ZELAVTO. THE FOVN∣taine of Fame. Erected in an Orcharde of Amorous Aduentures. Containing A Delicate Disputation, gallantly discoursed betweene two noble Gentlemen of Italye. Giuen for a freendly entertainment to Euphues, at his late ariuall into England. By A. M. Seruaunt to the Right Ho∣nourable the Earle of Oxenford.
Honos alit Artes.
¶ Imprinted at London by Iohn Charlevvood. 1580.
To the Right Honora∣ble, his singuler good Lord and Mai∣ster, Edward de Vere, Earle of Oxen∣ford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord Sandford, and of Badelesmere, and Lord high Chamber∣laine of England. Anthony Munday, wisheth all hap∣pines in this Honorable estate, and after death eternall life.
AFter that the Englishe Prince (Right Honora∣ble and my verie good Lord) had ta∣ken view of the seemelye Portra∣ture of Gridonia, her tender Infant ly∣ing by her, and leading two Lions in her hand: he presently left the Court, and Page [unnumbered] tooke himselfe to trauayle. When the princely Primaleō, heard pronoūced be∣fore his famous father the Emperour of Constantinople, the sorrowfull Letters sent by the Lady of the Lake, how his best belooued brother was loste in the vnfortunate Forest of England: he a∣bandoned all his Courtly delights, and neuer ceassed wandring, till he became prisoner in the same place. So my sim∣ple selfe (Right Honourable) hauing sufficiently seene the rare vertues of your noble minde, the heroycall quallities of your prudent person: thought, though abilitie were inferiour to gratifie with some gift, yet good will was ample to be∣stowe with the best. When all the braue Gallants and woorthy Gentlemen in Roome, presented vnto the Emperour Iewels and gifts of great value and esti∣mation: Page [unnumbered] a poore Cittizen amongst thē all brought a handfull of Flowers, and offe∣red them to the Emperour, the which he receiued gratiously and with great affec∣tion, and gaue him a great reward. Why (quoth one of the Gentlemen) how durst thou presume to giue so poore a present, to so puissant a person? Why (quoth the Ci∣tizen) how durst they be so bolde to giue such great gifts? Quoth the Gentleman, they are of great credit, and beside, their gifts woorthy the receiuing. And I am poore (quoth the Cittizen) and there∣fore I giue such a meane gift, yet hath it beene gratefully accepted: And although they discend of such noble Linages: yet doo they owe dutifull alleageaunce vnto the Emperour, and as poore as I am, I beare him as true a heart as the best: Euen so my poore gift hath beene Page [unnumbered] as faithfully deliuered: as the richest Iewell that was by them presented.
And loe Right Honourable, among such expert heads, such pregnaunt inuen∣tions, and such commendable writers, as preferre to your seemely selfe, woorkes woorthy of eternall memory: A simple Soule, (more imboldened on your clemen∣cie, then any action whatsoeuer he is able to make manifest) presumeth to present you with such vnpullished practises: as his simple skill is able to comprehend. Yet thus much I am to assure your Honour, that among all them which owe you du∣tifull seruice, and among all the braue Bookes which haue beene bestowed: these my little labours containe so much faith∣full zeale to your welfare, as others whatsoeuer, I speake without any excep∣cion. But least that your Honour should Page [unnumbered] deeme I forge my tale on flatterie, and that I vtter with my mouth, my hart thinketh not: I wish for the tryall of my trustinesse, what reasonable affayres your Honour can best deuise, so shall your minde be deliuered from doubt: and my selfe rid of any such reproche. But as the puissantest Prince is not voyde of enemies, the gallantest Champion free from foes, and the moste honest liuer without some backbiters: euen so the brauest Bookes hath many malicious iudgements, and the wisest writers not without rashe reports. If then (Right Honourable) the moste famous are foūd fault withall, the cuningest controlled, & the promptest wits reproched by spite∣full speeches: how dare so rude a writer as I, seeme to set foorth so meane a mat∣ter, so weake a woorke, and so skillesse a Page [unnumbered] stile? When the learned are deluded: I must needes be mocked, and when the skilfullest are scorned: I must needes be derided: But yet I remember, the wise will not reprehend rashly, the learned condemne so lightly, nor the courteous misconster the good intent of the writer: But onely sutch as Aesops Dog, that brags but dares not bite, hid in a hole and dare not shewe their heads, against all such, the countenaunce of your Honour is sufficient to contend, which makes me not feare the force of their enuie. The Chi∣rurgion more douteth the hidden Fistule: then the wide wound, the woorthiest war∣riour more feareth the secret assault: thē the boldest battaile, A little hooke taketh a great Fish, a little winde falleth downe big fruit, a smal spark kindleth to a great fire, a little stone may make a tall mā stū∣ble, Page [unnumbered] & a small wound kill a puissant per∣son: Euen so the hidden enemy may sooner harme a mā: then whē he trieth his quar∣rell face to face, and the least report of a slaūdrous toūg (beeing lightly beleeued) may discredit him to his vtter vndooing. But for my part I feare not, let thē prate at their pleasure, & talke till their toūgs ake, your Honour to please, is the cheefe of my choise, your good will to gaine is my wished reward: which shalbe more wel∣come then Cressus aboundaunce, and more hartily accepted then any worldly wealth. The last part of this woorke re∣maineth vnfinished, the which for breuity of time, and speedines in the Imprinting: I was constrained to permit till more li∣mitted leysure. Desiring your Honour to accept this in meane time, as a signe and token of my dutifull goodwill. Page [unnumbered] Not long it will be before the rest be fi∣nished and the renowned Palmerin of England with all speede shall be sent you. Thus praying for your prosperitie, and the increase of your Honourable dignitie: I commend your woorthye state to the hea∣uenly eternitie.
Your Honours moste duti∣full seruaunt at all assayes. Antony Munday.
¶ To the well disposed Reader.
I May be deemed (cour∣teous Reader) more wanton then wise, and more curious then circumspect: in naming my booke by such a vaine glo∣rious title, for some will sup∣pose heere are rare exploytes of martial mindes to be seen: which whē they haue prooued, they finde it to faint. Othersome will desire for Venus daintie dalliances: but Iuno dealeth so iustly in this cause, that their al∣so they misse their marke. Then how (will some say) can Fame be so furnished: and bothe of these absent? the matter (say I) shall make manifest what I haue attempted: and then if I be founde faultie, I will stand to your gentle iudgementes. That man is ve∣ry wise that neuer offendeth in folly, that man is ve∣ry valiant that neuer meetes with his match, and that man is very circumspect that neuer talketh a∣wry, the righteous man offendeth seuē times a day: then needes must the negligent be found very faulty. It is a good horse that neuer stumbleth, and he a se∣uere seruaūt that neuer displeaseth his maister, then beare with my rudenesse if I chaunce to offend you: my good will did labour in hope for to please you.
Againe, some will be inquisitiue, why I am so wil∣ling Page 2 to welcome Euphues into England? he beeyng so excellent: and my selfe so simple? If Euphues so wisely dooth wish you beware, and to preuent the perilles that heedelesse heades may haue, wishing youth likewise to frame their fancies so fit, that no crooked chaunces doo happen to harme them: Then like that Lilly whose sent it so sweete, and fauour his freend who wisheth your welfare. And although my wit be so weake: that I cannot welcome as I would, and my skyll to simple to gratifye so gentle a gueast: I trust my good will shall plead me a par∣don, & my honest intent be nothing misliked. Thus hoping to haue your courteous consentes, which is the reward I cheefest require, I wishe my woorkes may prooue as profitable to you in the reading: as they were delight∣full to me in the writing.
Your freend to commaund A. Munday.
A delicate Disputation gallantlye dis∣coursed betweene two noble Gen∣tlemen of Italy. The Argument.
NOt longe since ouer the famous and stupendious Citie of Venice, gouerned Gon∣zalo Guicciardo, elected Duke by the most worthye Orlando Fiorentino. This aforesayde Gonzalo, (renowmed for his princely gouerment, obayed for his singuler wisdom, praysed for his pollitique suppres∣sing of prowde vsurpinge enimies, and honored for his humilytie to his subiects in generall) was not onely ac∣counted as a second Mutio among his freends and fami∣lyars, but euen amonge his very enemies was also estee∣med as a prince worthy of eternall memory. And na∣ture the more to agrauate his ioyes in his hoary haires: gaue hym a Sonne called Zelauto, whose singuler hu∣manitie, whose puisance in feates of armes, whose dex∣teritie in witte, and whose comelye shape in personage, caused hym through all Venice to bee greatly accoun∣ted of.
This gallant youth Zelauto (more desirous to ad∣uaunce his fame by traue•lyng straunge countries: then to leade his lyngring life styll in the court of his famous Page 4 father) one day by chaunce tooke courage to open the hidden thoughts which longe incombred his carefull breast, and hauing espied his father at such conuenient leasure, as serued best for his auayle, yeelding his obey∣saunce as dutie beseemed, entred into this discourse.
If (Right woorthy and renowmed Father) nature had adorned me with such rare and excellent quallities, as might procure an hartes ease and ioy vnto your prince∣ly estate: then would dutie cause me to keepe my minde in silence, and feare (of displeasing your aged hart) byd me restrayne my vowed attempt. But sith I am desti∣tute of that which my hart desireth, & willing to gaine the same by painefull industry: I hope I shall purchase no ill will of your person, nor displease the mindes of your subiectes in generall. First weigh and consider by your gratious aduisement, that a youthfull minde more desireth the fragrant fieldes: then the hidden house, Cu∣stome confesseth, yea, and lawe of Nature alloweth, that it is more permanent to a princely courage, to seeke the renowmed mansion, of the most illustrious and sacred Ladye Fame: then to drowne his youthfull dayes in gulfs of gaping greef, in silēt sorrows, in vaine thoughts and cogitations, and also in trifling and idle exercises, which maketh him more prone vnto vice then vertue, more apt vnto lewdnes: then contented liuing, yea, ma∣keth him so friuilous and fantasticall, that nothing but libidinous thoughtes, beastly behauiour, is his whole exercise. For then euery blasing beame, and euery sugred countenaunce of a woman allureth him, that floting on the Seas of foolish fansie, and hauing abid one lusty gale of winde, wherewith the Barke of his body, is beaten a∣gainst the Rockes of his Ladyes lookes, then the poore Page 5 patient falleth into so extreme an extasie, that one worde will kill him, and an other reuiue him. Thus is he inclo∣sed amid these subtill snares, while in the warlike feeld he might enioy his libertie, and their win fame which should last eternally. These and such like crabbed con∣ceites (deere Father) vrgeth me to craue your leaue and licence, that I may a while visite straunge Countries, In which time, I doubt not but to atchieue such exploytes, that at my returne it will be treble ioy to your Princely eares to heare them recounted.
Sonne Zelauto (aunswered the Duke) this your dis∣course is both commendable, and allowable, for I lyke well of your intent, and with all my hart giue consent that for a limitted time you shal seeke aduentures, which time shall amount vnto .vi. yeares, and on my blessing I charge thee, not to breake that appointed time. In the meane while, if God call me (as my life is vncertaine) I frankly & freely giue thee all is myne. Wherfore looke well to thy selfe, that good report may be heard of thee, which vnto me will be great contentation. But nowe as touching what ayde and assistance thou wilt haue with thee: speake, and it shall be graunted. Good Father (an∣swered Zelauto) none but onely one to beare me com∣pany, which I know will be sufficient. Well (quoth the Duke) receiue heere my blessing, this portion of money, and this knight to beare thee company. And I pray God in all thy wayes to guide and protect thee, and so you may depart when you please.
Zelauto accompanied with his knight, departed from the Court of his famous Father, and tooke shipping to goe vnto Naples, from thence, he trauailed vnto Valen∣tia in Spayne, and chauncing into the company of cer∣tayne Page 6 English Merchauntes, who in the Latine tongue told him the happy estate of England, & how a worthy Princes gouerned their common weale, and all suche thinges as could not be more praysed then they deser∣ued. The which Zelauto hearing, craued of them that he might sayle with them into England, and he woulde liberally reward them. They beeyng contented, and hauing laden their Shippes with such necessaryes as they best desyred: within fewe dayes hoysed sayles, and away they went.
This young youth Zelauto beeyng come into Eng∣land, and seene the rare and vertuous vsage of the illu∣strious and thrise renowmed Princes, with the great ho∣nour and fauour which he obtayned among her woor∣thy Lordes: purposed to stay still there. But yet remem∣bring, that although he sawe one place: many others were as yet vnseene, after a yeere expyred, he tooke shipping into Persia, and so departed. In processe of time he had visited many straunge Countryes, sustay∣ned many and wonderfull iniuryes among the Turkes, which after shall be declared. And returning home∣ward, happened on the borders of Sicile, where For∣tune was fauourable vnto him: that vnawares he hap∣pened on the caue of a valiaunt Knight, who was a Christian, and hauing committed an hainous offence: fled out of his owne Countrie, and inhabited there in a silent Cell, among the woods. This Knight beyng na∣med Astraepho, and hearing the trampling of one a∣bout his denne: tooke his weapons, and came foorth. He beeing greatly abashed at the sight of Zelauto, for that in tenne yeeres space he neither sawe man nor wo∣man: but had lyued there a sauage lyfe: forgetting all Page 7 poyntes of humanitie sayd. VVhat varlet, art thou come to seeke my death? thou art welcome, and therewith all strooke at Zelauto, who alas through tediousnesse of trauell, and long beeyng without any suste∣naunce: was constrayned to yeeld, and falling on his knees submitted himselfe to his mercye, which Astraepho see∣ing, sayd as hereafter followeth.Page [unnumbered]Page 9
The Fountayne of Fame, distylling his dainty drops, in an Orchard of Amarous Aduentures.
Astraepho, hauing conquered Zelauto, sayth.
WHat so sodayne and straunge Metamorphesis is this? Art thou a Knight, that professest thy selfe a Souldier vnder God Mars his Ensigne: and so soone con∣quered? What doost thou think that this thy submission, shall hinder me of my pretēded purpose? Thy death it is I seeke, and more honour shall I obtaine by the slaughter of such a wretche: then to let thee lyue any longer time.
Most woorthy syr, if euer any iot of clemency consysted in your valiant brest: then respect I craue, the distressed case of your poore vassaill. And meruayll not though in force I am not able to resist against you, for that the great miseries which I haue susteyned in these my tedious trauayles, hath quite be∣reued me of my manly might.
*A bad excuse (say they) is better then none at all, you pleade nowe simplicitie, through the defect of your valiancie, and by such sophisticall Sillogismes, to beguile me craftilie, no, no, poore wretch, harde was thy hap to light in his handes: who séeketh the subuertion of thy state, and to cause thée yéeld• thy neck to the rigor of his manly might. Long delayes néede not, differ not with dalliance, for I am bent to thy vtter ruin.
*Small hope hath the siely Lambe, in the rauening lawes of the greedy Woolfe, to escape with life, lyttle comfort hath the pensiue prisoner at the poynt of death, to shun so harde a lot. So I (poore soule) in the handes of a Tirant (who more regardeth blood, then bountie, more respecteth death then de∣lyuerie, and more vaunteth of villainy, then any valiancie) what succour can I haue in this my sorrowe? what hope in this my so harde hap, to craue life it auayleth not, to desire a respit it booteth not, and to striue against the streame, were but a presuming boldnes, if I wish for death I gayne it, if I wish for life, I lose it. What shall betide thee poore distressed Zelauto? hap weale or woe, hap life or death, hap blisse or bale: I will aduenture by fayre woords to intreate him,* & so it may happen to stay his rigor. Good syr, if euer humanitie harbo∣red in that noble brest, or if euer pittie pronounced her puis∣saunce on your princely person: then respect (I pray) the dis∣stressed case of your conquered captiue. Small honour shall you haue by my death, & no Fame to vaunt on a naked man. My life can lyttle pleasure you, and my death lesse, therefore séeke not to shed his blood, who at your will & pleasure voweth bothe heart and hand at your courteous commaundement.
In déed I confesse,* that small honor is his due that vaunts on so prostrate a pray, & therefore somewhat hath thy woords satisfied my former desire, for in deed, a straunge and wonder∣full sight it is to me, to see a man that haue seene none these ten yeeres passed, therefore pardon what is spoken, there resteth the greater amendes to be made.
Syr,* more bound vnto you in duty, then euer I am able to performe: I yeeld you all thankes possible that resteth in so poore a person, & I doubt not but that God hath appoynted all at the best, for these fiue yéeres & more haue I visited straunge coūtreyes: and neuer yet did I happen on any such aduenture.
And haue you ben a Traueiler syr? then vnfolde I pray you what hath bene the mishaps, that the frowning Fates vnto you hath alotted, and first tell I pray you, of what soyle, what Parentage and kindred you are of, and what is your name.
Syr, as necessitie hath no lawe, so neede at this present vr∣geth me to speake. In this your Caue (I am sure) you are not destitute of victualls, the which I want, wherfore if it shall please you, to refresh his hunger, who is ready to faynt: I will discourse vnto you afterward my whole aduentures at large.
Alas syr, if such simple fare as I haue may seeme to suffise your hunger: come neere, and we will goe to dinner, and af∣terward will we discourse of such matters (as perchaunce) may be profitable to bothe.
With right good will syr, & a thousand thanks for your cour∣tesie, extended vnto me in this my vnlooked for mishap. And it may so fortune, that after our conference had together: we may with our pleasaunt talke well content eche other.
Well syr, approche this my homely Mansion, and I de∣sire you to accept the goodwill of your poore hoste.
Astraepho and Zelauto goeth to dinner, and their talke after they had vvell refreshed themselues.
*NOw Syr, how lyke you of your homely en∣tertaynment? where no better is, bad may su•∣fise, and to a contented minde nothing is preiu∣diciall. You sée howe poore folkes are content with pottage, Ritch men may goe to dynner when they wyll, and poore men when they may.
Syr,* he that wyll looke a giuen Horse in the mouth: is vn∣woorthy of the gyft, your fare hath suffised me, and you haue vanquisht him, who would haue murdred mée. What dayntie delycates is to be looked for in desert places? it suffi∣seth the Courts of Princes to haue their delycate fare, and to poore Trauellers, the homeliest dyshe is welcome, they looke for no after seruice, & in stéede of sauce, they vse their hungrie appetite,* we syt not to haue our Table taken vp, we chop at noone, and chew it soone. They in their superfluitie, we in our want. They in their prodigalitie, we spare for an after extre∣mitie. Who more couetous then they, that haue all at their pleasure? and who more fréendly then they, that haue a lyttle, and impart thereof to their fréendes. They spend, we spare, they vse excesse, and we hardnesse. And therefore sayth Tullie:
Thus syr may you sée howe sparing is cōmended: and now somwhat wyll I speake as concerning inordinate spending, and laciuious excesse, which hath the personnes that vsed it, greatly abused.
Lucullus,* for his sumptuous buyldings, and his inordinate Page 14 expences, thought among the Romaines to be magnified, for that he thought to excell all his predecessors.* But Pompey hearing thereof, and greatly desirous to sée if all were as the common brute dyd blase it abroade: iorneyed vntyll he came vnto Lucullus Mansion place, where séeing that the thing it selfe excelled the common report, in derision sayde vnto Lu∣cullus.
Truly, in my opinion, his woordes stoode with great rea∣son, and ought also greatly to be estéemed of, for fancie is so fickle, that each tryfling toy (though it be not profitable, if it be pleasaunt) is now a dayes most desired. As Lucullus, he was all in his prodigallitie, but nothing regarded in the ende the myserie.* Farther we reade, how Apollos sonne Aescu∣lapius, for his prodigall minde, & vnsatiable desire of rytches: was cast into the bottomles Limbo, among the Fiendes, and Diuels of hell. And diuers other (which were too tedious to rehearse) which got their goods wickedly, and spend it laciui∣ously. And therefore I wyll say with Tullie.
*But now Sir, returning to our contented feast passed, for my part, I am to yéelde a thousand thankes, and to shewe you the like curtesie if I come in place where abilitie shall serue me, And wish you not to thinke, but as it was lyberally and curteously bestowed: so was it gratefully and hartily accepted. And now may I well say, that he which neuer tasteth neces∣sitie: Page 15 knoweth not what want is.* For whyles I tasted on our Courtly iunckets, I neuer thought I should haue bene driuen so néere, but now, this state contenteth me farre better then my former, which was nothing but vanitie.
Syr, this your pleasaunt discourse, is bothe pithy and profi∣table, & sauoureth of the sence which prooueth perfect in ye con∣clusion.* But now as touching our talke before dinner, I must not forget your promise, for that you sayd, I should vnderstād the sum of your myseries, your aduentures happened in tra∣uayle, your name, Countrey, & parentage, which tolde: I shall declare the better some of my straunge aduentures.
*Indéede syr, promise is due debt we say, and according to promise, I will vnfolde that which is bothe straūge, & lamen∣table, wherefore giue me leaue I desire you, & you shall heare, the perillous Pylgrimage which I poore soule haue passed.
*Fyrst syr, as concerning my Countrey, Parentage and name: I giue you to vnderstand, that I am sonne to the woorthy Gonzalo Guiciardo, who is Duke of Venice, and by name I hight Zelauto. Long tyme had I soiourned in the Court of my noble Father, not knowing the vse and order of forreigne Countreyes, wherevnto my minde was adicted, wherfore at the last, I ventured boldly, and tolde my Father what in heart I had attempted: the which he well lyking of: gaue his consent,* and so I and an other Knight (whome my Father gaue me for companion) traueyled towarde Naples, and in our trauayle: we met with certaine Outlawes, whom we call Banditie.
These cruell fellowes set vppon mée, wounded mée verie sore, slew my Companion, dispoyled of my apparell and mo∣ney, leauing mée for dead. But God more mercifull then these Uillaines were tyrannicall,* would not suffer mée to perish in their handes, but they (béeing gone) gaue mée the power to créepe on all fowre to Naples. When I was come thyther: I knew not what to doo, because I was fréendlesse, moneylesse, and dispoyled out of my Garmentes.* At last, hauing espyed an Osteria: I boldly entered, putting my selfe in the handes of God, to whome I referred the paying of my charges.
Heere Zelauto telleth what happened to him in the Osteria, and what freendshippe he found vvith Madonna Vrsula, Madonna della Casa.
*BEing come to this Osteria, I entered, and the first person that I sawe, was the Misteresse of the house, who was named Madonna Vrsula, a very proper, pleasaunt, kinde & courteous Gentle∣woman. Page 17 At my comming in,* you are welcome Gentleman (quoth she) Is it your will I pray you to haue lodging? I an∣swered, yea surely, vntill such time as my wounds be healed, and my selfe better refreshed. With that quoth she to one of her maydens.*Margarita, conduct this Gentleman to the best Chamber, make him a good fire, and carry vp with you a Boc∣call of winne and a manchet, in the meane while, wil I make ready his supper.* And Gentleman (quoth she) what thing so euer it be that you want: call for, and if it be to be gotten in Naples for loue or money, you shall haue it. Héere was yet good entertainment, after so hard mishaps, my gréefe and sor∣rowe was not so great before, for the losse of my companion, my money & apparail: but her chéerefull woordes did as much reuiue my hart. And so yéelding her great thankes I went vp into my Chamber, where against my comming, I found a ve∣ry great fire, my Chaire ready set for me to sit downe with my Cushion, & my boots pulled of, warme Pantofles brought vnto me,* and a cleane kertcher put on my head. So hauing sitten there about the space of halfe an houre: vp came the misteris of the house, who taking a glasse, fille• it with Wine, and came vnto me saying. Sir (Per licentia vostra) I salute you. So causing an other glasse to be filled with wine: shée gaue it me, whom I pledged as courteously as I could. Then tooke she an other Chaire, & sat downe by me, commaunding her mayden seruaunt (who attended there) to giue place, who making courtesie to me and her misteris, departed. Then be∣gan she to talke with me in this order as followeth.
The talke that the Misteris of the house had with Zelauto.
GEntleman, as I very well esteeme of your courteous and ciuill demeanour:* so am I desi∣rous to knowe of whence you are, and what misfortunes hath happened vnto you, that you are so gréeuously wounded. Pardon me I pray Page 18 you, if I demaund the thing which you are not willing to vt∣ter, and also because on so suddaine acquaintaunce, I enter∣prise to question with you:* Gentlewoman (quoth I) the good opinion, and great liking that you haue of me, is as yet vnde∣serued, and as yet you haue séene no such ciuilitie in me as deserueth to be cōmended. But yet I am to yéeld you thanks for your good liking.* And as touching my mishaps, and this straunge aduenture which hath happened, and if you please to attend the discourse: I will tell you all. I am of Padua, and there my parentes dwell, and béeing minded to sée the vse of other Countries: I left my Parents, béeing well stored with money, and a Gentleman also which bare me company.
Page 19Béeing come héere into the kingdome: among the woods we encountred with certaine Banditie, who set vpon vs, slew my companion, left me for dead, and spoyled me of all my money and apparell. So God helping me: I haue hardly got hether with my life.
Thus haue you knowen some part of my mishaps,* nowe consider thereof by your good construction. Sir (quoth shée) your hap hath béen hard, and little doo your Parentes knowe of this your suddaine aduersitie. Be not discouraged therfore, héere shall you abide vntill such time as your woundes are healed, and that you haue perfectly recouered your health, and beside what money you want: you shalbe well prouided ther∣of. Therefore let not this mishap dismay you, a fréend in ne∣cessitie: is better then a hundred in prosperitie.* But are you not acquainted with any here in Naples? Yes (quoth I) I haue letters to Signor Giouanni Martino, frō my Father, for the re∣couerie of money, as now I stand in néed thereof.
Well Sir (quoth she) pardon my boldnes I pray you, & first trie your fréend, *& if he faile: you know where to spéede of mo∣ny, & of a greater matter if néede require, In the meane time, I will sée how néere your supper is ready, & wil come againe and beare you company. How like you now Sir of the fréend∣ly entertainment that I obtayned at this Gentlewomans hand, and also of her proffered courtesie?
Certainly Zelauto,* you are much bound vnto that Gentle∣woman, for in my opinion, you might haue gone to twentie Osteriaes in Naples and not haue founde the like fréendship. But procéede I pray you, how sped you with your fréend for your money, and how did your hostes deale with you?
You shall heare Sir.* After she was departed out of the Chamber, there came vp two modest Damsels, and they co∣uered the table. At last came she vp againe. Sir (quoth she) doo you not thinke it long before you goe to supper? No (quoth I) in good time yet, you neede not make such hast. Well Sir (quoth she) anon héere will a Surgion come, who shall dresse Page 20 your woundes, and looke vnto you till you be perfectly hea∣led.
*Then was our Supper brought vp very orderly, and she brought me water to washe my handes. And after I had wa∣shed I sat downe, & she also, but concerning what good chéere we had: I néede not make report. For all thinges was in as good order, and aswell to my contentation: as euer it was in my Fathers Court.
*After Supper (quoth she) Sir but that you are so ouerchar∣ged with trauell, and faynt with your woundes I would play a game or two with you at the P•imero. But we will referre that till to morrowe at night. Then came in the Chirurgion Page 21 and he dressed my woundes, and water was brought to wash my féete, my Bed was warmed, and so I went and layde me downe to take my rest.
¶ In the morning Zelauto sendeth for Signor Giouani Martino, of whom he should re∣ceiue money, and how he sped and of his far∣der freendship that he had with Madonna Vrsula.
NOwe when I had well and sufficiently reposed my selfe all night, and in the morning finding my selfe more strong and forceable,* then before I was: I thought to haue risen, But vp came Misteris Vrsula agayne, and comming to my Bed side, she sayd. Gentleman, haue you taken quiet rest this night or no? Yes surely Misteris (quoth I) I neuer slept so soundly in all my life before, and credit me, I finde my selfe very well amended. Wherefore now I will rise. No not yet Sir (quoth she) you shall first make your Collation in bed, with such things as I haue ordayned, and haue your wounds dressed agayne:* and then shall you rise. I thanke you good Mi∣steris Vrsula (quoth I) and surely it seemeth very straunge vnto me, that on a straunger you should bestowe such courte∣sie? Sir (quoth she) on the vertuous and well disposed, no one can bestowe courtesie sufficient. As for my part, to such Gen∣tlemen, as vpon some occasion are fallen into want & neces∣sitie: I thinke it a great poynt of humanitie, to bestowe on them fréendly hospitalitie. And therefore I followe the minde of Lactantius,* who sayth, there is a kinde of hospitalitie, which is vsed for a priuate gayne and secret commoditie, and for no loue fauour nor freendship at all. Of which sort I am none, I referre that to common Inholders, and those tipling Tauer∣ners. Let them entertayne for their commoditie, and I for courtesie. I remember how Caesar dooth cōmend in his Com∣mentaries, Page 22 the great fauour & fréendship that the Germaines shewed to straungers.* For not only would they defend them from their enemies: but also entertaine them with meate, drinke, clothing & lodging. The Scripture also maketh men∣tion, how Abraham, receiued into his house (as he thought) men, but he receiued God himselfe. Lot also receiued Angels in the shape of men into his house. Wherefore for his hospita∣litie Lot escaped the fire of Sodom & Gomorra. Rahab, for the same likewise, with all hers was preserued from the terror of death.
And what saith Saint Ambrose? Who can tell if we wel∣come Christe or no,* when we giue fréendly entertainment to straungers? Therfore sir séeme not to be offended I pray you, though I preach on this fashion, for both loue, dutie, faith and charity, dooth bind me to welcome you hether curteously. Alas good Misteris (quoth I) I sée well your great curtesie, but I knowe not how to requite the same. Sir (quoth she) what you are not able to doo: God will doo for you, and it is sufficient for me to receiue thankes at your handes, for greater is my reward in heauen. And with that she departed to fetch me my breakefast. Now syr, tell me I pray you, if the memory of this rare and vertuous woman is not woorthy to be rehearsed?
*Now credit me Zelauto, she surpasseth all that euer I heard of, both for promptnes of wit, vertue of the minde, and excel∣lencie in qualities. But I pray you could she repeat these Au∣thors whereof you haue showen, so readily?
Yea Sir, and a great many more, which I am not able to rehearse. For surely the rare excellencie that I did beholde in her: made me so amazed, that I coulde not attend all her dis∣courses.
*Now for Gods sake procéede, and let me heare more of this: for surely shée is woorthy of eternall remembraunce, in my iudgement.
Page 24*Then came vp two Damsels, the one brought a pretie li∣tle table couered, and set it on the Beds side, and the other brought such necessaries as did belong to that we wēt about. Then came she her selfe, and brought me such meate, as I ne∣uer did eate the like before: and what other chéere was there I referre that to your iudgement. But then (quoth she) to one of her Damsels. Goe and fetch me my Lute, and I will re∣creat this Gentleman with a pleasant song,* the copie whereof she gaue me, and for a néede I could rehearse it.
*Nowe good Zelauto let me heare it, for I am sure it is woor∣thy the rehearsall.
Since you are so desirous: you shall, wherefore attend it diligently.
How like you now Sir of her Song? is it not bothe pithie and excellent, dooth it not beare a singuler and great vnder∣ding withall?
If I should speake all I thinke, you would hardly beléeue me,* for surely, her song contayneth great and learned poyntes of wisedome, and requireth a more expert and learned heade then mine to define thereon: And certainely it amazeth me to heare that such excellencie should remayne in a woman. But I pray you procéede, and let me heare more of this matter?
After she had ended her song: Quoth she, Gentleman I Page 26 trust you are not ignoraunt of the meaning of my Song, for perhaps you might alleadge some poynts of lewdnes or light∣nes,* that a woman should so much commend Loue, but my in∣tent therefore I referre to your good construction. And nowe sir since you haue refreshed your selfe: let the Chirurgion vse his cunning to your woundes: and in the meane while,* I will send for Signor Giouanni Martino, and then we shall sée what he will say to you. I thanke you good Misteris Vrsula (quoth I) and I pray you let him be sent for.
Page 27So after that the Chirurgion had dressed me and was de∣parted:* in came Signor Giouanni Martino. Who séeing mée, knéeled downe and kissed my hand, the which Madonna Vrsu∣la, marueiled at. Then quoth I to him in his eare, I pray doo not vse any such curtesie whereby I may be knowen, for be∣cause I would not be knowen to any, but if they demaund of you who I am: say that I am of Padua. Well syr (quoth he) your minde shalbe fulfilled in all thinges.
Then I gaue him Letters, which when he had read▪ he de∣parted & brought me seuen hundred Crownes, saying, spende these whyles you are héere, and at your departure you shall haue more.
Then spake Madonna Vrsula to him. Syr, doo you knowe this Gentleman. Yea forsoothe (quoth he) his Parents are of great credit in Padua, wherfore I pray you let him want no∣thing. Well syr (quoth she) he hath wanted nothing yet, nor shall not, if you had not spoken. But nowe dynner is ready, and I will desire you to beare him company: Yes (quoth he) that I shall, wyllingly.
Well syr, to be short, there had I passed ten or twelue dayes, & was perfect whole,* and then I would néedes depart. Which when she saw, she was verie sorie and pensiue. But yet (quoth she) although Syr you doo depart: I hope if it be your Fortune to iourney this way againe homewarde, you wyll take vp your homely lodging héere. And in token that you shall re∣member mée: take héere this Iewell, and weare it I desyre you for my sake.
I yéelded her a thousand thankes, recompenced her ser∣uauntes, payed my charges. So on the morrowe morning I departed, accompanied with a Gentleman, who was an espe∣ciall fréende vnto Signor Giouanni Martino.* And thus haue you heard the whole discourse of my first trauayle.
Surely héere hath béene a gallant discourse, and worthy the memorie,* you are much bound in curtesie vnto that Gentle∣woman. And I would it were my fortune once to happen on such an hostes. But whether iourneyed you then from Na∣ples?
Sir (as I was about to tell you) in fewe dayes I ariued at Valentia in Spayne, where it was my chaunce to méete with certaine Gentlemen, who trauailed vnto Ciuill, and with them I went, there I remayned & my companion thrée dayes. From thence I went to Lysbone, where as I lodged in the house of one Pedro de Barlamonte▪ There lodged also certayne Page 29 English Merchauntes, whom I béeing very willing to talke with all: one night desired them to take part of a Supper with me. They spake the Latin tongue very well, and so of them I questioned about the vsage of their Countrey, & that of long time I had heard great commendation thereof: Also of a may∣den Quéene that swayed the Scepter there. I asked them whether it was so or no? They answered it was, and gaue me to vnderstand so much of their Countrey: that I would néeds, goe with them into England, who in déede were very willing, and so they hauing ended their Merchandize: we iourneyed •o S. Lucas, and within fewe dayes I tooke shipping into the so famous bruted Realme of England.
¶Heere Zelauto telleth how with cer∣tayne English Merchauntes he sayled into Eng∣land, and what happened vnto him.
Why then you stayed but a while in Spayne.
No sure, for after I and my Companion had heard of the fame of Englande: we could not settle our mindes to staye there, but thought euery day a yéere vntill we myght come in∣to England.
*And is England so famous? I pray you declare vnto mée what you haue seene there that deserued so great commenda∣tions.
That I shall, wherefore I desire you to giue eare vnto this discourse, for it is both straunge and excellent.
After as we were departed from the coast of Spayne, in a thrée wéekes space we ariued vpon the coast of England,* and landed at a certaine hauen that in their language they call Douer, the maister and his mate, with two or thrée other of the ship bare vs company into the towne, where we came to an Inne (as they call them) and béeing set downe, one of them called for drinke,* which was such as I did neuer sée the lyke before, for they call it Beere, and such a language they speake, as is bothe straunge & wonderfull, for I knowe not to what I should best liken it. Well sayd I to my companion, now we are héere, what shall we doo? We knowe not what they say, nor they can not vnderstande vs, I thinke it were best to hyre some of these that are in the ship which speake the Latin tongue to conduct vs vntill we come to some of our Country∣men, wherof they tolde vs was a great many there,* he was verye well contented, and so I desired the maister that wée might haue one of his men to guyde vs, who in déede verye courteously consented.
Page 31And then he sent to his Shyp for one Roberto,* a verie merry and pleasaunt fellowe, and he spake our language very well, he gaue him very great charge, that he should vse vs well, vntyll we came to their chéefe Cittie, which they call London, and then as soone as we came thyther: to bring vs to some of our countreymen. So we contented the Maister, got vp on Horsebacke, and so rode to London.
Zelauto and his companion being come to London, through the meanes of Roberto their guyde, they are brought to the house of one Signor Giulio di Pescara, who entertained them very curteously.
OUr mery Companion,* hauing brought vs to London: shewed vs many fayre and com∣ly syghtes, as first he had vs into their Bursse, where abooue were so many fine Shops full of braue deuises, and euery body sayd, a mad term that they had, What lack ye, vvhat lack ye. I merueyled what they meant by it, then I asked Roberto what they sayd. So he tolde me, that they asked me what I would buye, if I would haue any of their fine wares. And surely in that place were many very proper and comely Women: Then he had vs, and shewed vs a very fine Uaute vnder the same, where there was a great many Shops lykewise. So then it began to waxe somthing toward the euening, and then he conducted vs to the house of one Signor Giulio,* a Gentleman of Pescara, where we had very gallant entertaynement, and so well estéemed of, as if we had bene in our owne Coūtrey. This Giulio had maried an English Woman, who in déede, was so gentle of nature, so comely in qualities, and so proper in personage, that sure mée thought she excelled. Of her lykewise we were very gently welcommed, and a very gallant Chamber prepared, with all things so necessary, and seruaunts to attend on vs so dilligēt∣ly, that sure it was not in vaine that England had such excel∣lent Page 32 commendation.* My Companion sayd, he was neuer so quiet, and so well at his hearts ease: as he was there, béeing but so lyttle tyme there. For in déede (to say the trueth) I wā∣ted nothing, but euerie thing was ready at halfe a woordes speaking, and with great reuerence also.
*To the house of this aforesayd Signor Giulio, resorted diuers Gentlemen, which were of y• Court of England, who shewed vs such courtesie, as it is vnspeakable. But all this whyle I would not be knowen what I was, but told them that I was a Gentleman of Naples, and my name was Zelauto, and that I came for my pleasure to sée the Countrey. These Gentle∣men, some of them dyd pertayne to men of great Honour, in the sayd Court, whome I lykewise came acquainted with all. But to recount the rare and excellent modestie, the vertuous lyfe adorned with ciuilytie, the hautie courage and Martiall magnaminitie, & their singuler qualyties in generall, though I had the gallantest memorie in the world, the pregnanst wit, and the rarest eloquence to depaynt them: I know my selfe were vnable to doo it.
*It was my chaunce within a whyle after I was acquayn∣ted with those woorthy Lordes of Honour: to come in presence where theyr vertuous Mayden Queene was. But credit mée, her heauenly hew, her Princely personage, her rare Sobrie∣tie, her singuler Wisedome: made mee stand as one bereft of his sences. For why, before mine eyes I sawe one that ex∣celled, all the woorthy Dames that euer I haue read of.
But stay Zelauto, dyd you sée that péerelesse Paragon? and is she so rare and excellent as you make her to be?
Oh Syr, neuer can my tongue giue halfe a quarter of the prayse, that is due to that rare Arabian Phaenix. Were Mars himself alyue: he would stand agast at her Heauenly behauior. And as Timon,* when he drew the mournfull portrait, of King Agamemnon, for the losse of his Daughter, could not set foorth his face correspondent to the sorrow that is conteyned:* left the same couered with a vayle to the iudgement of others. So I, Page 33 because I am vnable to paynt foorth her passing prayse, accor∣ding as desert deserueth: I remyt her vnder the vayle of Eter∣nall memorie, to the graue iudgement of others.
What now Zelauto? why, the Goddesses & the Graces them selues, coulde but deserue this commendation, and I am sure she is none.
Were it possyble for a Goddesse to remayne on the earth at this day: credit mée, it were shée. For thus much I wyll tell yée. It is not to all Countreyes vnknowen, how well her Grace dooth vnderstand and speake the languages, that of her selfe without any interpretour: she is able to aunswer any Ambassadour, that commeth to her Maiestie. Also, it is not vnknowen, howe her Princely Maiestie made the minde of the valiant Marques Vitelli (Ambassador sent from the King of Spayne) to be marueylously mooued.* This Vitelli, hath bene knowen a excellent warriour, and yet the rare excellencie of this Queene had almost put him cleane out of conceyt. That as he sayde him selfe: he was neuer so out of countenaunce be∣fore any Prince in all his lyfe.*
It is in vaine of the Grecians to vaunt of their Sappho, Co∣rinna, Eriune, Praxilla, Telesilla, Cleobulina, nor yet the Pithego∣reans brag of theyr Diotima, and Aspasia, for theyr lyues, this is she that excelleth them all: and therfore will I say.
Zelauto, these your woordes dooth agrauate an excéeding ioye in my minde, and causeth mée to thyrst with Tantalus,* vntyll it be my Fortune to sée that happy Land, that thryse happy Princes, whome (if she be) as you make report, would cause bothe men and monsters to adore. But I pray you Syr pro∣céede, and let me heare what happened vnto you in that Coū∣trey?
Syr, after I had stayed there a whyle (to show this gallant Princes pastime) certaine of her woorthy and famous Lordes assembled in a Tournamēt,* the brauest sight that euer I saw, & with this gallant troupe, there came a Pageant as they call them, wherein were men that spake all Languages. O syr, I am not able to speake sufficient in prayse thereof.
At an other time, there was a braue & excellent deuise which went on whéeles without the helpe of any man.* Therein sate Apollo, with his heauenly crew of Musique. Beside a nūber of straunge deuises, which are out of my remembraunce. But yet I remember one thing more, which was a braue and comely Shippe, brought in before her Maiestie, wherin were certaine of her noble Lordes, and this Ship was made with a gallant deuise,* that in her presence it ran vpon a Rock, & was dispoyled. This credit was the very brauest deuise that euer I sawe, and woorthy of innumerable commendations.
Oh admirable Princes, whose singuler vertues, mooues the mindes of such noble Personages,* by dayly déedes to demon∣strate, & by vsual actions to acquaint her Princely estate with such myraculous motions, as you zelauto make report of.
If I were able to rehearse all that I haue séene: then I know you could not chuse but say your selfe, that she is well woorthy of farre greater, if possible there might be such: as for example these thinges I haue tolde you, which are yet in my remem∣braunce may make the matter manifest, bothe the Pageants, and also this séemely Shyp wherof I haue spoken.
Why?* is there any Prince that can wishe or desire to lyue in more worldly pleasure, then that famous and illustrious Quéene? Or can there be more vertues resident in an earthly Creature, then her noble lyfe maketh so ample mencion of? Surely in my opinion it were vnpossible: for credit me, the rare rule of her vertuous life: maketh her Land and People in such happy estate. Wherfore good Zelauto, conceale not any of this matter from me, for surely I think my self happy to come to the hearing therof.
Since syr,* you séeme so importune on me, and that my hom∣ly Tales doo so much delyght you: giue eare, and I wyll reade you heere one of the rarest deuises that euer you heard of. Which was a comely sort of Courtiers, prepared in a Tour∣nament to recreate the minde of their Princes & Souereigne.
Where want of sufficiencie remayneth, to counteruayle your euer approued courtesie: accept in token therof alwayes at your cōmaundement my dutifull seruice & loyaltie, and at∣tendaunce shall not want, tyll I haue heard these discourses.
Zelauto taketh out of his Scrip a Book, wherin he readeth a gallant deuise presented in a Tour∣nament, which he sawe in England.
FIrst syr,* to make the matter ye more playner vnto you, at ye Tylt met an armed Lady, with a Court∣ly Knight, well appoynted at Armes, who mena∣cing his manly might, as though he came to Com∣bat, began to looke about if there were any defendour. The Lady not minding the inuincible courage, and lofty looke of the Chāpion: gased vpon the renowned Princes, who was there present, debating with her selfe in inward thoughtes, the so∣dayn aduenture which had happened her, and hauing long loo∣ked on this sumptuous spectacle, at length with her selfe, fell into these woordes.
*WHat dooth the Gods delude mée? or hath the infernall ghosts enchaunted me with their fonde illusions? Wake I, or sléepe I? Sée I, or sée I not? What chaunce hath conuicted me? What sodayne sight hath attaynted me? Is this a God∣desse, or a mortall creature? If this be the séemely shée, that the Trumpe of Fame hath so blasted abroade: if this be the second Saba, to astonishe the wyse Salomon? then hast thou well im∣ployed thy paynes to come and sée her. For Report running through the Orcades,* the golden American countrey, and the rytch inhabited Islandes of the East and West Indias, ratling in euerie eare this rare rumour, of a gallant and renowned Mayden Quéene, that gouerned her Countrey woorthily, her people peaceably, and rightly bare the tytle of inestimable dig∣nitie, sayd in this manner.
Page 40WAs euer so braue a brute blased of the Imperiall Alex∣ander? Was his lyfe so meritorious,* that it deserued such rare renown? Was puissant Pompey, euer so honoured? Or Iulius Caesar, so magnifically adored? Or dyd they all deserue halfe the estimation, that by tytle true this séemely shée maye clayme? No sure, well may their déedes be noted, as a patterne to our eyes: But their lyues shall neuer be regystred, where her Fame is enrolled. But I, the most vnfortunate creature alyue, héere in a soyle vnknowen to mée, to stand in such great hazard and doubt: Because I know not rightly, whether this be shée or no, yet dooth my minde perswade me, that it were vnpossible to finde her mate. But yet if I knewe that this were shée: I would fetche the rest of my company, that they might be pertakers of my long desired ioyes. But stay, what comely Champion is this so brauely mounted, ready to en∣counter with his mortall enemie. I wyll attend to sée what his comming is, and wherfore he standeth thus to hazard him selfe to Fortune.
The Champion seeing that the Lady had ended her talke, presumeth neerer, and speaketh to her,* as followeth.
IT may be fayre Lady, that eyther you hope to pur∣chase prayse, by extolling so much this renowned Quéene: Or else you looke for a priuate commodity to counteruayle your bolde attempt, which of them you doo, I knowe not, nor which you are lykelyest to gayne, I cā not coniecture: only this I am to aunswer, that (of my self) I thinke no prayse can deseruedly patronize you: without it were more merited, and as for commoditie, you are like to get it where you can,* for our charitie is nowe waxen colde.
In déede I must thus allowe, you Women (for the most part) are giuen to prayse your owne Sex, and though there be no desert: yet wyll you prayse for your pleasure. What he∣roycall woordes you vsed, are not yet forgotten, and what pe∣remptorie Page 41 brags you made,* yet sticke on my stomacke. You commend this Princes to excell all other, and you séeme to say, that none more rightly dooth deserue it then shée. If you of your selfe are able to auouch what is spoken, and of sufficient force to stand to your boasting? doubt not but you shall be dealt with all before you depart, and be constrayned to remember your selfe better an other tyme.
Haue I condempned my péerelesse Pollinarda:* and aduaun∣ced the Fame of this Princes? Haue I left my natiue Coun∣trey, wherein abound choyse of delycate Dames, hoping that this should surpasse them all? And is it now come to no better effect? I sée Report tatleth as pleaseth her, and maketh those fooles that thinke them selues most wyse. Pack vp to Hunga∣ria, as wise as thou camest hyther, and all thy winnings, put in thy purse to spend when a déere yéere commeth.
The Lady hearing the Champion in such vnlawfull order to contempne the partie in pre∣sence, maketh him an aunswere, thereby to coole his courage.
SYr Knight,* neither dismayed through your pre∣sumptuous woords, nor yet encouraged through any vaine hope, yet greatly agréeued at this your rude behauiour, for my part I am one who comes to sée as well as your selfe, yet dislyke not so much with my selfe as you doo. Séeme you to be offended at any thing passed, and extoll you your Pollinarda abooue this gallant Gem? I knowe it were vnpossible she should make any comparison, and I knowe this so vertuous: that she can not be her equall.* Wherfore if your heart be hardened, that you dare abyde the breakfast that I shall bestowe on you, and your minde so misbeléeuing that it wyll not be reformed: I wyll assay my courage in defence of this Princes, and force you to confesse you haue chosen too hard a choyse.
The Champion perceyuing the Lady so wylling to stand to her woords passed, and that by force of Armes she would mayntaine her cause: replyeth.
*LAdy, if your courage be so correspondent, and your manhood so equiualent, that you dare séeme to auouch your preter presumption, though small honour I shall gayne by conquering a Woman, and no victorie to speake of, it shall be to vanquishe you: yet wyll I teach you how you shall behaue your selfe an other time, and how to beware to make your choyse so hard.
*AS for that syr Knight, we shall deale well inough. Now God assist me in this my enterprise, and as I know my quarrell good and lawfull: so hope I the victorie shall be law∣dable and gainfull. Thinke not syr Knight, although God hath giuen the greater courage, the more magnanimitie, and the bolder behauiour to your Sex: he hath vtterly reiected the weaker vesselles.
*In stéede of your courage, he hath indued vs with comely condicions, and in place of magnanimitie, he hath graffed wo∣manly modestie: and for your bolde behauiour, he hath be∣stowed on vs bountifull beautie. So that aspect our beautie: your boldnesse is blunted, respect our modestie: your magna∣nimitie is but meane, and our comely conditions, wyll soone quayle your courage, and as howe. A Gentleman voyde of of Uertue: his behauiour is wurse then a Begger, a meane person adorned with vertue:* is a precious Iewell abooue such a Gentleman. Therefore may it rightly be sayde, and suffi∣ciently auouched, that vertulesse Gentillytie: is wurse then Beggerie.
Page 43You syr for example,* if any iot of Gentillytie, or any signe of humanitie, séemed to be extant in you: you would vse your talke with more discrecion, and demonstrate that which I perceyue is not in you. Is it your bolde behauiour that dooth purchase you prayse? Is it your melancholy magnanimitie, that maketh you euer the more manfull? Or is it your cra∣king courage, that wyll make you euer the sooner commen∣dable? No,* in stéede of these place honest humanitie: and then I warrant you shall not séeme so haughtie, for bolde behaui∣our, vse knightly courtesie: and then your déedes wyll appéere more woorthy, for your mysused manhoode, frequent decent magnanimitie: and then your Fame shall be wytnessed ac∣cordingly, and for your craking courage, vse Courtly ciuilitie: then shall you be honoured, where now you are nothing estée∣med. But as your Countrey is barbarous: so is your be∣hauiour, and as an Ape cloathed in a coate of golde, by his con∣dicions is an Ape styll: So good talke ministred to one that careth not therefore: is euen better well spared then euyll spent.
The Champion incensed with great anger, commeth neerer the Lady, saying.
AUaunt presumptuous peasant,* séemest thou to vse chyldishe woordes to me? Thinkest thou I wyll be taught of such a Uarlet as thou? No, Ile soone coole your courage, therefore delay no longer, but defend thy selfe.
SInce neyther fréendly councell, nor wisdome of thine owne selfe is able to warne thée, but that thou wylt hazard thy ha• in hope to conuince me: defend thy selfe manfully, and I as womanly, so that begin when thou please, for I am perfect∣ly prouided.
The Champion rydeth to the one end of the Tylt, and she to the other, and there they deale ac∣cording as the order and custome is therof, after halfe a score Staues be broken: the Champion was throwen beside his Horse, to whome the Lady came thus saying.
*WHat Syr, is Miles Gloriosus, or triumphing Thraso, who thought it were vnpossible to pull his pearched plumes, or to cease his corragious countenaunce: nowe brought to so bad a ban∣quet? Was this he who thought him selfe no∣nothing inferiour to Alexander, as puissant Page 45 as Pompey, as hautie as Hanniball, Hector or Hercules, as cou∣ragious as Caesar, as stoute as Sampson or Scipio: And nowe foyled at the handes of a Woman? Where is now thy braue∣rie? Where is thy vaine vaunting? Where is thy presumptu∣ous, peremptorie perswasions? Where are now all thy man∣ly motions? Now dasht amyd the dust? now sent to séeke suc∣cour, and thou and all thy might now subiect to my valiancy? How sayst thou, wylt thou reuolt thy former woords, and con∣tent thy selfe to yéelde submission to this péerelesse Princes: or dye the death which thou hast rightly deserued?
The Champion seeing himself in such a pittifull plight, and that all this whyle he had maintay∣ned a wrong opinion, desired the Lady he might stand vp, and then spake as followeth.
REnowned Princes,* and you most woorthy Lady, as my fact is so faultie, that I can craue no for∣giuenesse, and my déede so desperatly doone, that it deserueth due discipline: yet am I to desire you to permyt me a lyttle patience, and to ponder my woordes at your curteous pleasure. First, where folly so gui∣ded me, and selfe wyll so blinded me, that I was lead with e∣uerie lewde report, and euerie tatling tale, I not minding the rare vertues resident, in the Princely person whome I haue so haynously offended: let my tongue run at lybertie, where nowe I repent me.
Next,* thinking mine owne manhoode sufficient to contend bothe against Men and Monsters: made me to commend my Polinarda, whome I nowe perceyue is farre inferiour. Let therefore my cause be construed at your clemencie, let pittie pleade my case, though I be nothing woorthy, and I vowe whyle life lasteth to her such dutifull alleageaūce: that I hope you wyll count my seruice woorthy commendation. In so doo∣ing, that valiant trayne which I brought with me, who are not farre hence attending my comming: shall and wyll be all contented to serue at your pleasure.
The Lady seeing the dutifull showe of submission in the Knight, commeth to him, saying.
*WEll syr Knight, in hope that your after seruice shall prooue so permanent as héere you haue a∣uouched, and that you euer hereafter in this péerelesse Princes cause, wyll bothe lyue and dye. I dare pronounce that you are pardoned, and that your offence shall be no more remembred.
Caesar got him such a noble name, through his great com∣passion, and that made Cicero so much to commend him.*Licurgus, when he had his eye put out, by the neglygence of Alcander: commaunded that his first offence should be for∣giuen, he would be more héedefull in the next. Eusebius, wounded to the death with a stone, throwen from the hand of a Woman: on his death bed forced his fréendes to sweare, that they would not harme her for it. I may lykewise alleage the woordes of Virgill to thée: Forsan et hoc olim meminisse iuua∣bit: and that the sentence of Euripides wyll byd thée beware:*Dul•e est meminisse malorum. Nowe is thy first fault forgiuen, in hope of amendment, so that rather prayse shall be purcha∣sed by pardoning thine offence: then that rigour should rule to exact on so penitent an offender. Therefore behold, when Iustice sayth strike: Mercie by mildnesse dooth stay the swoord, & when a crime is cōmited deseruing death: Pitty dooth woork on the offenders behalfe. Therefore whyle thou lyuest, ho∣mage her whose mercifull minde, wyll not reuenge with ry∣gor: for that Uertue hath caused her to pittie thine estate, and thou and all that are her dutifull Subiectes: say, God saue our most vvoorthy Queene. Therefore goe your way, and fetche the rest of your trayne, and so wyll I bring with me all my noble Ladyes, and then will we goe together, to procure some farther pastime.
After they had bothe brought theyr traynes, they fell to a freshe Tournament, and so ended this Deuise.
Now syr, haue I not wearied you with this long & tedious discourse? Tell me I pray you how lyke you of it? Is it not woorthy to be caryed in remembraunce, because it is such an excellent deuise?
Credit me syr, it is the proprest deuise that euer I heard of, and if it shall please you to bestowe the same on me: I wyll giue you as gallant a discourse to cary with you.
Syr, any thing I haue is at your commaundement, and I would it were so déere a gyft, as I could finde in heart to be∣stowe on you.
I thanke you for your good wyll hartily. But doo her noble Péeres and Lords that are about her, often vse to recreate her person with such braue and straunge deuises?
Syr, those gallant youthes doo, and haue bestowed aboun∣daunce in the pleasing of her Maiestie, and are so well conten∣ted therwithall: that surely it surpasseth any mans wit to giue them prayse according to theyr desert.
But dyd you euer come in acquaintaunce with any of those noble Gentlemen?
*Yea Syr, and am much bound to one of them in especiall, who sure in magnanimitie of minde, and valure of courage, representeth in that famous Land, a second Caesar, to the view of all that know him. And a lyttle before I departed out of that woorthy Countrey, I wrote a few verses in the commen∣dation, of that vertuous Mayden Quéene: and also I wrote a few other in prayse of that noble Lord, to whome I am bound for his singuler bounty.
I pray you Syr, if those verses be not out of your remem∣braunce: let me heare some part of them?
Zelauto heere telleth to Astraepho, the verses that he wrote in the commendation of the Englishe Queene.
*Zelauto, beléeue me, I neuer heard in all my lyfe so many Uertues resident in a mortall creature. But certaynly as I Page 51 know your iudgement is excellent in such matters: so I con∣fesse agayne, that had I not heard it of you, I would not haue beléeued it. But now Syr, I pray you let me heare the verses which you wrote in commendation of that noble Gentleman, whome you praysed so much lykewise.
That you shall,* and I would I were able by pen to prayse, or by paynes to requite his singuler great curtesie.
Heere Zelauto rehearseth the ver∣ses that he wrote in the prayse of a certayne Noble Lorde in the English Court.
Surely, belyke Zelauto you haue found great fréendshippe at that noble Gentlemans handes. But referring all other mat∣ters aside, tell me what became of your Companiō, that went with you into England?
Truly he was so farre in loue with the Countrey, that I could not get him from thence when I departed. And in déede so would I lykewise haue stayde, if my Fathers commaunde∣ment had not bene such, which caused me to hasten away, be∣cause I would sée other Countryes.
Then you dyd depart shortly after, and left your Compani∣on there?
*Yea Syr. And from thence I tooke shypping to goe into Per∣sia. But many were the myseries that I poore soule abode a∣mong the tyrannous Turkes.
*But durst you séeme to wander so farre as to put your selfe, in hazard of lyfe among those cruell and bloody Turkes. You remembred not belyke your Fathers commaundement, who wylled you to guide your selfe so well: that your returne might be to his eternall ioy, but rather as desperate, hauing a youthfull head and a running wyt, would venture on your owne destruction.
*In déede Syr, who mindeth not the after miserie: wadeth often so farre that he is cleane ouer shooes, so I more vppon pleasure then any other cause: put my selfe to God and good Fortune on that behalfe, yet was I not vnmindfull of my Fathers preceptes, for that I purposed nothing, but found it to my profit.
*Well Zelauto, it draweth now towarde night, and we haue well spent this tyme in talke. Let vs now goe in, and prouide something for our Supper. And to morrow we wyll discourse Page 53 of your other aduentures at large.
I am well contented Syr, and a thousand thankes I yéelde you for your courtesie.
THus hath Zelauto and Astraepho passed one day in talke together, and now are gone to prouide such necessaries as are néedefull to suffice theyr hungrie stomackes: howe they spent the next day: the matter ensuing shall make manifest. Thus yéelding my selfe (gentle Reader) vnto thy courteous construction, and not to a rashe Reporters reprehen∣sion: I wishe my woorkes might procure thée as much pleasure, as my good wyll is to woorke thy welfare. Vale.
Zelauto. His Ariuall in Persia, his va∣liant aduenturing in the defence of a Lady, condempned for her Christia∣nitie, his prosperous Perigrination a∣mong the tyrannous Turkes, with the rest of his Knightly deedes.
¶ The second part of the Fountayne of Fame.
Written by A. M.
Honos alit Artes.
The Author, to the curteous Reader.
WHo but behelde the one syde of Ianus: woulde hardlie iudge that he were so rare mis∣shaped. And who but viewed the vpper part of a Siren: would think she were a whole womā incorporat. So who but readeth the beginning of a booke: can giue no iudgement of the sequell ensuing. The Fryer in the midle of his sermon, cryed the best was behind: and I hauing tolde you a peece of a tale, say the finest follo∣weth. So, if that you beholde Ianus perfectly: you shall see his deformednesse, and if you see all partes of the Siren: you shall finde the alteration, lykewise if you reade all the booke: you shall not be deluded by (the best is behinde) but so to reprehend mine excuse. The Printer (you will say) hath painted it full of Pictures, to make it be bought the better: and I say the matter is more meritorious, and therefore you should buy it the sooner. So, if you wyll be ruled by the Printer and me: you shall at no tyme want any of the Bookes.
The homelyest house, may be hansome within: the simplest Garden, may haue Flowers woorth the smel∣ling, and a weather beaten Bulwarke, may hold out the bolde blowes of a well wintered Soldier. Many a good Captayne, may goe in a playne coate, and many an ho∣nest man, may walke simply arayde. Therefore, the Page 58 homlynesse of the house, dooth not reprehend the han∣somnesse, the symplenesse of the Garden, condempne the sweet sent of the Flowers, nor the Bulwark disbase the stoutnes of the Soldier, lykewise, the playne coate of the Captaine dooth not diminish his manhood: nor the meane aray of the Citizen, impayre any of his honesty: Neyther dooth the bluntnes of my Booke, altogether condempne me: nor the meane methode of the matter, diminish any iot of the good wyll of the Author, you can haue no more of a Catte but her skyn: nor of me more then I am able to doo. Well, I wyll not trouble you with wresting many woords, nor hinder you from hearing that which ensueth: you haue free entraunce into the Orchard, pluck where you please, looue where you lyke, and fancy where you finde fyttest.
Your freend. A. Munday.
¶ The second part of the delycate Dispu∣tation between two noble Gentlemen of Italy.
NOw Syr Zelauto,*you haue séene, the whole courtesy, that I your poore fréende can show you, to feast you with Fortunes fare (I call it so) because as to day I haue it, and to morrow it is vncertayn, therefore it commeth by sodayne chaunce, and also to lodge you in my carefull coutch, harde and vn∣pleasant, the furniture therto belonging all of mosse & leaues, yet well dooth it cōtent me, because I haue vsed my selfe ther∣to, to you I knowe it is straunge, and no meruayle, because the Princely pleasures that is in your famous fathers Man∣sion, as yet stick vpon your stomack. My selfe, hauing remay∣ned héere full fouretéene yéeres and more, haue cleane forgot, my preter delightes, my wanton conceyts, and my layes of Looue. Now to the sprouting sprayes I commend my sute, the Hylles, the Dales, the Rockes, the Clyffes, the Cragges, yea, and the gallant Ecchoes resound of this solitary Wyl∣desse, they & none but they can witnesse of my woe. In Court I serued, to my small auayles, I sued to a selfe wylled Saint, I complayned,* and it was not regarded. But héere I lyue as Prince within my selfe, not foe to any, nor none to me. I a∣dore my God. I feast my selfe as well as I can, as for my gar∣mentes, though they be homely, yet are they healthfull, for Silken sutes, are not to wander among the bryery brakes withall. What care I for money, I haue Nobody to bater withall, my Hoste asketh me no money when I ryse from breakfast, dinner or supper, then what should I doo with it? If in your carefull Citties,* you as lyttle regarded, your coyne as I: you should not haue so much extorcion, so much brybing to Officers, so much wrāgling and iarring among the common Page 60 sort, so much encroching one vpon another, and to conclude, you should not haue so many diuellish deuises frequēted, ther∣fore I doo not aspect for my priuate commoditie, I lyue not héere by pride or by vsurie, but I take all contentedly, so to no man am I enemie. This homely discourse, for a mornings good morrowe I trust will suffice, now must I desire you to procéede in your promised affayres, touching the rest of your mishappes.
*Courteous Sir, if my slender habilitie, were of such and so great a puissaunce, as might but séeme to counteruayle the large and inestimable courtesie, that I haue founde at your hands vndeseruedly: I might then then the bolder behaue my selfe in your company. But as where nothing is to be had, the King looseth his right: euen so I hauing nothing▪ yéeld my selfe to your courteous consideration (alwayes remembred) that if it shall please God to sende such successe, as of long I haue looked for: I doubt not (though not able to satisfie the whole, wherin I am indebted) yet to recompence the greatest part as néere as I can. And this by the way to assure your selfe, though lothe to spend so much lyp labour in promysing you preferment, doubt not but in heart I will remember you, and that to your contentment.
*Syr Zelauto, héere néedeth no such thanks, if I could bestow so much of you, as my poore heart would wyllingly affoord: I doubt not but then you would thanke me. In the meane whyle, take as you finde, welcome your selfe though you be not bidden, shut vp the sacke when it is but halfe full, & giue God thankes for all. But procéede I pray you as touching your promise, for I greatly desire to heare what after happe∣ned you.
I shall satisfie your aspectation wyllingly, but giue eare I pray you, and marke it attentiuely, for you shall heare the tenour of a straunge and tragicall Commedy.
Heer Zelauto telleth how he departed from the royall Realme of England, and arriued at Zebaia in Persia, and of the great courtesy that he found with his Host Manniko Rigustello,* and al∣so of his wife named Dania.
BEing departed from my Companion, & from that thrise renowned Realme of England, after many hard and diffy•ill passages: I arriued at Zebaia, a gallant and braue Cittie in Persia. Béeing come Page 62 thyther, alas I wyst not what to say, the people so gased vpon me, as though they would haue eaten me, so at last I entred into the signe of the Gorgons head, which is a house of lodging for Straungers. When I came in, I found my Hoste and his Wife sitting by the fire at supper, I saluted them in their owne language as well as I could, mary mine Hostesse was a Florentine,* and she did quickly perceyue what countreyman I was, wherefore she rose vp, and very courteously bad me welcome, so presently I was had vp into a Chamber, & a good fire made, then I sate down & communed with mine Hostes.
The talke betweene mystres Dania and Zelauto in his Chamber.
*SYr (quoth she) as the sight of a Christian in this place, is a thing of great lyking vnto me: euen so are you welcome, although as yet vnacquainted. But neyther to stand vpon the nicenesse of Rethoricall gloses, nor to trifle the time with long and doubtfull delayes, this I am to enforme you, we are héere subiect vnder a Law, to which Law, wyll we, nyll we, we must obey, the Law dooth thus farre stretch in charge, that no Christiā must abide in ye Cittie abooue ten dayes, if longer, to their owne peryll, in which tyme, the Hoste must be sworn for his good vsage, and to sée if that he kéepe due and decent be∣hauiour in his house. Now Syr, you hauing taken vp your lodging héere: my Husband is vpon his good lyking to giue his woord for you.* Thinke not Gentleman that I speake to dis∣courage you, for you shall finde your selfe heere as well vsed as in your owne Countrey, I am my selfe a Christian borne, and wyll stand your fréend in more then I wyll nowe make my vaunt of: therefore (by the way) I giue you first to vn∣derstand our Lawes, of other matters we shall the better dis∣course afterwardes. Gentlewoman (quoth I) I would that my simple and meane behauiour,* might once be woorthy to de∣serue, the courtesie of such a fréendly entertaynment, & surely in the informing me of the Lawes and Customes of your Ci∣tie: you haue doone me no small pleasure, for otherwise, I Page 63 might haue by some one occasion vnwittingly violated them. But now since you (on méere courtesie) hath doone thus much for me: I am to yeelde you a thousand thankes. Well syr (quoth she) then if I might be so bolde,* I would enter into a lyttle talke with you. Truly Gentlewoman (quoth I) you are not so wylling: as hartily welcome, therefore say what plea∣seth you.
Then syr (quoth she) since your patience hath pardoned my rash attempt: I am the bolder without blushing to craue such courtesie at your handes, as to rehearse of whence you are, from whence you come, what mooued you to visite this place, and whether you minde to trauayle. Suspect no subtyll Sophistrie in this my demaund (good syr) but rather impute my boldnesse to countrey behauiour,* and to one that wisheth your welfare.
Genlewoman (quoth I) to dissemble were no part of fréend∣ly familiaritie, to lye, would impayre my name and credite, to tell trueth also, may héere perhappes to returne to myne owne endamagement, but buylding my assuraunce on your Christian fidelitie, and hoping you will not séeke to woorke my harme wilfully, but wyll rather adiuuate me in my ne∣cessitie: to you wyll I vnfolde the sum of my secretes. First I am a Venetian borne, and my Father, if lyuing (as I hope he be) thereof is Duke, my youthfull minde béeing addicted to sée forrayne Countreyes: left my Father, and tooke my selfe to trauayle. So after the view of other Countreyes: Fortune hath sent me hether, where I must be no long abyder, because fowre yéeres and more are fully expyred, and my tyme dooth amount but vnto sixe yéeres, and to aunswer whether I shall goe from hence: I can not, because I must craue your good and fréendly directiō in my voyage, that I may escape from mine enimies: and safely returne home into my Countrey.
In déede syr (quoth she) I can not blame you, to kéepe your selfe so secrete, if you be discended of so noble a house, and for my part, you shall be iniured by no way, but rather aduaun∣ced, and if lyfe, goodes, or what euer else may pleasure you: be holde, for they are ready at your commaundement. By Page 64 this tyme it waxed somewhat darke, and supper was ready, so the meate béeing serued vp into my Chamber, the Hoste came, and he, his wife and I, supped altogether.
The talke which Manniko Rigustello the host, Dania his wife, and Zelauto had together at Supper.
*MAnniko Rigustello the Hoste, sitting at the Table, and séeing that I was a Christian, he béeing one him selfe that of long tyme endeuoured to become a Christian: desired me, (if I coulde) to rehears•Page 65 some part of the Scripture, whereby he might receyne com∣fort and consolation, for the want of which he was long time troubled and vexed in his spyrit. Quoth I, though not so able as I would I were, yet wyll I reueale such things vnto you, as I haue no doubt but you shall be comforted thereby, and I wyll helpe to mitigate your wounded conscience, by the swéet and blessed promises of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christe, a soueraigne medicine against all •railties of the vyle and vo∣luptuous ••eshe.
Heere Zelauto rehearseth to Astraepho the comfortable talke that he vsed to his Hoste Manniko Rigustello, and of the conuersion of his Hoste.
AFter that God of his infinit goodnesse & mercy, had framed all things according to his heauen∣ly will and pleasure,* as first the day and night, next the trées, the earth, the sea, the fishes, the fowles, and all liuing beasts: then made he Mā the Image of his owne lykenes, and gr•ffed into him reason Page 66 and vnderstanding,* whereby he excelled all the creatures of the earth, insomuch, that he gaue him the domination ouer all other creatures, as the Oxe bothe to labour for him, and to be sustentation to his body likewise, the Horse to beare his wea∣rie carkase, after his tedious labour, and other creatures be∣side for his behoofe and nourishment.
But man amyd all his gallant ioyes, receyued so sharpe and so heauy a fall:* that for euer he lost his paradisall pleasures. Before, lyuing at lybertie, wāting nothing to his prosperity, was now driuen into such a perplexitie, that he must eate his bread in the sweat of his browes, tyll the ground by his wea∣rie labour, beside, sustayning the wrathfull countenaunce of his heauenly Creator, that before was bent towarde him so loouingly: nowe cast out vtterly, ashamed to come before his Maiestie,* so horrible was his sinne & iniquitie, that the quan∣titie of his losse to vs is vnspeakable.
But what of that, dyd God for euer after leaue vs desolate? dyd he send vs no comfort to succour vs? Yes, yes, his Pro∣phets to preache to vs, lastly, his déere Sonne to ransome vs, who when we were at the brinke of vtter destruction, payed the price of his precious blood, to redéeme vs. What moc∣kings? what scoffinges? what raylinges? what spytting in the face? what whipping? what crowning with thorne? what nai∣ling on the Crosse? and what tyrannous tormentes dyd hée méekely, patiently, loouingly, gently, yea, & wyllingly suffer for our sinnes. But alas how lyttle doo we regard it? we that knowe there is a God, & a punishment due to our sinnes: séeke not to amend our lyues. You that lyue in darknesse, and not able to attayne to so cléere lyght: how wilfully, how wanton∣ly, how wickedly you leade your lyues because you wyll not knowe this. When you catche a Christian, a member of that swéete body that suffred all these torments: then triūphe you, what mercilesse tormentes he must abyde, alas, my heart bléedeth for to thinke on, howe tyrannically you can finde in heart to vse him?
And whereof groweth this great crueltie you vse? only for want of the knowledge of God. If you knew what God is: Page 67 you would then consider with your selues, howe you should doo to an other man as you would be done to your selfe.
If you knewe God, you would neuer call on such a vaine thing as Mahomet is: but on the true God, he which lyueth and reygneth euerlastingly. If you knew God: you would then beléeue in his Christe, (whose name you can not abyde) and then you would consider what and how many gréeuous tormentes he suffered for you, and then would you rather séeke to increase the members of his body: then to make such hauocke and spoyle of them as you doo. So that if you knew God: you should be partakers with his déere chyldren, in the kingdome of heauen.
SYr (quoth the Hoste) by this your talke,* I am greatly moo∣ued in minde. First, to consider the blindnesse in which I haue lyued: Next to thinke on the happy and blisfull lyfe that you Christians haue. But syr, I haue cōmuned with a great many that haue come hether, and they in déede haue tolde me part of that which euen now you sayde, and haue hartned me verie much, but none that euer came so néere the quicke as you doo: well letting that passe, I am to desire you to infourm me howe I might attayne to so swéete a comfort as you haue. If my applyable paynes may ayde me to purchase it: I vowe no occasion whatsoeuer shall hinder me.
I am right glad (quoth I) to heare that you haue so good a zeale & intent to the Christian faith,* and my dilligence shall not want to councell you therein, but as of two extremities, the least is to be chosen, and of two euilles the wurst to be shunned: So holde I it best, that at this tyme we leaue to con∣ferre of these matters, least that when we least of all thinke, the enimie come to subuert vs. At this tyme, if you please, let vs vse such delightfull talke (vsed with moderation:) as may well recreate vs: and no faulte be found therewith, yet think not (I desire you) but that I will satisfie your requests, Page 68 in whatsoeuer you please, & you shall finde me to doo more for you, then now I minde to make protestatiō of. So if you are well instructed, and I deuoyde of my peryll: you shall winne your whole wishing, and I purchase no disprofite. How say you syr, are you contented to graunt to that I haue spoken?
*In déede syr, you say trueth▪ lyttle sayde is soone amended, and where the hedge is lowest, the beastes goe ouer soonest: therfore we wyll cea••e this talke at this time, & reason therof betwéene our selues secretly. Therfore tell me I pray you, what was the cause of your comming into this Countrey, béeing such a soyle, wherin they rather desire your death, then wish your well fare? and whether meane you from hence to trauayle?
*Sir (quoth I) you knowe that a youthfull minde is styll ventrous, and desirous to sée new sightes, and fashions euery day, wherefore I béeing one more addicted to pleasure then profite, and more desirous of nouelles, then to continew styll in one song: hazarded my selfe to all chaunces, whatsoeuer, and hitherto I haue out stoode them (I thanke God:) well inough. What shall followe I know not▪ what is passed hath bene sufficientlie discharged, but whether I trauayle from hence, is vtterly vnknowen, thus you knowe at large the cause of my trauayles.
*We had now sitten at supper not fully halfe an hower, but there came in one, a verie goodly Gentleman, who was Ne∣phew to the Soldane of the Cittie, named Mica Sheffola, this Gentleman sate downe at the Table, and gaue a verie grét¦nesse sigh▪ at length looking on me, the blood rose aboundantly in his face, and the teares began to trickle downe his chéekes. My Hostesse. Dania séeing the pensiue plight of this Gentle∣man: ran to him,* and tooke him about the necke saying. Alas good syr, what meaneth these mestiue motions? What harme is happened that makes you so heauy? Or what cause procu∣reth Page 69 you to lament in this sort? O tell me good swéete syr, and if any helpe lyeth in me: credit me, I wyll doo it to the verie vttermost of my power. Ah good Dania (quoth he) I knowe right well, if thou couldest remedy the matter▪ thou wouldest doo it wyllingly, but the case so standeth, that it is farre from thy power to pleasure me, or any that I knowe, that is able to doo so much for me. Then looked he on me againe, and faine he would haue spoken, but yet he was halfe afrayde, which I séeing, and hearing him say, that a man might pleasure him in the cause of his so great sorrow, I sayd.
Gentleman,* Arte and inuencion of man hath framed for euery sore a salue, for euery malladie a medicine, & for euerie disease a cause or remedy for the same. Likewise God, as he hath framed the mouth: so hath he sent meate to sustayne the same with all, and as he sendeth sicknesse to man, so dooth he send him health againe.
Man of him selfe is placed among a multitude of myseries, somtime ready to fall into this euill, then into ye, yet is he not left desolate. As God sendeth him myserie: so sendeth he ioye againe, a whyle he scourgeth, and then he ceaseth, a whyle he lowreth, and then he laugheth.
The Phisition first ministreth a sharpe Salue to searche the deapth of the disease,* and then he the better and sooner hea∣leth his cure? The Prince a whyle frowneth vppon his Subiect, to declare his authoritie, and to make him to obey? but afterward he vseth his dealinges mercifully. The mai∣ster quickeneth vp the dull minde of the Scholler with sharpe woordes▪ and stripes of the rodde at the first: but afterward he looueth him, and maketh much of him.
Euen so Sir it maybe, that some sodeyne chaunce permit∣ted by God hath happened, as to depriue you of some of your déerest fréendes,* or else that some vnlooked for mischaunce hath happened, which procureth your pensiuenesse, souseth you in sorrowes▪ and maketh you mone in such mestiue man∣ner. I• so it be, thinke not but he which hath sent this Crosse: is able to take it away againe, and that he which cau∣seth you now to lament: wyll at length cause you to laugh.
Page 70*Therefore neuer wrap your selfe in woes, nor waste your dayes in wayling: For that can but cause the vnquietnesse of the minde, distemperature of the body, and lykewise bereaue you of your sences. Pardon my presumption (Syr) I pray you, in that I s•eme to meddle in this matter, which to me no∣thing pertaineth, and that I perturbe your patience with my friuolous talke. I doubt not but it is as well taken: as it is meant by me and spoken, and as courteously construed, as my poore self pretended. I would be verie loth to haue any heauy, although I can procure them small pleasure, and I would be sorie to sée one in sadnesse: if by my meanes I might mooue him to myrth.
*Therefore Syr (although you be to me a straunger, and I haue no commission to examin you in this case, yet as a fréend that wisheth you well, and would willingly, woorke your well fare,) if you please to vnfolde the cause that molesteth your minde, and what you thinke is best remedy therfore: I promise you on my fidelitie, though it were to encounter with any enimie, to procure you a remedy: I would hazard it wyl∣lingly. In signe and token wherof, that my déede shall make manifest my woorde: I offer you the hand of a true and faith∣full Christian.
Mica Sheffold the Soldanes Nephew replyeth to the courteous offer of Zelauto.
WHen the Gentleman had well pōdered my tale, and béeing one (as I was informed by my Ho∣stesse before) that I néede not to doubt of, be∣cause he was a good Christian him selfe, but he durst not be knowen therof: tooke my hand and courteously kyssed it, and then began to say.
*Syr, I am glad of your Christian company, but sorie for your béeing in so succorles a soyle, and although you be a straunger: yet to me the welcommest man alyue. I haue no∣ted well your freendly talke, and wishe I were able any way Page 71 to requite it, neuertheles you shall finde me more your fréend then I entend to boast of, and I will awarde any extremitie, that may héere séeme to hurt you, in hope whē you haue heard it: you wyll doo your good will to helpe it.
It is so syr (as your Hoste can credibly wytnesse) that I am Nephew to the Soldane Neoreo,* who gouerneth this Cittie, and one, who with him am able to doo you a pleasure, but at this tyme, Fortune hath frowned so frowardly: that she hath dasht the chéefe of my desires in the dust. I haue a very gal∣lant, godly and vertuous Gentlewoman to my Sister, who because of her Christian beléefe,* and constant auouching of the same: is condempned by the Lawe, and to morrowe shée must loose her life. Yet hath the Soldane thus much graunted, that if any one whatsoeuer, dare venture him selfe against a Champion by force of Armes to set her frée: shée shall vpon his good successe be restored at lybertie. To take this case in hand I knowe no one dare be so bolde, there are many which wyl∣lingly would: but that they doubt to be suspected thereby, my selfe dare wyllingly venture the cause:* but that if I should conquere the enimie, myne Unckle the Soldane would cōspire my death by some meanes, so that séeing no way to adiuuate this extremitie, I am fully perswaded shée shall dye the death. And to request you héerein, I willingly would not, for that I know it were the losse of your life: which (on my Christian fidelytie) I would be lothe to heare of, much lesse to be the procurer thereof▪ Wherfore (good syr) tell me the best councell you can, what may be done in this doubtfull matter?
I hauing heard the Gentlemans sorrowfull tale,* and con∣sidered the distressed case of that famous and woorthy Lady: thought, that if I lost my lyfe in defence of my faith, my Cap∣tayne Christe would purchase me the greater reward. Again, if the Lady were so constant, to abyde such mercilesse tor∣mentes as her owne kyndred, and the residue of her enimies would wyllingly lay vpon her,* and all for the zealous Chri∣stianitie which remayned in her vertuous brest: I should de∣seruedly reape a great reproche, if I could and would not Page 72 séeke to mittigate her miseries. Therfore wholy commit∣ting the cause to Gods omnipotencie, and not accoumpting of my life, to set foorth his glorie: I enterprised the matter cour∣ragiously, in assured hope to foyle the enimie. And if that afterwarde my death by any meanes should be conspired: I would referre all to the wyll of the almightie, for that death were vnto me aduaūtage, and life nothing meritorious. The learned say:*Cui come• virtus non est, is animo facile cadit a fortu∣na percussus. The minde therefore adorned with vertue: wyll neuer be timerous of that which shall rayse his eternall ho∣nour, for after death is the glory of a mans preter dayes wyt∣nessed, as it is rightly sayde: Viuit post funera Virtus; and euen so I encouraged,* through the good hope I had sustayned: I made no accoumpt of this miserable mortality, but addressed my selfe to set the Lady at lybertie, and so turning to the Gentleman, I sayd.
*Syr, as I am wylling to worke your well fare. So am I doubtfull of my destruction, and as I may pleasure you to your perpetuall profite: so may I hinder my selfe to my help∣lesse harmes: You say your selfe, the aduenture is so aduerse: that on bothe sides it bringeth death, though the Lady enioye her lybertie: the Conquerer must abyde captiue, therefore neither can the Lady like her delyuerie: nor her Champion his harde choyse.
Againe, if I (béeing a Christian) should cōceiue so good a cou∣rage, as to venture on my valiancy, to redresse her emminent myserie: I doubt least a farder inconuenience might be to her alotted, and to me a death, that (albeit dying) should styll lyue, this is to be doubted, and if it might be possible, woorthy to be preuented. But nowe Syr to assure your selfe, what a Chri∣stian courage can comprehend, & to satisfie the sorrowes, that you and your fréendes haue sustayned, thus much (more for your fréendly fauor, then any gaine I hope for, yea and more for the good lyking that I haue conceyued, then for any ryches wherewith you are able to reward me) I dare hazard my selfe to defend your Syster, and stand to the peryll that my pre∣sumption may procure me. Wherefore if it shall please you, Page 73〈…〉 to pray for the 〈…〉 able to lend me: I will 〈…〉.
Whe• the Gentleman 〈◊〉 heard the fréendly offer which I made him, and vppon so small acquaintaunce▪ 〈…〉.
〈…〉*〈…〉Page 74 shall be victor:* It shall be verie hard but I will reskew you from their rigor, and my selfe take part of your paynes what∣soeuer. And héere in token, my woords shall turne into déedes, I giue you the hande of a Turke, chaunged to a Christian, With you to lyue and lacke, with you to be true and trusty, Vsque ad mortem.
Syr (quoth I) neyther do• my déedes de•erue halfe the good report you haue vttered, nor my simple self woorthy to weare such commendation.* But as the 〈◊〉 béeing touched, fol∣loweth so farre as it can: so I béeing praised, presume as farre as honesty may holde me. What I haue promised, I purpose to performe, and what you haue offered, I shall still a••••mpt of: in the morning set •e brought 〈◊〉 defence as shall serue the turne: and I am héere your Champion ready to the Com∣bat.
Our Hoste hauing sitten all this whyle, and heard what woords had passed betwéene vs▪ right ioyfull that I would ad∣uenture for the Lady,* sayd thus. Now surely Gentlem•n, were the vttermost of my 〈◊〉 able to aunswer your sin∣guler courtesie, or any action (whatsoeuer) I your poore fréend could performe: you should not finde me so forward to vtter the same, as I would be in the verifying thereof, but in token that I would discharge what héere I haue spoken: I, and all mine resteth at your commaundement. Then turned he to the Gentleman saying.* And you Syr (for your part) haue good occasion to thinke your comming fortunate 〈◊〉 and your time not yll bestowed: when you finde a fréend so ready to graunt your request. I should thinke you verie much discour∣teous, and that small humanity harbored in you, if you should séeme to be obliuious of so courteous an offer, but I knowe your wisdome wyll 〈◊〉 the 〈◊〉 so wisely: that my simple selfe néede not to make mencion thereof, yet as one that wisheth your good •redite should be blased by your good déedes: and that so noble a Gentleman should not be lightly remem∣bred: I was so bolde to interrupt your patienee with my fri∣uolous talke, and to occupie the tyme, better then to stande ydle.
Page 75With that,* my Hostesse Dania, courteouslie kyssing my hand, beganne to say as followeth. Woorthy Syr, neyther would I wishe you to sur myse my woordes spoken of flatte∣rie: nor that you should suppose I speake otherwise then my minde serueth me, neyther you noble Sheffola to misconster my meaning; but to accept as my talke shall giue occasion. First, the outward apparaunce of this gallant Gentlemans humanitie: maketh ample discouerie of true nobillitie. Next, the hauty courage that consisteth in his valiaunt brest: argueth that his Parentes are of hye degrée,* for we all béeing straungers, and you most of all: his séemely selfe to take vp∣pon him to discharge so great a taske, as the losse of his owne lyfe to succour your Syster: m• thinkes you are vnable to counteruayle his courtesie, who forceth not his lyfe to defend Christianitie. Therefore Syr, for euer commaund me and mine, farder then now I meane to make mencion of.
M• fréendes (quoth I) your good wyll I sée is great,* and your affection so feruent: that you imbolden me to perfourme that which I haue made vaunt of, wherefore you Syr, may depart when you please, and fayle not to send such thinges as are néedefull, and that verie timely in the morning.
Syr (quoth he) your minde shall be fulfylled, to the vt∣termost that you haue required,* and nowe wyll I goe to the prison to my solytarie Syster, to comfort those cares that this harde happe procureth, so shall I dryue her from doubt, and procure her to prayer, that her Champion may prooue so valiaunt, as to vanquishe her enimies. In the meane tyme I committe you Syr, to your God, who I pray to strengthen you in your attempt, and so mine Hoste and Hostesse bothe fare well.
The Gentleman béeing thus departed,* and the howre of rest app•oching▪ I entred with mine Hoste into a Chamber, secretly betwéene our selues, and there exhorted him in the best manner I could, so that my dillygent labour bestowed: brought him to a good beléefe, and that he was fully pretended to lyue and dye in the good counsayle I gaue him.
Page 76Well, all that night, I went not to bedde, but on my knées with heaued handes, made my peti•ions to my God almigh∣tie, to shéelde me safe from the tyrannie of my mortall eni∣mies.
*In the morning, the Gentleman returned agayne, and brought with him a verse gallant Courser, a coate of Com∣plet Armour, a Shéelde, and other necessaries. When he was entred my Chamber, verie courteouslie, he sayd. Albeit (woor∣thy Syr) I can not comprehend my long expectation in all poyntes, but that I fayle in the fulfilling some part thereof: I doubt not but you wyll respect the breuitie of the tyme, and allowe a reasonable excuse, contayning nothing but trueth. And though this furniture is not so 〈◊〉 as I would it were, nor my entraunce so honestly discharged, as it might haue béene: I hope you wyll déeme the one as farre as might could maintayne it, and accoumpt the other but for want of good manners: neuerthelesse, if you beare with my boldnesse on this behalfe, perchaunce it may be hereafter a sufficient war∣ning.
*Fyrst Sir, yester night after I departed, I went to the prisō to sée my Sister, whom I foūd nothing fainting, though feare were so nye: nor in ought to dismay at the terror of death, but rather reioycing, that her race was so néere run, and to leaue mortality for eternal felicity, saying vnto me. O brother, nei∣ther molest your minde with any 〈◊〉 ones, nor subdue your selfe with any sorrowes for I goe to gl•rie, leauing you héere in a world of myserie, wherefore I would the howre were at hande to translate this Trag•die▪ then should I haue my with•, and they suffice them with tyranny. But since it can not be so soone as I would, but perfor•• I shall stay tyll choir.
*When I behelde my Syster, 〈…〉 cou∣rage, from mourning to myrth, and from pensiuenes to per∣fect Page 77 gladnesse: what ioy I conceyued, is not nowe to be spo∣ken of, for the wyllingnesse that she had to the death, caused me perfectly to beléeue, that their excessiue tormentes should not any and attaynt her: but that in the fulnesse of her fayth, she would withstand their practises whatsoeuer, and then I sayd vnto her.* Déere Syster, as I am right ioyfull of this your Christianlike courage: so wishe I you may remaine vn∣to the ende, but thus much comfort is sent you, & thus much good hope to harten you: that there is a Christian Champion in this Cittie, wyll aduenture lym and life in defence of your constancie, and thus much he hath wylled me to tell you, that this night you must passe in prayers, for his safe successe. Wherfore kéepe this secrete to your selfe, for it is vnknowen to any• and least I should be in ought suspected: I wyll byd you adiew good Syster. With that the Iaylor came to attend o• talke: and I séeing that departed. Then went I in to the Soldanes Armorie, and from thence brought the best 〈◊〉 finde, & héere is mine owne Shéeld, Launce and 〈◊〉, which I doubt not but wyll like you well.
¶ Zelauto hearing the discourse passed by Mica Sheffola, and hauing finished his Orisons: vnto him verie courteouslie replyeth in this manner.
SIr,* the good wyll I wishe you, and the dutifull courtesie I am ready to offer you, I trust shall suffice for to byd you good morrowe. These weapons which you haue brought, and this Armour h•re present: shall (through the as∣sistaunce of my God) eyther set at lybertie your godly Sister: or be bathed with my blood in the open féelde, for this I wyll assure you, and without vaunt be it spoken: I neuer in all my life went about any thing so wyllingly, as I nowe goe •o the Combate for my conscience, & were he as great as Goliah,Page 78 as stoute as Sampson,* and as monstrous as the Mino•aure•▪ I wyll be so bolde as bestowe a fewe blowes, not doubting but they shall be indifferently delyuered, and that the Soldane him selfe shall say; he that wyll buye her better then I: is woorthy to haue her when he hath done.
And if afterwarde, by trayterous treason, he séeke to be∣reaue my life: yet shall he knowe, that no man deserueth it better then I. But I pray you (quoth I) doo you know the other Champion against whome I must wage battayle? is he any man of accoumpt, or of such estimation, as to fight in this quarrell taken in hand?
*He aunswered me, that it was the Soldanes Sonne, na∣med Terolfo, a man of synguler courage, and one that had ad∣uentured verie woorthily in his tyme, bothe by Sea and Land, in verie great affayres.
Mary all the better (quoth I) the more noble the man is: the more famous wyll the fight be, and ryght glad I am that it is the Soldanes Sonne: for then if I dye, I dye at the hands of a valiaunt Champion. And about what time think• you (quoth I) that it wyll be when shée shall be conducted foorth to death?
*Syr (quoth he) verie early; because they are verie wylling to dispatche her, least any other should séeme to take opinion of her fayth, and it wyll not be long nowe, for the Officer• were gone to the prison to make her ready, and the Trumpet soundeth on the Castle, for any Champion that wyll come, the Stake is made ready to burne her at, and wood, and all thinges ready brought. The Soldane him selfe, and all his Lordes are ready, wherefore I knowe it wyll not be long hence now.
Well (sayd I) the time is welcome, whensoeuer it commeth, and if it shall please you to helpe to arme me: it shall not be long before I am ready too.
Manniko Rigustello, and Dania his wife commeth vp into the Chamber to Zelauto, and there helpeth to arme him.
THen presently came vp mine Hoste and his Wife,* who after they had courte∣ouslie saluted me: they and the Gentle∣man, helped to arme me. After I was ready, I heard a great noyse of Trum∣pettes. Syr (quoth the Gentleman) nowe commeth this sorrowfull sight,* héere commeth the séelly Lambe lead vnto her slaughter. I looked out, and there came the Soldane and his Lordes, before him a great garde of Armed men, some on horsebacke, some on foote, and next before the Sol∣dane, rode one on a verie gallant Stéede, a valiaunt and com∣ly Champion.
After the Soldane and his Lordes, came the innocent La∣dy, in a fayre whyte Roabe downe to the ground, about her were the Tormenters, that should payne her to death, then after them a company of auncient Matrones all in blacke, to mourne the Ladyes death, and after them came all the braue Ladyes and Gentlewomen of the Cittie, all to sée the execution of this poore innocent.
All these béeing past,* the Gentleman tooke his leaue of mee tyll I came to the place, which was not farre of. With∣in a whyle I lystened, and heard the Trumpette sounde verie shryll, then it stayed, and sounded the second tyme, vp came mine Hoste and sayde. Syr nowe it is tyme, hye you quickly or else neuer.
*I got vp on Horsebacke, and by that tyme I was come out of the doores, the Trumpet sounded againe▪ Then rode I with all the possyble spéede I might, tyll I came to the place, and when the Soldane and all his company sawe a defendour come in such haste: they were all abashed. There was great enquirie what I should be, and from whence I came, the braue Ladyes and Damoselles, they were excéeding ioyfull, and when I was entred the myddest, I saluted the Soldane as well as I could, and lykewise the Champion, then made I obeysaunce to all the company beside, who thronged néere to heare what I would say, and then began I to frame my talke this order.
*If right woorthy Soldane, and you also noble Lordes, by the Page 81 verdict of your wisedomes, shall lycence mée to yéelde to ly∣bertie, what I haue to saye, and be not offensiue at any thing héere spoken: I shall thinke you shewe mée nothing but Iustice and equitie, and then I shall accoumpt your Fame the more woorthy.
Quoth the Soldane,* thou hast frée leaue to speake, and lyber∣tie to doo what thou canst: but what wyll follow we can not assure thée. Why (quoth I) offering no iniurie to any person present, nor wishing to be no otherwise dealt with all, then my déedes deserue: I trust you shall finde no occasion of any offence, but that what I say, may be well borne with all. Well (quoth the Soldane) if all be well, it is the better for thée: if any thing yll, stand to your owne aduenture.
Zelauto beeing come to the place where he must defend the Ladyes cause, who stoode there before him ready bound to a stake, and ha∣uing talked with the Soldane, as touching pardon for his bolde attempt: thus be∣ginneth to make his Oration, in the presence of them all.
AFter I had well pondred the sharpe reply of the Soldane,* and that since I was entred before them all, it behooued me to set a good face on the matter, & not dismay my self with any of their diuellish dealinges: neyther estéeming the furie of the Soldane, nor crauing the courtesie of any his compani∣ons; aduaunced my selfe forwarde, and sayd.
Since neyther promise may be proffered to purchase my pardon, nor licence for that I shall yéeld vnto lybertie; neither dismaying through doubt of your dealing, nor fearing the chéefest •orte of your furie, I pronounce in presence what my minde giues occasion: and wyll mayntaine the same with the losse of my life.
Page 82*Beholde (inuincible Soldane) you noble Lords (and you re∣nowned Matrones) a man, bothe dead and a lyue, a lyue to aduaunce the cause of this Lady: and dead (in that my victory) returneth losse of my lyfe. But yet remembring life is vncer∣tayne, & death is so that each man may make accoumpt there∣of: I nought estéeme the likelyhood of my life, but arme my selfe, as one willing to the death.
Yet by perfect proofe we sée, that the tallest Trée, abydes many a bitter blaste, the brauest Bulwarke, by force is batte∣red, the hautiest Hart, subiect to a fall, and the proudest per∣son (at last) maketh his Cabben of clay: euen so your poten∣cie may soone be peruerted, and the vttermost of your tyran∣ny, cleane disapoynted. Sée héere the guyltlesse doomed to death, sée héere the lewdest suffered to lyue, beholde where trueth is turnde out of all, sée héere where falsehood boasteth in his brauerie.
But since rashnesse in spéeche maketh me run too farre: the knowledge of my selfe calleth me backe againe, I confesse it is not my part to disalowe of your dealings, nor to contemne the principalitie, which now you professe: yet may I repre∣hend the abused aucthorytie, ruled by rigor and not by indif∣ferencie. You will say, that Princes are not to professe par∣tialitie, and that the Subiect should not meddle in the sway∣ing of his dignitie: yet ought the Prince to deale vprightly, and not to pinche that partie, that auoucheth most •ayth and dutifull loyaltie. Admit that the Prince may so farre ouer run him selfe, that by ambicious heades, double dealers, and priuie enemies, he condempneth the man, that most dooth ho∣nour him: yet is not his death to be prosecuted so hastily: but to be considered of with wisdome and discretion.
This Lady for example, no straunger, but of your owne blood, and no enimie to your Maiestie: but rather one that wi∣sheth you inestimable dignitie, she by you is condempned, for wishing you well, & shée committed to this mortall death: that séeketh to saue you from eternall death. What heart so hard, can commit such crueltie? and what beast so brutishe, but dea∣leth more naturally. If to your owne blood, you will deal•Page 83 so tyrannically: how will you deale with me poore wretch of so meane estimation? Me thinketh that though the extremity you vse to the vttermost: Nature yet should mooue with an inward affectiō, and though that iustly she deserued the death: yet should naturall kindnesse procure you to pittie. Also a∣mōg so many gallant youthes, none so ventrous to defend her cause, nor none so inflamed with affection, as to mittigate her myserie. Me thinke noble Ladyes, that some one of you ought to haue stoode her defender: if no man had the courage to hazard his lyfe. Admit that the estate of your Coūtrey con∣sisted on this Ladyes well fare: would you séeme so slouthfull, as to suffer your whole Countrey to perishe, rather then to make apparaunce of your manhood?
King Codrus béeing aduertised by the Oracle,* that except he were slayne: his people should not vanquishe their enimies: armed him selfe lyke a Soldier, placing him selfe in the fore∣front of the armie, and there by his death, set all his people at quietnesse. Beholde what great affection was in this noble Prince, who more estéemed the sauegard and happy societie of his people: then his owne life.
Aglaurus,* to shun the emminent daunger yt was like to fall vpō Athens, seeing his death only might set it at liberty: threw him selfe headlong from the walles of Athens, and so ended the strife, where else it should haue bene conquered. But now attend you noble Ladyes, and you modest Matrones: let the excellent example of Iphigenia cause you to remember what care you ought to haue in the preuenting of such daungers as may happen, and by some one of you may be easily escaped. Shée (I say) séeing that her death would appease the rigor of her enimies,* yéelded her selfe to be sacrificed. Oh admirable vertue▪ oh singuler constancie, her matche as rare to finde in these partes: as to sée golden Goates to féede on gréene moun∣taynes, yet wish I that all Women would prosecute her rare rule of life, and that some one Iphigenia among you, would ha∣zard your hap to set frée this Lady.
But least in wishing you to be warriours, I should séeme to •hroude my selfe, and that you should thinke I come to Page 84 prate, rather then to put my puissance in practise: I wyll cease to trouble you with ouermuch talke, & vtter the cause wher∣fore I come. First, I come to sue and intreate, if I may haue good successe, which is, that you would spare the life of this fa∣mous Lady: and not cut of her dayes in her gallantest prime, that you would remember the race shée is discended of: and woorke no wurse to her, then you would to your owne selues. Next, if you• Lawes be so extreme yt they may not spare pu∣nishment, and eke you your selues so wilfull, that you must néedes woorke her wrack: I thinke it sufficient that you put her in exyle, with expresse charge in payne of death neuer to returne: so may your rigor be verie well asswaged, & shée for her paines indifferently penaunced. Thus in your Land shall you euer héereafter be magnified: and all people wyll laude your Princely dealinges. And lastly, if neyther of these peti∣cions may séeme to take place, but yt you must néedes execute the vttermost of your crueltie: Héere am I by fore of Armes to defend her quarrell, and against this your Champion will liue and dye in her defence. This is the cause of my comming, and this the dutie I haue to discharge.
*With that the Soldane began to looke on his Lords, and they on him, the Ladyes & all that were present, was stroken into a great maze, some for ioy clapped theyr handes, and some on the other side began to wéepe: the poore distressed Lady stoode all this whyle bound to the stake, and the Tormentors ready to make the fire. At last the Champion began to come néerer vnto me: and the Soldane hauing taken good aduisement of my woordes, sayd as followeth.
The Soldane after he had well pon∣dred the passed tale of Zelauto: made his reply in this order, as followeth.
*SIr, as we haue well aduised our selues of your woordes: so are we to giue aunswere, as wée shall thinke best, and as your talke séemeth to giue occasion. We are not to condempne you Page 85 for that you haue spoken: nor yet to commend you, least you should receyue a priuate pride in your selfe, also your manhood we are not to reprooue, nor yet of your qualities we are not to accoumpt: although bothe of them in you haue made a séemely shewe, but as your manhood may misse, when you thinke most surest: so may your qualities be so craftie, as at last may deceyue your selfe. And where you haue alleaged, that naturall affectiō should woorke in vs, especially towards them of our owne Parentage: I aunswere, that were shee mine owne Childe, making an offence: shée is woorthy to be beaten, and so shée, altring from all her fréends, Kinskolke and faith: in our iudgementes shée is woorthy to taste the sharpest torments. Farder, you sayd that shée dooth it as an example in wishing our weale: we aunswere, That they which speak vs fayre and looue vs not: We will speake them as fayre, and trust them not, and shée that would take no warning when shée might, nowe if shée would, we will not accept of it. But belyke▪ you are of the same opinion your selfe: and that makes you heare so much with her in that respect, if you be, choose you, the wurse will be your owne in the ende.
To 〈◊〉 vp the whole estate of your talke it were néedelesse, and to trifle the time we doo not intend, our aunswer is this, neyther pittie shall procure vs to consider of her cause, nor ex∣yle shall be graunted, to her for her offence: but only the death whereto shée is adiudged. Now win her and weare her, shewe the best of thy manhood: but take héede of the ende.
When I perceyued the Soldane so fully bent, to bathe his handes in her guyltlesse blood, and that nothing but her death might séeme to suffice him:* I went to the Lady, and thus I v∣sed my talke. Lady▪ neyther can I warrant you lyfe: or my selfe able to vanquishe your enimie, but how euer it be of the death I doo assure my selfe▪ wherfore neither faint with feare, nor forgette your faith, but as you séeme to be constant vnto the death: so frame your peticions, the better shall I spéede. If I redéeme you, it is the cheefest of my desire: If I dye my selfe, God will receyue my soule. Thus neyther trusting to the one, more then the other: or more accoumpting of lyfe, Page 86 then I doo of death: I enter the féeld to fortifie your faith, and hazard my hap, as shall please God to spéede me.
With that the Lady (whose comely and swéete counte∣naunce me thinkes I yet beholde) made aunswer vnto me as héere I shall tell you.* Most noble Syr, I may thinke my selfe happy to haue so good a Champion: and coumpt the féelde wonne, how euer it spéede: if you foyle my enemie, I haue that I looke for, yet if you dye your selfe: my state is farre wurse then it was before, rather had I to abyde the brunt, and you to shéelde your selfe: then to ende two bodies lyues, where one may suffise, so shall the enemie gorge him selfe with my blood: & your good wyll be neuerthelesse estéemed of. Therefore good Syr, content you, and escape hence if you can, for I am prepared to abide what it shall please them to lay on me.
Nowe credit me Syr, these her woordes dyd so greatly en∣courage me: that had it béene against Men and Monsters, yea, the furious féendes, I would haue ventured what euer had betyde me:* So then I sayd vnto her. No Lady, what I haue promised, shall be presently performed, they shall not say, that a Christian will eate his woorde: but that he dare venture against the proudest of them. And so fare well good Lady, for héere goes your woorthy Knight, who before hée re∣turneth, wyll eyther subdue thy enimie: or loose his lyfe in the féelde.
*When the Champion sawe I was returned: he came vnto me saying▪ Syr, as you are a Knight at Armes, and héere pro∣fesse the same: so nowe according to the order and custome of the Lawe, I am to desire your name.
Trueth Syr (quoth I) and of my name I am not ashamed, my name is Zelauto,* and I come to maintaine the cause of this Lady. Nowe am I to request as much of you.
*Syr (quoth he) my name is Terolfo, I am sonne to the Sol∣dane, and héere am chalenger, on the behalfe of my Father. I trust you wyll pardon what shall passe betwéene vs héere in this place.
Page 87With all my heart (quoth I) and I am not in doubt, but you will doo the like,* for if I am ordayned to dye in this place: I franke and fréely forgiue him that dooth the déede, so it be but one man.
And if you Syr (quoth he) are the man to dispatch my dayes:* with all my heart I forgiue you my death.
Then were the Coursers sent abroade to make roome, the men appoynted to iudge the fyght, euerie thing in order ap∣poynted, that belongeth to the matter, we went about, hée fetching his course one way, and I an other, and so we began a fierce and terrible fight.
Then began a valiant and fierce Combat, between Zelauto, and the Soldanes sonne Te∣rolfo, which was so excellently well handled on bothe sides: that it was doubtfull to whome the victorie should fall, but yet at the last, after many fierce as∣saults, Zelauto kylleth him in the open feeld, and so redeemed the Lady from death, and what happened to him afterward.
WE endured so long in daungerous and doubt∣full fight, that he had small hope to vaunt of a∣ny victorie, or I any likelyhood to boast of the bargaine, but credite me, he for his part verie valiantly behaued him selfe, and deserued rightly to be well estéemed of, for neyther any feare could inforce him to faynt: nor wearinesse of war•e cause him leaue of, but stoutly and couragiouslie, behaued him selfe manfully.
*At last, it was my fortune to strike the stroke that dispat∣ched him, the which was as great a gréefe vnto me • as to any of his familiar fréendes, for gladly would I haue con∣quered him, & saued his lyfe: but not bothe vanquish him, and bereaue his life. But as you know your selfe, a man in such affayres, dealeth as best he can, for the sauegarde of him selfe, is his chéefest desire: euen so I was warie least the lot should haue lyghted on me, and so valiantly •lew him before his fa∣ther and all his fréendes.
But to sée what leaping, what clapping of handes, what throwing vp of Cappes,* and what great ioy was made of the Ladyes and the common people, would haue reioyced you to heare. Then was the Lady let loose, and I commaunded to come before the Soldane, who was not before so willing to the death of the Lady: as he was now sorrowfull for the yll suc∣cesse of his sonne.
When I was come before him, he sayd. We confesse (Syr Page 89 Knight) that you haue done the déede manfully;* and that you are woorthy a greater rewarde, then héere you are lyke to gayne: but yet since you haue •ereaued my Sonne of life, we must therefore deale the more hardly with you. And as the rewar• you must haue for your victorie, is death • euen so we wyll you to take it patiently, and not to s•riue, least farder harme doo arise vnto you.
If you had saued the life of my sonne▪ we could then haue permitted more pittie, then nowe we can, or if you had woū∣ded him, yet that he might haue lyued: your fréedome had béene soone •bought, where now all the ritches of India is not able to doo it. Your selfe was not altogether ignoraunt be∣fore, how that the redéeming 〈◊〉 life: was the death of the partie whatsoeuer, and we infourmed you, that in such sort you might behaue your self, as no man should molest you, you haue now dealt so with vs• that 〈◊〉 fréendship may be found, and beside, your 〈…〉 vtterly condempne 〈◊〉 Yet wyll we somewhat vse you honestly in the matter▪ you shall not presently féele the 〈◊〉 of your paine: but for the space of fowre dayes, lyfe shall be graunted you, in which tyme, dispose your selfe to dye, for there is no other meanes cā be made for you•. Thus doo we not deale with you as sharply as we might • nor vse 〈◊〉 otherwise then the Law• was ap∣pointed, she hath her life,* let her goo where s•e please and 〈◊〉 your death, which we are sorie 〈◊〉 yet can not it be 〈◊〉
When I had well aduised my selfe of this sharpe sentence• and that no remedy there was, but Lawe must procéede, then looking on all sides, and beholding the trickling heares of the modest Matrones. the 〈◊〉 and Gentlewomen 〈…〉 for me, the commmon people also vsing such pittifull 〈…〉 that it gréeued thē in fierly to heare such wofull 〈…〉 taking heart 〈…〉, and drea•ing no myserie, but trusted in my Christe assuredlie: and thus I aunswered the Soldane.
〈…〉 of the déede that 〈…〉* moues of these 〈…〉 as of sufficiencie 〈…〉 other I Page 90 must néedes abide the death, and there is no remedie: then be∣holde me as wylling to the losse of my lyfe, as I was dilly∣gent to discharge the Ladyes distresse. It is not my lyfe that I doo accoumpt of, nor yet my death that wyll returne your aduauntage: This Ladyes well fare is all my desire, and my dying for her, to cause you worke no more iniurie to her.
But since the death of your Sonne is the cause of your chol∣ler, and that if he had lyued, the better might haue beene my happe: I trust you are not ignoraunt what belongeth to the Lawe of Armes, and what passeth betwéene vs in sight ought to be pardoned. I was as vnsure of my lyfe as he, and I was as hopefull of victorie as he: If then bothe parties doo their dillygence as beséemeth them, what harme eyther of them sustayne is not to be accoumpted of. Therfore if for his death you deale with me extremely: I must néedes say you vse extremitie, and no Lawe or Iustice.
And for the fowre dayes of respyte you haue graunted, I am to thāke you, for that it is more of your clemencie: then of my simple deseruing, yet in the meane tyme I accoumpt my selfe but a dead man, for that your doome is passed, albeit Lawe is to execute.
*Wherefore, you noble Ladyes, you verteous Damoselles, and you déere Lady, in whose defence my death is obtayned, from my heart I bid you all farewell, wishing as wel to your swéete selues, as to mine owne poore heart, and if my tyme had not béene cut of so soone as nowe it is: you should haue séene that which now I am not able to vnfolde. In your cau∣ses I lyue and dye, and for your sakes I haue thus much at∣tempted, therefore to you all I byd farewell. And to you all in generall, whose wylles I sée should not want to woorke my well fare, I would my abilytie were as sufficient to plea∣sure you: as I would be wylling with my paynes to profite you.
Then the Soldane and all his trayne departed, and I was conducted with a dozen Officers,* with their Halberds to my lodging, where when I was vnarmed: bothe mine Hoste and I were lead to the prison, such a multitude of people follow∣ing Page 91 vs, and such good report euerie one gaue me: that credite me, I went as wylling to the prison, as to my lodging.
At the prison gate I saw Mica Sheffola (the Ladyes Bro∣ther,* for whome I aduentured) awayting my comming, who had prouided for me, the best and pleasauntest Chamber in the prison, and got me the lybertie of the Garden, to walke at my pleasure, and at last rounded me in the eare saying. Good Syr, feare no daunger, for God and I will hence delyuer you, but I am sorie for your Hoste, because he is already ap∣prehended vnto the Soldane,* and his Maiestie tolde vnto me euen now when I departed from him: that to morrowe he shall be executed before the prison. I dare tarie no longer for feare of béeing suspected, I haue prouided all thinges for you héere, & to morrowe I will come againe, about the howre he must dye.
Alas me thought these were farre wursser newes, then the other, I could not speake to mine Hoste, because he was haled and pulled in so violently, and layde in a déepe dungeon by himself, and clogged with so many Irons, as he could possibly beare.
Well,* in the after noone, my Hostesse Dania came to speake with her Husbande, but could not, then came shée vp to me, informing me of all that Mica Sheffola had tolde me. I de∣maunded of her, how he was knowen? She aunswered, that for the woordes hée vsed in my cause, & other suspicious talke. Well (quoth I) you were not best to tarie héere long, least you be suspected likewise. No Syr (quoth shée) I wyll byd you fare well tyll to morrowe, and then shall you sée my poore Husband miserably martyred.
In the morning returned Mica Sheffola, bringing me a great deale of Golde to spende in the prison,* and demaunded of me, how I was vsed in the prison? I aunswered, very well I thanked him, for his sake I wanted nothing. Then he desyred the Iaylor to let me into a Chamber towarde the stréete, that I might sée mine Hoste put to death, the which I thanke him he dyd.
Page 92Then (quoth he vnto me) without the Cittie, I haue pro∣uided for you • lustie G•urser, and Armour to defende you with all, soone at mydnight, at the dead tyme of the nyght, shall you be let into the Garden, and there clymbe ouer to me, and I will receyue you, for I haue gotten the keyes of the Soldanes Treasurie, and soone at mydnight will I steale from thence so much as shall serue you in your trauayle: A déere fréende of mine, and one as good a Christian as my selfe shall goe with you, to conduct you on your way from all your enimies, thus will I fulfill my promise vnto you, and yet not woorke my selfe any discredite:* so that you be ready at the how•e appoynted▪ for the Iaylors Wife wyll let you into the Garden, and so on the backe syde of the Cittie you shall escape away safely. Then a mightie hole shall be broken in your Chamber, as though you had stollen out into the stréete: I dare tarie no longer, remember your selfe soone, and so God be with you.
Nowe surely me thought it was the greatest fréendshippe that euer I found at any mans •andes in all my lyfe, especi∣ally, I béeing a prisoner, and hée to defraude his owne Unckle in such sort to pleasure me with all.
*Well, at lengthe my Hoste Manniko Rigustello, was brought out in his shyrt, and such a multitude of people was there to sée him: as was the other day to sée the Lady. Then went he vp vppon the Scaffolde, where they would not suf∣fer him to speake▪ but presently layde him vppon an Ingine that they had made: and so wrested him to death, verie cruel∣lie and tyrannicallie.
When he was dead, one member of him was throwen this way, an other that way, so that all his members was disper∣sed about the stréetes, a verie gréeuous and dolesyght to sée. Thus was my poore Hoste martyred and mangled, and I re∣mayned in great sorrow to thinke therupon.
The Gentlewoman of the Prison came vp to Zelauto, and to expell the thoughtes that troubled his minde: conducted him into the Gar∣den, and shewed him the Monuments of Brisaro de Saroto, who sometime was conquerour of that Cittie.
REmayning in these pensiue plightes, yet great∣ly encouraged through the comfort that Mica Sheffola gaue me:* at last came vp into my Chamber the Gentlemans wife, who kept the prison, béeing named Oriana, a verie gallant & courteous Gentlewoman, who in the Italian language, thus saluted me. Ditemi per cortesia Gentilhuomo, come sta vostra S.? I aunswered. Carrissima mia Signora, sto bene, sempre al comman∣do vostro▪ evi rendo mille gratie. After much conference passed betwéene vs together (quoth shée) shall it lyke you so well Gentleman, as to walke with me into the Garden.
Gentlewoman (quoth I) if I would deny so small a request: I were to be accoumpted verie vncourteous. Not so (quoth shée) for perhappes other occasions may so hinder you: that you haue not the leysure which I séeme to require, and then I might be accoumpted more carelesse then cyrcumspect, in en∣tring so rashlie to perturbe your patience. You doo well good Gentlewoman (quoth I) to frame your selfe so faultie: else should not I haue knowen howe to accuse my selfe.
Well, we walked into the Garden, where shée gaue me to vnderstande of that which Mica Sheffola had tolde me,* and that shée at the myddle of the night, would conuey me into the Garden, and so ouer the wall to him. I gaue her great thankes for her courtesie, as it dyd chéefly behooue me. At last, shée opened a great doore, where as we entred into a verie fayre Hall, and there was the Monuments of a notable Champion.
Page 95Loe Syr (quoth shée) the redoubted Monuments of Brisaro de Saroto,* who conquered this Cittie eleuen tymes, and fra∣med the good orders, that now héere are vsed. Gentlewoman (quoth I) it séemeth that he hath béen a noble Champion, & I thanke you hartily for making me pertaker of the sight ther∣of. With other familiar talke we passed out the time tyll sup∣per, then went I to supper,* and afterward I layd me downe vpon my bed. About the thyrd howre of the night, came shée vp, & tolde me that Mica Sheffola had entred into her Garden with a great deale of Treasure, and there he had left it, desi∣ring me to prouide my selfe within an howre.
I thanked her hartily, and tolde her, I would be as ready when she came to fetche me: as she was wylling to come for me. I could not lay mine eyes together for the ioy I con∣ceyued, to thinke how God had blessed me, in sending me such fréendes among all mine enimies.
Page 96Within an howre after, she came vp very softly againe, say∣ing: Come a way Syr▪ your fréend faryeth your comming. It was no néede to byd me make haste, considering I should e∣scape so harde a plunge.
Zelauto with Oriana the Mistresse of the prison went downe into the Garden, at the myddle of the night, and was conueyed ouer to Mica Sheffola, and so escapeth from his enimies.
WHen I was come downe into the Garden, fin∣ding a Ladder ready set for me to clymbe ouer: I tooke leaue of the Gentlewoman, and so went ouer the wall, there stoode Mica Sheffola at hand to receyue me. Quoth he, for the looue of God let vs make all haste possible, for the Trumpettes hath sounded the thyrde watche, and now wyll they come without the Cittie: and if we spéede not the faster, we are lyke to be taken.
We trudged apace tyll we came out of all daunger, and at last we came where one héelde a lusty Courser for me,* and Armour lay ready for me to put on, and a lyttle before was a Companion for me, who awayted the comming of any body, to giue vs warning thereof. When I was Armed and vp∣pon Horsebacke (quoth he) though I haue not recompenced with as much as I would: yet haue I done what possible I might: there is one before shall lyue and dye with you, he wyll conduct you toward Constantinople. Thus wylling to preuent all daungers that may happen, and wyshing you prosperitie in all your affayres: a short fare well shall suffise, and so to God I commend you.
*Well Syr (quoth I) I will not trifle out the time with long and tedious thankes, I am bound to pray for you, commend me to mine Hostesse Dania, & to the good Gentlewoman Oria∣na, that conueyed me ouer the wall, and so we bothe parted.
Within a whyle I ouer tooke my Companion, who was as honest, vertuous and ciuill a Gentleman as euer I rode with all in my lyfe. Hée and I rode together toward Con∣stantinople, in which iourney befell diuers other accidentes. Thus haue you heard my first aduentures in Persia: now tell me your iudgement thereof.
My iudgement is too slender in such a myraculous mat∣ter,* but sure you haue had the best Fortune that euer I heard Page 98 any, so neare the death: and yet to be delyuered, now credite me it is excellent. Well, now will I goe to get our Din∣ner, and will leaue you héere tyll I come agayne, in which tyme you shall peruse a proper Deuise that I will shew you. How say you, are you contented?
Syr, right ioyfull of your courtesie, also glad to accept your offer, and after Dinner we will discourse of the rest, if you please.
With all my heart Syr, wherefore come in and I wyll giue it you, I beléeue you wyll lyke well of it after you haue read it.
The Author, to the curteous Readers.
GEntlemen (and ryght courteous whatsoeuer) I must needes confesse, that the painfull Pylgrimage of Zelauto, hath beene so tedious vnto you in the perusing, that neither could you gaine any delight in the discour∣ses: nor such methode of matter as you looked for, but euen playne Dunstable way, he hath tolde you an olde Canterburie tale. Yet on your iudgementes I am not to define, for that they are diuers: nor to suppose you will lyke, without I were better as∣sured, for the one may shew the rashnesse of a vainglori∣ous head: and the other a presumption to conster any mans behauiour. Antisthenes sayth, that as of the Ser∣pent, the Phisition receyueth part of his remedies: so the wise man of his verie enimies (contrarie to expectation) shall obtayne some profite. Diogenes beeing by a ma∣licious and spitefull tongue, reprehended of a fault long before committed: made aunswere. I remember the time when I was such a one as thou art now: but such an one as I am now wilt thou neuer be.
Likewise Gentlemen, ambicious heads, are apt to send foorth spitefull speeches, and if they can possyble catche a hole in a mans coate: the same wyll they lay euerie day in his dishe: But such secrete Serpentes in bewray∣ing their behauiour, can not hurt him whome they wyl∣lingly Page 104 would: but confound them in their craftyest in∣uentions. Aristotle sayth, that he which receyueth a false peece of coyne, dooth but sustayne a reasonable losse: but he that trusteth a fayned freend in steede of a true, may endammage him selfe to his vtter vndooing, few such fr•ends God send me: and as much good mo∣ney as shall please him. But now in the meane while Gentlemen, whyle such coyne may be currant, and such freendes found: I sende you Astraephos delycate discourse, to make mery with the bad banquet you haue had. And though I haue no Cumfettes and Cara∣wayes to bestowe vppon you: iudge my good will is neuerthelesse, if might could mayn∣tayne it. Thus of a little take a little when you come thereto: and of a little leaue a little how euer you doo.
Yours to vse to his power. A. Munday.
Astraepho. A Delycate Deuise by him delyuered to Zelauto, wherein is gallantly discoursed, the Amorous lyfe of a Scholler, and the braue behauiour of a martiall Gentleman, the one at last by looue aswell conuinced: as the other, who alway professed him selfe a Subiect to the same: neyther friuolous nor fantasticall, but delyghtfull, and to no man preiudiciall.
¶ The thyrd part of the Fountayne of Fame.
Written by the sayd Author A. M. Seruaunt to the right Honorable, the Earle of Oxenforde.
Honos alit Artes.
COurteous Gentlemen, in the meane tyme as Astraepho is prouiding his Dinner, and hath left Zelauto at home to peruse at his pleasure on an Amorous discourse: I wyll seeme so sausie, as to molest his studies, and desire him to let you be partakers of this Delycate dis∣course. I hope I shall not neede to be all day in crauing: nor he so vncourteous to deny my request, if he should, I must confesse he offereth me great iniurie, in taking so much paines for him: I deserue to craue a mightier mat∣ter. VVell, I will assure my selfe to speede in my pur∣pose, and you shall haue the hearing of the Dayntie De∣uise. If after you haue read it, you finde it woorth his hyre, and that it hath pleased you, which is my whole wishe: I shall then prouide a Peach for all prating Parasites: and keepe a sweete Figge to gratifie my freend with all.
The Amorous lyfe of Strabino a Scholler, the braue behauiour of Rodolfo a martiall Gentleman, and the right reward of Signor Truculento a Vsurer. Cap. 1.
THe Recordes of aun∣cient antiquitie, vnfoldeth in a∣pert, and liuely manner the happy and prosperous estate, of the flo∣rishing and famous Cittie Vero∣na, whose Accademies so woorthily gouerned, and the Schollers so ef∣fectually instructed: that it caused Syr Vincentio of Pescara, to sende his sonne Strabino, there to be trayned vp in such vertuous educations: as was méete for one of his tender time. This Strabino, a gallāt & lusty youth, of forme well featured, of au∣dacitie expert, in māners well nurtured, but from Martiall affayres wholy enclined, & to looue one seuerely enthraled: fel at length in acquayntaunce with one Rodolfo, a Gentlemās sonne of the Cittie, who more vsed the Schole for his plea∣sure, then any profite, more for a pastime to talk• & conferre with his fréendes: then for any minde he bare to his booke. And this Rodolfo was one that greatly gaue himselfe to Mar∣tiall exercises, a disdayner of looue, and a reiecter of the com∣pany of Women. Betwéene these twayne were ioyned such a league of Amytie: that neyther bitter blastes should pro∣cure the breach thereof, nor any accident whatsoeuer, mooue them to mislike one of the other, but euen brotherlyke were vnited, tyll terme of lyfe were vtterly expired. Strabino vsu∣ally frequenting the house of his fréend and brother Rodolfo, who had a Sister in all poynts so well proportioned: that the lookes of her Amorous countenaunce, infected in the heart of Strabino, such a restlesse rage, a •orting torment, a Feuer so Page 106 fantasticall: that none but only shée must be the curer there∣of. Now are his bookes reiected, and his fancie followed: his study banished, & the Gentlewoman dutifully serued Who (alas) although he were her superior: of her was regarded, as her farre inferior. He lykes, he looues, he sues, he serues, he runnes, he waytes: she lowres, she frownes, she disdaynes, and vtterly reiecteth his company. Which when he sawe, that his proffered paynes were estéemed as trifles, his conti∣nuall courtesie, regarded as lyght as a feather, and his affec∣tioned seruice, cleane cast out of memorie: walked into the féeldes, and thus discoursed with him selfe.
Alas Strabino, yll hap hadst thou to lyght on this lucklesse lot, to looue where thou art disliked, to serue, where thou art nothing regarded, and to fancie where looue is extinguished. What mooued thée to make her thy Goddesse that regardeth thy paines as light as a May game? What mooued thée to make her thy Mistresse: who scorneth the good will of so tru∣sty a seruant? What, is there no more Women in the world but one? Is there none can please thée so much as she? Art thou framed of such ylfauored mettall, that all will mislyke thée? In Pescara thou barest the chéefest prayse: in Verona thou art nothing estéemed of. In Pescara thou wast looued, in Verona thou art reiected: but alas I remember, who trusteth to a Womans will, were as good leane on a broken staffe, for when she pleaseth, then she looueth: and whē she is displeased, she hateth like a Tode, therfore well maist thou remooue thy fancy: & set as light by her, as she dooth by thée. But alas Stra∣bino, if thy déedes might aunswere to thy woordes, then there were some hope of health: but thou art so surely tied, that vn∣possible were it for thée to get loose when thou pleasest, thou sayst thou wilt doo this & that, but alas, if thou couldest, thou wouldest, therfore neuer speake against thy conscience. for y• were no credit. I looue her so intierly, that I can not refraine me: I fancie so forcibly, that I cannot remooue me. She is the Saint whome I serue, she is the Goddesse whome I adore, & she it is must ease my payne, else shall I neuer be holpen. Thou hast not yet tried her: therfore neuer speake the wurst Page 107 of her, though thou hast showen thy selfe by sūdry signes: yet canst thou not say she refuseth thée, because thou hast not ope∣ned ye state wherin thy well fare standeth. Thou art to blame to vse these woords against her that neuer offended thée, and thou deseruest small courtesie, for thy so rash iudgement. She is syster to thy fréend: he is gentle of nature, so may she be: he is courteous in conference, so may she be: he looues thee well, so may she do, therfore neuer conster things at ye wurst, before thou haue occasion. Thinkest thou she knoweth the se∣cretes of thy heart, that neuer talked with her? How were it possible she should looue thée, when she knoweth not whether thou loouest her or no? Perswade thy selfe to spéede of thy pur∣pose, faynt heart neuer wan fayre Lady, and a halfe hearted Soldier is terrified at the first allarum: fyrst prooue her, then prayse her, when thou hast tryed, then thou mayst trust: hye thée home in hope, & finding her at conuenient leysure, shew her thy sute. Thus the poore oppressed Strabino returned to ye Mansiō of his Mistresse, & finding her sitting at her Sāpler in the garden: he tooke heart a fresh, and went and sate down by her, framing such deuises, as she might haue occasion to speake vnto him, who when she saw how merily disposed he was, sayd. Surely syr Strabino, I haue wanted your compa∣ny all this day, for I haue sitten héere very solitary, and lackt such cōpany as might procure some pleasure, & now you are come: I hope we shall passe ye time more merier, then hyther∣to I haue done, and therfore you are welcome hartily.
Strabino hearing the courteous words of his Lady Cornelia: was surprised with such inward ioy, that he neyther minded his former feare, nor yet the present peryll that might happē to him, but wholy depending vpon his dutifull alleageaunce, and imbracing in minde & thought her supposed lyking: ha∣zardeth his heart to stand vnto the hap, and yéeldeth him cō∣quered wholy to her clemencie. Wherfore, he neyther distra∣cting his sences with any seuerall motion, nor occupying his brayne vpon manifolde matters: desyreth pardon for that which his lyppes shall yéelde vnto lybertie, and her good construction in his actions whatsoeuer.
Page 108Syr (quoth she) if we talke of familliarity, perforce I must vse you fréendly: if vpon nouelles, I will handle you as nice∣ly: if vpon present proofe, I will vse you pleasauntly: if vpon all, I will accoumpt you as a merie companion, so that looke what is spoken in decent or honest wise: doubt you not but it shall be as honestly entertained, therfore say as pleaseth you.
Strabino, and Cornelia, courteously conferreth together. Cap. 2.
LAdy (quoth Strabino) I muse why the Gods, framing you first to be as a comfortable com∣panion vnto man: you should so much digresse as to be the only instrument of our sorrowfull sadnesse, rather a woorker of our woe: then one that wisheth our well fare. For this is perfectly knowen (I speake not vpon had I wist) that you Women, for the most part, are so coy of your conditions, and so curious in your cō∣ceytes: that you neyther estéeme the quantitie nor quallitie of affection: nor yet the only perfect ground of our prosperity. For admit that a whyle you beare vs in hand with many an Amorous countenaunce, many a gallant glóse of firme fayth and fidelitie, yea, many a subtill surmise of pure looue and af∣fection, haue you once gotten that which you would haue, to fléece our purses to pranke you in pride, that you may sweat in your Sylks, whyle we goe threadbare, you on your Pan∣tofles, when we haue scant a good shooe to our foote, you at your delycate iunckets, when we are glad to ryse with emp∣tie bellyes, and you so much in your brauerie, that you bring vs to vtter beggerie: In fayth, then fare well frost, more such haue we lost.
Nay now, since he can holde out no longer: fare well he, in faith he was a good fellowe whyle he had it, but nowe since he hath no more inke in his pen: let him goe shake his eares, a new customer, a new. So long time was he fed with fancies: that after he cursseth his folly. So long looued in lookes: that Page 109 at length he lamenteth his losse. So long helde vp with wan∣ton and wily woordes: that in the ende he cursseth such pal∣trie fables. A colde sute, and a harde penniwoorth haue all they that traffique for such merchādize. On the other side, let a man holde vp you at rack staues, diferre you of with doubt∣full delayes, alleadge vnto you many defectes of abillitie, and besides that, kéepe that from you which most willingly you would haue: In faith, then he is a coūterfayt cranke, a sham∣lesse shéepbyter, a worldly miser, he is no good fellowe, that will not lay his penny by theyrs, a craking Companion, an eue dropper: with such and so many floutes they haue, that it is woonderfull to heare.
What great reproche is this to such wanton Women, that regard more an ell of pleasure, then an ynch of profite? more desirous of loathsome lybertie, then they care for con∣tented lyuing? What maketh so many young Gentlemen crack theyr credite, loose theyr good name, mortgage theyr ly∣uinges, barter away all they haue: but such carelesse compa∣ny? When before, they were in good and honest commen∣dation among all men: now are they glad to hide theyr heads for shame.
I speake not this (déere Lady) to the reproche of all Wo∣men: for that were méere impudencie: but I speake in the contempt of all such as dayly frequent it, as these Cortizans which abide in the brothell house héere in Verona, & besides them, many a one that beares a gallant grace through the Cittie: taketh a snatch now and then, which by right deserue a greater reproche, then they that so dayly vse it. For by such meanes is vice intruded among the vertuous, making many that (God knowes) are well disposed lyuers, to be lyghtly ac∣coumpted of, only by vsing the company of such carelesse cre∣atures.
Syr Strabino (quoth Cornelia) your discourse hath béene de∣lyghtfull, yet sauoureth it sharpe some where, belyke you haue bene bitten, or stung by some of these Waspes: and that maketh you so expert in bewraying theyr qualities, for the mother would neuer haue sought her daughter in the Ouen, Page 110 but that shée had béene there her selfe, and he that is galded, hath good occasion to kicke. You haue béene bartering, & found all so déere in the market: that no butter wyll sticke on your bread, or belyke you haue sauced some body: and payd swéet∣ly for it.
But what maketh you to exclayme against women in this order? haue you looued, and not béene looued againe? haue you sought for honny, & caught the Bée by the tayle: or haue you neuer looued, and wholy giuen your selfe there against? if so you haue, the harder is your happe, for farre vnable are you to stand against the decrée of the gods, and haue you not read of diuers that haue repugned against looue: which haue béene inforced to fancie theyr inferiors? Take héede Strabino, least in your denying to looue some gallant Lady: you be not pro∣cured to fācie som poore Fachine héere in Verona. If you haue looued, & not béene looued againe: you are to mooue your sute, and if it be to such a one who is frée from all other, and may well be your match: there is no doubt but after many sharpe showers, a gallant gale of winde will blow in the Skie, that will send your ioyes on heapes to you. I giue you the best counsayle that I can, and I would my proffered paynes any way might pleasure you. If either my woorde, counsayle, cre∣dite, or ought else may preuayle you to her whome you lyke: credite me, you shall not finde me so ready in promising, as I wyll be in the performaunce therof.
Now Gentlemen, iudge you what sundrie & seuerall quan∣daries assayled the assaulted minde of poore Strabino, to heare such courteous talke pronounced by the person whome hée most honored and obeyed. Yet doubted he, that if shée knew the very originall and only helpe for his heauines: shée would be as slowe to performe, as she was ready to promise, but yet buylding still on good hope of her bountie: hée procéeded into farder talke.
My hope is (quoth he) my good Lady & Mistresse, that what hath passed in my presumptuous talke, you will conster it at the best: but sure as yet I am frée from that which you haue supposed, only this I am to confesse, that I loue & lyke, where Page 111 I am neither refused nor yet entertained, wherfore I cā not condempne vpon no occasion: nor I can not prayse before it be deserued. So that I am neither to vaunt as victor: nor yet to yéeld as altogether conquered. And why I haue en∣uyed against these sort of Women, I can yéeld you some suf∣ficient reason: I haue known diuers of my fréends, that haue wasted out theyr web of youthfull time, in frequenting com∣pany with such wilfull Women. As for example, one déere fréende of mine, who was tost, turmoyled, and vtterly made hauock of: among those whome he thought had looued him dée∣rest, yea some that were of good name and credit, that sucked him drye: & then matched them selues with other. Therfore I say, it is hard to know who a man may trust now a dayes: for you Women are so craftie, that a man cannot tell howe to deale with you.
In déede Syr (quoth she) though we be craftie, you men are more deceyptfull. It behooueth vs to stand vpon our reputa∣tion, and to make the matter nice and coy to some, for when they haue once caught vs: they will vse vs as they lyst. What sorrowe and care is it to be a maried Wife? that which God hath ordayned to be a comfort and solace betwéene man and woman, is made nowe a thing of most contempt: for when we be maried, then cōmeth our cares all at once: how many frowning lookes? how many crabbed countenances? how ma∣ny sharpe woordes? beside, how many continuall gréefes and sorrowes of the minde? If our Husbandes be a lyttle displea∣sed: all ye house must be out of quiet. If he frowne, then what is next hand, flyes at the face of his Wife. If he sée her but merily disposed in any company, then is he ielous: if she looke on any man, then she lusteth after him. Then is she watcht and spied, in euery place where she goeth, to catche her in a tryp, the which vrgeth her sooner to doo it, when before she neuer thought it. What terror, & what diuellish mindes are these of men: who when they come to wooing, then plead they simplicitie: then yea forsoothe, and no forsoothe, this shall be and that shall be, when God knowes, when it comes to per∣fection: it is neyther so, nor so.
Page 112Can you blame Women, if they be so lothe to graunt to your requestes? and can you thinke them so harde, when you your selues are harder then the Adamant? Can you say Women are ordayned as a plague vnto men: when as you your selues plague them so cruelly? O déepe dissemblers, O prating Parasites? What subtill Sophisters? What faire mouthed fellowes are these? What paynted sheathes, fayre without & fowle within? Who would thinke that you could beare such a double heart about with you. I hope you shall be fayne to say at length, Ars deluditur arte. Hencefoorth there∣fore neuer enuy at Women: when you are wurse your sel∣ues, nor neuer play the Crauens, as Cockes of your owne dunghyll: the shame wyll redound where it is woorthy, and you shall be forced to crye Peccaui. Ah Syrra, though you haue all the learning, God hath leant vs some wyt, that wée should not be to much deceyued. Therefore neuer vpbrayde vs with such Rhetorical gloses, nor neuer fall out with those who are your best fréendes: If you lyke vs, loue vs: if not, let vs alone.
Strabino, halfe driuen in feare of incurring his Ladyes dis∣pleasure, and doubting least his talke had bread some cause of melancholie: calles vp his wittes together, to make amends for his former fault. For thought he, if now I comming to speake for mine owne auayle, and to gayne the good wyll of my best belooued, should séeme to apprehend or reprehend in such causes as willingly shee would not: it might marre all my matter, and throwe all my good Fortune into the fyre. Wherfore, euē as the childe when he hath made a fault, com∣meth créeping on his knées with bytter teares, willing to kisse the rod▪ & so to pacifie the yre of his Parents whome he displeased, or as the Ape when he hath nipt one to the quick, and séeeth the whip holden vp in signe of correction: cōmeth with chattering the téethe, holding vp the ten bones, so to content his maisters displeasure conceyued: Euen so méeke∣ly and mildly commeth Strabino to the loouing lap of his La∣dy, and in sygne & token of humilitie, vttereth these woordes. Déere Lady & Mistresse, not so wel satisfied & contented with Page 113 your reasonable replie: as sorrowfull for suffering my tōgue so rashly to offend you. Rather impute it therefore to ob∣liuiousnesse of my selfe: then to any willingnesse so incurre your anger. More honour trulie shall it be to you, quietly to put vp the chollorike woords of an impudent Scholler: then to menace your anger, where as sorrow sufficient is retay∣ned. It is a good Horse that neuer stumbleth, he is verie cyrcumspect that speaketh alway without a fault, and he is verie vpright that neuer committeth crime. I must confesse my tongue ran before my wyt, and my mouth vttered that which my heart neuer thought. But the best is, my boasting brauerie, can blemishe none of your bountie: nor my fran∣ticke foolishnesse, impayre any of your vertuous credite. But all is well that is well taken, little sayde is soone amen∣ded, and so I pray you pardon your penitent, and sorrowfull offender.
Syr Strabino (quoth she) for this fault, you haue already obtayned pardon, it was not so gréeuously taken as you thought for: nor it was not so fault woorthy as nowe you graunt it. I am not to exact the vttermost of any man: nor I am not to conceyue an anger before iust cause be offred, for you know, that what talke so euer we vse, that dooth not stretch beyond the boundes of honest and allowable reason: by promise is to be estéemed of no effect, therfore I discharge that Obligation of his full strength and vertue, and sticke to the promise passed. Mary, yet am I on the other side, to thinke well of you, that stoode in such awe of displeasing her: who was far more afrayd of incurring your anger. Wée women are not to be too captious nor to quarrellous, neither to hasty, nor to slowe, for it were no poynt of ciuillitie to handle our freendes churlishly, and it were méere folly to quip them vpon no greater occasion. Fyrst, we are to vnder∣stand the efficient cause that vrgeth them to speake, & to way it thorowly in the wayghts of modestie: and so to giue aun∣swere, that we be neyther found to scripilous in the one, nor to coy in the other. I knowe you are my fréend, and so I estéeme you, and as my fréend I make accoumpt of you, then Page 114 neuer thinke that I your fréend will séeme to conster your meaning at the wurst: nor yet to condempne you vpon no greater occasion. I can not deny but that some are verie apt to anger, to receyue a matter yll, be it neuer so well spoken, that dooth demōstrate a great error in her that vseth it, what∣soeuer: and condempneth her of impudencie, for her so light beléefe. Soft fyre (they say) maketh swéete mault, a wyse Woman will way all with discretion: but a foole will be hasty, and to troublesome to deale with all. Wise Cato sayth, Bridle thine anger with modestie, and iudge not of a matter too rashly, for as there is great commendation in the one: so is there great shame followeth the other. It is a séemely thing for euerie one to vse theyr anger with discretion: be∣cause (perchaunce) it may redound to theyr discredite. Thus Strabino suffice your selfe, that the coales of my anger were soone kindled and soone quenched. For if I should be angrie with you: you might accoumpt it but the rashnesse of a Wo∣man, and her want of foresight, and so I pray you take it,
Strabino, perceyuing the courteous excuse of Cornelia, and that his passed talke was taken in such gentle grée: thought it now good time to preferre his sute, and so desiring her pati∣ence, procéeded as followeth.
Strabino now offereh his looue and seruice to his Lady, requiring the courteous accep∣tion thereof. Cap. 3.
THen déere Lady, since neyther my rude beha∣uiour hath offended you, nor my passed presūp∣tion purchased any yll will: I hope I may vn∣der authoritie of your lycence, procéede to the verie ground and effect of all which I haue to vnfolde. For since your wisdome hath weyghed eche cause so discréetly, and construed the meaning thereof with such good demeanour: I will make you partner of my passed perylles, and of the distresse that may ensue (alwayes prouided) that Page 115 you accept and conceyue no wurse then I thinke it. Since it hath béene my hap (déere Lady) héere in Verona, to passe my time in studious exercise, according to the long desired wishe of my Parentes: I haue one way profited, and an other way procured my peryll, for casting mine eyes among the renow∣ned troupe of gallant Dames, (as héere are many) the boun∣tifull beautie of one among all the rest, hath so searched the secretes of my hydden heart, & bewitched my wittes in such woonderfull wise: that neyther medicines may serue to mit∣tigate, hearbes, or any Phisicall potion adiunate to amend∣ment: but only that soueraigne salue which most dooth de∣light me, her little finger would lyft me to life, a woord of her mouth would cease all my sorrowes, and one question absol∣ued: would make me a sufficiēt Scholler. I presume in place, where I behold this seemely shée: and the more I come in her company: the greater increaseth my care, the more I looke: the more I lyke, but lyking brings such restlesse woe: that were it not I had a soule to saue, and that I stand in awe of the anger of God: I should finish this Tragedie, with such a mercilesse massacring of my poore selfe, that neyther should she vaunt of ye losse of my life: nor I be thought to demerit so dyrefull a death. But what néedeth all these woords? to what ende doo I make this tedious protestatiō my helpe is neuer ye more furdred, but by talking of her I am ye more endamaged.
Ah Sir (quoth Cornelia) is the winde in ye doore now? are you Sea sick so soone, & not halfe a myle ouer? well, well, this litle sparke will flame to so fierce a fire: that perhaps all ye wit you haue is not able to quench it. Why Lady (quoth he) I am not so farre ouer shooes: but I may returne yet drie, nor I am not so far in, but I may easily escape out, there is more wayes to the wood then one, and passages wherin are no peryll. I shall vse my selfe in extremity as I sée occasion: and doubt you not my wyt shall stand for a warrant. Syr (quoth she) the crafty Foxe would eate no grapes, no though they fel in his mouth, the Catte will eate no swéete milke, for feare of marring her téeth: so you would not be in looue, no though you might, and when you are in, you will looue as your lyst.
Page 116O Syr, soft fyre makes swéete Mault, it is yll to halt before a Criple, and it were shame to belye the Diuell. Your owne woordes dooth condempne you in that you haue spoken: or else you are very impudent, that you speake you know not what. Medicines you say, can make no amendment, the force of Phisicke to helpe you dooth fayle, and yet you say, there is one soueraigne salue can minister a remedie. O crafty head, your téethe will not let your tongue lye, in faith it is almost tyme to byd you good night. Yet to sée how you will maintayne your matter with wresting of woordes, you would make me beléeue the Moone is made of gréene chéese: In faith Syr no, you must rise somewhat more early, if you goe beyond me: and you must deale more subtilly, if you séeke to deceyue me. But truly if you were as mighty a man of your déede, as you are of your woorde: Verona would be little enough to holde you, and neuer a Woman of them all durst abyde your stearne countenaunce. You doo well, you will holde with the Hare, and run with the Hound, and you would play Ambo∣dexter, if you could tell how, but in fayth Syr I haue you at my fingers ende, euen as perfect without booke as you are within.
Strabino with this passed tale was so nipt in the head, that he had scant any thing to say, & when he saw she was so craftie, that his subtill Sophistry did deceyue him: he would with all his heart haue béene farre enough from her presence: or that his talke were to begin againe. For albeit he was a man stoute of his person: yet they that had séene him now, would haue thought he had neither life nor soule left in him. Which when Cornelia beheld how sadly he sate, and would speake neuer a woord, how his couller went and came, as though he had lyne a dying: thought it no courtesie to let him languishe so: but to giue him a fresh encouragement to reuiue vp his spyrites. Why Syr Strabino (quoth she) is your heart in you hose? Is your corragious countenaunce so soone chaun∣ged to pale and wanny chéekes? Your face makes apparaunce of your gréeuous disease, and your lookes bewray you, that you are in looue. But what of that? neuer dismay your selfe Page 117 with any doubting dread, nor let not my talke so séeme to to trouble you, if I haue made a faulte: I aske you forgiue∣nesse, and if I haue displeased you: I will doo so no more. You know, promise was made, that all should be well accep∣ted, that pertayned to no harme, and that which should passe betwéene vs: should not be offensiue to eyther. I for my part am not offended with any thing spoken: and if you are, truly you be to blame. I will leaue your company, if you be not more merie, and will forsake héereafter any more to frequent it. Shake handes and be fréendes againe, and tell me who she is that you so faithfully looue: I will stand your fréende perhappes in the matter, and if of my selfe I am not able to doo it: I will informe those of it, who (doubt you not) shall bring it to effect.
With that Strabino reuiued him selfe out of his browne study, and began smugly to holde vp the head, right wylling he left his so sodayne quandarie: and began to looke vp with a sensorical countenance. His heart that before lay in a hole: was now ready for ioy to leap out at his mouth, his minde that earst was pinched with passions: was now so iocond, that it daunced with ioy, and his couller that before was as pale as ashes: began now as fresh as the redolent Rose, eue∣rie member which before séemed maimed: he could now stretch out to the ninth degrée. And if his present seruice might haue wonne him a Wife: he was able to discharge it, & that to the vttermost, besides, his conceytes began to come so nimbly together: that he now rolled in his Rhethoricke, lyke a Flea in a blanquet. (Ah courteous Cornelia (quoth Strabino) how much am I bound in dutie to your séemly self? How much am I indebted to your prudent personage? that with such swéete perswasions, such maydenly and modest motions, such heroycall and singuler actions: hath losed to ly∣bertie a discouraged prisoner, and hath reuiued him to lyfe, who was almost past all hope of recouerie.
Excellent was the opinion of Valerius Maximus, who cō∣mended the fréendly déedes, doone in aduersitie, as for prospe∣ritie will succour it selfe. My selfe may be witnesse, in ad∣uauncing, Page 118 your fréendlines, whose aduersity was vncurable: had I not obtained councell of so prudent a Phisition. I thāk you for your fréendly offer, wishing I were able to counter∣uayle it as I would, and that my might were correspondent to my well meaning intent: then should you sée the depth of my desyre, and haue occasion to thinke you should not passe vnrewarded The Lady whome I looue will be won to your will, the Saint whome I serue: will fulfill your request, and the least woord of your mouth, will binde vp the bargaine. So that doo you but speake: I speede, doo you say yea, and I shall haue no nay, so much dare I crake of her credite, and boast of her bountie: that you can not so soone say the woord: but she will wyllingly doo the déede.
Cornelia smiling at this gallant glose, and hauing half a con∣iecture at what marke he aymed to shoote at: framed such an aunswere as she thought best her selfe, and to make Strabinos sute neuer the néere. The foolish Flye (quoth she) so long ie∣steth with the Candle, that at last she sindgeth her selfe, the silly Mouse wandreth oft so farre abroade: that she is taken tardy before she come home, and the Nightinggale singeth so swéetly, tyll she fall in a sléepe, and so oftentymes is caught at vnawares. Lykewise, I haue helde you héere so long with a pleasaunt tale, that you make me halfe mistrust my selfe. If your Lady be so wilfull, to be wonne to my will, and so courteous that she will come at my call, yea, if I say the woord, you aske no better bargaine: either I must coniecture, that her affection is greater to me then to you: or that shée would clayme assurance of me for your good behauiour. Now credite me Strabino, you are wylie in your woordes: yet not so craftie, but I conceyue your meaning.
But yet Strabino, let these matters passe, and to come to the poynt, whervpon we haue stoode so long, name me your La∣dy, what she is, and where she dwelleth: then shall you heare farder what I will doo for you. If so be (quoth Strabino) you will promise me no good will shall want on your part, to the Page 119 fulfylling my request, and that you will not hinder the mat∣ter I haue in hand: I will shew you the swéete she, whose captiue I am, and to whose looue I am thus intierly intang∣led. Syr (quoth she) Qui ante non cauit, post dolebit, A man may looue his house well, though he ride not on the roofe, and a man may make a good Mart, yet be no great gayner. There goeth more woordes to a bargayne then one, and other pray∣ers to be vsed beside the Pater noster, when you haue tolde me your tale: you shall sée what I will say, and though I make you no promise: doubt not but I will please you.
Then tooke Strabino vp her glasse that hung at her Gyrdle, and therein he framed many an Amorous countenaunce. At last (quoth Cornelia) what fancies finde you there, that makes you so pleasaunt? or haue you a delyght in beholding your owne face? Nay (quoth he) not for the fancie I finde in mine owne face: but for the comely countenaunce that consi∣steth in my Lady and Mistresse. And haue you found her face there (quoth she) I pray you let me sée her, to iudge if I know her. After Cornelia had looked a whyle, she sayd. Why Strabino, you promised I should sée that séemely shée, to whom you owe such delightfull looue & loyaltie. And what I promi∣sed (quoth he) hath béene héere performed. As how (quoth she) Whose face (quoth he) did you behold whē I shewed you? why yours and mine owne (quoth she) I thought it would come to such a passe, well I will speake to her, & if she chaunce to giue her consent: doubt you not but you shall heare of it. But one thing I can tell ye, & that you shall perfectly prooue, how shée is wedded to her will, and maried to her owne minde: that she had rather lyue a mayden styll, then be bydden to so bad a breakfast.
That were against reason (quoth he) that she should be so maryed to her minde: as not to respect one so good as her selfe, or that in disdayning so good a breakfast, be forced to come to a courser dinner. A little pyttance in the morning: is better then to be fasting all day, and perhaps, a good strong stake strooke in the hedge in Summer: will stand for a good defence in the Winter.
Page 120Albeit Syr (quoth she) you are her better: yet she thinkes it not against reason to lyke before she looue, and though it be not expedient to giue the chyldrens bread to dogges: yet will they lycke the crums that falles from theyr maisters table. And besides she thinkes, that if she kéepe her stomacke for a good supper: she shall not take surfeit of her fasting all day. Lykewise, though the strong stake doo well fortifie the hedge for Winter: yet if the stake be without other defence: the Beasts will easily get ouer and spoyle the pasture, and so in tyme vtterly vndooe the owner.
Strabino hauing well and sufficiently pondred her talke: thought now he would not discourage him selfe with the di∣uersitie of her deuises, but euen as his heart serued him he would make her an aunswer. Why Lady (quoth he) doo you misdoubt of my bountifull behauiour? or yt I am such a one as regardeth not my honesty? Thinke you if I would make my choyse, I could not haue as good as you, or if my minde had béene so adicted, ere this I could not haue béene sped? thinke you all Women are of your minde? or that they will dislyke vpon no occasion? No credit me, Cornelia (I speake Bonafide) if my stomacke had serued: I could haue béene soone suffised, and if all Women were of your minde: I should haue but a colde sute with my wooing. But belyke you are betrothed al∣ready: and that makes you so dayntie, if you be tell me, that I may loose no more labour.
Truly Syr Strabino (quoth she) if as yet I am betrothed: it is more then I know, what my Parents haue done, I know not, but as yet I can assure you, there is no such matter meant by me. But what of that, you are neuer the neerer your purpose, nor yet the likelyer to gayne my good wyll, you are a gallant Gentleman, well known in Verona, wherfore you may chaunce to lyght on a better bootie, and doubt you not but there are those, who with all theyr hearts would haue you. Wherfore good Syr, neuer féede your humors on such a homely péece: since there be more delycate Damoselles that will not deny you. But now it drawes toward sup∣per tyme, and occasion is so offred: that perforce I must leaue Page 121 you, desiring you not to déeme any discourtesie, that I leaue your company so soone.
Nay (quoth Strabino) I am not to conceyue the wurst of your departure: but rather to thanke you, that vouchsaued my company so long, no anger I trust is conceyued for my superfluous spéeche: but rather pardoned for that no disho∣nestie was meant. Thus thanking you a thousand tymes for your courtesie offered: tyll Fortune so frame our next méeting together, I commend you to God, whome I pray graunt me my wishe, and you the depth of your desire.
Thus Gentlemen is Cornelia and Strabino parted, he ta∣king the way home to his Chamber: and she spéedeth her selfe that she were at supper, but so sowre a sauce she had giuen Strabino: that the sharpnesse turned his stomacke from min∣ding any meate. It is not straunge to sée what a metamor∣phesis Looue maketh of a man? that he which earst might haue bragged with the best: is now become to carefull for a∣ny company, he which earst walked the stréetes with a gal∣lant grace: nowe pulleth his bonet ouer his browes, that none may beholde his sodayne alteration? He which before lyued merily, faring with the finest, and delyghting in the dayntiest: now scant eateth a good meales meate in a month. He commeth to his Chamber, throweth him selfe on his bed, incombred with so many cares, that it is vnspeakable: at last vnto him selfe talketh in this order.
O God, where are become the loftie lookes I vsed before I was a Loouer? Where are the curious countenaunces, the wayghtie woordes, the dayntie dealinges, the bolde behaui∣ours, and the manly order of lyfe wherein I lyued before? Hath Looue so puissaunt a power to reuert my swéetnesse in∣to sorrowes, my myrth into mazednesse, my life into langor, and all my happinesse into a state so helplesse? O gréefe with∣out ende, O sorrowes without ceasing, O hellish tormentes that hath no conclusion. But yet am I the first that was framed to folly? Or I am the last that shall be lead by Looue? Hath not the Gods themselues béene subiect to lyke mestiue miseries? Did not Iupiter enter Acrissius tower, in the shape Page 122 of a fayre swimming Swan, to deflowre faire Danea? Apollo persecuted Daphne to get his will of her: Neptune begatte Nauplius father to Palamedes of Amimone, daughter of Da∣uaeus: Mercurie lay with Lar the beautifull Nimphe, and got of her two prety chyldren called Lares. Likewise king Dauid became conuinced by the looue of Bersaba: Salomon the wise was subiect to looue likewise. If then looue hath made the Gods to agrée, the wise to be wilfull, the stoutest to stoupe: is it possyble for me poore Strabino, to resist a thing of such force? O Cornelia, lyttle doost thou estéeme the good wyll I beare thée, lyttle doost thou accoumpt of my constancie, lyttle doost thou regard my restlesse rage, & little doost thou déeme all my dollorous doubtes. Is thy heart so frosen, that the sunny beames of bounty may not make it to melt? Is thy minde so misbeléeuing, that no faithfull fidelitie may séeme to reforme it? Is not dayly proofe sufficient to trye my trustinesse? Is not the great good will I beare thée, able to cause thée to ac∣coumpt well of me? To offer me crueltie for courtesie, thou doost me open iniurie. Alas wretched wight that I am, whose miserie is more then mine? Whose dayes more dollorous, whose tyme more troublesome, whose life more loathsome, & whose state more yrksome, the day to me is nothing delight∣full: the night more carefull, sléepe I can not, and waking, I neuer cease wayling.
Sometime I syt to conquere the cogitations, which weary my wittes: then againe am I driuen into a more déepe de∣sire. Sometime I scorne and laugh at Looue, thinking mine owne wyll a sufficient warrant: but then in a moment ary∣seth manifolde miseries, so that neither waking nor sléeping, walking or sitting, can my sorrowfull selfe sustayne any rest. Why wast thou borne to abide such bitternesse? why hast thou lyued to sée this trystfull tyme? why hath not death desired his due: and the graue cutte of this mercilesse gréefe? O Laberinth of intricate euylles, O maze of endlesse my∣series, whome neither dutifull surrendring of my selfe may suffise: nor any vertuous action séeme to content you. Cease Strabino, giue not thy selfe altogether to insolencie, nor frame Page 123 not thy selfe wholy vanquished with follyes, time may turne thy troubles to tranquilitie, tyme may make thy foes thy fréendes, and tyme may reuert all thy paynes to pleasure. Impute not thy Lady altogether disloyall, for he that spée∣deth at the first: wooeth well, and he that hath no denyall: in my opinion is very fortunate.
In these and such lyke carefull complayntes the solytarie Strabino hath worne away the wearysome night. In the morning commeth his brother and fréend Rodolfo, to vnder∣stand the cause of his sodaine sicknesse.
Rodolfo, the brother of Cornelia, and auouched freend to Strabino, commeth to the Chamber to knowe the cause of his sicknesse. Cap. 4.
AT last Rodolfo a déere fréende to Strabino, and Brother to his Lady and Mistresse, myssing his fréend from Schoole, wherto was his day∣ly repayre: commeth to his Chamber, & there found him tossing and turmoyling him selfe, on his carefull coutch, which when he sawe, as one amased at this sodayne mutabilitie, and greatly gréeued to sée his fréend in such a pittious plyght: beganne thus to frame his spéeche.
My déerest fréend & chéefest Iewell of my ioy, not so glad of the rare fréendship that in you I haue found: as sorrowfull to sée this vncouth sight. Is this the comely countenaunce that you were wont to carie: and now chaunged into the perfect Image of care? Are you that man, that earst dyd swim in delyght: and now bereft of your former behauiour? Was my woordes earst woorthy to procure thée to pleasure: and now not able to stand in their former effect? Am not I the same Rodolfo I was wont to be: and shall not I nowe be accoumpted as thy former fréend?
Page 124What is the cause my Strabino of this sodayne alteration? How happens it you are so soone chaunged into heauines? If I be woorthy to know the cause of your carefulnesse, or that my desertes may gayne my desire: let me vnderstand the sum of your sorrowes, and doubt not but I will sée some re∣dresse for you.
Strabino hauing well wayed the woordes of his fréend, and how earnest he was in this his request: bethought him selfe how he might sufficiently aunswer him, and yet not be found tardy in his talke. Perhappes afterward he would discouer more of the case: but at this instaunt he should not knowe whome he looued, wherefore in this order he framed his aun∣swere. My déere Rodolfo, whose fréendshippe I highly make accoumpt of, & whose fidelitie I haue found firme in waighty affayres, to you will I display my dollorous disease: hoping by your meanes it may be mittigated.
Since first it was my fortune (déere fréend) to vse the com∣pany of the braue Ladyes and Damosels héere in Verona: I haue béen attainted with so many perillous passiōs: that sure I am past hope to haue any recouerie, yet doo I striue with mine affection as forceably as I can: but vnpossible it is for me to remooue it, so excellently doo I estéeme of the person, whome I honour: that in lyfe or death I am hers at com∣maund.
Rodolfo perceyuing Strabinos sicknesse, and how that looue made him to languish in such sort: he estéemed the matter of lesse accoumpt, and made him an aunswer but little to please him. Ah Syr (quoth he) are coales so soone kindled in your vncertaine stomack? is your minde so mutable, that no sted∣fast stay may be had? Are you one ye regardeth not your pros∣peritie: or make you so small accoumpt to fall into miserie? Doo you sée the daunger each day before your eyes: and are so héedelesse to fall headlong in the same? You haue read your selfe, how the effectes of Looue are strauuge: and by so much as you haue séene and heard, me thinkes it should be odious vnto you. Forget you Plautus woords, when as touching this diuellish disease, he sayth: Iactor, crucior, agitor, stimulor, Page 125 versor in amoris rota, miser exanimor, feror, distrahor diripior, vbi non sum: ibi sum, ibi est animus. How like you this lesson allead∣ged to your Looue? How can you excuse that these feares are not felt? How can you disprooue these innumerable daūgers? Remember Antigonus woordes to his Father Demetrius. Let Seleucus folly to his sonne, forwarne thée what aduersenesse consisteth in this contagious disease, who ioyned his owne Wife with his sonne in mariage to satisfie his lust. What caused the long dissencion betwéen Themistocles and Aristides: but the looue of Stesilia the harlot? What procured the hatred betwéene Cato and Caesar: but the lycentious looue after Seruilia the strumpette? Semiramis, honored and extolled for her noblenesse of minde, and vertue in her déedes: by looue brought her name into eternall infamie. Why are the Assi∣rian Kinges so reprooued of wantonnes: but for the lawlesse looue they vse, with theyr Concubines? Dyd not looue ble∣mishe the rare renowne of Hanniball in Salapia? Dyd not looue infect the fame of Alexander? What caused Catalin to kyll his sonne Oristilla: but looue? What caused Laodice Wife to Ariartes King of Cappadocia to murder his sonnes▪ but looue? What made Scilla to destroy her Father: but looue? What made the stately walles of Troy be sacked: but looue? Infinite are the extremities which through looue aryse, and can not be so much reprehended: as by right it deserueth. What man so wilfull to come subiect to Women? What paynes more intollerable then to come at theyr calles? It is theyr ioye, to haue one bowe at theyr beckes, it is theyr delight to haue one wayte on theyr wylles, it is the chéefest of theyr choyse, to haue a man sue for theyr succour. Then Gyll will be a Gentlewoman, if she could but Parle vn petit de Francoys. If a man will be made a meacock, & blinde him selfe with a little of theyr bolde behauior: then is theyr coyne currant, yea, better syluer then an honester Womans. If they can once fledge them selues, with an other mannes fe∣thers, and iet in theyr Iewelles at other mens costes: then a pin for the prowdest, a fygge for the finest, she is as honest as the best, though she be ashamed to vse it, yet sure she Page 126 dooth well, not to haue her honestie so much séene, least with wearing it on working dayes, it may catch to much heat, & so melt it away: or els take so much colde, yt it wil neuer be good after. If with a song, you would be sung a sléepe, or with a daūce lead to delight, or if you haue the Quatrinos, to play at sinke & syse: then is she a Companion with the cunningest, a fellowe with the forwardest, and will rather play small game: then syt quite out. Who would misse such a mate, that for a monthes pleasure: will after make you leade a loathsome life? Who would lacke such a Lasse, that for a dayes pride: will make you goe a moneth starke naked? Now truly he were vnwise, that would not haue such a Wenche, and he were too farre foolishe, that would want such a Bon Companion.
Oh Strabino, in fayth the blacke Oxe neuer trode on your foote yet, you neuer came where it grewe: nor you neuer tryed time, as héere after you shall finde it. If you had beaten the bush, and caught any of the Byrds: I doubt not but you would haue tolde me an other tale. If you be wise: stay your selfe in this state, if you will followe your fréends who wishe you well: eate a bushell of Salt with them, ere you trust any one of them, for you were better beware be∣fore: then wishe you had taken héede, when it is too late▪ Trye & then trust mée, if you finde not true that I haue tolde you: then report of mée, as my déedes shall giue occasion.
Strabino hauing lyne still a pretie whyle, and deuised howe he might now stand in defence of his Misterisse: made aun∣swere vnto his fréend on this wise. Syr (quoth he) saying and dooing are two mens labours, and it is easier for a man to promise: then to fulfill, your selfe now setteth such a cor∣ragious countenaunce on the matter: as though your minde were inuincible. Thinke you there is not as wise men in the world as you? Are you made of such mettall, as force will not melt you? could you if the matter were brought to the tryall: with all the cunning you haue make any resistaunce? No credit me, but euē so glad to finde ease as my self: & march vnder Cupids banner for company. What sayd Ariosto in the Page 127 commendation of Looue? He sayth, what swéeter state? what more bountifull blysse, and what more happy life: then to be lyncked in looue? Chrisippus also sayth, that looue is the bond of fréendship, and ought not to be helde in contempt: for that beauty is the flowre of vertue. Cicero holdeth opinion, that a Wise man may lawfully looue, and the very reciprocall and mutuall societie of true & faithfull fréendship (say the Peripa∣tions) is Looue. Zeno the Prince of the Stoikes affirmeth, that it is néedefull and necessarie of young men to be loouers, and neuer disagréeeth with wise men: for that Looue is an as∣sociate with vertue. And will you reprooue Looue that is so much honored? Will you disdayne Looue that is so magnifi∣ed? Will you condemne all Women, although some be euill? and will you reprehend all Women for one strumpets sake? What perillous paines? What troublesome trauaile? What pinching panges, and what manifolde miseries, dyd one wo∣man sustaine for you? Remember her that brought you into this world, cōsider her care in prouiding for your prosperity, thinke on the dayly deuises her motherly affection framed to kéepe you in quiet, sometime lulling on the lap, and trifling with many a toy, for the pure looue she bare her childe, remē∣ber all these poynts indifferently: and then iudge how much you are boūd vnto that famous sex. Did not God giue Adam in Paradise a Woman for his cōpanion? Hath not God or∣dained man & woman to liue together in matrimony? and yt the mutuall looue betwéene man & wife, is to him most accep∣table? O my fréend Rodolfo, forsake this fondnes, leaue of this lewdnes, & take holde on a better text, looue them yt looue you, and maintayne no more this vaine assertion. When Rodolfo had wayed the sick mans aunswer, & that he was so farre in: yt it was too late to crye hoe, he sayd. Now credit me Strabino, all women haue iust cause to wage you well: because you stād in their defence so doubtily, were I a woman: you should not want what possibility could performe, & sure I would chuse you alwayes for my Champiō against any whatsoeuer. And truly, she whome you looue, knowing what mettall you are made of: if she looue you not againe, she is very vncurteous.
Page 128Well, I warrant you, ye will not dye of this disease, you will take better aduisement with you I hope. If you would frequent the Tournaments, to bestride the stately Stéedes, and with the shiuering Launce to behaue your selfe manful∣ly: these foolishe fancies, these troublesome thoughtes, and these coy cogitations would soone abandon you. The howre you know of our exercise is at hand, I must be gon, my Com∣panions attend my comming, in the after noone I will visit you againe. Your sodayne departure (quoth Strabino) is an augmenting of my gréefe, but I will not hinder you from your valiaunt exercise: tyll you come agayne, God kéepe you.
Rodolfo béeing departed: Strabino could not take any rest, vp he rose, his head incombred with a thousand thoughts, his minde musing on many matters. One whyle he thought to goe sée his swéete Saint: then he thought it would but pro∣cure the greater payne, an other whyle he thought to send to her: then he doubted how she would take the matter, at last, he tooke pen, inke and paper, and framed his salutations, as followeth.
ALbeit déere Mistresse, you may accoumpt me more wyt∣lesse, then wise, and more saucie then beséemeth me, to perturbe your patience, with these friuolous lynes: yet if you respect the good will I wishe you, and consider the dutifull seruice I am ready to showe you: I trust I shall be discharged of any crime cōmitted, and that my honest intent deserueth no rashe repulse. Part of my paines I haue bewrayed to your bounty, and some of my sorrowes you haue secretly séene: then iudge if my iustnes deserues not your gentlenes, and whether my constancie may claime part of your courte∣sie. Pigmalion so long imbraced a colde stone: that at last he wonne the same to his Wife. Admetus in the attyre of a man, with long seruice gayned his best beloued. If Looue were so effectuall to frame, fit for theyr fancies: why may not Strabinos hap at length returne fortunate? But perhappes déere Mistresse, you will alleadge that the lybertie of my spéech, bewrayeth the lyghtnesse of my Looue, & that I séeme Page 129 to vndermine you with forgerie, intending no fidelytie. To driue you out of such doubts, and discharge my selfe of doubl• dealing, and to prooue my looue vehement without vaun∣ting, feruent without falsehood, trusty without trifling, and constant without any craftinesse: let be practised for proofe, what shall please you to imploy me: and commaund to the vttermost, though it were losse of my lyfe. If you finde me faltring: then rightly repell me, and if you prooue me periu∣red: then neuer more vse me. Thus committing the sum of my sute to your swéete solution, and the construing of my cause to your inestimable courtesie: I referre héere to mul∣tiply manifolde matters, and so with a Courteous Conge, byd you farewell hartily.
Yours to commaund, the solitary Strabino.
THis Letter thus written, and sealed with sorrowes: he wished a thousand times it were in the hands of his cour∣teous Cornelia. But now thought he, how might I behaue my selfe in the sending my sute? Howe might I deuise to haue this delyuered? If I carie it my selfe: I shall be suspec∣ted, if I send it by a straunger: her Father may chaunce to see it. If I should make my fréend Rodolfo messenger, hée would then perceyue the sum of my secretes, then would hée sée that his Sister were my Saint▪ and that her looue would set me at lybertie. I knowe not how the matter may be mis∣vsed: nor how the cause may be by them consulted. A bar∣gayne (they say) well made is halfe won, and he that woorkes surely: lightly hath no harme, then will I trust none in this but my selfe: so if I spéede not well, none knowes it but my selfe.
The Tournaments béeing ended: Rodolfo returned, and finding S•rabino walking in his Chamber: requested to know how he felt him selfe amended? Quoth Strabino, neyther a∣mended, nor worse impayred: but euen as you left me, yet if it were not for hope: the heart could not holde, so I hope that that my sicknesse, will in the ende returne my swéetnesse. 〈◊〉 I thinke will somewhat mittigate the mazednesse Page 130 of my minde, and beside make me haue a stomacke the better to my meate: if it shall please you to walke with me: I wyll after goe with you to your Fathers house. With right good wyll (quoth Rodolfo) I wyll walke where you please, and doo what you can deuise: so that I might somewhat perswade you from looue.
Signor Truculento, an extorting V∣surer in Verona, commeth to the house of Giorolamo Ruscelli, the father of Cornelia, to desire his Daugh∣ter in mariage, and bringeth with him a sump∣tuous present. Cap. 5.
LEauing Rodolfo and Strabino in walking for theyr pleasure: I wyll now rehearse how olde Signor Truculento smoutched vp him selfe in his Fustian slyppers, and put on his holy day hose, to come a wooing to Mistresse Corneli••▪ The olde horson would néedes be lusty, and to chéerishe vp his churlishe carkase, would get him a wanton Wife. And though I say it, he was as well made a man, and as curious in his quallities: as euer an olde Horse in this towne, when he is gnabling on a thystle. This carpet Knight, hauing poū∣ced him selfe vp in his perfumes, and walking so nice on the ground, that he would scant bruse an Onion: comes to the house of Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli, bringing with him a verie costly Cuppe, wherein was about fiue hundred Crownes. When he was come into the presence of the Gentleman, he sayd Syr, as one right glad to heare of your health, and wil∣ling besides to woorke your well fare: I am come to sée how it fareth with you; because that long tyme I haue béene desi∣rous▪ First Syr, this Cuppe I fréely giue you, and these fiue hundred Crownes, I frankly bestowe on you, besides if you pleasure me in my reasonable request: you shall finde me your fréend in more then I wyll speake of.
The Gentleman amazed at Truculentos lyberalytie, who Page 131 before would scant bestowe on him selfe a good meales meate for expence of money: made him this aunswere. I can not chuse Syr, but consider well of your courtesie, and lykewise estéeme of your boūtifull beneuolence, vndeserued of my part to be so rytchly rewarded: considering my countenaunce to you hath béene small. And if your request be so reasonable as you séeme to affyrme, & that it lyeth in me to bring the same to effect: doubt not that I will make you any denyall, since you haue gratified me with so great a gyft. Well Syr, now Truculento trusseth vp his towardnesse, and bustleth vp his braynes lyke a bunch of Radishe, setting vp his wyttes to woorke about his Amorous eloquence: he thus began to tell foorth his tale. It may be thought to you good Syr, eyther a naturall inclination, or a predestinate desire, that a man of my yéeres should now be bent to folly, in crauing that com∣pany which a youthfull head requyreth, and seeking to match my selfe in mariage, drawing each day to my death. But as a good foresight in all thinges is to be had, and dillygent indu∣stry kéepes the Woolfe from the doore. Euen so, though I am to be thought fonde in following my wyll, I am to be excused in wishing my weale. Yet this may be alleadged to cōdemne mine assertion, and this may be thought, I do it more for lust then looue. That in making my choyse, I am not more cyrcū∣spect, and in ruling my will, I am not more wise. The hoary heayres should chuse one agréeable to his age, the lusty youth one méete to his tender tyme: then if this allegation may stand in effect, I haue made my market farre amisse. On age I begin to bend my browes: and on a gallant Girle I fixe my fancie▪ Age of me is altogether despised: and youthfull yéeres honored and exalted, Age in my minde is nothing holsome: but beauty is braue, delycate and toothsome. So Syr, if I may gaine her whom I haue thus chosen: I shall not be only pleasured, but your selfe for euer héereafter profited. Your Daughter it is whome I desire, it is euen she whom I serue, and none but she must be my solace. If you accept my sute, make aunswer accordingly: and if I shall haue your Daugh∣ter, doo not deny me.
Page 132The Gentleman hauing well lystened this newe come wooers tale, and seeing at what marke he leueld his looue, he bring one him selfe that preferred money before manly mo∣destie, coyne before courteous ciuillitie, and rytches before a∣ny vertuous action, besides, ouercome with the costlynesse of the Cuppe, out of measure contented with the fiue hundred Crownes: Furthermore he thought, if he matched his daugh∣ter with him: she would soone send him to Church, and then should she swym in her golden bagges: was verie lothe to send away such a swéete Suter, thinking it rare to haue a rytcher: wherefore to Truculento he made this aunswere.
I hope Syr, you doubt not of the good will I wishe you, nor of the courtesie you shall finde héereafter, your reasonable re∣quest is altogether allowed: and your gentle gyft greatly ac∣cepted. I would my Daughters dowrie were as much as I could wishe it: I would bestowe it on man sooner then your selfe. With that he called for his Daughter Cornelia, who when she was come into this olde amorous Squyres presence: his heart began to heaue lyke a Bakers bun, his whole complexion so myraculously chaunged: that you could scant haue knowen him from a Croydon sanguine. Oh so his Amorous eyes beganne to looke on his new Wife, I am sure he would haue spent all the shooes in his shop to haue had one kysse for a courteous Conge.
Loe Daughter (quoth her Father) God hath sent you héere a Husbande, one that will maintayne you in your brauerie with the best, and you shall lacke nothing, but lyue a Ladyes lyfe, now make aunswere as you shall thinke best.
Cornelia somewhat mooued at this made matter, and no∣thing contented with her Fathers choyse, all her senses di∣stracted with this sodayne motion: yet tooke corrage to aun∣swere the matter in this sort. Déere Father, it is the duty of the Chylde to be obedient to her Parentes preceptes: and it is the Fathers fame to haue his Chylde vertuously nurtu∣red, I confesse it is my part to obay your graue aduise: and it ought to be your care to sée me méetely matched. If then your care be no better bestowed: my dutie must be as much Page 133 neglected, though your will be to sée me carelesly cast away, if it lye in me, I am to preuent it, bothe for the credit of your woorthy estate: and also for the good name of my simple selfe. Wyll you for money marrie me to a myser? Wyll you for wealth wedde me to a Wyttoll? And wyll you for rytches so lyttle regard me? Shall I for a lyttle vaine glorie? for∣sake vertue? Shall I for paltrie pride run headlong to hell? Shall I for mortall muck, forsake immortality? No Father, had he wytte to his wealth: he would be more wise, had he reason to his rytches, he would be of more regard, and had he manhood to his money: he would be ashamed of his extorting vsury. For what is wealth without wisdome? Ritches with∣out reason, and money disorderly gouerned? Euen lyke the shadowe of a man portraited in a picture, that hath all the lyneaments in good order belonging to a man: yet wants the man him selfe, for as the Image lacketh lyfe to his proper proportion: so this man wants that which should most of all adorne him. Rather had I you should haue chosen a countrey Clowne, that getteth his lyuing lawfully, & lyueth by trueth and honesty: then such a one as is not acquainted with any vertuous behauiour. I must confesse he is wise enough, to make much of his money, and carefull beside how to cull in his coyne, but he that will run to the diuell for a lyttle drosse: and pinche the poore to the perdition of his owne soule: shall neuer be looued of me whyle I liue, much lesse intende I to haue him to my Husband.
When Truculento heard Cornelias pinching reply, and how she disdayned such a loathsome lyuer: he would with all his heart haue had his Cup againe, on condition he would neuer come more a wooing. Yet set he a good face on the matter, be∣cause he would not be misdoubted, and fayne he would haue spoken, but his heart was so bigge he could not, the which her Father séeing, sayd.
Come Syr, we will goe walke about the Cittie a whyle, and neuer dismay your selfe at the woordes of my Daughter, for will she, nill she: I will haue her followe my minde in this matter. Away went olde Truculento with a heauy heart, Page 134 yet the Gentlemans woordes, procured him to be of better chéere.
They were no sooner out of the doore: but in came Rodolfo and Strabino bothe together, and Strabino in walking: had bewrayed to his fréend the sum of his secretes, whereto he gayned so much his good will: that he promised he would further it as much as he might. When they came into the Garden: there they found Cornelia very sad and sorowfull. Why Syster (quoth Rodolfo) how happens it that you séeme so sad? Why doo you cumber your minde with carefulnesse, your head with heauinesse, and all your parts with such pen∣siuenesse? When I went foorth in the morning: you were merrie, and are you now chaunged into such melancholi•? O Brother (quoth she) after myrth commeth mones, after ioy gréefe, and after pleasure paine, that comes in an howre: that happens not in seuen yéere: Euen so since your departure, hath chaunced such chaunge: that all my fréends will lament to heare of my fathers folly. Hath my father (quoth Rodolfo) framed things cōtrary to your fancie? And dooth his dealings hinder your delight? I pray you vnfolde this sodayn alterati∣on: if I may be so bolde to craue such courtesie. You are to cō∣maund me in greater affayres then this quoth she: wherfore attend & I wyll tell you all. Not fully yet two howres agoe, there came to my father such a comely Camellion: that could chaūge himselfe into all hues sauing honesty, all quallities in him, sauing those yt are comly, & as expert in humanity: as he that neuer knew what it meant. Besides (but that I am not to reprehend age) for that it is honorable, nor to cōdemne his yéeres, (for yt he hath liued a tranquile tyme) he is as doting a dissard as any in Verona, & as couetous a Carle, as lyueth at this day. But if wealth may make a mā wise: he will brag with the best, or his extortion make him estéemed: he wyll be nothing behinde hand. But if vertue should vaunt & clayme for her fee: this comely Squyre were sunk in the wetting, & all his credite crackt before it were gotten. But to come to the effect of the matter, & to let passe his properties: without they were prayse woorthy, and to shew the cause of his com∣ming, Page 135 and his sute to my Father. It is so, that this money myser: is become a lusty loouer, and bringing a gorgious gift to gratify my Father: the Amorous whorson would haue me to his wife. Now my father (as you know) hath a good minde to money, & lookes that the olde suter will soone turne vp his héeles, (so then shall I haue more money then modest man∣ners, and greater store of substaunce, then wisedome to rule it,) he would néedes make him promise, that he should wedde me to his Wife. But I gaue him such a cooling •arde, & such a pinching replye: that my Father is fayne to goe and per∣swade him, saying at his departure: that he shall haue me whether I wyll or no•. But sure, ere I giue my consent to fulfill his fancie, and match my selfe with such a Midas: my Father shall first cause me leaue my lyfe, which wyll be a greater reward: then to lyue with reproche.
Now surely Syster (quoth Rodolfo) I must commend your constancie, and allow the care of your credit, before such a do∣ting drudge should spoyle your gallant youth: my selfe would tell my Father an other tale. With that Strabino tooke out his Letter, and courteously kissing it: gaue it to his swéete Saint, and in the meane whyle she was in reading it: they walked about the Garden together, and hauing read it: came vnto him saying. Syr Strabino, your honest intent: I can not dislyke, nor your well meaning minde can I reprooue, but wishe I were woorthy so séemely a suter, & of abyllitie to gra∣tifie your excéeding courtesie. I confesse your iustnesse con∣dempneth me of vngentlenesse; & your constancie reprooueth my great discourtesie, in that at your last departure: I dyd misuse my selfe with such blunt behauiour, but as the Sunne should not set on an anger conceyued: so I hope my presump∣tion by you was pardoned: If at the first I had graūted your looue: you might haue alleadged my minde to be lyght, if at the first demaund I had made no deniall: you might haue thought me very vntrustie, but now perceyuing your ardent affection, the loyall looue and good wyll you beare me: I think I can not bestowe my selfe better, then on him whose fidely∣tie I haue found so faithfull.
Page 136Now Brother tell me how lyke you my choyse? In choosing my fréend, Syster (quoth Rodolfo) you haue followed my fan∣cie, in making my fréend your Husband: you haue doone as I would haue you. God graunt your dayes may be spent so prosperous: as I wishe this match to each party meritori∣ous. This match is more séemely: then my Fathers foreca∣sting, & this is more agréeable to God: then to haue you vni∣ted in that order, for where perfect looue is effectually placed: there is triumphant tranquillitie, peace and plentie▪ Gods blessing and sufficient. But where mariage is made vpon compulsion, the one agréeing, the other disdayning: there is dayly discorde, displeasing of God, continuall care, and many infirmities followeth. Wherefore I thinke this a match so méete: that it can not be mended, a choyse so equall: as there can be no better, héere is looue and loyaltie, héere is fayth and fidelitie, God prospere your procéeding, I wishe it hartily.
Now Gentlemen, iudge if Strabino had not cause to be cor∣ragious of so gallant a conquest? of so péerelesse a prize, and so loouing a Lady? Whose ioy was more iocond? Whose blisse more bountifull? And whose hap might be compared to Stra∣binos good lucke, in compassing that in a moment: which he thought would neuer haue come to effect, and in getting the good wyll of so gallant a Goddesse, so swéete a Saint, and so mercifull a Mistresse.
Wherefore now leauing the languishing of his sorrowfull sicknesse, and forsaking the feare that earst followed his fan∣cie: he saluteth his Lady with this courteous replye. I sée (most mercifull Mistresse) that there is no disease so despe∣rate: but helpe may be had, no sicknesse so sore: but Phisicke can foyle it, no wound so daungerous: but a swéete salue can recure it, no gréefe so great: but patience bringes prosperi∣tie, and no doubt so dreadfull: but tyme bringeth to full effect. Sée héere, he that was earst drowned in doubten: now hoy∣sed in happynesse, he that earst remayned in vnmercifull my∣serie: nowe floteth in florishing felycitie, he that earst was plundged in pittyfull perplexitie: hath chaunged his state to perfect prosperitie. If Caesar héere would commit to me all Page 137 his conquers, Craesus his puissant possessions, or the thrée Goddesses proffer vnto me, as they dyd to Paris: None could so much please me, as you my second selfe, none could more delyght me: then my Iewell so gentle, nor any more lyke me then my Lady so loyall, whose courteous constancie: high Ioue prosper in perpetuitie.
Cornelia séeing Strabino in the myddest of his myrth, and hauing deuised a drift to fal pat to their pleasures, crossed his tale with a courteous kysse, and after began her talke in this order. The wise holde opinion (quoth she) that a present peryll is good to be preuented, who woorkes warely at the first: néede not repent him after, and a bargayne well made, is halfe won. You knowe Brother, our Father requyreth rytches out of measure, and a match of money makes vp his mouth, nowe if Strabino should solycite his sute to him (as néedes he must) he may alleadge the want of his wealth, and that his abillitie is not able to maintayne me according to his minde, as no doubt he will compasse a hundred conceyts: because he would match me with olde Truculento.
To deceyue him now of this deuise, and to winne the mat∣ter fit for our wyll: I haue bethought of a cūning coniecture, and remembred such a remedy, as will fall verie fyt, bothe that my Father shall giue his consent: and the olde worldly wretch serued in his right kinde. First, Brother you shall goe with Strabino to Truculentes house, and there on your cre∣dite, take vp a great summe of money, as much as you shall thinke good, then go you into La strada di San Paolo, and buy the Iewell which my Father hath long had such great affec∣tion to, the which will so win him: that I dare warrant none but you shall haue me to his Wife. For the payment therof you shall not néede greatly to accoumpt: for that you shall re∣ferre vnto me, but this way I thinke you shall soonest spéede, and this way I warrant you shall gayne no nay.
I perceyue Syster (quoth Rodolfo) a Womans wyt is good at a néede, and this your deuise full well we allowe. Howe say you Strabino, shall we put this in practise? Or wyll you deferre it for feare of discredite? Nay sure (quoth Strabino) Page 138 since the matter consisteth on no greater a clause, and that this inuencion may driue all out of doubt: I thinke eache day a yéere tyll we haue dispatched it, and eache howre a month tyll we haue bound vp the bargayne.
Cornelia espying her Father was entred, and fearing least he would mistrust the matter, gaue them a watche woord to win them away, and to goe about their pretended purpose. Rodolfo goes in to flatter his Father, in ye meane whyle Stra∣bino stealeth out, so that theyr prancks were nothing percey∣ued: but all fell out, euen as they would wishe it. Rodolfo stealeth out, and followeth his fréend, and in short tyme they met bothe together, then they agréeed how the case should be concluded: if so be the money would be lent that they hoped for.
They béeing come to Signor Truculentos house, & he sitting at his doore verie solytarie: Rodolfo in the fréendlyest fashion saluteth him, and flattering the foole, thus frameth his tale. Woorthy Syr, if I say otherwayes then beseemes me: I hope you wyll beare with me, and if I speake as affection serues me: I doubt not but you wyll déeme all at the best: so that neyther flattering you with any forgerie, nor vpholding my selfe by any vaine glorie: I shall committe to your courtesie my well meaning tale, and my simple sute to be accoumpted of, as you shall lyke best.
Since the prouidence of the Gods hath so appointed, law of nature hath eke allowed, and the graue aduise of my Father hath so consented, that you are the only man must matche with my Sister: I reioyce that my hap hath prooued so fortu∣nate, and that the Gods hath sent me such a lucky lot, as your woorthy selfe shall become my brother, alwayes wishing that your tyme may prooue as tranquill, as my good wyll is to woorke your well fare. When olde Truculento heard Rodolfos Rhetoricke, and how gallantly he glosed to purchase his pur∣pose, he thinking that all his tale had béene trueth, and vpon pure affectiō he had spoken the same, replyed. Fréend Rodolfo: You haue not found me so bountifull: as héereafter you shall find me brotherlike, ne haue you had any such occasiō to com∣mend Page 139 me: as héereafter you shall purchase occasion to prayse me. I remayne to pleasure you, in what I can possible, and will stand your fréend in more then I will speake of. Indéede your Father hath found me so fréendly: that I thanke him, he déemes me to deserue his Daughter, & you I sée conceyue so good opinion of me: that you thinke me sufficient to match with your Syster. Well, if all prooue so well, as I hope it will, and the matche be so graunted as on my part it is prof∣fered. It is not money, or ought that I haue, but shall be all present to doo you a pleasure.
Strabino began to smyle in his sléeue. Rodolfo much a doo to kéepe his countenaunce, to sée the olde whorson how willing he was: & how craftily they caught him into so good a beléefe, wherefore nowe he beginneth to shewe foorth his sute: not doubting to spéede before they departed. Well Syr (quoth Rodolfo) for your proffered courtesie I remayne your debtor, not doubting but ye matter will come so to passe as I haue al∣wayes wished it, & if it lyke you so well, as to graunt me one request: whyle I liue you shall binde me to the vttermost of my power. Héere is a Gentlemā, a verie déere fréend and fel∣low of mine, who because his liuing is not yet come into his handes: is desirous to borrowe a certayne sum of money, al∣lowing for the gaynes thereof, what you will demaund: the sum dooth amount to fowre thousand Duckattes, and but for one month he desireth the lending, and if by that tyme he doo not discharge the debt: he is willing to forfayte his patrimo∣ny, and besydes the best lym of his body.
Fréend Rodolfo (quoth Truculento) the world is so wretched now a dayes, & diuers of ye people so pinched by pouerty: that many will borrow, but slack payment is made, then if we ex∣act the Law to the vttermost: we are accoumpted couetous carles, worldly wretches, and such like, which makes me so lothe to lende: for I care not for dealing in ye trade any more. What pleasure were it to me to maime or māgle this Gētle∣man for mine owne: truly I had rather if I could well spare so much, to giue it him outright, so should I sustayne no re∣proch my selfe: nor he be endamaged in ye distresse of the law. Page 140 Yet for your sake, I care not if I lende him so much: so that you wyll stande bound vnto mée, as straytlie as hée shall.
Syr (quoth Rodolfo) for the credit of the Gentleman, I dare wage all that I am woorth, and for the payment thereof, I dare stand to the perill, deliuer you the money, & if the debt be not discharged before, or at the aboue named day: I will loose all my Landes, beside the best lym of my body. Well (quoth Truculento) this is the bonde, if by the first day of the month ensuing, the whole sum be not restored: eache of your Lands shall stand to the endamagement, besides the losse of bothe your right eyes, are you content to stand to this bargayne? Yea (quoth they bothe) and that right wyllingly.
With that he departed to fetche the money, then quoth Strabino to his fréende. Dyd euer man see a more extor∣ting villayne then this? Is not our Landes sufficient to glut vp his gréedinesse? But that each of our eyes must stand to the hazard? Oh myserable myser, oh egregrious cormorant, surely the iust iudgement of God, wyll reward him for his wickednesse. Well, cease (quoth Rodolfo) no more woordes, Lupus est in fabula, little sayd is soone amended.
Then comes Truculento, wylling them to tell out theyr money, and then to set their handes to his Byll, which béeing doone: he delyuered fortie Duckattes more to Rodolfo, to carie his Syster for a token from him, saying. Desire her to estéeme of the gratefulnesse of the gyft, more then the quan∣titie dooth amount vnto, and tell her, that in lyfe or death I am hers at commaund.
Your courteous token (quoth Rodolfo) shall be delyuered, and your message ministred, with as much expedition as pos∣sibilitie wyll permitte, and thus thanking you a thousand tymes for your Brotherlyke beneuolence. I committe you to the custody of the heauenly Creator. The lyke wishe I you (quoth he) desiring you to remember the bargaine wher∣in you are bound.Page 141
¶ After that Rodolfo and Strabino had borrowed the money of Signor Truculento, they de∣parted to their lodgings, and in the morning goe and buy the ritch Iewell, which Strabino presenteth to Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli, the Father of Corne∣lia, and obtayneth promise that he shall haue her in marriage. Cap. 6.
ROdolfo in the morning, repayreth to ye Chāber of his assured Strabino, where béeing entred, he found him in his study at his Booke, away∣ting his company to goe about their businesse. Strabino (quoth he) let your Bookes a whyle be left: and frame your selfe to furder your fancie, let be the solemnesse you vse in your study: for you are lyke to pur∣chase a double delyght, the tyde taryeth no man, and when we are assured of our wished Iewell: then may we deferre ye tyme as long as we lyst. Wherefore, my selfe desyrous to hasten in our enterprise, and also to prooue the doubt of a dreame. I desire the more to make an ende of this matter. Quoth Strabino, hath a dreame driuen you in any such doubt, or haue you séen a fancie in your sléepe, which you shall prooue effectuous now you are waking: if it shall like you to tell me the trueth, I will define thereon as well as I can.
To trifle the tyme in talke (quoth Rodolfo) may let our la∣bour, and beside, to shew you the effect of the same: would cause you to delude me, wherefore I will let it alone tyll we returne, and if by the way it prooue to perfection (as my de∣sire is of God it may not) truly I wyll tell you. They take theyr way downe by Signor Truculentos doore, where he sawe the Saint sitting which all night was in his vision, no fur∣ther could he goe he was so faynt, but stoode leaning on the brest of his fréend Strabino, at last he burst foorth in these woordes, saying.
O my Strabino, but that you are my fréend, and one whom Page 142 I doo highly make accoumpt of: I should doubt to discouer the cause of my dollor, and feare to display my so sodayne pas∣sions, yet séeing your selfe hath tasted like torment, and haue borne out the bruntes which now I abide: the bolder I may my secretes bewraye, and the surer demonstrate the cause of my care. Yet you will condempne me for my preter presumption, and may rightly controule me for my rashe reprehension: yet iudge with indifferencie, and deale with me fréendly, let olde faultes be forgotten, and penaunce clay∣me pardon. I sée there is no stomacke so stoute: but looue will allay it, no courage so conquerous: but looue will con∣uince it, nor no heart so hautie: but looue can bring lowe: Euen so my selfe, who was a reiecter of looue, am now en∣forced to followe my fancie, and I who enuied against Wo∣men kinde: am now become a thrall to one my selfe.
With that for feare of béeing suspected in the open stréete: they went theyr wayes about theyr other affayres, and as they were walking, quoth Strabino. I sée déere fréende, that the most learned Clarkes, are not the wisest, the most valiaunt, not the surest, nor the greatest boasters, the best perfourmers, I perceyue you would haue béene in your deskant, before you knewe what pertayned to pricke Song. What say you nowe to Plautus woordes? What say you to all the matters wherewith you charged me? Well, I will not replye so rashlie as you dyd: nor I will not giue you such colde comfort, as you vsed to me, but I wyll doo the best to make vp the matter, and my head to a halfepeny, I wyll bring it to effect.
I knowe it is Truculentos Daughter whome you desire, and she it is must cease your sorrowes: let vs first ende the matter we haue in hande, and then you shall sée how I wyll compasse this géere. Rodolfo well satisfied with Strabinos pro∣mise: went and bought the Iewell which his Father so much desired, and there withall a fayre white Iennet of Spayne, and comming home: found his Father sitting at the doore, he entred, leauing Strabino to talke with him, who after he had saluted him in séemely sort: beganne his matters in Page 143 this order as followeth.
To rip vp the chéefe occasions (woorthy Sir) that procureth me in what I can to pleasure you: would be ouer tedious to me in the telling, and somewhat troublesome to you in the hearing, wherefore letting them passe as remembred in minde, and recounting such matters as occasion dooth byd me: I first and formost present you with this rytch & sump∣tuous Iewell, wishing it so much woorth, as I could wyl∣lingly bestowe.
When Signor Ruscelli sawe the Iewell, which so long he desired, and that his sonnes fréend and Companion was the bestower of the same: he was ouercome with such excéeding ioy: that it is vnpossible for me to expresse. But when he had well viewed all about, & séene the sumptuousnesse bestowed thereon: he aunswered Strabino to his great contentment.
If I should shew you (quoth he) how much this gyft plea∣seth me, and besides, make manifest the good wyll I beare you: you would suppose I dyd but flatter you, and déeme my woordes of no true intent. Wherefore to driue you out of all such doubtes, and to make apparaunce of that I haue spoken: demaund of me what you shall déeme expedient, and I vow to the vttermost to graunt your request.
With that Cornelia came to the doore, and séeing the Iewel in her Fathers hande: commended greatly the lyberalitie of her Brothers fréende, and informing her Father to make him large amendes.
Syr (quoth Strabino) the Iewell giuen, byds me (vnder ver∣dite of your lycence) craue an other Iewell, and this Ien∣net besides I giue you, wishing but to spéede of that Iewell. What Iewell soeuer it be (quoth he) I haue, or any other thing, that may séeme to suffice you: on my credite and fide∣litie, you can but aske and haue. Strabino stepped vp and tooke Cornelia by the hand, saying: then giue me this Iewell in re∣compence of my Iewell: so shall I be contented, and you no∣thing iniured.
Syr Strabino (quoth Signor Ruscelli) the demaund you haue made is doubtfull, and the choyse you haue chosen, nothing Page 144 correspondent to mine intent, her mariage is already made, and she is giuen to one whose wealth is so woorthy, & whose store so surpassing: that whyle she liueth, she shall néede to lacke nothing. You are a young Gentleman, youthfull and lyberall, and will spend more in a day: then he in a yéere, he is warie and wise, you youthfull and prodigall, therefore the matche is otherwise determined, any thing else remayneth at your request. Syr (quoth Strabino) you haue left a poynt open, and I haue a man to enter, respect your play wisely, least you loose the game outright. A promise may alwayes be claymed for a due debt, and such a man as you should ne∣uer shrinke at his woord, I may clayme this Iewell by a suf∣ficient tytle: for that in your promise you made no exception. Yea but Strabino (quoth he) I meant you should haue desired some other desert. But I meant (quoth Strabino) to craue none other, so that you standing to the bargaine, and I lyber∣tie to take what best lykes me: this Iewell is mine, and your woorde a sufficient warrant.
Besides, where you doubt my liuing is not sufficient to welcome such a Wife: I trust that the patrimony my Pa∣rentes dooth allowe me, is more then the dowrie you wyll make to her mariage. Againe, if my lyberalitie, of you be dys∣lyked, and the niggardly sparing of a worldly wretch so much commended: I perceyue you preferre rytches before a noble minde, and accoumpt more of vanitie, then you doo of vertue. Mazeus when he receyued his Pretorship of Alexander: in commendation of his munificence, vsed these woordes. My Prince Darius was euer but one man: but thou by thy lyberalitie, makest many Alexanders. Scipio Africanus ne∣uer rode abroade, but he would vse such lyberalitie ere he returned: that of his greatest fooes, he would make his dée∣rest fréends. Isocrates wysheth Nicocles to be familliar with this excellent vertue, wylling him in his apparell to be gal∣lant and glorious: and let his lyberalitie set foorth his mag∣nificence. Then neuer disprayse lyberalitie, which is the chéefe ornament of a noble minde: but hate that worldly pleasure, enemie to all vertuous actions. I content my selfe Page 145 to stand to her gentle iudgement, if she doo not regard me: I am content you shall refuse me, and if she lyke me not: I will let her alone.
What bargayne is betwéene you twayne (quoth Signor Ruscelli) I knowe not, nor how you haue deuised the matter in hope to deceyue me, yet haue I séene no such familliarity, whereof I should accoumpt: nor any such likelyhood, that she will chuse you to her Husband. I am content to abyde her agréement, wherefore speake Daughter as your minde shall best serue you.
Then since déere Father (quoth Cornelia) it hath lyked you to graunt me my minde, in making my choyse, and that you will not be offended at my bolde behauiour: Syr Strabino, you are the man whome I most accoumpt of, and no other will I haue during lyfe.
When Signor Ruscelli perceyued it was come to that passe, and that his promise bound him to stand to her verdict: he sayd. Take héere then Strabino, the Iewell of my ioy, to quite your Iewell so lyberallie bestowed, and God graunt you such prosperitie whyle you liue together: as I wishe to mine owne soule, I speake vnfaynedly. The Nuptialles shall be celebrated when you thinke best, in the meane while I will take you as my Sonne, and you bothe as Man and Wife.
After much talke passed betwéene them: out commeth the mournfull Rodolfo, rauished with such inward desyre, and tossed in such frantick fittes: as his pittious plight bewray∣ed the state of his sicknesse. Strabino taking leaue of his new found Father, and of his swéet Lady and wife Cornelia: went with him. And as they were going (quoth Rodolfo.) O my déere Strabino, néedes must I goe, to knowe eyther of or on, her Father shall knowe the good will I beare her, and she shall perceyue I wishe her to my Wife. If I maye spéede, I haue my desire, if not, the greater wyll be my di∣stresse.
Ah Syr (quoth Strabino) how lyke you looue? Who shall controule you for following your fancie? A man knowes Page 146 what his beginning is: but he knoweth not his ending. Brag is a good Dogge, whyle he will holde out: but at last he may chaunce to méete with his matche. In such like conference they came to the house of Signor Truculento, and who should open the doore but Brisana his Daughter, the Mistresse of Rodolfo, whome he saluted in very fréendly sort. But euen so willing as he was to haue her to his Wife: she was as desi∣rous to haue him to her Husbande. Héere was hote looue on bothe sides, and each of them so farre in: that it was vn∣possible for eyther to gette out. Rodolfo, he in secrete telles Truculento such a flattering tale in his eare, howe his Sister had calmed her courage, and was content to stand to her Fa∣thers appointment: that the day after the debt was dischar∣ged the mariage should be made, so he for ioy of these new-come tydinges: ioyneth them bothe hand in hand, to marie when they will, & God giue them much ioy▪ Heere were ma∣riages soone made, and Wiues soone wonne, I beléeue if I should sue for lyke succour: I should perforce take longer space to spéede.
Nowe is Rodolfo returned reioysing, and Strabino right glad of his good successe, Truculento presently hyes him to horsebacke, to goe wyll all his fréendes, to méete at his mari∣age.
When Signor Ruscelli knew how his sonne had spedde, and by so fine a drift had deceyued Truculento: the next morning marieth his sonne, and Truculentos Daughter together, and Cornelia and Strabino in the selfe same sort. What ioy was héere on eyther side: iudge you that are maried folkes and meddle in such matters, yet though I be vnskilfull to define on such clauses: I must néedes suppose, that since each of thē gayned, the thing which they most desired: their ioy was not lyttle, nor their pleasure lightly to be accoumpted of.
Strabino he with his swéete Cornelia passeth the tyme plea∣santly, & Rodolfo with his braue Brisana lyueth at hearts ease & tranquilitie, so that they thinke there is no other felycitie.
But now Gentlemen (as the auncient Prouerbe is) after pleasure comes payne, and after mirth comes myserie, and Page 147 after a fayre and sunny day, ariseth blustring windes & sharp showers: Euen so to this passed pageant of pleasure, is an∣nexed a stratageme of sorrowes.
Truculento is returned from bydding his Guestes, and hath heard of the hap which chaunced in his absence, he comes as one bereft of his wyttes, or as a man feared out of his fiue sences, and vttereth this tale to Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli. Syr, blame not my boldnesse, for that I am constrayned, nor reprehend my rashnesse, since I am so misused, I thought more credite had consisted in your auncient heart, and that you would not haue dissembled with any such double dealing. Dyd not you perfectly promise I should matche with your Daughter, and that no one should gayne her but only I? Did not I giue your Sonne my Daughter on the selfe same con∣dition? And haue you in my absence maryed her to an other? Not cōtented with matching my Daughter with your Son, I béeing not present▪ but to goe and play such a Parasites part. Well, well, I doubt not but to deale so sharply with some: that they shall wishe they neuer had maried my promi∣sed wife.
Fewe woordes & swéete Syr (quoth Signor Ruscelli) threat∣ned folkes liue long, and angrie men are subiect to many sor∣rowes, I gaue you no other consent, then on my Daughters agréement, and when I mentioned the matter: I styll found her contrarie. Wherfore you must pacifie your selfe, there is no other remedy, and learne to make a vertue of necessity, for sure your lucke was still turned to losse. And whereas my Sonne hath matched with your Daughter: I déeme you are not greatly to finde any fault, but rather may be glad she hath sped so well, for ye day hath béene he might haue had her betters. Wherfore if you séeme to chafe your selfe vpon so lyght occasion, and that you will not be cōtented, we offering you such courtesy: meddle in no more matters then you may, nor heape any more harmes on your head, then you are wyl∣ling to beare. If you set not a poynt by vs: we care not a pyn for you, if we may haue your good will so it is: if not, kéepe your winde to coole your Pottage.
Page 148This aunswere made Truculento more mad then he meant to be, and he flung foorth of doores in such a fume: as though all the Towne would not haue helde him.
On the morrow, he caused Strabino and Rodolfo to be sum∣moned to appéere before the Iudge, for the payment of the money, which when Cornelia and Brisana perceyued: they willed their Husbandes in nothing to doubt, for that by their industrie they should be discharged. Cornelia apparelleth her selfe all in blacke like a Scholler, and Brisana attyreth her selfe in the same sorte. After dinner they appéered before the Iudge, where Truculento appealed against them in this or∣der.
Signor Truculento summoneth Strabi∣no and Rodolfo before the Iudge, for the debt which was due to him, where Cornelia and Brisana, by their excellent inuencions redeemeth their Husbandes, and Truculento at last seeing no remedy: falleth to agreement. Cap. 7.
MOst magnificent Iudge, tyme was (quoth Truculento) when firme affection, and pure zeale of fréendshippe, mooued me to minde the destitute estate of these two Gentlemen, whē as either they had not money to their content∣ment: or wanted such necessaries, as then was to them néedefull▪ At which tyme (as the Lambe endaungered by the rauenous Woolfe, flyeth for sauegard to his folde, or as the Ship abiding the hazard of Fortune, and fearing the emmi∣nent daunger, posteth to some Porte, or hasteth to some Ha∣uen in hope of succour): Euen so these twayne repayred to me, who béeing sufficiently stored of that which they wan∣ted, and besides, willing to pleasure them, to their greater profite: committed to their custody, a certayne summe of money, which amounteth vnto fowre thousand Crownes. Page 149 Nowe theyr necessite indifferently satisfied, and they béeing bound to delyuer the summe at a certayne daye: they haue broken theyr promise, which is open periurie, and falsyfied theyr faythes, in not restoring the money. Wherefore, that all Gentlemen may be warned by such wylfull offen∣ders, and that God may be glorified in putting them to pu∣nishment: I haue thus determined how the debt shall be dis∣charged. The rendring of the money I doo not accoumpt of, ne wyll I be pleased with twise as much restored: the breach of the Lawe I meane to exact, and to vse rygor, where it is so required.
The forfayture of theyr Landes, is the one part of the penaltie, the losse of theyr right eyes the whole ingenerall, now remembring the wofull estate of theyr solitarie wiues, how in depriuing theyr substaunce, they might be pinched by penurie: I let theyr Landes remayne vnto them in full possession, whereon héereafter they may liue more honestly. I clayme theyr right eyes for falsifying theyr faith: to mooue others regard howe they make lyke rechlesse promises. So shall Iustice be ministred without partialytie, they rightly serued for infringing theyr fidelity: and my selfe not thought to deale with crueltie.
Thus haue you heard the cause of my comming: now giue iudgement as your wisedome shall thinke most expedient. My fréends (quoth the Iudge) héere is no place to deale with partialitie, héere is no roome where falsehood should be fre∣quented, nor time in this place to deferre in trifling affayres: but héere is simply Iustice to be aduaunced, wrong righly reuenged, and mercie mildly maintayned. Wherfore, ere I beginne to deale in this diuersitie, or that I séeme to con∣tend about this controuersie: I exhort you each one to ex∣empt double dealing, to flye forged fraude, & to minister no∣thing malitiously, but on each cause to way the matter adui∣sedly. Consider you come to deale in matters of conscience, matters of your owne mayntenaunce, and such thinges whereon your credite consisteth, now you are not for fréend∣shippe to further falsehood, ne yet for malice to touch an vn∣trueth, Page 150 but euen to deale so directly, to frame your matters so faithfully, and to vse your selues héere so vprightly: that not so much as a motion be made of any misorder. But euery one to aunswere as occasion is offered, so helpe you God and the contentes of this booke, wherat they all kissed the booke. And then the Iudge called Strabino, to shewe in what sort, and af∣ter what order the money was borrowed, and what promise there was betwéene them.
Most mightie Iudge (quoth Strabino) trueth neuer defa∣meth his Maister, right repelleth all proffered wrong, and vpright dealing disdayneth all forged fraude, wherefore, ney∣ther fearing the force of his reuenging rigor, nor yet dismay∣ing at ought that is doone: I will tell my tale, reporting no∣thing but trueth, and clayming no other courtesie then my desertes shall deserue.
Trueth is, my Father fayling to send me such money, as serued to the mayntenaunce of my studious exercise, and be∣sides, wanting wherewith to deale in waighty affayres: my fréend & I came vnto this Caterpyller, (so rightly may I call him, neyther defacing his lycentious lyuing, condempning his practised science, and cunning handy craft, nor yet inuay∣ing against any of his honest behauiour: but commending his cut throate cōditions, in pinching the poore, to fyl vp his own poutch.) Béeing come to this aforesayd woorme of the world, (who eateth so many to the bare bones, out of Lands and ly∣uing, to glut his gréedy desire) we desired a certayne summe of money, which is no lesse then him selfe hath confessed, for a monthes space, and then to restore the same to the vnright∣full owner, who binding vs straytly in the losse of our Lan∣des, and of each our right eyes: lent vs this aforesayd sum. Now in déede, we not minding the so short restoring of his due debt, for that necessary occasions was partly our hinde∣raunce: haue indamaged our selues in two dayes more, then the limmited time did amount vnto, for which time we will allow him to the vttermost he can aske, & his money to haue when him pleaseth. Now if your wisdome dooth not thinke we deale with him honestly and well: we will stand to what Page 151 effect it shall like you to bring it.
My fréend (quoth the Iudge) your reply is reasonable, you confesse your selfe indebted in that which he hath demaūded, and yéeld that you haue broken the band, wylling to make an amends, insomuch that you will satisfie the vttermost, which he may séeme to sue for: I can not chuse but accoumpt your woordes of good credite, in that your dealing dooth demōstrate no other. Now Truculento, you sée the Gentleman graūteth him selfe guilty, since his earnest affayres dyd hinder the re∣payment of your debt to you due, now he hath the whole rea∣dy to restore, and beside, ouer & aboue this sum: will content you to the vttermost it shall please you to request. In my opi∣nion you can reasonably require no more, if you doo: you shall but séeme to shame your selfe.
Syr (quoth Truculento) he that before my face will vse such terrible tauntes, behinde my backe, would gladly brew my bane, he that in my presence will so spightfully reprooue me: in my absence would hang me if it were in his possibilitie. Dooth he demerit fauour: that so frowneth on his fréend? Can he clayme any courtesie: that abuseth him selfe so disorderly? Or can he once pleade for pittie: that standeth in so great a presumption? Or you my Lord, desire me deale gently: with one who respecteth not gentillitie? No, the money is none of mine, ne will I haue it, his Landes I respect not, ne care I for them, and now his submission I way not, ne will I accept of it. You my Lord shall rather reape reproche by pleading on his part: then gayne any credite in maintayning so care∣lesse a creature. I driue my whole action to this issue, I plead my priuiledge vnto this poynt, & to this clause I am seuere∣ly bent: I will haue the due which breach of promise dooth deserue, I will exempt all courtesie: and accoumpt of cruelty, I wyll be pleased with no ritch reward whatsoeuer, no pitty shall preuayle, rigor shall rule, and on them bothe I will haue Lawe to the vttermost.
Why Truculento (quoth the Iudge) respect you cruelty: more then Christian ciuillitie, regard you rigor more then rea∣son. Should the God aboue all Gods, the Iudge aboue all Page 152 Iudges, administer desert, which your sinnes hath deserued? If his fatherly affection, if his mercifull myldnesse, if his righteous regard, dyd not consider the frayltie of your fleshe, your promptnes vnto peryll, and your aptnes vnto euyll: how mightie were the myserie, which should iustly fall vpon you? Howe sharpe the sentence that should be pronounced against you, and howe rigorous the reuenge, which should rightly reward you? Is this the looue you beare to your brother? Is this the care you haue of a Christian? The Turke, whose tyranny is not to be talked of: could but exact to the vttermost of his crueltie. And you a braunche of that blessed body, which bare the burden of our manifolde sinnes: howe can you seeme to deale so sharply with your selfe? sée∣ing you should vse to all men: as you would be dealt with∣all. Yet to let you haue the lybertie of your demaund in Lawe, and you to stand to the Iustice which héere I shall pronounce, let first your right eye be put foorth in theyr pre∣sence: and then shall they bothe abide lyke punishment.
For since neyther the restoring of your debt wyll suffice you, nor yet the lyberall amendes they are content to make you: I déeme it expedient you should be pertaker of theyr paynes, so shall you knowe if you demaund a reasonable request. Howe say you, will you stand to the verdict pronounced: or take the rewarde which they haue promi∣sed.
My Lord (quoth Truculento) neyther doo I deserue to abide any such doome, nor they woorthy to be fauoured with any such fréendshippe, I may lawfully alleadge that you permit partiality: & that you deuide not each cause indifferently, for to what ende should you séeme to satisfie me with their woor∣des: when your selfe perceyues how they are found faultie? And what vrgeth you to vse such gentle perswasions: when you sée your selfe they deserue no such dealing? If I had wyl∣fully offended in any such cause, and wyttingly broken in such sort my bonde: I would be contented you should deliuer me my deserts, so that you dyd minister nothing but Iustice. And wherefore should you séeme to demaund the losse of my Page 153 eye who haue not offended: for sauegarde of their eyes that haue so trecherously trespassed? I am sure I go not beyōd the breache of my bande, nor I desire no more then they haue deserued. Wherefore obiect no more matters, whereby to delude me, nor impute no occasions to hinder my pretence, I craue Iustice to be vprightly vsed, and I craue no more, wherefore I will haue it.
Indéede my fréends (quoth ye Iudge) who séeketh the extremi∣tie, & vrgeth so much as his wilfull minde dooth cōmaūd him: his commission is very large, & his request not to be refused. Wherfore, since neither pittie can preuaile, nor fréendly coū∣sayle perswade: you must render the raunsome that he dooth require, for we cannot debarre him in these his dealings, nor we can not chuse but giue our cōsentes. Therfore if you haue any that will pleade your case in Law: let them speake & they shall be heard, to further your safety as much as we may.
My Lord (quoth Rodolfo) theyr courtesie is ouermuch that will knéele to a Thystle, and theyr beneuolence bountifull that will bowe to a Bramble: Euen so we are farre foolishe to craue courtesie of such a cut throate, and more wytlesse then wyse to meddle with such a wordly wretch. If there be no remedy: we knowe the vttermost of our paynes, yet we craue that these our Attorneyes, may haue such lybertie as Lawe will permit.
With that Truculento fared like a fiend, and curssed and banned like a Diuell of hell, (quoth he) my Lord, you deale with me discourteously: when the Lawe is come to the passe to let them haue theyr Attorneyes.
Syr (quoth the Iudge) you haue vsed all this whyle your Attorneyes aduise, and they haue aunswered simply of them selues, now since you the Plaintife haue had this preroga∣tiue: it is reason the Defendaunts should demaund their due. It may be that their Attorneyes may put you to such a plundge: that you shall haue small occasion to bragge of your bargayne: wherefore let them speake.
Then Brisana (Truculentos Daughter) began in this order to pleade for her auayle. Admit my Lord (quoth she) that I Page 154 come to such a person as this partie, to borrow ye lyke sum of money, binding me in ye selfe same band, to restore the money to the same party of whome I had it. Well, the time expyred, I come to deliuer the due to the owner, he being not at home, nor in the Citty, but ridden foorth, and vncertaine of his com∣ming: I returne home to my house, and he him selfe comes out of the Countrey as yesterday. Now he vpon some se∣uerall spight or malicious intent: sueth me in the Lawe, not demaunding his due, nor I knowing of his ariuall. Am I to be condempned for breaking the Lawe: when the partie him selfe hath deferred the day?
How lyke you this géere Truculento? you haue now an o∣ther Pigeon to pull, and héere is one wiser then you were beware. Can you condempne this partie, not demaunding your due, nor béeing at home when it might haue béene dis∣charged? And making the bande to be restored to your selfe?
My Lord (quoth Truculento) though I was not at home: my house was not emptie, and though I was away, if it had béene restored: it stoode in as good effect as if it had béene payd to me. Wherefore it is but follie to frame such an alle∣gation: for my Receyuer in my absence dooth represent my selfe.
Well (quoth Brisana) admit your seruaunt in your absence, standeth in as full effect as your selfe, and admit the debt had béene discharged to him, if wylfulnesse had allured your ser∣uaunt to wandering, and that he had departed with the debt he receyued: you returne and finde it styll in your booke, nei∣ther marked nor crossed, as if payment had not béene made, you wyll let your seruaunt slyp with his offence: but you wyll demaund the debt agayne of me.
Tush (quoth Truculento) this is but a tryfle, and your woordes are now to be estéemed as winde, you should haue restored the summe to my seruaunt: and I would not haue troubled you in any such sort, for there is no man that vseth such follie: but he will sée the booke crossed before he depart. Therefore you doo but trouble tyme with mentioning such matters: for your redemption is neuer the néere.
Page 155Well then Syr (quoth she) you will thus much allow, that at the deliuery: the bande should be restored, and if I had de∣lyuered the money to your seruaunt: I should haue respec∣ted my bande tyll yesterday, for your seruaunt had it not to delyuer: and I would not pay it before I had my •ande. Ah Signor Truculento (quoth the Iudge) he toucheth you to ye quick now, how can you reply to this his demaund? In déede I confesse (quoth he) my Cubborde kept the bande tyll I re∣turned, but yet noting the receyt in the booke, would haue béene sufficient tyll my comming home.
With that Cornelia stepped vp, saying. Since (Signor Tru∣culento) you will neyther allowe the reasonable aunsweres he hath made, nor be content to abide my Lord the Iudges verdict: receyue the raunsome you so much require, and take bothe their eyes, so shall the matter be ended. But thus much (vnder verdict of my Lord his lycence) I giue you in charge, and also especially notifie, that no man but your selfe shall execute the déede, ne shall you craue any counsayle of any the standers by. If in pulling foorth their eyes, you dimi∣nishe the least quantitie of blood out of their heads, ouer and besides their only eyes, or spyll one drop in taking them out: before you styrre your foote, you shall stand to the losse of bothe your owne eyes. For that the bande maketh mention of nothing but their eyes, and so if you take more then you should, and lesse then you ought: you shall abide the punish∣ment héere in place pronounced. Nowe take when you will, but beware of the bargayne.
Truly (quoth the Iudge) this matter hath béene excellent∣ly handled, it is no reason if you haue your bargayne: that you should hinder them with the losse of one droppe of blood, wherefore I pronounce no other Iudgement, shall at this tyme be ministred.
Now was Truculento more mad that he could not haue his hearts desire, for that he knewe he must néedes spyll some blood, it could not be otherwyse chosen, wherefore he desired he might haue his money, and so let all other matters alone. Page 156 Nay (quoth ye Iudge) since you would not accept of it when it was offered, nor would be contented with so large a promise: the money shall serue to make them amendes, for the great wrong which you would haue offered. Thus in my opinion is Iudgement equally vsed, and neyther partie I hope will be miscontented.
Truculento séeing there was no remedy, and that all the people praysed the Iudgement so woorthily: accepted Rodolfo for his lawfull sonne, and put him in possession of all his ly∣uinges after his disease. Thus were they on all partes ve∣rie well pleased, and euerie one accoumpted him selfe well contented.
If now this homely Historie may séeme to suffice you: in recompence of my costes, I craue nothing but your courtesie. You shall haue the rest as possibilitie can permyt me, and I remayne your fréend to pleasure you in ought to my power.
Take this in meane tyme, though too short to be swéete, and thus I byd Euphues hartily welcome into England.
Faultes escaped in the printing.
- 1. In the .25. Page, in Zelautos spéeche, for vnderding, reade vnderstanding.
- 2. In the .32. Page, in Zelautos spéeche, for Timon, reade Ti∣mantes.