ARIANA

ARIANA
IN TWO PARTS Translated out of French and prsented to my Lo: Chamber Sold by Tho: Walkley at ye flying horse neare yorke House

Melintus

Ariana

ARIANA.

IN Two Parts.

AS IT WAS TRANS­LATED OUT OF THE FRENCH, and presented to my LORD CHAMBERLAINE.

[printer's or publisher's device]

LONDON: Printed by John Haviland, for Thomas Walkley. 1636.

To the LADIES.

FAire sex, to whom Nature hath given what she had most rich and lovely, spring of most agreeable de­lights, that hold in your faire hands the Empire of the Universe, since you command over men, and di­stribute to them at your pleasures, either good or bad fortune; 'tis to you alone I present this worke; I ad­dresse it to the most delicate objects of the earth; and as you are that which most pleases in the world, so is it you also I desire most to please. If the very power of love depends not but on yours, whatsoever appertaines to it, owes no homage but to you; and these adventures that are effects of Ladies beautie, are not to be offered but to those that may produce the like. I hope there is not one amongst you that will not finde here how to passe away some houres with pleasure. The severest will not be offended that this booke speakes to them of love, and will not feare, as they read it, to tell themselves that they would be loth to heare from the mouthes of men. Those that suffer onely to be loved without loving, and will have much respect and ceremony, shall here find such Lovers as they desire: And those that are softer, and who to ease the flames of their servants are willing to take a part of them, shall have some satisfaction to see their owne passions here authoriz'd by examples. But because a­mongst those that love, there are some constant, and some wanderers, and this booke altogether takes part with the first, I should feare lest the other side might not take offence to see their humour ill intreated, if I did not give them reasons to defend themselves against those that are alleaged in this worke. The most severest Judges would finde it a hard matter to resolve which is more commendable, either to know how to keep a passion in spight of fortunes traverses, or to change it to good purpose. It is indeed a very glorious thing to make an invincible love appeare, that feares neither heaven nor earth, that is the stronger for very opposition, and that would not be shaken by the ruine of the whole world. Such af­fections as these cannot be so perfect, but that they are founded upon ver­tue; and reason having bred them, they must of necessity last alwayes, it being impossible that what was once reason, should be so no more. There is none but must confesse this kinde of loving admirable, but it is as rare withall. The most part of loves grow of light causes, a little charme sur­prizes the eies, and takes from them the knowledge of many defects. Con­stancy [Page] in these affections in without doubt more vicious than change; and very often they call inconstancy, that which in effect is but a judicious retrait. Change is sometimes a vertue more strong, and more couragious than Constancie it selfe. 'Tis by it one tames a passion of many yeares, and repaires all the disorder that was in the soule. Men that have alwayes more cause to love, fall least into inconstancy; and Ladies that find in us so many defaults, do oftentimes by reason, & by a generous striving, that they are thought to do but out of weaknesse. The law that forbids change, is only more rigorous for us: for it seemes we are oblig'd to suffer to the very extremity, rather than be unfaithfull; and women are excusable for changing the least unquietnesse love gives them. Constancy is a quality too serious, and too melancholike, for so agreeable and delightfull a sex. That which destroyes beauty, ought to be detested amongst you, as much as old age or sicknesse. This same Constancy would appeare valiant in you, and capable to support vexations, at the charge of your richest treasures. 'Tis shee that extinguishes that lively brightnesse of the eyes, that effa­ces the colour, that ruines the good looke; and that to gaine you the glo­ry of loving well, makes you lose the other of being loved. Lightnesse hath much more jollity and charmes; and if by some cruell accident in love there must happen one of these two changes, either of the wit, or of the beauty, you may very well be pardoned, if you chose that which preserves the thing in the world you account dearest. And these are the reasons the inconstant may allege; they that follow the lawes of fidelity shall finde enough in the book to answer them. I counsell every one of you to continue in the opinion that is most conformable to her humour; and demand of you this grace onely, that those that are pleas'd to be unfaithfull, blame not the austere fidelities they shall finde here describ'd, and that those that love constancy, accuse not the inconstant. But I stay you, while peradven­ture you are impatient to entertaine Ariana. I leave you then with her; and yet before quitting of you, I must advertise you that she is somthing bashfull, because she hath alwaies bin shut up, and never yet seene the world; and that if you desire her entertainment should divert you, you must not addresse you to her altogether, to learne her adventures. Shee could not then tell which of you to satisfie, and in the tumult would lose many of her graces. Take her each of you apart into some retired place, and then giving her attention and silence, she wil freely recount to you all her life, and tell the very least of her thoughts. She cannot love noise, or assemblies, since repose and solitude gave birth to her.

ARIANA.
THE FIRST PART.

ROme began to resent with griefe the violences and fu­ries of Nero, after having suffered with patience the first debauches of his youth: and the people that was proud with the spoyles of all the world, groned under the cru­elties of that Prince; when Fortune was pleas'd to bring forth accidents to crosse the most vertuous affections of the earth, and suffer'd that the Cirque, where Combats were made onely for pompe and recreation, should bee watered with blood by a detestable treason. But that basenesse could not have its full effect, and was not left unrevenged, for that by a prosperous fore­sight of heaven, those who were appointed to assault, were prevented by a terrour, which taking from them their courage and judgement, preserv'd the lives of those that were ordain'd to destruction. Two young Sicilians going by night through the City, one of them carried by love, the other out of compla [...]sance onely for his friend, and passing neere the Cirque with foure or five of their traine, after they had made a noyse with their swords upon some designe they had, were set upon by a troope of men at Armes, whose disorder made them rather seeme persons affrighted, than resolute for the lives of those strangers: Neverthelesse, their number was such, that had it not beene for the extreme valour they encountred, they would soone have made themselves free passage: But they that were assail'd, being igno­rant of their purpose, shewed such dexterity and valour, that after a great fight, the other party was constrain'd to say, It was the Emperour.

At that name the strangers gave the day over, when they had done a thou­sand actions too brave to have had no other light but the Moones; and let their enemies retire: But they remain'd so charg'd with wounds, that one of them fell downe presently in a sowne for losse of blood, and the other going to helpe his friend, was surpriz'd with a like faintnesse.

Their servants, who melted into teares to see their valiant Masters in that [Page 2] extremity, were preparing to lift them up from the place to carry them to their houses, when two Ladies richly clothed, and whose beauty received a lustre from the Torches that two young boyes carried before them, came thither with their servants to learne the cause of the noyse they had heard before their lodging; but seeing those that lay along upon the place, and knowing them to be the brave Melintus, and the generous Palamedes; the love Emilia had to Melintus put her into an extreme sorrow to see him for her occasion in so deplorable an estate; and Camilla gave some teares to Pa­lamedes misfortune, of whom she knew she was so passionately loved.

These two Sisters after they had a long time express'd their griefe, caused the bodies to be carried home to their house, to make tryall of remedies that might make them come to themselves againe, and put them in seve­rall places into beds becomming the richesse and luxuriousnesse of that age.

And there Melintus by the assistance of Emilia returning as it were from a profound sleepe, and at last opening his eyes, asked where Palamede was. Emilia that knew well their friendship, told him hee was not farre off, and that he was hurt as well as himselfe; but if it pleas'd the gods, they were both in no great danger. Then he intreated Emilia that she would let him goe see him: But she would in no wise suffer him, because he might not yet rise for his wounds; and was satisfied in this to assure him that hee was in the next Chamber in as great need of rest as he. Leave me then, said he, to my rest, I pray you; and not able to endure the sight of her, he turn'd himselfe to the other side of the bed.

Emilia being gone, he beganne thus to complaine to himselfe: Ah, Pa­lamed, what faults doe I incurre by your friendship, against the purenesse of my love! Was not my feining to love Emilia, at your request, insupportable enough to me, but it must still draw on more disasters! What couldst thou expect but vengeance from the gods, after thou hadst so often betrayed my soule, forcing my words to be contrary to all my thoughts? In stead of orde­ring all that is in me by a common consent to adore but one thing, I have permitted a division within my selfe, my mouth and actions sacrificing to false Deities, while my thoughts ador'd but one most pure and holy one. But for all this could I deny Palamede any thing? or could my love refuse to bee forced thus for his sake, that was Author of it? And when hee desir'd my helpe, should I have alleag'd the severity of our Lawes, to brand my selfe with ingratitude? Alas! how hard is it to live exempt from blame; and how oft for satisfying one duty, doe men quit the consideration of another? At least thou my Soule wilt witnesse for me, and thou Divinity that art present to my remembrance, that if my words have given a respect to any other thing, my thoughts have still disavow'd them, and despis'd such subjects unworthy of their consideration, and farre differing from the perfect cause of my affection.

Hee stayd himselfe some while upon that conceit that gave him comfort: then seeing in how many places he was hurt, hee continued thus thinking: Must the wounds of that true affection I labour under be invisible, while for a disguis'd love, I beare so true and visible hurts? hurts sometimes marks of glory, but to me shamefull; how shall I conceale you from my offended love? Fortune that my constancy despis'd, hath not lost the occasion at what [Page] time my actions might well be blam'd for infidelity: and after shee had gra­ven on me by these wounds the eternall remembrance of that same encoun­ter, in spight of my designes hath brought mee to these beds I so carefully avoyded. But, Fortune doe what thou canst, thou shalt never make my soule consent to lose the quality of loving well. I am reveng'd of thee by despising thy favours so desired of others: one while thou presentst me them under the charmes of sweetnesse and facilitie: another while thou lead'st me to them by the force of thy inevitable accidents, for to ruine in mee a perfection that scornes thy Empire: And I have nothing to oppose them with, but the me­mory of the beauty I love, for to render all their devices unprofitable. No, no, deceiver, never hope to have mee forsake this constancy thou art enemy to; thou mayst well make my affection unfortunate, but thou shalt never be able to make it decline so much as one degree from that height it hath at­tain'd.

Such different thoughts tormented or comforted his Spirit as it received each kind of them, and entertain'd him till the next day, when hee found himselfe constrain'd to keepe his bed because of his wounds, although there was none of them mortall. But Palamede was a great while longer without shewing any signe of life, but that his heart did yet beat: Neverthelesse, by force of medicines they made his sight returne at last, and his wounds being searcht were found very dangerous.

These two friends had a great estimation at Rome for their Nobility ac­companied with many admirable qualities, and acquir'd the friendship of all that loved vertue, since their honest desire to see the seat of the Empire had caus'd them to follow an Embassie which the Syracusians sent to Nero, to be eas'd of certaine new impositions. They had made themselves recommen­dable in that employment, and gain'd the glory to bee accounted the most accomplish'd men in the world, but yet by differing qualities; Melintus that had a wise, and perfectly discreet spirit, was the more reserv'd, and more op­portunely manifested his naturall vertues, and those Sciences he had learned: But Palamede was the prompter and more undertaking, yet with such grace, that for the most part his designes ended in a prosperous and glori­ous issue.

They were both of them exceedingly faire and handsome: Melintus was the higher, and of a freer making; his haire, which he wore long & curl'd, was something browne, and besides he had certaine Charmes in his face, with such a pleasing Majesty, that made him lov'd and respected of all that beheld him. Palamede was flaxen hair'd, his face and body of more fulnesse, with a fashion alwayes cheerely▪ and who seemed but seldome to entertaine his mind with care or troubles.

Otho a Knight of Rome, that was afterwards Emperour, was at that time the most powerfull in credit with Nero, and hee above all others esteem'd their friendship, and had favour'd the beginning of their reputation at Rome by making it appeare that they were the two famous Sycilians of whom there was ever report made in the newes that came thither of the victories of Corbulo, Lieutenant of the Emperour, against the Parthians; under whose conduct they had given proofes of a most excellent valour. Many times were they the first that mounted at assaults, and leapt downe together from the [Page 4] top of walls into besieg'd Townes, to shew the way to the Souldiers: ma­ny times were they the cause of winning battels, by opening the thickest Squadrons with furious blowes of their Javelins and Swords which nothing was able to resist: In such sort that they were endear'd to all Gentlemen, and admir'd by the people, being knowne to be of the most ancient houses of Greece, adorn'd with many rare qualities, and amongst the rest with a va­lour that did alike render them lovely and redoubted.

But Fortune jealous of a vertue so high that shee fear'd it might sometime have the mastery of her, was pleas'd to crosse their lives by her most cruell rancontres; for not content to have reduc'd them so neere their end, shee provok'd the fury of Nero against them, and made him resolve to send to kill them in their lodging, so to revenge himselfe for the accident happened to him the night before. They scarce beganne to ope their eyes to see the day light, when some came to advertise Melintus of that cruell purpose, which would give them no long time to enjoy their life. But all was conceal'd from Palamede, who was in a state sufficiently miserable, without adding to it the feare of that evill that must presently give him so unfortunate a cure. Me­lintus knew besides that the night combat hapned by an Ambuscado that was laid for them by Nero himselfe under the direction of Marcellin, and that the Emperour had beene hurt in the hand, and Marcellin in the arme.

This man was one of the chiefest Ministers of the passions of that young Prince, whose love to Camilla, and jealousie of Palamede, made him attempt the dispatch of him and Melintus, and so give pastime to Nero, who was de­lighted to walke up and downe by night, fighting with, and killing all hee met. Marcellin having faild that first bout, and seeing the Emperour anima­ted to revenge himselfe of his wound, sufferd not his rage to be cooled, but resolv'd on this, that a Tribune by night should goe with guards to massacre them in Maximus his house, whither they thought them retir'd, because that was the place where they liv'd.

This newes that might have daunted the boldest spirits, wrought no asto­nishment in Melintus, who being too couragious to feare death, prepar'd him­selfe to receive it, being uncapable for his wounds either to resist, or flye: for although the Emperour at that time knew not where they were, yet that must needs quickly come to his knowledge. That heape of deadly mishaps filled the house with sorrow: some were dumbe with amazement, others desperate to see their losse inevitable: Emilia and Camilla would not be com­forted, and could not dissemble before all to expresse the excesse of their griefe. Onely Melintus continued invincible against so many mis-fortunes, admir'd of by all that saw him so well prepared to suffer without dread the blowes of Fortune.

Arcas, Melintus slave, who never forsooke his Master from his youth, and had alwayes beene a witnesse of his extreme vertue, and valiant actions, see­med to have drawne profit from so faire an example, for he was very coura­geous, and had formed in him so great an affection towards Melintus, that no­thing could parallel the care he had to his service.

This slave could not consider the constant face of his Master, and the ex­tremity of his miserie, but that his heart overprest must needs send forth teares into his eyes. In the end, inspir'd by some God, or carried away by [Page] his owne courage, he was bold to propose, that if the place where they were could be for a while conceald, he would assure their lives, and that no more search should be made for them. They would know of him what meanes he had invented; but he bade them onely be carefull of that hee had declar'd, and they should presently know the effect of his resolution. He went instant­ly out of Emilia's house, towards Maximus his, having along with him another slave only that belong'd to Palamede, called Nisus, whom hee was assur'd was as affectionate as he for the safety of his Master. When they were come thi­ther, and shut close within Melintus and Palamed's Chamber, Arcas sayes to him; Nisus, I have made choyce of thee to assist mee in the designe I have thought on for the saving our Masters lives: I am resolv'd to dye for Melin­tus, and if thou hast courage enough, thou shalt dye too for Palamede. Nisus without being amaz'd, ask'd him what was to be done? Arcas answers, Wee will each of us take a sute of clothes of theirs, and for feare we be discover'd by those that shall come from Nero, we will have Helmets on our heads, and wee'le arme our selves with swords and poynards as of set purpose either to defend our selves, or else to fell our lives deare, when they shall enter the Chamber: after we have resisted a while, wee may disfigure our face with blowes of our poynards as we receive our deaths, and so soule it with blood and wounds, that we shall be taken for our Masters, and so appease the Em­perours vengeance, who will no more thinke of the matter. Nisus standing mute, and musing on the order of this invention, Arcas beleev'd hee had not resolution enough for so brave a deed, and said to him; What, Nisus, doubtst thou to dye for a cause that shall make us the fairest examples of courage and fidelity in the world? Hadst thou rather live in the basest condition of men, than dye as the most renowned of the age? having so vertuous and valiant Masters, have we not so much learn'd as to doe an action wherein they may be imitated by us? Nisus interrupted him, saying, Arcas leave off perswa­ding mee, I am as resolute to dye as you. In vaine have I exprest so conti­nued affection to Palamede, if I should not shew it now in the most important occasion of his life: thou shalt see with what joy I will entertaine death: and my soule should goe her way with more content, if before her depart, shee might know that our Masters were in safety. The gods, replyed Arcas, will doe the rest, let but us doe our duty: we cannot but dye well satisfied; for if they be to dye, our surviving them would be impossible; and if wee pre­serve them, what glory will it be, to be commended by them as long as they live? Nisus, let us doe a deed in our life time that hath nothing of the slave in it, and declare that fortune at the least hath not taken from us the liberty of dying.

Hereupon the two faithfull servants embrac'd one another, and being pro­vided of clothes, helmes and swords, they resolv'd to attend death in that Chamber where they should be sought for.

Though the night was not yet very neare, yet for all that their courage abated not, but entertaining themselves with the admirable parts of their Masters, they were the more animated to dye for them, and conceiv'd their end glorious. At the length the house was incompassed with Souldiers, the Tribune enters with fifty of the Emperours guard, and speaks to Maximus, who told them, the two Sycilian friends were not in his house, yet for all [Page 6] that he obey'd the Commission for breaking ope the Chambers. Into Me­lintus his they enter, and find the two slaves, worthy eternall memory, each of them with a sword and a poynard, and their helmets on, whom they tooke to be Melintus and Palamede, that resolv'd to dye, their Armes in their hands. The Tribune that came in but with three souldiers onely, seeing that he was stayed by them; What, sayes he, dare you resist Nero? But they answering nothing, set upon them, and shewed themselves along time worthy servants of so valiant Masters: Neverthelesse, their designe being to dye, and not to defend themselves, they gave them no more blowes but what they judg'd sufficient to make their dissimulation the more probable. The Roman soul­diers who increas'd in number, and wanted neither Art nor Courage, had ea­sily the better of them; and in the end Nisus being borne to the ground by many strokes, and making as though he oppos'd himselfe to those that were assaulting Arcas, to represent the dearenesse of their Masters, gave himselfe three or foure blowes with his poynard on the face, not being perceived. In the meane while they heard a voyce crying from without, to save their lives, and that Nero commanded it. That cry stayed the Souldiers, and presently Otho entring the Chamber, made himselfe knowne, and said, he brought the grace that the Emperour gave them. He embrac'd Arcas in Melintus clothes, and rejoyced he had escap'd that danger: But at the same time Nisus dyed, which made him extremely sorrowfull that he came no sooner: Arcas prayd him to cause the Souldiers retire, that they might speake in secret together; and when they were alone, he puts off his head-peece, which surpriz'd Otho in a great amazement▪ but hee soone eas'd him of it, by declaring who hee was, and the plot that he had laid with Nisus. Otho admiring such resoluti­on, gave a thousand praises to so great loyalty, and made as many wishes that the soule of Nisus might meet with a place worthy of so brave an action. After care had beene taken of Nisus his body, he prayed Arcas to carry him where Melintus was, and that he would weare the same clothes still. So they went presently out of the house, but in stead of re-assuring those of Emilia's house, they put them all into a terror at their first entry, for that Otho brought a great traine with him, and they were taken to be Nero's Souldiers that had found where the two friends were; yet after that Otho and Arcas had de­clar'd themselves, the trouble was a little appeas'd till they had spoken with Melintus. Otho first of all presented to him Arcas, and seeing him in a won­der to behold him in that attire, he made a relation to him of his generous resolution that was admir'd of all. Then Melintus bade him come neere his bed, and embrac'd him a good while, the poore slave not being able to pro­nounce one word, so much joy had he, rather to see his Master out of dan­ger, than that he himselfe was left alive. After that, Otho told how happily he came to understand towards night the command that was given out a­gainst them by the instigation of Marcelline, without his knowledge, as hee was also ignorant of the night combat: and how he had presently gone to Nero, and represented to him the merits of those he would destroy: that he had knowne them well to be more discreet than to have offended his Maje­sty: that Marcelline was to be suspected that perhaps for some difference be­twixt them▪ had design'd their destruction; and that he was more in fault than they to make the Emperour serve his passions, without dreaming that the [Page] glory of so great a Prince might be stain'd with the reproach of having put so valiant men to death. That in the end having caus'd the command to bee revok'd, hee would come thither himselfe in haste for feare the execution should have beene too sudden. He told him next the griefe he had at his first comming into the Chamber, to see one of them already dead upon the place: after that his mistake, going to embrace Arcas for Melintus: yet hee vowed withall, that his action deserv'd well other respects. Melintus after hee had given him thanks for all the cares he was beholding to him for, enfranchis'd Arcas in his presence, and promis'd him greater rewards at his returne into Sicily. That change of accidents set joy into the place of preceding appre­hensions, Otho having assur'd him, that as long as he should have any power, they should live securely at Rome. Melintus oblieg'd by so great favours, be­ing more satisfied for his friends safety than his owne, testified by the most affectionate words he could make choyce of, in what sort he had gaind them to himselfe. Otho that was of the most noble and courteous among the Ro­mans, made an honest reply to his civilities, and for feare of troubling him any more, because he spake with paine, tooke leave of him, without seeing Pa­lamede, who was in no state to be visited.

When he was gone away, Melintus impatient of seeing his friend, and tel­ling him all had passed, rose up, did Emilia what she could to hinder him, who very carefully assisted: but being in the Chamber▪ he was forbid to speake with him by the advice of the Chirurgions, signifying what danger he was in. Melintus beganne inwardly to curse those unfortunate women that lost him so deare a person, and with griefe beheld the faire Camilla neere his bed, who spared no paines to ease him: But yet Palamede drawing the Cur­taine perceiv'd Melintus, and desir'd him to come neere; afterwards intreating Camilla to leave them alone together, she withdrew her selfe: Then Melin­tus being set, with a very feeble voyce he spake thus: I was never able to thinke I could apprehend death, yet never was there any man more loth to dye than I: I find that I am farre off from the best father, and the sweetest sister in the world, and I dye for a cause that will ever be disapproved of my deare Melintus. It is the greatest displeasure that can accompany mee to my grave, that I followed not the counsell of so vertuous a friend, but constraind his prudence to obey the transports of my youthfull fancies. If the gods are resolv'd rather to take my life from me, than make me wise by these acci­dents, I submit to their justice, praying them to give you another friend as affectionate, but more moderate than I: Yet if your friendship cannot easily change the subject of it, I have another my selfe whom I may well call more deserving than I: I leave behind me a sister whom I desire you to love, if al­ready, as I beleeve, you have not esteem'd her worthy your affection. I know your merits be above hers, but yet I am assur'd, she will never give her selfe to any man of lesse worth than you. This consolation I shall have at least after my death, when I shall know that with the goods I am to leave her, she is to possesse the greatest I was able to procure. The first words of Pala­mede had possest with sadnesse the soule of Melintus, and his eyes with teares; but the last surpriz'd him with astonishment; not thinking that Palamede had ever had knowledge of the secret love hee had to the faire Ariana his sister, and not willing to avow it, seeing shee her selfe would not have it dis­cover'd [Page 8] at all to any, he contented himselfe to give him this answer.

It were not possible for me to have more joy, receiving so deare witnesses of your friendship, if the occasion thereof were not so unfortunate: But I cannot choose but give you thankes for the first, and regret the other: and I will yet hope, that the gods will not so soone separate us; but that the oc­casion of my discontent shall cease, and I long time enjoy the affection of so perfect a friend. If the estate wherein you are, suffer'd me to accuse you, I might complaine of you for beleeving that I could ever blame your actions: If at any time I have dislik'd them, it was rather because my humour was con­trary to them than my reason. Cure your selfe onely, and imagine not of gi­ving me any person that may hold your place. I would not conceive the like thought of you, that after me you could love any thing. Melintus conceal'd so violent and respectfull a passion for Ariana. that he durst not pronounce her name, nor speake one word of her, and so left off his discourse. Palamede when he had stayd a while, said to him, And what say you to my sister? This, replyed Melintus, is a matter that I find so farre above my merits, that I can­not thin [...]e upon it without presumption; and besides that, Aristides your fa­ther hath his designes more high in all reason; wherefore I content my selfe to honour her with all the respect I may. Palamede would have answer'd this, but Melintus told him, that hee could no longer endure to heare him speake with so much paine, and desir'd hee would remit that discourse to another time, and rest himselfe for feare of some greater danger. I will make but one request to you, said Palamede, to send into Sicily as speedily as you can to my father: it may be I shall be alive yet some dayes, in which time hee may be here with my sister, or at least render me the last duties of a friend, if my death prevent their arrive: I have no greater wish than this, that I may see them before I dye. Melintus tooke that occasion to leave him, after telling him that he went instantly to dispatch one of his men; and that hee hoped for all that, when they should be come to Rome, they would have more cause to rejoyce for his cure, than to mourne his losse. Then studying how hee should write for putting Aristides and Ariana into too much feare, he deter­min'd to dissemble his griefe as much as might be, and wrote these Letters.

Melintus to Aristides.

I Was not able to refuse Palamede this service he desir'd of mee, to advertise you of some wounds he receiv'd in a combat, and to beseech you by the affection you beare him, to come to Rome to him with his sister. The feare he hath to dye without seeing you, was stronger than all the prayers I could make, that hee would not give you so much apprehension and paine. But in satisfying of his desire, diminish your owne feares, and beleeve that your sonne defying all remedies, will not be beholding for his cure, but to your sight.

He put this other apart to be deliver'd in secret to Ariana.

Melintus to Ariana.

IT is with sorrow that I make you understand newes that will a little trouble your mind: Neverthelesse when you shall know that the brother that is so deare to you feares to dye for any wounds, and desires to see you, thinke not this misfortune so neere; but rather that your happy destiny hath brought forth this accident, to have the fairest person of the earth appeare in the chiefe City of the world. You are not to thinke it strange that he will have you gaine this glory with the prejudice of a little feare: you shall there find men to whom love cannot be favourable farre off from Syracusa, and that wait but for your presence to cure them. In the meane time I mistrust no ill for­tune, nor can I judge the cause ill, that shall produce so faire an effect, as the happi­nesse to see you.

Melintus that had not yet dared to make a full discovery of his passion to the faire Ariana, had taken this liberty to write to her since his depart from Syracuse, and for this reason was he permitted to doe it, because Palamede was over negligent, and that she might heare often from them: so as hee spake but insensibly of his affection to her, intermingling covertly that which nea­rest touch'd him in the things that passed, without giving her any cause to accuse him of unadvisednesse. And shee her selfe was very well pleas'd to receive testimonies of his passion without the ingaging of her honour, by feigning ignorance of his designe: and so they did both deceive one ano­ther willingly, if we may call deceit, the secret knowledge they mutually gave of a vertuous and inviolable affection.

After Melintus had clos'd these Letters, hee gave them into the hand of Arcas his faithfull Freeman; and instructing him what was to be done, gave him charge to make all haste, to report Palamedes disaster in such a sort, that they might not be too much affrighted, and to say, that he would have writ­ten himselfe but for a hurt in his hand: then hee went backe againe to his friend, and dispatch'd this bearer in his presence to let him see how he obeyed his request, and to give him this content at least.

Marcellin that had alwayes before made esteeme of Palamede and Melintus because of their merits, and had not declar'd himselfe against them, his jea­lousie having not yet burst forth, full of despight that they had twice escap'd the death he had prepared them, and not thinking that hee was knowne the Author of those treacheries, counterfeited himselfe to be fallen sicke, and sent to know how they did, and that hee was in paine till hee heard from them. When he had learn'd that his chiefest enemy was in the worst con­dition, he sent him an oyntment as an excellent remedy for his wounds▪ but Melintus having receiv'd it, would not have his friend make triall of the Drug, comming from a place so suspect. The faire Camilla sent for a Dog that they presently strucke with a knife, then she made the Oyntment be applyed to the wound, and foure houres after the Dogge was found dead, this composition hauing envenomed the sore, and penetrated in a small time to the very heart.

The knowledge of this treason made Marcellin be as much hated of Ca­milla, as he had before time beene loved; and when he came to see her after [Page 10] his sicknesse, she shewed such displeasure at him, that he well perceived hee was lost with her. Melintus afflicted with his friends evill, though it was not then judg'd mortall, and seeing himselfe constrain'd to feigne a passion for a Lady he loved not, passed a very troublesome life in that house. Emi­lia that could not beleeve these coldnesses and distasts of his proceeded from the small affection he had to her, but rather imputed the cause of them, one while to the misfortune had arriv'd to them, another to his desire of being reveng'd on Marcellin, never ceas'd rendring him her most passionate cares. One day when he was in bed, she said to him; Melintus, It grieves me to see you so sad in a place where it is desired you should be most content. Ma­dam, answered he, the greatest discontent I have, is, to put you to so much trouble, and I could wish you would be pleas'd to remit the paines you take to them that serve us, so I should be eas'd of the halfe of my evill. No, no, Melintus, replied she, hide not your selfe from me, this is not the cause of your griefe, for if you love me, you desire to be loved of mee; and you cannot receive at this time other testimonies of this, than my assistance, so as my paynes must rather be agreeable than troublesome to you. But in good truth, dreame you not of revenging you on Marcellin for the villanies by which he pursues the life of Palamede? Melintus, who was glad to conceale the principall subject of his sorrow, was very well pleas'd at her abuse, and that he might entertaine her still in it, he sayes, Madam, 'Tis true, his trea­sons possesse me with horrour and feare, for I see that he will not leave practi­sing against us, and it will be more difficult for us to warrant our selves from a coward and traytor, than an open and valiant enemy. Leave that care to mee, answered shee, we must by little and little banish him our company, and afterwards wee shall know how to preserve our selves from his designes: my sister already hates him, and this have I gained of her, representing to her how much this fellow is to be detested. There is no doubt, replyed he, but his company is very dangerous, and that sometime or other, those that are of so mischievous a disposition will make others that converse with them partakers of the miseries of their owne lives.

I beginne, though late, sayd Emilia, to see the truth of this you say; for I tooke him for a man capable of doing a mischiefe, yet seeing hee did us so many good offices, I could not beleeve hee would attempt any thing that might occasion our displeasure. I will not, proceeded shee, reproach you with the service I did you in the person of Palamede, making him accepted with my sister: yet I must needs let you see what affection I beare you, and what power I have with her, by estranging Marcellin from her heart, to whom we cannot deny, but we had singular obligations. Whereof, if you have lei­sure, I will make a short relation to you. Melintus who was well content to let her have the talke, desir'd her to take the paines, and shee replyed thus:

Three yeares agoe my sister and I married on one day two Knights of Rome, my sister Decius, and I Antonine: But scarce had six moneths passed, but Decius quitting the affection he had to my sister, fell in love with mee, at least he would make me beleeve so: I discreetly resisted him, because I would not have his intention come to my husbands or my sisters knowledge for in­dangering the friendship that was amongst us, and I hoped also that hee would retire himselfe from it of his owne accord. This mildnesse made him [Page] beleeve that in the end I would let my selfe be gained, and that nothing re­tained me but the affection I had to my husband. On the other side, judging of others by himselfe, he thought Antonine was in love with my sister, and was againe loved of her, because they entertain'd one another familiarly e­nough without any great occasion; whereupon hee conceiv'd so furious a jealousie, that he resolv'd to make them both away, this rage of his being usefull also for the love he made to me, for he pretended to marry me after he had dispatch'd those two persons. One day when wee dined with him, I was amaz'd to be held backe by him, taking me by the arme, as I was going to eat of a dish of meat whereof there was but little in it, and well seasoned to appearance, he feigning to remember me of something he had to say to me, entertain'd me till Antonine and Camilla had eaten the most of that was in the dish, then he made it be taken away. At that time I perceiv'd no­thing at all, but presently after dinner, my sisters young stomacke beganne to worke, and was strong enough to expell the poyson she vomited. Anto­nine that was more in yeares, and had eaten the most of it, finding in like manner some gripings, did what he could to cast out that hee had taken in, but he could never doe it whatsoever remedies were given him, and dyed the day after. The crime and designes of Decius being apparant enough, you may conceive how I was transported to lose a husband I honour'd, and with what fury I attempted to revenge me on him: and hee above all this would have had me attributed his action to the excesse of love he had to mee, and that I was beholding to him for it. But this mad man being not yet satisfied, but desirous to have my sister dye what ever happened, I could then devise of nothing but the preserving of her life by taking her home to me, where I was resolv'd to live free without ever marrying againe. In that time Mar­cellin fell in love with Camilla with so violent passions, that there was nothing he would not have enterpriz'd for her sake: and seeing us ever in teares, my sister and I, she because Decius sought by all meanes to put her to death, and I for the losse I endur'd; he tooke in hand to revenge us both, and to free us for ever from so cruell an enemy. A little while after we understood that Decius had beene slaine in the Appian high-wayes, and Marcellin confessed to us he had caus'd it to be done for our sakes, which gave me a great satisfacti­on, and brought so much ease to my sister, that for recompence she dissem­bled not to give her selfe to him. Since that there hath beene no kind of as­sistances wherewith he hath not pleasur'd us, and for which wee account our selves much oblig'd to him. But to his misfortune went shee on smiling, Me­lintus is come from Syracuse, who furnished with merits that cannot be refus'd any thing, hath made me endevour to pull out of my sisters affection a man that she was much ingaged to, and to set Palamede there in his place. I tell you not these things, to let you see that you are beholding to me, nor yet to entreat you to pardon Marcellin in consideration of us, but that it may appeare to you, that having had so much power over my sister, as to put that person so farre out of her heart, I may be able also to put him as farre out of her sight.

Melintus who heard this discourse with much attention, and in the meane time gave his censure to himselfe of the lives of these women that had cau­sed all those tragedies; not beleeving that all such jealousies happened with­out [Page 12] cause; and knowing that women that live with honour, have not such disordered fortunes, dissembled neverthelesse those thoughts, to give her this answer: Madam, you alwayes give mee so great testimonies of your friendship, that I shall remember them every day of my life: but it is not reasonable that for our occasion you should be ingrate towards Marcelline: I had rather for your sakes pardon him, than you should detest him for mine; one feare have I onely, knowing Marcelline, by your discourse, to be a man of bloud, that we be not forced to goe from Rome, or depriv'd of your sight to avoyd the effects of his hate, and you may judge how unpleasing these two things will be to us. Melintus, said Emilia, doe not thinke of leaving us: I had rather lose Marcelline for ever, than the sight of you one moment. It may be, replide Melintus, Camilla had not the same desire. Assure your selfe, said she, that she for the most part does what I perswade her to. Madam, answe­red Melintus, what ever we doe, it will be the most expedient to dissemble on your part, as well as ours, and in the meane time to keep us to our guards. I beseech you therefore, continued he, to intreat Camilla, that she would not use him so hardly, for making him declare against us, and then we must needs depart this City where hee is too powerfull, and lose you for ever. Emilia ta­king him by the hand, answered, we will doe all you desire, doe you but something in our favour, and love us but as much as we desire to be loved of you. Madam, replied he, it is impossible for me to love you more than I doe, and this I call the gods to witnesse, that know the secret of my soule. I will beleeve this, said she, for my owne satisfaction; then she left him to go tel her sister what they had devis'd together, to keepe them a longwhile with them.

Melintus seeing himselfe alone, beganne to entertaine his thoughts thus: Faire Ariana, what would you say if you were present? Would you accuse me for feigning an affection to Emilia? or would you rather pitty me for the constraint I endure? To accuse mee would be but injustice in you, for dissimulation is here too necessary: and why should you refuse me your pitty, knowing that I suffer so much paine, but for loving you well? But seeing she is not present, how unnecessary are these discourses? This faire creature is now in Sicily, who knowes not my griefes; or if shee imagines I am not exempt from them for her love, shee thinks I am not vexed but with the cares of absence, not being able to fancy this cruell burthen that is come upon mee. Yet for all this why should she not know my troubles? If I love her, is she not in my soule? and if she be there, is she not witnesse of all the torments that accrue to me, for not failing of my fidelity to her? This beau­ty that alwayes forbade me to discover my passion to her, doth not for all that despise it; but desirous to judge with more certainty of it, shee hath lodged her selfe in my very soule, where finding she was loved with so much arden­cie, and adored with so much respect, she leaves not that place, but beholds with joy the crosses which afflict me, as faithfull proofes of my love, and her deserts. What consolation could I have, if my memory did not let mee see as oft as I please, this divine image, without which my life would be insup­portable? Upon this meditation he rested him, and shutting his eyes, to have Ariana's beauties the better represented to him, with all the graces and lights that accompanied them in his imagination, in this pleasing trance hee made these Verses:

REmembrance deare as my desire,
Sweet entertainement of my fire,
Doe not confine me to this place:
But for thee, surely life had left me
Even from the time I left that face,
Which of my liberties bereft me.
Griefe for an absence importunate,
Horrour of being unfortunate,
That intercepts all hope of ever her espying
My violent desires, where no effects are gained,
My cares, my furies barre my life to be sustained;
But thy lovely object doth forbid me dying,
Dresse thy selfe then with all thy charmes,
And glister in thy fairest Armes,
Happy subject of my torment:
Reigne alone within my memory,
And sustaine my dayes extent
For my love onely and thy glory.
Divinest imge of my faire one,
A trusty consort, and rare one.
Who still to follow me had dreaded no distresse;
Who tak'st not in disdaine my lot of misery,
Cast from thy splendour but one beame to comfort me,
And dissipate the cares that vex my quietnesse,
Then my Soule in part relieved
Of the evils she was grieved,
Shall live content with thy decree:
Thou shalt be securely feared,
And in a place pure like to thee,
Please thy selfe to be adored.
I perceive my cloud to separate,
Already, this same heavenly pourtrait
Dispels my troubles with her Soveraigne-ruling eye;
Shall I e're well endure the brightnesse of her light?
Now I see her, now she comes entirely to my sight,
As faire as Phoebus seemes within the elearest skye.
Victorious of all my paines,
Heavenly Bewty that ordaines
Such happinesse for all my woe,
Now that such a rare delight
Makes me forget all my sorrow,
Let nothing take thee from my sight.
I care not much in this content
Though they prepare me punishment,
Although they doe conspire besides my life to take:
Full of repose, my thoughts I'le have in order placed,
While they consider thee, and hold thee still embraced,
Since that's the onely good my passion can partake.

While Melintus was carried away with the sweetnesse of his imaginati­ons, Emilia was come to her sister into Palamedes Chamber, and had inter­rupted a discourse that was very agreeable to them: Camilla already over­come with the love and good grace of Palamede, and finding moreover that she was transported with pitty to see him so ill for hersake, had thus addrest her selfe to him: Palamede, what thing can be capable at this time to give satisfaction to your mind, and comfort to your griefes? Your presence, sayes he, Madam, which causes in mee these two effects: for although Fortune hath handled me cruelly enough, I know not how to be angry with her, in what case soever she hath led me hither to give me the happinesse of seeing you at all times. But I would not, answer'd she, have you buy my favours at this price often, for then my good will would be farre more cruell than all the rigours you could receive: Well, see what it is you desire of mee: your affection, sayes hee, which I demand but of grace, though it may seeme I have purchas'd it with my bloud. You should not be here, replyes she, if this affection were not yours already: but I will assure you besides by an oath I make you, to banish from me what ever you would have me, to love but you onely. Palamede willing to thanke her, tooke her hand, and lift up his head from the bolster in paine to kisse it. Camilla making as though she would have placed him right againe as he was, for feare he might take harme, came neare him with her head, and kiss'd him; and because that, at the same time hee gave a straine that made him feele a shooting in all his wounds; Oh gods, said he, what envious Demon thus intermingles paine with joy? Then Camilla bowed downe, and kissing him againe, said; I will not have you be the last in paine. Madam, sayes he, I am asham'd to let you goe all the way, but if I were cur'd, you should not thus prevent mee. We must, sayes shee, take pit­ty of the sicke, and doe for them what they would willingly doe themselves in another season. Madam, answers hee, if it please you sometimes to take this paines for me, I promise to returne you foure times as much when I am in health. I will not ingage you, replies shee, in so great debts, that you shall never be able afterwards to pay me. I sweare to you, sayes hee, that as soone as I am well, these scores shall the first be acquitted. Emilia surpriz'd them in this loving entertainment, and after some common discourse, shee adver­tis'd them what Melintus and she had consulted of concerning Marcelline: but just as they were speaking together, there came a messenger to Palamede from his father with these Letters.

Aristides to Palamede.

MY Sonne, I doubt not but Rome hath wonders enow to stay you there all your life: but consider that you have a father that loves you, and would be glad to see you againe; and a sister whose marriage is but now resolv'd on with Amyntas, [Page 15] and who waits but your returne to deliberate upon the happinesse and repose of her life: leave therefore all things, for our sakes, and come home to enjoy our friendship, if it be still at least deare to you.

Ariana that lov'd Melintus, though she would not he should know it, had foreseene that this Letter might produce great perturbations in his minde; and therefore shee accompanied it with this other which shee wrote to her brother, knowing well, he would not faile to shew him either of them. Pala­mede, when he had read the first, opened his sisters Letter, which was thus:

Ariana to Palamede.

MY deare Brother; you will much wonder that my designes should be differing from my fathers: but I will tell you thus much, that you need not hasten your returne for the newes he sends you: for I attend you but for this, to declare that I will never marry Amintas for some reasons I shall let you know hereafter. It is therefore in your choyce to come, or not to come, as it will be one day in mine to determine with whom I am to live.

Palamede was of opinion that the reasons of his sister, which made her as­sume this liberty of speech, and leave her accustomed modesty, must needs be important. Then he sent for Melintus to communicate the Letters with him. And he presently rose from his bed, and came to him; and the sisters leaving them alone, Melintus tooke the letters out of Palamedes hand, and could not choose but change colour sometimes as he read them: which Palamede ob­serv'd well enough, but knowing he desir'd to keepe secret his affection, hee was wel content to favor this discretion of his, since he lov'd to live after that fashion and so was resolv'd never to enquire for any knowledge in that mat­ter, but at what time Melintus should think it seasonable; so much respect had he to this vertuous friend of his: When he perceiv'd he had done reading, that he might keep him from suspecting of his regarding of any thing, he preven­ted him thus: The letters you sent them since the dispatch of these▪ will make our excuses, if we should so suddenly goe to them. The excuses, answered Melintus, are very lawfull, but yet they will not be very acceptable to them; and now I finde you past all danger, I repent me, that I obeyed you, and gave them so much feare. My sister, replies Palamede, will not be angry, that I have given her this occasion to see Italy: but that they may finde us both in good estate, returne you to your bed againe, for I am sure you have need of rest, for the paines you have taken for me.

Melintus went backe againe to his Chamber, where being alone he thanked Ariana in his mind, for the care she had taken to send this letter to secure him from feare, well perceiving it was rather addrest to him than to her brother: and judging more to his own advantage of the state of his loves, than he durst have hoped heretofore, hee was resolv'd to endure patiently the constraints wherein he found himselfe obliged to Emilia: and his wounds being clos'd up ag [...]ne, he employ'd all his time with his friend. Wherein he was so care­full, that Palamede with the helpe of the Ladies was in case to be able to lift himselfe up, though it were still not without much paine.

ARIANA. The Second Booke.

WHen Melintus was most comforted for the health his friend reco­ver'd, he was himselfe surpriz'd with a fever. The losse of blood he had sustained, the watchings, and labour he had endur'd du­ring the extremity of Palamedes sicknesse, had so weakned him, with the cares he was tormented with, that his body was not able to resist so much paine. This accident renued Emilia's feares for his life, and she blam'd her selfe for suffering him to be so carefully diligent about Pa­lamede: Neverthelesse, with the remedies they applied, that Fever was not very violent.

It was at that time that newes was brought them, how Aristides and the faire Ariana were arriv'd, and dyed for impatience of seeing them. Palamede could hardly yet goe, but was made to be carried to Melintus bed, and was desirous his father should finde him up, to remove feare from him at this first enterview; yet for all this, he was very sorry the lot was fallen upon his friend at that time. Emilia was sitting upon the bed, little thinking that Melintus at that occasion saw her but with regret in the place, and Camilla was entertai­ning Palamede, when Aristides came in, followed with the faire Ariana.

After he had embrac'd his sonne, and exprest to him the joy he conceiv'd to find him a great deale better than he look't for, Ariana tooke off the vaile that hid her face, and discover'd such beauties that she dazell'd all those that beheld her. Shee had a sweet Majesty, that filled mens minds with admirati­on and astonishment: her complexion was delicate, and of a bright white­nesse: her eyes sent forth a lively and delicious light, and conspir'd with the pleasing features of her face to compose a charme to amuse reason with plea­sure, while they tooke her captive. It seemed the center of her faire cheeks was red by the nearenesse to the fire of her eyes, or else that the blood was retir'd into so small a space, to offend as little as might be the purity of her whitenesse: her haire was flaxen, and curl'd into rings, her shape slender, and her fashion grave and modest: and withall, her clothes after the Sicilian fashion did so well accompany all these graces, that there was not any one, but was ravish'd in seeing her. She was followed by a young Gentlewoman call'd Epicharis, that waited on her, whose beauty had beene consider'd, but for [Page] Ariana's, and who had sometime beene lov'd of Palamede.

This view caus'd very different effects in the place, for it possess'd Palamede with joy to see his deare sister: Melintus with admiration, and at the same in­stant with shame to be found among those Ladies, who though handsome, were most unworthy, as he thought them, of his love: and he fear'd that Aria­na gave a judgement of him, which would greatly wrong the opinion she had conceiv'd of him. Emilia and Camilla consider'd her rather with the eyes of envy, than admiration; but Camilla having no cause to be jealous of her, because shee possess'd her brother, gave up that paine wholly to Emilia, who failed not to marke the changes of Melintus and Ariana, and from thence ga­ther'd consequences which ruin'd her dearest hopes.

Ariana her selfe was not able to hinder the appearance of the trouble her thoughts had brought her to, if she had not beene assisted by the occasion of going to kisse her brother, by whom shee stayed the longer, to have her red­nesse past, whilest her father was speaking to Melintus: after that, being re­assur'd as much as was necessary, when Aristides had taken his sonne apart to entertaine him, shee addrest her selfe to the sicke man, who at her ap­proach felt the motions of a thousand differing passions. Shee thank'd him for the cares he had taken for her brother, and pray'd him to suffer, that shee might give him the like assistances, for to satisfie so many obligations. Faire Ariana, said Melintus, you are borne to command, and not to serve: your presence is sufficient in a place to drive away from it all kinds of evill: and since your arrive I find my selfe so eas'd, that I hope I shall not bee any lon­ger trouble some to these Ladies I have receiv'd so many good offices from. Although all these words were so many deadly blowes to the designes of E­milia, yet she would needs mingle her selfe at this discourse, and answer him, That persons of their worth could never be importune: that there was much more appearance, that he should be weary in being with her: that shee well saw Ariana came to deprive them of that they had so carefully conserv'd: But yet in what place soever they were, they should never meet with hearts so affectionate to their service. These last words shee pronounced with some trouble, which obliged Melintus to say to her; Be sure, Madam, you have not so ill an opinion of us, to beleeve one may so easily escape out of your hands. Then seeing she stood mute, as full of astonishment, and to give her respit to come to her selfe againe, he pursues; I am assur'd that Ariana, acknowledging here so much brights, and beauties, and seeing us on all sides encompassed with fires, must of necessity feare for our sakes, judging well how difficult it is to avoyd the faire desires you give birth to, and all those torments that accompany them. Besides, the evill that retaines us in this place, is the least of these we are sensible of: you would not be so diligent in curing that you are the cause of, and is the greatest: But for all that, I will not use reproaches against persons we are so beholding to: it shall suffice me to tell you, that you are too assur'd of our engagement, seeing that beside what we owe your me­rits, fortune was willing to binde us for ever to you for so many carefull as­sistances.

These words restor'd a little the spirit of Emilia; and Melintus thought it sitting so to dissemble, for not provoking her, and give themselves meanes to retire from them: withall, he spake those words in such a fashion, that [Page 18] Ariana knew it was but feigned, for if the discourse had beene true, he would not so confidently have uttered it before her: Neverthelesse shee could not but feare, and was preparing her selfe to heare Emilia's answer at the very time that Aristides that was speaking to Palamede on the other side, interrup­ted them as he return'd to them.

This good father was very joyfull to see his sonne out of danger; but yet he was not over-well pleas'd to finde him in that place with voluptuous and magnificent women: though being discreet and of a good nature, he made no appearance of it; and after he had enquir'd of his sonne the cause that brought him to that house, he advertis'd him to goe out as soone as he could from the place where he had beene so troublesome; then not to seeme un­civill, he turned [...]owards Camilla and Emilia, to witnesse to them how hee had a heart that acknowledg'd the favours he had receiv'd from them in the per­son of his sonne. Ariana left him her place, and went to find her deare bro­ther, whom she desired passionately to have alone, to know all that had ha [...] ­ned to them during their voyage. Palamede seeing that Melintus was prepa­ring to make the same rehearsall to Aristides, said to his sister, that if shee de­sir'd to know all the particulars of it, it were necessary for them to withdraw into the next Chamber, because he could learne her many things that Melin­tus his discretion would not permit him to tell, especially before those Ladies who made up a great part of their adventures. And besides, he was not wil­ling that Epicharis should be present, for feare she might heare of his infideli­ties: and when they were alone together, he began thus:

History of Palamede, Melintus, Emilia, and Camilla.

DEare sister, my humor being so welknown to you, I beleeve you are al in a readinesse to understand many follies, when you desire to know what my life has beene, since I left Sicily. And sometimes as I am considering up­on my unruly dispositions, I thanke the gods for having given mee a sister, whose vertue oftentimes reclaimes me by her example, and a friend whose good counsels correct my evill inclinations, and are remedies for those errors my pronenesse makes me incurre: I will tell you therefore that from Syra­cuse to Rome no very remarkable thing arriv'd to us: neverthelesse we wanted not recreation; for the pleasant wit of Melintus produc'd such merry occur­rences, that our Ambassadours themselves could not live without us, and having had experience of his vivacity and prudence, and some freedome in me, they deliberated of nothing, without communicating it to us. So wee came into this City, where Melintus delayed not long to bee made knowne, and to gaine us the friendship of those that held an estimation of honour and good birth. By little and little we put our selves into the knowledge of the most powerfull men, of whom there were but few that were not pleas'd to be visited by us; yea, many times they came to seeke us out for to goe toge­ther to the publike exercises, and to enjoy our conversation: wherein I ad­mir'd the force of Melintus worth, that made homage to bee given it in an age so corrupted.

I vow to you, that the stately glory and magnificence of Rome beganne to dazell mee: I despis'd our Townes, and the rarest things I had ever seene [Page] in Greece or Asia: I found nothing so majesticall as the Emperours Court, no­thing so grave as that August Senate, nothing so pompous as the Roman La­dies, which appear'd to me so many Princesses: In the end I forgat all that ever I had heretofore accounted wonderfull, to tye my selfe to these rich ob­jects, and admire them: but in stead of abasing mee by the consideration of their greatnesse, my courage was bold to advance it selfe close to them, and to pretend to make me considerable even with the most illustrious.

Melintus regarded all these things with another eye, and in stead of advan­cing himselfe to them by admiration and astonishment, he abased them under him, yet not by too severe a wisdome, but by a wholesome knowledge of the vanity of these grandeurs, which he could make no esteeme of, but when they served for ornaments to vertue.

You know that my heart cannot long time endure without passion, and ha­ving left with the ayre of my Countrey, the affections also I had there, I thought the time long, till I were already engag'd in the search of some one of those great Ladies, with whom I promis'd my selfe more felicity than the gods themselves taste of.

One day when they carried us to the Theatre to see the spectacles, I happe­ned to be very neere to two Ladies, whose beauty presently drew my eyes that way, and they were so fastened on that consideration, that Melintus being aware of my great attention, pass'd his hand before my sight, and said to me laughing; You are seeking to have your selfe hurt, beleeve me, and retire your selfe. I was at that time ingag'd in the choyce I was to make of one of these two, and that surprize did something divert me from my thoughts, though not from my designe; I confess'd to him that I found them very handsome, and that I would be very desirous to be able to come neere to them; but the prease was so great about them, that that was impossible for me. They were set upon rich seats, having cushions under their armes, and under their feet; and that delicatenesse pleas'd me infinitely: they that were about them did their duties with such respect to them, that this very honour added yet much more to the estimation I beganne to have of them. She that was nearest me seem'd to have more sweetnesse, and more familiarly to treat those that spake to her: The other appear'd more severe, and of an humour to usurpe a great Empire over them that sought to serve her. For me that desire not to employ so many dayes in the pursuit, and when the quality of these La­dies, and the quantity of suters perswaded that I should but lose my labour, I was resolv'd for her I found most easie, and that seem'd also to have some­thing in her more agreeable. I enquir'd after their names, and learn'd how they were call'd Emilia and Camilla, two sisters, widowes, whose beauties were of a very high estimation at Rome; the one of them, which was Emilia, had not any favourite in appearance, using contemptuously all her lovers, and governing her selfe with much discretion: and the other that was nearest, call'd Camilla, amongst those that serv'd her, had the rumour to bee entirely possess'd by Marcellin, one most powerfull neare the Emperour.

The authority of this rivall a little amaz'd me, but yet it made me not dis­courag'd, but contrary I beleev'd I might more easily obtaine a good that was granted to another: and when I was at my lodging, I beganne to muse and walke about a great pace: Melintus, that had observ'd how I had staid [Page 20] my selfe long upon Camilla's face, set him also to walke up and downe, and muse as I did, and after many turnes he came neere me, and said, Hide not from mee your thoughts, and I will tell you mine: Never, said I to him, have I conceal'd any thing from you. I will tell you then, sayes hee, that within these three or foure houres I am extremely in love. And so am I also, answer'd I. Can that be possible, replyes he? But may I tell you the subject of my affection? As freely, said I to him, as I shall tell you mine: I love, saies he, one of those Ladies that sate neare us at the Theater: I answer'd him, and so doe I; but which of them pleases you best? Shee that shall please you least, said he to me. But I assur'd him that I would alwayes receive law from him, so farre was I from prescribing him any thing. I will tell you then, continued he, that I love Camilla. I said to him, a little astonish'd, and I also; then recomforting me, I added, but for a small matter you shall give me at my returne, I quit her to you, upon condition you will assist mee to gaine Emilia. And I, sayes he to me laughing, give you both of them for the interest I pretend in them. Then, comming to my selfe, and knowing he would mocke me, I said to him, that he would thinke himselfe wronged to have these Dames accounted worthy of him: But for my part I was not so delicate, and would ever seeke out pleasures proportionable to my hu­mour, and my power. I feare me, said he, lest your humour carries you to a place where your power shall not be receiv'd: then seriously he represented to me the troublesome encounters I should meet with in that pursuit, that same Lady being pre-possest, and that rivall too powerfull, and already in possession: but these difficulties rather increas'd my desire, than his reasons diminished it.

Therefore I studied the meanes to have entrance into her house, and that was not very hard for me, for the two sisters refus'd not persons of honest quality the accesse to it, and so by the intercession of one of our friends, wee were soone receiv'd with honour. Melintus was not there any long time, but be made himselfe be knowne for a most compleat Gentleman, and beloved, as in all other places he frequents.

I never envied at the esteeme was made of him, but yet I was angry that he that had the least designe was best entertain'd: yet my free humour was not very disagreeable to Camilla: Shee lov'd to laugh, and I am none of the saddest: she was delighted to heare me play on the Harpe, and many times mingled her voyce with my sounds, which thing got mee a little familiarity with her. When I would have opened the matter of my affection to her, she receiv'd at first my words as comming from courtesie that obliged me to ex­presse the particular estimation I had of her: but because I would not leave her in that opinion, and desir'd shee might be assur'd of the violence of my passion, I said to her, Madam, you have not a beauty that will be lov'd onely for good fashion sake. I beseech you to beleeve for a truth, that as you are the fairest, so I am the most passionate of the world, and that no consideration shall ever hinder me to dye at your service. Camilla seeing she was to answer these speeches otherwise than shee had done the other, said coldly to mee, that it was but a very little while that she knew mee, to bee assur'd of my hu­mour: and that she would teach me hers, which was to know well how to punish those that abus'd her freedome, and take away the favours shee had [Page] granted them, when they beganne to seeke for other favours they ought not to pretend to. These words which I understood not, a little amaz'd me, ne­verthelesse I said to her presently; And my humour also, Madam, shall bee, never to love any but you, what ever rigour it shall please you to declare. The comming in of Marcelin brake off that discourse, yet as she rose up she said besides to me; If you be wise you will change your speech and de­signe, and so left mee as much confounded as I had beene all my life time.

A little after I went out, leaving Marcelin with Camilla, and Melintus with Emilia. Shee, as you have seene, exceeds not her sister in beauty, but much in wit, and knowledge how to get credit and authority over them that ordinarily see her, and Camilla too leaves her selfe wholly to be gover­ned by her.

Melintus in the evening returning home where I was, found mee studying the wayes to gaine the good graces of Emilia, so to attaine those of her si­sters, and casting upon a thousand fancies, one while on the condition of my fortune which I found so broken downe; another while on the meanes of relieving it. Seeing mee so sad and pensive, he came to tell me, little drea­ming of my displeasure, that he beganne to be of this minde, that one could not be happy without loving. I said to him, that this happinesse is often mixt with bitternesse: for all that, saies he, I see you so well pleas'd, and passe such sweet houres with Camilla; but to me that can find here no beauty to please me, entertainments of women are but punishments. Then I look'd upon him, and seeing he could not hinder himselfe from laughing, I cryed out, Ha! Melintus, mocke not at the afflicted: is this the care you ought to have of helping me, and one of the effects of that friendship you promis'd me, for to please your selfe in augmenting my griefe? This is not my ayme, sayes he to me, to torment you, but to make you know, that you are to follow my ad­vice another time. I confest to him that I had beene faulty, but since I was entred into that streight, I must either passe through it, or dye. And what helpe, sayes Melintus to me? Your selfe, answered I. If this meanes, sayes he to mee, be as profitable to you, as it is sure, I account you already very happy: you are but to propose that you desire I should doe. Feigne your selfe, sayes I to him, to be in love with Emilia, and having acquir'd her good graces, oblige her to give me part in her sisters. Doe you beleeve, sayes hee, that I can doe that with Emilia, which you cannot with Camilla? or that I may obtaine by a fained, that which you cannot by a reall affection? Doe but try to love her, said I, in deed, and you will take pleasure to serve my turne and your owne also. He answer'd me, if I be as unfortunate as you, who shall comfort us then? I am assur'd, said I, you will not be so, for already Emilia admires the good qualities are in you, and will without doubt joyfully re­ceive the offer of your service. I did never, sayes hee, observe any thing in me that might give me this presumption, yet I confesse that I cannot esteeme of that is in her, nor love a thing that has so many faults, as there are in those kind of women that give entertainment to all commers, and whose vanity, avariciousnesse, and impudence are insufferable: well for all that, after I had let him speake many things against these women, I knew so well to worke the forcing of his humour for my sake, that in the end hee promis'd mee to feine a loving of her, since nothing but his paines remain'd to serve me, with­out [Page 22] out feare to engage himselfe, and assur'd me that he would employ all the ad­vantages he could have, to favour my purposes, not willing to pretend any other favour for his services.

It cannot be, Ariana interrupted him, but Melintus is a despiser of women, to have had so much trouble to be resolv'd of sacrificing some houres for your contentment. It is not, replied Palamede, that he despises them: for he never is wanting to give that honour and esteeme that is due to those he sees, but I beleeve that to this day he has not found any thing that deserves to be perfectly lov'd of him, and that a vertuous man as he is, is not pleas'd to speake one thing, and meane another: and in that very thing I was assur'd of the friendship he bare to mee: for against his owne mind he so counterfeited to give himselfe to Emilia, that I thought he had beene in love indeed. It may be, replied Ariana, the counterfeiting turn'd into earnest, and this dis­dainfull man finding facility and sweetnesse would not contemne that good fortune was presented to him. You shall heare, continues Palamede, in what sort he us'd his advantages.

Emilia untill then had made nothing appeare to all her lovers, but con­tempt, and indifferency, yea some had shee handled with so much cruelty, that despaire had reduc'd them to extreme resolutions: for there is no doubt but she hath charmes unavoydable to any other but Melintus, and is skill'd in the managing of wits with so much dexterity, that she acquires an absolute command over all that approach her: among the rest she was more continu­ally serv'd by one call'd Trebacius Captaine of the Emperours guard, who for all the passionate duties a lover could performe, had proved all the rigours that a Mistris could inflict: But that woman that had brought forth so much love without receiving any, did at this time take, without giving any.

At first meeting she receiv'd with joy Melintus offers, as a conquest she had desir'd, having then no other plot, but to keepe that acquisition, yea she dis­sembled not to glory of it, and to signifie her contentment to her other lo­vers, the more to provoke them: she us'd them with more cruelty and con­tempt than ever, in such sort that Trebacius not able to indure such sensible objects of ill intreaty and jealousie, was in the end forced to resolve with him­selfe never to see her more. But love that would be reveng'd of all her dis­daines, made her observe so many perfections in Melintus, and sweetnesse in his conversation, that she began to feele cares, and unquietnesse when he was absent, and motions of joy (which were not ordinary with her) when she saw him. She would have rejected those torments, which were not knowne to her but by the complaints of them she had made suffer so much, but it was impossible for her; and in the end she was brought to that passe, to comfort her selfe in this beleefe that Melintus felt no lesse torment for her.

Melintus soone perceiv'd the effect as well of his words, as of his duties, and thought it fit for the good ordering of this advantage that he must faigne not to seeke out of discretion what he shunned out of designe. He gave me advice of all; and we had so order'd the matter, that for not provoking of Marcelin, I was not before him to expresse any purpose for Camilla, but ra­ther to make him beleeve that we had too much respect to him for to enter­prise upon his loves. This assurance wee gave him, and some good offices [Page] wee did him, gained us intirely his friendship, even so farre, that he made report of us to the Emperour, and made him desirous to see us.

Then lived I happy enough, because Melintus willing to avoyd the occasi­ons of being alone with Emilia, that he might not have cause to presse her, had found out a device to deliver himselfe out of that pain, and give mee much commodity and content. For having observ'd that Marcelin made himselfe a states man, and would seeme able to speake upon any kind of sub­ject, yet and sought his entertainment, to make it appeare that he loved no company to that of the learned, at what time Melintus saw him most busie about Camilla, he entred in his discourse with Emilia upon subjects that were very high; and Marcelin lest he might seeme to recule for ignorance, left Ca­milla to joyne himselfe to those discourses which Melintus knew how to pro­long, and then to begin others, wherein Marcelin was so farre ingag'd, that he lost the remembrance of Camilla, and so left me the place free; while Melin­tus also deliver'd himselfe from the discourses he had beene oblig'd to hold with Emilia altogether contrary to his thoughts.

Since the cruell answer Camilla gave mee, I dar'd not take up that lan­guage any more, fearing I might wholly ruine my selfe; only I rendred her little devoires and complaisances, staying till Melintus might oblige Emilia to speake something in my favour: in the end was this occasion presented.

Marcelin had spoken of us to the Emperour, and amongst other of Melin­tus qualities, had commended him for making excellent Greeke verses, and had said of mee that I could play on the Harpe; nay more, that therein wee had beene Victors in Greece at the Olympique games: these were then the dearest pastimes of that Prince, to compose and repeat verses upon the Theatre, and to play and sing in presence of the people, to the envy of those that were acquainted with such exercises. Melintus and I having saluted Nero, he commanded us to prepare our selvès two dayes after to ascend the Treatre with him, and dispute the prizes appointed for the Conquerours.

It was against his will that Melintus resolv'd to obey, and appeare in an action so little becomming the greatnesse of his courage: But yet though it were some shame to see so great a Prince so passionately to seeke for honours so vaine, and so unworthy of his Majesty; when I saw my selfe upon the Theatre proudly clothed, with the chiefest men of the earth, upon cloth of gold and purple; the Emperours guards about us, and an infinite number of people showting with acclamations and applauses, my heart conceiv'd joyes my mouth is not able to expresse. Only I will tell you that Melintus appeared in his rang attir'd like Orpheus, when he went to hell to demand Euridice, and repeated that Elegant Poeme you have sometimes heard him speake of, with which he so ravisht the peoples eares, that the end of his repetition was followed with a thousand acclamations of applause.

I was disguised into Apollo, and had a laurell neare me to represent him when Daphne whom he pursued was chang'd into that tree, and accommodating my voyce to the Musique of my Harpe, I sung these verses.

LOvely daughter of Peneus,
That hadst compel'd mee to thy lure,
And is thy life departed from us,
Into this wood a tree t'endure!
Alas for to avoyd my love,
Thou many cryes to heaven didst send:
Thy voyce hath mov'd the gods above;
A God could never make thee bend.
Lesse quick I wished thee to be;
Heavens smiling when I prayed,
Immoveable by rendring thee,
More than I desir'd, have stayed.
Thy running did me much importune,
Thou wert in dread of my embrace;
And our desires by this thy fortune,
Were heard, and turn'd to our disgrace.
O Daphne! what funest desire
Hath made thee thus the light despise?
Sweet Daphne, or to life retire,
Or else restore my liberties.
Why doe I tempt a thing impossible,
I lose my words that lost my way:
If when a Nymph she was insensible,
These branches heare not what I say.
Let thy leaves be greene for ever
Laurell of my ill glorious:
Let them alwayes my head cover,
And front of the victorious.

Camilla and Emilia were not very farre off us, and I was more pleas'd that Camilla approv'd, with a nod of her head, that I had sung, than with some clapping of hands that followed in my favour. When all had beene presented in their turnes, and they were to judge of the prizes, Nero was proclaim'd Conquerour: Yet the second honours were adjudg'd to us. Melintus receiv'd a crowne of gold inrich'd with diamants and pearles; and I a Harpe adorn'd with a thousand Emeralds, upon whose top is a Lions head with open jawes, and the tongue that comes out of them made of an intire ruby. I wonder, said Ariana, justice should be given to strangers, when in appearance it was not well kept in the person of Nero. If the Judges, replies Palamede, were not so just as they should have beene, the Emperour himselfe corrected their judgement, which thing got him lesse envy, and Melintus the more glory, for having receiv'd the crowne of laurell, he put it upon Melintus head, and to testifie the pleasure he had taken in hearing him recite, he offred him any sute he would make. Melintus, after he had thank't him for so many favour [...] without much considering on the matter demanded of him, as you have heard, the exemption of customes for the City of Syracuse. Nero admiring his generosity for preferring the good of his country to his particular advan­tage, [Page] granted him his request, with other privileges for our City, and gave him many presents besides; and more than that, he gave us the title of Citi­zens of Rome, with all the honour he was able to favour us with.

This Prince hath good intermissions, and sometimes does actions worthy of his greatnesse, but they are presently darkned by a number of prodigious crimes, wherewith he nothing feares to staine the honour of his Majesty: and very often he pleases himselfe, to exercise the greatest cruelties upon those he hath made most of, as but lately his Mother, Burrus, and many others serve for examples, and we our selves a few dayes since were very neere run­ning the like fortune. But let us leave these troublesome thoughts, to pursue the happy adventures arriv'd to us in this famous journey.

When Palamede would have gone forward with his discourse, Ariana and he heard a noise in Melintus chamber, as it had beene of many persons com­ming to visit him. By and by they were ask'd for, because it was Otho that came to take leave of them, going to make a great voyage. And already was he speaking to Melintus in secret, and Palamede being admitted, he learn'd them these sad newes, that he was in disgrace with Nero, that the Emperour was in love with Sabina his wife, and would have her wholly to himselfe, and for that cause sent him to the farthest of all Spaine to governe Lusitania: That it much grieved him to leave them to the mercy of Marcelin, whose favour augmenting with the spoyles of his, it was to be feared they fell not into his power: But that they might securely serve themselves of those friends were left them in Rome, who were not unknowne to them. Melintus deplor'd his misfortune, and exprest to him how great a part they tooke in his disgrace, that depriv'd them of a friend so earnest for their safety. But he was con­strain'd to give over that speech, because Otho regarding nothing was said to him, was so attentive in considering Ariana's marvellous beauty, that nothing could divert him. Palamede said to him, she you looke on is my sister, who is come hither from Sycily with my father, having understood my sicknesse. Otho for all that, ceas'd not to study, having his eyes continually fixt upon Ariana; then all on the suddaine they saw him blush; and a little after that bloud which had dispearc't it selfe upon his cheeks was forc'd to run towards his heart, that would have beene gone to hinder his departing, & left his face without colour. Otho finding himselfe to faint, pray'd Palamede to cary him into his chamber, and that they might be there alone. As soone as they were entred, he let himselfe fall backward upon the bed. Palamede ask'd him what he ailed, but he could not answer. What effect more suddaine and more rare could an excellent beauty produce? But it ought not to be found so strange, considering the divine aspects of Ariana, working on a subject nou­rish't up in delights, and capable to receive easily those strong impressions. Otho in the end after a great sigh, said to Palamede: Ah! deare friend how dangerous was the sight of your sister to mee, and what troubles hath she made mee in so little a time. I did at first meeting receive this sight with so much liking, as it had beene a remedy happily sent from heaven against the displeasures I endur'd: Me thought I entreated that faire face to bring forth a passion in mee, that might dispell the cares of my disgrace, and the cruell regret for Sabina's losse: But wretched exchange, and cure that brings mee death! I lost all in one day, my delights, my honours and the [Page 26] most aspiring hopes of the earth, and having found a subject to be admir'd that might restore to me a thousand times more goods, that I must lose it a­gaine in an instant. I came hither, having my foule troubled with griefes, and found that they were dissipated by the joy that happened to me for the birth of so faire an affection: but presently the consideration of my depart within an houre came to attach this new love, and ordain'd it either to dye, or to be the most unfortunate that ever entred into a heart: for to make it dye, I cannot so much as will the destruction of it: and to conserve it, I know not so strongly how to consent to my owne misery, as to keep a remembrance that would be the more cruel to me in my exile, the more amiable it appear'd. And these are the contrary thoughts, Palamede, that assaulted me all at once with such fury, that they caus'd the disorder you saw me in: Excuse, I pray you, my transportation: I beleeve that this day some starre casts upon me his most malignant influences.

Palamede knew not what to say to him upon so strange an accident: hee would have condol'd his misfortune, had not the cause and remedy so nearely touch'd him: To offer him his sister, shee was not in his disposing: and to promise him assistance neare her, if he had had the will to it, the time was too short for hope to get any advantage by it. In the end he resolv'd with him­selfe to make no overture to him, but to expect it from him, and ask'd him what he desir'd he should doe to serve him. No, no, Palamede, answer'd Otho, be not you in paine to helpe me. I wish to your sister the greatest felicity of the world, so farre am I from willing to make her a companion of my mise­ry: I am a miserable banish'd man, the hatred of heaven, and cast-away of the earth, which scarce affords me one of her extremities to be sustain'd in: no other comfort have I desir'd of you, than that I receiv'd in telling you the extremity of my misery, which never shall be heard spoken of by any be­sides you. Adieu, deare Palamede, enjoy a better fortune: I demand you no other favour but to shew me the way to get out of this lodging without pas­sing by the Chamber where shee is that I have seene too much for my repose. I should feare lest the sight of mee might not offend the happinesse of so ma­ny graces, by the contagion of my mishaps: or else lest her regards which are more cruell to me, might not make my evill incurable by new hurts. I will hope that the remembrance of that I have seene but one moment, may in time be effaced; and I perceive well that I should make it immortall, if I suf­fer'd it to acquire more strength. He besought him after that to make his ex­cuses to Melintus for going his way without seeing him. Palamede protested to him, that he lamented his torment, and that hee was willing to ease him with the losse of his bloud, in satisfaction for so many favours wherewith he had oblig'd them. Otho gave him thanks for his good will, and having learn'd a secret backe way out, tooke leave of him, to carry with him into Spaine a memory of Ariana, which both made the way irksome to him, and a great part of his staying there also; but in the end, his farre remove, time, and his ambition more than all things, cur'd that wound with much adoe, so power­fully does a rare beauty imprint her marks upon a soule that is noble and deli­cate. Palamede being return'd to Melintus, made relation to him of the occa­sion of Otho's trouble, discourses, and resolution. Melintus in his heart was not offended for his remove, seeing himselfe freed from a rivall too puissant, [Page] although he had sorrow to lose a friend so affectionate, and that had hereto­fore so much credit: Neverthelesse he dissembled what he thought, to won­der at so sudden an affection: then after he had said, how it was not needfull to make that accident at all be knowne, Aristides, Emilia, and Camilla came neare, to whom Melintus conceiv'd he might discover Otho's disgrace, seeing it was already divulg'd at Rome: Every one bemoan'd him, because hee had many excellent qualities, and among the rest, a liberality without example.

Palamede tooke his sister againe to tell her what had come to passe, at that time he saw the rest ingag'd in that discourse, and having led her into the o­ther chamber, he made her blush when hee acquainted her with the sudden love of Otho, which matter being not fitting for her to heare continued, shee to breake it off, oblig'd him to finish the history he had bogun, whereof shee was impatient till she had learn'd the end. He consented to what she desir'd, and thus reassum'd his discourse.

I beleeve we were interrupted, when I was telling you, how we went out of the Theater, where we had gotten honour enough, if it were honourable at all there to appeare. After we had left the Emperour, we were accompa­nied to our houses by our friends, and a part of the people: but it was a very long while to me, ere I was rid of so much company, to goe see Camilla. We feined to be weary of the tumult and croud, which made them all take leave of us; and instantly I pray'd Melintus to goe along with mee to the sisters. They were then alone, for Marcelin had waited upon Nero to the Palace; and at our comming, come, sayes Emilia, let us goe receive these Conquerours with the honour is due to them. Melintus putting one knee to the ground, said to her; We come to present these Conquests at your feet, seeing that we hold them of you. Yet did not I, replyes Emilia, compose the verses you recited; and for me, sayes Camilla, I cannot play on the Harpe. The love, said I to her, we have for you, is so powerfull, that it made us vanquish all that is in Rome. It was sufficient, added Melintus, that you favourably look'd upon us, because fortune can refuse nothing to them that have that happi­nesse. The pleasing Camilla replied with her accustom'd mirth, If our eyes obtain'd this victory, I find them to be excellent Poets, and good players on the Harpe. I said to her, they are farre more cunning than wee, for they can make themselves be loved, which we have not bin able to doe yet. This is a difference, said Emilia, we must end in particular, and drawing Melintus apart, left me with the faire Camilla.

When we were set, I was a little astonish'd, not daring yet to speake free­ly of my affection to her: Neverthelesse swollen with the good fortune of my victory, and seeing her looke with a very cheerefull countenance, I sayd to her, that there was no contentment that was not accompanied with dis­pleasure, and at that very time we are accounted most happy, we have often most occasion to complaine of Fortune. It is true, answer'd Camilla, but what cause have you to speake this? Because, said I the people to day thought me well pleas'd, and I find before you my condition very miserable. If that be so, replies she you are to avoyd my presence with great care, and seeke for publike assemblies where Fortune is so favourable to you. But, said I to her, if I cannot wish for happinesse without you, it would be but an untoward way to be happy, to flye from you. If you seeke, said shee, this good, to be e­steem'd [Page 28] of as much as tis possible for a person of your merit to be, you ought not to thinke your selfe miserable with me. The merit, continued I, is not great, when it cannot prevaile to make me belov'd. Your merit, said shee, is powerfull enough, since it makes it selfe belov'd of me. And my person? said I then. I esteeme it, answered shee. Nothing else, replide I. I honour it, ad­ded she. Oh the gods, cried I out, what of honour, what of esteeme, and no love! I know not, said she, what you speake of. Of a thing, answered I, you are not ignorant of, seeing you have learn'd it me so well. 'Tis then, sayes she, a want of will. Wherefore, went I on, will a person of such perfection have this want? ha, well, sayes she, I will have a will for you. But, answered I, I would have a good one. And I will give you, sayes she, an ill one. I replide, Would you then be so cruell? Will you, continued she, that we fall to an a­greement? This, said I, is the favour I demand. Let us part, sayes she, equally, you shall have an indifferent one. I expected some more favourable answer, and replied to her, that I would not have a thing shee was so free of to all the world. Had you rather, sayes she, have particular evils, than common goods? I assur'd her, that I desir'd neither one, nor other: Neverthelesse, answer'd she, you are to choose: and I said to her, I had rather leave you both of them. I will, said she, prevent you, and so she left me, going away towards Emilia, who being angry because she interrupted her discourse with Melintus, ask'd her why she had quitted me. Camilla answered her in laughing, and walking up and downe the chamber, he is a man that pretends to more than one vi­ctory in a day.

I could not tell then whether I should account my selfe happy, or unhap­py, having taken hold on no word that were to my advantage, and yet shee spake all these things with a pleasantnesse, which gave me cause to hope well: and I would have gone to intreat Emilia that she would be Judge of our dif­ference, when Marcelin came in to breake our discourse. We gave place to him, and after some speaking of what had beene done that day, I left him with Camilla, and making shew as if I would have busied my selfe in the meane time upon something, I tooke a Harpe, and sung these verses, which I made heretofore when I lov'd Epicharis.

WHat grace hath she in refusing!
How are her rigours favourable?
And how her eyes by despising,
Produce such torments desirable:
If ever those faire ravishers
Would change their disdaines to pleasures,
What fortune would surmount my glory?
Since being now so full of rigour,
I scarcely thinke that in all story
There is found a happier lover.
Be gone, Despaires, at my command,
Spightfull enemies of my fire,
Give place, and leave t' a gentler hand
The ruling of my soules Empire.
Faire eyes I like your tyranny,
'Tis to you I yeeld me onely;
I feare no more your sweet despights,
Since this you learn'd me I retaine
To recompence as great delights,
The cruelties of your disdaine.
Great God whom all Lovers adore,
How are thy goods unlimited?
Since being pleas'd, or punished,
They love thee ne're the lesse, nor more:
But though my heart well pleased is,
And seemes t'enjoy a perfect blisse,
Yet Love be not thou weary, or leave
The favourizing my desire,
If ills with graces I receive,
What would my pleasures then require?

Camilla perceiv'd well they were addrest to her: yet seeing shee was too much employ'd with Marcelin, I set by the harpe; and Melintus longing to tell me what he had done for mee, advertis'd mee to goe out. I tooke leave therefore with satisfaction sufficient, for that I had made my entrance with Camilla: but the condition of my affaires was yet in better termes on the o­ther side; for being retir'd at home, Melintus told me, how Emilia began to speake thus to him: What thinke you of your fortune to day? That it is favourable, said he, in what least concernes me, and contrary in what I most desire. And what can Melintus wish for, replied Emilia, that he may not ob­taine with those advantages he is possest of? The honour of your good gra­ces, said hee, which I seeke for with such passion. I will not, said she, have it my fault, that this day be not entirely happy to you, for I give you that place in my soule which you can desire there. I receive, said he, this favour, with the submissions I am bound to, acknowledging my selfe unworthy of it, and make an oath upon this faire hand, never to abuse it. Are you content, re­plide she, with me? More, answers Melintus, than I could ever have hoped. But I am not, said shee, satisfied with the present I have made you, but in imitation of the Emperours magnificence, and acknowledgement to your de­serts, that are better knowne to me, than to him, I make offer to you also of what ever shall please you to desire of me, my honour reserv'd. Melintus feigning a joy unhoped for, said to her; Seeing it pleases you to grant me so much grace, I accept it, and to make it appeare that I perfectly love what I have undertaken to serve, I aske you no other favour, but to order the matter so, that Palamedes service may be accepted of Camilla, afterwards I may think of making my selfe happy. I beleeve, said Emilia, that this day you have forgot your selfe, to consider the contentment of others: but seeing this is your request, you shall see in what fashion I will employ me with her: yet for all that, I will not have this be to you in stead of any obligation. Melintus thank'd her for this assurance, and represented her with the paine I was in, and the need I had of her succour, when Camilla forsaking mee, went to [Page 30] breake off their entertainment.

Deare sister, you may imagine, how well pleas'd I was at these newes: for knowing that Emilia desir'd to give greater proofes of her love to Melin­tus, I assur'd my selfe she would let her sister be quiet, untill she had given her good words for me: and I was not deceiv'd with this hope: for I per­ceiv'd, Camilla began to make more esteeme of me; besides, to beleeve these assurances I gave her of my love, and to oblige me by her answers, and in the end to expresse an affection to me: nay one day she told me I had a good friend of her sister. You know me too well, to thinke I would lose these advantages: so I urg'd her in such wise, that by little and little she engag'd her selfe to me, allowing me little favours, whose permission made me an easie way for greater; In such sort, that serving my selfe with the occasion, one day as I found her upon a bed. Ariana, blushing, interrupted him, and said, hold you there, brother, I feare you will tell me things I would not heare. Then said Palamede to her, Sister, I find it very pleasant, you should feare to heare tell of my good fortunes, and be in no apprehension by and by to understand the misery came upon us. I shall ever be glad, said she, to know that all good fortune attends you, but you ought to be silent in these particulars. Palamede replide, how he was not altogether ignorant how it became him to speake to her; and that he was very sory nothing had pass'd that might have oblig'd him to conceale it, for that having found her upon that same bed, he could never obtaine any thing of her, with all his labour and intreaties, whereof he would make no relation, because she was not pleas'd with it: then he went on; I vow, I have not retention enough, long time to conceale a good fortune. I began to be weary of my discretion that bound me to dissemble before the meanest of that house: besides me thinks it were to shew ones selfe unthankfull to fortune, not to publish her benefits, and if I were govern'd by my owne humour, she should never have cause to complaine of me, because I would alwayes make her favours greater by my repetition of them, to confesse my selfe the more beholding to her. Never­thelesse being to follow the advice of Melintus, and commands of Camilla, who fear'd to have our intelligence knowne to Marcelin, because he held her in an Imperious way, I was some while surmounting my selfe, and admiring the discretion I observ'd: But in the end seeing that a chamber-maid nam'd Cyane was for the most part about us, and made me lose the good houres I had pass'd with more freedome, but for her, I resolv'd with my selfe to gaine her, to the end, that if she were an ordinary witnesse, she might also be a complice. I kept me close from Melintus to practise this maid, which I have since repented sufficiently, because without doubt, he had let me seene the misery I went to engage me in. So I made her some presents, whereby I thought her wholly mine, and discover'd to her the good will her Mistresse bare mee. She faign'd to understand this newes with content, and promis'd me her service in what ever I could desire of her. See how capable we are to forget our selves: for thinking her more usefull to mee than any body, I retir'd more in her confidence, than in Melintus his himselfe, and told her all had pass'd with Camilla and I, whereof Marcelin failed not to be adver­tised, as we came afterwards to know. I perceiv'd well he did no more sa­lute mee with that freedome he was wont, but judging no other cause of it [Page 31] but his inequall humour, I omitted not to pursue my fortune and designes. Hitherto had Camilla intertain'd me with hopes, and Melintus had avoided the too-great expressions of Emilia's love: But one morning when we were all foure of us alone together, my impatience prevail'd with mee to conjure Camilla, by my most ardent affections to grant mee a favour, which she from day to day defer'd. Dare you, sayes she, demand so unreasonable a thing, in the presence of my sister and Melintus ? I am assur'd, said I to her, she is of opinion, that a thing promis'd must be paid; and Melintus destrous of the same favour with her, without question will be of my mind: I was willing thus to ingage him against his will, because I knew Camilla would never make me happy, but after his sisters example. Those words oblig'd Melintus to signifie the same desire to Emilia, and the repulse she gave, was rather an oc­casion to him to seeke to vanquish her, than to lose all hope. We left off speaking Camilla and I, to see what they would resolve on, and refer'd to them the cause of all foure, attending eagerly the successe of their dispute: and for all I perceiv'd him to plead but coldly, I would not be perswaded but he would carry it. Yet seeing that Emilia would not wholly agree to a thing Camilla had altogether refus'd, I consider'd there was need of some paines-taking on my part, and so in the end I obtain'd this of her, to referre her selfe to her sisters judgement. I well perceive, sayes Emilia, tis a hard matter to put you off: but that we may be assured whether you shall persist in the same resolution, we give you the rest of the day for terme, and at mid­night you shall come hither all alone by a doore I shall cause to be kept ope: if then you shall give us assurance of the same desires, we will give you that we shall resolve on for your advantage. That favourable decree confirm'd by the consent of the faire Camilla, was entertain'd of me with exceeding joy, and of Melintus with thanks for us both. Ariana taking the word from him, said to her brother, I doubt not, but in his mind he was glad this good fortune offer'd it selfe, without costing him the least unquietnesse. Whether he were scornfull, or no, replied Palamede, you shall know by the sequell: then he went on.

After many thanks wee tooke our leaves of them, but before our going out I advertis'd Cyane of our appointment, that she might take care for our entrance, never dreaming that in one instant I lost what we had obtain'd with so much labour, and words. The remnant of that day me thought houres never pass'd away so slowly, so impatient was I, and seeing Melintus pensive on the other side, I ask't him whether he thought not long till the night came, as well as I. We are meditating, answers he, upon very differing matters. I ask't him the cause; Because, sayes he, that you would already be at the place of assignation, and I am thinking what to doe, not to come there at all. I found him very disdainfull to shunne that that others would with so many vowes desire; he confest to me, he was of a contrary humour, and that he could not resolve to goe to Emilia: This resolution put me into a great wonder, and I began to curse that coldnesse and continency that so cross'd my happinesse: for having had good successe but by his meanes, without him I would promise my selfe nothing: Neverthelesse seeing that surprise had taken my speech from me, with a fashion more remisse he spake to me thus: I beleeve you desire not to compell me to that I am most sen­sible [Page 32] of; also it is not reason I deprive you of a benefit I have gain'd you with so much adoe, and you so ardently desire: A meanes must be invented to content us both. And what meanes, said I, for my part, I cannot expect any fortune, if I be not assisted by you: for thinke you that Emilia will suffer her sister to favour mee, when she sees her selfe despis'd of you? If your passion, sayes he to me, blinded you not, you would consider how I would not propose to find out a remedy that I had not thought on: doe but heare at least, if that I have devis'd be not possible. We will goe at the houre assign'd with some of our men, and counterfeiting a rancounter at the dore, we will take our swords in our hands one against another; and after having made some noyse with our weapons, I will retire my selfe with the rest, as if I were pur­sued, and you shall enter alone into the house, making as if you thought me to be there already: then a while after I will send to tell you, that you be not in paine for me, that I was releiv'd by some of my friends with whom I was, and who would not suffer me to come. And to what end, said I, is all this labour? for me I had much rather come to receive the kindnesses of a faire La­dy. So should I, sayes he to me, if I were Palamede: but since I am Melin­tus, suffer me to live after my owne fashion. I find, said I, that it is but an ill meanes of secret entry into an house, to goe make an uprore at the gate. Nay contrary, said Melintus, if there be any spie there, he will flye away for feare; and nothing will stay in the street, so I find, it needs not be despair'd, that a man may enter into a lodging by this meanes: But, said I to him, this will be alwayes to begin againe: thinke you every night to use the same dis­guise? It is well, sayes he, your foresight goes so farre: Cannot you tell how to keepe that to your selfe, which I shall once have acquir'd you? Consider only for the present, and I shall advise for us both for the time to come: Time will afford us counsell. I agreed at last to what he would.

But consider, my Sister, how vertue, and good counsels are accompanied with prosperity; if it had not beene for this humour and resolution in Melin­tus, wee had beene utterly lost, and yet we failed not to runne into a very great danger. That same Cyane having beene acquainted with the houre of our comming, presently advertis'd Marcelin of it, who provok'd by jealousie and desire of revenge, resolv'd our death, and would serve himselfe with the presence of the Emperour to cover his assassinate. In the evening being at supper with Nero, seeing that Prince somewhat inflam'd with wine, and sing­ing some verses he had made, he said all alowd that some dayes agoe, he was not able to endure the insolence and ingratitude of that Sycilian, who mock'd at the Emperours verses, and every where vanted his owne, for all ac­knowledgement of so many favours he had receiv'd of him. Nero incens'd at these words, for there was nothing that so sensible prick't him as to be slighted in a thing where he affected the greatest glory: In what places, sayes he, does this companion thus use me? I heard him also, answered Marcelin, but two dayes since when he spake of this matter with a strange impudence at a Ladies house, that every night entertain's him. Can we not, said Nero, entrappe this same gallant? This very night, replies he, it will be very easie to be done: we need but goe to waite for him, and hide us some where there abouts, you may punish him your fill for the crime he commits every day against the honour of your Majesty. This was instantly resolv'd on, and [Page] Nero with those of his ordinary troup, went to put himselfe in ambush at a place whither he was conducted by Marcelin, and staied for us with a purpose to sacrifice us to his vengeance.

We failed not to come at the houre, and presently, as we had order'd the matter together, we beganne to draw our swords, in making a noyse, and to cry, kill, kill, the murderers. Nero and the rest thinking they had beene dis­cover'd, and fearing to be all massacred in their Ambuscado, if they issued not out, shewed themselves, and came to us, but so much astonish'd, as we were surpriz'd, not looking that our play should be turn'd into so true a combat: We omitted not to receive them with much assurance, and hurt many of them: Neverthelesse because their number was the greater, we receiv'd ma­ny wounds, which made us resolve to sell our lives dearely: but they consi­dering we were desperate, were in the end forc'd to cry out to us, It was the Emperour. Then we drew our selves further off to let them passe, yet after they had retired themselves, I fell downe all along, being no longer sustaind by the heat of the fight, and having foure great wounds, out of which I lost all my bloud. Melintus came to helpe me, but, for all he was not so much hurt, he could not but fall in a swoone also upon my body. In this state were wee found by these Ladies, who came out to see that which had passed before their house, and who were greatly astonish'd to see us handled on that fashi­on: Then they caus'd us to be brought hither to succour us with the affecti­on they have made demonstration to us; where being in despaire of my life, I was willing to see my father and you before I dyed: But the gods have shewed me more favours than my indiscreet youth deserv'd, and have spar'd my life it may be to serve you, and that deare Melintus to whom I have so many obligations, whose sicknesse that now keeps him in his bed, was not caus'd but by the daily cares he tooke for me during mine.

Ariana fully pleas'd to have learn'd the extreme fidelity of Melintus, dis­sembled that joy to answer her brother. It is true that in all that you have told me, he hath witness'd a most perfect friendship to you, which oblig'd us to eternall acknowledgements. And I would have the occasion one day presented to acquit us of them: then she spake on; But to leave this busi­nesse of Melintus, you have not told me, how you came to know it was Cyane that discover'd all to Marcelin. This is the thing, replied Palamede, I forgat to speake of: We knew it was he assisted by Nero, that made the Ambuscado for us, and chiefly we gather'd his ill will by an oyntment he sent me, which was poyson, and then when we were in paine to discover from whence hee could have notice of our appointment by night, I went to averre before Melintus and Camilla, that I had communicated it to Cyane, Camilla crying out then, told me, we need not any more inquire for the originall of this disaster: that this mayd was wholly Marcelin's; and causing her to be corre­cted, because she was now too much inrag'd for all Marcelin's treasons, shee made her in the end confesse her villany. I make no report to you of the re­solution of our faithfull slaves, in pursuing the designe Nero had taken to put us to death, because you have heard that of Arcas; It remaines onely that I tell you how Marcelin two or three dayes since hee was wholly cur'd, came to visitus, and shew us much affection, to remove the opinion we might have of him. But Camilla could not forbeare to give him so strange a reception, [Page 34] that he began to suspect the cause of that usage.

I perceive, replide Ariana, that by the speciall favour of the gods, you have beene able to escape out of that adventure, for in that sort your destru­ction was plotted; I tremble still to imagine how it was possible for you to avoyd it: Neverthelesse you are not yet out of danger, having alwayes for enemies the Emperour and Marcelin whose revenge is unsatisfied, and whose fury shall be increas'd by the cares Camilla has express'd to have of you. The gods, said Palamede, that have hitherto preserv'd us, will not aban­don us: yet we are not to sleepe, but employ the wisdome of yours and Me­lintus counsels to advise of the meanes that may for ever secure us from those miseries that threaten us. I beleeve, said Ariana, that a speedy retrait to Syracuse will be the most expedient; this is that makes mee wish the perfect cure of both of you, that we may enjoy together the repose and sweetnesse of our Country, and flye from a City where vice and insolence reigne with such authority.

ARIANA. The third Booke.

WHile they were entertaining themselves thus, Melintus satisfied what he could the desire Aristides had to heare of all had passed, and employed the greatest cunning of his discretion to find out causes of their misfortune, and conceale the true and principall occasions of every thing that had happened; many times when he was not well prepar'd to answer all the good old mans questions, he feined a difficulty of speech by reason of his sicknesse, to have leisure to consider: But when he had scap'd that passage, and came to report Palamede's extreme sicknesse that his wounds caused, and all the accidents that had put him into such feare, he forgat not so much as one point thereof, that he might spend the time in that discourse, and deliver himselfe from demands he was in trou­ble to satisfie.

Emilia and Camilla sometimes laugh'd, seeing in what fashion hee disguis'd the truth, and did oft divert the matter of the discourse to ayd him. Aristides was not so simple to be content with every thing they told; neverthelesse he beleev'd part of it, and well knew how to excuse the rest. In the end, Pa­lamede and Ariana came backe againe into that Chamber, and the day being neere spent, Aristides and she tooke leave of all, with a promise to returne the next day to see them: They retir'd them to Maximus his house, their ancient host, with whom Palamede and Melintus had beene ever bold since they came to Rome: when they were gone, Emilia and Camilla entred upon a discourse of Ariana's perfections with great admiration; Palamede confessing himselfe very proud in having so compleat a sister. Melintus spake but coldly of her, but Emilia observ'd a great deale of constraint in all he said, and was perswa­ded, that if he might freely have spoken of her, not any in the company would have done it more to her advantage. The evening pass'd away in those discourses; and when Melintus found himselfe alone, calling for those faire objects Ariana's presence had renued in him, he began thus to be entertain'd with himselfe: Ah! divine Ariana, how deare is thy sight to mee, and how every time I see thee, dost thou appeare with new perfections? It seemes you came hither to my reproach, that my soule conceiv'd not perfectly enough of you before, and that you will forme in it a new Idea more faire yet than [Page 36] that I have cherisht, beauties that shall never find your equalls, can I suffici­ently affect you? nay rather can you be more affected? No, considering the love I have for you cannot be greater than it is; but why so, seeing I feele it to be every day augmented by the new graces which are continually bred in you? Oh! the sight that so ravishes me! Ah Ariana, how the glittering of your beauty replenishes my soule with light, and how receiving you is my imagination possest with joyes! But confesse too, deare Idea, that thou art receiv'd into a very pure place, and regard with how much ardour and re­spect thou art there ador'd.

These sweet thoughts hinder'd him pleasingly from sleeping all night, he was vexed at nothing but that he was found in that house, whereupon he would faine have satisfied Ariana's mind. The day after, she came in the morning with the maid she lov'd so well, cal'd Epicharis, having left her fa­ther at home to repose him after the wearisomenesse of his journey. When she knew her brother was not yet awake, she went into Melintus chamber, who receiv'd her with great joy and respect, and Epicharis being away, when she was set downe ready to speake to him, and enquire of the state of his sick­nesse, he prevented her thus. I am much confounded for this honour you doe mee, Madam, but yet I am more asham'd to see you in a place where ver­tue never entred but in your attendance. Never will I, answered she, be of this beleefe, seeing you your selfe are come hither before mee. Ah! Ma­dame, replies he, flie from this house too unworthy to be honour'd by your foot-steps: if I have ever beene so happy to be approved by you for any quali­ty, I must needs lose that esteeme being found where I am: and I conjure you not to prophane your selfe by the conversation of these Ladies that are so farre from the honour of your life. I know well, answers she, what occasion hath brought you hither against your will, and so farre is it from giving mee cause to blame you, as I shall therefore admire your vertue while I live. When I see you among ill company, I should still beleeve it was but to cor­rect them by your example, and not to imitate them; I am assur'd how much your honour is deare to you, and am to thanke you for having care of mine, whereof I would not feare to give you the direction, if I doubted of my owne. He replide, To doubt of your wisedome, Madam, never did so criminall a conceit enter into my heart: That were to call in question the thing in the world I have the most perfect knowledge of: But pardon mee, if I desire to see you be gone from a place which even my honour cannot en­dure, but with horrour, and where my indisposition retain's mee with so much violence. The rules they here follow are so contrary to those you ob­serve, that I can expresse no contentment in the place, but in compelling my mouth to contradict all my thoughts. Melintus, said Ariana, I would from this very houre follow your advice, if it were not yet a greater offence to for­sake my brother, and that man that never yet forsooke him. Palamede, re­plide Melintus, is out of danger, and may goe home to you, and since your ar­rive I find my selfe too in estate to be able to be carried thither; but I be­seech you to retire you from hence, and to receive this prayer I make you for the greatest service I shall ever be able to give.

Strange effects of a vertuous passion! Melintus in stead of favouring the presence of his faire Ariana, could not endure to see her in a place where he [Page] himselfe would not have beene: his pure and perfect love taking offence at the least approach of things vicious: and he did even seeme to foresee the mischiefe that was to come upon them by the stay she made in that lodging, because that Marcelin came to visit Melintus, and entred into his chamber, when Ariana and he were speaking together. This sight surpriz'd them both, but much more Melintus to see a person he had so much cause to hate: for Ariana not knowing him, thought only Melintus had reason to wish her farre from thence, since the entrance to that house was permitted to all persons, and this man might give a strange censure of her: Neverthelesse Melintus dissembling, receiv'd him with a countenance open enough, and Marcelin after he had inquir'd of his health, began to regard Ariana with eyes of wonder and surprize: But she, to avoyd this curious viewing, and the birth of some desires in him, made as if, for civilities sake, that they might be free together, she left them, and went into Palamed's chamber, then presently she went out of the house, after she had desir'd him to returne that very day home to his fathers, where she went to retire her. Marcelin fail'd not to demand of Melin­tus, who that handsome stranger was: to which he was oblig'd to answer, that she was Palamed's sister, that was come with her father from Sicily, upon the report of her brothers sicknesse, and was to returne speedily thither againe finding him whole. I did not beleeve, sayes he, that your Sicilian women had beene so faire, you would but wrong your selves to come to seeke beauty at Rome. Things, answered Melintus, that come from a farre off, or that are sought in a farre country, seeme ever the fairest: for as for mee, I would quit all Sicilians for one Roman Ladie: And I, replies he, all the women of Rome for this Sicilian. That discourse pleas'd not very well Melintus, and he would have beene glad to have beene at Syracuse with Ariana, for that he suspected lest Marcelin losing Camilla's favour might not make his addresses to her, and give them many crosses that way. And so had he purpos'd; but that which con­firm'd Melintus in that apprehension was, because Marcelin, impatient to see againe at leisure her that had so well touch'd him with love, in so little a time, staid not long to counterfeit a desire to goe see Palamede, and parted from Melintus to goe into the other chamber, where he found her no more, so as he was forc'd to entertaine her brother, thinking he might have need of his helpe, to see and be well receiv'd by her; but they had strange plots, one upon the other. That entertainment was not of continuance, because when there is question of feigning, the discourses are not long-breath'd, each fearing to discover himselfe, and so the time pass'd away the greatest part of it in silence.

As soone as ever Melintus could come to speake to Palamede, he coun­sel'd him to goe out of that lodging, that very day, and told him, he had per­ceiv'd the displeasure Aristides tooke for finding them there, that it were better he went his way alone, than stay for him: that they were to tell the Ladies, how Aristides weary of the journey, was fallen sick: for him, that he would follow him the day after, and so they ought to retire one by one, for feare the depart of them both might not at one time too much surprise them. Palamede resisted some time this advice, for the passion he had to Camilla, whose sight he enjoyed with such commodity: Neverthelesse it became him to give place to that friends counsell he had too much neglected to his losse; and this resolution taken, they were to take leave of the sisters.

[Page 38] Emilia, that had never observ'd in Melintus any strong passion, what-ever favour she had exprest to him, began to be in doubt of the cause of his coldnes to her since the arrive of Ariana. This stately woman who all her life time saw her selfe ador'd, without having ever any love, died for despite to finde her selfe sleighted; and when she heard the newes of his retrait, at first shee gently replied to the courteous words of Melintus, but to his replies, shee us'd reproaches, and from reproaches she enter'd into fury. That rage brake all the chaines of discretion and modesty. What, said shee, after I had disdain'd the most powerfull men at Rome, am I brought to this passe, to become sup­pliant to a stranger, and a man unknowne? This ingratefull man, this Trai­tor, after receiving so much honour at my house, after having bin drawne by me out of the hands of death, dares yet forsake me, and refuse a few daies at my intreaty.

Melintus, to stop the current of those words, said to her; Madam, I am nei­ther traytor, nor ungrate, I have lost neither the respect I owe you, nor the passion I had for you: it needs not to employ intreaties where you may com­mand; and that which makes me be accus'd for disacknowledgement, is that, should rather let you see how well I can acknowledge the cares it pleas'd you to take of me, since I desire to free you of them. Will you reduce mee to that, never to be able to satisfie the obligations I have to you, by never ending my importunities? and that I suffer all my life to be serv'd by you, without a power to doe you service? Beleeve you that when I am at home I shall have the lesse affection to you? and, will you not so much as permit that I put my selfe in the way to render you my duties? Although I honour your favours extremely, the excesse of them begins to be weighty upon me, seeing I no more obtaine them by my services. Madam, if you have hither­to taken pleasure to expresse so good▪ will to me, envy me not, at my turne, the contentment of offering you my cares, and obliging you by my submissi­ons to continue this affection to me. I beleeve that to a person of courage, there is no punishment comparable to this, without ceasing to receive, and never give; and this is that you would have mee eternally endure. Emilia something stayed by these speeches, stedfastly regarding him said; How happy should I be, Melintus, if you were true: but I feare this faire language proceeds not from the heart, too much order has it to expresse a passion: and you seeme rather to affect to speake well, than to love well: tis no matter, I will beleeve you so you will grant me yet two dayes more stay, during which you may find your selfe in better health. Melintus not willing to put her into desperation, answer'd her, that shee might dispose not onely of two dayes, but all those of his life, without asking him leave. So they were at accord together. And Camilla much better assur'd of Palamede's affection, not being made to oblige her by any compulsion, suffer'd him to goe his way, well knowing she should ere long see him againe.

The displeasure this stay brought to Melintus, came from hence, that hee saw himselfe depriv'd, in that time, of seeing Ariana, and knowing Palamede would not faile to report to her the cause that retain'd him, he would write this Letter to her:

Melintus to Ariana.

TIs not my sicknesse now, that retaines me here, but another's, that is more in­supportable to me than my owne, rather out of despite than pitty I have of it. 'Tis a cruell thing, to be unfortunate by too much good fortune, and not to be able to escape out of that is in my owne power. I beleeve I am destin'd to contemne all my time the good things are offer'd me, and to consume my selfe by desiring those I can­not possesse. When Fortune uses me the most cruelly, she makes me become cruell too: then ordaines a punishment for my disdaines, in stead of rewarding them being so just. But since she is blind, I appeale from her to your judgement, and aske of you not that which I refuse to take of others, that were too great presumption, but that I even re­fuse them, which is a little compassion, though it may seeme I am unworthy of it, in that I deny to give it.

Melintus gave this Letter in Tables to Arcas, his faithfull Free-man, to whom alone was the secret passion of his master disclos'd, who would not hide himselfe from him in many things he had occasion to employ him. This good servant the day after that Palamede was return'd to Maximus, with his father, tooke the occasion to goe see how hee did from Melintus, and gave his letter secretly to Ariana, who receiv'd with it so much content, that after she had read it, she promis'd to give him an answer.

Never had she done him that favour, but having lately had intelligence of so many vertues, and merits, by her brothers report; of the contempt hee had made of one of the fairest Ladies of Rome, for not giving offence to her love: of the honours he had acquir'd for himselfe, and benefits he had pro­cur'd for his Countrey, with the respectfull cares he had witnessed for her, at the last visit; she could not any longer time refuse him that grace. But go­ing to write, she was prevented by Marcelin, who feigned to make a visit to Palamede, which courtesie oblig'd her to entertaine him while her brother came where they were: she knew well he sought to fall upon some words of affection; but she was wary so finely to avoyd his discourse by turning it to some other purpose, that he perceived it would be a hard matter for him to enter in discourse with her upon the subject of his passion: in such fashion, that Palamede being come, she left him without having at all advanc'd, but that he had signified his desire onely: after that shutting her selfe up, shee wrote, and came to give her tablets to Arcas, who rejoycing to beare to his Master so deare a pledge, flew till he came to Emilia's, and Melintus receiving them with excesse of contentment read therein these words:

Ariana to Melintus.

I Have a great desire to let you know, that I am sensible of your paine, and to com­fort you besides with this, that there is the like prepar'd for me. The visit I receiv'd of Marcelin, makes me see that I shall be importun'd also, as well as you are: but the severity of my sex will easily know how to put off that, which the honour of yours hardly permits you to refuse. Consider that the courtesie which were in me a crime, is [Page 40] necessary in you: and that at least you are to come out by an honest composition. But because dissimulation hath put you to all this paine, it must also draw you out of it, and you are permitted to give for your ransome as many assurances of love, as you shall thinke convenient. In the meane time, be confident, that when the desires of Ladies are so earnestly addrest to you, there is nothing which your owne may not attaine.

Those faire Characters were kist a hundred times by Melintus: and although he receiv'd no very open expressions of affection, hee did not give over the good assurance of it, knowing how deare those few words had cost Ariana which she had added in the end of the letter. Hee was therefore resolv'd to follow her counsell, and afterwards ceased not to let Emilia see how much his affection was augmented by the daily cares she had taken for him; and that he desir'd nothing so much, as to be in perfect health, that by his services he might recompence a part of so great paines. In conclusion, he was so cun­ning at dissembling, that she beleev'd him, and two dayes after shee suffer'd him to be gone, upon condition he would often come to see her. But when he was with Aristides, he saw himselfe reduc'd to fainings of another nature; for in stead of counterfetting an extreme passion, which it behov'd him to doe at Emilia's, having none at all, here was he forc'd with much care to hide that he had indeed, for Ariana. His discretion was very great, but the paine this constraint put him to, was not lesse. Onely hee eas'd his griefes by some Verses he let Ariana see, such as these are:

MY eyes, retaine with care so faire a flame as this,
Whereof by fond regards you would depriv'd have bin:
Thinke of retiring all those lovely fires within,
That none of them escape, no not a spark amisse.
What? doe you weepe, my eyes, to heare a law so cruell?
Why should you be seeking for misfortunes evident?
Those fires though faire indeed, were not for that lesse ardent:
The sight of them was pleasing, but the taking mortall.
Hide, Hide, unfortunate, what ever you have tane:
Redoubt as well the anger, as the fierce disdaine
Of those faire eyes that may correct your insolence.
But is not this beside to complaine wrong fully?
When those you have rob'd intend to force you onely
Closely to keepe your thefts for all their vengeance?

Alas, said he to himselfe, how is't possible this fire should continue thus alwayes? and not onely not come forth, but not so much as be ever seene? Yet she forbids me this; but to what purpose doe I so respectfully obey the lawes of that defence: for if she loves mee, why does shee let mee suffer so much? and if she loves me not, why will I not comfort my selfe at least by expressing the evill I endure? But againe, if I love her, how should I diso­bey her? Durst I oppose my selfe to her desires? Or having acquainted mee once what her will is, can I make a doubt whether I am to follow it? it may [Page] be she mean's to prove by so cruell a constraint, the extremity of her power, and my affection: should I cowardly lose so faire an occasion, to make the greatnesse of my love appeare to her? No, no, let us suffer, my soule; let us burne, my heart; and hold our sufferings well rewarded, because she or­dain's them us. It is enough, that she knowes the cruelty of our paines, and knowing them, she will know also to acknowledge them. But while he for­tified himselfe with resolutions, his fire seem'd to increase, in emulation, to ruine them, and this combat being within him, he felt the whole torment of it: Neverthelesse loving equally his love and his discretion, he labour'd to make them both friends, to dwell together peaceably within him, and not that one should be constrain'd to give place to the other: his love impetuous and boyling never ceas'd to agitate him, and at some time he addrest these verses to it.

APpease thy selfe, my flame, and cease thy sore complaint,
That I conceale thee in my bosome with such care:
Canst thou be ignorant, what my intentions are?
'Tis that I love thee dearely, not for thy constraint.
The eyes whose rigour doe forbid thy being seene,
Are those that gave to thee thy being heretofore:
Thou art not to refuse this duty to their lore:
Obey them, without words, that have thy authors beene.
Alas! in vaine I pray to this rebellious flame,
That still my loving torment more doth amplifie
For having to her father a severe faire eye,
To be faire and cruell too she will get a name.

Ariana saw all those verses, and acknowledg'd the height both of his passi­on, and of his constraint; but she thought it was not yet time to give com­fort either to one, or other, by avowing she would love none but him. She waited the change that was to be in their fortunes, at their returne in Sicily, and in the meane time favour'd Melintus in whatsoever honesty might per­mit her. They would gladly have beene gone for Sicily, but Palamede could not yet abide travelling, for a great hurt in his thigh that was not well heal'd; and Melintus was all that while forc'd to keepe his bed, waiting for a perfect cure in Palamede, for feare of being oblig'd to wait upon Emilia, who never gave over sending to heare from him.

This faigning gave him the commodity to entertaine Ariana, for she as­sisted him very carefully, yet so much respect had he to her, that there was nothing but his eyes that durst make love to her, and of every thing else they communicated one to another with much confidence. One morning she came to him, and bringing a little table booke with her, she pray'd him to read what was written in it, where he saw these words.

Marcelin to Ariana.

FAire Ariana, since your eyes forbid me speaking, pardon me if I have recourse to this meanes, to make you know the affection wich your perfections have brought forth. If you be come hither, to begin the acquisition of all the hearts of the Empire, I blesse the fortune that hath made me the first of your conquests; and ranging mee without reluctancy under your obedience, I will be bold to hope for some part in the honour of your good graces, if they may be aspir'd to by services eternall, and a passion infinite.

These letters said Melintus, put us to no paine, in guessing to whom they are addrest, nor who sends them: but, Madam, added he who gave you them. Epicharis, said Ariana, found them on my table as I was rising, with­out being clos'd, for feare, I beleeve, that I should leave them in the same state. But what would you advise me to doe? Madam? said Melintus, your heart is free, you may dispose of it as you please. you may be deceiv'd for all that, answer'd she, but this is not the thing I aske you; what shall I doe with these tables? if you desire, sayes he, to answer them, you need but ef­face the wax, and then write what you please. You laugh at me, replies she, and by whom shall I send them, when I know not who brought them. You are but to put them sayes he, in the same place, and who ever laid them there, will know where to take them againe well enough. And what if I will, re­plide Ariana, that they be never more spoke on? You may, said he, cast them into the fire. I am very glad, sayes she, they have beene condemn'd by your mouth, and at the same time threw them in.

Melintus considering this action, said to her well enough satisfied, if hee meanes to write often to you, he must make great provision of tablets. It will be as necessary for him, answered she, to be provided of patience, but if he be opiniated, I shall not be without trouble neither: Yet our depart shall quickly deliver us of all. Palamede thereupon comming in, and seeing the ta­bles burning, ask'd his sister why they were throwne into the fire: She a little surpriz'd, said she would no more make use of them. Is it long since you have used, said he, such things? since I came to Rome, answered she. Ha! sister, cryed he out, why are you so secret to me? you had them but this morning: and if I had beene willing, you had never seene them at all. Aria­na blushing told him, I protest that if I had beene able, I had hid them from my selfe, and I thought not they had come to your knowledge: if there had beene fire in my chamber, I had not burnt them in this, where I found, that Melintus was not so curious as you, for he never inquir'd as you have done, what the matter was. But continued she, can you tell who brought me them? No, said he, but going into your chamber, while you were yet sleeping, I saw them upon your table, and put them as they were, since they were not directed to me. I find you, sayes she, very discreet: but you had done well to have kept mee from the sight of them. See, replied Palamede, if I be not good to a man that has done me so much ill, but I am assur'd, you will doe him no great good. I wish only, said she, for his punishment, that he may [Page] love me all his life, as much as I shall detest him for your sake.

In the meane time, Melintus made himselfe very ignorant of those tables; and in the end ask't them what it was. Tis a letter, replies she, Marcelin made mee receive by I know not what meanes, looke if it be not directed to a good place, for a very favourable reception. His desert, sayes Melintus, is ve­ry considerable, but his misfortune is extreme to fall into your hands, to re­venge us of his. Aristides comming into the chamber, brake off this discourse, and Ariana leaving them, went out of the house, to the next temple, co­verd, as she was accustom'd, with a great vaile that hindred her from being seene at all, being not desirous to make her selfe knowne at Rome, for the small time she had to stay there.

Marcelin that set a spie to watch her going out, fail'd not to follow her, and approaching to her, when she seem'd most attentive at her prayers, said: The gods grant to your desires as much happinesse, as you may give me. She as in amazement, lift up her scarfe to see who spake to her, and let him see her extreme beauty; but armed with so much severity, that the sight infinite­ly astonisht him, and he receiv'd from her eyes an answer more cruell than her mouth had beene possibly able to make him. That usage made him see, that she was not accustom'd to suffer such words: and he beleeved, that the faire stranger would never satisfie his love, if he sought not out honester meanes to possesse her.

There remain'd a scruple in the soule of Ariana, for having entred Emilia's house: She thought her selfe prophan'd, and that her honour might be stain'd with that reproach. Every houre, the discourse Melintus had with her to make her get out of that place, came into her minde, & seem'd to accuse her, so as she was resolv'd to be purified in Diana's temple. That very day she spake of it to the priestesse, who was cal'd Virginia, and told the cause she had for it. Virginia promis'd her the chamber of purifications for the day after, but the next day she put her off to the eighth day, telling her for excuse, that some Roman Ladies, whom she could not refuse, were to be purified during that time. Ariana was forced to have patience till then, and when the eight dayes were past, she was receiv'd into that chamber with Epicharis only to wait on her. This place was as it were a second temple added to the first, but yet lesser, and of a round figure, whose roofe was bigge enough, and that without appear'd to end in a vault; but within at that time a heaven represen­ted hid the arches of the vauting.

Ariana brought in by the priest, was amaz'd to see so much riches in the place. The hangings were, the ground of gold, and the figures imbrodery of silke. In the middest of the chamber was a bed, whose valences were of purple imbroyder'd with gold; of a most rich worke, and the curtaines of a carnation stuffe with little flowers of gold. Neare the bed was a cisterne of white marble next to the wall, out of which came two great pipes of gold, that were to open and shut, from the one of which was drawne hot wa­ter, and from the other cold. On one side of the chamber was a buffet charg'd with little vessels of gold, and with great ones of the same, inrich'd with di­amants, rubies, and Emeralds: on the other side was a table cover'd with a tapistry of the stuffe the bed was on, suted with moveables of the same, and upon it a great looking glasse with a border of the most curious gold-smiths [Page 44] worke that was in Rome. On the side of the cisterne, was a table charged with vessell of Christall and Agath, filled with sweet waters of all sorts, with basons of the same, and great store of linnen clothes to serve against com­ming forth of the bath: the paving of the chamber was of quarries of mar­ble, and porphry of severall fashions.

Ariana after having admir'd these sumptuous things, and beene instructed by Virginia about the ceremonies she was to observe, was left alone with Epi­charis. Presently she put off her clothes, in saying the prayers that were ap­pointed her, and when she had nothing on but her smock with a cloke that cover'd her, she drew neare to the cisterne, and from thence tooke water three times, which she sprinckled about the chamber, then she discover'd her foot and legge naked, which she put into the water of the bath. Then was seene to be disputed the whitenesse of that faire legge, with the whitenesse of the marble: but the vivacitie which animated so delicate a flesh, soone gave the victory to her, and the marble seem'd to grow pale for being overcome. Ariana had hid within the water that faire foot, whose little shape possest such perfection, and all her legge too; but presently she drew them out, fee­ling the water cold, and restor'd againe to the day that chiefe workmanship of nature: Then having made the water luke-warme by meanes of the pipes, so as she might put her selfe therein with assurance, she tooke off her smock in feare, as much asham'd to be naked, as if so many inanimate things had had eyes, and going to put her selfe into the cisterne, by chance she cast her eye upon the great glasse, and was at first in a wonder, thinking she saw there a picture of Diana going into the bath, which she had not before regarded: but as soone perceiving her errour, she was astonish't to see her selfe of so perfect a handsomenesse. For whether she consider'd her face, or beauty, pleasing­nesse that charmes hearts, and sweet Majesty had spent all their riches upon her; or whether shee look'd upon the just length of that neck of snow, the handsome proportion of it, and of those two divine globes which seem'd to be swel'd with nothing but pride to be so perfect, or whether she stay'd to see the beauty of her armes, and delicate hands, or the rest of her body so well proportioned, whose universall whitenesse dazel'd her very eyes, her mind equally satisfied could not judge which part might give precedency to the other. She was some while overjoyed to see her selfe so admirable, but sud­dainly a shame came upon her, and accus'd her for commending her selfe so; then the consideration of that faire body, where she found nothing amisse, made her againe confident that she was the handsomest woman in the world: and presently her modesty withdrew her from so many pleasures, causing her to blush, so that she was not able to resolve of any thing for the severall mo­tions of her mind. Happy those mortall eyes, that with her see so many marvells, and which are the longer blest, by these uncertainties of Ariana. The love of her selfe and her modesty were a long time disputing together, as she stood before that mirrour, having already one foot upon the cisterne, and holding but with one arme the robe that before cover'd her: but at length not able to determine if she were fuller of satisfaction than shame, she went into the water, and there drown'd all these differences.

When she was at repose, discoursing with Epicharis of the rarities they saw, she was in a strange wonder, that the windowes began to be more [Page] obscure, as if the heaven were prepar'd for a storme: and suddenly they per­ceiv'd to fall upon them a sweet raine of perfum'd waters. The admiration that surpriz'd them, of an effect so strange in a place that was cover'd, was followed with a farre greater, when all at a time they saw the heaven, which was represented over their heads, to open, and fill the Chamber full of lights. By and by they heard a sweet consort of voyces that sang Diana's praises, and after them, they saw Diana her selfe by little and little to descend, having her haire truss'd up like a huntresse, a halfe Moone of Diamonds on her fore­head, a robe of Azure girt under her bosome, that cover'd her but to the knees, her legges and armes naked, her feet cover'd with guilt busquins, her quiver in a scarfe, and bow in her hand: when she was at ground, the musick ceas'd, and the Goddesse approaching to Ariana that was confounded with amazement, held her this discourse: Faire Ariana, your devotion is infinite­ly pleasing to me; I commend the purenesse of your soule, that could not endure a simple reproach might fall on you, though in it selfe excusable. And this also is my will, that those that adore me, bee not onely Virgins in deed and thought, but that their vertue be also above the aspersions of calumny. Neverthelesse I forbid you so austere a vow; you are borne to be a wife, and in that estate I shall ever love you, and make you happy, since I doe as much affect chaste marriages, as the vowes of perpetuall virginity. I have chosen you a husband, that shall put you into the greatest felicity the world can give, I will have you love him, if you meane to make your selfe worthy the favours I am to doe you. Farewell my dearely lov'd Ariana, I goe to send you mes­sengers, that shall prepare you, not to oppose my desires. In saying these last words she kist her on the forehead, and presently remounted up to the same heaven she came from.

Ariana was so troubled at these miracles, that she could not answer so much as one word, the presence of a Divinity so great, her advice, and promises, with the beleefe she had the goddesse spake of Melintus, possest her soule, and kept it from being at rest. Epicharis was standing in another place, farre off Diana, out of respect, all in admiration, and immoveable. The heaven clos'd, having receiv'd Diana, but open'd againe for the descent of six little flying Cupids, who being sustaind in the ayre, shot their arrowes into the bath, and the arrowes entring into the water, set it on fire, and made light flames come out of it. This fire frighted Ariana a little, but was no way of­fensive, and a while after the Cupids flew backe againe into heaven. Then beganne the heavenly musicke againe, singing the good fortune of Ariana, to be so favour'd of the Goddesse: And presently Diana came downe the second time, bearing a man that had the appearance of a god, all glittering in gold and precious stones. She came neare againe to Ariana, and said, Ver­tuous Ariana, see here the husband I present you with; I know the great­nesse of your mind and wisdome: you can never satisfie the generosity which the noblenesse of your blood gives you, but by the great honours and riches he is possest of, nor see your owne vertue contented, but by that which shall accompany him all his life long: Receive him from my hand, and be assur'd that in obeying me, you shall in like manner enjoy the greatest good fortune that hath beene ever tasted upon earth. Ariana filled with a new amazement, and seeing a goddesse whose brightnesse and discourse confounded her senses, [Page 46] never thought how she was naked before a man: but when her sight was more confirm'd, and she knew him to be Marcelin, she then recover'd her sen­ses, and having no respect to the Goddesse, she came out of the water, putting about her a great linnen cloth, and all wet as she was hid her selfe in the bed, so inwrapping her about, that shee could neither be seene nor touched. Diana ascended againe into heaven, and left that which remained, to be finished by Marcelin, who carefull of Ariana's health, before he spake any thing to her, would have Epicharis dry her, and while she was busie at that office, he aboor­ded his Mistresse with these words: Why hide you your selfe from me, di­vine Ariana? I am not so terrible: None in the world besides you flyes from me; I have Nobility and honours. Doe not despise me, faire Ariana, you see that men and the gods conspire to make me powerfull and happy. I am lov'd not onely of the Emperour, but of the Divinity also you adore; how shall you dare hereafter to addresse your prayers to her, if you refuse obedi­ence to her pleasure? You know in what sort she approves the violent passi­on wherewith I love you: Abate, oh cruell one, the cruelty of your heart, and render you, if not to the intreaties of men, yet at least to the counsell of the gods: can you thinke to doe amisse, following their advice, and hope to live content upon the earth by not following them? The more Marcelin con­tinued his discourse, the more did she hide her in the bed: but he seeing his speeches were to no purpose, went on speaking for all that: Alas! Ariana, I will not take advantage from the succour of the gods, but be beholding for all my fortune to your favour alone: give me but some hope to asswage the ardent affection that torments me. After that, laying him downe upon the bed, as dying for love, he said, Helpe me, faire Ariana, and give me my life: I dye to see you so hard-hearted, and am brought to this point, but for adoring you with too much respect. But Ariana deafe to all those supplications, con­straind him in the end to cry out, O gods! Oh Cupids! ayd mee, and suffer me not to dye of the wound you your selves have given me. Then the hea­ven open'd againe, and the six Cupids descended, and three of them staid to hold Epicharis, while the other three flew upon the bed, going to uncover Ariana, and give her up to the power of Marcelin. This faire creature had no recourse but to her shriekings. Ah! yee gods, said shee, are you accessary to such a wickednesse? she defended her selfe as well as she might from Marce­lins attempts, labouring to teare his very face: but her forces had beene all in vaine, the Cupids holding already her armes, had it not beene for Virginia [...] helpe, who open'd the Chamber doore, and came in with some other Maids that had heard the voyce of Ariana and Epicharis crying out for helpe. She ran instantly towards Marcelin, and stopping him, said, Ha! the gods, what fury is this? Is this the oath you sware to me? Goe, out from hence, prophane man, I renounce your friendship for ever. Marcelin answered the Priestesse: My designe being lawfull, and favoured of the gods, the effects of it could not be criminall: but since you are a hinderance to me, let me returne to the gods, that shall revenge my cause, and in spight of you give me Ariana. Then hee went up againe into the heaven, which open'd as before time, and closed a­gaine. In the meane time Ariana that thought she had beene divinely suc­coured, as she was before divinely surprised, knew not what Deity to thank, nor what to detest, seeing that Diana her selfe was a complice of the misery [Page 47] she was upon the point to suffer: and all in confusion, she let her selfe be dressed by Epicharis, and those Maids whom shee conceiv'd to be so many Nymphs, and made them many excuses for enduring the honour they did her. In the end she gave them thanks for their helpe: and still full of disor­der, shame, and despite, she went out of the Temple to be in safety at Maxi­mus house, where she presently told her adventure to her brother and Melin­tus. Every one made thereupon differing judgements: Ariana was so prepos­sest with those deities and lights, that one while she fear'd shee had offended Diana, another while she was fully resolv'd not to obey her at all. Epicharis perswaded them, that Diana and all the marvels of heaven did never appeare more visibly to any, than they had done to them. Palamede beleev'd they had not invented all those particulars, and was amaz'd with them, at a thing so extraordinary. But Melintus that was of a more piercing wit, and could not imagine Diana was so carefull in Marcelins affaires, that was a Traytor, and assasinate, desired them to beleeve, this was not the time of seeing deities upon earth any more, and that there was some couzenage secretly practised in it. Ariana resisted his reasons a good while, saying she was neither asleepe then, nor Epicharis; and that it was impossible any artifice could bee able to sustaine in the Ayre, without any supportation, a Diana and the Cupids: Ne­verthelesse she waver'd betweene the assurance she had in her eyes, and the doubt Melintus considerations brought her to: but some dayes after shee was fully perswaded of the truth. It was found out that Virginia was sister to Mar­celin, who being unable to approve either his wicked desires, or his designe to marry Ariana, though she were very nobly borne, to the end hee might at Rome match himselfe into a Patrician family; and knowing the distaste this faire Maid had to her brother, was resolv'd one day, as shee saw her in the Temple, to discover the whole plot of Marcelin to her, that on her side shee might find out some meanes to put him off his enterprise. Shee confest to her, that the first time they spake together, Marcelin was in the Temple, and that when she was gone out, he came to know of her what Ariana had to say to her, which shee presently declar'd to him; whereupon hee mused some­time, then he desir'd her to suffer him to see her in the bath: that, at first mo­tion she told him it could not be done; but being overcome by his intreaties and importunities, she had in the end promis'd him: and the day after Mar­celin having studied upon that occasion, came to find her, and propos'd how Ariana might be deceiv'd, by representing a false deity, that should perswade her to love him. Virginia said, that at the beginning she approved not this device, being unwilling the Temple should be prophaned by a fraud: but that he was so skilfull in conjuring her by representing to her, to what extre­mity his passion was reduc'd, as at last shee permitted him to make ready all his engines: and how to give him time she had remitted Ariana to the eight day after. Then she told her, how her brother had drest the Chamber with the riches that were his owne, and chosen an excellent Ingineere to set up stately Theaters, and make all manner of representations, and they together had consulted to take in the vault of that little Temple, and make a heaven of it; that within it they had set a musique with store of Torches which made that light, and that the darknesse was caused by meanes of certaine clothes they had hung before the windowes, to make the place afterwards more [Page 48] lightsome by the torches. That the Diana was the most faire and famous Comedian that was at that time in Rome; the children were also accustom'd to the Theaters, and had their shafts rubbed with a composition that kindled in water: that all this descended and ascended by meanes of little wire threds untwist and strong, that were tied to their scarfes as it were invisibly. Ariana was full of wonder to heare of a deceit so well carried; but she was as full of shame when Virginia confest that Marcelin saw her when she went into the bath through holes he had made about the pipes of the cisterne, and that she her selfe had beene curious to see so many beauties which she protested she had never seene the like. After that she assur'd her, that if she had thought her brother would have used violence, the entrance into the temple had ne­ver beene permitted for his inventions. Whereupon she ask'd her pardon, for having expos'd her to that danger, being over-reach't by the prayers and assurances her brother gave her. Ariana answer'd her, that she wonder'd not if she had done some thing in favour of the friendship she had to her brother, and press'd by his importunities: that she had a great obligation to her for quitting the interests of a person so neere, to have care of hers, and for disco­vering this trick, that might have kept her in errour and trouble all her life. They parted asunder after some other discourse, and Ariana went out of the temple with an oath never more to seeke to purifie her selfe in Rome, where chastity was subject to be corrupted by so many artifices. She confest to Me­lintus, he had reason to suspect some couzenage, and after she had made this relation, which he himselfe found strange, they gave their judgement how they were to distrust that man, who would never rest there, since he sought out such rare and powerfull practices.

In the meane time Marcelin perceiving his designes, either discover'd, or at least made unusefull, was resolv'd to demand Ariana in marriage of Aristides, being in no hope otherwise to asswage his passion. He communicated his purpose to Martian his father, and told him she was daughter to Aristides one of the chiefest men in Siracuse, neece to Dicearchus, who was the most power­full in that City, and had no children, and that they both drew their pedigree from one of the most noble houses in all Greece. His father would have put him off this, because she was a stranger, but he could not doe it, what ever remonstrances he made him of the injury he did himselfe, that might pre­tend to any of the nobiest maids in Rome. In the end Martian that was alrea­dy accustomed to endure all the vitious passions of his sonne, because he was of use to maintaine him with Nero, could well be pleas'd with this, that was an honest one, and consent to that he desir'd. With this permission Marcelin addrest himselfe to Maximus, having thought him fit to mannage the affaires, and declar'd his designe to him, back't with his fathers consent, and intreated him to make the proposition of it to Aristides, of whom he hoped to be receiv'd with contentment, being the sonne of a Senator, if he could re­solve to leave his daughter at Rome, or else dwell there himselfe, and in that case, that he would obtaine for him the quality of a Citizen of Rome, that Palamede had obtain'd already: that if he had any familiarity with Ariana, he besought him also earnestly to dispose her to wish him well. Maximus consi­dering of the quality of Marcelin, his credit and authority about the Empe­rour, thought he might gaine a great support to himselfe, if he were able to [Page] doe him any good office, and finding this proposition honest, promis'd him all the assistance he could expect.

That very day he mov'd it to Aristides, who at the first could not consent to quit his daughter: Neverthelesse the greatnesse of that party dazeling his judgement, he began a little to give way to the reasons of Maximus, and at last promis'd to communicate the businesse with his sonne and daughter▪ and that very houre he wrote of it into Sicily to his brother Dicearchus. Maximus finding he was so fairely forward, advertis'd Marcelin of it, who seeing that his good fortune partly depended on the good will of Ariana, fail'd not to appeare at the Temple proudly cloth'd with a great traine, to make her see what honour she should be mistresse of, if she consented to his desire, and omitted not to make great expressions of his respect to her, serving himselfe at the same time, for divers ends, both with pompe, and with humility.

On another side Aristides having made overture of it, to his children, Aria­na was in a great wonder to heare him mention it as a thing he desired: Yet she continued mute to her fathers reasons, and left the taking of her part to her brother, who not enduring to have any thing more spoken concerning a man he had so much cause to abhorre, and his sister also for his sake, was forc'd to say, he beleev'd not that so good a father would marry his sister to a man that had twice attempted upon his life: that he could no longer hold from confessing to him, that it was Marcelin that would have murther'd him with a troupe of men, from which the gods only preserv'd him: that after that, feigning to send him an ointment for his wounds, he had sent him poy­son, not ever thinking he was advertis'd, that he had beene the head of those that had assaulted him by night: that he had beene constrain'd to dissemble that treason, especially knowing that the Emperour was of the party. But what cause said Aristides, had he to wish you so much evill? only for a false report, answer'd Palamede. Aristides remain'd very much astonisht at these newes, and found himselfe in a great streight, seeing that if he had a desire to make that match, it would be very hard for him to satisfie his sonnes spirit, and if he would be excus'd for it to Maximus, he could not tell him the true reasons; having himselfe approved Palamed's dissimulation of the injury offer'd him by Marcelin, for feare of making him an open enemy, and draw­ing upon himselfe the displeasure of the Emperour. So as he told his chil­dren, that the matter well deserv'd to be thought of at more leisure. Ariana when she saw she was strengthned by Palamede, pray'd her father she might not be brought to that passe, to live with one that had spilt the bloud of her brother, and had beene branded with so cowardly a treachery, as to venter his poysoning too. If this you allege, said Aristides, be true, never will I bring so much misery upon my house. But take heed Palamede, that the feare of leaving your sister here, makes you coine these things, for I should never par­don you while I live if it were so. He is a party more exalted than we could ever have hoped for, and that shall place your sister in an illustrious ranck, in the glory whereof you are to participate. It is not fitting, little considerations should turne you of this happinesse, since it so fairely presents it selfe; we may very well quit all we have in Sicily, to dwell here in a for­tune that may be envied of all our countrimen. Father, said Palamede, I am not an enemy to the honour and advancement of our house. I disguise not [Page 50] any thing to you; Melintus has beene too true a witnesse of what I tell you, and can certifie the truth: Aristides promis'd them to examine at leisure all those reasons, and to consider what was to be done for their common good: in the meane time he bade them thinke also upon the advantages that offer'd themselves, and not to neglect them. Palamede presently acquainted Melintus with this discourse, and profest to him, he would oppose that marriage as much as it were possible: Melintus set him on that way as much as he could, and spake of it to Ariana to know her resolution: but she assur'd him she would sooner marry with death. Neverthelesse, she was greatly troubled, when her father said to her, that her brothers reasons ought not to remove them from accepting such a party, that he knew but by light reports, that it was he that would have murther'd him, and that it might be some one that wisht him ill, had sent that same poyson under Marcelin's name: That there was no appearance he should be authour of that villany, having beene twice to visit him since, with sufficient testimonies of affection: and if that were so, that the greatest enemies might become friends; and that the designe he had for her, as without all doubt it had extinguish'd his hatred, so ought it to make that of Palamede dye also. Ariana saw well he was fully resolv'd for that marriage, and that it would be very difficult to divert him from it, which she tooke so impatiently, that she curs't without ceasing her voyage to Rome: Neverthelesse, she never dar'd to contradict her father openly; but then when he commanded her to looke kindly upon Marcelin in what place soever she met him, she began to despaire, not knowing how she might avoyd that misfortune, because she could not expresse her aversenesse to Marcelin, Aristides ever accompanying her to the temple to see what reception she gave him. Melintus trouble was no lesse, not knowing what remedy to find out, and if his wit furnish'd him of any one, he could not make it prosper, but that his passion should breake out. Palamede seemed the most offended, and more openly exprest his displeasure. Ariana knew well enough, her fa­ther would not compell her, if she declar'd her minde absolutely to him; but her modesty would not permit her so much liberty.

At length Dice [...]rchus letters came, who being naturally ambitious, and de­siring to get himselfe support in Rome, intreated his brother not to let scape so great a good fortune, and no more to thinke of Diocles riches, whose sonne he had destin'd his daughter to; since the least quality of a Roman Senator was of greater consideration than all the meanes of the most puissant man in a province. Aristides heartned by this counsell, commanded Ariana to prepare her to receive Marcelin the day after. This newes so strucke her, that she be­tooke her to her bed, and the palenesse of her face soone shewed what com­pulsion she resented. Aristides wondering at her sicknesse, she told him it was no great matter, and besought him he would deferre but one day this in­terview: which he granted her, and in the meane time ceas'd not to be with her to encourage her with reasons, and make her consent to the match. But the morning after, considering on the wayes to divert Marcelin, and finding none other but to let him know her distate, she bethought her of this subtle­ty. Epicharis whom she had about her, was a young maide about her age, that was very faithfull to her of a gentile spirit, and who being acquainted with her mistresses displeasures, would have willingly comforted her with [Page] the losse of her owne life. Thou knowest, sayes Ariana to her, how it is im­possible for me to tell my mind to Marcelin, for that my father will ever be a witnesse of the usage I give him. I prethee, whilest Aristides shall be about my bed, put on my ordinary gowne, and covering thee with the g [...]eat scarffe I use to weare, goe thy wayes to the Temple, where Marcelin will not faile to come to thee: thou maist tell him in a low voyce, counterfetting mine, that he loses all hope of marrying me, that I will rather chuse to dye, what ever guise I make before my father, and if of his owne accord he will retire him from his sute, without bringing me to the extremity, I shall have a great ob­ligation to him for it. Epicharis very glad to serve Ariana, promis'd to obey her, and after she had disguis'd her selfe, went to the Temple, where she mis­sed not to speake with Marcelin: and at her returne finding Ariana impatient to know what had pass'd, she told her he had beene abus'd very pleasantly: Neverthelesse, her discourse having amazed him, he had not omitted to aske her leave to come to see her at home, as it was appointed; after that he would consider on the meanes to obey her, if her rigour should continue. She pre­par'd her therefore against that day, and in the meane time the thoughts in that house were very divers. Melintus and Palamede meditated upon cruell tragedies, rather than they would consent this wretched man should enjoy Ariana. Maximus never ceas'd representing the grandeurs of the house of Martian, the favour of Marcelin with Nero, and within his minde conceiv'd faire hopes for the good office he rendred him. Aristides beleev'd already he saw his daughter wife to a Roman Senatour, equalling the pompe and glory of the chiefest of the Empire. But Ariana would not let her selfe be wonne by these vanities, and more prized the least of Melintus qualities, than all those honours that were accompanied with so many miseries: she therefore dream'd onely of the meanes that were capable to breake off this blow. At last the day came that Marcelin was to come to the house, where Maximus did what hee could to receive a person of so great worth, and prepar'd the rest to give him the honours were worthy his order. They dined altogether with much si­lence, every one meditating apart the designes he had in his mind; then they return'd into the Chamber where they must receive this lover. Aristides a while entertain'd his daughter with the discourses shee was to make him, wherein she was not resolute to satisfie him altogether: then he gave Maxi­mus his place to set upon her with the same perswasions, and went to finde Palamede to dispose him to shew a well pleas'd countenance. They were all thus busied, attending Marcelin that was something tedious. Palamede said it became the Roman gravity to be waited for. Some houres passe away more; at last, Maximus impatient that he came not, sent to Martian's house; who sent word, that he had not seene his sonne since the day before, and that he was in paine for him. Aristides begins to wonder at this humour in Marcelin, to neglect a thing he had before so much sought for. Yet for all that they could heare no newes of him; every one thereupon gave his different opi­nion: but not one of them could ghesse the cause of that action. Marcelin's people appear'd to be in great trouble for him, and one of them said, that the night before he had accompanied him very neere to the Tyber, that there he had commanded him to returne home, and how he knew not but he might be drown'd in the darknesse of the night. His fathers feare thereupon in­creas'd, [Page 52] and all the day after past also, and no body could learne what should be become of him. Aristides had a suspition that his sonne willing to hinder the marriage, and revenge himselfe, had handled him the night past in the same manner he had beene us'd by him when he was left for dead, and made him be cast into the Tyber: yet he durst not signifie to him any thing of this surmise.

About the evening Melintus, Palamede, Ariana, and Epicharis being toge­ther, and not knowing to what they might impute the cause of Marcelin's absence; What may we thinke, said Ariana, is become of him? For mee, sayes Melintus, I thinke in what place soever he be, he burnes for love of A­riana. It suffices me, sayes Palamede, he be drown'd. It seemes, replied Aria­na, you know something of the matter? have you indeed serv'd him as hee would have serv'd you? They protested both, they had not imagin'd to doe him any harme. Tis true, sayes Palamede, that before hee had married you, some thing like this might have befallen him; but I thought not it had beene time yet for that. Ariana added, let him be drown'd, or burn'd, or let the earth have swallowed him, it little concernes me, provided hee appeares no more. Epicharis having some while hearkned to them, could not refraine from telling them; I am assur'd I can ghesse better than you all three. And what thinkst thou, said Ariana, is become of him? I imagine, answer'd she, that he is neither burn'd, nor swallowed up, nor drown'd: but that at this pre­sent he is dying for hunger. Ariana thinking she had but jested; and where­upon ground you, sayes she, that beleefe? rather call it, sayes she, assurance: If you will give him any thing to eat, I will bring you to the place where he has as much need of it, as ever he had in his life. Ariana urg'd her to tell her what she knew. I feare, sayes she, you three will be more gentle than I: for I have condemn'd him to dye, and if I discover to you in what manner, it may be you will preserve his life, to destroy afterwards your owne. That made them the more eager to know what she could say of the matter: and they so prest her, that at length she told them: You know that at the end of the garden of this house, in a place remote enough, there stands a little lodge neare to the gate opens upon the Tyber. Marcelin waits for Ariana in that place since before yesternight, and I can assure you, that never lover was so impatient of seeing his Mistresse. They were so astonish'd at this newes, that some while they spake not a word: But Ariana desirous to know how she had beene able to draw him to that place; You know, said Epicharis, you commanded me to goe to the Temple in your habit and vaile, which I did; and Marcelin scarce daring to come neare me, I lift up my veile a little, so as he could not see me, and made him a signe with my hand to come to mee; but in stead of saying to him that you commanded me to say, I began thus, speaking very low: Marcelin, hitherto I have profest to you nothing but coldnesse, not but that I acknowledg'd the honour you doe me, but in satis­faction to a brother that cannot love you, and will never give his consent I be yours: wherefore I will make to appeare the affection I beare you; and you shall expresse yours to me, if this night you come alone to our house by the gate that lookes to the Tyber; there you shall receive assurances of what I would doe for you; and I will make my brother resolve to consent to my desire, when I shall let him see that you are already my husband. Marcelin [Page] gave me a thousand thanks for so many graces, and promis'd me not to faile comming thither at the houre I had appointed him. I came backe from the Temple, and would not tell you what I had done; yea, I fear'd mee lest hee might doubt some malice, and not come; but at night stealing from you, I went to stay for him at that same gate, where I miss'd not to finde him; and after I had let him in, I told him, I had charge from Ariana to put him into that lodge, while her father, and the rest were asleepe, where I so well shut him up, that he never got out since: besides I tooke the key of the garden for feare any one going by that way should heare him crie out, and I had re­solv'd to let him die there for hunger to make him pay for the conzening villanous tricks he had wrought in the temple, and deliver you out of all paine, which I thinke you are to resolve on too; for this man will be a cause of a thou­sand misfortunes to you in the end, and you may revenge you all three of the mischiefs he hath done you, it will be easie for us afterwards to cast him into the Tiber, and never shall any one know who it was that us'd him so, if some of us doe not discover it. They were amaz'd at her invention, admi­ring her boldnesse, and the simplicity of Marcelin, but at length they per­ceiv'd too much rigour. Now said Epicharis, you may doe with him what you please; I have done the service which I ought to my mistresse, and to you, and at the least, I have broken that blow you so much apprehended. Then they were in a great trouble to let Marcelin get out, and withall to content him, being not willing to have him lost, and fearing also his fury, when he should have escaped. I perceive well, said Epicharis, I must save you from the danger I have put you to, and take all the envy upon my selfe, seing you are pleas'd he should live. Let me goe then I will make up the matter well e­nough, and make him suspect no body but my selfe, and never vex you more. Melintus was of opinion they should leave to her the ordering of the busi­nesse; because she was of a most advis'd wit, and she went that very houre to the lodge where having open'd the doore to Marcelin, and then conducted him out of the house all pale and feeble for his fastings, holding the gate halfe open, she said to him, know that it is Ariana that gives you your life, and that it is I alone that resolved to take it from you, for all the trouble you have put her to by your wooing. She was determin'd rather to dye, than marry you, and I had much rather you should have dyed, than she: for it was I that spake to you under the vaile without her knowledge of it and gave you the appointment to which you so easily render'd your selfe: my pur­pose was never to have fetch'd you from hence: but when I made her ac­quainted with my plot, she was willing to pardon you, upon charge you would never more importune her; which you are to doe, if you love your life: for assure you selfe, I shall want neither invention nor courage to destroy you, if you chance ever more to torment her. Marcelin full of wonder and weaknesse, having let her speake a while, fail'd not to enter into a fury against this maide, and would willingly have torne out her eyes, and life also, if he had had more strength to shuffe ope the doore: but she shut it with violence, leaving him without all in a rage, and came to advertize Ariana what she had done; that she should never have any displeasure on that side; and that all the hate was fallen upon her, which she very little regarded. Palamede and Melintus saw well they were warranted from the search of Marcelin, but [Page 54] not yet from his fury, suspecting well he was gone out from thence with as great a desire of revenge, as hunger. Neverthelesse the present mischiefe, being avoyded, they ought to keepe themselves to their guards for the time to come. The day after they knew he was return'd to his house; but when he was ask'd what voyage he had made in three dayes space, he answer'd no­thing, so much asham'd was he to have beene so cruelly deceiv'd by a wench. Aristides nor Maximus heard not a word more from him, for all his wits were employed in meditating what suddaine and cruell vengeance, he might take of all those strangers, before they return'd into Sicily.

ARIANA. The fourth Booke.

EMilia overcome with affliction for not seeing Melintus any more, and knowing his sicknesse was but a pretext for not visiting her, began to have a sense of her misfortune, and that he had not enterpris'd his sute to her, but in favour of the search of Palamede: her affection ungratefully acknowledged, her beau­ty contemn'd, so many commendable qualities neglected, and all her carefull assistances quite forgot, assailed her spirit with so much anguish, despite and shame, that she was not able to make resistance to them. The faigned sick­nesse of Melintus caused in her a true one, and the newes came to Maximus his house, that she was at the extremity, and a few dayes after that she was dead. Palamede would have gone to visit Camilla to comfort her, but that Melintus, who was in sorrow for this accident, diverted him, for feare he should engage himselfe againe with her, and so bring a stay to the designe they had of de­parting, and he promis'd him to satisfie this duty to Camilla for them both some dayes after.

But as they did innocently bring misfortune upon others, so were others prepar'd to make their innocency most unfortunate. Marcelin not willing to let them be gone without causing them to feele the effects of his rage, began to vant before Nero the beauty of Ariana, and spake so many marvells of it, that he produc'd in him a desire to see her; then having let him know shee was of an humour too retentive to give up her selfe to the Emperour, and serve his pleasures: on the other side that she never went abroad, and how it would be a hard matter to take her away, he made him the more desirous by these difficulties to have the possession of this faire creature: but when he told him she was sister to Palamede, and that they were logded together with Me­lintus, the Emperour remembers him of the cause he had to be revenged of those two friends, for the offence he thought he had taken of Melintus, and the wound he had the night of the combat, the marke whereof was yet to be seene upon his hand. Marcelin seeing the Prince in those ressentments, told him, how he had found out an excellent meanes to revenge him on Melintus and Palamede, and to have Ariana to the bargaine. He added that they were that very night to set fire on all sides of the house they were in, and when [Page 56] they should thinke of escaping, without dreaming of any thing besides saving them from the flame, it would be easie to put them to the sword in the tu­mult, and to ravish Ariana. Nero that affected nothing so much as such furi­ous inventions, entertain'd this with joy, and commended Marcelin highly for it, who that very houre tooke the charge to dispose his men about the house, that not one of them might escape. This resolution was very funest to the City of Rome: for the night being come, when he thought every one was drowned in sleepe, he himselfe holding a Torch in his hand, set it under Maximus doore, and gave example to the rest to doe the like every where else. Presently the fire kindled with such violence at that house, and in order at the other houses of the street, that hee beleev'd never any of them could get out from thence, but that they should be all burn'd. And indeed when they awaked, all the Chambers were of a smoake; all that they were to doe, was to get out with their clothes, which they hastily tooke, and saved them­selves in the garden, expecting the remedy that might be given to this acci­dent. Palamede and Melintus tooke care to lead Aristides and the faire Aria­na; who in this fray let Melintus see beauties which his imagination could ne­ver have so perfectly represented to him. The little Damis, a young slave of Maximus, came to advertise his Master that was in their company, that loo­king out at a window he had perceiv'd a man that held a Torch in his hand, and set fire to one side of the house: that made them doubt of Treason; and they had besides greater assurance of it, when upon the Tibers side they heard two slaves of Maximus crying out as they were killed, who were gone out to fetch water at the River. Melintus and Palamede issued out to succour them, but they were assaulted by ten or twelve Souldiers, with such fury, that the best course they could take, was to retire into the house againe, defending themselves as they went▪ Melintus thought there was none but Marcelin could be Author of so fearefull a villany: and could not tell what they should re­solve on, seeing they were environed with fires on all sides, and a certaine death, whether they stayed there, or whether they went out: He look'd up­on Ariana, the teares in his eyes, and strucke with griefe that so excellent a beauty should dye so cruell a death, came sadly to her, and said; Madam, in­to what misery are we brought? and how have the heavens permitted, that all the furies together should come to assaile us, to make our losse inevitable? Is it possible that I cannot by some enterprise, or yet by my owne ruine pre­serve your life? And can I not have at least this joy in dying, to see you out of danger? Melintus, answered she, doe not hope from me either counsell or consolation: this accident so troubles me, that it leaves me nothing but teares and plaints; but if it be true that Marcelin bee chiefe of this conspiracy, I had much rather dye with you, than survive and fall into his hands. Seeing the gods have suffered this mis-fortune to come to passe, I beseech them it may have his full course, rather than that I be reserv'd to live after you, to be expos'd to the insolence of these desperate people. Madam, replide hee, I cannot beleeve we are ordain'd to an end so miserable; and though the fire on all sides seemes to shut up the passage to all hope, the way of heaven, from whence succours may be sent us, is yet free. Let us yet hope, Madam, and moderate your weepings and complaints; whilest I goe to see by what means we may be saved, and whether some god may not inspire me what we are to [Page] doe in this extremity. She answered him not but with a sigh, and Melintus ha­ving kist her hand, left her, hiding his teares as well as hee could, then hee look'd round on all sides, and after having search'd in vaine a thousand inven­tions in his wits, at last passing by the Stable, he advised with himselfe to get up upon the strongest and fleetest of his horses. He advertis'd also Palamede and the rest to take what horses there were, and after having covered Ariana's head with a cloth, for feare the fire might offend her, he lift her gently into his armes, and making the gates be open'd, tooke his sword in his hand. Then putting spurres to his horse, he went furiously away, and after he had struck off the arme of a Souldier that would have got hold of his bridle, hee saved himselfe by running, carrying away his deare Ariana through the thickest of armed men, and flames that already devour'd the neighbour houses. Marcelin seeing Melintus passe that held Ariana, and that he was not able to stay him, although he had cast himselfe in the way before him, and encourag'd the rest to kill him, was now in despaire seeing himselfe on foot not able to overtake him: and as he return'd, he saw Palamede his principall enemy, who after Melintus example would have got away, carrying his father with him; but they so closed themselves together to hinder him, that Palamede seeing how it was impossible for him to force them, being loaden with his fathers heavy body, entered in againe and gave Aristides to Hermes, one of his men; then having carefully recommended to Arcas the safety of Epicharis▪ he gave them charge to follow him as soone as hee should have made a passage with his sword. He tooke a buckler, and going out againe, set upon the boldest of them that would have stayed him, and charg'd them with such fury, that with two blowes he gave, he strucke downe two of them at his feet; the rest sustain'd him with much resolution, and he had much adoe to ward all their blowes; but in the end mingling him amongst them, he put them in such dis­order, as he gave time to Hermes to get away and save Aristides; Arcas did likewise beare away Epicharis, and the others taking the rest of the horses, saved with them that that was most precious. Palamede seeing they were farre enough off now, dispatch'd him of his enemies, and went away in a gal­lop after them.

Marcelin inraged to see his wicked designes thus ruin'd, strucke his owne men also, accusing them of cowardise, and seeing a slave of Aristides passing, that went away later than the rest, getting at last a horse with much adoe, he gave him a blow on the head with his sword, & laid him dead upon the place. Then mounting a horse-backe upon his owne horse, he pursues those that sa­ved themselves, and gave order to his companions to find horses, and come presently after him to ayd him.

Melintus finding no security in the City which he saw all on fire, and full of his enemies, was got out of the ports, and when he was in plaine Cham­pian, he could not complaine at this accident that gave him the favour of da­ring to embrace his faire Ariana, who did as sweetly cleave close to him for feare of falling. She was become so dazled with the swiftnesse of the course, that Melintus after he had put his sword into the scabberd, and taken away the cloth that covered her head, found her seeming to have lost all remembrance; but considering how this happened but by astonishment, and seeing her faire necke bare, because the handkercher that covered it was fallen by the [Page 58] violent motion, he used nothing to make her come againe to her selfe, besides sweet and chaste kisses which he gave, one while to this admirable neck, ano­ther to her diuine eyes, and sweet mouth. He was transported in these plea­sures then full of respect, he accus'd himselfe of rashnesse, to steale the fa­vours which at another time he would scarce presume to conceive a desire of: and presently before he could resolve whether he had done amisse or no, carried away by the power of those admirable objects, he kist them againe with so much ravishment, that in this estate the losse of his judgement excus'd the losse of his respect, and his senses busied about so pleasing a fault, mocked at his reason, whose severity also being charmed gave consent to their thefts, and refus'd not to take part in their delights.

Ariana after a great sigh at last opening her eyes, with one looke only ba­nisht all the liberties of Melintus, and remitted in place of them a respect as great as ever: then she said to him; Alas, Melintus, where are wee? Wee are, answers he, in safety: I am only in paine for Aristides and Palamede, and but that I am afraid to forsake you, I would returne to helpe them. As he was thus speaking he perceiv'd by the light of the moone and flames, a man running after him whom he tooke to be one of their troupe. So as alighting from his horse, and setting upon the greene grasse the sweet charge he carried, he prayed her to rest her, while the rest of the company were come together. They began to behold that great City on fire, and to be amaz'd at the accident, when seeing to approach him that followed them, Melintus knew him to be Marcelin: suddainly getting up a horse-back for feare of being surpris'd which his enemy. Ah traitor! sayes he, darest thou at length alone assault me? Marcelin not answering him at all, came straight towards him, and gave him a blow with his sword; Melintus avoyded it, giving spurs to his horse, and soone gaining the crouper, thought to have struck his sword into the very reines of Marcelin, but it brake having met with armes under his casack. I was in a great wonder, said he then, at thy valour, but this shall not hinder, but thou shalt pay for thy trecheries: and seeing that Marcelin could not mannage his horse after his minde, he set foot to ground, and at the same instant leaping up behind him got hold of his armes with one of his, and with the other was going to strike into his head, that which was left of his sword: But Marcelin striving hard, Melintus was forc'd to let him­selfe slide downe in pulling him back-ward, and having laid him along upon the ground, snatch'd from him his sword: He was about to kill him, but at the very instant he heard Ariana crying out to him for helpe.

This sweet Lady had seene the beginning of that combat, being but in a desperate condition, yet although she judged that if Marcelin remain'd con­querour, she should fall into his hands, neverthelesse being confident in Me­lintus valour, she could not resolve of going farre away. But when she saw his sword broke, she fell downe in a soune, and was no sooner come to her selfe againe, but she saw she was in the armes of a souldier that was alighted from his horse to carry her away. Then was it that she call'd Melintus, and this name that demanded succours was at the same time succourable; for that Me­lintus looking where she was, saw behinde him two men a horse-back that were about to kill him. He lift up himselfe suddainly and sustain'd the first with Marcelin's sword in one hand, and the rest of his owne in the other.

[Page] Never had man so much choler and griefe together. He desir'd to defend him from these, and at the same time to helpe Ariana; but seeing he could not save her, but by the death of those that set upon him, he gave one of them such a blow, that if he had not beene armed, he had divided his shoul­der from the body; and yet the sword entred a good way into the coat of armes. The second came up to him, and thought to have stab'd him into the belly, but Melintuus defended it with the guard he had in his left hand, and at the same time gave him a blow under the curasse, which made him fall dead from his horse. He that had beene first struck by him, set on him behind, and Melintus was not so skilfull, but that he was a little hurt in the shoulder; but in turning about, he gave a reverse blow upon the horses head, and making him caper, he tooke his time, and thrust his sword under the thigh of this last man, and plung'd it even into his bowels: This wretch falling back-ward brake his neck, and the fall stop'd his breath which now on all sides drop­ped away with his bloud.

Melintus seeing himselfe freed of these two men, and having about him none but Marcelin living, which had much adoe to returne from the dazeling of his fall, left off finishing his death, to run towards Ariana, who had till then hindred by a thousand devices, this souldiour from setting her upon his horse to carry her away. Melintus cryed out to him afarre off, Insolent fel­low, wilt thou let alone that Lady thou art unworthy to touch? But he seeing him comming, and willing to prevent him, left Ariana to get up a horse-back, and presently setting spurres pricked towards him thinking to overthrow him. Melintus lightly turned him aside, and as he passed struck him on the left arme with so great a wound, that he filled with bloud all the place where about he ran.

At the same time Marcelin recovering force and courage, lift himselfe up, and taking one of the dead mens swords, came to second him that Melintus hard hurt, and rather filled with rage, than resolution rash't him upon him. Melintus husbanding the forces and advantage he had, after warding of two or three blowes, gave him one in the thigh, and went to redouble it, when he that had beene hurt, came to put himselfe betweene for the safety of his Masters life: but he paid his owne for it, receiving the blow which Melintus struck so deepe in that he clos'd up his sword within his armes. This man dy­ing let go the reines of his horse that ran away, & Melintus unwilling to let his sword goe so followes him, and at last drew it out with paine, and with that violence, and the amazednesse wherein he was, he fell back-wards.

In the meane time Marcelin that felt his strength diminish, seeing Ariana standing still, and troubled with so many fears, went towards her, his sword in his hand for to kill her, to the end that if he dyed, another should not enjoy his loves. The comming of this furious man, and brightnesse of the sword awakened the lost senses of Ariana, and gave her wings to run to Melintus, whom she call'd to her aide, and it was just then he was fallen, and Marcelin was in good hope to vanquish him yet, thinking he was hurt: Neverthe­lesse, Melintus prepar'd himselfe getting up, and then they began the combat hand to hand, and more equall, though Marcelin were arm'd, because the bloud that ran out of his wound lessened that advantage.

Untill then Melintus had not fought but for saving his owne life, but now [Page 60] he reveng'd the injuries of Ariana, and that desire encouraging him, with the presence of his faire Mistresse, he made account he should soone see an end of that adventure: so having warded some thrusts of Marcelins, he with one blow from all the force he had, overthrew him, and therewith cleft his head. Another Souldier came on running in all speed, and Melintus wearied with so many travels, thought this combat would never have end, and hee should have enough to do to defend him from al those that came so thick upon him; yet he was resolv'd to stay for him; but this last man seeing his courage, and so many dead about him, ran away as fast as he came, and at the same time freed Melintus of so many troubles, and Ariana of all her apprehensions. Me­lintus would no more strike Marcelin, seeing he made no signe of life, and gi­ving the gods thankes for this victory, wiped Marcelins sword, and taking the scabberd, wore it by his side.

Then Ariana breathing at her ease, consider'd Melintus, and admir'd him, that after having runne so many dangers, and acquir'd so much glory, hee appear'd with a confidence so modest, and a face untroubled for any amaze­ment. But all on the sudden she saw him grow pale, and fearing hee might have some deadly hurt, for he was cover'd all over with bloud, shee held him up, and ask'd him if he felt no wound about him. Madam, sayes hee, feare not for seeing me all bloody, it is not mine, but the blood of my enemies; yet for all this, as he was speaking he found himselfe to faint, and with Ariana's helpe he layd him softly downe upon the ground.

The blood that ran from Melintus shoulder, made the blood retire out of the cheekes of Ariana, who full of feare and care, presently undrest him in that place, and found a wound that for the smalnesse of it cast out blood suf­ficient: shee tore her handkercher, and with much adoe stayed the course of it; then shee so bound it up, as there was no more cause to feare.

While shee was busie at this sad duty, which Melintus with all respect re­ceiv'd at her hands, they heard the noyse of horses, and turning their heads, saw ten or twelve horsemen comming still towards them. Melintus without being astonish'd, said to her; Madam, leave this unprofitable care, and where­of I am unworthy; I see there is no remedy but I must dye, but yet I will that it be in defending you to the last breath. Onely, Madam, remember your selfe. There his speech fail'd him, not knowing how he might discover him­selfe. Ariana lively touch'd at so respectuous a passion, and unable to resist so sensible stroaks of misfortune, fainted for griefe, and after shee had said, Ah Melintus▪ lost both her speech and sight.

This desolate lover thinking to give her his last kisse, approach'd his mouth to Ariana's, then recollecting all the force and resolution was remaining in him, left her in that miserable estate, to get up on horsebacke, which he did, though with paine, and possest with confusion and despaire, went on with his sword in his hand, to seeke out a certaine death amongst those that came neere him. His arrive no whit troubled them, and Melintus seeing they made not so much as appearance of defending themselves, stayed him a while, and regarding them with lesse trouble, perceived it was Aristides, Palamede, and the rest of their troop,

The joy that came all at once to possesse his soule, had a great strife at the entry, with all the afflictions that had taken place in it before: neverthelesse, it [Page] had the mastery of them, and making him taste the sweetnesses of it, gave him the liberty to embrace Palamede, to whom he told his errour and resolu­tion. Then they ran towards Ariana, who of her selfe returning out of her swouning, at the same time saw her grifes fading away at a sight so pleasing.

After the common rejoycing for being so happily found one of another, Palamede was wondring to see all those dead men with their Armes, and Mar­celin himselfe in the number. Ariana made him a relation of the extreme va­lour of Melintus, that had slaine them all with admirable strength and dexte­rity; and when they had given deserved commendations to the courage of Melintus, they were all of a mind, how it was a just punishment of the gods, that Marcelin should come so hastily to seeke out his owne destruction.

Aristides that knew not the cause of his rage, could not imagine what had provok'd him to all those villanies; and turning him towards the City that seemed all over on a flame, ceas'd not bewailing this desolation, that appear'd yet more fearefull in the horrour of the night. But they thought it not safe for them to stay in that place, but get the next Forest, for feare they were ta­ken for murtherers: that in some desart place they might passe away all the day, for feare of being pursued, and there expect the next night to gaine the port of Ostia, and from thence set saile for Sicily. They us'd the horses of these dead men, and on one of them they set Aristides and Ariana, and they had gone about three miles journey, whilest Melintus and Ariana were inform'd what valour Palamede had showne, in favouring the going out of his father and the rest; and the day approaching, they entred into the Forest, where getting into a place farre out of the way and obscure, they resolv'd there to passe away the day.

Melintus, Palamede, and the rest accommodated certaine places with cloaks and boughs to rest in, and day light giving meanes to Ariana to consider the company one by one, she perceiv'd Epicharis had a [...]l her haire burn'd, which for all she was sorry for, yet she could not choose but laugh at it. Epicharis was easily comforted, being glad the misfortune went no further than that losse, and thereupon every one began to tell his adventure. They found but one man missing that Marcelin had kill'd: then they provided for their necessities, and sent a slave to the port to stay a vessell for them, and Arcas with another to the next village to buy meat.

About midday Melintus and Palamede advised to goe see the paths of the Forest, that they might with ease find the way to make their retrait by night, and not be troubled with a continuall error; because the Moone was to rise but late. Arcas, that never had forsaken his Master, followed him, that they might the better together observe the turnings of wayes, and remember them: But when they had gone through all, and were out of the wood, they spyed a troop of horsemen that were comming to them, and returning againe to Rome. They were forc'd to put themselves againe into the entrance of the wood to let them passe away, and not be seene of them; and when they were very neere, they heard one of them saying lowd enough; It must needs bee we have not taken the way they are in, for we had by this heard newes of them: He that kill'd Marcelin and the rest is a man remarkable enough, and has the woman with him we are to bring to the Emperour, and when I would have reveng'd the death of Marcelin and my companions, three or foure men [Page 62] joyned themselves to him, so I was faine to save my selfe.

This man spake too cleare to make any doubt in Melintus if it were he they sought or no. We are lost, sayes Palamede, it they finde us. Melintus made a signe to him to make no noyse, and let them passe: But Palamede's horse un­fortunately tooke him to neighing, and some of this troop willing to know what it meant, advanc'd them, and seeing they were three men a horsebacke that would save themselves at their comming, they call'd up their compani­ons to pursue them.

Melintus in despaire for being discovered, and brought to flying, said to Palamede they were to goe a way quite contrary to that wherein Aristides and Ariana were, because she it was they sought. Their horses were better than those that followed them, so as they were soone farre off them: but the others being in great number, divided into divers troops to enclose them, if they meant not to come out of the wood, and they were not deceived, for that these friends encountring a way that separated into two branches, Melintus and Arcas by chance tooke one path in running away, and Palamede another, who thinking very soone to rejoyne him with Melintus, was surpriz'd by foure or five souldiers that cut off his way from him; and after having sustaind his first fury, put him out of all hope of escaping their hands. Melintus that was out of all perill, hearing the noyse afarre off, doubted of his friends mis­chance, and resolv'd to goe helpe him, commanded Arcas to save himselfe while he went to him, and to goe advertise Aristides and Ariana that it was shee they sought for, and that they should have a care not to goe from the place they were in, but when the night came on▪ and then hee charged him especially if he should heare no newes from them, to conduct them out of the wood by the wayes they had marked out, and from thence straight to the port, and to embarque with them as soone as possible might be for Sicily. Ma­ster, said Arcas, command me not to leave you, I cannot obey you with so much cowardnesse. Arcas, answered Melintus, assure thy selfe, thou canst not doe me a greater service than this I desire of thee: if we returne not to them within a while, thou shalt tell them, how we were stayed by these souldiers that tooke us to deliver us into the hands of Justice, from which our inno­cence shall well know how to preserve us: and above all, abandon not Ariana. Adiew, my deare Arcas, said he, embracing him; then he gallop'd away to­wards the side where he had heard the noyse.

This poore servant could not find in his heart to quit his Master, and follow­ed him still, but Melintus turning his head and perceiving him, cryed to him; Art thou well advis'd, Arcas, how thou givest me my death? and if thou followest me any more, I shall not live an houre longer. Arcas was thus constrain'd, the teares in his eyes, to leave his Master, who presently arriv'd at the place where Palamede was environ'd with five or six horsemen, that cryed out to him to render himselfe, after seeing two of their comerades ly­ing dead upon the place by his hand. Palamede had put him into the thickest strength of the wood, where he could not be taken behind, and defended himselfe before with much courage. Melintus perceiving him in that danger, tooke his sword in his hand, and entring in amongst them, joyned to his friend, after having strucke off the shoulder of a souldier that hindred his approach to him: Palamede seeing himselfe inforc'd by this succours, doubled his blows, [Page 63] and Melintus having hurt two of them to death, and not thinking the rest were able to resist them, had hope to be soone dispatcht of them, had it not beene for the arrive often or twelve Souldiours that came to incompasse th [...]m on all sides.

Their forces diminisht, and their enemies increas'd, for the number of those they had kill'd, was soone repair'd by those that came in still upon them: Neverthelesse the great courage of Melintus suffer'd him not to de­spaire, and being animated with a just choler, he struck one downe at his feet with a reverse blow he gave him on the middest of his body, under the arme he had lift up to strike him: from thence pursuing the first he met, he cleft his forhead, and the bloud that ran from him in abundance upon his eyes, blinded him, and put him out of this combat. Palamede call'd up his forces, for to second Melintus, and seeing a Souldiour that with both hands had ta­ken his sword to cleave his head, he prevented him, and with one blow struck off his hands and sword that went in vaine to strike the ground. This man carried away by his horse, and having nothing more left him to hold the bridle, was presently throwne downe, and falling upon his face, found those hands he wanted to save him. Melintus on the other side seeing two of their enemies that most press'd him, went betweene them both, and lifting up his arme to give him a full blow that was on his left hand, and seeing him in defence, alter'd his designe, and letting goe a strong back-blow cleft the head of him that was on his right hand, with one stroake having sent feare to the one of them, and death to the other. He that expected the blow shut his eyes, and put his sword before his head, and his horse carrying him away at the same time he could not see a bough of a tree that overthrew him: never­thelesse getting up againe, and seeing Melintus returning to him, he pierced his sword into the flanks of his horse, and laid him dead on the ground. Pa­lamede would have help'd him, but at the same time a Souldiour seeing what had happened to Melintus, kill'd his horse inlike manner, having thought it the only way to end the fight: all they could doe was to keepe themselves from being prest downe under the fall, and to dis-ingage themselves that they might fight it out on foot: but what ever vaillance was in them, the others had soone trodden upon them with their horses, but that two came in crying, they should not kill them, and that they were to be carried prisoners to Rome. This command staied the fury of all those men that were animated for re­venge, and made Melintus and Palamede resolve to yeeld themselves.

In the meane time Arcas went to bring Aristides the sad newes of the mis­fortune of his sonne and Melintus. Aristides set himselfe to weeping and be­wailing: but Ariana fell downe for griefe into the armes ofher deare Epicha­ris, and when this desolate company had made a thousand complaints for be­ing reduc'd to hide themselves in stead of succouring them; in the end, some were set to keepe sentinell. Aristides weary of travaile, overcome with sor­row, and having had no repose the night before▪ fell asleepe: but Ariana that had taken a little sleepe in the morning within that wood, and that had other cares upon her, retiring her to the place where Melintus had himselfe fitted her with branches, she laid her downe upon Epicharis knees, and melting into teares, could not receive any consolation.

This maid accus'd her of too great weaknesse, and praid her to take some [Page 64] rest: but she said to her; Cease, my deare maid, to comfort me: if thou knewest the losses I sustaine, thou would'st complaine as much as I doe my misfor­tune. There is yet no cause, sayes Epicharis, to despaire. Arcas hath told you, how they desir'd not to have their lives, but would only take them priso­ners. And dost thou thinke, said Ariana, they would not revenge the deaths of them they kill'd in their owne defence? and then a torrent of teares stopt her speech. I know well, said Epicharis, that you love nothing in the world so much as that brother. Thou knowest that, interrupted she, but thou art ignorant how deare the other person is to me that I lose with him; and this double losse makes that I cannot have teares sufficient to represent to thee my sorrow. Epicharis a little a maz'd, let her weepe some time, then replide thus: Madam, in your affliction I have a certaine kind of joy, to learne the truth of a thing which I have all my life passionately desir'd: for I ever thought, that nothing but you was worthy of Melintus, and that Melintus on­ly was worthy of you. The gods without doubt will favour so discreet and vertuous a friendship, and not permit you be long time separated. Alas! E­picharis, said Ariana, what miseries doe I foresee if once I returne without him into Sicily; and yet he ordaines me this, desiring rather to dye, than see me in the hands of these in famous ravishers: for assure thy selfe, Epicharis, never was there an affection so perfect, or so full of respect, as this he hath to mee. He has ever had so much feare of displeasing mee, knowing how I have in horrour all those fooleries of love, that unlesse the gods had produc'd in me an affection like unto his, that gave him leave to expresse something of it to mee, I should scarce have had any knowledge thereof yet. And I doe not know also, whether he would be pleas'd with me for discovering so much of it to thee as I have done. Madam▪ answer'd Epicharis, you know what fideli­ty I have vowed to you: it would be an injury to the passion I have for you, to conceale your secrets from mee, knowing how much I desire to serve you, and ease your troubles: I beleeve he would not be sorry for my knowing it, if he knew the desire I had to see you both happy together. Deare Epicharis, replies Ariana, knowing our humours, dost thou beleeve ever any enjoyed a like felicity, if this might come to passe? But thou knowest to whom I am destin'd by my father, and this last disaster is of that nature, that I can hardly hope ever againe to see alive, either him, or my deare brother. Ariana ever renuing her weeping; and Epicharis knowing how her sorrow was di­verted, when she spake of the affection of Melintus, said to her, Madam, the gods will preserve for you this lovely Melintus, and since they have given him you will not suffer any dispositions of the earth contrary to their will. Live at more repose, and be confident in their goodnesse: in the meane time be­cause you cannot sleepe, I shall take it for a great favour, if you please to take the paine to tell me, how you came to know the beginning of this affection. I will then, said Ariana, spend in so deare an entertainment what remaines of the day, before we are to part: and having taken care that no body might over-heare them, after she had wiped her eyes, she spake thus.

History of Melintus and Ariana.

I Will beleeve what I sometimes have heard the wisest say, that the gods have establisht certaine Genies to rule the order of all things, who being just and good, suffer not craft and oppression long to triumph over innocen­cy; and bring to light the most concealed secrets, to give in the end to nobili­ty and vertue the honours and recompences they deserve: I beleeve also, they have given to every one of us in particular other Genies, that inspire us with secret knowledge of the qualities we are to acquire, and make us con­ceive desires whereof we know not the cause, to guide us to the possession of that which is most honest and most profitable for us.

Thou wilt find these very true observations, by that I shall tell thee of the strange fortune of Melintus, of the perfections he has been carefull to get, and of the esteeme we had each of other, even before ever we saw one another: for you must know, that I knew him not before he went from Siracuse to Athens for to learne all the sciences and exercises fitting for a person of his condition. In all which he was so prosperous, that they that return'd from Greece spake of nothing but his perfections, and the facility he had to have good successe in what ever he undertooke. One day my brother in his let­ters gave me notice of the friendship they had made sure to one another, with so many advantageous words for Melintus, and expressions of joy for himselfe, that I thought Melintus must be something above the common sort, since my brother that was none of the least esteemed, conceived to have gained so great a good fortune in his affection. I signified to him by my an­swer the part I tooke in his contentment, and beside that the profit I should have by it, by hearing newes of him at Telephus house that was father to Me­lintus, when he were carelesse of writing. Palamede shewed him this letter, and he approv'd it, for a certaine thing he said pleas'd him, and afterwards in those he writ to Telephus he alwayes mention'd something concerning Pala­mede and me: so as when ever I was in paine for the health of my brother, I sent to Telephus, that made no difficulty to let me see the whole letters of Melintus: But I protest to you, I saw there a fashion of writing so sweet, and a respect he gave Telephus so great, and yet mixt with an honest boldnesse, that I had a great desire to be acquainted with him one day. On the other side I wrote to Palamede with more care; that if it hapned he shewed my let­ters to Melintus, he might have a more favourable opinion of me. I was not mistaken, for after that, he exprest to me, when he had seene what I had writ, and knowne me by some relation my brother made him, what great desire he had to accomplish the time that was prescrib'd him by Telephus, that he might come home into Sicily, and see mee.

During that time there passed occasions that augmented still the esteeme wee began to have each of other, for he went away with the honour of horse races at the Olympick games, and the glory of making the best verses, as my brother also had the prize of the Harpe: So happily that they made our City glorious above all the townes that sent to those games the excellentest men they had for all exercises. On the other side a prize having beene propounded at Siracuse for the fairest woman, in the favour of whom most lovers would [Page 66] present themselves, and recite verses: all the women that pretended to beauty in the City drest up themselves to appeare that day on the Theaters, and dispute this victory: but I despising it, or else having no hope to carry it, shut up my selfe in the house, what ever they could doe to perswade mee to goe thither: neverthelesse some that recited, having complain'd at the ab­sence of their Mistresse, and nam'd me, the Judges (without seeing me) ad­judged the crowne of flowers that was the prize, to be given me, and brought it to my lodging, when I was very farre off from that enterprize. Melintus having learn'd by the letter my father wrote to Palamede the glory I had ob­tain'd, after the contempt I made of it, conceiv'd yet a greater estimation of mee, and had no other thought now but to be soone at Siracuse. At length Palamede sent us word, he prepar'd to come home with Melintus: but I must tell thee, I did prepare my selfe with a farre greater care to receive them.

Neverthelesse the encounter they made of Corbulo that was going against the Parthians, greatly staied this returne; but it as much avanc't and rendred glorious the reputation of Melintus, who following him into Asia with my brother, did so memorable actions in that expedition, that there was no other talke but of Melintus valour: which increas'd marvellously that opinion I had of him, and made me judge that there was some sympathy betweene his cou­rage and mine.

When occasions were wanting to give other proofes of their valour, they parted from Asia, and landing in Sicily, gave advice of their returne, for to be receiv'd as victors at the Olympique games, according to the purpose the Siracusians had for them: but they had since added many other victories with much more danger and glory, which ought to make their reception still more honourable.

The newes was receiv'd of all with a great joy, but of me with surprize, considering I should see Melintus, whom I made so great account of by reason of his renowne. There was beaten downe a pane of a wall, according to the custome in all countries, to receive them that have gained the honour of the Olympique games: and I said, that since the sieges they had beene at, they were not us'd to enter into Cities but by breaches, not by the gates of them.

Every thing was in a readinesse to receive them, and those of the City were of opinion to goe out to meet them, and in exchange to render them the honour they had gain'd to their country. I was chosen to give them the Ci­ties presents; to Melintus a white horse, and a sword hanging in a Carnation scarfe imbroider'd with silver; and to my brother a Casock of a most rich worke, with a quiver garnish'd with gilded shafts, and a bow of the same.

They had beene advertiz'd of the reception was to be given them: so as Melintus and my brother still clothed after the Greeke fashion, appear'd mounted on faire horses in the head of those of their traine, and some other of their friends, that had gone out before us. I was upon a pled nagge that had a white foot-cloth, I my selfe was also cloth'd in white, with my haire hanging downe crowned with a garland of flowers, and went by my uncle Dicearchus side, that was the chiefe of those of the towne: The horse destin'd to Melintus was lead neere me by two footmen, that held him on both sides with great cords of purple colour that serv'd for reines; then followed ano­ther man that carried the sword and scarfe; those that held the casack, the [Page] bow, and the quiver, went in their order, and after them an infinite number of people.

At our meeting Melintus alighted from his horse; Dicearchus did the like: presently two men helpe me also to descend; and Melintus having saluted us, I prepar'd my selfe to speake to him: but I was so troubled to see the person whose knowledge I had desir'd, goe with such a grace, and so full of Iustre, and honour, that I had much adoe to reassure my selfe. I know not if he were deceiv'd in what he had fancied in him concerning me: yet he has sworne to me since, that he was never so taken, as when he saw me in the height of all this preparation and traine. I thanked them in the name of all the people for the honours they had procur'd to their Countrey, in acknowledgement of which I prayed them to accept these presents; and then was given mee one of the strings that were in stead of reines to the horse, which I presented to Melintus: but when I tooke the Sword and Scarfe I had charge to put upon him, I doe not thinke that in all my life I ever blush'd so much, or was seiz'd with so strange a trembling: And I was very glad of passing towards my bro­ther, to put me in countenance againe, by making him the present was or­dain'd him. I well remember that Melintus spake to mee to give mee thanks for the honour they did him: but I tooke no heed to what he said, so con­founded was I; and if I had beene to reply, I must have stood mute: Hee told me since, his answer was, that his Countrey which had given him birth, might attribute to her selfe as her owne, all that ever hee should be able to doe, and that he was a debtor to her for all the glory of it; neverthelesse hee received these presents, not as recompences, but as new obligations; as for Palamede, I cannot call to minde in what manner he thanked me. After that, I was set a horsebacke againe by Melintus, who presently mounted upon that horse I had given him, and ever accompanied me, in managing him with a great grace.

I ceas'd not admiring every thing he did, and I well perceiv'd he was not without trouble for his part: for he look'd upon me sometimes with an eye that shewed astonishment, and a passion new comming on, but so modestly, that there was none but my selfe that could observe it. Wee arriv'd in this manner at Syracuse, and he waited on me to my lodging, where hee left mee with Palamede and Dicearchus: his friends with the rest of the people brought him to Telephus house.

All the night long I let my imagination wander upon every thing I had seene perfect in Melintus. That sweet and assured face, that free making, the grace and comelinesse in all his actions, and his fashion of speech so full of mildnesse and vivacity, made me avow that I had never seene any thing so amiable: but as I was concluding something to his advantage, and was surpriz'd in that conceit, the disadinfull humour that is naturall to me, filled me with shame, and fortified me against all that merit. Then seeing how my father inclin'd to marry me to Amintas, sonne of Diocles, the richest in Syra­cuse, and that Melintus possest not so great an estate as was in our house, my stomacke could not then consent for his sake I should suffer so much unquiet­nesse in my mind.

Diocles comming to be rich in a little time, as the rumour went then, by the acquisition he had made of the goods of certaine banish'd men, was willing [Page 68] to stay himselfe upon the authority Dicearchus had in the City: but my uncle oppos'd it, because Diocles had ever beene of a faction contrary to his; ne­verthelesse Aristides did what he possibly could to perswade his brother, seeing nothing more advantageous for me in Syracuse.

It was at that time thou wert given me by Dicearchus, who having bought thee very young upon the Sea coast, had bred thee still in hope that his wife Acidalia might have children, that thou mightst serve for company and entertainment too: but Acidalia being dead, he was resolv'd to give thee to me, perceiving I had inclination to love thee. I shall never forget, interrup­ted Epicharis, that happy change of my condition; for I may well say that I began but to live since I was at your service, which I would preferre to the most exalted estate that were upon earth: for I never had but vexation with Dicearchus and his wife, though they brought me up with much care and ho­nour: but since I came to you, my life is become as happy as I could have de­sir'd. I know well, replyes Ariana, what contentment thou enjoyest, being certaine of my love to thee: but give me leave to goe on, and thou shalt see if I be not as much assur'd in thine. Then she continues.

Melintus fearing to seeme impatient, was foure or five dayes without see­ing me, except one time at the Temple: but Palamede going to visit him, as he did often, Melintus intreated him to bring him to our house, and present him to mee. He had then an esteeme of me great enough, and I also thought there was not in the world a spirit more sublim'd than his: in such sort that wee were both fearfull at this meeting; and for the good opinion that each had of themselves, wee desir'd also both of us to make our selves be feared. After I understood he was come in, I collected all the confidence I had, and Palamede bringing him to salute me, sayes to me; Sister, see here a man that as well deserves you should receive him in private, as you have done in pub­like, and whom you must love, if you love me, for we are both but one and the same thing. I answered him: Brother, I shall never be wanting to honour that which you love; and if I esteem'd not Melintus qualities, I should feare singularity, and to be left alone of my party. Madam, said Melintus then, if you should be alone in making small account of me, your party should at the least be the most just, if not the greatest. Melintus, sayes my brother interrup­ting him, let us not lose time in telling what your worth is; my sister knowes it, by the report I have made of it to her, and by your owne reputation. She must of necessity confesse, there is not a man upon earth more accomplish'd than you; but confesse you too, that I have a sister very lovely. Brother, sayes I to him, speake not of me, we may have better entertainment: be­sides, how would you have Melintus give a judgement of that he has yet no knowledge of? Thereupon I invited him to sit downe; and Melintus replies; Madam, I already knew the beauty of your minde, by the letters Palamede receiv'd from you, and since that of the face is knowne as soone as it is seene, suffer me to judge of you at this very houre, and that I tell you, that fame which is accustom'd to increase the desert of every thing it would commend, hath beene constrain'd to diminish yours, being impossible to bee publish'd according to the greatnesse of it. I answer'd him, I pray you leave there your praises, which civility obliges to give, rather than truth: I did not thinke you could have resolv'd to flatter any body, such an opinion had I conceiv'd [Page] of your vertue. Praises, replies he, are not flatteries, but when they are spent upon subjects unworthy of them: but vertue it selfe refuses them not for her recompence. It is true, sayes I to him, but they that know their owne wants, as I doe, ought to take praises as reproaches for not having those qualities are attributed to them; and there are no people love them, like those that be­leeve they deserve them, which [...]s a vanity in supportable. He knew by this I endur'd not commendations, and that hee must treat with mee otherwise than with many other women: which I observ'd by the amazement appear'd in him; and because, changing the tune of his voyce, he said to me; Pardon me, Madam, if I must still commend you, when I shall tell you, it is a marke of great vertue, not to be able to endure to be commended: and they that have a soule well order'd blush ordinarily at it, which restifies a kinde of an­ger, and that one takes offence. Neither had I ever attempted to judge of you, if Palamede had not obliged me to confesse that you were very lovely. My brother then mingled his wilde discourse to ours, and said, That after he had a long time hearkened to us, he found my humour was very contrary to that of all the women he had practis'd with; and that the beleefe of Melin­tus was very differing from his also, for he thought he could not doe a grea­ter pleasure to women, than to tell them they are perfectly handsome: that he never attaind to their good graces but by this entry; and how after hee had beene willing to perswade them that they had no defect, in the end hee was so perswaded himselfe, and found them more lovely. Tis true, answers Melintus, that many times one prospers that way, for that commonly there is some fault; and this fashion is not to overcome, but to let ones selfe be van­quish'd on either side: and this is rather out of weaknesse to be engag'd one to other, than by dexterity to engage that which one loves. It matters not, said my brother, provided one be content. Be assur'd, replide Melintus, that you never obtain'd a favour by those meanes, but that you found some remar­kable defect in her you sued to, by which she let her selfe be caught. Tis true, answer'd my brother, but never would there be aconquest, if the defect were not found: and I love those of that sort much better than those whom seve­rity makes inaccessible. They are more proper for you, said Melintus, for the favours you desire of them, but confesse if in your judgement you doe not more esteeme the other. There is no doubt, answers my brother, but I give them over, because they esteeme not me sufficiently. I gave eare to this their discourse, and was very glad that Melintus approv'd modesty, and exprest with such a grace, and vertuous conceits, the same thoughts I had. The rest of the day past away in such discourses as these, whereby I was perswaded that the spirit of Melintus had a great sympathy with mine, and he considered also in what manner he was to demeane himselfe with me, and that there was no hope I could be gained by flatteries.

After this visit he quite alter'd his discourse; for instead of speaking to me either of my beauty, or his love, he seem'd very farre from all passion, and all our entertainments were concerning the passions of others, wherein we observ'd a thousand faults, and as many poorenesses of spirit: and insensibly we taught one another, how we were to be according to our owne desire, both to love perfectly, and make us worthy to be loved. In the end it seem'd that speaking of others, we spake thus to one another: Since you have such [Page 70] thoughts as these, I can love you well so. He durst never tell me he lov'd me, but his actions sufficiently did it; and then when hee thought no body saw him but I, his cares to please me were too intelligible. See how strange our humours are, a thousand services he rendred me were very agreeable; yet for all that I should be offended at the least expression of love he made me by his mouth, and forbade him my sight. So as he was forc'd to discover himselfe by other meanes were pleasing enough to me, as by many verses he gave me, a part whereof I would repeat to thee, if my affliction permitted me to thinke of such gentillesses. But I must needs at least tell thee the encounter I made of a lover very differing in all manner of qualities; 'twas of the proud Garamant; of whom thou hast heard told pleasant tales enow, but yet never camest to know what pass'd betwixt us, because the affaire was kept secret. He had his originall from Africa, and for this that we knew not his extraction, hee la­bour'd to make great additions thereby touching his birth; and upon that ground he would not beleeve there was any body in all Sicily that durst di­spute pedigree with him: nay, he maintain'd the excellency of his arrogant humour with certaine reasons, whereby he would prove, that one could not have a good spirit, unlesse he had as much pride as he. I was importun'd with his visits; neverthelesse being acquainted with his proud and ridiculous hu­mour, he sometimes serv'd to make me laugh, and I did often please my selfe in mocking at him, feigning that I beleev'd his vanities. Hee contrariwise thought I made a very great estimation of him, and that I beleev'd the grea­test honour could arrive to me, were, to see my selfe lov'd by a man of that importance.

One day when I was alone, he came to see me, and not willing to lose the opportunity of speaking to me, he told me in a cold fashion, that he had news to let me know, which would not be unacceptable. I desir'd him to tell mee it. 'Tis this, sayes he, that I have quite broke with Aspasia (that was one of the handsomest in Syracuse.) And wherein, sayes I to him, may this businesse concerne me? Because, answers he, there was nothing but the trust I had in her that hindred me giving my selfe to you. And this was the newes that must be so welcome to me. Is it possible, said Epicharis interrupting her, the man could be so impertinent? Wonder not at that, replide Ariana, heare onely that remaines; then shee went on; I was willing to entertaine him in this vaine humour, as I had accustomed, and told him; Truly, you could not have brought me a more agreeable newes, if it were to be beleev'd; but I dare not hope you are minded to doe me so much honour, acknowledging my selfe unworthy of it. No, continued he, I will have you beleeve it, although your modesty makes some difficulty, and I hope our intelligence shall prove most perfect: for as I make my selfe as contrary as may be to the humour of those cowards that lose the advantages of our sex, submitting themselves to Ladies by a thousand flatteries; so I perceive not in you the arrogancy of these dis­dainfull women, that acknowledge not the defects of their sex; and by this I find that our judgements are equally disabused of those ordinary errors, and are firme in the true opinions that each of us both ought to have of him­selfe. I smiled, looking on him, and wondred to what end this poore wretch lost himselfe in his vaine ravings. Hee contrarily beleev'd that I laugh'd for excesse of joy, that he would take the paines to love me, and had this foolish [Page] conceit that the more he lessen'd me, the more I thought my selfe beholding to him. At last, because I would see to what point his presumption would attaine, I told him, that since it was his will to make mee so happy, I intrea­ted him to instruct me how I might please him by living with him, to the end I might never be wanting in the respect was due to the greatnesse of his me­rit. My minion (said he taking me by the hand, and thinking to oblige me much by this kind word) only love me, and consider what my worth may be, and then you shall ever give me honour enough; as for my friendship you may be assur'd of it, as long as you shall live after this fashion; I will not abuse you with a thousand oaths, as others doe, or with crouchings that were un­worthy of my selfe: you see how I am not disguis'd, but what I speake must of necessity be that I thinke. Herein he had very good reason. There are many, said he, that esteeme that pride, which is in effect but a good spirit, and a wholesome knowledge of ones selfe: Tis a signe a man feeles a want in himselfe, when he does abase him out of complaisance: and amongst men, that which they call courtesie and honesty, I call cowardlinesse and basenesse: It is to testifie that one cannot subfist by himselfe, when he goes about see­king the good will and sustentation of others. It seemes you would be oblig'd to them for letting you alone in quiet, and submitting to their mercy, you held not your owne life but at their favour.

I made as if I approved all he said, and admir'd the good apprehensions he had of all things. For me, goes he forward, I am determin'd to despise all the world, as though I defied every one to hurt me, and were assur'd against so many persons by my owne strength alone: It seemes that I oppose my selfe alone to all the world together, and finding how those that approach mee come with respect and silence; I am pleas'd in my selfe to see how I thus tri­umph over all, and that my only countenance makes me so dreadfull. He made me a thousand such like discourses, but the estate I am in that cannot suffer fooleries, will not permit me to repeat them, no nor so much as to remember them. I confesse to thee, Epicharis, I had a great delight with my selfe at so strange a folly, but I wanted a third person to laugh with, and mock him, and it was an extreme displeasure to me to be alone at this fine entertainment; I did nothing but fix my eyes upon him, not willing to spend a reply, either to disabuse him, or to consent any more to his discourse. I began to be weary of him, and had in the end shamefully sent him packing, but that for my qui­etnesse, Melintus and my brother came in: then I could not containe my selfe, but as soone as they were set, I conceiv'd indeed an enterprize too bold for my wit to seeme capable of. I would impart to them Garamant's entertainment, without naming him in his owne presence, for my owne ease and his confu­sion: and I said to them, I was in great impatience till I saw you, to tell the great good fortune is happened to me. Melintus ask'd me what it was. Tis this, say I, that I have got a servant I am infinitely proud of. He exprest to me how he rejoyc'd at it for my sake, and inquir'd if he might not by any meanes know his name. This is the thing, said I to him, I cannot learne you: but I will tell you truly in what sort he made me offer of his service. Then I be­gan to report as faithfully as I could Garamant's discourses, remarking all his sottishnesse and impertinencies: whereupon he blush't, and he grew pale and I died with laughing to see how he knew not what posture to put himselfe in. [Page 72] Melintus and my brother could not beleeve there had beene so great extrava­gancy of braine, and at every word demanded if that were possible. I was wil­ling to tell them at large all the excellent reasonings of Garamont, and reserve nothing, so much recreated was I in the story of it; and every fondnesse of his wanted not the qualification of titles it deserv'd, and they were so many sensible blowes to this honest man that was present, and that suffer'd him­selfe to be thus prick't, and never cried out. At last Melintus ask'd mee, if I had not invented so pleasant a businesse. I told him, for to possesse the other with desperation, and make them understand of whom I had spoken. Gara­mant shall witnesse for me, if I say any thing but what is true. Then they well conceiv'd, that it was his entertainment I had made the relation of, for as they look't upon him, they saw in what sort he was abashed, and besides they were acquainted with his humour. Garamant seeing he was discover'd and in­forc'd to speake, knew not what party to take, whether he ought to be offen­ded for their mocking him, or whether he were to maintaine that which had thus declar'd his affection: his cowardnesse not permitting, the first, he was resolv'd for the second, because he might then speake in a third person, and he said how he found not so much to be blam'd as they did, in the procee­ding of that man, and that if every man govern'd himselfe so, the Ladies would be constrain'd to banish this great severity they observe, and confesse that they have a great obligation to the men for loving them. Melintus then began to speake finding himselfe offended in my person, and to sustaine my cause, ask'd him whereupon he grounded this vanity: upon this, sayes he, that for one advantage women have above us, which is beauty, men have a thousand above them, which are yet of a farre greater consequence: as the height of courage, prudence, force and addresse of the body, with an infinite number of others. Melintus answered him; Although wee had these advanta­ges, I find them very poore ones, since we are to submit them all to the pow­er of their beauty: but wee are very farre from having them, for a Lady shewes more courage in the conservation of her honour, and more pru­dence in the carriage of her selfe, than we are able to doe in any action: they have more hard trials to endure than wee, and more consequences to foresee. They are incessantly to be upon their guard, and yet that in so great a circumspection, there appeare no constraint, and whether this be done with paine, or with facility, they are to be commended either for their great carefulnesse, or else for their great quicknesse of wit. We on the con­trary let scape a thousand speeches, and doe a thousand actions, that would be as many crimes to Ladies, which witnesses in them a nature much more perfect than ours, and a greater purity of vertue, wherein the least fault would make a great spot. There remaines nothing in us but the strength of the body, which is but a very poore advantage to prevaile with: as if the Li­on were to be more esteem'd than a man, because he is stronger. Wit ever triumphs over force. The strongest people of the world are not the most renowned: the Greekes and the Romans have alwayes vanquisht the Barbari­ans that surpass'd them in strength of body. Besides there is not a man so pow­erfull, but a Lady rules him: there needs but a looke or a word, and wee are struck downe, and then we must come to prayers and submissions, which is an infallible mark of their advantage; for he that sues to another, without [Page] doubt finds himselfe the weakest. Garamant sayes to him, you would alleage farre differing reasons against them, if Ariana were not present, and it grieves me to see we are so poore spirited to employ the same force of wit wee excell them in, to make them beleeve they excell us. Nay contrary, replide Me­lintus, if Ariana were not here, I would not content my selfe with reasons, which I use for her satisfaction, and not yours; but the respect of her keeps me from letting you see how farre I disesteeme you, for contesting this cause so to no purpose in her presence. Melintus modesty suffer'd him not to make any more quarrelling with him before mee, for feare of giving me offence; but my brother could not endure this foole in my chamber, and told him, You take upon you too much interest in this cause, not to be that very imperti­nent and ridiculous fellow that made her all those discourses; I counsell you to get you gone quickly hence, if you have not a mind to see your selfe pu­nish'd in her sight for your impudent follies. Hee was thus forc'd to goe his way, mock'd of all, with the greatest shame a man could possibly receive: and the arrogant fellow was such a coward, that hee never durst returne a word, onely hee bit some speeches betweene his teeth wee could not un­derstand.

We did nothing but laugh at him the rest of the day, but at night there had like to have happened a great misfortune for it; for Melintus going from our house very late with my brother, to goe lye together, as many times they us'd to doe, they were set upon by twelve or fifteene men, against whom they so valiantly defended them, being both a horsebacke, that after they had kill'd foure of them, the rest were put to flight. The dead men were the day after knowne for souldiers of Toxaris that was Provost of Syracuse, and an intimate friend of Garamant. This Toxaris had seem'd to be a lover of Ergina, Melintus sister, but he was expell'd the house of Telephus by Melintus, especi­ally because he could not endure him for the robberies hee did himselfe, in stead of hindering others from committing them. Neverthelesse, they could neither accuse Toxaris nor Garamant for this attempt against my brothers and Melintus life, for there was not left life enough in the men that remaind upon the place, to get the truth out of them.

Two dayes after, Melintus and my brother receiv'd a challenge from these two friends, who to revenge them for the affront they had receiv'd, would joyne their quarrels together; and they knew they attended them alone out of the Towne, in a place whither a young boy, that brought the paper, was to conduct them. Melintus mistrusted some treachery, and could not beleeve that such cowards as they were, were minded to fight with them so freely, and without advantage: and yet that they might not seeme to recule, they resolv'd to goe thither with a designe to guard themselves from foule play. This boy leads them out of the City towards certaine hollow places, whence stones were digged, and shewed them from a hill Toxaris and Garamant all alone, in a place where there was no cause to feare there were any men hid­den, for it was in a plaine peece of ground, and they might easily marke eve­ry thing that was farre off round about it. The youth said to them, that now they saw them, he had no more to doe with them, and retir'd himselfe. Me­lintus advancing himselfe a horsebacke as he was, to goe right to them, saw the ordinary way to be cross'd with trees and stones, and that there was but [Page 74] one path to passe by, that was very neare to a quarry of stone: hee was in a wonder at that, but Palamede without any more consideration, thrust for­ward his horse towards the path, and Melintus was strangely taken to see him all at once sinke, as if the earth had swallowed him, and nothing more ap­pear'd to his sight but a great open gulph, into which Palamede was fallen with his horse. Instantly Melintus ran to the descent of the quarry, for one might freely goe there being on horsebacke; and seeing foure souldiers that went to cut my brothers throat, he ran to them, his sword in his hand, and by his cryes made them turne towards him, whilest my brother came out of the da­zelling of his fall, which by good fortune did him no very great hurt, and got quit of his horse that was dead of it. Already had Melintus strucke downe two of them at his feet, and incenc'd with fury to see so great treason, tooke him to the two other, when Toxaris and Garamant arriv'd, that made him turne face towards them, and at the same time my brother found himselfe ready to set upon the two souldiers that remain'd. I cannot relate all the particulars of that combat, for they are both of them too modest to have recited what proofes of their valour they gave: onely I can tell thee that my brother ha­ving defeated those souldiers, and Melintus pierced the two Traitors with many wounds, they constrain'd them at last to take flight. Melintus would not pursue them for leaving my brother that was afoot; and seeing one of those foure souldiers that still breathed, hee made him confesse that all the night they had prepar'd that hole with hurdles that were not underpropt but with little sticks, and that they had cover'd them over with earth, so as the trap could not be discern'd: that after that they had broken the ordinary way, to oblige them to passe by that corner. Melintus thanking the gods for having deliver'd them from that Ambush, tooke up my brother behind him, and leaving this wretch to breathe his last, they return'd into the City. My brother was a while to be cur'd of a hurt he tooke of his fall, and since that we heard no newes of Garamant or Toxaris, but that one told us they were gone to a Countrey house, where they hardly scap'd dying of their wounds. Palamede made me the relation of all had passed: and yet hee signified how Melintus was not willing it should be knowne, for feare the cause thereof should withall come to light and I am sure his greatest feare was, lest I should be comprehended in the discourse, well knowing how averse I was to be mingled in the City newes.

It came to passe a while after that Diocles reviving his suit for his sonne, oneday Palamede came to tell me in Melintus presence, that hee thought my uncle Dicearchus would at last agree to the marriage of me and Amyntas. This newes put me to blushing, and made Melintus mute for a time: yet not wil­ling my brother saw his amazednesse, he told me, that hee thought Amyntas very happy: then he ask'd me, if I were well acquainted with him: I an­swered him, how I never desir'd to enquire after him: being resolv'd to shut my eyes, and take what husband should be given me. Palamede, that had a minde to laugh, told me, you may by night well take him so, your eyes clos'd, but I can tell you that by day he shall put you to no feare. Melintus that would nor contradict him, sayes to me, that without doubt hee was a very honest man: Neverthelesse, this discourse being ended, he went out, as I ghess'd, very much troubled: and since that, he was a good while without seeing me. [Page] I conceal'd not my wondring at it from my brother, and he told me, he had not seene him neither since I did; but that hee had heard say how Telephus and Diocles that were so great friends were lately fallen out, and it might be Telephus had forbidden Melintus to come to our house, because of the suit Di­ocles made for me with his sonne: yet to enquire further into the truth, hee went to see him. About night my brother came to tell mee, that Melintus had beene stayed at home with a Fever, and for no other cause besides. I presently imagin'd his sicknesse proceeded from nothing but the resolution I had express'd to him for this match, for else hee would have sent to advertise my brother of it. Some dayes pass'd on still, in which Palamede told me that he was better: and one afternoone he came to our house, where he found no body but my brother and I; Palamede having some urgent appointment, left us alone together, and then entring into discourse with Melintus, he an­swered me but with certaine words that well shewed the pressures of his spi­rit. I told him, without doubt something troubled him. Madam, sayes hee to me, I confesse there is some confusion in my minde which I cannot be rid of, but in telling you the cause of it; and yet there is something that for­bids me also the discovery of it to you. I was somewhat amaz'd, thinking he would have declar'd his love to me: for without all question I had then banish'd him my sight for ever: neverthelesse I said thus to him; Tis with you to judge whether you ought to tell it me, or not; you know my hu­mour, and your owne discretion. I added these last words, to take from him the boldnesse of discovering himselfe; then hee answered mee; I am con­straind, Madam, to tell it you, though peradventure, as much honour as you have done me, as much reason may you have to wish evill to me. I was more afraid now than before, and angry that he went about to oblige mee never to see him more; which made me say to him; Melintus, doe not then put any thing to the hazard, but let us remaine in the state we are in. He was well aware of my feare, but yet he continues speaking thus; I will now make an expression to you, Madam, how much I honour you, for I am going to put my life into your hands, and after you shall know what I have to tell you, you may make me happy, or destroy me when you please. I thought he had a plot to put me thus into paine, and I would have wish'd he had not entred into our house that day. I reparted to him, Melintus, I pray you tell me nothing, lest it may cause some mischiefe to you, by this permission I may grant you. Then to settle me, he said with a countenance more assur'd, I am certaine, Madam, I shall not doe amisse in telling you it; nay, you will confesse, that I was bound to it, and I will beleeve for my part, that you will doe mee no harme, although I give you power enough: I know my selfe too well, and you also, to be ignorant of that that might displease you. Upon this assurance I permitted him to speake, and he began thus; Madam, I beleev'd I had a father, but now I have none; or if I have one, I know not in what part of the world he is at this time. Alas! sayes I to him, what's become of Tele­phus? Madam, goes he on, he is well, but listen, if it please you, to what I have to tell you. He has had sometime a difference with Diocles, wherein he was not satisfied, and yesterday when he went to his house to obtaine more reason at his hands, he came backe in a great chafe, and taking me apart said to me; Melintus, I must of necessity reveale to you the greatest secret that [Page 76] concernes me, and your selfe too: I will never quit the affection I have to you since you came into the world, but it is time that I quit the name of your father, to discover your birth to you. Those words, said he, much amaz'd me, but for my assurance, he replied; Courage, Melintus, I bring you no illnewes; only heare with patience my discourse: then hee continues.

Know that upon the end of the reigne of Claudius the Emperour, all the world being at peace, the Siracusians enjoyed a full liberty: Neverthelesse Hermocrates and Dicearchus had the greatest authority in the City, being both of them equall in power, and antiquitie of their Noble families: Her­mocrates was descended of Pyrrhus King of the Epirotes, that drew his originall from Achilles: for they say, that this Prince after many victories, having also conquer'd Sicily, fell in love at Siracuse with Coronis the only daughter of Parmenides, that came of the blood of the ancient Kings of Sicily, who having understood that Antigone was dead, gave leave that Pyrrhus being a widower, should secretly marry his daughter, untill he were return'd out of Italy, be­cause he would not have it knowne she was his wife, for leaving her to the mercy of many enemies he left behind him in Sicily. But whilest he gained battells against the Romans, he lost Sicily, whither he could not afterwards returne; and having beene forc'd after some losses to retire himselfe out of Italy, he attempted other conquests, and was slaine.

Coronis had a sonne by Pyrrhus, but Parmenides durst not let him be knowne, because the Siracusians had rebelled against Pyrrhus, and chosen ano­ther King. He tooke upon him no other care the rest of his dayes with Core­nis, than to breed this sonne, by putting him in minde of his royall birth; and this Prince being come to age, was content to live a private life, because of the power of the Romans, to whom his father had beene so dangerous an enemy: and he would not so much as speake to his brothers, fearing they might doubt his birth: Neverthelesse in the warres he did very brave actions; and his de­scendants, of whom was Hermocrates, have all of them beene inspir'd with a greatnesse of courage worthy of that divine blood they came of.

Dicearchus on the other side was of the ancient race of that great Timeleon of Corinth, that had in times past setled his dwelling at Siracuse with his wife and children, whom he brought from Corinth, after he had expell'd all the Tyrants out of Sicily, and defeated the power of the Carthaginians in many battells.

Dicearchus therefore and Hermocrates in all resolutions for the publique were ever of contrary opinions, and had their factions apart. Dicearchus was of a turbulent disposition (pardon me, sayes he, Madam, if I use the same termes Telephus us'd) and spar'd for no policie to maintaine himselfe, and exceed Hermocrates in credit. Hermocrates was more moderate, and more trusted in his approved honesty, and the glory he had gained by his actions of warre under Germanicus, affecting no other advantage in the City, but what his predecessours had acquir'd for him. But Dicearchus jealous of the reputation he had, and not able to endure an equall, studied the meanes to ruine him. One day having got together what armes he could find, he made them be carried by night over the walls into Hermocrates garden, and dispos'd in rancks, as if they were to serve upon an occasion. That same night he advertis'd the chiefe of the City, that Hermocrates had some [Page] attempt. They purpos'd to enter his house betimes in the morning, to see what was done there, where having found all those armes, they attached him, and carried him into the fortresse, then they held a counsell, to resolve what they were to doe with him. The greater part knew well it was but a plot of Dicearchus, there being no colour, that one private man should make him­selfe a tyrant of so great a City, that was at that time under the government of Claudius, who reigned in the greatest strength and tranquillity of the Roman Emperour. The people that loved Hermocrates began to mutine against his accusers; which Dicearchus perceiving, he was of opinion to send the know­ledge of that supposed crime to the governour of the province: but the Si­racusians would never suffer that, for feare injustice might be offer'd Hermo­crates; and alleging the privileges they had maintained, to be Judges in such affaires, they would themselves take knowledge of the cause: Neverthelesse not daring absolutely to absolve him, lest Dicearchus might complaine of them to the governour, they assembled in the afternoone, and were content to banish him for five yeares according to their ancient law of Petalisme, that was made against such as affected tyranny. Dicearchus not willing to pro­voke the people, made as if he were satisfied to see him absent; and fifteene dayes after Hermocrates was forc'd to depart the City with Enphrosine his wife, that was neere her time of delivery, and certaine of his friends, in which number was Diocles and I, sayes Telephus, to goe to Lylibeum, and from thence to embarke for Carthage. I have heard say indeed, sayes I to Melintus inter­rupting him, that Diocles and Telephus were of a contrary party to my uncle Dicearchus. So goes the report, sayes he and then replide; Telephus added, how Hermocrates left his country he had so loved, with teares in his eyes: and carrying away with him the best of his moveables, bequeath'd the ad­ministration of all the goods he had in Sicily, to Diocles, and suffering him to goe but one dayes journey with him, they parted: but Telephus willing to ac­company him as far as Lylibeum, about evening Euphrosine fell into her paines of child-birth, and was at night brought to bed of a sonne, which about the place of his heart, was found to have the marke of another heart.

Hermocrates sent with joy the newes to Diocles, and withall advertis'd him of this mark; and not willing afterwards to expose this infant to the incom­modities of the sea, prayed me, sayes Telephus, to carry him back to Siracuse, and bring him up as my owne, staying till the end of his banishment; besides he said, he was very glad he was borne in Sicily, and should there also be bred. I accepted, continues Telephus, this intreaty with joy. O gods, sayes I, inter­rupting Melintus, what great suspitions doe you put into me, concerning Diocles, Telephus, and your selfe; and what a change of things are these newes likely to breed. Madam, sayes Melintus, you are not much amisse, then hee goes on. Telephus told me, that after he had staied some time at Lylibeum, while Euphrosine might endure the sea, he tooke this little infant, and return'd to Siraouse, where finding his wife Hyperia that in like manner was delivered, but of a dead child, he supposed this in the stead, for feare he might dye with griefe, when her losse were told her; which thing she soone beleev'd, and they nam'd him together Melintus. At that word, Ah the gods! Melintus, cried I out, can it be possible? Madam, sayes Melintus, I wonder not at your surprize, because mine was farre greater than when Telephus pronounc'd this [Page 78] name to me; and added: Since that, my wife hath alwayes bred you as her owne sonne, and your selfe can tell also, if I have spared any thing to have you be instructed in what ever might adorne your birth. And what is be­come of Hermocrates, sayes Melintus? Since his embarking, answer'd Telephus, we have heard no newes of him, nor did he then land at Carthage; and now Diocles thinking him dead, and not knowing what you are, hath usurp'd all your estate. I did often tell him, how he ought not to make any such pretence, and yet never letting him know who you were. And now a few dayes agoe, seeing how by meanes of his riches, he sought Dicearchus neece for his sonne, I went to advise him, not to dispose of any thing to the prejudice of Hermo­crates and his sonne that was living: but he did but mock me, and demanded if I pretended not a part in that estate, for the acquaintance I had of it: that he would keep it well all to himselfe, and that I should not be credited, though I had a mind to reveale any thing. I went away, said Telephus, calling him a disho­nest man, and assuring him the truth would come to light. To day, having heard how he advanc'd his affaires continually, and taking no care of that I had told him, I return'd to him, and prayd him to beleeve, I was no lyar, and that hee would repent him of branding himselfe with so great an infidelity. He con­tinued his mockeries with so much pride and scorne, that I was resolv'd to dis­cover to you your fortune, that together we might advise of the meanes how to oppose the enterprises of this man, and the designes hee hath to retaine what belongs to you. I was, said Melintus, so confounded at so many strange accidents that I was uncapable of considering what counsell were best to bee taken. Neverthelesse I told him, that if these things were true, I should never want a heart to challenge my right; that he would give me some time to [...] ­sider thereupon, for it was to be proceeded in with as much prudence as re­solution. Having approved my advice, said Melintus, I told him, I would never leave calling him my father, and honouring him as if he were so, for the great obligations I had to him; and he did also confirme to me all the assurances I could desire of his friendship; swearing to me, that if I could have no rea­son of Diocles, he would not faile to divide his estate betweene his daughter and me, as before I beleev'd he would doe: neverthelesse, that with the care we were to use in the businesse, he hoped the gods would doe me justice. By this, continues he, Madam, you see how I was oblig'd to advertise you of what I have beene told. I hope I have not offended you, unlesse it were in speaking of Dicearchus in the termes were us'd by Telephus. And you see how I put my life into your hands: for if Dicearchus comes to know that I am the sonne of him he loved not, it may be he will seeke my ruine; but you may dispose of me as you please. On the other side, if I be to declare my selfe, I make me e­nemy not only to Dicearchus, but Diocles also, and all those of their party: but I will not feare any of these difficulties, if you shall thinke it fitting I declare my selfe. Hormocrates sonne, of whom we have heard the people speake with so much sorrow, and appeare to be descended of that illustrious bloud of Pyr­rhus, and Achilles: and yet before I expresse my resolution to Telephus, I de­sired to make a suit to you, that I might know your purpose: for if you intend to marry Amyntas, never shall any besides you heare more of my fortune: the estate I leave to him, will be but the meanest losse I shall make in his prospe­rity. I demand your counsell therefore, Madam, in what I am to doe, and be­seech [Page] you to let me know what you resolve concerning that marriage, I pro­mise you to satisfie what command you shall ordaine me, although it were a forbidding me to live any longer. Epicharis, continued Ariana, I sweare to thee I was confounded with astonishment and joy, to see him advanc'd to a condi­tion higher than I could have beleev'd; but withall I admir'd his generosity, with the love and respect he had to me, and said to him, Melintus, if I find you true, you may assure your selfe, I will never marry an usurper of your estate: Live in as great assurance as ever; Dicearchus shall beare you no ill will, for that knowledge I shall give him concerning you. I am too much obliged to your freedome, to hurt you: I am but troubled with you, for the fashion you are to use in behaving you in the midst of so many enemies. Madam, saies he, that's the least care I have, seeing you so favourably entertaine my secret, and I hope it shal be one day so well confirm'd to you, that you wil not repent you to have done so many favors to a person of my condition. Melintus, saies I to him, the knowledge you give mee of your illustrious birth, addes very little to the esteeme I had of you already: and you expresse so much confidence in mee, as I am thereby obliged from henceforth to have as much interest as you your selfe in all that may concerne you: especi­ally I wish you to resolve of nothing without me, concerning the carriage of your selfe, so much part will I take in all thing shall arrive to you. Hee was so transported for this testimony of affection, that hee tooke the bold­nesse to kisse my hand in stead of thanking me; that was the first favour hee obtaind of me, and the onely I have since that permitted him: then we ad­vised to let some time passe, during which many things might be cleared. To assure him, I sware to him, that I would never marry Amyntas; and in the meane time we found it very expedient that Telephus should not discover him, and that he should make what friends he could to strengthen himselfe, which would be no difficult matter. Above all, that he sought the peoples good will (wherein a few dayes since he had a very favourable occasion, having obtaind of the Emperor the exemption of Tributes) and that when all things were pre­par'd, they might accuse Diocles, and verifie the birth by those witnesses Te­lephus should bring; then to demand of him the evidences of the goods he had usurped, which would be impossible for him to shew. He protested he would follow my counsell, and gave me such passionate thanks for the care I took of his fortune, that it was impossible for me to resist so much affection; and from that time, without ever making love one to another, we were assured that there was not so perfect a one as ours. We thought it best, not to let Palamede know any thing, because of his too forward nature, that would with all violence de­clare himselfe for Melintus against Diocles, which we judged unnecessary: Me­lintus made Telephus consent, not to discover him yet, and told him hee was assur'd, that Palamede knew well how to hinder his sisters marriage: for me, I let Amyntas know that I was not resolv'd to marry yet this yeere, and that he should take heed he made no propositions thereof before; wherein he pro­mis'd to obey me. Afterwards the occasion being presented of the Ambassage to Rome from Syracuse, Palamede had a minde to that voyage and I made Me­lintus resolve to accompany him, upon the assurance I gave him privately, that in his absence there should passe nothing to his prejudice: besides, I told him, he might find occasion to serve his Countrey, and get a reputation with the [Page 80] Ambassadors by his counsels and interpositions. In all which thou hast heard what good successe befell him, and what honours he had receiv'd at his return into Sicily, if fortune at this present had not beene so contrary to him.

Thou seest then, Epicharis, whether I trust thee or no, in revealing to thee the secret of Melintus, and mine; but I desire the gods would send him no o­ther misfortune, but that I feare might happen to him by thy indiscretion. Epicharis had bin so attentive to all this discourse, and so ravish'd with hearing so many strange passages, that she seem'd to have lost the use of her speech: but then she began to say, Madam, I thinke I never receiv'd so much content­ment as in hearing your discourse, as well for having understood so pleasing relations, as for the confidence you have in mee. I assure my selfe, that such faire fortunes as yours, and such vertuous affections, shall not have so unfor­tunate an end, as that you feare: and the honour you doe me, obliges me to undertake any thing that may conduce to yours and Melintus service. Alas! Epicharis, replide Ariana, I can hardly ever expect to see him in a place where I may resolve of any thing to his advantage, or where thou mightst be able to serve us. Madam, sayes Epicharis, raising up her selfe, I beseech you to suffer, that this very houre I may expresse the passion I have for you. What canst thou doe, answers Ariana? He has left you, sayes she, Arcas, and given him charge not to abandon you: Give mee him in exchange, and give mee leave to stay in this Countrey to learne what may become of them, to assist them, and send you newes of them. How, sayes Ariana, canst thou be able to doe any thing, being but a wench, and besides that, all alone in the Country? Madam, replied she, the disgrace that fell to me by the burning of my haire, shall much advantage my designe. I will disguise my selfe in a boy, and this night 'twill be easie for me to escape from you in the wood, when you are up­on parting. Epicharis, said Ariana, thou art too couragious; I feare thy labour will be but unprofitable, and in the meane time I shall bee deprived of thy company and consolations. Madam, sayes she, I have taken this resolution, and should remaine here against your will, if you would not thinke it fitting: but I beseech you to give your consent. Ariana at last accorded to that device, and seeing there yet remain'd day enough, before they could depart, they fell both of them asleepe.

ARIANA. The fifth Booke.

ARistides not knowing the designe of Epicharis, after hee had slept a while, considered upon all the resolutions were to bee taken in this disaster: one while he would have return'd to Rome, to defend his sonnes cause, if hee were in the hands of Justice, and to move compassion both with the Judges and the Empe­rour. On the other side, hee would not carry his daughter thither, nor yet let her goe alone into Sicily, seeing Nero had such desires to her. At last, knowing it was necessary for him to follow Arcas his advice, and to goe out of Italy, where they should not faile to be alwayes pursued, he could not be comforted for abandoning his sonne in so great a hazard of his life: and yet he determin'd to leave some one in the Countrey, that might advise of means to assist Melintus and him, and keepe them from any misfortune. Hee found none so fit for this, as Arcas, and intreated him to take the employment on him: but he assur'd him, he had no greater desire than to doe this service, but that he had oblig'd himselfe to Palamede by an oath, not to forsake them till they were in Sicily; and therefore this commission must be given to ano­ther. Aristides chose out the most advised of his servants, that was call'd Her­mes, and having instructed him concerning the wayes he was to take, in case they were retained by order of justice, hee gave him as much money as hee could spare: and when the night came, they prepar'd to depart. Ariana in like manner gave in secret to Epicharis some jewels shee had, to serve her turne when she might have need of money: and all of them taking their journey in the by-wayes of the Forest, under the conduct of Arcas that had taken view of the passages of it, in a little time they soone found themselves in the Champaigne, from whence they began to see and smell the smoake of the City that still burnt. In the midst of this horror, they gave not over tra­velling on towards Ostia, and a while after Aristides comming neare his daugh­ter, and missing Epicharis, ask'd her where she was. Ariana answer'd him, shee thought she follow'd them: they sought for her amongst the company, and not finding her at all, Aristides imagin'd shee lov'd Hermes, and leaving the company had escap'd to follow him. Ariana said, she had not that opinion of Epicharis, but that she was wandred about the wood, and making as though [Page 82] she were in gteat trouble for her, she desir'd they might goe back againe to seeke her. Aristides being in a rage, swore he would leave her since she might easily have followed the company, if she had would; and what ever displea­sure Ariana shewed, he would no longer delay the time, for this maid. Some return'd the way they had come, but not having found her, they did all conti­nue their journey together. Being happily arriv'd at Ostia, they saw a man that brought newes, how two Sicilians were taken, and accus'd for setting Rome on fire, and that they were now prisoners; This a little eas'd their mindes, to know they were living: and yet they left not to have many feares for them; but hoping in their innocency, and not able then to give them any other remedy, they imbarck't in the ship that had beene staied for them, recommending Palamede and Melintus to the gods, and passing the straight betwixt Reggium and Messina, that separates Sicily from Italy, landed safely at Syracuse.

When they were seene to arrive without Palamede and Melintus, and their misfortune was knowne, there was a publike mourning for it, for they were both of them very well loved of the people: and the consideration of Dicearchus, Aristides and Telephus, with the good will that all in particular bare to these two friends, made the chiefe men of the City resolve to send in their favour an Embassie expresse to Nero and the Senate, to make a repre­sentation of their innocence, and obtaine favour at their hands, endevou­ring to restore to Melintus the benefit they had received from him when he procur'd the exemptions. Dicearchus desir'd to be chiefe of these Ambassa­dours, and they hastened away because there was no time to lose; but when they had passed to Reggium to goe by land to Rome, they met there with Hermes that told them these deadly newes; how Palamede and Melintus having beene examin'd a few dayes since, and seeing how they were ready to be condemn'd by the expresse commandement of Nero, were willing to prevent a shamefull death, and had cast themselves downe into the Tyber from the top of the tower where they were prisoners. This assurance he gave them, turn'd their journey back againe, and repassing to Messina, they arriv'd by the same way they came, at Syracuse, where they possest all with sadnesse and con­fusion.

Aristides tore his haire, and accus'd himselfe for having abandoned his sonne: and his griefe was such, that a very little while after it brought him to his grave. Dicearchus resented this calamity in losing the dearest hopes of his house. Telephus was touch'd with as great an affliction for Melintus, as if he had beene his owne sonne, but nothing was able to equall Ariana's griefe; who under the pretext of her brothers death, lamented besides the death of Melintus with the bitterest teares that love ever caus'd to be shed: so as all places ecchoed with her plaints. Alas, said she, now is the time I am certaine of my misery. Miserable Rome, that servest for a monument to my dearest pledges, and must thou againe triumph over us? and must the injustice that reignes with thee bring to ruine so vertuous an innocency? O gods I how long will you suffer this cruell tyranny? why swallow not you up that wicked nation? or why these latter dayes did you not let them be devour'd in the flames they had prepar'd for us, for to punish them by their owne villany? Alas! there was left enough of that wretched people to destroy the goodliest friendship that ever was. Deare brother, I shall never see you more, and not [Page] seeing you, I shall never more see what I held most deare in the world. Wo­full voyage, disastrous counsell I gave my brother, to goe see a City that subsists not, but for the ruine of all things: for since the time he came neere it, what a traine of miseries have we had experience of? and what blind fury lead us one after another, to goe seeke out misfortunes at their fountaine, and the place where vice and crimes are reigning with so much power and insolency? at least, when I was there arriv'd, just heavens, why did you not let me perish in the fire with them, without making me survive the sole per­son of the world that made my life happy to me, and desirable?

This faire Lady dissembled not such griefes as these in all companies, be­cause the cause of them was attributed to the great dearenesse that was be­twixt her brother and her: but her greatest sorrow was, for not having any body to comfort her, and discover her most secret griefes to. She enjoy'd not now Epicharis, nor her sweet consolation: yet she had a little hope left still, as long as she heard not the certainty of their death from the mouth of that wench. She inquir'd privately of Hermes, if he had not seene her, and he told her, how he had help'd to disguise her, that they both went into Rome together, that he had counsell'd her to goe find out Maximus, and the rest of the friends Melintus and Palamede had, and since that he had heard no newes of her; and this put her into more trouble for Epicharis, whose adventure had beene thus.

Before Aristides and Ariana were gone out of the wood, she had acquain­ted Hermes with her purpose, for being well assur'd of him, to the end he might wait for her at the same place, when she should have withdrawne her selfe from the rest, foreseeing what need she might have of him, both for getting out of the forest, as to get clothes, and advise together of the meanes how to helpe Palamede and Melintus: she absented her selfe a little from the troope, after she had kiss'd her deare Mistresse, and embrac'd her: then shee went to find Hermes, that cut the rest of her haire for her, and in the morning when they were at the woods end, she bethought her to send him to buy her clothes at Rome, and learne what they said there. She staied a long time for him, and to the middle of the day, for it was foure miles journey from thence: in the end he return'd, and brought her clothes, which she fitted, and drest her selfe in as well as she could, and hid her owne. He told her, the brute ran, they had taken two strangers, that were accus'd for having set Rome on fire: they imagin'd it was Palamede and Melintus, and the same houre mounted a horse-back, and went forward on the way. Epicharis ar­riving at Rome, was forc'd to stay at the gates, for the multitude of those that came out, all in teares and lamentations for their losses: Neverthelesse taking resolution, she entred amongst the confusion of so many wretched persons, some carrying what they were able to save, others mourning their children and kindred burnt, and some there were in the company also, that bare away what they had pillaged in that disorder, and all was full of cries and tu­mult. It was no hard matter for her to goe unknowne in that trouble: shee desir'd Hermes to lead her horse to be set up somewhere, then advis'd him to goe to Maximus his and their Masters friends to set them in employment for their deliverance. As for her, enquiring after the prison, she went to see it, and about evening she saw comming out of it an old man with a youth, [Page 84] and she knew they were the Jayler and his sonne. She followed them, to see whither they went, and what they sought, then as the night approach't, shee discern'd them to enter under Livia's porch, where there were great store of people walking. This good man was speaking to his sonne, as if he had his minde very fixt upon what he said, and the sonne staying to see some contro­versie, as the towne was then full of contention, Epicharis perceiv'd the Jay­ler went on his way, and ceas'd not his discourse, thinking he still spake to his sonne, [...] much did his businesse possesse him. She subtilly join'd her to him, and going the same pace, heard all the old man spake, who not thin­king he had any other by his side, but his sonne, said in continuing his discourse: Thou maist well consider, that the men they brought us yester­day, seeme to be persons of quality, that we are carefully to looke to. We cannot both of us provide all things; I have need of one to call them up, and to lye in their chamber. I will see, if the man I was told would sell himselfe at the entry of Isis Temple, be fit for my turne, and will give himselfe at a cheape rate. Epicharis had much adoe to hold from laughing at the Jaylers mistake, and was glad to know his designe, then seeing his sonne comming, she got away from him, without being perceiv'd, because of the darknesse; and ran in all haste to the entry of the Temple, where she found a young man sitting, whom she ask'd if he were to sell himselfe: he confest to her, that he was there for that purpose; she quickly agreed with him on the price, and giving him a peece of money, said to him, goe thy wayes, and stay for me neare Minerva's Temple, from thence I will bring thee to my Masters house: He went his way well satisfied, and presently came the Jayler, with his son, who finding Epicharis set, disguis'd into a man, ask'd her if she were the man that would sell himselfe. Epicharis told him, she waited there for no other occasion. They look'd well upon her, and finding her according to their minde, began to cheapen her, and although they offer'd but little, she agreed to it, upon condition she might redeeme her selfe for the same summe. That was taken very reasonable, and the Jaylor willing to give her the money, she praied him to keepe it, because she had no where to put it. The good man, pleas'd at her freenesse, brought her to the prison, and by the way instructed her of all she had to doe: wherein she promis'd to serve him faithfully; and she call'd her selfe Eurylas.

They entred about the time Melintus and Palamedes supper was carrying in, and presently they gave Eurylas a plate to serve with, who comming into the chamber, and getting neare Palamede, trod upon his foot, for feare he should be surpris'd in seeing her; then he did as much to Melintus. They suspected, advice was given them of something, but they knew her not for all that; therefore she reserv'd the discovery of herselfe till the night, when she should be alone in the chamber with them. The time being come that they were to goe to bed, she was left to wait on them, and lock'd into that chamber, with lights: then beginning to looke upon them, and smile: In­gratefull men, said she, speaking but low, doe you not vouchsafe to know those that run so much hazard for your sakes? Alas! said Palamede, tis Epi­charis: Melintus knew her also. Deare Epicharis, replide Palamede, have I ever deserv'd, you should bring your selfe into this danger for me, and would have embrac'd her: but she gently thrusting him away, said to him, I pray you [Page] doe not take a recompence in stead of giving me one for the service I do you. Melintus advis'd to put out the candell, for feare they were seene, and after­wards he demanded her newes of Aristides and Ariana, and if they had sav'd themselves; she said she thought they had: then reported the resolution she had taken, to disguise her selfe for their service, in exchange of Arcas that would not be perswaded to quit Ariana; that Hermes had beene left by Aristides to assist them; but that she had lost him, after giving him advice to employ Maximus and his friends for them: and she told them after that how she had abus'd the Jaylor to get into that prison. They admir'd the pretti­nesse of her wit, and the luck whereby the old man was couzened, and re­solv'd to husband well that good fortune: Above all they were of opinion not to speake at all one to another by day, but to put their conferences off till night, left she might chance to be discover'd. She inquir'd how they had scap'd killing in the incounter of the Souldiours that tooke them, since there were so many dead in the place. I swear to you, said Melintus, that they had too much feare to put us into desperation, and that we should not still kill some more of them: wee were glad to yeeld us, after we had fought it out to the very last, and since that they used us very unworthily, till we came into this very prison, where we are to be kept while the fire be wholly quench'd, and the Senat may assemble to take knowledge of the crimes we are accus'd of. We are, said she, to endevour to get out from hence before they have that lei­sure, and I for my part shall not be slow in finding out the meanes: but, sayes Palamede, taking her by the hand, I have cause to thinke well of my misfor­tune, that hath given me this benefit, to make her lye in the same chamber with me, for whom I have had so many longings. Palamede, said Epicharis, if I have so freely put my selfe into your hands, take no other advantage of it, besides the testimony I give you of an honest desire to serve you, for if you abuse this my freedome, I shall know how to punish you well enough, and my selfe too, for having obliged an indiscreet man. She spake these words something in passion: but Melintus said to her, No, no, Epicharis, I shall be his surety, assure your selfe, Palamede has not so lost his judgement as not to know what respect wee are to beare to your sex, and honour to your cou­rage. She knowes that well, replies Palamede, if I be not deceiv'd in her hu­mour, and if I honour it. I have beene sufficiently instructed to my cost, how I ought to live with her, and learn't more discretion in her company, than my wit hath seem'd capable of: Neverthelesse she knowes withall, that I must alwayes be jesting. These occasions, sayes she, permit no jesting; content your selfe, that I love you as my Master, and Melintus as my brother. Melin­tus admir'd her vertue, and gentilenesse, and gave her many thanks for the good will she had for him, without any obligation of his part to have ever moved her to it. Melintus, said she, you are of more worth than all my servi­ces, give me leave only to doe for you what I am able, and for this time doe me the favour to let me sleepe, for I had never so much need of rest. Melin­tus intreated her to take their bed for her selfe alone, because it was more commodious than her owne; but she would never consent to that, and went into another very little one that was made ready for her, after she had pray­ed them to remember she was called Eurylas, and no more Epicharis. They promis'd her to have care of it, and then they all three held their peaces to go sleepe.

[Page 86] The next day she arose before them, and went to make acquaintance with all of that obscure house; then having understood there were some Romans come, that desir'd to speake with the two friends, she went to them to know what their desires were. They signified to her, they were come to offer them their goods and services. Epicharis went to aske the Gaoler if she should let them in, but he said that was expresly forbidden, and shee made answer to them, that it was not possible to speake with them; but how they were best to employ themselves with the Senators, to make their innocence appeare to them, and what the actions of their life past had beene; which they promis'd to doe, and went their way, after she had knowne the lodging of some of them to make use thereof if need were.

Melintus in the meane time, that waked long before Palamede, entred up­on the consideration of his good fortune, and commended this accident, for making him receive so deare an expression of Ariana's affection, as to send her faithfull Epicharis to assist him with her brother, when shee could give them no helpe her selfe. He doubted not of escaping that danger, seeing himselfe strengthened with such a helper, and spent all his thoughts in the remembrance of Ariana, and the fortune of his loves, which he found to be in a very happy condition. For although he might thinke shee had not sent this maid but for her brothers sake, yet he found this action to be too gentile, and too generous to proceed from a simple friendship, and not rather to be a Love-invention: and then resting him upon that meditation, he said with­in himselfe, And dare I also to pretend to so much happinesse? and can I with­out presumption beleeve that she loves me? for if I beleeve her altogether perfect, I am to be perswaded that she hath an excellent judgement: and with what vanity can I hope she should thinke me worthy of her? and yet because her judgement is so perfect, she knowes to what degree my passion has pro­ceeded, and peradventure she will have the perfection of my love be compa­rable to the greatnesse of her desert. Should I then be so happy, that for this reason she had found nothing in the world, besides me, worthy of her? that she had separated me out of the number of all men to be made choyce of? and that in her soule she had kept her to that choyce? Pleasing, but too am­bitious thoughts, whither doe you lead me? are you so bold, to compare me to this Divinity, that nothing was ever yet comparable to? where are your respects, and your feares? Let us continue in a submission, and not expect her grace but by adoring her, and not in equalling our selves to her. But is not this againe to wrong the perfection of my love to abase it in humility, in stead of acknowledging the beauty and greatnesse of it? Things that are ar­riv'd to this degree, are of a glory too transcendent to suffer contempt of us; they will be admir'd, and confess'd to be as divine as they are indeed. Par­don, my love, I had rather let thee alone than offend thee: equall thy selfe, if thou beest willing, to so many merits, 'tis by thee alone I have hope: It may be this faire soule loves thee already, and embraces thee, taken with thy perfection; and if wee doubt of this, let us continue in the beleefe that is more fitting for us, and at least not give over the contentment of hope.

These delightfull fancies entertain'd him with great pleasure, when all on a sudden he felt himselfe embrac'd of Palamede, who said to him▪ Pardon, Epicharis; alas! Epicharis, I aske you pardon. Melintus embrac'd him in like [Page 87] manner, and spake to him that he might continue this discourse hee made in his sleepe; but Palamede awaked, and confest to Melintus, that he dreamt hee was taken by Epicharis making protestations of love to Camilla; and that hee fell downe at her knees to cry her mercy. Then looking about in the cham­ber, and seeing she was gone out, he continues, There is no doubt but the love of this wench comes alwayes to challenge the place it had in my soule, what ever lightnesse may possesse me: for I loved her before I went to A­thens, where you are a witnesse how many Mistresses I serv'd: at our returne from thence to Syracuse, I had no sooner seene her, but I was more subjected to her than before time: being come to Rome, I loved Camilla, and you have seene how coldly I made use of those advantages you obtaind for me, since she arriv'd there with my sister; now shee covers my wound more than ever, by the care she takes of us, and by a thousand pretty devices her wit is conti­nually working. For my part, said Melintus, I cannot thinke her borne of a servile condition; she has too many faire qualities for so wofull a birth: and I vow to you, I shall never blame your affection for being carried away with such perfections. I doe not beleeve you would so much injure those you come of, to pretend to marry her; and you are not also to desire any thing of her, that might offend her honour; but my opinion is, you will alwayes love and honour what is remarkable in her, being able to say with you, that I have sel­dome found a person more lovely. I confesse to you, answered Palamede, that I oftentimes have these very thoughts, and I flatter them besides with a cer­taine hope, that the time may come that shee may appeare extracted from some family that might be no dishonour to me, so much doe I wish, that rea­son might accommodate her selfe to my desires. Is it possible, said Melintus, that Dicearchus should not learne of the Pyrats where they had taken her? Never, said he, did my uncle tell us what he knew concerning her; neverthe­lesse he has ever made her be bred otherwise than a slave, and as if hee had knowne her to be come of free persons; nay, one day when there was a speech of marrying her to Asylas a young slave borne in the house, hee could not refraine to say; The gods would never pardon me for mixing her bloud with one so unworthy of her. That speech more engag'd me to love her, and I shall make a relation to you how I let my selfe be taken. You cannot ima­gine, answers Melintus, what interest I have in her fortune, and what pleasure you shall doe me in repeating a little of her life to me. I am going then, sayes he, to tell you what hath pass'd betweene us. And he proceeded thus:

History of Palamede and of Epicharis.

I Cannot tell if I be to account my selfe happy, or unhappy for the affecti­on I am ingag'd in for her, not finding any possibility of possessing her, neither as a Mistresse because of her vertue, nor as a lawfull wife because of her condition: but I will leave you to judge in this case, after I have made you the history of our loves. You must know then, that Epicharis being brought up very carefully under Acidalia wife to Dicearchus, and from day to day making her selfe more considerable for her beauty and sweetnesse of hu­mour, was loved of this young Asylas, who was but of a simple and heavy con­stitution of wit: but yet finding that he was of some credit in the house, be­cause [Page 88] he was sonne of Cromis and Menalippus, two slaues that had under them the whole government of Dicearchus houshold affaires, and that Epicharis was very well belov'd of their Master and Mistresse; he thought he could doe no better deed than to pretend to marry her, and first of all he resolv'd with him­selfe to get her good opinion of him: but shee that had a sense of her noble heart, could not endure such a wooing as that, and us'd him alwayes very contemptuously.

One day I went into Dicearchus garden, and was ready to fall asleepe in a cabinet shadowed over with leaves, when I saw her comming very neare that place with a purpose to gather flowers. I was already sufficiently taken with her affection, and had not failed to have gone to intercept her, but that I was prevented by Asylas, who seeking opportunity to speake to her, had now made his addresse; neverthelesse with feare, and in a fashion simple enough, offer'd himselfe to gather those flowers for her she desir'd. She thank'd him, and said she tooke pleasure in gathering them her selfe. 'Tis rather, said hee, because you refuse my service. Have you, answers she, a service to bestow? Yes, replies he, which I make you present of. You give, sayes she, that is none of your owne, and I give it you againe for feare I be accus'd of theft: And why so, replies he? because, sayes she, your service belongs to the Master we serve, and I will make no pretence to it. He stayed a while there, because hee was not so prompt at a returne, and then answers, Although I am his, I can present you with something that is mine owne. With what, sayes shee? with my heart, answers he: and how will you doe, replies she, to give it me? You demand strange things, sayes he, what needs you know that? For all that, sayes she, it were reason I knew it, and still gather'd her flowers as she spake. This young man knew not where to have his heart come out, to make her a present of it; and I perceiv'd she would be going, having made her posie; which made me come out from the place where I was, to stay her. She blush'd for shame that she had beene heard all that discourse; and Asylas getting afarre off us, out of respect, I said to her, Gentle Epicharis, I love you, for thus using persons so unworthy of you: She answered me, because we serve the same Master, he beleeves all things are equall with us, but this difference there is, that he is a slave by nature, and I by fortune; for nature can never be changed, but fortune may give me the liberty she hath taken from me. If there wants nothing, said I to her, but a liberty to be given you to make you happy, I offer you mine: And what would you be then, answer'd she? Your slave, said I. And what, replies she, should cause that change? The love I beare you, answers I. I would be very willing, sayes she laughing, to make this exchange, so you will tell me what I am to doe. You are to love me, said I to her. How is this, replies she; you say love makes us lose our li­berty, so I should be ever returning into my first condition againe. It were better, answered I, we parted all betwixt us, so we should have but one li­berty for us both, and one slavery onely. We should, sayes she, find it a great trouble, to know which of us were to be master. Let us be serious, said I to her, Epicharis, I love you with a passion, and desire you also to love me so. I will speake as seriously to you, sayes she; Palamede, I honour you with a re­spect, and desire you to seeke nothing else of me: then leaving me, and ha­ving a minde to laugh, she added, I am going to Acidalia, if you be willing [Page 89] to goe on with this discourse, you are but to take it up againe, when I shall be with her. When she went her way, I continued some time immoveable, being rapt with the gentilenesse of her discourse, and resolute to love her in earnest, having a good hope she would let her selfe be overcome. To this end I never gave over making her what assurances of my affection I could, un­till the time we were together in the Countrey one day at my uncles, when I thought there requir'd but an occasion that were found favourable, to have her wonne at my intreaties, and the opportunity of the place. I went one morning to take her in her bed, where I found her fast in a sweet sleepe, ly­ing with one arme upon her head, which her smocke without all care had left all naked to my sight, and the other carelesly stretched upon the bed, but yet in such a fashion that it kept her from being easie to be uncover'd. Her bosome, that this way of sleeping gave repose to, and breathing at ease, was not cover'd but with the end of the sheet that by chance met there; the rest was very modestly compos'd. I stood confounded to see her so handsome; for it seemed, her eyes in despight that they were not open, for securing her from me, pierc'd through their lids to wound me, so strangely did I feele my selfe moved. And yet not satisfied with what I saw, I softly uncover'd all her neck; but I vow to you, Melintus, I never saw any thing so faire. I could no longer containe my selfe then, but bringing my mouth thither, I press'd her a little more than I should have done, and made her wake. That was a strange spring of hers she gave, when she saw her selfe betweene my armes at her awake­ning, and with ease delivering her from me, because I would not anger her at this first encounter, she inveloped her selfe in her sheets; and after blaming my boldnesse for comming into her chamber while she slept, prayed mee to goe out: then asham'd to lose so faire an occasion, I put my selfe upon her bed, and embracing her, urg'd her by all the prayers I could devise, to ease my affection; and in this while I put her to a little paine, hoping to obtaine what I desir'd by a sweet violence: but she after some resistance, at last lift her selfe up, and said to me with a confident looke; Palamede, I beleeve you are not so unreasonable as to have a thought to take that by force from mee which is the dearest thing I esteeme in the world: it may be you hope I will be vanquish'd with your importunities, but know this, that there is no pu­nishment so cruell, as that I shall make choyce of for you, and then for my selfe too after the losse of my honour; my condition hath diminish'd nothing of my courage, let it satisfie you therefore to have attempted this, the crime is great enough to go no further; and I shall never pardon you while I live, if you leave me not now presently in as much repose as I was in when you found me. If you goe on in this vile intent, your labours will be but all in vaine, nor shall the difference of our fortunes keepe me from having your life, in re­venge of your indiscretion. She spake these words with so severe a fashion, that I had no heart to presse her any more. I besought her to excuse the rap­ture of my love, and would not let her alone, till she had pardon'd me. Af­terwards, I had alwayes a great opinion of her vertue, and was not wan­ting to doe her all the services I was able, untill I went my voyage to Athens.

I protest to you, sayes Melintus breaking him off, I am greatly delighted to heare such generous demonstrations of a courage: doe but consider a [Page 90] while, how vice serves to advance vertue: for there is no doubt that without that wicked desire in you to attempt upon her honour, you could never have knowne to what height she had brought that honour. I will avow to you, re­plied Palamede, that since that time I respected her as much as she had beene the most noble of our condition; and the more practice I had with her, the more I observ'd qualities in her, that could not proceed but from a good birth, as you shall understand by this that followes. Then he goes on.

Before my depart for Athens, I was aware that Epicharis seeing my over-free humour chang'd into a respect, and my violent passion into a vertuous love, had also somewhat moderated her too great rigour, to oblige me with an ho­nest friendship, and no occasion to serve me was presented, but she perform'd it with a great deale of care; but so modestly withall, that I could not imagine it were to gaine me any way besides. It seem'd onely, that shee exprest to have some obligation to mee for the affection I had to her: and during my voyage, I continually receiv'd proofes from her, that she remembred me. At my returne I had a great contentment, when I knew my uncle meant to give her to my sister; and the day she was to part out of his house, I went thither to see her: but at my entrance I perceiv'd in a corner the poore wretch Asylas busie at a great reckoning, to which he was so attentive, that he saw me not; he had a little booke he was looking in: then he counted one while with his fingers, another with casting counters, but I well saw he could not make his account right. At last I had pitty of him, and ask'd him what hee did. Hee was asham'd to be taken at that occupation: neverthelesse, I offered my selfe in so good fashion to helpe him, that he desired me to count for him. It was a number of yeares, wherein there were many dayes to be added, and many also to be taken away: but I had a minde to know what the meaning of it was. He confest to me, that after he had a long time sought the good graces of Epicharis, at length he could obtaine of her nothing else, but that after six yeares service she might receive his affection; and how moreover they had put into the agreement, that according to the quantity of the services, shee might take away some of the daies, and in like manner she might adde to them as she pleas'd, if he did any thing to displease her, either wilfully or by mis­fortune; that for this purpose he made use of the little booke to keepe a true account withall: and now Epicharis was going to dwell out of the house, hee would see in what estate affaires were. I began to laugh within my selfe, see­ing his simplicity, and this device of Epicharis wit to mocke him. When I had therefore comprehended his meaning, I look'd into the booke, and saw how every day that pass'd was taken away, and that sometimes there was writ, for one service foure dayes to be diminish'd: but by and by after was set downe in another hand, for not saluting with a good grace, ten dayes to be added; for speaking indiscreetly, fifteene dayes; and all that was to bee augmented so, was written with Epicharis hand. I refrain'd from laughing as well as I could, and after a true supputation, I found that he had still above eight yeares to serve, and there were two past already, since they made the bargaine. When I had stayed his account, and he saw himselfe so farre back­ward, he could not choose but weepe: I comforted him what I could, with a promise so to use the matter with Epicharis, that shee might oftentimes di­minish the dayes for my sake. But he ceas'd not weeping, and said he should [Page] not find out so many occasions more to serve her; and I answer'd him, there should not be so many occasions neither to displease her.

After I had somewhat restor'd him againe, I went to tell this encounter to Epicharis, with whom I laugh'd a good while at Asylas affliction, for finding himselfe so backward in his account. She confest she had invented this way to rid her of him, and for merry pastime when she desir'd it. But in the end I said to her, And for mee, how many yeeres will you ordaine mee? There needs many, said she, because it may be you would often find the meanes to oblige me, and I should feare you would never doe any thing to displease me. If that were so, answer'd I, you ought to wish the terme might soone end, to possesse him that would not displease you. Looke you then, sayes she, there must be some other person besides me to make you happy; but I sweare to you also, I should never give my selfe to any lesse than you. And if fortune restores me not to a higher condition, you may be assur'd no man shall ever enjoy me in that I am now in. The greatest of my desires is come about, that I may live with the divine Ariana your sister. 'Tis with her I will end my dayes in the height of felicity. I sweare to you, Melintus, that hearing her speake with so great a heart, I knew not what it was kept me backe from ta­king her by violence out of my parents hands, to give her liberty, and marry her after: but knowing she her selfe would never consent to that, for feare of angring Dicearchus, Aristides, and Ariana, I did nothing but augment my love by the experience of her vertue.

Some time after, she pleas'd me againe so well, that I was neere upon the losing of all respect or consideration. I beleeve you were then in the Coun­trey with Telephus, when my sister made a dance of Egyptian women. I have heard, said Melintus, of something there was done in my absence, which I shall be glad to heare of. You know, replies Palamede, how Epicharis sings and playes on the Lute very pleasantly. We were all assembled at my uncle Dicearchus his to receive this Masque; I saw her enter with three other wo­men, in the number of whom was my sister, and when the noyse was appeas'd, she recited these verses in Musicke:

FOure Sisters we be come from Egypt together,
To appeare in these parts;
Vnknowne were the loves of Cypris our mother,
And Mercury, god of Arts.
Our father at our birth left us for portion
Dexterity of hand,
And Venus she gave us beauty in proportion,
Mankind for to command.
Now seene shall it be if any of this City
May easily escape;
If our hands he avoyd, our eyes farre more witty
Shall finely him intrap.

I was one of the nearest of the spectators, and so rapt with seeing and hea­ring [Page 92] her, that I had lost the use of my other senses, to make happy those of sight and hearing onely; which made me I tooke no heed when one of these Egyptians put her hand into my pocket in the meane time, and tooke away what I had there.

When the recite was ended, and the dance following it, they that saw I was robbed, made shew to looke if they had lost nothing by these she-robbers. I did as much, and instantly cried out that I had beene robbed, and ran to E­picharis to intreat her to give me againe what they had taken from me; then to my sister and the rest of them: but they all denied the theft, and I had no newes of it till the next morning, when I saw comming into my Chamber a young boy I knew not, that brought me what I had lost, with a little paper, wherein were writ these words:

The Egyptians are content to let you see that they know how to get more than they de­sire to keepe; acknowledge their power, and thanke their courtesie.

I urg'd this young childe to tell me who sent him, but he would never be knowne of it; and all I could get of him, was to give me leisure to make an answer. And I went to write thus:

To the most Gentile of the Egyptians.

IF you had purpos'd to returne me all you tooke from me, I should have found a heart amongst the things it pleas'd you to restore: but if you thinke it fitting, I consent it stay still with you, as earnest of the fidelity I sweare to you.

All these Gentilesses gave me intirely to her; and yet since that time I serv'd her with a great respect, because the commodity at our house being the fitter to make attempts upon her, I perceiv'd that she did the more refraine ex­pressing her good will towards me, for feare I might not take the more bold­nesse; but I confesse to you, that what ever intreaty she made mee, I never left commending in my minde her carriage. My sister was very well pleas'd with my affection, knowing this wench to be very discreet, and was perswa­ded she would find the way to moderate my over-hasty humour, if I tooke pleasure in obeying her. She alwayes therefore us'd me very seriously: but one time when I assur'd her of the love I had to her; And may I, said shee, have some proofe to confirme it? I was amaz'd, and glad withall she desir'd some service at my hands, and made offer of all I was able to doe to please her. Know, if it be possible, said she to me, of Dicearchus what my birth is, for I beleeve certainly hee knowes it: 'Tis not that I am weary of living as I doe, for to serve Ariana I would forsake the most free condition of the world: but I should have cause to rejoyce in waiting on her service purely out of good will, and not out of necessity. I commended her desire, and promis'd to use all the intreaties I could to that end: then I added, would to God, my faire maid, our conditions might in some fashion meet one with another; I should have as much cause to joy at that perswasion, as you your selfe: for I beleeve I shall never have power to dispose of my selfe, untill I see what for­tune shall have resolv'd of you. I will not, answer'd she, make any profession [Page 93] to you, how much I am oblig'd to your affection, for that were unusefull; but if ever the state of my life may change, you shall finde I will not forget the least of your respects. I prayed her to beleeve I would alwayes serve her after that manner; and proffer'd my selfe, in case my uncle gave me no light to know what she were, to goe to the farthest parts of the world, that I might learne the truth of it. But when I had put Dicearchus upon that discourse, I could never draw any clearing of the question from him. He told me indeed, that he had her of the Pyrats upon the Sea coast towards Camarine: but that made me never the wiser, and I was very angry for having understood no­thing else to satisfie Epicharis desire. Presently after the occasion of going to Rome was presented, and when I bade her adiew, she said; Take heed for­tune upon the Sea make not you of my condition, and by equalling you to me, separate not us both for ever. I would willingly, said I to her, redeeme your liberty and my contentment at the charge of foure yeeres servitude; I could have no greater wish than that it were my chance to serve your kindred in recompence of the services you have rendred mine. Oh gods! how hap­py should I be, if in the end I might come to the knowledge of them, and give them intelligence of the place you are in, for to make us both free by a happy change: It would never grieve me to endure neither yrons, nor the cruellest tortures of slaves, to obtaine so great a good. These are speeches, saies Melintus interrupting him, very powerfull and affectionate for such an un­faithfull man as you are; for you were no sooner here but you forgat all those protestations to love Camilla. I beseech you, replies Palamede, doe not reproach me with that; for the affection I have for Epicharis, seemes to be a strong and sure passion that keeps ever one direct course, letting passe a-crosse it those little lightnesses without being moved, and I hope it shall also one day attaine the end it hath pretended to.

Palamede would have finish'd what remain'd to be told of that depart, when Epicharis entring, brake off their discourse; and finding them still in bed, she accus'd them of slothfulnesse: Palamede in laughing told her, they had but too much time for the journey they were to make that day. Then shee told them what she had done with their friends: As for Maximus, although he had reason to be ill satisfied with them, for the detriment he had suffer'd for their sakes, having sav'd himselfe also from the fire after them, with much trouble, and though he had enough to consider of his owne affaires, yet hee had not failed to promise her all sorts of assistances for them: that the fire was not yet out in the City, but yet they ought not to lose the occasions that were offer'd to save themselves; that it would be easie for her to bring them a very small cord, wherewith they might draw up a great rope shee would have without the Tower, which she now had all in a readinesse of an excessive length, be­cause the height of the Tower was very great. There was no other difficulty but for them to get to the top of that Tower, for being alwayes close shut up in their chambers. Three or foure dayes pass'd on still in their deliberating upon some meanes, whilest the burning continued alwayes. But they were surpriz'd one morning, being sent for to appeare before the Senate. Epicharis was in despaire for having delayed so long to invent a meanes for their deli­very, and feared they should be that very day condemned. Melintus and Pa­lamede in lesse trouble, were brought before the Senate, where entring with a [Page 94] modest assurance, they were set upon seats very low to the ground: The Con­sull having commanded the accusers to speake, Martian goes out from the company, because he was a party in this cause: and then they were accus'd with much vehemency, for having by an abominable practice set fire on Rome, and to be the cause of the greatest ruine and desolation that City ever suffer'd; that not content with that horrible impiety, they had added the murthering of Marcelin and many others, whereof proofe was made by Marcelins sword, that Melintus was found seiz'd of, and for that he was taken all bloody. For these crimes it was concluded by the accuser, that they deserv'd the cruellest punishments that were. Melintus seeing that no body presented himselfe for them, demanded permission to defend himselfe; and having obtain'd it, hee was a while looking downe to the ground to thinke of what hee had to say; then lifting up his eyes towards the Senators, he spake thus:

MY Lords, if I were to speake before Iudges that were lesse equitable than you, I should have great cause to feare the oppression of our innocence. I consider the authority of our accusers, all the City of Rome animated against us, and (if the crimes they suppose us guilty of were true) you your selves, my Lords, interessed by your losses to punish us. Against all these powers, may two strangers, forsaken of all things, pretend to defend themselves? Neverthelesse, we doe not esteeme our selves altogether destitute, having in heaven the gods for witnesses of our life, and upon earth the justice we are in hope to finde amongst you. We have nothing but the truth for our defence; and this truth being naked and simple, I will also make you a simple relation of our misfortune, whose causes may very easily be justified.

Being arrived at Rome, for no other end but to behold her glories, and make our selves knowne for persons desirous of the best things, wee entered, to our misery, into the acquaintance of Marcelin, who after he had made us great professions of friend­ship, in the end conceiv'd a cruell jealousie against us for a womans sake, and resolv'd to kill us. Those that knew him can tell if hee were capable of such a practice. One night we were set upon by a number of men that left us for dead, and had it not beene for the succours of Emilia and Camilla, before whose house the noyse was heard, wee should have had no mere paine to defend our owne lives. Camilla will be a witnesse of this truth, and all her house, whither we were carried; who will tell also, how Mar­celin not beleeving we had knowne his treachery, sent Palamede an oyntment that was found to be ranck poyson. Neverthelesse wee advised to dissemble and absent us from hence, having such an enemie. Since that, Aristides, father to Palamede, being come hither with his daughter Ariana, upon the rumour of his sonnes danger, Marce­lin fell in love with Ariana, and had a purpose to marry her: But Palamede having him in detestation as his mortall enemy, and Ariana shunning him as the murtherer of her brother, his love contemned turn'd into rage, and knowing we were upon par­ting to returne into Sicily, he plotted our death, but the cruellest one that could bee imagin'd by him. Because he would not let us be gone without a revenge, he encompas­sed with armed men the house of Maximus where we liv'd, and then set fire to it on all sides, having resolv'd either to burne us there, or kill us at our comming out when we had no other thought but how to save us from the flames. They of Maximus house can witnesse how they saw these furious men setting fire with Torches in their hands, and that two slaves were killed going to fetch water at the Tyber. For mee, I deter­min'd with my selfe to take a horse and save mee by running through flames and [Page 95] swords. Palamede did the like; but tooke another way than that I went. Marcelin seeing himselfe on foot, and that I went farre away, made a horse be given him to pur­sue me, and overtooke me being all alone, where furiously assaulting mee, I had the good fortune to kill him, though he were armed. Two others came upon me, that were left upon the place. After that Palamede rejoyning him to me, we were taken, when we had a long time defended our selves; and now we are accus'd for the death of these men, and for having set the City on fire.

They that have beene here acquainted with us, know, if we could everso much as have conceiv'd so detestable an enterprise: what fury must we have beene possess'd of? and what strange ingratitude had that of ours beene, to have had a minde to destroy this great City, whereof we have had the honour to be made Citizens, and for whose glory we have so often fought? But besides, what likelihood is there we would have begun at our owne lodging, being shut up within, with what wee had most precious, and from whence we had much adoe to preserve us? For the murther, tis very true that I defended myselfe from a man armed, that sought my life, which I secured after from two other men, and some souldiers: There is nothing more just than to repell force with force: But in all this, what hath Palamede done? having beene assail'd by night, he was there left for dead: he ran a danger of being poyson'd: seeing the house on fire where he was, he got out to save himselfe, and came to finde me againe, not knowing what should become of him after the losse of his father and sister: and he now is accus'd together with me for a murtherer and fire-setter, in stead of the justice we were to demand for having beene fired and assassinated. All these things being able to be justified, I implore, my Lords, not your pitty, but your justice: not that cle­mency that hath made you so often pardon your greatest enemies, but the integrity of this August Senate, that nothing could ever yet weaken. Or if our misfortune deserves any punishment for having beene the cause, without our intention, of the disaster of Rome, be affected with the compassion that is due to strangers, to our youth, to our innocence, and to so many wounds receiv'd for the honour of the Roman Empire. And if there must needs be some sacrifice offered to the peoples satisfaction, content your selves with my life, and provoke not the gods against you by the condemnation of Pala­mede, the most innocent of all men.

After he had left speaking, there was heard a little murmuring among the Senators; some admiring the assurance and grace he had in speaking, others his generousnesse and friendship towards Palamede. The greatest part of them said there was no appearance they were guilty. There were none incens'd against them, but those that had beene made by Martian. In the end the Con­sull made a signe to Palamede that he should speake, and with a fearelesse fashi­on he said thus:

MY Lords, Melintus having represented to the Senate all I am able to say, for making our innocency appeare, tis not against our accusers I am to defend mee, but against him. I complaine of him in the first place, for that he betrayes our cause, by confessing us causes remote of the calamity of the City, and speaking of sacrifices to offer up to the peoples desire for to deliver himselfe alone to death, and preserve my life. I accuse him moreover for gainsaying the lawes of our friendship that made us in­separable: and he is greatly in the wrong to affect by designe our division, which could not be excus'd but by disaster. If he were culpable, I should be so too; but since he is [Page 96] innocent, I pretend also to be so. I have alwayes so well labour'd to imitate him, out of the knowledge I had of his vertue and perfection, that I feare not to be accused of his faults, but thinke my selfe glorious to be found faultlesse with him. There is nothing belongs to us both that can be divided: our wils united make but one minde, which ruling all our actions, it seemes we are in like manner but one body, so as there is but one onely person you are to condemne or absolve. And yet, if for causes separate from us, and to which our will hath contributed nothing, wee deserve some punishment; which of us can be said to be more worthy of it but I? I am the sole object of the jea­lousie of Marcelin, and of his hatred; Melintus had no controversie at all with him: To me alone he sent the poyson: I alone hindred his marriage with my sister, I alone provok'd his vengeance against us, which is the cause of all these miseries. Onely Me­lintus found himselfe ingag'd in his treasons, not thinking any thing, and so hath committed nothing, whether by mischance or by intention. I demand therefore we be both of us sent away absolv'd as innocents; or that I alone be expos'd to the sentence: and you shall testifie by this judgement, the equity that makes you renowned through­out the world.

Melintus would have replied, but one of the Consuls impos'd him silence. Then all the Judges were in an admiration to see so perfect a friendship, and moved with the consideration of so much vertue and innocency, began to ad­vise for their absolution. They had besides interrogatories given them apart, and all their answers were found conformable: but upon these intermissions, Nero sent to command them to surcease the judgement untill he had written his mind to them. So they were sent backe againe to the prison, where the disguis'd Epicharis, longing to know the successe of the judgement, enquir'd of them what had passed. But having knowne for what cause they were sent backe, she began to appehend Nero's absolute power, and went presently out, to goe enquire of one of Melintus friends, if the Emperour had since writ his will to the Senate. He told her, the teares in his eyes, that hee came but now from a Senator that told him the Prince would have them dye: Because Mar­tian, during the judgement, had gone to kneele downe before him, and made him promise they should be punish'd by his authority.

Epicharis in despaire, return'd to bring them that ill newes: and being shut close together, they consulted upon the danger they were in. She told them, 'Tis a strange thing, that since I came in hither, I have not beene able to have this good fortune to finde either invention, or occasion to bring you out. For me, said Palamede, I will cast my selfe downe from the top of this Tower into the Tyber, rather than submit to so shamefull a punishment. I would, said Melintus, we were but in possibility to precipitate us, there were then no more deliberation to be us'd: for we should soone find meanes to descend: the dif­ficulty of importance is, how to get to the top of the Tower. Melintus is in the right, saies Epicharis, for the rope is all in a readinesse, and I would quickly bring you wherewith all to draw it up to you: And now I thinke on't, sayes Melintus, the height of this Chimney answers to the height of the Tower: a­bout midnight we may helpe one another, and get up to the Tower that way; I beleeve we may save our selves, provided onely none know of your going out, and that they shut not up some body else here in stead of you: you must of necessity goe to buy a boat, with some other habits to disguise us [Page 97] in, and when you returne, you shall bring us this same small cord to draw up the other from without to us. I find this, said Epicharis, to be very well devi­sed; and to make it sure, that none inquire for me or for you this night, as soon as I shall be gone out of this Chamber in the evening, you are but to shut the doore with the barres, and they will locke you in, without looking whether I be there or no. This being resolv'd on in this manner, Epicharis went instant­ly to provide her of a boat, some clothes, and the rope she had caus'd to bee made of a thicknesse and length very strange; having committed all these things to the keeping of a young youth she knew, and who little thought for what purpose she was to use them; shee came backe to bring the small cord, and advertise them how all was in a readinesse. After she had seene them sup, she took her leave to goe to attend them at the foot of the Tower: presently they shut themselves up, and about midnight when they might judge that e­very body was asleepe, Melintus tooke the sheet that served to their bed, and desir'd Palamede to get up first into the chimney, because he might helpe him, and carry with him this sheet wherewith afterwards he might helpe to draw him up: Palamede was hardly to be perswaded, and would have done him that office and stayed the last: But Melintus told him, these contestations were not in season, and so us'd the matter, that Palamede set his foot upon a stoole, then upon his shoulder, and from thence by little and little got him up to the top, carrying the sheet by which he was to draw up his friend Melintus was not ve­ry long in getting to him, though it were with some labour; then they threw downe the little cord, to which Epicharis tyed the great one, and they drew it up to them, and having bound it to a pinacle of the Tower with the little one, so strong that it was impossible it should slip, Palamede ask'd of Melintus where the honor was in that occasion, to goe before or after; Melintus answer'd him, they were rather to consider of saving their honour and dispatching them: Doe you then passe first, replide Palamede, that your honour may be first sav'd. I will, said Melintus, make the retreat. Never, replide Palamede, shall it be said I left you in danger. Ha! answer'd Melintus, what ceremonies are these? we contested before for getting up, and now we must lose time also in descen­ding But, said Palamede, why will you have mee alwayes give place to you in affection? I will have you, continued Melintus, let your selfe goe first, then you shall carry me downe upon your shoulders. Upon this condition, sayes Palamede, I will, and so tooke the rope: but Melintus let him goe, for it was impossible for Palamede to stay himselfe; and Melintus was thus willing to de­ceive him, that he might see him part and know that his friends life were in safety, before he thought of saving his owne. He had also received this con­tentment, but for the strange accident that happened; for when Palamede en­tred into the boat, the pinacle to which the rope was tyed, (whether it were for being so old, or for the weight of Palamede's body, and the thicknesse of the very rope) was carried downe together with it; and if at the same instant the boat had not gone off of it selfe, Palamede and Epicharis had beene struck dead under the ruines of it.

'Tis hard to judge who were the most astonish'd, either Palamede and Epicha­ris that felt themselves quell'd with the water this fall cover'd them with, and to see the rope downe without all hope of helping Melintus any more; or Me­lintus himselfe that thought they had bin smitten dead, and saw that hee was [Page 98] deprived of all meanes to save himselfe. He was a while of the opinion that nothing could now secure him from death, and he was absolutely minded ra­ther to cast himselfe downe the Tower, than remaine in the hands of his ene­mies. And yet being of a courage that fear'd no danger, and wit that soone invented preservatives, he look'd about him, and perceiving the sheet, where­by he got up thither, he consider'd if he might not cut it into many lengths, to be tyed one to another; but all of it would scarce have reach'd to the halfe part of the Towers height; but for all that he purpos'd to launch him­selfe into the water from the extremity of it as farre off as hee should be, and tooke the end of the sheet to begin to cut it; but a wind that arose very high, had almost carried away his sheet, and with it all his hopes. That made him thinke of a meanes very strange, and to seeke his safety by that which had ve­ry neere lost him. Having heard tell of some that had beene borne up in the ayre by meanes of their clothes, and set downe upon the ground lightly, hee advis'd with himselfe, since the wind favour'd him, to make a saile of his sheet; and after he had made it swell with the wind to let himselfe goe in it, by hol­ding the sheet by the ends, hoping that the wind would sustaine him enough from falling too fast downewards. The worst could befall him was to bee drown'd, and he had rather lose his life so, than by the stroke of a hang-man. Considering therefore which way to accommodate himselfe, and turning his backe to the sheet, he tooke behind two of the corners, wherewith he made him as it were a girdle, which he fastned before with that was left of the little cord, and letting passe all the rest of the sheet over his head, he stretched out his armes, and tooke the two other ends in his hands, which he tyed also, for feare they might not chance to slip away, but yet in such a fashion, that hee might easily undoe them: then putting himselfe upon the pinacles in oppo­sition to the wind, he made it fill up the sheet, and this wind lifting him up almost by force, he let himselfe goe, recommending him to the gods, and felt that he descended by little and little till he came below where Palamede and Epicharis were, admiring by the light of the Moone this Engine, and not ima­gining what it might be.

ARIANA. The sixth Booke.

THe joy of Epicharis and Palamede was excessive, when Melintus being fallen into the water, and rid of his sheet, they saw him come towards them swimming: but that of Melintus was no lesse, when entring into the boat, and seeing himselfe helped by them, he was assur'd that the fall of the pinacle had nothing offended them. After the common rejoycings for escaping so many dan­gers, they were thinking how to avoyd that which remain'd, and resolv'd to depart the City by the same river, for not being apprehended. They went downe the streame very easily, till they came a good way off Rome, and about morning they found themselves foure or five miles distant from it. There they quitted the clothes they had on, and having fill'd them with stones, cast them into the water; then they were of opinion to goe by land, and take a way quite contrary to that wherein they were taken; for then following the Tyber they had gone streight to Ostia; and if they were pursued, they would not faile to search along the River. It was therfore decreed they should gaine the haven of Cajetta, because that of Reggium was too farre remote, and that they should not march but by night, for being in danger of taking the second time. Eurylas that had wash'd him in the water, look'd so lovely in the new clothes he was drest in, that Palamede was in paine to conceale the new wounds she gave him. And then when no body saw them, he help'd her to goe, and sometimes Melintus lead her; for Epicharis was not accustomed to so great journeyes; and their desire was to advance to some place where they might passe away the day. And still as they went, they entertain'd one ano­ther with their adventures, and tooke it for a good fortune that the pinacle fell, for else the rope had beene left there, which would have made them be followed; but now the world would think they had precipitated them, their comming out by the chimney being to be discern'd by some stooles they had used to get up with. After they had gone a good journey in discoursing thus, they arriv'd at a village, where they tooke with them something to eat, and for feare of being discover'd, continued their voyage: then they passed through a great field to get them far out of the way, & found a very retir'd place, where there was a running brook, neere to which they sat downe under the shade of sallowes.

[Page 100] After they had made their repast, they began againe to recount their for­tunes together; and the feares Aristides, Ariana, Telephus, and all their friends at Syracuse, were in for them; that for this occasion they must not lose time in getting to Sicily, to lessen by so much their displeasures. That consideration made them resolve to continue their march, which they did incommodiously enough, because they kept them altogether in by-paths, lest they might be dis­covered upon the high-wayes. At last, about evening they arriv'd neere to a house they judged very faire; Eurylas had a good minde to have beene there receiv'd to repose him that night, and not to be so ill provided for, as to have nothing but the heaven for a Canopy: but they thought it best not to put themselves to the hazard of falling into hands they could not afterwards get free of; and seeing very neere that place a little wood, they purpos'd to enter into it, and there to choose out some shady place; where when they were set, Eurylas overcome with slumber and travell, presently fell asleepe: the two others fearing to wake him, made no kind of noyse, and that silence insensibly made them sleepe also.

When they were in the depth of their sleepe, a young Lady, Mistresse of the house they had seene, taking in the evening the fresh ayre of the wood, passed very neere them as she walk'd about. They could not be seene where they were, of any that had beene in the walks of that wood: But Eurylas turning him from one side to another, removed some leaves that were a­bout him, and made a little noyse. Corinna (this Lady was so call'd) curious to see if it were not some beast, went softly forward, and found the faire Eu­rylas sleeping in a fashion so agreeable, that the sight ravish'd her: the deli­cacy and whitenesse of his complexion, his vermillion mouth, his browne but fine and curled haire that hung over his shoulders, and above all the ami­able proportion of the features in his face, gave her too sensible impressions to seeme her selfe insensible of them: for she stood without all motion, and so stedfast in regarding this faire sleeper, that it might have seem'd he had communicated his heavinesse to her, but that her eyes were still open: but she thought she had not eye-sight enough to consider him well, so many beau­ties saw she, the least of which was capable to have the possession of her eyes, and fill them with admiration. She put one knee to the ground, as it were to render him homage, and came softly neere to kisse him, that he might not a­wake; but Eurylas at the same time heav'd himselfe up, and fetch'd a deepe sigh from his stomacke; which constrain'd her to retire, thinking he had bin about to wake, and gave her a sight of Melintus and Palamede that were slee­ping also there hard by, whom she had not before beene aware of, for being so much taken up with the sight of Eurylas. That caus'd her to be a little fear­full, seeing her selfe all alone betweene three men: and yet considering them she took them for persons of honest quality; and to see their equipage, judg'd they had suffer'd some injury. Shee advis'd to goe home, and returne againe with some of her people, that with her might desire them to take covert at her house; and as she was going away, she could not choose but cast her eye upon Eurylas beauty: yet at length she left him; and being in the house, shee perswaded her husband to goe walke out with her into the wood, that hee might himselfe invite them home to him. A little while after she went away, Epicharis awaked, and letting Melintus and Palamede sleepe on, would have [Page] risen, and perceiv'd foure or five comming to them; she tooke them to bee some of those that dwelt at the next house, and were now walking towards the evening at their liberty. They waked Melintus and Palamede out of their sleepe at their first comming neere, and enquir'd of her what they did there; to which she answer'd, that they were three brothers who had lost in the bur­ning of Rome the best of their goods, and were robbed of that which was left them, and now were brought to lye thus upon the ground, in getting by little and little to Sicily where they should not want for conveniences. Co­rinna seem'd to be toucht with pitty for them, and prayed Curio her husband to take them home with him for a night. This man that was of a sufficient good nature, was well content therewith, and could not take them for theeves because of their fashion, and especially to see they had no swords; so hee told them, that if they would come to his house they should be very welcome. Melintus and Palamede agreed, seeing this free invitation, and thanked him as courteously as they could. They went along with them thus for company. Melintus telling Curio the newes of Rome in his ordinary pleasing way of dis­course: and when they were come to the house, they all supp'd together. But it was impossible for Corinna to dissemble the affection shee had to Eurylas when her husbands eye were off; and Palamede, that began to have a good minde to Corinna, seeing she was very gentile, and of an humour free enough, did the more observe the looks she sent to Eurylas, which made him wish this affection were rather addrest to him, that he might make some use of the good fortune. That which perfected her dying for him, was, that Eurylas finding a Lute, tooke it, and fitting his sweet voyce to it, sung these verses:

WHile amiable youthfulnesse
Inflames within us faire desires
Let us prove the dearest pleasures
Our fortune to us may addresse;
And suffer not a day remove,
Without some sweet delights of love.
The season of our borrowed light
Ought not to passe away in vaine,
Wherein we doe so freely gaine
The power as well as appetite,
To suffer not one day remove,
Without some sweet delights of love.
Those that have ruder phantasies,
Reproach our happy times so spent;
Malicious, or malecontent
With their despight or jealousies;
But let not us one day remove,
Without some sweet delights of love.

There little wanted, that Corinna transported with love, had not gone to kisse the delicate mouth that sang with so many charmes, but the presence of [Page 102] her husband and the company served for a bridle to her. 'Twas no difficult matter for her to be perswaded by Eurylas song, into this humour, and to take the occasion her love offered her, and she thought he gave her advice of what she had to doe; and Palamede was of this mind too, who never look'd off Corinna, whilest Melintus entertain'd the good man Curio, that began to have a very great esteeme of his guests. When it was bed time, Curio and Corinna brought them to a chamber neere unto those where they us'd to lye apart one from the other, wherein there were two beds. Melintus and Pala­mede chose the biggest, for they said, they would never be separated, and left the least for Eurylas. Corinna was very glad for that resolution, and when she left them, gave the good night to Eurylas, so as he well perceiv'd the affection mingled withall. Palamede consider'd all her actions, and having learn'd that she lay in one chamber, and her husband in another, hee thought, that if in the night he could make her beleeve he was Eurylas, hee might easily enjoy her: so as he was resolv'd to rise from Melintus, and goe secretly into Co­rinna's chamber, imagining that without doubt the love she had for Eurylas, would hinder her from sleeping, and he might easily be received of her. On the other side, Corinna being retir'd with her husband, had the same designe to rise out of her bed, and come to lye with Eurylas, not beleeving him to be of a disposition to refuse a faire Lady: And Curio willing they should shut up these strangers close into their chambers for feare of some accident, shee was not of that opinion, for that were, said she, openly to mistrust them, that it suffic'd to shut the doores of the house sure, and they would not dare to at­tempt any thing. That being appointed, Curio by misfortune would needs lye with his wife that night, to whom this purpose was very unwelcome: Ne­verthelesse when he was asleepe, she rose and pursued what shee had to doe. Corinna and Palamede at the very same time went out of their chambers with­out any noyse-making, and meeting one another in the darke at a passage, knock'd their heads so rudely together, that they were even falling backwards withall: and yet having each of them but scandalous intentions, and not willing to be discover'd, they kept themselves from crying out, or expressing any paine for the blow: They would neither of them enter into their owne chambers for feare they should be knowne. Palamede ignorant of what hee was best to doe, stood still in the same place, and lean'd himselfe against the wall; but Corinna better acquainted with the turnings, slid her softly downe the steps. Palamede taking heart, and thinking it was some groome, gave not over going into Corinna's chamber; and she hearing no more of him she had encountred, went up the staires againe and entred into the chamber of Eury­las. She came neere his bed, then sitting her downe upon't making no noise, she embrac'd Eurylas and kiss'd him, to make him awake gently. Epicharis feeling as she began to wake, some body that press'd her on that fashion, cri­ed out, and would have got her selfe loose; but Corinna laboured to make her hold her peace, and told her she was Corinna, that moved with a love to him, was come to give up her selfe to his bed, and offer him all the favours he could desire of her. Melintus wak'd with that noyse, and not feeling Pala­mede neere him, thought he was practising upon Epicharis, and went towards the bed to hinder him. Corinna hearing him come, escap'd and ran into her owne chamber, where she stumbled upon two persons that lay upon the [Page 103] ground, and fell with her head so cruelly against the bed, as she was not able to rise againe. Shee cryed out and call'd for a light, and in the meane while heard a man that said, why brother, are you mad? I am Palamede you tor­ment thus. At last a light was brought; Melintus and Eurylas came running also thither, and found three downe all along upon the place; Corinna hurt, and Curio with Palamede, that held one another fast, and were wrastling toge­ther. But when Curio knew it was Palamede, he was in a great wonder, and ask'd him, wherefore he was come to his bed? Palamede for his part seem'd as much amaz'd to see himselfe in that chamber, and said to Curio he thought he had come to his owne, and gone againe to bed to his brother; and how he had cause to thinke strange Melintus should take such hold of him if hee were not mad. Curio ask'd him pardon, and told him he tooke him for some robber that would have kill'd him, feeling a man, as he wak'd, that held his armes. Epicharis and Melintus had paine enough to keepe from laughing, see­ing them in that disorder. Corinna putting her hand to her broken face, and leaning it against her forehead, said, that having heard a noyse upon the staires, she would know what the matter was, and at her returne found them in that posture to give her the fall. The suspition Curio might have of his wife, was changed into pitty to see her in that case; and after they had all of them got up, and some remedy was applyed to two or three hurts she had on her face, and to those of Curio and Palamede, for they had fallen from the bed one upon another, Palamede desir'd their pardon, his error having caus'd all that disaster, and every one retir'd to his chamber, where Melintus, Palamede, and Epicharis shut themselves up for feare the noyse of their laughter should be heard, which they refraind as much as was possible. Palamede knew then it was Corinna he had encountred in the passage, going to have surprised Eu­rylas, and how she was forc'd to get her gone at Melintus comming. He con­fest to them also, that willing to goe find Corinna, and put himselfe upon her bed, he had in stead of her embrac'd that man that had awak'd, and seiz'd up­on his body at the instant, that he was strangely amaz'd to feele a beard, and a man that would not let him escape, did he what he could; that in striving to­gether they were fallen from the bed, and Curio undermost, whose fall must needs have well dazled him, for that he did not so much as dreame of calling for helpe: that in the end he thought he was to make as if he had beene mis­taken, and to call him brother, to have him beleeve he tooke him for Melin­tus, and was in a wonder he should be in so great a madnesse, as not to let him goe, what ever he did to get out of his hands. They never ceas'd laughing the rest of the night at these rancounters. Neverthelesse Melintus reproached Palamede for having had a thought to such an enterprize. He excus'd him by the example of Corinna, whose attempt was no lesse unchaste, and intreated Epicharis to pardon him that crime, which she willingly did, not being able, she said, to take offence at a thing that had made them so much mirth.

About morning they fell asleepe, and waked not till it was neere noone: and being up, it was told them Corinna kept her bed. They went to see her, and to know how she did; and meeting with Curio in the chamber, ex­press'd againe to him the displeasure they had for being cause of her sicke­nesse; then they came towards the bed, where they found her with her fore­head bound up, but yet very curiously, and as if in that disorder of her face [Page 104] she had not beene over negligent in dressing her. Palamede made her a thou­sand excuses for his ill fortune: and a little after going aside with Melintus to entertaine Curio, Corinna tooke Eurylas by the hand, saying to him, What will you doe for one that has beene thus handled for love of you? Madam, sayes he, all that ever I can doe in the world I offer you, in assurance that I am too much ingag'd to you, and dying for griefe that I was not able to receive the favours you would have permitted me. Palamede would favour the con­tentment and pleasing deceit of Corinna; for he drew Curio on the other side of the bed, as he spake to him: and Corinna taking the occasion, said to Eurylas, I see very well you must forsake me now, but promise me to re­turne hither one day, and you shall see what affection I have to you. As shee spake those words, she brought Eurylas head close to hers, and kist him with a great transportation: and besides, she uncover'd all her neck to him, that he might be the more in love with her. Eurylas had trouble enough to refraine laughing, and to recompence her with the like favours could wel have shewn her as much: but he was content to give her kisses back, and promis'd her it should not be long ere he came to see her againe. They were at last to give over that delightful exercise, for fear of being taken by the husband that came for Eurylas to lead him to dinner. The sweetnesse of Melintus conversation had wholly gained that man: and at dinner he told him, that some Jewels they had still hidden about them; but it would bee hard to change them for things that were more necessary, as horses and other provisions. Curio pro­mis'd to accommodate them: and presently they went to his stable, where they made choyce of three horses, for which Epicharis gave him a Ring that was of a farre greater value, because she would recompence him for the good entertainment they receiv'd at his house. Curio gave them besides to every one a sword, and something with them to eat the rest of the day: then they went to take leave of Corinna, who wept to see Eurylas part; yet shee conceal'd her teares; and Curio having seene them a horsebacke, let them goe with a great deale of sorrow.

They were no sooner a good way off out of their sight, but having liberty to laugh, they were dispos'd to mocke at the abuse of Corinna, and her so passionate farewell. The incounters of Palamede also serv'd them for no small pastime; and Epicharis flouting him, that his desires had beene so rewarded: I finde, sayes he, there is nothing so delightfull as that which falls out in love: for if a man has that he desires, nothing is more happy; and the greatest dis­grace that may arrive, is but matter of laughter. I, sayes Epicharis but the mischiefe is, you are laugh'd at to your cost: I finde you onely happy in this, that you are of a humour that shrinks not for any accident befals you. It is true, said Melintus, for I beleeve never any man was so often deceiv'd and punish'd as he. At Athens he began his apprentiship, with a thousand tricks were played upon him: at Rome he hardly scap'd dying in the trade: and here, see what an adventure 'twas to goe cast himselfe into the armes of an husband, and so to be quit for the hurt he receiv'd in his face. Besides all this, replide Epicharis, his greatest unhappinesse is, that experience cannot make him wise. How well you are both agreed, said Palamede, to despise my hu­mour! but tell me, whose courage doe you esteeme the greater, of him that puts himselfe into many hazards, comes well off with some, is hurt in others, [Page 105] but never yeelds: or his, that never attempts any thing? Would you have one, after he has beene wounded in a combat, quit armes for ever and grow wise by experience? You have reason, answer'd Melintus, to make a compa­rison with love and valour: but as valour is a vertue, so you ought to com­pare with it a vertuous love, that is not fastened but to a faire and perfect object, like as valour that has nothing for its object but honour, no differing considerations to move to the duties of it: so in love, he that shall have but one designe, and ever maintaines that, is more couragious than he that will alwayes be changing the subject of it. Palamede replide, if you will needs compare Love to Valour, in my conceit this is exercis'd upon differing sub­jects, and divers encounters; one while in the siege of a Towne, another at a battell, another againe in a private combat. Yet ever 'tis but one va­lour, sayes Melintus, cutting him short: Neither is it but one love, answer'd Palamede, that makes me cherish every thing that is amiable. But this valour, said Melintus, hath but one object, which is honour. And this love, replide Palamede, hath but one object neither, which is pleasure. Pleasure, said Melin­tus, cannot be the object of a vertuous love; and if you will heare me, I be­leeve you will be of my minde. Vertue never has any thing for object, but that which is perfect and certaine, and for this reason she her selfe is her owne end and recompence, there being nothing in the world perfect and certaine but shee. So hath valour no satisfaction but in it selfe, and this is that wee call honour, which is nothing else but the glory that is in us for not failing in what valour requires at our hands, what disgrace soever may happen; be­cause fortune hath no power over vertues: hee that has this quality in perfe­ction, is as valiant being overcome, as when he is victorious, and is consci­ous to himselfe of the same glory: Victory and honours cannot be the prin­cipall objects of it, because these are not things we can be assur'd of. In like manner, the perfect love cannot have pleasure for his principall end, because it is not certaine, but depends on the will of another: and for that cause his end cannot be to be lov'd neither, these being things that are without us, and we cannot dispose of: but his onely certaine object is this, to love perfectly: So the end of this perfect love is in it selfe, and can never faile it. If it chances one be loved, or receives some contentment, these are but fruits of love, and not the end, even as victory and honours are to valour: otherwise it must be necessary, that after the satisfactions love receiv'd, and the honours that valour possess'd, both this and that should cease, and have no more operation, as be­ing arriv'd at their end. You see that imperfect loves, that have no other end but pleasure, dye as soone as ever they have attain'd that pleasure; and this might serve for an infallible reason to make you beleeve there must be an end farre more noble, and more assured than pleasure, to crowne a perfect and ne­ver decaying love.

I beleeve, said Epicharis to Palamede, you would be much troubled to an­swer these reasons. 'Tis very easie for him, sayes he, to vanquish an enemy that feeles his conscience wounded, being to maintaine an evill cause: for all the disasters I have met with, and reason with this very dispute learne mee thus much, that we are to love but one thing which is perfectly lovely, and for this cause that it is you alone I am to love: I pray you, said Epicharis, make not Melintus weapons serve your turne against mee: and yet I shall not bee [Page 106] displeas'd that he instruct you; and when you have had time enough to bee made wise, I shall demand of him what I ought to thinke of you. Sweare, said Palamede, you will alwayes report your selfe to him. That will I surely, said she, so much confidence have I in him, that hee shall herein be Judge with Ariana. Melintus said, there was hope of amendment in Palamede, and that he would promise, if Epicharis joyn'd her helpe, to make of him a perfect lover one day for her sake, having already a Master very affectionate, and a Mistresse very lovely. Assure your selves, replied Palamede, that I knew before how to love very well, what ever I said, for I love none but the faire Epicharis; 'tis she I love perfectly, and will love her so for ever. Do you take these little searches I make to others for infidelities? What be they else, sayes Melintus? I would faine know, went Palamede on, if to love so perfectly as you pretend, you abstaine from all sorts of pleasures, as hunting, pastimes, exercises, and what ever else may content you? That were not reasonable, answer'd Melin­tus. So then, said Palamede, these little favours are of those pleasures we are not to avoyd. The choyce a man has made once in his heart, continues still there; and by this meanes he attends with patience, till the cruelties of her he seekes be over, and the time may bring some ease to his desires. I finde this, said Epicharis, an easie way of loving; and if all were of your dispositi­on, there would not be heard such complaints and desperations of lovers, be­cause they would so soone know wherewith to comfort them. 'Tis not, re­plied Palamede, a particular humour in mee, but reason that makes mee love after that fashion, and every one finds contentment by it; for having a cruell Mistresse, I seeke for consolation to the usage she makes me, and in the meane time leave her in repose. When all comes to all, replide Melintus, you would perswade us, that you love extremely, but desire moderately; and if you can make these two agree, you have reason for what you say. Although, sayes Palamede, I follow not these desires so ardently, thinke you I desire the lesse for that? Contrariwise, I more honour her I love, not to torment her, see­ing her resolv'd to grant me nothing; and appease where I may the violence of my desires. But, replide Melintus, they are not the desires you have for her, which you goe to ease otherwhere; they be some other. Sometimes, an­swers Palamede, I imagine I am easing those very desires, perswading my selfe I enjoy her, and receive those favours at her hands. Ah ye gods! cried out Melintus, what crimes are here together. And why, said Palamede, am I so criminall? First of all, replide Melintus, in seeking these favours from o­thers, you serve your selfe of the same words, and the same oaths which you use to her you love: see there prophan'd the fairest meanes you can have to make your selfe be loved, imploying them indifferently upon a thousand subjects unworthy of the vertuous designe you ought to have: What poore­nesse it is to lye? and which of them all can beleeve you, having but the same protestations to give in all places? after all this, if you love but one person, can you still finde another lovely, and there stay your eyes? for, as for pa­stime which you alleage, a man may seeke that, without injuring his love: but one beauty may stand in competition with another, and if you can make much of any, with, or besides that you love, 'tis infidelity. But what crime can be greater than that your imagination commits in the favours of ano­ther? and will your fancy then needs have it her you are courting, who re­ceives [Page 107] your discourse with affectation, who either yeelds with weaknesse, or prostitutes her selfe with shamelesnesse? and doe you perfectly love her you imagine to your selfe, with all those defects? You charge me very criminal­ly, said Palamede, but I protest to you I have not so vile an intention. No, no, pursues Melintus, you must resolve with your selfe, either to beleeve your affection is very imperfect, or else to purge it of all those errors, if you de­sire to make it perfect. See there, said Epicharis, one good lesson already; and if every day he tooke but such another, I thinke he might be reduced into the right way. To heare you both speake, replied Palamede, it seemes I have beene instructed in an ill Love-schoole, and must endevour to forget the false principles I there learn'd: but I doe still finde something in me re­pugnant to the austerity of your precepts: Neverthelesse I honour my Ma­ster, and love my Mistresse so well, that I shall receive their rules upon their word, without examination; and submitting to your reasons, I will make you have obligation to me too for the paines I free my selfe of, in the search of contrary reasons. They were then come to a passe of a river something difficult, which hindred Melintus and Eurylas reply to him, to minde where the easiest place of going over might be. Palamede having first sounded the depth of the water, and being on the other side, betooke him to singing.

CUpid in his childish flitting,
Changeth station day by day:
Above the heavens he makes his way,
Then upon earth he takes all homage fitting.
If my heart seekes thus to remove,
Am I not like the God of love?
The same diseases Love importune,
Varieties doe more provoake
Him, that in using many a stroake,
Wounds now the faire one, now the browne by fortune.
If my addresses thus remove,
Am I not like the God of love?
Cupid besides hath no delight,
But in preparing some new blow;
Then slily laughs under his bow,
At all the mischiefes come from his despight.
When I my pleasure would remove,
Am I not like the God of love?

It will be a very difficult matter for us, sayes Epicharis to Melintus, to gaine any thing upon him by instructions: for see if he be not already return'd to his first errour. You give a wrong judgement, answers Palamede, of my in­tentions; because I meane to make these false opinions come out at my mouth, as it were some poyson or ill nourishment I had taken, and I have no other meanes to rid me of them. The same censure you are to give of all I shall hereafter say contrary to fidelity, in answering your arguments: for I [Page 108] shall receive yours in hearkning to them, and let goe my owne, as I mention them to you. Here's a pretty device indeed, sayes Epicharis, to contradict us all his life long, under the pretext of letting out his false reasons. I am afraid truly, replide Melintus, ours get not out of his minde as easily. Give mee them, said Palamede, good ones and strong enough, to the end they may take so sure root there, as nothing shall be able to shake them for going out. Take beed, replied Melintus, the fault be not in the reasons, but in the place that peradventure is so slippery, that nothing can remaine firme in it. They sweet­ned the tediousnesse of the way with these discourses that held them untill the evening; and chancing upon a place commodious enough to eat what they brought with them, they stayed their journey, and let their horses feed upon the grasse; but after supper they resolv'd to goe all night, for avan­cing their voyage.

Being a horsebacke againe, they entred into a Forest a little before Sun­set, and had not gone through the halfe of it when night began to approach. Palamede and Epicharis were together, and went before: Melintus was about twenty paces of them, and entertain'd his imaginations, when there ap­pear'd to him an apparition upon a great blacke horse, his face of a fearefull blacknesse, his body all cover'd with long and bristly haire, and holding a club on his shoulder.

A man lesse assured than Melintus, would have beene terrified at so dread­full a vision; but he in no amazement stood still, and ask'd him boldly if he had any thing to say to him. Know, answers the spirit, that thy death ap­proaches. Thou tell'st me no newes, replide Melintus, I know it approaches every day. That monster without a returne would have discharg'd upon his head a blow with the mace; but he avoyded it by bending his body, and pre­sently tooke his sword in his hand. Then hee saw comming to him another monster a horsebacke, like to the former; and without trouble to see him­selfe amongst these Devils, he began to charge him that had spoken to him, and at the same time thought how the other might doe him no wrong. Pala­mede and Epicharis that saw Melintus did not follow them, return'd backe a­gaine, and wondred strangely to finde him engaged in a combat against such fearfull spirits. Epicharis was seized with horror, but Palamede that would not have feared to assaile all the powers of hell to succour his friend, tooke his sword in his hand, and set upon him that came last. At that time Melintus had runne his sword into the other he first tooke him to, in many places, esca­ping with nimblenesse the blowes of his club, and in the end made him fall from his horse. Palamede delivered himselfe too in a small time from him he had taken in hand; and these two friends were very glad to see those spirits had a life to lose, since they poured out so much bloud, being fallen to the ground, and had no more motion left in them. They alighted from their horses, and considering them, found they were two men that had black'd o­ver their faces and their hands, and drest them in skinnes, it may be to skare passengers, and kill them with the more ease.

Epicharis had gone afarre off for feare, and they had much adoe to re-assure her, and make her come neere to see those dead bodies. At last she came on, and wondred extremely that Melintus was not terrified at the first appearing of these phantasmes. The Moone gave them light enough for not wandring [Page 109] out of their way, and to beware they were not againe assaulted by the like monsters; but yet they came out of the wood without danger when the night was even spent: and at breake of day they met with a man on foot, who seeing them comming, demanded if they had not encountred the two spirits that had slaine so many men within seven or eight dayes. Yes, answered Me­lintus, but they did us no harme at all. I wonder, replide that man, they should spare you. Indeed, said Melintus, they somewhat affrighted us; but from whence come they, doe men thinke? They say, replies he, they are infernall gods, that were constrain'd to quit the Temple of Proserpine at Rome when it was burn'd, and how they will never give over killing, till they have built them another. For my part I am not so desperate as you, for I am go­ing round about the Forest to Rome, for feare of falling into their hands. Friend, said Melintus to him smiling, those gods were not immortall then: feare not passing by the Forest, you shall finde their bodies lying on the ground, which we have depriv'd of life, and assure your selfe they were but theeves disguis'd into spirits, to kill and rob passengers with more facility af­ter they had affrighted them. This man would not beleeve him for all that: they swore to him all three, it was true; and that if hee were weary of going a foot, he might chance to finde one of those wretches horses, and get up to ride: but hee could not be perswaded what ever assurances they gave him; and would not take the way of the Forest, so hard a matter is it to cast out feare and the beleefe of fabulous stories out of vulgar spirits.

They went on their way, and after they had sufficiently spoken of this rancounter, they tooke up their last dayes discourse for to instruct Pala­mede in the lawes of fidelity. Epicharis ask'd him if he would have Melintus give him another love-lesson. I had rather, sayes hee, take it from you: for from the very first I should prove a Master. There needs him no other instru­ction, said Melintus, but to examine well his life past, and hee will finde that ill desires have brought him nought but shame and misfortune, and that he never tasted pleasure but in vertuous affections: for I will have him confesse to me, if the honest behaviour of the wise Eriphile and her sweet entertain­ments in the very refuse, were not more pleasing to him than the favours he thought he had enjoy'd of her in the deceit was put upon him. But, said Epi­charis, may not I know that story? I shall blesse, replide Palamede, that de­ceit all my life, for giving originall to the friendship of Melintus and me. Now you give me, said Epicharis, a greater desire to know it, for 'tis a thing I ne­ver yet heard of; and if Melintus would take the paines to make this relati­on to me, I would thinke the service I have done you well rewarded. Pala­mede, replide Melintus, might better tell you all the particulars of it; but since I can acquit my selfe so good cheape, for that I am indebted to you, I will not lose the occasion. Epicharis told him, If that be too small a request, min­gle with it your owne story besides, and tell me all that happened to you at Athens, and in your voyage into Asia. It is but reason, said Melintus, you should know how the lives have pass'd, which you have beene the preserver of. This relation, added Palamede, will be very delightfull to you, if with it he reports all the glory and the advantages he acquired: for I feare that for this cause he will conceale from you the fairest adventures of all. You would willingly, said Melintus, have me leave to you this occasion of discourse to sa­tisfie [Page 110] Epicharis, but you shall finde other services to render her. I would be very loth, replide Palamede, to hinder her from hearing you: but take it not ill, if you forget any thing, that I remember you of it. Melintus was content, after hee had rejected the praises they gave him; and some time after he be­gan thus:

History of Melintus, Eriphile, and Palamede.

THere are very fortunate passages to be met with in the life of men, which if they would make right use of, they might easily addict themselves to vertue and glory: and I finde that fortune is of maine consequence to good designes, providing the meanes both to undertake, and to execute enter­prizes. I tell you this, not to have you thinke I had by this meanes acquired any quality: but to confesse unto you, that I am the lesse excusable, if I have not made use of this good fortune and facility that have alwayes accom­panied me.

When I was sent by Telephus to Athens, hee directed mee to the house of one of his friends called Ephialtes, whose wife Eriphile was very handsome, and one of the wisest women I ever knew. And her husband had such trust in her vertue, that he was not afraid to receive me into his house, although I were very young, and handsome enough at that age; nay, he never had so much as a jealousie for the cares she since tooke of me: for I confesse she lo­ved me as her owne sonne, although she was not above two or three yeeres elder than I; and seeing that I had conceiv'd an affection to her great enough, she would make use of this good will of mine to get a power over mee, to have me learne with passion all my Arts and exercises. In such sort, that fin­ding me to be of a very willing disposition, she sometimes commended mee to encourage me, sometimes she kist me on the forehead for a recompence, but yet farre from her husbands eye; and I sweare to you, that greatly serv'd to advance my studies; because I employ'd my time in them for love of her, quite after another fashion than I had done for my owne sake. Besides, know­ing her vertue, I was in awe of her, and durst not attempt any thing that I was not sure would be pleasing to her. I gave her account of all I learn'd, which made me carefull in spending my time well; and presently she became as learned as my selfe: On the other side she taught me honest manners, and the good fashion of living those of our condition are to follow; so as one taught the other what he knew, and learn'd of the other what hee was igno­rant of; and thus was it a very delightfull schoole. After imparting my stu­dies to her, I let her see the improvement I made at our exercises. I did my armes in her presence, I wrastled, I lanc'd the Javelin; and Ephialtes, that was one of the prime men of the City, having alwayes faire horses besides those were mine, I exercis'd them before her; and when shee approv'd my riding, I thought my paines well rewarded. At the beginning I lov'd her as shee had beene my mother, but comming to more age and understanding, which gave me the more credit with her, and dispens'd so great submissions to me, I loved her as my sister: so as entring into her confidence, shee had now no secret to hide from me. Palamede was then at Athens too, and spen­ding more time at his exercises than at his studies, hee came off with much [Page 111] dexterity and grace in them. We did every thing in emulation one of ano­ther, without any other acquaintance, but that wee were both of the same City. Palamede shall confesse with me that one of us suffer'd with some dis­pleasure the commendations were given to the other, and this spurre serv'd also to make us more diligent in well-doing, so as there was not any there be­sides that might exceed us.

But leave we this discourse of our exercises, to speake of his amorous hu­mour. After having loved some Ladies of Athens, where there is no want of those that are flexible enough, and being weary of favours so easily obtain'd, as those he had enjoyed to his cost; one day he saw Eriphile, and fell in love with her; without delay he gave testimonies of his affection to her, by the care he had to see her in all places where she was to come: but he well knew he should have trouble to obtaine what he desir'd of her; for her modesty was very great, and by her speeches shee never gave him any hold, whereby he might take the boldnesse to propound any thing that might offend her ho­nour. Neverthelesse having learn'd that she frequented sometimes at a wo­mans of meane condition, who was called Harpalice, married to a freed man of Ephialtes, and that this woman was very crafty and covetous, he hop'd to gaine her by her covetousnesse, and that she might gaine Eriphile by her craf­tinesse. He made his addresse therefore to her, and this woman receiv'd him, and assur'd him there was none but shee that had power over Eriphile, or was capable to serve him. She entertain'd him a while only with hope; then one day she told him that Eriphile having lost a very rich chaine of gold, and fea­ring her husband should know it, he had a faire occasion offer'd him to get her good graces, by presenting her with such another. Palamede instantly promis'd it, and Harpalice having describ'd to him the fashion of that chaine, he bespake it at a Goldsmiths. But when he had it, he fear'd Harpalice might not give it to Eriphile: so as he intreated her that he might be the bearer of it himselfe, to the end this might give him occasion to see her in private, and that she would finde some meanes for this meeting. Harpalice was a little sur­priz'd, yet she told him she would know that of her, and two dayes after as­sur'd him, how Eriphile had promis'd to come to her house; that shee would faine to make an assembly of Ladies, whereat some men might be present too, then she would put them into a chamber apart, where he might give the present into her owne hand, and that there he might endevour to vanquish her by intreaties. Palamede waited for that day with a great deale of joy, and Harpalice was not wanting to make her assembly: but before the company was come, she carried Palamede into a chamber next to that where the mee­ting was to be. Thither came I also waiting upon Eriphile, and Harpalice go­ing into the chamber where Palamede was, set him to observe thorow the crannies those that were in the other chamber, and amongst others, Eriphile and me. Doe you not see, said shee, how Eriphile blushes, and is full of thoughtfulnesse for the purpose she has to come to finde you? Palamede ima­gin'd with himselfe it was so; and when she left him, she said, You may see when I take her by the hand to bring her to you, but she will have me take away the light, for feare you be seene together in this chamber through the same crannies. Palamede consented, seeing it must be so; and a little while after she came to take Eriphile by the hand, because she said, she would carry [Page 112] her to see what was in the other Chamber. Shee had brought her to set her foot into the Chamber where Palamede was, but it was so darke, that Eriphile retiring her said something loud, Whither doe you lead me, Harpalice? This crafty woman came backe againe presently after, bringing with her in the darke another woman well instructed what she had to doe, and said to Pala­mede in giving him her, I had much adoe to make her resolve, serve your selfe of the occasion; but I pray speake low: for I should be dishonoured if you chanced to be heard; then she shut them up both together. Palamede can better tell you than I what expressions of his contentment he made her, and how much beholding hee thought himselfe to her for being willing to grant him this favour; how in order he pursued that businesse, and what vi­ctories he obtain'd; but this I can tell you, that he found farre lesse resistance than he expected, and for an acknowledgement gave her the chaine: then Harpalice returning to take her away in the same darknesse, they parted asun­der with a thousand protestations, and as many kisses after them. Palamede was not at liberty till the company were gone away, and then Harpalice ask'd him if she knew not well how to oblige a man: hee gave her many thankes, and a present, and then went his way very well satisfied. I know not, conti­nues Melintus, addressing him to Epicharis, but looking upon Palamede, if I may dare to tell you what fault he committed. I pray you, said Palamede, for­get nothing befell me, no nor our combat neither, for if it were not for that, the story would be nothing worth, and should have nothing to follow upon it, or else you shall oblige me to take up the discourse where you left. I will tell you then, replied Melintus, that he was not able to conceale this favour, but publish'd it. Eriphile was advertis'd of that vanity of his, and acquainting me with it, seem'd to be very sensibly displeas'd withall. I loved her with so honest an affection, that I was touch'd as much as she, so as I was resolv'd to revenge her. The day after I met him in the Parke for exercises, and draw­ing him to a place where we could not be seene, I told him he had spoken ill of a Lady, that he must unsay it now presently, and publish the contrary, or else I should very soone make him repent it. And I will make thee, said he, have but a short time to repent thee of those words. Then we both took our swords in hand, and being but so lately learned in all the slights of fencing, we were not to seeke for any one either at striking or defending. It seem'd we were both well content this occasion was offered to put our art into pra­ctice, so as if heretofore we had an emulation when we fought but for exer­cise, wee were at this time farre otherwise provok'd, when wee considered the prize and hazard to be as much as our honour and life. After this com­bat had beene a long time debated without any hurt on either party, Pala­mede impatient that it held so long, gave me a blow with such fury, that ha­ving avoyded it, his foot fail'd him, and he came falling close to mee. I cast my selfe upon him, and seizing his sword, I would have forced him to unsay that he had invented against Eriphile: but he told me with a courage undan­ted, that he would never unsay a truth. I threatned to kill him if he continued those words, whereupon he said to me, Melintus, I confesse it was not well done of me to speake of it, but if I let you see how shee favours me, will you not then avow that I have no reason to unsay it? If you can, said I to him, justifie it, I will confesse my selfe vanquish'd by you: but if this be not so, I [Page 113] will oblige you to give me satisfaction before her, and to publish the contra­ry. I agree, sayd he, to these conditions, with an oath to content you with­in these three dayes: then I let him rise, and we went thus happily away, without having any bloud one of another.

One day after he intreated Harpalice to let him have once againe the same commodity of seeing Eriphile: She that aspir'd to nothing but his presents, promis'd him; and the next day she bade him come at night. Instantly he comes to me & tels me, I have found out the means to be as good as my word; this evening if you come with the company to Harpalice's house, marke into what Chamber Eriphile enters without a light; afterwards you may see me come out from thence, if you stay the last in the house. I was a little amaz'd, and could not tell if I were to suspect Eriphile or no: Neverthelesse I promis'd him to be there, and without speaking a word to Eriphile, I accompanied her thither at night. Harpalice fail'd not to bring him the same woman, that was as courteous to him, as before: For my part that never left Eriphile in the company, I mock'd at Palamede within my selfe, and went home with her, never staying for him. The day after, he came to mee in the morning, and ask'd me, why I stayed not for him the last night, to see him come out. Because, said I to him, I was all the while with Eriphile, and could well an­swer for her. He began to laugh, but seeing me mocke him also, hee began to mistrust Harpalice: then he told me, one of us must needs be finely cooze­ned. My eyes, said I, are very certaine. Truly, replies he, mine could stand me in no stead in the place where I was, for it was too obscure: but yet I will have all cleared before I have done, and without saying any thing else to me went out, and goes to Harpalice's, and bound her by the same charmes of re­ward, to let him have the same favour once againe. She told him it was im­possible to have her company so often: neverthelesse shee would make her come, provided he kept the agreement that there might bee no light in the Chamber, for Eriphile was afraid so much as to be seene of those of her owne house: that made him mistrust her more than before, yet hee was content; and when it was night, he repair'd to the same Chamber, where this woman being entred, in the middest of their kindnesses one to other, he cut off some of her haire; and for all she felt him, and would have hindered him from keeping it, yet he carried it away by force. As soone as he was at his lodging, and could get a light, he went to see in trembling what he held, and found it was blacke haire, quite differing from Eriphile's. Then acknowledging how he had beene coozened, and thinking how to be reveng'd upon Harpalice, he pass'd away the rest of the night in great vexation. In the morning he came to see me, and said, Melintus, I am ready to give you satisfaction, and to re­cant what I have publish'd against Eriphile's honour: but this must needs be done in her presence. I sent to know if she were pleas'd to receive this sa­tisfaction, which she seem'd very willing to, upon condition I were at it. Palamede entring, went and cast himselfe downe at her feet, and said to her, Madam, I am come to demand your pardon for the fault I have committed against you, and vengeance for a villany that gave occasion to my offence. Eriphile prayed him to rise, that hee might with more ease relate to her what he had to say. She made us sit downe, and then Palamede shewing what hee had cut off, said to her; Madam, these blacke haires shall let you see the black­est [Page 114] villany that was e're invented against two persons; and thereupon hee repeated to us all the crafty devices of Harpalice, which Eriphile and I were in great admiration at. In the end he craved so many pardons, and added so many protestations of honouring her, and publishing in all places Harpalice's cunning deceits, with an excesse of submissions and respects, that wee were more content at his satisfactions, than wee thought our selves wronged by his offence. Eriphile gave him a full pardon, and when she knew of our com­bat for her sake, she would make us friends, and have us continue so, since we were of the same City, of the same age, and equally given to the same honest exercises. I endur'd no great intreaty, for I had an high esteeme of all Palamedes qualities. And he exprest to us, how happy hee accounted him­selfe, for drawing this advantage, as he call'd it, from his owne folly. We em­brac'd one another, and sware before her a perpetuall friendship: she after­wards made Harpalice be brought into the hands of Justice, and the wretch was condemn'd to be tyed to an Asse, her head turn'd to the taile, which she was to hold for a bridle, and so to be walk'd through all Athens, the Hang-man whipping her, and children following her throwing of stones. Since that time Palamede rendred so many honest offices to Eriphile, that she much esteem'd him: she dispens'd her favours equally to us, never ceasing to make us confirme our friendship. And upon that occasion Palamede made Verses, which I beleeve I can call to minde: I thinke they were these:

I Love, but with the purest passion,
The perfectest that's here below.
The god that wounded me hath no compassion
To heale so sweet a sore, nor would I have it so.
She loves me, and I dare not attend her
But for one favour to be blest;
Letting her selfe be lov'd, she knowes how to defend her
By that same vertue onely makes me love her best.
One rivall there alike is placed,
Which makes me no way jealous-hearted;
Nor am I griev'd that he, as well as I, is graced
To see so little good betweene us both imparted.
To me alone I would not winne her;
Nor doe I cruelty pretend:
And yet 'tis not for want either of beauties in her,
Or passion in my heart, that equally contend.

I perceive, said Epicharis to Melintus, that you were both a modest ser­vant, and an honest friend, thus to make part in the friendship of this faire Eriphile. You see, answer'd Melintus, how we have alwayes parted betweene us, as well our good, as evill fortune: But I must tell you how wee divided to our selves also almost all the honour of the Olympicke games: Then he goes on: The time of them being at hand, there came to Pisa from all parts, [Page] some to appeare in the exercises, and dispute prizes; others to be spectators onely. I would aspire to a very high honour: for seeing that the greatest Ci­ties of Greece, and some Kings likewise had sent excellent horses with light Chariots to carry away the prize of the race, I had a minde also to come upon the lists for Syracuse: and having a long time before prepared Ephialtes horses and my owne for this occasion, and made a gilt Chariot, glittering all over, and representing that of the Sunne, I made six faire Coursers I had be painted, in a fashion that had never beene seene before: then drest like Apollo, and crown'd with rayes, I appear'd in the lists with others that wan­ted neither glistering shewes, nor magnificence: Palamede was contented to pretend to the prize of the Harpe.

Eriphile, to encourage us both to well-doing, had given each of us a favour, to Palamede a Harpe, whereon he was to play; and to me a Quiver, with the Scarfe of her owne working. Every one of those that were to runne, drave his Chariot round about the place where the games were had, and saluted the Ladies in passing by, of whom they receiv'd favours too, and good wishes; then went to range himselfe in the place that had beene ordain'd him. I had learn'd my horses this before, to start at the third time the Trumpets soun­ded, without needing to hearten them either with the whip, or with the voyce, reserving these spurres till the middle of the Course. They failed not to start in time, and orderly ruling them at first, I drave slylie betweene two that violently went away at the beginning, and were afore mee, and having this advantage, I contented my selfe to keepe close to them, untill about the end of the race, seeing them strive to overtake mee, I spared my horses no more, but giving them the reines, and leaving the rest behinde me, I swiftly finish'd my course, gaining a victory that could not be con­troverted. Then the Trumpets from all parts began to sound, and next followed the cryes and applauses of the people, and afterward I was pro­claim'd Victor. Having receiv'd the prize, I repass'd againe into the mid­dest of the place as it were in triumph, and seeing they went about to begin other games, I guided my Chariot neare to the Theater, where the verses were to be disputed; from thence I leap'd up, where they gave me the first ranke, because of the victory I came from winning. I recited an Ode that would be but tedious to repeat now to you, for it was very long. In the end I carried away the prize there too, and having heard a little after Palamede to be proclaimed Victor for the Harpe, I assure you I had more joy at it, than for my owne victories.

Presently after, those of Syracuse having understood the honour we had acquir'd, sent us Letters of acknowledgement, and thanks, and invited us to returne to them, to receive the honours they desir'd to give us. Wee could not refuse so just intreaties, and so advantageous for our selves, and so tooke resolution to depart, with a great deale of sorrow to leave Eriphile. I will not tell you of the trouble shee was in to heare this purpose of ours: but shee expressed more displeasure to me, than the wisdome of her minde could suffer: and I confesse to you also, that to be separated from her, I was to have a great power over my selfe: for I had lived with her in so great a sweetnesse of conversation, and such a confidence, that now I went to deprive my selfe of many pleasures and consolations: [Page 116] Her vertue and her good qualities had alwayes furnish'd me with so profi­table and delightfull entertainments, that I made a doubt, if ever I should chance to be so happy againe, or meet with any thing that came neare that state I was to lose by quitting her: Neverthelesse I must have consented to this depart; and Palamede, that apprehends, as you know, his comforts and divertments so easily, had some regret for it in the beginning, but soone gave it over. But in stead of returning to our Countrey, the heat of the warre carried us away. Corbulo, that sage and victorious Roman Captaine came to land upon the Coasts of Greece, with the forces he lead, to passe from thence into Asia, and make warre with the Parthians. Wee tooke this occasion to shew our valour, and went to finde him: then wee followed him in all the Conquests he made, where we gained some renowne; and when the peace was concluded, we separated our selves from the Army. And doe you speake so slightly, said Epicharis interrupting him, of a valour admired of all the Empire, and so dreadfull to the Barbarians? I will have you rela [...]e to me what exploits you both atchieved, for 'twill be the greatest pleasure I can possibly receive. Give me leave, answer'd Melintus, not to goe on with that story of battels and sieges, that cannot but be irksome to you, conside­ring the very termes of expressing them are unknowne to you. Content you onely with this, that we had the victory in many encounters, were hurt in others, ran many hazards our selves, and made others run as many, and in the end the Romans remain'd victorious. I see well, said Epicharis, I shall for the present gather no advantage from your modesty, but some day or o­ther I will put you in minde, that you are not releas'd of this relation: Goe on now onely with what hapned to you at your returne.

Having left the Army, replied Melintus, we embark'd us, and came to passe neere unto Greece, I would have turn'd out of the way to goe to Athens, and see Eriphile once againe; Palamede that had now quite forgot her, would by no meanes endure that, and thought of nothing but the reception was to be made us at Syracuse for our Olympicke victories, which was more ho­nourable for us, than we could have imagin'd. I have heard, said Epicharis, of that reception, from her mouth that gave you the presents; but though it were magnificent, I may tell you it surpass'd not the merit of the persons were receiv'd. And this is that, continued Melintus, you desir'd to know of me, which is but a very poore satisfaction for all those obligations I have to you: but it suffices me that you are content what payment soever I give you. You are too good a pay-master, said Epicharis, and I am to bee very well satisfied; since in waiting on you I have already so much pleasure, and besides you have given me for my service so pleasing a recompence: for I never heard any thing with so much joy, as that of your excellent and happy instruction, the wisdome of Eriphile, the coozening of Palamede, and the birth of your friendships, together with all your honours, and your glories; and if I often spent such houres, I should account my life most happy.

They were a long time entertaining them with all those adventures, and went on discoursing thus untill the Sunne was very high: then they re­tir'd into a private place that was our of the way. Palamede went all alone to the next Village for some provision, and left Melintus and Epicharis that were discoursing a while concerning the gentile qualities of Palamede, in [Page 117] whom they acknowledg'd many things that proceeded from a lovely wit, and a great noblenesse of heart: as for his humour that was merry, and something addicted to pleasures; they confest that would soone be ripe in him, and given over, and esteem'd him never a whit the lesse for it: then Melintus counsell'd Epicharis to repose her a while, that they might travell after, not thinking it dangerous any more to goe by day. As Palamede ar­riv'd, Melintus made him a signe not to wake her, but to sleepe too, that they might merrily after goe away together.

ARIANA. The seventh Booke.

AS soone as sleepe had forsaken Melintus, Palamede, and Epicharis, they made a short dinner, and went forward on their way, till about evening they arriv'd at Cumae, where they were of opi­nion not to enter, because they avoyded the Townes as much as might be. They sought therabouts some place to retire to, and at last hid thēselves with their horses in the den of the Cumaean Sibyll. Epicharis was something fearful to goe into it, having heard tell of many strange things that happened in that place, and how the Sibyll had from thence led Aeneas into Hell: Neverthelesse, after Melintus had assured her that those were but fabulous stories, she was the boldest of the company, and put her selfe the forwardest: but she repented of that courage; for going onwards in the depth of this den, and being a good way off from Melintus and Palamede, she heard some complaints comming out as it were from the most hollow secret places of the Cave: She started backe for feare, and ran towards Me­lintus, whom she tooke by the arme, and thought her selfe then well fortified: she told him the cause of her being frighted; they came neare to heare what it might be, and perceiv'd avoyce that spake, which made them judge they were, it may be, theeves that were retir'd thither: but lending their eare more attentively, they heard these words; Ah Fortune, how trecherous art thou! and how more advantageous is it to be miserable at first, than happy, since thou art so changeable. How cruell were the favours thou gavest me, since they serv'd for nothing but to bring upon me the more sorrow; and how malicious wert thou to place me in a condition worthy of envy, for to re­duce me afterward so miserably to provoke pitty. But what pitty? of whom can I expect it? Of men? they have abandon'd me: Of the heavens? they have none to give: Of the earth? she scarce affords me this retreat: And of the Sea? she refus'd me the succours I hoped from her, when I sought my death in her bosome. Alas, Love, what wouldst thou have mee doe? doest thou let me live to have a perpetuall remembrance of the good I possessed, and of that misery which followed it, both of them alike troublesome to my memory?

I beleeve, said Epicharis to Melintus, this man is mad, thus to speake to [Page 119] himselfe. You know not, answered hee, to what a desperation may bring one; and if you knew that which belong'd to a Lover, you would soone ex­cuse these extravagances. Then they heard how hee went on; But seeing I must suffer, Courage, let us againe put the iron into our wounds. Cruell re­membrances, I provoke you, to the end you might againe hurt mee with your most sensible prickings. Sweet entertainment, deare confidence agree­able pleasures, heretofore the joyes, now the executioners of my soule; and you Oaths of love that ought to be inviolable, come to me traytors; and if there remaines any place in me to murther, spare not your rudest blowes there: teare me with rage, despite, and shame, and make my sufferance as e­ternall, as the love that causes it.

Epicharis admir'd the transport of this wretched man, and the violence of his evill that forc'd him to despaire thus: and a while after hee continued still: It seemes I hope to ease my griefes by these unusefull words: but how unpowerfull are they for such an excesse of evils; and to what purpose serve these plaints, when all things are deafe to me? and though they were willing to give mee some remedy, yet it is now impossible. Ah ye gods! What make you in heaven? and how doe you cast off men to so many mise­ries? to what end are our incense and our sacrifices, seeing the most inno­cent are the most miserable? for I will no longer beleeve you take care of us: What visible assistance receive we of you? What is become of the help of your Oracles for the distressed? Are we more wicked than our fathers, to whom you gave sometimes by your advice, either a remedy, or at least a comfort? And thou, holy Sibyl, whose dwelling I take possession of, if it be true that thou art no more but a voyce, why dost thou not make it speake in my favour? And why wilt thou not favour mee with some one of thy prophecies, to teach mee what consolation, or what end I ought to hope for?

Epicharis told Melintus, shee had pitty upon that poore Lover, and that she was resolv'd to counterfeit the Sibyl's voyce, to make him have a pur­pose to goe to his kinred againe, amongst whom he might more easily re­cover his wits. Melintus approved her invention; but she told him she must speake in verse, and that she could not make any. Melintus answered, make haste, and pronounce aloud the verses I shall tell you in your eare, and say every one after me, which she did thus with a very shrill voyce:

Lover of Constancy undaunted,
Thou shalt perceive thy griefes decay,
If thou return'st without delay
Where thy birth to thee was granted.

The poore man having heard this voyce, and making no doubt but it was the Sibyl's, fell downe upon his knees, and cried out; Sacred Sibyl, I give thee thankes for the pitty thou hast had of my miseries: I shall follow thy advice, for thy holy voyce hath beene ever true, and if by thy helpe my life shall prove more fortunate, thou from that time shalt be the onely Divini­ty I will adore. Onely suffer me but this night to abide within thy grotte. I would be glad to finde a little sleepe here, which I have alwayes denied [Page 120] my self, and to morrow will I begin my course to goe seeke out the effect of thy Oracle.

Melintus and Epicharis were pleas'd to see their device succeed so well: but Palamede told them; If you desire he should perfectly beleeve this O­racle, he must not heare us speake, nor finde us in this place tomorrow. E­picharis said, she was of opinion they were best goe out, being not well re­solv'd neither to sleepe in that den, and that she desir'd rather to passe away the night in the shadow of some trees, where she should be lesse afraid. They tooke that resolution, and when they were got out, sate them downe un­der poplers, where they tyed their horses too. The next day Palamede went to the Port of Cajetta, to see if some vessell were not to set saile, that might take them in for Sicily: Melintus and Eurylas saw passing by them a very pale man, with a wandring looke; but yet that seem'd of a good mine, and to have some satisfaction in his minde; although the estate wherein he was did not promise any great reason for it. He came towards them from the [...]ot­ward, and they tooke him to be the very same they had heard there, to whom Epicharis had given the Oracle, that might be the occasion of his con­tentment. Eurylas had a good minde, he would have stayed by them to have knowne his fortune: but he went off, farre away, when he perceived them, to avoyd the encountring of mankinde: and though Eurylas call'd to speak with him, yet he still continued his way in a very feeble pace. What would you learne, said Melintus to her, the world is full of these Love-traverses; he is so eager to depart because of your Oracle, that there is no likelihood hee would stay his journey for us: and if he be soundly in love, he will never tell you his fortune; for I judge of him by my selfe, that in the like occasion would not publish my affaires to all I met.

Epicharis looking on Melintus, ask'd him, If you were in love, would you not have a friend to be confident in? I never knew any yet, said Melintus, I durst be assur'd of in so important a secret. And doe you not thinke, an­swer'd she, Palamede loves you enough, not to deceive you? I should doe an injury, said he, to doubt of it; but he might be deceiv'd himselfe, and not thinking any thing, discover that which I should have much adoe to keep secret my selfe. And what would you thinke of me, replies Epicharis, that I might be brought to reveale any thing, if you had trusted me with a secret that was to be kept with discretion? I confesse to you, answered Melintus, that you are the onely person I dare be confident of, for a thing that were so deare to me. Let it not grieve you then, said she, taking hold of his hand, that I am acquainted with the whole secret of your life; but live most assu­red for all that, that I would rather suffer death, than one word to be drawne from me of that you desire should be conceal'd. And because thereupon he stood still in a great amazement, she added; Melintus, I had not so freely spoken to you, but that I am resolv'd to employ my life at your service: and I desire you to beleeve there is not a man I honour so much as I doe you, and that my minde shall never be contented, unlesse yours be so too, since your interests so neerely concerne those of my Mistresse. Melintus seeing how she knew so much as she did, said to her; Is it possible, Epicharis, she should tell you any thing of this? for I beleeve you have perceiv'd nothing by me, not so much as from my eyes. Doe not seeke to informe your selfe, said [Page 121] she, how I come to know it, let it suffice I am not ignorant either what you are, or how vertuously you love her; and I have no greater joy than when I hope my services may be of some use to you. Then is my soule, answered Melintus, and my life in your hands: but I am not sorry for it, assuring you that next unto her there is not a person I esteeme as I doe you, nor of whom I desire more to be esteemed. Melintus, replide shee, beleeve this, the affe­ctions I have to you are not of the common sort; and if I doe you no ex­traordinary great services, the fault shall not be for want of employing all the powers are in me. I well know, said he, what you are capable of, and I shall thinke my selfe happy in this onely, that your will is good. Palamedes returne brake off that discourse, who came to tell them there was never a Ship in the harbour, and that there was none expected there; notwithstan­ding they determined to continue in that desart place untill there might some arrive. About Noone Epicharis walking about, met with a little house that leaned against the backe of the mountaine, whereinto entring, shee found an old man and his wife of the same yeares, that got their living by making certaine houshold commodities of wood, which they carried to sell at Cu­mae. After she had inquir'd of their manner of life, she perceiv'd they had two or three beds, and ask'd them if they had any children. Presently the teares came into the eyes of these good people, and Epicharis desirous to know the cause of their displeasure; they told her they had lately but one daughter remaining alive, whose husband dying a yeare agoe, left her two children, and about a moneth since having them in the wood with her, a shee-wolfe carried them away to be devour'd, after shee had strangled the mother. Epicharis lamented with them that accident, and to stay their wee­ping, gave them some money: then she ask'd them if they would lend her the beds they had to spare for two or three dayes. They offer'd her all their house, and Epicharis well content that shee had found out a lodging whilest they could depart, went to advertise Melintus and Palamede of her adventure, and brought them to this poore house where they accommodated them­selves as well as they might. They lived on that they brought day by day from Cumae; and one while Melintus, another while Palamede went a horse­backe to the Port to see if there were any vessell come. They passed thus eight or ten dayes with much incommodity and wearinesse: for this stay was very grievous, and deferr'd great joyes as well from them, as from those they desir'd to deliver out of paine in Sicily.

One day as Palamede was at the Port of Cajette, hee perceiv'd a man a horsebacke that look'd upon him all astonished: he knew him to be Arcas, and brought his horse close to his, to embrace him. The poore Arcas was so confounded, that he durst not yet be sure it was Palamede; and said to him; Alas! and is it you I am seeking for dead, and doe I finde you li­ving? 'Tis not a shadow, answered Palamede, thou seest, but the good friend of thy Masters. And what is become of him, replies Arcas? Hee is not very farre from hence, answers Palamede, and I long very much till hee see thee. Arcas not able to recollect himselfe out of his amazednesse, Palamede prayd him to come away to goe to Melintus. The gods, saves Arcas, favour all your designes for the good newes you tell mee: alas! does my Master then live still, and have the gods had care of your innocency? I thinke the [Page 122] time long ere I see him and embrace his knees, after so many feares and griefes that tormented me when I thought him dead. They went on then in their way to goe to Melintus; and in the meane time Palamede knew that his father and his sister were happily arriv'd at Syracuse, and had nothing else to trouble them, but the extreme displeasure for leaving him in so great dan­ger. But Arcas reserv'd the report of the voyage he had made since their landing at Syracuse, where he had presently left them to returne to helpe his Master, if he might be so happy as to come to him in time. They went in such haste, that they were soone come to the little house where Melintus and Eurylas being at the doore, and seeing a man comming with Palamede a­farre off, knew not what to thinke: but when they saw 'twas Arcas, they went for joy to meet him. He cast him downe at his Masters feet, and em­brac'd his legges, without being able to take himselfe off. Alas! said he, my deare Master, doe I see you once againe? Melintus stooped downe also for to embrace him, and with excesse of contentment held his head with both his hands: at last he ask'd him how they did at Syracuse. Very well, answered Arcas, and when they shall see you againe alive, they will doe better yet: But, went he on with a great sigh, how is't possible you escap'd out of the Tower? By the assistance of this young man, sayes Palamede, shewing him Eurylas, to whom we are beholding for our lives. Oh! said hee regarding him, how he has gain'd him the gods and men for his friends, by so happy an action. Eurylas laughed that Arcas should not yet know him. Melintus and Palamede too admir'd his abuse; in the end Melintus ask'd if hee had never seene any thing that resembled Eurylas: No, sayes he, if it were not Epicha­ris, and at the same time knew her, and went to salute her: Then were they impatient to know what his fortune had beene. As soone, sayes he, as I ar­riv'd in the haven of Syracuse, I saw a ship that was departing for Italy: and I intreated Aristides and Ariana to give leave that I might returne to succour you; which they were very willing to, and the same houre I re-imbark'd, and in three dayes space with no good fortune landed at the Port of Ostia: from thence finding this horse, I went till I came at Rome, following the ri­ver; and at my first entrance saw much people running to see some strange thing. I was then curious of newes, and sought to learne what was become of you; and hoping that some one amongst that confusion might tell mee something of you, I followed those that went in this haste: but I heard of them newes more unfortunate than I would have desir'd to know: for being upon the banke of the Tyber, with the rest that ran thither, they told me that two Sicilians that should have beene condemn'd that very day by the Senate, had cast themselves downe into the river from the top of the Tower where they were kept prisoners. Judge you what could become of me then; but when I was told your names, and knew my misery to be cer­taine, I cannot relate to you neither my complaints nor my despaires: in the end I resolv'd with my selfe to give my assistance to some that might search for the bodies in the bottome of the water, to give you buriall at the least: but all our labour being proved in vaine, and thinking that the streame had carried you away, I tooke in hand to follow the course of the river, a­long which I wandred some dayes, to see if the water had not cast you upon some shore.

[Page] I went then againe to Ostia without hearing any newes of that I desir'd, so as despairing to finde your bodies at all, I determin'd to returne into Si­cily, alwayes coasting along the Sea-shore, to see if peradventure you had not beene cast upon some banke. Pursuing this sad designe, I arriv'd at Ca­jette, where I found Palamede, whose happy encounter chang'd my woful­nesse into an excesse of contentment: But, continued hee, may I not know how this handsome youth was so happy as to save you? Then Palamede re­lated to him all her pretty inventions to get into the prison, and the strange fortunes of their comming out, which Arcas listned to with much admira­tion. At last it was concluded they should stay no longer in that place, but gaine (along the Sea-side) the Port of Reggium, where they would not faile to finde shipping; and when they had taken leave of their hosts, and well rewarded them, they got up a horsebacke, and fear'd no more to lodge in any houses, since Arcas had assur'd them there was no more search made for them, but that they were thought to be dead.

The places they passed through were very troublesome; for coasting the Sea they met with many mountaines and vallies, and the greatest part of the wayes were of a tedious circuit. That was the cause they advanc'd so little, considering the great desire they had to get out of Italy, especially Melintus, who impatient of seeing Ariana againe, curs'd incessantly this length of a voyage; and one day entertaining his thoughtfulnesse, upon that subject he made these Verses:

WAyes that have such fearefull spaces,
Infinite Countrey, that surpasses
The tediousnesse of Lybique sand,
Too cruell Seas that compasse me so sore,
Perplexed turnings; shall I finde no end,
Going to see what I adore.
Mounts that present me with your heights,
Vallies that ope to me your depths,
To make me in these Desarts dwell;
I would not, with desire that had no use,
Mount up to heaven, nor yet descend to hell,
But I would goe to Syracuse.
Cupid upon thy wings me beare,
And so the truest Lover cheare
That e're thy pleasing fires did try.
I am not heavy now, being all but flame;
But ah! I feare he knowes no more to flye,
Ere sinceinte my heart he came.
Thoughts that to her your course addresse,
Where is my spring of happinesse,
And instantly returne againe;
Make at one blow to end my punishment,
And with like motion carry me amaine,
To my sweet harbour of content.
But these ingratefull, that in absence
Know so well to prize their puissance,
Had rather here I should reside;
Being well avis'd that in that other place
My eyes will ever make them stand aside,
Of seeing her to have the grace.
Phoebus, whose fortune is extreme,
Now to behold what I esteeme,
Cause me by thy power divine,
That I may see, by rare effect of Art,
This beauty in thee, as in a mirrour shine,
Inspight of all things that us part.
But every thing is deafe to heare
My prayer; then on with our carriere,
The course to follow of our travels:
O gods! O heaven I alas, is't possible
That ye should make me sensible of evils,
And the world to mine insensible?

The continuall entertainments of this troop were so delightfull, that they were sufficiently diverted; and had it not beene for the extreme passion of Melintus, that permitted him no contentment being absent from Ariana, the gentle humour of Palamede and Eurylas had bin able to have dispell'd his sad­nesse: and although he cover'd it, what he possibly could, yet hee gave not over pleasing himselfe with often retiring into his thoughts, and by the way of purpose separated him from the company, now going before them, another while leaving them some space before him; having nothing more deare than the remembrance of Ariana's favours which hee had receiv'd of her by sending him Epicharis; and he tooke it for a good Augury that his Mistresse had acquainted her with his passion, and what he was, there being appearance that this discourse was not made to his disadvantage. He accoun­ted himselfe more happy yet by much, for having this Wench so affectionate to serve him, since she was so necessary to him, and promis'd himselfe at his returne a great alteration in his fortune, seeing so many things contribute to his contentment. If this voyage had beene yet farre longer, such sweet entertainments as these would pleasingly enough have busied him, finding so many causes to hope well; and when he saw his minde in so happy a state, he thought well to leave it so, and came with a cheerely looke to joyne him­selfe to the discourses of the rest, which he ever gave rule to as he pleased, by vertue of the reasons his wit furnish'd him withall. At last they arriv'd at Reggium, where they were not long without finding a vessell, and going a­boord it, in lesse than an houre they lost sight of that land, where they had runne so many fortunes, making a thousand imprecations against it, and [Page] all of them taking an oath never to see it more.

Being arriv'd at Messina, they kissed their native soyle, and prayed it to be more favourable to them: the next day they went away betimes, and in three dayes journey came something neare to Syracuse, but the night o­vertooke them: and the day after passing by the house Dicearchus had in the Countrey, Palamede demanded if they would rest them there, that he might againe see the place where he had spent so sweet houres with Epicharis. Melin­tus liked not that motion, and said they were not to lose any time to goe to Syracuse. They continued their way, and came to a hill that was of a good height, with a wood by it; and from thence they might begin to discover a plaine they were to descend to, and the City of Syracuse it selfe.

Melintus, who went some thirty paces before, perceiv'd three men afoot, arm'd, and masked, that made goe along with much rudenesse an old man with his eyes muffled, and forced him to enter into that wood. Hee spurr'd his horse to see what they would doe with that man, and came neere to them just as they were going to kill him: suddenly he tooke his sword in his hand, and striking from his horse him that went to give the blow, hee overthrew him to the ground: the two others set on him behinde, but turning about towards them, with a reverse blow he cleft the head of one of them, and laid him dead in the place. The other came to him with a great deale of courage: but Melintus made no great account of it, having but him to combat with, and gave him foure or five sound blowes with his sword: in the meane time he that was overthrowne had got up, and had shrewdly troubled Melintus, but for Palamede, who having seene his friend goe galloping away, doubted some encounter, and had followed him. He came in just as this last man was comming to Melintus, and made no great matter to defeat him; for having brought him to the ground the second time, he trode on him with his horse feet, and ran him in three or foure places with his sword, at the same time that his friend had made an end of killing the other. Melintus presently aligh­ted from his horse, and tooke off their vizors to see if he might know them: and he was strangely astonish'd when he saw they were Garamant and Toxaris their ancient enemies, whose treasons they had now punish'd without thin­king of them: then he went towards the old man that had a venerable ap­pearance, but was so out of all heart, expecting nothing but death, that hee thought not of unbinding his owne eyes, though he were left alone to him­selfe. Melintus and Palamede undid the napkin that covered his face, and were in a great amaze to see that it was Dicearchus, who dazeled with the light he so suddenly beheld, and having still the image of death before his eyes, said to them; Alas! will you have me see my selfe dye too? Never­thelesse his sight restoring him, he knew Melintus and Palamede, whom hee thought dead; which made him still more possest with trouble: not well knowing whether he himselfe had not beene already kill'd, and were now with them in the Elizian fields; or whether their soules were not come to succour him. And that which caus'd in him those doubts, was, that they on their part were amazed too, and spake nothing: but at length Pala­mede said to him; Ah gods, my uncle, into what hands were you fallen? Tell me rather, answers he, in what hands I am for the present in: for I know not if I be among the dead or the living. We are not dead, sayes [Page 126] Melintus, the gods have preserv'd our lives to save yours this day; and I ad­mire my good fortune for comming so timely in, when they were going to strike a dagger into your bosome. Was it you then, replied Dicearchus, that hindered that misfortune? May the gods render you this benefit: but I know not, but you may also succour my neece Ariana, who is within this valley in the hands of above twenty souldiers, with Ericine your sister. Let us goe, cried out Melintus, and keepe them from having any violence of­fered them, and he would have parted that instant, but that Dicearchus said to him, Stay a while that we may advise what is to be done: I am certaine they will doe them no harme, because they stay for the returne of these you have slaine; and then I shall have leisure to tell you the occasion of what is hapned, to the end we may take counsell together: then they were silent, and he goes on: You must know that this man, shewing Garamant, seeing how Ariana my neece had a great estate, forbeing left sole inheritrix of A­ristides and me, by the death of Palamede which was thought most certaine, was so insolent as to make her be demanded in marriage by this other call'd Toxaris, and who at the same time made himselfe in love with Ericine your sister, said he to Melintus. I excus'd me the fairest way I could: but they attributing this refuse to contempt, made me at length be threatned, that they would be reveng'd for this; and they had such despight at it, that this day, to cut you short, having knowne how I was to goe to my Coun­trey house with my neece, and Ericine that accompanied her, they way-laid us at this vale, where having staied the Charet we were in, they made mee come downe with a great deale of insolence, and were resolv'd to come to cut my throat in this wood; because, said they, I did alwayes seeke to revenge me of them, and that if they would live at their case, I was to bee taken out of the world. In this designe they gave charge to the other soul­diers of their company to attend them, and keepe Ariana and Ericine well, till they should be come backe from hence; let us therefore see for the pre­sent what we have to doe: for albeit your valour be great, 'twill bee a diffi­cult matter to goe set upon so many men. It is no matter, sayes Palamede, I hope we shall amaze them, considering they have no more Commanders. I am thinking, replies Melintus, on some other thing that will not be much a­misse: Let us put on the coats of Arms of these dead men, & take their vizors, and their false haire, and then goe to finde them out, they being never able to doubt we be other than Toxaris and Garamant whom they stay for, and so mingling our selves among them, we shall have kill'd a number of them, before ever they be perceiv'd what we are.

Palamede found this invention to be very good, Dicearchus approv'd it too, and Arcas being then arriv'd, Melintus bade him put upon him one of those Coats of Armes, as well as Palamede and he would doe, to goe execute that they had resolv'd on, whilest Dicearchus and Eurylas in the meane time look'd to their horses.

Thus they drest them all three in haste, and tooke the Masques and Per­ruques, and forgat not so much as the buskins: then Dicearchus wishing them good fortune, let them depart, and went with Eurylas to put himselfe into a place whence they might perceive all that hapned, and never be seene. Me­lintus being in the mid-way of the descent to the vale, made a stand, and [Page] said to Palamede, I would never have thought of seeking any other meanes but force against those we are going to, if that in abandoning our owne, we endanger'd not also the lives of our sisters, and their honour beside, which is more deare to them. I am of opinion therefore, that in consideration of them we let our valour altogether alone, and save them by a way more gen­tle, and infallible. They we goe to seeke will never imagine wee be other than their Captaines, and so we may command them what we please; and I would advise, that comming neare the Chariot we have our naked swords in our hand, bloudy as they be, as if we came from killing of Dicearchus; and then putting them up into the scabberd, we may make signe to the souldi­ers to attend us againe there; then we will take, you, said he to Palamede, Erycine, because you are in the habit of Toxaris that would have taken her a­way; and I Ariana, because I am drest like Garamant. Wee will make as if we would carry them away into this same wood, not to deferre our content­ment any longer, leaving the souldiers in the same place still, and then come with them to finde out Dicearchus and Eurylas; we shall have meanes good enough to save our selves by riding upon our horses to Dicearchus house, be­fore ever they suspect any plot. This crafty device is very fine, sayes Palamede, and if my sister and Erycine make any resistance, we need but tell them in their eare who we are. Nay contrary, said Melintus, we are to let them tor­ment us, to make the feigning seeme the better. That being approved, they came downe the hill, and approach'd with assurance to these souldiers, who at their arrive separated, and made them way to passe to the Chariot. Melin­tus seiz'd upon Ariana, and Palamede upon Erycine, and they spake aloud in a counterfeit voyce like that comes out of a vizard: We will no longer de­ferre satisfying us, since the meanes is now in our owne hands; this next wood is very commodious for such an occasion. Ariana fell to crying out and shriekings, but Melintus tooke her by force, after he had made a signe to the souldiers to wait for them at the same place: but she in striving did what she could to teare his very face, and outraged him as much as her forces would give her leave: then seeing that he held her hands in such sort, as she could neither defend her selfe any more, nor offend him: Ah cruell wretch, said she, art thou not content to have kill'd my uncle, but thou must desire to take from me also that by force, which I cannot lose without my life? kill me, barbarous man, so shall not I much out-live my honour, nor thou long time enjoy the fruits of thy insolence. Erycine on the other side was carried away by Palamede: but her soft nature permitted her nothing but weeping and crying; and Arcas followed helping them, and forbidding the Souldiers, that would have done that office, to stirre from thence. When they were halfe way up the hill, Melintus stayed him to take breath, and Ariana recollected new forces for to vex him, and hinder his getting up to the top: but Melintus rendring all her striving uselesse, shee could not containe her selfe from crying out; Ah poore Melintus, where art thou now? If thou wert alive, thou wouldst not have fail'd to be here at my rescue, or else not much surviv'd my disaster; but it shall not be long ere I come to thee, if not with a pure body, at least with a soule unspotted; and thou, infamous goat, as­sure thy selfe that the gods will revenge me, and not suffer thy fury to goe unpunish'd. How sweet were all these speeches to Melintus? Never were in­juries [Page 128] nor outrages so well receiv'd. By this time he had got to the height of the mountaine, where Dicearchus came running; and Melintus having set her upon her feet, tooke off his masque, and let her see him.

Arian's astonishment were hard to be describ'd, one while looking upon Dicearchus, another while on Melintus, two persons she thought to have bin dead, and not well knowing whether she might thinke her selfe in safety, or else in the hands of some spirits that had taken those shapes to abuse her, she waver'd betwixt joy and feare. Dicearchus said to her, Make no doubt, neece, of what you see: here are Melintus and Palamede whom you thought dead, that have this day preserv'd my life and your honour. Ariana at that newes was taken with such an excesse of joy and amazement, that she lost that little strength was left her, after all her strivings: she let her selfe goe into Melin­tus armes, and fell lightly upon the grasse: then with a soft voyce shee said to him; Ha Melintus, is it you indeed I see, or your demon that takes care of me even after your death? Madam, answered Melintus, assure your selfe that I am yet alive to serve you; but we are not to make any longer stay here, if you desire to secure you from the hands of these villaines. Ariana seeing Palamede that held Erycine, call'd him, and said, My deare brother, if you desire I should not doubt of the good fortune they would perswade me in­to, doe but so much as come hither that I may embrace you. Then Pala­mede came to her; and Dicearchus seeing their kindnesses last too long, put Melintus in minde of getting a horsebacke, and that hee would take Erycine with him. As for him he mounted upon Arcas his horse, Palamede made Ari­ana resolve to be gone from that place, and to be set upon the same horse with him, and Arcas got up behind Eurylas.

They determin'd to pace away, without any great precipitation, but in case they were pursued, and get to Dicearchus house, the neerest place they could be safe in. Palamede ask'd his sister if she knew that handsome youth with Arcas. I know very well, sayes shee, that 'tis my deare Epicharis: but I dare not before my uncle expresse to her the joy I have to see her: I doubt not but she hath assisted you very carefully. Alas sister, answered Palamede, but for her we had beene now dead men, and that by a shamefull death too. How so, replied she? you may tell me by the way as we goe in what manner you were preserved: for every one beleeves here, you cast your selves down the Tower. They beleeve this too at Rome, sayes he to her, and I shall make you a relation of our happy, or rather miraculous getting out: but first tell me why you are thus all in mourning clothes? Alas brother, answered she, the teares comming into her eyes, must I needs, for the succours I have re­ceiv'd of you to day, give you so sad newes? Sister, replide he, how I am in feare for my father, upon the report of my death. Your feares, said shee to him, are to be turn'd into assurances: for hee was not able to resist the displeasures he felt for the newes of your misfortune, being chiefly perplex'd with the sorrow for having left you, and calling himselfe author of your death, since he had abandon'd you. Then was some time spent in teares, after which they told by course all that had befallen them, while they had beene absent from one another. Melintus entertaind Erycine too that was rapt for joy to see this brother shee honoured so much; and hee learn'd of her what had pass'd at Syracuse, after hee had let her know in a few words [Page] how he had beene saved. And Arcas gave Dicearchus a part of their adven­tures, as he went by his side, and thus they arriv'd at his house, where seeing themselves safe, their spirits were intirely sensible of joy, being no longer distress'd with any feares. Melintus advis'd that the Ladies should rest them whilest they in the meane time tooke order to goe charge those Souldiers that remain'd, to get the baggage out of their hands. Dicearchus would by no meanes they should put themselves into that danger: for that the men were not worth their paines, the Chiefes being slaine, and the booty they had, was but a small matter. Notwithstanding Melintus chang'd not his re­solution, and hiding his purpose from Dicearchus, assembled, together with Palamede, some Boores of the Countrey whom he made take Armes; and taking on him to be their Captaine, led them on to goe finde those Souldi­ers, where of some of them, being impatient for that their men stayed so long in the wood, had gone to see what they did there, and having found them dead, they came backe againe to advertise their companions of it, just when they were assaulted by Melintus and Palamede: some of them were slaine, and they carried away five or six prisoners in the very Chariot, and re­turned to Dicearchus, who receiv'd them as comming in triumph, with their captives drawne in their traine. Ariana and Erycine rose from their bed to see what it was entred; and seeing out at the windowes Melintus and Palamede in the head of that Equipage, they admir'd their courage for not enduring that any thing of theirs should remaine in the hands of those souldiers: and the prisoners were surely guarded, to be carried to Syracuse as soone as they return'd thither.

Dicearchus acknowledging the obligation he had to Melintus, tooke him aside, and demanded of him if he could desire nothing of him in recom­pence of the life he was indebted to him for. I have done nothing, answe­red Melintus, but what I was oblig'd to: but yet I will not dis-esteeme what it pleases you to make me offer of; and I aske you no other favour, but that you will never wish mee any ill, whatever heart-burning you have had a­gainst my father. I confesse to you, answer'd Dicearchus, somewhat asham'd, that we have heretofore had some difference, Telephus and I, by reason wee were both of a contrary faction: but for the present, things are well chan­ged; and I am so farre from having a desire to wish you any ill, as I promise to employ that you have preserv'd to me in your service, to the uttermost of my power. I beseech you, replide Melintus, to take an oath of this in the hands of Palamede. That will I surely, answers Dicearchus; and having call'd him, Melintus sayes to him; Dicearchus will doe me the grace to promise me, that he shall never beare any ill will to me, what-ever hee has had to my fa­ther. I wonder, replies Dicearchus, you will make any doubt of this, after the extreme obligation I have to you: but since you are so desirous, I take an oath hereof betweene my Nephew's hands, and pray the gods to punish me, if I ever faile of that I sweare to. Palamede added, Melintus may be well assured of that you promise him; for 'tis impossible you should ever wish me any good without loving him too, seeing I will never have any good without him; and he has too much merit to be refus'd good will. After these common assurances of friendship, Dicearchus led them into his Neeces cham­ber; where entring in first upon the sudden, he was strangely affected to find [Page 130] a young man upon her bed that embrac'd her, and seeing him, presently came downe off her bed, and goe his way towards the bed Erycine was in. Dicearchus said to Ariana; Ha! what's this, my neece, is't possible this that I have seene? Ariana smiled, but yet asham'd, as this young youth was also. Dicearchus wondring why they should laugh so, replide, What's the matter, Neece? Where is become of this honour, and this vertue? What, uncle, said she to take away his errour, you know not Epicharis then; (for it was she still disguis'd that embrac'd her deare Mistresse, who could not be satis­fied with the kindnesses she express'd to her, for the agreeable services shee had done her;) And now Dicearchus regarding her, was himselfe asham'd that he had accus'd them, and said that another would have beene deceiv'd as well as he. After rejoycing to see her againe, and learning some of their fortunes, he enquir'd of Ariana how she did with her wearinesse, and after the fright she had beene in; shee assur'd him that her brothers returne had cur'd all her distempers. Well, sayes he, I will leave you with this good bro­ther of yours, and Melintus with Erycine (that was in a bed on the other side) for 'tis no small matter you have to tell one another, and the same time went his way out. Palamede told his sister, Wee have had leisure enough of dis­coursing together by the way as we came, and for my part I finde these en­tertainments of sisters but cold ceremonies: It were better we separated, and so went away from her to cast himselfe upon Erycine's bed, leaving Me­lintus with his sister. Ariana to be even with him, sayd, Brother, I admire your humour to be so soone comforted for what you have heard: that re­membrance all on the sudden abated his courage, and stayed the liberties he began to take with Erycine and Epicharis, who had much adoe to defend them­selves from him. Melintus taking that occasion, said to Ariana; Madam, I understood this losse with a great deale of sorrow, you being so sensible of it your selfe. I ought not, sayes she, to have bin exempt from miseries, while you and my brother were so cruelly persecuted by fortune: but I sweare to you, I was sufficiently tormented with the feares I had for you two, though this accident had not befallen me. I doe not thinke my eyes were ever dry since I left you; you see a face that sufficiently shewes the part it hath taken in the vexations of my soule: and doe but consider a little to what I was re­duced, when by your hands I was deliver'd, and what thoughts I could have being in the hands of those robbers. After losing of a brother as I be­leev'd, whose death was followed with my fathers, I saw they were gone to cut my uncle's throat, the onely support I had left me, and my selfe forsaken of all, and condemn'd to suffer the rage of those hangmen, without your rescue, whom I am beholding to for, what I have most deare in the world. Madam, answered Melintus, we were first indebted to you for our life and honour, and you secured both to us by meanes of Epicharis whom you sent us; if since we have assisted you, you are wholly to thanke your selfe for your deliverance: but I know not how you should ever pardon mee for the feares I put you in, going to force you away from among those Souldi­ers. But rather, replide she, how will you pardon mee the blowes I gave you, for so I payed you for all the paines you had taken to save me. Ah, Ma­dam, answer'd he, how pleasing were those blowes to me, but may I dare to remember you of one you call'd upon to helpe you? Ariana blush'd, and [Page 131] told him a little after, I remember it well enough, and give you leave to take those words I spake, as much for your advantage as you please. Me­lintus taking her hand in excesse of joy, pursues: Upon this assurance, Ma­dam, may I from henceforth without offence tell you my thoughts? Hee spake these words in a voyce so trembling, and with a face so pale, that A­riana well perceiv'd the extreme respect he bare her, and the feare he had to tell her of any thing might displease her: but to encourage him, she answe­red; Melintus, I have sufficiently made triall of your friendship by your discretion; I will not have you spend so much as one word to assure me any more of it. He was so ravish'd, that bowing him, and putting his mouth to the faire hand he held, hee was some time in this posture, without any speaking, so transported was he with contentment. Ariana was very glad to see him so seized: but at last he lift up himselfe, and said to her; What will you thinke of me, Madam, to see me silent after such a favour? and indeed so great it is, that there are not words to expresse to you, neither the excesse of my joy, nor how much I am to rest your servant. Ariana an­swers him, If we measure the obligations, without doubt those I have to you are farre the greater: but you are to be satisfied with mee, seeing that to acquit myselfe I give you my soule, which is all I am. Your soule, Ma­dam, replies Melintus, may I be so bold to beleeve these advantageous words? but why should I not beleeve them, since they come from your mouth that cannot be but true? Will this faire soule then give it selfe to me, for to animate a body so unworthy of it? and will you indeed receive mine in place of it? Melintus, said Ariana, I doe not meane so, this exchange would be too prejudicious for you: but at the least I give you a part of my soule, which is my will, and I must have you dispose of it from henceforth, in exchange of yours, which I am sure is in my possession.

Melintus was so rapt for these deare engagements, that the commotions of his heart disturb'd his minde, and stopp'd the freedome of his thoughts; and the knowledge of that disorder gave Ariana a greater assurance of his joy and passion, than a thousand words could have done. In the end he replies, It is impossible, Madam, I should expresse to you how deare these favours are to my soule: for the more I resent them, the lesse am I able to tell you: but it suffices you to know the greatnesse of my affection, by being assured how they replenish me with joy, and you shall see with what submission I receive them, by the inviolable respect that shall alwayes accompany me in your presence; and when I have declar'd what I am, I will incessantly call to my remembrance the estate wherein I was when you were so favourable to me. Melintus, sayes Ariana interrupting him, this declaration is the busi­nesse you are to thinke upon at this time: and I would advise you to make your selfe knowne to my brother: you are not to deferre it any lon­ger, if you thinke it fit to be done: and then we may consult together con­cerning the wayes we are to take, for since the death of my father, there is come from Corinth, Pisistratus, sonne of Calistenes, who was uncle to A­cidalia, by whose onely meanes my uncle married her, after a sute of many yeeres lasting. This Pisistratus drawne hither rather by the reputation of some estate, than of any beauty he sayes is in me, hath brought letters from his father to Dicearchus, wherein he desires him to doe the like in his sonnes [Page 132] behalfe with me, that he had heretofore done for him with his Neece A­cidalia.

Pisistratus relying upon that favor, thinks not he hath made an unprofitable voyage; but that with the duties he renders my uncle, and the affection he expresses to me, he shall presently marry me, and carry me away to Corinth in the same ship that brought him hither, which still attends him for this pur­pose. On the other side, Diocles seekes my uncle more than ever, and he en­tertaines them both with hope, not knowing what to resolve on: for al­though he hath great obligations to Calisthenes, he is not willing for all that to have me so farre from him, by giving me to Pisistratus: and againe, see­ing him to have such faire possessions, and comming of a farre more illustri­ous house than Amyntas, he cannot finde in his heart to refuse him. Upon these uncertainties, it were good you first declar'd your birth, and after that, your suit. Madam, replied Melintus, you doe me a very great favour to in­struct me of all these things; and I am very glad your counsell is correspon­dent to the designe I had; but yet I would have wished that it had not pre­vented the permission I had desired of you to make this declaration. I hope, it will be well receiv'd; for the Syracusians have cause to love me, and Dice­archus is oblig'd to me by oath never to wish me ill for my fathers sake. The life, sayes Ariana, you saved him, ought much more to oblige him to that, and I have reason to take this ill, because all that wee shall resolve on from henceforth to your benefit, will rather be thought duty and acknowledge­ment, than affection. I shall ever take it for pure grace, replies Melintus; for scarcely could all my services together pretend to hope for so much as one of those words you favour me with.

This agreeable conversation ended at the arrive of Dicearchus, that came to take Melintus, and to shew him, with his Nephew, the beauties of his house, before the night obscur'd them: and it was rare indeed for the won­ders of it; but yet more recommendable for the antiquity: for they tooke it to be the very same house that the Syracusians made present of to Timoleon, to stay him amongst them with his wife and children, which he had brought from Corinth; and which he receiv'd at their hands for to enjoy, himself, the rest of his dayes the peace and liberty that he had purchased to all Sici­ly: and for markes of this antiquity had Dicearchus left in a place out of the way, some ruines which he brought Melintus to see, where there were besides entire columnes of that same faire Corynthian worke: but some yeares agoe he had himselfe made that house the fairest that was in all Sicily: for beside the richesse of the buildings, the beautifulnesse of the gardens and walkes was so delightfull, for the quantity of fountaines and channels, that Melintus never left admiring that delicate place, and failed not to observe what-ever was most esteemeable to please Dicearchus: yet he could not but admire above all things the rarities of a great Parke, where, reserving only that the allies were made by Art, nature appeared in her pure richesse. The fountaines that sprang out in many places, the little rivolets that came of them, and the faire meadowes they watered, flatter'd Melintus's humour in such sort, that Dicearchus perceiv'd well enough, how in that place he had given over compleasance, to make a true estimate of what he liked best. Pala­mede having advertis'd him to leave Melintus there, for that he loved nothing [Page] so much, as to lose himselfe in so delightfull solitudes, by little and little they went away from him, as if they had had something to say together; and Melintus making as though he favour'd their entertainment, out of dis­cretion, withdrew himselfe from them with much joy, for to converse with his thoughts in that happy condition he was in.

As soone as he had lost sight of them, he chose a fit place to repose in, and laid him downe upon the grasse neare a Fountaine that pleased him, and there his minde represented his fortune to him in the highest and sweetest point a Lover could possibly have desir'd it. His heart wanted place to containe all the joyes that assembled there. Ariana's gracious words too, came to strike his eares with so melodious a sweetnesse, that there is no harmony able to cause so much ravishment. This charme reduc'd his passion to that content­ment, brought his hopes to that height, and placed his soule in a heaven of such divine pleasures, that he was even ready to expire in this pleasing exta­sie. In the end, retiring him out of this abysse of joyes, to consider his good fortunes particularly, he forgat not one of them, that he might be the more sensible how many sorts of happinesse accompanied him; and after he had a long time entertain'd so deare imaginations, he employed the time that remain'd in making these verses:

YOu deare delights unto my heart,
Hopes onely friends of my desire,
That flatter with so sweet a quire
The ardour of my happy smart;
You agreeable fore-runners
Of that good, which made my horrors
Be accus'd of perseverance;
Refuse me not your blandishment,
Or be changed to assurance,
If you will suddenly be spent.
Alas! I scarce have faith to spare
For my felicity of Fate:
O heaven! what pleasures me translate?
What fortune may with this compare?
Her eyes that pitty would not move,
Now change into regards of love
Their severer influences,
And hence-forth freely them disarme
Of their sharper inclemences,
To wound me gently without harme.
That front whose sacred Majesty
Such terror strucke into my face,
Becomes more mild, and there doth place
In stead of feare, security.
Her soule, that better to admire
It selfe, had seemed to retire
In a rampart inaccessible,
To render her will now dispence,
In those forts no more invincible
To my respectfull violence.
The sweet and perfect harmony
That our wils now equalizeth,
Both of time and chance despiseth
The proud-disdainfull tyranny.
Her heart for chaste love excelling
In me chooseth out her dwelling,
My wishes more to favourize;
And renders mine too-well apayd,
If heaven be pleas'd to authorize
The present which to me she made.
Ye verdant meadowes and cleare springs,
Ye sweet-murmuring rivolets,
How may a Lover when he sets
By you, enjoy his wanderings:
But fare-ye-well, I must away,
To follow the declining day.
Houres, that endure as long as dayes,
Daughters of aged Time, make haste,
And dayes that have whole yeares delayes,
Bring me my happinesse to taste.

Melintus having finish'd those verses, quitted the place hee was in, to re­turne to them he had left, whom he found in a great plaine Court, waiting to carry him to supper. Ariana and Erycine rose to keepe them company, be­ing but simply drest, and yet this negligence of their dressing was to their advantage. The more cause Melintus had to approach to Ariana, to enjoy the perfect union they had made, the lesse dared he; scarce giving his eyes leave to looke often upon her: neverthelesse he knew well enough how to governe his discretion, not to make his constraint appeare, nor too much af­fect dissimulation. The whole course of their adventures furnish'd them with entertainment enough during supper-time, and after they were rose from Table; Dicearchus who began to admire the wit of Melintus, and could never heare him speake enough, tooke him from the company to en­tertaine him; and willing to know if hee were as well capable to manage publike affaires, as to treat of any other discourse he appear'd so able in, he turn'd warily all he had to say upon that subject: but Melintus seemed to be practis'd all his life long in no other thing, and not onely satisfied Dicear­chus in what he demanded of him, but upon every proposition too, added so rare considerations as he had never heard the like, that he was forc'd to avow, that so able a Genius deserv'd more than a publike government, and seem'd to be borne to sustaine a Crowne and Scepter. In the end they all parted to goe to bed; and the Ladies being retired, Melintus was brought to a Cham­ber [Page] richly furnished. He ask'd Dicearchus if it were that Palamede ordinarily lay in, because they had sworne never to lye from one another, when they should be in the same place. After some Civilities, Dicearchus left them to their liberty: then being together, and in bed; when they were alone, Me­lintus continued a while without speaking any thing, and a little after came to embrace Palamede, and told him: It is time, deare friend, you should know the secret of my life, which you have hitherto beene ignorant of. Is't possible, sayes Palamede, that you have conceal'd any thing from me? You will confesse, replide Melintus, that I was bound to conceale it from you, and will not be offended thereat, when you shall know that the excesse of the af­fection you beare me, oblig'd me to it. My deare Melintus, answers Palamede, haste you then to tell it me, and assure your selfe, that when I shall be able to doe you service, I will not thinke upon reproaching you. Then Melintus de­clar'd to him all the manner of his birth; to which Palamede harkened with so much contentment, that he would not so well have resented the like good fortune, had it hapned to himselfe. He ceas'd not admiring at a fortune so un­ordinary, and doubted not, but that Diocles would bee convinced by those meanes they were prepar'd of: that if there were, at last, need of violence, he was not a man to make resistance against them. This is it, replide Melin­tus, that kept me from discovering me untill now to you, for the friendship you have to me would have prevail'd with you to make this appearance, be­fore, it may be, there were cause for it; and now is the fittest time by farre, you will confesse. Melintus went through with all that discourse assuredly enough: but when he was purpos'd to discover to him the affection he had for his sister, he scarce dar'd to pronounce the faire name of Ariana. Palamede, after some words, knowing from whence that difficulty of speech proceeded, would encourage him, and said; My deare Melintus, it is not necessary you tell me that I know as well as you; and you have heard from my selfe, how greatly I desire that happinesse, as well for my own contentment, as yours: if I could binde me to you by an alliance yet more streight, I would seeke it, so fearefull am I that we are not yet sufficiently united: give leave therfore that from this very houre the name of brother be common to us: we are already brothers in wils, and I hope we shall be so in effect very shortly. I make no doubt but my sister acknowledges your deservings, and acknow­ledging them, loves you, besides the obligations she hath to you; and for my uncle, he but now made me a discourse, when wee left you there in the Parke, that shewed plainly how his designe might easily correspond with ours. Oblige me, said Melintus, and tell me what he thinks of me: You would not beleeve, replies Palamede, how much the assistance he receiv'd of you this day has wrought upon him, and he desires nothing more, than to render you one day, if it be possible, as great a pleasure. The occasion, sayes Melintus, interrupting him, offers it self: for he may in like manner oblige mee for my life. He is not farre off this, answered Palamede, because having no grea­ter intention than this, which is to maintaine the authority he hath in Syra­cuse, he told me, that although Telephus had not beene his friend, he saw none so fit as you, whereupon to stay the credit and esteeme we might keep there: for the peoples love was already set upon you, and that we had a faire meanes to binde us for ever to you, by a person whom it seemes you have fairely [Page 136] wonne, going to take her out of those Souldiers hands; and that he beleev'd too she would not make resistance to this, because certaine words escap'd her, when she knew you, that gave him cause to thinke she hated you not, and that you were also in love with her. That hee was very glad hee was no fur­ther engaged with Diocles, nor with Pisistratus of Corinth, who is come hi­ther drawne by my sisters reputation; and for that he found himselfe still at liberty to deliberate upon our good fortune and yours, which he would seeke as much as in him lay, in satisfaction of what he owes you.

There wanted but little to have this discourse as pleasing to Melintus, as the entertainment he had with Ariana her selfe: in the end hee knew, how there remained no other doubt in Dicearchus minde, but the difficulty of his estate, which was not so great as Ariana's: but Palamede added, that the newes he was to bring him, would soone cleare every thing that might hin­der their common contentment. Melintus esteem'd himselfe very happy in the opinion Dicearchus had conceiv'd of him; and after they had passed a great part of the night in so deare discoursing as this, they fell both asleep, and waked not untill it was something at the latest.

But whereas they spent the beginning of the night in their entertainment, Ariana, and Erycine that lay together, gave the end of it to theirs: they be­gan to speake as soone as they waked, which was afore day; and when that appear'd, Erycine perceiv'd Ariana had put the sheet from off her because of the heat, and saw hereby so many wonders, that she could not containe her selfe from saying; Who shall that happy man be, that shall one day enjoy all those beauties? Ariana smiling, answered her, It may be a person you have some interest in. Erycine blushed, thinking she meant it by Amyntas, whom she was in love with, and who loved her too; and because she would seeme crafty, told her; I have no interest in those that have none in me. Ariana knowing her mistake, replied; And of whom, thinke you, doe I meane to speake? Of Amyntas, replied she, because you have heard say that hee loved mee. Assure thy selfe, deare Erycine, sayes Ariana, that I am very farre from thinking of him: he is a man I never spake to, and whom I will not know whilest I live. And yet, answered Erycine, but a while since, 'twas thought your marriage was resolv'd on. Never, replide Ariana, came it to that point yet; for I take not my resolutions on that fashion, and though I should have consented to it, the returne of my brother and yours gives me other thoughts for the present. But, went she on, how could Amyntas endure the search of me, after he had loved you? Whence came that coldnesse? Was it on your part, or on his? On neither, answered Erycine, and if you will assure mee ne­ver to marry Amyntas, I shall not faile to tell you all that passed betweene us. I may well sweare that to you, replide Ariana, and if you have any designe one to the other, be certaine that I will not bee the cause of our being all three unfortunate: but you shall doe me a great pleasure, to learne me something of your life; and I pray therein spend the time that is left us, before wee are to rise. This assurance, said Erycine, and your friendship, obliges mee to con­ceale nothing from you: then she began her story thus.

History of Amyntas and Erycine.

THe affections that are bred with us, and which we have as it were sucked in with our milke, are turn'd into so powerfull habits, and take so deepe rooting, that they are not to be plucked up but with violences that are as so many deadly blowes; and I rather beleeve the impossibilitie of ridding ones selfe of them; because the passion that findes it selfe growne before the birth of reason, knowes its owne strength, when reason begins but to appeare, and so alwayes masters it not onely as the first borne, but as superiour. I confesse to you this is the reason why I have suffered so many troubles with a pertina­cious constancy, in spight of the crosses which Amyntas and my affection have met with, and to tell you their beginning, I must of necessity tell you the be­ginning of my life too.

Since the birth of my brother Melintus, Hyperia my mother had beene ma­ny times great with childe, but she could never be deliver'd of any alive; untill at last having made some vowes to Lucina, shee was brought to bed of me. This was a very great joy to the house; and Diocles, the chiefe friend my father Telephus had, came to congratulate with him, and brought his sonne Amyntas too, that was then but five or six yeares old: they told him jestingly, I should be his Mistresse, whereto he agreed, and ask'd to kisse me. I beleeve that he could then make me no very eloquent offer of service; neither did I give him any great cause to love me, being but a disagreeable Mistresse, and very troublesome, that had nothing but cryes to entertaine him. His father instructed him in the duties he was to render me, and sometimes laughed with Telephus at the fashion he tooke them in hand; every morning hee sent first to heare from me, and after came himselfe to seeme, and kist my hand: one while he brought me a posie, another time a coloured feather, that they pinn'd on my head, in hope that one day I would give him some of my fa­vours to weare in that fashion. When I began to speake, hee exprest much contentment, having no more a mute to entertaine; and seeing how that which he loved began to be inform'd with a soule, he seem'd to augment his affection at it: In like manner finding him compleasant in every thing I de­sir'd, I had a friendship to him; for children are pleas'd with those that con­tradict them not. We had a thousand sorts of playes, where I was the Mi­stresse, and he the servant: I commanded him with gentlenesse, hee obeyed me with joy, and so the tenderest of our yeeres passed away in many inno­cent recreations. I cannot repeat to you all our childish discourses; but when he came to be seventeene or eighteene yeere old, that age, that is accustom'd to change all things, had not this power over him: for in stead of diminishing by degrees this affection that had taken no foundation, use serv'd him for matter of love, and made him pursue his designe of loving me. For my part, comming to a little more understanding, I perceived how these little liber­ties were not very honest, and would retire me from him. He was not over­much troubled at this, for he is of an humour, not to afflict himselfe; and to be moved at nothing, as you shall see by that which followes, and onely said one day to me; It seemes, my faire Mistresse, you love your servant no more. I had at that time judgement enough to answer him: I pray you leave [Page 138] these names that are no more fit for me, than for you. He, without accusing me of change, or going to complaints, told me; 'Tis now impossible wee should lose these qualities, since I have neither will nor power to doe it. If it be not possible to you, said I to him, it is very possible to me; and from this time I will quit the name of your Mistresse. That, answered he, depends not on you. On whom then, replide I? On me, pursued he; for I remai­ning alwayes your servant, you must of necessity continue my Mistresse. What, though I forbid you, replied I. You pretend then, answered he, some power over me, and in that respect your selfe agrees to be my Mistresse. You may interpret, said I, my words as you please; but I will not have you use me any more in this fashion. Since you permit me, answered hee, to give what sense I would to your words: I will have them signifie that you love me, but that you are not desirous at all to make it appeare. Looke you, re­plide I, I lov'd you, being a childe; but things are chang'd. I doe not com­plaine at this change, answered he, for in that first age you said before all the world that you lov'd me, and it was nothing so; and now you will love me indeed, and say nothing. Flatter your selfe as much as you please, said I, but for me I know well what I am resolv'd on: so I left him, and went to joyne me with the other Maids, to avoyd his returnes, for my young age furnish'd me not with reasons strong enough to vanquish him; and my weak­nesse emboldned him the more.

Some time after Diocles, who had by little and little enrich'd himselfe without noyse, was declar'd possessor of the great estate hee had acquired; and Amyntas thinking nothing could be refus'd him with the advantages he had, seemed more than ever, assured of my affection. I beleev'd, my honour oblig'd me to expresse more coldnesse to him still, for feare it might bee thought that I made much of him for his riches; in such a fashion, that I altogether withdrew me from him, and would not suffer him to speake to me in particular. I thinke he perceiv'd my cunning well enough, for with­out being amazed at my resolution, he would needs write to mee. One day he came to see me, when I was in company, I know not what shift he made to put a Letter into my pocket, and when hee was gone his way. I put my hand by chance into it, and was strangely taken, finding this writing that was not to have beene there. Neverthelesse I dissembled what had befallen me, and having impatience till I were alone to see what it was, went out, and fin­ding a letter I open'd it, and saw that it was thus:

Amyntas to Erycine.

IF I found my selfe faulty, I should not be so bold to demand of you a reason for your severities; but having alwayes serv'd you with fidelity, I dare be bold to say that it's impossible you should wish me ill, what-ever disguise you put on. It may be you would make triall of me: but if you have a designe to receive my ser­vice after a great deale of time and paines, I pray you doe it for the present, and deli­ver us both of the cares and vexations you are preparing us. I aspire not to that sad glory of knowing how to suffer well; and when I shall have endur'd your cru­ellest torments, you would in the end be obliged to relent. Doe that now for affection, [Page 139] which you would then doe for justice, and making me so happy, you shall force mee to serve you also for justice, which I did not before, but for affection.

I blamed him a little to my selfe, for taking the boldnesse to write to me, and for the liberties he us'd in his letter: but yet this humour of turning thus all things to his advantage, was not disagreeable to me: sometimes I ac­cus'd my owne facility that was the cause he could not thinke me so ill, as I seemed: on the other side I was very glad that hee gave not backe for those feined rigours, because I did but what I ought to doe, and that made him never the farther from loving me. At that time I gained also the affection of Misander, if I may so call the desire he exprest to see and speake with me: fot doubtlesse you will laugh at the humour of that man. I have heard say, interrupted Ariana, that he is of Reggium, and comes often to Syracuse, but that he is very melancholicke. It is impossible, replide Erycine, you should imagine to what degree he is so. He came one day to see me in the compa­ny of Amyntas that was his friend, at that time Hyperia my mother was very sicke, and in danger to dye: my affliction which he found to have some sym­pathy with his sad humour, caused, as I beleeve, the good will he had to me. His discourses were to make me see, that I had cause rather to bee afflicted than comforted, his wit affording him no reasons for to vanquish my griefes: and after he had employed some words to expresse the part he tooke in my sorrow, he thought he had sufficiently declar'd his affection to me; since it may be I was the first he had obliged by that compleasance. Thinking ther­fore he had got familiarity enough with me by this first encounter, he came to revisit me, when my mother was in better health, and I rejoyced at her recovery: my jollity truly made not his affection dye, which my sadnesse had produc'd; but standing mute to all the discourses wherein I express'd a satisfaction in him, he would peradventure have had mee beleev'd that his silence proceeded from love; and some dayes after, seeing me to receive him with a great deale of kindnesse, as I am accustomed to use all that come to see me, he tooke the liberty to complaine of me, and would have mee thinke that I dealt unjustly with him not to acknowledge the affection hee bare me, although he had made none at all appeare to me, whether by dis­course, or any other way. For my part having no cause to satisfie him, it was no difficult matter to me to keepe him in that plaintive humour; and every time he saw me, he seem'd to have obtain'd what he desired; for when I us'd him with harshnesse, or contempt, he set himselfe to discourse, that he was the most miserable of men; that those women that had a sweetnesse for all other, had nothing for him but disdaines; that his encountring was so unfortunate, that at the same instant he appeared, he inspir'd refuses, and rude usage, into them he desir'd most to be esteem'd of; that in his very presence they affected a favouring of others, to give him the greater dis­pleasure: To end, upon the subject of the misery of his life, there came a torrent of words from him which was impossible to be stopped. I laugh'd within my selfe, that he was satisfied after that fashion, in making all those complaints and reproaches to me; his soule loving to feed on nothing but such ill nourishment as this. You describe a man to me, interrupted Ariana, of a very strange nature, and yet pleasant enough withall. I cannot, replide [Page 140] Erycine, sufficiently represent this miserable humour: for I have observ'd, that it's impossible to please him, giving a sense to all things that confirmes his opinion of being miserable. If I us'd him with any sort of kindnesse, he tooke it for feining; if I treated him with coldnesse, it was a certaine contempt: If I spake to him, it was, said he, in a certaine fashion whereby he perceiv'd well enough the small account I made of him; if I held my peace, it was to let him see that he was troublesome, and to give him leave to be gone. In the end I found very true what I had heard my brother say of him, that of all the passions, he thought, he had none but the displeasant and unfortunate ones, as sadnesse, feare, jealousie, despaire, distrust, and the rest: And upon this subject he made an observation which I have found a very pretty one, and am like to retaine it in my memory; that the most things have two faces, which diversly regarded, make effects as divers: As in a combat, a man of courage considers nothing but the glory of van­quishing, and makes sure of it; a poltron regards nothing but death, which brings horrour and trouble upon him. Even so Misander, being within corrupted with this same blacke humour, regarded but the ill sense of all things, and interpreted all my actions to his disadvantage. I had two ser­vants then, very differing; one that complain'd incessantly without having cause, the other that alwayes satisfied himselfe what-ever rigour he receiv'd. I confesse to you, Amyntas displeas'd me not, for the other you may judge if he were love-able: yet although he were a man I had reason to banish my company, the softnesse of my nature suffer'd me not to anger him e­nough to drive him away. Amyntas knowing by the intreaty I made Misan­der, that himselfe was not ungracious with mee, ceased not seeing me, and had not failed of greater attempts, but that I made him know his duty; and my modesty altogether stayed him. Misander had so contagious a me­lancholy, that he was a vexation to all he came neare. Amyntas brought me his acquaintance, but he repented him sufficiently of it for my sake, and more yet for his owne; because Misander never left me, and hee could not entertain me as he desir'd. 'Tis true that if I had an enemy, I should wish him to endure the love of a man of this humour: for I beleeve there is nothing in the world more insupportable. If you stay at home, they will besiege you cru­elly, without speaking sometimes a word in a day, and will weary out the most resolute that might thinke to attend their depart, to speake with more freedome: if you have businesse abroad, they will still accompany you, and not give you so much as one houre of respite: and in the meane time, they will have their sighes be taken for the sweetest entertainments of love, their silence for an admirable discretion, and their importunity for services that cannot be sufficiently rewarded.

I remember one day Amyntas came to our house, feining to save himselfe from the raine he was taken in; as he had ever some pleasant excuse to come often thither, and finding Misander there, whose presence importuned him sufficiently, without adding to his trouble any thing by this sorry humour, he was not able to endure that constraint, and went out to be delivered of it, in spight of the raine that still continued: but when hee was abroad, the storme so increas'd, as he was forced to come backe againe to us, where we passed away a day as blacke as can be imagined, as well because of the wea­ther, [Page] as for the humour of Misander. On the subject of that raine, Amyntas the day after gave me these verses:

Last day, faire Erycina, with a storme assail'd,
At your house I beleev'd I should have shipwracke fail'd,
As at some happy Port by heaven granted me:
Soone by their radiant beames your eyes me dried,
But when so neare my heart their flames I spied,
Must I be burn'd, said I, for feare I drown'd should be.
Long time I did endure, because I loved them,
But in the end surmounted by their heat extreme,
I tooke my leave of you to 'scape a fire so sore;
To the water I return'd to seeke a remedy:
Although I had despite to crave so suddenly
An ayd from that, which would have drowned me before.
Then from a hundred clowds the heaven upon me powres
What-ever it contain'd of tempests, or of showres,
To ravish from your eyes the honour of my dying.
So came I backe to you, faire Starre of my desire,
For in your sight I chose, and in that flame t' expire,
Then perish in the waters never you espying.

In the end Amyntas desirous to be free of the importunities of Misander, and knowing his humour, advised of a tricke as phantasticall, as he knew his wit was for the kinde: and we had discours'd of him sometimes, Amyntas and I, and were both perswaded, that he would be engag'd by contempts, and put off by favours: he chanc'd to tell me once, that he could not thinke well of the least liberty a Maid tooke to expresse an affection to a man: judge you, if he perswaded me to make any appeare to him.

So Amyntas writ a letter in my name, and having superscrib'd the directi­on of it to Misander, he made me beleeve being with us, that he had receiv'd it from Reggium with some others, and prayed a wench I had to carry it him (for he lodged very neare us) without telling where she had it. I knew since that it was thus.

Erycine to Misander.

Your respect hath vanquish'd my coldnesse, and your modesty hath acquired you all the esteeme you could have hoped for of me: but because the restraint you use, permits you not liberty enough, I was willing to prevent you with this, and to as­sure you, I shall take it very well, that you let me know by yours the quality of your affection.

Amyntas after he knew of his receiving it, would see how his plot tooke; he went to him, and entring into discourse with a friendlike familiarity, told [Page 142] him hee came from quitting mee, and that hee beleev'd I would make him dye for love, and hee should never be able to move mee by his affecti­on, or by any other duty. Misander answered him, You that are of so jolly dispositions, you know not how to serve Ladies: Doe you thinke that all your freedomes are so acceptable to them? There must bee dis­cretion, and that no common one neither, but of the perfect stampe, such as that I serve her with. What, said Amyntas laughing, doe you be­leeve that your sadnesse, and your silence pleases her? that were to love the most troublesome thing in the world. Hee would oblige him by this meanes to let him know his good fortune; and Misander failed not there­in; for with a smile that seem'd to mocke at the other, hee answered him; Neverthelesse, this sadnesse and this silence gaine me the favours which your jollities ought not to pretend to. Amyntas to engage him further, pursues, And what perswasion have you ever had that Erycine approves your humour? He answered him walking up and downe, and going with a stately pace, By the certaine demonstrations I have receiv'd of it. Yoa, replide Amyntas; you must have dream'd it then this last night, for I have heard her speake of you in a fashion that was not very advantageous for you. Hee return'd, Shee conceales by that the good shee wishes mee: but read this, sayes hee, in presenting him the Letter, and you shall know the truth of the matter, if you know what belongs to writing. Then Amyntas tooke the Table-booke, and after he had read it, hee feined to enter into a rage to see him favour'd to his prejudice: hee blotted out what was written, and then cast the Table-booke into the fire, that I might not receive harme by it, if hee should have shewne it to some body else, and in the end said a thousand things to him against me, as transported with love and fury. Misander would have beene angry for that hee had so us'd his Letter. What? said Amyntas, can you put an estimation upon the favours of that woman that first writes to you, and takes a liberty that is unpardonable for a Maid? for my part, take her to you, in this humour shee is of, she must needs have a great longing to have her letters seene, since shee cannot stay till shee receives any, and is not content to write to one alone. I would but put a tricke upon you, thinking my selfe had beene the onely man shee oblig'd by such a favour as this. See, continued hee, taking out of his pocket a letter of the same writing, if I had not cause to be confi­dent in her good graces? but I scorne a thing shee makes so common, and sweare never to see her while I live, then hee threw the Letter in the fire, as he had done the other, and before he went away so wrought upon Misander to bring him to what hee desired, that they protested one to the other never to see mee more. I finde, Ariana interrupted, that hee something endangered your reputation, onely to get himselfe the liberty of seeing you more at his ease. 'Tis true, replied Erycine, and when he made mee the relation of this, I was angry with him, but hee told mee that if Misander should chance to boast of that I had written to him, as little as I were knowne, or he either, never could it be beleev'd.

So lost I this lovely Misander: but Amyntas did not long time enjoy [Page] his artifice, and had no great trouble to hide himselfe from him for comming to our house, because hee was forced to keepe away by a mis­fortune that arriv'd. Diocles and my father had some contestation, in pursute whereof it was forbidden Amyntas to come at us, and me to re­ceive him. A little after I heard of the sute Diocles made to have you for him; and one day when he came to mee in the Temple, and would expresse to me the regret hee had for that misfortune of being hindred seeing mee; I told him, These are not the speeches you are to study for the faire Ariana; you must rather make you provision for some first of­fers of service. Hee answered me, I know very well that Ariana is the desire of all Syracuse, and that you have cause to thinke I esteeme her, knowing that shee is one of the most perfect we can see: but assure your selfe I will never turne my eyes towards her merit, for to faile in the fi­delity I have sworne to you. I said to him, How dare you speake thus to mee, since I know the sute you are making to her? Say rather, if it please you, replied he, that my father makes to her: but albeit he beleeves, I would not oppose my selfe to his intention, yet I hope many things will fall out, before he obtaines that he desires. Dicearchus loves him not, and will never give his consent. Ariana hath too great a spirit, and will ne­ver make esteeme of mee, especially not seeking to her by any duties; and though all things were resolv'd on, be assured that I would get mee farre enough away for their ever seeing mee, untill the faire Ariana were married: She deserves at the least an intire heart, and mine can never be but Erycina's. I make an oath here before these gods we adore, and desire them to punish me as perjurious, if I ever quit an affection which I have maintain'd from my birth, and will take a course to preserve it to my grave.

Hee spake this to mee with so much assurance, that I had an opinion he did not deceive me; and I answered him, that nothing but time could make me judge if he were true or no. Ever since he hath continued the same protestations to me, and what-ever bruit ran of your marriage, I never found his passion at all abated. Thinke, faire Ariana, went Erycina on, if I had not cause to esteeme my selfe much indebted to him: for at that time he saw himselfe so rich, the change of his fortune chang'd not his affecti­on: but since, what fidelity would not have given way to the hopes of possessing this divine Ariana? That word made her blush, and oblig'd her to desire she would use her with lesse flattery. Permit me, replide E­rycira, to speake thus of you; for there is no doubt but that this change had beene too advantageous for him: Notwithstanding I was assured hee a­bus'd me not, because I knew that he came not at you: and you cannot imagine what torments I endur'd in these traverses: for the occasions of loving him still continued, and I saw lesse appearance than ever that our marriage could be. Consider for the present what contentment I receive, by the assurance you give mee, that you are yet farther off from thin­king any such matter, than hee is; and by seeing you now in a power to be no more constrain'd against your minde, since you have no more fa­ther to rule you.

[Page 144] There is no doubt, answered Ariana, but you are oblig'd to love Amyn­tas, for I can assure you, he hath never sought to give mee the least testi­mony of affection; and in stead of thinking amisse of him for making so small account of the search of me, I extremely commend him, for not fai­ling of his faith to you. In the fashion you have describ'd him to me, hee must needs have his heart in a good place; and I hope your affections shall attaine their desired end: so farre am I from hindering it, that I could wish I were happy enough to serve you therein, and satisfie the obligation I have to you, for not concealing from me your secrets. But, replide Erycine, who can then be that person I have interest in, that may one day enjoy you? Deare Erycine, said Ariana, I give you leave to ghesse, but you shall never know it from my mouth. Truly, answered she, you pay mee well for the freedome wherewith I have told you the dearest thoughts of my soule. Then shee goes on, My Brother, shall he be so happy? That may be, re­plide Ariana, and yet never shall my husband be your brother. I com­prehend not your meaning, said Erycine. There are many other secrets also, replied Ariana, that concerne you and Amyntas too, as much as my selfe: but upon this subject words are forbidden mee, and within a few dayes nothing shallbe hid from you: onely content your selfe that I hope to finde the meanes to make us both happy.

As they ended that discourse, Epicharis that was up, came to them, and Ariana reaching out her armes to her, made her come nearer, to em­brace her againe, and said to her; My deare Wench, is't possible I should see thee againe? and that with thy selfe thou shouldst bring mee so many contentments? Can I ever love thee sufficiently for so many services thou hast rendered mee? Madam, answered Epicharis, the satisfaction I have for having done any thing to please you, has place of a great recom­pence with mee: yet I refuse not the honour of your love, without which I confesse I could not live. Erycine said also that shee was much beholding to her, for her brothers safety: And because it was now late, they were surpriz'd in this entertainment by Palamede, who came into the Chamber, bringing Melintus with him, and opening the Curtaines, called them sluggards for being still in bed: Melintus, who was more retentive, said they had endur'd paine enough the day before, for to rest yet the whole day. 'Tis not reason, said the faire Ariana, that you should be walking up and downe alone by your selves to day; and although my uncle has shewne Melintus all he thought worthy to be seene in his house, I am sure I shall let him see beauties which he cannot see unlesse I be there. Without all doubt, replied Melintus, where you are not, many beauties are wanting. That's not my meaning, said Ariana: but there are cer­taine places in the house, whose beauty is unknowne but to my selfe; and I will carry you thither to see if you will be of my opinion. If they please you, replide Melintus, I make no question but they will be plea­sing to me, and they will be so the more, when you are there. Let us then dresse us, said Erycine, and goe you downe to stay for us in the gar­den, where we will presently come to you. They could not deny them this leisure, and so the two friends went out of that place sorrily, where [Page 145] so many beauties were not so carefully hid, but that some one would still discover it selfe, that seem'd never to have seene day before, so white, and delicate it appeared. They had word brought them, that cer­taine men inquir'd to speake with them in the Court of the Castle, and im­patient to see who it was, they went to them, whilest these faire Ladies dress'd them with all the curiosity they could devise.

ARIANA. The eighth Booke.

THe accident that had happened to Dicearchus the day before, was knowne that very night in Syracuse; and every one re­joyced that they had all of them escap'd the danger; but when they learn'd how this was done by the succours of Me­lintus and Palamede that were living, there was a publike joy so great, that never did any people expresse the like. Telephus and Hyperia could hardly beleeve so happy a newes, after they had mourned for Melin­tus as dead, and resented his losse with as many griefes as his desert, and their good nature could produce in them. Telephus had not fail'd to have come to him, if he had beene in a friends house: but hee was content to send him word to come away suddenly to see them, and that he would no longer deny them this contentment. Dicearchus chiefest friends came from Syra­cuse to congratulate his good fortune: and the friends of Melintus and Pala­mede came in great haste to see and embrace them. Diocles was not wanting to send to heare from Dicearchus and his Neece: but Pisistratus came thi­ther himselfe, being in paine for Ariana he was so extremely in love with; and it was he, with some others, that having seene Dicearchus, demanded to salute Palamede and Melintus. After the embracements of the dearest friends, and the ordinary civilities of the rest, Melintus knew that the very Depu­ties of the City were comming to see him. He went as farre as out of the house to meet them, and they perceiving him, alighted from their horses, and saluted him severally. Then one of the number said to him, that the great affection he had exprest to his Country, could not be acknowledged, but by the like care for every thing that might concerne him, and in parti­cular for the conservation of his life, which they were now come to congra­tulate for: that death had depriv'd him of a reasonable faire recompence he was to receive, as to see himselfe blest, the remainder of his dayes, by all the people: how that heretofore in Pisa he had acquir'd a victory glori­ous for him, and for Syracuse: but that the other he obtain'd at Rome, sur­passed that by farre; as being both honourable to himselfe, and profitable to his Countrey; that it seemed he was not borne but to vanquish, and to bee the safety of all, being no sooner entred into Sicily, but that he found new [Page] occasions of gaining honour to his owne person, and preserving both the honour and lives of others. He prayed him, in conclusion, to make haste to receive the praises and good wishes of so many as were made happy by his meanes, and assured him that if the gods granted but the least part of the vowes were every day made for him, he should be without doubt the most contented man in the world. Melintus answered, that hee receiv'd too much honour for so little merit; that the services men doe to their Countrey, are simply duties; that there was not one amongst them, that would not have sought the same benefit for Syracuse; and that he was one­ly the happiest of them, for having met with the occasion; that if the Sy­racusians desir'd to put a greater obligation still upon him, hee demanded, not out of acknowledgement, but grace, that he might be heard in publike concerning a cause that was of consequence to him, and that hee should have wherewithall to make triall of the peoples love, in a matter of justice he was to require at their hands. Not the eares alone, said they, but the mouthes too, and hearts of the Syracusians are made your owne; and if they finde the occasion of rendring you the good-turne they have had from you, they will reckon that day in the number of the most fortunate of their life. He desired them to be mindfull of that; and from thence carried them to Dicearchus, who honourably entertain'd them, and was well pleas'd that they had given Melintus that honour, making it his designe then to give him Ariana.

In the meane time that Dicearchus was busie with them, and Palamede with Pisistratus and the rest, Melintus got him from them all to goe finde Ariana, and not to lose the time he might passe in her company. Hee saw Erycine and Epicharis that had but now made an end of dressing her with so many advantages, as he stood in a maze, and spake nothing. Shee feined a necessity of those ornaments, being to receive so many persons of quality as were arriv'd: but the principall cause was, to give, if it were possible, more love to Melintus: and indeed he was so ravish'd with seeing her, that he almost forgat to make the relation of the Deputies he came from entertai­ning. He told her at last, they should be all oblig'd to returne that very day, because the people would needs see them; that hee could no longer also de­ferre the contentment of Telephus and Hyperia, and besides that Dicearchus would wait on the Deputies into the City. Ariana seeing they had so little time to be together, tooke Melintus and Erycine by the hand; and giving E­picharis charge to follow, went with them downe a little winding staires that led into the Parke without passing by the Gardens, and told them, they were to take that time to walke in at liberty, while they might be thought to be still a dressing. When they were come to the great Allies, Epicharis willing to favour these lovers, made as if she would shew Erycine the pla­ces that best pleased her, and went from them. Hardly can Melintus his con­tentment be represented, at what time he saw himselfe alone neere to his faire Mistresse: after the measure of losing sight of them, hee felt himselfe advanc'd to so high degrees of joy, that hee could not expresse them with his owne eloquence. Ariana knowing his silence proceeded from excesse of pleasure, was willing to ease him, and spake first to him: I promis'd to shew you places here you had not seene before, and to my liking, the fairest [Page 148] that belong to the house: I will carry you to a place here hard by, that I have often visited since the wofull newes of yours, and my brothers death: you will finde, that nature seemes to have made it of purpose, to entertaine any thoughts one has a minde to: but as heretofore it hath beene a witnesse of my sorrowes, so will I have it now be of my contentments. Madam, an­swered Melintus, if your satisfaction be as perfect as mine, I esteeme you the happiest of the world; but I doubt whether it may be equall to it, being impossible you should have those faire causes of raptures that are presented to my soule. Melintus, replide Ariana, it becomes me not to expresse to you the excesse of my joy, and yet shame must needs give place to truth, and I must confesse, that yours cannot easily surpasse mine: at the least, you are depriv'd of this pleasure, which is extreme in me, to see you alive, after I had mourn'd your losse: for you cannot be sensible of that contentment, not having beene tormented with the like griefe for me. And I had lesse cause, answered Melintus, to hope for the honour of your affection, than you to see me living; and this happinesse ought to be much more sensible to me; for my life cannot be so greatly beneficiall to you, as the expressions of your affection are to me. Ending this discourse, he came to the place whither Ariana conducted him. It was foure delicate springs of water that issued forth with noyse, and spred themselves severally there about those Country places: in the middest of them was a tuft of trees bent together, that made a most delightfull shade; underneath those trees slept a Diana of white Mar­ble, that in her returne from hunting seem'd to have chose the fraisheur of this place to repose in. Melintus vow'd he had never seene any thing so de­licious; and being entred under those leavy Arbors, Ariana sate her downe at the feet of the Diana, and Melintus layd him upon the grasse at Ariana's feet, not letting goe her hand. A little after she said to him, Will you con­fesse that I have brought you into a very pleasant place? 'Tis farre more a­greeable to me, answered Melintus, than you can imagine; and I am cer­taine it was never so much till now. But Madam, goes he on, kissing her hand, can I sufficiently prize the happinesse I possesse? and may it possibly be one day so well confirm'd, as to warrant me from all apprehensions that afflict me? Melintus, replide she, diminish your feares, and receive as power­full assurances of my friendship as my honour will permit: after so long a triall of your affection in so many occasions, and being so oblig'd to you as I am, to use dissimulation and coldnesse, would no longer be modesty, but in­gratitude. Ah Madam, sayes he, if I may beleeve this I heare, make, I beseech you, my happinesse entire: use the meanes that nothing may sepa­rate us. I conjure you to this by my affection that never had equall, by your beauty for which I have so many holy desires, and by this faire hand I hold, and conjure too by these ardent kisses, never to touch other than mine to give faith to. Ariana answered, I promise that I will never be but Me­lintus his: to this am I oblig'd by his merit, more yet by his affection; and being redeuable to him both for my honour and life, I remit both of them into his hands, as things he hath acquired, and whereof hee can better dis­pose of than my selfe. I speake thus for the present now I have no more father, whose absolute power might contrary my desires. I dare very well then make choyce of you, and having made it, assure your selfe I shall as [Page 149] well know how to maintaine it. Madam, replide Melintus all confounded, stop I pray you the course of these obligeant words: my soule is not capa­ble to support their sweetnesse; and the pleasures that enter in troops at my eares, are ready to stifle it, if my other senses receive not a part of them. Ariana seeing that he grew pale in scarcely pronouncing those words, bowed her selfe downe thinking he was going to sowne; and Melintus lifting up his amorous armes to her, she let him lay his head close to hers. It was then he made proofe, that the dearest pleasures of love are not those that are best resented: for he entred into a fainting that stupified all his senses; and when he came out of that trance, love and respect had a long combat within him, to make him deliberate whether he should attempt any farther, or be con­tent with those favours. Ariana knowing the doubt hee was in, animated her face with a rednesse, and that colour made her yet more Majesticall: in such sort that Melintus being up, and having one knee upon the ground, durst not conceive a dishonest desire, seeing her so full of brightnesse: ne­verthelesse, after he had many times kist her hand, he would bring his mouth even to her bosome, but she putting him softly by with her other hand, Content your selfe, said shee, with these hands that shall ever be favoura­ble to you, while you addresse your selfe to them onely. This Diana sleeps not so fast but she may be a witnesse of your actions: and yet I doe not beleeve you have so much as one thought contrary to my desire, for feare I should be oblig'd to diminish the affection I beare you. Madam, answe­red he, the living Divinity I behold, gives me a sufficient restraint, and I here make an oath to this faire hand to seeke no other favours but from it; since 'tis from it I expect all my good fortune: but I hope to give it so many kisses, as in the end it will be weary of them, and would gladly be eas'd of those troublesome kindnesses, and permit me to give a part of them to the rest. Ariana taking his head gently with her hands, kist him on the fore­head, and said, you shall sooner receive favours thus, when you seeke them not: then she rose up, and said it was time to goe finde out Erycine and Epi­charis that would be in paine for them. Melintus answered her, If they have had as little thought for us, as I have had for them, I doe not beleeve they are in any great care for what is become of us. If I were not assured, replied Ariana, that they know us well, I had not suffered them to have left me so: but let me goe now together with them into my Chamber, and give the rest of the day to Ceremonies, after having spent the morning in the liberty of our thoughts. Melintus with griefe quitting this pleasant resting place, where he had passed so agreeable moments, told her, that his life would be too happy, if he might often meet with so sweet houres. In such discourses as these they tooke the way of the great walke, where they found the two Maids, whose discretion was such, as they never enquir'd where they had stayed so long; and they all thinking it fit to returne, the Ladies went to get to the same staires, by which they came into the Chamber: and Melintus tooke another way, to take away the opinion of their being together.

Palamede was walking in the great Court that was opposite to the front of the house, with Pisistratus, who had a great desire to get the good graces of the brother, so to attaine to those of the sister: and seeing Melintus come from the Park-ward, he went to meet him, and told him, he was very [Page 146] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 148] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 150] glad he had found out places faire enough in that house, to invite him more than once to visit them, and quit the company of men for their sakes. 'Tis true, answers Melintus, that I would many times leave men, for a conver­sation I now come from. That of your thoughts, sayes Pisistratus, must needs be very agreeable to you. I should wrong my selfe, replies Melintus, to abandon men for the entertainment of my thoughts: but one may just­ly quit them for goddesses; and I confesse to you that if I durst have pro­long'd my contentment, I should still have beene besides a Diana that is in this wood. The place, saies Palamede, is reasonable pleasant, and the figure is one of the fairest in all Sicily. I vow to you, continued Melintus, that my eyes were charmed neare her, and I doe not yet well know how I was able to retire me from her. The more skill one has in delicate workes, sayes Pi­sistratus, the more one admires them. I deny not, answered Melintus, that my admiration proceeds from some knowledge: but I am sure never any man went from her more satisfied than I. I am sorry, replide Palamede, we are so soone to goe for Syracuse, since you are so well pleas'd here: but I hope we shall returne hither often. While they were speaking thus toge­ther, Dicearchus came from meeting with his Neece at the foot of the great stayres, by which she was descended with Erycine and Epicharis; and leading her into the garden, she appear'd so handsome, with a rednesse that mix'd it selfe with the shining of her whitenesse, for seeing Melintus shee but now came from, that she thereby much augmented the passion of Pisistratus, and extremely satisfied that of Melintus, who was in hope to see himselfe very shortly possessor of so many beauties. Pisistratus saluted her, and Melintus that had farre more commodious houres to himselfe, left him the freedome to enquire of her health, and the feares she was in the day before. He express'd to her his griefe for having beene so unfortunate as not to have come to her succours, that yeelding to none either in affection or courage, it vex'd him to yeeld to them in so good fortune. Ariana receiv'd all those civilities, and assurances of affection, with a coldnesse pleasing enough: being not willing to cause to be produc'd in him, either an hope, or the resentments of contempt; and presently she was delivered of this entertainment, for they were call'd to dinner.

Dicearchus made his ambition and sumptuosity appeare to the height in gold, whereof the great dining chamber was full; and the magnificence of the feast discover'd the pride of his nature, which he veiled under an affected courtesie. After that dinner was ended, they were to thinke upon returning to Syracuse, and to make this entry the more agreeable to the people, it was order'd that the prisoners should be carried in the front, bound in a Chari­ot; the Ladies should follow after in a Coach, and the rest of the compa­ny goe in the reare a horsebacke. It was in this equipage they parted from that house, which Melintus left with regret, because of the contentment he had there receiv'd. After he had put Ariana into the Coach with his sister, Epicharis, and some other Maids, he mounted a horsebacke, and joyned him­selfe to Dicearchus, the Deputies, and the rest whom hee labour'd to enter­taine by the way; and sometimes he went to the Coach with Pisistratus, and Palamede; shewing himselfe as acceptable among Ladies, as he was serious and able with the most ancient of the company that followed him.

[Page] Telephus that had beene advertis'd by Melintus since the morning, came out of the City to meet him; and both alighting from their horses, they could not quit the embracements they each gave and receiv'd, being over­come with the pleasure of seeing one another againe: yet it became them to follow the troop; and because Telephus had imparted his contentment to all his friends in the Towne, the people was prepar'd to receive him, and filled the streets where he was to passe: so as at their entrance they were a­stonish'd at the world they saw. The Deputies had placed Melintus in the middest of them; Dicearchus went neare to him with Telephus, Palamede, Pi­sistratus, and the other of their friends; and hee marched as it were in tri­umph, and with pleasure heard the cries of joyes, and the wishes the Syra­cusians made him, calling him father of his Countrey, and giving him a thousand praises. Ariana beleev'd that she participated of this honour, and felt a thousand delights in her minde, to see him so much belov'd, whom she loved so much her selfe.

In the end this troop separated at Dicearchus house, where Ariana was left with him, and Palamede. Telephus carried Melintus home with him, and his daughter Erycine; and the Deputies, with Pisistratus and the rest, tooke their leaves to retire every man to his owne house. Some Officers of justice seized on the prisoners, whose condemnation and death followed some dayes after.

When Hyperia had us'd Melintus with all the kindnesses that a true mo­ther might give her owne sonne, she had thought dead, Telephus tooke him apart, and made him a present of two writings; whereof one was an atte­station signed by Hermocrates, wherein he acknowledged, that he had com­mitted into the hands of Telephus, a sonne of his borne at Lylibeum, nam'd Melintus, who in the place of his heart was marked with another heart, for to be of some use to him, if peradventure hee might one day stand in need thereof. The other was a letter of Diocles written to Telephus, while he was still at Lylibeum, wherein he rejoyced for the birth of this sonne of Hermocrates, and said, that this heart which he was marked with, signified that he should love his Countrey, and gaine the heart of all hee desir'd to have for his friends. Telephus added, how he had happily found these wri­tings, whereof he was not willing to speake to him before, thinking they had beene lost; but that now with these assurances, he made no doubt but Diocles would be convinced. Melintus rejoyced to have found out these meanes at his arrive, and declar'd to him his resolution to accuse Diocles in publike: and that for this cause he had demanded an audience of the people from the Deputies that had beene sent to him.

They celebrated yeerely at Syracuse a very ancient feast, to thanke the gods for the ruine of Tyrants, and there was alwayes a man of the race of Timoleon, that was President of the games were made, and a Maid of the same family, to present the sacrifices, and give the prizes of the playes. This feast approach'd, and the Syracusians knowing that Melintus desir'd something of them, would have him make his demand that very day, and said, that being delivered not only from the ancient Tyranny, but also againe by his meanes from all Subsidies, they could not receive a more welcome pleasure the day of this feast, than to recompence Melintus in some sort for [Page 152] the benefit he had obtained them. He communicated the matter with Aria­na and Palamede, and told them he feared that having to make an accusation, and not a request, lest Diocles might not have cause to pretend, that holy­dayes were no dayes for judgements. He propounded to them whether it might not be more fit, first of all to speake with Diocles; that peradventure they might obtaine all of him by faire meanes, in shewing the infallible te­stimonies they were provided of. Against these considerations it was alleag'd that they were to make use of the good will of the Syracusians, and that they in the humour they were in, would for love of him passe over ordinary for­malities: how it was dangerous to speake to Diocles, because there was no appearance he would be disseized of his goods any other way than by force; and that he would rather goe about seeking inventions against the meanes were left them; that if he were surpriz'd, the trouble of this novelty, and that of his conscience, taking from him the way of replying, would make him be condemned in the field: and that they were not to intreat gently a man that had us'd malice and treason: but Ariana's reason was best approv'd, that it concern'd Melintus (if he would be knowne to be the sonne of Her­mocrates, and of the blood of Pyrrhus and Achilles) that this truth should bee declar'd in publike, and that it was not sufficient one particular man avowed it. Melintus well perceiv'd, that interessing her selfe in the honour of his house, she would have her choyce approved of all the world; and confest that in that advice she had exprest a great deale of understanding and spirit. Palamede added, that since it was so resolv'd, he would intreat his uncle to suffer him to be President of the games; to this end, that being for that day the Chiefe of all the youth of Syracuse, he might have the power in his owne hands, to make Diocles appeare, and to arrest him, if he would avoyd the judgement. All being thus concluded on, they expected that day impa­tiently.

In the meane time Melintus saw Ariana often, and receiv'd of her as many sweetnesses as he could be sensible of, being assur'd of her affecti­on. Never did two persons make so great an esteeme one of another, and never did two soules meet with so much sympathy. They had both of them a greatnesse of spirit so perfect, a wit so discreet, a quicknesse in conversati­on so sparkling, and a modesty so majestuous, besides the beauties where­with nature had so liberally endowed them, that never couple encountred together with so much perfection and equality: and so admiring one an­others faire qualities, they framed within themselves so relevated an affe­ction, that every other thing had beene to them but a subject of contempt, had they not yet more despis'd to be presumptuous. Pisistratus too saw Ari­ana often, and his love increasing every day, he ceased not to give her new testimonies of it: but she receiv'd them so discreetly, that he had no cause either to boast himselfe, or complaine; and Pisistratus beleeving that her vertue and modesty enjoyned her to use him after that fashion, could not esteeme himselfe so farre off, as he was of his hopes. At length the day ar­riv'd, and Palamede having obtain'd of his uncle that he might preside, made himselfe Head of all those that would present them at the Playes. Melintus put himselfe under his Conduct, so did Pisistratus, who that day had a designe to shew that he was worthy of Ariana: Amyntas that was one of [Page] the most accomplish'd of Syracuse joyned him to them, with some others; and Misander himselfe, that had a mind to mingle his melancholious humour to the publike rejoycing.

Ariana was led to the Temple in the morning by her brother, and the Maids of her traine by Melintus, Pisistratus, and the others. Shee was drest in a white robe, the bodies whereof were close fitted to her waste, and made her good shape appeare: and in the skirts it was enlarg'd with a thousand folds, and training upon the ground made her looke very majesticall. She was crown'd with a hat of floures, and her delicate haire in tresses falling up­on a necke of snow, did so well set forth the beauties of this divine face, with the whitenesse of her necke, whose splendour dazled mens eyes so, that there was not any one that could support unhurt the sight of so many won­ders. She presented the sacrifices upon the altar of Liberty, and made the ordinary Vowes: but her faire eyes mock'd at the words her mouth pro­nounc'd, and sought with their divine beames to ravish from all that beheld her, that very liberty which by her vowes she wish'd perpetuall to them. Me­lintus was so rapt with seeing her, and thinking that this ceremony should pre­sently be followed with another, that would place him in the very height of felicities, that these deare imaginations serv'd him for a pleasing entertain­ment. Pisistratus regarded her too full of admiration, and desires accompa­nied with hopes, and the others conceiv'd wishes which they themselves confest unprofitable, and that were as soone smother'd by the little hope they had reason for.

After the Sacrifices were ended, and the solemnities that followed them, shee was led up to a Scaffold that was erected in a great meadow out of the Towne, and all the Ladies came about her, after the same manner they had done at the Temple. The ordinary Judges of Syracuse, that were also to judge the prizes, were plac'd lower; among whom was Diocles, that never ex­pected to be judg'd himselfe that day.

Melintus was drest in the same scarfe, and mounted on the same horse Ariana had heretofore presented to him: but besides all this, that very day shee had given him a Bracelet of her faire haire, and tyed it to his arme.

Palamede had desir'd a favour of the gentile Epicharis, that from day to day made him more enamour'd of her, and shee not willing to refuse him that contentment in such an occasion, had taken the paines to braid all his haire for him, with ribbands of silke of her colours, for they were all to goe bare­headed: The rest were accommodated as much to their advantage, as it was possible for them. The first exercise was horse-races, where the greatest part presented themselves; and after they had made the Tower of the place with many a passade, they ranged them at the entry of the barriers. At the same time the Trumpets sounded, it hapned that a Larke pursued by a Hobby, came to save her selfe in Ariana's hands: thereupon there rose a cry of all the people, and Melintus turning his head, and considering with pleasure Ariana's actions, delayed the time to start with the rest: but perceiving his fault, and spurring up his horse with fury, he soone passed the last; and seeing Misander that was well mounted, and in hope to get first the end of the course, hee came justling against his side, and overthrew him and his horse to the ground. [Page 154] Pisistratus that followed him, could not keepe his horse from falling neither, when he encountred Misanders: that disorder stayed the course of the rest that came after, the most of them falling also, and not able to keepe them­selves up in the heat they were in; and this number of men and horses laid along together, made a spectacle ridiculous enough. In the meane time Me­lintus that saw none but Palamede now as forward as himselfe, slackned the speed of his horse, being willing to yeeld this victory to his friend: but for­tune would needs acknowledge this generousnesse of his; for one of Pala­medes ribbands of his head untying, flew away, and came to encircle Melin­tus his that ran behind him in a little gallop, and girt him after the fashion of a Diadem: as if Palamede seeing how Melintus yeelded him the crowne of the victory, had desired in recompence to crowne his friendship: some others in­terpreted this action to portend a great Soveraignty that Melintus should one day attaine to Instantly there followed great applauses when this action was knowne; and Ariana her selfe in her mind admir'd at Melintus his gentile cou­rage. Palamede having had the first honour, and Melintus the second; the rest to put off the shame they were in, thought of appearing again in sundry other games, wherein part of them in one kind, and the rest in others, acquired some glory. Melintus had the prize for having best throwne the Javelin, Amyntas that of the bow, and Pisistratus that of the foot-race, since the horse-race had beene so unfortunate to him.

The faire Ariana gave all the prizes that were ordained, and Melintus being the last that ascended the scaffold to receive his of her hand, the whole field resounded with the noyse of the people that had an incomparable affection towards him. Ariana as she presented the prize, said to him in a very low voyce; Courage, Melintus, 'tis time the world know what you are. That in­tention was accompanied with the peoples at the same time: for that Melin­tus turning his head, while he was still upon the scaffold, the most ancient of the Judges said to him; Brave Melintus, you promis'd the Syracusians to make this day the demand of that you desire of them: they intreat you no longer to deferre this contentment of theirs; that these pastimes might end with a thing that were just, and very agreeable, as some recompence to your vertue would be.

Palamede was remounted a horsebacke, with those of his troop, and barri­cadoed up the Judges with the rest of the people, in such sort that it was im­possible for Diocles to get out. Then Melintus being by Ariana's side, made a signe that he concurred with the desire of all, and every one giving him si­lence, he began thus:

SYracusians, if I were not pressed by your desires, I should but trouble my selfe in hindring your recreations, having not a demand to make, but an accusation: Neverthelesse, as I am forced by your selves, and by my owne just resentment; I declare that it is Diocles I accuse, and who ought to depart from among the Iudges to be condemned by them, after he hath beene convict of the crimes which hee can never cleare himselfe of.

Then there was heard a great noyse, every one looking upon Diocles, and he himselfe was in great trouble, never expecting this businesse might con­cerne [Page] him: afterward recollecting his spirits, hee made an apologie, that it was to surprize him, and that this was no day for the accusation of Citizens; yet for all this the people willing that Melintus should continue his appeale, Diocles was constrain'd to retire from the rest of the Judges, and to goe apart, waiting Melintus his discourse, whereupon he might frame his defence: these contestations being appeased with the noyse, Melintus went on thus:

THe gods are my witnesses, if I love not my Countrey to that height, as to have beene in paine to resolve of displeasing one of our Citizens, by redemanding of him the estate that he detaines from me; and I beleeve that if my honour had not bin mingled with my interest, I had forsaken my pretentions, and contented mee with the fortune I am already in. But these very gods would judge mee unworthy of the favours they have given me, if I should let them be lost; and my silence would rather be thought cowardlinesse than patience.

There is none of you but wondred whence Diocles riches came; not being a man that hath store of ships for trafficke, or one that hath taken in farme any thing of the Publike, which are the ordinary wayes from a meane estate to attain to great faculties; fortune recompencing sometimes those that are wholly addicted to her. The goods of the earth fall not from heaven in a moment, not being perceiv'd; their originall is not of that nature; but being things that belong to the possession of men, they arrive to no man without the order of succession, or acquisition. I cannot tell by what succession the goods of Hermocrates should fall to Diocles share; and for his acquiring them, that can he not justifie by any title. But since it is necessary for knowing the secret of his affaires, that I declare that of my life, I will conceale nothing from those that expresse so much affection to me, not doubting but when ye shall have understood the truth, you will render justice to whom it is due.

Syracusians, the greater part of you may remember Hermocrates, who by a mis­fortune was banish'd this City; he thought Diocles so much his friend, as hee feared not to commit to his trust what-ever he possess'd within Syracuse, and the rest of Sicily, to have the government thereof untill his returne: But Hermocrates having beene lost by an adventure that came not yet to light, Diocles that heard no more newes of him, was resolv'd with himselfe in the end to call his owne all that was Hermocrates his. This usurpation had for ever beene hid, but that another deposi­tion was made to a friend more affectionate, and more faithfull than he. Diocles ac­companied Hermocrates one dayes journey onely out of the City, at what time hee went away: but Telephus followed him as farre as the Port of Lylibeum, where he was to embarque to passe unto Carthage; and Euphrosyne that departed from Syracuse very big, being at that place surpris'd with the paines of child-birth, was brought to bed of a sonne, whom Hermocrates desir'd Telephus to carry to Syra­cuse, and nourish as his owne untill he should returne, being not willing to expose him to the Sea. Diocles was not ignorant of this truth: for Hermocrates sent him the newes of it, and so did Telephus, and to both of them he gave answer of Congratulation with him: I will not be afraid, Syracusians, to tell you that I am that sonne of Hermocrates, whom you have hitherto thought the sonne of Telephus.

(All the people clapt their hands for excesse of joy, understanding this strange newes; and Melintus continued on.)

[Page 156] Hermocrates had alwayes lov'd you, and you have favour'd the memory of him, and I know that his very banishment was a testimony of your affection towards him. Therefore I make no doubt at all but you receive these newes joyfully; since you have both loved him, and are inclin'd to love me also. There remaines nothing for mee to doe, but to give you the proofes of what I say, which proofes will appeare so cleare, that you shall neither make any doubt of my birth, or Diocles's infidelity: for be­sides that I could produce many witnesses; Hermocrates as he spake to Telephus, gave him a writing signed with his owne hand, by which he acknowledg'd to have put into his hands a sonne of his that in the place of his heart was marked with ano­ther heart.

(Telephus who was present gave that writing to the Judges, and Melin­tus pursues.)

Diocles himselfe making answer to Telephus, wrote to him to Lylibeum, that be rejoyc'd for the birth of this sonne of Hermocrates, and that the heart hee was mark'd with, signified that he should gaine the heart of every one, and be a lover of his Countrey.

(Telephus put that letter too into the Judges hands, which being read aloud, Melintus unbutton'd his doublet, and discovering his stomacke he rais'd his voyce, and said:)

Now Diocles, looke upon this heart, that accuses thine of the basest perfidious­nesse that ever was. 'Tis this heart that reproaches thee for having fail'd of faith to thy friend; besides, I doe dot know whether to this crime thou hast not added yet a greater treachery than that; by taking out of the world Hermocrates, to be more secure of his estate. Neverthelesse, I will not beleeve thee so wicked: But what rea­sons canst thou alleage to colour the usurpation of what was his? For if thou hadst no meaning to keepe it, why didst thou mocke at Telephus, when he advertis'd thee not to aspire to the daughter of Aristides by the support of those riches, because Her­mocrates sonne was living? and if thou wouldst not beleeve that, why didst thou not restore those goods to them of the race of Hermocrates, since they belong'd not to thee? See there then the treasures thou hast acquired, without running Fortune, ei­ther by sea or land: see there the excessive gaine thou hast made returne of, giving nothing in exchange for so many possessions, but thy faith and thy conscience which thou hast forsaken. This Trafficke was made within thy selfe, and thou hadst nothing to doe but to deliberate whether to get that estate thou wert not to betray thy soule. Thy avarice disputed against thy fidelity, and the decree thy judgement gave in be­halfe of it, is the sole title of these new acquisitions. But 'tis but to abuse the cares of the Iudge, and of the people, to seeke for other proofes after a case so cleare: it stands thee then upon to disavow the writing of Hermocrates, and thy owne too; and af­ter that to report the titles of all thou art possess'd of; and all this being impossible, I demand of the Syracusians, that they condemne thee to restore the goods thou in­justly detain'st from me, whereby I might from henceforth sustaine the quality of my birth, and that they ordaine for thy infidelity that punishment it hath deserved.

When Melintus had made an end of his speech, all the people began to clap their hands, and to cry out, Condemne Diocles: but the Judges having made the noyse cease, commanded him to speake. Then he requir'd time, for to [Page] consider upon his justification, and said that hee could not answer in the field to all Melintus his impostures: that he well knew how to defend him­selfe from them; but that he must have some leisure to make the falsnesse of what he had said appeare. They gave him the writings that Telephus brought in, and demanded of him if he knew them. He could not disavow his owne hand-writing, nor that of Hermocrates, but hee said all this made not against him, but that he might have gotten the goods before his de­part. The Judges enquir'd of him, if he had the Contracts of the sale that passed betweene them. He answered, that they were at his house, and that he onely desired time to produce them. They order'd that hee should send his sonne Amyntas who was present, to goe bring them: but then he sayd they were not in place where he could finde them, and that he himselfe had need of terme for to put them in order. All these answers being but shifts, and the people never ceasing to cry out against him, the Judges assembled together to deliberate, and after a long time speaking what they had to say, some excusing Diocles, that had to that time beene ignorant who Melintus was: others shewing more severity, and saying that how-ever the case stood he was willing to retaine what appertain'd not to him. In the end the Magi­strate pronounc'd this judgement; That Diocles was condemn'd, not onely to restore into the hands of Melintus all those goods he held of Hermocrates; but besides, to pay him the revenue for the time he had possessed them; and that for the infidelity he had committed, he was banish'd for three years.

The people by their applauses seemed to be well satisfied for this sen­tence, and Melintus making a signe with his hand that he would againe speak, all was silent, and he said; I have hitherto onely demanded justice of you, and now I demand a grace at your hands, which is, to revoke the banish­ment of Diocles in my favour, and for the revenue of my estate for the time that is past, I give it to Amyntas, whose good qualities I esteeme, and will be a friend to him.

Every one having admired the generousnesse of Melintus towards the fa­ther, and his liberality towards the sonne, he obtained all that he desir'd, and this last action brake off the assembly. Melintus tooke Ariana's hand, who was full of satisfaction for the happy successe of their desires, and brought her backe to her house with Palamede, and their friends. Diocles full of sad­nesse and shame, retir'd him to his owne house; not knowing whether hee were to complaine of Melintus, or commend him, from whom in so small a time he had receiv'd so many displeasures, and so many graces.

Dicearchus who had not assisted at the playes, because of his place which he quitted to his Nephew, learn'd this newes of a friend of his that presently went his way to advertise him of it, for to advise together how they were to live with Melintus, since hee was knowne for the sonne of Hermocrates. When they were upon that doubt, Melintus comes in bringing Ariana; Pa­lamede made the recite to Dicearchus of all had passed, and so to Melintus his advantage, that he was oblig'd to confesse to him, that he rejoyced for that good fortune: But after all was retir'd, when Palamede said to his uncle, that they were to esteeme themselves very happy in this, that nothing hereafter could be found wanting in Melintus for giving his sister to him, since his birth and estate were as great as he could desire them to be; Dicear­chus [Page 158] answered, how that deserv'd well to be thought of at leisure, and for that time could get nothing else from him. This acknowledging of Melintus for sonne of Hermocrates, was cause of the death of two persons; Diocles, whether it were that he was seized with griefe for seeing himselfe fallen from so great a fortune, or whether hee repented for having committed so great an infidelity, was found dead the day after in his bed; and Hyperia, who till then beleev'd she possessed an inestimable good, having a sonne so accom­plish'd as Melintus, receiv'd a farre greater affliction when she knew she was not his mother, than she had done when the newes was brought her of his death, and not able to resist this dolour, lost her life some dayes after.

Melintus having much resented the losse of a person that held the place of a very affectionate mother to him, could not for all that keepe any long time this displeasure in his minde, being too much diverted by his hopes; and see­ing himselfe restor'd to the possession of all that could appertaine to him, he thought nothing could now retard his contentments, being assured of the af­fections of Ariana, of Dicearchus, and of Palamede. He came every day to visit them, and had conceiv'd too high an estimation of his felicity, receiving every moment new testimonies of Ariana's love, had it not beene for some coldnesse that Dicearchus made apparent to him, though he endevour'd to hide it with a feined courtesie. Pisistratus too rendred many duties to Ari­ana, and Melintus seeing that Dicearchus made more esteem of him than his custome was, beleev'd it was but to make him a more honourable refuse: yet for all that they were exceedingly amaz'd, when Palamede having prayed his uncle to resolve on the marriage of Melintus, hee gave him this answer, that it was necessary he went first to Corinth with him and his sister, to see their kindred, and advise with them about it: that for this purpose they would goe in Pisistratus's ship that was to returne, and that they should both pre­pare them for this depart. Palamede would oppose some reasons to this re­solution, but all was in vaine; and when he brought this newes to Melintus, and his sister, he fill'd them both with confusion: Melintus made Dicearchus be intreated by Palamede, that he might accompany them in this voyage, to make himselfe knowne to their friends at Corinth: but he said, that was not fitting, and it would seeme he went to speake of a thing resolved, if he were with them. That answer troubled Melintus still more, not knowing for what designe he intended that voyage, and made those difficulties: For hee thought he had sufficiently oblig'd him by saving of his life, and more againe by his oath, to make him forget those ancient enmities.

Neverthelesse all prepare to depart, and Melintus one day finding Ariana amaz'd for this necessity of parting, full of sadnesse said to her, Madam, what signifies this wofull voyage? I know not what end it may have, but the be­ginning is too sad, to promise me any good. When I thought my selfe the happiest of men, I finde that good fortune absents her the more from mee, and forbids me so much as following her. Melintus, answered Ariana, I know not what my uncles designes are: but mine shall ever be like yours, and fin­ding that I am seconded by my brother, there is no force can possibly over­rule me. Live I pray you in repose as much as you may during this absence; and if my being away causes sorrow in you, let the assurance of my affection diminish it. Madam, return'd Melintus, how happy doe these expressions [Page] make me in so unfortunate an occasion: but may I be assured that no con­straint shall ever change your minde? You ought not onely to beleeve this, said she, but you doe me wrong besides to make any doubt of it: for it seemes you judge me capable of lightnesse and ingratitude. Pardon, Madam, said he, never thought I these defaults could have place in your heart; but losing so many blessings by your absence, me thinks nothing can ever restore them againe to me. What may I hope for more, after the losse of those de­ceitfull assurances that have these late dayes flattered me? Will you have this misfortune of seeing you no more promise me any good, when my very greatest contentments have brought me nothing but so cruell a disaster? Me­lintus, sayes she, all contentments are followed with displeasures, and all sad­nesse with joy: things that are contrary succeed one another: we shall have a little to suffer being separate so long: but after a while enduring, the re­turne will be more glorious, and more agreeable to us: afflict me not I pray you with your sorrowes, my owne are sufficient for mee; and after I shall know that you support with constancy this separation, I shall have courage enough to imitate you. I am of the opinion, replied he, that to have so much courage, is to have but small love: for what strength can be able to resist the displeasures of my soule, being depriv'd of the happinesse of seeing you? Resolution can doe nothing to ease an evill, which judgement finds more hard to master, the more it seekes wherewithall to give it consolation: to give over sorrow, I must of necessity give over remembring you, and that can I not but with my life. Melintus, sayes Ariana, I know this very well that our misfortune is great: but doe you complaine of it to me, to this end that by my reasons I might endevour to comfort you? or else that I by knowing it, might be sure to suffer as much as you? For the first you confesse your selfe that reason can doe nothing, and for the other you would be cruell to desire an augmentation of what I endure. Let us rather comfort us on both sides, and as I betray my griefe to expresse a constancy to you, so doe you seeme to have one too, that being content with our miseries, we may at least be deliver'd from those we seeke to bring one upon another. These words that came from the excesse of a rare friendship, brought the teares into Me­lintus eyes; and it was a paine to him, (so seized was he) to frame this an­swer: Madam, that I had a meaning to increase your griefe, were impossi­ble, having so much love for you: but I am brought to that passe, as not to know how to speake to you; for if I expresse my sufferings, you complaine of me; and if I expresse them not at all to you, what will you thinke of my affection? Ariana perceiving his difficulty of speech, to give him comfort interrupted him, and said; I will have no more expressions of this affection: for if I still had need of them, you should not already have receiv'd so much of mine. No, my deare Melintus, I am more assur'd of you than of my selfe; but these mutuall assurances serve for nothing but to make us be more sensi­ble of this accident: if we loved one another lesse, we should be lesse tou­ched for this separation: let us then esteeme our griefe glorious, since it hath so faire a cause; and not complaine any more, since we would not have lesse affection, to suffer the lesse paine. Melintus full of seizure, and touched be­sides at these deare speeches, could not pronounce a word himselfe, but on­ly kist Ariana's hands that were all wet with the great teares that fell from [Page 160] him. He was a good while in that posture, and Ariana giving way to an object so sensible, let fall too some teares from her faire eyes, which she dried, wil­ling to hide her affliction from Melintus, who at last addressing him to that he held, never lifting himselfe up, said; Faire hands, must I forsake you, and abandon the sweet pleasures you favour me with? promise me at least never to receive others in the place of mine. Sweare it to me, faire hands, by your sweet restraints, I will beleeve you will never be unfaithfull to me: for you are too delicate to enterprize my death, and too white not to be innocent. Ariana answered, I promise you for them all you desire, and will have you (said she in presenting them to him) kisse them againe, for pledge of their fi­delity: then she rose up to divert her from her sorrow, and that shee might not be taken in this trouble by any one that came in. For Palamede chanc'd to arrive a while after, with whom they discours'd upon the occasion of this voyage, whose true causes they could not understand. He promis'd Melin­tus to advertise him by his letters of all that passed, and to come backe him­selfe to Syracuse if need were. For to make any resistance to their uncle, into whose hands Aristides at his death had committed Ariana, they could not thinke it fitting.

From that day till the depart, Melintus could never entertaine Ariana in private; onely he let her see these verses which he gave a borrowed name to, that they might be read before all.

WHat fortune envious at my love,
Or what command imperious,
Absenting Cloris farre from us,
Doth my soules better halfe remove?
And shall I for my punishment
See her depart, and give consent
To this absence, to my misery?
Destinies jealous, heavens inhumane;
Let me part and her accompany,
Or in her hands my life retaine.
Will any this injustice offer?
And must I now till her returne,
The more for love of her I burne,
The more condemned be to suffer?
Already feare and discontent,
And cares that never durst attempt
To seize me in her heavenly presence,
At her depart their powers will try
On me, and threaten my innocence
With their insulting tyranny.
Cloris can you be so resolute,
The god of our hearts to despise,
And yeeld to the severities
Of a sorry force lesse absolute?
I cannot make you pitty me,
Nor by my loves extremity,
Nor by the fountaine of my teares,
Come forth my weepings; I will have
My eyes cast out these armes of theirs
That were too weake her stay to save.
And can this so constant humour
In all duties lawes so tried,
Never to see me be denied,
And pretend the name of Lover?
Cloris your love is not like mine;
My heart with jealousie must pine
At such a cold tranquillity:
For but that in your eyes I vent
My passions livelier ardency,
I should be smother'd where I went.
Are you so cruell then to leave me?
Can nothing hinder this remove?
No sense of pitty can her move
That has no pitty to releeve me.
Adieu then severest beauty,
Adieu heart full of durity:
No vainer hope can joy recall;
Hereafter let us nought pretend.
I lose my life, my speech and all,
And I am ruin'd without end.

The griefes Melintus felt at this depart can hardly be describ'd; those of Ariana were no lesse; but she so well conceal'd them, that Dicearchus never knew the unwillingnesse she had to be gone. They were accompanied by their friends to Pisistratus his ship, and Melintus could not bid farewell but with his eyes, to the faire Ariana: but this adieu was so sensible to them, that she betooke her selfe with Epicharis into one of the Cabins of the ship, to lye downe upon a bed, where she was drowned in teares; and Melintus af­ter having taken his leave of Dicearchus, and quitted the deare embracings of Palamede, seeing her no more, and the ship sailing away, let himselfe be so car­ried away with griefe, that he fell downe betweene the hands of Arcas, and was a long time ere he return'd out of his fainting.

His sute and his love were now divulg'd in Syracuse, and the more he was loved, the more pitty did his sorrow move: in the end, full of discontent and weaknesse, he was reconducted to his owne home, for he lodged no more now with Telephus, since he had beene restored to his estate; and his friends laboured to divert him from his griefe, which none but himselfe could have experience of the greatnesse of.

Pisistratus thinking to have the wind of love as favourable, as that that fil­led his sailes, went his way to Corinth, proud with the spoyles hee imagin'd [Page 162] to carry away, and the conquest he promised to himselfe. Dicearchus gave him great assurances, Ariana's discretion forbade him not to hope, and Pala­medes courtesie made him beleeve he would not be displeased with his al­liance.

He nothing wondred for that Ariana shunned his entertainment, judging that in these occasions of being sought to, maids will appeare modest. Dicear­chus who receiv'd him with more freedome, was his ordinary company; and Ariana had no other consolation, but in speaking of Melintus with her bro­ther, and her deare Epicharis. Palamede that became more and more in love with the beauties of this Maid, never ceas'd rendring her honest testimonies of his passion: but every houre hearing the reproaches of so many light­nesses, he resolv'd hereafter to make himselfe be knowne for a faithfull man, and submitted to all the proofes she could desire. Having passed the Isle of Cephalenia, they entred into the gulph of Corinth, to which they had but lately given the name of Lepanto. At last they arriv'd at Corinth, where Se­bastus, a Cousin of Dicearchus, came to receive them, and bring them to his house, and there they were entertain'd, according as the quality of Dicear­chus, and the magnificence of Sebastus requir'd. This old man was renowned for his authority in the City, and more yet for being one of the wisest of all Greece: he brought to salute Palamede and Ariana, a young daughter of his called Cassiope, whom they found very modest, and handsome: but when Ariana heard tell of the marvellous qualities of another sister she had, named Cyllenia, who was among the Maids that serv'd at Iuno's Temple, shee had a great desire to know her. Her beauty had given her the prize above all those of Corinth, but her wit had made her still more recommendable; and the extreme love which the vertuous Lepantus had to her, lessened not that repu­tation. Ariana was impatient till the next day came, to goe see her; and Cyl­lenia that heard speake of this divine Ariana, had no lesse desire to judge of so many perfections.

Pisistratus being come in the morning to see them, conducted Ariana and Palamede to the Temple; and when the sacrifices were made, these two faire Ladies encountred with so much rapture on either part, that there was never satisfaction equall to that. Their sight was so busie in judging of their beau­ties, that they never thought of speaking one to another. Ariana had a bright­nesse that farre surpassed that of Cyllenia, but sweetnesse and modesty were very equall in them: the admirations they had then one of another, were since followed with mutuall protestations of friendship; and in stead of ha­ving jealousie for the advantages that each saw in her companion, the know­ledge of those merits bred more esteeme, and affection in them. Presently faint civilities were banisht, from them, to make place for a freedome that per­mitted them to conceale nothing from one another. The resemblance of their beauties, and of their wits, joyned their soules together, and by and by after, that of their fortunes made this friendship perfect.

Dicearchus that would put into practice the promise he had made Pisistra­tus, declar'd at last to Palamede, that he had not brought them to Corinth, but to make up the marriage betweene him and Ariana: that he would ne­ver while he lived consent to marry her to Melintus the sonne of his greatest enemy; and that this was the resolution they were to take Palamede astonisht [Page] at this discourse, labour'd to divert him from his designe; represented to him the obligations he had to Melintus, the love of his friend to his sister, and af­ter all the oaths by which he had promis'd never to wish him ill for his fa­thers sake; and that if he failed there, the gods would not pardon him. Di­cearchus answered him, that his intention thought but upon Telephus, not on Hermocrates, when he made that oath; and though he were oblig'd to per­forme it, yet he was not for that ingag'd to give him his Neece. Palamede employed all the eloquence he was capable of, to bring him to reason; re­proaching the life Melintus had conserv'd him, and what injury he did him­selfe in expressing so much ingratitude: but nothing could bend this opinia­ted and vindicative spirit, that would besides have Palamede advertise his si­ster of it, for to take her resolutions accordingly.

This cruell newes in such wise surpriz'd her, that she lost speech at it; but Palamede seeing this faire sister to be transported with griefe, and out of all heart, encourag'd his owne, for to assure her that he would not suffer this ty­ranny: that their uncle ought to have over them a milde authority, but not an unjust Empire; that he knew well how to defend himselfe, and her too from this oppression; and that though he were not at all so engaged to Me­lintus, the fashion Dicearchus us'd, sufficiently oblig'd him not to give way to him. Ariana somewhat restor'd by this resolution, prayed her brother to try first if he could gaine her uncles spirit by sweetnesse: but she was much amaz'd when Dicearchus himselfe signified to her, that nothing should ever divert him from that designe; and not knowing how to be free of her uncles cruelties, and Pisistratus importunities, she advis'd to shut up her selfe with Cyllenia in the Temple of Iuno, where shee should onely have Epicharis with her, while Palamede return'd to Syracuse to advertise Melintus of what passed, and to resolve together how she should behave her selfe. The next day shee prayed her uncle to give her leave to be some dayes with Cyllenia, who thin­king he could better be assured of her in that Temple, consented; and Pala­mede feining that he went to see his friends at Athens, departed, and embark'd him secretly, to take the way of Syracuse.

As soone as Ariana was alone with Cyllenia, she made her part of her griefe, and after she had conceal'd nothing from her concerning Melintus and her selfe, asked counsell of her what she had to doe. You have reason, said Cylle­nia, to make your addresse to me in this occasion; it is impossible for you to finde a person more knowing than I am upon this subject, to tell you what is necessary for the ordering your affaires, and avoyding what is to be feared; and since experience hath so well taught me, I will tell the greatest part of my life, which will be the best instruction you can receive. Ariana having de­sired her to make her so profitable and delightfull a discourse, Cyllenia began to speake thus:

History of Lepantus and Cyllenia.

FAire Ariana, you have conceiv'd so good an opinion of me, that it grieves me to diminish it by the recite I am going to make you: for you shall heare such sad accidents that hapned to me by my owne fault onely, that you will hardly beleeve I was ever able to fall into a blindnesse of that nature: [Page 164] yet in respect of the care I have of your good fortune, I had rather preferre your safety to my reputation with you: that by my example you might re­ceive counsels that may be of use to you. I shall not feare to re-uncover my wounds for your sake, and to strike terrour into you, to the end you may escape the same precipices whereinto I am fallen. Some comfort shall I have too in my miseries, if they may but serve to hinder you from being mise­rable.

Know that Lepantus whom you have heard tell of, was of Naupactum, a Towne not farre from hence, situate at the mouth of the Gulph of Corinth, who having lost his father and mother, was not content with the cares they had taken to have him instructed in all necessary studies and exercises; but after he had married a sister he had to one of the chiefe of Athens, hee came to this City, drawne hither by the reputation of the great Philosopher Arte­midorus, who was a particular friend of Sebastus my father, for to learne of him the most hidden, and sublimest Sciences. Though those studies were very serious, and that requir'd an intire wit, yet hee was not so taken up with them, but that he diverted some times to all other sorts of arts and gen­tilesses, where he prosper'd with so much glory, as if his birth furnish'd him with a good successe for all he tooke in hand. Artemidorus admir'd this excel­lent genius, and sometimes entertain'd my father with wonder at it: Hee came very often to our house, where they conferred together concerning their studies; and being very courteous, he many times escap'd from them to come to speake to me, as if hee were tir'd with the high discourses they treated of; and he passed away the time in my company with so pleasing dis­courses, that I should have thought his onely advantage had beene to enter­taine Ladies, but that I knew how much he was esteem'd for things of more weight: so I made a farre greater account of him for that, and honour'd him as a person distant from the ordinary sort of men: Hee exprest too, that hee tooke great pleasure in my company, for that I lov'd to quit the common dis­course of Maids, and sought to make my spirit capable of things our custome is to be ignorant of: so as accommodating him to the sufficiency of my judg­ment, he learn'd me faire considerations by meanes that were very intelligi­ble: and when he advanc'd a little, and saw that I attained him, he strength­ned me in that estate with thoughts of a higher nature, and bred in mee a disdaine of our ordinary conceits, with a desire to polish my soule, and make it more perfect. It seem'd he had framed himselfe what he attempted to love: and on my part being much indebted to him for that paines, I studied to please him, and so to use the meanes as to be thought worthy of his esteeme. Some jealousie I had, when I understood that every body favour'd him, or that he pleas'd himselfe in any company, having a feare lest the kindnesses of some Ladies might not take him from me, or that hee encountred not some one whose wit he might finde more equall to his owne. It seem'd there was a de­signe in it, that those that came to see me, ever spake of Lepantus, and thought me happy for seeing him sometimes, as if all things conspir'd to make mee love him; and if he came to our house at the same time they gave him these praises, I well saw they were not affected, because every one offer'd them him with so much honour, and approved what he said with so great pleasure, that I could not be wanting after so many persons, to give censures of him to his [Page] advantage. I would have w [...]hed he had seene me oftner, and since that see­ing there passed few dayes. [...]hat he came not to us, and finding him in a sad­nesse that was not ordina [...] with him, I imagin'd that hee loved some Lady that used him ill, or that [...]e could not easily see; and came to divert his griefes with me. One [...]ile I wished ill to that faire Lady, for the sorrow he suffer'd for her: anoth [...]r while I was not angry for the small satisfaction he receiv'd, for the inter [...]t I had in him; and what-ever were the cause of it, I was very glad to see [...]im oftner. He had the reputation to be lov'd of some Ladies; but they we [...]e such as never troubled my minde; for he told mee all the defects he foun [...] in them, some were too facile, others had no other pride but to get quantity of Lovers, and to keepe them all by different meanes, and because I knew th [...]t vanities and affectations were insupportable to him, I was sure he would never have a passion for those subjects. I enquir'd after the places he most hunted: but I found none that deserv'd his stay, and in my soule I doubte [...] not but that he approv'd me as much as he did any else. At length one day when we were alone, I shewed him some verses were given me, and in re [...]ompence he let me see others he had made himselfe; and they were these:

SHall I then suffer an eternall silence
Of my sad griefes to hide the violence,
Extinguishing my dayes most happy season?
And can this beauty that my thoughts adore,
The use of voyce deprive me evermore,
After she had depriv'd me that of reason?
And shall the ardor of my secret fires
Still kindle in my soule so vaine desires,
And no excesse of rigour mollifie:
Still shall her eye upon me fulminate,
And pittilesse my hopes to dust translate,
As into ashes my heart multiply?
Where art thou Courage? have I lost that strife
That carries all to their owne good and life?
My just resentments where have you remain'd?
What magicke poyson, what deceit might keepe
Your power in most necessity asleepe,
When I these unknowne traitors entertain'd?
Ah! Whither will my senslesse fury take me?
The discreet bridle of cold feare will make me
Soone disavow these transports of my tongue:
The torments of my rain'd soule I nourish,
The enemy that kils me I must cherish,
If I no reason have, my plaints are wrong.
They're wrong, tis true; my fetters are too faire:
Causelesse complaints my want of worth [...]clare:
To free me of them 'tis not my designe:
The honour of her sight is recompence,
And I too happy am without offence,
Alwayes so neere my heart to beare her shri [...]
Said I her shrine? ah, 'tis her selfe, 'tis she,
I feele her there within too cruelly
Kindling the coale that nourishes my torment:
'Tis she, her power makes her well appeare,
Who in that heat is pleas'd, she caused there,
And lives in fire as in her element.
Thou that liv'st in me, beauty inhumane,
What need I speake, thou well behold'st my paine;
Wilt thou establish peace within thy dwelling?
What! my ills horror makes thee insensible?
But if thou art but ice, alas! is't possible
Thou shouldst not quench the ardor of my loving?

Is't possible, said I, giving him the verses againe, Lepantus should stand mute before her he loves? Not onely mute, answered he, but so full of respect and feare, that not so much as a looke hath ever given her an expression of my love. You must needs, said I to him, feare her extremely, for I know but very few that would not gladly receive the offer of your service. I wonder, replies he, you should thinke that so strange, when you are one of those that cannot endure to be loved. Speake not of me, return'd I to him, for I have reason not to beleeve that any can love me: but she you are in love with, be­ing without question very lovely, may well beleeve what you might tell her concerning your affection. Contrariwise, goes he on, I love her not but be­cause she resembles you, and this is that makes me feare, that I be not sensi­ble of the same severity in her, which many others have made trial of in you. I answered him; but it was not Lepantus that made me those offers; and being unsatisfied with my owne beauty, I could not beleeve any great effects could proceed from so meane a cause: besides, I must tell you, that though I be not worth the paine to be lov'd, I have not hitherto found a man worthy of my spirit; and though some one might present himselfe, I should use him as if I thought him the least of men, and my selfe one of the perfectest women. This answer surpriz'd him, and for a time he stood as if he had beene with­out all sense; then recovering speech, he said to me; I have then some cause to feare, that this beauty resembling you, banish me not her sight, if I pre­fum'd to declare my love to her, or at least that she thought not her selfe of­fended at me, and her provoked eyes were not to be endur'd. All, said I to him, are not so ill-natur'd, and I would willingly know her, to perswade her to thinke well of you. May it please the gods, said he, you had as much will to helpe me, as you have knowledge of her. I sware to him I would employ my selfe heartily therein, if he would let me know her. That would be, an­swered he, to speake of love to you, which you will never endure. That con­cernes [Page] me not, said I, will never offend me. If she resembles you, replide he, both in beauty and humour, she must have a like thought to yours, and to make triall by your selfe of the usage I should have of her, I will tell you, Cyllenia, I love you: What would you answer? But, said I, that is not so, and therefore I cannot make you the answer I would. There is nothing more certaine, continues he, and all the discourse I made you, was but to make way for this declaration. I blush'd, and asham'd that I had thus forc'd him to discover himselfe, told him; Lepantus, if the freedome I use with you cause this boldnesse, you shall not long time abuse it: for you must either lose this liberty, or my sight. He, nothing amaz'd, answered me; You will confesse then I had cause to conceale my affection from her that resembles you: for I apprehend as cruell an answer from her, as that I have drawne from your mouth. I was now more asham'd than before, for having beene so deceived; and but for the comming in of some company, I had gone to complaine of him for thus playing with me: yet for all that I flatter'd my selfe with a be­leefe that his discourse might well be true; and all night long I did nothing but fortifie me in that opinion, that he would but sound me on all sides; and that if my answer had beene more gentle, he would have left off feinings, to speake more open and plainly to me. It was a strange resolution of mine: I wished he would love mee, and thought I lov'd without being loved; but when I saw him submit to me without knowing my designe, I tooke upon me so absolute an authority over him, that I would make him suffer as ri­gorous a government, as if I had hated him, and would put him to the cru­ellest trials of it.

Since that time he liv'd with me as before, thinking I had receiv'd his ex­cuse; neverthelesse I would not stay there; and my desire was admirable. I had a minde that he declar'd himselfe to me, and was for all that resolv'd to take away all hope from him. So I sought the occasion as well as he did: and one day as I spake to him of a dreame I had had, he told me hee had put one of his into verse, which he shewed mee that very time: they were these:

FOnd man, what have I done? ah wretched bold device!
Have I then dar'd to breake theice
Of a respect so long preserv'd?
And hath my fury then at last usurp'd this licence,
Me speake of love she heard,
And for this I am banish'd evermore her presence?
Those faire eyes without mercy, more to justice bent,
Have added for my punishment,
Fierce anger unto Majesty.
I feele their venging fire: she flyes away unkinde
To a woods privacy;
And I in following her lose both force and wind.
Stay cruell one, to satisfie you I entend;
For if my mouth could you offend,
My hands to right you shall not spare,
But all is darke as night, and reaching but my arme,
I take but a light aire:
Gods! I'm in bed, and but a dreame is all my harme.
O fortunate awake that favours innocence!
What? her anger, and my offence,
Are they into ayre vanished?
My respect triumphantly laughs at these Chymears,
And my senses ioyed
Are safe from such fantasticke miseries or feares.
Goe, dreame, the terror of soules amorous,
Bearer of visions hideous,
Brother of shady ghosts and spirits,
Cruell impostor, goe, and plunge thee in the deepe
Of hell devoyd of lights,
Where nought but crimes and monsters sadly keepe.

Are you still then, said I to him, upon this restraint, not to dare declare your selfe? Ah Madam, answered he, you have given me a lesson not to put me to that hazard. All women, said I, are not made of this mould. I told you before, replide he, that she, without giving you offence, is made just as you are. I pray you, doe not desire me to runne that fortune; lest aspiring to blessings I dare not hope for, I deprive not my selfe by imprudency of those I now enjoy. I see her, I speake to her, and content my selfe with the esteeme she makes of me, since I cannot pretend to be lov'd of her. But, replide I, what can you hope will become of your affection, if she have no knowledge of it? He answered me; Since she will not heare speake of it, before shee knowes it, she must know it, before she heare speake of it. What know you, said I to him, but that she knowes of it already, and that there remaines not something more to be done besides assuring one another? Promise me, said he, that she shall not be angry, and I will take that liberty. I promise it you, said I, for the power I have over her. He answered me, you have all the power over your selfe: and for this cause I presume once againe to tell you, that it's you I love; and that you are to be fully perswaded of it, since you know well there is not a person in the world besides you that I can love. You imagine, said I coldly to him, to make me answer againe in the name of her you love, and to try me the second time. No, return'd he, there is no fei­ning at all in this I tell you now, and what ever severity I may prove, I am forced to say it by the excesse of my affection, and by the assurance you have given me not to be offended. I will not be angry with you, said I, since I have beene so oblig'd in the businesse: but I forbid you ever speaking of this affection: if you love me, you will feare to disobey mee; and if you love me not, I will never heare your dissimulations. Then growing pale as if hee had receiv'd an arrest of death, hee durst no longer endure my sight; and casting downe his eyes, he said to me; Madam, at this time I am not faulty but for having obeyed you; and since to obey your commands, is to faile; my disobedience to that you ordaine me, shall not be any more a crime. You [Page 169] are for all that, answered I him, to resolve you on this, or never to see mee. This last blow confounded him altogether, and tooke his speech away: some that came in upon us found us in a great silence, which hee never brake, but in his going out when he said to me, I had rather be depriv'd of speaking to you, than of seeing you: and since you are so cruell, I promise I will obey you all my life. Neverthelesse he could not refraine from taking up this dis­course againe another time, whereupon I alleag'd the promise hee had made mee, and would heare him no more. The day after hee let mee see these Verses:

YEs, I have promis'd, and will keepe my word;
Hard-hearted woman, whose record
Holds onely what exasperates my paine;
To suffer alwayes, and to hold my peace:
Inhumane, inhumaine,
Keepe then as I doe, all your promises.
Those eyes, that hid a soule without all pitty
Vnder a vaile of amity,
Assur'd me to your grace to dare pretend;
But now they are my cruell'st enemies,
Where me they should defend;
Why doe not they observe their promises?
When I resolv'd to send unto your prison
My heart together with my reason,
Your beauty promis'd them so sweet a bondage:
Vpon those hopes to irons they were led;
But to endure your out-rage:
Is this to keepe what you have promised?
I grant, a spirit without love as you,
May live as well and ne're be true:
But I alone will make my promise certaine:
And heaven, that laughs at lovers perjuries,
Shall never be in paine,
To mocke, or pardon my disloyalties.
Againe, I vow to hold my peace for ever:
And if I chance to faile hereafter,
I will endure the worst of your disdaines.
All things will speake for me; my paine will speake
That on my face remaines,
And tell the griefes I suffer for your sake.
My silence more disert than my discours,
Will be ready at my succours,
To let you know the evils that compasse me:
And this amaze which your perfections
In your presence give me,
Will tell you the excesse of my affections.
When you consult your glasse early, or late,
The two bright Planets of my fate,
So worthy to be lov'd, my love will tell,
And without crossing that you me enjoyne,
Your owne faire mouth as well,
Shall tell it to you in default of mine.

I confesse to you I had a great power with my selfe, to use him so cruelly: for there was not any thing in the world I could esteeme like him, nor that I had a greater desire to please: yet knowing that he valued nothing so much as a vertue separate from the common, and that he would love me the better for thus resisting his first attempts, I thought I must live with him after that fashion. But judging then that I had proved him enough, and full of joy to see him so touch'd with love, it became me to yeeld a little; and chan­ging my countenance, I said to him with a smile, Lepantus, I will have you obey me all your life time, by never speaking of your affection: for I will be altogether assured of it, thinking you too vertuous to be a deceiver. Hee was so surpriz'd at this discourse, never dreaming on so happy a fortune, that taking me by the hand he could not tell what to answer. At last he said to me, It suffices that you have knowledge enough of your selfe, and mee to be instructed what you are to beleeve of either: And you have reason not to desire any words for your assurance; since all the actions of my life shall declare nothing else to you. Lepantus, replied I, you have sufficiently knowne how much I esteeme you: If I must love something, it cannot be but you: I permit you to beleeve this, and prescribe you no law for your manner of living with me hereafter, being certaine that all your desires are regulated by vertue. Madam, said he to me, kissing my hand, my passion hath for its object a thing too perfect, for to permit me a thought that may be unworthy of the cause of it, and I receive no small joy for the assurance you are pleas'd to have of it, whith makes me beleeve that you judge it as great as it is in­deed, though that be very hard to doe. Let us leave, said I to him, these common protestations, and live without doubting one of another: 'Tis not your words, that have taught me what to thinke of you, and one word onely from me ought to assure you of my friendship, since I durst say it. There is no more to be done then, replide he, but that you order, how it shall please you to have me live: whether you desire I should declare my selfe, or else keepe still my affection hidden. It were better, said I to him, not to discover us so soone (because at that time Callias sought me) you know, added I, what my father desires, and I must breake that blow, before it be knowne that I have another desire: in the meane time live so discreetly, that none may perceive your designe. I receive, answered he, this ordinance for an extreme favour, and you shall see in what sort I shall observe it. From that time we liv'd together in a most perfect confidence, which we conceal'd with a marvellous discretion; and there were very few that could suspect us [Page] of intelligence: which made us both severally be thought insensible of what belong'd to love, as finding nothing worthy of us. I advertis'd him of what­soever passed, whereupon he gave me counsell, and receiv'd it of me also in that which concern'd him: I told him good tales of those that attempted to love-me, how they behav'd them in it, and in what fashion they were re­ceiv'd; he pittied some, and laugh'd at others. If there happened any thing to me, I longed to see him, to make my report to: so did hee also make mee so exact an account of his life, and satisfied all I desir'd of him, with so much care and respect, that I became too much assured of the power I had in him. But I sweare to you, nothing was so agreeable to me, as his discretion: no­thing seem'd so farre from any designe of loving me, as he: He never dissem­bled in presence of all, and of my father too, to speake what he had to say to me, or knew of me, under termes so pleasant, and with so much dexterity, whether in making any relation, or to the purpose of what was spoken in the company, that without being understood of any body, we did understand one another as well as if we had spoke openly.

For the space of a yeare we lived after this manner, but in the end having broke the marriage of Callias with much adoe, and seeing how difficult it would be for me, often to make the like resistance to the duty I ow'd my father, since he express'd, that he had no other desire than to see mee very soone married to one of the chiefe of Corinth, I counsell'd Lepantus to lose no more time, but to discover himselfe, though I foresaw many difficulties: for notwithstanding that my father esteem'd him as much as was possible, and saw his condition as considerable as his owne, yet was he farre from having a thought of him, being unwilling to make an alliance out of Corinth. Wee therefore consulted together of the wayes we were to take; and although Lepantus receiv'd with much joy the permission of demanding me, yet he ne­ver left fearing for all that; for he saw that if fortune were contrary to him, he should not onely lose the benefit of having me, but besides the commodi­ties he enjoyed before, as to see, and entertain me with so much facility. Well for all this we were to resolve, and I promis'd him to expresse in his favour whatsoever my honour might permit: nay, I gave him all the assurances of my affection he could desire; and upon the sadnesse I saw him in, I told him; Lepantus, are you not content with the words I give you? tell mee what you would have them, and you shall see, if I have not a purpose to doe all I can for you. Madam, answered he, the honour you doe me is so great that my silence in part is for not knowing how to give you thanks. I have nothing to desire of you, but what it shall please you to command me: I had rather from hence­forth be obliged to your good will, for the favours I shall receive of you, than to the promise I have drawne from you: but give me leave a little to appre­hend the hazardous fortune I am running: there is no mid-way for mee; I must either be the happiest of the world, or dye: for be you assured, that if I see my selfe depriv'd of living with you, the readiest death I can find shall be my deliverer. Lepantus, said I to him, fortune, it may be, will not be so cruell to us, and before you lose all hope, I must first lose all sorts of meanes, where­by you might have satisfaction. The power, answered he, you have herein, is so great, that if you employ it, I make no doubt of my happinesse: you have a father that loves you, and that has no cause to hate mee: I dare say [Page 172] our conditions are equall: but a light difficulty many times overthrowes important considerations. 'Tis not here, as with ordinary marriages, where after the proposition is once refus'd, the small ingagement of the parties leaves every thing in the same state it was in: but as soone as overture shall be made on my part, I must spend all the powers I have, and my very life in the acquiring of a good fortune, without which I can no longer live in the world. I replide to him, Doe but on your part what depends on you, and for me, doubt not but I will yet doe more than you dare hope: I will beleeve, the gods will take care of us, and not suffer that wee be long-time divided. Hee tooke my hand, and kist it a good while full of transportati­on, and joy; and to retire him from that trouble, I told him, we were to thinke upon the meanes we should use. Wee advis'd that though hee had kindred at Corinth, yet it were better the proposition should be made to my father by Artemidorus, being a fit man to open the purpose of it as a common friend, and capable afterwards to perswade by the strength of his reasons; and that if need were, others might joyne in it: all the diffi­culty was, to have newes one of another, in case the businesse went hard, for to give advice of all should passe, and remedy the disorders might su­pervene. I could not resolve of trusting any body, and that was a good turne for me, for without doubt I had beene betrayed. At last I told him, I had a closet that was over a street where few ever passed, and that at night I would let slip a cord to which hee might tye the letters he sent mee; and the day after hee should have my answer. And so that was re­solv'd on, and hee parted from me with much sorrow, fearing he should not see me againe of a long time: yet I saw him once more, but it was in company of some others, and he had onely leisure to tell me how Artemi­dore would be for him with an extreme affection, and was to propose the bu­sinesse the next day.

I waited for that day with a great deale of unquietnesse, and in the mor­ning I prepar'd my selfe to looke well, when Artemidore should come to our house: but I was prevented, for my father, returning home to din­ner, I saw him looke but with a sowre face, and walking fast up and downe as if he had some thought to vex him. I knew that hee came from Arte­midore, and made no more doubt of that made him so thoughtfull. Wee din'd without a word speaking, and after dinner hee went into the Closet where his bookes were, and sent for me to come to him. I came trem­bling as if they had led mee to execution, but yet as I entred I recollected my spirits, and as his custome was to speake to me as soone as ever any occasion was presented, he said, Daughter, I heard this morning, that you are sought of one whose deserts are well knowne to you, and to mee too: there are difficulties that would divert me from thinking of him, and there are some reasons also to make mee have liking to him: but before hea­ring of any proposall, I was willing to know if you could resolve with your selfe to receive him. I desired to seeme crafty, and preventing him, said; Father, I beseech you name no man to mee, but beleeve that what­ever he be, I shall receive him, so he be a fit man in your opinion. Hee had spoken thus mildly to me of purpose, well doubting that I was advertis'd of all, and by and by he perceiv'd my cunning: Then he goes on; No, no, [Page] daughter, it belongs to you to make choyce of him you are to live with, and I shall see afterwards if your choyce be reasonable, because in this judgement you are to referre your selfe to mee; and I will tell you truly that 'tis Lepantus is your suter. I could not abstaine from blushing, yet thinking how all depended of the declaration I should make in his favour, I answered, Sir, Lepantus hath too many good qualities, and I have too often heard you valuing him, to finde any thing to be disesteem'd in him: if he be agreeable to you, I shall soone let you see that I have no other designe but to obey you. This answer, though it seem'd very faire, made my satisfaction too manifestly appeare to him: hee thought the demand was not made, but that I desir'd it, besides the mistrust he had heretofore of our intelligence together, and there was nothing could more have hurt us, than the knowledge of this confidence that was betwixt us without his leave; and though he had had no other cause to complaine of Lepantus, that provok'd him enough to tell mee with an angry countenance, I see well hee does not displease you, but I feare lest that which most pleases you in him, be not that that most offends me: goe, I will thinke of it; and in the meane I forbid you seeing him. Those words strangely amaz'd me, and I went out as full of confusion, as I had beene before of hope.

At night I knew by Lepantus letters, that Artemidore had propos'd our marriage to my father, and remonstrated all the considerations that might move him to it, which hee something coldly hearkned to, and promis'd to thinke upon it. I counsell'd him to employ all the friends he could make to perswade my father, before hee gave any answer to his disadvantage; because I came to know that hee was greatly offended at our affection; in such sort that there passed no day that those that had a power over him did not speake of this businesse to him, whereupon hee would give no resolution.

Lepantus was very well belov'd at Corinth, and as soone as his ayme was knowne, there was none but desir'd he might succeed in it: Every one made wishes for him, and saw with sorrow the torment hee endur'd, because of my fathers aversion: And for that I was in some estimation there too, they thought nothing could better be fitted together than wee two; and I be­leeve this, that never were humours so equall, he not onely loved all that was perfect, but had rendred himselfe so accomplish'd withall, that what­ever faire qualities men have paine to acquire, seem'd to have beene bred with him; for me I will not say, I was of that perfection, but yet I could not approve but that that was so. Wee did ordinarily give the like judge­ment of all things; our courage was elevated to the same degree; and wee affected the same kind of life both. Doe but see what happinesse I had possest if we could have come to have liv'd together. My father was blam'd of all for opposing himselfe to our desires, there being none but would have judg'd this affection to have beene nourish'd of a long time betweene us, and that he would have attempted nothing but by my permission.

I protest, it despighted me that the world beleev'd I lov'd him, and I was sorry that his merit was so knowne to all, as it was impossible but it should be knowne to mee too. I would have wish'd him lesse accomplish'd, that it might have beene doubtfull whether I esteem'd him or not; and [Page 174] not knowing how to be reveng'd of this common opinion, sometimes I was resolved to abandon him, and I consented to make my selfe miserable, and him too, for to ruine this beleefe at our owne cost, it is true hee has payd very deare for that glorious and haughty vertue he taught mee; and that I well serv'd my selfe against him, of this greatnesse of spirit to which hee had advanc'd mee, that perswaded me, it were better to lose all the contentments of my life, than it should be said, I were in love. In the meane time I considered not how there is nothing more lawfull, than to chuse by honest meanes him one thinkes shee shall be happy to live with, and when that happinesse is arriv'd, one cannot but bee thought wise. That errour made mee commit faults I shall deplore all my life time.

Though my father had let Artemidore see, that Lepantus was not to thinke of mee, yet hee refrain'd not sometimes to put him upon that discourse, and represented to him what fault it was, to refuse this good fortune for his family: that hee despis'd in Lepantus the qualities that other fa­thers would desire to meet with for their daughters; that if hee loved mee with so much passion, it was rather a happinesse, than a thing to make him culpable, that the whole City would have an obligation to him, for the stay of a person of that merit with them; for the greatest part of his estate being about Corinth, hee offered to settle himselfe there, and never forsake my father; but all this prevailed nothing upon him. That which rendred Lepantus recommendable, was that which did him the most harme; my father having this wofull opinion, that he was rather to chuse a sonne in law lesse able than hee, and that would be more carefull of his affaires. But yet I beleeve the strongest reason was, that my father (although a knowing man) retaining the nature of old men, that will have all their o­pinions passe with authority, was envious of Lepantus's knowledge, and desir'd not to have ordinarily at his house a person that could contradict him: though Lepantus well knew how to give way to all he said with much discretion. My father had not so much reason to refuse him, as I had to love him, and he could not but perceive the desire I had, because I was not able to suffer any body that spake to mee to the disadvantage of Le­pantus, and farre rejected the parties that presented themselves. I know very well that if I had declar'd to my father that I could not consent to any other search, he would at last have beene flexible to the tendernesse hee had over me, and the merit of Lepantus: but fearing lest so absolute a resolution came to be knowne in Corinth, I never had that assurance.

In the meane time I was tormented with Lepantus vexations, and with my owne too. I saw him at the Temple, but rarely; and with a face so chan­ged, that Death hath not a more forlorne one. His letters were not filled now but with the misery of his life, and modestly he remembred me of my promises. I acknowledg'd he had reason, and that his good fortune was in my hands, but I could not resolve me: and this severity that made me insen­sible to his griefes, and prayers, in the end wrought in me also an insensible­nesse to his affection.

All that came neare mee, were instructed to speake in contempt of Lepantus, and because I knew him too well to beleeve them, if they told [Page] mee any thing that were contrary to the truth; they did onely disguise his vertues, and made them passe for so many vices. Thus the charmes hee had to make him bee lov'd of the ablest, and respected of the mea­nest, were but an imperiousnesse, and a tyrannicke authority which he usurp'd upon all that haunted him: his discretion was dissimulation, and his courtesie artifice: all his good qualities in their judgement were so many defaults. I confesse to you, I beganne by little and little to give place to their reasons. Lepantus absence effaced every day out of my me­mory some one of his perfections. I said that peradventure my affection blinded me, and made me imagine merits that were not in him: that those that were without passion judged of him otherwise: at last beleeving I was farre more quick-sighted, and more perfectly judicious, I perceived not that I became blinde, and without all judgement. Neverthelesse there still remain'd in me a certaine respect for Lepantus, that I durst not offend him by expressing my coldnesse. I was asham'd to give him that displea­sure, that never yet had the fortune to displease me. His letters were still full of love and sorrow for seeing me no more; and because hee knew that the gentilesses, and points of wit he wrote, were very agreeable to me, he ever mingled some of them, maugre the cruelty of his fortune, and the torments he endured; and many times he so forc'd himselfe, that laying aside his griefes, they were throughout filled with sweetnesses and elegan­cies, and to any but my selfe would have seem'd to come from a man very well satisfied.

For me, I knew well his constraint, and lamented it: but then when my affection diminish'd, I changed my opinion, and judged that if hee had beene much in love, he would not amuse himselfe with those fine­nesses: if his passion carried him away to expresse some despaire to me, I said it proceeded from the respect hee ought me: if hee gave mee any advice, I tooke it not well hee should trouble himselfe to counsell me, or that hee mistrusted my owne direction: if I met him, and he appear'd to me with a very alter'd face, finding no more in him that which heretofore was so acceptable to me, I thought I had reason to withdraw my affection: and if some hope made him recover his ordinary complexion, I said hee was not much troubled with love. In the humour I was in, it had beene hard for him, so to have compos'd his face, and his actions, as I should not have found something to distaste in them. He judg'd well that the cause must needs be very ill, that produc'd so great a change: for that hereto­fore hee did nothing which I would not have approved: yet his discreti­on alwayes so perfectly maintain'd it selfe, that he never complained of me, what cause soever hee might have: He never made knowne any of the as­surances he had receiv'd, to expresse what wrong I did him. So hee dissem­bled his griefe, not daring to accuse me, and hoping I would use his affecti­on better: but that good will I had had for him, began to be quite extin­guished.

At the beginning I made answer to his letters, and gave him new as­surances, with some instructions for his conduct: since I tooke upon mee to represent to him the difficulties: a little after I receiv'd his let­ters without answering him; and at last I sent one of his backe againe [Page 176] without seeing it, and closed as I had received it. The same night that I did his affection that outrage, and that hee receiv'd that usage so un­worthy of him, I understood how hee hardly escap'd dying: his af­fliction assailed him in such sort, that they thought hee would have beene strangled, but for the remedies were brought to ease him. I thought I could no more receive his letters, since I suffered the sute that Callias renewed. I let my selfe goe with the common opinions, that all the women that live in the world have not husbands so perfect, and yet are no lesse contented with those they have; that it were better to obey ones father, than sa­tisfie the desires of a person that was before unknowne; and if there re­main'd in mee any consideration for Lepantus, I said that hee having a strong, and a constant spirit, would learne resolution by the losse of me, and with this vile reason I defended that cruelty that sent him death into his bosome.

I often considered upon the excesse of his respect and love, that never suffered him to make so much as one complaint of me; and the resoluti­ons hee tooke afterwards, made mee plainly see that this silence procee­ded of no little resentment hee was affected with. In the end I consent to the marriage of Callias, and hee is receiv'd at our house: Every one won­ders at my resolution, and how Lepantus had so dis-ingaged me from lo­ving him. Callias was not very vicious, and had no remarkable imper­fection in him: but hee was of the number of these middle and indiffe­rent sort, for whom those that have wit and courage, have so much con­tempt. At first I compared him to the most part of them I knew married, and I found that hee might equall them. But all on the sudden, see my trai­terous memory, that had sometime concealed Lepantus from mee, how it came to represent him with all his perfections; and making comparison with Callias to him, I found so great a difference, that I was asham'd of the fault I went about to make. In stead of a right shape, and majestuous coun­tenance, I saw a heavy body, and gracelesse; in stead of that exalted spi­rit that handled rare subjects with so much facility, and so pleasingly di­verted mee, I found a languishing entertainment, and that was capable of nothing but the meanest things: in stead of that so native courtesie, and gentile carriage, I saw a man that observ'd no civilities but those he tooke from the imitation of others. I begin to regard him with coldnesse, after­wards with disgust, and in the end with a contempt that was more cruell to me than to him: neverthelesse I had let all things be resolv'd on, and could no more goe backe.

The day that Lepantus knew the agreements were to be signed, when I went to the Temple, he came neare me unseene, and said to me, Never will I be brought to make any reproach to you while I live; but the death I am going to seeke will never leave you in repose. At the same time he with-drew himselfe from mee; I had not knowne what to have answe­red him, so much did his sight and words trouble mee; and seeing him no more, an horrour seized me, and so great a shaking withall, that I could hardly stand upright. Yet recalling all the resolution was left me, I thought it had beene the last agony of our dying friendship.

I estranged therefore, as much as I could, Lepantus from my imagination, [Page 177] and rejected the exact consideration of what I was going to doe; but when all was setled, and by my hand too, and that I had shut my eyes to take this poyson, comming to open them againe, I perceiv'd that all those that lov'd Lepantus, could no more endure the sight of mee: the pit­ty of the sicknesse he could have no cure for, made them have mee in de­testation, and they esteem'd me unworthy to have beene so well loved of him: in stead of a common rejoycing there was a generall silence, and there was none but the most contemptible persons that express'd any joy. All this amazed mee, one while Lepantus presented him to my imaginati­on, reproaching mee with my infidelity: all his faire qualities came to assault mee one after the other, and seeing Callias in the place he was wont to hold, I turned away my eyes, and could not endure him. Every one acknowledg'd my phrensies; but they imputed them to my humour, which they tooke to be something proud, and singular. At last the day arriv'd that I was led to the Temple betimes in the morning; and ha­ving knowne that Lepantus was gone out of the City, for not being a wit­nesse of an action so shamefull for mee, and so unfortunate for himselfe, I never had so great desire to heare newes of him as then, to learne what would become of him. After I had beene married, I perceived at the doore of the Temple a man that was not knowne, but I knew he belong'd to Lepantus; and ghessing hee was not there but to bring this newes to him, I said to him passing by, Goe tell thy Master what thou hast seene, and at what houre soever it be, come againe to tell me what he has done after thy relation. Judge, faire Ariana, what care I could have of him, after the action I came from. The rest of the day I was so full of trouble, that to see my face they thought I had beene sicke. It seemed the cruel­lest of thoughts attempted to assault me all at once, for to put mee into the greater disorder; and sometimes they provok'd mee with such fury, that but for the restraint our sex is obliged to, I beleeve I had given up my selfe to desperation. My soule was already filled with these confusi­ons, when about evening I knew that one ask'd to speake with mee. I presently imagined it was newes from Lepantus, and went in great haste, but trembling withall, to know what the matter was. I saw it was the very same man, that having taken mee apart, told mee, with the teares in his eyes, that having passed in a Squiffe as farre as Naupactum, hee found Lepantus that attended him upon the banke of the Sea, to whom hee told what he had seene, with that hee heard mee say; and how [...] ­pantus had answered him. Stay not a moment to goe tell her againe, what thou art about to learne; and suddenly hee had got up to the promonto­ry that avances into the Sea, and from thence precipitated himselfe into the Gulph, he being unable to have come neere to hinder him. Hearing this wofull newes, I cryed out, Oh gods! I have made him dye; and staying no longer by the man, I bade him withdraw himselfe, and I went againe into the great Chamber all in trouble, and with wandring eyes. They enquired what I ailed, but presently I fell into a weaknesse. My father, Callias, and the rest astonish'd for this accident, laboured to bring mee againe, and by force of remedies I opened my eyes: then I was [Page 178] carried to my bed, where I was taken with so violent a fever, that it troubled my judgement, and made me furious. I lost all respect and know­ledge, and when Callias came neare mee, I cryed out, Take away that Monster, that would devoure me; ha the villaine beast! I am undone, see his venome that he casts upon mee; and I retired mee as much as was possible. If my father came to restore mee to my wits with gentlenesse, I said to him, Ha! hangman of thy owne blood, goe cruell man, thinke not to put mee into the clawes of this Dragon: I will kill my selfe ra­ther. No, no, thou shalt never carry mee thither; see Lepantus there com­ming to my succours: then turning me againe, I said, Generous Lepan­tus, how doe you come to my defence, since I was cause of your death? What, have you pitty enough of mee, to goe set upon him? Well, on then, goe kill this Monster, and take heed hee does not enwrap you with his taile: Courage, my deare Lepantus, see already one paw strucke off; Courage, his blood is lost; Lepantus, one blow more; looke, looke, hee is dead: then I rejoyced, and thought to embrace Lepantus as victori­ous, and demanded his pardon for making him dye, with a thousand prayers, that were followed with a torrent of teares. I cannot relate to you all my franticke humours, knowing nothing of them but what they told mee afterwards: but my transport ceased not, but when Callias and my father betooke them out of my presence. Then returning to my or­dinary sense, I could not beleeve what they told mee of my madnesse, al­though I felt great vexation of minde for the losse of Lepantus, and the displeasure of my errours: And I consider'd into what misery I had en­engaged my selfe, when I preferred to be miserable, before any should know that I loved, since I was then both miserable, and knowne to bee in love. But againe my fever and fury tooke mee, as soone as ever they return'd to see me; as three or foure dayes after, seeing how my life was indangered, and no appearance this marriage could be consummate, for what I had exprest for Lepantus, and against Callias, they were resolv'd at last to assure mee, that he should not be my husband: then my fever much abated; and when all the agreements were quite broke, because of my aversion, by little and little I recovered my health; but I had still left so great a griefe for Lepantus death, that never since could I finde any contentment. At all instants his faire qualities, and the obliga­tions I had to him came into my minde: the fault for having brought him to dye, is to mee so cruell a remembrance, that it gives mee no re­pose; and I have found too true that he fore-told mee. In the end I was resolved to put my selfe into this Temple, for to spend my dayes in the service of the gods; since I so ill knew how to use the good fortune they had offered me amongst men. And this is that, my deare Ariana, I have to tell you of my life, that it may serve you for example, and hin­der your falling into the same faults, that have beene cause of so much affliction to mee, for I see that your affaires take the very same way that mine did, and if you be no wiser than I, you will make your selfe as miserable.

Ariana who had given great attention to this discourse, then brake [Page 179] her silence, and said; I have had much contentment to heare the particu­lar of your life, but as much displeasure withall to know the misfortune of it. I finde that in some things you are blameable, and in others excu­sable; because you were injurious to forget the merit of Lepantus, and to be changing in effect: but on the other side, the authoritie of a father is very great, and I doe not know how I my selfe should have resisted it. Heretofore, answered Cyllenia, I thought this authority was not given to fathers, but to this end, that wee might not doubt to render the respect we ought to the wisedome of their counsels: but since, examining all things, I have found that there is nothing so tyrannicall; and that they onely hide their owne phancies under this cloake of goodnesse, and love towards us. Ariana, assure your selfe, our parents have their designes quite differing from ours; after wee have well considered of choosing a person, vertuous, accomplish'd, and conformable to our humour, to passe our life with in honour and repose, they come to regard him with other eyes; they will be onely satisfied, and suffer no inconvenience: our happinesse is the least thing they consider; if they have some little cause of hatred a­gainst that we desire, or some interest that obliges them to desire what we avoyd; to conceale the true cause of their owne passions, they will blame ours; they will represent us the obedience we owe them, and what shame it is to make our selves be spoken of, serving them of our very vertues for to make us miserable: then they employ their power against our weaknesse; for there is no doubt (and you will confesse that in this subject I have made my selfe very learned to my cost) that if our understanding bee not well fortified by reason, it will many times waver in the executi­on of an enterprise, and be driven out of the considerations upon which it was founded, by other very light ones for the most part. We ought to doe nothing we have not well thought of, and approved; that nothing afterwards may be capable of making us repent, for the lightnesse of our judgements; for repentance makes the thing ill, which of it selfe was good; and the election that is founded upon a certaine science, and firme discourse of reason, ought never to be changed. Thus when wee have knowne a person to be of a happy birth, endowed with all honest quali­ties, and for these just respects have found him worthy of our friendship, and have beene willing to expresse this esteeme of him, that we have re­ceived his assurances, and returned him ours; there is no more considerati­on that should dis-ingage us; our soule is given to him, when wee have entertain'd his: heaven hath allied us, our vertue can no more consent to undoe what we have done, and the thoughts that move us to dreame up­on other subjects, are all of them criminall, and against the honour of our sex, that cannot endure there should exist a man to whom in effect we have given our heart, while another shall enjoy our bodies: this meditation alone is a perpetuall executioner to us, what-ever face we put on, and what pretence soever we take for the excuse of our Fightnesse.

I perceive, interrupted Ariana, that you have well studied these consi­derations, and shall have cause to mistrust my owne courage, since yours being grounded on so good sense, was able to give way to difficulties. Truly, [Page 180] replied Cyllenia, peradventure you need not feare falling into the like errors, that I have done; because the authority of an Vncle is not so powerfull, as that of a father, and besides you have more strength of wit than I: but above all, never perswade your selfe that the affection you have for Melin­tus can be annihilated, whether by resolution, or by time; for feare you abandon not upon that hope all the prosperity of your life. See then, Aria­na, when by a mature knowledge of vertues and deserts, two wils are en­countred equall, 'tis now no more a passion, but 'tis reason that loves. We cannot hope that ever such affections should be separate from our soules; there arrive many times accidents that may trouble us, and make us receive false opinions; but when those fancies are dissipated, the first impressions that cannot be dissolved, appeare as ingraved as ever before, and are felt in their whole strength; and judge you in what estate one is, if during the trouble of judgement, one has committed so great a fault as cannot af­terwards be repaired. We must confesse, answered Ariana, that men have much more force in resolutions, than wee: for when they have once con­ceiv'd a designe that is of importance to the good of their whole life, they maintaine it to the very last breath, and doe all things possible to put it to effect: Contrariwise, our spirit slackens to the least obstacle; we know not what will become of us; and our feeblenesse hinders us from clearing the meanest passage, for the attaining of supreme felicities. 'Tis true, pursues Cyllenia, but why should not one woman be found amongst us, to expresse a resolution, and to relieve the honour of our sex? Faire Ariana, if I have thus failed for want of courage, doe not you the like; acquire to your selfe with much glory, much contentment. Nature hath given us secret de­sires, not onely to conserve our lives, but also to make them happy: for the first she has given us the love of our selves; and for the second she will have us love some other thing: but because the love of our selves is first, the more the thing we love resembles us, the more happy are we when we can possesse it. So when two soules meet, alike in goodnesse, sweetnesse, and ver­tue, 'tis a treasure cannot be esteemed; and such a rancounter is made but once in an age: and these are to despise all the hinderances they finde of u­niting themselves together, to the end they may enjoy the perfect content­ments of so faire a friendship; for after they be once knowne and lov'd one of another, if it chances they be divided, it cannot be without an insuppor­table violence, and without suffering afterwards as cruell punishments as they had promis'd to themselves pleasures of eternall conversation together. We must needs thinke, replied Ariana, that these felicities are exceeding great, since the onely hope I have to live one day with Melintus, ravishes mee: for to tell you the secret of my thoughts, I doe not beleeve that any thing but the death of one of us, can ever be able to keepe me from them; I thinke the time long till he be here arriv'd with my brother, that you may judge whether I have reason to love him; and that we may all together take coun­sell how we are to divert my uncle's designes, for the favouring of our owne. I shall be very glad, answered Cyllenia, to give my advice in those conferences, and assure your selfe my resolutions shall not be lesse generous.

These faire Maids entertain'd one another often thus, during the absence [Page] of Palamede, and attending with impatiency his returne, and Melintus his; sometimes the gentile Epicharis interpos'd her counsels, being lov'd of them both, as much as her wit and discretion deserv'd.

Dicearchus many times came to see them, and pursued his Neece to con­sent to his designe, whereupon she referr'd her resolution to the returne of her brother. Neither did Pisistratus faile of his respects to her, hoping to gaine by the expressions of his affection, what Melintus had already ac­quired by so great a number of merits and services, that Ariana's, dis-acknow­ledgement had farre surpassed that of her uncle, if she should have so much as made a doubt of satisfying the promises shee had so solemnly sworne to him.

The end of the first Part.

ARIANA. The Second Part.

The first Booke.

SInce the cruell depart of Ariana, Melintus had banish'd from his soule all kinds of joy, and seem'd to have lost by absenting her from his sight, so many faire qualities that made him admirable. This spirit so generous, so sage and courteous, now languish'd overwhelm'd with griefe, without any appearance of vertue, receiving his friends respects without expressing a resentment to them, and altogether carelesse of returning any. He ha­ted as much as his disease, the divertments that might ease him, and che­rish'd nothing but that profound sadnesse that consumed him. He had no contentment but when he redemanded of his memory the deare pledge it had in keeping the divine Idea of his faire Ariana, which never presented her to his imagination but with a pomp worthy of her, accompanied with lights that rendred her all bright, full of charmes and graces, and who see­med to send him amorous regards for to comfort him in this absence, and assure him of her fidelity. But still this pleasure was troubled with many vexations; presently was bred a wish to see those beauties otherwise than by Idea, then followed an impatient desire, if not to possesse them, at least to enjoy the favours that were heretofore permitted him: but this unfortu­nate desire being acknowledg'd impotent and destitute of all succours, re­plunged him into the excesse of his afflictions.

They are but senslesse people that can be happy by phantasie; because their judgement nothing operative, and unable to discerne the false from [Page 184] the true, they receive and resent their imaginary good things as true ones. Melintus on the contrary was not miserable but for having too much sense: the solidity of his judgement repelled, in despight of himselfe, these vaine illusions; and brought him to see and feele the truth of his disgrace, with all the miseries that accompanied it. If he sometimes laboured to releeve him­selfe by meditations of vertue, which teacheth to contemne humane ac­cidents, as things that are without us, and whereof wee have not the jurisdi­ction; and if his courage made a hard strife to find comfort in this separation, considering it was to end, and that evils that have a terme prefix'd, receive consolation from hope; suddenly a thousand cruell suspitions overthrew his resolutions. He found that the hasty voyage of Dicearchus had no apparant thing in it, that could be to his advantage; hee consider'd the prosperity of Pisistratus, who seem'd to triumph over him, having had the power to carry away in his ship, and to hold in his owne disposition his deare Ariana, with those that dispos'd of her: the advantage of this rivall to be in his owne coun­trey, assisted by his friends, favour'd with a thousand meanes, having Dice­archus present, Ariana and her brother, whom hee would endevour to over­come by all the wayes he could invent; whilest himselfe in the meane time was farre away, uncertaine of all things, in vaine provided of friends, in vaine cherish'd and honour'd of a whole Nation, and in vaine restor'd to his illu­strious and rich inheritance, since all this power was of no use to him. These murderous thoughts, sustained by many importunate reasons, whereof his wit was but too fertile, pursued cruelly his hopes, and deprived him of the onely remedy that was capable to sweeten his troubles. His body partici­pating of the griefes of his soule, had without doubt fainted under the bur­then of so adverse a fortune, but for the last preservative was left in him, the assurance of Ariana's affection, and of Palamedes friendship, which he could not doubt of. Palamede was a friend proved by too many rancounters, to have the least suspition of; and to distrust Ariana, were to adde a crime to his mis­fortune, which the faithfull love of that faire Lady could never pardon, nor all the Ocean wash away.

How many times for all that, said he, overpressed with his feares, and wa­vering betwixt assurance and doubt; Faire Ariana, whose resolution good or ill, shall give me either life or death, pardon a little apprehension in him that lives in ignorance of all that happens to you. If I feare, 'tis that I doubt of my selfe, and not of you: when I imagine to my selfe the force of your divine spirit, I feele a power comming into my soule, that drives out all defiances; but to beleeve that I should be the subject of an invincible constancy, were a presumption that would make me unworthy of you. It may be the know­ledge of many merits in another, shakes your resolution at this present, and makes you avow that they have more equality with the greatnesse of your vertue: it may be also you are at this houre generously resisting the attempts of a violent pursuit: Me thinkes I heare of one side the humble supplicati­ons and advantageous promises; and of the other the counsell full of feined affection borne out by a tyrannicke authority, by choler, and threatnings: if this last be true, ha! how I envy you so glorious a triall of love; and how I would cherish the happinesse to be expos'd to violences yet more cruell, to [Page] let my passion appeare victorious over heaven and earth. How am I happy, if in these occasions you have me for your sole object, and how happy doe I e­steeme you too for the joy you receive in triumphing over their attempts and practices. Thus was it, that Melintus flatter'd his passion, and strengthened his dearest hopes; and if sometimes a little doubting mingled it selfe with his pensivenesse, it was so modestly, and casting alwayes upon himselfe the fault that might cause his misfortune, that even Ariana could not have taken offence at him. But the blessing he expected still floating in a Sea so full of stormes and shelves; and his present evils giving him a sense of all their force, he relapsed continually into his first trouble. His friends were oft constrain'd to take him away by force out of his solitude, and bring him to the publike recreations, and sometimes to hunting, where hee ever stole away from the company, and had no contentment, but when he was in place where he might freely thinke that he had none indeed.

If honours had beene capable to have satisfied him, the Syracusians had cu­red his melancholy, establishing him chiefe of their Counsell, and erecting for him a statue of brasse in the publike place, with this honourable Inscrip­tion, To the generous Melintus, that lov'd his Countrey better than himselfe. But all those favours were but a weake remedy for his evill: his face well shewed the displeasures of his minde, so strangely was he altered, and his body could not long resist any more, being depriv'd of nourishment and rest. His dayes were nights, because he no more enjoyed the light, having his sight so over­come and weakned by watchings; and his nights were long and tedious daies, since he never tasted the sweetnesse of sleepe.

About the end of one night which he had passed away in this manner with­out sleeping, after having rowled in his minde a thousand different imagina­tions upon the subject of his cares, he spent the rest of the time hee had to lye abed, in making these verses under the name of Cloris, which he ordina­rily supposed.

YE sad and miserable nights,
That waken all my un-delights,
While sweet repose you give to all things else beside,
Shall I thus complaine for ever?
I have suspir'd enough, let me in rest abide,
And tell me not, that Cloris is not here, how-ever.
The Moone already waxing pale,
Doth to the Sun's arising vale,
And yet unquiet slumber still my eye-lids close:
To me alone under the heaven,
Day passeth without light, and night without repose,
When e're of Cloris sight I feele my sight bereaven.
Messenger of approaching day,
Goddesse, whose beauty, I dare say,
Borrowes a thousand graces of her I adore,
Com'st thou of her returne to tell me?
Thou runn'st in vain [...] for me, returne, O faire Aurore,
If thy comming be the newes of day light onely.
Wherefore, Postilion of the day,
Powr'st thou downe teares which looke so gay?
Cry'st thou for pitty to behold what I endure?
What may thy laughing then portend?
Is't not for this, to comfort me by an augure,
That I shall quickly see the beauties I attend?
Alas! how sweet is this conceit?
The heaven too-jealous will defeat
This blessed hope, I feare, of my felicity.
But thou that bring'st the day againe,
And rendrest to our eyes the fairest things that be,
Why mayst thou not returne the object of my paine?

Melintus thus passed a miserable life, having his soule perplex'd with griefes, impatiencies, suspitions and feares; full of uncertainties and doubts, which is the wofullest estate a Lover can possibly be acquainted with. 'Tis ordinari­ly betweene two extremities that vertue, happinesse, and tranquillity consists: but there is nothing so cruell in love, as the meane betweene hope and feare; 'tis a space filled with confusion, despite, and rage. The minde will alwayes be acting, hearing and judging; if the senses make no report concerning that it loves, it knowes not wherein to be employed, it is troubled and lost, and turnes it's forces against it selfe to be tormented and destroyed.

At length the arrive of Palamede who came from Corinth retired him out of all those doubts; but it was by the assurance he gave him of the misfortune he so feared. He learn'd the tyrannous resolution of Dicearchus, the violent pursuit of Pisistratus, and the cruell persecutions Ariana suffer'd, for not fai­ling of her fidelity to him. And yet he was more content to be assured of a mischiefe that was without remedy, than to live incessantly in uncertainty and feare. His courage permitted him not to despaire, and the faithfull as­sistance of Ariana and Palamede was too powerfull a stay to his resolutions. But the Letter he receiv'd from Ariana, made him intirely confident, and ob­liged him no longer to deferre his depart for Corinth; the letter was thus:

Ariana to Melintus.

AT length we have knowne the cause of our voyage; they will have me marry Pi­sistratus: but to consent to that, I must first lose the remembrance of you. But yet I know not what will become of me, if you assist me not with counsell and succours: having nothing for my defence but the friendship I beare you, which is an invincible reason, though not fit now to be alleaged. Came away therefore as soone as you can pos­sibly; and to the end you may not doubt any thing of me, know that I permit you all the enterprise you have a minde to.

[Page] There needed Melintus but few such words, to make him goe to the very extremities of the earth; and instantly he resolv'd with Palamede to furnish a vessell with all things necessary to serve them at all occasions; and because they were in doubt whether force was not to be employed, they provided them of the fairest and best armes they could make choyce of. But although the love of Melintus wholly possessed him, yet he omitted not to consider of things that were more remote; and knowing well that sooner or later Nero would come to understand that they were living, he was resolv'd to send Ar­cas to Rome, to learne if there were no speech of them, and hee gave him charge to make his addresse to Maximus, to whom he sent rich presents, in re­compence of the losses he had suffer'd for their sakes. Having given order on that side, he intreated Telephus to take the care of all the goods he left in Si­cily; and when he was ready to depart with Palamede, Amyntas came to of­fer himselfe to him with so good a grace, to accompany and serve him in that voyage, that he could not refuse him. Erycina her selfe too that alwayes lov'd Melintus as her brother, prayed him to receive him; being desirous that A­myntas, who continued passionately to love her, should render her this testi­mony of his affection, to goe serve him in his enterprise, that was not altoge­ther unknowne to her. Melintus, Palamede, and Amyntas, accompanied with the most couragious youth they could be assured of, departed, and tooke the way of Corinth. The wind was favourable to them at the beginning: but presently there arose a South-wind, that forc'd them to goe farre away to land in Italy, what-ever Art the Pilot could employ. This going out of the way, and reculing of a voyage were very cruell to Melintus, that every instant thought it the fatall houre, when they would constraine Ariana to marry Pisistratus: Neverthelesse a month and more was he thus to passe, before the wind changed: but as soone as ever it was good for them, they put to Sea a­gaine. The second day after they were gone, they saw comming towards them a light Vessell, that seem'd to have a purpose to set upon them. Melintus because he would not be surpris'd, put a Casque on his head, tooke a sword and a Target, and advertis'd Palamede, Amyntas, and the rest to doe the like, and make them ready to fight. They knew instantly that it was a Brigantine of Pyrats, that was very soone with them, for they were too couragious to flye; and when they were hooked to them, Melintus first leaped into the Pyrats ship, and was presently followed by Palamede and Amyntas, which strangely amaz'd the robbers, because they had never beene accustomed to be prevented, nor to fight onely for their owne defence. This astonishment they were put to was attended with a thousand blowes, that Melintus and his valiant friends gave them in a moment. Melintus had already strucke downe at his feet five or six souldiers, and all flew before him; but hee was stayed by the valour of a young Pyrat extremely handsome, who wore a gilt Hel­met, cover'd with plumes that over-shadowed his face, and gave him at the same time both fiercenesse and grace; and therewithall he made appeare so much force and addresse, that Melintus judged him an enemy worthy of him­selfe; so he instantly assail'd him, but he wondred to see that in what place soever he address'd his blowes, he still found there either his Buckler, or his Sword. In the meane time it behov'd him also to thinke of warding the strokes of so valiant and skilfull an enemy, that gave him no rest, and for well [Page 188] defending of himselfe, left not well offending of his enemy. Yet Melintus had the better of him, because by little and little he made him give ground, and at last avoyding a blow he slip'd besides his weapons, and passing up to him, ran him into the left arme. They came then to closes; Melintus after much wrastling threw him to the ground, and having drawne his sword out againe, was going to kill him, but that one stayed his arme: He look'd upon him that held him, and saw a man of a good mine, that had no armes at all, and that conjured him to give life to so gentile, and so valorous a Captaine. Melintus was contented to take his sword from him, and advertis'd to have his bloud stanched: at the same time he regarded what Palamede, Amyntas, and the rest did, and he saw that they had slaine the greater part of the Pyrats, and that the others demanded their lives, seeing their valiant Captain vanquish'd. This young Sea-robber having some-while held downe his sight to the ground, because he was asham'd of his defeat, lift it up at last to regard Me­lintus, and said to him, I had never beene so cowardly as to have given you my sword, and be beholding to you for my life, but that I have a designe to employ them both at your service: for you must needs be the most valiant of all men, for having brought me to this estate, when I never yet could finde any that resisted me. I pray you therefore, receive me for a souldier that shall well know how to obey you, since I knew not how to overcome you. Melintus touched at these words, that parted from a heart very generous, and feeling in himselfe some motion that invited him to love him, whether for the grace that accompanied his countenance and speech, or else for a secret affection that all valiant men have one to another, reach'd him out his hand, and having embrac'd him, assur'd him of his friendship; he onely signified to him that he wondred, how being so honest and so valiant, hee addicted him­selfe to a Pyraticke life. Eurymedon told him (for so was he call'd) that as soone as the trouble should be appeased in the ship, he hoped not to be condemned by him for any of his actions.

Melintus answered him, that he would be very glad to learne his fortune, and because that Vessell was full of dead men, he repassed into his owne with his friends, and made the faire Eurymedon enter too, and him that had kept him from being killed, whom he told that he would not willingly arrive at Corinth but in the night. Eurymedon, who had often run over all those Seas, and saw already appeare a farre off the promontory of Naupactum, and the Gulph which but very lately had the name of Lepanto given it, since that unfortu­nate Lover had precipitated himselfe into it, told him they were very neare it, and they were then to cast anchor to stay in that place. His advice was fol­lowed, and the two ships separated, for not falling foule one of another. Eu­rymedon having seene that his hurt was not very great, applied to it a drogue, which he was sure would close up the wound by the next day. Then Melintus prayed him to make knowne his fortune to them, being impossible they should better employ the time that remain'd untill night; and when they were all retired into a Chamber, he began the history of his life thus.

History of Eurymedon and of Pasithea.

I Beleeve there is not a person in the world that can better testifie than my selfe, how much important to the life of men is the encounter one meets with to be bred and brought up; for if I have done good actions hitherto, I am altogether indebted to this nurture for them; and if ill, I hope to be excusable by the same. You will confesse this truth, when I shall have told you wherein I employed my time, since I came to have any understan­ding; for of that which hapned to me before, I could never be able to learne any thing.

Within the Ionian Sea there is an Island call'd Corcyra, upon one of whose sides looking towards Epire, is a retreat of Pyrats, where it is impossible to assault them. I was brought up amongst them in that place, without ever ha­ving knowledge of what parents I was borne; onely they made me still be­leeve, that I was of an illustrious bloud. I know not whether they stole me from some King being but a little childe, or if it were onely to put more cou­rage into me: but I have alwayes observed that they bare a great respect to me, and that from my very infancy they ordained some of their number to serve me; and since that as soone as ever I was able to beare armes, they vo­luntarily submitted them to my obedience; and thought their conquests most assured, when they could have me for their Chiefe I cannot tell from whence the opinion came they had conceived of me, or whether some divining A­strologer had not promis'd them some great fortune, if I commanded them. At last I found them ever ready to obey me, excepting onely in that which most concern'd me, to know in what part they had found me. Neverthelesse I thought them to be excus'd for refusing me that contentment, when I con­fider'd they were in feare to lose me, and that as soone as I were restor'd to my Countrey, I should seeke their ruine in stead of serving their fortune. I beleeve that which made them hope for something out of my courage, was an action I did, being not fully yet nine yeares of age. Some of the Pyrats had made a prize, and comming to part it before me, two of them tooke a quarrell against one; and to make him quit what hee had, held their swords in their hand against him. I could not suffer that unequall combat, seeing him that was alone ready to be kill'd, though he employed all his industry and cou­rage to defend himselfe; and without dreaming of my age, or the danger, I tooke into my hand a little sword I had, and went to set upon one of the two. I know not whether he fear'd to offend me, or whether by despising me hee gave me the more facility to strike him, but I tooke him a blow into the belly that made him dye in the very instant. Presently those that were pre­sent came to embrace me, and gave me a thousand praises, for not having en­dur'd the cowardlinesse of those two that had assaulted one alone. As soone as I came to be twelve yeares old, they began to carry me to Sea, and what­ever care they tooke to hinder my getting out of the ship, when they were going to fight with another, they ever found me in the middest of the Com­bat, my sword in my hand, and having some enemy under my feet. At length when I came to have about fifteene yeares, it hapned that he that comman­ded all the Pyrats dyed: they chose me for their Captaine; rejoycing, as [Page 190] they said, for that they should from henceforth obey a Prince: the ceremo­nies that are usuall to them in such elections were observed, and they made me an oath of an inviolable obedience, provided, I should maintaine their privileges. A little while after, to shew my selfe worthy of that charge, I went to Sea with two ships onely, and sail'd to the Coasts of Egypt: I was so for­tunate as to take five great Vessels laden with Merchandise, and with them I return'd to Corcyra, where I made part of my booty to all my companions, who ceased not commending me, and calling me their good and their valiant Prince. In two yeares I made them richer than their last Captaine had done all his life time: yet I will not repeat to you all the prizes I tooke, nor all the hazards I ran, to come to that which has beene the most sensible thing to me in all my life. I attained with age more understanding; and having al­wayes lived among them in this error, that the greater the massacre and boo­ty were, the greater also was the glory; by little and little I began to be of another opinion: for it seem'd more glorious to me to pardon the vanqui­shed, than cruelly to kill them; and I tooke a farre greater pleasure in giving away what I had gotten, than in making treasures of it. That made me con­sider that the life of these Pyrats was miserable, and that their actions were repugnant to those that generous courages ought to put in practice. That which finish'd to bring them into detestation with me, was that for my good fortune, being gone very farre in course within the Helespont, we were sur­pris'd with the winter at our returne, & constrain'd to stay in port a of Greece until the Spring. While those that were with me counterfetted Merchants to be safe in that place, and sold what they had taken; I lost not my time, but went through all the fairest Cities of Greece, resting some time in every one, where I learn'd lightly the exercises that are proper to them that follow arms, and the civilities I saw observed by the most Noble. In these Schooles I well knew that that where I had beene bred, was founded upon wicked Maxims, and that which our men call valour, and glory, was properly assas­sinate and robbery. Notwithstanding after having staied more than six months to instruct my selfe thus, I failed not to put againe to Sea with my companions to returne to Corcyra.

The second day after our parting, we perceiv'd a great ship that came from the coasts of Asia, and seem'd to take the same course we did: presently we resolv'd to set upon her, and having a while coasted her, at length we inve­sted her, and entred in. The sight was well enough maintain'd by those that were within, among whom was the Captaine that defended himselfe a long time against me: neverthelesse I made him in the end desire his life, and I pardoned all the rest in favour of him. I had hurt him in many places, and was carefull to make his wounds be drest; then I carried him with his ship and men to Corcyra. My returne was extremely acceptable to the Pyrats, as well because it was along time ere they had seene me, as for the greatriches I brought, with this Prisoner that was an Armenian Prince, who went from thence Ambassadour to Rome from Vologeses, King of the Parthians, and from Tyridates King of Armenia. The knowledge I had that he was a Prince, made me have a particular care of him; I visited him very often, staying till his ransome might arrive, but I found him in so deep a melancholy, that nothing was able to comfort him. In the end having urged him many times to tell me [Page] the cause of his sadnesse; this Prince that call'd himselfe Araxes, finding in me some civility, and a great deale of freedome, resolv'd with himselfe to let me know what his griefe was, and spake thus to me; If I had no other dis­pleasure but this to be wanting to my King, whose affaires suffer a great pre­judice by the stay I make here, you will confesse that I have reason enough to be afflicted: but though the trouble I am in for this be extreme, it is far surpassed by another torment I endure. I will not, continued hee, conceale from you that which causes me so much paine; and for all you are the sole cause of the imprisonment I am in, I receive so many courtesies from you in my misery, that I will willingly make you part of my fortune, as the best friend I have in the world. Know, pursues he, that Tyridates my Master is the legitimate successor of the kingdome of Armenia, by the partage that was made betweene him and his brothers, Vologeses and Pacorus; of whom the first that was the elder, reserv'd to himselfe the kingdome of the Parthians, and gave to Pacorus and Tyridates, the kingdomes of Media, and of Armenia. But the Romans under the Conduct of Corbule, having made themselves the stronger party in Armenia, expelled thence Tyridates, and made come from Rome Tygranes a stranger Prince, grand-child to the ancient Archelaus, King of Cappadocia, and Nephew to Archelaus the King of Troas, who had al­wayes liv'd in ostage with the Emperours; and establish'd him King of Ar­menia. This change was very sad to the greater part of the Armenians, who regretted their naturall King of the race of the great Arsaces: On the other side many lov'd Tygranes better, hoping that the Romans, from whose hand they received him, would better know how to maintaine them in peace, than Tyridates who could not resettle or preserve himselfe, but in continuall figh­ting against them. Neverthelesse Vologeses having assembled all his forces to restore his brother into his kingdome; after there had beene advantage and losse on either side, we ordered the matter so, that Corbulo was agreed, that Tygranes should abandon his pretention to Armenia, and that Tyridates should remaine peaceable possessor of it, upon condition he went to Rome to receive the Diadem from the hand of Nero. While they were in preparation of this voyage, I was sent in the meane time to the Emperour, for to assure him of my Masters fidelity, for gage whereof he hath left his daughter in the hands of Corbulo; but I had Commission to passe by Treas to see King Archelaus, up­on certaine conditions that concern'd him because of his Nephew Tygranes; and in that place I encountred all the good or bad fortune I am to hope or feare while I live. This King has no sonnes, but the disgrace is well recom­penced by the fortune he hath to have a daughter nam'd Pasithea▪ that is with­out doubt the fairest and most lovely Princesse of the world. After I had spo­ken to the King, I was brought before her to salute her; and as soone as ever I saw her, a trembling surpris'd me, that presaged, as I beleeve, the miseries that were to come upon me for having seene her. I left not for all that re­assuring my selfe; but after some discourse I had with her, I felt that I was so taken with her love, that with astonishment my voyce failed me at every word. I could not finish that enterview, for the contentment my new grow­ing passion received in regarding her: On the other side, I was asham'd to be with her, and unable to entertaine her. Yet at last I left her for feare of being troublesome; and retiring me to the lodging was provided me, I be­gan [Page 192] profoundly to meditate upon that which had hapned to me. I consider'd the beauty, and all the graces of the Princesse that forced me to love her, and whereof I found nothing capable to dis-ingage me: on the other part I had regard to the small hope I had to be ever happy with her, because she was de­stin'd to Tygranes her Cousin, who would ever be more considerable than I to Archelaus (though I were of the race of the Arsacides) for being the onely remainder of his blood. Those cruell thoughts were indeed strong enough for to ruine my hopes, but not to choake my affection; and the violence of it every moment increasing, I had no way to ease my ardor but in seeking to see her: and so farre was this sight from bringing me any remedy, that I felt a thousand desires entring into my soule by troops when I saw her, that ne­ver meant to leave me, but render me the most miserable of men. I knew well that the more I saw her, the more I resented my evill, and yet nothing was so cruell to me as to be obliged to leave her for the performance of my voyage. All I could doe, was, that being with her when I tooke my leave; Madam, said I, I am going to Rome, whence I would be glad to returne as happy as Tygranes, though I would not willingly bring away with me the qua­lities he acquir'd there. She ask'd me what I meant to say? 'Tis this, answe­red I, that he is come backe from Rome with the hope of possessing you, but hath brought away with him abase and servile spirit, that makes him unwor­thy of so high a fortune. I had not taken the boldnesse to despise her Cousin in this manner, if it were not a thing knowne, that his spirit was abjected and growne degenerate, having beene so long time retain'd in hostage at Rome. She blush'd to heare me speake so, and without anger, said to me; If this hope be so high as you say, it may give courage to those that want it; and take it away from those that have too much of it. I had onely leisure to re­turne; 'Tis not to lose courage when it is not lost but with ones life; and this is the resolution I take in the search I will make for the honour of your good graces. She could not answer me, because some company came neare us; and I was reasonably well pleas'd for having express'd my affection to her, and the poore esteeme was made of Tygranes, before I was separate from her. I parted from Archelaus Court with a purpose to goe to Rome, and to returne as speedily as I could into Armenia, to acquit me of my charge; where when I had stayed as little as I possibly might, I was resolv'd to goe re-visit Pasithea, the privation of whom was so cruell to mee, that all the moments I passed without seeing her, were so many years to me of insupportable punishments. Judge, Eurymedon, continued he, what misfortune 'twas to mee to be taken by you, at that time my very voyage it selfe was tedious enough to me; and what kinde of life I must lead in this place, where peradventure I lose the fortune of my Master, and the dearest of my owne hopes? Then teares a­bundantly flowed from his eyes, whereat I was touched, but yet more to know that I was the cause of so great a trouble in the affaires of Tyridates, and the loves of that Prince, all which obliged me to say to him; I beleeve your greatest griefe comes from not daring to hope for any courtesie at our hands; but I will let you see that my soule holds nothing of the cruelty of Pyrats. I thinke the gods have sent you hither for my safety, and it may be too they have made me be borne to serve you. From this present I give you liberty, without expecting your ransome any longer, and render you all those that [Page] remaine of your men, with the riches you have, which are still intire: but 'tis upon condition you grant the request I will make you. I have had a long de­sire, continued I, to quit the life of these Pyrats, amongst whom I have beene educated against my will; and thereupon I related to him all you have heard touching the incertainty of my birth, and the manner of my living untill then. Now, added I, you may make your voyage to Rome, and depart when you please: I onely desire this of you, that we may live eternally friends, and that you tell me where I shall finde you at your returne, whether in Arme­nia, or Troas; for after having abandoned this Isle for ever, I will returne to you in equipage worthy of a Prince, that wee may no more be sepa­rated.

Araxes at the beginning of this discourse, knew not if he should beleeve what I said▪ but seeing at last that I spake seriously, he cast himselfe upon his knees before me, and said, That he made no doubt but my birth was of the most illustrious, since I did actions that appertained not but to the gods, and the greatest Princes of the world: that if he receiv'd of me so great a grace, he had an obligation to me which all his services could never acquit him of, and that if he were so happy as to see me one day in Armenia, I should acknow­ledge what resentment he had of so singular a favour. In the end he made me a thousand oaths, to assure me that never man was so redeuable to another, as he should be to me, after having receiv'd an office so important to his life. I lift him up againe, and having embrac'd him to sweare yet to him an eter­nall friendship, we consulted together, and found that he requir'd at least two moneths for his voyage: he demanded of me that terme, within which time he would without faile render himselfe in Troas with the Princesse Pasi­thea, if there arriv'd to him no second misfortune; that yet he ought not so to cal the incounter he had made of me, since he had gained more in this mis-ad­venture, than he could ever have acquired in the most happy accidents of his life. I furnish'd his vessell the best I could, wherein I made to be re-imbar­qued all his men, with what he had lost; besides I added to that some pre­sents of my owne, to the end he might remember me, whilest I should dis­pose of my affaires, to forsake secretly those that had bred me, without their doubting of my designe. My companions had sorrow enough to see so much riches carried away from them; but they respected mee with so much ho­nour, that they never durst expresse any thing of it to me. At last I let A­raxes depart from our Ile, after many embracements, accompanied with pro­testations of friendship. Afterwards I was some time amongst the Pyrats, li­ving more than ever after their mode, and approving all their actions, to the end they might have no mistrust of me. But when I saw the time approach­ing that Araxes had given mee, I began to choose out those that were the most affectionate to me, to follow me in my enterprise. One day having as­sembled them, I represented what our course of life was, incessantly to pur­chase wealth without knowing whereupon to employ it. For, said I to them, in the ordinary life of men, I finde excusable those that labour to accumu­late goods, for the sustentation of their families, or for satisfying their ambi­tion, which cannot be done without their succours. But wee have no chil­dren, for whom we might have cause to travell; and for the degrees of ho­nour, we deferre them not to the most rich, but to the most valiant. What [Page 194] fury then possesses us to thrust our selves incessantly into perill, and to trou­ble the repose and commerce of all other men? This same valour wherein we surmount others, may make us gloriously acquire in the wars, that which now we infamously gaine by rapine. If all the world feare us, we feare all the world also; and measuring our number with that of the rest of men, we have farre the greater part our enemies. Others againe have this advantage above us, that being in our power, either they goe out by ransome, or else receive their death with innocence; and we are certaine being taken, to dye by the most shamefull punishment can be inflicted upon villaines. Besides all this, I doe not beleeve the Romans will let us any longer live in repose: there is no doubt but in the returne from the Parthian warre, Corbulo will scowre the Seas of Pyrats as easily as Pompey heretofore did. The more va­liant we have beene of late, the more complaints have wee provok'd against us; and the more we have made our selves redoubtable, with the more puis­sance and resolution will they come to assaile us. Why shall wee continue li­ving after this fashion, when we may be seene among other men with more honour and safety, and with as much advantage? I beleeve I will not give place in valour to any Captaine in the world, and I am assured there are no Souldiers in Corbulo's Army more courageous than you: in the meane time we let them beare away the spoyles of all the earth, and the applauses of all men; while we amuse our selves unworthily in running over the Sea, to wait for the passage of a Merchant. Let us goe, my companions, in place where we may purchase wealth accompanied with glory: Let us be friends to the Romans, or enemies; either take part in their victories, or else joyne us to those they assault, and hinder their Conquests. There is it wee shall prove our selves invincible, when all our actions will be authoriz'd with the right of warre. If I be a Prince, as they would make me beleeve, I will at­chieve actions worthy of my birth; and if you retaine still in you that great courage I have had experience of in so many encounters, you will not doubt to follow me in the designe I have to render our good fortune perfect, and our glory immortall.

When I had finish'd speaking, they all cryed out to me that they were re­solv'd to live and dye with me, into what part soever I would lead them. I tooke of them an oath differing from that they had heretofore made me, and prayed them to keepe our enterprize secret; while they put apart what they had most precious, and made them ready to follow me, when I should feine to make choyce of them to goe out a coursing. I was afraid to arrive at Troas sooner than Araxes; so as I let a month still passe, after which I tooke leave of the rest of the Pyrats, with a purpose never to see them againe. I confesse to you my joy was extreme, when I saw my selfe escaped out of their hands; and I thought upon nothing but the new fashion of life I went to lead, in which I promis'd me all sort of contentment and honour. But it is very dif­ficult for those that are accustomed to vice, entirely to quit it, and not againe to relapse into their first manner of living, when the occasion freely offers it selfe. Two dayes after we were parted, when we had gone round about the Peloponesus, and were pass'd the Cyclades, as we entred the Egean Sea, there comes a ship to us, that was found so faire a prize, as it was impossible for me to hinder those that were with me from going to boord her. I said enough [Page] to them, is this that same generous resolution we have made? is this the oath that ought to be inviolable? They prayed me to give them this last satisfa­ction, and that it was onely to take leave of their trade. In the meane time they carried me away, did I what I could, towards that Vessell, what ever re­monstrance or command I laid upon them; and being joyned to it, they en­tred pesle-mesle in: as for mee I stayed in the brigantine with my armes a­crosse, unwilling to have any part in that action, which I was to suffer in de­spight of my selfe; onely I desired them to kill no man. Some while after I saw them returne charg'd with quantity of faire Stuffes, which were going to Rome, and came from the Levant: they made passe into our ship young children very faire, rare horses, and store of precious Merchandises that had beene destin'd for to serve the strange luxury that then reigned within the chiefe City of the world: they tooke nothing but what was rich, and left the rest with their lives, to those that were in that ship which they let de­part. The greater part of my men fell downe on their knees before me, to intreat me to pardon this disobedience, and promised that hereafter they would inviolably observe all I should command them. I was constrain'd to do what they had a mind to, then we pursued our course.

We had purpos'd to goe land at Troas, and had already discover'd the Iland of Lesbos, when there appear'd to us another Vessell that came from the Isle­wards: My companions assured me that I should finde in that occasion whe­ther they would not from thenceforth observe what they had promis'd mee, and were resolv'd to let her passe: but when shee was neare us, I heard the voyce of a Maid crying out, Save the Princesse, friends, save the Princesse. I said to those of my ship, that there was an occasion worthy of our courage, and that wee were to assaile those ravishers. Presently wee went to boord them: it was a ship of robbery like unto ours; whereinto I leaped with my companions: I found there small resistance, though those of the Vessell were well armed, and we put all to the sword; then I entred into one of the Ca­bins, where I found an ill-favour'd counterfeit man, assisted with foure or five souldiers, that held a young Princesse, the fairest 'tis possible to see. I gave three or foure good blowes with my sword to those wretches, and sud­denly this villaine cast himselfe upon his knees before the Princesse, and said to her; That if she prevailed to make me save his life, hee would learne her something that was of great importance to her. She hearkned to what hee would say, and after she had a while spoken to him in private, she address'd her selfe to me, and prayed me to prepare to fight with another ship that was pre­sently to assaile her; then she said to me; Know, brave Warrier, that the man of the world I most hate, had a designe to carry mee away farre off from my Countrey, and with a very pleasant artifice: for so to worke his purpose as I should have an obligation to him, he made two Vessels be in a readinesse; the first was this, which he had kept hid behinde a Rocke along the Sea-coast, where I was to walke with my Maids, and in it were those that tooke mee a­way, whom you have defeated: the second is still in the Port, and hee is to goe aboord it, feining to come to my rescue; to the end that after hee had attached this, I should beleeve he had saved me from the hands of this man, whom he chose the most ugly he could finde, to make mee have the more horror at him, and beleeve that I was extremely obliged to him for such a [Page 196] deliverance: then he was to conjure me by his affection to receive him for my husband, in recompence of so notorious service; if not, he was resolv'd to carry me away by force into his owne Countrey. Now, pursued shee, if you desire to perfect my obligation, I beseech you not to spare him when hee shall aboord us, as he is purpos'd to doe presently; that he may receive at your hands the reward his treason has merited. Shee spake with so much grace, that I ceased not admiring the sweetnesse of her discourse; and I answered her; Madam, if the duty that commands us to serve all Ladies, did not or­daine me this obedience, your birth, and so many faire qualities I see in you, oblige me too much to give you this contentment you desire; and I thinke the time long till this Traytor appeare, for to punish him before your eyes for so great a villany: but to the end he may not faile to joyne us, I am of o­pinion that we passe into my Brigantine, that is very like this, and better pro­vided of all necessaries: then after having set up the same colours, wee will sinke this, with what remaines of these miserable men; and he will not faile to take us for the same Vessell that brought you away. This proposition was found very good by the Princesse, who smiled hearing the invention of it, and at the same time strucke a thousand wounds into my heart. I tooke her by the hand, and made her passe into my Brigantine: and instantly I caused divers holes to be made in that we came out of, whereby it tooke water on all sides, and a little after appear'd nothing of it above the Sea. I had impa­tiency till this other Vessell arrived, so desirous was I to please this faire Prin­cesse, whose sweet Majesty already bound my heart with a thousand chains: At last I see it appeare, and withall gave order to make them feine a slow flight, and that when they should aboord us, they would let a part of them enter: I tooke onely a helme, and put downe the visiere for feare they should be shye of entring, seeing unknowne faces. The Captaine of the other ship was armed just so when he leaped into ours, and he said as he entred, Ha trai­tors! I shall reward you well for carrying away such a Princesse; but he found what he never expected, for I received him with so great blowes, that he per­ceiv'd with astonishment that they spared him not. I sweare to you I was asham'd for so facile a victory: yet having promis'd the Princesse to punish him before her eyes, I strucke him downe at my feet, and willing to cut off his head, I made her be called, that he might dye in her presence: but when I snatch'd off the helmet from this wretch that lay at my feet, I stood im­moveable to see it was Araxes. Then my spirit was troubled with a thousand confusions, to have thus treated him I went to seeke in Troas; and on the other side I had promis'd the Princesse not to spare him: whereat she won­dering, I very sadly regarded her, and casting me downe at her feet, said, Ha! Madam, how miserable am I, I must either disobey you, or kill my friend. She embrac'd me to lift me up, and said to me; How is't possible you should be friend to so wicked a man, being so generous as you are? Neverthelesse I will be satisfied for your sake, with the punition he hath received, and will have you give him his life. I thanked her for this grace she gave us both, and went to make Araxes bloud be stopped, which he lost on all sides. He was so ashamed and confounded for what he saw, being yet scarce disabused, that he durst neither lift up his eyes to me, nor to the Princesse that was the faire Pasithea his Mistresse: yet he let his hurts be accommodated, and in the meane [Page] time I went to demand of the Princesse, if she desired not I should wait on her backe to Lesbos. This is that, said she, I beseech you to doe. Presently I made Araxes be return'd into his owne ship, and recommended him to his people, commanding them to follow mine. Having given order for every thing, I had now no more care but to entertaine this faire Princesse; and al­though the friendship I had promis'd Araxes, strove to impeach the birth of my love, yet it kept not so good guard, but that there entred by little and little much passion into my soule: and I did my selfe turne away my thought from that friendship, to favour the surprise, and betrayed it of purpose to let my selfe be taken. This Princesse made me so great thanks, that I knew not what to answer to her obligeant words; and the more she express'd her selfe redeuable to me for the succours I had so timely brought her, the more she reduc'd me to have need of hers. After having assured her of my service, and that she might dispose of my life, I intreated that she would not declare A­raxes for author ofher carrying away, which she promised me.

At length we arrived in the Port of Mitylene, where there was already come running together much people, with the King Archelaus her father, who was then in that Ile, and much troubled to set out Vessels for to follow after those that carried away his onely daughter. We descended, and the King comming to embrace his deare daughter, demanded her how she had beene saved. See there, said she to him shewing me, the man to whom I owe my honour and life, which his valour hath conserved me. The King came to embrace mee, and assured me that I might dispose of all his estates, in exchange of so deare an assistance. He asked who those might be that would have stollen her away; and I well knew she would oblige me, at what time she answered; I beleeve they were some of these Sea-coursers, of whom there was not left a man, for that their vessell was sunke to the bottome. Araxes, replied the King, has not he met with you? No, answered she, and it may be he has taken some other course.

But, continued Eurymedon, I cannot but recount to you the peoples rejoy­cings for Pasithea's safety: there were nothing but exclamations of joy round about us, and so great a throng, that we were in danger of stifling. I knew ve­ry well that she was infinitely beloved, but the cause of that love I shall tell you some other time. I commanded those of my ship to returne to Sea along the coast, to goe meet with Araxes his, who yet appear'd not, and to adver­tise him not to faile to returne to the Court to have himselfe cured; and that the King had no suspition of him: I retain'd by me two or three of mine on­ly, and with them accompanied the King and Princesse to the Palace, where they would have me be lodged as long as I desir'd to remaine in that Coun­trey. Archelaus demanded me if there were no meanes to know whom they had so great an obligation to. I told him, they called me Eurymedon: as for my birth, that I knew it not my selfe; and how they that bred me would per­swade me that I was of a royall bloud. They were satisfied with that for the time, then conducted me into a chamber, where they prayed me to repose: but I told them my travell had not beene so great, as to oblige me to take rest before night. I reconducted them into their retiring chambers; and by the way admir'd the number of Lords that came to kisse the Robe of Pasithea, and expresse their extreme joy to see her againe. And indeed the qualities of this [Page 198] Princesse were admirable, as I came afterwards to know. Besides her marvel­lous beauty, she had so many charmes in all her actions, whether in the sweet­nesse of her looks, or in the obliging familiarity she used to all that approacht her, that she acquir'd not the benevolence onely, but the passionate love of all those that could see, or speake to her. All the strange Princes that came to her fathers Court, could no more part from her: those of the Countrey that had beene acquainted with her of a longer time, kept in their hearts her old-inflicted wounds, and the Gentlemen that were ordain'd to serve her, were all pale and languishing, to feele themselves consumed by an hopelesse love. As soone as ever she desired any thing, all the company round about her ran to have the happinesse to render her service: if any indisposition hap­ned to her, it was a generall affliction; and if the gods had desired humane victimes for the restitution of her health, there was not a man in the Isle, nor yet in all Troas, that would not have sacrific'd himselfe for her. It is not for any affectation in her to make her selfe be loved; nor that she employed any kinde of artifice thus to acquire all hearts: but it was so naturall to her to please every one, that not thinking thereupon she produc'd alwayes these ef­fects, and sometimes she was angry at her selfe for so rare a gift of nature that contrary to her desire gave hurts to those very persons she had a will to ob­lige. It was then no great marvell, if being so universally belov'd, she was so of me too: but yet herein was it very strange for me, to obtaine without paine the honour of her esteeme, which so many Princes of a long time had sought with a thousand duties; and by such an hazard as scarcely can at any time be encountred. Araxes being departed from our Island by the favour I shewed him, was gone in all diligence to Rome, then he return'd againe into Armenia; and presently he had rendred himselfe in Troas, having employed no more than two months in all those voyages, so pressed was he with the desire of seeing Pasithea; and the King Archelaus desirous to passe away a part of the Summer in the Isle of Lesbos that appertained to him, he had followed them because hee would not forsake the Princesse, whose good graces he labour'd to gaine by all sorts of artifices. In the end not able to obtaine of her any fa­vour that might encourage him to attaine them, he was resolv'd to carry her away, when she were walking upon the coast in company of her Maids on­ly: for that she had set houres to be free in without any man to be present. But consider what misery was that of Araxes; and what fortune I had; he would have the Princesse oblig'd to him for his artificiall deliverance; and my good fortune would have me give her a reall succours, which intirely procur'd me her affection. I acknowledg'd her good will to me by this, that being in her chamber, after the King was retired, she said, she would walke in the Gardens before supper, and gave me her hand to expresse that she would be waited on by me. I was so taken with this honour, as I am not able to repeat to you the transport I was in. I confesse, I had not yet loved any thing, & was but new to begin in the entertainment of Ladies: I was young & without experience of the civilities are to be observed; having bin alwayes upon the Sea, & among Pyrats: onely I call'd to my remembrance what I had seene in Greece during the stay I there made. Much company passed before us, and others followed us with the Maids as farre as to the Gardens, where the Princesse separating from the rest, that went off out of respect, brought me to a walke, and wee [Page] were left alone together: then desiring to make her some entertainment, as she seem'd to invite me to doe, I said to her; Madam, what greater fortune could arrive to me, having a purpose to see this Court, than to have had en­trance by so favourable a meanes? She answered me, This encounter is hap­py onely for me, because without your finding me at Sea, you would ever have beene a welcome man here, but if I had not met with you, I should at this present have beene the most miserable of the earth. Madam, replied I, there is no Judge but will avow that your encounter being infinitely more a­greeable than mine, I must be the most happy in this occasion; if it be not for this, that so rare a sight bring me not more misery than I can yet foresee. I can very well, said she to me, take from you that feare, and assure you that if my sight be not happy to you, at least it shall never be unhappy, as long as your good fortune may depend upon my will. The greatest glory I have in the world, is, not to be hated of any; and I must be so in a great degree of you, if after so many satisfactions you have given mee, you should receive little from me. I was strangely ravish'd at those obliging words, and mee thought they gave me occasion to presse her further, that I might receive greater testimonies of her favour: but contenting her selfe with that shee had said to me, she brake that discourse to demand of me, whence came the acquaintance I had with Araxes, Madam, said I to her, I can tell you nothing of this subject, unlesse I recount to you my whole life, and because I will not conceale any thing of it from you, give me leave to remit that entertain­ment of you, untill you shall be more at leisure: I beseech you onely to beleeve, that I have too little knowne him for having ever participated of his maliciousnesse. Remember you then, said she, of this promise: for I hope to receive a great pleasure by understanding your fortune; it can be no ordinary one, and I expect to heare of you actions very contrary to those of Araxes. You must know, continued she, that the first time he saw me, was, when being sent to Rome by Tyridates, he passed by Troas to see the King my father. I know not what designe he had for me; but after hee was willing to expresse an affection to me by some sighes, hee was so insolent in taking his leave, as to speak contemptuously before me of Tygranes my Cou­sin; thinking much to avance his owne affaires, by reculing those of Tygra­nes, whom the speech went I was to be married to. I had temper enough not to give him offence then, by returning to this indiscretion, what would seeme but reasonable. But beleeving I should never see him againe, I would let him depart without discontentment. About two months after, I saw him return'd to Trous, having power againe to make some other treaty with the King my father, while Tyridates was gone to Rome for to receive the Crowne of Armenia from the hands of the Emperour. I cannot relate you the tricks and villanies he used to gaine some advantage upon my will. The mild­nesse I expresse to all I see, made him so insolent, that he feined not to at­tempt all he could upon my wit, which it may be he esteem'd but weake, and susceptible of many impressions. For to abuse mee, hee consulted with Priests and Sooth-sayers, who would have made me beleeve, that by their science, and by their immolated sacrifices, they knew my good fortune could come from no other part but Armenia; that a Prince of the most illustrious bloud of those provinces, ought to possesse me; above all that I well guarded [Page 200] me from what came from the Romans, and from that they had nourished; because from that side there could arrive nothing but misery to me. Beside all this he gained by presents a woman that lay in my chamber, who was so wicked as to terrifie me by night, and make me heare voyces with pittifull accents, as if it had beene the Queene my mother, that was dead a little be­fore, who advertis'd me to flye Tygranes, and to chuse Araxes for my hus­band. Nay, he was so cowardly and treacherous, as he dressed ambuscadoes for to assassinate his rivall, from which his good fortune onely preserv'd him. All these practices were discover'd to me, but one day before he made mee be taken away; and he knows not yet that I have had any knowledge of them. I remember that some dayes before he tooke the boldnesse to tell Tygranes in my presence, that he was a King without a Crowne, and that hee should be shortly a servant without a Mistresse: I could not then conceive what his meaning was; but since I have knowne that he then meditated my carrying away, whereupon he was resolved, seeing that he gained nothing by his wicked practices. His unfortunate designe was reasonably well order'd; and I had beene twice stollen away, but that I was deliver'd by you onely from both those miseries. See for the present if there were ever a man more villa­nous than this same, and whether I have not cause to detest him above all things. Pasithea left speaking, continues Eurymedon, and I was so astonish'd to heare of so many malicious devices, that I stood immoveable, and loo­king upon her, at last I spake to her; Madam, I knew not this Prince to be so traitorous a man, having never seene him but a few dayes in a place where he was retain'd prisoner, whence after he had beene delivered by my means, he promis'd me his friendship for ever: I assured him also of mine, and I never saw him since. I esteeme him very wicked by this you have learn'd me, but I finde him nothing crafty withall, or else unfortunate, for that endevou­ring to get your affection, he acquir'd nothing but your hate, wherewith hee may well thinke himselfe hated of all the world. For me I abandon him, as well for your sake, as for my owne: confessing that there is nothing so dan­gerous as the friendship of a traitor. We encountred then at the turning of an alley, where we found much company: she had onely time to tell me, If you lose on one side, you may gain much more on another; there being here none that will not be pleas'd to have you for a friend. I could not returne, because we were to joyne with the company; and the rest of the day passed away in civilities and ceremonies.

When I was retired▪ I was in great perplexity how I should treat with A­raxes: but he deliver'd me himselfe out of this unquietnesse, for my men returning to finde me, after they had beene long at Sea told mee how they had seene nothing appeare, what ever care they had taken, and that without doubt Araxes had withdrawne himselfe to some other place. I had no o­ther thought therefore, than well to governe the fortune of my affections, since they had so prosperous a beginning. The next day I went to wait on the Kings rising, who still gave me all sorts of kindnesses; then he led me into the Princesse Chamber, whom we surpriz'd as she was new comming out of her bed, but this surprize was most advantageous for her, and very agreeable to me, because she had all her necke bare, that was of an extreme white­nesse. All she could doe, was to put before it her faire hands, which though [Page] they were jealous of the marvell of this bosome, and seem'd to dispute beau­ty with it, yet for all that let scape the victory by the overture of the fingers that could not wholly hide it. My contentment ended by meanes of a linnen cloth they brought that intirely cover'd her, and stole away all those treasures from my sight. The King left me with her, ordaining her to entertaine me; he could not have done me a greater grace, and desiring to prevaile of it, I said to the Princesse, Madam, pardon that I cannot wish ill to the greatest enemy you have, since he is the sole cause of my good fortune of seeing you. This good fortune, answered she, is not of consequence enough to be much beholding to him for it. Thereupon she demanded me where he was. I told her, that having sent out my people to search him at sea, they had heard no newes of him. O! That the gods, replied she, would never returne him againe to us, for my repose and yours! But, continued she, may I not know how he had oblig'd you to come hither? This is that, said I, I cannot alto­gether cleare, if I have not the leisure to learne you with all my whole life. I will at this very instant, said she, give you the commodity; because I thinke the time too long ere I know your newes: and calling for a Persian simarre, or mantle, to be brought her, she sate down againe upon her bed, & having made me come neare her alone, commanded me to sit downe, and acquit me of the promise I had made her the evening before. Then I recited to her all I have learn'd you of my fortune, thinking it had beene disloyalty to reserve any thing to tell, from her I had given my heart to. She heard me with much a­stonishment and joy; it seem'd too she did already take part in the accidents of my life. There rested onely to relate to her what I had done since my depart from Corcyra, for to come into Troas, when they came to advertise her, that Tygranes who was arriv'd from the confines of Armenia, came to see her. She blush'd, and put her selfe out of the bed; at the same time I fetch'd a deepe sigh, and that suspiration more inflam'd the fire of Pasithea's cheeks, who to cover the occasion of her rednesse, said aloud; I am truly very much asham'd that Tygranes will finde me in this disorder. And then he entred to salute her, and made certaine compliments: afterwards he address'd to me, and told me, that he came from knowing of the King the obligation all his Realme had to me, wherein he tooke more part than any body else, having a great interest in the Princesse safety. I answered him, that none was re­deuable to me for a thing which my duty alone had ordained me to doe: neverthelesse that I esteem'd my selfe very happy for being so fitly encoun­tred at sea for her succours, and for being cause of their contentment. I ob­serv'd by his port and discourse, that he was such a man as Araxes had describ'd to me, that appear'd rather borne for to serve, than to command, shewing no greatnesse of courage at all, and affecting nothing but a few civilities, that are practis'd among honest Citizens of a Towne. A while after a great num­ber of Princes and Lords arriv'd, and there was nothing spoken of but sacri­fices and rejoycings for the safety of Pasithea.

The next day was chosen by the King for certaine exercises these Princes renewed often in the publike place, for to dispute prizes in emulation of one another; their designe being no other in those Countries but to please the Princesse, and enter into her good graces. I waited on Pasithea to the Tem­ple, where the sacrifices were made with much ceremony and joy: as for me, [Page 202] I lost my selfe in the prease, having made signe to my men to follow me, and being return'd to my vessell I went away into the plaine Sea. The Princesse wondred to see me no more, and thought I was gone to finde Araxes. The King commanded they should seeke me out, and could not know wherefore I had quitted them without any leave-taking. In the meane time they gave not over the resolution they had taken to rejoyce, and all things were pre­pared for the playes against next day. I came to know since, that Tygranes led the Princesse into the publike place, and having left her with the King up­on a Scaffold, he mounted a horsebacke and went to joyne him to his troop among the Princes, who would that day shew their addresse in favour of Pasithea. After disputing of some prizes, they planted in the middest of the place a pillar of wood, to which they fastned armes in fashion of a trophey, that represented a man armed. The Princes came on horsebacke running a­bout it, and he did best, that strucke the fairest blow into those armes. When they had all given different strokes, there was heard twenty trumpets at the end of the lists, that made all turne sight to that side, and the barrier be­ing open'd, the Trumpets entred, and placed themselves about the field. Pre­sently after fifty men appear'd on foot richly clothed, each their speare in hand, and buckler on the left arme, and in the middle of them was a young warrier, armed lightly, upon a faire Arabian horse, who after that his com­panions had all of them lanc'd their Javelins upon the trophey, came on in a gallop, and fastned his into the visiere of the helmet. Every one clap'd his hands in expression that that was the fairest blow was given: but that noyse ceased, because of the same Trumpets that sounded againe; and those war­riers having ranged them round about the field, the barrier was open'd, and there was seene to avance by degrees, a great pavilion, of a stuffe very fine, and extreme light, the base whereof was carried round on all sides by foure and twenty young children very handsome, cloathed in Cassaques of Carnati­on silke embroyder'd with silver, with little head-peeces of the same livery, from whence hung downe plumes of carnation and white. When this engine was brought into the middest of the place, two of those children that bare up the borders before, open'd the pavilion; and at the same time was seene to come out of it a great Eagle that flew with the pavilion up into the clouds, and made sight of it be lost. I appear'd then upon a faire white horse, mar­ked with red naturall spots. I had my head cover'd with plumes of divers colours, I was dress'd in a proud Cassaque of embroydery of gold and silver, and managed my horse, that was in very good equipage. The children went to dispose themselves about the Princesse Scaffold, and in the meane time after I had given some passada's with my horse, I made him take course to­wards the trophee, and I strucke my Javelin into the Casque with so starke a violence, that it not onely stayed fastned in it, but the pillar also that per­adventure had beene shaken before, was therewith overthrowne to the ground with the armes. My strength was admir'd of all the people, and the Princes themselves, but much more when I descended from my horse, and going towards the Armes, I tooke them with the pillar and all upon my shoulder, and carried them to the Kings Scaffold. I presented them to the Princesse, and having laid them at her feer, I received of her a bracelet of great pearles that was the prize, which I kissed, and then passed upon my arme. [Page] She was filled with a great satisfaction to see me againe, and for the honour I had acquir'd in presence of her father, who gave me a thousand praises, and invited me to appeare againe at the pastimes remain'd.

Give me leave, said Palamede then, to interrupt you; and let us know, if it please you, how you were able to finde where withall to make so marvellous an entry. I am very glad, answered Eurymedon, that you have remembred me of it: for it may be I should have forgot this. I had by good fortune, re­plyed he, found all these things in the first ship my souldiers tooke; the pa­vilion, the children so adorned, that great Eagle, the horse on which I rode, and the other of my Lieutenant who was a young souldier very valiant and expert; he it was that appeared in the middest of those fifty that first entred, who were the very choyce of my companions. For mee having found this Eagle very big, I tyed a cord to her foot, the other end whereof was fastned to the top of the pavilion, that was sustain'd within by the point of a great speare I held in my hand: and I bare it thus my selfe on horsebacke in mar­ching with the children, that lift it up by the borders. I held the Eagle all that while, and when the Pavilion was opened, I let her goe, and she carried away with her that pavilion that was but of a light stuffe. This invention was much approved of Melintus, Palamede, and the rest, then Eurymedon went on; The last pastime was, that all they that had appeared in the other exercises, should joyne them together, and strike at one another with Javelins whose point was rebated, onely to shew dexterity and grace, which was rather a kinde of dance, than a combat. They gave mee one of those Javelins, and remounting upon my horse, I went to mingle my selfe with that company; but the play was such as greatly troubled the joy of that dayes worke. Two Armenians had put themselves into the party, with darts that were very sharp, and one of them struck Tygranes, & wounded him to death; the other addres­sed him to me, whose blow I happily avoyded, rather because 'tis naturall to turne away the body from a dart one sees comming to him, than for any feare I had cause to have of being hurt therewith: but yet I could not hinder the blow from piercing me into the arme. Presently Tygranes cried out that he was hurt; he that gave the stroke would have run away with his companion; and their flight onely accus'd them, for it would have beene doubted whence the blow should come, if they had stayed amongst us; all was in allarme at the instant, and in disorder. Archelaus came running with some of his officers that assisted him, and as soone as he was arrived, Tygranes expired, which put the King into a great sorrow. But that which astonish'd all the world, was, that an old man of the chiefe about Archelous, cast himselfe upon the dead body of Tygranes, and embracing him, melted into teares, and filled all with his complaints. The King demanded of him what cause he had so particularly to be tormented for that accident. Ha! Sir, said he, let the cause of my extreme griefe serve for diminution unto yours. I will tell you then that this same was my sonne, whom I carried with the little Tygranes your nephew, when you sent him by me in hostage to Rome. Your nephew dyed at Sea, and seeing that it was altogether important for the good of your affaires this child should goe to Rome, because there remain'd not any of your bloud to be given in ostage; I supposed my sonne in his place, who was receiv'd for him, and ever since he has beene bred as if he had beene the true Tygranes. I beleeve I am not blame­able [Page 204] for making this supposition, having then had no other designe but the e­stablishing of your estates; and if since I have left every one in this error, it was for feare the Romans might thinke you had beene author of the deceit; but since I durst not render him any duty of a father during his life, suffer me at least to give him this last testimony of my affection; and thereupon he betook himselfe to embrace him, and to mourne as before. Every one was immovea­ble for astonishment; but the King more than all, who left not for all that to take care of Tygranes body, and to comfort this good man whom he had al­wayes proved most faithfull. In the meane time they had arrested the two Armentans, who after some torments, confessed that they had beene sent by Araxes, for the dispatching of Tygranes and me; and how they were not a­ble to devise a better meanes to compasse it. I had Araxes then in horror for that he would have caused my assassinate, after so many good offices he had re­ceived at my hands; and I thanked the gods for preserving mee from that danger. The King and the Princesse had now no other care but of me; they constrain'd me to keep my bed because of my wound, though it were a small one: and I was not angry for it for being visited by the Princesse, who said to me the first time she was alone with me; Ah, Eurymedon, these are the presents of your good friend. I answered her, Madam, a though his intention were most villanous, I know not how to complaine of him; for thinking to take me out the world, he has taken him away too that would soone have filled me with miseries, and rendred you unfortunate besides, for being unworthy of you. But since he is no more, give me leave, Madam; my voyce failed me then, whereat she smiled; and having a while regarded me, said to me, You may go on: I tooke up my speech, but in trembling, and said, Give me leave, Ma­dam, to hope. My tongue was tyed the second time; and she smiling againe, said to me, I will not have you make an end: for I permit you to hope all things. Ha! Madam, said I how happy doe you make me! but when you shall consider that I am a stranger, and unknowne, I may well feare my happinesse change not. Your actions, answered she, make you to be knowne too wel what you are; and as Tygranes actions could not be but base; being no Prince; so is it impossible but you must be a Prince, considering you doe all the actions of one. I replied; My ambition never made me affect that title, although I were brought up in the opinion of possessing it: but yet I will retaine it for this, since it is that alone that may encourage me to pretend any thing neare you; though my extreme passion will take a great part in the en­terprise of acquiring the honour of your good graces. Shee said to me, I will beleeve concerning your passion all you please to have me: but I command you to take upon you from henceforth the quality of a Prince, staying till you may verifie your birth, for to strengthen in the meane time, and bring to a good end the choyce I will one day make of you. I tooke then one of her faire hands, which shee let me kisse a long time; and I could not let it goe, not knowing in what other sort to expresse my joy to her. But we were to separate now, and shee went her way, after ha­ving ordained mee so to order my affaires as I might know what I was. I promis'd her to employ all my care in that re-search, since from thence depended all the good fortune of my life. The day after when I arose, I went to see her, to give her thanks for the cares she had taken of me. At [Page] my first comming she came to meet me, and told me she had strange newes for me: heaven at length hath delivered us from Araxes. A man of his came to let me know that he is dead of his wounds: but before he died, see what impression he was willing to leave with me of you. Then she presented me a letter she had receiv'd from him, where in I read these words:

Araxes to the Princesse Pasithea.

FAire Princesse, I am going to dye for you; and having alwayes had this designe▪ I should not regret the quitting of my life, if I lost it not by the hand of a traytor. The care I have had to serve you, continues even after my death; and I advertise you that he you favour, and who calls himselfe Prince, is the most famous and infamous Pyrat that ever cours'd the Seas. The hurts I have receiv'd of him, have beene my recompence for having given him the happinesse to see you, and you are not to expect but the like treason at his hands. If you doe him justice, you will rather let him feele the hand of a hangman, than ever give him hope of the honour of touching yours.

Ha! the wicked rogue, cryed I out after I had read it, see what rage he is in? The Princesse said to me, If you had not acquainted mee with your life, and I had not beene witnesse in what sort you are cause of his death, he might peradventure make me beleeve something against the truth; and be­sides I must not have knowne him for a villaine and an artificiall companion. But as his other malices have turned to your advantage, so shall this more augment the favour I will have to you. The rest of our discourse passed in ad­miration of the strange fury of that Armenian, and in common assurances of our affection.

Since that she could not so well hide the love shee bare mee, but that the King perceiv'd it: he express'd to her that it was not agreeable to him; and in the end he entred into an extreme choler against her; so farre as he made me covertly understand, he would be glad I retir'd from thence: but I was deafe to the propositions they made me, being too dearely engaged in that Countrey. I well saw that the King receiv'd me with more coldnesse than he was wont, and at last shewed me a countenance that witnessed a great aversion to me: but that which lost us, was, that one day he surpriz'd me a­lone with her in her Closet, as I was kissing her hand. Then he entred into such a fury, as he drew his sword, and had killed me, but that I made my escape. I went out of the Closet, and a little after out of the Palace, being stayed by no man, because I was reasonably well belov'd: neverthelesse seeing there was no safe abiding for me in Mitylene, I went aboord my ship, with all my souldiers, who were soone come about me; and I was some­time in full Sea about the Isle, being not able to goe farre away: but in the end impatient to know what was arriv'd to the Princesse, I landed one of my men, for to goe learne newes of her: he made report to mee that shee [Page 206] was kept prisoner, but in a very strange fashion. The King after he had ex­press'd all the anger an offended father might make shew of, deliberated to hold her in sure guard: yet for the execution of that purpose, he was much troubled, because shee was so generally beloved, as he knew not of whom to be confident. But when he had along time considered in his minde, hee advis'd to put her into a Castle with a guard of many women that would be uncapable of resenting her charmes, who were shut up with her, having provision of victualls for more than six yeares: then hee sent for out of the farthest parts of Paphlagonia, six thousand Barbarians, that were dispos'd round about the Castle, which was invironed with high walls, in such sort as they could not see her. This order having beene given, the Princes that were in love with her, being resolv'd to serve her, and judging it impossible to deliver her, if they were not puissantly assisted, departed for to goe each into his owne countrey, and bring forces from thence that might give them the honour of her deliverance, and gaine her affection to them: as they beleev'd I had justly possessed it before, for having saved her out of the hands of Araxes. The man I had sent brought me all this newes: pre­sently I consult with my selfe what I was able to doe, not enduring that any but my selfe should deliver the Princesse, who was prisoner for my occasion. I call to counsell my companions, and tell them, I was resolv'd to returne to the Pyrats, for to bring with me all the forces they had in the Island, and with them to deliver Pasithea: that we ought to feine wee had beene long retained in some place; and for our better reception we were to make some more prize. They accorded to what I desir'd, and then we traversed the E­gean Sea; and we had coasted all the Peloponesus finding nothing, untill here hard by we met a Vessell of Merchants, amongst whom was this brave Greeke (said Eurymedon, shewing him that had kept Melintus from killing him) to whom, pursues he, I can render no other recompence, for being cause you tooke not away my life, said he to Melintus, than by telling you, that he hath seem'd to me the most vertuous man I ever knew, as well for the contempt he made of death, when my companions assailed him, as for the wise discourse he hath since given us: so as in admiring him, I em­brac'd him, and prayed him that he would continue my friend: I have counted to him a part of my adventure, for to take his counsell; and when we were entertaining one another with much affection, your ship appea­red, which we set upon to our losse. I vow to you, that nothing ever so amaz'd me, as to see you leape into my Brigantine, having never yet beene assaulted in my life; and I have for the present no greater desire than to know who you are, for to devote my selfe to you in quality of a souldier, or slave, which you please.

Eurymedon thus ended his story, and the generous Melintus having ad­mir'd his grace, and the naturall livelinesse of his discourse, and nothing doub­ting of his valour or noblenesse, promis'd him not his friendship alone, and that of his company, but their assistance besides for the enterprize of Pa­sithea. We are, continues hee, Sicilians, and are going to Corinth for such a designe as yours is: for I have there a faire Mistresse, sister to Palamede you see here (shewing him) who is injuriously retain'd from mee. We are [Page] now so neare our journeyes end, that if you will ayd mee for the getting of her, we shall afterwards joyne us to you to goe along to the Isle of Lesbos. Eurymedon thought himselfe very happy for finding so soone an occasion to serve him; and when they had all embraced to be friends one to another, Eurymedon commanded his men to follow him in their Bri­gantine. They continued on their way, in consulting what they had to doe, and arriv'd by night at Corinth.

ARIANA. The second Booke.

THe night seem'd to open all her eyes, to behold the actions of a troop so generous; and lent as much light as was necessary to make them know one another, and not be knowne. Forthwith Melintus came out of the ship with Palamede, after having committed the government of what they had resolv'd on, to that wise Greeke, whom they already made great esteeme of because of the prudent advice he had given them in the counsell they held together; and when they had intreated Eurymedon and Amyntas to be in a readinesse with the souldiers, if they had need of their ayd, they entred into Corinth, and went towards the Temple of Iuno. Palamede having conducted Melintus thither, made him retire seven or eight paces, while he had spoken with the guard of the Temple, and after they had opened, he demanded them, if he might not speake a word to Epicharis from Sebastus and Dicearchus. These people that had seene him before with his uncle, failed not to goe call Epi­charis, who comming forth to see who enquir'd after her, was greatly ama­zed to finde Palamede there: presently he brought her where Melintus was, and she was overcome with joy for seeing them againe. Melintus ask'd her how Ariana did: Very well, answered she, if she may but see you; and as­sure your selfe you never came so seasonable, for we are reduc'd to a great extremity. Ariana hath alwayes deferr'd her resolution to the returne of her brother, and Dicearchus not enduring so long delayes, has given her three dayes onely of respite, which expire to morrow; and doe not hope, said she to Palamede, to be able to bend him by any reason: for hee is so setled in minde to give her Pisistratus, that all the powers of heaven and earth could not make him alter this resolution. Melintus stood mute to understand so cruell opiniativenesse, but Palamede and Epicharis told him, there was no o­ther remedy but to carry away Ariana to a place where Dicearchus had no power, and where she might dispose of her selfe. This very night, continued Epicharis, you are to depart, for to avoyd the violences of to morrow. Can Ariana, sayes Melintus, resolve her selfe upon this flight? You are too respectu­ous, answered Epicharis, and shee too vertuous: you must for a time dispense with this severity of wisdome, and let love and courage worke. Never hope [Page 209] your vertue should subdue Dicearchus fury: you must oppose your passion to his, and yours being the more noble, it will without doubt master the o­ther. Remember you onely that this nights houres are very precious, and if you lose them, peradventure you may never recover them againe. Melintus demanded counsell of them, what he had to doe: and it was a strange thing, to see a person so stored with wisdome and valour, reduc'd in this occasion to implore the counsell and assistance of a wench, and of Palamede too that so many times had needed his prudence, for the redresse of his youthfull er­rors. But yet Melintus now mistrusted his owne vertue that slackned, and was giving way to his passion, for to let that have the ordering of this en­terprise which seem'd something violent to him; and he asked counsell of others, thinking he was incapable in that estate to counsell himselfe. Epicharis told him shee would goe first to advertise Ariana and Cyllenia of their arrive: and when she had taken advice of them she would returne, and that then they might resolve of all things. So she left them, and being entred in againe went to bring Ariana and Cyllenia this newes, who attended with much ap­prehension to know what Dicearchus had to say to Epicharis: but their passi­ons were well changed at the returne of this wench, when they understood how Melintus was so neare them. It moved Ariana extremely, that felt all at a time, joy, feare, and hope. Epicharis and Cyllenia confirm'd her, and after many reasons alleaged on either side, made her resolve to goe her way with Melintus. That which most encourag'd her in this project, was the deter­mination Cyllenia tooke to goe with her; having had, she said, no prosperi­ty since the death of Lepantus, besides that of her friendship, which she would enjoy all her life time, and for this cause she would follow her fortune. Ari­ana could scarce beleeve what she said: but she assured her, it was her resolu­tion. They sent away Epicharis againe to bring Melintus to the place they were in, and thought good to have scaling-ladders procur'd, whereby they might save themselves; because it was impossible to have them all goe out by the gate by reason of the guards of the Temple, whom they would not have killed though that had beene easie enough.

Melintus, when he knew the resolution of Ariana and Cyllenia, intreated Pa­lamede to goe backe to the ship, to fetch from thence a ladder of cords; and to bring along with him the sage Greeke; that Eurymedon and Amyntas came ar­med also, with five or six souldiers in favour of their retreat; and that all should be conducted to a place of the wall Epicharis shewed them. Palamede promis'd not to faile in that order, then went his way. Melintus let himselfe be led all-trembling by Epicharis, for to goe see his deare Ariana, whose ab­sence had beene so cruell to him. The gates were shut up as soone as they were entred, and Melintus was brought to a Chamber, where Ariana going out to meet him, could not refraine from opening her armes to receive her deare Melintus, and suddenly being asham'd for doing that action before Cyllenia, she left him without speaking, to give him leave to salute that deare friend of hers. Cyllenia admiring the majestuous fashion of Melintus, though hee were much out of countenance, assured him that he was welcome. He answered her, that to have beene receiv'd onely into that Chamber, was a favour too sensible to him for being able to expresse the true apprehension of it. Pre­sently she made him sit downe by his faire Ariana, which was to good pur­pose [Page 210] for him that could no longer have sustain'd himselfe in that sudden ta­king he was in. They felt themselves both so moved, that being one before the other, and holding hands together, they could neither of them speake. Melintus to ease his heart which he felt oppressed, fetch'd a great sigh, which Ariana receiv'd as she breathed at the same time, and then by suspiring shee sent it backe againe to Melintus; and it seemed that their soules did thus visit one another, or rather that they made use but of one soule for the animation of their bodies. In the end Cyllenia that nothing wondred at this silence for being so well acquainted what love was, would comfort them, and said, that sighes would not serve the turne to save them, and that time must not be lost. Then Melintus began to speake, and addressing him to Ariana, said to her; But, Madam, can I beleeve you will follow me? She answered; Melintus, I am yours, and without you I cannot live: In what part of the world it shall please you to retire me, I shall account my selfe happy there to dye with you. See there Cyllenia, continued she, who will accompany me; and I am perswa­ded not to miscarry, since she will take part in the action. Cyllenia told them, now the resolution is taken, let us consider of chusing out the most necessary of our furniture, and be gone. Epicharis, that already thought of getting them together, said they should soone be ready. Then Cyllenia having taken a little Cabinet, wherein was what she had most precious, put it amongst the things Epicharis wrapped up together; and every thing being in a readinesse, they went out of the Chamber without noyse-making, and tooke them to the foot of the wall, where they stayed not long, til they saw falling at their feet a ladder of cords. Melintus first ascended, & took Ariana hy the hand to hold her up in comming after him, and having drawn her to the top, he gave her to Pa­lamede who help'd her downe, and Melintus went for the two that remain'd, one after the other. Cyllenia would have Epicharis goe away first, it being more dangerous she should stay behinde than her selfe, but yet in the end they were all three saved. Presently Melintus tooke Ariana in his armes, and carried her away as fast as he could: Palamede seiz'd on his deare Epicharis, and the Greek tooke Cyllenia. Eurymedon and Amyntas, with some souldiers, favoured their slight, but they were amaz'd when they heard a great noyse in the City, and many people comming towards them. The egresse out of the house could not be so secret, but that the servants soone perceived it, and had advertis'd the guards of the Temple that came running after the ravishers, and some of them went to Dicearchus and Pisistratus, to give them advice of this escape. Eurymedon and Amyntas were constrain'd to stay those that followed them, by shutting up the passe of a street, while the Ladies might have time to be transported into the ship: they would have beene contented to sustain them; then to make their retreat, but that they saw the number increas'd, so as they resolv'd to kill some of them, to strike feare into the rest. Instantly they struck downe dead five or six upon the place, and that cool'd the courage of those that followed, so as it was easie for them to make their retreat without dan­ger. They entred into a Skiffe that waited to carry them to the vessell, and arriv'd at the same time the Ladies were brought by Melintus and the two o­ther into the Cabins for to repose them: but at their entrance they saw a strange spectacle. There were Torches in the ship, by meanes whereof Cyl­lenia seeing him that carried her, made a great cry, and violently striving, got [Page 211] out of his armes: then all affrighted as she was, she ran away towards Aria­na, looking behind her in trembling if he followed her not. On the other side the Greeke that held her, having seene her, fell downe the whole length of him, and gave no more signe of life at all. Ariana demanded of Cyllenia the cause of that great feare, and she said to her, Deare Ariana, know that I was carried away by the soule of Lepantus, which had re-assum'd his body, for to render me this office, and having put me into the ship, it left the same body that is fallen downe dead againe. Presently they went towards that Corps. Melintus and Eurymedon said it was a Greek they had brought with them, and that well deserv'd they should take care of him. Then by vertue of remedies they brought his pulse into him againe, then his sight, and a little after his speech. Ha gods! said he, what have I seene? Eurymedon tooke care of him, and Melintus return'd to Cyllenia who was all-affrighted, to tell her that it was not a dead Corps, but a living man. No, no, answered she, it was the soule of Lepantus. Melintus could not imagine what she meant; but Ari­ana that knew her life, said to her, And may it not be Lepantus himselfe, who it may be is not dead? On the other side, the Greeke sayes to Eurymedon, Ha! I have seene Cyllenia. He answer'd him, What doe you so hate Cyllenia, that you cannot see her without so much horror and amazement? Alas! 'tis contrary, replied he, I cannot see her, because I have too much lov'd her. What is't then? reparted Eurymedon, doe you flye that you love? In the estate she is in, answered he, I cannot see her but dye. On the other side Ariana sayes to Cyllenia, let us goe see if it be Lepantus. I will not goe thither, answe­red she, for he is dead. But peradventure, replied Ariana, he is living. Dead or alive, said she, I cannot endure sight of him. Thus they would neither of them see one another: Lepantus because he thought her married, and Cyl­lenia because she thought him dead, and though he had beene alive, because she had beene so unfaithfull to him. At last Ariana went to see Lepantus, and assured him that Cyllenia was not married; which he would not beleeve; then she return'd to Cyllenia to tell her that Lepantus was not dead. Thus were many voyages to be made, first to one, and then another, before they were able to certifie them; and Ariana was constrain'd to tell Lepantus in what sort the marriage of Cyllenia with Callias had beene broke, and how the dis­pleasures she had since received were punishment enough to her for her dis­loyalty. She went againe to tell Cyllenia that Lepantus had beene preserv'd from death, and had alwayes kept his affection as perfect as if shee had never failed in her constancy to him, and she prayed her to resolve to see him. Le­pantus and Cyllenia were at the last brought one before the other; Cyllenia con­ducted by Ariana and Epicharis; and Lepantus by Melintus and Eurymedon. Cyllenia cast her selfe at his feet, and in weeping asked him pardon for her fault. Lepantus put one knee to the ground to be as low as she, and in lifting her up againe, said to her, that he saw for the present how the gods had been nolyars to him, and that in saving of his life, they were desirous to conserve to her the faithfullest servant she could have in the world. After that these two lovers had many times embraced one another, full of astonishment and joy, they retired them all into the Chambers; and because it was not sure for them to stay so neare the port, the two vessels parted, and put into the full Sea. They consulted to what place they ought to retire to, not willing to goe [Page 212] to Syracuse, whither without faile they should be followed; and because Me­lintus had promis'd to assist Eurymedon for the enterprise of Pasithea, they re­solv'd to goe descend to a Port of Epirus, where they might attend him while he went to Corcyra to get his forces together, and that in the meane time Me­lintus should marry Ariana, and Lepantus Cyllenia. Taking this course they saw passe by a vessell well armed that went to Corinth: but considering of nothing but their joyes, they prayed the winds to be favourable to them, and went with full Sailes. The weather was very faire, and Melintus taking Ari­ana by the hand, led her out to goe walke upon the hatches, where having a good while entertained her, (and Palamede comming on the sudden that had something to say to his sister,) hee set himselfe in the meane time to thin­king, without ever quitting her hand, and in a short time made these Verses:

YE happy waves that beare the beauty I adore,
Which made the earth to feele her Empire rigorous;
Respect you her rule too, and be commanded o're,
This vessell gently court with kisses amorous:
Vnfaithfull Element, know that at least 'tis she
Thou ow'st thy loyalty.
What! doe you murmure waves? and foame your selves to rage,
To feele you are o're-rul'd by so triumphant power?
Rebels be quiet, and your stormes see you asswage:
If you had eyes to see, you would not be so sowre;
For soone of her regards the lovely violence
Would still your insolence.
But you are yet more fierce, and beyond custome wroth,
Pressing too neare to looke on this Divinity.
No Venus you have here, no daughter of your froth,
She you are bold to see has farre more majesty;
And that pure shamefastnesse that shines upon her face,
Shewes that she has more grace.
Yet unto us incline you to be favourable,
Vast Seas, and safely guide this Vessell to the Port:
But if we be pursued, then ope as you are able,
For them your deepest gulphs that unto death resort.
To your waters I commit this stollen jewell,
To lose it be not cruell.

Lepantus that was come upon the hatches too with Cyllenia, and the rest, heard Melintus repeat those verses he had newly made. And at the same time he composed some in emulation, and made an air of them: then having found a Harp, he accorded his voyce to it, and sung these Verses:

Soule, be no more to torments so subjected:
Heart quit vexation, and to joyes aspire:
I see my fortune passes my desire.
Where I sought death, I finde my life protected.
In place where deadly envy I suspected,
And happy Spouse's armes her to combine,
Without all thought I tooke her into mine;
Where I sought death, I finde my life protected.
When my sad griefes by fury were directed,
I sought to dye, but Seas could not me drownd:
Where I ne're sought, my fortune there I found:
Where I sought death, I finde my life protected.

After that Lepantus had made an end of singing, and they had much commen­ded his voyce, and the grace he had in touching the Lute; they prayed him to tell how he had beene sav'd from the Sea, and what his life had beene since; for Ariana had already related part of that which hapned to him be­fore. He was very willing to give them this contentment, and seeing every one set and prepar'd to listen, he quitted the Lute to put himselfe in the mid­dest of them, and began thus:

Continuation of Lepantus History.

TO avoyd the reproaches I might seeme to put upon Cyllenia, I will make no repetition of the resentments I had, to see that I was by little and lit­tle abandoned of her: yet I shall onely let you know how I flattered my selfe with a beleefe, that she would prove to what extremity of griefe my fidelity might resist. For I could not imagine that her spirit that seem'd to me so rai­sed above the ordinary of women, and had honoured mee with so perfect a confidence, could forget that estate we were in together, and draw a veile before what had passed betweene us, to lose the remembrance of it for ever: but in the end I learn'd, how to make Callias happy, shee had signed the ar­rest of my death. Untill then I thought all her coldnesses to mee were but feinings; and even when I understood my misery, I could scarce beleeve it, my minde being unable to be so soone dis-abused: it may be too I did beleeve it, seeing no cause at all of doubting, but that my soule astonish'd at so un­fortunate a blow, was then in a dizzinesse that hindred so soone an apprehen­sion of its misery. I was at last forc'd to confesse so visible a truth, and to be sensible of those stings of sorrow that accompanied so cruell an accident. Not knowing what to doe with my selfe, I went into a Boat, and fled away to Naupactum, beleeving to ease my misery by avoyding the dwelling with those that were cause of it: but I was to have the power to escape from my selfe too, that was then my cruellest enemy; my minde producing continually furious imaginations for to teare it selfe in peeces. I was not content to see my selfe in so miserable estate, but still to augment my fury and despaire, I [Page 214] sent backe one of my servants to Corinth in the same Squiffe, for to goe to the Temple where Cyllenia was to be married, and bring me newes after what sort she would governe her selfe in that action. I expected that newes with as much unquietnesse, as if I had hoped for the greatest pleasure of my life by it: but when he was return'd, and I knew that after shee had given me my death, she added blowes that seem'd to come from an extreme inhumanity, as to desire to know what I had done, after hearing she was married; my soule could not endure this anguish, it chased away my reason, and receiv'd in place of it, desperation; which getting the mastery, ordain'd me to say to the man that spake to me; Goe, and faile not to tell her what thou art about to know: and suddenly I gained the height of a great rocke, that avances into the Sea, and cast my selfe downe in his presence.

But who can doubt (after what I shall tell you) of the continuall care the gods have over us? for it is impossible to attribute to fortune, that is blinde, and imprudent, many assistances we receive in the greatest hazards of our life, which cannot be given but from a better, and a more advised hand. In stead of losing my selfe, I fell, as I may now say, happily, into a great Fishers net, who were with their Boats under that same rocke. My fall was so sudden before the eyes of these men, that I was at the bottome of the water before they could judge what it was; and they thinking it was some monstrous fish that had thus leap'd out of the water and then fallen in againe, drew up their net with great expectation and hope. When I came to appeare, they could not yet know what it was, because I was intangled with the net, and store of weeds that involved me: but at last when they had dis-intricated all with much carefulnesse, they found to their great griefe that it was a man. Never­thelesse their hope was turned into pitty, and after they had made me voyd the water I had drunke, they spread me upon their cloaks, and labour'd very carefully by all wayes to make me come againe. I opened at length my eyes, and when I knew the place I was in, I was much amaz'd, yet after I had learn'd in what manner I was preserv'd from death, and a long time studi­ed upon so strange an accident, I knew that the gods were not willing I should dye. That consideration affected me with piety and feare all at once, and brought me to understand what fault I had committed against them, when I followed the blind transports of my despaire. This gave me the reso­lution to live, but not to comfort me; and I intreated these people to carry me in their Boats to some remote place, where I would reward them for their paines. They set up then a little sayle, and because the wind was good to goe to Cyrrha, which is a Towne of Phocide something neare that place, we arrived there presently. I found that they had taken away nothing that was about me, so I had enough to content them with. I had besides remaining some Diamonds, which now were happily at hand, wherewith I beleev'd I might make a voyage: in such sort as I tooke upon me to goe on, not yet know­ing in what part I should chuse my abiding, and having no other purpose than to flye the circuits of Corynth. But yet I could finde no corner of the earth where to live without sorrow, & I had bin very happy if in any place I could have lost my love and my remembrance. My fidelity had too profound a rooting to be shaken, and inconstancy was not acceptable to me, but in the continuall change of places, that gave some diversion to my unhappy con­stancy. [Page] I wander'd thus over all Greece, avoyding those places I had any ac­quaintance in; and for that reason I would not see Athens, which is a Towne that might have much diverted my griefe, because of Eriphile my deare sister, who is married to one of the best men of this great City. What, interrupted Melintus, are you brother to the vertuous Eriphile, wife of Ephialtes? Yes, re­plied Lepantus. Give me leave, continued Melintus, to embrace you then, since you are brother to one of the wisest women I ever knew, at whose house I was a long time brought up, and to whom I have a thousand sensible obli­gations. Then they express'd a great deale of kindnesse one to another, and Palamede that had shared in the friendship of the sage Eriphile, would also min­gle himselfe with their embracements. Afterwards Melintus referring to some other time to tell him all the causes he had to love and serve him for his sisters sake, prayed him to continue his story. Lepantus went on: In the end I resolv'd with my selfe to depart from Greece, and to passe into Asia. I arriv'd in Eolida, from thence I went into Lydia and Phrygia, but there befell me no remarkable thing but in Galatia, where I ran a great hazard of perishing by an infamous death.

As I was comming neere to arrive at the principall City, I passed by a wood where some murther had beene committed. I saw my selfe incompassed with a number of horsemen, who tooke me for one of the murtherers, and carri­ed me away to the City, what innocency soever I was able to alleage. They that did the murther were presently after apprehended and put in prison with me, and when they knew that I was accused of their crime, they mocked at me among themselves, and swore they would not discharge me though they knew me not, that I might die with them for company. I was much perplexed having no meanes to justifie me but by them, and in great displeasure that I was to dye so shamefully, as a way-robber and a murtherer. One day when I thought they came for us to be led to punishment, I saw comming in an Officer of Justice, who having assembled all the Criminals, declar'd to them that each was to choose his advocate, for to plead his cause before the King; to the end that the most eloquent of all should beare away for his Client the grace that was yeerely accorded. I enquir'd what that grace was, and learn'd that in Iulius Caesar's time, Dejotarus was King of Galatia, who after he had followed the party of Pompeius, and beene received into favour by Caesar, was accused for having dressed Ambuscado's for him, when he was at his house in Galatia. For that cause he was cited to Rome, where making his appearance, he was ready to be condemn'd to dye by Caesar and the Senate, but for the succours of Cicero's marvellous eloquence, which had so much force as to make Caesar change his determination, and pardon Dejotarus. The King be­ing return'd to Galatia, that he might remember this benefit receiv'd by elo­quence, ordained that every yeare on a certaine day, the Criminall persons should make choyce of Advocates, amongst whom he that should be judg'd the most eloquent should carry away for his Client the grace of his life, be­sides the advocates prize, to whom was given a Crowne of great value. Af­ter I had learn'd this, I knew that the most famous advocates were retained of a long time by great summes of money, and I saw it would be very diffi­cult for me to hope for that grace, having no meanes, nor any acquaintance in the Country. Neverthelesse I tooke heart, and said all aloud to this Officer, [Page 216] that I demanded leave to defend my selfe. Every one tooke him to laughter to heare my proposition, for they saw me in an estate too miserable, to be­leeve I could have any science: but for all that I gave in my name, to the end I might be heard before the King as well as the rest. In eight dayes space that were given to prepare the Orations that should be made, I had leisure enough to thinke of mine: and when the time was come, they brought us all to the Palace. We were put into a great Hall round about certaine barres, that hindred any approaching to the King, who was within upon a seat rai­sed with foure or five steps, and had on each side of him his chiefe Officers that were the Judges. When they would begin to heare the pleadings, the barres were open'd to let in the first Advocate that was to speake, who stan­ding before the King, began a very studied speech, wherein hee labour'd to defend a criminall that was present with us. When he had ended, there rose a little noyse of the different judgements were made of him: then they ope­ned to another, who discours'd with a great deale of vehemence; and so many were heard one after another. I was in a wonder to see so many Ad­vocates, but they told me there were come of them from all parts of Asia, and out of Greece too, some sought to by the Criminals, and others invited by the ambition of making their knowledge appeare, and carrying the prize. This number troubled me much, yet order was taken that the speeches should be short, for else one day had not beene sufficient to heare all that presented themselves. At last, they said there were no more Advocates to plead. The King was now demanding the Judges advice, and I thought to have step'd forward, to intreat audience, but an Herald prevented me, that told the King there remain'd no more but a poore Criminall called Lepantus, who desir'd to defend himselfe. Well then, answered the King, wee will not deny him that justice. Then I entred within the barre, and being before the King, I said in a few words what I had premeditated, with all the assurance and modesty I could. Brave Lepantus, interrupted Melintus, doe not deprive us I pray you the repetition of that Oration; we have time enough to heare it, and since it is but short, it cannot be grievous to you. Grant this at least to the desire of Cyllenia, who so attentively hearkens to the accidents of your life during her owne vexations. 'Tis to command me, answer'd Lepantus, so to intreat, and since you will have it so, I will recite what I spake then; I began thus:

GReat King, and you equitable Iudges, I cannot complaine of fortune, for the strange accident I am fallen into, since she gives me the happinesse to be heard of you: And wherefore should I be aggriev'd at her? since both before and after my calamity, she provided me meanes to releeve my selfe? As soone as I entred this Coun­trey, she hath rendred me criminall before I was culpable; but at such a time when a grace is offer'd which she puts me in hope to obtaine, having made me to be instructed from my infancy in all sorts of Sciences and Arts, foreseeing the need I should have of their assistance. The gods beside had beene unjust and cruell to permit the adven­ture is arri'vd to me, if they had not knowne in what sort I could secure my selfe. Ac­cuse me not of presumption for being assured to carry away this day the prize is given to the most eloquent: it's impossible you should refuse me it, seeing there is nothing can better perswade than innocence.

All that the Art of Eloquence can doe for to palliate a crime, is to breed a doubt to [Page] take away the knowledge of the accusation, whether it be true or false; then it labours to move compassion in the Iudges, to make them incline towards the better part: but truth hath no need of artifice or disguisement; she discovers her all naked, and then produces out of her selfe an infinity of powerfull and invincible proofes. This is that truth that comes to my defense, and goes so pure out of my mouth, as you shall have no trouble to acknowledge it.

No crime it was, most just King, that made me depart my owne Countrey: neither by any crime have I entred into this. One misfortune drove me from the land of my birth, and another have I met with, in your kingdome. The first lost mee the dearest of my hopes, and the other will violently take from me the onely things are left mee, which are honour and life. As for my life, I would abandon it willingly as the most unfortunate of the world; 'tis not the feare of losing it that makes mee speake before you. I endevoured to forsake that when it seem'd honourable for me to dye: but since the crime they accuse me of is shamefull, and the punishment that threatens it; this occasion hath fast bound my life unto my honour, and I am obliged to defend the one, for to preserve the other.

Since I left Greece, I wandred from province to province to give ease to an anguish that afflicts me, and passing by a wood to arrive at this City, I perceiv'd that I was environed with persons that tooke hold of me, without telling me for what cause: after­wards I knew there had beene a man slaine in that same place, and how the murthe­rers were brought to the same prison with mee, who knowing that I was accus'd of their crime, mocked at me when they saw me, and sware they would not declare mee innocent.

But it is easie to verifie whether I be guilty or no. Let them be interrogated apart in what sort they know me, and it will appeare that I never saw them before. It is but a moneth since I passed into Asia, and in that time I traversed Eolida, Lydia, and Troas: I was but two dayes within Galatia, and the day I was taken, I had come from a place so remote from hence, that it was impossible for me to have any acquain­tance with them. All this may be knowne of those whom I lodged with in my voyages, who will not deny to witnesse to that I say.

See there, great King, and you the Iudges, all the eloquence I will serve my selfe of: The truth it is that speakes out of my mouth: Shee will have you give her the victory of this dayes worke, it's she pretends the prize, and not I: she shewes her selfe to you all naked, for to shew you, that the others eloquence, in comparison of her, is but an adulterate beauty. Iustice, that is seated by your sides, holds out her armes to her, and from under her head-band failes not to know her perfectly. This severe goddesse is without doubt for the present well satisfied, that the gods have put amongst the accused an innocent, for feare she should this day have beene constrai­ned to let goe an offender. Great King, take pitty of a stranger, that has no support with you besides this justice: but this stay is very powerfull, sine 'tis that alone that can maintaine kingdomes. I feare not death, but infamy. If I cannot deserve the prize of eloquence from so many rare wits, ordaine me at least from this present to goe employ my life in the defense of your frontiers against the Barbarians: I shall esteeme my selfe happy to dye like a man of courage. If I cannot avoyd death, at leastwise let me avoyd shame: or if you will make this day famous, by the most memorable judg­ment that ever was, let none of us all beare away the victory; but give in my favour the prize of eloquence to truth, and life to innocence.

[Page 218] I made an end thus with some kinde of hope, because I was heard with much attention. Presently the King rose up, and after taking the opinions of all the Judges, he sate him downe in his seat againe; then hee pronounc'd; The Greeke Lepantus is declared by our judgement innocent and victorious. By and by they came for me from among the criminals with whom I had pla­ced me againe; and making me approach to the Throne where the King was, I put one knee upon one of the steps, and received from his hand the crowne ordained for the victor. The King was not contented with this grace, which he had given to my innocence rather than my eloquence; but lifting up him­selfe he tooke me by the arme, and commanded me to accompany him, be­cause he would know what I was. He did me the favour to leane on mee till we came to his chamber, where having enquir'd of me all he had a minde to, I satisfied him with the most respect I could; then he offered me one of the chiefe places of his judicature, if I would stay with him. I answered him, that being redeuable to him for so many graces, hee might dispose of the life he had given me: but that finding me uncapable to governe my selfe, it would be impossible for me to governe his people that were under his authority. That if he would adde an extreme favour to so many others, I besought him would give me leave to returne into my owne Countrey. He labour'd to re­taine me still by some reasons, but seeing that if I would have yeelded to him, it was for not daring to contradict him; and that my desire was altogether bent to depart his Realme, he made me some presents, and let me goe. I put my selfe into some equipage for my returne, and providing me of men and horses for not running any more such shamefull fortune, I re-passed by the same wayes I came; then I crossed the Egean Sea, and descended into Mace­donia, where having stayed some time, I went into Epire, whither we are now going. But because vexations were my most agreeable company, I began to be weary of my men, and resolved to goe live in some solitude. According to this project I left them in Epire, with charge to attend mee there, untill I had made a voyage into Italy. I passed the Sea without any of my people, and arriv'd at Brundusium: I traversed Apulia, never meeting with any place I could delight in; from thence I came to Cumae, where having found a cor­ner to be alone in as much as I would, I tooke some small provision to eat, which I carried in with me; and there I accused the gods as much as I plea­sed: I tormented my selfe according to my humour with cruell remem­brances: and the more paine I inflicted on my selfe, the more satisfaction I imagin'd to receive. That place was the den of the Cumean Sybil, and one night when I had made a thousand complaints, I bethought my selfe to im­plore the succours of her voyce, which as they said was still remaining in the world, for to favour me with an Oracle. This sacred Sybil at last had pitty of my evils, and I heard the divine voyce speake to me in these verses:

Lover of Constancy undaunted,
Thou shalt perceive thy griefes decay,
If thou return'st without delay
Where to thee thy birth was granted.

Epicharis, Melintus and Palamede interrupted this discourse, by taking them [Page] to laugh, and said all at once, Was it you then, Lepantus, we gave that same Oracle to? Looke you, continued Melintus in shewing Epicharis, there's your Sybil that pronounc'd the verses, and I it was that made them on the place. Lepantus was so amaz'd that he knew not what to say, having beleev'd untill then that he had beene divinely assisted; whereupon being all confounded, Cyllenia, Eurymedon, and the rest that knew nothing of that incounter, prayed Epicharis to tell them what it was. She recounted to them, how being esca­ped they three out of the prisons of Rome, and flying that City, they hid them one night within this den, where hearing a man that complained to himselfe, and implor'd the ayd of the Sybils voyce, she resolv'd to counter­fet that voyce, and to send backe this wofull man to his owne kindred. Le­pantus returning out of his astonishment, said to her; Faire Epicharis, is it possible, this you say? 'Tis even so, answered she, and beside I call you well to my remembrance, because now I know 'twas you that passed by us the next day morning. 'Tis true, said Lepantus, that I saw some body that would have stayed me; but I was so satisfied with my Oracle, and the gods assi­stance, that nothing was capable of holding me. In the meane time, said E­picharis, see how beyond all thought I have prov'd true: for you have found here by my meanes, your fortune entirely changed; and to me you are be­holding for all your prosperity. 'Tis true, replied Lepantus, that you are my Sybil, and the sole goddesse I am bound to adore; since of you alone I hold all the contentments of my life; and had it not beene for you, I should still be within that grot. Everyone admired this rencounter, and how casually they had repair'd to that same place, and beene inspired to render him the Oracle that was the truest, and the most wholesome the gods themselves had beene able to have given him. Lepantus gave many thanks to Epicharis, and to the gods which had spoken to him by her mouth. The he went on:

Although I beleev'd the gods tooke care of me, and would deliver me out of that miserable life I was in, yet I could not imagine for all that they were able to heale me otherwise than by the forgetting of my love: in such sort that albeit I followed the command of that Oracle, it was without all hope of good fortune, because I would not be cured on that fashion. I tooke the way of my Country with languish and disdaine enough, finding my selfe forced to goe thither by a power that seem'd fearefull to me, and yet abhorring the ve­ry places I sought. That caused me to make no very great haste for avancing my way, and being arriv'd at Rheggium after many dayes, I was well con­tent to find no shipping there to goe to Corinth, because the more I drew neare it, the more feare had I to arrive. At Rheggium I had an host, a very ancient friend of my deceased father, whom I resolv'd to goe see, never thinking he could have any knowledge of my miseries; to the end I might so journe some time in that place. This good man that was called Menander, having knowne of me who I was, made as much of me as was possible; and knowing that I stayed at Rheggium but whilest some vessell parted for Corinth, he prayed me to dwell with him as long time as I pleased, and express'd to me, that he could not receive a greater contentment, than to see the sonne of his good friend. I was in this house a long time, because they were not weary of me, and I thought not of going away, not yet being able to resolve of any thing.

[Page 220] Menander knew very well my minde was troubled, and having many times labour'd to know the cause of it, he could never learne any thing, whereup­on not willing to presse me any further, he onely tried to divert me. He had a daughter was married at his house, nam'd Melicerta, that was a very pleasing woman, and of a most gentile wit, he commanded her not to leave me with­out entertainment, and she perform'd the charge with a great care, and more grace withall. Every day I knew the City newes, which shee was well in­form'd of; and when the time furnish'd none of it selfe, shee related to mee things that had passed before, and so agreeably made her recites, that she ren­dred my mind attentive to her discourse, and gave it no time to consider of its melancholy. But since we have leisure enough, I must needs impart a sto­ry of hers to you, that so possessed me when I heard it from her, and in such sort diverted me for seeming to concerne my affaires, that I beleeve I shall bring some pleasure to you too by the repetition of it.

One day I saw come to her house a Lady call'd Ardania, to visit her; and by the kinde entertainments they gave one another, I knew that they were intire friends. This Lady had much sparkling: but her beauty seem'd to have encountred some great sicknesse, because her complexion, though very deli­cate, was pale and decayed, and her eyes that were very full, and of an agree­able bignesse, had no quicknesse in them; and were so languishing, that they seemed to regret the losse of their lustre and charming vivacity. I perceiv'd how my presence made their discourses indifferent, and hindred them from speaking freely together; so as I tooke Chares apart (that was Melicerta's hus­band) and entertain'd him, for to give them all the liberty I could. I saw well I had done them a pleasure, for they were more than an houre in secret together; and at length Ardania resolv'd to be gone. Chares would wait on her home, because it was at the latest, and left me alone with Melicerta, that said to me a little after; Here was a Lady that has beene a great deale hand­somer than she now appeares for: but her griefes have caus'd that change. I attributed, said I to her, that palenesse to some sicknesse; for there is no doubt but she still retaines the marks of an extraordinary beauty. I will not conceale from you, continues Melicerta, that for an inconstant woman she is as well punish'd as could have beene desired; and when I consider the accidents that hapned to three or foure of my acquaintance, I finde that love is very just: when he pretends to be revenged, he advises sometimes to punish in­fidelities after a pleasant manner; and though Ardania be my dearest friend, I have so much confidence in your discretion, as not to feare relating to you the whole story.

Three or foure yeeres agoe, went she on, amongst the most accomplish'd of of this City, there was one call'd Polydamas, who besides many other excel­lent qualities, had so great a discretion, that it made him be lov'd of all the world. He was of kin to Ardania, and that consideration made them see one another often; they had each a very great esteeme of other: and their affi­nity giving them still cause to love, they were indeared with much affection, and did communicate together with a great confidence. I was at that time one that knew all Ardania's secrets, and I perceiv'd that nothing pleased her like unto Polydamas, for she ever made me relations to his advantage, and if he then made her not in love with him, at the least he made her have con­tempt [Page] for all other men. Hee was engaged above two yeares before, in the search of a Maid nam'd Elusina, who loved him with so much constancy, that she suffered for his sake all the cruelties a furious father can inflict, when he sees his daughters passion contrary to his designes. Ardania knew of Polyda­mas all that passed in that affection: but because he was more loved, than he lov'd himselfe, he pursued that enterprise with coldnesse enough, and secon­ded not the endevours Elusina made to attaine to what they desir'd: onely he contented himselfe to render her such duties, as hee could not deny her without expression of much forgetfulnesse and contempt. Ardania some­times reproach'd him before me for the small care he had of Elusina; and he confessed to her selfe that she was cause that he could never have a love to any to be in love with. In the end the constancy of Elusina gave way to the violencies of her father; she resolv'd with her selfe to obey him, and for this demanded leave of Polydamas, that she might be deliver'd from the vex­ations she was made to endure. He did at that time an action that might seeme to proceed from a good sincere affection; but that was indeed a testimony of his coldnesse. He wrote to her, that not able to see her eternally endure, he had resolved to intreat her the same thing for which she had desired leave of him: that losing all hope, she ought to give satisfaction to her friends, to preserve her selfe from misery; that he prayed her to forget him, if it were possible, for not being all her life miserable; that for this purpose he return'd her all the pledges he had of her friendship, and remitted her all the oaths she had made him; to the end that engagement hindred not her repose. Hereupon she married, and left Polydamas at liberty, who but poorely re­sented this misfortune. Ardania, continued Melicerta, has a brother call'd Misander, who, with other base qualities, is possess'd of so heavy a melancho­ly, as he is distastfull to all company. Lepantus was there interrupted by A­myntas, who told him, I have sufficiently knowne Misander to my cost. Ari­ana added, it may be 'tis the same Misander Erycine spake of to me. The ve­ry same, replied Amyntas, whose humour made us suffer a long time both of us. I perceive then, went on Lepantus, you know him better than I doe by sight; but yet peradventure I know more than you the effects of that sad hu­mour that vexes himselfe, and has given so much trouble to others. Polyda­mas, continued Melicerta, though he despised Misanders humour, yet he gave not over making shewes of kindnesse to him that he might be often with Ar­dania, whose company he was very well pleas'd with. One day Misander heard how they spake of marrying Polydamas; and when they were all three together, he told this newes to his sister, as if it had beene very agreeable to them; whereupon Ardania blush'd. Polydamas observ'd this action; for there is nothing so soone perceived, as that which makes for our advantage, and he judged that she was interessed much in him. That made him thinke of a thing he was not yet well advised in, which was to seeke her affection, having but till then desired her friendship. Ardania was farre more handsome than Elusina, and it was very easie to kindle a fire, after the beginning of heat that was betweene them. There had beene nothing but the consideration of their kindred that hindred Polydamas from casting his eyes upon her for to marry her; but then he knew, that since she made no difficulty of it, hee ought not to be more scrupulous than she. See him then resolv'd to testifie [Page 222] much passion to her; and without seeming to have apperceiv'd her inclina­tion, that she might not be asham'd for having prevented him, he judged that he was to feine to have lov'd her of a long time with a conceal'd affecti­on. Upon that occasion he made many verses, whereby hee said it was at least permitted him to put in writing what hee suffered without telling the subject of it, and to comfort his mind in this sort, for so many cruell thoughts that tormented it, and would breake out. At the same time hee was more carefull than ordinarily in his respects to Ardania, and expressed to her by his sighs, and some interrupted words, that he dyed for love of her. At the first testimony she had of it, she learn'd me the newes that Polydamas lov'd her, as a thing extremely desired of her, and that possessed her with joy; I was then at her house, when he shewed her those verses, and shee was very glad to have him read them before me, to the end I might know how much passion he had. He imputed all his coldnesses for Elusina, to this secret love he had for another a long time since, and feined to have done many things out of necessity, which were not done then without designe. We ask'd him many questions upon this secret love he yet declared not, to all which he ve­ry well satisfied; and Ardania tooke great pleasure therein. Hee knew very well we understood all he would say; and from that time we tooke a custome of speaking together without declaring of any thing openly; and yet we fai­led not to tell all things as intelligibly, as if he had told the name of her he loved. I found him very happy for treating on this fashion, because that un­der the coverture of the kindred, he tooke such liberties as would not have beene permitted him, if he had beene declar'd for a lover: as to bring neare often his mouth to hers, and to hold and kisse her hand incessantly. Thus was it that he gave birth to the most violent passion that ever was, because this faire Cousin refusing him not those caresses, and obliging him with a streight confidence, he felt himselfe so redeuable towards her, and at the same time so touched at her beauty, that he kindled a fire not of a long time to be quen­ched. Misander saw not very willingly this great intelligence; yet hee could not judge then that it were other than a simple friendship. Polydamas seeing that he had need of this melancholicke man, gave him in the meane time all sorts of duties; for Ardania had but a mother who was very old; and all the power of the house was in the hands of this Misander, who though of a weake and heavy spirit, had yet the authority because of the harshnesse of his disposition which they were afraid to displease. Ardania and Polydamas per­swaded him for the most to what they had a minde to by gentlenesse of spi­rit: but they feared him, when he should have come to know of their love; for he had other projects for his sister. One day Misander, whether out of simplicity, or of purpose, intreated Polydamas to perswade Ardania to a marri­age she resisted. Polydamas found himselfe oblig'd to speake of it to her, and it chanced to fall out in my presence. He represented to her all the conside­rations that ought to move her for the choyce of that husband, whereto at the beginning she replied with laughter, as if she thought he did but mocke her; but he urged her so, in speaking seriously concerning this affaire, in plot, as I beleeve, to prove her, that at last she was angry, and said to him, that she tooke this ill at his hands, more than at any other. She discover'd her selfe thus, and it was the first word had escaped her, whereby she shewed [Page 223] that she approved his affection. Then he appeased her, and would make her beleeve he had so spoken to know her thoughts; and to tell them to her bro­ther. She feined not to tell Polydamas often, that she should be the most mi­serable woman of the world, if the resolution she had prosper'd not: but al­though he knew that he was well lov'd of her, yet he knew it not then so well as I did, to whom Ardania told a thousand things touching his affection, that made me see, never woman was more in love.

Afterwards there was presented a party to her, which gave them many fears and troubles. The businesse had beene debated amongst the kindred before communicating it with Ardania, because they would not so much as doubt of her will, in such sort as all was in a good forwardnesse, when shee learn'd the newes of it. Consider her then full of apprehensions, and all she could doe, was to represent some difficulties. She acquainted Polydamas with it, who knew not what remedy to invent; and their affection not daring yet to breake forth, they were both of them in great paine. One day he came in to Ardania's, when the friends of either party were assembled, to remove some difficulties concerning that marriage. Misander came out to meet him, and Polydamas signified to him that he would be gone, since they were busie. No, no, said Misander, you shall stay if you please, because you have as much in­terest in this affaire, as any one that is here. As little, said Polydamas to him­selfe, then suffer'd to be led to the place where they were that debated the differences. Ardania was present, as pale as if she had beene ready to be con­demned to death: but when shee saw Polydamas enter, shee conceiv'd some hope, and tooke a little courage. He was in the esteeme of so great vertue, and so good a judgement, that presently they propos'd the difficulties to him for to consider and judge of them himselfe. At first he pretended that he would accord all things; having for all that no other designe than to breake this assembly; and said that they were to yeeld on either side, and that small respects ought not to hinder an affaire of great importance. He insinuated himselfe by this meanes into the credence of both parties; but when they would precipitate the marriage, he said, that was not reasonable, and that that which regarded the whole life deserv'd to be thought of at more leisure. In the end he was so skilfull in managing their wits, that he brake this assem­bly, and made the resolution be deferr'd to the next day. Ardania at the be­ginning knew not what to thinke of Polydamas, hearing him speake: but see­ing he had so well brought about his designe, she was very wel satisfied. Then being alone with Misander and his mother, he declar'd how they were to di­strust those that would dazle their eyes by so sudden a resolution as they ob­lig'd them to take; that there was some great defect conceal'd under it, and time were necessary to finde it out. After he had put these suspitions into them, they made so many adjournments, as they gave despite to the o­thers; and at last all was broken off, to the great contentment of Ardania and Polydamas, who were of opinion that they could not alwayes so turne off the stormes that should be presented, and that it was time for them to declare. The succours Polydamas had given Ardania in this last occasion, had so ob­liged her, that she was intirely bound to him, and gave him all the honest assurances Love is able to accord. They consulted of the meanes they were to use, and provided them of persons that might make her mother consent. [Page 224] There was but this troublesome Misander, who was too wild a beast to be ea­sily governed; so as there were but few to be found that could perswade him. Polydamas that had an empire upon his minde, had beene the onely man suf­ficient to bring him to any thing he was willing to have him, if he had beene to speake to him for another, but for to serve himselfe of him, he remain'd without force. Upon these attempts the mother sickens, and dyes. Ardania after having rendred her the last duties, receiv'd no consolation but from the faithfull company of her deare Polydamas, who beleev'd not that any thing was able to hinder their good fortune, since she was left Mistresse of her selfe. There was made betweene them a renuing of assurances; they lived in so strict an union, and had as particular cares for one another, as if they had beene already married together. Then were presented more parties for her, so as they resolved to conclude their affaires, and to make the proposition of them to Misander, to whom she had purposed to declare her absolute will, and to pray him to consent thereto, if not to passe forward. Polydamas made choyce of one of his friends to speake to Misander; and he acquitted himselfe so well, shewing him a thousand respects that ought to oblige him to desire that mar­riage, that if he had been of any judgement, he could not have refused to con­sent to a thing so desired of all. He receiv'd this overture with a great deale of sadnesse; neverthelesse he promis'd to speake of it to his sister; but within his minde he conceiv'd a furious hatred against Polydamas, in stead of the neare friendship was betwixt them; and he beleev'd, as there was much ap­pearance for it, that Polydamas had not express'd affection to him but for this designe. So, unworthy soules faile not to acknowledge their owne defaults, and the merit of others, through the darknesse that encompasses them; and in stead of cherishing the vertue of those that excell them, they hate and shun them for feare of being over-ruled. Misander being return'd to his house, makes himselfe sicke, and refuses to eat: they aske him what his griefe is, he is angry, and spightfull, hee knowes not to whom to take him for to wreake his choler on; and his whole project is but to counterfet the mad man and inraged, in testimony of his aversion to his sisters designe. Ardania doubted that all his transports came from the declaration had beene made him, where­of she was well advertis'd; and knew not how to speake to him in this un­quiet humour. At last he tooke him to his bed, and then sent for his sister to come to him, and when they were alone, he said to her; Well, sister, I knew at last the cause of your coldnesses, and of all the refuses you made of the parties were offered you; I perceiv'd my suspitions were well grounded, when I could not approve such secrecy with Polydamas. I know well 'tis from your advice that he makes you be demanded in marriage: See if it be a thing you have resolv'd on: I can no longer hinder your purposes, & will signe you what consent you will have me: but assure your selfe, that I will not live two dayes after. Yes, I will dye, and make him dye too, for having mock'd mee all his life, and abused my freedome for to deceive me and you also. There fell in continuation a torrent of enraged words against Polydamas and Arda­nia, and after that his fury had taken some respite, she told him, that she knew not why he should be so transported; that she was ignorant of Polydamas de­signe, but that if he had an affection to her, he honour'd her by it; that shee would tell him truly, that if he consented to it, he should doe her a great [Page] pleasure, for she could never be happy but with him. I would rather, said he to her, throw my selfe downe headlong, and strike a poynard into your bo­some. No, no, I shall hinder the effect of your fancies well enough, or else bloud shall be seene spilt. Ardania perceiving that his transport made him speake strange follies, left him, without expression of any great care she tooke at his words, and they both pass'd away a night that gave them but little re­pose. I had beene chosen, continued Melicerta, by these two lovers, to be their confident during the traverses which they had foreseene, and it was im­possible for them to see one another after that declaration, Misander having shut up all the avenues: so as Polydamas the next day came to see me, to know what had passed. I told him that affaires were much embroyled, and that there was a rumour in the house, that Misander was mad, and Ardania resisted his rage the best she could.

But it was a strange thing, to see the small force of Ardania: shee could not indure her brothers choler, and seeing that he would not eat, she went to be­seech him not to be angry, and she would doe nothing contrary to his will. I durst not tell Polydamas of this weaknesse, seeing to what point of sadnesse he was brought, because Ardania had not spoken with so great a resolution as he expected. She on the other side seeing her brother pacified, recover'd her forces, and express'd affection to Polydamas: Misander then made the mad­man as before, and constrain'd his sister to give way to him. That combat be­tweene Ardania's love and Misanders rage endured a long time, and when this was cooled, the other had the advantage. In the meane time Polydamas seeing no more Ardania, that put not in effect what she had promis'd him, was tor­mented with many cares and unquietnesses; and the more facility he saw of executing their designes, the more griefe he had to see that she could not re­solve to despise her brother. But to come to the infidelities I told you of, said Melicerta, which were punished one by another, I will let passe all the strifes Ardania made; then the weaknesses which made her release, with all the com­plaints and reproaches Polydamas us'd to her, who yet was so discreet, as he never complain'd of her but to her selfe and to me. He had beene false to E­lusina without her knowing of it, and she too had beene unfaithfull to him, in abandoning him to deliver her selfe from misery, although shee beleev'd that he still lov'd her. Love, to revenge Polydamas on Elusina, made her being mar­ried have her husband in such a contempt, that she feined not to seeke to Po­lydamas againe who despised her. Againe, to revenge Elusina on Polydamas, he caused Ardania to forget the greatest affection that ever was; and I beleeve that which made her unfaithfull, was the fidelity of her glasse, which repre­senting her complexion to her effaced with cares, What now? said she, shall I lose my beauty that procur'd me so many vowes and commendations, to maintaine my love that brings upon me so many mischiefes? No, no, let us quit this love, the trouble of my soule, and the ruine of my dearest treasures; and forgetting it for ever, let that beauty returne, which for one lost lover shall gaine me above a thousand. See her then deliberating to become hand­some againe, and for the recovery of her good lookes, quite unwilling to heare speake of Polydamas any more. I wondred with my selfe at so strange a change; and when I reproach'd her for her lightnesse, she had the boldnesse to deny to me all she had told me when she lov'd Polydamas, even thus farre, [Page 226] as she would have made me beleeve, that shee never had any affection at all to him. At that time a young man call'd Cyllarus sought her; he had loved Danaide, a woman he had beene beholding to for all the civility he knew with Ladies, for she had taken the paines to instruct his youth; whereupon Cyl­larus being ingrate, renounc'd her friendship, and pursued the affection of Ardania. Love that had already taken vengeance of Elusina and Polydamos, was revenged at one blow of two unfaithfull persons; joyning in marriage Cyllarus with Ardania to punish them one by the other. This delicate woman that thought her charmes so puissant, could not stay that wanderer; who was no sooner married, but that he return'd to Danaide, and without considering of the displeasures he gave his new wife, sought by all the wayes he could to re-enter into her good graces. Danaide in revenge of her selfe, mocked him a long time, whereat he receiv'd so many sorrowes, as he could not hide them before Ardania. She on the other side seeing her selfe despised, began to re­gret her faithfull Polydamas, she had forsaken; so as being both of them in bed, they lay off from one another as farre as they could, and suspired each of them apart, one for Danaide, the other for Polydamas. But a while since, Cyl­larus has found the meanes to re-joyne with Danaide, and this is that Ardania but now told me, said Melicerta, at least she has this opinion, whether it be so indeed, or that her jealousie makes her beleeve it. Doe but see, Lepantus, said she to me, what repose Ardania can expect for the present: for whether her husband finds himselfe in grace, or in disgrace with Danaide, she receives by it the same affliction: she despaires to see him sigh for her; on the other side she dyes, when Danaide makes him happy, and in this I account her most miserable indeed, that the more she is afflicted, the more she brings her selfe into estate never to regaine the affection of Cyllarus. At length all those dis­pleasures have caused the losse of that beauty she had so much cherish'd, and for which she had forsaken him that had so much affection for her. Polydamas meeting her by chance very lately, and seeing that faire face so alter'd as it was, made verses under another name, which he sent to me; and I assure my selfe, Lepantus, added Melicerta, you will finde them very witty. She tooke them out of her pocket, and shew'd me them; I tooke a copy of them, which I have now about me. Lepantus let Melintus see it, and the company, and it was thus:

PHillis, alas how you are changed:
Where are the baits you had so rare?
Ha! now my love is well revenged:
My eyes are wondring who you are:
And is your beauty thus to change inclin'd,
In imitation of your minde?
Poore Phillis! you have no more charmes
To make another amorous:
Your eyes deprived of their armes,
Are now no more so dangerous:
Their beames so lively, now have lost the art
Of penetrating to the heart.
For when you banished that flame
Which in your spirit had such power,
Not without fury forth it came,
Your complexion to devoure.
That teint though lovely had not force enow
For to resist so keene a blow.
Your beauty proved faithfull yet,
When your heart wanted loyalty,
For seeing me to dye for it,
It rather chose to dye for me.
Her fairest flower passing so soone away,
Was constant in her changing day.
Alas! said the soule so grieved,
Beauty will you forsake us quite?
To this lover I'm obliged,
Answer'd she in great despite;
If you resolve to change, and make him dye,
My change must give him remedy.

Lepantus folding up the verses went on. Melicerta thus ended her story, which I listned very attentively to, continually thinking upon Cyllenia; whom for all that I could not wish to be punished in like sort; having alwayes kept for her so deare a remembrance, that very often when my memory presented her to my imagination, and let me see her as unfaithfull, it seemed that I tur­ned away my sight, but I had sorrow to be willing at the same time, and un­willing to thinke of her. And thus lived I during my griefes, which Melicerta only was able to comfort by her delightfull recites. But at length I consider'd how I too long time neglected the good fortune the gods had promis'd me; so I thought of departing; and having found the commodity of a vessell, I tooke leave of Menander, Chares, and Melicerta; and being at Sea, we were encountred by Eurymedon. His companions having kill'd some of those were with us, I attended to receive my death at their hands, and I beleev'd that that was the alleviation of my miseries the gods had promis'd me, not able to imagine any other. And for this cause I presented my selfe without armes with much assurance before their swords. They were amaz'd to see me so re­solute to dye; and Eurymedon who saw me in this action, thought it was out of greatnesse of courage; so as he sav'd me, and embracing me exprest that he would have me be his friend. Afterwards I was present when the Pyrats went to assaile the brave Melintus; and I was so happy as to render Eurymedon what he had lent me, by obtaining of Melintus that he would not kill him. In the end following so couragious a troop, I found in my armes my deare Cyl­lenia, as pure, as faire, and with as much affection for me as ever, and all this by the strangest hazard fortune is able to produce. 'Tis for this I shall esteeme my selfe all my life time redeuable to the faire Epicharis, whom I shall here­after call my Sybilla; and though this incounter may be ascrib'd to fortune, I beleeve rather that the gods are extremely her friends; who would make me [Page 228] happy by her enterprise. Lepantus ended thus, and every one admiring those incounters; Melintus prayed him that they might sweare together an eternall friendship, as well because of his vertue, as for that he was brother to the sage Eriphile. They related then to one another all their lives; and the adventures all of the company had met with, furnished them with entertainment enough in their voyage untill they came into Epire, where they landed. Eurymedon tooke his leave of Melintus and the company with many embraces, to goe find out his Pyrats; and he assured them he would passe by the same place againe, and see them before he went to the Isle of Lesbos with his forces; and that if he found them not there, and they needed his service, they should heare newes of him in the Isle, which was the place of his dearest desires. He en­tred into his owne ship with those companions of his that remain'd; and Me­lintus, Ariana, and all their friends, went unto Nicopolis, the chiefe City of E­pire, in hope to stay there without feare of their enemies, and enjoy all the contentments they could promise themselves.

ARIANA. The third Booke.

FOrtune that had given these lovers so many traverses, now seem'd weary of persecuting them; and they were resolved to give end to their owne paines. Melintus was the next day to marry Ariana, and Lepantus Cyllenia. Palamede offered himselfe to returne to Corinth to his uncle, feining to come backe from his Athenian voyage; and by making as though he were ignorant of all that had hapned, endevour to appease him, and likewise Sebastus for Cyllenia, and so to mediate their peace and returne. Lepantus had found out his men in this City, who attended for him in the same place where he had left them, when he parted from Epire to passe into Italy. They were lodged very commodi­ously: so as all of them made choyce of that house, for to be the happy place where so many faire and violent desires should receive an entire satisfaction. Melintus was so ravished to see himselfe in the Evening of tasting so many de­lights, that he himselfe could not measure the greatnesse of his owne joy: but the more Ariana approached the height of her desires, the more did her modesty strive to represse the testimonies of her contentment. Lepantus and Cyllenia in their soules felt no lesse pleasure. Amyntas promis'd himselfe that his good fortune would follow that of Melintus, from whom he expected much succours with Telephus: and Erycine ought to be satisfied with him, for having so well obeyed her when she commanded him to serve Melintus. There was but Palamede, to whom the love of Epicharis gave desire and im­patiency enough: but the discretion of that wench moderated him, who knowing that he should commit a great fault to marry her being aslave, had forbidden him the hope of it, as long as she continued in that condition. Pa­lamede notwithstanding in this occasion not enduring to see so many persons made happy, and himselfe so farre off enjoying the same pleasures, said to her, Faire Epicharis, how long doe you meane to deferre satisfying the pas­sion I have for you? desire you I should attend an infinite time, and in the meane space live with you the most unfortunate of men? feare not to have me doe any thing unworthy of me by marrying of you; your merit abun­dantly recompences the default of your liberty; and my uncle cannot refuse to give it you, when you shall be my wife. What occasion more favourable [Page 230] may we hope for? Now all things are here in disorder, if we commit a fault, it will easily be considerable. Can you faile by imitating the actions of Ariana and Cyllenia? and must my condition, which you judge more exalted than yours, be the sole cause of making me unhappy? Palamede, answered Epicha­ris, if you could judge how much I esteeme my selfe oblig'd to you for your affection, I thinke you so reasonable, as you would have cause to be satisfied with me: but you shall pardon me if I cannot consent to what you desire. I know well the difference of our affections. 'Tis a passion something blindish that makes you love me, but 'tis reason onely that causes me to honour you. You consider not well what I am, when you expresse so much love to me; and without doubt turne away your thought from a defect that accompanies me, while you esteeme me worthy of you: Contrariwise the more I open my eyes to see what your worth is, the more cause I finde to love you, and thinke my selfe indebted to you. But loving you with reason, I love your honour as much as I doe your person; and it would shew I had out small care of that, if I should make my selfe happy to the prejudice of it. That which is fit for the faire Ariana and Melintus to doe, is not so for us; and the same reason that permits them to marry against the desire of Dicearchus, is that which ordaines me to continue still a Maid against yours. Palamede, I be­seech you to temper your desires; and assure your selfe that if the gods are pleased with our affections, they will so bring affaires to passe, that honor and fitnesse shall not be separate from our contentments. Thus did this wench, full of wisdome and courage, stay the transports of Palamedes affection, who the farther off he found himselfe from contenting his desires, the more he admir'd the vertue and generosity of Epicharis, and increas'd his passion by them. Melintus sent to have brought out of his ship much riches whereof he was provided, for to make that day as famous and magnifique as he was able, in a place so distant from their acquaintance. He made to be taken out thence many sumptuous moveables, vessell of gold and silver, and what ever hee thought necessary to make himselfe seeme worthy of Ariana, if Dicearchus receiv'd him into grace at Corinth. Ariana and Cyllenia that ought to have bin the fairest ornament of that happy day, failed not to prepare against the morning all that might make their beauty appeare more resplendent: but nothing could render their charmes more pleasing, than the excesse of their contentments, which not able to be contained any longer in their hearts, were now discovering themselves upon their faces. Every one us'd the greatest care he could, not to be without pomp and grace; and at last that morning arrives so much desired of all.

When all things were ready, and they putting themselves in the way to goe to the Temple; they heard Trumpets sounding in the City. Ariana thought Melintus had sent for them from his ship to lead her to the Temple with more solemnity: but he stood in amaze at it, and having sent to know what it meant, they brought him word, that a publike cry was made, by which was commanded to all those that were subjects of the Empire, to seize upon Melintus and Palamede, Sicilians, where-ever they were found, and to send their heads to Rome; because they were the enemies of Caesar and the peo­ple of Rome: and for the better knowledge of them, they gave all their markes.

[Page] This cruell newes troubled all their joyes, and filled their soules with asto­nishment and sadnesse. They durst not now goe abroad for feare of being knowne; and they could not tell what counsell to take in such an excesse of misery. When they fled from Dicearchus fury, see them fallen into a farre greater misery, having the Romans for enemies, whose Empire being of so large an extent, they could not hope to get out of it without being discover'd upon the wayes. They shut up their house as carefully as they could, staying till they might thinke upon some remedy, though they had but small hope to find any. Ariana fell a crying, to see a persecution so cruell against her deare Melintus and her brother, Cyllenia accompanied her teares out of compassion, the others sought to encourage the resolution of these faire Ladies against this unhappinesse: but they that took upon them to comfort others, were no lesse afflicted themselves. Lepantus and Amyntas offered to go learn what they said about the Towne: but because they were strangers in that place, they feared lest they might give some suspition of those that dwelt in the same house. All that day passed with much sadnesse and feare, and the next day also, without inventing of any expedient.

Epicharis whose wit was full of a thousand inventions, told them, she saw well that it appertain'd to none but her to save their lives, as she had once al­ready done at Rome: that she would goe about the Towne to see what pas­sed, and for this cause she was to be disguised in a man, that habit being fatall for their safety. Neverthelesse that they should not be so secure in her devi­ces, but they might try to finde out other meanes besides. Melintus said, he could finde no better, than to send away some to Corcyra, to advertise Eury­medon of the danger they were running; that he comming by with his forces might deliver them. Amyntas would goe thither to do them this service, and because he would not take their ship, for feare they might have need of it themselves, he went away in a Skiffe towards Corcyra. Epicharis on the other side made no matter of cutting her haire once again; & being accommodated with a mans clothes, and a sword by her side, she went out of the house one morning, with a designe to goe gaine the Porter of the City, to let them out by night. She had mistrusted the conduct of another in this occasion: fearing he might cause a suspition, and being apprehended discover them: but she was assured of the dexterity of her wit, and made no doubt of her courage in case she were taken, never to tell where they were. Her project happily succeeded; for after having sounded this Porter every way, shee found him to be a man that for a little money would let the very enemy enter into the Towne. She put some peeces of gold into his hand, and prayed him to attend them about midnight: from thence she went to their vessell, for to give order that all might be in a readinesse at the same houre, to the end they failed not of departing away. But when she was at the Port, there was a young man that cryed out as he saw her; See there my fugitive slave, friends, lend me your helpe to arrest him. Instantly he would have laid hold on her, but Epicharis stepping apace backward, tooke her sword in her hand and struck him a blow with it upon the arme. Yet she presently was arrested, and brought before the Romans that were newly arrived. That young man having his arme all bloudy, failed not to come to the same place, and entrea­ted the Romans they would not let goe his slave that was called Eurylas, but [Page 232] that he might be restor'd to him againe. Then Epicharis knew it was the Goalers sonne of Rome, to whom she had sold her selfe heretofore: but with­out any amazement, she addressed her to the man that seem'd to have the most authority, and said to him; I make you Judge of the difference that may be betwixt this man and me; and I am assur'd he will condemne himselfe; then she turn'd her towards him, and said, I confesse I sold my selfe to you; but was it not upon condition that I might be redeem'd at the same price? 'Tis true, answers he: she goes on; When you would have given me the money we were agreed for, did I not leave it with you to keepe for me? 'Tis true, said he againe. Then I might, continues she, lawfully goe away from you when I thought good, since you have the same price in your hands, I can re­deeme my selfe with. The young man stood without any answer; and he before whom this cause was pleaded, said that Eurylas had reason, and might goe at libertie. Epicharis made a legge, and tooke her leave of them: but this young man comming out of his amazement, cryed out; Let him not goe, for it was he that help'd out of our prisons Melintus and Palamede. So they seiz'd the second time upon the poore Epicharis that was going her way; and she was brought backe againe before him that had judg'd her, who was call'd Trebatius. There was with him a young Roman, whose face appear'd very de­licate, that said, Without doubt he will learne us newes of those wee seeke for: let us goe into the Towne, and encompasse all with souldiers, lest any thing escape. Epicharis was overcome with griefe, when she saw this resolu­tion, and accused her extreme misery for the regret she had for having so well hitherto carried her plot, and the feare that she might be a cause of the death of Melintus and Palamede. Yet she dissembled as much as she could the trouble she was in, for not giving any suspition by her astonishment; and considering how they knew assuredly at Rome, that Melintus and Palamede were living, as well because of the cry was made, as to see the Goalers sonne that spake as he did, and the rest that made search for them, she told them; I am alone in this Countrey without any acquaintance, and know no newes of Melintus or Palamede, with whom this Goaler had shut me up in a Chamber of the prison. I confesse to you truly, that when they sav'd themselves by the chimney, and from thence by the top of the Tower, I was asleepe, and I thinke verily they had stupified me some way or other: but at length being awake, and not finding them, because they had left lights in the Chamber, I was strangely perplexed, and I knew not but that I was to goe give notice that they had made their escape: in the end fearing to be accus'd of their flight, for not having had care enough of them, I resolv'd to save my selfe by the same meanes they had done. But being descended by the rope, a pinacle of the Tower fell downe that was like to have over-whelm'd me: when I got free of those ruines, I went away as fast as I could, and never since heard I any newes of them. She entertain'd with these reasons Treba­tius, and those that accompanied him, as they entred into the City: but al­though they had some appearance of truth in them, they were not for all that yet satisfied. Trebatius sent to those that were in another ship, for to adver­tise them to come on shore; and how they were in hope to have newes there of those they sought. In the meane time they went to repose them in the most apparent house that was in all the City, as belonging to the Emperour. [Page] Epicharis at the same time was sounded on all sides, and she satisfied the best she could possibly all the demands were made her: but at last they of the se­cond ship arriv'd, among whom she was very much astonish'd to know Dice­archus and Pisistratus; then she judged her selfe lost. Dicearchus com­ming neare her, said in looking firmly on her; If I be not deceiv'd this is Epicharis disguis'd, and this is not the first time she has taken this habit: shee had the confidence to enter thus into the prison, and to save those you are seeking; and this Goaler had reason to know her. Every one stood in a maze at the resolution, and the wit of this young Maid. But, continues hee in directing his speech to her, if you be not the slave of this man, at least, mi­nion, you cannot deny but you are mine. Your slave, answer'd she reculing a step, and regarding him contemptuously, I am none of yours, but Ariana's your Neece, to whom you gave me. No, no, replied he, you are my slave, and by the right I have over you of life and death, I command you to tell me where are Melintus and Palamede whom the Emperour makes search for. Goe, answered she, hangman of thy bloud, that fear'st not to sacrifice thy Nephew for satisfaction of thy vengeance against Melintus: goe furious mad man, that wilt destroy the onely hope of thy house, to please thy brutish pas­sion: assure thy selfe the gods will punish thee. Yes, I confesse to thee I know what Country they are in for the present, but be certaine that I will never tell it, nor yet for what purpose they sent me by Sea into Epire: and I shall make it appeare to the cruellest executioners, that I have still more constancy than thou hast rage. Dicearchus blush'd hearing those sensible reproaches, and could not answer her: but Trebatius for all that left not commanding they should put her into irons, untill she had declared what she knew. Epicharis answered him as she went out from his presence, that hee then expected to stay a long time in that place, or else to put her suddenly to death. She was thus brought into an obscure place, and as she went she saw one of those that led her away, which made himselfe knowne to her. It was Arcas the faith­full freedman of Melintus, who told her in her eare, Let me know where they are that are sought, that I may advise them to save themselves if it be possible. She nam'd him the place so handsomely, that none perceiv'd this secrecy, be­cause they no whit mistrusted Arcas; who as soone as ever Epicharis was shut up, escaped from among those of that troop, and went to finde Melintus and those of his company, that knew nothing of all had passed. Melintus was well pleas'd to see againe his deare Arcas, and from him expected much succours in the necessity they were in. But he was in a great amazement, when hee heard that Epicharis was taken, and had beene knowne by Dicearchus and Pisi­stratus, who were arriv'd at this City, with some Romans that on the Empe­ror's part sought to put them to death. Arcas told them how Epicharis ex­press'd resolution enough never to tell the place they were in; that she would make them beleeve very finely, that they were in a very farre Countrey, and had sent her hither by Sea upon some defignes: but that he saw little hope of escaping, because the City was every where environed with soul­diers. All these cruell newes dismayed their spirits for griefe, that were al­ready well forward in feares. Alas, said the faire Ariana, it seemes the fury of our misfortune assembles forces from all sides of the earth, for to take from us all hope of safety. What crime, good gods, have we committed, that you [Page 234] should suffer men to persecute us with such rage? and from whom can wee e [...]pect helpe, since he that serv'd in stead of a father to us, is the most anima­ted to destroy us? Alas how miserable am I to live! Without me, Melintus should not have beene here, nor my brother at this present; and but for me, my uncle had not thus pursued their life. Just gods! if I be cause of their mis­fortune, let me be punish'd onely: give an end to my life which is to them so fatall, and by my bloud appease your anger. But what? my bloud is too poore a thing to extinguish so much choler: you will not have so much as one of us escape. Well then, ye gods! delay not the time to make us perish. Are we so puissant and so redoubtable, that so much people must be brought against so few persons? Gather here together all the forces of the Empire: joyne our very friends to our enemies; provoke besides against us all the rest of the earth, with heaven and hell. The valour of Melintus and my brother is then very formidable, since it makes it selfe be feared even of you; that you should need the assembly of so many powers for to vanquish them. Ariana in her griefe, cast against heaven all those complaints, and if she had beleev'd any thing to be more rever'd yet than the gods, which might have power of go­verning the resorts of fortune; in that transport she was in, she would not have feared to assault it. Melintus comforted her the best he could possibly, and told her they were yet all estate, either to save themselves by artifice; or defend them by valour. At the worst, that death was not a thing so misera­ble; and that there were in life many things more to be dreaded: above all he intreated her not to accuse the gods for their calamity. We must take heed, said he, of offending those, from whom succours may be expected. They have drawne us out of greater perils; and if they permit for the pre­sent that we be reduced to such an extremity as this, it may be 'tis to the end we should acknowledge that we hold not our safety but of them. Melintus thus labour'd to appease the griefes of his deare Ariana, whose sorrow was more insupportable to him than his owne misfortune. Lepantus also employed all the Art of his eloquence, and all the force of his vertue, to finde out a remedy, or at least a consolation for the danger they were in. There was none but Palamede transported with fury, who knowing in what sort Epicha­ris was handled, and that she was in danger of her life, would have parted that very houre to finde out meanes for her delivery. What, said he, shall I let her dye that she might make me live and be so unworthy as to secure my owne life by the losse of hers? I will rather kill all those that keepe her, and my uncle himselfe. Nothing is capable of resisting my love and courage in such an enterprise as this. Thus made he many threatnings in his fury, and nothing seem'd impossible to him: but he was kept backe by the rest, that represented to him how by going forth he expos'd them to danger; that they were to consult a while what was to be done; and that if force were to be used, he would much better bring to passe his designe, when he should be assisted with all their troop. These considerations something appeas'd the a­gitation of his spirit; and the care they had over him, put him out of hope of escaping their hands. In the meane time Melintus and Lepantus enquir'd of Arcas who they were that had question'd Epicharis, and were landed at the Port before Dicearchus; for it was necessary to know all, and how he had en­countred them, to the end thereupon they might see what enemies they were [Page 235] to guard themselves from, and what remedies they might invent in the mise­ries that menaced them. Arcas told them that the relation hee had to make them upon this subject was something long: that he was first to returne to those he had come with, that they entred not into suspition of him if they saw him not; but that he would presently returne, and passe away the night with them: especially he would learne the resolution had beene taken since he left Epicharis. They let him goe, and having attended him with much im­patiency, he came backe about evening; and after they had eaten a little, he assembled them all in a place, where setting himselfe in the middest of them, he began thus what he had to tell them:

History of Arcas, Trebatius, and Emilia.

IT must be confest that a benefit is never lost, and that by knowing how to acknowledge an obligation receiv'd, one ordinarily drawes on a second: for had it not beene for the care Melintus my Master tooke to send mee to Rome with presents for Maximus to recompence him for the losses he had suf­fer'd for our occasion, I should not now be here to advertise you of what is prepared against you, and give you assistance according as I shall be able.

When I was come to Rome, I enquir'd where Maximus dwelt, because his house that was consum'd by the fire had not yet beene repaired. At last I found him out, and having beene receiv'd by him more courteously than I hoped for at my first comming, he was much rejoyc'd to heare newes of you; for he beleev'd until then that you were dead; and accepted with a great deale of difficulty the presents I brought, esteeming them, as he said, too rich for the small service he had rendred you. I demanded of him if there was nothing spoken of you: he told me he had heard nothing at all concerning you: but two dayes after word was brought us, that there was a publike cry made, whereby it was ordained that Melintus and Palamede, who had escaped the prisons of Rome, should be killed in what place soever they were found, for that they were enemies to Caesar and the people of Rome. This newes strucke a terror into me; and instantly I prayed Maximus to goe to the Palace of Nero, for to know in what manner the speech went of them. He reported how he had understood, that Trebatius, Tribune of the Emperor's guards, had a command to goe with three companies of souldiers in search of Melintus and Palamede to Syracuse, or any other place where they thought to find them, and that he furnish'd a ship for this purpose.

Although I had much trouble in my mind, I left not thinking what I was able to doe to serve you: I resolv'd with my selfe to make me a souldier of Nero's guards, and enter into the companies that were to follow Trebatius. Maximus brought me acquainted with a Centurion, whom I gave an honest present to, presently he receiv'd me, and made shew of much affection to me. I did my reverence to Trebatius, who finding me ready to serve, regarded me favourably enough, and began to have a confidence in me; he many times after that put commands upon me, and at last gave me the charge of Marshall of the lodgings to my company.

When we embarked us I observed neare him a young Roman very hand­some, [Page 236] whom he had a great respect to, and much care over: he wore a hel­met on his head that gave him much grace, and I saw that all his actions were accompanied with much delicatenesse. I imagin'd that I had seene his face heretofore; but I could not tell who he should be. Trebatius had given me charge to take care of some stuffes, and I was laid downe amongst them to keepe them more sure. This young Roman came to sit downe by me, never seeing me, because I was laid. Trebatius who lost not sight of him, came presently neare to him; and never thinking there had beene any body that saw them, or could listen to them, he put one knee to the ground before him, and taking his hand, said to him; It seemes you flye from me, and what care soever I take to doe you service, I observe nothing in you but coldnesse to me, not to say contempt. Trebatius, answered he him, excuse the violence of the thoughts I am possest with: I forget not the due acknowledgement of the paines you take to satisfie me; and I shall one day know how to ex­presse the obligation I have to you. Ha! Madam, said he. I was strangely a­maz'd, pursued Arcas, to heare that word, never having thought it had bin a woman. That made me give eare more attentively. Ha! Madam, I say, continued he, what have you then ordained concerning me? and if it hap­ned that I could never finde what you are seeking, should I alwayes be mi­serable? Trebatius, answered she, use herein the greatest care you can: for be assured that I shall never make you contented, till I be revenged. Ha! said he, how cruell you are to me. What would you have, Trebatius, replied she? one passion hinders the other: as long as I shall have vengeance in my heart, I can never have love there. But replied he againe, may I not know what cause you have of so great a hate against Melintus? Oblige me by telling me it to take part in your passion, that I may afterwards oblige you to take part in mine. Tell me, faite Emilia, what Melintus has done to you. What! was't Emilia? interrupted Melintus; ah! is not she dead? That name, went Ar­cas on, surpris'd me as much as it does you, and presently I call'd to memory that it was she her selfe disguis'd in a mans habit. That made me apprehend being knowne by her; neverthelesse being not fallen yet into that accident, I was resolv'd to avoyd her presence as much as I could: then I trusted in the change that was made of me; for she had not knowne me but a slave and shorne, and ever since you gave me my liberty, I let my haire grow that quite altered me. Is it very true then, replied Melintus all astonish'd, that she is li­ving? Give me leave, answer'd Arcas, to pursue the rest, and you shall know if it be she or no. Ha gods! said Melintus againe, there remain'd nothing but to make the dead rise againe against us; and I thinke there is not a thing now in the world that has not conspir'd our ruine. Arcas went forward thus. E­milia answer'd Trebatius; Since you desire to know the cause I have to hate Melintus, I will not deny you this satisfaction; if you can receive any at all, by learning how much love I have had to him: for I must confesse to you, that he is the onely man that hath had the power to produce this passion in me. But he has made me pay well with usury for the time I deferr'd to re­ceive it into my heart, and has reveng'd to the full upon me the contempts I had untill then of you, and some others. Know, continued she, that this trai­tor insinuated him into my heart by a very great appearance of vertue and merits; observing a dissembling modesty, that knowes as often how to con­ceale [Page] vice as vertue. I deny not but he hath qualities that render him admi­rable; but he must of necessity have a presumption in him, that perswades him there is nothing in the world worthy of him: On the other side, he af­fects so great a contempt of glory and praise, that one could hardly beleeve he has any vanity. I sweare to you that since I have cause to be his enemy; considering of all his qualities, I know not what I ought to thinke of him; for if he were vertuous, why did he expresse a love to me without having any? and if he were not so, why did he refuse the offers of my good will? Well, he made love to me, and I loved him. Afterwards having beene hurt before my lodging, and left for dead, I made him be carried home to my house; where I assisted him with more passion than a mother could have done the dearest of her sonnes. This insensible man began to receive my endevours and my assistances with coldnesse and disdaine; and I perceiv'd that my pre­sence was alwayes troublesome to him. At first I beleev'd that the paine of his wounds caus'd his ill humour, or that it was griefe for a long sicknesse: but since, a certaine Ariana, sister of Palamede, came from Sicily, what sicknesse soever was upon him, he spake no more but of retiring from me to goe to her. I knew then he had never lov'd me, and was tormented with a cruell jealousie that gave me no repose. I saw well that I had no cause to retaine him, since he lov'd me not; and yet I could not endure he should forsake me. Never had I experience of so many troublesome passions as then distracted me; but I confesse there cannot be imagin'd a more cruell torment. Love, hatred, the resentments of contempt and jealousie, put me into such a disor­der, that my mind was in [...] perpetuall fury. There rested for all that in me I know not what hope, that beleeving him to be of a great spirit, he could not but esteeme himselfe much oblig'd to me, for so many duties I had ren­dred hi [...] neverthelesse this ingrate, this perfidious man prayed me at last to give him leave to retire. I expected that blow with a great deale of feare, and receiving it I forc'd my selfe some time to perswade him to stay still with me: but seeing him resolv'd to be gone, I perceiv'd there is nothing so sen­sible as the contempt and the ingratitude of that one loves. I could no lon­ger containe my selfe, but gave him all the reproaches an outraged lover could make, in calling him traitor, villaine, ingratefull, and all that may be said in a furious anger. This artificiall man having given free liberty to my rage, to make it lose its force, began to pacifie me by little and little, by the most flattering words deceit it selfe could have invented. He perswaded me to what he would, being so weakned by the agitations of my soule, that in that estate it was easie for him to vanquish me. Then he labour'd to make me beleeve things that were so pleasing to my desires, and that in such sort flat­tered my hopes, that I conspir'd also with him for to abuse my selfe. Never had he express'd so much passion to me, as he did at that time: he spared, nei­ther protestations, nor oaths, for to assure me of his love and his fidelity; and feining some dayes that he could not be farre from my presence, he obtain'd insensibly leave to be gone, in making me hope that he would returne to me every houre. Being thus escap'd out of my hands, he counterfetted himselfe sicke, that he might not be oblig'd to see me againe, untill hee return'd into Sicily. I sent often to heare of him, and was advertis'd of all that passed at their house, by the meanes of a young boy call'd Damis, slave of Maximus, [Page 238] who reported to me that nothing was so agreeable to Melintus, as the deare assistance of this faire Ariana. It consum'd my heart with jealousie and de­spite, that he had thus deceiv'd me to get away. I attended still a good while; and the more time passed away, the more he made me lose hope of seeing him ever againe. This outrage seized me in such wise as I became sicke, and willing to prove to what degree his ingratitude would proceed, or whether pitty might not doe that which love could not obtaine, I gave out every where that I was at the extremity, to try if he would not render me at least some office in the very last moments of my life. But this cruell man, this Barbarian, was never touch'd for any accident that could arrive to me; and had lesse care of me, than if he had never knowne me. Not content yet with that triall, I made it be reported that I was dead, to see if he would not come to visit Camilla, and to heare being closely hid, what he would say to her up­on the regret of my death; and I will tell you truly what my fury was then; I was resolved if he came, to come forth of my ambuscado after I had heard him a while; and to teare him in peeces with my teeth and with my nailes: but all that mov'd him no more, than if he had had no soule; and I knew be­side that he had hindred Palamede from comming to see my sister, upon the accident was thought to have befallen me. I knew not now in the extreme dolour I was in, what artifice to use, nor what resolution to take, when the passion of others was neare to have succour'd mine, and supplied the defect of my inventions. Marcelin, as I knew of Damis, to be reveng'd of these Si­cilians to whom he was enemy, attempted to burne them all one night in their house, or if they got out, to kill Melintus and Palamede, and to carry a­way Ariana in that disorder, for to give her to the Emperour. This enter­prise, as I came to know since, succeeded not well for Marcelin, who was slaine without the City by Melintus, and Ariana sav'd her selfe by I know [...] what meanes: but the day after, Palamede and Melintus were taken and brought prisoners to Rome. Never, pursued Emilia, had I so much joy as to learne that they were destin'd to death, being accused for having set fire on the Ci­ty; and when I was advertis'd that they were to be brought before the Se­nate to have judgement, I disguis'd me in the same estate as I am now for the present in, to see what countenance they had, and to what punishment they should be condemned; and slipping into the Senate-house among the crowd, I so wrought that I got a place, whence I could see them at my ease. I saw this traitor present himselfe without any amazement, and in seeing him, I became pale, and a shaking horror surpriz'd me that tooke from me all strength. The trembling that had seiz'd me, quitted me not as long as I be­held him: but when he began to speake, I felt my selfe even gone, so was I taken with the different passions that perplexed me. In the end I recollected a little force and courage; and seeing in what sort he defended himselfe; Ha! said I to my selfe, see how this deceiver spake to me, when hee would abuse me. How well he knowes to disguise the causes of their misery, and his love for Ariana. He dares not pronounce that name for feare of being troubled. And yet I confesse to you that I felt my selfe affected with the things he said; and my hatred was not powerfull enough to resist the force of his discourse. I would have had them adjudged him to death, and yet I well saw that it was impossible to condemne him. I attended his judgement with as much trouble [Page] as if it had beene my owne; and for all I desir'd he should dye, I surpris'd my selfe sometimes in the estate of having a feare for his life. But yet for all that I saw they were about to absolve him, and I was angry and content at the same time: but when they came from Nero to command the judgement to be surceased, for that he would declare his will upon the matter, I cannot ex­presse in what state I was in. I well perceiv'd how the Emperour feared lest they should have beene dismissed and quitted, and that this signified an ine­vitable death: but I could not rejoyce at the assurance of their misfortune. Neverthelesse when Melintus was sent backe againe to prison, and I saw him no more, I re-entred into fury against him. I accus'd my selfe that I had not provoked the Judges to punish them, that I had not invented some crime to have made them be condemn'd at the instant: I represented to my selfe all the contempts and all the indignities he had offered me, and was impatient till Nero sent to murther them in the prison. All day long I did noting but torment my selfe upon this occasion; and at night I could not sleepe. I con­ceited in my mind that I saw Nero's soldiers enter the prison, and massacre with a thousand blowes that perfidious man. I imagin'd that I arrived there at the same time, and rejoyc'd to see him in the expectation of death, and then to wash my hands in his bloud. After I had pass'd away the night in these ravings, I sent to know at the prison, if they were not yet dead: but they brought me word that all was in great tumult there, and how they be­leev'd they had precipitated them from the top of the Tower into the Ti­ber, having found meanes to get out by the chimney of the Chamber where they lay: that a great multitude of people was about the river, and many men in Boats to search for the dead bodies which were thought either drow­ned, or brained, because a pinacle of the Tower was fallen downe with them. My fury perswaded me to a strange curiosity: I would needs goe to the very place where they search'd for the bodies, for to satiate my sight with that spe­ctacle; and I beleeve that if Melintus his had beene found, I should have died for joy to see it. But all the care so many persons tooke, and I my selfe that gave money to have the water search'd, proved unprofitable: the night came on, and I was constrain'd to give over this search, with all the rest of them that had labour'd in vaine. I wanted not satisfaction, though it were not entire, beleeving them to be dead, and that the streame had carried them away. Some dayes after when I would goe upon the water, I made them conduct me farre out of the City, to see if peradventure these bodies were not cast by the streame upon some banke. A young youth that guided us, seeing an empty Boat at the banks-side, told us without thinking any thing; See there a Boat without a Master. I ask'd him what he meant: hee answered me; A young man bought it, but I beleeve it was not to make himselfe a Water-man; and gave it me to keepe that night the prisoners sav'd themselves. Then he added a little after; They thought good to search in the water the other daye I beleeve they are farre enough off by this. I fretted, pursued Emilia, to heare him speake thus; and I urg'd him to tell me what he knew of the businesse. I will tell you, sayes he, upon condition you will not discover me; which having promis'd him, he continues, that he had seene the prisoners save themselves in that Boat, after they had beene a long time descending from the Tower by a rope, and how hee saw them [Page 240] passe by, because that night he watched upon the river. I made as if I re­joyc'd, added Emilia, that they were safe; but in my soule I resolv'd not to let them scape so unpunished; and he that had well regarded me would have seene that I could not choose but have my face all of a fire for excesse of cho­ler. What, said I to my selfe, shall this Barbarian be presently in Sicily be­side his faire Ariana? and have no dearer entertainments with her than to relate what contempts he made of my affection? and shall he boast himselfe all his life time for having securely triumph'd over all my passions? No, I will not dye so, without a revenge: he is not so safe as he thinks himselfe to be. I will pursue him into what part of the earth soever he retires; and if I be not powerfull enough my selfe, I will provoke the fury of all the world against him, to hinder his escaping out of my hands. I return'd into the Ci­ty, musing of a thousand wayes to his destruction: but to be more assured that he were living, I resolv'd to send one of my men expresly to Syracuse, that might enquire, if Melintus were arriv'd there. This man reported to me all the rejoycings were made at their returne; the sacrifices and the playes, with the glory of Melintus and Ariana, whom they beleev'd to see very short­ly married together. All these things so animated me with jealousie, shame, and despite, that I purpos'd to prevent their happinesse by the death of that villaine. I advis'd to make use of the Emperours power, that I might not faile of my enterprise. I saw you then, more than of custome, sayes she to Trebatius, because I began to acknowledge that you had alwayes lov'd me with a true affection, and that had resisted all my contempts; and I was sorry for having made choyce of this traitor and this perjurious man, in stead of you that were never wanting to me: I resolv'd to be no more ingrate to­wards you, but to content your just desires; upon condition you should first see me reveng'd upon Melintus. You promis'd me to satisfie my passion, be­fore you would presse me to content yours. It was then, continued Emilia, that I gave you advice to goe and declare to Nero, that Melintus and Pala­mede, his enemies, were living; and to demand a Commission from him to goe put them to death. I desir'd besides to have it publish'd throughout Rome, and all the Cities of the Empire, that they should be kill'd in what place soever they were found; and I was willing my selfe to assist you in this Commission by disguising me thus, that if it were possible, I might kill that perfidious wretch with my owne hand: for I confesse to you it is the grea­test pleasure I can ever hope for in all my life. Emilia ended thus, pursues Arcas, and Trebatius answered her: Well then, Madam, I see that he must dye, or I shall never have any contentment from you: Now I know how much cause you have to seeke his death, I will joyne the desire of revenging your injuries, to that desire I had before onely to obey you. They had o­ther discourses afterwards together, sayes Arcas, besides these. O gods! interrupted Melintus, must this woman live still for my torment? See what rage she is possess'd of. Arcas prayed him to let him goe on, and hee re­plied: I was in a strange wonder to have heard all Emilia's fury; yet I had an opinion that the gods had suffered me to be advertised of all these things, to give me the meanes of doing you service. I had no other care, than to keepe my selfe from being knowne to Emilia; and so wee arrived at Syracuse. I knew very well you were not there, so as in that place I was [Page] in no feare for you. About the evening we landed, and were lodged in the City. Presently I went to see Telephus, and told him of the search was making after you, which troubled him exceedingly. We advis'd, that we were that very night to send tickets all about the Towne, for to intreat those of Syracuse, if they loved Melintus, to take heed of telling the Ro­mans whither he was gone, because they sought to put him to death. We brought this to passe, and the peoples love was so great towards you, sayes he to Melintus, that Trebatius and Emilia were more than eight dayes enqui­ring after you in all places, without being able to learne any newes at all. As for me, I had resolv'd to goe to Sea in the meane time, and finde you out at Corinth, to advertise you to save your selfe; but they had stayed all the shipping at the Port; so as this was impossible for me to doe. At last, I cannot tell by what meanes, but they came to know whither you were gone: presently they made us goe on ship-board againe, and I de­parted with them, after I had taken my leave of Telephus, Hyperia, and E­rycine, whom I left all in teares: I curs'd the winds for being so favoura­ble to us; for we arriv'd at Corinth in lesse time than could be hoped; and at the Port found all in great trouble. Trebatius demanded what the mat­ter was; and they told him they had carried away certaine Maids in ships that set saile not above an houre before. We went on shore, and I was great­ly amaz'd to meet Dicearchus and Pisistratus, who were busie in preparing a Vessell to goe out after the ravishers. Trebatius ask'd him what his trou­ble was. Roman Lord, said he, I had a Neece, the government of whom was committed to me by my brother when he lay a dying. I had promis'd her to Pisistratus, you see there, sayes he in shewing him; and a traitor call'd Melintus is come from Syracuse, and hath taken her away from me. Ha! the villaine, cryed out Emilia, 'tis the same man wee are seeking for the Emperour, to have him dye. Comfort your selfe good man, conti­nued she, we shall revenge you well enough. I beleeve, replied Trebatius, they are in one of the two ships we encountred sayling towards the coasts of Greece; we are to lose no more time, to depart and follow them: if your Vessell be ready, said hee to Dicearchus and Pisistratus, accompanie us, and wee will joyne our quarrels together. Never saw I any thing so encourag'd as Dicearchus, who hastned his imbarquement with Pisistratus as fast as he could; and when Trebatius and Emilia set saile, he followed them.

After having passed the promontory of Naupactum, wee tooke the right hand along the Grecian Coasts, and came into all the ports one after the other, where we did but enquire if two Vessels had not arriv'd very late­ly: Thus went we into divers places never hearing any newes of you. At last we arrived here; where being descended, Epicharis that was at the Port disguis'd in a man, was so unhappy, as to be knowne by the Goalers sonne, that kept you prisoners at Rome. He had accompanied us having knowne the designe of Trebatius; for his father being kept in irons, because hee had beene too negligent over you, hee was in hope to deliver him, by lending his helpe to make you be put to death, and for this reason he embark'd with us. You may see by this how many per­sons have encountred together for to worke your ruine, and this is that [Page 242] we are for the present to endevour to defend you from. But even now when I left you, I learn'd that they had set straight guard at all the ports, and along the walls of the Towne: from thence I went to marke out the lodgings for those of my company: and I have kept for my selfe a very commodious one, that it may serve you, if you should have occasion to use it; then I came to find you againe, and we must for the present advise how we ought to order our selves, and in what sort I may succour you. Arcas en­ded thus, and he was heard of all with much astonishment and feare, learning by his discourse so many occurrences that were prepar'd to make their deaths inevitable.

Melintus brake off his silence then and said, Well then I see 'tis but my life they require; they seeke neither Palamede, nor any one of you: by my dying I will make them all satisfied, and deliver all of you from the dan­ger wherein you are for me alone. Yes, I will goe and present my selfe be­fore them; I will open my bosome with a ponyard in their presence, for to content with one blow the vengeance of the Emperour, of Emilia, and of Dicearchus. Were it not farre better to let it appeare, that none was able to make me dye but my selfe, rather than fall unworthily into their hands, and receive a shamefull death? It is no fury this, that transports me. If I saw any appearance to secure my selfe and you too, by valour, or by any other meanes, I should be much troubled to desire to lose my life before I lost all hope: but seeing us environ'd with men of warre on all sides, 'twere better I dyed alone courageously, than to attempt meanes that could never succeed, but bury you all under my ruine. The sage Lepantus stopped this discourse of Melintus, in putting his hand upon his arme, and said to him; Pardon me, if I esteeme you not exempt from transport, in the resolution you take. Those that have a great courage as you have, when they offer themselves to dye, are carried many times away to this desire, rather out of a pleasure they finde in despising death, than for any necessity that obliges them to desire it. But we are never excusable for having prevented our destiny, as long as wit or force are yet capable of surmounting the rigour of fortune. We are to make a triall of all things before that extremity, and not to neglect the meanest hope that may be left us. One moment of time may change the state of the whole world; and this same fortune that assembles so many enemies to destroy you, can with a reverse bring themselves to ruine, and overthrow so many acci­dents by one alone. They know not yet where we are; Arcas is in good e­state to give us advice every houre; and if you must dye, stay at least till you can no longer live. For my part, I am of opinion that we change our lodging, and goe presently into that that Arcas has taken for himselfe in the Towne, as if we were Romans too; because that lodging being marked for them, they will never come to seeke us out there. Then must Arcas goe and advertise those of our ship, that they retire to a bay I saw hard by, for feare they should discover us, if they enquir'd of them: we will finde out afterwards some meanes to deliver Epicharis. Those reasons, and that counsell appeas'd Melintus, and gave a little consolation to all the company: presently they re­solv'd to follow the propositions of Lepantus, and to depart that house to goe into that Arcas had reserv'd for himselfe. It was done that very night, and what ever they had more precious than other, was transported into that [Page] lodging, which was commodious enough; the house they were in was left to those it belonged to, whom they tooke leave of, feining to goe and em­barque themselves: they left them reasonably well rewarded, and obliged them by their presents not to tell that any of them had stayed in that place. Arcas went towards the ship, which he sent away to that same Bay, with a charge that if they were found, they should not tell whose men they were, but to feine any thing rather.

ARIANA. The fourth Booke.

THe next day after that cruell one, wherein so many miseries hapned, in stead of so many expected joyes, Trebatius and E­milia made an exact search throughout all the City, except the houses where the Roman souldiers were, who had all of them given their faiths that no Citizen was lodged with them. Arcas made himselfe the busiest man of all, in ferretting all the corners of houses, being certaine that they would never goe into his. About evening he failed not to appeare there, and assure his good Master and all the company, that he hoped to keepe them from being discovered; and that Epicharis was to be admir'd at for her resolution, not to disconceale them; especially that she had remov'd the opinion of their being in that Countrey at all: shee fear'd onely lest they might not expose her to some punishment. That word so trans­ported Palamede, as he resolv'd either to dye, or save her. He enquir'd of Ar­cas in what part of Trebatius house she was shut up, and how many persons were appointed for her guard; and when he had learn'd all the particulars he desir'd to know, he feined no more thinking of her, and went to bed. But when he thought every body asleepe, he descended downe the window by his sheets into the street, having no other armes but his sword. He went to Trebatius lodging, at the gate whereof was a Corps de guard, where being en­tred without any trouble, because they tooke him for one of the souldiers, he went on towards the descent of the obscure place where Epicharis was enclos'd; and finding a souldier that kept the entry, he threw his cloake a­bout his head for feare he should cry out, and at the same time stabbed him twice or thrice into the body; and went not from thence till the souldier had expir'd. He went downe afterwards without feare into that obscurity; and was come even to the doore of the dungeon, where was another souldier with the keyes, and a little light about him. This souldier surpriz'd, ask'd him who he was; but Palamede not willing to give him the leisure of know­ing him, assail'd him with good blowes of his sword, and presently laid him dead at his feet. Then he tooke the keyes, and with the helpe of the little light he had, open'd the dungeon doore. Epicharis beleev'd that they came for her, to propound more questions, or else to make her confesse something [Page] by torment: but when she felt her selfe embrac'd by Palamede, she tooke him for some indiscreet souldier, and repuls'd him rudely. But for all that Pala­mede making him knowne to her, and expressing a thousand joyes for seeing her againe, she was exceedingly amaz'd, and ask'd him how he was able to come thither. He related to her all he had done: then he said how they were to lose no time, and prayed her to make haste to goe out with him. I am fast, sayes she, by the feet; and I am much afraid that all your paines have prov'd unusefull, and that you be not here in great danger for having slaine my guards. Neverthelesse searching among the keyes, they were so fortunate as to finde those of her irons. Palamede open'd the locke, and full of rapture for delivering his Mistresse, kissed her faire feet, and cursed a thou­sand times those that had made so delicate a person endure such misery. At last Epicharis after having tried a while if she could goe well, resolv'd to be gone. Palamede was of opinion she should goe out alone, as he had entred a­lone; and that he would follow her presently after: and, for feare she should be knowne, he made her take the Coat-armour, and the Casque of one of the two souldiers he had kill'd, to the end they might let her passe without difficulty. She would have had him goe first alone; but it became her to give way to the love of Palamede. She passed therefore without feare so dis­guis'd, through the Corps de guard, and being escap'd she stayed some time in a place for to goe along with Palamede, whose fortune had beene very diffe­rent from hers: for having delayed the time a while, he was going out also, after he had taken the Casque and Coat-armour of the other dead souldier: but when he was very neare out, a souldier stayed him by the arme, and ask'd him whither he went? He answer'd him in the Roman language, that he was going out by the command of Trebatius: but when he was demanded the word, he could not tell it; and though he tooke his sword in hand to escape by valour, yet they fail'd not to encompasse, and seize upon him. By and by after the dead souldiers were found, and they knew that Epicharis was esca­ped. Palamede was kept till the next day, attending the waking of Trebatius; and betimes in the morning he was brought before him: but when Dicearchus was sent for to know him, there cannot be describ'd an astonishment like to that of this old man, who prosecuted the death of Melintus, never thinking his Nephew had beene with him, but that he was still at Athens, whither he thought he had gone. In the end being come to himselfe againe, he intrea­ted Trebatius to save his Nephew's life, who was in no sort guilty of what Melintus had done: but Trebatius willing to satisfie the command he had re­ceiv'd of the Emperour, and revenge the death of his souldiers, by punishing the hardy enterprise of Palamede, commanded him to be set in the place of Epicharis, and if he would not tell where Melintus was, that within two dayes they should put him to death. Palamede said, it was a long time agoe ere he had seene Melintus, and that his uncle could witnesse for him, with whom he parted from Syracuse to goe to Corinth, and after that had taken leave of him to goe to Athens: that he had a desire to see in order, all the Cities of Greece and Epire; and being arriv'd at this, he had learn'd that Epicharis was retain'd prisoner, whom he lov'd sufficiently for to undertake her deliverance: that since he had beene so happy as to effect it, he tooke no more care for any thing could happen to himselfe. Trebatius said, how this encounter of him [Page 246] and Epicharis, made him beleeve, it was not true he told; and that they might very well have newes of the other person they sought, since already they had one of them in their power. Assure your selfe, pursues he, that if you declare not to me where Melintus is, torments shall make you confesse it. There is no torment, answers he, capable to make me say that I know not. I am ignorant where he is, and for what cause you make search for him: you ought not to delay the time of putting me to death, for having slaine your souldiers, if you prolong my life onely in hope to learne newes of Melintus, of whom I can tell you nothing, but that I left him at Syracuse. Arcas was present, who was come in haste to Trebatius his, very early; because Palamede had not been found in his bed, and they all imagin'd that he had done some strange enter­prise for Epicharis, the unfortunate event whereof he consider'd, full of sad­nesse and despaire. Palamede was led to the prison whence he had drawne E­picharis, what entreaty soever Dicearchus could make to save him; and Arcas went to report these wofull newes to Melintus and Ariana, and he told them that they knew not what was become of Epicharis.

This affliction renewed the weepings of Ariana, and put Melintus out of all patience, who having followed untill then the wise counsels of Lepantus, could not endure to see the griefe of Ariana for her brother, and the danger his friend was in. He tooke Arcas aside, and made him sweare that he would inviolably obey his commands: then he told him, that he was resolv'd to deliver Palamede; but what misadventure soever chanc'd him in that enter­prise, he charg'd him, not to declare himselfe to be any of his; to the end he might preserve Ariana with their friends, and that they never came into the power of Trebatius and Emilia. This faithfull servant labour'd to make him change this deadly resolution: but Melintus astonish'd him, by swearing, that if he oppos'd his designe any longer, or advertis'd Ariana of it, he would strike himselfe with his sword into the body. He recommended to him a­bove all the care he was to have all his life long over Ariana, whose safe­ty he committed to his charge. Arcas knew not what to say, seeing the de­speratenesse of his Master, who commanded him besides to goe presently out of the house, and attend him at Trebatius his, where he should be a witnesse of what he meant to doe. And thus was it that Melintus hindred Arcas from declaring his designe: instantly he chose out eight young souldiers that had followed him from Syracuse, whom he had proved to be full of great courage, and who admiring his vertue, express'd a passionate affection to him. He acquainted them with his purpose, and perceiving how they entertain'd with joy this occasion of dying at his service, he made them arme them under their Cassaques, and without speaking to his deare Ariana, or to Lepantus, went out armed as they were. He would serve himselfe of nothing but his valour in that enterprise, without employing any other artifice. As soone as he was come before Trebatius gate, he cast himselfe bravely into the Corps de guard with his companions, and after having kill'd above six souldiers, be­fore the others were avis'd of them, he shut the doore upon him, for feare there might not come succours to Trebatius. The Alarme was presently all over the house, and more than thirty persons were assembled together, for to sustaine them: they gave not over their pursuit of cutting in peeces what­soever presented it selfe before them; and never gave Melintus so many [Page 247] proofes of his valour, as having to defeat the most warlike amongst the Ro­man souldiers. His companions that labour'd to imitate him, seem'd to ac­quire new forces by seeing the great blowes he gave, and beleev'd that no­thing could vanquish them in the company of so valorous a man. Already a­bove twenty Romans had beene slaine, when Trebatius, himselfe came run­ning thither, with Emilia, Dicearchus, and Pisistratus; and seeing this slaugh­ter of his men, and so valiant enemies that pursued them, he could not ima­gine what they were, nor how they should conceive so furious a designe: neverthelesse seeing that it became him to joyne himselfe to the number, he prayed Emilia to retire, and goe see their combat out at a window. It was she that knew Melintus first of all, and shewed him to Trebatius: Dicearchus re­mark'd him too, and being retir'd with Emilia into one of the Chambers, they saw that Trebatius had put on armes, and was engag'd in the fight with the rest. Arcas that he might not be oblig'd to strike his Master, or his compa­nions, had broken his sword, and mingling with Trebatius souldiers, seem'd to be one of the first in fighting against them, for to hinder by this meanes the most daring of their party from approaching them. Melintus perceiving Trebatius whom he knew, thought of nothing but assaulting him, hoping that if he were once defeat of him, the rest would soone be disheartned, and easily dispatch'd. On the other side Trebatius refused not the combat, being in despaire to see so great a number of his men upon the place, and Melintus began to have a good hope of his attempt, seeing so many dead about him, and that he was still assisted with six of his company against a few that re­main'd. But by misfortune a Roman was advis'd to goe fetch by a backe way, those that guarded the gates of the City, who came running instantly; so as Melintus was environ'd on all sides. The six that remain'd with him were pre­sently put to the sword, and Emilia seeing him alone, cried from aloft to Tre­batius, that they should not take away his life. Melintus was even ready to be trodden downe with the crowd of those that set upon him, but yet he still left not strowing the place with dead bodies, in the fury he was in; and they were afraid to come neare him by reason of the great blowes he gave on all sides of him: but at last he was taken by meanes of a Roman souldier, who in dying, for rage tooke hold of his legges, and made him fall. Thus was this prodigious valour constrain'd to yeeld to so cruell a fortune, and present­ly he was carried into a dungeon apart, and laden with irons by order from Emilia.

During this tumult, Dicearchus minding the safety of Palamede, was gone towards the place where he was, and having given money to a souldier that was left alone to guard the entrance, because the rest were run away to the defence of Trebatius, he perswaded him to let him goe, being able to ex­cuse himselfe upon the disorder that had hapned. This man having beene thus gained, Dicearchus conducted his Nephew by a backe doore, never telling him the occasion of the rumour he heard (for without doubt he would have succour'd Melintus,) and having given him advice to save himselfe, he return'd to Trebatius, who was then thinking of carrying away the bodies of so many dead men as were in the Court of his house, and could not sufficiently won­der at the great courage of Melintus, and his resolution for the safety of Pa­lamede. Emilia was well pleased to have Melintus in her power, and was ca­sting [Page 248] in her minde what kinde of death she should give him, being resolv'd to kill him with her owne hand. Then word was brought them how Pala­mede had beene saved, and there was a souldier that accus'd Dicearchus for having beene towards the prison: thereupon those that guarded him being not to be found, they conjectur'd that Dicearchus had gained them, whereat Trebatius being offended, made him be put into the same dungeon, where his Nephew had beene before, neare unto that wherein Melintus was, and was resolv'd to put him to death, for having dar'd to corrupt his men, and save the enemies of Caesar, and at the same time he made Pisistratus be ba­nish'd from his presence.

On the other side Palamede being got out, knew not what to thinke to see all the City in a rumour: and yet considering of nothing at that time but his owne safety, he regained the lodging of Arcas; never enquiring what the matter was. But he was greatly amaz'd when he understood that Melin­tus was gone out with eight souldiers, and he could not imagine for what de­signe he had stollen away from his troop in that equipage. Instantly he would depart, for to goe seeke and succour him, but he was hindred by the arrive of Arcas, who learn'd them all that had passed. The faire Ariana who began to dry her teares for her brothers return, felt then a new affliction that open'd afresh the source of them. Every one was in such a despaire at this calamity, for the affection they bare Melintus, that in stead of comforting her, they ex­press'd by their extreme griefe what cause she had to afflict her selfe. Palamede seeing in what sort he was oblig'd to Melintus, for having conceiv'd so gene­rous an enterprise for his safety, was fully resolv'd to render him the like: but he could not yet invent the meanes to effect it; and he onely mingled his de­spite with the extreme displeasures of his sister, Lepantus, and Cyllenia.

In the meane time Emilia that meditated of nothing but the meanes of in­tirely satisfying her vengeance, having in her hands the subject of all her furi­ous passions, consider'd that if she could get Ariana into her power, she might have wherewith to punish her, for being cause of her torments, and an oc­casion besides to aggravate the punishments of Melintus, by the resentments he should have at that she would make Ariana suffer, before she put him to death; and doubting that she might be in the same place, since Melintus was met there, with Palamede and Epicharis, she made a further search in all parts to have her in her hands. But Arcas knew so well to divert the scrutiny that might be made in his house, that she could never learne any newes of her. Many dayes were thus consum'd in this search about the City, and some places adjoyning: in the end not able any longer to deferre her revenge, and Trebatius urging her to put an end to the life of Melintus, for to give a begin­ning to his happinesse; she resolv'd one morning to goe her selfe and kill him with her owne hand. She tooke a ponyard, and Guides to conduct her to the dungeon; then being sure that Melintus could not defend himselfe from her, because he had his hands tyed behind him, and irons at his feet, she sent away those that were with her, to enter alone into that obscurity with a torch in her hand; having yet some shame left, to commit that action in the pre­sence of another. What? said she to her selfe in entring, it seemes I tremble, and that my body feares to execute what my minde has so resolutely under­taken! Can I yet doubt whether I be to revenge my selfe, having run over [Page 249] so many Seas to finde the occasion? No, no, let this cruell man feele the fury of a woman justly provoked, and repay all the torments he has made me en­dure. She encourag'd thus her selfe, for to fortifie her heart that seem'd not over much assured, and went her way towards Melintus, conducted by the torches light, in designe to make him have a sense of the death shee would give him.

Melintus knew her presently, and seeing that she sought him among the shadowes, he would prevent her, and said; Come, Emilia, that you bring me is very agreeable to me. Those words troubled her, because this voyce heretofore so loved, surpriz'd her; and she thought not that Melintus could know her, beleeving her dead, and seeing her in the habit she was in. Ha! traiterous Sorcerer, said she at length, what spirit hath learn'd thee that I am Emilia? Yes, I am that Emilia, the object of thy contempts and thy ingrati­tudes, that am come from hell to ravish from thee thy perfidious soule, and abandon it to the furies. Well then, replied he gently, dispatch, Emilia; doe that you have enterpriz'd: behold my brest uncover'd, strike the ponyard in, and assure your selfe that the death you are going to give me, I shall re­ceive it, not as a punition for having offended you, but as a recompence for the good service I have done you. Done me good service! replied she in­stantly. Ha! Villaine, call'st thou that good service, to have mocked at my love, and to have rewarded my cares with disdaine and ingratitude? call'st thou that good service, cruell man, when after thou hadst escap'd from me by subtilty; thou wouldst no more thinke there remain'd an Emilia in the world, to whom thou wast so much oblig'd? call'st thou that good service, thou in­gratefull wretch; when neither the sicknesse that hapned to me for the re­gret of seeing thee no more, nor my death so neare, nor my very death it selfe could oblige thee to give one visit to our house? Emilia, replied Melintus, to what purpose serve these reproaches, since you are resolv'd to make me dye? Dispatch, Emilia, see my brest ready for you, give the blow, and beleeve that you never yet oblig'd me so much; as you shall doe at this houre by ta­king away my life. No, answered she, I will know first, wherein, traytor, thou hast serv'd me. Ha! Emilia, said Melintus, will you have me to your shame present before your eyes so trouble some remembrances? Did I not serve you well, when seeing that this same Emilia, whose wit and vertue I had before admir'd, let her selfe loose to desires that were not very honest, I endeuoured to asswage that heat by my coldnesses, for feare she should be­waile all her life time, the fault of a few dayes? Did I not serve you well, when deploring with my selfe the wandring of your soule, and comparing your abasement with the honour of your preceding life, I was not willing to take advantage at your blindnesse, but maintain'd you, pure at least from ill effects, since I could not hinder the impurity of your desires and thoughts? And did I not well serve you, when seeing that my presence rather kindled your passion, than my reasons had power to extinguish it, I tooke a resoluti­on by subtlety to goe from you, hoping that by taking away the object that carried you to impudicity, by little and little reason would be restor'd to you, and make you know into what misery you were ready to have fallen? Emilia, Emilia, I had beene such an one, as you would then have wished me, what should you be at this houre? What repenting for having com­mitted [Page 250] so shamefull a fault? what remorse would seize you at this present, for having lost that honour that heretofore became your front with so much assurance? and to see your selfe constrain'd to hang downe your eyes, as com­plices of your shame, and of your miserie? What have I done to you then, Emilia, to pursue me thus so furiously? You will make me dye, for being cause that you may yet boast of your being honest; that you feare not the reproaches, either of men, or of your owne conscience, and that you find per­sons yet that will enterprise all things for your sake. See, Emilia, whether I have done you good service or no; and judge for the present, if I should have more oblig'd you by satsfying your desire at that time, than by not do­ing it at all.

Emilia, in whom there still remain'd seeds of vertue and a good courage, was so touch'd at these true and sensible reproaches, and stood so full of shame, as her furious and irregular passion, not able to sustaine the force of so great a vertue, forsooke her, and she was constrain'd insensibly to let fall the ponyard she held. She continued silent a long time, not knowing what to answer him: at last she sate downe by his side, and said to him, Melintus the wisest of all men, thou hast twice vanquish'd me: the first time thou gai­nedst but my heart and my affection; but now thou surmountest my soule, and my very reason, that confesses there is no vertue in the world comparable to thine. I submit to all the paines thou wilt ordaine me, for the torments I have made thee suffer; and I will confesse every where, that I am redeuable to thee for the resolution I take, to follow all my life time the advice of thy marvellous wisdome.

Emilia thus rendred due homage to the vertue of Melintus, when Trebatius who had care of her, and feared that Melintus all fettered as he was, might finde meanes to defend himselfe from her, because she stayed long, came all alone to finde her, and was in a great wonder to see her by Melintus, rather in estate of a suppliant, than a person that sought revenge. What's this? said he to Emilia, What doe I see? Trebatius, saies she to him, you have reason in­deed to wonder: but if you had heard the sage discourses of Melintus, you would be overcome as well as I am. See the most vertuous man of the world, to whom I am beholding for the purity I have hitherto preserv'd, and for the vertue I shall follow all my life hereafter: I require you would save his life for my sake, or else put me to death in his stead. Madam, replied Trebatius, you know I have not enterpris'd the ruine of Melintus, but to satisfie you, ha­ving no cause at all to hate him. If you have admir'd his wisdome for the present, I have lately admir'd the greatnesse of his courage and strength; and it was with much regret that I permitted you the destruction of so valiant a man. Melintus brake off this discourse, to tell them that hee had neither so much vertue, nor so much courage; that what he had done against the Roman souldiers, was rather an effect of despaire than valour, for having understood that his friend was in danger of his life; and that Emilia called wisdome in him, the knowledge he had given her of the transport of her fury, which made her doe things mis-becomming her sex: that since they had a com­mand from the Emperour to put him to death, they should not for this refuse to doe it, for feare they themselves suffer'd not for it. No, no, said Emilia, I will dye, before any such thing happen to you from Trebatius; and I know [Page] that he is not here, but to obey me. Trebatius confirm'd what she had said, and then Melintus replied; Since you are willing, I have an obligation to you for my life, I will acquit my selfe in some sort towards you; counselling you, said he addressing him to Emilia, to consider for the present the merits of Trebatius, his faithfull affection, and so many services he hath done you, which altogether oblige you to receive him for your husband. And you, said he turning him towards Trebatius, receive from my hand Emilia, whose faire qualities you are not ignorant of, and who having let her selfe be surpriz'd with the passion of revenge, shall from henceforth prove the vertuousest woman of the world, since she has knowne how to overcome it. Emilia gave her hand to Trebatius for Melintus sake, and having permitted him to kisse it for a pledge that she receiv'd him as her husband, made him all-transported with joy. Trebatius finding himselfe so redeuable to Melintus, ask'd him, if he desir'd any other thing of him beside. That you would deliver, answer'd he, Palamede. He is no more in our power, said Trebatius; and thereupon he told him how Dicearchus had saved him, but that he had caused the old man to be put in his place in a dungeon neare to that they were in, and that hee was resolv'd to have him dye for having dar'd to conceive such an enterprize, and that now he was the more perswaded to it, because he was Melintus ene­my. Ha! Trebatius, said Melintus, I demand of you then the life of Dicear­chus, in stead of Palamedes. Too-generous Melintus, replied Trebatius, if you knew in what sort he is incens'd against you, you would never desire hee should live any longer. 'Tis no matter, said Melintus, he is uncle to Ariana and Palamede; and though he be very cruell to me, I will never endure to have him dye. I give you his life then, and will have him hold it of none but you. Melintus thank'd him for this favour; and then Emilia ask'd how hee was able to save himselfe in the City, while she made the search for him. He answered her, that it was by the meanes of Arcas his free-man, who had put himselfe into their company being at Rome, and told her all hee had done since to succour Palamede and him being in Nicopolis: that they had ever bin with Ariana and the rest of their troop in the lodging hee had made to be marked out for him; and thither without question was Palamede retired. Trebatius and Emilia highly commended the fidelity, and resolution of this freed-man, and Emilia that remembred what he had done heretofore at Rome with Nisus, being a slave, when he attempted to dye for his Master; added, that this was not the first time hee had shewne a great courage, and extreme affection for him. Melintus interrupted this discourse, to tell them, that see­ing his owne safety assured, and that of Dicearchus too, there remain'd no more but to thinke upon Trebatius his; and this was it they were well to pro­vide for: for if the Emperour knew that he had let him escape, hee would never pardon him. They consider'd some time thereupon, then Melintus re­plied; I am of opinion that to take away from those are with you the know­ledge of the favour you have done me, you were best to goe both of you out from hence, as if you came from killing of me, and Dicearchus too, since he is in a dungeon here hard by; and that you command all your souldiers, and all that serve you, to goe seeke Palamede in all the shipping at the Port, that so I may escape when all shall be gone out, and there be not any left that may be a witnesse of your letting me goe. You may tell them how Dicearchus [Page 252] hoping to save his owne life by discovering his Nephew, declar'd to you be­fore he died, that he had hid himselfe in some ship or other. You may keepe still by you Arcas onely, for to serve you, and helpe my escape. Trebatius ap­prov'd of this advice, and resolv'd to follow it: he went with Emilia out of the dungeon whither they had descended, being followed by none, and as soone as they were above and among the souldiers, Trebatius made as if he were in a great heat, and said that hee came from killing Melintus and Dicearchus; but that he must have Palamede too, who was hidden at the port in some of the Vessels, and that Dicearchus had confest it before his death. Instantly he commanded all his soulders to goe seeke him there, and forbad them returning, till they had found him out. Hee met none in all the house that he sent not thither, feining to doe it out of a great passion to have Pa­lamede under his hands. He kept onely about him Arcas, who melted into teares beleeving his Master was dead. But when they were alone, Treba­tius commanded him to shut the doores, and bade him be comforted, for his Master was still living. Arcas was in a strange amaze, that Trebatius knew Melintus was his Master; and continued in a suspense, not knowing if hee were to beleeve that he was alive, and not able to imagine in what sort Tre­batius had understood any thing concerning him by Melintus: but Emilia as­sured him by telling him how she knew him, and how Melintus and they were become friends. Arcas cast himselfe at their feet for excesse of joy to give them thanks, and presently they went away together to the dungeon to have Melintus out. This poore free-man seeing by the Torch-light that Emilia had left his Master, who reach'd out his armes to him, thought to have dyed for joy to see him yet living; and in testimony of his extreme satisfaction, un­did the irons off his feet: at the same time Trebatius and Emilia tooke him on both sides for to lift him up, and because his feet were stiffe and benum­med, they would needs sustaine him, untill he came into the Court of the house, and could goe alone; and they led him thus, as it were triumphing over the rage they had before conceiv'd against him. When he saw himselfe in case to goe freely, he would take his leave of them, and prayed them, that they would send away Dicearchus after him: but Emilia desir'd to accompa­ny him with Trebatius to his lodging, because she was desirous to see Ariana, and entreat her pardon for the troubles she had made her suffer, in pursuing the death of him she loved. Melintus prayed them not to take this trouble upon themselves, for feare some body might see them together in the City, and this occasion make Trebatius be accused. Shee answer'd that they were but to put every one a casque upon their head, with the vizard downe, and so they would not be discover'd: that Arcas should goe in the meane time to fetch Dicearchus out of the dungeon, and bring him away with his chaines and all to their lodging; that he might receive the grace of his life of none but Melintus. This contentment must be given to the desire Emilia had to see Ariana againe, and make a friendship with her. They put each of them a casque upon their heads, and went out, after they had given charge to Arcas to goe deliver Dicearchus, and bring him bound as he was to the lodging they were going to.

They found the streets empty of people, for the greatest part had fol­lowed the souldiers to the Port out of curiosity, to see what they went to doe [Page] there: so as they were seene but of a few, till they came to the house they went to. Ariana and Cyllenia were in a great fright, when they knew that three armed men demanded entrance. Palamede who was already in desperation for not knowing what was become of his friend, was resolv'd to ease his re­sentments by revenging himselfe on these three men whom he judg'd to be Roman souldiers; and after he had armed him with Lepantus, he commanded they should open and let them enter. Melintus went first, and was amaz'd to see himselfe in an instant assail'd by Palamede: he perceiv'd the error of his friend, yet he was constrain'd to take his sword in hand, for to ward the blows he gave him; at last taking his time he lift up his vizor, and in speaking made himselfe knowne to him. Palamede presently threw away his sword, and cast himselfe at his feet to demand pardon of him. Melintus imbrac'd him, and lifting him up, said that he would yet more wonder, when he knew who they were that accompanied him. Trebatius and Emilia advanced then the visiere of their Casques; whereat Palamede had a like astonishment, as if he had seene enchantments. Lepantus that knew them not, rejoyc'd onely to see Melintus alive, and ran instantly to advertise Ariana and Cyllenia of this good newes. At the same time Melintus entred into the Chamber, and Ariana came to receive him with open armes, and could not speake a good while, so transpor­ted was she with joy. Trebatius and Emilia saluted her after that, and she was so confounded for what she saw, and heard them speake, that they were to give her some time for to be assured that it was no dreame. Teares of joy flowed every where abundantly to see so fortunate a change. Trebatius and Emilia made them many excuses, and endevoured to have them forget their miseries by the continuall kindnesses they shewed them. At length Melintus said, that nothing now remain'd, but to have Dicearchus. Presently after he entred all laden with fetters, Arcas holding him behind; and being brought before them, he was in a great wonder, when he lift up his eyes and saw Me­lintus, Ariana, and Palamede besides Trebatius, with well-pleas'd countenan­ces. He could not imagine what such a change as that meant: but hee was much more confounded when Trebatius said to him; Old man, you had de­serv'd death rather than any of these persons here, for having corrupted my men in my owne house, and I had ordain'd you to punishment; but I was constrain'd to give your life to the intreaty of Melintus the most vertuous of men; and from henceforth you hold it of none but him. Dicearchus was all­asham'd, once againe to have an obligation for his life to a person whose death he prosecuted: but Melintus knowing his disorder, would comfort him, and went to embrace him; then putting one knee to the ground, he began to undoe his irons, and ask'd him pardon for having given him much displeasure in that he was forced by his love to carry away his Neece. Ariana at the same time was upon her knees before her uncle, and desir'd his favour for the fault she had made in going away from Corinth; and it was an action that drew teares from the assistants, to see a captive at the same time suppliant, and sought to, and that the same persons demanded grace, and gave it. Dicearchus weeping also, could not tell what to say to them; only he embrac'd one while Melintus, another while Ariana. At last Trebatius said to him, that he should receive Melintus for the husband of Ariana, and for the most apparent hap­pinesse that could arrive to his family: that he himselfe acknowledg'd him [Page 254] to be the most valiant & most vertuous man of the earth; & that he wondred how he could possibly have such animosity untill then, against a person of so admirable qualities. Live, sayes he, from henceforth, happy together, being oblig'd to one another by many important services; and make much of the repose that fortune sends you. The embraces then redoubled, in testimony that they confirm'd the advice of Trebatius; and a little after they consulted what they had to doe. Trebatius said he would goe to finde his souldiers that were still searching Palamede in the Vessels, to whom he resolv'd to say that Palamede had beene found in the City, and put to death: that at the very houre he would embarke them, and returne to Rome with Emilia, in whose company he hoped to passe away his dayes happily. As for them, he counsell'd them, as well for their owne safety as his, to change their names, and retire to some part of Asia, where the Emperour should never heare more of them: besides, they ought not to retire them to places commanded by the Roman Governours, but into some Kings dominions, either of Troas, or C [...]mm [...]gena. These advices having beene approv'd, they tooke leave one of another with a thousand embracings, and as many wishes that they might live all of them in prosperity and repose the rest of their dayes.

Nothing now remain'd but to finde out Epicharis, and they judged that she had return'd to the first lodging they were in; because she knew not they had changed it; but there she was not to be found: neverthelesse the day after having knowne that Trebatius was departed with all his troop, they would remove againe into that lodging, which was very great, staying untill they might heare newes of her, and sent the faithfull Arcas who remain'd amongst them, to have brought thither what they had transported into the other house; to the end they might in that place celebrate the marriage of Melintus with Ariana, and Lepantus with Cyllenia, which had so cruelly beene deferred; but now was resolv'd on by the very consent of Dicearchus, who was so asha­med for being so many times redeuable to Melintus, that he could hardly lift up his eyes before him. Palamede in the meane time went to the bay where the vessell was hid, for to have it returne, and to see if Epicharis were not a­long the Sea-coast somewhere: but all his care proved unprofitable. That ve­ry day they tooke out of the ship all they thought necessary for them, to goe away by land as farre as the Hellespont, and from thence to passe into Asia; because the way was much shorter, and withall they were in hope to finde Epicharis. Afterwards they sent away the Vessell to Syracuse, with charge to goe secretly advertise at the houses of Dicearchus, of Melintus and Telephus, what fortune they had met with; and to bring them all the commodities they could get together out of their estates, to the end they might be able to live in Troas, where they would settle; and that those were sent to them should come the same way they went, not to faile of encountring them: they gave marks also whereby they should be found, and instructions concerning all they had to doe.

About evening, when every one re-began the preparations for the next day, they were told, there had beene in that house some dayes a sicke wo­man that was landed at that place, and appear'd very venerable. They had the curiosity to goe see her and offer her what assistance they were able; but when they were entred into the Chamber, and came neare her bed, she cried [Page] out having perceiv'd Dicearchus; Ha ye gods! Who presents this hangman to me, this traitor? and continued a thousand outrageous speeches against him, in such sort as they thought her sicknesse was some burning fever; and having recommended her to those that waited on her, they left her. A little while after, Dicearchus by chance repassed by this womans Chamber, who be­ginning afresh her injuries and maledictions, made her selfe at last knowne to him, to be the sage Euphrosyne, wife of Hermocrates, and mother of Melintus. Dicearchus then full of confusion to finde himselfe guilty of all the miseries that had hapned to Hermocrates and her, knew not what to doe with himselfe, whether he regarded her, or return'd towards Melintus, whose sight he could not endure, for having so much offended him, and for being so oblig'd to him. At last he resolv'd to goe nearer, and he said to her, that in satisfaction of so many miseries and displeasures he had brought upon her, hee thought himselfe happy for having a meanes to give her as much contentment now presently, as before he had given her troubles and griefes. Euphrosyne not a­ble to judge what he meant to say, ask'd him, if hee would not still continue his deceits and treasons, and assur'd him, that the gods would one day revenge her for all his villanies. Dicearchus fail'd not to goe out, and finding Melintus he said to him with a heart touch'd by repentance, that he esteem'd himselfe at last very happy for having found out in his misfortune, wherewith to pay him in part for so many obligations he had to him; not onely in granting him Ariana for his wife, but also in making him an inestimable present, for which without doubt he would be extremely joyfull. Melintus having given him thanks, and not able to imagine what he could give him, let himselfe be conducted by him into the Chamber where Euphrosyne was, to whom he pre­sented Melintus for her sonne, and said to Melintus, that he gave him Euphro­syne for his mother, and that he rejoyc'd for that the gods had offered him this meanes to give them satisfaction. Euphrosyne and Melintus knew not yet if they should beleeve it or no, and continued silent and astonished. No, no, replied Dicearchus, never doubt of what I tell you. Euphrosyne knowes who she is, and for you, sayes he to Melintus, open your brest to her, that shée may see the marke of the heart, which will assure her that you are her sonne. Melintus shewed her that marke, and then Euphrosyne said, opening her arms; Ha my sonne, is it you indeed, whose sight I have so longed after? and whom I could never heare any newes of? Ha Dicearchus, how from my heart I pardon you all the torments you have made me suffer, and if Hermo­crates were with us, how happy should I esteeme my selfe for the present. At the same time a streame of teares bedewed her face all over. Melintus had his heart so pressed, to feele himselfe embrac'd by this vertuous mother, whose losse he had so often lamented, that he could not be at ease but in letting fall also many teares. This object so tender, and so pittifull, mixt with regrets and satisfactions, with sorrow and joy, could not be seene but with weeping, which serv'd for two uses, being capable to represent both the resentments of griefe, and the excesses of contentment. Melintus presented afterwards A­riana to his mother; and having told her a part of her vertues, and of their adventures, let her know that she was destin'd to be his wife, if shee were pleas'd withall. Then they embrac'd one another with much transportation; and Euphrosyne said, that after so much happinesse, she had nothing to be sorry [Page 256] for but the losse of Hermocrates. Melintus express'd to her that his greatest desire was to know what their fortune had beene since their exile from Syra­cuse, and in what sort she had encountred in that place. She let them know that she was very willing to give them this contentment, beleeving now she had strengh enough to performe it; but Dicearchus foreseeing how that dis­course could not be made, but that he must receive the stings of many a re­proach, withdrew himselfe with Palamede, leaving Melintus, Ariana, Lepan­tus, and Cyllenia, in preparation to hearken to Euphrosyne, who began thus her discourse, holding Melintus by the hand.

History of Hermocrates and Euphrosyne.

MY deare sonne, if you desire to know the originall of our misfortunes, and what the great Hermocrates your father hath beene, I must of ne­cessity take up my discourse something from afarre off, for to let you see that at what time I married him, fortune never brought together any couple that had cause to expect more happinesse, and yet proved so unfortunate as wee. Under the reigne of the Emperour Tiberius, Hermocrates (of whose illustri­ous birth I will make no relation to you, because I beleeve you are not igno­rant of it) would goe to Rome being very young. His father and mother ha­ving no other child but him, were in trouble to have him so farre remov'd out of their sight: but in the end he obtained leave. As soone as hee was at Rome, he stayed not long to put himselfe into the acquaintance of the great Prince Germanicus, who then was the refuge of what ever there was vertu­ous upon earth. Hermocrates that was perfect in all kinds of excellent quali­ties, and among others had a wisdome and a valour to be admired, was pre­sently lov'd of him; and a while after the occasion of the German warres was presented, wherein he followed that Prince, and made so many proofes of his valiance, and prudent government, that he gave him great commands in the Army, and honour'd him divers times with many crownes, and advanta­geous praises. After these warres were finished, he return'd to Rome with Germanicus, and admiring the vertue of this great Prince, he could not for­sake him: Germanicus on the other side, loving Hermocrates dearely, gave him cause enough not to abandon him; and knowing his noblenesse, and his vertues, beleev'd that he alone was worthy of his friendship. They were a long time in this sort inseparable; and if the gods willing to punish the earth by the cruell Emperours they gave since, had not so soone taken out of the world this lovely Prince, whom by a just title they call'd the delights of hu­mane kinde, I beleeve I should never have knowne Hermocrates, nor beene to him the cause of all his miseries. But Germanicus having beene poysoned by Piso and Plancinus in Syria, Hermocrates could not endure to see Rome any more, where there was an Emperour so execrable, who envying the vertue of his Nephew, and the love that all the world had to him, had cruelly de­priv'd him of his life; so as he return'd to Syracuse, but with such a regret for the death of Germanicus, that his sadnesse appeared visibly upon his face, and made him be affected the more by others to see him faithfull to a Prince so la­mented of the world. At that time was I one of the most considerable of Syracuse, although I were not originary of that Countrey: but the Nobility [Page] of my birth was well enough knowne; for that my grand-fathers that went out of Carthage when it was destroyed by the Romans, were of the race of the Princes Hamilcar and Hannibal; and therewithall I had an estate, if I may say it, equall to my Nobility, and my mother onely was left me of my kindred, all whose cares tended to the choyce of some party that might be for my ad­vantage.

Dicearchus (many ages since descended of Timoleon, and having a sufficient estate to sustaine the ranke that his birth gave him,) was one of the chiefe that presented themselves. He was wanting in no care or practice, for to order his affaires so as he might marry me, and labour'd by a thousand wayes to give my mother great impressions of his honesty, for he knew her to be of so great a vertue, that he well saw she would be impregnable any other way but this. But Hermocrates arriving at Syracuse, obtained without thinking what the o­ther tried to gaine by a thousand subtilties: for every one being alrea­dy prevented with his great reputation, it was acknowledg'd not to be without cause, that renowne had so high advanc'd him, because his Nobility was accompanied with so many vertues, and he added to his other good qua­lities so honest a modesty, with a sadnesse that was still more gracefull in him, that there was not a person but bare a love and respect towards him.

At the same time having beene bred under the government of the wisest mother in the world, I made my selfe also sufficiently esteem'd by a great re­straint I observed, endevouring to imitate her vertue, and give her all the contentments she could expect from a daughter. I know not what it was Hermocrates saw in me that pleased him, whether appearance of vertue, or some other thing, but he express'd with a great grace and respect the designe he had to serve me. As for me, who had no desire to make a choyce, but would leave my selfe to my mothers judgement, I alwayes feined not to un­derstand what he would say to me: but for all that I was not sorry when he came neare me, and I tooke the paines to entertaine him with the best dis­course I was able. Dicearchus was not in that esteeme with me; because I knew him to be a violent and an artificiall man, and I judged that his humor would never agree well with mine. My mother soone perceiv'd the purpose of Hermocrates, and was well content therewithall; so as she was never dis­pleased that he should speake to me, and the first time he found the occasion to come to our house, she assur'd him that the entrance to it should ever be open for him. He receiv'd this permission with a great deale of respect, and made very discreet use thereof: but Dicearchus could not suffer to see a rivall so well intreated, and to finde himselfe so distant from our good graces; be­leeving that he was not so removed but by the advancement of Hermocrates. He had recourse to a thousand devices, and at last counterfetted a letter, which he sent to my mother, as if Eryx (who was Hermocrates father) had written it to her; wherein he advertis'd her not to receive any more his sonne at her house, and that he had other designes for him; that if shee of her owne accord hindred not those frequent visits of Hermocrates, hee should himselfe be forc'd to doe it by a meanes that would be heard with no very a­greeable noyse to her. See what a crafty plot here was: see my mother then in a great wonder, and more offended withall. As soone as Hermocrates came to see her, she prayed him to come no more at her house: neverthelesse with [Page 258] so much temper, as she express'd no discontentment at all to him, beleeving that he had no part in what his father had written to her. Hermocrates, al­though my mother us'd him with no discourtesie, was yet in a great surprize, and besought her an hundred times to tell him what fault he could commit against the respect he ought us. She would reveale nothing of the matter to him; but in the end she told him that Eryx was not well pleas'd with their friendship. He confess'd that his father indeed had propos'd a marriage for him, but that it was a thing so unlikely, that he beleev'd verily he thought no more of it. No, no, Hermocrates, replied she, he has forbidden me by writing to receive you here any more: but I thinke he might have express'd his aver­sion to us by something a civiller way. Ha, Madam, sayes he, is it possible, this you tell me? 'Tis so true, answer'd she, that without opposing his desire, or my owne honour, I can no longer suffer you in this house. Then he went his way, overcome with displeasure, and not knowing how hee should make shift to live any more; because that as hee had a great respect and love to­wards his father, so he had also as great a resentment of the injury he thought he had receiv'd from him, in such sort that piety and choler began a combat in his soule which gave him no repose at all. When he was at home, he durst not lift up his eyes upon Eryx, for feare of offending him with an ill looke; for it had beene impossible for him to see him without paine. He would not wish his father any evill, and yet he could not desire any good to him: so as having liv'd some time in this trouble of spirit he could not rid himselfe of, at last he fell sicke, and the more care Eryx express'd to have of him, the more did his sicknesse increase. This good father full of griefe to see in that danger his sonne whom he had reason to cherish, as well for the lovelinesse of his person, as because he was the onely one he bad, who for all this gave no comfort to his sorrow, not enduring the sight of him, and refusing from his hand the remedies he offered him, knew not whence this aversion should pro­ceed of his sonne towards him, and shed teares abundantly. Hermocrates on the other side seeing his father in that perplexity, accused himselfe for an un­gracious sonne so to torment his owne father; and could not tell whether he should wish himselfe dead or alive, well knowing that if he dyed, he should but heape sorrowes and anguishes upon the old age of those that brought him into the world, and by living he could expect no contentment from them, nor give them any. But at length Eryx prayed his wife to aske him what cause he had not to love him, and if ever he had given him any occasion to be displeased with him; that having receiv'd of the gods a sonne so vertuous and obedient, hee should thinke himselfe very ingrate towards them, and himselfe too, if ever it should happen that he gave him any displeasure. His mother labour'd to get this secret out of him, but he could never be perswa­ded to accuse his father; and hee was resolv'd rather to dye, than a word should escape him that shewed any want of respect. She forced her selfe ma­ny times to make him declare his griefe, which she doubted he concealed, though she knew no cause he had for it; but it was impossible to draw any thing from him. In the end this good father outraged with affliction, could no longer containe himselfe; but approaching his sonnes bed, he put him­selfe on his knees before him, and full of teares prayed him to tell him if e­ver he had displeas'd him in any thing. Hermocrates ashamed at this submis­sion, [Page] and beleeving he received an injury rather than an honour by it, knee­led him downe upon his bed, and bowing towards his father, desired him as he embrac'd him, to rise up, and not make his pitty guilty of shame, by an abasement unworthy of him. No, sayes Eryx to him, I will never rise, un­till you have told me wherein I have given you displeasure. Ha my father, sayes he, must I have beene so unfortunate, as not to have inviolably fol­lowed all your desires? and that my affections should be repugnant unto yours? What would you say, replied Eryx, speake more clearely, my sonne; for I doe not think you have ever oppos'd the thing I desi'rd of you, and be­sides I promise you never to be contrary to any thing you shall desire of mee. No, no, father, answer'd Hermocrates, be well assured, I will never be diso­bedient to you, and I shall take order with my selfe for your sake, for ever thinking upon Euphrosyne, but. Then he made a stop, and his father said to him; Goe on, sonne, and feare not to tell me what you desire: you shall learne me what I know not yet, and peradventure what I shall as much de­sire as your selfe. Ha! father, sayes Hermocrates, if it be lawfull for mee to put a reproach upon you, your letter made no such expression that you would desire it. What letter? answered he. But not to seeme troublesome to you, continued Euphrosyne, the good father knew at last, there had beene sent to my mother as from him, a supposititious letter; and without any more delay he comes to our house, and intreated my mother to shew it him, and told her it must have beene sent by some spirit that was very neare to have ruin'd his sonnes life. When he had seene it, he express'd in such sort that he was innocent of this letter, and made her so many satisfactions, that she could have no suspition at all of him, and made it appeare that shee had much sorrow for Hermocrates sicknesse, whom she greatly esteemed her selfe. And for this cause they concluded together our marriage before they parted; and imagining from whence this letter should come, they conceiv'd it must be from Dicearchus, who since that time had express'd a greater passion to me than ever before. See then how Dicearchus willing to hinder our marri­age, advanc'd it: assembling together by his owne invention, those that o­therwise would have had much adoe to have effected it. As soone as Hermo­crates learn'd this good newes, it seem'd they had restor'd him his life, and we went oft to visit him untill he was perfectly recovered. Then were wee married together with a thousand rejoycings, and passed away three or foure yeeres with all the contentments can be imagined, without having yet any children. In the meane time Dicearchus not able to endure that our marriage should be made while he were at Syracuse, was gone to Corinth, where he stayed about two yeares, at the end whereof he return'd into Sicily with A­cidalia whom he had married. Presently after he declar'd himselfe enemy to Hermocrates, who having then lost his father, seem'd to hold the first place in the City; he practis'd the factious men on all sides, to make a league a­gainst him, and seem'd to have no other end in all his actions than to dis­please and ruine him, if it were possible. At last hee sought out so many meanes to attaine his designe, that there was one that succeeded to his wish. You know, it may be, pursues Euphrosyne, how he made armes be carried by night over the wals of our house, and ranged them as in a readinesse for an oc­casion: at the same time he went to advertise the chiefe of the City that [Page 260] Hermocrates projected to make himselfe a Tyrant, and that it would ap­peare at his house. They came to our house that very night, and ravish'd from my armes my deare Hermocrates, for to carry him away prisoner. You may judge what trouble I was then surpriz'd in: neverthelesse in this calamity I receiv'd some consolation for the innocency of my husband; and when Dicearchus friends solicited on that side to have him condemn'd to dye, I did all I could to make the villany of that artifice appeare, and what appearance there could be, that a private man would make himselfe Tyrant over a Citie that was of the Roman Empire. But all I could ob­taine, was to moderate the condemnation to a banishment for five yeares, and to have fifteene dayes given us to order our affaires in. Neverthe­lesse that time serv'd but to increase our misery: for Dicearchus having knowne that we were to retire to Carthage, the place of my originall, and not content with our banishment, had leisure to practise certaine Pyrats, who covenanted with him for a great summe of money that they would surprize us in our passage from Lylibeum to Carthage; and after that they would goe and sell us apart to some Barbarians, for feare we should ever see one another againe, or returne into our Countrey; and because I was very big with childe at the same time, hee made them promise him to put to death whatever should be borne of mee, untill wee came to be sold. After wee had committed the managing of our estate to Diocles our friend for to administer it during the five yeares banishment, wee departed ac­companied with Telephus, not knowing the miseries Dicearchus had pre­par'd for us: but I was so happy as to be brought to bed of you at Lylibe­um, said Euphrosyne to Melintus, where I stayed more than fifteene dayes till I could endure the Sea; and it seemed you were willing to be borne at that time, to retard as much as you could possibly, the miseries that were to happen to your parents. We happily advis'd to leave you secretly in Si­cily, and give you to Telephus; for if we had carried you away with us, you had not beene alive at this houre: then tooke we leave of our Coun­trey all in teares, and went to goe aboard the Vessell: But there befell me a mischance that was an augury that this voyage should prove very dead­ly to us: for thinking to enter into the ship, my foot slipt, and I fell in­to the Sea: the affection of Hermocrates was such, as hee threw himselfe presently after me, ind by swimming saved me, and brought me aboard a­gaine. After we had dried us a while, we stayed not our departing, and because the passage is but short, wee soone perceiv'd a light vessell that had parted from the coasts, which in a small time set upon us. Hermocrates judged them to be Sea-coursers, and intreated those that were with him, to take armes and defend themselves as well as they might. But their num­ber was but small, and besides they were not in state to fight, never expe­cting they should have beene fought with in the small way they had to passe. Yet for all that they were not wanting to defend themselves courageously, and Hermocrates was not taken untill he had laid six of them at his feet. His valour was esteemed of the Pyrats, who in consideration of him par­don'd those that were with us, and taking what they found best out of our ship, made us enter into theirs. After they had passed us a good way on the Sea, they brought us to a place of their owne retreat; and it was [Page] strange to see what fidelity these Pyrats kept with Dicearchus in that they had promised him; because they might have expected a greater ransome from us, than that they had receiv'd of him, and yet in the meane time they failed not in what they had sworne to him. Neverthelesse they shewed us some favour, for we liv'd in honour among them, and accommodated with all things necessary. They delayed three whole yeares to sell us, during which I was brought to bed of two children whom they put to death as they had resolved; afterwards they went to sell my husband into a Countrey very farre remov'd. As for me they were minded to keepe me still by them, what request soever I made not to be separate from Hermocrates, because they had brought me a Kings sonne very young to breed up, whom they had taken in some place or other; and on whom all my affection was pla­ced, being comforted by the nurture was committed to me for our cruell captivity and dead children, attending the change of fortune. These cruell people were never touched, neither with the supplications and advantage­ous promises of Hermocrates, nor yet with my teares, but in spight of mee they carried him away to a place where now I beleeve he has ended his daies. All my entertainment and consolation in the cruell vexations I endur'd, was in the nurcing I had of the little Prince which was called Eurymedon, who also bare me a great affection, and as he grew gave testimonies not onely of the greatnesse of his extraction, but of a minde very generous also. When he saw me afflicted, he labour'd to appease me, and comforted me by the hope he gave, that as soone as he had any power, he would restore my li­berty, and endevour to discover where Hermocrates was, that he might be mine againe. Neverthelesse when he had the command over all the Pyrats, he could not so soone effect what he had promis'd me, being retain'd from doing it, for not offending their lawes. About a yeare since, desirous to goe to Sea, he promis'd me that I should goe with him: but I fell so sicke that it was impossible for me. Some dayes since he return'd for to assemble all the Pyraticke forces with a designe to goe upon some great enterprize, whence fearing never to returne, and willing to deliver me, the Pyrats never know­ing of it, he intreated one called Amyntas that was come to finde him in a Squiffe from some of his friends, to save me secretly with himselfe when hee return'd hither to finde out those persons he sought for. This Amyntas had a care of me as if I had beene his mother, and brought mee into this City, where not encountring those he thought to have found, he left me with the people you see, for to serve and accompany me unto Syracuse: Amyntas know­ing that Eurymedon was here hard by for to assist those he was in paine for, is gone to finde him, and I beleeve they are gone away together, having heard no newes at all of them. As for me attending the recovery of the sicknesse is fallen upon me, and the labour I endur'd in my flight, I made a stay in this lodging, where I was in a great wonder to see this same Dicearchus, the author of all our displeasures, all whose wicked practices I learned of Eurymedon, and to whom for all this I cannot wish ill, since he hath restor'd me my deare Me­lintus, and makes me conceive some hope, being become our friend, that hee will helpe us to finde Hermocrates your father.

Euphrosyne thus ended, and Melintus told her how they knew who Euryme­don and Amyntas were, and that he hoped very soone by meanes of Euryme­don [Page 262] to learne what was become of his father; wherein he would employ all the diligence he could possibly use. He entreated afterwards this vertuous mother of his, to pardon Dicearchus for his deare Ariana's sake, which she pro­mised him, and they embrac'd one another with much affection. He told her then the greatest part of what had happened to them, and among other things the faithfull friendship of Telephus, and the infidelity of Diocles, and how hee had beene knowne for the sonne of Hermocrates. Then these discourses being ended, every one retir'd to goe to bed, and to attend with repose the cere­monies and joyes of the next day.

ARIANA. The fifth Booke.

WHile the sage Euphrosyne thus entertain'd Melintus, Palamede, whom Epicharis losse gave no repose to, would not lose the time he might employ in search of her: hee tooke a horse and rode out of Nicopolis, and went into all places thereabouts to see if she might not be retir'd somewhere out of the Towne. In vaine he spent all the evening in this search, and a great part of the night that was very darke, and as he return'd towards the City, he heard two men on hors­backe comming to him, who spake of Melintus and Ariana, expressing a great deale of angry malice against them. He could not know who they were, be­cause the obscurity was so great as he did not so much as see them. But when they were past, he had a minde to know more of their secrets; and after he had tyed his horse to a tree, he overtooke them on foot as speedily as might be: then going a light pace by them without making himselfe be heard, he listned their discourse some while, not able yet to understand any thing: but in the end one of the two replied thus: What? have I brought from Syra­cuse with such respect and care, this traiterous and perjurious old man? have I so long courted him at Corinth? and since followed him through all the ports of Greece for to revenge his injuries? and now he is satisfied himselfe, shall he take no care whether I be so too or no? Palamede knew then by this discourse, and by the voyce, that it was Pisistratus, who went on: And shall I suffer Melintus to marry her that is promis'd me, whose love brings so many desires and unquietnesses upon me? Shall they goe away together contented, and leave me here full of despite, of shame, of rage? In the meane time must I appeare without heart, and not make them feele what a man of my con­dition is able to doe, betrayed on this fashion, and wanting no resentment? No, no, though they have escaped the hands of Trebatius, they are not yet safe from mine; and if they stay here but one day more for to marry toge­ther, I am certaine to make a funerall-wedding of it. But, answered the o­ther that accompanied him, are you very sure they are still living? I saw this evening, replied Pisistratus, Arcas the free-man of Melintus leading Dicearchus bound, and bringing him into a house. I sent one of my servants to follow them, and commanded him to enquire what they did in that lodging, ma­king [Page 264] as if he had some businesse there. He brought me word, that hee saw Trebatius, Melintus, Palamede, Ariana and Dicearchus at good accord together, and that there was nothing but rejoycing amongst them, and I make no doubt of what he told me, because he knowes them all as well as I doe. But, re­turned he whom he spake to, when you have spoken to the Governour of Epire, to put to death Melintus and Palamede, because they are the Emperours enemies, and told him how Trebatius had beene sent from Nero for the same purpose, doe you thinke he will beleeve you? Pisistratus answered, you doe not know then, how they have beene proclaimed throughout all the Provinces, enemies of Caesar, and of the decree that is gone out to kill them in what place soever they be found. No, no, Maxentius cannot deferre their putting to death, because he is advertis'd of the Imperiall order, and if he makes any difficulty of doing it, I will threaten to accuse him too be­fore Nero. Palamede knowing in what sort Pisistratus would be revenged, re­solved to prevent him by killing him first: presently he drew his sword, and staying him by the reines of his horse, for feare he should escape, strucke him a great blow into the body; Pisistratus cryed out that they murder'd him; he that was with him tooke his flight, and Pisistratus had never escap'd that danger, had it not beene for a mischance that befell Palamede; for his foot slipt when he was going to redouble his blow, and he was constrain'd to quit the bridle of the horse, which carried away his Master so farre that he could never overtake him. Palamede was forced to returne the way he came, and having found his owne horse againe, he rode backe into the City, when the daylight began to appeare. Being come to his lodging, he told his adven­ture to Melintus and the rest, and counselled them that without troubling themselves more about their wedding, they should depart as suddenly as they could: because Pisistratus having escaped out of his hands would not faile to goe to Maxentius, if his wounds hindred him not. This newes brought no small trouble againe to the contentments they expected. Ariana then besought Melintus, that he would no more desire to have their marriage perform'd, till they were in a place full of repose and security; and said, he should first of all thinke upon his owne safety, and afterward she would endevour to make his life as happy to him, as she possibly could. Melintus was constrain'd to obey her, and Euphrosyne approving the wisdome of Ariana, was of her o­pinion. Instantly they all considered upon the retreat, and they repented them for having sent away the vessell; because they would have sav'd them­selves more certainly by Sea, although the way were longer: neverthelesse they were resolv'd to goe by land, and to put their baggage into Carts, and they were perswaded, that there being above fifty of their troop counting the traine they had, nothing lesse than an Army would assault them. So they encouraged themselves to depart, that they might get out of Epire before Maxentius the Governour were advertis'd by Pisistratus, and having bought as many horses as they needed, they put into the way, trusting in the gods and their owne courage. This troop so faire, and so persecuted of men, had the good fortune to passe Epire in three or foure dayes journeyes, and at last ar­riv'd in Thessaly without any adventure. They wanted no diversions, or plea­sures, having at least with them what they made most of; for which they ac­counted themselves so happy, as it seem'd they desir'd nothing but the conti­nuation [Page] of the same kinde of life. Yet Melintus gave not over his admirati­on, that misery should persecute them with so much eagernesse, and not per­mit them so much as one day of repose, for to let them enjoy a blessing they desir'd, and which ever escaped them when they thought to have attained it; and upon this thought one day he made these verses:

FOrtune incessantly adverse,
Eternall source of miseries,
What mean'st thou by a new reverse
To hasten our calamities?
O gods! by what severe decree
Are you inrag'd so suddenly,
When we beleev'd you were appeased?
For me, I can no more complaine;
Thinke you to make me feare the paine
Of death which you have me refused?
'Tis surely some immortall strife
Whereby the Stars are all conspiring
To vex the pleasures which my life
Has beene too earnest in desiring.
These Stars in their malignant spight
Some storme or other still excite
Iust as I thinke at Port t' arrive.
Then forced by my innocence,
They mitigate their violence,
And dare not me of life deprive.
'Tis true the blessing I desire
Transcends all mortall faculties;
And I preferre where I aspire
To that of having sacrifice.
Heaven be not jealous any more
If I see her and her adore,
For there my pleasures all abound;
Then temper thy excessive rage,
Since in this blessing I asswage
My other vast desires around.
Tedious griefes before her presence
Durst not make attempts upon me:
Fierce anger and impatience
Fly from me when her face I see;
And then despaire as in disgrace
Forsakes me too, and giveth place
To mirth; and sports of innocence:
Love quitting then his envious spights,
Offers me all the deare delights
[Page 266] Wherewith he ravishes our sense.
Alas! one feare does onely hant me,
I speake too unadvisedly.
If heaven knowes how thus I vant me,
I shall have some new misery.
Conceale, my soule, this joy of thine,
That jealous eyes it may decline,
If long thou wilt thy blisse enjoy,
Or soone this heaven inexorable,
To render thee more miserable,
May take thy happinesse away.

Thus did Ariana's presence give a great ease to the love of Melintus: but in all the troop there was not a more afflicted man than Palamede, who regret­ted Epicharis, and met not a passenger that he demanded not newes of her. Besides, he was in a kinde of constraint with Dicearchus, not daring before him to let that affection appeare, and so was depriv'd of this consolation at least, in the power of free complaining. Euphrosyne had no greater pleasure than to make Areas or some other relate the admirable life of her sonne, and with how many marvellous qualities heaven had furnished him; whereat she ceased not to give the gods thanks, and esteeme her selfe very happy. She had already passionate cares for the faire and vertuous Ariana, whose respectuous duties she receiv'd with much contentment. Lepantus and Cyllenia were no small ornament to this faire company, but recreated them with their sweet humour, and gentilenesse of wit; and all of them together made up a troop of as pleasing travellers as could be found in all the world againe.

Already had they traversed all Thessaly, and were approaching to Larissa which is neare the Sea; when they entred a village where they saw all the inhabitants in great trouble. They all ran up and downe divers wayes, not able to finde security in their owne houses, and not knowing to what part they should retire. Melintus address'd him to some of these forlorne men, and asked the cause of this affrighting and disorder. They told him how a fearefull number of Scythians, after having crossed Thracia, and pass'd the Egean Sea, was come to land in Thessaly, and plonder'd all those coasts in drawing to­wards Larissa. Melintus re-assur'd them the best he could, and was of opinion they should all retire them into that Towne as speedily as they could: that to be better receiv'd, they were to carry with them the most of the Corne and other victuals they had: he promis'd he would serve them for a leader, and prayed them to have no feare. This resolution being taken among them, he rallied all those that were scatter'd, and having made them load into Carts all the provisions they had, he armed the strongest of them, who made three hundred men, besides those were with him: then he appointed to set a good watch all the night, and the next day in the morning he disposed the old people with the women and baggage in the middle, and put those that might serve to fight, part of them in the head, part on the flanks, and the rest in the rere. He gave the vantgard to be led by Lepantus, the rere-ward to Palamede, and reserv'd to himselfe the grosse, for to have an eye over all. Hee [Page] would have given the command to Dicearchus; but the old man finding him­selfe then indisposed, because he felt a thousand vexations, and as many sor­rowes within him, and not able to employ his minde in giving orders, hee intreated Melintus to take the charge upon him. In the meane time Palamede and Lepantus had armed them with Melintus, in the fairest armes they had a­mongst their baggage, and prepar'd themselves well to defend the persons they led, against all powers that might assaile them, and they parted thus in good order, marching towards Larissa. They were no sooner two miles from the village, but they perceiv'd a body of Scythians of about two thousand men comming towards them. Melintus encourag'd his souldiers to fight valiantly, and fearing the cowardise which is ordinary with peasants, enflamed them by the consideration they had to defend not onely their persons, but their parents, their wives, their children and their goods: that if they ran away, they abandon'd them all to the mercy of the enemies; but if they shewed themselves to have heart, they would finde nothing so cowardly as these Barbarians, who know well to pursue cruelly those that flye them, but yet faile not also to flye from those that dare attend them. After thus animating them, he gave order to Lepantus to goe charge the Scythians, who thinking they had beene a farre greater number by reason of the baggage that tooke up much place, defended themselves onely as being to fight with an equall ar­my of their enemies: neverthelesse they fail'd not, courageously to receive Lepantus, and shot their arrowes thicke upon his troop. Melintus a while after advanc'd, and his men seeing so hardy a Captaine, were not wanting to fol­low him. He had commanded his souldiers to joyne close to the enemies as soone as they could, hoping that the Scythians having no more the space that is requisite for shooting their arrowes, would be forced to come to fight with the sword, wherein they were no way expert. This subtilty succeeded to his wish: for the Scythians being neare-hand charged by Melintus, and not able any longer to use their bowes, could not sustaine the great sword-blowes he assailed them with: where-ever Melintus shewed himselfe, the Barbarians vanished: and yet flying none but him, they made some disorder in ano­ther part, and so held the victory in suspence. But Palamede who perceived a side of their troop to suffer the worst of it, went presently away, and so op­portunely relieved them, that the Scythians could resist no longer. Then they threw away their Armes, and tooke flight on all parts. Lepantus on his side practis'd all the valour and good government could be shewne; and Me­lintus apppear'd like lightning, to what place soever he spurr'd his horse, be­ing so provok'd by the faire Ariana's presence, as he cut off as many arms and heads as his sword could reach. In the end after having left above twelve thousand men upon the place, they would not pursue the rest, for feare of abandoning the deare treasures that were with their baggage, but returning full of bloud, of sweat and honourable dust, they accompanied their troop which were in great feare for them during the fight, and marched on by little and little to Larissa, where they were received with much honour and joy.

The fray was great within the Towne, for it was destitute of a chiefe that understood the warre: so as having learn'd the defeat of this number of Scy­thians by the valour of Melintus, they all with one accord submitted them­selves [Page 268] to him, and prayed him not to forsake them in this danger, untill the Romans sent them a commander with succours. Melintus seeing himselfe for­ced to remaine there, was constrain'd to accept th