{Print edition page number: 333}

Rivall Friendship


The Fourth Book

As soon as we arriv’d at Critons house (pursu’d Mexaris to Artabella) I conducted Barsarnes to my Masters Chamber, with a trembling heart, lest I should find him dead; and demanding of those about him how he had done since I went, they answer’d me, they saw but small hopes of amendment, for in their opinions he was rather worse then better. I spake but softly (continu’d he) lest I might disturbe him if he were asleep; but as low as I spoke he overheard me; for puting aside the Curtain with his hand, Mexaris said he, where is Barsarnes.

I am here Sir (answer’d he presenting himselfe to my Prince) who raising himselfe a little in his Bed, strove to embrace him as well as his feeble strength would permit him.

Deare Barsarnes (said he) you are now the onely man I can thinke worthy, of my Friendship, and tis on that account I have so earnestly desir’d to see you ere I dye, to take my last farewell of you.

O Sir (repli’d Barsarnes after he had wip’d away [fol. 150 r ] some teares which my Masters condition extracted from his eyes) why would you precipitate yourself to dispaire before you knew whether you had reason to do what you have done so much to your owne prejudice.

What reason could I have more pressing to dispaire (interrupted my Prince) then to know I have lost forever my adored Queen, and with her all the Felicity and comfort of my Life, and nothing left me but miseries my patience cannot bear.

Were your Misfortunes but as great as you believe them (repli’d Barsarnes) you would have much more reason for what you have done, then I to blame you for it: but as wretched as you thinke your selfe, you have yet a possibility of being happie; if you can but live to enjoy your happiness; nor have you lost the Queen as you suppose: and more then that, I dare assure you Sir for your comfort, you have a more perticuler interest in her esteeme then ever you possest before.

Is it not true then (demanded my Prince) that she is married.

That report is but too true (answer’d Barsarnes).

Why do you then so cruelly delude my griefes with feigned hopes of impossibilities (said my Master) for alass, what happiness can I expect if she be married.

You may expect her (repli’d Barsarnes) and that without an impossiblity, as I can make it appeare, if you will but give me the hearing.{334}

Most willingly (cry’d my Prince) and with more Joy receive such an assurance then ever condemned Malefactor did his pardon.

Then seting downe by my Masters bedside, he gave him an account of all things that had pass’d (wherein he was concern’d) since the day he parted from him, till the time I [Mexaris] came to him to his house in Susa.

Now Sir you see (continu’d he) you have no obstacle to your Felicity save your present indisposition, which if Heaven permit you to recover, you may yet be as happie as your wishes can contrive.

My Prince (continu’d Mexaris) who but a few minutes before was about to dye with griefe, was now even ready to expire through an excess of Joy; but I perceiving him begin to faint, call’d to (the Phisician who came with us) for something to prevent his falling into a swoone; he presently giving him a strong Cordiall so well kept up his Spirits, as he quickly reviv’d, and Looking on Barsarnes. Though I am beyond measure joyfull at what you tell me (said he) yet can I not resent [feel] these glad tydings you bring without a mixture of griefe, since my Weakness assures me I cannot live to enjoy the felicity you promise. O Death, O Fate (pursu’d he) how cruell are you to me: you would not let me dye when I esteem’d my self the most miserable of men: and now I know I may be happy, you will not suffer me to live.

But deare Barsarnes (continu’d he) you have done all for me that I could either expect or hope from your Friendship; for which if I could leave you a Crowne in requitall, it were less then you have merited from me: but since in this condition whereunto my misfortunes have reduced me, I have onely the will, but not the abillity to requite you, I can onely leave you this assurance that I shall dye with a heart as repleat with gratfull acknowledgments, as your owne is full of nobleness and generosity.

That Friendship Generous Prince (repli’d Barsarnes) wherewith you have been pleas’d to honour me is a sufficent recompence for more then I have beene able to do for you; therefore I beseech you Sir speake no more of that which deserves not to be mention’d but endevaur to regain a little strength that you may be in a capacity to be carri’d [fol. 150 v ] to Susa where you may be both more diligently tended, and more carefully look’d too then you can possibly be here.

If I stay for an increase of strength (said my Prince) I must never be remov’d, for you will suddenly see me worse; but never better: therefore as you love me Barsarnes (pursu’d he) let me presently be put into the Lytter,{335} for if I can but live to see my Dearest Oriana, and in her Armes breath out my Soule, tis all that I will beg of Heaven, or all I can expect; for I find myself much weaker then you can imagine.

Fain would we have perswaded him (continu’d Mexaris) to stay a day or two ere he remov’d, in hopes his Fevour might abate; but neither our perswasions, nor the Phisicians advice could prevaile with him for a longer stay: for renewing his request to Barsarnes in such pressing, and passionate termes, as being not able to deny what he so earnestly desir’d, he caus’d him to be put into the Lytter in his Bed as he lay, his weaknes being such, as rendred him unable to put on his Clothes: but ere he stir’d, he commanded me to call the People of the house about him, whom he perticulerly bad farewell, after he had gratifi’d, and thank’d them for all their hospitable kindness, promising if he liv’d, more liberally to reward them. The poor people were even amazed at his bounty, and falling on their knees, beg’d of the Gods to restore him to his health. The Lytter went so very slow as it was almost night the next day ere they entered Susa, but I hasted away before to give notice of my Masters coming, that a Bed might be made ready for him; but the Queen had prevented my care, having caus’d all things to be prepar’d fit for him, though not in his owne Chamber, but in those Lodgings where King Achemenes us’d to lye.

My Masters coming was no sooner known but all Persons of quality in the City rode forth to meet him, and to waite on him to Court; but being enform’d by Barsarnes how dangerously ill he was, they forbore to salute him with those wellcomes they otherwise would have given him, and contented themselves to ride silently by his Litter lest they might disturbe him. Being in this manner brought to the Palace, he was immediatly carri’d to his Lodging, and laid into his Bed; and presently after his Chamber was fill’d with Visitants, some out of Ceremony, but most of them out of that respect and love they beare him: but their civility was very prejudiciall to him at that time; for with striving to answere their kindnesses in the like returnes, he spent his spirits so much with speaking to them severally, as he had hardly enough left to sustaine his life withall.

Barsarnes perceiving the injury he did himselfe by speaking, desir’d them to leave them till such time as he was in a better capacity to receive their Visits: no sooner had he seen the Chamber emptied, but he went to wait upon the Queen, who having been enform’d how much Company had been with my Master, fear’d he had done himself hurt by his complacence to them; and thought if she should visit him so soon after; it might prove rather an injury then a kindness till he had a little recover’d his weariness: this she told Barsarnes, after she had made a perticuler inquirie in what condition he was; which he assur’d her to be in a manner hopeless.

But I approve very well Madam of your Majesties not seeing him to night (said he) [fol. 151 r ] if he will be so contented; but I feare he will not.

You may tell him (said she) tis not out of any neglect that I forbeare to see him, but meerely out of a Feare it may prejudice his health, which is as deare to me as he can wish it.

With this message he return’d to my Prince (pursu’d Mexaris) but as Barsarnes had said, he was so little satisfi’d with it, as he was constrain’d to go back again to the Queen with intreaties not to defer that Favour she design’d him till the morrow; for he protested to Barsarnes that he knew, he should not then be in a condition to receive it: this he having told the Queen. If it be so (said she with her Eyes ready to o’reflow with teares) I will no longer delay what I owe both to{336} my owne Inclinations, and Prince Lucius’s merits; with that, she gave him her hand, to lead her to my Masters Chamber.

I seeing her come in, undrew the Curtain of his bed, and told him the Queen was come to see him. At which, he gave a sudden start, as one newly awak’d from sleep, and seeing her by him, he was so transported with Joy as he could find no words patheticall enough to express the greatness of it: for without speaking; he took one of her hands, and kissing, and embraceing it with all the raptures of a most ardent passion, he at length cry’d out. Ah my Adored Queen I am no longer miserable, since I enjoy a Felicity which within these few dayes I utterly dispair’d of ever obtaining.

You see Generous Prince (repli’d she) the goodness of the Gods, who when your misfortunes (in all appearance) were past redress, found out a way to free you from them, if you have not frustrated the care they have taken of your Concerns, by reduceing your selfe to this deplorable estate wherein to my griefe I behold you.

Tis that alone I confess Madam (repli’d he) which has power to disturbe my present Joyes; since such is my weakness as it threatens to drage me from you to my Grave, and ere many houres run out, by death to close my eyes forever, from beholding the onely Object for which I prize them.

Banish those apprehensions (said she) and hope, since Heaven has preserv`d you in such a Sea of miseries (whereinto your Enemies, and mine had plung’d you) that it will still extend the like goodness to you, and not let you suffer you Shipwrack in the Port: speak not then, nor think of dying, unless you desire to inspire me with a trouble resembling such a misfortune: the Destinies sure cannot be so cruell to make you find a death among your Friends, which the Heavens preserv’d you from amidst thousands of your enemies. No Diomed (continu’d she) you shall live I trust, to take possession of that Crowne which Achemenes left you.

Were his other gift no more considerable to me (repli’d he) then that, I should not part from my Life with such regreet as now I do; nor would the sorrow I should have resented [felt] for its loss, brought torments on me so intollerable as I was forced to have recourse to Death to release me of them.

Were I not sure you beare a noble soule (said the Queen) I should feare you might esteeme me guilty of some part of those sufferings you have endur’d, and think my selfe oblig’d to protest my Innocence; but being perswaded you have no such unjust thoughts of me, I think it onely necessary to let you know the probability of that cunning story [fol. 151 v ] wherewith I was deluded; which I confess I had not subtilty enough to dive into the depth of.

O Madam (cry’d my Prince, said Mexaris) you would infinitly injure the reverence I beare you, if you can imagine me capable of believing you guilty of any thing the most sublime vertue dare not owne. But if you vouchsafe to enforme me of what you say, I beseech you do it onely to satisfie my curiosity,{337} not with any intention to remove doubts which never found admittance into a thought of mine.

Well (repli’d she) let it be on what score you please, but I desire to be oblig’d to your reason no less then to your inclination; tis requisit therefore you should be no longer ignorant by what means Phasellus deceiv’d me (which in these words she let him know). He arriving here (said she) some foure dayes before the Corpes of my Royall Father, brought me the first tydings of Persias misfortune, and my own irreparable loss: how I resented [felt] it, I thinke I need not tell you, since the affection I bare so deare a Father is not unknown to you; onely thus much I will say, that the griefe I suffer’d had almost cost me my life: but when the Funurall Obsequies were past, and that the great Concernes of my Kingdome constrain’d me to appeare in publick, Phasellus came to me one day, desiring I would give him the Favour of a private Audience, adding, he had something to acquaint me with, which the King a little before his death commanded him to let me know, but the time of my mourning (he said) had been improper to tell it me ^in^.

With that I instantly withdrew into my Closet, commanding him to follow me. Now (said I to him) what is it you have to tell me.

With that he presented me a Ring, on which I had no sooner cast my eye, but I knew it to be the very same on which my marriage depended. I was presently strook with a trembling, and so strange a coldness ranne thorough all my Veines as I thought verily I should have sunk downe dead: I was faine to set downe in a Chaire which stood by me, to keep my self from falling, and striving all I could to conceale my disorder, I ask’d him how he came by that Ring.

I see Madam answer’d he (seeming something troubled) the sight of it surprizes you, but I feare you will be more surpriz’d when I assure your Majesty, the Great Achemenes thought me worthy of his Alliance: and that I might find no opposition in what, I confess (how great soever my Ambition was) I had not somuch Presumption in me to aspire too, he gave me this Ring as an assured Pledge of that invaluable happiness he bestow’d on me.

My thoughts (pursu’d the Queen) were so distractedly divided between griefe and resentment [sentiments] that I had not power to interrupt him, but let him go on at this rate.

I confess (continu’d he) I did not at first resent [feel] the Felicity of possessing so Divine a Princess with those raptures of Joy, as I have since, because I could not look on my owne happiness, without beholding my Friend’s misfortune, which I but too well knew was included in it. I am very sensible (went he on) it was not any worth in me which moov’d the King to prefer me before Diomed (who had a thousand times more oblig’d him then ever I had) but onely the grandure of his birth, which I freely acquainted Achemenes with (upon his Demand) [fol. 152 r ] though not with any intent to disoblige, or prejudice my Friend, not in the least mistrusting what the King intended when he ask’d that question. For having from the mouthes of his Phisicians, and Chyrurgions been assur’d of his approaching death, he gave a Charge to all that were present{338} to depart his Presence. I supposing my selfe included in that number, was going too; which he perceiving, call’d me back, telling me, it was to have the liberty to speak with me in private, that he had commanded the rest away.

I have hitherto Phasellus (said he) ^been ignorant^ who I have been oblig’d too for those considerable services I have receiv’d both from you and your Generous Friend; and have contented my self to know ye Valiant, to know ye Generous, and to know ye worthy of more honour then Persia can confer: but though in my life time I have been satisfi’d with such a knowledge, yet now at my death, I have a great desire to be enform’d of your true qualities, and extractions which hitherto you have conceal’d.

I knowing Diomed (pursu’d he) had an intention to discover himself at the end of the Warre, knew no reason why I might not a little anticipate that discovery by resolving the King now what he desir’d to know: whereupon, I ingeniously told him, that Diomed was of an Extraction, the most Illustrious in the World; being no other then Prince Lucius, Nephew to Augustus Caesar, and Heire to the Emperiall Crowne of Rome. My self I likewise told him was descended from Mark Anthonie who was my Grandfather by my Fathers side.

The reason why I ask’d this question (said the King) is because I design’d to bestow on Diomed my Crowne and Daughter, but finding (by what you tell me) the greatness of his Birth an obstacle to my intentions, and most contrary to a resolution I long since made, never to give her to any One that is born to a larger Dominion, or a more puissant Scepter then her owne; but being thus disappointed of my First election, I cannot make a Fitter Choice then your self (continued the King) since Diomeds Friendship to you, will (I doubt not) induce him to be a Friend to Oriana, by strengthning her with his assistance against any that shall presume to disturbe the Peace of her Kingdome.

Here then Phasellus (pursu’d he) take this Ring, and from me, deliever it to my Daughter, and feare not but she will without dispute make you her Choice, as I have made you mine; for she has bound herselfe to me by a promise (from which there is not any thing that can o^a^bsolve[1] her) to marry him who should present her with this Ring from me.

I was not able (pursu’d the Queen) to let him proceed, but interrupting him. When I made that promise to the King my Father (said I) I did believe he would have made such a Choice for me as I should have no reason ^to^ dislike; and still I am perswaded his intentions extended not so far, as to ippos impose on me a person I never had more then a civill respect for, nor perhaps never may. I know my Crowne is considerable enough to move you to accept his Gift, but I question whether or no, had he excepted that, my person would have been of any value with you; and therefore till I am assur’d you have a greater kindness for me, then{339} ambition for my Crowne, you must excuse me if I [fol. 152 v ] deferre the performance of what you believe I am oblig’d too.

Many things he repli’d whereby he endevour’d to intraduce a beliefe in me, that he had a long time ador’d me with a most transcendent passion, though his respect forced him to conceale it; but I so little minded what he said (though he made me a long discourse to that purpose) as I have forgot his words; but I remember (pursu’d she) I answer’d him in these. I could not but expect you should speak after this manner, but if you will have me believe you to be really passionate for me, as you pretend; you must convince me of it rather by your Deeds, then Words.

What proofe Madam can you aske (repli’d he) I’ll give you my Life if you demand it.

No (said I) I shall desire nothing more of you, then to prefer my content, and satisfaction before your owne; and if you truely love me, you will find reason enough for it, since I ingeniously declare, I neither do, nor ever shall affect you, and consequently if I become your Wife, I must thereby be rendred most miserable, and unhappie. Be then so generous Phasellus (continu’d I) as to disengage me from that promise which I made Achemenes, since tis in your power to do it; for though I am (I confess) oblig’d by that Promise to marry you, yet you are no way bound to exact of me the performance of it: and by this way still po you may possess that place you have in my esteeme, and purchace to your self the highest in my Friendship; whereas otherwayes you will enevitably deprive your selfe of both, and in their stead procure my aversion, perhaps my hatered.

You are more just sure Madam (he repli’d) then to hate me meerly because I love you; and me thinkes you should not be so cruell, to demand so strang a testimony of my affection, as that to give you an assurance of it, I must give up that right in you which the King your Father gave me. But admit I could for the Love I beare you consent to my owne ruine (however, Madam you may look on it as an Argument of the greatness of my passion) the World would questionless count it the highest piece of Folly imaginable, to bye a fanci’d Felicity, with the price of a reall one: for if it be so, that I must ne’re enjoy your affection, it will be happiness enough for me to possess your person.

Not somuch (said I) perhaps as you imagine; for if you compell me to pay obedience to my Fathers Will, I shall endevour to render you as unhappie as you desire to make me.

Not staying for his Answere I ris up and went immediatly out of my Closet to my Chamber, where I threw my selfe upon my Bed; revou^lv^ing[2] in my mind a thousand severall confused thoughts. I confess (continu’d the Queen) till now I had esteem’d Phasellus very much, as I thought I was oblig’d to do, both by those noble Qualities I really believ’d him endu’d with, and those services he{340} had rendred my Country; but more especially as he was your Friend (said she to my Prince, pursu’d Mexaris) but in an instant, that esteeme was chang’d into so strang an aversion as I beheld him with Eyes quite different from those wherewith I look’d on him but a few minutes before: for now, all that had seem’d commendable in him heretofore, appear’d to me cleare contrary; and those thinges which before I accounted Vertues in him, now bore the shape of Vice. His Valour (methought) seem’d rather rashness, his [fol. 153 r ] Generosity, Pride, and Ostentation; his Civility and Complacence, base Flattery, and dissemulation; so that I could not (in fine) see one quality in him, which did not render him a Fitter Object of my Scorn, then Love. Then did I break out into many sad Complaints against the severity of Achemenes.

Ah cruell Father (cry’d I) to exact of me a proofe of my Obedience after your death, which your Indulgence assur’d me you would never have requir’d from me had you liv’d. Many other things the extreamity of my griefe forced from my mouth, which nothing but the sense of that unavoidable misfortune I saw my selfe confin’d to suffer, by the Decree of my Father (as I thought) from whence I had no appeale could render pardonable. I tormented my self day and night in that manner, as it has been my Wonder I did not loose my Wits; and the rather, because I kept my griefe close Prisoner in my brest, not imparting it to any one, no not so much as to Theocrite who in all things else was perfectly acquainted with my Thoughts. As long as I could, I avoided both the sight, and conversation of Phasellus: but when I found I could do so no longer, I sent for him one day into my Chamber, whether he presently came with much Joy in his Looks, hopeing (as he said) the Fates had made a happie change for him in my Inclination; but I soon let him understand his errour.

For after a little silence, Phasellus (said I to him) I sent for you to let you know, I have endevour’d all that I am able to conforme my selfe to what my duty obliges me; but after all, I find it so impossible to give you my heart (though I should give you my person) that you may as well hope to extract Fire out of Water (which of all Elements is the most contrary to it) as ever create in me such an affection as is due from a Wife to a Husband; without which, there is little hopes of any happiness to be found either for you or me: therefore I conjure you by all that you esteeme most deare, to exempt me from that engagement the King my Father laid upon me, and in requitall I’ll promise to obtain you the affection of Artabella, who is a Princess of whom I can claime no precedency in any thing, my birth excepted; seting that aside, there’s nothing but she equalls me in, and in beauty far excells me: and more then that, I will engage never to alter my condition, but to lead my life in perpetuall Virginity, that so after my decease my Crowne may descend to you (To this intent it was that I sent for Artabella back to Susa) I made him this advantagious proposall (pursu’d she) in hopes he would accept it; and out of a beliefe, that if your passion for me Generous Prince were such as you had represented it, you would chuse to dispence with the loss of the Persian Crowne, rather then Oriana.{341}

O Madam (cry’d my Prince [Diomed]) how infinitly obliging was your opinion, and how much Justice was there in those generous thoughts of yours. Yes my Dearest Queen (pursu’d he) had there been truth in what Phasellus affirm’d, that Achemenes had really given him that right to you which he pretended; I should indeed most willingly have dispenced not onely with the loss of the Persian Crowne, but of the Romane too (had I been possess’d of it) nay of all the Crownes on Earth rather then I would have foregone so invaluable Treasure as you Divinest Oriana are.

With this he was [fol. 153 v ] silent and the Queen went on.

Your proffer Madam is not so inconsiderable (repli’d Phasellus), but that perhaps I might accept it, were not my passion greater for you then my ambition for your Crowne or Kingdome; for I know well the Princess Artabella is a person of those perfections, as no Prince but would be proud to weare her Fetters; but were she yet more excellent I should disdain her affection in comparrisson of yours.

I have already told you (said I) that mine you never must expect, and therefore you are in my opinion very unreasonable to refuse a Princess who possibly may requite your passion with a reciprocall one, for One who declares she neither can nor will, and who cannot admit of so much as one obliging thought of you, so long as you continue your pretences to her; which I can never approve of for severall reasons.

How weighty soever they may be Madam (replied he) methinkes you should find one more prevalent to accept, then you have to reject me, since the Great Achemenes deem’d me worthy of you: but perhaps this undeserved aversion you express for me proceeds not so much from my want of merit, as from Diomed’s having prepossest your heart.

You are not so deep there (said I) to know my Inclinations; but however, I shall not scruple to avow it, that if the King my Father had pursu’d his first intentions, I should have obey’d him with as high a satisfaction, as I shall now with repugnance; sin^c^e Diomeds merits no less then his birth gives him the precedency of you in all respects.

I knew in this, I spake more then discretion alow’d me, but so highly offended was I that he should take the boldness to upbraid me, with what he had no assurance of more then his owne suspition, as I car’d not what I said so that my words might but disoblige him, as much as he had displeas’d me: but finding my anger rise to that height, as I fear’d it would in despight of me break out into some expressions, which (possibly) I might afterwards have repented, I quitted my Chamber, not vouchsafeing to heare what he would reply, onely I left him a scornfull Look as I pass’d by him, to ruminate upon; hoping he would interpret it as an effect of his Presumption: which the next time he saw me, he on his knees beg’d my Pardon for, in the most submissive language he could invent.{342}

I still continu’d to perswade him by all the most prevalent arguments I could devize to relinquish his pretences to me; but he remain’d inflexa^i^ble,[3] still urging me with my Duty, and my Engagement to Achemenes, which (he said) if I would have a Dispensation from, I must fetch him from the Dead to absolve me. When I saw no remedy, I at last consented (as far as I was able) to be his, though I still defer’d it as long as I could find any pretence, in expectation of your returne; hoping your Friendship might worke more on him then my Intreaties. But at length, hearing you had suddenly left your Company as you were returning hither, I fanci’d you had some Intelligence of what had pass’d which I believ’d you resented [felt] so ill, to be so slighted, and another unjustly prefer’d before you, as I really thought you had abandon’d this ungratfull Country (as I term’d it) and gone back into your owne. Soe that having no way left me to evade [fol. 154 r ] Phasellus’s pursutes, I marri’d him, but with what resolution I suppose you have already heard.

Yes Madam (repli’d my Prince) I have and know not whether was greater, my griefe, or my amazment at that so cruell a resolve; and I really think my trouble would have been greater (if possible) to have known you had di’d by your owne hand, then to have seen you live Phasellus’s.

The Queen (pursu’d Mexaris) doubting she had disturb’d my Master by the length of her Discourse, would no longer continue it; but wishing him a good night she took her leave of him and retir’d to her rest, which was much disturb’d with her feares for my Prince’s life. So soon as she awak’d the next morning, she sent to enquire how he had rested, and an Answere being returned that he had had so violent a Fit that night as it was fear’d he could not live many houres, she arose and causing herselfe to be dress’d in her Morning At^t^ire, (with all imaginable speed) she came with hast into my Masters Chamber; but finding him newly fallen into a little slumber, she sate downe in a Chaire by his Bedside; and puting by the Curtain a little with her hand, she beheld him as he lay, with such a Mortall Paleness spread o’re all his Face, that had she not heard him breath, she would (questionless) have thought Life had forsaken him, which touch’d her with a very sensible compassion to thinke what he had done and suffer’d for her sake, and that now, when as he might have tryumph’d over all his misfortunes, he was even ready to expire.

Twas not long she sate reflecting on these sad thoughts ere he awak’d, and casting his eyes upon the Queen. Ah Madam (cry’d he with a sigh) my time draws on and Death apace approaches to summon me away: but Madam (continu’d he) I must humbly beg from you ere I dye, a confirmation of that Peace which I concluded with Scythia.

You may assure your self Generous Prince (repli’d she) it shall be done; for I receiv’d from Barsarnes so high a Character of the Vertues both of Cydarius,{343} and Clazomena, and the generous Friendship they testifi’d to you, that I resolv’d for your sake (though you had never mention’d it) to acquit them of the trybute, and send back their Hostages; desiring rather to oblige them to assist me as Friends, then Tributaries.

As they were in this discourse Phasellus came into the Roome; and approached the Bed where my Master lay, with a Fearless and undaunted Look. The Queen was much surpriz’d at his coming, and the more, in regard she knew not to what violence against my Prince, his malice, and dispaire might transport him: which moov’d her to speak to him after this manner.

Wicked man (said she) hast thou the Impudence to bring that guilty Face into my presence, and carry on it no mark of shame, or of repentance for those notorious Crimes thou hast commited; but say, what is it that you came for, and what Designe bringes you hither.

I come with no other Madam (he repli’d) then to reproach you with your cruelty to your Husband; for though (I confess) I attain’d that title by injustice, yet none without a greater can now deprive me of it; for since by so sacred a tye as that of Marriage you made yourselfe mine, no Mortall Power can disolve the Knot: they may take away my life, but cannot [fol. 154 v ] lawfully take you from me; for none but the Gods can now divorce us by the hand of Death. I know my Crimes are such as will render my memory justly odious to posterity; but yet, great as they are, you ought rather to look on them as the effects of that violent passion wherewith I was inspir’d, then the products of my inclination. Yes Madam (pursu’d he) I acknowledge, through an excess of Love I have betray’d you, violated all the Lawes of Friendship, abused the innocent affection of a most Vertuous Princess who honour’d me with more Love then ever I could have deserv’d, had I continu’d constant; yet am I so far from repenting, that (I declare) I would act o’re my Crimes again, rather then not enjoy you: and could so great, so strange an affection be capable of producing no returne, not so much as pitie. Cruell woman (went he on) though you had so intirely given your heart to another, as you could afford me no place in it; yet methinkes, Decency, and the sense you ought to have of your owne honour, should have restrain’d you from confering Favours on your Lover, you deny your Husband. I know this is the second time you have honour’d him with a visit, though you would not once vouchsafe as so much as to cast an eye on me in this misfortune and disgrace whereinto I am fallen meerly for my affection to you.

So strongly amaz’d was the Queen to heare him speak in this manner, as she had not the power to interrupt him, but let him go on a long time at this rate. But at last, casting a disdainfull Look on him. I know too well (said she) what I owe to my honour, to be put in mind of it by you who have no spark of either verture, or honour remaining in your soule. But know Unworthy Man (continu’d she) had I not been satisfi’d as to my Conscience that I ought no longer to regard thee as a Husband, but as a Traitour that has sought to deprive me of my Crowne, and Dignity; and that I am sufficently dispenced with from all tyes, and obligations{344} I have to thee, how great soever my respect had been for Prince Lucius, it should ne’re have made me shew him any other Favour then what Civility, or Gratitude exacted of me; and I think that kindness wherewith you have twice taken the liberty to upbraid me, has not transcended those limits: but get you instantly out of my sight, or you shall dearly repent your Presumption in coming into my Presence unsent for.

I will immediatly obey you Madam (he repli’d) but permit me first I beseech you, to speak a word to him who once honour’d me (though most undeservedly) with the title of his Dearest Friend. With that he addresst himselfe to my Prince (pursu’d Mexaris) who had all this while hearkned to him with an unconceiveable trouble, caus’d by the rememberance of his Offences, and of that most affectionat Friendship he once had born him.

Assoon as he saw him enter the Roome he turn’d away his Face, as unwilling to look on him, but perceiving by his last words to the Queen, he had an intention to say something to him, which he [fol. 155 r ] desiring to prevent said to him.

Oh Heavens Phasellus still will you persecute me; have you brought me even to my Grave by your Wickedness, and will you not suffer me to enter it in quiet; methinkes after all those miseries you have made me suffer, you should not be so cruell to desturbe the last moments of my life with your sight, which ^you^ cannot but think is now most hatefull to me.

I know it but too well (repli’d Phasellus) that I have rendred myselfe deservedly hatefull to you, by those Crimes wherof I cannot but acknowledge my selfe guilty, and by those Injuries I have done you: but yet I come not with repentance to implore your Pardon, for I know they have been too great for any remorse of mine to expiate, and tis rather by my blood, then by my teares I ought to give you a reparation for them; but that I may not dy in your opinion more guilty then I really am, tis fit I let you know I had no intention, no not the least thought of deceiving you when I gave you the contrary Ring, but did it meerly through a mistake, which I never perceiv’d till after I came hither, where I beheld again the fatall beauty of this cruell Queen (pursu’d he looking on Oriana). But had I (as I expected) found the Princess Artabella here, I am perswaded I had been still innocent, and you both happie: for missing at my return, the Object of my Love, my heart soon took the impression of a new affection, and I instantly became more passionate for Oriana, then ever you had known me before for Artabella; and nothing was so great a wonder to me then, as that I had so long been blind to the perfections of the Queens admired beauty, so that I had not before given it the preheminence of Artabellas in my fancy: yet I must needs say, I oppos’d this crimenall passion with all the Arguments, my Friendship, my Vertue, and my Reason could furnish me with; but they were all too weak, for it soon forced an enterance into my brest in despight of all the resistance I could make; where once having took possession, it rul’d with so much Tyranie as it utterly depriv’d me of the liberty to act by any motion but what it inspir’d me with. But yet I had{345} not so absolutely lost my reason, but that I saw, if I would be happie, I must be wicked, nay superlatively so, by becoming guilty of the vildest Ingratitude to you that ever yet was practic’d towards any; of treachery, and Injustice to the Queen, of black and horrid Perjury, and Infidelity to Artabella; yet these powerfull Considerations were insufficent to deterre me from the Guilt I have contracted.

And now if you believe you still have reason to upbraid me with the wronges you have by my meanes sustain’d, I have some cause likewise to reproach you: for if I depriv’d you of a Mistress, you more injuriously rob me of a Wife, and of those affections of hers, which ought to be no bodies now but mine: for which Injustice since I cannot hope for a reddress on Earth, I will go and complain to the Gods. Prince Lucius farewell (continu’d he) may you live to enjoy a happiness I was unworthy [fol. 155 v ] of, and which I will no more disturbe by presenting to your view an Object so detested. Madam (pursu’d he bowing to the Queen) I ^wish^ beg your felicity may equall my Offences, which I will onely beg, the rememberance of may be buried with me in my Grave. I can but dy to satisfie both your resentments [sentiments], and my owne dispaire. Accept then Madam (cry’d he) the onely reparation I can give, or you receive. Just as he pronounced these words, he strook a Dagger (which he had secretly conceal’d so as none perceiv’d it) soe deep into his heart, as in an instant he fell dead at the Queens Feet.

Hitherto (said Celia) Artabella had preserv’d some sentiments of kindness for Phasellus, notwithstanding those misfortunes he had caus’d her, but now in a moment, they all forsooke her, leaving in their place a perfect hatered, and an utter detestation of him, and was so far from conceiving the least sorrow or compassion ^for^ at his death, that she declar’d if she had any thinge of trouble for it, it was because his punishment proportion’d not his Crimes.

Base perfidious man (said she) were all those miseries he has made me suffer, so little considerable with him, as not to stirre up in his soule some slight regret for all my wrongs; he testifi’d some repentance for the Injuries he had done his Friend, and Oriana, but shew’d not the least remorse for any thing he had done against me.

After this she was silent, and Mexaris went on. My Prince (said he) hearing the noise Phasellus made with his Fall, look’t out of his Bed to see what the matter was, and seeing the tragick part which he had acted on himselfe, he was struck with so much horrour at what he had done, and so reall a compassion for him, that I really believe (pursu’d Mexaris) it was a meanes of shortning his Life: for beholding him as he lay weltring in his blood, he could not refraine from teares, and deeply sighing.

Ah most Unhappie Phasellus (said he) to what a disasterous Fate has thy Inconstancy (that spring, and originall of all thy Crimes) brought thee: but would to Heaven I could as easily restore thy Life, as I could have forgiven thee the Wrongs thou didst me, had not the Princess Artabellas been included in them.{346}

The Queens enmity ceas’d likewise with his Life; for him that a few minutes before she could not look on without hatred, she now beheld with pitty; but except her Majesty, and my Generous Master, I [Mexaris] really think there was scarce any that did not repine that he had so slight a punishment for such notorious Offences. The Queen perceiving the sight of him was a trouble to my Prince, caus’d his body to be carried away; which being done, she sate a while in silence reflecting on the Justice of the Gods, who although they had permitted Phasellus’s treachery so long to remain undiscover’d, yet had so timely brought it to light as he could not attaine the accomplishment of his desires; and that as he had contriv’d the ruine of two persons, whose preservations, and felicities ought to have been no less deare to him then his owne, so with his owne hand he had reveng’d them on himselfe, by becoming his owne Executioner.

Whilst the Queens thoughts were thus employ’d, my Prince began to find so great an alteration in himselfe, as believing he must take an eternall Farewell of her, he put those thoughts out of her mind by saying. I must dye [fol. 156 r ] my Fairest Queen, my Dearest Oriana, I must dye (pursu’d he) but that affects me not, for I know I was not born immortall, but onely as it is the cruell occation of seperating me from you: tis that Madam, and that alone which makes me receive my death with more regret then ever any did; since I am constrain’d so soon to leave you, and to leave you too, before such time as you are wholy mine: had I but liv’d till I had obtain’d that happiness, Death would rather have been a satisfaction then a trouble to me.

While he spake in this manner, the Queen was so o’recome with griefe, as it stop’d the passage of her words; but her Eyes supplying the office of her Tongue, sufficently express’d the sad resentments [sentiments] of her mind.

But yet my death would be the more supportable (continu’d he) could I but obtain an assurance that I shall live forever in your memory.

You cannot but assure yourselfe you shall (repli’d the Queen) unless you thinke Phasellus has infected me with his Ingratitude. Yes my deare Lucius (pursu’d she with a new Flood of teares) you shall ever live in my rememberance, nor shall a second affection ever deprive you of that interest you have in my heart, which I am resolv’d to bury so deep within your Tombe as it shall ne’re revive with any future Flame, for though cruell Fate would not suffer me to live yours, it is not in its power to hinder me from dying so.

Faine would my Master have made some reply (went on Mexaris) but his speech began to faulter, as he could not pronounce his words so as to be understood; but though he could not speak, he fix’t his dying eyes upon the Queen a little while, and of a sudden clos’d them up forever; his Generous Soule in an instant abandoning its noble Dwelling, took its flight to a more glorious sphear.

How unconcern’d soever Artabella was (said Celia) for the death of Phasellus, yet could she not refraine from deploring Diomed’s with all the demonstrations of a reall griefe. Ah Generous Prince (said she weeping most bitterly) how worthy were you of a better Fate: but Heaven (I doubt not) has given you the full{347} reward of all your unequall’d Vertues, and all those sufferings to which you were expos’d; by exalting you to those Regions of Felicity, where Vertuous soules do live in endless Joys; where they, secure above the reach of Fortunes power, look downe upon their past misfortunes with contempt.

Then being silent, Mexaris went on again. To tell you Madam (pursu’d he) all those expressions of sorrow the Queen utter’d upon this sad occation is more then I am able; my griefe for my Deare Master being so extreame, as I was uncapable of minding tha anything that was said: but I remember after a little time she was carri’d to her owne Chamber in a condition little different from my Masters; but though it was not long she remain’d so, yet for many dayes she continu’d such excessive weepings, as it was the wonder of all those about her, that she did not weep herself to death. All that could be said to comfort her, serv’d but for greater aggravations of her sorrow; which was such as she dispair’d to find a cure even from Time (Griefes best Phisician.) The whole Court put themselves in mourning, as they had done not long before for Achemenes; and truly I thinke [fol. 156 v ] their Habits spake not more sadness then their hearts resented [felt]. As for Oriana, she cloister’d up herselfe in a darkness resembling the blackness of that Melancholy which had ceaz’d ^seized^[4] on her disconsolate spirits; for, for many dayes she suffer’d not one glimps^e^ of Light to be seen in her Chamber more then what one single Taper afforded.

All the Concerns of the Kingdome she intrusted to Barsarnes’s care, leaving it to him likewise to prepare for my Princes Obsequies (continu’d Mexaris) which some ten dayes after his death were perform’d with the same state, and solemnity that Achemenes’s had been. The day of his Funu^e^erall[5] being come; the streets were hung with black from the Palace to the place of Buriall, and no person permitted on pain of death to appeare in the street that had not on the habit of a Mourner. The Hearse was cover’d with black Velvet, and the Horses with the same downe to the Ground; and both the He^a^rse and Horses adorn’d on every side with the Empieriall ^Imperiall^[6] Armes. After his He^a^rse follow’d Barsarnes, and another Persian Prince bearing between them the Crowne, and Scepter, wreath’d about with black Cypress; after them came all the other Princes that were resident in Susa, two, and two on foot, their severall Chariots following in order according to their qualities next after the Queens (for though she was not in it, she commanded it should attend my Prince to his Grave). In this manner was he brought to the Tombe which was prepar’d for the reception of his body, where they left him to the enjoyment of a quiet repose after all his miseries.

The next day was Phasellus buri’d, but without that least shew of any Pompe, or Funu^e^rall[7] solem^n^ities: but assoon as the Queen was in a condition{348} to consider of anything, she gave order for a stately Monument to be erected for my Prince, which was neer finisht when I left Persia.

The night before my Deare Master di’d (after the Queen had left him) he call’d me to him, commanding and conjuring me by all the Love and Service I had for him to go in quest of you Madam (pursu’d he to Artabella) and never to cease my search till I had found you, and given you an account both of his misfortunes, and your owne. And assure that Excellent Princess (said he) that I dy as constant in my Friendship to her, as in my passion to Oriana; and that I hate Phasellus much more for his disloyalty to her, then his Infidelity to my selfe. Then calling for those Jewells, and that Gold which he had left, he took from among them a Bracelet of Diamonds (which the Princess Juliana his sister had given him the night before he left Rome) and presenting it to Barsarnes he beg’d him to accept and weare it for his sake; the rest he divided between Tereus, and my self, telling us it troubled him that Fortune would not suffer him to reward us with other recompences then those inconsiderable tryfles. For my part, I thought Tereus so well worthy of what my Master gave him, that had he given him too what he bestow’d on me, I should not have look’d on my Princes’s bounty to him with [fol. 157 r ] an envious eye.

The Queen the better to manifest her kindness to the memory of my Prince (continu’d Mexaris) express’d a singule^a^r[8] respect to all those that had any way oblig’d him, or that she thought he had any affection for. She confirm’d Barsarnes in that Principality which Achemenes had given him, and confer’d on him diverse other honours; she took no advice but from him, nor could others obtain any Favour from her but by his mediation: and as he had the honour to possess the Queens favour in a higher degree then any other, so was he more worthy of it: for with that moderation did he still demeane himselfe in that high estate to which he was exalted, that he was not in the least puff’d up with it; but alwayes employ’d the credit he had with her for her advantage, or the benefit of her subjects (as a worthy Favourite ought to do) Tereus, and my selfe had both of us considerable Places in Court given us within a few dayes; but I soon after abandon’d mine, to accomplish what my Prince had enjoyn’d me.

The day before I intended to begin my Progress, I was accidentally talking with Tereus, in the Palacegate concerning it. But which way do you intend first to steere you[r] course (demanded he) or in what part of the world do you imagine to find the Princess Artabella in, I am perswaded (pursu’d he) she is not in Persia.

I am of your opinion (answer’d I) for that, but wheresoe’re she is I must seek her out (if she be in the World to be found) or never end my search but with my life: I know I have undertaken a difficult taske, but were it yet more difficult it should not in the least dismay, or hinder me from performing the last service my Dearest Master impos’d upon me.{349}

Whilst we were talking thus, I took notice of a man (whom by his Habit I knew to be a stranger) who stood earnestly looking on me, which moov’d me to aske him whether he had any business with me. That which I heard you say but now (answer’d he) induces me to believe you belong to Phasellus; which if you do, I intreat you favour me so farre as to help me to the speech of him.

I having a great desire to know what he had to say to him confirm’d him in his opinion; telling him it was impossible for him to speak with Phasellus, but if he had any business of concernment with him if he would intrust me with it, I would let him know it.

Pray tell him then (said he) the Princess Artabella is in Delphos.

Are you sure she is (repli’d I overjoy’d at this wellcome newes which I so little expected).

I think so (said he). I am sure she was when I came thence, which was not above ten dayes since.

Did you come from her to Phasellus (demanded I).

No (answer’d he) she sent me not, but one Saparilla who attends her, did.

Friend (said I) Phasellus is dead; and happie had it been for that Princess he had been so ere she had seen him; but I was just going to begin a Journey in quest of her, which for ought I know might have been endless, had you not thus happily come to enforme me of the place of her aboad. I then told him upon what designe I went to seek you that I might engage him the more freely to acquaint me with all he knew concerning you Madam (continu’d Mexaris). He then told me his name was Eumetes, and how it was in his Brothers ship that you had made an escape [fol. 157 v ] from Zarispe, as also what a lamentable condition you had been reduced too by Pirats, and how you had been carri’d to Delphos by the King thereof, and then been treated by him with all the respect due to your quality, and that you stay’d onely for y his returne to bring you back to Persia. I then carri’d Eumetes to my Cha Chamber, where I stay’d him till the next day, that being tw^o^o[9] far spent to begin our Journey.

I had certainly given the Queen this Intelligence (pursu’d Mexaris) had she been in Susa; for I could not but believe it would be most wellcome newes to her after she had lamented you as dead to be assur’d you were yet alive: but having much impair’d her health by her excessive Griefe, by the advice of her Phisicians (in hopes to recover it) she chang’d the Aire; removing to Elymais which is reputed to be the purest Aire, and the most healthy place in all Persia: but this Citty being many miles distant from Susa, I could not perswade Eumetes to stay my returne: for being (as he said) confin’d to a certaine time which was already expir’d, he was oblig’d to make all possible hast back again to Delphos lest Madam you might be come away ere his returne. I then consider’d if it would rejoyce the Queen to heare you were alive, it would much more rejoyce her to see{350} you were soe; whereupon I resolv’d to depart with Eumetes the next day to waite on you back to Persia. The fourth day after, we imbark’d, and had as prosperous a Voyage as we could wish, landing here the thirteenth day after we set saile.

Mexaris having thus ended his sad story, Artabella gave him many thankes for taking on him so great a trouble to oblige her; after which he took his leave of her for that time, going along with Saparilla who carried him to some of Alcanders Gentlemen who treated him with aboundance of kindness and civility. When she had brought him to such good Company, she left him with them, and return’d to the Princess her Mistress, whom she found reflecting on her owne misfortunes, Diomeds mishape, and Phasellus’s ungratfull Infidelity to both.

But after some serious thoughts of these things, she fix’d her Eyes (being wholy drowned in teares) on Saparilla. Ah (said she) tis onely unhappie Artabella that has been the cause both of her owne misfortunes, and poor Prince Lucius’s too; for had I not so blindly ty’d my heart to a fond dotage on Phasellus, I had not (questionless) oppos’d my father^’s^ will, but given my selfe to that brave Prince who would (perhaps) have found a satisfaction in this little beauty which Phasellus so much disdain’d. Ah Foolish Artabella (continu’d she) how indiscreet a choice didst thou make, in preferring so worthless a man, before two of the bravest, and most Generous Princes in the World, whose noble passions were as reall, as his was counterfeite: but although I have rejected those whom I could not refuse without ingratitude, Alcander shall see, though I know not how to requite his affection, yet I know how to punish my owne Ingratitude; which I will do, by inflicting on my selfe a Pennance most severe: for I am resolv’d ne’re to see Persia more (that Land of my misfortunes) but I will fly from hence, into some desolate and unfrequented place, where in the horrour of [fol. 158 r ] some dismall Cave, I’ll spend the remainder of my miserable Life: there will I set till Death shall put an end to my Laments, incessantly bewailing my owne Folly, and the misfortunes of my Dearest Friends. Ah now too well I see the truth of that prediction foretold me by Apollo, since Divine Justice has made Phasellus punish on himselfe his Ungratfull Friendship, and his Faithless Love: But by what way (pursu’d she) can I repaire the loss of his Affection, and my owne which I have fool’d away so long on One unworthy of it.

Methinkes (answer’d Saparilla) you need not Madam study much to find a repe^a^ration[10] for that Loss, sinse since Heaven seemes in requitall to proffer you the affection of the Brave Alcander, a Prince so every way accomplish’d as his equall cannot be found, since Diomed is gone, who onely could stand in competition with him; what then should hinder you Madam (continu’d she) from quit^t^ing that Resolution you lately made so prejudiceall to that Felicity you may yet enjoy, and assuming one more reasonable, as well as Just: For pardon me Madam if I say, you cannot without a high Injustice thinke of punishing on{351} your selfe the offences of another. Because Phasellus abandon’d you (with a baseness beyond example) will you therefore be so unjust, and cruell to your selfe to decline all the comforts of Life, and entombe your selfe ere you are dead, by abandoning all society. No Madam (pursu’d she) rather thinke how you may erect a Trophie of Felicity upon the ruines of your former Love; which you may (undoubtedly) do, if you can but once resolve to make the Delphian King happie, by conferring on him an affection you cannot but acknowledge him most worthy of; since he has ador’d you with so pure, and perfect a Flame.

The Princess Artabella was so displeas’d with Saparilla for offering to perswade her to entertaine a second Love into her Bre^a^st (after the enduring so many miseries as her first had procur’d her) as she turn’d away her head, commanding her not to speak a word more, for she was no longer able to lend an Eare to a Discourse so offenc^s^ive[11] to her. All the rest of that day she stir^r^’d not out of her Chamber, but remain’d in a deep sadness, and a silence as great; making no other expressions of her Griefe then sighs, and teares which softly trickled downe her Cheekes.

The Princess Delizia admiring she saw her not again that day, the next morning after she had been with the King went to her, to e^i^nforme[12] herselfe of the cause; but when she came to her, she perceiv’d she was dress’d in those very Clothes she came into Del^ph^os in, which moov’d her to say to her. What new misfortune has befallen you Deare Artabella that you put on again this sable dress; or is it for poor Alcanders death that you weare this anticipated Mourning.

I hope (answer’d Artabella) I shall ne’re have cause to put on black on that account you mention’d last. No Delizia (continu’d she) tis my misforutnes (which are such, as there is not any thinge that can render me more perfectly wretched then I am) that have e^i^nduced[13] me once to put on a Habit su^i^table to my mind: but to tell you how unhappie I am, I need say no more than that I have lost Phasellus eternally.

How have you lost him (demanded Delizia) by Death, or Infidelity.

By both (answer’d Artabella) but you will think it strange if I assure you that his death, and Infidelity to me, are the least occat^s^ions[14] of my sorrow; and that I am much more concern’d for his Injuries to others, then to my selfe. But set downe, [fol. 158 v ] Deere Delizia and I will tell you such a story as you shall be amaz’d to heare.

With that she gave her in short a recitall of all Phasellus’s Villanie, which having done, Delizia repli’d. You had reason to say I would be amaz’d at what you had to tell me; indeed I am so, and that so much as I shall never think any{352} thinge strange that I shall henceforth heare. But say Artabella (pursu’d she) can you retaine any spark of kindness for a man so base unextinguish’d in your heart.

I should count my selfe well worthy of my sufferings (answer’d she) if I had so poor, so meane a spirit as still to continue the least sentiments of passion for him who died without remorse for all those miseries he had heap’d on me. No Delizia, believe it, hatred Flames now within my heart as high as ever Love has done.

Both then (said Celia) continuing a while in silence, Delizia at last broke it in these words. Since the greatest Obstacle to Alcander’s happiness is now remoov’d, and that you have no longer your Fidelity to oppose it with, permit me Deare Artabella (continu’d she) to implore your Favour for him; which you know I never did before, nor would not now, were I not sure you may (without the least fault) grant my su^i^te: for how deare soever the King my Brother is to me I would have suffer’d him to dye, and died my selfe to testifie that kindness I have for him, ere I would have open’d my Lips with a desire ^to obtain^ the least thing in his behalfe injurious to your Vertue: but now I trust, your Friendship will excuse me if I beg you to save my Brothers Life, since tis onely in your power to recall him from his Tombe to which he hastnes^ens^.

Though the Infidelity of Phasellus (repli’d Artabella) has disengag’d me from that affection I ought to have preserv’d inviolable to the last minute of my Life, had he been Faithfull to me, yet I know not any thing that can free me from what I owe my selfe, or set my heart so far at liberty to make a second choice; tis enough that I have once submitted to that tyran^n^ick passion, it would be too too much should I be twice conquered by it. If then you wish your Brothers Felicity, employ that power you have with him, to perswade him to give over all thoughts of forever of a person whose misfortune has rendred her most unworthy of him; and beg him Deare Delizia I beseech you to permit me to enjoy in quiet this poor forsaken heart, since tis impossible for me to part with it any more.

Ah cruell Artabella (cry’d Delizia) tis no longer of Fortune, but of you, I must complain, since tis on you Alcanders destiny does now depend; and in your power alone to create him the happiest of men; seeing he hast bounded all his happiness in your affection, which you cannot without the highest Ingratitude deny him, having no justifyable reason to the contrary; but admit you had, and that he were a person more indifferent to you then he is; yet sure if you have so reall a Friendship for me, as I have hitherto believ’d, you would a little do violence ^on^ your humour and inclination (especially when you may safely do it, without the least prejudice to your Vertue) rather then expose to death a Friend who loves you dearer then her selfe. Yes Artabella, for my sake methinkes you should mittigate somewhat [fol. 159 r ] of that severity which (I dare assure my selfe) that inviolable passion wherewith Alcander does adore you, would at length wholy divest you of, could he but live to continue it. But if you neither can, nor will crowne his affection with a mutuall one, yet I conjure you for my sake, shew him onely somuch kindness as may secure both him, and me from a death so certaine as{353} nothing but your Favour can rescue us: for if he dies, I have vow’d to sacrifice my Life upon his Tombe; and then, you will be the cruell occat^s^ion[15] not onely of Alcanders death, but of Delizia’s too; and by that meanes deprive your selfe likewise of the Faithfullest Friend, as well as of the most passionatest servant your Vertues (great as they are) can ere acquire you.

You are more cruell (repli’d Artabella) then you think me, to heape more misery on my oppressed Soule. O Delizia why do you terrifie me with such a Fatall Vow, I will do all that I am able to preserve you that Deare Brother, whom my ill Fate (rather then that cruelty you unjustly accuse me of) exposes to death: but to do it, would you have me turne dissembler. No Delizia I am so much Alcanders Debter for that noble passion he expresses for me, that I cannot without the highest ingratitude imaginable, repay it with a counterfeit kindness; allow me then at least some little intervall, some little time to race [erase] out of my Soule, the Ideas of my former Love, before I entertain any new impressions: nor will it be so easie a taske as haply you imagine, to perswade my heart (after so cruell, and injurious a treatment as it receiv’d from Phasellus) to become anothers, le^a^st it should be expos’d to new, and greater sufferings; not that I question Alcanders Vertue, but doubt my owne ill Fate; and the malice of my Starres, which have hitherto had so strang^e^ an influence on me, that I have reason to feare, (if it be in their power) they will change the Kings Inclinations (as I am perswaded they did Phasellus’s) on purpose to make my unhappiness compleat: for I really think, Phasellus once was noble, once was generous and Faithfull to his Friend; but when he once became mine, all that was great, and noble in him abandon’d him, and he became wicked, that I might be unhappie. But in the meane time, you may give Alcander this assurance, that if ever I am capable of a second affection, it shall be onely for himselfe: and that I will never prefer any other before him upon no account whatever, whilst I live.

Exceedingly was Delizia rejoyced that she had obtain’d so much from Artabella, and thinking it imprudence to press her further at that time, left her (with as much Joy in her Looks, as she late had sadness in her heart) to go to the King, whom she found in the same weak condition wherein she left him. After she had sate silently a while by him, as it were to consider in what manner she should let him understand she was not ignorant of his Love, she spak^e^ to him thus. The little confidence you have in me sir (said she) has not been able to deter me from taking a most perticuler interest in that misfortune of yours, whereof you refus’d to acquaint me with the cause. I know it for a certain truth, though not from you (but meerly from bare conjectures at the first, which have been since confirm’d by many pregnant testimonies that [fol. 159 v ] my observation has furnish’d me with) that those mortall disquiets under which you languish, has no other originall then your passion for the Princess Artabella and though I cannot promise{354} you an absolute felicity; by engaging you shall obtain a reciprocall affection from her, yet this can assure you, you may repeall your banish’d hopes, since you have now no Rivall to oppose you[r] happiness; for Phasellus lives not, nay more then that, he is deservedly dead too in Artabellas esteeme; and has left her heart free for you to take possession of, if you can but make your title to it good by a Fidelity himself was uncapable of.

Ah Delizia (cry’d the King) what do you meane, you may by this delusion a while delay, but cannot hinder my death a minute after I find you have deceiv’d me.

If I have said ought with a design to delude you (repli’d Delizia) inflict on me the severest punishment you can invent: but Sir I tell you nothing but the reall truth, of which I am my selfe convinced; and if you are not so, it shall not be my fault, since I will e^i^nforme[16] you of all I know concerning Phasellus if you please but to give me the hearing.

Most willingly Deare Sister (said he) for I can never have too great an assurance of such an unexpected Joy.

The Princess then in short told him all that she had heard from Artabella, as also the discourse she had with her concerning him, and the promise she had made her, never to prefer any before him in her choice; all which he hearkned too, with a farre greater satisfaction then ^he^ believ’d a few minutes before, he could ever be capable of; instantly giving over all desires of dying, and on the contrary embraceing all meanes conduceing to his recovery, with as much willingness as he late with obstinacy oppos’d it.

To see (pursu’d Celia) how great an Influence the Mind has o’re the Body; for in a few dayes after the Princess brought him those Joyfull tydings he began to mend, and in a little space more, regain’d so much strength as to waite on the Princess Artabella, who could not but express a great deall of Joy for his recovery, though she was sensible how much she should be persecuted both by him and Delizia; nor was she deceiv’d, for the hopes Alcander now had, that his passion would not be forever unsuccessfull, daily augmented it, which rendred his importunities proportionable to the greatness of his Flame; yet were his Addresses still attended with so profound a respect, as she could find no just reason to be offended with them. But not being able to think of coming neer that Rock where she had so lately scap’d a wrack, and being no longer capable of defending herselfe against the Kings u^i^ncessant[17] importunities, with all the reasons, and perswasions she could use to enduce him to change his passion into Friendship, she bethought herselfe of an expedient which she resolv’d to have recourse too, in hopes it might be a meanes to move him to lay aside his affection without a further prejudice to him; but if it wrought not that effect she wish’d, but that (contrary to her expectation) he still persever’d in it, she then determin’d to requite{355} it by intirely resigning to him that heart, which his Faithless Predecessor had ungratfully [fol. 160 r ] relinquish’d.

This being ones once resolv’d on, she arose one morning exceeding early; and calling for Pen, Inke and Paper she writ^ote^[18] two letters; when she had done she caused her Chariot to be made ready, pretending to Saparilla that she was going to the Temple to enquire something more pe^a^rticule^a^r^l^y[19] concerning her destiny; and sending for Mexaris to go with her, as she was going downe the sta^i^res she gave Saparilla one of the Letters, charging her if she did not returne within two houres to deliever it to the Princess. Assoon as she was without the Palace-gate she commanded the Charioteer to drive to the Hill Cynthus.

This Hill (pursu’d Celia) stands some halfe a mile distant from this Citty, and on the top of it stands a House dedicated to Diana; where certain Virgins devoted to that Goddess devoutly spend their dayes in honour of her. The Lawes of this Nunnery are, that any of those that come in, have seven yeares of Freedome (as they call it) in which space, they have liber^t^y to depart when half that time is expir’d, and at the seventh yeares end they have the same priviledge but if they stay beyond that time, they are not suffer’d to go out, but are confin’d to reside their whole lives there. To this Place Artabella directed her steps after she alighted out of the Chariot, being lead up the hill by Mexaris, but when she came to the Gate, she told him she would no longer detain him there, since she was resolv’d never to returne into her owne Country, but to lead the remainder of her miserable dayes in Delphos.

But if you go back to Persia, take with you this Letter I entreat you (continu’d she, giving him the other she had writ^t^en) and present it from me to Oriana, I have at large declar’d in it the reason of my stay, which I trust she will not be dissatisfi’d with; and desiring him to tell Saparilla if she could be contented to lead such a recluse life as she intended to lead she should come to her on the morrow, she bid him farewell, wishing him a Fortune worthy his Fidelity to his Prince. Assoon as she had acquainted those who kept the Gate what designe had brought her thither, she was instantly admitted in, which she no sooner was, but Mexaris return’d to the Chariot which waited for Artabella, in which he went back to Court, and deliever’d his Message to Saparilla who was extreamly troubled because the Princess her Mistress had not permitted her to go with her; however she resolved to follow her on the morrow; whereupon she went immediatly to the Princess, and presented her the Letter she was to deliver her (with teares in her eyes) which Delizia took notice of, yet fear’d to aske her the reason of her trouble; but taking the Letter and hastily opening it, she found it contain’d these Words{356}

The Unfortunate Artabella
To the most Excellent Princess Delizia

If your Friendship Madam can but extend so far as to pardon my uncivill departure; I shall never need a greater confirmation of it: time will assure you it was no disaffection to Alcander made me chuse this retreat, but rather my feares [fol. 160 v ] Deare Delizia that your importunities would have prov’d too potent to be resisted, though both reason, and discretion tell me I ought never to yield to them, having so lately learn’d by sad experience the little trust there is to be repos’d in those who make the largest proffessions of Fidelity. I have no reason to question the reallity of your Generous Brothers Love, I must needs say, nor had I any to doubt Phasellus’s till absence prov’d it to be counterfeit; which tryall if Alcander can withstand, and that I am once as thoroughly convinc’d of his Constancy, as I am perswaded of his present affection, I shall no longer refuse to gratifie your Friendship, and the Kings passion, then till the time wherein I may be permitted to leave this place: but tis my hopes, and shall be my constant wishes, that ere that time be halfe run out, the King will discover the errour he commits against his Judgment, in cherishing a passion for One unworthy of it, and find some fairer, and more deserving Object to fix his thoughts on then the most Unhappie


Delizia having read this Letter with an extreame trouble, as well knowing how grievously the King would resent [feel] Artabellas departure, told Saparilla she could not have believ’d the Princess her Mistress would so unkindly have left her without so much as once bid^d^ing her farewell. But pray tell me (said she) whether tis she is retir’d; this Saparilla e^i^nform’d[20] her of, as also the permission she had sent her by Mexaris to come to her the next day.

The King having (according to his usuall custome) been to waite on Artabella, but not finding her in her owne Appartments came to Delizias, supposing she might be there; where looking about, and not seeing her, he ask’d Saparilla where she was; who not knowing whether she had best tell him the truth or no, was so long ere she answer’d, that the Princess repli’d, she is gone this morning to Dianas Nunnery.

How (cry’d Alcander in a strange amaze) to Diana’s Nunnery; upon what account.

This will e^i^nforme[21] (answered Delizia) giving him Artabellas Letter, which he having intentively perus`d, gave it her again; and remaining a great while in a penc^s^ive[22] silence, his mind being confus’d with sundery resolutions; but at last turning his eyes upon the Princess.{357}

Ah Delizia (cry’d he) how unjust is Artabella to punish me for the offences of another; but great as those sufferings are to which she does expose me, I shall undergoe them without regret if she will but keep her word, in giving me at last that glorious recompence she seemes to promise if I continue unchang^e^able. I will not dye to witness my affection (as I late resolv’d) but I will live on purpose to let her see, my Constancy is proofe against both time, and absence; nor shall that Severity wherewith she treates me once shake that immov^e^able resolution I have made to adore her to the last minute of my breath, or Life. But since I know, tis impossible to get her from that Place where [fol. 161 r ] she has taken Sanctuary against my Love, till she herself vouchsafe to quit it: tell her Saparilla (continu’d he) tell my Deare (though cruell) Artabella, that since she has thought fit to exile^banish^[23] me her presence for the tryall of my Constancy, I will likewise banish my selfe from Delphos, and am resolv’d to spend the time of my Exile, in visiting the Courts of all the Princes in Asia, where possibly I may behold the greatest beauties that the World can boast: that I may thereby convince her, that a heart once vanquish’d by her eyes, can dread no other Conquerour.

Nor was this Resolution of his to be alter’d, by any thing that Delizia could say to divert him from it; for constituting her Queen Regent till his returne, he began his Travells within a few dayes after, leaving the Princess in so great a griefe as she had ne’re been sensible of till now, that she saw herselfe necessitated to undergoe so long a separation from a Brother she had ever lov’d more dearely then herselfe; but Patience was her onely remedy, and to that she had recourse.

Alcander took with him a considerable ^quantity^ of Gold and a great many rich Jewells to defray his expences till his returne, but being unwilling to be taken for what he was, he put on a Disguise, taking onely Ferintus, and one Gentleman more with him. The first Voyage he made was into Persia, where he saw Queen Oriana: but could see nothing in her (as he afterwards protested) that could in the least excuse Phasellus’s change, but (as he said) he believ’d, it was the dazling splendor of her Crowne, rather then her beauty which had blinded him. From thence he went into Media, to the Court of King Tygranes, where he beheld Verania (the Kings yo^u^nger Daughter) a most delicate, and beautious Princess. From thence he took his Journey into Cap^p^adocia, thence he went into Cilicia, then into Armenia, where he made a longer aboad then in any of those other Courts he visited; being infinitly taken with the conversation of King Tyribasus’s Sister, the Princess Piramena, who had a Face so full of Innocence, and a deportment so sweetly obliging, that he found more difficulty (as he afterwards confest) in defending himself from her assaults then any other of those Faire Ones he saw, whose beauties carried such a commanding power, as if they would compell all hearts to do them homage: but so indissolubly were his{358} affections knit to Artabella by the strong Chaines of an unshaken Fidelity, that, all that these Beauties could produce in him, was onely admiration, and esteeme. From Armenia, he went into Parthia, where he saw the so much admir’d Lucaria, who had been su’d for by six of the greatest Princes of the World, before she had attain’d her fourteenth yeare. Thence went he into Thrace where he had a sight of the Princess Orithia, who was reputed the Wonder of the World for Wit, and Beauty.

Here ’twas he put an end to his Travells, returning from thence to Delphos, whence he had been absent full three yeares. Though he made but a short stay in any of those Places thorow which he pass’d, yet stay’d he long enough to procure the Pictures of all those severall Beauties he had seen, causing them to be taken by the most skillfull Arte^i^sts[24] [fol. 161 v ] in the Kingdomes; onely Orianas Picture he could not possibly procure although he endeavour’d it very much. Being safely arriv’d at Delos^phos^[25] he was wellcom’d with all the demonstrations of a reall Joy, by all in generall, but more especially by the Princess; whose Joy nothing could equall but the sorrow she suffer’d at his departure.

The first question the King ask’t his Sister was, whether she had seen Artabella since he went (for that prive^i^ledge[26] was allow’d to those who were not professed Votaries, that they might one day in every yeare, be permitted to see any Virgin of their acquaintance that would favour them with a visit) to which Delizia answer’d, that she had seen her as often as she could be suffer’d.

And is she still determin’d to be inexorable to my affection (said the King) and may I not yet hope to be happie in hers.

I dare not promise you any thing (repli’d she) lest I deceive you with vain hopes, but if I may freely speak my thoughts, I really thinke you will have no cause to complain of her cruelty any more.

Ah Deare Sister (cry’d he embracing her) may I credit what you say.

I do not desire Sir you should (said she) till you have spoke with Artabella your selfe.

The three yeares and a halfe being now expir’d since she put herself amongst Dianas Nunns, Alcander sent the Princess to try if she could perswade her to returne to Court again; for he knew if he had gone himselfe he should not have been suffer’d to speak with her. Readily did Delizia embrace the Kings command, in going to her, and had the good Fortune to work so powerfully on her, by the assurance she gave her of an Alcanders constant perc^s^everance[27] in his{359} passion, that finding she could no longer refuse to recompence it without deservedly purchaceing to herselfe the Epithite^et^[28] of Ungratfull, she at last consented to quit her retirement; which she did, after she had chang’d her Habit, and taken Leave of the Governess, and the rest of that Society, who could not part from her without much lamenting the loss of so sweet a Companion.

About the time that the King suppos’d his Sister might be coming back, he commanded his Chariot to be made ready, that he might go meet her, in hopes he might with her also meet the adored Mistress of his Heart; and causing himselfe to be carried to the foot of the Hill, he there alighted, and begining to walk it up, he espi’d at a good distance, some Woemen coming downe the Hill over against him, whom he quickly knew to be Delizia, Artabella, and Saparilla; this so agreeable sight made him hasten to meet them; which he no soon did, but he threw himself at Artabellas Feet, and embraceing her knees with a transported Joy, he let her see his passion was rather augmented then diminish’d since he saw her.

My Divinest Princess (said he) what do you determine of me; may I yet hope, or must I still dispaire of a Felicity I know I am unworthy of yet cannot cease to beg. My passion Madam (if possible) is greater now then ever, and for Fidelity, I dare vie with Constancy it selfe.

It is not just (repli’d she, giving him her hand to raise him up) that so noble a constancy as you have shewn, should perpetually remaine unrewarded. No, Generous Prince (pursu’d she) though I have hitherto [fol. 162 r ] retain’d power enough to resist the testimonies of your Love, yet have I none to defend me any longer from the Demonstrations of your Fidelity, tis those alone that have o’recome me, and taken so large a possession of my heart, as none could ever plead a Fairer title to it then your merit gives you: and though I have found so high a content, so perfect a satisfaction in my solitude, that I would freely quit the Empier of the World were I possest of it, rather then abandon my retirement, yet have I chosen to forgoe it (how pleasing soever it has been to me) rather then I would lye under the just imputation of Ingratitude.

Whilst Artabella spake thus, the King was even ravish’d with Joy, and taking one of her faire hands on which he printed many ardent kisses, he cry’d out even in an Extacie Ah my Dearest Princess how gloriously have you recompenced me for all my sufferings; what can I be ever able to do that may deserve so blest a condition as this whereto your goodness has rais’d me.

If you count it so (said Artabella) you may by the same way you took to attaine it, preserve your selfe in it; for as not anything but your Fidelity could have given you an interest in me, so nothing but Inconstancy can deprive you of it.

Then Madam I shall be forever happie (he repli’d) for since my passion is now tryumphant over your severity, and that my Constancy has been hitherto{360} invincible when I had little or no hope for its foundation, it cannot now but eternally continue so.

By this time they were come to their Chariots, and the Princess to oblige the King her Brother took Saparilla with her, leaving Alcander to go alone with Artabella, that he might have the greater Freedome to entertain her with the assurances of his passion, of which he gave her so many convinceing testimonies, as she repented she had expos’d him to such tedious sufferings for the tryall of his Love; and in fine, gave him as intire an interest in her affections as he could wish.

And certainly (continu’d Celia) Love never made a perfecter Union of two hearts then now; for whereas the passions of Amorists usually take their rise from Fancy, theirs had reason for its Foundation, on which it rais’d the Structure of a love so lasting, as had their Lives been lengthned to Ages, it never had admitted the least diminution. The King being now al^l^ow’d a freer converse with his Princess, daily made such new discoveries of the beauties of her mind, as made his happiness (in his opinion) transcend all that the most happie persons ere enjoy’d, by knowing how great a share he had in the heart of her who was Mistress of such rare perfections.

One day, as they were walking in a Gallery which Joyn’d to her Appartment, she took notice of certain Pictures which hung there, which she had never seen there before; and viewing them very heedfully a good while, she at last ask’d the King whose Pictures they were, or whether they were onely Fancies.

No Madam (answer’d he) they are not Fancies, but the reall Resemblances of certaine Princesses fam’d thorow the World for their beauties, which has gain’d them many Adorers; but they are such as never saw my Princess, for if they had, doubtless they would as well as I thinke nothing lovely in comparisson of her.

Though I cannot pretend to the least of those incomparable beauties those Princesses so plenti^e^iously[29] possess, (Artabella modestly [fol. 162 v ] repli’d) yet I confess I should be very well satisfi’d to appeare such in your eyes as you perswade me; but I beseech you Sir tell me perticulerly their names, and who they be.

That Lady which hangs the lowest (said the King) is the Princess Elusina, Daughter to the King of Cilicia. The next her, who has on her head a Murrion shaded with White Feathers, and a La^u^nce in her hand, is the Princess Timandra the King of Cap^p^adocias Daughter; by her Mother desended from Thalestris Queen of the Amazones, and therefore I caus’d her to be drawn in an Amazonian garbe.

In my opinion (said Artabella) you could not have given her a more becoming Dress; for her beauty having in it something Masculine, her habit is the more proper, and agreeable. But who is that (continu’d she) whose Eyes, and Haire are so delicatly black as nothing can equall but the purity of her Complexion, which{361} is so fine a mixture of Red, and White as I never saw any thing yet comparable to it.

She is Orithia (answer’d he) Daughter to the King of Thrace, who is no less admir’d for her wit, then beauty.

She may indeed be term’d the Wonder of the World (repli’d Artabella) as I have heard she is esteem’d, if her inward perfections equall but her externall graces.

The next below her (went on Alcander) is Verania, the youngest of the King of Medias Daughters, who falls not much short of the Fairest ^of those^ with whom she is placed. And she whom you see Madam (pursu’d he) with the Crownes at her Feet (whereon she seemes to look with disregard) is the King of Parthias Daughter, the so much admir’d Lucaria, who young as she is, has had the glory to extend her conquest over the hearts of no less then six puissant Princes, who have at her Feet resign’d their liberty, proffering for their ransome each of them his Crown; but amongst them all you cannot see Alcanders there: for as great, and excellent as her beauty accounted, I yet can boast I serve one more transcendent.

Leave off your Flatteries Alcander (said Artabella) and think not to perswade me that your passion has so far blinded you as not to see the advantage that Princess has over me; but if you are so vain as to equall me with her, you cannot but acknowledge the other (whose name you have not told me yet) excells not onely me, but all that the Earth can shew of Lovely; for sure the hand of Nature never drew anything so exactly prety, as that sweet innocent Face.

Did you behold the Princess Artabella with those eyes wherewith I do (repli’d he) you would questionless Madam have the same opinion of her as I have, which obliges me not onely to prefer her before the Princess Piramena (as I do) but all the Beauties that the World containes. Yet this I will confess, that had not my heart been prepossesst, I should have found it no easie task to have defended it from her asaults; and certainly if it had been possible for anything to have rivall’d you in my passion, or startled my unalterable Fidelity, the Charmes of her Conversation had gone the neerest to the performance of such a Miracle; but all that ever her rare perfections produced in me was onely an assurance [fol. 163 r ] I gain’d by the knowledge of her who own’d them, that my Constancy was invincible.

Tis meerly your Vertue, not any worth in me (said Artabella) that has oblig’d you to so generous a Constancy as will render you justly famous to succeeding Ages; and will questionless ^invite^ all Vertuous Lovers to make you their Pattern, striving to imitate what they can ne’re transcend.

The Princess Delizia coming in that instant, chang’d the discourse to other theames: but nothing now was wanting to render Alcander’s happiness as perfect as Felicity it selfe could make it (since he saw himself securely enthron’d in the Heart of his Adored Princess) save onely the consummation of all his Joys which remain’d to be compleated by Hymen; for which when he had once obtain’d Artabellas{362} consent, his Nuptialls were no longer deffer’d then was requisite for the preparation for so grand a solemnity.

All the Nobles, and Ladies of the Kingdome (not onely those in Delphos, but all likewise that inhabited any of the adjacent Islands) were summoned to Delos^phos^[30] to attend the Nuptialls of their King; the day for the solemnizing where of being come, his Marriage was cellibrated with as much state as Magnificence it selfe could invent. The Princess Artabella was dresst that day in a Goun[e] of White Velvet so richly embroidred with silver, as the ground of it could hardly be discern’d what it was. Her haire wound round with Ropes of Pearle (the fairest the Orient ever saw) and bound up in the forme of a Coronet, on the top whereof was fastned a Jewell of inesteemable value all of Rubies, and Emralds; about her neck she wore a rich Carkanet of Diamonds which Alcander had presented her with not long before; but the other Jewells were her owne which she had brought out of Persia with her: nor was the Kings Habit anything inferior to hers for richness, his Clothes being silver Cloth of Tyssue, on the which he wore a loose Robe, which was fastned before with two Diamond Clasps, and reach’d from his shoulders trayling many yards after him on the ground.

The Princess being ready, the King came to fetch her from her Chamber to lead her ^to the^ Chariot wherein she was to be carried to the Temple. The Chariot which she rode in was cover’d with thine [thin] Plates of Silver, curiously cut into Flowers, and drawne by six white Horses, cover’d with cloth of silver, with Harness su^i^table to it. One each side ran Foure Pages attir’d in White Saten^sattin^[31] richly laced with silver: but the Chariot in which the King rode was all enamel’d Blew, stud^d^ed with Starres of Gold; the furniture of it being Watched [Watchet] Velvet embroidred in like manner; a like number of Pages to attend him as Artabella had, in a Livery of Watched [Watchet] Saten^ti^[32] laced with Gold.

They were no sooner come without the Palace Gates ere they were met by the Priests of Apollo (in their Robes, wearing on their heads wreathes of Laurell) who were come to waite on them to the Temple, to which they led them the way, going on before the Kings Chariot two and two in order, singing with curious Voices, an Hymeneus, or Marriage Song. Being come to the outward Gate of the Temple they all alighted, Alcander going first, was led by the Princess Delizia, and the Princess Beltizera (Daughter to his Uncle Prince Cleophantus) his Traine being carri’d up by six Pages of [fol. 163 v ] honour appointed for that purpose. Then came the Princess Artabella, led by Anaxiles, and Nearchus Brothers to Beltizera, being follow’d by four and twenty of Virgins, of the noblest Families{363} in the Kingdome, attir’d all a like in cloth of Silver; six of the Fairest of them (amongst whom Saparilla was one) carried up her Train. In this manner enter’d they the Temple, where Alcander and Artabella mutually gave their Faith to each other, having their Hands united by Flaminius the chiefest of the Priests; where, after having receiv’d his Benediction, and a prophetick promise of much happiness to befall them, Alcander took off his Crowne and set it on Artabellas head, in token that she was now his Queen; which she taking off again, and kissing it, with much respect return’d it back to the King.

This Ceremony done, in the same equipage as they came, they return’d to the Palace, where all things were prepar’d with a su^i^table grandure, their meat being usher’d up by the Musick of severall Wind Instruments, which continu’d playing all the while they were at Dinner; but that being ended, those louder soundes gave place to straines softer strains, from Instruments more sweet. The diversion for the rest of that day was a Mask presented with much curiosity by some of Alcanders servants; after which a Ball began, which lasted till the Night was far advanced, summoning them to rest; which after they had participated of a Banquet, the most profuse, and costly one that ere was seen, the Virgins convey’d the Bride to her Chamber, where they disrob’d her of her rich Attire, and having laid her into her Brideall Bed, they retir’d, leaving the Roome free for the Illustrious Bridegroom who came in soon after to assume to himself that priviledge which Hymen had that day confer’d on him. The next day ^renew’d^ their entainments with Maskes, and Dancings which lasted for the space of thirty dayes; which time expir’d, every one that had been assembled thither, took their leaves of the King, and his beautei^o^us Consort, leaving them in the plenary possession of the highest, and most perfect Felicity that ever Mortalls enjoy’d. Nor was Alcander’s passion like that of other mens, which usually ceases when once they have enjoy’d the Object of their desires, degenerating into a kind of indifferent Love, which hardly merits the name of affection; but his still continu’d with the same ardour as when it first began, till cruell Death made a divorse between those Hearts which nothing else could separate.

A year and a half being expir’d since their marriage, the Queen brought into the World a Daughter (the same pursu’d Celia who is now our Queen) of whose beauty I need give you no discription, your owne Eyes Madam (said she to Arthenia) better enforming you of her admirable perfections then I can. About a yeare after Ermillia was born, the Queen was deliever’d of a Son, to whom she gave a Persian name, calling him Orsodates. Never was anything beheld so lovely as this young Prince (unless the Faire Ermillia might be said to equall him) for all that was admirable both in Alcander and Artabella was to be seen in [fol. 164 r ] him, with so perfect a resemblance of both as was scarce to be believ’d. When he was about seven yeares of age, he was sent to be educated in the Persian Court, that being brought up there, he might be perfectly acquainted with the Laws and Customes{363} of a People he might one day come to rule, if Oriana still perc^s^ever’d[33] in her resolution of living perpetually a Virgin. The Queen of Persia having alwayes had an intire Friendship for Artabella, receiv’d Orsodates with a most tender affection, which she testifi’d by the care she took in his education, causing the World to be sought for Masters to instruct him in all noble, and excellent qualities which it was requisite he should be skill’d in. With the like care was the Princess Ermillia bred up in Delphos being to succeed her Father by a Custome we have here (which I believe pursu’d Celia is not to be found in any Kingdome of the World but this) which gives the scepter in succession to the eldest Child, prefer^r^ing the Daughter before the Son, if she be born first.

Queen Artabella considering the many miseries, and misfortunes she had undergone by meanes of a conceal’d affection to an unknown person, and being perswaded that if Phasellus had been of Royall birth he could not have been guilty of such base, degenerate, and ignoble things; and with all thinking ’twas possible Ermillia might be in danger to run the like misfortunes as she herself had done, if care were not taken to prevent it: that the like ill Fate therefore might not happen to her, or any of her Posterity, she prevail’d with the King to establish that Law which prohibits all Strangers, or Unknown persons from coming within the Palace, or any Place belonging to it; as Gardens, or Walkes, or that Park (wherein we were hunting that Morning we met with you Arthenia continu’d she which is likewise within the precincts of the Palace) without speciall leave from the King, or Queen then reigning; which after they have obtain’d they change their habit (of what Nation or Country soever they are) into such as is worn here (for so they are injoyn’d by their Warrant) and by that they are known to be priviledg’d persons. None are excepted in this Law save onely Princes, and Ambassadours because they represent the persons of those Princes from whom they are sent; but though they are in their owne persons al^l^ow’d this liberty, none that come with them are, no not so much as any of their Attendants, till such time as they have given a perticuler account what they are to an Officer deputed for that purpose; nor are any but Princes suffer’d to come into the presence of the Queens, or Princesses of this Kingdome unless by any unavoidable accident, except they have Concerns of high consequence to e^i^nform[34] them of, which in the presence of six Witnesses they must declare; otherwise on pain of death they are to hold no conferrence with them. This Law being thus dictated by the Queen, was in like manner enacted by the consent of the King and his Councell, and has ever since remain’d inviolate, none infringing the least perticuler of it.

Never had Artabelia any disaster to check that perfect happiness she enjoy’d after she was Queen of Delphos, nor the least discontent, till she was constrain’d [fol. 164 v ] to part from the Princess Delizia, who two yeares after the King{364} her Brothers marriage, was herself likewise married to the Prince of Cypr^us^ess. About that time also was Saparilla marri’d to Ferintus with the consent of the King, and the Queen her Mistress, from which marriage (went on Celia) I had the honour to proceed, and no sooner was I capable of it but I was given to the Princess for a Companion, as divers other young Ladies were; but of them all I believe I may say without Vanity, or Ostentation, that I have still been so happie as to possess her Favour in the highest degree. Serastes’s services were not forget, nor yet Eumetus’s neither; for Serastes was by Alcander made Admirall of all his Ships, and his Brother ViceAdmirall. Many yeares did the Queen King and his Faire Queen live in a Felicity none could equall, till at length, Death, envious of their happie state, made a short Divorce between them, taking Artabella from her Deare Alcander; but so sadly did he resent [feel] that disunion that he liv’d but six dayes after her; and was (as he had commanded) entomb’d in the same Monument with her. After which, Ermillia was crown’d Queen, since which time tis now nigh two years. Thus Dear Arthenia (said Celia) I have given you an exact account of the misfortunes, and succeeding happiness of our late Queen.

You have indeed (repli’d Arthenia) for which favour I do most humbly thanke you; and must acknowledge the relation you have give[n] me of the Life of the Illustrious Queen does sufficently justifie the reasonableness of that Opinion you owne in the begin^n^ing of her story: for sure no One could have more cause to dispaire of happiness then Artabella had, and yet I find she ended her dayes in so perfect a Felicity as left her no reason to complain of Fortunes severity, or unkindness: but yet from her example I can derive to my selfe but little hope, since I have known some who ne’re knew a period of their miseries (and perticulerly Ianthe, who from her Cradle to her Grave was never happie, but as she liv’d (so it seemes) she died the most unfortunate of Woemen as Ambracia can testifie who knew her from her Childhood) and therefore have more reason to feare a like Fate attends me then to hope the contrary. But however (pursu’d she) since Dispaire is the worst of ills, I’ll not be guilty of it; nor dare I indeed charge Fortune with my greatest sufferings, but rather my owne Folly; for I must do her the Justice to confess she has oft proffer’d to make me happie, had I not willfully refus’d it, and obstinatly courted my owne ruine.

You do well to resolve against Dispair (said Celia) seeing it may render you more miserable, but can avail you nothing. But Good Arthenia (continu’d she) oblige me so far as to let me know the story of Ianthe’s mishaps.

That I would most willingly ^said Arthenia^ but since Ambracia can more exactly then I enforme you of them, I’ll send for her who will I am sure (at my request) gratifie your desire more fully then I can, and may perhaps acquaint you with those things whereof I my selfe am Ignorant; being you [fol. 165 r ] were altogether a stranger to her.

To this proposall Celia having consented, Arthenia was just about to send but was prevented by Praxentia’s coming in, who brought her word Ermillia desir’d she would returne to Court if she were able; this summons she no sooner heard,{366} but she obey’d, going immediatly back with Praxentia to the Queen into whose presence she no sooner came, then with all due respects she render’d her thankes for that concerne she had exprest for her Indisposition, and princely care she had been so graciously pleas’d to take for her recovery in termes that spake sufficently the deep sense she had of her Royall Favours.

It rejoyces me very much (said the Queen) to see you so well again; and if it may be without a prejudice to you I now desire to heare the conclusion of your adventures. I confess I would willingly have dispenc^s^ed[35] with giving you this trouble so soon, but that Gentillus here (pursu’d she pointing to him) tells me his occat^s^ions[36] are so urgent for his departure as will not permit him to stay above a day or two longer, and I was very desirous I confess to oblige him with the knowledge of your stories period, as he has been acquainted with the begin^n^ing.

My obligations Madam (she repli’d) are so exceedingly great both to your Majesty and this noble Lord, as I can never think my Debt sufficently discharg’d though I gave my Life for the payment of it; and therefore I should never value a thing so inconsiderable as the impairing of my health, did I believe speaking much might do it; but thankes to Heaven and your Majesty I find my self so well as I do not in the least apprehend any prejudice by it; so setting downe upon certain Cushions which were laid for her at Ermilias Feet (who would not suffer her to stand) she after a short silence as it were to prepare their attention began in these words.

  1. The word “obsolve” is amended with “o” underlined for deletion and “a” inserted. 
  2. The word “revouing” is amended with “u” underlined for deletion and “lv” inserted. 
  3. The word “inflexible” is amended with “a” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  4. The word “ceas’d” is underlined for deletion and “seiz’d” is inserted. 
  5. The word “funurall” is amended with “u” underlined and “e” inserted. 
  6. The word “Emperiall” is underlined for deletion and “Imperial” is inserted. 
  7. The word “Funural” is amended with “u” underlined and “e” inserted. 
  8. The word “singular” is amended with “e” underlined and “a” inserted. 
  9. The word “two” is amended with the “w” crossed out and “o” inserted. 
  10. The word “reperation” is amended with “e” underlined for deletion and “a” inserted. 
  11. The word “offencive” is amended with “c” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  12. The word “enforme” is amended with “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  13. The word “enduced” is amended with “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  14. The word “occations” is amended with “t” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  15. The word “occation” is amended with the “t” underlined for deletion and an “s” inserted. 
  16. The word “enforme” is corrected with the “e” underlined and an “i” inserted. 
  17. The word “uncessant” is amended with “u” underlined and “i” inserted. 
  18. The word “writ” is corrected with “it” underlined for deletion and “ote” inserted. 
  19. The word “perticulery” is amended with “e’” underlined twice and “a” is inserted each time; “l” is also inserted. 
  20. The word “enform’d” is amended with “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  21. The word “enforme” is amended with the first “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  22. The word “pencive” is corrected with “c” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  23. The word “exile” is underlined for deletion and “banish” inserted. 
  24. The word “Artests” is amended with “e” underlined and “i” inserted. 
  25. The word “Delos” is corrected with “os” underlined for deletion and “phos” inserted. 
  26. The word “priveledge” is corrected with “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  27. The word “perc^s^everance” is corrected with “c” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  28. The word “epithite” is corrected with “ite” underlined and “et” inserted. 
  29. The word “plenteously” is corrected with the “i” underlined and “e” inserted. 
  30. The word “Delos” is corrected with “os” underlined for deletion and “phos” inserted. 
  31. The word “saten” is underlined for deletion and “sattin” is inserted. 
  32. The word “saten” is corrected with “e” underlined for deletion and “ti” inserted. 
  33. The word “percevered” is corrected with the “c” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  34. The word “enform” is corrected with “e” underlined for deletion and “i” inserted. 
  35. The word “dispenced” is corrected with “c” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted. 
  36. The word “occations” is corrected with “t” underlined for deletion and “s” inserted.


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

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