ma­keth the receiuer a subiect to the giuer: and bicause she peraduenture vncertane of me, to the ende she might be more cer­tayne to haue me hir subiect, will binde me (if perhaps I were not bounde vnto hir before) to be hirs by gift. But howe mayst thou thinke, if she at the first take away frō thée, that euer she may vouch­safe to giue thée. And thus they abode a long time contending, and in the ende departed without any definition at all. Now say I, most puissant Quéene, yf you shoulde be demaunded of the laste sentence of suche a contention, what [Page] would ye iudge? The faire Lady some­what smiling, turned towards Philoco­po, (hir eies sparkling with an amorous light) and after a soft sigh, thus made an­swere: Moste noble youthe,The queenes iudgement vpon the question. proper is your Question: And truely, as very wisely the young woman behaued hir selfe, so eche one of the yong men right well defended his cause. But bicause ye require what we lastly will iudge ther­of, thus we make you aunswere: It sée­meth vnto vs, and so it ought to séeme to eche one that taketh good héede, that the woman had in hate neither the one nor the other: but to kéepe hir intent couert did two contrary acts, as appeareth, and not without occasion. And to the end she might get more assured the loue of him whom she loued, as not to lose the loue of the other, whome she hated not, it was but wisely doone. But to come to our Question, whiche is, to whether of the two, greatest loue was shewed. We saye: that she loued him best, and he chiefest in hir fauour, to whome she gaue hir garland: and this semeth to be the reason: Whatsoeuer man or woman [Page] that loueth any person, ech one through force of the loue they beare, is so strong­ly bound to the person loued, that abou [...] all other things they desire to please the same, neither to binde him or hir more strongly that thus loueth, néedeth either gifts or seruices, and this is manyfest. And yet we sée, yt who so loueth, though he endeuour him selfe sundry wayes, is not able to make the person loued, in any sorte benigne and subiect vnto him, wherby he may bring it to his pleasure, and so with a more bolde face demaund his desire. And that this is in suche sorte as we say,Dido. the inflamed Dido with hir doings, dothe very well manyfest the same vnto vs, who burning in the loue of Aeneas so long,Aeneas. as it séemed hir nei­ther with honours nor with gifts able to winne him, had not the courage to at­tempt the doubtfull way of asking the question: So that then the yong woman sought to make him most beholding vn­to hir, whom she best loued. And thus we say, that he that receiued the gifte of the garlande, was hir best beloued. As the quéene became silent, Philocopo an­swered: [Page] Discrete Lady,Philocopo replieth to the Queene. greatly is your answere to be commended: but for all that, you do bring me into a great admi­ration of that ye haue defined, touching the propounded question, bicause I wold haue iudged rather the contrary. For so muche as generally among louers, this was the wonted custome, that is, to de­sire to beare vpon them some iewell, or some other thing of the persons loued, to the end that most times they might glo­rie them selues more therin, than in all the remnant they had, & perceiuing the same about them, therwith to glad their minds,Paris. as ye haue heard. Paris seldome times or neuer entred into the bloudie battailes against the Greekes, without bearing some token vpon him, that had béen giuen him by his Helene, Helene. beléeuing better to preuayle therewith, than if he had gone without the same. And truely in mine opinion, his thought was not vayne: therefore I shoulde thus saye, (that as you sayde) the yong woman did very wisely, not defining it for all that as you haue don, but in this maner: She knowing that she was very well loued [Page] of two yong men, and that she could not loue mo than one; for that loue is an in­diuisible thing, she would rewarde the one for the loue he bare hir, to the ende that suche good will should not be vnre­warded, and so gaue him hir garlande in requitall thereof. To the other whom she loued, she thought she woulde giue courage and assured hope of hir loue, ta­king his garlande, and decking hir selfe therewith, in token wherof, she playnly shewed to be beholding vnto him for the same. And therfore in my iudgement she loued better him from whom she toke, than him to whom she gaue. To whom the Quéene thus made answere:The queenes solution of this first question. Your argument should haue pleased vs right well, if your selfe in your tale had not condemned the same Sée how pillage and perfect loue can agrée togither? How can ye shew me, that we loue him whom we spoyle, better than him to whom we giue? According to the Question pro­pounded, to the one she gaue a garlande, and from the other she toke a garlande: neither had she too whome she gaue, ought giuen hir: and that which we see [Page] euery day for example may here suffise, as is commonly sayde: They are of gen­tlemen farre better loued, on whom they bestow fauour and gifts, than those that are by them depriued of them. And for that cause we lastly holde opinion, con­cluding, that he is better loued, to whom is giuen, than he from whom is taken. We know very wel, that in these our re­asonings much might be obiected agaynst this our definition, & much also answered to the contrary reasons: But lastly such determination shall remayne true. And bicause time now serueth not, to staye with this our talke vpon one matter on­ly without moe, we will giue eare to the rest if it please you. To whom Philocopo sayd: That it pleased him right wel, and that very well suffised suche a resolution to his demaunded question: and so helde his peace.

The second Question, proposed by LONGANO.

NExte to Philocopo was placed a curteous young man, and gracious to be­holde, whose name was Longano, who no sooner than Philocopo had left, thus beganne: Most excellent Quéene, so trim hath ben the first question, that in my conceipte, mine shall bring no delight at al. Yet to the ende not to be seuered from so noble a company, foorth it shall: and thus he followed, saying: It is not many dayes past, that I abiding all solitarie in my chamber, wrapt in a heape of trouble­some thoughts, sprong frō an amorous desire, the which with a fierce battayle had assaulted my heart,Tvvo sisters complayne them of be­ing in loue. by happe heard a piteous plaint, wherevnto (bicause I iudged it by estimation néere vnto me) intentiuely I layde mine eare, and ther­by knew that they were women: by oc­casion whereof, I sodaynly rose to sée who, and where they were: and loking forth at my chamber window, I heard ouer agaynst the same, in one other [Page] chamber, two yong women, the same being sisters, adorned with an inestima­ble beautie, there abiding without any other company, whom as I saw making this sorowfull plaint, I withdrew my selfe into a secret place, without bee­ing of them espied, and so behelde them a long while, neither was I able for all that, to vnderstande all the words that they through griefe vttred in teares, but that the effect of suche plaint (according to that I coulde comprehende) séemed to me to be for loue: wherefore I through pitie, and so swete an occasion offred (be­ing thus close as I was) began to shead my trickling teres. And after that I had in their gréefe perseuered in the same a good space (forsomuch as I was their very familiar, & also their kinsman) I purpo­sed to vnderstand more certayne the oc­casion of their sorow, and so went vnto them, who had no sooner espied me, but all bashfull they withhelde them from teares, endeuoring them selues to do me reuerence. To whom I sayde: Gentle­women, trouble not your selues, neither let this my comming moue you to re­strain [Page] your inward grief, for your tears haue bin now a good space apparant vn­to me. It shall be therefore needelesse to hide you, either yet thorow bashfulnesse to hide from me the cause of thys your plaint. For I am come hither to vnder­stand the same. And be you assured, that ye shal not receiue by me either in word or déede any euill requitall, but rather helpe and comfort in what I may. The women greatly excused themselues, say­ing, that they sorrowed for nothing: but yet after I had coniured them, and they seing me desirous to vnderstand ye same, the elder thus began to say: It is the pleasure of the Gods, that to thee our se­cretes be discouered: thou therfore shalt vnderstand, that we, aboue al other wo­men haue alwayes resisted the sharpe darts of Cupide, who of a long season in casting the same, was neuer yet able to fastē any one of them in our hearts. But now lastly being further inflamed, and hauing determined to ouercome that his childishe enterprise, tooke of newe with his yong arme, of his best and dearest shaftes, and with so great force wounded [Page] the heartes so sore infeebled through the sundry blowes before receiued, as the heades thereof pierced deepe, so as they made a farre greater wound, than if resi­stance had not bene made (to the other former) had like to haue bene. And thus for the pleasure of two most noble yong Gentlemen, we are become subiectes to his deitie, folowing his pleasure wyth more perfect faith, and seruent wil, than euer any other women haue done. Now hath Fortune, and the loue of them (as I shall declare vnto you) left vs both com­fortlesse. First I,The first lamē ­teth the loste of hir enioyed louer. before my sister héere, was in loue, and through mine endeuor, beléeuing wisely to ende my desire, so wrought as I got the loued yong Gen­tleman at my pleasure, whome I found as greatly enamored of me, as I of him. But truely nowe hath not the amorous flame through such effect ceassed, neither hathe the desire lessened, but eache one more vehemently increaseth: and more than euer, I doe nowe burne in hys fire. And what tyme, seeing howe I might best mitigate & assuage the kind­led flame thereof, holding it inwardly [Page] secrete, it after hapned, that the horned Moone was no sooner come to hir perfect roundnesse, but that he at vnwares com­mitted a fault, for the which was adiud­ged him perpetuall exile from this citie, whervpon he dreading death, is depar­ted hence without hope euer to returne. I sorowfull woman aboue all others, more now enflamed thā euer, am with­out him, left both dolefull and desperate. By occasion whereof I sorrow me, and that thing that most increaseth my sor­row is, that on euery side I see the way barde from béeing able to follow him. Thinke therfore now, whether I haue cause to playne me or no. Then sayd I: and this other, why sorroweth she? And she answered:The seconde hindered by ielousie, soro­vveth hir hap. This my sister likewise (as I) is enamoured of an other, and of him agayne loued aboue measure. And to the ende hir desires should not passe the amorous pathes, without taking some parte of delight, many times she hath endeuoured hir selfe to bring them to effect, and contrary to hir deuise, iea­lousie hath always occupied and broken the waye, and bicause she coulde neuer [Page] attayne thervnto neither saw how to be able so to do, she thus distressed, is tho­rough feruent loue consumed, as ye may well thinke if euer ye were in loue. Sée­ing we wer thē here al alone, we began to reason of our misfortunes, and know­ing the same farre greater than these of other women, we coulde not withholde from teares, but with wéeping sorowed our luckle [...]e lottes, as ye might well perceiue. To heare this of them it grée­ued me greatly, so that I encountred them with suche wordes as séemed me most profitable for their comfort, and so departed from them. Many times after reuoluing in minde their griefes, and sometimes bethinking me whether of the same shoulde be the greater, at one time I agreed to that of the one, and at another time, I yelded to that of the o­ther: and the sundry reasons wherwith as it séemeth me, ech one hath to lament hir, will not suffer me to stay vpon any one, whervpon I remayn here in doubt. May it therfore please you, that by you may be opened this errour, in telling me whether of these two infortunate louers [Page] séemed to sustayne the greatest gréefe. Great was the sorow of either of them,The Queene decideth the question. answered the Quéene: But considering aduersitie to be most greuous to hir that hath tasted prosperitie, we estéeme that shée that hathe lost hir loue, féeleth the greatest gréefe, and is of Fortune great­liest offended. Fabritius. Fabritius neuer bewept the chaunces of fortune: Pompey.But that Pom­pey did, is a thing very manifest. If swéet things were not tasted, the soure should be yet vnknowne. Medea. Medea neuer knewe (according to hir own saying) what ma­ner a thing prosperitie was, whilest shée was in loue, Iason.but being forsakē of Iason, bewayled hir aduersitie. Who will euer lament for that he hath not had: not one but wil rather desire it. It is demed ther­fore, that of the two women, the one wept for gréefe, the other for desire. It is very hard for me (gracious Ladie) to Longano of contrary opi­nion to the Queene. thinke that which you affirme (sayd the yong Gentleman) forsomuche as who that hath his desire of any desired thing, ought much more to content his minde, thā who that desireth, and can not fulfil his desire. Further, nothing is more [Page] light to lose, than what hope promyseth not heereafter to yéelde. There ought to be vnmeasurable greefe, whereas the not being able to bring egall willes to effect doth hinder. From thence lamen­tations take place, from thēce thoughtes and troubles doe spring, bicause if the willes were not egall, of force the desire should want. But when as louers see them selues in presence of that they de­sire, and can not attaine thereunto, then doe they kindle and sorowe them muche more, than if that they wold haue, were farre from them. And who I pray you torments Tantalus in Hel?Tantalus. but only the apples, & the water, for that howe much more neere they bend and swell to hys mouth, so much the more (afterwards in fléeing the same) they increase his hun­ger. Truely I beléeue, that who hopeth for a thing possible to be had and can not attaine thereunto, thorow contrary resi­sting impediments, féeleth more gréefe, than who that bewaileth a thing loste & irrecuperable.The Queenes solution or the ij. question. Then sayd the Quéene, your answere would haue followed ve­ry well, where your demaunde shoulde [Page] haue bene of an olde griefe, although to that also might be sayd: thus to be possi­ble throughe forgetting the griefe, to shorten the desire in the desired things, where as continual impediment is sens not to be able to attayn them, as in those lost, wherein Hope dothe not shew vs, that we should euer haue them agayne. But we do reason whether of them sor­rowed most, whēn you saw them sorro­wing: wherfore folowing the propoun­ded case, we will giue iudgement, that she felt greater griefe that had loste hir louer, without hope to haue him agayn, (putting the case that it be an easie mat­ter to lose a thing impossible to haue a­gayne: neuerthelesse it was to be sayd: who loueth well, forgetteth neuer) than the other, who if we looke well, might hope to fulfill that hereafter, that here­tofore she was vnable to performe. For a great lessener of griefe is hope. It had force to kéepe chaste and to diminish the sorrowes of the lingring long life of Penelope.

¶The thirde Question, proposed by a yong Gentlevvoman.

ON the right side of Lon­gano, sat an excellent faire Gentlewoman, and very pleasant, who as she per­ceiued that Question by the Quéene determined, thus beganne with a swéete talke to say: Most renou­med quéene, your eares graunt hearing to my words: And first by those Gods whom you worshippe, and nexte by the power of our pastime, I pray you that ye will giue to my demaund profitable counsell. I, as you know, being descen­ded of noble Parents, was borne in this Citie, and was named with a very gra­cious name, although my surname (bée­ing Cara) presenteth me gratefull to the hearers, and as by my face it may ap­peare, I haue receiued from the Gods and Nature a singuler gifte of beautie, the whiche (in following my proper name more than my surname) I haue adorned with an infinite pleasantnesse, shewing my selfe benigne to whom that is delighted to beholde the same: by occa­sion [Page] whereof, many haue endeuoured themselues for their pleasure to occupie my eyes, agaynst all whom I haue with­scode with strong resistaunce, holding a stable heart agaynst their assaults: but bicause it séemeth to me vnléefull that I onely shoulde pretermit the lawes kept and obserued of all others, that is, not to loue being loued of many, I haue deter­mined to become enamored, and setting apart many seekers of suche loue, wherof some do excell Midas in richesse, some o­ther passe Absalon in beautie, and other some in curtesie (according to the com­mon report of all) are more splendent than any other. I haue of all these cho­sen thrée: Of whome eche one pleaseth me alike.The gentle­vvoman praieth to be re­solued vvhe­ther oughte sonest to be loued, either the strong, the liberall, or the wise. Of the which thrée, the one of bodily force (as I beléeue) would excell the good Hector, he is at euery proofe so vigorous and strong. The curtesie and liberalitie of the second is such, that (as I thinke) his fame doth sound through eche pole. The third is all full of wisdome, so that he surmounteth all other wise men aboue measure. But for that (as ye haue heard) their qualities are diuers, I doubt [Page] whether of them to take, finding in the antique age eche one of these to haue di­uerslye the courages of women, and of yelding men: as of Dianira, Hercules, of our Clitemnestra, Aegistus, and of Lucre­tia, Sextus. Counsell me therfore, to whe­ther of them soonest with least blame, and greatest suretie, I ought to giue my selfe. The pleasant Quene hauing heard the purpose of this Gentlewoman,The queenes ansvvere. thus made answere. There is neuer a one of the thrée, that dothe not worthily merite the loue of a faire and gracious Lady: but bicause in this case I am not to fighte a­gaynst castles, or to giue away the king­domes of great Alexander, or the trea­sures of Ptholome, but that onely that Loue and honour are with discretion a long time to be kepte, the whiche are mainteyned neither by force nor curtesy, but only by wisdome: we say, that both you, and euery other woman ought ra­ther to giue hir loue to a wise man, than to any of the rest.The reply of the Gentle­woman. Oh how diuers is my iudgement from yours, aunswered the propounding Gentlewoman. To me it séemeth, that eche one of the others were [Page] soner to be taken than the wise, and this seemeth to be the reason: Loue as we see) is of that nature, as multiplying his force in one heart, euery other thing he banisheth out thence, retayning that for his seate, and mouing it after according to his pleasure, wherevnto no foresight is able to resist, but that it is conuenient for them to follow him, by whom it is (as I haue sayde) gouerned. And who doubteth that Biblis knew it not to be euill to loue hir brother?Biblys. Who will gaynesay, that it was not manyfest to Leander, Leander. that he might drowne in Hele­spont, in his fortunate time, yf he caste him selfe therein? And none will deny that Pasiphe knew not a man to be more faire than a Bul?Pasiphe. and yet they and eche one ouercome with an amorous plesure, reiecting all knowledge, followed the same. Then if it haue power to take knowledge from the learned, taking a­way the witte from the wise, they shall haue nothing left: but if from the strong and curteous, it shall take away the lit­tle witte they haue, it shall yet increase them in their vertues, and so they shall [Page] become more than the wise enamoured. Further, loue hath this propertie, it is a thing that can not long be hidde: and in reueling him self, he is wont oftentimes to bring greuous perils, whervnto what remedie shall the wise giue that hath now lost his witte? He shall giue none at all, but the strong that vseth his force can helpe in a perill bothe him selfe, and others. The curteous through his curte­sie, shall wyth gratefull beneuolence winne the minds of many, whereby he may be bothe holpen and considered, and others also for his sake. Sée now what it is to be of your iudgement. She was by the Quéene answered vnto, thus:The queenes last sentence to the thirde question. If there were suche a one as you speake of, who shoulde than be wise? not one. But if he, whom you propound wise, and enamored of you, should be made a foole, he is not to be taken. The Gods forbid, that that whereof you speake, shoulde come to passe. And yet we will not deny, but that the wise know the euill, and do it: but for all that we will say, that they thereby lose not their witte, forasmuche as what time it pleaseth them with the [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] reason they haue to dridle their willes, they will reduce them selues to their accustomed witte, guyding their motions in a due and strayght order. And in this manner their loue shall bée altogither, or at the least, a long time kepte secrete, and that withoute any doubtfull dili­gence, the whiche shall not happen to one of little witte, bée he neuer so strong or curteous. And yet if perhappes it do happe, that suche loue bée discouered, a wyse manne will with a hundred fore­sightes, shut vp the eyes and vnderstan­ding of the tatlers thereof, and shall pro­uide a safetie bothe for his owne honour, as for the honour of his loued Lady? And if néede of safetie bée, the helpe of the wyse can not fayle. That of the strong commeth lesse. And the friendes that are gotten by Liberalitie, are accu­stomed in aduersitie to shrinke awaye. What is she of so little discretion, that is brought to suche a iumpe, as hath néede of manyfeste helpe? or that if hir loue bée disclosed, séeketh fame in hauing lo­ued a strong or Liberall man? I beléeue there is none suche. Let the wyse then [Page] be soonest loued, hoping that he muste be in eche cause more profitable than any of the reste.

¶The fourth Question, proposed by MENEDON.

THe Gentlewoman by hir countenance seemed contēt whē Menedon sitting next vnto hir sayd: Most highe and noble Quéene, now is it come to my turne to propounde my question here in your presence.First Mene­don telleth a tale. Where­fore by your lisence, if in my talke I shal wade very long, yet during the same I shall first of all of you, and nexte of the standers aboute, pray pardon: Bicause ye can not be made fully to vnderstande that, whiche I intende to propounde, vn­lesse a tale, that peraduenture shall not be short, do precede the same: and after these words thus she began to saye: In the countrey where I was borne, I re­member thēre was a noble knyght, sur­mounting riche, the which loued in most [Page] loyall loue, a noble gentlewoman, borne likewise there, whom he tooke to wife: Of whom being as she was, excéeding faire:Tarolfo a knight was enamored of a Lady. an other knight called Tarolfo was after enamoured, and with so great good wil loued hir, as he saw nothing he more desired than hir: And in sundry sortes, now with passing before hir house, now iusting, now at the barriers, now with the often sending hir messangers, perad­uenture promising hir great gifts, wher­by she might know his intent, and now with other like feats he endeuoured him selfe to purchase hir loue. All which thin­ges the Lady closely supported, without giuing signe or good aunswere to the knight, saying to hir selfe: When as this knight shall espie, that he can haue nei­ther answere, ne yet good countenaunce of me, perhaps he will forbeare any fur­ther, either to loue me, or to giue me these allurements. Now for all this, Tarolfo surcessed not, following the pre­cepts of O [...]d, who sayth, that a man muste not throughe the hardnesse of a woman leaue to perseuer, because with continuaunce the soft water pierceth the [Page] imbrued with Romayne bloud: and ha­uing trauailed a long while vpon the same,Tarolfo found an olde manne called Theban. he sodenly espied before him, at the foote of a mountayn, a man not yong, nor of to many yeres, bearded, small and ve­ry spare of person, whose attire shewed him to be but poore, who romed hither & thither gathering herbs, and with a lit­tle knife digged vp sundry rootes, wher­of he had filled one of the skirts of his cote: whom as Tarolfo saw, he maruel­led not a little, and doubted greatly least it had ben some other thing, but after that his ayme did certainly assure him to be a man, he drew nere vnto him, saluted him, and after asked him who he was, of whence, & what he made ther at so time­ly an houre. To whom the old man an­swered: I am of Thebes, and Thebane is my name, and I go vp and downe this playne, gathering of these herbes, to the ende that with the iuyce therof, I make diuers necessary & profitable things for diuers infirmities, wherby I may haue wherwithal to liue: And to come at this houre, it is néede & not delight that con­strayneth me. But who are you, that in [Page] countenaunce resembleth noble, and walke here al alone solitarie. To whom Tarolfo answered: I am of the extremes of the west, very riche, and vanquished of my conceipts, pricked forwards to an enterprise, not being able hitherto to at­chieue the same, and therefore to be the better able without impediment to sor­row my hap, I goe thus all alone wan­dring. To whome Thebane sayde: Do you not know the qualitie of the place, and what it is? Wherfore haue you ra­ther taken your way on the one side? You might easily here be rebuked with furious spirites. Tarolfo aunswered: God can doe héere, as else where, it is he that hath my lyfe and honour in his hands: lette him doe with me according to his pleasure: for assuredlye death should be to me a riche treasure. Then sayd Thebane: What is that your enter­prise, for the whiche (not béeing able to performe it) you abide thus sorowfull? To whome Tarolfo aunswered: It is such as séemes vnto me impossible to be able euer to attayne, since hitherto I haue here found no counsell. Then sayd [Page] Thebane: Dare ye vtter it? Tarolfo an­swered: Yea. But what profiteth it? Pe­raduenture nothing sayde Thebane, but what doth it hurt?Tarolfo reci­teth to The­bane his pro­mis made too his Lady, of a Garden full of floures in the moneth of Ianuary. Then sayd Tarolfo: I séeke counsell how may be hadde in the coldest moneth, a Gardeyn full of floures, fruites, and hearbs, as fayre as yf it were in the moneth of May, nei­ther doe I fynde who can therein either helpe me, or giue me encouragement that it is possible to be hadde. Thebane stayde a whyle in a muse without aun­swere, and after sayde: You and many others doe iudge the skill and vertue of men according to their garments. If my goods were such as are yours, you wold not haue lingered so long in discouering your lacke: or if peraduenture you had founde me néere to some riche Prince, as you haue in gathering of hearbes. But many times vnder the vylest ve­sture are hidden the greatest treasures of science: and therefore no one concea­leth his lacke, to whome is proffered counsel or helpe: And if therfore he open the same, it can not preiudice him at all. But what wold ye giue him that should [Page] come, he saw the hornes of the Moone gathered into a perfect roundnesse, and to shine vpon the frequēted earth. Then he went him all alone forthe of the ci­tie, leauing his apparell apart, bare leg­ged, and his dissheueled locks hanging vpon his naked shoulders. The restlesse degrées of the night did passe: birds, wild beasts, and men, without any noyse dyd take their rest: the vnfallē leaues with­out mouing did hang vpon the trées, and the moyst aire abode in milde peace: Onely the starres did shine, when as he oftentimes went aboute the grounds, and came to a place on a riuers side, whiche it pleased him to chose for his Garden. There he stretched forthe his arme thrée times towards the starres, and turning him selfe vnto them, he as often bathed his white locks in the run­ning streame, crauing as many times with a most highe voyce their helpe, and after setting his knées to the hard earth,The inuoca­tion magical of Thebane began thus to say: Oh night, most faith­full secreser of high things, and you, oh ye starres, the which togither with the Moone, do succede the splendent day: and [Page] thou oh singular Hecates, become an hel­per to this my begon enterprise, & thou on holy Ceres, ye renuer of ye ample face of the earth: And you whatsoeuer verses either artes, or herbes, and thou whatso­euer erth bringing forth vertuous plāts, and thou oh atre, windes, mountaines, riuers and lakes, and eche God of the woods, and of the secrete night, by whose helpe I haue heeretofore made the run­ning streames to recule, inforcing them to returne to their springs, and things running, to become firme, & things firm to become running, and that hast also gi­uen power to my verses to drye vp the seas, that I at my pleasure might search the bottom therof, and to make the clou­die times cleare, and (at my will) to fill the cleare heauens with obscure clouds, to make the windes to ceasse, & to turne as it séemed me best: breaking therwith the hard iawes of the feareful dragons, making also the stāding woods to moue, and the hault mountaines to tremble, & to returne to their bodies out of the lake Stix those their shadowes, and aliue to come forth of their sepultures: and some­times [Page] thée O Moone to draw to thy per­fect roundnesse: the attaining wherunto a ring of Basons was wont to be an helpe, making also the cleare face of the Sunne many times to become pale, be ye all present, & aid me with your helpe. I haue at thys instant néede of the sappe and iuyce of herbes, thorowe the which I may make in parte, the dry earth fast­ned thorowe Autumne, and after tho­row the withering colde Winter, spoy­led of his Floures, Frutes, and hearbes, to become flouring, and to spring before the due terme. And hauing thus sayde, he sayde after, many other things softe­ly, which he added to his Prayers. And those being ended, and he a while silent, the Starres gaue not theyr lyghte in vayne.Theban vvas caried in the air in a cha­riot led by tvvo Dra­gons. For more swifter than the flyght of the wyghtest birde, there appeared be­fore hym a Chariot drawen by two dra­gons, whereuppon he mounted, and ta­king the raines of the bridles of the two brideled Dragons in his hand, was ca­ryed into the air. He then leauing Spain, and all Affrica, tooke his iorney by other Regions, and first sought for the Ile of [Page] Crete, and from thence after with a short course he sought Pelion, Othrys, & Ossa, the mount Nerium, Pachynus, Pelorus & Appaennine. Vpon them al plucking vp, & with a sharp sickle cutting downe such rootes & herbs as best liked him, neither forgate he those which he had before ga­thered when as he was found by Tarol­fo in Thessalia. He toke stones also vpon the mount Causacus, and of the sandes of Ganges: and out of Libia he brought tōgs of venemous serpentes. He searched the watry bāks of Rodanus of Senna at Pa­rys, of the great Po, of Arnus, of the impe­rial Tyber, of Niseus, of Tana, & of Danu­by: vpon those eke gathering such herbs as séemed to him most necessarie for his purpose, putting these together with the others, gathered on the tops of ye sauage moūtaines. He also sought the Ilands of Lesbos & Pathmos, & euery other, wherin he perceiued any profitable thing to be had for hys attempt: With all the which things he came (the third day béeing not yet past) to that place from whence he departed, and the Dragons, that onely had felt the odour of the gathered herbs, [Page] did cast of their old hides of many yeres, and were with new renued and become yong.The ceremonies vsed in making the garden. There he dismounted frō his cha­riot, and of the gréen earth he made two altares: on his right hand that of Heca­tes: and on the left that of the running goddesse:Ceres. that being done, & deuout fires kindled therupon, with locks disperpled vpon his olde shulders, he began wyth a murmuring noise to goe about the same, and with reached bloud oftentimes he besprēt the blasing brands. After he pla­ced the same bloud vpon the altars, som­times softning therwithall the ground, appoynted for his garden: and after that, he softned again ye self same thrée times, with fire, water, and Sulpher, setting after a great vessell full of bloud, milke, and water, vppon the burning brandes, which he caused to boile a good space, and put thereto the herbes and rootes, gathe­red in straunge places, mingling there­with also diuers séedes and flours of vn­known herbs, he added therunto stones, sought in the extreame parts of the east, and dew gathered the nights past, toge­ther with the flesh of infamous witches, [Page] the stones of a Wolfe, the hinder parte of a fat Cinyphis, and the skin of a Chi­linder. And lastly a liuer, with the whole lungs of an excéeding old Hart: and here­withall a thousand other things, bothe without name, and so straunge, as my memory can not againe tell them. After he toke a dry bough of an Oliue trée, and therwith begā to mingle al these things together. In doing wherof, ye drie bough begā to waxe gréene, and within a while after to beare leaues, and not long after the new apparelling therof, it was ladē with blacke Oliues. As Thebane sawe this, he tooke the boyling licoures, and began therwithal to sprinkle and water in euery place the chosen soyle, wherein he had sette slippes of so many woods, as he would haue trées, & of as many sortes as could be found. The which licour the earth had no sooner tasted, but that it be­gan to spring: yelding floures and newe herbes, and the dry settes became to be­come all gréene and frutefull plants. All this being done, Theban entring the ci­tie, returned to Tarolfo, whom he found all in a muse, fearing to be scorned tho­rowe [Page] his long abode, to whome he sayd, Tarolfo, yt thing (thou requiredst) is done to thy liking.Tarolfe offe­reth his ladie the Garden vvhich shee demaunded. These newes pleased Ta­rolfo not a little, & hapning the day folo­wing to be a great solemnitie in the Ci­tie, he wēt into the presence of his loued Lady, yt had not now séene him of a long time past: and thus he sayd vnto hir: Ma­dame, after a long and tedious trauaile, I haue performed that which you haue commaunded, and when as it shal please you to see it, or to take it, it is readye at your pleasure. Shée in séeing him, mar­uelled muche, & the more, hearing what he sayd, and not beléeuing the same to be true, made him this answer: It pleaseth me right wel, ye shal let me see it to mo­rowe. The second day was come, & Ta­rolfo went againe to his Lady, and said: Madame, may it please you to walke to the Garden, the which you required to haue this colde moneth.The Ladie goeth to see the garden. Shée then being accompanied with many others, was moued to sée the same. And they al being come to the Garden, entred therein by a fair portal: wheras they felt not the like colde as abrode, but the same to haue a [Page] of the Ladie, thus sayd vnto hir: Go and couertly keepe thine othe, and liberally perform to Tarolfo what thou hast pro­mised. For he hath with his great toyle of right descrued the same. And hauing thus sayd, the Lady began to weepe, and to say vnto him: The Gods seuer me far from suche a fault. In no wise will I so do: I will rather rid my selfe of life, than do any thing displeasant to you, or disho­nor to your person. To whōe the knight replyed, saying: Wife, for this matter I will that ye doe no iniurie to your selfe, neither yet conceiue any gréefe therfore, for in no wise shall it displease me, goe therfore, and perform what ye haue pro­mised: for ye shall be neuer a whitte the lesse deare to me: But as ye haue perfor­med this your promise, so take ye better héede héereafter of suche like, although a demaunded gift may seeme vnto you im­possible to be had. As the Lady perceiued the wil of hir husbād, she decked & trim­med hir and made hir self very fair, toke company with hir, and so went to Ta­rolfos lodging, and bepainted with bash­fulnesse, presented hir selfe vnto hym. [Page] Tarolfo as soone as he sawe hir,The Lady pre­senteth hir self to Tarolfo. all mar­uelling, rose from Thebane and encoun­tred hir wyth great gladnesse, and very honourably receyued hir, demaundyng the cause of hir comming. To whome shée aunswered, I am come to be whol­ly at your will, doe with me as it plea­seth you. Then sayde Tarolfo, yée make me to muse aboue measure, consideryng the time and the companie wherewith ye are come: Thys can not be wythout some great alteration betwéene you and your husbande, tell me therefore I pray you, howe the matter goeth. The Ladie then shewed Tarolfo fully in order the whole matter & how it went: the which Tarolfo hearing,The liberali­tie of Tarolfo tovvardes the Lady in relea­sing hir of hir promisse. he began then to enter into a farre greater admiration than he had euer done before, and greatly to be­thinke him héereof, and so in the ende to conceyue the great Liberalitie of the Husbande, that had sent his Wyfe vnto hym: whereuppon he sayd to himselfe: Whatsoeuer he be, that should so muche as but thinke villanie towardes suche a Knight, were surely worthy of great blame: and so taking and talking wyth [Page] the Lady, he thus sayd vnto hir: Madam, like a worthy Ladie, ye haue performed that to me due is: For the which cause I accompte that receiued of your hands, that I haue of you desired, and there­fore when it shall please you, you may returne to your Husbande, and thanke him (I pray you) on my behalfe, for this his so great a pleasure done vnto mée, and excuse me of the follie I haue héere­tofore committed towardes hym, assu­ring hym, that héereafter I shall neuer putte the like in practise. The Ladie gi­uing great thāks to Tarolfo for that his so great curtesie, merily departed thence & returned to hir husband, to whome she recited in ordre all that had ben hapned. But Theban, now comming to Tarolfo demaunded how the case stoode. Tarolfo declared vnto him the whole discourse. To whom Theban then sayd: and I, shal I then lose yt which thou haste promised me? Tarolfo answered: no, but when it pleaseth thée, take thou half of all the ca­stels and treasures I haue in sort heerto­fore promysed thee. For I acknowledge, that thou haste fully serued my turne. [Page] To whome Theban aunswered:Liberalitie of Thebane tovvardes Tarolfo. It may neuer please the Gods, since the Knight was so liberall to thée of his wife, and thou againe wast not a villaine to hym in that his offer, that I become lesse than curteous. For aboue all things in the world it contenteth me, in that I haue serued thy turne: and therefore I will, that all that I ought to receiue in guer­don of my trauaile remaine all thine, in such sort as it hath euer bene heertofore: neither would he take of that was Ta­rolfos any thing at all.The conclu­sion of the proposer. It is now douted, in whether of these was the greatest li­beralitie, either in the knight that had giuen libertie to his wife to goe to Ta­rolfo, either in Tarolfo, who sent the La­die (whome he had alwayes desired, and for whose he had done so muche, to come to that iumpe, whereunto he was com­men, when as shée came vnto him) back to hir husband frée: or in Thebane, who hauing abandoned his Countrey (being nowe olde) for to gayne the promysed rewardes, and being come thether, toy­led him selfe to bryng that to an ende, which he hadde promysed, whereby he [Page] iustly deserued the same, did now remit the whole to Tarolfo, and remayned poore as he was ar the first.The iudge­ment of the Queene vpon the fourthe question. Very excel­lent is bothe the tale and the demaund, sayde the Quéene. Of trouth eche one was very liberall, considering the first of his honoure, the second of his lasciui­ous desire, and the third that of hys re­warded riches, was very courteous. Nowe if we will knowe which of them vsed the greatest liberalitie or curtesie: It is méete we consider whether of the thrée déedes is moste acceptable, the which being well wayed, we shall ma­nifestly knowe the most liberal, bicause who most giueth, is to be held most libe­rall: of the which thrée, the one is deare, that is Honoure, the which Paulus Ae­milius vanquishyng Perses, king of Ma­ycedonia, rather desired than the gayned treasures. The second is to be fled, that is, the wanton delightes of Venus, ac­cording to the sentence of Sophocles, and of Xenocrates, saying: That lust is to be fledde as a furious gouernement. The third is not to be desired, that is ryches: forsomuche as the moste tymes they are [Page] noysome to a vertuous lyfe, and to suche a one as can vertuously lyue with mo­derate pouertie,Diuers Ro­maynes in tymes past pore, and yet vertuous. as liued Marcus Curti­us, Attilius Regulus, and Valerius Pub­licola, as by their woorkes is manyfest. If then of these thrée, only Honoure is to be helde deare, and the others not, he vsed the greatest liberalitie that gaue his wyfe to another, althoughe he dyd lesse than wisely therein. He was also the cheefest in liberalitie, wherein the o­thers followed him: therefore according to our iudgement he that gaue hys wife in whome consisted his honoure, was a­boue the rest, the most liberall. I (sayde Menedon) agrée,The reply of Menedon. that in as muche as ye haue thus sayde, it be as you say: but yet eche one of the other séemeth to me, to be more liberall, and ye shall heare howe. It is very true, that the first graunted his wyfe, but he vsed therin not so great a liberalitie as ye speake of, bicause if he wold haue denyed hir, he might not iust­ly haue done it, by reason of the othe she made, the which was conuenient for hir to kéep [...]: and therefore who giueth that he may not denie, dothe but well in ma­king [Page] himselfe liberall therof, and it was but a trifle he gaue: and therefore (as I haue sayde) eche one of the other was more curteous. And for that (as it is al­ready sayde) Tarolfo had nowe a long time desired this Ladie, and loued hir farre aboue all others, he for to attayne hir, had of long time abode great trou­bles, offering himselfe for to satisfie hir request, to séeke forth things almost im­possible to be had, the which nowe obtai­ned, he deserued (through hir promysed faythe) to obtaine hir also, whome (as wee say) béeing obteyned, there is no doubt but that the honoure of the Hus­band, and the relese of that shée had pro­mised (the which he released) was in his hand. Then was he, to conclude, liberall both of the honor of the husbande, of the othe of his Ladie, and of his owne long desire. It is a great matter to haue endu­red long thirst, and to come to a pleasant fountain, and not to drink, but to suffer others to drynke. The thirde was also very liberall, considering that pouertie is one of the moste lothsome things of the world to bear, for so much as it is the [Page] chaser away bothe of mirthe and rest, a flyer of honours, a frequenter of vertue, and the inducer of crabbed care, so that euery one naturally endeuoure them­selues with a fiery desire to flie the same the whych desire is so kindled in ma­ny,Euery one fli­eth pouertie. to the ende to liue very splendantly in rest, as they giue them selues no lesse to dishonest gayne, than to disordinate spences, peraduenture not knowing, or not otherwayes béeing able to feede that theyr desire: whych is cause many times eyther of deathe or exile. Howe muche then ought the riches to please and to be acceptable to them that in due sorte doe bothe gaine and possesse them? And who will doubt that Thebane was not most poore if he behold how he aban­doning hys nyghtes rest, went gathe­ring of herbes, and digging vp of rootes in doubtful places for the better sustēta­tion of his pore life. And yt this pouertie did occupie his vertue, may be also bele­ued, in hearing how Tarolfo did deme to be by him disceiued, when he beheld him apparelled in vile vesture, & seeing him desirous to shake of yt miserie to become [Page] rich, knowing how he came as far as frō Thessalia into Spayne, hasarding himself to perillous chaunces through doubtfull iourneys, and vncertayne ayre, to the ende to perfourme the promisse he had made, and to receiue the like from an o­ther Also it may be euidently séene, that without doubt who giues him selfe-to suche and so many miseries, to the ende to flée pouertie, knoweth the same to be full of all griefe and troubles. And how muche the more he hath shaken off the greatest pouertie, and is entred a riche life, so much the more is the same life ac­ceptable vnto him. Then who that is become of poore, rich, if therwith his lyfe doth delight him, how great, and what maner of liberalitie dothe he vse, if he giue the same away, and consenteth to returne to that state, the whiche he hath with so many troubles fled? Assuredly he doth a thing excéeding great and liberal. And this séemeth farre greater than the rest,Olde folkes commonlye couerous. considering also of the age of the giuer, that was now olde: forasmuche as auarice was wont to be continually of greter force in old men than in yong, [Page] whervpon I gather, that eche one of the two following, hath vsed a greater libe­ralitie than hath the first, so much com­mended by you, and the thirde far more than either of the others. In how much your reason mighte be well by any one defended, so well is the same defen­ded by you (sayde the Quéene) but we minde to shew vnto you briefly how our iudgement rather than yours ought to take place.The queenes solution to the fourthe question. Ye wil say, that he shewed no Liberalitie at all, graunting the vse of his wife to an other, bicause of reason it was conuenient through the othe made by the lady, that he should so do, ye which ought to be in déede if the othe mighte holde. But the wife forsomuch as she is a member of hir husband, or rather one body with him, coulde not iustly make such an oth without the will of hir hus­bande: and yet if she did make suche an othe, it was nothing, bicause the first oth lawfully made, could not with reason be derogate by any following, chiefly not by those that are not duly made for a ne­cessary cause. And the maner is in matri­monicall vnitings the man to sweare to [Page] be content with the woman, and the woman with the man, and neuer to chaunge the one the other for an other. Now then, the woman can not sweare, and if she do sweare (as we haue sayde) she sweareth for a thing vnlawfull, and so contrary to the former othe, it ought not to preuayle, and not preuayling o­therwise than for his pleasure, he ought not to commit his wife to Tarolfo, and if he do commit hir to him, then is he libe­rall of his honour, and not Tarolfo, as you holde opinion. Neither could he be liberall of his othe in releasing it, for as muche as the othe was nothing. Then onely remayned Tarolfo liberall of his wanton desire: the which thing of proper duetie is conuenient for euery man to do, bicause we all through rea­son are bounde to banishe vyce, and to folow vertue. And who that doth that, whervnto he is of reson bound, is (as ye haue sayd) nothing at al liberal,Flee vice, and follow ver­tue. but that whiche is done more than duetie requi­reth, may well & iustly be termed libera­litie. But bicause you peraduenture with silence argue in your mind, what honour [Page] may that be of a chast woman to hir hus­bande, which ought to be so deare: we wil prolong somewhat our talke in she­wing you, to the ende that ye may the more clearely sée, that Tarolfo and The­bane, of whom we intend next to speak, vsed no liberalitie at all in respect of the knight. Ye shall know that chastitie to­gither with the other vertues,Chastitie a vertue most excellent. yeld none other rewarde to the possessours therof, than honour, the whiche honour among vertuous men, makes the least vertu­ous, the most excellent. This honour if men with humilitie séeke to support it, it maketh them friends to god, and so by consequent to liue, and after death, to possesse the goods eternall:The ioy of a man is to haue a good wife. the whiche if the woman conserueth for hir husbande, he may liue merily, and certayne of his ofspring, and frequent in open sight a­mong the people content to sée hir for suche hir vertues honored among the most high and chiefest dames, and in his minde it is a manyfest token that she is good, feareth God, and loueth him, whi­che is no small pleasure, séeing she is gi­uen him for an euerlasting companion [Page] indiuisible, sauing by death: He through this obtayned fauour is séene continu­ally to increase, bothe in spirituall and worldly wealth.The grief of a mā hauing an euil wife. And so on the contrary, he whose wife hath default of suche ver­tues, can neuer passe one hour with true consolation, nothing is acceptable vnto him, and continually the one desireth the death of the other, he perceiueth him selfe through this disordred vyce to be caried in the mouthes of the veriest mi­sers, neither séemeth it vnto him, that such a fault shoulde not be beléeued, of whom soeuer it is hearde: And yf she were largely endowed with all other vertues, yet this vyce séemeth to haue such a force as to bring hir in contempt, and to vtter ruine. Then is this honour that maketh the woman bothe chaste and good to hir husbande, a most great gifte, and so is to be helde most dearely. Blessed may he be called to whō throgh grace is graunted such a gifte, although we beléeue they are but few, towards whom is borne enuy for so great a be­nefite. But to returne to our purpose, it is to be séene how muche the knight did [Page] giue. It is not fled our memory when as ye said, that Theban was of the rest most liberall, who being with trouble enri­ched, hath not doubted to returne into the miserie of poore estate, in giuing a­way that whiche he had gotten. It ap­parantly appeareth, that ye are euill ac­quaynted with pouertie, who if she come vnto vs mery, surmounteth all richesse. Theban now peraduenture through the attayned wealth,The care which riches bring. felte him selfe replete of sundry soure cares. He did now ima­gine, that it séemed Tarolfo to haue done very euill, and therfore would practise by murdring him, to recouer agayn his Castles. He abode in feare to be perad­uenture betrayed of his tenaunts. He was entred into care touching the go­uernement of his lands. He now knew all the prepared guiles to be done vnto his coparteners. He saw him selfe gret­ly enuied for his riches, and doubted lest théeues should secretly spoyle him ther­of. He was stuffed with so many suche and sundry thoughts and cares, as all quietnesse was fled from him. Through the whiche occasions, calling to minde [Page] his former life, and that withoute so many cares he passed the same merily, sayde to him selfe: I desired to grow riche, to the ende to attayne quiet rest, but I see it is the increaser of troubles and cogitations: so is it the flier of qui­etnesse: And therefore desirous to be in his former estate, he rendred them all to him by whom they were giuen.Pouertie highly este­med in times past. Pouer­tie is the refused richesse, a goodnesse vnknowen, a fire of prouocations, the which was of Diogenes fully vnderstod. As muche suffiseth pouertie, as Nature requireth. He liueth safe from euery di­sceite that paciently approcheth there­with, neither is he disabled to attayne to great honours, that (as we haue sayde) vertuously liueth therwith: and there­fore as Theban reiected this allurement he was not liberal, but wise. So graci­ous he was to Tarolfo, in that it pleased him to giue the same rather to him than to an other, whereas he mighte haue bestowed the same vpon many others. Then to conclude, the Knighte was more liberall that graunted his honour, than any of the others: And thinke this [Page] one thing, that the honour he gaue was not to be agayne recouered, the whiche happeneth not in many other things, as of battayls, prowesse, and others like: For if they are at one time lost, they are recouered at an other, and the same is possible. Therefore this may suffise for answere vnto your demaund.

¶The fyfth Question, proposed by CLONICO.

AFter the Quéene became silent, and Menedon satis­fied, a worthy yong gen­tleman called Clonico, that sat next to Menedon, thus began to say: Most mightie quéene, this Gentlewomans tale hath bene so excellent, and therwithall so long, as I in what I may, shall briefly shew vnto you this my conceipt, to the end the rest may the better at their more leasure say theirs. Then for as much as I, although very yong, know the life of the subiects of our lorde Loue, to be replete with [Page] many cares and sundry pining prouoca­tions, yet with smal delight I haue long time as I was able, fled the like, rather eschuing than commending them which follow him: And although I was sun­dry times tempted, yet with a valiaunt minde leauing the pitched snares I al­wayes resisted: But bicause I being not strong enough, could no ways resist that force, whervnto Phoebu was vnable to gainstande, Cupide hauing taken heart to bring me into the number of his thrals, was taken before I knew how. For one day being allured abroade tho­row the fresh renued time, walking all merry, and for my delight gathering of shel fish vpon the salt sea bankes, it hap­pened as I turned mine eyes towards the glittering waues, I sodenly saw a little Barke comming towardes me,Foure yong damsels to a barke vpon the sea. wherein, with one onely mariner, were foure yong Gentlewomen, so faire, as it was a maruellous thing to beholde the beautie they séemed to haue. They now béeing approched somewhat néere vnto me, and I not hauing as yet turned mine eye frō them, saw in the middest of them [Page] an excéeding great light, wherin, as my estimation gaue me, me thought I saw the figure of an Angell, very yong, and so faire, as I neuer behelde thing more fairer:Clonico at taynted of Loue. whō as I thus eyed, me thought he sayde vnto me with a voyce farre dis­crepant from ours: O yong foole, perse­cuter of our power (and being therwith arriued) I am come hither with foure yong damsels, let thy eye make choyse of hir for thy maistresse, that best liketh thée. I when I heard this voyce, abode all appalled, and deuised both with eye and heart to auoyde that which hereto­fore I had many times fled: but al was bootelesse, for the strength of my legges fayled me, and byside, he had bow and wings to ouertake me quickly: where­vppon I in gazing among them, espied one so faire, so benigne of cheare, and so piteous of semblaunce, as I imagined to make choyse of hir, as of a singuler maistresse, saying to my self: This dam­sell presenteth hir selfe so humble to my eyes, as assuredly she wil neuer become enemy to my desires, as many others haue ben to them, whō I haue in behol­ding [Page] ful of troubles always scorned, but she shall rather be a chaser away of my annoys: and hauing thus thought, I forth with answered: The gracious beautie of that yong damsel, that (O my lord) sitteth on your right hand, makes me me desire to be both to you and hir, a most faithfull seruant. I am therfore redy to obey your will, do with me as shall best like you. I had not ended my tale, but that I felt my lefte side wounded with a shining shafte shot from the bow which he bare,The .ij. shafts of loue are different. as me thought ye same was of gold. And assured­ly, I saw him as he turned towards hir, to strike hir with an other of leade. And thus I being in this sort taken, abode in the snares I had of long time fled. This yong damsel hath & doth so much content mine eye, as all other plesure is very scarce in cōparison of this. Which she es­pying, of lōg time shewed hir self contēt: but after that she knew me to be so taken with this delight, as not to loue hir was a thing impossible, incontinent she disco­uered hir guile towards me, with an vn­deserued disdayne, shewing hir selfe in apparance a most cruel enemie, always [Page] turning hir eye the contrary way, as she happened to espye me and with words, on my parte vndeserued, alwayes dis­praysing me, by occasion wherof, I haue in sundry sortes endeuoured my selfe both with prayers and humilitie to ap­pease hir crueltie: but being vnable, I oftentimes bewéepe and lament this my hard fortune,Clonico an vnbeloued louer. neither can I any wayes withdraw me from louing hir, but ra­ther how much the more I finde hir cru­ell, so muche the more me thinketh the flame of hir pleasure doth set my sorow­ful heart on fire. As I through these oc­casions, one day being all solitarie in a garden, bewayled my hap with infinite sighes, accompanied with many teares, there came vpon me a singuler friend of mine, to whō part of my griefs were dis­couered, who with pitifull words began to comfort me the best he could, but I gi­uing thervnto no eare at all, answered him, that my misery excéeded all others. Whervnto he made me this answere: A man is so much the more miserable (said he) as he either maketh or reputeth him­selfe a miser: but assured I haue greater [Page] cause to lament than hast thou. I then at angry turned towards him with a dis­dainful loke, saying: And how? who can haue greater cause than I? Do not I for good seruice receiue euil recompence? Is not my faithfull loue rewarded with ha­tred? So that any may be as sorowful as I, but more he can not be.A louer infe­cted vvith iea­lousie reciteth to Clonico the good entertainment of his Lady. Truely sayde my friend) I haue greater cause of grief than hast thou, and heare how. It is not vnknowen to thee, but that I haue of long time, and yet vs loue a Gentlewo­man as thou knowest: neither was ther euer any thing that I thought mighte pleasure hir, whiche I gaue not my selfe with all my witte and power to bring to effecte. And truely when she vnder­stoode the summe of that I desired, she made me a gracious gifte, the which as I had receiued, and receiuing it at what time it pleased me, me thought none by a great way to haue a life comparable to myne in gladnesse: only one thing pric­ked me, that I could not make hir beleue how perfectly I loued hir. Further than this, she perceiuing me to loue hir (as I said) passed lightly for me. But the gods [Page] that will graunt no worldly good turne without some bitternes,A godly sentence. to the ende that the heuenly may be the better knowen, & by consequent the more desired, to this they gaue me an other corsey without cōparison noisome, that is, that it hapned one day, as I abode with hir al alone, in a secret place, seing (without being againe sene) who passed by, espied a proper yong man, & of a pleasant coūtenance to come along by vs, whom she behelde as I per­ceiued, with a fixed eye, and being past, she fette a pityfull sighe, the whiche I espying, sayde: Alas, do you so soone re­pent, as that ye now sighe for the loue of an other? She, whose face was throughe this occasion paynted with a new rudde, swearing by the power of the high gods, beganne with many excuses to endeuor hir selfe to make me beléeue the contra­ry of that which I had conceiued through the sighe, but all was to no purpose, bi­cause she kindled my hert with an anger so excéeding fierce, as she made me then almost ready to chide with hir, but yet I withhelde me therefrom: And certainly it will neuer out of my mynde, but that [Page] she loueth him or some other better than me: and all those perswasions, the whi­che at other times heretofore she vsed for my helpe, that was, that she loued me better than she did any other, I now e­steme them all in contrary, imagining that she hath fainedly sayd, & done al that she hath heretofore wrought, whereby I endure intollerable griefe, neither dothe any comfort at all preuayle therein: but bicause shame oftentimes doth bridle the will, I haue rather to sorrowe me than glad me, I doe not continue my bitter grief, so as I make any apparaunce ther­of: but brieflye I am neuer withoute cares and cogitations, the whiche bring me far greater annoy than I willingly would. Learne then to beare the lesse griefs, since thou séest the gretest with a valiaunt minde borne of me. To whom I answered, that as it séemed to me, his grief although it wer gret, was no ways to be compared to mine. He answered me the contrary, and thus we abode in a long contention, and in the end parted without any diffinition. Wherefore I pray you yt you wil say your iudgement [Page] hereof.The queenes iudgement vppon the fifte question. Yong Gentleman, sayde the Quéene, great is that payne of yours, and great wrong doth the damsell com­mitte in not louing you. But yet at all times your griefe may by hope be eased, the whiche happeneth not to your com­panion, bicause that since he is once en­tred in suspecte, nothing is able to draw it away. Therfore continually whilest loue lasteth, he soroweth without com­fort: So that in our iudgement greater séemeth the griefe of the iealous, than that of the vnloued louer.The contrary opinion of Clonico. Then sayde Clonico: Oh noble queene, since you say so, it playnly appeareth that you haue always ben loued agayne, of him whom you haue loued, by occasion whereof, ye hardely know what my payne is. How may it appeare that iealousie bringeth greater griefe than is that I feele, forso­muche as the iealous possesseth that he desireth, and may in holding the same, take more delight thereof in one houre, than in a long time after to feele any payne through want thereof: and ne­uerthelesse he may (through experience) abandon such iealousie, if it happen that [Page] this iudgement be found false: but I be­ing kindled wt a fiery desire, howe much the more I sée my selfe farre off from the attaining the same, so muche the more I burne and consume my selfe assaulted of a thousand instigations, neither is any experiēce able to help me therin, bicause thorow the often reprouing hir, and fin­ding hir euery houre more sharpe, I liue desperate. Wherefore your answer sée­meth contrary to the truthe, bicause I doubt not but that it is muche better to holde with suspition, than to desire wyth teares. That amorous flame that dothe shine in our eyes, and that euery houre dothe adorne our sight with the greater beautie,The Queene replieth. doeth neuer consent (replied the Quéene) that we loue in vain, as you af­firme: but for all that it is not vnknown to vs, howe great and what manner of paine that is, bothe of the one and the o­ther: and therfore as our answere hath bene confirmable to the truth, one thing we will shew to you. It is manifest that those things which moste doe hinder the quiet of the minde, are cares, the which are some of them come to a merrie ende, [Page] so some we sée to end with great sorow, wherof, how much more the mind is re­pleat, so much the more hath it of gréefe, and chiefliest, when as the same are noi­some: and that ye iealous haue more store therof thā haue you, is manifest, bicause you héede nothing else but only to gette the good will of the dāsel whom ye loue, the which not being able to attaine, is to you a gréefe most gréeuous: but yet it is certaine, that it may easly come to passe to attaine the same at one instant, not thinking therof (forsomuch as womens heartes are inconstant) bisides peraduē ­ture she loueth you not withstanding (to proue if you also loue hir) shée sheweth the contrary, and so perhappes wil shew vntil such time as she shalbe wel assured of your loue, so that with these thoughts, hope can mitigate vnfained gréefe: but the iealous hath his minde ful fraught of infinite eares, against the which neither hope nor other delight can bring cōfort, or ease the paine.The effectes of iealousie. For he standeth inten­tiue to giue a law to the wandring eyes, the which his possessor can not giue. He wil and doth endeuour hymselfe to giue [Page] a law to the féete, to the hands, and to e­uery other acte of his Mistresse. He will be a circūspect knower both of hir thou­ghtes, & of hir myrth, interpreting euery thing in euil part towardes himself, be­lèeuing that eche one desireth and loueth hir whome hée loueth. Likewise he ima­gineth euery woord that shée speaketh to be twaine, and full of disceit. And if he e­uer committed any detraction towardes hir, it is death to him to remembre it, i­magining to be by the like means decei­ued. He wil with coniectures shut vp the wayes of the aire, and of the earthe. And briefly the heauens, the earthe, birdes, beastes, and euery other creature that he thinketh doth hinder his deuises. And to remoue him from this, hope hathe no place, bicause in this doing, if he find the woman faithful, he thinketh that shée es­pyeth that which he doth, and is therfore héedefull therein. If he findeth that he séeketh for, and that he would not finds, who is more dolorous than hée? If per­aduenture ye thinke that the imbracing hir in his armes be so great a delighte vnto him as shuld mitigate these pangs, [Page] your iudgemēt is then false, bicause such manner of colling bringeth him in chol­ler, in thinking that others as wel as he hath imbraced hir in the like sort: and if the woman peraduenture doe louingly entertaine him, he demeth that shée doth it to the ende to remoue him from suche his imaginations, & not for the true loue shée beareth him. If he finde hir malici­ously disposed, he thynketh that shée then loueth an other, and is not content with him. And thus we can shewe you an infi­nite numbre of other suspitions & cares that are harbored in a iealous persone. What shall we then say of his lyfe, but that it is farre more gréeuous than that of any other liuing creature?The miserie of a iealous life. He lyueth beléeuing, and not beléeuing, and stil al­luring the woman: and moste tymes it hapneth, that these iealous persons doe end their liues thorow the self same ma­lice, wherof they liue fearful, & not with­out cause, for that with their reprehensions, they shewe the way to theyr owne harmes.The conclu­sion of the Queene vp­on the fift question. Considering then the aforesayd reasons, more cause hath your frend that is iealous to sorrow, than haue you, bi­cause [Page] you may hope to get, and he liueth in feare to lose that which he scarsly hol­deth for his own. And therfore if he haue more cause of gréefe than you, & yet com­forts him selfe the best he cā, much more ought you to comfort your self, and to set aside bewailings that are méete for faint heartes: and hope, that the assured loue which you beare towardes your Ladie, shall not lose his due desert: For though she shew hir selfe sharp towardes you at this present, it can not be but that shee lo­ueth you, bicause that loue neuer pardo­ned any loued to loue: and ye shal know, that with the fierce vehement windes, are sooner broken the stubburne Okes, than the consenting réedes.

The sixt Question, proposed by a yong Gen­tlevvoman.

NExt vnto Clonico sate a faire Gentlewoman ap­parelled in black vesture vnder an honest veyle, who as she perceiued the [Page] Quéen to haue made an end of hir wor­des, thus began to say: Moste gracious Quéene I remembre, that being a little girle, howe one day I with my brother, who was a propre yong man and of ripe yeres, abode all alone in a garden, with­out other company: and in tarying there together, it happened that two yonge Damselles of noble bloud,Tvvo dāsels amorous of a gentleman he not knovving thereof: and that vvhich hap­pened. abounding in riches, and borne in this our Citie, who loued this my Brother very well, and perceiuyng him to be in the sayde Gar­den, came thyther, and began a farre off to beholde hym that was altogether ig­noraunt of theyr purpose. And after a while, séeing him al alone, sauing for me of whome they reckened not, bicause I was but a little one, thus the one began to say to the other. We loue this yong Gentleman aboue all others, neither do knowe whether he loueth vs or no, yet is it méete that he loue vs bothe: so that nowe it is léefull for vs to satisfie our de­sire: and to knowe whether he loue ey­ther of vs, or whether of vs he best lo­ueth, to the ende that shée, whom he shal best like of, may after remaine his, with­out [Page] being hindred of the other: wherfore since he is all alone, and that we haue a méet time offred, let vs runne vnto him, and eche one imbrace and kisse hym, that done, he shall take whether of vs best pleaseth him. These two yong gen­tlewomen being thus determined vpon this resolution, began to run their race towardes my sayd brother. Whereat he maruelled greatly, espying them, and se­ing in what sort they came: but the one of them or euer shée came at vs, by a good way, stayed all bathful, and almost wée­ping ripe: the other runne thorowe, and came vnto him, whom she imbraced and kissed, and so sate hir downe by him, re­commending hir selfe vnto him. And he, after y admiration conceiued of hir bold­nesse, was somewhat ceassed, prayed hir as euer shée loued him, to tell him truely what moued them thus to do? Shée con­cealed nothing from him, the which hée hearing, & examining wel in his mind yt which ye one & other had done, knew not how to persuade himself, whether of thē best loued hym, neither yet whether of them he might best loue. And so hapning [Page] at that time to depart from them, he af­ter prayed counsel of many of his frends touching this matter: neither hath any one euer satisfied his desire touching that demaunde. For the which cause (I pray you) from whome I assuredly beleeue to haue a true definition of this my questi­on, that ye will tell me whether of these two damsels ought soonest to be leued of the yonge man.The ansvver of the Quene To this Gentlewoman the Quéene thus made answer: Truely of the two yong womē, shée as it séemeth loued your brother best, & soonest ought to be loued of him again, that doubting) bashfully abode without imbracing him, & why I thus thinke, this is the reason: loue (as we know) maketh those alwais fearful in whom he doth abide:Loue is ac­companyed vvith feare. and wher he is of greatest force, there is like wise the greatest feare: and this hapneth, bi­cause the intent or consent of the person loued can not be fully knowne. And if it could be knowne, many things shoulde be done, that in fearing to offend are left vndone, bicause the one knoweth that in displeasing, is taken away euery occasi­on to be loued: And with this feare and [Page] loue, shamefastnesse is alwayes accom­panied, & not without reason. Returning then to our question. We say, yt it was an act of one vnfainedly enamored, that of the Gentlewomans, wherby shée she­wed hir selfe both fearfull and bashfull: And that of the other, was rather ye part of one both loud & licencious. And there­fore he being of hir best beloued, ought the rather (according to our iudgement) to loue hir best. Thē answered the gen­tlewoman: Most curteous Quéene,The Gentle­vvoman re­plyeth to the Queene. it is true, that where loue abideth with mo­deration, there feare and bashfulnesse dothe altogether frequent, but where he doth abound in suche quantitie as he ta­keth away the sight from the most wise (as is alredy said) I say, that feare hathe there no place, but that the motions of him yt feeleth the same, are according to him that vrgeth them forwards, & ther­fore that Gentlewoman séeing hir desire before hir eyes, was so hotly kindled, as all shamfastnesse abandoned, shée ranne straight to him, by whom she was so ve­hemently pricked forwards, as till then vnable to abide. The other not so muche [Page] inflamed, obserued the amerous termes, being bashfull and remaining behind, as you say. So that then shée that ran, loued most, and most ought to be loued again. Discrete gentlewomā (said the Queene) true it is,The Queene to the Gentle­vvoman ma­keth ansvver. yt excessiue loue taketh away the sight, & euery other due perseuerāce in things that are ought of his nature, but not in those that belong vnto hym, the which as he increaseth, so grow they. Then how greater quantitie of Loue is found in any one, so much the more fear (as we said at the first) is there also foūd. And that this is true, the cruell heart of Biblis dothe manifest the same vnto vs,Biblis: who howe much shée loued, was séene by the sequele therof. For shée séeing hir self abandoned and refused, had not the au­dacitie to discouer hir selfe with hir pro­pre wordes, but wryting shée disclosed hir vnfitting desire.Phedra and Hippolito. Likewise Phedra many times gaue the attempt to goe to Hippolito, to whom shée thought boldly to speake, and to tel how much she loued him: but the wordes shée had to vtter, no sooner came into hir mouthe, but they stayed vpon hir tong and there died. Oh [Page] how fearfull is the persone that loueth? Who hath ben more mighty than Alci­des, Alcides to whome satisfied not the victorie of humain things, but also he gaue himself to beare vp the heauens, and not wyth­standing was lastly so enamoured, not of a womā, but of a yong wench, a slaue, which he had gained, as fearing hir cō ­maundements, did like an hūble subiect or seruaunt, euen the very basest things. Also Paris in what he durst not attempt neither with eye nor tong,Paris. with his fin­ger in the presence of his loue, wryting first hir name with wine that had bene spilt, wrote after, I loue thée. How farre passing all these doth Pasiphe Pasiphe bring vs a due example of feare, the which without any reasonable intendemēt, yea & with­out vnderstanding, durst not so much as expresse hir desire to a beast, but wt hir propre handes, gathering the soft grasse, endeuored hir self to make him benigne vnto hir, oftētimes decking hir self at the glasse for to plese him, & to kindle him in the like desire yt she was in, to the end he might attempt to séeke that which shée durst not demaund. It is not méete for a [Page] womā enamored,Shame pre­scribeth the honoure of Ladyes. neither for any other, to be prompt and ready, forasmuch as y great shame fastnesse onely which ought to be in vs, doth remaine as the guarder of our honor. We haue the voyce among men, (and the trouth is so) to know bet­ter how to hide the amorous flame than they doe, & nothing else engendreth this in vs, but the great feare, the which doth rather occupie our forces than those of men. How many hath there ben of them (& peraduenture we haue known some) which many times haue caused them­selues, to haue bene bidden, to the ende therby they might haue atchéeued to the amorous effectes, the which willingly would rather haue bidden the bidder, be­fore he them, if due bashfulnesse and fear had not detained them: and not only yt, but euery time that No is scaped theyr mouth, they haue had in theyr mindes a thousand repentings, saying from theyr hearts a thousand times Yea. There re­maineth then the like scelerate fire on ye behalfe of Semiramis, and Cleopatra, Semiramis & Cleopatra. the which loued not, but sought to quiet the rage of their wanton willes, & the same [Page] being quieted, they after remēbred not them selues the one of the other. Wise marchaunts vnwillingly do aduenture at one time all their treasures to the ha­zarde of Fortune, and yet notwithstan­ding, they care not to graunt hir some small portion, the which if they happen to lose, yet do they féele no gréefe of mind at all for the same. The yong woman therfore that embraced your brother,The conclu­sion of the Quene vpon the sixt que­stion. lo­ued him but a little, & that little she com­mitted to Fortune, saying: This gentle­man if I may héereby get him, it is wel: but if he refuse me, there shalbe no more but lette him take an other. The other that abode all bashfull, forasmuch as she loued him aboue all others, shee doubted to put so great loue in aduenture, ima­gining least thys peraduenture should displease hir, and he so refuse hir, that hir gréefe should be then suche and so much, as she should die ther­of. Let therfore the second be loued before the first.

The seuenth Question, proposed by GALEONE.

A Cleare Sunne beam [...] piercing thorow amōgst the gréene leaues, did strike vpon the aforesaid Fountaine, and dyd re­bound the light therof vpon the fair face of the adorned Quéene, who was therby apparelled with that colour, wherof the heauens maketh shewe, when as bothe the children of Latona (from vs hidden) with their starres onely giueth vs light: and besides the splendoure it brought to hir face, it did so lighten the place, as a­mong the fresh shade it yelded a maruel­lous luster to the whole company. Fur­ther what time the reflected raye did ex­tend euen to that place wher the Laurel crowne on hir head on the one side, and the golden tresses on the other, dyd de­termine: It so entermingled there amōg with twinings not artificiall, as at the first fight one wold haue sayd, that there had issued forth among the gréene leaues a cleare flame of a burning fire, whych did spread in such sort, as the aburn hairs were easily séene to the flanders about. [Page] Galeone that was peraduēture sooner or better awares of this maruellous sight than any of the rest (being set in circle o­uer agaynst the Queene deuided only wt the water) did very intentiuely beholde the same almoste as though he cared for nothing else: so yt he moued not his mou­the to the question yt was nowe come to his turne: To whom the Quéene there­fore (hauing now both kept silēce a good space, as eke contēted the wittie gentle­woman) thus sayd: The only desire per­aduēture of the thing which thou behol­dest, stayeth thée: Tel what is the occasi­on yt holdeth thée thus appalled, as in fo­lowing the order of the rest thou spekest not? It is only (as we beleue) the gazing at our hed, as if ye had neuer séen ye same before: Tell vs first, & after as the other haue propounded, euen so propoūd you. At this sodaine voice Galeone lift vp his mind replete with swéet thoughts, som­what comming to him self, at what time he is wont to doe, that thorow a sodaine fear doth breake his golden sléepe, & thus sayd: Most noble & renoumed Quéene, whose worthynesse it shoulde be im­possible [Page] for me to declare, my mind was so wrapped in gracious thoughts (when as I did so firmly loke at your hed) as in beholding the bright ray, streming into the fresh fountaine, and rebounding vpō your face, me thought there issued forthe of the water, a little sprite so gentle and gracious to sée vnto, as he plucked my minde backe, to beholde that whych he did, & perceiuing peraduenture, my eyes altogither insufficient to behold so great a ioy, he mounted by the cleare ray into your eyes, & there for a good space made maruellous myrth, adorning the same with a new clearenesse: And after moū ­ting more high, I sawe how he ascended by this light (leauing his footesteppes in your eyes) vpon your crown, wheras he together with the ray, kindled (as it sée­med vnto me) a new flame, such a one as was of yore séene by Tanaquil, to apéere to Seruius Tullus a little boy whilest he slept, and so wēt about your crowne, lea­ping from sprigge to sprigge, like a little amorous birde, that finging dothe visite many leaues, mouing your hearte with sundry iestures, sometimes wrapping & [Page] hiding himselfe therin, being more mer­rier euery time he came forth thereof, and therewith (as it seemed vnto me) so iocunde in him selfe, as nothing more, and that singing, or with a swéete voyce he vttered these words:

Of the third rolling Skie, the benigne babe deuine
I am, enamoured so, to neast in these two eyne,
That doubtlesse dye I should, were I of mortal routs
From twig to twig I twine to feede this my delight.
These golden Tresses whirling in and out:
My selfe, inflaming my selfe, right
So as with flame I shew, theffect, the potent might,
Of my darts deuine, piercing where I goe,
Eche one wounding, that with sweete sight,
Doth gaze hir in the eyes: wheras eche houre loe,
If suche hir pleasure be, I there discend adowne,
For of my kingdomes she, quene is of great renowne.

And herewith he sayde muche more, go­ing about as at what time ye called me, and ye had no sooner spoken, but that he sodenly retired into your eyes, the whi­che sparkling like to the morning starre gaue a new light that made al the place to shine: ye haue now heard with what [Page] ioy new thoughts haue stayed me for a time. Philocopo and the rest maruelled not a litle hereat, and turning their eyes towards their Quéene, saw that, whiche to heare séemed to them impossible. And she that was attyred with humility, list­ued to the words that were truely re­ported of hir, and abode with a stable countenaunce, making no answere at all. And therefore Galeone speaking in this wise, followed with his question: Most gracious Quéene, I desire to know whether a man ought to be enamoured for his delyght or no? And to demaunde this, many things moue me, both séene, heard, and helde, through the sundry opi­nions of many. The Quéene beheld Ga­leone a good while in the face, and after­wards, after a certayne sigh, thus made answere. It is conuenient we speake agaynst that which with desire we séeke to follow. And truely that which you in asking, do propounde in doubt, ought to be manifest vnto you. In answering you therfore there shalbe kept the begon or­der. And he whose subiects we are, par­don vs the words, that we, as cōst rained [Page] through force of Iudgement, shall (more sooner than willing) say against his di­uine maiestie, least thereby his indigna­tion do fall vpon vs. And you that like­wise as well as we are his subiect, with a bolde minde giue eare vnto them, nei­ther do you for all that chaunge your purpose at all. And to the ende that so much the better, and with a more appa­rant intendment our words may be re­ceiued, we wil somwhat digresse frō our matter, returning againe therevnto as briefly as possible we may, and thus we say: Loue is of thrée sorts, thorow which three al other things are loued, some tho­row the vertue of one, & some throw the power of an other, according as is the thing loued, and likewise the louer: The first of the which .iij. is called honest loue: This is the good, vpright, & loyall loue, the which of all persons ought to be re­ceiued: This, the high & first creator hol­deth, linked to his creatures, & them h [...] tieth therwith vnto him. Through this, the heauens, the world, realmes, prouin­ces, and cities do remaine in their state: thorow this we do merite to be eternall [Page] possessors of the celestiall kingdome: and without this is lost al that we haue in power of well doing. The seconde is called loue for delight: And this is he, whose subiectes we are: This is our god, him we do worship, him we do pray vnto, in him do we trust, that he may be our contentation, and that he may fully bring our desire to passe: Of this is put the question, whervnto we shall duely answere. The thirde is loue for vtilitie, of this loue the worlde is replenished more than of any of the other thinges. This is coupled with Fortune, whilest she tarieth, he likewise abideth: but if they parte, he is then the waster of ma­ny goods. And to speake reasonably, he oughte to be déemed rather hate than loue. Now as touching the propounded question, we néede to speake neither of the first, nor of the last: we will speake of the second, that is, of loue for delight, to whom truely, no person that desireth to leade a vertuous life, oughte to sub­mit him selfe, bicause he is the depriuer of honours, the bringer of troubles, the reueler of vices, the copious giuer of [Page] vaine cares, and the vnworthy occupier of the libertie of others, a thing aboue al things to be helde most deare. What is he then regarding his own wealth (be­ing wise) that will not flée suche a go­uernment? Let him that may, liue frée, following those things that doe euery way increase his liberty, and let vicious gouernours gouerne vicious vassals. I did not thinke, sayde Galeone then, to giue occasion through these my words to the lessening of this our disport, nor to disquiet the regiment of our lorde loue, neither yet to trouble the minds of any others, but did rather imagine (you defining it according to the intente of me & many others) that ye might therby confirme those that are his subiects with a valiaunt minde, and inuite those whi­che are not, with a gréedy appetite: but I sée that your intent is all contrary to mine, bicause you with your words do shew to be thrée sortes of loue, of the which thrée, the first and the last I con­sent they be as you say. But the second, whiche answereth to my demaunde, ye say it is as muche to be fled, as I holde [Page] opinion, it is (as the increaser of vertue) to be folowed of him that desireth a glo­rious end, as I beleue to make apparant vnto you by this that followeth. This Loue, of whom we reason (as it may be manyfest to all the worlde, bicause we proue it) doth worke this propertie in humayne hearts, that after that it hath disposed the mind to a thing which plea­seth, it spoyleth the same of all pride and of al fiercenesse, making them humble in eche doing, as it is manyfest vnto vs by Mars, whome we finde, that in louing Venus, became of a fierce and sharpe Duke in battayle, a moste humble and pleasaunt Louer. It makes the gréedie and couetous, liberall and curteous. Me­dea the most carefull hider of hir arte, af­ter she felte his flames, liberally yelded hir self, hir honour, and hir arts to Iason. Who makes men more diligent to high attempts than he? And what he can do, behold by Paris and Menelaus. Who fur­thereth forwarde the angry fiers more than doth he? He sheweth vs how often­times the anger of Achilles was quieted thorowe the swéete prayer of Polixena.

[Page] He aboue all others maketh men coura­gious and strong. Neither know I what greater example may be giuen vs, than that of Perseus, who for Andromaca made a maruellous proofe of his vertu­ous force. He decketh all them that are by him aparelled, with excellent quali­ties, with ornate talke, with magnifi­cence, and with pleasantnesse. He I say bestoweth vpon al his subiects finenesse and gentlenesse. Oh how many are the good things whiche procéede from him? Who moued Virgill? who Ouid? who the other Poets to leaue of them selues eternall fame in those their holy verses, the which (if he had not ben) shold neuer haue comen to our eares, but he? What shall we say further of his vertues? but that he was able to giue suche a swéete­nesse to Orpheus harpe, as after that he had called to that sounde all the woods, standers about, and made the running streames to stay, & to come into his pre­sence in milde peace the fierce Lions to­githers, with the faint hearted Hartes, and all other beasts: he made likewise the infernal furies quiet, & gaue rest, and [Page] swéetenesse to the troubled soules, and after all this the sound was of such ver­tue, as he attayned to haue agayne his lost wise. Then is he not the chaser a­way of honour as you say, neither the giuer of vnsitting troubles, nor the pro­uoker of vices, nor the disposer of vayn cares, nor the vnworthy vser of the li­bertie of others. So that euery one of whom he maketh none accompt, and is not as yet his seruaunt, ought with all their wit and diligence, to endeuour and to occupie them selues in the attayning the fauour of suche a Lorde, and to be­come his subiect, since throw him he be­cometh vertuous. That which pleaseth the Gods, and men of greatest strength, ought likewise to please vs. Let suche a Lorde therfore be loued, serued, and liue alwayes in our minds. Greatly decey­ueth thée thine opinion, sayd the quéene, and it is no maruell, bicause as farre as we vnderstande, thou art so farre ena­moured, as none the like, and without doubt the iudgement of the enamoured is méerely false, bicause as they haue lost the sight of the eyes of their minde, [Page] so haue they banished reason as their vt­ter enemie. And for this cause it shall be conuenient, that we agaynst our will speake of loue, the whiche gréeueth vs, since we be his subiects. But yet to pluck thée from thine error, we shall turne our silence to a true report, and wil therfore that thou know, that this loue is nothing else, than an vnreasonable will sprong of a passion entered the heart through a wanton pleasure, that is opened to the eyes, nourished with idlenesse, by the memorie and thoughts of foolish minds: and many times in how much it multi­plieth, so much it taketh away the intent of him in whom it abideth, from things necessarie, and disposeth the same to things vnprofitable. But bicause that thou through example giuing dost ende­uour thy selfe to shew, that all goodnesse and all vertue doth procéede from him, we will procéede to the disprofes of thy prooufes. It is no part of humilitie vn­iustly to bring to a mans selfe, that whi­che belongeth to an other, but rather an arrogancie and an vnsitting presumpti­on: The whiche thing Mars (whome [Page] thou makest throughe loue to become humble) assuredly vsed in taking away from Vulcan, Venus his moste lawfull wife. And without doubt this humilitie that appeareth in the face of louers doth not procéede of a benigne heart, but ta­keth roote from guile and deceipt, nei­ther makes this loue the couetous libe­ral, but when as such abundance as thou laiest to haue ben in Medea, doth abound in the heart, and doth depriue the same of the sight of the minde, and most foolishly is become prodigall of things heretofore duly estemed deare, and not giuing the same with measure, but vnprofitably casting them away, beléeueth to please, and displeaseth. Medea nothing wise of hir prodigalitie, in short time repented very muche without vtilitie, and knew that if she had modestly vsed those hir dere gifts, she should not haue comen to so vile an ende. And that soliciting that purchaseth or worketh hurt to the solici­ters, as it seemeth to vs, ought not any ways to be sought for: for must better it is to stand idle, than worke harme, al­though that neither the one nor the other [Page] is to be praysed. Paris was a solicitour to his own destruction, if he beheld the end of his soliciting. Menelaus as reson was, became diligent, not for loue, but to re­couer his honor lost, as eche discrete per­son ought to doe. Neither yet is this loue a meane to mitigate anger, but the be­nignitie of minde, the brunt being paste that induceth it, makes it to become no­thing, and remitteth the offence agaynst whom it is angry. And yet louers and discrete persons were wont at the pray­ers of the person loued, or of some friend to forgiue offences, to shew them selues curteous of that which cost thē nothing, and to make the crauers thereof behol­ding vnto them. And in this sort Achil­les, many times shewed himselfe to ex­pell from him this congeled anger. Like­wise it séemes that this makes men cou­ragious and worthy: But therof I can shew you the contrary. Who was a man of greater valour than Hercules, and yet béeing enamoured, became vile & forget­ful of his force, so that he did spin thréede with the women of Iole? Assuredly in things, wherein occurreth no daunger, [Page] a most hardy people are the enamoured, and wherin daunger hapneth, they shew themselues in apparaunce hardie, and put themselues forwarde, neither dothe loue, but little wit allure them so to do, to the ende they may after haue glory in the sight of their loues, although it hap­neth very seldome, bicause they doubt so much the losing of the person loued, that they are rather content to be helde vyle and of little courage, than to giue them­selues to perill. And yet we doubt not, but this loue reposeth all swéetenesse in Orpheus harpe. We agrée that it is true that thou hast shewed, that truly in gene­rall loue ladeth the tongs of his subiects with such a swéetenesse, and with so ma­ny enticements, as they many tymes would therby make the stones turne vp side downe, so that to entice is not onely the propertie of wauering and incon­stant men, but of vile men. How shal we say, that suche a lorde ought to be follo­wed, throughe the good propertie of the follower? Assuredly he (in whom he abi­deth) maketh wise and profitable coun­sels to be despised. For it was euill with [Page] the Troians that those of Cassandra, were not heard of Paris. He maketh likewise his subiects to forget and despise their good fame, the which ought to remayne to vs all on earth after our deathes, as an eternall heire of our memorie. And how much these aforesayd did contemne, the same Egistus may suffise for an exam­ple: Although Scylla wrought no lesse hurt than Pasiphe. Is not he the occasi­on that breaketh sacred bonds of the pro­mised pure faith? Yet truely what had Ariadna done to duke Theseus, whereby contaminating the matrimonical bands, and giuing himselfe, and his promised fayth to the winds, he shoulde abandon hir poore miser among the desert rockes? A little pleasure in gasing in the eyes of Phedra, was occasion to celerate so much euill, and of suche requitall for the recei­ued honor. In him also is found no law: and that it is true, may be séene by the doings of Tereus, who hauing receyued Philomena, from hir pitifull father, and carnally knowen hir, made no staye to contaminate the moste holy lawes ma­trimonially contracted betwéene hym [Page] and Progne, the sister of Philomena This also calling and causing himselfe to be called a God, occupieth the reasons of the gods. Who coulde euer fully with words shew the iniquitie of him? He to speake briefly, leadeth them that follow him to all euilles: and if by happe his followers do any vertuous acte (whiche happeneth very seldome) with a vicious beginning they beginne it, desiring ther­by to come very quickly to the desired ende of their lothsome willes, the which may be rather sayd vices, than vertues, forsomuche as that is not to be héeded onely whiche man dothe, but with what minde it is doone, and so according to the will of the worker, to repute the same vicious or vertuous, bicause that neuer of an euill roote sprang a good trée, nor from an euill trée good fruite. This loue then is leude and naught: and if he be naught, he is to be fledde. And who that fleeth things euill, of consequent follo­weth the good, and so is bothe good and vertuous. The beginning of this loue is none other thing, than feare, the sequels is sinne, and the ende is griefe and noy, [Page] it ought then to be fled, and to be repro­ued, and to feare you to haue him in you, bicause he is violent, neither knoweth he in any of his doings to kepe measure, and is altogither voyde of reason. He is without all doubt the destroyer of the minds, the shame, anguishe, passion, griefe, and plaint of the same, neuer con­senteth that the hearte of whome that lodgeth hym be withoute bitternesse, who will than prayse that he is to be followed, but fooles. Truely if it were lawfull we would willingly liue with­out him, but of suche an harme we are to late awares, and therefore it is conuenient for vs, since we are caught in his nettes to fol­low his life vntil what time as that light which guided Aeneas out of the darke wayes, flée­ing the perilous fiers, may ap­peare to vs, and guide vs to his plea­sures.

¶The eyght Question, proposed by a fayre Gentlevvoman named POLA.

ON the right hande of Ga­leone, was set a fayre gen­tlewoman, whose name was Pola, pleasaunt, and yet vnder an honest co­uerture, who after the Quéene blent, thus began to say: O noble Quéene, ye haue domed at this present, that no per­son ought to follow this our lord Loue, and I for my part consent thervnto: but yet since it séemes to me impossible, that the youthfull race both of men and wo­men should be runne ouer without this benigne Loue: I gather, at this present, setting apart (by your leaue) your sen­tence, that to be enamoured is lefull, ta­king the euill doing for due working: And in following the same,Of vvhat de­grees one should chose his louer. I desire to know of you, whether of these two wo­men ought rather to be loued of a yong man, bothe two pleasing him alike, ei­ther she that is of noble blood, and of able kinsfolke, and copious of hauing muche more than the yong man, or the other [Page] that is nether noble nor rich, nor of kins­folkes so abounding as is the yong mā? To whome the Queene thus made an­swere: Faire Gentlewoman,The Quenes ansvvere. admitting the case that both man and womā ought to follow Loue as you haue before affir­med, we giue iudgement, that in howe much the woman is richer, greater, and more noble than the yong mā, of what­soeuer degrée or dignitie he be of, euen so she ought to be rather preferred to the loue of a yong man, than ought shée that hath any thing lesse thā he: bicause mans mind was created to folow high things. And therfore he must seeke rather to ad­uance, than any ways to imbace himself. Further there is a common Prouerbe, which sayth:

The good to couet better t'is,
Than to possesse that bad is.

Wherefore in our iudgement, thou art better to loue the most noble, and wyth good reson to refuse the lesse noble. Thē said pleasant Pola: noble Queen,The cōtrary opinion of Pola vvith hir reasons. I wold haue giuen an other iudgement (if it had bene to me) of this Question, as ye shall heare. We all naturally doe rather de­sire [Page] short and bréefe, than long and tedy­ous troubles, and that it is a lesse & more bréefe trouble to get the loue of the lesse noble, thā of the more noble, is manifest. Then the lesse ought to be followed: for as muchè as the loue of the lesse may be sayd to be alredy won, the which of the more is yet to get. Further, many perils may folow to a man louing a woman of a greater condition, than him selfe is of, nether hath he lastly therby any greater delight, than of the lesser. For we see a great woman to haue many kinsfolks, & a great family, and them all as diligent héeders of hir honour, to haue an eye vn­to hir, so that if any one of them happē to espie this loue, therof may folow (as we haue already sayd) great perill to the lo­uer, the which of the lesse noble cā not so lightly com to passe: and these perils ech one (as he is able) ought to flée, for as much as who y receiueth harme is sure therof, and who that hath done it, laugh­eth him after to scorn, saying he spéedeth wel, where he liketh, there let him loue: yet dyeth he more than once. But howe that once happeneth, where, and for [Page] what occasion, besides eche one ought to take good heede: it is very credible that a Gentlewoman will lightly esteeme of hym, for that shee will desire to loue one more Noble or greater than hir selfe, and not one inferioure to hir self: wher­by soldome or neuer, he shall attaine his desire. But of the lesser shall happen the contrary, bicause that shee will glory to bée loued of suche a Louer, and will en­deuour hir selfe to please hym, to the ende to nourishe Loue, and yet if this were not, the power of the Louer onely myght be able wythout feare to bryng to passe to fulfill his desire. Wherefore I gather, that the lesse Noble oughte to bée preferred in loue before the more no­ble. Your iudgement deceiueth you (said the Quéene) to the fair Gentlewoman,The Que [...] solution vp­on the eight question. bicause Loue is of thys nature, that howe muche the more one Loueth, so muche the more he desireth to loue: And this may be séene by them, that thorowe loue féele ye greater gréefe, the which al­though it trouble thē not a litle, yet loue they continually the more: Neyther doeth any one from his heart, althoughe [Page] he make great apparance in wordes, de­sire thereof a spéedie end. Then as small troubles are sought for of the slouthfull, of the wise, things that are attained wt most trouble, are helde most deare and delightfull. And therefore in louing the lesse woman, to get hir, should be (as you say) little trouble, and the loue both litle and short, & should be folowed as though one in louing, would desire to loue lesse and lesse, which is contrary to the nature of Loue, as we haue sayd. But in louing the greater, that is gotten wyth trouble, happeneth the contrary: bicause, that as in a thing dearely gotten, with trauaile, is reposed all diligēce to the wel héeding of the gained Loue, euen so is shée euery houre the more loued, and the lōger doth continue the delight and pleasure therof. And yet if ye will say that all the doubt is of theyr kinsmen, we wil not denie it, for this is one of the occasions. Where­fore, it is a trouble to haue the loue of one of these great women: but not with­standing the discrete in suche cases pro­céede by a secrete way. And we dout not but that the honor bothe of the greatest [Page] and meanest woman is by some of their kinsfolkes according to their power lo­ked vnto, in such sort, as a fole may come to an euill aduenture, louing aswell in a base, as in a noble stocke. But what shal he be that wil passe Pisistrato in crueltie, hauing offended them which loued hysThe crueltie of Pisistra­tus. without forethinking yt which he should afterwardes haue done to those that had had the same in heart? In saying also, that louing a greater woman than him­self, he shall neuer be able to come to the ende of his desire, bicause the woman co­ueteth to loue one greater than hir selfe, and therefore will make of him no esti­mation at all: ye shew your self to be ig­norant that the meanest man (in what belōgeth to naturall vertues) is of grea­ter and better condition,The meanest man of better con­dition than the noblest vvoman. thā the noblest woman of the world. Whatsoeuer man shee then desireth, shée desireth him that is of greater and better condition than hir selfe, bicause the vertuous or vicious life maketh many times ye meane great, and the great meane. In as much there­fore as any woman shall bée solicited by any man in due sorte, euen so wythout [Page] doubt shée shall yeld to his desire, though the great wt more trouble thā the mean. For we see the softe water with a conti­nuall fall to breake and pierce the harde stone: and therefore let none despaire to loue.The Queene concludeth that vve should ra­ther loue the more noble vvoman than the lesse no­ble. For so muche goodnesse shall folow him that loueth a greater woman than hymselfe, as he shall endeuour him selfe to please hir, to haue decent qualities, the company of noble personages, to be ornate of swéete talke, bold in enterpri­ses, and splendant in apparell, and if he shall attaine to greater glory, the grea­ter delight shall he haue of minde, like­wise he shalbe exalted with the good report of the people, and repu­ted of a noble mind. Let him therfore followe the most noble, as we haue alre­dy sayd.

The ninthe Question, proposed by FERAMONTE. Duke of Montorio.

NExte vnto pleasante Pola, sate Feramonte Duke of Montorio, who after the Quene had said, thus began: I consent that it bée conuenyent to loue, that ye haue alredy fully answered this Gentlewoman to hir Question. And that a man ought to loue rather a more noble woman than a lesse noble than himselfe, may very well be yelded vnto, thorow the sundry resons by you shew­ed touching the same.Whether is to be chosen in louing, ei­ther the vvife, the vvi­dovve, or the maide. But forasmuch as there are sundry Gentlewomen of sun­dry sortes attired with diuersities of ha­bites, that (as it is thought) doe diuersly loue, some more, some lesse, some more hotly, & some others more luke warme. I desire to vnderstād of you, whether of these three, a yong mā to bring his desire to a most happy ende, ought soonest to be enamoured of, either of hir yt is maryed, [Page] or of the maide, or of the widowe? To whome the Queene made this answers: Of the thrée,The Quenes ansvver. the one, that is the maryed woman, ought in no wise to be desired, bicause she is not hir owne, neither hath libertie to giue hir selfe to any: and ther­fore either to desire hir, or to take hir, is both to commit an offence against the di­uine lawes, as also against the lawes naturall & positiue, the offending wher­of, is to heap vpon our selues, the diuine anger, and by consequent, heauie iudge­ment. Howbeit, who that gropeth not his conscience so farre inwardly, dothe oftentimes spéede better in louing hir, than of any of the other two, either maid or widowe, in as much as he (althoughe such loue somtimes be with great peril) is to haue the effecte of his desire. And why this loue may diuers times bring the louer to his desire, sooner thā the loue of the others, this is the reson: It is ma­nifest, that in how much more the fire is blowne, so much the more it flameth, & without blowing, it becommeth deade. And as all other things thorowe muche vse do decay, so contrariwise lust ye more [Page] it is vsed, the more it increseth. The wi­dowe in that shée hath bene a long tyme without the like effect, doth fele the same almost as though it had neuer bene, and so is rather kindled with the memorie thereof, than with any concupiscence at all. The maid that yet hath no skil ther­of, neither knoweth the same but by imagination, desireth as it were one luke warme: and therfore the maried woman kindled in such passions, doth more than any of the others desire suche effectes. What time the maried are wont to re­ceiue from their husbandes outragyous woords or déedes, wherof willingly they would take reuenge if they might, there is no way left more readier vnto them, than in despite of their husbands to giue their loue to him, by whome they are al­lured to receiue the like. And althoughe it be expedient that suche manner of re­uenge be very secrete, yt no shame grow thereby, nethelesse are they yet content in their mindes. Further the alwayes v­sing of one kinde of meat is tedious: and wée haue oftentimes séene the delycate meates left for the grosse, turning after­wardes [Page] vnto the same again, what time the appetite hath bene satisfied of the o­thers. But bicause (as wée haue sayd) it is not lawfull thorowe any vniust occa­sion to desire yt which is an other mans, we will leaue the marryed to theyr hus­bandes, and take of the others, whereof a copious numbre our Citie dothe sette before our eyes.The vvidovve is to be loued before the maide. And we would in besto­wing our loue, rather seke the widowes than the rude maides, grosse for suche a misterie, and that are not without great trouble (the which in widowes néedeth not) made able to a mannes desire. Fur­ther if mayds loue, they know not what they desire, and therefore they doe not followe with an intentiue mynde, the steppes of the louer as do the widowes, in whome nowe the antique fire taketh force, and maketh them to desire that which thorowe long abuse they had for­gotten: so that to come to suche effecte, they (to late) bewéepe the lost tymes, and the solitarie long nightes, the which they haue passed in their widowish beds. These are therefore (as it séemeth vnto vs) rather to be loued of them in whom [Page] is the libertie to submitte them selues to others, than any of the rest. Then aunswered Faramonte: The contra­ry opinion of Feramonte. Moste excellent Quéene, what ye haue sayde of the ma­ryed, I hadde determined in my minde that so it ought to bée: and now hearing the same from you, I am the rather assu­red thereof. But touching the Maides and Widowes, I am of the contrary o­pinion, bicause (setting the maryed a­parte, for the reasons by you alleaged) it séemeth vnto me very good, that the Maide rather than the Widowe, ought to be desired: For as muche as the loue of the Maide séemeth more firme and as­sured than that of the Widowe. For the Widowe without doubt hathe alreadie loued one other time before, and hathe séene and felt many things of loue, and knoweth what shame may folow there­of: and therefore knowing these things better than the Mayde, loueth faire and softely: and doubting and not louyng firmly, desireth now this and now that, and knoweth not to whether for hir most delight and greatest honour to link hir selfe, for sometimes shée will neither [Page] the one, nor the other: so that deliberati­on dothe wauer in hir minde, neither is the amorous passion able to take there stabilitie: but to the mayde these things are alltogether vnknowne.The constan­cie of maides in loue. And there­fore as shée persuadeth hir self with good aduisement, that of many yong men shée greatly pleaseth one, so wythout further examination shée maketh choice of him as of hir louer, and to him onely dispo­seth hir loue, not knowing howe for hir pleasure to shew any contrary acte, nei­ther is there for the more sure tying of the Louer, any newe deliberation by hir sought for the, touching hir loue, so that shée is then pure at the wil and pleasure of him that simply pleaseth hir, & quick­ly disposeth hir wounded heart, him on­ly to serue as Lorde. The which thyng (as I haue already sayd) happeneth not of the widowe, and therfore is the other, the rather to be followed. Further, with more efficacie the mayde taryeth those things that neuer any one of hir sorte hath séene, heard or proued. And yet shée desireth more to sée, hear and proue them than who that ha the many times bothe [Page] séene, heard and proued them, and this is manyfest. Emong the other occasions for the which our life doeth greatly de­light vs, and is desired to be long, is for to sée newe thyngs, suche as wée haue yet neuer séene before. And also for to sée thyngs moste newe we haue a great delight to runne wyth a dilygent pace to that, which we aboue all other things doe endeuoure our selues to flée, that is Deathe, the laste ende of oure bodyes. The maide knoweth not that delyght­full coniunction, thorowe the which wee come into the world, and yet is it natu­rall to euery creature thorowe a desire to be drawne thereunto. Further, shée many times hath heard from them, that know what manner a thing it is, howe muche swéetenesse doth consist therein, the which wyth woordes haue giuen fire to the desire, and therefore drawne of nature, and of a desire to proue the thing, of hir not as yet proued, dothe thorow the woordes whych shée hathe hearde, desire boldly with a kindled heart thys concourse. And with whome is it presu­med to be had but only with him, whom [Page] shée hathe alreadie made Lorde of hir minde? This heat shal not be in the wi­dowe, bycause hauing once proued and felte what manner a thing it was, shée is thereby prouoked thereunto: So that the Mayde then shall loue more, and be more diligent (thorowe the reasons a­foresayde) to the pleasure of hir Louer, than the widowe. To what ende shall wée then wade any further in séeking that the Maide ought not rather to be lo­ued than the Widowe? You, sayde the Quéene reason well,The Queenes solution vpon the nynthe question. and very well you defend your iudgement: But yet we wil shewe you with apparant reason, howe you likewise ought to holde the same o­pinion, that we holde of thys contenti­on, if wyth a straight eye ye looke to the nature of Loue. Thus in the Mayde as in the Widowe, and so in the Widowe as in the Maide we sée him to be firme, strong, and constant, and that thys is true, Dido and Adriana with theyr do­ings haue left vs an example. And wher as thys Loue is neyther in the one nor the other, none of the aforesayde opera­tions will thereof followe. Then is it [Page] conuenient that eche one of them doe loue, if we wil haue that to folow, wher­of bothe you and I haue already talked. And therfore in louing eyther maide or widowe, without going about to séeke whether of them is most discretely ena­mored (as we are certain of the widow) we shall shewe you how the widowe is more diligent to the pleasure of the lo­uer, than is the maide.Maides ought not to loue, but in respect of mariage. For doubtlesse a­mong those things, that a woman estée­meth deare aboue the rest, is her virgi­nitie: and this is the reason, bycause therein consisteth all the honoure of hir following life. And without doubt shee shall neuer be so much vrged forwardes to loue, as she shal not willingly be cour­teous thereof, but yet to him onely, to whome shee beléeueth to be coupled as wife thorowe the matrimoniall Lawe. And therfore we go not about seking for this: for there is no doubt but that who will loue to marry, ought rather to loue the maide than the widowe, bicause shée shalbe slow and negligent in giuing hir selfe to hym that loueth hir not (if shée know it) to that effect. Further, maydes [Page] are generally fearefull, neither are they subtile enoughe to finde the wayes and meanes, whereby they may take the stolne delights: But the widow of these things maketh no doubt at all, bicause that shée already hathe honorably giuen that which the other taryeth to giue, and being without the same, doubteth not in giuing hir selfe to an other, that to­ken which may accuse: Whereby after­wardes, shée becommeth the more ad­uenturous, bicause (as is sayd) the chée­fest occasion that bringeth doubt, is not in hir: besides shée knoweth better the secrete wayes, and so putteth them in ef­fect. In that which you say, that ye maide as desirous of a thing which shée neuer proued, may be made more diligent to this thā the widow, that knoweth what maner a thing it is, therof the contrary. Maides do not at the first time for their delight, run to suche effect (although the thing ye delighteth, the oftener it is sene, heard, or felt, the more it pleaseth, and the more carefull is euery one to folowe the same (bicause it is then more noisom thā plesant vnto thē. This thing wherof [Page] we reason, doth not follow the order of many other things, that once or twice being séene, are afterwards no more de­sired, but rather the oftener it is putte in effecte, with so muche the more affe­ction it coueteth to returne, and more desireth he the thing whom it pleaseth, than dothe he whom it ought to please, and hath not as yet tasted therof. Wher­fore the widdow, forasmuche as she gi­ueth least, and is best able to giue, she shall be the most liberall, and the more sooner than the mayde, that must giue the dearest thing she hath. Also the widow shal be sooner drawen (as we haue shewed) than the mayde to suche effects. For the which occasion, let the widow be rather loued than the maide. (⸫)

¶The tenth Question, proposed by ASCALIONE.

IT was conuenient that that Ascalione, who in cir­cle sat next vnto the duke Feramonte, shoulde nowe propound: and therefore thus he sayd: Most excel­lent quéene, I remember that there was heretofore in this our citie a faire & no­ble gentlewoman lefte the widow of a worthye husbande, the whiche for that hir maruellous beautie, was of many a noble yong Gentleman beloued. And of those many, there were two gentlemen coragious knights, eche one in what he could did endeuor him selfe to attaine hir loue. And whilst this cōtinued, by chance it hapned, that an vniust accusation was brought against hir, by certayne of hir kinsfolks, before the Magistrate, & after by false euidence proued, thorow whiche vntrue processe she was condemned to the fire. But bicause the conscience of the Iudge was perplexed, for that it séemed him, as it wer to know the vniust profe, he was willing to committe hir life to [Page] the Gods, and to Fortunes happe, and so tyed suche a condition to his giuen sen­tence, as after the Gentlewoman should be ledde to the fire, if any knight coulde be founde the which would combate in the defence of hir honour, agaynst him that would maintayne the contrary, and shoulde happe to ouercome, she shoulde then be frée, and if the contrary, to be burned according to the domed sentence. As the condition was vnderstoode of hir two louers,Tvvo knigh­tes amorous of one gentle vvoman, did in sundry vvise shevve their loue. and by chaunce sooner knowen to the one than to the other: He which knew the same soonest, foorthwith tooke him to his armour, mounted on horsebacke, and came into the fielde, gainsaying him that wold come & main­tayne the death of the Gentlewoman. The other that somewhat later than the first vnderstod of this sentence, and hea­ring how that the knight was alredy in field in hir defence, neither that ther was then place for any other to go thither in that enterprise, & therefore not knowing herein what to do, became very sorow­full, imagining that through his stacke­nesse he had lost the loue of the loued [Page] Gentlewoman, and that the other iustly had deserued the same: and whilest he thus sorowed his missehap, he bethought him, that if he before any other shoulde go armed into the fielde, saying that the Gentlewoman ought to dye, and so suf­fer him selfe to be ouercome, he mighte thereby cause hir to escape, and so accor­ding to his deuice, he put the same in ef­fect. The gentlewoman hereby escaped, and was deliuered from perill. So that then after certayne days, the first knight went vnto hir, and recommended him selfe vnto hir, putting hir in remēbrance how that he, to preserue hir from death, had a few days paste offred him selfe to the perill of death, and thanks be to the Gods, and to his forces, he had deliuered bothe hir and him selfe from so harde an happe: Whervpon it would please hir, according to his desert to giue hir loue, the whiche aboue all things he had al­ways desired. Afterwards with the like prayers came the seconde knight, saying that for your sake I haue hazarded my lyfe, and bicause you should not dye, suf­fred my selfe to be ouercome, whervpon [Page] I haue purchased to my selfe eternall in­famie: wheras I contrarywise with in­countring your suretie, and willing to vse my force, might haue bene able to haue gottē the honor of the victorie. The Gentlewoman thanked ech one of them very benignely, promising them bothe due recompence for the receiued seruice. And now they being departed, she abode in great doubt to whether of them she should the rather giue hir loue, to ye first, or to the seconde, and thereof prayeth counsell of you, on whether of them ye would say, that she ought soonest to be­stowe the same.The queenes iudgement vpon the contrary doings of the tvvo knights. We déeme (sayde the Quéene) that the first is to be loued, and the last to be left: bicause the first vsed force, and shewed his assured loue in di­ligent sort, giuing him selfe to euery pe­rill, that might happen through the fu­ture battaile, euen vnto the death, wher­by it might very well haue folowed, for­asmuche as if suche a battayle to be done agaynst him, had ben as lefull to any of the enemies of the Gentlewoman, as it was to the louer, he had bene in perill of death for his defence: neither was it [Page] manyfest to him, that one should come a­gaynst him, that would suffer him selfe to be ouercomen, as it happened. The last truely went well aduised not to dye, neither to suffer the Gentlewoman to dye. Then, forasmuche as he put least in aduenture, he meriteth to gayn the lesse. Let the first then haue the loue of the faire gentlewoman, as the iust deseruer thereof.Ascalion contrarieth the queene. Ascaleone sayde: Omost pru­dent Quéene, what is that you say? Doth not not one time suffize to be rewarded for well doing, without crauing further desert? Truely yes. The first is well re­quited, with being of euery one honored for the receiued victorie: and what grea­ter rewarde néedeth he than honour the rewarde of vertue? the receiued honour did suffise for a greater matter than he did. And he that with all his witte came well aduised, ought he to be vnrecom­penced? and further, he to be of euery one euill spoken of, hauing nothing lesse than the first holpen the Gentlewoman to escape? Is not the witte to to foresée euery bodyly force? How so? If this man with all his witte came for the safetie of [Page] the Gentlewoman, ought he for his de­sert to be reiected? God forbid it should so be. If he knew not the same so soone as the other, this was not through negli­gence: for if perhaps he had knowen it before the other, he woulde haue runne to that, whiche he tooke discretely for the last remedie: whereof rewarde iustly ought to follow, the which reward ought to be the loue of the Gentlewoman, yf rightly she sée vnto him: and yet you say the contrary.The queenes solution of the tenth question. God defende from your minde (answered the Quéene) that vyce come to a good ende, merite the same re­warde that vertue done to the lyke end meriteth: But rather in as muche as vice deserueth correction, so no worldly deserte can iustly satisfie vertue. Who shall denye vs to beléeue (although we can not manifest the same with apparāt reason) but that the last knight as enui­ous of the good turn he saw prepared for the other, was moued to suche an enter­prise, to the ende to disturbe the same, and not for the loue he bare to the Gen­tlewoman, and yet his deuice failed him. He is a foole, that vnder the coloure of an [Page] enimie, doth endeuor himself (to the end to receiue recompence) to helpe an other. Infinite are the ways wherby it is possi­ble enough for vs to shewe at the first with open frendship, the loue that one of vs beareth towards the other, without shewing our selues as enemies, and af­ter with coloured words to make shew to haue profited. That whiche we haue sayd may now suffise you for answere, whom old age more than any thing else, ought to make discrete. And we beléeue, that when your minde shall haue duely digested these things, ye shal not find our iudgement guilefull, but true, and to be folowed. And so she held hir peace.

The eleuenth Question, proposed by a Gentlevvoman, named GARCE.

THere followed after him a gentlewoman of cheare very milde, whose name was Grace, and assuredly the name was consonant [Page] to hir nature, who with an humble and modest voyce began these words: It is come to my tourne, O moste vertuous quene, to propound this my question, the which to the ende the time (that now ap­procheth to our last festing, may be swe­tened with the new beginning thereof) be only spent in talke, I shal briefly pro­pound that whiche willingly (if it were lefull for me) I would passe ouer, but yet not to pretermit the limits of your obe­dience, neither the order of the rest,Whether is greter pleasure to a louer to see the present, or to think on the absent. I shal propound this: Whether is it great de­light to the louer to sée his loue present, or not séeing hir, to thinke amorously on hir? My gracious Grace, sayd the quéene, we beléeue that muche more delight is taken in thinking than in beholding: bi­cause in thinking on the thing loued, all the sensitiue spirites do then graciously féele a maruellous ioy, and as it were, do content their inflamed desires, with the delight onely of the thought. But this happeneth not in the beholding, bicause that onely the visible spirite féeleth ioy, and the others ar kindled with such a de­sire that they are not able to endure, and [Page] so remayne vanquished: and that visible spirite sometime taketh so great plesure,The iudge­ment of the queene. that of force he is constrayned to with­draw himselfe back, remayning vile and altogether vanquished. Then do we ga­ther hereof, that greater delighte is to thinke than to beholde. That thing whi­che is loued, answered the Gentlewo­man, how muche the more it is séene, so muche the more it delighteth: and ther­fore I beléeue, that greater delight brin­geth the beholding, than dothe the thin­king, bicause euery beautie at the firste, pleaseth thorowe the sight therof: and so after thorow the continuall sight, suche pleasure is confirmed in the minde, as therof is ingendred loue, and those plea­sures that spring from him. No beautie is so muche loued, neither for any other occasion than to please the eyes, and to content the same. Then in séeing they ar contented, and in thinking to sée, the de­sire increaseth: so that more delight fee­leth he that is cōtented, than doth he that desireth to content himself.Laodomia and Prothesilaus. We may sée and know by Laodomia how much more the present sight than the absent thought [Page] doth delight, bicause we are to think that hir Prothesilaus neuer departed from hir thought, neither yet was she euer séene disposed to other than to melancolie, re­fusing to decke and apparel hir self with hir costly garments: The whiche thing in séeing him neuer happened: For what time she abode in his presence, she was mery, gracious, and alwayes ioyful, and trimly attired. What more manyfest te­stimonie will we haue than this, that the gladnesse is not greater of the sighte than of the thought? Bicause that tho­row the exteriour doings, that may be comprehended, whiche in the hearte is hidden?The queenes solution of the xj. question, de­fining that the thought is to be preferred before the looke. The Quéene then, thus made answere: Those things, bothe delight­full and noysome, that approche most néere to the minde, bring more annoye, and more ioye, than doe those farre off from the same. And who doubteth, but that the thought abideth in the mind, and that the minde is not from the eye? al­though thorow the particuler vertue of the minde they haue their fighte, and that it is conuenient for them by sundry means to render their proportiōs to the [Page] animate vnderstanding. Hauing then in the minde a swéete thought of the loued, in that acte which the thought bringeth, in that togither with the thing loued, it séemes the louer to be. Then he séeth the same with those eyes, to whome no­thing, no not of a long distance may be hidden. Then he speaketh with hir whō he loueth, and peraduenture with pite­ous stile telleth the annoys sustained for hir sake. Then it is lauful for him with­out feare to embrace hir. Then dothe he according to his desire maruelously glad himselfe with hir. Then doth he hold hir wholly at his pleasure, the whiche in be­holding happeneth not, bicause that sight onely at first taketh pleasure without passing further. And as we say, Loue is timorous and fearefull, and in beholding dothe make the heart tremble in suche sorte, as it leaueth neither thought nor spirite in his place. For many with the long beholding of their ladies,The effects of fond amorous lookes. lose those their naturall forcas, and remayne van­quished: and many not béeing able to moue, stande like postes, other some, in tangling and trauersing their legs, fal to [Page] the grounde. Others thereby lose their speache: & by sight we know many other like things to haue happened, the which all shoulde haue bene very acceptable to them, to whom (as we haue sayde) they haue happened, if they had not happened at all: how then bringeth that thing de­light, that shall willingly be fled? We confesse, that if it were possible to behold without feare, it shoulde be a great de­light. But yet little or nothing without the thought, the which without the bodi­ly sight, pleseth very much. And that that whereof we haue may spoken come to passe through the thought, it is manifest, that, yea, and muche more. For we finde that men with thought haue passed the heauens, and tasted of the eternal peace. Then more delighteth the thought than the sighte. And if ye say that Laodomia was melancolie with thinking, we doe not denye it, but yet it was rather a do­lorouse than an amorouse thoughte, that dyd trouble hir: She as it were a diuiner to hir owne harme, alwayes doubted the death of Prothesilaus, and stil was thinking theron, contrary to those [Page] thoughts wherof we reason, which tho­row that doubt could not enter into hir, but rather sorowing through this occa­sion as reason was, she shewed a trou­blesome and heauy looke.

¶The twelfth Question, proposed by PARMENIO.

PArmenio sat nexte to this gentlewoman, and with­out attending further, as the Quéene had left, thus beganne: Moste mightie Quéene, I was of long time companion with a yong gentleman, to whom that happened which I intend to shew. He as much as any man could loue a woman, loued a fayre yong gentlewoman of our citie, gracious, gentle, and very rich, both of wealth and parents, and she eke loued him for ought that I (to whom his loue was discouered) could vnderstand. This gentleman thē louing hir in most secrete sort, fearing that if it shuld be bewrayd, that he should no ways be able to speake [Page] vnto hir: to the ende therfore yt he might discouer his intent, and be certified like­wise of hirs, he trusted no one that shold attempt to speake of this matter: yet his desire inforcing him, he purposed since yt he could not bewray him self vnto hir, to make hir vnderstand by some other, that whiche he suffered for hir sake. And be­thinking him many dayes, by whom he might most closely signifie vnto hir that his intent, he saw one day a poore olde woman, wrinkled, and of an Orenge tawnie colour, so despitefull to beholde as none the like, the whiche being en­tred the house of the young woman to aske hir almesse, followed hir foorthe of the doore, and many times after in lyke sort, and for like occasion he saw hir re­turne thither. In this woman his hearte gaue him to repose his whole trust, ima­gining that he should neuer be had in su­spicion, and that she might fully bring his desire to effect: therfore calling hir to him, he promised hir greate gifts, yf she would helpe him in that which he should demaunde of hir: She sware to do hir endeuour, to whom this gentleman then [Page] discouered his minde. The olde woman departed, and after a while hauing certi­fied the yong woman of the loue that my companion bare hir, and him likewise▪ how that she aboue al other things of the world did loue him, she deuised how this yong man shoulde be secretly one eue­ning with the desired woman: and so he going before hir,A gentleman, a gentlevvoman, and an old vvoman vvere ta­ken by the brethren of the gentlevvoman. as she had appoynted▪ she guided him to this yong Gentlewo­mans house, wherein he was no sooner entred, than through his misfortune, the yong woman, the olde, and he, were all thrée found, and taken togithers, by the brethren of the yong woman, & cōpelled to tell the truth of that they made there, who confessed the whole matter as it was. These brethren, for that they were the friends of this yong gentleman, and knowing that he as yet had attayned no­thing that might redound to their shame woulde not doe him any harme as they might haue done, but laughing sayd vnto him in this sorte:The gentle­man condem­ned to lye vvith the yong and olde vvoman eyther of them a yeare. Thou art now in our hands, & hast sought to dishonour vs, and for that we may punish thée, yf we will, of these two wayes sée that thou take the [Page] one, either that thou wilte we take thy life from thée, or else that thou lie wyth this olde woman, & this our sister, either of them one yeare, swearing faithfully, that if thou shalt take vppon thée to lye with either of them a yeare, and the first yeare with the yong womā, that as ma­ny times as thou shalt kisse or haue to do with hir, as many times shalt thou kisse and haue to do with the old woman the seconde yeare. And if thou shalt take the first yeare the olde woman, looke howe many times thou shalt kisse and touche hir, so many times likewise, and neither more nor lesse shalt thou doe the lyke to the yong woman the seconde yeare. The yong mā listening to the sentence, and desirous to liue, sayd, that he would lie with these two, two yeares. It was graunted him. But he remained in dout with which of them he shuld first begin, either with the yong, or with the olde. Whether of them would you giue coun­sell he should first, for his moste consola­tion begin withall?The Queene decideth the xij. question. The Quéene, and likewise the whole company somewhat smiled at this tale, and after, shée thus [Page] made answere: According to our iudge­ment the yong gentleman ought rather to take the faire yong woman, than the fowle old, bycause no present good turne ought to be left for the future, neither the euil to be takē for the future good, bicause we know that we are vncertain of thin­ges to come: and in doing the contrary hereof, many haue already sorowed to late, and if any haue praysed him selfe herein, not dutie, but fortune hath therin holpen him. Let the faire therfore be first taken.The contra­ry opinion of Parmenio. Ye make me greatly to maruell (sayd Parmenio) seing ye the present good ought not to be left for ye future, to what end then is it conuenient for vs with a valiaunt mind to follow & beare world­ly troubles, wheras we may flée them, if it were not thorow the future eternall kingdoms promised to vs thorow hope? It is a maruellous thing that suche a shocke of people as are in the worlde, al moyling to the ende at one time to tast of rest, and béeing able to reste before trouble, shoulde remayne so long whyle in suche an errour, as trouble after rest were better than before. It is a thing [Page] verye iuste (as it séemeth to me) after troubles to séeke rest, but to desire to rest without trouble in my iudgement ought not to be, neither can it bring de­light. Who then will giue counsell to any, that he lye first with a fayre Gen­tlewoman one yere, the whiche is the onely rest and ioye of him that must lye with hir, in shewing him after that there must follow so great annoy and vnpleasaunt lyfe, as he muste in euery acte wherein he abode with the young woman, haue to do as long with a loth­some olde woman? Nothing is so noy­some to a delightfull lyfe, as to remem­ber, that after death we shall be founde spotted. This death returning to our memory as enime cōtrary to our being, doth disturbe vs of al goodnes & plesure: and whilst this is remembred, there can neuer be ioy tasted in worldly things. Likewise no delight can be had with the yong woman, that is not troubled or de­stroyed in thinking & remembring that it behoueth him to do as muche with a most vile old womā, who shal alwais be remayning before the eyes of his minde. [Page] The time that flyeth with an inestima­ble wing, shall séeme vnto him to ouer­flie, lesning eche day a great quantitie of the due houres: and this mirth is not ta­sted, where as infallible future sorow is taryed for. Wherefore I would iudge, that the contrary were better counsell, that is, that all trouble, wherof gracious rest is hoped for, is more delightfull, thā the delight, whereof anoy is taryed for. The colde waters séemed warme, and the dreadfull time of the darke night sée­med cleare and sound day, and turmoils rest to Leander, at what time he went to Hero, swimming wyth the force of hys armes, thorow the salt sourges betwéen Sesto and Abido, for the delight that he conceyued to haue of hir tarrying his cō ­ming. God forbid then, that a man shuld couet rest before trauaile, or reward be­fore the doing his seruice, or delight, be­fore he hath tasted tribulatiō: forasmuch as if that way (as we haue alredy sayd) should be taken, the future annoy should so muche hinder the present ioy, that not ioy, but rather annoy it might be sayde. What delight could the delicate meats, [Page] and the instruments sounded with cun­ning hande, and the other maruellous ioyes made to Dionysius the tyrāt bring,Dionysius. when as he sawe a sharp pointed sword hang by a fine thréede ouer his heade? Let then sorowful occasions be first fled, that afterwards with pleasure, and that without suspition, gracious delightes may be followed.The Quenes solution of the .xij. que­stiō, defining that the yōg is to be lyen vvith before the olde. The Queen made him answere, saying: You answer in part as though we did reason of eternall ioyes, for the purchasing whereof, there is no doubt but that all troubles oughte to be taken in hand, and all worldly wealthe and delight to be left aparte: but at this instant we do not speake of them, but do moue a Question of worldly delightes, and of worldly annoyes. Wherunto we answere as we sayd before, that euery worldly delight, that is followed wyth worldly anoy, ought rather to be taken, than the worldly annoye that taryeth worldly delight: bicause who that hath tyme, and tarieth time, loseth time. For­tune graunteth hir goodnesse with sun­dry mutations, the which is rather to be taken when as she giueth, than to moile [Page] to the ende after turmoyles to gette the same. If hir whéele stoode firme and sta­ble, vntil that a man had toyled so much as he should nede to toyle no more, we would then say, that it wer to be graun­ted to take paynes first: but who is cer­tayne that after the euil, may not folow the worse, as well as the better that is taried for? The times together with worldly things are al transitorie, & ther­fore in taking the old woman, before the yere be complete, the which shall neuer seeme to waxe lesse, the young woman may dye, and hir brethren repent them of this they haue don, either elfe she may be giuen to some other, or peraduenture stolne away, so that after one euil, there shal follow a worse to the taker. But cō ­trarywise, if the yong woman shall be taken, the taker shal therby haue his de­sire so long time of him desired, neither shall there after follow that annoy of thought, that you say must follow there­by, bicause that we must dye is infalli­ble, but to lye with an old woman is a hap able enough with many remedies to be of a wise man auoyded, & worldly [Page] things ar to be taken of the discret with this condition, that ech one whiist he holdeth and enioyeth them, he dispose him­self with a liberal mind, when he shalbe required to restore or leaue them. Who that busieth himselfe to the ende to rest, bringeth a manyfest example, that with­out that he can not haue rest: & since he therefore taketh troubles to the ende to haue rest, how much more is it to be pre­sumed, ye if rest were as redy as if trou­ble, but that he would sooner take that thā this? Neither is it to be thought that Leander, if he had ben able to haue had Hero without passing the tempestuous arme of the sea, wherin after he perished wold not rather haue taken hir, thā haue swom the same. It is conuenient to take fortunes happes what time she giueth them.A smal gift [...] in hand is better than a promised greater. For no gift is so small, that is not better than a promised greater. And as for future things, let remedies be taken, and the present gouerned according to their qualities. It is a naturall thing to desire rather the good than the euil, whē as equally they concurre, and who that dothe the contrarye followeth not natu­rall [Page] reason, but his owne folly. We con­fesse, that after troubles quietnesse is more gracious and better knowne than before, but yet not that it is rather to be taken than the other. It is possible for wise men and fooles to vse the Counsels both of fooles and wisemen accordyng to their liking: but for all that the infalli­ble veritie is not altered, the which doth giue vs leaue to sée that rather the faire yong woman than the lothsome olde is to be taken of him, to whom was made suche a choise.

The thirtenth question, proposed by MASSALINE.

MAssaline the whiche sate on the right hande of the Quéene, and next to Par­menio, performing the circle, sayde in this wise: It is méete that I lastly propound my question: And therfore to the ende that I may make the pleasaunt tolde tales, and the before propouned [Page] Questions to séeme more swéete, I shall tell you a short tale worth the hearing, wherein there falleth a Question very propre to make an ende withall. I haue héeretofore heard say that there was in this our Citie a Gentleman, who was very rich, that had to wyfe an exceeding faire yong Gentlewoman,A Gentlevvo­mā vvas loued of a Knight. whom he lo­ued aboue al worldly things. This gen­tlewoman was intierly beloued of a Knight of the fame Citie, but shée loued him not at all, neither cared for hym, by occasion wherof, the Knight was neuer able to get from hir, either good wordes or curteous countenance: and while he thus liued comfortlesse of suche loue, It happened that he was called to the regi­ment of a Citie not farre distante from this of oures: And accordingly he went thither, hauing honorably gouerned the same all the time of his abode there: du­ring the which it happened, that there came a messanger vnto hym,The Knyght aduertised of the death of hir vvhom he loued. who after other newes thus sayd: Sir ye shal vn­derstand, that the Gentlewoman of our Citie, whom you so intierly loued aboue all others, this morning labouring with [Page] great griefe to be deliuered of child died, not being deliuered, and was in my pre­sence, of hir parents honourably buried. The knight not without great sorrow, gaue [...]are to this tale, and with a strong heart endured the telling thereof, with­out shewing any alteration of counte­nance at all, and to himself thus said: Hawretched death, cursed be thy power, thou hast depryued me of hir, whom I loued aboue all others, and whom I de­sired more to serue, although I knew hir cruell vnto me, than any other worldly wight. But since it is thus come to passe that which loue in hir life time woulde not vouchsafe to graunt me, now that she is deade, he can not deny me: That assuredly if I should dye therfore, I wil now kisse the face of hir béeing deade, that liuing I loued so well. And so stay­ing vpon this determination, he taryed vntill it was night, and then tooke one of his seruants,The knighte seeketh his lo­ued gentlevvo­man in hir graue. whom he best trusted with him, and trauayled the dreadfull darke wayes, till at the last he came to the Citie: And being entred the same, he went streight to the sepulture, wherein [Page] the gentlewoman was buried: and after he had comforted his seruaunt, that he without any feare shoulde attende him there, he opened the same, & went there­into, wheras lamenting with a piteous plaint, he kissed the gentlewoman, and tooke hir in his armes, and not satisfied therwith, he began to féele hir here and there, and to put his hand into hir frozen brest among the colde dugs. But after­wards (being become more bolde than was méete) to seke out vnder the rich at­tire which she had on, the secrete parts of the body, going & féeling with a feareful hand hither and thither, til at the last he spred the same vpon hir stomack, where as with a féeble motion he felt the weak pulses somewhat to moue. He then be­came very fearefull, but yet loue made him bolde, and therefore trying further with a more assured héede, he knew that she was not dead: and first of all with a swéete mutation he drew hir out of that place, and after wrapping hir in a great mantell (leauing the sepulture open) he and his seruant caried hir secretly to his mothers house, whereas he coniu­red [Page] his sayd Mother,The Knight caryeth his Lady to his mothers house. thorow the power of the Gods, that shée, neyther this, nor any thing else should manifest to any person liuing. He caused great fires to be made, to the ende to comfort the colde membres, whereunto the lost forces did not therby returne in due sort: by occasi­on wherof, as one peraduenture discrete in suche a case, willed a solemne hotte house to be prepared, wherein he caused first to be strowed many vertuous her­bes, and after placed the Gentlewoman therein, causing hir as it was méete for one in that plight, to be tenderly looked vnto. In the which h [...]tehouse, after shée had for a time made hir abode there, the bloud coagulate about the heart, began thorow the receyued heate to disperse by the cold vaines, & the spirites halfe dead began to returne to their places: wher­vpon the Gentlewoman (no sooner fée­ling the same) begā to cal to hir mother, & after to aske wher shée was: to whome the Knight in stéede of hir mother made answer, ye shée was in a very good place, and that shée should comfort hir self: shée abiding in this sorte, calling vppon the [Page] womā Lucina for help,Lucina, the goddesse of child bearing. was as it plesed the Gods (aboue all expectation) deliue­red of a faire sonne, & therewith of great trouble and perill: whereof remaining disburdened,The Gentle­vvoman abi­ding vvith the Knight, vvas deliuered of childe. and being ioyful of hir new born childe, there were out of hand pro­uided nourses, bothe for the charge of hir, as also of hir sonne. The Gentle­woman now after all these heauie trou­bles, returned to hir perfecte vnderstan­ding, and the new sonne was also borne to the world, before shée sawe either the Knight that thus loued hir, or his mo­ther who was prest to doe hir seruyce, neither did she see any one of hir parents or kinsfolkes about hir, for to looke vnto hir: whereupon being come into a cogi­table admiration as it were all amazed, sayd: Where am I? what a wonder is this? Who hath brought me hyther, wheras I was neuer before? To whom the Knight answered:The Knyght declareth to the gentlevvo­man hovv she vvas brought into his house. Gentlewoman, maruell not, comfort your selfe, for that which you sée, hath bene the pleasure of the Gods, and I shall tell you how, and so declaring from the beginning to the ende all that which was happened hir, [Page] concluded, that throughe him, shée and hir sonne were aliue: By occasion wher­of they were alwayes bounden to be at his pleasure. The Gentlewoman perceiuing this to be true, knowing as­suredly that she could not by any other meanes, but onely by this which he she­wed hir, be come to the hands of the knight: first of all with a deuoute voyce, rendred thanks to the immortall gods, and after to him, offring hir self to be al­ways at his pleasure and seruice. Then sayd the knight: gentlewoman since you know your selfe to be beholding vnto me▪ I wil that in guerdon of my wel do­ing, ye comforte your selfe here in this place, vntill I returne from mine office, wherevnto it is now so long since that I was chosen, as the date hereof is almost at an end. Besides ye shall promisse me faithfully, neuer to bewray your selfe without my licence, either to your hus­band, or any other person. To whom the Gentlewoman answered, that shée was vnable to denye him eyther this, or any other request, and that assuredly she would comfort hir selfe: and so by [Page] othe made vnto him, she affirmed neuer to cause hir selfe be knowen without his pleasure. The knight séeing the Gentle­woman out of all perill to receiue com­fort, after he had abode two dayes in hir seruice, recommended hir and hir childe to his mothers charge, and so departed, returning to the gouernment of his said office, the whiche after a little while he honorably ended, and returned home to his owne house and possessions: where as of the Gentlewoman he was graci­ously receyued.The knighte biddeth the husbande of the gentlevvo­man to a ban­quet. Certayne days after his returne, he caused to be prepared a great banquet, wherevnto he inuited the hus­bande of this Gentlewoman, whom he loued, hir brethren, and many others of hir friendes and his: and the bydden guestes beeing sette downe at the ta­ble, the Gentlewoman according to the pleasure of the knight, came apparel­led in those garments, and decked with that crowne, ring, and other precious ornaments (as the vse was then) wher­with she was buried. And by the com­maundement of the knighte placed hir selfe on the one side by hir husband, & on [Page] the other side by himselfe, where as shée sedde that morning, without speaking any worde at all. This Gentlewoman was oftentimes behelde of hir husband, and hir attire and ornaments also: and as it séemed vnto him, he knewe hir to bée his wife, and those to be the gar­mentes wherein shée was buryed: But yet for that he thought he had buried hir dead into hir sepulture, and not beleuing that shée was rysen againe, durste not once giue hir a word, doubting least shée had bene some other that did resemble his wife, imagining that it were more easie to finde one woman, in attire and ornamentes like to an other, than to raise vp a dead body. But yet for all this, he tourned many times towardes the Knighte, and asked him who shée was. To whome the knight answered: Aske of hir, whome shée is, for I can not tell, out of so vnplesant a place I haue brou­ght hir. Then the husband asked ye wife who shée was, to whome shée answered: I was brought by this Knight by vn­knowne wayes inte this place, to that gracious life that is of euery one desired. [Page] At these words there wanted no admi­ration in the husbande, but rather the same increased, and so they remayned vntill the banket was ended. Then the knight ledde the husbande of this gentle­woman into a chamber, and with him the Gentlewoman, and the other like­wise that banketted with them, where as they found the Gentlewomans fayre & gracious sonne in the neurses armes, whome the knighte deliuered into the fathers handes,The knight restoreth the gentlevvo­man to hir husbande. saying: This is thy sonne, and giuing him the right hande of his wife, sayde: This is thy wife, and mother of this childe: shewing to him and to the rest, how it happened that she was brought thither. They al after gret wonder, made great ioy, and chiefly the husbande of his wife, and the wife with hir husbande, of their sonne. And so both two thanking the knight, retourned me­rily home to their house, many dayes af­ter making maruelous ioy. This knight entreated this gentlewoman with that tendernesse and that pure fayth, as if she had bene his sister, and therefore it is doubted whiche of these two was the [Page] greter:The questiō is vvhether the loyaltye of the kni­ghte, or the ioye of the husbande vvas the greater. either the loyaltie of the knight,The queenes iudgement. or the ioy of the husbande, that had now gotten agayne his lost wyfe, whome he reputed as dead. I pray you to say your opinion, and what you woulde iudge hereof? Most great (as we beléeue) an­swered the Quéene) was the ioy of the agayne gotten wife, and of hir childe: and likewise noble and very great was the loyaltie of the knight. But for that it is a naturall thing to be glad of the getting agayne of things lost (neither could it otherwise be bicause it woulde an other) and specially in the getting a­gayne of a thing before so gretly loued, with a childe, wherof there could not be made so gret ioy as was cōuenient. We do not repute it to be so great a matter as to do that wherevnto a man is of his proper vertue constrayned to doe, the which in béeing loyall cōmeth to passe, bicause the béeing and not béeing loyal, is a thing possible. We say then, that from whom procedeth the being loyall in a thing so greatly loued, that he doth a most great and noble thing in keping loyaltie, & that in a far greater quantity [Page] layaltie doth increase in him, than dothe ioy in the other,The contra­ry opiniō of Massani [...]e. & thus we iudge. Truly sayde Massaline: Most renoumed quéene, I beléeue it be as you say: but yet it semes vnto me a great matter to think, that with so great ioy as was in him that had gotten agayne his wyfe, there could be made comparison of greatnesse in an other thing: forasmuch as greater griefe is not supported, than when as thorow death a thing loued is lost. Fur­ther, if the knight were faythfull, as is already sayd, he did therin but his dutie, bicause we are all bounden to the wor­king of vertue: and he that dothe that, whervnto he is of duetie bounden, doth but well, but yet it is not to be reputed for so great a matter. Therfore I ima­gine, that there may be iudged greater ioy than loyaltie.The queenes solution vpō the last que­stion. You with your words do contrary your selfe (sayd the quéene) bicause man ought as well to reioyce in the goodnesse of god in taking him away as thorow the working of vertue: but if the one could be in the one case, as so­rowful as the other could be in the other [Page] case disloyall, it might be consented to your iudgement. To follow the laws of nature, which can not be fled, is no great matter, but to obey the positiue lawes, is a vertue of the minde, and the vertues of the minde bothe for greatnesse as for euery other respecte, are to be prefer­red before bodily works. And if vertu­ous workes (making due recompence) do surmount in greatnesse euery other working, it may be sayd, that the hauing ben loyall, dureth always in béeing. Ioy may be turned into sodayn sorow, either else in a shorte space of time become lit­tle or nothing, losing ye thing thorow the whiche it is become mery. And therfore let it be sayde of him, that vprightly will iudge, the knight to haue bene more loy­all, than the other mery. Not one there was that followed Massaline, that had any thing more to say, for that they all had now propounded their Questions. The sunne now in setting, left the place replete with a temperate aire. By rea­son whereof, Fiametta, moste reuerente quene of this amorous people, raised hir [Page] on foote, and thus fayd: Gentlemen and gentlewomen, your questions are fini­shed: whervnto (the Gods be thanked) we haue according to our small know­ledge, made answere, following rather pleasant reasoning, than matter of con­tention. And we know, that much more might haue bene answered vnto the same, yea and in farre better sorte than we haue done: But yet that whiche we haue said may suffize to our pastime: and for the rest, let it remayne to the Philo­sophers of Athens. We sée Phoebus now not to beholde vs with a straight aspect, we féele the ayre refreshed, and knowe this Feast, which we at our comming hither left through the excessiue heate, to be agayne begonne by our companions. And therfore it séemeth vs good, that we returne to the same: and this being sayd, she toke with hir delicate hande, the lau­rell crowne from hir heade, and in the place where she sate, she laide it downe, saying: I leaue here the crowne of my honour and yours, vntill that we shall retourne hither to the like reasoning. [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] And hauing thus sayde, she toke Philo­copo by the hand, that now with the rest was risen, and so returned with them al to their Feast. Thence was heard of all sides the pleasant instruments, and the aire resounding of amorous songs, no part of the Garden was without ban­ketting: wherin they all abode merily all that day, euen to the last houre: but night béeing come vppon them, and the starres shewing foorth their light, it sée­med good to the lady, and to them all, to depart, and to returne to the citie, wher­in bring entred, Philocopo taking his leaue, thus sayde vnto hir: Most noble Fiametta, if the Gods should euer graunt me, that I were mine owne, as I am an others, without doubt I should be pre­sently yours, but bicause mine owne I am not, I can not giue my selfe to an other: Howe be it for so muche as the miserable heart coulde receiue straunge fire, so muche the more it féeleth tho­row your inestimable worthynesse to be kindeled, and shall feele alwayes and incessantly, with more effecte shall [Page] desire neuer to be forgetfull of your worthinesse. She thanked Philocopo greatly of this curtesie at his depar­ture, adding that it would please the Gods quickely to bring a gracious peace to his desire. (⸪)


Imprinted at London, by Henry Bynneman, for Ry­charde Smyth.

Anno. 1571.



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