{Print edition page number: 77}

Rivall Friendship


The Second Book

You may remember Madam (said Celia) we were going to see what was become of the Princess Artabella; who when she departed from the Willderness, went with an intent to go to her Chamber; but as she was going Menzor met her, having been there to seek her; He perceiving something of disorder in her lookes, and seeing her go with a more then ordinary hast call’d her to him; and taking her by the hand, what is the matter (said he) that you seeme so troubled; whether go you so fast.

This question being asked her on the sudden, she had no answer ready: but Saparilla who was not so much surpriz’d as she, had one by good fortune at her Finger sends, whereby she sav’d her the trouble of a reply. Nothing Sir ailes the Princess [fol. 22 v ] (said she) but that she was extreamly scar’d with a Viper which lay lurking in the Grass, hard by where she sate, which was like to have stunge her ere she was aware:

(Ah poor Saparilla continu’d Celia, thou told’st a Lye, but yet it prov’d a truth).

Where was it (repli’d Menzor) we will that you saw it, we will go kill it if we can, to prevent any further danger.

No Sir (repli’d Artabella, having a little ralli’d her discomposed spirits, and being glad of her Maides excuse) let it live; perhaps it meant me not the harme I fear’d from it: besides t’will be invain to seek it now, for I suppose tis gone from thence ere this; I’le take more care henceforwards to prevent such frights.

But whether were you going (said Menzor),

To my Chamber (she repli’d).

You shall walk a turne or two with me (said he) and then you shall go in, but before you go I must impart somewhat of concernment to you. It has alwayes been my prayers (continu’d he) that I might live to see thee happily match’t, as may be both to thy content, and my satisfaction; and my chiefest care of late has been to find out one to bestow thee on, every way worthy of thee: long did I seek, ere I could find, on whom to fix my choice; but at last, Fortune presented to me a person as well accomplish’t as my heart could wish; a man so farre above all others that yet I ever saw, that I can never enough admire his excellencies. But you cannot but be so well acquainted with him, that whatever I say, will rather detract from his worth, then give him his due praise. I suppose after this that I have said, tis needless to tell you tis Diomed I intend you, then whom the World has not a braver man.{78}

All the while he spake Artabella was so troubled that she could scarce lend an eare to what he said without shewing how much it displeas’d her. But when she heard who t’was her Father had design’d for her, she was not able to forbeare interrupting him, though she knew not what Arguments to have reco^u^rse too, to evade his intentions; for well she knew, she could alledge no reason to justifie her dislike of Diomed, but would reflect on Phasellus (who in despight of all her anger still retain’d an interest in her heart) and be injurious to his pretences. Great was the straite to which she was reduced; but she chose rather to embrace a single life forever, then consent to be any ones if she might not be Phasellus’s; and to that intent she thus refus’d Menzors proffer.

I confess Sir (said she) Diomed is a person truly worthy of those praises you have given him, and possibly as worthy of me as any of those that have pretended to me; but being so neere alli’d to the Crowne, do you believe the King will not take it amiss that you should give me to a private person, without his consent, or approbation: or admit he leave to you the sole power of my disposall, can you your selfe Sir value me at so low a rate as to bestow me on one you know not.

Though his extraction be unknown to me (repli’d Menzor) his vertues are not; those he has given sufficent testimony of: and I, ever in my Judgment, gave Vertue the preheminence of [fol. 23 r ] dignity; but I have a strong perswasion I shall find both in him: but if in the latter I am deceiv’d, and that he be not born to a Crowne, I make no question he may acquire one by his Valour to present you, and that is more noble. However I am assur’d you will be happy in him, and I desire no more. And as to your objection, concerning the Kings consent, I feare it not; having never yet oppos’d my designes in ought: nor do I believe he will in this; since his interest, no less then my owne desires incites me to it: for we have all the reason in the World to apprehend a second invasion from Scythia; for tis not long since I was credibly enform’d, that Oruntus has vow’d to revenge on us his Brothers death: and think you then, the assistance of such Valiant men may not be as needfull as before; and I verily perswade my selfe, if we can but engage the one to stay, the other will not leave us: then sure Achemenes cannot take it ill from me, if I am willing to dispence with those advantages I might pretend too by matching you elsewhere, to purchace him so powerfull an Assistant: but the truth is, my chiefest aime is my owne satisfaction; which I cannot desire more compleat, then to see you Diomeds.

I must ever acknowledge with all due thankfullness (answer’d she) your tender care of me; but if you wish my happiness, permit me to continue as I am; and give me leave to end my days in Virgin innocence: I confess I have been long since devoted to a single life, and pleas’d my selfe with the hopes that I should find from you no opposition as to that resolution, seeing you never urg’d me to the acceptance tion of any of those proffers that have been made me (though you could not be ignorant Sir how highly I might have been advan[c]’d by some of them) but alwayes left it to my owne free choice. {79}

How (said he) did you imagine I left it to your choice whether ever you would marry or no; truly if you did, you were deceived: but if you have been hitherto pleas’d with such a mistaken fancy, pray disabuse your selfe; and believe, that I intended nothing less. Do you think I can be perswaded with you to bury the hopes of all posterity. Had the Heavens blest me with any more but you, I might perchance have been content to indulge in you this desire: but since thou art my onely Child, I never will; for who, but my Artabella can preserve my name alive, when I am dead.

Your vertues Sir (repli’d she) will preserve your memory much better then any Successour.

Talk no more (said he) nor seek not arguments to oppose my Will; which is, that you ma marry Diomed, but dispose your selfe to receive his Addresses with all kindness whenever he shall tender them: and believe it I shall judge of your duty to me, by the respect you shew to this command.

With that, he was going away, but she fell on her knees, catching hold of his hand, beging [him] to stay and heare her speak once more before he went. Taking her up, he ask’d what t’was she had to say.

I have ever from my Infancy (said she) had such an aversion to Love, that I have asmuch as in civility I could avoided the society of all men: [fol. 23 v ] but those I have been constrain’d to admit a converse with, I have regarded with such an indifferency, that I could never in my esteeme prefer one before another; but alwayes look’d on those that were excellent, as I should on a rare Picture; onely to admire it: and this effect Diomeds perfections has produced in me. I do admire him above all other of his sex, but pardon me if I say, I do not love him any further then gratitude obliges me, and feare I never shall: which grieves me to the Soule that I cannot willingly comply with your desires. But I will do what lies in me, to bend my inclinations that way which you intend them. I onely beg (Sir) you will not force my affection to the ruine of my content; but give me leave to take a more perticuler survey of Diomeds worth, that if possible, I may bring my heart to affect him: but if I cannot obtain that of my selfe, let me beseech you deare Father (continu’d she falling on her knees again) and conjure you by these teare[s] (which witness my unwillingness to disobey you) and by the memory of my Deare Mother, not to compell me to give my person where I cannot give my Heart; lest in aiming to make me happy, you render me most miserable. I am very sensible how much you are indebted to him, and what he has deserv’d from you upon that score; but if you can find nought else to cancell that Obligation with, adopt him for your Heire, and disinherit me; I shall not account it too larg a reward for the services I have receiv’d from him; nor look on him with envie, though he enjoy my right; leave me sir nothing but the possession of my self, and I shall be content.

I did not think I should have found you so refractory (repli’d he) to that which I expected you would have embraced with a satisfaction correspondent to your Duty, since you know it is my Will: but however, I shall give you a day or{80} two, to consider of this proposall: perhaps when you have thought better on’t you will be of another opinion: but remember Artabella, if you expect to find me an Indullgent Father, I look you should shew your selfe an obedient Child.

Assoon as he was gone she hasted to her Apartment, where she might uninterruptedly breath forth her complaints against her Fathers severity: whether being come, she threw herselfe on her Bed, abandoning herselfe to such an excess of weeping, that any one that had seen her, would have believ’d she had intended to have drown’d herselfe in those Floodes of griefe. Her inexorable cruelty to Phasellus came then into her mind to afflict her; which made her repent that severe command she had imposed on him: for since he had two such mighty oppositions to encounter (as Diomeds affection, and Menzors power) she could bu not but thinke it too to much for her disdaine to fight against him any longer.

Saparilla seeing her Lady so dejected would have said somewhat to asswage her griefe; but as she was about to speake, she receiv’d a charge from Artabella to the contrary: for such is my condition (said she) as can admit no consolation; nor canst thou say any thing, that will not rather aggravate, then mittigate my discontent.

The faithfull servant hearing her say so, durst not disobey, but answer’d her laments in the same language she express’d them in. After Artabella had tir’d her eyes with teares, [fol. 24 r ] and her heart with sighes; finding no redress from any thing, she rose from her Bed, and withdrew to a Window which look’d into the Garden; and leaning her cheek on her hand, she fell into a serious consideration of her misfortune, and what way she had left to escape it: but as she stood there, in that mellancholy muse, she cast her Eyes on an Object which was like to have prov’d fatall to her. It was Phasellus, who was just then carried by to his Lodging: for though the Chirurgion had try’d the uttmost of his skill, yet was it more then two houres before he could stop the Current of his blood. But at last, having anointed his Temples, and Nostrills with an Ointment of most excellent Vertue against that Distemper, with much adoe he prevail’d: but with the excessive loss of blood Phasellus was so weakned, that when he went to rise, he stager’d, and fell backward; nor was he able to go one step towards his Lodging, so that they were constrain’d to call some to carry him in a Chaire.

And in this condition it was that Artabella chanced to espie him, all pale, and bloody as he was; which made her imagine him dead, and that by the hands of Diomed too: supposing he had by some accident discover’d Phasellus’s passion for her, and on that score had fought with him, and reduced him to that deplorable estate wherein she beheld him: this thought no sooner came into her mind, but she shreekt out, and sunk downe dead. There was at that instant none of her Maides with her; for she had commanded them all forth, that she might the more freely vent her griefe: nor was Saparilla with her then, for she was some minuts before gone into her owne Chamber: but when when she return’d, and found her Lady stretch’d on the Floore, cold, and senseless; she was so affrighted, that she stood as it had been one Planet strook: but Artabellas danger soon rous’d her{81} [Saparilla] from those dumps, and made her cry out for help; whilst she herselfe did all she could to call back Life, which seemingly had abandoned that faire habitation; which at last she effected, though it was a long time ere Artabella recover’d so much sense as to speak: which assoon as she could (casting a languishing look on Saparilla, and ^with^ her hand lifting up hers with which she held her head, and puting her from her) preethee said she let me alone, I would faine dy, if thou lovest me, thou wilt not hinder me.

For heavens sake (cry’d Saparilla) what new griefe is it that hurries you on to this extreamity of dispaire, so willfully to give up your selfe to Deathes cold embraces: your condition Madam is not yet so desperate, but you may find divers wayes to felicity, and yet not tread that Path the violence of your passion leads you to.

Alass (repli’d she) thou know’st not the greatest of my misfortunes; nor can I tell thee, since to pronounce it would stricke a new terrour to my Soule; thou soon, too soon alass (pursu’d she with a sigh) wilt learne it from the mouthes of others.

With this she was begining to faint again, which Saparilla perceiving, she was going to send one of the other Maides to call the Kings Phisician who was alwayes resident in the Palace; but she [Artabella] commanded the contrary, charging her [fol. 24 v ] withall not to let Menzor know any thing of her indisposition; vowing if she did; not to take any thing that the Phisician prescrib’d her. Saparilla having receiv’d such an absolute command, durst not disobey as long as she had any way, or meanes left to preserve her; but stept into the Princess her mistress’s Closet, and fetcht from thence a Cordiall of Soveraign vertue against all fainting Distempers: (for Artabella was ever adicted to the study of Phisick; and never was without many rare, and admirable things; which she always dispos’d of (by the hands of her Servants) to such poor persons as beg’d, or stood in need of remedies for their Diseases: and never was she better pleas’d, then when she found some whereon to excercise her Charity.) which Cordiall Saparilla beg’d her with so pressing an importunity to drink, that she could not refuse it, but took and drank it off: which when she had done, she likewise perswaded her to go to bed; which Artabella was not much averse too, knowing she might there take the greater liberty to indulge her sorrowes.

But as she was going to be undress’d, Diomed came to the Chamber dore, desiring admission to speak with her: she admiring what occation should produce such an unseasonable visit (for night had spread its sable Canopie over the Face of Heaven) that she might know what brought him thither, for a while gave a truce to her teares, and gave him leave to enter; though she scarce had patience to look on him whom she suppos’d the Murtherer of Phasellus. But resolving not to discover her griefe to him, she put on a serene countenance far different from that she lately wore. But her resolutions were but vaine, for all her cunning could not conceale from him those markes of griefe which visibly appear’d in her Face: but taking no notice of it, he approach’d her with a garb so majestick, and yet{82} with such respect, that she had as much reason to admire, as she had cause to be satisfi’d with it: And puting one knee to the ground, in this manner he made his address. Perhaps madam (said he) you wonder to see me here at so unfit a time; but that necessity which compells me to it, must make my Apollogie for this incivility; unpardonable I confess on any other score.

Rise (answer’d Artabella) or I will not heare you.

This posture Madam (he repli’d) is most sutable to an humble Petitioner, and such at this time am I; and unless I may be so happy as to obtain my sute I’ll never rise: for if I must dye, I cannot find a more glorious place then at your feet to offer up my life.

But she protesting not to give eare to any thing that he said, but to quit the place unless he arose, he to obey her stood up. Now Diomed (said she) what is it you desire.

My life (repli’d he) I come to beg, which lyes at your mercy; and tis from that alone I must implore it.

Your life (said she) I do not know that it can any way depend on me; but if it did; I should account my selfe [fol. 25 r ] both ungratfull and unjust should I take life from him who gave my Father his, or at least preserv’d it to him: but tis neither in my power to give or take.

Yes Madam (answer’d he) tis as absolutly in your power to destroy me, if you refuse to shew mercy to a Wretch that lies even drown’d in a Sea of griefe for your displeasure, as if immediatly you struck a Dager to my heart.

If (repli’d she very coldly) you had been as apprehencive of my displeasure as you seeme, sure you would have had a greater respect for me, then to do that which you could not but be confident would mortally offend me.

He was amazed to heare her speak after this manner, and standing silent awhile to bethinke him what he had done that could be capable of displeasing her, but was not able to conceive the cause; unless she were angry that he had hindred Phasellus’s designe. She hearing him returne no answer, construed his silence as a signe of guilt, and was about to leave him and retire to her Closet: but he stay’d her by crying out with transport. Have I offended you Madam, the Heavens can testifie my innocence and that I do not know wherein, unless it were a crime to save the life (of one, he would have said, which you have sentenced to death, by destining him to a banishment, more insupportable) but she interrupted him assoon as ever she heard him mention the saving of a life, supposing it was her Fathers he meant to reproach her with: but giving him not time to end his speach.

Upbraid me not with that (she said) for I acknowledge my obligation is as great to you upon that score as you can believe it: but yet I did not think your presumption had aimed at me for your reward; bate but that Diomed and there is not any thing wherein my honour is not concern’d which I will not condescend to gratifie you in.{83}

Keep but that promise Madam (repli’d he) and I will aske no greater happiness: for all the reward I’ll beg, shall be your pitty for Phasellus, and that you will render him back that heart you lately with somuch cruelty depriv’d him of.

She being confirm’d by this discourse that he had kill’d Phasellus, and that their quarell arose from his overhearing their discourse in the Arbour; for she could not imagine he would court her in his Rivalls behalfe if he were in a condition to reape any benefit by it: wherefore being thus perswaded, she fanci’d he came with no other intent then to circumvent her, and sound her inclinations, and accordingly fram’d her reply. I know not to what end (said she) you implore my pitty for Phasellus; I confess his condition sufficently deserves it: but you know, and so do I, that he can receive no satisfaction from it: therefore to what end would you have me love a shade, or bestow my heart upon a senseless Carkase.

But I will meet your designe (continu’d she with a shower of teares [fol. 25 v ] which she was no longer able to restraine) by acknowledging that, which had Phasellus liv’d I never would have done, for fear of prejudicing him as well as my owne reputation by this confession; but since he lives not, I’le make no scruple to declare I lov’d him: he was the onely person that ever made me know affections power; with him my love began, and with him it shall end. Then flatter not your selfe with a hope so vaine, that you shall by his death be ever the neerer to the obtaining my esteem; no no, believe it I’le bury in his Grave all passion that excepted which will serve to send me after him: nor shall you, or any other ever revive my dying Flame. Go barbarous man (pursu’d she) cruell to thy Friend, and treacherous to me, go and compleat thy mischiefes by telling Menzor of this Declaration; and thereby move him to sacrifice me to his fury and send my Soule to Elizium to beg pardon of Phasellus for being the innocent occation of his death. But now I think better on’t, do not incence my Father by acquainting him with this Confession; nor provoke not the author of my life to give me death: but stay awhile, and you shall see my griefe act both his revenge and yours.

Diomed being joyfull he had made a discovery which could not but prove very satisfactory to his Friend; but yet withall being troubled at Artabella’s injurious opinion of him; but fancying it proceeded (as indeed it did) from a false beliefe of Phasellus’s death; thinking t’was probable she might have seen him carried to his Lodging: and distance not permitting a perfect view, might possess her with a perswasion that he was dead; which induced him to excuse all her ill language to himselfe since it proceeded from no other cause then the transports of her love.

I am glad Madam (said he) to find your mistake so advantagious to my wishes, and that the prejudice you conceiv’d against me has no other originall then that. But I am sorry withall that I have been so unfortunate as to create in you such hard thoughts of me, as to be accounted the Murtherer of my dearest Friend, and a Traitour to your selfe; but ere many minutes pass I question not to make it appeare that I am neither. Phasellus lives Madam.{84}

It is impossible (repli’d she) you cannot make me give my eyes the lye which saw him dead.

Would I were as certaine you would not scorne his passion (answer’d he) nor refuse his services, as I am sure he lives to pay you them. But if you yet want Faith to credit what I affirme, do me but the honour to let me conduct you to his Chamber, where your Eyes may convince you of the truth of this ascertion [fol. 26 r ] and their owne mistake: but had it not been for this Barbarous man, this this treacherous person, ther had ere this indeed been nothing for you to love, or pitty of Phasellus but the bare name or memory. But I have onely repriev’d him, tis you must give him life, by sealing of his pardon, and repealing his banishment.

If this be true you tell me (reply’d she) I will with the greatest submission imaginable beg your pardon for the wronge I have done you in my thoughts: but if you are somuch Phasellus’s Friend as you pretend, what mov’d you to incite my Father to force me to accept you for a Husband, especially before you had made any addresses to me upon that account.

If I had ever su’d to Menzor (said he) without your permission you might justly charge me Madam with the highest presumption, the greatest arrogance that ever any was guilty of. But I had never vanity enough in me to imagine that ought that I have done, or any thing that ever I shall be able to do could any way merit such a super excellent felicity as the possession of you who are a recompense too high for vertue; then certainly much too high for me to pretend too.

Did you not then solicite my father on that score (repli’d she)

Never (answer’d he) but it was his owne free proffer to conferre so rich a blessing on me: which should I have refused, the World undoubtedly would have condemn’d me of madness. Nor can you justly charge it on me as a crime either to Phasellus or your selfe that I with joy accepted the tender of so trancendant a happiness, since I was ignorant of his passion for you, or your kindness for him; till going to seek him after my departure from Menzor I found him in those despaires to which your severity had reduced him.

Then did he relate to her the desperate condition wherein he had found him, and with what difficulty he had kept him from killing himselfe; and what an inconvenience the violence of his griefe had brought upon him.

I must confess Madam (continu’d he) I have long since ador’d you with a respect I never yet pai’d any Mortall, though I had not confidence enough to owne it to you: but when I beheld poor Phasellus in that plight, and learn’d from him the occation of it, my passion gave place to Friendship; for I could not live, and see him die who was far dearer to me then my life. I had not a recourse to that which Rivalls use to fly too, though I knew him the chiefest obstacle to my desired happiness: I took another course, farre different, for I resolv’d for his sake to abandone all pretences to your esteeme; and if I could not absolutly banish you my heart, yet to be silent in my passion; and conceale it so closely in my breast that it should never trouble any but unhappie Diomed. But if I found that it would{85} prove too powerfull for me to keep under I would endeavour to divert it, by fixing it on some other object not unworthy my esteeme. Perhaps you may thinke my passion less then Phasellus’s that I could so easily divest my self of it: but [fol. 26 v ] alass tis not so soon done as resolv’d on; t’will cost me many a bitter conflict yet before I vanquish it: but what ere I suffer neither he nor you shall ever know: nor shall you ever Madam be troubled with its importunities.

She had not patience to heare him further, but with exclamation cry’d; O the the most Generous of men, the best of Friends; I beg your pardon for those unjust suspitions I had of you, in the same posture that you lately implor’d my pitty for Phasellus.

With that she was falling on her knees, but he prevented her by staying her up, and saying. It is too much beneath you Madam to stoop so low to me. I willing excuse the injustice you did me, and would if it were a thousand times a greater injury upon the score you did it.

I am amazed (said she) at your gallantry, and so infinitly griev’d that I must be ungratfull, that you cannot wish me a severer punishment then that consideration will prove; and could any thing make me repent my love to Phasellus, or deeme my affection misplaced this noble carriage of yours would worke that effect: but since it is impossible to take that heart from him which I did but seemingly deprive him of, accept all that I am able to bestow; which is a Friendship equall to that you have for him; and if you can oblige me in any thing more, tis in accepting it, and confering on me yours.

Ah (repli’d he sighing) is that all I must expect; and must I never hope for more.

I have now so great a confidence in your vertue (said she) as to believe you do not hope for ought from me but that; if you do, you soon forget your resolution.

Tis true Madam I confess it (answer’d he) but I will be more mindfull for the future.

Well repli’d she you shall see how great a confidence I repose in you; for I will henceforth have no other Councellour but your self, and from your advice alone will I take precepts how to order my concerns. That I love Phasellus it would be a rediculous folly to deny, since tis to you so known a truth: but that I will never condescend to the least perticuler in favour of him to the prejudice of that duty I owe Menzor is as certaine: therefore I think it requisite not to let him know the interest he has in me; but to permit him still to continue in his opinion of my severity, since tis impossible I feare for him ever to gain my fathers consent to make me his.

No Madam (said he) if he must perish, let his ruine rather proceed from Menzors cruelty then yours: for sure you cannot see your self the cause of his death without recenting [feeling] the greatest of griefes.

Tis sure (answer’d she) should I occation his death, I should in that procure my owne: but I hope that opinion which I desire to confirme him in will produce a better effect, as the changing his love into recentment.{86}

Alass (repli’d he) you cannot make me believe you really wish that, which tis contrary to reason that you should: for can it be possible for any one to desire to be hated by those they love.

Yes (said she) I had rather he should hate me then that his passion should do him that prejudice you speak of.

There is not any thing (repli’d Diomed) but he would easily dispence with, were he but certaine he were not banish’d your favour; nor no misfortune which he would not despise had he but the satisfaction to know as much as I. But I see the disquiet of your mind much better then you can express it. You say you love him, and I believe it [fol. 27 r ] but will not any way oblige him till you have a Lysence from your duty; and you dread your fathers displeasure; but that fear is in a manner needless, for I dare undertake not onely to appease him should he be offended with you ^but^ to gain his consent likewise for Phasellus; nor do I believe you will find him so inexorable as you fancie; and I question not but in a short time to find such powerfull inducements as shall perswade him to accept him for his Son with as high a satisfaction as he seem’d to express to make me soe. Though by birth I confess he is somewhat my inferior, yet is he such a one as a Princess needs not blush to owne a passion for: but as I surpass him in one perticuler, he has the good Fortune to excell me in many other.

I shall be very well pleas’d (said she) to find him such as you say: but give me leave to tell you, that I believe you will not find it so easie as you imagine to perswade my Father to give me to him, though he was so free to bestow me on you who have done so many gallant things to merit his esteeme, which Phasellus cannot any further pretend too then he is pleas’d to allow him a place in it.

That I have oblig’d him more then Phasellus is my happiness (repli’d he) but though Fortune was more propitious to me then him I dare answere his ambition was as great, and his design as reall to serve him as mine; and therefore I am perswaded your Father is too just not to value his intentions at as high a rate as he has priz’d my actions. But whilst I plead for my friend I seeme to forget him, or at least the sad condition wherein I left him: therefore madam let me humbly beg the favour of a visit for him, since you may perform it with the greatest security from a surprize that may be; and give me but the honour to waite on you to his Chamber with Saparilla to attend you.

Were it as convenient (answer’d she) as the time of Night renders it unseasonable I should not grant your request; for do you imagine I have the confidence to see him so soon after an acknowledgment so injurious to that severe vertue I have ever made a proffession of: tell him what you please concerning me, but spare me the confusion it would throw on me to repeat that Folly to him which I have declar’d to you: but remember whatever assurances you give him of my esteeme, to assure him withall, that I will suffer him to dy, nay dy my self rather then ever be guilty of any thing that may detract from my obedience to my Father.{87}

Such a transcendant felicity ^as^ the Princess Artabellas affection (said he) will be too great to be credited from any but her self: he will rather fancy it a Fiction devized by me to perswade him to live, unless I bring him some testimony more pregnant then my asserting it.

If he will not believe it (repli’d she) let him come and see whether it be a truth or no.

Alass Madam (answer’d he) Phasellus is not in a capacity to wait on you; or if he were, I know he durst not come; he is too inviolable a performer of your commands to appeare in your presence since you thought fit to banish him your sight, till he is well assur’d you have revers’d that sentence.

Aske any thing (said she) as a witness to my favour to him but that you last demanded, and I’le not deny it.

I’le onely beg the favour of one line from your faire hand (repli’d he) but to assure him of his repeal, and I will sue for no more at this time.

You are too importunate (said she smiling) [fol. 27 v ] but I’le excuse it upon the score of Friendship. Then calling for Pen and Paper she writ these words.

The Princes Artabella to Phasellus

If you are really what you seem evince it by a speedy recovery; if you do not, I shall look on you as no other ^then^ the enemy of my repose as much as Diomed has shewn himf himself a Friend to yours: live then, if for no other cause but to testifie your gratitude to him to whom you are no less oblig’d for this, then to the inclinations of


When she had writen it she gave it Diomed: you see (said she) how willing I am to gratifie your Friendship, since for your satisfaction I force my selfe to those things most contrary to my humour. But before you go (continu’d she) you may give me a very great satisfaction if I may obtain of you one request without a prejudice to your self. Which is onely to let me know both your owne extraction and Phasellus’s that I may not still be ignorant who I have given my heart too.

This madam (he repli’d) I shall in few words resolve you; neither indeed can I discover his condition and conceale my owne, though I have some reasons that oblige me not to be known to any person whilst I make my residence abroad: but since it may conduce to the advantage of my Friend, I shall not scruple to declare that to you, which I desire may be a secret to all others; for I question not Madam but you are indued with that vertue which few of your sex can boast, though much to be admir’d for all other excellent qualitites.

The confidence (said she) that you repose in me shall never be deceiv’d.{88}

Know then most Excellent Princess (repli’d he) that I am Nephew to A^u^gustus Ceaaesar[1] by his only Daughter the Princess Julia, who after the death of the brave Marsellus (to whom she was first married) was again given by the Emperour in marriage to his peculier Favouret Agrippa, as a person by him believ’d more worthy of that honour then any Prince in Europe: from this second marriage I had the honour to proceed; and by my Royall Grandfather nam’d Lucius Octavius (which name of Octavius himself was always call’d by, before he took on him that of Augustus, which he assum’d not till such time as he joyn’d to it that of Emperour) and by him declar’d his Successor in that mightie Empier: two Brothers I have, both younger then my self, and one onely Sister call’d Juliana, who though she had attain’d but the twelfth year of her age when I left Rome, yet were she not my sister I would say she Farre excel’d the fairest of our Romane Dames; and such attractive charmes she carried in her lookes (young as she was) that she might have [28 r ] had the satisfaction (if her innocence could have taken any in it) to have seen severall Princes (who were sent to Rome to receive an education worthy of their births) weare her Fetters: this Sister did I from her Infancy design for Phasellus, that I might by so neer an alliance tye him no less strictly to me by the bands of Affinity then by those of Friendship: and with her I intended to bestow on him soe larg a share of my Dominions (if I liv’d my self to take possession of them) as he should have no reason to complain he was not born a Prince, as I must confess he was not; yet is he descended from one who though he never bare the burden of a Crown, yet did he ^en^throne and un^de^throne[2] Princes at his pleasure, and had the satisfaction to behold many puissant Kings his Vassalls prostrate their Crowns and Scepters at his Feet; and had Fortune been but as propitious to him as she was kind to Augustus with whom he disputed the Empier of the World, he had questionless worn that Empieriall Diadem which his Predescessor Julius Caesar onely fancied, never really put on; being by treachery cut off ere he could bring his design to maturity. I suppose Madam the Charactar I have given you sufficently speakes him to be the great Mark Antonie, no less famous for his misfortunes then his Valour; whose eldest Son Julius Antonius, was Father to Phasellus, or rather Julius, for so was he call’d after his Fathers name; taking on him that of Phasellus (onely to oblige me) as I did that of Diomed the better to disguise my true condition.

This I tell you madam (continu’d he) possibly may seeme so strang as scarce worthy of credit since I am so meanly attended, without any equipage sutable to my quality: but those reasons that invited me to travaile, induced me likewise to go unattended to the end that I might th keep my self unknown till my return which I intend not till I have gained so faire a reputation in the World as to have{89} no less a title to the Empire by vertue then by birth: and withall to fit my selfe for so great and weighty an employment as I am one day to take on me. And this I knew no better way to improve my self in then by travaile, which I knew I should never obtain the Emperours consent for; which made me resolve to depart in private. Unknown to any but my Sister I stole from Rome, waited on onely by one Squire, and accompani’d with Julius to whom alone I had imparted my designe, which he approv’d of, resolving likewise to take the same cou^r^se, which I believ’d he would readily embrace; for oft had I heard ^him^ say (with griefe) that the Gods had given him a courage much greater then his birth; and complain (all things being in such tranquility and peace at home) that he wanted a subject to employ his Courage on, which it was probable he might meet with in other Countreys. I was not ignorant that by this action I incen’st the Emperour against me: but I hope ere I see Rome again to performe something that may invite him to pardon that liberty I took, when he considers upon what score I assum’d it. Thus Madam have I declar’d that to you, which I will not discover to any other: and since you were pleas’d to say you would be adviz’d by me, I deeme it convenient [fol. 28 v ] for a while to hide from Menzor that respect you have for Phasellus (for so we will call him still if you please, I desire (said she) he may have no other name then that, since it was by that I knew him mine) as also his passion for you (continu’d Diomed), till he has ^had^ the good Fortune to performe some such additionall generous acts as may induce your Father to pardon him, and excuse your passion by the knowledge of that vertue which created it.

I [Aye] but (said she) my Father has so strictly charg’d me to receive your addresses, that he will not admit of any pretence, or excuse to the contrary, if he be not told my heart is already prepossest with an affection for another.

No madam (he repli’d) that would be the ready way to ruine your desires, and incurre his displeasure, when he shall find your aversion to me has no other cause then a preposession: no, rather give me leave to make some seeming Overtures to you, which you may be before him receive with kindness; and I will assure him I find as much content in my Amours as I can in reason expect; and withall desire him to keep it secret till I have oblig’d Achemenes to entertaine such an advantagious opinion of me, as he may not oppose my felicity: this I propose onely as a meanes to gain time till Phasellus has found an opportunity to ingratiate himself with Menzor, and interesse himselfe further in his favour.

Against this advice Artabella had nothing to reply, but that she feared she should not act the dissembler well; or if she did, she doubted it might raise some ^little^[3] Jealousie in Phasellus, lest that which was done in rallery, might be reallity: which scruple he having clear’d, and made her understand there was no better way to divert that Storme she apprehended, and dispose all things to her content: which when she had a while consider’d on, she acknowledg’d her obligation{90} to him for this Councell. Then wishing her as much true Joy as he said he knew her letter would conveigh to his Friend, he bid her good night, after he had assur’d her, that he would for her sake no less then Phasellus’s raise him to that height assoon as he ascended the Emperiall Throne, that she should have no cause to think she had made a choice below her birth, or he no reason to envie the most mi mighty Monarch, protesting Rome should see none greater in it (himself excepted) then Phasellus.

She would have given him her thankes for so Princely a promise, and made her excuse for not giving him that respect the granduer of his quality might have challeng’d, but he gave her not the leasure, but return’d to Phasellus whom he found in the greatest anxieties imaginable for feare he should return without success; but seeing him enter, he rais’d himself up in his bed, and turning to Diomed, what do you bring me Sir (said he) Life, or Death. I am resolv’d to obey what commands soever that Divine Princess has impos’d on me.

Then you must live (repli’d Diomed) if you love her, since she has commanded it as an evidence of your passion.

Yes (answer’d Phasellus) I will live since she injoynes it; but to what end should she desire me to live if she resolve to kill me hourly by a thousand deaths which her cruelty will inflict if she refuse my love.

An obedient Lover ought to obey, and not dispute (said Diomed) seeing tis her Will: but if you will put on patience but a little space, I shall make it appeare you have more reason to extoll her goodness, then exclame against her cruelty. See here (continu’d he pulling forth the Letter) behold what a comfortable Cordiall she has sent you: then calling for a Candle, Phasellus took it with a trembling, yet greedy hand, and [fol. 29 r ] read it; which when he had done, he kiss’d it, and imbraced Diomed.

Oh dearest of Friends (cry’d he) how many thousand obligations have you conferr’d on me in this one.

Speak not of that (said Diomed) this is the least of that which I have done, and will do for thee; but prepare with Joy wit to heare what I have yet to tell thee.

Then seting down he related to him perticulerly all that had pass’d between Artabella and himselfe concerning him: as also the agreement they had made for awhile to delude Menzor, and thereby fill’d him with a Joy not to be express’d. But when he came to tell him of that resolution she had made, never to be his without Menzor’s consent, he allai’d much of his precedent Joy.

Ah (said he sighing) to what a height of felicity did you raise me; but t’was too high for me to rest on; for I see such a Barre to my hop’d happiness as I doubt I shall never be able to remove. But yet, why should I dispaire, seeing I have overcome the greatest difficulty by vanquishing Artabellas resentments [sentiments], I will not fear the less; but assume a hope that in time I may through your assistance overcome that other obstruction to my happiness; and by your meanes obtain Menzor’s permission to make my Addresses to his excellent daughter.{91}

You need not doubt (answer’d Diomed) but I will contribute the uttmost of my endeavours to build your content, since I have not stuck to lay its Foundation upon the ruines of my owne. But we will talk no more of that, go you to sleep, and setle your disturb’d fancie; and regain that strength which you have too much impair’d by your rash and violent humour; that you may be able to go throw your selfe at the Feet of your Princess, to pay your thankes for that favour she has shewn you; and I will study how to accomplish that designe which I have contriv’d to render your happiness compleat.

Fain would Phasellus have repli’d, but Diomed would not suffer him, but injoyn’d him silence; desiring him not to disturbe his quiet, but wholly leave the care of his concernes to him. Phasellus’s indisposition was quickly nois’d about the Court; insomuch that it came to Achemenes’s and Menzors eare, who both of them appear’d sensibly concern’d for him. That very night ere Diomed return’d from Artabella the King had sent one to see him and bring him an account of his health: and the next morning Menzor gave him the honour of a visit, expressing a great deall of trouble for his illness. But so much did the repose of his mind contribute to the wellfare of his body, that the next day he was able to quit his bed, and the day after, his Chamber; which assoon as he was in a capacity of doing, he went with Artabella Diomed to wait on Artabella to pay her his Devotions, as to a Deity he had receiv’d a blessing from, much more precious then his life.

When they came in, they found there the Princess Oriana which Phasellus was a little troubled at, le^a^st her presence might deprive him of an opportunity of converse with his Princess: but Diomed soon freed him from that feare by leading Oriana to the Window, pretending [fol. 29 v ] something of a private discourse with her: she being not unwilling to shew him any civill courtesie refus’d him not, but withdrew with him; for it was certaine she had a more then ordinary respect for him, far beyond what she ever had for any man before; yet nothing more then what Friendship might allow. Phasellus took notice of this obliging actions of Diomeds, and was highly pleas’d with it; and accordingly after thank’d him for it. But that he might not render fruitless his Friends officious care, he address’t himself to his Princess; and taking one of her faire hands (which she with a little unwillingness permitted him) and joyning it to his lips with an action wholy passionate. Were it as convenient my adorable Princess (said he) as it is requisit, I would upon my knees implore your pardon for that errour, (nay that crime, for so I’le stile it, since it was such esteem’d by you) which the transports of my passion forced me to commit; as also in that posture pay those retributions which I owe for that unmerited clemencie you have been graciously pleas’d to shew your poor servant, when he was even overwhelm’d with dispaire.

As for your fault (repli’d she) I have wholy remitted it; and as for that which caus’d it, it likewise occation’d your punishment; and that a much more severe one, then I did, or should have imposed on you, had your offence been of a much more hainous quality: then speak no more of that, since I have done enough to assure you I have expell’d all thoughts of it.{92}

But may I not feare Madam (answer’d he) I am still too indifferent to you, or that you may in time recall that transcendant felicity of your affection wherewith at present you pleas’d to honour me.

I know not (repli’d she casting down her eyes, and blushing) what to say, for I should thinke my actions had sufficently testified my esteeme; and that ^what^ I have condescended too in favour of you, might have clear’d all scruples concerning it: but if what I have already done, does not content you, let this protestation that I now make, give you satisfaction: that nothing but infidelity in you, shall ever have power to make me preferre any other before you; nor shall time, nor any other consideration whatever, rob Phasellus of the heart of Artabella, nor force her to be any mans, if she may not be his. After this engagement I suppose you have no reason to be dissatisfi’d; but expect no more promises from me.

I aske no more Madam (said he) and I beg of Heaven to invent new Plagues, and greater punishments for me, then have hitherto been inflicted on the most impious Offenders, if ever I give you cause to repent this favour, or any other you shall please to conferre on your Phasellus: for so I presume to stile my self since you vouchsafe not to disowne me.

He had not time to proceed, for Diomed and the Princess came and joyn’d company with them, and for a while pass’d away the time in severall pleasant discourses. After this Phasellus went to wait on Achemenes, and as he was going he met Menzor, who much congratulated his recovery; testifying abundance of joy to see him so soon in a capacity of leaving his Chamber; and went along with him to the King who seem’d to take no less [fol. 30 r ] a content in his wellfare then his Brother had done.

Now had Diomed nothing more to do in the behalf of his beloved Friend, but absolutely to banish from his mind all thoughts of Artabella: but alas poor Prince, he found it much more di difficult then he expected: but notwithstanding he put on a resolution either to dye, or conquer; which at length (though not without many a painfull conflict between his generous Friendship and his passion) he effected. But questionless his resolution would have stood him in little stead, had he not had so faire an invitation to decline his affection for Artabella to place it on Oriana, who was no less beautifull, then the other was lovely: and one from whom he might derive those advantages which he could no way pretend too from Artabella. Besides, being incourag’d by the greatness of his birth not to fear a refusall from Achemenes, or herself, when he should once acquaint them with it. These considerations mov’d him to turn his eyes on the admirable perfections of that Princess. But now he had a harder Game to play then ever, being oblig’d to demean himself in such a manner to Artabella, that Menzor might believe him as happy as he knew himself the contrary upon that score: and yet he fear’d, that pretended kindness would ruine his designe upon Oriana, by giving her cause to suspect his passion for her was but feign’d: or else that he gave her but the reversion of a heart which another had rejected; as indeed he did, but was not willing she should know it. But so discreetly did he carry himselfe, that Oriana{93} never had the least suspition of his love to Artabella; and yet, before Menzor he acted so well the passionat Lover, that he believ’d it reall: nay, Artabella herselfe was sometimes apprehensive that his heart and tongue too well agreed; and was often greev’d to see the trouble that for her sake he underwent. But when she was convinced that what he did was onely to delude her Father, and that although his passion was not extinct, yet the Object of it was chang’d, she was so well pleas’d, that she treated him with all the kindness, and respect that perfect Friendship could oblige her too; which gave Menzor as high a satisfaction as it was possible for him to conceive.

But this obliging deportment of hers to Diomed, infused some little feares into the mind of Phasellus, lest he should have a larger share in his Princesses esteeme then he could admitt of; notwithstanding she gave him daily many innocent testimonies of her vertuous, and unfeigned love; yet were they not sufficent to preserve him from Jealousie (that Poison of the Soule, and baine of all content) which so farre infected him, that it rendred his Addresses more cold, his visits less frequent to Artabella then usuall. Diomed was the first that perceiv’d it; and being confirm’d by severall circumstances that he was the Object of his Jealousie, he was very much [fol. 30 v ] concern’d that he for whose sake he had done somuch should give way to such unworthy thoughts of him, or such causless suspitions of a Princess whose purity and candor was a sufficent guard against Detraction it self. At first he hoped that a little time would rectifie his errour; but seeing him still persevere in it, he took an occation one day to tell him of his fault, and represent to him the injury he did, both him, and Artabella. Fain would Phasellus have perswaded him he was mistaken in thinking there was any alteration in him; but alass it was to visible to be deni’d.

No no Phasellus (said Diomed) think not by this arteficiall dissemulation to disguise the wrong thou dost thy Friend, and Mistresse cans’t thou be so unjust to imagine me capable of such a degenerate baseness as to seek by treachery to undermine thee, when I might (had it been my desire, or design) have oppos’d thee fairly: or if you can have such ignoble thoughts of me, yet methinkes that incomparable Vertue wherewith Artabella is indu’d, might have secur’d you from the least doubt or apprehension of disloyalty in her.

This reproofe being no less just then reasonable, forced him with shame to acknowledge his crime, but yet withall, he would have extenuated it by saying, his diffidence proceeded from no other cause then a sense of his owne unworthiness to possess so Divine a person, who could not be ignorant of her owne worth and merit (he said) which might excite her to esteeme him who best deserv’d her: and then, that which in others might be stil’d inconstancie, in her might be term’d Justice.

I know not (repli’d Diomed) what you call Justice, but certainly in the opinion of all reasonable men, infidelity was ever counted the highest injustice that could be done to any one; for admit you were as unworthy as you fancie, or as you may make your selfe indeed by these groundless mistrusts; or that I had done{94} more to deserve her love then I have, or ever shall; yet neither the one consideration, nor the other can exempt her from the title of faithless, and unjust, should she for me, or any other, decline her affection, or violate the least tittle of her promises to you: then think not by a pretended feare of a want of merit, to paint over a Vice that appeares so detestable to your Friends, and ruinous to your owne repose, but go, and implore a pardon from your Princess whose Vertue and Innocence you have as highly wrong’d, as my integrity and Friendship.

At this Phasellus seem’d very penitent, beging Diomed both to forgive and forget his fault, which he said he so hated, and himself for being guilty of it, that he vow’d rather to rip his heart from out his brest, then harbour the least conjecture that might be capable of displeasing him, or offending his Princess.

With this Protestation Diomed was as well satisfi’d as he was the contrary before, and for Phasellus’s pardon, it was no sooner ask’d then granted. But this unexpected indifferency in his carriage had extreamly troubled Artabella, and the rather in regard she knew not what cause to impute it too. She [fol. 31 r ] sommon’d all her actions before the Barre of a strict inquirie, but could find none but what might pass for innocent in the account of the severest Censurer, and then, what prejudice he could conceive against her, the more she sought, the further she was from finding. But alass this trouble was but a tast of that sorrow whereof ere long she was to drink so deep a draught; for this soon pass’d away by the returne of Phasellus to his accustom’d duty, and respect, which he pai’d her with a much greater assiduity then before, to make amends for his late neglect. But no sooner was this discontent over, but the Fates threw on her a much greater affliction then ever she was sensible of before, by depriving her of a most dearly beloved, and no less loving Father; snatching him away by the irresistable power of a violent Feavour, in less then ten days space.

Tis not possible for me (said Celia) to draw the true resemblance of her in her sorrow; but certain it is, that to such a height of griefe did that insupportable loss transport her, that those that saw her believ’d (and not without reason) that she would speedily follow him. All the perswasions that Oriana or the King could use, wrought nothing on her, but rather serv’d as aggravations of her griefe; which indeed none could justly blame considering how ligitimate it was: nor was she the onely, though the chiefest person concerned in his Death; all Persia in generall, lamented her perticuler loss; but especially Achemenes bewail’d him with all ^the^ tenderest resentments [feelings] that the death of a Brother, and such a Brother as the World could not shew a more affectionate one, was able to produce: oft was he heard to say with teares, that the chiefe Pillar of his Kingdome was fallen, and wish that he had parted with his Crown to save his life; and to testifie the kindness he had for him living, he shew’d it to that part of him which yet surviv’d, the disconsolate Artabella: for no sooner had the Universall Conqueror tryumph’d over her Father, by leading him to that Prison whence no ransome could redeeme him, but he gave her an equall interest in his Princely care with that he had for the Princess: of her and in all respects treated her as a{95} Daughter: so that if her wound could have admitted of any cure but that of time, she needed not to have felt so great a smart as she long endured: but at length, Time, that universall cure of griefes, wrought that effect on hers; and made her cease from sheding those fruitless teares, which she so long invain had been too prodigall of; that she might give permission to Phasellus to waite on her, which Favour she had denied him a great while after Menzor’s death; confining herself to her Chamber for above a quarter of a year, suffering none to see her, but those she durst not refuse a visit from, as the King, and Princess: and though Phasellus had often beg’d the favour of her sight, yet would she not condescend to it, that she might debarre herself the enjoyment of all things that might affoard her either comfort, or content: and indeed, Phasellus’s company was all that she could find a satisfaction in; and on that score it [fol. 31 v ] was that she refused to see him. And besides to take from him all hopes that she would so soon (as possibly he expected) assume that liberty which her Father at his death bequeath’d her, leaving her wholy (as he did) to her owne dispose.

But now that she had found from the hand of time a little ease for her tormented mind; and that those Clouds of griefe wherewith sorrow had so long orecast the heaven of her beautie were a little disperced, she resolv’d no longer to suffer Phasellus to languish for the enjoyment of her sight, nor debarre herself that innocent freedome she formerly had taken. All the Court was extreamly joy’d to see her abroad once more, whom they lately fear’d would have buried herselfe alive by abandoning all society. But above all, Phasellus seem’d so transported that he was scarce able to contain his Joy within the bounds of moderation, but was thorow the excess of it like to discover that, which prudence told him ought as yet to be preserv’d a secret: for although Menzor left Artabella at liberty to make her owne choice, yet was the Kings consent no less necessary now, then her Fathers was before: not that she beleiev’d the King would find any reason to disapprove of Phasellus for a Husband for her; but the onely thing she apprehended was, le^a^st he might be displeas’d that she should presume to chuse any one without his knowledge or approbation, which persons of her quality (being so neer alli’d to the Crowne as she was) seldome or never do, without incur^r^ing a reproofe from their Soveraign. This consideration made her unwilling Achemenes should be acquainted with her passion, till he might be perswaded to allow of it; which she hop’d would be a matter of no great difficulty if Diomed once undertook to effect it; which she could not at all doubt of, considering his Friendship to Phasellus, and Achemenes’s to him: for after Menzor died, he possest the Kings favour in so high a degree, that he appear’d the onely man in Persia that Achemenes honour’d with a perticuler esteeme: and though Envie does alwayes attend on Favourits, yet such an influence had his Vertues on the hearts of all in generall, that there was not any that bare a noble Soule, or had the least sense of Vertue, that once repin’d, or thought his Fortune greater then his merit.

These things she represented to Phasellus as oft as he prest her to perfect his felicity, which he said, could never be compleat till Hymen had united their{95} hands, as well as Love their hearts. But this she would not as yet be perswaded too, but endeavour’d by reason to convince him that there was a kind of nessesity for this delay; which she assur’d him should be no way to his prejudice; for his she would be; nor should all the powers on earth (now that she was freed from her Fathers) force her to anothers, or detain her from him: but as she told [fol. 32 r ] him, she thought it more discretion if she could obtain the Kings consent, then for her openly to declare what he might possibly look on as a disrespect to that duty she ow’d him as her Soveraign. But notwithstanding she carried herself so reserv’d towards him in publick, yet in private she allow’d him all the freedom that Vertue and honour would permit; and daily gave him such unquestionable demonstrations of her fidelity, and reall esteeme; that he could not but be as well satisfi’d with his condition, as if he had been possest of what he most desir’d.

But though Phasellus was arriv’d at almost as great a height of happiness as fancy could imagine, yet Diomed poor Prince, made but a slow progress in his Amours to Oriana. For as oft as he sought opportunities of disclosing his passion, she still found evasions to prevent him; yet alwayes demean’d herselfe with so great a civility, and respect that she gave him no just cause to be dissatisfi’d with her: but yet small comfort was it to him to live between hope and dispaire: so that he resolv’d no longer to deferre a declaration, which could not be much more injurious to him then his silence was.

But as he was upon the point openly to profess himself a Servant to the Princess (from whom he could not feare a scorn as to his birth, if she did not disdaine his person) Persia rang with the certaine intelligence of a new invasion from Oruntus (the King of Persia ^Scythia^) in revenge of his Brothers death: which when Achemenes was assur’d of, he resolv’d to prevent him, by carrying the War home into his owne Country; for seeing he delighted in it, he would so farre oblige him as to present him with his owne desires: and to this end he speedily caus’d an Armie of no less then fourscore thousand men to be rais’d to send into Scythia. The noise of this ensuing Warre for a while gave a stop to Diomed’s intentions; in hope this War (which he intended to be an Actor in) might present him with some occations of acquiring more glory, and new opportunities of further obliging Achemenes. Never till now was Persia truly sensible of the loss of their valliant Generall; and when all men were big with expectation who the King would confer that honour on, he declar’d, he thought none so well worthy of it as Diomed; who (as he said) had once before by his sole vallour freed Persia from the invading Scythian. This choice was highly approv’d on by all but Praxaspes (a Persian Prince) who having some relation to the Crowne, thought scorn a wandring stranger (as he term’d Diomed) should be preferr’d before him, or intrusted with an affaire of so high a concernment: but for all his resentment [feelings], he was fain to comply with the Will of the King, which he well knew was not to be opposed. All else but he, were farre better pleas’d to be commanded by Diomed, then he was to command them; for when Achemenes gave him his Commission he would modestly have declin’d it, desiring him to give{97} that honour to some other whose yeares and experience might render him fitter to undertake [fol. 32 v ] so great an enterprize. But all he said rather heightned the Kings esteeme then any way alter’d his resolves; which when Diomed saw, he took on him to be Generall, more out of compliance to Achemenes his desires then his owne inclinations: though he was not ignorant how advantagious it might be to his designes, by affording him all the opportunities that might be of gaining a greater increase of glory; which was the onely thing his desires aim’d at, as being the ready way to obtain the Princesse’s affection, who could value none but such as the highest Vertue gave a title to her Love.

This Warre was a new affliction to poor Artabella, when she consider’d it must of necessity separate her and Phasellus for some considerable time, if not for ever, the events of War being doubtfull: and he, she knew, or at least beleiv’d, had too much of gallantry to continue in the pleasures of a Court, whilst his Friend underwent those many dangers that attend on War. Nor was she less a Friend to his Fame, then a Lover of his person; and on that score it was, she would not court his stay so much as with a wish; being sensible how prejudiciall it would be to that which she priz’d highest in him if he should not accompany Diomed in this expedition.

The time preceeding their departure, Diomed spent in excercising his Souldiers, and in all the duties of a discreet Commander; which his wise conduct, rather then his age, or experience spake him to be: and so well did he instruct all his Officers, that a more exact dissipline was never seen at Rome, then in the Persian Campe as it afterwards appear’d. Phasellus might have made choice of what Place, or Command in the Armie he was most ambitious of; but he was so farre from desiring, that he would not accept of any; protesting he had rather be at liberty to fight there where his assistance was most necessary. But about two days before the Armie was to begin their march, there came to Susa (where the King was then resident) 500 young Gentlemen of the noblest Families in the Kingdome, and volluntarily proffer’d their service to Diomed, beging him to appoint a Captain over them, whom unanimously they desir’d might be Phasellus, since they could not have the honour (as they said) to be commanded by himself in perticuler. An imployment fitter for Phasellus then this; Diomed could not have wish’d (since they were men whose courages seem’d equall to their births,) and therefore yeelded to their requests. Nor could Phasellus civilly refuse it, seeing they had so far oblig’d him, as to nominate him in perticuler. These Gallants were all, exceedingly well hors’d and Arm’d: their Horses being of the breed of Sparta, and their Armour of the purest Lydian Steel pollish’d as bright as Silver.

All things being now in a readiness, Diomed thought it best, not any longer to delay time (that he might take from the enemie all those advantages that delays might give them) but sent away the whole [fol. 33 r ] body of his Armie under the command of Barsarnes his Lieutenant Generall, onely he detain’d Phasellus’s Troope in Susa to wait on their Captain, and himselfe, who stay’d a day or two behind to receive the Kings orders for the management of this{98} great affaire; which he had no sooner receiv’d but he went to take his leave of Achemenes, who imbraced him with as great a kindness as Menzor could have expected had he been living.

Goe Diomed (said he) and make good your title to what I do designe you; and let the Scythians know, though I have lost a Brother, yet Persia still retaines a Person that can repaire that loss.

To this expression of the Kings he made a reply, no less gratfull, then his was obliging, and departed to kiss the Princess’s hand, whilst Phasellus went to bid adue to Artabella. She finding herself unable to think that Phasellus must leave her, without a mortall disquiet, knew she was much less able to beare his departure without a visible griefe; which that she might the better conceale, for a week before, she fain’d herselfe not well; nor did she much dissemble, for the trouble of her mind made her really almost ill as she pretended. When Phasellus came in, he found her siting in the most Melancholy posture imaginable; and so deeply musing, that she perceiv’d him not till he was come almost to her: but when she saw him, she gave a sudden start.

And are you come Phasellus (said she) to tell me that you must be gone: alass I know it but too well, then spare me the trouble of hearing you speake it: but notwithstanding tis to me a griefe so great, so bitter to part with you, that I had rather dye (did not Death forever deprive me of your company) then beare it, yet I will not use one Argument to stay you here, nor once desire it of you. The onely thing that I will beg of you shall be, not to let your high courage transport you to actions beyond the reach your capacity; I mean, that you be not too prodigall of a life that is not at your owne disposal and that you may do nothing rashly, consider Phasellus each drop of blood you shed, is drawn from the heart of Artabella. With that, a floud of teares fell from her eyes, which drown’d the passage of her words that she could say no more.

For Heavens Sake Madam (he repli’d) dry up those precious drops: the sight of so much griefe in you, wounds me farre deeper then any enemies sword can do; I know ere long I shall returne in saftie, for I cannot doubt any ill fate attends a person that weares the glorious title of Artabella’s Servant.

To tell you (said Celia to the Sicilian Lady) all the expressions that Artabella made, both of griefe and affection to Phasellus; and all that he said to passifie her, would be but tedious; and much better Madam may you conceive (if you have ever been in the like condition) what pass’d between them then I relate it: therefore if you please we will leave them for a while, and follow Diomed [fol. 33 v ] to Oriana’s Chamber whether he was gone. You may well imagine it was no small trouble to him to leave her (loving her passionatly as he then did) without knowing what to hope or feare; having never made any perticuler address to her, nor ever made other discovery of his passion then what his sighes might give. This, when he reflected on, imprinted such a sadness in his lookes, that any one that saw him might easily perceive it; especially when he came to take his leave of Oriana for then he seem’d so disorder’d that she could not forbear taking notice of it saying, were I not assur’d both of your fidelity to my Father, and your generous courage sufficently enough, not to leave in me the least doubt of your continuing the same, this discontent that sets upon your Brow would breed a suspition in me, that you are dissatisfi’d with your employment, or else that you doubted your success; which can never be fear’d so long as Diomed maintaines our quarell.

You will oblige me Madam (repli’d he) to impute this sadness (which in despight of my endeavour to the contrary will shew it self) to any cause rather then a dissaffection to the King your Fathers service: for such is the respect I owe him, that had I as many lives to loose as I have liv’d minutes; or were each drop of blood that runs in my Veines a River; I would freely sacrifice those lives, and draw those rivers dry, with a joy not to be express’d, to purchace him that peace, and prosperity I wish him. Nor it it any feare of a misfortune as to the Kings concerns that does afflict me, neither the sword of an enemie that I dread; for their united Force I can, and do dispise. No Madam, tis onely a feare that has possess’d me (which prints these Charactars of sadness which you read in my Lookes) that when I have subdu’d those barbarous Scythians (which I question not through the assistance of the Gods to do) and brought home Victory along with me, that then I must be condemn’d to suffer death, or banishment.

I cannot think the Noble Diomed (said she) capable of contracting any guilt, that may in the least deserve so severe a punishment; yet admit you could, certainly you know my Father but a little, if you imagine cruelty has any acquaintance with his disposition: for great indeed must be your crime, which so many obligations as he has, and may yet receive from you, cannot move him to forgive.

It is not Madam (answer’d he) from Achemenes that I apprehend that severe sentence, but from the Oracle of my Fate his faire Daughter, on whose permission to adore her, depends my life, or death. This presumption Madam you may esteem unpardonable; but that which makes my offence, must likewise plead my excuse: your unequall’d perfections being the cause that has produced an effect, which I can no more repent of, then endeavour to recover a freedome, which the irresistable influence of your divine graces made me so long since most willingly resigne, though till this minute I retain’d the power not to importune you with my passion: nor had I as yet unvail’d my heart, till by some noble actions I might have hop’d to gaine some little title to your esteeme, had I been but certain I should [fol. 34 v ] ever again behold those Eyes which have enspir’d me with a Flame so lasting, as, the coldness of the Grave can never tryumph over, nor extinguish.

I am sorry (repli’d Oriana very mildly) that you should now give me cause to be displeased with you, since I have hitherto highly esteem’d you, and alwayes valu’d you at as high a rate as I thought you could any way pretend too; but since you have abused those favours I have shewn you by making them a rise to your ambitious pretences, you must not thinke it strange if I henceforth let you see the difference there is between the Daughter of Achemenes and your selfe.{100}

If you meane Madam (answered he) betwixt our births, perhaps hereafter when I have the honour to be known to you, there will not be so vast a disproportion found as you suppose; but I confess between your merits and my deserts, there is so great a one as nothing can be more: but if none but a person that can equall your perfections must possess you, there lives not a man upon the earth that can be worthy of that honour. But that you may see Madam I am not ambitious of ought, but of the glory of being yours, I wish you were the meanest Lady in Persia, that then you might perceive the passion I have for you, proceeds not from selfe interest, but springs onely from the acquaintance I have with those pe divine excellencies that render ^you^ the Merrour of your age, and sex: or if you esteeme the Crown of Persia to rich an Ornament for Diomed to weare, bestow it on some other more deserving; give me but your person, and let who will enjoy your Fathers Throne; I shall find a Diadem to empale your Temples with, no less glittering then this that you are born too, and an Empier of as larg an extent to make you Empress of.

If you (the Princess answer’d) will have me credit so great an improbability, as that a Prince, and such a Prince as you speak your selfe to be; should remaine incognito so long as you have done, you must give me some testimony more convinceing then your bare assenting it; yet I must needs say, I have observ’d somewhat in your meen [mien], and actions that seem’d silently to declare your nobility.

If I may be but so happy Madam (he repli’d) as to gain a beliefe from you of what I have declar’d but till the end of this War, I’le aske no greater favour now; at which time, if I do not give you undeniable demonstrations of what I now averre, inflict on me the punishment due to a dissembler, and to a person that would go about to betray you with a falshood.

If you are such (said she) as your discourse seemes to inferre, I have not so much reason to be offended with you as I late suppos’d I had; but were you yet much greater then you are, I must tell you, I cannot approve of a discourse I understand not; and therfore must desire you not to give me the trouble of hearing it repeated.

Your desires Madam (said he) shall ever be commands to me, and as such, religiously observ’d; then seeing tis your Will I suffer in silence, I will obey you: but Death I trust will proove more kind then you, in healing those wounds your beauty made, but you refuse to cure. But when I have^[n]’t^ found remedy that ^which^ now I go to seek, and that I [fol. 34 v ] am fallen your Victime, let me conjure you Madam (continu’d he throwing himselfe at her Feet) not to hate the memory of him ^who^ would live onely to adore you, and di’d to obey you.

These words he pronounced with so serious, and mournfull an accent, that Oriana’s heart which was not composed of Adamant relented; and giving him her hand to raise him up. No (Diomed said she) your offence is not so hainous as to deserve death for the expiation of it: but if you are such an obedent servant as you would make me believe, do not vainly throw away your life; and to encourage{101} you to the performance of this Command, I’le tell you, that perhaps Fortune may be more propitious to you at your returne then you now expect, for if you can gain Achemenes to favour your desires, I shall not study to oppose them; for tis his Will, must ever be my Law.

She had much adoe to bring out these last words; but when she spoke them, she was somuch out of countenance that she could not stay to heare what answer he would make, but bid him farewell, wishing him happie success, and a prosperous returne, and retir’d to her Closet.

You may imagine (said Celia to the Sicilian lady) that Diomed went away very well satisfi’d, for a more favourable answer he could not have wish’d. The next morning early he and Phasellus, together with his Vollunteres left Susa, and in few dayes o’retook the whole body of their Armie, and by great marches came to Maran the chiefe Citty of Margiana a Province of Persia, not farre from the River Araxes over which they were to pass into Scythia. When they came thither, Diomed made there some litle stay to rest his Troopes, that they might march unharras’d into Scythia, which after some small repose they did made all possible speed to do.

But ere they could pass the Araxes (which separates the two Kingdomes) Oruntus had sent an Armie not much inferior to the Persian. These Forces he intended should have enter’d Persia before they had enter’d his Dominians, but Diomed was too nimble for them, for he was assoon at the one side of the River, as they were at the other; whether being come, he try’d all wayes imaginable to gain the opposite Bank, but was a long time kept off by their Arrowes: but the difficulty, and danger he found in the attempt rais’d his courage (if possible) to a higher pitch; for after having sounded the River to find where it was easiest to be Fourded, he clasp’d downe the Vizour of his Helmet, and relying somewhat on the goodness of his Armour, he rush’d into the water, animating his Cavallry by his perswasion, but more by his example to follow. The next that went in after him was Phasellus and his Troop, and after them the rest; so that in fine there stay’d not one Horseman behind. This was no petty enterprize that Diomed [fol. 35 r ] undertook, for the Araxes running swiftly, they had much adoe to beare up against the Current: but at last, though with much difficulty they got safe over, except some few that were slain with the Arrowes which were incessantly shot at them as they swame.

The Scythians terrifi’d at such a prodigie of courage as they beheld in Diomed, had not enough left them to stand the first assault: he perceiving the confusion, whereinto their feare, and astonishment had thrown them, gave them not leasure to rally their discomposed spirits, but charg’d them so vigorously, that thereby he gave his Infantry time to pass over in those Boates they had provided for that purpose; and they coming up fresh to his assistance, with an inconsiderable loss, he put the Scythians to the route, killing above 40000 upon the place, besides a considerable number of Prisoners which they took; the rest fled to Eupateria the next Citty, whether Diomed meant first to direct his march: which{102} he thought best ^to do^ assoon as conveniently he could, that he might not give time to the enemy by their recrutes to relieve that Citty, which once being taken, he knew would be of no small consequence to him upon any occation to retire too. But when he drew neer it, he found it seated soe amongst the Rocks, that it seem’d almost inaccessable; and as strongly fortified by Art, as Nature: but this, ^instead^ of disheartning, rather inflam’d this fierce young Prince with a more fervent desire of improving his glory, by interprizing things not easily gain’d.

But whilst he besieg’d this Place (which was as well victuall’d for a siege, as fortifi’d) Oruntus was not employ’d like him, who sate devizing a Net to catch Flyes whilst his Citty was in danger to be taken; but with all cellerity rais’d another Armie farre greater then the former; over which he appointed Cydarius (Prince of Issedon) Generall; a person of the greatest valour, and conduct in his Kingdome. This was so speedily perform’d, that they came and camp’d at the Persians backs ere Diomed imagin’d there could be any appearance of an Armie; for though he kept Scoutes on all sides to bring him intelligence, yet Cydarius march’d with that secricy, and through such bye, and unfrequented places, that the Scoutes discover’d them not till they surrounded the Persians, leaving them no way to escape (having the Citty before, and they behind) unless they could hew themselves a passage thorow their Armie: so that of besigers, the Persians were now become the besieged.

Diomed soon found the errour, the little knowledge he had in that Countrey made him commit; and therefore to rectifie it, he resolv’d to raise the siege: and supposing, darkness would most savour his design, he order’d his Armie to be ready for a march about the dead [fol. 35 v ] of night; which being come, he sent a small Partie to allarum that side of the Campe where Astianax the Lieutenant Generall of the Scythians was quarter’d, and whilst the Enemy thought the greatest danger to arise from thence, he broke with all his Force upon that part where Cydarius lay, not dreaming of any such surprize; and gave them so sudden, and hot a charge, being assisted by Nights black shades (which alwayes represents dangers in the most horrid shape) and their feares, which had in a manner infatuated them, and put them in so great a disorder, that ere Aurora could discover what they had done, they found they had safely pass’d the Campe, and retreated to the top of an high Hill at a good distance, leaving the Scythians to lament the deaths of 5000 of their Fellows.

This exploit of Diomeds so frighted the enemie, notwithstanding the valour of their Captain, that instead of offering to fight him (as he expected they would) they pass’d thorow Eupateria which open’d her gates to receive them, and went and encamped on the other side; as well to cuccour [succor] the Citty, as to secure themselves till further supplies should come, which they daily look’d for: but before they came, Diomed had 10000 Foot, and 5000 Horse sent him by Achemenes to augment his strength, wherewith he so strongly rebesieg’d Eupateria, as in despight of all the opposition they could make, he in ten dayes space carri’d it by storme; and with such a heroick courage march’d to encounter{102} his enemies, that it utterly destroy’d theirs, and made them timerously retire to a place where t’was impossible to constraine them to fight; nor could he by any meanes provoke them to it (though he had oft made it his endeavour) till after the arrivall ^of^ 8000 to increase their number. Yet was it not out of cowardice that Cydarius declin’d the battell, but out of prudence: having already receiv’d two great losses, and therefore was unwilling to put the third to a hazard, or stand to the curtesie of Fortune, till he knew himself strong enough to dispute the Victorie; which now he knew he was, and therefore would no longer delay, but drew out his Forces into Batailia on a larg and spacious Plain on the right side of Eupateria.

Diomed though much fewer in number, with joy accepted Cydarius’s summons, and ranging his men to the best advantage, advanced to the Battell as to an assured victory. After the Charge was mutually sounded the Fight most fiercely began on all sides; and thorough all the Ranks Death walk’d in tryumph, nor knew he a long time on which side to boast his greatest Trophies, nor could that day deside it, though there was slain above 50000 on both sides, besides 10000 wounded. Nothing but the approach of night could make the valliant leaders to retire; but that compell’d them to a cessation till the next Morning: when early they renew’d the Fight more vigorously then before, and Phasellus and his Followers did so many gallant things, that should I undertake to [fol. 36 r ] relate them (said Celia) I should but injure the Acters: but notwithstanding all his valour he was one time very neer being taken; the danger he was in soon flew to the eares of Diomed, who was himself at the same instant almost in as bad a condition, for advanceing too farre amongst his enemies, he could not retreat, but was even overwhelm’d with those multitudes, that presst him so closely that he had no small taske to defend himselfe: but the newes of his deare Friends danger transported him to that height of rage, that the effects of it fatally discharg’d it self with a fury so impetuous, that in an instance he laid 4^00^0 of his enemies dead at his Horses Feet, and through their bodies made a Lane to pass to Phasellus’s assistance: but when he got up to him he saw it needless, for the courage of his Generous Companions had freed him, which haveing with Joy beheld, he left him to go seek out Cydarius, who was bravely performing the duty of a Generall. Diomed finding him truly valliant, thought him the worthiest of his sword which had too long imbrew’d it self in common blood. And besides, he saw him the onely person that supported the now drooping spirits of the Scythians; and therefore (not without good reason) he concluded, if he could either kill, or take him Prisoner, the Bataile would quickly be at an end.

But whilst he was searching after Cydarius, Phasellus had the good Fortune to kill Astianax with his owne hand, which very much discourag’d that part of the Armie which he commanded; which when Cydarius understood, he ranne with a desire equall to Diomeds, to find him out, knowing it was his life alone that could raise again those fainting spirits, which the loss of one of their Generalls had so disheartned, that they were ready to quit the Field. But far he had{104} not gone, ere (according to his wish) he found him; whom he no sooner saw, but he cry’d out, defend thy self. Diomed not giving him leasure to say more, met him with his sword advanced in the Aire, which he discharg’d so fully on his head that it made him reel in his Sadle; but the goodness of his Armour so well resisted the Blows, that he receiv’d not much prejudice by it: but setling himself faster, he quickly requited Diomed with another, no less forceable; but being nimble, he started aside, so that the blow that was intended for his head, lit on his left shoulder: but he repay’d it with another that cut in sunder the Braces of Cydarius’s Helmet. His head being thus unarm’d, he cover’d it with his Shield, and so well defended himself, that Diomed confest he never met a braver man: which made him rather desirous to take, then kill him, and on that score he proffer’d him his life, on condition he would yeeld himself Prisoner.

This he being displea[s]ed at, repli’d, I scorn a Life that must be purchaced with my freedome, let Cowards accept life on such conditions, a generous spirit ever prefer’d [fol. 36 v ] a noble death before a base captivity, or mercy from an enemy.

With this he renew’d the Combate with so fresh a vigour, that Diomed saw it was invain longer to spare him, but laid him on so briskly, that in a short time he dismounted him, and laid him at his Horses Feet for dead. When the Scythians saw their Generall dead, their hopes expir’d with him, and staying not so much as to fetch off his body; but basely abandoning him, they turn’d their backs and fled, whilst the Persians persu’d them as long as day would permit, and gain’d a victory as intire as they could wish it; for of those vast numbers that came into the Field, there was scarce 3000 left alive (and of those, divers were taken Prisoners) to go carry to Sinope the sad tydings of ther defeat: nor had those Troopes so scap’t, had not the darkness of the night befriended them.

No sooner was Diomed return’d from the pursute, but he went himselfe by the light of many Torches to search for the body of Cydarius that he might be carried from amonge those heapes of Carkases wherewith he was inviron’d, that he might either conveigh his body to Issedon (the chiefe Citty of his Princepality) or else give it there those Funurall Exequies his Vertue merited. Being come where he lay weltring in a sea of blood, he caus’d him to be taken up, and carried to his owne Tent; whether being brought they laid him on a Bed, and going to disarme him, they heard him grone, which gave them an assurance life had not quite forsaken him. This Diomed being enform’d of, commanded his Chirurgions (who were dressing his owne Wounds that he had receiv’d in the Fight) to leave him, and view Cydarius his body, promising them great rewards if they could cure him (for as he said, it griev’d him very much so gallant an enemy should perish by his sword) this they promis’d to do, if it were in the power of Art to performe. When they had search’d his wounds, they found not any that they could think mortall, onely the loss of somuch blood made them doubtfull of their success: notwithstanding haveing first dress’t his wounds, they then made it{105} their business to recall those spirits which were taking their last farewell; which at last they effected.

When he first open’d his eyes, he cast them with a languishing look about, and perceiving himself in a strang place, and not one Face present that he had ever seen, he presently conjectur’d what his condition was; and fixing his eye on Diomed, as on a person that deserv’d a more perticuler notice then any of the rest; when he had recover’d his speech, he address’t himself to him with a faint voice saying. I am your Prisoner Sir I see, but Death will set my better part at liberty ere long, and deprive you of that satisfaction you pretend too in sending Cydarius shakled to your King, and free me from the shame I suffer in seeing my selfe o’recome.

Tis true (Diomed repli’d) you are my Prisoner by the Law of Armes, which gives me a right to stile you so; but yet, such shall your usage be, as you shall have but little reason to believe you are soe: and were I absolute Master of my actions, I soon would render you that liberty you so generously disputed; nor [fol. 37 r ] should any thing detain you here, but an incapacity to go hence: though I am not ignorant that in giving you your freedome, I restore the King your Master more then the fortune of this day has taken from him: but being oblig’d to give an account of my proceedings to Achemenes, I dare not presume without his permission to give you what I wish I could. Then think not Cydarius I so dilligently sought you to insult over, or to reserve you as a Trophie to adorne my tryumphs with; but rather with a designe to save your life if there were any possibility of it: which if I may be a meanes of preserving, believe it tis the onely satisfaction that I aime at; and shall esteeme it the greatest I derive from this success.

These high expressions of civility strook Cydarius dumbe, but when he had regain’d his speech (he cry’d out) Great Gods is it possible so much Vertue lives on earth. I will no longer account my selfe wholy miserable since you have let me be vanquish’d by no other then the most generous of men (and streaching out his Armes to embrace Diomed who did the like to him) I am not troubled now to live (continu’d he) nay I shall eagerly court my cure, that I may be in a condition to find out some way more then by words, to express my gratitude, and the sense I have of your galantry; it onely troubles me that I am bound by my alleageance to my Prince to be your enemie; but though I am confined to be so to your Partie, yet no consideration whatsoever, shall make me an enemy to your person: for against all men breathing my King excepted, I will ever take your part.

After Diomed had renew’d his assurances to Cydarius of a treatment worthy of him, he wish’d him good rest; and leaving him to his repose, he retir’d to his owne, after he had caus’d those hurts he had receiv’d in the Fight to be dress’t, which were so inconsiderable that they deserv’d not the name of wounds. Phasellus scap’d not altogether so well, but though his Wounds were many, yet were they in such places as they did not much prejudice him, nor at all confine him to his bed, longer then was necessary for that rest that Nature requir’d. Some days ensuing were spent in burying the dead, lest those vast number of Carcasses by{106} their stench should infect the Aire. Assoon as Cydarius was in a condition to be remov’d Diomed caus’d him to be conveigh’d to Eupateria which he strongly fortifi’d placeing in it a considerable Garrisson to defend it against the Scythians in case they should attempt the recovery of it; for no sooner was the Battell wone but they yeelded themselves to the mercy of the Conquerour.

Here left he Cydarius with servants to attend him sutable to his quality (not as a Prisoner, but as a Prince) and advanced like a tryumphant Conquerour, finding but little opposition; for so formidable was his very name to the Scythians, that he no sooner summon’d their Citties then they yeelded: so that in foure moneths space he subdu’d three of the most considerable Provinces of Scythia; which were the Sacans, Sogdians, and Massigets. Achemenes constantly receiv’d the tydings of Diomeds successfull [fol. 37 v ] proceedings with an infinite satisfaction, and was per[pe]tually busied in raising new leavies to send him as often as he should stand in need of them. Nor was Oruntus less solicitus for the providing for the defencive, then Achemenes was for the offencive part of war; and to that end he had drawn together all the Force that he could possibly raise, intending to march in person at the head of them, to try if by his presence he could regain what he had lost; or if his ruine was decreed, he resolv’d to fall like himself. This resolve of his Diomed was not a little joy’d at hoping that this one Battell more, would deside the controversie, and end the war, the finishing whereof he passionatly long’d for, that he might be at leasure to attend his owne concernes; and wait on his Princess, from whose sight he had in his conceit been absent whole ages; so tedious is time to an impatient Lover.

This designe of Oruntus’s he gave Achemenes an account of by Letters; which he having receiv’d, dispatch’d away with all expidition 60000 to aide him against that day which was destin’d to be the last to such an infinite of men. This Oruntus having intelligence of, made all the hast he could to meet Diomed that he might fight him before that supply could joyne with him. But Diomed to incommode him as much as might be, would not stir from the place where he was, that he might put him to the trouble of a longer march, but encamp’d neer Issedon, intending to wait his coming, which he had not long expected ere they came. He would willingly have declin’d fighting till the arrivall of these additionall numbers that he daily look’d for, who were coming to him with all the hast they could possibly make; for knowing his Armie to be far less then the Scythians, he was not willing wholy to depend on Fortune, who for the most part failes those that relie upon her.

But notwithstanding his endeavour to the contrary, Oruntus constrain’d him either to fight, or retire: but when he [Diomed] saw there was no way to avoid it without a prejudice, he accepted of the Battell; trusting to the protection and goodness of the Gods who had thitherto carried him on so properously in all his undertakings: and in hopes that they would not now abandon him, he began the Battaile with such an undaunted look that it startled the most valourous of his enemies, and rais’d his owne Partie to that height of courage that nothing could{107} along time withstand their force: but the Scythians Arrowes did so gall, and vex their Horses, that they were more troubled to rule them then overcome their Foes. Twice Diomed encounter’d Oruntus hand to hand, and questionless the second time he had found his Brothers Fate had it not been for some of the most dareing of his men; who seeing the [fol. 38 r ] danger he was in threw themselves between and parted them; but many of them paid no less a price then their lives for his rescue.

But to contract this relation in as narrow a compass as possibly I can, because it would require a larger time then I am alow’d to recite each perticuler, and besides having so many things of greater consequence then the perticulers of a Battell to relate, I shall pass over these tragicall events as briefly as I may. Let it suffice then Madam (continu’d Celia) that I tell you that in this Battell the Sceane chang’d thrise; for Victory was three times won, and lost: but after all her various traverses she stay’d herselfe upon the Persian Banners: though I know not whether they account’d not this victory worse then a defeat, since they unfortunately lost their valliant Leader (the noble Diomed) who eagerly chaceing the flying Scythians, had by misfortune his Horse kill’d by an Arrow. For the Bow is a weapon those People are so skillfull at, that they can shoot with no less dexterity backward then Forward. The falling of his Horse dead under him being perceiv’d by some of the hindmost of them, with a shout they turn’d back and run upon him in such multitudes that all his strength was too little to defend him; and so far was he advanced before the rest, that ere they could come up to his assistance, they so incompass’d him round, that being o’re power’d by their numbers, he was taken: which they had never done, had they not press’d him so closely, that they left him not roome to use his sword.

And now the Fight began again afresh; for the foremost of the Scythians hearing their Fellows shout, immediatly conjectur’d it was for some advantage they had gain’d, which invited them once more to make head against the Persians, and face about on those they lately fled before. This latter part of the Fight was much more bloody then the former: nor am I able to express (said Celia) the rage where with the Persians were inspir’d when they knew their valliant Leader was taken; insomuch that they fell on upon their enemies with a fury equall to that of Lyons: But for Phasellus’s part, he was even mad with rage, and the rather when he saw him [Diomed] past recovery: for the Scythians if they could make good their retreat t’was all they could hope for, once more turn’d their backs and fled to Issedon with winged speed, and in that Citty shut up themselves. Oruntus having heard of Diomed’s being taken, gave immediate command he should be put in Irons, and secur’d in a Prison of that excessive strength as t’was altogether impossible for him to escape; intending (as he said) after the War was ended, to put him to a most ignominious death, in revenge of Octimasdes’s, and those many thousands of his subjects as by his meanes had lost their lives.

These menases [menaces] being told to Diomed, did [fol. 38 v ] not at all startle him, nor wh were Oruntus threatnings half so terrible as his Chaines were{108} insupportable: but seeing there was no remedy, he resolv’d to beare his captivity with so heroick a patience, as that his greatest Foes should be driven to acknowledge, though Fortune had reduced him to the condition of a slave, he did not merit to be such. But the Joy that was in Issedon that they had taken him, was surpass’d by the Persians griefe that they had lost him. But lest the disorder they were in for want of their Generall (being now like a body without a head) might give the Scythians any advantage, with an universall consent they made choise of Barsarnes their Leiutenant Generall to execute his Office till they might be happie in his restoration; which they vow’d suddenly to accomplish, or every man of them to loose their lives.

Fames winged Pursevant soon flew to Achemenes with the tydings of the Victory, and Diomeds mishap, which quite destroy’d the Joy it was to heare his affaires were in so prosperous a condition; and in its stead, fill’d him with so great a trouble, and discontent as he had never felt for any thing but his deare Brothers death. The Princess was not much less concern’d then he, though she was fain to conceale part of her resentment [sentiment], lest it should be imputed to a more obliging cause then meerly an esteeme for that gallantry which had so bravely signaliz’d it selfe in all his actions.

And no doubt but Artabella would have born her part in the generall griefe had she not been ignorant of it, being then absent from Court, having left it soon after Phasellus’s departure, and retir’d to a Castle of her owne neer to Shiras; the Citty which was founded on Persepolis that once renouned Citty, which was built for the most part of Cypresswood; the walls of the houses being of Marble. But its chiefest Ornament was the Palace Royall, built on a Hill, and encompass’d with a treble wall; the first sixteen cubits high, the second thirty, and the third sixty, all of them of black pollish’d Marble, with stately Battlements; and in the circute of the Palace a 100 Turrits, which presented to the beholders view a most goodly prospect. Nor was the inside of less beauty; then the outside was of majesty: the Roofes thereof shining with Silver, Gold, Ivory, and Amber. The Kings throne being all of massie Gold, inlaid with the richest Pearles. But neither its riches, nor its state could secure it from its ruine: for Alexander the great, in a drunken Fit consum’d it with Fire, at the request of Lais an infamous strumpet. But the downfall of that, was the rise of Shiras: Seated it is in a larg Plain encompass’d round with Mountaines, under one of which tis built, and beautified with dellicate Gardens, and stately Temples; two whereof are [fol. 39 r ] much larger then the rest; and made more admirable by the addition of two Spires cover’d with a painting of Mosaick work; as light almost by night as day, by reason of a thousand Lampes burning Nightly in them. And in fine, such a Citty it is, that for good wine, pretty woemen, and pleasant Fruits it may compare with the best in Persia. Here Artabella drew her first breath (it being the chiefest Citie belonging to her Fathers principality) and on that score she chose it for the place of her retirement till the return of Phasellus: or if the Fates had so{109} ordain’d, that she must never see him more, she there resolv’d to end her dayes in solitude.

The sound of a Bell made Celia break off her discourse and the Sicilian enquire the cause of its ringing; which Celia having told her it was a sommons to dinner, she led her downe staires into a very spacious Roome in which the Queens wemen alwayes dined: but here they eat not their meat as in other Countries seting at Tables, but on the ground on rich Persian Carpets; which custome was intraduced in the Delphian Court by Artabella, who being a Persian Princess, would needs follow the fashion of her owne Country in that perticuler. After they had dined, they pass’d away the time together for the space of half an houre, every one desiring to out vie each other in their civilities to the strang Lady, who was not backward in her requitall. But Celia being enform’d by Amena (one of the Court Ladies) that the Queen was at present employ’d in hearing a title pleaded to an estate by two kinsmen (who pretended each of them a right to it) which she was to determine that afternoon: this information she no sooner receiv’d, but knowing Ermillias concern to be such for her subjects as she would rather chuce to dispence with any pleasure or diversion how great soever, then neglect the least thing tending to their good or benefit; she told her new companion that if she pleased to take a turne or two in the Garden she would pursue what she had begun till such time as the Queen should be at leasure to send for her.

This proposall was no sooner made then accepted; and making her [Arthenia’s] excuse to the Ladies for quiting their companies so soon: which nothing but that passionate desire she had to know the conclusion of their late Queens adventures (she said) could have made her guilty of so great a rudeness, she follow’d Celia into the Garden, where she had not been since that morning she met her there: at which time she was so wholy taken up with the considerations of her miseries, and that death which so neerly seem’d to threaten her, as she never so much as once look’d on or regarded any of those rarities that offer’d themselves to her view. The most remarkable whereof were two dellicate Fountains; one in the [fol. 39 v ] midst of the Garden which she now took a perticuler notice of being paved with White Marble spoted with black; the Water it contain’d being so purely cleare as rendred the bottom visible, which presented to the beholder a most delightfull Object. In the midle of it was a Statue representing Neptune with a Trident in his hand and a Wreath of Corall on his head, seated in a Chariot of Fishes shells so curiously cemented as it appear’d but one intire shell of Mother of Pearle; and drawn by Sea Horses. The other, which deserv’d no less a regard, was seated in the remotest part of the Garden, and surrounded in that manner with Trees as rendred it so shady as the Suns hotest Beames could not be offencive to any that reposed themselves by it: in the midst of this Fountain stood A a fig a Figure resembling Arion mounted on a Dolphins back: and towards the brime of it six Tritons on the one side, and over against them on the other a like number of Sirens, their humane parts onely appearing above the Water, standing{110} as it were in maze at the mellody of Arions Harp:[4] neer to the edge of this Fountain, under the shady covert of those Trees Celia invited the Sicilian Lady to repose herself whilst she prosecuted her Naration in these words.

  1. The lineage initially cited is inconsistent. Diomed seems to be the grandson, not the nephew, of Augustus. 
  2. Throne and unthrone are corrected to ^en^throne and ^dethrone^; “un” is underlined and “de” is inserted above. 
  3. The word “little” is inserted in what appears to be darker ink. 
  4. Arion, a virtuoso harpist, was rescued by a dolphin when he jumped into the sea rather than be murdered by sailors (Herodotus, Histories 1.23–4). 


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

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

Share This Book