{Print edition page number: 300}

Rivall Friendship


The Third Book

You may remember Madam (said Celia) that the Princess Artabella was gone from Delizia to her owne Appartment to receive Mexaris; whether she was no sooner come, but Saparilla brought. Assoon as Artabella saw him enter, she perceiv’d so great a sadness in his Lookes, as from thence she drew an Omen of some ill events: but however she gave him a very kind reception for his Masters sake, of whose health and wellfaire she perticulerly enquir’d, and ask’t Mexaris what occation had brought him thither.

The cause of my coming hither Madam (answer’d he) was to enforme you of some things wherein you are most nearly concern’d; and had I not by accident from Eumetes heard of your being here, my search for you must not have ended but with my life, unless I had been asured you had been no longer in the World to have been found; far so was I commanded by my dear Master ere he died.

What is that you say Mexaris (interrupted she) is the brave Prince Lucius dead; and is it true that I have liv’d to lament the death of the Gallantest of men, and my most generous Friend; sure I was born for nothing but misfortunes. Ah (continu’d she with a shower of teares) how deservedly deare ought his memory to be to all Persia in generall, but to me in a more perticuler manner. O how justly may the Scythians boast of the revenge they have taken on the Persians for all their losses, [fol. 134 r ] since they have depriv’d them both of their King, and their most Valiant Champion, two men whose lives were each of them more considerable then an Empire.

Though the Scythlans tryumph’d over the life of Achemenes (said Mexaris) they cannot boast they did so over my Masters; for after he had died their Fields with the blood of thousands of them, subdu’d the whole Kingdome, taken Oruntus Prisoner and reduced him to that estate as to impose on him what Conditions he pleas’d, establish’d a perpetuall League of Amitie between both the Kingdomes, and return’d a victorious Conquerour into Persia; he there (instead of those Tryumphs his renouned Valour merited) found his death; not from the sword of a proffessed Enemy, but from the secret treachery of a perfidious Friend.

I had thought (repli’d Artabella) he had died of those Wounds he receiv’d in Scythia when the last battell was fought.

No Madam (answer’d Mexaris) he died not then, but happie had it been for him if he had, for then had his destiny been as glorious, as his Fate afterwards was lamentable. But I beseech you Madam stope the Current of your Teares a while (continu’d he seeing her weep still), for ere I have finish’d my story I shall{301} tell you such thing as will but too justly require them from you: but ere I proceed, I must beseech you Madam to summon all your Courage, and arme your selfe with all imaginable Patience, for all the assistance you can find will be little enough to help you to support what you must suffer thorow what I am to tell you. I confess I had much rather you should have learn’d your misfortune from any one then me, but that my Masters commands (which I dare not disobey) oblige me to acquaint you with it: nor would he (I know) have laid such an Injunction on me, could you alwayes have remain’d ignorant of your unhappiness, but believing it could not be forever hiden from you, he thought me fitter then another to bring you such unwellcome tydings, in regard he knew ^none^ but myself could acquaint you with the reall truth.

O Mexaris (said she) what is it you design by this discourse; and what strange Tragedie do you intend to represent, that your Prologue speakes so much of terrour: but let me know the worst I conjure you, for come the worst that can, I am prepar’d to suffer it.

To give you this relation then, tis necessary Madam (said he) that I tell you things in order as they hapned; which that I may the better do, I must begin from the time that we left Persia.

This he did, relating all those things I have already told touching the Progress and end of the Scythian War, the Discourse that hapned between his Master and Phasellus, concerning Artabella, which inspir’d her with a just anger at his Inconstancy; but her displeasure was something appeaz’d by his seeming repentance which the conclusion of the Discourse seem’d to inferre: he then went on to the Princess Clazomena’s story, all which Madam you have already heard (said Celia) and therefore need not again repeat it, but begin from the Marriage of Cydarius, and Clazomena (where we left) which was within a few dayes solemniz’d to the great Joy and [fol. 134 v ] content of all Scythia. My Prince (continu’d Mexaris) sent home the remaines of his Armie under the command of Astianax assoon as the Peace was concluded, retaining onely Barsarnes and some few others to attend him back. But no sooner was the Marriage past, and that my Prince had seen his Generous Friend with his Faire Princess crown’d King and Queen of Scythia, but he return’d to Persia, litle imaging imagining how injurious that short stay had been to him. He took his leave of the Queen, in Issedon who testifi’d a mervellous esteeme of him for treating Cydarius so generously when he was his Prisoner, and even loaded him with gallant expressions of her Friendship, which he was not backward in returning; but the young King, and Oruntus would needs accompany him to the River Oxus which seperates the two Realmes, where they bad him farewell; which Cydarius could not do without teares, as witnesses of his unwillingness to part from him: Oruntus too, whose unjust hatered was converted into as reall a Love, could not bid him ad^i^ue without regreet; which after he had done, they return’d to Issedon, and we pursu’d our Journey.{302}

When we were come within two dayes journey of Susa we were met by about some fiftie horsemen, who being come almost to us, the foremost of them rode up to my Master, and bowing to him with much respect.

Sir (said he) may I obtain the favour to speak a word with you in private.

My Prince being the most courteous person in the World, refus’d not his request, but galloping a little from his Company with him, and making a stand, demanded of him what he had to say.

With that he presented him a Little Note saying, it was onely to deliver this to you Sir from Queen Oriana that I desir’d you to withdraw. At the name of Oriana my Master blush’d, and taking the Paper with an inward trembling (occation’d by a certaine Joy, and Feare which equally possess’d him) he open’d it and therein read these words.

Oriana Queen of Persia to the Illustrious Diomed.

There hath lately hapned some trouble in Susa, which if not prevented may break forth into an intestine Rebellion: my desire therefore is to confer privatly with you, before tis known you are return’d, that as I owe my Crowne, and the peace and tranquillity of my Kingdome to your Valour, so is it by your advise that I would preserve it: to which end I have sent him who brings you this (with the rest of his Companions) to conduct you to me. Bring none with you but Barsarnes, and Mexaris, nor acquaint none with this affaire but they, and make all possible speed to assist with your Councell her who desires to be indebted to you alone for all the happiness of


[fol. 135 r ] He, having read these words, rid up to us again, calling Barsarnes and I aside he gave us to understand the Contents of the Queens Letter; and telling the rest of his company that some business of great concernment oblig’d him to leave them for the present, but he hop’d to overtake them ere they reach’d Susa; however, in case I should not, speak nothing of my returne till you see me: with this Charge they departed, leaving my Master, Barsarnes, and my selfe to the conduct of those men.

That night we came to the Castle of Shiras, where we were told the Queen expected us; but we were scarce within the Gates, ere our swords were ceaz’d on, and we disarm’d before such time as we could suspect in the least any such thinge. My Generous Master was so surpriz’d as he had not the power to oppose them; for seeing himselfe betray’d into a Prison as the reward of all his brave achievements; I am not able to represent that rage and astonishment which possess’t him thereat; his Face was in an instant o’respread with fiery blushes, and his eyes so sparkled with fury that for my part I trembled to behold him: nor were Barsarnes’s resentments [sentiments] more moderate, onely his left him the liberty of speach; which my Masters did not.{303}

For breaking out into a most violent anger against the Queen (more upon my Masters account then on his owne) Is it thus (cry’d he) that the Queen intends to recompence those that have spent the better part of their blood in her quarell, and who would have shed each drop they have left rather then she should not have been absolute in her Dominions; but if Loyalty be thus rewarded, who will henceforth care to be a Faithfull subject. Ah Queen (pursu’d he) unworthy of the Royall house of Persia, and m[o]st unworthy to be Daughter to the Illustrious Achemenes, the most Gratfull, and obliging Prince that liv’d: though your Soveraignity gives you a^u^thority to enslave me; yet what right can you pretend over a Prince who depends not on you; nay to whom you owe that very Crowne you weare. But perhaps Sir (continued he turning to my Master) tis because she knowes you have merited more then she is willing to repay, or acknowledge; and therefore has caus’d you to be shut up within these Walles; lest by your presence you should make her blush for her Ingratitude.

At first my Masters rage inspir’d him with thoughts much resembling these, but that passion wherewith he lov’d Oriana; soon repell’d them, and in their place intraduced others more reasonable; for loving her with a most perfect affection, it was not possible for him long to suffer so ill an opinion of her to harbour in his mind, nor was he able to let Barsarnes go on with his Invectives, but interrupting him. Leave off Barsarnes (said he) to inveigh against the Queen, who is (I dare affirme) as ignorant of this ignoble usage of us, as we our selves were free from suspecting that Treachery wherewith we were decoy’d hither. That we are betray’d is most certaine, but that Oriana has any hand in it I cannot see the least shew of reason for it; for to what end should she have recourse to stratagemes to make us Prisoners, when she might openly have attach’d our liberties, having the sole power of Persia in her hands. Besides she knew, she retain’d so absolute a [fol. 135 v ] Soveraignity over me that had she demanded my life of me I should have given it her without dispute. Therefore I am rather induced to believe upon calmer considerations, that some wicked person, envious of the glory I have gain’d (well knowing I have too great an influence on the Peoples hearts, for them to attempt openly to injure me) have contriv’d with subtelty to undermine me so as they may securely worke my destruction.

I confess (replied Barsarnes) there is so much of likely hood in what you say, and so little probability of that which the first impressions of my fury made me believe of a Princess, whom having known from her Infancy (I must needs acknowledge) I never observed in her the least inclination to any thing that was not agreeable to the grandure of her birth: therefore I am most heartily sorry I should so rashly fly out into reproaches against her, and should be more so, did not that Letter leave some scruples in my mind which I know not how to reconcile.

Do you know the Queens hand (said my Prince) for my part I declare I do not.

No Sir (answered Barsarnes) I never saw any thing of her writing in my Life.{304}

Whilst they were thus discoursing he that deliever’d the Letter to my Prince came into the Roome, whom he no sooner beheld but he turn’d away his Face for very griefe and anger to see himselfe reduced to such a condition, as not to be able to revenge that Treachery whereof he had been (though not the contriver) yet the Executer: but Barsarnes at his sight, new kindleing those Flames of Anger, which were partly before extinguish’d, and darting a furious Look at him.

Tell us base Instrument of Treachery (said he) who that Unworthy Person is, that has employ’d thee to betray us; and think not to deceive us any longer, by making us believe the Queen has any hand in thy fine Cheat: if thou hast any spark, of Vertue in thee confess thy Crime, and no longer endeavour, to bleamish the glory of thy Soveraign, by rendring her suspected of such things as I know she scorns so much as once to let into her thoughts.

Your beliefe is at liberty ^(repli’d he)^ but you are my Prisoner, and therefore think not my self obliged to give you an account of what you demand: onely this I will tell you that if you support your Imprisonment with moderation, it may perhaps neither be so long, nor so intollerable as you believe.

Prisons (said my Master exceedingly incens’d at his imperious reply) were ever insupportable to generous Spirits, but much more when they have such Jaylours as thy selfe. O Heavens (pursued he) have I the heart and courage of a Romane, and can I suffer this and live. No, were it not that I trust the Gods who deliever’d me out of the King of Scythias power, will ere long free me from thine, I would assuredly follow Cato’s example, and teare out my owne Bowells (could I find death no other way) rather then endure this vile indignity that is offered me.

You may kill your self if you please (replied he) but I shall look well enough to you, not to [fol. 136 r ] let you escape, theough my Brother guarded the Princess Artabella so ill as she got from him.

What Mexaris (interrupted Artabella) was it Ozmins Brother that was your Princes Jaylour and could that Villain find no other place to make his Prison but my house. I wish it had been liad [laid] levell with the Ground rather then employ’d to so ill a use. But I begin to perceive that those who were the cause of Diomed’s misfortune were likewise the occation of mine.

Tis very true Madam (he replied) they were so and tis as true that both your misfortunes are so linked together that I cannot recount the one without the other. But to proceed (went he [Mexaris]on) my Prince was beyond all patience so transported at his Keepers last words that I verily think he would have flown upon him unarmed as he was, had he not that very instant left the Roome and fastned the Dore after him.

No Villain (cry’d he) I will not kill my selfe, I’ll live (unless thou treacherously takest away my life as thou hast my Liberty) if for no other end, yet to be reveng’d on thee for those rude disdainfull answers, and to make thee know the difference there is between the Heire of Rome, and such a cative as thou art.{305}

But after a little silence turning to Barsarnes. What was it (said he) that the Villain said concerning the Princess Artabella; have they imprison’d her as well as me.

Yes Sir (answer’d he) it seemes so by what that Fellow said.

Nay then live (added my Fenerous [generous] Prince) I must live to revenge her injures as well as my owne.

All the comfort my Master had was in Barsarnes’s society; for though they were lodged severally, and a guard set upon each of them, yet were they not debared from coming together in the day, onely they were confined to certaine Roomes that open’d one into another. One day as I was alone by my selfe consulting very seriously with my thoughts by what way we might escape; the Walls (as you know Madam pursued he) were so very strong, and the Windows made in that manner as there was no possibility of our geting from thence that way; and our being Lodg’d asunder rendred it yet more difficult. So that I began to think if any one of us could but get away they might find meanes to procure the others liberty. So very intent was I upon these thoughts, as I minded not a Man who had stood by me a good while; but seeing not I took no notice of him he spake to me.

What Mexaris (said he) have you forgot your Friend Tereus. At the name of Tereus I look’d about, and instantly knew him to be the same with whom I had contracted a most particular Friendship while I aboad in Scythia having observ’d in him a more then ordinary vertue which induced me to love him more then any other Persian of my a^c^quaintance.

Was not this Tereus, Brother to Theocrite (said Artabella) whom for her vertue and discretion the Queen prefers before her other Woemen.

Yes Madam (replied he) the very same.

As I turned about he offered to embrace me: but I steping back put him from me: if you are my Friend (said I) what do you here amongst my Masters enemies, and consequently amongst Mine. It is because [fol. 136 v ] I am your Friend (replied he) that I am amongst your enemies, and tis onely to serve your Master that I have put my selfe into the company of these that have betray’d him, that I might thereby get an opportunity to reveale to him things so strange as he will hardly credit. I have diligently sought for a conveniency to speak with you ever since your coming, but never could find any till now: but this day it coming to my turne to guard the enterance to your Roomes, I slipt in whilst Otanes is at dinner. I dare not now stay to tell you any thing lest I am misst, but tomorrow night I shall guard your Masters Chamber, and then I will discover to him those things which import him much to know; but in the meane time assure him the Queen is innocent. With that I embraced him, a thousand times beging his pardon for my cold reception, which he easily excused considering the reason I had to suspect him. So soon as he was gone, I went to my Prince with this newes, who found a mervellous satisfaction in the assurance I gave him of the Queenes Innocency, and the hopes he conceiv’d of being enformed who it was that was so much his enemy.{305}

At length the wish’d for time came, for about midnight when Tereus thought he might securely venture without being surpriz’d he came into my Masters Chamber, who was not gone to bed, but had stay’d up on purpose to expect him. My Prince no sooner saw him, but he presently called him to mind, and remembred he had oft seen him with me.

Tereus (said he to him) Mexaris makes me believe you have strang things to tell me; if so I desire you would relate them as briefly as you can that I may know the truth this misadventur into which I am fallen. But before you begin I desire you would resolve me, since you affirme the Queen is innocent of this Plot which drew me hither, who it is that is guilty of it.

You will know it but too soon Sir (repli’d he) for your quiet; therefore I beg you would be pleas’d to give me leave to tell you things in order; which being granted, he went on.

One night as I was walking in one of the Gardens belonging to the Palace, entertaining myselfe with some melancholy thoughts, wherewith my affection to a person who was as then absent from Court had fill’d my mind: as I drew neere the end of the Allie in which I was, I heard two men very earnest in discourse. I was unwilling to interrupt them yet methought I had a very great{316} curiosity to know who they were, and what the subject of their discourse was; which that I might the better do, I crept close under the Juniper Hedge which separated the two Walkes without making the least noise; where I stood attentively listning to what they said, which I could very easily heare, they not speaking very low, supposing (as I believe) the time of night a sufficent security from being over heard. Although (I confess) meere inquisitiveness lead me at first to hearken to them, yet I soon found reason enough for what I did; for the first words I heard were these.

If you can but secure me the person of Diomed as you[r] Brother has the Princess Artabella (said the One of them) and [fol. 137 r ] my worke is done; which if you can, no recompence shall be to great for such a service.

Admit not the least doubt Sir (repli’d Otanes for he it was indeed) but I will accomplish what you have enjoyn’d me, if you procure me but that Letter which you mention’d.

Here it is (said the other) and so exactly counterfeited, as the Queen her self should she see it would hardly discerne it not ^to^ be her hand. But you must be gone to morrow ere the day appeares, for just now ^I^ receiv’d an intelligence from one I employ’d to give me notice of his arrivall, that, by that time his Letter came to my hands, he would be within two or three dayes Journey of Susa. I confess (continu’d he) I would not have recourse to this extreamity against a person I have many Obligations too, did not the Queens delays compell me to it; for if I cannot prevaile with her to consummate our Nuptialls before such time as he returnes, I shall forever loose all hopes of possessing either her Crowne or Person; for I know he loves her as well as I, and I feare with better success; or else (I am perswaded) she would not have found out so many pretences to defer our{307} Marriage. But have you any considerable number that will go with you (pursu’d he) to assist you in case he should refuse to go along with you.

There are some Fifty (repli’d Otanes) to whom I have given order to attend me whenever I should summon them; whom I enform’d, it was a design of high concernment which the Queen was pleas’d to intrust them with the execution of.

Well (answer’d the other) we will spend no more time in discourse. I see you are intelligent enough, not to need any further Instructions concerning this business: go then, and prepare for your departure early to morrow.

I believing their conferrence was ended (continu’d Mexaris) left the place where I stood, and hasted to another, where I was sure to have my full view of them as they left the Garden, which by the help of the Moon (which shone exceeding bright) I plainly did. By which I knew him that had impos’d this employ upon Otanes, to be no other then Phasellus; to whom I had heard (from Mexaris) you bare the greatest Friendship of any man living.

At the name of Phasellus, my Prince chang’d colour severall times, and looking on Tereus with a Countenance that declar’d the disorder of his mind. Either you are mistaken (said he) in him you took for Phasellus, or else you have fram’d this idle story to delude me, or unworthily to defame a person who can no more be guilty of so black a design, then I, of folly to believe it: but if thou wouldst have gain’d credit with me to believe thy Fiction, thou shouldst have made use of some other name, then that of my Generous Friend: but thy making him the subject of that abuse thou wouldst put upon me, renders the deceit so apparent, and thy Calumny so odious, that I wish I had but a sword, that with it I might rip that heart out of thy body, that could be capable of suggesting to thee such an abominable Lye.

Were it that I had any intention to delude you Sir (repli’d he, nothing daunted with the furious vehemence wherewith my Master spake) I should very hardly have ventur’d my Life to tell you these things, and to procure your Liberty [fol. 137 v ] which I have design’d, and hope to accomplish: nor shall that little credit I have with you hinder me from doing you all the service I am able, nor will I desire you should admit any better opinion of me, till you have more convinceing testimonies of Phasellus’s guilt, and my integrity then my affirming either.

At this confident, yet civill reply, my Prince became a litle more moderate, and began to loose part of that anger he had conceiv’d against Tereus, and admitted some little suspition concerning Phasellus. But that he might know the uttmost of this matter, he said to Tereus, though I want Faith to believe so great an improbability, yet proceed, and finish what you have begun; and be assur’d that if I find what you tell me to be a truth, and that I do by your meanes regain my Freedome, I will full well reward you for your service.

As for reward Sir (he repli’d) I expect none, nor did I undertake what I have done upon that score; for if I aim’d at any thing besides the glory of serving you, it was onely to vindicate the Queen my Soveraign from that odium which these Mischerents [Miscreants] have endeavour’d to throw upon her. After they had{308} quitted the Garden I stay’d a long time in consultation with my self what I ought to do. What (said I to my selfe) shall I see my noble Generall so unworthily betray’d by the horrible treachery of his perfideous Friend, and become my self an Accessary to the Plot by concealing it. No (pursu’d I) though Persia harbours men of such base mercinary spirits, yet he shall find Tereus is none of them. After this I stood a good while considering what course I had best take; at first I thought by the meanes of my sister to acquaint the Queen with what I had heard, but then I call’d to mind the power Phasellus had with her, against which I had nothing but my owne single witness to averre the truth of what I should affirme, which I fear’d (considering the Friendship that was reputed to be between you two) would be look’d on by all people rather as some malicious detraction, then any reall thing. Besides, I knew it was too late to speak with Theocrite that night, and early in the morning Otanes was to depart: so that after severall debates with my selfe, I resolv’d (if it were possible) to get my selfe into the company of those who were to go along with Otanes, and to that intent, I presently went to my Lodging to prepare for my Journey on the morrow.

I hardly slept at all that night, but rising ere break of day, I got upon my Horse, and going to that Gate which I knew they must go out at, I enquir’d of the Porter if there did not a company of Horsemen go out there; who answer’d me there did, about half an houre since: whereupon I stay’d not to enquire further, but gallop’d so hard after them, that I over took them by Noon; and seeing Otanes in the head of them, I rid up to him; Sir (said I to him softly) I received a command from Phasellus the last night after you parted from him, that I should follow you, and tell you from him, that he desires you would entertain me into your company; that at any time if you have occation to send him word of any thing, or desire further order concerning this design you are employ’d [fol. 138 r ] in you should make me the Messenger.

He hearing me speak so peremptorily never question’d the truth of my words, but without the least scruple admitted me amongst the rest. If I had any doubt remaining whether I might believe my eyes when they told it was Phasellus which they saw, Otanes’s receiving me assoon as I mention’d Phasellus to him, assur’d me I had not been deceiv’d. What shall I say more Sir (continu’d he) your selfe knowing but too well all that has past since, it onely remaines for me to procure you a release from this place, that you may go and execute vengeance on those who have so dishonourably us’d you.

Pray tell me (said my Prince) if you can, whether Phasellus be married to the Queen since you left Susa, or no: for I suppose if there be any such report, it will soon spread so far as to reach your eares.

I have not heard that he is marri’d as yet, nor I think shall not very hastily (answer’d Tereus) for by what Phasellus said, I guess the Queen has no very great kindness for him.

With that Tereus went his way, leaving my poor Prince in so great a trouble as he had never till then resented [felt]. He never cloas’d his eyes all night, but{309} had his heart torne with torments worse then Prometheus his Vultures: sometimes his Friendship for Phasellus represented him to his thoughts full of Innocence, and made him fancy Tereus had slander’d him, then suddenly he call’d to mind again his unconstant humour, which if once joyn’d with Ambition, there was no Crime so horrible (he thought) but he might be guilty of it. These were his thoughts when Barsarnes came into his Chamber in the morning, who admiring to find him in bed, ask’d me if he were not well; but over hearing him aske that question, he prevented my Answere.

No Barsarnes (said he) I am not well; and tis no small part of my misfortune that I am no worse, for such is my condition now, that Death onely can cure my Wound.

Why Sir (repli’d he) has any One hurt you since I was here.

No (answer’d my Prince) the blow was given before, but I felt the anguish of it but this last night. Ah Barsarnes (went he on) do you not know, the unkindness of a Friend wounds deeper then an Enemies sword, for that can pierce but the body, at furthest but the heart; but the other pierces thorough both heart and soule: and thus it is that I have been wounded by that very Friend whom I have lov’d more dearer then my selfe. I think I need not tell you tis that Phasellus that I meane; he that was late my deare Phasellus (pursu’d he weeping) is now the most perfideous, the most ungratfull man that lives upon the earth. Ah Barsarnes tis he, and onely he that has so unworthily betray’d us, and sent us hither to the end he may the more securely prosecute the design he has to ruine me: but let Mexaris give you the story of his unparalell’d baseness, for my patience will not extend so far as to give it you my selfe.

With that he commanded me to tell Barsarnes all that Tereus had told him; which I having done, he call’d to me for his Clothes, and taking [fol. 138 v ] out the Ring which Phasellus had brought him where he lay wounded in Scythia, and kissing it. O deare Pledge of the Illustrious Achemenes’s love (said he) how little will it availe me, that he did by this bequeath me both his Crown and Daughter, since I am kept by that most injurious Usurper from the possession of them.

As my Prince was looking on the Ring, Barsarnes cast his eye upon it, and presently knew it to be one which the King gave Phasellus, not that which he injoyn’d him to deliver my Master; which so soon as he saw, he cry’d, O Sir you are no less abus’d in that, then other things. That’s none of the Ring of the Ring that Phasellus was to deliver you, but one that Achemenes gave to him; and had I sooner seen it, I had sooner discover’d his deceit. Now I no longer wonder why his treachery extended to me, for now I see it was because he knew none but my selfe could disclose his villany.

At Barsarnes’s words my Master let fall the Ring with a careless action, and remain’d in a deep silence a good while; but at length, coming out of his profound study. Oh Barsarnes (cry’d he) I am undone; there wanted but this to raise my misery to the highest extream. Must Oriana be deluded as well as I, by that perfideous man; and must that which her Royall Father design’d as a testimony{310} of his love to me, crown his presumption. I was in hope (pursu’d he) that it had been something in the beautious perfections of that incomparable Queen, which had committed a rape on his affections, and thereby have left him some excuse (though but a weak one) to extenuate his Crime: but now I see (by what you say) his was a premeditated designe to ruine me, and injure his owne Princess, even then when he seem’d most penitent for his Offence.

All this while (said Celia) Artabella hearkned to Mexaris with an unconceiveable trouble, yet had she till now supported herselfe with some little hopes that Phasellus might be wrong’d in what had been said of him; but now alass (poor Princess) she visibly saw it was too great a truth that he was the Injurer both of her and Diomed, and that it was he alone that had occation’d all those Miseries she had suffer’d; which forced her to cry out

Great Gods what have I done to deserve such punishments as these which you inflict upon me: my strength’s too great since I can beare these heapes of miseries and live, but my patience is too little since I cannot suffer them without complaining. O you Divinities that rule our Destinies (continu’d she) pitty me yet at last, and be so mercifull as to put an end to all my sufferings by ending of my dayes, and grant that I may find a period of them both, in the conclusion of Mexaris’s story.

These words she finish’d with a Flood of Teares, which the rememberance of so strange an[d] ungratfull cruelty, no less then Infidelity as she had found from Phasellus, forced from her eyes: but assoon as she could, she summon’d all that little courage she had left, to her aide, and endeavour’d to resetle herselfe so as she might be able to attend to what was yet remaining: and after some little silence, perceiving him silent too.

Goe on, go on Mexaris (said she) pursue what you have begun, and let me know the conclusion of my woes; for I feare not now what you can tell me further: for since Phasellus is false, since [fol. 139 r ] he is disloyall, since he is ungratfull, there remaines nothing more to heighten my misfortune, nor any thing that can render me more perfectly wretched then I am. With that she stop’d, whilst he proceeded in these words. My Prince went on with his complaints a long time in the sadest words that the most passionate griefe could put into his mouth.

O unkind Phasellus, (said he) how ill hast thou deserv’d the title of a Friend from me. Was it for this that I intended to bestow on thee my onely sister, that by that alliance I might tye the knot of our Friendship the faster, and to divide with thee the Emperiall Throne, by making thee my Partner in it; and when thou wert my friend Rivall, did I, to make thee the happie Phasellus, make my selfe the unhappy Diomed, by abandoning to thee the Princess Artabella, when I could with less regreet have given thee my life; but such was my Friendship, that I could deny thee nothing. Was it not enough that I resign’d my first Mistress to thee, but that thou must rob me of my second choice.

O cruell, O unjust Phasellus, could not thy ambition be satisfi’d with a Princess, unless thou hast a Crowne to boot; if so, thou mightst have divided with me{311} Achemenes his legacy; taken his Crowne, and left me his Daughter; but thus cruelly to deprive me of her too, after all I have done for thee, is an ungratfull Injury beyond example. O Heavens (pursu’d he) why was the Princess Artabellas Fate so link’t with mine, as that to render me most miserable, she must be made so too.

O Monster of Ingratitude, and Infidelity (went he on) art thou from her Vassall, and her Slave (which thou so many times in my hearing hast profess’d thy self) become her Jaylour; and wilt I feare (if not prevented) become her Murtherer; but the Just Gods will revenge her of thee by my hand, if Tereus keep his promise: for though my Friendship (notwithstanding thou hast broken all its bonds) should yet retaine such power with me, as to induce me to forgive the wrongs thou hast done me, yet no consideration whatever can prevaile with me to pardon those thou offerest to that Excellent Princess. No false Traitor thou shalt dy (pursu’d he with a furious Tone) not all the Powers on earth shall shield thee from my just Vengeance; for I my self will send that black and hellish Soule of thine to receive the reward of all thy periur’d O^a^thes, and violated vowes to Artabella, and of all thy treacherous practices against thy Friend, from those Infernall Fi^e^nds who are prepar’d to punish such as thou art.

In this manner did my poor Master a little vent that griefe which (questionless) else would have been intollerable. He did all that he was able to support himselfe under the weight of his misfortunes by the assistance of his courage; but great, and heroick as it was, it was too weak to defend him from the violence of a high Fevour, which ceaz’d on him within a day or two. He seem’d almost as much troubled at his Distemper as Barsarnes or my selfe; for though his Life was now become a torment to him, yet he desir’d to cherish it a while, so as it might conduce to his revenge; which was the passion that at this time flam’d highest in his heart. I seeing the condition wherein he was, requir’d a [fol. 139 v ] Phisician, sent word to Otanes (for he came not at us himselfe) how ill he was by some of those he appointed to bring us our necessaries, and desir’d him to let a Docter be sent for. After he had a while consider’d on it, he return’d me answere by him that brought him the Message, that if any of those in the Castle had any skill in Phisick, he would command them to employ it to the uttmost for my Masters recovery; but if not (he said) he must be his owne Phisician, for he durst not admit of any man to come neer him but such as he knew he might confide in: this cruell answere let us see the little favour we were to expect from this base Fellow.

But a little after he call’d every one of his Companions about him, and demanded whether any of them had any skill in Phisick, but they all repli’d they understood nothing of it, saving onely Tereus who (having heard the answere he had sent me) told him he had some little skill, which if he pleas’d he would make tryall of for the recovery of my Prince: this he said, onely to have the liberty of coming to us as often as he desir’d, which before he had not. He never came neere my Master, but he comforted him with the hopes that his Imprisonment drew neere an end, beging him to contribute all he could to his owne cure that by his Patience, that he might the sooner be in a capacity of leaving that Place. But notwithstanding{312} both his endevour and ours, his Fevour increas’d to that height, as we even dispair’d of his Life: sometimes in his Fits he would talk extreame Folly, and fall into such strang ravings, as made me many times affraid his wits had quite forsaken him. The generous Barsarnes express’d an infinite trouble to see him in so deplorable an estate, and manifested a singuler kindness for him, by the continuall care he took of him; never did he stire from his bed, but was as diligent in his watches with him as my selfe, and would by no meanes be perswaded to go to his owne Bed; but when necessity constrain’d him to take a little rest, he would lye downe on a little Pallet I had in the Chamber. But when our dispaire was absolute, and that we had lost all hopes of his recovery, we (to our comfort) had them restor’d to us again by a favourable Crisis,[1] after which, the height of his Distemper abated; and in a short time after he began so visibly to amend, as it fill’d our minds with a Joy resembling our late sorrow; and had his Mind, but held a correspondence with his Body, we might have hop’d to have seen his cure perfected in a little time: but alass those tortures of his mind were such, as could admit of no ease, no cessation during his aboad in a place where he was forced to spend his dayes in Womanish Complaints, whilst the Usurper of all his Joyes in depriving him of Oriana, rob’d him of the sole happiness of his life.

A long time it was ere he could leave his Bed, and so much longer it would have been ere he could have got strength enough to undergoe a Journey, that he fear’d it would too much advance Phasellus’s wicked contrivances; whereupon he consider’d, that if Tereus could but set Barsarnes free, he might go and enforme Oriana privately of what Phasellus had done, and further yet design’d to do, and thereby prevent the accomplishment of his ill Intentions, if they were not already perform’d. This he imparted to Barsarnes, who had nothing to object against it but his unwillingness onely [fol. 140 r ] to leave my Master, not knowing (as he said) what misfortune might befall him in his absence. But to that my Prince repli’d, that the greatest as could hapen to him would be inconsiderable in respect of what it would be to him should he loose the Queen, which to prevent, Barsarnes consented to what he had propos’d.

The next time they saw Tereus, they told him what they had concluded upon, which he very well approv’d of, promising the ensuing Night to set Barsarnes at liberty. Since my Masters sickness, he was permitted to be with him continually, so that he was with him now, waiting for Tereus; but ’twas not long that he expected ere he came, and desiring Barsarnes to follow him, which he did after he had taken his adue of my Prince, with many reall expressions of a very sensible griefe to leave him there behind him. Tereus led him downe the staires without the least noise, where they found the Guards all fast asleep, and so they left them; and going into the Garden through the little private dore that open’d into it, by the help of a Ladder on the one side, and Ropes (which he had provided) fastned{312} on the other, they got over the Wall, but yet they were not free, for coming to the Castle Gate thorow which they were of necessity to pass, they found it so strongly fastned with bolts and chaines, as rendred it impossible to get out, without making so great a noise as must needs waken those who kept it: which mov’d Tereus to perswade him to kill them as they lay asleep: but Barsarnes abhorring any thing of cruelty, would not consent to murder men unable to resist, adviz’d him rather to use perswasions, then have recourse to that which they could not do without the imputation of Cowardice. With that Tereus call’d to one of them, commanding him in Otanes his name instantly to open the Gate; telling him, they were sent about business that requir’d hast: he whom Tereus spake too, knowing his Voice, was about to do as he had commanded him; when the other, starting up, stay (said he) if their business require never so must hast, I will go know of our Master whether he gave order we should let any body out at this time of night.

With that, he was going to do as he had said, but Barsarnes quickly stay’d him, for laying hold of him, you may spare your paines (said he) and either open us the Gate quietly, or dy by our hands; I have been Prisoner long enough, and am resolv’d to be so no longer.

He hearing him say so, began to cry out aloud for help, but Barsarnes soon stop’d his outcry, by running him thorow (for Tereus had goten him his sword though he could procure him no other of his Armes). The other of them stood trembling, not daring to open the Gate, nor to cry out, as his Fellow had done; but seeing him kill’d, he fell upon his knees beseeching Barsarnes to spare his Life: which he promis’d to do, conditionally he let them out quietly. But assoon as he had let them out, he betook him to his heeles, leaving the Gate open. This he did (as they suppos’d) for feare of Otanes, from whose fury he might well expect the loss of that Life which they had spar’d.

About half a mile from Shiras, dwelt Tereus’s Father, to whose house he conducted Barsarnes, and making himself know[n] to the Porter, they were instantly let in; and causing him to call up some other of the servants to let them in a dores he [fol. 140 v ] carri’d Barsarnes to a Chamber where he alwayes us’d to Lie himself when he was at home.

Now Sir (said he) you are as free as you can wish your selfe, and as secure as you can desire; for neither Otanes, nor any of his Accomplices know that I have any Relation, or so much as any Acquaintance in these parts, so that there is no feare they will ever seek you here: but if they should, there is so many secret places in this house, that none knowes of, but my Father and my selfe; that should a hundred search for you, tis impossible they should find you, unless ^they^ will pull down the house: so that here you may repose your selfe in safety till I can provide you a Horse, and Armes; for I could not get yours out of the Castle, though I oft attempted it.

Barsarnes having embraced him, and given him those thankes so important a service merited, he left him a while, to go and acquaint his Father with what he had done: yet thinking it not convenient to let him know the whole truth, he{314} onely told him, that Barsarnes was a Gentleman who had done such good service against the Scythians, as he had thereby procur’d to himselfe the envy of some great men about the Court; who to hinder him from receiving the reward which they knew would be confer’d on him, had caus’d him by a Stratagem to be drawne into the Castle, and there detain’d a Prisoner as by the Queens order, which I knowing to be false (continu’d he) and having been infinitly oblig’d to him for many civilities during the Wars, have set him at liberty. The Good old Gentleman commending his son for what he had done, arose, and went to Barsarnes, and giving him a very civill reception, he offer’d him his house as a safe retreat, assuring him (as Tereus had done before) that he need not doubt his security in that Place, and instantly sent a command to all his Servants, that they should not be^make^[2] known to any One whosoever, that either his Son, or any Stranger was in the house.

But Barsarnes resolving to be gone the ensuing night, desir’d Tereus (if he could possible) to procure him a Horse and Armes; which the old Gentleman hearing, told him he would supply him with both out of his owne store if he pleas’d to accept such as he had, assuring him they were better then any that could be gotten there about. So courtious a proffer Barsarnes refus’d not, but returning him thankes, took leave of him so soon as it was night; and getting on Horseback, in a little space lost sight of Shiras, and all apprehension of a reprizall. Tereus being his Guide, conducted him through such bye places as he came into no Rode for many miles together; but towards the Morning they came to a little Village, where they stay’d all the day to rest themselves, determining for the more security to travall in the Night.

The second day after, being arriv’d at their Journeys end, Barsarnes desiring to conceale himselfe from being known kept on his Casque; and entering the Citty at one of the least frequented Gates (intending to go that way to his house) he saw the streets hung with rich Sydonian Tapestry, and the Pavements all strew’d with Flowers, each house adorn’d with Garlands; and as they pass’d into the next street (which was that which led to the Temple) they saw all the Glass was taken from the Windowes, and [fol. 141 r ] Multitudes of People gazing in them, as it were expecting some unusuall sight; and all the street so throng’d even to the Temple gate that they could hardly get a long, which mov’d Barsarnes to enquire the cause, whereof he was soon enform’d; being told that the Queen was gone to the Temple of the Sun, to be married to Phasellus.

Is the Ceremony yet begun (said he to one who told him on it).

Yes Sir (answer’d he) and ended too I believe by this, for tis neere an hour since they went.

He having heard more then he desir’d, enquir’d no further, onely looking on Tereus fetch’d a sigh. Fain would he have gone on, but the crowde being exceeding{315} thick, he was constrain’d to make a stand, not being able to pass either backward, or forward. But it was not long he stay’d, ere he saw severall Chariots pass by, after which came an open one, wherein sat Oriana, and on her head the Crowne; which was so exceeding weighty with Gold and Jewells, that being unable to beare it without a trouble, she had on each side of her a young Lady to support it. Her dress was such as became the Majesty of so great a Queen; about her Neck she wore a Chain of Diamonds, the fairest (I believe pursu’d Mexaris) that ever was beheld; but that, and all those other Gems wherewith she was adorn’d, she seem’d to give a Luster too, rather then to receive any from them; for as Barsarnes afterwards protested, there was never seen any thing so beautifull on Earth as the Queen then appear’d; which made him a thousand times to curse Phasellus for robing my Prince of such a happiness, as the possession of so Faire a Princess.

Oh (said he to himselfe) could poor Prince Lucius but see what a Loss he does this day sustain, what griefe would he resent [feel].

But one thing more he remark’d in the Queen, which was an extreame sadness in her Lookes; which seem’d silently to demonstrate the little Joy she took in what she had done. Her Chariot being past, that wherein Phasellus was, follow’d next, whose sight excited in Barsarnes such a rage, that if he had follow’d the resentments [feelings] it inspir’d him with, he had inevitably perish’d, without the least advantage to my Prince: for his first thoughts were immediatly to run him thorough, and kill him even in the midst of his Nuptiall Tryumphs, so to turne his Bridall Bed into a Grave; but this it had been impossible for him to do, had he attempted it, by reason the People stood so very thick as he could not come neere his Chariot by many yards: beside, he was sure to have found his death from the swords of those who attended Phasellus, and then, he consider’d, my Prince might forever remaine a Prisoner, and Oriana ignorant of those Injuries they had both of them sustain’d through Phasellus’s baseness; which made his rash resolve give place to one more reasonable: which when he had assum’d (assoon as the people had a little dispierc^ers^ed[3] themselves) he got to his owne house, where puting off his Armes, and clothing himselfe anew, and causing Tereus to do so likewise, they instantly went to Court, and going up the backstaires to the Lodging where the Queens Woemen u’sd to Lie, but not finding any of them there, he sent Tereus to tell his sister that he desir’d to speak with her immediatly, [fol. 141 v ] about something that neerly concern’d the Queen.

It was a great while ere he could come to the speech of her, but at length he did, though not without much difficulty. Theocrite no sooner heard Barsarnes nam’d, (whom she knew very well to be a Faithfull subiect, and a discreet person) but she believ’d his business to be of consequence, so as she stay’d not to aske her Brother any questions, but presently went with Tereus to her Chamber{322} where Barsarnes stay’d for her. She no sooner saw him, but she perceiv’d a very great trouble legible in his Face, and was about to have ask’d him the cause of it, had he not prevented her by speaking first; after he had saluted with that respective civility he thought due to a Person so highly in the Queens favour as he knew she was.

Deere Theocrite (said he) for Heavens sake obtaine for me a private audience from the Queen speedily; for I have things of such importance to enforme her of, that a Minutes delay may render her the most Unfortunate Princess in the World, if she has not already made herselfe so.

Tis impossible my Lord (repli’d she) for me to speak with her Majesty till Dinner be past, but that being over, I know she will retire to her Chamber (for she gave me a perticuler command to attend her there) and then you may have that Liberty you desire. But my Lord (continu’d she) where in the name of Goodness have you been ever since you left Scythia, and where have you conceal’d your selfe all this while that you were not to be heard of; for I verily thinke the Queen has sent into every Province of the Kingdome to enquire for you, and admir’d you would absent your selfe in a time wherein she stood ^in^ so much need of your Councell of late she has done. And what I beseech you is become of Diomed, that brave Champion of our Countrey.

Ah Theocrite (answer’d he with a sigh) he is a Prisoner (and so was I my selfe till within these three dayes) by the treachery of that Villain the Queen has married: he has unworthily delud’d her with Lyes, which I come now to discover to her.

Good Heavens (cry’d Theocrite) can Phasellus be capable of such baseness.

Yes (repli’d Barsarnes) of much more then I am able to express, or you imagine. With that, setting downe, he gave her in short, a Narative of all his wicked practices; and had just ended when they heard some persons coming, whom Theocrite thought might be the Queen; which mov’d her to intreat Barsarnes to stay there a while, promising assoon as her Majesty was alone, to bring him to her. She was not deceiv’d, for she had no sooner got into Orianas Appartment ere she came in; and having sent away those who waited on her thither, she went to a Cabinet which stood upon her Table, and took out of it a little Dagger, and plucking off her Chaine of Diamonds she gave it to Theocrite; there (said she) I give thee that, as the reward of that Faithfull service thou hast done me: thou shalt ere many minutes pass, be free to seek another Mistress.

Theocrite being amaz’d at Oriana’s action, but more, at her words, threw herselfe at her Feet. For the Gods sake Madam (cry’d she) what do you intend to do with that Dagger.

I meane to kill my self with it [answer’d [fol. 142 r ] she] (with an undaunted look) but I meane to do it before the Face of Phasellus; for since neither my teares, nor intreaties could prevaile with him to free me from that engagement Achemenes laid upon me, I’ll free my selfe from him. I have as far as I was able, satisfi’d my duty, by giving him my person, but seeing it is impossible to give him my heart;{317} or bend it once to love him, I’ll pierce it with this Dagger, for its disobedience to the King my Fathers Will.

Tis the heart of a Traitor Madam (said Theocrite) you ought to pierce, not that of an innocent, and an injur’d Princess; but if you please to stay one minutes space, I’ll fetch a person who will acquaint you with things I tremble to relate; yet such they are, as I trust, will soon perswade your Majesty to lay aside your fatall resolution.

Just as she said so, Barsarnes came in, for in the Roome where he was, he could both see, and heare all that was done or said in the Queens [chamber]; so that he stay’d not to be call’d, but came in of himself: and presenting himselfe on his knee to the Queen, who much admir’d to see him, but more did she wonder what he had to tell her, which Theocrite intimated [illegible cross out] to be so terrible. Ah Madam (said he, not giving her time to say any thing to him) what has your Majesty done: you have not onely render’d your selfe Unfortunate, but ruin’d forever the bravest, and most Illustrious Prince in the World, whose passion, and respect for you ne’re knew an equall.

That I have made my selfe unhappie (repli’d the Queen) is but too true, but as for Diomed (whom I suppose you meane) if he be ruined, tis the Ingratitude of Achemenes you ought to accuse for it rather then me.

O blemish not the sacred memory of your dread Father with Ingratitude (cry’d Barsarnes) for certainly no Prince that ever liv’d was freer from it.

What mov’d him then (said she) so partially to preferre Phasellus out of a Maxime of state pollicy, before a person whose birth was more Illustrious, and from whom he had receiv’d services far more considerable then any Phasellus had rendred him.

Do you believe then Madam (he repli’d) that the King your Father prefer’d Phasellus before Diomed.

I have no reason to believe otherways (answer’d she) since he gave me to him by giving him this Ring (continu’d she shewing one to Barsarnes) by which he had engag’d me to marry whosoever presented it to me from him.

Ah Madam (said he sighing) how have you been deluded by the False Phasellus. Achemenes deliever’d him that Ring, tis true; but with no intent that he should be the presenter of it to your Majesty (as I my selfe can witness) but with a strict injunction to deliver it to Prince Lucius with his owne hand: who at that time lay wounded far distant from the Campe.

O heavens (cry’d the Queen with exclamation) how have I been betray’d, but go on Barsarnes (pursu’d she) and let me now know the truth, for I have been too long abus’d with Lies.

After your Royall Father found that he must dy (said he) he caus’d all persons to avoid the Roome save onely Phasellus and my selfe. Barsarnes (said he to me) you are now to change your Soveraign for another; my Daughter I mean, who [fol. 142 v ] by the right of succession is to be your Queen; but knowing by experience what cares Thrones are attended with, I foun find a Crowne too weighty{318} for a Womans for head alone to beare: therefore has it been long my aime to find out One to bestow her on, that might help her to support its burden, without depriving her of that power which Heaven and Nature give her by my death. I will not question your Obedience so much as to doubt you will either dispute, or oppose my Will when I have once declar’d it, I’ll onely then leave this charge with you (as him who of all my subjects have the strongest influence of over the hearts of all my Armie) to oppose any one that shall refuse to obey him as King, whom my Daughter shall accept for a Husband. If you will promise me this upon your Fidelity Barsarnes (continu’d he) I shall leave the World with a high satisfaction.

Your Majesties commands (repli’d I) I have alwayes esteem’d as sacred Lawes which I dare not violate; and sooner will I loose my life, then suffer any One to hinder the execution of your Majesties Will.

I expected no less from you (said the King embraceing me) and as a recompence of your Loyalty, and the service you have done me in this Warre, I create you Prince of the Sacans, and give you the Province of Bactria as an addition to your Principallity, onely paying some small trybute as an acknowledgment that you hold it of the Crowne.

I having with all humility, and thankfullness receiv’d this honour from the King (went on Barsarnes) he turn’d to Phasellus. And now (said he to him) I am in a more perticuler manner to acknowledge the benefits both my selfe and Kingdome have received from you and your Generous Friend; who being no way oblig’d to serve me, have notwithstanding hazarded your lives as far in my service as any subject in my Dominions; for which, lest my reward should fall short of your deserts, ask any thing for your selfe within my power to grant, and be assur’d you shall not be deni’d.

Your royall Favours Sir (reply’d he) have already transcended my merits so farre, that I should render my selfe altogether unworthy of those I have already receiv’d, should I ambitiously sue for more.

Since your modesty will not permit you to make me any request (said the King) I’ll leave you to him whom I designe to succeed me; who will (I doubt not) find out a more ample recompence for you, then I can imagine to bestow: onely as a testimony of that value I have for you I give you this Ring (continu’d he pulling two off of his Finger) which I desire you to weare for my sake; and the other you must deliver to Diomed (if he live) with your owne hand, for he it is whom I have chosen for my Successour, as being the onely person whom I can think worthy of my Oriana, and in whom I believe she will be farre happier then if I had made choice of the greatest Prince in Asia for her: but if he dye (as Heaven forbid it) I leave her then at Liberty to make her owne choice, knowing her too discreet to make an ill one. This Ring then Phasellus (pursu’d he) you must give him, and tell him I bequeath it him as the Legasy of my Love, and with it my Crowne on condition he marry Oriana; from whom he need feare no refusall, since she has promis’d me on the duty of a child (which I know she will not violate) to accept him for a [fol. 143 r ] Husband who shall from me present her with this Ring.{319}

O wicked Phasellus (cry’d out the Queen, amaz’d at what Barsarnes told her) with what cunning had he contriv’d his owne story to abuse me; but proseed Barsarnes (pursu’d she) and let me know how he did, to carry on his Designe so long undiscovered, and by what meanes you came to know it at last.

After the King your fathers death Madam (went on Barsarnes) he posted away to Diomed to carry him the Ring (as he pretended) but in its steed deliever’d him that which Achemenes gave him for himselfe (yet did he tell him the reall truth in all things I confess) which having done, he desires leave of him to returne to Persia to waite on the Princess Artabella, whose Votary he had long before proffess’d himselfe; but as it seemes his passion for her was the least cause of his returne; for he had been but a little while in Susa before he caus’d her to be made a Prisoner, but in what place she is detain’d, I am as yet wholly ignorant.

O Gods (said the Queen interrupting him) what Progidies of baseness is this man guilty of: was it not enough to betray me, but must he injure poore Artabella too. I heard indeed how that she had been surpriz’d and strangly carried away as she was returning hither from Shiras after I had sent for her, but by whose meanes I ne’re could learne till now, nor know I yet whether she is convey’d, though I have caus’d the most diligent enquiries imaginable to be made for her all over Persia.

When he had rid her out of his way (pursu’d Barsarnes) he then had none to apprehend a discovery of his baseness from save Diomed, and my selfe; well knowing none but we were privie to what the King had done; which to prevent, he caus’d us to be drawn from the rest of our Company as we were coming to Susa, by a pretended Letter from your Majestie, wherein we were commanded to meet you Madam at that place whether the man who brought the letter was to conduct us; we accordingly follow’d him to the Castle of Shiras, whereinto we were no sooner enter’d, but we were disarm’d and made Prisoners by a Brother of his who made the Princess Artabella so.

He further told the Queen how all these things came to be discover’d by Tereus, Theocrite’s Brother, and how by his assistance he had escap’d out of Prison: all which, she having heard, with a most horrible detestation of Phasellus’s crimes, a while remain’d Silent, with her eyes fix’d on the ground, her thoughts being full of various resolutions; but after sometime, of a sudden turning her eyes upon Barsarnes. It was not without reson (said she) that I have had so strange an aversion to this perfideous man, who is now so justly odious to me, that I abhorre to name him; but would it had pleas’d the Gods Barsarnes (pursu’d she) that you had come but one day sooner; for then you had prevented me from being the most miserable Woman in the World, which I have made my selfe, by a blind obedience to my Fathers Will (as I suppos’d) but now alass what remedy have I left, for as horrid a Monster as Phasellus is, he is my Husband; and though I have the power to inflict on him punishments great as his offences, yet would it ill become me being as I am, his wife.{319}

What then [fol. 143 v ] remaines Barsarnes (continu’d she) for me to do in this condition whereto I am reduced; for my part I know no better way then to pursue my first resolve which was to kill my selfe, so shall I be in some sort reveng’d on him by depriving him of my Crowne (the fairest of his hopes) which I am perswaded he was more ambitious of, then my person.

Heaven forbid (repli’d he) you should be so cruell to your selfe because he has been unjust and treacherous to you. No Madam, rather resolve to make void this Marriage, which you may do with Justice enough.

Alass how can I disanull my owne free Act said she.

You cannot call that free (answer’d he) which is done unwillingly, or by constraint, and by your owne confession Madam you us’d violence upon your selfe, meerly out of obedience to the King your Fathers Will which till now you never rightly understood.

But I do not desire Your Majesty should be wholly guided by me (pursu’d he) but call your Councell, and confer with them, and see if they advize you not the same: The marriages of Princes Madam (went he on) are not like those of Vulgar persons, especially of Queens, the wellfare of whose Kingdomes are concern’d in their Matches; and so will your Peoples be (doubtless) so much in yours, that when Phasellus’s notorious Crimes come once to be divulg’d, it will go neer to set your Kingdome in a Flame, by embroiling it in a civill War; beside Madam, we may assure our selves, if we punish not Phasellus for that most injurious affront he has offer’d Diomed, the Emperour Augustus will on us endeavour to revenge it by a powerfull invasion, which we have much more cause to apprehend then that of the sci Scythian Kings.

I know not what would have been the result of this discourse (pursu’d Mexaris) for it was interrupted by Theocrite, who staying in the Antie-Chamber to give notice of Phasellus’s approach, lest he should come and surprize the Queen ^and Barsarnes^ in their conferrence; she hearing his voice, knew he was coming thither, which made her hasten to acquaint them with it: whereupon the Queen desir’d Barsarnes to withdraw into the next Roome, not being willing he should be seen as yet. No sooner was he gone out, but she seated herself in a mellancholy posture, which Phasellus marking, went to her, and took her by the hand; but she darting an angry look at him instantly snatch’d it from him: whereat seeming to be very much troubled.

Can it be Madam (said he to her) that neither the passion wherewith I have ador’d you, nor the services which I have render’d you, should be able to convert your unjust aversion into some little sentiments of affection for me, but if neither of those Considerations can prevaile with you to affect me, yet give me leave to tell you, that now methinkes the obedience you owe your Fathers will should move you to it; for certainly you cannot but think he did design I should enjoy your heart as well as person.

Had I obey’d the Will of Achemenes (repli’d she breaking out into teares, exceedingly incens’d) I had been as happie, as I am now unfortunate; but as for{321} your services, you had need upbraid me with them: they have been indeed very considerable to your selfe, not me. But though your pernissius^cious^[4] practices have been hitherto so prosperous to bring your Designes to this effect, as to compell me through a mistaken obedience to [fol. 144 r ] confer on you the title of Husband, believe it, they shall proceed no further; for if I lov’d you not before, I declare I mortally hate you now. Content yourselfe with my Crowne (pursu’d she) if my People will suffer you to enjoy it after the knowledge of your horrid Crimes which I will publish to the World; but let alone my person, for I vow by all that’s sacred, you shall never come within my Bed. And if at any time you attempt (by that authority you think you now have over me) to force me to a violation of this Vow, I’ll kill my selfe that very moment to free my selfe from your embraces, which are to me more terrible then Death.

These words gall’d Phasellus to the heart, his Conscience telling him he had deserv’d them; nevertheless, he resolv’d to seeme unconcern’d: and looking upon Oriana with a confidence proporti^o^nate to his Crimes. Good Heavens Madam (said he) what moves you to this passion against me.

Those notorious Crimes (repli’d she) whereof thou art accus’d, which thy owne Conscience cannot but condemne thee as guilty of. Yes false man (continu’d she) thou hast betray’d me, Ungratfully rob’d thy Prince (and which is more, thy Friend) of that which ought to have been his, both by his merits, and the Will of Achemenes, and most treacherously imprison’d him, as thou hast my dearest Cousin the Princess Artabella, whose innocent affection thou hast no less perfideously abus’d. These, these Phasellus art thy monsterous (and till now unheard of) crimes, which have rendred thee so justly hatefull to me, that unless thou canst cleare thy selfe of them, I am resolv’d to flee to the furthest part of the Earth, e’re I will endure thee in my sight.

With that, she ris up, and went into her Closet, locking the Dore after her, leaving him in a strang perplexity, and amazment to see that all his wickedness should now be brought to Light. The Queen being gone, he look’d about to see who was in the Roome; but seeing none there save onely Theocrite.

Who, where is that Villain (cry’d) he that has presum’d to slander me to the Queen. At that, Barsarnes was no longer able to forbeare, but coming in, and presenting himselfe before Phasellus who was struck with an astonishment I am not able to express (pursu’d Mexaris) to him there whom he believ’d securely shut up within the Castle of Shiras.

Tis I (said Barsarnes to him) that have disclos’d your wickedness, yet scorn the title of a slanderer; and for that, of a Villaine I returne it to thee: but I do not wonder since thou couldst act such base unworthy things, that thou shouldst have the impudence to deny them; but did not the [four words blotted] reverence I beare to the Majesty of my soveraign restrain me from staining her Chamber with thy blood, I would force thee to acknowledge what I have told, to be truths, not slanders.

That Consideration is too weak (repli’d Phasellus) to hinder me from being reveng’d on thee for the injurie thou hast done me by thy officious information: draw then, or dye (pursu’d he unsheathing his sword, whilst Barsarnes did the like).

Let the World be judge (said Barsarnes), whose Injuries are greatest, mine, or yours: the Queen I hope will pardon this disrespect you force me to in my owne defence.

With that, Phasellus made a pass at him which he [fol. 144 v ] put by so as it onely glans’d upon his Arm making some little impression. Barsarnes not being altogether so much blinded with fury as his Antagonist, having put his bye, pass’d his sword quite ^thorow^ Phasellus’s body, yet not so as to kill him; but as he was going to repeat what he had done, the Queen who had been drawn from her Closet by Theocrites outcry, caught hold of his Arme.

Hold Barsarnes (said she) you have done enough; for how great a Crimenall soever Phasellus is, tis not from your hand he ought to receive his punishment; nor ought I (as much Monster as he is) to suffer any of my subjects to draw a sword against him as long as I am his Wife; find but a way lawfully to discharge me of that title, and then let him receive the reward due to his deserts.

Theocrite can witness Madam (answer’d Barsarnes) he drew upon me first; and that what I did, was to defend my owne life, not assault his: but by his defeat Heaven sufficently declares his guilt.

Whilst Barsarnes was speaking in this manner to the Queen (continued Mexaris) Phasellus who was fallen to the ground; weltring in his blood which ranne out of the Wound he had receiv’d, was got upon his Legges again, and coming behind him [Barsarnes], gave him a Wound in the back; but having with a good part of his [Phasellus’s] blood, lost part of his strength also, the Wound was not deep, nor did it hinder him [Barsarnes] from turning about to repay his courtisie; which doubtless he had done, had not the Queen step’d betweene them whilst she sent Theocrite for some to part them. This action of Orianas prevented Barsarnes from pursuing his intention, but could not hinder him from saying.

I had thought Phasellus thou hadst not quitted thy Courage with all thy other good quallities, but I now see, that likewise has abandon’d thee, or else thou would’st never have assaulted me so cowardly, when I was neither in a posture to offend thee, or defend my selfe; but thou needst not thirst so greedily after my Life, since it can be no advantage to thee to take it away; for hadest thou kill’d me, as thou aimed’st to have done, there are others in the World that will charge thee with the same things that I have, and convict thee of them too.

By this time the Queens Chamber was full of Princes, and other persons of the highest quallity that were then in the Palace; who having been enform’d of this quarell, but not of the occation, throng’d thither to know the cause; whose swords were instantly unsheath’d and bent all against poor Barsarnes’s Breast{323} (who had no Defender but the Gods and his owne Innocence) thinking to oblige the Queen by what they did: but she soon let them understand their errour, by speaking to them in his behalf.

Stay (said she) and enforme your selves of the occation of this quarell, which is of a much higher consequence then you imagine; but let Barsarnes give you an account of it, I am too much concern’d to tell it you.

Strike (cry’d Phasellus) he is a Villaine, and a Traitor.

Believe him not (repli’d the Queene) tis nothing but his Malice makes him speak so.

Kill him I command you (said Phasellus)

Touch him not I charge [fol. 145 r ] ye (answer’d the Queene).

They all stood suspended with admiration at this event which made the Queen appeare rather an Enemy then a Friend to a person whom she had given herselfe too but that very day: but thinking, of the two, they were oblig’d to obey her rather then him, they put up their swords and began to enquire the cause, whilst Oriana gave command Phasellus sh^o^uld be carri’d thence to his owne Chamber, and Chirurgions call’d to dress his Wound: which having done, she retir’d again into her Closet, leaving it to Barsarnes to give them that information they demanded. But thinking it unfit to stay longer in the Queenes Chamber, they agreed to withdraw into the Councell Roome, intreating Barsarnes to go with them, and there to let them know the reason of this strange difference which had hapned between Phasellus and himself. This he promis’d to do assoon as ever he had got his Wound dress’d, which began to pain him very much.

Accordingly so soon as the Surgion had dresst him, he went to them, and at larg gave them an account of each perticuler thing he had acquainted the Queen with but a little before; which having listned too with wonder, and amazment, they presently fell to consult what was most expedient to be done; the greater part declaring they would sooner dye, then submit to the Goverment of a man stain’d with such horrible Vices. But yet, there were some few amongst them (whom Phasellus had won by his insinuating Flatteries) who blam’d the others for so lightly crediting what Barsarnes had affirm’d. Your Charge is full (said they to him) but what Witness have you to attest the truth of these things you accuse Phasellus of.

I confess (added one of them, whose name was Praxaspes, who had ever born a spleen to my Prince (pursu’d Mexaris) since he was made Generall of the Armie) there is something of probability in your Accusation, but no certainty. You say the King gave that Ring on which the Queens marriage depended, to Phasellus to deliver to Diomed; but how do we know, whether he did, or no; since we have nothing but your word to proove it.

Circumstance (answer’d one of the other Partie) proves many times no less then Witness, and circumstance there is enough to testifie the truth of that which Barsarnes has affirm’d: for if Phasellus had not known himself culpable, to what end did he so privily emprison both Diomed and Barsarnes, but onely to the intent, the one should not come to claime his right, nor the other come to{324} empeach him for depriving him for ^of^ it.

They might be both imprison’d (repli’d Praxaspes) and yet Phasellus have no hand in it.

That may soon be known (answer’d Barsarnes) if you examine but Tereus, who over heard him contrive that treacherous Designe with Otanes, in whose custody our Valiant Generall yet remaines. But if [fol.145 v ] Tereus’s evidence be not sufficent, tis but sending for Otanes, and shewing him the Rack, and questionless he will confess the whole Plot. But for my owne part (continu’d he) since I have not credit enough with you to be believ’d in what I affirme, grant me but the Combate against Phasellus (if he recovers) and I’ll force the truth concerning the Ring out of his owne Mouth, since tis impossible for me to produce any other Witness of that then my selfe, by reason (as most of ye know very well) the King commanded all persons but us two, to leave the Roome.

There was so many apparances of truth in all Barsarnes said, that there was none but believ’d him; onely Praxaspes, and one or two more, ^who^ oppos’d him rather out of malice, then diffidence. But yet, supposing they could not be to cautious in matters of so high concernment, they sent for Tereus, who satisfi’d them so fully in all perticulers, as they had not the least doubt remaining of the reallity of that which Barsarnes had affirm’d; so that they left disputing, and fell to consulting in what manner Phasellus should be punish’d for his enorm^o^us Offences: Severall were their Debates, onely in this, the major part agreed he had worthily deserv’d to dye, but with what forme of Justice to proceed against the Husband of their Queen they knew not; and for her to condemn him, they deem’d it much more unfit.

But some affirm’d (in which number was Barsarnes) that they ought to look on him as no other then a Traitour, and as one that had usurp’d a title which belong’d not to him; for the Queen being given before to Diomed by Achemenes, she had no right to dispose of herselfe to Phasellus though she had design’d it. Besides, the Queen really intending to marry him onely to whom the King her Father gave her, intentionally marri’d Diomed, though Phasellus by his subtilty frustrated her intentions, by deceiving her, and imposing himself on her; so that she might very lawfully be absolv’d from all tyes of marriage, and be free to dispose of herself according as Achemenes had design’d. They added moreover, that it was requisite (the better to exempt the Queene from all Censures) that the Marriage being made void, that Phasellus should be sent to the Emperour Augustus (since he was born his Subject) to receive from him the punishment he had deservedly merited. But before they concluded of any thing, some of them mov’d Phasellus might be permitted to speak for himself; saying it was but Just to heare what he could plead in his owne Justification. This was thought a thing so reasonable, that they all agreed it should be so, and this business deferr’d till such time as Phasellus should be able to appeare in person before the Councell. This was all that was all that was then concluded on, save onely the voting my Prince{325} (pursu’d Mexaris) to be immediately freed from his Prison, and a Tryumphall entery into Susa prepared for him, that the Injuries he had sustain’d might in part be repair’d thereby: after which, the Councell broke up, and Barsarnes went instantly to the Queen, to enforme her of their Debates, [fol. 146 r ] and ^what^ was decreed both concerning Phasellus and my Master, all which she seemed very well satisfi’d with.

He then beg’d Leave to go along with them who were to fetch my Master (went on Mexaris) which she granted, and the next day those that were appointed for that employment began their Journey; but when they came to the Castle, instead of that opposition they expected, they found all the Gates open, and not one person appeare within to make resistance; which made them extreamly wonder: but Barsarnes taking some halfe a score of them, hasted to my Masters chamber, but not finding him there, nor any other person in, or about the Castle, he concluded, Otanes had either convey’d him to some other Place, or else made him away since his departure. This beliefe made him almost distracted, insomuch that when he came downe to those he had left below, he could scarce speak sense, or give a reasonable answere to any thing that was demanded of him. But after the height of his Fury was a little quallifi’d, Gentlemen (said he to those who came with him) you have liberty to returne to the Queen when you please, and pray let her Majesty understand how we have been disappointed of what we came for, but for my owne part (pursu’d he) I am resolv’d to range the World about, but I will find Diomed alive, or dead, and when I know what is become of him I will returne, and not before.

But Tereus (who was one of them) disapproving this resolution, took the liberty to represent to him how much he might prejudice both my Prince (continu’d Mexaris) and himself by it. For my Lord (said he) you are not ignorant that Phasellus has a Party in the Councell, who may (possibly) by your absence take occation to raise some false reports: as that Diomed was never in Prison, but that you fram’d it as a story of your owne inventing, purposly to defame Phasellus who’m the giddy Multitude will be (perhaps) but too apt to believe Innocent; therefore in my opinion, it behooves you to returne with us if you cannot find him in some short time.

This advice was not so inconsiderable but Barsarnes determin’d to take it; onely [word blotted] resolv’d first to coast all about that part of the Country in Sea^r^ch of him, which he did, enquiring of all he met, if they could tell him any tydings of my Prince, or Ortanes; but to no purpose, for neither their names, nor persons were known to any there about. At last, One of the Company call’d to mind, that Ozmin, Otanes’s elder Brother had a Castle of his owne in Zarispe, whether (he said) ‘twas possible Otanes might be gone. This he no sooner enform’d Barsarnes of, but he steer’d his course thither, and riding with hast proportionate to his desires to heare newes of my Prince, he arriv’d there in two dayes space, though they were in great danger of being swallow’d by the sands thorough which they pass’d; whether being come, they lost not all their labour,{326} for there they found both Otanes, and his Brother Ozmin, whom Barsarnes (both by Phasellus’s mentioning him in the garden to Otanes when Tereus overheard them there discoursing, and by Otanes’s owning him to be his Brother, in his hearing [fol. 146 v ] to Diomed) assur’d himself was the same that had made you a Prisoner Madam (pursu’d Mexaris to Artabella.) Very much Joy’d was Barsarnes that he had so happily met with them both together; and instantly caus’d them to be ceaz’d on; assoon as ever Otanes cast his eye upon Barsarnes he knew him, and looking on him with a bold and confident Countenance.

Is it thus (said he) that Diomed performes the promise which he made me, of obtaining my pardon of the Queen, when I gave him his Liberty.

Thou give him his Liberty (repli’d Barsarnes) thou hast rather basely murther’d him, and now thinkest to delude me with this Lye; for had he been free, his concernes at Court (I am certaine) would soon have brought him thither, but there he had neither been seen, nor heard of when I came thence; which is not above six dayes since.

I know not that (answer’d Otanes) but tis a certain truth, I set both him, and Mexaris free the day after you made your escape.

Well (repli’d Barsarnes) you shall go with me, and if I find what you tell me to be true, I will engage he shall make good whatever he promis’d you. But as for you base man (said he to Ozmin) you shall assuredly receive the recompence of your Fidelity to your Noble Master, who is now married to the Queen, thankes to you, and your treacherous Brother, yet neither he, nor you shall have much cause to boast of your Acheevements; but in the meane time tell me I charge you in Oriana’s name where the Princess Artabella is.

Alass Sir (answer’d he with a sigh) you demand that of me which I am not able to resolve you (would to Heaven I could) for all that I can tell you of her is, that she and her Maid, either threw themselves into the Sea, or else escaped hence by meanes of some ship which pass’d by this Chanell, as I rather believe. But that you may not think me of so mercinary, and low a spirit (continu’d he) to be tempted to injure so innocent a Princess by the hopes of Gain, I will to you Sir declare that, which I have hitherto conceal’d from all the World (my Brother here not excepted) which was, that I had a passion for her, as far above all other mens, as her birth transcended mine. It was this alone that perswaded me to listen to Phasellus when he tempted me to surprize her in her way toward Susa; which I did, as well to hinder others from being employ’d in that Design, who possibly would not have shewn her that respect (which I am confident how much soever she may hate me, she would be so just (were she here) as to acknowledge) she found from me, as to make my self happie in her sight.

Indeed (said Artabella) I have more cause to commend his Civility, then blame his disrespect; and oft (I confess) I have wondered at it, but little suspected the cause; which if I had, I am certaine I should have thrown myself into the Sea indeed, rather then have endur’d him in my sight.{327}

These were the onely reasons (continu’d he) that induced me to become her Jailour, I say her Jaylour, since I know she so accounted me, though I should scorne so ignoble a title on any other score. Thus Sir have I been ingenuous (pursu’d he) [fol. 147 r ] and confess’d to you the reall truth, but not with any desire or hopes of pardon, which know I have not deserv’d; for since I have forever lost the hope of seeing the Princess Artabella, the Queen will do me a greater favour in taking away, then in sparing my Life.

Her Majesty will do that which Justice requires you need not feare it (repli’d Barsarnes) who made no longer a stay there; but with his two Prisoners return’d to Susa, in hopes to heare newes of my Master (pursu’d Mexaris) but his hopes still deceiv’d him, for he could be as little satisfi’d there where he was, as in any of those other Places where he had been to seek him; however, he went to give the Queen an account what he had done, and how that he had brought with him Ozmin, and Otanes, the two Instruments of Phasellus’s wickedness; but she would not see them, onely commanded they should be put into the Dungion where the most notorious Offenders u’sd to be put, till it was determin’d what punishment should be inflicted on them. After which Barsarnes desir’d permission to renew his search after my Prince, which was granted assoon as demanded (and severall others appointed like wise to go into all parts of Persia to enquire for him) whereupon he determin’d to be gone very early the next morning, and to that end took then his Leave of Oriana, and went instantly home to give order concerning some affaires of his owne.

All this time Phasellus lay very ill of his Wound; continually raving, and exclaiming against his Fate, and the Queens cruelty (as he termed it) who would not so much as once vouchsafe to look on him in that condition wherein he was.

If I am guilty (would he say) why is my punishment suspended; if Innocent, why does she use me thus. Divers times did he attempt to kill himselfe by tearing off his Plasters, and other violences he us’d against himselfe: and doubtless he had effected his desires, had he not been prevented by the care, and watchfullness of those about him.

That very night which preceeded the day that Barsarnes was to renew his Progress after my Prince, came I to Susa (continu’d Mexaris) and sending a Messenger to the Palace to enquire for him, he brought me word, he was gone home a little before. Without delay, I went immediately to his house, where I accordingly found him; who no sooner saw me, but with a great deall of kindness he embraced me, demanding newes of my Master: to which I answer’d, that I had left him in a little house some twenty miles off in so deplorable a condition, as I much fear’d I should scarce find him alive at my returne.

What is the cause of his indisposition (said he seeming much concern’d.)

Ah my Lord (answer’d I) do you aske that, and know the Queen is married. It was that Fatall newes which has thrown him back into his former Fevour with a greater violence then before. I confess, I left him not without an extreme repugnance; nor could either his intreaties, or commands force me till yesterday{328} to leave him; but having then but little hopes of his Life, I could no longer disobey that charge he laid upon me to come hither, and if I could find you to bring you to him.

These sad tydings, strook Barsarnes to the heart with [fol. 147 v ] a most sensible griefe, which he testifi’d by the teares he shed. Yes Mexaris said he, I will go with you immediatly, but I must first go let the Queen know what you have told to me, who will I am sure beare a larg share in my sorrow. But first tell me whether your Master was set free by Otanes, or got free by some other meanes.

It was he Sir (I repli’d) which set us free, for which my Prince engag’d to procure his pardon. With that he left me, and went instantly to the Palace, and enforming the Queen of what I had told him; she gave Command a Litter should be sent for my Prince, with her owne Phisician to waite on him to Court: with these we presently (that very night) left Susa assoon as the Litter could be got ready; and as we rode along, Barsarnes ask’d me how Otanes came to free us, which I resolv’d him of in these words.

After Otanes found you had made an escape (continu’d Mexaris) and saw it impossible to get you into his power again; he came the second day after your departure into my Masters Chamber, and saluting him after a much more civill, and submissive way then [then] he had us’d before. Sir (said he to him) I know Barsarnes is escap’d, and I am not ignorant, that you will within these few dayes be rescu’d out of my hands if I permit you to continue longer here; which rescue I can easily prevent, by carrying you a place far remote from hence, where none will ever come to seek you: but what I have already done has been too much, and I am too sensible of my Offence to endevour to contract a greater guilt. I come not therefore now into your presence as at first with treacherous designs against you, but with remorse for what is past, and to submit to your mercy, which I confess I have not deserv’d; and withall to declare you are free, either to stay here, or to depart when you please.

If you ^are^ as sensible of the wrong you have done me (repli’d my Generous Prince) as you would perswade me, and that I find the effects of it in your restoring me that freedome you so injuriously depriv’d me of, I will not onely forgive the wrong you have done me, but obtain your pardon too of the Queen, if I ever am so happie as to see her again.

At this, Otanes fell upon his knees, giving my Prince a thousand thankes, for a favour he acknowledg’d himself utterly unworthy of, in termes which testifi’d the sense he had of my Masters goodness, and his owne vileness, and presenting him the Keyes of the Castle, vow’d he would undertake much more for him, then he had done for Phasellus if he might thereby but blot out of his mind the memory of his past offence.

You need not feare (repli’d my Prince) that ever you shall be employ’d by me on any such dishonourable designes as those you have of late been destin’d too, for all that I’ll desire of you shall be, onely that you would freely acknowledge what moov’d you to undertake such unworthy things.{329}

I protest seriously Sir (answer’d he) twas meerly the reall love I bare Phasellus which induced me to execute whatever he injoyn’d: never weighing the Justice or Injustice of his Commands; for retaining the same Obedience that I paid him when I fought under his Command, I thought my self oblig’d to serve him with the same Fidelity, having receiv’d from him larg [fol. 148 r ] testimonies of his favour in Scythia, but more especially since his returne.

Were you then (said my Prince) one of those five hundred Gentlemen he commanded.

Yes Sir, (repli’d he) and I think I may say without vanity that my Brother and I were for our births of the most considerable quality amongst them; though either the misfortune, or prodigallity of our Ancestours (which oft brings a ruine on the greatest Families) reduced ours to so low an ebbe, that though by [my] Brother still possesses a considerable part of that estate which he was born too, yet for my owne part I had nothing left me but my sword, many times the onely Patrimony of a younger Brother.

Had you had but Vertue too (answer’d my Prince) you had had enough, but wanting that, though you had been born to a Crown, you would have been more contemptable then a Beggar; but go, and learn to be vertuous, and you may defie Fortune in the meanest condition: so taking his Leave of my Master, within a while after he left the Castle: but before he went, he told me where I might ^find^ our Horses and Armes (pursu’d Mexaris) my Master instantly causing me to help him on with his, we got on Horseback and bid adue to our Prison. All that day we rode without so much as meeting with one Passenger of whom we might enquire our way, with which we being unacquainted, we rode many miles about and could not come to either Towne, or Village; so that we were constrain’d to lye in a wide Forrest the first night, not neer any house, nor could we find any shelter save the Trees, under which we were forced to take up our Lodging: which I really think (went he on) is one cause of my Masters being so ill as he is; for not being perfectly recover’d, it was impossible, but lying on the cold earth, in the open Aire must of necessity prejudice his health through he had not bin any way indispos’d before.

Assoon as the day began to dawn we got on horseback again, and by that time the Sun was an houre high we made a shift to get out of the Forrest; and about Noon we came to a little house where my Prince allighted, intending to stay there a while and refresh himselfe a little with what that poor Cottage afforded; for (as he said) he found himself not very well, and exceeding faint for want of Food, not having eaten any thing since the night before he left Shiras. The Entertainment we found there, though it was plain, yet was it much better then we expected; the Goodman of the house biding us very heartily wellcome after his rustick manner with very hearty expressions; and hearing my Prince say what an ill Lodging he had had that night, he would have had a Bed made ready for him, that he might a while repose himself a little more easily. My Prince thanking him for this courtious proffer, refus’d it, telling him he hop’d he should{330} be well enough able to hold out to the end of his Journey now; and demanded of him how far it was to Susa: to which Criton (for so was the old man call’d) repli’d. It was not above twenty miles, but a way so difficult to find, that without a Guide Sir (said he) you will go nigh to loose your way.

How may I do to procure One (ask’d my Prince)[?]

I will go see, and get you one (answer’d he), Whereupon he left us, but soon after return’d again.

My [fol. 148 v ] Son Sir (said he) is just now come from Susa, and if you please to accept of him he shall go with you to direct you in your Way: the young man who came in with his Father then approach’d my Prince, and proffer’d him his service, who hearing Criton say he came lately from Susa, thought haply he might enform him whether or no the Queen were married; yet did he tremble to demand it, well knowing how exceedingly the assurance of what he fear’d to aske would trouble him; nor was he able to aske that question, though he earnestly desir’d to be resolv’d of it. But at last (after much strugling with himself to overcome his Feares) he call’d me to him, commanding me to make that enquirie.

Assoon as I knew his mind, pray Friend (said I to Critons son) what newes is stirring at Susa.

I know none (answer’d he) but that of the Queens being married to one Phasellus who came hither with him who commanded the Armie against the Scythians.

How know you (demanded I) that she is married.

Very well (answer’d he) for I saw her both go, and come from the Temple.

I could aske no further (continu’d Mexaris) for this fatall newes had no sooner reach’d my poor Masters eares, but it pierced his heart; for ere I could turne about, I heard him drop downe behind me, where he lay streach’d out upon the Ground all palle and sensless; at which sight, I cry’d out so loud, as all in the house, came running in to see what the matter was: but perceiving my Prince in that condition, they thought it but an impertinent question to aske what ail’d me, but insteed thereof did their uttmost to bring him to life again. Critons Wife employ’d all that little skill she had, about him, having recourse to all those things which Country People use to persons in the like condition; but seeing they wrought not their usuall opperations, they concluded him rather dead, then in a swoon; but I thinking it impossible for his griefe (how excessive soever it was) to kill him so soon, beleiev’d it was rather his former weakness which rendred it so difficult to revive him: this I told them, desiring a Bed might be made ready for him; which was accordingly done, and assoon as I could I got him into it by the assistance of the people of the house; where after the tryall of severall remedies, at length he began to come to himself; and within a while after when he had regain’d so much sense as to know what had been done for his recovery, casting his eyes about, with a wild distracted kind of Look.

Cruell People (said he) why will you not let me dye.{331}

I fearing his griefe might force from him some words which might betray the cause of it, beg’d all those that were present to retire; telling them I hop’d the worst was past; and that if I could but get him to take some rest, I did not doubt but he would do well again; this I spake onely to get them out of the Chamber, for never were my words and thoughts so contrary. Scarce had they left the Roome, but fixing his eyes on me as I stood by him.

And you Mexaris (said he) are crueller then they, since you know how exceeding necessary death is for me, and yet will keep me alive on purpose to suffer torments so great, as I should esteeme it a Crime to [fol. 149 r ] wish them even on Phasellus himself though he be now my greatest Enemy: but tis the onely comfort I have left me that I shall frustrate all your hopes, and render all your endevours fruitless; for I find my end drawes neer, and Death a pace approaches; which word he had no sooner spoken but he swounded again, thereby reduceing me almost to my wits end. I was sorry then that I had sent every One away; but running to the Dore I gave a call, whereat they presently came in again, and seeing it was but invain any longer to dissemble his condition but told them I sadly fear’d it would prove past cure if I could not procure some skillfull Phisician to undertake him. They told me there was none nearer then the next Towne (which was five miles off) but if I pleas’d they would send thither for one, which I desir’d Criton he would with speed; whereupon he sent his son away instantly, with a strict charge to make all the hast as possibly he could; and truly I thinke he did (went on Mexaris) for before such time as I thought he could be got thither, he was return’d and brought with him the Docter; but alass to little purpose, for my Master (when he came to himself) absolutely refus’d to take anything that he prescrib’d.

I knowing how just a cause he had for his dispaire, could not blame that in him, which (I confess) had I beene Prince Lucius I should have done myselfe: however, I did all that I was able to divert him from the resolution he had to dye; for throwing myself upon my knees, I beg’d him both with sighs, and teares not to be guilty of his owne death.

Call up that generous Courage sir I beseech you (cry’d I) which has hitherto so nobly assisted you even in the greatest difficulties, and yeeld not to imaginary Torments, which are no other then what your Fancy inflicts upon you.

Call you those Torments I suffer, but imaginary [word blotted out], what then is reall (said my Prince). Oh Mexaris you are u^i^nsensa^i^ble[5] of my sufferings, if you imagine my courage is able to support me under them; for sure it must be more then humane, that can vanquish such a misfortune as mine without dying.

If you are determin’d to dy (said I) yet at least Sir lay aside that resolve till such time as you have reveng’d your selfe on him who is the cause of all your{331} miseries, and leave not that Insolent Rivall behind you, to tryumph in your ruine, and boast he has destroy’d the most Illustrious, and the most Generous of men.

I confess (repli’d he) I should dye much better satisfi’d could I but give death to that cruell murtherer of all my hopes, and most unjust Ravisher of all my Felicity; but as my case now is stated, I can seek no revenge against him but will procure me Orania’s hatered, at least her displeasure: for can I think she will admit one charitable ^thought^ of me, if once she see me crimson’d with the blood of him who (how vile, and wicked soever he be) is now her Husband: therefore tis farre better for me to dy now, when I may assure my selfe my death will be lamented by her, then live longer for no other end but to render my selfe more miserable by incurring her displeasure. No (pursu’d he) I never will do that; the Queen shall rather find by the respect I beare her, the greatness of my Love which moves me to dye rather then offend her.

Many other things did I say after this, to perswade him to live, by all the powerfullest Arguments I could use, but all invain; for he was deafe to whatever I said, and remain’d immovably bent upon his desire of dying. [fol. 149 v ] His Feavour was now more violent then ever, and in a few dayes it so well seconded his desire, that I began with a sorrow I am not able to express (continu’d Mexaris) to dread his approaching death: seldome, or never did he sleep, but when he chanced at any time to fall into a slumber, it was so interrupted with [word blotted out] sighs, and terrifying Dreames, that it did him more hurt by the disquiets it caus’d him, then it procur’d him good. He oft commanded me to go and seek you out, and bring you to him; but twas not all the power he had over me, could force me from him till the last extreamity; yet to satisfy him, I sent to enquire after you, but the Messenger not finding you, I was at last constrain’d to come my selfe.

In the meane time (continu’d Mexaris) whilst we were going to Critons house to fetch my Master thence, the Queen had caus’d her Councell to be summon’d again, to take the examinations of Ozmin, and Otanes, who being brought before them and examin’d, they were both found worthy of death, and accordingly condemn’d: their sentence was, to be chain’d to the tops of two Trees opposite one to the other, and there to remaine till they were ste^a^rv’d[6] to death. But the Queen having been assur’d by Barsarnes that my Prince had promis’d Otanes to obtain his pardon, for his sake made good that Promise, pardoning him as to his life, and chang’d the sentence of death, into a perpetuall banishment. The Evidence of these two men made so ill for Phasellus, as the Councell no longer deferr’d to pass sentence on him; but first denouncing the Marriage between him and Oriana to be void, and of no effect, they sentenced him to be sent back to Rome (assoon as he was capable of being removed) there to receive his Doome from Augustus Cæsar.

  1. The word “Crycess” is underlined for deletion but not crossed out and is replaced by “Crisis.” 
  2. The word “be” is underlined for deletion but not crossed out and “make” is inserted. 
  3. The letters “ierc” are underlined for deletion and “ers” is inserted. 
  4. The letters “ssius” are underlined for deletion and “cious” is inserted. 
  5. The word “unsensable” is amended to “insensible”; the “u” and “a” are each underlined for deletion and “i” is inserted in each case. 
  6. The word “sterv’d” is corrected to “starved” with the “e” underlined for deletion and an “a” inserted. 


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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.

Share This Book