Rivall Friendship


The First Book

{Print edition page number: 35}

Sol was not farre advanced in his Diurnall Journey when the Delphian Woods resounded with the shrill noise of Hunters, and the cry of Dogges, which so loudly eccho’d that the Park rang again, in so much, that it set free the senses of a certaine stranger, which Morpheus had thus for a while held Prisoner in his dark Dominion, and necessity had that night constrain’d to borrow a Bed of the cold Earth, and shelter from a large and spreading Palme-tree with which that Island was ^plentifully stored^ well replenished:[1] he arising from his hard, and ill accommodated lodging being a little surprized at so sudden an alarme; looking about to see from whence it proceeded, he espied a Hinde flying upon the Wings of Feare from her fatall Pursuers who had almost o’retaken her. She was no sooner past, but there appear’d a gallant Troope of Ladies, mounted all on milk-white Horses, atir’d in green, sutable to the time; being that season of the yeare wherein Flora goes a Maying, deck’t in all her verdant glories. These Ladies could not so fitly be compar’d to any, as the goddess Diana, and her Nymphes; for they bare each of them a Horn of Bugle by their sides, a sheafe of Arrows at their backs, and Bowes in their hands; and thus attir’d, they proceeded in their Silvan sports, not minding ought but that. But one of them (whose name was Celia) who pursu’d the Game more earnestly than the rest, was advanced forwards before the other about five, or six hundred paces; and casting her eye aside, she saw the stranger who stood intentively viewing these gallant Huntresses whose beauties cast a greater splendor thorough those Woods then Phebus brightest beames.

Celia no sooner beheld him, but she knew him to be a stranger to that countrey by the habit which he wore; and believing his youth uncapable of any ill intent, she rode up to him crying, fly Sir fly, if you love your life.

He approaching her with a very great respect, answer’d. I never was so much a Coward Madam to fly from Death in my highest prosperity; but it would worse {36} become me now, to turn my back on that, which I have left my Native Countrey to find. But however Madam, I am oblig’d to pay you my humblest acknowledgments for that noble care you are generously pleas’d to shew for the preservation of an unfortunate Strangers life.

She had not time to reply, for the Queen and all the other ladies were come up to them. The Queen no sooner saw him, but arming her Brow with an unusuall severity, on which naturally dwelt nothing but sweetness, she thus spake to him.

Rash young man what ill Fate hath conducted thee hither to thy Death.

He hearing nought but Death denounced against him, was nothing startled; nor did he put on so much as a discomposed look at that which certainly had strook a terrour into the heart of any other, less acquainted with the miseries of Life.

You tell me of Death Madam (said he addressing himselfe to the Queen) [fol. 1 v ] but may I not have leave to enquire what Crime I have committed that can merit so fatall a sentence; for I can safely protest I do not know that I have offended any person so much as in a thought, since misfortune cast me on this shore. If I have offended I shall not refuse willingly to resign my life; but if I must dy, I shall (I confess) find more satisfaction in falling an innocent Victime, then a guilty Sacrifice.

Yes said the Queen, you shall have leasure to be made acquainted with your offence, which is unpardonable that I’le assure you, unless you are of Royall birth; which I suppose you are not, having no equipage, nor any to attend you.

Were I sure to obtain my life (and that it were as considerable to me, as it is the contrary) or something yet more precious (said he) I would scorn to purchace it at so base a rate, as by owning of a falsehood: tis therefore Madam I declare ingenuously you ere not in your opinion of my birth, yet is it not ignoble: but yet you cannot justly ground that beliefe on my being unattended; for the same Fate which took from me all but my unfortunat life, might as well have despoiled me of my servants, as it has of all things else, except these few Clothes I weare: But those two Unconstant Deities (Fortune and Neptune) were but seemingly kind, to be the more really cruell: they have indeed preserv’d my Life on the Sea, but to make me loose it with more horrour (perhaps) upon the Land.

With that, he foulded his armes, and stood for awhile in the posture of a person oppress’d with griefe. But of a sudden erecting his eyes to Heaven, he cry’d out. O you Celestiall powers, I must adore your Justice, a thousand times have I wisht for Death, far have I gone to seeke it, and shall I now repine that I have found my desire, though in another manner then I design’d; what though the way be different; the end is still the same.

He had scarce finish’d this speech, ere the Queen commanded one of her Ladies to give the Signall for the coming of her guard which were not farre distant; which being given, there came in thirty Gentlemen well hors’d, and Arm’d, and presented themselves to the Queen to know her pleasure. {37}

Here (said she) take that man (pointing to the stranger) and carry him to Prison, and let him be securely kept till you receive further order.

With that some of them went to him with an intent to bind him; which he perceiving, streaching out his Armes said. Here, bind these hands which were ne’re bound by any man before; I would to Heaven my heart had been as free, then had I never been expos’d to this Ignominy.

Nor shall not now (repli’d the Queen). You may guard him securely enough (said she to her servants) without binding since you see he is not in a condition to make any resistance; and tis enough to inflict on him the penalty of the law, without treating him with rigour; which may induce him to believe us cruell, more then just. Let him be civilly us’d I command you.

With that, bowing to the Queen as an acknowledgment of her favour to him, he willingly resigned himselfe to the conduct of his Guard, as unconcernedly as if he had been going to the freedome of a Palace, rather then the confinment of a Prison. The gatehouse belonging to the Palace Royall (for so was that place call’d where the Queen as all her Predecessors usually resided) was the Prison for Persons of quality; and thither was our unfortunate Stranger led by those to whose custody he was committed. But as he pass’d along, The Thracian Ambassadour (who was just then going to his Lodging) chanced to espie him: he no sooner cast his Eye on him, but he commanded his Chariot to stay; and viewing him intentively, was strook with [fol. 2 r ] wonder, strongly fancying he beheld a Face he was no stranger too; and not being able to pass further till he had made an enquirie who that person was, and whether they were carrying him: he was told, he was a Stranger, and that none knew either his name or Countrey; and that they were by the Queenes especiall command carrying him to Prison. He then ask’d what his offence might be; they replyed, they were as ignorant of that, as his condition; onely they believed his being a stranger was his greatest crime.

That, in my opinion is a very small one (said Gentillus for so was the Ambassadour call’d).

We are not to dispute that with your Lordship, answer’d one of them, passing on.

Stay said Gentillus, may I not be permitted to speak with the Prisoner.

No my Lord (said they) without leave from the Queen.

Hearing that, he gave order for his Chariot to go on, and the Prisoner went to the Place assign’d him: which bateing his restraint, relish’d nothing of a Prison. He was led up staires, into a larg Chamber neatly furnish’d, and fitly accommodated with all things needfull. As soon as he was enter’d, those who brought him thither retir’d, leaving him alone; which solitude was much more pleasing then their Companies; where we will leave him, and returne to the Queen, who after his departure, began seriously to consider his undaunted deportment.

It cannot be (said she to Celia, who of all her Ladies she honour’d with a perticuler esteeme) but that this man is endued with an extraordinary courage, {38} or has been persecuted by more then ordinary misfortunes, which either makes him scorne to beg his life, or renders it inconsiderable to him.

I am of the opinion (reply’d Celia) tis misfortune makes him receive the tydings of his Death with so little concern.

Be it what it will (answer’d the Queen) I am perswaded, Fortune, not design brought him hither; and tis on that account, I am more troubled at his disaster, then angry at his fault: and I could wish, I had forborne taking my pleasure to day in this Park, that I might not have met with this adventure, which gives me more discontent then satisfaction; since I must be necessitated to sacrifice an unfortunat (perhaps an innocent and vertuous) person to the rigour of the Law. Oh who would be a Soveraign Princess, to have her hands so bound up by Justice, that she cannot extend mercy to Offenders though it be her desire.

Why should your Majesty be so concern’d for this Unknown (repli’d another of the Queens Ladies) as to resent [feel] anything for the Loss of his Life: tis better a thousand such Lives as his should be Lost, then you be displeas’d or the Laws violated: besides, tis possible in doing Justice, you will conferre on him a more acceptable favour then in giving him his Life, were it in your power. Nay perhaps he may be some notorious Crimenall, who for some horrible offence, may have been banish’d, or fled his Countrey, and still may retaine the sting of a guilty mind, which may so terrifie him, as Death may be rather a mercy, then a Justice to him.

Forbeare Procentia said the Queen, you are too rash, in censuring one you know not; and till you do, Charity should make you judge the best: his Face speakes too much Innocence to leave a suspition in us, of ought in him but misery, and that may clame compassion both from me, and you.

This was their discourse as they rode homeward; for the Queen would no longer follow the Chace, but for that day gave it off, having her mind otherwise employ’d:

[fol. 2 v ] and besides, the Sun being mounted to the top of the ^Hemisphere^ Zodiack rendred that time of the day unseasonable for that exercise. Being return’d to the Palace, Dinner was presently serv’d up with all due Pompe, and Ceremony; and having din’d, she went to her Appartment for a while, and then descended into the great Hall, where she alwayes spent the Afternoones, in hearing the complaints of her Subjects, and doing them Justice; where she sate on a Throne of Parian Marble, under a Cannopie of state, of Crimson-velvet, richly embroidred with Pearle, supported on each side with Pillars of Green Jasper.

On the one hand of her stood the image of Justice, with a Sword in one hand, and Ballances in the other; on his head a Coronet of Gold, his eyes blinded with a Scarfe of White, and his Robe of a Scarlet Colour. On the other Peace, seting in a Chaire, her Atire white, girt with a Girdle of Starres, a Wreath of Olive on her head, and on her shoulder a Silver Dove; in her left hand she held forth a handfull of ripe Eares of Corne, as Emblemes of peace and plenty. In this{39} place the Queen continu’d till the Evening approach’d, and then retired to her rest, after she had taken her repast.

The next morning the brightness of ^Phebus^ Aurora (who being newly risen from faire Thetis watrey bed) darted his resplendant beames just on the Face of the Unknown; and therewith awak’d him from his disturb’d repose; for his mind being diversly aggitated with severall Cogitations had rendred his sleep full of confused, and troublesome fancies.

But opening his eyes he cast them on that bright Intruder, crying out with precipitance, O Phebus thou beholdrst me alike unhappy here, as in my owne Countrey: the change of Climats cannot change my Destiny; misery I see, attends me in all places. Ah pittyless Fortune (my implacable Enemy) art thou yet satisfi’d, or hast thou any disaster left to throw on this Unhappy one, whom thou makest the Mark of all thy cruelties. No, (continu’d he smiling) thankes be to Heaven, the date of thine, and Cupids tyranie is almost expir’d, who has so proudly tryumpht o’re a heart, that has these many yeares laine prostrate at his mercy; but now the time is come, I can defie ye both; my Death will put an end, both to the power of Love and Fate.

Scarce had he cloth’d these thoughts in Airey Garments, ere he heard the Dore of his Chamber unlock, and drawing the Curtain of his Bed to see who enter’d, he saw it was one of his Keepers, who by the Queens command came to let him know, he might have the Liberty to walk in the Palace-Gardens when ever he desir’d it, attended by two of his Keepers.

Her Majesty is too generous (said he to the man who brought him the Message) to a person destined for Death: this noble treatment will make me receive my death with more regreet, since I have been so unfortunat to deserve it from the hands of so gracious a Princess, who is so obliging, that she has rendred me more a Prisoner to her gooddness, then her power; for the one can but inthrall my body, but the other binds my soule: but seeing she has been pleas’d so freely to offer me this favour, I will by no meanes refuse it, lest she think I slight it. You may attend me about an houre hence (continued he) and I shall be ready to walk for one halfe houre.

The man departing, he instantly arose and dress’d himselfe, and calling for his Keepers, he was by them conducted into the garden; whether being come, he carelessly walk’d on, without somuch as once considering the beautie, or the rarities of it: but being guided by his pencive thoughts, he pass’d on, till he came into a Close Walk set on both sides with cypress-trees, which walk he [fol. 3 r ] thought more agreeable to his humour then any in the Garden. He had not took many turnes in it, when casting up his Eyes (which were before steadfastly fix’d on the ground) he saw two Woemen coming towards him; the little desire he had to be seen, made him desirous to avoid meeting them: but while he consider’d how he might do it, they were come so neer, that he perceiv’d the one of them to be the Lady, who the day before endeavour’d his saftie: which when he saw, he chang’d his intention of shunning, into a desire of meeting her, that he might {40} (as in civility he thought himselfe oblig’d) renew his thankes for her generosity to him.

He was no sooner come up to her, and going to speak, but she prevented him, saying, had you taken my advice yesterday, you needed not to have been waited on by such Servitors as these, nor had you fallen into that Danger, from which you are never like to escape.

I cannot at all repent that I made no better advice use of your Friendly advice Madam (said he) then to render it fruitless, since I have thereby an opportunity once more to see a person so infinitly obliging; which happiness I value at a higher rate then the preservation of an unfortunate Life.

The sight of me can in no way countervaile the loss of your life Sir (repli’d she) and I am sorry I could oblige you no otherwise then in designe; but were it in my power, I would not onely restore you that Liberty you have lost, but secure your Life from that Law, by which it is justly forfeited. But lest you should think I have some other motive besides pity to induce me to it, I protest tis no other then a compassionate sensibility of the miseries of Unfortunate persons (in which number I believe you one) incites me to it.

Since you are so infinitly good (repli’d he) as undeservedly to concerne your selfe in my mishaps, soe farre as to give me an interest in your pity, I must humbly beg you will compleat the obligation by the addition of one Favour more. Tis onely Madam that you would let me understand whom I have offended, or what crime I have committed that could be of so hainous a quality as to deprive me of Life, or dep reduce me to this condition wherein now I am.

This will I willingly do (answer’d she) if it may give you any satisfaction; but this is no place for discourse, retire with me into one of the Arbours here at hand, and I will fully satisfie your request. Then turning to his Keepers, you may trust this Gentleman with me (said she) I will engage for his returne to yee, and my life shall answere for his escape.

They knowing the power she had with the Queen, durst not refuse, but retireing to the further part of the Walk, Left the Stranger with Celia, who with her Charge (attended with her Maid) withdrew into the next Arbour; whether being come, she sate downe on one of the seates, inviting the Vnknown by her example to do the like, which at her intreaty he did.

To tell you (said she) what fault you have committed, I need say no more, then that you have violated the Law of this land, which prohibits all Persons (Princes, and Ambassadours excepted) from coming into the Queens presence, or within the precincts of the Palace (upon any account whatever) under pain of Death, without a Warrant first obtain’d from the Queen, sign’d with her owne hand, and seal’d with the PrivieSignet. Nor is it here, as in other Kingdomes, where Princes retaine a power of pardoning Offenders, be their crimes never so hainous; but here it is not so, for Kings, nor Queenes [fol. 3 v ] have no more power to forgive Capitall Offendors in this Kingdome, then Judges who in other places condemne them. But Ermillia the Queen that now reignes, is of{41} so mercifull, and gentle a disposition, and so much detests all things that rellish of cruelty; that she has oft condemn’d the severity of some of our lawes, and in perticuler this: though tis not in her power to abolish that, or any other, without the consent of her Nobles; which never meet in a generall Session (unless some urgent occation intervene) but once in seven yeares: which has never happen’d since the Queen was invested with the Regall Diadem. But seeing she could not of herselfe take away a Law which she never approv’d of; fearing some some person or other might through ignorance fall under the penalty of it; which as it seemes was your selfe, who were decreed to be the first; but her feare was not greater then her princely care to prevent any sinister accident that thereby might accrew. And to that intent, she caus’d this Law, together with the penallty of it, to be ingraven on Marble Pillars, in faire Characters in all Languages, and plac’d in the most conspicuous places in every Citty of this Kingdome, that it might be known by all, and consequently avoided. And now that I have fully acquainted you with the severity of our Lawes, I trust you will do the Queen that justice, as not censure her of cruelty, or rigour, in taking away your Life for such a slight offence (as perhaps you believe yours to be) since tis not in her power to save it. This I dare confidently assure you, she is more concern’d for your misfortune, then you are your selfe; and could she by any meanes preserve you, you should find her no less mercifull then just.

I ever held the Royall dignity in so sacred a veneration (said he) that I durst never call in question their Justice in punishing Offendors: that they are just, tis no more then what they are oblig’d too, if mercifull, tis wholly from their goodness. That I must dy is not more certain, then that I am not concern’d for it; and if at my death I resent [feel] anything that may render it displeasing, it will be onely that I must dy a Debtour to your generosity, having not the least capacity left me of making any other returne, more then a bare acknowledgment of all your noble favours.

I am glad Sir (repli’d she) to heare you owne your selfe my Debtour, not that I think you so in the least; but because I hope by the intercession of that opinion in you, I may obtain ^the^ a Satisfaction of a desire I am possess’d with; which if I may, it will not onely Satisfie your supposed Debt, but make me farre more your Debtour, then you can believe your selfe mine.

O, Madam (cry’d he) why do you not let me know wherein I may serve you, or indeed my selfe, by furnishing ^me^ with an occation to gratify your transcendant civility to this unhappy wretch.

Tis onely (said she) that you would acquaint me with your name and Countrey, and what misfortune brought you where we found you.

My name (repli’d he) is Mellidorus, my Countrey Sicilia, from whence I was bound by Sea for Sardinia: but Fortune (that unconstant Deity) thought She could not exhibit that implacable enmity She has ever born me, without pursuing me with her persecutions on Neptunes watry Element. After She had drove me from the Land, She stir’d up Eolus to let loose the most impetious of his{42} Stormes, by the violence whereof I was driven on this Coast, (farre distant from my intended Harbour) where I suffer’d shipwrack with the Loss of [fol. 4 r ] all things my Life excepted, but of all my Losses none grieves me so much as the Loss of a faithfull Servant I had, of whose fidelity I have had so ample testimony, that it invited me to make him the onely Companion in my intended Voiage. Perhaps Madam (continu’d he) you expect a more full relation of my Life, and were I to Live, I should at Larg give it you; but since it is decreed that I must dy, I desire my follies and misfortunes, may be buried with me in the Grave of Oblivion: therefore I must humbly beg your pardon that I give you no clearer a discovery of my selfe.

I would not have you (said Celia) esteeme me so uncivilly importunate as to desire ought that may be contrary to your resolves.

After some other discourses of indifferent matters, Possibly (said she) you may admire why so strict a Law should be inacted in this Land, being a place of such resort for Strangers, from all parts, which come hither to consult Apollo’s Oracle so famous thorow the Universe.

Indeed Madam (he repli’d) I should very much have wondred at that so strict a prohibition, had my thoughts been at Leasure to contemplate ought but my owne miseries: but I presume it was not establisht without some very weighty reason.

You judge aright (answer’d she) for so there was, as I could make it appeare, had I but time to tell you upon what account it came first to be made; and thereby let you see, that in other Ages there have been those who have been persecuted no less by Fortune then your selfe. But I cannot now stay to tell it you, because tis much about the time of the Queens rising, at which I am this day oblig’d to be present; but if you please to meet me here about this time to morrow, I will give you the relation, which perhaps you will not esteeme unworthy of your knowledge.

I believe Madam (said he) you are very highly in the Queenes fauour, and being so, you may do me a very acceptable kindness in letting her know, tis my humble, and earnest desire she would vouchsafe to put a period to my sufferings by a speedy death; which with raptures of Joy I shall embrace, if I may be but so happy as to know she is not offended with me for a fault my ignorance onely made me commit.

Since you desire it (she repli’d) I shall acquaint the Queen with your request; but I had much rather find out a way (if it were possible) to preserve you from this inevitable danger.

To which friendly expression he made a sutable reply; and rising up, was taking his leave, whilst she sent her Maid to call his Keepers, who upon her sommons came into the Arbour. Here said she I return you my Charge. Then turning to Mellidorus she bid him farewell, after he had promised to meet her on the morrow, and went to the Queen, and he to his Prison where he spent part of the day in his ordinary disquiets.{43}

Celia being come to the Queen told her how by accident she had met the Stranger, and what discourse she had with him. Just as Ermillia was come out into the Chamber of State, came the Thracian Ambassadour to entreat her permission to see and speak with the Prisoner: to which request the Queen answer’d, he might have that liberty in the Afternoon in her presence; for she intended to send for him to come before her, to give him his sentence. To which intent Dinner being past she sent one of her Gentlemen [fol. 4 v ] to fetch him, who soon after brought him in. Being perswaded he knew for certaine for what end he was sent for, he approach’d the Queen with an assured Look, nothing daunted with the feare or apprehension of his ensuing Death.

The Queen seeing him; Mellidorus said she (for so I understand you are call’d) I suppose you are ere this enform’d both of the nature and quality of your Offence, with the punishment due unto it; from which it lies not in our power to exempt you: but all the fauour we can shew you, you shall assuredly find from our Royall bounty; which is onely to give you the choice of three deathes, which you will elect you may (being those to which Offenders of quality are alwayes condemned) Which is either to be sacrificed to the great Apollo, who is the Deity that of all others we in Delphos do most peculierly adore. Or else to be devour’d by a Lion, or strangled by the hands of two Eunuchs destin’d for that purpose.

I shall not long stand to determine (answer’d Mellidorus) which of the three to make my choice: for did I believe the Gods took delight in humane blood, or that it were a sacrifice acceptable to them, I should prefer that before all others: but being of a contrary Faith I shall by no meanes elect that. Nor shall I give up my selfe to the cruell embraces of a Savage, although the King of Beasts; nor make my Grave within his bowells. No Madam, since you are graciously pleas’d to leave it to my choice, I shall chuse to receive my death from the hands of your Eunuchs.

Well, said the Queene seeing you have made that your choice, that you have: and I here pronounce your sentence. You must within three days prepare so to dye. I had destin’d you to a longer reprieve, had you not by Celia requested the contrary.

Ah Madam (repli’d he) you are too gracious to this Unfortunate; your goodness, were I to continue neere you, would undoubtedly make me as enamour’d of Life; as now I am of Death. But if a Crimenall may have leave to implore one favour more (continu’d he, casting himselfe at the Queens Feet) it should be my humble supplication that your Majesty would vouchsafe my Body may be conveied (when my Soule has left its habitation) back to Sicilia there to be interred in the Monuments of my Ancestors.

Rise Mellidorus said the Queen your request is granted; and if you have ought else to aske demand it freely, and if we can grant, you shall obtain it.

I have no more to beg (repli’d he) but onely that this day may conclude both my miseries and me. No great Queen I beseech you permit me not here to Languish three dayes more; but give me my Pasport to the Haven of rest, and Port{44} of happiness, by Lisenceing me immediatly to embrace Death, now the most wellcomest of Friends, and my most kind Conducter to Elizium; where in those Shades of bliss, and Plaines of pleasure I shall forever walk [fol. 5 r ] cloth’d with a Robe of immortality and no more know what sorrow meanes.

If I gave you three more dayes to Live (said the Queen) it was no more then I thought necessary to prepare you for the other Life; but since by your expressions you seem so fit for Deaths entertainment, you shall to morrow be presented with your Fatall Attendants. There was not a person present that beheld the innocent Countenance of Mellidorus, and how unconcernedly he receiv’d the sentence of death; but was so concern’d for him, that they could not refraine from commiserating his sad misfortune with teares of pity: nor was there any there who would not presently have thrown themselves at Ermillias Feet to have implor’d his pardon, had there been any possibility of obtaining it; especially Celia who wholy melted into teares of pity for him.

But scarce was he gone out of the Presence, when Gentillus (who had stood moveless as a Statue ever since he heard Mellidorus speak of Sicilie, at mentioning whereof he was confident he was the person that he took him for) addressing himselfe to the Queen, I beseech you Madam (said he) does your Law extend it selfe to all persons; are no Sex, nor condition exempted from the penalty of it.

Yes (said the Queen) Woemen, and all Men of Royall birth are no way lyable to it.

Then Mellidorus must not dy (repli’d he).

How (said the Queen) know you any reason that will be sufficent to free him from it.

Yes Madam (answer’d he) Mellidorus’s Sex will free him, for on my word he is not what his Habit speakes him; but a disguis’d Lady whom I have long since had the honour to be acquainted with. If you distrust my words (continu’d he) behold this assurance (continu’d he pulling forth a Picture and presenting it to the Queen) and compare but the Lines of this dead Figure, with the Lively Features of Mellidorus’s Face, and you will undoubtedly perceive Madam as great a resemblance as their habits will permit.

The Queen haveing view’d it, found in it so great a Likeness of Mellidorus’s face that she concluded it could not possibly be the Pourtracture of any other: which perswasion had no sooner possest her, but she sent for him once more to come before her. He dreaming of nothing less then a discovery, instantly return’d, and presented himselfe to her to know for what intent she had sent for him.

I charge you Mellidorus (said the Queen) resolve me one question faithfully which I shall aske you.

I trust your Majesty (repli’d he) has a more charitable opinion of me then to believe I will be guilty of an untruth in your presence; but if I would, certainly I durst not be so impious as to appeare before the Face of Heaven with a Lye in my mouth.{45}

That, then (said the Queen) which I desire to [fol. 5 v ] know of you is, whether your Habit and your Sex agree, or in fine whether you are not a Woman.

At this demand, Mellidorus was ready to sink downe with griefe; having his Eyes cover’d with teares, and his Cheekes with blushes.

Ah Madam cry’d he, I am I confess a Woman; but the most Unfortunate that ever breath’d: and the rather soe, having this new affliction added to the weight of my other miseries. Since I must dy, oh how much better had it been to have died in obscurity, then thus to be discover’d; before, your Majesty believ’d me onely unfortunate, and on that score perhaps esteem’d me worthy of your pity; but now I must be oblig’d wholy to the Charity both of you, and all here present, if ye account me not an Object worthy onely of contempt, and scorn to appeare before ye in a Garb so unsutable to me; and whereby I may seem to have divested my selfe of that Modesty which is the chiefest Ornament (and ought to be an insepparable Companion) of our Sex. But I beg most gracious Queen you would a while suspend your censure till I acquaint you with those reasons I had to take on me a habit so disagreeable to that Modesty I ever made a most severe profession of.

I shall not censure you for your habit (repli’d the Queen) but I must tell you, you have very much displeas’d me by this concealment of your selfe, since thereby you almost rendred me guilty of the death of an innocent person, such as you now appeare to be; which you had inevitably done, had not this noble Lord (pointing to Gentillus) prevented it by discovering you to be a woman.

At which, looking about to see who had given the Queen this Intelligence, Gentillus presented himselfe to her, saying, behold Madam before you a person whom though time has worn him out of your memory, yet has it not wrought that effect on him: nor was your disguise able to conceale you from the knowledge of him who once passionatly ador’d you; but though those Flames have been long since quench’d in the waters of dispaire, yet I have still retain’d for you an intire Friendship, which I will carry with me to my Grave.

Whilst he was speaking in this manner, Mellidorus earnestly look’d on him; and being exceedingly surpriz’d with wonder, she could no longer refrain, but cry’d with transport, Good Heavens who is this I see. Are you my Lord Gentillus whom I have seen in Sicilie.

Yes Madam (answer’d he) I am; and the happy Gentillus since I have bin so fortunate to redeeme you from a Death so certaine, as nothing but a Miracle could have rescued you from.

Why (said she) I must not dy then.

No Madam (answer’d he) Ladies are exempted from the penalty of this Law by which you were condemn’d.

Ah my Lord (repli’d she sighing) how much more acceptable a kindness had you done me, had you not reveal’d my condition, but let me now have ended my dayes in quiet, and not have call’d me from the Gates of [fol. 6 r ] Death into which I was entering; to endure more misery.{46}

Scarce was Mellidorus known to be a Woman, ere all those Ladies who stood bewailing her misfortune had their teares of compassion turn’d to those of joy, to see her so happily, and timely discover’d; and would instantly have flown to testifie their joy by their embraces, had not the Queens presence restrain’d them; but though respect with held the others, it had not that power on Celia who was no longer able to forbear (transported with joy as she was) to run with open Armes to embrace her.

Ah Madam cry’d she, how much beyound expression am I glad to find my selfe so happily deceiv’d.

But as the disguised Lady was going to answer, the Queen prevented her by giving Celia a command to conduct her to a more agreeable Lodging then that she late^ly^ appointed her. Goe (said she to the Unknown) along with Celia, and divest your selfe of those Garments, and assume others more sutable to your sex: she will accommodate you with all things necessary.

Fain would she have given the Queen those humble acknowledgments she believ’d due to her generous bounty, but shame stop’d the Current of her words, and left her no other language but blushes to speak her thankes; and turning about to follow Celia, Gentillus came and presented her his hand to lead her out, which she courteously accepted.

And as she pass’d along, my Lord (said she) I beg your stay awhile till I return (which shall not be long first) that I may have the satisfaction to know how it was possible for you to know me under this disguise, which I believ’d sufficent to conceale me from the eyes of my owne Brother had he seen me in it.

Yes Madam (answer’d he) I shall obey your Commands: with that, kissing her hand he retir’d to the Queen to wait her returne.

When Celia had brought her to her Chamber, she presented her with severall garments, desiring her to chuse those she best lik’d, which she did, after she had view’d them all, making choice of those which were worn constantly by all the Ladies of the Court that were Virgins. Which was a Peticote of blushcolour, a Gowne of white, open before, and pin’d back, with hangingsleves of the same: the Sleeve which cover’d her Arme came no further then the Elboe, being very wide, turn’d back and button’d on each shoulder with a rich Orientall Pearle thorow a Loope of Gold. A Scarfe of Watched tied cross; and knit on the left shoulder; her Haire part bound up with Hairelaces of Blushcolour, Watched, and White Riben: the [fol. 6 v ] other part hung downe in Curles shaddowing her Neck which was quite bare, onely she had round the edge of her gowne a row of Puffes of Lawne; and over all she put on a Vaile of Tyffany which reach’d from head to foot.

The Sicilian Lady being thus attir’d, had not the patience to continue longer in her Chamber, but quited it to go learne from Gentillus what she most ardently long’d to know. Celia perceiving her desire, took her by the hand and leading her back into the Queenes presence at whose Feet she cast herselfe, as well to give{47} her thankes for her Princely favours, as to implore her pardon for those faults ignorance only had made her guilty of.

Ermillia giving her, her hand to kiss as a testimony of her favour, raised her up; we have pardon’d you (said she) and wholy banisht all thoughts of your supposed crime, as we trust you have all resentments [feelings] for the ill usage you did, and worse, you were like to receive from us: but as your Ignorance was the sole cause of your supposed fault, so is it ours that our reall injuries ought to be imputed.

Your Majesty (repli’d the Unknown) has treated me far more generously then I could expect, even then when you deem’d me worthy of death; but since my discovery you have multiplied your royall bounties on me so infinitly above my desert; that had I by my Death purchaced the least of those transcendant favours, I should have esteem’d the price but inconsiderable; nor could my sufferings have been imputed to ought but my disguise, which rendred me an apparent Offender. But I shall henceforth account this the onely happie day that ever I beheld, since I have liv’d to tast the goodness of so gracious a Queen; nor will I any more repent my preservation; nor look on it otherwise then as a Providence from Heaven and an eternall obligation to you my Lord Gentillus (continu’d she turning to him).

The saving your Life Madam (said he) is not so great an obligation to you, as tis a satisfaction to me if I have had the honour of doing it.

Many other words of Complement having pass’d between them, she again intreated him to let her know by what meanes he came to know her. That he told her he would presently satisfie her in if the Queen would vouchsafe to permit him that liberty in her presence: which being granted, in these words he began, addressing his speech to the Sicilian Lady.

I confess Madam (said he) you may very well admire, how it should be possible for me to retaine your Idea so perfectly in my mind, as to know you (especially in such a disguise) after almost ten yeeres absence: indeed it would have been no easie matter still to have retained you so fresh in memory, had I been oblig’d to nothing but the Charactar which that passion I had for you; once ingrav’d in my mind; for I confess ’twas very probable time (that great distroyer of all things) would ere [fol. 7 r ] this have defaced it. But I must acknowledge Madam, I alwayes carry that about me, which will never suffer me to loose that Impression which the hand of Love first wrought. Tis this Madam (continued he pulling forth her Picture which not long before he had shewne Ermillia) tis this I say which has preserv’d you so fresh in my mind. Perhaps this confession may as much offend as surprize you; but I cannot beg your pardon for what I did, since it has been the happie Instrument of your preservation.

Ah Gentillus (said she) for Heavens sake rid me quickly out of this astonishment whereinto the sight of this Picture has cast me; that it somuch resembles me as all the World must needs believe it mine I cannot deny; but how, or by{48} what meanes you came by it, is that I somuch wonder at. I am certaine I never yet bestow’d my Picture on you, nor any man breathing.

No Madam (answer’d he) I declare I receiv’d it not from you, nor am I oblig’d to any, but my owne artefice for the favour of it which I thus effected. It was my fortune to see you at your Cousin Tellimurs in Palermo, whether you came to see a Funurall which was to pass by his house in state: that was the first time I ever saw you; and indeed I may truly say the last of my Liberty: for I no sooner beheld you, but my heart which preserv’d it selfe from the assaults of all our Thracian beauties, that very instant resign’d its freedome at your Shrine, and laid it selfe a prostrate Vassall at the mercy of a Beauty whom I knew not, nor was Like to doe. But it chanced not long after, I obtain’d the acquaintance of your Cousin at whose house you then were; with whom I contracted a very great Friendship: nevertheless I conceal’d from him as well as others the passion I had for you. But at Last, perceiving by my change of humour, and an unusuall penciveness which accompanied me (so contrary to that pleasant disposition I was naturally of) that something more then ordinary disturb’d my quiet: which he seem’d much concern’d for, and beg’d me with many earnest intreaties to let him know the cause of my alteration. A long while I oppos’d his intreaties, pretending severall feigned causes, which to say truth seem’d no other to him. Soe that at last, overcome by his pressing importunities (fearing he might impute my privisie to a want of Friendship) I unlock’t the Closet of my brest intirely to him, and laid before him the greatness of my passion, desireing his assistance and advice. Which when he had heard, seeming to wonder at it, he said, he could not but admire what I saw in you more then in others, to be tai’ne Captive at the first assault. Ah Tellamour (said I) misprize not those bright powers that conquer’d me; she carries Charmes sufficent to inthrall all those that dare resist the puisant power of that Deity who knowes no limits to his Soveraignity.

If it be so (repli’d he looking very sadly) I am really sorry for your sake, that you should soe [fol. 7 v ] unhappily fix your love on a person from whom I cannot give you the least incouragment to hope for a recipprocall esteeme; nor lies it in my power to serve you any otherwise then with my Councell, which if you would take, you should immediatly pluck from your Brest a passion which has already given you somuch discontent, and from which you must never expect to reap any satisfaction. But perhaps my discourse would be more pleasing should I agreeably flatter your desires with the hopes of obtaining them; but I cannot do that, and be what I profess my selfe; or without being guilty of base flattery, and dissemulation, which I never yet knew how to act towards any, much less my Friend: being so well acquainted with my Cousins humour as I am; for I know her to be of so severe a vertue that she would rather dy then suffer a thought to harbour in her soule that may in the least be prejudiciall to that duty she believes due to those whom Heaven and Nature have given the disposall of her. And from the concession of her Parents you can hope as little; for I have oft heard them protest they would assoon wed her to a [her] grave, as to any person that should{49} carry her out of Sicilie. But besides these difficulties, there is one obstacle more which will undoubtedly prove greater then the other: which is, that she is already disposed of, and her affectiones questionless preingag’d to Loreto the Duches of Verona’s youngest son, to whom I am confident she is speedily to be united by the Hymeneall bond of Marriage: and knowing this, I cannot but be ingenious with you, and let you know it too; if you may without delay teare from your heart that, which if longer retain’d will prove more difficult, if not impossible to be avoided. Therefore deare Gentillus (pursu’d he imbraceing me) let me conjure you if you Love your owne repose cashiere [dismiss] from your breast what will enevitably be the ruine of it. It grieves me that I cannot serve you which if I could, or that there were any possibility of gaining her favour for you, I protest I would endeavour though with the hazard of my Life to purchace you that content; but where I cannot serve you, I shall beare a larg share in what you suffer by sympathizing with you.

This, and much more did he say, and thereby left me not the least foundation to erect my tottering hopes on. When I had seriously weigh’d, and consider’d all those arguments he had used, I found them all so well grounded on reason that they left me nothing to reply. And then I began to consider, seeing I could never hope to possess you, how, or by what meanes I might obtaine what might give me satisfaction, and you no prejudice. Which I had no sooner thought on, but I addrest me to my friend Tellamour, beging him that he would permit me to give you an entertainment or two at his house, that I might have the happiness to see you once again before you left Palermo, promising him faithfully no way to importune you with my unfortunate passion. But though [fol. 8 r ] he would not permit me the honour to treat you at his house, yet he promis’d however I should have the satisfaction to wait on you there, which he accordingly perform’d; for you were invited as you may remember Madam.

Yes my Lord (interrupted she) I very well remember that invitation; but had I known upon what score t’was made, I believe I should scarce have come.

I believ’d so too answer’d he, and t’was to your ignorance I imputed that favour: but to proceed, at Dinner I had the good fortune to be placed opposite to you, where I might feast my eyes with viewing you, as well as my body with the variety of those Viands that Tellamour had provided. I had then waiting on me a Page, excellent in Apelles’s Art; whom I commanded to take your Picture as you set at Dinner; which he might conveniently enough do standing behind me. I charg’d him to shew to best of his skill; and truly I think he did, for the excellency of the Work, sufficently speakes the praises of the Workman: but that one time being not enough to finish it, I was constrain’d to beg of my Friend once more to favour me with such another courteous opportunity; which he willingly consented too, and accordingly performed; so that by the second siting the Picture was fully compleated, and with it ended my happiness: for the very next day you left Palermo, and return’d your Fathers; since which time I never saw you till I had the happiness so unexpectedly to meet you here: for I was presently after{50} calld home by the command of my Father, upon a designe to marry me, then the most unpleasing thing in the World; being and indeed the most unseasonable; being (as I then was ) prepossest with a passion for another.

For a long time I found inventions to evade his Propositions: but at last I was faine to force my inclinations to a seeming obedience; who otherwise might have look’d on me as a contemner of his paternall authority: wherefore to satisfie his desires I made my addresses to Vindecia (for so was that Lady call’d) but after so cold, and indifferent a manner, that all persons that saw my deportment perceiv’d they were rather feign’d than reall. My Father was one of the first that took notice of it, and rebuk’d me for it in such termes that it greev’d me I could not submit to his Will. But whilst I acted the pretended Lover to Vindecia, I many times addrest my reall courtship to your Shaddow, seting it before me, and importuning it with the most amorous, the most passionat complaints that the violence of my Passion could suggest; vainly imagining that the liveless Image of what I so ador’d had a power to mittigate my griefes, or redresse those torments that I then resented [felt].

For more then three yeeres, sighes and teares were my constant Companions; and thousands of extravagant actions did I commit, which nothing but the transports of Love could render excusable. But at last, time, with the help of my reason [fol. 8 v ] (which began to reascend the throne from whence it had so long been banish’d) by degrees made me consider how vainly I pursu’d an impossibility, and for an imaginary felicity slighted a reall one; for no other but I would have esteem’d the affection of Vindecia so. In fine after much strugling I made it my resolution to adore you no longer as a Mistress (since I was certaine I must ne’re enjoy you) but forever to love and esteeme you as a Sister: which resolution when I had once assum’d, I made it my earnest endeavour to comply sincerely with the Will of my Father to marry Vindecia; which in a short time after I did. But before I made her mine, I resolv’d to make my selfe intirely hers, by a perfect resignation to her of that heart which I once laid prostrate at your Feet Madam (continu’d he) which I found not halfe so difficult as I apprehended I should, for she carried Charmes both in her face and conversation so invinceable, as has since made me oft admire how I was able so long to resist them. But at length we were of two, made one, by the sacred bond of marriage, to the great satisfaction of both our Parents: and tis nere six yeares since which we have continu’d our affections in their primative ardour. So that now Madam (pursu’d he) you see I am not in a condition to implore ought from you but to be enroll’d in the number of your Friends, which I will never cease to be till I cease to live.

Gentillus having thus ended his story, the Unknown made this reply. The latter part of your relation my Lord (said she) gives me as high a satisfaction, as the begining gave me a feare I must have been necessarily guilty of a Crime I have alwayes abhorred more then the cruellest of Deathes: for had you continu’d that kindness (soe unfortunate to you) which you declare you once had for me; which has put you to the deare expence of so much griefe and trouble, I must{51} notwithstanding have been ungratfull. For to have lov’d you as a servant, Vertue would have forbid it; and to have lov’d you for a Husband, those bands of Love which are never to be dissolved, that have knit my heart indissolubly to another till the hand of Death unties the Knot would have oblig’d me to the contrary; yet is it not Loreto.

Did you not marry Loreto then Madam (said he) as I was enform’d you would,

No Gentillus (repli’d she) I never married him; nor yet no other, nor is it he that I esteeme so deare, but another farre more ungratfull, though he was to too much tainted with that Stigian vice.[2] But seeing tis onely my Friendship you require, it shall be paid you with a zeale worthy the Object, and for duration be as lasting as your owne. And I assure you I shall account my selfe (although unfortunate in althings else) infinitly happy in this, that I may by a thing so inconsiderable as my Friendship but gratifie you in the least, for what you have done and suffer’d for my sake.

But may I not beg Madam (answer’d he) to know [fol. 9 r ] who that happie, yet unworthy person is that has prov’d so ungratfull to you, since you assure me tis not Loreto; and what strange accident has made you turne travellour, especially to pass the Sea, which I have heard you had ever a great aversion too.

I did intend to make it my request to her (said Ermilia) to give me the relation of her life and fortunes if you had not prevented me.

That shall I willingly do (answer’d the Unknown) whenever your Majesty shall command me; though I know I cannot recount my miseries without renewing my griefes at recalling them into my mind but I shall wave those thoughts if I may give you any diversion by my relation.

Well (said the Queene) I will sommon you of your promise to morrow, for this day is too farre spent to begin your story; and besides I am willing my Lord Gentillus should be present at the audition of it, for I perceive he is unaquainted with the greatest part of those things which compose your misfortunes.

Your Majesty gesses right (said he) for the truth is I know very little of this Ladies adventures; for when I left Sicilie I believ’d her so happie, that I thought none had less cause to complain of Fortunes unkindness.

Ah Gentillus (repli’d the Unknown with a sigh drawne from the very Center of her heart) how much were you mistaken in your beliefe: tis very certaine I was then seemingly happie enough; and tis as true that that was the happiest time that ever I saw in my whole life; but even then was I far enough from that condition you thought me to be in, as you will understand by the Sequell of my story.

Gentillus kindly accepting the Queenes proffer of being present when the Sicilian Lady was to begin her ensuing discourse, took his leave both of Ermilia and her for that night, and departed to his Lodging; and the Sicilian by the Queens permission to her Appartment. But Celia would by no meanes let her{52} go alone; but besought the Queene she might be her Bed Fellow for that night, which request Ermilia having granted, they retir’d together into the Chamber appointed for the Unknown, whether being come, she minded Celia of the promise she had made her to give her the relation upon what account that severe Law against Strangers came first to be made: which Celia after a little silence to recollect what she had to say began: and taking a seat by the Unknown she thus assum’d her discourse [fol. 9 v ].

The Story of Artab^e^lla, Queen of Delphos

In my opinion none ought to account themselves, nor are they to be esteem’d by others, either happy, or unfortunate, till they have acted their last part on this Worlds Theatre: for many have the begining of their days most prosperous, yet end them miserably. On the otherside diverse persons live many yeares, nay almost their whole lives in perpetuall sufferings and sorrows, yet at last receive a happie period to all their miseries, and end their dayes in happiness. These are the secret Decrees of Providence; that none, how happie miserable soever might dispaire; nor no happie person should presume good Fortune will perpetually attend them. The truth of this assertion, what I have to relate will certainly testifie; for none I really think ever underwent a larger share of misfortunes then Artabella our late Queene (who was the occation of that Law being enacted) yet found she at last a more propitious Fate.

She was born in Persia, Daughter to Menzor a Brother of Achemenes’s King of that Countrey. No sooner was she born but she beheld herselfe unfortunate (had she been sensible of so great a loss) in the death of her Mother, a most Vertuous Princess: but her Father seing seeing Eudora dead, thought it his duty to take on him a double care for his little Artabella the onely Pledge of their marriage. Assoon as she was capable of it he sent her to the Court, to be educated with the Princess Oriana the Kings onely Daughter, and Heire apparant to the Crowne of Persia. The Princesse Oriana was elder then her Cousin Artabella by two yeares; but likeness of humour, and disposition, together with their education infused into the Soules of these two young Princesses such an intire affection, that the Relation that was between them was not so neere as their Friendship was great. They sweetly pass’d away their Infant dayes in all those pleasures and delights, wherewith great Princes Courts are for the most part still replenish’d, not once being sensible of the least of discontents. And as they increas’d in yeeres, so did they in beautie; for before the twelfth yeere of their ages they were become the marvels of the world; for Fames Shrill Trump had loudly proclam’d their praises in all parts of the Universe, though t’was but then the dawning of those morning beauties, the noon whereof shone with so great [fol. 10 r ] a luster.

Oriana had receiv’d from Nature a more rarer tincture of red and white then Artabella, which made her be accounted the more beautifull: but in requitall, Artabella{53} had something in her face so infinitly taking, and such a pleasing sweetness as nothing could be comparable to it; so that although Oriana was more faire, Artabella was the more lovely. Severall Kings and Princes were become their Vassalls, and at their Shrines had offer’d up their hearts: and secretly did they pine away their lives in pencive sadness for those Beauties which they could onely adore, but never hope to enjoy. Artabella had from her Infancy the greatest aversion to a passionate Love, or any thinge of that nature; that asmuch as in her lay she avoided the society of all men; that she might not be seen, nor be belov’d by any: esteeming it a cruelty to make mens torments the witnesses of her beautie, since she could returne no love againe. Oriana was not somuch averse to Love, or marriage as she; but made it indifferent to her, wisely resolving to submit to her Fathers Will, to be dispos’d by him as he thought fit. These were the inclinations of these two Princesses.

Amongst those Princes that sued to Oriana, Octimasdes King of Scythia was one: but it was generally believ’d it was the Kingdome rather then her he was ambitious of. He was a person of so ill a humour, and such a horrid aspect, that he was fitter to create feare in the heart of a young Lady then any other passion. And when he came to demand her of Achemenes in marriage, he did it in such an imperious manner, as if he would command rather the intreat his consent: but somuch was Oriana displeas’d at his deportment, that she detested him more for his insolence then for his deformity: nor was the King her Father’s aversion to him much less then hers. Besides he saw many inconveniences must of necessity accrew to Persia by that alliance; as thereby bringing it into subjection to the Scythian Crowne, which he knew the Persians would never submit too: so that after he had conferred with his Councell, he found ^them^ all generally somuch against it, that he resolv’d Oriana should never be his: which when she knew, she was not a little joy’d. However the King though[t] fit to treat him with all imaginable respect, giving him all the opportunities that might be to make his addresses to the Princess, being secure enough that he could never prevaile to gain her. This he thought the best way in pollicie that he might not appeare openly to slight, or disoblige so potent a Monarch: soe that if he obtain’d not his desires, he might blame Orianas disdaine, not his dislike. But when Octimasdes saw that all his endeavours were fruitless, and that he could not with all his flatteries, and dissemulations [fol. 10 v ] gain the heart of Oriana, he would have perswaded Achemenes to make use of his paternall power, and royall authority to force her inclinations.

But the King answer’d, for that he must excuse him; for if his Daughter could not affect him, he should account himselfe rather a Tyrant, then a Father to compell her for any Maxime of State whatever, to give her person to one who had no interest in her heart. Nor should you (Octimasdes said he) methinks desire to be united to a Princess that loves you not: you see I have given you all opportunities, and meanes conducing to the wining her affection; but you see her aversion{54} to you is such, as she will not be perswaded fairely to be yours, and truly I shall use no force.

Octimasdes being highly insenc’d at this resolution of the Kings, presently took his leave both of him and the Princess: but before he went away, he told her, perhaps when t’was too late she might repent her scorne. But being glad she was freed from his importunities she minded not his threatnings. No sooner was he return’d to Scythia, but he sent a Herald to Achemenes to let him know, that if he would not consent to make the Princess Oriana his; he would come with an Armie of threescore thousand Scythians, and destroy his Kingdome with Fire and Sword, and make Oriana kneell to obtain that which she had scornfully refused.

Tell your Master (answer’d Achemenes) the heart of Oriana is to be wonne by serviceses not threatnings. I shall not carry either Fire or Sword into his Dominions, but I shall endeavour to defend my owne from the invasion of soe ill a Neighbour.

And from me (said the Princess with a disdainfull smile) you may tell that proud King, he does much deceive himselfe in believing Oriana to be of such a poor base spirit to stoop so low to kneel to him; no, let him know I scorn to beg my life (were it in his power) much less his favour: and sooner would I imbrace Death in the most terriblest of shapes that ever the cruelest of Tyrants ere invented then render my selfe his: and did I distrust the puissance of my Fathers power were insufficent to defend me from him, I would fly to the protection of some other Prince; and make my selfe the reward of his services. In fine let him never expect ought from me but hatered and disdaine, since he has so farre provok’d me.

The Herald having receiv’d these answers, denounced Warre against Persia, and returned to Scythia; where he related to the King his Master the bad success of his message: which when Octimasdes understood, he presently caus’d a mighty Armie to be raised to carry into Persia. But whilst he was preparing in Scythia, Achemenes was not idle; for in little more then three monethes space he had rais’d a Force equall to the Scythian Kings. He, who was elected Generall of the Persians, was Menzor, Artabellas Father; [fol. 11 r ] a valiant and well experienced Commander.

But that I may not trouble you Madam (said Celia) with these Warlike affaires which may seeme tedious to you, I will pass them over as succinctly as I can, without injuring the truth of my relation. Know then, after some short time these two great Bodies met upon the Frontires of Persia neere Scythia, where on a larg Plaine not farre distant from the Citty Bilbina, the King of Scythia, and Menzor joyn’d Battell. Victory was a long time nobly disputed on both sides, though with little advantage to either: but at last after many turnings, she utterly abondon’d the Persians Standards; to perch upon the Scythian Ensignes. Yet had they not much cause to brage; for they lost that day the best part of their Cavallrie, with all the chiefest of their Commanders. The Persians lost that day{55} above 40000 men, but the Scythians not above 20000; but questionless they had not purchaced the Victory at so cheap a rate, had not the Valiant Menzor been so sorely wounded that he was carried out of the Field for dead.

The Fight being ended, the Persians retir’d to Bilbina to wait for a recrute which Achemenes sent them by that time Menzor was well recover’d of his Wounds; and that very day they arriv’d he left his Chamber, resolving no longer then the next day to deferre trying his Fortune a second time. But Fortune who is many times no less unjust then she is unconstant, prov’d herselfe so now by taking the part of those who fought on an unjust score; for she had almost been as unkind to the Persians in this Battell as in the former; by giving away the Victory againe; had she not beene stopt by the prodigious valour of two Cavalliers richly arm’d, and gallantly mounted: the Armes of the one was Azure colour set thick with starres of Gold; his Cask richly gilt, shaded with a Plume of Watched Feathers; on his Arme he bore a Shield wherein was portraid Mars the God of War. The Armes of the other were Coale black inlaid with Silver; his Casque of the same, with a Plume of Black and White Feathers, and in his Shield he bare the Sun eclipst.

These two Heroes came to the Fight just as the Persians were turning their backs upon their enemies; which when they saw (he in the Blew Armour cri’d out to them). Oh degenerate Persians whether do you runne; do you not blush to abandon your valiant Generall: whilst he is hewing you out a Path to victory, will you so shamefully turne your backes upon her when she is coming to salute you: and will you somuch belie that report which Fame gives of your Valours, which has been heretofore so unmatchable that it has brought us from the furthest part of the World to be pertakers of your renoune; and shall we find our selves deceiv’d. You may belie your Fames, and fly like Cowards, but we will take yon galant Mans part, and either bring him off victorious, or dy with him.

With that they flew into the [fol. 11 v ] thickest of the enemies Squadrons making all fly before them, rallying again the Persian scattered Troopes, and dispersing the Scythians; till at last with much paines haveing got up to the Generall, where he was nobly disputing his life singly against more then thirty of his Foes, without the least hopes of a reliefe.

Courage brave Menzor (said these Strangers to him) we are come to thy rescue, or to dye by thee.

These words they seconded with as many happie blows which gave death where e’re they lighted: so that they soon freed him from that iminent danger which so highly threatned him. When they had done that they left him, and flew with the greatest speed imaginable to all those places where their assistance was most necessary. All that beheld their actions thought they saw somewhat in them more then mortall: as for Menzor, he believ’d they were the Tutelar Gods of Persia who had put on humane shapes to preserve vertue, and innocence from oppression, which must have suffer’d in their overthrow. But e’re he was aware Menzor had engag’d himselfe so farre amongst his enemies againe, that he fell{56} into a danger much greater then that he lately scap’d; for they had unhors’d him, thrown him to the grownd; and one of them after he was fallen, was searching the defect of his Armour that he might kill him; but was happily prevented by the coming of him who wore the blew Armes, who by accident seeing the danger he was in, flew to rescue him from the hands of those who sought by number more then valour to destroy that gallant person: the sight of his distress inspir’d him with a rage so furious, as all the Scythian Forces had been too little to resist: soe that coming up to him just as they were going to strike their Swords into his Breast; he cut off with one blow that Villans Arme that would have murder’d him, and with a second, sent another headless to the earth.

It were incredible should I tell you (said Celia) all those wonders he perform’d for the preservation of Menzors life which without his assistance had questionless there expir’d; but let it suffice to tell you Madam, at length, though with much danger, and many wounds he brought him off safe; and presenting him with another Horse, he besought him not to precipatate himselfe into so high a danger any more. Having thus sav’d the Generalls life againe he left him, to goe seek his Friend, whom in little space he found acting gallantly for the honour of Persia. In short, these two Valiant Strangers so chang’d the face of things, that of almost conquer’d Persians, they became the Conquerours; for in such a manner they behaved themselves, that the cowardliest person in their Armie began to raise their spirits with the hopes of victory, and fell on more vigorously then ever, having such valiant Leaders: which when Octimasdes saw, he was so inrag’d at those two Strangers; especially him in the Blew Armes, that he vow’d his death; and that all the power of Persia should not shield him from his Vengeance. In this transported fury did he run to find him out; which at last he did: the [fol. 12 r ] brave Stranger perceiving his intent came up to him;

King of Scythia (said he to him) if it is I you seek, know that I scorn to fly thee; for I esteeme it more honour to vanquish thee, then to overcome thy whole Armie.

Stay (repli’d Octimasdes netled with these words) I am not conquer’d yet: nor shalt thou find it so easie as thou believ’st it to overcome me; though thou hast disorder’d my Troopes, slaughter’d my Subjects, and almost wrested from me an assured Victory; yet shall I find a time to chastise thee for thy insolence. With that Octimasdes came up to him like a Lion enrag’d, giving him no time to reply. But the Unknown soon cool’d his courage; for with three blowes he sent him grov to the earth, grovelling in the Dust, in as bad a condition as Menzor was the last battell: and questionless he had there ended his life, had it not been prevented by a vast number of the Scythians who convei’d him to his Tent. The King being carried off a retreat was sounded by the Scythians, which was readily obey’d; the Persians pursuing them unto their Trenches, which were so well fortifi’d that they could not enter, but were constrain’d to retire. The Battell being almost thus ended, and the almost dying hopes of the Persians reviv’d by the sole valour of those strange Champions, they all return’d to the Campe:{57} whether being come, Menzor commanded a sumptuous Tent to be immediatly erected for the Strangers; which being accordingly perform’d, he himselfe waited on them thither, though they would by no meanes have permitted him. Having brought them in and embraced them with much affection, which the sight of those galant actions they perform’d for the honour of his Countrey had created in him:

Tis to you brave men (said he) that we must attribute the prosperous success of this days enterprise; and to your valours alone that we are all indebted for our lives, and liberties, and perhaps the King my brother his Crowne and Kingdome; wherein if there be ought to be found that may any way recompence so great a benefit, I dare engage you shall have no cause to repent your generosities, or belive ye have oblig’d an ungratefull Prince. And for my owne part Sir (said he to him in the Blew) I must ever owne my selfe your Debtor for my life in perticuler since you so generously sav’d it with the hazard of your owne; and as I hold it of you, so will I never scruple to loose it for your service.

We have done nothing Sir (repli’d the valiant Stranger) that can in the least merit these expressions from you; nor have we perform’d anything but what in Justice all generous persons are oblig’d too, going in quest of Glory as we did; to take part with those who have right on their side, as we were assur’d you had: though we are both Strangers here, not having been more then three dayes in this Kingdome; yet was it long enough to enforme our selves of the occation of this Warre, which told us you had Justice on your side; and that was a sufficent invitation to us to joyne with you: and if therein we have had the good fortune to do you any service, we shall account it reward enough that you [fol. 12 v ] esteeme it soe. And for my selfe my Lord (continu’d he) for what I had the happiness to performe for you, if I may obtain the honour of your Friendship, I shall value it at a higher rate then I would the gift of a Crowne; and for my Friend here I humbly beg the same.

If that be all you aske (answer’d Menzor) let me never receive favour more from any person if I refuse it you; and if in the highest degree I study not occations to evince how much I am your Friend, and yours Sir too (said he) to the other, who assur’d him he should never have cause to account his Friendship misplaced.

By this time the Chirurgion was come to dress their Wounds, which were no small number that they had receiv’d in the Fight: and till he saw them dress’d, he would not leave them, nor take the least care of his owne. But when they were disarm’d to have their Wounds search’d (for they had not till then put off their Armes) they appear’d so exceeding lovely gracefull and lovely, both for their shapes and features, that they seem’d as worthy of admiration for their handsomness, as for that generous valour whereof they had given such notable proofes. He who wore the Blew Armes (and seem’d by the respect the other paid him to be the more noble of the two) had a Face so full of Majesty, and Martiall too withall, that he might well have pass’d for that Deity he carried in his Shield: besides{58} he had such a Princely deportment in all his actions, that all that saw him were strongly perswaded he was descended of no less then royall blood. The other was of so sweet and pleasing a countenance, and so extreame beautifull, that he had been in Femalle habit he might well have pass’d for one of the Fairest Ladies that e’re was seen in Persia: and such, doubtless he had been taken for, had not his strength, and valour cleer’d the mistake, and told them by experience, he was none of that softer sex. Menzor having seen the strangers dress’d, and receiv’d from the Chirurgion an assurance that their wounds were nothing dangerous, which made him extreame joyfull, took his leave of them for that night, and departed to his owne Tent.

The next morning the Valiant Unknown calling his Squire to him, sent him to enquire how Menzor did; and how he had rested that Night; which he accordingly did. Menzor causing him to be brought into his presence, ask’d of him the same questions concerning his Master and the other, as he came to be resolv’d concerning him. To which (he answer’d) they were in as good a condition as could possibly be expected. Menzor supposing he might from the Squire learne who those two galant persons were, ask’d of him some questions to that intent. To which (he repli’d) he was sorry he could not satisfie his desire; for he had receiv’d a command from his Master before he left his Countrey, not to discover to any person who he, nor his companion were; neither their names, nor Countrey.

But what reason he had (added he) to [fol. 13 r ] conceale them is unknowne to me. But my Lord you may be pleas’d to know him who wore the Azurecolour’d Armour (who is my Master) by the name of Diomed, and the other by that of Phasellus. But thus much I will presume to tell you, that he I serve is of no ordinary or meane extraction; nor yet the other though much his inferior. He was bred up with my Master, who took such an intire affection to him even from his very Infancy; and Phasellus to him, that I really believe there was never greater Friendship between Brothers, then is between these two Friends. Diomed lives not but in Phasellus’s love, nor Phasellus but in his. This is all at present I dare tell your Highness, but if you please to permit me to aquaint my Master with your desires, possibly he may dispence with his resolution not to discover himselfe, and give me a command to satisfie you.

If your Master (said Menzor) has any reason to conceale himselfe, I would not seeme so uncivily importunate as for the satisfaction of my curiosity to desire the knowledge of ought that he intends to keep a secret; tis enough that I know him to be both generous and valiant, which qualities are sufficent to give me a higher esteeme for him then if I were assur’d he were the greatest Prince on earth and wanted those excellencies that render him so accomplish’d; for I ever preferred Vertue before the highest birthes; and count it farre better to be good then great: and if I desir’d to know who your Master is, it was on no other score than that I might give him that respect which is his due; but seeing he thinks fit{59} not to be known, I shall hens shall henceforth give him the respects his merits justly challenge and that is as much as if I were certaine he were born a Prince.

That day, and the next were spent wholy in consultations what was most expedient to be done concerning the carrying on of the Warre. Some were of one opinion, and some of another: but the result of all was, that the Persians should (if it were possible) force their enemies to fight againe before such time as they could receive any new supplies: or in case they refused to fight, that they should storme their Campe, though it were a matter of great difficulty, and much danger. To this intent the Persian Generall sent one prively the third Night after the Battell to spie the enemies Trenches; and where they might with the most facillity be surpriz’d. But when they came into the Campe (which was not till the dead of Night) he found no Guard as he expected, onely many Tents, with some Colours standing, and some few men to maintaine the Fires: which when he had seen, admiring what might be the occation of the Scythians flight, he return’d to his Generall with this intelligence: who musing at it no less then he that brought it, knowing the enemy to be in no such extreamity as to force them ignominiously to fly from a Foe, whom not long before they seem’d rather to dispise then apprehend.

Notwithstanding he commanded a Troop of Horse to go into the Scythian Campe and Ceaze on those who were left behind, and bring them to him; which was accordingly done: for those few accounting it rather madness then Valour to resist [fol. 13 v ] a five times greater number then their owne, yeelded themselves Prisoners to the Persian Troop who being presented to Menzor, he asked of them the cause of their Armies sudden departure; which they upon the hopes of freedome (as he upon the word of a Prince promis’d they should have if they discover’d to him the the truth) ingeniously confest, that their King died of those woundes he receiv’d from the hands of him who wore the blew Armes immediatly after he was brought into his Tent: which unfortunate disaster (as they said) had struck such a terrour into all their hearts, that they had as little the power as the Will any longer to continue a Warre, the begining had prov’d so fatall, and disadvantagious to them; though some of the more dareing Spirits perswaded him who had the supreame power after the Kings discease to stand it out one battell more; that they might revenge their Soveraigns death, and their owne disgrace. But the wiser Partie concluded t’was better to dest desist now then further to exasperate the King of Persia whom they had already but too much provok’d, by entering his Kingdome in a Hostile, and invasive manner, without any just cause that might excite them to it: and therefore they suppos’d it far better to depart his Teritories whilst they retained a power to continue in them, then stay till they were driven out; which might be a meanes to obtain a peace from Achemenes: and besides, they found themselves reduced to so low a condition that they were utterly disabled from fighting againe, till they receiv’d some supplies; which they fear’d would be so long ere they arriv’d that it was more then probable they must be reduced to great necessities. Thus after they had weigh’d{60} all considerations, they concluded without delay to depart that very night; leaving their Tents as they were, and some few souldiers to keep in the Fires on purpose to delude the Persians; that they might not suspect their flight till they were farre enough from their pursute. Withall they told him, that the ensuing night they had also departed for Scythia had they not been prevented; but they would not dispaire of a returne since they had the good Fortune to fall into the hands of so gracious a Prince: and the rather, since he could derive no advantage either from taking away their lives, or detaining them Prisoners.

No (said Menzor) seeing you have been so ingenious in what I demanded of you, you have my promise for your release, and are free to depart when ever ye will. But (continu’d he) you may see the Heavens have took on them the protection of Innocence, by the ill success of your Designe; and that the Gods are no favourers of an unjust cause: and notwithstanding ye have done enough to excite the Persian King to a continuance of that Warre, which you, not we began: yet I know he so much detests any thing of wronge or injustice, that he will never make an ill example his president. Goe therefore and perswade your Country to sue for peace; which if they speedily do, I dare [fol. 14 r ] engage they shall obtaine it: but if not, they will repent when tis too late. For believe it you will find it farre more difficult then your late King expected to conquer Persia; possibly his Successors passion may not somuch blind his reason as to refuse such an advantagious proffer as this I make you.

After they had told Menzor if it were in their power, to effect it, Scythia should henceforth be as much a Friend to Persia, as of late it had been an enemie, they departed to their own countrey. The War being thus finish’d, which was fear’d would have cost a much larger expence both of blood, and time. Finish’d did I say, ah no, it was but for a while suspended: for as hidden Fire, which may for a time be conceal’d, yet at last breakes out into a more violent Flame, so did this War. But Menzor having quieted all disturbances for the present; assoon as his wounds would permit him, and that his two valiant Assistants (Diomed and Phasellus) were in a condition fit for travell, took his march with the remainder of his Army toward Susa. But before he arriv’d there, Fame had carri’d thither the report of his success; with the Magnanimous Valour and Gallantry of Diomed and Phasellus, which inflam’d Achemenes with an ardent longing to see those two persons which had done such brave things for the honour of Persia.

But being at length arriv’d at that proud City, Menzor tryumphantly enter’d it under a Canopie of state, of cloath of Tissue, supported by twelve of the chiefest of the Nobility. On each side of him rode Diomed and Phasellus, who were admir’d by all the people as they pass’d along, no less for their beautie, and comly proportion, then for their valiant actions, and follow’d with loud praises, and acclamations even to the Palace gates: but as they alighted to enter, they were met by the Faire Artabella, who hearing of her Fathers returne, was come downe into the great Court of the Palace to meet him, and to congratulate his safe return. She was waited on by Saparilla (one of her Maids) and two Pages who carried up{61} her Traine. She no sooner saw her father, but she flew to him on the Wings of Love, and Duty; and flinging herselfe at his Feet, he reach’d her his hand to raise her up, which she kiss’d, and embraced with teares of Joy.

Ah my Lord (cry’d she with transport) ah my deare Father am I so happie as to see you here againe in saftie; not being able to say more, excess of joy stifleing her words: but these few expressions (though confus’d) were more emphaticall then a much larger speech.

Menzor having rais’d her up, and embraced her with a most tender affection; yes my deare Child (said he) your Father is return’d in saftie, and with victory too: but if the honour of your Countrey or my life be dear to you (as I have no reason to believe the contrary) returne your thankes to those Celestiall Powers that rule our Destinies, and then to these brave Men (continu’d he pointing to Diomed and his Friend) to whose noble valour you must ever acknowledge your selfe oblig’d (next to the [fol. 14 v ] goodness of Heaven) for so transcendant a favour; and in a more perticuler manner to this generous person (said he takeing Diomed by the hand and presenting him to her) without whose assistance you had had no Father to have wellcom’d home. Diomed being presented to her by Menzor, saluted her with an infinite respect, and stooping to kiss her Robe, she gave him her hand very graciously, saying is it to you Sir that I am indebted for my Fathers Life; sure then, the highest, and most signall favour I can shew you, you have more then merited from me.

Prince Menzor and your selfe Madam (answer’d he) are pleas’d to set too high a value on a service so inconsiderable, that it deserves not the owning; since I have done nothing more then what Justice oblig’d me too: but had I known he had been the Father of so much perfection, or been the bestower of so rich an Ornament on the World to adorne it, as such an incomparable beauty as you (most Excellent Princess) are Mistress of; that alone had been a sufficent invitation to me to espouse his quarell.

This complement call’d up a scarlet blush into the Face of Artabella, which added more lustre to that beauty which of it selfe was sufficent to ravish all that beheld it: and this effect it had on the heart of Phasellus, who stood as one b[e]reav’d of all sense, or motion (while Diomed paid her his respects) having his eyes fix’d on her into whose breast his heart was flowne: for Love no sooner made an assault but that he won the Fort.

Perhaps Madam (said Celia) you may think it strange or indeed scarce credible, that Love should make so absolute a conquest in so short a time: but had you seene those charming Graces, and attracting Beauties she was owner of, you would not think it soe: for in the opinion of all that ever saw her, she was without comparisson the most accomplish’d Piece that ever the hand of Nature drew: and therefore tis no wonder that Phasellus who was extreame amorous, should be caught (in those snares which are aptest to take a heart susseptable of Loves impressions) at the first view. After Diomed had left her; Menzor presented Phasellus to her that she might take a perticuler notice of him too. After which{62}, Menzor (accompanied with his two Friends) went to give Achemenes an account of the Warre whom he met at the top of the Staires, attended by severall persons of honour belonging to the Court: for the King having just then heard of his Brothers arrivall, was coming to meet him. Menzor no sooner saw the King; but he threw himselfe at his Feet; but Achemenes quickly rais’d him up, and embraced him with the most tender ^sentiments^ resentments[3] that the affection for so good a Brother could inspire him with.

Wellcome my dearest Brother (said he to him) the Victory and Peace you have brought with you gives not so high a satisfaction to my People, as your safe returne gives me a joy.

The Peace I bring Sir (repli’d Menzor) I wish may be as lasting, as the Fame of those who purchaced it: for my owne part I pretend no title to it; for had it not been for the noble effects that the (never sufficently) admired Valour of these brave Strangers has produced, I had certainly lost my life, and you that benefit you now enjoy. I will not question your justice somuch, as to implore ought from [fol. 15 r ] you in their behalfes, but expect Sir you should requite them with the greatest of your royall favours.

No, Brother (said the King) Vertue needs no other intercessor besides its merit; which shines so bright in these persons who have oblig’d me, that the highest recompence Persia can present them will (I feare) fall short of their deserts, and be too little to express my gratitude. Then turning to Diomed and Phasellus he embraced them likewise with as affectionate a kindness as if they had been Sons rather then Strangers to him; expressing an infinit esteeme for them both: to which they made each of them a sutable reply.

After this the King retired with Menzor to his Cabinet, where he told Achemenes so many hansome things of Diomed, that the bare recitall of them created in him a greater value for him then he had for any man in his Dominions Menzor excepted. He presently setled on him a Revenue for so long as he should make Persia his aboade sufficent to maintaine him an equipage, and port answerable to the greatest Prince in the Realme. Achemenes and Menzor being retired, some of the Gentlemen belonging to the King, conducted Diomed, and Phasellus to lodgings appointed for them; which were both stately, and in all respects befiting the magnifficence of so mighty a Monarch. The Chambers were severall, yet nere neighbours one to the other: but as nigh as they were, Diomed thought the single Particion of a Wall too great a distance; not enduring that any thing should separate betwixt him and his deare Phasellus; nor would he be perswaded to let him absent himselfe from him in the night, but made him the constant partner of his Bed, as he had made him the chiefest possessor of his Friendship. The Gentlemen which waited on them thither, having perform’d that civility departed, leaving them to enjoy that repose they thought necessary after their{63} toylsome travell; to which rest, Diomed soon dispos’d himselfe, after some discourses of severall theames: as of Menzors galantry, and the Kings kindness: but that which they chiefeliest insisted on, was the lustre of those two bright Starres (Oriana and Artabella) whose beauties were as blazing Comets to attract the eyes of all beholders with wonder to admire them. But these rare Objects wrought no other effect on the mind of Diomed then an equall admiration, and esteeme for both: but though Phasellus admir’d the Princess asmuch as Diomed, yet he adored Artabella with so intire a reverry, that the growing Idea of her inchanting graces which presented themselves to his fan^c^ie permitted him not that night to close his eyes, or take one minutes rest.

But if Phasellus was that night disturb’d in his repose; the Innocent Artabella was no less disquieted with the thoughts of him: for (as afterwards she confest to Saparilla) she was not able to banish him from her mind one moment after she first saw him, nor could she fancy she ere saw ought that in her eyes appear’d so lovely. After making fruitless [fol. 15 v ] endeavours to shake off those Cogitations which she as little knew approv’d as knew the reason of; she began to mistrust by the character she had heard given of it, that it was some infection proceeding from one of Cupids shafts, which undiscern’d had strook her to the heart; which disease she had alwayes dreaded more then death:

[W]ith this apprehension she being exceedingly surpriz’d suddenly started up in her bed; and fetching a deep sigh, ah Artabella (said she to herselfe). What is the matter; or what reason hast thou to confine thy thoughts to one object more then another: certainly none, tis blind passion, and not reason that provokes thee to it; and shall I yeeld my selfe a servant to what I have hitherto made my slave: What strange extravagant madness is this in me to tye my thoughts to the Image of a stranger, and he perhaps of obscure birth when divers Kings, and Princes which have been my vasalls, could ne’er obtaine from me the least regard. Perchance (continu’d she) tis thus Cythere’s Son intends to punish me for my contempt of his authority, and neglect of those who were in all respects my equalls, by making me affect one who may be much my inferior: but if this be thy aime, Believe it Cupid thou shalt miss thy marke; for sooner will I die then submit to a yoke I have hitherto so much dispis’d: well may’st thou knock at my breast (as now thou doest) but never shalt thou find an enterance to robbe the heart of Artabella of that quiet it has ever yet enjoy’d.

If thou wouldst give away thy liberty fond girle (pursu’d she) why did’st thou not chuse to bestowe it on Diomed who has highly oblig’d thee by the preservation of thy Fathers life (rather then on Phasellus) and then thy folly might be stil’d gratitude, not passion; which might a little extenuate thy fault: but if thou givest admittance to this blind Guest, thou wilt leave thy selfe no Advocate to plead on thy behalfe, but all the world must needs condemne thee both of lightness, and indiscretion, so easily to abandon thy freedome to one who as little dreames of love for thee, as thou ought’st to thinke of conferring thine on him. O never give the World occation to loose that opinion it has of thy vertue, nor by a compliance{64} with this traitorus passion (which seekes to rebell against thy reason) blemish thy reputation which is so pure a Tincture, that the least staine will never be defaced. But why (said she after a Little silence) should I endeavour to withstand what possibly the Heavens have decreed the Destinies may be have so ordain’d it, that my former aversion to Love should be a meanes of preserving my affections intire for him: besides, I know not, but he may be a person every way worthy of me; which if he be, what prejudice can it be for me to follow in that Track where many greater, and wiser woemen then my selfe have led the way.

Then after a little pause, fie Artabella fie (said she), art thou not asham’d to give admittance to so such guilty thoughts as these: if thou wilt needs list thy selfe under Loves Standerd, yet stay till thou mayest do it on honourable termes; stay for shame till thou art conquer’d by the [fol. 16 r ] services of him to whom thou desirest to resigne thy freedome, and do not basely prostitute thy heart to one to whom thy person is a stranger too; and one who does not, nor possibly never will sue for that favour from thee; either banish these crimenall desires from thy soule, or cloister up thy selfe in darkness, and never more look on that Light which presented thee with so troublesome an object which is like to prove the ruine of thy repose.

It was almost break of day ere she could make a truce with these inquietudes, or could admit slumber to close her eyes: but at length o’ercome with watching (a thinge, which till that night she had never been acquainted with) she fell into a sound a sleepe, as Saparilla found it no easie matter the next day to awake her; which she had not presum’d to do, if her kindness to her mistress had not made her apprehend something of ill in that unseasonable sleep. After Saparilla had wak’d her, she arose, and dress’d her; but stir’d not out of her Chamber that day, nor many other that succeeded; pretending an indisposition for her confinement, that she might put in practice what she had resolv’d. But soe was Oriana concern’d for her dissembled illness, that she was never from her; making herselfe a Prisoner rather then she would want her deare Artabellas company.

The Princess perceiving her Cousins to be rather an indisposition of the mind, then body; made it her designe to divert her by all manner of pleasant discourses; and one day, feigning more mirth then her reserv’d temper was wont to allow in rallery (she sh said) laughing; introth Cousin I thinke thou art in Love, thy humour is so suddenly, and strangly alter’d.

Why Madam (repli’d Artabella with a very serious tone) will Love make one mellancholy.

Soe I have heard (said the Princess) but know nothing of it by experience.

I believe Madam (answer’d she) you are not ignorant of my hatered to that idle passion and therefore I cannot think you really believe me guilty of so great a folly, as volluntarily to fall into a snare I have hitherto diligently avoided: you know Madam no person is ever in one and the same temper.

Tis very true (repli’d Oriana) I know they are not, but for you who were alwayes so free from mellancholy that I never saw you in my life put on a{65} discontented look; now to be sad; especially in this time of so universall a joy, to what cause but Love can I impute it.

You will do me Justice (answer’d she) to impute my ill humour to anything rather then that; tis certaine I was never ceaz’d on by so deep a sadness in my life; but the reason is unknown to me; and therefore I cannot but apprehend it ominous; and dread something of misfortune in it; but I hope ere long to reasume my former temper.

This discourse was broaken off by the coming in of Menzor who brought with him Diomed, and Phasellus to visit Artabella, in whose company, and Orianas they spent that afternoon. If the Princess before fanci’d Artabella to be an Amorist, she might have chang’d her suspition into a certaintie upon the enterance of Phasellus, had she but observ’d her change of countenance; for no sooner did she see him come into the Chamber but [fol. 16 v ] her Face was painted with a Vermillion blush. Phasellus saw it, and took notice of it too, but knew not whether to impute it to displeasure, or a more obliging cause. This second enterview perfected the victory on both sides; for they were both conquerours, yet knew they not that either of them were overcome. A thousand sighes did Phasellus send that afternoon to Artabella as tokens of his passion, and would have had those dumbe messengers have told ^her^ that, which his tongue had not the confidence to disclose.

Severall were the discourses that pass’d in this noble society; but being nothing pertinent to my story (said Celia) I shall pass them by. Many times after this had Phasellus the satisfaction of seeing Artabella though never no opportunity of converse with her (but what diverse persons were witnesses too) though he diligently sought it; but she so carefully avoided, as gave him not the liberty to acquaint her with what she dreaded to know, yet could not keep her heart from desiring. All other meanes being deni’d him, he resolv’d his Pen should be the Ambassadour of his thoughts, and thereby let her understand the passion hee had for her: which he thus effected.

Every day did Artabella usually walk in the Gardens belonging to the Palace, attended with her Maids (and sometimes accompani’d with the Princess) to take the Aire, and tast the pleasure of the Evenings coolness; that Countrey being exceeding hot for the greatest part of the yeare. An houre before Phebus left the earth was the time she most commonly destin’d for that excercise, and oft when she was weary would she retire into an Arbour that stood in the center of a Little Wilderness which was encompass’d with a Mote in such a manner as made it a perfect Island: this place, of all other in the Garden was that in which she most delighted; which Phasellus had observ’d by her constant frequenting it. [T]hither stole he one day prively, not long before he expected she would take her walk; and on a Table of black Marble which stood there, he laid a Letter where he was sure she could not miss of seeing it when ever she came thither: this having done, he departed, trembling with feare for the success; yet he went not out of the Wilderness, but secretly conceal’d himselfe there; which he might easily enough do, the{66} Trees standing so very thick that he might without being discover’d both heare, and see all that was done, or said in the Arbour.

His designe answer’d his wishes for that Evening Artabella came thither onely with her Favourite (Saparilla) and entering in; she perceiv’d a Paper lye on the Table; curiosity at first led her to look on it, supposing it might be something that Oriana might have writ for her owne diversion, and carelessly left there, not suspecting any would come thither to peruse it, unless herselfe, from whom she believ’d the Princess had not any thing conceal’d; so that she thought, she might without a breach of Friendship, or civility see what it was: but having taken it up, she soon perceiv’d her errour, finding it to be a Letter seal’d, with a Superscription directed to herselfe. The hand she was utterly a stranger too, nor could she imagine how it [fol. 17 r ] came thither: calling Saparilla to her, she ask’d her if she could resolve her whose hand it was; but she repli’d she knew not, nor did she ever see any like it. This assurance rais’d in Artabella a suspition that it was convei’d thither by the subtilty of some pretended Lover; which apprehension perplex’t her with a thousand fancies; nor could she readily determine whether she had best peruse it or no. One while she resolv’d to teare, or burne it without seeing what it contain’d; but then she thought, he that had given her that trouble would find meanes to renew it; and if it were any thinge of Love, she believ’d she might better frustrate their designes by her knowledge, then by her ignorance of it. Many times did she take it up, and as often throw it from her with disdaine, as one divided between feare, and desire: but at last, catching it up; what said she, shall I so much distrust my owne strength, as not to dare look on a piece of Paper. With that, she unript the Seale and read these words.

To the Princess Artabella

Were I possessor Madam of as many Crownes as you of beauties, I should account it more glorious to be your slave, then to weare those glittering Diadems: and at the feet of her would I prostrate them with a joy not to be express’d, on the Altar of whose beauty I have offer’d up my heart. I confess the meaness of the Votary may render the Offering despicable; but since those Divinities we reverence are not offended with the addoration of the poorest Mortall, my hopes are, that you who are so resembling to those Powers in all things, will not scorne a Devotion of the same nature: which I am confin’d to pay you with a zeale equall to that I pay the Diety I adore. But if my presumption makes me soare so high, that the Wings of my too to ambitious desires are sing’d at the Sunne of Beautie, so that I find poor Icarus’s[4] fate to be drown’d in the Ocean of dispaire; I shall however receive this satisfaction, if I must not live your Adorer, I shall dy your Martyre. This declaration (Divine Princess) possibly may displease you; but if it does, remember{67} Madam tis the vastness of your owne perfections which are the occation of my Crime: and if for giving admittance to a passion which is attended with so sacred a respect, you believe you have reason to be offended with me; I have certainly more to complaine of you; who insteed of a reward for that service I had the honour to performe for your Countrey, instantly ceaze me your Prisoner; from which Captivity I can never hope for a redemption, unless by Death, except your favour pay my ransome. But so far am I ^from^ repining at this condition, that I esteeme it more glory to weare the Princess Artabellas Chaines ^then^ the Crowne of the Universe accounting those the greater Ornament. I dare not Madam acquaint you with his name [fol. 17 v ] who is the perfectest of your Adorers Lest he receive the sentence of death by an eternall banishment, but live in hope the Fates will one day furnish him with an opportunity of evincing by the greatness of his future services the vastness of his passion who is the humblest of your Slaves, and

Your Eternall Vassall

But if she were perplex’d when she onely suspected what it was, she was even confounded with vexation now that she was certaine who it was of it. A good while she stood seriously considering this adventure; at last fetching a deep sigh, and letting the Letter fall out of her hand, she sate down, leaning her Arme on the Table, and her Cheek on her hand, musing on one passage of the letter; wherein he who had writ it, had mention’d the services her Countrey had receiv’d from him; which made her confident it came either from Diomed or Phasellus; but whether of the two she could not determine, which rendred her trouble the greater.

Saparilla who stood by observing her Princesses disturbance by her deportment, threw herselfe at her Feet, beging her with teares, that she might not be a stranger to those thoughts that she aparently saw gave her so great a disquiet. At this action of Saparillas, Artabella being come a little to herselfe; ask’d her what t’was that she would know.

What tis that afflicts you Madam (repli’d she) if I am not more unworthy to be a pertaker of your concernes then hitherto you have thought me. Artabella loving her intirely, could not deny ought to her intreaties, much less her teares, but took up the letter, and gave it her to read. See there (said she) the occation of my discontent.

Saparilla having read it o’re and o’re repli’d, I cannot for my life apprehend Madam why this should disquiet you so highly as I see it does; since this is not the first person that has discover’d a passion for you; and yet I never saw you somuch concern’d at it, as now you are at this. Perchance you know him to be a person infinitly beneath your Illustrious extraction, and that may excite your displeasure: but pardon me Madam if I presume to say, tis a trouble that proceeds from some other cause then anger, the effects whereof appeare so legible in your face.{68}

Thou gessest right (said Artabella) for anger is not that passion that disturbes me most.

Ah Madam (cry’d Saparilla) will you not tell me what it is. I protest tis no vaine curiosity that make me thus inquisitively to enquire into the occation of your discontent; but onely an earnest desire to find out some remedy for your maladie.

Yes (said she sighing) I would tell thee, did not shame tye up my tongue.

I cannot think you capable (repli’d Saparilla) of a thought you need blush to owne. [fol. 18 r ]

Time was (said the Princess) I had a Soule so pure, that if the most criminall of my thoughts had been written here (pointing to her forehead) I need not to have blush’d’ though read by the severest Critticks; but now alass it is not soe (continu’d she letting fall some Christall drops from her faire eyes) I am no longer the innocent Artabella, and for that I hate my selfe: tis needless for me to say more when I have told thee that I haue which I could have wish’d I had still been ignorant of my selfe. I love, is not that enough to make thee wonder; if it be not I will tell ^thee^ more to aggravate my crime, I love Phasellus; who possibly not once throwes away a thought on me: or admit his passion equall’d mine; yet cannot that exempt me from being guilty of the highest folly, or at best the greatest fraility; in suffering my selfe to be led Captive by that insulting passion: Must I who have sworne allegiance at Dianas Shrine[5] turne Rebell and submit my selfe a subject to blind Cupid her greatest Foe: but if I must, and that the Forces of my reason proves too feeble to defend me from the allconquering power of this Assailant, I’le dye ten thousand deathes rather then suffer this unwilling Subjection to transport me to ought that may prejudice my duty or my honour.

That you love Madam (said Saparilla) I confess is to me a wonder, because I alwayes believ’d your Breast impenitrable; but since you are capable of Loves impressions, I do not at all admire you love Phasellus; seeing he is certainly the most admirable, the most lovely person (in the opinion of all that see him) that ever was look’d on by mortall eye. But if you think your selfe blameable in your kindness for him; give me leave Madam to tell you; that there is no action but the intention renders either good or ill; and therefore your passion being grounded on Vertue (as I am confidently assur’d it is) you need not exclame against your selfe for giving admittance to that which the wisest could ne’re resist; and for which you have the example of many vertuous Princesses to plead on your behalfe. Besides, Love being not simply evill in it selfe, unless it makes us transgress those limits which Vertue prescribes it; in my Judgment then tis no such hainous crime for you to love, nor yet to love Phasellus neither: though perhaps you may feare a check from discretion for making an unknown person the object of your passion, and one for ought you know of obscure birth or meane extraction: but let{69} not this apprehension perplex you, since he may as well be thought to be sprung from some Royall branch, seeing the grandure of his renouned actions seemes as if they silently proclaim’d as much. Or admit he be as low as we can fancy him, yet Vertue alone retaines a power to raise her Followers to that sublime condition, from whence persons that have not such Heroick Soules oft tumble downe. But if your trouble springs from a feare, that you have not vanquish’d his heart who has conquer’d yours; methinkes this letter may expell that doubt: for who but Phasellus can it come from.

My doubt of that (repli’d Artabella) is it which creates my trouble; for I find nothing in it that gives me any assurance that it came not from Diomed rather then him: and then do but think, how more then unhappie my condition will be should Diomed love me; since I know my [fol. 18 v ] Father has so high ^an esteeme^ of his Vertue, such a reall Friendship for his person, and so great a desire to requite his gallantry by some very extraordinary favour; as I have oft heard him say, there is not any thing in his power to give, which he accounts not too meane a recompence for that assistance he receiv’d from him when his life lay at stake. Then seeing tis so, have I not all the reason in the world to feare, if he had but the confidence to demand me of my father, that he would assoon obtaine as aske; and when once his passion is seconded by the authoritie of a Father; what have I left to defend my selfe against it; but must rellish either of Ingratitude, or want of duty, or both. I confess Diomed may justly merit the esteeme of the greatest Princess on earth; and oft have I admir’d why my fancie should lead me to affect Phasellus rather then him, since my obligations are farre greater to Diomed then to Phasellus: I know no reason for it, but must conclude, tis the uncontrolable power of my Destiny that will have it so, from whence there is no appeale.

Cease deare Madam (said Saparilla) to afflict your selfe; and do not I beseech you anttedate your troubles; tis time enough to greeve when you have just cause; which now you have not, unless you will torment your selfe with an apprehension, which has no other originall then a bare suspition. I will not say but Diomed may love you, but I dare pawne my life Phasellus does.

What makes you think so (hastily repli’d Artabella, interrupting her)

That, said Saparilla, which would have made you, or any other certaine of it; had you but taken notice of his deportment that time your Father brought him with Diomed to waite on you: he entered your Chamber in the highest disorder that ever I beheld one in my life; he blush’d, look’d pale, and approach’d you with a trembling which sufficently express’d the aggitation of his Soule. For my part I admire all there present did not observe it as well as I.

All this might be (answer’d Artabella) and yet I no cause of it, for there was the Princess with me at the same time; and why might not her presence worke that alteration which thou observedst in Phasellus.

No, Madam (repli’d she) all his actions assur’d me the contrary: for whilst he was there, his eye was perpetually on you; and as you may very well remember,{70} he appli’d himselfe wholy to you in all his discourses, not once regarding the Princess after he had paid her his repects at his coming in.

This may be too (said Artabella)] yet may it onely be a personated part, the better to disguise his love to her, thinking it not safe (perhaps) to disclose to the World a passion for the Daughter of so great a King: and therefore possibly he had rather have me suspected for the Object of his Love, then Oriana.

Though I doubt not in the least (repli’d Saparilla) that you are she whom Phasellus adores, and consequently that this letter came from him; yet will I not beg you to be of the same opinion, till I have convinced you by some undeniable demonstration; which [fol. 19 r ] ere to morrow night I question not to do; therefore good Madam lay aside all disquiet thoughts, and hope the best till then.

Artabella (repli’d not, onely sigh’d) and rising up was going away: but before she had stir’d three steps from her seat Phasellus came in from that place where he had stood all this while conceal’d; and throwing himselfe at her feet.

It is too long Divine Princess (said he) for you to be held in suspence till to morrow night, since you may this very moment be resolv’d who that presumptious person is, that has assum’d the confidence to present you his addresses in that crimenall paper, for such I must terme it, since it has disturb’d your quiet: tis no other then Phasellus is guilty of it; Late the Unfortunate, now the happie Phasellus: for to that sublime condition has your confession rais’d me by acknowledging to Saparilla that I am not indifferent to you; which is a blessing I prize so highly, that to have obtain’d it, I would have despised the Empier of the World, and all the felicities that the most happie Creatures ever knew: but if the violence of my passion has carried me beyond the limits of my duty, engaging me to stay here to make a discovery of your inclinations (which else I should never have been able by any other meanes to have understood) and thereby learne my destiny from the Oracle of my Fate; which otherwise I must still have continu’d ignorant of: pardon me Madam I beseech you this one offence, and I vow by those bright eyes of yours which took me Prisoner the first moment they encounter’d mine, ne’re to displease you more: and for what is past, inflict on me never so severe a Pennance for the expiation of my fault, and by all that’s sacred I’le inflict it on my selfe without a murmur; onely forgive but this, and permit me to adore you.

Assoon as Artabella saw him enter the Arbour, she was confident he had overheard what she had said to Saparilla concerning him; which so surpriz’d her that she was even confounded with shame: not having confidence to look Phasellus in the face, but with a downe cast look she stood as one convicted of some horrible offence. Long it was ere she recover’d out of her amaize, but much longer ere she could returne an answere to what Phasellus had said: for shame and resentment strove so in her breast (to find her most secret thoughts laid open to him, whom of all men she least desir’d should know them) that for a good space it utterly depriv’d her tongue of its faculty: but at last, anger proving more powerfull in her then shame she thus repli’d.{71}

It were invain to deny, what your inquisitiveness has rendered soe intelligible; I must confess I have lov’d you; but your incivility, or your rashness call it which you will; has lost you that place in my esteeme, which somthing that I fancied excellent in you had gain’d: and believe it, you shall derive little advantage from your discovery; for I command you if you have any respect for her, to whom you have shewn so little, evince it by [fol. 19 v ] never coming in my presence more; since I cannot behold you without proclaming to the World my shame, by those blushes which the sight of you will paint upon my face. Nor do I this so much to punish you as my selfe; for foolishly doating on a person who by his temerity, has rendred himselfe unworthy of the conquest of Artabellas heart.

Ah Madam (answer’d he flinging himselfe again at her feet and embraceing her knees) are you then determin’d to be cruell; and must poor Phasellus, who even now believ’d himselfe the happiest person breathing, be thrown from that height of felicity downe to an Abiss of misery: and must one offence (and that not wholy unexcusable, if the irresistable power which compell’d me to it, may be impartially consider’d) merit so rigorous a doome, that the severest death were a mercy to it. Oh either revoke your cruell sentence, or give me leave to expire in your presence.

Artabella made him no answer, but loosing his armes, went away; leaving him in as great a confusion, as she herselfe had been in a little before.

But no sooner had she turn’d her back, but he ris up; and drawing his Sword cry’d, yes Madam I will obey you; but it shall be by death, for tis impossible to live and performe your to too cruell command: this sword will at once teach me obedience, and revenge you for my unadvized rashness. I will not live Madam to make you blush for any sin of mine: and when I have wash’d away my crime with my heart blood, perhaps you will pitty him whom once you lov’d, though now you hate.

Finishing these words he let the Pumell of his sword to the ground, and going to fling himselfe upon it, he suddenly felt himselfe stay’d by one, who clasping him about the waist hinder’d him from his intended purpose. He hastily turning his head to see who had rendred him that Friendly, though then unwellcome office, found himselfe in the Armes of Diomed; who impatient of so long an absence, had been to seek him in all places he could imagine he might be in. There was no Walk, no Arbour in the Garden where he had not sought him, and was just then returning to the Palace, supposing he might be gone in some other way unknown to him: but being guided by his good Genius he came unawares into the Wilderness, a place which he had never seen before: and hearing some voices, he came neer the Arbour just as Artabella quited it. He came thither time enough to heare the fatall resolution of his deare Phasellus, and as the Gods would have it, to prevent the execution of it. But when he saw it was Diomed that had frustrated his dire intent, he was even ready to dye with vexation.

Oh Heavens Phasellus (said he to him) what is it you intend: or what madness is it has possest you; and hurried you on to this dispaire: have I deserv’d{72} so little from you as to be made a stranger to your thoughts; I have not us’d you at this rate.

Phasellus finding this reproofe justly to taxe him with a breach of Friendship, was not able to refraine from sheding teares as a testimony of his griefe, that Diomed should to that impute his silence.

O Diomed (said he) be not so unkind as to censure me ^as^ difficent in my Friendship; but as you have done me the honour to believe me hitherto your [fol. 20 r ] Friend, so assure your selfe you shall never have just cause to account me other; for I will to the last minute of my breath preserve those sacred Bonds uncancel’d: then do not load my Soule with a heavier weight of misery, which is already too to much oppress’d. My silence which I know you do account my crime; was occation’d meerly through a feare of your displeasure (which I knew I should have incurr’d had I acquainted you with my passion; which your insensibility of that power to which I have submitted, would have term’d my folly) and not through any disrespect: then banish all such misapprehensions deare Sir I beseech you: and do me the justice as to believe, though I am unfortunate, I am not ingratefull; which I should be in the highest degree, if I were wanting in that duty I owe you, to whom I am indebted for all that I have, or am; and forgive me this supposed fault, which onely seemes, but is no reall one; since my intentions may protest my Innocence.

Oh say not so (repli’d Diomed) lest you force me to entertaine a worse opinion of you then that I lately had: for tis impossible your intentions should speak you innocent and at the same time your actions express you guilty of the most irreparabled breach of Friendship by seeking to take away my life.

Now you are no less cruell then unkind (answer’d Phasellus) to charge me with a Crime, I am so farre from being guilty of, that had I ten thousand lives, freely would I sacrifice them all, rather then you should suffer the least of ills: no, first let me be buried quick ere I think a thought that may be to your prejudice.

Mistake me not (said Diomed) I know thou do’st not actually seek to deprive me of life; but yet thou art asmuch to blame, if thou art accessary to my death by procuring thy owne distruction. I know thou art not ignorant of my affection to thee: thou know’est that tis in thee alone my life consists; my vitall Threed being twin’d with yours, did you imagine you could cut the one, and leave the other whole. No my Phasellus if thou hast a mind to die, make thy passage to Death thorow my brest, and pierce that heart with thy Sword, which thou would’st have pierced with a more painfull sorrow for thy loss; and then follow me if thou wilt: but believe it, if I can hinder thee, thou shalt never lead me the way.

Ah (said Phasellus deeply sighing) did you but know what prompts me to this deed, I am perswaded you would not all condemne me; but rather repent you kept me from puting my selfe into a condition which onely can render me happie.

No (repli’d Diomed) I shall never repent I hinder’d you from being your owne Executioner: but if your condition be so sad as you pretend, pray let me understand wherein and what it was induced you to act this tragicall part; and be{73} sure, if there be any possibility of it, I’ll find out a cure for your dispaire: but if not, I shall be an equall sharer in your sufferings, and then your griefe when tis divided, will be the more supportable: therefore I once more charge, and conjure you by our Friendship to let me know it, or never expect that I will pardon you the injury you would have done me.

Well (answer’d Phasellus) since you will so strictly [fol. 20 v ] enjoyn me to give you the trouble of my Concernes, I will at larg declare them to you; onely I must implore your pitty: and that you will be so charitable as not to keep me any longer from a death as necessary as that which makes me desire it is intollerable: but if you do, my resentments [sentiments] will ere long give me that cure, which you will not permit me to receive from my resolution. Then siting downe together, he declar’d to Diomed all the perticulers of his discontent. As how long he had been in love with Artabella, what course he took for the discovery of his passion to her, and how he had conceal’d himself in that Wilderness, to find how she resented [felt] it; and perceiving by her discourse to her Maid it was not displeasing to her, he unadvizedly ventur’d to present himselfe before her; flattering himselfe with a hope to gain a more perfect assurance of her favour. But that unseasonable discovery of my selfe (continu’d he) prov’d my utter ruine; for she appear’d so highly insenced at me, for surprizing her in that manner, that the favourable opinion she had of me was turn’d into a perfect resentment, which concluded in an utter banishment, without the least hopes of a repeale.

And is this all (said Diomed) O Foolish Phasellus I could not imagine thou had’st had so little of reason in thee, as to kill thy selfe for a womans peevishness. If she had a reall kindness for thee (as her words seeme to import) she cannot so divest herselfe of it, but that it will again returne to plead on thy behalfe after the storme of her anger is a little over; and then thinke what a griefe it will be to her, to find she was the occation of your death. You could not (in my judgement) expect less in the height of her displeasure, to see herselfe betray’d into a revealing of her most private thoughts, contrary to her intentions you may be sure: but passion, never askes advice of reason, if it did; discretion would have told you, then was no convenient season to gain assurances of her esteeme; but after you had thus rashly runne your selfe into this errour, would you repaire it by committing a greater absurdity. No Phasellus (pursu’d he) you should wait with patience till the storme were over blown, and then questionless your banishment will be recall’d: but to destroy your selfe, you render your selfe uncapable of that which you most passionatly desire.

Then after a little silence, he went on. But that you may not thinke, what I have said proceeds from an insensibility of what so neerly touches you; know that I do as truly sympathize with you as if we had but one Soule, to animate two bodies. Thou wert mistaken Phasellus, when thou thought’st me ignorant of that power which has reduced thee to this condition; for I will tell thee, and believe it for a truth: that very Flame which burnes so bright in thee, has also sing’d my heart. I love as well as you; and tis that faire Princess that has made you her slave,{74} has likewise captiv’d me. Did you imagine I could look on such vast perfections, and be unconcern’d for her that ow^n^es them; nay, start not to heare me say I am your Rivall.

How (cry’d Phasellus) do you love Artabella, nay then there is no hope for me; tis time, nay more then time that I were dead.

Yes (repli’d Diomed) I do love her but yet you shall not dy; no, you shall live and enjoy her for all me, for I promise you I will be no obstruction to it. You [fol. 21 r ] deeme your selfe unhappy, but if you seriously consider, I am much more so; for your advantages are far greater then mine (were I disposed to oppose you) haveing already gain’d an interest in her heart whom we both love, which I can never hope to do: for by her owne confession the feare of my affection, was that which did somuch perplex her. But as you have the advantage of me one way, so have I no less of you another, would I make use of it. For this very morning Menzor met me in the Cypress Grove whether I was gone to walk: and after a Friendly salutation (as a parenthesis to his discourse) he embraced me saying, I am both sorry and asham’d Sir, to see, you and your noble Friend should receive no other reward for the services you have done this Kingdome, then the honour that attends heroick deeds. I am afraid ye either think us forgetfull, or ungratfull, especially my selfe who am more perticulerly oblig’d to you dear sir (continu’d he embraceing me again). Then after many other obliging expressions he told me, there was not any thing in his power to bestow, which he did not think infinitly short of what I had deserv’d from him: but since he had nothing better, he would present me with the dearest jewell that he was possest of, which was his Daughter, if I could think her worthy my esteeme; promising me all the assistance I could expect from him both as her Father, and my Friend, protesting if he could (without a prejudice to the Princess Oriana) present her to me as the Heire of Persia, he should not thinke her too deare for me.

Really I stood amaiz’d at this generous proffer; but I suppose you do not question whether or no I embraced it, since t’was the onely happiness I was ambitious of. But now do not imagine I tell you this to adde to the burden of your griefe; believe it your content is dearer to me then soe, my intention is rather to convince you that my Friendship is not to be equall’d; and that I can be content to wave my owne satisfaction if I may thereby establish yours. Yes my Phasellus for thy sake I’ll pluck this passion from my brest; which is not of so long continuance, not yet so deeply rooted, but that in time I hope to master it; for I will never cherish ought in me that may be to thy prejudice: nay, I will do more for thee then this, if thou wilt not be thine owne enemy.

Did you ever heare of a higher gallantry then this of Diomeds (said Celia to the Unknown).

Yes Madam (answer’d she) I know a person of our owne sex that can equall, I [Aye] and surpass him too; for t’was a little kind of Justice that he should cease from being Rivall to Phasellus, because his owne passion bare the later date: and besides, it was not half so difficult at first to quench a Flame which was but{75} newly kindled, as to extinguish one of long continuance: but this Excellent Lady whom I mention’d (and of whom I must more fully give a Character when I recite my misfortunes) declin’d a passion for her Rivalls sake which had been of many yeeres standing: but I confess the generosity of Diomed is to be admir’d and I should think it yet more admirable were I not so well acquainted with the others; which I know to be such, (and so your selfe will acknowledge when once you have heard her story) as the earth never bare her equall; and were that brave man living in this age [fol. 21 v ] I know none that could match his Vertue but herselfe; or were so worthy of him as she would be.

Well (repli’d Celia) I will not stand to oppose your opinion, but proceed in my story; for I feare I shall scarce finish it before the Queen challenges of you the performance of your promise. Know then (continu’d she) that every word which Diomed spake of his love to Artabella was as a Dagger at Phasellus’s heart; but when he came to the period of his story: Phasellus was so amaized at his kindness to him, that he knew not in what language to cloth his resent^i^ment^s^ [sentiments] of it.

At last, fetching a sigh, you are too Generous a Friend to poor Phasellus (said he) to purchace his content, with the price of your owne. Your generosity is to me a Glasse wherein I clearly view my owne unworthiness; for if before, passion alone excited me to dy, now reason will much more: for how can I endure to see you condescend somuch beneath your selfe as to yeeld ought to him, who is no other then your servant, though you are pleased to honour him with the most ambitioned title of your Friend. Shall I suffer Diomed to robbe himselfe of the most transcendent felicity the Heavens can give to enrich Phasellus. No no (pursu’d he) it will be ten thousand times more satisfaction to me to dye, then live and deprive you of so great a bliss.

I robbe my selfe of nothing (answer’d Diomed) nor yet do you deprive me of ought, if it be my owne free act to resign it to you.

These arguments which he [Diomed] made use of to testifie his Friendship, and those which preceeded to divert him [Phasellus] from his dispaire could not perswade him to lay aside his desire of dying; for Artabella’s anger, together with the griefe he conceiv’d to see himselfe travers’d in his passion by him whom of all men living he had most reason to apprehend, both for the merit of his person, and the power he had with her Father; notwithstanding his protestations to make no use of it to his prejudice; yet weighing Diomeds affection in the scailes of his owne passion, he believ’d it impossible for him to performe that promise. These considerations so possest him, that they left no place for any perswasions to enter; and in such a sort did they work upon his Spirits, that with the violence of his griefe he burst out a bleeding, in so excessive a manner, that Diomed fear’d he would bleed to death if it were not suddenly stanch’d; for the blood flow’d out of both his Nostrills like two little Rivers.

He [Diomed] appli’d to him all those remedies he had formerly known to do him good (for Phasellus was often subject to that distemper, though never in{76} that extreamity before) but when he saw all his endevours fruitless, he was even driven to his wits end, and what to do in that case he knew not: loath he was to leave him in that condition, and to stay and see him dy for want of help he could less endure: but seeing him bleed faster and faster, he found it would prove but a fruitless charity to stay longer with him: so taking away his sword (that he might leave him nothing to do himselfe a mischiefe with in his absence) he ranne to the Palace to call some other more expert in that cure then himselfe.

In the mean time Phasellus[6] seeking for something wherewith to act his design ere Diomed return’d, found a certaine Weed growing in the wilderness, which would at any time provoke one to bleed that did but smell of it though they were not apt to it of themselves; as he was. This did [fol. 22 r ] he gather, and thrust up into his Nose, to the intent that way to draw out his life: and such effect it took, that by the time that Diomed and the Chirurgion came, he had lost so great a quantity of blood that he was fallen on the Ground almost senseless. But when he [Diomed]came and saw his friend in that case, he seem’d even distracted; he stamp’d and tore his haire, with all the gestures of a madman (for indeed he was little better seeing him he lov’d so deare, reduced to that extreamity) vowing most desperatly if he died, not to outlive him a minute. Phasellus seeing this, began to repent what he had done, and suffer’d the Chirurgion to endevour his preservation: but had he been minded to oppose him, his weakness doubtless would have rendred him unable.

But we will leave them for awhile, and returne to Artabella whom we left in great disorder said Celia, but perceiving it grew very late she thought it convenient to deferre the remaining part of the story till the next day, and for that night to go to their rests. Celia took hers very quietly, having nothing to disturbe her repose; but the Sicilian Ladies was much interrupted with divers troubled fancies, and Mallancholy Dreames, which tormented her no less sleeping, then her thoughts did when she was awake. But both of them awaking early the next morning, and having given each other the good morrow, they arose and drest themselves that they might be in areadyness when ever Ermillia should call for them: but in the meane time at the Sicilians request, Celia (calling to mind where she left off) reasum’d her former discourse in these words.

  1. Well replenished is underlined and “plentifully restored” inserted above; it is possible that this substantive change in a darker ink could be authorial. 
  2. Stigian vice refers to the forgetfulness of the dead after they cross the river Styx.
  3. The word resentments is underlined but not crossed out; carets indicate that ^sentiments^ is intended to replace “resentments.”
  4. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book 8, ll. 185–235), Icarus and his father Daedalus escape Crete by flying with wings made of feathers and wax. Daedalus warns his son that if he flies too near the sun, the wax will melt and he will fall to earth.
  5. Diana is the goddess of the hunt, moon, and chastity, but here the allusion seems to be to virginity.
  6. The MS reads Diomed, but Phasellus is intended.


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Rivall Friendship by Bridget Manningham Copyright © 2021 by Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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