[Page]THE Notable Hystory of two faithfull Louers named Alfagus anb Archelaus. Whearein is declared the true fygure of Amytie and Freyndshyp. Much pleasaunte and delectable to the Reader.

Translated into English meeter by Edwarde Ienynges. With a Preface or Defi­nytion of Freynd­shyppe to the same.

¶ Such as are troubled in Publyque afayres,
About common welthes by offyces and cares:
In faythfull freindshyp can neuer abyde,
For so sayth Tully the thinge hath ben tryde.

¶ Imprinted at London in Fleete­streat beneath the Conduyt at the sygne of S. John Euangelist, by Tho­mas Colwell.

Anno Domini. 1574.

¶ Edward Ienynges to the Reader.

THe wyes Phylosopher Arystoetell doth saie,
Freindship is a vertue most incompa­rable,
And Tully doth his wordes not de­naye,
Sayenge it is a thinge most commendable:
Both fyrme and sure, nothing deceyuable
For freinship with out vertue in no man can remaine
Thus the wyse Phylosopher Tully telleth plaine.
¶ Tully defyneth freindship on this wise also
Sayenge it is none other thing at all
But a perfecte consent of thinges for to kno
Whych as well to God as to men doth befall,
Beneuolence and charitie imbraced of great and small
Nothing is more comodious while men on earth do liue
Then this except sapience which God to man doth giue.
¶ Then which definicion is excelent and true
For in God and all thinges which of God doth come
Nothing of more estemacion doth ensue
Then Loue called in latin Amoi all and some,
Amicitia desending and coming of Eum
In english called Freindship which taken a waie
The life of man wyll soone fall in decaie.
¶ No house can stand in quiet peace and reste
No feilde can bringe his fruyte in due season
If hatred and enuie doth dwell both East and Weste,
All men may iudge then parfectly by reason
Fynally of man is iudged by discretion
He semeth from the worlde to take a way the sume,
That from mans life wold freindship daue vndon.
¶ Syth frendshyp then to mans lyfe is so pure
Then all other vertues it doth far excell.
And onely in good men remaines, thys is sure,
From whose harte and mynde no paine maie excell:
But fyrmly and sure within them doth dwell,
So that therof none euyll may proceede
Ne cause of thynge which euyll is in deede.
¶ Betweene all men that be good can not be Amitie
Alwayes abydynge without some decente,
Except they seme both of on quallitie,
Fourmed all a lyke by natures pretence:
In maners and study both equally bente,
And specyally in maners, for that is the thynge
Whych knytteth the hartes both of one lykinge.
¶ For Grauytye and Affabylytie be laudable both
And qualyties highlye to be had in este macyon,
So is Seuerytie and Placabylytie forsooth
Magnyfycence and Lyberalytie is of the same fassion
And yet Frugalitie by all wyse mens Oracyon
Which showeth a lyfe both moderate and sober,
Is hygher extolled then any of the other.
¶ Yet wheare these vertues and qualyties bee
Seperately a sundre amongst persones manye,
Assembled together by tranquilitie
May well be parfecte concorde trulie,
[...]t freyndshyp is there sildome verelye,
[...]or that which the one for a vertue imbraceth,
The other contemninge his minde, it neglecteth.
And there wheare descension of mindes doth appere
By reason can stande no parfecte Amytie,
Syth freindship is a consent entyre,
Of will and desires in one like quantytie:
Therfore is syldome seene for a certeinty,
That freyndshyp betweene such parsons should bee,
Whych in theyr desyres can nothinge agree.
¶ Those which be liberall of harte and deede
Withholoyng nothinge from them whom they loue
Whearby increase of loue doth proceede,
And in them that be constante and wyll not remoue [...]
Is neuer mystruste nor suspection to proue,
Ne anye surmysynge of euill reporte
Can drawe theyr affection from them in any sorte.
¶ And by this thinge is freindship made sure
Parpetually for euer both firme and stable,
But if like studye or learnynge procure
Theyr mindes in one thinge to be delectable:
Joyeing to those vertues agreable,
Freindship much rather doth happen to stande
By mutuall agrement with faithfull bande.
¶ Nothinge euill or vycious to man
In faithfull freindship doth happen to bee,
The first election made of freindes than
Receueth all the importaunce truely,
Wherfore it wolde be done nothing rashely,
But with a longe proofe and great deliberacion
Deseruyng parfectly his former trade and fashyon.
¶ For oft times by fortune it comith to passe
A man now in welthe and great prosperytie,
Is brought in a momit much worsse then he was
Standinge in peryll and great extremytie:
Freyndshyp oft times then faileth verely
As Ouy [...]es sweete sentence to vs doth declare
Hereafter folowyng with wordes good and fayre.
¶ Whylste fortune thee fauoreth, freindes thou hast plenty
The time being troublous thou art alone,
And Culuere haunt houses made whyte and dayntie
To the ruonous Lowers almost commeth none:
Of Emotes innumerable, vnneth thou findest one
In emptie barnes wheare fayleth substaunce,
Happeneth no freinde in whom is assurance.
¶ But if amonge manie one chuse to be found
In all cares of fortune hys freyndshyp to holde,
The prayse of hys nane shall highly rebounde
And is more of valew then syluer or golde,
Or any comodytie that els can be tolde,
Of kyndred and blood none is so cōmendable
As one parfecte freynde in nothynge deceyuable.
¶ For Tully saith from kyndred and lyne
Beneuolence may soone be taken awaye,
But freyndshyp whych neuer at naught doth repine
Can neuer be seuered by night nor by daye:
So though beneuolence in kindred doth staye,
Yet the name of kindred doth alwayes stand styll
But take it from freindshyp and cleane it doth spyll.
¶ I am not able of freindshyp to showe
A true definycyon in euery thinge,
Though all a whole yere my wyt I bestowe
In such like sentences still wrytinge,
With manie auncient Hystoryes searchynge
Whearin I shulde fynde such stoore to indyte
That in a large booke I scarce coulde them write.
¶ But gentle Reader I praie you haue pacience
In this malabour not worthy of praise,
Acceptinge well my mynde and dillygence,
Occupyenge my pen thus on many idle daies:
Wherby some profit doth come manie waies,
For vnto all men it showeth the vertue
Of amytie and freyndshyp parfecte and true.
¶ Many yonge wyts desyre for to read
Hestoryes oide, in Mecter delectable,
Of dyuers good Knyghtes and such as be dead,
Leauyng behynde them a fame much commendable,
Yet is the readynge therof nothinge profitable,
But in this small treatice a man maie beholde,
How freyndshyp is better then syluer or golde.
¶ The vertue of freindshyp in this shalbe seene
Betweene two parsons most worthy of fame,
More truer in freinship hath neuer none bene
Then these Alfagus and Archelaus by name:
Many yeres lyuynge wythout anie blame,
The one of Rome, of Carthage the other
Lyuing more truly then brother and brother.
¶ And vnto God with all my harte I praye
That by this treatice some may ensample take
To learne to kepe theyr freinship night and daie,
When to theyr freindes lyke yromyse they do make:
In wealth and wo them neuer to forsake,
But now a daies I fere but few men do lyue
That will vnto theyr freyndes such freinshyp gyue.
¶ And thus concludinge my simple Preface
Most hartely I pray the Readers all,
If in this booke parhaps by my trespasse
Some thyng amysse to them doth befall:
Showe me my faulte and mende it I shall
Desyrynge no man my worke to disdayne
Though symple it be and done with small payne.

[Page] [Page]¶ The famous Hystory of Alfagus and Archelaus. Wherin is decla­red the true fygure of Amy­tye and Freindshyp.

Cap. i.

IN Rome sumfyme a Knyghte dyd dwell,
Both noble, wise and good.
Hys stocke of auncyente Ro­maynes were,
And not of Rascall blood:
Lypodus hyghte thys noble man
for so mem dyd hym call,
Beloued he was of all folkes in
the Cyttie, great and small.
¶ A Ladye had thys noble Knighte
of worthy stocke and fame,
Betweene whom God a sonne dyd sende
Alfagus was hys name:
Acomely Chylde and fayre he was
as any man myght see,
In learnyng apte to euery thynge
whych taught to hym myght bee.
¶ This knight therfore when as his sonne
to lawefull yeres ded growe,
He thought how he by vertuous trade
myght make hym wysdome knowe:
[Page] But at the laste by musynge longe
he vnderstood right well,
Of Carthagye that noble place
much praise he harde men tell.
¶ How that was cheefe and fountayne of
all wisdome and all grace,
Next vnto God all prudence came
and doctrine from that place:
And noble men from far aboute
theyr Chyldren thether sent,
And Lypodus this knight therfore
euen of the same intent.
¶ His sonne Alfagus brought foorth with
to Carthagye, that hee,
Myght lerne good letters and also
a Scholler there to bee:
And hosted him with one who was
an auncyent man and wise,
A Senatour of the Cittie who
good councell dyd deuyse.
¶ Of Carthagie that noble place
and Cyttie of great fame,
The cheifest ruler then was hee
and Olympus was hys name:
Thys Olympus had a sonne also
whom Archelaus men dyd call,
In euery parte both hande and face
like Alfagus was hee all.
¶ Theyr age was equall both as one
agreeinge iust and ryght,
Theyr faces so proporshined both
a lyke in all mens sight:
That no man coulde deserne the one
and say this is the other,
They were not knowē but by their names
of father nor of mother.
¶ And as these two yonge gentlemen
agreid lyke in lymme,
Alfagus Archelaus vnto
and Archelaus to him:
So in shorte space acquayntaunte grewe
the one so to the other,
That inwarde loue oprest theyr hartes
and eche one called brother.
¶ Theyr willes and Appetites both in one
so God had congulated,
That neuer since the worlde began
like them was none created:
At one time they together went
to study and to learnynge,
At one time they at meales also
tooke both a lyke refresshynge.
¶ They both delyted in one kynde
of doctryne, and therby
They profyted and were therwith
both learned equally,
[Page] And to conclude, together they
with learnynge so increased,
That in shorte tyme to them myght be
in Carthage none compared.
¶ At length deseast Olympus (which was)
Archelaus father dere,
For whom Alfagus as well as hee
dyd mourne with heauy chere
But then Archelaus after that
his father was deseased,
To all men knowen he was wyth goods
and ryches much increased.
¶ Wherfore to hym was profered
ryche maryges many a won,
With maydens fayre and bryght, but hee
set not hys minde theron:
And he then beinge [...]ype of yeres
of parsonage with all,
Ryght well ve set in euery lymme
a comely man and tall.
¶ Wherfore his freindes and kynsmen all
exhorted hym that hee,
After this counsaile set his mynde
to wed some fayre Lady:
To the intente his lynage hee
myght so increase ther by,
But this yonge man his hart had set
so on Philosophy.
¶ And on his freind Alfagus to
his loue he set so su [...]e,
That if he shuld mary he thought
it colde not styll indure,
But that he shuld leaue of from one
and cleaue another to,
Wherfore longe tyme he did delaye
the thinge with much a do.
¶ And would not consent to theyr mynde
for ought that they colde saye,
How be it, still they woulde not rest
to moue hym daye by daye,
To mary one that myght hym please
and gyt some Childe her by,
Which myght inherit and haue his lande
when he shuld chaunce to dye.
¶ So at the last he graunted, because
hys freindes on hym so sore,
Euen by importunat callynge on
styll dayly more and more,
And partly by the aduyce and mynde
of Alfagus hys freind dere,
And by dysyre of many mo
he drew theyr pourpose nere.
¶ Consentynge for to mary one
in whom he myght delyght,
And in all thinges vnto hys mynde
ryght pleasaunt in hys syght [...]
[Page] Wyth whych wordes all hys freindes & kyn
was wondrous glad in hart,
And busyly for hym a none
eche one dyd showe hys part.
¶ And sought wheare they myght fynde a mayde
for [...] right faire and good,
Of like yeres vnto hym, and of
sowe worthy [...]euse and blood,
So longe they sought that at the last,
a maybe they dyd espye,
Of parsonage, maners. and in age
in excelent bewtie.
¶ A comely damsell and a tall
in equall stature pyght,
With eyes as graye as glas, and skynne
most lyke to snowe was whyte:
Of equall yeres shee was to him
in vertuous maners taught,
Of noble blood full riche also
no better myght be sought.
¶ Thys Ladye thought they good, for such
a gentleman of kynde,
They thought her apte for hym, and hee
in her myght please hys mynde:
When Archelaus freyndes and eke
the maydens freindes also,
Had talked all theyr minde, and when
eche one theyr wyls dyd knowe.
¶ And on the couenauntes were agreed
how the maryage should bee,
They gaue Archelaus chounsaile that
the mayden he shuld see:
And ofte repayre to her, so that
he myght ryght well at ease,
Knowe with his hart if that shee wyth
her beautie might hym please.

Archelaus goeth to see his Ladie, Who pleaseth him right well. Hee carieth Alfagus with him to see her, who is so taken in her loue that hee, lyeth sicke with intollera­ble paine.

Cap. ii.

AFter the counsayle of his freindes
Archelaus did agree,
And went without delaye anone,
hys Ladye for to see:
Who in all partes hee found to bee
so pleasaunt to hys mynde,
That if hee shoulde seeke all the worlde
none better coulde her finde.
¶ Nor to his hartes desyre hee thoughte,
myght be founde one so meete,
Wherfore anone with louynge wordes
to her hee spake full sweete:
[Page] And sayde fayre Lady is your mynde
to haue me for your make,
And can you fynde within your hart
all other to forsake.
¶ Saue onely I, and cleaue to mee
how say you Lady bryght?
Shee aunswered hym, (& sayd) for sooth
all that is in my might,
I am content to do your mynde
my hartes desyre is so,
And thus when they had talked longe
and eche theyr loue dyd knew.
¶ Archelaus dyd returne agayne
to Alfagus hys freinde,
No loue of Lady in the worlde
myght take hym from hys mynde:
Yet often tymes when to study they
together both dyd go,
Many times Archelaus when
Alfagus dyd not know.
¶ Stale secretly away, and to
hys Lady did resorte,
That he with her in pastyme good
myght make some pleasaunt sport:
And not withstandyng the great loue
whych to hys freynd he bare,
Yet ofte tymes to hys Lady he
on this wyse dyd repayre.
¶ But at the laste when shamefastnes
surmounted in his brest,
Wythin his harte he coulde not haue
at no tyme quiet rest,
Untyll hys secret iourneys were
vnto Alfagus tolde,
Wherfore anone these wordes hee spake
and said with courage bolde.
¶ Dere freinde Alfagus so it is
my freindes on mee did lye,
As you do knowe ryght well ynoughe
to wed some fayre Ladie:
That so I myght increse the stocke
of mee and of my father,
Howe be it (god dooth knowe) with ye [...]
to [...]yde yet had I rather.
¶ What then? it is so nowe that I,
haue chosen a Ladye bryght,
Who to my harte in all thynges is
ryght pleasaunt in my sight:
And ofte tymes haue I stolne awaye,
from you vnknowne till nowe,
When as wee were at study both
and ye wyst not hynge howe.
¶ To goo and see her whom I loue
shee doth mee so delyghte,
For wyth her beautie my whole harte
is fyxed daye and nyght:
[Page] To morowe therfore will I go
about this tyme and tyde,
And you with mee shall go that theare
to gether wee maye abyde.
¶ An houre or twayne and passe the tyme
wyth some solace and playe,
Where as you maye beholde and s [...]e
my Ladye freshe and gaye:
Alfagus answered hym and sayd
I am ryght well content,
To go with you my freind I thinke
the tyme no better spent.
¶ And fayne I woulde beholde the mayd
you playse so much to me,
For since you spake fyrst of her I
haue longed her to see:
Thus when they talked had awhyle
the nyght on them did drawe,
Wherfore to rest they went anon
when best theyr tyme they sawe.
¶ Thus when the darknes had his course,
and Phebus beames so bryght,
The restles Sonne I meane did shawe
vppon the yearth same lyght:
The mornyng sonne, wt shininge beames
all landes hath ouer spred.
And from the skyes the droppynge shade,
of nyght awaye was fled.
¶ Alfagus rose, and longed to see
the mayden bryght of hewe,
Aryse vp Archelaus he sayde
that I maye go with you:
To see her whom you praysed so
my harte is very fayne,
Euen nowe anon Archylaus sayde
wee will go thether both twayne.
¶ Where with he rose and so they bothe
anon to gether did go,
But how they sped, if you wyll heare
I wyll vnto you sho:
Forth goeth these two young gentlemen
and when one houre was spent,
They came wheras the mayd dyd dwell
and into the house they went.
¶ Who of the Damsell was anon
receaued ioyfullye,
But as soone as Alfagus had
vppon her set his eye:
Beholdynge her most comlye face
with parsonage demure,
Adorned all in bew [...]ie, and
In espectable pure.
¶ Her lyppes as red as anye Rose
nothing there was a [...]ys,
With sober countenaunce myxed all
with maydenlye shamefastnes:
[Page] Her taulke so sweete and pleasaunt was
for Alfagus to beholde.
That with the syght of her anone
hys sprytes were very colde.
¶ Hys harte was persed thorow out
blynde Copyds darte with all,
And wyth whych wound for deadly smart,
almost on sounde did fall:
So v [...]ment and so ferce his payne
increased more and more,
Wyth styll beholdynge of that mayde,
which stood hys eyes before.
¶ That nerther the great studye of
Phylosophy, nor yet
The remembraūce of his most dere freinde,
Archelaus any whyt:
Could once wythdrawe that vnkynde loue
out of his harte and bres [...]e,
But more and more his payne dyd growe
not knowynge what waye to rest.
¶ But that of force hee must needes loue
and that inordynatelye,
That Lady whych Archelaus his friende
had chosen to marry:
All be it wyth incredyble paynes
he kept hys thoughtes vnknowne,
Untyll they both returned were
and to their lodgynges gone.
¶ The myserable Alfagus then
wyth wandrynge hymselfe a syde,
As though in secret studye hee
intended to abyde [...]
All tormented in sorowe and care
wyth loue oppressed sore,
Uppon his bed hee layed him downe
tormented more and more.
¶ Rebukynge there him selfe of moste
vnkynde and spytefull hate,
For with the syght of that fayre mayde
whych hee had seene of late:
Hee had conspyred such great euyll
agaynste hys freinde so dere,
Who had hym loued so wonderous well
in faythfulnes many a yere.
¶ Alas what euyll tyme (quoth hee)
was it when I was borne,
Alas for cōmynge to thys place
why had I not forsworne:
Alas my father, wherfore brought
you mee here to thys place?
Why dyd you not keepe mee at home
out of thys wretched case.
¶ Alas that euer I dyd acquaynt
my selfe wyth one so true,
As you my freind Archelaus are
but I agayne to you,
[Page] Most lyke a brutyshe beast vnkynde
from Nature gone awrye.
And haue deserued of your part,
great batred to imploye.
¶ And wt those wordes deepe sighes & sore,
out from his harte hee sente,
That euer hee came to Athennes
oft tymes hee dyd repent:
Thus styll in dollour and in care
he tombled and he toste,
That lytle lacked it of his hart
to be in peces brast.
¶ But vnto no man durst he once
dysclose his secret sore,
So that at length most greuous paines
increased more and more:
And forced him would hee or not
styll on his bed to lye,
Receauyng nought wherwith he myght
haue him sustuyned bye,
¶ No sleape at all nor rest hee tooke
no sustinaunce nor foode,
He would receaue wherwith hee might
haue done his bodye good:
That hee so feble was and faynt
so weake of ly [...]e wyth all,
That in his legges, his bodye to beare
no strengthe there was at all.

Archelaus goeth to see Alfagus, who lyeth sucke for loue & to whome Alfagus con [...]esseth all the cause of hys sycknes, greatly reyro­nynge hym selfe of vnkyndnes.

Cap. iii.

TO Archelaus was folde a non
parte of Alfagus care,
How he full sicke to bed was gone
and almost in dispayre:
Wyth whych wordes he was sore abusht
and went forthwith to see,
How his deere freinde Alfagus dyd,
and what his payne myght bee.
¶ But when he did approch the place
where as Alfagus laye,
Beholdynge there his most dere friende
in such paynefull araye:
The red Rose collours in his face
which was wont to appeere,
All tourned into sallow paie
with wan and heauye cheere.
¶ His red lyppes pale and almost blacke
his eye lyds suncke full low,
That skarce behol [...]yng in his face
he coulde his vissage know.
[Page] He myght from wepyng scarce refrayne
the teaes [...]y force out braste,
But then remembrynge hym agayne
refrayned at the laste.
¶ Feare leaste he thoughte suche sorowfull sight
might most his freind anoy,
Wherfore hee tourned backe agayne
hys countenaunce vnto ioye:
Comfortynge hys dere freind in all
that euer hee myght do,
Desyrynge hym and sayd howe came,
thys great dysease in you.
¶ And why haue you byn so vnkynde
not shewynge mee att all,
Of this dysease which vnto you,
of late tyme dyd [...]efall:
But thus vnkyndly and vnwyse
to seeke your owne decaye,
When as I myght by knowyng therof
haue sought some helpe and waye.
¶ If any thynge for syluer or golde
to helpe you myght be bought,
I woulde not staye my selfe till all
thys regyon I had sought:
And though that it shoulde coste mee all
the substaunce I coulde make,
Yet woulde I thynke it well bestowed
to spende it for your sake.
¶ With which woordes then the mortall sighes
tenued more and more,
Within Alfagus harte, and he
began to weepe full sore:
So that abundauntlie the teares
downe from his eyes did fall,
And many a sorowfull syghe hee sent
out from, his harte with all.
¶ The which when Archelaus saw
he coulde no more forbeare,
But was resolued to teares a non
his harte all fyxed in care:
And sayd Alfagus most dere friend
do not your mynde delaye,
But shewe me all and euerye deale
most hartely I you pray.
¶ Alas whye are you so vnkynde
that you will not disclose,
Your secret sicknes vnto mee
when as I did suppose:
You would not haue kept backe from mee
no secrete thyng at all,
For I woulde haue hid nought from you
what soeuer myght befall.
¶ Therfore I pray you let me know
what greuous payne you haue,
That I may seeke some helpe with haste
you from the death to saue:
[Page] For nothyng is to me so dere
nor precious in my syght
But for you [...] sake hee wyll anon
depart with it forth ryght.
¶ Although myne owne lyfe I should lose
It would I not delay,
But runne and go all that I myght
for your helpe nyght and day:
The whyth woordes when Alfagus harde
and sawe the mone and greefe,
Which his deere friende [...]laus made
to seeke for his releefe.
¶ All [...]yng and in shamefast wyse
by force as then constrayned,
Unto his friend his tale he tolde
and in this wyse complayned
My most deere friend and faythfull mate
lea [...]e of your faythfull mynde,
Call backe agayne the wordes you spake
some helpe for mee to fynde.
¶ And rather slaye mee where I lye
drawe out your knyfe therfore,
Dyspatch my dayes that I may see
the [...]e [...]ght of heauen nomore:
Most myserable wretch and Traytorfalce
to you my feiende am I,
And of all men vppon the Earth,
most worthye for to dye.
¶ For lyke as god by hys great power
hath formed vs as one,
All lyke in euerye forme and part,
for men to looke vppon:
So hath he made ou [...] myndes agree
in euery thynge alyke,
For looke what one of vs would haue
the other therto doth seeke.
¶ Our myndes and apetytes are as one
they dyffer nought at all,
I thynke that neuer wyth no men
lyke friend shyppe dyd befall:
And now so soone (alas I say)
so soone this loue is gone,
Good friend shyppe is excluded and
of reason there is none.
¶ No doctryne doth anayle, nor man
in wysdome may not truste,
Nor no fydelytye in a friende
in this case maye be iuste:
Yea Archelaus the great truste
Whych you on me dyd laye,
Hath caused me for to conspyre
agaynste you nowe this daye.
¶ (Alas agaynste you my deere friend)
to do thys thyng vn [...]yght,
How haue I [...]en inta [...]g [...]ed with
some foule [...]ous spryght:
[Page] What thyng was in your mynde alas
when wysdome was awaye.
Why tolde you mee of that fayre mayde
which is so freshe and gay.
¶ And you haue chosen her to wyfe
(alas) why did you se?
Why had you not left me at home
but let me wyth you go?
(Ahlas I saye) where was your wyt
remembrynge not at all,
The great fragillitie of our loue
and Natures bonde wyth all.
¶ What neede you haue regarde of me
what pleasure you dyd fynde,
In the beholdynge of her whome
you loued in your mynde:
Why would you haue me se her whom
your selfe could not beholde,
But with the beutie of her face
your loue to her had tolde.
¶ Your mynde was fyxed and your harte
was rauyshed her to see,
And yet for that in all this thynge
you had no mynde of mee:
(Alas why dyd you so forget
and coulde not thynke vppon
That both our wills and apetytes
hath byn alwayes as one.
¶ For alwayes that which in your eyes
was pleasaunt for to see,
Hath alwayes byn in euery parte
in lyke sarte vnto mee:
What neede more wordes Archelaus for
your truste in me I saye,
Hath caused me with vnkynd loue
to be intrapt this daye.
¶ The raynes and pleasaunt beames most fayre
ensuyng from her eyne,
Whom you haue chosen for to loue
hath pearst thys hart of myne:
Yea the remembraunce of her and
her vertues manyfold,
Hath strouken me with a deadlye wound
and made my hart full colde.
¶ So that I do desyre nought els
but lyke an vnkynd wretche,
I myght departe out of this lyfe
this myserye to dispatche:
As one not worthye to haue lyfe
and felowshyp wyth you,
My most deere friende which alway hath
ben vnto me so true.
¶ But I haue ben to you vnkynde
(alas) why should I lyue?
And wt those wordes out from his harte
full heauye syghes dyd gyue:
[Page] Desolued all with teares great store
which from his eyes did runne,
Con [...]dyng these his wordes in care
as he had them begunne.

Archelaus accuseth hym selfe of Follye. He renounceth hys t [...] that he hath in the Lady to Alfagus and showeth him the way howe hee shall haue her to hys wyfe, vnwares to all his friendes.

Cap. iiii.

WHen Alfagus made an ende
and had confessed all,
How wt the syght of y faire mayd
what payne dyd hym befall:
Hys deere friend Archelaus then
as nothyng discontente,
Nor yet astoyned at the thynge
in which his friende was be [...]te.
¶ But with a merye countinaunce,
Alfagus did imbrace,
He kyssed hym and on this wyse
his woordes foorthwith did place:
Why friende Alfagus at your harte
is this same all the greefe?
And had you thought within your harte
there could be no reliefe.
¶ Alas whye? were you so vnkynde
that ye would not declare,
The cause of thys your payne to me
but in your hatte it bare:
Alas why keepe you of so long
and would not let me kno,
Why wer [...] you so vnkynde to keepe
your secret mynd mee fro.
¶ I do confesse my folly here
wherwith I am attaynte,
You haue disclosed my fond wyt
to me in your complaynt:
For shewynge vnto you the mayde
wom I chose to my wyfe,
I dyd remember nothyng in
the nature of our lyfe.
¶ Nor how our myndes and apetytes
in all thynges doth agree,
Nor yet the vnytie of our hartes,
remembred was of mee:
Wherfore it is no man but I
which hath done all this ill,
Surelye I can not well excuse
my selfe by reasons skyll,
¶ For who of ryght can proue that you
haue trespassed at all,
When wyth the mutable darte of loue
your harte was strooke wyth all:
[Page] Why thynke you I am such a foole
which can not vnderstande,
The myghtye stroake of Uenus power
whom loue doth take in hande.
¶ For where shee lysteth for to shew
the vyolent course of care,
To presse the harte oportunatlye
with panges shee doth not spare:
Haue not you well cesysted when
to death you are neere brought:
And thus in tormentes for to slake,
that apetyte you haue sought.
¶ What more importunate loue of you
may I requyre then,
More faythfull loue in all the worlde
hath neuer ben of men:
And should I seeke for to expell
that thyng which god hath wrought
Seth she, predestinate was to you
before I of her thought.
¶ If I should so thynke of this thynge
my wyt were spent in vayne,
What were my studye all my lyfe
but foolyshe and no gayne:
Shoulde I seeke for the prudent Arte
Phylosophye to knowe,
Nay, nay, Alfagus in my harte
let neuer god do so.
¶ But surely I confesse in deede
to loue the mayde as well,
As any man possyble may
which wysdomes arte can tell:
And tooke more pleasure in my harte
berbeutye to beholde,
Then in my landes my father lefte
my syluer or my goulde.
¶ The which you know doth much aboūd
in vallue for to be,
Yet at my harte they are not halfe
so pleasaunt vnto me:
But now I know within your hart
her loue surmouuteth more,
Then fiue tymes it hath done in me
of all the tyme before.
¶ Yea without measure in your harte
I know the darte doth stinge
Of ragyng loue but should I thinke
that were wanton lustyng:
Or suddayne apetyte of your mynde
delyghtyng in solace,
Haue I not knowen the manner of
your lyfe in euery place.
¶ How you were honest good and wyse
in euery kynde of waye,
Uayne dalliaunce & fond toyes vnmeete
your vse was not to playe:
[Page] Shall I immagyn then in you,
mallis, disceit or guyle,
Syth you and I haue fostered ben
together of longe whyle.
¶ Euen from our chyldhood vntyll nowe
yet could I neuer see,
But that you haue byn gentle sweete
and freindelye vnto mee:
Betweene vs twayne was neuer stryfe
synce one the other knew,
But still agreed in euerye parte
to lyue lyke breetheren trewe.
¶ Nay godforbid that noble bande
of friend shippe which hath ben,
Alfagus and Archelaus harte
enclosed all within:
To he suspected anye deale
of hatred and dispyte,
Or any fantasye of the mynde
should presse my head vnryght.
¶ Wherby the honorable loue which is
betweene vs all and some,
Myght hyndred bee in anie parte
the mountenaunce of a crome:
Nay, nay, Alfagus it is so
as I before haue sayde,
For by selestiall power deuyne
you poynted were that mayde.
¶ God had apoynted her to you
when fyrste he gaue her lyfe,
That only shee should be your loue
your Ladye and your wyfe:
For such a feruent loue as this
oppresseth not the harte,
Of anye man vertuous and wyse
wyth suche an earneste smarte.
¶ But by a prouydence deuyne
wheare at if I should seeke,
To make resistaunce anye deale
to haue the thyng I leeke:
I should not onelye be vniuste
agaynst my friend most trewe,
Witholdinge that thyng which of ryght
belongeth vnto you.
¶ But also be repugnaunte frome,
goddes highe determynation,
Aduaunsyng vp my harte therin
to make a confutacion:
Which thynge shall not befounde in me
by helpe of god with all,
Therfore Alfagus my deare freinde
dysmay you not at all.
¶ Of this the chaunce of loue now fyxte
within your harte to stande,
But ioyouslye do now receaue
the yoake of louers bande:
[Page] For I am nothyng discontente
wyth this my sudden chaunce,
But merueylouslye with feruent ioy
my hart it doth aduaunce.
¶ Syth that it is my chaunce for you
a Ladye for to fonde,
Which is so greable to your harte,
and pleasaunt in your mynde:
Wyth whom you may hereafterlyue
in great felycitie,
Receauyng fruyt by Gods hygh power
your chyldren for to be.
¶ Which may amplefie, and increase
great honour to your name,
And all your lynage wyll reioyce
when they shall see the same:
Wherfore I will renounce to you
my tytle and my ryght,
And clearly all that I shall haue,
wyth that fayre mayde so bryght.
¶ I gyue it clearlye vnto you
as it is geuen to me,
For euer more whyle lyfe doth last
your Ladye for to be:
Call to your prestynate courage agayne
washe cleane your vyssage whyte
Amende your eyes forlorne with teares
by weepyng all this nyght.
¶ Abandon all your heauye cheere
the day appeareth nye,
Whych you do know I dyd apoynt
the mayd for to marrye:
Let vs consult betimes therfore
how we may bryng about,
That you ryght wyselye may attayne,
your purpose thorow out.
¶ And all your hole desires so
for to atchyue wyth ioye,
Take heede therfore vnto my wordes
and marke well what I saye:
you know right well that wee are bothe
so lyke in euerye plate,
Preporshioned all in euerye lymme
both bodye, head, and face.
¶ Our speach & countenaunce doth agree
so lyke in euerye waye,
That if we were apparrelled both
alyke in one araye:
And both apart for to be seene
yet few men could then know,
Whych of vs were the other and
vnto his fellow show.
¶ Also you do remember well
the custome of this land,
That not withstanding all these wordes
by ioyoyng hand in hand:
[Page] The marryage not confirmed is
all hoollye iust and ryght,
Untyll in Chamber they be come
together both at nyght:
¶ And that the husband hath put on
his wyues finger a Ringe,
And also doth vnlose therwith
the knot of her gyrdlynge:
Then is the marryage fullye knyt
and they be man and wyfe,
To liue so longe in one accorde
as God shall giue them lyfe.
¶ Therfore will I my selfe be theare
before my friendes in place,
Performynge all the brydemans parte
in euery poynt and case:
And you I wyll in secreat hyde
wheare none shall you espye,
Untyll at nyght when that to bedde
eche man him selfe doth hye.
¶ And then you shall conuaye your selfe
in the most secreatest wyse,
In to the Chamber of the mayde
as I shall best deuyse:
And nothyng shall the mayde espye
or thynke of you a mis,
Because your rayment vnto myne
so lyke in all thynges is.
¶ Your parsonage also, in all poyntes
will seeme vnto her sight,
So lyke to myne that by no meanes
shee can espie the sleyght:
And shortlye gea [...] you to the bed
delay not longe the thynge,
And on her fynger strayght wayes then
put on your owne golde rynge.
Her Gyrdle of virgynitie
vndoe without delaye,
Fulfyll your pleasure all the nyght
as louers lyste to playe:
Comforte your selfe Alfagus therfore
my louing friend moste deare,
With good refection and solace
relyue your heauye cheare.
¶ That this cullour wan and pale
your cheekes so leane and thinne,
Be not the cause to let the thynge
whych easely you may winne:
I knowe ryght well within my mynde
that when this thynge is done,
And that you do enioy the mayde
by me as now begonne.
¶ I shall deryded bee of all
the foalke that shall it know,
And all my kynted wyth dispyte
theyr Irefull hate wyll show:
[Page] In seekyng all the meanes they can
me to expulce and dryue,
Out of this Cytye in short tyme
a bannyshed lyfe to lyue.
¶ And thynke me to be suche a one
as hath done great out rage,
By geuyng of a great reproche
vnto my parentage:
But god shall worke his wyll therin,
my mynde is fully bente,
To do the thyng that I haue sayde
is all my whole intent.
¶ I force not for the furyous rage
of anye spytefull foe,
Ne yet what payne I do abyde
by Fortunes frownyng blow:
So that you my friend Archelaus
may lyue in fortunes grace,
And haue felyrytie to increace
your honoure with solace.

Archelaus marriethe the Ladye for Alfagus. Alfagus cōfirmeth matrymonye and lyeth with her all the night, Archelaus defireth al hys frendes to gyue eare to the Oracion which Alfa gus would make.

Cappit. v.

WYth this Alfagus turnde himselfe
as one awakte from sleepe,
And thought hee had but seene a dreame
more cares on him to heape:
And doubtyng whether he had harde
Archelaus speake or no,
Or seene a vision in his mynde
deuysed to be so.
¶ As he before had harde his friende
with frendly wordes declare,
But lookynge vp with stedfaste eyes
ryght well perceaued thar [...]:
Hys friende Archelaus standyng by,
with teares lamentyng styll,
Left Fortune by her fatall wheele
hys hole deuyce should spyll.
¶ The wofull Alfagus set hym vp
not knowyng what to saye,
But comfortyng his most dere friende
in all that euer he maye:
Thankyng hym then for his kynde wordes
which were incompetable,
Refusyng it syth that he sayd
I am so [...]aryable.
¶ More better were it that there shoulde
a hondred suche as I,
Lyke vnkynde wretches to be slayne
or some euell death to dye:
[Page] Then that so noble a man as you
should sustayne any ill.
Or that reproche or dammage should
come anye wayes you till.
¶ But then Archelaus in his armes
his freind Alfagus tooke,
Comfortyng hym all that he myght
with many a merye looke:
And therwith all dyd swere and eke
protest as not dysmayd,
That with glad harte al things should bee
as he before had sayd.
¶ He sweetlye kyssed him also
and sayd my friend most dere,
All thynges shalbe accomplysht well
therfore be of good chere:
Alfagus then perceauyng that
all thynges were fyrme and sure
And that no fayned friendshyp did
his faythfull friend alure.
¶ He set him vp wyth ioyfull harte
ryght in his bed as he,
Had felt before no payne at all,
but wakt from sleepe to be:
The quicke blood in his vyssage then
began for to restore,
Suche coloure as by nature he
receaued had before.
¶ And after hee had well sustayned
wyth some good drynke and meate,
His feeble bodye which before
had no desyre to eate,
In fewe dayes was brought agayne
vnto his woonted state,
Lyke to Archelaus in all thynges
his faythfull freinde and mate.
¶ The daye of maryage did approche
ech one with busye care,
Did seeke for such thynges as should neede
the weddyng to prepare,
Archelaus was deuysyng styll
the best and surest way,
How he his friend Alfagus myght
is to his ro [...]me conuaye.
¶ Now thought be this, now thought hee that
as fancie did him guyd,
At length he found the secr [...]test feat,
that els be myght prouyde:
And shewed Alfagus all the thyng
in what place hee should stande,
Take heede therfore (quoth he) that you
be reddye at my hande.
At nyght when wee to bed shall go
within the chamber dore,
Behinde the cloth there is a hole
where you may be full sure:
[Page] And before wee to bed moste come
I will conuaye you that [...],
So that when I shall come and brynge
with me the maybe so fayre.
¶ You shall come forth behynde my backe
and I will slyp awaye.
So no man shall [...]sp [...]e the sleyght
because that your araye:
Is lyke to myne in euery thynge
your vyssage eke also,
Resembleth myne so that the mayde
of this can nothynge [...]o.
¶ Be of good cheere Archelaus sayd
my friende Alfagus now,
Leaue studyeng in all other thynges
and thynke on nought but how:
you maye accomplyshe your desyre
be of good cheere therfore,
The daye is come that now from death
to lyfe I muste restore.
¶ The day was come and then anon
the Ladye freshe and gaye,
Archelaus tooke and to the chu [...]the
her lead without delay:
Acompanyed with his friendes and hers
ryght honorable to beholde,
The couenauntes were ag [...]e [...]id vppon
and eche theyr mynde had tolde.
¶ Unto the other and anon
when all thynges els was done,
They hasted home where as the feast
wyth great ioye was begonne:
That daye they passed with much myrth
and sportes in sundrye wyse,
Ech man a sundrye game and playe
for pastyme dyd deuise:
¶ Betweene Archelaus and the mayde
such entertaynement grewe,
That all men theare had great delyte
their louely lookes to [...]ewe:
Praysyng greatlye Gods good gyfte
syth Nature did agree,
To gyue them beautie vertue and
the arte of curtesye,
¶ Which were ryght excelēt in thes twayn
excelling others farre,
That in the Cytie of eche sorte
before tymes wededd ware:
What shall I say the daye was spent,
and Phebus beames so bryght,
Descended downe into the west
where hidden was his lyght.
¶ The twyncklyng stars by wonted course
appeared in the l [...]ye.
And euery man and woman faste,
vnto their rest did by [...]:
[Page] Archelaus and the mayden then
acompaned with her kyn,
were brought vnto theyr chamber doore
and as they entred in.
¶ Alfagus hydden in the wall
ryght well did them beholde,
And fearyng least he myght not speede,
hys harte was very colde.
But then Archelaus thynkyng on
his friend Alfagus case,
Deuysynge how or by what meanes
he might come in his place.
¶ Dismissed all the foalke awaye
and thankt them for theyr payne,
And sayd I wyth my ladye nowe
must taulke a worde or twayne:
Gyue place to vs now at this tyme
most hartely I you praye,
To morrow wyll we passe the tyme
with more disport and playe.
¶ Eche one departed them anon
no wyght was left behinde,
But euen Archelaus and the mayde,
eche one to saye their mynde:
Alfagus lyuyng still in hope,
thought euery mynute a yeare,
Archelaus carefull was also
that Alfagus myght appeare.
¶ Howbeit he with ardent loue
desired her to haue,
Aboue all worldlye treasures but
his friendes lyfe then to saue:
He had most ardent care of all
fayre mayde therfore sayd he,
A little whyle I must departe
I praye you tarrye me.
¶ And made as though to ease him selfe
vnto the stoole he went,
He to Alfagus tooke his waye
nought els was his intent:
Alfagus ioyfull for to see
his friende Archelaus cheare,
Wythout delaye came foorth anon
all frustrate was his care.
¶ Archelaus stoode in Alfagus place
and Alfagus foorth did go,
Unto the mayd the whych as then
therof dyd nothyng kno:
Now is Alfagus layd in the bed
he made no longe delaye,
The mayden knew not whom he was
and dyd him not denaye.
¶ For why? wee thought nought els but ye
Archelaus had ben theare,
But alfagus ioyfull was to see,
that hee so well did fare:
[Page] These two young wedded foalkes therfor▪
no longerlye they may,
For [...]h man hyed faste to ryse
so farre spent was the daye.
¶ Archelans thought it was most meete
for to disclose his mynde,
Whyle all his kynred theu were there
no better tyme to fynde:
Alfagus his deare freind therfore
be vnto hym dyd ca [...]ll,
And placed him within the myddest
among his kyndes foalke all.
¶ And all the nobles that dyd dwell
in Carthagye was theare
To whom Archelaus reuerence shewed
desyryng them full fayre:
To gyue attentyue eare a whyle
that Alfagus myght discus,
A secre at thyng Archelaus sayd
which hee will saye to vs.
Who beyng placed in his [...]owme
amongest the myddest of all,
Declared foorth such woordes to them
as after follow shall.

¶ The Oracion which Alfagus made before the freindes of Archelaus, openynge vnto them the hole matter.

Cap. vi.

MY freindes & nobles of Carthage
this day amongest you all,
An insample is shewed vncredible
which lately did befall:
Which doth dyscrybe the deuyne power
of honorable loue,
Whose forcyng darte with deadly stroke
excelleth all aboue.
¶ This loue hath brought perpetuall fame
and eke great commendacion,
Unto this Citie and also
vnto the Grecians nacion:
Wherfore you ought ryght excelentlye
greate comforte for to take,
And giue due thankes to God the which
this ardent loue did make.
¶ If that amonge you there remayne
such auncient wyse report,
As had your noble progenytours
which weare of the lyke sorte:
For what more prayse may be to men
that on the earth do dwell,
Then faythfullnes, Beneuolence, and con­stancie
whose vertues doth excell.
¶ For lacke wherof all countreyes and
all Cities do decaye,
Unto desolacion and [...]uen eke
they runne without delaye [...]
[Page] Lyke as by them also they [...]ome
to great and high prosperytie,
With high estate and much renowne
of Prudence and felycytye.
¶ What shall I longe delaye the tyme
or tar [...]y in the thynge,
Coniectyng myne intent and not
to tell my hole meanyng:
You know [...]yght well ech one of you
from whence I came and howe,
Unto this Cytie I was sent
whearas I am euen now.
¶ And by aduenture I did fynde
the house of Olympus here,
Who of longe tyme a very friende,
he was to me most deare:
His s [...]nne Archelaus theare I found
of myne owne age and state,
Who in all thynges was lyke to me
hym chose I for my mate.
¶ We were so lyke in euery thynge
the one vnto the other,
That wee coulde not deserned be
of father nor of mother:
But onlye that we woulde our selues
tell one anothers name,
Unto our parentes and also
to others shew the same.
¶ So that at length about our neckes,
sylke laces they dyd taye,
Of sundrye collours that they myght
deserne vs by that waye:
What mutuall loue and agrement
hath by [...] betweene vs twayne.
This eyght yeres alwayes since I came
with Olimpus to remayne.
¶ You all be witnesses that haue byn
be holders of the thynge,
Tose our sweete conuersacion you
haue alwayes byn wandrynge:
And also our consent of mynde
in luste and apetye,
You neuer sawe dyscorde, no [...] once
wherin we dyd varrye:
¶ And as for my parte after that
my father was deseased,
Not withstandyng that to mee
aboundantly ther happened:
Great possessyons and houses fayre
with ryches eke innumerable,
And proffers of hye dignitie
wyth Ladyes fayre and amyable.
¶ My freyndes and alyans eke also
theyr letters to mee sente,
Desyrynge mee importunately
to [...]od as they haue mente:
[Page] In commyng home for to receyue
myne erytage due to me,
Yea them which in the Senat now
of all most auncyent be.
¶ Offered me aduauncement hye
in dignitie to raygne,
Amongest those which the publycke welth
doth seeke for to mayntayne,
I wyll not now remember of
the lamentacions great,
Which my most naturall mother made
me homwardes to intreat,
¶ Expressyng with most tended woordes
in letters to me sent,
All blotted wyth teares ye which on them
abundantly were sprent:
Wher in shee dyd accuse me sore
because I did delaye,
The tyme so long and vnto her
not seeke to come awaye.
¶ Sayeng that I am much vnkynde
syth nature would agree,
Specially now in her most neede
her comforte for to bee:
But yet all this within my harte
could not at all preuayle,
Ne to remoue Archelaus from
but to the bread [...]h of my nayle.
¶ And but that force doth me constrayne
by nature so prouyded,
I coulde nor may not be with drawne
for anye thynge contryued:
Once from his company most sweete
and pleasaunt vnto mee,
Acsepte with his most gentle harte
he doth therto agree.
¶ I chusynge rather for to lyue
wyth hym by fatall doome,
His felow and companyon to be
then counseler of Roome:
For which my kynd nes hath byn well
aquitted nowe this daye,
Or els redoubled by his helpe
if I the troth do saye.
¶ Delyueryng mee frome cruell death
wherto I was so nye,
That of all deathes I should haue dyed
a death most cruelly:
And so Lachesus shoulde haue spunne
my fatall thred in yayne,
My pleasant yeares and youthfull dayes
the fryttell yearth should gayne.
¶ I do perceaue you wonder much
ye noble Athenes now
To heare of thes and of atrouth
no maruell is for how
[Page] Or what is he so bolde of harte
that burst attempte with Ire,
To satysfye his cruell mynde
my death for to conspire▪
¶ Being a Romayne and decente
of ryall Romaynes blood,
Or who els thynke you would be so
malicious, or so wood:
To sley me? whom you all do know
hath done no villanye,
To any man or woman which
doth dwell within this Cy [...]ye.
¶ You all shall be my iudge therin
if that it be not so,
For if I should mysuse my selfe
you myght well therof kno:
For in your syghtes I haue byn still
synce to this Cytie I,
Came fyrst, and in Olimpus house
appoynted was to lye.
¶ Nay nay my freyndes there is no man
that I herein accuse,
Before you all my friendes here
no such talke will I vse:
I do perceaue you lysten styll
and woulde desyre to kno,
What man he was that dyd presume
or seeke to vse mee so.
¶ With cruell deede and great dyspyte
my lyfe frome mee to take,
Or in lyke sort to do this facte
such enterpryse dyd make
It was loue, o Carthagines,
euen that same loue I saye,
Which as your Poettes doth declare
hath wounded many a waye.
¶ The cheifest parte of all the Gods
to whom ye honour gyue,
The whylst they were on earth, & here
lyke earthly men dyd lyue:
Thys loue constrayned Jupiter
to swym as doth a Swan,
And be transformed lyke a Bull
to hyde his shape of man.
¶ Hercules eke the vanquysher
of monsters great and stronge,
Lyons fearce and Gyantes huge
wyth bodyes large and longe:
The same loue caused hym by force
vppon a Rocke to spyn,
Sittyng amongest the maydens clad
a womans clothyng in.
¶ The same lone also which did cause
the Prynces ferse and stoute,
Of Greese and eke all Asya to
assemble in a route:
[Page] En [...]am [...]yng in the fy [...]des of Croy
wyth manye [...] fyght,
And manye storme and tempast they
did sastayne day and nyght.
¶ The same lone I do say agaynst
whose ferce al [...]uites to stryue,
May no resistaunce he at all,
that reason can contryue,
Hath wounded me so suddenlye
and stroake my hart so sore,
That remediles I should haue died
no man could me restore.
¶ Had not Archelaus holpen me
through his freindship incomparable,
I should haue ended miserabeliye
my wofull fyfe vncurable:
I see you do desyre to know,
and fayne would haue me tell,
Whom where, and what she is, that I
haue chosen to loue so well.
¶ O noble Carthagines in this
no longer wyll I staye,
But openly declare it now
to you wythout delay:
It is Andromycus the Ladye fayre,
the which Archelaus chose,
To be his wife till desteny did
theyr fatall threddes vniose.
¶ Whom he did loue most intyrlie
but when his gentle harte,
Perceaued loue had strouken me
euen with her forsynge darte
And that my loue was set as then
more higher in degree,
Then his and that I forced was
to loue then his Lady.
¶ And that it neuer dyd proseede
of wanton lust nor wyll,
Neyther it of conuersation longe
wherby to taulke out fyll:
Corrupt desyre or fantasye
he saw no sway did beare,
But with the onlie sight of her
so taken in the snare.
That I immediatlie was strouke
with most vncurable care.
¶ Desyring all that euer I myght,
death to dyspatche my dayes,
Prouokyng therto all I could
by sundry kynde of wayes:
But he then by his wisedome soone
perceiued well the thyng,
As I doubt not but that ye do
by this my tale tellyng.
¶ That by predestinacion shee
of God was geuen to mee,
And not to him but that shee should
[Page] my onely Lady bee:
Wherto be geuyng place as one
both faythfull wyse and iuste,
Estemyng more our freyndshyp then
a womans loue and luste.
¶ Wherto he was end [...]sed more
by his freyndes wyll and mynde,
Then by the vyolence of Cupids darte
constrayned after kynde:
Wherfore ryght wyllingly to mee
his intrest he dyd gyue.
The whych he to the damsell had
that so his freynd myght lyue,
¶ And it is I (Alfagus) truly
which did the wayden wed,
I put a Ryng her finger vppon,
and went with her to bed:
Of shame fastnes her Gyrdle then
foorthwith I did vntaye,
By her I haue lyne all this nyght
what would you haue me saye.
¶ I haue confyrmed matrymonye
and made her now a wyfe,
She is myne owne and I am hers
while God shall lende vs lyfe:
It these wordes they whych present were
began to murmure fast,
And on Archelaus daynusly
full greuouse lookes did cast.
¶ Then Alfagus spake agayne and sayd
why looke you on him so,
Leaue of your gr [...]dgyng countenaunces
and menassynges which you sho:
Towardes my freind Archelaus for
he hath done to you all,
Great honour and no deede wherby
reproch to hym should fall.
¶ I tell you he accomplysht hath
the hole partes of afryend,
And that loue which was most certayne
he hath done to the end:
He knew in Afrycke he myght fynde
another Ladye bryght,
As fayre and eke as ryche as shee
in whom he myght delyght.
¶ And one in whom perchaunce he might
haue better consolacion,
Then to this whom he dyd not fyrste
agree with contentacion:
But such a freend as I was hee
hauyng respect and mynde,
Unto our syinylyinde and [...]ke
our longe approued kyade.
¶ Also of my condycion and
estate hee was sure,
Neuer for to fynde the lyke
while his lyfe did indure:
Also the damsell suffereth no
dispa [...]gement in her blood,
Nor hinderaunce in her m [...]rryage but
hath one as ryche in good.
¶ And rather is aduaunced more
to dignitie by mee,
But to my freind Archelaus would
I, no disprayse should bee:
Consyder noble Lordes also
that I did not her take,
My father lyuyng when therin
ye myght suppression make,
¶ That as well her great ryches as
her beautye did alure,
Me for to take her for my wyfe
and so my harte procure:
But now my father is disseased
in her I take delyght,
And ioyne my selfe with faithfull loue
to be hers daye and nyght.
¶ When I do farre exceede her in
possessyons and also,
My substance farre surmounteth hers
as you ryght well do kno:
When the most noble men of Roome
and eke of Italye,
Desired in my felowship
to keepe mee companye.
¶ Ye haue great cause therfore to thanke
Archelaus of this thyng,
And as you ought of ryght you should
in him haue reioysyng:
And not to cast such angrye lookes
extollyng so therby.
This kyndnes shewed vnto mee.
by hym wrought wonderouslye.
¶ Wherby of wee and all my blood
such freindship hath he wonne
That neuer better frendes myght be
synce firste the world begonne
And to your Cytie thorow me
such hap now may you haue,
That from your foes through all ye worlde,
ryght well wee shall you saue.
¶ The which thyng well consydered you
myght for Archelaus sake,
In lykenes of hym with fine gould
a comlye picture make:
And in the cheefest place of all
your Citie let it stande,
Uppon a Pyller that all men
which dwelleth in the land.
¶ May haue in minde our freindship great
that is incomparable.
And how vnto this Citie there
may benefyts come innumerable:
But if that this perswasion maye
nor can not satisfie,
Your [...] but that ye wyll
imagen now therby.
¶ Any thynge to the damage of
Archelans my freind so dere,
When that I am departed hence
[...]auy [...]g hym wyth you here:
To God the creator of all thynges,
my vow here I do make,
That as I shall haue knowledge therof
in all hast for his sake.
¶ Hether I shall resort and bryng
thinuinsible powre of Roome,
Reuengyng hym agaynst his foes
with such a cruell doome:
That all Afrycke therof shall reporte
and speake perpetuall shame,
Unto theyr owne reproche and eke
dishonour of theyr name.
¶ And therwithall Alfagus and
Archelans stoode vpryght,
But all the other that was theare
of Alfagus stood in flyght,
Dyssemblyng all theyr mallyce and
made seemabelly their cheare,
As they contented in all thynges
to Alfagus myght appeare,

Alfagus is sent for to Roome. Archelaus is ba­nished his countrey by hys kyndred. After Alfagus, departyng hee is fayne to beg hys bread, and so poorelye com­meth to Rome, to seeke Alfagus, he thinketh thinketh him selfe dispised & entreth in to a Barne, lamē ­ting his fortune.

Cap. vii.

SOone after thys by atorytie of
the Senate and people of Rome,
Alfagus sent for was that he
wythout delay myght come:
Home to theyr Citie and [...]
his fathers dignitie,
Which seyng needes he must obaye
did graunt them willynglye.
¶ Appoyntyng them a daye when he
without fayle woulde be the are
How be it for Archelaus his
dere freinde he tooke much care:
And sayd my louyng freind most vere
ryght ioyfull should I bee,
If that you would forsake this place
and go to Roome with mee.
¶ The one halfe of my landes and of
my goodes I will you gyue,
Both vnto you and to your heyres
so long as they shall lyue,
[Page] In feloship styll we wyll remayne
tyll desteny doth denay,
Lachesus for to spinne her threede
out fatall lyfe to stay.
¶ But then Archelans vad in mynde
cousyderyng therwithall,
How necessarye his counsell myght bee
what thing so myght fefall:
Unto the Citie of Carthagye
by many sundrye wayes,
Remembring that his famylie
thear lyued manie dayes.
¶ And howe his bounden duetie was
the Citie to mayntayne,
And for the common welth to seeke
some prophete or some gayne:
Wherfore his freind Alfagus hee
desyred to be still,
For I (quoth he) may not depart
how be it with ardent will.
¶ I do desyrs your companie more
then anie earthlye wight,
Great greefe it will be vnto mee
when I forgo your syght:
Alfagus then perceauing that
no reason it should bee,
His friend Archelaus should depart
out of his owne countree.
¶ Consideryng how his counsell myght
the Citie well vpholde,
As other sage and wisemen dyd
in auncient tyme of olde:
And that by nature bound he was
his countreyes welth to seeke,
No more he woulde perswade him then
but sayd with woordes meeke.
¶ Fare well my most deare freind for now
frome you I most depart,
Farewell my louyng mate in whom
I alwayes set my harte:
Although in person I be gone
yet haue mee still in mynde,
If euer of me you stande in neede
a sure freind shall you fyade.
¶ Archelaus kyssed Alfagus then
whome he loued as his lyfe,
He kyssed eke the Ladye fayre
which should haue ben his wyfe:
So ech one now departed i [...]
and Alfagus tooke his waye,
Towardes Roome and with him rode
his Ladie freshe and gay.
¶ Wher at their commyng with great ioy
Alfagus mother then,
Receaued was and vnto her
most welcome of all men:
[Page] Where as he dwelled a [...] ia myrth
and great felicitie,
Recrauyng many chyldren by
Andromicus his Ladye.
¶ And for his wisedome and learnyng he
so highlye was estemed,
That no hygh office was but that
with honour he atchiued:
And in the noble Citie of Roome
much dignitie dyd veare,
Receauing loue and prayse of all
the people that were there.
¶ But now let vs retourne agayne
wheat as wee were before,
And of the spytefull kyndred of
Archelaus speake we mors:
And of the Ladyes freyndes also
whose malyce dyd remayne,
Wyth secret hatred in theyr harte
Archelaus to dysdayne.
¶ So that soone after Alfagus had
to Roome wardes tooke his way,
Malysyously with shamefull wordes
they vexte hym day by day:
And vterly abhorred hym
for that he dyd dyspyse,
To take so fytte a make (they sayde
so ryche and eke so wyse.
¶ In whom he myght haue tooke delyght
but that he dyd dys [...]ayne,
The frenship which so him they shewed
exceptyng not their payne:
But leauyng her to A [...]aus whole
for him they dyd prouyde,
Reprouyng hym innamerably
with vnkynde wordes besyde.
¶ And all that euer they could deuyse
by hym to do or saye,
Malysyously they sought it out
and that without delaye:
Fyrste they dyd exclude hym from
theyr counsell and also,
Not thynkyng that to be ynough
so lyght to let hym go.
¶ But dyd prohybyt from hym then
all honest companye,
And yet not hauyng therwythall
their mynde to satesfye:
Finally adiudged hym
not worthy for to haue,
Anye of the possessions which
hys father to hym gaue.
¶ Neyther yet any of the goods,
which his parentes dyd leaue,
Behynde them at theyr death to him
as theyr gyft did begueath:
[Page] Whom he as they supposed did
vnnaturally to fayne,
A freindship vndiscreet and so
his parentage dysdayne.
¶ Wherfore they did dispoyle him cleane
of all that euer he had,
And tooke the rayment from his backe
wherwith he then was clad:
And almost naked lyke a man
whom fortune did dispyse,
Out of the Citie expuiced hym
in the most cruellest wise.
¶ Thus is Archelaus lately one
most welthyest in the Citie,
Dispoyled of all that euer he had
no man on him taketh pytie:
One of the noble [...] in Carthage
in dignitie he did raygne,
And now of euery woman and man
is had in great disdayne.
¶ For his kynde harte thus with dyspite
he banyshed is for aye.
And his owne countrey wher he myght
haue lyued also with ioy:
And as man dis [...]yed and tost,
byfortune to and fro,
He wa [...]preth vp and downe and hath
[...]o freind his gryefe to sho.
¶ And no man coulde he fynde that would
him ayed in his distresse,
But wandred vp and downe alone
in extreame wretchednes:
Alas (qouth he) what shall I do
in myserye thus remayne,
O fortune why thus truellye
hast thou me in disdayne.
¶ Alfagus my freind is now in ioye
he hath the mayden fayre,
And for his sake I do remayne,
opprest with sorow and care:
If vnto hym this thyng were toulde
ryght sute I am that hee,
Woulde haue great sorow & care for this
my payne and myserie.
¶ He would reuenge me of my foes
if ouce he might heaz [...] te [...],
How for his sake disday [...] f [...]ll [...]e▪
they dyd me thus expell:
I will nomore therfore deley [...],
my hapiys hap to sho,
But speedelye all that euer I go.
to Roome wathes will I go.
¶ And vnto Alfagus my deare freind
declare my hol [...]e state,
And how my foes with me had de [...]
most cruelly now of late:
[Page] Archelans therfore tooke his waye
so fas [...] as he myght bye,
Towardes Roome and all alone,
withouten companye.
¶ He trauayleth day by day and is
disdayned of euerye myght,
Sustaynyng hunger in the day
and lieth colde all the nyght:
To begge for meate and brynke then he
was forced to procead,
For why [...] he myght no more delaye
hys hungrye Guttes to feede.
¶ And often when he came in place
where other Pa [...]iners were,
He was not knowen and therfore they
on him did take no care:
He could not do as others dyd
with many wordes to craue,
And therfore often went without
when other almes should haue.
¶ Wherby he dyd oft tymes sustayne
great honger payne and greefe,
And no helpe coulde he haue at all
but teares for his releefe:
Thus many a mi [...]y daye he wente
or that he could attayne,
To come to Roome, but at the lengthe
throog [...] traueling longe with payne.
¶ Unto the Citie is he come
in hope to haue relyefe,
And sayd if Alfagus I may fynde
now gone is all my gryefe:
For Alfagus house of euery man
full fast inquireth he,
And at the length is come wheras
ryght well he may it see.
¶ But then beholdyng it so faire
so large and eke so amyable,
So Pryncely buylded and also
in all thynges so delectable:
He was a shamed to approche
or nigh the gates to stand,
He thought it would auayle him nought
yf that he tooke in hande.
¶ To seeke Alfagus sith that hee
was clad in such araye,
In which full poorelye he had gone
and traueyled nyght and daye:
Wherfore to tarry thear besydes
he held it for the best,
And so he set him downe a whyle
his weerye lymmes to rest.
¶ And sayd if fortune so prouyde
that Alfagus come thys way,
I will present my selfe to him
to heare what he will saye:
[Page] I know ryght well be knoweth me
my face when he doeth ser,
Therfore if fortune woulde do so
ryght ioyfull should I bee.
¶ Archelaus being in this thought
and as he dyd deuyse,
Alfagus and his Ladie hee
within his gate espyse:
Who issuing out immedyatly
for theyr dysporte and playe,
Amounted in moste pleasaunt wyse
vppon theyr Palfrayes gaye.
¶ And rydynge thus for theyr solace
Archelaus did beholde,
But seing hym clad with such arare
all ragged in euery folde:
So vyle and fylthy to theyr syght
his rayment did appeere,
That no regarde they had to hym,
ne did behoulde his cheere.
¶ And so dyd passe foorth on their waye
not knowyng whom it was,
The which within Archelaus harte▪
such cares did bringe to passe:
That sure Al [...]agns he did thinke
his fortune had contemned:
That beyng opprest with mortall cares
and heauines longe defended.
¶ Downe in a sound be fell, for why
no longer might be stand,
But one amongst them which stoode by
did take hym by the hand:
And wyth the helpe of others theare
reuyued him agayne,
Thinkyng that he had bin sycke
not knowyng hys carefull payne.
¶ And when he to him selfe was come
he made no longe delay,
But forthwith did depart and from
the Citie tooke hys waye:
Intendyng to abyde nomore,
with Alfagus for to taulke,
But as awild beast wander about
thorow all the world to walke.
¶ But for to rest his wearye lymmes
then force did him constrayne,
Within an old barne for to go
that theare he myght complaynt:
His cruell fortune all alone
the which place when he found,
Without respect of death or lyfe
he cast hym on the grounde,
¶ And wepyng with most dolorous cryes
his fortune dyd bewayle.
¶ O thou Alfagus then quoth he
why doest thou mee dysdayne?
O fayned freindship why so longe
[Page] hast thou dwelt with vs twayne:
Myne owne kynde harte hath caused thys
alas why did I so,
Why let I not that vnkynde wretche
haue dyed full longe a go.
¶ Alfagus I had thought thou wouldst
not haue ben so vnkynde,
To me, which of so many yeares
hath ben thy louynge freinde:
Alas my kynsfolkes nowe I fynde
your wordes to be full true,
I would to god that I had byn▪
aruled then by you.
¶ Where is Alfagus thy kinde harte
which thou wast wont to showe,
Where is thy sweete acquayntaūce whych
betweene vs I did knowe:
O cruell fortune why hast thou
me thus farre in disdayne,
You spsters three by fatall doome
why do you now refrayne?
¶ To stop my breath and send my soule
where Lymbowes kingdomes lye
On Limbo lake in Charons boate
to take my destynie:
I will no longer lyue quoth hee
in this great wretchednes,
But ryd this [...]elly Ghost of myne
from payne and eke dystresse.
¶ And therwithall his knyfe he drew
in poynt hym selfe to kyll,
But god so wrought agaynst his mynde
and former wicked wyll:
And by the knowledge which he had
longe in Phylosophye,
Consyderyng wysely euery thynge
withstood that destenie.
¶ Yet oft tymes would he take the knyfe
hys fatall wound to make,
But wysdome did perswade him styll
hys folly to forsake:
And on this wyse within hym selfe
alone contendynge styll,
With cruell cares and tormentes thus
betweene wisdome and wyll.
¶ Fatigated with longe watche
and iourneyes great with all,
As god would haue it in this wyse
on deadly sleepe dyd fall:
His knyfe wherwyth he dyd intende
hym selfe as then to slaye,
Fell downe hym by as hee on sleepe
hys wery bones dyd laye.

¶ common robber hauynge flayne a man, entreth into the Barne wheare Archelaus sleepeth. He taketh vp the knife and putteth it in the deade mans wound, and layeth it agayne by Archelaus who beyng so founde is accused to dye. At laste he is knowen of Alfagus who taketh the fact vpon him to saue his fren­des lyfe, & offereth to dye.

Cap. viii.

THe whilste be on thys wyes did lye
as fortune dyd prouyde,
A cōmon theefe or robber was
a waytyng there besyde:
To do sum vyllanous acte or deede
on traueylers by the waye,
Naught els his practyce was but so
dyd lyue both nyght and daye.
¶ And by aduenture at that tyme
a marchaunte traueylyng by,
The fore sayd theefe behynde a bushe
dyd well his tyme espye:
And sodenly the man he tooke
who thought no harme ne ill,
And not contented with his goods
foorthwith he dyd hym kyll.
¶ Wherfore that he myght well eskape
and not to be espyed,
In the barne where A [...]chelaus laye
full fast hym selfe he hyed:
[Page] Who when he entred was and on
Archelaus dyd beholde,
And that full faste on sleepe he laye
as I before haue tolde.
¶ Hee looked on hys face and sawe
with cares hee was opprest,
And that the sorowfull teares he shed
all sprynkeled had his brest:
Ryght well he knew a desperate man
he was, and there did lye,
With sorowfull syghes so brought on sleepe,
to ease his myserye.
¶ This man quoth he will serue right well
to hyde my facte wyth all,
And then tooke vp the knyfe which from
Archelaus hand dyd fa [...]l [...]
Puttyng it in the wounde of hym
whych hee before dyd slaye,
And in Archelaus hand it selte
as there on sleepe he laye.
¶ So then the theefe with harte full glad
departed with all speede,
And tydynges to the Cytie came
of this his cruell deede:
Wherfore they serched dyllyg [...]ntly
in euery hollow tree.
And euery place which they suspecte
the theefe might hidden bee.
¶ At laste into the barne they came
where as Archelaus was,
Styll faste on sleepe be laye and thoughte
no barme at all alas:
Poore innocent man vnto his lot
this mans death nowe must fall,
The searchers therfore busylie
to wake him they do call.
¶ Who from his sleepe when hee awooke
to sygh he did not spare,
And entryng in most sorowfully
to his accustomed care:
Complaynyng of his fortune then
as he had done before,
With dolfull teares dystyllyng from
his eyes styll more and more.
¶ O curssed be the tyme quoth he
that euer I dyd knowe▪
That vnkynde wretch for wiues sake nowe
I suffer all this woo:
But when the officers earnestlye
vnto his charge did laye,
The mans death which they found therby
and that he dyd him slaye.
¶ The knyfe a token is they sayde
that lyes downe by thee heere
For all be blooddyed wyth the wound
to vs it doth appeere:
[Page] Thou must needes suffer death therfore
dyspatche and come at once,
With ropes they bounde hym hande and foote
which were brought for the nonce.
¶ He nothyng dyd denay at all
but what to hym they layde,
Confessed that it was euen so
and helde him well apayede:
That by so good lucke should escape
his vyolent mynde and wyll
When wyth his owne hands he did thinke
his innocent blood to spyll.
¶ By lawe now shall I dye quoth hee
ryght glad I am therfore,
Good freindes make haste, dyspatche my dayes
that I may see no more:
The lyght of Sonne ne yet of skye
which on the earth doth showe
Theyr glystryng lyght & gladsome heate
on trees on earth belowe.
¶ The mournyng feyldes by lymbo lake
I woulde approche to see,
With those whom loue theyre deathe dyd force
that place is best for mee:
The offycers marueiled greatly then
to see hym so content,
To take his death with spedy haste
intreatyng as he went.
¶ That thay wolde not delaye the tyme
wherfore was tolde anon,
Unto the Senate with reporte
the deede of such a one:
Who as you harde before was slayne
and that in such a place,
Was found a man in Carthage borne
suspected in that case.
¶ And how they founde the blood dye knyfe
in his hande being styll,
And that it semed to be hee
the whych the man dyd kyll:
Wherfore foorth with they dyd commaunde
to brynge him to the barre,
Because that time in Judgement seate
the counsell setten were.
¶ Alfagus was cheife counceller then
or in lyke dygnitie,
Syttyng in his royall seate
wyth great felycitiy:
Archelaus then moste myserable man
vnto the barre was brought,
With byls and staues most lyke a theefe
and innocent was of thought.
¶ Of whom it was demaunded then
if he the man dyd slaye,
That was found dead as ye haue harde
which he dyd not denaye:
[Page] But in moste sorowfull maner did
his fortune cursse and [...]an,
Sayeng he was in all the worlde
the moste vnfortunatest man.
¶ O myserable wretche (quoth hee)
what curssed starre dyd raygne,
When I my fatall thred of lyfe
by nature did obtayne:
I woulde to god Lachesys had
my fatall thred vntayed,
Before I knew that vnkynde wretche
whych hath me now vpbrayed.
¶ Thus syghyng in his harte be sayd
but no man could espye,
For whom he sorrowed in such sorte
in care and and mysery:
At length one dyd demaund of hym
in what place he was borne,
And howe he traueyled had so farre
with cotes so rent and torne.
¶ In Carthagye good syr he sayde
my mother dyd me bare,
And in my youthfull tyme and dayes
full well I lyued thare:
But fortune with her fatall wheele
my good lucke dyd enuye,
And therwith on Alfagus hee
dyd caste a sorowfull eye.
¶ With indignation much and braste
into great syghes wyth all,
Wherby aboundantly the feares
downe from his eyes dyd fall:
Whych when Alfagus did beholde
esspyeng eke also,
A marke vppon his vysage whyche
of certayne hee did kno.
¶ It was Archelaus his deere freinde
consyderyng therwythall,
That by some euyll aduenture hee
into that case dyd fall:
Sodenly from his seate hee rose
and kneeled on his knee,
Before the iudges all and sayde
my Lordes gyue eare to mee.
¶ This man my selfe I slewe quoth he
of olde rancour and hate,
The which renewed was by vs
of malyce now of late:
This man is gyltlesse of the thynge
he is a straunger here,
For in the eyes of all men nowe
ryght well it may appeete.
¶ That he is desperate in his mynde
and careth not for to dye,
And to abreue his sorowes hee
doth not the facte denie:
[Page] He doth confesse the fact wherof
he is moste innocent,
And so to fynysh his sorowfull dayes
that is his hole intent.
¶ Wherfore the sentence gyne on mee
accordyng to my deede:
And haue accordyng to the lawe
some shamefull death with speede
Archelaus then perceauyng that
contrary to his expectatyon,
His freind Alfagus did begin
to make there such relacion.
¶ And how he offered for to dye
some shamefull death, and so
Delyuer hym from the death to whiche
full lyke he was to go:
He more importunatlye dyd crye
for iudgement to be done,
And that they would proceede on hym
lyke as they had begonne.
¶ For I am be withouten fayle
that dyd thys man dystroye,
And as he walked by the waye
withouten companye:
I dyd suppose to haue of hym
some Juels ryche and sayre,
And started sadeynly from a bushe
before that hee was ware.
¶ Geuyng hym his deadly wound
wherby I myght at ease,
S [...]rche him well in euery place
to do euen as I please:
But when I had destroyed hym so,
it dyd me not auayle,
For there no ryches coulde I fynde
my purpose I dyd fayle.
¶ And beyng then ryght sore in feare
least any shoulde espye,
This cruell deede that I had done
full faste I dyd me hye:
Into the barne where I was founde
to reste me for a whyle,
But I had watched longe before
and sleepe did me begyle.
¶ So that before I was a ware
full faste on sleepe I laye,
And had the knyfe styll in my hande
the which that man dyd slaye:
The officers will confesse it so
I muste needes dye therfore,
And thus he called for his death
on them still more and more.
¶ Alfagus dyd deny those wordes
and sayde he dyd but fayne,
He doth inuent these wordes quoth hee
the man he hath not slayne:
[Page] For if that he had done the deede
hee would haue fled awaye,
And not haue tarryed in the place
wher as he did him slaye.
¶ Sum other thynge was in hys mynde
when he did drawe hys knyfe,
By desperate minde perhappes he thought
to haue tyd his owne lyfe:
Is that a weapon lyke to fyght
or kyll a man wyth all,
No no my Lordes it is not so
the knyfe is very small.
¶ And he is lyke a Palmer poore
which beggeth by the waye,
Not lyke a Ruffen you may see
his coates are nothyng gay:
It was euen I that slewe the man
the cause I tolde before,
Of olde hate which betweene vs was
and kept so long in store.
¶ For as in that place all alone
a huntynge I dyd ryde,
By euell aduenture in the waye
the man there I espyed:
And thynkyng that no bertter tyme
I myght auenged bee,
But then when as we were alone
and no man els to see.
¶ I drewe my sworde without delaye
and vnto him I sayde,
Thou vy [...]layne nowe to fynde the here
I am ryght well apayde:
And therwithall on hym I layd
without respect or care,
That so denly his deadly wounde
he had or I was ware.
¶ Which when I sawe out of the waye
I drewe hym by and by,
I tooke my horse in all the haste
and homwardes faste did flye:
This thyng is true whych I haue sayde
the lawe now let me haue,
Why do ye deferre of so longe
no man my lyfe maye saue.
¶ Archelaus sayd it was not so
but he the man dyd slaye,
Alfagus dyd withstand it tho
and did hym styll denaye:
Thus argued they longe tyme for death
who myght the other saue,
Aboundaytly theyr teares they shed
with wishyng for theyr graue.
¶ Wherat the Senat and people all
was wonderouslye abasht,
Not knowing what the thing might mean
but stoode full sore agast.

¶ The murtherer beinge mooued wyth pyttie de­clareth the trueth. Alfagus taketh Archelaus home to his house, much sorowful for his aduenture. The people reioyce yt the trueth is knowen, and the murtherer is set at ly­bertie.

Cap. ix.

NOw he which was ye theefe in deede
and murthered had the man
Dyd here this thing & in the prease
amonge the folke dyd stand:
Who then perceyuyng in his harte
the marueylous great contencion,
Of these two persons which was nought
but of theyr owne inuencion.
¶ He knew they were full innocente
in that which they dyd saye,
yet one to saue the others lyfe
would not the deede denaye:
And that it was proceded of
a freindship most incomparable,
By ardent loue on both sydes set,
so fyrme and eke vnuaryable.
¶ Most veymently prouoked he was
the truth for to dysclose,
So through the prease he breaketh fast
and to the barre he gose:
Before the Senate and people all
whereas without delaye,
His voyce hee lyfted vp on hye
and vnto them dyd saye.
¶ Ryght noble fathers wyse and sage
to you it is well knowen,
That I am nowe and hath ben e [...]e
full many years a gone:
A comon Barator and a theefe
and eke is knowen to you,
Alfagus is of noble bloode
and of excelent vertue.
¶ Approued alwayes for a man
both noble wyse and sage,
¶ Discended as you know ryght well
of great and hygh lynage:
And neuer towardes man nor wyfe
malycyous was his mynde,
By anye outward sygne at all
that euer wit coulde fynde.
¶ This other stranger eke also
doth seeme a man to be,
Of sober lyfe hauyng hys harte
full of symplycytie:
And that is more desperate of mynde
for some great greuous payne,
Which he hath taken in him selfe
by fortunes frownyng brayne.
¶ And euydently vnto your eyes
ryght well it may appeare,
As also it doth vnto all
the people that he here:
[Page] Moste reuerent fathers in this thynge
my harte doth now relent,
For vnto you I do confesse
these are both innocente.
¶ I am the parson which dyd slaye,
and murther eke the man,
Whych was found dead, now of late
with colour pale and wan:
I robbed hym of all his goulde
and syluer euery deale,
As I was wonte with others mo [...]
when as I wente to steale.
¶ And in the barne I entred then
whych stood but there harde bye
Thys straunger flat vppon the grounde
full faste on sleepe did lye:
Hauyng by hym a naked knyfe
wherwith the better to speede,
I put it in the dead mans wounde
to hyde my wycked deede.
¶ Which beyng all be rayed with blood
I made no staye ne let,
But to this straunger came agayne
and in his hande it set:
Which thyng when I had done I made
no staye ne let at all,
I hyed me fast awaye and thought,
no harme coulde me befall.
¶ To this mans charge I knew rightwell
all men the deede woulde laye,
And now I do perceiue ryght well
he doth it not denaye:
But pytie so hath moued my harte
that needes I must confesse,
This facte to saue this innocent man
and seeke myne owne dystresse.
¶ Thys was my whole deuyce in deede
your iudgement to with stande,
But now I do commit my lyfe
euen here into your hande:
Rather then this noble man
Alfagus should be slayne,
Or that this innocent straungers lyfe
would ende with greife and payne.
¶ Wherat the Senate and people all
such great comforte did take,
That with the noyse of ioyfull hartes
the whole courte they dyd shake
Alfagus ran to Archelaus then
and in his armes him caught,
O my moste faythfull freind he sayed
why hast thou e [...]e thus sought▪
¶ O why hath fortune delt with thee
so cruelly in dispyte?
Why wouldste thou sende no worde to me
to helpe thee in thy ryght:
[Page] ¶ How could you to this Citie come
and would not seeke for mee,
Why did you thinke I woulde dyspyse
you in your myserye.
¶ No, no, Archelaus in this worlde
god let me neuer lyue,
If for your safegarde all my goods
and lyfe I woulde not gyue:
Declare to mee your great myshap
and how it came to passe,
That you are brought to this distresse
with carefull payne alas.
¶ And therwithall downe from hys eyes
the salte teares fell so faste,
That vnneth coulde hee speake a worde
but if his harte should braste:
Archelaus shed muche teares also
for ioye his freinde to see,
Imbracyng, kyssyng and thankyng hym
wyth great fydelytie.
¶ And sayd my louyng freinde when I
vnto your house shall come,
I will declare my whole estate
to you both all and some:
Through all the Citie publyshed was
this freindshyp moste incomperable,
Of Alfagus and Archelaus which
to them was most commendable.
¶ And so extolled and magnyfied them
euen all the realme throughout,
That by the mouthes of euery man
theyr fame was spred about:
Fynally at the instance of
Alfagus and also,
The sute of all the people made
vnto the Senate tho.
¶ The theefe was pardoned of his facte
and freely sent awaye,
With charge nomore to do the lyke
to no man nyght nor daye:
Alfagus Archelaus lead
vnto his house anon,
And ryche aparell on his backe
he caused to do on.
¶ Unto Andrmyca of all men
most welcome then was hee,
Shee kyssed and imbraced hym
with much fayre curtesye:
And sayde my louynge freind most deare
what spytefull foes did raygne,
To brynge you in such myserye
by force and great disdayne.
¶ But be you of good comfort syth
God hath you hyther sent,
And all the goodes shalbe as yours
which God to vs hath lent:
[Page] Yea quoth Alfagus with my harte
I wyshe it should be so,
If that ye wyll abyde wyth mee
and no more homewardes go.
¶ But Archelaus my deare freind
fayne woulde I here you tell,
The cause whye from your countrey so
your foes dyd you expell.

Archelaus showethe Alfagus all hys troubles and myserye, who sorowfully lamented hys case. And hauyng prouyded a great Army, went with Archelaus to Carthage, where he flew and ponished all hys foes, & settyng hys freind in quyet rest, returneth againe to Roome.

Cap. x.

O My dere freind Archelaus sayde
I will to you declare,
How that dyspytefully my [...]oes
oppressed me with care:
When that your Ladye Andromyca
and you departed was
From Carthegy where manye yeres
in pastyme we dyd passe.
¶ Your Ladyes kyn and myne also
conspyred such dysdayne,
That all the meanes & wayes they sought
how that I myght be slayne:
[Page] But when they culd fynd nought that way
to do mee such outrage,
They sought another kinde of trade
theyr malyce to aswage.
¶ And fyrste expulsed me from the seate
where counsell I dyd gyue,
But thinkyng that was not y [...]onghe
so well to let me lyue:
Prohybetid from mee then
all honest companye,
And yet not b [...]yng so content
theyr wrath to pacefye.
Adiudged me not worthy to
enioye my fathers lande,
Ne nothyng els which as you know
dyd fall into my hande:
For why sayd they he dooth disdaine
his fathers parentage,
And will not bee aruled by
our counsell wyse and sage.
¶ But leaueth of the Ladie whom
for him with care we sought,
With shame he hath begyled vs
Alfagus hath her cought:
My goods and landes all that I had
they tooke from me therfore,
No not a garment for my backe
they woulde to mee restore.
¶ But almost naked lyke a man
whome fortune dyd dyspyse,
They draue me from the Citie in
the moste dyspytefull wyse:
And no man coulde I fynde that once
woulde seeke my helpe or ayde,
For those in whom I trusted moste
hath cheifly me vpbrayde.
¶ Then wandred I vp and downe we care
and mysery sore opprest,
To begge my bread constraynde I was
no place I founde of rest:
At length through trauelyng long wt paine
I came thys Cytie to,
And ioyfull was my harte as then
in hope to speke with you.
¶ But when I came your palyce nye
beholdynge it so gaye,
I was ashamed to approche
and to my selfe did saye:
I will abyde without the gates
and tarrye for a space,
Perhaps I shall or it be longe
beholde by fortunes grace.
¶ My freinde Alfagus come this waye
so then hee shall mee see,
And as I was deuysyng thus
the best waye that myght bee:
I did espye you come and eke
your Ladye in your hande,
[Page] Whych made my harte full glad, and I
vppon my feete did stande.
¶ That so you myght beholde me as
ye passed by the waye,
But as you passed by and sawe
me clad in such araye:
No mynde on mee ye had at all
whych made mee to surmyse,
That for my poore estate I had
you dyd me now dyspyse.
¶ And in a sounde for care I fell
opprest wyth mortall woo,
But beyng then reuy [...]ed agayne
I thought foorthwyth to goo [...]
Moste lyke a beast about the worlde
to wander vp and downe,
And drewe my knyfe to slaye my selfe
wher as nowe I was founde.
¶ But god withstood that cruell deede
so I on sleepe dyd fall,
And helde the knyfe styll whych I thought
to slaye my selfe with all.
O freynd Archelaus, Alfagus sayde
my harte may not endure,
To heare the wofull state you had
my death it wyll procure.
¶ I am the cheifest cause of thys
alas why dyd I so,
O spytefull eyes, where was your syght
[Page] when as you could not know
My deere freinde standynge in the waye
in hope to haue releefe,
Alas, alas, vnto my harte
how terryble is the greefe.
¶ But when Archelaus sawe hys freinde
Alfagus to relent,
And inwardly with doulfull teares
his neclygence repente:
Moste louyngly imbraced hym,
and sayde my freynde be styll,
Leaue of your sorowfull syghes ye make
your vysage for to spyll.
¶ The thyngs which nowe are past & gone
no man may call agayne,
Why hurte you now your selfe therfore
and weepe with greuous payne:
I knowe ryght well no faulte in you
in this thynge was at all,
But my owne neclygence causeth moste
of this vnluckye fall.
¶ For if my wyt had byn so good
when as you paste me bye,
To haue declared what I was
and eke my myserie:
I had not felte the halfe of this
whych now I dyd sustayne,
But syth the thynge is paste of it
to talke it is but vayne.
¶ My freind Archelaus Alfagus sayde
to god gyue prayse alwaye,
Who hath you helped in your cares
vnto this present daye:
And looke what thynge there lyeth in mee
demaunde and you shall haue,
My lyfe and goods I will not spare
you my freinde for to saue.
¶ If that you wyll abyde in Roome
and dwell here styll with mee,
My house, my goods, my landes and all
euen as your owne shall bee:
In felowwyp we will remayne
as longe we wonted were,
To ryde and go both daye and nyght
for you I will not spare.
¶ My leuyng freind Archelaus sayde
I thanke you hartelye,
For this your kyndnes to me shewed
of my parte vnworthye:
But I intende to go agayne
my countrey to beholde,
If of your helpe and ayde therin
to craue I myght be bolde.
¶ All that is myne Alfagus sayde
as I haue tolde before,
Ye may cōmaunde now at this tyme
and shall do euer more:
And sith it is your mynde to go
into your owne countree,
[Page] You shall haue all the ayde and helpe
that can be made by mee.
¶ In haste I will prouyde therfore
an Armye fearce and stoute,
Whom I to Carthage wyll conducte
to hunte those rebells oute:
Not one of them there shall escape
vnponyshed for the thynge,
So that all Carthage rounde aboute
of theyr desarte shall rynge.
¶ The Senate by aucthorytie then
theyr Romayne Hoste dyd call,
And twenty thousand men in raye
they set both stronge and tall,
Whych were on horsebacke poynted well
for to resyste their foo,
And eke as many foote men stood
in redynes to goo.
¶ Alfagus tooke his leaue then of
Andromyca his Ladye,
And Archelaus he dyd conducte
strayght vnto Carthagye:
Where as by force of powre he slewe
and ponyshed those that he,
Myght here or learne by any meane
Archelaus foes to be.
¶ And those also which dyd dysdayne▪
to helpe him in his neede,
Alfagus ponyshed sundry wyse
[Page] accordynge to theyr meede:
And set hys freind Archelaus cheefe
in dygnytye to raygne,
Aboue those which in Carthagye
the Citie dyd mayntayne.
¶ Restorynge to hym all the lande
and goods he had before,
Agmented by the death of them
which hated hym before:
Now when Alfagus had done thys
and set in quyet peace,
Hys deere freinde Archelaus whom
wyth goods he did increase.
¶ He made the Senatours all to sweare
obedyence for to gyue,
To his freynde Archelaus whylste
he theare on earth dyd lyue:
And no man for to be so boulde
hys counsell to dyspyse,
But take hym as he is, a man
both noble sage and wyse.
¶ Thys done and all thynge set at reste
the beste waye that myght bee,
He sayde freynd Archelaus nowe
come take your leaue of mee:
For I must needes to Roome agayne
myne armye to conuaye,
And you I shall not see no more
agayne thys many a daye.
¶ O freind Alfagus Archelaus sayde
[Page] great kyndnes you haue showed,
On mee, and I may thynke my loue
on you right well bestowed:
I gyue you harty thankes therfore
no better mendes I make,
But looke what lyeth in me to do
I am redye for your sake.
¶ Sease of those wordes Alfagus sayde
my louynge freinde moste dere,
And better then your selfe let mee
not to your eyes appeare:
For thankynge mee in thys my payne
now taken for your sake,
Is nothyng but as vnto you
a symylytude I shall make.
¶ Which is euen as though my left hande
my ryght hand thankes shoulde gyue,
For sekyng helpe when it was hurte
the wounde for to relyue.
Wee are as one you knowe ryght well
and euer more will bee,
And looke what anye man doth for you
he doth it eke for me.
¶ For if one member the bodye to ayde
doth seeke with all indeuer,
To finde some redye for to heale
and cure hys payne for euer:
Doth he ought but his duty then
euen so my freynde haue I,
And still do whyle my life doth last
though for you I shulde dye.
¶ In deede quoth Archelaus then
of ryght it shoulde be so,
And syth it is your mynde so soone
to Roome wardes ye will go:
The gods conduct you on your waye
accordyngeto your mynde,
And sende you quyet passage that
no daunger you may fynde.
¶ Commend me to your Ladye fayre
and thus I take my leaue,
With that he caste his armes abrode
hys freinde for to receaue:
He kyssed him sweetlye then and sayde
farewell my hartes delyght,
Farewell my louyng frende on whom
I thynke both daye and nyght.
¶ Alfagus kyssed hym also
with the lyke salutacyon,
And saide the hoste is redy, I haue
no longer delyberacion:
But must nedes now departe from you
the Gods ye helpe and guyde
And ther with all amongst the route
vppon hys horse dyd ryde.
¶ Who in short space to Rome was brought
with great magnyfycye,
And was receyued ioyously of
And dromyca his Lady.
¶ Finis. ꝙ. E. Jenynges.

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