{Print edition page number: 275}

Rivall Friendship


The Second Book

The Princess was but just gone out when one of Alcanders Gentlemen came to demand permission for his Master to waite on the Princess Artabella; but he was scarce return’d to the King with his answere ere Alcander came in. If Artabella had appear’d so charming in a time when the sense of her present afflictions, and her feare of greater misfortunes had detracted much from the liveliness of her beauty, and in a Garbe so negligent as had nothing in it of attractive; but rather darkned that splendour wherewith he now now was wholly dazled and o’recome. If (I say) she had seemed so faire and lovly in so dejected a condition, judge Arthenia (pursu’d she) what his thoughts were now, when that by the banishment of all her Feares, and the repose she had taken through the hopes she had conceiv’d that she had seen an end of all her sorrows, her beauty had regain’d its full lustre, heightned something too, by the advantage of her dress, which was much more becoming then the Persian habit. Certain it is, he thought her more faire and Excellent then the Seaborn Goddess, whose beauty mov’d Paris to present her with the Golden Ball; and if the first sight of her infus’d into him some disquiet motions, this second quite b^e^reaft him of his whole repose, and left him no more a command over a heart which was no longer his, but that Faire Princesses: though (questionless) had she known of the Victory she had gained, she would have found rather a trouble, then taken any content in a conquest neither design’d, nor wish’d by her.

As yet Alcander was so much Master of his words and actions as he gave her not the least cause to suspect any thing of his passion: but after some complements, and expressions of civility, he made her the ^same request^ as Delizia had done a litle before. To which she repli’d, that she had given Saparilla a command to enforme the Princess his Sister of all things [fol. 121 v ] that concern’d her, and that if he pleas’d, she would enlarge her Commission to acquaint him also with her adventures. At Artabella’s condescention to his request he testifi’d a great content, and turning to Saparilla, told her, he would not give her a double trouble, but would stay till his Sister should be at leasure to heare the recitall they had both desir’d: and in the meane time I will go to the Temple (pursu’d he) to render thankes to Apollo for the victory he has given me over my enemies, and to implore his assistance in a conquest of more importance.

May the Deity you adore (said Artabella) be ever propitious to all that you desire: but if your Majesty please to permit me, I will waite on you thither, to pay my devotions at your Altars for those mercies I ought never to forget.{276}

Most gladly Madam (repli’d he) and I take it as a favour that you will give me leave to waite on you thither, or any whither else.

Then taking her hand he lead her downe the staires into the Great Court, where stood a Chariot ready waiting for the King in which he and Artbella were carri’d to the Temple, at the Gate whereof they alighted: but before they went into the Temple he lead the Princess all about to shew her the rarity of its structure; the Walls of it being of that kind of Marble call’d Ophites, the ground whereof it [is] Green, diaper’d with blew or purple spots; the Windows were of the purest Christall Glass set in Gold; but the inside was yet more admirable, adorn’d on all sides with statues of the whitest Parian Marble (so call’d from the Isle of Paros remarkable for those Quaries of it which are found there) and of Alablaster; in which Statues were represented the most remarkable stories of Apollo recounted by the Poets; he shewed her there an Altar made of the Horns of Beasts, so artificially contriv’d as it had no thing to cement it; and an Image of Venus given by Thesius, which he had of Ariadne, a Golden Cup given by the Romanes, made of their Wives Jewells which they volluntarily gave to the making of it, and a three-footed stool of massy Gold which was found by the certaine Fisher-men of the Isle of Co and by an Oracle commanded to be sent to the wisest man in Greece; whereupon it was sent to Thales, and by him to Bias, and by him to another, till at last it was sent to Thales again, and by him sent to Apollos Temple here, and many other things too tedious to recount did Alcander shew her.

Upon the Great Altar stood the Image of Apollo, his Face resembling the sun when he appeares most radiant; and on his head was placed a Coronet of such rich and sparkling Stones, as the lustre which they darted so dazled the beholders eyes, that they were no more able to behold them then the Sunne in his Noontide glory. Before this Altar there was a row of Pillasters so richly gilt, as none but might have taken them to be really what they seem’d, further then which, none but the Priest who pronounced the Oracles [fol. 122 r ] was suffer’d to come; and there it was, that those who came either to enquire their Destinies, or to pay their Devotions were to performe their Oriasons: here did the King, and Artabella prostrate themselves to render thankes for those mercies they had receiv’d; and Alcander having first done, arose, and went out of the Temple to wait for the Princesses coming out; but no sooner had she finish’d her Prayer, but the Priest came from behind the Altar (where he always stay’d) to receive the Answers that Apollo gave those that desir’d to know anythinge of their Fates. The Princess Artabella seeing him was much affrighted at his gastly lookes, never before ^having^ seen any One inspir’d with a Prophetick Fury; but endeavouring to resetle herselfe, and looking about for the King, she perceiv’d he was gone forth which till then she had not minded; so that imagining the Oracle was intended onely to her, she listned very attentively to him, and heard him with a strang unusuall voice pronounce these Words.{277}

The Oracle.

Here stay, and expect th’ Destinies Decree
Which never can with Care prevented be:
And Learn with Patience a Loss to beare,
Which if thou wilt, thou quickly mayst repaire.
False Friendship, and ungratfull Love
Will punissh’t be ere thou remove.
To Persias Land return no more
But bound thy thoughts within this Shore.

He having pronounced the Oracle came immediatly to himself again, and went back to the Place whence he came out, where he made no stay, but instantly return’d to Artabella whom he had left in a strang confusion at what he had deliever’d, not being able to apprehend the meaning of it, and the further she div’d into it, she [the] less she understood it: she desir’d the Priest to unfould the Will of the God more clearly if he could. But he having told her he having told her he knew as little the meaning of what he had deliver’d as she did herselfe; adding that Time would declare it by the event, conducted her out of the Temple.

Assoon as she came out she espi’d the King, who had stay’d for her in that Walk that lead to the Gate where they had left the Chariot in which they return’d to the Palace (after she had given the Priest thankes, and presented [fol. 122 v ] him with a Jewell she had brought with her for that purpose). Alcander presently found by some visible marks of trouble he observ’d in her Face that she had learn’d from the Oracle something that pleas’d her not, and fain would he have known what it was, but finding her unwilling to discover it, he curb’d his curiosity, and forbare to press her to tell it him. So soon as they return’d from the Temple dinner was serv’d up, and presently after the Princess Artabella retired to her Appartment to consult with her thoughts how she might interpret that which she had heard from Apollos Priest. But not without a great deall of trouble could she reflect on that loss where which with she was threatned, nor could she imagine what to impute it too.

I have already (said she to herself) lost almost all I have to loose. I have lost my Father, I have lost the King my Uncle (who was a Father to me in his tender Love and Care he expresst towards me), I have lost my whole Estate, and what have I more to loose: ah (pursu’d she with a sigh) I have yet one thing more dear to me then all the rest; and thats the affection of my Deare Phasellus, that, that is it which I have yet to loose; and it cannot sure be anything else that can put my Patience to a stronger tryall, which has been hitherto so great, in all my other afflictions, as I needed not that warning which the Gods seeme to give me if they intended not to overwhelme me with a loss so insupportable. But if I loose him, certainly it must be by Infidelity; or else, what do they meane to speak of punishing ungratfull Love.{278}

Whilst she was thus tormenting herself, the Princess Delizia had sent for Saparilla to performe the promise which Artabella had made her. The King, and Princess were gone into the Garden, and in one of the Arbours waited her coming; but ‘twas not long that they expected ere she came, and being told by Delizia for what cause she was sent for, she without delay, began her relation; omitting nothing that I have told you Madam (pursu’d Celia to Arthenia) of all that concern’d her Mistress. As her birth and education, the manner of Phasellus’s coming into Persia, his Love to Artabella, and her reciprocall esteeme of him, her Fathers death, her leaving the Court after Phasellus’s departure to the Scythian war, her carrying away to Zarispe as she was returning to Susa, her escape thence, the Tempest she suffer’d; and in fine, all that had hapned to her from her Infancy, to that very day the King met with her, and brought her to Delphos; all which Alcander hearkned too very attentively a great while; but when she came to those passages relating to the love of Phasellus and Artabella, he chang’d colour severall times, insomuch as the Princess observing it, could not forbeare asking him how he did: to which (the better to conceale the disorder of his mind) he repli’d he found himself not very well. Which Saparilla hearing would have deferr’d the conclusion of her story til another opportunity; [fol. 123 r ] but he would not permit her, but told her, his Concerns for the Princess Artabella were too great, to suffer with any patience the recitall of her Adventures to be suspended till another time. With that she went on, and in a few words more finish’d her Naration; in which the Princess found a mervellous satisfaction, and gave Saparilla thankes for the pains she had taken to satisfy her desires; and if the King forbore to do the like, it was because he found but little content in what she had told.

Saparilla having perform’d that for which she was sent for, desir’d leave to go to her Mistress whom she had left alone, to whom the Princess Delizia would needs go too; but when they came into in to Artabella, they found her on her Bed, and perceiv’d by the redness of her Eyes that she had newly been a weeping: which Delizia taking notice of, if I thought Madam (said she) that you had receiv’d any new cause of displeasure since your coming hither, I should be much more troubled then you seem to be, and beg you would make me a pertaker of it by telling me what ‘tis afflicts you: but when I reflect on those misfortunes of yours, wherewith (by your permission) I have been made acquainted, I think I need not enquire further the occation of your sadness; nor can I justly blame that mellancholy which clouds the sweetness of your more cheerfull Looks. But though you have been hitherto unfortunate, yet dispaire not; the Heavens no doubt have reserved a happiness instore for you, which they will bestow when you least expect it; they do but give you these present miseries, to make your future felicity the more delightfull.

I wish you may prove a true Prophetess (repli’d Artabella) but I see so little probability of that happiness you would have me hope for, that I should be as vain as I have been unhappie, should I look for any felicity but in my Grave.{279} No no, Dearest Delizia (pursu’d she with a new floud of Teares) tis onely there that Unhappie Artabella must loose that Epithite ^et^.[1]

The Princess strove with all the kindest, and most obliging words she could invent, to comfort her, and when she had a little allai’d her griefe, she left her to go to the King; whom she remembred she had left somewhat indispos’d. The Princess being gone, Artabella call’d Saparilla to her, to tell her the words of the Oracle, to see if her interpretation of it would agree with hers. When she had a great while consider’d it without making any answere, Artabella ask’d her what she thought of it; but I charge (added she) speak your reall thoughts, and do not disguise them to flatter me.

Truly Madam (answer’d she) what you have heard seemes to me so obscure, and intricate; as I cannot for my life conceive the meaning of it, nor am I able to give you the least Light to understand it; onely the command of the Gods for your stay here, is so cleare, and manifest, as it cannot be doubted but tis their Will you should obey them.

But what is that (said Artabella) which I must loose, that they exhort me to beare with Patience.

I cannot devize (answer’d she) unless he who [fol. 123 v ] sent you to Zarispe ceaze on your Estate, and take that from you after he heares of your escape.

Alass (said Artabella) that would be a thing so inconsiderable after my other losses, that I should be but little concern’d for it; but I rather feare ‘tis Phasellus I must be depriv’d off, yes Saparilla without doubt he will ungratfully forsake me, and most unjustly rob me of a Heart which can of right be no bodies but mine; and I ought no longer to delude my self with a beliefe that he still continues Faithfull: the Mist begins to vanish, and I now perceive his neglect of me proceeded from no other cause but from some new Conquest he has made, which makes him slight that too too easie victory he obtain’d o’re most unhappie me.

As Celia was in this part of her story, she saw some Teares drop from Arthenias Eyes, which made her break off her discourse, to aske her why she wept.

I cannot chuse (answer’d she) when I think on those misfortunes which forced from ^me^ that very expression of the Princess Artabellas which you mention’d last: but I beg your Pardon for this interruption, and desire you would proceed. Soe Celia went on.

But if it be so (continued Artabella) what can I do to repaire such a Loss, which I shall never be able to beare without dying: no, I will never out live the griefe and shame it would be to me, to see my self so basely abandon’d by that perfideous man.

Do not admit so ill an opinion of Phasellus I beseech you Madam (said Saparilla) for your owne quiets sake, before you are sure you may justly do it: but suppose he should be so disloyall as you feare, he would be so worthy of your hatered{280} then, that very disdain should make you scorn to spend so much as a sigh for the loss of that, which you can no longer desire to keep, without a meanness of spirit, wherof I have never known you guilty yet. Pardon Madam my liberty of speech, if I presume to tell you, that his Infidelity (which I see little reason why he should be guilty of) should be so far from making you thinke of dying, that you should rather resolve to live, that you may hate as much as you have lov’d him, and banish him your breast, as far as he has banish’d vertue his; and not conserve the least rememberance of him, that may disturbe your quiet.

No Saparilla (repli’d she with her Eyes ready to oreflow with teares) I will to the last minute of my life preserve the memory of him; if for no other end, yet to punish myselfe for loveing so lightly; and for my indescretion, in making so ill a choice.

Ah Madam (said Saparilla) be not so unjust, to revenge anothers Crimes upon your selfe; if you will punish any, let it be the guilty Phasellus; not the innocent Artabella: but that you may know whether you ought to acquit, or condemne him, send into Persia to inquire after him, and let him know where you are, and if he comes not to you, you may then assure your self he is an unconstant man, and by consequence unworthy to hold any place either in your esteeme, or memory.

I am no longer able to live unresolv’d what to conclude (repli’d she) nor can I stay till the return of a Messenger, to expect what the Fates have decreed concerning me, for [fol. 124 r ] tis some consolation to know the worst of ills: therefore I am resolv’d to go for Persia assoon as I can obtain of the King the Favour to furnish me with a Ship for my Voyage.

This discourse was broken off by one of those W^o^emen Alcander had appointed to attend on Artabella, who came in to tell her that there was a man nam’d Serastes who humbly beg’d leave to speak with her; she seem’d very glad to hear he was so well recover’d, and presently sent for him in; whether being come, he address’t him selfe to Artabella thus.

I come Madam (said he) to render you my humblest thankes for the care you were pleas’d to take of my Life; which I had certainly lost, had it not been for that assistance the Good Saparilla (by your command) afforded me; and as I hold my life meerly from your Charity, and Goodness, so I am resolv’d to employ it wholly in your service, if you will but vouchsafe to retaine me, though as the meanest of your servants: and if the zeale, and fidelity wherewith I will serve you, may but excuse my unworthyness of that honour, you shall have no cause to repent you entertain’d me into your service.

Artabella considering how necessary Serastes might be to her in the condition she was, having no servant about her (she could justly call her owne) save Saparilla, whose sex rendred her uncapable of undertaking such things as Serastes might, willingly accepted his proffer.

And though (said she) I have not as yet done any thing to reward the service you have already done me, if the Gods restore me to my former Fortunes, you shall find Serastes you have not serv’d an ungratfull person: but I confess, in the{280} condition I am in at present, I can give you but litle encouragment to hope for any advantage, by quiting your Proffession for my service: but notwithstanding, if you can be content to follow the Fortune of an injur’d Princess, despoil’d of all things by the cruell injustice of her Enemies, if I ever returne to the possession of my just Right, I’ll raise your Fortunes to that height, as you shall have all the reason in the World to be satisfi’d. But what do you intend to do with your Ship, and Goods (added she) and how do you meane to dispose of them.

I intend Madam (repli’d he) to send my Brother away for Bizantium there to dispose of my Goods as I shall give him order; that done, he shall returne hither with the Ship that it may be ready to transport you into Persia when ever you please,

[T]hat will be needless (said she) for I believe the King will furnish me with a Ship; nor will my Occations suffer me to stay so long, as it must of necessity be, ere yours comes back again.

Unless some ill accident fall out (repli’d he) it will not be above ten dayes before it returns.

Nay then (said she) if it will aske no longer time, I’ll rather stay, then importune new Favours from a King to whom I am already so far indebted. Goe then Serastes (continu’d she) and dispatch your Brother, and enjoyn him to make all possible speed hither again.

Serastes being gone, she left her Chamber to go spend the rest of the day with the Princess in the charmes of whose conversation she found so sweet a consolation, as made her oft [fol. 124 v ] wish it were possible she might alwayes enjoy her company in which she took an infinite delight, and could not think of parting from her forever, without a resembling sadness. And as the Friendship of these two Princesses daily increast by the cleerer demonstrations they had of each others admirable qualities, so likewise did the Kings affection for Artabella, which grew to that degree, as it insensibly stole from him all his quiet, and in its steed, left him nothing but doubts, feares, and dispaires: which made him appear quite different from what he had ever been.

All the Court began to be concern’d for so apparent an alteration in their King, but more especially the Princess, who took notice of it with a mervellous trouble, not being able to comprehend the reason of it; though after some serious thoughts she partly suspected the truth, which she gather’d from her Brothers constant frequenting the Princess Artabellas company; being not a minute from her (but onely at such times, as decency or civilty deni’d him access) his ready compliance to all her desires, his studious seeking out all manner of diversions that might any way delight her, the respect he commanded all those about him to give her, and the state wherewith he had caus’d her to be serv’d; which was such, as if she had been his Queen she could not have expected more then what she already had. But all this she would have imputed meerly to his complacence to a Princess whose Illustrious birth gave her a title to that respect the King paid her, without any other motive to incite him to it: but that which most confirm’d{282} her suspition was, his often change of colour, whilst Saparilla was recounting the story of her Mistresses love, and his alteration from that very time. But not long after, when she was alone with him, she took the confidence to aske him the cause of that sadness she had remark’d in him.

If you have observ’d any such thing in me as you say (answer’d he) I assure you tis against my will you have perceived it; for I have endeavour’d to conceal from all the World the trouble of my mind; and if I did not except your selfe Deare Sister (pursu’d he) it was, because I knew you would be more neerly touch’d with griefe for my misfortune, then any one beside, for I know you make all my concerns your owne.

Wave those thoughts Sir I beseech you (said Delizia) and believe it, my ignorance of what afflicts you, creates me a thousand times more cruell apprehensions, then the knowledge of it can. Though I cannot help you, yet if you will but discover to me the cause of your trouble, I may perhaps assist you with my advice, which you have been pleas’d not to disdain upon some occations of importance; but if it affords you no benefit now, I shall beare an equall share in what you suffer; and divided griefes (as I have heard) are by much the more supportable.

For that very reason, I will not tell thee (repli’d the King) for I love thee too well, to load thee with an unnecessary griefe: tis enough to be miserable my self, it were too much to make thee so.

With that he went away, lest she might by her importunity force from him that, which he was very unwilling as yet to let her know, for some perticuler reason besides what he alleadg’d. The Princess had now no longer the least doubt remaining, but that her [fol. 125 r ] Brothers concerns were for Artabella, and that his trouble proceeded from a dispaire of obtaining her affection; which she found so deservedly acquir’d already by another, that it would be not onely the greatest injustice to seek to dispossess him of his Right, but also impossible, should it be attempted; and therfore she was much better pleas’d that the King had refus’d her request, since thereby she was exempted from a necessity of disobliging him, by denying to further him in his unjust pretences, or offending her Friend, by becoming her Brothers Advocate.

The time for Eumetes’s returne was now expir’d, and Artabella began to be troubled at his stay, and resolv’d that if he came not within a few dayes more, not to wait his coming, but to desire a Ship of Alcander, to carry her into Persia, which the next opportunity she had of speaking to him she determin’d to do. She had scarce made this resolve, ere he came into the Room where she was set^t^ing all alone, not having somuch as Saparilla with her. And after some discourse, Sir (said she to the King) my Obligations to your Majesty are already so numerous, that it might seem ungratfull incivility to aske any thing more, where I already owe so much; but such is the necessity of my affaires, that they compell me to beg you will vouchsafe to adde one Favour more to those many I have receiv’d.

You may assure yourself Faire Princess (answer’d he) there is not any thing within my Power which you may not as absolutely command, as if you were Sovereign{283} here, and I your Subject; nor can you count any thing that I have hitherto had the happiness to serve you in, an Obligation to me, without infinitly undervaluing your owne merits; which are such, as you deserve to be obey’d, and serv’d, not by Alcander alone, but by all the Princes in the World beside. Say then Madam, what it is which you desire, and be assur’d whatever you request is granted.

Your words Sir are no less obliging then your actions (she repli’d) wherfore I will not feare, after so free and unlimited a promise to make known my desire; which is onely that you would be pleas’d Sir to lend me one of your Ships to carry me home; I will not long detain it, if the Gods permit; but will returne it you, full fraight with gratfull acknowledgments.

This Demand of Artabellas exceedingly perplex’d the King, not being able to resolve to part with her, and as litle capable of denying her so small a request; without revealing that, which he had resolutely determin’d to keep from her. But after he had a while remain’d silent, as it were to consider what he ought to do in such an exigent, he suddenly turn’d his eyes upon her, with a Look which spake his unwillingness to part from her.

For Heavens sake Madam (said he) do not think of leaving us yet, nor make us not so unhappy to loose you assoon as we have the honour to know you. I know my Sisters Friendship to you is so great, as well as mine, that she cannot without an insufferable trouble dispose herself to loose you so suddenly; at least Madam stay one moneth longer with us I beseech you, that [fol. 125 v ] in that time we may be a litle prepar’d to bid you farewell: but notwithstanding, that you may see how absolute you are here; you may command not onely one, but all the Ships within the Port; or anything else thing else that Delphos can supply you with, when so’ere you please; and I my self will be your convoy, nor will I leave you till such time as I have seen you safely arriv’d where you designe to go.

Pardon me Sir (repli’d she) I had rather be reduced again to extreamities as great, as those you freed me from, then ever permit you should give your self so great a trouble upon my account. I confess (pursu’d she) the griefe I shall resent  [feel] to leave the Princess Delizia (whom I most passionatly love) will not fall much short of what I have felt, for the most weighty of my afflictions; but since your Majesty, nor that most Excellent Princess are not ignorant of that, which presses my departure, I hope neither of you will take it ill that I do that which necessitie constrains me too. Should I stay longer I should but render my trouble the greater (by increasing my affection to Delizia, by a longer enjoyment of her sweet obliging Society) nor will hers be the less: then seeing cruell Fate will have it so, tis better for me to go now, then make a longer stay; unless my presence could be any way serviceable to the Princess or your self.

Though neither she nor I (repli’d the King) ought to expect any thing of service from the Princess Artabella, yet I must tell you Madam, your presence is absolutely necessary to the establishing, or ruining my happiness, by the advice I shall desire of you, in an affaire, in which I am determin’d to be guided onely by{284} your Councell; nor have I discloased that to any One, which I will now to you. Perhaps Madam (continu’d he) you count your self the most unhappy person in the World; but this I can assure you for your comfort (if there be any, in knowing there are others that are more unfortunate then our selves) that I am a thousand times more unhappie (if possible any one can be so) then your selfe.

That would be so far from affording me any comfort (repli’d she) that it would rather afflict me more, could I believe your infelicities held any parallele with mine.

You cannot but acknowledge what I say to be a truth (said he) when I have told you that I love, though you perhaps (as well as others) believ’d me hitherto not in the least touch’d with that passion; but to you Madam who know so well the irresistable power it does assault those hearts with which it once besiegeth, I’ll make no scruple to avowe that which I have endeavour’d with the greatest care imaginable to keep secret from all persons else; assuring my self that you will (taught by your owne experience) pitty me; since my condition does aboundantly need it, not because I love, but because I am not belov’d, nor nere can hope to be; nor does she for whom I must languish out my dayes [fol. 126 r ] in dispaire, so much as know I love her, nor I believe in the least suspect it; for I am sure unless my eyes have betray’d me, my words nor actions never did; for I have let so vigillant a watch over them, that notwithstanding the violence of my passion, I have hitherto preserv’d so high a veneration for her who is the Object of it, as not to give her any mistrust of that which if she knew it, would mortally offend her; and doubtless, change that esteeme wherewith she honours me into hatered, or at least aversion.

Indeed I see but little reason (repli’d she) for you to expect a perticuler kindness from a person who is wholly ignorant of yours, and as little why you should dispaire; since your Majesty may (without presumption) pretend to the greatest Princess whatever, both as to your Dignity, and the merit of your person.

Ah Madam (answer’d the King with a sigh) were that the onely obstacle I had to incounter, I should hope to overcome it and with the greatness of my passion supply all other defects; but I may with Pigmalion court a Marble Statue, and expect as good success: not that I think her I adore to be of a nature so hard, and obdurate, but I know her heart is already prepossest; and now what hopes have I, to gain an enterance there.

I must confess (said Artabella) you are far more unhappy then I could have believ’d you; and methinkes your condition does exceed[ing]ly deserve my compassion, and really your Majesty has as larg an interest in it as you can desire. But permit me Sir to aske; if you knew this person were engag’d, why would you would suffer your selfe to become passionate for her.

Alass (repli’d he) though I know it now, yet was I ignorant of it till after such time as I was my selfe engag’d past all retreat.

But in my opinion (said she) the impossibility there is of obtaining your desires, should have prevail’d with you to lay aside all thoughts of One, from whom{285} you can expect no other returne but her Friendship; unless by infidelity she render herself more worthy of your disdain then Love. At least Sir methinkes you should endeavour to recover your Freedome, and no longer throw away a heart (most worthy of a better Fate) on a person uncapable of accepting it.

It would be invain, should I attempt it (he repli’d) for till I cease to live, I cannot cease from being a Slave to that Vertue, and that Beauty which has made me soe.

Since your Majesty (said she) is pleas’d to honour me with a secret of this nature, and to aske my advice (though you could never have made choice of a person more unfit to be your Councellour, especially in such an affaire as this, where I see I can give you no advice but what you must needs dislike) to the end I may the more freely speake my thoughts, and be ingenious, I must first desire to know what course Sir you propose to your selfe to take in the management of a Passion from which (in all reason, and probability) you cannot look for any thing but unhappiness.

If I should follow the dictates of my passion (repli’d he) I should have recourse to those wayes that Rivalls use; which is either to remove the obstacle to my Felicity, by taking away the life of my Rivall, or else, receiving death from his hand, be freed forever from the Torments of a hopeless Love. But I’ll shun this Path to [fol. 126 v ] happiness, and rather chuse to be eternally miserable; if I can find no other way to Felicity then one so contrary to the respect I have for her my Soule adores; for my Flames being of a more pure, and noble substance then ever burnt in any heart before; makes me resolve to dy a thousand deathes (if it were possible) rather then be a meanes of procuring to my Adored Princess so great a sorrow as (questionless) she would resent, to see herselfe depriv’d of a person deservedly deare to her, no not if I were sure to succeed that happie person in her love, yet would I not purchace that Felicity at so deare a rate, as the price of her displeasure: for if there be a necessity that one must dy, tis fit that I do so for the expiation of my Crime, in dareing to harbour a passion which if she knew it (notwithstanding that Innocence, Purity, and respect wherewith it is attended) might perhaps offend her: but as I have hitherto kept it close Prisoner in my breast, so with the same care will I conceale it from her knowledge till the last minute of my Life; and then it is, that with my latest breath, I’le make her a Confession, which if it displease her, shall likewise at the same time assure her I will no more repeat my fault; and haply, the condition whereinto she has seen me cast my selfe, meerly for my love to her, will inspire her with so much compassion, as may fully recompence all my sufferings.

The King had gone on longer with this discourse, had he not been interupted by the Princesses coming in. But assoon as he saw her enter, he ris up, and going to her, took her by the hand, Deare Sister (said he to her) come and joyne your intreaties with mine, to the Princess Artabella that she may not leave us yet. Yes Delizia (pursu’d he) she is determin’d to forsake us, if your desires be not more prevalent then mine has been to detaine her longer here.{286}

If you cannot Prevaile Sir (repli’d she) I have but little hope to do so, but however, I’ll use all the rethorick I have, to perswade her to alter her resolution.

With that the King took his leave of Artabella, leaving Delizia with her to employ the utmost of that power she presum’d her Friendship gave her with her, to endeavour to make her change her resolve.

I will not beg you Madam (said she) that you should make me alwayes happie in your company, since that would be in me a most unjust request, should I desire, that for my sake you should forever deprive your self of the sight of those whose society ought to be much more dear to you then mine. No deare Artabella, all that I will beg shall be, that you will not kill poor Delizia with so sudden a departure as the King my Brother makes me feare: let me I conjure you by the love you beare Phasellus (or if I knew any spell more charming, I would make use of it) perswade you to defer my sorrow for some little time, and give me not so soon a misfortune so great as I am not able to beare it with any patience, if you do not a little prepare me for it.

If you believe I shall suffer less by this seperation then your self (repli’d Artabella) you have but a meane oppinion of my Friendship; but to let you see Madam how deare you are to me, I protest I could with less regreet abandon Persia and all my Concerns there forever, rather then leave you, did not my passion for him who just now you nam’d [fol. 127 r ] constrain me to it, and seeme to reproove me for so long absenting my self from a place where he is. But how great soever my desire is to see him, I will for a while oppose it, by staying with you some dayes longer if that may give you any satisfaction;

[A]t this promise Delizia was even transported with Joy, and forgot no expression that might testify the greatness of it. One would have thought the King had spoke plainly enough to leave Artabella no cause to doubt, but that he meant herself in all he had said; but so meane was that opinion she had of her owne worth, and excellencies as she never suspected ’twas she that had made that undesigned conquest, and tryumph’d over the liberty of the Delphian King; did yet did she very much desire to know who she was that had inspir’d him with so respective a passion as made him resolve rather to dy, then offend her who was the cause of it. This Heroick, and generous resolution, made her infinitly admire him, and wish he might be as happy in the progress, as he was unfortunate in the begining of his Love; little dreaming she made wishes for his felicity so contrary to her owne; and supposing the Princess might satisfie her in what she desir’d to know, though Alcander had said his passion was unknown to all the World, she yet fancied Delizia might be excepted in that generall number, and therefore resolv’d to aske her, believing she would not deny to tell her, if she knew: soe after she had promis’d her to stay.

Now Madam (said she) that I have given you this testimony of my Friendship I must likewise beg one proofe more of yours; in resolving me one question I shall aske you, promising faithfully never to reveale to any One what I desire to learn from you.{286}

Were it a thing wherein my life were concern’d in the concealing it (answer’d Delizia) I should never distrust the Princess Artabella’s Friendship so far as to keep any thing from her which she desires to know.

I know already (said Artabella) that the King you Brother is passionatly in love; but that which I would be resolv’d of is, who that charming person is that has enthraul’d him.

To tell you positively who she is (answer’d Delizia) perhaps I may deceive you; for to say truth, I am not certaine that I know my selfe; but if you please I’ll tell you who I really believe she is: but because tis impossible for me to describe the admirable beauty of that lovely Creature without injuring her by my imperfect description, tis requisite that I shew you her.

With that, taking a little Looking Glass out of her Pocket, and presenting it to Artabella, see here Madam (pursu’d she) the Face of her who without all doubt has captivated my Brother.

She supposing it to have been a Picture with hast took it of Delizia, but having open’d it, she found nothing in it save the representation of her owne Face; so that claping the glass together, as if she had beheld in it some affrighting object, she gave it her again.

Oh Madam (cry’d she) do not terrifie me with the apprehension of such a misfortune, which I hope the Gods will defend me from, what misery soever else they decree to throw upon [fol. 127 v ] me. But should you once perswade me that this little beauty which Heaven has given me has been so fatall to the Kings quiet, how much should I detest it, and soon should I revoke my promise that I lately made you; for rather then stay any longer in a place where I have been so miserably unhappie, as to procure to a Prince to whom I am so infinitly oblig’d, a misfortune I never can repaire, I should (questionless) throw my selfe into the Sea if I could get hence no other way. But good Delizia (continued she) tell me what reason you have for your opinion.

I have many (answer’d she) but my chiefest is the knowledge I have of your perfections, which the King cannot be ignorant of, unless he be the most insensible man in the World; for such a commanding Power do you carry in your Eyes, as compells all hearts to do you homage. I speak not this to flatter you this (tis a thing beneath me) but out of a just sense I have of your incomparable beauty; besides, I am so perfectly acquainted with my Brothers temper, as I know he scorns to fix a thought on any subject of his owne, how faire, and lovely soever she may be. No Madam, there is none in Delphos (I am confident) can be capable of being Alcander’s Conquerour but the Fair Artabella.

The conquest of Alcander is so glorious (repli’d Artabella) as no Princess need to blush at the obtaining such a Victory; but that, which any but my self would have been proud of, I can look upon as no other then my highest misfortune; even such a One as I would willingly bye off at the price of my life: but all I can hope for is, that when I am gone, those slight Ideas which the King has conceiv’d of me will vanish, and that he will quickly loose those impressions which my ill{288} Fate (rather then any thing of beauty in me) has imprinted in his mind; and that he will soon regain that repose, which if I have rob’d him of, it has been most unwillingly. Therefore tis absolutely necessary that I stay no longer, lest by my presence I augment the Kings passion, and my owne trouble: nor must any consideration whatever, detain me, I will depart to morrow if the Gods permit: and if you believe Madam that you have reason to complain of my breach of promise, and of my sudden resolve, do me that Justice as to impute it to the cruelty of my Fate which will have it so: and let me Dearest Delizia (continu’d she embraceing her) beseech you for the King your Brothers sake, whose quiet ought to be a thousand times more dear to you then the enjoyment of my company for a few dayes: since if this had not hapned, I must within a little time more have taken my leave of you. For his quiet then, I once more beg you would not speak one word to perswade me from my resolution; which is so fix’d as nothing but death shall divert me from it.

No Madam (said Delizia) I will obey you, and onely go let Alcander know the ill success of my intreaties.

With that she went away with a countenance, which sufficently testifi’d the trouble of her mind, leaving Artabella in a discontent nothing inferior to her owne. According as she had said she would go and acquaint the King with Artabellas determination, so she did; and thereby so [fol. 128 r ] heightned his dispaire, as not being able to contain his passion within those limits he had confin’d it too, he beg’d his Sister to retire, and leave him for some few minutes.

Assoon as the Princess was gone from Artabella, Saparilla came in, to whom she related all the discourse that had pass’d between the King, and her, as also that which she had with Delizia: and I am affraid (pursu’d she) the Princess has told me but too true; if so, what will become on me Saparilla, or what can I do to avoid this blow of Fortune: nothing certainly (went she on) but onely fly from the affections of a King to whom my obligations are such, as I cannot (without contracting the guilt of Ingratitude) be so severe as my preingagement ought to make me to any One that should presume to tell me that he loves me; especially when he knowes (as Alcander does) how far I am engag’d. Tis true he has hitherto preserv’d for me a respect so great, as makes me esteeme him as much as in reason he can expect: but alass, I know how little a bare esteeme is able to satisfy a Lover: and though he has yet so much command over his passion, as not to give me the displeasure of knowing from him that I am the cause of it, yet I question whether he will still retaine the same power; and therefore to prevent the trouble that such an acknowledgment would be to me, I do resolve to morrow to leave Del^ph^os; go then, and send Serastes to provide me a Ship to go for Persia, for the King has granted me one, whenever I please to command it.

Saparilla would have oppos’d her so sudden departure with many powerfull reasons; and sought all she could to perswade her to defer her voyage, but till the return of Eumetes; but she appear’d so absolutely bent to do what she had determin’d, that Saparilla saw ‘twas a thing impossible to induce her to change{288} her mind; so that ceasing to importune her further, she went to give Serastes order for the performance of her Princesses command. Which he accordingly having done in a short space after, came and told Artabella there was a Ship lay ready for her service at the Port, when ever she pleas’d to go aboard: which having heard, she quited her Chamber, leaving it to Saparilla to take care to prepare all things in order to their departure the next morning, and went to find out the Princess with whom she meant to spend the remainder of that day.

But long they had not been together ere the King came into the Roome where they were; but with a Face so chang’d and a Countenance so full of sadness, as perfectly shew’d that sorrow wherewith his heart was so o’recharg’d as he was even ready to sink under its weight. Artabella could not but perceive it, and as impossible it was for so good, so sweet a nature as that of hers, but must be extremely afflicted to see a Prince suffer for her sake with so much patience, and so profound a respect. There conversation was very different now from what it had been at other times; and both the King, the Princess, and Artabella also seem’d so sadly Melancholly, that there pass’d no discourse as to but such, as testifi’d their resentments. But Alcander did in so pressing and passionate a manner ^importune^ Artabella for a longer stay, as any one might visibly see the [fol. 128 v ] interest he had in what he so earnestly desir’d; and Delizia so well seconded him, that Artabella had nothing to defend her from their excessive importunaties but her Resolve, which was so firmly setled, as not any thing that could be said was able to shake it, much less prevaile with her to alter her mind.

When night came they all went to their severall Apartments to take their rests, though the King took but little; for so violently was he tormented with multitudes of disquiet thoughts, that the night was scarce half spent ere he fell extream ill; insomuch as his Phisicians were sent for, though to little purpose; for he slighting their advice, obstinatly refus’d all their Prescriptions, expressing much anger against the officiousness of those who had sent for them without his order. The next morning, when Artabella was ready for her departure, and that she had rewarded the services of those W^o^emen the King had appointed to attend her (during her aboad in the Delphian Court) with the gift of some Jewells of good value, she bid them all severally farewell, whilst they with teares declar’d their unwillingness to be discharg’d from their employment. This done, she went ^to^ the Princess’s Chamber to take her leave of her; but not finding her there, she ask’d some of her W^o^emen where she was, who told her she was gone to the King who had been taken very ill in the night: which having heard she sent one of Delizias Maids to give her notice this she was ready to go, and stay’d onely to bid her ad^i^ue and that if she might be permitted without disturbing the King, she would gladly waite on him to take her Leave of him, as also to give him her humblest thankes for all those royall Favours he had honour’d her with.

She who went to tell the Princess this; spake so loud, as the King chanceing to over heare her, started up in his Bed, and pulling open the Curt^ain^, is{290} the Princess Artabella then resolv’d to go (said he). He said no more, but calling for his Clothes, and causing his servants to help him on with them, he instantly arose, notwithstanding his Sisters intreaties, and the Phisicians perswasions to the contrary; who assur’d him he would much prejudice his health by rising. But he told them they were mistaken, for he was not so ill as they imagin’d; but if he were much worse, the consideration of his health (he said) would be too weak to prevaile with him to keep either his Bed, or Chamber at that time. He was almost assoon dress’d as up, and going with his Sister to her Apartment, where he heard Artabella still was; who admiring to see Alcander whom she suppos’d to be in bed, told him she was extreame sorry he should give himself the trouble of coming to her, being (as she had been enform’d) not well.

I am not so ill Madam (he repli’d) but that I both can, and will attend you into Persia, since you are resolved to go; for I will never leave you till I have deliever’d you safe into Phasellus’s hands; that I may thereby in part make him amends for the Injury I [fol. 129 r ] would have done him by detaining you longer from his sight, had it been in my power by prayers, or intreaties to have prevail’d with you.

It were an unpardonable incivility in me (answer’d she) should I suffer your Majesty to abandon the Concerns of your Kingdome upon my account; and expose your Royall Person to the danger of an unnecessary Voyage for my security. I trust the Heavens will take on them my protection; but were I sure to repeat dangers as great as those which by your Goodness I escap’d, nay, were I sure to perish, I had rather do so, then contract a greater Debt, where I already owe so much.

I beseech you Madam (said the King, interrupting her) speak no more of debts, or obligations: for I shall ever deny you owe me any; nor have you any reason so highly to acknowledge that which meere humanity oblig’d me too: and for what I have done since I had the honour to know you, it has been so farre short of what you merit, most Divine Princess, that I ought rather to aske your pardon, then expect any Thankes for ought that I have done: and if I must receive thanks from any One, tis from Phasellus onely that I will accept them: but that I may do somewhat that may deserve them, permit me Madam to convey you safely to him.

No Sir (repli’d she) I can never suffer that; and if you think you have not yet sufficently oblig’d me, do but permit me to take my Leave of your Majesty in this very Place, and I shall take that as the highest Favour you can further imagine to confer upon me.

Many other things she said to divert him from the design he had to accompany her home, whereby she let him know she would by no meanes accept his proffer, so that he was fain to resolve to part from her at the Port, whether (conditionally he would stir no further) she consented he should go with her. The Princess likewise would follow her Brothers example, and waite on her thither too, that she might enjoy her company as long as possibly she could: but being{291} come to the Port, where the Ship lay at Anchour, they were told the Wind was so contrary, as there was no possibility of seting Saile till it chang’d. This troubled Artabella, as much as it rejoiced the King and Princess, and faine would they have perswaded her to returne to the Palace to stay but till the Wind alter’d; but she was deafe to all perswasions of that nature, telling them she would instantly go abord to take the opportunity of the first faire wind: but the Seamen told her it would be much more convenient for her to stay at Land, promising to give her notice assoon as they had a Wind. With this assurance she retir’d to a little house which stood hard by, intending to stay there till her departure; the King accordingly resolv’d to abide there too, so did Delizia till they had seen her imbarke; nor could she prevaile with either of them to leave her till then. The King too soon found the truth of what his Phisicians had told him; for what with the disturbance of his mind, and the little care he took of himselfe, he had not been many houres in that little house, ere he relaps’d into his late indisposition, and in a short space grew so very ill as he was constrain’d to let himselfe be put to bed; which (though the best the house afforded) was a very uneasie one, and far unfit [fol. 129 v ] for a King to lye on.

The Heavens seem’d to oppose Artabellas desire of quiting Delphos, for the Wind continu’d where it was, so long as was never known before: in which time, the restraint Alcander used upon himselfe, to conceale his passion from Artabella to the last moment of his Life, or at least that of her departure which he hourly expected (joyn’d to the neglect of all those remedies he might have found from the skill, and care of his Phisicians; had he not with an immoveable obstinacy rejected all they would have done for the recovery of his health.) So increased his Destemper, as it brought his Life into so manifest a danger, as they began very much to feare it; declaring to the Princess their apprehensions, and that they were as far to seek for the cause of his Indisposition, as the reason why he shew’d so much contempt of life, as to refuse all meanes of preservation; beging her to perswade him to be remov’d to the Palace, before such time as his weakness render’d him unable to endure it. Which she accordingly did, representing to him the inconvenience he suffer’d by staying there. But he told her, if she could perswade the Princess Artabella to returne with him, he would instantly be remov’d, otherwise he was resolutly determin’d not to stir as long as she was there. She having receiv’d this Answere from him, went immediatly to Artabella, and in so pressing a manner beseech’d her to go back to Court, and there stay but till the Wind serv’d, as she had not the heart to deny her: but told her, rather then the King should in any hazard of his life, or sustaine any further inconvenience upon her account, she would condescend to her request, on condition she would not obstruct her departure by any more intreaties; which Delizia promis’d faithfully she would not and return’d to the King her Brother, to let him know she has prevail’d with Artabella to go back with them; which she having assur’d him of, he gave command a Litter should be instantly brought for himselfe, and a Chariot for the two Princesses.{292}

But all that the Docters could do could hardly keep him from falling into a sowond [swoon] assoon as they had laid him into his Bed again, such was his extreame weakness. The poor Princess stir’d not from him either day, or night, but witness’d by her incessant Teares how infinitly deare he was to her. The King receiv’d an addition to his trouble by the sight of her griefe, and strove all he could to give her that comfort which she was uncapable of, so long as she beheld him in a condition, in which if he remain’d but a few days longer, she apparently found, she must forever loose him: neither could Artabella herselfe behold him in so desperate an estate (courting Death by shuning all meanes conduceing to his recovery) and think herself the cause of his dispaire, without a resembling sorrow. She believ’d she was oblig’d in civility to visit him as frequently as with decency she might, lest he should account her ungratfull, [fol. 130 r ] or believe she had some suspition of his Passion which induced her to refraine seeing him; these reasons made her visit him oftner then otherwise she would have done. He grew every day much worse then other, and was at last so very weak as the Phisicians affirm’d it to be an impossible thing for him to live if he would not use some meanes to preserve his Life; but so far was he from hearkning to their perswasions, as he seem’d exceedingly to rejoyce when they told him he must die.

But his Joy at that assurance was not greater than Delizias griefe, for she appear’d even halfe distracted at it, and weeping most bitterly: ah Sir (said she to him) is Life so inconsiderable a thing as you will take no care to keep it; or which is worse, will you become guilty of your owne death: if you will not live for your owne sake, yet live for mine; since I neither can nor will live without you: be not so cruell then to kill a Sister who has heretofore been very deare to you: but if you are resolv’d to dy, for pities sake command that I be put to death immediatly, that so I may be freed from that tormenting sorrow, which I must suffer else to part from you forever.

Could I be guilty of so horrid a barbarisme (repli’d he) as to take thy life away. I should indeed be cruell even to the highest abstract. No Dearest Sister (pursu’d he taking her by the hand) you must live, and live happy too I hope, though I must dye the most unfortunate of men: nor can you without that cruelty you accuse me of, desire that I should live, since I cannot do so without suffering torments each houre more intollerable then the most rigorous death that ever was invented. Then seeing Death is onely that which can free me from so much misery, why do you grieve to see me have recourse to the onely remedy that is left me; if I deprive you of a Brother, I leave you in exchange a Crowne.

You may bestow it on some other (said she with a new flood of teares) who will with thankes receive it, but for my part I declare I never will; for I’ll not live a minute after I have lost you; and if my griefe be too weake to send me to you, I’ll send my selfe by the help of my resolution.

She had scarce pronounced these words ere he fell into a fainting Fit, which the Princess seeing, thought verily he was just dying, whereat she gave a great Shriek and fell downe in a swound; but she was presently taken up, and carried{293} into another Roome, where some of her Wemen being call’d to her endeavour’d to bring her to life again, whilst those about the King did the like by him.

The Princess Artabella being in her owne Apartment (which was not far distant from the Kings) heard the Princess cry out, which made her apprehend somewhat of danger in Alcander: she stay’d not to enquire, but went herselfe to see what the matter was; but no sooner was she come in, but she perceiv’d him to lye pale and senseless, with his Phisicians about him useing their uttmost skill to fetch him to life again: so great was her trouble to see him in that condition, as she never mist the Princess, nor ever thought so much as once to aske where she was. When the King was come perfectly to himself, he beheld the Princess Artabella standing by his Bedside, leting fall some teares which pity drew [fol. 130 v ] from her Fair Eyes; and turning towards her as well as he was able, with a feeble voice he said. If I am the occation Madam of those precious Teares you shed my condition is yet worthy of envie; since it has mov’d you to express some compassion for my supposed death. But alass (pursu’d he sighing) your pity soon will cease, when once you know what tis that drives me to my death, which I feare you will account too gentle a punishment for my fault: but that I may not dye unpardon’d, tis necessary that I confess my Crime, which I will never do to any but yourselfe. Therefore I beseech you Madam afford me the Favour of some few minutes in private, that I may have time to make you this Conffession.

With that, not staying for her answere, he commanded all that were present to retire. She knew already but too well what the King intended, and dreaded that declaration which she expected, but knew not how to avoid; for so long was she considering what reply to make, that she was left alone, and thereby constrain’d to hearken to him: so that seating herself in a Chaire which stood by the Bed, with a trouble I am not able to represent (continu’d Celia) she heard him say.

Tis not till the last minutes of my Life Madam that I have presum’d to tell you, that tis the Princess Artabella whom I adore with a respect unparallel’d. Yes Fairest Princess, tis those inevitable charmes of yours, whose power I have not been able to withstand, that have setled so deep a passion for you in my soule, that Death it selfe cannot destroy it. I gave you my heart with an intire resignation assoon as I beheld you, I lov’d you ere I knew who ‘twas I lov’d; and had your birth been as ignoble as it is illustrious, yet would not my passion have been at all thereby diminish’d: but I must confess after I knew your heart was already dispos’d of, I strove all that I was able to recover mine, and to resume that Liberty which at your Feet I had resigned; but all my endeavours were invain, and my resistance serv’d to no other purpose but to enslave me more, and tye my Chaines so fast, as nothing but Death, or you have power to free me; and thankes to Heaven, I have now made so faire a process towards the regaining of my Liberty, that I speedily ^hope^ to receive it from the hand of Death, since from you Madam I never can expect it; unless it were possible for you to become unconstant, and unjust, which I dare not sin so much against you[r] Vertue as once to{294} wish you might: for though I love you for your beauty, yet tis for your Vertue Divinest Princess that I adore you most. That being then, the chiefest object of my passion, I will never be so unworthy as in the least to tempt you to a violation of that which I prize highest in you: for such is the sacred respect I have for your honour, that I rather chuse to dye then to desire, that for my sake you should condescend to any thing that might in the least degree blemish the purity of your Fame, by a breach of that Fidelity you owe my happie Rivall. All then Madam that I’ll implore shall be, that I may not dye hated, since I could not live belov’d; and that when I have seal’d to you with my last breath the greatness of my passion, you will then believe I lov’d you more, then ever any did: and that though I am more unfortunate, I am not [fol. 131 r ] more unworthy of your esteeme then him whom you are oblig’d to prefer before me.

At these words Artabella but burst out into an extreame passion, weeping excessively, not being able to let the King proceed.

If I am so deare to you Sir (said she) as you would have me believe, sure my content, and quiet would have been so too: and seeing you resolv’d to dye, why would you not as well resolve to dye in silence; and thereby have exempted me from that eternall sorrow it will imprint upon my soule to know I am the cruell (though innocent) occation of your death: for Heaven knowes I never contributed to the loss of that Freedome which you accuse me to have taken from you; which if I have, I would more willingly restore it, then ever you resign’d it me. Then why Sir do you (by a Declaration so full of Love, and Generosity) reduce me to the necessity of becoming the most ungratfull, or the most perfideous Woman in the World. False to Phasellus I will never be; and you your selfe Sir have generously assur’d me you never will desire I should; nor would I be ungratfull, knew I but which way to avoid it: for there is not any thing wherein my Honour, or my Fidelity is not concern’d which I would not do to acquit my self in part of what I owe your Majesty, or to preserve your Life; which to save I would most freely give my owne. But alass (pursu’d she sighing) all that I am capable of is onely to confirme to you that Friendship I have already given you; and though I cannot give you the first place in my affection, yet to give you an equall one in my esteeme.

Ah Madam (repli’d the King) I shall derive but little satisfaction from your esteeme (how great soever tis above my merit) if you can give me nothing else; for I know many that esteeme those they mortally hate, though I cannot thinke you so cruell to hate One who never willingly offended you.

But though my Esteeme be so indifferent to you Sir (interrupted she) my Friendship yet will certainly be more considerable, if your Majesty rightly understands what tis to be a Friend; for admit (as you say) One may hate the person of those whom for their vertues they esteeme, yet doubtless we can have no reall Friendship for any, but such as we love in a very high degree; which I will not scruple to acknowledge I do you Sir, as far as Friendship can oblige me: of which, I think I give you no small evincement, since that consideration alone has induced me to give eare to a discourse so offencive to me, and so contrary to that{295} Fidelity I owe him to whom I have given my Faith, without being transported to an excess of anger; which questionless I had been, had not my Friendship, together with that sad condition, wherein (to my griefe) I behold you, moderated my just resentments, and insteed of anger, inspir’d me with that Compassion your misfortune merits: but though I pitty, I can never pardon you, unless you abandon all thoughts, and desire of dying, and endeavour likewise to cast off a Passion so destructive to my quiet, and your owne repose: try Sir, but to oppose it with all the Forces of your Reason, and doubt not but to obtain a Victory, which if once gain’d, will give your Majesty a more reall satisfaction, then if you could tryumph over my Constancy.

That Essay Madam (said he) is not now to make; but my vain, and fruitless endeavours assures me Reasons power is much too weak to overcome my passion; for even that very reason [fol. 131 v ] which you would have me oppose my passion with, compells me to adore you, and perswades me to love, what in the World is most worthy to be lov’d (which is yourselfe) so that unless Madam you can become less Lovely, less admirable then you are, tis impossible I should find any reason strong enough to banish an affection from my heart that had its originall rather from Reason, then Passion. Methinkes then Fairest Princess (went he on) you should find little or no cause to be offended with a Love so full of Innocen[c]e, and respect; for great, and violent as it is, it shall never force from me one sillable that justly may displease you, nor ever compell me to request ought from you that Phasellus (were he here) would forbid you to grant. For I neither hope, nor will I aske to be beloved, I’ll onely beg Madam, you will permit me to love you, without making your hatred, or aversion the reward of that affection.

I must be faine (repli’d she) to permit what I cannot help, from a person to whom I am redeuable [grateful] for my Life; but were your passion yet more blameless then you represent it, I must conjure you Sir for your owne quiet, to cast it off; since you can never hope to reape any satisfaction by it: and live Alcander I beseech you, at least so long as till I am resolv’d whether will more afflict me; your death, or the continuance of your Love.

With that, not staying for his answere she ris up, and went out of the Chamber; and finding some of his servants waiting at the Dore, she told them they might go in when they pleas’d: and remembering she had not seen Delizia with the King when she came in, nor that she had not been with him since, he fanci’d she might not be well; so that going to see; she found her thoughts had not deceiv’d her, for when she came into her Chamber, she saw her laid upon her bed, in the posture of a person very much indispos’d: and expressing her trouble at it, began to blame her that she had not let her know it.

I had sent for you (said the Princess) but that I was told you were with the King my Brother, who I was unwilling to deprive of such a Felicity as your company; which I know is deare to him at all times, but more especially now; when all the comfort you can afford him is less then his condition does require.{296}

I know not what satisfaction he has deriv’d from my presence, but for my part I found but little in a discourse he made me, which you would have done me an infinite kindness to have freed me from, by sending for me away.

Will you not tell me (repli’d Delizia) what it was my Brother said to you.

Yes (answer’d Artabella) you may be confident you are too deare to me to keep any thing as a secret from you that concerns my selfe.

But just as she was begining to tell her, she was interupted by Saparilla, who came to beg her pardon for something, which (she said) she had presum’d to do without her knowledge, or approbation; but ‘twas my zeale to your service Madam (pursu’d she) that mov’d me to it; and it has fallen out so happily to my wishes, that I trust I have rather oblig’d then displeas’d you by it.

Whatever it be you need not doubt my pardon ^(said Artabella)^ since I assure my selfe [fol. 132 r ] you would not willfully do any thing that in reason might displease me.

I must confess then Madam (said she) tis I that have been the occation of your stay in Delphos so much longer then you intended, by giving Eumetes privat orders to go into Persia, and enquire after Phasellus: he is just now return’d, but what newes he brings I know not, for I had not patience to stay to aske him: but he has brought with him One who will certainly enforme you of all things that has hapned since you left Persia.

Who is it (hastily repli’d Artabella)

Mexaris, Diomeds squire (answer’d Saparilla).

Whereupon Artabella not thinking it proper to send for him into Delizias Chamber went to her owne: after she had beg’d the Princess to excuse her if her impatient desire to heare of Phasellus constrain’d her to leave her so abruptly, promising to returne to her again ere long, and then acquaint her with the Kings Discourse.

But, Celia perceiving Arthenia of a sudden to turne extreamly pale, brake off her relation to aske her if she were well; indeed I am not (arswer’d she) for I find all my Spirits ceaz’d in such a manner, as I am not able to tell you how I am: but sure if I continue long so, I shall believe Death will be so kind as to release me of all my miseries, ere many dayes are past.

Oh Heavens Madam (cry’d Celia) why would you not tell me that you were ill.

Your Story was so pleasing (she repli’d) as I was willing to endure as long as I was able rather then interrupt you: but if you please I’ll go to bed, and if I can sleep, perhaps I may be better.

Faine would Celia have sent for the Queens Phisician to her: but she would by no means consent to it.

I am most extreamly troubled deare Arthenia (said Celia) to see you so ill; and the rather in regard of a custome we have, which permits no person (except our Kings, and Queens) to dy in Delphos; so that if there appear any danger of death in any One, they are instantly remov’d to a little Island not far off (call’d Rhene){297} where they are to be buried if they dy, or else to remaine there till such time as they are perfectly recover’d: this I could not but let you know, that you may not count us Inhumane Creatures to send you into a strang Place in the condition you are in; since tis one of those Divine Laws instituted by Apollo himselfe (to whom I suppose you know this Isle is dedicated) and therefore not to be     violated; so that if once the Phisicians doubt your recovery, you must instantly be carried thither. But this for your comfort I’ll assure you, you cannot be more carefully look’d too, or more dilligently tended in any place then you will there; for the Inhabitants are onely such as are appointed to attend sick persons, with all conveniencies imaginable: and to be sure I will my selfe waite on you thither, and never leave you, till you leave the world, or Heaven restore your health, as I hope it speedily will.

I should be sorry (repli’d Arthenia) you should impose on your selfe so great a trouble, but yet I know not how to refuse your kind proffer, since your obliging company is the onely comfort that is left me in this miserable World. After this she went to bed, but not one wink of sleep that she could get so violent, and raging a pain had she in [fol. 132 v ] her head; very hot, and Feavourish was she all the night, and grew still worse and worse; so that the next morning assoon as Celia could come to speak with the Queen, she went and acquainted her with what a Violent Distemper Arthenia was ceas’d, which she was very much concern’d to heare, and immediatly commanded two of her owne Docters should go to her; and so soon as she was up, gave her the honour of a visit; and hearing the Phisicians speake dubiously concerning her, not knowing well what to make of her distemper, but both concluding it was necessary she should be sent to Rhene ere she grew worse, she gave order that the best house in the Island should be made ready for her reception, with all requisit accommodations; (preventing the request Celia was about to make) commanding her and Amena to go with her, and see that she were no less carefully look’d too, then if she herself were in the like case: and whilst she aboad in Rhene, Ermillia sent daily to enquire of her health, which by the goodness of Heaven and the diligent endeavours of those about her, in the space of twelve, or fourteen dayes she so well recover’d, as she was able to walk out a little to take the Aire, which the Phisicians affirm’d to be very good for her.

But one day as Celia and she were viewing the Monuments of those that were there inter’d (which were very num^e^rous as being the onely place of sepulture for all Delphos) amongst them they espi‘d one that challeng’d a more perticuler regard then any of the rest, not for the richness, but the strangness of it, being nothing but a heap of rude unpollish’d stones; yet placed in so good order in the forme of a Piramid as requir’d a great deall of ingenuity to fix them so regulerly; on the Top of it was placed a Wreath of Myrtle and Cypress intermix’d, and round about it on the Ground were Flowers strew’d; which were so fresh as they seem’d to have been but newly gather’d and brought thither to adorn that Grave.{298}

About the midle of the Piramid, there was one White stone about a Foot square, and on it engraven in Scielian characters these words

Here rests secure
From Fortunes crueltly, and Love’s tyrany
The Fairest
And, most Unfortunat of Woemen.

The Character wherin this was writ, made Arthenia conclude, this unhappy One to be of her owne Country, which inspir’d her with a very great curiosity to know who, and what she was; and having seen a woman pass from the Grave as they came towards it, with a Basket in her hand, she fancied that might be she who had strew’d those Flowers on it; and thinking if she could but over take her, she might possibly from her obtain that information she was soe [fol. 133 r ] desirous of, she made known her desire and opinion to Celia, who concur’d with her in it, and praying her to set downe, she told her she would follow the Woman and try if she could overtake her; which if she could, she doubted not but she should perswade her to come back and satisfie her in what she so much wish’d to know: but scarce was Celia gone out of sight, ere she perceiv’d that same Woman going on her way, a very slow and leasurly pace, which mov’d her to hasten hers, so as in a little time she overtook her; and demanding if it were not she that had strew’d the Grave of that so Faire, and Unfortunat person with those Flowers; she repli’d she was, whereupon Celia intreated her in so c^o^urti^e^ous[2] and obliging a manner to go back with her to that Tombe, and resolve a Lady that waited there for her returne, who that person might be, as she could not refuse her request.

But no soon was she come to Arthenia, but she instantly knew her to be Ambracia; at whose sight she was but too well assur’d that Unhappie One that there lay buried was no other then her so long lost Friend the Faire Ianthe; but though she knew Ambracia, yet so had her afflictions, together with her late sickness changed her, as Ambracia knew not her till such time as she spake; but then immediatly calling her to mind, with wonder to see her in that place, she threw herself at her Feet, and embraceing her knees with Teares that had in them a mixture both of Joy and Griefe. Oh Heavens Madam (cry’d she with precipitation) what Fate has brought you to my Deare dead Mistresses Grave, was it designe or chance.

The last I assure you Faithfull Ambracia (repli’d Arthenia) for little did I dreame of finding her in Rhene whom I lost in Sicilie: but alass, tis little satisfaction to find her thus as to be assur’d I have now lost her forever, Ah poor Ianthe (pursu’d she with a Flood of Teares) I now too well perceive thy miseries ne’re knew an end but with thy life; but Oh how dull was I that could not know by the{299} Inscription on thy Tombe, that thou layst there, for who could be so justly stil’d the most Unfortunate of Woemen as thy selfe. O Ambracia (said she to her) how do I admire thee for thy Fidelity, and love thee for thy Constancy, that neither in life, nor yet in death wilt abandon thy beloved Mistress.

No Madam (she repli’d) there is not any thing whatever, can force me from her, and tis my onely comfort that I can each day offer up my Teares upon her Tombe as a testimony of my endless sorrow for a loss I never can repaire, and deck with Flowers this poore Monument (which in memory of her I have erected) which is my daily employment.

But will you not tell me (said Arthenia) what mishap it was, that drave Ianthe so suddenly from Palermo, and brought her hither.

That would I most willingly Madam (she repli’d) had she not with her expiring breath enjoyn’d me not to discover to any one that knew her the last and greatest of her misfortunes, and therefore I hope you will not take it amiss if I refuse you a satisfaction, which I cannot give you without a violation of my promise.

No (said Arthenia) [fol. 133 v ] I am so far from taking your refusall ill, that I esteeme you the more for it; for I will never desire you should bleamish your Fidelity to satisfy me by a breach of that Trust my Friend repos’d in you.

Fain would Arthenia and Celia have perswaded her to have gone along with them; but she beg’d their excuse for that day, promising she would not faile to wait on them ere it were long, and so took her leave after Arthenia had told her where she might find her. This accident had infus’d into the mind of Arthenia so much sadness, as she seem’d wholly possest with melancholy; which to divert, Celia told her that if she pleas’d she would now finish the remainder of Artabellas Concerns; to which she having assented, in these words she reassum’d her discourse.

  1. Epithite with “ite” underlined and “et” inserted above in darker ink. 
  2. The correcting hand inserts “o” between “c” and “u” and then underlines “i” and inserts “e” above; “curtious” is amended to “courteous.” 


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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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